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Chapter XX
the happy haven

on Saturday, July 12, 1890, I was married to Stanley, at Westminster Abbey. He was very ill at the time, with gastritis and malaria, but his powerful will enabled him to go through with the ceremony.

We went straight to Melchet Court, lent to us for our honeymoon by Louisa, Lady Ashburton. Stanley's officer, Surgeon Parke, accompanied us, and together we nursed Stanley back to health.

Stanley's Journal contains the following passage:--

Saturday, 12th July, 1890.
Being very sick from a severe attack of gastritis, which came on last Thursday evening, I was too weak to experience anything save a calm delight at the fact that I was married, and that now I shall have a chance to rest. I feel as unimpressed as if I were a child taking its first view of the world, or as I did when, half-dead at Manyanga in 1881, I thought I had done with the world; it is all so very unreal. During my long bachelorhood, I have often wished that I had but one tiny child to love; but now, unexpectedly as it seems to me, I possess a wife; my own wife,--Dorothy Stanley now, Dorothy Tennant this morning,--daughter of the late Charles Tennant of Cadoxton Lodge, Vale of Neath, Glamorgan, and of 2, Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London.
On the 8th August, after nearly a month at Melchet, we went to Maloja in the Engadine, where we spent a few quiet, happy weeks. Sir Richard Burton and his wife were there. Stanley had last seen him in 1886.

Had a visit from Sir Richard F. Burton, one of the discoverers of Lake Tanganyika. He seems much broken in health. Lady Burton, who copies Mary, Queen of Scotland, in her dress, was with him. In the evening, we met again. I proposed he should write his reminiscences. He said he could not do so, because he should have to write of so many people. “Be charitable to them, and write only of their best qualities,” [424] I said.--“I don't care a fig for charity; if I write at all, I must write truthfully, all I know,” he replied.

He is now engaged in writing a book called “Anthropology of men and women,” a title, he said, that does not describe its contents, but will suffice to induce me to read it. What a grand man! One of the real great ones of England he might have been, if he had not been cursed with cynicism. I have no idea to what his Anthropology refers, but I would lay great odds that it is only another means of relieving himself of a surcharge of spleen against the section of humanity who have excited his envy, dislike, or scorn. If he had a broad mind, he would curb these tendencies, and thus allow men to see more clearly his grander qualities.

From Maloja, we went to the Lake of Como, visited Milan, and spent a night at Captain Camperio's delightful house, “La Santa,” near Monza. Stanley thus describes it:--

Camperio and Casati, the African travellers, were at the station to greet us. After twenty minutes drive from Monza we reached Camperio's place; it was formerly a convent, and has been in possession of the family two hundred years. Captain Camperio has been the devoted friend and patron of Casati for many years, and was the cause of his going to Africa. It appears that Casati, far from being a champion of Emin, is now resentful towards him, because Emin, as usual with him, has been neglectful of his friend's susceptibilities. Casati has done very well with his Book.

Captain Camperio and his delightful family were soon fast friends with us. A few years later he died, and so La Santa became only a happy memory. We now turned homeward, going first to Geneva, then to Paris, and, finally, on the 3rd October, 1890, to Ostend, where we stayed at Hotel Fontaine, as guests of the King. We dined at the Chalet Royal, and the next day Stanley took a long walk with the King. Thus we spent four days, Stanley walking daily with His Majesty. We dined every evening at the Chalet Royal. On the 8th, we left Ostend. State-cabins were given to us, and a Royal lunch served.

We now returned to London, and, on October 22nd, Stanley received his D. C. L., at Durham; on the 23rd, we went to Cambridge, where he received the Ll. D., from the University. In June, Stanley had been made D. C. L., by Oxford, and, soon after, Ll. D., [425] by Edinburgh. The University of Halle had bestowed its Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1879.1

On the 29th October, we sailed for America. Stanley had undertaken a lecture tour, under the management of Major Pond. It was a tremendous experience; the welcome we received everywhere, and the kindness shown to us, were something very wonderful.

We remained over a week in New York, where Stanley lectured, and then we visited all the great Eastern cities.

Stanley, in his Journal, writes:--

The untidiness and disorder of the streets of New York strike me as being terrible for so rich a city, and such an energetic population. The streets are cut up by rails in a disgraceful fashion. The noise of bells, and wheels, and horses' hoofs, dins the ears. Telegraph-posts, with numberless wires, obstruct the view, and suggest tall wire-fences; furlongs of posters meet the eye everywhere, and elevated railroads choke the view of the sky. The man who invented the hideous “Elevated” deserves to be expelled from civilisation, and the people who permitted themselves to be thus tortured have certainly curious tastes. If they were of my mind, they would pull these structures down, and compel the shareholders to build it in such a manner that, while it might be more useful and safe, it would not be such an eyesore, nor so suggestive of insolence and tyranny on one side, and of slavish submission on the people's side.

The view from our hotel-window shows me the street ploughed-up, square blocks of granite lying as far as the eye can see, besides planking, boarding, piles of earth, and stacks of bricks. I counted one hundred and seventy-four lines of wire in the air, rows of mast-like telegraph-poles, untrimmed and unpainted, in the centre of the American Metropolis! What taste!

We now travelled over the States and Canada, in a special Pullman-car, which had been named “Henry M. Stanley.” It was palatial, for we had our own kitchen and cook, a dining-car, which, at night was converted into a dormitory, a drawing-room with piano, three state-bedrooms, and a bath-room.

After visiting all the Eastern cities, and Canada, we returned to New York. On Sunday, the 25th January, 1891, we dined with [426] Cyrus Field (who laid the first Atlantic Cable), at 123, Gramercy Park, and met General W. T. Sherman, David Dudley Field, Charles A. Dana, and others.

On the 31st, Stanley went to a Banquet given by the Press Club. The following is the entry in his Journal:--

Was dined by the Press Club. General Sherman was present, with a rubicund complexion, and in an exceedingly amiable mood. He and I exchanged pleasant compliments to each other in our after-dinner speeches.

On the 14th February, at Chicago, Stanley wrote in his Journal:--

The sad news reached us to-day of the death of General W. T. Sherman, the Leader of the Great March through Georgia, and the last of the Immortal Three--Grant, Sheridan, Sherman. His last public appearance was at the Press Club Banquet to me in New York. At the time of his death he was the most popular man in New York, and well deserved the popularity.

In his speech at the Press Club, I recognised an oratorical power few men not knowing him would have suspected. He had the bearing of one who could impress, also those easy gestures which fix the impression, and the pathos which charms the ear, and affects the feelings. When we remember what he was, and that we saw in him the last of that splendid trio who, by their native worth, proved themselves possessors of that old American patriotism of Revolutionary days, not genius, but fine military talents, directed by moderating single-mindedness to one common and dear object,--when we consider this, the effect of General Sherman's presence may be better understood than described.

Los Angeles, California, 21st March. A Fresno newspaper, in commenting on my personal appearance, said that I was only five feet, three inches, and quoted Caesar and Napoleon as examples of what small men are capable of. The Los Angeles “Herald” informed its readers this morning, that I am six feet, four inches! The truth is, I am five feet, five and a half inches in my socks.

Sunday, 29th March, 1891. Reached New Orleans after thirty-two years absence. I left it in 1859, and return to it in 1891. I drove with D. to the French Market, down Tchapitoulas [427] St., St. Andrew's St., Annunciation St., Charles Avenue, to St. Charles Hotel. Took a walk with D. to Tchapitoulas St., then to the Levee; gazed across the full view, and pointed to ‘Algiers’ opposite, where I had often sported.

Monday, 30th March. Rose at six-thirty and went with D. to French Market, to treat her to what I have often boasted of, “a cup of the best coffee in the world.” The recipe appears to be two pounds of Java Coffee to one and a half gallons of water. Monsieur L. Morel owned the coffee-stand. He came from France in 1847. Very likely I must have drunk coffee, many a time, as a boy, at his stand!

We walked home by Charles Street, well known to me. New Orleans changes but slowly.

From New Orleans we visited Chattanooga. Went to the top of Lookout Mountain. People are very kind and attentive to us wherever we go, but I wish the lectures were over; I am very weary.

On Saturday, April 4th, we visited Nashville. Stanley's entry is simply “Dear old Nashville!”

This tour was very exhausting. The constant travelling, lecturing, and social demands made upon us, taxed Stanley's strength severely. By nature shy and retiring, he shrank from ovations, and wished, above all things, to pass unnoticed. This letter written to me from our private car when I was in Colorado, where he joined me a few days later, will give an idea of his feelings:--

I spend most of my time in my own little cabin, writing or reading; enduring the breaks on my privacy because they are a necessity; each time invoking more patience, and beseeching Time to hurry on its lagging movement that I might once more taste of absolute freedom. Meanwhile, what pleasure I obtain is principally in reading, unless I come to a little town, and can slip, unobserved, out-of-doors for a walk. I often laugh at the ridiculous aspect of my feelings, as I am compelled to become shifty and cunning, to evade the eager citizens' advances. I feel like Cain, hurrying away with his uneasy conscience after despatching Abel, or a felonious cashier departing with his plunder! When I finally succeed in getting off without attracting anyone, you would be amused could you peep in underneath my waistcoat and observe the sudden lifting of the feelings, just like the sudden lighting of [428] a waste of angry sea by the full sun, warm, bland, and full of promise. Then away I go against the keen, cold wind, but the feelings are rejoicing, laughing, babbling of fun and enjoyment; and the undertone of the great harmony is Freedom! I am free! Block after block is passed without a glance, until I get to the quieter parts, and then I straighten out, take a long breath, expressing by the act the indescribable relief I have of being away from the talking man, with his wayward moods, and exceeding sensitiveness.

I sometimes think with a shiver of what I shall have to endure in London: just because a person sends a polite invitation to dinner, or tea, or reception, one must note it down as a binding engagement for that evening or afternoon. One must not forget it; one must think of it, and cut out that period of existence from his short life, to eat and drink at the express hour! This is not freedom! To be free is to have no cares at all, no thought of the next hour, or the next day, or the next month; to be as we were at Melchet,--early breakfast, walk out, sit on chair or bench, walk in, or walk out, as though irresponsible beings. How I did enjoy Melchet! Afterwards came busy, exacting life, preparation for lectures, etc. All Europe and America were not so pleasant as lovely, dreamy Melchet.

There are butterflies and bees in the world; the butterflies like to play amid the flowers, I am content to belong to the bee class. The bees do not envy the butterflies, do not think at all about them, and that is the same with me. I might stand it for a week, perhaps a month; but the utter waste of life would begin to present itself, until, at last, my mind would conceive an accusing phantom, composed of lost days and weeks, with their hosts of lost opportunities ever reproaching me for my devotion to the inane and profitless. Ah, no, I must be doing something; no matter what it appears to others, if to me it satisfies the craving for doing or learning, that is enough.

On April 15, 1891, we sailed for Liverpool. Stanley ends the Journal of our American tour with the words:--

The greatest part of America is unequalled for its adaptability for the service of man, and her people are doing the [429] utmost they can to utilize its productiveness. They have every right to be grateful for their land, and I think they are both grateful and proud of it.

The American farmer, of whom but little mention is made, is one of the finest natures in existence. Milton's description of Adam, “the great Sire of all,” a little altered, would befit the typical American farmer. I never see one but I feel inclined to say to him, “Good and honest man, all blessings attend thee!” His life is without reproach, his soul without fear, he has faith in God, he is affectionate, serene in demeanour; there is confidence in his gait, and he understands and loves the kindly earth. The typical American merchant is a sober and solid man, shrewd and practical, a pillar of the Commonwealth, and daringly enterprising on occasion.

We now returned to London, and from there Stanley went on a lecturing tour over England and Scotland. I did not accompany him throughout, but joined him at different places, so that I possess some delightful letters written to me when we were apart. In one he writes:--

Rest! Ah, my dear! we both need it — I more than you. Absolute stillness, somewhere in remote and inaccessible places, in an island, or in the air, only certain articles of food and comfort being indispensable. Then let me wake to strains of music, and I think I should rise to life again! Until then, existence is mere prolonged endurance.

Stanley all his life had a passion for reading, when he could not be “doing.” He delighted in reading Caesar, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, and lighter books also did not come amiss. From Cheltenham, he wrote:--

I have begun again on Thucydides. Gladstone's ‘Gleanings’ are ended. They are all good. Strange! how I detect the church-going, God-fearing, conscientious Christian, in almost every paragraph. Julian Corbett's “Drake” is fair; I am glad I read it, and refreshed myself with what I knew before of the famous sailor.

From the Bell Hotel, Gloucester, he wrote, June 3, 1891:--

I had a long walk into the country, which is simply buried under bushy green of grass and leaves. [430]

I saw the largest river in England yesterday: it appears to be a little wider than what I could hop over with a pole in my best days. It was a dirty, rusty-coloured stream, but the meadows were fat. The country seems to perspire under its covering of leafy verdure. I always loved the English country, and my secret attachment for it seemed to me well confirmed to-day, as I thrilled with admiration and affection for all I saw.

June 4th. Took a walk along the heights of Clifton! What a picture of the Severn Gorge — woods, cliffs, villas, good roads, rosy-cheeked children, romping school-boys, fond mamas, and a score of other things--one can get from the Suspension Bridge!

His next letter was from Clifton:--

You press me to accept the invitation to preside at the Eisteddfod. I feel that we, the people of Wales generally, and I, are not in such close sympathy as to enable me to say anything sufficiently pleasing to their ears. How could it be otherwise? The Eisteddfod, as I understand it, is for the purpose of exciting interest in the Welsh nationality and language. My travels in the various continents have ill-prepared me for sympathising with such a cause. If I were to speak truly my mind, I should recommend Welshmen to turn their attention to a closer study of the English language, literature, and characteristics, for it is only by that training that they can hope to compete with their English brothers for glory, honour, and prosperity. There is no harm in understanding the Welsh language, but they should be told by sensible men that every hour they devote to it, occupies time that might be better employed in furthering their own particular interests. But who will dare tell men, so devoted to their own people and country as the Welsh, the real truth? I am not the man! There is no object to be gained save the good of the Welsh people themselves, who, unfortunately, fail to see it in that light, and would accordingly resent whatever was said to them. I am so ignorant of the blessings attending these local studies, that my speech would be barren and halting. If I could only feel a portion of what the fervid Welshman feels, I might carry through the day a bearing as though I enjoyed it all, but I fear I shall hang my head in self-abasement. [431]

Now if it were a British community that met to celebrate British glories, what themes and subjects! But how can I shout for Cambria? What is Cambria, alone? What has she done, what hope for her, separate and distinct from her big sister Britannia, or rather Anglia? United, they are great; but divided, neither is aught. Now do you understand to what a hard shift I am put? I shall be hooted out of the country, because my stubborn tongue cannot frame agreeable fictions!

June 16, 1891, he wrote to me:--

You ought to have been with me at Carnarvon, simply to be amazed at the excitement in North Wales, along the line, as I stepped from the train; the people, hard-featured, homely creatures, rushed up, the crowd being enormous. Yesterday I had a striking explanation of why and wherefore the woman in the Scriptures kissed the hem of the Master's garment: as I moved through the crowd, I felt hands touch my coat, then, getting bolder, they rubbed me on the back, stroked my hair, and, finally, thumped me hard, until I felt that the honours were getting so weighty I should die if they continued long. Verily, there were but few thumps between me and death! A flash of fierceness stole over me for a second, and I turned to the crowd; but they all smiled so broadly that, poor, dear, mad creatures, I forgave them, or, at least, resolved to submit. Well! until 11.45 P. M., from 5 P. M., I was either talking at the pitch of my voice to six thousand people, or being wrung by the hand by highly-strung, excited people. Were it not for the prayer, “God bless you, Stanley! God prosper your work, Stanley! The Lord be praised for you, my man!” I could have done anything but feel grateful, the strain on my nerves was so exhausting. But I need prayers, and their blessings were precious.

The streets were full; eight excursion trains had brought the country folk; they blocked the way of the carriage, coming in, and going out. Dear sons of toil and their sisters, the grand stout-hearted mothers who bore them, and the grey-haired sires! My heart went out to them; for, underneath all, I felt a considerable admiration for them — indeed, I always had. I feel what all this means, just as I know what is passing in the African's heart, when I suddenly make him rich, instead [432] of hurting him. There is a look, as of a lifting — up of the soul into the eyes, which explains as fully as words.

June 20th, 1891. I have nine more lectures to deliver, and then, God and man willing, I shall cast me down for rest.

I have just begun to read Walter Scott's “Journal.” I like it immensely. The Life of Houghton is dull; his own letters are the best in it, but there is no observation, or judgement upon things; merely a series of letters upon town-talk; what he did, seldom, however, what he thought. Where you see his thought, it is worth reading twice.

It is a great relief at last to be able to “speak my mind,” not to be chilled and have to shrink back. Between mother and child, you know the confidence and trust that exist; I never knew it; and now, by extreme favour of Providence, the last few years of my life shall be given to know this thoroughly. Towards you I begin trustfully to exhibit my thoughts and feelings; as one, unaccustomed to the security of a bank, places his hard-earned money in the care of a stranger, professing belief in its security, yet inwardly doubting, so I shyly revealed this and that, until now, when I give up all, undoubting, perfect in confidence.

June 29th. To-morrow, a lecture at Canterbury will finish my present course. And then I shall be at large to look at everything on earth with different eyes. Think of the novel liberty of lying in bed as long as I please, to take coffee in bed, the morning cigar and bath, without an inward monitor nagging persistently and urging to duty! By the way, apropos of that word, M. said yesterday she disliked the word “duty.” I wonder if she has been reading Jeremy Bentham, who wrote to the same effect.

Duty, though an imperious, is a very necessary master; but I shall be very glad to pass a few weeks, at least, owing no duty but that which I shall owe to your pleasure and mine.

Canterbury, July 1st, 8.30 A. M. I have risen thus early to celebrate my emancipation from the thraldom imposed upon me by lecture agents and my own moral weakness, to write to you.

I have seen the time when I could have written gloriously about this singular old town; I love it no less now than I did [433] years ago when I first saw it, but I am much busier with various things now than then.

The old Fountain Hotel is a typical English inn. I heard a little bit of vocal music from the Cathedral choir, and very much admired it. What a fine old Cathedral it is! But oh! how the religion that built it has faded! The worship of the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth, who, we were taught in our youth, sat in the Heaven of Heavens, has been so superseded by that degrading worship of gold and Society!

Apropos of this, I picked up at a book-stall yesterday a little brochure called “Caesar's Column,” a tale of the twentieth century, by Ignatius Donnelly. I read it through. It pretends to be a series of letters from a man named Gabriel, a visitor to New York from the State of Uganda, Central Africa. They are directed to one Heinreich, a resident of the village of Stanley! He describes the marvellous inventions of the age, especially the air-demons, which are air-warships loaded with bombs, charged with poisonous fumes, which, dropped from above in the streets, destroy a quarter of a million soldiers. The armed force of the State thus disposed of, the canaille proceed to exterminate the devotees of Society and the cold, selfish civilisation, or rather that methodical system founded upon spoliation and oppression of the poor which the wealthy have initiated by huge trusts, etc., wherein there is no thought of mercy, justice, or sweet charity.

The end of all is destruction and utter extermination of the wealthy classes over Europe and America, and the quick upheaval of everything resembling Order and Law by the Anarchist clan, and the two continents relapse, fast enough, into barbarism, in consequence. It is a powerful story — impossible, of course; but some of its readers will rise from reading it, thoughtful, and a small seedling of good may, or ought, to come from it.

At last, Stanley's holiday came, and we went to Switzerland at the end of July. The fine mountain air, the beauty of the scenery, long walks, peace and quiet, gave Stanley what he so needed — physical and mental rest. Of an evening, we read aloud, retiring very early, as Stanley had the African habit of rising at six.

I persuaded Stanley sometimes to play at cards, but he never much cared to do so; he not only thought cards a great waste of time, but he also thought playing for money discreditable; he [434] wanted all the time he could get for reading, or planning something he meant to do, or write. He was, in fact, an inveterate worker.

We were returning to England at the end of August, when Stanley, in a damp mountain-meadow at Murren, slipped and broke his left ankle. He suffered a good deal, the injury bringing on malaria; but the bone united without shortening the leg, and, in time, the lameness disappeared. This accident prevented his presiding at the Eisteddfod.

On the 2nd October, Stanley went to Ostend, by invitation of the King of the Belgians. Mr. Mounteney Jephson accompanied him. Stanley wrote to me:--

The King does not look greyer than I remember him during the last two years. He tells me he will be fifty-seven next April, and that he feels the approach of age, one sign of which is loss of memory. He cannot remember names. I told him that that fact did not strike me as suggestive of age, since the longer we lived the more names we had to remember, and there was a limit to one's power of remembering.

Stanley then wrote at length his conversation with the King; but I will not give it here.

After dinner, we adjourn to the King's private room to smoke. Baron Goffinet takes charge of Jephson, and shows him the Casino. The King tells me he walks twenty-five kilometres every day: his daily life begins at 5.30 A. M., when he takes a cup of tea; he breakfasts at 8.30. All his letters for his Ministers are written by himself between 6 A. M. and breakfast, and, at 10 o'clock, they are sent to the Ministers. He says he has been twenty-six years in active service.

After dinner, the King cautiously approached and sounded me on the possibility of my resuming my duties on the Congo.

I pointed to my broken leg, for I am still very lame.

Oh.” he said, “not now, but when you return from Australia, sound in health and limb.”

“We shall see, your Majesty,” I said.

“I have a big task on hand for you, when you are ready,” were his last words.

In October, 1891, we left England for a visit to Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania, travelling via Brindisi, some twelve miles from which our train came into collision with a goods train. Stanley thus describes the accident:--


At 3.45 P. M., we were rattling along at forty miles an hour, when the train jostled dangerously at the northern end of a siding. D. and I cast enquiring glances at each other, but, finding we were not derailed, resumed our composure. A second later there was an explosion like that of a rocket, and, the next second, there was a jar and a slight shock. “Lift up your feet,” I cried to D.; and, at the words, my window burst into a shower of finely-powdered glass, which fell over me, and we stood stock-still. Rising on my crutch, I looked through the broken window and discovered four freight trucks, crumpled up into a pitiful wreck, just ahead of us, within about fifty yards of a levelled wall, and I then saw that our engine and van were lying on their side. Our escape was a narrow one, for our coupe compartment came next to the van. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.

I regret that space does not allow me to quote Stanley's descriptions of persons and places during his half-year in Australia. I give one or two personal passages from his Journal.

Auckland, December 30th. Sir George Grey called on us in the afternoon, and took us out to show us the Public Library. There we saw valuable old Missals, with wonderful paintings of scroll-work and impossible leafage. In another room, he showed us private letters from Livingstone, received by him when Governor of Cape Colony. There were also some from Speke.

Livingstone's letters are marked Private.” He must have recognised a kind of cousinship in Sir George, to have delivered himself so frankly. He wrote strongly and earnestly to one whom he rightly supposed would understand him.

Sir George, a traveller himself, and likewise a strong man, would appreciate him. It did me good to see his handwriting, and also to see letters of Speke.

I doubt whether Speke will ever be thoroughly known to the world, though there was much that was great and good in him; but Speke, unfortunately, could not express himself.

It was a keen pleasure to read these old letters, which breathed of work, loyalty of soul, human duties, imperial objects, and moral obligations, and then to look up at the face of the venerable statesman to whom they were addressed, and [436] trace the benevolence, breadth of mind, and intelligence which elicited the spontaneous, free expression of their hopes from these travellers and pioneers. It is so elevating to see a man who is not tainted with meanness and pettiness, with whom one can talk as to a Father-confessor, without fear of being misunderstood, and without risk of finding it in the newspapers of the next day.

Sir George has a grand, quiet face, and a pair of round blue eyes beaming with kindness, and the light of wisdom. There are others like him in the world, no doubt, but it is only by a rare chance we meet them. Should I be asked what gave me the most pleasure in life, I would answer that it was the meeting with wise and good elders, who, while retaining a vivid interest in the affairs of life, could, from their height of knowledge and experience, approve what I had done, and bid me strive on, undaunted, undismayed.

I here give a letter from Sir George Grey, written a month later:

Auckland, 29th Jan., 1892.
my dear Stanley,--This is the 52nd Anniversary of New Zealand, a public holiday.

I am left in perfect tranquillity, with full time for calm reflection, for all are gone on some party of pleasure. I have occupied my morning in following your sufferings and trials as recorded in Parke's “Experiences in Equatorial Africa.” After reading, with the greatest pleasure, pages 512, 513, and 514, these have set me reflecting upon what you have done for the Empire by your services, and what has been the reward given publicly to you by the authorities of that Empire — well, neglect!

I am inclined to think it is best that the matter should stand thus.

All of danger, sorrow, suffering, trial of every kind that man could endure, you have undergone.

From all of these you have emerged unshaken, triumphant, every difficulty overcome, reverenced by those who served under you, Africa opened to the world, the unknown made manifest to all. So to have suffered, so to have succeeded, must have done much to form a truly great character, the remembrance of which will go down to posterity.

Yet one thing was wanting to render the great drama in which you have been the great actor complete. Could the man who had done all this, and supported such various trials, bear that — perhaps hardest of all — cold neglect, and the absence of national recognition and national reward for what he had accomplished? From this trial, as from all the others you have undergone, you have come [437] out a conqueror — calm, unmoved, and uncomplaining. Your own character has been improved by this new trial, which will add an interest to your history in future times; and I sit here, not lamenting that you move amongst your fellow-men untitled, undecorated, but with a feeling that all has taken place for the best.

I had wished to write to you on several points. I was much struck by a statement in Parke's journal, that at one point it only took fifteen minutes to walk from the headwaters of the Nile to those of the Congo.2 This distance could hardly be shown upon a small map, and probably caused an error in the old maps, or in verbal descriptions from which the old maps were made.

But I shall weary you with this long letter. I hope we shall meet again before long, but I fear some time may elapse before I can start for England. I feel that I owe duties to New Zealand, Australia, and the Cape, and, until I have at least partially fulfilled them, I hesitate to indulge my longing once more to revisit my early home, and my many relatives.

Will you give my regards to Mrs. Stanley, and tell her that the interesting photograph of yourself which you were good enough to send me has been handsomely framed and adorns the Public Library.

Yours truly,

February 12th, Tasmania. A curious thing happened this morning. I am obliged to rise at an early hour on account of habits contracted during more than twenty years of African travel, and to avail myself of the silent hours of the morning to procure an exercise-walk for the sake of health. At 5.30 I was shaving, and somehow my thoughts ran persistently on what Colonel J. A. Grant (the companion of Speke) said to me in the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster, on my marriage day, July 12th, 1890. Said he, “I must take this opportunity to say a long good-bye, for, after to-day, I don't suppose you will care to come to my symposium and talk about Africa.” --“Why?” I asked.-- “Oh! well, you are married now, and marriage often parts the best of male friends.” --“Oh, come!” I replied, “I can't see how my marriage will affect our friendship; I will make it a point to disprove what you say.” Then Grant and I were separated. “And it is quite true,” I reflected; “we have not met since, somehow. But I will make it a point to visit Grant the first evening after I reach London.” And I shook my razor at the figure in the mirror, to confirm the mental vow. A short time afterwards, I went down; the hotel [438] was not yet opened. As I put my hand on the knob of the door to open it, the morning paper was thrust underneath the door by the newspaper-boy outside. Anxious to read the cablegrams from London, I seized the paper, and the first news to catch my attention was,--“Death of Colonel J. A. Grant, the Nile explorer.” What an odd coincidence!

This is the second time in my experience that a person thousands of miles away from me has been suddenly suggested to me a few moments preceding an announcement of this kind. From the day I parted with Grant, till this morning, his words had not once recurred to my mind.

On the other occasion, the message came as an apparition. I was in the centre of some hundreds of men,3 and the vision of a woman lying on her bed, dying, appeared to me suddenly. I heard her voice plainly, every item of furniture in the room was visible to me; in fact, I had as vivid a picture of the room, and all within it, as though I stood there in broad daylight. The vision, clear as it was, passed away, and I awoke to the reality of things around me. I was bewildered to find that no one had witnessed any abstraction on my part, though one was so close, that he touched me. Yet, in spirit, I had been six thousand miles away, and saw my own figure at the bedside of the dying woman; months after, when I had actually arrived in Europe, I was told that she had died a few hours later.

1 The mere list of Honorary Memberships of Geographical Societies, Addresses of Welcome, at home and abroad, and the Freedoms of all the leading cities in the United Kingdom, would occupy a large volume, and therefore cannot be more than alluded to here.--D. S.

2 The Aruwimi branch of the Congo — D. S.

3 See page 207.

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