Travels In The Interior Of Africa - Volume 2 of 2 - By Mungo Park

 -   The Mandingoes, in
particular, are a very gentle race, cheerful in their dispositions,
inquisitive, credulous, simple, and fond of flattery - Page 60
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The Mandingoes, In Particular, Are A Very Gentle Race, Cheerful In Their Dispositions, Inquisitive, Credulous, Simple, And Fond Of Flattery.

Perhaps the most prominent defect in their character was that insurmountable propensity, which the reader must have observed to prevail in all classes of them, to steal from me the few effects I was possessed of.

For this part of their conduct no complete justification can be offered, because theft is a crime in their own estimation; and it must be observed that they are not habitually and generally guilty of it towards each other.

On the other hand, as some counterbalance to this depravity in their nature, allowing it to be such, it is impossible for me to forget the disinterested charity and tender solicitude with which many of these poor heathens (from the sovereign of Sego to the poor women who received me at different times into their cottages when I was perishing of hunger) sympathised with me in my sufferings, relieved my distresses, and contributed to my safety. This acknowledgment, however, is perhaps more particularly due to the female part of the nation. Among the men, as the reader must have seen, my reception, though generally kind, was sometimes otherwise. It varied according to the various tempers of those to whom I made application. The hardness of avarice in some, and the blindness of bigotry in others, had closed up the avenues to compassion; but I do not recollect a single instance of hard-heartedness towards me in the women.

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