In Darkest Adrica.
We have before us a copy of Mr Stanley's latestand greatest work, being thcedition for the colonies published by Messrs Sampson, Low, and Co., and which can be obtained from Mr H. M. Jones, East street, for the moderate figure of sixteen shillings. Its 600 pages of letter-press are illustrated with 150 excellent engravings, accompanied by well-executed maps, a study of which suffices amply to show the immense service rendered to the cause of science, of humanity, and civilisation by the great explorer, who has done more than any other to throw light upon the innermost recesses of " the Dark Continent." It would be quite impossible for us to attempt anything like a detailed notice of the salient features of the wonderful story told m the present work, which abounds m interest and ought to be read by all. Those wonderful journeys through trackless, and hitherto unknown forests, these perilous experiences among hostile natives, amid inhospitable deserts, amid treachery and famine and fever—the story of all these things needs to be read as Stanley has written it to be fully appreciated ; and none can rise from its perusal without a profound conviction that its author is entitled to the foremost place among the explorers of this or perhaps any generation. Indomitable and self-reliant, yet relying most upon that Divine guidance and succor Avhich he w,as neither ashamed to invoke nor to avow his firm faith m. receiving, Stanley's example is one which may well be held up as a model for imitation, and the wonderful record of his experiences m Darkest Africa is one which not only every man but every boy should become acquainted with. The book, too, is full of interest to the pilologist, the geographer, and the botanist, nay, to scientists of every description, and, quite independently of this, contains numerous passages which, even from a merely literary point of view, are of the highest merit—as, for example, his wordpictures of the mighty tropical forest, of the snow-crowned heights of Ruwenzori, the monarch of the " Mountains of the Moon," and the marvellous vaporous valley at its foot, or this of a storm amid the forest depths:—"What thoughts were kindled as we peeped out from an opening m the woods, and looked across the river which reflected the advancing tempest, and caught a view of the mighty army of trees—their heights as various as their kind, all rigid m the gloaming, awaiting m stern array the war with the storm. The coming wind has concentrated its terrors for destruction, the forked lightning is seen darting its spears of white flame across the front of infinite hosts of clouds. Out of their depths issues the thunderbolt, and the march of the winds is heard coming to the onset. Suddenly the trees, which have stood, still —as i■ a painted canvas—awaiting the shock with secure tranquillity, are seen to bow their tops m unison, followed by universal swaying and straining as though a wild panic had seized them. They reel this way and that, but they are restrained from flight by sturdy steins and fixed roots, and the strong buttresses which maintain them upright. Pressed backward to a perilous length, they recover from the first blow, and dart their heads m furious waves forward, and the glory of the war between the forest and the storm is at its height. Legion after legion of clouds ride over the wind-tost crests, there is a crashing and roaring, a loud soughing and moaning, shrill screaming of squalls, and groaning of countless woods. There are mighty sweeps from the great tree-kings, as though mighty strokes were being dealt; there is a world-wide rustling of foliage, as though m gleeful approval of the vast strength of their sires ; there are flashes of pale green light, as the lesser battalions are roused up to the fight by the example of their brave ancients. Our own spirits are roused by the grand conflict—the Berserker rage is contagious. In our souls we applaud the rush and levelling force of the wind, and for a second are ready to hail the victor ; but the magnificent array of the fordst champions, with streaming locks, the firmness with which the vast army of trees rise m unison with their leaders, the rapturous quiver of the bush below, inspire a belief that they will win if they but persevere. The lightning darts here and there with splendour-of light and scattering flame ; the thunders explode deafening crashes, reverberating with terrible sounds among the army of woods ; the black clouds roll over and darken the prospect; and as cloud becomes involved within cloud, m the shifting pale light, we have a last view of the wild war, we are stunned by the fury of the tempest, and the royal rage of the forest, when down comes the deluge; of tropic rain—which m a short time extinguishes the white-heat wrath of the elements, and soothes to stillness the noble anger of the woods." We have no space to refer to the history of the rescue of Emm and his entourage, the disastrous story of tho famous "rear column," or even to the vindication of Herodotus—the father of history—afforded by die discovery of that curious nation of dwarfs— the " Pygmies "of the ancients. All this and much more is to be found m the book before us, which should certainly be forthwith added, to every public library and to the bookshelves of every private person who can afford to, treat himself and his ; family to the book of the day.
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In Darkest Adrica., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2524, 22 September 1890
In Darkest Adrica. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2524, 22 September 1890
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