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ART. VIII.-RECENT AFRICAN EXPLORATIONS.

1. First Footsteps in East Africa, or an Exploration of Harar. By R. F. Burton, Captain, Bombay Army, London: Longman and Co., 1857.

2. Lake Ngami, or Explorations and Discoveries in South Western Africa. By C. J. Anderson. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1857.

Various are the motives which induce men to leave their firesides and the comforts of civilized life, and to wander forth among the barbarous tribes of unexplored regions. In some the interests of religion are paramount, in others a love of adventure and search after novelty are the sources of action; a third class is impelled by a desire to extend the investigations of science, geographical, geological, botanical, or zoological; and a fourth, to open up new paths for commerce, and establish marts for the produce of skilled labour. The first and the last categories of travellers may be said to be the most useful, as tending most to model the rough elements of savage life, and to spread the blessings of civilization over the surface of the globe; but the second and the third possess, undoubtedly, the greatest charms; whether for the actual undertakers of the expedition, or for those who afterwards read an account of their toils and dangers. No pleasure in this life can be obtained without a comparative amount of labour, and very often the delight of success is in direct proportion with the amount of difficulty overcome. Thus, persons accustomed to excursions among the most perilous passes of the Alps, estimate the enjoyment received from their rambles, by the hazardous nature of the path, or precipice, or glacier, which they have been obliged to traverse, and the thrill of joy, on surmounting the peak of some ice-clad summit, is rendered more intense by the awful apprehension of a sudden descent down the face of the steep, which has just been scaled. The pursuit of pleasure, under such circumstances, possesses a peculiar fascination, which lures on the fool-hardy wanderer, often to his own destruction; by degrees he begins to despise the dangers which, at first, appalled him, and he finally falls a victim to want of caution and to temerity.

It is very strange, however, that to the explorers of unknown regions of the earth, the greatest difficulties to be overcome, and the most imminent perils to be avoided, do not arise either from the climate, or from the physical nature of the country to be traversed, or the wild beasts lurking in its forests; but are principally due to the hostile character of the inhabitants-their fellow men. The predatory habits of many tribes, such as the Bedoueen and Arabs proper, in North and East Africa, and part of Arabia, and the Turcomen and Kourds, in Central Asia, throw almost insurmountable obstacles in the way of persons seeking to penetrate into the interior of these continents, or necessitate such a scale of expense in the expeditions undertaken, as to put them beyond the reach of ordinary travellers. On the other hand, fanaticism, precluding access to particular shrines or sacred places, or beyond certain lines of country, to men of a religion different from that of the in-dwellers, opposes often a still more obstinate barrier to the communication between different races of people, or to any search into the peculiarities of the tracts they inhabit. The exclnsive bigotry of the Tartars and Thibetians will, for a long time, prevent Europeans from gaining any accurate acquaintance with the centre of Asia, while the truculent intolerance of Mahommedanism shut them out from a large tract on the coasts of the Red Sea and the east of Africa. A third cause, founded very much on sound reason and deductions from experience, operates to a great extent in denying them free entry into China, Japan, Madagascar, and some of the western portions of Africa; this is the well-known rapacity of conquest of the Europeans, and the tenacity with which they possess themselves of the soil, on which they have once set their feet, or planted their flag. No wonder that the eastern nations should be jealous of the intrusion of the English, when they see province after province, and kingdom after kingdom, swallowed up within the boundaries of the ever extending Indian Empire. It is very much to be wondered at, how the Turkish government could be so foolish and regardless of consequences, as to give possession of Aden to the British power, and allow it to gain a footing, from which, at no distant period, it will extend its rapacious arms. We blame the Chinese for not allowing free intercourse with their

people and through their country, and hindering the extension of commerce to the internal parts of their empire. With the example of the English settlement of Bengal before their eyes, it appears to us that they are only following a very salutary and necessary rule for preserving their dominions intact. The present war is but a pretext to open up that country to the British trader, and hereafter, most probably, to the British soldier; if the interests of other European or American nations do not interpose to protect the Celestials from profanation.

Attempts have been made to penetrate the secrets of the African continent from six or seven principal points upon its coasts. Denham and Clapperton and their followers made their way through Tunis or Algiers, and by the caravans over the Sahara desert. The Nile has been a highroad ever since the time of Maillet and Poncet, the servants of Louis the Fourteenth of France. Bruce, Buckhardt, and Salt entered by Masouah and the coasts of the Red Sea; and Harris, more recently, by Zayla, near its mouth. The Western districts have been explored by Park and his successors along the Sengal and Gambia and the coast of Guinea, up the Quorra, by Lander, and a host of others. The expeditions from the Cape of Good Hope and its neighbouring seaboard have been very frequent, but not attended with any great success, on account of the extremely barbarous nature of the aborigines and the difficulty of travel. Two districts especially have remained up to this time almost wholly unknown and untrodden by Europeans-the first extending south of Abyssinia down to Zanguebar; and the other stretching across from the Loando river on the West, to the mouth of the Zambese, on the East. The former is peculiarly inaccessible, from two of the impediments above alluded to-the lawless, plundering character of the people, and their truculent bigotry towards Christians; while the difficulties presented in the second district are very nearly reduced to the physical obstacles of climate and distance to be travelled.

The chief feature of the first of these portions of the African continent is the existence, at the distance of about two hundred miles from the sea coast, of a large capital city, about whose wealth and size fabulous accounts had been. hitherto spread over the greater part of the East. The many travellers who visited Abyssinia brought back from thence

strange stories of a Moslem town, sacred and unapproachable as those of Medina and Meccah, whose rulers had been the scourge of the country around them for a series of ages. Their incursions into the province of Gondar had often nearly extirpated all signs of the Christian religion from the face of the land. The ruins of Axum attested the ruthless barbarity and savage bigotry of the invader, and his determined hatred of civilization. The superstitious dread with which the surrounding tribes regarded the power of the Emir of Harrar prevented any intercourse with other people except through the medium of slave Kafilas, driven to the coast, to be exchanged for the produce of Arabia, or a precarious commerce in gums, peltries, and cotton. Of late years, however, it had become well known that the ancient power and lawless character of this robber's stronghold had dwindled down to a shadow-the mere name of what it formerly had been, and various attempts were made by officers in the East India service to penetrate its mystery. All these were frustrated, either by a want of tact in the parties employed, or the hostility of native tribes to the presence of Europeans.

Captain Burton was not on that account easily discouraged, but, on the contrary, incited to make a further trial at exploration. He had laid bare the Adyta of the forbidden shrines in the sacred cities of Yemen, thanks to his successful adoption of the Eastern dress, manners, language, and, it would appear, religion. He had braved the Moslem in his "high places," where the slightest suspicion of his being a Frank would have aroused the rage of the entire population, and caused him to be torn limb from limb, and earned for himself deservedly the title of Hadji-that is, one who has accomplished the pilgrimage to the tomb of the Prophet. His determination, coolness, research, and endurance of numberless toils and dangers, cannot be too highly praised, were it not for one lamentable circumstance, that he seems to have abandoned altogether his native religion, and adopted the Mahommedan. Not only did he repeat dozens of times in the day the Moslem-making formula, There is no God but Allah, and Mahomet is his prophet,' in itself a renunciation of his own creed, but he performed, at the different stated times and places, the various ablutions, prayers, and prostrations prescribed by the Muftis, and constituting the complete practice of Islamism. Such

a dereliction cannot be too highly condemned, no matter for what purpose it was submitted to. Napoleon Bonaparte was justly censured for a similar act during his occupation of Egypt.

The experience thus gained by Captain Burton fitted him admirably for the undertaking of an excursion to Harrar, and he determined to make the attempt. He took up his abode for some time at Aden, near the mouth of the Red Sea, where he could make all his preparations, and gain information preparatory to starting. On account of his thorough knowledge of the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish languages, he was enabled to assume the garb of a Turkish merchant, under which character he hoped to elude the jealousy of the natives. Three servants were also engaged— El Hammal, a robust youth, who had once served as porter in coaling the Eastern steamships; Abdy Abokr (alias the End of Time), a cunning old Arab, somewhat acquainted with the manners of the African tribes; and the third called Guled, a supernumerary. With these and a large cargo of necessaries for the land journey, consisting of provisions, firearms, ammunition, and presents for chiefs, our traveller set sail from Aden on the 29th day of October, 1854.

They shaped their course for Zayla, a small walled town, immediately on the sea coast, at the end of a bay bearing the same name, somewhat to the south of the entrance to the Red Sea. This is the port from which the later expeditions to Abyssinia have been made by Harris and others. It is of very little importance as a harbour for merchant vessels, which cannot approach within a mile of the shore, on account of the shallowness of the water, and is not to be compared in point of utility to Berberah, another town, some sixty miles to the south, which Captain Burton visited on his return. Zayla is subject to the Sherif of Mocha, and was ruled by the Hajj Sharmarkey, rather of good character for a Mahommedan chief, who had been rewarded at Mocha for saving the lives of some English seamen, and was, therefore, a friend to the race. He was comparatively rich, from the imposts placed upon merchandise coming through the town; sixty years old; six feet two inches in height; famed for his sword-cut in battle, and wielding four spears; one-eyed, and wearing a silver-hilted sabre. He meditated the conquest even of Harar and Berberah. This man, owing his elevation to English influence

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