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beyond their historical value. Mill had no sympathy at all with the English in India, and he did not properly understand the structure of Asiatic states or societies; Macaulay saw at a glance the whole panorama of the wreck of the Moghal empire, and the tossing sea of political confusion into which the English plunged so boldly; but he is at times wonderfully inaccurate, and he had not the profound understanding of Asia that only comes from long sojourn among an Asiatic people. It is because Elphinstone, who was strong where preceding writers on India had been weak, left his work unfinished, that the following observation is as true now as it was when Elphinstone wrote it fifty years ago.
'With all the loose information we possess about the East, there is no book that gives an idea of the principles of an Asiatic government, or the structure of Asiatic society. It is only by a good history that such knowledge can be imparted, and India is the only country where we have sufficient materials to allow a hope of such a history being ever produced.'
The declining years of Elphinstone's life passed very quietly. It is indeed remarkable that (if we may judge from the extracts) the references in his papers to the extraordinary and momentous events which fill the annals of India from 1840 to 1858, are neither frequent nor very important. Lord Dalhousie's annexation of the Sattara principality shocked him, for its establishment had been a cardinal point of his Maratha policy, though the annexation of the Punjab, and even of Oude, received his approval. He knew that, as we are now discovering to our cost in Egypt, there is no middle path between taking over altogether an Oriental country and leaving it altogether to its own devices; and he was inclined to give the King of Oude the choice of ceding his territories or of attempting to govern them without British connexion or support; but this was chiefly out of a kind of scientific predilection for political experiments. The Mutiny he discusses coolly and philosophically in a letter dated September 1857, when the storm was at its height, observing that foreign governments have kept their ground in worse circumstances than ours, and mentioning ancient Rome as an illustration. Much of his latest correspondence appears to have been occupied with the political and military questions involved in the reorganisation of the home government of India, and in the remodelling of the Indian army, to which he evidently attached paramount importance. In 1859 he died.
Sir Edward Colebrooke concludes a work that he has performed with much judgement and discrimination by a few
remarks on the high qualities, moral and intellectual-rare in themselves, still rarer in union-that characterised Mountstuart Elphinstone. Those who knew him are now very few, but those who have come after him are indebted to Sir Edward Colebrooke for a narrative that brings out into clear light and delineates the features of a man who has left us, on the whole, the best example of an Anglo-Indian diplomatist and administrator. The work is the more valuable because times and circumstances have so changed that the Indian services, whatever else they produce, will not bring back the type represented by Elphinstone. No young Indian officer can now travel slowly from one side of India to the other, with a supply of classic authors, and with ample time and opportunity for studying the people, and thus preparing himself for an early initiation into the vicissitudes of a stormy political epoch. The time is past when Indian states were loose conglomerations of territory, the spoils of successful war, that were easily dissolved by a defeat. It was Elphinstone's fortune to accompany conquering armies, and to be entrusted with the duty of bringing order out of the confusion caused by each shock of war, and of redistributing large territories upon some durable political basis. His time was one of simple, straightforward action, when the problems of Indian politics lay within the old-fashioned sphere of war and diplomacy; when the great issues were between the English Power and the chiefs who contended with it for predominance in India, the Indian people remaining passive lookers-on at the contest. He had no concern, until quite at the end of his career, with the more complex and subtle difficulties of a later stage in India's developement, when the English have to deal, not with intractable or incapable Indian chiefs and princes, but with a vast population, among whose leaders superficial culture has produced rhetoric, and who are just coming into possession of political liberty, so fair a prize when gained by a nation's own exertions, so dangerous as a free gift. Other times bring other men, and we cannot expect to look on Elphinstone's like again; but his reputation will survive as a tradition in the Indian services, and his Life should be read by all who desire to understand the middle period of the expansion of England's dominion in India.
ART. VI.-1. The River Congo, from its Mouth to Bólóbó. By H. H. JOHNSTON, F.Z.S., F.R.G.S. London: 1884. 2. Les Voyages de Savorgnan de Brazza; Ogooué et Congo (1875-1882). Par D. NEUVILLE et CH. BRÉARD. Paris : 1884.
3. Die Loango Expedition ausgesandt von der Deutschen Gesellschaft zur Erforschung Aequatorial-Africa's (1873-1876). Ein Reisewerk in drei Abtheilungen von PAUL GüssFELDT, JULIUS FALKENSTEIN, EDUARD PECHÜEL-LOESCHE. Leipzig: 1879-82..
4. Quatre Années au Congo. Par CHARLES JEANNEST. Paris 1883.
5. Angola and the River Congo. By JOACHIM JOHN
MONTEIRO. London: 1875.
6. Correspondence relating to Negotiations between the Governments of Great Britain and Portugal for the Conclusion of the Congo Treaty: 1882-84. Presented to both Houses of Parliament. 1884.
7. Further Papers relating to Negotiations with Portugal. Presented to both Houses of Parliament. 1884.
HE forgotten heart of Africa has all at once become an object of competition to Europe. Of competition interested and disinterested-of competition religious and scientific, political and commercial, indefinitely varied in motive, method, and event, but always keen, ardent, and, for the future of both continents, momentous beyond prevision or calculation. A singular spectacle it is, that at which we are privileged to assist. The impetuous overflow into a new channel of the energies at once fostered and pent up by the conditions of modern life; the disclosure, for the first time to civilised man, of no inconsiderable portion of the habitable surface of our globe; the sudden developement of its untouched and teeming resources; the disturbance and readjustment thence ensuing to the complicated trade relations of the world; the appropriation, by every science relating to the earth and its inhabitants, of inestimable stores of fresh observation; the working-out of what might be called an anthropological experiment on the vastest scale, involving the destinies of uncounted millions of degraded human beings; and all these separate elements of agitated progress dramatised, as it were, before our eyes by
the clash of emulous interests, and the swift activity of nations and individuals.
The enormous central mass of tropical Africa seemed as if foredoomed by nature to isolation. North and south it is hemmed in by thirst; east and west by fever; and, lest deserts and swamps should prove ineffectual, cataracts and rapids are added. Each of the four principal approaches to the fortress is barred by tumbling and swirling reaches of foaming water. Here, then, the conquests of civilisation must be by assault rather than by a simple advance. That assault is even now being delivered, in combined form, upon the barricaded approaches constituted by the Nile, the Niger, the Zambesi, and the Congo, and the politics of the civilised world are sensibly affected by the simultaneous advance of the Christian Powers on all the African coasts, Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Egypt, the Red Sea, Madagascar, South Africa, and the Congo.
The modern epoch of exploration in Central Africa dates from the discovery by Burton and Speke in 1858 of the great equatorial lakes of Tanganyika and Victoria Nyanza. Thenceforward it was no longer doubtful that a populous and fertile region, almost doubling the extent of Europe, awaited and would repay disclosure; and an unbroken succession of heroic travellers and devoted missionaries have not ceased to respond to the joint appeal of humanity, scientific curiosity, and commercial enterprise. These scattered efforts have of late been aided by the action of an organised and organising body. Although eight years have not yet elapsed since its foundation, the International African Association already takes rank amongst the great powers of the world. The brief history of its developement is one replete with curious instruction.
In September 1876, a conference met at Brussels with a view to afford the means of combining their energies to all, without distinction of country, interested in the welfare of Africa. An Association was formed, of which his Majesty the King of the Belgians accepted the presidentship; and to his royal munificence and zealous personal supervision the extraordinary success, so far, of one of the most conspicuous and, at least in its inception, one of the noblest enterprises of our time, is mainly due. The objects of the Association were such as would, it was hoped, appease national rivalry and secure universal co-operation. Excluding and disclaiming all purposes of political or mercantile aggrandisement, they rested on the broadest principles
of philanthropy and civil culture. The abolition of the slave trade, the rescue from barbarism of a large section of the human race, the enlargement of geographical and scientific knowledge, were alone aimed at; and the means designed to be used for the securing of those ends were of an equally peaceable, disinterested, and irreproachable character with the ends themselves.
Let us pause to remember that twice before a similar design was formed, and proved abortive. João II. of Portugal (1481-95) did not limit his ambition to exploring the coasts, but aspired to penetrate and christianise the interior of Africa, and conceived the bold idea, as well of striking out across the unknown continent a route to India, as of joining hands, in the interests of humanity and the growth of knowledge, with Prester John, the legendary monarch whose seat the critical faculty of the time had transferred from the steppes of Tartary to the highlands of Abyssinia. Nor did his successors at once abandon the lofty project. Gregorio de Quadra was, in 1521, despatched to the Congo with instructions to attempt the Abyssinian adventure; and although his mission came to nothing, the maps of the period attest the extensive and approximately correct acquaintance of the Portuguese with the main lines of African hydrography, derived, it is supposed, from far-reaching excursions made in the company of native traders.
Again, the African Association, founded at London in 1783, anticipated many of the designs of its 'International' successor. Its fortune, however, in carrying them into execution was widely different. It enlisted the services of Mungo Park, but none of the expeditions promoted by it prospered; and, having done its work by directing public attention to evils which it was powerless to remedy, it yielded its prominent position, in 1807, to the more purely humanitarian African Institution.'
In 1876 the prospect of regenerating Africa, though still remote, was conspicuously brighter than in 1788. The prohibition of the slave trade and negro emancipation had closed the market of the West against human merchandise; the opprobrium of supplying it was thus removed from the whole Atlantic coast of the negro-producing continent, and legitimate commerce, long stifled by the noxious growth of an unhallowed traffic, began to revive. In the eastern parts the 'great open sore of the world' was indeed festering; but
• Cordeiro, 'L'Hydrographie Africaine au xve Siècle,' p. 8.