« AnteriorContinuar »
FICAR OF HURLEY IN BERRSHIRE, CHAPLAIN TO THE
EARL OF DUMFRIES,
AUTHOR OF THE BRITISH NEPOS, &c. &c.
PRINTED FOR RICHARD PHILLIPS, BRIDGE-STREIT,
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELIERS.
Price 3s. 9d. in Boards, or 4s, half-bound.
Ch. IX. Guineu proper
Section 1. Sierra Leone
HISTORY OF AFRICA, CONTINUED.
Lower Guinea : comprehending Mataman, Benguela,
Congo, Angola, Loango, anziko, Fungeno, Biafar, and Calbaria.
OWER GUINEA, including the several extensive countries of Mataman, Bengucla,
, Congo, Angola, Loango, Anziko, Fungeno, Biafar, and Calbaria, is comprehended between sixteen degrees of south, and four degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude; and is about twelve hundred miles in length, and scarcely two hundred in breadth. This vast tract of couniry is bounded by Benin and Nigritia on the north; by the inknown parts of Africa on the east and south; and by the Atlantic Ocean on the west. As these regions are extremely inimical to health, and destitute of incentives to avarice, they have been in general but little explored, and are imperfectly described. But pursuing truth through the mazes and the intricacies of fiction, we shall endeavour to give our readers a concise and authentic ac, count of each division.
Mitaman and Bengucla. MATAMAN, or Matapan, is an arid and ex. tensive waste, destitute of cities, and almost devoid of inhabitants; and is bounded by Benguela on the north, and by the ocean on the west. Thc descriptions which have been given of this country -are exceedingly confused, fabulous, and ridiculous. In our researches after truth, we are surfeited with fictions, and disgusted with stories of nations of Amazons and Cannibals, who wage perpetual war with each other, and in whose shambles the limbs of the captives are exposed to sale; who bury their children alive, and recruit their armies with the stoutest of their captives. The Portuguese writers are the only persons that have pretended to de. scribe this country; and, as no European settlements have been made in this barbarous and unpromising district, it is in vain to expect relations which have the smallest appearance of truth or probability.
The kingdom of Benguela is bounded by Angola on the north; by Mataman on the south; and by the ocean on the west. The principal rivers in this district are the Longo or Morano, the Nica, the Catonbella, the Gubororo, the Farsa, the Cutembo, and the great river Cuneni; all of which direct their courses from east to west. There is no climate more unfavourable to European constitutions in any part of the habitable globe. The countenancés even of the natives have always a sickly appearance. Their voice is so broken and irregular, that one might easily be led to suppose
they voluntarily confined their breath between their teeth. The stagnant waters, which are exposed to the action of the scorching sun, soon become putrid, and the earth being infected, poisons its own productions. The whole coast, however, is not subject to the same evils.
The natives bind the skins of beasts round their waists, and wear rows of beads about their necks. Their usual weapons of defence and warfare are darts headed with iron, bows, and arrows. Their women have copper collars about their neck; their arms and legs are decorated with bells and brace. lets made of the same metal; and their waists are covered with a kind of cloth, which is fabricated of the bark of the insandac tree, and forms their only covering
As if the scourges of nature were not sufficient of themselves, the inhabitants augment the evils of each other, by means of the little industry and activity which they possess. In addition to vio
lence, they employ every base and ensnaring stratagem for surprising their countrymen, in order that they may sell them for slaves. Their women, who are accomplices in this guilt and robbery, alJure inen to their embraces, suffer themselves to be caught by their husbands, and cause the unwary victims of their lascivious pleasures to be trans. ferred from their arms into chains of slavery. They are liars, assassins, and thieves, destitute of morality or religion, and so devoid of the common feelings of humanity, that they will betray their nearest relations, and sell their own children for a few European trinkets, or a gallon or two of brandy.
Old Benguela, the capital of this kingdom, is situated in ten degrees and thirty minutes of south latitude, and gives nanie to a province of considerB2