« VorigeDoorgaan »
utterly failed, for many of those whom he | Polish independence follow a reasonable
It is not only from sympathy for a brave and unhappy race, but because we are anxious to see Russia far greater than she is, that we long for some satisfactory arrangement of her Polish difficulty. When, however, we ask what is to be done? a load of despondency settles down upon us. The struggle which has just ceased, has left behind the embers of a conflagration more terrible than that which has lately blazed. Five years ago many enlightened Russians wished to give up the kingdom. Few indeed would venture to propose that now, for there flows between Warsaw and Moscow a stream of blood too wide and deep for messages of peace to cross. Another generation will, however, soon grow up which has forgotten the past. That is the only hope; but it is a faint one. Russians, under the able guidance of M. Milutine, have lately introduced into the
Now that all is over, we do not care to criticise the conduct either of our own government or of any other, with regard to the Polish question; but we do wish to press upon all serious political students the importance of coming really to understand the difficulties of this question, so that when next the affairs of Poland come up for discussion, they may be able to give some advice which will be worth listening to upon the subject. They will be met at the outset by one great difficulty. There is no really good book about Poland, answer-kingdom a territorial arrangement as faing, for example, to Mr. Paget's work on vorable to the peasants as unfavorable to Hungary. The late war has brought into the landed proprietors. Their intention existence several livres de circonstance, of has been to conciliate the sympathies of which far the best is Mr. Bullock's inter- that class which was least concerned in the esting and well-written Polish Experien- insurrection. Will they succeed? It is ces, written from the insurgent point of more than doubtful. view; with which may be compared Mr. O'Brien's book written in the interest of the victors. A paper in Vacation Tourists by the Cambridge Public Orator, two ar--not because they had any great dislike ticles which appeared last autumn in the to the gentry, but because they had not Spectator and the National Review, and sufficient education to come within the a series which appeared in Blackwood's spell of Polish nationality. Wealth, howMagazine, may also be mentioned. What ever, will bring education, and with eduwe want, however, before we can form any cation that spell will come. The year very definite opinions about the future of 1888 may find Russia face to face with an Poland, is a book of a quite different kind: insurrection as much more formidable than a book which shall sum up all the resources that of 1863 as it was, teste Mouravieff, belonging to the one party and the other, more formidable than that of 1831. We which shall point out the difficulties in the are quite ready, nay, only too anxious to way of Russia's assimilating Poland, the be convinced that there is a happy future difficulties in the way of Poland's becom- for Poland; but nothing that we have ever ing reconciled to Russia, and after having heard either from the partisans of the ingone minutely into all this, shall attempt surrection, or from the partisans of Russia, to strike the balance and say, whether any leads us to hope that either are strong future Polish insurrection will or will not enough to overcome the others, and so ardeserve the sympathies of the liberal party rive at a state, so to speak, of stable equiin Europe? Do those who struggle for librium. Poland must remain, we fear, the
The peasants did not take a very active part in the national movement-not because they liked the Russian government
Ireland of Russia, as much more perplexing than our Ireland as Russia is larger than Great Britain. The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. Well will that Russian deserve of his country who can in any way rid her of this terrible embar
Of course, it is more than doubtful whether it is not a positive advantage to Western Europe that Russia, for some time to come, till she has transformed herself into a thoroughly civilized state, should have a joint in her armor through
Ꭰ Ꭱ .
LIVINGSTONE ON AFRICA.
[THIS celebrated traveller returned just in time to attend the meeting of the British Association at
Bath, before which he delivered an address of unusual interest concerning his travels. It was delivered in the theatre (Sir R. Murchison in the chair) to an immense audience, and at the same hour-so great was the interest felt in it-it was read to another large assembly. The president remarked, at the close of the address, "that Dr. Livingstone had not told them that the steamer which he had built at his own expense cost no less than £6000 of his own money. For these reasons, in addition to those which he had already advanced, he hoped the British Association would think it desirable to recompense such a man, who had his whole heart in this great work." The Mayor of Bath then briefly, but eloquently, proposed a vote of thanks to Dr. Livingstone. "He came forward, in his official capacity," he said, "to thank their illustrious guest for coming among them that evening. He came forward to thank him for his long, his arduous, and his self-denying labors in the cause of science; but their deepest gratitude was due to him for that in whatever he had done, and wherever he had been, he had always had in view the benefit of his fellow-creatures. He heartily concurred in all that had been said by the president in regard to the duty of the government towards Dr. Livingstone, and it would be an eternal shame if this great country did not afford Dr. Livingstone the means to go on with the work for which he was so eminently fitted."
We cannot doubt that the readers of the ECLECTIC will deem us fortunate in being able to present them, at so early a day, this interesting Address.-ED. ECLECTIC.]
which she can always be attacked with deadly effect. Nay, looking only to the interests of the rest of continental Europe, it would probably be exceedingly desirable to have a small State bitterly.hostile to Russia interposed between Germany and that country. The question is not, however, is this desirable, but is it possible? and if so, is it worth the sacrifices which Western Europe would have to make in order to obtain it? We are far from disposed to answer that last question by an absolute negative.
[CONCLUDED IN NEXT NUMBER.]
In order that the remarks I have to of fer may be clearly understood, it is necessary to call to mind some things which took place previous to the Zambesi expedition being sent out; and most of you
are, no doubt, aware that, previous to the discovery of Lake Segami and the wellwatered country in which the Makololo dwell, the idea prevailed that a large part of the interior of Africa was composed of vast sandy deserts, into which rivers ran and were lost. In a journey from sea to sea, across the continent, somewhat north of the lake first discovered, it was found that there, too, the country was well-watered. Large tracts of fertile soil were covered with forest, and occupied by a considerable population. We had then the form of the continent revealed to be an elevated plateau, somewhat depressed in the centre, with fissures at the sides, by which the rivers escaped to the sea; and this great fact in physical geography can never be referred to without mentioning the remarkable hypothesis by which the distinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society (Sir R. Murchison) clearly delineated it before it was verified by actual observation of the altitudes of the country and courses of the river. It was published in one of his famous anniversary addresses; and he has been equally happy in his last address in pointing out the ancient geological condition of the interior of this continent, as probably the oldest in the world-a fact we, who were on the spot, could but dimly guess. But he seems to have the faculty of collecting facts from every source, and concentrating them into
a focus in a way no one else can accomplish (cheers). We understand it only after he has made it all plain in his study at home. Then followed the famous travels of Dr. Barth and Francis Galton. The most interesting discoveries of Lake Zanganyika and Victoria Nyawya, of Captain Burton and Captain Speke, whose sad loss we all now so deeply deplore, and again, of Lakes Shirwa and Ayassa; the discoveries of Van der Decken and several others, but last of all, the grand discovery of the main source of the Nile, which every Englishman must feel proud to know was accomplished by our countrymen Speke and Grant. In all this exploration, the main object in view has not been merely to discover objects of nine days' wonder-to gaze, and be gazed at by barbarians-I would not give a fig to discover even a tribe with tails!-but, in proceeding to the west coast to find a path to the sea, whereby lawful commerce might be introduced to aid missionary efforts, I was very much struck by observing that the decided influence of that which is known as Lord Palmerston's policy, existed several hundreds of miles from the ocean. I found piracy had been abolished, and that the slave-trade had been so far suppressed as to be spoken of as a thing of the past; that lawful commerce had increased from £20,000 in ivory and gold dust to between two and three millions-one million of which was in palm oil, to our own country; that over twenty missions had been established, with schools in which twelve thousand pupils were taught; that life and proper ty were secure on the coast, and comparative peace established in large portions of the interior; and all this was at a time when, from reading the speeches of wellinformed gentlemen at home, I had come to the conclusion that our cruisers had done nothing but aggravate the evils of the slave trade.
icy came into operation. It seemed to me, therefore, that, as the Portuguese government professed itself willing to aid in opening the country, and we had a large river, the Zambesi, which being full when I first descended, it seemed a famous inlet to the higher lands and interior generally. I knew the natives to be almost all fond of trading, and, when away from the influence of the slave-trade, friendly and mild; the soil fertile, and cotton and other products widely cultivated. It therefore appeared to me that if I could open this region to lawful commerce, I should supplement the efforts of our cruisers in the same way as has been done by traders and missionaries on the west coast, and perform a good service to Africa and to England. To accomplish this was the main object of the Zambesi expedition, and in speaking of what was done, it is to be understood that Dr. Kirk, Mr. Livingstone, and others, composed it; and when I speak in the plural number I mean them, and wish to bear testimony to the zeal and untiring energy with which my companions worked. They were never daunted by difficulties, dangers, nor hard fare, and were their services required in any other capacity, might be relied on to perform their duty. The first discovery we made was a navigable entrance to the Zambesi, about a degree west of the Quillimane river, which had always been represented as the mouth of the Zambesi, in order, as some maintained, that the men-of-war might be induced to watch the false mouth, while slaves were quietly shipped from the real mouth. This mistake has lately been propagated in a map by the Colonial Minister of Portugal. On ascending Zambesi, we found that the Portuguese authorities, to whom their government had kindly commended us, had nearly all fled down to the sea coast, and the country was in the hands of the natives, many of whom, by their brands, we saw had been slaves. As they were all quite friendly with us, we proceeded to our work, and ascended the river in a little steamer, which, having been made of steel plates, a material never before tried, and with an engine and boiler, the sweepings of some shop, very soon failed us. Indeed, the common canoes of the country passed us with ease, and the people in them looked back, wondering what this puffing, asthmatic thing could mean. The
Well, not finding what I wished by going to the west coast, I came down the Zambesi to the east coast, and there I found the country sealed up. The same efforts had been made by our cruisers here as on the west coast, but in consequence of foreigners being debarred from entering the country, neither traders nor missionaries had established themselves. The trade was only in a little ivory, and gold dust, and slaves; just as it was on the west coast before Lord Palmerston's pol
crocodiles thought it was a land animal swimming, and rushed at it in hopes of having a feast. The river, for the first three hundred miles, is from half-a-mile to three miles wide. During half the year the water is abundant and deep; during the other half, or the dry season, it is very shallow, but, with properly-constructed vessels, much use might be made of it during the whole of ordinary years. We proceeded as soon as we could to the rapids above Zette, our intention having originally been to go up as far as the Great Victoria Falls, and do what we could with the Makololo, but our steamer could not steam a four-knot current. We then turned off to an affluent of the Zambesi, which flows into it about one hundred miles from the sea; it is called the Shire, and, as far as we know, was never explored by any European before. It flows in a valley about two hundred miles long and twenty broad. Ranges of hills shut in the landscape on both sides, while the river itself winds excessively among marshes; in one of these we counted eight hundred elephants, all in sight at one time. The population was very large; crowds of natives, armed with bows and poisoned arrows, lined the banks, and seemed disposed to resent any injury that might be inflicted. But by care and civility we gave them no occasion for commencing hostilities, though they were once just on the point of discharging their arrows. On a second visit they were more friendly, and the women and children appeared. We had so far gained their confidence that we left the steamer at Murchison's Cataract. Dr. Kirk and I proceeding on foot to the N.N.E., discovered Lake Shirwa. This lake is not large; it is said to have no outlet, and this is probably the case, for its water is brackish; it abounds in fish, hippopotami, and leeches. The scenery around is very beautiful, the mountains on the east rising to a height of eight or nine thousand feet.
We were now among Manganja, a people who had not been visited by Europeans, and as I am often asked what sort of folk these savages are, I may answer they were as low as any we ever met, except bushmen, yet they all cultivate the soil for their sustenance. They raise large quantities of maize, or Indian corn, and another grain, which grows in a stalk ten or twelve feet high, with grain very much
like the hemp-seed given to canaries, and called by the Arabs dura (Halcus gorghum); another kind of grain (tennisetum); several kinds of beans, pumpkins, and melons; cucumbers, from the seeds of which a fine oil is extracted; cassava, from which our tapioca is made; groundnuts, which yield an oil fit for cooking; castor-oil, with which they anoint their bodies; and tobacco and Indian hemp for smoking. The labor in the field seemed to be performed by the whole family, men, women, and children being generally seen in the fields together. Each family had a patch of cotton, just as our forefathers had each a patch of lint, and this cotton was spun and woven by the men, while the women malted and ground the corn, and made the beer. Near many of the villages, furnaces were erected for smelting iron from the ore, and excellent hoes were made very cheap. All were very eager traders, and very few were hunters, so they can scarcely be called savages, though without a doubt they were degraded enough. Their life has always appeared to me to be one of fear. They may be attacked by other tribes, and sold into slavery; and the idea this brings is, that they will be taken away, fattened, and eaten by the whites. The slavetrader calls them beasts and savages, and they believe the slave-traders to be cannibals. They also live in fear of witchcraft, and suspected persons are frequently compelled to drink the ordeal water, which is just about as sensible a means of detecting witches as our former mode of ducking in a pond. If the suspected person vomits, she is innocent; if not, guilty; and yet we laugh heartily at our forefathers' believing that the woman who sank in the pond was innocent, and guilty if she swam-just as monomaniacs do with their illusions. Cultivating large tracts of land for grain, a favorite way of using the produce is to convert it into beer. It is not very intoxicating, but when they consume large quantities they do become a little elevated. When a family brews a large quantity, the friends and neighbors are invited to drink, and bring their hoes with them. They let off the excitement in merrily hoeing their friend's field. At other times they consume large quantities for the same object as our regular topers at home. We entered one village, and found the people all tipsy together. On seeing us, the men
field, close to Zedzane Cataract, I lately found to be six hundred and thirty paces on one side, and the cotton was of excellent quality, not requiring replanting oftener than once in three years, and no fear of injury by frost. After careful examination, I have no hesitation in reässerting that we have there one of the finest cotton fields in the world.
tried to induce the women to run away, but the ladies too, were, as we mildly put it, a little overcome," and laughed at the idea of their running. The village doctor arranged matters by bringing a large pot of the liquid, with the intention, apparent ly, of reducing us to the general level. Well, the people generally, if we except the coast tribes, are very much like these, without the drunkenness. Wherever the tzetze exists the people possess no cattle, as this insect proves fatal to all domestic animals, except the goat, man, and donkey. Its bite does no harm to man nor to the donkey, though one we took through a tzetze district did die, probably from over-fatigue. We made no discovery as to the nature of the curious poison injected by the insect, nor could we find out where it laid its eggs. Where the slavetrade is unknown, the cattle are the only cause of war. The Makololo will travel a month for the sake of lifting cattle; this is not considered stealing, and when the question is put, why should you lift what does not belong to you? they return the Scotch answer, why should these Makaloko, or black fellows, possess cattle if they can't defend them? Having secured the good will of all the people below and adjacent to Murchison's Cataracts, we next proceeded further north, and discovered the Shire flowing in a broad gentle stream out to Lake Nyassa, about sixty miles above the cataracts. The country on each side of the river and lake rises up in what, from below, seem ranges of mountains, but when they have been ascended they turn out to be elevated plateaux-cool and well watered with streams. To show the difference of temperature, we were drinking the water of the Shire at eighty-four degrees, and by one day's march up the ascent, of between 3000 and 4000 feet, we had it at sixty-five degrees, or nineteen degrees lower. It felt as if iced. We had no trouble with the people. No dues were levied, nor fines demanded, though the Manganja were quite independent in their bearing toward us, and strikingly different from what they afterwards became. Our operations were confined chiefly to gaining the friendship of the different tribes, and imparting what information we could, with a view to induce them to cultivate cotton for exportation. It has already been mentioned that each family had its own cotton patch; some of these were of considerable extent; one
In remonstrating with the chiefs against selling their people into slavery, they justified themselves on the plea that none were sold except criminals. The crimes may not always be very great, but I conjecture, from the extreme ugliness of many slaves, that they are the degraded criminal classes; and it is not fair to take the typical negro from among them, any more than it would be to place "Bill Sykes," or some of Punch's garotters, as the typical John Bull. For years I had been looking out for the typical negro, and never felt satisfied that I had got him; for many of them are the pictures of the old Assyrians; others, barring color, which we soon forget, closely resemble acquaintances at home. But Mr. Winwoode Read, in his work Savage Africa, seems to have lighted right on the head of this idea, in saying that no typical negro is seen in the portraits and monuments of the ancient Egyptians. When we had succeeded in gaining the good will of the people which crowded the whole Shire valley, the mission, under the late Bishop Mackenzie, came into the country. Dr. Kirk had performed a journey from the Murchison Cataracts across to Zette, a Portuguese village upon the Zambesi. Slave hunters then were sent along Dr. Kirk's route by the sanction of the present government, and calling themselves "my children." The scamps! They joined themselves to another tribe called Ajawa, then in the act of migrating from the southeast, and who had been accustomed to take slaves annually down to Quillimane, and other settlements on the coast. Furnishing the Ajawa with arms and ammunition they found it easy to drive those who were armed only with bows and arrows before them. When Dr. Kirk, Mr. Charles Livingstone, and I went up to show Bishop Mackenzie on to the highlands, we met a party of these Portuguese slaves coming with eighty-four captives bound and led towards Zette The head of the party we knew perfectly, having had him in our employment in Zette. No force was em