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I could see, through the trees, that a consultation was held; and shortly, though with some signs of doubt and hesitation, about a dozen of the savages advanced to within a short distance of the vessel, while the others sat down on the ground, still holding the spears in their hands.
The raïs now returned to the water's edge, and said that the Shillooks had come with the intention of fighting, but he had informed them that this was a visit from the sultan's son, who came to see them as a friend, and would then return to his father's country. Thereupon they consented to speak with me, and I might venture to go on shore. I landed again, with Achmet, and walked up with the raïs to the spot where the men were seated. The shekh of the island, a tall, handsome man, rose to greet me, by ouching the palm of his right hand to mine and then raising it to his forehead. I made a like salutation, after which he sat down. The vizier, (as he called himself,) an old man excessively black in complexion, then advanced, and the other warriors in succession, till all had saluted me *** While these things were transpiring, a number of other Shillooks had arrived, so that there were now upwards of fifty. All were armed,—the most of them with iron-pointed spears, some with clubs, and some with long poles having knobs of hard wood on the end. They were all tall, strong, stately people, not more than two or three under six feet in height, while the most of them were three or four inches over that standard. * * *
The Shillooks have not the appearance of men who are naturally malicious. The selfish impudence with which they demand presents is common to all savage tribes. But the Turks, and even the European merchants who take part in the annual trading expeditions up the river, have dealt with them in such a shameful manner that they are now mistrustful of all strangers, and hence it is unsafe to venture among them. I attribute the friendly character of my interview with them as much to good luck as to good management. The raïs afterwards informed me that if the shekh had not been satisfied with the dress I gave him, he would certainly have attempted to plunder the vessel. He stated that the Shillooks are in the habit of going down the river as far as the country of the Hassaniyehs, sinking their boats and concealing themselves in the woods in the daytime, while by night they venture into the villages and rob the people of their dourra, for which they have a great fondness. They cultivate nothing themselves, and their only employment is the chase of the elephant, hippopotamus, and other wild beasts. All the region east of the river abounds with herds of elephants and giraffes ; but I was not fortunate enough to get sight of them.
Here is the true land of the lotus ; and the Shillooks, if not the lotophagoi of the Greeks, are, with the exception of the Chinese,
the only modern eaters of the plant. I was too late to see it in blossom, and there were but few specimens of it among these islands; but not far beyond Aba it appears in great profusion, and both the seeds and roots are eaten by the natives. Dr. Knoblecher, who ate it frequently during his voyage, informed me that the root resembles the potato in consistence and taste, with a strong flavor of celery. These islands are inhabited only by the hunters and fishers of the tribe, who abandon them in summer, when they are completely covered by the inundation. At lat. 12°, or about thirty miles south of Aba, both banks of the river are cultivated, and thence, for upwards of two hundred miles, the villages are crowded so close to each other all along the shores, that they almost form two continuous towns, fronting each other. This part of the White Nile is the most thickly populated region in Africa, and perhaps in the world, China alone excepted. The number of the Shillooks is estimated at between two and three millions, or equal to the population of all Egypt.
THE MIDNIGHT SUN.1
As we crossed the mouth of the Ulvsfjord that evening, we had an open sea horizon toward the north, a clear sky, and so much sunshine at eleven o'clock that it was evident the Polar day had dawned upon us at last. The illumination of the shores was unearthly in its glory, and the wonderful effects of the orange sunlight, playing upon the dark hues of the island cliffs, can neither be told nor painted. The sun hung low between Fuglöe,rising
Mr. Taylor is now in the province of Finnmark, the northernmost province of Norway, crossed in about the centre by lat. 70° North, and long. 22° East.
2 Fjord, or much better Fiord, (pronounced Fe-ord,) is a Norwegian word, signifying “bay or estuary," and forms a part of numerous names in the North of Europe. Ulvs-fiord is a bay to the east of the island of Tromsöe, (lat. 70°, long. 19° East,) which has on its western side a seaport also of the same name.
3 Fuglöe, or Fugelöe, and Arnöe, are small islands to the north of the island of Tromsöe. Two defects in most of Mr. Taylor's books of travels are, want of sufficient dates, that we may know when he was at the places mentioned ; and of careful topography, that we may know exactly where to locate bim. And here I would speak in high commendation of the Gazetteer, by J. Thomas, M.D., and T. Baldwin, published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, of 2182 royal octavo pages. It is an honor to our country; and I have seldom consulted it but with entire satisfaction.
I am also here reminded of another valuable work, the first volume of wbich bas just been published by Childs & Peterson,-A Critical Dictionary of English Literature, and British and American Authors, Living and Deceased, from the Earliext Accounts to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century, containing Thirty Thonsand Biographies and Literary Notices, with Forty Indexes of Subjects, by S. Anatin Allibone. It is a royal octavo volume of 1005 pages, in double columns, and a marvel of industry and research; and when the second volume is published, it will be altogether the most complete work of the kind known in our language, and almost indispensable in every household where literature is loved and cultivated.
like a double dome from the sea, and the tall mountains of Arnöe, both of which islands resembled immense masses of transparent purple glass, gradually melting into crimson fire at their bases. The glassy, leaden-colored sea was powdered with a golden bloom, and the tremendous precipices at the mouth of the Lyngen Fjord, behind us, were steeped in a dark-red, mellow flush, and touched with pencillings of pure, rose-colored light, until their naked ribs seemed to be clothed in imperial velvet. As we turned into the Fjord and ran southward along their bases, a waterfall, struck by the sun, fell in fiery orange foam down the red walls, and the blue ice-pillars of a beautiful glacier filled up the ravine beyond it. We were all on deck; and all faces, excited by the divine splendor of the scene and tinged by the same wonderful aureole, shone as if transfigured. In my whole life I have never seen a spectacle so unearthly beautiful.
Our course brought the sun rapidly toward the ruby cliffs of Arnöe, and it was evident that he would soon be hidden from sight. It was not yet half-past eleven, and an enthusiastic passenger begged the captain to stop the vessel until midnight. “Why,” said the latter," it is midnight now, or very near it: you have Drontheim time, which is almost forty minutes in arrears.”
True enough, the real time lacked but five minutes of midnight, and those of us who had sharp eyes and strong imaginations saw the sun make his last dip and rise a little, before he vanished in a blaze of glory behind Arnöe. I turned away with my eyes full of dazzling spheres of crimson and gold, which danced before me wherever I looked ; and it was a long time before they were blotted out by the semi-oblivion of a daylight sleep.
INDEX TO SUBJECTS,
NAMES INCIDENTALLY MENTIONED IN THE VOLUME.
[FOR THE AUTHORS IN THE Work, SEE ALPHABETICAL LIST, ON THE TWENTY-SECOND PAGE.]
202 American Liberty, dangers of................. 131
by Griswold........... 690
523 American Revolution, cause of...... 221
312 André, Major, Hamilton's character of.... 127
5+ Anthology, Monthly, account of............. 217
180 | Application of Geological Evidence......... 236
sin of trafficking in... 207, 462
720 Athanasion, by A. C. Coxe...
Boston Athenæum, history of........ 1.2, 217
Bowen, Francis, editor of the North Ame-
254 Brotherhood of Man, by Washington...... 52
107 Brown, C. B., Prescott's remarks on...... 178
Bunker Hill Monument, by Webster ...... 266
91 Bunyan in his Cell, by Cheever..
523 Burr, Aaron, trial of, and his character... 124
marks on ........
478 Capture of Fugitive Slaves, lines on, by
686 Celestial Railroad, by Hawthorne.. 5-41
193 Cerberus in America, by H. W. Beecher... 685
711 Champlain, Lake, by M. M. Davidson...... 743
306 Channing, Edward T., editor of North