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There with awe heaven's armies unite,
And the Highest-His throne of embodied light—
To the cold world avails us nought;
Affection, too, droops with a weight of years, Age deadening the sense, as clouds cover the day, For sympathies fade as the hair turns gray— And life's eve dims the vision as moments flee,
And regret speaks their vainness; the desolate past Makes every remembrance time brings back of thee Come sad as the sigh of an autumn blast, That whispers, "The bygone no more can be Than the sepulchre share vitality."
Adieu, then, my sister! Death's mystery,
A gulf never fathomed, between us lies,
And ages to come upon ages will flee,
But never more darkness oppress thine eyes, For thou of earth weariness art free
By a covenant of immortality.
Yet regretful the thought, none survive that with me One scene can retrace of life's spring-tide hour,
One saddened remembrance in turn to be
As the vanished cloud of the summer shower;
Once more, then, adieu! Soon oblivion's hand
OPENING OF THE ALBERT N’YANZA.
Great extent of the Lake-Possible communications between the Albert N'yanza and Lake Tanganyika-Origin of the Nile-Existence of several outlets to the Albert N'yanza-The White Nile-The Jur, a tributary to the Gazelle Lake-The Bahr Bura, a tributary to Matuassat, a great Central African Lake-Outlets of the great lake of Central Africa-The Shary and Lake Tsad-The Binuwa, or Eastern Niger-The Zaire, or Congo-An Egyptian and Ethiopic Nile-The Slave Trade.
It is understood that, influenced no doubt to some extent by the visit of the Prince of Wales, and anxious to do something which shall confirm him in the good opinion of Western nations, the Viceroy of Egypt has invited Sir Samuel Baker to take command of an expedition directed to the suppression of the slave trade on the Upper Nile, to explore fully and in detail the vast interior reservoir known as the Albert N'yanza, and to bring the hitherto untraversed districts lying around the mysterious head waters of the great river of Egypt within the sphere not only of the viceroy's authority, but also of mercantile operations.
The results of such an expedition are so full of promise to our knowledge of the face of the globe we dwell upon, in its least known and most inaccessible regions, and to the cause of a downtrodden and slave-driven people, that it is impossible not to be stirred up to our innermost heart at the bare idea of such a truly glorious and noble enterprise. It may be termed by some to be a war of annexation, and it may be said that Egypto-Turks, of a faith which tolerates slavery in certain forms, are not precisely the people to occupy Central Africa; but nothing could be worse than the state of the countries which it is proposed to open to civilisation; there was no other power that could or would do it, and the boon conveyed to the people themselves is of such vast magnitude as not only to exonerate the means that may have to be used, but to stamp them with the unquestionable seal of a truly philanthropic and humanitarian morality. No man, too, more fitted than Sir Samuel Baker to take the lead of such an expedition, and no man more likely to carry it out with the least fighting and quarrelling that is possible. True courage is always magnanimous, and Sir Samuel Baker has shown by the patient perseverance and self-devotion of himself and wife in carrying out a great purpose, that he possesses what is rarer and loftier than mere physical courage the attributes of the highest intellectual and moral courage-that kind of courage which is sure to blend mercy with strength, and to be at all times conciliating whilst carrying out its objects.
It will be remembered that Sir Samuel Baker was led, when exploring the regions of the Upper Nile, to the discovery of the Albert N'yanza from information he received at Gondokoro from Captain Speke. That lamented traveller had, upon the occasion of his exploration of the Victoria N'yanza, heard of the existence of another lake to the west or north-west, which he at the time supposed to be much smaller than his Victoria N'yanza, and which was also supposed to receive the waters of the outlet of the upper lake-the Somerset or Victoria Nile, as it has been called. After overcoming many wearisome obstacles (and who can read his narrative without a thrill of admiration for the constant cheerfulness with which the hero and heroine bore the terrible hardships they were called to face, the daily danger and hourly anxieties of their lonely life in Equatorial Africa, and the sickness and other disheartening trials which they were called upon to endure?), Sir Samuel succeeded in reaching the lake in question. It lay before him like a sea of quicksilver, with a boundless sea horizon on the south and south-west glittering in the noon-day sun, and on the west, at fifty or sixty miles' distance, blue mountains rose from the bosom of the lake to a height of about seven thousand feet above its level. "I was about fifteen hundred feet above the lake," the traveller relates, " and I looked down from the steep granite cliff upon those welcome waters-upon that vast reservoir which nourished Egypt and brought fertility where all was wildernessupon that great source so long hidden from mankind; that source of bounty and of blessings to millions of human beings; and as one of the greatest objects in nature, I determined to honour it with a great name. As an imperishable memorial of one loved and mourned by our gracious Queen, and deplored by every Englishman, I called this great lake 'the Albert N'yanza.' The Victoria and the Albert lakes are the two sources of the Nile.”
At sunrise on the following morning Sir Samuel was enabled to distinguish, with the aid of a powerful telescope, the outline of the mountains on the opposite shore, dark shades upon their sides denoting deep gorges, whilst two large waterfalls that cleft the sides of the mountains looked like threads of silver upon their dark face. The lake itself was a vast depression far below the general level of the country, surrounded by precipitous cliffs, and bounded on the west and south-west by great ranges of mountains from five to seven thousand feet above the level of its waters, thus rendering it the one great reservoir into which everything must drain, and "from this vast rocky cistern the Nile made its exit, a giant in its birth." "It was," adds Sir Samuel, "a grand arrangement of nature for the birth of so mighty and important a stream as the river Nile."
Unfortunately, at the period of Sir Samuel Baker's discovery of
the Albert N'yanza, there had been some difference of opinion among geographers as to whether the Victoria Nile flowed directly onwards from Victoria N'yanza into the White Nile by Gondokoro, or whether its waters mingled with those of Albert N'yanza before joining the White Nile. Instead, then, of Sir Samuel and his wife, as to all appearance they might have done, keeping, after their long fatigues, quietly in a boat, and allowing themselves to be peacefully rowed and drifted down the Nile, which is described, as we have seen, as "a giant in its birth," they navigated the lake in canoes to Magungo, the point at which the Victoria Nile joined the lake, and what was worse, in order to settle a question of no very great importance, as to the lake-feeder at Magungo being really the prolongation of the Victoria Nile, they proceeded up that river, which is a succession of cataracts the whole way to the Karuma Falls, were stricken down again with fever, narrowly escaped being eaten up by crocodiles, named the first obstruction they met with, we hope inappropriately, "Murchison's Falls," were deserted by the natives, were imprisoned on the island of Patuan, were pilfered and insulted by King Kamrasi in Kissuna, and were subjected to no end of sickness, privations, and trials before they reached the White Nile. All this, when Sir Samuel Baker was distinctly told at Magungo that canoes could navigate the Nile in its course from the lake to the Madi country, as there were no cataracts for a great distance, True that both the Madi and the Koshi, who dwell on the right and left banks of the river at its exit, were said to be hostile to the lake people, but this presumed hostility would not have entailed difficulties greater than what had been already overcome, or than what they had to suffer at the hands of the cowardly and treacherous Kamrasi. The difficulties might, indeed, have been all overcome by change of boat and boatmen, a thing they had to do, even upon the lake itself; upon one occasion indeed, changing boatmen four times in less. than a mile, Sir Samuel, however, adds afterwards, that the natives most positively refused to take him down the Nile from the lake into the country of the Madi, as they said they would be killed by the people, who were their enemies, as he would not be with them on their return up the river: so we are left in doubt if the Victoria Nile was ascended, instead of the Nile proper being descended, from the love of geography, or from sheer necessity. The latter is to be doubted, for the travellers could have exchanged canoes on reaching the Madi and sent the lake people back in safety. This was all the more vexatious, as, Sir Samuel says, he could see the river issuing from the lake within eighteen miles of Magungo, and, although it is marked on the map as being navigable to the first cataract at Mount Koko, still the question of first importance, as to the navigability (with a few intervening portages)
of the Great River Nile, from its embouchure in the Mediterranean to the Albert N'yanza, would have been for ever determined, and Sir Samuel and Lady Baker might have been spared many perils and much suffering. This is one great point which may now happily be fairly considered as on the way of being settled.
It is not a little remarkable that so intuitively did the quick feminine perception of Lady Baker feel this point, that when Sir Samuel proposed going up to Karuma, although he felt, by taking so circuitous a route, he might lose the boats at Gondokoro and become a prisoner in Central Africa, ill and without quinine, for another year, Lady Baker not only voted in her state of abject weakness to complete the river to Karuma, but wished, if possible, to return and follow the Nile from the lake down to Gondokoro! The latter resolve, based upon the simple principle of "seeing is believing," was, however, declared by her lord and master" to be a sacrifice most nobly proposed, but simply impossible and unnecessary." If there was any unnecessary sacrifice to be made in the matter, it would certainly seem to have been in taking the sick lady up to Karuma, instead of conveying her by canoe down the Nile to Gondokoro.
A second and equally interesting point, although not of so much importance to the future opening of the country, is the possible communication between the Albert N'yanza and Lake Tanganyika. From the elevation at which Sir Samuel Baker stood, when he first saw Lake Albert, with a boundless horizon to the south and south-west, its waters would appear to extend beyond the parallel assigned by Burton and Speke to Lake Rusisi, and, in fact, to embrace that lake as a kind of inlet, as also Lake Tanganyika further south. The elevation given to Lake Tanganyika of only eighteen hundred and forty-four feet above the level of the sea, while Albert N'yanza is two thousand four hundred and forty feet above the same level, and the information given to Burton and Speke as to the waters at the north end of Tanganyika flowing into that lake, are opposed to this view of the subject; but it is possible that there may have been an error in the barometrical observation made, as also in the information obtained from the natives. It is now known that the waters of Lake Tanganyika do not flow into the N'yassa, which has an elevation of only thirteen hundred feet above the level of the sea; but, on the contrary, that the rivers and small lakes south of the Tanganyika pour their waters into that great reservoir. It is not probable that Lake Tanganyika should have no outlet and receive rivers at both its north and south extremities, as also in its centre-the Malagarasi. The position of the lake, added to the discovery made by Sir Samuel Baker of the great southerly extension of the Albert N'yanza, would then tend to show that the most southerly tributaries south