Recognized HTML document

GEOGRAPHY AND EAST AFRICA   203

curing a Government Pension of / 3oo a year for Lady Burton, and in this way. At a meeting of the Council of the Royal Geographical Society, Sir Mountstuart E. Grant Duff, the then President, said that private information had reached him (of which he mentioned some details) that Government would be disposed to grant a pension to Lady Burton if a good case could be made out relating to Burton's services to science, and if the Council of the Society were to back it. Would any one undertake to carry this through ? No one answered, so he addressed himself to me personally, asking if I would. I expressed a cordial desire to help, but feeling at the moment too ignorant of the views of competent authorities concerning Burton's linguistic knowledge (on which much emphasis had been laid), and of much else that might with advantage be advanced in his favour, was unable to answer off-hand, but willingly undertook to inquire and report. This I did, asking the opinions of many, with the result that Burton's knowledge of vernacular Arabic and other languages was considered to be unequalled, but not his classical knowledge of them, and that it was better to rest his claims on his wide discursiveness rather than on any one specified performance. I followed this advice, and my Report formed the basis of the proposed application, which in due course gained its end. My own acquaintance with Lady Burton was slight, and my memories of her husband refer chiefly to his unmarried days.

Several of us subscribed to have a public memorial of Speke, and obtained a plot in Kensington Gardens to place it. It now stands in the form of an obelisk,