Page images

was seen for the last time by a whaler, July 26, 11th of June 1847. The unfortunate party had 1845, making for Lancaster Sound. At the close expected to be able to penetrate on foot southof 1847 the Admiralty despatched vessels with wards to some of the most northerly settlements supplies; two were sent in 1848 on Franklin's of the Hudson's Bay Company. Traces of their route, and Sir John Richardson was despatched progress were further found-a large boat fitted through Rupert's Land to the coast of the Arctic on a sledge, with quantities of clothing, cocoa, Sea. These were the beginnings of a series of tea, tobacco, and fuel, with two guns and plenty searching expeditions persevered in year after of ammunition. Five watches, some plate, knives, year, until tidings were obtained. Of these we a few religious books, and other relics were dishave interesting accounts in the Narrative of an covered; but no journals or pocket-books. The Expedition to the shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 gallant band, enfeebled by three years' residence and 1847, by JOHN RAE, 1850; Journal of a in arctic latitudes, disappointment, and suffering, Voyage in 1850-51, performed by the Lady Frank- had no doubt succumbed to the cold and fatigue, lin' and 'Sophia' under command of Mr W. sinking down by the way, as the Esquimaux had Penny, by P. C. SUTHERLAND, M.D., two volumes, reported to Dr Rae, and finding graves amidst 1852; Papers and Despatches relating to the Arctic- the eternal frost and snow. The graves of three searching Expeditions of 1850-1-2, by JAMES of the crew of the Erebus and Terror are thus MANGLES, R.N., 1852 ; Second Voyage of the noticed in Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal,

Prince Albert'in Search of Sir John Franklin, by LIEUTENANT S. OSBORN :
by W. KENNEDY, 1853; The Last of the Arctic
Voyages, being a Narrative of the Expedition in

Graves of the English Seamen in the Polar Regions. H.M.S.'' Assistance,' under the command of SIR EDWARD BELCHER, C.B., in Search of Sir John The graves, like all that Englishmen construct, were Franklin, 1852-3-4, two volumes, 1855; The Dis- scrupulously neat. Go where you will over the globe's covery of the North-west Passage, by H.M.S. surface-afar in the east, or afar in the west, down * Investigator; CAPTAIN R. M'CLURE, 1850-54, where the grim North frowns on the sailor's grave--yor

among the coral-girded isles of the South Sea, or here, published in 1856. The last of these voyages will always find it alike ; it is the monument raised by was the most important. Captain M'Clure was rough hands but affectionate hearts over the last home knighted, and parliament voted him a sum of of their messmates ; it breathes of the quiet churchyard £5000, with an equal sum to his officers and crew. in some of England's many nooks, where each had The gallantry and ability displayed by the officers formed his idea of what was due to departed worth ; of the various expeditions, and the additions made and the ornaments that nature decks herself with, even by them to the geography of the Polar Seas, in the desolation of the frozen zone, were carefully culled render these voyages and land-journeys a source to mark the dead seaman's home. The good taste of of national honour, though of deep and almost the officers had prevented the general simplicity of an painful interest. The abundance of animal life in oaken head and footboard to each of the graves being the polar regions is remarkable. Reindeer, hares, marred by any long and childish epitaphs, or the doggrei musk oxen, with salmon and other fish, were of a lower-deck poet, and the three inscriptions were as

follows: found, and furnished provisions to the exploring ice-parties. In 1854 Dr Rae learned from a party H.M.S. Erebus, died April 3, 1846, aged 33 years.

* Sacred to the Memory of Wm. Braine, R.M., of of Esquimaux that in the spring of 1850 about “Choose you this day whom ye will serve."--Fosh. forty white men were seen on the shore of King xxiv. 15. William's Land. They appeared thin, and inti 'Sacred to the Memory of J. Torrington, who demated by signs that their ships had been lost in parted this life, January 1, 1846, on board of H.M.S. the ice, and that they were travelling to where | Terror, aged 20 years. they hoped to find deer to shoot. They were *Sacred to the Memory of J. Hartwell, A.B., of dragging a boat and sledges. The Esquimaux H.M.S. Erebus, died January 4, 1846, aged 25 years. further stated that later the same season, before

* Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.”the ice broke up, the bodies of thirty white men

Haggai i. 7.' were discovered on the continent a day's journey the men from the Erebus the manly and Christian spirit

I thought I traced in the epitaphs over the graves of to the west of the Great Fish River, and five more of Franklin. In the true spirit of chivalry, he, their bodies on an adjacent island. In 1857, Lady captain and leader, led them amidst dangers and Franklin organised another searching expedition, unknown difficulties with iron will stamped upon his and Captain M'Clintock, with a crew of twenty- brow, but the words of meekness, gentleness, and truth four men, sailed in the Fox yacht. They spent were his device. the winter of 1857-58 in the ice, drifting about twelve hundred miles. In the spring they resumed Some interesting and affecting details of these operations, and in August reached Brentford Bay, arctic explorations are given in the Life of Sir near which the ship was laid up for winter-quarters. John Richardson, by the Rev. J. MʻILRAITH, 1868. In the spring of 1859, Captain M'Clintock and Sir John was an intrepid explorer of the arctic Lieutenant Hobson undertook sledge expeditions, regions, and largely contributed to the knowledge embracing a complete survey of the coasts. At of the physical geography, flora, and fauna of Point Victory, upon the north-west coast of King British North America. This excellent man William's Land, Lieutenant Hobson found under was a native of Dumfries, born in 1787, died in a cairn a record, dated April 25, 1848, signed by 1865. Captains Crozier and Fitzjames, stating that the Erebus and Terror were abandoned on the 22d of We shall now advert to African discovery and April 1848, in the ice, and that the survivors, in adventure, and to the question of the source of all one hundred and five, under the command of the Nile, which, even from time immemorial, has Captain Crozier, were proceeding to the Great been a subject of mysterious interest and speculaFish River. Sir John Franklin had died on the tion.


Native Infantry, and served in the war of the CAPTAIN BURTON.

Punjaub. In 1854 he commenced his explorations One of the most fearless and successful of in Eastern Africa, and in 1856, as already related, modern explorers is RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON, he joined Captain Burton in his expedition to born at Tuam in Galway, Ireland, in 1820. Enter ascertain the position of the great lakes of the ing the East India Company's service, Lieutenant interior, and their relation to the Nile basin. In Burton served some years in Sindh under Sir February 1858, Lake Tanganyika was discovered, Charles Napier, and published an account of and in July of the same year, Speke traversed the Sindh and the Races that Inhabit the Valley of route running north from Kazeh, and in August the Indus, 1851. The same year he produced a discovered the south end of the Victoria Nyanza volume entitled Goa and the Blue Mountains, or lake, which he considered to be the source of the Six Months of Sick-leave; and the next year, Fal- Nile. In his opinion he differed from Burton and conry in the Valley of the Indus. His remarkable other travellers, and in order to establish more talent for acquiring languages, and particularly his firmly his theory on the subject he undertook knowledge of Arabic, suggested a journey in the another expedition in 1860, accompanied by a. East through regions unexplored or but partially brother officer, Captain Grant. The result he known. Under the auspices of the English Geo- published in a large volume, a Journal of the graphical Society he proceeded to Arabia, adopt- Discovery of the Source of the Nile, 1863. Captain ing the habits of an Afghan pilgrim. He pene-Speke was engaged to address the British Associtrated to the two holy cities, accomplishing a safe ation at Bath on the 16th of September 1864, but return to Cairo, and the result was a most valu- was unfortunately killed on the day preceding by able and interesting book of travels, entitled a the accidental discharge of his gun. The death Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to "El of the brave traveller under circumstances so disMedinah and Meccah, three volumes, 1855-57. tressing may be said to have saddened all EngThe next expedition of the traveller was into the land. Subsequent explorations in Africa have country of the Somaulis in Eastern Africa. He proved the accuracy of Speke's account of the was accompanied by three brother-officers--Lieu- | Victoria Nyanza. tenants Stroyan, Speke, and Hern. The first of these was killed, and Burton himself was much

First View of the Nile. wounded, but he succeeded in reaching Harar, and he published an account of the journey under the beautiful was the scene--nothing could surpass it! It

Here at last I stood on the brink of the Nile ; most title of First Footsteps in East Africa, or an Ex- was the very perfection of the kind of effect aimed at in s ploration of Harar, 1856. At the end of the year, highly-kept park ; with a magnificent stream from six to Burton and Speke set out to the country of the seven hundred yards wide, dotted with islets and rocks, Upper Nile, to verify the existence of an inland the former occupied by fishermen's huts, the latter by sea announced by the Arabs and missionaries. sterns and crocodiles basking in the sun, flowing between They started from the Zanzibar coast in 1857, and high grassy banks, with rich trees and plantains in the the result was the discovery of the vast lake of background, where herds of the nsunnu and hartebeest Tanganyika in lat. 5° S., long. 36° E., and a large could be seen grazing, while the hippopotami were crescent-shaped mass of mountains overhanging snorting in the water, and florikan and guinea-fowl the northern half of the lake, and ten thousand rising at our feet. Unfortunately, the chief district feet high, considered by Speke to be the true of his huts-clean, extensive, and tidily kept--facing the

officer, Mlondo, was from home, but we took possession Mountains of the Moon. Captain Burton pub- river, and felt as if a residence here would do one lished an account of this expedition, entitled The good. . . Lake Regions of Central Africa, two volumes, 1860. I marched up the left bank of the Nile, at a considerHis health having been impaired by his African able distance from the water, to the Isamba Rapids, travels, Captain Burton embarked for the United passing through rich jungle and plantain gardens. Nargo, States, which he traversed, and published an an old friend, and district officer of the place, first reaccount of the Mormons. In 1861 he was ap- freshed us with a dish of plantain squash and dried fish pointed consul for Fernando Po, and from thence with pombé.* He told us he is often threatened by he made exploring expeditions described in his elephants, but he sedulously keeps them off with charms; works Abeokuta and the Cameroons Mountains, for if they ever tasted a plantain they would never leave two volumes, 1863 ; A Mission to Gelele, King of the garden until they had cleared it out. He then took Dahomey, two volumes, 1864; Wit and Wisdom ful, but very confined. The water ran deep between its

us to see the nearest falls of the Nile-extremely beautifrom West Africa, 1865. He was next appointed banks, which were covered with fine grass, soft cloudy consul in Brazil, where he resided above three acacias, and festoons of lilac convolvuli; whilst here and years, and wrote Explorations of the Highlands of there, where the land had slipped above the rapids, Brazil, two volumes, 1869; and Letters from the bared places of red earth could be seen like that of Battle-fields of Paraguay, 1870. A later work of Devonshire : there, too, the waters, impeded by a the traveller's is a description of Zanzibar, City, natural dam, looked like a huge mill-pond, sullen and Island, and Coast, 1872. In 1875, Captain Burton dark, in which two crocodiles, laving about, were published Ultima Thule, or a Summer in Ice- looking out for prey. From the high banks we looked land, in which we have not only the author's per- down upon a line of sloping wooded islets lying across sonal adventures, but a narrative of the discovery, the stream, which divide its waters, and by interrupting the history, and characteristics of the island.

them, cause at once both dam and rapids. The whole was more fairy-like, wild, and romantic than-I must

confess that my thoughts took that shape-anything I CAPTAINS SPEKE AND GRANT.

ever saw outside of a theatre. It was exactly the sort JOHN HANNING SPEKE was a native of Devon- of place, in fact, where, bridged across from one sideshire, born at Orleigh Court, near Bideford, in slip to the other, on a moonlight night, brigands would 1827. He obtained a commission in the Bengal * A fermented liquor made from grains, roots, or fruits.

assemble to enact some dreadful tragedy. Even the noble beast, appeared to me only to realise a very ludiWanguana seemed spell-bound at the novel beauty of crous kind of waddle. the sight, and no one thought of moving till hunger warned us night was setting in, and we had better look out for lodgings.

The Source of the Nile-A Summary.

The expedition had now performed its functions. I Etiquette at the Court of Uganda.

saw that old Father Nile, without any doubt, rises in the

Victoria Nyanza, and, as I had foretold, that lake is the The mighty king was now reported to be sitting on his throne in the state-hut of the third tier. I advanced great source of the holy river which cradled the first hat in hand, with my guard of honour following, formed when I thought how much I had lost by the delays in

expounder of our religious belief. I mourned, however, in open ranks, who in their turn were followed by the the journey having deprived me of the pleasure of going bearers carrying the present. I did not walk straight to look at the north-east corner of the Nyanza to see up to him as if to shake hands, but went outside the what connection there was, by the strait so often spoken ranks of a three-sided square of squatting Wakungu, all of, with it and the other lake where the Waganda went habited in skins, mostly cow-skins; some few of them to get their salt, and from which another river flowed to had, in addition, leopard-cat skins girt round the waist; the north, making ‘Usoga an island.' But I felt I ought the sign of royal blood. Here I was desired to halt to be content with what I had been spared to accomand sit in the glaring sun ; so I donned my, hat, plish; for I had seen full half of the lake, and had inmounted my umbrella--a phenomenon which set them formation given me of the other half, by means of which -all a-wondering and laughing—ordered the guard to close I knew all about the lake, as far, at least, as the chief ranks, and sat gazing at the novel spectacle. A more objects of geographical importance were concerned. theatrical sight I never saw. The king, a good-looking, well-figured, tall young man of twenty-five, was sitting worth. Comparative information assured me that there

Let us now sum up the whole and see what it is on a red blanket spread upon a square platform of royal was as much water on the eastern side of the lake

as grass, encased in tiger-grass reeds, scrupulously well-there is on the western—if anything, rather more. The dressed mbugu. The hair of his head was cut short, most remote waters, or top head of the Nile, is the excepting on the top, where it was combed up to a high southern end of the lake, situated close on the third ridge, running from stem to stern like a cock's comb. degree of south latitude, which gives to the Nile the On his neck was a very neat ornament-a large ring of surprising length, in direct measurement, rolling over beautifully worked small beads, forming elegant patterns thirty-four degrees of latitude, of above two thousand by their various colours. On one arm was another bead three hundred miles, or more than one-eleventh of the ornament, prettily devised ; and on the other a wooden circumference of our globe. Now from this southern charm, tied by a string covered with snake-skin. On every finger and every toe he had alternate brass and point, round by the west, to where the great Nile


there is only one feeder of any importance, and copper-rings; and above the ankles, half-way up to the that is the Kitangủlé river ; whilst from the southerncalf, a stocking of very pretty beads. Everything was light, neat, and elegant in its way ; not a fault could

be most point, round by the east

, to the strait, there are found with the taste of his 'getting-up. For a handker- Arabs one and all aver, that from the west of the snow

no rivers at all of any importance ; for the travelled chief he held a well-folded piece of bark, and a piece of clad Kilimandjaro to the lake where it is cut by the gold-embroidered silk, which he constantly employed to second degree, and also the first degree of south latiħide his large mouth when laughing, or to wipe it after tude, there are salt lakes and salt plains, and the country a drink of plantain wine, of which he took constant and is hilly, not unlike Unyamŭézi ; but they said there were copious draughts from neat little gourd-cups, administered by his ladies-in-waiting, who were at once his no great rivers, and the country was so scantily watered,

having only occasional runnels and rivulets, that they sisters and wives. A white dog, spear, shield, and always had to make long marches in order to find water woman-the Uganda cognisance—were by his side, as when they went on their trading journeys : and further, also a knot of staff-officers, with whom he kept up a those Arabs who crossed the strait when they reached brisk conversation on one side, and on the other was a Usoga, as mentioned before, during the late interregnum, band of Wachwézi, or lady-sorcerers.

crossed no river either. I was now. asked to draw nearer within the hollow

There remains to be disposed of the 'Salt Lake,' square of squatters, where leopard skins were strewed which I believe is not a salt, but a fresh-water lake ; upon the ground, and a large copper kettle-drum, sur: and my reasons are, as before stated, that the natives mounted with brass bells on arching wires, along with call all lakes salt,

if they find salt beds or salt islands in two other smaller drums covered with cowrie-shells, and such places. Dr Krapf, when he obtained a sight of the beads of colour worked into patterns, were placed.. Kenia mountain, heard from the natives there that there now longed to open conversation, but knew not the was a salt lake to its northward, and he also heard that language, and no one near me dared speak, or even lift a river ran from Kenia towards the Nile. If his his head from fear of being accused of eyeing the women ; | information was true on this latter point, then, withso the king and myself sat staring at one another for out doubt, there must exist some connection between full an hour-I mute, but he pointing and remarking his river and the salt lake I have heard of, and this with those around him on the novelty of my guard and in all probability would also establish a connection general appearance, and even requiring to see my hat between my salt lake and his salt lake which he heard lifted, the umbrella-shut and opened, and the guards was called Baringo. In no view that can be taken of it

, face about and shew off their red cloaks—for such however, does this unsettled matter touch the established wonders had never been seen in Uganda.

fact that the head of the Nile is in three degrees south Then finding the day waning, he sent Maula on an latitude, where, in the year 1858, I discovered the head embassy to ask me if I had seen him; and on receiving of the Victoria Nyanza to be. my reply, ‘Yes, for full one hour,' I was glad to find him rise, spear in hand, lead his dog, and walk uncere

JAMES AUGUSTUS GRANT, associated with moniously away through the inclosure into the fourth tier of huts ; for this being a pure levée day, no business Captain Speke in African travel and discovery, is was transacted. The king's gait in retiring was intended a native of Nairn, of which town his father was to be very majestic, but did not succeed in conveying to minister. He was born in 1827, and in his eightme that impression. It was the traditional walk of his eenth year entered the Indian army; served race, founded on the step of the lion, but the outward under Lord Gough; and did duty with the 78th : sweep of the legs, intended to represent the stride of the Highlanders, under General Havelock, at the


relief of Lucknow in 1857. On this occasion he the fields, with hand-picks, loosening the soil, clearing it was wounded in the right hand. From April of weeds and worms. There is only one crop in the 1860 till June 1863 he was engaged in the African year, and all the cereals known in Zanzibar are grown expedition. In the preface to his work, A Walk here. Cotton was considered by an Indian resident to Across Africa, or Domestic Scenes from my Nile be as fine as that grown in Kutch, but he said they had Journal, 1864, Captain Grant says:

no use for it, merely burning it as wicks. As the pre*My acquaintance with Captain Speke com- gathered the heads of a wild grass (Dactylosum Egyptia

vious year's corn had been consumed, the poorer classes menced as far back as 1847, when he was serving cum), and prepared it for stirabout by sun-drying, beatin India with his regiment. We were both Indian ing on the rocks, and rubbing it into four on their flagofficers, of the same age, and equally fond of field-stones. They also fed upon mushrooms, growing sports, and our friendship continued unbroken. amongst the rank 'dub'grass, after drying, roasting, and After his return from discovering the Victoria peeling them. They were five inches in diameter, and Nyanza, he was, as is well known, commissioned sienna-coloured. Another variety was white, and half the by the Royal Geographical Society to prosecute size. All the cattle and goats in the country seemed to his discovery, and to ascertain, if possible, the have found their way into the folds of the Arabs, and truth of his conjecture—that the Nile had its had been captured in a war still going on between them source in that gigantic lake, the Nyanza. I volun- and the native population. The surrounding country teered to accompany him; my offer was at is devoid of game, but within a long day's march a once accepted ; and it is now a melancholy satis- lions, and a few elephants might be met with along the

forest was visited, where various antelopes, giraffes, faction to think that not a shade of jealousy or valley of the Wallah River. The scales of an armadillo distrust, or even ill-temper, ever came between us were seen worn as a charm, three inches across, and during our wanderings and intercourse.'

striated or lined at one end. Our men had a superstiCaptain, now Colonel Grant, was made a C.B. tion that the person who found an armadillo alive would in 1866; and in 1868, when the Abyssinian expedi- become a king--meaning, I imagine, that it was so rare. tion was organised, he was appointed head of the However, we came upon a pet one at three degrees north Intelligence Department, and for his services in latitude. About the cultivations near the village no Abyssinia was nominated a Companion of the singing-birds are ever heard, but the plumage of those Order of the Star of India. His volume of travels seen is often very brilliant. Flocks of beautiful little is a pleasing and interesting narrative. Its title backs

, pecked at the ears of corn ; or in the rice fields

birds, with black bodies, golden-tinted scarlet heads and is thus explained : ‘Last season Sir Roderick the favourite of the Cape farmers, the locust-bird, Murchison did me the honour to introduce me to black, and looking like a curlew when walking, went Her Majesty's First Minister, Viscount Palmer- tamely about. Crows, with a ring of white about the ston, and on that occasion his Lordship good-neck, were seen in twos and threes. The matting in humouredly remarked, 'You have had a long the house was full of bugs, or ticks, which pestered one walk, Captain Grant!' The saying was one well while seated at night, causing considerable irritation. fitted to be remembered and to be told again ; It is not a country for ivory, the natives seldom, if ever, and my friendly publishers and others recom- bringing any for sale. Grain was so scarce that slaves mended that it should form the leading title of my could be purchased for two fathoms of calico. One day book. We subjoin one extract :

a naked native passed us in charge of three Seedees (negros) armed with spears. They had found him steal

ing, and offered him for sale. No one would purchase Life in Unyanyembe.

him, and he was taken to the sultan, who would, as This province of Unyanyembe has nearly four months allow him to be sold. Slaves from the northern kingdom

Moosah said, either spear him, keep him as a slave, or of rain, commencing in the end of November, and

wind- of Uganda, &c., were considered the most valuable. ing up with the greatest fall in February. As soon as the soil of sand, or black spongy mould, has softened, the coast, made excellent servants, and were famous at

They were held to be more trustworthy than men from the seed is dropped, and by the Ist of February all is as

killing or capturing wild animals. The most esteemed green as an emerald. The young rice has to struggle for fifteen days against the depredations of a small black women were of the Wahumah tribe from Karague ; caterpillar, green underneath. It is a precarious time

they resembled the Abyssinians. for the agriculturist ; for, if rain does not fall, the

crop is Moosah, an Indian in whose house we resided, was a

Let me give the reader some idea of our life here. lost, being eaten close by this insect. Women walk in fine benevolent old man, with an establishment of three

hundred native men and women around him. His The following, notice of African localities (from an article in abode had, three years ago, taken two months to build, the Times) will assist the reader: the sixth parallel of south latitude, and from Bagamoyo, on the and it was surrounded by a circular wall which inclosed mainland, starts a well-known caravan route, which leads in the his houses, fruit and vegetable gardens, and his stock first place to Unyanyembe, a central trading station and settlement of cattle. The lady who presided over the whole was of the Arab ivory and slave merchants, lying in five degrees south of most portly dimensions, and her word was law. direct line. The next and farthest depot of the Arab merchants is Moosah sat from morn till night with his 'fondee or Ujiji, one hundred and eighty miles due west of Unyanyembe, on chief manager, and other head servants within sight, tribes and their petty sultans are not at war between themselves receiving salutes and compliments from the rich and or with the Arabs, the road to Ujiji from Unyanyembe is pretty poor at the front or gentlemen's side of the house, while straight and safe for a well-organised caravan. The district the lady presided over the domestic arrangements of the between Tanganyika and the coast is well travelled by caravans; interior. "We had full access to both, and no house the tribute system with the different tribes is almost as organised could be conducted with greater regularity. At three who depend upon traders for all their finery, are quite wise enough o'clock in the morning, Moosah, who had led a hard likely to come their way. Neither do the Arabs dare to kidnap which he had never missed for forty years. This would to know that if they rob and murder one caravan, another is not life in his day, would call out for his little pill of opium, interior, and it is quite an error to suppose that the country is brighten him up till noon. He would then transact desolated and uninhabited for several hundred miles from the business, chat, and give you the gossip at any hour you coast inwards. A great part of the way from Bagamoyo to Ujiji; it might sit by him on his carpet. To us it seemed strange guns as far and farther than Unyanyembe, and it is to the interest that he never stopped talking when prayers from the of both the tribes and the traders to keep the peace.'

Koran were being read to him by a 'Bookeen,' or

Madagascar man. Perhaps he had little respect for the offi- tion in the basin of the Nile. He set off on the ciating priest, as the same reverend and learned gentle- journey, and arrived in the Latooka country, 110 man was accustomed to make him his shirts! After a miles east of Gondokoro, in March 1863. After midday sleep, he would refresh himself with a second innumerable difficulties and hardships, the travbut larger pill, transact business, and so end the day.

eller and his heroic wife succeeded, in March The harem department presented a more domestic scene. At dawn, women in robes of coloured chintz, 1864, in obtaining from the top of a range of their hair neatly plaited, gave fresh milk to the swarm lofty cliffs a view of the mysterious lake. of black cats, or churned butter in gourds by rocking it to and fro on their laps. By seven o'clock the whole

First Sight of the Albert Nyanza. place was swept clean. Some of the household fed the game-fowls, or looked after the ducks and pigeons ; two The glory of our prize suddenly burst upon me! women chained by the neck fetched firewood, or ground There, like a sea of quicksilver, lay far beneath the grand corn at a stone; children would eat together without expanse of water—a boundless sea horizon on the south dispute, because a matron presided over them; all were and south-west, glittering in the noonday sun ; and on quiet, industrious beings, never idle, and as happy as the west, at fifty or sixty miles' distance, blue mountains the day was long. When any of Moosah's wives gave rose from the bosom of the lake to a height of about birth to a child, there was universal rejoicing, and when seven thousand feet above its level. one died, the shrill laments of the women were heard It is impossible to describe the triumph of that all night long. When a child misbehaved, we white moment ; here was the reward for all our labour-for men were pointed at to frighten it, as nurses at home the years of tenacity with which we had toiled through too often do with ghost stories.

Africa. England had won the sources of the Nile!.... The most important functionary about this court was I sincerely thanked God for having guided and supthe head keeper or ‘fondee,' who had been a slave all ported us through all dangers to the good end. I was his life, and now possessed a village with a farm and about one thousand five hundred feet above the lake, cattle. His daily duty was to sit within sight of his and I looked down from the steep granite cliff upon master. On Speke calling to see his collection of horns those welcome waters—-upon that vast reservoir which and extract a bullet from the leg of one of his slaves, nourished Egypt and brought fertility where all was the fondee made us heartily welcome. Stools were wilderness-upon that great source so long hidden from placed, and he produced some ripe plantain, and shewed mankind ; that source of bounty and blessings to millions us about his premises. He also took us to one of his of human beings; and as one of the greatest objects in favourite shooting-grounds, where he certainly knew nature, I determined to honour it with a great name. how to make himself comfortable.

As an imperishable memorial of one loved and mourned

by our gracious Queen, and deplored by every EnglishSIR SAMUEL BAKER.

man, I called the great lake 'the Albert Nyanza.' The

Victoria and the Albert lakes are the two sources of the In 1854 and 1855 appeared The Rifle and the Nile. Hound in Ceylon, and Eight Years' Wanderings The zigzag path to descend to the lake was so steep in Ceylon. These works evinced a love of travel and dangerous, that we were forced to leave our oxen and adventure, an intelligence and power of de- with a guide, who was to take them to Magungo and scription, that marked the writer as one eminently wait for our arrival. We commenced the descent of fitted for the exploration of Eastern countries. the steep pass on foot. I led the way, grasping a stout Their author was an English engineer, SAMUEL bamboo. My wife, in extreme weakness, tottered down WHITE BAKER, born at Thorngrove in Worcester the pass, supporting herself upon my shoulder, and shire, in 1821. About the year 1847 he had gone stopping to rest every twenty paces. After a toilsome to Ceylon, and was popularly known as the ele- but for the moment strengthened by success, we gained phant hunter. His residence was fitted up with the level plain below the cliff. A walk of about a mile great taste and neatness, as both Mr Baker and through flat sandy meadows of fine turf, interspersed his wife had a fine taste for art. Mrs Baker died, with trees and bush, brought us to the water's edge. but in 1860 he married again, the lady being a The waves were rolling upon a white pebbly beach : I young Hungarian, Florence von Saas, who shared rushed into the lake, and thirsty with heat and fatigue, in her husband's love of wild nature, and who with a heart full of gratitude, I drank deeply from the accompanied him on a journey of exploration to sources of the Nile. Within a quarter of a mile of the the Upper Nile. In 1861 they sailed up the Nile lake was a fishing village named Vacovia, in which we from Cairo. They reached "Khartoum in June now established ourselves. 1862, compared the Blue Nile with the White waves rolled like those of the sea, throwing up weeds

The beach was perfectly clean sand, upon which the Nile at or near the point of junction, and pro- precisely as sea-weed may be seen upon the English shore ceeded up the latter to Gondokoro. Baker had a It was a grand sight to look upon this vast reservoir of good escort-ninety persons, twenty-nine camels the mighty Nile, and to watch the heavy swell tumbling and asses, and three boats. Gondokoro is a mission upon the beach, while far to the south-west the eye station and place of trade, and can be reached searched as vainly for a bound as though upon the from Cairo in a sailing-boat, with a north wind, Atlantic. It was with extreme emotion that I enjoyed in about three months. At Gondokoro, Baker this glorious scene. My wife, who had followed me so met Captains Speke and Grant, who had just devotedly, stood by my side pale and exhausted—a arrived from their expedition to the south, and he wreck upon the shores of the great Albert Lake that we led the way-worn travellers to his diabeah, or Nile had so long striven to reach. No European foot had pleasure-boat, where they found the comforts of ever trod upon its sand, nor had the eyes of a white civilised life, so long denied them. These southern first ; and this was the key to the great secret that even

man scanned its vast expanse of water. We were the explorers told Baker of their discovery of the Julius Cæsar yearned to unravel, but in vain. Here was Lake Victoria Nyanza, and of another great lake the great basin of the Nile that received every drop of which the natives had described to them, but water, even from the passing shower to the roaring which they had been unable to visit. Baker at mountain torrent that drained from Central Africa once undertook to trace this unknown water, towards the north. This was the great reservoir of the which he conceived must have an important posi- Nile! .

« PreviousContinue »