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Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 1   By: (1821-1890)

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Two Trips to

Gorilla Land

and the Cataracts of the Congo.

By

Richard F. Burton.

In Two Volumes

Vol. I.

London: 1876

"Quisquis amat Congi fines peragrare nigrantes, Africæ et Æthiopum cernere regna, domus, Perlegat hunc librum." Fra Angelus de Map. Piccardus.

"Timbuctoo travels, voyages to the poles, Are ways to benefit mankind as true Perhaps as shooting them at Waterloo." Don Juan.

Trieste, Jan. 31, 1875. My Dear Sir George,

Our paths in life have been separated by a long interval. Whilst inclination led you to explore and to'survey the wild wastes of the North, the Arctic shores and the Polar seas, with all their hardships and horrors; my lot was cast in the torrid regions of Sind and Arabia; in the luxuriant deserts of Africa, and in the gorgeous tropical forests of the Brazil. But the true traveller can always appreciate the record of another's experience, and perhaps the force of contrast makes him most enjoy the adventures differing the most from his own. To whom, then, more appropriately than to yourself, a discoverer of no ordinary note, a recorder of explorations, and, finally, an earnest labourer in the cause of geography, can I inscribe this plain, unvarnished tale of a soldier traveller? Kindly accept the trifle as a token of the warmest esteem, an earnest of my thankfulness for the interest ever shown by you in forwarding my plans and projects of adventure; and, in the heartfelt hope that Allah may prolong your days, permit me to subscribe myself,

Your sincere admirer and grateful friend, RICHARD F. BURTON.

Admiral Sir George Back, D.C.L., F.R.S., Vice Pres. R.G.S., &c.

Preface.

The notes which form the ground work of these volumes have long been kept in the obscurity of manuscript: my studies of South America, of Syria and Palestine, of Iceland, and of Istria, left me scant time for the labour of preparation. Leisure and opportunity have now offered themselves, and I avail myself of them in the hope that the publication will be found useful to more than one class of readers. The many who take an interest in the life of barbarous peoples may not be displeased to hear more about the Fán; and the few who would try a fall with Mister Gorilla can learn from me how to equip themselves, whence to set out and whither to go for the best chance. Travelling with M. Paul B. du Chaillu's "First Expedition" in my hand, I jealously looked into every statement, and his numerous friends will be pleased to see how many of his assertions are confirmed by my experience.

The second part is devoted to the Nzadi or lower Congo River, from the mouth to the Yellala or main rapids, the gate by which the mighty stream, emerging from the plateau of Inner Africa, goes to its long home, the Atlantic. Some time must elapse before the second expedition, which left Ambriz early in 1873, under Lieutenant Grandy, R. N., can submit its labours to the public: meanwhile these pages will, I trust, form a suitable introduction to the gallant explorer's travel in the interior. It would be preposterous to publish descriptions of any European country from information gathered ten years ago. But Africa moves slowly, and thus we see that the results of an Abyssinian journey (M. Antoine d'Abbadie's "Géodésic d'Ethiopie," which took place about 1845, are not considered obsolete in 1873.

After a languid conviction during the last half century of owning some ground upon the West Coast of Africa, England has been rudely aroused by a little war which will have large consequences. The causes that led to the "Ashantee Campaign," a negro copy of the negroid Abyssinian, may be broadly laid down as general incuriousness, local mismanagement, and the operation of unprincipled journalism... Continue reading book >>


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