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One of these women was asked how she managed to reconcile the claims of all her admirers. “I follow the plan,” she replied, “of a certain captain of a slaver whom I know. He was a light-haired, curly-headed man, with a woman's face, and blue eyes, as gentle as a tomtit, and with a stereotyped smile on his face. I asked him, one day, how he had managed to gain the four hundred thousand francs we were spending togetber, without falling into the bands of the cruisers.” “In a very simple way,” he replied. “When I had embarked a cargo on the coast of Senegambia, I divided it into three parcels : in the first I put the pick of the merchandise; in the second, the next quality, and in the third, the refuse. After that I heated three irons, and branded the fellows on the shoulder with the number one, two, and three, according to their quality. Of course, every now and then some scoundrel protested against this numbering system, but I always managed to maintain authority by the cowhide. Whenever an English frigate chased my brig, I began by throwing overboard No. 3 to lighten the ship; and if the frigate stuck to me, No. 2 followed them into the sharks' throats.” “I behave," the lorette continued, “ like the negro captain, who is now a boarder at Clichy. I number these gentlemen, and classify them by order of merit : of course, you understand, according to their solvency. The banker before the marquis, the marquis before the officer, the officer before or after the dramatic author, and whenever I see any danger on the horizon, I lighten the ship by throwing over No. 3, and then No. 2, and when I have succeeded in appeasing my Samuel Bernard by this holocaust, I again spread my kindnesses over the whole world.”
And here we are compelled to stop: not through lack of matter, so much as of space. In conclusion, we may state that our analysis of M. Pelletan's work is mild rather than otherwise, for we have been unable to do more than hint at many of the charges which he brings against the society of the New Babylon. We are of opinion, however, from our personal knowledge of Paris, that his statements are to some extent exaggerated; that is to say, while we allow that everything he urges as regards immorality in every branch of French society, literature, and art, is perfectly correct, M. Pelletan makes the mistake of supposing that he has discovered something hitherto unknown, and, therefore, paints everything in the darkest colours. After all, every capital is to a certain extent a sink of vice, and we do not believe that Paris is any worse or better than London. The only distinction is that we obstinately shut our eyes to the truth, and when unpleasant rumours ooze out about the doings in the Haymarket, we hypocritically point to Exeter Hall as a moral compensation. Still, it is a curiosity, at a time when all the English papers are alluding to the gagging of the press in France, to find such a book as the “ Nouvelle Babylone" allowed to circulate, and we have given it this notice, in order to prove that, in spite of the abuse lavished on M. de Persigoy, he is not quite so bad as he seems, but permits a book to be published which, if the French nation were really discontented, as we are taught to believe, might produce most dangerous consequences.
NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
THE SOURCES OF THE NILE.
The discovery of the two head-lake reservoirs, if not of the actual sources of the Nile themselves, stands unquestionably as the most interesting and remarkable achievement (in a geographical point of view) of modern times. Captain Speke is a twofold discoverer. He first saw Lake Victoria on his previous journey, and he has now, in company with his gallant and intrepid companion, Captain Grant, determined the existence of a westerly lake-Little Lake Luta Nzigé; also of affluents into both lakes from Ptolemy's Mountains of the Moon; and, further, that both lakes pour their waters into the White Nile, against the opinion of many travellers and practical geographers-Messrs. M'Queen and Galton, for example, among the latest.
This is an age of disparagement and detraction, and so remarkable a discorery-an achievement effected amidst prolonged perils from difficulties of the road, pernicious climate, and suspicious and hostile natives -has been heralded by the usual cuckoo cry of “ Cui bono?" by the utilitarians. The answer to a query so unworthy of a generous and noble-minded nation is very simple. Every addition to knowledge is in itself praiseworthy, and although we may not at the moment see in what direction, still such additions are always ultimately conducive to the benefit of mankind. It is so in all branches of science. A new metal or earthy basis—thallium-is discovered. Its uses are at first indeterminate; but who can tell to what important and beneficial purposes its compounds may yet be applied in medicine or the arts, or what new fields of inquiry the discovery of a new basis may lead to in the domain of science itself? So it is in geography. The spirit and enterprise of Speke and Grant, besides enabling them to solve the great problem of ages, has laid open new and ancient kingdoms, inhabited by races of mankind having peculiar characters as well as customs and manners. As far as we know at the present moment, neither gold nor silver, or other rare and precious metals and stones ; no new plant, destined like wheat, tea, or coffee, to effect a revolution in taste; no luscious fruits to adorn the table of the sensual ; no beast or bird calculated by its easy propagation and natural qualities to supersede oxen, sheep, or domestic fowls, have rewarded the toil of the explorers; but a country capable of many things has been opened to the knowledge of the rest of the world, large populations, benighted and cursed by the saddest pagan superstitions and practices, have been brought into connexion with civilised and Christian communities, and, above all, the mysterious enigma of past ages has been satisfactorily solved.
And here a question of a different character has presented itself to some minds. The father of history-Herodotus-admitted that he could
Aug.VOL. CXXVIII. NO. DXII.
learn nothing concerning the sources of the Nile. “No man,” he says, “ of all the Egyptians, Libyans, or Grecians with whom I have conversed, ever pretended to know anything, except the registrar of Minerva's treasury at Sais, in Egypt. He, indeed, seemed to be trifling with me when he said he knew perfectly well ; yet his account was as follows: · That there are two mountains rising into a sharp peak, situated between the city of Syene, in Thebais and Elephantine; the names of these mountains are, the one Crophi, the other Mophi; that the sources of the Nile are bottomless (that is, from a lake ?), flow from between these mountains; and that half of the water flows over Egypt, and to the north, the other half over Ethiopia and the south. That the fountains of the Nile are bottomless, flow from between these mountains, he said, Psammitichus, King of Egypt, proved by experiment; for having caused a line to be twisted many thousand fathoms in length, he let it down, but could not find a bottom." Two explanations may be given of the information thus obtained ; one is, that the informant had in view the Atbara, or Black River, as the sources of the Nile, and which may formerly have been permanently connected with the Red Sea by the Khor-el-Gush, as it is now during the rainy season, the lake from which the separation takes place being looked upon as the sources of the Nile; another is, that he had in view Lake Baringu, which Speke unites to Lake Victoria, and which Krapf was informed by Rumu wa Kikandi flowed to the White Nile on the one side, and by the Dana to the Indian Ocean on the other. The allusion by Herodotus to Meroe, a region comprised between the Black and Blue Niles, in the continuation of his details (Euterpe, II. 28), would favour the first view of the subject; but again his description of his own ascent of the Nile, with its island, above which dwell the Ethiopians; of a vast lake (Bahr-al-Ghazal), on the borders of which Ethiopian nomades dwell, and into which the Nile flowed; and then of a forty days' journey by the side of the river, rocks impeding the navigation,-all correspond to what we know of the White Nile. Then again, with regard to the Ethiopians, Krapf stated in 1854, in his “Wakuafi Vocabulary” (p. 128), and in his preface to Erhardt's “ Vocabulary of the Masai Language" (p. 4), that “there can be no question but that the opinion of the ancients, who believed the Caput Nili to be in Æthiopia, is truly correct; for the Wakuafi, whose language is of Æthiopico-Semetic origin, are in possession of the countries which give rise to that river. The real sources of the Nile appear to me to be traceable partly to the woody and marshy land of the Waman people, about two and a half or three degrees south of the equator, of whom Rumu wa Kikandi told me in Ukambani, in 1851." (Krapf, Trav., &c., Append., p. 548.) Speke, it appears, also favours the view of some of the people whom he met with on the shores of Lake Victoria, notoriously the remarkable people called the Karagwe, were also of Ethiopico-Semetic origin; and what is more curious in connexion with the information obtained by Herodotus is, that Speke found hilly regions called Chopi, Koshi, and Madi, or Modi, actually obstructing the course of the Upper Nile, the first at the so-called Karuma Falls.
It is to be remarked here, that Lake Victoria having several outlets is a fact we believe almost unprecedented in hydrography, and has hence been the subject of much discussion, some even expressing doubts as to the reality of the thing. The fact is, however, that such a state of things must
be owing to peculiar circumstances in the main outlet which cannot be expected to last, for the erosion to which one outlet is subjected prevents the tendency to more outlets. In this case, the peculiar circumstances are that this is a point at which the present Lake Victoria has arrived after the exceeding diminution of extent alluded to by Captain Speke; for it is obvious that if it has several outlets at present, when erosion shall have produced its inevitable results of levelling the barrier at Ripon Falls, or even before that time, the Mworango and Luageré rivers will have been left dry, and the Napoleon Channel alone remain. It is probable, then, that in Herodotus's time the basin of the lake extended to the Kuruma Falls in Chopi.* Seneca, also, in his “Questiones Natu. rales,” lib. vi., described Nero as sending two centurions in search of the sources of the Nile in the country of the Ethiopians, and they came to immense marshes that forbade further exploration, but out of whịch the Nile issued forth between huge rocks. “Vidimus duas petras, exquibus ingens vis flumines excedebat.” It would seem as if the centurions ascended to the Karuma Falls.
The next information obtained by antiquity regarding the sources of the Nile was that procured by Claudius Ptolemy, who lived in the latter part of the first and the earlier portion of the second centuries after Christ, and being an Alexandrian, had peculiar opportunities for obtaining correct information. According to the Alexandrian geographer, then, the Nile had its origin from two lakes, an eastern and a western one, and which were fed by the “ Mountains of the Moon." This precisely corresponds to what has been found to be the case by Captains Speke and Grant. We have before us a map in Cellarius's “ Notitiæ Orbis Antiqui,” in which the Nile is delineated as having its origin from an easterly and a westerly lake, only placed in totally different relations to one another to what they appear in Captain Speke's map, and in several degrees of latitude too far south. It would appear from the veteran geographer's own words that this was at that epoch (1732) the accepted version of the sources of the Nile. “Flumina duo ex duobus lacubus decurrere in unum Nilum, tabulæ nostrorum geographorum docent."
Acting upon this, there have not been wanting those who proclaim the
* We do not wish to pass over without notice Canon Stanley's ingenious theory that to the inhabitants of Egypt, a convulsion, like that of the first cataract, in the face of their calm and majestic river, must have seemed the very commencement of its existence, the struggling into life of what afterwards becomes so mild and beneficent; and that if they heard of a River Nile further south, it was but natural for them to think it could not be their own river. The granite range of Syene formed their Alps-the water parting of their world. If a stream existed on the opposite side, they imagined that it flowed in a contrary direction into the ocean of the south. (Sinai and Palestine, p. 43.) It is true that Herodotus's informant spoke of the two mountains as being situated between the city of Syene in Thebais and Elephantine, probably because he knew no better; but Herodotus himself explored the river as far as Elephantine, and obtained further information, embracing some four months' voyage and land journey, “in addition to the part of the stream that is in Egypt," and to which he adds those well-known theories of a Libyan origin, which were afterwards repeated by Pliny and Strabo. It would appear, however, that although communicated to Herodotus in an incorrect shape, the registrar of Minerva's treasury had primarily obtained correct information as to the sources of the Nile, but the nature of which he had corrupted and obscured by his own imperfect geographical knowledge.
result of the recent explorations to be no discovery at all, and at the best a mere re-discovery of what was previously known and accepted. But there is abundant evidence that neither ancients, mediævals, nor moderns, placed any reliance upon the data hitherto obtained. No better summary of the history of early Nilotic discovery can, it has been often observed, perhaps be given, than that placed by the poet Lucan in the mouth of the priest Achoreus when questioned by the Roman conqueror of Egypt :
Cæsar's desire to know our Nilus' spring
It is true that Lucan lived before Ptolemy, but subsequently to the journey of the centurions recorded by his uncle Seneca ; and so deeply was antiquity imbued with the difficulty of solving the problem of the sources of the Nile, that “ Nili quærere caput” became a current proverb, as denoting the futility of any undertaking or enterprise.
Viewed, then, simply in reference to antiquity, Speke's discovery remains such in every accepted sense of the word. There were few or no data to go upon, and what there were, were not believed in till re-established. An obscure report of the existence of the great lakes of North America reached the ears of Cartier, and after him we find a “mare dulcium aquarum” figure in all the maps of the New World, the outlines of which, however, were sketched in a very vague manner; but this does not prevent Kohl, in his work on the “ Discovery of America,” giving credit to Champlain for having first visited Lake Ontario, or to Father Brébeuf for having first described the Falls of Niagara. Ptolemy had written about the lakes at the head of the Nile, and the Mountains of the Moon; but neither he nor any one else that we know of had seen them previous to Speke-always excepting natives and wandering Arabs, or others not belonging to civilised races. Not merely lakes, mountains, and districts, but actual sites, inhabited places, monuments, temples, and towns, that were not only known but flourishing in the time of Ptolemy, have been lost to the moderns, and when found the geographer or archaologist has claimed an undisputed credit for the so-called discovery. It is a “re-discovery” as far as the thing itself is concerned, but it is a “ discovery” in as far as the present state of knowledge stood. We could exhaust instances in proof of this position.
But if anything was wanting to establish a claim to the recent discovery of the sources of the Nile, it would be the very diversity of