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one, to be elected under the Reform Act of 1867, for the great majority of the House of renewing or seeing re10th December. The great public question at issue was nowed a debate which he knew could only end one way. the existence of the Irish Establishment; and, on a general He resolved, therefore, to resign office before Parliament view, the verdict of the constituencies was given in favour met, and this resolution he communicated to his friends of Mr. Gladstone's proposals, and disappointed the and supporters by a circular dated the 2nd December. sanguine anticipations of Mr. Disraeli. There was a gain This document, expressed in well-chosen and dignified to the Liberal party, as the net result of the elections, of terms, informed his friends that when the Government fifteen seats, equal to thirty votes on a division. But had been placed in a minority in the spring on the ques. their triumph was chequered by several minor reverses, tion of disestablishing the Church in Ireland, they had among which the rejection of Mr. Gladstone for South to consider that the policy proposed had never been subLancashire was the most remarkable. Every resource mitted to the country, and they believed that the country which unflagging industry, careful organisation, and in would not sanction it. But to make an appeal to the cessant oratory could put in requisition was resorted to, "obsolete constituency” would have been absurd; nu in order to secure the return of the Liberal leader; but course therefore remained open to them but to hasten a all efforts were in vain ; the Conservative candidates- | much as possible the formal details which must be disMessrs. Cross and Turner-were returned at the head of posed of bofore a new Parliament could be elected under the poll, Mr. Gladstone having two hundred and sixty the late Reform Bill, and then to make the appeal. Al. fewer votes than Mr. Turner, who was about fifty below though the general election had elicited, in the decision Mr. Cross. There were two principal causes accounting of numerous and vast constituencies, an expression of for this result; one the extreme unpopularity of the Irish feeling which had gone far to justify their anticipations, in South Lancashire, owing to the increased turbulence, it was nevertheless clear that the Ministry could not drunkenness, and pauperism which their presence in expect to command the confidence of the newly-elected large numbers occasions; and also, no doubt, to the House of Commons. Under these circumstances, the fact that their competition beats down wages; the other, Ministry felt it due to their own honour, and to the the influence of the house of Stanley and other great policy they supported, not to retain office unnecessarily Conservative families in that part of the country. for a single day; but rather at once to tender the resig. Mr. Gladstone had to console himself with the suff. nation of their offices to Her Majesty than to wait for rages of Greenwich, which had generously elected him the assembling of a Parliament in which, as matters while the issue in South Lancashire was still unde- stood, they were sensible that they must be in a cided. In other parts of Lancashire, the same feeling minority. of soreness against the proposal to disestablish the Irish Mr. Disraeli and his colleagues accordingly resigned, Church, because it seemed to involve a triumph for the and the Queen, of course, sent for Mr. Gladstone, as the locally unpopular Irish Catholics, produced a similar | recognised leader of the party, and the ablest exponent result. This great and representative county, taking of the policy, of which the majority of the constituencies boroughs and shire-divisions together, returned twenty- had just recorded their emphatić approval. Mr. Gladone Conservatives against eleven Liberals. On the stone became First Lord of the Treasury, and the prizother hand, the Scotch electors accepted Mr. Gladstone's cipal offices were thus filled up :-Lord Chancellor, Lord proposal with extraordinary favour. Not only did the Hatherley (late Sir W. Page Wood); President of the Scottish boroughs return Liberals without exception, but Council, Lord de Grey and Ripon ; Chancellor of the many counties, which had returned Conservative members Exchequer, Mr. Lowe; Home Secretary, Mr. Bruce ; for years, were on this occasion carried for Liberals. Of Foreign Secretary, Earl of Clarendon; Colonial Secrethe whole number of members who came up from Scot- tary, Earl Granville ; Secretary for War, Mr. Cardwell ; land, only seven were Conservatives. In Ireland also Secretary for Ireland, Mr. Chichester Fortescue ; Secrethere was a Liberal gain, though one of less magnitude. tary for India, Duke of Argyll; First Lord of the At the election for Westminster to the deep regret of Admiralty, Mr. Childers; President of the Board of all who could appreciate the profound political insight Trade, Mr. Bright; Chairman of the Poor Law Board, and philosophical treatment of great questions which Mr. Göschen; Vice-President of the Council, Mr. W. E. were thus lost to the House of Commons-Mr. John Forster. The new ministers, having necessarily vacated Stuart Mill was defeated by the Conservative candidate, their seats on taking office, were not present at tho Mr. William H. Smith.
meeting of Parliament on the 10th December, and the By the beginning of December it was abundantly only proceedings then taken were of a formal character, evident that Mr. Gladstone would be supported in the including the re-election of Mr. Evelyn Denison as new House of Commons by a considerably larger follow- Speaker, and the swearing-in of the new members, who ing than before. Mr. Disraeli therenpon took a bold and were more than 200 in number. Parliament was then a judicious resolution. He wonld not go through the adjourned to the 29th December, at which date, the reforms of meeting Parliament as if he were the master of election of the new ministers having been in no instance the situation-of advising a royal speech which must opposed, the House re-assembled, with ministers all in either omit all mention of the Irish Church, or mention their places, but only to be again immediately adjourned it in a tone at variance with the sentiments of the to the 16th February, 1869.
view with Kasga-Strength of the British Forces—The Army
arrives within sight of Magdala-Description of the FortressThe Abyssinian Expedition-Early History of Abyssinia-Embassy of Theodore's March from Debra Tabor to Magdala-Interview with Major Harris-Mr. Plowden appointed Consul-Rise of Käsa,
- Massacre of the Native Prisoners-Concentration of afterwards Theodore : Sketch of his career-Deaths of Plowden the British Army on the Beshilo-March of Sir Charles Staveley and Bell-Mr. Cameron appointed Consal - Theodore's Letter to - Action under tbe bill of Fala-Slaughter of the Abyssinians in the Queen-Mr. Cameron visits Bogos and Kassala : Returns to the Dam-Wanz Ravine -- Theodore sues for Peace Theodore's First Abyssinia-Despatches from England–Theodore imprisong Mr. Letter-He releases the Captives-Last Interviow with Mr. Cameron and his suite: they are sent to Magdala–The British Rassam-Theodoru's Second Letter-He sends all the Europeans Government resolves to send out a Mission to obtain Cameron's to the English Camp — Attempts to Escape from Magdalarelease-Mr. Rassam selected as the head of the Mission-The Advance of the Troops-Magdula is cannonaded and stored Mission goes to Korata-Mr. Rassam is arrested at Zagė - Mr. Death of Theodore-Burning of Magdala and Departure of the Cameron and the other Captives re-arrested-Mr. Flad sent to English Army-Sir Robert Napier is made a Peer, England–The Captives are all sent to Magdala-Lord Stanley resolves to send out Artisans and Presents to Theodore--Recom THE successful expedition to the highlands of Abyssinis mendations of Colonel Merewether—The Captives being still de- in 1867-8 has been more than once incidentally referred tained, an Expedition is decided upon-Sir Robert Napier appointed to the Command--Sir Robert Napier arrives at Annesley Bay-The
to in these pages, and some indication of the chain of Abyssinian Chiefs friendly to the Expedition-Sir Robert's inter. 'events which led up to it was given in Chapter vir. In
the present chapter we propose to give a connected view day a broad strip of territory running across the centre of of the expedition, including an analysis of its causes and Abyssinia, and severing the province of Shoa from the a survey of its results.
rest of the country. These intruding Gallas have become The sequence of events which terminated in the death Mussulmans; while the Galla tribes to the south remain, of the Emperor Theodore and the storming of the rock as they have ever been, heathens. fortress of Magdala, commenced with the conclusion of a The Portuguese, soon after they had discovered the pastreaty of amity and commerce, in 1848, between Queen sage round the Cape of Good Hope, conceived a high idea Victoria and Ras Ali, the ruler of central Abyssinia of the importance of Abyssinia as the key of North-eastern This treaty was the work of Lord Palmerston; and to Africa, and opened diplomatic and commercial inter. understand his motives it is necessary that the reader course with its rulers. For about a century and a half should have some general knowledge of the previous his- this heroic little nation, partly by its soldiers, partly by tory of Abyssinia. The natives of this portion of the ! its Jesuit missionaries, maintained a close and constant ancient Ethiopia—which, though within the tropics, enjoys communication with Abyssinia. The Mohammedans a healthy and delightful elimate, on account of its great were sometimes pressed back through Portuguese aid; elevation above the sea--were converted to Christianity by : and a Jesuit father, in the seventeenth century, obtained St. Frumentius, sent from Alexandria by the great Athan- so great an ascendancy over the reigning Negus that he asius in the fourth century of our era. They have never | declared himself a Roman Catholic. His son, however, since then, for any long time together, broken their con- shared the very decided and bigoted preference for the nection with Egypt; for centuries, down to the present Coptic rather than the Roman form of Christianity which day, the Abuna, or Patriarch, of the Abyssinian Church animated the mass of the population, and he expelled the has been appointed, whenever the dignity falls vacant, by Jesuits from Abyssinia. This was about the year 1640. the Coptic Patriarch in Egypt, and submissively obeyed by About the same time the Portuguese power, succumbing the Abyssinian Christians. Unfortunately, the Copts in to somo mysterious law of national decay, began everywhere Egypt having ages ago adopted the heresy of the Mono- to decline. Thenceforward, till official relations were opened physites, the connection between the two countries has | between England and Abyssinia, near the beginning of propagated the same heresy in Abyssinia, and has thereby the century, it does not appear that any European nation raised in some degree a barrier between the Abyssinians had any intercourse with the country except through the and the rest of Christendom. But the motive which visits of individual travellers or adventurers. The anoriginally induced the Neguses, or Emperors, of Abyssinia cient royal family, which bore the sovereign title of Negus to seek the head of their Church from Egypt was wise (properly “Nagash"), was deposed about 1770, shortly and laudable; they saw Mohammedanism spreading all before the visit of James Bruce, the celebrated traveller ; around them, cutting them off from all other Christian and since then Abyssinia has been nearly always split up countries; and they hoped by this ecclesiastical arrange- into three or more independent states, the chief of which ment to guard in some measure against the fatal effects are Tigré, Amhara, and Shoa. Official communication of that isolation.
was first opened between England and Abyssinia in 1810, Ages rolled by, and the troubles of Abyssinia continu- when Mr. Salt, the English envoy, paid a formal visit to ally thickened. Once, before Mohammed arose, she had had | Ras Walda Selassye, the Prince of Tigré, at Antalo, and the command of the Red Sea, and had subdued the southern presented him with two three-pounder field-guns and portion of Arabia, where her dominion for a time pro other presents. But Mr. Salt's visit was an isolated act, mised to be permanent. Gibbon speculates on the strangely and led to nothing. Nor was the visit of Major Harris different course which human affairs might have taken, to the King of Shoa, in 1841,* undertaken by the orders of if the Christian rulers of Abyssinia had been able to sub. the Bombay Government in order to arrange a treaty of jugate the whole of Arabia, and stifle Islam in its cradle.* commerce with that potontate, productive of more lasting But the Crescent rose higher and higher in the heavens ; consequences; although it furnished the materials for one the Turkish power gradually extended itself along the of the most popular and interesting books of travel that the shores of the Red Sea, and about 1570 succeeded in per-| last generation produced. The visit of Walter Plowden, manently occupying Massowah and other points on the a privato Englishman, who first found his way to Abys. west coast, thus cutting off Abyssinia from the soa. A sinia in 1843, led eventually to more important conse. still worse infliction came on the unfortunate country quences than either of the official visits just mentioned. about the same time, in the invasion of tribes of savage After a residence of nearly four years in the country, he and heathen Gallas from the south. They came again and returned to England, bearing some presents from Ras again; though often defeated and driven out, they still re- Ali, then chief of central Abyssinia, to the Queen. While turned in greater numbers and with greater ferocity than in London he submitted several memoranda on Abyssinian before. Their incursions may be compared to those of affairs to Lord Palmerston. The intelligent clearness the Danes into England in the ninth and tenth centuries; with which these were written, and the prospect which like them, they blasted civilisation and refinement wherever they held out of extending British trade and influence they came; like them, they permanently wrested a large in those parts of Africa, appear to have made a strong part of the country from the natives, and inhabit to this impression on Lord Palmerston, and he appointed Mr.
* Harris, "Highlands of Ethiopia." Longmans, 1846
Plowden British Consul at Massowah, for the protection of and all Tigré submitted to the conqueror. He now reBritish trade in Abyssinia. He also entrusted him (Jan. solved to assume a title commensurate with the wide nary, 1848) with presents for Ras Ali, and instructed him extent of his dominion. In the church of Derezgye he to conclude with that ruler a treaty of amity and commerce. had himself crowned by the Abuna as King of the Kings Plowden was soon back in Abyssinia and zealously ful of Ethiopia, taking the name of Theodore, because an filled his instructions. Ras Ali, an indolent man, had ancient tradition declared that a great monarch so called no objection to sign the treaty, but he said he did not would one day arise in Abyssinia. Courtly genealogists expect that it would bring any British traders to Abyssinia. were not wanting who deduced his pedigree from the In truth, while the Turks (or rather the Egyptians, for line of the ancient kings. Turkey ceded her possessions on this shore in 1866 to the These startling events reached the ears of Mr. Plowden Pacha of Egypt) are allowed to cut off Abyssinia from the at Massowah, and he resolved to visit the new monarch. sea, no European trade with the country can flourish. If He arrived at the camp of Theodore in March or April, the reader desires proof, let him turn to the first chapters 1855, and found that a former fellow-traveller, an of Major Harris's interesting account of his embassy to Englishman amed Bell, who had married an Abyssinian Shoa, and he will see what difficulties, rogueries, and lady, was already in Theodore's service, with the title and iniquitous exactions even an embassy, clothed with the functions of Grand Chamberlain. At this time Theodignity and armed with the prestige of a great nation, had dore's character and aims were such as to command the to contend with before it could escape from the Moham: admiration and respect of Plowden and Bell, both of medan tribes on the sultry and barren coast, and ascend to whom were able and excellent men. “ Plowden said of the beautiful green highlands of Christian Abyssinia. him that he was generous to excess, and free from all
Conşul Plowden had been residing six years at cupidity, merciful to his vanquished enemies, and strictly Massowah when he heard that the Prince to whom he continent; but subject to violent bursts of anger, and had been accredited, Ras Ali, had been defeated and possessed of unyielding pride and fanatical religious dethroned by an adventurer, whose name, a few years zeal.” His views of government were far more enbefore, had been unknown outside the boundaries of his lightened than those of the majority of his countrymen. native province. This was Lij Kâsa, better known by his He abolished the slave trade, put an end to many vexaadopted name of Theodore. He was born of an old family, tious imposts on commerce, and aimed at curtailing or in the mountainous region of Kwara, where the land suppressing the feudal privileges of a number of petty begins to slope downwards towards the Blue Nile, and chiefs, who were the tyrants of the districts over which educated in a convent, where he learnt to read, and they ruled. Consul Plowden thus concluded his report acquired a considerable knowledge of the Scriptures. on Theodore's character and policy :-“Some of his ideas Kåsa's convent life was suddenly put an end to, when may be imperfect, others impracticable; but a man who, one of those marauding Galla bands, whose ravages are rising from the clouds of Abyssinian ignorance and the curse of Abyssinia, attacked and plundered the childishness, without assistance, and without advice, has monastery. From that time he himself took to the life done so much, and contemplates such large designs, of a freebooter, and, through his superior intelligence cannot be regarded as of an ordinary stamp." and undaunted courage, soon attained the reputation of | Some years passed, and the power of Theodore was being successful in all his enterprises. Adventurers ever on the rise. After his coronation, the first object flocked to his standard; his power continually increased; which he set before him was the subjugation of the Galla and, in 1854, he defeated Ras Ali in a pitched battle, and tribes in Abyssinia ; after which he said that any Galla made himself master of central Abyssinia. His ambi- who would not abjure Islam, and receive baptism, should tion widened in proportion to its gratification; he now be expelled from the country. This object he partly sent to Oobyé, the ruler of Tigré, requiring that he accomplished, by the subjection of the Wolo Gallas to his should pay him tribute, and insisted that the Abuna, rule. To keep these wild tribes in check, and also to serve then resident at the court of Oobyé, should be sent to as his own principal stronghold, he about this time made Gondar, which, since the fall of Ras Ali, had been choice of Magdala, an amba, or natural fortress, beyond Kasa's capital. His demands were scornfully rejected, the river Beshilo, east of the Lake of Dembea, and in the and the Abuna (who is the sole bishop in Abyssinia) ex- midst of the territory of the Wolo Gallas. He then incommunicated him. But Kasa was equal to the occasion. vaded and reduced Shoa, taking Ankober, the capital, and A Monsignor de Jacobis, a Roman Catholic missionary bringing away with him Menilek, the young heir of of great ability and saintly life, was at that time in Abys. Shoa, to bring up with his own son. The whole of sinia, with the authority of Vicar-Apostolic; him Kasa | Abyssinia was now subject to his power. But a series threatened to recognise as bishop, unless the Abuna came of misfortunes presently fell upon him, and changed the to Gondar. The Abuna then yielded, revoked the ex. whole aspect of his career. In 1860, his true and judicious communication, and came to live at Gondar, thus giving friend and counsellor, Consul Plowden, while journeying a kind of religious sanction to the adventurer's power, to his camp, was intercepted by an ally of the chief which was of the greatest value to him in the eyes of a Negussye, who had set up the standard of revolt in Tigré; people so superstitious as the Abyssinians. Fortune still and, in the fight which ensued, Plowden was mortally attended the arms of Kåsa. In 1855, he defeated Oobyé wounded and taken prisoner. Theodore immediately at a place called Derezgye, in the province of Semyen, raised from the merchants of Gondar the sum demanded