Abbildungen der Seite

neither should it be always slackened, for then, again, it becomes slothful. ... The table must be covered with various dishes because the guests have different tastes.” He spoke slowly that all might follow, and even advised the weak to depart when they had heard as much as they could carry away. He introduced no jests, like Jerome,* but by his easy grace of style, his dramatic vividness in representing the passions, his adaptation of religious truth to the daily wants of men, he wielded such a mastery over his audience as few have done, before or since. We conclude with an admired example of that "copia dicendi,” which Cicero so frequently commends:

“ That accursed, that abhorred thing, the symbol of the extreme penalty, is now become desirable and lovely. For the imperial diadem does not so grace the brow, as does the cross, more precious far than the whole world; and what all once shuddered at, the very form of it is now sought by all. So that we find it everywhere among princes and subjects, among women and men, among maidens and matrons, among bond and free. ... This glistens upon the holy table, this at the consecration of priests, this, again, with the body of Christ at his mystical supper. This you may see exalted everywhere in houses, in markets, in deserts, on the highways, on mountain-tops, in glens, upon islands and vessels at sea, upon couches at feasts, upon garments and weapons, on vessels of silver and gold, on pearls, in pictures on the walls, on the bodies of sick beasts, on the bodies of those possessed by demons, in war and peace, by day and night, in the dances of the joyous, among the bands of ascetics; so eagerly do all seek this wonderful gift and its unspeakable grace.”+

* Erasmus.

+ De Orat, passim, Contra Judaeos, Tom. 1, 571. This is cited by Neander twice. Life of Chrysost., 314. Hist. 3, 386.



Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, London, 1845–60. Petermann's Geographische Mittheilungen. Gotha, 1855–61.

It is well known that the existence of one or more large bodies of water in Central Africa, South of the Equator, has been a question of much discussion among geographers. An examination of the various existing maps, with reference to the position of the lakes which are represented upon them, will certainly embarrass the geographical student unless he is provided with a historical commentary. Even then the difficulties will not wholly disappear.

It was a theory of the ancients, handed down to us moderns with various mutations, that the Nile took its rise in marshy lakes near the “Mountains of the Moon.” Three centuries and a half ago, the Portuguese geographers described with considerable preciseness an inland sea in Southern Central Africa. Since then, the position of a continental, sub-equatorial sea has been indicated on the African charts,—sometimes with definite boundaries, and sometimes with dotted or obscure outlines to show the indefiniteness of our knowledge respecting it. Sometimes the lake has disappeared altogether, drying up like the apparent waters with which a deceitful mirage has so often tantalized the traveler. Usually, of old, one large body of water was delineated on the maps, but recently several distinct lakes have secured cartographical recognition. This last variation of the programme has, however, made the confusion of the general observer “worse coufounded,” for the different authorities not only apply very different names to one and the same lake, but they use the same appellation for totally different bodies of water. Our object, in what follows, is to help the inquirer in understanding these perplexing discrepancies, and especially in following the most recent explorations.

One of the principal investigators of African geography, is Mr. Wm. Desborough Cooley, who did much to render definite the opinions prevalent in Europe in respect to the inland waters, previous to the actual discoveries of the last few years. This well-known acute geographer, the author of “Inner Africa laid open," published in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London for 1845, an article entitled “Lake Nyassi,” in which he reviewed with critical comments a large amount of early and modern testimony on this subject. He begins by quoting Fernandez de Enciso, who stated in 1518, that the natives of Congo believed the river Zaire to rise in a lake in the interior, from which issues, in an opposite direction, another great river, presumed at that time to be the Nile. No matter, says Mr. Cooley, what may have been the lake intended in this instance by the people of Congo, theory and an exaggerated estimate of distance easily carried it into the middle of the continent.

De Barros is next quoted, who wrote as follows toward the close of the sixteenth century. “From the great lake in Central Africa issue the Nile, the Zaire, and the great river, the branches of which encompass the Benomotapa, besides many others that are nameless. It is a sea of such magnitude as to be capable of being navigated by many sail, and among the islands in it there is one capable of sending forth an army of thirty thousand men. * * * According to the accounts received from Congo and Sofalah, the lake must be a hundred leagues in length.” Mr. Cooley pursues the thread thus taken up through an intricate web of rumors and reports, ancient and modern. As far as possible he harmonizes the conflicting statements of different writers, and comes to this conclusion, that De Barros, Do Couto, Dos Santos and Lopez, all refer to one lake, the Nyassi, and that a line drawn north two hundred miles from Tete, (on the Zambesi), and another drawn three hundred and sixty miles southwest by west from Kilwa, will meet on the lake at no great distance, probably from its southern termination. This was an important advance in our

[ocr errors]

knowledge. At the time when Mr. Cooley thus wrote, it ought to be remarked), no European had visited this inland water. All the statements which he collated were derived more or less directly from the mouths of the aboriginal traders, and, therefore, notwithstanding his well known learning and caution, geographers were naturally eager that his conclusions should be brought to a test by the explorations of a really trusty observer. No one could have been more interested in such an inquiry than Mr. Cooley himself—no one has more reason to be glad of the results.

During the next ten years, our knowledge of Lake Nyassi made hardly any progress. In 1855, Dr. Petermann began the publication of the “Geographische Mittheilungen,” a journal which has become at once a most powerful stimulant of geographical research, and the most complete repository of all discoveries in the different quarters of the globe. In his very first number he gives a sketch of recent South-African explorations. Preparatory to a sketch of Lake Ngami, which had been then recently visited and described by Mr. Charles J. Anderson, (author of a well known book of travels), the following remarks, in substance, are made by the learned editor just referred to. There are two objects in Central Africa, south of the Equator, he says, which have attracted geographers and travelers, forming as it were two central points around which other discoveries and enquiries have clustered. We refer to the great Lake Nyassa, or Nyassi, which must be as long as the Adriatic, or the Baltic between Stettin and Aland, and the Ngami, of more moderate dimensions. No European has yet seen the mighty Nyassa, but we have derived a knowledge of its existence, position, and size from the reports of the natives. If we look at its long undulating form, as seen displayed in the maps, it awakens suggestions of that great mystery of the ocean, the sea-serpent. Our knowledge of the lake, in fact, is in every respect incomplete and unsatisfactory. On the other hand, he continues, the Ngami lake has already been visited and explored by many Europeans, although its exact geographical position still remains undetermined.

This was published six years ago, and will serve as a baseline to which may be brought our further investigations. By turning to almost any good map of about that time, the Lake Nyassa will be found upon it stretching from a point about 12° South Latitude, and 35° East Longitude from Greenwich, to a point where it is indefinitely interrupted about 8° South Latitude, and 30° East Longitude.

Towards the close of the same year, Mr. James MacQueen of London, read a paper before the Royal Geographical Society of that place, in which he collated with much discrimination the information respecting Southern Central Africa, which had been received from Livingstone and certain Portuguese authorities, Monteiro, Graça, and others. Although he, also, had no information from an eye-witness in respect to the inland sea or seas, yet he was persuaded that the old Portuguese Lake Maravi, or Nyassa, was situated to a considerable distance southeast of another larger body of water, Lake Tanganika, of which it had sometimes been considered as a part. He accordingly drew a map in which the boundaries of the two were given with approximate exactness. This was another progressive step.

In the latter part of the same year, (1855), three letters appeared from Mr. Rebmann, a German missionary stationed in Mombas, addressed to the Calwer Missionary Intelligencer, describing the inland sea, and giving a map of it. In this communication it was stated that, according to traders' stories, which the missionaries deemed trustworthy, the lake extended from t° North Latitude, to 131° South Latitude, and from 231° to 36° East Longitude from Greenwich, and included an area of 13,600 German square miles. This gave it dimensions far beyond those of any known inland sea. The Black Sea has an area of 7,860 German square miles, the Caspian 7,400, and the Baltic 7,300. The name of the lake was said to be Uniamesi, or Ukerewe.

Shortly after this startling announcement, came an extended memoir from Mr. Rebmann, and an elaborately drawn sketch of East and Central Africa, by his colleague, Mr. Erhardt. In both, the great lake figured in all its newly reported



« ZurückWeiter »