Lander's Travels eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,054 pages of information about Lander's Travels.
and at length stripped him quite naked.  While they were examining the plunder, he begged them, with great earnestness, to return his pocket-compass; but when he pointed it out to them, as it lay on the ground, one of the banditti, thinking he meant to take it up, cocked his musket, and swore he would lay him dead on the spot, if he presumed to lay his hand upon it.  After this, some went away with his horse, and the remainder, after some deliberation, returned him the worst of the two shirts and a pair of trousers; and on going away, one of them threw back his hat, in the crown of which he kept his memorandums.  After they were gone, Mr. Park sat for some time, looking around him with amazement and terror.  “Whatever way I turned,” says he, “nothing appeared but danger and difficulty.  I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage.  I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement.  All these circumstances crowded at once to my recollection, and I confess that my spirits began to fail me.  I considered my fate as certain, and that I had no alternative but to lie down and perish.  The influence of religion, however, aided and supported me.  I reflected that no human prudence or foresight could possibly have averted my present sufferings.  I was indeed a stranger in a strange land, yet I was still under the protecting eye of that Providence, who has condescended to call himself the stranger’s friend.  At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly caught my eye.  I mention this, to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation, for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsules, without admiration.  Can that Being, thought I, who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image?  Surely not.  Reflections like these would not allow me to despair.  I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand, and I was not disappointed.”

In a short time Mr. Park came to a small village, where he overtook the two shepherds, who had come with him from Koona.  They were much surprised to see him, as they expected the Foulahs had murdered him.  Departing from this village, they travelled over several rocky ridges, and at sunset arrived at the town of Sibidooloo.


Sibidooloo is the frontier town of Manding, and is situated in a fertile valley, surrounded with high rocky hills.  The chief man is here called the mansa, which usually signifies king; but it appear that the government of Manding is a sort of republic, as every town has a particular mansa, and the chief power of the state is lodged in an assembly of the whole body.

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Lander's Travels from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.