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gamy is tolerated rather than practised. They are subject to a peculiar nervous disorder, called "alone," the sufferer under which imitates thing that he sees done before him.
Ruppell brought back word, many years ago, of the existence of Ethiopian antiquities in the south of Darfur and Kordofan (Kurdufan). Ignatius Palme corroborated the statement in 1844. M. Lejean has visited some of these relics, said to rival Luxor and Thebes, (?) at a place called Abu Haraz, and he states that the Bellul of Palme (or rather Belila or Jebel Hillah) is not a town but a group of ruined sites, buried in the sands and mountains. The presence of the unicorn in the paintings on these Ethiopian or Libyan monuments, for they are said to be unlike those of Meroe, is not the least interesting fact said to have been detected.
Mr. Wetzstein, consul of Prussia at Damascus, has also discovered in the volcanic district of the Hauran-the country of the Druses-whole plains covered with worn pebbles of basalt, upon which are figured camels, horses, and date-trees, with one or two lines of inscriptions in an unknown character. There are said to be positively fields of inscriptions. The letters resemble most the Himyaritic and olden Phoenician. This, it will be remembered, was the country of Basan and of the giant Raphidim, ruled over by King Og, whose bedstead was preserved, after their conquest by Joshua, as a memorial of his huge stature.
The circumstance that one of the great problems of ages is in all probability on the very point of being settled-that the "Caput Nili," to seek after which was considered to be synonymous among the ancients with any futile undertaking, is so hemmed in, that we are in almost daily expectation of hearing the great discovery proclaimed-indeed, it has already been so by anticipation-has awakened a spirited and a generous rivalry between the English and the French as to who shall be first in, not at the death, but at the bubbling into life of the waters upon which rose Thebes, Memphis, and the Pyramids, and which still fertilise a wealthy and populous country, capable of being still more so, under a different-social, political, and religious-order of things.
M. d'Arnaud, in a letter to the veteran Jomard, dated Alexandria, February 5, 1861, says that he is convinced that MM. Peney and Lejean will arrive at the "Caput Nili" before the English travellers Speke and Grant. His conviction is, that they will reach the Great Lake (Victoria Nyanza), which, he says, may henceforth be viewed as the true source of the Nile, since at the 4th degree the river rises and falls with great regularity-a phenomenon which can only result from its having its origin in a regulating lake-and that they will arrive there in an incontestable manner, that is, by ascending the river. The rivalry is praiseworthy; but granting M. d'Arnaud's anticipations to be realised, will that take away the right of first discovery and naming the lake, which belongs to Captain Speke? And if he (Captain Speke) discovered the lake, and it turns out to be according to the traveller's own surmises the long sought-for head of the Nile, will he or Messrs. Peney and Lejean have discovered the Caput Nili? It will be time to argue the point when the latter have reached the lake by the river way; but, in the mean time, it is certain that the lake is discovered, and if it should turn out to be the head of the Nile, we should also say the Caput Nili. All that is wanting are the proofs of connexion between the two, and we shall Dec.-VOL. CXXIII. NO. CCCCXCII.
be glad if the Frenchmen acquire the glory of establishing that longsurmised fact, without claiming at the same time the honour of discovering the sources of the Nile, which must be conceded to the discoverer of the lake so appropriately named Victoria Nyanza. Had Mr. Petherick first reached the lake by the river way, would he for a moment have thought of claiming the discovery of the sources of the Nile?
Father Léon des Avanchers, writing to M. d'Abbadie from Kaffa-the original country of the coffee-plant-says: "The Saubat is formed by two rivers; the earlier affluent is the Barro, which flows from Lake El Boo. The Barro," he adds, "is the true White Nile of Ptolemy, and Lake Boo is the Nili Palus Orientalis. But the Go-Jub does not flow into the Barro, united to the three Gibes, it forms the river Jub." Now, the other day M. d'Abbadie proclaimed that he had discovered the sources of the Nile at the head of the Uma, or Go-Jub; and Dr. Beke makes the Go-Jub the most distant easterly affluent to the Saubat. But the view of the matter entertained by M. Léon des Avanchers has since been corroborated by M. Debono, a Maltese ivory merchant, residing at Khartum, who has an establishment on the Saubat, and who has explored that river almost to its sources; so that M. d'Abbadie's supposed grand discovery of the "Caput Nili" turns out to be the sources of the Jub— a river flowing into the Indian Ocean!
M. Ferdinand Lafargue writes to M. Jomard from Khartum, by date September 15, 1860, that he has been up the White Nile to Gondokoro in a steamer. No great difficulties would appear, therefore, to await MM. Peney and Lejean, or Mr. Petherick, in their proposed ascents up the same river to Lake Victoria Nyanza. M. Lafargue heard of a great lake called Rek. He also heard that the river flowing through the country of the Berris, or Barris, three days east of Gondokoro, is the same as the Sobat, or Saubat, and, he adds, the negroes of Kumetru speak of that river and of the White Nile as being the same.
Every step in inquiry seems indeed to be leading to the determination of Krapf's Lake Baringu and Lake Boo to be the same, and that it gives origin to one great south-easterly tributary to the Nile, which bears the various names of Barri, Barro, and Berri, Tubarri, Tubiri, or Tumbiri, Shoa, or Shua Berry, and Sobat, or Saubat.
This great south-easterly tributary, however, whatever may be its name, and having its origin from Ptolemy's eastern lake, or from the foot of Mount Kenia, cannot be the more distant source of the Nile, nor would the established communication between Lake Victoria Nyanza and the White Nile finally settle that point. Such sources must either lie at the foot of Mount Kilimandjaro, the St. Gothard of the East African Alps, or Mountains of the Moon, and flow by the Kitangure into Lake Victoria Nyanza, or they may be associated with Vogel's or Ptolemy's Western Lake, which Barth supposed to communicate at once with the Benuwe, or Eastern Niger, and the Shary, or great affluent to Lake Tsad, and which may also pour its waters in the season of flood into the Nile.
The French, it is well known, utilised the expedition to China by employing the troops and fleet made available by the treaty of Pekin, to complete the work commenced in Cochin-China, or Annam, in the year 1859, by Admiral Rigault de Genouilly. The command of the expedition was entrusted to Vice-Admiral Charner, and although the details of
the proceedings of this expeditionary force are exceedingly meagre, nothing but what was sanctioned having met the public eye, still it is so far known that it made itself master by the 24th and 25th of February of the forts of Ki-Koa, after a severe struggle, in which General Vassoigne was wounded, and many men and officers lost their lives.
These first successes were completed on the 12th of April by the capture of the citadel of Mitho, a town or port which is situated not in the river of Saigon, but on the most easterly of the six mouths of the May-Kiang, and there is communication in part by canal (from Saigon to the river Vai-Ko) between the two, and we are told that the possession of the site ensures to the French the holding of the southern provinces, for no allusion is made to what their allies, the Spaniards, are to gain by their co-operation.
This conquest will, we are further told, shortly take first rank among those effected by France "in the outer seas." Nothing more is requisite for such a conclusion, it is added, than an intelligent man at the head of the administration. So fine a country only requires to be judiciously ruled in order to prosper. Little is said of the climate of the delta of the May-Kiang, possibly as deleterious to the European constitution as any on the known face of the globe, or of the well-known anxiety of the troops stationed in those unwholesome regions, which they regard as no better than an exile to Cayenne, to be relieved and permitted to return to their country.
On the contrary, we are told that it would be impossible to find in all the Hindhu-Chinese seas a point which presents such great advantages as Saigon for founding a central maritime station. It presents all that is exacted by good strategy. It is admirably adapted for the construction of repairing docks at little expense, the upper part of the country abounding in wood; and lastly, Cape St. James, at the entrance of the river, which is navigable to vessels of heavy burden for eighty to one hundred miles, is accessible at all times, whatever monsoon may be blowing.
With the occupation of Mitho, the whole of the "commerce" of Camboja, we are further told, passes into the hands of the French, and this country exports considerable quantities of salt-fish, which are sold in the Chinese markets, besides rice, silk, ivory, cotton, tobacco, oil, timber, fruits, hides and horns, &c. By "commerce," we suppose we are to understand customs or taxes, for we do not suppose that the power in occupation is going to be either the producing or the exporting power; so that commerce restricted by a third party can hardly be expected to flourish as of yore. As the occupation of the country cannot but be expected to be of a costly nature in respect to life, even supposing that the financial expenses are diminished by taxing native industry and produce, it is suggested that two years of effective service in such a region shall be deemed sufficient. This, while a proper and a humane precaution, will inevitably be found to be very expensive.
In connexion with the attempts made by the French to subject and colonise the countries watered by the May-Kiang, we may also notice the mission of the Siamese ambassadors to Paris. We have before had occasion to observe upon the curious relations of the French with the people dwelling in the countries watered by the May-Nan. Those watered by the May-Kiang and those watered by the May-Nan may be considered
in the light of twin regions. The rivers follow a parallel course, and history shows that the Annamite and Siamese power has alternated in both countries. So close is this connexion, that it is impossible to hold power in Cambojia and not to implicate more or less Siam. But the valley of the May-Nan is also in the centre, half way between the valleys the Irrawady and the Thalian, held in part by Great Britain, and the May-Kiang, now held by the French. Hence has arisen a kind of rivalry of diplomatic and friendly intercourse between France, and England, and Siam, which must be alike profitable and amusing to two by no means unintelligent sovereigns.
Nor does this precisely sum up the total of political aspects in the Hindhu-Chinese peninsula, for while we possess Arracan, Prome, Rangoon, and Pegu, the Emperor of Ava is upheld in his capital of Amarapura by M. Girodon or D'Orgoni, "general of all his generals," and "prime minister of all his ministers;" in connexion with whose services to the Lord of the White Elephant, the Moniteur predicted now some time back: "L'Inde elle même touche à l'heure d'une transformation et la Cochin-Chine voit luire nos baïonnettes. Autour d'Orgoni, autour de ce hardi compagnon, l'humanité va faire un grand pas !" Pity it is for the progress of humanity that, according to the latest news from Saigon, the neighbourhood of Mitho had been devastated by "pirates," who were, however, afterwards attacked and beaten by Admiral Charner. It is the fashion now-a-days to term men fighting for a cause "pirates," "brigands," or "rebels," as the case may suit; but certain it is, that France has other difficulties to surmount, besides that of climate, before it subjugates the Hindhu-Chinese peninsula.
In 1684, the King of Siam sent an embassy to Louis XIV., which the grand monarque received on a throne of silver, and in a dress that cost twelve millions of francs. The Emperor Napoleon, wiser in his time, did not deem it necessary to expend so much in barbaric splendour to awe the Oriental mind. On the 27th of June, the Siamese ambassadors were received at the palace of Fontainebleau. They were all dressed in rich habiliments embroidered with gold, and each wore a sword by his side attached by a band ornamented with a great silver elephant. The moment that they crossed the threshold of the door, the ambassadors and their suite cast themselves on their knees, and they thus progressed with the help of their elbows up to the balustrade, behind which sat the emperor and his court. Arrived at this point, the first ambassador prostrated himself three times on the ground, raising his hands above his head, and he then placed in the emperor's hands the golden box which contained the letter of his sovereign. Turning himself round a little, and leaning on his right elbow, he read in a low voice a compliment addressed to the emperor in the Siamese language. The emperor having risen to receive the letter, the ambassadors withdrew in the same painful attitude in which they had approached the throne. The ambassadors were much fêted in public, but the use of pocket-kerchiefs being utterly unknown to them, this Siametic peculiarity had, we are told, the effect of keeping the curious Parisians at a distance from them. The Siamese ambassadors did not visit England, as it was said to have been their original intention, but as a kind of politico-social counterpoise, we suppose, to the influence gained by the hospitality and magnificence of France, a
party of Siamese grandees (whether as influential in their own country as those who were sent across the seas to prostrate themselves before the Emperor Napoleon III., we are not prepared to say) have been visiting the curiosities of Singapore-the lusty offspring of free trade and commercial enterprise-which we hear gave to them the open hand of friendship and good will-the more acceptable as coming from a next-door neighbour.
A treaty signed by the plenipotentiaries of the emperor and the Prince of Monaco, on the 2nd of February, handed over to France Menton and Roquebrune, with their environs. The following is the gratifying account of these new French acquisitions given by one of the almanacks:
Nothing can be more charming, refreshing, or delicious than the environs of Menton! The town, placed on the sunny side, lies between the sea and a forest of citron-trees. Imagine the perfume when these trees are in flower! Menton is approached by a long and handsome alley of plane-trees, and beyond it is an avenue of oleanders and tamarix. The oleanders border the shore, and their roseate flowers contrast admirably with the blue sea. Pretty villas display their white walls and green blinds in the midst of aromatic groves loaded with flowers of a pale golden hue. Six months passed in this nest of embalmed verdure ought to suffice to restore the most ruinous lungs, and reanimate the forces of the most dilapidated constitution.
What vegetation and what fruits! Olive-trees of extraordinary height and size; peach-trees bending beneath the weight of their fruit. The peaches are delicious, and sweet as sugar; there are hard and soft ones, yellow, red, and pale. How pleasant it is to contemplate such a collection! In an enclosure, comprising only the quarter of an hectare of ground, the proprietor gathers one hundred and fifty thousand lemons and forty thousand peaches, besides figs and olives. Unfortunately, lemons only fetch one halfpenny to a penny the dozen, and the finest peaches are only worth from three to four francs per thousand.
The ladies of Menton are charming; they do not, perhaps, possess the at once powerful yet delicate stamp, nor the case, of their Nicean neighbours, but the clearness of their complexions is unequalled. They plait their hair in bands, and carry these behind the head, where they form an attractive feature. A flower behind the ear is their only ornament.
The character of the population of Menton is formed of an admixture of the Genoese and the Provencal. Manners, ideas, and language are less Frenchified than at Monaco, where the neighbourhood of Piedmont makes itself more sensibly felt.
Roquebrune is situated on the road from Menton to Monaco, half way up a hill, and immediately below a vast depression in the soil. Its old castle occupies the summit of a hill that denominates the village. Rustic buildings also crown the rocks above, which at a distance resemble great towers. Roquebrune is said to have stood in olden times some hundred feet higher than where it exists in the present day. It is said that land and village subsided, one fine day, down to its present position, without disturbing a plate of soup. We were not there, so cannot attest to the fact.
Menton and Roquebrune, in consequence of a local demonstration-a kind of Lilliputian revolution-have, since 1848, been relieved of all taxation, and exempted from all military service, although they took part in the provincial and divisional elections of Nice, and that while they did not contribute a farthing to the local budget. It will be quite another thing now, but then they are French!
The antithesis is admirable, and is, we have no doubt, duly appreciated by the unfortunate Mentonites and Roquebrunites.