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THE SULTAN'S STUD.
to any gentleman who might request them from his stud of Arab descent. Colonel Rigby's horse-attendant took me to the spot. The ménage consisted of some forty horses and mares of Arab blood—twenty of them packed so close in line under a long shed that it would have defied any one of them to lie down. They stood upon an incline of wood six inches higher in front than behind, with heel-ropes so tight that the poor animals could hardly raise their feet; many of their tails shaved to the bone, others snipped round with scissors; not a sound one amongst them-broken knees, greasy and gummy legs, mangy skins, bags of bone ; and the outer one of all such a skeleton that I listened to ascertain whether he breathed. Certainly the mares looked more comfortable when picketed in the morning in the open yard upon sand, and tied loosely by the head, with nose-bags full of grain ; and the picture around them of domestic animals had much the appearance of a home farmyard.
The climate of Zanzibar is very relaxing, owing to the humidity of the air, a great amount of rain falling during the year. The rain comes down in plunges, pelting showers, or like squalls at sea, and in the intervals any bodily exertion is attended with profusė perspiration and lassitude. I may mention that we pitched camp on the 13th September, for our Cape Mounted Rifles, on a rising ground near a pond behind the town, where they remained upwards of ten days. On the 28th, when on the main coast of Africa, three of these Tots were struck down with fever, a fourth was seized soon after, and then a fifth-all on the same day. Speke and I did not sleep in that camp, and our health was not affected. Colonel Rigby men
ATTRACTIONS OF ZANZIBAR.
tioned a similar case of the Assaye men. Twenty-six out of sixty who slept inland were attacked with fever; those who had taken quinine recovered, while those who had not died. From this it would appear that risk attaches to certain constitutions from sleeping inland, away from the sea-breeze; although, on the heights of the island, where the soil is a rough red grit or friable clay, I should not anticipate danger. But on these elevated spots there is this disadvantage, that no water is procurable ; even in a well forty feet deep I observed there was none.
To one wishing to enjoy good health I would prescribe this recipe : Reside on the shore ; be in a boat by sunrise; row to any point on the island, or to the exquisite living formations of coral ; walk home between the hedgerows, amongst beautiful clove or mango groves; enjoy the refreshing milk from the cocoa-nut; observe the industry in the fields, the snug countryhouses of the Arabs ; examine the “diggings” for copal ; look at the men washing the elephant-tusks on the sea-shore, or at the immense variety of crazy craft --in short, keep active, and you will find that there are many worse climates than Zanzibar.
The island has two crops of grain yearly, and four of manioc, which, with dried shark, is the staple food of the people. They cook it in every form, making also flour of it. One has only to walk of a morning along the roads leading into the town, to see the productiveness of this beautiful island. Negro men and women laden with mangoes, oranges, plantain, sugar-cane, grass, cocoa-nut, manioc, yams, sweet potato, Indian corn, ground-nut, &c., go in streams to the market. The return of these crowds is, in con
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
trast, utterly ludicrous. Nothing do they then carry but a stick over their shoulder with a cut of stale fish hanging from it; and one wonders at the extreme poverty of the people in the midst of such abundance. Besides the above products, cloves, cotton, bajra, sorghum, dall, coffee, tobacco, sessamum, grass, nutmeg, red pepper, betel-nut, catchoo-nut, jack-fruit, papau, almond, pomegranate, and the castor oil plant, were all seen growing. To remark upon a few :--The mango-tree, met with everywhere, is splendidly umbrageous, more lofty than the variety seen in Indian topes, and not so brittle. It yields two crops yearly of stringy fruit; but there are better sorts, such as those from Pemba Island, to be procured. The clovetree is planted in rows 20 feet apart, and after it has grown to the height of 30 feet, it seems to die, as if from the effects of ants. Cloves have diminished immensely in value ; what cost 25 dollars twelve years ago can now be purchased for one dollar ; consequently the agriculturists do not replace the dying trees. The spice was being gathered by men on tripod ladders on the 6th September. Cotton we rarely saw.
The cocoa-nut is the most common tree in the countrythe husk, we observed, being used as firewood, and a capital salad is made from the crown of the trunk. The Arabs allow their slaves to cultivate the manioc or “mohogo” gratis, under the cocoa-nut trees, in payment for gathering the harvests of mango, cloves, &c. The growth of the ground-nut is very curious, creeping close to the ground, with a yellow flower and leaf resembling clover. On the flower withering the pod goes underground, where it matures. The coffeetree grows luxuriantly, and the sugar-cane is very
fine; pomegranate does not seem to succeed. The boundaries of farms are often marked by the castoroil bush.
Miserable-looking camels drive the oil-press. Cattle do not thrive, though upon the neighbouring island of Pemba a small breed succeeds. Few butchers' shops are seen : the natives adopt the vegetable and fish diet, not being able to afford meat. Goats, when castrated and stall-fed, become very heavy, and their meat is considered a great delicacy by the Arabs.
Trade has considerably increased at Zanzibar. The shipping consists chiefly of large native craft—thirty to forty from Bombay, Muscat, &c., and but three or four ships from Europe and America. The merchants have their Exchange, if the place they daily meet in may be designated by this title. Here human beings, money, ivory, copal, cloves, cloths, beads, rice, cowries, opercula, and goods from all quarters of the world, change hands. The largest single tusk we saw at Zanzibar weighed 1653 lb. ; length, 8 feet 7 inches; greatest circumference, 1 foot 11 inches—all of the purest blue-tinted soft ivory. It belonged to Mr Webb, the American consul. He had also an enormous hippopotamus tusk, nine inches greatest circumference, and turning, like the horn of a Highland ram, once and a half round. As the tusk increases in size, a corresponding rise takes place in its value per lb. Tortoise-shell fetched 15s. per lb.; for hippopotamus ivory there was then no demand in Europe.
Several stirring events occurred while we were at Zanzibar. Once the Brisk got information of a slaver, but on sailing in search could find nothing of her.
BRAVE CREW OF BLACKS.
Again, after she had left, the Sultan requested Speke to take one of his ships of war and capture a slaver at Panganee; but this also proved a fruitless chase; and as we were anxious to return to the preparations for the march, we left the Sultan's corvette at sea, and proceeded homewards, at 10 A.M., in an open boat of ten oars-distance to Zanzibar, 40 miles. We pulled till 5 P.M., found the current carrying us to the Indian Ocean, and put in for the night on a coral isle.
Our brave crew of blacks, the same class of men who subsequently accompanied us upon our expedition, started again at four in the morning, rowing, off and on, till we reached home at eight that evening. The rowers accomplished this great feat without a grumble, singing the greater part of the way, though with nothing to cheer them for the two days but a few biscuits, sweetmeats, and oranges. Who can fail to admire such spirit! But we have the same class of African, when roaming amid his native wilds free from all control, committing murder without scruple ; and an illustration of this came under our notice here. Dr Roscher, a German gentleman, while exploring near Lake Nyassa, was murdered in 1859 by natives who coveted his scientific instruments. The sultan of the country, justly indignant, sent four men to Zanzibar to stand their trial for the murder. Two were condemned, and suffered decapitation on the 23d August. I was present, going to the execution with the “surrung” or boatswain of the British Consulate, who cleared the way for me to get near the two men. They squatted outside the fort wall with perfect composure, naked from head to foot, except a waistcloth ; neither