Henry M. Stanley.

How I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley online

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Online LibraryHenry M. StanleyHow I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley → online text (page 23 of 38)
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now. There are fish, and beer, and a long rest waiting for you.

Before we had gone a hundred yards our repeated volleys had the
effect desired. We had awakened Ujiji to the knowledge that a
caravan was coming, and the people were witnessed rushing up in
hundreds to meet us. The mere sight of the flags informed every
one immediately that we were a caravan, but the American flag
borne aloft by gigantic Asmani, whose face was one vast smile on
this day, rather staggered them at first. However, many of the
people who now approached us, remembered the flag. They had seen
it float above the American Consulate, and from the mast-head of
many a ship in the harbor of Zanzibar, and they were soon heard
welcoming the beautiful flag with cries of "Bindera Kisungu!" - a
white man's flag! "Bindera Merikani!" - the American flag!

Then we were surrounded by them: by Wajiji, Wanyamwezi, Wangwana,
Warundi, Waguhha, Wamanyuema, and Arabs, and were almost
deafened with the shouts of "Yambo, yambo, bana! Yambo, bana!
Yambo, bana!" To all and each of my men the welcome was given.

We were now about three hundred yards from the village of Ujiji,
and the crowds are dense about me. Suddenly I hear a voice on
my right say,

"Good morning, sir!"

Startled at hearing this greeting in the midst of such a crowd of
black people, I turn sharply around in search of the man, and see
him at my side, with the blackest of faces, but animated and
joyous - a man dressed in a long white shirt, with a turban of
American sheeting around his woolly head, and I ask:

"Who the mischief are you?"

"I am Susi, the servant of Dr. Livingstone," said be, smiling,
and showing a gleaming row of teeth.

"What! Is Dr. Livingstone here?"

"Yes, sir."

"In this village?"

"Yes, sir."

"Are you sure?"

"Sure, sure, sir. Why, I leave him just now."

"Good morning, sir," said another voice.

"Hallo," said I, "is this another one?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, what is your name?"

"My name is Chumah, sir."

"What! are you Chumah, the friend of Wekotani?"

"Yes, sir."

"And is the-Doctor well?"

"Not very well, sir."

"Where has he been so long?"

"In Manyuema."

"Now, you Susi, run, and tell the Doctor I am coming."

"Yes, sir," and off he darted like a madman.

But by this time we were within two hundred yards of the village,
and the multitude was getting denser, and almost preventing our
march. Flags and streamers were out; Arabs and Wangwana were
pushing their way through the natives in order to greet us, for
according to their account, we belonged to them. But the great
wonder of all was, "How did you come from Unyanyembe?"

Soon Susi came running back, and asked me my name; he had told
the Doctor I was coming, but the Doctor was too surprised to believe
him, and when the Doctor asked him my name, Susi was rather staggered.

But, during Susi's absence, the news had been conveyed to the
Doctor that it was surely a white man that was coming, whose guns
were firing, and whose flag could be seen; and the great Arab
magnates of Ujiji - Mohammed bin Sali, Sayd bin Majid, Abid bin
Suliman, Mohammed bin Gharib, and others - had gathered together
before the Doctor's house, and the Doctor had come out from his
veranda to discuss the matter and await my arrival.

In the meantime, the head of the Expedition had halted, and the
kirangozi was out of the ranks, holding his flag aloft, and Selim
said to me, "I see the Doctor, sir. Oh, what an old man! He has
got a white beard." And I - what would I not have given for a bit
of friendly wilderness, where, unseen, I might vent my joy in some
mad freak, such as idiotically biting my hand; turning a somersault,
or slashing at trees, in order to allay those exciting feelings
that were well-nigh uncontrollable. My heart beats fast, but I must
not let my face betray my emotions, lest it shall detract from the
dignity of a white man appearing under such extraordinary circumstances.

So I did that which I thought was most dignified. I pushed back
the crowds, and, passing from the rear, walked down a living avenue
of people, until I came in front of the semicircle of Arabs, before
which stood the "white man with the grey beard."

As I advanced slowly towards him I noticed he was pale, that he
looked wearied and wan, that he had grey whiskers and moustache,
that he wore a bluish cloth cap with a faded gold band on a red
ground round it, and that he had on a red-sleeved waistcoat, and a
pair of grey tweed trousers.

I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of
such a mob - would have embraced him, but that I did not know how
he would receive me; so I did what moral cowardice and false pride
suggested was the best thing - walked deliberately to him, took off
my hat, and said:


"Yes," said he, with a kind, cordial smile, lifting his cap slightly.

I replaced my hat on my head, and he replaced his cap, and we
both grasped hands. I then said aloud:

"I thank God, Doctor, I have been permitted to see you."

He answered, "I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you."

I turned to the Arabs, took off my hat to them in response to the
saluting chorus of "Yambos" I received, and the Doctor introduced
them to me by name. Then, oblivious of the crowds, oblivious of
the men who shared with me my dangers, we - Livingstone and I -
turned our faces towards his house. He pointed to the veranda,
or rather, mud platform, under the broad overhanging eaves; he
pointed to his own particular seat, which I saw his age and
experience in Africa had suggested, namely, a straw mat, with a
goatskin over it, and another skin nailed against the wall to
protect his back from contact with the cold mud. I protested
against taking this seat, which so much more befitted him than I,
but the Doctor would not yield: I must take it.

We were seated - the Doctor and I - with our backs to the wall.
The Arabs took seats on our left. More than a thousand natives
were in our front, filling the whole square densely, indulging
their curiosity, and discussing the fact of two white men meeting
at Ujiji - one just come from Manyuema, in the west, the other from
Unyanyembe, in the east.

Conversation began. What about? I declare I have forgotten.
Oh! we mutually asked questions of one another, such as
"How did you come here?" and "Where have you been all this long
time? - the world has believed you to be dead." Yes, that was the
way it began: but whatever the Doctor informed me, and that which
I communicated to him, I cannot correctly report, for I found myself
gazing at him, conning the wonderful figure and face of the man at
whose side I now sat in Central Africa. Every hair of his head
and beard, every wrinkle of his face, the wanness of his features,
and the slightly wearied look he wore, were all imparting
intelligence to me - the knowledge I craved for so much ever since
I heard the words, "Take what you want, but find Livingstone."
What I saw was deeply interesting intelligence to me, and unvarnished
truth. I was listening and reading at the same time. What did these
dumb witnesses relate to me?

Oh, reader, had you been at my side on this day in Ujiji, how
eloquently could be told the nature of this man's work! Had you
been there but to see and hear! His lips gave me the details; lips
that never lie. I cannot repeat what he said; I was too much
engrossed to take my note-book out, and begin to stenograph his story.
He had so much to say that he began at the end, seemingly oblivious
of the fact that five or six years had to be accounted for. But his
account was oozing out; it was growing fast into grand proportions -
into a most marvellous history of deeds.

The Arabs rose up, with a delicacy I approved, as if they intuitively
knew that we ought to be left to ourselves. I sent Bombay with them
to give them the news they also wanted so much to know about the
affairs at Unyanyembe. Sayd bin Majid was the father of the gallant
young man whom I saw at Masangi, and who fought with me at Zimbizo,
and who soon afterwards was killed by Mirambo's Ruga-Ruga in the
forest of Wilyankuru; and, knowing that I had been there, he
earnestly desired to hear the tale of the fight; but they had all
friends at Unyanyembe, and it was but natural that they should be
anxious to hear of what concerned them.

After giving orders to Bombay and Asmani for the provisioning of
the men of the Expedition, I called "Kaif-Halek," or "How-do-ye-do,"
and introduced him to Dr. Livingstone as one of the soldiers in
charge of certain goods left at Unyanyembe, whom I had compelled
to accompany me to Ujiji, that he might deliver in person to his
master the letter-bag with which he had been entrusted. This was
that famous letter-bag marked "Nov. 1st, 1870," which was now
delivered into the Doctor's hands 365 days after it left Zanzibar!
How long, I wonder, had it remained at Unyanyembe had I not been
despatched into Central Africa in search of the great traveller?

The Doctor kept the letter-bag on his knee, then, presently, opened
it, looked at the letters contained there, and read one or two of
his children's letters, his face in the meanwhile lighting up.

He asked me to tell him the news. "No, Doctor," said I, "read your
letters first, which I am sure you must be impatient to read."

"Ah," said he, "I have waited years for letters, and I have been
taught patience. I can surely afford to wait a few hours longer.
No, tell me the general news: how is the world getting along?

"You probably know much already. Do you know that the Suez Canal
is a fact - is opened, and a regular trade carried on between Europe
and India through it?"

"I did not hear about the opening of it. Well, that is grand news!
What else?"

Shortly I found myself enacting the part of an annual periodical
to him. There was no need of exaggeration of any penny-a-line
news, or of any sensationalism. The world had witnessed and
experienced much the last few years. The Pacific Railroad had been
completed (1869); Grant had been elected President of the United States;
Egypt had been flooded with savans: the Cretan rebellion had
terminated (1866-1868); a Spanish revolution had driven Isabella
from the throne of Spain, and a Regent had been appointed: General
Prim was assassinated; a Castelar had electrified Europe with his
advanced ideas upon the liberty of worship; Prussia had humbled Denmark,
and annexed Schleswig-Holstein , and her armies were now around
Paris; the "Man of Destiny" was a prisoner at Wilhelmshohe;
the Queen of Fashion and the Empress of the French was a fugitive;
and the child born in the purple had lost for ever the Imperial
crown intended for his head; the Napoleon dynasty was extinguished
by the Prussians, Bismarck and Von Moltke; and France, the proud
empire, was humbled to the dust.

What could a man have exaggerated of these facts? What a budget
of news it was to one who had emerged from the depths of the
primeval forests of Manyuema! The reflection of the dazzling
light of civilisation was cast on him while Livingstone was thus
listening in wonder to one of the most exciting pages of history
ever repeated. How the puny deeds of barbarism paled before
these! Who could tell under what new phases of uneasy life Europe
was labouring even then, while we, two of her lonely children,
rehearsed the tale of her late woes and glories? More worthily,
perhaps, had the tongue of a lyric Demodocus recounted them; but,
in the absence of the poet, the newspaper correspondent performed
his part as well and truthfully as he could.

Not long after the Arabs had departed, a dishful of hot hashed-meat
cakes was sent to us by Sayd bin Majid, and a curried chicken was
received from Mohammed bin Sali, and Moeni Kheri sent a dishful of
stewed goat-meat and rice; and thus presents of food came in
succession, and as fast as they were brought we set to. I had a
healthy, stubborn digestion - the exercise I had taken had put it in
prime order; but Livingstone - he had been complaining that he had
no appetite, that his stomach refused everything but a cup of tea
now and then - he ate also - ate like a vigorous, hungry man; and,
as he vied with me in demolishing the pancakes, he kept repeating,
"You have brought me new life. You have brought me new life."

"Oh, by George!" I said, "I have forgotten something. Hasten,
Selim, and bring that bottle; you know which and bring me the silver
goblets. I brought this bottle on purpose for this event, which
I hoped would come to pass, though often it seemed useless to expect

Selim knew where the bottle was, and he soon returned with it - a
bottle of Sillery champagne; and, handing the Doctor a silver
goblet brimful of the exhilarating wine, and pouring a small
quantity into my own, I said,

"Dr. Livingstone, to your very good health, sir."

"And to yours!" he responded, smilingly.

And the champagne I had treasured for this happy meeting was drunk
with hearty good wishes to each other.

But we kept on talking and talking, and prepared food was being
brought to us all that afternoon; and we kept on eating each time
it was brought, until I had eaten even to repletion, and the Doctor
was obliged to confess that he had eaten enough. Still, Halimah,
the female cook of the Doctor's establishment, was in a state of
the greatest excitement. She had been protruding her head out of
the cookhouse to make sure that there were really two white men
sitting down in the veranda, when there used to be only one, who
would not, because he could not, eat anything; and she had been
considerably exercised in her mind about this fact. She was
afraid the Doctor did not properly appreciate her culinary
abilities; but now she was amazed at the extraordinary quantity
of food eaten, and she was in a state of delightful excitement.
We could hear her tongue rolling off a tremendous volume of
clatter to the wondering crowds who halted before the kitchen
to hear the current of news with which she edified them. Poor,
faithful soul! While we listened to the noise of her furious
gossip, the Doctor related her faithful services, and the
terrible anxiety she evinced when the guns first announced
the arrival of another white man in Ujiji; how she had been
flying about in a state cf the utmost excitement, from the kitchen
into his presence, and out again into the square, asking all sorts
of questions; how she was in despair at the scantiness of the
general larder and treasury of the strange household; how she
was anxious to make up for their poverty by a grand appearance -
to make up a sort of Barmecide feast to welcome the white man.
"Why," said she, "is he not one of us? Does he not bring plenty
of cloth and beads? Talk about the Arabs! Who are they that
they should be compared to white men? Arabs, indeed!"

The Doctor and I conversed upon many things, especially upon his
own immediate troubles, and his disappointments, upon his arrival
in Ujiji, when told that all his goods had been sold, and he was
reduced to poverty. He had but twenty cloths or so left of the
stock he had deposited with the man called Sherif, the half-caste
drunken tailor, who was sent by the Consul in charge of the goods.
Besides which he had been suffering from an attack of dysentery,
and his condition was most deplorable. He was but little improved
on this day, though he had eaten well, and already began to feel
stronger and better.

This day, like all others, though big with happiness to me, at last
was fading away. While sitting with our faces looking to the east,
as Livingstone had been sitting for days preceding my arrival, we
noted the dark shadows which crept up above the grove of palms
beyond the village, and above the rampart of mountains which we had
crossed that day, now looming through the fast approaching
darkness; and we listened, with our hearts full of gratitude to
the Great Giver of Good and Dispenser of all Happiness, to the
sonorous thunder of the surf of the Tanganika, and to the chorus
which the night insects sang. Hours passed, and we were still
sitting there with our minds busy upon the day's remarkable events,
when I remembered that the traveller had not yet read his letters.

"Doctor," I said, "you had better read your letters. I will not
keep you up any longer."

"Yes," he answered, "it is getting late; and I will go and read
my friends' letters. Good-night, and God bless you."

"Good-night, my dear Doctor; and let me hope that your news will
be such as you desire."

I have now related, by means of my Diary, "How I found Livingstone,"
as recorded on the evening of that great day. I have been averse
to reduce it by process of excision and suppression, into a mere
cold narrative, because, by so doing, I would be unable to record
what feelings swayed each member of the Expedition as well as myself
during the days preceding the discovery of the lost traveller, and
more especially the day it was the good fortune of both Livingstone
and myself to clasp each other's hands in the strong friendship
which was born in that hour we thus strangely met. The aged
traveller, though cruelly belied, contrary to all previous expectation,
received me as a friend; and the cordial warmth with which he accepted
my greeting; the courtesy with which he tendered to me a shelter
in his own house; the simple candour of his conversation; graced
by unusual modesty of manner, and meekness of spirit, wrought in me
such a violent reaction in his favor, that when the parting
"good-night" was uttered, I felt a momentary vague fear lest the
fulness of joy which I experienced that evening would be diminished
by some envious fate, before the morrow's sun should rise above Ujiji.


"If there is love between us, inconceivably delicious, and
profitable will our intercourse be; if not, your time is lost,
and you will only annoy me. I shall seem to you stupid, and the
reputation I have false. All my good is magnetic, and I educate
not by lessons, but by going about my business." - Emerson's
'Representative Men'.

I woke up early next morning with a sudden start. The room was
strange! It was a house, and not my tent! Ah, yes! I recollected
I had discovered Livingstone, and I was in his house. I listened,
that the knowledge dawning on me might be confirmed by the sound
of his voice. I heard nothing but the sullen roar of the surf.

I lay quietly in bed. Bed! Yes, it was a primitive four-poster,
with the leaves of the palm-tree spread upon it instead of down,
and horsehair and my bearskin spread over this serving me in place
of linen. I began to put myself under rigid mental cross-examination,
and to an analyzation of my position.

"What was I sent for?"

"To find Livingstone."

"Have you found him?"

"Yes, of course; am I not in his house? Whose compass is that hanging
on a peg there? Whose clothes, whose boots, are those? Who reads those
newspapers, those 'Saturday Reviews' and numbers of 'Punch' lying on the

"Well, what are you going to do now?"

"I shall tell him this morning who sent me, and what brought me here.
I will then ask him to write a letter to Mr. Bennett, and to give
what news he can spare. I did not come here to rob him of his news.
Sufficient for me is it that I have found him. It is a complete success
so far. But it will be a greater one if he gives me letters for Mr.
Bennett, and an acknowledgment that he has seen me."

"Do you think he will do so?"

"Why not? I have come here to do him a service. He has no goods. I have.
He has no men with him. I have. If I do a friendly part by him, will he
not do a friendly part by me? What says the poet? -

Nor hope to find
A friend, but who has found a friend in thee.
All like the purchase; few the price will pay
And this makes friends such wonders here below.

I have paid the purchase, by coming so far to do him a service. But I
think, from what I have seen of him last night, that he is not such
a niggard and misanthrope as I was led to believe. He exhibited
considerable emotion, despite the monosyllabic greeting, when he shook
my hand. If he were a man to feel annoyance at any person coming after
him, he would not have received me as he did, nor would he ask me to
live with him, but he would have surlily refused to see me, and told
me to mind my own business. Neither does he mind my nationality; for
'here,' said he, 'Americans and Englishmen are the same people. We speak
the same language and have the same ideas.' Just so, Doctor; I agree
with you. Here at least, Americans and Englishmen shall be brothers,
and, whatever I can do for you, you may command me freely."

I dressed myself quietly, intending to take a stroll along the Tanganika
before the Doctor should rise; opened the door, which creaked horribly
on its hinges, and walked out to the veranda.

"Halloa, Doctor! - you up already? I hope you have slept well?"

"Good-morning, Mr. Stanley! I am glad to see you. I hope you rested
well. I sat up late reading my letters. You have brought me good and bad
news. But sit down." He made a place for me by his side. "Yes, many of
my friends are dead. My eldest son has met with a sad accident - that is,
my boy Tom; my second son, Oswell, is at college studying medicine, and
is doing well I am told. Agnes, my eldest daughter, has been enjoying
herself in a yacht, with 'Sir Paraffine' Young and his family. Sir
Roderick, also, is well, and expresses a hope that he will soon see me.
You have brought me quite a budget."

The man was not an apparition, then, and yesterday's scenes were not the
result of a dream! and I gazed on him intently, for thus I was assured
he had not run away, which was the great fear that constantly haunted me
as I was journeying to Ujiji.

"Now, Doctor," said I, "you are, probably, wondering why I came here?"

"It is true," said he; "I have been wondering. I thought you, at first,
an emissary of the French Government, in the place of Lieutenant Le
Saint, who died a few miles above Gondokoro. I heard you had boats,
plenty of men, and stores, and I really believed you were some French
officer, until I saw the American flag; and, to tell you the truth, I
was rather glad it was so, because I could not have talked to him in
French; and if he did not know English, we had been a pretty pair of
white men in Ujiji! I did not like to ask you yesterday, because I
thought it was none of my business."

"Well," said I, laughing, "for your sake I am glad that I am an American,
and not a Frenchman, and that we can understand each other perfectly
without an interpreter. I see that the Arabs are wondering that you, an
Englishman, and I, an American, understand each other. We must take care
not to tell them that the English and Americans have fought, and that
there are 'Alabama' claims left unsettled, and that we have such people
as Fenians in America, who hate you. But, seriously, Doctor - now don't
be frightened when I tell you that I have come after - YOU!"

"After me?"



"Well. You have heard of the 'New York Herald?'"

"Oh - who has not heard of that newspaper?"

"Without his father's knowledge or consent, Mr. James Gordon Bennett,
son of Mr. James Gordon Bennett, the proprietor of the 'Herald,' has
commissioned me to find you - to get whatever news of your discoveries
you like to give - and to assist you, if I can, with means."

"Young Mr. Bennett told you to come after me, to find me out, and help
me! It is no wonder, then, you praised Mr. Bennett so much last night."

"I know him - I am proud to say - to be just what I say he is. He is an
ardent, generous, and true man."

"Well, indeed! I am very much obliged to him; and it makes me feel proud
to think that you Americans think so much of me. You have just come in
the proper time; for I was beginning to think that I should have to beg
from the Arabs. Even they are in want of cloth, and there are but few
beads in Ujiji. That fellow Sherif has robbed me of all. I wish I could
embody my thanks to Mr. Bennett in suitable words; but if I fail to do

Online LibraryHenry M. StanleyHow I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures, and discoveres in Central Africa, including an account of four months' residence with Dr. Livingstone, by Henry M. Stanley → online text (page 23 of 38)