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it be at the sacrifice of truth.” Much of the book wears this tone of bilious depreciation of Africa, of the negro, of other travelers, of the efforts of African philanthropists, of things in general, except self, of whom, on all suitable occasions, the author is, of course, modestly laudatory. To captivate our candor he titles his volume “Naked Truths of Naked People,” oblivious to the fact that the civilized have no special fondness for nakedness, but prefer, like the natives of Uganda, to see full dress, and do not object to a traveler's furnishing a reasonable amount of clothing to hard realities. Nature riots in imaginings, and clothes creation with a thousand deceptive appearances in motions, parallaxes, refractions, and complementary colorings. Long himself colors or rough-sketches, clothes or leaves naked, as suits his subject or his humor.
There is a good deal of good reading in his easy, unpretending narrative, open as it is to criticism. Why he should call the Mississippi muddy and the Missouri limpid, (p. 23,) or write Ugunda when every other author has Uganda, is not evident. That he knew nothing of the beautifully ingenious structure of the languages of Central Africa, affording by a few simple sound-prefixes to words an infallible key to their meaning, would be no disparagement to him and no blemish to his book had he not unfortunately attempted, on page 119, to enlighten his readers on this subject. “The Ugunda,” he says, calling the people of the country by the name of their country,“ prefix M–M'Ugunda, to designate the country of.'” (!)
The most cursory reader of books on Africa that have been for a dozen years before the English-speaking public knows that “U” prefixed signifies “country of;” “Wa” prefixed means “people of ;” “M” prefixed," a person of ;” “Ki” prefixed," language of." Take an example from Speke, and find a similar one in Stanley, “ Through the Dark Continent," vol. ii, Appendix : “Ugogo signifies the country of Gogo; Wagogo means the people of Gogo; Mgogo is a man of Gogo; Kigogo, the language of Gogo."
The differences between Long and Stanley in putting Uganda words into English letters, or the endeavor to express African sounds by English vowels and consonants, are no greater, perhaps, than those of the inextricable jumble of orthographies given to Indian words by the first settlers of this country, or to Chinese words by the makers of Anglo-Chinese vocabularies. Besides the vocal differences that no written signs can express, there is, in human hearing and in human judgment of phonetic differences, something that is analogous to colorblindness, which wholly incapacitates some individuals for distinguishing sounds and rendering them into their nearest English equivalents. Comparing Long's vocabulary of “Ugunda ” words with Stanley's after the above abortive attempt at philology, we should naturally incline to give Stanley's the preference.
We smile when he writes, on his arrival at the court of the sable chieftain, Rionga, “ At night a dance was given in my honor,” with as much complacent gravity as if he were reporting a grand ball in honor of an embassador of the Khedive at the Court of St. James; but he taxes our credulity when he would have us believe that the Emperor of Uganda struck off thirty heads, by his executioners, “to crown in blood the signal honor of the white man's visit to M'tsé!”
We are obliged to Colonel Long-breveted "colonel” by the Khedive for his valor and enterprise—for some glimpses along the Nile made familiar by other voyagers, from Khartoom to Gondokoro, and from Gondokoro to Lake Victoria, ground traversed in part by Burton, Speke, and Baker, as well as for confirmation of Schweinfurth in the West, on the Mittoo and Niam-Niam.
In June, 1874, Long made his entrance into “Ugunda,” where, being the first man ever seen on horseback, he was regarded, like Cortez in Mexico, a veritable centaur. Speke and Grant visited this despot of Central Africa in 1862, twelve years earlier, and Stanley and Linant in 1875, ten months later, Here, then, we reach ground where comparison is possible. As long as a traveler describes regions and tribes which he alone has seen we have no means of testing the accuracy of his statements. Here we have descriptions of Uganda and likenesses of the “son of Suna” by different hands, bearing a general resemblance, but colored and shaded according to the taste of the individual artist, and displaying the relative powers of the limners for sketching and picturing.
February 19, 1862, Speke writes : “ One march more, and we came in sight of the king's palace. It was a magnificent sight, a whole hill covered with gigantic huts such as I had never before seen in Africa.”
June 20, 1874, Long says: “ Ascending a high hill, I stood facing an elevation not five hundred yards away, the palace of M’tsé, King of Ugunda.”
April 10, 1875, Stanley says: “We saw the capital, crowning the summit of a smooth rounded hill, a large cluster of tall, conical grass huts, in the center of which rose a spacious, lofty, barn-like structure. The large building was the palace, the cluster of huts the imperial capital.”
Speke, the first white visitor to this capital, in the youth and regency of this usurping and bloody chieftain, was assigned to remote and uncomfortable huts outside of the royal premises, and had great difficulty in getting near the court, perhaps on account of mingled fear and jealousy of so singular a visitor. Mtesa is now better acquainted with white men. Long and Stanley, with their suites, seem to have been at once assigned to pleasant quarters within the royal inclosure. The semicivilization of this born barbarian, his aroused ideas, his rude reachings after something better and higher, his desire to learn, his anxiety to know about every thing foreign, seem to have impressed most profoundly the few travelers who have hitherto visited him. Each has given us a pen portrait. Speke penciled him, Stanley photographed him, and wood-cuts have made us as familiar with his form and features as we are with Schweinfurth's King Munsa. Speke, at his first interview with African royalty, describes “ a good-looking, well-figured, tall young man of twenty-five.” Long's portrayal is, “A man of majestic mien, scarcely thirty-five years of age; more than six feet high; face nervous, but expressive of intelligence ; large, restless eye, from which a gleam of fierce brutality beams out that mars an otherwise sympathetic expression ; features regular ; complexion a light copper tint.” Stanley pictures the “foremost man of Central Africa," at first meeting, as "a tall, clean-faced, nervous-looking, thin man, probably six feet one inch high, and slender; intelligent, agreeable features ; fullness of lips; gen. eral expression of amiability blended with dignity ; large, lustrous, lambent eyes; color dark red-brown; of a wonderfully smooth surface; interested in the manners and customs of European courts, and enamored of the wonders of civilization ; ambitious to imitate the ways of the white man, according to the best of his ability.” Long betrays jealousy and is guilty of injustice when he says “only vague accounts” were given of Mtésa by Captain Speke. The discoverer of Victoria Nyanza, Ripon Falls, and the lacustrine sources of the Nile, spent over four months of chafing captivity with this capricious chief, and devotes over one third of a volume of five hundred and fifty pages to a minute diary of his stay in Uganda.
Long was there one month ; let him tell us how : “Ill and helpless ;" "so weak as to be scarcely able to walk; flesh · nearly transparent; once muscular arms and legs mere skin and bone." Arrived June 21, and on the 25th “ill and suffering, and, supported by two soldiers, responded to a pressing invitation of M’tsé to go to the (straw) palace.” So sick as to be unable to stand, he was invited to sit in the presence of the king,
an honor never before accorded to any mortal!” On the 29th, “ fever and dysentery merged into delirium ;” “ till the 6th of July unable to move from my hammock.” Is it any wonder that he dipped his pen in the bile of his own liver, and wrote, “ The country has nothing, absolutely nothing, of that grand and magnificent spectacle depicted by the pens of some enthusiastic travelers, who would make, to willing readers, a paradise of Africa, which is, and must ever be, a grave-yard to Europeans ?”
Long's great object was to get to the lake. Speke and Grant had seen it at a distance, and skirted its edges, but no white man had been permitted to survey it or to float freely on its bosom. Mtesa at last granted his request, and rounded off his permission with the butchery of seven men, “ the bloody price paid that the world might know something of this mysterious region !” It is hard to believe this. Livingstone did not credit Speke's reports about the bloody brutality of Mtesa, and Long takes credit to himself for vindicating Speke at the expense of Livingstone.
Like all Asiatic and African despots from the earliest times, Mtesa held public court, daily or periodically, and the subjects of the autocrat were brought before him for judgments, accused of various crimes, as before a police judge holding court in London or New York city. No troublesome jury intervened; there was seldom any defense attempted or allowed,
FOURTH SERIES, Vol. XXXII.—16
the interval between the accusation and the sentence, and between the sentence and its execution, was brief, often only a moment. Fines and imprisonments were rare; capital punishments for what we deem venial offenses were rife, as under the Jewish or old English law. Long's hallucination, fostered by lying interpreters, was connecting all these executions of public offenders, State criminals, with himself!
There is no doubt that but little value is set upon human life in Africa ; no doubt that power of life and death is regarded as one of•the prerogatives of royalty by both kings and people. Mtesa told Speke he had “killed a hundred in a single day.” Men, women, officers and private subjects, wives, concubines, were ordered to execution for trifling offenses. On one occasion the impatient king “ took upon himself the executioner's duty, fired at a sentenced woman, and killed her outright.” In Speke's time, when firearms were new to him, he "gave a loaded carbine to a page and told him to go out and shoot a man in the outer court,” a wanton “affair that created hardly any interest.” Long, to show how little progress Stanley had made in civilizing and christianizing this heathen monarch, quotes Linant as saying that after the departure of Stanley the brutal “Mtesa, to show the accuracy of his aim, leveled his gun deliberately at one of his female attendants and blew her brains out!”
As the outcome of a good deal of urging and petitioning, Long was at length allowed to spend a day or two on the lake. “ Twelve hundred men were detailed to escort me.” Was this a traveler's guess, or did he see the muster-roll of this merry regiment? In vain he tried to induce the racing blacks to row across the lake. “Weak and in an almost dying condition,” he could not break away from his escort and solve the lake question alone, and so its solution was delayed for another year and reserved for another hand.
Colonel Long made some interesting observations on his way back to Foueira, and sums up “the following results, submitted [by him] to the Government of Egypt.”
1. “M’tsé, King of Ugunda, had been visited, and the proud African monarch made a willing subject, [astounding statement !! and his country, rich in ivory and populous, created the southern limit of Egypt !” (Annexation with a venge