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Chapter XXI
politics and friends

soon after our marriage, I thought of Parliament for Stanley. It seemed to me that one so full of energy, with such administrative power and political foresight, would find in the House of Commons an outlet for his pent — up energy. I also felt he needed men's society. We had no country home then, and to be shut up in a London house was certainly no life for Stanley; also, at the back of my mind was the haunting fear of his returning to the Congo. I thought that, once in Parliament, he would be safely anchored.

At first, he would not hear of it, but his friend, Mr. Alexander Bruce, of Edinburgh, joined me in persuading Stanley to become Liberal-Unionist candidate for North Lambeth. We went into the battle just ten days before the polling day. We were quite ignorant of electioneering, and I must say we had a dreadful ten days of it.

Stanley wrote in his Journal, Monday, 20th June, 1892:--

“Have consented to contest the constituency of North Lambeth against Alderman Coldwells, Radical. I accepted because D. is so eager for me to be employed, lest I fly away again to Africa.”

On the 29th, Stanley held a great meeting at Hawkeston Hall, Lambeth, but he was howled down by an organised rabble imported for the purpose! The leader of these rowdies, stationed in the Gallery, from time to time waved a folded newspaper, which was the signal for fresh interruptions, and an incredible din. The platform was stormed, and we had to withdraw; when we tried to get into our brougham and drive away, the roughs held on to the door of the carriage and tore it off. Stanley was greatly disgusted: African savages, he thought, would have behaved better. He was not sorry to be beaten, though the majority against him was only one hundred and thirty.

But I persuaded him to remain the Liberal-Unionist candidate. He thought the election would not come for some years, and faintheartedly consented, on condition that he would never be expected to call personally on voters — never visit from “house-to-house.” He consented to speak at working-men's clubs and meetings, but “never will I degrade myself by asking a man for his vote,” and no man can boast that Stanley ever did so. [440]

I shall remember those meetings to my life's end. No one present could ever forget them. They took place at the local “Constitutional Club” --in the York Road, Lambeth — and in various school-rooms. Here Stanley for some years, as candidate, and then as member, spoke on the great questions of the day.

He spoke to them of Empire, of Commerce, of what the Uganda railway could do — that railway which the Liberals had so hotly objected to constructing! He showed them what Home-Rule in Ireland really meant. He explained to them the Egyptian position; every subject he made clear. He did not harangue working-men on their wrongs, nor on their rights, but he spoke to them of their duty, and why they should give of their best and highest. He told them about our colonies, how they were made, not by loafers, but by men eager to carve out their own fortunes; and he told them what manner of man was required there now. He spoke with the greatest earnestness and simplicity, rising at times into a fiery eloquence which stirred the heart. I hardly ever failed to accompany him to those meetings.

Stanley took infinite trouble with these speeches, as with everything else he did. He wrote them out carefully, so as to impress the subject on his memory; but he did not read, nor repeat them by rote.

These lectures and addresses taught me a great deal, and further revealed to me the splendid power of Stanley.

I used to wish he had greater and better-educated audiences; but he never considered any such efforts too much trouble, if the humblest and poorest listened intelligently. I here give his first address to the electors of North Lambeth, in 1892.

gentlemen, I venture to offer myself as your representative in Parliament, in place of your esteemed member who has just resigned.

The circumstances under which I place my services at your disposal, if somewhat unusual, are, I hope, such as may dispose you, at least, to believe in my earnest desire to serve you, and in serving you to serve my country.

Gentlemen, my one mastering desire is for the maintenance, the spread, the dignity, the usefulness of the British Empire. I believe that we Englishmen are working out the greatest destiny which any race has ever fulfilled, but we must go on,--or we shall go back. There must be firm and steady guidance in Downing Street, there must be an invincible fleet upon the seas, if trade is to expand, and emigrants to spread and settle, and the name of England still to be reverenced in every quarter of the globe. From which of the two great English parties [441] --I ask myself, and I ask you — may we expect the firmest, the steadiest guidance, the most unflinching effort to maintain our naval strength? The whole colonial and foreign policy of England under the last two administrations prompts to no doubtful reply. I have followed that policy, not as a partisan, but as a man deeply, vitally, concerned; a man who, at least, has based his opinions upon practical and personal conversance with great and difficult affairs. I say, unhesitatingly, that I believe that the continuance of Lord Salisbury's firm, temperate, wise foreign policy is worth to England millions of money, and again, far more important than money, though harder to measure in national power, national usefulness, and national honour.

First of all the merits of Lord Salisbury's Government, in my eyes, comes the enormous strengthening of the navy. Gentlemen, that is the essential thing. In this island, in this great city alone, is a treasure of life and wealth such as no nation ever had to guard before. It is no small achievement to have insured that wealth, those lives, by seventy new ships of war, while at the same time lightening taxation, and remitting especially those burdens which the poorest felt the most.

Gentlemen, I am, as you know, a man of the people. Whatever I have achieved in life has been achieved by my own hard work, with no help from privilege, or favour of any kind. My strongest sympathies are with the working-classes. And had the conflict of parties now been, as it once was, a conflict between a few aristocrats and many workers, between privilege and popular rights, I should have ranged myself, assuredly, on the workers' side. But I now see no such conflict. I see both sides following the people's mandate, honestly endeavouring to better the condition of the masses, and I see the Unionist party actually effecting those reforms of which Radicals are too often content to talk. Most of all do I see this in Ireland,--looking with a fresh eye, and with no party prepossessions, upon the Irish affairs, I cannot but perceive that while others may have declaimed eloquently, Mr. Balfour has governed wisely; that while others propose to throw all into the melting-pot, in the hope of some magical change which no one can define, Mr. Balfour and his colleagues are successfully employing all these methods,--steady [442] and gentle rule, development of natural resources, administrative foresight and skill, which have, in times past, welded divided countries into unity, and lifted distressed and troubled communities into prosperity and peace.

I sympathise with all that the present Government has well done and wisely planned for the bettering of the lot of the people; to all such measures I will give the best thought that I can command. Yet I cannot but feel that the destiny of the English working-classes depends in the last resort on measures, on enterprises, of a larger scope. In the highlands of Africa, which skilful diplomacy has secured for England, those lands to which the Mombasa Railway will be the first practicable road, there is room and to spare for some twenty millions of happy and prosperous people. There is no need for the poorest among us to covet his neighbour's wealth, while nature still offers such immense, such inexhaustible boons. Only let England be united at home, wise abroad, and no man can assign a limit to the stability of our Empire, or to the prosperity of her sons.

In conclusion, the preservation of peace, with jealous care of the dignity and honour of the Empire, the wonderful economies effected during the past six years, the readiness to reform judiciously where reform was necessary, as manifested by Lord Salisbury's Government, are worthy of our best sympathies; and if you will do me the honour to return me to Parliament, I promise to be active and faithful in the discharge of my duties to my constituency.

I am,

Yours sincerely,

Henry M. Stanley. 2, Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London, June 21st, 1892.

After our defeat in 1892, I received the following letter from Sir George Grey, who was still in Auckland, New Zealand:--

October, 1893.
my dear Mrs. Stanley,--I am only just recovered from a long and serious illness, and can as yet hardly hold my pen, but I am so ashamed of not having written to you, that I am determined to make an effort to do so, and to ask for your [443] forgiveness. I was seriously sorry at Stanley losing his election, although we should have been on different sides in politics; but his profound judgement and knowledge of African affairs would have been of the greatest service in Parliament, and would, I believe, have prevented the Government from committing many errors. But the fact is, that Stanley's services to the empire have been too great and too unusual, and I ought to have known he would have to undergo many trials; perhaps he is lucky in having escaped being put in chains, as Columbus was! Men of this kind have no business to act in the unusual manner they generally do, throwing their contemporaries in the shade — this is never forgiven!

However, these truly great men can bear misfortunes in whatever guise they come, like heroes, and thus add greater lustre to their ultimate renown, and will make their history much more wonderful reading. Those who climb to heights must expect to meet with toils and many trials. Give my regards to Stanley, who, tried in so many, and such vast toils and dangers, whilst working for his fellow-men, will not falter now.

Truly yours,

In January, 1893, Stanley wrote to me at Cambridge, where I was spending a week:--

Having announced my intention of standing again as candidate for N. Lambeth, I propose doing so, of course, for your sake; but after my experience in North Lambeth you must not expect any enthusiasm, any of that perseverant energy, which I may have shewn elsewhere, and which I could still show in an honourable sphere.

But this political work involves lying, back-biting, morally-damaging your opponent in the eyes of the voters, giving and receiving wordy abuse, which reminds me of English village squabbles; and I cannot find the courage either to open my lips against my opponent, or to put myself in a position to receive from him and his mindless myrmidons that filthy abuse they are only too eager to give. That so many members of Parliament can do so, smiling, only shows difference of training as well as difference of character between us. I do not [444] respect them less for the capacity of being indifferent to the vileness, but rather feel admiration that they can do something which I cannot do. If I were once in the House, possibly I should not feel so thin-skinned, and at the next fight, I should probably be able to face it better; but, not being in the House, and, finding the House moated around by the cess-pool of slander and calumny, I detest the prospect of wading in for so doubtful a satisfaction.

You remember that meeting in Lambeth. Well! I have been through some stiff scenes in my life, but I never fell so low in my own estimation as I fell that day; to stand there being slighted, insulted by venomous tongues every second, and yet to feel how hopeless, nay impossible, retort was! and to realise that I had voluntarily put myself in a position to be bespattered with as much foul reproaches as those ignorant fools chose to fling!

I will, nevertheless, stand again, but my forbearance must not be tested too far. I declare my strict resolve never to ask for a vote, never to do any silly personal canvassing in high streets or by-streets, never to address open-air meetings, cart or wagon work, or to put myself in any position where I can be baited like a bull in the ring. The honour of M. P. is not worth it.

If it is not possible to represent North Lambeth without putting my dignity under the Juggernaut of Demos, let Demos find someone else. I will visit committees, and would be pleased to receive them anywhere; I will speak at clubs and committee-rooms, or any halls, and pay the expenses, etc., but that is all. But this shall be my final effort. If I am beaten, I hope it will be by an overwhelming majority, which will for ever prove my incapacity as a candidate.

Six or seven years ago I was a different man altogether, but this last expedition has sapped my delight in the rude enjoyments of life, though never at any time could I have looked upon electioneering as enjoyable. The whole business seems to me degrading. I refuse to promise to the people that which I think harmful to the nation. I object to the abject attitude of politicians towards constituents. If I stand, it is as their leader, not their slave. I shall go to Parliament simply to work for some good end, and not for personal objects. [445]

I now realised that since usage and custom demand that the Parliamentary candidate shall call on the voters, and that Stanley positively, and I think rightly, refused to do so, we were in danger of losing the Constituency.

I realised that whichever way the working-man means to vote, he likes to feel he has something you want, something he can give. He likes even to refuse you, and oblige you to listen to his views and his principles. So, if you do not choose to go and kow-tow before him, he puts you down as “ no good,” or, at any rate, “not my sort.” After our defeat, therefore, in 1892, I resolved to “nurse” North Lambeth, since that is the accepted term, and to do so in my own way.

It was hard work, undoubtedly, but very interesting and instructive; I had some unforgettable experiences, and on the whole I was very kindly and pleasantly received.

1893.--February 21st. General Beauregard died last night at New Orleans. He was my old General at the Battle of Shiloh, 1862. I remember, even now, how enthusiastic my fellow-soldiers were about him, and I, being but an inconsiderate boy, caught the fever of admiration and raved. Thank Heaven there were no reporters to record a boy's ravings! This is not to say that he was not worthy of the soldiers' respect. But his achievements were not those of a military genius, and genius alone deserves such unmeasured praise as we gave him.

The Civil War only developed two first-rank men, and those were Grant and Lee, but in the second rank there were many who might possibly, with opportunities, have rivalled the first two. I believe if it were put to the vote of the military class as to which was the greater of the two greatest captains of the war, the vote would be cast for Robert E. Lee. Nevertheless, there was something in Grant which, though not so showy as the strategy and dash of Lee, makes me cast my vote for Grant.

March 10th. Mrs. Annie Ingham died this day on the Congo, aged thirty-seven. She was the wife of Charles E. Ingham, ex-lifeguardsman, and missionary, mentioned in “Darkest Africa.” She was a sweet, good woman. She is now safe in that heavenly home she laboured so hard to deserve. Such women as this one are the very salt of our race.

June 12th. Went to hear Lord Salisbury's speech at the Surrey Theatre. He just misses being an orator. Nature has given him a personality; a voice, education, experience, observation, [446] and rank, have all contributed elements to the forming of an orator, and yet he lacks two things — imagination and fire. With those two qualities which he lacks, how he would have swayed that audience, how he would have straightened himself, and with the power of eye and voice, and the right word, he would have lifted everyone to a pitch of enthusiasm such as is almost unknown in England.

June 22nd, Thursday. My dear old friend Sir William Mackinnon, Bart., died this morning at 9.45, after a long illness contracted on his yacht “Cornelia,” as the result of a cold, and deep depression of spirits created by a sense that his labours, great expenditure, and exercise of influence over his friends on behalf of British East Africa, were not appreciated as they deserved by Lord Rosebery and his colleagues in the Government. A lack of appreciation is indeed a mild term for the callous indifference shown by the Rosebery Government.

Sir William had for years (since 1878) been feeling his way towards this great achievement. By dint of generosity, long continued, he finally won the confidence of successive Sultans of Zanzibar, especially Syyed Barghash, and when once that confidence was established, he gradually developed his projects, by which he, as well as the Sultan, might greatly profit. Being already rich enough for gratifying his very simple wants, he wished to lead his friend the Sultan into the path of profitable enterprise. He was ably seconded by Sir John Kirk and Fred Holmwood, the Consul-general; and, though it was tedious work, he finally succeeded.

I claim to have assisted him considerably during my stay in 1887, and it was according to my advice that Barghash finally consented to sign the Concession, and Mackinnon hurried on the negotiation. A few weeks after I left, the Concession was signed, and Mackinnon's way to form a Company, and obtain a Charter from the British Government, was clear. Sir William subscribed fifty thousand pounds to the capital, and raised the remainder from among his own friends, for no friend of Mackinnon could possibly resist a request from him.

The object of the Company was mainly commercial, and, left alone by politicians, Mackinnon was the man to make it remunerative. But after the advent of Germany into the African field, with Bismarck at the helm, and the principles [447] declared at the Berlin conference behind them, it became necessary, in order to prevent collisions between Mackinnon's Company and the Germans, to give the East African Company a political status; hence, with the utmost good — will and promises of support, the Charter was given to it by the British Government, and the Company thereby incurred tremendous responsibilities.

Egged on, urged on, advised, spurred, encouraged by Her Majesty's Government, the Company had first of all quickly to gain other Concessions, for the Sultan's only covered the maritime region; and this meant the despatch of a series of costly expeditions into the interior, over a region that embraced hundreds of thousands of square miles; and as this region was almost unexplored, these expeditions meant the employment of some thousands of armed and equipped natives, led by English officers. Between 1887 and 1890, some thousands of pounds were squandered in these costly enterprises, and the capital that rightly was called for the development of the commerce of the maritime region, and would surely have been remunerative, was thus wasted on purely political work; which the national exchequer should have paid for.

In 1890, the Mackinnon Company entered Uganda, and, on account of the territories turned over to it by me, the government of the Company extended from Mombasa to the Albert Edward Nyanza, and North to the White Nile, and South of 1°S. The Company bravely and patriotically held on, however, and sustained the enormous expense of maintaining the communications open between Uganda and the sea; but it soon became evident to Mackinnon, who was always so hopeful and cheerful, that the responsibilities were becoming too great for his Company.

The transport of goods to Uganda to sustain the force required to occupy it, was very costly. Every ton cost three hundred pounds to carry to Uganda; that is, it required forty men to carry a ton, and as the distance was three months travel from the coast, and little less than three months to return, and each man received one pound per month, two hundred and forty pounds was required for the pay of these forty men for six months, exclusive of their rations. The force in Uganda, the various garrisons maintained along the [448] route, would naturally consume several hundred tons of goods each year, and every additional act of pressure from the Government increased this consumption and expense.

It is thus easily seen how, when the Government, always extravagant when they manage things themselves, dipped their hands into the coffers of a private Company, bankruptcy could not be far off. Though Mackinnon, through patriotism, held on much longer than his friends deemed prudent, he at last informed the Rosebery Government that the Company intended to abandon Uganda and the interior, and confine themselves to their own proper business, namely commerce, unless they were assisted by a subsidy.

I happened to be in Mackinnon's room at The Burlington a few minutes after he had sent the Foreign Office messenger with his answer to Lord Rosebery's question, what was the least sum the Company would accept per annum for five years to undertake, or rather to continue, the administration of Uganda, and I was told that Mackinnon's answer was fifty thousand pounds.

I remember when I heard the amount that I thought the matter was all over, for Rosebery, with Harcourt supervising the treasury, would never have the courage to allow such a sum. Why had he not asked for half that amount, twenty-five thousand pounds? “But even fifty thousand pounds is insufficient,” cried Mackinnon. “Certainly, after the style in which you have been administering during the last eighteen months; but it is clear by the nature of Rosebery's question, that “administering Uganda” means simply its occupation, and keeping things quiet in order to prevent its being abandoned to Germany, or reverting to the barbarous methods of Mwanga. Rosebery wants to stand well with the country, and at the same time to pacify Harcourt. And twenty-five thousand pounds a year he could easily persuade Harcourt to grant.”

We were still engaged in discussing this subject when the F. O. messenger returned with another letter. Mackinnon's hand trembled as he opened it, and when he had fully understood the letter, it was only by a great effort he was able to suppress his emotions. The letter contained but a few lines, to the effect that the sum demanded was impossible, and that there was no more to be said on the matter. [449]

From that day my dear old friend became less cheerful; he was too great a soul to lay bare his feelings, but those who knew him were at no loss to find that the kind old face masked a good deal of inward suffering; had one questioned me about him, I should have said, “I believe that as Mackinnon, since he made his fortune and was childless, devoted his ripest and wisest years and the greater part of his fortune to this idea, which, like the King of the Belgians, he had of making an African State valuable to his Government and people, he was struck to the heart by Rosebery's curt refusal to consider his offer and his determination to displace the Company by the Government. Had Rosebery said he was willing to allow twenty-five thousand pounds, Mackinnon would have accepted it rather than the world should say he had failed. East Africa had become Mackinnon's love, his pride, and the one important object of life. Mackinnon's soul was noble, his mind above all pettiness. His life was now bereft of its object, and the mainspring of effort had been removed, and so he visibly declined, and death came in kindness.”

Sunday, 25th June. Called at the Burlington Hotel, and viewed the body. I found the Marquis of Lorne there, and both of us were much affected at seeing the small, still body on the bed. Was this the end of so many aspirations and struggles! I am glad I knew him, for he was in some things a model character, great of soul, though small of body. Too generous at times, and parsimonious where I would have been almost lavish; and yet I loved him for the very faults which I saw, because, without them, he would not have been just my dear Mackinnon, whose presence, somehow, was always a joy to me.

Tuesday, at 10 A. M., I left for Balinakill, Argyleshire, to attend the funeral of my friend Mackinnon. Arrived Wednesday. We walked from his house, after a simple service in the dining-room, which had witnessed such hospitable feasts, and kindly-hearted gatherings. The coffin was borne on the shoulders of relays of the Clachan villagers. In the parish grave-yard was an open grave, as for a peasant, into which the sumptuous oak coffin, enclosing a leaden one, was lowered. Two bundles of hay were spread over the coffin, and then the earth was shovelled in, and in a short time all that [450] was mortal of a dearly-loved man lay beneath a common mound.

July 5th. Attended a Garden-party at Marlborough House. I generally dislike these mobs of people; but I met several interesting characters here, and, of course, the Prince and Princess of Wales were, as usual, charming.

July 13th. Glanced over Burton's Life — it is written by his wife. It is very interesting, but the real Burton is not to be found in this book; that is, as he was to a keen observer of his character and actions.

During the autumn, I received the following letters from Stanley:

Cromer, October 17th, 1893. Yesterday was a most enjoyable day for me. I feel its effects in an all-round completeness of health.

At 8.50 A. M., I was off by slow train, creeping, creeping west, within view of the sea for some time, then turning round a great horseshoe curve to east, as though the railway projectors had thought it necessary to show all that was really beautiful in these parts before taking the traveller towards the mouth of the Yare.

As I have been immensely pleased with the views so gained, I am grateful. All this part of East Anglia is wholly new to me, and not yet having you to talk to, my inward comments upon what I saw were more exclamatory than otherwise.

The beauty of this country is like the beauty of a fair Puritan; it is modest, and wholesome; no flashiness, nor regality, no proud uplift of majesty, no flaunting of wealth, or suggestion of worldliness; but quiet English homesteads, and little church-loving villages, tidy copses, lowly vales, and sweet, modest hills, breathed over by the sea-air, which the lungs inhale with grateful gasps.

By half-past 11 we rolled into Yarmouth, and, with only an umbrella in hand, I made my way to the sea, by a street which has some very nice houses of the modern Surrey-villa type. This was the reverse of what I had expected to see. Presently, I was on the parade, a straight two miles, flanked on one side by a long line of sea-side houses, and on the other by a broad, sandy strand, smoothly sloping to a greenish sea. Three or four piers running out from the drive caused me to [451] think that the place must be crowded in the season. I can imagine the fine expanse of sands populous with children, nurses, and parents; music, in the air, from the band-stands, and a brisk circulation of human beings from all parts around; the famous Yarmouth yawls, doing a good business with the ambitious youths, who wish to boast of having sailed on the sea, when they return from their holidays; the seats comfortably filled with those who wish to fill the eye with the sights of the sea, and the ear with the sound of artificial music, blended with the countless whispers of the waves!

I strode down this parade, debating many things in my mind. I went past a military or naval hospital, a battery of old-fashioned, muzzle-loaders, which I fancy are not of much use except as means of drilling volunteers; then I came to a tall monument to Nelson — at a point of land given up to rubbish and net-drying, when I found that I had been travelling parallel with the Yare, and was now at its mouth. I crossed this point, and on coming to the river, walked up along the interesting quay. I was well rewarded, for as picturesque a sight as can be found in any sea-side town, in any country, met me.

The river is narrow, not quite the width of the Maritime Canal of Suez, I should say, but every inch of it seems serviceable to commerce. The useful stream is crowded with coast shipping, trawlers, luggers, small steamers, and inland barges, which lie mainly in a long line alongside this quay. It did my heart good to see the deep-bellied, strong, substantial vessels of the fisher-class, and still more entertainment I obtained in viewing the types of men who handled the fish, and the salt. The seed of the old vikings and Anglian invaders of Britain were all round me, as fond of the sea as their brave old ancestors!

I saw some splendid specimens of manhood among them, who were, I am certain, as proud of their avocation as the Rothschilds can be of banking. It was far better than going to a theatre to watch the healthy fellows swinging up their crates of salted herrings — the gusto of hoisting, hand-over-hand — the breezy, hearty lightsomeness of action — the faces as truly reflecting the gladness of the heart as the summer sea obeys the summer air. [452]

I turned away deeply gratified by the sight, and sure that these fellows thought little of Home-Rule and other disturbing questions.

On reaching a bridge across the Yare, I found myself in “Hall quay” with the Cromwell House, Star, Crown, and Anchor, and other old-fashioned houses. Then I turned into one of the rows, as the narrow alley-like streets are called, taking brief glances at the cheap wares for sale — boots, shod with iron, the nails recalling memories of early farm-life; mufflers of past days; “two-penny-ha‘--penny” wares in general, suitable for the slim purses of poor holiday-makers.

Then, after a long tour, I struck into a street running towards the sea, where the quieter people love to brood and dream away their summer. Finally, I came to the “Queen's,” ordered my lunch, and afterwards took train to Norwich. As I was not yet too tired for sight-seeing, I drove to the Cathedral. It is like a long Parish-church within. The gateways are grim-looking objects, similar to many I have seen elsewhere, but quite ancient and venerable. The Cloisters, however, are grand, over one hundred and fifty feet square, and as good as we saw in Italy, to my mind. The Close has a remarkably ecclesiastical privacy and respectability about it, but had not enough greenery, green sward or foliage, to be perfect. Hence I wandered to the Castle, about which I had read so much in a lately-published romance.

What one sees is only a modern representation of the fine old keep, around which the writer had woven his story, and I suppose it is faithful to the original, without; but through the windows one sees a glass roof, and then it is evident that the building is only a shell, got up as for a Chicago Exhibition.

The mound on which it stands, and the deep, dry ditch around, are sufficiently ancient. As I walked around the Castle, old Norwich looked enchanting. I cannot tell whether the town is worth looking at, but I have seldom seen one which appeared to promise so much. The worst of these old towns is that their hotels are always so depressing. If the Grand Hotel of Cromer was at Yarmouth, it would totally change the character of the town, and so would a similar one for Norwich. On the Continent, they have just as interesting old towns to show the visitor, but they have also good hotels. [453] Yarmouth beach is equal to that of Cromer, but the hotels are deadly-dull places.

Well, after a good three hours walk, I took the train for Cromer. It was a happy thought of mine coming here. I love to look at the sea, and hear the windows rattle, and the soughing of the waves; and between me and these delights, nothing human intervenes. For the sight of the sea is better than the sight of any human face just now. Whenever the nerves quiver with unrest, depend upon it, the ocean and the songs of the wind are more soothing than anything else; so when you arrive you will find me purified, and renovated somewhat,, by this ogling with quiet nature.

Cromer, October, 1893. How I do begrudge the time spent on trifles, interminable waste of time, and prodigal waste of. precious life as though our hours were exhaustless. When I think of it! Ah, but no more! That way madness lies! Oh! I am delighted with this Norfolk air, and this hotel, this rest, the tranquillizing effect — the deep inhalations, the pure God-blest air — the wonderful repose of the sea! When you join me here, how we shall enjoy ourselves!

Yesterday, while on my afternoon walk, I felt such a gust of joy, such a rapturous up-springing of joy to my very fingertips, that I was all amazement at its suddenness. What was the cause? Only three miles of deserted sand-beach, a wide, illimitable sea, rolling from the east. Roll after roll of white-topped surge sounding on the shore, deep, solemn, continuous, as driven by a breeze, which penetrated into the farthest recesses of the lungs, and made them ache with fulness, and whipped the blood into a glow! Presently, I respond to the influence; I condescend to stoop, and whisk the round pebbles on the glorious floor of sand, smooth as asphalt. I burst out into song. Fancy! Years and years ago, I think I sang. The spirits were in an ecstasy, for the music of the waves, and the keen, salt wind, laden with scent of the sea, the absolute solitude, the immensity of my domain, caused me to sing for joy!

I knew there was something of my real old self, the lees, as it were, in me still;--but, such is civilised man, he enters a groove, and exit there is none, until solitariness discovers the boy, lying hidden under a thick husk of civilised custom! This solitude is so glorious, we must try and secure it [454] for three months out of each year. Yes, this is glorious! No Africa for me, if I can get such solitude in England!!

There is a fox-terrier here, the duplicate of my old Randy in Africa, smooth-haired, the white like cream, the black on him deep sable, simply beautiful, a gentleman all over, understands every word, automatically obsequious; lies down with a thump, rises with a spring, makes faces like an actor! Say “ Rats! ” --he wants to tear the room to pieces, he is sure he sees what is only in your own imagination! Why, his very tail is eloquent! I seem to understand every inclination or perpen-dicular of it! This dog is the embodiment of alertness and intelligence. The pity of it is, he is not for sale; no money would buy him. I would give twenty pounds for him, I should so like you to realise what a perfect dog can be!

Your patience may make something of our dog in time, but his nature is not gentle to begin with. This dog, as I said, is a gentleman — yet while gentle to friends, bold as a lion to all vermin — human and other.

He attracted my attention three days ago, as he was outside the hotel-door, beseeching to come in. He saw me take a step as though to go on my way, his eyes became more limpid, he whined; had he spoken English, I could not have understood him better!

November 15th, 1893. I left Manchester yesterday at noon, and arrived in London at 5 P. M., and found a mild kind of November fog and damp, cold weather here. After an anchorite's dinner, with a bottle of Apollinaris, I drove off to the Smoking-concert at the Lambeth. The programme consists of comic songs, ballads, and recitations, as usual; just when the smoke was amounting to asphyxiation, I was asked to “say a few words.” I saw that my audience was more than usually mixed, very boyish young fellows, young girls, and many, not-very-intellectual-looking, men and women. The subjects chosen by me were the Matabele War, and the present Coal-war or Strike. In order to make the Matabele War comprehensible to the majority, I had to use the vernacular freely, and describe the state of things in South Africa, just as I would to a camp of soldiers.

In doing this, I made use of the illustration of an Englishman, living in a rented house, being interfered with in his [455] domestic government by a burly landlord, who insisted on coming into his house at all hours of the day, and clubbing his servants; and who, on the pretence of searching for his lost dog and cat, in his tenant's house, marched away with the Englishman's dog and other trifles. You who know the Englishman, I went on, when in his house, after he has paid his rent and all just debts; you can best tell what his conduct would be! It strikes me, I said, that the average man would undoubtedly “boot” the landlord, and land him in the street pretty quickly. Well, just what the Englishman in Lambeth would do, Cecil Rhodes did in South Africa with Lobengula. He paid his rent regularly, one thousand two hundred pounds a year or so, besides many hundreds of rifles, and ammunition to match, and other gifts, for the right to manage Mashonaland as he saw fit. Now in the concession to Rhodes, Lobengula had reserved no rights to meddle in the territory. Therefore, when, under the plea that his cattle had been stolen by Rhodes's servants, or subjects, the Mashonas, Lobengula marched into Rhodes's territory and slaughtered the Mashonas and took the white man's cattle, besides creating a general scare among the outlying farmers, and the isolated miners,--Jameson, who was acting as Rhodes's steward, sent the subagent Lendy upon the tracks of the high-handed Matabele, hence the war.

This little exposition took amazingly, and there was not one dissentient voice.

About the Coal-war I was equally frank, and said, in conclusion, that, if I had any money to spare at the present time, it would not be given to men who were determined to be sulky, and who, to spite the coal-owners, preferred to starve, but to those poor, striving people, who, though they had nothing to do with the dispute between miners and coal-owners, had to bear the same misery which the miners were supposed to suffer from, and who were obliged to pinch and economise in food, in order not to be without coals. This drew a tremendous burst of cheers, and “Aye, aye, that is true.”

Some very bad cigars and black coffee were thrust upon me, and I had to take a cigar, and a teaspoonful of the coffee; neither, you may rest assured, did me any good!

Yesterday, I read W. T. Stead's last brochure, “2 and 2 [456] make 4.” --I think it is very good. Stead aims to be the “ universal provider” for such people as cannot so well provide for themselves. He is full of ideas, and I marvel how he manages to find time to write as he does; he has mortgaged his life for the benefit of the many sheep in London, who look to him as to a shepherd.

The “Daily paper,” of which I have a specimen, may be made very useful; and I hope he will succeed with it; but it does not touch the needs of the aristocratic, learned, and the upper-middle class. Some day, I hope some other type of Stead will think of them, and bring out a high-class journal which shall provide the best and truest news, affecting all political, commercial, monetary, manufacturing, and industrial questions at home and abroad; not forgetting the very best books published, not only in England, but in Europe, and America, and from which “Sport” of all kinds will be banished.

It ought to be printed on good paper, and decent type; the editorials should be short; the paper should not be larger than the “Spectator,” and the pages should be cut. I quite agree with Stead that it is about time we should get rid of the big sheets, and the paper-cutter. Wherefore I wish Stead all success, and that, some day, one may arise who will serve the higher intelligences in the country, with that same zeal, brightness, and inventiveness, which Stead devotes to the masses. Now I have faithfully said my say, and send you hearty greetings.

November 17th, 1893. I have been to Bedford, and am back. My inviter and entertainer was Mr. A. Talbot, a Master of the Grammar School at Bedford. This school was founded in 1552, by Sir William Harper, a Lord Mayor of London, who endowed it with land which, at the time, brought only one hundred and sixty pounds a year, but which has since grown to be sixteen thousand pounds a year. A new Grammar School was completed three years ago, at a cost of thirty thousand pounds, and is a magnificent structure of red brick with stone facings. Its Hall is superb, between forty and fifty feet high, and about one hundred feet, by forty feet. It was in this Hall I lectured to a very crowded audience.

The new lecture on ‘Emin‘ was received in perfect silence until I finished, when the applause was long and most hearty. [457] But, to my astonishment, after all my pains to prune it down, it lasted one hour and fifty minutes in delivery. As I drew near the catastrophe, you could have heard a pin drop — and I really felt emotional, and was conscious that every soul sympathised with me when I came to the meeting of the avenger of blood and his victim, Emin.1

Strange! I read in a telegram in the “Standard,” which came to the house before I left, that Said-bin-Abed, the avenger, had been caught by the Belgian officers at Kirundu (which I know well), was condemned to death, and shot. Thus retribution overtook him, too!

Few in this country know that I am the prime cause of this advance of the Belgians against the Arab slave-raiders. Indeed, people little realise how I have practically destroyed this terrible slave-trade, by cutting it down at its very roots. I have also been as fatal to Tippu-Tib, Rashid, his nephew, who captured Stanley Falls from Captain Deane, Tippu-Tib's son, Muini Mubala, and, lastly, Said-bin-Abed,--the son of my old host, “Tanganyika,” as Abed-bin-Salim was called — as if I had led the avengers myself, which I was very much solicited to do.

It has all been part of the policy I chalked out for myself in Africa, and urged repeatedly on the King of the Belgians, at every interview I have had with him, with one paramount object in view,--the destruction of the slave-traffic.

At this very time, we have a great scheme which must not be disclosed, no! not even to you, yet! but which you may rest assured is for the ultimate benefit of that dark humanity in the Lualaba region.

Of course, military men, especially continentals, are rather more severe than I should have been; for, if I had caught Said-bin-Abed, I should have sent him to Belgium, even though he murdered Emin, or had murdered a friend. But the suppression of the Arabs had to be; and my prophecy to Charles Allen, of the Anti-slavery cause, that I made to him in June, 1890, has come to pass. I said that “in the next five years, I should have done more for the Anti-slavery cause than all the Anti-slavery Societies in Europe could have done,” and it is done, in the complete conquest of those [458] receivers and raiders, who have been so often mentioned in my lectures!

The king did not wish to proceed to extremes, but I drove home every argument I could think of, each time I met him, or wrote, to prove that it was essential. “Yet,” I said, “at the first sign of submission, remember mercy; but exercise it only when they have laid down their arms.” When the Belgians have reached Tanganyika Lake, and either drive the surviving Arabs across the lake, or into unconditional submission, the work may be considered over. The death of so many of my officers and men will then have been amply avenged; and an era of peace for the poor, persecuted natives will begin.

Mr. Phillpots, the Headmaster, I forgot to say, introduced me very nicely indeed by touching on the six journeys I have made to Africa, leaving me to speak upon the seventh. After the lecture, Mr. Phillpots, and all the Masters, supped at Mr. Talbot's, and I was in such a vein, that I kept them all up until it was a little after 1 A. M. I was horrified! and, soon after the departure of the guests, I jumped into bed, and was fast asleep within a few minutes.

I am at the Second Volume of Lowell, and time flies by so rapidly that I will not be able to read Lugard's book for a few days yet.

The First Volume of Lowell's Letters gives us a pretty clear idea of the man. I see in him the type of a literary character, whose nature I have often been made acquainted with in the past, though not in quite so cultured a form as in Lowell.

But, with all his culture, learning, and poetry, and though he is so kind-hearted, loving, sympathetic, ready to oblige, he is what I should call in England, “provincial,” in every feeling. Though I never saw Lowell face to face, I feel as if I could make a presentment of every characteristic lineament, his walk, gesture, bearing, the smile on his face, the genial bluish-grey eye, even to his inches.

These Letters, however, only reveal the generous temper, humour, moods, and his fond weaknesses. We should know more about his inward thoughts, his best views of men, and matters political, literary, social, etc., etc., to get a complete knowledge of him. These letters only refer to Lowell and his immediate acquaintances, and there are very few things in [459] them that a reader would care to hear twice. I could scarcely point to a dozen sentences, all told, that compel a pause.

How different this is from what one could show in Ruskin, the prose poet of England, or in Carlyle; or in Boswell's Johnson, or in De Quincey, even! Yet, I admit, it is unfair to judge Lowell by his Letters only, and that we should examine his prose and poetry before deciding. Twice, only, was I thrilled, just a little, and then from sympathy with the bereaved husband and father.

Had Lowell kept a journal like Sir Walter Scott, I feel the world would have had something worth reading. Sometimes I appear to look, as through a window, into the heart of the writer and his correspondent. There is something too frequent, also, in the phrase, “I do not care what you think of my books, but I want you to like me!” I do not wish to pursue this theme, for fear you will get the impression that I do not like Lowell; but I do heartily like him; and, again, I think his journal would have been infinitely better.2

November 20th, 1893. This year has been fatal to my friends: Mackinnon, Parke, and now my best friend, Alexander Low Bruce.3 He was one of the staunchest, wisest, trustiest men I ever knew. This England has some other men as worthy, as sensible, as good, as he, but it is not likely it will be my good fortune to meet again a man of this kind to whom I could expose all that is in my breast with full reliance on his sympathy and his honour. I always felt that Bruce was like a dear brother to me.

November 29th. This is the severest blow I have yet received. Bruce was more of my own age than either Mackinnon, or Parke, and it is perhaps owing in a measure to that fact, that his views of men and affairs were more congenial, or more in harmony with my own.

Mackinnon belonged to an older generation, and was the centre of many interests in which I had no concern. Parke again was of a younger generation, and with all his sweet, simple nature I found it difficult to maintain that level of ideas which belonged to his age. But, with Bruce, it was wholly [460] different. His judgement was formed, and he was in the free exercise of his developed faculties. He was originally of a stronger fibre than either Mackinnon or Parke, i. e., from the common-sense point of view. He might not have the bold, business audacity of Mackinnon, nor his keen foresight for investments, but his level-headedness was more marked. One felt that Bruce's judgement could be trusted, not only in business matters, but in every concern included in practical life.

He was not a literary man, but truly imperial, and highly intelligent, endowed with such large sympathies, that nothing appertaining to British interests was too great or too small for him. In politics, he was simply indefatigable in behalf of the Union. Formerly a Liberal like myself, Gladstone's sudden “ volte-face” was too much for him, which proves him to be more attached to principles than to whims.

The amount of correspondence entailed on him by the influence he exercised in South Scotland was something extraordinary; his bill for postage must have been unusual. His industry was incredible. His labours did not fray that kindly temper of his in the least, nor diminish the hearty, friendly glance of his eyes. I know no man living among my acquaintances who took life with such a delightful sense of enjoyment, and appeared so uniformly contented. Considering his remarkably penetrative discernment of character, this was the more to be wondered at. I really envied him for this. He could look into the face of a declared opponent, and, though I watched, I could not detect the slightest wavering of that honest, clear, straight look of kindness which was a recognised characteristic of Bruce. I could not do it: when I love, I love; and when I disagree, I cannot hide it!

I should say, though I do not pretend to that intimate knowledge of his boyhood that a relative or school-mate might have, his life must have been a happy one. It is nearly twenty years since I first knew him, and, during that time, there has been a steady growth of affection and esteem for him. I could have been contented on a desert island with Bruce, because contact with him made one feel stronger and nobler. Well, my dear, knowing and loving Bruce as you know I did, you can appreciate my present feelings. [461]

These repeated blows make me less and less regardful of worldliness in every form. Indeed, I have done with the world, though there are a number of little things that I should do before quite surrendering myself to the inevitable. I wonder, indeed, that I am still here,--I, who, during thirty-five years, have been subjected to the evils of almost every climate, racked by over three hundred fevers, dosed with an inconceivable quantity of medicine, shaken through every nerve by awful experiences, yet here I am! and Bruce, and Parke, and Mackinnon, are gone; I write this to-day as sound, apparently, as when I started on my wanderings; but then a week hence, where shall I be?

November 27th, 1893.
my dear D.,--I finished Volume Two of Lowell's Letters yesterday. My former opinion needs slight modification, or rather expansion; it was incomplete, as any opinion of an unfinished career must be.

But, now that the career is ended, and the Life is closed, I am at liberty to amplify what I would willingly have said, at once, of any promising man who had continued in consistent goodness, that the expectations formed have been fulfilled. Soon after beginning the Second Volume the attention is not so often arrested by signs of youthful vanity. He has no sooner passed middle age, than one's love for the writer grows more and more complete. He is a litterateur above all things, to the last; but you also observe his growth from letter to letter into a noble-hearted, affectionate, upright old man.

He is not free, to the closing letter, of the Lowellian imperfections; but these do not detract from the esteem which I find to be increasing for him; like the weaknesses of some of one's personal friends, I rather like Lowell the better for them, for they lighten one's mood of severe respect towards him. After dipping into one or two specimens of poetry which the book contains, his letters do not reveal him wholly, in my opinion. There is one to “Phoebe” which deeply moved me, and I feel convinced there must be gems of thought among his poetical productions. As I closed the books, Lowell's image, though I never saw him, came vividly before me as he sat in Elmwood library, listening to the leafy swirl without, the [462] strange sounds made by winds in his ample chimney, and the shrill calls, “wee-wee,” of the mice behind the white wainscoting!

May his covering of earth lie lightly, and his soul be in perfect communion with his loved dead!

December 12th, 1893. Sir Charles and Lady, Euan Smith and wife, Mr. E. L. Berkley, of Zanzibar, and Mr. H. Babington Smith lunched with us.

Sir Charles told me that he once said to Emin Pasha, “Well, Pasha, the whole of Europe is expecting you! There are lots of invitations awaiting your convenience!” Emin replied, “Ah! I can't go yet. I must kill some more Arabs.” Poor old fellow! he did kill a few, and then came a time when the Arabs killed him!

January 1st, 1894. Sir Samuel White Baker died yesterday. Some years ago I had the photographs of the four greatest travellers of the period, Livingstone, Burton, Speke, and Baker, enlarged, and framed them all together. They are all dead now, Baker being the last to go!

Each was grand in his own way: Livingstone, as a missionary explorer, and the first of the four to begin the work of making known the unexplored heart of Africa, and he was deservedly the most famous; Burton, as a restless wanderer in foreign lands, and a remarkable and indefatigable writer; Speke, the hunter-explorer, with strong geographical instincts, was second to Livingstone for his explorations; Baker, as a hunter, carried his hunting into unknown parts, and distinguished himself by his discovery of the Albert Nyanza, and by his adventures.

The Prince of Wales became interested in him, and through the influence of the Prince, he was appointed Egyptian proconsul of the Upper Nile regions at a munificent salary. Baker was not an explorer in the sense that Livingstone and Speke were, and, consequently, beyond the discovery of the existence of the Albert Lake, he did little to make the Upper Nile region known. The record of his five years rather violent administration of Equatoria is given in his book called “Ismailia” ; and it will be seen there that he left the region surrounding Ismailia almost as unknown, after his term of [463] service was over, as when he reached it to begin his duties as Administrator.

Apart from this, however, he was a fine fellow — physically strong, masterful, and sensible; as a brave hunter, he was unmatched; as a writer of travels, he was a great success. He was a typical Conservative Englishman; he knew by intuition what Englishmen like to hear of their countrymen's doings, which, added to his artistic style of writing, charmed his readers.

Another thing to his credit, be it said by me, who know whereof I am speaking, he was too great in mind, and too dignified in character, to belong to any geographical clique, and join in the partisan warfare which raged in Savile Row between 1860-80. He rather took the opposite way, and did not disdain to speak a good word for any explorer who happened to be an object of attack at the time.

November 28th. The death of another friend is to-day announced. This time it is Charles Edward Ingham, exguardsman and missionary, whom I employed, in 1887, for my transport service. He is reported as having been killed by an elephant. It is not long ago I recorded in these pages the death of his good and beautiful wife. This devoted couple were wonderful for their piety, and their devotion to the negroes of the Congo.

Early in 1894, Stanley caught cold, and had a succession of malarial attacks. Change of air was advised, and he went to the Isle of Wight, where I joined him a few days later. I here give extracts from his letter.

Shanklin, March 15th, 1894. I came here from Fresh-water, because that place did not agree with me, and because the accommodation provided was wretched, and the rooms ill-ventilated. I wonder how many people died in the room I occupied? I fancied their spirits sailing about from corner to corner, trying to get out into the air, and at night settling around my head, disturbing my sleep in consequence! I have been reading Vasari's “Machiavelli,” and, I am thankful to say, he has removed the disagreeable impression I had conceived of his principles from a book I read about him twenty-five years ago; or, perhaps my more mature age has enabled me to understand him better.

Vasari gives one chapter of comments, from various writers, [464] on him; but the one that comes nearest the right judgement on him is Bacon, who said that gratitude was due to him, and to those like him, who study that which men do, instead of that which they ought to do. In fact, Machiavelli has written about contemporaneous Italy just as we speak privately, but dare not talk openly, of our political world.

When we described Gladstone, before his retirement, we called him by the euphonious term of the “old Parliamentary hand.” What did we mean by that, we who are his opponents? We meant it in this strictly Machiavellian sense. This would once have shocked me, just as many of the Florentine's critics, especially Frederick the Great, affected to be; yet Frederick, and Napoleon, and almost every eminent English politician, except Balfour, were, and are, Machiavellian, and are bound to be!

The following passage is taken from the Journal:--

October 29th, 1894. D. and I left London for Dolaucothy, Llanwrda, S. Wales, to spend three days with Sir James and Lady Hills-Johnes.4 Lord Roberts and his daughter Eileen were there. Sir James is a delightful host, a most kind, straightforward soldier. He is a V. C., because of dashing exploits in India. He has been Governor of Cabul.

Lord Roberts, Sir James, and myself were photographed by Lady Hills-Johnes. When the photograph came out, it was seen that we were all three of the same height, with a sort of brother-like resemblance.

Sir James is a very winning character, for he takes one's good — will and affection by storm. His heart is white and clean. As for Lady Hills-Johnes, her rare gifts of intellect and sympathy penetrate the heart, like welcome warmth.

I have been more talkative in this house than I have been in any house I can remember, except Newstead Abbey, where one was stimulated by that exceptional, most loveable being, Mrs. Webb.

I happened to be full of speech, and the Hills-Johnes had the gift of knowing how to make me talk. So, what with full freedom of speech, friendly faces, and genuine sympathy, I [465] was very happy, and I fear I shall leave here with a reputation for loquacity. When I leave, I shall cork up again, and be my reserved self!

November 7th, Wednesday. Went to the Queen's Hall to hear Lord Salisbury speak. Again I was struck by the want of the proper spirit which makes the orator. His appearance, especially his head, large brow, and sonorous voice, his diction, all befit the orator; but the kindling animation, that fire which warms an audience, is absent. The listener must needs follow a sage like the Marquis, with interest; but what an event it would be in the memory of those who haunt political gatherings of this kind, if, suddenly, he dropped his apparent listlessness, and were to speak like a man of genuine feeling, to feeling men! It would be a sight to see the effect on the warm-hearted audience!

Christmas, 1894, we spent on the Riviera, and here Stanley wrote part of his Autobiography, which he had commenced the year before.

Monte Carlo. Have written a few pages of my Autobiography, but these spasmodic touches are naturally detrimental to style.

1 See page 375.

2 A further reference to Lowell is given in the letter dated November 27, 1893.--D. S.

3 A. L. Bruce married Livingstone's daughter Agnes, who survives him. The Living-stone family were always close and greatly-valued friends of Stanley.--D. S.

4 Lieutenant-general Sir James Hills-Johnes, G. C. B., V. C., who was dangerously wounded in the Indian Mutiny, where he won the V. C., for his extraordinary valour.--D. S.

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