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PREFACE
On March 19th, 1913, a hundred years will have passed since David Livingstone was born. It is only forty years since his body was carried by faithful hands from the centre of Africa to the coast that he might be buried among his peers in Westminster Abbey. In those forty years great and astounding changes have been witnessed in the Continent which is associated with his fame. The campaign he fought against the slave-system that desolated the vast district drained by the Zambesi had to be renewed to free the population on the banks of the Congo. Southern Africa has been reconstructed and consolidated. The Upper and the Lower Nile have witnessed many strange vicissitudes of history. Other names have become great in men’s mouths. Some have been associated with vast political enterprises; while some, with a disinterestedness as noble as Livingstone’s, have been at once the pioneers and the martyrs of a Christian civilisation. But nothing that has happened since has diminished by a single{vi} laurel the wreath he won, and will wear for ever. With every decade his fame greatens; and whatever our views on African problems may be, we may all agree that her white population may well pray for a double portion of his spirit. At first it seemed unnecessary to re-write his life. The task has been so well fulfilled by many sympathetic biographers. For anyone who has the patience and the leisure it is to be found recorded in the fascinating pages of his journals. But it is so great a possession that there seemed to be room for yet another attempt to present it to those in our busy century who ask for short measure and a clear, simple narrative of facts. This is what the present biography aspires to be. The author has aimed not so much at telling the story as at allowing the story to tell itself. It may be added that, in the belief of the writer, Livingstone is greatest, not as a scientist, nor an explorer, but as a man and a missionary.


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