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pay the portage to the town. They also warp the fresh water for the use of their vessels through the surf, rather than risk the lives of the seamen by sending them for it in boats into the river.

The population of the town of Lagos may amount to 5,000; but there are two or three populous villages on the north side of Cradoo lake, over which the caboceer of Lagos has jurisdiction. This chief's power is absolute and his disposition tyrannical to excess; his name is Cootry.

When I first paid him a visit, he was holding a levee, and dispensing favours to his courtiers with his own royal hand, which consisted of pieces of the putrid carcase of a cow. Each individual crawled to the foot of the throne, upon his hands and knees (rubbing, occasionally, his forehead in the dust), to receive the princely gift, and, with well-bred politeness, and courtier-like servility, crawled back again to his seat, his posteriors first advancing, like those of a

The room,

bear's, when it descends a tree.
however, was so intolerably hot, and the
stench from the carrion so offensive, that I
was compelled to make a precipitate retreat,
or forfeit all claim to an acquaintance with
royalty, by committing a breach of good
manners, which a violent nausea at the sto⟫
mach warned me was fast approaching; so
that I had not an opportunity of witnessing
at this time the effect of King Cootry's
royal munificence to his courtiers, although
I felt the full force of it upon myself.

The entrance leading to the audiencechamber presented a very curious spectacle. It was an oblong room of considerable length, having an opening along the centre of the roof to admit light and air. At one extremity, there was arranged the King's fetiche, which consisted of three elephant's teeth placed in a reclining posture against the wall, with the convex part outwards, and sprinkled with blood. On each side of the apartment, there were tumbled together,

promiscuously, articles of trade, and costly presents, in a state of dilapidation; namely, rolls of tobacco, boxes of pipes, cases of gin, ankers of brandy, pieces of cloth, of Indian and European manufacture, iron bars, earthenware, a beautiful hand-organ, the bellows of which were burst; two elegant chairs of state, having rich crimson. damask covers, all in tatters; a handsome sedan chair, without a bottom; and two expensive sofas, without legs. These, I presume, were placed thus conspicuously, with a view to impress the minds of those persons who were permitted to approach the royal presence, with ideas of the wealth and grandeur of his sable Majesty; and politically, might perhaps be considered as something similar to the pageantry with which it is thought necessary to surround royalty in civilized countries, and which have so captivating and imposing an effect on the unthinking and vulgar.

Cootry, like many of his royal brethren

in Africa, is a receiver of stolen goods; for he does not hesitate to share what his servants purloin: and that servant is his greatest favourite, who can rob his European friends with most address.

It was no secret to the master of a vessel, that his storehouse was clandestinely entered, and robbed of several bags of corn by one of the King's domestics; and he sent a message to the black monarch, that if he caught the thief in the act, he would shoot him, whoever he might be. The opportunity soon occurred, and the man was shot when in the act of taking away upon his head a bag of corn. When the King was informed of the circumstance, his only remark was, that the fellow was a fool, and not à proper man for a thief.

On interrogating Occondo, the King's favourite and linguist, respecting the elephants' teeth, and why they were Cootry's fetiche, his answer was, that the elephant being more sagacious and stronger than any

other animal, he represented best (metaphorically, of course) Cootry's power over his subjects. If the black monarch had been acquainted with heraldry, it would be a reasonable inference to draw, that his fetiche was in reality his coat of arms; and certainly a black African king and an elephant would be much more natural and appropriate than St. George and a dragon.

The policy of this African despot, in ordering the devil to pay his metropolis an occasional visit, is by no means a weak stratagem, especially when we hear of learned divines and holy doctors being called on in civilized countries to subdue the dark spirit, and drive him out of some old bedridden hypochondriac or impostor.

Cootry's devil is no aerial spirit, for he is a devil in reality; an armed man licensed to commit murder. His avocation is to run through the different avenues of the town, disguised in a mask, and to destroy all who may chance to fall in his way; but

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