My beloved husband died at Bornou,
in Central Africa, whither he was sent by Her Majesty's Government to
enter into treaties with the chiefs of the surrounding districts.
Of the many difficulties and dangers which the traveller is likely to
encounter in penetrating into the interior of so inhospitable a region,
the reader may form some idea by a perusal of the the following extracts
from my husband's writings.
"I am very much of opinion that in African travel we should take
especial care not to attempt too much at once; that we should proceed
very slowly, feeling our way, securing ourselves against surprise, and
reducing and confining our explorations to the record of matters of fact
as far as possible, or consistently with a due illustration of the
narrative. But, whether we attempt great tours, or short journeyings, we
shall soon find, by our own sad experience, that African travel can only
be successfully prosecuted piecemeal, bit by bit, here a little and
there a little, now an island, now a line of coast, now an inland
province, now a patch of desert, and slow and painful in all their
results, whilst few explorers will ever be able to undertake more than
two, at most three, inland journeys.
"Failures, disasters, and misadventure may attend our efforts of
discovery; the intrepid explorers may perish, as they have so frequently
done, or be scalped by the Indian savage in the American wilderness, or
stabbed by the treacherous Bedouin of Asiatic deserts, or be stretched
stiff in the icy dreary Polar circles, or, succumbing to the burning
clime of Africa, leave their bones to bleach upon its arid sandy wastes;
yet these victims of enterprise will add more to a nation's glory than
its hoarded heaps of gold, or the great gains of its commerce, or even
the valour of its arms.
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