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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 385. November, 1847.   By:

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Transcriber's Note

Spellings are sometimes erratic. A few obvious misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling has been retained. Accents in the French phrases are inconsistent, and have not been standardised.

BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCLXXXV. NOVEMBER, 1847. Vol. LXII.

CONTENTS.

THE NAVIGATION OF THE ANTIPODES. 515

AMERICAN COPYRIGHT. 534

EVENINGS AT SEA. NO. II. 547 HENRY MEYNELL.

WAS RUBENS A COLOURIST? 564

THE AMERICAN LIBRARY. 574

UNITS: TENS: HUNDREDS: THOUSANDS. 593

RESEARCH AND ADVENTURE IN AUSTRALIA. 602

MAGUS MUIR. 614

A NOVEMBER MORNING'S REVERIE. 618

VALEDICTORY VISITS AT ROME. THE VILLA BORGHESE. 622 THE VILLA ALBANI. 626

HIGHLAND DESTITUTION. 630

THE NAVIGATION OF THE ANTIPODES.[1]

One of the most striking, and perhaps the most intellectual advances of the age, is in the progress of geographical discovery. It is honourable to England, that this new impulse to a knowledge of the globe began with her spirit of enterprise, and it is still more honourable to her that that spirit was originally prompted by benevolence. Cook, with whose voyages this era may be regarded as originating, was almost a missionary of the benevolence of England, and of George III.; and the example of both the great discoverer and the good king has been so powerfully impressed on all the subsequent attempts of English adventurers, that there has been scarcely a voyage to new regions which has not been expressly devised to carry with it some benefit to their people.

When the spirit of discovery was thus once awakened, a succession of intelligent and daring men were stimulated to the pursuit; and the memorable James Bruce, who had begun life as a lawyer, grown weary of the profession, and turned traveller through the South of Europe at a period when the man who ventured across the Pyrenees was a hero; gallantly fixed his eyes on Africa, as a region of wonders, of which Europe had no other knowledge than as a land of lions, of men more savage than the lions, and of treasures of ivory and gold teeming and unexhausted since the days of Solomon. The hope of solving the old classic problem, the source of the Nile, pointed his steps to Abyssinia, and after a six years' preparation in his consulate of Algiers, he set forward on his dangerous journey, and arrived at the source of the Bahr el Azrek, (the Blue River,) one of the branches of the great river. Unluckily he had been misdirected, for the true Nile is the Bahr el Abiad, (the White River.)

His volumes, published in 1790, excited equal curiosity and censure; but the censure died away, the curiosity survived, and a succession of travellers, chiefly sustained by the African Association, penetrated by various routes into Africa.

The discovery of the course of the Niger was now the great object. And Mungo Park, a bold and intelligent discoverer, gave a strong excitement to the public feeling by his "Travels," published towards the close of the century. His adventures were told in a strain of good sense and simplicity which fully gratified the public taste. And on his unfortunate death, which happened in a second exploration of the Niger in 1805, another expedition was fitted out under Captain Tuckey, an experienced seaman, to ascertain the presumed identity of the Congo with the Niger. But the sea coast of Africa is deadly to Europeans, and this effort failed through general disease.

The next experiment was made by land from Tripoli across the Great Desert under Denham, Clapperton, and Oudney. This effort was partially baffled by sickness, but still more by the arts of the native chiefs, who are singularly jealous of strangers... Continue reading book >>


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