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colonists in the country. When they read of the massacres by natives, of the fevers, of the wild Masai tribes, of the pestilence and smallpox, of troops of eight or ten lions roaming together, of savage buffaloes, rhinoceroses, hyænas, and leopards, it is not likely that they will flock to such isolated regions, where it is admitted that ranching on the prairies is the main inducement. For a quarter of the distance inland from the coast the climate of the East Africa Company's territory is deadly to Europeans. It has already cost the lives of many distinguished men, deeply to be regretted. The only inducement to speculators to rush into the country would be the discovery of gold. The natives have no gold trade, and though its existence has been reported west of Port Durnford, it is clear that Captain Lugard does not look forward to the discovery of it inland. These unfavourable views are confirmed by the last Report of the East Africa Company.

Captain Lugard's suggestions for raising money under these circumstances are not worthy of serious consideration. They are the devices of desperation laying hands on the property of others. It is proposed that the British Government should hand to the company the 200,000l. paid by the Germans to the Sultan of Zanzibar. He has already been deprived of nineteen-twentieths of the civil list enjoyed by his father. It is now proposed to seize the other twentieth by remitting the 11,000l. payable by agreement for the farming of the customs. It is further proposed to tax the natives north of the great lake to the amount of 9,000l., payable in kind. What advantages they are to enjoy in return it is not easy to understand, or how this tax is to be levied. The Portuguese are hated because of their taxation of natives, though this is said not to exceed one-fifth of that imposed in the Lakes Protectorate, where it is variously stated at 2s. or 4s. per hut per annum. The grain tax produced a rebellion in the Soudan. The Nyasa taxation leads to constant man hunting. The cost of administration in East Africa is variously estimated at 20,000l. or 40,000l. per annum, not including the military expeditions which would be needful to put down the natives; and when by unjust means about half of this cost was defrayed, the British Government are expected to find the balance in a country whose revenue would not exceed some 14,000l. per annum, including customs levied on the sea coast.

But many of the good men who subscribed their money at home, without expectation of profit, did so in order to esta

blish the British peace, in regions endeared to them by the names of Livingstone, Speke, and Thomson, who are not recorded to have massacred natives by machinery, or to have taken their food without payment. They did so to support the spread of Protestant Christianity in Uganda, and in memory of Bishop Hannington, and of the innumerable native martyrs hacked in pieces and burnt at the stake by Mwanga. They did so in order that the terrible wrongs of the slave trade might be righted, and that the human beast of burden might become a man with a man's rights; that women might no longer be prostituted by Arab owners, nor wives torn from their husbands-even though they were black. We cannot but think that when they read the history of their company, they will feel ashamed of what has been done; and that their honest but sentimental interest in the ruined undertaking will give place to a sense of bitter humiliation. Better to leave the savages to be slaughtered by other savages than to oppress them under the cloak of civilisation and of Christian humane dealing. The natives do not want our administration. They have only goats and bananas to offer for the flimsy calico from India or America, or for the beads from Birmingham, which now reach them from the Congo. Every caravan which goes up country consists mainly of slaves, owned by Zanzibari dealers. The greater the amount of traffic, the greater are the profits of the Congo slavers. The slave lives on an average only eleven years, and the waste of human life, which amounts to 500,000 souls for every 50,000 brought to the coast, barely suffices to supply the 240,000 porters annually engaged and the slave labour of the coast planta

tions.

The ivory question is important, because ivory is the wealth of the slave trader far more than are his slaves. Ivory is now found almost exclusively in the Congo State. The elephant is exterminated in Uganda and in Nyasaland. Some 500 tons of ivory reach London yearly; but the supply is decreasing. It is estimated that 75,000 elephants are being killed every year; and, if this is true, even the Congo herds cannot long survive such slaughter. It is generally agreed that, as the she-elephant has only one calf every two or three years, the destruction is going on much faster than the breeding. Meanwhile it is to be remembered that ivory is essentially a slave-trade product, and comes from the lands of Tippoo Tib. The sale of arms and ammunition must be prevented from all sides. The

sale of spirits offers less temptation to the European trader, because these Arabs are Moslems, and do not drink.

The roll of African missions includes many honoured names of men who have taught peace and truth and mercy, who have sought no gain, who have laid down their lives in times when civilisation was not spread by machine guns. If there be missionaries who import guns, arm natives, deal in court intrigues, and incite to war, they disgrace the names of their forerunners. But we cannot judge them on hearsay evidence, reported by those who have ruined and imprisoned them. The days of persecution in Uganda are over. If the missions obey their bishops and observe their compact with each other, they are protected by at least half a million of brave natives, without our aid. The Moslems have been defeated and distributed over the various districts. The missions seem only to require to be left to themselves in working on the sounder lines now laid down.

It is difficult, therefore, to understand what is meant by the vague term 'retention of Uganda,' or what the reasons are for expending large sums on this region, at a time when money is denied for vital interests, in Europe and in India. Uganda is by common consent within the British sphere, and the interests of France, as represented by her missionaries, will be respected. Our presence will not prevent expeditions, from the French Congo region, reaching the Nile at Lado by a long and difficult route. Do we seek to develop Uganda trade? Its products appear to consist only in bananas. Do we require ivory? It no longer comes from Uganda. Are we to stamp out the slave trade? There are no slave traders in Uganda. Are we to protect European colonists? No European colonists have as yet shown any desire to settle in Uganda. Are we afraid for the missions? The missions have converted half Uganda, and the Moslem power is broken. No amount of popular enthusiasm can change facts, can make distances less, can convert waterless deserts into cornfields, or fever swamps into healthy districts. The elephant cannot now be saved from extinction; the gold which alone tempts men to crowd together in the wilderness is not found in volcanic regions. The native tribes hold such few districts as are habitable, and they resent intrusion. Civilisation cannot be artificially fostered by establishing colonies without colonists, and an expensive government without a trade.

When we look further north to the region of Italian influence we find no more progress to have been made than

has been attained in the German or in the British spheres. The Italian sphere theoretically includes all Abyssinia, Gallaland and the Somali coast (excepting that opposite Aden, which is English), reaching inland almost to the Reshiat district, north of Lake Rudolf. Practically they have occupied the shores of the Red Sea north and south of Massowa, and the mountains to the east as far as the Mareb river, or about half of Northern Abyssinia. The districts of Amhara and Shoa to the south, with Harrar and Gallaland, are unoccupied by any Europeans. In the north a railway has been made to the foot of the black rugged mountains, which rise 7,000 feet above the Red Sea; and at Asmara, on their summit, the Italians have begun farming operations said to be successful. Thence further north to Keren these indefatigable engineers are making a road, with the object of attracting the Soudan trade through Kassala to their port at Massowa. This result has been attained by a great expenditure of money, and at the cost of many lives-for the Italian soldiers are invalided home in shiploads; and as yet no return has accrued. It is to be remembered that, from the seventeenth century B.C. onwards, the trade products of Abyssinia were ivory and gold. We hear nothing now of the gold once brought from the Sason mines; and the elephants, once numerous near the coast, have now retreated far inland. Three centuries ago the Portuguese endeavoured to occupy Abyssinia, but found the task beyond their strength.

The Italians first came into conflict with Ras Alula, the popular and self-made ruler of the Tigrè province, whom King Menelek had deposed in favour of a younger governor of the royal family. Ras Alula had defeated the Egyptian invaders in 1875, and the Soudan Moslems from Kassala some time after. His prowess is recorded on the painted walls of the church at Ras Addi, but he met with a crushing defeat from Italian troops, and has retired to his mountain fastness further south. Quite recently another terrible conflict has occurred between the Italians and the Kassala Moslems on the north-west.

Into this region Mr. and Mrs. Bent made a comparatively modest journey of a hundred miles in 1893, penetrating to Adowa, which is thirty miles beyond the furthest Italian station, in order to study the antiquities of the old Sabæan town of Yeha (Ava) and those of Axsum, the ancient Gheez capital-the former ten miles east, the latter about ten miles west of Adowa. There is not very much that

is new in Mr. Bent's volume, but he gives a readable sketch of the present state of the country, where Byzantine Christianity of Coptic origin is the prevailing religion of the tall brave mountaineers a race of mixed Arab, Nubian, and Galla origin, with a mixed language, partly Semitic and partly African. He found four short inscriptions in Himyarite characters at Yeha, and recovered the Sabæan text of the well-known Græco-Sabæan inscription of Axsum, which, it may be said in passing, dates from the reign of Constantius, and not of Constantine, as he supposes. He also took squeezes' of the Ethiopic texts at the latter city, which were already known, and which date from the fifth or sixth century A.D. But we cannot follow him into his archæological researches. As to the results of Italian interference, the following is Mr. Bent's conclusion:-

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'It is scarcely possible,' he says, 'to realise, without visiting the country, the abject misery and wretchedness which has fallen upon the Ethiopian empire during late years. Besides internal troubles, they have had to contend with Dervish raids from the north, Galla raids from the south; bands of robbers haunt all their mountains. Gondar, which was the capital of the country a few years ago, with fortythree churches, palaces built by the Portuguese, and every element of prosperity about it, is now almost a desert, having been raided three times by the Dervishes. The Emperor Menelek lives in Shoa, powerless and inert. Tigrè is convulsed with the quarrels of the rival chiefs, and, it would seem, if help in some form or another does not soon come, the great plateau of Ethiopia will become practically depopulated.'

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With the question of South African extension it is not proposed here to deal. The subject has been recently treated in the Edinburgh Review,' and the conflict there foreseen has since come about. The colonists have conquered the region in Matabeleland on which their eyes were then fixed; and, though the operations were perilous, the misfortune of defeat has been spared to the colony, by the wellarranged expedition, which-in spite of some deplorable losses will probably drive the Zulu power beyond the Zambesi. The question stands on somewhat a different footing from those above considered. The conquest is an extension only of the area of European colonisation. There is no doubt that Matabeleland is fertile, well watered, and fairly healthy, and that it already contains a small European population. This population may slowly increase, now that the fear of the Matabele has been removed; and

*No. 364, April 1893.

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