Now I Do Not Say That
A Country Looks Inviting When It Is Coloured In Scheele's Green Or A
Bilious Yellow, But These Colours May Arise From Lack Of Artistic
Gift In The Cartographer.
There is no mistaking what he means by
black, however, and black you'll find they colour West Africa from
above Sierra Leone to below the Congo.
"I wouldn't go there if I
were you," said my medical friends, "you'll catch something; but if
you must go, and you're as obstinate as a mule, just bring me - " and
then followed a list of commissions from here to New York, any one
of which - but I only found that out afterwards.
All my informants referred me to the missionaries. "There were,"
they said, in an airy way, "lots of them down there, and had been
for many years." So to missionary literature I addressed myself
with great ardour; alas! only to find that these good people wrote
their reports not to tell you how the country they resided in was,
but how it was getting on towards being what it ought to be, and how
necessary it was that their readers should subscribe more freely,
and not get any foolishness into their heads about obtaining an
inadequate supply of souls for their money. I also found fearful
confirmation of my medical friends' statements about its
unhealthiness, and various details of the distribution of cotton
shirts over which I did not linger.
From the missionaries it was, however, that I got my first idea
about the social condition of West Africa.
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