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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 63

Art. I.—The Basin of the Upper Nile and its Inhabitants

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Art. I.—The Basin of the Upper Nile and its Inhabitants.

1.Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile. By John Hanning Speke, Captain H.M. Indian Army, &c. London, 1863.
2.A Lecture on the Sources of the Nile, and on the Means requisite for their Final Determination. Delivered in the Theatre of the London Institution on the 20th January, 1864 By Charles T. Beke, Ph. D., F.S.A., &c. [Not Published.
3.Address to the Geographical Society of Berlin, on the 6th June, 1863. (Vortrag, &c.) By Dr. Heinrich Barth, C.B.
4.On the Origin of the Gallas. By Dr. Beke. From the "Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science," for 1847.

The opinion that the source of the Nile was discovered by the celebrated traveller Bruce nearly a century ago, is one which we have reason to believe is still entertained by many persons, who therefore cannot but be surprised at hearing that the discovery has only recently been made by Captains Speke and Grant.

It is not at all times easy to free the public mind from a ft popular error. Still, with the knowledge which we at present possess of the Upper Nile, it will, we think, be no difficult task to show, not only that its source was not discovered by Bruce, but that it still remains undiscovered; notwithstanding the claim made by Captain Speke to have worked out the great geographical problem which has hitherto defied solution.

In justice to the gallant and adventurous traveller whose work stands at the head of the present article, we hasten to explain page 308 that we have no idea of gainsaying any of the facts narrated in that work.* It is to his inferences from those facts, or his opinions formed, as we conceive, on insufficient data, that we demur; and we do not hesitate to assert that on many of these points we shall have to differ very materially.

Before, however, proceeding to the consideration of these matters, we will, with a view to render the subject generally intelligible to our readers, first take a general survey of the Nile and its head-streams, as they were known to us before Captain Speke's return from his last journey; for which purpose we shall avail ourselves chiefly of Dr. Beke's lecture, which stands likewise at the head of the present article.

The Nile is in every respect a most remarkable river. For a distance of more than 1300 geographical miles from the Mediterranean, into which it discharges its waters by several mouths, this mighty river, the largest of the African continent, and probably unsurpassed in length by any in the world, is a single stream. Fed by the copious rains of the tropics, collected by its innumerable head-streams and its immense lakes in the south, it is thus able to contend with the burning sun and the scarcely less burning sands of Nubia and Egypt, throughout this extent of country, without the aid of a single tributary,—a phenomenon presented by no other river.

Another peculiarity of the Nile scarcely less singular is, that for upwards of six hundred geographical miles above the point just indicated, or in all full 2000 miles from its mouths, the river receives no affluent whatever on its left or western side. Oh its eastern side, however, within the same limits, it receives three large tributaries—the Atbara or Bahr-el-Aswad (Black River), the Bahr-el-Azrek (Blue River), and the Sobat or Telfi; all having their origin in the elevated table-land of Abyssinia.

The Atbara (the Astaboras of Ptolemy) is called the Black River, from the quantity of black mud brought down by it during the rains, which is so great as to affect the colour of the main stream. This branch of the Nile is most important, because it contributes the largest portion of the slime which manures and fertilizes Egypt. It is not less important, perhaps, for the reason that by means of a "branch of the Astaboras," its waters with their fertilizing mud might be directed from the Nile, and poured down into the Bed Sea near Sawakin; in which case "the whole of Egypt and Syria, whose subsistence depends on that river, would perish with hunger." Such are the words of a Greek writer of the fifteenth century. At the present day, we may add,

* There is, however, an eclipse of the moon said, in page 243, to have occurred on the 5th or 6th of January, 1862, which requires explanation.

page 309 such a calamity (which Theodore, the present King of Abyssinia, actually threatens to inflict,) would prove scarcely less fatal to our manufacturers, by depriving them of the timely supply of cotton, which has begun to be received from Egypt.

The Bahr-el-Azrek or Blue River (the Astapus of Ptolemy), known in Abyssinia as the Abai, is that branch of the Nile with which we are best acquainted, from its having been supposed to be the main stream, first by the Portuguese missionaries in Abyssinia in the beginning of the seventeenth century, and after them by our countryman Bruce. Whatever reasons there may have been at that time for imagining the Blue River to be the Nile, they have now become invalid; since the diminutive size of this stream, as compared with the immense masses of water from the regions lying hundreds, nay thousands, of miles to the south, which are carried down past it by the main stream, proves it to be only a tributary like the Atbara.

The main stream or true Nile (the Nilus of Ptolemy), usually called the Bahr-el-Abyad or White River, was a quarter of a century ago unknown above the junction of the Blue River at Khartum, with the exception of a small portion of its course explored by M. Linant in 1827. Between the years 1839 and 1842, however, three expeditions were fitted out by the late Mohammed Ali, Pasha of Egypt, and despatched from Khartum up the White River, with the object of exploring the Nile to its uttermost sources. The results of these expeditions, especially the second of them, were most important. In the ninth parallel of north latitude they reached and passed through the lakes or marshes, at which, eighteen centuries before them, the two centurions of the Emperor Nero had turned back; and after discovering three large streams flowing through extensive plains, where geographers had taught them to look for the river's sources in the Mountains of the Moon,—a chain supposed to traverse the the continent of Africa from east to west,—they proceeded up the middle stream of the three, and succeeded in penetrating southwards to within five degrees of the equator; and though nothing positive was determined on any of these expeditions with respect to the position of the sources of the Nile or the Mountains of the Moon, it clearly resulted that both of these had been entirely misplaced in our maps.

As far as the ninth parallel of north latitude, there can be no doubt that the Bahr-el-Abyad, or White River, is the Nile. Above that parallel, where the three great arms of the river meet, it yet remains to be decided which of those three arms is the upper course of the Nile.

The middle one, which was selected by the Egyptian exploratory expeditions, is generally regarded as the main stream. But page 310 it may be questioned whether the western arm, called Bahr-el-Ghazal, is not in reality the Nile of Herodotus and all other writers of antiquity before the time of Claudius Ptolemy of Pelusium, the renowned astronomer and mathematician, who flourished in the second century of the Christian era; and also whether the Sobat, which joins the Bahr-el-Abyad from the south-east by means of three streams forming a delta of considerable size, may not be one of the two arms of which Ptolemy made the Nile to consist, the other being the Bahr-el-Abyad itself; the sources of both arms being placed by that geographer in the Mountains of the Moon. In the existing state of our knowledge of the Upper Nile, we may, however, be content to follow the example of the officers of the Egyptian expeditions, and regard the river which they denominated the Bahr-el-Abyad, or White River, as the Nile. This river was ascended by the second of those expeditions to the neighbourhood of Gondókoro, in 4° 54′ north latitude; and numerous Egyptians and Europeans have since then penetrated about one degree further to the south.

Before quitting this part of our subject, we may suggest to our geographers and map-makers that they would do well to discontinue the terms "Blue Nile" and "White Nile," as only tending to mislead. So long as the White River was but partially explored, and there remained room for contending that Bruce's "Nile" was the true Nile, a compromise was not unreasonably effected between the two rivals by regarding them ex æquo as the White and Blue "Niles." But now that Bruce's river is demonstrated to be no Nile at all, but merely the Astapus of Ptolemy (as the learned D'Anville contended a century ago), it would be absurd to continue to apply to it the name of "Nile' in any shape.

We will briefly recapitulate the conclusions come to by Dr. Beke. The Atbara, Black River, or Takkazie, is the Astaboras of Ptolemy; the Blue River, or Abai (now called the Blue "Nile" for the last time), is the Astapus of Ptolemy; and the White River as far as 9° north latitude, is the Nilus of ancient history; whilst to the south of that parallel the Sobat and the upper course of the White River are apparently the eastern and western arms of the the Nile of Ptolemy; the Nile of Herodotus and all historians and geographers anterior to Ptolemy, being the Bahr-el-Ghazal, of which the upper course has been but partially explored, but of which a large branch, named Djour, running parallel to the Bahr-el-Abyad, has been traced as far as about the parallel of Gondókoro. Trusting that we have thus cleared the ground, or we might rather say the water, sufficiently to see our way, we now proceed to the consideration of the alleged discovery by Captain Speke of the source of the Bahr-el-Abyad or White page 311 River, declared by him, without any qualification, to be the Nile.

The expedition of which the results are given in this traveller's Journal, was undertaken by him and Captain Grant in the year 1860, with a view to complete what had been left undone on the previous expedition of 1856, on which the former officer accompanied Captain Burton.

The main object of the first expedition had been to visit and explore an immense lake, named Nyassa, or the "Lake of Unyamwezi," said to extend from the equator to the twelfth parallel of south latitude, and so laid down in a map—known as the "Mombas Mission Map"—published by the Royal Geographical Society in the first volume of their Proceedings; for which purpose Captain Burton was directed by the Society to proceed to Kilwa (Quiloa) on the east coast of Africa, in about 11° south latitude; and after surveying the lake and completing his labours in that quarter, he was instructed "to proceed towards the range of mountains marked upon our maps as containing the probable sources of the Bahr-el-Abyad, which (it was stated) it will be your next great object to discover."

As that portion of Africa in about 8° north latitude, where this "range of mountains" is "marked upon our maps," had been traversed by the Egyptian expeditions fourteen or fifteen years previously, without a trace of any mountains having been met with; and as this imaginary range of mountains had long previously been expunged from all continental maps of Africa, as well as from such English maps as made any pretensions to tolerable accuracy; it certainly does not say much for the knowledge of the interior of Africa possessed by the Royal Geographical Society, that they should have given such antiquated Instructions to Captain Burton.

But, if behind the age as regards the sources of the Nile, they were not less so with respect to the enormous lake Nyassa; for Captain Burton, on his arrival at Zanzibar, soon "heard sufficient to convince him that the Nyassa or Kilwa Luke is of unimportant dimensions, and altogether distinct from the Sea of Ujiji"—now best known as Lake Tanganyika; adding the significant remark that "though these two waters had been run into one by European geographers, no Arab of Zanzibar ever yet confounded them;" and he further stated that "this consideration mainly determined his entrance into Africa by the great western line of road leading through Unyamwezi," instead of entering at Kilwa, in accordance with the instructions of the Royal Geographical Society.

It is certainly surprising that Captain Burton should have received such instructions, when the existence of two lakes (at the least), instead of one, had been long known; and only a few page 312 months before he and his companion, Captain Speke, left England, Dr. Beke, who was then in Mauritius, published in the Athenæum* some very precise information respecting these lakes, which were not only asserted to be distinct and separate, but "the roads to them were likewise quite distinct and in different directions; that to the Nyassa Lake starting from Kilwa and proceeding to the southward of west, whilst that to the Nyamwezi Lake leads either from Buromayi or from the mouth of the river Pangani in a direction to the north of west:" the former of these roads being the one Captain Burton was directed to take, and the latter that which he eventually adopted.

The particulars of the expedition of Burton and Speke have been long before the public; so that it is unnecessary to dwell on them here, further than to state that, at a distance of nearly six hundred geographical miles from the coast, they reached the main object of their journey, Lake Tanganyika, which they navigated and partly explored. The elevation of this lake is 1844 feet above the ocean, and its waters are fresh; which leads to the inference that it must have an outlet either to the north or to the south. Unfortunately, the travellers did not visit either extremity, so that they were unable to decide anything positive on the subject. In the opinion of both Burton and Speke, the outlet is towards the south; in accordance with the suggestion of Earl De Grey and Ripon, when President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1859, that it may yet be found to be connected with Lake Nyassa. The evidence collected by Dr. Beke tends, on the contrary, to show that the outlet is towards the north, in which case Tanganyika would be connected with the Bahr-el-Ghazal, and would, in fact, be the upper course of the Nile. Upon this point it would be premature to express any decided opinion; but the following recorded evidence is certainly deserving of consideration:—
"Many years ago Mr. Macqueen received from a native of U-Nyamwezi, named Lief-bin-Said, some valuable information . . . . After describing the lake with remarkable accuracy, he added—'It is well known by all the people there, that the river which goes through Egypt takes its source and origin from the lake.' In confirmation of this assertion of Lief-bin-Said, Capt. Speke himself, on his return from his first journey, recorded the following statement made by Sheikh Hamed, a respectable Arab merchant: 'A large river called Marungu supplies the lake at its southern extremity; but, except that and the Malagarazi river on the eastern shore, none of any considerable size pour their waters into the lake. But on a visit to the northern end, I saw one which was very much larger than either of them, and which I am certain flowed out of the lake; for, although I did not venture on it

* Of July 12, 1856.

page 313 .... I went so near its outlet that I could see and feel the outward drift of the water.' And in his present 'Journal' (p. 90), the same traveller thus expresses himself:—'Ever perplexed about the Tanganyika being a still lake, I inquired of Mohinna and other old friends, what they thought about the Marungu river [at its southern extremity]: did it run into or out of the lake? And they all adhered to its running into the lake.' "—Lecture, p. 30.

Captain Burton being laid up by severe illness, the travellers were were prevented from carrying out the instructions given them to proceed home northwards; but on their return from Tanganyika to the coast, Captain Speke made an excursion from Kaze, the chief trading station of U-Nyamwezi—the "Country of the Moon," I as it has been fancifully rendered—to the northern lake, Nyanza, respecting which Burton had obtained intelligence, and which Speke considered to be larger than Tanganyika and to be connected with the Nile.

On his return to England in 1859, Captain Speke lost no time in making arrangements for a second expedition, being that which he undertook in 1860, accompanied by Captain Grant, and from which they both returned to England last year by descending the Nile to Egypt. Notwithstanding the time employed on this adventurous journey through the heart of Eastern-Intertropical Africa,—a journey which must always occupy a conspicuous place in the annals of African Discovery,—its main points may be soon related. Proceeding from Zanzibar to Kaze in U-Nyamwezi, the central point of the former expedition, the travellers thence turned northwards; but instead of directing their steps towards the southern extremity of Lake Nyanza, as Captain Speke had clone on the former occasion, they took a course to the westward of north, passing between Nyanza and the northern portion of Tanganyika, and traversing the countries of U-Zinza and Karague; after which they entered the kingdom of U-Ganda, and skirting the western end of Nyanza, arrived at; the residence of the king, Mtesa, on the shores of the lake, which they here reached for the first time.

Here they were detained several months by the arbitrary and capricious monarch; and when at length they obtained leave to depart, instead of being allowed (as they had desired) to navigate the lake and proceed down the river issuing from it, "the fleet admiral put a veto on this," and ruled that—

"The better plan would be to deposit our property at the Urondogani station, and walk by land up the river, if a sight of the falls at the mouth of the lake was of such material consequence to us."—p. 449.

Accordingly, the travellers left the shore of the lake and proceeded northward on their way to Urondogani; but on reaching page 314 Kari, about twenty miles from that place, Captain Speke states that—

"As it appeared all-important to communicate quickly with Petherick, and as Grant's leg was considered too weak for travelling fast, we took counsel together, and altered our plans. I arranged that Grant should go to Kamrasi's direct with the property, cattle, and women, taking my letters and a map for immediate despatch to Petherick at Gani, whilst I should go up the river to its source or exit from the lake, and come down again navigating as far as practicable."—p. 458.

This one-sided arrangement resembles that of the "two pretty men" of the nursery rhyme,—

"You go before with the bottle and bag,
And I'll follow after on little jack-nag."

Its effect was to deprive Captain Grant of the gratification of participating in what was manifestly the realization of the grand object of their long and perilous journey. Captain Speke reached the "Nile" alone, and he thus describes the impression which the scene made on him:—

"Here at last I stood on the brink of the Nile; most beautiful was the scene, nothing could surpass it! It was the very perfection of the kind of effect aimed at in a highly-kept park; with a magnificent stream from six hundred to seven hundred yards wide, dotted with islets and rocks, the former occupied by fishermen's huts, the latter by sterns and crocodiles basking in the sun,—flowing between fine high grassy banks, with rich trees and plantains in the background, where herds of the nsunn? and hartebeest could be seen grazing, while the hippopotami were snorting in the water, and florikan and guinea-fowl rising at our feet."—p. 459.

From this point Captain Speke, still alone, ascended the left bank of the river, till he—

"arrived at the extreme end of the journey, the furthest point ever visited by the expedition on the same parallel as King Mtesa's place, and just forty miles east of it. We [?] were well rewarded; for the 'stones,' as the Wa-Huma call the falls, was by far the most interesting sight I had seen in Africa . . . . Though beautiful, the scene was not exactly what I expected; for the broad surface of the lake was shut out from view by a spur of the bill, and the falls, about twelve feet deep and four hundred to five hundred feet broad, were broken by rocks. Still it was a sight that attracted one to it for hours."—p. 466.

The author adds:—

"The expedition had now performed its functions. I saw that old father Nile without any doubt rises in the Victoria Nyanza, and, as I had foretold, that lake is the great source of the holy river which cradled the first expounder of our religious belief."—p. 467.

page 315
If there be anything to console Captain Grant for not having formed part of "the expedition" on this memorable occasion, it must be the knowledge that Captain Speke is mistaken in his idea that he saw here the source of the holy river. The poet's words,—

"Arcanum natura caput non prodidit ulli,
Nee licuit populis parvuum te, Nile, videre,"

have not yet lost their force. All that Captain Speke has really done is to see the river Kivira, which he assumes to be the Nile, issue from Nyanza, which he incorrectly calls its source:—or hardly this, since, when he was at the Ripon Falls, he says he did not see the river's exit from the lake.

Captain Speke now descended the river Kivira again to Urondogani, and thence proceeded to Chaguzi, the residence of Kamrasi, the King of U-Nyoro; having on the road fallen in with Captain Grant, who, in spite of his "weak leg," had walked back a considerable distance to meet him.

On his way both to and from the Ripon Falls, Captain Speke crossed two large watercourses, or "rush-drains" as he calls them, named Luajerri and Kafu, both of which are described as conveying the waters of Nyanza into the Kivira, thus making the lake to have three outlets.

This phenomenon has given rise to much discussion, based, of course, on the assumption that there is but one great lake,—the "Victoria Nyanza," as it is styled,—to which these three outlets belong. It may, however, be worthy of consideration whether it is not possible for Captain Speke to be mistaken in his assumption:—whether, in fact, his "Victoria Nyanza" may not be a repetition, on a smaller scale, of the "Lake of Unyamwezi" of the Mombas Mission map.

Let us see what evidence there is to prove that this expanse of water—of which the area is at least 25,000 square geographical miles—is a single lake. On his first journey, in 1858, Captain Speke merely visited the southern extremity of the lake in about 2° 30′ south latitude. On his second journey he and Captain Grant, though they skirted the north-eastern side of the lake, did not reach it except at the Murchison Creek, in 0° 21′ 19′ north latitude, and 32° 44′ 30″ east longitude. When the travellers quitted the lake at this place, they went northwards to Kari, whence (as already related) Captain Speke proceeded alone to the Ripon Falls, in about the same latitude as the Murchison Creek, but forty-five geographical miles further to the east, though here he did not succeed in again seeing "the broad surface of the lake" (p. 460);—so that, in point of fact, the Nyanza was actually visited at only two points, the one at the north and the other at the south end. And it must be remarked that the coloured page 316 route-line, shown on Captain Speke's map as extending along the northern end of the lake from the Murchison Creek to the Ripon Falls, is wrongly inserted; for such a route was never taken by either of the travellers. Everything then, beyond what has been stated above, was derived by Captain Speke from native oral information. How easy it is at all times for such information, even if correct, to be misunderstood, is well known, and in this particular instance it is proved by the admissions of the author himself.

When at Mtesa's capital on the Murchison Creek, he heard that the king was going "with his women on a pilgrimage to the Nyanza;" and on his wishing to be of the party, he was told this might not be, as no one was ever permitted to see the women.

"Well, said I, if I cannot go to the Nyanza with him (thinking only of the great lake, whereas they probably meant a pond in the palace enclosures, where Mtesa constantly frolics with his women), I wish to go to Usoga and Amara, as far as the Masai; for I have no companions here but crows and vultures."—p. 324.

From this it is manifest that the author was already at cross purposes with respect to Nyanza. Indeed it could not be otherwise, when he himself is under the necessity of explaining, with reference to another occasion, when the king "had started for the Nyanza and wished him to follow without delay," that—

"Nyanza, as I have mentioned, merely means a piece of water, whether a pond, river, or lake; and as no one knew which Nyanza he meant, or what project was on foot, I started off in a hurry," &c.—p. 389.

Such being the indiscriminate use of the term by the natives, we cannot be surprised at the author's employing it as indefinitely. In page 279, when speaking of the Mwérango river, "a broad rush-drain of 300 yards' span," which lower down its course is called by him the Kafu, he, on not very certain or conclusive evidence, declares it to be "one of the branches of the Nile's exit from the Nyanza;" whilst at the top of the next page he describes this river as going "to Kamrasi's palace in U-Nyoro, where it joined the Nyanza, meaning the Nile."

On such insufficient and inconclusive evidence, what certainty have we then as to this great "Victoria Nyanza?" As far as we can see, it may be a single lake, or it may be two separate lakes, or indeed even a larger number. It will doubtless be urged that the author surely must have possessed the means of obtaining correct information of what he was so near to. But the same, or even more, might be said in favour of the missionaries Erhardt and Rebmann; and yet, notwithstanding their many years' residence at Mombas, and their intercourse with the natives and knowledge of their language, they fell into the error of confounding the lakes page 317 Nyassa, Tanganyika, and Nyanza, and blending them all three into the slug-shaped "Lake of Unyamwezi," which is shown in the margin of Captain Speke's map; and if (as it would appear) the author was mostly "thinking only of the great lake," the existence of which was with him a foregone conclusion, his error would be far less inconceivable than that of the missionaries, who had no preconceived ideas on the subject.

After a considerable detention at Chaguzi, the travellers proceeded on the last stage of their journey, following the course of the river downwards for about fifty miles, as far as the Karuma Falls, in 2° 15′ north lat. Here the Kivira, running to the west, was quitted a second time; and Captains Speke and Grant continued their journey northward, as far as Faloro, in 3° 10′ 33″ north lat., where they fell in with the persons who had been engaged to meet them by Consul Petherick. After leaving the river at the Karuma Falls, they appear to have quite lost all traces of it; and as the people whom Captain Speke met "would or could not tell him where the stream had gone to," the heads of the villages were called together—

"To give me (he says) all the information I sought for, and went with me to the top of a high rock, from which we could see the hills I first viewed at Chopi, sweeping round from south by east to north, which demarked the line of the Asua river. The Nile at that moment was, I believed, not very far off; yet, do or say what I would, everybody said it was fifteen marches off, and could not be visited under a month."—p. 585.

On this Captain Speke coolly remarks, "I knew in my mind all these reports were false," which they most undoubtedly must have been, if he himself is not wrong in his assumption as to the "Nile;" for the very first march from Faloro brought him to "Paira, a collection of villages within sight of the Nile!!" "It was truly ridiculous," he exclaims;—

"Here had we been at Faloro so long, and yet could not make out what had become of the Nile. In appearance it was a noble stream, flowing on a flat bed from west to east, and immediately beyond it was the Jbl (hills) Kūkū, rising up to a height of 2000 feet above the river."—p. 591.

A short way below this they reached Apuddo, in 3° 34′ 33″ north lat., where they were shown the tree said to have been marked by Signor Miani two years previously as his "furthest." Here they remained several days, occupying themselves with sporting, and seemingly quite indifferent as to the Nile; but on the sixth day, when following a herd of buffaloes, Captain Speke relates that—

"After walking up a long sloping hill for three miles towards the cast, I found myself at once in view of the Nile on the one hand, and page 463 party were still in the minority. It is a curious fact, that every ministerial crisis in the colony has been decided by a majority of one; so evenly have parties been divided throughout.

The war was carried on with varying fortune, until receipt of a despatch informing the Governor that the Secretary of State for the Colonies—while thinking it indispensable that severe punishment should be exacted on account of the unprovoked murders committed by the tribes south of New Plymouth [Ngatiruanui and Taranaki]—would learn with satisfaction that William King had been induced to make such submission as would enable the Governor to accommodate his quarrel with him without danger to the British supremacy. Accordingly, the head of the Native Land Purchase Department was sent to hear what terms the insurgents had to offer. He had a meeting with the chief of Ngatihaua, William Thompson Tarapipipi, the king-maker, who had come down from Waikato as a mediator. But no conclusive understanding was arrived at. An interview, however, took place between Thompson and King, in presence of the Waitara natives, and the leading men of the Waikato and Ngatiruanui, at which it was agreed that the subject of dispute—the land at Waitara, and the question of peace or war, should be left to the decision of Thompson. At once, with Spartan brevity, he gave his orders:

Waikato, return home.
Te Atiawa! To Ngatihaua.
Ngatiruanui! Home.
Let the soldiers return to New Plymouth.
As for the Waitara, leave it for the Law to protect.

The command was forthwith obeyed.

Shortly afterwards, the Governor arrived. King, indisposed to meet him, retired inland with a number of his people. The Governor's terms were accepted by the remnant who remained; the first article being as follows:—"The investigation of the title and the survey of the land at Waitara, to be continued without interruption." It is worthy of notice, that when the report of the investigation, so far as it should have been at that period carried out, was moved for in the House, the Government were unable to produce it.

Thus did the war come apparently to an end, as usual in New Zealand, without any decided advantage on either side. It was not peace, but a cessation of hostilities; and in the opinion of many of even those who had been prominent in native advocacy, the greatest mistake of all.

The peace party, repudiating the title of "peace at any price," had come into power. They, in their turn, defeated a motion; of want of confidence, by a majority of one. Shortly afterwards, the Assembly being still in session, a telegram from England page 464 reached the colony, which was road—"Governor re-appointed." But when the regular mail came in, it was found that two letters—a G and a y—had been accidentally omitted. Governor Browne received a despatch highly complimentary, but informing him that Her Majesty's Government were about to avail themselves of the peculiar qualifications and experience of Sir George Grey, then at the Cape of Good Hope. Governor Browne left New Zealand, bearing with him the respect and good wishes of opponents and supporters alike.

Governor Grey had a harder task before him than was anticipated in England. It had been expected that the personal influence which he was supposed to have acquired over the natives would enale him to bring them to reasonable terms; and he seemed at first to be himself of the same opinion. But he was warned at the outset that he would find an essential change in the native mind—that they would stop their ears to the voice of the charmer—that his "mana" was gone. The Maori had made a greater stride in knowledge than in civilization, bringing them up to the most dangerous stage for any people—that of unregulated progress. They had become thoroughly intractable; knowing that our promises had not been kept—that nothing of a substantial nature had ever yet been done for them by the Government, they had resolved to put no further trust in Europeans, but to think and act for themselves. It soon became clear that Governor Grey could do no more than any other clever and prudent man could do in his place. But no more was expected by the colonists, who showed themselves almost unanimously ready to give him willing support. For it happened that those among them who had the most strenuously opposed him during his former term of office, belonged (we think with only one exception) to the peace party; and with one accord subordinated all past grievances to the common object. For it was already no secret that the "new policy" was to be reversed.

Governor Grey forthwith proceeded to inquire for himself, and was not long in discovering that the statements on which the minority in the House had based their demand for inquiry were substantially correct. Once satisfied as to that, one course of action only remained—to restore the Waitara, to place himself rectus in curia, and then to deal with the remaining questions according to the exigencies of the moment. In this he was eventually supported by the responsible Government, among whom were two who had strongly advocated the military occupation of the disputed block.

The grounds of the Governor's decision are thus summarized in a despatch written by the Secretary of State for the Colonies: page 465
"1st.That William King's residence, on the disputed land upon the south bank of the Waitara, was not merely, as had been always represented by the sellers, by permission of the Teira's father, but in virtue of an arrangement made by all that section of the Ngatiawa tribe for the sake of defence against the Waikatos.
2.That a large number of natives, between 200 and 300, were living upon the block at the time when it was offered for sale, whose dwellings and cultivations were destroyed when possession was taken the military.
3.That Teira, as he now asserts, never intended to sell the pahs, one of which was in his own occupation, and did intend to except from sale a reserve of 200 acres, although no such reserve was named in the deed of sale, as ought to have been done."
The ministry base their acquiescence on the ground of having been previously unacquainted with these facts. For this, deriving our information on this part of the question from papers laid on the table of the House, we are unable to account. The first of the three points had been most distinctly affirmed by the peace party; so had the second, except with regard to the numbers, which were not known to have been so large. We cannot multiply quotations; but the following extract from Wi Tompson's letter to Governor Browne is conclusive against the supposition of the fact being a new discovery:—

"War was made on William King, and he fled from his Pah. The Pah was burnt with fire; the place of worship was burnt, and a box containing Testaments; all was consumed in the fire; goods, clothes, blankets, shirts, trousers, gowns, all were consumed.

"The cattle were eaten by the soldiers, and the horses, one hundred in number, were sold by auction by the soldiers.

"It was this that disquieted the heart of William King, his church being burnt by fire. Had the Governor given word not to burn his church, and to leave his goods and animals alone, he would have thought also to spare the property of the Pakeha. This was the cause of the Pakeha's property being lost (destroyed). When William King was reduced to nakedness through the work of the Governor, he said that the Governor was the cause of all these doings. They first commenced that road, and he (William King) merely followed upon it."

The third point is based upon a late admission by Teira himself; but the question of the reserves was mooted in the House, as also that of the boundaries; though the attempt to elicit accurate information from the Government was unsuccessful. It appears, indeed, by the reports lately received, that these various statements have been controverted in the House; but the Governor on learning the state of opinion, sent down a fair challenge as to fact by message. It must be remembered that the war party were from the first a hard-hearted majority, as may be sup- page 466 posed from their having gone so far, in 1861, as to negative a motion for attaching Sir William Martin's rejoinder to the severe attacks all duly printed among the Parliamentary papers—which had been directed by the Government, by Mr. Richmond, and by Mr. Busby, against his inquiry into "The Taranaki Question." We are not yet in possession of the final proceedings of the session, but expect to receive, before the completion of this article, intelligence from the colony, which will enable us to offer a more specific opinion on the subject of the question between the Governor and the Assembly.

So far everything pointed to a peaceful solution. But the expectation was premature. A few lines must be spared in explanation of the cause which led to the renewal of hostilities. The Waitara, native territory, is on the northern boundary of the province of Taranaki. To the south of the province is a block called the Tataraimaka, occupied by English settlers under Crown grant. When we drove King from Waitara, the natives drove us from Tataraimaka, and claimed it by right of conquest, as we held Waitara. During the suspension of hostilities, it was distinctly announced by the natives, and especially by the Waikatos, that any attempt to repossess ourselves of Tataraimaka would be treated by them as a fresh declaration of war; for they held it as an equivalent to Waitara. Consequently, Tataraimaka was Governor Grey's chief difficulty. Of course, however well disposed he might have been to temporize with the natives, and to let the sense of injury wear out, it was unendurable that English settlers should remain ousted from their allotments, which had been granted by the Crown. All were agreed that they must be reinstated at any cost. But Governor Grey had made up his mind to restore the Waitara, and had only to proclaim the restoration. What would seem, upon the face of it, to have been a great error in judgment was now committed. The troops were marched into Tataraimaka before the issue of the proclamation. The consequence was, that the natives kept their word, and renewed the war after their native; fashion, by a terrible and shocking murder.

It appears from the papers presented to the Assembly, that the issue of the proclamation declaring the abandonment of the Waitara purchase had been delayed on account of the difficulty which the responsible ministry found in making up their minds about the matter; though what they had to do with a purely native matter is not quite clear. Governor Grey, in his account of the affair, says, fairly enough:—"I take great blame to myself for having spent so long a time in trying to get my responsible advisers to agree in some general plan of proceeding. I think, seeing the urgency of the case, I ought perhaps to have acted at once, without, or even against, their advice; but I hoped, from page 467 day to day to receive their decision,—and I was anxious, in a question which concerned the future of both races, to carry as much support with me as I could; indeed, I could not derive the full advantage from what I proposed to do unless I did so." The admission does credit to the writer; but it appears to us that a fallacy—the ignoratio elenchi, lurks in the reasoning. The argument, as we understand it, is—that if the Ministers had agreed sooner, the proclamation would have preceded the military occupation of Tataraimaka. This is true, yet seemingly beside the question, which is—Why were the troops moved at all before Ministers had made up their minds? The natives had held Tataraimaka so long, that there could have been no great loss of national honour in suffering them to hold it unmolested a short while longer.

Almost immediately afterwards, the Waikatoes, who are supposed to have instigated and directed the murders, rose in arms. This time, the natives placed themselves entirely in the wrong, and a severe lesson has to be administered. There is no longer a peace party in New Zealand. Yet should justice be tempered with mercy. Let it be not forgotten that the present war is but a continuation of the former one, originally provoked by ourselves.

We must now turn back to the session of 1862, which was signalized by two remarkable events—the rejection of the Duke of Newcastle's offer to commit the management of the natives to the colonists; and the abrogation by act of the Assembly, of the Government monopoly of land sales.

As to the offer, it was mistimed. The conduct of native affairs, refused while easy, was pressed upon the colonists in a time of difficulty. They had moreover been angered by imputations cast upon them, almost from the foundation of the colony; to which colour might be given should they fail, as was not unlikely, to extricate the colony from the difficulties into which it had been plunged; they had heard the war called "a settlers' war," and were therefore unwilling to do anything that might tend to confuse their duties with those of the Governor, which it was now more than ever necessary to keep distinct; and they suspected—justly or unjustly—the motives which prompted the offer. For they supposed it to be preparatory to a claim upon the Colonial Treasury for the expenses of an Imperial war. "Settle first the difficulties in which you have yourselves involved us," was virtually the reply of the colonists; "start us fair, and we will undertake to govern the natives, defraying every stiver of the cost of quarrels of our own raising, should we so far mismanage what we undertake. But we respectfully decline, at present, to implicate ourselves with that for which we were not page 468 allowed to become responsible." The refusal seems to have caused much disappointment at the Colonial Office; for Governor Grey had somewhat prematurely informed the Secretary of State, "that he had arranged to consult his responsible Ministered in relation to native affairs, in the same manner as upon all other subjects."

By the Native Lands Act, a great act of justice was done to the Maori by the colonists, who, it is only right to say were stoutly supported by Governor Grey. After twenty years' agitation of the question by the northern settlers, a measure was introduced, having for its object the unqualified recognition of the native title over all land not ceded to the Crown, and of the natives' right to deal with their land as they pleased, after the owners, according to native custom, had been ascertained. The promise implied in the Maori version of the treaty of Waitangi—that natives of New Zealand should be allowed to have as good a title to their lands as Europeans, and that they should in the event of their selling or leasing, be allowed to obtain the value of such lands, has been fulfilled. The New Zealand land question is ended.

The foregoing pages were already in type when the latest intelligence from the colony reached this country. Concerning this we are unable to speak with that positive knowledge which thus far we have brought to bear upon the subject; being henceforth obliged to rely on the papers presented to the Assembly on newspaper articles, and the reports of the debates. The first are probably trustworthy; the second must be received with caution, colonial newspapers being mostly characterized by strong party spirit, and much employed in contradicting each other. The debates are not very well reported, unless when the speeches are supplied or revised by those who delivered them.:

Another session of the New Zealand Parliament has been held. In the previous session the colonists had declined to accept the management of native affairs until immediate difficulties should have been overcome. This time, however, grateful for the prompt and efficient aid rendered by the Home Government, they consented to undertake the task, thus doing away at last with that system of double government which ought never to have existed and which had proved so fertile of imbroglio. A change had, moreover, taken place in the circumstances under which the previous refusal had been made. The main points of the question had now been brought into prominent relief; much misconception had been removed, and the colonists could now venture to accept without fear of incurring responsibility for previous page 469 events. They had no longer to guard against the possibility of the rebellion being considered as a "settlers' war." The Waitara incumbrance had also been cleared away by the Governor, to whom, in our opinion, the whole credit is due. For it is doubtful, to say the least, whether any responsible Ministry could have ventured on a measure so distasteful to the majority in the House.

In this matter Governor Grey seems to have been not very fairly used. He had laid before the Assembly the facts and evidence on which he had based his restoration of the Waitara. In consequence of the manifest hesitation to accept them, he offered a fair challenge, inviting the distrustful to join issue on the question of fact. The challenge was only productive of the two following resolutions, which do not meet the ease:—

"1. That this House, having supported the measure taken by his Excellency the late Governor of New Zealand, to repress the armed interference of W. King at Waitara; because as set forth in its Resolution of August 16, 1860, in the opinion of the House, such measures were 'indispensable for the due maintenance of her Majesty's authority'—considers that the renewed and definitive recognition by his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, in his despatch of the 25th August, 1863, 'of the justice of exerting military force against W. King and his allies,' has happily rendered it unnecessary for this House to controvert or supplement statements made by his Excellency Sir George Grey, in his despatches on the Waitara question.

"2. That, in the opinion of this House, the good faith of the Crown and the interests of both races of Her Majesty's subjects in this colony, demand that the chief Teira and his people should be protected from possible illegal aggression; and that in justice to him, and in compliance with the request contained in his petition to this House, the investigation into the title to the Waitara block promised by Governor Gore Browne and by Governor Sir G. Grey should be completed at the earliest practicable period."

Much is implied, but little is expressed. Surely such is not the manner in which a public question should be dealt with. It is deemed "unnecessary to controvert or to supplement statements made by his Excellency Sir George Grey, in his despatches on the Waitara question." The time has been when his despatches, during his former tenure of office, were treated with merciless severity; but then they were tangibly and down rightly impugned. The controverted statements were specified; the counter assertions and disproofs set down with minute precision; opportunity for vindication was freely offered. Now the Duke of Newcastle's authority is resorted to, apparently for shelter; but how his Grace's "recognition," in England, should settle questions of fact in New Zealand it is not easy to understand.

page 470

The second resolution is a mystification. It is clear that Teira, and all other of Her Majesty's native subjects, ought to be protected from possible aggression. But such has not hitherto been our practice in New Zealand. For our own ease and quietness, we have allowed them to maintain their feuds at pleasure. If the resolution implies no more than a change in our previous policy, it is a step in the right direction. But it seems to hint at more. In regard to the concluding observation—that the investigation of the title to the Waitara should be completed at the earliest possible period—it is gratifying to observe that in this matter, all are now of one accord. But it is remarkable that the mover of this resolution should have been one of those who opposed investigation in the session of 1860.

A bill entituled "The New Zealand Settlements Act" was passed, which we trust will receive careful attention from the law officers of the Crown. Divested of technical phraseology, it is in reality an Act empowering the Governor to confiscate land on suspicion of treason, giving subsequent compensation to such of the owners as shall be able to prove their innocence. While regretting with the Governor that it should have been "found necessary to pass laws conferring temporarily on the Government powers which, under the British rule, are only granted by the Legislature in times of great public danger," we freely admit that some such enactment is required. It is clear that the lands of the rebel natives must be charged, so far as they suffice, with the cost of the war. It is also manifest that, owing to the complication of tribal tenure, nothing short of arbitrary power could deal effectively with the variety of cases that must arise. Nor is there any likelihood that the power will be abused. But a very serious question still remains behind,—whether the Act he within the powers of a Colonial Parliament. What if the Assembly were to go one step farther, and pass bills of attainder? While carefully avoiding anything bearing even the semblance of a legal argument, we take occasion to observe that the New Zealand Constitution Act prohibits the enactment of any law repugnant to the laws of England; not only to statute law, but also (a prohibition too often lost sight of) to the common law, which nothing but an Act of the Imperial Parliament can override. There is no desire in the New Zealand Assembly to transgress their legitimate powers, but there is much difference of opinion as to the extent of those powers. If the law officers of the Crown should deliberately affirm that the Act in question is not ultra vires, there is an end to all further dispute. Should they feel themselves obliged, on technical grounds, to advise its disallowance by the Crown, all practical inconvenience might be avoided by substituting an Act of the Imperial Parliament. In any case, such page 471 procedure would be advantageous. Such an Act would obviate, among the natives, much heart-burning, jealousy, and suspicion of interested motives. It might even be cheerfully acquiesced in. For although they look down upon the "White Runanga," they pay willing allegiance to the Queen, by whose authority they would suppose such a law to have been made.

The signal success of General Cameron, who assaulted and carried, after a desperate resistance, the entrenched position of the Waikatos at Rangiriri, is supposed to have brought the war "virtually to an end." We refrain from anticipating the future; but believe the announcement to be premature. Should the natives change their tactics, and avoid making a stand in force, hostilities may yet be prolonged for an indefinite time. They are perfectly well aware that we cannot follow them (away from the water) any faster than we can make roads; and that while their commissariat costs them nothing, we are expending at the rate of so many pounds an hour. The question of war or peace depends solely upon the present temper of the natives engaged; upon which no one in this country can pretend to offer an opinion. It must also be borne in mind, that when we shall have done with Waikato, Ngatiruanui and Taranaki, whose atrocities cannot be condoned, have still to be disposed of.

Be this, however, as it may, an intricate and troublesome question still remains between the colonies and the mother country—that of the apportionment of the expenses of the war. We incline to believe, that if difficulty arises, it will be only on questions of account. The colonists, while steadily maintaining that neither technically nor morally are they specially responsible for the cost of an Imperial war, are far from being unmindful of the efforts of the mother country in their behalf. They are willing to contribute as far as the limited resources of the colony will allow. There are no symptoms of a niggardly spirit among the thinking men, by whom, and not by those who pander to the passions of the hour for the sake of a few stray votes at an election, the feelings of a country must fairly be judged. Close interpellation must be expected in committee of ways and means, concerning that additional penny in the pound of income tax which the colony is accused of having inflicted on the tax-payers at home. But it does not appear that the ultimate charge, after subtracting the ordinary expenses of the troops, who have to be supported in one part of the world or another, will be nearly so heavy. As a matter of course, the land confiscated on account of rebellion, in theory escheats to the Crown; in practice, the colony will have to account for the market value, whatever that may be. It appears indeed to be supposed in New Zealand, that these lands will be found capable of bearing the whole of the burden. We are not page 472 so sanguine, but have no misgivings about the feeling with which the question will be entertained on either side. It will be liberal and becoming to both. Yet it is high time that some definite arrangement should be come to about the cost of "England's little wars." The colonies, when once allowed the management of their own affairs, have no right to depend upon the mother country for defence, either from rebellion from within, or against aggression from without, so long as they contribute nothing, by way of taxation, to the maintenance of the Imperial armaments. It is easy to raise the well-worn cry of "no taxation without representation;" but it is as easy to raise a counter cry against taxing one portion of the empire for the exclusive advantage of another. All alike are bound in fairness to share the burdens of the empire together with the benefits; and until this be agreed to, it will be difficult to withstand the arguments of those economists who maintain that it would be better for the mother country to sever the connexion, turning her colonies adrift. The equitable arrangement would be, for all alike to contribute, on the principle of mutual insurance, the British Government in return rendering assistance whenever it might be needed, free of additional charge; and this, if insisted on, might be reached with less difficulty than experience would lead us to suppose. For the tables have been turned. In the old times, whenever a colony felt herself aggrieved, her first resource was to threaten to "cut the painter." Now, on the contrary, that the value of the connexion is better understood, and that all real causes of complaint have disappeared, England could bring any one of her dependencies to order, by simply retorting the threat; provided only that she could succeed in inducing belief that she would act up to her expressed intention.