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The Personal Life Of David Livingstone by William Garden Blaikie

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(18th January, 1849), he says:

"Most of our boxes which come to us from England are opened,
and usually lightened of their contents. You will perhaps
remember one in which Sechele's cloak was. It contained, on
leaving Glasgow, besides the articles which came here, a
parcel of surgical instruments which I ordered, and of course
paid for. One of these was a valuable cupping apparatus. The
value at which the instruments were purchased for me was L4,
12s., their real value much more.

"The box which you kindly packed for us and despatched to
Glasgow has, we hear, been gutted by the Custom-House
thieves, and only a very few plain karosses left in it. When
we see a box which has been opened we have not half the
pleasure which we otherwise should in unpacking it.... Can
you give me any information how these annoyances may be
prevented? Or must we submit to it as one of the crooked
things of this life, which Solomon says cannot be made

Not only in these scenes of active missionary labor, but everywhere
else, Livingstone was in the habit of preaching to the natives, and
conversing seriously with them on religion, his favorite topics being
the love of Christ, the Fatherhood of God, the resurrection, and the
last judgment. His preaching to them, in Dr. Moffat's judgment, was
highly effective. It was simple, scriptural, conversational, went
straight to the point, was well fitted to arrest the attention, and
remarkably adapted to the capacity of the people. To his father he
writes (5th July, 1848): "For a long time I felt much depressed after
preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ to apparently insensible
hearts; but now I like to dwell on the love of the great Mediator, for
it always warms my own heart, and I know that the gospel is the power of
God--the great means which He employs for the regeneration of our
ruined world."

In the beginning of 1849 Livingstone made the first of a series of
journeys to the north, in the hope of planting native missionaries among
the people. Not to interrupt the continuous account of these journeys,
we may advert here to a visit paid to him at Kolobeng, on his return
from the first of them, in the end of the year, by Mr. Freeman of the
London Missionary Society, who was at that time visiting the African
stations. Mr. Freeman, to Livingstone's regret, was in favor of keeping
up all Colonial stations, because the London Society alone paid
attention to the black population. He was not much in sympathy with

"Mr. Freeman," he writes confidentially to Mr. Watt, "gave us
no hope to expect any new field to be taken up. 'Expenditure
to be reduced in Africa' was the word, when I proposed the
new region beyond us, and there is nobody willing to go
except Mr. Moffat and myself. Six hundred miles additional
land-carriage, mosquitoes in myriads, sparrows by the
million, an epidemic frequently fatal, don't look well in a
picture. I am 270 miles from Kuruman; land-carriage for all
that we use makes a fearful inroad into the L100 of salary,
and then 600 miles beyond this makes one think unutterable
things, for nobody likes to call for more salary. I think the
Indian salary ought to be given to those who go into the
tropics. I have a very strong desire to go and reduce the new
language to writing, but I cannot perform impossibilities. I
don't think it quite fair for the Churches to expect their
messenger to live, as if he were the Prodigal Son, on the
husks that the swine do eat, but I should be ashamed to say
so to any one but yourself."

"I cannot perform impossibilities," said Livingstone; but few men could
come so near doing it. His activity of mind and body at this outskirt of
civilization was wonderful. A Jack-of-all-trades, he is building houses
and schools, cultivating gardens, scheming in every manner of way how to
get water, which in the remarkable drought of the season becomes scarcer
and scarcer; as a missionary he is holding meetings every other night,
preaching on Sundays, and taking such other opportunities as he can find
to gain the people to Christ; as a medical man he is dealing with the
more difficult cases of disease, those which baffle the native doctors;
as a man of science he is taking observations, collecting specimens,
thinking out geographical, geological, meteorological, and other
problems bearing on the structure and condition of the continent; as a
missionary statesman he is planning how the actual force might be
disposed of to most advantage, and is looking round in this direction
and in that, over hundreds of miles, for openings for native agents; and
to promote these objects he is writing long letters to the Directors, to
the _Missionary Chronicle_ to the _British Banner_, to private friends,
to any one likely to take an interest in his plans.

But this does not exhaust his labors. He is deeply interested in
philological studies, and is writing on the Sichuana language:

"I have been hatching a grammar of the Sichuana language," he
writes to Mr. Watt. "It is different in structure from any
other language, except the ancient Egyptian. Most of the
changes are effected by means of prefixes or affixes, the
radical remaining unchanged. Attempts have been made to form
grammars, but all have gone on the principle of establishing
a resemblance between Sichuana, Latin, and Greek; mine is on
the principle of analysing the language without reference to
any others. Grammatical terms are only used when I cannot
express my meaning in any other way. The analysis renders the
whole language very simple, and I believe the principle
elicited extends to most of the languages between this and
Egypt. I wish to know whether I could get 20 or 30 copies
printed for private distribution at an expense not beyond my
means. It would be a mere tract, and about the size of this
letter when folded, 40 or 50 pages perhaps[28]. Will you
ascertain the cost, and tell me whether, in the event of my
continuing hot on the subject half a year hence, you would be
the corrector of the press?... Will you examine catalogues to
find whether there is any dictionary of ancient Egyptian
within my means, so that I might purchase and compare? I
should not grudge two or three pounds for it. Professor Vater
has written on it, but I do not know what dictionary he
consulted. One Tattam has written a Coptic grammar; perhaps
that has a vocabulary, and might serve my purpose. I see
Tattam advertised by John Russell Smith, 4 Old Compton
Street, Soho, London,--'Tattam (H.), _Lexicon
Egyptiaco-Latinum e veteribus linguae Egyptiacae monumentis;
_ thick 8vo, bds., 10s., Oxf., 1835.' Will you purchase the
above for me?"

[Footnote 28: This gives a correct idea of the length of many of his

At Mabotsa and Chonuane the Livingstones had spent but a little time;
Kolobeng may be said to have been the only permanent home they ever had.
During these years several of their children were born, and it was the
only considerable period of their lives when both had their children
about them. Looking back afterward on this period, and its manifold
occupations, whilst detained in Manyuema, in the year 1870, Dr.
Livingstone wrote the following striking words:

The heart that felt this one regret in looking back to this busy time
must have been true indeed to the instincts of a parent. But
Livingstone's case was no exception to that mysterious law of our life
in this world, by which, in so many things, we learn how to correct our
errors only after the opportunity is gone. Of all the crooks in his lot,
that which gave him so short an opportunity of securing the affections
and moulding the character of his children seems to have been the
hardest to bear. His long detention at Manyuema appears, as we shall see
hereafter, to have been spent by him in learning more completely the
lesson of submission to the will of God; and the hard trial of
separation from his family, entailing on them what seemed irreparable
loss, was among the last of his sorrows over which he was able to write
the words with which he closes the account of his wife's death in the
_Zambesi and its Tributaries_,--"FIAT, DOMINE, VOLUNTUS TUA!"


KOLOBENG _continued_--LAKE 'NGAMI.

A.D. 1849-1852.

Kolobeng 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 chiefs illness and death--Distress of
Livingstone--Mr. Oswell and he go on the Linyanti--Discovery of the
Upper Zambesi--No locality found for settlement--More extended journey
necessary--He returns--Birth of Oswald 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.

When Sechele turned back after going so far with Livingstone eastward,
it appeared that his courage had failed him. "Will you go with me
northward?" Livingstone once asked him, and it turned out that he was
desirous to do so. He wished to see Sebituane, a great chief living to
the north of Lake 'Ngami, who had saved his life in his infancy, and
otherwise done him much service. Sebituane was a man of great ability,
who had brought a vast number of tribes into subjection, and now ruled
over a very extensive territory, being one of the greatest magnates of
Africa. Livingstone, too, had naturally a strong desire to become
acquainted with so influential a man. The fact of his living near the
lake revived the project that had slumbered for years in his mind--to be
the first of the missionaries who should look on its waters. At
Kolobeng, too, the settlement was in such straits, owing to the
excessive drought which dried up the very river, that the people would
be compelled to leave it and settle elsewhere. The want of water, and
consequently of food, in the gardens, obliged the men to be absent
collecting locusts, so that there was hardly any one to come either to
church or school. Even the observance of the Sabbath broke down. If
Kolobeng should have to be abandoned, where would Livingstone go next?
It was certainly worth his while to look if a suitable locality could
not be found in Sebituane's territory. He had resolved that he would not
stay with the Bakwains always. If the new region were not suitable for
himself, he might find openings for native teachers; at all events, he
would go northward and see. Just before he started, messengers came to
him from Lechulatebe, chief of the people of the lake, asking him to
visit his country, and giving such an account of the quantity of ivory
that the cupidity of the Bakwain guides was roused, and they became
quite eager to be there.

On 1st June, 1849, Livingstone accordingly set out from Kolobeng.
Sechele was not of the party, but two English hunting friends
accompanied him, Mr. Oswell and Mr. Murray--Mr. Oswell generously
defraying the cost of the guides. Sekomi, a neighboring chief who
secretly wished the expedition to fail, lest his monopoly of the ivory
should be broken up, remonstrated with them for rushing on to certain
death--they must be killed by the sun and thirst, and if he did not stop
them, people would blame him for the issue. "No fear," said Livingstone,
"people will only blame our own stupidity."

The great Kalahari desert, of which Livingstone has given so full an
account, lay between them and the lake. They passed along its northeast
border, and had traversed about half of the distance, when one day it
seemed most unexpectedly that they had got to their journey's end. Mr.
Oswell was a little in advance, and having cleared an intervening thick
belt of trees, beheld in the soft light of the setting sun what seemed a
magnificent lake twenty miles in circumference; and at the sight threw
his hat in the air, and raised a shout which made the Bakwains think him
mad. He fancied it was 'Ngami, and, indeed, it was a wonderful
deception, caused by a large salt-pan gleaming in the light of the sun;
in fact, the old, but ever new phenomenon of the mirage. The real 'Ngami
was yet 300 miles farther on.

Livingstone has given ample details of his progress in the _Missionary
Travels_, dwelling especially on his joy when he reached the beautiful
river Zouga, whose waters flowed from 'Ngami. Providence frustrated an
attempt to rouse ill-feeling against him on the part of two men who had
been sent by Sekomi, apparently to help him, but who now went before him
and circulated a report that the object of the travelers was to plunder
all the tribes living on the river and the lake. Half-way up, the
principal man was attacked by fever, and died; the natives thought it a
judgment, and seeing through Sekomi's reason for wishing the expedition
not to succeed, they by and by became quite friendly, under
Livingstone's fair and kind treatment.

A matter of great significance in his future history occurred at the
junction of the rivers Tamanak'le and Zouga:

"I inquired," he says, "whence the Tamanak'le came. 'Oh! from
a country full of rivers,--so many, no one can tell their
number, and full of large trees.' This was the first
confirmation of statements I had heard from the Bakwains who
had been with Sebituane, that the country beyond was not the
'large sandy plateau' of the philosophers. The prospect of a
highway, capable of being traversed by boats to an entirely
unexplored and very populous region, grew from that time
forward stronger and stronger in my mind; so much so, that
when we actually came to the lake, this idea occupied such a
large portion of my mental vision, that the actual discovery
seemed of but little importance. I find I wrote, when the
emotions caused by the magnificent prospects of the new
country were first awakened in my breast, that they might
subject me to the charge of enthusiasm, a charge which I
deserved, as nothing good or great had ever been accomplished
in the world without it[29].'"

[Footnote 29: _Missionary Travels_, p. 65.]

Twelve days after, the travelers came to the northeast end of Lake
'Ngami, and it was on 1st August, 1849, that this fine sheet of water
was beheld for the first time by Europeans. It was of such magnitude
that they could not see the farther shore, and they could only guess its
size from the reports of the natives that it took three days to go
round it.

Lechulatebe, the chief who had sent him the invitation, was quite a
young man, and his reception by no means corresponded to what the
invitation implied. He had no idea of Livingstone going on to Sebituane,
who lived two hundred miles farther north, and perhaps supplying him
with fire-arms which would make him a more dangerous neighbor. He
therefore refused Livingstone guides to Sebituane, and sent men to
prevent him from crossing the river. Livingstone was not to be baulked,
and worked many hours in the river trying to make a raft out of some
rotten wood,--at the imminent risk of his life, as he afterward found,
for the Zouga abounds with alligators. The season was now far advanced,
and as Mr. Oswell volunteered to go down to the Cape and bring up a boat
next year, the expedition was abandoned for the time.

Returning home by the Zouga, they had better opportunity to mark the
extraordinary richness of the country, and the abundance and luxuriance
of its products, both animal and vegetable. Elephants existed in crowds,
and ivory was so abundant that a trader was purchasing it at the rate of
ten tusks for a musket worth fifteen shillings. Two years later, after
effect had been given to Livingstone's discovery, the price had risen
very greatly.

Writing to his friend Watt, he dwells with delight on the river Zouga:

"It is a glorious river; you never saw anything so grand. The
banks are extremely beautiful, lined with gigantic trees,
many quite new. One bore a fruit a foot in length and three
inches in diameter. Another measured seventy feet in
circumference. Apart from the branches it looked like a mass
of granite; and then the Bakoba in their canoes--did I not
enjoy sailing in them? Remember how long I have been in a
parched-up land, and answer. The Bakoba are a fine frank race
of men, and seem to understand the message better than any
people to whom I have spoken on Divine subjects for the first
time. What think you of a navigable highway into a large
section of the interior? yet that the Tamanak'le is.... Who
will go into that goodly land? Who? Is it not the Niger of
this part of Africa?... I greatly enjoyed sailing in their
canoes, rude enough things, hollowed out of the trunks of
single trees, and visiting the villages along the Zouga. I
felt but little when I looked on the lake; but the Zouga and
Tamanak'le awakened emotions not to be described. I hope to
go up the latter next year."

The discovery of the lake and the river was communicated to the Royal
Geographical Society in extracts from Livingstone's letters to the
London Missionary Society, and to his friend and former fellow-traveler,
Captain Steele. In 1849 the Society voted him a sum of twenty-five
guineas "for his successful journey, in company with Messrs. Oswell and
Murray, across the South African desert, for the discovery of an
interesting country, a fine river, and an extensive inland lake." In
addressing Dr. Tidman and Alderman Challis, who represented the London
Missionary Society, the President (the late Captain, afterward
Rear-Admiral, W. Smyth, R.N., who distinguished himself in early life by
his journey across the Andes to Lima, and thence to the Atlantic)
adverted to the value of the discoveries in themselves, and in the
influence they would have on the regions beyond. He spoke also of the
help which Livingstone had derived as an explorer from his influence as
a missionary. The journey he had performed successfully had hitherto
baffled the best-furnished travelers. In 1834, an expedition under Dr.
Andrew Smith, the largest and best-appointed that ever left Cape Town,
had gone as far as 23 deg. south latitude; but that proved to be the utmost
distance they could reach, and they were compelled to return. Captain
Sir James E. Alexander, the only scientific traveler subsequently sent
out from England by the Geographical Society, in despair of the lake,
and of discovery by the oft-tried eastern route, explored the
neighborhood of the western coast instead[30]. The President frankly
ascribed Livingstone's success to the influence he had acquired as a
missionary among the natives, and Livingstone thoroughly believed this.
"The lake," he wrote to his friend Watt, "belongs to missionary
enterprise." "Only last year," he subsequently wrote to the Geographical
Society, "a party of engineers, in about thirty wagons, made many and
persevering efforts to cross the desert at different points, but though
inured to the climate, and stimulated by the prospect of gain from the
ivory they expected to procure, they were compelled, for want of water,
to give up the undertaking." The year after Livingstone's first visit,
Mr. Francis Galton tried, but failed, to reach the lake, though he was
so successful in other directions as to obtain the Society's gold
medal in 1852.

[Footnote 30: Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. xx. p.

Livingstone was evidently gratified at the honor paid him, and the
reception of the twenty-five guineas from the Queen. But the gift had
also a comical side. It carried him back to the days of his Radical
youth, when he and his friends used to criticise pretty sharply the
destination of the nation's money. "The Royal Geographical Society," he
writes to his parents (4th December, 1850), "have awarded twenty-five
guineas for the discovery of the lake. It is from the Queen. You must
be very loyal, all of you. Next time she comes your way, shout till you
are hoarse. Oh, you Radicals, don't be thinking it came out of your
pockets! Long live Victoria[31]!"

[Footnote 31: In a more serious vein he wrote in a previous letter: "I
wonder you do not go to see the Queen. I was as disloyal as others when
in England, for though I might have seen her in London, I never went. Do
you ever pray for her?" This letter is dated 5th February, 1850, and
must have been written before he heard of the prize.]

Defeated in his endeavor to reach Sebituane in 1849, Livingstone, the
following season, put in practice his favorite maxim, "Try again." He
left Kolobeng in April, 1850, and this time he was accompanied by
Sechele, Mebalwe, twenty Bakwains, Mrs. Livingstone, and their whole
troop of infantry, which now amounted to three. Traveling in the
charming climate of South Africa in the roomy wagon, at the pace of two
miles and a half an hour, is not like traveling at home; but it was a
proof of Livingstone's great unwillingness to be separated from his
family, that he took them with him, notwithstanding the risk of
mosquitoes, fever, and want of water. The people of Kolobeng were so
engrossed at the time with their employments, that till harvest was
over, little missionary work could be done.

The journey was difficult, and on the northern branch of the Zouga many
trees had to be cut down to allow the wagons to pass. The presence of a
formidable enemy was reported on the banks of the Tamanak'le,--the
tsetse-fly, whose bite is so fatal to oxen. To avoid it, another route
had to be chosen. When they got near the lake, it was found that fever
had recently attacked a party of Englishmen, one of whom had died, while
the rest recovered under the care of Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone.
Livingstone took his family to have a peep at the lake; "the children,"
he wrote, "took to playing in it as ducklings do. Paidling in it was
great fun." Great fun to them, who had seen little enough water for a
while; and in a quiet way, great fun to their father too,--his own
children "paidling" in his own lake! He was beginning to find that in a
missionary point of view, the presence of his wife and children was a
considerable advantage; it inspired the natives with confidence, and
promoted tender feelings and kind relations. The chief, Lechulatebe, was
at last propitiated at a considerable sacrifice, having taken a fancy to
a valuable rifle of Livingstone's, the gift of a friend, which could not
be replaced. The chief vowed that if he got it he would give Livingstone
everything he wished, and protect and feed his wife and children into
the bargain, while he went on to Sebituane. Livingstone at once handed
him the gun. "It is of great consequence," he said, "to gain the
confidence of these fellows at the beginning." It was his intention that
Mrs. Livingstone and the children should remain at Lechulatebe's until
he should have returned. But the scheme was upset by an outburst of
fever. Among others, two of the children were attacked. There was no
help but to go home. The gun was left behind in the hope that ere long
Livingstone would get back to claim the fulfillment of the chiefs
promise. It was plain that the neighborhood of the lake was not
habitable by Europeans. Hence a fresh confirmation of his views as to
the need of native agency, if intertropical Africa was ever to be

But Livingstone was convinced that there must be a healthier spot to the
north. Writing to Mr. Watt (18th August, 1850), he not only expresses
this conviction, but gives the ground on which it rested. The extract
which we subjoin gives a glimpse of the sagacity that from apparently
little things drew great conclusions; but more than that, it indicates
the birth of the great idea that dominated the next period of
Livingstone's life--the desire and determination to find a passage to
the sea, either on the east or the west coast:

"A more salubrious climate must exist farther up to the
north, and that the country is higher, seems evident from the
fact mentioned by the Bakoba, that the water of the Teoge,
the river that falls into the 'Ngami at the northwest point
of it, flows with great rapidity. Canoes ascending, punt all
the way, and the men must hold on by reeds in order to
prevent their being carried down by the current. Large trees,
spring-bucks and other antelopes are sometimes brought down
by it. Do you wonder at my pressing on in the way we have
done? The Bechuana mission has been carried on in a
_cul-de-sac._ I tried to break through by going among the
Eastern tribes, but the Boers shut up that field. A French
missionary, Mr. Fredoux, of Motito, tried to follow on my
trail to the Bamangwato, but was turned back by a party of
armed Boers. When we burst through the barrier on the north,
it appeared very plain that no mission could be successful
there, unless we could get a well-watered country leaving a
passage to the sea on either the east or west coast. This
project I am almost afraid to meet, but nothing else will do.
I intend (D.V.) to go in next year and remain a twelvemonth.
My wife, poor soul--I pity her!--proposed to let me go for
that time while she remained at Kolobeng. You will pray for
us both during that period."

A week later (August 24, 1850) he writes to the Directors that no
convenient access to the region can be obtained from the south, the lake
being 870 miles from Kuruman:

"We must have a passage to the sea on either the eastern or
western coast. I have hitherto been afraid to broach the
subject on which my perhaps dreamy imagination dwells. You at
home are accustomed to look on a project as half finished
when you have received the co-operation of the ladies. My
better half has promised me a twelvemonth's leave of absence
for mine. Without promising anything, I mean to follow a
useful motto in many circumstances, and _Try again_."

On returning to Kolobeng, Mrs. Livingstone was delivered of a
daughter--her fourth child. An epidemic was raging at the time, and the
child was seized and cut off, at the age of six weeks. The loss, or
rather the removal, of the child affected Livingstone greatly. "It was
the first death in our family," he says in his Journal, "but was just as
likely to have happened had we remained at home, and We have now one of
our number in heaven."

To his parents he writes (4th December, 1850):

"Our last child, a sweet little girl with blue eyes, was
taken from us to join the company of the redeemed, through
the merits of Him of whom she never heard. It is wonderful
how soon the affections twine round a little stranger. We
felt her loss keenly. She was attacked by the prevailing
sickness, which attacked many native children, and bore up
under it for a fortnight. We could not apply remedies to one
so young, except the simplest. She uttered a piercing cry
previous to expiring, and then went away to see the King in
his beauty, and the land--the glorious land, and its
inhabitants. Hers is the first grave in all that country
marked as the resting-place of one of whom it is believed and
confessed that she shall live again."

Mrs. Livingstone had an attack of serious illness, accompanied by
paralysis of the right side of the face, and rest being essential for
her, the family went, for a time, to Kuruman. Dr. Livingstone had a
strong desire to go to the Cape for the excision of his uvula, which had
long been troublesome. But, with characteristic self-denial, he put his
own case out of view, staying with his wife, that she might have the
rest and attention she needed. He tried to persuade his father-in-law to
perform the operation, and, under his direction, Dr. Moffat went so far
as to make a pair of scissors for the purpose; but his courage, so well
tried in other fields, was not equal to the performance of such a
surgical operation.

Some glimpses of Livingstone's musings at this time, showing, among
other things, how much more he thought of his spiritual than his
Highland ancestry, occur in a letter to his parents, written immediately
after his return from his second visit to the lake (28th July, 1850). If
they should carry out their project of emigration to America, they would
have an interesting family gathering:

"One, however, will be 'over the hills and far away' from
your happy meeting. The meeting which we hope will take place
in Heaven will be unlike a happy one, in so far as earthly
relationships are concerned. One will be so much taken up in
looking at Jesus, I don't know when we shall be disposed to
sit down and talk about the days of lang syne. And then
there will be so many notables whom we should like to notice
and shake hands with--Luke, for instance, the beloved
physician, and Jeremiah, and old Job, and Noah, and Enoch,
that if you are wise, you will make the most of your union
while you are together, and not fail to write me fully, while
you have the opportunity here....

"Charles thinks we are not the descendants of the Puritans. I
don't know what you are, but I am. And if you dispute it, I
shall stick to the answer of a poor little boy before a
magistrate. M.--'Who were your parents?' _Boy_ (rubbing his
eyes with his jacket-sleeve)--'Never had none, sir.' Dr.
Wardlaw says that the Scotch Independents are the descendants
of the Puritans, and I suppose the pedigree is through
Rowland Hill and Whitefield. But I was a member of the very
church in which John Howe, the chaplain of Oliver Cromwell,
preached, and exercised the pastorate. I was ordained, too,
by English Independents. Moreover, I am a Doctor too. Agnes
and Janet, get up this moment and curtsy to his Reverence!
John and Charles, remember the dream of the sheaves! _I_
descended from kilts and Donald Dhus? Na, na, I won't
believe it.

"We have a difficult, difficult field to cultivate here. All
I can say is, that I think knowledge is increasing. But for
the belief that the Holy Spirit works, and will work for us,
I should give up in despair. Remember us in your prayers,
that we grow not weary in well-doing. It is hard to work for
years with pure motives, and all the time be looked on by
most of those to whom our lives are devoted, as having some
sinister object in view. Disinterested labor--benevolence--is
so out of their line of thought, that many look upon us as
having some ulterior object in view. But He who died for us,
and whom we ought to copy, did more for us than we can do for
any one else. He endured the contradiction of sinners. May we
have grace to follow in his steps!'

The third, and at last successful, effort to reach Sebituane was made in
April, 1851. Livingstone was again accompanied by his family, and by Mr.
Oswell. He left Kolobeng with the intention not to return, at least not
immediately, but to settle with his family in such a spot as might be
found advantageous, in the hilly region, of whose existence he was
assured. They found the desert drier than ever, no rain having fallen
throughout an immense extent of territory. To the kindness of Mr. Oswell
the party was indebted for most valuable assistance in procuring water,
wells having been dug or cleared by his people beforehand at various
places, and at one place at the hazard of Mr. Oswell's life, under an
attack from an infuriated lioness. In his private Journal, and in his
letters to home, Livingstone again and again acknowledges with deepest
gratitude the numberless acts of kindness done by Mr. Oswell to him and
his family, and often adds the prayer that God would reward him, and of
His grace give him the highest of all blessings. "Though I cannot repay,
I may record with gratitude his kindness, so that, if spared to look
upon these, my private memoranda, in future years, proper emotions may
ascend to Him who inclined his heart to show so much friendship."

The party followed the old route, around the bed of the Zouga, then
crossed a piece of the driest desert they had ever seen, with not an
insect or a bird to break the stillness. On the third day a bird chirped
in a bush, when the dog began to bark! Shobo, their guide, a Bushman,
lost his way, and for four days they were absolutely without water. In
his _Missionary Travels_, Livingstone records quietly, as was his wont
his terrible anxiety about his children.

"The supply of water in the wagons had been wasted by one of
our servants, and by the afternoon only a small portion
remained for the children. This was a bitterly anxious night;
and next morning, the less there was of water, the more
thirsty the little rogues became. The idea of their perishing
before our eyes was terrible; it would almost have been a
relief to me to have been reproached with being the entire
cause of the catastrophe, but not one syllable of upbraiding
was uttered by their mother, though the tearful eye told the
agony within. In the afternoon of the fifth day, to our
inexpressible relief, some of the men returned with a supply
of that fluid of which we had never before felt the
true value."

"No one," he remarks in his Journal, "knows the value of
water till be is deprived of it. We never need any spirits to
qualify it, or prevent an immense draught of it from doing us
harm. I have drunk water swarming with insects, thick with
mud, putrid from other mixtures, and no stinted draughts of
it either, yet never felt any inconvenience from it."

"My opinion is," he said on another occasion, "that the most
severe labors and privations may be undergone without
alcoholic stimulus, because those who have endured the most
had nothing else but water, and not always enough of that."

One of the great charms of Livingstone's character, and one of the
secrets of his power--his personal interest in each individual, however
humble--appeared in connection with Shobo, the Bushman guide, who misled
them and took the blunder so coolly. "What a wonderful people," he says
in his Journal, "the Bushmen are! always merry and laughing, and never
telling lies wantonly like the Bechuana. They have more of the
appearance of worship than any of the Bechuana. When will these dwellers
in the wilderness bow down before their Lord? No man seems to care for
the Bushman's soul. I often wished I knew their language, but never more
than when we traveled with our Bushman guide, Shobo."

Livingstone had given a fair trial to the experiment of traveling along
with his family. In one of his letters at this time he speaks of the
extraordinary pain caused by the mosquitoes of those parts, and of his
children being so covered with their bites, that not a square inch of
whole skin was to be found on their bodies. It is no wonder that he gave
up the idea of carrying them with him in the more extended journey he
was now contemplating. He could not leave them at Kolobeng, exposed to
the raids of the Boers; to Kuruman there were also invincible
objections; the only possible plan was to send them to England, though
he hoped that when he got settled in some suitable part of Sebituane's
dominions, with a free road to the sea, they would return to him, and
help him to bring the people to Christ.

In the _Missionary Travels_ Livingstone has given a full account of
Sebituane, chief of the Makololo, "unquestionably the greatest man in
all that country"--his remarkable career, his wonderful warlike exploits
(for which he could always bring forward justifying reasons), his
interesting and attractive character, and wide and powerful influence.
In one thing Sebituane was very like Livingstone himself; he had the art
of gaining the affections both of his own people and of strangers. When
a party of poor men came to his town to sell hoes or skins, he would sit
down among them, talk freely and pleasantly to them, and probably cause
some lordly dish to be brought, and give them a feast on it, perhaps the
first they had ever shared. Delighted beyond measure with his affability
and liberality, they felt their hearts warm toward him; and as he never
allowed a party of strangers to go away without giving every one of
them--servants and all--a present, his praises were sounded far and
wide. "He has a heart! he is wise!" were the usual expressions
Livingstone heard before he saw him.

Sebituane received Livingstone with great kindness, for it had been one
of the dreams of his life to have intercourse with the white man. He
placed full confidence in him from the beginning, and was ready to give
him everything he might need. On the first Sunday when the usual service
was held he was present, and Livingstone was very thankful that he was
there, for it turned out to be the only proclamation of the gospel he
ever heard. For just after realizing what he had so long and ardently
desired, he was seized with severe inflammation of the lungs, and died
after a fortnight's illness. Livingstone, being a stranger, feared to
prescribe, lest, in the event of his death, he should be accused of
having caused it. On visiting him, and seeing that he was dying, he
spoke a few words respecting hope after death. But being checked by the
attendants for introducing the subject, he could only commend his soul
to God. The last words of Sebituane were words of kindness to
Livingstone's son: "Take him to Maunku (one of his wives) and tell her
to give him some milk." Livingstone was deeply affected by his death. A
deeper sense of brotherhood, a warmer glow of affection had been
kindled in his heart toward Sebituane than had seemed possible. With his
very tender conscience and deep sense of spiritual realities,
Livingstone was afraid, as in the case of Sehamy eight years before,
that he had not spoken to him so pointedly as he might have done. It is
awfully affecting to follow him into the unseen world, of which he had
heard for the first time just before he was called away. In his Journal,
Livingstone gives way to his feelings as he very seldom allowed himself
to do. His words bring to mind David's lament for Jonathan or for
Absalom, although he had known Sebituane less than a month, and he was
one of the race whom many Boers and slave-stealers regarded as having
no souls:

"Poor Sebituane, my heart bleeds for thee; and what would I
not do for thee now? I will weep for thee till the day of my
death. Little didst thou think when, in the visit of the
white man, thou sawest the long cherished desires of years
accomplished, that the sentence of death had gone forth! Thou
thoughtest that thou shouldest procure a weapon from the
white man which would be a shield from the attacks of the
fierce Matebele; but a more deadly dart than theirs was aimed
at thee; and though, thou couldest well ward off a dart--none
ever better--thou didst not see that of the king of terrors.
I will weep for thee, my brother, and I will cast forth my
sorrows in despair for thy condition! But I know that thou
wilt receive no injustice whither thou art gone; 'Shall not
the Judge of all the earth do right?' I leave thee to Him.
Alas! alas! Sebituane. I might have said more to him. God
forgive me. Free me from blood-guiltiness. If I had said more
of death I might have been suspected as having foreseen the
event, and as guilty of bewitching him. I might have
recommended Jesus and his great atonement more. It is,
however, very difficult to break through the thick crust of
ignorance which envelops their minds."

The death of Sebituane was a great blow in another sense. The region
over which his influence extended was immense, and he had promised to
show it to Livingstone and to select a suitable locality for his
residence. This heathen chief would have given to Christ's servant what
the Boers refused him! Livingstone would have had his wish--an entirely
new country to work upon, where the name of Christ had never yet been
spoken. So at least he thought. Sebituane's successor in the chiefdom
was his daughter, Ma-mochisane. From her he received liberty to visit
any part of the country he chose. While waiting for a reply (she was
residing at a distance), he one day fell into a great danger from an
elephant which had come on him unexpectedly. "We were startled by his
coming a little way in the direction in which we were standing, but he
did not give us chase. I have had many escapes. We seem immortal till
our work is done."

Mr. Oswell and he then proceeded in a northeasterly direction, passing
through the town of Linyanti, and on the 3d of August they came on the
beautiful river at Sesheke:

"We thanked God for permitting us to see this glorious river.
All we said to each other was 'How glorious! how magnificent!
how beautiful!'... In crossing, the waves lifted up the canoe
and made it roll beautifully. The scenery of the Firths of
Forth and Clyde was brought vividly to my view, and had I
been fond of indulging in sentimental effusions, my lachrymal
apparatus seemed fully charged. But then the old man who was
conducting us across might have said, 'What on earth are you
blubbering for? Afraid of these crocodiles, eh?' The little
sentimentality which exceeded was forced to take its course
down the inside of the nose. We have other work in this world
than indulging in sentimentality of the 'Sonnet to the Moon'

The river, which went here by the name of Sesheke, was found to be the
Zambesi, which had not previously been known to exist in that region. In
writing about it to his brother Charles, he says, "It was the first
_river_ I ever saw." Its discovery in this locality constituted one of
the great geographical feats with which the name of Livingstone is
connected. He heard of rapids above, and of great water-falls below; but
it was reserved for him on a future visit to behold the great Victoria
Falls, which in the popular imagination have filled a higher place than
many of his more useful discoveries.

The travelers were still a good many days' distance from Ma-mochisane,
without whose presence nothing could be settled; but besides, the reedy
banks of the rivers were found to be unsuitable for a settlement, and
the higher regions were too much exposed to the attacks of Mosilikatse.
Livingstone saw no prospect of obtaining a suitable station, and with
great reluctance he made up his mind to retrace the weary road, and
return to Kolobeng. The people were very anxious for him to stay, and
offered to make a garden for him, and to fulfill Sebituane's promise to
give him oxen in return for those killed by the tsetse.

Setting out with the wagons on 13th August, 1851, the party proceeded
slowly homeward. On 15th September, 1851, Livingstone's Journal has this
unexpected and simple entry: "A son, William Oswell Livingstone[32],
born at a place we always call Bellevue." On the 18th: "Thomas attacked
by fever; removed to a high part on his account. Thomas was seized with
fever three times at about an interval of a fortnight." Not a word about
Mrs. Livingstone, but three pages of observations about medical
treatment of fever, thunderstorms, constitutions of Indian and African
people, leanness of the game, letter received from Directors approving
generally of his course, a gold watch sent by Captain Steele, and Gordon
Cumming's book, "a miserably poor thing." Amazed, we ask, Had
Livingstone any heart? But ere long we come upon a copy of a letter, and
some remarks connected with it, that give us an impression of the depth
and strength of his nature, unsurpassed by anything that has
yet occurred.

[Footnote 32: He had intended to call him Charles, and announced this to
his father; but, finding that Mr. Oswell, to whom he was so much
indebted, would be pleased with the compliment, he changed his purpose
and the name accordingly.]

"The following extracts," he says, "show in what light our efforts are
regarded by those who, as much as we do, desire that the 'gospel may be
preached to all nations,'" Then follows a copy of a letter which had
been addressed to him before they set out by Mrs. Moffat, his
mother-in-law, remonstrating in the strongest terms against his plan of
taking his wife with him; reminding him of the death of the child, and
other sad occurrences of last year; and in the name of everything that
was just, kind, and even decent, beseeching him to abandon an
arrangement which all the world would condemn. Another letter from the
same writer informed him that much prayer had been offered that, if the
arrangements were not in accordance with Christian propriety, he might
in great mercy be prevented by some dispensation of Providence from
carrying them out. Mrs. Moffat was a woman of the highest gifts and
character, and full of admiration for Livingstone. The insertion of
these letters in his Journal shows that, in carrying out his plan, the
objections to which it was liable were before his mind in the strongest
conceivable form. No man who knows what Livingstone was will imagine for
a moment that he had not the most tender regard for the health, the
comfort, and the feelings of his wife; in matters of delicacy he had the
most scrupulous regard to propriety; his resolution to take her with him
must, therefore, have sprung from something far stronger than even his
affection for her. What was this stronger force?

It was his inviolable sense of duty, and his indefeasible conviction
that his Father in heaven would not forsake him whilst pursuing a course
in obedience to his will, and designed to advance the welfare of his
children. As this furnishes the key to Livingstone's future life, and
the answer to one of the most serious objections ever brought against
it, it is right to spend a little time in elucidating the principles by
which he was guided.

There was a saying of the late Sir Herbert Edwardes which he highly
valued: "He who has to act on his own responsibility is a slave if he
does not act on his own judgment." Acting on this maxim, he must set
aside the views of others as to his duty, provided his own judgment was
clear regarding it. He must even set aside the feelings and apparent
interest of those dearest to him, because duty was above everything
else. His faith in God convinced him that, in the long run, it could
never be the worse for him and his that he had firmly done his duty. All
true faith has in it an element of venture, and in Livingstone's faith
this element was strong. Trusting God, he could expose to venture even
the health, comfort, and welfare of his wife and children. He was
convinced that it was his duty to go forth with them and seek a new
station for the Gospel in Sebituane's country. If this was true, God
would take care of them, and it was "better to trust in the Lord than to
put confidence in man." People thoughtlessly accused him of making light
of the interests of his family. No man suffered keener pangs from the
course he had to follow concerning them, and no man pondered more deeply
what duty to them required.

But to do all this, Livingstone must have had a very clear perception of
the course of duty. This is true. But how did he get this? First, his
singleness of heart, so to speak, attracted the light: "If thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Then, he was very clear
and very minute in his prayers. Further, he was most careful to scan all
the providential indications that might throw light on the Divine will.
And when he had been carried so far on in the line of duty, he had a
strong presumption that the line would be continued, and that he would
not be called to turn back. It was in front, not in rear, that he
expected to find the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. In course
of time, this hardened into a strong instinctive habit, which almost
dispensed with the process of reasoning.

In Dean Stanley's _Sinai and Palestine_ allusion is made to a kindred
experience,--that which bore Abraham from Chaldea, Moses from Egypt, and
the greater part of the tribes from the comfortable pastures of Gilead
and Bashan to the rugged hill-country of Judah and Ephraim.
Notwithstanding all the attractions of the richer countries, they were
borne onward and forward, not knowing whither they went; instinctively
feeling that they were fulfilling the high purposes to which they were
called. In the later part of Livingstone's life, the necessity of going
forward to the close of the career that had opened for him seemed to
settle the whole question of duty.

But at this earlier stage, he had been conscientiously scrutinizing all
that had any bearing on that question; and now that he finds himself
close to his home, and can thank God for the safe confinement of his
wife, and the health of the new-born child, he gathers together all the
providences that showed that in this journey, which excited such horror
even among his best friends, he had after all been following the
guidance of his Father. First, in the matter of guides, he had been
wonderfully helped, notwithstanding a deep plot to deprive him of any.
Then there was the sickness of Sekomi, whose interest had been secured
through his going to see him, and prescribing for him; this had
propitiated one of the tribes. The services of Shobo, too, and the
selection of the northern route, proposed by Kamati, had been of great
use. Their going to Sesheke, and their detention for two months, thus
allowing them time to collect information respecting the whole country;
the river Chobe not rising at its usual time; the saving of
Livingstone's oxen from the tsetse, notwithstanding their detention on
the Zouga; his not going with Mr. Oswell to a place where the tsetse
destroyed many of the oxen; the better health of Mrs. Livingstone during
her confinement than in any previous one; a very opportune present they
had got, just before her confinement, of two bottles of wine[33]; the
approbation of the Directors, the presentation of a gold watch by
Captain Steele, the kind attentions of Mr. Oswell, and the cookery of
one of their native servants named George; the recovery of Thomas,
whereas at Kuruman a child had been cut off; the commencement of the
rains, just as they were leaving the river, and the request of Mr.
Oswell that they should draw upon him for as much money as they should
need, were all among the indications that a faithful and protecting
Father in heaven had been ordering their path, and would order it in
like manner in all time to come.

[Footnote 33: In writing to his father, Livingstone mentions that the
wine was a gift from Mrs. Bysshe Shelley, in acknowledgment of his aid
in repairing a wheel of her wagon.]

Writing at this time to his father-in-law, Mr. Moffat, he said, after
announcing the birth of Oswell: "What you say about difference of
opinion is true. In my past life, I have always managed to think for
myself, and act accordingly. I have occasionally met with people who
took it on themselves to act for me, and they have offered their
thoughts with an emphatic 'I think'; but I have excused them on the
score of being a little soft-headed in believing they could think both
for me and themselves."

While Kolobeng was Livingstone's headquarters, a new trouble rose upon
the mission horizon. The Makololo (as Sebituane's people were called)
began to practice the slave-trade. It arose simply from their desire to
possess guns. For eight old muskets they had given to a neighboring
tribe eight boys, that had been taken from their enemies in war, being
the only article for which the guns could be got. Soon after, in a fray
against another tribe, two hundred captives were taken, and, on
returning, the Makololo met some Arab traders from Zanzibar, who for
three muskets received about thirty of their captives.

Another of the master ideas of his life now began to take hold upon
Livingstone. Africa was exposed to a terrible evil through the desire of
the natives to possess articles of European manufacture, and their
readiness for this purpose to engage in the slave-trade. Though no
African had ever been known to sell his own children into captivity, the
tribes were ready enough to sell other children that had fallen into
their hands by war or otherwise. But if a legitimate traffic were
established through which they might obtain whatever European goods they
desired in exchange for ivory and other articles of native produce,
would not this frightful slave-trade be brought to an end? The idea was
destined to receive many a confirmation before Livingstone drew his last
breath of African air. It naturally gave a great impulse to the purpose
which had already struck its roots into his soul--to find a road to the
sea either on the eastern or western coast. Interests wider and grander
than even the planting of mission stations on the territories of
Sebituane now rose to his view. The welfare of the whole continent, both
spiritual and temporal, was concerned in the success of this plan of
opening new channels to the enterprise of British and other merchants,
always eager to hear of new markets for their goods. By driving away the
slave-trade, much would be done to prepare the way for Christian
missions which could not thrive in an atmosphere of war and commotion.
An idea involving issues so vast was fitted to take a right powerful
hold on Livingstone's heart, and make him feel that no sacrifice could
be too great to be encountered, cheerfully and patiently, for such
an end.

Writing to the Directors (October, 1851), he says:

"You will see by the accompanying sketch-map what an immense
region God in his grace has opened up. If we can enter in and
form a settlement, we shall be able in the course of a very
few years to put a stop to the slave-trade in that quarter.
It is probable that the mere supply of English manufacturers
on Sebituane's part will effect this, for they did not like
the slave-trade, and promised to abstain. I think it will be
impossible to make a fair commencement unless I can secure
two years devoid of family cares. I shall be obliged to go
southward, perhaps to the Cape, to have my uvula excised and
my arm mended (the latter, if it can be done, only). It has
occurred to me that, as we must send our children to England,
it would be no great additional expense to send them now
along with their mother. This arrangement would enable me to
proceed, and devote about two or perhaps three years to this
new region; but I must beg your sanction, and if you please
let it be given or withheld as soon as you can conveniently,
so that it might meet me at the Cape. To orphanize my
children will be like tearing out my bowels, but when I can
find time to write you fully you will perceive it is the only
way, except giving up that region altogether.

"Kuruman will not answer as a residence, nor yet the Colony.
If I were to follow my own inclinations, they would lead me
to settle down quietly with the Bakwains, or some other small
tribe, and devote some of my time to my children; but
_Providence seems to call me to the regions beyond_, and if I
leave them anywhere in this country, it will be to let them
become heathens. If you think it right to support them, I
believe my parents in Scotland would attend to them

Continuing the subject in a more leisurely way a few weeks later, he
refers to the very great increase of traffic that had taken place since
the discovery of Lake 'Ngami two years before; the fondness of the
people for European articles; the numerous kinds of native produce
besides ivory, such as beeswax, ostrich feathers, etc., of which the
natives made little or no use, but which they would take care of if
regular trade were established among them. He thought that if traders
were to come up the Zambesi and make purchases from the producers they
would both benefit themselves and drive the slave-dealer from the
market. It might be useful to establish a sanatorium, to which
missionaries might come from less healthy districts to recruit. This
would diminish the reluctance of missionaries to settle in the interior.
For himself, though he had reared three stations with much bodily labor
and fatigue, he would cheerfully undergo much more if a new station
would answer such objects. In referring to the countries drained by the
Zambesi, he believed he was speaking of a large section of the
slave-producing region of Africa. He then went on to say that to a
certain extent their hopes had been disappointed; Mr. Oswell had not
been able to find a passage to the sea, and he had not been able to find
a station for missionary work. They therefore returned together. "He
assisted me," adds Livingstone, "in every possible way. May God
reward him!"

In regard to mission work for the future an important question arose,
What should be done for the Bakwains? They could not remain at
Kolobeng--hunger and the Boers decided that point. Was it not, then, his
duty to find and found a new station for them? Dr. Livingstone thought
not. He had always told them that he would remain with them only for a
few years. One of his great ideas on missions in Africa was that a fair
trial should be given to as many places as possible, and if the trial
did not succeed the missionaries should pass on to other tribes. He had
a great aversion to the common impression that the less success one had
the stronger was one's duty to remain. Missionaries were only too ready
to settle down and make themselves as comfortable as possible, whereas
the great need was for men to move on, to strike out into the regions
beyond, to go into all the world. He had far more sympathy for tribes
that had never heard the gospel than for those who had had it for years.
He used to refer to certain tribes near Griqualand that had got a little
instruction, but had no stated missionaries; they used to send some of
their people to the Griquas to learn what they could, and afterward some
others; and these persons, returning, communicated what they knew, till
a wonderful measure of knowledge was acquired, and a numerous church was
formed. If the seed had once been sown in any place it would not remain
dormant, but would excite the desire for further knowledge; and on the
whole it would be better for the people to be thrown somewhat on their
own resources than to have everything done for them by missionaries from
Europe. In regard to the Bakwains, though they had promised well at
first, they had not been a very teachable people. He was not inclined to
blame them; they had been so pinched by hunger and badgered by the Boers
that they could not attend to instruction; or rather, they had too good
an excuse for not doing so. "I have much affection for them," he says in
his Journal, "and though I pass from them I do not relinquish the hope
that they will yet turn to Him to whose mercy and love they have often
been invited. The seed of the living Word will not perish."

The finger of Providence clearly pointed to a region farther north in
the country of the Barotse or beyond it, He admitted that there were
_pros_ and _cons_ in the case. Against his plan,--some of his brethren
did not hesitate to charge him with being actuated by worldly ambition.
This was the more trying, for sometimes he suspected his own motives.
Others dwelt on what was due to his family. Moreover, his own
predilections were all for a quiet life. And there was also the
consideration, that as the Directors could not well realize the
distances he would have to travel before he reached the field, he might
appear more as an explorer than a missionary. On the other hand:

"I am conscious," he says, "that though there is much
impurity in my motives, they are in the main for the glory of
Him to whom I have devoted myself. I never anticipated fame
from the discovery of the Lake. I cared very little about it,
but the sight of the Tamanak'le, and the report of other
large rivers beyond, all densely populated, awakened many and
enthusiastic feelings.... Then, again, consider the multitude
that in the Providence of God have been brought to light in
the country of Sebituane; the probability that in our efforts
to evangelize we shall put a stop to the slave-trade in a
large region, and by means of the highway into the North
which we have discovered bring unknown nations into the
sympathies of the Christian world. If I were to choose my
work, it would be to reduce this new language, translate the
Bible into it, and be the means of forming a small church.
Let this be accomplished, I think I could then lie down and
die contented. Two years' absence will be necessary....
Nothing but a strong conviction that the step will lead to
the glory of Christ would make me orphanize my children. Even
now my bowels yearn over them. They Will forget me; but I
hope when the day of trial comes, I shall not be found a more
sorry soldier than those who serve an earthly sovereign.
Should you not feel yourselves justified in incurring the
expense of their support in England, I shall feel called upon
to renounce the hope of carrying the gospel into that
country, and labor among those who live in a more healthy
country, viz., the Bakwains. But, stay, I am not sure; so
powerfully convinced am I that it is the will of the Lord I
should, _I will go, no matter who opposes_; but from you I
expect nothing but encouragement. I know you wish as ardently
as I can that all the world may be filled with the glory of
the Lord. I feel relieved when I lay the whole case before

He proposed that a brother missionary, Mr. Ashton, should be placed
among the Bamangwato, a people who were in the habit of spreading
themselves through the Bakalahari, and should thus form a link between
himself and the brethren in the south.

In a postscript, dated Bamangwato, 14th November, he gratefully
acknowledges a letter from the Directors, in which his plans are
approved of generally. They had recommended him to complete a dictionary
of the Sichuana language. This he would have been delighted to do when
his mind was full of the subject, but with the new projects now before
him, and the probability of having to deal with a new language for the
Zambesi district, he could not undertake such a work at present.

In a subsequent letter to the Directors (Cape Town, 17th March, 1852),
Livingstone finds it necessary to go into full details with regard to
his finances. Though he writes with perfect calmness, it is evident that
his exchequer was sadly embarrassed. In fact, he had already not only
spent all the salary (L100) of 1852, but fifty-seven pounds of 1853, and
the balance would be absorbed by expenses in Cape Town. He had been as
economical as possible; in personal expenditure most careful--he had
been a teetotaler for twenty years. He did not hesitate to express his
conviction that the salary was inadequate, and to urge the Directors to
defray the extra expenditure which was now inevitable; but with
characteristic generosity he urged Mr. Moffat's Claims much more warmly
than his own.

From expressions in Livingstone's letter to the Directors, it is
evident that he was fully aware of the risk he ran, in his new line of
work, of appearing to sink the missionary in the explorer. There is no
doubt that next to the charge of forgetting the claims of his family, to
which we have already adverted, this was the most plausible of the
objections taken to his subsequent career. But any one who has candidly
followed his course of thought and feeling from the moment when the
sense of unseen realities burst on him at Blantyre, to the time at which
we have now arrived, must see that this view is altogether destitute of
support. The impulse of divine love that had urged him first to become a
missionary had now become with him the settled habit of his life. No new
ambition had flitted across his path, for though he had become known as
a geographical discoverer, he says he thought very little of the fact,
and his life shows this to have been true. Twelve years of missionary
life had given birth to no sense of weariness, no abatement of interest
in these poor black savages, no reluctance to make common cause with
them in the affairs of life, no despair of being able to do them good.
On the contrary, he was confirmed in his opinion of the efficacy of his
favorite plan of native agency, and if he could but get a suitable base
of operations, he was eager to set it going, and on every side he was
assured of native welcome. Shortly before (5th February, 1850), when
writing to his father with reference to a proposal of his brother
Charles that he should go and settle in America, he had said: "I am a
missionary, heart and soul. God had an only Son, and He was a missionary
and a physician. A poor, poor imitation of Him I am, or wish to be. In
this service I hope to live, in it I wish to die." The spectre of the
slave-trade had enlarged his horizon, and shown him the necessity of a
commercial revolution for the whole of Africa, before effectual and
permanent good could be done in any part of it. The plan which he had
now in view multiplied the risks he ran, and compelled him to think anew
whether he was ready to sacrifice himself, and if so, for what. All
that Livingstone did was thus done with open eyes and well-considered
resolution. Adverting to the prevalence of fever in some parts of the
country, while other parts were comparatively healthy, he says in his
Journal: "I offer myself as a forlorn hope in order to ascertain whether
there is a place fit to be a sanatorium for more unhealthy spots. May
God accept my service, and use me for his glory. A great honor it is to
he a fellow-worker with God." "It is a great venture," he writes to his
sister (28th April, 1851). "Fever may cut us all off. I feel much when I
think of the children dying. But who will go if we don't? Not one. I
would venture everything for Christ. Pity I have so little to give. But
He will accept us, for He is a good master. Never one like Him. He can
sympathize. May He forgive, and purify, and bless us."

If in his spirit of high consecration he was thus unchanged, equally far
was he from having a fanatical disregard of life, and the rules of
provident living.

"Jesus," he says, "came not to judge,--[Greek:
kriuo],--condemn judicially, or execute vengeance on any one.
His was a message of peace and love. He shall not strive nor
cry, neither shall his voice he heard in the streets.
Missionaries ought to follow his example. Neither insist on
our rights, nor appear as if we could allow our goods to be
destroyed without regret: for if we are righteous overmuch,
or stand up for our rights with too much vehemence, we beget
dislikes, and the people see no difference between ourselves
and them. And if we appear to care nothing for the things of
this world, they conclude we are rich, and when they beg, our
refusal is ascribed to niggardliness, and our property, too,
is wantonly destroyed. 'Ga ba tloke'=they are not in need, is
the phrase employed when our goods are allowed to go to
destruction by the neglect of servants.... In coming among
savage people, we ought to make them feel we are of them, 'we
seek not yours, but you'; but while very careful not to make
a gain of them, we ought to be as careful to appear thankful,
and appreciate any effort they may make for our comfort or

On reaching Kolobeng from 'Ngami they found the station deserted. The
Bakwains had removed to Limauee. Sechele came down the day after, and
presented them with an ox--a valuable gift in his circumstances. Sechele
had much yet to bear from the Boers; and after being, without
provocation, attacked, pillaged, and wasted, and robbed of his children,
he was bent on going to the Queen of England to state his wrongs. This,
however, he could not accomplish, though he went as far as the Cape.
Coming back afterward to his own people, he gathered large numbers about
him from other tribes, to whose improvement he devoted himself with much
success. He still survives, with the one wife whom he retained; and,
though not without some drawbacks (which Livingstone ascribed to the bad
example set him by some), he maintains his Christian profession. His
people are settled at some miles' distance from Kolobeng, and have a
missionary station, supported by a Hanoverian Society. His regard for
the memory of Livingstone is very great, and he reads with eagerness all
that he can find about him. He has ever been a warm friend of missions
has a wonderful knowledge of the Bible, and can preach well. The
influence of Livingstone in his early days was doubtless a real power in
mission-work. Mebalwe, too, we are informed by Dr. Moffat, still
survives; a useful man, an able preacher, and one who has done much to
bring his people to Christ.

It was painful to Livingstone to say good-bye to the Bakwains, and (as
Mrs. Moffat afterward reminded him) his friends were not all in favor of
his doing so; but he regarded his departure as inevitable. After a short
stay at Kuruman, he and his family went on to Cape Town, where they
arrived on the 16th of March, 1852, and had new proofs of Mr. Oswell's
kindness. After eleven years' absence, Livingstone's dress-coat had
fallen a little out of fashion, and the whole costume of the party was
somewhat in the style of Robinson Crusoe. The generosity of "the best
friend we have in Africa" made all comfortable, Mr. Oswell remarking
that Livingstone had as good a right as he to the money drawn from the
"preserves on his estate"--the elephants. Mentally, Livingstone traces
to its source the kindness of his friend, thinking of One to whom he
owed all--"O divine Love, I have not loved Thee strongly, deeply, warmly
enough." The retrospect of his eleven years of African labor, unexampled
though they had been, only awakened in him the sense of
unprofitable service.

Before closing the record of this period, we must take a glance at the
remarkable literary activity which it witnessed. We have had occasion to
refer to Livingstone's first letters to Captain Steele, for the
Geographical Society; additional letters were contributed from time to
time. His philological researches have also been noticed. In addition to
these, we find him writing two articles on African Missions for the
_British Quarterly Review_, only one of which was published. He likewise
wrote two papers for the _British Banner_ on the Boers. While crossing
the desert, after leaving the Cape on his first great journey, he wrote
a remarkable paper on "Missionary Sacrifices," and another of great
vigor on the Boers. Still another paper on Lake 'Ngami was written for a
Missionary Journal contemplated, but never started, under the editorship
of the late Mr. Isaac Taylor; and he had one in his mind on the religion
of the Bechuanas, presenting a view which differed somewhat from that of
Mr. Moffat. Writing to Mr. Watt from Linyanti (3d October, 1853), on
printing one of his papers, he says:

"But the expense, my dear man. What a mess I am in, writing
papers which cannot pay their own way! Pauper papers, in
fact, which must go to the workhouse for support. Ugh! Has
the Caffre War paper shared the same fate? and the Language
paper too? Here I have two by me, which I will keep in their
native obscurity. One is on the South African Boers and
slavery, in which I show that their church is, and always has
been, the great bulwark of slavery, cattle-lifting, and
Caffre-marauding; and I correct the mistaken views of some
writers who describe the Boers as all that is good, and of
others who describe as all that is bad, by showing who are
the good and who are the bad. The other, which I rather
admire,--what father doesn't his own progeny?--is on the
missionary work, and designed to aid young men of piety to
form a more correct idea of it than is to be had from much of
the missionary biography of 'sacrifices.' I magnify the
enterprise, exult in the future, etc., etc. It was written in
coming across the desert, and if it never does aught else, it
imparted comfort and encouragement to myself[34].... I feel
almost inclined to send it.... If the Caffre War one is
rejected, then farewell to spouting in Reviews."

[Footnote 34: For extracts from the paper on "Missionary Sacrifices,"
see Appendix No. I. For part of the paper on the Boers, see _Catholic
Presbyterian_ December, 1879 (London, Nisbet and Co.).]

If he had met with more encouragement from editors he would have written
more. But the editorial cold shoulder was beyond even his power of
endurance. He laid aside his pen in a kind of disgust, and this
doubtless was one of the reasons that made him unwilling to resume it on
his return to England. Editors were wiser then; and the offer from one
London Magazine of L400 for four articles, and from _Good Words_ of
L1000 for a number of papers to be fixed afterward,--offers which,
however, were not accepted finally,--showed how the tide had turned.



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 falling.

When Livingstone arrived at the Cape, he found the authorities in a
state of excitement over the Caffre War, and very far from friendly
toward the London Missionary Society, some of whose
missionaries--himself among the number--were regarded as "unpatriotic."
He had a very poor opinion of the officials, and their treatment of the
natives scandalized him. He describes the trial of an old soldier,
Botha, as "the most horrid exhibition I ever witnessed." The noble
conduct of Botha in prison was a beautiful contrast to the scene in
court. This whole Caffre War had exemplified the blundering of the
British authorities, and was teaching the natives developments, the
issue of which could not be foreseen. As for himself, he writes to Mr.
Moffat, that he was cordially hated, and perhaps he might be pulled up;
but he knew that some of his letters had been read by the Duke of
Wellington and Lord Brougham with pleasure, and, possibly, he might get
justice. He bids his father-in-law not to be surprised if he saw him
abused in the newspapers.

On the 23d April, 1852, Mrs. Livingstone and the four children sailed
from Cape Town for England. The sending of his children to be brought up
by others was a very great trial, and Dr. Livingstone seized the
opportunity to impress on the Directors that those by whom missionaries
were sent out had a great duty to the children whom their parents were
compelled to send away. Referring to the filthy conversation and ways of
the heathen, he says:

"Missionaries expose their children to a contamination which
they have had no hand in producing. We expose them and
ourselves for a time in order to elevate those sad captives
of sin and Satan, who are the victims of the degradation of
ages. None of those who complain about missionaries sending
their children home ever descend to this. And again, as Mr.
James in his _Young Man from Home_ forcibly shows, a greater
misfortune cannot befall a youth than to be cast into the
world without a home. In regard to even the vestige of a
home, my children are absolutely vagabonds. When shall we
return to Kolobeng? When to Kuruman? _Never_. The mark of
Cain is on your foreheads, your father is a missionary. Our
children ought to have both the sympathies and prayers of
those at whose bidding we become strangers for life."

Was there ever a plea more powerful or more just? It is sad to think
that the coldness of Christians at home should have led a man like
Livingstone to fancy that, because his children were the children of a
missionary, they would bear the mark of Cain, and be homeless vagabonds.
Why are we at home so forgetful of the privilege of refreshing the
bowels of those who take their lives in their hands for the love of
Christ, by making a home for their offspring? In a higher state of
Christianity there will be hundreds of the best families at home
delighted, for the love of their Master, to welcome and bring up the
missionary's children. And when the Great Day comes, none will more
surely receive that best of all forms of repayment, "Inasmuch as ye did
it unto the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto Me."

Livingstone, who had now got the troublesome uvula cut out, was
detained at the Cape nearly two months after his family left. He was so
distrusted by the authorities that they would hardly sell powder and
shot to him, and he had to fight a battle that demanded all his courage
and perseverance for a few boxes of percussion-caps. At the last moment,
a troublesome country postmaster, to whom he had complained of an
overcharge of postage, threatened an action against him for defamation
of character, and, rather than be further detained, deep in debt though
he was, Livingstone had to pay him a considerable sum. His family were
much in his thoughts; he found some relief in writing by every mail. His
letters to his wife are too sacred to be spread before the public; we
confine ourselves to a single extract, to show over what a host of
suppressed emotions he had to march in this expedition:

"_Cape Town, 5th May_, 1852.--MY DEAREST MARY,--How I miss
you now, and the children! My heart yearns incessantly over
you. How many thoughts of the past crowd into my mind! I feel
as if I would treat you all much more tenderly and lovingly
than ever. You have been a great blessing to me. You attended
to my comfort in many, many ways. May God bless you for all
your kindnesses! I see no face now to be compared with that
sunburnt one which has so often greeted me with its kind
looks. Let us do our duty to our Saviour, and we shall meet
again. I wish that time were now. You may read the letters
over again which I wrote at Mabotsa, the sweet time you know.
As I told you before, I tell you again, they are true, true;
there is not a bit of hypocrisy in them. I never show all my
feelings; but I can say truly, my dearest, that I loved you
when I married you, and the longer I lived with you, I loved
you the better.... Let us do our duty to Christ, and He will
bring us through the world with honor and usefulness. He is
our refuge and high tower; let us trust in Him at all times,
and in all circumstances. Love Him more and more, and diffuse
his love among the children. Take them all round you, and
kiss them for me. Tell them I have left them for the love of
Jesus, and they must love Him too, and avoid sin, for that
displeases Jesus. I shall be delighted to hear of you all
safe in England...."

A few days later, he writes to his eldest daughter, then in her fifth

"_Cape Town, 18th May_, 1852.--MY DEAR AGNES,--This is your
own little letter. Mamma will read it to you, and you will
hear her just as if I were speaking to you, for the words
which I write are those which she will read. I am still at
Cape Town. You know you left me there when you all went into
the big ship and sailed away. Well, I shall leave Cape Town
soon. Malatsi has gone for the oxen, and then I shall go away
back to Sebituane's country, and see Seipone and Meriye, who
gave you the beads and fed you with milk and honey. I shall
not see you again for a long time, and I am very sorry. I
have no Nannie now. I have given you back to Jesus, your
Friend--your Papa who is in heaven. He is above you, but He
is always near you. When we ask things from Him, that is
praying to Him; and if you do or say a naughty thing ask Him
to pardon you, and bless you, and make you one of his
children. Love Jesus much, for He loves you, and He came and
died for you. Oh, how good Jesus is! I love Him, and I shall
love Him as long as I live. You must love Him too, and you
must love your brothers and mamma, and never tease them or be
naughty, for Jesus does not like to see
naughtiness.--Good-bye, my dear Nannie,


Among his other occupations at Cape Town, Livingstone put himself under
the instructions of the Astronomer-Royal, Mr. (afterward Sir Thomas)
Maclear, who became one of his best and most esteemed friends. His
object was to qualify himself more thoroughly for taking observations
that would give perfect accuracy to his geographical explorations. He
tried English preaching too, but his throat was still tender, and he
felt very nervous, as he had done at Ongar. "What a little thing," he
writes to Mr. Moffat, "is sufficient to bring down to old-wifeishness
such a rough tyke as I consider myself! Poor, proud human nature is a
great fool after all." A second effort was more successful. "I
preached," he writes to his wife, "on the text, 'Why will ye die?' I had
it written out and only referred to it twice, which is an improvement in
English. I hope good was done. The people were very attentive indeed. I
felt less at a loss than in Union Chapel[35]." He arranged with a
mercantile friend, Mr. Rutherfoord, to direct the operations of a native
trader, George Fleming, whom that gentleman was to employ for the
purpose of introducing lawful traffic in order to supplant the

[Footnote 35: The manuscript of this sermon still exists. The sermon is
very simple, scriptural, and earnest, in the style of Bishop Ryle, or of
Mr. Moody.]

It was not till the 8th of June that he left the Cape. His wagon was
loaded to double the usual weight from his good nature in taking
everybody's packages. His oxen were lean, and he was too poor to provide
better. He reached Griqua Town on the 15th August, and Kuruman a
fortnight later. Many things had occasioned unexpected delay, and the
last crowning detention was caused by the breaking down of a wheel. It
turned out, however, that these delays were probably the means of saving
his life. Had they not occurred he would have reached Kolobeng in
August. But this was the very time when the commando of the Boers,
numbering 600 colonists and many natives besides, were busy with the
work of death and destruction. Had he been at Kolobeng, Pretorius would
probably have executed his threat of killing him; at the least he would
have been deprived of all the property that he carried with him, and his
projected enterprise would have been brought to an end.

In a letter to his wife, Livingstone gives full details of the horrible
outrage perpetrated shortly before by the Boers at Kolobeng:

"_Kuruman, 20th September_, 1852.--Along with this I send you
a long letter; this I write in order to give you the latest
news. The Boers gutted our house at Kolobeng; they brought
four wagons down and took away sofa, table, bed, all the
crockery, your desk (I hope it had nothing in it--Have you
the letters?), smashed the wooden chairs, took away the iron
ones, tore out the leaves of all the books, and scattered
them in front of the house, smashed the bottles containing
medicines, windows, oven-door, took away the smith-bellows,
anvil, all the tools,--in fact everything worth taking; three
corn-mills, a bag of coffee, for which I paid six pounds, and
lots of coffee, tea, and sugar, which the gentlemen who went
to the north left; took all our cattle and Paul's and
Mebalwe's. They then went up to Limauee, went to church
morning and afternoon, and heard Mebalwe preach! After the
second service they told Sechele that they had come to fight,
because he allowed Englishmen to proceed to the North, though
they had repeatedly ordered him not to do so. He replied that
he was a man of peace, that he could not molest Englishmen,
because they had never done him any harm, and always treated
him well. In the morning they commenced firing on the town
with swivels, and set fire to it. The heat forced some of the
women to flee, the men to huddle together on the small hill
in the middle of the town; the smoke prevented them seeing
the Boers, and the cannon killed many, sixty (60) Bakwains.
The Boers then came near to kill and destroy them all, but
the Bakwains killed thirty-five (35), and many horses. They
fought the whole day, but the Boers could not dislodge them.
They stopped firing in the evening, and then the Bakwains
retired on account of having no water. The above sixty are
not all men; women and children are among the slain. The
Boers were 600, and they had 700 natives with them. All the
corn is burned. Parties went out and burned Bangwaketse town,
and swept off all the cattle. Sebubi's cattle are all gone.
All the Bakhatla cattle gone. Neither Bangwaketse nor
Bakhatla fired a shot. All the corn burned of the whole three
tribes. Everything edible is taken from them. How will they
live! They told Sechele that the Queen had given off the land
to them, and henceforth they were the masters,--had abolished
chieftainship. Sir Harry Smith tried the same, and England
has paid two millions of money to catch one chief, and he is
still as free as the winds of heaven. How will it end? I
don't know, but I will tell you the beginning. There are two
parties of Boers gone to the Lake. These will to a dead
certainty be cut off. They amount to thirty-six men. Parties
are sent now in pursuit of them. The Bakwains will plunder
and murder the Boers without mercy, and by and by the Boers
will ask the English Government to assist them to put down
rebellion, and of this rebellion I shall have, of course, to
bear the blame. They often expressed a wish to get hold of
me. I wait here a little in order to get information when the
path is clear. Kind Providence detained me from falling into
the very thick of it. God will preserve me still. He has work
for me or He would have allowed me to go in just when the
Boers were there. We shall remove more easily now that we are
lightened of our furniture. They have taken away our sofa. I
never had a good rest on it. We had only got it ready when we
left. Well, they can't have taken away all the stones. We
shall have a seat in spite of them, and that, too, with a
merry heart which doeth good like a medicine. I wonder what
the Peace Society would do with these worthies. They are
Christians. The Dutch predicants baptise all their children,
and admit them to the Lord's Supper...."

Dr. Livingstone was not disposed to restrain his indignation and grief
over his losses. For one so patient and good, he had a very large vial
of indignation, and on occasion poured it out right heartily over all
injustice and cruelty. On no heads was it ever discharged more freely
than on these Transvaal Boers. He made a formal representation of his
losses both to the Cape and Home authorities, but never received a
farthing of compensation. The subsequent history of the Transvaal
Republic will convince many that Livingstone was not far from the truth
in his estimate of the character of the free and independent Boers.

But while perfectly sincere in his indignation over the treatment of the
natives and his own losses, his playful fancy could find a ludicrous
side for what concerned himself, and grim enjoyment in showing it to his
friends. "Think," he writes to his friend Watt, "think of a big fat
Boeress drinking coffee out of my kettle, and then throwing her tallowy
corporeity on my sofa, or keeping her needles in my wife's writing-desk!
Ugh! and then think of foolish John Bull paying so many thousands a year
for the suppression of the slave-trade, and allowing Commissioner Aven
to make treaties with Boers who carry on the slave-trade.... The Boers
are mad with rage against me because my people fought bravely. It was I,
they think, who taught them to shoot Boers. Fancy your reverend friend
teaching the young idea how to shoot Boers, and praying for a blessing
on the work of his hands!"

In the same spirit he writes to his friend Moore:

"I never knew I was so rich until I recounted up the
different articles that were taken away. They cannot be
replaced in this country under L300. Many things brought to
our establishment by my better-half were of considerable
value. Of all I am now lightened, and they want to ease me of
my head.... The Boers kill the blacks without compunction,
and without provocation, because they believe they have no
souls.... Viewing the dispensation apart from the extreme
wickedness of the Boers, it seemed a judgment on the blacks
for their rejection of the gospel. They have verily done
despite unto the Spirit of grace.... Their enmity was not
manifested to us, but to the gospel. I am grieved for them,
and still hope that the good seed will yet vegetate[36]."

[Footnote 36: This letter to Mr. Moore contains a trait of Livingstone,
very trifling in the occasion out of which it arose, but showing vividly
the nature of the man. He had promised to send Mr. Moore's little son
some curiosities, but had forgotten when his family went to England.
Being reminded of his promise in a postscript the little fellow had
added to a letter from his father, Livingstone is "overwhelmed with
shame and confusion of face." He feels he has disappointed the boy and
forgotten his promise. Again and again Livingstone returns to the
subject, and feels assured that his young friend would forgive him if he
knew how much he suffered for his fault. That in the midst of his own
overwhelming troubles he should feel so much for the disappointment of a
little heart in England, shows how terrible a thing it was to him to
cause needless pain, and how profoundly it distressed him to seem
forgetful of a promise. Years afterward he wrote that he had brought an
elephant's tail for Henry, but one of the men stole all the hairs and
sold them. He had still a tusk of a hippopotamus for him, and a tooth
for his brother, but he had brought no curiosities, for he could
scarcely get along himself.]

But while he could relax playfully at the thought of the desolation at
Kolobeng, he knew how to make it the occasion likewise of high resolves.
The Boers, as he wrote the Directors, were resolved to shut up the
interior. He was determined, with God's help, to open the country. Time
would show which would be most successful in resolution,--they or he. To
his brother-in-law he wrote that he would open a path through the
country, _or perish_.

As for the contest with the Boers, we may smile at their impotent wrath.
It is a singular fact, that while Sechele still retains the position of
an independent chief, the republic of the Boers has passed away. It is
now part of the British Empire.

The country was so unsettled that for a long time Dr. Livingstone could
not get guides at Kuruman to go with him to Sebituane's. At length,
however, he succeeded, and leaving Kuruman finally about the end of
December, 1852, in company with George Fleming, Mr. Rutherfoord's
trader, he set out in a new direction, to the west of the old, in order
to give a wide berth to the Boers. Traveling rapidly he passed through
Sebituane's country, and in June, 1858, arrived at Linyanti, the capital
of the Makololo. He wrote to his wife that he had been very anxious to
go to Kolobeng and see with his own eyes the destruction wrought by the
savages. He had a great longing, too, to visit once more the grave of
Elizabeth, their infant daughter, but he heard that the Boers were in
the neighborhood, and were anxious to catch him, and he thought it best
not to go. Two years before, he had been at Linyanti with Mr. Oswell.
Many details of the new journey are given in the _Missionary Travels_,
which it is unnecessary to repeat, It may be enough to state that he
found the country flooded, and that on the way it was no unusual thing
for him to be wet all day, and to walk through swamps, and water three
or four feet deep. Trees, thorns, and reeds offered tremendous
resistance, and he and his people must have presented a pitiable sight
when forcing their way through reeds with cutting edges. "With our own
hands all raw and bloody, and knees through our trousers, we at length
emerged." It was a happy thought to tear his pocket-handkerchief into
two parts and tie them over his knees. "I remember," he says in his
Journal, referring to last year's journey, "the toil which our friend
Oswell endured on our account. He never spared himself." It is not to be
supposed that his guides were happy in such a march; it required his
tact stretched to its very utmost to prevent them from turning back. "At
the Malopo," he writes to his wife, "there were other dangers besides.
When walking before the wagon in the morning twilight, I observed a
lioness about fifty yards from me, in the squatting way they walk when
going to spring. She was followed by a very large lion, but seeing the
wagon, she turned back." Though he escaped fever at first, he had
repeated attacks afterward, and had to be constantly using remedies
against it. The unhealthiness of the region to Europeans forced itself
painfully on his attention, and made him wonder in what way God would
bring the light of the gospel to the poor inhabitants. As a physician
his mind was much occupied with the nature of the disease, and the way
to cure it. If only he could discover a remedy for that scourge of
Africa, what an invaluable boon would he confer on its
much-afflicted people!

"I would like," he says in his Journal, "to devote a portion
of my life to the discovery of a remedy for that terrible
disease, the African fever[37]. I would go into the parts
where it prevails most, and try to discover if the natives
have a remedy for it. I must make many inquiries of the river
people in this quarter. What an unspeakable mercy it is to be
permitted to engage in this most holy and honorable work!
What an infinity of lots in the world are poor, miserable,
and degraded compared with mine! I might have been a common
soldier, a day-laborer, a factory operative, a mechanic,
instead of a missionary. If my faculties had been left to run
riot or to waste as those of so many young men, I should now
have been used up, a dotard, as many of my school-fellows
are. I am respected by the natives, their kind expressions
often make me ashamed, and they are sincere. So much
deference and favor manifested without any effort on my part
to secure it comes from the Author of every good gift. I
acknowledge the mercies of the great God with devout and
reverential gratitude."

[Footnote 37: Livingstone's Remedy for African fever. See Appendix No.

Dr. Livingstone had declined a considerate proposal that another
missionary should accompany him, and deliberately resolved to go this
great journey alone. He knew, in fact, that except Mr. Moffat, who was
busy with his translation of the Bible, no other missionary would go
with him[38]. But in the absence of all to whom he could unburden his
spirit, we find him more freely than usual pouring out his feelings in
his Journal, and it is but an act of justice to himself that it should
be made known how his thoughts were running, with so bold and difficult
an undertaking before him:

[Footnote 38: Dr. Moffat informs us that Livingstone's desire for his
company was most intense, and that he pressed him in such a way as would
have been irresistible, had his going been possible. But for his
employment in translating, Dr. Moffat would have gone with all
his heart.]

_28th September,_ 1852.--Am I on my way to die in Sebituane's
country? Have I seen the end of my wife and children? The
breaking up of all my connections with earth, leaving this
fair and beautiful world, and knowing so little of it? I am
only learning the alphabet of it yet, and entering on an
untried state of existence. Following Him who has entered in
before me into the cloud, the veil, the Hades, is a serious
prospect. Do we begin again in our new existence to learn
much by experience, or have we full powers? My soul, whither
wilt thou emigrate? Where wilt thou lodge the first night
after leaving this body? Will an angel soothe thy fluttering,
for sadly flurried wilt thou be in entering upon eternity?
Oh! if Jesus speak one word of peace, that will establish in
thy breast an everlasting calm! O Jesus, fill me with Thy
love now, and I beseech Thee, accept me, and use me a little
for Thy glory. I have done nothing for Thee yet, and I would
like to do something. O do, do, I beseech Thee, accept me and
my service, and take Thou all the glory...."

"_23d January_, 1853,--I think much of my poor children...."

"_4th February_, 1853.--I am spared in health, while all the
company have been attacked by the fever. If God has accepted
my service, then my life is charmed till my work is done. And
though I pass through many dangers unscathed while working
the work given me to do, when that is finished, some simple
thing will give me my quietus. Death is a glorious event to
one going to Jesus. Whither does the soul wing its way? What
does it see first? There is something sublime in passing into
the second stage of our immortal lives if washed from our
sins. But oh! to be consigned to ponder over all our sins
with memories excited, every scene of our lives held up as in
a mirror before our eyes, and we looking at them and waiting
for the day of judgment!"

"_17th February_.--It is not the encountering of difficulties
and dangers in obedience to the promptings of the inward
spiritual life, which constitutes tempting of God and
Providence; but the acting without faith, proceeding on our
own errands with no previous convictions of duty, and no
prayer for aid and direction."

"_22d May_.--I will place no value on anything I have or may
possess, except in relation to the kingdom of Christ. If
anything will advance the interests of that kingdom, it shall
be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping of it I
shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my
hopes in time and eternity. May grace and strength sufficient
to enable me to adhere faithfully to this resolution be
imparted to me, so that in truth, not in name only, all my
interests and those of my children may be identified with
his cause.... I will try and remember always to approach God
in secret with as much reverence in speech, posture, and
behavior as in public. Help me, Thou who knowest my frame and
pitiest as a father his children."

When Livingstone reached the Makololo, a change had taken place in the
government of the tribe. Ma-mochisane, the daughter of Sebituane, had
not been happy in her chiefdom, and had found it difficult to get along
with the number of husbands whom her dignity as chief required her to
maintain. She had given over the government to her brother Sekeletu, a
youth of eighteen, who was generally recognized, though not without some
reluctance, by his brother, Mpepe. Livingstone could not have foreseen
how Sekeletu would receive him, but to his great relief and satisfaction
he found him actuated by the most kindly feelings. He found him, boy as
he was, full of vague expectations of benefits, marvelous and
miraculous, which the missionaries were to bring. It was Livingstone's
first work to disabuse his mind of these expectations, and let him
understand that his supreme object was to teach them the way of
salvation through Jesus Christ. To a certain extent Sekeletu was
interested in this:

"He asked many sensible questions about the system of
Christianity in connection with the putting away of wives.
They are always furnished with objections sooner than with
the information. I commended him for asking me, and will
begin a course of instruction to-morrow. He fears that
learning to read will change his heart, and make him put away
his wives. Much depends on his decision. May God influence
his heart to decide aright!"

Two days after Livingstone says in his Journal:

"_1st June_.--The chief presented eight large and three small
tusks this morning. I told him and his people I would rather
see them trading than giving them to me. They replied that
they would get trade with George Fleming, and that, too, as
soon as he was well; but these they gave to their father, and
they were just as any other present. They asked after the
gun-medicine, believing that now my heart would be warm
enough to tell them anything, but I could not tell them a
lie. I offered to show Sekeletu how to shoot, and that was
all the medicine I knew. I felt as if I should have been more
pleased had George been amassing ivory than I. Yet this may
be an indispensable step in the progress toward opening the
west. I must have funds; and here they come pouring in. It
would be impossible to overlook his providence who has
touched their hearts. I have used no undue influence. Indeed
I have used none directly for the purpose Kindness shown has
been appreciated here, while much greater kindness shown to
tribes in the south has resulted in a belief we missionaries
must be fools. I do thank my God sincerely for his favor, and
my hearty prayer is that He may continue it, and make
whatever use He pleases of me, and may He have mercy on this

Dr. Livingstone was careful to guard against the supposition that he
allowed Sekeletu to enrich him without recompense, and in his Journal he
sets down a list of the various articles presented by himself to the
chief, including three goats, some fowls, powder, wire, flints,
percussion-caps, an umbrella and a hat, the value of the whole being
L31, 16s. When Sekeletu knew Dr. Livingstone's plans, he undertook that
he should be provided with all requisites for his journey. But he was
most anxious to retain him, and for some time would not let him go.
Livingstone had fascinated him. Sekeletu said that he had found a new
father. And Livingstone pondered the possibility of establishing a
station here. But the fever, the fever! could he bring his family? He
must pass on and look for a healthier spot. His desire was to proceed to
the country of the Barotse. At length, on the 16th June, Sekeletu gives
his answer:

"The chief has acceded to my request to proceed to Barotse
and see the country. I told him my heart was sore, because
having left my family to explore his land, and, if possible,
find a suitable location for a mission, I could not succeed,
because detained by him here. He says he will take me with
him. He does not like to part with me at all. He is obliged
to consult with those who gave their opinion against my
leaving. But it is certain I am permitted to go. Thanks be to
God for influencing their hearts!"

Before we set out with the chief on this journey, it will be well to
give a few extracts from Livingstone's Journal, showing how unwearied
were his efforts to teach the people:

"_Banks of Chobe, Sunday, May 15th_.--Preached twice to about
sixty people. Very attentive. It is only divine power which
can enlighted dark minds as these.... The people seem to
receive ideas on divine subjects slowly. They listen, but
never suppose that the truths must become embodied in actual
life. They will wait until the chief becomes a Christian, and
if he believes, then they refuse to follow,--as was the case
among the Bakwains. Procrastination seems as powerful an
instrument of deception here as elsewhere."

"_Sunday, 12th June_.--A good and very attentive audience. We
introduce entirely new motives, and were these not perfectly
adapted for the human mind and heart by their divine Author,
we should have no success."

"_Sunday, 19th June_.--A good and attentive audience, but
immediately after the service I went to see a sick man, and
when I returned toward the Kotla, I found the chief had
retired into a hut to drink beer; and, as the custom is,
about forty men were standing singing to him, or, in other
words, begging beer by that means. A minister who had not
seen so much pioneer service as I have done would have been
shocked to see so little effect produced by an earnest
discourse concerning the future judgment, but time must be
given to allow the truth to sink into the dark mind, and
produce its effect. The earth shall be filled with the
knowledge of the glory of the Lord--that is enough. We can
afford to work in faith, for Omnipotence is pledged to
fulfill the promise. The great mountains become a plain
before the Almighty arm. The poor Bushman, the most degraded
of all Adam's family, shall see his glory, and the dwellers
in the wilderness shall bow before Him. The obstacles to the
coming of the Kingdom are mighty, but come it will for
all that;

"Then let us pray that come it may,
As come, it will for a' that,
That man to man the world o'er
Shall brothers be for a' that.'

"The hard and cold unbelief which distinguished the last
century, and which is still aped by would-be philosophers in
the present, would sneer at our faith, and call it
superstition, enthusiasm, etc. But were we believers in human
progress and no more, there must be a glorious future for our
world. Our dreams must come true, even though they are no
more than dreams. The world is rolling on to the golden
age.... Discoveries and Inventions are cumulative. Another
century must present a totally different aspect from the
present. And when we view the state of the world and its
advancing energies, in the light afforded by childlike, or
call it childish, faith, we see the earth filling with the
knowledge of the glory of God,--ay, all nations seeing his
glory and bowing before Him whose right it is to reign. Our
work and its fruits are cumulative. We work toward another
state of things. Future missionaries will be rewarded by
conversions for every sermon. We are their pioneers and
helpers. Let them not forget the watchmen of the night--us,
who worked when all was gloom, and no evidence of success in
the way of conversion cheered our paths. They will doubtless
have more light than we, but we served our Master earnestly,
and proclaimed the same gospel as they will do."

Of the services which Livingstone held with the people, we have the
following picture;

"When I stand up, all the women and children draw near, and,
having ordered silence, I explain the plan of salvation, the
goodness of God in sending his Son to die, the confirmation
of his mission by miracles, the last judgment or future
state, the evil of sin, God's commands respecting it, etc.;
always choosing one subject only for an address, and taking
care to make it short and plain, and applicable to them. This
address is listened to with great attention by most of the
audience. A short prayer concludes the service, all kneeling
down, and remaining so till told to rise. At first we have to
enjoin on the women who have children to remain sitting, for
when they kneel, they squeeze their children, and a
simultaneous skirl is set up by the whole troop of
youngsters, who make the prayer inaudible."

When Livingstone and Sekeletu had gone about sixty miles on the way to
the Barotse, they encountered Mpepe, Sekeletu's half-brother and secret
rival. It turned out that Mpepe had a secret plan for killing Sekeletu,
and that three times on the day of their meeting that plan was
frustrated by apparently accidental causes. On one of these occasions,
Livingstone, by covering Sekeletu, prevented him from being speared.
Mpepe's treachery becoming known, he was arrested by Sekeletu's people,
and promptly put to death. The episode was not agreeable, but it
illustrated savage life. It turned out that Mpepe favored the
slave-trade, and was closely engaged with certain Portuguese traders in
intrigues for establishing and extending it. Had Sekeletu been killed,
Livingstone's enterprise would certainly have been put an end to, and
very probably likewise Livingstone himself.

The party, numbering about one hundred and sixty, proceeded up the
beautiful river which on his former visit Livingstone had first known as
the Sesheke, but which was called by the Barotse the Liambai or
Leeambye. The term means "the large river," and Luambeji, Luambesi,
Ambezi, Yimbezi, and Zambezi are names applied to it at different parts
of its course. In the progress of their journey they came to the town of
the father of Mpepe, where, most unexpectedly, Livingstone encountered a
horrible scene. Mpepe's father and another headman were known to have
favored the plan for the murder of Sekeletu, and were therefore objects
of fear to the latter. When all were met, and Mpepe's father was
questioned why he did not stop his son's proceedings, Sekeletu suddenly
sprang to his feet and gave the two men into custody. All had been
planned beforehand. Forthwith they were led away, surrounded by
Sekeletu's warriors, all dream of opposition on their part being as
useless as interference would have been on Livingstone's. Before his
eyes he saw them hewn to; pieces with axes, and cast into the river to
be devoured by the alligators. Within two hours of their arrival the
whole party had left the scene of this shocking tragedy, Livingstone
being so horrified that he could not remain. He did his best to show the
sin of blood-guiltiness, and bring before the people the scene of the
Last Judgment, which was the only thing that seemed to make any

Farther on his way he had an interview with Ma-mochisane, the daughter
of Sebituane who had resigned in favor of Sekeletu. He was the first
white man she had ever seen. The interview was pleasing and not without
touches of womanly character; the poor woman had felt an _embarras de
richesses_ in the matter of husbands, and was very uncomfortable when
married women complained of her taking their spouses from them. Her soul
recoiled from the business; she wished to have a husband of her own and
to be like other women.

So anxious was Livingstone to find a healthy locality, that, leaving
Sekeletu, he proceeded to the farthest limit of the Barotse country, but
no healthy place could be found. It is plain, however, that in spite of
all risk, and much as he suffered from the fever, he was planning, if no
better place could be found, to return himself to Linyanti and be the
Makololo missionary. Not just immediately, however. Having failed in the
first object of his journey--to find a healthy locality--he was resolved
to follow out the second, and endeavor to discover a highway to the sea.
First he would try the west coast, and the point for which he would make
was St. Paul de Loanda. He might have found a nearer way, but a
Portuguese trader whom he had met, and from whom he had received
kindness, was going by that route to St. Philip de Benguela. The trader
was implicated in the slave-trade, and Livingstone knew what a
disadvantage it would be either to accompany or to follow him. He
therefore returned to Linyanti; and there began preparations for the
journey to Loanda on the coast.

During the time thus spent in the Barotse country, Livingstone saw
heathenism in its most unadulterated form. It was a painful, loathsome,
and horrible spectacle. His views of the Fall and of the corruption of
human nature were certainly not lightened by the sight. In his Journal
he is constantly letting fall expressions of weariness at the noise, the
excitement, the wild savage dancing, the heartless cruelty, the utter
disregard of feelings, the destruction of children, the drudgery of the
old people, the atrocious murders with which he was in contact.
Occasionally he would think of other scenes of travel; if a friend, for
example, were going to Palestine, he would say how gladly he would kiss
the dust that had been trod by the Man of Sorrows. One day a poor girl
comes hungry and naked to the wagons, and is relieved from time to time;
then disappears to die in the woods of starvation or be torn in pieces
by the hyenas. Another day, as he is preaching, a boy, walking along
with his mother, is suddenly seized by a man, utters a shriek as if his
heart had burst, and becomes, as Livingstone finds, a hopeless slave.
Another time, the sickening sight is a line of slaves attached by a
chain. That chain haunts and harrows him.

Amid all his difficulties he patiently pursued his work as missionary.
Twice every Sunday he preached, usually to good audiences, the number
rising on occasions so high as a thousand. It was a great work to sow
the good seed so widely, where no Christian man had ever been,
proclaiming every Lord's Day to fresh ears the message of Divine love.
Sometimes he was in great hopes that a true impression had been made.
But usually, whenever the service was over, the wild savage dance with
all its demon noises succeeded, and the missionary could but look on and
sigh. So ready was he for labor that when he could get any willing to
learn, he commenced teaching them the alphabet. But he was continually
met by the notion that his religion was a religion of medicines, and
that all the good it could do was by charms. Intellectual culture seemed
indispensable to dissipate this inveterate superstition regarding
Christian influence.

A few extracts from his Journal in the Barotse country will more vividly
exhibit his state of mind:

"_27th August_, 1853.--The more intimately I become
acquainted with barbarians, the more disgusting does
heathenism become. It is inconceivably vile. They are always
boasting of their fierceness, yet dare not visit another
tribe for fear of being killed. They never visit anywhere but
for the purpose of plunder and oppression. They never go
anywhere but with a club or spear in hand. It is lamentable
to see those who might be children of God, dwelling in peace
and love, so utterly the children of the devil, dwelling in
fear and continual irritation. They bestow honors and
flattering titles on me in confusing profusion. All from the
least to the greatest call me Father, Lord, etc., and bestow
food without recompense, out of pure kindness. They need a
healer. May God enable me to be such to them....

"_31st August_.--The slave-trade seems pushed into the very
centre of the continent from both sides. It must be

"_September 25, Sunday_.--A quiet audience to-day. The seed
being sown, the least of all seeds now, but it will grow a
mighty tree. It is as it were a small stone cut out of a
mountain, but it will fill the whole earth. He that believeth
shall not make haste. Surely if God can bear with hardened
impenitent sinners for thirty, forty, or fifty years, waiting
to be gracious, we may take it for granted that his is the
best way. He could destroy his enemies, but He waits to be
gracious. To become irritated with their stubbornness and
hardness of heart is ungodlike....

"_13th October_.--Missionaries ought to cultivate a taste for
the beautiful. We are necessarily compelled to contemplate
much moral impurity and degradation. We are so often doomed
to disappointment. We are apt to become either callous or
melancholy, or, if preserved from these, the constant strain
on the sensibilities is likely to injure the bodily health.
On this account it seems necessary to cultivate that faculty
for the gratification of which God has made such universal
provision. See the green earth and blue sky, the lofty
mountain and the verdant valley, the glorious orbs of day and
night, and the starry canopy with all their celestial
splendor, the graceful flowers so chaste in form and perfect
in coloring. The various forms of animated life present to
him whose heart is at peace with God through the blood of his
Son an indescribable charm. He sees in the calm beauties of
nature such abundant provision for the welfare of humanity
and animate existence. There appears on the quiet repose of

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