« PreviousContinue »
people. Their opponents, in the name of what they called
God's people,' appealed to those traditions of the Covenant which cause such infinite surprise and dismay to Mr. Buckle. The same contest has gone on to the present day, and whatever may be the strength of the Popular party in numbers and in intolerance, we deny that they exclusively represent the mind of the Church of Scotland, still less the mind of the Scottish nation.
For there is this contradiction, by which the science of Mr. Buckle is sorely perplexed, that at the very time when he discovers numerous indications of extreme bigotry and superstition in the annals of the Scottish people, he is compelled to acknowledge that no part of Britain, and no country in Europe, could boast of a more splendid array of intellectual gifts—more acute and ingenious philosophers, more accomplished historians, more wise economists, more profound men of science. To these Mr. Buckle has somewhat ungraciously done justice, though he attributes to the deductive method of their reasoning the slender influence exercised by such men in correcting the prejudices of the nation at large.* But this contrast proves that it is not on Scotland or on the Scottish character, that the reproach of these prejudices falls, but on the peculiar institutions which keep them in viridi observantiâ among the humbler classes of society ; just as the mists of our Scottish hills lie thick upon the valley, long after the mountain top is exulting in the sunshine. The essential difference between the historical phenomena which Mr. Buckle discovers alike in Spain and in Scotland, is, that in Spain an arbitrary and sacerdotal Church has imposed its yoke on the mind of the nation in Scotland, a democratic Church has blended the religious convictions of the laity with the exercise of spiritual power; in one case the influence came from above; in the other from below.
If there be any truth in these general criticisms, they are fatal to Mr. Buckle’s pretensions. He has not founded the science of history; he has not thrown any fresh light or certainty on the objects of historical inquiry by the application of his general principles. Whatever merit or value his book
With his accustomed proneness to hasty generalisation, Mr. Buckle attempts to show that the Scotch philosophers are all prone to the method of à priori reasoning, now called the deductive method. He even quotes Jolin Hunter and Black in proof of this assertion, though their experiments are models of inductive observation. Does not Mr. Buckle perceive that the true progress of science depends on the use of both methods, each in its proper place; and that in Scotland, as well as in England, both have been employed ?
may possess is due not to its general principles, but to the industry with which he has accumulated a large mass of heterogeneous extracts from many writers. He has applied his system to Spain and Scotland in the volume now before us, but the result is that the peculiar characteristics of the Spanish and Scottish nations are mainly due to special occurrences rather than to general causes. Mr. Buckle's theory utterly fails to explain such events as the invasion and final expulsion of the Moors, the discovery of America, or the democratic form of the Scotch Reformation; and these peculiar events manifestly originated in circumstances, which, if he explains them at all, he must explain by other means. If Mr. Buckle had the faculty of looking with somewhat less of passion on human affairs, he would perceive, that opinions and events which to him appear to be good or evil are in fact so mixed up and interdependent, that evil is often the parent of good, and good sometimes the parent of evil
. Nothing in life deserves unqualified abhorrence or unqualified admiration. For, as every individual man now living in the world is the descendant of innumerable progenitors, ascending in geometrical progression from his own parents to their parents, and so on in an extending series, every event is the result of an infinite number of causes, some great, some small, some visible, some imperceptible, but all in their degree contributing to each particular consequence. It were infinite,' said Lord Bacon, to judge the causes of causes, and their im
pulsions one of another. To embrace this infinite series is in the power of Omniscience alone; and, as the omission of a single unit in an intricate calculation disturbs the whole result, so in the great reckoning of human history no positive general knowledge can be reached without faculties far surpassing those of man. In the divine order of the universe, doubtless each particular event, becoming in its turn the cause of innumerable other events, has its appropriate place and object; and the great mystery of creation is that every event conspires to advance the progress of the whole, although the freedom of the will of intelligent beings remains unfettered in all parts. To explain that mystery is the task of a purer philosophy than that of the writer before us, and of a nobler state of being than that of man. Mr. Buckle bas yet to learn another lesson. Knowledge and power, as he conceives them, what are they (to use the language of Mr. Tennyson), if they be cut off from reverence and charity, and if no higher hand guide the course of life from a divine commencement to some diviner end ?
ART. VIII.-—Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa,
with Accounts of the Manners and Customs of the People, and of the Chase of the Gorilla, Crocodile, Leopard, Elephant, Hippopotamus, and other Animals. By PAUL B. Du CHAILLU. London: 1861.
closely connected with the desire to solve mysterious problems which have given birth to a long series of theories and conjectures, it is bound up yet more closely with practical efforts to atone for past injustice and lessen the amount of human suffering. Each year adds to our store of knowledge by some fresh discovery ; and each discovery, while it leads to the abandonment of old conjectures or the modification of previous theories, seems to bring us sensibly nearer to the time when African slavery shall be smitten in its ancient strongholds. The knowledge which is the fruit of long toil and indomitable perseverance has swept away, one after another, almost every popular conception of African geography which even the present generation had inherited. The idea which pictured Africa as one huge waterless desert, divided at its zone of greatest width by a range of sterile mountains, and bounded here and there by coast regions of greater richness, has given way before researches which have displaced it by images of vast inland lakes, and of rivers which may open the very heart of the land to the trader and the missionary Regions supposed to be without human inhabitants or haunted by the merest savages, have disclosed large societies under some form of law, and connected with the world beyond by a system of regulated commerce. To the north of the equator, the great lake Tsad has been shown to be but one of many lakes and streams watering the fertile lands which extend from Bagírmi to Timbúktu.* The labours of Dr. Barth have proved that from the Bight of Benin the way lies open by the splendid streams of the Kwara and the Bénuwé, to the chief town of Adamawa under the tenth parallel of latitude. Further south, the mountain of Alantika, rising to the height of 8000 feet, reveals probably but the outermost limits of an unknown
* See 'Edinburgh Review,' No. ccxxii., for April, 1859, art. II.
range. On the eastern side and only a little to the south of the equator, high mountains have been seen which some have asserted to be crowned with snow. From Zanzibar, penetrating westward, Captains Burton and Speke came upon Tanganyika, the great inland sea, which, with a breadth varying from twenty to fifty miles, reaches a length of not less than three hundred miles; and Captain Speke’s researches in the regions of the more northerly lake Nyanza, may even now have cleared up the mystery which shrouds the sources of the White Nile. Further south again, in the vast triangle whose base extends from Loanda to Quilimane, Dr. Livingstone has determined the general character of a country rich with many attractions for European enterprise. The waters of the Zambesi may not afford the same unbroken navigation with the more ample stream of the Bénuwé; and its identity with the Leeambye may still be questionable; but he has fixed the form of the southern half of the continent as a high table-land in trough form, and has thus established Sir R. Murchison's hypothesis, that the surrounding ridges are but the fringe of a primæval inland sea. And if we cannot regard as proved his theory that the little lake of Dilolo (in latitude 11° 30', longitude 22° 25') is the watershed of all the great South African rivers, the fact seems to be ascertained that from this lake issues at one end a stream, flowing north-west, which feeds the Kasye, Zaire, or Congo River, and, at the other, one flowing south to meet the Leeba. Again, the Leeambye seems to be connected by a network of streams with Lake Shuia about the thirteenth parallel of latitude south, and this again in a similar way with Lake Tanganyika.
But this great and rapid increase of knowledge still leaves a broad belt of unknown land between Northern and Southern Africa. On some portion of this equatorial zone the volume of M. Du Chaillu sheds a light as clear, we trust, as it is wel
From him we learn that the physical character of this part of Africa is not less varied or more devoid of beauty and fertility than that of the regions which have been explored by Barth, Livingstone, or Burton. On the first parallel of
Mr. Petherick, who has been recently appointed British Consul for the Soudan, has already journeyed up the White Nile beyond Khartoun, and found that the river below it widens into a lake, 200 or 300 miles in length, lying at right angles to the course of the river. He is again about to return to Africa ; and much may be expected from his great energy, united with the experience of many years of previous travel.
north latitude, the River Muni (rising in the Sierra del Crystal, which consists of three ranges running due north and south, and varying in height from 500 to 5000 feet), finds its way into the Atlantic in Corisco Bay. At nearly the same distance to the south from the equator lies the Delta of the Ogobai, a dreary region of swamps and noisome exhalations, bounded by two streams (the Nazareth and the Npoulounai) which are only the extension of the more important River Ogobai. From this marshy land M. Du Chaillu penetrated eastward across more than five degrees of longitude, through a country as marvellous as any which African explorers have traversed, and not less important in its geographical features and physical resources. The Ogobai, of which he speaks as a noble river, is itself formed by the junction of two streams whose confluence is in latitude 0° 35' S., longitude 10° 52 E., on the eastern side of the Sierra del Crystal. The former of these two streams (which is said also by the natives to be much the larger) Hows under the name of Rembo Okanda, from the north-east, through a country altogether unknown; the latter, Rembo Ngouyai, waters the region of M. Du Chaillu's most daring exploits and most remarkable discoveries. At the intersection of the first parallel of latitude south with the eleventh degree of east longitude, the great coast range of the Sierra del Crystal makes a sudden turn to the east slightly inclining northward. Close to this bend the mighty mass of N Koumou Nabouali rises to the height of 12,000 feet; and by its name M. Du Chaillu proposes to distinguish the whole range which he has himself explored for a distance of nearly 400 miles from the sea-coast, and which he believes to extend the whole way across the continent, or to cease abruptly in the neighbourhood of the inland sea of Nyanza. Through this range the Rembo Ngouyai, having previously received the waters of the Louvendji, forces its way near the base of N'Koumou Nabouali, and there has its own course broken by the Samba Nagoshi or Eugénie Falls. These falls, which from the descriptions of the natives would seem to be not less magnificent than those of the Zambesi, M. du Chaillu, in spite of strenous efforts, was unable to visit. From the junction of the Louvendji eastward, the course of the Rembo Ngouyai runs parallel with the great mountain range as far as latitude 0° 40' S., longitude 12° 15' E., where it turns suddenly almost due south, under the name Rembo Apingi, from the tribe through whose country it flows. The course of this stream he followed to a distance of forty miles from this curve, where it receives the name of the Apono, a tribe who dwell to the south of the Apingi. At the extreme