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LITTLE known to the world at large in the 19th century, there lived a great man. He will not be remembered for the good things he has done; there was nothing of the humanitarian in him. A selfish adventurous soul, he was completely consumed by one feverish desire, to do what others dared not attempt, to make himself notorious by his daring. And yet, this completely self-centered mania which possessed him demonstrated that even it could be utilized in the discovery of Truth.

Richard Burton was an explorer of great, but unrealized, worth. It was not until years after his death that the value of his wanderings was established. He was born in England in March of the year 1821. His father, a retired army officer, suffered from asthma. Seeking relief from his suffering, he led his family from one country to another and returned to England. Young Richard, as a result, was learning Greek at the age of three, and Latin at the age of four. He was unusually receptive and attentive to all the languages he heard in those youthful days; he was all his life to be a great language-learner and language-user. They were the means to developing and satisfying his curiosity, ways of escape from that sense oi frustration that was to haunt him all his days.

Young Richard was a continual source of worry to his parents. His pranks caused him to be regarded first as an imp and then as a scoundrel in their eyes. In Pisa Mt. Vesuvius loomed mysteriously for him on the horizon. There was nothing for him to do but explore it for himself. He wasn't content with reaching the crater, for the fumes twisting slow wreathings of smoke far below his feet intrigued him considerably. He had himself lowered to investigate and, as a result, was almost suffocated.

In 1840, though not yet twenty years of age, he was sent to Oxford, to Trinity College, in the company of his brother Edward. Trinity, as might be expected, bored, infuriated and amused Richard. He bought a gun and amused himself on the campus with it. He took to rowing, to fencing, to anything but lectures. Only one subject interested him and that was the study of Arabic. Finally he was sent home from the school after very carefully attending the forbidden races under the watchful eyes of the proper authorities.

The next few years were spent in India. At the boy's request, his father had purchased a commission for him in the East India Company's private army which still governed India. He embarked, endured the boring days of heat and stench and monotony on the journey around the Cape, and landed in India on the 28th of October, 1842. Ambitious, be set about learning the languages, manners, customs. oi the peoples of the East. Very unpopular among his fellow officers, he came home on furlough hearing the nickname that stuck throughout the rest of his life—that of Ruffian Dick. He had been over-bearing, brutal, and unmannerly. But what alienated his fellow countrymen the most was his queer behavior among the natives. In his free time he was always to be found wandering in the native bazaars, more often than not himself in the garb of a native, unclean, and unashamed. He had even been admitted to the native order of mystics as a Master-Sufi; he was an atheist; and, very properly, he had been forbidden active service.

At home on a long furlough, he responded to the urge to write and put down his thoughts on paper. Several insignificant volumes were published. It was at this time that he met Isabel Arundel, who was so greatly to influence his later life. Her parents refused to consent to their marriage until Richard could prove himself worthy. Penniless and disreputable as he was, there seemed no chance for him.

Setting about to answer that challenge, Burton prepared himself to attempt what no other white man had ever dared to do before . . . make the pilgrimage from Medina to Mecca disguised as a Moslem. South Arabia was still—though not entirely-unexplored country from the viewpoint of the European. The real nature of the ceremonies at the Kaaba, that focus and shrine of Al-Islam, were still uncertain.

Obtaining a further year's furlough, Burton descended upon Arabia in the form of a Persian Moslem. Staining his skin with walnut juice, accompanied by a half-witted but devoted Mohammedan servant, and bearing the name of Mirza Abdullah of Bushiri, his disguise was complete. In 1853 he landed in Alexandria. Cairo was reached by river boat. After that leg of the journey he felt reasonably sure of his disguise. The boat to Suez was loaded down with pilgrims; Burton was the only white man among them. By the time the vessel docked at Yambu, he had complete confidence in his venture.

At Yambu a camel caravan was formed. The trek into Arabia furnished the daring Englishman with his first real taste of thirst and sunglare. The days melted into one another, and months passed before Medina was sighted. Burton won a place in the hearts of the Mohammedans for himself by using his scant knowledge of medicine to good advantage. By the end of August Medina was reached. There caravans arriving from all directions were formed into one huge concourse and made ready to march on the Holy City.

The march began on the 1st day of September and was an uneventful journey of ten days inland toward the holiest spot in Arabia from which Mohammedanism had sprung. The closer Burton moved to the revered city of Mecca, the more perilous his position became. It was certain death if his true identity as an unbeliever should be discovered. His remarkable linguistic ability stood him in good stead. Quiet and unpretentious, he drew little attention from the rest. But always his dark eyes darted to and fro taking mental notes for the future, so that the outer world, the world of the West, might someday know what they had only been able to guess at for so many years. Were the stories true that told about the fabulous riches of Mecca? What did the mysterious rites consist offi Burton was bent on finding out. At last, shining white and dirty in the sunlight, stood Mecca. Burton's heart rose high at the sight.

Now he was called upon to exercise even greater skill in imitating the actions of the others. utilizing all the patience at his command to maintain the character of a pilgrim. He had to live the Arab as completely as it was possible for any alien to do. And he seems to have done it very completely.

There followed days of pilgrimage to this and that site throughout the Holy City, culminating in the visit to the Kaaba, that centre of Islam, older than Islam itself, with the sacred black stone much be kissed by the crowding pilgrims. Burton, when it came his turn, knelt and kissed with an equal piety but a sharp eye. He noted the texture and appearance of the stone, decided that it was an aerolite, stored the fact away in his mind for future use, and passed on with praying lips and hooded eyes. . . .

The strain on Burton was very great. He was haunted by the thought that some night, some hour, his veil would slip aside, and he would betray by alien gesture or motion that un-Islamic soul of his. Then the caravan gathered and Mecca became once more a mere speck on the horizon. Burton reached the British consulate on the coast a different man. Memories of little indignities and the discomforts he had to bear preyed upon his sensitive mind until outwardly in every respect he was likened to the Ruffian Dick people had dubbed him. The account he later published of his exploit in penetrating Arabia cast off the veil of darkness that had hung over it for so long.

Back in service in India, he was selected to undertake a new venture, this time in the interest of the East India Company. For some time the Indian Government had toyed with the idea of the exploration of Eastern Africa, particularly Somaliland. They wished to know the population of the region, the habits and appearances of its people, the exact location of the forbidden city of Harar, far inland. Burton's proposal was that he be landed on the East African shore, with suitable provisions and money, in the company of two others. The expedition would set out across the country, visit mysterious Harar, pass on to Gananah, and so reach Zanzibar.

Without delving into the actual day-by-day account of the incidents which befell the group. it is enough to say that the venture was a complete success from the standpoint of knowledge gained. On the other hand, the sufferings and hardships of the trail from raiding bands of robbers, from dangerous animals which lurked nearby in the night, dysentery and fever, made the effort call for a very rare brand of heroism. Burton returned home with scars. A Somali had thrust a javelin into the explorer's mouth, lacerating his lips and cheek.

Resting in England he wrote his "First Footsteps in East Africa." Burton's now peaceful and placid existence got on his nerves, and he was anxious to be off again. The Arundel family still regarded him as an unfit son-in-law and advised him to make an attempt at success in his own profession.

The Crimean War was now being waged. Burton sailed for the Crimea on his own responsibility. There he joined Beaton's irregulars, became adjutant. drew up elaborate plans for new modes of cavalry attack and general tactics, and impatiently awaited action.

He waited in vain. The war dragged on, by now a war of siege and sortie and repulse, having little or no need for gay irregulars in cavalry uniform. Burton sank to quick despondency . . . and as he dreamed of what he might be doing, his thoughts drifted to Africa again and the possibilities of another expedition, this time to seek out the sources of the Nile.

Back in England after the war, Burton laid his plans before the Royal Geographical Society. Remembering his journey to Harar and also the news of Livingstone's discoveries in the southern parts of Central Africa, Burton's plan interested them. The primary object of the expedition would be to ascertain the limits of the Sea of Ujiji—a great sheet of water of which rumor had travelled down to the East Coast. He was also to investigate the exportable produce of the interior and the ethnography of its tribes.

With a grant of 1,000 pounds and Speke to accompany him, Burton set out on his fourth journey into unknown regions. It was a large and well-equipped expedition which disembarked at Zanzibar in December, 1856. A thorough study was made of every aspect of the island and its people. This took several months and it was not until June of the next year that the expedition headed into the interior. Burton was the first white man to look upon Lake Tanganyika.

Burton set about to plan for a thorough exploration of the lake region. Too ill to move he called Speke to him and laid before him a tentative plan. Speke agreed to take half the caravan and set out on the mission. When Speke later rejoined Burton he had vague news to tell oi a great lake he discovered. Burton became disgusted with the roundabout replies he received to his queries and gave up. The caravan set out for the coast.

While Burton lay ill in the hospital, Speke hurried to England. He published an account of the expedition, stressing his own discovery of the lake he named Victoria Nyanza, made no mention of Burton, and affirmed his opinion that the Nile rose in the Victoria Nyanza. He was greeted with great acclaim, honored everywhere, and funds were raised to equip a new expedition under his command. Burton arrived in England to find himself robbed of his fame.

At this time Richard Burton faded from public view. He wrote bitter articles against Speke which were not widely read, and then looked about for something to do. Voyaging to America he spent some time with the Mormons. He returned to write the usual book and to marry Isabel Arundel. To the end of his days, he moved from one foreign and distant shore to another. Appointed counsel to Fernand Po, then Brazil, Damascus, and Trieste, his curiosity for new places was only partly satisfied. When well over fifty he rode out in search of the Gold Mines of Midian from Damascus, spent a vigorous holiday in Iceland, and continued writing manuscript after manuscript. Finally, between 1885 and 1888 he set to the translating of a completely literal English version of the "Arabian Nights." The translation was very well received, and Burton was now a rich man.