immersed in spirits. A great number of slaves, men, women, and children, were always seen at low water, engaged in collecting shell fish, and the produce of thick labour constitutes their chief means of subsistence. The appearance of these figures at night, moving along the beach by torch light, formed occasionally a very interesting scene, and, when the moon was seen obscurely through the trees, and the torches, waved to and fro, were reflected by the waters, an unusual and almost magical illusion was produced.
Some of the fishermen use wicker baskets, resembling our eel-baskets, which are left a little beyond low water mark during the flow of the tide, and on its retiring they seldom fail to furnish an ample supply of small fish. It may be worthy of remark, that this mode of fishing is mentioned in the Periplus as having been practiced at Rhapta; but from the practice being general along the coast, it affords no clue, (as Dr. Vincent expected it might,) to fix the site of that place. The species of oyster, caught on this coast, is that known by the name of the Hammer oyster, and it is said to yield pearls of considerable value; yet though we opened a considerable number, we could never discover the slightest trace of any.
Where sea productions are numerous, one may generally expect to meet with a great variety of birds; the beach was accordingly covered with flamingoes, spoonbills, herons of a large kind, curlews, snipes, and sand-larks, besides several species of sea-gulls,