Josiah Tyler.

Livingstone lost and found online

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little town, I heard a voice saying :

" ' Good morning, sir.'

" I turned and said sharply, '"Who the mischief are you ? '

" * I am the servant of Dr. Livingstone sir.'

" I said, ' What ! Is Dr. Livingstone here ? '

" ' Yes, he is here. I saw him just now.'

" I said, ' Do you mean to say Dr. Livingstone is here ? '

" < Sure.'

" ' Go and tell him I am coming.' Do you think it possi-
ble for me to describe my emotions as I walked down those
few hundred yards ?

" This man, David Livingstone, that I believed to be a
myth, was in front of me a few yards. I confess to you that
were it not for certain feelings of pride, I should have turned
over a somersault. But I was ineffably happy. I had found
Livingstone ; my work is ended. It is only a march home
quick ; carry the news to the first telegraph station, and so
give the word to the world.

" A great many people gathered around us. My attention
was directed to where a group of Arabs were standing, and
in the centre of this group, a pale, care-worn, gray-bearded
old man, dressed in a red shirt, with a crimson joho, with a
gold band round his cap, an old pair of tweed pants, his
shoes looking the worse for wear. Who is this old man ? I
ask myself. Is it Livingstone ? Yes, it is. No, it is not.
Yes it is.

" ' Dr. Livingstone, I presume ? '

< Yes.'


" Now it would never have done in the presence of the
grave Arabs, who stood there stroking their beards, for two
white men to kick up their heels. No, the Arabs must be
attended to. They would carry the story that we were
children fools. So we walked side by side into the veran-
dah. There we sat the man, the myth, and I. This was
the man ; and what a woful tale of calamities that wrinkled
face, those gray hairs in his beard, those silver lines in his
head what a woful tale they told !

" Now we begin to talk. I don't know about what. I
know we talk, and by-and-by come plenty of presents from
the Arabs. "We eat and talk, and whether Livingstone eats
most or I eat most I cannot tell. I tell him many things.
He asks :

" ' Do you know such and such a one '


"'How is he?'


" ' Oh, oh ! '

" ' And such a one ? J

' ' Alive and well.'

" ' Thanks be to God.'

" ' And what are they all doing in Europe now ? '

" ' "Well, the French are kicking up a fuss ; and the Prus-
sians are around Paris, and the world is turned topsy-turvy.'

" It is all a matter of wonder for Livingstone. He soon
turned in to read his letters. And who shall stand between
this man and the outer world ? I should like to say a great
deal more to you, but I want you to find out one thing, and
that is I want you to find out what this man Livingstone
was what was his character that this man can stand the
fatigues, brave the dangers and sufferings of Central Africa.
What is there in him which makes him go on while others
turn back ? What is it in him who has discovered so many
lakes and rivers and streams, passed over so many virgin
countries and through so many forests, that makes him say,
' It is not enough ? ' This is what I want to know. I asked


him if he had been to Lake Tanganyika yet. There is a
great deal said about that. He said the central line of drain-
age absorbed all his means. I proposed to him we should
go there with my men and material, and make a pleasure
party of it. He said :

" ' I am your man.'

" I said, ' They think we should go there.'

" ( Yery well ; it shall be done to-morrow.'

" And to-morrow we went. Now, it is about what Living-
stone and myself discovered at the northern end of Lake
Tanganyika, that the Royal Geographical Society has requested
me to read you a formal paper on the subject."

have been invited to deliver an address here before you, or
rather to read a paper on the Tanganyika. Responding to
that invitation I came here ; but before entering upon that
subject, which seems to interest this scientific assemblage, per-
mit me to say something of your 'distinguished medalist'
and associate, Dr. David Livingstone. I found him in the
manner already described, the story of which, in brief, is
familiar to everybody. He was but little improved in health,
and but a little better than the * ruckle of bones ' he came to
IT jiji. With the story of his sufferings, his perils, and many
narrow escapes, related, as they were, by himself, the man
who had endured all these and still lived, I sympathized.
What he suffered far eclipses that which Ulysses suffered, and
Livingstone needs but a narrator like Homer to make his
name as immortal as the Greek hero's ; and, to make another
comparison, I can liken his detractors in England and Germany
only to the suitors, who took advantage of Ulysses' absence to
slander him and torment his poor wife. The man lives not
who is more single minded than Livingstone who has worked
harder, been more persevering in so good a cause and the man
lives not who deserves a higher reward.

" Before going to Central Africa in search of Livingstone,
I believed almost everything I heard or read about him.
Never was a man more gullible than I. I believed it possi-


ble that the facetious gentleman's story, who said that Liv-
ingstone had married an African princess, might be correct.
I believed, or was nearly believing, the gentleman who told
me personally, that Livingstone was a narrow-minded, crabbed
soul, with whom no man could travel in peace ; that Living-
stone kept no journal nor notes, and that if he died his dis-
coveries would surely be lost to the world. I believed then
with the gentleman, that Livingstone ought to come home
and let a younger man that same gentleman, for instance
go and finish the work that Livingstone had begun. Also,
inconsistent as it may seem but I warn you again that I was
exceedingly gullible I believed that this man Livingstone
was aided in a most energetic manner ; that he had his letters
from his children and friends sent to him regularly, and that
stores were sent to him monthly and quarterly in fact, that
he was quite comfortably established and settled at Ujiji. I
believed also, that every man, woman and child in England
admired and loved him exceedingly.

"I was deeply impressed with these views of things, when
James Gordon Bennett Jr., of the New York Herald, told
ine in a few words to go after Livingstone, to find him, and
bring what news I could of him. I simply replied with a few
monosyllables in the affirmative, though I thought it might
prove a very hard task. "What if Livingstone refused to see
me or hear me ? ' No matter,' said I to myself, in my inno-
cence, ' I shall be successful if I only see him.' You, your-
selves, gentlemen, know how I would stand to-day if I had
come back from the Tanganyika without a word from him,
since but few believed me when Livingstone's own letters

"But how fallacious were all my beliefs ! Now that I know
the uprightness and virtue of the man, I wonder how it was
possible that I could believe that Dr. David Livingstone was
married to an African princess and had settled down. Now
that I know the strict morality of his nature, the God-fearing
heart of the man, I feel ashamed that I entertained such
thoughts of him. Now that I know Livingstone's excessive


amiability, his mild temper, the love he entertains for his fel-
low-men, white or black, his pure Christian character, I won-
der why this man was maligned. I wonder now whether
Livingstone is the same man whom a former fellow traveler
of his called a tyrant and an unbearable companion. I won-
der now whether this is the traveler whom I believed to be
decrepit and too old to follow up his discoveries, whom a
younger man ought to displace now that I have become
acquainted with his enthusiasm, his iron constitution, his
sturdy frame, his courage and endurance.

" I have been made aware, through a newspaper published
in London, called the Standard, that there are hopes that
some ' confusion will be cleared up when the British Associa-
tion meets and Mr. Stanley's story is subject to the sifting
and cross-examination of the experts in African discovery.'
What confusion people may have fallen into through some
story I have told I cannot at present imagine, but probably
after the reading of this paper the ' experts ' will rise and
cross-question. If it lies in my power to explain away this
' confusion ' I shall be most happy to do so.

" There are also some such questions as the following pro-
pounded : 'Why did not Dr. Livingstone return with Mr.
Stanley ?' 'Why was the great traveler so uncommunicative
to all but the New York Herald? ' Why did not the relief
expedition go on and relieve him ?' 'What has Dr. Kirk been
doing all this time at Zanzibar ?' Here are four questions
which admit of very easy solution.

" To the first I would answer, because he did not want to
come with Mr. Stanley ; and may I ask, was Mr. Stanley Dr.
Livingstone's keeper, that as soon as he had found him he
should box him up, with the superscription,'This side up with
care?' ' To the second I would answer, that Dr. Livingstone

' O

was not aware that there was another correspondent present
at the interview when he imparted his information to the cor-
respondent of the New York Herald. To the third question,
'Why did not the relief expedition go on and relieve him?'
I would answer that Livingstone was already relieved, and


needed no stores. To the fourth question, ( What has Dr.
Kirk been doing all this time at Zanzibar ?' I would reply
that Dr. Kirk's relations in England may probably know what
he has been doing better than I do.

" England is the first and foremost country in African dis-
coveries. Her sons are known to have plunged through jun-
gles, traveled over plains, mountains and valleys, to have
marched through the most awful wildernesses to resolve the
many problems which have arisen from time to time concern-
ing Central Africa. The noblest heroes of geography have
been of that land. She reckons Bruce, Clapperton, Lander,
Richie, Mungo Park, Laing, Baikie, Speke, Burton, Grant,
Baker and Livingstone as her sons. Many of these have fal-
len, stricken to death by the poisonous malaria of the lands
through which they traveled. Who has recorded their last
words, their last sighs ? Who has related the agonies they
must have suffered their sufferings while they lived ? What
monuments mark their lonely resting places ? Where is he
that can point the exact localities where they died ? Look at
that skeleton of a continent ! We can only say they died in
that unknown centre of Africa that great, broad blank
between the eastern and western coast.

"Before I brought with me producible proofs in the shape
of letters, his journal, his broken chronometers, his useless
watches, his box of curiosities, it was believed by all, with the
exception of a few, that the most glorious name among the
geographical heroes the most glorious name among fearless
missionaries had been added to the martyrology list ; it was
believed that the illustrious Livingstone had at last succumbed
to the many fatal influences that are ever at work in that awful
heart of Africa.

"It was in my search for this illustrious explorer, which
now has ended so happily far more successfully than I could
ever have anticipated that I came to the shores of this great
lake, the Tanganyika. At a little port or bunder, called
Ujiji, my efforts were crowned with success. If you will
glance at the southeastern shore of the Tanganyika, you will


find it a blank ; but I must now be permitted to fill it with
rivers and streams, and marshes and mountain ranges. I
must people it with powerful tribes, with "Wafipa, "Wakawendi,
"Wakonongo and Wanyamwezi ; more to the south with fero-
cious Watuta and predatory Warori, and to the north with
Mana, Msengi, Wangondo and Waluriba.

" Before coming to the Malagarazi I had to pass through
Southern Wavinza. Crossing that river, and after a day's
march north, I entered Ubha, a broad plain country, extend-
ing from Uvinza north to Urundi and the lands inhabited by
the Northern Watuta. Three long marches through Ubha
brought me to the beautiful country of Ukaranga, and a
steady tramp of twenty miles further westward brought me
to the divisional line between Ukaranga and Ujiji, the Liu-
che Valley, or Ruche, as Burton has it. Five miles further
westward brought us to the summit of a smooth, hilly ridge,
and the town of Ujiji embowered in the palms lay at our feet,
and beyond was the silver lake, the Tanganyika, and beyond
the broad belt of water towered the darkly purple mountains
of Ugoma and Ukaramba. To very many here, perhaps
African names have no interest, but to those who have trav-
eled in Africa each name brings a recollection each word has
a distinct meaning ; sometimes the recollections are pleasing,
sometimes bitter.

" If I mention Ujiji, that little port on the Tanganyika
almost hidden by palm groves, with the restless, plangent
surf rolling over the sandy beach, is recalled as vividly to
my mind as if I yet stood on that hill-top looking adown
upon it, and where a few minutes later I met the illustrious
Livingstone. If I think of Unyanyembe, instantly I recol-
lect the fretful, peevish and impatient life I led there until I
summoned courage, collected my men and marched to the
south to see Livingstone or to die. If I think of Ukonougo,
recollections of our rapid marches, of famine, of hot suns, of
surprises from enemies, of mutiny among my men, of feeding
upon wild fruit, of a desperate rush into the jungle. If I
think of Ukawendi, I see a glorious land of lovely valleys and


green mountains and forests of tall trees, the march under
their twilight shades, and the exuberant chant of my people
as we gayly tramped towards the north. If I think of
Southern Uvinza, I see mountains of hematite of iron I see
enormous masses of disintegrated rock, great chasms, deep
ravines, a blackness and desolation as of death. If I think of
the Malagarazi, I can see the river, with its fatal reptiles and
snorting hippopotami ; I can see the salt plains stretching on
either side. And if I think of Ubha, recollections of the
many trials we underwent ; of the turbulent, contumacious
crowds, the stealthy march at midnight through their villa-
ges ; the preparations for battle, the alarm and the happy
escape, culminating in the happy meeting with Livingstone.

" There, in that open square, surrounded by hundreds of
curious natives, stands the worn-out, pale-faced, gray -bearded
and bent form of my great companion. There stand the
sullen -eyed Arabs, in their snowy dresses, girdled, stroking
their long beards, wondering why I came. There stand the
Wajiji, children of the Tanganyika, side by side with the
Wanyamwezi, with the fierce^ and turbulent Warundi, with
Livingstone and myself in the centre. Yes, I note it all,
with the sunlight falling softly over the picturesque scene.

" I hear the low murmur of the surf, the rustling of the
palm brandies. I note the hush that has crept over the
multitudes as we two clasp hands. To me, at least, these
strange names have an enduring significance and a romance
blended with the sounds."

Mr. Stanley then read a paper on Lake Tanganyika, after
which some questions regarding the lake were asked by the
President, and answered promptly by Mr. Stanley. A paper
from Col. Grant, the African Explorer was then read, in
which he criticised portions of Dr. Livingstone's letter to
Mr. Bennett, and designated as an extravagant idea which
could not be for a moment entertained, Livingstone's suppo-
sition that the southern waters which he had been exploring
were connected with the Nile. Col. Grant's paper closed as


" The narrative of Dr. Livingstone contains some curious
incidents which are quite novel to me, for on our journey
from Zanzibar to Egypt when traveling on the water shed of
the Nile, we never saw any trace of cannibals, any signs of
gorilla, neither did we find that any race of natives kept pigs
in the domesticated state. They eat one species of wild pig,
but no race of natives in this valley of the Nile was ever
seen to keep pigs tame. Oysters must be a misprint. Tak-
ing into consideration these remarkable differences from the
country we traversed, I cannot but think that Dr. Living-
stone, having no chronometer to fix the longitude^ got further
to the west than he supposes, and that he had been among
races similar in most respects to those on the west coast of
Africa, visited by Mons. du Chaillu. In conclusion, this
fresh discovery of lakes and rivers by Livingstone defines a
distinct new basis, and leaves clearer than ever the position
given by Speke to the Nile in 1863,"

Remarks were then made by several gentlemen of the
Geographical Society. Consul Petherick said he was the
first Englishman who ever navigated the Bahr-il-Gazal. He
had fully satisfied himself that its waters flowed to the south-
ward. It was certain that Dr. Livingstone must have made
a mistake in believing that the Eastern Nile waters flowed
through the Bahr-il-Gazal. The water that Dr. Livingstone
was pursuing northward must find some other outlet where v
he did not profess to say.

Mr. Oswell, the African hunter and companion of Living-
stone in former travels said, " He would not go into the geo-
graphical question, but he availed himself of the opportunity
of expressing his gratitude to Dr. Livingstone. Dr. Living -
stone had sustained a great loss in the death of Mrs. Living-
stone, who was the best helpmate the traveler ever had.
During all his experience of Mrs. Livingstone there was only
one instance in which he knew of her breaking down, and
then it was not through fear for herself, but through fear for
her husband. It was usually said that Livingstone their
dear old Livingstone was the real true African lion; the-


young gentleman on the platform might be considered the
real true young African lion."

Dr. Beke, of Abyssinia, recognized the great value of the
discoveries Dr. Livingstone had made ; but he was convinced
that he had not discovered the source of the Nile. Evidence
of this was to be found in what he himself reported as to the
level of the different waters he had met with, etc. The
waters Dr. Livingstone referred to must either go into the
"Wellin, or turn round and flow into the Congo, or some
great lake. But joined to the Nile they could not be.

Sir Henry Rawlinson, President of the Geographical Soci-
ety, said he had strong misgivings as to whether Livingstone
had been in the Nile basin , he might have been upon the
Congo, but more probably the great river system discovered
formed somewhere a great central lake ; there was plenty of
room for one in Central Africa, and he trusted Livingstone
would discover it.

In replying to these doubters, Mr. Stanley said that he did
not see any discrepancy between Dr. Livingstone's and Cap-
tain Speke's statements ; and then continued, in part, as fol-

" Captain Grant says that Dr. Livingstone has made a mis-
take about the river Lualabu ; but what I want to know is how
a geographer resident in England can say there is no such
river when Dr. Livingstone has seen it ? Dr. Beke says that
Dr. Livingstone has not discovered the sources of the Nile.
Dr. Livingstone himself says that he thinks he has discovered
them ; but there is this difference between them that Dr.
Livingstone is encamped by the shores of Lualabu, and thinks
that he has discovered the sources of the Nile, and gives rea-
sons for his belief. He says that he has traced this chain of
lakes and rivers from 11 South to 4 South ; and Dr. Beke, who
has never been w r ithin 2,000 miles of the Lualabu, says that
he has not discovered the sources of the Nile. This was not
a question of theory, but of fact. Theory won't settle it ; it
must be settled by men who, like Dr. Livingstone, have fought
and labored for thirty-five years at the task. I think that Dr.


Livingstone has discovered the sources of the Nile, and that
he has good ground for his belief; and I am quite sure that
when he returns two years hence and says, ' I have discover-
ed the sources of the Nile,' there will not be one recalcitrant
voice saying, ( You have not.'

" If the Nile has not been discovered, what, let me ask, has
been discovered ? "What is that great and mighty river the
Lualabu? "Where does it go to ? Does it go into a lake, as
Sir Henry Hawlinson supposes ? What ! the Lualabu flow
into a lake ! into a marsh ! into a swamp ! Why, you might
just as well say that the Mississippi flows into a swamp !
( Laughter and cheers.) All the rivers flowing into the Tan-
ganyika are nothing whatever compared to the Lualabu, which
at some places is from three to five miles broad. If the Lua-
labu enters a swamp, where does all the water go ? No na-
tive ever told Livingstone that the Lualabu went west. On
the contrary, they all said that it ran north, and yet a German
geographer comes forward and says he saw a little river. He
may have done so, but that does not prevent the Lualabu from
being a big river. I never yet heard of an Englishman who
had discovered anything, but a Herr of some sort came for-
ward and said he had been there before.

"Do you mean to tell me that Dr. Livingstone has spent
six years searching for the sources of the Congo ? Not a bit
of it. What he wants is to find out the sources of the Nile.
The sources of the Congo may go where they like so far as
he is concerned. I have not the slightest doubt that he will
yet come home with the true story of the sources of the Nile.
These gentlemen have not asked a single question which I
have not asked of Dr. Livingstone. I asked him, if he had
discovered the source of the Nile at 2,000 feet above the sea,
how he could account for the discrepancy as to the degrees of
latitude which have been mentioned ? l Well,' he said, l that
is what baulks me.'

" But still he adhered to his opinion, and you must recol-
lect that he has arrived at it with hesitation and humility, af-
ter six years' travel and hard work ; also that his thermom-


eters, barometers and other instruments, which were new
when he started, may now be in error. Discrepancies that
may now seem to exist may hereafter be cleared up. Theory
and practice must fight ; which will win, do you think ? I
think fact I think practice. I think, if a man goes there and
says, c I have seen the source of the river,' the man sitting in
his easy chair or lying in bed cannot dispute the fact on any
ground of theory.

" The best way is to go there and disprove Dr. Livingstone.
You must go there and disprove what Dr. Livingstone has
said for yourself, or else listen to and believe those who have
been there."

Mr. Hall said that Dr. Livingstone had arbitrarily fixed the
source of the l^ile at between ten and twelve degrees of south
latitude, and he wished to ask Mr. Stanley how he reconciled
that with the facts he himself, as well as Dr. Livingstone and
other gentlemen, had stated as to the large river system in
that part of Central Africa.

Mr, Stanley confessed he did not see any discrepancy. Dr.
Livingstone had simply followed the river to its source, and
what could he do more ? .

Mr. Hall persevered with his question, amid some impa-
tience on the part of the audience, and Mr. Stanley humor-
ously responded and retired from the contest.

The chairman of the meeting then made some closing re-
marks. He said they had all seen and admired Mr. Stanley's
passionate appeal on behalf of his absent friend, Dr. Living-
stone, but they must all be careful not to fall into the error
of thinking that because a man had not been in a country he
therefore knew nothing about it. ( Hear, hear.) The gentle-
men who had spoken were one and all very competent to give
an opinion on the subject, which really was one as much a
matter of theory as anything could be. It was no doubt a
fault of travelers that they were too little aware of the amount
of knowledge which had been derived from other sources of
the matters of which they were inclined to speak. If he might
bo allowed to express an opinion he should concur with Dr.


Beke, that if the center of the Lualabu is only 2,000 feet high

Online LibraryJosiah TylerLivingstone lost and found → online text (page 42 of 51)