Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

The Personal Life Of David Livingstone by William Garden Blaikie

Part 8 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

professional and conventional, and he thought that as a free-lance he
would have more influence. Whether in this he sufficiently appreciated
the position and office of one set aside by the Church for the service
of the gospel may be a question: but there can be no question that he
had the same view of the matter from first to last. He would have worn a
blue dress and gilt buttons, if it had been suitable, as readily as any
other, at the most ardent period of his missionary life. His heart was
as truly that of a missionary under the Consul's dress as it had ever
been when he wore black, or whatever else he could get, in the wilds of
Africa. At the time of his encounter with the lion he wore a coat of
tartan, and he thought that that material might have had some effect in
preventing the usual irritating results of a lion's bite.]

Another friend, Mr. Alexander Brown, now of Liverpool, sends a brief
note of a very delightful excursion given by him, in honor of
Livingstone, to the caves of Kennery or Kenhari, in the island of
Salsette. There was a pretty large party. After leaving the railway
station, they rode on ponies to the caves.

"We spent a most charming day in the caves, and the wild
jungle around them. Dr. Wilson, you may believe, was in his
element, pouring forth volumes of Oriental lore in connection
with the Buddhist faith and the Kenhari caves, which are
among the most striking and interesting monuments of it in
India. They are of great extent, and the main temple is in
good preservation. Doctor Livingstone's almost boyish
enjoyment of the whole thing impressed me greatly. The stern,
almost impassive, man seemed to unbend, and enter most
thoroughly into the spirit of a day in which pleasure and
instruction, under circumstances of no little interest, were
so delightfully combined."

At Bombay he heard disquieting tidings of the Hanoverian traveler, Baron
van der Decken. In his Journal he says:

"29_th December_, 1865.--The expedition of the Baron van der
Decken has met with a disaster up the Juba. He had gone up
300 miles, and met only with the loss of his steam launch. He
then ran his steamer on two rocks and made two large holes in
her bottom. The Baron and Dr. Link got out in order to go to
the chief to conciliate him. He had been led to suspect war.
Then a large party came and attacked them, killing the artist
Trenn and the chief engineer. They were beaten off, and
Lieutenant von Schift with four survivors left in the boat,
and in four days came down the stream. Thence they came in a
dhow to Zanzibar. It is feared that the Baron may be
murdered, but possibly not. It looks ill that the attack was
made after he landed.

"My times are in thy hand, O Lord! Go Thou with me and I am
safe. And above all, make me useful in promoting Thy cause of
peace and good-will among men."

The rumor of the Baron's death was subsequently confirmed. His mode of
treating the natives was the very opposite of Livingstone's, who
regarded the manner of his death as another proof that it was not safe
to disregard the manhood of the African people.

The Bombay lecture was a great success. Dr. Wilson, Free Church
Missionary, was in the chair, and after the lecture tried to rouse the
Bombay merchants, and especially the Scotch ones, to help the
enterprise. Referring to the driblets that had been contributed by
Government and the Geographical Society, he proposed that in Bombay they
should raise as much as both. In his next letter to his daughter,
Livingstone tells of the success of the lecture, of the subscription,
which promised to amount to L1000 (it did not quite do so), and of his
wish that the Bombay merchants should use the money for setting up a
trading establishment in Africa. "I must first of all find a suitable
spot; then send back here to let it be known. I shall then be off in my
work for the Geographical Society, and when that is done, if I am well,
I shall come back to the first station." He goes on to speak of the
facilities he had received for transporting Indian buffaloes and other
animals to Africa, and of the extraordinary kindness and interest of Sir
Bartle Frere, and the pains he had taken to commend him to the good
graces of the Sultan of Zanzibar, then in Bombay. He speaks pleasantly
of his sojourn with Dr. Wilson and other friends. He is particularly
pleased with the management and _menu_ of a house kept by four
bachelors--and then he adds: "Your mamma was an excellent manager of the
house, and made everything comfortable. I suppose it is the habit of
attending to little things that makes such a difference in different
houses. As I am to be away from all luxuries soon, I may as well live
comfortably with the bachelors while I can."

To Mr. James Young he writes about the "Lady Nyassa," which he had sold,
after several advertisements, but only for L2300: "The whole of the
money given for her I dedicated to the great object for which she was
built. I am satisfied at having made the effort; would of course have
preferred to have succeeded, but we are not responsible for results." In
reference to the investment of the money, it was intended ultimately to
be sunk in Government or railway securities; but meanwhile he had been
recommended to invest it in shares of an Indian bank. Most
unfortunately, the bank failed a year or two afterward; and thus the
whole of the L6000, which the vessel had cost Livingstone, vanished
into air.

His little daughter Anna Mary had a good share of his attention at

"24_th December_, 1865.--I went last night to take tea in the
house of a Hindoo gentleman who is not a professed Christian.
It was a great matter for such to eat with men not of his
caste. Most Hindoos would shrink with horror from contact
with us. Seven little girls were present, belonging to two
Hindoo families. They were from four or five to eight years
old. They were very pleasant-looking, of olive complexions.
Their hair was tied in a knot behind, with a wreath of
flowers round the knot; they had large gold ear-rings and
European dresses. One played very nicely on the piano, while
the rest sang very nicely a funny song, which shows the
native way of thinking about some of our customs. They sang
some nice hymns, and repeated some pieces, as the 'Wreck of
the Hesperus,' which was given at the examination of Oswell's
school. Then all sung, 'There is a happy land, far, far
away,' and it, with some of the Christian hymns, was
beautiful. They speak English perfectly, but with a little
foreign twang. All joined in a metrical prayer before
retiring. They have been taught all by their father, and it
was very pleasant to see that this teaching had brought out
their natural cheerfulness. Native children don't look
lively, but these were brimful of fun. One not quite as tall
as yourself brought a child's book to me, and with great glee
pointed out myself under the lion. She can read fluently, as
I suppose you can by this time now. I said that I would like
a little girl like her to go with me to Africa to sing these
pretty hymns to me there. She said she would like to go, but
should not like to have a black husband. This is Christmas
season, and to-morrow is held as the day in which our Lord
was born, an event which angels made known to men, and it
brought great joy, and proclaimed peace on earth and
good-will to men. That Saviour must be your friend, and He
will be if you ask Him so to be. He will forgive and save
you, and take you into his family."

On New Year's Day, 1860, he writes in his Journal: "The Governor told
me that he had much pleasure in giving Dr. Kirk an appointment; he would
telegraph to him to-day. It is to be at Zanzibar, where he will be of
great use in promoting all good works."

It had been arranged that Dr. Livingstone was to cross to Zanzibar in
the "Thule," a steamer that had formed part of the squadron of Captain
Sherard Osborn in China, and which Livingstone had now the honor of
being commissioned to present to the Sultan of Zanzibar, as a present
from Sir Bartle Frere and the Bombay Government.

We give a few extracts from his journal at sea:

"17_th January_.--Issued flannel to all the boys from
Nassick; the marines have theirs from Government. The boys
sing a couple of hymns every evening, and repeat the Lord's
Prayer. I mean to keep up this, and make this a Christian
Expedition, telling a little about Christ wherever we go. His
love in coming down to save men will be our theme. I dislike
very much to make my religion distasteful to others. This,
with ----'s hypocritical ostentation, made me have fewer
religious services on the Zambesi than would have been
desirable, perhaps. He made religion itself distasteful by
excessive ostentation.... Good works gain the approbation of
the world, and though there is antipathy in the human heart
to the gospel of Christ, yet when Christians make their good
works shine all admire them. It is when great disparity
exists between profession and practice that we secure the
scorn of mankind. The Lord help me to act in all cases in
this Expedition as a Christian ought!"

"23_d January_.--My second book has been reviewed very
favorably by the _Athenaeum_ and the _Saturday Review_, and by
many newspapers. Old John Crawford gives a snarl in the
_Examiner_, but I can afford that it should be so. 4800
copies were sold on first night of Mr. Murray's sale. It is
rather a handsome volume. I hope it may do some good."

In a letter to Mr. James Young he writes of his voyage, and discharges a
characteristic spurt of humor at a mutual Edinburgh acquaintance who had
mistaken an order about a magic lantern:

"_At sea_, 300 _miles from Zanzibar_, 26_th January_,
1866.--We have enjoyed fair weather in coming across the
weary waste of waters. We started on the 5th. The 'Thule,'
to be a pleasure yacht, is the most incorrigible roller ever
known. The whole 2000 miles has been an everlasting see-saw,
shuggy-shoo, and enough to tire the patience of even a
chemist, who is the most patient of all animals. I am pretty
well gifted in that respect myself, though I say it that
shouldn't say it, but that Sandy B----! The world will never
get on till we have a few of those instrument-makers hung. I
was particular in asking him to get me Scripture slides
colored, and put in with the magic lantern, and he has not
put in one! The very object for which I wanted it is thus
frustrated, and I did not open it till we were at sea. O
Sandy! Pity Burk and Hare have no successors in Auld

"You will hear that I have the prospect of Kirk being out
here. I am very glad of it, as I am sure his services will be
found invaluable on the East Coast."

To his daughter Agnes he writes, _a propos_ of the rolling of the ship:

"Most of the marine Sepoys were sick. You would have been a
victim unless you had tried the new remedy of a bag of
pounded ice along the spine, which sounds as hopeful as the
old cure for toothache: take a mouthful of cold water, and
sit on the fire till it boils, you will suffer no more from
toothache.... A shark took a bite at the revolving vane of
the patent log to-day. He left some pieces of the enamel of
his teeth in the brass, and probably has the toothache. You
will sympathize with him.... If you ask Mr. Murray to send,
by Mr. Conyngham, Buckland's _Curiosities of Natural
History_, and Mr. Gladstone's _Address to the Edinburgh
Students_, it will save me writing to him. When you return
home you will be scrutinized to see if you are spoiled. You
have only to act naturally and kindly to all your old friends
to disarm them of their prejudices. I think you will find the
Youngs true friends. Mrs. Williamson, of Widdieombe Hill,
near Bath, writes to me that she would like to show you her
plans for the benefit of poor orphans. If you thought of
going to Bath it might be well to get all the insight you
could into that and every other good work. It is well to be
able to take a comprehensive view of all benevolent
enterprises, and resolve to do our duty in life in some way
or other, for we cannot live for ourselves alone. A life of
selfishness is one of misery, and it is unlike that of our
blessed Saviour, who pleased not Himself. He followed not his
own will even, but the will of his Father in heaven. I have
read with much pleasure a book called _Rose Douglas_. It is
the life of a minister's daughter--with fictitious names, but
all true. She was near Lanark, and came through Hamilton. You
had better read it if you come in contact with it."

Referring to an alarm, arising from the next house having taken fire,
of which she had written him, he adds playfully:

"You did not mention what you considered most precious on the
night of the fire; so I dreamed that I saw one young lady
hugging a German grammar to her bosom; another with a pair of
curling tongs, a tooth-pick, and a pinafore; another with a
bunch of used-up postage stamps and autographs in a crinoline
turned upside down, and a fourth lifted up Madame Hocede and
insisted on carrying her as her most precious baggage. Her
name, which I did not catch, will go down to posterity
alongside of the ladies who each carried out her husband from
the besieged city, and took care never to let him hear the
last on't afterward. I am so penetrated with admiration of
her that I enclose the wing of a flying-fish for her. It
lighted among us last night, while we were at dinner, coming
right through the skylight. You will make use of this fact in
the _high-flying_ speech which you will deliver to her in

Zanzibar is at length reached on the 28th January, after a voyage of
twenty-three days, tedious enough, though but half the length of the
cruise in the "Nyassa" two years before. To Agnes:

"29_th Jan_.--We went to call to-day on the Sultan. His
Highness met us at the bottom of the stair, and as he shook
hands a brass band, which he got at Bombay, blared forth 'God
save the Queen'! This was excessively ridiculous, but I
maintained sufficient official gravity. After coffee and
sherbet we came away, and the wretched band now struck up
'The British Grenadier,' as if the fact of my being only 5
feet 8, and Brebner about 2 inches lower, ought not to have
suggested 'Wee Willie Winkie' as more appropriate. I was
ready to explode, but got out of sight before giving way."

Dr. Livingstone brought a very cordial recommendation to the Sultan from
Sir Bartle Frere, and experienced much kindness at his hand. Being ill
with toothache, the Sultan could not receive the gift of the "Thule" in
person, and it was presented through his commodore.

Livingstone was detained in Zanzibar nearly two months waiting for
H.M.S. "Penguin," which was to convey him to the mouth of the Rovuma.
Zanzibar life was very monotonous--"It is the old, old way of
living--eating, drinking, sleeping; sleeping, drinking, eating. Getting
fat; slaving-dhows coming and slaving-dhows going away; bad smells; and
kindly looks from English folks to each other." The sight of slaves in
the Zanzibar market, and the recognition of some who had been brought
from Nyassa, did not enliven his visit, though it undoubtedly confirmed
his purpose and quickened his efforts to aim another blow at the
accursed trade. Always thinking of what would benefit Africa, he writes
to Sir Thomas Maclear urging very strongly the starting of a line of
steamers between the Cape, Zanzibar, and Bombay: "It would be a most
profitable one, and would do great good, besides, in eating out the
trade in slaves."

At last the "Penguin" came for him, and once more, and for the last
time, Livingstone left for the Dark Continent.



A.D. 1866-1869.

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

On the 19th of March, fortified by a firman from the Sultan to all his
people, and praying the Most High to prosper him, "by granting him
Influence in the eyes of the heathen, and blessing his intercourse with
them," Livingstone left Zanzibar in H.M.S. "Penguin" for the mouth of
the Rovuma. His company consisted of thirteen Sepoys, ten Johanna men,
nine Nassick boys, two Shupanga men, and two Waiyau. Musa, one of the
Johanna men, had been a sailor in the "Lady Nyassa"; Susi and Amoda,
the Shupanga men, had been woodcutters for the "Pioneer"; and the two
Waiyau lads, Wikatani and Chuma, had been among the slaves rescued in
1861, and had lived for some time at the mission station at Chibisa's.
Besides these, he carried with him a sort of menagerie in a dhow--six
camels, three buffaloes and a calf, two mules, and four donkeys. What
man but Dr. Livingstone would have encumbered himself with such baggage,
and for what conceivable purpose except the benefit of Africa? The tame
buffaloes of India were taken that he might try whether, like the wild
buffaloes of Africa, they would resist the bite of the tsetse-fly; the
other animals for the same purpose. There were two words of which
Livingstone might have said, as Queen Mary said of Calais, that at his
death they would be found engraven on his heart--fever and tsetse; the
one the great scourge of man, the other of beast, in South Africa. To
help to counteract two such foes to African civilization no trouble or
expense would have been judged too great. Already he had lost nine of
his buffaloes at Zanzibar. It was a sad pity that owing to the
ill-treatment of the remaining animals by his people, who turned out a
poor lot, it could never be known conclusively whether the tsetse-bite
was fatal to them or not.

In spite of all he had suffered in Africa, and though he was without the
company of a single European, he had, in setting out, something of the
exhilarating feeling of a young traveler starting on his first tour in
Switzerland, deepened by the sense of nobility which there is in every
endeavor to do good to others. "The mere animal pleasure of traveling in
a wild unexplored country is very great.... The sweat of one's brow is
no longer a curse when one works for God; it proves a tonic to the
system, and is actually a blessing." The Rovuma was found to have
changed greatly since his last visit, so that he had to land his goods
twenty-five miles to the north at Mikindany harbor, and find his way
down to the river farther up. The toil was fitted to wear out the
strongest of his men. Nothing could have been more grateful than the
Sunday rest. Through his Nassick boys, he tried to teach the Makonde--a
tribe that bore a very bad character, but failed; however, the people
were wonderfully civil, and, contrary to all previous usage, neither
inflicted fines nor made complaints, though the animals had done some
damage to their corn. He set this down as an answer to his prayers for
influence among the heathen.

His vexations, however, were not long of beginning. Both the Sepoy
marines and the Nassick boys were extremely troublesome, and treated the
animals abominably. The Johanna men were thieves. The Sepoys became so
intolerable that after four months' trial he sent most of them back to
the coast. It required an effort to resist the effect of such, things,
owing to the tendency of the mind to brood over the ills of travel. The
natives were not unkindly, but food was very scarce. As they advanced,
the horrors of the slave-trade presented themselves in all their hideous
aspects. Women were found dead, tied to trees, or lying in the path shot
and stabbed, their fault having been inability to keep up with the
party, while their amiable owners, to prevent them from becoming the
property of any one else, put an end to their lives. In some instances
the captives, yet in the slave-sticks, were found not quite dead.
Brutality was sometimes seen in another form, as when some natives
laughed at a poor boy suffering from a very awkward form of hernia,
whose mother was trying to bind up the part. The slave-trade utterly
demoralized the people; the Arabs bought whoever was brought to them,
and the great extent of forest in the country favored kidnapping;
otherwise the people were honest.

Farther on they passed through an immense uninhabited tract, that had
once evidently had a vast population. Then, in the Waiyau country, west
of Mataka's, came a splendid district 3400 feet above the sea, as well
adapted for a settlement as Magomero, but it had taken them four months
to get at it, while Magomero was reached in three weeks. The abandonment
of that mission he would never cease to regret. As they neared Lake
Nyassa, slave parties became more common. On the 8th August, 1866, they
reached the lake, which seemed to Livingstone like an old familiar
friend which he never expected to see again. He thanked God, bathed
again in the delicious water, and felt quite exhilarated.

Writing to his son Thomas, 28th August, he says:

"The Sepoys were morally unfit for travel, and then we had
hard lines, all of us. Food was not to be had for love or
money. Our finest cloths only brought miserable morsels of
the common grain. I trudged it the whole way, and having no
animal food save what turtle-doves and guinea-fowls we
occasionally shot, I became like one of Pharaoh's lean kine.
The last tramp [to Nyassa] brought us to a land of plenty. It
was over a very fine country, but quite depopulated.... The
principal chief, named Mataka, lives on the watershed
overhanging this, but fifty miles or more distant from this;
his town contained a thousand houses--many of them square, in
imitation of the Arabs. Large patches of English peas in full
bearing grew in the moist hollows, or were irrigated. Cattle
showed that no tsetse existed. When we arrived, Mataka was
just sending back a number of cattle and captives to their
own homes. They had been taken by his people without his
knowledge from Nyassa. I saw them by accident: there were
fifty-four women and children, about a dozen young men and
boys, and about twenty-five or thirty head of cattle. As the
act was spontaneous, it was the more gratifying to

"I sometimes remember you with some anxiety, as not knowing
what opening may be made for you in life.... Whatever you
feel yourself best fitted for, 'commit thy way to the Lord,
trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass.' One ought
to endeavor to devote the peculiarities of his nature to his
Redeemer's service, whatever these may be."

Resting at the lake, and working up journal, lunars, and altitudes, he
hears of the arrival of an Englishman at Mataka's, with cattle for him,
"who had two eyes behind as well as two in front--news enough for
awhile." Zoology, botany, and geology engage his attention as usual. He
tries to get across the lake, but cannot, as the slavers own all the
dhows, and will neither lend nor sell to him; he has therefore to creep
on foot round its southern end. Marks of destruction and desolation
again shock the eye--skulls and bones everywhere. At the point where the
Shire leaves Nyassa, he could not but think of disappointed hopes--the
death of his dear wife, and of the Bishop, the increasing vigor of the
slave-trade, and the abandonment of the Universities Mission. But faith
assured him of good times coming, though he might not live to see them.
Would only he had seen through the vista of the next ten years! Bishop
Tozer done with Africa, and Bishop Steere returning to the old
neighborhood, and resuming the old work of the Universities Mission; and
his own countrymen planted his name on the promontory on which he gazed
so sorrowfully, training the poor natives in the arts of civilization,
rearing Christian households among them, and proclaiming the blessed
Gospel of the God of love!

Invariably as he goes along, Dr. Livingstone aims at two things: at
teaching some of the great truths of Christianity, and rousing
consciences on the atrocious guilt of the slave-trade. In connection
with the former he discovers that his usual way of conducting divine
service--by the reading of prayers--does not give ignorant persons any
idea of an unseen Being; kneeling and praying with the eyes shut is
better. At the foot of the lake he goes out of his way to remonstrate
with Mukate, one of the chief marauders of the district. The tenor of
his addresses is in some degree shaped by the practices he finds so

"We mention our relationship to our Father, the guilt of selling any of
his children, the consequences:--_e.g._ it begets war, for as they
don't like to sell their own, they steal from other villagers, who
retaliate. Arabs and Waiyau, invited into the country by their selling,
foster feuds,--wars and depopulation ensue. We mention the Bible--future
state--prayer; advise union, that they would unite as one family to
expel enemies, who came first as slave-traders, and ended by leaving the
country a wilderness."

It was about this time that Wikatani, one of the two Waiyau boys who had
been rescued from slavery, finding, as he believed or said, some
brothers and sisters on the western shore of the lake, left Livingstone
and remained with them. There had been an impression in some quarters,
that, according to his wont, Livingstone had made him his slave; to show
the contrary, he gave him his choice of remaining or going, and, when
the boy chose to remain, he acquiesced.

Dr. Livingstone had ere now passed over the ground where, if anywhere,
he might have hoped to find a station for a commercial and missionary
settlement, independent of the Portuguese. In this hope he was rather
disappointed. The only spot he refers to is the district west of
Mataka's, which, however, was so difficult of access. Nearer the coast a
mission might be established, and to this project his mind turned
afterward; but it would not command the Nyassa district. On the whole he
preferred the Zambesi and Shire valley, with all their difficulties. But
the Rovuma was not hopeless, and indeed, within the last few years, the
Universities Mission has occupied the district successfully.

The geographical question of the watershed had now to be grappled with.
It is natural to ask whether this question was of sufficient importance
to engage his main energies, and justify the incalculable sacrifices
undergone by him during the remaining six years of his life. First of
all, we must remember, it was not his own scheme--it was pressed on him
by Sir Roderick Murchison and the Geographical Society; and it may
perhaps be doubted whether, had he foreseen the cost of the enterprise,
he would have deemed the object worthy of the price. But ever and anon,
he seemed to be close on what he was searching for, and certain to
secure it by just a little further effort; while as often, like the cup
of Tantalus, it was snatched from his grasp. Moreover, during a
life-time of splendid self-discipline, he had been training himself to
keep his promises, and to complete his tasks; nor could he in any way
see it his duty to break the one or leave the other unfinished. He had
undertaken to the Geographical Society to solve that problem, and he
would do it if it could be done. Wherever he went he had always some
opportunity to make known the father-hood of God and his love in Christ,
although the seed he sowed seemed seldom to take root. Then he was
gathering fresh information on the state of the country and the habits
of the people. He was especially gathering information on the accursed

This question of the watershed, too, had fascinated his mind, for he had
a strong impression that the real sources of the Nile were far higher
than any previous traveler had supposed--far higher than Lake Victoria
Nyanza, and that it would be a service to religion as well as science to
discover the fountains of the stream on whose bosom, in the dawn of
Hebrew history, Moses had floated in his ark of bulrushes. A strong
impression lurked in his mind that if he should only solve that old
problem he would acquire such influence that new weight would be given
to his pleadings for Africa; just as, at the beginning of his career, he
had wished for a commanding style of composition, to be able to rouse
the attention of the world to that ill-treated continent.

He was strongly disposed to think that in the account of the sources
given to Herodotus by the Registrar of Minerva in the temple of Sais,
that individual was not joking, as the father of history supposed. He
thought that in the watershed the two conical hills, Crophi and Mophi
might be found, and the fountains between them which it was impossible
to fathom; and that it might be seen that from that region there was a
river flowing north to Egypt, and another flowing south to a country
that might have been called Ethiopia. But whatever might be his views or
aims, it was ordained that in the wanderings of his last years he should
bring within the sympathies of the Christian world many a poor tribe
otherwise unknown; that he should witness sights, surpassing all he had
ever seen before of the inhumanity and horrors of the
slave-traffic--sights that harrowed his inmost soul; and that when his
final appeal to his countrymen on behalf of its victims came, not from,
his living voice but from his tomb, it should gather from a thousand
touching associations a thrilling power that would rouse the world, and
finally root out the accursed thing.

A very valuable testimony was borne by Sir Bartle Frere to the real aims
of Livingstone, and the value of his work, especially in this last
journey, in a speech delivered in the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, 10th
November, 1876:

"The object," he said, "of Dr. Livingstone's geographical and
scientific explorations was to lead his countrymen to the
great work of Christianizing and civilizing the millions of
Central Africa. You will recollect how, when first he came
back from his wonderful journey, though we were all greatly
startled by his achievements and by what he told us, people
really did not lay what he said much to heart. They were
stimulated to take up the cause of African discovery again,
and other travelers went out and did excellent service; but
the great fact which was from the very first upon
Livingstone's mind, and which he used to impress upon you,
did not make the impression he wished, and although a good
many people took more and more interest in the Civilization
of Africa and in the abolition of the slave-trade, which he
pointed out was the great obstacle to all progress, still it
did not come home to the people generally. It was not until
his third and last journey, when he was no more to return
among us, that the descriptions which he gave of the horrors
of the slave-trade in the interior really took hold upon the
mind of the people of this country, and made them determine
that what used to be considered the crotchet of a few
religious minds and humanitarian sort of persons, should be a
phase of the great work which this country had undertaken, to
free the African races, and to abolish, in the first place,
the slave-trade by sea, and then, as we hope, the slaving by

In September an Arab slaver was met at Marenga's, who told Musa, one of
the Johanna men, that all the country in front was full of Mazitu, a
warlike tribe; that forty-four Arabs and their followers had been killed
by them at Kasunga, and that he only had escaped. Musa's heart was
filled with consternation. It was in vain that Marenga assured him that
there were no Mazitu in the direction in which he was going, and that
Livingstone protested to him that he would give them a wide berth. The
Johanna men wanted an excuse for going back, but in such a way that,
when they reached Zanzibar, they should get their pay. They left him in
a body, and when they got to Zanzibar, circulated a circumstantial
report that he had been murdered. In December, 1866, Musa appeared at
Zanzibar, and told how Livingstone had crossed Lake Nyassa to its
western or northwestern shore, and was pushing on west or northwest,
when, between Marenga and Maklisoora, a band of savages stopped their
way, and rushed on him and his small band of followers, now reduced to
twenty. Livingstone fired twice, and killed two; but, in the act of
reloading, three Mafite leaped upon him through the smoke, one of them
felled him with an axe-cut from behind, and the blow nearly severed his
head from his body. The Johanna men fled into the thick jungle, and
miraculously escaped. Returning to the scene of the tragedy, they found
the body of their master, and in a shallow grave dug with some stakes,
they committed his remains to the ground, Many details were given
regarding the Sepoys, and regarding the after fortunes of Musa and his
companions. Under cross-examination Musa stood firmly to his story,
which was believed both by Dr. Seward and Dr. Kirk, of Zanzibar. But
when the tidings reached England, doubt was thrown on them by some of
those best qualified to judge. Mr. Edward D. Young, who had had dealings
with Musa, and knew him to be a liar, was suspicious of the story; so
was Mr. Horace Waller. Sir Roderick Murchison, too, proclaimed himself
an unbeliever, notwithstanding all the circumstantiality and apparent
conclusiveness of the tale. The country was resounding with
lamentations, the newspapers were full of obituary notices, but the
strong-minded disbelievers were not to be moved.

Sir Roderick and his friends of the Geographical Society determined to
organize a search expedition, and Mr. E. D. Young was requested to
undertake the task. In May, 1867, all was ready for the departure of the
Expedition; and on the 25th July, Mr. E. D. Young, who was accompanied
by Mr. Faulkner, John Reid, and Patrick Buckley, cast anchor at the
mouth of the Zambesi. A steel boat named "The Search," and some smaller
boats, were speedily launched, and the party were moving up the river.
We have no space for an account of Mr. Young's most interesting journey,
not even for the detail of that wonderful achievement, the carrying of
the pieces of the "Search" past the Murchison Cataracts, and their
reconstruction at the top, without a single piece missing. The sum and
substance of Mr. Young's story was, that first, quite unexpectedly, he
came upon a man near the south end of Lake Nyassa, who had seen
Livingstone there, and who described him well, showing that he had not
crossed at the north end, as Musa had said, but, for some reason, had
come round by the south; then, the chief Marenga not only told him of
Livingstone's stay there, but also of the return of Musa, after leaving
him, without any story of his murder; also, at Mapunda, they came on
traces of the boy Wikatani, and learned his story, though they did not
see himself. The most ample proof of the falsehood of Musa's story was
thus obtained, and by the end of 1867, Mr. Young, after a most active,
gallant, and successful campaign, was approaching the shores of
England[68]. No enterprise could have brought more satisfactory results,
and all in the incredibly short period of eight months.

[Footnote 68: See _The Search for Livingstone_, by E.D. Young: London,

Meanwhile, Livingstone, little thinking of all the commotion that the
knave Musa had created, was pushing on in the direction of Lake
Tanganyika. Though it was not true that he had been murdered, it was
true that he was half-starved. The want of other food compelled him to
subsist to a large extent on African maize, the most tasteless and
unsatisfying of food. It never produced the feeling of sufficiency, and
it would set him to dream of dinners he had once eaten, though dreaming
was not his habit, except when he was ill. Against his will, the thought
of delicious feasts would come upon him, making it all the more
difficult to be cheerful, with, probably, the poorest fare on which life
could be in any way maintained, To complete his misery, his four goats
were lost, so that the one comfort of his table--a little milk along
with his maize--was taken from him when most eagerly sought and valued.

In reviewing the year 1866, he finds it less productive of results than
he had hoped for: "We now end 1866. It has not been so fruitful or
useful as I intended. Will try to do better in 1867, and be better--more
gentle and loving; and may the Almighty, to whom I commit my way, bring
my desires to pass, and prosper me! Let all the sins of '66 be blotted
out, for Jesus' sake. May He who was full of grace and truth impress his
character on mine: grace--eagerness to show favor; truth--truthfulness,
sincerity, honor--for his mercy's sake."

Habitually brave and fearless though Livingstone was, it was not without
frequent self-stimulation, and acts of faith in unseen truth, that the
peace of his mind was maintained. In the midst of his notes of progress,
such private thoughts as the following occur from time to time: "It
seems to have been a mistake to imagine that the Divine Majesty on high
was too exalted to take any notice of our mean affairs. The great minds
among men are remarkable for the attention they bestow on minutiae. An
astronomer cannot be great unless his mind can grasp an infinity of very
small things, each of which, if unattended to, would throw his work out.
A great general attends to the smallest details of his army. The Duke of
Wellington's letters show his constant attention to minute details. And
so with the Supreme Mind, of the universe, as He is revealed to us in
his Son. 'The very hairs of your head are all numbered,' 'A sparrow
cannot fall to the ground without your Father,' 'He who dwelleth in the
light which no man can approach unto' condescends to provide for the
minutest of our wants, directing, guarding, and assisting in each hour
and moment, with an infinitely more vigilant and excellent care than our
own utmost self-love can ever attain to. With the ever-watchful, loving
eye constantly upon me, I may surely follow my bent, and go among the
heathen in front, bearing the message of peace and good-will. All
appreciate the statement that it is offensive to our common Father to
sell and kill his children. I will therefore go, and may the Almighty
help me to be faithful!"

Writing to his son Thomas, 1st February, 1867, he complains again of his
terrible hunger:

The people have nothing to sell but a little millet-porridge
and mushrooms. "Woe is me! good enough to produce fine dreams
of the roast beef of old England, but nothing else. I have
become very thin, though I was so before; but now, if you
weighed me, you might calculate very easily how much you
might get for the bones. But--we got a cow yesterday, and I
am to get milk to-morrow.... I grieve to write it, poor
poodle 'Chitane' was drowned" [15th January, in the Chimbwe];
"he had to cross a marsh a mile wide, and waist-deep.... I
went over first, and forgot to give directions about the
dog--all were too much engaged in keeping their balance to
notice that he swam among them till he died. He had more
spunk than a hundred country dogs--took charge of the whole
line of march, ran to see the first in the line, then back to
the last, and barked to haul him up; then, when he knew what
hut I occupied, would not let a country cur come in sight of
it, and never stole himself. We have not had any difficulties
with the people, made many friends, imparted a little
knowledge sometimes, and raised a protest against slavery
very widely."

The year 1867 was signalized by a great calamity, and by two important
geographical feats. The calamity was the loss of his medicine-chest. It
had been intrusted to one of his most careful people; but, without
authority, a carrier hired for the day took it and some other things to
carry for the proper bearer, then bolted, and neither carrier nor box
could be found. "I felt," says Livingstone, "as if I had now received
the sentence of death, like poor Bishop Mackenzie." With the
medicine-chest was lost the power of treating himself in fever with the
medicine that had proved so effectual. We find him not long after in a
state of insensibility, trying to raise himself from the ground, falling
back with all his weight, and knocking his head upon a box. The loss of
the medicine-box was probably the beginning of the end; his system lost
the wonderful power of recovery which it had hitherto shown; and other
ailments--in the lungs, the feet, and the bowels, that might have been
kept under in a more vigorous state of general health, began hereafter
to prevail against him.

The two geographical feats were--his first sight of Lake Tanganyika, and
his discovery of Lake Moero. In April he reached Lake Liemba, as the
lower part of Tanganyika was called. The scenery was wonderfully
beautiful, and the air of the whole region remarkably peaceful. The
want of medicine made an illness here very severe; on recovering, he
would have gone down the lake, but was dissuaded, in consequence of his
hearing that a chief was killing all that came that way. He therefore
returns to Chitimba's, and resolves to explore Lake Moero, believing
that there the question of the watershed would be decided, At
Chitimba's, he is detained upward of three months, in consequence of the
disturbed state of the country. At last he gets the escort of some Arab
traders, who show him much kindness, but again he is prostrated by
illness, and at length he reaches Lake Moero, 8th November, 1867. He
hears of another lake, called Bembo or Bangweolo, and to hear of it is
to resolve to see it. But he is terribly wearied with two years'
traveling without having heard from home, and he thinks he must first go
to Ujiji, for letters and stores. Meanwhile, as the traders are going to
Casembe's, he accompanies them thither. Casembe he finds to be a fierce
chief, who rules his people with great tyranny, cutting off their ears,
and even their hands, for the most trivial offenses. Persons so
mutilated, seen in his village, excite a feeling of horror. This chief
was not one easily got at, but Livingstone believed that he gained an
influence with him, only he could not quite overcome his prejudice
against him. The year 1867 ended with another severe attack of illness.

"The chief interest in Lake Moero," says Livingstone, "is
that it forms one of a chain of lakes, connected by a river
some 500 miles in length. First of all, the Chambeze rises in
the country of Mambwe, N.E. of Molemba; it then flows
southwest and west, till it reaches lat. 11 deg. S., and long.
29 deg. E., where it forms Lake Bemba or Bangweolo; emerging
thence, it assumes the name of Luapula, and comes down here
to fall into Moero. On going out of this lake it is known by
the name of Lualaba, as it flows N.W. in Rua to form another
lake with many islands, called Urenge or Ulenge. Beyond this,
information is not positive as to whether it enters Lake
Tanganyika, or another lake beyond that.... Since coming to
Casembe's, the testimony of natives and Arabs has been so
united and consistent, that I am but ten days from Lake Bemba
or Bangweolo, that I cannot doubt its accuracy."

The detentions experienced in 1867 were long and wearisome, and
Livingstone disliked them because he was never well when doing nothing.
His light reading must have been pretty well exhausted; even _Smith's
Dictionary of the Bible_, which accompanied him in these wanderings, and
which we have no doubt he read throughout, must have got wearisome
sometimes. He occupied himself in writing letters, in the hope that
somehow or sometime he might find an opportunity of despatching them. He
took the rainfall carefully during the year, and lunars and other
observations, when the sky permitted. He had intended to make his
observations more perfect on this journey than on any previous one, but
alas for his difficulties and disappointments! A letter to Sir Thomas
Maclear and Mr. Mann, his assistant, gives a pitiful account of these:
"I came this journey with a determination to observe very carefully all
your hints as to occupations and observations, east and west, north and
south, but I have been so worried by lazy, deceitful Sepoys, and
thievish Johanna men, and indifferent instruments, that I fear the
results are very poor." He goes on to say that some of his instruments
were defective, and others went out of order, and that his time-taker,
one of his people, had no conscience, and could not be trusted. The
records of his observations, notwithstanding, indicate much care and
pains. In April, he had been very unwell, taking fits of total
insensibility, but as he had not said anything of this to his people at
home, it was to be kept a secret.

His Journal for 1867 ends with a statement of the poverty of his food,
and the weakness to which he was reduced. He had hardly anything to eat
but the coarsest grain of the country, and no tea, coffee, or sugar. An
Arab trader, Mohamad Bogharib, who arrived at Casembe's about the same
time, presented him with a meal of vermicelli, oil, and honey, and had
some coffee and sugar; Livingstone had had none since he left Nyassa.

The Journal for 1868 begins with a prayer that if he should die that
year, he might be prepared for it. The year was spent in the same
region, and was signalized by the discovery of Lake Bemba, or, as it may
more properly be called, Lake Bangweolo, Early in the year he heard
accounts of what interested him greatly--certain underground houses in
Rua, ranging along a mountain side for twenty miles. In some cases the
doorways were level with the country adjacent; in others, ladders were
used to climb up to them; inside they were said to be very large, and
not the work of men, but of God. He became eagerly desirous to visit
these mysterious dwellings.

Circumstances turning out more favorable to his going to Lake Bangweolo,
Dr. Livingstone put off his journey to Ujiji, on which his men had been
counting, and much against the advice of Mohamad, his trader friend and
companion, determined first to see the lake of which he had heard so
much. The consequence was a rebellion among his men. With the exception
of five, they refused to go with him. They had been considerably
demoralized by contact with the Arab trader and his slave-gang. Dr.
Livingstone took this rebellion with wonderful placidity, for in his own
mind he could not greatly blame them. It was no wonder they were tired
of the everlasting tramping, for he was sick of it himself. He reaped
the fruit of his mildness by the men coming back to him, on his return
from the lake, and offering their services. It cannot be said of him
that he was not disposed to make any allowance for human weakness. When
recording a fault, and how he dealt with it, he often adds,
"consciousness of my own defects makes me lenient." "I also have my

The way to the lake was marked by fresh and lamentable tokens of the
sufferings of slaves. "_24th June_.--Six men-slaves were singing as if
they did not feel the weight and degradation of the slave-sticks. I
asked the cause of their mirth, and was told that they rejoiced at the
idea of 'coming back after death, and haunting and killing those who had
sold them,' Some of the words I had to inquire about; for instance, the
meaning of the words, 'to haunt and kill by spirit power,' then it was,
'Oh, you sent me off to Manga (sea-coast), but the yoke is off when I
die, and back I shall come to haunt and to kill you.' Then all joined in
the chorus, which was the name of each vendor. It told not of fun, but
of the bitterness and tears of such as were oppressed; and on the side
of the oppressors there was power. There be higher than they!"

His discovery of Lake Bangweolo is recorded as quietly as if it had been
a mill-pond: "On the 18th July, I walked a little way out, and saw the
shores of the lake for the first time, thankful that I had come safely
hither." The lake had several inhabited islands, which Dr. Livingstone
visited, to the great wonder of the natives, who crowded around him in
multitudes, never having seen such a curiosity as a white man before. In
the middle of the lake the canoe-men whom he had hired to carry him
across refused to proceed further, under the influence of some fear,
real or pretended, and he was obliged to submit. But the most
interesting, though not the most pleasant, thing about the lake, was the
ooze or sponge which occurred frequently on its banks. The spongy places
were slightly depressed valleys, without trees or bushes, with grass a
foot or fifteen inches high; they were usually from two to ten miles
long, and from a quarter of a mile to a mile broad. In the course of
thirty geographical miles, he crossed twenty-nine, and that, too, at the
end of the fourth month of the dry season. It was necessary for him to
strip the lower part of his person before fording them, and then the
leeches pounced on him, and in a moment had secured such a grip, that
even twisting them round the fingers failed to tear them off.

It was Dr. Livingstone's impression at this time that in discovering
Lake Bangweolo, with the sponges that fed it, he had made another
discovery--that these marshy places might be the real sources of the
three great rivers, the Nile, the Congo, and the Zambesi. A link,
however, was yet wanting to prove his theory. It had yet to be shown
that the waters that flowed from Lake Bangweolo into Lake Moero, and
thence northward by the river Lualaba, were connected with the Nile
system. Dr. Livingstone was strongly inclined to believe that this
connection existed; but toward the close of his life he had more doubts
of it, although it was left to others to establish conclusively that the
Lualaba was the Congo, and sent no branch to the Nile.

On leaving Lake Bangweolo, detention occurred again as it had occurred
before. The country was very disturbed and very miserable, and Dr.
Livingstone was in great straits and want. Yet with a grim humor he
tells how, when lying in an open shed, with all his men around him, he
dreamed of having apartments at Mivart's Hotel. It was after much delay
that he found himself at last, under the escort of a slave-party, on the
way to Ujiji. Mr. Waller has graphically described the situation. "At
last he makes a start on the 11th of December, 1868, with the Arabs, who
are bound eastward for Ujiji. It is a motley group, composed of Mohamad
and his friends, a gang of Unyamwezi hangers-on, and strings of wretched
slaves yoked together in their heavy slave-sticks. Some carry ivory,
others copper, or food for the march, while hope and fear, misery and
villainy, may be read off on the various faces that pass in line out of
this country, like a serpent dragging its accursed folds away from the
victim it has paralyzed with its fangs."

New Year's Day, 1869, found Livingstone laboring under a worse attack
of illness than any he had ever had before. For ten weeks to come his
situation was as painful as can be conceived. A continual cough, night
and day, the most distressing weakness, inability to walk, yet the
necessity of moving on, or rather of being moved on, in a kind of litter
arranged by Mohamad Bogharib,--where, with his face poorly protected
from the sun, he was jolted up and down and sideways, without medicine
or food for an invalid,--made the situation sufficiently trying. His
prayer was that he might hold out to Ujiji, where he expected to find
medicines and stores, with the rest and shelter so necessary in his
circumstances. So ill was he, that he lost count of the days of the week
and the month. "I saw myself lying dead in the way to Ujiji, and all the
letters I expected there--useless. When I think of my children, the
lines ring through my head perpetually:

"'I shall look into your faces,
And listen to what you say;
And be often very near you
When you think I'm far away.'"

On the 26th February, 1869, he embarked in a canoe on Tanganyika, and on
the 14th March he reached the longed-for Ujiji, on the eastern shore of
the lake. To complete his trial, he found that the goods he expected had
been made away with in every direction. A few fragments were about all
he could find. Medicines, wine, and cheese had been left at Unyanyembe,
thirteen days distant. A war was raging on the way, so that they could
not be sent for till the communications were restored.

To obviate as far as possible the recurrence of such a disaster to a new
store of goods which he was now asking Dr. Kirk to send him, Livingstone
wrote a letter to the Sultan of Zanzibar, 20th April, 1869, in which he
frankly and cordially acknowledged the benefit he had derived from the
letter of recommendation his Highness had given him, and the great
kindness of the Arabs, especially Mohamad Bogharib, who had certainly
saved his life. Then he complains of the robbery of his goods, chiefly
by one Musa bin Salim, one of the people of the Governor of Unyanyembe,
who had bought ivory with the price, and another man who had bought a
wife. Livingstone does not expect his cloth and beads to be brought
back, or the price of the wife and ivory returned, but he says:

"I beg the assistance of your authority to prevent a fresh stock of
goods, for which I now send to Zanzibar, being plundered in the same
way. Had it been the loss of ten or twelve pieces of cloth only, I
should not have presumed to trouble your Highness about the loss; but 62
pieces or gorahs out of 80, besides beads, is like cutting a man's
throat. If one or two guards of good character could be sent by you, no
one would plunder the pagasi next time.

"I wish also to hire twelve or fifteen good freemen to act as canoe-men
or porters, or in any other capacity that may be required. I shall be
greatly obliged if you appoint one of your gentlemen who knows the
country to select that number, and give them and their headman a charge
as to their behavior. If they know that you wish them to behave well it
will have great effect. I wish to go down Tanganyika, through Luanda and
Chowambe, and pass the river Karagwe, which falls into Lake Chowambe.
Then come back to Ujiji, visit Manyuema and Rua, and then return to
Zanzibar, when I hope to see your Highness in the enjoyment of health
and happiness."

Livingstone showed only his usual foresight in taking these precautions
for the protection of his next cargo of goods. In stating so plainly his
intended route, his purpose was doubtless to prevent carelessness in
executing his orders, such as might have arisen had it been deemed
uncertain where he was going, and whether or not he meant to return
by Zanzibar.

Of letters during the latter part of this period very few seem to have
reached their destination. A short letter to Dr. Moffat, bearing date
"Near Lake Moero, March, 1868," dwells dolefully on his inability to
reach Lake Bemba in consequence of the flooded state of the country, and
then his detention through the strifes of the Arabs and the natives. The
letter, however, is more occupied with reviewing the past than narrating
the present. In writing to Dr. Moffat, he enters more minutely than he
would have done with a less intimate and sympathetic friend into the
difficulties of his lot--difficulties that had been increased by some
from whom he might have expected other things. He had once seen a map
displayed in the rooms of the Geographical Society, substantially his
own, but with another name in conspicuous letters. On the Zambesi he had
had difficulties, little suspected, of which in the meantime he would
say nothing to the public. A letter to his daughter Agnes, after he had
gone to Bangweolo, dwells also much on his past difficulties--as if he
felt that the slow progress he was making at the moment needed
explanation or apology. Amid such topics, almost involuntary touches of
the old humor occur: "I broke my teeth tearing at maize and other hard
food, and they are coming out. One front tooth is out, and I have such
an awful mouth. If you expect a kiss from me, you must take it through a
speaking-trumpet." In one respect, amid all his trials, his heart seems
to become more tender than ever--in affection for his children, and wise
and considerate advice for their guidance. In his letter to Agnes, he
adverts with some regret to a chance he lost of saying a word for his
family when Lord Palmerston sent Mr. Hayward, Q.C., to ask him what he
could do to serve him. "It never occurred to me that he meant anything
for me or my children till I was out here. I thought only of my work in
Africa, and answered accordingly." It was only the fear that his family
would be in want that occasioned this momentary regret at his
disinterested answer to Lord Palmerston.



A.D. 1869-1871.

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

After resting for a few weeks at Ujiji, Dr. Livingstone set out, 12th
July, 1869, to explore the Manyuema country. Ujiji was not a place
favorable for making arrangements; it was the resort of the worst scum
of Arab traders. Even to send his letters to the coast was a difficult
undertaking, for the bearers were afraid he would expose their doings.
On one day he despatched no fewer than forty-two--enough, no doubt, to
form a large volume; none of these even arrived at Zanzibar, so that
they must have been purposely destroyed. The slave-traders of Urungu and
Itawa, where he had been, were gentlemen compared with those of Ujiji,
who resembled the Kilwa and Portuguese, and with whom trading was simply
a system of murder. Here lay the cause of Livingstone's unexampled
difficulties at this period of his life; he was dependent on men who
were not only knaves of the first magnitude, but who had a special
animosity against him, and a special motive to deceive, rob, and
obstruct him in every possible way.

After considerable deliberation he decided to go to Manyuema, in order
to examine the river Lualaba, and determine the direction of its flow.
This would settle the question of the watershed, and in four or five
months, if he should get guides and canoes, his work would be done. On
setting out from Ujiji he first crossed the lake, and then proceeded
inland on foot. He was still weak from illness, and his lungs were so
feeble that to walk up-hill made him pant. He became stronger, however,
as he went on, refreshed doubtless by the interesting country through
which he passed, and the aspect of the people, who were very different
from the tribes on the coast.

On the 21st September he arrived at Bambarre, in Manyuema, the village
of the Chief Moenekuss. He found the people in a state of great
isolation from the rest of the world, with nothing to trust to but
charms and idols,--both being bits of wood. He made the acquaintance of
the soko or gorilla, not a very social animal, for it always tries to
bite off the ends of its captor's fingers and toes. Neither is it
particularly intellectual, for its nest shows no more contrivance than
that of a cushat dove. The curiosity of the people was very great, and
sometimes it took an interesting direction. "Do people die with you?"
asked two intelligent young men. "Have you no charm against death?
Where do people go after death?" Livingstone spoke to them of the great
Father, and of their prayers to Him who hears the cry of his children;
and they thought this to be natural.

He rested at Bambarre till the 1st of November, and then went westward
till he reached the Luamo River, and was within ten miles of its
confluence with the Lualaba. He found the country surpassingly
beautiful: "Palms crown the highest heights of the mountains, and their
gracefully-bent fronds wave beautifully in the wind. Climbers of cable
size in great numbers are hung among the gigantic trees; many unknown
wild fruits abound, some the size of a child's head, and strange birds
and monkeys are everywhere. The soil is excessively rich, and the
people, though isolated by old feuds that are never settled,
cultivate largely."

The country was very populous, and Livingstone so excited the curiosity
of the people that he could hardly get quit of the crowds. It was not so
uninteresting to be stared at by the women, but he was wearied with the
ugliness of the men. Palm-toddy did not inspire them with any social
qualities, but made them low and disagreeable. They had no friendly
feeling for him, and could not be inspired with any. They thought that
he and his people were like the Arab traders, and they would not do
anything for them. It was impossible to procure a canoe for navigating
the Lualaba, so that there was nothing for it but to return to Bambarre,
which was reached on the 19th December, 1869.

A long letter to his son Thomas (Town of Moenekuss, Manyuema Country,
24th September, 1869) gives a retrospect of this period, and indeed, in
a sense, of his life:

"My dear Tom,--I begin a letter, though I have no prospect of
being able to send it off for many months to come. It is to
have something in readiness when the hurry usual in preparing
a mail does arrive. I am in the Manyuema Country, about 150
miles west of Ujiji, and at the town of Moenekoos or
Moenekuss, a principal chief among the reputed cannibals. His
name means 'Lord of the light-gray parrot with a red tail,'
which abounds here, and he points away still further west to
the country of the real cannibals. His people laugh, and say,
'Yes, we eat the flesh of men,' and should they see the
inquirer to be credulous, enter into particulars. A black
stuff smeared on the cheeks is the sign of mourning, and they
told one of my people who believes all they say that it is
animal charcoal made of the bones of the relatives they have
eaten. They showed him the skull of one recently devoured,
and he pointed it out to me in triumph. It was the skull of a
gorilla, here called 'soko,' and this they do eat. They put a
bunch of bananas in his way, and hide till he comes to take
them, and spear him. Many of the Arabs believe firmly in the
cannibal propensity of the Manyuema. Others who have lived
long among them, and are themselves three-fourths African
blood, deny it. I suspect that this idea must go into
oblivion with those of people who have no knowledge of fire,
of the Supreme Being, or of language. The country abounds in
food,--goats, sheep, fowls, buffaloes, and elephants: maize,
holcuserghum, cassaba, sweet potatoes, and other farinaceous
eatables, and with ground-nuts, palm-oil, palms, and other
fat-yielding nuts, bananas, plantains, sugar-cane in great
plenty. So there is little inducement to eat men, but I wait
for further evidence.

"Not knowing how your head has fared, I sometimes feel
greatly distressed about you, and if I could be of any use I
would leave my work unfinished to aid you. But you will have
every medical assistance that can be rendered, and I cease
not to beg the Lord who healeth his people to be gracious to
your infirmity.

"The object of my Expedition is the discovery of the sources
of the Nile. Had I known all the hardships, toil, and time
involved, I would of been of the mind of St. Mungo, of
Glasgow, of whom the song says that he let the Molendinar
Burn 'rin by,' when he could get something stronger. I would
have let the sources 'rin by' to Egypt, and never been made
'drumly' by my plashing through them. But I shall make this
country and people better known. 'This,' Professor Owen said
to me, 'is the first step; the rest will in due time follow.'
By different agencies the Great Ruler is bringing all things
into a focus. Jesus is gathering all things unto Himself, and
He is daily becoming more and more the centre of the world's
hopes and of the world's fears. War brought freedom to
4,000,000 of the most hopeless and helpless slaves. The world
never saw such fiendishness as that with which the Southern
slaveocracy clung to slavery. No power in this world or the
next would ever make them relax their iron grasp. The lie had
entered into their soul. Their cotton was King. With it they
would force England and France to make them independent,
because without it the English and French must starve.
Instead of being made a nation, they made a nation of the
North. War has elevated and purified the Yankees, and now
they have the gigantic task laid at their doors to elevate
and purify 4,000,000 of slaves. I earnestly hope that the
Northerners may not be found wanting in their portion of the
superhuman work. The day for Africa is yet to come. Possibly
the freed men may be an agency in elevating their fatherland.

"England is in the rear. This affair in Jamaica brought out
the fact of a large infusion of bogiephobia in the English.
Frightened in early years by their mothers with 'Bogie
Blackman,' they were terrified out of their wits by a riot,
and the sensation writers, who act the part of the 'dreadful
boys' who frightened aunts, yelled out that emancipation was
a mistake. 'The Jamaica negroes were as savage as when they
left Africa.' They might have put it much stronger by saying,
as the rabble that attended Tom Sayers's funeral, or that
collects at every execution at Newgate. But our golden age is
not in the past. It is in the future--in the good time coming
yet for Africa and for the world.

"The task I undertook was to examine the watershed of South
Central Africa. This was the way Sir Roderick put it, and
though he mentioned it as the wish of the Geographical
Council, I suspect it was his own idea; for two members of
the Society wrote out 'instructions' for me, and the
watershed was not mentioned. But scientific words were used
which the writers evidently did not understand.

"The examination of the watershed contained the true
scientific mode of procedure, and Sir Roderick said to me:
'You will be the discoverer of the sources of the Nile,' I
shaped my course for a path across the north end of Lake
Nyassa, but to avoid the certainty of seeing all my
attendants bolting at the first sight of, the wild tribes
there, the Nindi, I changed off to go round the south end,
and if not, cross the middle. What I feared for the north
took place in the south when the Johanna men heard of the
Mazitu, though we were 150 miles from the marauders, and I
offered to go due west till past their beat. They were
terrified, and ran away as soon as they saw my face turned
west. I got carriers from village to village, and got on
nicely with people who had never engaged in the slave-trade;
but it was slow work. I came very near to the Mazitu three
times, but obtained information in time to avoid them. Once
we were taken for Mazitu ourselves, and surrounded by a
crowd of excited savages. They produced a state of confusion
and terror, and men fled hither and thither with the fear of
death on them. Casembe would not let me go into his southern
district till he had sent men to see that the Mazitu, or, as
they are called in Lunda, the Watuta, had left. Where they
had been all the food was swept off, and we suffered cruel
hunger. We had goods to buy with, but the people had nothing
to sell, and were living on herbs and mushrooms. I had to
feel every step of the way, and generally was groping in the
dark. No one knew anything beyond his own district, and who
cared where the rivers ran? Casembe said, when I was going to
Lake Bangweolo: 'One piece of water was just like another (it
is the Bangweolo water), but as your chief desired you to
visit that one, go to it. If you see a traveling party going
north, join it. If not, come back to me and I will send you
safely along my path by Moero;' and gave me a man's load of a
fish like whitebait. I gradually gained more light on the
country, and slowly and surely saw the problem of the
fountains of the Nile developing before my eyes. The vast
volume of water draining away to the north made me conjecture
that I had been working at the sources of the Congo too. My
present trip to Manyuema proves that all goes to the river of
Egypt. In fact, the head-waters of the Nile are gathered into
two or three arms, very much as was depicted by Ptolemy in
the second century of our era. What we moderns can claim is
rediscovery of what had fallen into oblivion, like the
circumnavigation of Africa by the Phoenican admiral of one of
the Pharaohs, B.C. 600. He was not believed, because 'he had
the sun on his right hand in going round from east to west.'
Though to us this stamps his tale as genuine, Ptolemy was not
believed, because his sources were between 10 and 12 north
latitude, and collected into two or three great head
branches. In my opinion, his informant must have
visited them.

"I cared nothing for money, and contemplated spending my life
as a hard-working, poor missionary. By going into the country
beyond Kuruman we pleased the Directors, but the praises they
bestowed excited envy. Mamma and you all had hard times. The
missionaries at Kuruman, and south of it, had comfortable
houses and gardens. They could raise wheat, pumpkins, maize,
at very small expense, and their gardens yielded besides
apples, pears, apricots, peaches, quinces, oranges, grapes,
almonds, walnuts, and all vegetables, for little more than
the trouble of watering. A series or droughts compelled us to
send for nearly all our food 270 miles off. Instead of help
we had to pay the uttermost farthing for everything, and got
bitter envy besides. Many have thought that I was inflated by
the praises I had lavished upon me, but I made it a rule
never to read anything of praise. I am thankful that a kind
Providence has enabled me to do what will reflect honor on my
children, and show myself a stout-hearted servant of Him from
whom comes every gift. None of you must become mean,
craven-hearted, untruthful, or dishonest, for if you do, you
don't inherit it from me. I hope that you have selected a
profession that suits your taste. It will make you hold up
your head among men, and is your most serious duty. I shall
not live long, And it would not be well to rely on my
influence. I could help you a little while living, but have
little else but what people call a great name to bequeath
afterward. I am nearly toothless, and in my second childhood.
The green maize was in one part the only food we could get
with any taste. I ate the hard fare, and was once horrified
by finding most of my teeth loose. They never fastened again,
and generally became so loose as to cause pain. I had to
extract them, and did so by putting on a strong thread with
what sailors call a clove-hitch, tie the other end to a stump
above or below, as the tooth was upper or lower, strike the
thread with a heavy pistol or stick, and the tooth dangled at
the stump, and no pain was felt. Two upper front teeth are
thus out, and so many more, I shall need a whole set of
artificials. I may here add that the Manyuema stole the
bodies of slaves which were buried, till a threat was used.
They said the hyenas had exhumed the dead, but a slave was
cast out by Banyamwezi, and neither hyenas nor men touched it
for seven days. The threat was effectual. I think that they
are cannibals, but not ostentatiously so. The disgust
expressed by native traders has made them ashamed. Women
never partook of human flesh. Eating sokos or gorillas must
have been a step in the process of teaching them to eat men.
The sight of a soko nauseates me. He is so hideously ugly, I
can conceive no other use for him than sitting for a portrait
of Satan. I have lost many months by rains, refusal of my
attendants to go into a canoe, and irritable eating ulcers on
my feet from wading in mud instead of sailing. They are
frightfully common, and often kill slaves. I am recovering,
and hope to go down Lualaba, which I would call Webb River or
Lake; touch then another Lualaba, which I will name Young's
River or Lake; and then by the good hand of our Father above
turn homeward through Karagwe. As ivory-trading is here like
gold-digging, I felt constrained to offer a handsome sum of
money and goods to my friend Mohamad Bogharib for men. It was
better to do this than go back to Ujiji, and then come over
the whole 260 miles. I would have waited there for men from
Zanzibar, but the authority at Ujiji behaved so oddly about
my letters, I fear they never went to the coast. The
worthless slaves I have saw that I was at their mercy, for no
Manyuema will go into the next district, and they behaved as
low savages who have been made free alone can. Their
eagerness to enslave and kill their own countrymen is

"Give my love to Oswell and Anna Mary and the Aunties. I have
received no letter from any of you since I left home. The
good Lord bless you all, and be gracious to
you.--Affectionately yours,


Another letter is addressed to Sir Thomas Maclear and Mr. Mann,
September, 1869. He enters at considerable length into his reasons for
the supposition that he had discovered, on the watershed, the true
sources of the Nile. He refers in a generous spirit to the discoveries
of other travelers, mistaken though he regarded their views on the
sources, and is particularly complimentary to Miss Tinne:

"A Dutch lady whom I never saw, and of whom I know nothing
save from scraps in the newspapers, moves my sympathy more
than any other. By her wise foresight in providing a steamer,
and pushing on up the river after the severest domestic
affliction--the loss by fever of her two aunts--till after
she was assured by Speke and Grant that they had already
discovered in Victoria Nyanza the sources she sought, she
proved herself a genuine explorer, and then by trying to go
S.W. on land. Had they not, honestly enough of course, given
her their mistaken views, she must inevitably, by boat or on
land, have reached the head-waters of the Nile. I cannot
conceive of her stopping short of Bangweolo. She showed such
indomitable pluck she must be a descendant of Van Tromp, who
swept the English Channel till killed by our Blake, and whose
tomb every Englishman who goes to Holland is sure to visit.

"We great he-beasts say, 'Exploration was not becoming her
sex.' Well, considering that at least 1600 years have elapsed
since Ptolemy's informants reached this region, and kings,
emperors, and all the great men of antiquity longed in vain
to know the fountains, exploration does not seem to have
become the other sex either. She came much further up than
the two centurions sent by Nero Caesar.

"I have to go down and see where the two arms unite,--the
lost city Meroe ought to be there,--then get back to Ujiji to
get a supply of goods which I have ordered from Zanzibar,
turn bankrupt after I secure them, and let my creditors catch
me if they can, as I finish up by going round outside and
south of all the sources, so that I may be sure no one will
cut me out and say he found other sources south of mine.
This is one reason for my concluding trip; another is to
visit the underground houses in stone, and the copper mines
of Katanga which have been worked for ages (Malachite). I
have still a seriously long task before me. My letters have
been delayed inexplicably, so I don't know my affairs. If I
have a salary I don't know it, though the _Daily Telegraph_
abused me for receiving it when I had none. Of this alone I
am sure--my friends will all wish me to make a complete work
of it before I leave, and in their wish I join. And it is
better to go in now than to do it in vain afterward."

"I have still a seriously long task before me." Yet he had lately been
worse in health and weaker than he had ever been; he was much poorer
than he expected to be, and the difficulties had proved far beyond any
he had hitherto experienced. But so far from thinking of taking things
more easily than before, he actually enlarges his programme, and
resolves to "finish up by going round outside and south of all the
sources." His spirit seems only to rise as difficulties are multiplied.

He writes to his daughter Agnes at the same time: "You remark that you
think you could have traveled as well as Mrs. Baker, and I think so too.
Your mamma was famous for roughing it in the bush, and was never a
trouble." The allusion carries him to old days--their travels to Lake
'Ngami, Mrs. Livingstone's death, the Helmores, the Bishop, Thornton.
Then he speaks of recent troubles and difficulties, his attack of
pneumonia, from which he had not expected to recover, his annoyances
with his men, so unlike the old Makololo, the loss of his letters and
boxes, with the exception of two from an unknown donor that contained
the _Saturday Review_ and his old friend _Punch_ for 1868. Then he goes
over African travelers and their achievements, real and supposed. He
returns again to the achievements of ladies, and praises Miss Tinne and
other women. "The death-knell of American slavery was rung by a woman's
hand. We great he-beasts say Mrs. Stowe exaggerated. From what I have
seen of slavery I say exaggeration is a simple impossibility. I go with
the sailor who, on seeing slave-traders, said: 'If the devil don't catch
these fellows, we might as well have no devil at all.'"

The year 1870 was begun with the prayer that in the course of it he
might be able to complete his enterprise, and retire through the Basango
before the end of it. In February he hears with gratitude of Mr. E.D.
Young's Search Expedition up the Shire and Nyassa. In setting out anew
he takes a more northerly course, proceeding through paths blocked with
very rank vegetation, and suffering from choleraic illness caused by
constant wettings. In the course of a month the effects of the wet
became overpowering, and on 7th February Dr. Livingstone had to go into
winter quarters. He remained quiet till 26th June.

In April, 1870, from "Manyuema or Cannibal Country, say 150 miles N.W.
of Ujiji," he began a letter to Sir Roderick Murchison, but changed its
destination to his brother John in Canada. He notices his Immediate
object--to ascertain where the Lualaba joined the eastern branch of the
Nile, and contrasts the lucid reasonable problem set him by Sir Roderick
with the absurd instructions he had received from some members of the
Geographical Society. "I was to furnish 'a survey on successive pages of
my journal,' 'latitudes every night,' 'hydrography of Central Africa,'
and because they voted one-fifth or perhaps one-sixth part of my
expenses, give them 'all my notes, copies if not the originals!' For
mere board and no lodgings I was to work for years and hand over the
results to them." Contrasted with such absurdities, Sir Roderick's
proposal had quite fascinated him. He had ascertained that the watershed
extended 800 miles from west to east, and had traversed it in every
direction, but at a cost which had been wearing out both to mind and
body. He drops a tear over the Universities Mission, but becomes merry
over Bishop Tozer strutting about with his crosier at Zanzibar, and in
a fine clear day getting a distant view of the continent of which he
claimed to be Bishop. He denounces the vile policy of the Portuguese,
and laments the indecision of some influential persons who virtually
upheld it. He is tickled with the generous offer of a small salary, when
he should settle somewhere, that had been made to him by the Government,
while men who had risked nothing were getting handsome salaries of far
greater amount; but rather than sacrifice the good of Africa, HE WOULD
SPEND EVERY PENNY OF HIS PRIVATE MEANS. He seems surrounded by a whole
sea of difficulties, but through all, the nobility of his spirit shines
undimmed. To persevere in the line of duty is his only conceivable
course. He holds as firmly as ever by the old anchor--"All will turn out
right at last."

When ready, they set out on 26th June. Most of his people failed him;
but nothing daunted, he set off then with only three attendants, Susi,
Chuma, and Gardner, to the northwest for the Lualaba. Whenever he comes
among Arab traders he finds himself suspected and hated because he is
known to condemn their evil deeds.

The difficulties by the way were terrible. Fallen trees and flooded
rivers made marching a perpetual struggle. For the first time,
Livingstone's feet failed him. Instead of healing as hitherto, when torn
by hard travel, irritating sores fastened upon them, and as he had but
three attendants, he had to limp back to Bambarre, which he reached in
the middle of July.

And here he remained in his hut for eighty days, till 10th October,
exercising patience, harrowed by the wickedness he could not stop,
extracting information from the natives, thinking about the fountains of
the Nile, trying to do some good among the people, listening to accounts
of soko-hunting, and last, not least, reading his Bible. He did not
leave Bambarre till 16th February, 1871. From what he had seen and what
he had heard he was more and more persuaded that he was among the true
fountains of the Nile. His reverence for the Bible gave that river a
sacred character, and to throw light on its origin seemed a kind of
religious act. He admits, however, that he is not quite certain about
it, though he does not see how he can be mistaken. He dreams that in his
early life Moses may have been in these parts, and if he should only
discover any confirmation of sacred history or sacred chronology he
would not grudge all the toil and hardship, the pain and hunger, he had
undergone. The very spot where the fountains are to be found becomes
defined in his mind. He even drafts a despatch which he hopes to write,
saying that the fountains are within a quarter of a mile of each other!

Then he bethinks him of his friends who have done noble battle with
slavery, and half in fancy, half in earnest, attaches their names to the
various waters. The fountain of the Liambai or Upper Zambesi he names
Palmerston Fountain, in fond remembrance of that good man's long and
unwearied labor for the abolition of the slave-trade. The lake formed by
the Lufira is to be Lincoln Lake, in gratitude to him who gave freedom
to four millions of slaves. The fountain of Lufira is associated with
Sir Bartle Frere, who accomplished the grand work of abolishing slavery
in Sindia, in Upper India. The central Lualaba is called the River Webb,
after the warm-hearted friend under whose roof he wrote _The Zambesi and
its Tributaries;_ while the western branch is named the Young River, to
commemorate his early instructor in chemistry and life-long friend,
James Young. "He has shed pure white light in many lowly cottages and in
some rich palaces. I, too, have shed light of another kind, and am fain
to believe that I have performed a small part in the grand revolution
which our Maker has been for ages carrying on, by multitudes of
conscious and many unconscious agents, all over the world[69]."

[Footnote 69: See _Last Journals_. vol. ii. pp 65, 66.]

He is by no means unaware that death may be in the cup. But, fortified
as he was by an unalterable conviction that he was in the line of duty,
the thought of death had no influence to turn him either to the right
hand or to the left. For the first three years he had a strong
presentiment that he would fall. But it had passed away as he came near
the end, and now he prayed God that when he retired it might be to his
native home.

Probably no human being was ever in circumstances parallel to those in
which Livingstone now stood. Years had passed since he had heard from
home. The sound of his mother-tongue came to him only in the broken
sentences of Chuma or Susi or his other attendants, or in the echoes of
his own voice as he poured it out in prayer, or in some cry of
home-sickness that could not be kept in. In long pain and sickness there
had been neither wife nor child nor brother to cheer him with sympathy,
or lighten his dull hut with a smile. He had been baffled and tantalized
beyond description in his efforts to complete the little bit of
exploration which was yet necessary to finish his task. His soul was
vexed for the frightful exhibitions of wickedness around him, where "man
to man," instead of brothers, were worse than wolves and tigers to each
other. During all his past life he had been sowing his seed weeping, but
so far was he from bringing back his sheaves rejoicing, that the longer
he lived the more cause there seemed for his tears. He had not yet seen
of the travail of his soul. In opening Africa he had seemed to open it
for brutal slave-traders, and in the only instance in which he had yet
brought to it the feet of men "beautiful upon the mountains, publishing
peace," disaster had befallen, and an incompetent leader had broken up
the enterprise. Yet, apart from his sense of duty, there was no
necessity for his remaining there. He was offering himself a
freewill-offering, a living sacrifice. What could have sustained his
heart and kept him firm to his purpose in such a wilderness of

"I read the whole Bible through four times whilst I was in Manyuema."

So he wrote in his Diary, not at the time, but the year after, on the 3d
October, 1871[70]. The Bible gathers wonderful interest from the
circumstances in which it is read. In Livingstone's circumstances it was
more the Bible to him than ever. All his loneliness and sorrow, the
sickness of hope deferred, the yearnings for home that could neither be
repressed nor gratified, threw a new light on the Word. How clearly it
was intended for such as him, and how sweetly it came home to him! How
faithful, too, were its pictures of human sin and sorrow! How true its
testimony against man, who will not retain God in his knowledge, but,
leaving Him, becomes vain in his imaginations and hard in his heart,
till the bloom of Eden is gone, and a waste, howling wilderness spreads
around! How glorious the out-beaming of Divine Love, drawing near to
this guilty race, winning and cherishing them with every endearing act,
and at last dying on the cross to redeem them! And how bright the
closing scene of Revelation--the new heaven and the new earth wherein
dwelleth righteousness--yes, he can appreciate _that_ attribute--the
curse gone, death abolished, and all tears wiped from the mourner's eye!

[Footnote 70: See _Last Journals_, vol. ii. p. 154.]

So the lonely man in his dull hut is riveted to the well-worn book; ever
finding it a greater treasure as he goes along; and fain, when he has
reached its last page, to turn back to the beginning, and gather up more
of the riches which he has left upon the road.

To Sir Thomas Maclear and Mr. Mann he writes during his detention
(September, 1870) on a leaf of his cheque-book, his paper being done. He
gives his theory of the rivers, enlarges on the fertility of the
country, bewails his difficulty in getting men, as the Manyuema never go
beyond their own country, and the traders, who have only begun to come
there, are too busy collecting ivory to be able to spare men. "The tusks
were left in the terrible forests, where the animals were killed; the
people, if treated civilly, readily go and bring the precious teeth,
some half rotten, or gnawed by the teeth of a rodent called dezi. I
think that mad naturalists name it Aulocaudatus Swindermanus, or some
equally wise agglutination of syllables.... My chronometers are all
dead; I hope my old watch was sent to Zanzibar; but I have got no
letters for years, save some, three years old, at Ujiji. I have an
intense and sore longing to finish and retire, and trust that the
Almighty may permit me to go home."

In one of his letters to Agnes from Manyuema he quotes some words from a
letter of hers that he ever after cherished as a most
refreshing cordial:

"I commit myself to the Almighty Disposer of events, and if I fall, will
do so doing my duty, like one of his stout-hearted servants. I am
delighted to hear you say that, much as you wish me home, you would
rather hear of my finishing my work to my own satisfaction than come
merely to gratify you. That is a noble sentence, and I felt all along
sure that all my friends would wish me to make a complete work of it,
and in that wish, in spite of every difficulty, I cordially joined. I
hope to present to my young countrymen an example of manly perseverance.
I shall not hide from you that I am made by it very old and shaky, my
cheeks fallen in, space round the eyes ditto; mouth almost toothless,--a
few teeth that remain, out of their line, so that a smile is that of a
he-hippopotamus,--a dreadful old fogie, and you must tell Sir Roderick
that it is an utter impossibility for me to appear in public till I get
new teeth, and even then the less I am seen the better."

Another letter to Agnes from Manyuema gives a curious account of the
young soko or gorilla a chief had lately presented to him:

"She sits crouching eighteen inches high, and is the most
intelligent and least mischievous of all the monkeys I have
seen. She holds out her hand to be lifted and carried, and if
refused makes her face as in a bitter human weeping, and
wrings her hands quite humanly, sometimes adding a foot or
third hand to make the appeal more touching.... She knew me
at once as a friend, and when plagued by any one always
placed her back to me for safety, came and sat down on my
mat, decently made a nest of grass and leaves, and covered
herself with the mat to sleep. I cannot take her with me,
though I fear that she will die before I return, from people
plaguing her. Her fine long black hair was beautiful when
tended by her mother, who was killed. I am mobbed enough
alone; two sokos--she and I--would not have got breath.

"I have to submit to be a gazing-stock. I don't altogether
relish it, here or elsewhere, but try to get over it
good-naturedly, get into the most shady spot of the village,
and leisurely look at all my admirers. When the first crowd
begins to go away, I go into my lodgings to take what food
may be prepared, as coffee, when I have it, or roasted maize
infusion when I have none. The door is shut, all save a space
to admit light. It is made of the inner bark of a gigantic
tree, not a quarter of an inch thick, and slides in a groove
behind a post on each side of the doorway. When partially
open it is supported by only one of the posts. Eager heads
sometimes crowd the open space, and crash goes the thin door,
landing a Manyuema beauty on the floor. 'It was not I,' she
gasps out, 'it was Bessie Bell and Jeanie Gray that shoved me
in, and--' as she scrambles out of the lion's den, 'see
they're laughing'; and; fairly out, she joins in the merry
giggle too. To avoid darkness or being half-smothered, I
often eat in public, draw a line on the ground, then 'toe the
line,' and keep them out of the circle. To see me eating with
knife, fork, and spoon is wonderful. 'See!--they don't touch
their food!--what oddities, to be sure.'...

"Many of the Manyuema women are very pretty; their hands,
feet, limbs, and form are perfect. The men are handsome.
Compared with them the Zanzibar slaves are like London
door-knockers, which some atrocious iron-founder thought were
like lions' faces. The way in which these same Zanzibar
Mohammedans murder the men and seize the women and children
makes me sick at heart. It is not slave-trade. It is
murdering free people to make slaves. It is perfectly
indescribable. Kirk has been working hard to get this
murdersome system put a stop to. Heaven prosper his noble
efforts! He says in one of his letters to me, 'It is
monstrous injustice to compare the free people in the
interior, living under their own chiefs and laws, with what
slaves at Zanzibar afterward become by the abominable system
which robs them of their manhood. I think it is like
comparing the anthropologists with their ancestral sokos.'...

"I am grieved to hear of the departure of good Lady
Murchison. Had I known that she kindly remembered me in her
prayers, it would have been great encouragement....

"The men sent by Dr. Kirk are Mohammedans, that is,
unmitigated liars. Musa and his companions are fair specimens
of the lower class of Moslems. The two head-men remained at
Ujiji, to feast on my goods, and get pay without work. Seven
came to Bambarre, and in true Moslem style swore that they
were sent by Dr. Kirk to bring me back, not to go with me, if
the country were bad or dangerous. Forward they would not go.
I read Dr. Kirk's words to them to follow wheresoever I led.
'No, by the old liar Mohamed, they were to force me back to
Zanzibar.' After a superabundance of falsehood, it turned out
that it all meant only an advance of pay, though they had
double the Zanzibar wages. I gave it, but had to threaten on
the word of an Englishman to shoot the ringleaders before I
got them to go. They all speak of English as men who do not
lie.... I have traveled more than most people, and with all
sorts of followers. The Christians of Kuruman and Kolobeng
were out of sight the best I ever had. The Makololo, who were
very partially Christianized, were next best--honest,
truthful, and brave. Heathen Africans are much superior to
the Mohammedans, who are the most worthless one can have."

Toward the end of 1870, before the date of this letter, he had so far
recovered that, though feeling the want of medicine as much as of men,
he thought of setting out, in order to reach and explore the Lualaba,
having made a bargain with Mohamad, for L270, to bring him to his
destination. But now he heard that Syde bin Habib, Dugumbe, and others
were on the way from Ujiji, perhaps bringing letters and medicines for
him. He cannot move till they arrive; another weary time. "Sorely am I
perplexed, and grieve and mourn."

The New Year 1871 passes while he is at Bambarre, with its prayer that
he might be permitted to finish his task. At last, on 4th February, ten
of the men despatched to him from the coast arrive, but only to bring a
fresh disappointment. They were slaves, the property of Banians, who
were British subjects! and they brought only one letter! Forty had been
lost. There had been cholera at Zanzibar, and many of the porters sent
by Dr. Kirk had died of it. The ten men came with a lie in their mouth;
they would not help him, swearing that the Consul told them not to go
forward, but to force Livingstone back. On the 10th they mutinied, and
had to receive an advance of pay. It was apparent that they had been
instructed by their Banian masters to baffle him in every way, so that
their slave-trading should not be injured by his disclosures. Their two
head-men, Shereef and Awathe, had refused to come farther than Ujiji,
and were reveling in his goods there. Dr. Livingstone never ceased to
lament and deplore that the men who had been sent to him were so utterly
unsuitable. One of them actually formed a plot for his destruction,
which was only frustrated through his being overheard by one whom
Livingstone could trust. Livingstone wrote to his friends that owing to
the inefficiency of the men, he lost two years of time, about a thousand
pounds in money, had some 2000 miles of useless traveling, and was four
several times subjected to the risk of a violent death.

At length, having arranged with the men, he sets out on 16th February
over a most beautiful country, but woefully difficult to pass through.
Perhaps it was hardly a less bitter disappointment to be told, on the
25th, that the Lualaba flowed west-southwest, so that after all it might
be the Congo.

On the 29th March Livingstone arrived at Nyangwe, on the banks of the
Lualaba. This was the farthest point westward that he reached in his
last Expedition.

The slave-trade here he finds to be as horrible as in any other part of
Africa. He is heart-sore for human blood He is threatened, bullied, and
almost attacked. In some places, however, the rumor spreads that he
makes no slaves, and he is called "the good one." His men are a
ceaseless trouble, and for ever mutinying, or otherwise harassing him.
And yet he perseveres in his old kind way, hoping by kindness to gain
influence with them. Mohamad's people, he finds, have passed him on the
west, and thus he loses a number of serviceable articles he was to get
from them, and all the notes made for him of the rivers they had passed.
The difficulties and discouragements are so great that he wonders
whether, after all, God is smiling on his work.

His own men circulate such calumnious reports against him that he is
unable to get canoes for the navigation of the Lualaba. This leads to
weeks and months of weary waiting, and yet all in vain; but afterward he
finds some consolation on discovering that the navigation was perilous,
that a canoe had been lost from the inexperience of her crew in the
rapids, so that had he been there, he should very likely have perished,
as his canoe would probably have been foremost.

A change of plan was necessary. On 5th July he offered to Dugumbe L400,
with all the goods he had at Ujiji besides, for men to replace the
Banian slaves, and for the other means of going up the Lomame to
Katanga, then returning and going up Tanganyika to Ujiji. Dugumbe took a
little time to consult his friends before replying to the offer.

Meanwhile an event occurred of unprecedented horror, that showed
Livingstone that he could not go to Lomame in the company of Dugumbe.
Between Dugumbe's people and another chief a frightful system of
pillage, murder, and burning of villages was going on with horrible
activity. One bright summer morning, 15th July, when fifteen hundred
people, chiefly women, were engaged peacefully in marketing in a village
on the banks of the Lualaba, and while Dr. Livingstone was sauntering
about, a murderous fire was opened on the people, and a massacre ensued
of such measureless atrocity that he could describe it only by saying
that it gave him the impression of being in hell. The event was so
superlatively horrible, and had such an overwhelming influence on
Livingstone, that we copy at full length the description of it given in
the _Last Journals:_

"Before I had got thirty yards out, the discharge of two guns
in the middle of the crowd told me that slaughter had begun;
crowds dashed off from the place, and threw down their wares
in confusion, and ran. At the same time that the three opened
fire on the mass of people near the upper end of the
market-place, volleys were discharged from a party down near
the creek on the panic-stricken women, who dashed at the
canoes. These, some fifty or more, were jammed in the creek,
and the men forgot their paddles in the terror that seized
all. The canoes were not to be got out, for the creek was too
small for so many; men and women, wounded by the balls,
poured into them, and leaped and scrambled into the water,
shrieking A long line of heads in the river showed that great
numbers struck out for an island a full mile off; in going
toward it they had to put the left shoulder to a current of
about two miles an hour; if they had struck away diagonally
to the opposite bank, the current would have aided them, and,
though nearly three miles off, some would have gained land;
as it was, the heads above water showed the long line of
those that would inevitably perish.

"Shot after shot continued to be fired on the helpless and
perishing. Some of the long line of heads disappeared
quietly; whilst other poor creatures threw their arms high,
as if appealing to the great Father above, and sank. One
canoe took in as many as it could hold, and all paddled with
hands and arms; three canoes, got out in haste, picked up
sinking friends, till all went down together, and
disappeared. One man in a long canoe, which could have held
forty or fifty, had clearly lost his head; he had been out in
the stream before the massacre began, and now paddled up the
river nowhere, and never looked to the drowning. By and by
all the heads disappeared; some had turned down stream toward
the bank, and escaped. Dugumbe put people into one of the
deserted vessls to save those in the water, and saved
twenty-one; but one woman refused to be taken on board, from
thinking that she was to be made a slave of; she preferred
the chance of life by swimming to the lot of a slave. The
Bagenya women are expert in the water, as they are accustomed
to dive for oysters, and those who went down stream may have
escaped, but the Arabs themselves estimated the loss of life
at between 330 and 400 souls. The shooting-party near the
canoes were so reckless, they killed two of their own people;
and a Banyamwezi follower, who got into a deserted canoe to
plunder, fell into the water, went down, then came up again,
and down to rise no more.

"After the terrible affair in the water, the party of
Tagamoio, who was the chief perpetrator, continued to fire on
the people there, and fire their villages. As I write I hear
the loud wails on the left bank over those who are there
slain, ignorant of their many friends now in the depths of
Lualaba. Oh, let Thy kingdom come! No one will ever know the
exact loss on this bright sultry summer morning; it gave me
the impression of being in Hell. All the slaves in the camp
rushed at the fugitives on land, and plundered them; women
were for hours collecting and carrying loads of what had been
thrown down in terror."

The remembrance of this awful scene was never effaced from Livingstone's
heart. The accounts of it published in the newspapers at home sent a
thrill of horror through the country. It was recorded at great length in
a despatch to the Foreign Secretary, and indeed, it became one of the
chief causes of the appointment of a Royal Commission to investigate the
subject of the African slave-trade, and of the mission of Sir Bartle
Frere to Africa to concert measures for bringing it to an end.

Dugumbe had not been the active perpetrator of the massacre, but, he was
mixed up with the atrocities that had been committed, and Livingstone
could have nothing to do with him. It was a great trial, for, as the
Banian men were impracticable, there was nothing for it now but to go
back to Ujiji, and try to get other men there with whom he would repeat
the attempt to explore the river. For twenty-one months, counting from
the period of their engagement, he had fed and clothed these men, all in
vain, and now he had to trudge back forty-five days, a journey equal,
with all its turnings and windings, to six hundred miles. Livingstone
was ill, and after such an exciting time he would probably have had an
attack of fever, but for another ailment to which he had become more
especially subject. The intestinal canal had given way, and he was
subject to attacks of severe internal haemorrhage, one of which came on
him now[71]. It appeared afterward that had he gone with Dugumbe, he
would have been exposed to an assault in force by the Bakuss, as they
made an attack on the party and routed them, killing two hundred. If
Livingstone had been among them, he might have fallen in this
engagement. So again, he saw how present disappointments work for good.

[Footnote 71: His friends say that for a considerable time before he had
been subject to the most grievous pain from haemorrhoids. His sufferings
were often excruciating.]

The journey back to Ujiji, begun 20th July, 1871, was a very wretched
one. Amid the universal desolation caused by the very wantonness of the
marauders, it was impossible for Livingstone to persuade the natives
that he did not belong to the same-set. Ambushes were set for him and
his company in the forest. On the 8th August they came to an ambushment
all prepared, but it had been abandoned for some unknown reason. By and
by, on the same day, a large spear flew past Livingstone, grazing his
neck; the native who flung it was but ten yards off; the hand of God
alone saved his life[72]. Farther on, another spear was thrown, which
missed him by a foot. On the same day a large tree, to which fire had
been applied to fell it, came down within a yard of him. Thus on one day
he was delivered three times from impending death. He went on through
the forest, expecting every minute to be attacked, having no fear, but
perfectly indifferent whether he should be killed or not. He lost all
his remaining calico that day, a telescope, umbrella, and five spears.
By and Thy he was prostrated with grievous illness. As soon as he could
move he went onward, but he felt as if dying on his feet. And he was
ill-rigged for the road, for the light French shoes to which he was
reduced, and which had been cut to ease his feet till they would hardly
hang together, failed to protect him from the sharp fragments of quartz
with which the road was strewed. He was getting near to Ujiji, however,
where abundant of goods and comforts were no doubt safely stowed away
for him, and the hope of relief sustained him under all his trials.

[Footnote 72: The head of this spear is among the Livingstone relics at
Newstead Abbey.]

At last, on the 23d October, reduced to a living skeleton, he reached
Ujiji. What was his misery, instead of finding the abundance of goods he
had expected, to learn that the wretch Shereef, to whom they had been
consigned, had sold off the whole, not leaving one yard of calico out of
3000, or one string of beads out of 700 pounds! The scoundrel had
divined on the Koran, found that Livingstone was dead, and would need
the goods no more. Livingstone had intended, if he could not get men at
Ujiji to go with him to the Lualaba, to wait there till suitable men
should be sent up from the coast; but he had never thought of having to
wait in beggary. If anything could have aggravated the annoyance, it was
to see Shereef come, without shame, to salute him, and tell him on
leaving, that he was going to pray; or to see his slaves passing from
the market with all the good things his property had bought! Livingstone
applied a term to him which he reserved for men--black or white--whose
wickedness made them alike shameless and stupid--he was a "moral idiot."

It was the old story of the traveler who fell among thieves that robbed
him of all he had; but where was the good Samaritan? The Government and
the Geographical Society appeared to have passed by on the other side.
But the good Samaritan was not as far off as might have been thought.
One morning Syed bin Majid, an Arab trader, came to him with a generous
offer to sell some ivory and get goods for him; but Livingstone had the
old feeling of independence, and having still a few barter goods left,
which he had deposited with Mohamad bin Saleh before going to Manyuema,
he declined for the present Syed's generous offer. But the kindness of
Syed was not the only proof that he was not forsaken. Five days after he
reached Ujiji the good Samaritan appeared from another quarter. As
Livingstone had been approaching Ujiji from the southwest, another white
man had been approaching it from the east. On 28th October, 1871, Henry
Moreland Stanley, who had been sent to look for him by Mr. James Gordon
Bennett, Jr., of the _New York Herald_ newspaper, grasped the hand of
David Livingstone. An angel from heaven could hardly have been more
welcome. In a moment the sky brightened. Stanley was provided with ample
stores, and was delighted to supply the wants of the traveler. The sense
of sympathy, the feeling of brotherhood, the blessing of fellowship,
acted like a charm. Four good meals a day, instead of the spare and
tasteless food of the country, made a wonderful change on the outer man;
and in a few days Livingstone was himself again--hearty and happy and
hopeful as before.

Before closing this chapter and entering on the last two years of
Livingstone's life, which have so lively an interest of their own, it
will be convenient to glance at the contributions to natural science
which he continued to make to the very end. In doing this, we avail
ourselves of a very tender and Christian tribute to the memory of his
early friend, which Professor Owen contributed to the _Quarterly
Review,_ April, 1875, after the publication of Livingstone's _Last

Mr. Owen appears to have been convinced by Livingstone's reasoning and
observations, that the Nile sources were in the Bangweolo watershed--a
supposition now ascertained to have been erroneous. But what chiefly
attracted and delighted the great naturalist was the many interesting
notices of plants and animals scattered over the _Last Journals_. These
Journals contain important contributions both to economic and
physiological botany. In the former department, Livingstone makes
valuable observations on plants useful in the arts, such as gum-copal,
papyrus, cotton, india-rubber, and the palm-oil tree; while in the
latter, his notices of "carnivorous plants," which catch insects that
probably yield nourishment to the plant, of silicified wood and the
like, show how carefully he watched all that throws light on the life
and changes of plants. In zooelogy he was never weary of observing,
especially when he found a strange-looking animal with strange habits.
Spiders, ants, and bees of unknown varieties were brought to light, but
the strangest of his new acquaintances were among the fishy tribes. He
found fish that made long excursions on land, thanks to the wet grass
through which they would wander for miles, thus proving that "a fish out
of water" is not always the best symbol for a man out of his element.
There were fish, too, that burrowed in the earth; but most remarkable at
first sight were the fish that appeared to bring forth their young by
ejecting them from their mouths. If Bruce or Du Chaillu had made such a
statement, remarks Professor Owen, what ridicule would they not have
encountered! But Livingstone was not the man to make a statement of what
he had not ascertained, or to be content until he had found a scientific
explanation of it. He found that in the branchial openings of the fish,
there occur bags or pouches, on the same principle as the pouch of the
opossum, where the young may be lodged for a time for protection or
nourishment, and that when the creatures are discharged through the
mouth into the water, it is only from a temporary cradle where they were
probably enjoying repose, beyond the reach of enemies.

Perhaps the greatest of Livingstone's scientific discoveries during this
journey was that "of a physical condition of the earth's surface in
elevated tracts of the great continent, unknown before." The bogs or
earth-sponges, that from his first acquaintance with them gave him so
much trouble, and at last proved the occasion of his death, were not
only remarkable in themselves, but-interesting as probably explaining
the annual inundations of most of the rivers. Wherever there was a plain
sloping toward a narrow opening in hills or higher ground, there were
the conditions for an African sponge. The vegetation falls down and
rots, and forms a rich black loam, resting often, two or three feet
thick, on a bed of pure river sand. The early rains turn the vegetation
into slush, and fill the, pools. The later rains, finding the pools
already full, run off to the rivers, and form the inundation. The first
rains occur south of the equator when the sun goes vertically over any
spot, and the second or greater rains happen in his course north again.
This, certainly, was the case as observed on the Zambesi and Shire, and
taking the different times for the sun's passage north of the equator,
it explained the inundations of the Nile.

Such notices show that in his love of nature, and in his careful
observation of all her agencies and processes, Livingstone, in his last
journeys, was the same as ever. He looked reverently on all plants and
animals, and on the solid earth in all its aspects and forms, as the
creatures of that same God whose love in Christ it was his heart's
delight to proclaim. His whole life, so varied in its outward
employments, yet so simple and transparent in its one great object, was
ruled by the conviction that the God of nature and the God of revelation
were one. While thoroughly enjoying his work as a naturalist, Professor
Owen frankly admits that it was but a secondary object of his life. "Of
his primary work the record is on high, and its imperishable fruits
remain on earth. The seeds of the Word of Life implanted lovingly, with
pains and labor, and above-all with faith; the out-door scenes of the
simple Sabbath service; the testimony of Him to whom the worship was
paid, given in terms of such simplicity as were fitted to the
comprehension of the dark-skinned listeners,--these seeds will not have
been scattered by him in vain. Nor have they been sown in words alone,
but in deeds, of which some part of the honor will redound to his
successors. The teaching by forgiveness of injuries,--by trust, however
unworthy the trusted,--by that confidence which imputed his own noble
nature to those whom he would win,--by the practical enforcement of the
fact that a man might promise and perform--might say the thing he
meant,--of this teaching by good deeds, as well as by the words of truth
and love, the successor who treads in the steps of LIVINGSTONE, and
accomplishes the discovery he aimed at, and pointed the way to, will
assuredly the benefit[73]."

[Footnote 73: _Quarterly Review_, April, 1875, pp. 498, 499.]



A.D. 1871-1872.

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

The meeting of Stanley and Livingstone at Ujiji was as unlikely an
occurrence as could have happened, and, along with many of the earlier
events in Livingstone's life, serves to show how wonderfully an Unseen
Hand shaped and guarded his path. Neither Stanley nor the gentleman who

Book of the day: