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Freeland by Theodor Hertzka

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This book contains a translation of _Freiland; ein sociales Zukunftsbild_,
by Dr. THEODOR HERTZKA, a Viennese economist. The first German edition
appeared early in 1890, and was rapidly followed by three editions in an
abridged form. This translation is made from the unabridged edition, with a
few emendations from the subsequent editions.

The author has long been known as an eminent representative of those
Austrian Economists who belong to what is known on the Continent as the
Manchester School as distinguished from the Historical School. In 1872 he
became economic editor of the _Neue Freie Presse_; and in 1874 he with
others founded the Society of Austrian National Economists. In 1880 he
published _Die Gesetze der Handels-und Sozialpolitik_; and in 1886 _Die
Gesetze der Sozialentwickelung_. At various times he has published works
which have made him an authority upon currency questions. In 1889 he
founded, and he still edits, the weekly _Zeitschrift für Staats-und

How the author was led to modify some of his earlier views will be found
detailed in the introduction of the present work.

The publication of _Freiland_ immediately called forth in Austria and
Germany a desire to put the author's views in practice. In many of the
larger towns and cities a number of persons belonging to all classes of
society organised local societies for this purpose, and these local
societies have now been united into an International Freeland Society. At
the first plenary meeting of the Vienna _Freilandverein_ in March last, it
was announced that a suitable tract of land in British East Africa, between
Mount Kenia and the coast, had already been placed at the disposal of the
Society; and a hope was expressed that the actual formation of a Freeland
Colony would not be long delayed. It is anticipated that the English
edition of _Freiland_ will bring a considerable number of English-speaking
members into the Society; and it is intended soon to make an application to
the British authorities for a guarantee of non-interference by the
Government with the development of Freeland institutions.

Any of the readers of this book who wish for further information concerning
the Freeland movement, may apply either to Dr. HERTZKA in Vienna, or to the


ST. LOYES, BEDFORD: _June_, 1891.


The economic and social order of the modern world exhibits a strange
enigma, which only a prosperous thoughtlessness can regard with
indifference or, indeed, without a shudder. We have made such splendid
advances in art and science that the unlimited forces of nature have been
brought into subjection, and only await our command to perform for us all
our disagreeable and onerous tasks, and to wring from the soil and prepare
for use whatever man, the master of the world, may need. As a consequence,
a moderate amount of labour ought to produce inexhaustible abundance for
everyone born of woman; and yet all these glorious achievements have
not--as Stuart Mill forcibly says--been able to mitigate one human woe.
And, what is more, the ever-increasing facility of producing an abundance
has proved a curse to multitudes who lack necessaries because there exists
no demand for the many good and useful things which they are able to
produce. The industrial activity of the present day is a ceaseless confused
struggle with the various symptoms of the dreadful evil known as
'over-production.' Protective duties, cartels and trusts, guild agitations,
strikes--all these are but the desperate resistance offered by the classes
engaged in production to the inexorable consequences of the apparently so
absurd, but none the less real, phenomenon that increasing facility in the
production of wealth brings ruin and misery in its train.

That science stands helpless and perplexed before this enigma, that no beam
of light has yet penetrated and dispelled the gloom of this--the
social--problem, though that problem has exercised the minds of the noblest
and best of to-day, is in part due to the fact that the solution has been
sought in a wrong direction.

Let us see, for example, what Stuart Mill says upon this subject: 'I looked
forward ... to a future' ... whose views (and institutions) ... shall be
'so firmly grounded in reason and in the true exigencies of life that they
shall not, like all former and present creeds, religious, ethical, and
political, require to be periodically thrown off and replaced by others.'
[Footnote: _Autobiography_, p. 166.]

Yet more plainly does Laveleye express himself in the same sense at the
close of his book 'De la Propriété': 'There is an order of human affairs
_which is the best ... God knows it and wills it_. Man must discover and
introduce it.'

It is therefore an _absolutely best, eternal order_ which both are waiting
for; although, when we look more closely, we find that both ought to know
they are striving after the impossible. For Mill, a few lines before the
above remarkable passage, points out that all human things are in a state
of constant flux; and upon this he bases his conviction that existing
institutions can be only transitory. Therefore, upon calm reflection, he
would be compelled to admit that the same would hold in the future, and
that consequently unchangeable human institutions will never exist. And
just so must we suppose that Laveleye, with his '_God_ knows it and wills
it,' would have to admit that it could _not_ be man's task either to
discover or to introduce the absolutely best order known only to God. He is
quite correct in saying that if there be really an absolutely best order,
God alone knows it; but since it cannot be the office of science to wait
upon Divine revelation, and since such an absolutely best order could be
introduced by God alone and not by men, and therefore the revelation of the
Divine will would not help us in the least, so it must logically follow,
from the admission that the knowing and the willing of the absolutely good
appertain to God, that man has not to strive after this absolutely good,
but after the _relatively best_, which alone is intelligible to and
attainable by him.

And thus it is in fact. The solution of the social problem is not to be
sought in the discovery of an _absolutely good_ order of society, but in
that of the _relatively best_--that is, of such an order of human
institutions as best corresponds to the contemporary conditions of human
existence. The existing arrangements of society call for improvement, not
because they are out of harmony with our longing for an absolutely good
state of things, but because it can be shown to be possible to replace them
by others more in accordance with the contemporary conditions of human
existence. Darwin's law of evolution in nature teaches us that when the
actual social arrangements have ceased to be the relatively best--that is,
those which best correspond to the contemporary conditions of human
existence--their abandonment is not only possible but simply inevitable.
For in the struggle for existence that which is out of date not only _may_
but _must_ give place to that which is more in harmony with the actual
conditions. And this law also teaches us that all the characters of any
organic being whatever are the results of that being's struggle for
existence in the conditions in which it finds itself. If, now, we bring
together these various hints offered us by the doctrine of evolution, we
see the following to be the only path along which the investigation of the
social problem can be pursued so as to reach the goal:

First, we must inquire and establish under what particular conditions of
existence the actual social arrangements were evolved.

Next we must find out whether these same conditions of existence still
subsist, or whether others have taken their place.

If others have taken their place, it must be clearly shown whether the new
conditions of existence are compatible with the old arrangements; and, if
not, what alterations of the latter are required.

The new arrangements thus discovered must and will contain that which we
are justified in looking for as the 'solution of the social problem.'

When I applied this strictly scientific method of investigation to the
social problem, I arrived four years ago at the following conclusions, to
the exposition of which I devoted my book on 'The Laws of Social
Evolution,' [Footnote: _Die Gesetze der Sozialentwickelung_ Leipzig, 1886.]
published at that time:

The actual social arrangements are the necessary result of the human
struggle for existence when the productiveness of labour was such that a
single worker could produce, by the labour of his own hands, more than was
indispensable to the sustenance of his animal nature, but not enough to
enable him to satisfy his higher needs. With only this moderate degree of
productiveness of labour, the exploitage of man by man was the only way by
which it was possible to ensure to _individuals_ wealth and leisure, those
fundamental essentials to higher culture. But as soon as the productiveness
of labour reaches the point at which it is sufficient to satisfy also the
highest requirements of every worker, the exploitage of man by man not only
ceases to be a necessity of civilisation, but becomes an obstacle to
further progress by hindering men from making full use of the industrial
capacity to which they have attained.

For, as under the domination of exploitage the masses have no right to more
of what they produce than is necessary for their bare subsistence, demand
is cramped by limitations which are quite independent of the possible
amount of production. Things for which there is no demand are valueless,
and therefore will not be produced; consequently, under the exploiting
system, society does not produce that amount of wealth which the progress
of science and technical art has made possible, but only that infinitely
smaller amount which suffices for the bare subsistence of the masses and
the luxury of the few. Society wishes to employ the whole of the surplus of
the productive power in the creation of instruments of labour--that is, it
wishes to convert it into capital; but this is impossible, since the
quantity of utilisable capital is strictly dependent upon the quantity of
commodities to be produced by the aid of this capital. The utilisation of
all the proceeds of such highly productive labour is therefore dependent
upon the creation of a new social order which shall guarantee to every
worker the enjoyment of the full proceeds of his own work. And since
impartial investigation further shows that this new order is not merely
indispensable to further progress in civilisation, but is also thoroughly
in harmony with the natural and acquired characteristics of human society,
and consequently is met by no inherent and permanent obstacle, it is
evident that in the natural process of human evolution this new order must
necessarily come into being.

When I placed this conclusion before the public four years ago, I assumed,
as something self-evident, that I was announcing a doctrine which was not
by any means an isolated novelty; and I distinctly said so in the preface
to the 'Laws of Social Evolution.' I fully understood that there must be
some connecting bridge between the so-called classical economics and the
newly discovered truths; and I was convinced that in a not distant future
either others or myself would discover this bridge. But in expounding the
consequences springing from the above-mentioned general principles, I at
first allowed an error to escape my notice. That ground-rent and
undertaker's profit--that is, the payment which the landowner demands for
the use of his land, and the claim of the so-called work-giver to the
produce of the worker's labour--are incompatible with the claim of the
worker to the produce of his own labour, and that consequently in the
course of social evolution ground-rent and undertaker's profit must become
obsolete and must be given up--this I perceived; but with respect to the
interest of capital I adhered to the classical-orthodox view that this was
a postulate of progress which would survive all the phases of evolution.

As palliation of my error I may mention that it was the opponents of
capital themselves--and Marx in particular--who confirmed me in it, or,
more correctly, who prevented me from distinctly perceiving the basis upon
which interest essentially rests. To tear oneself away from long-cherished
views is in itself extremely difficult; and when, moreover, the men who
attack the old views base their attack point after point upon error, it
becomes only too easy to mistake the weakness of the attack for
impregnability in the thing attacked. Thus it happened with me. Because I
saw that what had been hitherto advanced against capital and interest was
altogether untenable, I felt myself absolved from the task of again and
independently inquiring whether there were no better, no really valid,
arguments against the absolute and permanent necessity of interest. Thus,
though interest is, in reality, as little compatible with associated labour
carried on upon the principle of perfect economic justice as are
ground-rent and the undertaker's profit, I was prevented by this
fundamental error from arriving at satisfactory views concerning the
constitution and character of the future forms of organisation based upon
the principle of free organisation. _That_ and _wherefore_ economic freedom
and justice must eventually be practically realised, I had shown; on the
other hand, _how_ this phase of evolution was to be brought about I was not
able to make fully clear. Yet I did not ascribe this inability to any error
of mine in thinking the subject out, but believed it to reside in the
nature of the subject itself. I reasoned that institutions the practical
shaping of which belongs to the future could not be known in detail before
they were evolved. Just as those former generations, which knew nothing of
the modern joint-stock company, could not possibly form an exact and
perfect idea of the nature and working of this institution even if they had
conceived the principle upon which it is based, so I held it to be
impossible to-day to possess a clear and connected idea of those future
economic forms which cannot be evolved until the principle of the free
association of labour has found its practical realisation.

I was slow in discovering the above-mentioned connection of my doctrine of
social evolution with the orthodox system of economy. The most
clear-sighted minds of three centuries have been at work upon that system;
and if a new doctrine is to win acceptance, it is absolutely necessary that
its propounder should not merely refute the old doctrine and expose its
errors, but should trace back and lay open to its remotest source the
particular process of thought which led these heroes of our science into
their errors. It is not enough to show _that_ and _wherefore_ their theses
were false; it must also be made clear _how_ and _wherefore_ those thinkers
arrived at their false theses, what it was that forced them--despite all
their sagacity--to hold such theses as correct though they are simply
absurd when viewed in the light of truth. I pondered in vain over this
enigma, until suddenly, like a ray of sunlight, there shot into the
darkness of my doubt the discovery that in its essence my work was nothing
but the necessary outcome of what others had achieved--that my theory was
in no way out of harmony with the numerous theories of my predecessors, but
that rather, when thoroughly understood, it was the very truth after which
all the other economists had been searching, and upon the track of
which--and this I held to be decisive--I had been thrown, not by my own
sagacity, but solely by the mental labours of my great predecessors. In
other words, _the solution of the social problem offered by me is the very
solution of the economic problem which the science of political economy has
been incessantly seeking from its first rise down to the present day_.

But, I hear it asked, does political economy possess such a problem--one
whose solution it has merely attempted but not arrived at? For it is
remarkable that in our science the widest diversity of opinions co-exists
with the most dogmatic orthodoxy. Very few draw from the existence of the
numberless antagonistic opinions the self-evident conclusion that those
opinions are erroneous, or at least unproved; and none are willing to admit
that--like their opponents--they are merely seeking the truth, and are not
in possession of it. So prevalent is this tenacity of opinion which puts
faith in the place of knowledge that the fact that every science owes its
origin to a problem is altogether forgotten. This problem may afterwards
find its solution, and therewith the science will have achieved its
purpose; but without a problem there is no investigation--consequently,
though there may be knowledge, there will be no science. Clear and simple
cognisances do not stimulate the human mind to that painstaking,
comprehensive effort which is the necessary antecedent of science; in
brief, a science can arise only when things are under consideration which
are not intelligible directly and without profound reflection--things,
therefore, which contain a problem.

Thus, political economy must have had its problem, its enigma, out of the
attempts to solve which it had its rise. This problem is nothing else but
the question '_Why do we not become richer in proportion to our increasing
capacity of producing wealth?_' To this question a satisfactory answer can
no more be given to-day than could be given three centuries ago--at the
time, that is, when the problem first arose in view, not of a previously
existing phenomenon to which the human mind had then had its attention
drawn for the first time, but of a phenomenon which was then making its
first appearance.

With unimportant and transient exceptions (which, it may be incidentally
remarked, are easily explicable from what follows) antiquity and the Middle
Ages had no political economy. This was not because the men of those times
were not sharp-sighted enough to discover the sources of wealth, but
because to them there was nothing enigmatical about those sources of
wealth. The nations became richer the more progress they made in the art of
producing; and this was so self-evident and clear that, very rightly, no
one thought it necessary to waste words about it. It was not until the end
of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries of our era,
therefore scarcely three hundred years ago, that political economy as a
distinct science arose.

It is impossible for the unprejudiced eye to escape seeing what the first
political economists sought for--what the problem was with which they
busied themselves. They stood face to face with the enigmatical fact that
increasing capacity of production is not necessarily accompanied or
followed by an increase of wealth; and they sought to explain this fact.
Why this remarkable fact then first made its appearance will be clearly
seen from what follows; it is unquestionable _that_ it then appeared, for
the whole system of these first political economists, the so-called
Mercantilists, had no other aim than to demonstrate that the increase of
wealth depends not, as everybody had until then very naturally believed,
upon increasing productiveness of labour, but upon something else, that
something else being, in the opinion of the Mercantilists, money.
Notwithstanding what may be called the tangible absurdity of this doctrine,
it remained unquestioned for generations; nay, to be candid, most men still
cling to it--a fact which would be inconceivable did not the doctrine offer
a very simple and plausible explanation of the enigmatical phenomenon that
increasing capacity of production does not necessarily bring with it a
corresponding increase of wealth.

But it is equally impossible for the inquiring human mind to remain
permanently blind to the fact that money and wealth are two very different
things, and that therefore some other solution must be looked for of the
problem, the existence of which is not to be denied. The Physiocrats found
this second explanation in the assertion that the soil was the source and
origin of all wealth, whilst human labour, however highly developed it
might be, could add nothing to what was drawn from the soil, because labour
itself consumed what it produced. This may look like the first application
of the subsequently discovered natural law of the conservation of force;
and--notwithstanding its obvious absurdity--it was seriously believed in
because it professed to explain what seemed otherwise inexplicable. Between
the labourer's means of subsistence, the amount of labour employed, and the
product, there is by no means that quantitative relation which is to be
found in the conversion of one physical force into another. Human labour
produces more or less in proportion as it is better or worse applied; for
production does not consist in converting labour into things that have a
value, but in using labour to produce such things out of natural objects. A
child can understand this, yet the acutest thinkers of the eighteenth
century denied it with the approval of the best of their contemporaries and
of not the worst of their epigones, because they could not otherwise
explain the strange problem of human economics.

Then arose that giant of our science, one of the greatest minds of which
humanity can boast--Adam Smith. He restored the ancient wisdom of our
ancestors, and also clearly and irrefutably demonstrated what they had only
instinctively recognised--namely, that the increase of wealth depends upon
the productiveness of human labour. But while he threw round this truth the
enduring ramparts of his logic and of his sound understanding, he
altogether failed to see that the actual facts directly contradicted his
doctrine. He saw that wealth did _not_ increase step by step with the
increased productiveness of labour; but he believed he had discovered the
cause of this in the mercantilistic and physiocratic sins of the past. In
his day the historical sense was not sufficiently developed to save him
from the error of confounding the--erroneous--explanations of an existing
evil with its causes. Hence he believed that the course of economic events
would necessarily correspond fully with the restored laws of a sound
understanding--that is, that wealth would necessarily increase step by step
with the capacity of producing it, if only production were freed from the
legislative restraints and fiscal fetters which cramped it.

But even this delusion could not long prevail. Ricardo was the first of the
moderns who perceived that wealth did not increase in proportion to
industrial capacity, even when production and trade were, as Smith
demanded, freed from State interference and injury. He hit upon the
expedient of finding the cause of this incongruity in the nature of labour
itself. Since labour is the only source of value, he said, it cannot
increase value. A thing is worth as much as the quantity of labour put into
it; consequently, when with increasing productiveness of labour the amount
of labour necessary to the production of a thing is diminished, then the
value of that thing diminishes also. Hence no increase in the
productiveness of labour can increase the total sum of values. This,
however, is a fundamental mistake, for what depends upon the amount of
labour is merely the _relative_ value of things--the exchange relation in
which they stand to other things. This is so self-evident that Ricardo
himself cannot avoid expressly stating that he is speaking of merely the
'relative' value of things; nevertheless, this relative value--which,
strictly speaking, is nothing but a value relation, the relation of
values--is treated by him as if it were absolute value.

And yet Ricardo's error is a not less important step in the evolution of
doctrine than those of his previously mentioned predecessors. It signifies
the revival of the original problem of political economy, which had been
lost sight of since Adam Smith; and Ricardo's follower, Marx, is in a
certain sense right when, with bitter scorn, he denounces as 'vulgar
economists' those who, persistently clinging to Smith's optimism, see in
the _productiveness_ of labour the measure of the increase of _actual_
wealth. For all that was brought against Ricardo by his opponents was known
by him as well as or better than by them; only he knew what had escaped
their notice, or what they saw no obligation to take note of in their
theory--namely, that the actual facts directly contradicted the doctrine.
It by no means escaped Ricardo that his attempted reconciliation of the
theory with the great problem of economics was absurd; and Marx has most
clearly shown the absurdity of it. The latter speaks of the alleged
dependence of value, not upon the productiveness of labour, but upon the
effort put forth by the labourer, as the 'fetishism' of industry; this
relation, being unnatural, contrary to the nature of things, ought
therefore--and this, again, is Marx's contribution to the progress of the
science--to be referred back to an unnatural ultimate cause residing, not
in the nature of things, but in human arrangements. And in looking for this
ultimate cause, he, like his great predecessors, comes extremely near to
the truth, but, after all, glides past without seeing it.

On this road, which leads to truth past so many errors, the last stage is
the hypothesis set up by the so-called Historical School of political
economy--the hypothesis, namely, that there exists in the nature of things
a gulf between economic theory and practice, which makes it quite
conceivable that the principles that are correct _in thesi_ do not coincide
with the real course of industrial life. The existence of the problem is
thereby more fully established than ever, but its solution is placed
outside of the domain of theoretical cognisance. For the Historical School
is perfectly correct in maintaining that the abstractions of the current
economic doctrine are practically useless, and that this is true not only
of some of them, but of all. The real human economy does _not_ obey those
laws which the theorists have abstractedly deduced from economic phenomena.
Hence it is only possible either that the human economy is by its very
nature unfitted to become the object of scientific abstraction and
cognisance, or that the abstractions hitherto made have been
erroneous--erroneous, that is, not in the sense of being actually out of
harmony with phenomena from which they are correctly and logically deduced,
but in the sense of being theoretically erroneous, deduced according to
wrong principles, and therefore useless both _in abstracto_ and _in

Of these alternatives only the second can, in reality, be correct. There is
absolutely no reasonable ground for supposing that the laws which regulate
the economic activity of men should be beyond human cognisance; and still
less ground is there for assuming that such laws do not exist at all. We
must therefore suppose that the science which seeks to discover these laws
has hitherto failed to attain its object simply because it has been upon
the wrong road--that is, that the principles of political economy are
erroneous because, in deducing them from the economic phenomena, some fact
has been overlooked, some mistake in reasoning has been committed. There
_must_ be a correct solution of the problem of political economy; and the
solution of the social problem derived from the theory of social evolution
offers at once the key to the other.

The correct answer to the question, 'Why are we not richer in proportion to
the increase in our productive capacity?' is this: _Because wealth does not
consist in what can be produced, but in what is actually produced; the
actual production, however, depends not merely upon the amount of
productive power, but also upon the extent of what is required, not merely
upon the possible supply, but also upon the possible demand: the current
social arrangements, however, prevent the demand from increasing to the
same extent as the productive capacity._ In other words: We do not produce
that wealth which our present capacity makes it possible for us to produce,
but only so much as we have use for; and this use depends, not upon our
capacity of producing, but upon our capacity of consuming.

It is now plain why the economic problem of the disparity between the
possible and the actual increase of wealth is of so comparatively recent a
date. Antiquity and the middle ages knew nothing of this problem, because
human labour was not then productive enough to do more than provide and
maintain the means of production after covering the consumption of the
masses and the possessors of property. There was in those ages a demand for
all the things which labour was then able to produce; full employment could
be made of any increase of capacity to create wealth; no one could for a
moment be in doubt as to the purpose which the increased power of producing
had served; there was no economic problem to call into existence a special
science of political economy. Then came the Renaissance; the human mind
awoke out of its thousand years of hibernation; the great inventions and
discoveries rapidly followed one upon another; division of labour and the
mobilisation of capital gave a powerful impulse to production; and now, for
the first time, the productiveness of labour became so great, and the
impossibility of using as much as labour could produce became so evident,
that men were compelled to face the perplexing fact which finds expression
in the economic problem.

That three centuries should have had to elapse before the solution could be
found, is in perfect harmony with the other fact that it was reserved for
these last generations to give us complete control over the forces of
nature, and to render it possible for us to _make use_ of the knowledge we
have acquired. For so long as human production was in the main dependent
upon the capacity and strength of human muscles, aided by the muscles of a
few domestic animals, more might certainly be produced than would be
consumed by the luxury of a few after the bare subsistence of the masses
had been provided for; but to afford to _all_ men an abundance without
excessive labour needed the results of the substitution of the
inexhaustible forces of nature for muscular energy. Until this substitution
had become possible, it would have availed mankind little to have attained
to a knowledge of the ultimate ground of the hindrance to the full
utilisation of the then existing powers of production.

For in order that the exploitage of man by man might be put an end to, it
was necessary that the amount of producible wealth should not merely exceed
the consumption of the few wealthy persons, but should be sufficient to
satisfy the higher human needs of all. Economic equity, if it is not to
bring about a stagnation in civilisation, assumes that the man who has to
depend upon the earnings of his own labour is in a position to enjoy a
considerable amount of wealth at the cost of moderate effort. This has
become possible only during the last few generations; and herein is to be
sought the reason why the great economists of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries were not able to rise to an unprejudiced critical
examination of the true nature and the necessary consequences of the
exploiting system of industry. _They_ were compelled to regard exploitage
as a cruel but eternally unavoidable condition of the progress of
civilisation; for when they lived it was and it always had been a necessity
of civilisation, and they could not justly be expected to anticipate such a
fundamental revolution in the conditions of human existence as must
necessarily precede the passage from exploitage to economic equity.

So long as the exploitage of man by man was considered a necessary and
eternal institution, there existed no motive to prompt men to subject it to
a closer critical investigation; and in the absence of such an
investigation its influence upon the nature and extent of demand could not
be discovered. The old economists were therefore _compelled_ to believe it
chimerical to think of demand as falling short of production; for they
said, quite correctly, that man produces only to consume. Here, with them,
the question of demand was done with, and every possibility of the
discovery of the true connection cut off. Their successors, on the other
hand, who have all been witnesses of the undreamt-of increase of the
productiveness of labour, have hitherto been prevented, by their otherwise
well-justified respect for the authority of the founders of our science,
from adequately estimating the economic importance of this revolution in
the conditions of labour. The classical system of economics is based upon a
conception of the world which takes in all the affairs of life, is
self-consistent, and is supported by all the past teachings of the great
forms of civilisation; and if we would estimate the enormous force with
which this doctrine holds us bound, we must remember that even those who
were the first to recognise its incongruity with existing facts were unable
to free themselves from its power. They persisted in believing in it,
though they perceived its incompatibility with the facts, and knew
therefore that it was false.

This glance at the historical evolution of economic doctrine opens the way
to the rectification of all the errors of which the different schools of
political economy have--even in their quest after truth--been guilty. It is
seen that the great inquirers and thinkers of past centuries, in their vast
work of investigation and analysis of economic facts, approached so very
near to the full and complete cognisance of the true connection of all
phenomena, that it needed but a little more labour in order to construct a
thoroughly harmonious definitive economic theory based upon the solution,
at last discovered, of the long vexed problem.

I zealously threw myself into this task, and had proceeded with it a
considerable way--to the close of a thick first volume, containing a new
treatment of the theory of value; but when at work on the classical theory
of capital, I made a discovery which at once threw a ray of light into the
obscurity that had until then made the practical realisation of the forms
of social organisation impossible. _I perceived that capitalism stops the
growth of wealth, not_--as Marx has it--_by stimulating 'production for the
market,' but by preventing the consumption of the surplus produce; and that
interest, though not unjust, will nevertheless in a condition of economic
justice become superfluous and objectless._ These two fundamental truths
will be found treated in detail in chapters xxiv. and xviii.; but I cannot
refrain here from doing justice to the manes of Marx, by acknowledging
unreservedly his service in having been the first to proclaim--though he
misunderstood it and argued illogically--the connection between the problem
of value and modern capitalism.

I consider the theoretical and practical importance of these new truths to
be incalculable. Not merely do they at once give to the theory of social
evolution the unity and harmony of a definitive whole, but, what is more,
they show the way to an immediate practical realisation of the principles
formulated by this theory. If it is possible for the community to provide
the capital for production with out thereby doing injury to either the
principle of perfect individual freedom or to that of justice, _if interest
can be dispensed with without introducing communistic control in its stead,
then there no longer stands any positive obstacle in the way of the
establishment of the free social order_.

My intense delight at making this discovery robbed me of the calm necessary
to the prosecution of the abstract investigations upon which I was engaged.
Before my mind's eye arose scenes which the reader will find in the
following pages--tangible, living pictures of a commonwealth based upon the
most perfect freedom and equity, and which needs nothing to convert it into
a reality but the will of a number of resolute men. It happened to me as it
may have happened to Bacon of Verulam when his studies for the 'Novum
Organon' were interrupted by the vision of his 'Nova Atlantis'--with this
difference, however, that his prophetic glance saw the land of social
freedom and justice when centuries of bondage still separated him from it,
whilst I see it when mankind is already actually equipped ready to step
over its threshold. Like him, I felt an irresistible impulse vividly to
depict what agitated my mind. Thus, putting aside for awhile the abstract
and systematic treatise which I had begun, I wrote this book, which can
justly be called 'a political romance,' though it differs from all its
predecessors of that category in introducing no unknown and mysterious
human powers and characteristics, but throughout keeps to the firm ground
of the soberest reality. The scene of the occurrences described by me is no
imaginary fairy-land, but a part of our planet well-known to modern
geography, which I describe exactly as its discoverers and explorers have
done. The men who appear in my narrative are endowed with no supernatural
properties and virtues, but are spirit of our spirit, flesh of our flesh;
and the motive prompting their economic activity is neither public spirit
nor universal philanthropy, but an ordinary and commonplace self-interest.
Everything in my 'Freeland' is severely real, only one fiction underlies
the whole narrative, namely, that a sufficient number of men possessing a
modicum of capacity and strength have actually been found ready to take the
step that shall deliver them from the bondage of the exploiting system of
economics, and conduct them into the enjoyment of a system of social equity
and freedom. Let this one assumption be but realised--and that it will be,
sooner or later, I have no doubt, though perhaps not exactly as I have
represented--then will 'Freeland' have become a reality, and the
deliverance of mankind will have been accomplished. For the age of bondage
is past; that control over the forces of nature which the founder of modern
natural science, in his 'Nova Atlantis,' predicted as the end of human
misery has now been actually acquired. We are prevented from enjoying the
fruits of this acquisition, from making full use of the discoveries and
inventions of the great intellects of our race, by nothing but the
phlegmatic faculty of persistence in old habits which still keeps laws and
institutions in force when the conditions that gave rise to them have long
since disappeared.

As this book professes to offer, in narrative form, a picture of the actual
social life of the future, it follows as a matter of course that it will be
exposed, in all its essential features, to the severest professional
criticism. To this criticism I submit it, with this observation, that, if
my work is to be regarded as a failure, or as the offspring of frivolous
fancy, it must be demonstrated that men gifted with a normal average
understanding would in any material point arrive at results other than
those described by me if they were organised according to the principles
which I have expounded; or that those principles contain anything which a
sound understanding would not accept as a self-evident postulate of justice
as well as of an enlightened self-interest.

I do not imagine that the establishment of the future social order must
necessarily be effected exactly in the way described in the following
pages. But I certainly think that this would be the best and the simplest
way, because it would most speedily and easily lead to the desired result.
If economic freedom and justice are to obtain in human society, they must
be seriously _determined upon_; and it seems easier to unite a few
thousands in such a determination than numberless millions, most of whom
are not accustomed to accept the new--let it be ever so clear and
self-evident--until it has been embodied in fact.

Nor would I be understood to mean that, supposing there could be found a
sufficient number of resolute men to carry out the work of social
emancipation, Equatorial Africa must be chosen as the scene of the
undertaking. I was led, by reasons stated in the book, to fix upon the
remarkable hill country of Central Africa; but similar results could be
achieved in many other parts of our planet. I must ask the reader to
believe that, in making choice of the scene, I was not influenced by a
desire to give the reins to my fancy; on the contrary, the descriptions of
the little-known mountains and lakes of Central Africa adhere in all points
to sober reality. Any one who doubts this may compare my narrative with the
accounts given by Speke, Grant, Livingstone, Baker, Stanley, Emin Pacha,
Thomson, Johnston, Fischer--in short, by all who have visited these
paradisiacal regions.

Just a few words in conclusion, in justification of the romantic
accessories introduced into the exposition of so serious a subject. I might
appeal to the example of my illustrious predecessors, of whom I have
already mentioned Bacon, the clearest, the acutest, the soberest thinker of
all times. But I feel bound to confess that I had a double purpose. In the
first place, I hoped by means of vivid and striking pictures to make the
difficult questions which form the essential theme of the book acceptable
to a wider circle of readers than I could have expected to reach by a dry
systematic treatment. In the second place, I wished, by means of the
concrete form thus given to a part of my abstractions, to refute by
anticipation the criticism that those abstractions, though correct _in
thesi_, were nevertheless inapplicable _in praxi_. Whether I have succeeded
in these two objects remains to be proved.


VIENNA: _October_ 1889.





In July 18 ... the following appeared in the leading journals of Europe and


'A number of men from all parts of the civilised world have united for the
purpose of making a practical attempt to solve the social problem.

'They seek this solution in the establishment of a community on the basis
of perfect liberty and economic justice--that is, of a community which,
while it preserves the unqualified right of every individual to control his
own actions, secures to every worker the full and uncurtailed enjoyment of
the fruits of his labour.

'For the site of such a community a large tract of land shall be procured
in a territory at present unappropriated, but fertile and well adapted for

'The Free Society shall recognise no exclusive right of property in the
land occupied by them, either on the part of an individual or of the
collective community.

'For the cultivation of the land, as well as for productive purposes
generally, self-governing associations shall be formed, each of which shall
share its profits among its members in proportion to their several
contributions to the common labour of the association. Anyone shall have
the right to belong to any association and to leave it when he pleases.

'The capital for production shall be furnished to the producers without
interest out of the revenue of the community, but it must be re-imbursed by
the producers.

'All persons who are incapable of labour, and women, shall have a right to
a competent allowance for maintenance out of the revenue of the community.

'The public revenue necessary for the above purposes, as well as for other
public expenses, shall be provided by a tax levied upon the net income of
the total production.

'The International Free Society already possesses a number of members and
an amount of capital sufficient for the commencement of its work upon a
moderate scale. As, however, it is thought, on the one hand, that the
Society's success will necessarily be in proportion to the amount of means
at its disposal, and, on the other hand, that opportunity should be given
to others who may sympathise with the movement to join in the undertaking,
the Society hereby announces that inquiries or communications of any kind
may be addressed to the office of the Society at the Hague. The
International Free Society will hold a public meeting at the Hague, on the
20th of October next, at which the definitive resolutions prior to the
beginning of the work will be passed.

'For the Executive Committee of the International Free Society,


'THE HAGUE, _July_ 18 ...'

This announcement produced no little sensation throughout the world. Any
suspicion of mystification or of fraud was averted by the name of the
acting representative of the Executive Committee. Dr. Strahl was not merely
a man of good social position, but was widely known as one of the first
political economists of Germany. The strange project, therefore, could not
but be seriously received, and the journals of the most diverse party
tendencies at once gave it their fullest attention.

Long before the 20th of October there was not a journal on either side of
the Atlantic which had not assumed a definite attitude towards the question
whether the realisation of the plans of the Free Society belonged to the
domain of the possible or to that of the Utopian. The Society itself,
however, kept aloof from the battle of the journals. It was evidently not
the intention of the Society to win over its opponents by theoretical
evidence; it would attract to itself voluntary sympathisers and then
proceed to action.

As the 20th of October drew near, it became evident that the largest public
hall in the Hague would not accommodate the number of members, guests, and
persons moved by curiosity who wished to attend. Hence it was found
necessary to limit the number of at least the last category of the
audience; and this was done by admitting gratis the guests who came from a
distance, while those who belonged to the place were charged twenty Dutch
guldens. (The proceeds of these tickets were given to the local hospital.)
Nevertheless, on the morning of the 20th of October the place of
assembly--capable of seating two thousand persons--was filled to the last

Amid the breathless attention of the audience, the President--Dr.
Strahl--rose to open the meeting. The unexpectedly large number of fresh
members and the large amount of contributions which had been received
showed that, even before facts had had time to speak, the importance of the
projected undertaking of the International Free Society was fully
recognised by thousands in all parts of the habitable globe without
distinction of sex or of condition. 'The conviction that the community to
the establishment of which we are about to proceed'--thus began the
speaker--'is destined to attack poverty and misery at the root, and
together with these to annihilate all that wretchedness and all those vices
which are to be regarded as the evil results of misery--this conviction
finds expression not simply in the words, but also in the actions, of the
greater part of our members, in the lofty self-denying enthusiasm with
which they--each one according to his power--have contributed towards the
realisation of the common aim. When we sent out our appeal we numbered but
eighty-four, the funds at our disposal amounted to only 11,400£; to-day the
Society consists of 5,650 members, and its funds amount to 205,620£.' (Here
the speaker was interrupted by applause that lasted several minutes.) 'Of
course, such a sum could not have been collected from only those most
wretched of the wretched whom we are accustomed to think of as exclusively
interested in the solution of the social problem. This will be still more
evident when the list of our members is examined in detail. That list
shows, with irresistible force, that disgust and horror at the social
condition of the people have by degrees taken possession of even those who
apparently derive benefit from the privations of their disinherited
fellow-men. For--and I would lay special emphasis upon this--those
well-to-do and rich persons, some of whose names appear as contributors of
thousands of pounds to our funds, have with few exceptions joined us not
merely as helpers, but also as seekers of help; they wish to found the new
community not merely for their suffering brethren, but also for themselves.
And from this, more than from anything else, do we derive our firm
conviction of the success of our work.'

Long-continued and enthusiastic applause again interrupted the President.
When quiet was once more restored, Dr. Strahl thus concluded his short

'In carrying out our programme, a hitherto unappropriated large tract of
land will have to be acquired for the founding of an independent community.
The question now is, what part of the earth shall we choose for such a
purpose? For obvious reasons we cannot look for territory to any part of
Europe; and everywhere in Asia, at least in those parts in which Caucasian
races could flourish, we should be continually coming into collision with
ancient forms of law and society. We might expect that the several
governments in America and Australia would readily grant us land and
freedom of action; but even there our young community would scarcely be
able to enjoy that undisturbed quiet and security against antagonistic
interference which would be at first a necessary condition of rapid and
uninterrupted success. Thus there remains only Africa, the oldest yet the
last-explored part of the world. The equatorial portion of its interior is
virtually unappropriated; we find there not merely the practically
unlimited extent and absence of disturbing influences necessary for our
development, but--if the selection be wisely made--the most favourable
conditions of climate and soil imaginable. Vast highlands, which unite in
themselves the advantages of the tropics and of our Alpine regions, there
await settlement. Communication with these hilly districts situated far in
the interior of the Dark Continent is certainly difficult; but that is a
condition necessary to us at first. We therefore propose to you that we
should fix our new home in the interior of Equatorial Africa. And we are
thinking particularly of the mountain district of Kenia, the territory to
the east of the Victoria Nyanza, between latitude 1° S. and 1° N., and
longitude 34°-88° E. It is there that we expect to find the most suitable
district for our purpose. Does the meeting approve of this choice?'

Unanimous assent was expressed, and loud cries were enthusiastically
uttered of 'Forwards! To-day rather than to-morrow!' It was unmistakably
evident that the majority wished to make a beginning at once. The President
then resumed:

'Such haste is not practicable, my friends. The new home must first be
found and acquired; and that is a difficult and dangerous undertaking. The
way leads through deserts and inhospitable forests; conflicts with inimical
wild races will probably be inevitable; and all this demands strong
men--not women, children, and old men. The provisioning and protection of
an emigrant train of many thousand persons through such regions must be
organised. In short, it is absolutely necessary that a number of selected
pioneers should precede the general company. When the pioneers have
accomplished their task, the rest can follow.

'To make all requisite provision with the greatest possible vigour,
foresight, and speed, the directorate must be harmonious and fully informed
as to our aims. Hitherto the business of the Society has been in the hands
of a committee of ten; but as the membership has so largely increased, and
will increase still more largely, it might appear desirable to elect a
fresh executive, or at least to add to the numbers of the present one from
the new members. Yet we cannot recommend you to adopt such a course, for
the reason that the new members do not know each other, and could not
become sufficiently well acquainted with each other soon enough to prevent
the election from being anything but a game of chance. We rather ask from
you a confirmation of our authority, with the power of increasing our
numbers by co-option from among you as our judgment may suggest. And we ask
for this authorisation--which can be at any time withdrawn by your
resolution in a full meeting--for the period of two years. At the
expiration of this period we shall--we are fully convinced--not only have
fixed upon a new home, but have lived in it long enough to have learnt a
great deal about it.'

This proposition was unanimously adopted.

The President announced that all the communications of the executive
committee to the members would be published both in the newspapers and by
means of circulars. He then closed the meeting, which broke up in the
highest spirits.

The first act of the executive committee was to appoint two persons with
full powers to organise and take command of the pioneer expedition to
Central Africa. These two leaders of the expedition were so to divide their
duties that one of them was to organise and command the expedition until a
suitable territory was selected and occupied, and the other was to take in
hand the organisation of the colony. The one was to be, as it were, the
conductor, and the other the statesman of the expeditionary corps. For the
former duty the committee chose the well-known African traveller Thomas
Johnston, who had repeatedly traversed the region between Kilimanjaro and
Kenia, the so-called Masailand. Johnston was a junior member of the
Society, and was co-opted upon the committee upon his nomination as leader
of the pioneer expedition. To take charge of the expedition after its
arrival at the locality chosen, the committee nominated a young engineer,
Henry Ney, who, as the most intimate friend of the founder and intellectual
leader of the Society--Dr. Strahl--was held to be the most fitting person
to represent him during the first period of the founding of the community.

Dr. Strahl himself originally intended to accompany the pioneers and
personally to direct the first work of organisation in the new home, but
the other members of the committee urged strong objections. They could not
permit the man upon whose further labours the prosperous development of the
Society so largely depended to expose himself to dangers from which he was
the more likely to suffer harm because his health was delicate. And, after
mature reflection, he himself admitted that for the next few months his
presence would be more needed in Europe than in Central Africa. In a word,
Dr. Strahl consented to wait and to follow the pioneers with the main body
of members; and Henry Ney went with the expedition as his substitute.


The account--contained in this and the next five chapters--of the
preparations for and the successful completion of the African expedition,
as well as of the initial work of settling and cultivating the highlands of
Kenia, is taken from the journal of Dr. Strahl's friend:

My appointment as provisional substitute for our revered leader at first
filled me with alarm. The reflection that upon me depended in no small
degree the successful commencement of a work which we all had come to
regard as the most important and far-reaching in its consequences of any in
the history of human development, produced in me a sensation of giddiness.
But my despondency did not last long. I had no right to refuse a
responsibility which my colleagues had declared me to be the most fitted to
bear; and when my fatherly friend Strahl asked me whether I thought failure
possible on the supposition that those who were committed to my leadership
were fired with the same zeal as myself, and whether I had any reason to
question this supposition, then my courage revived, and in place of my
previous timidity I felt an unshakable conviction of the success of the
work, a conviction which I never lost for a moment.

The preparatory measures for the organisation of the pioneer expedition
were discussed and decided upon by the whole committee of the International
Free Society. The first thing to determine was the number of the
expedition. The expedition must not be too small, since the race among whom
we proposed to settle--the nomadic Masai, between the Kilima and the Kenia
mountains--was the most warlike in Equatorial Africa, and could be kept in
check only by presenting a strong and imposing appearance. On the other
hand, if the expedition were too numerous it would be exposed to the risk
of being hampered by the difficulty of obtaining supplies. It was
unanimously agreed to fix the number of pioneers at two hundred of the
sturdiest members of the Society, the best able to endure fatigue and
privation and to face danger, and every one of whom gave evidence of
possessing that degree of general intelligence which would qualify him to
assume, in case of need, the whole responsibility of the mission.

In pursuance of this resolve, the committee applied to the branch
associations--which had been formed wherever members of the Society
lived--for lists of those persons willing to join the expedition, to whose
health, vigorous constitution, and intelligence the respective branch
associations could certify. At the same time a full statement was to be
sent of the special knowledge, experience, and capabilities of the several
candidates. In the course of a few weeks offers were received from 870
strongly recommended members. Of these a hundred, whose qualifications
appeared to the committee to be in all points eminently satisfactory, were
at once chosen. This select hundred included four naturalists (two of whom
were geologists), three physicians, eight engineers, four representatives
of other branches of technical knowledge, and six scientifically trained
agriculturists and foresters; further, thirty artisans such as would make
the expedition able to meet all emergencies; and, finally, forty-five men
who were exceptionally good marksmen or remarkable for physical strength.
The selection of the other hundred pioneers was entrusted to the branch
associations, which were to choose one pioneer out of every seven or eight
of those whose names they had sent. The chosen men were asked to meet as
speedily as possible in Alexandria, which was fixed upon as the provisional
rendezvous of the expedition; money for their travelling expenses was
voted--which, it may be noted in passing, was declined with thanks by about
half of the pioneers.

Thus passed the month of November. In the meantime the committee had not
been idle. The equipment of the expedition was fully and exhaustively
discussed, the details decided upon, and all requisites carefully provided.
Each of the two hundred members was furnished with six complete sets of
underclothing of light elastic woollen material--the so-called Jäger
clothing; a lighter and a heavier woollen outer suit; two pair of
waterproof and two pair of lighter boots; two cork helmets, and one
waterproof overcoat. In weapons every member received a repeating-rifle of
the best construction for twelve shots, a pocket revolver, and an American
bowie-knife. In addition, there were provided a hundred sporting guns of
different calibres, from the elephant-guns, which shot two-ounce explosive
bullets, to the lightest fowling-pieces; and of course the necessary
ammunition was not forgotten.

At this point the weightiest questions for discussion were whether the
expedition should be a mounted one, and whether the baggage should be
transported from the Zanzibar coast by porters, called _pagazis_, or by
beasts of burden. Johnston's first intention was to purchase only eighty
horses and asses for the conveyance of the heavier baggage, and for the use
of any who might be sick or fatigued; and to hire 800 _pagazis_ in Zanzibar
and Mombasa as porters of the remainder of the baggage, which he estimated
at about 400 cwt. But he gave up this plan at once when he discovered what
my requirements were. He had made provision merely for six months'
maintenance of the expedition, and for articles of barter with the natives.
I required, above all, that the expedition should take with it implements,
machinery (in parts), and such other things as would place us in a
position, when we had arrived at our goal, as speedily as possible to begin
a rational system of agriculture and to engage in the production of what
would be necessary for the use of the many thousand colonists who would
follow us. We needed a number of agricultural implements, or, at least, of
those parts of them which could not be manufactured without complicated and
tedious preparation; similar materials for a field-forge and smithy, as
well as for a flour-mill and a saw-mill; further, seeds of all kinds and
saplings in large quantities, as well as many materials which we could not
reckon upon being able to produce at once in the interior of Africa.
Finally, I pointed out that, in order to make the way safe for the caravans
that would follow us, it would be advisable to form friendly alliances,
particularly with the warlike Masai, for which purpose larger and more
valuable stores of presents would be required than had been provided.

Johnston made no objection to all this. He estimated that the necessary
amount of baggage would thus be doubled, perhaps trebled, and that the
1,600 or 2,400 _pagazis_ that would be required would make the expedition
too cumbrous. Dr. Strahl proposed that transportation by _pagazis_ should
be relinquished altogether, and that beasts of burden should be used
exclusively. He knew well that in the low lands of Equatorial Africa the
tsetse-fly and the bad water were particularly fatal to horses; but these
difficulties were not to be anticipated on our route, which would soon take
us to the high land where the animals would be safe. And the difficulty due
to the peculiar character of the roads in Central Africa could be easily
overcome. These roads possess--as he had learnt from Johnston's
descriptions, among others--where they pass through thickets or bush, a
breadth of scarcely two feet, and are too narrow for pack-horses, which
have often to be unloaded at such places, and the transportation of the
luggage has to be effected by porters. This last expedient would either be
impossible or would involve an incalculable loss of time in the case of a
caravan possessing only beasts of burden with a proportionately small
number of drivers and attendants. But he thought that the roads could
everywhere be made passable for even beasts of burden by means of an
adequate number of well-equipped _éclaireurs_, or advance-guard. Johnston
was of the same opinion: if he were furnished with a hundred natives--whom
he would get from the population on the coast--supplied with axes and
fascine-knives, he would undertake to lead a caravan of beasts of burden to
the Kenia without any delay worth mentioning.

When this question was settled, Dr. Strahl again brought forward the idea
of mounting the 200 pioneers themselves. He had a double end in view. In
the first place--and it was this in part that had led him to make the
previous proposition--it would be necessary to provide for the introduction
and acclimatisation of beasts of burden and draught in the future home,
where there were already cattle, sheep, and goats, but neither horses,
asses, nor camels; and he held that it would be best for the expedition to
take with them at once as large a number as possible of these useful
animals. Moreover, he thought that we could travel much faster if we were
mounted. In the next place, he attached great importance to the careful
selection of animals--whether beasts of burden or for the saddle--suitable
for breeding purposes particularly in the case of the horses, since the
character of the future stock would depend entirely upon that of those
first introduced. This also was agreed to; only Johnston feared that the
expenses of the expedition would be too heavily increased. According to his
original plan, the expenses would not exceed 12,000£; but the alterations
would about quadruple the cost. This was not questioned; and Johnston's
estimate was subsequently found to be correct, for the expedition actually
consumed 52,500£. But it was unanimously urged that the funds which had
been placed so copiously at their disposal, and which were still rapidly
pouring in, could not be more usefully applied than in expediting the
journey as much as possible, and in establishing the new community upon as
sound a foundation as the means allowed.

The detailed consideration of the requisite material was then proceeded
with. When everything had been reckoned, and the total weight estimated, it
was found that we should have to transport a total burden of about 1,200
cwt., as follows:

150 cwt. of various kinds of meat and drink;
120 " " travelling materials (including fifty waterproof tents for
four men each);
160 " " various kinds of seed and other agricultural materials;
220 " " implements, machinery, and tools;
400 " " articles of barter and presents;
120 " " ammunition and explosives.

At Johnston's special request, in addition to the above, four light steel
mortars for shell were ordered of Krupp, in Essen. His object was not to
use these murderous weapons seriously against any foe; but he reckoned
that, should occasion occur, peace could be more easily preserved by means
of the terror which they would excite. At the last moment there came to
hand 300 Werndl rifles, together with the needful cartridges--very good
breechloaders which we bought cheaply of the Austrian Government, to use
partly as a reserve and partly to arm some of the negroes who were to be
hired at Zanzibar.

The baggage was to be borne by 100 sumpter-horses, 200 asses and mules, and
80 camels. Since we also needed 200 saddle-horses, with a small reserve for
accidents, it was resolved to buy in all 320 horses, 210 asses, and 85
camels, the horses to be bought, some in Egypt and some in Arabia, the
camels in Egypt, and the asses in Zanzibar.

All the necessary purchases were at once made. Our authorised agents
procured everything at the first source; buyers were sent to Yemen in
Arabia and to Zanzibar for horses and asses. When all this was done or
arranged, Johnston and I--we had meantime contracted a close
friendship--started for Alexandria.

But, before I describe our action there, I must mention an incident which
occurred in the committee. A young American lady had determined to join the
expedition. She was rich, beautiful, and eccentric, an enthusiastic admirer
of our principles, and evidently not accustomed to consider it possible
that her wishes should be seriously opposed. She had contributed very
largely to the funds of the Society, and had made up her mind to be one of
the first to set foot in the new African home. I must confess that I was
sorry for the noble girl, who was devoured by an eager longing for
adventure and painfully felt as a slight the anxious solicitude exhibited
by the committee on account of her sex. But nothing could be clone; we had
refused several women wishful to accompany their husbands who had been
chosen as pioneers, and we could make no exceptions. When the young lady
found that her appeals failed to move us men of the committee, she turned
to our female relatives, whom she speedily discovered; but she met with
little success among them. She was cordially and affectionately received by
the ladies, for she was very charming in her enthusiasm; but that was only
another reason, in the eyes of the women, for concluding that the men had
been right in refusing to allow such a delicate creature to share in the
dangers and privations of the journey of exploration. She was petted and
treated like a spoilt child that longed for the impossible, until Miss
Ellen Fox was fairly beside herself.

She suddenly calmed down; and this occurred in a striking manner
immediately after she became acquainted with another lady who also, though
for other reasons, wished to join our expedition. This other lady was my
sister Clara. While the former was prompted to go to Africa by her zeal for
our principles, the latter was fired with the same desire by detestation
and dread of those same principles. My sister (twelve years my senior, and
still unmarried, because she had not been able to find a man who satisfied
her ideal of personal distinction and lofty character) was one of the
best--in her inmost heart one of the noblest--of women, but full of
immovable prejudices with which I had been continually coming into contact
for the twenty-six years of my life. She was not cold-hearted--her hand was
always open to those who needed help; but she had an invincible contempt
for everything that did not belong to the so-called higher, cultured
classes. When for the first time the social question was explained to her
by me, she was seized with horror at the idea that reasonable men should
believe that she and her kitchen maid were endowed with equal rights by
nature. Finding that all efforts to convert her were in vain, I long
refrained from telling her anything of my relations with Dr. Strahl, or of
the, founding of the Free Society and the _rôle_ which I played in it. I
wished to spare her as long as possible the sorrow of knowing of my going
astray; for I love this sister dearly, and am idolised by her in return.
For many long years the one passion of her life was her anxious solicitude
about me. We lived together, and she always treated me as a small boy whose
bringing up was her business. That I could exist more than at most two or
three days away from her protection, without becoming the victim of my
childish inexperience and of the wickedness of evil men, always seemed to
her an utter impossibility. Imagine, then, the unutterable terror of my
protectress when I was eventually compelled to disclose to her not only
that I was a member of a socialistic society, had not only devoted the
whole of my modest fortune to the objects of that society, but had actually
been selected as leader of 200 Socialists into the interior of Africa! It
was some days before she could grasp and believe the monstrous fact; then
followed entreaties, tears, desperate reproaches, and expostulations. I
might let the fellows have my money--over which, however, she felt that she
should have kept better guard--but, for heaven's sake, could I not stay
like an honest man at home? She consulted our family physician as to my
responsibility for my actions; but she came back worse than she went, for
he was one of our Society--indeed, a member of the expedition. At last,
when all else had failed, she announced that, if I persisted in rushing to
my ruin, she would accompany me. When I explained to her that this could
not be, as there were to be no women in the expedition, she brought her
heaviest artillery to bear upon me; she reminded me of our deceased mother,
who, on her deathbed, had commissioned my sister never to leave me--a
testamentary injunction to which I ought religiously to submit. As I still
remained obdurate, daring for the first time in my life to remark that our
good mother had plainly committed me to my sister's care only during the
period of my childhood, she fell into hopeless despondency, out of which
nothing could rouse her. In vain did I use endearing terms; in vain did I
assure her that among our 200 pioneers there would certainly be some
excellent fellows between whom and myself there would exist kindly human
relations; in vain did I promise her that she should follow me in about six
months' time: it was all of no avail. She looked upon me as lost; and as
the day of my departure drew near I became exceedingly anxious to find some
means of allaying my sister's touching but foolish sorrow.

Just then Miss Ellen visited my sister. I was called away by business, and
had to leave them together alone; when I returned I found Clara wonderfully
comforted. She no longer wailed and moaned, and was even able to speak of
the dreadful subject without tears. It was plain that Miss Ellen's
exaltation of feeling had wrought soothingly upon her childish anguish; and
I inwardly blessed the charming American for it, the more so that from that
moment the latter no longer troubled us with her importunities. She had
gone away suddenly, and I most heartily congratulated myself on having thus
got rid of a double difficulty.

On the 3rd of December Johnston and I reached Alexandria, where we found
most of our fellow-pioneers awaiting us. Twenty-three wore still missing,
some of whom were coming from great distances, and others had been hindered
by unforeseen contingencies. Johnston set to work at once with the
equipment, exercising, end organisation of the troop. For these purposes we
left the city, and encamped about six miles off, on the shore of Lake
Mareotis. The provisioning was undertaken by a commissariat of six members
under my superintendence; each man received full rations and--unless it was
expressly declined--2£ per month in cash. The same amount was paid during
the whole of the time occupied by the expedition--of course not in the form
of cash, which would have been useless in Equatorial Africa, but in goods
at cost price for use or barter. After such articles as clothing and arms
had been unpacked, the exercises began. Eight hours a day were spent in
manoeuvring, marching, swimming, riding, fencing, and target-practice.
Later on Johnston organised longer marches, extending over several days, as
far as Ghizeh and past the Pyramids to Cairo. In the meantime we got to
know each other. Johnston appointed his inferior officers, to whom, as to
him, military obedience was to be rendered--a necessity which was readily
recognised by all without exception. This may appear strange to some, in
view of the fact that we were going forth to found a community in which
absolute social equality and unlimited individual liberty were to prevail.
But we all understood that the ultimate object of our undertaking, and the
expedition which was to lead to that object, were two different things.
During the whole journey there did not occur one case of insubordination;
while, on the other hand, on the side of the officers not one instance of
unnecessary or rude assumption of authority was noticed.

When the time to go on to Zanzibar came, we were a completely trained
picked body of men. In manoeuvring we could compete with any corps of
Guards--naturally only in those exercises which give dexterity and agility
in face of a foe, and not in the parade march and the military salutes. In
these last respects we were and remained as ignorant as Hottentots. But we
could, without serious inconvenience, march or sit in the saddle, with only
brief halts, for twenty-four hours at a stretch; our quick firing yielded a
very respectable number of hits at a distance of eleven hundred yards; and
our grenade firing was not to be despised. We were quite as skilful with a
small battery of Congreve rockets which Johnston had had sent after us from
Trieste, on the advice of an Egyptian officer who had served in the
Soudan--a native of Austria, and a frequent witness of our practising at
Alexandria. The language of command, as well as that of our general
intercourse, was English. As many as 35 per cent. of us were English and
American, whilst the next numerous nationality--the German--was represented
by only about 23 per cent. Moreover, all but about forty-five of us
understood and spoke English more or less perfectly, and these forty-five
learnt to speak it tolerably well during our stay in Alexandria.

On the 30th of March we embarked on the 'Aurora,' a fine screw steamer of
3,000 tons, which the committee had chartered of the English P. and O.
Company, and which, after it had, at Liverpool, Marseilles, and Genoa,
taken on board the wares ordered for us, reached Alexandria on the 22nd of
March. The embarkation and providing accommodation for 200 horses and 60
camels, which had been bought in Egypt, occupied several days; but we were
in no hurry, as, on account of the rainy season, the journey into the
interior of Africa could not be begun before May. We reckoned that the
passage from Alexandria to Zanzibar--the halt in Aden, for taking on board
more horses and camels, included--would not exceed twenty days. We had
therefore fully two weeks left for Zanzibar and for the passage across to
Mombasa, whence we intended to take the road to the Kilimanjaro and the
Kenia, and where, on account of the danger from the fever which was alleged
to prevail on the coast, we did not purpose remaining a day longer than was

Our programme was successfully carried out. At Aden we met our agents with
120 superb Yemen horses, and 25 camels of equally excellent breed. Here
also were embarked 115 asses, which--like the camels--had been procured in
Arabia instead of Zanzibar or Egypt. On the 16th of April the 'Aurora'
dropped anchor in the harbour of Zanzibar.

Half the population of the island came out to greet us. Our fame had gone
before us, and, as it seemed, no ill fame; for the European colonists--who
during the last few years had increased to nearly 200--and the Arabians,
Hindoos, and negroes, vied with each other in friendliness and welcome.
Naturally, the first person to receive us was our Zanzibar representative,
who hastened to give us the agreeable assurance that he had exactly
performed his commission, and that, in view of the prevailing public
sentiment respecting us, there would be no difficulty whatever in engaging
the number of natives we required. The English, French, German, Italian,
and American consuls welcomed us most cordially; as did also the
representatives of the great European and American houses of business, who
were all most zealous in pressing their hospitality upon us. Finally
appeared the prime minister of the Sultan, who claimed the whole 200 of us
as his guests. In order to avoid giving offence in any quarter, we left
ourselves at the disposal of the consuls, who distributed us among the
friendly competitors in a way most agreeable to everyone. Johnston and
sixteen officers--myself being one of the company--were allotted to the
Sultan, who placed his whole palace, except that part devoted to his harem,
at our disposal, and entertained us in a truly princely manner. Yet,
ungrateful as it may seem, I must say that we seventeen elect had every
reason to envy those of our colleagues who were entertained less
splendidly, but very comfortably, in the bosom of European families. Our
host did only too much for us: the ten days of our residence in Zanzibar
were crowded with an endless series of banquets, serenades, Bayadère
dances, and the like; and this was the less agreeable as we really found
more to be done than we had expected. A great quantity of articles for
barter had to be bought and packed; and we had to engage no fewer than 280
Swahili men--coast dwellers--as attendants, drivers, and other workmen,
besides the requisite number of guides and interpreters. In all this both
the consuls and the Sultan's officials rendered us excellent service; and
as the negroes had a very favourable opinion of our expedition, in which
they anticipated neither excessive labour nor great danger, since we had a
great number of beasts and were well armed, we had a choice of the best men
that Zanzibar could afford for our purpose. But all this had to be attended
to, and during the whole of the ten days Johnston was sorely puzzled how to
execute his commission and yet do justice to the attentions of the Sultan.

At last, in spite of everything, the work was accomplished, and, as the
issue showed, well accomplished--certainly not so much through any special
care and skill on our part as through the good will shown to us on all
sides. The merchants, European and Indian, supplied us with the best goods
at the lowest prices, without giving us much trouble in selection; and the
Swahili exercised among themselves a kind of ostracism by whipping out of
the market any disreputable or useless colleagues. In this last respect, so
fortunate were we in our selection that, during the whole course of the
expedition, we were spared all those struggles with the laziness or
obstinacy of the natives which are generally the lot of such caravans; in
fact we had not a single case of desertion--an unheard-of circumstance in
the history of African expeditions.

On the 26th of April we left Zanzibar in the 'Aurora,' and reached Mombasa
safely the next morning. We had sent on, in charge of ten of our men, the
whole of our beasts and the greater part of our baggage in the 'Aurora' a
week before, together with a number of the attendants who had been engaged
in Zanzibar. We found all these in good condition, and for the most part
recovered from the ill-effects of the sea voyage. In order to muster the
people we had engaged, and at the same time to allot to each his duty, we
pitched a camp outside of Mombasa in a little palm-grove that commanded a
beautiful view of the sea. To every two led horses or camels, and to every
four asses, a driver and an attendant were allotted. This gave employment
to 145 of the 280 Swahili; 85 more were selected to carry the lighter and
more fragile articles, or such things as must be always readily accessible;
and the remaining 100--including, of course, the guides and two
interpreters--served as _éclaireurs_. By the 2nd of May everything was
ready, the burdens distributed, and every man had his place assigned; the
journey into the interior could be at once begun.

As, however, we could not start until we had received the European mails,
due in Zanzibar on the 3rd or 4th, by which we were to receive the last
news of our friends and any further instructions the committee wished to
give us, we had several days of leisure, which we were able to employ in
viewing the country around Mombasa.

The place itself is situated upon a small island at the mouth of a river,
which here spreads out into a considerable bay, with several dense
mangrove-swamps upon its banks. Hence residence on the coast and in Mombasa
itself is not conducive to health, and by no means desirable for a length
of time. But a few miles inland there are gently undulating hills, clothed
with fine clumps of cocoa-palms growing on ground covered with an
emerald-green sward. Among the trees are scattered the garden-encircled
huts of the Wa-Nyika, who inhabit this coast. These hills afford a healthy
residence during the rainy season; but it would be dangerous for a European
to live here the year through, as the prevailing temperature in the hot
months--from October to January--would in time be injurious to him. In May,
however, when the heavy rains that fall from February to April have
thoroughly cooled the soil and the air, the heat is by no means

The French packet-ship was a day behind, and did not arrive at Zanzibar
until late in the night of the 4th; but, thanks to the courtesy of the
captain, we received our letters a day earlier than we had expected them.
The captain, learning at Aden that we were awaiting our letters at Mombasa,
when off that place hailed an Arabian dhow and sent us by that our
packages, which we consequently received on the same morning; we should
otherwise have had to wait for them until the evening of the next day. Of
the news thus brought us only two items need be mentioned: first, the
intimation that the committee had instructed our agent in Zanzibar to keep
up constant communication with Mombasa during the whole period of our
journey, and for that purpose to have in readiness several despatch-boats
and a swift-sailing cutter; and, secondly, the information that on the 18th
of April, the day of despatching the mails, the membership of the Society
had reached 8,460, with funds amounting to nearly 400,000£.

Together with our letters there came another little surprise for us from
home. The dhow brought us a pack of not less than thirty-two dogs, in
charge of two keepers, who were the bearers of greetings to us from their
master, Lord Clinton. His lordship, a warm espouser of our principles and a
great lover of dogs, had sent us this present from York, believing that it
would be very useful to us both on our journey and after we had arrived at
our destination. The dogs were splendid creatures--a dozen mastiffs and
twenty sheep-dogs of that long-legged and long-haired breed which looks
like a cross between the greyhound and the St. Bernard. The smallest of the
mastiffs was above twenty-seven inches high at the loins; the sheep-dogs
not much smaller; and they all proved themselves to be well-trained and
well-mannered creatures. They met with a cordial welcome from us all. The
two keepers told us that they were perfectly indifferent to our plans and
principles, for they 'knew nothing at all about such matters;' but, if we
would allow them, they would gladly accompany us along with their
four-footed friends. As they looked like strong, healthy, and, in spite of
their simplicity, very decent fellows, and as they professed to be
tolerably expert in riding and shooting and experienced in the training and
treatment of different kinds of animals, we were pleased to take them with
us. A cordial letter of thanks was returned to Lord Clinton; and when our
mails had been sent off to Zanzibar, and all arrangements for the morrow
completed, we retired to rest for the last time previous to our departure
for the dark interior of the African world.


On the 5th of May we were woke by the horns and drums of the Kirangozis
(leaders of the caravan) at three o'clock, according to arrangement. The
large camp-fires, which had been prepared overnight, were lighted, and
breakfast--tea or coffee, with eggs and cold meat for us whites, a soup of
meat and vegetables for the Swahili--was cooked; and by the light of the
same fires preparations were made for starting. The advance-guard,
consisting of the hundred _éclaireurs_ and twenty lightly laden packhorses,
accompanied by thirty mounted pioneers, started an hour after we awoke. The
duty of the advance-guard was, with axe, billhook, and pick, so to clear
the way where it led through jungle and thicket as to make it passable for
our sumpter beasts with the larger baggage; to bridge, as well as they were
able, over watercourses; and to prepare the next camping-place for the main
body. In order to do this, the advance-guard had to precede us several
hours, or even several days, according to the character of the country. We
learnt from our guides that no great difficulties were to be anticipated at
the outset, so at first our advance-guard had no need to be more than a few
hours ahead.

It was eight o'clock when the main body was in order. In the front were 150
of us whites, headed by Johnston and myself; then followed in a long line
first the led horses, then the asses, and finally the camels; twenty whites
brought up the rear. Thus, at last, we left our camp with the sun already
shining hotly upon us; and, throwing back a last glance at Mombasa lying
picturesquely behind us, we bade farewell to the sea foaming below, whose
dull roar could be distinctly heard despite a distance of four or five
miles. To the sound of horns and drums we scaled the steep though not very
high hills that separated us from the so-called desert which lay between us
and the interior. The region, which we soon reached, evidently deserves the
name of desert only in the hot season; now, when the three months' rainy
season was scarcely over, we found the landscape park-like. Rich, though
not very high, grass alternated with groves of mimosa and dwarf palm and
with clumps of acacia. When, after a march of two hours, we had left the
last of the coast hills behind us, the grass became more luxuriant and the
trees more numerous, and taller; antelopes showed themselves in the
distance, but they were very shy and were soon scared away by the dogs,
which were not yet broken of the habit of useless hunting. About eleven
o'clock we halted for rest and refreshment in the shade of a palm-grove
which a dense mass of climbing plants had converted into a stately giant
canopy. All--men and beasts--were exhausted, though we had been scarcely
three hours on the march; the previous running and racing about in camp for
four hours had been the reverse of refreshing to us, and after ten o'clock
the heat had become most oppressive. Johnston comforted us by saying that
it would be better in future. In the first place, we should henceforth be
less time in getting ready to march, and should therefore start earlier--if
it depended upon him, soon after four--doing the greatest part of the way
in the cool of the morning, and halting at nine, or at the latest at ten.
Moreover, the district we were now going through was the hottest, if not
the most difficult, we should have to travel over; when we had once got
into the higher regions we should be troubled by excessive heat only

Reinvigorated by this encouragement, and more still by a generous meal--the
bulk of which consisted of two fat oxen bought on the way--and by the rest
in the shade of the dense liana-canopy, we started again at four o'clock,
and, after a trying march of nearly five hours, reached the camping-place
prepared by our advance-guard in the neighbourhood of a Wa-Kamba village
between Mkwalé and Mkinga. We did not come up with the advance-guard at
all; they had rested here about noon, but had gone on several hours before
we arrived, in order to keep ahead of us. However, they had left our supper
in charge of one of their number--eleven antelopes of different kinds,
which their huntsmen had shot by the way. The Swahili who had been left
with this welcome gift, and who mounted his Arab horse to overtake his
companions as soon as he had delivered his message, told us that they had
unexpectedly come upon a large herd of these charming beasts, among which
the white huntsmen had committed great havoc. Five antelopes had furnished
his company with their midday meal, as many had been taken away for their
evening meal, and the rest--among which, as he remarked, not without a
little envy, were the fattest animals--had been left for us. This attention
on the part of our companions who were ahead of us was received by us all
the more gratefully as, in the Wa-Kamba villages which we had passed
through since our midday halt, we had found no beasts for sale, except a
few lean goats, which we had refused in hopes of getting something better;
and we had been less fortunate in the chase than our advance-guard. Nothing
but a few insignificant birds had come within reach of our sportsmen, and
so we had already given up any hope of having fresh meat when the
unexpected present furnished us with a dainty meal, the value of which only
those can rightly estimate who have left an exhausting march behind them,
and have the prospect of nothing but vegetables and preserved meats before

On the morning of the next day, mindful of the inconvenience experienced by
us the day before, we began our march as early as half-past four. At first
the country was quite open; but in a couple of hours we reached the Duruma
country, where our advance-guard had had hot work. For more than half a
mile the path lay through thorny hush of the most horrible kind, which
would have been absolutely impassable by our sumpter beasts but for the
hatchets and billhooks of our brave _éclaireurs_. Thanks, however, to the
ample clearance they had made, we were quickly through. Towards eight
o'clock the way got better again; and this alternation was repeated until,
on the evening of the third day, we left Durumaland behind us and entered
upon the great desert that stretches thence almost without a break as far
as Teita. We once got very near to our advance-guard; I gave my steed the
spur, in order to see the men at their work, but they made it their
ambition to prevent us from getting quite close to them. With eager haste
they plied knife and hatchet in the thick thorny bush, until a passage was
made for us; and they then at once hurried forward without waiting for the
main column, the head of which was within a mile and a quarter of them.

Nothing noteworthy occurred during these days. We left our camp about
half-past four each morning, made our first halt about nine, resumed our
march again before five in the afternoon, and camped between eight and nine
in the evening. The provisioning in Durumaland was difficult; but we
succeeded in procuring from the pastoral and agricultural inhabitants
sufficient vegetables and flesh food, and of the latter a supply large
enough to last us until we had passed through the Duruma desert. The soil
seems to possess a great natural fertility, but its best portions are
uncultivated and neglected, since the inhabitants seldom venture out of
their jungle-thickets on account of the incessant inroads of the Masai. We
heard everywhere of the evil deeds of these marauders, who had only a few
weeks before fallen upon a tribe, slain the men, and driven off the women,
children, and cattle, and were said to be again on the war-path in search
of new booty. Our assurance that we would shortly free their district, as
well as the districts of all the tribes with whom we had contracted or
expected to contract alliance, from this scourge, was received by the
Wa-Duruma with great incredulity; for the Sultan of Zanzibar himself had
failed to prevent the Masai from extending their raids and levying
contributions even as far as Mombasa and Pangani. Nevertheless, our promise
spread rapidly far and near.

On the morning of the fourth day of our journey, just as we were preparing
to enter upon the desert, we learnt from some natives, who hurried by
breathless with alarm and anxiety, that a strong body of Masai had in the
night made a large capture of slaves and cattle, and were now on their way
to attack us. Thereupon we altered our arrangements. As the position we
occupied was a good one, we left our baggage and the drivers in camp, and
got ourselves ready for action. The guns were mounted and horsed, and the
rockets prepared; the former were placed in the middle, and the latter in
the two wings of the long line into which we formed ourselves. This was the
work of scarcely ten minutes, and in less than another quarter of an hour
we saw about six hundred Masai approaching at a rapid pace. We let them
come on unmolested until they were about 1,100 yards off. Then the trumpets
brayed, and our whole line galloped briskly to meet them. The Masai stopped
short when they saw the strange sight of a line of cavalry bearing down
upon them. We slackened our pace and went on slowly until we were a little
over a hundred yards from them. Then we halted, and Johnston, who is
tolerably fluent in the Masai dialect, rode a few steps farther and asked
them in a loud voice what they wanted. There was a short consultation among
the Masai, and then one of them came forward and asked whether we would pay
tribute or fight. 'Is this your country,' was the rejoinder, 'that you
demand tribute? We pay tribute to no one; we have gifts for our friends,
and deadly weapons for our foes. Whether the Masai will be our friends we
shall see when we visit their country. But we have already formed an
alliance with the Wa-Duruma, and therefore we allow no one to rob them.
Give back the prisoners and the booty and go home to your kraals, else we
shall be obliged to use against you our weapons and our medicines
(magic)--which we should be sorry to do, for we wish to contract alliance
with you also.'

This last statement was evidently taken to be a sign of weakness, for the
Masai, who at first seemed to be a little alarmed, shook their spears
threateningly, and with loud shouts set themselves again in motion towards
us. Our trumpets brayed again, and while we horsemen sprang forwards the
guns and rockets opened fire--not upon the foe, among whose close masses
they would have wrought execution as terrible as it would have been
unnecessary--but away over their heads. The Masai stayed for only one
volley. When the guns thundered, the rockets, hissing and crackling, swept
over their heads, and, above all, the strange creatures with four feet and
two heads rushed upon them, they turned in an instant and fled away
howling. Our artillery sent another volley after them, to increase their
panic, if possible; while the horsemen busied themselves taking prisoners
and getting possession of the slaves and children, who were now visible in
the distance.

In less than half an hour we had forty-three prisoners, and the whole of
the booty was in our possession. We should not have succeeded so completely
in freeing the Duruma women and children had these not been fettered in
such a way as to make it impossible for them to run quickly. For when these
poor creatures saw and heard the fighting and the noise, they made
desperate attempts to follow the fleeing Masai. The children behaved more
sensibly, for, though they were much alarmed by the firing and the rockets,
they gave us and our dogs--which performed excellent service in this
affair--little difficulty in driving them into our camp.

The captured Masai were fine daring-looking fellows, and maintained a
considerable degree of self-composure in spite of their intense alarm and
of their expectation of immediate execution. Fortunately there was among
them their _leitunu_, or chief and absolute leader of the party--a bronze
Apollo standing 6 ft. 6 in. high. He looked as if he would like to thrust
his _sime_, or short sword, into his own breast when the Wa-Duruma, who had
begun to collect about us, ventured to mock at him and his people and to
shout aloud for their death. Johnston most emphatically refused this
demand. Speaking loudly enough for the prisoners to hear, he explained that
the Masai were to become our allies; we had simply punished them for the
wrong they had done. Did they--the Duruma--imagine that we needed their
help, or the help of anyone, to slay the Masai if we wished to slay them?
Had they not seen that we fired into the air, when a few well-aimed shots
from our mighty machines would have sufficed to tear all the Masai in
pieces? Then, in order to show the Duruma--but still more the Masai--the
truth of these words, which had been listened to with shuddering and
without the slightest trace of scepticism, Johnston directed a full volley
of all our guns and rockets upon a dilapidated straw-thatched round hut
about 1,100 yards off. The hut was completely smashed, and at once burst
into flames--a spectacle which made a most powerful impression upon the

'Now go,' said Johnston to the Wa-Duruma, pretending not to notice how
intently our prisoners listened and looked on, 'and take your women,
children, and cattle, which we have set free, and leave the Masai in peace.
We will see to it that they do not trouble you in future. But do not forget
that in a few weeks the Masai also will be our allies.'

The Wa-Duruma obeyed, but they did not quite know what to make of this
business. When they were gone away, Johnston ordered their weapons to be
given back to the captive Masai, whom he commanded to go away, telling them
that in at most two weeks' time he expected to visit Lytokitok, the
south-eastern frontier district of Masailand; and that it was in order to
inform them of this that he had had them brought before him. But instead of
at once taking advantage of this permission to go away, the _el-moran_ (as
the Masai warriors are called) lingered where they were; and at last
Mdango, their _leitunu_, stepped forward and explained that it would be
certain death for such a small band of Masai, separated from their own
people, to seek to get home through Durumaland in its present agitated
condition; and if they must die, they would esteem it a greater honour to
die by the hand of so mighty a white _leibon_ (magician) than to be slain
by the cowardly Wa-Duruma or Wa-Teita. As it was our intention to visit
their country very soon, we willingly permitted them to accompany us.

Johnston's face beamed with delight at this auspicious beginning; but
towards the Masai he maintained a demeanour of absolute calm, and declared
in a dignified tone that what they asked was a great favour, and one of
which their previous behaviour had shown them to be so little worthy that
before he could give them a definite answer he must hold a _shauri_
(council) of his people. Leaving them standing where they were, he called
aside some twenty of us who were on horseback near him, and told us the
substance of the conversation. 'Of course, we will accede to the request of
the _leitunu_, who, judging from the large number of _el-moran_ that follow
him, must be one of their most influential men. If he is completely won
over, he will bring over his countrymen with him. So now I will inform him
of the result of our council.'

'Listen,' said he, turning to Mdango; 'we have decided to accede to your
request, for your brethren in Lytokitok shall not be able to say that we
have exposed you to a dishonourable death. But as we have directed our
weapons against you, though without shedding of blood, our customs forbid
us to admit you as guests to our camp and our table before you have fully
atoned for the outrage by which you have displeased us. This atonement will
have been made when each of you has contracted blood-brotherhood with him
who took you prisoner. Will you do this, and will you honourably keep your

The _el-moran_ very readily assented to this. Hereupon another council
was held among ourselves, and this was followed by the fraternisation--
according to the peculiar customs of the Masai--of the forty-three
prisoners with their captors; and we thereby gained forty-three allies
who--as Johnston assured us--would be hewed in pieces before they would
allow any harm to happen to us if they could prevent it.

By this time it was nine o'clock, and, as the day promised to be glowing
hot, we had no desire to set foot upon the burning Duruma desert until the
sun was below the horizon. We therefore retired to our camp, which had not
been left by the sumpter beasts, and then we prepared our midday meal. In
honour of our bloodless victory, we prepared an unusually sumptuous repast
of flesh and milk--the only food of the Masai _el-moran_--followed by an
enormous bowl of rum, honey, lemons, and hot water, which was heartily
relished by our people, but which threw the Masai into a state of ecstasy.
The ecstasy knew no bounds when, the punch being drunk, the forty-three
blood-brethren were severally adorned with red breeches as a tribute of
friendship. The _leitunu_ himself received an extra gift in the form of a
gold-embroidered scarlet mantle.

The Duruma desert, which we entered about five o'clock, is quite
uninhabited, and during the dry months has the bad repute of being almost
absolutely without water. Now, however, immediately after the rainy season,
we found a sufficient quantity of tolerably good water in the many
ground-fissures and well-like natural pits, often two or three yards deep.
But we suffered so much from the heat before sunset, that we sacrificed our
night-rest in making a forced march to Taro, a good-sized pool formed by
the collected rain-water. We reached this towards morning, and rested here
for half a day--that is, we did not start again until the evening,
husbanding our strength for the worst part of the way, which was yet to
come. From this point the water-holes became less frequent, and the
landscape particularly cheerless--monotonous stony expanses alternating
with hideous thorn-thickets. Yet both men and beasts held out bravely
through those three miserable days, and on the 12th of May we reached in
good condition, though wetted to the skin by a sudden and unexpected
downpour of rain, the charming country of the Wa-Teita on the fine Ndara
range of hills.

We here experienced for the first time the ravishing splendour of the
equatorial highlands. The Ndara range reaches a height of 5,000 feet and is
covered from summit to base with a luxuriant vegetation; a number of
silvery brooks and streams murmur and roar down its sides to the valleys;
and the view from favourably situated points is most charming. As we rested
here a whole day, most of us used the opportunity to make excursions
through the marvellous scenery, being most courteously guided about by
several Englishmen who had settled here for missionary and business
purposes. I could not penetrate so far as I wished into the tangle of
delicious shadowy valleys and hills which surrounded us, because I had to
arrange for the provisioning of the caravan both in Teita and for the
desert districts between Teita and the Kilimanjaro. But my more fortunate
companions scaled the neighbouring heights, spent the night either on or
just below the summits, refreshed themselves with the cool mountain air,
and came back intoxicated with all the beauty they had enjoyed. Even at the
foot of the Teita hills it was scarcely less charming. The bath under one
of the splashing waterfalls, fanned by the mild air and odours of evening,
would ever have been one of the pleasantest recollections of my life, if
Africa had not offered me still more glorious natural scenes.

We spent the 14th and 15th in leisurely marches through this paradise, in
which a rich booty in giraffes and various kinds of antelopes fell to our
huntsmen. Everywhere we concluded friendly alliances with the tribes and
their chiefs, and sealed our alliances with presents. During the two
following days we worked our way through the uninhabited--but therefore the
richer in game--desert of Taveta, which in fact is not so bad as its
reputation; and on the afternoon of the 17th we approached the cool forests
of the foot-hills of the Kilima, where a strange surprise was hi store for

When we were a few miles from Taveta and--as is customary in Africa--had
announced the arrival of our caravan by a salvo from our guns, Johnston and
I, riding at the head of the train, saw a man galloping towards us with
loose rein, in whom we at once recognised the leader of our advance-guard,
Engineer Demestre. The haste with which he galloped towards us at first
gave us some anxiety; but his smiling face soon showed us that it was no
ill-luck which brought him to us. He signalled to me from a distance, and
cried as he checked his horse in front of us: 'Your sister and Miss Fox are
in Taveta.'

Both Johnston and I must have made most absurd grimaces at this unexpected
announcement, for Demestre broke out into uproarious laughter, in which at
last we joined. Then he told us that, on the previous evening, when he and
his party arrived at Taveta, the two ladies had accosted him in the streets
as unconcernedly as if it were a casual meeting at home, had altogether
ignored the slight they had received, and, when asked, had told him in an
indifferent tone that they had travelled hither from Aden, whence they
started on the 30th of April--therefore while we were waiting at
Mombasa--to Zanzibar, whence, after a short stay, they went to Pangani and,
taking the route by Mkumbara and the Jipé lake, reached Taveta on the 14th
of May. They were accompanied by their servant and friend, Sam--a worthy
old negro who was Miss Fox's constant attendant--and four elephants upon
which they rode, to the boundless astonishment of the negroes. They were
quite comfortable in Taveta. 'Miss Clara sends greetings, and bids me tell
you that she longs to press you to her sisterly heart.'

When I saw that Demestre was not joking I put spurs to my horse, and in a
few minutes found myself in a shady, bowery woodland road which led from
the open country into Taveta. Soon after I saw the two ladies, one of whom
ran towards me with outstretched arms and, almost before I had touched the
ground, warmly embraced me, she weeping aloud the while. After the first
storm of emotion was over, I tried to get from my sister a fuller account
of her appearance here among the savages; but I failed, for as often as the
good creature began her story it was interrupted by her tears and her
expressions of joy at seeing me again, as well as by thoughts of all the
dangers from which I--heedless boy!--had been preserved by nothing but my
good luck. In the meantime Miss Fox had come up to us. She returned my
greeting with a slight tinge of sarcasm, but none the less cordially; and I
at length learned from her all that I wished to know.

I found that the two, at their very first meeting, had come to an
understanding and decided upon the principal features of their plot,
reserving the arrangement of details until we had left Europe. My sister
had found in Miss Fox the energy and the possession of the requisite
pecuniary means for the independent undertaking of an expedition, against
the will of the men; and Miss Fox had found in my sister the companion and
elder protectress, without whom even she would have shrunk from such a bold
enterprise. As Miss Fox was exactly informed of all our plans, she was able
to copy them in her own arrangements. She procured what she needed from the
manufacturers and brokers from whom we got our provisions, articles of
barter, and travelling necessaries. Like us, she substituted sumpter beasts
for _pagazis_; only, in order to be original in at least one point, she
chose elephants instead of horses, camels, or asses. She inferred that, as
elephants--though hitherto untamed--abounded in all the districts to which
we were going, Indian elephants would thrive well throughout Equatorial
Africa. A business friend of her late father's in Calcutta bought for her
four fine specimens of these pachyderms, and sent them with eight
experienced keepers and attendants to Aden, whence she took them with her
to Zanzibar. Here several guides and interpreters were hired; and, in order
not to come into collision with us too near the coast, she chose the route
by Pangani. The curiosity of the natives was here and there a little
troublesome; but, thanks mainly to the courteous attentions of the German
agents stationed in Mkumbana, Membe, and Taveta, the expedition had not met
with the slightest mishap. On their arrival at Taveta they had at once
dismissed their Swahili, and intended to join our expedition with the
elephants and Indians--unless we insisted on leaving them behind us alone
in Taveta.

What was to be done under such circumstances? It followed as a matter of
course that the two Amazons must henceforth form a part of our expedition;
and, to tell the truth, I knew not how to be angry with either my sister or
Miss Fox for their persistency. The worst dangers might be considered as
averted by the affair with the Masai in Duruma; the difficulties of the
journey were, as the result showed, no more than women could easily brave.
Therefore I gave myself up without anxiety to the joy of the unexpected
reunion. I was gratified to note also that the other members of the
expedition welcomed this addition to our numbers. So the elephants with
their fair burdens--for it may be added in passing that my sister,
notwithstanding her thirty-eight years, still retains her good looks--had
their place assigned to them in our caravan.

We bade farewell to our Masai friends outside Taveta. They were
commissioned to inform their countrymen that we should reach the frontier
of Lytokitok in eight or ten days, and that it was our intention to go
through the whole of Masailand in order to find a locality suitable for our
permanent settlement. This settlement of ours would be in the highest
degree profitable to the race in whose neighbourhood we should build our
dwellings, as we should make such race rich and invincible by any of their
foes. We should force no one to receive us and give us land, although we
possessed--as they were convinced--sufficient power to do so; and many
thousands of our brethren were only awaiting a message from us to come and
join us. If, however, a free passage were not peaceably granted to us
through any territory, we knew how to force it. We finally made our
blood-brethren solemnly engage to bring as many tribes as possible into
alliance with us, especially those who dwelt on the route to the Naivasha
lake, our route to the Kenia mountain; and we parted with mutual
expressions of good will. They had shown themselves most agreeable fellows,
and as parting mementos we gave them a number of what in their eyes were
very valuable presents for their beloved ones--the so-called 'Dittos'--such
as brass wire, brass bracelets and rings with imitation stones,
hand-mirrors, strings of glass pearls, cotton articles, and ribbons. These
gifts, which in Europe had not cost 20£ altogether, were--as we afterwards
had occasion to prove--worth among the Masai as much as a hundred fat oxen;
and the _el-moran_ were struck dumb with our generosity. But in their eyes
Johnston's final gift was beyond all price--a cavalry sabre with iron
sheath and a good Solingen blade for each of the departing heroes. To give
ocular demonstration of the quality of these weapons, Johnston got a
Belgian, skilled in such feats, to cut through at one stroke the strongest
of the Masai spears, the head of which was nearly five inches broad. He
then showed to the astonished warriors the still undamaged sword-blade. 'So
do our _simes_ cut,' he said, 'when used in righteous battle; but beware of
drawing them in pillage or murder, for they will then shatter in your hands
as glass and bring evil upon your heads.' We then gave them a friendly
salute, and they were soon out of sight.

We stayed in Taveta five days to give our animals rest after their trying
marches, and to refresh ourselves with the indescribable charms of this
country, which surpassed in pleasantness and tropical splendour, as well as
in the grandeur of the mountain-ranges, anything we had hitherto seen. We
wished also, with the assistance of the German agents settled here and in
the neighbouring Moshi, to complete our equipment for the rest of the
journey. These gentlemen, and not less the friendly natives, readily gave
us information as to what wares were then in special demand in Masailand;
and as we happened to have very few of a kind of blue pearls just then
fashionable among the Dittos, and not a single piece of a sort of cotton
cloth prized as a great novelty, we bought in Taveta several beast-loads of
these valuables.

In our excursions from Taveta we saw for the first time the Kilimanjaro
mountain in all its overpowering majesty. Rising abruptly more than 13,000
feet above the surrounding high land, this double-peaked giant reaches an
altitude of 19,000 feet above the sea, and bears upon its broad massive
back a stretch of snow with which in impressiveness neither the glaciers of
our European Alps nor, in a certain sense, those of the Andes and the
Himalayas, can compare. For nowhere else upon our earth does nature present
such a strong and sudden contrast between the most luxuriant and exuberant
tropical vegetation and the horrid chilling waste of broken precipices and
eternal ice as here in Equatorial Africa. The flora and fauna at the foot
of the Himalayas, for example, are scarcely less gorgeous than in the
wooded and well-watered country around Taveta; but while the snow-covered
peaks of the mountain-range of Central Asia rise hundreds of miles away
from the foot of the mountains, and it is therefore not possible to enjoy
the two kinds of scenery together, heightened by contrast, here one can,
from under the shade of a wild banana or mango-palm, count with a good
telescope the unfathomable glacier-crevasses--so palpably near is the world
of eternal ice to that of eternal summer. And what a summer!--a summer that
preserves its richest treasures of beauty and fruitfulness without relaxing
our nerves by its hot breath. These shady yet cheerful forests, these
crystal streams leaping everywhere through the flower-perfumed land, these
balmy airs which almost uninterruptedly float down from the near icefields,
and on their way through the mountain-gorges and higher valleys get laden
with the spicy breath of flowers,--all this must be seen and enjoyed in
order to know what Taveta is.

This favoured land produces a superabundance of material enjoyments of a
tangible kind. Fat cattle, sheep and goats, poultry, dainty fishes from the
Jipé lake and the Lumi river, specially dainty game of a thousand kinds
from the banks of the smaller mountain-streams which flow down the sides of
the Kilimanjaro, satisfy the most insatiable longing for flesh food. The
vegetable kingdom pours forth not less lavishly from its horn of plenty a
supply of almost all the wild and cultivated fruits and garden-produce of
the tropics. At the same time everything is so cheap that the most
extravagant glutton could not exceed a daily consumption costing more than
a penny or two, even should the courteous and hospitable Wa-Taveta accept
payment at all--which, however, they seldom did from us. It is true that
the fame of our heroic deeds against the Masai had gone before us, and
particularly the assurance that we had delivered Taveta from these
unwelcome guests, who, it is true, had hitherto been kept away on every
attack by the impenetrable forest fastnesses of Kilima, but whose
neighbourhood was nevertheless very troublesome. Besides, our hands were
ever open to the men of Taveta, and still more generously to the women.
European goods of all kinds, articles of clothing, primitive ornaments, and
especially a selection of photographs and Munich coloured picture-sheets,
won the hearts of our black hosts, so that when, on the morning of the 23rd
of May, we at last set out on our way, we were as sorry to leave this
splendid woodland district as the Wa-Taveta were to lose us. These good
simple-minded men accompanied us over their frontier; and many of the by no
means ill-looking Taveta girls, who had lost their hearts to their white or
their Swahili guests, shed bitter tears, and told their woe preferably to
our two ladies, who fortunately did not understand a word of these effusive
demonstrations of the Tavetan female heart. Prudery is an unknown thing in
Equatorial Africa; and the Taveta fair ones would have been as little able
to understand why anyone should think it wrong to open one's heart to a
guest as their white sisters would have been to conceive of the possibility
of talking freely and in all innocence of such matters without giving the
least offence to friends and relatives.


There are two routes from Taveta to Masailand, one leading westward past
Kilima through the territory of the Wa-Kwafi, the other along the eastern
slopes of the mountain through the lands occupied by the various tribes of
the Wa-Chaga.

Both routes pass through fertile and pleasant country; but we chose the
latter, because just then the Wa-Kwafi were at war with the Masai, and we
wished to avoid getting mixed up with any affair that did not concern us.
Moreover, we preferred to have dealings with the quiet and pacific Wa-Chaga
rather than with the swaggering Wa-Kwafi. By short day-marches we went on
past the wildly romantic Chala lake, shut in by dark perpendicular rocks,
through the wooded hillsides of Rombo and over the tableland of Useri. On
our way we crossed three considerable streams which unite to form the Tzavo
river. We also came upon numberless springs which sent their water down
from Kilima in all directions to irrigate the park-like meadows and the
well-cultivated fields of the natives. All along our route we exchanged
gifts and contracted alliances of friendship At times the chase was engaged
in, furnishing us with a great number of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, and

On the 28th of May we reached the frontier of Lytokitok, the south-eastern
boundary of Masailand. As we crossed the Rongei stream we met our friend
Mdango, accompanied by a large number of his warriors. His report was
gratifying. He had given his message, not only to the elders and warriors
of his own tribe, but to all the tribes from Lytokitok to the frontiers of
Kapté, and had invited them to a great _shauri_ at the Minyenye hill, half
a day's march from the frontier in the direction of the Useri. The
invitation had been numerously accepted by both _el-morun_ and
_el-moran_--_i.e._ married men and warriors--the latter attending to the
number of above 3,000 men; and two days before they had been in
consultation from morning until evening. The result was the unanimous
resolve to permit us to pass through; but they had not yet agreed whether
to insist upon the payment of the customary _hongo_, or tribute, exacted
from trade-caravans, or to await our spontaneous liberality. Indeed,
difficulties still stood in the way of a permanent alliance of friendship
with us, and it was mainly the majority of the _el-moran_ who wanted to
treat us as strangers passing through Masailand were generally
treated--that is, to exhibit towards us a violent, arrogant, and
extortionate demeanour. They refused to believe in our great power, since
we had not killed even one Masai warrior, but had sent home in good
condition all who had fought against us, except sixteen--who had, however,
been killed by the Wa-Duruma and the Wa Teita, and not by us. This party
advanced the opinion that Mdango and his men had fled from us out of
childish alarm, which assertion nearly led to a sanguinary encounter
between the deeply incensed accused and their accusers. Since, however,
even the latter admitted that we must be very good fellows, inasmuch as we
had in no way abused our victory, they were, as already stated, not
disinclined graciously to permit our passage through their country. And
since Mdango consoled himself with the reflection that we could best
dispose of the braggarts who laughed at him, he had restrained himself, and
told the other party they had better meet us and try to frighten us; he and
his would remain neutral notwithstanding the blood-brotherhood he had
contracted with us, but he would have nothing to do with compelling us to
pay tribute. All his six hundred warriors would adhere to him, and nearly
as many _el-moran_ from other tribes; the married men--the
_el-morun_--were, almost without exception, favourable to us. Thus stood
affairs, and we had to prepare ourselves to meet, hi a few hours, some
2,000 _el-moran_, to whom we must either pay heavy tribute or play the same
game as we had played with him and his in Duruma. Moreover, he gave us
plainly to understand that a few sharp shots from the cannons, or, still
better, a few rockets, would not be amiss.

Johnston rejected this counsel of revenge, which was unworthy of a
blood-brother of white men, and pacified him by promising that the boasters
should be thoroughly shamed, and that the laughers in Masailand should be
those of Mdango's party. Thereupon Johnston very quietly made his
preparations. The sumpter beasts and their drivers occupied the well-fenced
camp prepared by our advance-guard; we whites, on the contrary, placed
ourselves conspicuously in the shade of some large isolated sycamores, with
our saddled horses a few yards behind us, where were also the limbered-up
guns and rocket-battery. Even the four elephants, which Johnston had
accustomed to fire in Taveta, had a _rôle_ assigned to them in this
burlesque, and they were therefore sent with their attendants to feed in
the shade of a small wood close at hand. When all this was arranged, we
settled down quietly to our cooking, and did not allow ourselves to be
disturbed when the first band of _el-moran_ became visible. Our apparent
indifference perplexed them, and while still a mile and a quarter from us
they held a consultation. Then a deputation of ten of their young warriors
approached, the rest of the band awaiting their companions who had not yet
appeared. The messengers addressed us with great dignity, and, after they
had been referred to Johnston as our _leitunu_, asked us what we wanted.

'An unmolested passage through your country, and friendship with you,' was
the answer.

Would we pay tribute?

'Our brother Mdango has told you that for our friends we have rich
presents, but these presents are given voluntarily or for services
rendered. We have weapons for our foes, but tribute for no one.'

The _el-moran_ replied with dignity, but haughtily, that it was not the
custom of the country to allow travellers to pass through as they pleased;
we must either pay what was demanded, or fight.

'Friends, consider well what you are doing. We do not wish to fight, but to
keep the peace and become your brethren. Go back to your kraals, and be
careful not to molest us. Tell this to your young warriors. If you go away,
we will take that as an indication of your friendly disposition, and there
shall no harm come to you. But if you come beyond that bush' (here Johnston
pointed to a small wood, a little over two hundred yards away from our

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