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 25 of 38)
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great traveller lives to come home, his third book, the grandest of all,
must contain the records of eight or nine years.

It is a principle with Livingstone to do well what he undertakes to do;
and in the consciousness that he is doing it, despite the yearning for
his home which is sometimes overpowering, he finds, to a certain extent,
contentment, if not happiness. To men differently constituted, a long
residence amongst the savages of Africa would be contemplated
with horror, yet Livingstone's mind can find pleasure and food for
philosophic studies. The wonders of primeval nature, the great forests
and sublime mountains, the perennial streams and sources of the great
lakes, the marvels of the earth, the splendors of the tropic sky by day
and by night - all terrestrial and celestial phenomena are manna to a
man of such self-abnegation and devoted philanthropic spirit. He can be
charmed with the primitive simplicity of Ethiop's dusky children, with
whom he has spent so many years of his life; he has a sturdy faith in
their capabilities; sees virtue in them where others see nothing but
savagery; and wherever he has gone among them, he has sought to elevate
a people that were apparently forgotten of God and Christian man.

One night I took out my note-book, and prepared to take down from his
own lips what he had to say about his travels; and unhesitatingly he
related his experiences, of which the following is a summary:

Dr. David Livingstone left the Island of Zanzibar in March, 1866. On
the 7th of the following month he departed from Mikindany Bay for the
interior, with an expedition consisting of twelve Sepoys from Bombay,
nine men from Johanna, of the Comoro Islands, seven liberated slaves,
and two Zambezi men, taking them as an experiment; six camels, three
buffaloes, two mules, and three donkeys. He had thus thirty men with
him, twelve of whom, viz., the Sepoys, were to act as guards for the
Expedition. They were mostly armed with the Enfield rifles presented
to the Doctor by the Bombay Government. The baggage of the expedition
consisted of ten bales of cloth and two bags of beads, which were to
serve as the currency by which they would be enabled to purchase the
necessaries of life in the countries the Doctor intended to visit.
Besides the cumbrous moneys, they carried several boxes of instruments,
such as chronometers, air thermometers, sextant, and artificial horizon,
boxes containing clothes, medicines, and personal necessaries. The
expedition travelled up the left bank of the Rovuma River, a route as
full of difficulties as any that could be chosen. For miles Livingstone
and his party had to cut their way with their axes through the dense and
almost impenetrable jungles which lined the river's banks. The road was
a mere footpath, leading in the most erratic fashion into and through
the dense vegetation, seeking the easiest outlet from it without any
regard to the course it ran. The pagazis were able to proceed easily
enough; but the camels, on account of their enormous height, could not
advance a step without the axes of the party clearing the way. These
tools of foresters were almost always required; but the advance of the
expedition was often retarded by the unwillingness of the Sepoys and
Johanna men to work.

Soon after the departure of the expedition from the coast, the
murmurings and complaints of these men began, and upon every occasion
and at every opportunity they evinced a decided hostility to an advance.
In order to prevent the progress of the Doctor, and in hopes that it
would compel him to return to the coast, these men so cruelly treated
the animals that before long there was not one left alive. But as this
scheme failed, they set about instigating the natives against the white
men, whom they accused most wantonly of strange practices. As this plan
was most likely to succeed, and as it was dangerous to have such men
with him, the Doctor arrived at the conclusion that it was best to
discharge them, and accordingly sent the Sepoys back to the coast; but
not without having first furnished them with the means of subsistence on
their journey to the coast. These men were such a disreputable set that
the natives spoke of them as the Doctor's slaves. One of their worst
sins was the custom of giving their guns and ammunition to carry to the
first woman or boy they met, whom they impressed for that purpose by
such threats or promises as they were totally unable to perform, and
unwarranted in making. An hour's marching was sufficient to fatigue
them, after which they lay down on the road to bewail their hard fate,
and concoct new schemes to frustrate their leader's purposes. Towards
night they generally made their appearance at the camping-ground with
the looks of half-dead men. Such men naturally made but a poor escort;
for, had the party been attacked by a wandering tribe of natives of
any strength, the Doctor could have made no defence, and no other
alternative would have been left to him but to surrender and be ruined.

The Doctor and his little party arrived on the 18th July, 1866, at a
village belonging to a chief of the Wahiyou, situate eight days' march
south of the Rovuma, and overlooking the watershed of the Lake Nyassa.
The territory lying between the Rovuma River and this Wahiyou village
was an uninhabited wilderness, during the transit of which Livingstone
and his expedition suffered considerably from hunger and desertion of

Early in August, 1866, the Doctor came to the country of Mponda, a
chief who dwelt near the Lake Nyassa. On the road thither, two of the
liberated slaves deserted him. Here also, Wekotani, a protege of the
Doctor, insisted upon his discharge, alleging as an excuse - an excuse
which the Doctor subsequently found to be untrue - that he had found his
brother. He also stated that his family lived on the east side of the
Nyassa Lake. He further stated that Mponda's favourite wife was his
sister. Perceiving that Wekotani was unwilling to go with him further,
the Doctor took him to Mponda, who now saw and heard of him for the
first time, and, having furnished the ungrateful boy with enough cloth
and beads to keep him until his "big brother" should call for him, left
him with the chief, after first assuring himself that he would
receive honourable treatment from him. The Doctor also gave Wekotanti
writing-paper - as he could read and write, being accomplishments
acquired at Bombay, where he had been put to school - so that, should he
at any time feel disposed, he might write to his English friends, or to
himself. The Doctor further enjoined him not to join in any of the
slave raids usually made by his countrymen, the men of Nyassa, on
their neighbours. Upon finding that his application for a discharge was
successful, Wekotani endeavoured to induce Chumah, another protege
of the Doctor's, and a companion, or chum, of Wekotani, to leave the
Doctor's service and proceed with him, promising, as a bribe, a wife
and plenty of pombe from his "big brother." Chumah, upon referring the
matter to the Doctor, was advised not to go, as he (the Doctor) strongly
suspected that Wekotani wanted only to make him his slave. Chumah wisely
withdrew from his tempter. From Mponda's, the Doctor proceeded to the
heel of the Nyassa, to the village of a Babisa chief, who required
medicine for a skin disease. With his usual kindness, he stayed at this
chief's village to treat his malady.

While here, a half-caste Arab arrived from the western shore of the
lake, and reported that he had been plundered by a band of Mazitu, at
a place which the Doctor and Musa, chief of the Johanna men, were very
well aware was at least 150 miles north-north-west of where they were
then stopping. Musa, however, for his own reasons - which will appear
presently - eagerly listened to the Arab's tale, and gave full credence
to it. Having well digested its horrible details, he came to the Doctor
to give him the full benefit of what he had heard with such willing
ears. The traveller patiently listened to the narrative, which lost
nothing of its portentous significance through Musa's relation, and then
asked Musa if he believed it. "Yes," answered Musa, readily; "he tell
me true, true. I ask him good, and he tell me true, true." The Doctor,
however, said he did not believe it, for the Mazitu would not have been
satisfied with merely plundering a man, they would have murdered him;
but suggested, in order to allay the fears of his Moslem subordinate,
that they should both proceed to the chief with whom they were staying,
who, being a sensible man, would be able to advise them as to the
probability or improbability of the tale being correct. Together, they
proceeded to the Babisa chief, who, when he had heard the Arab's story,
unhesitatingly denounced the Arab as a liar, and his story without the
least foundation in fact; giving as a reason that, if the Mazitu had
been lately in that vicinity, he should have heard of it soon enough.

But Musa broke out with "No, no, Doctor; no, no, no; I no want to go to
Mazitu. I no want Mazitu to kill me. I want to see my father, my
mother, my child, in Johanna. I want no Mazitu." These are Musa's words
_ipsissima verba_.

To which the Doctor replied, "I don't want the Mazitu to kill me either;
but, as you are afraid of them, I promise to go straight west until we
get far past the beat of the Mazitu."

Musa was not satisfied, but kept moaning and sorrowing, saying, "If we
had two hundred guns with us I would go; but our small party of men they
will attack by night, and kill all."

The Doctor repeated his promise, "But I will not go near them; I will go

As soon as he turned his face westward, Musa and the Johanna men ran
away in a body.

The Doctor says, in commenting upon Musa's conduct, that he felt
strongly tempted to shoot Musa and another ringleader, but was,
nevertheless, glad that he did not soil his hands with their vile blood.
A day or two afterwards, another of his men - Simon Price by name - came
to the Doctor with the same tale about the Mazitu, but, compelled by the
scant number of his people to repress all such tendencies to desertion
and faint-heartedness, the Doctor silenced him at once, and sternly
forbade him to utter the name of the Mazitu any more.

Had the natives not assisted him, he must have despaired of ever being
able to penetrate the wild and unexplored interior which he was now
about to tread. "Fortunately," as the Doctor says with unction, "I was
in a country now, after leaving the shores of Nyassa, which the foot
of the slave-trader has not trod; it was a new and virgin land, and of
course, as I have always found in such cases, the natives were really
good and hospitable, and for very small portions of cloth my baggage
was conveyed from village to village by them." In many other ways
the traveller, in his extremity, was kindly treated by the yet
unsophisticated and innocent natives.

On leaving this hospitable region in the early part of December, 1866,
the Doctor entered a country where the Mazitu had exercised their
customary marauding propensities. The land was swept clean of provisions
and cattle, and the people had emigrated to other countries, beyond the
bounds of those ferocious plunderers. Again the Expedition was besieged
by pinching hunger from which they suffered; they had recourse to the
wild fruits which some parts of the country furnished. At intervals
the condition of the hard-pressed band was made worse by the heartless
desertion of some of its members, who more than once departed with the
Doctor's personal kit, changes of clothes, linen, &c. With more or less
misfortunes constantly dogging his footsteps, he traversed in safety the
countries of the Babisa, Bobemba, Barungu, Ba-ulungu, and Lunda.

In the country of Lunda lives the famous Cazembe, who was first made
known to Europeans by Dr. Lacerda, the Portuguese traveller. Cazembe
is a most intelligent prince; he is a tall, stalwart man, who wears
a peculiar kind of dress, made of crimson print, in the form of
a prodigious kilt. In this state dress, King Cazembe received Dr.
Livingstone, surrounded by his chiefs and body-guards. A chief, who had
been deputed by the King and elders to discover all about the white man,
then stood up before the assembly, and in a loud voice gave the result
of the inquiry he had instituted. He had heard that the white man had
come to look for waters, for rivers, and seas; though he could not
understand what the white man could want with such things, he had no
doubt that the object was good. Then Cazembe asked what the Doctor
proposed doing, and where he thought of going. The Doctor replied that
he had thought of proceeding south, as he had heard of lakes and rivers
being in that direction. Cazembe asked, "What can you want to go there
for? The water is close here. There is plenty of large water in this
neighbourhood." Before breaking up the assembly, Cazembe gave orders to
let the white man go where he would through his country undisturbed and
unmolested. He was the first Englishman he had seen, he said, and he
liked him.

Shortly after his introduction to the King, the Queen entered the large
house, surrounded by a body-guard of Amazons with spears. She was a
fine, tall, handsome young woman, and evidently thought she was about
to make an impression upon the rustic white man, for she had clothed
herself after a most royal fashion, and was armed with a ponderous
spear. But her appearance - so different from what the Doctor had
imagined - caused him to laugh, which entirely spoiled the effect
intended; for the laugh of the Doctor was so contagious, that she
herself was the first to imitate it, and the Amazons, courtier-like,
followed suit. Much disconcerted by this, the Queen ran back, followed
by her obedient damsels - a retreat most undignified and unqueenlike,
compared with her majestic advent into the Doctor's presence. But
Livingstone will have much to say about his reception at this court, and
about this interesting King and Queen; and who can so well relate the
scenes he witnessed, and which belong exclusively to him, as he himself?

Soon after his arrival in the country of Lunda, or Londa, and before he
had entered the district ruled over by Cazembe, he had crossed a river
called the Chambezi, which was quite an important stream. The similarity
of the name with that large and noble river south, which will be for
ever connected with his name, misled Livingstone at that time, and he,
accordingly, did not pay to it the attention it deserved, believing that
the Chambezi was but the head-waters of the Zambezi, and consequently
had no bearing or connection with the sources of the river of Egypt, of
which he was in search. His fault was in relying too implicitly upon
the correctness of Portuguese information. This error it cost him many
months of tedious labour and travel to rectify.

From the beginning of 1867 - the time of his arrival at Cazembe's - till
the middle of March, 1869 - the time of his arrival at Ujiji - he was
mostly engaged in correcting the errors and misrepresentations of
the Portuguese travellers. The Portuguese, in speaking of the River
Chambezi, invariably spoke of it as "our own Zambezi," - that is,
the Zambezi which flows through the Portuguese possessions of the
Mozambique. "In going to Cazembe from Nyassa," said they, "you will
cross our own Zambezi." Such positive and reiterated information - given
not only orally, but in their books and maps - was naturally confusing.
When the Doctor perceived that what he saw and what they described were
at variance, out of a sincere wish to be correct, and lest he might
have been mistaken himself, he started to retravel the ground he had
travelled before. Over and over again he traversed the several countries
watered by the several rivers of the complicated water system, like an
uneasy spirit. Over and over again he asked the same questions from
the different peoples he met, until he was obliged to desist, lest they
might say, "The man is mad; he has got water on the brain!"

But his travels and tedious labours in Lunda and the adjacent countries
have established beyond doubt - first, that the Chambezi is a totally
distinct river from the Zambezi of the Portuguese; and, secondly, that
the Chambezi, starting from about latitude 11 degrees south, is no
other than the most southerly feeder of the great Nile; thus giving that
famous river a length of over 2,000 miles of direct latitude; making it,
second to the Mississippi, the longest river in the world. The real and
true name of the Zambezi is Dombazi. When Lacerda and his Portuguese
successors, coming to Cazembe, crossed the Chambezi, and heard its
name, they very naturally set it down as "our own Zambezi," and, without
further inquiry, sketched it as running in that direction.

During his researches in that region, so pregnant in discoveries,
Livingstone came to a lake lying north-east of Cazembe, which the
natives call Liemba, from the country of that name which bordered it on
the east and south. In tracing the lake north, he found it to be none
other than the Tanganika, or the south-eastern extremity of it, which
looks, on the Doctor's map, very much like an outline of Italy. The
latitude of the southern end of this great body of water is about 8
degrees 42 minutes south, which thus gives it a length, from north to
south, of 360 geographical miles. From the southern extremity of the
Tanganika he crossed Marungu, and came in sight of Lake Moero. Tracing
this lake, which is about sixty miles in length, to its southern head,
he found a river, called the Luapula, entering it from that direction.
Following the Luapula south, he found it issue from the large lake
of Bangweolo, which is nearly as large in superficial area as the
Tanganika. In exploring for the waters which discharged themselves into
the lake, he found that by far the most important of these feeders was
the Chambezi; so that he had thus traced the Chambezi from its source to
Lake Bangweolo, and the issue from its northern head, under the name of
Luapula, and found it enter Lake Moero. Again he returned to Cazembe's,
well satisfied that the river running north through three degrees of
latitude could not be the river running south under the name of Zambezi,
though there might be a remarkable resemblance in their names.

At Cazembe's he found an old white-bearded half-caste named Mohammed bin
Sali, who was kept as a kind of prisoner at large by the King because
of certain suspicious circumstances attending his advent and stay in the
country. Through Livingstone's influence Mohammed bin Sali obtained
his release. On the road to Ujiji he had bitter cause to regret having
exerted himself in the half-caste's behalf. He turned out to be a most
ungrateful wretch, who poisoned the minds of the Doctor's few followers,
and ingratiated himself with them by selling the favours of his
concubines to them, by which he reduced them to a kind of bondage under
him. The Doctor was deserted by all but two, even faithful Susi and
Chumah deserted him for the service of Mohammed bin Sali. But they soon
repented, and returned to their allegiance. From the day he had the
vile old man in his company manifold and bitter misfortunes followed the
Doctor up to his arrival at Ujiji in March, 1869.

From the date of his arrival until the end of June, 1869, he remained
at Ujiji, whence he dated those letters which, though the outside
world still doubted his being alive, satisfied the minds of the Royal
Geographical people, and his intimate friends, that he still existed,
and that Musa'a tale was the false though ingenious fabrication of a
cowardly deserter. It was during this time that the thought occurred to
him of sailing around the Lake Tanganika, but the Arabs and natives were
so bent upon fleecing him that, had he undertaken it, the remainder
or his goods would not have enabled him to explore the central line of
drainage, the initial point of which he found far south of Cazembe's in
about latitude 11 degrees, in the river called Chambezi.

In the days when tired Captain Burton was resting in Ujiji, after his
march from the coast near Zanzibar, the land to which Livingstone, on
his departure from Ujiji, bent his steps was unknown to the Arabs save
by vague report. Messrs. Burton and Speke never heard of it, it seems.
Speke, who was the geographer of Burton's Expedition, heard of a place
called Urua, which he placed on his map, according to the general
direction indicated by the Arabs; but the most enterprising of the
Arabs, in their search after ivory, only touched the frontiers of Rua,
as, the natives and Livingstone call it; for Rua is an immense country,
with a length of six degrees of latitude, and as yet an undefined
breadth from east to west.

At the end of June, 1869, Livingstone quitted Ujiji and crossed over
to Uguhha, on the western shore, for his last and greatest series of
explorations; the result of which was the further discovery of a lake
of considerable magnitude connected with Moero by the large river called
the Lualaba, and which was a continuation of the chain of lakes he had
previously discovered.

From the port of Uguhha he set off, in company with a body of traders,
in an almost direct westerly course, for the country of Urua. Fifteen
days' march brought them to Bambarre, the first important ivory depot
in Manyema, or, as the natives pronounce it, Manyuema. For nearly
six months he was detained at Bambarre from ulcers in the feet, which
discharged bloody ichor as soon as he set them on the ground. When
recovered, he set off in a northerly direction, and after several days
came to a broad lacustrine river, called the Lualaba, flowing northward
and westward, and in some places southward, in a most confusing way.
The river was from one to three miles broad. By exceeding pertinacity he
contrived to follow its erratic course, until he saw the Lualaba enter
the narrow, long lake of Kamolondo, in about latitude 6 degrees 30
minutes. Retracing this to the south, he came to the point where he had
seen the Luapula enter Lake Moero.

One feels quite enthusiastic when listening to Livingstone's description
of the beauties of Moero scenery. Pent in on all sides by high
mountains, clothed to the edges with the rich vegetation of the tropics,
the Moero discharges its superfluous waters through a deep rent in the
bosom of the mountains. The impetuous and grand river roars through
the chasm with the thunder of a cataract, but soon after leaving its
confined and deep bed it expands into the calm and broad Lualaba,
stretching over miles of ground. After making great bends west and
south-west, and then curving northward, it enters Kamolondo. By
the natives it is called the Lualaba, but the Doctor, in order to
distinguish it from other rivers of the same name, has given it the name
of "Webb's River," after Mr. Webb, the wealthy proprietor of Newstead
Abbey, whom the Doctor distinguishes as one of his oldest and most
consistent friends. Away to the south-west from Kamolondo is another
large lake, which discharges its waters by the important River Loeki, or
Lomami, into the great Lualaba. To this lake, known as Chebungo by
the natives, Dr. Livingstone has given the name of "Lincoln," to be
hereafter distinguished on maps and in books as Lake Lincoln, in memory
of Abraham Lincoln, our murdered President. This was done from the vivid
impression produced on his mind by hearing a portion of his inauguration
speech read from an English pulpit, which related to the causes that
induced him to issue his Emancipation Proclamation, by which memorable
deed 4,000,000 of slaves were for ever freed. To the memory of the man
whose labours on behalf of the negro race deserves the commendation of
all good men, Livingstone has contributed a monument more durable than
brass or stone.

Entering Webb's River from the south-south-west, a little north of
Kamolondo, is a large river called Lufira, but the streams, that
discharge themselves from the watershed into the Lualaba are so numerous
that the Doctor's map would not contain them, so he has left all out
except the most important. Continuing his way north, tracing the Lualaba
through its manifold and crooked curves as far as latitude 4 degrees
south, he came to where he heard of another lake, to the north, into
which it ran. But here you may come to a dead halt, and read what lies
beyond this spot thus.... This was the furthermost point, whence he was
compelled to return on the weary road to Ujiji, a distance of 700 miles.

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 25 of 38)