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in the high lands of Mexico, near the northern tropics, in latitude 19° north, descends from that by a quantity equal to about 960 feet, it rises in the Southern tropical zone (latitude 141° to 18° south), and in the western or Chilian Andes, 2500 feet higher than under the Equator, at Chimborazo and Antisana, not far from Quito."
Kilimandjaro, as seen by Dr. Krapf, had a dome-like summit; but the summit of Kenia, which lies farther to the north, presents the form of a lofty roof, over which two peaks arise like pillars or horns. These peaks, he says she has no doubt, are seen by the inhabitants of countries bordering on the northern latitudes of the Equator; and he thinks there can be no doubt that the waters which Kenia throws off to the north run towards the basin of the Nile. Baron von Decken has recently ascended Kilimandjaro to the height of nearly 14,000 feet, and ascertained by trigonometrical measurement that the principal peak attains an altitude of 20,065 feet, and the other upwards of 17,000 feet. The altitude thus determined being greatly above the limit of perpetual congelation, fully accounts for the existence of perpetual snow; and thus has been conclusively established the existence of a new and grand phenomenon in the physical geography of Africa. The meteorological observations made by Baron von Decken are important. The rainy season in Eastern Africa was found to commence in the month of June, and to extend through July, August, and September, but near Kilimandjaro it extended over ten months of the year. Whatever may be the importance of these stupendous equatorial snow-covered mountains, that of Kenia especially, in the hydrography of the Nile, their discovery forms one of the geographical triumphs of the age. Rising in rival majesty not from arid plains or desolate sierras, but from a country clothed with the most exuberant tropical vegetation, they must give to the scenery of that part of Africa a character of surpassing magnificence.
The physical characteristics of the countries through which the two greatest rivers of Africa run, present as marked a contrast to each other as the populations which cluster on their banks. The Niger, equal in magnitude to the Nile, flows through a country rich in the most splendid tropical vegetation, and abounding with everything that can conduce to the wellbeing of man, but that country has never yet been occupied except by savage tribes, which have remained for ages in a condition of brutal degradation. The cause of this contrast between the two great rivers of Africa was simply the direction of their
* Humboldt's 'Cosmos,' vol. i. p. 363.
respective courses. The one flows into a sea long the centre of commerce and civilization; the other into a great and, for ages, a lonely and unknown ocean.
A spontaneous civilization has arisen in several parts of Eastern Intertropical Africa, of which not the least interesting are those native kingdoms which have been discovered by Captain Speke and his gallant companion. There agriculture has made respectable progress; some rude essays have been attempted in the arts; and even manners have acquired a certain refinement. It is a melancholy consideration that the only intercourse which these primitive nations have yet had with the civilized world has tended rather to depress than to raise them in the scale of existence. There, as on the Atlantic coast, civilized man has introduced the scourge of the African race. In the west of Africa it is the European who has brought slavery in his train; in the East it is the Arab who has still further debased and degraded the indigenous native of the soil. There, as in the West, the stimulus imparted to native wars, by conferring a money value on man, has opened a vast slave market, of which the frequenters and best customers are the subjects of civilized states. This infamous institution' has, in Eastern Africa as elsewhere, enslaved not only the body, but the soul. It has subverted the very foundation of human character by destroying even the consciousness of natural independence; for, with a touching but perverted sense of justice, the slave considers that he would be acting dishonestly, after having been bought, if he should run away from his master, because he would thus bring on him pecuniary loss.* This humble acquiescence in the greatest wrong which man has ever inflicted on man is a proof how completely slavery has benumbed the moral faculties and darkened the reason of its victims in Eastern Africa; for in physical strength, as in numbers, they are so superior to their masters that, should they resolve to rebel, they might scatter them as chaff before the wind and sweep them from the face of the earth.
It will be inferred from the foregoing remarks that we still entertain a doubt whether the great geographical enigma of ages has yet been satisfactorily resolved. On the return of Captains Speke and Grant to their native land, there was a general and perhaps too hasty a disposition to accept all the conclusions at which they had themselves arrived. There are, as we have shown, several important geographical and hydrographical questions to be determined before an unhesitating acquiescence can be accorded to the statement of Captain Speke that in 1858 he
*Introduction to the Journal of the Discovery of the Nile.' Vol. 115.-No. 229.
found the top head of the Nile at the southern end of the Victoria Nyanza, or before we can accept as an established graphical fact that the river which issues from it is indeed the great stream whose sources have baffled the curiosity of mankind from the remotest period of history.
The personal adventures of Captain Speke necessarily constitute the prominent features of his Journal, and they may seem. perhaps to throw the services of his coadjutor and companion somewhat into the shade; but we have every reason to believe that he fully recognises the assistance which he derived from his companion whenever illness did not deprive him of his services. Captain Grant contributed, as may be seen, largely to the illustrations which adorn the Journal; and he has not only enriched the science of botany by his researches, but the Museum of Kew by a large collection of previously unknown plants; and he may be assured that his countrymen recognise no less in himself than in his companion those great and sterling qualities which make the British officer an impersonation of all that is daring and devoted in the service either of science or of the State.
The services which the explorer renders to mankind are not, however, confined to the world of science. In bringing to the knowledge of civilized nations communities the very existence of which was previously undreamed of, he makes them objects of interest, and they become the subjects of benevolent exertion. By bringing to light the resources of vast and hitherto unknown countries, he tempts commerce-the sure harbinger of civilization-into regions which would otherwise remain permahently shrouded in darkness; he communicates an impulse never to be arrested until it has accomplished the work to which it is unconsciously set, and thus becomes the secondary instrument for imparting the blessings of purer morals and a purer faith to millions of the human race. The countries recently visited, it may be almost said discovered, by Captain Speke and his companion, are even now attracting the attention of the Power most interested in their future. His Highness the Viceroy of Egypt has already despatched a considerable military force to Khartum, as a reinforcement to the troops now stationed there; and he has announced his determination not only firmly to establish his authority in those remote districts which border on the Upper Nile, but to suppress the slave trade, in which even his own officers, removed from the surveillance of their government, are suspected of being largely engaged. For this
purpose he is about to establish a river police, provided with swift and well-armed galleys, which will patrol the Nile as far as it may be found navigable, for the purpose of boarding suspicious vessels, and of liberating any slaves which may be found in them. A railway, and the telegraph wire, to be extended to Khartum, will speedily follow; and we may expect that even Gondokoro will at no distant day be thus connected with the capital of Egypt. Facilities for approaching the great fertile regions of Equatorial Africa will then have been so greatly increased, that many years cannot elapse before their valuable products will be accessible to commerce, and the countries to which Captain Speke has introduced us will be regularly supplied with European manufactures. Their rulers, enlightened by communication with Europe, will in time discard their savage vices and superstitions, and engraft on the native stock of an imperfect civilization the humanities and perhaps the religion of Europe. The novel and surprising articles which have been presented to them have inspired them with an intense desire for trade, and for a regular intercourse with England. It is far from unlikely that, together with the commodities of Uganda and Karagué, we may some day receive a consignment of black princes for the purpose of being instructed in the wisdom of the illustrious visitors, by whose immeasurable superiority their fathers had been so deeply impressed. * The great achievement of Captain Speke and his companion will thus have accomplished a far more important object than the solution of a geographical problem, however interesting; and whatever may be the scientific results of future explorations in the basin of the Nile, they cannot deprive them of the fame of having been the first Europeans to penetrate those mysterious regions, and of having successfully forced their way through savage tribes and the obstructions often opposed to their progress by barbarian kings, with that true British courage and perseverance to which no travellers who have ever faced the perils of African discovery can more justly and honourably lay claim.
*This wish was expressed both by the Kings of Uganda and Karagué.
ART. V.-1. Report from the Select Committee on Ordnance, together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, Appendix, and Index. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed July 25, 1862: pp. 335.
2. Report from the Select Committee on Ordnance, together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, Appendix, and Index. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed July 23, 1863: pp. 728.
WITHIN the last few years the art of war has in this country advanced with great rapidity. At Sebastopol our guns consisted mainly of 18-pounders and 32-pounders. There were but seven 68-pounders used at the siege, and two of these were borrowed by the French. The comparative failure of such guns excited the inventive faculty of the nation and inaugurated a new era in the history of artillery. Schemes of offence and counter-schemes of defence have ever since followed each other in quick succession.
The general substitution of the rifle in European armies for the erratic and short-ranged old musket, first rendered compulsory the adoption of rifled artillery, in order that the latter might with respect to small arms maintain the same relative superiority as heretofore. In the field it is obvious that if the small exceed the large weapon in precision and range, artillery in the majority of cases would be useless, as the gunners would inevitably be destroyed by the bullets of riflemen fired at distances beyond the reach of round shot. In siege and naval operations rifled guns have also become a necessity, partly for the same reason, but chiefly in consequence of the inherent advantages of rifled artillery.
Accuracy of fire and long range coupled with efficiencyqualities characteristic of rifled guns-are so manifestly important in artillery, that no argument is needed to enforce this proposition. But these advantages cannot be secured without involving a sacrifice of simplicity in the construction of the gun, and at the same time necessitating greater manipulative skill on the part of the gunner. Whatever the nature of the rifle, whether muzzle or breech-loading, this must be conceded. Moreover, a rifled gun has to endure a much greater strain, and must, consequently, be made much stronger than a smooth-bore; and an increase of strength entails an increase in the cost of production. The rifled gun discharges elongated shot of variable length, which must be set in rapid rotation before leaving the muzzle, and this cannot be effected without increased friction and a corresponding expenditure of