Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 4.djvu/503

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THE SOURCE OF THE NILE.

he exposed them in the public market-place at Sennaar in that situation, and sold them to the highest bidder, at the vile price of something like a farthing each. After this degradation, being circumcised, and converted to the Mahometan religion, they were restored each to their government, as slaves of Sennaar, upon very easy conditions of tribute, and have been faithful ever since.

Nothing is more pleasant than the country around Sennaar, in the end of August and beginning of September, I mean so far as the eye is concerned; instead of that barren, bare waste, which it appeared on our arrival in May, the corn now sprung up, and covering the ground, made the whole of this immense plain appear a level, green land, interspersed with great lakes of water, and ornamented at certain intervals with groups of villages, the conical tops of the houses presenting, at a distance, the appearance of small encampments. Through this immense, extensive plain, winds the Nile, a delightful river there, above a mile broad, full to the very brim, but never overflowing. Every where on these banks are seen numerous herds of the most beautiful cattle of various kinds, the tribute recently extorted from the Arabs, who, freed from all their vexations, return home with the remainder of their flocks in peace, at as great a distance from the town, country, and their oppressors, as they possibly can.

The banks of the Nile about Sennaar resemble the pleasantest parts of Holland in the summer season; but soon after, when the rains cease, and the sun exerts his utmost influence, the dora begins to ripen, the leaves to turn yellow and to rot, the lakes to putrify, smell, and be full of