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perfect paradise for negroes,' whose gardens are kept in excellent order. The palace of the King of Uganda consists of a collection of gigantic huts, such as Captain Speke had never before seen in Africa. On the day following his entrance into the capital, the king held a levee for the reception of his English visitor. Courtiers of high dignity, and dressed with scrupulous care, stepped forward to greet him. The royal band played in the adjoining court, as was customary on state occasions. The dress of the courtiers and people of Uganda is regulated with a strict regard to propriety, and any, even an accidental, deviation from decorum in the presence of the king is punished with instant death. Captain Speke calls the people of Úganda the French of Africa, from the polish and refinement of their manners. intimated to him that he would be expected to comply with the usual custom of prostration on presentation; but following the example of Lord Amherst at the Court of Pekin, he declined to be received unless in a manner conformable to the usages of his own country, and the point of etiquette was graciously waived. The young king's character is described as a mixture of childish frivolity and uncontrollable passion. It is a singular illustration of the state of society in this portion of Africa, that no regular provision was made by the king for the maintenance of his visitors; they were not even allowed to purchase provisions for their daily wants, but were told to help themselves from whatever Uganda contained. The leader of the expedition was thus placed under the painful alternative either of starving or of sanctioning acts which appeared to him like the plunder of a helpless population. The politeness of this young barbarian king was often exhibited in striking contrast to his ferocity. He even showed himself capable of friendship, and appears to have treated his guest with generosity and even affection. Captain Speke taught him to shoot, and under his guidance he became a skilful sportsman : taking his first lessons on cows in the palace enclosure, he was able at length to bring down vultures on the wing. The possession of fire-arms seems to have almost deprived him of reason. At one of his levees he loaded a carbine with his own hands, and giving it to a page, told him to go out and shoot a man in the outer court, which was no sooner done than the boy returned to announce his success, 'with a smile of glee such as might be reflected in the face of a boy who had just robbed a bird's nest or caught a trout.' On sending a bullet from a Whitworth rifle through sixteen of the country shields, arranged behind each other, a great idea was suddenly generated in the barbarian mind: 'I shall not go to war again,' he said, addressing his attendants, with bows and arrows; I must have guns.' Vol. 115.-No. 229.
Savage life has probably never been seen in all its fantastic phases and terrible realities more completely than during the compulsory residence of Captain Speke at the Court of the young King of Uganda. In the midst of revelry, and while apparently at the height of enjoyment, he would, in a fit of sudden caprice, order a young and beautiful wife for instant execution. Captain Speke interceded for the life of one, and saved her; but he could not venture to interfere in domestic affairs a second time. It must have required no small amount of tact to evade the consequences of the occasional sallies of anger on the part of this wayward and impetuous young king. One day more than thirty wives were being driven to the slaughter, when the King observing his visitor's distress at the shocking spectacle, laughingly asked whether he would like any of them for himself. Captain Speke would assuredly have gladly rescued the whole from their impending fate, but as it did not enter into his plans to form a harem in Uganda, he could only select one, whom he handed over to the commander of his escort. Music, in which the King was a considerable proficient, had certainly not tamed his savage breast, or imparted gentleness to his character. He was frequently found by his guest playing the flute or clarionet in concert with his numerous brothers; and the royal musician sometimes condescended himself to lead the drums of the household band. One of the most extraordinary customs of this extraordinary country is the immolation of all the brothers of the reigning king, on the occasion of his coronation, with the exception of one or two, who are spared in order to prevent a failure of the royal line. Captain Speke happily did not witness this event, but it was to take place shortly after he left Uganda. On the occasion of the solemnity, the thirty brothers, with whom the King lived on terms of apparent affection, and whom he constantly associated in his musical recreations, were to be publicly burned to death. They looked forward to their fate with indifference as inevitable by the constitution of Uganda. The cause of this horrible custom is the existence of polygamy, which, giving rise to a large family of half-brothers, produces numerous pretenders to the throne. One of the first requests which even the humane and gentle Rumanika made to Captain Speke, was for some powerful charm which would put an end at once to a brother and to the war in which he was then engaged.
It required considerable address on the part of Captain Speke to extricate himself from the hospitable captivity in which he was held by the King of Uganda. He might even now have been an honoured officer at his Court, and, perhaps, raised to the dignity of Master-General of the Ordnance, if his store of ammunition
ammunition had not been limited. To the assurance that as soon as a road was opened from the Nile to his dominions the King would receive inexhaustible supplies of powder and shot, our traveller is probably indebted for his safe return England.
Notwithstanding Captain Speke's long residence at the Court of. Uganda he was not permitted to avail himself of his close proximity to the Victoria Nyanza to explore it thoroughly, and thus obtain an accurate knowledge of its shores. With the exception of the Kitangulé, which he crossed on his route to Uganda, and which he describes as equal in dimension to the Nile, he saw no considerable river which flows into the Victoria Nyanza, nor did he hear of any. The Luajerri, which he represents as a huge rushdrain, three miles broad, and fordable when he crossed it to within a short distance of the right bank, is however said to issue from the lake, and to fall into the Nile. If it possesses a current and should really unite with the river which flows over the Ripon Falls, it may be questioned whether it has not the best title to be considered the principal effluent of the lake. He had before passed another 'rush-drain,' which he calls Mworango River, three hundred yards in span, and in which he found a large volume of water flowing north. He expressed himself at the time as delighted at this very surprising fact,' feeling that he was really on the northern slope of the continent, and had apparently found one of the branches of the Nile's exit from the Nyanza. If this river carries off-as Captain Speke says it does-a portion of the surplus waters of the lake, the Luajerri with a much larger channel may do so too. But we reserve the discussion of this and some other hydrographical questions until we have followed Captain Speke to the end of his adventurous journey.
The social state of Uganda appears to be one of great material prosperity and happiness, the effects of royal caprice being probably confined to the Court and its precincts. Order seems to be established throughout the kingdom; food is abundant; and cheerfulness and good humour prevail. The population, as well as that of the contiguous kingdom of Karagué, is doubtless susceptible of a much higher civilisation; but the dark and debasing superstitions of these members of the great African family are, and must long be, great obstacles to their further progress. The religion of Uganda and of Karagué consists, not in the adoration of a supreme and beneficent Being, but in the propitiation of malignant powers ever desirous of inflicting evil. Rulers and people are alike slaves to the most childish fears. The former
pass hours over horns filled with magic power, in the hope of divining the future. Magic is the science of savage life, and in these kingdoms it is held in universal esteem. Policy is regulated by omens, and kings tremble at the cries of animals and the inauspicious flight of birds. The chief of Karagué, the most intelligent and enlightened of these African princes, told Captain Speke that if on marching to battle he heard the bark of a fox, he would immediately order his army to retreat. The art has its regular professors, who are in alliance with the State; private sorcery is forbidden, and those discovered practising it are condemned to death and their property is confiscated.
The ethnology of the races dwelling near the African Equator is a subject of great interest. Captain Speke is of opinion that the people collectively called Wahŭma, who occupy a large portion of this part of the African continent, are an offshoot from the Abyssinian stock. They differ in feature and in character from the simple negro type, although there has been a considerable intermixture of races. The pure negro type is exceptional in Africa. A large portion,' says Mr. Brace, in his admirable work, "The Races of the Old World,'* of the brown and black tribes of Northern and Eastern Africa belong to the same family as that which first originated commerce, invented the alphabet, produced the sublime Hebrew poetry and Arabian science, and which was through many ages in one of its branches the especial medium chosen by Providence for transmitting the most elevated religious inspirations to mankind, and in which the Divine manifestation of Jesus Christ was made. Another group of people brown and black-many fully black-are descendants of that family which erected the ancient empires on the Euphrates, and which, unknown centuries ago, built the Pyramid-tombs on the Nile, and founded the gloomy art, the artificial civilisation, and the science of Egypt. The families of Central Africa have not, indeed, all been classified, and no absolute proof can be presented of their identity of origin with the rest of the human race, but their languages show no radically different features. The laws of human speech apply to them, as to all other tongues; they are founded on the same principles, they are sometimes conspicuous for their richness and flexibility, and a great scholar of Germany (Pott) has ranked many of them among the noble tongues of more cultivated races.' The African languages, however, Captain Speke found to possess radical differences north and south of the Equator.
The great object of Captain Speke before leaving Uganda was
* London, 1863.
to obtain the permission of the King to explore the Victoria Nyanza, and particularly to visit the spot from which, according to native information, a great river issued, and which he felt certain must be the Nile. The admiral' of the lake, however, put his veto upon this plan, on the pretext that dangerous shallows impeded the navigation. The only course which then remained was to proceed by land to the banks of the supposed river, and then ascend it to its point of departure from the lake. On the 21st of July, 1863, he accordingly stood, he says, on the brink of the magnificent stream from six hundred to seven hundred yards wide, which flowed between high grassy banks, with noble trees and plantain-groves in the distance. Proceeding southwards by the left bank, his guides led him to the Ripon Falls, but the lake itself was there shut out from view by hills and by the high ground about the Falls. With respect to the distance of the Ripon Falls from the lake, Captain Speke's Journal does not afford any information.
It is to be regretted that Captain Speke was prevented from proceeding to the north-eastern side of the Victoria Nyanza, to ascertain whether there exists any connexion between the great lake and another lake from which a considerable river is said to flow also northwards. It would also have been a most important addition to our geographical knowledge to have obtained some accurate information respecting the Asua River, which Captain Speke considers a great tributary of the Nile, entering its channel at about 4° North latitude. It would have been the more interesting since the Asua has been thought by many to be the largest branch of the Nile; and he had himself suggested that Mr. Petherick should ascend it, in order to ascertain whether it possessed any connexion with the Victoria Nyanza. It is a striking fact in connexion with this river that the Hindoos, who certainly had some kind of intercourse both with the northern and southern shores of the Victoria Nyanza, should have called the source of the Nile Amara'-the name of a territory bordering on the lake to the north-east.* Dr. Krapf, moreover, heard from natives that beyond the Asua River, in the Galla country, there was another lake, navigated by very large vessels, and that somewhere in the same neighbourhood there was an exceedingly high mountain. Dr. Krapf says he made the acquaintance of a merchant from Umbo, a country two days' journey from the river Dana; who told him that at the foot of the snow-capped mountain Kenia, from which the Dana and the Tamburi rivers flow into the Indian Ocean, another river, the Nsaraddi, takes its course towards a
*See Asiatic Researches,' vol. iii.