The Discovery of the Source of the Nile
John Hanning Speke
Part 11 out of 11
this opinion, as he no sooner asked me how I could account for
the phenomenon I have already mentioned of the river appearing to
decrease in bulk as we descended it, than I instinctively
advanced his own theory. Moreover, the same hypothesis will
answer for the sluggish flooding of the Nile down to Egypt.
I hope the reader who has followed my narrative thus far will be
interested in knowing how "my faithful children," for whose
services I had no further occasion, and whom I had taken so far
from their own country, were disposed of. At Cairo, where we put
up in Shepherd's Hotel, I had the whole of them photographed, and
indulged them at the public concerts, tableaux vivants, etc. By
invitation, we called on the Viceroy at his Rhoda Island palace,
and were much gratified with the reception; for, after hearing
all our stories with marked intelligence, he most graciously
offered to assist me in any other undertaking which would assist
to open up and develop the interior of Africa.
I next appointed Bombay captain of the "faithfuls," and gave him
three photographs of all the eighteen men and three more of the
four women, to give one of each to our Consuls at Suez, Aden, and
Zanzibar, by which they might be recognised. I also gave them
increased wages, equal to three years' pay each, by orders on
Zanzibar, which was one in addition to their time of service; an
order for a grand "freeman's garden," to be purchased for them at
Zanzibar; and an order that each one should receive ten dollars
dowry-money as soon as he could find a wife.
With these letters in their hands, I made arrangements with our
Consul, Mr Drummond Hay, to frank them through Suez, Aden, and
the Seychelles to Zanzibar.
Since then, I have heard that Captain Bombay and his party missed
the Seychelles, and went on to the Mauritius, where Captain
Anson, Inspector-General of Police, kindly took charge of them
and made great lions of them. A subscription was raised to give
them a purse of money; they were treated with tickets to the
"circus," and sent back to the Seychelles, whence they were
transported by steamer to Zanzibar, and taken in charge by our
lately-appointed Consul, Colonel Playfair, who appears to have
taken much interest in them. Further, they volunteered to go with
me again, should I attempt to cross Africa from east to west,
through the fertile zone.
[FN#1] The equator was crossed on the 8th February 1862.
[FN#2] The Wahuma are treated of in Chapter IX.
[FN#3] The list of my fauna collection will be found in an early
Number of the "Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London."
[FN#4] Captain Burton, on receiving his gold medal at the hands
of Sir Roderick I. Murchison, said, "You have alluded, sir, to
the success of the last expedition. Justice compels me to state
the circumstances under which it attained that success. To
Captain Speke are due those geographical results to which you
have alluded in such flattering terms. Whilst I undertook the
history and ethnography, the languages, and the peculiarity of
the people, to Captain Speke fell the arduous task of delineating
an exact topography, and of laying down our positions by
astronomical observations--a labour to which, at times, even the
undaunted Livingstone found himself unequal."
[FN#5] Vol. iii. of A. D. 1801.
[FN#6] It was such an attack as I had on my former journey; but
while mine ceased to trouble me after the first year, his kept
recurring every fortnight until the journey ended.
[FN#7] It may be as well to remark here, that the figures both
in latitude and longitude, representing the position of Kaze,
computed by Mr Dunkin, accord with what appeared in Blackwood's
Magazine, computed by myself, and in the R. G. S. Journal Map,
computed by Captain George.
This applies also to the position of Ujiji; at any rate, the
practical differences are so trifling that it would require a
microscope to detect them on the map.
[FN#8] The Jub is the largest river known to the Zanzibar Arabs.
It debouches on the east coast north of Zanzibar, close under the
[FN#9] The two first gold watches were given away at Zanzibar.
[FN#10] If one asked the name of a tree, and it happened to be
the kind from which this cloth was made, the answer would be
"mbugu." If, again, the question was as to the bark, the same
answer; and the same if one saw the shirt, and asked what it was.
Hence I could not determine whether the word had been originally
the name of the tree, of its bark, or of the article made from
the bark, though I am inclined to think it is the bark, as there
are many varieties of these trees, which, being besides being
called mbugu, had their own particular names.
[FN#11] Rumanika's present.--One block-tin box, one Raglan coat,
five yards scarlet broadcloth, two coils copper wire, a hundred
large blue egg-beads, five bundles best variegated beads, three
bundles minute beads--pink, blue, and white.
[FN#12] Nnanaji's present.--One deole or gold-embroidered silk,
two coils copper wire, fifty large blue egg-beads, five bundles
best variegated beads, three bundles minute beads--pink, blue and
[FN#13] Since named by Dr P. L. Sclater "Tragelaphus Spekii."
These nzoe have been drawn by Mr Wolf, from specimens brought
home by myself.
[FN#14] Round arm, 1 ft. 11 in.; chest, 4 ft. 4 in.; thigh, 2
ft. 7 in.; calf, 1 ft. 8 in.; height, 5 ft. 8 in.
[FN#15] I.e. Dead Locust Lake,--Luta, dead--Nzige, locust.
[FN#16] In 'Blackwood's Magazine' for August 1859.
[FN#17] See p. 211.
[FN#18] 1 block-tin box, 4 rich silk cloths, 1 rifle
(Whitworth's), 1 gold chronometer, 1 revolver pistol, 3 rifled
carbines, 3 sword-bayonets, 1 box ammunition, 1 box bullets, 1
box gun-caps, 1 telescope, 1 iron chair, 10 bundles best beads, 1
set of table-knives, spoons, and forks.
[FN#19] The straight road down the Nile through Unyoro no one
dares allude to at this time, as the two kings were always
[FN#20] Some say a group of forty islands compose Sese.
[FN#21] Named by Dr P. L. Sclater, Cosmetornis Spekii. The
seventh pen feathers are double the length of the ordinaries, the
eighth double that of the seventh, and the ninth 20 inches long.
Bombay says the same bird is found in Uhiyow.
[FN#22] It is questionable whether or not this word is a
corruption of Bahr (sea of) Ingo.
[FN#23] This obviously was an allusion to the way in which the
first king of Uganda was countenanced by the great king of
Kittara, according to the tradition given in Chapter IX.
[FN#24] 1 double rifle, 1 block-tin box, 1 red blanket, 1 brown
do., 10 copper wire, 4 socks full of different-coloured minute
beads, 2 socks full of blue and white pigeon eggs, 1 Rodgers's
pen-knife, 2 books, 1 elastic circle, 1 red handkerchief, 1 bag
gun-caps, 1 pair scissors, 1 pomatum-pot, 1 quart bottle, 1
powder flask, 7 lb. powder, 1 dressing-case, 1 blacking-box, 1
brass lock and key, 4 brass handles, 8 brass sockets, 7 chintz, 7
binders, 1 red bag, 1 pair glass spectacles, 1 lucifer-box.
[FN#25] It will appear shortly that is was actually not more than
two marches to the northward of Faloro.
[FN#26] Dr Khoblecher, the founder of the Austrian Church Mission
Establishment of Gondokoro, ascertained that the Nile reached its
lowest level there in the middle of January.
[FN#27] The Baroness Miss A. van Capellan, and Mrs and Miss
[FN#28] See Petherick's succouring petition, addressed to the
Right Hon. Lord Ashburton, President of the Royal Geographical
Society, in the Proceedings of that Society, date 10th June 1860.
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