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from Mozambique. The houses, however, rest on an uncer-
tain foundation, for, by digging down two or three feet in
any part of the village, water is reached ; hence the walls of
houses are apt to settle. Of course the place is very unhealthy.
A man with plethoric habits is sure to be sick with fever.
Quinine is the great febrile remedy in Africa, and is indispen-
sable to all travelers.

1 After waiting six weeks at this unhealthy spot, in which,
by the kind attentions of Colonel Nunes and his nephew,
I partially recovered from my tertian, II.M. brig ' Frolic,'
arrived off Kilimane. As the village is twelve miles from the
bar, and the weather was rough, she was at anchor ten days



286 LIVINGSTONE'S LIFE AND TRAVELS.

before we knew of her presence about seven miles from the
entrance to the port. She brought abundant supplies for all
my need, and 150, to pay my passage home, from my kind
friend Mr. Thompson, the Society's agent at the Cape. The
admiral at the Cape kindly sent an offer of a passage to the
Mauritius, which I thankfully accepted.

" Sekwebu and one attendant alone remained with me now.
He was very intelligent, and had been of the greatest service
to me ; indeed, but for his good sense, tact, and command of
the language of the tribes through which we passed, I believe
we should scarcely have succeeded in reaching the coast. I
naturally felt grateful to him ; and as his chief wished all my
companions to go to England with me, and would probably
be disappointed if none went, I thought it would be beneficial
for him to see the effects of civilization, and report them to
his countrymen ; I wished also to make some return for his
very important services. The only other one who remained
begged so hard to come on board ship, that I greatly regret-
ted that the expense prevented my acceding to his wish to
visit England. I said to him, ' You will die if you go to such
a cold country as mine.' ' That is nothing,' he reiterated ;
* let me. die at your feet.'

" When we parted from our friends at Kilimane, the sea on
the bar was frightful even to seamen. This was the first
time Sekwebu had seen the sea. Captain Peyton had sent
two boats in case of accident. The waves were so high that,
when the cutter was in one trough, and we in the pinnace in
another, her mast was hid. We then mounted to the crest
of the wave, rushed down the slope, and struck the water
again with a blow which felt as if she had struck the bottom.
Boats must be singularly well constructed to be able to stand
these shocks. Three breakers swept over us. The men lift
up their oars, and a wave comes sweeping over all, giving
the impression that the boat is going down, but she only
goes beneath the top of the wave, comes out on the other
side, and swings down the slope, and a man bales out the
water with a bucket Poor Sekwebu looked at me when



ON THE FROLIC SEKWEBU'S FATE. 237

these terrible seas broke over, and said, ' Is this the way you
go ? Is this the way you go ? ' I smiled and said, ' Yes ;
don't you see it is ? ' and tried to encourage him. He was
acquainted with canoes, but never had seen aught like this.

" When we reached the ship a fine, large brig of sixteen
guns and a crew of one hundred and thirty she was rolling
so that we could see a part of her bottom. It was quite
impossible for landsmen to catch the ropes and climb up, so
a chair was sent down, and we were hoisted in as ladies usu-
ally are, and received so hearty an English welcome from
Captain Peyton and all on board, that I felt myself at once at
home in every thing except my own mother tongue. I
seemed to know the language perfectly, but the words I
wanted would not come at my call. "When I left England I
had no intention of returning, and directed my attention
earnestly to the languages of Africa, paying none to English
composition.

" We left Kilimane on the 12th of July, and reached the
Mauritius on the 12th of August, 1856. Sekwebu was pick-
ing up English, and becoming a favorite with both men and
officers. He seemed a little bewildered, every thing on board
a man-of-war being so new and strange ; but he remarked to
me several times, ' Your countrymen are very agreeable,' and,
1 What a strange country this is all water together ! ' He
also said that he now understood why I used the sextant.
When we reached the Mauritius a steamer came out to tow
us into the harbor. The constant strain on his untutored
mind seemed now to reach a climax, for during the night ho
became insane. I thought at first he was intoxicated. lie
had descended into a boat, and, when I attempted to go down
and bring him into the ship, he ran to the stem and said,
'No! no! it is enough that I die alone. You must not
perish ; if you come, I shall throw myself into the water.'

"Perceiving that his mind was affected, I said, 'Xow,
Sekwebu, we are going to Ma Robert.' This struck a chord
in his bosom, and he said, t Oh yes ; where is she, and where
is Robert ? ' and seemed to recover.
15



288 LIVINGSTONE'S LITE AND TRAVELS.

" The officers proposed to secure him by putting him in
irons ; but, being a gentleman in his own country, I objected,
knowing that the insane often retain an impression of ill
treatment, and I could not bear to have it said in Sekeletu's
country that I liad chained one of his principal men as they
had seen slaves treated. I tried to get him on shore by day,
but he refused. In the evening a fresh accession of insanity
occurred ; he tried to spear one of the crew, then leaped
overboard, and, though he could swim well, pulled himself
down hand under hand by the chain cable. We never found
the body of poor Sekwebu.

"At the Mauritius I was most hospitably received by
Major General C. M. Hay. In November I came up the
Red Sea ; escaped the danger of shipwreck through the admi-
rable management of Captain Powell of the Peninsular and
Oriental Steam Company's ship ' Candia/ and on the 12th
of December was once more in dear old England. The
Company most liberally refunded my passage-money. I
have not mentioned half the favors bestowed, but I may just
add that no one has cause for more abundant gratitude to his
fellow-men and to his Maker than I have ; and may God
grant that the effect on my mind be such that I may be more
humbly devoted to the service of the Author of all our
mercies 1 "



CHAPTER XVII.

LIVINGSTONE'S LIFE AND TRAVELS.

(SECOND EXPEDITION TO AFRICA.)

LIVINGSTONE remained in England only sixteen
months. Byron, more poetically than truthfully, sang of
England:

" Where'er I roam, whatever lands to see,
My heart untraveled still returns to thee."

Of Livingstone we may truly say, his traveled heart
found his true home in Africa. Much of the short time he
remained in England was spent in the preparation of his first
book of travels. The publication of this book, from which
we have made such copious extracts, excited great public
interest in his researches. He was no longer considered a
poor missionary, but a public benefactor ; one who had dis-
pelled darkness from benighted Africa, and opened new
channels for English commerce.

Previous to the publication of his travels, the idea prevailed
that the interior of Africa consisted of vast sandy deserts,
into which rivers ran and were lost. Livingstone astounded
the world by describing the south intertropical part of
the continent the region extending from Lake Ngami
north and east up to the equator as well watered,
abounding with large tracts of very fertile soil, large forests,
extensive grassy plains, and as being quite thickly populated.

The commonly accepted theory of a great desert of burn-
ing sand, was found to be fabulous, and the country really
abounded in fresh-water lakes and rivers, in this respect

289



290 LIVINGSTONE'S LIFE AND TRAVELS.

resembling North America ; while in its hot, humid lowlands
and jungles, and cool highland plains it resembled India.

On his journey across the continent in order to find a path
to the sea by which the rich products of the interior might
find an outlet and thus lawful commerce be introduced
as a forerunner of Christian missions, he noticed with pecu-
liar interest the climate, soil, productions, the inhabitants,
their diseases and customs. This was the first observation
of any white man in some parts of the route, and no wonder
that it excited and filled his whole soul. He, however, never
lost sight of the great object of his exploration, the suppres-
sion of the slave trade and the introduction of a Christian
civilization, and he was delighted to find on the West Coast
so much evidence of the beneficial influence of what was
known as Lord Palmerston's policy. He could discern its
workings hundreds of miles back in the interior. Piracy had
been abolished, and the slave trade so far suppressed that
even the Portuguese, who held nominal possession of the
country, and had themselves been slave-traders, spoke of it
as a thing of the past.

Commerce had increased from an annual total or 20,000
in ivory and gold-dust to between two and three millions,
of which one million was in palm oil. Over twenty missions
had been established, with schools in which more than twelve
hundred pupils were taught. Life and property had been
rendered comparatively secure, and peace imparted to mil-
lions of people in the interior.

On the East Coast, Livingstone had found an entirely
different state of affairs. Notwithstanding the efforts of Her
Majesty's cruisers, this region was yet sealed up against both
commerce and missions. The trade continued to be only in
ivory, gold-dust and slaves ; and only a meagre allowance of
these ; and this, notwithstanding the Portuguese authorities
were willing and even anxious that the country should be
opened to the influence of civilization and lawful commerce.

The natives were agricultural and fond of trading; the
soil was fertile and the products abundant. Indigo, cotton,



OBJECTS OF THE EXPEDITION. 291

tobacco, sugar-cane and other articles of value were either
cultivated or growing wild. Livingstone's soul burned with
the desire to open this region to civilization, and the Zambesi
seemed to him the natural highway to the interior. He
therefore longed to make a more thorough exploration of
this large river, which he thought would be of inestimable
service to Africa and Europe. His project received the
approbation of the English government, and under its auspi-
ces and those of the Royal Geographical Society, an expedi-
tion was fitted out with Livingstone at its head.

The objects of this second Zambesi Expedition, as explicitly
stated in the instructions of government were, " To extend
the knowledge already attained, of the geography and min-
eral and agricultural resources of Eastern and Central Africa ;
to improve our acquaintance with the inhabitants, and to
endeavor to engage them to apply themselves to industrial
pursuits, and to the cultivation of their lands, with a view
to the production of raw material to be exported to Eng-
land in return for British manufactures. It is hoped that by
encouraging the natives to occupy themselves in the devel-
opment of the resources of the country, a considerable advance
may be made towards the extinction of the slave trade."
Lord Clarendon was then at the head of the Foreign Office,
and the expedition was fitted out under his immediate care.

The objects which Livingstone himself proposed in the
Zambesi Expedition, he thus states :

" I have a twofold object in view, and believe that, by
guiding our missionary labors so as to benefit our own coun-
try, we shall thereby more effectually and permanently ben-
efit the heathen. Seven years were spent at Kolobeng in
instructing my friends there ; but the country being incapable
of raising materials for exportation, when the Boers made
their murderous attack and scattered the tribe for a season,
none sympathized except a few, Christian friends. Had the
people of Kolobeng been in the habit of raising the raw
materials of English commerce, the outrage would have been
felt in England ; or, what is more likely to have been the



292 LIVINGSTONE'S LIFE AND TRAVELS.

case, the people would have raised themselves in the scale by
barter, and have become, like the Basutos of Moshesh and
people of Kuruman, possessed of fire-arms, and the Boers
would never have made the attack at all. We ought to
encourage the Africans to cultivate for our markets, as the
most effectual means, next to the Gospel, of their elevation.

" It is in the hope of working out this idea that I propose
the fonnation of stations on the Zambesi beyond the Portu-
guese territory, but having communication through them
with the coast. A chain of stations admitting of easy and
speedy intercourse, such as might be formed along the flank
of the eastern ridge, would be in a favorable position for
carrying out the objects in view."

Associated with Dr. Livingstone in this Zambesi Explora-
tion, were his brother, Rev. Charles Livingstone, formerly a
clergyman in Massachusetts, and Dr. Kirk, an accomplished
botanist, who is now the British Consul at Zanzibar. The
Expedition left England on the 10th of March, 1858, in
Her Majesty's steamer, " Pearl," commanded by Capt. Dun-
can. At Cape Town it was joined by Mr. Francis Skead, R.
N., a surveyor, and arrived at the mouth of the Zambesi in
May.

As we have already given Livingstone's explorations of this
river, it is not our intention to follow him minutely in this
second expedition. He traversed much the same region as
before, and though he added greatly to his knowledge of the
river, the surrounding country and its inhabitants, the minute
recital of the story of his adventures would not be of great
interest to the general reader.

The book which he published on his return to England in
1864, after an absence of nearly six years, entitled " Narra-
tion of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries,"
did not meet the public expectations, and the Government
was disappointed in the accomplishment "of the great results
which the expedition had promised.

Charles Livingstone and Dr. Kirk made many magnetic
meteorological observations, photographed numerous places,



THE MA ROBERT. 293.

persons and things, endeavored to promote the culture of
cotton, indigo and other staples of commerce, and collected a
large number of birds, insects, and other objects of interest,
which were forwarded to the British Museum and the Royal
Botanic Gardens at Kew. One beneficial result of the expe-
dition undoubtedly was the moral influence exerted on the
natives by the teachings and practices of a well regulated
intelligent party of Europeans, who explained to them the
arts of peace, gave religious instruction, and conciliated their
good will by acts of charity and kindness. This was one
of the primary objects which the government had in mind in
Bending out the expedition, and from this point of view the
second mission of Livingstone was a success.

Mr. Skead, the surveyor, examined thoroughly the mouths
of the Zambesi, which are obstructed by bars of sand
brought down by the current of the river in the course of
ages, and piled up by the swell of the Indian Ocean. This
skillful and energetic surveyor decided that of the three
prominent mouths which form the delta of the Zambesi, the
Kongone is the most feasible for commerce.

Livingstone's outfit on this expedition was a liberal one.
Among other things the English government furnished him
with a small steamer, named " Ma Robert," a name given to
Mrs. Livingstone by the Makololos, on her first visit to Lake-
Ngami. This steamer was brought out in sections on the'
" Pearl," and put together after the party reached the Zan>
besi. It was designed to aid in the explorations of tMafe
river and its tributaries. Ma Robert was found hardly suffi-
cient to stem the current of the Zambesi, and it was the* 8th
of September 1858 before he reached Tete, where Be- had
left his faithful Makololo attendants two years previous,. 'No'
sooner did they recognize him, than they ran with great joy.
to embrace him, but when they saw that he was dressed ih',
fresh clothes they refrained from touching him lest they
should soil his new suit. Thirty of their number had died'
in Livingstone's absence. They heard the story of Sekwebu's
death with quiet sadness, merely remarking, "Men: die ih;



294: LIVINGSTONE'S LIFE 'AXD TRAVELS.

- * "^

every country." They had not been assisted by the Portu-
guese government as promised, but had mostly sustained
themselves by cutting wood in the forests and hawking" it
around the village. To the credit of Major Sicard, it must
be added that he had generously aided the faithful Makololo
from his own purse.

An attempt was made with the Ma Eobert to ^ascend the
Jvebrabasa Eapids, some forty miles above Tete, but it proved
.an .utter failure, whereupon Livingstone petitioned the Eng-
lish government for a more powerful steamer, and in the
.mean time prosecuted his researches up the Shire. This river
had never .been explored by the Portuguese, who represented,
that it was so full of water plants that no boat could push its
way through them.

Livingstone started up this river with the Ma Robert in
January 1859, .and found no serious obstruction: For the
first twenty-five miles, "duckweed" was floating down in
.considerable quantities, but not sufficient to impede naviga-
tion even with canoes. Livingstone ascended the river over
two hundred miles, and found the natives suspicious of him
as a slave-dealer. On his explaining that he merely came as
an explorer, and to open a way for legitimate trade, they
treated him and his company in a very friendly manner. r ln
latitude 15 15' S. his further progress was impeded by the
magnificent cataracts of the Murchison.

In March 1859, the party starte'd for a second trip up the
Shire, and on the 18th of April discovered Lake Shirwa, a
body of bitter water eighty miles long by twenty broad,
filled with fish, crocodiles and hippopotami. The taste of
the water was like a weak solution of Epsom salts. Its elevation
above the sea, is about one thousand and eight hundred feet.
The country on its border is beautiful and fertile, and lofty
mountains probably about eight thousand feet high stand
near the eastern shore.

In August 1859, Livingstone again ascended the Shire and
found the valley of the river to be generally from fifteen to
twenty miles wide and exceedingly fertile. Lemon and



UP THE SHIRE. 295

orange trees grew wild, and pine-apples were cultivated.
The Shire marshes were found to support prodigious num-
bers of water fowls, which were startled by the noise of the
steamer. The timid ones flew off, while the bolder only
spread their wings ready for instant flight.

On the 28th of August, the party left the steamer en route
for Lake Nyassa, crossing the highlands in a northerly direc-
tion towards the Upper Shire valley, which they found also
to be wonderfully fertile. The country is inhabited by a
race called the Manganja, who are industrious tillers of the
soil and are also workers of iron and cotton, each village hav-
ing its blacksmith, who makes axes, shears, etc. The cotton
raised here is of excellent quality. It is perennial, but is
better if replanted once in three years.

The Manganjas are great dandies. Foppery is not con-
fined to white folks.

The negroes of Africa are as fond of ornament as are
the ladies of Europe, or America. The Manganjas, especially,
delight in adorning their bodies extravagantly, wearing rings
on their fingers, necklaces, bracelets and anklets. A peculiar
ornament if it may be called an ornament of the Mangan-
ja women is the pelele, or upper lip ring, which Dr. Living-
stone thus describes. " The middle of the upper lip of the
girls is pierced close to the septum of the nose, and a small
pin inserted to prevent the puncture closing up. After it
has healed, the pin is taken out and a larger one is pierced
into its place, and so on successively for weeks and months
and years.

" The process of increasing the size of the lip goes on till its
capacity becomes so great that a ring of two inches diameter
can be introduced with ease. All the highland women wear
the pelele and it is common both on the Upper and Lower
Shire. The poorer classes make them of bamboo, but the
wealthier of ivory, or tin. The tin pelele is often made in
the form of a small dish. The ivory one is not unlike a nap-
kin ring. No woman ever appears in public without the
pelele."



296 LIVINGSTONE'S LIFE AND TRAVELS.

It is frightfully ugly to see the upper lip projecting two
inches beyond the tip of the nose. Dr. Livingstone speaks
of the pelele of an old lady, a chieftainess, as hanging down
below her chin with, of course, a piece of her upper lip around
its border. The absurdity of the pelele is manifest, but the
Manganja plead the same excuse for it that white women
plead for similar follies, " It is the fashion." Dr. Livingstone
rather ungallantly suggests that the pelele was invented to
give employment to the "unruly member" as he noticed
that the women were continually twirling their peleles with
their tongues. " Why do the women wear these things ?" he
inquired of the old chief Chibisa. Evidently surprised at
such a question, he replied ; " For beauty to be sure ! men
have beards and whiskers ; and what kind of a creature would
a woman be without whiskers and without a pelele? She
would have a mouth like a man and no beard, ha ! ha ! ha !"

The valley of the Shire was filled with elephants, and Dr.
Livingstone reckoned that he saw eight hundred at one time.
They soon learned to keep at a distance from the steamer,
but at first he steamed into a herd, and some were shot from
the deck. He thus describes the mode of hunting the hippo-
potami which abound in the river. " The hippopotamus feeds
on grass alone, and when there is any danger, only at night.
Its enormous lips are like a mowing machine, and form a path
of short cropped grass as it feeds. The hippopotamus trap
consists of a beam five or six feet long, armed with a spear-
head covered with poison, and suspended to a forked pole
by a cord which, coming down to the path, is held by a catch
to be let free when the beast treads upon it. One got fright-
ened by the ship as she was steaming close to the bank. In
its eager hurry to escape, it rushed on shore, and ran directly
under a trap, when down came the heavy beam on its back
driving the poisoned spear-head a foot deep into its flesh.
In its agony it plunged back into the river, to die in a few
hours, and afterwards furnished a feast for the natives."

On the 16th of September 1859, Dr. Livingstone discover-
ed Lake Nyassa. Its southern end is in latitude 14 25 ' S. and



LAKE NYASSA DISCOVERED. 297

its longitude 35 30 ' E. A German explorer, Albert Boscher,
reached the lake on the 19th of November following. It is
not known where Dr. Roscher first saw its waters. His
explorations were never published as he was soon after mur-
dered. No thorough examination of Lake ISTyassa was made
at this time and the party soon retraced their steps towards
Tete, where they arrived on the 2d of February 1860.

Dr. Livingstone's next expedition was to the Makololo
country, partly for the purpose of returning his faithful attend-
ants to their native country, and partly to examine the mis-
sionary stations which had been established on the Upper
Zambesi. Some of the Makololos were quite unwilling to
return home, as they had been captivated with the slave-
women of Tete and fourteen children had been born to them
whom the slave owners claimed, though not in accordance
with Portuguese law, which pronounces the baptized children
of slave women free. When this law was referred to, the
natives laughed, saying, " Those Lisbon-born laws are very
stringent, but somehow, possibly from the heat of the climate,
here they lose all their force."

On the 15th of May the party, consisting of Dr. Living-
stone, his brother, Dr. Kirk, the remaining Makololo who
had come down in 1856, one woman, and six men sent by
Major Sicard and a Portuguese merchant to assist the party
on its return, left Tete. The expedition was a successful one,
but revealed nothing particularly new.

At Sesheke, they found Sekeletu still alive but suffering
from leprosy. The wagon left at Linyanti eight years before,
still remained, with the scientific instruments and goods. The
missions had proved a failure, and the missionaries had either
died or departed.

Livingstone evidently did not fall in love with the Mako-



Online LibraryJosiah TylerLivingstone lost and found → online text (page 19 of 51)