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covery made, after nine long years of toil, danger, and privation for its purpose, by the MM. d'Abbadie.
It will be recollected that some fifty individuals have, within the last ten years, appeared as rivals in the field for the same ultimate purpose of discovery with the MM. d'Abbadie. But all, save the MM. d'Abbadie, have failed in the enterprise. From various causes their competitors have found themselves stopped at the first Nile, unable to push their researches beyond it, into the very regions where alone they could hope to profit by personal observation of the circumstances they wished to elucidate. Nor have the MM. d'Abbadie, as suggested, to thank the kindred sympathy of European nations, and their scientific bodies, for the influence which has enabled them to traverse in safety regions which have scared from their face other travellers, who were doomed to stay their course at the hither boundary of the ground where the palm of victory was to be contested. England sent her mission-France her emissaries—both alike returned disappointed. The veil of Isis was not to be removed at the bidding of suitors, who, foregoing their own account, pleaded for nations, which, once foremost in contention to despoil her fanes, now only sought to make her presence the subject of their renewed rivalry, and not till she was approached by an admirer whose devotion to her cause for nine years bespoke the truth of his passion, did she deign to unfold the mystery of her tears.
To pass from metaphor to reality—what is the substance of the discoveries announced by the MM. d'Abbadie, and how have they compassed those discoveries, that their announcement of each step of their progress should have been made the subject of suspicious scrutiny, and a cause for attributing to them, in the outset of their undertaking, motives wholly foreign to its ostensible purpose? In reference to these questions, I propose to examine the nature of the MM. d'Abbadie's discoveries, the objections which have been urged to those discoveries, and the evidence by which they are supported.
To consider, then, the sufficiency of M. d'Abbadie's opinion, as contested by Dr. Beke, of his having discovered the true source of the Nile— the Nilus of the ancients, the Bahr el Abyadh of the Arabs, and the White Nile of European writers, I conceive the case between M. d'Abbadie and Dr. Beke to stand thus:
M. d'Abbadie concludes from his researches, while he was at Saka, into the geography of Inarya and the circumjacent districts, that the main stream of the White Nile is formed by the union of the several primary and confluent rivers which he has enumerated (Bulletin de la Société Géographique, January 1845 ; Athenæum, Nos. 906 and 1041) as having their sources in the irregular basin
formed within the mountains of Inarya, which, on the N. and E., separate the waters of this basin from those which fall into the Blue Nile and Hawash, or run towards the Gulf of Aden, and, on the S. and E., from those which, disemboguing on the E. coast of Africa, fall into the Indian Ocean.
A part of this mountainous tract to the S.W. of Saka, M. d'Abbadie alleges to be called Gamaro or Gimiro, whence he derives the Arabic appellation for the same mountains, of Gebel el Qamar, el Qomr, or Qomri, signifying, in either form of the last word, “ Mountains of the Moon.”
He then urges that, as the question of which of the confluent rivers shall be held to constitute the first course of the White Nile, has never been determined by general local consent, he is entitled, in tracing upwards the course of the White Nile, amid its successive confluents, to select between any two or more of them, when they meet, that one, for the main stream of the White Nile, which contributes, to the immediately confluent stream, the largest volume of water, and most nearly coincides with it in direction ; and, proceeding upon this principle, he states, from personal observation and the most careful inquiry, extending even to the deputing two men specially to visit the rivers Gibe of Leqa and Gibe of Inarya, near their confluence, in order to ascertain their relative magnitudes, that the Gibe of Inarya, which flows to the N. of the Gojeb of the same province, is to be taken as concurrent with the upper course of the White Nile; and that, again, the Bora, which is the principal tributary of the Inarya Gibe, is the actual commencement of the White Nile; and that, consequently, the source of the Bora, which M. d'Abbadie, from astronomical observations made by him at Saka, computes to be in 7° 49'48" N. latitude and in 36° 2' 39'' (34° 42' 24". E. of Paris) longitude E. of Greenwich, is the source of the White Nile.
As directly opposed to the preceding views of M. d'Abbadie, Dr. Beke contends, upon the authority of oral information afforded to M. d'Arnaud, who, in charge of an expedition sent in 1842 by Mahommed Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, for the purpose of exploring the White Nile, ascended its stream to a point in 4° 42' 42" N. and 31° 381' E. (29° 18' E. of Paris), that the direct stream of the White Nile continued to ascend for one month's journey from that point in a southerly direction, that the true source of the White Nile is to be sought for in the country of Mono Moezi, which, according to Dr. Beke's deductions, based upon certain observations by Mr. Cooley in his · Essays upon the Geography of the N'yassi, published in the 15th and 16th vols. of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, lies to the S. of the 2nd degree of S. latitude, and between the 29th and 34th degrees of E. longitude.
The Gibe and Gojeb of M. d'Abbadie, and the Shooa-berri of M. d'Arnaud (receiving into their streams the whole of the rivers from Inarya and Kaffa, which flow to the White Nile), are by Dr. Beke assumed to be, the two first, after their confluence in their lower course, identical with the Saubat of M. d'Arnaud, which joins the White Nile on its eastern bank in latitude 9° 11' N. and longitude 30° 34' E., and the last a tributary joining the White Nile, yet extending much further S.
Dr. Beke has referred (Athen., No. 1044) to his · Essay on the Geography of the Nile,' published in the 17th volume of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, in which (p. 70), in the course of explaining the errors into which the Portuguese and Spanish writers of the 16th and 17th centuries fell in their attempted identification of the easternmost of the rivers which fall into the Blue Nile, or Nile of Abessinia, with the Nilus of Ptolemy, the conclusion is involved, that the lake of Zambezi (of the Portuguese), situate in the country of Mono Moezi, is the easternmost of the two lakes, which, according to Ptolemy, lie respectively in the course of two rivers that subsequently unite to form the Nilus. The source of these two rivers is said by Ptolemy (lib. iv. c. 9 to be in the Mountains of the Moon; and as the word “moezi,” according to Dr. Beke, signifies, in a large class of the languages of Africa, “moon,” he infers that the same word supplied a derivation for the Mountains of the Moon of Ptolemy.
Dr. Beke likewise advances against M. d'Abbadie, that upon his first visit to Inarya, in 1844, he asserted that the Gojeb, and not the Gibe, was to be regarded as the origin of the White Nile, and as he does not allow M. d'Abbadie any credit for a sufficient cause for having changed his opinion in favour of the Gibe upon his second visit in 1846, he would appear to suggest that ihe discrepancy should militate against the sufficiency of M. d'Abbadie's conclusions on both occasions.
Now it will readily be seen that the material issue between Dr. Beke and M. d'Abbadie is not whether this or that river in Inarya, or elsewhere, is to be regarded as the source of the White Nile, but whether the system of waters of the Nile is actually confined to Abessinia ; Inarya with the immediately circumjacent districts, which have been assumed by M. d'Abbadie to supply the whole drainage for the upper course of the White Nile; and a tract, comparatively unimportant in respect of the volume of waters supplied by it, to the W. of its course, northward of the point reached by M. d'Arnaud; or whether we are to assign to the Nile a far more extensive system of drainage, and extend its waters into a country to the S. of the 2nd degree of S. latitude.
According to M. d'Abbadie's views, the two Niles S. of their confluence at Khartoum (in 15° 37' 10' N.) have a relation to each other very analogous to that subsisting between the Euphrates and the Tigris. In both cases similar formations of mountains and incidents of climate may be supposed to produce on the opposite sides of a culminating ridge two systems of river drainage, of which the rivers of the outer system, that is, the White Nile and the Euphrates, collecting their waters from the larger extent of country lying on the outer side of the curve, and exposed to the earlier effects of the general winds which bring rain, or its equivalent snow, will be larger than the inner rivers, that is, the Blue Nile and the Tigris, which derive their drainage from the lesser space of ground on the inner side of the curve and to the leeward of the culminating ridge.
Dr. Beke's views in the case of the Niles do not admit of this comparison, inasmuch as, by carrying the main stream of the White Nile to an origin far S., and remote from the same mountainous region which on its northern or inner declination transmits its waters to the Blue Nile, the opposite or outer declination of this region is made but of secondary importance to the system of waters of the White Nile; and he must suppose that there is an uninterrupted connection by ascending valleys, through which the main stream of the western or White Nile extends, to a part of Africa to the S. of the 2nd degree of S. latitude, and between the 29th and 34th degrees of E. longitude; whence it would follow that, instead of the mountains of Inarya and Kaffa, in from 10° to 5° of N. latitude, and from 35° to 40° of E. longitude, constituting the point of culmination of the eastern part of Africa, we are to look for the culminating point of this part of the continent in from 29° to 34° of E. longitude, and to the S. of the 2nd degree of S. latitude.
On the right solution of this question will necessarily depend, to a considerable extent, the correctness of our ideas of the physical geography of Africa. In the absence of primary data it is, of course, impossible to do more than recur to those of a secondary order for its elucidation; and as the conclusions to be deduced in this state of our information will involve general rather than minute topographical facts, I propose, without going into local detail (a knowledge of which may be readily acquired by consulting the valuable papers by Dr. Beke and M. d'Abbadie already alluded to), to notice a few leading circumstances, which, so far as they bear upon the general grounds on which I have ventured to put the question, seem to me to direct opinion in favour of M. d'Abbadie; and I do this not without some hesitation, since I fully accord to Dr. Beke's opinions upon the geography of the Nile, the consideration and importance to which his indefatigable researches, physical as well as mental, into that subject, so well entitle them: but then I must not forget that
source of M. d'And then,s by Dualificati
unithe White Nile, the fathe source of the won of Gebel el Qama'
Dr. Beke’s objections— Gebel el Qamar.- Ptolemy. 53 M. d'Abbadie's conclusions are the fruit of nine years' investigation on the spot, aided by great qualifications for his purpose.
To take the objections by Dr. Beke in the reverse order in which I have cited them, I may first observe, that the discrepancy between M. d'Abbadie's first assumption of the Gojeb being the source of the Nile, and his subsequent conclusion that the Gibe of Inarya is to be regarded as its true source, is, when viewed in its relation to the larger question of the geography of the basin of the Upper Nile, wholly unimportant. The source of the principal affluent of the Gibe is, as now computed by M. d'Abbadie, not more than 30 miles N., and as many E., of the source of the Gojeb, according to his computation of the position of that source in 1844: it is therefore a mere question as to which of two contiguous valleys may supply the larger affluent to their lower united stream, and if either one or the other supplies the source of the White Nile, the discovery of them both must be held to include the discovery of the source of the White Nile.
In objecting to M. d'Abbadie's derivation of Gebel el Qamar, or Qomr from the name, Gamaro or Gimiro, of the country, I cannot think that Dr. Beke has in any degree weakened M. d'Abbadie's hypothesis, by advancing that the derivation to Ptolemy and the Arabian geographers of the name of the mountains whence the Nile has its source, is to be sought for in the word “ Moezi,” because that word is alleged to signify Moon in some of the languages of Africa, and there happens to be a country of that name, to the south of the line, more nearly corresponding than Gamaro with the position assigned by Ptolemy to his Eɛanuns Ogos.
The positions in Æthiopia recorded by Ptolemy cannot thus be made use of singly and independently of each other, when endeavouring to show the applicability of a particular position of Ptolemy to some particular place. The errors in his latitudes and longitudes are too great to admit of that simple method of using his authority. Thus the latitudes and longitudes, as given by Ptolemy (lib. iv. c. 8, 9), of the junction of the Nilus and Astaboras (White and Blue Nile), of the Coloë Palus (Dembea Lake), and of the Lunæ Montes, are, reckoning the longitudes from the meridian of the island of Ferro
Junction of Nilus and Astaboras . . 12° N., 61° E.
The true latitudes and longitudes of the junction of the rivers, and of the lake, reckoning the longitudes from the same meridian,