I do remember that being a youth, and one of her Majestie's scholars at Westminster, that fruitfull nurserie, it was my happe to visit the chamber of Master Richard Hakluyt, my cousin, a gentleman of the Middle Temple, at a time when I found lying open upon his borde certeine bookes of cosmographie, with an universall mappe; he seeing me somewhat curious in the view thereof, began to instruct my ignorance, by showing me the division of the earth into three parts, after the old account, and then, according to the latter and better distribution, into more. He pointed out with his wand to all the known seas, gulfs, bayes, streights, capes, rivers, empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and territories of each part, with declaration also of their speciall commodities, and particular wants, which by the benefit of traffike, and intercourse of merchants, are plentifully supplied.
From the mappe he brought me to the Bible, and turning to the 107th Psalme, directed me to the 23rd and 24th verses, where I read that "they which go downe to the sea in ships, and occupy by the great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deepe," etc.
Which words of the prophet together with my cousin's discourse (things of high and rare delight to my young nature), tooke in me so deepe an impression that I constantly resolved, if ever I were preferred to the university, where better time, and more convenient place might be ministered for these studies, I would, by God's assistance, prosecute that knowledge and kinde of literature, the doores whereof were so happily opened before me.
According to which my resolution when, not long after, I was removed to Christ Church in Oxford, my exercises of duty first performed, I fell to my intended course, and by degrees read over whatsoever printed or written discoveries and voyages I found extant, either in the Greeke, Latine, Italian, Spanish, Portugall, French, or English languages. In continuance of time I grew familiarly acquainted with the chiefest captaines at sea, the gretest merchants, and the best mariners of our nation, by which means having gotten somewhat more than common knowledge.
I passed at length the narrow seas into France. There I both heard in speech and read in books other nations miraculously extolled for their discoveries and notable enterprises by sea, but the English, of all others, for their sluggish security and continuall neglect of the like attempts, either ignominiously reported or exceedingly condemned. Thus, both hearing and reading the obluquie of our nation, and finding few or none of our owne men able to replie heerin, and further, not seeing any man to have care to recommend to the world the industrious labors and painefull travels of our countrymen, myselfe returned from France, determined to undertake the burden of that worke, wherein all others pretended either ignorance or lacke of leasure, whereas the huge toile, and the small profit to insue, were the chiefe causes of the refusall.
I calle the worke a burden, in consideration that these voyages lay so dispersed and hidden in severall hucksters' hands that I now wonder at myselfe to see how I was able to endure the delays, curiosity, and backwardnesse of many from whom I was to receive my originals. And thus, friendly reader, thou seest the briefe summe and scope of my labours for the commonwealth's sake, and thy sake, bestowed upon this work, which may, I pray, bring thee no little profit.
II.—The Victories of King Arthur in Foreign Lands
Arthur, which was sometimes the most renowned king of the Britaines, was a mightie and valiant man, and a famous warriour. This kingdome was too little for him, and his minde was not contented with it. He therefore valiantly subdued all Scantia, which is now called Norway, and islands beyond Norway, to wit, Island and Greenland, Sweueland, Ireland, Gotland, Denmarke, and all the other lands and islands of the East Sea, even into Russia, and many others islands beyond Norway, even under the North Pole, which are appendances of Scantia, now called Norway. These people were wild and savage, and held not in them the love of God nor of their neighbours, because all evill cometh from the North; yet there were among them certeine Christians living in secret. But King Arthur was an exceeding good Christian, and caused them to be baptised and thorowout all Norway to worship one God, and to receive and keepe inviolably for ever faith in Christ onely.
At that time, all the noble men of Norway tooke wives of the noble nation of the Britaines, whereupon the Norses say that they are descended of the race and blood of this kingdome. The aforesaid King Arthur obteined also, in those days of the Pope and court of Rome, that Norway should be for ever annexed to the crown of Britaine for the inlargement of this kingdome, and he called it the chamber of Britaine. For this cause the Norses say that they ought to dwell with us in this kingdome—to wit, that they belong to the crowne of Britaine; for they had rather dwell here than in their owne native countrey, which is drie and full of mountaines, and barren, and no graine growing there, but in certain places. But this countrey of Britaine is fruitfull, wherein corne and all other good things do grow and increase, for which cause many cruell battles have been often-times fought betwixt the Englishmen and the people of Norway, and infinite numbers of people have been slaine, and the Norses have possessed many lands and islands of this Empire, which unto this day they doe possess, neither could they ever afterwards be fully expelled.
III.—How Martin Frobisher Sought a Passage to Cathaya by the North-West
It appeareth that not onely the middle zone but also the zones about the Poles are habitable. Which thing, being well considered, and familiarly knowen to our generall, Captaine Frobisher, as well for that he is thorowly furnished of the knowledge of the sphere and all other skilles appertaining to the arte of navigation, as also for the confirmation he hath of the same by many yeares experience, both by sea and land, and being persuaded of a new and nerer passage to Cathaya than by Capo di Buona Speranca; he began first with himself to devise, and then with his friends to conferre, and declared unto them that that voyage was not onely possible by the North-west, but he could prove easie to be performed.
And, further, he determined and resolved with himselfe to go make full proofe thereof, and to accomplish or bring true certificate of the truth, or else never to return againe, knowing this to be the onely thing of the world that was left yet undone, whereby a notable minde might be made famous and fortunate. But, although his will were great to performe this notable voyage, yet he wanted altogether meanes and ability to set forward, and performe the same. He layed open to many great estates and learned men the plot and summe of his device. And so, by litle and litle, with no small expense and paine, he brought his cause to some perfection, and had drawen together so many adventurers and such summes of money as might well defray a reasonable charge to furnish himselfe to sea withall.
He prepared two small barks of twenty and five and twenty tunne apiece, wherein he intended to accomplish his pretended voyage. Wherefore, being furnished with the aforesayd two barks, and one small pinnesse of ten tun burthen, having therein victuals and other necessaries for twelve months provision, he departed upon the sayd voyage from Blacke-wall the fifteenth of June, Anno Domini, 1576. One of the barks wherein he went was named the Gabriel, and the other the Michael, and, sailing northwest from England upon the eleventh of July he had sight of an high and ragged land which he judged to be Frisland, but durst not approch the same, by reason of the great store of ice that lay alongst the coast, and the great mists that troubled them not a litle. Not farre from thence he lost company of his small pinnesse, which by meanes of a great storme he supposed to be swallowed up of the sea, wherein he lost onely foure men. Also the other barke, named the Michael, mistrusting the matter, conveyed themselves privily away from him, and returned home, with great report that he was cast away.
The worthy captaine, notwithstanding these discomforts, although his mast was sprung, and his toppe mast blowen overboord with extreame foul weather, continued his course towards the north-west, knowing that the sea at length must needs have an ending, and that some land should have a beginning that way; and determined, therefore, at the least to bring true proofe what land and sea the same might be so farre to the north-westwards, beyond any man that had heretofore discovered. And the twentieth of July he had sight of an high land which he called Queen Elizabeth's Forland, after her majestie's name, and sailing more northerly alongst that coast, he descried another forland with a great gut, baye, or passage, divided as it were two maine lands or continents asunder.
He determined to make proofe of this place, to see how farre that gut had continuance, and whether he might carry himself thorow the same into some open sea on the backe side, whereof he conceived no small hope, and so entered the same the one and twentieth of July, and passed above fifty leagues therein as he reported, having upon either hand a great maine, or continent. And that land upon his right hand as he sailed westward he judged to be the continent of Asia, and there to be divided from the firme of America, which lieth upon the left hand over against the same. This place he named after his name, Frobisher's Streights.
After our captaine, Martin Frobisher, had passed sixty leagues into this foresayed streight, he went ashore, and found signes where fire had bene made.
He saw mighty deere that seemed to be mankinde, which ranne at him, and hardly he escaped with his life in a narrow way where he was faine to use defence and policy to save his life. In this place he saw and perceived sundry tokens of the peoples resorting thither. And, being ashore upon the top of a hill, he perceived a number of small things fleeting in the sea afarre off, which he supposed to be porposes or seales, or some kinde of strange fish; but, coming neerer, he discovered them to be men in small boats made of leather. And, before he could descend downe from the hill, certeine of those people had almost cut off his boat from him, having stolen secretly behinde the rocks for that purpose, when he speedily hasted to his boat, and bent himselfe to his halberd, and narrowly escaped the danger, and saved his boat.
Afterwards, he had sundry conferences with them, and they came aboord his ship, and brought him salmon and raw flesh and fish, and greedily devoured the same before our men's faces.
After great courtesie, and many meetings, our mariners, contrary to their captaine's direction, began more easily to trust them, and five of our men, going ashore, were by them intercepted with their boat, and were never since heard of to this day againe, so that the captaine, being destitute of boat, barke, and all company, had scarsely sufficient number to conduct back his barke againe. He could not now convey himselfe ashore to rescue his men—if he had been able—for want of a boat; and againe the subtile traitours were so wary, as they would after that never come within our men's danger.
The captaine notwithstanding, desirous to bring some token from thence of his being there, was greatly discontented that he had not before apprehended some of them; and, therefore, to deceive the deceivers he wrought a prety policy, for, knowing wel how they greatly delited in our toyes, and specially in belles, he rang a pretty lowbel, making signes that he would give him the same that would come and fetch it. And to make them more greedy of the matter he rang a louder bel, so that in the end one of them came nere the ship side to receive the bel; which when he thought to take at the captaine's hand he was thereby taken himselfe; for the captaine, being readily provided, let the bel fall and caught the man fast, and plucked him with main force, boat and all, into his barke out of the sea. Whereupon, when he found himself in captivity, for very choler and disdaine he bit his tongue in twain within his mouth; notwithstanding, he died not thereof, but lived until he came in England, and then he died of cold.
Nor with this new pray (which was a sufficient witnesse of the captaine's farre and tedious travell towards the unknowen parts of the world, as did well appeare by this strange infidell, whose like was never seene, read, nor heard of before, and whose language was neither knowen nor understood of any), the sayd Captaine Frobisher returned homeward, and arrived in England in Harwich, the second of October following, and thence came to London, 1576, where he was highly commended by all men for his notable attempt, but specially for the great hope he brought of the passage to Cathaya.
IV.—The Valiant Fight of the Content against some Spanish Ships
Three ships of Sir George Carey made a notable fight against certaine Spanish galleys in the West Indies, and this is the relation of it.
The 13th of June, 1591, being Sunday, at five of the clock in the morning we descried six saile of the King of Spain, his ships. We met with them off the Cape de Corrientes, which standeth on the Island of Cuba. The sight of the foresayd ships made us joyfull, hoping that they should make our voyage. But as soon as they descryed us they made false fires one to another, and gathered their fleet together. We, therefore, at six of the clock in the morning, having made our prayers to Almighty God, prepared ourselves for the fight. We in the Content bare up with their vice-admiral, and (ranging along by his broadside aweather of him) gave him a volley of muskets and our great ordinance; then, coming up with another small ship ahead of the former, we hailed her in such sort that she payd roome.
Thus being in fight with the little ship, we saw a great smoke come from our admiral, and the Hopewel and Swallow, forsaking him with all the sailes they could make; whereupon, bearing up with our admiral (before we could come to him) we had both the small ships to windward of us, purposing (if we had not bene too hotte for them) to have layd us aboord.
Thus we were forced to stand to the northwards, the Hopewel and the Swallow not coming in all this while to ayde us, as they might easily have done. Two of their great ships and one of their small followed us. They having a loom gale (we being altogether becalmed) with both their great ships came up faire by us, shot at us, and on the sudden furled their sprit sailes and mainsailes, thinking that we could not escape them. Then falling to prayer, we shipped our oars that we might rowe to shore, and anker in shallow water, where their great ships could not come nie us, for other refuge we had none.
Then one of their small ships being manned from one of their great, and having a boat to rowe themselves in, shipped her oars likewise, and rowed after us, thinking with their small shot to have put us from our oars until the great ships might come up with us; but by the time she was within musket shot, the Lord of His mercie did send us a faire gale of wind at the north-west, off the shore, what time we stood to the east.
Afterward (commending our selves to Almightie God in prayer, and giving him thankes for the winde which he had sent us for our deliverance) we looked forth, and descryed two saile more to the offen; these we thought to have bene the Hopewel and the Swallow that had stoode in to ayde us; but it proved farre otherwise, for they were two of the king's gallies.
Then one of them came up, and (hayling of us whence our shippe was) a Portugall which we had with us, made them answere, that we were of the fleete of Terra Firma, and of Sivil; with that they bid us amaine English dogs, and came upon our quarter star-boord, and giving us five cast pieces out of her prowe they sought to lay us aboord; but we so galled them with our muskets that we put them from our quarter. Then they winding their gallie, came up into our sterne, and with the way that the gallie had, did so violently thrust into the boorde of our captaine's cabbin, that her nose came into its minding to give us all their prowe and so to sinke us. But we, being resolute, so plyed them with our small shot that they could have no time to discharge their great ordnance; and when they began to approch we heeved into them a ball of fire, and by that meanes put them off; whereupon they once again fell asterne of us, and gave us a prowe.
Then, having the second time put them off, we went to prayer, and sang the first part of the 25th Psalme, praysing God for our safe deliverance. This being done, we might see two gallies and a frigat, all three of them bending themselves together to encounter us; whereupon we (eftsoones commending our estate into the hands of God) armed ourselves, and resolved (for the honour of God, her majestie, and our countrey) to fight it out till the last man.
Then, shaking a pike of fire in defiance of the enemie, and weaving them amaine, we bad them come aboord; and an Englishman in the gallie made answer that they would come aboord presently. Our fight continued with the ships and with the gallies from seven of the clocke in the morning till eleven at night.
Howbeit God (which never faileth them that put their trust in Him) sent us a gale of winde about two of the clocke in the morning, at east-north-east, which was for the preventing of their crueltie and the saving of our lives. The next day being the fourteenth of June in the morning, we sawe all our adversaries to lee-ward of us; and they, espying us, chased us till ten of the clocke; and then, seeing they could not prevaile, gave us over.
Thus we give God most humble thankes for our safe deliverance from the cruell enemie, which hath beene more mightie by the Providence of God than any tongue can expresse; to whom bee all praise, honour, and glory, both now and ever, Amen.
A. W. KINGLAKE
I.—Through Servia to Constantinople
Alexander William Kinglake, born near Taunton, England, Aug. 5, 1809, was the eldest son of William Kinglake, banker and solicitor, of Taunton. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he was a friend of Tennyson and Thackeray. In 1835 he made the Eastern tour described in "Eothen [Greek, 'from the dawn'], or Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East," which was twice re-written before it appeared in 1844. It is more a record of personal impressions of the countries visited than an ordinary book of travel, and is distinguished for its refined style and delightful humour. Kinglake accompanied St. Arnaud and his army in the campaign which resulted in the conquest of Algiers for France. In 1854 he went to the Crimea with the British troops, met Lord Raglan, and stayed with the British commander until the opening of the siege of Sebastopol. At the request of Lady Raglan he wrote the famous history of the "Invasion of the Crimea," which appeared at intervals between 1863 and 1887. He died on January 2, 1891.
At Semlin I was still encompassed by the scenes and sounds of familiar life, yet whenever I chose to look southward I saw the Ottoman fortress—austere, and darkly impending high over the vale of the Danube—historic Belgrade. I had come to the end of wheel-going Europe, and now my eyes would see the splendour and havoc of the East. We managed the work of departure from Semlin with nearly as much solemnity as if we had been departing this life. The plague was supposed to be raging in the Ottoman Empire, and we were asked by our Semlin friends if we were perfectly certain that we had wound up all our affairs in Christendom.
We soon reached the southern bank in our row-boat, and were met by an invitation from the pasha to pay him a visit. In the course of an interesting interview, conducted with Oriental imagery by our dragoman, we informed the pasha that we were obliged for his hospitality and the horses he had promised for our journey to Constantinople, whereupon the pasha, standing up on his divan, said, "Proud are the sires and blessed are the dams of the horses that shall carry your excellency to the end of your prosperous journey."
Our party, consisting of my companion, Methley, our personal servants, interpreter, and escort, started from Belgrade, as usual, hours after the arranged time, and night had closed in as we entered the great Servian forest through which our road lay for more than a hundred miles. When we came out of the forest our road lay through scenes like those of an English park. There are few countries less infested by "lions in the path," in the shape of historic monuments, and therefore there were no perils. The only robbers we saw anything of had been long since dead and gone.
The poor fellows had been impaled upon high poles, and so propped up by the transverse spokes beneath them that their skeletons, clothed with some white, wax-like remains of flesh, still sat up lolling in the sunshine, and listlessly stared without eyes. After a fifteen days' journey we crossed the Golden Horn, and found shelter in Stamboul.
All the while I stayed at Constantinople the plague was prevailing. Its presence lent a mysterious and exciting, though not very pleasant, interest to my first knowledge of a great Oriental city. Europeans, during the prevalence of the plague, if they are forced to enter into the streets, will carefully avoid the touch of every human being they pass. The Moslem stalks on serenely, as though he were under the eye of his God, and were "equal to either fate."
In a steep street or a narrow alley you meet one of those coffin-shaped bundles of white linen which implies an Ottoman lady. She suddenly withdraws the yashmak, shines upon your heart and soul with all the pomp and might of her beauty. This dazzles your brain; she sees and exults; then with a sudden movement she lays her blushing fingers upon your arm and cries out, "Yumourdjak!" (plague), meaning, "There is a present of the plague for you." This is her notion of a witticism.
II.—The Troad, Smyrna, and Cyprus
While my companion, Methley, was recovering from illness contracted during our progress to Constantinople, I studied Turkish, and sated my eyes with the pomps of the city and its crowded waters. When capable of travelling, we determined to go to Troad together. Away from our people and our horses, we went loitering along the plains of Troy by the willowy banks of a stream which I could see was finding itself new channels from year to year, and flowed no longer in its ancient track. But I knew that the springs which fed it were high in Ida—the springs of Simois and Scamander. Methley reminded me that Homer himself had warned us of some such changes. The Greeks, in beginning their wall, had neglected the hecatombs due to the gods, and so, after the fall of Troy, Apollo turned the paths of the rivers that flow from Ida, and sent them flooding over the wall till all the beach was smooth and free from the unhallowed works of the Greeks.
After a journey of some days, we reached Smyrna, from which place private affairs obliged Methley to return to England. Smyrna may be called the chief town of the Greek race, against which you will be cautioned so carefully as soon as you touch the Levant. For myself, I love the race, in spite of their vices and their meannesses. I remember the blood that is in them. I sailed from Smyrna in the Amphitrite—a Greek brigantine which was confidently said to be bound for the coast of Smyrna. I knew enough of Greek navigation to be sure that our vessel should touch at many an isle before I set foot upon the Syrian coast. My patience was extremely useful to me, for the cruise altogether endured some forty days. We touched at Cyprus, whither the ship ran for shelter in half a gale of wind. A Greek of Limasol who hoisted his flag as English Vice-Consul insisted upon my accepting his hospitality. The family party went off very well. The mamma was shy at first, but she veiled the awkwardness she felt by affecting to scold her children, who had all of them immortal names. Every instant I was delighted by some such phrases as these: "Themistocles, my love, don't fight," "Alcibiades, can't you sit still?" "Socrates, put down the cup!" "Oh, fie! Aspasia, don't be naughty!"
The heathenish longing to visit the scene where for Pallas Athene "the hundred altars glowed with Arabian incense, and breathed with the fragrance of garlands ever fresh," found disenchantment when I spent the night in the cabin of a Greek priest—not a priest of the goddess, but of the Greek church—where there was but one room for man, priest, and beast. A few days after, our brigantine sailed for Beyrout.
At Beyrout I soon discovered that the standing topic of interest was the Lady Hester Stanhope, who lived in an old convent on the Lebanon range at a distance of a day's journey from the town, and was acknowledged as an inspired being by the people of the mountains, and as more than a prophet.
I visited Lady Hester in her dwelling-place, a broad, grey mass of irregular buildings on the summit of one of the many low hills of Lebanon. I was received by her ladyship's doctor, and apartments were set apart for myself and my party. After dinner the doctor conducted me to Miladi's chamber, where the lady prophetess received me standing up to the full of her majestic height, perfectly still and motionless until I had taken my appointed place, when she resumed her seat on a common European sofa.
Her ladyship addressed to me some inquiries respecting my family; and then the spirit of the prophetess kindled within her, and for hours and hours this wondrous white woman poured forth her speech, for the most part concerning sacred and profane mysteries. Now and again she adverted to the period when she exercised astonishing sway and authority over the wandering Bedouin tribes in the desert which lies between Damascus and Palmyra.
Lady Hester talked to me long and earnestly on the subject of religion, announcing that the Messiah was yet to come. She strived to impress me with the vanity and falseness of all European creeds, as well as with a sense of her own spiritual greatness. Throughout her conversation upon these high topics, she skilfully insinuated, without actually asserting, her heavenly rank.
III.—Nazareth, Jordan, and the Dead Sea
I crossed the plain of Esdraelon, and entered amongst the hills of beautiful Galilee. It was at sunset that my path brought me sharply round into the gorge of a little valley, and close upon a grey mass of dwellings that lay happily nestled in the lap of the mountain. It was Christian Nazareth.
Within the precincts of the Latin convent, in which I was quartered, there stands a great Catholic church, which encloses the sanctuary—the dwelling of the Blessed Virgin. This is a grotto, forming a little chapel, to which you descend by steps.
The attending friar led me down, all but silently, to the Virgin's home. Religion and gracious custom commanded me that I fall down loyally and kiss the rock that blessed Mary pressed. With a half-consciousness, a semblance of a thrilling hope that I was plunging deep into my first knowledge of some most holy mystery, or of some new, rapturous, and daring sin, I knelt and bowed down my face till I met the smooth rock with my lips.
One moment—my heart, or some old pagan demon within me, woke up, and fiercely bounded—my bosom was lifted and swam as though I had touched her warm robe. One moment—one more, and then—the fever had left me. I rose from my knees. I felt hopelessly sane. The mere world reappeared. My good old monk was there, dangling his keys with listless patience; and as he guided me from the church, and talked of the refectory and the coming repast, I listened to his words with some attention and pleasure.
Having engaged a young Nazarene as guide to Jerusalem, our party passed by Cana, and the house in which the water had been turned into wine, and came to the field in which our Saviour had rebuked the Scotch Sabbath-keepers of that period by suffering His disciples to pluck corn on the Sabbath day.
I rode over the ground on which the fainting multitude had been fed, and was shown some massive fragments—relics, I was told, of that wondrous banquet, now turned into stone. The petrifaction was most complete. I ascended the heights on which our Lord was standing when He wrought the miracle, and looked away eagerly eastward. There lay the Sea of Galilee, less stern than Wastwater, less fair than gentle Windermere, but still with the winning ways of an English lake. My mind, however, flew away from the historical associations of the place, and I thought of the mysterious desert which stretched from these grey hills to the gates of Bagdad.
I went on to Tiberias, and soon got afloat upon the water. In the evening I took up my quarters in the Catholic church. Tiberias is one of the four holy cities, the others being Jerusalem, Hebron, and Safet; and, according to the Talmud, it is from Tiberias, or its immediate neighbourhood, that the Messiah is to arise. Except at Jerusalem, never think of attempting to sleep in a "holy city."
After leaving Tiberias, we rode for some hours along the right bank of the Jordan till we came to an old Roman bridge which crossed the river. My Nazarene guide, riding ahead of the party, led on over the bridge. I knew that the true road to Jerusalem must be mainly by the right bank, but I supposed that my guide had crossed the bridge in order to avoid some bend in the river, and that he knew of a ford lower down by which we should regain the western bank. For two days we wandered, unable to find a ford across the swollen river, and at last the guide fell on his knees and confessed that he knew nothing of the country. Thrown upon my own resources, I concluded that the Dead Sea must be near, and in the afternoon I first caught sight of those waters of death which stretched deeply into the southern desert. Before me and all around as far as the eye could follow, blank hills piled high over hills, pale, yellow, and naked, walled up in her tomb for ever the dead and damned of Gomorrah.
The water is perfectly bright and clear, its taste detestable. My steps were reluctantly turned towards the north. On the west there flowed the impassable Jordan, on the east stood an endless range of barren mountains, on the south lay the desert sea. Suddenly there broke upon my ear the ludicrous bray of a living donkey. I followed the direction of the sound, and in a hollow came upon an Arab encampment. Through my Arab interpreter an arrangement was come to with the sheikh to carry my party and baggage in safety to the other bank of the river on condition that I should give him and his tribe a "teskeri," or written certificate of their good conduct, and some baksheish.
The passage was accomplished by means of a raft formed of inflated skins and small boughs cut from the banks of the river, and guided by Arabs swimming alongside. The horses and mules were thrown into the water and forced to swim over. We camped on the right side of the river for the night, and the Arabs were made most savagely happy by the tobacco with which I supplied them, and they spent the whole night in one smoking festival. I parted upon very good terms from this tribe, and in three hours gained Rihah, a village said to occupy the ancient site of Jericho. Some hours after sunset I reached the convent of Santa Saba.
IV.—Jerusalem and Bethlehem
The enthusiasm that had glowed, or seemed to glow, within me for one blessed moment when I knelt by the shrine of the Blessed Virgin at Nazareth was not rekindled at Jerusalem. In the stead of the solemn gloom, and a deep stillness which by right belonged to the Holy City, there was the hum and the bustle of active life. It was the "height of the season." The Easter ceremonies drew near, and pilgrims were flocking in from all quarters. The space fronting the church of the Holy Sepulchre becomes a kind of bazaar. I have never seen elsewhere in Asia so much commercial animation. When I entered the church I found a babel of worshippers. Greek, Roman, and Armenian priests were performing their different rites in various nooks, and crowds of disciples were rushing about in all directions—some laughing and talking, some begging, but most of them going about in a regular, methodical way to kiss the sanctified spots, speak the appointed syllables, and lay down their accustomed coins. They seemed to be not "working out," but "transacting" the great business of salvation.
The Holy Sepulchre is under the roof of this great church. It is a handsome tomb of oblong form, partly subterranean. You descend into the interior by a few steps, and there find an altar with burning tapers. When you have seen enough of it you feel, perhaps, weary of the busy crowd, and ask your dragoman whether there will be time before sunset to procure horses and take a ride to Mount Calvary.
"Mount Calvary, signor! It is upstairs—on the first floor!" In effect you ascend just thirteen steps, and then are shown the now golden sockets in which the crosses of our Lord and the two thieves were fixed.
The village of Bethlehem lies prettily couched on the slope of a hill. The sanctuary is a subterranean grotto, and is committed to the joint guardianship of the Romans, Greeks, and Armenians, who vie with each other in adorning it. Beneath an altar gorgeously decorated, and lit with everlasting fires, there stands the low slab of stone which marked the holy site of the Nativity, and near to this is a hollow scooped out of the living rock. Here the infant Jesus was laid. Near the spot of the Nativity is the rock against which the Blessed Virgin was leaning when she presented her babe to the adoring shepherds.
V.—To Cairo and the Pyramids
Gaza is upon the edge of the desert, to which it stands in the same relation as a seaport to the sea. It is there that you charter your camels, "the ships of the desert," and lay in your stores for the voyage. The agreement with the desert Arabs includes a safe conduct through their country as well as the hire of the camels. On the ninth day, without startling incident, I arrived at the capital of Egypt.
Cairo and the plague! During the whole time of my stay, the plague was so master of the city, and showed himself so staringly in every street and alley, that I can't now affect to dissociate the two ideas. I was the only European traveller in Cairo, and was provided with a house by one Osman Effendi, whose history was curious. He was a Scotchman born, and landed in Egypt as a drummer-boy with Mackenzie Fraser's force, taken prisoner, and offered the alternative of death or the Koran.
He did not choose death, and followed the orthodox standard of the Prophet in fierce campaigns against the Wahabees. Returning to Cairo in triumph from his Holy Wars, Osman began to flourish in the world, acquired property, and became effendi, or gentleman, giving pledge of his sincere alienation from Christianity by keeping a couple of wives. The strangest feature in Osman's character was his inextinguishable nationality. In his house he had three shelves of books, and the books were thoroughbred Scotch! He afterwards died of the plague, of which visitation one-half of the whole people of the city, 200,000 in number, were carried off. I took it into my pleasant head that the plague might be providential or epidemic, but was not contagious, and therefore I determined that it should not alter my habits in any one respect. I hired a donkey, and saw all that was to be seen in the city in the way of public buildings—one handsome mosque, which had been built by a wealthy Hindoostanee merchant, and the citadel. From the platform of the latter there is a superb view of the town. But your eyes are drawn westward over the Nile, till they rest upon the massive enormities of the Ghizeh pyramids. At length the great difficulty which I had in procuring beasts for my departure was overcome, and with two dromedaries and three camels I and my servants gladly wound our way from out the pest-stricken city.
Of course, I went to see and explore the pyramids of Ghizeh, Aboucir, and Sakkara, which I need not describe. Near the pyramids, more wondrous and more awful than all else in the land of Egypt, there sits the lonely sphinx. Upon ancient dynasties of Ethiopian and Egyptian kings, upon conquerors, down through all the ages till to-day, this unworldly sphinx has watched like a Providence with the same earnest eyes, and the same sad, tranquil mien. And we shall die, and Islam will wither away, and the Englishman, leaning far over to hold his loved India, will plant a firm foot on the banks of the Nile and sit in the seats of the faithful, and still that sleepless rock will lie watching and watching the works of the new, busy race with those same sad, earnest eyes, the same tranquil mien everlasting.
I accomplished the journey to Suez after an exciting adventure in the desert. There are two opinions as to the point at which the Israelites passed the Red Sea. One is that they traversed only the very small creek at the northern extremity of the inlet, and that they entered the bed of the water at the spot on which Suez now stands. The other is that they crossed the sea from a point eighteen miles down the coast.
From Suez I crossed the desert once more to Gaza, and thence to Nablous and Safet—beautiful on its craggy height. Thereafter, for a part of two days, I wound under the base of the snow-crowned Djibel El Sheik, and then entered upon a vast plain. Before evening came there were straining eyes that saw, and joyful voices that announced, the sight of the holy, blessed Damascus. This earthly paradise of the Prophet is a city of hidden palaces, of copses and gardens, fountains and bubbling streams.
The path by which I crossed the Lebanon is like that of the Foorca in the Bernese Oberland, and from the white shoulder of the mountain I saw the breadth of all Syria west of the range. I descended, passing the group of cedars which is held sacred by the Greek Church. They occupy three or four acres on the mountain-side, and many of them are gnarled in a way that implies great age; but I saw nothing in their appearance that tended to prove them contemporaries of the cedars employed in Solomon's temple. Beyrout was reached without further adventure, and my eastern travel practically ended.
AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD
Nineveh and Its Remains
I.—Mosul and its Hidden Mysteries
Sir Austen Henry Layard, the most famous of all Oriental archaeological explorers and discoverers, was born in Paris, on March 5, 1817, and died on July 5, 1894. Intended for the English legal profession, but contracting a dislike to the prospect, he determined to make himself familiar with the romantic regions of the Near East, and travelled in all parts of the Turkish and Persian Empires, and through several districts of Arabia. The desire came upon him to investigate the mysterious mounds on the great plains of the Tigris and the Euphrates, and he began that series of excavations which resulted in the most sensational discoveries of modern times, for he unearthed the remains of the long-buried city of Nineveh. With the marvellous, massive, and sublime sculptures of winged, human-headed bulls and lions, and eagle-headed deities, he enriched the galleries of the British Museum, England thus becoming possessed of the finest collection of the kind in the world. Layard's two volumes, "Nineveh and Its Remains" (1848) and "Monuments of Nineveh" (1850), are unique records of special enterprise and skill.
During the autumn of 1839 and winter of 1840, I had been wandering through Asia Minor and Syria, scarcely leaving untrod one spot hallowed by tradition, or unvisited one spot consecrated by history. I was accompanied by one no less curious and enthusiastic than myself—Edward Ledwich Mitford, afterwards engaged in the civil service in Ceylon. We were both equally careless of comfort and unmindful of danger. We rode alone; our arms were our only protection; and we tended our own horses, except when relieved from the duty by the hospitable inhabitants of a Turcoman village or an Arab tent.
We left Aleppo on March 18, took the road through Bir and Orfa, and, traversing the low country at the foot of the Kurdish hills, reached Mosul on April 10.
During a short stay in the town we visited the great ruins on the east bank of the river which have been generally believed to be the remains of Nineveh. We rode into the desert and explored the mound of Kalah Shergat, a vast, shapeless mass, covered with grass, with remains of ancient walls laid open where the winter rains had formed ravines.
A few fragments of ancient pottery and inscribed bricks proved that it owed its construction to the people who had founded the city of which the mounds of Nimroud are the remains. These huge mounds of Assyria made a deeper impression upon me than the temples of Baalbec and the theatres of Ionia. My curiosity had been greatly excited, and I formed the design of thoroughly examining, whenever it might be in my power, the ruins of Nimroud.
It was not till the summer of 1842 that I again passed through Mosul on my way to Constantinople. I found that M. Botta had, since my first visit, commenced excavations on the opposite side of the Tigris in the large mound of Kouyunjik, and in the village of Khorsabad. To him is due the honour of having found the first Assyrian monument. He uncovered an edifice belonging to the age preceding the conquests of Alexander. This was a marvellous and epoch-making discovery.
My first step on reaching Mosul was to present my letters to Mohammed Pasha, governor of the province. His appearance matched his temper and conduct, and thus was not prepossessing. Nature had placed hypocrisy beyond his reach. He had one eye and one ear, was short and fat, deeply marked by small-pox, and uncouth in gestures and harsh in voice. At the time of my arrival the population was in despair at his exactions and cruelties.
The appearance of a stranger led to hopes, and reports were whispered about the town that I was the bearer of the news of the disgrace of the tyrant. But his vengeance speedily fell on the principal inhabitants, for such as had hitherto escaped his rapacity were seized and stripped of their property, on the plea that they had spread reports detrimental to his authority.
Such was the pasha to whom I was introduced two days after my arrival by the British Vice-Consul, M. Rassam. I understood that my plans must be kept secret, though I was ready to put them into operation. I knew that from the authorities and people of the town I could only look for the most decided opposition. On November 8, having secretly procured a few tools, I engaged a mason at the moment of my departure, and carrying with me a variety of guns, spears, and other formidable weapons, declared that I was going to hunt wild boars in a neighbouring village, and floated down the Tigris on a small raft, accompanied by Mr. Ross, a British merchant then residing at Mosul, my cavass, and a servant.
At this time of year nearly seven hours are required to descend the Tigris, from Mosul to Nimroud. It was sunset before we reached the Awai, or dam across the river. We landed and walked to a small hamlet called Naifa. We had entered a heap of ruins, but were welcomed by an Arab family crouching round a heap of half-extinguished embers. The half-naked children and women retreated into a corner of the hut. The man, clad in ample cloak and white turban, being able to speak a little Turkish, and being active and intelligent, seemed likely to be of use to me.
I acquainted him with the object of my journey, offering him regular employment in the event of the experiment proving successful, and assigning him fixed wages as superintendent of the workmen. He volunteered to walk, in the middle of the night, to Selamiyah, a village three miles distant, and to some Arab tents in the neighbourhood, to procure men to assist in the excavations. I slept little during the night. Hopes long cherished were now to be realised, or were to end in disappointment.
Visions of palaces under ground, of gigantic monsters, or sculptured figures, and endless inscriptions floated before me. In the morning I was roused and informed that six workmen had been secured. Twenty minutes' walk brought us to the principal mound. Broken pottery and fragments of brick, inscribed with cuneiform characters, were strewn on all sides. With joy I found the fragment of a bas-relief. Convinced that sculptured remains must still exist in some parts of the mound, I sought for a place where excavations might be commenced with some prospects of success. Awad led me to a piece of alabaster which appeared above the soil. We could not remove it, and on digging downward it proved to be the upper part of a large slab. I ordered the men to work around it, and shortly we uncovered a second slab.
One after another, thirteen slabs came to light, the whole forming a square, with a slab missing at one corner. We had found a chamber, and the gap was at its entrance. I now dug down the face of one of the stones, and a cuneiform inscription was soon exposed to view. Leaving half the workmen to remove the rubbish from the chamber, I led the rest to the south-west corner of the mound, where I had observed many fragments of calcined alabaster.
A trench, opened in the side of the mound, brought me almost immediately to a wall, bearing inscriptions in the same character. Next day, five more workmen having joined, before evening the work of the first party was completed, and I found myself in a room panelled with slabs about eight feet high, and varying from six to four feet in breadth.
Some objects of ivory, on which were traces of gold leaf had been found by Awad in the ruins, and these I told him to keep, much to his surprise. But word had already been sent to the pasha of all details of my doings. When I called on him he pretended at first to be ignorant of the excavations, but presently, as if to convict me of prevarication in my answers to his questions as to the amount of treasure discovered, pulled out of his writing-tray a scrap of paper in which was an almost invisible particle of gold leaf. This, he said, had been brought to him by the commander of the irregular troops at Selamiyah, who had been watching my proceedings.
I suggested that he should name an agent to be present as long as I worked at Nimroud, to take charge of all the precious metals that might be discovered. He promised to write on the subject to the chief of the irregulars, but offered no objection to the continuation of my researches. I returned to Nimroud on the 19th, increased my workmen to thirty, and divided them into three parties. The excavations were actively carried on, and an entrance, or doorway, leading into the interior of the mound, being cleared, rich results soon rewarded our efforts. In a chamber that the Arabs unearthed were found two slabs on which were splendid bas-reliefs, depicting on each a battle scene. In the upper part of the largest were represented two chariots, each drawn by richly caparisoned horses at full speed, and containing a group of three warriors, the principal of which was beardless and evidently a eunuch, grasping a bow at full stretch.
II.—"They have Found Nimrod Himself!"
Mohammed Pasha was deposed, and on my return to Mosul, in the beginning of January, I found Ismail Pasha installed in the government. My fresh experiments among the ruins speedily led to the discoveries of extraordinary bas-reliefs. The most perfect of these represented a king, distinguished by his high, conical tiara, raising his extended right hand and resting his left on a bow. At his feet crouched a warrior, probably a captive or rebel. A eunuch held a fly-flapper over the head of the king, who appeared to be talking with an officer standing in front of him, probably his vizir or minister.
The digging of two long trenches led to the discovery of two more walls with sculptures not well preserved. I abandoned this part of the mound and resumed excavations in the north-west ruins near the chamber first opened, where the slabs were uninjured. In two days the workmen reached the top of an entire slab, standing in its original position. In a few hours the earth was completely removed, and there stood to view, to my great satisfaction, two colossal human figures, carved in low relief and in admirable preservation.
The figures were back to back, and from the shoulders of each sprang two wings. They appeared to represent divinities, presiding over seasons. One carried a fallow deer on his right arm, and in his left a branch bearing five flowers. The other held a square vessel or basket in the left hand, and an object resembling a fir cone in his right.
On the morning following these discoveries some of the Arab workmen came towards me in the utmost excitement, exclaiming: "Hasten to the diggers, for they have found Nimrod himself! Wallah! it is wonderful, but we have seen him with our own eyes. There is no God but God." On reaching the trench I found unearthed an enormous human head sculptured out of the alabaster of the country.
They had uncovered the upper part of a figure, the remainder of which was still buried in the earth. I saw at once that the head must belong to a winged bull or lion, similar to those at Khorsabad and Persepolis. It was in admirable preservation. I was not surprised that the Arabs had been amazed and terrified at this apparition. They declared that this was one of the giants whom Noah cursed before the flood, and was not the work of men's hands at all. By the end of March I unearthed several other such colossal figures. They were about twelve feet high and twelve feet long.
I used to contemplate for hours these mysterious emblems, and muse over their intent and history. What more noble forms could have ushered the people into the temples of their gods? They formed the avenue to the portals. For twenty-five centuries they had been hidden from the eye of man, and now they stood forth once more in their ancient majesty.
III.—Unearthing the Palaces of Assyria
As the discoveries proceeded in several successive seasons, they threw vivid light on the manners and customs of the Assyrians. My working parties were distributed over the mound, in the ruins of the north-west and south-west palaces; near the gigantic bulls in the centre, and in the south-east corner, where no traces of buildings had as yet been discovered.
I was anxious to pack some of the slabs, which were of the highest interest, to England. They represented the wars of the king and his victories over foreign nations. Above him was the emblem of the supreme deity, represented, as at Persepolis, by a winged man within a circle, and wearing a horned cap resembling that of the human-headed lions. Like the king, he was shooting an arrow, the head of which was in the form of a trident.
Four bas-reliefs, representing a battle, were especially illustrative of Assyrian customs. A eunuch is seen commanding in war, as we have before seen him ministering to the king at religious ceremonies, or waiting on him as his arms-bearer during peace. Judging from the slabs, cavalry must have formed a large and important portion of the Assyrian armies.
The lower series of bas-reliefs contained three subjects: the siege of a castle, the king receiving prisoners, and the king with his army crossing a river. To the castle, the besiegers had brought a battering-ram, which two warriors were seeking to hold in its place by hooks, this part of the bas-relief illustrating the account in the Book of Chronicles and in Josephus of the machine for battering walls, instruments to cast stones, and grappling-irons made by Uzziah.
A cargo of sculptures had already been sent to England for the British Museum, and by the middle of December a second was ready to be dispatched on the river to Baghdad.
When the excavations were recommenced after Christmas eight chambers had been discovered. There were now so many outlets and entrances that I had no trouble in finding new chambers, one leading into another. By the end of April I had uncovered almost the whole building, and had opened twenty-eight halls and rooms cased with alabaster slabs.
The colossal figure of a woman with four wings, carrying a garland, now in the British Museum, was discovered in a chamber on the south side of the palace, as was also the fine bas-relief of the king leaning on a wand, one of the best-preserved and most highly finished specimens of Assyrian sculpture in the national collection.
In the centre of the palace was a great hall, or rather court, for it had probably been without a roof and open to the air, with entrances on the four sides, each formed by colossal human-headed lions and bulls. To the south of this hall was a cluster of small chambers, opening into each other. At the entrance to one of them were two winged human figures wearing garlands, and carrying a wild goat and an ear of corn.
In another chamber were discovered a number of beautiful ivory ornaments, now in the British Museum. On two slabs, forming an entrance to a small chamber in this part of the building, some inscriptions containing the name of Sargon, the king who built the Khorsabad palace. They had been cut above the standard inscription, to which they were evidently posterior.
Having finished my work at Nimroud, I turned my attention to Kouyunjik. The term means in Turkish "the little sheep." The great mount is situated on the plain near the junction of the Khausser and the Tigris, the former winding round its base and then making its way into the great stream.
The French consul had carried on desultory excavations some years at Kouyunjik, without finding any traces of buildings. I set my workmen commencing operations by the proper method of digging deep trenches. One morning, as I was at Mosul, two Arab women came to me and announced that sculptures had been discovered.
I rode to the ruins, and found that a wall and the remains of an entrance had been reached. The wall proved to be one side of a chamber. By following it, we reached an entrance, formed by winged human-headed bulls, leading into a second hall. In a month nine halls and chambers had been explored. In its architecture the newly discovered edifice resembled the palaces of Nimroud and Khorsabad. The halls were long and narrow, the walls of unbaked brick and panelled with sculptured slabs.
The king whose name is on the sculptures and bricks from Kouyunjik was the father of Esarhaddon, the builder of the south-west palace at Nimroud, and the son of Sargon, the Khorsabad king, and is now generally admitted to be Sennacherib.
By the middle of the month of June my labours in Assyria drew to a close. The time assigned for the excavations had been expended, and further researches were not contemplated for the present. I prepared, therefore, to turn my steps homeward after an absence of many years. The ruins of Nimroud had been again covered up, and its palaces were once more hidden from the eye.
A Tour in Lapland
I.—A Wandering Scientist
Carolus Linnaeus, the celebrated Swedish naturalist, was born at Rashult on May 23, 1707. At school his taste for botany was encouraged, but after an unsatisfactory academic career his father decided to apprentice him to a tradesman. A doctor called Rothmann, however, recognised and fostered his scientific talents, and in 1728, on Rothmann's advice, he went to Upsala and studied under the celebrated Rudbeck. In 1732 he made his famous tour in Lapland. He gives a fascinating account of this journey in "A Tour in Lapland" ("Lachesis Lapponica"), published in 1737. In 1739 he was appointed a naval physician, and in 1741 became professor of medicine at the University of Upsala, but in the following year exchanged his chair for that of botany. To Linnaeus is due the honour of having first enunciated the true principles for defining genera and species, and that honour will last so long as biology itself endures. He found biology a chaos; he left it a cosmos. He died on January 10, 1778. Among his published works are "Systema Naturae," "Fundamenta Botanica," and the "Species Plantarum."
Having been appointed by the Royal Academy of Sciences to travel through Lapland for the purpose of investigating the three kingdoms of nature in that country, I prepared my wearing apparel and other necessaries for the journey.
I carried a small leather bag, half an ell in length, but somewhat less in breadth, furnished on one side with hooks and eyes, so that it could be opened and shut at pleasure. This bag contained one shirt, two pairs of false sleeves, two half shirts, an inkstand, pencase, microscope, and spying glass, a gauze cap to protect me occasionally from the gnats, a comb, my journal, and a parcel of paper stitched together for drying plants, both in folio; my manuscript ornithology, Flora Uplandica, and Characteres generici. I wore a hanger at my side, and carried a small fowling-piece, as well as an octangular stick, graduated for the purpose of measuring.
I set out alone from the city of Upsal on Friday, May 22, 1732, at eleven o'clock, being at that time within half a day of twenty-five years of age.
At this season nature wore her most cheerful and delightful aspect, and Flora celebrated her nuptials with Phoebus. The winter corn was half a foot in height, and the barley had just shot out its blade. The birch, the elm, and the aspen-tree began to put forth their leaves.
A number of mares with their colts were grazing everywhere near the road. I remarked the great length of the colts' legs, which, according to common opinion, are as long at their birth as they will ever be. I noticed young kids, under whose chin, at the beginning of the throat, were a pair of tubercles, like those seen in pigs, about an inch long, and clothed with a few scattered hairs. Of their use I am ignorant. The forest abounded with the yellow anemone (Anemone ranunculoides), which many people consider as differing from that genus. One would suppose they had never seen an anemone at all. Here, also, grew hepatica, and wood sorrel. Their blossoms were all closed. Who has endowed plants with intelligence to shut themselves up at the approach of rain? Even when the weather changes in a moment from sunshine to rain they immediately close.
Near the great river Linsnan I found blood-red stones. On rubbing them I found the red colour external and distinct from the stone; in fact, it was a red byssus.
At Enaenger the people seemed somewhat larger in stature than in other places, especially the men. I inquired whether the children are kept longer at the breast than is usual with us, and was answered in the affirmative. They are allowed that nourishment more than twice as long as in other places. I have a notion that Adam and Eve were giants, and that mankind from one generation to another, owing to poverty and other causes, have diminished in size. Hence, perhaps, the diminutive stature of the Laplanders.
The old tradition that the inhabitants of Helsingland never have the ague is untrue, since I heard of many cases.
Between the post-house of Iggsund and Hudwiksvall a violet-coloured clay is found in abundance, forming a regular stratum. I observed it likewise in a hill, the strata of which consisted of two or three fingers' breadths of common vegetable mould, then from four to six inches of barren sand, next about a span of the violet clay, and lastly, barren sand. The clay contained small and delicately smooth white bivalve shells, quite entire, as well as some larger brown ones, of which great quantities are to be found near the waterside. I am therefore convinced that all these valleys and marshes have formerly been under water, and that the highest hills only then rose above it. At this spot grows the Anemone hepatica with a purple flower; a variety so very rare in other places that I should almost be of the opinion of the gardeners, who believe the colours of particular earths may be communicated to flowers.
On May 21 I found at Natra some fields cultivated in an extraordinary manner. After the field had lain fallow three or four years, it is sown with one part rye and two parts barley, mixed together. The barley ripens, and is reaped. The rye, meantime, goes into leaf, but shoots up no stem, since it is smothered by the barley. After the barley has been reaped, however, the rye grows and ripens the following year, producing an abundant crop.
The Laplanders of Lycksele prepare a kind of curd or cheese from the milk of the reindeer and the leaves of sorrel. They boil these leaves in a copper vessel, adding one-third part water, stirring it continually with a ladle that it may not burn, and adding fresh leaves from time to time till the whole acquires the consistence of a syrup. This takes six or seven hours, after which it is set by to cool, and is then mixed with the milk, and preserved for use from autumn till the ensuing summer in wooden vessels, or in the first stomach of the reindeer. It is stored either in the caves of the mountains or in holes dug in the ground, lest it should be attacked by the mountain mice.
In Angermanland the people eat sour milk prepared in the following manner. After the milk is turned, and the curd taken out, the whey is put into a vessel, where it remains till it becomes sour. Immediately after the making of cheese, fresh whey is poured lukewarm on the former sour whey. This is repeated several times, care being always taken that the fresh whey be lukewarm. This prepared milk is esteemed a great dainty by the country people. They consider it as very cooling and refreshing. Sometimes it is eaten along with fresh milk. Intermittent fevers would not be so rare here as they are if they could be produced by acid diet, for then this food must infallibly occasion them.
In Westbothland one of the peasants had shot a young beaver, which fell under my examination. It was a foot and a half long, exclusive of the tail, which was a palm in length and two inches and a half in breadth. The hairs on the back were longer than the rest; the external ones brownish black, the inner pale brown; the belly clothed with short, dark-brown fur; body depressed; ears obtuse, clothed with fine short hairs and destitute of any accessory lobe; snout blunt, with round nostrils; upper lip cloven as far as the nostrils; lower very short; the whiskers black, long, and stout; eyebrow of three bristles like the whiskers over each eye; neck, none. The fur of the belly was distinguished from that of the sides by a line on each side, in which the skin was visible. Feet clothed with very short hairs, quite different from those of the body. A fleshy integument invested the whole body. There were two cutting teeth in each jaw, of which the upper pair were the shortest, and notched at the summit like steps; the lower and larger pair were sloped off obliquely—grinders very far remote from the fore-teeth, which is characteristic of the animal, four on each side; hind feet webbed, but fore feet with separate claws; tail flat, oblong, obtuse, with a reticulated naked surface.
At Lycksele was a woman supposed to have a brood of frogs in her stomach, owing to drinking water containing frogs' spawn. She thought she could feel three of them, and that she and those beside her could hear them croak. Her uneasiness was alleviated by drinking brandy. Salt had no effect in killing the frogs, and even nux vomica, which had cured another case of the same kind, was useless. I advised her to try tar, but she had already tried it in vain.
The Lycksele Laplanders are subject, when they are compelled to drink the warm sea water, to allem, or colic, for which they use soot, snuff, salt, and other remedies. They also suffer from asthma, epilepsy, pleurisy, and rheumatism. Fever and small-pox are rare. They cure coughs by sulphur laid on burning fungus.
On June 3, being lost amid marshes, I sent a man to obtain a guide. About two in the afternoon he returned, accompanied by an extraordinary creature. I can scarce believe that any practical description of a fury could come up to the idea which this Lapland fair one excited. It might well be imagined she was really of Stygian origin. Her stature was very diminutive; her face of the darkest brown, from the effects of smoke; her eyes dark and sparkling; her eyebrows black. Her pitchy-coloured hair hung loose about her head, and she wore a flat, red cap.
Though a fury in appearance, she addressed me with mingled pity and reserve.
I inquired how far it was to Sorsele.
"That we do not know," replied she; "but in the present state of the roads it is at least seven days' journey, as my husband has told me."
I was exhausted and famishing. How I longed to meet once more people who feed on spoon-meat! I inquired of the woman if she could give me food. She replied that she could give me only fish, but finding the fish full of maggots, I could not touch it. On arriving at her hut, however, I perceived three cheeses, and succeeded in buying the smallest. Then I returned through the marshes the way I came.
I remarked that all the women hereabouts feed their infants by means of a horn; nor do they take the trouble of boiling the milk, so it is no wonder the children have worms. I could not help being astonished that these peasants did not suckle their children.
Near the road I saw the under-jaw of a horse, having six fore-teeth, much worn and blunted; two canine teeth; and at a distance from the latter twelve grinders, six on each side. If I knew how many teeth, and of what peculiar form, as well as how many udders and where situated, each animal has, I should perhaps be able to contrive a most natural methodical arrangement of quadrupeds. [This observation seems to record the first idea of the Linnaean system of the order of the mammalia.]
On June 18 the people brought me a peasant's child, supposed to have cataract. I concluded that it was not cataract; but noticing that the eyeballs rolled upwards when the child was spoken to, I asked the mother whether, when she was with child, she had seen anybody turn their eyes in that manner. She replied that she had attended her mother, or mother-in-law, who was supposed to be dying, whose eyes rolled in a similar fashion. This was the cause of the infant's misfortune.
At Lulea I was informed of a disease of cattle so pestilential that though the animals were flayed even before they were cold, whenever their blood had come in contact with the human body it had caused gangrenous spots and sores. Some persons had both their hands swelled, and one his face, in consequence of the blood coming upon it. Many people had lost their lives by the disease, insomuch that nobody would now venture to flay any more of the cattle, but contrived to bury them whole.
On June 30 I arrived at Jockmock, where the curate and schoolmaster tormented me with their consummate and most incorrigible ignorance. I could not but wonder that so much pride and ambition, such scandalous want of information, with such incorrigible stupidity, could exist in persons of their profession, who are commonly expected to be men of knowledge. No man will deny the propriety of such people as these being placed as far as possible from civilised society.
The learned curate began his conversation by remarking how the clouds as they strike the mountains carry away stones, trees, and cattle. I ventured to suggest that such accidents were rather to be attributed to the force of the wind, since the clouds could not of themselves carry away anything. He laughed at me, saying surely I had never seen any clouds. For my part it seemed to me that he could never have been anywhere but in the clouds. I explained that when the weather is foggy I walk in clouds, and that when the cloud is condensed it rains. At all such reasoning, being above his comprehension, he only laughed with a sardonic smile. Still less was he satisfied with my explanation how watery bubbles may be lifted into the air. He insisted that the clouds were solid bodies, reinforced his assertion with a text of Scripture, silenced me by authority, and laughed at my ignorance.
He next condescended to inform me that a phlegm is always to be found on the mountains where the clouds have touched them. I told him that the phlegm was a vegetable called nostoc, and he thereupon concluded that too much learning had turned my brain, and, fully persuaded of his own complete knowledge of nature, was pleased to be very facetious at my expense. Finally, he graciously advised me to pay some regard to the opinions of people skilled in these abstruse matters, and not to expose myself on my return by publishing such absurd and preposterous opinions.
Meantime, the pedagogue lamented that people should bestow so much attention upon temporal vanities, and consequently, alas, neglect their spiritual good; and he remarked that many a man had been ruined by too great application to study. Both these wise men concurred in one thing: they could not conceal their wonder that the Royal Academy should have appointed a mere student for the purposes for which I was sent when there were competent men like themselves in the country ready to undertake the business.
The common method of the Laplanders for joining broken earthenware is to tie the fragments together with a thread, and boil the whole in fresh milk, which acts as a cement.
The Laplanders are particularly swift-footed because: They wear no heels to their half-boots; they are accustomed to run from their infancy, and habitually exercise their muscles; their muscles are not stiffened by labour; they eat animal food, and do not overeat; they are of small stature. They are healthy because they breathe pure air and drink pure water, eat their food cold and thoroughly cooked, never overload their stomachs, and have a tranquil mind.
IV.—A Lapland Marriage
All the Laplanders are blear-eyed, owing to the sharp wind, the glare on the snow, fogs, and smoke. Yet I never met any people who lead such easy, happy lives as the Laplanders. In summer they have two meals of milk a day, and when they have milked their reindeer or made cheese, they resign themselves to indolent tranquillity, not knowing what to do next.
When a Laplander wishes to marry he goes with all his nearest relatives to the hut of the young woman. He himself remains outside; but the others, laden with provisions and presents, enter and begin negotiations. When they are all seated the young man's father presents some brandy to the young woman's father, and being asked the reason of the gift, replies: "I am come hither with a good intention, and I pray God it may prosper." He then declares his errand, and if his suit is favourably received, the friends of the lover place the presents—usually utensils and silver coins—on a reindeer skin before the father and mother of the prospective bride, and the father, or the mother, of the lover apportions the money to the young woman and her parents. If the presents are considered satisfactory, the daughter, who has usually retired to another hut, is sent for.
When the bride enters the hut her father asks her whether she is satisfied with what he has done. To which she replies that she submits herself to the disposal of her father, who is the best judge of what is proper for her. The mother then lays in the bride's lap the sum apportioned for her. If it proves less than she expected, she shows her dissatisfaction by various gestures and signs of refusal, and may possibly obtain at least the promise of a larger sum.
When such pecuniary matters are finally arranged the father and mother of the bridegroom present him and his bride with a cup of brandy, of which they partake together, and then all the company shake hands. Afterwards they take off their hats, and one of the company makes an oration, praying for God's blessing upon the newly married couple, and returning thanks to Him who "gives every man his own wife, and every woman her own husband."
Then the provisions, which generally consist of several cheeses and a piece of meat dried and salted, are brought forward, and the company sit down to feast. The bride and bridegroom are placed together, and are given the best of the provisions. The company then serve themselves, taking their meat on the points of their knives, and dipping each morsel into some of the broth in which it was boiled.
The dinner being over, the whole company shake hands, return thanks for the entertainment, and retire to bed. Next morning they all feed on the remainder of the feast. The banns are usually published once. The marriage ceremony, which is very short, is performed after the above-mentioned company has departed.
The tranquil existence of the Laplanders corresponds to Ovid's description of the golden age, and to the pastoral state as depicted by Virgil. It recalls the remembrance of the patriarchal life, and the poetical descriptions of the Elysian fields.
About one o'clock on the afternoon of October 10, I returned safe to Upsal. To the Maker and Preserver of all things, be praise, honour, and glory for ever!
Missionary Travels and Researches
David Livingstone was born at Blantyre, on the Clyde (Scotland), on March 19, 1813, the son of a small tea-dealer. Working as a boy in a cotton-mill, he learnt Latin by the midnight candle, and later attended medical and Greek classes at Glasgow University, where he qualified as doctor of medicine. He sailed as missionary to Africa in 1840, and worked at Kuruman with Moffat, whose daughter he married. Setting out to explore the interior in 1849, Livingstone eventually discovered Lakes Ngami, Shirwa, Dilolo, Bangweolo, Tanganyika, and Nyassa, and the Rivers Zambesi, Shire, and Kasai, also the Victoria and Murchison Falls. His scientific researches were invaluable, his character so pure and brave that he made the white man respected. Stanley visited and helped him in 1871, but on May 1, 1873, he died at Ilala, and his remains, carefully preserved by his native servants, were brought to England and buried with great honours in Westminster Abbey. His "Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa," published during his visit to England in 1857, make delightful reading, and thoroughly reflect the inmost character of the man. There is no attempt at literary style; the story is told with a simplicity and an apparent unconsciousness of having done anything remarkable that cannot fail to captivate.
My own inclination would lead me to say as little as possible about myself. My great-grandfather fell at Culloden, my grandfather used to tell us national stories, and my grandmother sang Gaelic songs. To my father and the other children the dying injunction was, "Now, in my lifetime I have searched most carefully through all the traditions I could find of our family, and I never could discover that there was a dishonest man among our forefathers. If, therefore, any of you or any of your children should take to dishonest ways, it will not be because it runs in your blood, it does not belong to you. I leave this precept with you—Be honest."
As a boy I worked at a cotton factory at Blantyre to lessen the family anxieties, and bought my "Rudiments of Latin" out of my first week's wages, pursuing the study of that language at an evening school, followed up till twelve o'clock or later, if my mother did not interfere by jumping up and snatching the books out of my hands. Reading everything I could lay my hands on, except novels, scientific works and books of travel were my especial delight. Great pains had been taken by my parents to instil the doctrines of Christianity into my mind. My early desire was to become a pioneer missionary in China, and eventually I offered my services to the London Missionary Society, having passed my medical examination at Glasgow University.
I embarked for Africa in 1840, and from Cape Town travelled up country seven hundred miles to Kuruman, where I joined Mr. Moffat in his work, and after four years as a bachelor, I married his daughter Mary.
Settling among the Mabotsa tribe, I found that they were troubled with attacks from lions, so one day I went with my gun into the bush and shot one, but the wounded beast sprang upon me, and felled me to the ground. While perfectly conscious, I lost all sense of fear or feeling, and narrowly escaped with my life. Besides crunching the bone into splinters, he left eleven teeth wounds on the upper part of my arm.
I attached myself to the tribe called Bakwains, whose chief, Sechele, a most intelligent man, became my fast friend, and a convert to Christianity. The Bakwains had many excellent qualities, which might have been developed by association with European nations. An adverse influence, however, is exercised by the Boers, for, while claiming for themselves the title of Christians, they treat these natives as black property, and their system of domestic slavery and robbery is a disgrace to the white man. For my defence of the rights of Sechele and the Bakwains, I was treated as conniving at their resistance, and my house was destroyed, my library, the solace of our solitude, torn to pieces, my stock of medicines smashed, and our furniture and clothing sold at public auction to pay the expenses of the foray.
In travelling we sometimes suffered from a scarcity of meat, and the natives, to show their sympathy for the children, often gave them caterpillars to eat; but one of the dishes they most enjoyed was cooked "mathametlo," a large frog, which, during a period of drought, takes refuge in a hole in the root of certain bushes, and over the orifice a large variety of spider weaves its web. The scavenger-beetle, which keeps the Kuruman villages sweet and clean, rolls the dirt into a ball, and carries it, like Atlas, on its back.
In passing across the great Kalahari desert we met with the Bushmen, or Bakalahari, who, from dread of visits from strange tribes, choose their residences far away from water, hiding their supplies of this necessity for life in pits filled up by women, who pass every drop through their mouths as a pump, using a straw to guide the stream into the vessel. They will never disclose this supply to strangers, but by sitting down and waiting with patience until the villagers were led to form a favourable opinion of us, a woman would bring out a shell full of the precious fluid from I knew not where.
At Nchokotsa we came upon a number of salt-pans, which, in the setting sun, produced a most beautiful mirage as of distant water, foliage, and animals. We discovered the river Zouga, and eventually, on August 1, 1849, we were the first Europeans to gaze upon the broad waters of Lake Ngami. My chief object in coming to this lake was to visit Sebituane, the great chief of the Makololo, a man of immense influence, who had conquered the black tribes of the country and made himself dreaded even by the terrible Mosilikatse.
During our stay with him he treated us with great respect, and was pleased with the confidence we had shown in bringing our children to him. He was stricken with inflammation of the lungs, and knew it meant death, though his native doctors said, "Sebituane can never die." I visited him with my little boy Robert. "Come near," said he, "and see if I am any longer a man. I am done." After sitting with him some time and commending him to the mercy of God, I rose to depart, when the dying chieftain, raising himself up a little from his prone position, called a servant, and said, "Take Robert to Maunku (one of his wives), and tell her to give him some milk." These were the last words of Sebituane.
II.—Among the Makololo
On questioning intelligent men amongst these natives as to a knowledge of good and evil, of God and the future state, they possessed a tolerably clear perception on these subjects. Their want, however, of any form of public worship, or of idols, or of formal prayers and sacrifices, make both the Caffres and Bechuanas appear as amongst the most godless races of mortals known anywhere. When an old Bushman on one occasion was sitting by the fire relating his adventures, including his murder of five other natives, he was remonstrated with. "What will God say when you appear before Him?" "He will say," replied he, "that I was a very clever fellow." But I found afterwards in speaking of the Deity they had only the idea of a chief, and when I knew this, I did not make any mistake afterwards.
The country round Unku was covered with grass, and the flowers were in full bloom. The thermometer in the shade generally stood at 98 deg. from 1 to 3 p.m., but it sank as low as 65 deg. by night, so that the heat was by no means exhausting. At the surface of the ground in the sun it marked 125 deg., and three inches below 138 deg. The hand cannot be held on the ground, and even the horny soles of the natives are protected by hide sandals, yet the ants were busy working in it. The water in the floods was as high as 100 deg., but as water does not conduct heat readily downwards, deliriously cool water may be obtained by anyone walking into the middle and lifting up the water from the bottom to the surface by the hands.
We at last reached a spot where, by climbing the highest tree, we could see a fine large sheet of water, surrounded on all sides by an impenetrable belt of reeds. This was the river Chobe, and is called Zambesi. We struggled through the high, serrated grass, the heat stifling for want of air, and when we reached one of the islands, my strong moleskins were worn through at the knees, and the leather trousers of my companion were torn, and his legs bleeding. The Makololo said in their figurative language: "He has dropped among us from the clouds, yet came riding on the back of a hippopotamus. We Makololo thought no one could cross the Chobe without our knowledge, but here he drops among us like a bird."
On our arrival at Linyanti, the capital, the chief, Sekelutu, took me aside and pressed me to mention those things I liked best and hoped to get from him. Anything either in or out of the town should be freely given if I would only mention it. I explained to him that my object was to elevate him and his people to be Christians; but he replied that he did not wish to learn to read the Book, for he was afraid "it might change his heart and make him content with one wife like Sechele." I liked the frankness of Sekelutu, for nothing is so wearying to the spirit as talking to those who agree with everything advanced.
While at Linyanti I was taken with fever, from chills caught by leaving my warm wagon in the evening to conduct family worship at my people's fires. Anxious to ascertain whether the natives possessed the knowledge of any remedy, I sent for one of their doctors. He put some roots into a pot with water, and when it was boiling, placed it beneath a blanket thrown around both me and it. This produced no effect, and after being stewed in their vapour baths, smoked like a red-herring over green twigs, and charmed secundem artem, I concluded I could cure my fever more quickly than they could.
Leaving Linyanti, we passed up the Lecambye river into the Barotse country, and on making inquiries whether Santuru, the Moloiana, had ever been visited by white men, I could find no vestige of any such visit before my arrival in 1851.
In our ascent up the River Leeba, we reached the village of Manenko, a female chief, of whose power of tongue we soon had ample proof. She was a woman of fine physique, and insisted on accompanying us some distance with her husband and drummer, the latter thumping most vigorously, until a heavy, drizzling mist set in and compelled him to desist. Her husband used various incantations and vociferations to drive away the rain, but down it poured incessantly, and on our Amazon went, in the very lightest marching order, and at a pace that few men could keep up with. Being on ox-back, I kept pretty close to our leader, and asked her why she did not clothe herself during the rain, and learnt that it is not considered proper for a chief to appear effeminate. My men, in admiration of her pedestrian powers, every now and then remarked, "Manenko is a soldier!" Thoroughly wet and cold, we were all glad when she proposed a halt to prepare for our night's lodging on the banks of a stream.