Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ye who rushed to death or glory!

See Britannia ploughs the main! Welcome from the toils of war!

Ye whose sires of old opposing, When from conquest late assembling, Checked the haughty Roman band; Madly armed the frantic Gaul;

In the shock of battle closing, Europe for her empire trembling,

Freed the Caledonian land; Doubted where the storm might fall! Ye, our guardian genius naming, Britain from her sea-girt station,

To the toils of combat bred, Guarded by her native oak,

Chose to hurl her vengeance faming, Heard the threat with indignation,

On the foe's devoted head ! Well prepared to meet the stroke. Methinks old Ossian from his station But the foe, her thunder fearing,

On the skirts of yonder cloud, Fled her naval arm before,

Eyes his race with exultation : And far distant, widely steering,

Hark! the hero speaks aloudSeized the famed Egyptian shore. “ Sons of chiefs renowned in stry! There in vain his boasted legions

Ye whose fame is heard afar ! Vowed to keep the wide domain; Ye who rushed to death or glory! Eager for the torrid regions,

Welcome from the toils of war!”

SONNETS.

BY LAURENS.

THE PRAYER.

Friends that grow weary of my wayward mood;
Eternal rescript of each other, books;
Unsteady April of men's courteous looks ;

Hope's painted globes, that mortal grasp elude;
Lays little worth, and little understood ;

The pretty smile of Aristarchal folks ;
Royal domain of pensive study-nooks,

That makes the carth seem small; whate'er of good,
Or evil miscalled good, I've garner'd up,

To feed the famine of my mortal state;
What little sweet still mingles in my cup,

Make mine no more. Ostony-pointed Fate !
I'll little reck what wealth and I may part,
But leave, but leave me spring-tide in the heart !

THE REPROOF.
The world that loves me little, less my lays,
The toil they cost the name of toil denies :
Men jibe my hands that touch not merchandize,

My feet, frequenting not their market ways :
And I could bear it, did my Lady praise,

Nor charge me, that too often, worldly wise,
I loiter from the twilight of her eyes

To sun me in the broad and public blaze :
“ So I grow foreign to that heart of thine”.

She cries—" that was its cynosure in youth;
And thou for other nutriment must pine

Than I can give!” No, Lady mine, in sooth!
Deign but once more to hear my truant call,
And thine shall be my love, my life, my all !"

SKETCHES OF ZANZIBAR.

WRITTEN DURING A SOJOURN ON THAT ISLAND, FROM MAY 20TH TO AUGUST 10TH, 1843.

[We have been favored with the perusal of the Journal of a Whale Cruiser, which is written throughout with much spirit, and contains many exciting descriptions and accounts of general interest. The picture it gives of the hard life of the common sailor at sea,

is especially impressive-an effective addition to the fine narrative of Mr. Dana. We hope the writer may be induced to give the book to the public. Meanwhile, we select a few passages on a topic which at one time excited very general attention.

It will be recollected that some years since, the people of the United States were surprised by the arrival of a vessel and presents from the Imaum of Muscat-an unheard of potentate, possessing vessels, with ports and islands, from the Persian Gulf, almost to Madagascar, but chiefly resident on the Island of Zanzibar, reported to lie somewhere on the Eastern Coast of Africa, about half-way from the Red Sea to the Cape of Good Hope, and nearly as little known to our curiosity or commerce, as a cape of the newly found ice-continent at the South Pole. The papers, of course, had a vast deal to say, in proportion as they knew little Of the Island, the inhabitants, the power of the Imaum, &c., exaggerated statements were given. The extracts which follow from the Journal above mentioned, will be found to contain the clearest account yet presented to the public. Some passages have already appeared in newspapers.

ZANZIBAR, the present seat of govern. Captain Hamilton, a very intelligent genment of Syed Syed Bin Soultan, Imaum of tleman, well versed in these matters, that Muscat, is situated in the Indian Ocean, this castle was erected by the Portuguese, within four leagues of the eastern coast soon after they got possession of the island; of Africa, between the latitude of 5 and and from a comparison of the style of ar7 degrees south, and longitude 39 and 41 chitecture with that of the Brazilians and east. It is forty-five miles in length, and Western Islanders, I am strongly inclined varies from fifteen to twenty miles in to the same opinion. It is a large masbreadth.

sive structure, about three hundred feet N'Googa, the town of Zanzibar, is sit- long and a hundred and fifty wide, with uated nearly midway between the north a tower at each corner, and a spacious ern and southern points of the island, in terrace in front of it, the outer part of latitude 6 deg. 10 min. south, and longi- which is fortified by a battery, or row of tude 39 deg. 41 min. east. From the heavy stone abutments for the protection bay it has quite a flourishing appearance. of the soldiers and the gunnery. It is Many of the buildings along the beach evident, even to an inexperienced obare large stone edifices, which are white. server, that the castle and its fortifications, washel, and present a very pleasing ap- well provided as they are with soldiers pearance to the eye. The Imaum's Ha- and guns, would stand but a slender rem or town residence occupies a promi- chance before a broadside from an Engnent position near the water's edge, and lish or American frigate. At this time is a regular, though not a handsome build- the entire building is in a ruinous condiing, of a larger size than any other front- tion, and there is nothing about it to show ing the bay. Before the door is a tall staff, that it was ever a good specimen of arbearing the blood red flag of Arabia. The chitectural skill. A volume might be Custom House, now rented from the written on the eventful history of the old Imaum by a Banyan merchant, Jeram Bin cannons lying in front of the castle ; and Seeva, at the sum of $150,000 a year, yet I am not aware thatthey have ever been (from which a rough estimate of the mentioned by travelers who have visited trade may be formed,) is a low bamboo Zanzibar. There is a rare and valuable but, thatched with palmetto leaves, and work in possession of the English Conlike anything but a Custom House, ac sul, entitled, Curious and Entertaining cording to our notions of the importance Voyages, undertaken either for Discoof such an edifice. Perhaps the most in very, Conquest, or the Benefit of Trade, teresting specimen of architecture in the by Portuguese Navigators, from the Earplace is the castle and its fortifications. liest Voyages under the auspices of Prince It is supposed by the English Consul, Henry of Portugal, down to the seven

teenth century.” In this work there is Peruvian cities lately discovered, it is a an account given of the voyages and dis- relic of the past; but there is nothing in coveries of Albuquerque, and his con its clumsy architectural remains to prove quests in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf that it was ever inhabited by an enlightand Red Sea. The cannons to which I ened race of men, or had at any time allude, have certain inscriptions in Por. splendid edifices, or institutions of learntuguese and Arabic, which were transla- ing. The Portuguese did not improve it ted to me by Captain Hamilton, proving while it was in their possession; nor are beyond a doubt that they were cast by a the Arabs of Oman a race of people to follower of Albuquerque. In the narra build fine cities. The present Arabian tive of his exploits, it appears that he population of Zanzibar, the subjects of brought with him several founders, for Syed Syed Bin Soultan differ little from the purpose of manufacturing arms in dis- their forefathers in their peculiarities of tant countries. In his negotiations with manner, habits or religion; and it is but Coje Attar, Governor or Wallee of Har- a natural presumption that they have not moaz and Bundrabus, Attar corrupted reformed in point of indolence. the followers of the Portuguese navigator It has been estimated by resident merwith brilliant offers of gold, and prevailed chants, whose opportunities of acquiring upon five seamen, one of them a founder, an accurate knowledge of the town and to desert. This founder, by the direction its resources entitle their opinion to reof the Governor, cast, between the years spect, that the entire population within 1507 and 1509, at Harmoaz, an island the limits of the town is between fifty near the entrance of the Persian Gulf, and sixty thousand souls. This, from about three leagues from Gambaroon, the size of the town, would at first ap(the ancient Dutch name of an important pear greatly exaggerated ; but when we port in Arabia,) in the 915th and 917th reflect that some of the wealthy Arabs Al Hagari, or Mahomedan year, a num have over a thousand slaves, who are ber of cannons for Coje Attar, which, to- crowded into small huts, and that there gether with some brass cannons taken are as many houses on one acre of from Albuquerque, were taken possession ground, as there are in America on six, of by Almed, Sultan of Muscat, previous ihe estimate does not appear unreason. to the reign of Syed Syed Bin Soultan. able ;-the population of the whole is. Syed afterwards murdered his uncle Al. land is about a hundred and fifty thoumed, and became the ruler of Muscat. sand. Extending his conquests from the island The inhabitants are of various racesof Socotara, he fought several battles with from the light complexioned Hindoo to these cannons on the eastern coast of the darkest African Banyans, Parsees, Arabia, took possession of Mombas, Malays, Bedouin Arabs, Oman Arabs, Pemba and Zanzibar, and eventually ex Sowhelians, Africans, &c. tended his dominion as far south as Mo The Sowhelian language is the most zambique. Such is an outline of the generally spoken. This is a corruption probable history of these guns.

of the Arabic with the African, partaking The lower or northern part of the town of the characteristics of both. It derives of N'Googa consists almost exclusively of its name from a mixed race, called Souhy. huts and shantees, rudely constructed of lese, who were the original settlers of bamboo and cocoa-nut leaves, and is oc Zanzibar. cupied chiefly by the slaves and poorer The Sowhelians, of whom a large proclasses. The southern part is occupied portion of the population consists, are by wealthy Banyan, Hindoo and Muscat a gay, light-hearted people, fond of amusemerchants. Many of these merchants ment, and little influenced by the formal have acquired splendid fortunes in the rules of etiquette, laid down by their ivory and gum-copal trade, and in Arab brethren. In complexion they commercial transactions with agents in closely resemble the Red Indians of the East Indies. So great is their pas North America. Their features are good, sion for money, that they seldom return though not handsome, being a medium to their native country while they can between the Arab and the African-less amass wealth more rapidly elsewhere; regular and comely than the first, and and they are now building large and partaking more of the characteristics of commodious residences in Zanzibar. The the Circassian than the last. A writer of principal part of N'Googa, however, is at considerable celebrity speaks of them as best but the ruin of a town. Like the a highly intelligent and poetical people.

means:

After three months' constant intercourse ing is the touching lament of a brokenwith them, I must say I never discovered hearted man, grieving over the grave

of anything like intelligence or a poetic conjugal bliss, and will, no doubt, be pespirit among them. They are a lively, culiarly edifying to the ladies : harmless, good natured race, of a happy

Coona nene? Coona nene? disposition, but entirely ignorant of the world, and few of them acquainted with

Meme coopa M'aka letters. Perhaps I should not pronounce

Manavoo papo, maravoo ak we see

M'gooam anepa oolene them decidedly an unpoetic people.

Waneenee, Coona nene? There is always something in the tem

Se magoopa, m’aka perament of the Eastern people alive to Oothea ! oothea! oothea ! poetic feelings--even in the savage; and

This, rendered into English, literally from a want of absolute terms, such as belong to all cultivated languages, they make great use of figures and similes. What's the matter? What's the matter? This figurative style of language has, 1 My wife scolds me plenty, imagine, been mistaken in more than one She uses storiny talk ; instance, for the true spirit of poetry. Po. She calls me a bad fellow, liteness among the Sowhylese is carried She says Allah gave her a tongue. to excess, in their mode of salutation. It My wife will whip me! Oh, I'm in trouble ! is quite common to hear two of them,

Trouble ! trouble ! when they meet, pass the compliments of the day in the following high-flown Syed Syed Bin Soultan Bin Almed, strain :

Imaum of Muscat, is supreme Chief, or Question.-Yambo? Are you well? Sultan, of Zanzibar. Syed Sulemin, the Answer.-Yambo. I am well.

former Governor of the island, derives Q.--Yambo Saana ? Are you very his office from the Imaum, and carries on well?

the government during the absence of A.Saana. Very.

Syed Syed, who performs a yoyage to Q.-Cana looloo? Like pearl ? Muscat, to superintend his dominions A.-Cana. All the same.

there, every year. The Imaum has with. Q.-Cana marijan? Like coral ? in the last five or six years, made ZanA.-Cana. All the time.

zibar his place of residence in preference Q.-Cana fether ? Like silver ? to the sustry heights of Muscat, generA.-Cana. All the same.

ally known as the hottest place in the Q.-Cana tha-hah ? Like gold ?

world. His palace is situated about A.-Cana. All the same.

a mile and a half below the town, near a Quaharee! Good bye!

river called the Motoney. It is an old, Quaharee! Good bye !

but picturesque building, beautifully orOn meeting they shake hands, after namented in the oriental style, and par. which each kisses his own hand. This tially hidden in a grove of cinnamon, ceremony they repeat on parting. orange, clove, and mango trees. The

The above translation, though literal, luxuriant and shady clove treesthe does not, perhaps, clearly convey their fragrant cinnamon—the magnificent manmeaning ; but, upon repeated inquiry, I grove, and all the opulence of Eastcould find no other meaning attached to ern vegetation-are peculiarly refreshing the words, which the natives explain by to the eye, and grateful to the senses, in saying that a man is like pearl when he this tropical climate. A stream of water looks clear and bright; like coral when from the Motoney is conducted through his cheeks are red ; like silver and gold the palace and empties into the bay in when his worldly affairs are all in a four- front. The richly colored cupolas, and ishing condition. These similes are quite the extreme beauty and freshness of the common among the Sowhylese, in all their groves, give you some idea of an oriental dialogues.

Like all barbarous, or even savage The Imaum visits the town twice a nations, they frequently chaunt their week, either in his pleasure boat, or on words in a species of irregular measure, horse-back. He is justly proud of his corresponding to the tone of voice in beautiful stud of Arabian horses, (speciwhich they are uttered; but it is with mens of which, it will be recollected, he few gleams of imagination. The follow. sent as a present to the President of the

scene.

United States,* a few years since,) and and India to touch at for refreshments. of the state and magnificence of his re Exclusive of the unhealthiness of the clitinue. Trained to perfection, and richly mate, and the degraded character of the caparisoned, the Arabian horse, cele- Portuguese, nothing can be had, of any brated as the finest in the world, is here value, but stagnant rain water, which, seen to great advantage. He has all the though better than none, is always injupride and stateliness of royalty, with the rious to a ship’s crew. What little fruit grace and ease of the wild horse of the the country affords is consumed by the desert. His Highness the Imaum, rides settlers. For some of the common necesa spirited charger of the purest breed, saries of life they are dependent upon Maand though upwards of sixty years of junga and other ports in Madagascar. age, sits in his saddle with the easy grace The Seyschelles Islands are too far to the of an accomplished equestrian. Hislong eastward for vessels bound up the Red white beard and serene gravity of coun Sea or Persian Gulf. In fact, there is no tenance, give him a truly venerable appear. place in the Indian Ocean so convenient ance; and the occasional flash of his fine ly situated for that purpose as the island eye speaks of one who has fought bat- of Zanzibar. With the exception of Pemtles, and who rules nations. The long ba, (a small island to the northward of line of turbaned officers forming his re Zanzibar, also under the dominion of the tinue, are richly and tastefully dressed; Imaum of Muscat,) it is the most fertile and with their flowing costumes and island on the eastern coast of Africa. splendid steeds, present a royal pageant, Fruit and vegetables of the greatest possistrikingly picturesque.

ble variety, can be had at the town of The great advantages which the island N'Googa cheaper than at any other sea. of Zanzibar has over other islands in the port in the Indian Ocean where it would Indian Ocean to the southward of the be at all prudent to stop. Hørsburg's asequator, are not yet sufficiently known to sertion that the Governor “makes a mobe justly appreciated. It is undoubtedly nopoly of the sale of these articles,” and the best and most convenient stopping that “the inhabitants, when permitted, place for vessels bound through the Mo- sell their productions on more reasonable zambique channel to the Red Sea, the terms," is not now applicable to the isPersian Gulf, and India, on this side

the land. The late accounts given of this isCape of Good Hope. The British East land by Ruschenberger, Roberts, Taylor India Company's vessels formerly pro- and others, are all expressive of surprise cured refreshments, on their voyage from at the cheapness of fruit and vegetables! England to Bombay and Madras, at Jo. Besides, the Imaum himself is now at the hanna. Few merchantmen of any de- head of the government, and will not perscription now touch there, owing to the mit or make a monopoly of the sale of exorbitant demands of the Sheik for port- any of the native products. Prince Syed charges, and the dishonesty of the na- Carlid, one of the Imaum's sons, who has tives. It is principally frequented by jurisdiction over the commercial transacwhalers, though not so much so now as tions of the natives, has no power him. it was some years ago. The want of a self to create a monopoly. It is doubtful responsible Consular agent is scarcely whether even the Sultan could do it, so counterbalanced by the extreme fertility little respect have the natives for his auof the island, and the cheapness of re- thority, when it conflicts with their intefreshments. The Portuguese settlements rests. At all events they dispose of the on the coast, in Mozambique, are the products of their shambas, or plantation, worst places perhaps between the Cape without restraint, at their own prices.

* Our form of government probibits the President of the United States from receiving presents from any foreign power. Consequently, as these horses bacame the property of the government, they were at its disposal ; and not being able to preserve them in the “ National Institute,” Congress, at its last session, passed an act authorizing their sale, by auction. The following additional item I find in a Washington paper of the 23d ultimo:

“ SALE OF ARABIAN HORSES.—The two Arabian horses received, as a present to Mr. Tyler, by the U. S. Consul at Zanzibar, from the Imaum of Muscat, were sold, pursuant to an act of Cougress, on the 15th. They were light grey, mettled. One, seven years old, brought $450, and was purchased by a gentleman from Louisiana; and the other, eight years old, brought but $190, and was purchased by Dr. John Baldwin.”

« PreviousContinue »