Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 166 pages of information about Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 02.
different kinds, tobacco, indigo, cotton-wool and perhaps a few others; but of all these (which can only be obtained by cultivation and labour) the natives raise sufficient only for their own immediate expenditure; nor, under the present system of their laws, manners, trade, and government, can anything further be expected from them.  It cannot, however, admit of a doubt that all the rich and valuable productions both of the East and West Indies might easily be naturalised and brought to the utmost perfection in the tropical parts of this immense continent.  Nothing is wanting to this end but example to enlighten the minds of the natives, and instruction to enable them to direct their industry to proper objects.  It was not possible for me to behold the wonderful fertility of the soil, the vast herds of cattle, proper both for labour and food, and a variety of other circumstances favourable to colonisation and agriculture—­and reflect, withal, on the means which presented themselves of a vast inland navigation without—­lamenting that a country so abundantly gifted and favoured by nature should remain in its present savage and neglected state.  Much more did I lament that a people of manners and disposition so gentle and benevolent should either be left as they now are, immersed in the gross and uncomfortable blindness of pagan superstition, or permitted to become converts to a system of bigotry and fanaticism which, without enlightening the mind, often debases the heart.  On this subject many observations might be made, but the reader will probably think that I have already digressed too largely; and I now, therefore, return to my situation at Kamalia.


The schoolmaster to whose care I was entrusted during the absence of Karfa was a man of a mild disposition and gentle manners; his name was Fankooma, and although he himself adhered strictly to the religion of Mohammed, he was by no means intolerant in his principles towards others who differed from him.  He spent much of his time in reading, and teaching appeared to be his pleasure as well as employment.  His school consisted of seventeen boys, most of whom were sons of Kafirs, and two girls, one of whom was Karfa’s own daughter.  The girls received their instruction in the daytime, but the boys always had their lessons, by the light of a large fire, before day break and again late in the evening; for, being considered, during their scholarship, as the domestic slaves of the master, they were employed in planting corn, bringing firewood, and in other servile offices through the day.

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Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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