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mapped the Shiré (scarcely known before), and the Zambezi from its delta to Sesheke. They had made magnificent collections of the Zambezian flora and fauna, and, though it may not have been appreciated at the time, had laid the foundation of the future protectorate over British Central Africa. That such a protectorate did not immediately emerge from their work was only due to the fact that the Foreign Office of that date, which in a blithe mood had embarked on this venture in 1857, now shrank from the diplomatic trouble of a settlement with Portugal. It had come to appreciate the very definite claims which the Portuguese asserted to the mouth and banks of the lower Zambezi, and realised that the enforcement of these claims would make a British protectorate over the Shiré and Nyasa impossible. But Earl Russell lacked the resolution and skill to obtain or extort from Portugal what Lord Salisbury won for us in 1890-1 ; the international freedom of the Zambezi and the access by water to Nyasaland.
As early as 1840 Livingstone, in his private letters, had adumbrated the Cape-to-Cairo idea in the form of a journey which he would like to make--and a chain of mission stations-from Cape Colony overland to Abyssinia. His second Zambezi expedition was a very definite step towards this north-to-south extension of the British Empire over Africa. He did much in the forties of the last century to keep Bechuanaland free from Boer intervention ; for as early as that the Boers, outraged by the chicanery of the British in regard to Natal, were desirous of closing the road to the north, while Livingstone was equally determined to keep it open. This aim was achieved not merely by great exploring journeys which riveted public attention on Central South Africa, but by the impression his character and teaching made on the chiefs of Bechuanaland. Thanks to him-but also to Oswell, James Chapman, Frederick Green, William Webb of Newstead Abbey, and Frank Vardon, his admirers, and in some sense his followers-the chiefs of the Baroloñ, Bakwena, Bahurutsi, Bamangwato and Makololo clans of Bechuanaland and central Zambezia kept the country open for British traders and travellers between the Limpopo River and the Upper Zambezi.
When Livingstone had been back in England for about a year after his six years' strivings in Eastern Zambezia, the Prime Minister of the day, Lord Palmerston, perhaps regretting the cold neglect of the great explorer by his colleague, Earl Russell, and dimly conscious that this sad-faced, quiet missionary-man had done something in Africa which posterity would consider epoch-making, commissioned Mr. Abraham Hayward to find out what he could do for Livingstone. At this time the ‘Consul to the Kings and Chiefs of Central Africa,' with a family to educate and support, had been left without salary or prospects of employment, dependent for his living on what he might earn by his pen. Livingstone's reply was he wanted only one acknowledgment of his work in Africa, a treaty with Portugal which would open the Zambezi to free navigation and free trade.
His passionate interest in Africa, displayed through those last seven years (1866–73) of toilsome journeys which were spent in an attempted solution of the Nile problem, was not merely geographical. Side by side with this devotion of his remaining strength of mind and body to the answering of the greatest enigma in African hydrography was the hope that if the Luapula-Lualaba turned out to be the Upper Nile, and a navigable highway through Central Africa between the vicinity of Lake Nyasa and the Albert Nyanza, Great Britain-or failing her, the United States, or an Anglo-Egyptian Sudan under Sir Samuel Baker--might be induced to intervene in the affairs of Central Africa, to link up the activities of South Africa with pioneer work of British officers on the Equatorial Nile, and thus to extinguish the Arab slave-raids and slavetrade in the region of the great lakes. His main idea in all these musings, traceable through his journals, his private letters, official despatches, and talks with Stanley, was that the negro had the best chance of peace and improvement under the British ægis. But after Stanley had left him to return to the coast he wrote in his journal the memorable words now inscribed on his tombstone : * All I can add in my loneliness is, may Heaven's rich blessing come down on everyone-American, English, or Turk—who will help to heal the open sore of the world' (the Arab slave-trade).
Livingstone, by his saintly life, his patience and sweetness of disposition in these later years, his conversance with Swahili, his humour, his acquaintance with not only the Bible but the Koran and the legends of the Arabs, his skill in medicine, won the deep regard and sometimes-where they were worthy of it--the affection of the Arabs, especially the Arabs of Maskat, and not the black, miscalled' Arabs' of the Zanzibar coast-countries. Equally he conciliated negro tyrants or received the spontaneous homage of the humbler black folk. Yet he was not a good caravan-master,
from the point of view of a traveller who must maintain order and discipline, punish robbery and deceit, and go where he intends to go-whether the destination is pleasing or not to his porters. In
this capacity Stanley was altogether his superior. Livingstone's gentleness of disposition in his last journey, his dreaminess, absorption in his thoughts and studies caused him to be robbed and delayed, and most badly served all round by the Indians and negroes whom he engaged in Bombay or Zanzibar. The breakdown of his constitution, the nervous strain of many disappointments, were more due to the carelessness or dishonesty of his porters than the actual hardships or dangers which he underwent. Frequently they deserted him on a mere rumour of danger, or would fling down a case with his precious supply of medicines so that all the bottles were smashed, or throw it into the bush before deserting. His priceless stores of tea, sugar, coffee, arrowroot, and such-like provisions were rifled on the way up from Zanzibar or were sold to Arabs. Several times deserting porters spread false rumours of his death, which either increased the indifference with which the British Government was beginning to regard him, or made it seem unnecessary to the British Consulate at Zanzibar that special pains should be taken to convey letters or stores safely to a man whose very existence in the heart of Africa was so uncertain. According to the Rev. Horace Waller, Prideaux, who for a time during Livingstone's last journeys was the Agent and Consul-General at Zanzibar, laid himself open to criticism in history for his seeming indifference towards Livingstone's interests, not only whilst he was alive, but when his dead body was brought back a distance of nearly a thousand miles overland to be conveyed to England.
In this last incident we see the other side of the picture, the other result of Livingstone's extraordinary gentleness and forbearance towards his negro servants. Though there was much base metal amongst the Africans with whom he had to deal, especially those who had been released slaves and trained in Indian mission schools, there were some amongst his followers whose whole-hearted devotion he completely won and retained to the time of his death. The account of how, after he was found dead in the early morning of May 1, 1873, in a native hut near the shores of Bangweulu, his body was prepared for transport to England, his heart and viscera buried under the big tree in Chitambo's villageof how these negro porters from the Komoro Islands, from Nyasaland or the Manyema country, or the mission schools of Nassik, embalmed the dead body, packed it most cleverly and conveyed it, together with all Livingstone's journals, papers, and instruments, to Zanzibar, over a thousand miles of the wildest parts of Africa—is one of the most beautiful episodes in the history of the
Dark Continent, creditable alike to black and white. These negro porters, only sixty in number, had in some places to fight their way through the populous villages of greedy or superstitious tribes, and, most difficult of all, to evade the petty-minded or meddlesome instincts of Englishmen forming part of the futile relief expeditions, each of whom seemed to be inclined to treat Livingstone's body, his journals, or his instruments as pawns to be used in some game of self-advancement. Even when the little cortège had slipped past all these dangers and had reached Zanzibar they were most coldly received by Captain Prideaux, and but for the sagacity and the generosity of James Young, the great chemist of Glasgow, who had been Livingstone's tutor in chemistry and his life-long friend and generous helper, Susi, Chuma, and Jacob Wainwright would never have been heard of any more. As it was, through Young's action they were present at his funeral in Westminster Abbey.
Livingstone's books are full of meat. It is doubtful whether they will ever become obsolete or out of print, for they are a mine of information to the student of Africa. Each time I re-read them, some fresh fact or allusion arrests my attention and increases my admiration for the writer. He was indeed a modern-minded man, and his interest in Africa was perspicacious. Long before any other modern writer-in succession to the early Portuguese-he mentions the existence of the Zimbabwe ruins on information supplied to him by the natives. In 1872 we find him writing on a Stone Age in Africa with a degree of judgment and foresight that is quite astonishing. If this high praise—from the point of view of the ethnologist, philologist, botanist, zoologist and geologist-is to be given to the three books of Livingstone's written for popular reading, what may not have been the quality of his manuscripts dealing purely with science ? And this we shall probably never know, for, by some perverse fate, what Livingstone no doubt regarded as the best of his work in Africa has never come to and may never reach our knowledge. There are said to be manuscript vocabularies of his dealing with the languages of South-west and Central Africa stored in the Grey Library in Capetown, which the Cape Colonial Government for fifty years, more or less, has been too parsimonious to print and publish. But in addition to that we are informed by the Rev. Horace Waller, who edited the last journals of Livingstone, that he (Waller) cut out of this work in two volumes all the purely scientific material.' What did he do with it? Where is it? Who is hiding it ?
It was a publisher who alone made the later life and achievements
of Livingstone possible. As a missionary he was always treated fairly, and-according to their means-generously, by the London Missionary Society ; but the agents of this Society were, and are, only paid sufficient for a bare subsistence. In Livingstone's case small extra grants were made to cover expenses connected with his wife and children. The Society, in fact, did its utmost for him without transgressing the spirit or letter of its constitution. The Royal Geographical Society, which, under the somewhat pompous Sir Roderick Murchison, probably tripled its membership on account of Livingstone, and derived great fame amongst the nations for being his patron (so to speak), only, as far as I can ascertain, supplied him with about £500 from first to last towards his expenses. The British Government gave him a salary for six years at the rate of £500 a year (in all, £3000), but was so niggardly in its support of his second Zambezi expedition that Livingstone, in attempting to carry out this work efficiently, spent on it about £6000 of his own money. Subsequently, I believe, the Foreign Office allowed him £500 for his expenses during his last seven years of travel. Livingstone also mentions that they gave some monetary assistance to his daughter Agnes (his wife had died on the Zambezi in 1861). He spent largely on his own ventures and expeditions, and behaved very generously to some of his colleagues. At the same time he endeavoured to give the best possible education to his children. How did he manage this and yet leave enough behind him for their support ? Mainly because John Murray gave him £10,000 down for his first book, and treated him with proportionate generosity for his second and his posthumous third. The house of Murray probably paid to Livingstone or to his heirs at least £20,000. A national subscription raised in Scotland endowed him with £2000. The people of Capetown gave him £840, the city of Bombay £1000, and the generous chemist, James Young, £1000. A considerable proportion of this total sum of £21,000 which he amassed in his lifetime--nearly half-was spent on his expeditions.
He is buried in Westminster Abbey. So far as I am aware, no notable statue, or a statue of any merit or publicity, has ever been erected to commemorate this great man in a public place in England or Scotland. The British South Africa Company has put up a memorial to him at the Victoria Falls, but Great Britain and British South Africa have still to acquit themselves in some way for the immense debt that they owe to David Livingstone.
H. H. JOHNSTON,