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The Personal Life Of David Livingstone by William Garden Blaikie

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LL.D., D.C.L.



_Author of "Heroes of Israel," etc._


The purpose of this work is to make the world better acquainted with the
character of Livingstone. His discoveries and researches have been given
to the public in his own books, but his modesty led him to say little in
these of himself, and those who knew him best feel that little is known
of the strength of his affections, the depth and purity of his devotion,
or the intensity of his aspirations as a Christian missionary. The
growth of his character and the providential shaping of his career are
also matters of remarkable interest, of which not much has yet been
made known.

An attempt has been made in this volume, likewise, to present a more
complete history of his life than has yet appeared. Many chapters of it
are opened up of which the public have hitherto known little or nothing.
It has not been deemed necessary to dwell on events recorded in his
published Travels, except for the purpose of connecting the narrative
and making it complete. Even on these, however, it has been found that
not a little new light and color may be thrown from his correspondence
with his friends and his unpublished Journals.

Much pains has been taken to show the unity and symmetry of his
character. As a man, a Christian, a missionary, a philanthropist, and a
scientist, Livingstone ranks with the greatest of our race, and shows
the minimum of infirmity in connection with the maximum of goodness.
Nothing can be more telling than his life as an evidence of the truth
and power of Christianity, as a plea for Christian Missions and
civilization, or as a demonstration of the true connection between
religion and science.

So many friends have helped in this book that it is impossible to thank
all in a preface. Most of them are named in the body of the work.
Special acknowledgments, however, are due to the more immediate members
of Dr. Livingstone's family, at whose request the work was undertaken;
also to his sisters, the Misses Livingstone, of Hamilton, to Mr. Young,
of Kelley, to the venerable Dr. Moffat, and Mrs. Vavasseur, his
daughter. The use of valuable collections of letters has been given by
the following (in addition to the friends already named): The Directors
of the London Missionary Society; Dr. Risdon Bennett; Rev. G.D. Watt;
Rev. Joseph Moore; Rev. W. Thompson, Cape Town; J.B. Braithwaite, Esq.;
representatives of the late Sir R.I. Murchison, Bart., and of the late
Sir Thomas Maclear; Rev. Horace Waller, Mr. and Mrs. Webb, of Newstead
Abbey, Mr. P. Fitch, of London, Rev. Dr. Stewart, of Lovedale, and
Senhor Nunes, of Quilimane. Other friends have forwarded letters of less
importance. Some of the letters have reached the hands of the writer
after the completion of the book, and have therefore been used but

The recovery of an important private journal of Dr. Livingstone, which
had been lost at the time when the _Missionary Travels_ was published,
has thrown much new light on the part of his life immediately preceding
his first great journey.

In the spelling of African proper names, Dr. Moffat has given valuable
help. Usually Livingstone's own spelling has been followed.

A Map has been specially prepared, in which the geographical references
in the volume are shown, which will enable the reader to follow
Livingstone's movements from place to place.

With so much material, it would have been easier to write a life in two
volumes than in one; but for obvious reasons it has been deemed
desirable to restrict it to the present limits. The author could wish
for no higher honor than to have his name associated with that of
Livingstone, and can desire no greater pleasure than that of conveying
to other minds the impressions that have been left on his own.





* * * * *



A.D. 1813-1836.

Ulva--The Livingstones--Traditions of Ulva life--The
"Baughting-time"--"Kirsty's Rock"--Removal of Livingstone's grandfather
to Blantyre--Highland blood--Neil Livingstone--His marriage to Agnes
Hunter--Her grandfather and father--Monument to Neil and Agnes
Livingstone in Hamilton Cemetery--David Livingstone born 19th March,
1813--Boyhood--At home--In school--David goes into Blantyre Mill--First
earnings--Night-school--His habits of reading--Natural-history
expeditions--Great spiritual changes in his twentieth year--Dick's
_Philosophy of a Future State_--He resolves to be a
missionary--Influence of occupation of Blantyre--Sympathy with
People--Thomas Burke and David Hogg--Practical character of
his religion.



A.D. 1836-1840.

His desire to be a missionary to China--Medical missions--He studies at
Glasgow--Classmates and teachers--He applies to London Missionary
Society--His ideas of mission-work--He is accepted provisionally--He
goes to London--to Ongar--Reminiscences by Rev. Joseph Moore--by Mrs.
Gilbert--by Rev. Isaac Taylor--Nearly rejected by the Directors--Returns
to Ongar--to London--Letter to his sister--Reminiscences by Dr. Risdon
Bennett--Promise to Professor Owen--Impression of his character on his
friends and fellow-students--Rev R. Moffat in England--Livingstone
interested--Could not be sent to China--Is appointed to
Africa--Providential links in his history--Illness--Last visits to his
home--Receives Medical diploma--Parts from his family.



A.D. 1842-1843.

His ordination--Voyage out--At Rio de Janeiro--At the Cape--He proceeds
to Kuruman--Letters--Journey of 700 miles to Bechuana
country--Selection of site for new station--Second excursion to
Bechuana country--Letter to his sister--Influence with
chiefs--Bubi--Construction of a water-dam--Sekomi--Woman seized by a
lion--The Bakaa--Sebehwe--Letter to Dr. Risdon Bennett--Detention at
Kuruman--He visits Sebehwe's village--Bakhatlas--Sechele, chief of
Bakwains--Livingstone translates hymns--Travels 400 miles on
oxback--Returns to Kuruman--Is authorized to form new station--Receives
contributions for native missionary--Letters to Directors on their
Mission policy--He goes to new station--Fellow-travelers--Purchase of
site--Letter to Dr. Bennett--Desiccation of South Africa--Death of a
servant, Sehamy--Letter to his parents.



A.D. 1843-1847.

Description of Mabotsa--A favorite hymn--General reading--Mabotsa
infested with lions--Livingstone's encounter--The native deacon who
saved him--His Sunday-school--Marriage to Mary Moffat--Work at
Mabotsa--Proposed institution for training native agents--Letter to his
mother--Trouble at Mabotsa--Noble sacrifice of Livingstone--Goes to
Sechele and the Bakwains--New station at Chonuane--Interest shown by
Sechele--Journeys eastward--The Boers and the Transvaal--Their
occupation of the country, and treatment of the natives--Work among the
Bakwains--Livingstone's desire to move on--Theological conflict at
home--His view of it--His scientific labors and miscellaneous



A.D. 1847-1852.

Want of rain at Chonuane--Removal to Kolobeng--House-building and public
works--Hopeful prospects--Letters to Mr. Watt, his sister, and Dr.
Bennett--The church at Kolobeng--Pure communion--Conversion of
Sechele--Letter from his brother Charles--His history--Livingstone's
relations with the Boers--He cannot get native teachers planted in the
east--Resolves to explore northward--Extracts from Journal--Scarcity of
water--Wild animals, and other risks--Custom-house robberies and
annoyances--Visit from Secretary of London Missionary Society--Manifold
employments of Livingstone--Studies in Sichuana--His reflection on this
period of his life while detained at Manyuema in 1870.


KOLOBENG _continued_--LAKE 'NGAMI.

A.D. 1849-1852.

Koboleng failing through drought--Sebituane's country and the Lake
'Ngami--Livingstone sets out with Messrs. Oswell and Murray--Rivers
Zouga and Tamanak'le--Old ideas of the interior
revolutionized--Enthusiasm of Livingstone--Discovers Lake
'Ngami--Obliged to return--Prize from Royal Geographical Society--Second
expedition to the lake, with wife and children--Children attacked by
fever--Again obliged to return--Conviction as to healthier spot
beyond--Idea of finding passage to sea either west or east--Birth and
death of a child--Family visits Kuruman--Third expedition, again with
family--He hopes to find a new locality--Perils of the journey--He
reaches Sebituane--The Chief's illness and death--Distress of
Livingstone--Mr. Oswell and he go on to Linyanti--Discovery of the Upper
Zambesi--No locality found for settlement--More extended journey
necessary--He returns--Birth of Oswell Livingstone--Crisis in
Livingstone's life--His guiding principles--New plans--The Makololo
begin to practice slave-trade--New thoughts about commerce--Letters to
Directors--The Bakwains--_Pros_ and _cons_ of his new plan--His unabated
missionary zeal--He goes with his family to the Cape--His
literary activity.



A.D. 1852-1853.

Unfavorable feeling at Cape Town--Departure of Mrs. Livingstone and
children--Livingstone's detention and difficulties--Letter to his
wife--to Agnes--Occupations at Cape Town--The
Astronomer-Royal--Livingstone leaves the Cape and reaches
Kuruman--Destruction of Kolobeng by the Boers--Letters to his wife and
Rev. J. Moore--His resolution to open up Africa _or perish_--Arrival at
Linyanti--Unhealthiness of the country--Thoughts on setting out for
coast--Sekeletu's kindness--Livingstone's missionary activity--Death of
Mpepe, and of his father--Meeting with Ma-mochisane--Barotse
country--Determines to go to Loanda--Heathenism unadulterated--Taste for
the beautiful--Letter to his children--to his father--Last Sunday at
Linyanti--Prospect of his failing.



A.D. 1853-1854.

Difficulties and hardships of journey--His traveling kit--Four
books--His Journal--Mode of traveling--Beauty of country--Repulsiveness
of the people--Their religious belief--The negro--Preaching--The
magic-lantern--Loneliness of feeling--Slave-trade--Management of the
natives--Danger from Chiboque--from another chief--Livingstone ill of
fever--At the Quango--Attachment of followers--"The good time
coming"--Portuguese settlements--Great kindness of the
Portuguese--Arrives at Loanda--Received by Mr. Gabriel--His great
friendship--No letters--News through Mr. Gabriel--Livingstone becomes
acquainted with naval officers--Resolves to go back to Linyanti and make
for East Coast--Letter to his wife--Correspondence with Mr.
Maclear--Accuracy of his observations--Sir John Herschel--Geographical
Society award their gold medal--Remarks of Lord Ellesmere.



A.D. 1854-1856.

Livingstone sets out from Loanda--Journey back--Effects of
slavery--Letter to his wife--Severe attack of fever--He reaches the
Barotse country--Day of thanksgiving--His efforts for the good of his
men--Anxieties of the Moffats--Mr. Moffat's journey to Mosilikatse--Box
at Linyanti--Letter from Mrs. Moffat--Letters to Mrs. Livingstone, Mr.
Moffat, and Mrs. Moffat--Kindness of Sekeletu--New escort--He sets out
for the East Coast--Discovers the Victoria Falls--The healthy
longitudinal ridges--Pedestrianism--Great dangers--Narrow
escapes--Triumph of the spirit of trust in God--Favorite
texts--Reference to Captain McClure's experience--Chief subjects of
thought--Structure of the continent--Sir Roderick Murchison anticipates
his discovery--Letters to Geographical Society--First letter from Sir
Roderick Murchison--Missionary labor--Monasteries--Protestant
mission-stations wanting in self-support--Letter to Directors--Fever not
so serious an obstruction as it seemed--His own hardships--Theories of
mission-work--Expansion _v_. Concentration--Views of a missionary
statesman--He reaches Tette--Letter to King of Portugal--to Sir Roderick
Murchison--Reaches Senna--Quilimane--Retrospect--Letter from
Directors--Goes to Mauritius--Voyage home--Narrow escape from shipwreck
in Bay of Tunis--He reaches England, Dec. 1856--News of his
father's death.



A.D. 1856-1857.

Mrs. Livingstone--Her intense anxieties--Her poetical
welcome--Congratulatory letters from Mrs. and Dr. Moffat--Meeting of
welcome of Royal Geographical Society--of London Missionary
Society--Meeting in Mansion House--Enthusiastic public meeting at Cape
Town--Livingstone visits Hamilton--Returns to London to write his
book--Letter to Mr. Maclear--Dr. Risdon Bennett's reminiscences of this
period--Mr. Frederick Fitch's--Interview with Prince
Consort--Honors--Publication and great success of _Missionary
Travels_--Character and design of the book--Why it was not more of a
missionary record--Handsome conduct of publisher--Generous use of the
profits--Letter to a lady in Carlisle vindicating the-character of
his speeches.


FIEST VISIT HOME--_continued_.

A.D. 1857-1858.

Livingstone at Dublin, at British Association--Letter to his wife--He
meets the chamber of commerce at Manchester--At Glasgow, receives honors
from Corporation, University, Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, United
Presbyterians, Cotton-spinners--His speeches in reply--His brother
Charles joins him--Interesting meeting and speech at Hamilton--Reception
from "Literary and Scientific Institute of Blantyre"--Sympathy with
operatives--Quick apprehension of all public questions--His social views
in advance of the age--He plans a People's Cafe--Visit to
Edinburgh--More honors--Letter to Mr. Maclear--Interesting visit to
Cambridge--Lectures there--Professor Sedgwick's remarks on his
visit--Livingstone's great satisfaction--Relations to London Missionary
Society--He severs his connection--Proposal of Government expedition--He
accepts consulship and command of Expedition--Kindness of Lords
Palmerston and Clarendon--The Portuguese Ambassador--Livingstone
proposes to go to Portugal--Is dissuaded--Lord Clarendon's letter to
Sekeletu--Results of Livingstone's visit to England--Farewell banquet,
February, 1858--Interview with the Queen--Veledictory letters--Professor
Sedgwick and Sir Roderick Murchison--Arrangements for Expedition--Dr.,
Mrs., and Oswald Livingstone set sail from Liverpool--Letters to



A.D. 1858-1859.

Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone sail in the "Pearl"--Characteristic
instructions to members of Expedition--Dr. Livingstone conscious of
difficult position--Letter to Robert--Sierra Leone--Effects of British
Squadron and of Christian Missions--Dr. and Mrs. Moffat at Cape
Town--Splendid reception there--Illness of Mrs. Livingstone--She remains
behind--The five years of the Expedition--Letter to Mr. James Young--to
Dr. Moffat--Kongone entrance to Zambesi--Collision with Naval
Officer--Disturbed state of the country--Trip to Kebrabasa Rapids--Dr.
Livingstone applies for new steamer--Willing to pay for one
himself--Exploration of the Shire--Murchison Cataracts--Extracts from
private Journal--Discovery of Lake Shirwa--Correspondence--Letter to
Agnes Livingstone--Trip to Tette--Kroomen and two members of Expedition
dismissed--Livingstone's vindication--Discovery of Lake Nyassa--Bright
hopes for the future--Idea of a colony--Generosity of
Livingstone--Letters to Mr. Maclear, Mr. Young, and Sir Roderick
Murchison--His sympathy with the "honest poor"--He hears of the birth of
his youngest daughter.



A.D. 1860.

Down to Kongone--State of the ship--Further delay--Letter to Secretary
of Universities Mission--Letter to Mr. Braithwaite--At Tette--Miss
Whately's sugar-mill--With his brother and Kirk at Kebrabasa--Mode of
traveling--Reappearance of old friends--African warfare and its
effects--Desolation--A European colony desirable--Escape from
rhinoceros--Rumors of Moffat--The Portuguese local Governors oppose
Livingstone--He becomes unpopular with them--Letter to Mr. Young--Wants
of the country--The Makololo--Approach home--Some are disappointed--News
of the death of the London missionaries, the Helmores and others--Letter
to Dr. Moffat--The Victoria Falls re-examined--Sekeletu ill of
leprosy--Treatment and recovery--His disappointment at not seeing Mrs.
Livingstone--Efforts for the spiritual good of the Makololo--Careful
observations in Natural History--The last of the "Ma-Robert"--Cheering
prospect of the Universities Mission--Letter to Mr. Moore--to Mr.
Young--He wishes another ship--Letter to Sir Roderick Murchison on the
rumored journey of Silva Porto.



A.D. 1861-1862.

Beginning of 1861--Arrival of the "Pioneer," and of the agents of
Universities Mission--Cordial welcome--Livingstone's catholic
feelings--Ordered to explore the Rovuma--Bishop Mackenzie goes with
him--Returns to the Shire--Turning-point of prosperity past--Difficult
navigation--The slave-sticks--Bishop settles at Magomero--Hostilities
between Manganja and Ajawa--Attack of Mission party by
Ajawa--Livingstone's advice to Bishop regardin them--Letter to his son
Robert--Livingstone, Kirk, and Charles start for Lake Nyassa--Party
robbed at north of Lake--Dismal activity of the slave-trade--Awful
mortality in the process--Livingstone's fondness for _Punch_--Letter to
Mr. Young--Joy at departure of new steamer "Lady Nyassa"--Colonization
project--Letter against it from Sir R. Murchison--Hears of Dr. Stewart
coming out from Free Church of Scotland--Visit at the ship from Bishop
Mackenzie--News of defeat of Ajawa by missionaries--Anxiety of
Livingstone--Arrangements for "Pioneer" to go to Kongone for new steamer
and friends from home, then go to Ruo to meet Bishop--"Pioneer"
detained--Dr. Livingstone's anxieties and depression at New
Year--"Pioneer" misses man-of-war "Gorgon"--At length "Gorgon" appears
with brig from England and "Lady Nyassa"--Mrs. Livingstone and other
ladies on board--Livingstone's meeting with his wife, and with Dr.
Stewart--Stewart's recollections--Difficulties of navigation--Captain
Wilson of "Gorgon" goes up river and hears of death of Bishop Mackenzie
and Mr. Burrup--Great distress--Misrepresentations about Universities
Mission--Miss Mackenzie and Mrs. Burrup taken to "Gorgon"--Dr. and Mrs.
Livingstone return to Shupanga--Illness and death of Mrs. Livingstone
there--Extracts from Livingstone's Journal, and letters to the Moffats,
Agnes, and the Murchisons.



A.D. 1862-1863.

Livingstone again buckles on his armor--Letter to Waller--Launch of
"Lady Nyassa"--Too late for season--He explores the Rovuma--Fresh
activity of the slave-trade--Letter to Governor of Mozambique about his
discoveries--Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear--Generous offer of a party of
Scotchmen--The Expedition proceeds up Zambesi with "Lady Nyassa" in
tow--Appalling desolations of Marianno--Tidings of the Mission--Death of
Scudamore--of Dickenson--of Thorton--Illness of Livingstone--Dr. Kirk
and Charles Livingstone go home--He proceeds northward with Mr. Rae and
Mr. E. D. Young of the "Gorgon"--Attempt to carry a boat over the
rapids--Defeated--Recall of the Expedition--Livingstone's views--Letter
to Mr. James Young--to Mr. Waller--Feeling of the Portuguese
Government--Offer to the Rev. Dr. Stewart--Great discouragements--Why
did he not go home?--Proceeds to explore Nyassa--Risks and
sufferings--Occupation of his mind--Natural History--Obliged to turn
back--More desolation--Report of his murder--Kindness of
Chinsamba--Reaches the ship--Letter from Bishop Tozer, abandoning the
Mission--Distress of Livingstone--Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear--Progress
of Dr. Stewart--Livingstonia--Livingstone takes charge of the children
of the Universities Mission--Letter to his daughter--Retrospect--The
work of the Expedition--Livingstone's plans for the future.



A.D. 1864.

Livingstone returns the "Pioneer" to the Navy, and is to sail in the
"Nyassa" to Bombay--Terrific circular storm--Imminent peril of the
"Nyassa"--He reaches Mozambique--Letter to his daughter--Proceeds to
Zanzibar--His engineer leaves him--Scanty crew of "Nyassa"--Livingstone
captain and engineer--Peril of the voyage of 2500 miles--Risk of the
monsoons--The "Nyassa" becalmed--Illness of the men--Remarks on African
travel--Flying-fish--Dolphins--Curiosities of his Journal--Idea of a
colony--Furious squall--Two sea-serpents seen--More squalls--The
"Nyassa" enters Bombay harbor--Is unnoticed--First visit from officer
with Custom-house schedules--How filled up--Attention of Sir Bartle
Frere and others--Livingstone goes with the Governor to Dapuri--His
feelings on landing in India--Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear--He visits
mission-schools, etc., at Poonah--Slaving in Persian Gulf--Returns to
Bombay--Leaves two boys with Dr. Wilson--Borrows passage-money and sails
for England--At Aden--At Alexandria--Reaches Charing
Cross--Encouragement derived from his Bombay visit--Two projects
contemplated on his way home.



A.D. 1864-1865.

Dr. Livingstone and Sir R. Murchison--At Lady Palmerston's reception--at
other places in London--Sad news of his son Robert--His early death--Dr.
Livingstone goes to Scotland--Pays visits--Consultation with Professor
Syme as to operation--Visit to Duke Argyll--to Ulva--He meets Dr.
Duff--At launch of a Turkish frigate--At Hamilton--Goes to Bath to
British Association--Delivers an address--Dr. Colenso--At funeral of
Captain Speke--Bath speech offends the Portuguese--Charges of
Lacerda--He visits Mr. and Mrs. Webb at Newstead--Their great
hospitality--Livingstone room--He spends eight months there writing his
book--He regains elasticity and playfulness--His book--Charles
Livingstone's share--He uses his influence for Dr. Kirk--Delivers a
lecture at Mansfield--Proposal made to him by Sir R. Murchison to return
to Africa--Letter from Sir Roderick--His reply--He will not cease to be
a missionary--Letter to Mr. James Young--Overtures from Foreign
Office--Livingstone displeased--At dinner of Royal Academy--His speech
not reported--President Lincoln's assassination--Examination by
Committee of House of Commons--His opinion on the capacity of the
negro--He goes down to Scotland--_Tom Brown's School Days_--His mother
very ill--She rallies--He goes to Oxford--Hears of his mother's
death--Returns--He attends examination of Oswell's school--His
speech--Goes to London, preparing to leave--Parts from Mr. and Mrs.
Webb--Stays with Dr. and Mrs. Hamilton--Last days in England.



A.D. 1865-1866.

Object of new journey--Double scheme--He goes to Paris with Agnes--Baron
Hausmann--Anecdote at Marseilles--He reaches Bombay--Letter to
Agnes--Reminiscences of Dr. Livingstone at Bombay by Rev. D.C. Boyd--by
Alex. Brown, Esq.--Livingstone's dress--He visits the caves of
Kenhari--Rumors of murder of Baron van der Decken--He delivers a lecture
at Bombay--Great success--He sells the "Lady Nyassa"--Letter to Mr.
James Young--Letter to Anna Mary--Hears that Dr. Kirk has got an
appointment--Sets out for Zanzibar in "Thule"--Letter to Mr. James
Young--His experience at sea--Letter to Agnes--He reaches
Zanzibar--Calls on Sultan--Presents the "Thule" to him from Bombay
Government--Monotony of Zanzibar life--Leaves in "Penguin" for the



A.D. 1866-1869.

Dr. Livingstone goes to mouth of Rovuma--His prayer--His company--His
herd of animals--Loss of his buffaloes--Good spirits when setting
put--Difficulties at Rovuma--Bad conduct of Johanna men--Dismissal of
his Sepoys--Fresh horrors of slave-trade--Uninhabited tract--He reaches
Lake Nyassa--Letter to his son Thomas--Disappointed hopes--His double
aim, to teach natives and rouse horror of slave-trade--Tenor of
religious addresses--Wikatami remains behind--Livingstone finds no
altogether satisfactory station for commerce and missions--Question of
the watershed--Was it worth the trouble?--Overruled for good to
Africa--Opinion of Sir Bartle Frere--At Marenga's--The Johanna men leave
in a body--Circulate rumor of his murder--Sir Roderick disbelieves
it--Mr. E.D. Young sent out with Search Expedition--Finds proof against
rumor--Livingstone half-starved--Loss of his goats--Review of
1866--Reflections on Divine Providence--Letter to Thomas--His dog
drowned--Loss of his medicine-chest--He feels sentence of death passed
on him--First sight of Lake Tanganyika--Detained at
Chitimba's--Discovery of Lake Moero--Occupations during detention of
1867--Great privations and difficulties--Illness--Rebellion among his
men--Discovery of Lake Bangweolo--Its oozy
banks--Detention--Sufferings--He makes for Ujiji--Very severe illness in
beginning of 1869--Reaches Ujiji--Finds his goods have been wasted and
stolen--Most bitter disappointment--His medicines, etc., at
Unyanyembe--Letter to Sultan of Zanzibar--Letters to Dr. Moffat and
his daughter.



A.D. 1869-1871.

He sets out to explore Manyuema and the river Lualaba--Loss of forty-two
letters--His feebleness through illness--He arrives at Bambarre--Becomes
acquainted with the soko or gorilla--Reaches the Luama
River--Magnificence of the country--Repulsiveness of the people--Cannot
get a canoe to explore the Lualaba--Has to return to Bambarre--Letter to
Thomas, and retrospect of his life--Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear and Mr.
Mann--Miss Tinne--He is worse in health than ever, yet resolves to add
to his programme and go round Lake Bangweolo--Letter to Agnes--Review of
the past--He sets out anew in a more northerly direction--Overpowered by
constant wet--Reaches Nyangwe, the farthest point northward in his last
Expedition--Long detention--Letter to his brother John--Sense of
difficulties and troubles--Nobility of his spirit--He sets off with only
three attendants for the Lualaba--Suspicions of the natives--Influence
of Arab traders--Frightful difficulties of the way--Lamed by
footsores--Has to return to Bambarre--Long and wearisome
detention--Occupations--Meditations and reveries--Death no
terror--Unparalleled position and trials--He reads his Bible from
beginning to end four times--Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear--To Agnes--His
delight at her sentiments about his coming home--Account of the
soko--Grief to heat of death of Lady Murchison--Wretched character of
men sent from Zanzibar--At last sets out with
Mohamad--Difficulties--Slave-trade most horrible--Cannot get canoes for
Lualaba--Long waiting--New plan--Frustrated by horrible massacre on
banks of Lualaba--Frightful scene--He must return to Ujiji--New
illness--Perils of journey to Ujiji--Life three times endangered in one
day--Reaches Ujiji--Shereef has sold off his goods--He is almost in
despair--Meets Henry M. Stanley and is relieved--His contributions to
Natural Science during last journeys--Professor Owen in the
_Quarterly Review_.



A.D. 1871-1872.

Mr. Gordon Bennett sends Stanley in search of Livingstone--Stanley at
Zanzibar--Starts for Ujiji--Reaches Unyanyembe--Dangerous illness--War
between Arabs and natives--Narrow escape of Stanley--Approach to
Ujiji--Meeting with Livingstone--Livingstone's story--Stanley's
news--Livingstone's goods and men at Bagamoio--Stanley's account of
Livingstone--Refutation of foolish and calumnious charges--They go to
the north of the lake--Livingstone resolves not to go home, but to get
fresh men and return to the sources--Letter to Agnes--to Sir Thomas
Maclear--The travelers go to Unyanyembe--More plundering of
stores--Stanley leaves for Zanzibar--Stanley's bitterness of heart at
parting--Livingstone's intense gratitude to Stanley--He intrusts his
Journal to him, and commissions him to send servants and stores from
Zanzibar--Stanley's journey to the coast--Finds Search Expedition at
Bagamoio--Proceeds to England--Stanley's reception--Unpleasant
feelings--Eclaircissement--England grateful to Stanley.



A.D. 1872-1873.

Livingstone's long wait at Unyanyembe--His plan of operations--His
fifty-ninth birthday--Renewal of self-dedication--Letters to Agnes--to
_New York Herald_--Hardness of the African battle--Waverings of
judgment, whether Lualaba was the Nile or the Congo--Extracts from
Journal--Gleams of humor--Natural history--His distress on hearing of
the death of Sir Roderick Murchison--Thoughts on mission-work--Arrival
of his escort--His happiness in his new men--He starts from
Unyanyembe--Illness--Great amount of rain--Near Bangweolo--Incessant
moisture--Flowers of the forest--Taking of observations regularly
prosecuted--Dreadful state of the country from rain--Hunger--Furious
attack of ants--Greatness of Livingstone's sufferings--Letters to Sir
Thomas Maclear, Mr. Young, his brother, and Agnes--His sixtieth
birthday--Great weakness in April--Sunday services and observations
continued--Increasing illness--The end approaching--Last written
words--Last day of his travels--He reaches Chitambo's village, in
Ilala--Is found on his knees dead, on morning of 1st May--Courage and
affection of his attendants--His body embalmed--Carried toward
shore--Dangers and sufferings during the march--The party meet
Lieutenant Cameron at Unyanyembe--Determine to go on--_Ruse_ at
Kasekera--Death of Dr. Dillon--The party reach Bagamoio, and the remains
are placed on board a cruiser--The Search Expeditions from England--to
East Coast under Cameron--to West Coast under Grandy--Explanation of
Expeditions by Sir Henry Rawlinson--Livingstone's remains brought to
England--Examined by Sir W. Fergusson and others--Buried in Westminster
Abbey--Inscription on slab--Livingstone's wish for a forest grave--Lines
from _Punch_--Tributes to his memory--Sir Bartle Frere--The
_Lancet_--Lord Polwarth--Florence Nightingale.



History of his life not completed at his death--Thrilling effect of the
tragedy of Ilala--Livingstone's influence on the slave-trade--His
letters from Manyuema--Sir Bartle Frere's mission to
Zanzibar--Successful efforts of Dr. Kirk with Sultan of Zanzibar--The
land route--The sea route--Slave-trade declared illegal--Egypt--The
Soudan--Colonel Gordon--Conventions with Turkey--King Mtesa of
Uganda--Nyassa district--Introduction of lawful commerce--Various
commercial enterprises in progress--Influence of Livingstone on
exploration--Enterprise of newspapers--Exploring undertakings of various
nations--Livingstone's personal service to science--His hard work in
science the cause of respect--His influence on missionary
enterprise--Livingstonia--Dr. Stewart--Mr. E.D. Young--Blantyre--The
Universities Mission under Bishop Steere--Its return to the mainland and
to Nyassa district--Church Missionary Society at Nyanza--London
Missionary Society at Tanganyika--French, Inland, Baptist, and American
missions--Medical missions--The Fisk Livingstone hall--Livingstone's
great legacy to Africa, a spotless Christian name and character--Honors
of the future.


I. Extracts from paper on "Missionary Sacrifices".

II. Treatment of African Fever.

III. Letter to Dr. Tidman, as to future operations.

IV. Lord Clarendon's Letter to Sekeletu.

V. Public Honors awarded to Dr. Livingstone.




A.D. 1813-1836.

Ulva--The Livingstones--Traditions of Ulva life--The
"baughting-time"--"Kirsty's Rock"--Removal of Livingstone's grandfather
to Blantyre--Highland blood--Neil Livingstone--His marriage to Agnes
Hunter--Her grandfather and father--Monument to Neil and Agnes
Livingstone in Hamilton Cemetery--David Livingstone, born 19th March,
1813--Boyhood--At home--In school--David goes into Blantyre Mill--First
Earnings--Night-school--His habits of reading--Natural-history
expeditions--Great spiritual change in his twentieth year--Dick's
_Philosophy of a Future State_--He resolves to be a
missionary--Influence of occupation at Blantyre--Sympathy with the
people--Thomas Burk and David Hogg--Practical character of his religion.

The family of David Livingstone sprang, as he has himself recorded, from
the island of Ulva, on the west coast of Mull, in Argyllshire. Ulva,
"the island of wolves," is of the same group as Staffa, and, like it,
remarkable for its basaltic columns, which, according to MacCulloch, are
more deserving of admiration than those of the Giant's Causeway, and
have missed being famous only from being eclipsed by the greater glory
of Staffa. The island belonged for many generations to the Macquaires, a
name distinguished in our home annals, as well as in those of Australia.
The Celtic name of the Livingstones was M'Leay, which, according to Dr.
Livingstone's own idea, means "son of the gray-headed," but according to
another derivation, "son of the physician." It has been surmised that
the name may have been given to some son of the famous Beatoun, who held
the post of physician to the Lord of the Isles. Probably Dr. Livingstone
never heard of this derivation; if he had, he would have shown it some
favor, for he had a singularly high opinion of the physician's office.

The Saxon name of the family was originally spelt Livingstone, but the
Doctor's father had shortened it by the omission of the final "e." David
wrote it for many years in the abbreviated form, but about 1857, at his
father's request, he restored the original spelling[1]. The significance
of the original form of the name was not without its influence on him.
He used to refer with great pleasure to a note from an old friend and
fellow-student, the late Professor George Wilson, of Edinburgh,
acknowledging a copy of his book in 1857: "Meanwhile, may your name be
propitious; in all your long and weary journeys may the _Living_ half of
your title outweigh the other; till after long and blessed labors, the
white _stone_ is given you in the happy land."

[Footnote 1: See Journal of Geographical Society, 1857, p. clxviii.]

Livingstone has told us most that is known of his forefathers; how his
great-grandfather fell at Culloden, fighting for the old line of kings;
how his grandfather could go back for six generations of his family
before him, giving the particulars of each; and how the only tradition
he himself felt proud of was that of the old man who had never heard of
any person in the family being guilty of dishonesty, and who charged his
children never to introduce the vice. He used also to tell his children,
when spurring them to diligence at school, that neither had he ever
heard of a Livingstone who was a donkey. He has also recorded a
tradition that the people of the island were converted from being Roman
Catholics "by the laird coming round with a man having a yellow staff,
which would seem to have attracted more attention than his teaching,
for the new religion went long afterward--perhaps it does so still--by
the name of the religion of the yellow stick." The same story is told of
perhaps a dozen other places in the Highlands; the "yellow stick" seems
to have done duty on a considerable scale.

There were traditions of Ulva life that must have been very congenial to
the temperament of David Livingstone. In the "Statistical Account" of
the parish to which it belongs[2] we read of an old custom among the
inhabitants, to remove with their flocks in the beginning of each summer
to the upland pastures, and bivouac there till they were obliged to
descend in the month of August. The open-air life, the free intercourse
of families, the roaming frolics of the young men, the songs and
merriment of young and old, seem to have made this a singularly happy
time. The writer of the account (Mr. Clark, of Ulva) says that he had
frequently listened with delight to the tales of pastoral life led by
the people on these occasions; it was indeed a relic of Arcadia. There
were tragic traditions, too, of Ulva; notably that of Kirsty's Rock, an
awful place where the islanders are said to have administered Lynch law
to a woman who had unwittingly killed a girl she meant only to frighten,
for the alleged crime--denied by the girl--of stealing a cheese. The
poor woman was broken-hearted when she saw what she had done; but the
neighbors, filled with horror, and deaf to her remonstrances, placed her
in a sack, which they laid upon a rock covered by the sea at high water,
where the rising tide slowly terminated her existence. Livingstone
quotes Macaulay's remark on the extreme savagery of the Highlanders of
those days, like the Cape Caffres, as he says; and the tradition of
Kirsty's Rock would seem to confirm it. But the stories of the
"baughting-time" presented a fairer aspect of Ulva life, and no doubt
left happier impressions on his mind. His grandfather, as he tells us,
had an almost unlimited stock of such stories, which he was wont to
rehearse to his grandchildren and other rapt listeners.

[Footnote 2: Kilninian and Kilmore. See _New Statistical Account of
Scotland_, Argyllshire, p. 345]

When, for the first and last time in his life, David Livingstone visited
Ulva, in 1864, in a friend's yacht, he could hear little or nothing of
his relatives. In 1792, his grandfather, as he tells us, left it for
Blantyre, in Lanarkshire, about seven miles from Glasgow, on the banks
of the Clyde, where he found employment in a cotton factory. The dying
charge of the unnamed ancestor must have sunk into the heart of his
descendant, for, being a God-fearing man and of sterling honesty, he was
employed in the conveyance of large sums of money from Glasgow to the
works, and in his old age was pensioned off, so as to spend his
declining years in ease and comfort. There is a tradition in the family,
showing his sense of the value of education, that he was complimented by
the Blantyre school-master for never grudging the price of a school-book
for any of his children--a compliment, we fear, not often won at the
present day. The other near relations of Livingstone seem to have left
the island at the same time, and settled in Canada, Prince Edward's
Isle, and the United States.

The influence of his Highland blood was apparent in many ways in David
Livingstone's character. It modified the democratic influences of his
earlier years, when he lived among the cotton spinners of Lanarkshire.
It enabled him to enter more readily into the relation of the African
tribes to their chiefs, which, unlike some other missionaries, he sought
to conserve, while purifying it by Christian influence. It showed itself
in the dash and daring which were so remarkbly combined in him with
Saxon forethought and perseverance. We are not sure but it gave a tinge
to his affections, intensifying his likes, and some of his dislikes too.
His attachment to Sir Roderick Murchison was quite that of a Highlander,
and hardly less so was his feeling toward the Duke of Argyll,--a man
whom he had no doubt many grounds for esteeming highly, but of whom,
after visiting him at Inveraray, he spoke with all the enthusiasm of a
Highlander for his chief.

The Ulva emigrant had several sons, all of whom but one eventually
entered the King's service during the French war, either as soldiers or
sailors. The old man was somewhat disheartened by this circumstance, and
especially by the fate of Charles, head-clerk in the office of Mr. Henry
Monteith, in Glasgow, who was pressed on board a man-of-war, and died
soon after in the Mediterranean. Only one son remained at home, Neil,
the father of David, who eventually became a tea-dealer, and spent his
life at Blantyre and Hamilton. David Livingstone has told us that his
father was of the high type of character portrayed in the _Cottar's
Saturday Night_. There are friends still alive who remember him well,
and on whom he made a deep impression. He was a great reader from his
youth upward, especially of religious works. His reading and his
religion refined his character, and made him a most pleasant and
instructive companion. His conversational powers were remarkable, and he
could pour out in a most interesting way the stores of his reading and

Neil Livingstone was a man of great spiritual earnestness, and his whole
life was consecrated to duty and the fear of God, In many ways he was
remarkable, being in some things before his time. In his boyhood he had
seen the evil effects of convivial habits in his immediate circle, and
in order to fortify others by his example he became a strict teetotaler,
suffering not a little ridicule and opposition from the firmness with
which he carried out his resolution. He was a Sunday-school teacher, an
ardent member of a missionary society, and a promoter of meetings for
prayer and fellowship, before such things had ceased to be regarded as
badges of fanaticism. While traveling through the neighboring parishes
in his vocation of tea-merchant, he acted also as colporteur,
distributing tracts and encouraging the reading of useful books. He took
suitable opportunities when they came to him of speaking to young men
and others on the most important of all subjects, and not without
effect. He learned Gaelic that he might be able to read the Bible to his
mother, who knew that language best. He had indeed the very soul of a
missionary. Withal he was kindly and affable, though very particular in
enforcing what he believed to be right. He was quick of temper, but of
tender heart and gentle ways; anything that had the look of sternness
was the result not of harshness but of high principle. By this means he
commanded the affection as well as the respect of his family. It was a
great blow to his distinguished son, to whom in his character and ways
he bore a great resemblance, to get news of his death, on his way home
after his great journey, dissipating the cherished pleasure of sitting
at the fireside and telling him all his adventures in Africa.

The wife of Neil Livingstone was Agnes Hunter, a member of a family of
the same humble rank and the same estimable character as his own. Her
grandfather, Gavin Hunter, of the parish of Shotts, was a doughty
Covenanter, who might have sat for the portrait of David Deans. His son
David (after whom the traveler was named) was a man of the same type,
who got his first religious impressions in his eighteenth year, at an
open-air service conducted by one of the Secession Erskines. Snow was
falling at the time, and before the end of the sermon the people were
standing in snow up to the ankles; but David Hunter used to say he had
no feeling of cold that day. He married Janet Moffat, and lived at first
in comfortable circumstances at Airdrie, where he owned a cottage and a
croft. Mrs. Hunter died, when her daughter Agnes, afterward Mrs. Neil
Livingstone, was but fifteen. Agnes was her mother's only nurse during a
long illness, and attended so carefully to her wants that the minister
of the family laid his hand on her head, and said, "A blessing will
follow you, my lassie, for your duty to your mother." Soon after Mrs.
Hunter's death a reverse of fortune overtook her husband, who had been
too good-natured in accommodating his neighbors. He removed to Blantyre,
where he worked as a tailor. Neil Livingstone was apprenticed to him by
his father, much against his will; but it was by this means that he
became acquainted with Agnes Hunter, his future wife. David Hunter,
whose devout and intelligent character procured for him great respect,
died at Blantyre in 1834, at the age of eighty-seven. He was a great
favorite with his grandchildren, to whom he was always kind, and whom he
allowed to rummage freely among his books, of which he had a
considerable collection, chiefly theological.

Neil Livingstone and Agnes Hunter were married in 1810, and took up
house at first in Glasgow. The furnishing of their house indicated the
frugal character and self-respect of the occupants; it included a
handsome chest of drawers, and other traditional marks of
respectability. Not liking Glasgow, they returned to Blantyre. In a
humble home there, five sons and two daughters were born. Two of the
sons died in infancy, to the great sorrow of the parents. Mrs.
Livingstone's family spoke and speak of her as a very loving mother, one
who contributed to their home a remarkable element of brightness and
serenity. Active, orderly, and of thorough cleanliness, she trained her
family in the same virtues, exemplifying their value in their own home.
She was a delicate little woman, with a wonderful flow of good spirits,
and remarkable for the beauty of her eyes, to which those of her son
David bore a strong resemblance. She was most careful of household
duties, and attentive to her children. Her love had no crust to
penetrate, but came beaming out freely like the light of the sun. Her
son loved her, and in many ways followed her. It was the genial, gentle
influences that had moved him under his mother's training that enabled
him to move the savages of Africa.

She, too, had a great store of family traditions, and, like the mother
of Sir Walter Scott, she retained the power of telling them with the
utmost accuracy to a very old age. In one of Livingstone's private
journals, written in 1864, during his second visit home, he gives at
full length one of his mother's stories, which some future Macaulay may
find useful as an illustration of the social condition of Scotland in
the early part of the eighteenth century:

"Mother told me stories of her youth: they seem to come back to her in
her eighty-second year very vividly. Her grandfather, Gavin Hunter,
could write, while most common people were ignorant of the art. A poor
woman got him to write a petition to the minister of Shotts parish to
augment her monthly allowance of sixpence, as she could not live on it.
He was taken to Hamilton jail for this, and having a wife and three
children at home, who without him would certainly starve, he thought of
David's feigning madness before the Philistines, and beslabbered his
beard with saliva. All who were found guilty were sent to the army in
America, or the plantations. A sergeant had compassion on him, and said,
'Tell me, gudeman, if you are really out of your mind. I'll befriend
you.' He confessed that he only feigned insanity, because he had a wife
and three bairns at home who would starve if he were sent to the army.
'Dinna say onything mair to ony body,' said the kind-hearted sergeant.
He then said to the commanding officer, 'They have given us a man clean
out of his mind: I can do nothing with the like o' him,' The officer
went to him and gave him three shillings, saying, 'Tak' that, gudeman,
and gang awa' hame to your wife and weans, 'Ay,' said mother, 'mony a
prayer went up for that sergeant, for my grandfather was an unco godly
man. He had never had so much money in his life before, for his wages
were only threepence a day."

Mrs. Livingstone, to whom David had always been a most dutiful son, died
on the 18th June, 1865, after a lingering illness which had confined her
to bed for several years. A telegram received by him at Oxford announced
her death; that telegram had been stowed away in one of his traveling
cases, for a year after (19th June, 1866), in his _Last Journals_, he
wrote this entry: "I lighted on a telegram to-day:

'Your mother died at noon on the 18th June.

This was in 1865; it affected me not a little[3]."

[Footnote 3: _Last Journals_ vol. i. p. 55]

The home in which David Livingstone grew up was bright and happy, and
presented a remarkable example of all the domestic virtues. It was ruled
by an industry that never lost an hour of the six days, and that
welcomed and honored the day of rest; a thrift that made the most of
everything, though it never got far beyond the bare necessaries of life;
a self-restraint that admitted no stimulant within the door, and that
faced bravely and steadily all the burdens of life; a love of books that
showed the presence of a cultivated taste, with a fear of God that
dignified the life which it moulded and controlled. To the last David
Livingstone was proud of the class from which he sprang. When the
highest in the land were showering compliments on him, he was writing to
his old friends of "my own order, the honest poor," and trying, by
schemes of colonization and otherwise, to promote their benefit. He
never had the least hankering for any title or distinction that would
have seemed to lift him out of his own class; and it was with perfect
sincerity that on the tombstone which he placed over the resting-place
of his parents in the cemetery of Hamilton, he expressed his feelings in
these words, deliberately refusing to change the "and" of the last line
into "but":






David Livingstone's birthday was the 19th March, 1813. Of his early
boyhood there is little to say, except that he was a favorite at home.
The children's games were merrier when he was among them, and the
fireside brighter. He contributed constantly to the happiness of the
family. Anything of interest that happened to him he was always ready to
tell them. The habit was kept up in after-years. When he went to study
in Glasgow, returning on the Saturday evenings, he would take his place
by the fireside and tell them all that had occurred during the week,
thus sharing his life with them. His sisters still remember how they
longed for these Saturday evenings. At the village school he received
his early education. He seems from his earliest childhood to have been
of a calm, self-reliant nature. It was his father's habit to lock the
door at dusk, by which time all the children were expected to be in the
house. One evening David had infringed this rule, and when he reached
the door it was barred. He made no cry nor disturbance, but having
procured a piece of bread, sat down contentedly to pass the night on the
doorstep. There, on looking out, his mother found him. It was an early
application of the rule which did him such service in later days, to
make the best of the least pleasant situations. But no one could yet
have thought how the rule was to be afterward applied. Looking back to
this period, Livingstone might have said, in the words of the old
Scotch ballad:

"O little knew my mother,
The day she cradled me,
The lands that I should wander o'er,
The death that I should dee."

At the age of nine he got a New Testament from his Sunday-school teacher
for repeating the 119th Psalm on two successive evenings with only five
errors, a proof that perseverance was bred in his very bone.

His parents were poor, and at the age of ten he was put to work in the
factory as a piecer, that his earnings might aid his mother in the
struggle with the wolf which had followed the family from the island
that bore its name. After serving a number of years as a piecer, he was
promoted to be a spinner. Greatly to his mother's delight, the first
half crown he ever earned was laid by him in her lap. Livingstone has
told us that with a part of his first week's wages he purchased
Ruddiman's Rudiments of Latin, and pursued the study of that language
with unabated ardor for many years afterward at an evening class which
had been opened between the hours of eight and ten. "The dictionary part
of my labors was followed up till twelve o'clock, or later, if my mother
did not interfere by jumping up and snatching the books out of my hands.
I had to be back in the factory by six in the morning, and continue my
work, with intervals for breakfast and dinner, till eight o'clock at
night. I read in this way many of the classical authors, and knew Virgil
and Horace better at sixteen than I do now[4]."

[Footnote 4: _Missionary Travels_, p. 8.]

In his reading, he tells us that he devoured all the books that came
into his hands but novels, and that his plan was to place the book on a
portion of the spinning-jenny, so that he could catch sentence after
sentence as he passed at his work. The labor of attending to the wheels
was great, for the improvements in spinning machinery that have made it
self-acting had not then been introduced. The utmost interval that
Livingstone could have for reading at one time was less than a minute.

The thirst for reading so early shown was greatly stimulated by his
father's example. Neil Livingstone, while fond of the old Scottish
theology, was deeply interested in the enterprise of the nineteenth
century, or, as he called it, "the progress of the world," and
endeavored to interest his family in it too. Any books of travel, and
especially of missionary enterprise, that he could lay his hands on, he
eagerly read. Some publications of the Tract Society, called the _Weekly
Visitor_, the _Child's Companion and Teacher's Offering,_ were taken in,
and were much enjoyed by his son David, especially the papers of "Old
Humphrey." Novels were not admitted into the house, in accordance with
the feeling prevalent in religious circles. Neil Livingstone had also a
fear of books of science, deeming them unfriendly to Christianity; his
son instinctively repudiated that feeling, though it was some time
before the works of Thomas Dick, of Broughty-Ferry, enabled him to see
clearly, what to him was of vital significance, that religion and
science were not necessarily hostile, but rather friendly to each other.

The many-sidedness of his character showed itself early; for not content
with reading, he used to scour the country, accompanied by his brothers,
in search of botanical, geological, and zoological specimens.
Culpepper's _Herbal_ was a favorite book, and it set him to look in
every direction for as many of the plants described in it as the
countryside could supply. A story has been circulated that on these
occasions he did not always confine his researches in zoology to fossil
animals. That Livingstone was a poacher in the grosser sense of the term
seems hardly credible, though with the Radical opinions which he held at
the time it may readily be believed that he had no respect for the
sanctity of game. If a salmon came in his way while he was fishing for
trout, he made no scruple of bagging it. The bag on such occasions was
not always made for the purpose, for there is a story that once when he
had captured a fish in the "salmon pool," and was not prepared to
transport such a prize, he deposited it in the leg of his brother
Charles's trousers, creating no little sympathy for the boy as he passed
through the village with his sadly swollen leg!

It was about his twentieth year that the great spiritual change took
place which determined the course of Livingstone's future life. But
before this time he had earnest thoughts on religion. "Great pains," he
says in his first book, "had been taken by my parents to instill the
doctrines of Christianity into my mind, and I had no difficulty in
understanding the theory of a free salvation by the atonement of our
Saviour; but it was only about this time that I began to feel the
necessity and value of a personal application of the provisions of that
atonement to my own case[5]." Some light is thrown on this brief account
in a paper submitted by him to the Directors of the London Missionary
Society in 1838, in answer to a schedule of queries sent down by them
when he offered himself as a missionary for their service. He says that
about his twelfth year he began to reflect on his state as a sinner, and
became anxious to realize the state of mind that flows from the
reception of the truth into the heart. He was deterred, however, from
embracing the free offer of mercy in the gospel, by a sense of
unworthiness to receive so great a blessing, till a supernatural change
should be effected in him by the Holy Spirit. Conceiving it to be his
duty to wait for this, he continued expecting a ground of hope within,
rejecting meanwhile the only true hope of the sinner, the finished work
of Christ, till at length his convictions were effaced, and his feelings
blunted. Still his heart was not at rest; an unappeased hunger remained,
which no other pursuit could satisfy.

[Footnote 5: _Missionary Travels_, p.4]

In these circumstances he fell in with Dick's _Philosophy of a Future
State_. The book corrected his error, and showed him the truth. "I saw
the duty and inestimable privilege _immediately_ to accept salvation by
Christ. Humbly believing that through sovereign mercy and grace I have
been enabled so to do, and having felt in some measure its effects on my
still depraved and deceitful heart, it is my desire to show my
attachment to the cause of Him who died for me by devoting my life to
his service."

There can be no doubt that David Livingstone's heart was very thoroughly
penetrated by the new life that now flowed into it. He did not merely
apprehend the truth--the truth laid hold of him. The divine blessing
flowed into him as it flowed into the heart of St. Paul, St. Augustine,
and others of that type, subduing all earthly desires and wishes. What
he says in his book about the freeness of God's grace drawing forth
feelings of affectionate love to Him who bought him with his blood, and
the sense of deep obligation to Him for his mercy, that had influenced,
in some small measure, his conduct ever since, is from him most
significant. Accustomed to suppress all spiritual emotion in his public
writings, he would not have used these words if they had not been very
real. They give us the secret of his life. Acts of self-denial that are
very hard to do under the iron law of conscience, become a willing
service under the glow of divine love. It was the glow of divine love as
well as the power of conscience that moved Livingstone. Though he seldom
revealed his inner feelings, and hardly ever in the language of ecstasy,
it is plain that he was moved by a calm but mighty inward power to the
very end of his life. The love that began to stir his heart in his
father's house continued to move him all through his dreary African
journeys, and was still in full play on that lonely midnight when he
knelt at his bedside in the hut in Ilala, and his spirit returned to his
God and Saviour.

At first he had no thought of being himself a missionary. Feeling "that
the salvation of men ought to be the chief desire and aim of every
Christian," he had made a resolution "that he would give to the cause of
missions all that he might earn beyond what was required for his
subsistence[6]." The resolution to give himself came from his reading an
Appeal by Mr. Gutzlaff to the Churches of Britain and America on behalf
of China. It was "the claims of so many millions of his
fellow-creatures, and the complaints of the scarcity, of the want of
qualified missionaries," that led him to aspire to the office. From that
time--apparently his twenty-first year--his "efforts were constantly
directed toward that object without any fluctuation."

[Footnote 6: Statement to Directors of London Missionary Society.]

The years of monotonous toil spent in the factory were never regretted
by Livingstone. On the contrary, he regarded his experience there as an
important part of his education, and had it been possible, he would have
liked "to begin life over again in the same lowly style, and to pass
through the same hardy training[7]." The fellow-feeling he acquired for
the children of labor was invaluable for enabling him to gain influence
with the same class, whether in Scotland or in Africa. As we have
already seen, he was essentially a man of the people. Not that he looked
unkindly on the richer classes,--he used to say in his later years, that
he liked to see people in comfort and at leisure, enjoying the good
things of life,--but he felt that the burden-bearing multitude claimed
his sympathy most. How quick the people are, whether in England or in
Africa, to find out this sympathetic spirit, and how powerful is the
hold of their hearts which those who have it gain! In poetic feeling, or
at least in the power of expressing it, as in many other things, David
Livingstone and Robert Burns were a great contrast; but in sympathy with
the people they were alike, and in both cases the people felt it. Away
and alone, in the heart of Africa, when mourning "the pride and avarice
that make man a wolf to man," Livingstone would welcome the "good time
coming," humming the words of Burns:

[Footnote 7: _Missionary Travels_, p. 6.]

"When man to man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that."

In all the toils and trials of his life, he found the good of that
early Blantyre discipline, which had forced him to bear irksome toil
with patience, until the toil ceased to be irksome, and even became
a pleasure.

Livingstone has told us that the village of Blantyre, with its
population of two thousand souls, contained some characters of sterling
worth and ability, who exerted a most beneficial influence on the
children and youth of the place by imparting gratuitous religious
instruction. The names of two of the worthiest of these are given,
probably because they stood highest in his esteem, and he owed most to
them, Thomas Burke and David Hogg. Essentially alike, they seem to have
been outwardly very different. Thomas Burke, a somewhat wild youth, had
enlisted early in the army. His adventures and hairbreadth escapes in
the Forty-second, during the Peninsular and other wars, were marvelous,
and used to be told in after-years to crowds of wondering listeners. But
most marvelous was the change of heart that brought him back an intense
Christian evangelist, who, in season, and out of season, never ceased to
beseech the people of Blantyre to yield themselves to God. Early on
Sunday mornings he would go through the village ringing a bell to rouse
the people that they might attend an early prayer-meeting which he had
established. His temperament was far too high for most even of the
well-disposed people of Blantyre, but Neil Livingstone appreciated his
genuine worth, and so did his son. David says of him that "for about
forty years he had been incessant and never weary in good works, and
that such men were an honor to their country and their profession." Yet
it was not after the model of Thomas Burke that Livingstone's own
religious life was fashioned. It had a greater resemblance to that of
David Hogg, the other of the two Blantyre patriarchs of whom he makes
special mention, under whose instructions he had sat in the
Sunday-school, and whose spirit may be gathered from his death-bed
advice to him: "Now, lad, make religion the every-day business of your
life, and not a thing of fits and starts; for if you do, temptation and
other things will get the better of you." It would hardly be possible to
give a better account of Livingstone's religion than that he did make it
quietly, but very really, the every-day business of his life. From the
first he disliked men of much profession and little performance; the
aversion grew as he advanced in years; and by the end of his life, in
judging of men, he had come to make somewhat light both of profession
and of formal creed, retaining and cherishing more and more firmly the
one great test of the Saviour--"By their fruits ye shall know them."



A.D. 1836--1840.

His desire to be a missionary to China--Medical missions--He studies at
Glasgow--Classmates and teachers--He applies to London Missionary
Society--His ideas of mission work--He is accepted provisionally--He
goes to London--to Ongar--Reminiscences by Rev. Joseph Moore--by Mrs.
Gilbert--by Rev. Isaac Taylor--Nearly rejected by the Directors--Returns
to Ongar--to London--Letter to his sister--Reminiscences by Dr. Risdon
Bennett--Promise to Professor Owen--Impression of his character on his
friends and fellow-students--Rev. R. Moffat in England--Livingstone
interested--Could not be sent to China--Is appointed to
Africa--Providential links in his history--Illness--Last visits to his
home--Receives Medical diploma--Parts from his family.

It was the appeal of Gutzlaff for China, as we have seen, that inspired
Livingstone with the desire to be a missionary; and China was the
country to which his heart turned. The noble faith and dauntless
enterprise of Gutzlaff, pressing into China over obstacles apparently
insurmountable, aided by his medical skill and other unusual
qualifications, must have served to shape Livingstone's ideal of a
missionary, as well as to attract him to the country where Gutzlaff
labored. It was so ordered, however, that in consequence of the opium
war shutting China, as it seemed, to the English, his lot was not cast
there; but throughout his whole life he had a peculiarly lively interest
in the country that had been the object of his first love. Afterward,
when his brother Charles, then in America, wrote to him that he, too,
felt called to the missionary office, China was the sphere which David
pointed out to him, in the hope that the door which had been closed to
the one brother might be opened to the other.

When he determined to be a missionary, the only persons to whom he
communicated his purpose were his minister and his parents, from all of
whom he received great encouragement[8]. He hoped that he would be able
to go through the necessary preparation without help from any quarter.
This was the more commendable, because in addition to the theological
qualifications of a missionary, he determined to aquire those of a
medical practitioner. The idea of medical missions was at that time
comparatively new. It had been started in connection with missions to
China, and it was in the prospect of going to that country that
Livingstone resolved to obtain a medical education. It would have been
comparatively easy for him, in a financial sense, to get the theological
training, but the medical education was a costly affair. To a man of
ordinary ideas, it would have seemed impossible to make the wages earned
during the six months of summer avail not merely for his support then,
but for winter too, and for lodgings, fees, and books besides. Scotch
students have often done wonders in this way, notably the late Dr. John
Henderson, a medical missionary to China, who actually lived on
half-a-crown a week, while attending medical classes in Edinburgh.
Livingstone followed the same self-denying course. If we had a note of
his house-keeping in his Glasgow lodging, we should wonder less at his
ability to live on the fare to which he was often reduced in Africa.
But the importance of the medical qualification had taken a firm hold of
his mind, and he persevered in spite of difficulties. Though it was
never his lot to exercise the healing art in China, his medical training
was of the highest use in Africa, and it developed wonderfully his
strong scientific turn.

[Footnote 8: Livingstone's minister at this time was the Rev. John Moir,
of the Congregational church, Hamilton, who afterward joined the Free
Church of Scotland, and is now Presbyterian minister in Wellington, New
Zealand. Mr. Moir has furnished us with some recollections of
Livingstone, which reached us after the completion of this narrative. He
particularly notes that when Livingstone expressed his desire to be a
missionary, it was a missionary out and out, a missionary to the
heathen, not the minister of a congregation. Mr. Moir kindly lent him
some books when he went to London, all of which were conscientiously
returned before he left the country. A Greek Lexicon, with only cloth
boards when lent, was returned in substantial calf. He was ever careful,
conscientious, and honorable in all his dealings, as his father had been
before him.]

It was in the winter of 1836-37 that he spent his first session in
Glasgow. Furnished by a friend with a list of lodgings, Livingstone and
his father set out from Blantyre one wintry day, while the snow was on
the ground, and walked to Glasgow. The lodgings were all too expensive.
All day they searched for a cheaper apartment, and at last in Rotten Row
they found a room at two shillings a week. Next evening David wrote to
his friends that he had entered in the various classes, and spent twelve
pounds in fees; that he felt very lonely after his father left, but
would put "a stout heart to a stey brae," and "either mak' a spune or
spoil a horn." At Rotten Row he found that his landlady held rather
communistic views in regard to his tea and sugar; so another search had
to be made, and this time he found a room in the High street, where he
was very comfortable, at half-a-crown a week.

At the close of the session in April he returned to Blantyre and resumed
work at the mill. He was unable to save quite enough for his second
session, and found it necessary to borrow a little from his elder
brother[9]. The classes he attended during these two sessions were the
Greek class in Anderson's College, the theological classes of Rev. Dr.
Wardlaw, who trained students for the Independent Churches, and the
medical classes in Anderson's. In the Greek class he seems to have been
entered as a private student exciting little notice[10]. In the same
capacity he attended the lectures of Dr. Wardlaw. He had a great
admiration for that divine, and accepted generally his theological
views. But Livingstone was not much of a scientific theologian.

[Footnote 9: The readiness of elder brothers to advance part of their
hard-won earnings, or otherwise encourage a younger brother to attend
college, is a pleasant feature of family life in the humbler classes of
Scotland. The case of James Beattie, the poet, assisted by his brother
David, and that of Sir James Simpson, who owed so much to his brother
Alexander, will be remembered in this connection.]

[Footnote 10: A very sensational and foolish reminiscence was once
published of a raw country youth coming into the class with his clothes
stained with grease and whitened by cotton-wool. This was Livingstone.
The fact is, nothing could possibly have been more unlike him. At this
time Livingstone was not working at the mill; and, in regard to dress,
however plainly he might be clad, he was never careless, far less

His chief work in Glasgow was the prosecution of medical study. Of his
teachers, two attracted him beyond the rest--the late Dr. Thomas Graham,
the very distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Andrew Buchanan,
Professor of the Institutes of Medicine, his life-long and much-attached
friend. While attending Dr. Graham's class he was brought into frequent
contact with the assistant to the Professor, Mr. James Young. Originally
bred to a mechanical employment, this young man had attended the evening
course of Dr. Graham, and having attracted his attention, and done
various pieces of work for him, he became his assistant. The students
used to gather round him, and several met in his room, where there was a
bench, a turning-lathe, and other conveniences for mechanical work.
Livingstone took an interest in the turning-lathe, and increased his
knowledge of tools--a knowledge which proved of the highest service to
him when--as he used to say all missionaries should be ready to do--he
had to become a Jack-of-all-trades in Africa.

Livingstone was not the only man of mark who frequented that room, and
got lessons from Mr. Young "how to use his hands." The Right Hon. Lyon
Playfair, who has had so distinguished a scientific career, was another
of its habitues. A galvanic battery constructed by two young men on a
new principle, under Mr. Young's instructions, became an object of great
attraction, and among those who came to see it and its effects were two
sons of the Professor of Mathematics in the University. Although but
boys, both were fired at this interview with enthusiasm for electric
science. Both have been for many years Professors in the University of
Glasgow. The elder, Professor James Thomson, is well known for his
useful inventions and ingenious papers on many branches of science. The
younger, Sir William Thomson, ranks over the world as prince of
electricians, and second to no living man in scientific reputation.

Dr. Graham's assistant devoted himself to practical chemistry, and made
for himself a brilliant name by the purification of petroleum, adapting
it for use in private houses, and by the manufacture of paraffin and
paraffin-oil. Few men have made the art to which they devoted themselves
more subservient to the use of man than he whom Livingstone first knew
as Graham's assistant, and afterward used to call playfully "Sir
Paraffin." "I have been obliged to knight him," he used to say, "to
distinguish him from the other Young." The "other" Young was Mr. E. D.
Young, of the Search Expedition, and subsequently the very successful
leader of the Scotch Mission at Lake Nyassa. The assistant to Dr. Graham
still survives, and is well known as Mr. Young, of Kelly, LL.D.
and F.R.S.

When Livingstone returned from his first journey his acquaintance with
Mr. Young was resumed, and their friendship continued through life. It
is no slight testimony from one who knew him so long and so intimately,
that, in his judgment, Livingstone was the best man he ever knew, had
more than any other man of true filial trust in God, more of the spirit
of Christ, more of integrity, purity, and simplicity of character, and
of self-denying love for his fellow-men. Livingstone named after him a
river which he supposed might be one of the sources of the Nile, and
used ever to speak with great respect of the chief achievement of Mr.
Young's life,--filling houses with a clear white light at a fraction of
the cost of the smoky article which it displaced.

Beyond their own department, men of science are often as lax and
illogical as any; but when scientific training is duly applied, it
genders a habit of thorough accuracy, inasmuch as in scientific inquiry
the slightest deviation from truth breeds endless mischief. Other
influences had already disposed Livingstone to great exactness of
statement, but along with these his scientific training may be held to
have contributed to that dread of exaggeration and of all inaccuracy
which was so marked a feature of his character through life.

It happened that Livingstone did not part company with Professor Graham
and Mr. Young when he left Glasgow. The same year, Dr. Graham went to
London as Professor in University College, and Livingstone, who also
went to London, had the opportunity of paying occasional visits to his
class. In this way, too, he became acquainted with the late Dr. George
Wilson, afterward Professor of Technology in the University of
Edinburgh, who was then acting as unsalaried assistant in Dr. Graham's
laboratory. Frank, genial, and chivalrous, Wilson and Livingstone had
much in common, and more in after-years, when Wilson, too, became an
earnest Christian. In the simplicity and purity of their character, and
in their devotion to science, not only for its own sake, but as a
department of the kingdom of God, they were brothers indeed. Livingstone
showed his friendship in after-years by collecting and transmitting to
Wilson whatever he could find in Africa worthy of a place in the
Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art, of which his friend was the
first Director.

In the course of his second session in Glasgow (1837-38) Livingstone
applied to the London Missionary Society, offering his services to them
as a missionary. He had learned that that Society had for its sole
object to send the gospel to the heathen; that it accepted missionaries
from different Churches, and that it did not set up any particular form
of Church, but left it to the converts to choose the form they
considered most in accordance with the Word of God. This agreed with
Livingstone's own notion of what a Missionary Society should do. He had
already connected himself with the Independent communion, but this
preference for it was founded chiefly on his greater regard for the
_personnel_ of the body, and for the spirit in which it was
administered, as compared with the Presbyterian Churches of Scotland. He
had very strong views of the spirituality of the Church of Christ, and
the need of a profound spiritual change as the only true basis of
Christian life and character. He thought that the Presbyterian Churches
were too lax in their communion, and particularly the Established
Church. He was at this time a decided Voluntary, chiefly on the ground
maintained by such men as Vinet, that the connection of Church and State
was hurtful to the spirituality of the Church; and he had a particular
abhorrence of what he called "geographical Christianity,"--which gave
every man within a certain area a right to the sacraments. We shall see
that in his later years Dr. Livingstone saw reason to modify some of
these opinions; surveying the Evangelical Churches from the heart of
Africa, he came to think that, established or non-established, they did
not differ so very much from each other, and that there was much good
and considerable evil in them all.

In his application to the London Missionary Society, Livingstone stated
his ideas of missionary work in comprehensive terms: "The missionary's
object is to endeavor by every means in his power to make known the
gospel by preaching, exhortation, conversation, instruction of the
young; improving, so far as in his power, the temporal condition of
those among whom he labors, by introducing the arts and sciences of
civilization, and doing everything to commend Christianity to their
hearts and consciences. He will be exposed to great trials of his faith
and patience from the indifference, distrust, and even direct opposition
and scorn of those for whose good he is laboring; he may be tempted to
despondency from the little apparent fruit of his exertions, and exposed
to all the contaminating influence of heathenism." He was not about to
undertake this work without counting the cost. "The hardships and
dangers of missionary life, so far as I have had the means of
ascertaining their nature and extent, have been the subject of serious
reflection, and in dependence on the promised assistance of the Holy
Spirit, I have no hesitation in saying that I would willingly submit to
them, considering my constitution capable of enduring any ordinary share
of hardship or fatigue." On one point he was able to give the Directors
very explicit information: he was not married, nor under any engagement
of marriage, nor had he ever made proposals of marriage, nor indeed been
in love! He would prefer to go out unmarried, that he might, like the
great apostle, be without family cares, and give himself entirely to
the work.

His application to the London Missionary Society was provisionally
accepted, and in September, 1838, he was summoned to London to meet the
Directors. A young Englishman came to London on the same errand at the
same time, and a friendship naturally arose between the two.
Livingstone's young friend was the Rev. Joseph Moore, afterwards
missionary at Tahiti; now of Congleton, in Cheshire. Nine years later,
Livingstone, writing to Mr. Moore from Africa, said: "Of all those I
have met since we parted, I have seen no one I can compare to you for
sincere, hearty friendship." Livingstone's family used to speak of them
as Jonathan and David. Mr. Moore has kindly furnished us with his
recollections of Livingstone at this time:--

"I met with Livingstone first in September, 1838, at 57 Aldersgate
street, London. On the same day we had received a letter from the
Secretary informing us severally that our applications had been
received, and that we must appear in London to be examined by the
Mission Board there. On the same day, he from Scotland, and I from the
south of England, arrived in town. On that night we simply accosted each
other, as those who meet at a lodging house might do. After breakfast on
the following day we fell into conversation, and finding that the same
object had brought us to the metropolis, and that the same trial awaited
us, naturally enough we were drawn to each other. Every day, as we had
not been in town before, we visited places of renown in the great city,
and had many a chat about our prospects.

"On Sunday, in the morning, we heard Dr. Leifchild, who was then in his
prime, and in the evening Mr. Sherman, who preached with all his
accustomed persuasiveness and mellifluousness. In the afternoon we
worshiped at St. Paul's, and heard Prebendary Dale.

"On Monday we passed our first examination. On Tuesday we went to
Westminster Abbey. Who that had seen those two young men passing from
monument to monument could have divined that one of them would one day
be buried with a nation's--rather with the civilized world's--lament, in
that sacred shrine? The wildest fancy could not have pictured that such
an honor awaited David Livingstone. I grew daily more attached to him.
If I were asked why, I should be rather at a loss to reply. There was
truly an indescribable charm about him, which, with all his rather
ungainly ways, and by no means winning face, attracted almost every one,
and which helped him so much in his after-wanderings in Africa.

"He won those who came near him by a kind of spell. There happened to be
in the boarding-house at that time a young M.D., a saddler from Hants,
and a bookseller from Scotland. To this hour they all speak of him in
rapturous terms.

"After passing two examinations, we were both so far accepted by the
Society that we were sent to the Rev. Richard Cecil, who resided at
Chipping Ongar, in Essex. Most missionary students were sent to him for
three months' probation, and if a favorable opinion was sent to the
Board of Directors, they went to one of the Independent colleges. The
students did not for the most part live with Mr. Cecil, but took
lodgings in the town, and went to his house for meals and instruction in
classics and theology. Livingstone and I lodged together. We read Latin
and Greek, and began Hebrew together. Every day we took walks, and
visited all the spots of interest in the neighborhood, among them the
country churchyard which was the burial-place of John Locke. In a place
so quiet, and a life so ordinary as that of a student, there did not
occur many events worthy of recital. I will, however, mention one or
two things, because they give an insight--a kind of prophetic
glance--into Livingstone's after-career.

"One foggy November morning, at three o'clock, he set out from Ongar to
walk to London to see a relative of his father's[11]. It was about
twenty-seven miles to the house he sought. After spending a few hours
with his relation, he set out to return on foot to Ongar. Just out of
London, near Edmonton, a lady had been thrown out of a gig. She lay
stunned on the road. Livingston immediately went to her, helped to carry
her into a house close by, and having examined her and found no bones
broken, and recommending a doctor to be called, he resumed his weary
tramp. Weary and footsore, when he reached Stanford Rivers he missed his
way, and finding after some time that he was wrong, he felt so dead-beat
that he was inclined to lie down and sleep; but finding a directing-post
he climbed it, and by the light of the stars deciphered enough to know
his whereabouts. About twelve that Saturday night he reached Ongar,
white as a sheet, and so tired he could hardly utter a word. I gave him
a basin of bread and milk, and I am not exaggerating when I say I put
him to bed. He fell at once asleep, and did not awake till noonday had
passed on Sunday.

[Footnote 11: We learn from the family that the precise object of the
visit was to transact some business for his eldest brother, who had
begun to deal in lace. In the darkness of the morning Livingstone fell
into a ditch, smearing his clothes, and not improving his appearance for
smart business purposes. The day was spent in going about in London from
shop to shop, greatly increasing Livingstone's fatigue.]

"Total abstinence at that time began to be spoken of, and Livingstone
and I, and a Mr. Taylor, who went to India, took a pledge together to
abstain[12]. Of that trio, two, I am sorry to say _(heu me miserum!),_
enfeebled health, after many years, compelled to take a little wine for
our stomachs' sake. Livingstone was one of the two.

[Footnote 12: Livingstone had always practiced total abstinence,
according to the invariable custom of his father's house. The third of
the trio was the Rev. Joseph V.S. Taylor, now of the Irish Presbyterian
Mission, Gujerat, Bombay.]

"One part of our duties was to prepare sermons, which were submitted to
Mr. Cecil, and, when corrected, were committed to memory, and then
repeated to our village congregations. Livingstone prepared one, and one
Sunday the minister of Stamford Rivers; where the celebrated Isaac
Taylor resided, having fallen sick after the morning service,
Livingstone was sent for to preach in the evening. He took his text,
read it out very deliberately, and then--then--his sermon had fled!
Midnight darkness came upon him, and he abruptly said: 'Friends, I have
forgotten all I had to say,' and hurrying out of the pulpit, he left
the chapel.

"He never became a preacher" [we shall see that this does not apply to
his preaching in the Sichuana language], "and in the first letter I
received from him from Elizabeth Town, in Africa, he says: 'I am a very
poor preacher, having a bad delivery, and some of them said if they knew
I was to preach again they would not enter the chapel. Whether this was
all on account of my manner I don't know; but the truth which I uttered
seemed to plague very much the person who supplies the missionaries with
wagons and oxen. (They were bad ones.) My subject was the necessity of
adopting the benevolent spirit of the Son of God, and abandoning the
selfishness of the world.' Each student at Ongar had also to conduct
family worship in rotation. I was much impressed by the fact that
Livingstone never prayed without the petition that we might imitate
Christ in all his imitable perfections[13]."

[Footnote 13: In connection with this prayer, it is interesting to note
the impression made by Livingstone nearly twenty years afterward on one
who saw him but twice--once at a public breakfast in Edinburgh, and
again at the British Association in Dublin in 1857. We refer to Mrs.
Sime, sister of Livingstone's early friend, Professor George Wilson, of
Edinburgh. Mrs. Sime writes; "I never knew any one who gave me more the
idea of power over other men, such power as our Saviour showed while on
earth, the power of love and purity combined."]

In the Autobiography of Mrs. Gilbert, an eminent member of the family of
the Taylors of Ongar, there occur some reminiscenses of Livingstone,
corresponding to those here given by Mr. Moore[14].

[Footnote 14: Page 886, third edition.]

The Rev. Isaac Taylor, LL.D., now rector of Settringham, York, son of
the celebrated author of _The Natural History of Enthusiasm_, and
himself author of _Words and Places, Etruscan Researches_, etc., has
kindly furnished us with the following recollection: "I well remember as
a boy taking country rambles with Livingstone when he was studying at
Ongar. Mr. Cecil had several missionary students, but Livingstone was
the only one whose personality made any impression on my boyish
imagination. I might sum up my impression of him in two
words--simplicity and resolution. Now, after nearly forty years, I
remember his step, the characteristic forward tread, firm, simple,
resolute, neither fast nor slow, no hurry and no dawdle, but which
evidently meant--getting there[15]."

[Footnote 15: On one occasion, in conversation with his former pastor,
the Rev. John Moir, Livingstone spoke of Mr. Isaac Taylor, who had shown
him much kindness, and often invited him to dine in his house. He said
that though Mr. Taylor was connected with the Independents, he was
attached to the principles of the Church of England. Mr. Taylor used to
lay very great stress on acquaintance with the writings of the Fathers
as necessary for meeting the claims of the Tractarians, and did not
think that that study was sufficiently encouraged by the Nonconformists.
Any one who has been in Mr. Taylor's study at Stanford Rivers, and who
remembers the top-heavy row of patristic folios that crowned his
collection of books, and the glance of pride he cast on them as he asked
his visitor whether many men in his Church were well read in the
Fathers, will be at no loss to verify this reminiscence. Certainly
Livingstone had no such qualification, and undoubtedly he never
missed it.]

We resume Mr. Moore's reminiscences:

"When three months had elapsed, Mr. Cecil sent in his report to the
Board. Judging from Livingstone's hesitating manner in conducting family
worship, and while praying on the week-days in the chapel, and also from
his failure so complete in preaching, an unfavorable report was given
in.... Happily, when it was read, and a decision was about to be given
against him, some one pleaded hard that his probation should be
extended, and so he had several months' additional trial granted. I
sailed in the same boat, and was also sent back to Ongar as a naughty
boy.... At last we had so improved that both were fully accepted.
Livingstone went to London to pursue his medical studies, and I went to
Cheshunt College, A day or two after reaching college, I sent to
Livingstone, asking him to purchase a second-hand carpet for my room. He
was quite scandalized at such an exhibition of effeminacy, and
positively refused to gratify my wish.... In the spring of 1840 I met
Livingstone at London in Exeter Hall, when Prince Albert delivered his
maiden speech in England. I remember how nearly he was brought to
silence when the speech, which he had lodged on the brim of his hat,
fell into it, as deafening cheers made it vibrate. A day or two after,
we heard Binney deliver his masterly missionary sermon, 'Christ seeing
of the travail of his soul and being satisfied.'"

The meeting at Exeter Hall was held to inaugurate the Niger Expedition.
It was on this occasion that Samuel Wilberforce became known as a great
platform orator[16]. It must have been pleasant to Livingstone in
after-years to recall the circumstance when he became a friend and
correspondent of the Bishop of Oxford.

[Footnote 16: _Life of Bishop Wilberforce_, vol. i, p. 160.]

Notwithstanding the dear postage of the time, Livingstone wrote
regularly to his friends, but few of his letters have survived. One of
the few, dated 5th May, 1839, is addressed to his sister, and in it he
says that there had been some intention of sending him abroad at once,
but that he was very desirous of getting more education. The letter
contains very little news, but is full of the most devout aspirations
for himself and exhortations to his sister. Alluding to the remark of a
friend that they should seek to be "uncommon Christians, that is,
eminently holy and devoted servants of the Most High," he urges:

"Let us seek--and with the conviction that we cannot do
without it--that all selfishness be extirpated, pride
banished, unbelief driven from the mind, every idol
dethroned, and everything hostile to holiness and opposed to
the divine will crucified; that 'holiness to the Lord' may be
engraven on the heart, and evermore characterize our whole
conduct. This is what we ought to strive after; this is the
way to be happy; this is what our Saviour loves--entire
surrender of the heart. May He enable us by his Spirit to
persevere till we attain it! All comes from Him, the
disposition to ask as well as the blessing itself.

"I hope you improve the talents committed to you whenever
there is an opportunity. You have a class with whom you have
some influence. It requires prudence in the way of managing
it; seek wisdom from above to direct you; _persevere_--don't
be content with once or twice recommending the Saviour to
them--again and again, in as kind a manner as possible,
familiarly, individually, and privately, exhibit to them the
fountain of happiness and joy, never forgetting to implore
divine energy to accompany your endeavors, and you need not
fear that your labor will be unfruitful. If you have the
willing mind, that is accepted; nothing is accepted if that
be wanting. God desires that. He can do all the rest. After
all, He is the sole agent, for the 'willing mind' comes alone
from Him. This is comforting, for when we think of the
feebleness and littleness of all we do, we might despair of
having our services accepted, were we not assured that it is
not these God looks to, except in so far as they are
indications of the state of the heart."

Dr. Livingstone's sisters have a distinct recollection that the field to
which the Directors intended to send him was the West Indies, and that
he remonstrated on the ground that he had spent two years in medical
study, but in the West Indies, where there were regular practitioners,
his medical knowledge would be of little or no avail. He pleaded with
the Directors, therefore, that he might be allowed to complete his
medical studies, and it was then that Africa was provisionally fixed on
as his destination. It appears, however, that he had not quite abandoned
the thought of China. Mr. Moir, his former pastor, writes that being in
London in May, 1839, he called at the Mission House to make inquiries
about him. He asked whether the Directors did not intend to send him to
the East Indies, where the field was so large and the demand so urgent,
but he was told that though they esteemed him highly, they did not think
that his gifts fitted him for India, and that Africa would be a more
suitable field.

On returning to London, Livingstone devoted himself with special ardor
to medical and scientific study. The church with which he was connected
was that of the late Rev. Dr. Bennett, in Falcon Square. This led to his
becoming intimate with Dr. Bennett's son, now the well-known J. Risdon
Bennett, M.D., LL.D., F.R.S., and President of the Royal College of
Physicians, London. The friendship continued during the whole of Dr.
Livingstone's life. From some recollections with which Dr. Bennett has
kindly furnished us we take the following:

"My acquaintance with David Livingstone was through the
London Missionary Society, when, having offered himself to
that Society, he came to London to carry on those medical and
other studies which he had commenced in Glasgow. From the
first, I became deeply interested in his character, and ever
after maintained a close friendship with him. I entertained
toward him a sincere affection, and had the highest
admiration of his endowments, both of mind and heart, and of
his pure and noble devotion of all his powers to the highest
purposes of life. One could not fail to be impressed with his
simple, loving, Christian spirit, and the combined modest,
unassuming, and self-reliant character of the man.

"He placed himself under my guidance in reference to his
medical studies, and I was struck with the amount of
knowledge that he had already acquired of those subjects
which constitute the foundation of medical science. He had,
however, little or no acquaintance with the practical
departments of medicine, and had had no opportunities of
studying the nature and aspects of disease. Of these
deficiencies he was quite aware, and felt the importance of
acquiring as much practical knowledge as possible during his
stay in London. I was at that time physician to the
Aldersgate Street Dispensary, and was lecturing at the
Charing Cross Hospital on the practice of medicine, and thus
was able to obtain for him free admission to hospital
practice as well as attendance on my lectures and my practice
at the dispensary. I think that I also obtained for him
admission to the opthalmic hospital in Moorfields. With these
sources of information open to him, he obtained a
considerable acquaintance with the more ordinary forms of
disease, both surgical and medical, and an amount of
scientific and practical knowledge that could not fail to be
of the greatest advantage to him in the distant regions to
which he was going, away from all the resources of
civilization. His letters to me, and indeed all the records
of his eventful life, demonstrate how great to him was the
value of the medical knowledge with which he entered on
missionary life. There is abundant evidence that on various
occasions his own life was preserved through his courageous
and sagacious application of his scientific knowledge to his
own needs; and the benefits which he conferred on the natives
to whose welfare he devoted himself, and the wonderful
influence which he exercised over them, were in no small
degree due to the humane and skilled assistance which he was
able to render as a healer of bodily disease. The account
which he gave me of his perilous encounter with the lion, and
the means he adopted for the repair of the serious injuries
which he received, excited the astonishment and admiration of
all the medical friends to whom I related it, as evincing an
amount of courage, sagacity, skill, and endurance that have
scarcely been surpassed in the annals of heroism."

Another distinguished man of science with whom Livingstone became
acquainted in London, and on whom he made an impression similar to that
made on Dr. Bennett, was Professor Owen. Part of the little time at his
disposal was devoted to studying the series of comparative anatomy in
the Hunterian Museum, under Professor Owen's charge. Mr. Owen was
interested to find that the Lanarkshire student was born in the same
neighborhood as Hunter[17], but still more interested in the youth
himself and his great love of natural history. On taking leave,
Livingstone promised to bear his instructor in mind if any curiosity
fell in his way. Years passed, and as no communication reached him, Mr.
Owen was disposed to class the promise with too many others made in the
like circumstances. But on his first return to this country Livingstone
presented himself, bearing the tusk of an elephant with a spiral curve.
He had found it in the heart of Africa, and it was not easy of
transport. "You may recall," said Professor Owen, at the Farewell
Festival in 1858, "the difficulties of the progress of the weary sick
traveler on the bullock's back. Every pound weight was of moment; but
Livingstone said, 'Owen shall have this tusk,' and he placed it in my
hands in London." Professor Owen recorded this as a proof of
Livingstone's inflexible adherence to his word. With equal justice we
may quote it as a proof of his undying gratitude to any one that had
shown him kindness.

[Footnote 17: Not in the same _parish_, as stated afterward by Professor
Owen. Hunter was born in East Kilbride, and Livingstone in Blantyre. The
error is repeated in notices of Livingstone in some other quarters.]

On all his fellow-students and acquaintances the simplicity, frankness,
and kindliness of Livingstone's character made a deep impression. Mr.
J.S. Cook, now of London, who spent three months with him at Ongar,
writes: "He was so kind and gentle in word and deed to all about him
that all loved him. He had always words of sympathy at command, and was
ready to perform acts of sympathy for those who were suffering." The
Rev. G.D. Watt, a brother Scotchman, who went as a missionary to India,
has a vivid remembrance of Livingstone's mode of discussion; he showed
great simplicity of view, along with a certain roughness or bluntness of
manner; great kindliness, and yet great persistence in holding to his
own ideas. But none of his friends seem to have had any foresight of
the eminence he was destined to attain. The Directors of the Society
did not even rank him among their ablest men. It is interesting to
contrast the opinion entertained of him then with that expressed by Sir
Bartle Frere, after much personal intercourse, many years afterward. "Of
his intellectual force and energy," wrote Sir Bartle, "he has given such
proof as few men could afford. Any five years of his life might in any
other occupation have established a character and raised for him a
fortune such as none but the most energetic of our race can

[Footnote 18: _Good Words_, 1874, p. 285.]

But his early friends were not so much at fault. Livingstone was
somewhat slow of maturing. If we may say so, his intellect hung fire up
to this very time, and it was only during his last year in England that
he came to his intellectual manhood, and showed his real power. His very
handwriting shows the change; from being cramped and feeble it suddenly
becomes clear, firm, and upright, very neat, but quite the hand of a
vigorous, independent man.

Livingstone's prospects of getting to China had been damaged by the
Opium War; while it continued, no new appointments could be made, even
had the Directors wished to send him there. It was in these
circumstances that he came into contact with his countryman, Mr. (now
Dr.) Moffat, who was then in England, creating much interest in his
South African mission. The idea of his going to Africa became a settled
thing, and was soon carried into effect.

"I had occasion" (Dr. Moffat has informed us) "to call for
some one at Mrs. Sewell's, a boarding-house for young
missionaries in Aldersgate street, where Livingstone lived. I
observed soon that this young man was interested in my story,
that he would sometimes come quietly and ask me a question or
two, and that he was always desirous to know where I was to
speak in public, and attended on these occasions. By and by
he asked me whether I thought he would do for Africa. I said
I believed he would, if he would not go to an old station,
but would advance to unoccupied ground, specifying the vast
plain to the north, where I had sometimes seen, in the
morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages, where no
missionary had ever been. At last Livingstone said: 'What is
the use of my waiting for the end of this abominable opium
war? I will go at once to Africa.' The Directors concurred,
and Africa became his sphere."

It is no wonder that all his life Livingstone had a very strong faith in
Providence, for at every turn of his career up to this point, some
unlooked-for circumstance had come in to give a new direction to his
history. First, his reading Dick's _Philosophy of a Future State_, which
led him to Christ, but did not lead him away from science; then his
falling in with Gutzlaff's _Appeal_, which induced him to become a
medical missionary; the Opium War, which closed China against him; the
friendly word of the Director who procured for him another trial; Mr.
Moffat's visit, which deepened his interest in Africa; and finally, the
issue of a dangerous illness that attacked him in London--all indicated
the unseen hand that was preparing him for his great work.

The meeting of Livingstone with Moffat is far too important an event to
be passed over without remark. Both directly and indirectly Mr. Moffat's
influence on his young brother, afterward to become his son-in-law, was
remarkable. In after-life they had a thorough appreciation of each
other. No family on the face of the globe could have been so helpful to
Livingstone in connection with the great work to which he gave himself.
If the old Roman fashion of surnames still prevailed, there is no
household of which all the members would have been better entitled to
put AFRICANUS after their name. The interests of the great continent
were dear to them all. In 1872, when one of the Search Expeditions for
Livingstone was fitted out, a grandson of Dr. Moffat, another Robert
Moffat, was among those who set out in the hope of relieving him; cut
off at the very beginning, in the flower of his youth, he left his bones
to moulder in African soil.

The illness to which we have alluded was an attack of congestion of the
liver, with an affection of the lungs. It seemed likely to prove fatal,
and the only chance of recovery appeared to be a visit to his home, and
return to his native air. In accompanying him to the steamer, Mr. Moore
found him so weak that he could scarcely walk on board. He parted from
him in tears, fearing that he had but a few days to live. But the voyage
and the visit had a wonderful effect, and very soon Livingstone was in
his usual health. The parting with his father and mother, as they
afterward told Mr. Moore, was very affecting. It happened, however, that
they met once more. It was felt that the possession of a medical diploma
would be of service, and Livingstone returned to Scotland in November,
1840, and passed at Glasgow as Licentiate of the Faculty of Physicians
and Surgeons. It was on this occasion he found it so inconvenient to
have opinions of his own and the knack of sticking to them. It seemed as
if he was going to be rejected for obstinately maintaining his views in
regard to the stethoscope; but he pulled through. A single night was all
that he could spend with his family, and they had so much to speak of
that David proposed they should sit up all night. This, however, his
mother would not hear of. "I remember my father and him," writes his
sister, "talking over the prospects of Christian missions. They agreed
that the time would come when rich men and great men would think it an
honor to support whole stations of missionaries, instead of spending
their money on hounds and horses. On the morning of 17th November we got
up at five o'clock. My mother made coffee. David read the 121st and
135th Psalms, and prayed. My father and he walked to Glasgow to catch
the Liverpool steamer." On the Broomielaw, father and son looked for the
last time on earth on each other's faces. The old man walked back slowly
to Blantyre, with a lonely heart no doubt, yet praising God. David's
face was now set in earnest toward the Dark Continent.



A.D. 1841-1843.

His ordination--Voyage out--At Rio de Janeiro--At the Cape--He proceeds
to Kuruman--Letters--Journey of 700 miles to Bechuana country--Selection
of site for new station--Second excursion to Bechuana country--Letter to
his sister--Influence with chiefs--Bubi--Construction of a
water-dam--Sekomi--Woman seized by a lion--The Bakaa--Sebehwe--Letter to
Dr. Risdon Bennett--Detention at Kuruman--He visits Sebehwe's
village--Bakhatlas--Sechele, chief of Bakwains--Livingstone translates
hymns--Travels 400 miles on oxback--Returns to Kuruman--Is authorized to
form new station--Receives contributions for native missionary--Letters
to Directors on their Mission policy--He goes to new
station--Fellow-travelers--Purchase of site--Letter to Dr.
Bennett--Desiccation of South Africa--Death of a servant, Sehamy--Letter
to his parents.

On the 20th November, 1840, Livingstone was ordained a missionary in
Albion Street Chapel, along with the Rev. William Ross, the service
being conducted by the Rev. J.J. Freeman and the Rev. R. Cecil. On the
8th of December he embarked on board the ship "George," under Captain
Donaldson, and proceeded to the Cape, and thence to Algoa Bay. On the
way the ship had to put in at Rio de Janeiro, and he had a glance at
Brazil, with which he was greatly charmed. It was the only glimpse he
ever got of any part of the great continent of America. Writing to the
Rev. G.D. Watt, with whom he had become intimate in London, and who was
preparing to go as a missionary to India, he says:

"It is certainly the finest place I ever saw; everything
delighted me except man.... We lived in the home of an
American Episcopal Methodist minister--the only Protestant
missionary in Brazil.... Tracts and Bibles are circulated,
and some effects might be expected, were a most injurious
influence not exerted by European visitors. These alike
disgrace themselves and the religion they profess by
drunkenness. All other vices are common in Rio. When will the
rays of Divine light dispel the darkness in this beautiful
empire? The climate is delightful. I wonder if disabled
Indian missionaries could not make themselves useful there."

During the voyage his chief friend was the captain of the ship. "He was
very obliging to me," says Livingstone, "and gave me all the information
respecting the use of the quadrant in his power, frequently sitting up
till twelve o'clock at night for the purpose of taking lunar
observations with me." Thus another qualification was acquired for his
very peculiar life-work. Sundays were not times of refreshing, at least
not beyond his closet. "The captain rigged out the church on Sundays,
and we had service; but I being a poor preacher, and the chaplain
addressing them all as Christians already, no moral influence was
exerted, and even had there been on Sabbath, it would have been
neutralized by the week-day conduct. In fact, no good was done." Neither

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