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Zingah and the principal confpirators duct gives juft offence to his people, a were féized, just on the point of taking deputation from them wait upon him, up arms to affert his claim. Zingah it is said, and represent to him, that the was fewed up in a hammock at Abomey, burden of government has been so fain which he was carried to Whydah, riguing, that it is full time for him to where he was put into a canoe, and repose from his carcs, and to indulge taken about two leagues qut at lea, and himself with a little fleep. He thanks there thrown overboard and drowned. his people for their attention to his eafe,

The law of the country does not allow retires to his apartinent as if to deep, the facred blood of the royal family to where he gives directions to his women be Thed, but appoints this punishment to strangle him; which is inmediately for their offences. Such was the end executed, and his son quietly succeeds of Zingah, and all his adherents were him." put to death.

Trudo, the father of Ahadec, in 1724, “ The king, now clear of his com- vanquished the Whydahs, many of petitor, and Secure in the peaceable por, whoin fled, and others were sold as sellion of his dominions, threw off the llaves; thcse, however, till the year mask, and gave an unbounded indul, 1741, continued to make occasional at. gence to his inclinations; which unhap- tacks on the territories of Abadee; and pily were of the worit kind. One of as they were dexterous in managing the firit edicts of his reign was, that cances, they usually retreated when every man of the name of Bossa Mould dangers threatened them. be put to death; which cruel order was “ The Whydahs, in their exile, still punäually executed throughout his do- adhered to the lystein of their old gominions; old and young indiscrimi- vernment, and continued to be ruled by nately suffered, and many innocent and a king; but it was neceflary, on the ac. useful men were lost to the community cession of a new one, that he should be for the gratihcation of his vanity, who inaugurated at Xavier, which had been thought it an insult to majelty, that ą the feat of his ancestors, and the capital subject Mould bear che faine name as of Whydah, before the conqueft; for the fovereign."

the celebration of which ceremony it Mayhou, one of the ministers who was requisite, that permillion should first had chofen Ahadec, finding it impoifi. be obtained from Ahadee, who derived ble to reclaiin him from practising the an advantage fioin it, by exacting a most horrid outrages, at lengih appear- confideration for the liberty of going ed in arms against him; but the army thither: and as a troce was necessary of the king prevailed, and Mayhou and for a cellation of hoftilities on these oc. several of his friends fell in the engage- calions, he did not omit to turn it to ment; all the prisoners taken on this account, whenever there was an oppor. occasion were put to death, and the rest tunity, by employing his agents to low of the rebels, to avoid a similar fato, divisions among them, in hope of reapfed for protection to the neighbouring ing some advantage by that means. states.

“ To be king of the Whydahs, even Peace, however, did not long attend in their humbled state, had its templathis gloomy kingdom: the Eyoes, rions; and the brother of the rightful the Mahees, the Popues, and the Why, heir was, upon the death of his father, dahs, distracted it with the ravages of which happened about that time, ambie war, conducted with all that ferocity tions of this rank. If Ahadee did not and horror which marks the character fuggelt, he at least encouraged this of these people. But though they are scheme, with a view to divide the Whyuniform and alike in their fanguinary dah-, and assured him of his support ; dispositions, they are distinguished by in return for which, the other engaged different forms of government, and by privately to become his tributary and some flight diversities of national cha- ally, and to pay a confiderable sumn upon racter. " The Eyoes are governed by his accession to the government. This a king, but not by one to absolute as wicked young man, (relying on Ahathe tyrant of Dahomy. If what report dee's protection) whilst the ceremonies says of him be true, when his ill con were preparing at Xavier to invest his


brother with the regal dignity, had the eunuch he had a Seraglio of some home audacity to murder him there, and the dreds) joined their perfuafions, and is address to be appointed king in his people at length, worked up to an a. place; and closed his archievement by tachment and resolution worthy of a devouring the heart of his unfortunate better occahon, refused to facrifice hig brother: which last act of barbarity to their own safety, which they mistr was the proof required by Ahadee of have obtained by delivering him op; unlimited devotion to his commands. they determined to force their way

" The Whydahs were too much dif- through the king's troops, conduct gufted with their new king to suffer him their master to the Englith fort, and to reign long over them; he had ren- there recommend him to the governor's dered himself so odious, that he could mercy. This resolution being adopted, not even form a party among them to the women, dreading a reverse of for. fupport his pretensions; and unable to tune, and despairing to meet again a make Ahadee the payment which had fo indulgent a lord, put each other to been promifed at his accession, all suc- death; the oldest first flaughtering ebe cours from that quarter were refused; young ones, and then cutting their own he was therefore obliged to relinquish throats. This melancholy office being that government which he had atro- performed, and the house iet on fire 19 ciously obtained, and withdrew to Da- destroy the remaining effects, and prehomey ; where, after wandering about vent their falling into the king's hands, for some time, universally despised, he Tanga and his party, with fuch part of died miserably of a leprous disease, con- his treasure as was moft portable, fai. tracted immediately on his return from lied forth, and made good their passage Xavier, and which the Dahomans at through the king's troops, directing tributed to the horrid repaft he had their course for the Englilin caftle; from made there, when he devoured the heart whence they were fired upon as they of his own brother."

approached, and Tanga retreating into Ahadee feems, by this narrative, to the garden, received a Thot, which ended have met with a frequent reverse of for, at once his life and ambition. tune ; one day he is vanquilhed, and “ The affection of Tanga's wives, another, perhaps, victorious. In 1743, which impelled them in the desperate the Whydahs enlarged their operations crisis of his affairs to devote themselves against him; and in a battle which was to death, may perhaps appear romantic, fought soon after, the Dahomans were if not incredible. To explain this, it thrown into confusion, and totally rout- is necessary to observe, that Targa di ed, and the Whydahs once more left in not guard his women with chat jealous poffefsion of their country. But Aha. eye, and Atrict confinement, which is dee, by means of some secret disposi- ufual in that part of the world. The tions, fell on his enemies unawares, and feraglio was only a necessary appena again retook what he had lost in the dage to the pomp and fplendour of his former battle. The better to secure rank; and out of this refervoir he gethis country, the king appointed a per- nerously supplied all his servants with fon, named Tanga, to be viceroy over wives. Such unprecedented bounty it; but this man being vain and ambi- conciliated the fincerest regard of thefe tious, wanted nothing less than the people. Every young man within his kingdom of Whydalı for himself, and jurisdiction was ambitious of serving concerted a plan to obtain his purpose. Tanga: to his seraglio he appeared, so After several skirmishes with the troops the rigid jailer, nor the tyrannic ufurper of the king, he was at length surround of the affection's — but the generous ed in his house; “ his affairs were def- arbiter of its livelieft pleasures." perate, and something must be attempte Ahadee, when giving his general ored; he harangued his adherents, in- ders to go to war, used to say " that his treated their allistance, and distributed house wanted thatch," alluding to the all his treasures among them; his filks, custom of placing the beads of the enehis coral, his gold, were lavished with my killed in battle, or of prisoners of out referve, to animate them on this distinction, on the roof of the guardemergency ; his wives (for though an houses at the gates of his palaces. This

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good king, worn out with age and in- from the body with a cutlass. The firmities, died in 1974, and was suce head was then fixed on a pole in the ceeded by Adaunzou II, the present market place, and the body was imking.

mediately carried to the oucide of the Mr. Norris, in 1772, made a journey town, and left there to be devoured by to the court of Bossa Ahadee, where he wild beasts. arrived at fix in the morning of Feb. i. “ The person that was executed, was “ In pasling by the market place, \ one of those who kept a little Mop in found a great number of people col. the market; and a few days before, on lected there, and observing tone large discovering that some trifle had been umbrellas among them, I concluded stolen from her, die took from the fire that the viceroy and his cabocheers a finall stick, one end of which was were of the party: surprized at this early burning, and waving it over her head assembly, I sent a servant to enquire the (a usual custom in the country) exoccasion of it; but before he could re- claimed aloud • Whoever has taken my turn, a messenger from the viceroy, who property, if they do not return it, I had discovered my approach, accosted will they may die and be extinguished me with a message from his master, re like this stick.' In going through this questing to speak to me before my de- ceremony, a spark fell on the dry thatch parture. I found him pathing sentence of one of the huts, and set the market of death on a criminal, a middle aged on fire." woman, who was on her knees belore The court, at the time of Mr. Norhim, in the midt of a circle formed by ris's arrival there, was “ engaged in the his attendants. I requested her lite celebration of a grand festival, which might be {pared ; and, from the cire continues several weeks, and is called cumstance of his having lent for me, ! the annual customs;' when the king flattered inyfelf that my offer to pur. waters the graves of his ancestors with chase her for a Nave would be accepted; the blood of many human victims. The bu: I was disappointed: he told me the governors of the forts at Whydah are king himself had considered the offence expected to attend, and make a present and decreed the sentence, which was, on the occasion. The black merchants, • that her head should be cut off, and or trading men, and indeed every bead fixed upon a take,' which was lying by of a family must also attend for a few her, and which she had been compelled days, and bring a quantity of cowries proto bring with her from Abomey for portioncd to their circumstances. They that purpose.

are all attended by their domeftics; and . During this conversation, a little the young fellows among them, who girl, prompted by curiofity, and igno. are defrous of having female comparant of whar was doing, inade her way nions, bring, each, the savings of their through the crowd, and discovering her industry, if it amounts to five cabess, mother, ran to her with joy to congra. or twenty thousand cowries, which they tulate her on her return. The poor Jay before the king's gate, and proftrat, woman, after a short embrace, faid, ing themselves in the duft, beg to be • Go away, child, this is no place for favoured with wives, which is generally you ;' and she was immediately con- complied with. The females are handed veyed away. The viceroy proceeded out from the palace, and distributed in his sentence, which the poor wretch among the petitioners, and the cowries heard with seeming indifference, pick- received in return. Each must take the ing her, teeth with a straw which the female that is assigned him; be the old took up from the ground. When the or young, handsome or deformed, he viceroy concluded his charge to the is obliged to receive her: fometimes I fpe&tators, of obedience, fubmission, have known the king's wives, who are and orderly behaviour, which the king the agents in this business, hand out, required from all his people, the delina in malicious fport, the man's mother to quent received a blow on the back of him, whom he must maintain afterher head with a bludgeon from one of wards, and wait content till his cirthe executioners, which levelled her to cumstances enable him to try his luck the ground, and apother fevered it on fome future occasion.

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“ The state principles from which where the king was frared on a hard, this mode of supplying wives is de fome chair of crimion velrei, crea rived, is, that parents have bo fort of mented with gold fringe, placed of. 2 property in their children in the Daho- carpet, in a spacious coul piazza, shub man territories :' they belong en- occupied one lide of the court. He was tirely to the king,' and are taken from smoking tobacco, and had on a geld their mothers at an early age, and dit. Jaced hat, with a plume of ostrich teztributed in villages reinote from the thers; he wore a rich crimfon damal places of their nativity, where they re- robe wrapped loosely round him, el. main subject to his future appropriation low slippers, and no itockings; fereal of them, witli but little chance of their women were employed in fanning time being ever feen, or at least recognized, and others with whisks to chace away by their pa ents afterwards. The mo- the flies; one woman, on her knee: ** tive for this is, that there may be no fore him, held a gold cup for tuum ta family connections or coinbinations, no fpit in. associations that might be injurious to “ When the door which led into the king's unlimited power. Hence this court was opened, Tamegah and each individual is detached and uncon. his two companions immediately fell nected; and having no relative for down, rubbed their foreheads in the whom he is interested, is solicitous only duft, kissed the ground repeatedly, and for his own safety, which he consults approached the king crawling on the by the most abject submillion and obe- hands and knees, proftrating themselves dience. Here paternal affections and frequently, and throwing the dust plesfilial love fcarcely exilt. Mothers, in. tifully with both hands upon their stead of cherishing, endeavour to sup- heads: had it been mud from preceding press those attachments for their off- rain, the fame ceremony would have {pring which they know will be violated been performed. as foon as their children are able to un “ Having bowed to the king, I was dergo the fatigue of being removed directed to a chair a few yards from from them."

him; and having drank his health in After receiving a message froen the a small glass of brandy, and be mine, king, Mr. Norris prepared to visit him he enquired after the health of his at his palace. “ I was received at the brotber, King George of England. door by Mayhou; on each fide of it “ On the next morning (February 6) was a human head, recently cut off, ly- I had an invitation to come, if it was ing on a fat stone, with the face down, agreeable, and be a spectator of some and the bloody end of the neck towards amusements at the king's gate, at Grise the entrance. In the guard-houle were gomy, which I accepted. A large coe. about forty women armed with a mulket course of people was assembled, but ! and cutlais each, and twenty eunuchs found it was not a time or place for bawith bright iron rods in their hands, finess, fo entertained myself with the one of whom Nipped away to announce droll distortions and antic dances of a my arrival; and Maydou, walking cau- multitude of people to the harth mult riously forward, conducted ine through of a variety of initruments : amidst all the fiift court to a door, near which this festivity, Nould a man's foci kip, were two more heals, where he pro- and Mould he get a fall, which are Atrated himself and killed the ground; regarded as bad omens, the poor wretch on which it was opened by a female, is iminediately taken out of the crowd, and we entered a second court, two and his head is truck off, without any sides of which were formed by long the dance, which goti ihacly piazzas; in this we were met by on as if nothing had happened. To T:megah and Eubigah, who, with thefe fucceeded a troop of abont two Mayhou, frequently knelt down and hundred and fifty females, whofe mokiired the ground, pronouncing aloud tions and grimaces were still mere fome of the king's vitles as we walked comic, if poisible, than what had preaciofs this court, in which were ranged ceded. This band was compofed of lix human heads. From this we palled ladies of pleasure, ordered to be fuch through a third door into the court, by royal authority. This is a precio

tion taken by government to prevent recting my course from thence towards the peace of private families being vio- the market place, I found at the enlated, and is perhaps more necessary trance of it two gibbets about twenty here than in any other state, as adultery feet high, with a murdered man hangis severely punihed, and every indil. ing naked by the ankles to each ; and cretion of gallantry exposes the delin- at the other end of the market two quents to death or flavery; especially other gibbets furnished in the fame too as the people of sank engross the manner. These poor wretches were major part of the women. The king's put to death by blows of heavy clubs seraglio consists of between three and on the head, and had their privities four thousand; his principal men have cut close off, that the delicacy of the from one to three or four hundred wivez king's women, who had to march under cach ; and people in humbler stations them in procession on a festival about from half a dozen to twenty: from this eight days before, might not be ofvnequal distribution, in which the fended. The birds of prey were tearing rights of mankind are infringed, and out their bowels, and devouring chem their wants egregioufly miscalculared, piecemeal, which the natives looked at the lower class remain unprovided with without the least emotion, only adfemale companions; but in every town miring the grandeur of the king, who there is a certain number of women could defray the expence of luch exhi. proportioned to its size, who are to be bitions. I observed in the inarket that obliging to every customer that offers. the flesh of dogs was eapis for sale

The price of their favours is regulated, here, as well as in \"?!:dah, in'common and very moderate; and though these with that of other anni s. poor creatures pay a heavy tax annually, The king, says Mr. Norris, never which was the occasion of their being eats in public; it is ever crinin I to convened at present, yet by having furpose he ever cats, or that he is to fmall beer, and breeding pooliry, added much like other mortals as to want the to what their occupation brings in, they refreshn ent of Neep. are enabled to live; and I am inclined Just previous to Mr. Norris's return

to think there are wretches in the from visiting the king, “ a part of Da* world, of the same profeffion, more homy house took fire, which greatly enmiserable than they are.

dangered the whole of it. As soon as “ Whatever entertainment this scene the hurry occafioned by it was over, L might afford, was damped by my ser

was induced to wait again upon the vant's officioufly pointing out seven king on this occasion, as a mark of re

horses, and the same number of men fpect. I observed, as I expected, much s with their ankles and wrists secured confusion and disorder in the houle;

round tall posts fixed in the ground, several heads had been cut off, and lay where they were to remain till the night scattered about to the number of twenty preceding the next feliivat, when both at least; and I found the king much

men and horses were to have their heads irritated against his women, who were Ś Atruck off. These unhappy victims, accusing each other of carelessnefs, and

though conscions of their impending each endeavouring to remove the blame fate, were not indifferent to the music, of it from herself. It probably was which they seemed to enjoy by endeae not only to sícertain how the accident vouring to beat time to it. I foon took happened ; and the king finding the inmy leave, and quitted this scene of dif- veitigation difficult, and his dilpleasure

tress; but had not proceeded far before being perhaps somewhat appealed by +

I was almost fuffocated by an infup- the lives which he had taken away in

portable stench, which, upon looking the firn impulse of his anger, lie leitled o round, I found to proceed from the the bufuels by selecting nineteen of

heads of thirty-iwo horses and thirty- them whose residence was in zhe quarfix men who had been massacred on ter where the fire broke out, and fold two preceding festivals, not for any them to me for slaves. crime of theirs, but as a sacrifice to the “ Feb. 18, 1772, I returned to my mistaken grandeur of the king, and factory; but I had occasion to vilic agreeable to custom immemorial. Die Abomey again in Dec. 1773: the king

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