||Sir Richard Burton, Biography
|Oh, pardon, Lord!
Thou mad'st me so."
He would obtain the fame of a great traveller; the earth should roll
up for him as a carpet. Happy indeed was Isabel Arundell when he
placed the verses in her hand, but melancholy to relate, he also
presented copies to his "dear Louisa," and several other dears.
He now read greedily all the great geographers, ancient and modern,
and all the other important books bearing on African exploration.
If he became an authority on Herodotus, Pliny, Ptolemy, Strabo,
and Pomponious Mela, he became equally an authority on Bruce,
Sonnini, Lacerda, the Pombeiros, Monteiro and Gamitto.
From Ptolemy downwards writers and travellers had prayed for the
unveiling of Isis, that is to say, the discovery of the sources of
the Nile; but for two thousand years every effort had proved
fruitless. Burning to immortalize himself by wresting from the
mysterious river its immemorial secret, Burton now planned an
expedition for that purpose. Thanks to the good offices of Lord
Clarendon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Royal
Geographical Society promised him the necessary funds; while
Cardinal Wiseman, ever his sincere friend, gave him a passport to
all Catholic missionaries.[FN#165] To Burton, as we have seen,
partings were always distressing, and in order to avoid bidding
adieu to Miss Arundell he adopted his usual course, leaving a letter
which mentioned love and that he was gone.
He quitted England for Bombay in October 1856, and crossed to
Zanzibar in the Elphinstone sloop of war, Speke, who was to be his
companion in the expedition, sailing with him. Burton was in the
highest spirits. "One of the gladdest
|Sir Richard Burton, Biography. Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database). Pearl Street Software, 2004-2005. Life Of Sir Richard Burton, The. Wright, Thomas.|