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STANLEYS FOREST MARCH.

The " Spectator" of April 6th oomments as follows on Stanley's letter giving en account of hie march through the traotless African forest : — " Time, iaoeisant exploration m the Dark Continent* and the habit of command have developed Henry Stanley, originally something of ah adventurer, into a trne hero. It v difficult to conceive of a narrative w/hioih would rouse Eoglish enthusiasm for its author more strongly than hia atory of nil marvellous march from the Congo to the Albert Nyanza, through a forest one-fifth larger than France (240,000 square miles) the description of whiclrrecalls nothing sa maoh as Gustavo Djre'a illustration! to Dante's 'Inferno.' Stanley began his march from Yamboya, on the Aruwhimi, on Jane 28th, 1887. with three European lieutenants and 386 blaok followers ; and after a journey of sixty-four days, harassed and impeded, but hot interrupted, by incessant attaok from the. negro tribes on bit road, woo did everything savage man may do to delve him baok, entered the * continuous, unbroken oompaot forest/ five time* the ifes of England, which Stanley himself thai dei« orlbes;— 'Take a thlok Scottish ooptt, dripping with rain ; imagine this oorpae (o be a mere undergrowth, nooilihed under the impenetrable shade of anolent trees ranging from 100 ft to 180 ft high; brlara and thorm abundant } lazy creeks meandering through the depths of tht) jungle, and sometimes a deep •ffiaoat of V great river. Imagine this foeeat and jungle In all stages of deoay and growth—* old trees falling, leaning perilously over. fallen prostrate; ants and lnseots of.all kinds, sfzas and colors murmuring around; monkeye and ohtmpanssas above, queer noises of birds and animals, brashes In tht jungle aa troops of elephants rash away $ dwarfswlthpolsonodarroirsseoarely hidden befhtud some buttress or In some dark re* ocas; strong brown-bodied aborigines, with terrible sharp apeara, standing poised, till as dead stumps; rain pattertdgf down on you'every other day In the year, an Impure atmosphere, with its dread eons?q<iences, fever and dysentery ; gloom throughout the day, and darkness almost palpable throughout the night ; and then Imagine inqh a forest extending the entire distance from Plymouth to Peterhead.' The nnderwood Is bo matted, that progress Is only made possible by cutting, and the little army of half savage bnt obedient men oould advanoe only at the rate of Ism than three miles a day. The few plear*> Ings had been devastated by Arab slave stealers; there was nothing to eat bnt 'wild fruit, fungi, and' a large bean shaped nut, 1 a diet barely sufficient for monkeys *, the water must have been horrible, though no lack of it is mentioned; the | men dropped daily from exhaustion or sick* nees, more than 200 died or deserted, and the remainder became so mutinous, that twice Stanley waa compelled, m order to j save them and himself, to eaforoe'capitftt ' sentences ; and still the indomitabjot leader, confident m his knowledge and himse'f, tramped steadily on. That awfal march, hardly equalled, we be'ieve, m its circumstances of horror* since the world began, lasted more than five months, during which Henry Stanley and his white lieutenants, protected only by their superiority .of rasa and brainpower 'dragged I—lt1 — It is his own word— the negro followers along, until at last, on November 12, after 160 days of hunger and misery, daring whlob the white ohlef never lost bis hope, or ohanged his tone, or ootied to promise that he would reaoh the lake, the survivors of &Q march, some 160 skeletons, emerged on* rich gran plain full of oattle and OomjQkt. ftQJ began agajq to gjoir fit V. ,

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890603.2.20

Bibliographic details

STANLEYS FOREST MARCH., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2141, 3 June 1889

Word Count
595

STANLEYS FOREST MARCH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2141, 3 June 1889

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