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The Personal Life Of David Livingstone by William Garden Blaikie

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proportion to the anxiety I have experienced about you and
your dear husband for some years past, so now is my joy and
satisfaction; even though we have not yet heard the glad
tidings of your having really met, but this for the present
we take for granted. Having from the first been in a subdued
and chastened state of mind on the subject, I endeavor still
to be moderate in my joy. With regard to you both ofttimes
has the sentence of death been passed in my mind, and at such
seasons I dared not, desired not, to rebel, submissively
leaving all to the Divine disposal; but I now feel that this
has been a suitable preparation for what is before me, having
to contemplate a complete separation from you till that day
when we meet with the spirits of just men made perfect in the
kingdom of our Father. Yes, I do feel solemn at death, but
there is no melancholy about it, for what is our life, so
short and so transient? And seeing it is so, we should be
happy to do or to suffer as much as we can for him who bought
us with his blood. Should you go to those wilds which God has
enabled your husband, through numerous dangers and deaths, to
penetrate, there to spend the remainder of your life, and as
a consequence there to suffer manifold privations, in
addition to those trials through which you have already
passed--and they have not been few (for you had a hard life
in this interior)--you will not think all _too much_, when
you stand with that multitude who have washed their robes in
the blood of the Lamb!

"Yet, my dear Mary, while we are yet in the flesh my heart
will yearn over you. You are my own dear child, my
first-born, and recent circumstances have had a tendency to
make me feel still more tenderly toward you, and deeply as I
have sympathized with you for the last few years, I shall not
cease to do so for the future. Already is my imagination busy
picturing the various scenes through which you must pass,
from the first transport of joy on meeting till that painful
anxious hour when you must bid adieu to your darlings, with
faint hopes of ever seeing them again in this life; and then,
what you may both have to pass through in those inhospitable

"From what I saw in Mr. Livingston's letter to Robert, I was
shocked to think that that poor head, in the prime of
manhood, was so like my own, who am literally worn out. The
symptoms he describes are so like my own. Now, with a little
rest and relaxation, having youth on his side, he might
regain all, but I cannot help fearing for him if he dashes
at once into hardships again. He is certainly the wonder of
his age, and with a little prudence as regards his health,
the stores of information he now possesses might be turned to
a mighty account for poor wretched Africa.... We do not yet
see how Mr. L. will get on--the case seems so complex. I
feel, as I have often done, that as regards ourselves it is a
subject more for prayer than for deliberation, separated as
we are by such distances, and such a tardy and eccentric
post. I used to imagine that when he was once got out safely
from this dark continent we should only have to praise God
for all his mercies to him and to us all, and for what He had
effected by him; but now I see we must go on seeking the
guidance and direction of his providential hand, and
sustaining and preventing mercy. We cannot cease to remember
you daily, and thus our sympathy will be kept alive with

Dr. Moffatt's congratulation to his son-in-law was calm and hearty:

"Your explorations have created immense interest, and
especially in England, and that man must be made of
bend-leather who can remain unmoved at the rehearsal even of
a tithe of your daring enterprises. The honors awaiting you
at home would be enough to make a score of light heads dizzy,
but I have no fear of their affecting your upper story,
beyond showing you that your labors to lay open the recesses
of the fast interior have been appreciated. It will be almost
too much for dear Mary to hear that you are verily unscathed.
She has had many to sympathize with her, and I daresay many
have called you a very naughty man for thus having exposed
your life a thousand times. Be that as it may, you have
succeeded beyond the most sanguine expectations in laying
open a world of immortal beings, all needing the gospel, and
at a time, now that war is over, when people may exert their
exergies on an object compared with which that which has
occupied the master minds of Europe, and expended so much
money, and shed so much blood, is but a phantom."

On the 9th of December, as we have seen, Livingstone arrived at London.
He went first to Southampton, where his wife was waiting for him, and on
his return to London was quickly in communication with Sir Roderick
Murchison. On the 15th December the Royal Geographic Society held a
special meeting to welcome him. Sir Roderick was in the chair; the
attendance was numerous and distinguished, and included some of
Livingstone's previous fellow-travelers, Colonel Steele, Captain Vardon,
and Mr. Oswell. The President referred to the meeting of May, 1855, when
the Victoria or Patron's medal had been awarded to Livingstone for his
journey from the Cape to Linyanti and Loanda. Now Livingstone had added
to that feat the journey from the Atlantic Ocean at Loanda to the Indian
Ocean at Quilimane, and during his several journeys had traveled over
not less than eleven thousand miles of African ground. Surpassing the
French missionary travelers, Hue and Gabet, he had determined, by
astronomical observations, the site of numerous places, hills, rivers,
and lakes, previously unknown. He had seized every opportunity of
describing the physical structure, geology, and climatology of the
countries traversed, and making known their natural products and
capabilities. He had ascertained by experience, what had been only
conjectured previously, that the interior of Africa was a plateau
intersected by various lakes and rivers, the waters of which escaped to
the Eastern and Western oceans by deep rents in the flanking hills.
Great though these achievements were, the most honorable' of all
Livingstone's acts had yet to be mentioned--the fidelity that kept his
promise to the natives, who, having accompanied him to St. Paul de
Loanda, were reconducted by him from that city to their homes.

"Bare fortitude and virtue must our medalist have possessed,
when, having struggled at the imminent risk of his life
through such obstacles, and when, escaping from the interior,
he had been received with true kindness by our old allies,
the Portuguese at Angola, he nobly resolved to redeem his
promise and retrace his steps to the interior of the vast
continent! How much indeed must the influence of the British
name be enhanced throughout Africa, when it has been
promulgated that our missionary has thus kept his plighted
word to the poor natives who faithfully stood by him!"

On receiving the medal, Livingstone apologized for his rustiness in the
use of his native tongue; said that he had only done his duty as a
Christian missionary in opening up a part of Africa to the sympathy of
Christendom: that Steele, Vardon, or Oswell might have done all that he
had done; that as yet he was only buckling on his armor, and therefore
in no condition to speak boastfully; and that the enterprise would never
be complete till the slave-trade was abolished, and the whole country
opened up to commerce and Christianity.

Among the distinguished men who took part in the conversation that
followed was Professor Owen. He bore testimony to the value of
Livingstone's contributions to zoology and palaeontology, not less
cordial than Sir Roderick Murchison had borne to his service to
geography. He had listened with very intense interest to the sketches of
these magnificent scenes of animal life that his old and most esteemed
friend had given them. He cordially hoped that many more such
contributions would follow, and expressed his admiration of the moral
qualities of the man who had taken such pains to keep his word.

In the recognition by other gentlemen of Dr. Livingstone's labors, much
stress was laid on the scientific accuracy with which he had laid down
every point over which he had traveled. Thanks were given to the
Portuguese authorities in Africa for the remarkable kindness which they
had invariably shown him. Mr. Consul Brand reported tidings from Mr.
Gabriel at Loanda, to the effect that a company of Sekeletu's people had
arrived at Loanda, with a cargo of ivory, and though they had not been
very successful in business, they had shown the practicability of the
route. He added, that Dr. Livingstone, at Loanda, had written some
letters to a newspaper, which had given such an impetus to literary
taste there, that a new journal had been started--the _Loanda Aurora_.

On one other point there was a most cordial expression of feeling,
especially by those who had themselves been in South Africa,--gratitude
for the unbounded kindness and hospitality that Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone
had shown to South African travelers in the neighborhood of their home.
Happily Mrs. Livingstone was present, and heard this acknowledgment of
her kindness.

Next day, 16th December, Dr. Livingstone had his reception from the
London Missionary Society in Freemason's Hall. Lord Shaftesbury was in
the chair:

"What better thing can we do," asked the noble Earl, "than to
welcome such a man to the shores of our country? What better
than to receive him with thanksgiving and rejoicings that he
is spared to refresh us with his presence, and give his
strength to future exertions? What season more appropriate
than this, when at every hearth, and in every congregation of
worshipers, the name of Christ will be honored with more than
ordinary devotion, to receive a man whose life and labors
have been in humble, hearty, and willing obedience to the
angels' song, 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace,
good-will toward men.'"

In reply, Livingstone acknowledged the kindness of the Directors, with
whom, for sixteen years, he had never had a word of difference. He
referred to the slowness of the African tribes, in explanation of the
comparatively small progress of the gospel among them. He cordially
acknowledged the great services of the British squadron on the West
Coast in the repressing of the slave-trade. He had been told that to
make such explorations as he was engaged in was only a tempting of
Providence, but such ridiculous assertions were only the utterances of
the weaker brethren.

Lord Shaftesbury's words at the close of this meeting, in honor of Mrs.
Livingstone, deserve to be perpetuated:

"That lady," he said, "was born with one distinguished name,
which she had changed for another. She was born a Moffat, and
she became a Livingstone. She cheered the early part of our
friend's earner by her spirit, her counsel, and her society.
Afterward, when she reached this country, she passed many
years with her children in solitude and anxiety, suffering
the greatest fears for the welfare of her husband, and yet
enduring all with patience and resignation, and even joy,
because she had surrendered her best feelings, and sacrificed
her own private interests, to the advancement of civilization
and the great interests of Christianity."

A more general meeting was held in the Mansion House on the 5th of
January, to consider the propriety of presenting a testimonial to Dr.
Livingstone. It was addressed by the Bishop of London, Mr. Raikes
Currie, and others.

Meanwhile, a sensible impulse was given to the _scientific_ enthusiasm
for Livingstone by the arrival of the report of a great meeting held in
Africa itself in honor of the missionary explorer. At Cape Town, on 12th
November, 1856, His Excellency the Governor, Sir George Grey, the
Colonial Secretary, the Astronomer-Royal, the Attorney-General, Mr.
Rutherfoord, the Bishop, the Rev. Mr. Thompson, and others, vied with
each other in expressing their sense of Livingstone's character and
work. The testimony of the Astronomer-Royal to Livingstone's eminence as
an astronomical observer was even more emphatic than Murchison's and
Owen's to his attainments in geography and natural history. Going over
his whole career, Mr. Maclear showed his unexampled achievements in
accurate lunar observation. "I never knew a man," he said, "who, knowing
scarcely anything of the method of making geographical observations, or
laying down positions, became so soon an adept, that he could take the
complete lunar observation, and altitudes for time, within fifteen
minutes." His observations of the course of the Zambesi, from Sesheke to
its confluence with the Lonta, were considered by the Astronomer-Royal
to be "the finest specimens of sound geographical observation he ever
met with."

"To give an idea of the laboriousness of this branch of his
work," he adds, "on an average each lunar distance consists
of five partial observations, and there are 148 sets of
distances, being 740 contacts,--and there are two altitudes
of each object before, and two after, which, together with
altitudes for time, amount to 2812 partial observations. But
that is not the whole of his observations. Some of them
intrusted to an Arab have not been received, and in reference
to those transmitted he says, 'I have taken others which I do
not think it necessary to send.' How completely all this
stamps the impress of Livingstone on the interior of South
Africa!... I say, what that man has done is unprecedented....
You could go to any point across the entire continent, along
Livingstone's track, and feel certain of your position[49]."

[Footnote 49: It seems unaccountable that in the face of such unrivaled
testimonies, reflections should continue to be cast on Livingstone's
scientific accuracy, even so late as the meeting of the British
Association at Sheffield in 1879. The family of the late Sir Thomas
Maclear have sent home his collection of Livingstone's papers. They fill
a box which one man could with difficulty carry. And their mass is far
from their most striking quality. The evidence of laborious, painstaking
care to be accurate is almost unprecedented. Folio volumes of pages
covered with figures show how much time and labor must have been spent
in these computations. Explanatory remarks often indicate the
particulars of the observation.]

Following this unrivaled eulogium on the scientific powers of
Livingstone came the testimony of Mr. Thompson to his missionary ardor:

'I am in a position to express my earnest conviction, formed
in long, intimate, unreserved communications with him,
personally and by letter, that in the privations, sufferings,
and dangers he has passed through, during the last eight
years, he has not been actuated by mere curiosity; or the
love of adventure, or the thirst for applause, or by any
other object, however laudable in itself, less than his
avowed one as a messenger of Christian love from the
Churches. If ever there was a man who, by realizing the
obligations of his sacred calling as a Christian missionary,
and intelligently comprehending its object, sought to pursue
it to a successful issue, such a man is Dr. Livingstone. The
spirit in which he engages in his work may be seen in the
following extract from one of his letters: 'You kindly say
you fear for the result of my going in alone. I hope I am in
the way of duty; my own conviction that such is the case has
never wavered. I am doing something for God. I have preached
the gospel in many a spot where the name of Christ has never
been heard, and I would wish to do still more in the way of
reducing the Barotse language, if I had not suffered so
severely from fever. Exhaustion produced vertigo, causing
me, if I looked suddenly up, almost to lose consciousness;
this made me give up sedentary work; but I hope God will
accept of what I can do.'

A third gentleman at this meeting, Mr. Rutherfoord, who had known
Livingstone for many years, besides describing him as "one of the most
honorable, benevolent, conscientious men I ever met with," bore
testimony to his capacity in mercantile affairs; not exercised in his
own interest, but in that of others. It was Mr. Rutherfoord who, when
Livingstone was at the Cape in 1852, entered into his plans for
supplanting the slave-trade by lawful traffic, and at his suggestion
engaged George Fleming to go north with him as a trader, and try the
experiment. The project was not very successful, owing to innumerable
unforeseen worries, and especially the rascality of Fleming's men.
Livingstone found it impossible to take Fleming to the coast, and had
therefore to send him back, but he did his utmost to prevent loss to his
friend; and thus, as Mr. Rutherfoord said, "at the very time that he was
engaged in such important duties, and exposed to such difficulties, he
found time to fulfill his promise to do what he could to save me from
loss, to attend to a matter quite foreign to his usual avocations, and
in which he had no personal interest; and by his energy and good sense,
and self-denying exertions, to render the plan, if not perfectly
successful, yet by no means a failure."

Traveler, geographer, zoologist, astronomer, missionary, physician, and
mercantile director, did ever man sustain so many characters at once? Or
did ever man perform the duties of each with such painstaking accuracy
and so great success?

As soon as he could tear himself from his first engagements, he ran down
to Hamilton to see his mother, children, and other relatives. His
father's empty chair deeply affected him. "The first evening," writes
one of his sisters, "he asked all about his illness and death. One of
us remarking that after he knew he was dying his spirits seemed to rise,
David burst into tears. At family worship that evening he said with deep
feeling--'We bless thee, O Lord, for our parents; we give thee thanks
for the dead who has died in the Lord.'"

At first Livingstone thought that his stay in this country could be only
for three or four months, as he was eager to be at Quilimane before the
unhealthy season set in, and thus fulfill his promise to return to his
Makololo at Tette. But on receiving an assurance from the Portuguese
Government (which, however, was never fulfilled _by them_) that his men
would be looked after, he made up his mind for a somewhat longer stay.
But it could not be called rest. As soon as he could settle down he had
to set to work with a book. So long before as May, 1856, Sir Roderick
Murchison had written to him that "Mr. John Murray, the great publisher,
is most anxious to induce you to put together all your data, and to make
a good book," adding his own strong advice to comply with the request.
If he ever doubted the propriety of writing the book, the doubt must
have vanished, not only in view of the unequaled interest excited by the
subject, but also of the readiness of unprincipled adventurers, and even
some respectable publishers, to circulate narratives often mythical and
quite unauthorized.

The early part of the year 1857 was mainly occupied with the labor of
writing. For this he had materials in the Journals which he had kept so
carefully; but the business of selection and supplementing was
laborious, and the task of arrangement and transcription very irksome.
In fact, this task tried the patience of Livingstone more than any which
he had yet undertaken, and he used to say that he would rather cross
Africa than write another book. His experience of book-making increased
his respect for authors and authoresses a hundred-fold!

We are not, however, inclined to think that this trial was due to the
cause which Livingstone assigned,--his want of experience, and want of
command over the English tongue. He was by no means an inexperienced
writer. He had written large volumes of Journals, memoirs for the
Geographical Society, articles on African Missions, letters for the
Missionary Society, and private letters without end, each usually as
long as a pamphlet. He was master of a clear, simple, idiomatic style,
well fitted to record the incidents of a journey--sometimes poetical in
its vivid pictures, often brightening into humor, and sometimes
deepening into pathos. Viewing it page by page, the style of the
_Missionary Travels_ is admirable, the chief defect being want of
perspective; the book is more a collection of pieces than an organized
whole: a fault inevitable, perhaps, in some measure, from its nature,
but aggravated, as we believe, by the haste and pressure under which it
had to be written. In his earlier private letters, Livingstone, in his
single-hearted desire to rouse the world on the subject of Africa, used
to regret that he could not write in such a way as to command general
attention: had he been master of the flowing periods of the _Edinburgh
Review,_ he thought he could have done much more good. In point of fact,
if he had had the pen of Samuel Johnson, or the tongue of Edmund Burke,
he would not have made the impression he did. His simple style and plain
speech were eminently in harmony with his truthful, unexaggerating
nature, and showed that he neither wrote nor spoke for effect, but
simply to utter truth. What made his work of composition irksome was, on
the one hand, the fear that he was not doing it well, and on the other,
the necessity of doing it quickly. He had always a dread that his
English was not up to the critical mark, and yet he was obliged to hurry
on, and leave the English as it dropped from his pen. He had no time to
plan, to shape, to organize; the architectural talent could not be
brought into play. Add to this that he had been so accustomed to
open-air life and physical exercise, that the close air and sedentary
attitude of the study must have been exceedingly irksome; so that it is
hardly less wonderful that his health stood the confinement of
book-making in England, than that it survived the tear and wear, labor
and sorrow, of all his journeys in Africa.

An extract from a letter to Mr. Maclear, on the eve of his beginning his
book (21st January, 1857), will show how his thoughts were running:

"I begin to-morrow to write my book, and as I have a large
party of men (110) waiting for me at Tette, and I promised to
join them in April next, you will see I shall have enough to
do to get over my work here before the end of the month....
Many thanks for all the kind things you said at the Cape Town
meeting. Here they laud me till I shut my eyes, for only
trying to do my duty. They ought to vote thanks to the Boers
who set me free to discover the fine new country. They were
determined to shut the country, and I was determined to open
it. They boasted to the Portuguese that they had expelled two
missionaries, and outwitted themselves rather. I got the gold
medal, as you predicted, and the freedom of the town of
Hamilton, which insures me protection from the payment of
jail fees if put in prison!"

In writing his book, he sometimes worked in the house of a friend, but
generally in a London or suburban lodging, often with his children about
him, and all their noise; for, as in the Blantyre mill, he could
abstract his attention from sounds of whatever kind, and go on calmly
with his work. Busy though he was, this must have been one of the
happiest times in his life. Some of his children still remember his
walks and romps with them in the Barnet woods, near which they lived
part of the time--how he would suddenly plunge into the ferny thicket,
and set them looking for him, as people looked for him afterward when he
disappeared in Africa, coming out all at once at some unexpected corner
of the thicket. One of his greatest troubles was the penny post. People
used to ask him the most frivolous questions. At first he struggled to
answer them, but in a few weeks he had to give this up in despair. The
simplicity of his heart is seen in the childlike joy with which he
welcomes the early products of the spring. He writes to Mr. Maclear
that, one day at Professor Owen's, they had "seen daisies, primroses,
hawthorns, and robin-redbreasts. Does not Mrs. Maclear envy us? It was
so pleasant."

But a better idea of his mode of life at home will be conveyed by the
notes of some of the friends with whom he stayed. For that purpose, we
resume the recollections of Dr. Risdon Bennett:

"On returning to England, after his first great journey of
discovery, he and Mrs. Livingstone stayed in my house for
some time, and I had frequent conversations with him on
subjects connected with his African life, especially on such
as related to natural history and medicine, on which he had
gathered a fund of information. His observation of malarious
diseases, and the methods of treatment adopted by both the
natives and Europeans, had led him to form very definite and
decided views, especially in reference to the use of
purgatives, preliminary to, and in conjunction with, quinine
and other acknowledged febrifuge medicines. He had, while
staying with me, one of those febrile attacks to which
persons who have once suffered from malarious disease are so
liable, and I could not fail to remark his sensible
observations thereon, and his judicious management of his
sickness. He had a great natural predilection for medical
science, and always took great interest in all that related
to the profession. I endeavored to persuade him to commit to
writing the results of his medical observations and
experience among the natives of Africa, but he was too much
occupied with the preparation of his Journal for the press to
enable him to do this. Moreover, as he often said, writing
was a great drudgery to him. He, however, attended with me
the meetings of some of the medical societies, and gave some
verbal accounts of his medical experience which greatly
interested his audience. His remarks on climates, food, and
customs of the natives, in reference to the origin and spread
of disease, evinced the same acuteness of observation which
characterized all the records of his life. He specially
commented on the absence of consumption and all forms of
tubercular disease among the natives, and connected this with
their constant exposure and out-of-door life.

"After leaving my house he had lodgings in Chelsea, and used
frequently to come and spend the Sunday afternoon with my
family, often bringing his sister, who was staying with him,
and his two elder children. It was beautiful to observe how
thoroughly he enjoyed domestic life and the society of
children, how strong was his attachment to his own family
after his long and frequent separations from them, and how
entirely he had retained his simplicity of character.

"Like so many of his countrymen, he had a keen sense of
humor, which frequently came into play when relating his many
adventures and hardships. On the latter he never dilated in
the way of complaint, and he had little sympathy with, or
respect for, those travelers who did so. Nor was he apt to
say much on direct religious topics, or on the results of his
missionary efforts as a Christian teacher. He had unbounded
confidence in the influence of Christian character and
principles, and gave many illustrations of the effect
produced on the minds and conduct of the benighted and savage
tribes with whom he was brought into contact by his own
unvarying uprightness of conduct and self-denying labor. The
fatherly character of God, his never-failing goodness and
mercy, and the infinite love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and
efficacy of his atoning sacrifice, appeared to be the topics
on which he loved chiefly to dwell. The all-pervading deadly
evils of slavery, and the atrocities of the slave-trade,
never failed to excite his righteous indignation. If ever he
was betrayed into unmeasured language, it was when referring
to these topics, or when speaking of the injurious influence
exerted on the native mind by the cruel and unprincipled
conduct of wicked and selfish traders. His love for Africa,
and confidence in the steady dawn of brighter days for its
oppressed races, were unbounded."

From a member of another family, that of Mr. Frederick Fitch, of
Highbury New Park, with whom also the Livingstones spent part of their
time, we have some homely but graphic reminiscences:

"Dr. Livingstone was very simple and unpretending, and used
to be annoyed when he was made a lion of. Once a well-known
gentleman, who was advertised to deliver a lecture next day,
called on him to pump him for material. The Doctor sat rather
quiet, and, without being rude, treated the gentleman to
monosyllabic answers. He could do that--could keep people at
a distance when they wanted to make capital out of him. When
the stranger had left, turning to my mother, he would say,
'I'll tell _you_ anything you like to ask.'

"He never liked to walk in the streets for fear of being
mobbed. Once he was mobbed in Regent street, and did not know
how he was to escape, till he saw a cab, and took refuge in
it. For the same reason it was painful for him to go to
church. Once, being anxious to go with us, my father
persuaded him that, as the seat at the top of our pew was
under the gallery, he would not be seen. As soon as he
entered, he held down his head, and kept it covered with his
hands all the time, but the preacher somehow caught sight of
him, and rather unwisely, in his last prayer, adverted to
him. This gave the people the knowledge that he was in the
chapel, and after the service they came trooping toward him,
even over the pews, in their anxiety to see him and shake

[Footnote 50: A similar occurrence took place in a church at
Bath during the meetings of the British Association in 1864]

"Dr. Livingstone usually conducted our family worship. On
Sunday morning he always gave us a text for the day. His
prayers were very direct and simple, just like a child asking
his Father for what he needed.

"He was always careful as to dress and appearance. This was
his habit in Africa, too, and with Mrs. Livingstone it was
the same. They thought that this was fitted to secure respect
for themselves, and that it was for the good of the natives
too, as it was so difficult to impress them with proper ideas
on the subject of dress.

"Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone were much attached, and thoroughly
understood each other. The doctor was sportive and fond of a
joke, and Mrs. Livingstone entered into his humor. Mrs.
Livingstone was terribly anxious about her husband when he
was in Africa, but before others she concealed her emotion.
In society both were reserved and quiet. Neither of them
cared for grandeur; it was a great trial to Dr. Livingstone
to go to a grand dinner. Yet in his quiet way he would
exercise an influence at the dinner-table. He told us that
once at a dinner at Lord ----'s, every one was running down
London tradesmen. Dr. Livingstone quietly remarked that
though he was a stranger in London, he knew one tradesman of
whose honesty he was thoroughly assured; and if there was one
such in his little circle, surely there must be many more.

"He used to rise early: about seven he had a cup of tea or
coffee, and then he set to work with his Writing. He had not
the appearance of a very strong man."

In spite of his literary work, the stream of public honors and public
engagements began to flow very strongly. The Prince Consort granted him
an interview, soon after his arrival, in presence of some of the younger
members of the Royal Family. In March it was agreed to present him with
the freedom of the City of London, in a box of the value of fifty
guineas, and in May the presentation took place. Most of his public
honors, however, were reserved till the autumn.

The _Missionary Travels_ was published in November, 1857, and the
success of the book was quite remarkable. Writing to Mr. Maclear, 10th
November, 1857, he says, after an apology for delay:

"You must ascribe my culpable silence to 'aberration.' I am
out of my orbit, rather, and you must have patience till I
come in again. The book is out to-day, and I am going to
Captain Washington to see about copies to yourself, the
Governor, the Bishop, Fairbairn, Thompson, Rutherfoord, and
Saul Solomon[51]. Ten thousand were taken by the London trade
alone. Thirteen thousand eight hundred have been ordered from
an edition of twelve thousand, so the printers are again at
work to supply the demand. Sir Roderick gave it a glowing
character last night at the Royal Geographical Society, and
the _Athenaeum_ has come out strongly on the same side. This
is considered a successful launch for a guinea book."

[Footnote 51: Livingstone was quite lavish with presentation copies;
every friend on earth seemed to be included in his list. He tried to
remember every one who had shown kindness to himself and particularly to
his wife and children.]

It has sometimes been a complaint that so much of the book is occupied
with matters of science, geographical inquiries, descriptions of plants
and animals, accounts of rivers and mountains, and so little with what
directly concerns the work of the missionary. In reply to this, it may
be stated, in the first place, that if the information given and the
views expressed on missionary topics were all put together, they would
constitute no insignificant contribution to missionary literature. But
there was another consideration. Livingstone regarded himself as but a
pioneer in missionary enterprise. During sixteen years he had done much
to bring the knowledge of Christ to tribes that had never heard of
Him--probably no missionary in Africa had ever preached to so many
blacks. In some instances he had been successful in the highest
sense--he had been the instrument of turning men from darkness to light;
but he did not think it right to dwell on these cases, because the
converts were often inconsistent, and did not exemplify a high moral
tone. In most cases, however, he had been a sower of seed, and not a
reaper of harvests. He had no triumphs to record, like those which had
gladdened the hearts of some of his missionary brethren in the South Sea
Islands. He wished his book to be a record of facts, not a mere register
of hopes. The missionary work was yet to be done. It belonged to the
future, not to the past. By showing what vast fields there were in
Africa ripe for the harvest, he sought to stimulate the Christian
enterprise of the Churches, and lead them to take possession of Africa
for Christ. He would diligently record facts which he had ascertained
about Africa, facts that he saw had some bearing on its future welfare,
but whose full significance in that connection no one might yet be able
to perceive. In a sense, the book was a work of faith. He wished to
interest men of science, men of commerce, men of philanthropy, ministers
of the Crown, men of all sorts, in the welfare of Africa. Where he had
so varied a constituency to deal with, and where the precise method by
which Africa would be civilized was yet so indefinite, he would
faithfully record what he had come to know, and let others build as they
might with his materials. Certainly, in all that Livingstone has
written, he has left us in no doubt as to the consummation to which he
ever looked. His whole writings and his whole life are a commentary on
his own words--"The end of the geographical feat is only the beginning
of the enterprise."

Through the great success of the volume and the handsome conduct of the
publishers, the book yielded him a little fortune. We shall see what
generous use he made of it--how large a portion of the profits went to
forward directly the great object to which his heart and his life were
so cordially given. More than half went to a single object connected
with the Zambesi Expedition, and of the remainder he was ready to devote
a half to another favorite project. All that he thought it his duty to
reserve for his children was enough to educate them, and prepare them
for their part in life. Nothing would have seemed less desirable or less
for their good than to found a rich family to live in idleness. It was
and is a common impression that Livingstone received large sums from
friends to aid him in his work. For the most part these impressions were
unfounded; but his own hard-earned money was bestowed freely and
cheerfully wherever it seemed likely to do good.

The complaint that he was not sufficiently a missionary was sometimes
made of his speeches as well as his book. At Carlisle, a lady wrote to
him in this strain. A copy of his reply is before us. After explaining
that reporters were more ready to report his geography than his
missionary views, he says:

"Nowhere have I ever appeared as anything else but a servant
of God, who has simply followed the leadings of his hand. My
views of what is _missionary_ duty are not so contracted as
those whose ideal is a dumpy sort of man with a Bible under
his arm. I have labored in bricks and mortar, at the forge
and carpenter's bench, as well as in preaching and medical
practice. I feel that I am 'not my own.' I am serving Christ
when shooting a buffalo for my men, or taking an astronomical
observation, or writing to one of his children who forget,
during the little moment of penning a note, that charity
which is eulogized as 'thinking no evil'; and after having by
his help got information, which I hope will lead to more
abundant blessing being bestowed on Africa than heretofore,
am I to hide the light under a bushel, merely because some
will consider it not sufficiently, or even at all,
_missionary_? Knowing that some persons do believe that
opening up a new country to the sympathies of Christendom was
not a proper work for an agent of a missionary society to
engage in, I now refrain from taking any salary from the
Society with which I was connected; so no pecuniary loss is
sustained by any one."

Subsequently, when detained in Manyuema, and when his immediate object
was to determine the water-shed, Dr. Livingstone wrote: "I never felt a
single pang at having left the Missionary Society. I acted for my
Master, and believe that all ought to devote their special faculties to
Him. I regretted that unconscientious men took occasion to prevent many
from sympathizing with me."


FIRST VISIT HOME--_continued_.

A.D. 1857-1858.

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

Finding himself, in the autumn, free of the toil of book-making, Dr.
Livingstone moved more freely through the country, attended meetings,
and gave addresses. In August he went to Dublin, to the meeting of the
British Association for the Advancement of Science, and gave an
interesting lecture. Mrs. Livingstone did not accompany him. In a letter
to her we have some pleasant notes of his Dublin visit:

"_Dublin, 29th August_, 1857.--I am very sorry now that I did
not bring you with me, for all inquired after you, and
father's book is better known here than anywhere else I have
been. But it could scarcely have been otherwise. I think the
visit to Dublin will be beneficial to our cause, which, I
think, is the cause of Christ in Africa. Lord Radstock is
much interested in it, and seems willing and anxious to
promote it. He was converted out at the Crimea, whither he
had gone as an amateur. His lady is a beautiful woman, and I
think, what is far better, a good, pious one. The
Archbishop's daughters asked me if they could be of any use
in sending out needles, thread, etc., to your school. I, of
course, said Yes. His daughters are devotedly missionary, and
work hard in ragged schools, etc. One of them nearly remained
in Jerusalem as a missionary, and is the same in spirit here.
It is well to be servants of Christ everywhere, at home or
abroad, wherever He may send us or take us.... I hope I may
be enabled to say a word for Him on Monday. There is to be a
grand dinner and soiree at the Lord-Lieutenant's on Monday,
and I have got an invitation in my pocket, but will have to
meet Admiral Trotter on Tuesday. I go off as soon as my
lecture is over.... Sir Duncan Macgregor is the author of
_The Burning of the Kent East Indiaman_. His son, the only
infant saved, is now a devoted Christian, a barrister[52]."

[Footnote 52: Dr. Livingstone always liked that style of earnest
Christianity which he notices in this letter. In November of the same
year, after he had resigned his connection with the London Missionary
Society, and was preparing to return to Africa as H.M. Consul and head
of the Zambesi Expedition, he writes thus to his friend Mr. James Young:
"I read the life of Hedley Vicars for the first time through, when down
at Rugby. It is really excellent, and makes me ashamed of the coldness
of my services in comparison. That was his sister you saw me walking
with in Dublin at the Gardens (Lady Rayleigh). If you have not read it,
the sooner you dip into it the better. You will thank me for it."]

In September we find him in Manchester, where the Chamber of Commerce
gave him a hearty welcome, and entered cordially into his schemes for
the commercial development of Africa. He was subjected to a close
cross-examination regarding the products of the country, and the
materials it contained for commerce; but here, too, the missionary was
equal to the occasion. He had brought home five or six and twenty
different kinds of fruit; he told them of oils they had never heard
of--dyes that were kept secret by the natives--fibres that might be used
for the manufacture of paper--sheep that had hair instead of
wool--honey, sugar-cane, wheat, millet, cotton, and iron, all abounding
in the country. That all these should abound in what used to be deemed a
sandy desert appeared very strange. A very cordial resolution was
unanimously agreed to, and a strong desire expressed that Her Majesty's
Government would unite with that of Portugal in giving Dr. Livingstone
facilities for further exploration in the interior of Africa, and
especially in the district around the river Zambesi and its tributaries,
which promised to be the most suitable as a basis both for commercial
and missionary settlements.

In the course of the same month his foot was again on his native soil,
and there his reception was remarkably cordial. In Glasgow, the
University, the Corporation, the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, the
United Presbyterians, and the Associated Operative Cotton-spinners of
Scotland came forward to pay him honor. A testimonial of L2000 had been
raised by public subscription. The Corporation presented him with the
freedom of the city in a gold box, in acknowledging which he naturally
dwelt on some of the topics that were interesting to a commercial
community. He gave a somewhat new view of "Protection" when he called it
a remnant of heathenism. The heathen would be dependent on no one; they
would depress all other communities. Christianity taught us to be
friends and brothers, and he was glad that all restrictions on the
freedom of trade were now done away with. He dwelt largely on the
capacity of Africa to furnish us with useful articles of trade, and
especially cotton.

His reception by the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons had a special
interest in relation to his medical labors. For nearly twenty years he
had been a licentiate of this Faculty, one of the oldest medical
institutions of the country, which for two centuries and a half had
exerted a great influence in the west of Scotland. He was now admitted
an honorary Fellow--an honor rarely conferred, and only on pre-eminently
distinguished men. The President referred to the benefit which he had
found from his scientific as well as his more strictly medical studies,
pursued under their auspices, and Livingstone cordially echoed the
remark, saying he often hoped that his sons might follow the same course
of study and devote themselves to the same noble profession:

"In the country to which I went," he continued, "I endeavored
to follow the footsteps of my Lord and Master." Our Saviour
was a physician; but it is not to be expected that his
followers should perform miracles. The nearest approach which
they could expect to make was to become acquainted with
medical science, and endeavor to heal the diseases of man....
One patient expressed his opinion of my religion to the
following effect: "We like you very much; you are the only
white man we have got acquainted with. We like you because
you aid us whilst we are sick, but we don't like your
everlasting preaching and praying. We can't get accustomed to

To the United Presbyterians of Glasgow he spoke of mission work in
Africa. At one time he had been somewhat disappointed with the Bechuana
Christians, and thought the results of the mission had been exaggerated,
but when he went into the interior and saw heathenism in all its
unmitigated ferocity, he changed his opinion, and had a higher opinion
than ever of what the mission had done. Such gatherings as the present
were very encouraging; but in Africa mission work was hard work without
excitement; and they had just to resolve to do their duty without
expecting to receive gratitude from those whom they labored to serve.
When gratitude came, they were thankful to have it; but when it did not
come they must go on doing their duty, as unto the Lord.

His reply to the cotton-spinners is interesting as showing how fresh his
sympathy still was with the sons of toil, and what respect he had for
their position. He congratulated himself on the Spartan training he had
got at the Blantyre mill, which had really been the foundation of all
the work he had done. Poverty and hard work were often looked down
on,--he did not know why,--for wickedness was the only thing that ought
to be a reproach to any man. Those that looked down on cotton-spinners
with contempt were men who, had they been cotton-spinners at the
beginning, would have been cotton-spinners to the end. The life of toil
was what belonged to the great majority of the race, and to be poor was
no reproach. The Saviour occupied the humble position that they had been
born in, and he looked back on his own past life as having been spent in
the same position in which the Saviour lived.

"My great object," he said, "was to be like Him--to imitate
Him as far as He could be imitated. We have not the power of
working miracles, but we can do a little in the way of
healing the sick, and I sought a medical education in order
that I might be like Him. In Africa I have had hard work. I
don't know that any one in Africa despises a man who works
hard. I find that all eminent men work hard. Eminent
geologists, mineralogists, men of science in every
department, if they attain eminence, work hard, and that both
early and late. That is just what we did. Some of us have
left the cotton-spinning, but I think that all of us who have
been engaged in that occupation look back on it with feelings
of complacency, and feel an interest in the course of our
companions. There is one thing in cotton-spinning that I
always felt to be a privilege. We were confined through the
whole day, but when we got out to the green fields, and could
wander through the shady woods, and rove about the whole
country, we enjoyed it immensely. We were delighted to see
the flowers and the beautiful scenery. We were prepared to
admire. We were taught by our confinement to rejoice in the
beauties of nature, and when we got out we enjoyed ourselves
to the fullest extent."

At Hamilton an interesting meeting took place in the Congregational
Chapel where he had been a worshiper in his youth. Here he was
emphatically at home; and he took the opportunity (as he often did) to
say how little he liked the lionizing he was undergoing, and how
unexpected all the honors were that had been showered upon him. He had
hoped to spend a short and quiet visit, and then return to his African
work. It was his sense of the kindness shown him, and the desire not to
be disobliging, that made him accept the public invitations he was
receiving. But he did not wish to take the honor to himself, as if he
had achieved anything by his own might or wisdom. He thanked God
sincerely for employing him as an instrument in his work. One of the
greatest honors was to be employed in winning souls to Christ, and
proclaiming to the captives of Satan the liberty with which he had come
to make them free. He was thankful that to him, "the least of all
saints," this honor had been given. He then proceeded to notice the
presence of members of various Churches, and to advert to the broadening
process that had been going on in his own mind while in Africa, which
made him feel himself more than ever the brother of all:

"In going about we learn something, and it would be a shame
to us if we did not; and we look back to our own country and
view it as a whole, and many of the little feelings we had
when immersed in our own denominations we lose, and we look
to the whole body of Christians with affection. We rejoice to
see them advancing. I believe that every Scotch Christian
abroad rejoiced in his heart when he saw the Free Church come
boldly out on principle, and I may say we shall rejoice very
much when we see the Free Church and the United Presbyterian
Church one, as they ought to be.... I am sure I look on all
the different denominations in Hamilton and in Britain with
feelings of affection. I cannot say which I love most. I am
quite certain I ought not to dislike any of them. Really,
perhaps I may be considered a little heterodox, if I were
living in this part of the country, I could not pass one
Evangelical Church in order to go to my own denomination
beyond it[53]. I still think that the different
denominational peculiarities have, to a certain degree, a
good effect in this country, but I think we ought to be much
more careful lest we should appear to our fellow-Christians
unchristian, than to appear inconsistent with the
denominational principles we profess.... Let this meeting be
the ratification of the bond of union between my brother[54]
and me, and all the denominations of Hamilton. Remember us in
your prayers. Bear us on your spirits when we are far away,
for when abroad we often feel as if we were forgot by every
one. My entreaty to all the Christians of Hamilton is to pray
that grace may be given to us to be faithful to our Saviour
even unto death."

[Footnote 53: Dr. Livingstone gave practical evidence of his sincerity
in these remarks in the case of his elder daughter, saying, in reply to
one of her guardians with whom she was residing, that he had no
objections to her joining the Church of Scotland. This, however, she did
not do; but afterward, when at Newstead Abbey, she was confirmed by the
Bishop of Lincoln, and received the Communion along with her father, who
helped to prepare her.]

[Footnote 54: Dr. Livingstone had been joined by his brother Charles,
who was present on this occasion.]

At Blantyre, his native village, the Literary and Scientific Institute
gave him a reception, Mr. Hannan, one of the proprietors of the works, a
magistrate of Glasgow, and an old acquaintance of Livingstone's, being
in the chair. The Doctor was laboring under a cold, the first he had had
for sixteen years. He talked to them of his travels, and by particular
request gave an account of his encounter with the Mabotsa lion. He
ridiculed Mrs. Beecher Stowe's notion that factory-workers were slaves.
He counseled them strongly to put more confidence than workmen generally
did in the honest good intentions of their employers, reminding them
that some time ago, when the Blantyre proprietors had wished to let
every workman have a garden, it was said by some that they only wished
to bring the ground into good order, and then they would take the garden
away. That was nasty and suspicious. If masters were more trusted, they
would do more good. Finally, he exhorted them cordially to accept God's
offers of mercy to them in Christ, and give themselves wholly to Him. To
bow down before God was not mean; it was manly. His one wish for them
all was that they might have peace with God, and rejoice in the hope of
the eternal inheritance.

His remarks to the operatives show how sound and sagacious his views
were on social problems; in this sphere, indeed, he was in advance of
the age. The quickness and correctness with which he took up matters of
public interest in Britain, mastered facts, and came to clear,
intelligent conclusions on them, was often the astonishment of his
friends. It was as if, instead of being buried in Africa, he had been
attending the club and reading the daily newspapers for years,--this,
too, while he was at work writing his book, and delivering speeches
almost without end. We find him at this time anticipating the temperance
coffee-house movement, now so popular and successful. On 11th July,
1857, he wrote on this subject to a friend, in reference to a proposal
to deliver a lecture in Glasgow. It should be noticed that he never
lectured for money, though he might have done so with great
pecuniary benefit:

"I am thinking of giving, or trying to give, a lecture by
invitation at the Athenaeum. I am offered thirty guineas, and
as my old friends the cotton-spinners have invited me to meet
them, I think of handing the sum, whatever it may be, to
them, or rather letting them take it and fit up a room as a
coffee-room on the plan of the French cafes, where men,
women, and children may go, instead of to whisky-shops. There
are coffee-houses already, but I don't think there are any
where they can laugh and talk and read papers just as they
please. The sort I contemplate would suit poor young fellows
who cannot have a comfortable fire at home. I have seen men
dragged into drinking ways from having no comfort at home,
and women also drawn to the dram-shop from the same cause.
Don't you think something could be done by setting the
persons I mention to do something for themselves?"

Edinburgh conferred on Livingstone the freedom of the city, besides
entertaining him at a public breakfast and hearing him at another
meeting. We are not surprised to find him writing to Sir Roderick
Murchison from Rossie Priory, on the 27th September, that he was about
to proceed to Leeds, Liverpool, and Birmingham, "and then farewell to
public spouting for ever. I am dead tired of it. The third meeting at
Edinburgh quite knocked me up." It was generally believed that his
appearances at Edinburgh were not equal to some others; and probably
there was truth in the impression, for he must have come to it
exhausted; and besides, at a public breakfast, he was put out by a
proposal of the chairman, that they should try to get him a pension. Yet
some who heard him in Edinburgh received impressions that were never
effaced, and it is probable that seed was silently sown which led
afterward to the Scotch Livingstonia Mission--one of the most hopeful
schemes for carrying out Livingstone's plans that have yet been

Among the other honors conferred on him during this visit to Britain was
the degree of D.C.L. from the University of Oxford. Some time before,
Glasgow had given him the honorary degree of LL.D. In the beginning of
1858, when he was proposed as a Fellow of the Royal Society, the
certificate on his behalf was signed, among others, by the Earl of
Carlisle, then Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, who after his signature added
P.R. (_pro Regina_), a thing that had never been done before[55].

[Footnote 55: For list of Dr. Livingstone's honors, see Appendix No. V.]

The life he was now leading was rather trying. He writes to his friend
Mr. Maclear on the 10th November:

"I finish my public spouting next week at Oxford. It is
really very time-killing, this lionizing, and I am sure you
pity me in it. I hope to leave in January. Wonder if the
Portuguese have fulfilled the intention of their Government
in supporting my men.... I shall rejoice when I see you again
in the quiet of the Observatory. It is more satisfactory to
serve God in peace. May He give his grace and blessing to us
all! I am rather anxious to say something that will benefit
the young men at Oxford. They made me a D.C.L. There!! Wonder
if they would do so to the Editor of the _Grahamstown

Livingstone was not yet done with "public spouting," even after his trip
to Oxford. Among the visits paid by him toward the end of 1857, none was
more interesting or led to more important results than that to
Cambridge. It was on 3d December he arrived there, becoming the guest of
the Rev. Wm. Monk, of St. John's. Next morning, in the senate-house, he
addressed a very large audience, consisting of graduates and
undergraduates and many visitors from the town and neighborhood. The
Vice-Chancellor presided and introduced the stranger. Dr. Livingstone's
lecture consisted of facts relating to the country and its people,
their habits and religious belief, with some notices of his travels, and
an emphatic statement of his great object--to promote commerce and
Christianity in the country which he had opened. The last part of his
lecture was an earnest appeal for missionaries.

"It is deplorable to think that one of the noblest of our
missionary societies, the Church Missionary Society, is
compelled to send to Germany for missionaries, whilst other
Societies are amply supplied. Let this stain be wiped off.
The sort of men who are wanted for missionaries are such as I
see before me; men of education, standing, enterprise, zeal,
and piety.... I hope that many whom I now address will
embrace that honorable career. Education has been given us
from above for the purpose of bringing to the benighted the
knowledge of a Saviour. If you knew the satisfaction of
performing such a duty, as well as the gratitude to God which
the missionary must always feel, in being chosen for so
noble, so sacred a calling, you would have no hesitation in
embracing it.

"For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has
appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice
I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can
that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a
small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can
never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest
reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing
good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny
hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a
thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a
privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and
then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and
charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the
spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be
for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the
glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. I
never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk when we
remember the great sacrifice which He made who left his
father's throne on high to give himself for us; 'who being
the brightness of that Father's glory, and the express image
of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his
power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on
the right hand of the Majesty on high.'...

"I beg to direct your attention to Africa: I know that in a
few years I shall be cut off in that country, which is now
open; do not let it be shut again! I go back to Africa to try
to make an open path for commerce and Christianity; do you
carry out the work which I have begun, I LEAVE IT WITH YOU!"

In a prefatory letter prefixed to the volume entitled _Dr. Livingstone's
Cambridge Lectures_, the late Professor Sedgwick remarked, in connection
with this event, that in the course of a long academic life he had often
been present in the senate-house on exciting occasions; in the days of
Napoleon he had heard the greetings given to our great military heroes;
he had been present at four installation services, the last of which was
graced by the presence of the Queen, when her youthful husband was
installed as Chancellor, amid the most fervent gratulations that
subjects are permitted to exhibit in the presence of their Sovereign.
But on none of these occasions "were the gratulations of the University
more honest and true-hearted than those which were offered to Dr.
Livingstone. He came among us without any long notes of preparation,
without any pageant or eloquence to charm and captivate our senses. He
stood before us, a plain, single-minded man, somewhat attenuated by
years of toil, and with a face tinged by the sun of Africa.... While we
listened to the tale he had to tell, there arose in the hearts of all
the listeners a fervent hope that the hand of God which had so long
upheld him would uphold him still, and help him to carry out the great
work of Christian love that was still before him."

Next day, December 5th, Dr. Livingstone addressed a very crowded
audience in the Town Hall, the Mayor presiding. Referring to his own
plans, he said:

"I contend that we ought not to be ashamed of our religion,
and had we not kept this so much out of sight in India, we
should not now be in such straits in that country" [referring
to the Indian Mutiny]. "Let us appear just what we are. For
my own part, I intend to go out as a missionary, and hope
boldly, but with civility, to state the truth of
Christianity, and my belief that those who do not possess it
are in error. My object in Africa is not only the elevation
of man, but that the country might be so opened that man
might see the need of his soul's salvation. I propose in my
next expedition to visit the Zambesi, and propitiate the
different chiefs along its banks, endeavoring to induce them
to cultivate cotton, and to abolish the slave-trade: already
they trade in ivory and gold-dust, and are anxious to extend
their commercial operations. There is thus a probability of
their interests being linked with ours, and thus the
elevation of the African would be the result,

"I believe England is alive to her duty of civilizing and
Christianizing the heathen. We cannot all go out as
missionaries, it is true; but we may all do something toward
providing a substitute. Moreover, all may especially do that
which every missionary highly prizes, viz.--COMMEND THE WORK

Dr. Livingstone was thoroughly delighted with his reception at
Cambridge. Writing to a friend, on 6th December 1857, he says:
"Cambridge, as Playfair would say, was grand. It beat Oxford hollow. To
make up my library again they subscribed at least forty volumes at once.
I shall have reason soon to bless the Boers."

Referring to his Cambridge visit a few weeks afterward, in a letter to
Rev. W. Monk, Dr. Livingstone said: "I look back to my visit to
Cambridge as one of the most pleasant episodes of my life. I shall
always revert with feelings of delight to the short intercourse I
enjoyed with such noble Christian men as Sedgwick, Whewell, Selwyn, etc.
etc., as not the least important privilege conferred on me by my visit
to England. It is something inspiriting to remember that the eyes of
such men are upon one's course. May blessings rest upon them all, and on
the seat of learning which they adorn!"

Among the subjects that had occupied Dr. Livingstone's attention most
intensely during the early part of the year 1857 was that of his
relation to the London Missionary Society. The impression caused by Dr.
Tidman's letter received at Quilimane had been quite removed by personal
intercourse with the Directors, who would have been delighted to let
Livingstone work in their service in his own way. But with the very
peculiar work of exploration and inquiry which he felt that his Master
had now placed in his hands, Dr. Livingstone was afraid that his freedom
would be restricted by his continuing in the service of the Society,
while the Society itself would be liable to suffer from the handle that
might be given to contributors to say that it was departing from the
proper objects of a missionary body. That in resigning his official
connection he acted with a full knowledge of the effect which this might
have upon his own character, and his reputation before the Church and
the world, is evident from his correspondence with one of his most
intimate friends and trusted counselors, Mr. J.B. Braithwaite, of
Lincoln's Inn. Though himself a member of the Society of Friends, Mr.
Braithwaite was desirous that Dr. Livingstone should continue to appear
before the public as a Christian minister:

"To dissolve thy connection with the Missionary Society would
at once place thee before the public in an aspect wholly
distinct from that in which thou art at present, and, what is
yet more important, would in a greater or less degree, and,
perhaps, very gradually and almost insensibly to thyself,
turn the current of thy own thoughts and feelings away from
those channels of usefulness and service, as a minister of
the gospel, with which I cannot doubt thy deepest interest
and highest aspirations are inseparably associated."

On Dr. Livingstone explaining that, while he fully appreciated these
views, it did not appear to him consistent with duty to be receiving the
pay of a working missionary while engaged to a considerable extent in
scientific exploration, Mr. Braithwaite expressed anew his sympathy for
his feelings, and respect for his decision, but not as one quite

"Thy heart is bound, as I truly believe, in its inmost depths
to the service of Christ. This is the 'one thing' which,
through all, it is thy desire to keep in view. And my fear
has been lest the severing of thy connection with a
recognized religious body should lead any to suppose that thy
Christian interests were in the least weakened; or that thou
wast now going forth with any lower aim than the advancement
of the Redeemer's kingdom. Such a circumstance would be
deeply to be regretted, for thy character is now, if I may so
speak, not thy own, but the common property, in a certain
sense, of British Christianity, and anything which tended to
lower thy high standing would cast a reflection on the
general cause."

The result showed that Mr. Braithwaite was right as to the impression
likely to be made on the public; but the contents of this volume amply
prove that the impression was wrong.

Dr. Livingstone had said at Quilimane that if it were the will of God
that he should do the work of exploration and settlement of stations
which was indispensable to the opening up of Africa, but which the
Directors did not then seem to wish him to undertake, the means would be
provided from some other quarter. At the meeting of the British
Association in Dublin, a movement was begun for getting the Government
to aid him. The proposal was entertained favorably by the Government,
and practically settled before the end of the year. In February, 1858,
Dr. Livingstone received a formal commission, signed by Lord Clarendon,
Foreign Secretary, appointing him Her Majesty's Consul at Quilimane for
the Eastern Coast and the independent districts in the interior, and
commander of an expedition for exploring Eastern and Central Africa. Dr.
Livingstone accepted the appointment, and during the last part of his
stay in England was much engaged in arranging for the expedition. A
paddle steamer of light draught was procured for the navigation of the
Zambesi, and the various members of the expedition received their
appointments. These were--Commander Bedingfield, R.N., Naval Officer;
John Kirk, M.D., Botanist and Physician; Mr. Charles Livingstone,
brother of Dr. Livingstone, General Assistant and Secretary; Mr. Richard
Thornton, Practical Mining Geologist; Mr. Thomas Baines, Artist and
Storekeeper; and Mr. George Rae, Ship Engineer; and whoever afterward
might join the expedition were required to obey Dr. Livingstone's
directions as leader.

"We managed your affair very nicely," Lord Palmerston said to
Livingstone at a reception at Lady Palmerston's on the 12th December.
"Had we waited till the usual time when Parliament should be asked, it
would have been too late." Lord Shaftesbury, at the reception, assured
him that the country would do everything for him, and congratulated him
on going out in the way now settled. So did the Lord Chancellor
(Cranworth), Sir Culling Eardley, and Mr. Calcraft, M.P.

Dr. Livingstone was on the most friendly terms with the Portuguese
Ambassador, the Count de Lavradio, who ever avowed the highest respect
for himself, and a strong desire to help him in his work. To get this
assurance turned into substantial assistance appeared to Livingstone to
be of the very highest importance. Unless strong influence were brought
to bear on the local Portuguese Governors in Africa, his scheme would be
wrecked. The Portuguese Ambassador was then at Lisbon, and Livingstone
had resolved to go there, to secure the influence from headquarters
which was so necessary. The Prince Consort had promised to introduce him
to his cousin, the King of Portugal. There were, however, some obstacles
to his going. Yellow fever was raging at Lisbon, and moreover, time was
precious, and a little delay might lead to the loss of a season on the
Zambesi. At Lady Palmerston's reception, Lord Palmerston had said to him
that Lord Clarendon might manage the Portuguese affair without his going
to Lisbon. A day or two after, Livingstone saw Lord Clarendon, who
confirmed Lord Palmerston's opinion, and assured him that when Lavradio
returned, the affair would be settled. The Lisbon journey was
accordingly given up. The Count returned to London before Livingstone
left, and expressed a wish to send a number of Portuguese agents along
with him. But to this both Lord Clarendon and he had the strongest
objections, as complicating the expedition. Livingstone was furnished
with letters from the Portuguese Government to the local Governors,
instructing them to give him all needful help. But when he returned to
the Zambesi he found that these public instructions were strangely
neutralized and reversed by some unseen process. He himself believed to
the last in the honest purpose of the King of Portugal, but he had not
the same confidence in the Government. From some of the notes written to
him at this time by friends who understood more of diplomacy than he
did, we can see that little actual help was expected from the local
Governors in the Portuguese settlements, one of these friends expressing
the conviction that "the sooner those Portuguese dogs-in-the-manger are
eaten, up, body and bones, by the Zulu Caffres, the better."

The co-operation of Lord Clarendon was very cordial. "He told me to go
to Washington (of the Admiralty) as if all had been arranged, and do
everything necessary, and come to him for everything I needed. He
repeated, 'Just come here and tell me what you want, and I will give it
you.' He was wonderfully kind. I thank God who gives the influence."
Among other things, Lord Clarendon wrote an official letter to the chief
Sekeletu, thanking him, in the name of the Queen, for his kindness and
help to her servant, Dr. Livingstone, explaining the desire of the
British nation, as a commercial and Christian people, to live at peace
with all and to benefit all; telling him, too, what they thought of the
slave-trade; hoping that Sekeletu would help to keep "God's highway,"
the river Zambesi, as a free pathway for all nations; assuring him of
friendship and good-will; and respectfully hinting that, "as we have
derived all our greatness from the divine religion we received from
heaven, it will be well if you consider it carefully when any of our
people talk to you about it[56]."

[Footnote 56: See Appendix No. IV.]

Most men, after receiving such _carte blanche_ as Lord Clarendon had
given to Livingstone, would have been drawing out plans on a large
scale, regardless of expense. Livingstone's ideas were quite in the
opposite direction. Instead of having to press Captain Washington, he
had to restrain him. The expedition as planned by Washington, with
commander and assistant, and a large staff of officers, was too
expensive. All that Livingstone wished was a steam launch, with an
economic botanist, a practical mining geologist, and an assistant. All
was to be plain and practical; nothing was wished for ornament or show.

Before we come to the last adieus, it is well to glance at the
remarkable effect of Dr. Livingstone's short visit, in connection with
his previous labors, on the public opinion of the country in regard to
Africa. In the first place, as we have already remarked, there was quite
a revolution of ideas as to the interior of the country. It astonished
men to find that, instead of a vast sandy desert, it was so rich and
productive a land, and merchants came to see that if only a safe and
wholesome traffic could be introduced, the result would be hardly less
beneficial to them than to the people of Africa. In the second place, a
new idea was given of the African people. Caffre wars and other
mismanaged enterprises had brought out the wildest aspects of the native
character, and had led to the impression that the blacks were just as
brutish and ferocious as the tigers and crocodiles among which they
lived. But Livingstone showed, as Moffat had showed before him, that,
rightly dealt with, they were teachable and companionable, full of
respect for the white man, affectionate toward him when he treated them
well, and eager to have him dwelling among them. On the slave-trade of
the interior he had thrown a ghastly light, although it was reserved to
him in his future journeys to make a full exposure of the devil's work
in that infamous traffic. He had thrown light, too, on the structure of
Africa, shown where healthy localities were to be found, copiously
illustrated its fauna and flora, discovered great rivers and lakes, and
laid them down on its map with the greatest accuracy; and he had shown
how its most virulent disease might be reduced to the category of an
ordinary cold. In conjunction with other great African travelers, he had
contributed not a little to the great increase of popularity which had
been acquired by the Geographical Society. He had shown abundance of
openings for Christian missions from Kuruman to the Zambesi, and from
Loanda to Quilimane. He had excited no little compassion for the negro,
by vivid pictures of his dark and repulsive life, with so much misery in
it and so little joy. In the cause of missions he did not appeal in
vain. At the English Universities, young men of ability and promise got
new light on the purposes of life, and wondered that they had not
thought sooner of offering themselves for such noble work. In Scotland,
men like James Stewart, now of Lovedale, were set thinking whether they
should not give themselves to Africa, and older men, like Mr. R.A.
Macfie and the late Mr. James Cunningham, of Edinburgh, were pondering
in what manner the work could be begun. The London Missionary Society,
catching up Livingstone's watchword "Onward," were planning a mission at
Linyanti, on the banks of the Zambesi. Mr. Moffat was about to pay a
visit to the great Mosilikatse, with a view to the commencement of a
mission to the Matebele. As for Livingstone himself, his heart was
yearning after his friends the Makololo. He had been quite willing to go
and be their missionary, but in the meantime other duty called him. Not
being aware of any purpose to plant a mission among them, he made an
arrangement with his brother-in-law, Mr. John Moffat, to become their
missionary. Out of his private resources he promised him L500, for
outfit, etc., and L150 a year for five years as salary, besides other
sums, amounting in all to L1400. Nearly three years of his own salary as
Consul (L500) were thus pledged and paid. In one word, Africa, which had
long been a symbol of all that is dry and uninviting, suddenly became
the most interesting part of the globe.

As the time of Dr. Livingstone's departure for Africa drew near, a
strong desire arose among many of his friends, chiefly the geographers,
to take leave of him in a way that should emphatically mark the strength
of their admiration and the cordiality of their good wishes. It was
accordingly resolved that he should be invited to a public dinner on the
13th February, 1858, and that Sir Roderick Murchison should occupy the
chair. On the morning of that day he had the honor of an interview with
Her Majesty the Queen. A Scottish correspondent of an American journal,
whose letter at other points shows that he had good information[57],
after referring to the fact that Livingstone was not presented in the
usual way, says:

[Footnote 57: We have ascertained that the correspondent was the late
Mr. Keddie, of the Glasgow Free Church College, who got his information
from Mr. James Young.]

"He was honored by the Queen with a private interview.... She
sent for Livingstone, who attended Her Majesty at the palace,
without ceremony, in his black coat and blue trousers, and
his cap surrounded with a stripe of gold lace. This was his
usual attire, and the cap had now become the appropriate
distinction of one of Her Majesty's consuls, an official
position to which the traveler attaches great importance, as
giving him consequence in the eyes of the natives, and
authority over the members of the expedition.. The Queen
conversed with him affably for half an hour on the subject of
his travels. Dr. Livingstone told Her Majesty that he would
now be able to say to the natives that he had seen his chief,
his not having done so before having been a constant subject
of surprise to the children of the African wilderness. He
mentioned to Her Majesty also that the people were in the
habit of inquiring whether his chief were wealthy; and that
when he assured them she was very wealthy, they would ask how
many cows she had got, a question at which the Queen laughed

In the only notice of this interview which we have found in
Livingstone's own writing, he simply says that Her Majesty assured him
of her good wishes in his journeys. It was the only interview with his
Sovereign he ever had. When he returned in 1864 he said that he would
have been pleased to have another, but only if it came naturally, and
without his seeking it. The Queen manifested the greatest interest in
him, and showed great kindness to his family, when the rumor came of
his death.

The banquet in Freemason's Tavern, which it had been intended to limit
to 250 guests, overflowed the allotted bounds, and was attended by
upward of 350, including the Ministers of Sweden and Norway, and of
Denmark; Dukes of Argyll and Wellington; Earl of Shaftesbury and Earl
Grey; Bishops of Oxford and St. David's; and hosts of other celebrities
in almost every department of public life. The feeling was singularly
cordial. Sir Roderick rehearsed the services of Livingstone, crowning
them, as was his wont, with that memorable act--his keeping his promise
to his black servants by returning with them from Loanda to the heart of
Africa, in spite of all the perils of the way, and all the attractions
of England, thereby "leaving for himself in that country a glorious
name, and proving to the people of Africa what an English Christian is."
Still more, perhaps, did Sir Roderick touch the heart of the audience
when he said of Livingstone "that notwithstanding eighteen months of
laudation, so justly bestowed on him by all classes of his countrymen,
and after receiving all the honors which the Universities and cities of
our country could shower upon him, he is still the same honest,
true-hearted David Livingstone as when he issued from the wilds of
Africa." It was natural for the Duke of Argyll to recall the fact that
Livingstone's family was an Argyllshire one, and it was a happy thought
that as Ulva was close to Iona--"that illustrious island," as Dr. Samuel
Johnson called it, "whence roving tribes and rude barbarians derived the
benefits of knowledge and the blessings of religion,"--so might the son
of Ulva carry the same blessings to Africa, and be remembered, perhaps,
by millions of the human race as the first pioneer of civilization, and
the first harbinger of the gospel. It was graceful in the Bishop of
Oxford (Samuel Wilberforce) to advert to the debt of unparalleled
magnitude which England, founder of the accursed slave-trade, owed to
Africa, and to urge the immediate prosecution of Livingstone's plans,
inasmuch as the spots in Africa, where the so-called Christian trader
had come, were marked, more than any other, by crime and distrust, and
insecurity of life and property. It was a good opportunity for Professor
Owen to tell the story of the spiral tusk, to rehearse some remarkable
instances of Livingstone's accurate observations and happy conjectures
on the habits of animals, to rate him for destroying the moral character
of the lion, and to claim credit for having discovered, in the bone
caves of England, the remains of an animal of greater bulk than any
living species, that may have possessed all the qualities which the most
ardent admirer of the British lion could desire[58]!

[Footnote 58: Livingstone purposed to bequeath to Professor Owen a
somewhat extraordinary legacy. Writing afterward to his friend Mr.
Young, he said: "If I die at home I would lie beside you. My left arm
goes to Professor Owen, mind. That is the will of David Livingstone."]

On no topic was the applause of the company more enthusiastic than when
mention was made of Mrs. Livingstone, who was then preparing to
accompany her husband on his journey. Livingstone's own words to the
company were simple and hearty, but they were the words of truth and
soberness. He was overwhelmed with the kindness he had experienced. He
did not expect any speedy result from the Expedition, but he was
sanguine as to its ultimate benefit. He thought they would get in the
thin end of the wedge, and that it would be driven home by English
energy and spirit. For himself, with all eyes resting upon him, he felt
under an obligation to do better than he had ever done. And as to Mrs.

"It is scarcely fair to ask a man to praise his own wife, but
I can only say that when I parted from her at the Cape,
telling her that I should return in two years, and when it
happened that I was absent four years and a half, I supposed
that I should appear before her with a damaged character. I
was, however, forgiven. My wife, who has always been the main
spoke in my wheel, will accompany me in this expedition, and
will be most useful to me. She is familiar with the languages
of South Africa. She is able to work. She is willing to
endure, and she well knows that in that country one must put
one's hand to everything. In the country to which I am about
to proceed she knows that at the missionary's station the
wife must be the maid-of-all-work within, while the husband
must be the jack-of-all-trades without, and glad am I indeed
that I am to be accompanied by my guardian angel."

Of the many letters of adieu he received before setting out we have
space for only two. The first came from the venerable Professor
Sedgwick, of Cambridge, in the form of an apology for inability to
attend the farewell banquet. It is a beautiful unfolding of the head and
heart of the Christian philosopher, and must have been singularly
welcome to Livingstone, whose views on some of the greatest subjects of
thought were in thorough harmony with those of his friend:

"_Cambridge, February_ 10, 1858.--MY DEAR SIR,--Your kind and
very welcome letter came to me yesterday; and I take the
first moment of leisure to thank you for it, and to send you
a few more words of good-will, along with my prayers that God
may, for many years, prolong your life and the lives of those
who are most near and dear to you, and that he may support
you in all coming trials, and crown with a success, far
transcending your own hopes, your endeavors for the good of
our poor humble fellow-creatures in Africa,

"There is but one God, the God who created all worlds and the
natural laws whereby they are governed; and the God of
revealed truth, who tells us of our destinies in an eternal
world to come. All truth of whatever kind has therefore its
creator in the will and essence of that great God who created
all things, moral and natural. Great and good men have long
upheld this grand conclusion. But, alas! such is too often
our bigotry, or ignorance, or selfishness, that we try to
divorce religious and moral from natural truth, as if they
were inconsistent and in positive antagonism one to the
other,--a true catholic spirit (oh that the word 'catholic'
had not been so horribly abused by the foul deeds of men!)
teaching us that all truths are linked together, and that all
art and science, and all material discoveries (each held in
its proper place and subordination), may be used to minister
to the diffusion of Christian truth among men, with all its
blessed fruits of peace and good-will. This is, I believe,
your faith, as I see it shining out in your deeds, and set
forth in the pages of your work on Southern Africa, which I
have studied through from beginning to end with sentiments of
reverence and honor for the past and good hopes for
the future.

"What a glorious prospect is before you! the commencement of
the civilization of Africa, the extension of our knowledge of
all the kingdoms of nature, the production of great material
benefits to the Old World, the gradual healing of that foul
and fetid ulcer, the slave-trade, the one grand disgrace and
weakness of Christendom, and that has defiled the hands of
all those who have had any dealings with it; and last, but
not least--nay, the greatest of all, and the true end of
all--the lifting up of the poor African from the earth, the
turning his face heavenward, and the glory of at length
(after all his sufferings and all our sins) calling him a
Christian brother. May our Lord and Saviour bless your
labors, and may his Holy Spirit be with you to the end of
your life upon this troubled world!

"I am an old man, and I shall (so far as I am permitted to
look at the future) never see your face again. If I live till
the 22d of March I shall have ended my 73d year, and not only
from what we all know from the ordinary course of nature, but
from what I myself know and feel from the experience of the
two past years, I am assured that I have not long to live.
How long, God only knows. It grieves me not to have seen you
again in London, and I did hope that you might yourself
introduce me to your wife and children. I hear that a
farewell dinner is to be given you on Saturday, and greatly
should I rejoice to be present on that occasion, and along
with many other true-hearted friends wish you 'God-speed.'
But it must not be. I am not a close prisoner to my room, as
I was some weeks past, but I am still on the sick list, and
dare not expose myself to any sudden change of temperature,
or to the excitement of a public meeting. This is one of the
frailties of old age and infirm health. I have gone on
writing and writing more than I intended. Once for all, God
bless you! and pray (though I do not personally know them)
give my best and Christian love to your dear wife (Ma-Robert
she was called, I think, in Africa) and children. Ever
gratefully and affectionately yours,


Sir Roderick, too, had a kind parting word for his friend: "Accept my
warmest acknowledgments for your last farewell note. Believe me, my dear
friend, that no transaction in my somewhat long and very active life
has so truly rewarded me as my intercourse with you, for, from the
beginning to the end, it has been one continued bright gleam."

To this note Livingstone, as was his wont, made a hearty and Christian
response: "Many blessings be on you and yours, and if we never meet
again on earth, may we through infinite mercy meet in heaven!"

The last days in England were spent in arrangements for the expedition,
settling family plans, and bidding farewell. Mrs. Livingstone
accompanied her husband, along with Oswell, their youngest child. Dr.
Livingstone's heart was deeply affected in parting with his other
children. Amid all the hurry and bustle of leaving he snatches a few
minutes almost daily for a note to one or more of them:

"_London, 2d February_, 1858.--MY DEAR TOM,--I am soon going
off from this country, and will leave you to the care of Him
who neither slumbers nor sleeps, and never disappointed any
one who put his trust in Him. If you make him your friend He
will be better to you than any companion can be. He is a
friend that sticketh closer than a brother. May He grant you
grace to seek Him and to serve Him. I have nothing better to
say to you than to take God for your Father, Jesus for your
Saviour, and the Holy Spirit for your sanctifier. Do this and
you are safe for ever. No evil can then befall you. Hope you
will learn quickly and well, so as to be fitted for God's
service in the world."

"'_Pearl,' in the Mersey, 10th March_, 1858.--MY DEAR
TOM,--We are off again, and we trust that He who rules the
waves will watch over us and remain with you, to bless us and
make us blessings to our fellow-men. The Lord be with you,
and be very gracious to you! Avoid and hate sin, and cleave
to Jesus as your Saviour from guilt. Tell grandma we are off
again, and Janet will tell all about us."

In his letters to his children from first to last, the counsel most
constantly and most earnestly pressed is to take Jesus for their friend.
The personal Saviour is continually present to his heart, as the one
inestimable treasure which he longs for them to secure. That treasure
had been a source of unspeakable peace and joy to himself amid all the
trials and troubles of his checkered life; if his children were only in
friendship with Him, he could breathe freely in leaving them, and feel
that they would indeed FARE WELL.



A.D. 1858-1859.

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

On the 10th March 1858, Dr. Livingstone, accompanied by Mrs.
Livingstone, their youngest son, Oswell, and the members of his
Expedition, sailed from Liverpool on board Her Majesty's colonial
steamer, the "Pearl," which carried the sections of the "Ma-Robert," the
steam launch with Mrs. Livingstone's African name, which was to be
permanently used in the exploration of the Zambesi and its tributaries.
At starting, the "Pearl" had fine weather and a favorable wind, and
quickly ran down the Channel and across the Bay of Biscay. With that
business-like precision which characterized him, Livingstone, as soon as
sea-sickness was over, had the instructions of the Foreign Office read
in presence of all the members of the Expedition, and he afterward wrote
out and delivered to each person a specific statement of the duties
expected of him.

In these very characteristic papers, it is interesting to observe that
his first business was to lay down to each man his specific work, this
being done for the purpose of avoiding confusion and collision,
acknowledging each man's gifts, and making him independent in his own
sphere. While no pains were to be spared to make the Expedition
successful in its scientific and commercial aims, and while, for this
purpose, great stress was laid on the subsidiary instructions prepared
by Professor Owen, Sir W. Hooker, and Sir R. Murchison, Dr. Livingstone
showed still more earnestness in urging duties of a higher class, giving
to all the same wise and most Christian counsel to maintain the _moral_
of the Expedition at the highest point, especially in dealing with
the natives:

"You will understand that Her Majesty's Government attach
more importance to the moral influence which may be exerted
on the minds of the natives by a well-regulated and orderly
household of Europeans, setting an example of consistent
moral conduct to all who may congregate around the
settlement; treating the people with kindness, and relieving
their wants; teaching them to make experiments in
agriculture, explaining to them the more simple arts,
imparting to them religious instruction, as far as they are
capable of receiving it, and inculcating peace and good-will
to each other.

"The expedition is well supplied with arms and ammunition,
and it will be necessary to use these in order to obtain
supplies of food, as well as to procure specimens for the
purposes of Natural History. In many parts of the country
which we hope to traverse, the larger animals exist in great
numbers, and, being comparatively tame, may be easily shot. I
would earnestly press on every member of the expedition a
sacred regard to life, and never to destroy it unless some
good end is to be answered by its extinction; the wanton
waste of animal life which I have witnessed from
night-hunting, and from the ferocious, but childlike, abuse
of the instruments of destruction in the hands of Europeans,
makes me anxious that this expedition should not be guilty of
similar abominations.

"It is hoped that we may never have occasion to use our arms
for protection from the natives, but the best security from
attack consists in upright conduct, and the natives seeing
that we are prepared to meet it. At the same time, you are
strictly enjoined to exercise the greatest forbearance toward
the people; and, while retaining proper firmness in the event
of any misunderstanding, to conciliate, as far as possibly
can be done with safety to our party.

"It is unnecessary for me to enjoin the strictest justice in
dealing with the natives. This your own principles will lead
you invariably to follow, but while doing so yourself, it is
decidedly necessary to be careful not _to appear_ to
overreach or insult any one by the conduct of those under
your command....

"The chiefs of tribes and leading men of villages ought
always to be treated with respect, and nothing should be done
to weaken their authority. Any present of food should be
accepted frankly, as it is impolitic to allow the ancient
custom of feeding strangers to go into disuse. We come among
them as members of a superior race, and servants of a
Government that desires to elevate the more degraded portions
of the human family. We are adherents of a benign, holy
religion, and may, by consistent conduct, and wise, patient
efforts, become the harbingers of peace to a hitherto
distracted and trodden-down race. No great result is ever
attained without patient, long-continued effort. In the
enterprise in which we have the honor to be engaged, deeds of
sympathy, consideration, and kindness, which, when viewed in
detail, may seem thrown away, if steadily persisted in, are
sure, ultimately, to exercise a commanding influence. Depend
upon it, a kind word or deed is never lost."

Evidently, Dr. Livingstone felt himself in a difficult position at the
head of this enterprise. He was aware of the trouble that had usually
attended civil as contrasted with naval and military expeditions, from
the absence of that habit of discipline and obedience which is so firmly
established in the latter services. He had never served under Her
Majesty's Government himself, nor had he been accustomed to command such
men as were now under him, and there were some things in his antecedents
that made the duty peculiarly difficult. On one thing only he was
resolved: to do his own duty to the utmost, and to spare no pains to
induce every member of the Expedition to do his. It was impossible for
him not to be anxious as to how the team would pull together, especially
as he knew well the influence of a malarious atmosphere in causing
intense irritability of temper. In some respects, though not the most
obvious, this was the most trying period of his life. His letters and
other written papers show one little but not uninstructive effect of the
pressure and distraction that now came on him--in the great change which
his handwriting underwent--the neat, regular writing of his youth giving
place to a large and heavyish hand, as if he had never had time to mend
his pen, and his only thought had been how to get on most quickly. Yet
we see also, very clearly, how nobly he strove after self-control and
conciliatory ways. The tone of courtesy, the recognition of each man's
independence in his own sphere, and the appeal to his good sense and
good feeling, apparent in the instructions, show a studious desire,
while he took and intended to keep his place as Commander, to conceal
the symbols of authority, and bind the members of the party together as
a band of brothers. And though in his published book, _The Zambesi and
its Tributaries_, which was mainly a report of his doings to the
Government and the nation, he confined himself to the matters with which
he had been intrusted by them, there are many little proofs of his
seeking wisdom and strength from above with undiminished earnestness,
and of his striving, as much as ever, to do all to the glory of God.

As the swift motion of the ship bears him farther and farther from home,
he cannot but think of his orphan children. As they near Sierra Leone,
on the 25th March, he sends a few lines to his eldest son:

"MY DEAR ROBERT,--We have been going at the rate of 200 miles
a day ever since we left Liverpool, and have been much
favored by a kind Providence in the weather. Poor Oswell was
sorely sick while rolling through the Bay of Biscay, and ate
nothing for about three days; but we soon got away from the
ice and snow to beautiful summer weather, and we are getting
nicely thawed. We sleep with all our port-holes open, and are
glad of the awning by day. At night we see the Southern
Cross; and the Pole Star, which stands so high over you, is
here so low we cannot see it for the haze. We shall not see
it again, but the same almighty gracious Father is over all,
and is near to all who love Him. You are now alone in the
world, and must seek his friendship and guidance, for if you
do not lean on Him, you will go astray, and find that the way
of transgressors is hard. The Lord be gracious to you, and
accept you, though unworthy of his favor."

Sierra Leone was reached in a fortnight. Dr. Livingstone was gratified
to learn that, during the last ten years, the health of the town had
improved greatly--consequent on the abatement of the "whisky fever," and
the draining and paving of the streets through the activity of Governor
Hill. He found the Sunday as well kept as in Scotland, and was sure that
posterity would acknowledge the great blessing which the operations of
the English Squadron on the one hand and the various Christian missions
on the other had effected. He was more than ever convinced,
notwithstanding all that had been said against it, that the English
Squadron had been a great blessing on the West Coast. The Christian
missions, too, that had been planted under the protection of the
Squadron, were an evidence of its beneficial influence. He used
constantly to refer with intense gratitude to the work of Lord
Palmerston in this cause, and to the very end of his life his Lordship
was among the men whose memory he most highly honored. Often, when he
wished to describe his aim briefly, in regard to slavery, commerce, and
missions, he would say it was to do on the East Coast what had been done
on the West. At Sierra Leone a crew of twelve Kroomen was engaged and
taken on board for the navigation of the "Ma-Robert," after it should
reach the Zambesi. On their leaving Sierra Leone, the weather became
very rough, and from the state of Mrs. Livingstone's health, inclining
very much to fever, it was deemed necessary that she, with Oswell,
should be left at the Cape, go to Kuruman for a time, and after her
coming confinement, join her husband on the Zambesi in 1860. "This,"
says Livingstone in his Journal, "is a great trial to me, for had she
come on with us, she might have proved of essential service to the
Expedition in case of sickness or otherwise; but it may all turn out for
the best." It was the first disappointment, and it was but partially
balanced by his learning from Dr. Moffat, who, with his wife, met them
at the Cape, that he had made out his visit to Mosilikatse, and had
learned that the men whom Livingstone had left at Tette had not returned
home, so that they would still be waiting for him there. He knew of what
value they would be to him in explaining his intentions to the natives.
From Sir George Grey, the excellent Governor of the Cape, and the
inhabitants of Cape Town generally, the Expedition met with an unusually
cordial reception. At a great meeting at the Exchange, a silver box
containing a testimonial of eight hundred guineas was presented to
Livingstone by the Governor; and two days after, a grand dinner was
given to the members of the Expedition, the Attorney-General being in
the chair. Mr. Maclear was most enthusiastic in the reception of his
friend, and at the public meeting had so much to say about him that he
could hardly be brought to a close. It must have been highly amusing to
Livingstone to contrast Cape Town in 1852 with Cape Town in 1858. In
1852 he was so suspected that he could hardly get a pound of gunpowder
or a box of caps while preparing for his unprecedented journey, and he
had to pay a heavy fine to get rid of a cantankerous post-master. Now he
returns with the Queen's gold band round his cap, and with brighter
decorations round his name than Sovereigns can give; and all Cape Town
hastens to honor him. It was a great victory, as it was also a striking
illustration of the world's ways.

It is not our object to follow Dr. Livingstone into all the details of
his Expedition, but merely to note a few of the more salient points, in
connection with the opportunities it afforded for the achievement of his
object and the development of his character. It may he well to note
here generally how the years were occupied. The remainder of 1858 was
employed in exploring the mouths of the Zambesi, and the river itself up
to Tette and the Kebrabasa Rapids, a few miles beyond. Next
year--1859--was devoted mainly to three successive trips on the river
Shire, the third being signalized by the discovery of Lake Nyassa. In
1860 Livingstone went back with his Makololo up the Zambesi to the
territories of Sekeletu. In 1861, after exploring the river Rovuma, and
assisting Bishop Mackenzie to begin the Universities' Mission, he
started for Lake Nyassa, returning to the ship toward the end of the
year. In 1862 occurred the death of the Bishop and other missionaries,
and also, during a detention at Shupanga, the death of Mrs. Livingstone:
in the latter part of the year Livingstone again explored the Rovuma. In
1863 he was again exploring the Shire Valley and Lake Nyassa, when an
order came from Her Majesty's Government, recalling the Expedition. In
1864 he started in the "Lady Nyassa" for Bombay, and thence returned
to England.

On the 1st May, 1858, the "Pearl" sailed from Simon's Bay, and on the
14th stood in for the entrance to the Zambesi, called the West Luabo, or
Hoskins's Branch. Of their progress Dr. Livingstone gives his
impressions in the following letter to his friend Mr. James Young:

"'PEARL,'10_th May_, 1858.

"Here we are, off Cape Corrientes ('Whaur's that, I
wonner?'), and hope to be off the Luabo four days hence. We
have been most remarkably favored in the weather, and it is
well, for had our ship been in a gale with all this weight on
her deck, it would have been perilous. Mrs. Livingstone was
sea-sick all the way from Sierra Leone, and got as thin as a
lath. As this was accompanied by fever, I was forced to run
into Table Bay, and when I got ashore I found her father and
mother down all the way from Kuruman to see us and help the
young missionaries, whom the London Missionary Society has
not yet sent. Glad, of course, to see the old couple again.
We had a grand to-do at the Cape. Eight hundred guineas were
presented in a silver box by the hand of the Governor, Sir
George Grey, a fine fellow. Sure, no one might be more
thankful to the Giver of all than myself. The Lord grant me
grace to serve Him with heart and soul--the only return I can
make!... It was a bitter parting with my wife, like tearing
the heart out of one. It was so unexpected; and now we are
screwing away up the coast.... We are all agreeable yet, and
all looking forward with ardor to our enterprise. It is
likely that I shall come down with the 'Pearl' through the
Delta to doctor them if they become ill, and send them on to
Ceylon with a blessing. All have behaved well, and I am
really thankful to see it, and hope that God will graciously
make some better use of us in promoting his glory. I met a
Dr. King in Simon's Bay, of the 'Cambrian' frigate, one of
our class-mates in the Andersonian. This frigate, by the way,
saluted us handsomely when we sailed out. We have a
man-of-war to help us (the 'Hermes'), but the lazy muff is
far behind. He is, however, to carry our despatches to

A letter to Dr. Moffat lets us know in what manner he was preparing to
teach the twelve Kroomen who were to navigate the "Ma-Robert," and his
old Makololo men:

"First of all, supposing Mr. Skead should take this back by
the 'Hermes' in time to catch you at the Cape, would you be
kind enough to get a form of prayer printed for me? We have
twelve Kroomen, who seem docile and willing to be taught;
when we are parted from the 'Pearl' we shall have prayers
with them every morning.... I think it will be an advantage
to have the prayers in Sichuana when my men join us, and if
we have a selection from the English Litany, with the Lord's
Prayer in Sichuana, all may join. Will you translate it,
beginning at 'Remember not, Lord, our offenses,' up to 'the
right way'? Thence, petition for chiefs, and on to the
end.... The Litany need not be literal. I suppose you are not
a rabid nonconformist, or else I would not venture to ask

By the time they reached the mouth of the Zambesi, Livingstone was
suffering from a severe attack of diarrhoea. On the 16th of May, being
Sunday, while still suffering, he deemed it a work of necessity, in
order to get as soon as possible out of the fever-breeding region of
mangrove swamps where they had anchored, that they should at remove the
sections of the "Ma-Robert" from the "Pearl"; accordingly, with the
exception of the time occupied in the usual prayers, that day was spent
in labor. His constant regard for the day of rest and great
unwillingness to engage in labor then, is the best proof that on this
occasion the necessity for working was to his mind absolutely
irresistible. He had found that active exercise every day was one of the
best preventives of fever; certainly it is very remarkable how
thoroughly the men of the Expedition escaped it at this time. In his
Journal he says: "After the experience gained by Dr. M'William, and
communicated to the world in his admirable _Medical History of the Niger
Expedition_, I should have considered myself personally guilty had any
of the crew of the 'Pearl' or of the Expedition been cut off through
delay in the mangrove swamps." Afterward, when Mrs. Livingstone died
during a long but unavoidable delay at Shupanga, a little farther up, he
was more than ever convinced that he had acted rightly. But some of his
friends were troubled, and many reflections were thrown on him,
especially by those who bore him no good-will.

The first important fact in the history of the Expedition was the
discovery of the advantage of the Kongone entrance of the Zambesi, the
best of all the mouths of the river for navigation. Soon after a site
was fixed on as a depot, and while the luggage and stores were being
landed at it, there occurred an unfortunate collision with the naval
officer, who tendered his resignation. At first Livingstone declined to
accept of it, but on its being tendered a second time he allowed the
officer to go. It vexed him to the last degree to have this difference
so early, nor did he part with the officer without much forbearance and
anxiety to ward off the breach. In his despatches to Government the
whole circumstances were fully detailed. Letters to Mr. Maclear and
other private friends give a still more detailed narrative. In a few
quarters blame was cast upon him, and in the Cape newspapers the affair
was much commented on. In due time there came a reply from Lord
Malmesbury, then Foreign Secretary, dated 26th April, 1859, to the
effect that after full inquiry by himself, and after consulting with the
Admiralty, his opinion was that the officer had failed to clear himself,
and that Dr. Livingstone's proceedings were fully approved. Livingstone
had received authority to stop the pay of any member of the Expedition
that should prove unsatisfactory; this, of course, subjected his conduct
to the severer criticism.

When the officer left, Livingstone calmly took his place, adding the
charge of the ship to his other duties. This step would appear alike
rash and presumptuous, did we not know that he never undertook any work
without full deliberation, and did we not remember that in the course of
three sea-voyages which he had performed he had had opportunities of
seeing how a ship was managed--opportunities of which, no doubt, with
his great activity of mind, he had availed himself most thoroughly. The
facility with which he could assume a new function, and do its duties as
if he had been accustomed to it all his life, was one of the most
remarkable things about him. His chief regret in taking the new burden
was, that it would limit his intercourse with the natives, and prevent
him from doing as much missionary work as he desired. Writing soon after
to Miss Whately, of Dublin, he says: "It was imagined we could not help
ourselves, but I took the task of navigating on myself, and have
conducted the steamer over 1600 miles, though as far as my likings go, I
would as soon drive a cab in November fogs in London as be 'skipper' in
this hot sun; but I shall go through with it as a duty." To his friend
Mr. Young he makes humorous reference to his awkwardness in nautical
language: "My great difficulty is calling out 'starboard' when I mean
'port,' and feeling crusty when I see the helmsman putting the helm the
wrong way."

Another difficulty arose from the state of the country north of the
Zambesi, in consequence of the natives having rebelled against the
Portuguese and being in a state of war. Livingstone was cautioned that
he would be attacked if he ventured to penetrate into the country. He
resolved to keep out of the quarrel, but to push on in spite of it. At
one time his party, being mistaken for Portuguese, were on the point of
being fired on, but on Livingstone shouting out that they were English
the natives let them alone. On reaching Tette he found his old followers
in ecstasies at seeing him; the Portuguese Government had done nothing
for them, but Major Sicard, the excellent Governor of Tette, had helped
them to find employment and maintain themselves. Thirty had died of
small-pox; six had been killed by an unfriendly chief. When the
survivors saw Dr. Livingstone, they said: "The Tette people often
taunted us by saying, 'Your Englishman will never return;' but we
trusted you, and now we shall sleep." It gave Livingstone a new hold on
them and on the natives generally, that he had proved true to his
promise, and had come back as he had said. As the men had found ways of
living at Tette, Livingstone was not obliged to take them to their home

One of his first endeavors after reaching Tette was to ascertain how far
the navigation of the Zambesi was impeded by the rapids at Kebrabasa,
between twenty and thirty miles above Tette, which he had heard of but
not seen on his journey from Linyanti to Quilimane. The distance was
short and the enterprise apparently easy, but in reality it presented
such difficulties as only his dogged perseverance could have overcome.
After he had been twice at the rapids, and when he believed he had seen
the whole, he accidentally learned, after a day's march on the way home,
that there was another rapid which he had not yet seen. Determined to
see all, he returned, with Dr. Kirk and four Makololo, and it was on
this occasion that his followers, showing the blisters on their feet
burst by the hot rocks, told him, when he urged them to make another
effort, that hitherto they had always believed he had a heart, but now
they saw he had none, and wondered if he were mad. Leaving them, he and
Dr. Kirk pushed on alone; but their boots and clothes were destroyed; in
three hours they made but a mile. Next day, however, they gained their
point and saw the rapid. It was plain to Dr. Livingstone that had he
taken this route in 1856, instead of through the level Shidina country,
he must have perished. The party were of opinion that when the river was
in full flood the rapids might be navigated, and this opinion was
confirmed on a subsequent visit paid by Mr. Charles Livingstone and Mr.
Baines during the rainy season. But the "Ma-Robert" with its single
engine had not power to make way. It was resolved to apply to Her
Majesty's Government for a more suitable vessel to carry them up the
country, stores and all. Until the answer should come to this
application, Dr. Livingstone could not return with his Makololo to their
own country.

While making this application, he was preparing another string for his
bow. He wrote to his friend Mr. James Young that if Government refused
he would get a vessel at his own expense, and in a succession of letters
authorized him to spend L2000 of his own money in the purchase of a
suitable ship. Eventually, both suggestions were carried into effect.
The Government gave the "Pioneer" for the navigation of the Zambesi and
lower Shire; Livingstone procured the "Lady Nyassa" for the Lake (where,
however, she never floated), but the cost was more than L6000--the
greater part, indeed, of the profits of his book.

The "Ma-Robert," which had promised so well at first, now turned out a
great disappointment. Her consumption of fuel was enormous; her furnace

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