« EelmineJätka »
[A young dressmaker, in one of the best conducted establishments in London, has lately died from over.
work. The coroner's inquest brought the particulars into public view, and furnished the occasion for the contrast which is copied from the Examiner.]
From St. James's Magazine. to know anything about the sources of the SEARCHES FOR THE SOURCE OF THE NILE. Nile, except the steward of sacred things in
One by one the treasured secrets of Nature Minerva's temple at Sais in Egypt; and he, are wrested from her grasp. Earth has un- to all appearance, was at best only joking locked her stony records to reveal, at man's me when he said that he knew perfectly well. bidding, the story of her creation. The bed of His statement was as follows : “Two mounthe seas has been sought by the adventurous tains, rising each to a peak, are situated bediver, and its surface everywhere traversed by tween the city of Syene, in Thebais, and the mariner’s sail. The skies have disclosed Elephantine; the names of these mountains planets and stars the most distant to the ken are—one Crophi, the other Mophi. Beof the telescope. This process of discovery tween these rise the sources of the Nile, has been going on for ages, but it has been re- which are bottomless; one half of the water served for the present generation to unfold runs north to Egypt, the other half south to some hidden things which had seemed to defy Ethiopia. .?" If this story which even Herodthe advance of science, and to grow more im- otus deemed a jest, indicates anything, it is penetrable as they became encrusted with age. that the ancient Egyptians placed the source Last and greatest of such achievements is the of the Nile about the equator. discovery of the true source of the Nile by When Julius Cæsar was in Egypt, doing Captains Speke and Grant.
homage to the fatal beauty of Cleopatra, his The river Nile has served to awe and inter- mind turned from the splendors around him est age after age of mankind. As it rolled to the secrets of the ancient river that rolled through old Egypt, in the days of Egypt's at his feet. Amid ivory halls, doors gleamdominion, laving with its yearly overflowing ing with emeralds, couches shining with the thirsty land on which rain never fell, the gems, furniture yellow with jasper, hangtawny priesthood of Amun and Osiris wor- ings stiff with gold and bright with Tyrian shipped its healthful waters, and pondered dye, he spent the night in conversing, on the its secret source. Grand Homer, as he led source of the Nile, with the linen-clad priest on the chorus of Grecian bards, spoke of it Achoreus, who reclined in the highest seat. with mysterious reverence. Herodotus, the Lucan, in his “ Pharsalia,” has preserved to father of history, wandered on its margin to us the conversation. Cæsar said, seek out the knowledge of its rise and the - There is nothing that I would rather cause of its overflow. Macedonian Alexan- wish to know than the courses of the stream der stayed his conquering chariot to send that has lain hid through so many centuries, explorers. Princes, poets, and philosophers and its unknown head. Let me have an asof Rome named it and marvelled ;-Julius sured hope of seeing the sources of the Nile, Cæsar, Nero, Virgil, Horace, Cicero, Seneca.
I will forego civil war. Yet the ancient world passed away, and the Achoreus replied by reciting numerous source of the Nile remained an unrevealed strange opinions of others on the subject,
He then added the mystery. No answer was found to the ques- and some of his own. tion of the poet Tibullus,
following valuable summary of researches
before his time :*** O Father Nile, how may I tell thy spring, Or in what unknown lands thou hid'st thy - The desire that thou hast of knowing the head ?"
Nile, O Roman, existed both in the Pharians It is the purpose of the present article to and in the Persians, and in the tyrants of review briefly the history of the search for has not wished to bestow the knowledge on
the Macedonians; and no age is known that the source of the Nile in past days, in order posterity; but still does its propensity for to display the greatness of our countrymen's concealment prevail. Alexander, the greattriumph, by showing how many have failed est of the kings whom Memphis adores, ento achieve what they have accomplished. vied the Nile its concealment, and sent chosen
The ancients entertained all sorts of fan- persons through the remotest parts of the cies with regard to this subject; but they of the scorched sky kept back ; they saw the
Îand of the Ethiopians. Them the red zone were in total ignorance upon it. Herodotus, Nile warm. Sesostris came to the west and who visited Egypt about s.c. 460, tells us, to the extremities of the world, and drove the “Of all Egyptians, Libyans, and Hellenes Pharian chariots over the necks of kings; that I ever conversed with, not one professed still, Rhone and Padus, of your streams did
he drink at their sources before the Nile. considered as the pioneer of modern discovery The mad Cambyses came to the long-lived in Central Africa, and especially in regard people in the East, and falling short of food, to the Nile, is the Jesuit missionary, Pedro and' fed by the slaughter of his men, he re- Paez. Born in 1564, he spent his life chiefly turned : thou, O Nile, undiscovered."
in labors for the conversion of the AbyssiniNero—who, monster as he was, yet pat-ans to his faith, with much temporary sucronized art and science-sent two centurions
In the early years of the seventeenth up the Nile to trace it to its rise. They seem century he discovered the source of the arm to have started under the protection of the of the river known as the Blue Nile, which King of Ethiopia, and with introductions some have asserted to be the main stream. from him to the neighboring kings. The His discoveries were not only a great advance philosopher Seneca had heard them narrate on previous investigations, but doubtless conthat they went a long journey, and at the tributed largely towards making the way last, said they,
easy for future voyagers. “We came to immense swamps, the outlet The next traveller who claims notice as of which the inhabitants knew. not; nor having engaged in this famous search is the could any one breathe there, so thick was the celebrated James Bruce, the author of the herbage on the waters. And those waters might neither be struggled through by foot
well-known “ Travels in Abyssinia.” Our men nor by ship, because of the muddy and space forbids us even to sketch the interestsedgy state of the marsh. There,”
con- ing history of the “ moving accidents by flood tinued they, “we beheld two rocks, from and field ” through which he passed. Sufwhich the mighty force of the river rushed fice it to say that he was born in Scotland in forth."
1730, and when about thirty years of age deThis story is something like the one Herod- vised a project for a descent upon Spain, otus heard, and seems to show that there was which brought him into contact with the a certain point which presented an impassa- English Government. Some observation beble barrier to the researches of old-world ing made by Lord Halifax as to the unknown travellers.
source of the Nile, Bruce was fired with the During the long period of the decline and idea of solving this problem of ages. Facilifall of the Roman empire, it does not appear ties were afforded him by the ministry, and that any further efforts were made to pene- he commenced his journey in 1768. But his trate the secret of the Nile. At the close of mind was possessed with the erroneous notion the third century the Romans abandoned every then and often prevalent, that the Bahr-elstation on it above Philæ ; and in the long Azrek, or Blue Nile, was the main stream, night of fierce war which consigned the Ro- instead of the Bahr-el-Abiad, or White Nile. man power to destruction, and called into When, therefore, he succeeded—as he did on existence the kingdoms founded by the north- the 14th November, 1770 — in tracking the ern barbarians, African discovery was thrust Blue Nile to its source, he proclaimed that he far out of sight by the convulsions of Euro- had accomplished the long-sought discovery, pean society. In the Dark Ages the crusades though his success was in reality a comparatended to concentrate the efforts of travellers tively small one, and only amounted to going rather upon Palestine than upon Egypt or over the ground which Paez had traversed Ethiopia. We must, therefore, pass over nearly two hundred years before. The narmany centuries, during which no record ex- rative of Paez he made a futile attempt to ists of a renewal of the attempt. Nor even discredit. His services to the geography of when light broke again on Europe by the re- Africa, were, however, unmistakably great, vival of letters, does especial attention ap- and his “ Travels ” have survived their trapear to have been directed to the subject. It ducers. is true that Ibn Batuta in the fourteenth From the time of Bruce to the present, excentury, the Portuguese in the fifteenth, the peditions to find out the source of the Nile English captain, Sir John Lancaster, and Leo have been frequent. In 1827, Linant Bey, Africanus in the sixteenth, with many others, travelling for the African Association, surmade voyages to Africa ; but they did not veyed the course of the river for one bnndred penetrate into the interior.
and thirty-two geographical miles from KharThe man who has the fairest claim to be toum. He also cxpressed an opinion (which
is now proved to be correct) that the Nile | vated basin, and well watered. The labors rose from a system of lakes. In 1840 a large of Livingstone and Burton had confirmed this expedition was despatched up the river by view, large lakes having been discovered, Mohammed Ali ruler of Egypt. It consisted which rendered the supposition very plausiof ten vessels mounting ten guns, manned by ble that the Nile took its rise from some of two hundred and sixty negro, Egyptian, or them. Captains Speke and Grant accordingly Syrian sailors and soldiers. Ahmed Pacha and did not attempt to pursue the intricate and Suliman Kashef were the chiefs. The prin- impracticable navigation of the stream, but cipal Europeans were MM. Arnaud, Thibaut, set out from the East coast of Africa on the and Sabatier. It sailed from Khartoum on 1st October, 1860, intending to direct their the 230 November ; but after sixty days' sail course at once to the lakes, among which was compelled to return by the shallowness they expected (and rightly) to find the founof the bed of the river, and by intercepting tain-head of the Nile. ledges of rock. A full account of the journey For twelve months they did not advance was written by Mr. Warne, who accompa- far, owing to the fierce intertribal wars of nied it.
the natives. On the 1st of January, 1862, It would need a volume to do justice to the however, they reached the capital of a kinglabors of the many eminent explorers who dom called Karagwe, on the south-west shore have of late years aided in this interesting of the great Lake of Nyanza, which Captains quest. Those able envoys of the Church Burton and Speke had discovered in their Missionary Society, Dr. Krapf and the Rev. former journey. The king of this country J. Rebmann, who went to Central Africa in assisted them much. Thence they proceeded 1847 and the following years, contributed through the next kingdom of Uganda, which most valuable information, which was en comprises the west and north shores of the larged and confirmed by the Rev. J. Erhardt. same lake. Here toil was forgotten in triA foreigner of much promise, M. Maizan, umph ; here they solved the mighty riddle ; was murdered while on his travels. M. Brun here they were able to proclaim to mankind Rollet succeeded in reaching the mountain what countless buried generations had listened of Garbo, in three degrees north latitude for in vain,that the great Lake Nyanza is the highest point attained before the discov- the source of the river Nile. ery of the source. At the close of the Cri This immense Lake Nyanza stretches nearly mean War in 1856, Captain Burton, R.A., one hundred and fifty miles south of the equaoffered his services for the investigation, and tor, which is perhaps its northern boundary ; was sent out by the Royal Geographical So- and it is still broader. It is surrounded by ciety on the 1st October in that year. He conical hills, of which some are ten thousand was joined by Captain Speke, and the two feet high, and is itself between three thoumade most valuable discoveries, and had pen- sand and four thousand feet above the level etrated far towards the object of their search, of the sea. From about the centre of its when they were obliged to return on the 14th north coast the Nile issues in a stream one May, 1858, for want of supplies. In the hundred and fifty yards wide, and soon passes spring of 1857 an expedition of flat-bottomed over a fall twelve feet in height. This mighty steamboats started from Cairo, but they were reservoir, which collects the equatorial rains stopped by order of Said Pacha at Meroë in from the hills in which it lies embosomed in June of that year.
.the very heart of the African continent, is We now come to the successful journey the “ cause of the Nile” which had so long which has made the names of Captains Speke defied the research of civilized humanity. and Grant historic. Though its details are The knowledge thus obtained, that the river not yet known, we are able roughly to sketch at its rising receives the equatorial rains, enout its course. Before doing so, however, a ables us to account for its periodical overfew words on the position of the question flow. when they started are necessary.
The happy discoverers tracked the course As early as 1852, Sir Roderick Murchison of the river to the second degree of north latsuggested that, instead of the interior of Af- itude, where it turns to the west, and passes rica being a barren desert, as men had been through a smaller lake, Luta Nzigi. They wont to consider it, it was probably an ele- crossed the chord of this bend for seventy
miles, and when they again fell in with the then transmuted into a coastguardsman, walkriver it had sunk in level almost a thousand ing up and down on some solitary coastguard feet. Here they met with some Turkish ivory station, such as that of Beechy Head, gazing traders, and bore them company to Gondo-out seaward at night, and as the clear stars, koro, at which place they found their fellow- both fixed and wandering, glittered down countryman, Mr. Baker, who was advancing upon him, led by some native mysticism of in search of them, and who, after supplying his being to watch them, wonder at them, atthem with much that they needed, started off tribute meanings and influences to them, till south to make further explorations. Should at last, thoroughly star-smitten and prepared, they be permitted to publish the account of he thought of following out the clue in books? their journeyings, it will doubtless be a work So, at least, we can fancy that, if not withof thrilling interest.
out the intrusion of a grosser element as years For the present, we may well give the rein went on,
the ex-lieutenant of the royal navy to exultation at the thought that two officers might be developed into the British Zadkiel of the Anglo-Indian military service have suc- and crystal-seer. But then his constituency ceeded where the Egyptian, Persian, Greek, of noble ladies, bishops, earls, and baronets ? Roman, Phoenician, and
modern ace Laugh it off as the culprits may when they of explorers have failed. Whether Commerce are tasked with the folly, there is an amazshall be able to find her way among the dusky ing amount of fervent or latent Zadkielism, tribes that people the wide shores of Lake Humism, Howittism, and what not, among Nyanza, we know not. Whether colonies the so-called educated classes in England. may be founded, and, in ages yet to come, What shall we say of it? Is it mere lamentpowerful empires rise in the vast regions able deficiency of education in the doctrines hitherto “unnoticed and unknown," must and methods of the positive sciences—a mere be left for the future to reveal. Meanwhile, craving after gross and vulgar forms of mysno greater evidence and example of the in- tery by minds so untaught, so undisciplined domitable energy of the Anglo-Saxon race, by the higher muses, that the one, true, and and the success which has crowned that en- boundless mystery, which ought to suffice for ergy, has ever been displayed than was af- all sound souls since the world began, thrills forded by Captains Speke and Grant, as they them not, and does not exist for them? Or stood by the long secret source of the river is it a vague, blundering recognition of which Nile.
science itself may be wise to take cognizance -a coarse, intuitive, almost idiotic popular
recognition of certain subtle physiological Part of an article in The Reader.
facts (such as that of a real constant action ZADKIEL.
of inorganic masses far and near, planets or Mr. Morrison seems to go the whole length crystals, on nervous organisms), the nature of astrology, Judicial as well as Genethliacal. and modes of which are susceptible of farther He is, doubtless, a person with an abnormal and more precise investigation than they have temperament. Does he believe in his own yet received? The late Professor Gregory of nonsense ? Allowances being made for the the Edinburgh University wrote a bold, abinfluence of the desire that Zadkiel's Almanac surd book on this class of subjects, which is should have a large sale, we believe that he a standard proof, if such were wanted, that does. It is to lose the true teaching of this a man may have been trained in one of the curious trial to represent the matter other positive sciences-chemistry was his science wise--to suppose anything else than what --and yet have an intellect ludicrously superthe jury seemed to conclude from the evidence stitious. So far as we know, Richenbach is -to wit, that here is an aged man, once a the only man of scientific name who has taken lieutenant in the navy, and since then in the the trouble to carry the semblance of a real coastguard service, who has addicted himself inductive method into those alleged classes seriously to astrology and the kindred occult of occult phenomena in which so many fool. sciences of amulets, magic crystals, and the ish people all over the world are at present like. There is something even touching in finding the action of angels and devils and his statement that he began his studies in we can learn, his researches are not thought
the ghosts of dead grandaunts; and, so far as these sciences after leaving the navy in 1829. worth much. Our scientific men pooh-pooh Shall we suppose the mature naval lieutenant,'them.