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The Personal Life Of David Livingstone by William Garden Blaikie

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earth's scenery the benignant smile of a Father's love. The
sciences exhibit such wonderful intelligence and design in
all their various ramifications, some time ought to be
devoted to them before engaging in missionary work. The heart
may often be cheered by observing the operation of an
ever-present intelligence, and we may feel that we are
leaning on his bosom while living in a world clothed in
beauty, and robed with the glorious perfections of its maker
and preserver. We must feel that there is a Governor among
the nations who will bring all his plans with respect to our
human family to a glorious consummation. He who stays his
mind on his ever-present, ever-energetic God, will not fret
himself because of evil-doers. He that believeth shall not
make haste."

"_26th October_.--I have not yet met with a beautiful woman
among the black people, and I have seen many thousands in a
great variety of tribes. I have seen a few who might be
called passable, but none at all to be compared to what one
may meet among English servant-girls. Some beauties are said
to be found among the Caffres, but among the people I have
seen I cannot conceive of any European being captivated with
them. The whole of my experience goes toward proving that
civilization alone produces beauty, and exposure to the
weather and other vicissitudes tend to the production of
deformation and ugliness....

"_28th October_.--The conduct of the people whom we have
brought from Kuruman shows that no amount of preaching or
instruction will insure real piety.... The old superstitions
cannot be driven out of their minds by faith implanted by
preaching. They have not vanished in either England or
Scotland yet, after the lapse of centuries of preaching.
Kuruman, the entire population of which amounted in 1853 to
638 souls, enjoys and has enjoyed the labors of at least two
missionaries,--four sermons, two prayer-meetings, infant
schools, adult schools, sewing schools, classes, books, etc.,
and the amount of visible success is very gratifying, a
remarkable change indeed from the former state of these
people. Yet the dregs of heathenism still cleave fast to the
minds of the majority. They have settled deep down into their
souls, and one century will not be sufficient to elevate them
to the rank of Christians in Britain. The double influence of
the spirit of commerce and the gospel of Christ has given an
impulse to the civilization of men. The circulation of ideas
and commodities over the face of the earth, and the discovery
of the gold regions, have given enhanced rapidity to commerce
in other countries, and the diffusion of knowledge. But what
for Africa? God will do something else for it; something just
as wonderful and unexpected as the discovery of gold."

It needs not to be said that his thoughts were very often with his wife
and children. A tender letter to the four little ones shows that though
some of them might be beginning to forget him, their names were written
imperishably on his heart:

"_Sekeletu's Town, Linyanti, 2d October_.--MY DEAR ROBERT,
AGNES, AND THOMAS AND OSWELL,--Here is another little letter
for you all. I should like to see you much more than write to
you, and speak with my tongue rather than with my pen; but we
are far from each other--very, very far. Here are Seipone,
and Meriye and others who saw you as the first white children
they ever looked at. Meriye came the other day and brought a
round basket for Nannie. She made it of the leaves of the
palmyra. Others put me in mind of you all by calling me
Rananee, and Rarobert, and there is a little Thomas in the
town, and when I think of you I remember, though I am far
off, Jesus, our good and gracious Jesus, is ever near both
you and me, and then I pray to Him to bless you and make
you good.

"He is ever near. Remember this if you feel angry or naughty.
Jesus is near you, and sees you, and He is so good and kind.
When He was among men, those who heard Him speak said, 'Never
man spake like this man,' and we now say, 'Never did man love
like Him.' You see little Zouga is carried on mamma's bosom.
You are taken care of by Jesus with as much care as mamma
takes of Zouga. He is always watching you and keeping you in
safety. It is very bad to sin, to do any naughty things, or
speak angry or naughty words before Him.

"My dear children, take Him as your Guide, your Helper, your
Friend, and Saviour through life. Whatever you are troubled
about ask Him to keep you. Our God is good. We thank Him that
we have such a Saviour and Friend as He is. Now you are
little, but you will not always be so, hence you must learn
to read and write and work. All clever men can both read and
write, and Jesus needs clever men to do his work. Would you
not like to work for Him among men? Jesus is wishing to send
his gospel to all nations, and He needs clever men to do
this. Would you like to serve Him? Well, you must learn now,
and not get tired learning. After some time you will like
learning better than playing, but you must play, too, in
order to make your bodies strong and be able to serve Jesus.

"I am glad to hear that you go to the academy. I hope you are
learning fast. Don't speak Scotch. It is not so pretty as
English. Is the Tau learning to read with mamma? I hope you
are all kind to mamma. I saw a poor woman in a chain with
many others, up at the Barotse. She had a little child, and
both she and her child were very thin. See how kind Jesus was
to you. No one can put you in chains unless you become bad.
If, however, you learn bad ways, beginning only by saying bad
words or doing little bad things, Satan will have you in the
chains of sin, and you will be hurried on in his bad ways
till you are put into the dreadful place which God hath
prepared for him and all who are like him. Pray to Jesus to
deliver you from sin, give you new hearts, and make you his
children. Kiss Zouga, mamma, and each other for me.--Your
ever affectionate father,


A letter to his father and other relations at Hamilton, 30th September,
1853, is of a somewhat apologetic and explanatory cast. Some of the
friends had the notion that he should have settled somewhere,
"preaching the simple gospel," and converting people by every sermon:

"You see what they make of the gospel, and my conversation on
it, in which my inmost Heart yearned for their conversion.
Many now think Jesus and Sebituane very much the same sort of
person. I was prevented by fever and other matters from at
once following up the glorious object of this journey: viz.,
while preaching the gospel beyond every other man's line of
things made ready to our hands, to discover a healthy
location for a mission, and I determined to improve the time
by teaching to read. This produced profound deliberation and
lengthened palavers, and at length the chief told me that he
feared learning to read would change his heart and make him
content with one wife like Sechele. He has four. It was in
vain I urged that the change contemplated made the affair as
voluntary as if he would now change his mind from four to
thirty, as his father had. He could not realize the change
that would give relish to any other system than the present.
He felt as the man who is mentioned by Serles as saying he
would not like to go to heaven to be employed for ever
singing and praising on a bare cloud without anything to eat
or drink....

"The conversion of a few, however valuable their souls may
be, cannot be put into the scale against the knowledge of the
truth spread over the whole country. In this I do and will
exult. As in India, we are doomed to perpetual
disappointment; but the knowledge of Christ spreads over the
masses. We are like voices crying in the wilderness. We
prepare the way for a glorious future in which missionaries
telling the same tale of love will convert by every sermon. I
am trying now to establish the Lord's kingdom in a region
wider by far than Scotland. Fever seems to forbid; but I
shall work for the glory of Christ's kingdom--fever or no
fever. All the intelligent men who direct our society and
understand the nature of my movements support me warmly. A
few, I understand, in Africa, in writing home, have styled my
efforts as 'wanderings.' The very word contains a lie coiled
like a serpent in its bosom. It means traveling without an
object, or uselessly. I am now performing the duty of writing
you. If this were termed 'dawdling,' it would be as true as
the other.... I have actually seen letters to the Directors
in which I am gravely charged with holding the views of the
Plymouth Brethren, So very sure am I that I am in the path
which God's Providence has pointed out, as that by which
Christ's kingdom is to be promoted, that if the Society
should object, I would consider it my duty to withdraw
from it....

_"P.S._--My throat became well during the long silence of
traveling across the desert. It plagues again now that I am
preaching in a moist climate."

Dr. Livingstone now began his preparations for the journey from
Linyanti to Loanda. Sekeletu was kind and generous. The road was
impracticable for wagons, and the native trader, George Fleming,
returned to Kuruman, The Kuruman guides had not done well, so that
Livingstone resolved to send them back, and to get Makololo men instead.
Here is the record of his last Sunday at Linyanti:

"_6th Nov., 1853_.--Large audience. Kuruman people don't
attend. If it is a fashion to be church-going, many are drawn
into its observance. But placed in other circumstances, the
true character comes out. This is the case with many
Scotchmen. May God so imbue my mind with the spirit of
Christianity that in all circumstances I may show my
Christian character! Had a long conversation with Motlube,
chiefly on a charm for defending the town or for gun
medicine. They think I know it but will not impart the secret
to them. I used every form of expression to undeceive him,
but to little purpose. Their belief in medicine which will
enable them to shoot well is very strong, and simple trust in
an unseen Saviour to defend them against such enemies as the
Matebele is too simple for them. I asked if a little charcoal
sewed up in a bag were a more feasible protector than He who
made all things, and told them that one day they would laugh
heartily at their own follies in bothering me so much for gun
medicine. A man who has never had to do with a raw heathen
tribe has yet to learn the Missionary A B C."

On the 8th he writes:

"Our intentions are to go up the Leeba till we reach the
falls, then send back the canoe and proceed in the country
beyond as best we can. Matiamvo is far beyond, but the
Cassantse (probably Cassange) live on the west of the river.
May God in mercy permit me to do something for the cause of
Christ in these dark places of the earth! May He accept my
children for his service, and sanctify them for it! My
blessing on my wife. May God comfort her! If my watch comes
back after I am cut off, it belongs to Agnes. If my sextant,
it is Robert's. The Paris medal to Thomas. Double-barreled
gun to Zouga. Be a Father to the fatherless, and a Husband to
the widow, for Jesus' sake."

The probability of his falling was full in his view. But the thought was
ever in his mind, and ever finding expression in letters both to the
Missionary and the Geographical Societies, and to all his
friends,--"Can the love of Christ not carry the missionary where the
slave-trade carries the trader?" His wagon and goods were left with
Sekeletu, and also the Journal from which these extracts are taken[39].
It was well for him that his conviction of duty was clear as noonday. A
year after, he wrote to his father-in-law:

[Footnote 39: This Journal is mentioned in the _Missionary Travels_ as
having been lost (p. 229). It was afterward recovered. It contains,
among other things, some important notes on Natural History.]

I had fully made up my mind as to the path of duty before
starting. I wrote to my brother-in-law, Robert Moffat: 'I
shall open up a path into the interior, or perish.' I never
have had the shadow of a shade of doubt as to the propriety
of my course, and wish only that my exertions may be honored
so far that the gospel may be preached and believed in all
this dark region."



A.D. 1853-1854.

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

The journey from Linyanti to Loanda occupied from the 11th November,
1853, to 31st May, 1854. It was in many ways the most difficult and
dangerous that Livingstone had yet performed, and it drew out in a very
wonderful manner the rare combination of qualities that fitted him for
his work. The route had never been traversed, so far as any trustworthy
tradition went, by any European. With the exception of a few of
Sekeletu's tusks, the oxen needed for carrying, and a trifling amount of
coffee, cloth, beads, etc., Livingstone had neither stores of food for
his party, nor presents with which to propitiate the countless tribes of
rapacious and suspicious savages that lined his path. The Barotse men
who accompanied him, usually called the "Makololo," though on the whole
faithful and patient, "the best that ever accompanied me," were a burden
in one sense, as much as a help in another; chicken-hearted, ready to
succumb to every trouble, and to be cowed by any chief that wore a
threatening face. Worse if possible, Livingstone himself was in wretched
health. During this part of the journey he had constant attacks of
intermittent fever[40], accompanied in the latter stages of the road
with dysentery of the most distressing kind. In the intervals of fever
he was often depressed alike in body and in mind. Often the party were
destitute of food of any sort, and never had they food suitable for a
fever-stricken invalid. The vexations he encountered were of no common
kind: at starting, the greater part of his medicines was stolen, much
though he needed them; in the course of the journey, his pontoon was
left behind; at one time, while he was under the influence of fever, his
riding-ox threw him, and he fell heavily on his head; at another, while
crossing a river, the ox tossed him into the water; the heavy rains, and
the necessity of wading through streams three or four times a day, kept
him almost constantly wet; and occasionally, to vary the annoyance,
mosquitos would assail him as fiercely as if they had been waging a war
of extermination. The most critical moments of peril, demanding the
utmost coolness and most dauntless courage, would sometimes occur during
the stage of depression after fever; it was then he had to extricate
himself from savage warriors, who vowed that he must go back, unless he
gave them an ox, a gun, or a man. The ox he could ill spare, the gun not
at all, and as for giving the last--a man--to make a slave of, he would
sooner die. At the best, he was a poor ragged skeleton when he reached
those who had hearts to feel for him and hands to help him. Had he not
been a prodigy of patience, faith, and courage, had he not known where
to find help in all time of his tribulation, he would never have reached
the haunts of civilized men.

[Footnote 40: The number of attacks was thirty-one.]

His traveling-kit was reduced to the smallest possible ilk; that he
minded little, but he was vexed to be able to take so few books. A few
days after setting out, he writes in his private Journal;

"I feel the want of books in this journey more than anything
else. A Sichuana Pentateuch, a lined journal, Thomson's
Tables, a Nautical Almanac, and a Bible, constitute my stock.
The last constitutes my chief resource; but the want of other
mental pabulum is felt severely. There is little to interest
in the conversation of the people. Loud disputes often about
the women, and angry altercations in which the same string of
abuse is used, are more frequent than anything else."

The "lined journal," of which mention is made here, was probably the
most wonderful thing of the kind ever taken on such a journey. It is a
strongly bound quarto volume of more then 800 pages, with a lock and
key. The writing is so neat and clear that it might almost be taken for
lithograph. Occasionally there is a page with letters beginning to
sprawl, as if one of those times had come when he tells us that he-could
neither think nor speak, nor tell any one's name--possibly not even his
own, if he had been asked it. He used to jot his observations on little
note-books, and extend them when detained by rain or other causes.

The journal differs in some material respects from the printed record of
this journey. It is much more explicit in setting forth the bad
treatment he often received. When he spoke of these things to the
public, he made constant use of the mantle of charity, and the record of
many a bad deed and many a bad character is toned down. Naturally, too,
the journal is more explicit on the subject of his own troubles, and
more free in recording the play of his feelings. It does not hide the
communings of his heart with his heavenly Father. It is built up in a
random-rubble style; here a solemn prayer, in the next line a note of
lunar observations; then a dissertation on the habits of the
hippopotamus. Notes bearing on the character, the superstitions, and the
feelings of the natives are of frequent occurrence. The explanation is,
that Livingstone put down everything as it came, reserving the arranging
and digesting of the whole to a future time. The extremely hurried
manner in which he was obliged to write his _Missionary Travels_
prevented him from fulfilling all his plan, and compelled him to content
himself with giving to the public then what could be put most readily
together. There are indications that he contemplated in the end a much
more thorough use of his materials. It is not to be supposed that his
published volumes contained all that he deemed worthy of publication, or
that a censure is due to those who reproduce some portions which he
passed over. As to the neat and finished form in which the Journal
exists, it was one of the many fruits of a strong habit of orderliness
and self-respect which he had begun to learn at the hand of his mother,
and which he practiced all his life. Even in the matter of personal
cleanliness and dress he was uniformly most attentive in his wanderings
among savages. "I feel certain," he said, "that the lessons of
cleanliness rigidly instilled by my mother in childhood helped to
maintain that respect which these people entertain for European ways."

The course of the journey was first along the river Zambesi, as he had
gone before with Sekeletu, to its junction with the Leeba, then along
the Leeba to the country of Lobale on the left and Londa on the right.
Then, leaving the canoes, he traveled on oxback first N.N.W. and then W.
till he reached St. Paul de Loanda on the coast. His Journal, like the
published volume, is full of observations on the beauty and wonderful
capacity and productiveness of the country through which he passed after
leaving the river. Instinctively he would compare it with Scotland. A
beautiful valley reminds him of his native vale of Clyde, seen from the
spot where Mary Queen of Scots saw the battle of Langside; only the
Scottish scene is but a miniature of the much greater and richer
landscape before him. At the sight of the mountains he would feel his
Highland blood rushing through him, banishing all thoughts of fever and
fatigue. If only the blessings of the gospel could be spread among the
people, what a glorious land it would become! But alas for the people!
In most cases they were outwardly very repulsive. Never seen without a
spear or a club in their hands, the men seemed only to delight in
plunder and slaughter, and yet they were utter cowards. Their mouths
were full of cursing and bitterness. The execrations they poured on each
other were incredible. In very wantonness, when they met they would pelt
each other with curses, and then perhaps burst into a fit of laughter.
The women, like the men, went about in almost total nudity, and seemed
to know no shame. So reckless were the chiefs of human life, that a man
might be put to death for a single distasteful word; yet sometimes there
were exhibitions of very tender feeling. The headman of a village once
showed him, with much apparent feeling, the burnt house of a child of
his, adding,--"She perished in it, and we have all removed from our own
huts and built here round her, in order to weep over her grave." From
some of the people he received great kindness; others were quite
different. Their character, in short, was a riddle, and would need to be
studied more. But the prevalent aspect of things was both distressing
and depressing. If he had thought of it continually, he would have
become the victim of melancholy. It was a characteristic of his large
and buoyant nature, that, besides having the resource of spiritual
thought, he was able to make use of another divine corrective to such a
tendency, to find delightful recreation in science, and especially in
natural history, and by this means turn the mind away for a time from
the dark scenes of man's depravity.

The people all seemed to recognize a Supreme Being; but it was only
occasionally, in times of distress, that they paid Him homage. They had
no love for Him like that of Christians for Jesus--only terror. Some of
them, who were true negroes, had images, simple but grotesque. Their
strongest belief was in the power of medicines acting as charms. They
fully recognized the existence of the soul after death. Some of them
believed in the metamorphosis of certain persons into alligators or
hippopotamuses, or into lions. This belief could not be shaken by any
arguments--at least on the part of man. The negroes proper interested
him greatly; they were numerous, prolific, and could not be extirpated.
He almost regretted that Mr. Moffat had translated the Bible into
Sichuana. That language might die out; but the negro might sing, "Men
may come and men may go, but I go on for ever."

The incessant attacks of fever from which Livingstone suffered in this
journey, the continual rain occurring at that season of the year, the
return of the affection of the throat for which he had got his uvula
excised, and the difficulty of speaking to tribes using different
dialects, prevented him from, holding his Sunday services as regularly
as before. Such entries in his Journal as the following are but
too frequent:

"_Sunday, 19th_.--Sick all Sunday and unable to move. Several
of the people were ill too, so that I could do nothing but
roll from side to side in my miserable little tent, in which,
with all the shade we could give it, the thermometer stood
upward of 90 deg.."

But though little able to preach, Livingstone made the most of an
apparatus which in some degree compensated his lack of speech--a
magic-lantern which his friend, a former fellow-traveler, Mr. Murray,
had given him. The pictures of Abraham offering up Isaac, and other
Bible scenes, enabled him to convey important truths in a way that
attracted the people. It was, he says, the only service he was ever
asked to repeat. The only uncomfortable feeling it raised was on the
part of those who stood on the side where the slides were drawn out.
They were terrified lest the figures, as they passed along, should take
possession of them, entering like spirits into their bodies!

The loneliness of feeling engendered by the absence of all human
sympathy was trying. "Amidst all the beauty and loveliness with which I
am surrounded, there is still a feeling of want in the soul,--as if
something more were needed to bathe the soul in bliss than the sight of
the perfection in working and goodness in planning of the great Father
of our spirits. I need to be purified--fitted for the eternal, to which
my soul stretches away, in ever returning longings. I need to be made
more like my blessed Saviour, to serve my God with all my powers. Look
upon me, Spirit of the living God, and supply all Thou seest lacking."

It was Livingstone's great joy to begin this long journey with a blessed
act of humanity, boldly summoning a trader to release a body of
captives, so that no fewer than eighteen souls were restored to freedom.
As he proceeded he obtained but too plain evidence of the extent to
which the slave traffic prevailed, uniformly finding that wherever
slavers had been, the natives were more difficult to deal with and more
exorbitant in their demands. Slaves in chains were sometimes met with--a
sight which some of his men had never beheld before.

Livingstone's successful management of the natives constituted the
crowning wonder of this journey. Usually the hearts of the chiefs were
wonderfully turned to him, so that they not only allowed him to pass on,
but supplied him with provisions. But there were some memorable
occasions on which he and his company appeared to be doomed. When he
passed through the Chiboque country, the provisions were absolutely
spent; there was no resource but to kill a riding-ox, a part of which,
according to custom, was sent to the chief. Next day was Sunday. After
service the chief sent an impudent message demanding much more valuable
presents. His people collected round Livingstone, brandishing their
weapons, and one young man all but brought down his sword on his head.
It seemed impossible to avoid a fight; yet Livingstone's management
prevailed--the threatened storm passed away.

Some days after, in passing through a forest in the dominions of another
chief, he and his people were in momentary expectation of an attack.
They went to the chiefs village and spoke to the man himself; and here,
on a Sunday, while ill of fever, Livingstone was able to effect a
temporary settlement. The chief sent them some food; then yams, a goat,
fowl, and meat. Livingstone gave him a shawl, and two bunches of beads,
and he seemed pleased. During these exciting scenes he felt no fever;
but when they were over the constant wettings made him experience a sore
sense of sinking, and this Sunday was a day "of perfect uselessness."
Monday came, and while Livingstone was as low as possible, the
inexorable chief renewed his demands. "It was," he says, "a day
of torture."

"After talking nearly the whole day we gave the old chief an
ox, but he would not take it, but another. I was grieved
exceedingly to find that our people had become quite
disheartened, and all resolved to return home. All I can say
has no effect. I can only look up to God to influence their
minds, that the enterprise fail not, now that we have reached
the very threshold of the Portuguese settlements. I am
greatly distressed at this change, for what else can be done
for this miserable land I do not see. It is shut. O Almighty
God, help, help! and leave not this wretched people to the
slave-dealer and Satan. The people have done well hitherto, I
see God's good influence in it. Hope He has left only for a
little season. No land needs the gospel more than this
miserable portion. I hope I am not to be left to fail in
introducing it."

On Wednesday morning, however, final arrangements were made, and the
party passed on in peace. Ten days later, again on a Sunday, they were
once more pestered by a great man demanding dues. Livingstone replied by
simply defying him. He might kill him, but God would judge. And on the
Monday they left peaceably, thankful for their deliverance, some of the
men remarking, in view of it, that they were "children of Jesus," and
Livingstone thanking God devoutly for his great mercy. Next day they
were again stopped at the river Quango. The poor Makololo had parted in
vain with their copper ornaments, and Livingstone with his razors,
shirts, etc.; yet he had made up his mind (as he wrote to the
Geographical Society afterward) to part with his blanket and coat to get
a passage, when a young Portuguese sergeant, Cypriano de Abrao, made his
appearance, and the party were allowed to pass.

There were many proofs that, though a poor set of fellows, Livingstone's
own followers were animated with extraordinary regard for him. No
wonder! They had seen how sincere he was in saying that he would die
rather than give any of them up to captivity. And all his intercourse
with them had been marked by similar proofs of his generosity and
kindness. When the ox flung him into the river, about twenty of them
made a simultaneous rush for his rescue, and their joy at his safety was
very great.

Amid all that was discouraging in the present aspect of things,
Livingstone could always look forward and rejoice in the good
time coming:

"_Sunday 22d_.--This age presents one great fact in the
Providence of God; missions are sent forth to all quarters of
the world,--missions not of one section of the Church, but of
all sections, and from nearly all Christian nations. It seems
very unfair to judge of the success of these by the number of
conversions which have followed. These are rather proofs of
the missions being of the right sort. They show the direction
of the stream which is set in motion by Him who rules the
nations, and Is destined to overflow the world. The fact
which ought to stimulate us above all others is, not that we
have contributed to the conversion of a few souls, however
valuable these may be, but that we are diffusing a knowledge
of Christianity throughout the world. The number of
conversions in India is but a poor criterion of the success
which has followed the missionaries there. The general
knowledge is the criterion; and there, as well as in other
lands where missionaries in the midst of masses of heathenism
seem like voices crying in the wilderness--Reformers before
the Reformation, future missionaries will see conversions
follow every sermon. We prepare the way for them. May they
not forget the pioneers who worked in the thick gloom with
few rays to cheer, except such as flow from faith in God's
promises! We work for a glorious future which we are not
destined to see--the golden age which has not been, but will
yet be. We are only morning-stars shining in the dark, but
the glorious morn will break, the good time coming yet. The
present mission-stations will all be broken up. No matter how
great the outcry against the instrumentality which God
employs for his purposes, whether by French soldiery as in
Tahiti, or tawny Boers as in South Africa, our duty is
onward, onward, proclaiming God's Word whether men will hear
or whether they will forbear. A few conversions show whether
God's Spirit is in a mission or not. No mission which has his
approbation is entirely unsuccessful. His purposes have been
fulfilled, if we have been faithful. 'The nation or kingdom
that will not serve Thee shall utterly be destroyed'--this
has often been preceded by free offers of friendship and
mercy, and many missions which He has sent in the olden time
seemed bad failures. Noah's preaching was a failure, Isaiah
thought his so too. Poor Jeremiah is sitting weeping tears
over his people, everybody cursing the honest man, and he
ill-pleased with his mother for having borne him among such a
set. And Ezekiel's stiff-necked, rebellious crew were no
better. Paul said, 'All seek their own, not the things of
Jesus Christ,' and he knew that after his departure grievous
wolves would enter in, not sparing the flock. Yet the cause
of God is still carried on to more enlightened developments
of his will and character, and the dominion is being given by
the power of commerce and population unto the people of the
saints of the Most High. And this is an everlasting kingdom,
a little stone cut out of a mountain without hands which
shall cover the whole earth. For this time we work; may God
accept our imperfect service!"

At length Livingstone began to get near the coast, reaching the outlying
Portuguese stations. He was received by the Portuguese gentlemen with
great kindness, and his wants were generously provided for. One of them
gave him the first glass of wine he had taken in Africa. Another
provided him with a suit of clothing. Livingstone invoked the blessing
of Him who said, "I was naked and ye clothed me." His Journal is profuse
in its admiration of some of the Portuguese traders, who did not like
the slave-trade--not they, but had most enlightened views for the
welfare of Africa. But opposite some of these eulogistical passages of
the Journal there were afterward added an expressive series of marks of

At a later date he saw reason to doubt the sincerity of some of the
professions of these gentlemen. Ingenuous and trustful, he could at
first think nothing but good of those who had shown him such marked
attention. Afterward, the inexorable logic of facts proved too strong,
even for his unsuspecting soul. But the kindness of the Portuguese was
most genuine, and Livingstone never ceased to be grateful for a single
kind act. It is important to note that whatever he came to think of
their policy afterward, he was always ready to make this acknowledgment.

Arrived at Loanda, 31st May, 1854, with his twenty-seven followers, he
was most kindly received by Mr. Edmund Gabriel, the British Commissioner
for the suppression of the slave-trade there, and everything was done by
him for his comfort. The sensation of lying on an English bed, after six
months lying on the ground, was indescribably delightful. Mr. Gabriel
was equally attentive to him during a long and distressing attack of
fever and dysentery that prostrated him soon after his arrival at
Loanda. In his Journal the warmest benedictions are poured on Mr.
Gabriel, and blessings everlasting besought for his soul. One great
disappointment he suffered at Loanda--not a single letter was awaiting
him. His friends must have thought he could never reach it. This want of
letters was a very frequent trial, especially to one who wrote so many,
and of such length. The cordial friendship of Mr. Gabriel, however, was
a great solace. He gave him much information, not only on all that
concerned the slave-trade--now more than ever attracting his
attention--but also on the natural history of the district, and he
entered _con amore_ into the highest objects of his mission. Afterward,
in acknowledging to the Directors of the London Missionary Society
receipt of a letter for Dr. Livingstone, intrusted to his care, Mr.
Gabriel wrote as follows (20th March, 1856):

"Dr. Livingstone, after the noble objects he has achieved,
most assuredly wants no testimony from me. I consult,
therefore, the impulse of my own mind alone, when I declare
that in no respect was my intercourse more gratifying to me
than in the opportunities afforded to me of observing his
_earnest, active, and unwearied solicitude for the
advancement of Christianity._ Few, perhaps, have had better
opportunities than myself of estimating _the benefit the
Christian cause in this country has derived from Dr.
Livingstone's exertions_. It is indeed fortunate for that
sacred cause, and highly honorable to the London Missionary
Society, _when qualities and dispositions like his are
employed in propagating its blessings among men._
Irrespective, moreover, of his _laudable and single-minded
conduct as a minister of the Gospel,_ and his attainments in
making observations which have determined the true geography
of the interior, the Directors, I am sure, will not have
failed to perceive how interesting and valuable are all the
communications they receive from him--as sketches of the
social condition of the people, and the material, fabrics,
and produce Of these lands. I most fervently pray that the
kind Providence, which has hitherto carried him through so
many perils and hardships, may guide him safely to his
present journey's end."

The friendship of Mr. Gabriel was honorable both to himself and to Dr.
Livingstone. At a very early period he learned to appreciate Livingstone
thoroughly, he saw how great as well as how good a man he was, and felt
that to be the friend of such a man was one of the highest distinctions
he could have. After Livingstone left Loanda, and while he was detained
within reach of letters, a brisk correspondence passed between them; Mr.
Gabriel tells him about birds, helps him in his schemes for promoting
lawful commerce, goes into ecstasies over a watch-chain which he had got
from him, tells him the news of the battle of the Alma in the Crimea, in
which his friend, Colonel Steele, had distinguished himself, and of the
success of the Rae Expedition in finding the remains of the party under
Sir John Franklin. In an official communication to Lord Clarendon, after
Livingstone had left, Mr. Gabriel says, 5th August, 1855: "I am grieved
to say that this excellent man's health has suffered a good deal [on the
return journey]. He nevertheless wrote in cheerful spirits, sanguine of
success in doing his duty under the guidance and protection of that kind
Providence who had always carried him through so many perils and
hardships. He assures me that since he knew the value of Christianity,
he has ever wished to spend his life in propagating its blessings among
men, and adds that the same desire remains still as strong as ever."

While Livingstone was at Loanda, he made several acquaintances among the
officers of Her Majesty's navy, engaged in the suppression of the
slave-trade. For many of these gentlemen he was led to entertain a high
regard. Their humanity charmed him, and so did their attention to their
duties. In his early days, sharing the feeling then so prevalent in his
class, he had been used to think of epauleted gentlemen as idlers, or
worse--"_fruges consumere nati_" Personal acquaintance, as in so many
other cases, rubbed off the prejudice. In many ways Livingstone's mind
was broadening. His intensely sympathetic nature drew powerfully to all
who were interested in what was rapidly becoming his own
master-idea--the suppression of the slave-trade. We shall see proofs not
a few, how this sympathetic affection modified some of his early
opinions, and greatly widened the sphere of his charity.

After all the illness and dangers he had encountered, Livingstone might
quite honorably have accepted a berth in one of Her Majesty's cruisers,
and returned to England. But the men who had come with him from the
Barotse country to Loanda had to return, and Livingstone knew that they
were quite unable to perform the journey without him. That consideration
determined his course. All the risks and dangers of that terrible
road--the attacks of fever and dysentery, the protracted absence of
those for whom he pined, were not to be thought of when he had a duty to
these poor men. Besides, he had hot yet accomplished his object. He had,
indeed, discovered a way by his friend Sekeletu might sell his tusks to
far greater advantage, and which would thus help to introduce a
legitimate traffic among the Makololo, and expel the slave-trade; but he
had discovered no healthy locality for a mission, nor any unexceptional
highway to the sea for the purpose of general traffic. The east coast
seemed to promise better than the west. That great river, the Zambesi,
might be found to be a navigable highway to the sea. He would return to
Linyanti, and set out from it to find a way to the eastern shore. Loaded
with kindness from many quarters, and furnished with presents for
Sekeletu, and for the chiefs along the way, Livingstone bade farewell to
Loanda on 20th September, 1854.

The following letter to Mrs. Livingstone, written a month afterward,
gives his impressions of Loanda and the neighborhood;

"_Golungo Alto, 25th October_, 1854.--It occurs to me, my
dearest Mary, that if I send you a note from different parts
on the way through this colony, some of them will surely
reach you; and If they carry any of the affection I bear to
you in their composition, they will not fail to comfort you.
I got everything in Loanda I could desire; and were there
only a wagon-path for us, this would be as good an opening
into the interior as we could wish. I remained rather a long
time in the city in consequence of a very severe attack of
fever and dysentery which reduced me very much; and I
remained a short time longer than that actually required to
set me on my legs, in longing expectation of a letter from
you. None came, but should any come up to the beginning of
November, it will come after me by post to Cassange.

"The [Roman Catholic] Bishop, who was then acting-governor,
gave a horse, saddle, and bridle, a colonel's suit of
clothes, etc., for Sekeletu, and a dress of blue and red
cloth, with a white cotton blanket and cap to each of my
companions, who are the best set of men I ever traveled with
except Malatzi and Mebalwe. The merchants of Loanda gave
Sekeletu a large present of cloth, beads, etc., and one of
them, a Dutch-man, gave me an order for ten oxen as
provisions on the way home to the Zambesi. This is all to
encourage the natives to trade freely with the coast, and
will have a good effect in increasing our influence for that
which excels everything earthly. Everything has, by God's
gracious blessing, proved more auspicious than I anticipated.
We have a most warm-hearted friend in Mr. Gabriel. He acted a
brother's part, and now writes me in the moat affectionate
manner. I thank God for his goodness in influencing the
hearts of so many to show kindness, to whom I was a total
stranger. The Portuguese have all been extremely kind. In
coming through the coffee plantations I was offered more
coffee than I could take or needed, and the best in the
world. One spoonful makes it stronger than three did of that
we used. It is found wild on the mountains.

"Mr. Gabriel came about 30 miles with me, and ever since,
though I spoke freely about the slave-trade, the very
gentlemen who have been engaged in it, and have been
prevented by our ships from following it, and often lost
much, treated me most kindly in their houses, and often
accompanied me to the next place beyond them, bringing food
for all in the way. The common people are extremely civil,
and a very large proportion of the inhabitants in one
district called Ambaca can read and write well. They were
first taught by the Roman Catholic missionaries, and now
teach each other so well, it is considered a shame in an
Ambacista not to be able to write his own name at least. But
they have no Bibles. They are building a church at Ambaca,
and another is in course of erection here, though they cannot
get any priests. May God grant that we may be useful in some
degree in this field also.... Give my love to all the
children, they will reap the advantage of your remaining
longer at home than we anticipated. I hope Robert, Agnes, and
Tom are each learning as fast as they can. When will they be
able to write a letter to me? How happy I shall be to meet
them and you again! I hope a letter from you may be waiting
for me at Zambesi. Love to all the children. How tall is
Zouga? Accept the assurance of unabated love.


It must not be forgotten that all this time Dr. Livingstone was making
very careful astronomical observations, in order to determine his exact
positions, and transmitting elaborate letters to the Geographical
Society. His astronomical observations were regularly forwarded to his
friend the Astronomer-Royal at the Cape, Mr. Maclear, for verification
and correction.

Writing to Livingstone on 27th March, 1854, with reference to some of
his earlier observations, after noticing a few trifling mistakes, Mr.
Maclear says: "It is both interesting and amusing to trace your
improvement as an observer. Some of your early observations, as you
remark, are rough, and the angles ascribed to objects misplaced in
transcribing. But upon the whole I do not hesitate to assert that no
explorer on record has determined his path with the precision you have
accomplished." A year afterward, 11th August, 1855, but with reference
to papers received from Sekeletu's place, Mr. Maclear details what he
had done in reducing his observations, preparing abstracts of them,
sending them to the authorities, and publishing them in the Cape papers.
He informs him that Sir John Herschel placed them before the
Geographical Society, and that a warm eulogium on his labors and
discoveries, and particularly on the excellent series of observations
which fixed his track so exactly, appeared in the President's Address.

Then, referring to his wonderful journey to Loanda, and remarkable
escapes, he says: "Nor is your escape with life from so many attacks of
fever other than miraculous. Perhaps there is nothing on record of the
kind, and it can only be explained by Divine interference for a good
purpose. O may life be continued to you, my dear friend! You have
accomplished more for the happiness of mankind than has been done by all
the African travelers hitherto put together."

Mr. Maclear's reference to Livingstone's work, in writing to Sir John
Herschel, was in these terms: "Such a man deserves every encouragement
in the power of his country to give. He has done that which few other
travelers in Africa can boast of--he has fixed his geographical points
with very great accuracy, and yet he is only a poor missionary."

Nor did Dr. Livingstone pass unrewarded in other quarters. In the
Geographical Society, his journey to Loanda, of which he sent them an
account, excited the liveliest interest. In May, 1855, on the motion of
Sir Roderick Murchison, the Society testified its appreciation by
awarding him their gold medal--the highest honor they had to bestow. The
occasion was one of great interest. From the chair, Lord Ellesmere
spoke of Livingstone's work in science as but subordinate to those
higher ends which he had ever prosecuted in the true spirit of a
missionary. The simplicity of his arrangements gave additional wonder to
the results. There had just appeared an account of a Portuguese
expedition of African exploration from the East Coast:

"I advert to it," said his Lordship, "to point out the
contrast between the two. Colonel Monteiro was the leader of
a small army--some twenty Portuguese soldiers, and a hundred
and twenty Caffres. The contrast is as great between such
military array and the solitary grandeur of the missionary's
progress, as it is between the actual achievements of the
two--between the rough knowledge obtained by the Portuguese
of some three hundred leagues of new country, and the
scientific precision with which the unarmed and unassisted
Englishman has left his mark on so many important stations of
regions hitherto a blank."

About the time when these words were spoken, Dr. Livingstone was at
Cabango on his return journey, recovering from a very severe attack of
rheumatic fever which had left him nearly deaf; besides, he was almost
blind in consequence of a blow received on the eye from a branch of a
tree in riding through the forest. Notwithstanding, he was engaged in
writing a despatch to the Geographical Society, through Sir Roderick
Murchison, of which more anon, reporting progress, and explaining his
views of the structure of Africa. But we must return to Loanda, and set
out with him and his Makololo in proper on their homeward tour.



A.D. 1854-1856.

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

Dr. Livingstone left St. Paul de Loanda on 24th September, 1854, arrived
at his old quarters at Linyanti on 11th September, 1855, set out
eastward on 3d November, 1855, and reached Quilimane on the eastern
coast on 20th May, 1856. His journey thus occupied a year and eight
months, and the whole time from his leaving the Cape on 8th June, 1852,
was within a few days of four years. The return journey from Loanda to
Linyanti took longer than the journey outward. This arose from detention
of various kinds[41]: the sicknesses of Livingstone and his men, the
heavy rains, and in one case, at Pungo Andongo, the necessity of
reproducing a large packet of letters, journals, maps, and despatches,
which he had sent off from Loanda. These were despatched by the
mail-packet "Forerunner," which unhappily went down off Madeira, all the
passengers but one being lost. But for his promise to the Makololo to
return with them to their country, Dr. Livingstone would have been
himself a passenger in the ship. Hearing of the disaster while paying a
visit to a very kind and hospitable Portuguese gentleman at Pungo
Andongo, on his way back, Livingstone remained there some time to
reproduce his lost papers. The labor thus entailed must have been very
great, for his ordinary letters covered sheets almost as large as a
newspaper, and his maps and despatches were produced with
extraordinary care.

[Footnote 41: Dr. Livingstone observed that traders generally traveled
ten days in the month, and rested twenty, making seven geographical
miles a day, or seventy per month. In his case in this journey the
proportion was generally reversed--twenty days of traveling and ten of
rest, and his rate per day was about ten geographical miles, or two
hundred per month. As he often zigzagged, the geographical mile
represented considerably, more. See letter to Royal Geographical
Society, October 16, 1855.]

He found renewed occasion to acknowledge in the warmest terms the
kindness he received from the Portuguese; and his prayers that God would
reward and bless them were not the less sincere that in many important
matters he could not approve of their ways.

In traversing the road backward along which he had already come, not
many things happened that demand special notice in this brief sketch. We
find him both in his published book and still more in his private
Journal repeating his admiration of the country and its glorious
scenery. This revelation of the marvelous beauty of a country hitherto
deemed a sandy desert was one of the most astounding effects of
Livingstone's travels on the public mind. But the more he sees of the
people the more profound does their degradation appear, although the
many instances of remarkable kindness to himself, and occasional cases
of genuine feeling one toward another, convinced him that there was a
something in them not quite barbarised. On one point he was very
clear--the Portuguese settlements among them had not improved them. Not
that he undervalued the influences which the Portuguese had brought to
bear on them; he had a much more favorable opinion of the Jesuit
missions than Protestants have usually allowed themselves to entertain,
and felt both kindly and respectfully toward the padres, who in the
earlier days of these settlements had done, he believed, a useful work.
But the great bane of the Portuguese settlements was slavery. Slavery
prevented a good example, it hindered justice, it kept down improvement.
If a settler took a fancy to a good-looking girl, he had only to buy
her, and make her his concubine. Instead of correcting the polygamous
habits of the chiefs and others, the Portuguese adopted like habits
themselves. In one thing indeed they were far superior to the Boers--in
their treatment of the children born to them by native mothers. But the
whole system of slavery gendered a blight which nothing could
counteract; to make Africa a prosperous land, liberty must be proclaimed
to the captive, and the slave system, with all its accursed
surroundings, brought conclusively to an end. Writing to Mrs.
Livingstone from Bashinge, 20th March, 1855, he gives, some painful
particulars of the slave-trade. Referring to a slave-agent with whom he
had been, he says:

"This agent is about the same in appearance as Mebalwe, and
speaks Portuguese as the Griquas do Dutch. He has two
chainsful of women going to be sold for the ivory. Formerly
the trade went from the interior into the Portuguese
territory; now it goes the opposite way. This is the effect
of the Portuguese love of the trade: they cannot send them
abroad on account of our ships of war on the coast, yet will
sell them to the best advantage. These women are
decent-looking, as much so as the general run of Kuruman
ladies, and' were caught lately in a skirmish the Portuguese
had with their tribe; and they will be sold for about three
tusks each. Each has an iron ring round the wrist, and that
is attached to the chain, which she carries in the hand to
prevent it jerking and hurting the wrist. How would Nannie
like to be thus treated? and yet it is only by the goodness
of God in appointing our lot in different circumstances that
we are not similarly degraded, for we have the same evil
nature, which is so degraded in them as to allow of men
treating them as beasts.

"I long for the time when I shall see you again. I hope in
God's mercy for that pleasure. How are my dear ones? I have
not seen any equal to them since I put them on board ship. My
brave little dears! I only hope God will show us mercy, and
make them good too....

"I work at the interior languages when I have a little time,
and also at Portuguese, which I like from being so much like
Latin. Indeed, when I came I understood much that was said
from its similarity to that tongue, and when I interlarded my
attempts at Portuguese with Latin, or spoke it entirely, they
understood me very well. The Negro language is not so easy,
but I take a spell at it every day I can. It is of the same
family of languages as the Sichuana....

"We have passed two chiefs who plagued us much when going
down, but now were quite friendly. At that time one of them
ordered his people not to sell us anything, and we had at
last to force our way past him. Now he came running to meet
us, saluting us, etc., with great urbanity. He informed us
that he would come in the evening to receive a present, but I
said unless he brought one he should receive nothing. He came
in the usual way. The Balonda show the exalted position they
occupy among men, viz., riding on the shoulders of a
spokesman in the way little boys do in England. The chief
brought two cocks and some eggs. I then gave a little present
too. The alteration in this gentleman's conduct--the Peace
Society would not credit-it--is attributable solely to my
people possessing guns. When we passed before, we were
defenseless. May every needed blessing be granted to you and
the dear children, is the earnest prayer of your ever most


It was soon after the date of this letter that Livingstone was struck
down by that severe attack of rheumatic fever, accompanied by great loss
of blood, to which reference has already been made. "I got it," he
writes to Mr. Maclear, "by sleeping in the wet. There was no help for
it. Every part of a plain was flooded ankle-deep. We got soaked by going
on, and sodden if we stood still." In his former journey he had been
very desirous to visit Matiamvo, paramount chief of the native tribes of
Londa, whose friendship would have helped him greatly in his journey;
but at that time he found himself too poor to attempt the enterprise.
The loss of time and consumption of goods caused by his illness on the
way back prevented him from accomplishing his purpose now.

Not only was the party now better armed than before, but the good name
of Livingstone had also become better known along the line, and during
his return journey he did not encounter so much opposition. We cannot
fail to be struck with his extraordinary care for his men. It was his
earnest desire to bring them all back to their homes, and in point of
fact the whole twenty-seven returned in good health. How carefully he
must have nursed them in their attacks of fever, and kept them from
unnecessary exposure, it is hardly possible for strangers adequately to

On reaching the country of the Barotse, the home of most of them, a day
of thanksgiving was observed (23d July, 1855). The men had made little
fortunes in Loanda, earning sixpence a day for weeks together by helping
to discharge a cargo of coals or, as they called them, "stones that
burned." But, like Livingstone, they had to part with everything on the
way home, and now they were in rags; yet they were quite as cheerful and
as fond of their leader as ever, and felt that they had not traveled in
vain. They quite understood the benefit the new route would bring in the
shape of higher prices for tusks and the other merchandise of home. On
the thanksgiving day--

"The men decked themselves out in their best, for all had
managed to preserve their suits of European clothing, which,
with their white and red caps, gave them a rather dashing
appearance. They tried to walk like soldiers, and called
themselves 'my braves.' Having been again saluted with salvos
from the women, we met the whole population, and having given
an address on divine things, I told them we had come that day
to thank God before them all for his mercy in preserving us
from dangers, from strange tribes and sicknesses. We had
another service in the afternoon. They gave us two fine oxen
to slaughter, and the women have supplied us abundantly with
milk and meal. This is all gratuitous, and I feel ashamed
that I can make no return. My men explain the whole
expenditure on the way hither, and they remark gratefully:
'It does not matter, you have opened a path for us, and we
shall have sleep.' Strangers from a distance come flocking to
see me, and seldom come empty-handed. I distribute all
presents among my men."

Several of the poor fellows on reaching home found domestic trouble--a
wife had proved inconstant and married another man. As the men had
generally more wives than one, Livingstone comforted them by saying that
they still had as many as he.

Amid the anxieties and sicknesses of the journey, and multiplied
subjects of thought and inquiry, Livingstone was as earnest as ever for
the spiritual benefit of the people. Some extracts from his Journal will
illustrate his efforts in this cause, and the flickerings of hope that
would spring out of them, dimmed, however, by many fears:

_August 5, 1855_.--A large audience listened attentively to
my address this morning, but it is impossible to indulge any
hopes of such feeble efforts. God is merciful, and will deal
with them in justice and kindness. This constitutes a ground
of hope. Poor degraded Africa! A permanent station among them
might effect something in time, but a Considerable time is
necessary. Surely some will pray to their merciful Father in
their extremity, who never would have thought of Him but for
our visit."

"_August 12_.--A very good and attentive audience. Surely all
will not be forgotten. How small their opportunity compared
to ours who have been carefully instructed in the knowledge
of divine truth from our earliest infancy! The Judge is just
and merciful. He will deal fairly and kindly with all."

"_October 15_.--We had a good and very attentive audience
yesterday, and I expatiated with great freedom on the love of
Christ in dying, from his parting address in John xvi. It
cannot be these precious truths will fall to the ground; but
it is perplexing to observe no effects. They assent to the
truth, but 'we don't know,' or 'you speak truly,' is all the
response. In reading accounts of South Sea missions it is
hard to believe the quickness of the vegetation of the good
seed, but I know several of the men" [the South Sea
missionaries], "and am sure they are of unimpeachable
veracity. In trying to convey knowledge, and use the magic
lantern, which is everywhere extremely popular, though they
listen with apparent delight to what is said, questioning
them on the following night reveals almost entire ignorance
of the previous lesson. O that the Holy Ghost might enlighten
them! To his soul-renewing influence my longing soul is
directed. It is his word, and cannot die."

The long absence of Livingstone and the want of letters had caused great
anxiety to his friends. The Moffats had been particularly concerned
about him, and, in 1854, partly in the hope of hearing of him, Mr.
Moffat undertook a visit to Mosilikatse, while a box of goods and
comforts was sent to Linyanti to await his return, should that ever take
place. A letter from Mrs. Moffat accompanied the box. It is amusing to
read her motherly explanations about the white shirts, and the blue
waistcoat, the woolen socks, lemon juice, quince jam, and tea and
coffee, some of which had come all the way from Hamilton; but there are
passages in that little note that make one's heart go with rapid beat:

"MY DEAR SON LIVINGSTON,--Your present position is almost too
much for my weak nerves to suffer me to contemplate. Hitherto
I have kept up my spirits, and been enabled to believe that
our great Master may yet bring you out in safety, for though
his ways are often inscrutable, I should have clung to the
many precious promises made in his word as to temporal
preservation, such as the 91st and 121st Psalms--but have
been taught that we may not presume confidently to expect
them to be fulfilled, and that every petition, however
fervent, must be with devout submission to his will. My poor
sister-in-law clung tenaciously to the 91st Psalm, and firmly
believed that her dear husband would thus be preserved, and
never indulged the idea that they should never meet on earth.
But I apprehend submission was wanting. 'If it be Thy will,'
I fancy she could not say--and, therefore, she was utterly
confounded when the news came[42]. She had exercised strong
faith, and was disappointed. Bear Livingstone, I have always
endeavored to keep this in mind with regard to you. Since
George [Fleming] came out it seemed almost hope against hope.
Your having got so, thoroughly feverised chills my
expectations; still prayer, unceasing prayer, is made for
you. When I think of you my heart will go upward. 'Keep him
as the apple of Thine eye,' 'Hold him in the hollow of Thy
hand,' are the ejaculations of my heart."

[Footnote 42: Rev. John Smith, missionary at Madras, had gone to
Vizagapatam to the ordination of two native pastors, and when returning
in a small vessel, a storm arose, when he and all on board perished.]

In writing from Linyanti to his wife, Livingstone makes the best he can
of his long detention. She seems to have put the matter playfully,
wondering what the "source of attraction" had been. He says:

"Don't know what apology to make you for a delay I could not
shorten. But as you are a mercifully kind-hearted dame, I
expect you will write out an apology in proper form, and I
shall read it before you with as long a face as I can
exhibit. Disease was the chief obstacle. The repair of the
wagon was the 'source of attraction' in Cape Town, and the
settlement of a case of libel another 'source of attraction.'
They tried to engulf me in a law-suit for simply asking the
postmaster why some letters were charged double. They were so
marked in my account. I had to pay L13 to quash it. They
longed to hook me in, from mere hatred to London
missionaries. I did not remain an hour after I could move.
But I do not wonder at your anxiety for my speedy return. I
am sorry you have been disappointed, but you know no mortal
can control disease. The Makololo are wonderfully well
pleased with the path we have already made, and if I am
successful in going down to Quilimane, that will be still
better. I have written you by every opportunity, and am very
sorry your letters have been miscarried."

To his father-in-law he expresses his warm gratitude for the stores. It
was feared by the natives that the goods were bewitched, so they were
placed on an island, a hut was built over them, and there Livingstone
found them on his arrival, a year after! A letter of twelve quarto pages
to Mr. Moffat gives his impressions of his journey, while another of
sixteen pages to Mrs. Moffat explains his "plans," about which she had
asked more full information. He quiets her fears by his favorite texts
for the present--"Commit thy way to the Lord," and "Lo, I am with you
alway"; and his favorite vision of the future--the earth full of the
knowledge of the Lord. He is somewhat cutting at the expense of
so-called "missionaries to the heathen, who never march into real
heathen territory, and quiet their consciences by opposing their
do-nothingism to my blundering do-somethingism!" He is indignant at the
charge made by some of his enemies that no good was done among the
Bakwains. They were, in many respects, a different people from before.
Any one who should be among the Makololo as he had been, would be
thankful for the state of the Bakwains. The seed would always bear
fruit, but the husbandman had need of great patience, and the end
was sure.

Sekeletu had not been behaving well in Livingstone's absence. He had
been conducting marauding parties against his neighbors, which even
Livingstone's men, when they heard of it, pronounced to be "bad, bad."
Livingstone was obliged to reprove him. A new uniform had been sent to
the chief from Loanda, with which he appeared at church, "attracting
more attention than the sermon." He continued, however, to 'show the
same friendship for Livingstone, and did all he could for him when he
set out eastward. A new escort of men was provided, above a hundred and
twenty strong, with ten slaughter cattle, and three of his best riding
oxen; stores of food were given, and a right to levy tribute over the
tribes that were subject to Sekeletu as he passed through their borders.
If Livingstone had performed these journeys with some long-pursed
society or individual at his back, his feat even then would have been
wonderful; but it becomes quite amazing when we think that he went
without stores, and owed everything to the influence he acquired with
men like Sekeletu and the natives generally. His heart was much touched
on one occasion by the disinterested kindness of Sekeletu. Having lost
their way on a dark night in the forest, in a storm of rain and
lightning, and the luggage having been carried on, they had to pass the
night under a tree. The chief's blanket had not been carried on, and
Sekeletu placed Livingstone under it, and lay down himself on the wet
ground. "If such men must perish before the white by an immutable law
of heaven," he wrote to the Geographical Society (25th January, 1856),
"we must seem to be under the same sort of terrible necessity in our
Caffre wars as the American Professor of Chemistry said he was under,
when he dismembered the man whom he had murdered."

Again Livingstone sets out on his weary way, untrodden by white man's
foot, to pass through unknown tribes, whose savage temper might give him
his quietus at any turn of the road. There were various routes to the
sea open to him. He chose the route along the Zambesi--though the the
most difficult, and through hostile tribes--because it seemed the most
likely to answer his desire to find a commercial highway to the coast.
Not far to the east of Linyanti, he beheld for the first time those
wonderful falls of which he had only heard before, giving an English
name to them,--the first he had ever given in all his African
journeys,--the Victoria Falls. We have seen how genuine his respect was
for his Sovereign, and it was doubtless a real though quiet pleasure to
connect her name with the grandest natural phenomenon in Africa, This is
one of the discoveries[43] that have taken most hold on the popular
imagination, for the Victoria Falls are like a second Niagara, but
grander and more astonishing; but except as illustrating his views of
the structure of Africa, and the distribution of its waters, it had not
much influence, and led to no very remarkable results. Right across the
channel of the river was a deep fissure only eighty feet wide, into
which the whole volume of the river, a thousand yards broad, tumbled to
the depth of a hundred feet[44], the fissure being continued in zigzag
form for thirty miles, so that the stream had to change its course from
right to left and left to right, and went through the hills boiling and
roaring, sending up columns of steam, formed by the compression of the
water falling into its narrow wedge-shaped receptacle.

[Footnote 43: Virtually a discovery, though marked in an old map.]

[Footnote 44: Afterward ascertained by him to be 1800 yards and 820 feet

A discovery as to the structure of the country, long believed in by him,
but now fully verified, was of much more practical importance. It had
been ascertained by him that skirting the central hollow there were two
longitudinal ridges extremely favorable for settlements, both for
missions and merchandise. We shall hear much of this soon.

Slowly but steadily the eastward tramp is continued, often over ground
which was far from favorable for walking exercise. "Pedestrianism," said
Livingstone, "may be all very well for those whose obesity requires much
exercise; but for one who was becoming as thin as a lath through the
constant perspiration caused by marching day after day in the hot sun,
the only good I saw in it was that it gave an honest sort of a man a
vivid idea of the tread-mill."

When Livingstone came to England, and was writing books, his tendency
was rather to get stout than thin; and the disgust with which he spoke
then of the "beastly fat" seemed to show that if for nothing else than
to get rid of it he would have been glad to be on the tread-mill again.
In one of his letters to Mr. Maclear he thus speaks of a part of this
journey: "It was not likely that I should know our course well, for the
country there is covered with shingle and gravel, bushes, trees, and
grass, and we were without path. Skulking out of the way of villages
where we were expected to pay after the purse was empty, it was
excessively hot and steamy; the eyes had to be always fixed on the
ground to avoid being tripped."

In the course of this journey he had even more exciting escapades among
hostile tribes than those which he had encountered on the way to Loanda.
His serious anxieties began when he passed beyond the tribes that owned
the sovereignty of Sekeletu. At the union of the rivers Loangwa and
Zambesi, the suspicious feeling regarding him reached a climax, and he
could only avoid the threatened doom of the Bazimka (_i.e._ Bastard
Portuguese) who had formerly incurred the wrath of the chief, by showing
his bosom, arms, and hair, and asking if the Bazimka were like that.
Livingstone felt that there was danger in the air. In fact, he never
seemed in more imminent peril:

_14th January_, 1856.--At the confluence of the Loangwa and
Zambesi. Thank God for his great mercies thus far. How soon I
may be called to stand before Him, my righteous Judge, I know
not. All hearts are in his hands, and merciful and gracious
is the Lord our God. O Jesus, grant me resignation to Thy
will, and entire reliance on Thy powerful hand. On Thy Word
alone I lean. But wilt Thou permit me to plead for Africa?
The cause is Thine. What an impulse will be given to the idea
that Africa is not open if I perish now! See, O Lord, how the
heathen rise up against me, as they did to Thy Son. I commit
my way unto Thee. I trust also in Thee that Thou wilt direct
my steps. Thou givest wisdom liberally to all who ask
Thee--give it to me, my Father. My family is Thine. They are
in the best hands. Oh! be gracious, and all our sins do
Thou blot out.

'A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall.'

Leave me not, forsake me not. I cast myself and all my cares
down at Thy feet. Thou knowest all I need, for time and
for eternity.

"It seems a pity that the important facts about the two
healthy longitudinal ridges should not become known in
Christendom. Thy will be done!... They will not furnish us
with more canoes than two. I leave my cause and all my
concerns in the hands of God, my gracious Saviour, the Friend
of sinners.

"_Evening_.--Felt much turmoil of spirit in view of having
all my plans for the welfare of this great region and teeming
population knocked on the head by savages to-morrow. But I
read that Jesus came and said, 'All power is given unto me in
heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations--and lo, _I am with you alway, even unto the end of
the world_' It is the word of a gentleman of the most sacred
and strictest honor, and there is an end on't. I will not
cross furtively by night as I intended. It would appear as
flight, and should such a man as I flee? Nay, verily, I shall
take observations for latitude and longitude to-night,
though they may be the last. I feel quite calm now,
thank God.

"15th _January_, 1856.--Left bank of Loangwa. The natives of
the surrounding country collected round us this morning all
armed. Children and women were sent away, and Mburuma's wife
who lives here was not allowed to approach, though she came
some way from her village in order to pay me a visit. Only
one canoe was lent, though we saw two tied to the bank. And
the part of the river we crossed at, about a mile from the
confluence, is a good mile broad. We passed all our goods
first, to an island in the middle, then the cattle and men, I
occupying the post of honor, being the last to enter the
canoe. We had, by this means, an opportunity of helping each
other in case of attack. They stood armed at my back for some
time. I then showed them my watch, burning-glass, etc., etc.,
and kept them amused till all were over, except those who
could go into the canoe with me. I thanked them all for their
kindness and wished them peace."

Nine days later they were again threatened by Mpende:

_"23d January_, 1856.--At Mpende's this morning at sunrise, a
party of his people came close to our encampment, using
strange cries, and waving some red substance toward us. They
then lighted a fire with charms in it, and departed uttering
the same hideous screams as before. This is intended to
render us powerless, and probably also to frighten us. No
message has yet come from him, though several parties have
arrived, and profess to have come simply to see the white
man. Parties of his people have been collecting from all
quarters long before daybreak. It would be considered a
challenge--for us to move down the river, and an indication
of fear and invitation to attack if we went back. So we must
wait in patience, and trust in Him who has the hearts of all
men in his hands. To Thee, O God, we look. And, oh! Thou who
wast the man of sorrows for the sake of poor vile sinners,
and didst not disdain the thief's petition, remember me and
Thy cause in Africa. Soul and body, my family, and Thy cause,
I commit all to Thee. Hear, Lord, for Jesus' sake."

In the entire records of Christian heroism, there are few more
remarkable occasions of the triumph of the spirit of holy trust than
those which are recorded here so quietly and modestly. We are carried
back to the days of the Psalmist: "I will not be afraid of ten thousand
of the people that have set themselves against me round about." In the
case of David Livingstone as of the other David, the triumph of
confidence was not the less wonderful that it was preceded by no small
inward tumult. Both were human creatures. But in both the flutter lasted
only till the soul had time to rally its trust--to think of God as a
living friend, sure to help in time of need. And how real is the sense
of God's presence! The mention of the two longitudinal ridges, and of
the refusal of the people to give more than two canoes, side by side
with the most solemn appeals, would have been incongruous, or even
irreverent, if Livingstone had not felt that he was dealing with the
living God, by whom every step of his own career and every movement of
his enemies were absolutely controlled.

A single text often gave him all the help he needed:

"It is singular," he says, "that the very same text which
recurred to my mind at every turn of my course in life in
this country and even in England, should be the same as
Captain Maclure, the discoverer of the Northwest Passage,
mentions in a letter to his sister as familiar in his
experience: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean
not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge
Him and He shall direct thy steps. Commit thy way unto thy
Lord; trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.' Many
more, I have no doubt, of our gallant seamen feel that it is
graceful to acknowledge the gracious Lord in whom we live and
move and have our being. It is an advance surely in humanity
from that devilry which gloried in fearing neither God, nor
man, nor Devil, and made our wooden walls floating hells."

His being enabled to reach the sanctuary of perfect peace in the
presence of his enemies was all the more striking if we consider--what
he felt keenly--that to live among the heathen is in itself very far
from favorable to the vigor or the prosperity of the spiritual life.
"Traveling from day to day among barbarians," he says in his Journal,
"exerts a most benumbing effect on the religious feelings of the soul."

Among the subjects that occupied a large share of his thoughts in these
long and laborious journeys, two appear to have been especially
prominent: first, the configuration of the country; and second, the best
way of conducting missions, and bringing the people of Africa to Christ.

The configuration of intertropical South Africa had long been with him a
subject of earnest study, and now he had come clearly to the conclusion
that the middle part was a table-land, depressed, however, in the
centre, and flanked by longitudinal ridges on the east and west; that
originally the depressed centre had contained a vast accumulation of
water, which had found ways of escape through fissures in the encircling
fringe of mountains, the result of volcanic action or of earthquakes.
The Victoria Falls presented the most remarkable of these fissures, and
thus served to verify and complete his theory. The great lakes in the
great heart of South Africa were the remains of the earlier accumulation
before the fissures were formed. Lake 'Ngami, large though it was, was
but a little fraction of the vast lake that had once spread itself over
the south. This view of the structure of South Africa he now found, from
a communication which reached him at Linyanti, had been anticipated by
Sir Roderick Murchison, who in 1852 had propounded it to the
Geographical Society. Livingstone was only amused at thus losing the
credit of his discovery; he contented himself with a playful remark on
his being "cut out" by Sir Roderick. But the coincidence of views was
very remarkable, and it lay at the foundation of that brotherlike
intimacy and friendship which ever marked his relation with Murchison.
One important bearing of the geographical fact was this; it was evident
that while the low districts were unhealthy, the longitudinal ridges by
which they were fringed were salubrious. Another of its bearings was,
that it would help them to find the course and perhaps the sources of
the great rivers, and thus facilitate commercial and missionary
operations. The discovery of the two healthy ridges, which made him so
unwilling to die at the mouth of the Loangwa, gave him new hopes for
missions and commerce.

These and other matters connected with the state of the country formed
the subject of regular communications to the Geographical Society.
Between Loanda and Quilimane, six despatches were written at different
points[45]. Formerly, as we have seen, he had written through a Fellow
of the Society, his friend and former fellow-traveler, Captain, now
Colonel Steele; but as the Colonel had been called on duty to the
Crimea, he now addressed his letters to his countryman, Sir Roderick
Murchison. Sir Roderick was charmed with the compliment, and was not
slow to turn it to account, as appears from the following letter, the
first of very many communications which he addressed to Livingstone:

[Footnote 45: The dates were Pungo Andongo, 24th December, 1864;
Cabango, 17th May, 1855; Linyanti, October 16, 1855; Chanyuni, 25th
January, 1856; Tette, 4th March, 1856; Quilimane, 23d May, 1856.]

"16 BELGRAVE SQUARE, _October 2_, 1855.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your most welcome letter reached me after I
had made a tour in the Highlands, and just as the meeting of
the British Association for the Advancement of Science

"I naturally communicated your despatch to the Geographical
section of that body, and the reading of it called forth an
unanimous expression of admiration of your labors and

"In truth, you will long ago, I trust, have received the
cordial thanks of all British geographers for your
unparalleled exertions, and your successful accomplishment of
the greatest triumph in geographical research which has been
effected in our times.

"I rejoice that I was the individual in the Council of the
British Geographical Society who proposed that you should
receive our first gold medal of the past session, and I need
not say that the award was made by an unanimous and
cordial vote.

"Permit me to thank you sincerely for having selected me as
your correspondent in the absence of Colonel Steele, and to
assure you that I shall consider myself as much honored, as I
shall certainly be gratified, by every fresh line which you
may have leisure to write to me.

"Anxiously hoping that I may make your personal acquaintance,
and that you may return to us in health to receive the
homage of all geographers,--I remain, my dear Sir, yours most


The other subject that chiefly occupied Livingstone's mind at this time
was missionary labor. This, like all other labor, required to be
organized, on the principle of making the very best use of all the force
that was or could be contributed for missionary effort. With his fair,
open mind, he weighed the old method of monastic establishments, and,
_mutatis mutandis_, he thought something of the kind might be very
useful. He thought it unfair to judge of what these monasteries were in
their periods of youth and vigor, from the rottenness of their decay.
Modern missionary stations, indeed, with their churches, schools, and
hospitals, were like Protestant monasteries, conducted on the more
wholesome principle of family life; but they wanted stability; they had
not farms like monasteries, and hence they required to depend on the
mother country. From infancy to decay they were pauper institutions. In
Livingstone's judgment they needed to have more of the
self-supporting element:

"It would be heresy to mention the idea of purchasing lands,
like religious endowments, among the stiff
Congregationalists; but an endowment conferred on a man who
will risk his life in an unhealthy climate, in order,
thereby, to spread Christ's gospel among the heathen, is
rather different, I ween, from the same given to a man to act
as pastor to a number of professed Christians.... Some may
think it creditable to our principles that we have not a
single acre of land, the gift of the Colonial Government, in
our possession. But it does not argue much for our foresight
that we have not farms of our own, equal to those of any
colonial farmer."

Dr. Livingstone acknowledged the services of the Jesuit missionaries in
the cause of education and literature, and even of commerce. But while
conceding to them this meed of praise, he did not praise their worship.
He was slow, indeed, to disparage any form of worship--any form in
which men, however unenlightened, gave expression to their religious
feelings; but he could not away with the sight of men of intelligence
kissing the toe of an image of the Virgin, as he saw them doing in a
Portuguese church, and taking part in services in which they did not,
and could not, believe. If the missions of the Church of Rome had left
good effects on some parts of Africa, how much greater blessing might
not come from Protestant missions, with the Bible instead of the
Syllabus as their basis, and animated with the spirit of freedom instead
of despotism!

With regard to that part of Africa which he had been exploring, he gives
his views at great length in a letter to the Directors, dated Linyanti,
12th October, 1855. After fully describing the physical features of the
country, he fastens on the one element which, more than any other, was
likely to hinder missions--fever. He does not deny that it is a serious
obstacle. But he argues at great length that it is not insurmountable.
Fever yields to proper treatment. His own experience was no rule to
indicate what might be reckoned on by others. His journeys had been made
under the worst possible conditions. Bad food, poor nursing,
insufficient medicines, continual drenchings, exhausting heat and toil,
and wearing anxiety had caused much of his illness. He gives a touching
detail of the hardships incident to his peculiar case, from which other
missionaries would be exempted, but with characteristic manliness he
charges the Directors not to publish that part of his letter, lest he
should appear to be making too much of his trials. "Sacrifices" he could
never call them, because nothing could be worthy of that name in the
service of Him who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor. Two
or three times every day he had been wet up to the waist in crossing
streams and marshy ground. The rain was so drenching that he had often
to put his watch under his arm-pit to keep it dry. His good ox Sindbad
would never let him hold an umbrella. His bed was on grass, with only a
horse-cloth between. His food often consisted of bird-seed,
manioc-roots, and meal. No wonder if he suffered much. Others would not
have all that to bear. Moreover, if the fever of the district was
severe, it was almost the only disease. Consumption, scrofula, madness,
cholera, cancer, delirium tremens, and certain contagious diseases of
which much was heard in civilized countries, were hardly known. The
beauty of some parts of the country could not be surpassed. Much of it
was densely peopled, but in other parts the population was scattered.
Many of the tribes were friendly, and, for reasons of their own, would
welcome missionaries. The Makololo, for example, furnished an inviting
field. The dangers he had encountered arose from the irritating
treatment the tribes had received from half-cast traders and
slave-dealers, in consequence of which they had imposed certain taxes on
travelers, which, sometimes, he and his brother-chartists had refused to
pay. They were mistaken for slave-dealers. But character was a powerful
educator. A body of missionaries, maintaining everywhere the character
of honest, truthful, kind-hearted Christian gentlemen, would scatter
such prejudices to the winds.

In instituting a comparison between the direct and indirect results of
missions, between conversion-work and the diffusion of better
principles, he emphatically assigns the preference to the latter. Not
that he undervalued the conversion of the most abject creature that
breathed. To the man individually his conversion was of over whelming
consequence, but with relation to the final harvest, it was more
important to sow the seed broadcast over a wide field than to reap a few
heads of grain on a single spot. Concentration was not the true
principle of missions. The Society itself had felt this, in sending
Morrison and Milne to be lost among the three hundred millions of China;
and the Church of England, in looking to the Antipodes, to Patagonia,
to East Africa, with the full knowledge that charity began at home. Time
was more essential than concentration. Ultimately there would be more
conversions, if only the seed were now more widely spread.

He concludes by pointing out the difference between mere worldly
enterprises and missionary undertakings for the good of the world. The
world thought their mission schemes fanatical; the friends of missions,
on the other hand, could welcome the commercial enterprises of the world
as fitted to be useful. The Africans were all deeply imbued with the
spirit of trade. Commerce was so far good that it taught the people
their mutual dependence; but Christianity alone reached the centre of
African wants. "Theoretically," he concludes, "I would pronounce the
country about the junction of the Leeba and Leeambye or Kabompo, and
river of the Bashukulompo, as a most desirable centre-point for the
spread of civilization and Christianity; but unfortunately I must mar my
report by saying I feel a difficulty as to taking my children there
without their intelligent self-dedication. I can speak for my wife and

Resuming the subject some months later, after he had got to the
sea-shore, he dwells on the belt of elevated land eastward from the
country of the Makololo, two degrees of longitude broad, and of unknown
length, as remarkably suitable for the residence of European
missionaries. It was formerly occupied by the Makololo, and they had a
great desire to resume the occupation. One great advantage of such a
locality was that it was on the border of the regions occupied by the
true negroes, the real nucleus of the African population, to whom they
owed a great debt, and who had shown themselves friendly and disposed to
learn. It was his earnest hope that the Directors would plant a mission
here, and his belief that they would thereby confer unlimited blessing
on the regions beyond.

Some of the remarks in these passages, and also in the extracts which
we have given from his Journals, are of profound interest, as indicating
air important transition from the ideas of a mere missionary laborer to
those of a missionary general or statesman. In the early part of his
life he deemed it his joy and his honor to aim at the conversion of
individual souls, and earnestly did he labor and pray for that, although
his visible success was but small. But as he gets better acquainted with
Africa, and reaches a more commanding point of view, he sees the
necessity for other work. The continent must be surveyed, healthy
localities for mission-stations must be found, the temptations to a
cursed traffic in human flesh must be removed, the products of the
country must be turned to account; its whole social economy must be
changed. "The accomplishment of such objects, even in a limited degree,
would be an immense service to the missionary; it would be such a
preparing of his way that a hundred years hence the spiritual results
would be far greater than if all the effort now were concentrated on
single souls. To many persons it appeared as if dealing with individual
souls were the only proper work of a missionary, and as if one who had
been doing such work would be lowering himself if he accepted any other.
Livingstone never stopped to reason as to which was the higher or the
more desirable work; he felt that Providence was calling him to be less
of a missionary journeyman and more of a missionary statesman; but the
great end was ever the same--


Livingstone reached the Portuguese settlement of Tette on the 3d March,
1856, and the "civilized breakfast" which the commandant, Major Sicard,
sent forward to him, on his way, was a luxury like Mr. Gabriel's bed at
Loanda, and made him walk the last eight miles without the least
sensation of fatigue, although the road was so rough that, as a
Portuguese soldier remarked, it was like "to tear a man's life out of
him." At Loanda he had heard of the battle of the Alma; after being in
Tette a short time he heard of the fall of Sebastopol and the end of the
Crimean War. He remained in Tette till the 23d April, detained by an
attack of fever, receiving extraordinary kindness from the Governor,
and, among other tokens of affection, a gold chain for his daughter
Agnes, the work of an inhabitant of the town. These gifts were duly
acknowledged. It was at this place that Dr. Livingstone left his
Makololo followers, with instructions to wait for him till he should
return from England. Well entitled though he was to a long rest, he
deliberately gave up the possibility of it, by engaging to return for
his black companions.

In the case of Dr. Livingstone, rest meant merely change of employment,
and while resting and recovering from fever, he wrote a large budget of
long and interesting letters. One of these was addressed to the King of
Portugal: it affords clear evidence that, however much Livingstone felt
called to reprobate the deeds of some of his subordinates, he had a
respectful feeling for the King himself, a grateful sense of the
kindness received from his African subjects, and an honest desire to aid
the wholesome development of the Portuguese colonies. It refutes, by
anticipation, calumnies afterward circulated to the effect that
Livingstone's real design was to wrest the Portuguese settlements in
Africa from Portugal, and to annex them to the British Crown. He refers
most gratefully to the great kindness and substantial aid he had
received from His Majesty's subjects, and is emboldened thereby to
address him on behalf of Africa. He suggests certain agricultural
products--especially wheat and a species of wax--that might be
cultivated with enormous profit. A great stimulus might be given to the
cultivation of other products--coffee, cotton, sugar, and oil. Much had
been done for Angola, but with little result, because the colonists'
leant on Government instead of trusting to themselves. Illegitimate
traffic (the slave-trade) was not at present remunerative, and now was
the time to make a great effort to revive wholesome enterprise. A good
road into the interior would be a great boon. Efforts to provide roads
and canals had failed for want of superintendents. Dr. Livingstone named
a Portuguese engineer who would superintend admirably. The fruits of the
Portuguese missions were still apparent, but there was a great want of
literature, of books.

"It will not be denied," concludes the letter, "that those
who, like your Majesty, have been placed over so many human
souls, have a serious responsibility resting upon them in
reference to their future welfare. The absence also of
Portuguese women In the colony is a circumstance which seems
to merit the attention of Government for obvious reasons. And
if any of these suggestions should lead to the formation of a
middle class of free laborers, I feel sure that Angola would
have cause to bless your Majesty to the remotest time."

Dr. Livingstone has often been accused of claiming for himself the
credit of discoveries made by others, of writing as if he had been the
first to traverse routes in which he had really been preceded by the
Portuguese. Even were it true that now and then an obscure Portuguese
trader or traveler reached spots that lay in Dr. Livingstone's
subsequent route, the fact would detract nothing from his merit, because
he derived not a tittle of benefit from their experience, and what he
was concerned about was, not the mere honor of being first at a place,
as if he had been running a race, but to make it known to the world, to
bring it into the circuit of commerce and Christianity, and thus place
it under the influence of the greatest blessings. But even as to being
first, Livingstone was careful not to claim anything that was really due
to others. Writing from Tette to Sir Roderick in March, 1856, he says:
"It seems proper to mention what has been done in former times in the
way of traversing the continent, and the result of my inquiries leads to
the belief that the honor belongs to our country." He refers to the
brave attempt of Captain Jose da Roga, in 1678, to penetrate from
Benguela to the Rio da Senna, in which attempt, however, so much
opposition was encountered that he was compelled to return. In 1800,
Lacerda revived the project by proposing a chain of forts along the
banks of the Coanza. In 1815, two black traders showed the possibility
of communication from east to west, by bringing to Loanda communications
from the Governor of Mozambique. Some Arabs and Moors went from the East
Coast to Benguela, and with a view to improve the event, "a million of
Reis (L142) and an honorary captaincy in the Portuguese army was offered
to any one who would accompany them back--but none went." The journey
had several times been performed by Arabs.

"I do not feel so much elated," continued Dr. Livingstone,
"by the prospect of accomplishing this feat. I feel most
thankful to God for preserving my life, where so many, who by
superior intelligence would have done more good, have been
cut off. But it does not look as if I had reached the goal.
Viewed in relation to my calling, the end of the geographical
feat is only the beginning of the enterprise. Apart from
family longings, I have a most intense longing to hear how it
has fared with our brave men at Sebastopol. My last scrap of
intelligence was the _Times_, 17th November, 1855, after the
terrible affair of the Light Cavalry. The news was not
certain about a most determined attack to force the way to
Balaclava, and Sebastopol expected every day to fall, and I
have had to repress all my longings since, except in a poor
prayer to prosper the cause of justice and right, and cover
the heads of our soldiers in the day of battle." [A few days
later he heard the news.] "We are all engaged in very much
the same cause. Geographers, astronomers, and mechanicians,
laboring to make men better acquainted with each other;
sanitary reformers, prison reformers, promoters of ragged
schools and Niger Expeditions; soldiers fighting for right
against oppression, and sailors rescuing captives in deadly
climes, as well as missionaries, are all aiding in hastening
on a glorious consummation to all God's dealings with our
race. In the hope that I may yet be honored to do some good
to this poor long downtrodden Africa, the gentlemen over
whom you have the honor to preside will, I believe, cordially

From Tette he went on to Senna. Again he is treated with extraordinary
kindness by Lieutenant Miranda, and others, and again he is prostrated
by an attack of fever. Provided with a comfortable boat, he at last
reaches Quilimane on the 20th May, and is most kindly received by
Colonel Nunes, "one of the best men in the country." Dr. Livingstone has
told us in his book how his joy in reaching Quilimane was embittered on
his learning that Captain Maclure, Lieutenant Woodruffe, and five men of
H.M.S. "Dart," had been drowned off the bar in coming to Quilimane to
pick him up, and how he felt as if he would rather have died
for them[46].

[Footnote 46: Among Livingstone's papers we have found draft letter to
the Admiralty, earnestly commending to their Lordship's favorable
consideration a petition from the widow of one of the men. He had never
seen her, he said, but he had been the unconscious cause of her
husband's death, and all the joy he felt in crossing the continent was
embittered when the news of the sad catastrophe reached him.]

News from across the Atlantic likewise informed him that his nephew and
namesake, David Livingston, a fine lad eleven years of age, had been
drowned in Canada. All the deeper was his gratitude for the goodness and
mercy that had followed him and preserved him, as he says in his private
Journal, from "many dangers not recorded in this book."

The retrospect in his _Missionary Travels_ of the manner in which his
life had been ordered up to this point, is so striking that our
narrative would be deficient if it did not contain it:

"If the reader remembers the way in which I was led, while
teaching the Bakwains, to commence exploration, he will, I
think, recognize the hand of Providence. Anterior to that,
when Mr. Moffat began to give the Bible--the Magna Charta of
all the rights and privileges of modern civilization--to the
Bechuanas, Sebituane went north, and spread the language into
which he was translating the sacred oracles, in a new region
larger than France. Sebituane, at the same time, rooted out
hordes of bloody savages, among whom no white man could have
gone without leaving his skull to ornament some village. He
opened up the way for me--let us hope also for the Bible.
Then, again, while I was laboring at Kolobeng, seeing only a
small arc of the cycle of Providence, I could not understand
it, and felt inclined to ascribe our successive and prolonged
droughts to the wicked one. But when forced by these, and the
Boers, to become explorer, and open a new country in the
north rather than set my face southward, where missionaries
are not needed, the gracious Spirit of God influenced the
minds of the heathen to regard me with favor, the Divine hand
is again perceived. Then I turned away westward, rather than
in the opposite direction, chiefly from observing that some
native Portuguese, though influenced by the hope of a reward
from their Government to cross the continent, had been
obliged to return from the east without accomplishing their
object. Had I gone at first in the eastern direction, which
the course of the great Leeambye seemed to invite, I should
have come among the belligerents near Tette when the war was
raging at its height, instead of, as it happened, when all
was over. And again, when enabled to reach Loanda, the
resolution to do my duty by going back to Linyanti probably
saved me from the fate of my papers in the 'Forerunner.' And
then, last of all, this new country is partially opened to
the sympathies of Christendom, and I find that Sechele
himself has, though unbidden by man, been teaching his own
people. In fact, he has been doing all that I was prevented
from doing, and I have been employed in exploring--a work I
had no previous intention of performing. I think that I see
the operation of the Unseen Hand in all this, and I humbly
hope that it will still guide me to do good in my day and
generation in Africa."

In looking forward to the work to which Providence seemed to be calling
him, a communication received at Quilimane disturbed him not a little.
It was from the London Missionary Society. It informed him that the
Directors were restricted in their power of aiding plans connected only
remotely with the spread of the gospel, and that even though certain
obstacles (from tsetse, etc.) should prove surmountable, "the financial
circumstances of the Society are not such as to afford any ground of
hope that it would be in a position within any definite period to
undertake untried any remote and difficult fields of labor." Dr.
Livingstone very naturally understood this as a declinature of his
proposals. Writing on the subject to Rev. William Thompson, the
Society's agent at Cape Town, he said:

"I had imagined in my simplicity that both my preaching,
conversation, and travel were as nearly connected with the
spread of the gospel as the Boers would allow them to be. A
plan of opening up a path from either the East or West Coast
for the teeming population of the interior was submitted to
the judgment of the Directors, and received their formal

"I have been seven times in peril of my life from savage men
while laboriously and without swerving pursuing that plan,
and never doubting that I was in the path of duty.

"Indeed, so clearly did I perceive that I was performing good
service to the cause of Christy that I wrote to my brother
that I would perish rather than fail in my enterprise. I
shall not boast of what I have done, but the wonderful mercy
I have received will constrain me to follow out the work in
spite of the veto of the Board.

"If it is according to the will of God, means will be
provided from other quarters."

A long letter to the Secretary gives a fuller statement of his views. It
is so important as throwing light on his missionary consistency, that we
give it in full in the Appendix[47].

[Footnote 47: Appendix No. III.]

The Directors showed a much more sympathetic spirit when Livingstone
came among them, but meanwhile, as he tells us in his book, his old
feeling of independence had returned, and it did not seem probable that
he would remain in the same relation to the Society.

After Livingstone had been six weeks at Quilimane, H.M. brig "Frolic"
arrived, with ample supplies for all his need, and took him to the
Mauritius, where he arrived on 12th August, 1856. It was during this
voyage that the lamentable insanity and suicide of his native attendant
Sekwebu occurred, of which we have an account in the _Missionary
Travels_. At the Mauritius he was the guest of General Hay, from whom
he received the greatest kindness, and so rapid was his recovery from an
affection of the spleen which his numerous fevers had bequeathed, that
before he left the island he wrote to Commodore Trotter and other
friends that he was perfectly well, and "quite ready to go back to
Africa again." This, however, was not to be just yet. In November he
sailed through the Red Sea, on the homeward route. He had expected to
land at Southampton, and there Mrs. Livingstone and other friends had
gone to welcome him. But the perils of travel were not yet over. A
serious accident befell the ship, which might have been followed by
fatal results but for that good Providence that held the life of
Livingstone so carefully. Writing to Mrs. Livingstone from the Bay of
Tunis (27th November, 1856), he says:

"We had very rough weather after leaving Malta, and yesterday
at midday the shaft of the engine--an enormous mass of
malleable iron--broke with a sort of oblique fracture,
evidently from the terrific strains which the tremendous seas
inflicted as they thumped and tossed this gigantic vessel
like a plaything. We were near the island called Zembra,
which is in sight of the Bay of Tunis. The wind, which had
been a full gale ahead when we did not require it, now fell
to a dead calm, and a current was drifting our gallant ship,
with her sails flapping all helplessly, against the rocks;
the boats were provisioned, watered, and armed, the number
each was to carry arranged (the women and children to go in
first, of course), when most providentially a wind sprung up
and carried us out of danger into the Bay of Tunis, where I
now write. The whole affair was managed by Captain Powell
most admirably. He was assisted by two gentlemen whom we all
admire--Captain Tregear of the same Company, and Lieutenant
Chimnis of the Royal Navy, and though they and the sailors
knew that the vessel was so near destruction as to render it
certain that we should scarcely clear her in the boats before
the swell would have overwhelmed her, all was managed so
quietly that none of us passengers knew much about it. Though
we saw the preparation, no alarm spread among us. The Company
will do everything in their power to forward us quickly and
safely. I'm only sorry for your sake, but patience is a great
virtue, you know. Captain Tregear has been six years away
from his family, I only four and a half."

The passengers were sent on _via_ Marseilles, and Livingstone proceeded
homeward by Paris and Dover.

At last he reached "dear old England" on the 9th of December, 1856.
Tidings of a great sorrow had reached him on the way. At Cairo he heard
of the death of his father. He had been ill a fortnight, and died full
of faith and peace. "You wished so much to see David," said his daughter
to him as his life was ebbing away. "Ay, very much, very much; but the
will of the Lord be done." Then after a pause he said, "But I think I'll
know whatever is worth knowing about him. When you see him, tell him I
think so." David had not less eagerly desired to sit once more at the
fireside and tell his father of all that had befallen him on the way. On
both sides the desire had to be classed among hopes unfulfilled. But on
both sides there was a vivid impression that the joy so narrowly missed
on earth would be found in a purer form in the next stage of being.



A.D. 1856-1857.

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

The years that had elapsed since Dr. Livingstone bade his wife farewell
at Cape Town had been to her years of deep and often terrible anxiety.
Letters, as we have seen, were often lost, and none seem more frequently
to have gone missing than those between him and her. A stranger in
England, without a home, broken in health, with a family of four to care
for, often without tidings of her husband for great stretches of time,
and harassed with anxieties and apprehensions that sometimes proved too
much for her faith, the strain on her was very great. Those who knew her
in Africa, when, "queen of the wagon," and full of life, she directed
the arrangements and sustained the spirits of a whole party, would
hardly have thought her the same person in England. When Livingstone had
been longest unheard of, her heart sank altogether; but through prayer,
tranquillity of mind returned, even before the arrival of any letter
announcing his safety. She had been waiting for him at Southampton,
and, owing to the casualty in the Bay of Tunis, he arrived at Dover, but
as soon as possible he was with her, reading the poetical welcome which
she had prepared in the hope that they would never part again:

"A hundred thousand welcomes, and it's time for you to come
From the far land of the foreigner, to your country and your home.
O long as we were parted, ever since you went away,
I never passed a dreamless night, or knew an easy day.

So you think I would reproach you with the sorrows that I bore?
Since the sorrow is all over, now I have you here once more,
And there's nothing but the gladness, and the love within my heart,
And the hope so sweet and certain that again we'll never part.

* * * * *

A hundred thousand welcomes! how my heart is gushing o'er
With the love and joy and wonder thus to see your face once more.
How did I live without you these long long years of woe?
It seems as if 'twould kill me to be parted from you now.

You'll never part me, darling, there's a promise in your eye;
I may tend you while I'm living, you may watch me when I die;
And if death but kindly lead me to the blessed home on high,
What a hundred thousand welcomes will await you in the sky!


Having for once lifted the domestic veil, we cannot resist the
temptation to look into another corner of the home circle. Among the
letters of congratulation that poured in at this time, none was more
sincere or touching than that which Mrs. Livingstone received from her
mother, Mrs. Moffat[48]. In the fullnes of her congratulations she does
not forget the dark shadow that falls on the missionary's wife when the
time comes for her to go back with her husband to their foreign home,
and requires her to part with her children; tears and smiles mingle in
Mrs. Moffat's letter as she reminds her daughter that they that rejoice
need to be as though they rejoiced not:

[Footnote 48: We have been greatly impressed by Mrs. Moffat's letters.
She was evidently a woman of remarkable power. If her life had been
published, we are convinced that it would have been a notable one in
missionary biography. Heart and head were evidently of no common
calibre. Perhaps it is not yet too late for some friend to think
of this.]

"_Kuruman, December_ 4, 1856.--MY DEAREST MARY,--In

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