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 34 of 38)
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reaching the mouth of the Zambezi, said that he was tempted to despair
on breaking the photograph of his wife. We could have no success after
that. Afterward the idea of despair had to me such a strong smack of the
ludicrous that it was out of the question.

Well, when I had got to about the lowest verge, vague rumors of an
English visitor reached me. I thought of myself as the man who went down
from Jerusalem to Jericho; but neither priest, Levite, nor Samaritan
could possibly pass my way. Yet the good Samaritan was close at hand,
and one of my people rushed up at the top of his speed, and, in great
excitement, gasped out, "An Englishman coming! I see him!" and off he
darted to meet him.

An American flag, the first ever seen in these parts, at the head of a
caravan, told me the nationality of the stranger.

I am as cold and non-demonstrative as we islanders are usually
reputed to be; but your kindness made my frame thrill. It was, indeed,
overwhelming, and I said in my soul, "Let the richest blessings descend
from the Highest on you and yours!"

The news Mr. Stanley had to tell was thrilling. The mighty political
changes on the Continent; the success of the Atlantic cables; the
election of General Grant, and many other topics' riveted my attention
for days together, and had an immediate and beneficial effect on my
health. I had been without news from home for years save what I could
glean from a few 'Saturday Reviews' and 'Punch' of 1868. The appetite
revived, and in a week I began to feel strong again.

Mr. Stanley brought a most kind and encouraging despatch from Lord
Clarendon (whose loss I sincerely deplore), the first I have received
from the Foreign Office since 1866, and information that the British
Government had kindly sent a thousand pounds sterling to my aid. Up to
his arrival I was not aware of any pecuniary aid. I came unsalaried, but
this want is now happily repaired, and I am anxious that you and all my
friends should know that, though uncheered by letter, I have stuck
to the task which my friend Sir Roderick Murchison set me with "John
Bullish" tenacity, believing that all would come right at last.

The watershed of South Central Africa is over seven hundred wiles in
length. The fountains thereon are almost innumerable - that is, it would
take a man's lifetime to count them. From the watershed they converge
into four large rivers, and these again into two mighty streams in the
great Nile valley, which begins in ten degrees to twelve degrees south
latitude. It was long ere light dawned on the ancient problem and gave
me a clear idea of the drainage. I had to feel my way, and every step
of the way, and was, generally, groping in the dark - for who cared where
the rivers ran? "We drank our fill and let the rest run by."

The Portuguese who visited Cazembe asked for slaves and ivory, and
heard of nothing else. I asked about the waters, questioned and
cross-questioned, until I was almost afraid of being set down as
afflicted with hydrocephalus.

My last work, in which I have been greatly hindered from want of
suitable attendants, was following the central line of drainage down
through the country of the cannibals, called Manyuema, or, shortly
Manyema. This line of drainage has four large lakes in it. The fourth I
was near when obliged to turn. It is from one to three miles broad,
and never can be reached at any point, or at any time of the year. Two
western drains, the Lufira, or Bartle Frere's River, flow into it at
Lake Kamolondo. Then the great River Lomame flows through Lake Lincoln
into it too, and seems to form the western arm of the Nile, on which
Petherick traded.

Now, I knew about six hundred miles of the watershed, and unfortunately
the seventh hundred is the most interesting of the whole; for in it, if
I am not mistaken, four fountains arise from an earthen mound, and the
last of the four becomes, at no great distance off, a large river.

Two of these run north to Egypt, Lufira and Lomame, and two run south
into inner Ethiopia, as the Leambaye, or Upper Zambezi, and the Kaful.

Are not these the sources of the Nile mentioned by the Secretary of
Minerva, in the city of Sais, to Herodotus?

I have heard of them so often, and at great distances off, that I cannot
doubt their existence, and in spite of the sore longing for home that
seizes me every time I think of my family, I wish to finish up by their

Five hundred pounds sterling worth of goods have again unaccountably
been entrusted to slaves, and have been over a year on the way, instead
of four months. I must go where they lie at your expense, ere I can put
the natural completion to my work.

And if my disclosures regarding the terrible Ujijian slavery should lead
to the suppression of the East Coast slave trade, I shall regard that
as a greater matter by far than the discovery of all the Nile sources
together. Now that you have done with domestic slavery for ever, lend
us your powerful aid toward this great object. This fine country
is blighted, as with a curse from above, in order that the slavery
privileges of the petty Sultan of Zanzibar may not be infringed, and the
rights of the Crown of Portugal, which are mythical, should be kept in
abeyance till some future time when Africa will become another India to
Portuguese slave-traders.

I conclude by again thanking you most cordially for your great
generosity, and am,

Gratefully yours,

David Livingstone.

To the above letter I have nothing to add - it speaks for itself; but I
then thought it was the best evidence of my success. For my own part, I
cared not one jot or tittle about his discoveries, except so far as it
concerned the newspaper which commissioned me for the "search." It
is true I felt curious as to the result of his travels; but, since
he confessed that he had not completed what he had begun, I felt
considerable delicacy to ask for more than he could afford to give.
His discoveries were the fruits of of his own labours - to him they
belonged - by their publication he hoped to obtain his reward, which
he desired to settle on his children. Yet Livingstone had a higher
and nobler ambition than the mere pecuniary sum he would receive: he
followed the dictates of duty. Never was such a willing slave to that
abstract virtue. His inclinations impelled him home, the fascinations
of which it required the sternest resolves to resist. With every foot of
new ground he travelled over he forged a chain of sympathy which should
hereafter bind the Christian nations in bonds of love and charity to the
Heathen of the African tropics. If he were able to complete this chain
of love - by actual discovery and description of them to embody such
peoples and nations as still live in darkness, so as to attract the good
and charitable of his own land to bestir themselves for their redemption
and salvation - this, Livingstone would consider an ample reward.

"A delirious and fatuous enterprise, a Quixotic scheme!" some will say.
Not it, my friends; for as sure as the sun shines on both Christian and
Infidel, civilised and Pagan, the day of enlightenment will come; and,
though Livingstone, the Apostle of Africa, may not behold it himself,
nor we younger men, not yet our children, the Hereafter will see it, and
posterity will recognise the daring pioneer of its civilization.

The following items are extracted in their entirety from my Diary:

March 12th. - The Arabs have sent me as many as forty-five letters to
carry to the coast. I am turned courier in my latter days; but the
reason is that no regularly organized caravans are permitted to leave
Unyanyembe now, because of the war with Mirambo. What if I had stayed
all this time at Unyanyembe waiting for the war to end! It is my opinion
that, the Arabs will not be able to conquer Mirambo under nine months

To-night the natives have gathered themselves together to give me a
farewell dance in front of my house. I find them to be the pagazis of
Singiri, chief of Mtesa's caravan. My men joined in, and, captivated
by the music despite myself, I also struck in, and performed the "light
fantastic," to the intense admiration of my braves, who were delighted
to see their master unbend a little from his usual stiffness.

It is a wild dance altogether. The music is lively, and evoked from the
sonorous sound of four drums, which are arranged before the bodies of
four men, who stand in the centre of the weird circle. Bombay, as ever
comical, never so much at home as when in the dance of the Mrima, has my
water-bucket on his head; Chowpereh - the sturdy, the nimble, sure-footed
Chowpereh - has an axe in his hand, and wears a goatskin on his head;
Baraka has my bearskin, and handles a spear; Mabruki, the "Bull-headed,"
has entered into the spirit of the thing, and steps up and down like a
solemn elephant; Ulimengo has a gun, and is a fierce Drawcansir, and
you would imagine he was about to do battle to a hundred thousand,
so ferocious is he in appearance; Khamisi and Kamna are before
the drummers, back to back, kicking up ambitiously at the stars;
Asmani, - the embodiment of giant strength, - a towering Titan, - has also
a gun, with which he is dealing blows in the air, as if he were Thor,
slaying myriads with his hammer. The scruples and passions of us all are
in abeyance; we are contending demons under the heavenly light of the
stars, enacting only the part of a weird drama, quickened into action
and movement by the appalling energy and thunder of the drums.

The warlike music is ended, and another is started. The choragus
has fallen on his knees, and dips his head two or three times in an
excavation in the ground, and a choir, also on their knees, repeat in
dolorous tones the last words of a slow and solemn refrain. The words
are literally translated: -

Choragus. Oh-oh-oh! the white man is going home!

Choir. Oh-oh-oh! going home!
Going home, oh-oh-oh!

Choragus. To the happy island on the sea,
Where the beads are plenty, oh-oh-oh!

Choir. Oh-oh-oh! where the beads are plenty,

Choragus. While Singiri has kept us, oh, very long
From our homes very long, oh-oh-oh.!

Choir From our homes, oh-oh-oh!

Choragus. And we have had no food for very long -
We are half-starved, oh, for so long!
Bana Singiri!

Choir. For so very long, oh-oh-oh!
Bana Singiri-Singiri!
Singiri! oh, Singiri

Choragus. Mirambo has gone to war
To fight against the Arabs;
The Arabs and Wangwana
Have gone to fight Mirambo!

Choir Oh-oh-oh! to fight Mirambo!

Oh, Mirambo! Mirambo
Oh, to fight Mirambo!

Choragus. But the white man will make us glad,
He is going home! For he is going home,
And he will make us glad! Sh-sh-sh!

Choir. The white man will make us glad! Sh-sh-sh
Sh - - -sh-h-h - - -sh-h-h-h-h-h!
Um-m - mu - -um-m-m - - sh!

This is the singular farewell which I received from the Wanyamwezi of
Singiri, and for its remarkable epic beauty(?), rhythmic excellence(?),
and impassioned force(?), I have immortalised it in the pages of this
book, as one of the most wonderful productions of the chorus-loving
children of Unyamwezi.

March 13th. - The last day of my stay with Livingstone has come and gone,
and the last night we shall be together is present, and I cannot evade
the morrow! I feel as though I would rebel against the fate which drives
me away from him. The minutes beat fast, and grow into hours.

Our door is closed, and we are both of us busy with our own thoughts.
What his thoughts are I know not. Mine are sad. My days seem to have
been spent in an Elysian field; otherwise, why should I so keenly regret
the near approach of the parting hour? Have I not been battered by
successive fevers, prostrate with agony day after day lately? Have I not
raved and stormed in madness? Have I not clenched my fists in fury, and
fought with the wild strength of despair when in delirium? Yet, I regret
to surrender the pleasure I have felt in this man's society, though so
dearly purchased.

I cannot resist the sure advance of time, which flies this night as if
it mocked me, and gloated on the misery it created! Be it so!

How many times have I not suffered the pang of parting with friends! I
wished to linger longer, but the inevitable would come - Fate sundered
us. This is the same regretful feeling, only it is more poignant,
and the farewell may be forever! FOREVER? And "FOR EVER," echo the
reverberations of a woful whisper.

I have noted down all he has said to-night; but the reader shall not
share it with me. It is mine!

I am as jealous as he is himself of his Journal; and I have written in
German text, and in round hand, on either side of it, on the waterproof
canvas cover, "POSITTVELY NOT TO BE OPENED;" to which he has affixed his
signature. I have stenographed every word he has said to me respecting
the equable distribution of certain curiosities among his friends and
children, and his last wish about "his" dear old friend, Sir Roderick
Murchison, because he has been getting anxious about him ever since we
received the newspapers at Ugunda, when we read that the old man was
suffering from a paralytic stroke. I must be sure to send him the news,
as soon as I get to Aden; and I have promised that he will receive
the message from me quicker than anything was ever received in Central

"To-morrow night, Doctor, you will be alone!"

"Yes; the house will look as though a death had taken place. You had
better stop until the rains, which are now near, are over."

"I would to God I could, my dear Doctor; but every day I stop here, now
that there is no necessity for me to stay longer, keeps you from your
work and home."

"I know; but consider your health - you are not fit to travel. What
is it? Only a few weeks longer. You will travel to the coast just as
quickly when the rains are over as you will by going now. The plains
will be inundated between here and the coast."

"You think so; but I will reach the coast in forty days; if not in
forty, I will in fifty - certain. The thought that I am doing you an
important service will spur me on."

March 14th. - At dawn we were up, the bales and baggage were taken
outside of the building, and the men prepared themselves for the first
march towards home.

We had a sad breakfast together. I could not eat, my heart was too full;
neither did my companion seem to have an appetite. We found something to
do which kept us longer together. At 8 o'clock I was not gone, and I had
thought to have been off at 5 A.M.

"Doctor," said I, "I will leave two men with you, who will stop to-day
and to-morrow with you, for it may be that you have forgotten something
in the hurry of my departure. I will halt a day at Tura, on the frontier
of Unyamwezi, for your last word, and your last wish; and now we must
part - there is no help for it. Good-bye."

"Oh, I am coming with you a little way. I must see you off on the road."

"Thank you. Now, my men, Home! Kirangozi, lift the flag, and MARCH!"

The house looked desolate - it faded from our view. Old times, and the
memories of my aspirations and kindling hopes, came strong on me. The
old hills round about, that I once thought tame and uninteresting, had
become invested with histories and reminiscences for me. On that burzani
I have sat hour after hour, dreaming, and hoping, and sighing. On that
col I stood, watching the battle and the destruction of Tabora. Under
that roof I have sickened and been delirious, and cried out like a child
at the fate that threatened my mission. Under that banian tree lay my
dead comrade - poor Shaw; I would have given a fortune to have had him by
my side at this time. From that house I started on my journey to Ujiji;
to it I returned as to a friend, with a newer and dearer companion; and
now I leave all. Already it all appears like a strange dream.

We walked side by side; the men lifted their voices into a song. I took
long looks at Livingstone, to impress his features thoroughly on my

"The thing is, Doctor, so far as I can understand it, you do not intend
to return home until you have satisfied yourself about the 'Sources
of the Nile.' When you have satisfied yourself, you will come home and
satisfy others. Is it not so?"

"That is it, exactly. When your men come back, I shall immediately start
for Ufipa; then, crossing the Rungwa River, I shall strike south, and
round the extremity of the Tanganika. Then, a south-east course will
take me to Chicumbi's, on the Luapula. On crossing the Luapula, I shall
go direct west to the copper-mines of Katanga. Eight days south of
Katanga, the natives declare the fountains to be. When I have found
them, I shall return by Katanga to the underground houses of Rua. From
the caverns, ten days north-east will take me to Lake Kamolondo. I shall
be able to travel from the lake, in your boat, up the River Lufira,
to Lake Lincoln. Then, coming down again, I can proceed north, by the
Lualaba, to the fourth lake - which, I think, will explain the whole
problem; and I will probably find that it is either Chowambe (Baker's
lake), or Piaggia's lake.

"And how long do you think this little journey will take you?"

"A year and a half, at the furthest, from the day I leave Unyanyembe."

"Suppose you say two years; contingencies might arise, you know. It will
be well for me to hire these new men for two years; the day of their
engagement to begin from their arrival at Unyanyembe."

"Yes, that will do excellently well."

"Now, my dear Doctor, the best friends must part. You have come far
enough; let me beg of you to turn back."

"Well, I will say this to you: you have done what few men could do - far
better than some great travellers I know. And I am grateful to you for
what you have done for me. God guide you safe home, and bless you, my

"And may God bring you safe back to us all, my dear friend. Farewell!"


We wrung each other's hands, and I had to tear myself away before
I unmanned myself; but Susi, and Chumah, and Hamoydah - the Doctor's
faithful fellows - they must all shake and kiss my hands before I could
quite turn away. I betrayed myself!

"Good-bye, Doctor - dear friend!"


The FAREWELL between Livingstone and myself had been spoken. We were
parted, he to whatever fate Destiny had yet in store for him, to
battling against difficulties, to many, many days of marching through
wildernesses, with little or nothing much to sustain him save his own
high spirit, and enduring faith in God - "who would bring all things
right at last;" and I to that which Destiny may have in store for me.

But though I may live half a century longer, I shall never forget that
parting scene in Central Africa. I shall never cease to think of the sad
tones of that sorrowful word Farewell, how they permeated through every
core of my heart, how they clouded my eyes, and made me wish unutterable
things which could never be.

An audacious desire to steal one embrace from the dear old man came over
me, and almost unmanned me. I felt tempted to stop with him and assist
him, on his long return march to the fountain region, but these things
were not to be, any more than many other impulsive wishes, and despite
the intensified emotions which filled both of us, save by silent tears,
and a tremulous parting word, we did not betray our stoicism of manhood
and race.

I assumed a gruff voice, and ordered the Expedition to march, and I
resolutely turned my face toward the eastern sky. But ever and anon my
eyes would seek that deserted figure of an old man in grey clothes, who
with bended head and slow steps was returning to his solitude, the very
picture of melancholy, and each time I saw him - as the plain was wide
and clear of obstructions - I felt my eyes stream, and my heart swell
with a vague, indefinable feeling of foreboding and sorrow.

I thought of his lonely figure sitting day after day on the burzani of
his house, by which all caravans from the coast would have to pass, and
of the many, many times he would ask the new-comers whether they had
passed any men coming along the road for him, and I thought as each day
passed, and his stores and letters had not arrived how he would grieve
at the lengthening delay. I then felt strong again, as I felt that
so long as I should be doing service for Livingstone, I was not quite
parted from him, and by doing the work effectively and speedily the bond
of friendship between us would be strengthened. Such thoughts spurred me
to the resolution to march so quickly for the coast, that Arabs in
after time should marvel at the speed with which the white man's caravan
travelled from Unyanyembe to Zanzibar.

I took one more look at him; he was standing near the gate of Kwikuru
with his servants near him. I waved a handkerchief to him, as a final
token of farewell, and he responded to it by lifting his cap. It was the
last opportunity, for we soon surmounted the crest of a land-wave, and
began the descent into the depression on the other side, and I NEVER saw
him more.

God grant, dear reader, that if ever you take to travelling in Central
Africa, you find as good and true a man, for your companion, as I found
in noble David Livingstone. For four months and four days he and I
occupied the same house, or, the same tent, and I never had one feeling
of resentment against him, nor did he show any against me, and the
longer I lived with him the more did my admiration and reverence for him

What were Livingstone's thoughts during the time which elapsed between
my departure for the coast, and the arrival of his supplies, may be
gathered from a letter which he wrote on the 2nd of July to Mr. John F.
Webb, American Consul at Zanzibar.

I have been waiting up here like Simeon Stylites on his pillar,
and counting every day, and conjecturing each step taken by our
friend towards the coast, wishing and praying that no sickness
might lay him up, no accident befall him, and no unlooked-for
combinations of circumstances render his kind intentions vain
or fruitless. Mr. Stanley had got over the tendency to the
continued form of fever which is the most dangerous, and was
troubled only with the intermittent form, which is comparatively
safe, or I would not have allowed him, but would have accompanied
him to Zanzibar. I did not tell himself so; nor did I say what I
thought, that he really did a very plucky thing in going through
the Mirambo war in spite of the remonstrances of all the Arabs,
and from Ujiji guiding me back to Unyanyembe. The war, as it
is called, is still going on. The danger lay not so much in
the actual fighting as in the universal lawlessness the war

I am not going to inflict on the reader a repetition of our march back,
except to record certain incidents which occurred to us as we journeyed
to the coast.

March 17th. - We came to the Kwalah River. The first rain of the Masika
season fell on this day; I shall be mildewed before I reach the coast.
Last year's Masika began at Bagamoyo, March 23rd, and ended 30th April.

The next day I halted the Expedition at Western Tura, on the Unyamwezi
frontier, and on the 20th arrived at Eastern Tura; when, soon after,
we heard a loud report of a gun, and Susi and Hamoydah, the Doctor's
servants, with Uredi, and another of my men, appeared with a letter
for "Sir Thomas MacLear, Observatory, Cape of Good Hope," and one for
myself, which read as follows:

Kwihara, March 15, 1872.

Dear Stanley,

If you can telegraph on your arrival in London, be particular, please,
to say how Sir Roderick is. You put the matter exactly yesterday, when
you said that I was "not yet satisfied about the Sources; but as soon as
I shall be satisfied, I shall return and give satisfactory reasons fit
for other people." This is just as it stands.

I wish I could give you a better word than the Scotch one to "put a
stout heart to a stey brae" - (a steep ascent) - for you will do that; and
I am thankful that, before going away, the fever had changed into the
intermittent, or safe form. I would not have let you go, but with great
concern, had you still been troubled with the continued type. I feel
comfortable in commending you to the guardianship of the good Lord and

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 34 of 38)