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[251]

Chapter XIII
the finding of Livingstone

in his book, “How I found Livingstone,” Stanley has told that story at length. What here follows is arranged from material hitherto unpublished, and is designed to give the main thread of events, to supply some fuller illustration of his intercourse with Livingstone, and his final estimate of him, and, especially, both in this, and in his later explorations, to show from his private Journal something of the workings of his own heart and mind, in the solitude of Africa.

Though fifteen months had elapsed since I had received my commission, no news of Livingstone had been heard by any mortal at Zanzibar. According to one, he was dead; and, according to another, he was lost; while still another hazarded the conviction that he had attached himself to an African princess, and had, in fact, settled down. There was no letter for me from Mr. Bennett, confirming his verbal order to go and search for the traveller; and no one at Zanzibar was prepared to advance thousands of dollars to one whom nobody knew; in my pocket I had about eighty dollars in gold left, after my fifteen months journey!

Many people since have professed to disbelieve that I discovered the lost traveller in Africa! Had they known the circumstances of my arrival at Zanzibar, they would have had greater reason for their unbelief than they had. To me it looked for a time as though it would be an impossibility for me even to put foot on the mainland, though it was only twenty-five miles off. But, thanks to Captain Webb, the American consul, I succeeded in raising a sum of money amply sufficient, for the time being, for my purpose.

The “sinews of war” having been obtained, the formation of the expedition was proceeded with. On the 21St of March, 1871, it stood a compact little force of three whites, thirty-one armed freemen of Zanzibar, as escort, one hundred and fifty-three porters, and twenty-seven pack-animals, for a transport corps, besides two riding-horses, on the outskirts of the [252] coast-town of Bagamoyo; equipped with every needful article for a long journey that the experience of many Arabs had suggested, and that my own ideas of necessaries for comfort or convenience, in illness or health, had provided. Its very composition betrayed its character. There was nothing aggressive in it. Its many bales of cloth, and loads of beads and wire, with its assorted packages of provisions and medicine, indicated a peaceful caravan about to penetrate among African tribes accustomed to barter and chaffer; while its few guns showed a sufficient defensive power against bands of native banditti, though offensive measures were utterly out of the question.

I passed my apprenticeship in African travel while traversing the maritime region — a bitter school — amid rank jungles, fetid swamps, and fly-infested grass-lands, during which I encountered nothing that appeared to favour my journey. My pack and riding-animals died, my porters deserted, sickness of a very grievous nature thinned my numbers; but, despite the severe loss I sustained, I struggled through my troubles.

Into the narrative of external events is here inserted what he recorded of an interior experience at this time.

In the matter of religion, I doubt whether I had much improved (during the preceding years of trial and adventure). Had this stirring life amongst exciting events continued, it is probable that I should have drifted further away from the thoughts of religion.

Years of indifference and excitement have an unconscious hardening power, and I might have lapsed altogether; but my training in the world of politics, of selfish hustling, of fierce competition, stopped in time; for, on commencing the work of my life, my first journey into Africa, I came face to face with Nature, and Nature was the means, through my complete isolation, of recalling me to what I had lost by long contact with the world.

I had taken with me my Bible, and the American consul had given me, to pack up bottles of medicine with, a great many “New York Heralds,” and other American newspapers. Strange connection! But yet strangest of all was the change [253] wrought in me by the reading of the Bible and these newspapers in melancholy Africa.

My sicknesses were frequent, and, during my first attacks of African fever, I took up the Bible to while away the tedious, feverish hours in bed. Though incapacitated from the march, my temperature being constantly at 105° Fahr., it did not prevent me from reading, when not light-headed. I read Job, and then the Psalms; and when I recovered and was once more in marching state, I occupied my mind in camp in glancing at the newspaper intelligence; and then, somehow or another, my views towards newspapers were entirely recast; not as regards my own profession, which I still esteemed very highly, perhaps too highly, but as to the use and abuse of newspapers.

Solitude taught me many things, and showed newspapers in quite a new light. There were several subjects treated in a manner that wild nature seemed to scorn. It appeared to me that the reading of anything in the newspapers, except that for which they were intended, namely news, was a waste of time; and deteriorative of native force, and worth, and personality. The Bible, however, with its noble and simple language, I continued to read with a higher and truer understanding than I had ever before conceived. Its powerful verses had a different meaning, a more penetrative influence, in the silence of the wilds. I came to feel a strange glow while absorbed in its pages, and a charm peculiarly appropriate to the deep melancholy of African scenery.

When I laid down the book, the mind commenced to feed upon what memory suggested. Then rose the ghosts of by-gone yearnings, haunting every cranny of the brain with numbers of baffled hopes and unfulfilled aspirations. Here was I, only a poor journalist, with no friends, and yet possessed by a feeling of power to achieve! How could it ever be? Then verses of Scripture rang iteratingly through my mind as applicable to my own being, sometimes full of promise, often of solemn warning.

Alone in my tent, unseen of men, my mind laboured and worked upon itself, and nothing was so soothing and sustaining as when I remembered the long-neglected comfort and support of lonely childhood and boyhood. I flung myself on [254] my knees, and poured out my soul utterly in secret prayer to Him from whom I had been so long estranged, to Him who had led me here mysteriously into Africa, there to reveal Himself, and His will. I became then inspired with fresh desire to serve Him to the utmost, that same desire which in early days in New Orleans filled me each morning, and sent me joyfully skipping to my work.

As seen in my loneliness, there was this difference between the Bible and the newspapers. The one reminded me that, apart from God, my life was but a bubble of air, and it bade me remember my Creator; the other fostered arrogance and worldliness. When that vast upheaved sky, and mighty circumference of tree-clad earth, or sere downland, marked so emphatically my personal littleness, I felt often so subdued that my black followers might have discerned, had they been capable of reflection, that Africa was changing me.

It may be taken for granted that some of the newspaper issues which I took up, one after another, when examined under this new light, were uncommonly poor specimens of journalism. Though all contained some facts appertaining to the progress of the world's affairs, in which every intelligent man ought to be concerned, these were so few and meagre that they were overwhelmed by the vast space devoted to stupid personalities, which were either offensively flattering or carpingly derogatory; and there came columns of crime records, and mere gutter-matter.

It was during these days I learned that, as teeth were given to chew our bread, and taste to direct our sense of its quality, so knowledge and experience were capable of directing the judgement; and from that period to this, I have never allowed another to govern my decisions upon the character of any person, or to pervert my own ideas as to the rights and wrongs of a matter. I find, if one wishes to be other than a mere number, he must learn to exercise his own discretion. I have practised these rules ever since, and I remember my delight when I first found that this method had so trained and expanded my judgement that my views upon things affecting other people, or affairs in which I had no personal concern, were in harmony with those expressed by the best leading journals. [255]

A multitude of records of African travel have been read by me during twenty-four years; but I do not remember to have come across anything which would reveal the inward transition, in the traveller's own feelings, from those which move him among his own kindred, to those he feels when he discovers himself to be a solitary white man in the new world of savage Africa, and all the pageantry of civilisation, its blessings, its protection, its politics, its energy and power,--all have become a mere memory. I was but a few days in the wilderness, on the other side of the Kingani River, when it dawned upon me with a most sobering effect. The sable native regarded me with as much curiosity as I should have regarded a stranger from Mars. He saw that I was outwardly human, but his desire to know whether my faculties and usages were human as well was very evident, and until it was gratified by the putting of my hand into his and speaking to him, his doubt was manifest.

My mission to find Livingstone was very simple, and was a clear and definite aim. All I had to do was to free my mind from all else, and relieve it of every earthly desire but the finding of the man whom I was sent to seek. To think of self, friends, banking-account, life-insurance, or any worldly interest but the one sole purpose of reaching the spot where Livingstone might happen to rest, could only tend to weaken resolution. Intense application to my task assisted me to forget all I had left behind, and all that might lie ahead in the future.

In some ways, it produced a delightful tranquillity which was foreign to me while in Europe. To be indifferent to the obituaries the papers may publish to-morrow, that never even a thought should glance across the mind of law-courts, jails, tombstones; not to care what may disturb a Parliament, or a Congress, or the state of the Funds, or the nerves excited about earthquakes, floods, wars, and other national evils, is a felicity few educated men in Britain know; and it compensated me in a great measure for the distress from heat, meagreness of diet, malaria, and other ills, to which I became subject soon after entering Africa.

Every day added something to my experience. I saw that [256] exciting adventures could not happen so often as I had anticipated, that the fevers in Africa were less frequent than in some parts of the Mississippi Valley, that game was not visible on every acre, and that the ambushed savage was rare. There were quite as many bright pictures to be met with as there were dark. Troubles taught patience, and with the exercise of patience came greater self-control and experience. My ideas respecting my Zanzibari and Unyamwezi followers were modified after a few weeks' observation and trials of them. Certain vices and follies, which clung to their uneducated natures, were the source of great trouble; though there were brave virtues in most of them, which atoned for much that appeared incorrigible.

Wellington is reported to have said that he never knew a good-tempered man in India; and Sydney Smith thought that sweetness of temper was impossible in a very cold or a very hot climate. With such authorities it is somewhat bold, perhaps, to disagree; but after experiences of Livingstone, Pocock, Swinburne, Surgeon Parke, and other white men, one must not take these remarks too literally. As for my black followers, no quality was so conspicuous and unvarying as good-temper; and I think that, since I had more occasion to praise my black followers than blame them, even I must surely take credit for being more often good-tempered than bad; and besides, I felt great compassion for them. How often the verse in the Psalms recurred to me: “Like as a father pitieth his own children” !

It was on my first expedition that I felt I was ripening. Hitherto, my faculties had been too busy in receiving impressions; but, like the young corn which greedily absorbs the rain and cool dews, and, on approaching maturity, begins to yellow under summer suns, so I began to feel the benefit of the myriad impressions, and I grew to govern myself with more circumspection.

On the 8th May, 1871, we began to ascend the Usagara range, and, in eight marches, we arrived on the verge of the dry, rolling, and mostly wooded plateau, which continues, almost without change, for nearly six hundred miles west-ward. We soon after entered Ugogo, inhabited by a bumptious, full-chested, square-shouldered people, who exact heavy [257] tribute from all caravans. Nine marches took us through their country; and, when we finally shook the dust of its red soil off our feet, we were rich in the experience of native manners and arrogance, but considerably poorer in means.

Beyond Ugogo undulated the Land of the Moon, or Unyamwezi, inhabited by a turbulent and combative race, who are as ready to work for those who can afford to pay as they are ready to fight those they consider unduly aggressive. Towards the middle of this land, we came to a colony of Arab settlers and traders. Some of these had built excellent and spacious houses of sun-dried brick, and cultivated extensive gardens. The Arabs located here were great travellers. Every region round about the colony had been diligently searched by them for ivory. If Livingstone was anywhere within reach, some of these people ought surely to have known. But, although I questioned eagerly all whom I became acquainted with, no one could give me definite information of the missing man.

I was preparing to leave the Arab colony in Unyanyembe when war broke out between the settlers and a native chief, named Mirambo, and a series of sanguinary contests followed. In the hope that, by adding my force to that of the Arabs, a route west might be opened, I, foolishly enough, joined them. I did not succeed in my enterprise, however, and a disastrous retreat followed. The country became more and more disturbed; bandits infested every road leading from the colony; cruel massacres, destruction of villages, raids by predatory Watuta, were daily reported to me; until it seemed to me that there was neither means for advance nor retreat left.

As my expedition had become thoroughly disorganized during my flight with the Arabs from the fatal campaign against Mirambo, I turned my attention to form another, which, whether I should continue my search for the lost traveller, or abandon it, and turn my face homeward, would be equally necessary; and, as during such an unquiet period it would be a task requiring much time and patience, I mean-while consulted my charts, and the best informed natives, as to the possibility of evading the hostile bands of Mirambo by taking a circuitous route round the disturbed territory.

Finally, on the 20th of September, 1871, I set out from the [258] Arab settlement at Kwihara to resume the journey so long interrupted. I had been detained three months at Unyanyembe by an event totally unlooked — for when the expedition left the sea. Almost every day of this interval had witnessed trouble. Some troubles had attained the magnitude of public and private calamities. Many Arab friends had been massacred; many of my own people either had been slain in battle or had perished from disease. Over forty had deserted. One of my white companions was dead; the other had become a mere burden. All the transport animals but two had died; days of illness from fever had alternated with days of apparent good health. My joys had been few indeed, but my miseries many; yet this day, the third expedition that I had organised, through great good fortune numbered nearly sixty picked men, almost all of whom were well armed, and loaded with every necessary that was portable, bound to demonstrate if somewhere in the wild western lands the lost traveller lived, or was dead.

The conclusion I had arrived at was, that, though Mirambo and his hordes effectually closed the usual road to Lake Tanganyika, a flank march might be made, sufficiently distant from the disturbed territory and sufficiently long to enable me to strike west, and make another attempt to reach the Arab colony on Lake Tanganyika. I calculated that from two hundred to three hundred miles extra marching would enable me to reach Ujiji safely.

Agreeably to this determination, for twenty-two days we travelled in a south-westerly direction, during which I estimated we had performed a journey of two hundred and forty miles. At a place called Mpokwa, Mirambo's capital lying due north ten days distant, I turned westward, and after thirty-five miles, gradually turned a little to the westward of north. At the 105th mile of this northerly journey we came to the ferry of the Malagarazi River, Mirambo being, at that point, eight days march direct east of us, from whence I took a north-westerly course, straight for the port of the Arab colony on the great Lake. With the exception of a mutiny among my own people, which was soon forcibly crushed, and considerable suffering from famine, I had met with no adventures which detained me, or interrupted my rapid advance on the Lake. [259] At the river just mentioned, however, a rumour reached me, by a native caravan, of a white man having reached Ujiji from Manyuema, a country situated a few hundred miles west of the lake, which startled us all greatly. The caravan did not stay long. The ferriage of the river is always exciting. The people were natives of West Tanganyika. The evidence, such as it was,--brief, and given in a language few of my people could understand,--was conclusive that the stranger was elderly, grey-bearded, white, and that he was a man wearing clothes somewhat of the pattern of those I wore; that he had been at Ujiji before, but had been years absent in the western country; and that he had only arrived either the same day they had left Ujiji with their caravan, or the day before.

To my mind, startling as it was to me, it appeared that he could be no other than Livingstone. True, Sir Samuel Baker was known to be in Central Africa in the neighbourhood of the Nile lakes — but he was not grey-bearded; a traveller might have arrived from the West Coast,--he might be a Portuguese, a German, or a Frenchman,--but then none of these had ever been heard of in the neighbourhood of Ujiji. Therefore, as fast as doubts arose as to his personality, arguments were as quickly found to dissipate them. Quickened by the hope that was inspired in my mind by this vague rumour, I crossed the Malagarazi River, and soon after entered the country of the factious and warlike Wahha.

A series of misfortunes commenced at the first village we came to in Uhha. I was summoned to halt, and to pay such a tribute as would have beggared me had I yielded. To reduce it, however, was a severe task and strain on my patience. I had received no previous warning that I should be subjected to such extortionate demands, which made the matter worse. The inevitable can always be endured, if due notice is given; but the suddenness of a mishap or an evil rouses the combative instincts in man. Before paying, or even submitting to the thought of payment, my power of resistance was carefully weighed, but I became inclined to moderation upon being assured by all concerned that this would be the only instance of what must be endured unless we chose to fight. After long hours of haggling over the amount, I paid my forfeit, and was permitted to proceed. [260]

The next day I was again halted, and summoned to pay. The present demand was for two bales of cloth. This led to half-formed resolutions to resist to the death, then anxious conjectures as to what would be the end of this rapacity. The manner of the Wahha was confident and supercilious. This could only arise from the knowledge that, whether their demands were agreeable or not to the white man, the refusal to pay could but result in gain to them. After hours of attempts to reduce the sum total, I submitted to pay one bale and a quarter. Again I was assured this would be the last.

The next day I rose at dawn to resume the march; but, four hours later, we were halted again, and forfeited another half-bale, notwithstanding the most protracted and patient haggling on my part. And for the third time I was assured we were safe from further demands. The natives and my own people combined to comfort me with this assurance. I heard, however, shortly after, that Uhha extended for two long marches yet, further west. Knowing this, I declined to believe them, and began to form plans to escape from Uhha.

I purchased four days rations as a provision for the wilderness, and at midnight I roused the caravan. Having noiselessly packed the goods, the people silently stole away from the sleeping village in small groups, and the guides were directed, as soon as we should be a little distance off, to abandon the road and march to the southward over the grassy plain. After eighteen hours marching through an unpeopled wilderness, we were safe beyond Uhha and the power of any chief to exact tribute, or to lay down the arbitrary law, “ Fight, or pay.” A small stream now crossed was the boundary line between hateful Uhha and peaceful Ukaranga.

That evening we slept at a chief's village in Ukaranga, with only one more march of six hours, it was said, intervening between us and the Arab settlement of Ujiji, in which native rumour located an old, grey-bearded, white man, who had but newly arrived from a distant western country. It was now two hundred and thirty-five days since I had left the Indian Ocean, and fifty days since I had departed from Unyanyembe.

At cock-crow of the eventful day,1 the day that was to end all doubt, we strengthened ourselves with a substantial meal, [261] and, as the sun rose in the east, we turned our backs to it, and the caravan was soon in full swing on the march. We were in a hilly country, thickly-wooded, towering trees nodding their heads far above, tall bush filling darkly the shade, the road winding like a serpent, narrow and sinuous, the hollows all musical with the murmur of living waters and their sibilant echoes, the air cool and fragrant with the smell of strange flowers and sweet gums. Then, my mind lightened with pleasant presentiments, and conscience complaisantly approving what I had done hitherto, you can imagine the vigour of our pace in that cool and charming twilight of the forest shades!

About eight o'clock we were climbing the side of a steep and wooded hill, and we presently stood on the very crest of it, and on the furthest edge looked out into a realm of light — wherein I saw, as in a painted picture, a vast lake in the distance below, with its face luminous as a mirror, set in a frame of dimly-blue mountains. On the further side they seemed to be of appalling height. On the hither side they rose from low hills lining the shore, in advancing lines, separated by valleys, until they terminated at the base of that tall mountain-brow whereon I stood, looking down from my proud height, with glad eyes and exultant feelings, upon the whole prospect.

On our admiring people, who pressed eagerly forward to gaze upon the scene, contentment diffused itself immediately, inspiring a boisterous good-humour; for it meant a crowning rest from their daily round of miles, and a holiday from the bearing of burdens, certainly an agreeable change from the early reveille, and hard fare of the road.

With thoughts still gladder, if possible, than ever, the caravan was urged down the descent. The lake grew larger into view, and smiled a broad welcome to us, until we lost sight of it in the valley below. For hours I strode nervously on, tearing through the cane-brakes of the valleys, brushing past the bush on the hill-slopes and crests, flinging gay remarks to the wondering villagers, who looked on the almost flying column in mute surprise, until near noon, when, having crossed the last valley and climbed up to the summit of the last hill, lo! Lake Tanganyika was distant from us but half a mile!

Before such a scene I must halt once more. To me, a lover [262] of the sea, its rolling waves, its surge and its moan, the grand lake recalls my long-forgotten love! I look enraptured upon the magnificent expanse of fresh water, and the white-tipped billows of the inland sea. I see the sun and the clear white sky reflected a million million times upon the dancing waves. I hear the sounding surge on the pebbled shore, I see its crispy edge curling over, and creeping up the land, to return again to the watery hollows below. I see canoes, far away from the shore, lazily rocking on the undulating face of the lake, and at once the sight appeals to the memories of my men who had long ago handled the net and the paddle. Hard by the lake shore, embowered in palms, on this hot noon, the village of Ujiji broods drowsily. No living thing can be seen moving to break the stilly aspect of the outer lines of the town and its deep shades. The green-swarded hill on which I stood descended in a gentle slope to the town. The path was seen, of an ochreous-brown, curving down the face of the hill until it entered under the trees into the town.

I rested awhile, breathless from my exertions; and, as the stragglers were many, I halted to re-unite and re-form for an imposing entry. Meantime, my people improved their personal appearance; they clothed themselves in clean dresses, and snowy cloths were folded round their heads. When the laggards had all been gathered, the guns were loaded to rouse up the sleeping town. It is an immemorial custom, for a caravan creeps not up into a friendly town like a thief. Our braves knew the custom well; they therefore volleyed and thundered their salutes as they went marching down the hill slowly, and with much self-contained dignity.

Presently, there is a tumultuous stir visible on the outer edge of the town. Groups of men in white dresses, with arms in their hands, burst from the shades, and seem to hesitate a moment, as if in doubt; they then come rushing up to meet us, pursued by hundreds of people, who shout joyfully, while yet afar, their noisy welcomes.

The foremost, who come on bounding up, cry out: “Why, we took you for Mirambo and his bandits, when we heard the booming of the guns. It is an age since a caravan has come to Ujiji. Which way did you come? Ah! you have got a white man with you! Is this his caravan?” [263]

Being told it was a white man's caravan by the guides in front, the boisterous multitude pressed up to me, greeted me with salaams, and bowed their salutes. Hundreds of them jostled and trod on one another's heels as they each strove to catch a look at the master of the caravan; and I was about asking one of the nearest to me whether it was true that there was a white man in Ujiji, who was just come from the countries west of the Lake, when a tall black man, in long white shirt, burst impulsively through the crowd on my right, and bending low, said,--

“Good-morning, sir,” in clear, intelligent English.

“Hello!” I said, “who in the mischief are you?”

“I am Susi, sir, the servant of Dr. Livingstone.”

“What! Is Dr. Livingstone here in this town?”

“Yes, sir.”

“But, are you sure; sure that it is Dr. Livingstone?”

“Why, I leave him just now, sir.”

Before I could express my wonder, a similarly-dressed man elbowed his way briskly to me, and said,--

“Good-morning, sir.”

“Are you also a servant of Dr. Livingstone?” I asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“And what is your name?”

“It is Chuma.”

“Oh! the friend of Wekotani, from the Nassick School?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, now that we have met, one of you had better run ahead, and tell the Doctor of my coming.”

The same idea striking Susi's mind, he undertook in his impulsive manner to inform the Doctor, and I saw him racing headlong, with his white dress streaming behind him like a wind-whipped pennant.

The column continued on its way, beset on either flank by a vehemently-enthusiastic and noisily-rejoicing mob, which bawled a jangling chorus of ‘Yambos’ to every mother's son of us, and maintained an inharmonious orchestral music of drums and horns. I was indebted for this loud ovation to the cheerful relief the people felt that we were not Mirambo's bandits, and to their joy at the happy rupture of the long silence that had perforce existed between the two trading [264] colonies of Unyanyembe and Ujiji, and because we brought news which concerned every householder and freeman of this lake port.

After a few minutes we came to a halt. The guides in the van had reached the market-place, which was the central point of interest. For there the great Arabs, chiefs, and respectabilities of Ujiji, had gathered in a group to await events; thither also they had brought with them the venerable European traveller who was at that time resting among them. The caravan pressed up to them, divided itself into two lines on either side of the road, and, as it did so, disclosed to me the prominent figure of an elderly white man clad in a red flannel blouse, grey trousers, and a blue cloth, gold-banded cap.

Up to this moment my mind had verged upon non-belief in his existence, and now a nagging doubt intruded itself into my mind that this white man could not be the object of my quest, or if he were, he would somehow contrive to disappear before my eyes would be satisfied with a view of him.

Consequently, though the expedition was organized for this supreme moment, and every movement of it had been confidently ordered with the view of discovering him, yet when the moment of discovery came, and the man himself stood revealed before me, this constantly recurring doubt contributed not a little to make me unprepared for it. “It may not be Livingstone after all,” doubt suggested. If this is he, what shall I say to him? My imagination had not taken this question into consideration before. All around me was the immense crowd, hushed and expectant, and wondering how the scene would develop itself.

Under all these circumstances I could do no more than exercise some restraint and reserve, so I walked up to him, and, doffing my helmet, bowed and said in an inquiring tone,--

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

Smiling cordially, he lifted his cap, and answered briefly, “Yes.”

This ending all scepticism on my part, my face betrayed the earnestness of my satisfaction as I extended my hand and added,-- [265]

“I thank God, Doctor, that I have been permitted to see you.” 2

In the warm grasp he gave my hand, and the heartiness of his voice, I felt that he also was sincere and earnest as he replied,--

“I feel most thankful that I am here to welcome you.”

The principal Arabs now advanced, and I was presented by the Doctor to Sayed bin Majid, a relative of the Prince of Zanzibar; to Mahommed bin Sali, the Governor of Ujiji; to Abed bin Suliman, a rich merchant; to Mahommed bin Gharib, a constant good friend; and to many other notable friends and neighbours.

Then, remarking that the sun was very hot, the Doctor led the way to the verandah of his house, which was close by and fronted the market-place. The vast crowd moved with us.

After the Arab chiefs had been told the latest news of the war of their friends with Mirambo, with salaams, greetings, and warm hand-shakings, and comforting words to their old friend David (Livingstone), they retired from the verandah, and a large portion of the crowd followed them.

Then Livingstone caught sight of my people still standing in the hot sunshine by their packs, and extending his hand, said to me,--

“I am afraid I have been very remiss, too. Let me ask you now to share my house with me. It is not a very fine house, but it is rain-proof and cool, and there are enough spare rooms to lodge you and your goods. Indeed, one room is far too large for my use.”

I expressed my gratification at his kind offer in suitable terms, and accordingly gave directions to the chiefs of the caravan about the storing of the goods and the purchase of rations; and Livingstone charged his three servants, Susi, Chuma, and Hamoyda, to assist them. Relieved thus happily and comfortably from all further trouble about my men, I introduced the subject of breakfast, and asked permission of the Doctor to give a few directions to my cook.

The Doctor became all at once anxious on that score. Was [266] my cook a good one? Could he prepare a really satisfactory breakfast? If not, he had a gem of a female cook — and here he laughed, and continued, “She is the oddest, most eccentric woman I have ever seen. She is quite a character, but I must give her due credit for her skill in cooking. She is exceedingly faithful, clean, and deft at all sorts of cooking fit for a toothless old man like myself. But, perhaps, the two combined would be still better able to satisfy you?”

Halima, a stout, buxom woman of thirty, was brought at once to our presence, grinning, but evidently nervous and shy. She was not uninteresting by any means, and as she opened her capacious mouth, two complete and perfect rows of teeth were revealed.

“Halima,” began Livingstone, in kind, grave tones, “my young brother has travelled far, and is hungry. Do you think you and Ferajji, his cook, can manage to give us something nice to eat? What have you?”

“I can have some dampers, and kid kabobs, and tea or coffee ready immediately, master, if you like; and by sending to the market for something, we can do better.”

“Well, Halima, we will leave it to you and Ferajji; only do your best, for this is a great day for us all in Ujiji.”

“Yes, master. Sure to do that.”

I now thought of Livingstone's letters, and calling Kaif-Halek, the bearer of them, I delivered into the Doctor's hands a long-delayed letter-bag that I had discovered at Unyanyembe, the cover of which was dated November 1st, 1870.

A gleam of joy lighted up his face, but he made no remark, as he stepped on to the verandah and resumed his seat. Resting the letter-bag on his knees, he presently, after a minute's abstraction in thought, lifted his face to me and said, “Now sit down by my side, and tell me the news.”

“But what about your letters, Doctor? You will find the news, I dare say, in them. I am sure you must be impatient to read your letters after such a long silence.”

“Ah!” he replied, with a sigh, “I have waited years for letters; and the lesson of patience I have well learned!--I can surely wait a few hours longer! I would rather hear the general news, so pray tell me how the old world outside of Africa is getting along.” [267]

Consenting, I sat down, and began to give a resume of the exciting events that had transpired since he had disappeared in Africa, in March, 1866.

When I had ended the story of triumphs and reverses which had taken place between 1866 and 1871, my tent-boys advanced to spread a crimson table-cloth, and arrange the dishes and smoking platters heaped up profusely with hot dampers, white rice, maize porridge, kid kabobs, fricasseed chicken, and stewed goat-meat. There were also a number of things giving variety to the meal, such as honey from Ukawendi, forest plums, and wild-fruit jam, besides sweet milk and clabber, and then a silver tea-pot full of “best tea,” and beautiful china cups and saucers to drink it from. Before we could commence this already magnificent breakfast, the servants of Sayed bin Majid, Mohammed bin Sali, and Muini Kheri brought three great trays loaded with cakes, curries, hashes, and stews, and three separate hillocks of white rice, and we looked at one another with a smile of wonder at this Ujiji banquet.

We drew near to it, and the Doctor uttered the grace: “For what we are going to receive, make us, O Lord, sincerely thankful.”

I need not linger over a description of Livingstone. All this may be found in books, in mine among the number; but I will note some other discoveries relating to him which I made, which may not be found in books. At various times I have remarked that the question most frequently given to me has been: “Why did not Livingstone return of his own accord when he found his energies waning, age creeping on him and fettering him in its strong bonds, his means so reduced that he was unable to accomplish anything, even if youth could have been restored to him?”

Briefly, I will answer that his return to home and kindred was prevented by an over-scrupulous fidelity to a promise that he had made to his friend Sir R. Murchison--that he would set the matter of that watershed north of the Tanganyika at rest. But, strive as he might, misfortune dogged him; dauntlessly he urged his steps forward over the high plateaus between Nyasa and Tanganyika, but, steadily, evil, in various disguises, haunted him. First, his transport animals died, his [268] Indian escort malingered, and halted, faint-hearted, on the road, until they were dismissed; then his Johanna escort played the same trick and deserted him, after which his porters under various pretences absconded; the natives took advantage of his weakness, and tyrannised over him at every opportunity. A canoe capsized on Lake Bangweolo, which accident deprived him of his medicine-chest; then, malarial diseases, finding the body now vulnerable and open to attack, assailed him, poisoned his blood, and ravished his strength. Malignant ulcers flourished on the muscles of his limbs, dysentery robbed him of the vital constituent of his body. Still, after a time, he rose from his sick-bed, and pressed on unfalteringly.

The watershed, when he reached it, grew to be a tougher problem than he had conceived it to be. On the northern slope, a countless multitude of streams poured northward, into an enormously wide valley. At its lowest depression, they were met by others, rushing to meet them from the north and east. United, they formed a river of such volume and current that he paused in wonder. So remote from all known rivers — Nile, Niger, Congo — and yet so large! Heedless of his beggared state, forgetful of his past miseries, unconscious of his weakness, his fidelity to his promise drives him on with the zeal of an honourable fanatic. He must fulfil his promise, or die in the attempt!

We, lapped as we are in luxury, feeding on the daintiest diet, affecting an epicurean cynicism, with the noble virtues of our youth and earlier life blunted from too close contact with animal pleasures, can only smile contemptuously, compassionating these morbid ideas of honour! This man, however, verging upon old age, is so beset by these severely-rigid scruples of his that he must go on.

He traces that voluminous river until it enters a shallow lake called Bangweolo, which spreads out on either hand beyond sight, like a sea. He attempts to navigate it; his intention is frustrated by a calamity — the last of his medicines are lost, his instruments are damaged. He determines to go by land, reaches Cazembe, and by the natives he is told of other lakes and rivers without end, all trending northward. He directs his steps north and west to gather the clues to the [269] riverine labyrinth, until he is, perforce, halted by utter exhaustion of his means. He meets an Arab, begs a loan for mere subsistence; and, on that account, must needs march whither the Arab goes.

Hearing of a caravan bound coastward, he writes a letter to Zanzibar in 1867, and directs that goods should be sent to him at Ujiji; and, bidding his soul possess itself with patience, he wanders with the Arab merchant for a whole year, and, in 1869, arrives at Ujiji. There is nothing there for him; but a draft on Zanzibar suffices to purchase, at an extortionate charge, a few bags of beads and a few bales of cloth, with which he proposes to march due west to strike that great river discovered two years before so far south. This is loyalty to a friend with a vengeance!

The friend to whom he had given his promise, had he but known to what desperate straits the old man was reduced, would long ago have absolved him. Livingstone was now in his fifty-seventh year, toothless, ill-clad, a constant victim to disease, meagre and gaunt from famine: but Livingstone's word was not a thing to be obliterated by forgetfulness — he had made it his creed, and resolved to be true to it.

Well, this insatiable zeal for his word demands that he proceed due west, to find this river. He travels until within a hundred miles of it, when he is stricken down by African ulcers of a peculiarly virulent type, which confine him to his bed for months. During this forced rest, his few followers become utterly demoralised; they refuse to stay with a man who seems bent on self-destruction, and so blind, they say, that he will not see he is marching to his doom. The ninth month brings relief — his body is cured, a small re-enforcement of men appear before him, in answer to the letter he had sent in 1867.

The new men inform him they have only come to convey him back to the coast. He repudiates the insinuation their words convey with indignant warmth. He buys their submission by liberal largesse, and resumes his interrupted journey westward. In a few days, he arrives at the banks of the Lualaba, which is now two thousand yards wide, deep, and flowing strong still northward, at a point thirteen hundred miles from its source. The natives as well as the Arab traders [270] unite in the statement that, as far as their acquaintance with it is, its course is northward. The problem becomes more and more difficult, and its resolution is ever elusive. His instruments make it only two thousand feet above the sea — the Nile, six hundred miles northward, is also two thousand feet! How can this river be the Nile, then? Yet its course is northward and Nileward,--has been northward and Nileward ever since it left Bangweolo Lake, seven hundred miles south of where he stands,--and, for many weeks' travel along its banks, all reports prove that it continues its northerly flow.

To settle this exasperating puzzle, he endeavours to purchase canoes for its navigation; but his men become rebellious and frantic in their opposition, and Livingstone finds that every attempt he makes is thwarted. While hesitating what to do, he receives a letter, which informs him that another caravan has arrived for him at Ujiji. He resolves to journey back to Lake Tanganyika, and dismiss these obstinate and mutinous followers of his; and, with new men, carefully chosen, return to this interesting field, and explore it until he discovers the bourn of that immense river.

He arrives at Ujiji about the 1st of November, 1871, only to find that his caravan has been disbanded, and the goods sold by its chief; in other words, that his present state is worse than ever!

He is now in his fifty-ninth year, far away from the scene of his premeditated labours; the sea, where he might have rest and relief from these continually-repeating misfortunes, though only nine hundred miles off, is as inaccessible as the moon to him, because Mirambo and his bandits are carrying on a ravaging and desolating war throughout all the region east of Ujiji. The Arabs of the colony have no comfort to impart to him, for they, too, feel the doom of isolation impending over them. Over and over again, they have despatched scouts eastward, and each time these have returned with the authentic news that all routes to the sea are closed by sanguinary brigandage. Not knowing how long this period may last, the Arabs practise the strictest economy; they have neither cloth nor bead currency to lend, however large may be the interest offered for the loan. But, as the position of the old man has become desperate, and he and his few followers may die of [271] starvation, if no relief be given, Sayed bin Majid and Mohammed bin Gharib advance a few dozen cloths to him, which, with miserly economy, may suffice to purchase food for a month.

And then? Ah! then the prospect will be blank indeed! However, “Thy will be done. Elijah was fed by a raven; a mere dove brought hope to Noah; unto the hungering Christ, angels ministered. To God, the All-bountiful, all things are possible!”

To keep his mind from brooding over the hopeless prospect, he turns to his Journal, occupies himself with writing down at large, and with method, the brief jottings of his lengthy journeys, that nothing may be obscure of his history in the African wilds to those who may hereafter act as the executors and administrators of his literary estate. When fatigued by his constrained position on the clay floor in that east-facing verandah, he would lift his heavy Journal from his lap, and, with hand to chin, sit for hours in his brooding moods, thinking, ever thinking — mind ever revolving the prayer, “How long, 0 Lord, must Thy servant bear all this?”

At noon, on the tenth day after his arrival at Ujiji from the west,--while he was in one of these brooding fits on the verandah,--looking up to the edge of that mountain-plateau, whence we, a few hours before, had gazed in rapture on the Tanganyika, several volleys of musketry suddenly startled him and his drowsy neighbours. The town was wakened from its siesta by the alarming sound of firing. The inhabitants hurriedly issued out of their homes somewhat frightened, asking one another if it were Mirambo and his bandits. The general suspicion that the strangers could be no other than the ubiquitous African chief and his wild men caused all to lay their hands on their arms and prepare for the conflict. The boldest, creeping cautiously out of the town, see a caravan descending slowly towards Ujiji, bearing the Zanzibar and American flags in front, and rush back shouting out the news that the strangers are friends from Zanzibar.

In a few minutes the news becomes more definite: people say that it is a white man's caravan. Looking out upon the market-place from his verandah, Livingstone is, from the first, aware of the excitement which the sudden firing is causing; [272] but if it be Mirambo, as all suspect it to be, it does not matter much to him, for he is above the miserable fear of death; violent as it may be, it will be but a happy release from the afflictions of life. Soon, however, men cried out to him, “Joy, old master, it is a white man's caravan; it may belong to a friend of thine.” This Livingstone contemptuously declines to believe. It is then that Susi appears, rushing up to me with his impulsive “Good-morning.” None knew better than Susi what a change in the circumstances of his old master and himself the arrival of an English-speaking white man foreshad-owed. With even more energy of movement he returned to Livingstone, crying, “It is true, sir, it is a white man, he speaks English; and he has got an American flag with him.” More than ever perplexed by this news, he asks, “But are you sure of what you say? Have you seen him?”

At this moment the Arab chiefs came in a group to him, and said, “Come, arise, friend David. Let us go and meet this white stranger. He may be a relative of thine. Please God, he is sure to be a friend. The praise be to God for His goodness!”

They had barely reached the centre of the market-place, when the head of the caravan appeared, and a few seconds later the two white men — Livingstone and myself — met, as already described.

Our meeting took place on the 10th November, 1871. It found him reduced to the lowest ebb in fortune by his endless quest of the solution to the problem of that mighty river Lualaba, which, at a distance of three hundred miles from Lake Tanganyika, flowed parallel with the lake, northward. In body, he was, as he himself expressed it, “a mere ruckle of bones.”

The effect of the meeting was a rapid restoration to health he was also placed above want, for he had now stores in abundance sufficient to have kept him in comfort in Ujiji. for years, or to equip an expedition capable of solving within a few months even that tough problem of the Lualaba. There was only one thing wanting to complete the old man's happiness — that was an obedient and tractable escort. Could I have furnished this to him there and then, no doubt Livingstone would have been alive to-day,3 because, after a few days' rest at Ujiji, [273] we should have parted — he to return to the Lualaba, and trace the river, perhaps, down to the sea, or until he found sufficient proofs that it was the Congo, which would be about seven hundred miles north-west of Nyangwe; I journeying to the East Coast.

As my people, however, had only been engaged for two years, no bribe would have been sufficient to have made them tractable for a greater period. But, inasmuch as Livingstone would not relinquish his unfinished task, and no men of the kind he needed were procurable at Ujiji, it was necessary that he should return with me to Unyanyembe, and rest there until I could provide him with the force he needed. To this, the last of many propositions made to him, he agreed. After exploring together the north end of Lake Tanganyika, and disproving the theory that the Lake had any connection with the Albert Nyanza, we set out from Ujiji, on the 27th December, 1871, and arrived at Unyanyembe on the 18th February, 1872.

January 3, 1872. Had some modest sport among some zebras, and secured a quantity of meat, which will be useful. Livingstone, this afternoon, got upon his favourite topics, the Zambesi Mission, the Portuguese and Arab slave-trade, and these subjects invariably bring him to relate incidents about what he has witnessed of African nature and aptitudes. I conclude, from the importance he attaches to these, that he is more interested in ethnology than in topographical geography. Though the Nile problem and the central line of drainage are frequently on his lips, they are second to the humanities observed on his wanderings, which, whether at the morning coffee, tiffin, or dinner, occupy him throughout the meal.

The Manyuema women must have attracted him by their beauty, from which I gather that they must be superior to the average female native. He speaks of their large eyes, their intelligent looks, and pretty, expressive, arch ways. Then he refers to the customs at Cazembe's Court, and the kindness received from the women there.

In a little while, I am listening to the atrocities of Tagamoyo, the half-caste Arab, who surrounded a Manyuema market, and, with his long-shirted followers, fired most murderous volleys on the natives as they were innocently chaffering about their wares. Then there is real passion in his language, [274] and I fancy from the angry glitter in his eyes that, were it in his power, Tagamoyo and his gang should have a quick taste of the terror he has inspired among the simple peoples of Manyuema. He is truly pathetic when he describes the poor enchained slaves, and the unhappy beings whose necks he has seen galled by the tree-forks, lumbering and tottering along the paths, watched by the steady, cruel eyes of their drivers, etc., etc.

The topics change so abruptly that I find it almost impossible to remember a tithe of them; and they refer to things about which I know so little that it will be hard to make a summary of what I am told at each meal. One cannot always have his note-book handy, for we drop upon a subject so suddenly, and often, in my interest, I forget what I ought to do. I must trust largely to the fact that I am becoming steeped in Livingstonian ideas upon everything that is African, from pity for the big-stomached picaninny, clinging to the waist-strings of its mother, to the missionary bishop, and the great explorers, Burton, Speke, and Baker.

He is a strong man in every way, with an individual tenacity of character. His memory is retentive. How he can remember Whittier's poems, couplets out of which I hear frequently, as well as from Longfellow, I cannot make out. I do not think he has any of these books with him. But he recites them as though he had read them yesterday.

March 3. Livingstone reverted again to his charges against the missionaries on the Zambesi, and some of his naval officers on the expedition.

I have had some intrusive suspicions, thoughts that he was not of such an angelic temper as I believed him to be during my first month with him; but, for the last month, I have been driving them steadily from my mind, or perhaps to be fair, he by his conversations, by his prayers, his actions, and a more careful weighing and a wider knowledge of all the circumstances, assists me to extinguish them. Livingstone, with all his frankness, does not unfold himself at once; and what he leaves untold may be just as vital to a righteous understanding of these disputes as what he has said. Some reparation I owe him for having been on the verge of prejudice before I even saw him. I expected, and was prepared, to meet a crusty misanthrope, [275] and I was on my guard that the first offence should not come from me; but I met a sweet opposite, and, by leaps and bounds, my admiration grew in consequence. When, however, he reiterated his complaints against this man and the other, I felt the faintest fear that his strong nature was opposed to forgiveness, and that he was not so perfect as at the first blush of friendship I thought him. I grew shy of the recurrent theme, lest I should find my fear confirmed. Had I left him at Ujiji, I should have lost the chance of viewing him on the march, and obtaining that more detailed knowledge I have, by which I am able to put myself into his place, and, feeling something of his feelings, to understand the position better.

It was an ungrateful task to have to reproach the missionaries for their over-zeal against the slave-traders, though he quite shared their hatred of the trade, and all connected with it; but to be himself charged, as he was, with having been the cause of their militant behaviour, to be blamed for their neglect of their special duties, and for their follies, by the very men whom he has assisted and advised, was too much.

But, in thinking that it was rather a weakness to dwell on these bitter memories, I forgot that he was speaking to me, who had reminded him of his experiences, and who pestered him with questions about this year and another, upon this topic and that; and I thought that it was not fair to retaliate with inward accusations that he was making too much of these things, when it was my own fault. Then I thought of his lone-liness, and that to speak of African geography to a man who was himself in Africa, was not only not entertaining, but unnecessary; and that to refuse to speak of personal events would, from the nature of a man, be imputed to him as reserve, and, perhaps, something worse. These things I revolved, caused by observations on his daily method of life, his pious habits, in the boat, the tent, and the house.

At Kwikuru, just before the day we got our letters from Europe, I went to the cook Ulimengo, who was acting in Ferajji's place; and, being half-mad with the huge doses of quinine I had taken, and distressingly weak, I sharply scolded him for not cleaning his coffee-pots, and said that I tasted the verdigris in every article of food, and I violently asked if he [276] meant to poison us. I showed him the kettles and the pots, and the loathsome green on the rims. He turned to me with astounding insolence, and sneeringly asked if I was any better than the “big master,” and said that what was good for him was good for me — the “little master.”

I clouted him at once, not only for his insolent question, but because I recognised a disposition to fight. Ulimengo stood up and laid hold of me. On freeing myself, I searched for some handy instrument; but, at this juncture, Living-stone came out of the tent, and cried out to Ulimengo, “Poli-Poli-hapo” “[Gently there]! What is the matter, Mr. Stanley?” Almost breathless between passion and quinine, I spluttered out my explanations. Then, lifting his right hand with the curved forefinger, he said, “I will settle this.” I stood quieted; but, what with unsatisfied rage and shameful weakness, the tears rolled down as copiously as when a child.

I heard him say, “Now, Ulimengo, you are a big fool: a big, thick-headed fellow. I believe you are a very wicked man. Your head is full of lying ideas. Understand me now, and open your ears. I am a Mgeni [guest] and only a Mgeni, and have nothing to do with this caravan. Everything in the camp is my friend's. The food I eat, the clothes on my back, the shirt I wear, all are his. All the bales and beads are his. What you put in that belly of yours comes from him, not from me. He pays your wages. The tent and the bed-clothes belong to him. He came only to help me, as you would help your brother or your father. I am only the “big master” because I am older; but when we march, or stop, must be as he likes, not me. Try and get all that into that thick skull of yours, Ulimengo. Don't you see that he is very ill, you rascal? Now, go and ask his pardon, Go on.”

And Ulimengo said he was very sorry, and wanted to kiss my feet; but I would not let him.

Then Livingstone took me by the arm to the tent, saying, “Come now, you must not mind him. He is only a half-savage, and does not know any better. He is probably a Banyan slave. Why should you care what he says? They are all alike, unfeeling and hard!”

Little by little, I softened down; and, before night, I had shaken hands with Ulimengo. It is the memory of several [277] small events, which, though not worth recounting singly, muster in evidence and strike a lasting impression.

“You bad fellow. You very wicked fellow. You blockhead. You fool of a man,” were the strongest terms he employed, where others would have clubbed, or clouted, or banned, and blasted. His manner was that of a cool, wise, old man, who felt offended, and looked grave.

March 4, Sunday. Service at 9 A. M. Referring to his address to his men, after the Sunday service was over, he asked me what conclusions I had come to in regard to the African's power of receiving the gospel?

“Well, really, to tell you the truth, I have not thought much of it. The Africans appear to me very dense, and I suppose it will take some time before any headway will be made. It is a slow affair, I think, altogether. You do not seem to me to go about it in the right way — I do not mean you personally, but missionaries. I cannot see how one or two men can hope to make an impression on the minds of so many millions, when all around them is the whole world continuing in its own humdrum fashion, absorbed in its avocations, and utterly regardless of the tiny village, or obscure district, where the missionaries preach the gospel.”

“How would you go about it?” he asked.

“I would certainly have more than one or two missionaries. I would have a thousand, scattered not all over the continent, but among some great tribe or cluster of tribes, organised systematically, one or two for each village, so that though the outskirts of the tribe or area where the gospel was at work might be disturbed somewhat by the evil example of those outside, all within the area might be safely and uninterruptedly progressing. Then, with the pupils who would be turned out from each village, there would be new forces to start elsewhere outside the area.”

In a way, that is just my opinion; but someone must begin the work. Christ was the beginner of the Christianity that is now spread over a large part of the world, then came the Twelve Apostles, and then the Disciples. I feel, sometimes, as if I were the beginner for attacking Central Africa, and that others will shortly come; and, after those, there will come the thousand workers that you speak of. It is very dark and dreary, [278] but the promise is, “Commit thy way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” I may fall by the way, being unworthy to see the dawning. I thought I had seen it when the Zambezi mission came out, but the darkness has settled again, darker than ever. It will come, though, it must come, and I do not despair of the day, one bit. The earth, that is the whole earth, shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Loneliness is a terrible thing, especially when I think of my children. I have lost a great deal of happiness, I know, by these wanderings. It is as if I had been born to exile; but it is God's doing, and He will do what seemeth good in His own eyes. But when my children and home are not in my mind, I feel as though appointed to this work and no other. I am away from the perpetual hurry of civilisation, and I think I see far and clear into what is to come; and then I seem to understand why I was led away, here and there, and crossed and baffled over and over again, to wear out my years and strength. Why was it but to be a witness of the full horror of this slave-trade, which, in the language of Burns, is sending these pitiless half-castes

Like bloodhounds from the slip,
     With woe and murder o'er the land!

My business is to publish what I see, to rouse up those who have the power to stop it, once and for all. That is the beginning; but, in the end, they will also send proper teachers of the gospel, some here, and some there, and what you think ought to be done will be done in the Lord's good time.

See, yonder, poor, o'er-laboured wight,
     So abject, mean, and vile!
Who begs a brother of the earth
     To give him leave to toil!

I have often quoted those lines of Burns to myself, on my travels in Manyuema, when I saw the trembling natives just on the run, when they suspected that we were Arabs about to take them from their homes and compel them to carry their stolen ivory. Oh, well, there is a good God above who takes note of these things, and will, at the proper moment, see that justice will be measured out to these monsters.

[279]

March 13, 1872. This is the last day of my stay with dear old Livingstone; the last night we shall be together is present, and I cannot evade the morrow. I feel as though I should like to rebel against the necessity of departure. The minutes beat fast, and grow into hours. Our door to-night is closed, and we both think our own thoughts. What his are, I know not — mine are sad. My days seem to have been spent far too happily, for, now that the last day is almost gone, I bitterly regret the approach of the parting hour. I now forget the successive fevers, and their agonies, and the semi-madness into which they often plunged me. The regret I feel now is greater than any pains I have endured. But I cannot resist the sure advance of time, which is flying to-night far too fast. What must be, must be! I have often parted with friends before, and remember how I lingered and wished to put it off, but the inevitable was not to be prevented. Fate came, and, at the appointed hour, stood between us. To-night I feel the same aching pain, but in a greater degree; and the farewell I fear may be for ever. “For ever” and “For ever” echo the reverberations of a woeful whisper!

I have received the thanks that he had repressed all these months in the secrecy of his heart, uttered with no mincing phrases, but poured out, as it were, at the last moment, until I was so affected that I sobbed, as one only can in uncommon grief. The hour of night and the crisis,--and oh! as some dreadful doubts suggested the eternal parting,--his sudden outburst of gratitude, with that kind of praise that steals into one and touches the softer parts of the ever-veiled nature,--all had their influence; and, for a time, I was as a sensitive child of eight or so, and yielded to such bursts of tears that only such a scene as this could have forced.

I think it only needed this softening to secure me as his obedient and devoted servitor in the future, should there ever be an occasion where I could prove my zeal.

On the 14th March, my expedition left Unyanyembe, he accompanying me for a few miles. We reached the slope of a ridge overlooking the valley, in the middle of which our house where we had lived together looked very small in the distance. I then turned to him and said,-- [280]

“My dear Doctor, you must go no further. You have come far enough. See, our house is a good distance now, and the sun is very hot. Let me beg of you to turn back.”

“Well,” he replied, “I will say this to you: you have done what few men could do. And for what you have done for me, I am most grateful. God guide you safe home and bless you, my friend!”

“And may God bring you safe back to us all, my dear friend! Farewell!”

“Farewell!” he repeated.

We wrung each other's hands, our faces flushed with emotion, tears rushing up, and blinding the eyes. We turned resolutely away from each other; but his faithful followers, by rushing up to give their parting words, protracted the painful scene.

“Good-bye, all! Good-bye, Doctor, dear friend!”

“Good-bye!”

At the moment of parting, the old man's noble face slightly paled, which I knew to be from suppressed emotion, while, when I looked into his eyes, I saw there a kind of warning, to look well at him as a friend looks for the last time; but the effort well-nigh unmanned me,--a little longer, and I should have utterly collapsed. We both, however, preferred dry eyes, and outward calm.

From the crest of the ridge I turned to take a last long look at him, to impress his form on my mind; then, waving a last parting signal, we descended the opposite slope on the home road.

On the fifty-fourth day after leaving Dr. Livingstone, I arrived at Zanzibar. Two weeks later, that is on the 20th May, fifty-seven men, chosen people of good character, sailed from Zanzibar for the mainland, as the expeditionary force which was to accompany Livingstone for a period of two years for the completion of his task of exploration. They arrived at Unyanyembe on the 11th August, 1872, having been eighty-two days on the road.

Fourteen days later, Livingstone, amply equipped and furnished with men, means, medicines, and instruments, and a small herd of cattle, set out for the scene of his explorations. Eight months later, the heroic life came to its heroic end. [281]

From an unpublished Memorial to Livingstone by Stanley, the following passages are taken.

He preached no sermon, by word of mouth, while I was in company with him; but each day of my companionship with him witnessed a sermon acted. The Divine instructions, given of old on the Sacred Mount, were closely followed, day by day, whether he rested in the jungle-camp, or bided in the traders' town, or savage hamlet. Lowly of spirit, meek in speech, merciful of heart, pure in mind, and peaceful in act, suspected by the Arabs to be an informer, and therefore calumniated, often offended at evils committed by his own servants, but ever forgiving, often robbed and thwarted, yet bearing no ill-will, cursed by the marauders, yet physicking their infirmities, most despitefully used, yet praying daily for all manner and condition of men! Narrow, indeed, was the way of eternal life that he elected to follow, and few are those who choose it.

Though friends became indifferent to his fate, associates neglectful, and his servants mocked and betrayed him, though suitable substance was denied to him, and though the rain descended in torrents on him in his wanderings, and the tropic tempests beat him sore, and sickened him with their rigours, he toiled on, and laboured ever in the Divine service he had chosen, unyielding and unresting, for the Christian man's faith was firm that “all would come right at last.”

Had my soul been of brass, and my heart of spelter, the powers of my head had surely compelled me to recognise, with due honour, the Spirit of Goodness which manifested itself in him. Had there been anything of the Pharisee or the hypocrite in him, or had I but traced a grain of meanness or guile in him, I had surely turned away a sceptic. But my every-day study of him, during health or sickness, deepened my reverence and increased my esteem. He was, in short, consistently noble, upright, pious, and manly, all the days of my companionship with him.

He professed to be a Liberal Presbyterian. Presbyterianism I have heard of, and have read much about it; but Liberal Presbyterianism,--whence is it? What special country throughout the British Isles is its birthplace? Are there any more disciples of that particular creed, or was Livingstone the last? Read by the light of this good man's conduct and [282] single-mindedness, its tenets would seem to be a compound of religious and practical precepts.

“Whatever thy right hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.”

“By the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat bread.”

“For every idle word thou shalt be held accountable.”

“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”

“Thou shalt not kill.”

“Swear not at all.”

“Be not slothful in business, but be fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord.”

“Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.”

“Live peaceably with all men.”

“We count those happy who endure.”

“Remember them that are in bonds, and them which suffer adversity.”

“Watch thou, in all things; endure afflictions; do the work of an evangelist; make full proof of thy ministry.”

“Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily.”

“Set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth.”

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, and forgiving.”

“Preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and boast not in another man's line, of things made ready to your hand.”

I never discovered that there was any printed code of religious laws or moral precepts issued by his church, wherein these were specially alluded to; but it grew evident during our acquaintance that he erred not against any of them. Greater might he could not have shown in this interminable exploration set him by Sir Roderick Murchison, because the work performed by him was beyond all proportion to his means and physical strength. What bread he ate was insufficient for his bodily nourishment, after the appalling fatigues of a march in a tropical land.

His conversation was serious, his demeanour grave and earnest. Morn and eve he worshipped, and, at the end of every march, he thanked the Lord for His watchful Providence. On Sundays he conducted Divine Service, and praised the glory of the Creator, the True God, to his dark followers. His hand was [283] clear of the stain of blood-guiltiness. Profanity was an abomination to him. He was not indolent either in his Master's service, or in the cause to which he was sacrificing himself. His life was an evidence that he served God with all his heart.

Nothing in the scale of humanity can be conceived lower than the tribes of Manyuema with whom he daily conversed as a friend. Regardless of such honours as his country generally pays to exceeding merit, he continued his journeyings, bearing messages of peace wherever he went; and when he rested, chief and peasant among the long-neglected tribes ministered to his limited wants. Contented with performing his duty according as he was enabled to, such happiness as can be derived from righteous doings, pure thoughts, and a clear conscience, was undoubtedly his. His earnest labours for the sake of those in bonds, and the unhappy people who were a prey to the Arab kidnapper and land pirate, few will forget. The number of his appeals, the constant recurrence to the dismal topic, and the long lines of his travels, may be accepted as proofs of his heartiness and industry.

He was the first to penetrate to those lands in the Chambezi and the Lualaba valleys; his was the first voice heard speaking in the hamlets of Eastern Sunda of the beauties of the Christian religion; and he was the first preacher who dared denounce the red-handed Arab for his wickedly aggressive acts. In regions beyond ken of the most learned geographers of Europe, he imitated the humility of the Founder of his religion, and spoke in fervent strains of the Heavenly message of peace and good-will.

Should I ever return to the scenes that we knew together, my mind would instantaneously revert to the good man whom I shall never see more. Be it a rock he sat upon, a tree upon which he rested, ground that he walked upon, or a house that he dwelt in, my first thought would naturally be that it was associated with him. But my belief is that they would flush my mind with the goodness and nobleness of his expression, appealing to me, though so silently, to remember, and consider, and strive.

I remember well when I gazed at Ujiji, five years later, from the same hill as where I had announced the coming of my caravan: I had not been thinking much of him until that moment, [284] when, all at once, above the palm grove of Ujiji, and the long broad stretch of blue water of the lake beyond, loomed the form of Livingstone, in the well-remembered blue-grey coat of his marching costume, and the blue naval cap, gold-banded, regarding me with eyes so trustful, and face so grave and sad.

It is the expression of him that so follows and clings to me, and, indeed, is ever present when I think of him, though it is difficult to communicate to others the expression that I first studied and that most attracted me. There was an earnest gravity in it; life long ago shorn of much of its beauty — I may say of all its vulgar beauty and coarser pleasures, a mind long abstracted from petty discontents, by preference feeding on itself, almost glorifying in itself as all-sufficient to produce content; therefore a composure settled, calm, and trustful.

Even my presence was impotent to break him from his habit of abstraction. I might have taken a book to read, and was silent. If I looked up a few minutes later, I discovered him deeply involved in his own meditations, right forefinger bent, timing his thoughts, his eyes gazing far away into indefinite distance, brows puckered closely — face set, and resolute, now and then lips moving, silently framing words.

“What can he be thinking about?” I used to wonder, and once I ventured to break the silence with,--

“A penny for your thoughts, Doctor.”

“They are not worth it, my young friend, and let me suggest that, if I had any, possibly, I should wish to keep them!”

After which I invariably let him alone when in this mood. Sometimes these thoughts were humorous, and, his face wearing a smile, he would impart the reason with some comic story or adventure.

I have met few so quickly responsive to gaiety and the lighter moods, none who was more sociable, genial, tolerant, and humorous. You must think of him as a contented soul, who had yielded himself with an entire and loving submission, and who laboured to the best of his means and ability, awakening to the toil of the day, and resigning himself, without the least misgiving, to the rest of the night; believing that the effect of his self-renunciation would not be altogether barren.

If you can comprehend such a character, you will understand Livingstone's motive principle.

1 Friday, November 10, 1871.

2 In his book How I Found Livingstone, Stanley recognised the guiding hand of an over-ruling and kindly Providence in the following words:--

“Had I gone direct from Paris on the search, I might have lost him; had I been enabled to have gone direct to Ujiji from Unyanyembe, I might have lost him.”

3 This was written in 1885.--D. S.

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