Through Masăi Land: A Journey of Exploration Among the Snowclad Volcanic Mountains and Strange Tribes of Eastern Equatorial Africa : Being the Narrative of the Royal Geographical Society's Expedition to Mount Kenia and Lake Victoria Nyanza, 1883-1884

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S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1885 - Africa, East - 583 pages
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Not a terrible book, but a little boring at times and the writing can get a little "flowery"

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Page 164 - These are the gardens of the desert, these The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful, For which the speech of England has no name — The prairies. I behold them for the first, And my heart swells, while the dilated sight Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo ! they stretch In airy undulations far away, As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell, Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed, And motionless forever.
Page 407 - ... characterized by everything that makes a pleasing landscape. Here are dense patches of flowering shrubs ; there noble forests. Now you traverse a park-like country enlivened by groups of game ; anon, great herds of cattle, or flocks of sheep and goats are seen wandering knee-deep in the splendid pasture. There is little in the aspect of the country to suggest the popular idea of the Tropics. The eye rests upon coniferous trees, forming pine-like woods, and you can gather sprigs of heath, sweet-scented...
Page 332 - It was not, however, an inverted cone, as volcanic craters frequently are, but a great circular cavity, with perfectly perpendicular walls, and about three miles in circumference, without a break in any part, though on the south-western side rose a peak, several hundred feet above the general level of the rim.
Page 308 - Curiously enough, however, though they are eternally at war to the knife with each other, there is a compact between them not to molest the womenfolk of either party. Hence the curious spectacle is exhibited of Masai women wending their way with impunity to a Kikuyu village, while their relatives are probably engaged in a deadly fight close at hand. In the same way the Wa-kikuyu women frequently carry grain to the Masai kraals to exchange for hides.
Page 160 - Seizing our guns in one hand, and a tuft of grass in the other, in token that we were prepared to fight, but meant peace, we proceeded outside to hear our fate. Passing through the forest, we soon set our eyes upon the dreaded warriors that had been so long the subject of my waking dreams, and I could not but involuntarily exclaim, " What splendid fellows ! " as I surveyed a band of the most peculiar race of men to be found in all Africa.
Page 72 - The agreeable alternation of ridge and hollow is exchanged for an apparently dead level plain, parched and waterless as if no drop of life-giving rain refreshed the iron-bound soil. The dense jungle, the grassy glades, the open forest disappear, and their place is taken by what may be called a skeleton forest.
Page 407 - On the eastern half of this divided plateau rises, as we have seen, the snow-clad peak of Kenia — and the picturesque range of the Aberdare Mountains, which runs almost parallel with the central line of depression. A more charming region is probably not to be found in all Africa, probably not even in Abyssinia.
Page 161 - ... his knobkerry as an orator's baton, he proceeded to deliver his message with all the ease of a professional speaker. With profound astonishment I watched this son of the desert, as he stood before me, speaking with a natural fluency and grace, a certain sense of the gravity and importance of his position, and a dignity of attitude beyond all praise. With much circumlocution, he sketched the story of Fischer's arrival, of the fight, its causes and results, more especially laying stress on the...
Page 450 - ... Masai, which has settled beside the fort and helps him to keep the Kikuyu in order. That the Masai may change their habits is also thought possible from the present condition of the people known as Wa-kwafi, who are generally regarded as a section of this tribe. Joseph Thomson 3 tells us that they are " unquestionably Masai in race, and only separated from that tribe through the loss of their cattle, and the consequent necessity of breaking their cherished convictions by cultivating the soil.
Page 86 - With soothing words, aided by sundry pinches and chuckings under the chin, I might get the length of making them stand up ; but the moment that the attempt to focus them took place they would fly in terror to the shelter of the woods. To show them photos, and try to explain what I wanted, only made them worse. They imagined I was a magician trying to take possession of their souls, which once accomplished they would be entirely at my mercy. They would not in the end even look at a photo, and the...

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