Five Weeks in a Balloon HTML version

Kazeh.--The Noisy Market-place.--The Appearance of the Balloon.--The Wangaga.--The
Sons of the Moon.--The Doctor's Walk.--The Population of the Place.--The Royal
Tembe.--The Sultan's Wives.--A Royal Drunken-Bout.-- Joe an Object of Worship.--How
they Dance in the Moon.--A Reaction.-- Two Moons in one Sky.--The Instability of
Divine Honors.
Kazeh, an important point in Central Africa, is not a city; in truth, there are no cities in
the interior. Kazeh is but a collection of six extensive excavations. There are enclosed a
few houses and slave-huts, with little courtyards and small gardens, carefully cultivated
with onions, potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, and mushrooms, of perfect flavor, growing
most luxuriantly.
The Unyamwezy is the country of the Moon--above all the rest, the fertile and
magnificent garden-spot of Africa. In its centre is the district of Unyanembe--a delicious
region, where some families of Omani, who are of very pure Arabic origin, live in
luxurious idleness.
They have, for a long period, held the commerce between the interior of Africa and
Arabia: they trade in gums, ivory, fine muslin, and slaves. Their caravans traverse these
equatorial regions on all sides; and they even make their way to the coast in search of
those articles of luxury and enjoyment which the wealthy merchants covet; while the
latter, surrounded by their wives and their attendants, lead in this charming country the
least disturbed and most horizontal of lives--always stretched at full length, laughing,
smoking, or sleeping.
Around these excavations are numerous native dwellings; wide, open spaces for the
markets; fields of cannabis and datura; superb trees and depths of freshest shade--such is
There, too, is held the general rendezvous of the caravans --those of the south, with their
slaves and their freightage of ivory; and those of the west, which export cotton,
glassware, and trinkets, to the tribes of the great lakes.
So in the market-place there reigns perpetual excitement, a nameless hubbub, made up of
the cries of mixed-breed porters and carriers, the beating of drums, and the twanging of
horns, the neighing of mules, the braying of donkeys, the singing of women, the squalling
of children, and the banging of the huge rattan, wielded by the jemadar or leader of the
caravans, who beats time to this pastoral symphony.
There, spread forth, without regard to order--indeed, we may say, in charming disorder--
are the showy stuffs, the glass beads, the ivory tusks, the rhinoceros'-teeth, the shark's-
teeth, the honey, the tobacco, and the cotton of these regions, to be purchased at the