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skins are very black, few of them are to be found above the middle stature, and the majority are below it; in fact, they may be considered as a diminutive people, when compared with the natives of Africa (except those obtained at Camaroons ånd Gaboon), north of the equator; their countenances are cheerful, placid, and unreflecting ; their manners soft and effeminate; and their muscles small and flaccid, seldom exhibiting the appearance of being enlarged and hardened by labour, or possessing that smooth plumpness which ease and plenty usually produce. To extreme indolence

may

be principally attributed this falling-off in stature and muscular energy from their black countrymen in the north; for although they live in a soil by no means wanting in fertility, yet are they principally dependent on its spontaneous productions for food, their own labour seldom adding much to the bounty of nature.

Their operations in husbandry are ex

tremely limited, and the edible vegetables which they most cultivate, is the manioc, or sweet casavi, to which

may

be added, a small quantity of maize, calavancies, and yams; and even when they have thus obtained them, they are often too idle to prepare them in a proper manner, by any culinary process, so as to render them nutritious aliment; in consequence of which, their digestive organs are much weakened, and they suffer from worms, particularly of the tenæ species.

When the season proves unfruitful, and the plantain-tree (the bread-fruit tree of Africa) does not yield its usual abundance of fruit, and on which they chiefly depend for subsistence, the natives of Angola are reduced to extreme want, and feel the effects of a famine which a little industry would have prevented.

On every other part of Africa where slave. ships resort, the captains of these ships

M

depend on the country supplying a certain portion of food adapted to the habits and constitution of the negroes they may obtain at them; on the windward coast they procure rice; on the Gold Coast maize; at Wydah, Ardrah, and Lagos, maize and calavancies; at Benin, Bonny, Calabar, and Camaroons, yams; but, on the coast of Angola, the natives have no superfluity of provisions to sell, in consequence of which, vessels frequenting it are compelled to bring with them, from Europe, sufficient food to feed the negroes while accumulating on board the ships, and during their passage to the West Indies.

To indolence, then, may be chiefly attributed the diminutive stature of the natives of Angola, because their soil is fertile, and their climate, in many parts, very superior to any north of the equator: and the same cause, no doubt, operates to produce that effeminacy and want of martial spirit observable in their character. In the West Indies they are valued chiefly for their superior docility, which renders them good domestic slaves and artificers. For field labour, particularly on sugar estates, they are much too lightly framed.

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CHAPTER IV.

Seasons---Harmattan: theory concerning it-Trade and

productions of Africa --Language-Religion-Climate -Civilization of the Inhabitants : opinion concerning it-Niger: remarks on the various opinions concerning its termination Geological observationsRivers—Quadrupeds—Birds-Insects.

The seasons in Africa may be divided into wet and dry: the wet commencing, north of the equator, in the month of May, and terminating in July, when the dry begins; although heavy showers of rain fall during the months of October and November, which enables the Africans to reap a second harvest of maize : but the rains commence and terminate six weeks earlier near the equator, than at the northern boundary, where the periodical rains cease.

To the southward of the equator, rains begin to fall in October, which continue

6.

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