Imágenes de páginas

groan-compelling and deep." And so the doctor goes on in his journals, describing the great difficulties and hardships of travel in this country, arising from its gigantic forms of vegetable life, the rank luxuriance of its soil, the density of its forests, and the exposure and danger of its almost constant tropical rains, and numerous and swollen water-courses and rivers. He found it to be, as he had been told a wild and savage region. The people also were like unto their country. Our traveller had heard before he started on this journey the most dreadful accounts of the savage character of its inhabitants, and the common belief concerning them was that they were cannibals. This was said to be the meaning of the country, Manyuema, or the country of the man-eaters. He found much that had been said about them substantially true. He confesses that they were a savage and blood-thirsty race, who existed in a state of perpetual war with each other. He met, perhaps, with no positive proof that they were actually man-eaters, although much to confirm the suspicion that such was the fact. He says, however, in one place, “The Manyuema are certainly cannibals, but it was long ere I could get evidence more positive than would have led a Scotch jury to give a verdict of not proven.' They eat only enemies killed in war; they seem as if instigated by revenge in their man-eating orgies, and on these occasions they do not like a stranger to see them. I offered a large reward to anyone who would call me to witness a cannibal festival. Some intelligent men have told me that the meat is not nice, and makes them dream of the dead. The women never partake, and I am glad of it, for many of them down the Luapula are very pretty; they bathe two or three times a day, and are expert divers for oysters."

Soon after the Doctor began to travel in this country his feet failed him. They were affected with eating ulcers, for which he could find no remedy. At last he was compelled to rest, for he could not walk, and in this state had to stay for six weary months at Bambarre. When sufficiently cured as to be able to march he set off again in a north-easterly direction, and after several days' journey struck the main artery of his line of drainage, a magnificent lacustrine stream, with a width of from one to two miles.

After he had thus reached the Luabula Livingstone made four arduous trips in this dreadful country, the geographical results of which are thus stated. He found that the great stream called the Luabula pursued so erratic a course, flowing northward, westward, and even southward, in wide loops, that he was frequently at fault as to its ultimate course. Sometimes he thought he was working away at the Congo, but at last he was completely satisfied that its course was northward. After following it up from its outlet in Lake Moero, and confirming its subsequent identity with the Luabula and the Chambeze, he retraced his steps and saw it lose itself in Lake Kamalondo. As many of the great streams on the watershed were called Luabula by the natives, he christened the stream which flowed from Lake Moero to Lake Kamalondo “ Webb's Luabula," in honour of his friend Mr. Webb, of Newstead Abbey. Several days southwest of Kamalondo he discovered another lake called by the natives Chebungo. This he named Lake Lincoln, in honour of Abraham

Lincoln, President of the United States during the War of Secession. Its principal affluent he named “Young's” Luabula, in honour of another fast friend, Mr. Young, of paraffin-oil celebrity. The waters of Lake Lincoln pass into the Luabula by the river Locki or Lomame. The river which issued out of Lake Kamalondo and flowed to the north was, he now found, the centre or main line of drainage, and he named it the Luabula proper. Although sick and worn, he followed its course as far as four degrees south latitude, and found that it flowed into another large lake. This was the fourth large lake in the central line of drainage. He found that it was dotted over with many large inhabited islands, but he had not the opportunity of exploring it. Beyond this fourth lake the water passes, he was told, into large reedy lakes, which he supposed to be Petherick's branch-the main stream of the Nile-in distinction to the smaller eastern arm, which Speke, Grant, and Baker took to be the great river of Egypt.

“In my attempt,” he writes, “ to penetrate further and further I had but little bope of ultimate success, for the great amount of westing led to a continual effort to suspend the judgment, lest, after all, I might be exploring the Congo instead of the Nile, and it was only after the two great water-drains fell into the central main and left but the two great lacustrine rivers of Ptolemy that I felt pretty sure of being on the right track.”

Whether he was on the right track, as he calls it, still remains to be seen ; but when the results of the travels of Cameron and Stanley are made known it will be determined, I suppose, whether Livingstone was working away at the sources of the Nile or of the Congo, or of both the Congo and the Nile.

From his letters and journals we know how deeply mortified he was that at this point he was compelled to turn back, when so near the termination of the quest he had suffered so much in following up. But there was no alternative for him. He could not get either boats or men, and found himself defeated by the Arab traders and their half-caste tools, whose abominations and cruelties he had done so much to expose. He decided to return at once to Ujiji, where he hoped to find fresh supplies and men from Zanzibar.

Livingstone's soul was greatly distressed at the sights be witnessed in the Manyuema country. After considerable sojourn amongst this people, we find him writing, “Oh! I am heartsore and sick of human blood.” Before this journey came to an end, however, he was to be still more heartsore and sick at the sight of human blood, and of man's inhumanity to man. He witnessed on one occasion the slaughter of four hundred women and children, who were brutally shot down in the public market by a company of Arab traders and their balf-caste servants, or by them driven into the river, where they were drowned in scores before his eyes. His soul was filled with horror, and he had the greatest difficulty in keeping from shooting the wretches who had perpetrated this cold-blooded massacre. “As I write," says he, “I still hear the loud wails of those who are mourning for the slain. O Lord ! let Thy kingdom come! No one will ever know the exact loss on this bright sultry summer morning. It gave me the impression of being in hell.” He

now retraces his steps through this grand but savage and dreadful country of the Manyuema. His travels in it had been a great trial to his already exhausted constitution. He had been repeatedly laid up from illness. He suffered from dysentery and ulcered feet. He was exposed for several hours to great personal risk, when his party were attacked by the natives as they passed through a dense forest. On one occasion a spear, hurled by a native, went within half an inch of his head, and quivered in the ground at his feet. . Yet, on the whole, the good Doctor worked greatly on the better nature of these savage Manyuema. Some of them, indeed, displayed great kindliness of feeling towards him, and showed that the savage breast is after all human, and that it is capable of improvement. Indeed, oftentimes great goodness was seen to come out of it, under the kind and genial touch of the good Doctor. Take, as an illustration, the following:“ A woman, with leprous hands,” says he, “gave me her hut, a nice clean one, and very heavy rain came on. Of her own accord she prepared dumplings of green maize, pounded and boiled, which are sweet; for she said she saw I was hungry. It was excessive weakness from purging she mistook ; but seeing I did not eat for fear of the leprosy, she kindly pressed me : Eat ; you are weak only from hunger ; this will strengthen you.' I put it out of sight, and blessed her motherly heart." And this in a country of which he says, The great want of the Manyuema is national life. Of this they have none. Each headman is independent of each other. Of industry they have no lack, and the villagers are orderly towards each other, but they go no further. If a man of another district Fentures among them, it is at his peril. He is not regarded with more favour as a Manyuema than one of a herd of buffaloes is by the rest, and he is almost sure to be killed.”

Livingstone spent eleven months in the Manyuema country, and in the latter part of his return journey to Ujiji we find him writing in bis journals thus: “I feel as if dying on my feet. Almost every step is in pain, the appetite fails, and a little bit of meat causes diarrhea, whilst the mind, sorely depressed, reacts on the body.” “ I was now reduced,” he continues, “to a skeleton, but the market being held daily (Ujiji), and all kinds of native food brought to it, I hoped that food and rest would soon restore me ; but in the evening my people came and told me that Shereaf had sold off all my goods. This was distressing. I bad made up my mind, if I could not get people at Ujiji, to wait till men should come from the coast, but to wait in beggary was what I never contemplated, and I now felt miserable.” Relief was at hand, however, by the interposition of a kind Providence, and that from a quarter he did not expect. “When my spirits," he says, “were at their lowest ebb, the good Samaritan was close at hand, for one morning Susi came running at the top of his speed and gasped out, 'An Englishman! I see him !' and off he darted to meet him. The American flag at the head of a caravan told of the nationality of the stranger. Bales of goods, baths of tin, buge kettles, cooking pots, tents, &c., made me think, “This must be a luxurious traveller, and not one at his wits'end, like me' (28th October, 1871). It was Henry Moreland Stanley, the travelling correspondent of the New York Herald, sent by James Gordon Bennett, jun., at an

expense of more than £4000, to obtain accurate information about Dr. Livingstone, if living, and if dead to bring home my bones. The news he had to tell to one who had been two full years without any tidings from Europe made my whole frame thrill. The terrible fate that had befallen France, the telegraphic cable successfully laid in the Atlantic, the election of General Grant, the death of good Lord Clarendon, my constant friend, the proof that her Majesty's Government had not forgotten me in voting £1000 for supplies, and many other points of interest, revived emotions that had lain dormant in Manyuema. Appetite returned, and, instead of the spare, tasteless two meals a day, I ate four times daily, and in a week began to feel strong. I am not of a demonstrative turn-as cold, indeed, as we islanders are usually reputed to be ; but this disinterested kindness of Mr. Bennett, so nobly carried into effect by Mr. Stanley, was simply overwhelming. I really do feel extremely grateful, and at the same time I am a little ashamed at not being more worthy of the generosity. Mr. Stanley has done his part with untiring energy; good judgment in the teeth of very serious obstacles."

Mr. Stanley relieved the Doctor's immediate necessities, supplied, as far as he was able, his future wants, and remained with him in mutual labour and brotherly sympathy for six months. A good part of this time they spent in surveying the Tanganyika Lake. They wanted to find out whether it had any outlet. They supposed if it had that it would be found at its northern extremity. They explored that end of the lake, but instead of finding a river running out of it there they found one flowing into it, and at a considerable rate. They were unable to solve the problem ; but it has been subsequently solved by Lieutenant Cameron, who has discovered a river flowing out of its western side. The time came at last for Stanley to return to Zanzibar. Livingstone accompanied him as far on his return journey as Unyanyembe. He would fain have persuaded the great traveller to return with him, but he was resolutely bent on finishing his work, and declined all overtures. The time came at last for the friends to part. Stanley finally left him on the 14th of March, 1872, and how much seemed to lie in their separation, when we remember that with the last shake of the hand and the last adieu came the final parting between Livingstone and all that could represent the interest felt by the world in his travels, in the sympathy of the white man. Five days after was his birthday, and on that day is the following entry in his journals :-"My God, my King, my life, my all, I again dedicate my whole self to Thee. Accept me, and grant, O gracious Father, that ere this year is gone I may finish my task. In Jesus' name I ask it. Amen, so let it be.”

Having received the supplies and men which Mr. Stanley had sent from Zanzibar, and organised his forces, our hero gets once more on the way. He has not proceeded far, however, before his old enemy dysentery is again upon him. Still he pushes on. His object is now to reach the eastern end of Lake Bangweolo, and then to make his way round its southern side to the Luapula, and thence on to Moero, to the Luabula which he intended to follow on, through the other great lakes along his central lines of drainage, until he should reach Petherick's branch, and from that point make his way down the Nile into Upper Egypt. Truly a herculean project, which he never lived to accomplish. As he approached Lake Bapgweolo, the character of the country wholly changed. He finds now nothing but a succession of rivers and watercourses, sponges and floods, through which he has to make his way, or over which he bas to be carried on the shoulders of his man Chumah. As he proceeds his health fails him more and more, and he gets weaker and weaker ; still he pushes on with strange tenacity of purpose, and with an intense longing to finish his work. At length he reaches his last birthday. On that day, the 19th of March, 1873, he writes in his journals, “Thanks to the Almighty Preserver of men for sparing me thus far on the journey of life. Can I hope for ultimate success ? So many obstacles have arisen. Let not Satan prevail over me, oh, my good Lord Jesus." We are all more or less familiar with the latter incidents of his life-how his faithful servants, when he became so ill as to be unable to sit on the donkey, made a kind of rude palanquin in which he was carried, and how in this way he reached Chitambo's village on Lake Bangweolo, Susi having sent men forward to prepare a hut. We cannot do better than give the picture of the closing scene as quoted here from the lips of Chumah and Susi :

“On reaching their companions it was found that the work was not quite finished, and it became necessary, therefore, to lay him under the broad eaves of a native hut till things were ready. Chitambo's village at this time was almost empty. When the crops are growing it is the custom to erect little temporary houses in the fields, and the inhabitants, leaving their more substantial huts, pass their time in watching their crops, which are scarcely more safe by day than by night ; thus it was that the men found plenty of room and shelter ready to their hand. Many of the people approached the spot where he lay whose praises had reached them in previous years, and in silent wonder they stood round him, resting on their bows. Slight drizzling showers were falling, and as soon as possible his house was made ready, and banked round with earth. Inside it the bed was raised from the floor by sticks and grass, occupying a position across and near to the bay-shaped end of the hut; in the bay itself bales and boxes were deposited, one of the latter doing duty for a table, on which the medicine chest and sundry other things were placed. A fire was lighted outside, nearly opposite the door, whilst the boy Majwara slept within to attend to his master's wants in the night. On April the 30th, 1873, Chitambo came early to pay a visit of courtesy, and was shown into the Doctor's presence, but he was obliged to send him away, telling him to come again on the morrow, when he hoped to have more strength to talk with him, and he was not again disturbed. In the afternoon he asked Susi to bring his watch to the bedside, and explained to him the position in which he held his hand, that it might lie in the palm while he slowly turned the key.

“So the hours stole on till nightfall. The men silently took to their huts, whilst others, whose duty it was to keep watch, sat round the fires, all feeling that the end could not be far off. About 11 p.m. Susi, whose hut was close by, was told to go to his master. At the

« AnteriorContinuar »