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The author tben proceeds to unfold the resumption of their attacks, and brings to our recollection the short, but pitby address of the Duke of Wellington, to his soldiers, at the moment of their most imminent peril.
He fear’d it not of proof.” The portentous combat is thus carried on with the spirit and bustle which such encounters actually exbibit: we think We see the attacks made, and the assailants recoil from the bayonets of their sturdy antagonists. After reprobating the Night of Napoleon, at the moment when his personal example became the most necessary, our author thus alludes to his conduct in throwing the more arduous business of the field upon Ney; and it must be confessed that, however criminal that officer may have been in deluding his sovereign, at a time when more than ordinary loyalty was requisite, bis merits as a commander were eminent.
“ He wav'd his hand
When tyranny abhorr'd the marshal doom'd
And many a bitter tear be dropt for Ney !” The compliments here paid to the marshal may be honorable enough to Mr. Gilmour's enthusiasm as a soldier, and to his feelings as a man. But he ought to know that perfidy, especially such aggravated perfidy as that of this villain, is a crime worthy the most condign punishment. Ney could have prevented the carnage of Waterloo! and as he did not, be deserved no commiseration or mercy. We cannot say of Mr. Gilmour, as we did, in the preceding article, of Mr. Southey, that his politics are better than his poetry.
The last attacks of the imperial guard are duly described, together with the anxiety of the Duķe of Wellington for the approach of night, or the co-operation of the veteran Blucher.
The approach of the hero on the left is alluded to, and the whole line of the combined forces being ordered to advance, appears in motion, while the subsequent rout of the French is detailed with almost all the high colouring of which it is susceptible in a poetical effusion.-In truth, this poem, like the glorious conflict it celebrates, is one continued scene of bustle and animation. It never balts; incident unfolds incident-we perceive all the important features of the field, and the reader comes to the close of the narrative without being tired or satiated.
Art. VIII.—The Narrative of Robert Adams, a Sailor, who
was wrecked on the Western Coast of Africa, in the year 1810, was detained three years in slavery by the Arabs of the Great Desert, and resided several months in the city of Tombuctoo. With a Map, Notes, and an Ap
dendix. Murray. 1816. 4to. The
he interior of Africa is almost the only part of the world that is not pretty well known to Europeans. A great deal
has, however, been added to our knowledge of it within the last twenty years—especially by the enterprise of the indefatigable PARK; who, had he lived, would no doubt, have done a great deal more, both for his own fame, and for the benefit of mankind. He paved the way thoroughly; and future travellers in that awful region now find, and will continue to find, their task by no means so arduous as his was.
The city of Tombuctoo has long been an object of research, and an authentic account of its position, population, &c. is a thing that has very often been wished for. 'No European, we believe, has ever been there; and the accounts received from the natives have always been so discordant, that they could never be depended upon. At length, here is a man who has seen*the place; but, he is nothing more than a common sailor, who can neither read nor write, who possessed no talents, or motives for making very important observations on the state of society, and who indeed bad no sufficient opportunities of making any–having been there as a degraded slave. From him therefore we must not hope for any profound or extensive views, either of a moral or of a political nature; and yet they will not be disappointed who expect to derive from the narrative a good deal of curious amusing information. Of his having visited the spot, there appears to be no doubt; but as it was nearly four years from the time when be quitted it, till he was examined respecting it, and as be bad, during that time, no idea that he should ever be called upon to tell what he had seen, we must not suppose that he can be quite correct upon every point. Accordingly there are a few of his assertions that are contradictory, some of them evidently untrue; though he seems to have a disposition always to speak truth. He informs us, that Tombuctoo, instead of being, as was generally supposed, a city of great opulence, and containing a vast population, is a town, the houses of which the king's palace not excepted) are built of clay and grass-that it covers about as much ground as Lisbon—and that the greatest number of people that he ever saw assembled was not more than two thousand. He also says that the sovereign of the country is not a Moor, but a negro, and that, to the best of his knowledge, neither he nor his subjects had any religion. We proceed to give an account of tbe volume as before us, of which, though he did not make it, he is pretty nearly as much the author as some gentlemen are of certain books, through which they have acquired the reputation of literary men.
The circumstances under which it came into the world, are these. In October, 1815, the editor, Mr. Cock, of the African company, was informed, that a gentleman had accidentally met in London, an American seaman, whom he had recently seen at Cadiz in the service of an English merchant; and who had resided for a considerable time in the interior of Africa. This attracted the attention of the editor, and through the diligence of the gentleman alluded to, the man was again found, and brought before the African Committee. He was in great distress, having just begged his way from Holyhead to London, for the purpose of obtaining a pass. port to America. He was immediately interrogated, and his adventures appeared so extraordinary, that those who heard bim concluded his story to be an įnvention. But the editor entertained a contrary opinion, and desired him to attend again, and at the same time gave
him some money to relieve his necessities. On being examined a second time, he gave nearly the same answers as before, and it was resolved to take down in writing a full account of what had passed. Accordingly he attended daily for a fortnight or three weeks, and, during that time, was interrogated by upwards of fifty gentlemen-some of them of great emi. nence-who were all struck with the artlessness of his replies. The narrative, however, was not obtained from him as a connected story; for he related scarce any thing without his attention being directed to the subject by a special inquiry.
When the narrative was completed, it was examined by Earl Bathurst, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Wil. loughby Gordon, Sir Joseph Banks, &c. the result of which was, that the Lords of the Treasury ordered Adams a bandsome gratuity to defray the expenses of his voyage to Annerica. The narrative was lastly examined by Mr. Dupuis, the British Vice-consul at Mogadore, who happened to arrive in England about that time. This gentleman corroborated a great part of what Adams had related, from his own personal knowledge; and made notes on the whole narrative, most of which go to support Adams's assertions, hardly any of them to contradict what he said.
Robert Adams sailed from New York on the 17th of Juve, 1810, on board the ship Charles, bound to Gibraltar. Having discharged her cargo at the latter place, she proceeded on a trading voyage down the coast of Africa, and was wrecked on the 11th of October, in latitude about 22° N.
The crew, consisting of the captain and ten men, all got on shore alive; and at break of day were surrounded and made prisoners by thirty or forty Moors.
“The place, which was called El Gazie, was a low sandy beach, have, ing no trees in sight, nor any verdure. There was no appearance of mouncain or hill; nor (excepting only the rock on which the ship was wrecked) any thing but sand as far as the eye could reach. The Moors were straighthaired, but quite black; their dress consisted of little more than a rug or skin round their waist, their upper parts and from their knees downwards being wholly naked. The men bad neither shoes nor hats, but wore their hair very long: the women had a little dirty rag round their heads by way of turban.' They were living in tents made of stuff like a coarse blanket, of goat's hair, and sheep's wool interwoven; but some of them were without tents until they made them of the sails of the ship; out of which they also made themselves clothes."-p.8.
The Moors stripped all the crew naked; and their skins, by being exposed to a scorching sun, were dreadfully blistered. The captain, whose name was Horton, was soon taken ill, and having been provoked to shew somewhat of violence towards the Moors, they seized and murdered bim. After remaining at El Gazie ten or twelve days, the Moors prepared to depart, and divided the prisoners among them. Adams, Dolbie (the mate), and Newsham, fell to the share of about twenty Moors, who quitted the coast, with four camels laden with water, fish, and baggage. They travelled on foot, at the rate of fifteen miles a-day, in an easterly direction, and in thirty days arrived at a place containing thirty or forty tents, where they found "a pool of water surrounded by a few shrubs, which was the only water they had met with since quitting the coast.” At this place they were joined by another of the crew, named Stevens, a Portuguese. The mate and Newsham were sent away towards the north, and Adams and Stevens were forced to accompany the Moors in an expedition to Soudenny, to procure slaves. They travelled across the desert, towards the S.S. E., and in fourteen days. arrived at Soudenny. Here the Moors concealed themselves amongst the bills and bushes, and seized upon several negroes, but were themselves taken prisoners by a party of forty or fifty negroes.
They were confined at Soudenny four days, and then set out for Tombuctoo; where, after travelling at the rate of fifteen or twenty miles a-day, they arrived in fifteen days. But the Moors, thinking they were going to execution, endeavoured to escape, when fourteen of them were, after a short deliberation, put to death, and the head of one of them bung round a camel's neck, in order to terrify the rest.