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CHAPTER X

As we have seen, Livingstone said farewell to Stanley on March 14th, 1872; and prepared to wait in Unyanyembe until his friend had reached Zanzibar, and sent a body of picked natives back to act as his escort. In his diary he makes careful reckonings as to the length of time this will mean, and concludes that he cannot expect his men until July 15th. It was August 14th before they arrived. He had to wait five weary months at Unyanyembe; and the lateness of his start brought the wet weather near, and handicapped the expedition from the first. We may just stay to record that Stanley’s march to the coast was beset with difficulties—“the whole ten plagues of Egypt”—but it was successfully accomplished, and the men he sent back to Livingstone were of the very{192} best. Stanley encountered at Zanzibar members of an English relief expedition that had been sent out to find and succour Livingstone. Of this expedition, the explorer’s son, Oswell, was a member. After hearing Stanley’s news they decided that it was unnecessary to go on, and returned to England.

To the ordinary person five months of waiting would have been almost intolerable. There are signs that even Livingstone had some ado to sit still and count the days. But if they were profitless months to him, and if often he was, as he records, “weary, weary,” the revelations contained in his journal are by no means profitless to us. He has time to write fully as to his plans and his motives. He takes us into his confidence; and we see that he has lost nothing in all these years of that eager curiosity which belonged to him as a boy. He still carries in his breast “the heart of a little child.” The wonderful Ptolemy and the na?ve Herodotus are pondered over; and all the stories of “fountains” and “pillars” awaken in the{193} great traveller the desire to test them for himself. He is evidently not sure that there is not something in them after all. He would dearly like to find out. He cannot reconcile Ptolemy with the investigation of Baker, Speke, and Grant; and it has all the delight of a fascinating conundrum to him.

April 18th.—“I pray the good Lord of all to favour me so as to allow me to discover the ancient fountains of Herodotus, and if there is anything in the underground excavations to confirm the precious old documents (τ? βιβλ?α), the Scriptures of truth, may He permit me to bring it to light, and give me wisdom to make a proper use of it.”

On the first of May he records that he has finished a letter to the New York Herald. This is the letter which concludes with the now world-renowned words upon his tablet in the Abbey—“All I can add in my loneliness is, may Heaven’s rich blessing come down on every one—American, English, or Turk—who will help to heal the open sore of the world.” By a{194} coincidence the words were written one year to the very day before the writer’s death.

He meditates much on the native faiths. He recognises as the fundamental fact “dependence on a Divine Power,” but “without any conscious feeling of its nature.” He notes also their belief in a continued existence after death, so as to be able to do good to those they love and evil to those they hate.

“I don’t know how the great loving Father will bring all out right at last, but He knows and will do it.” For himself, his confidence is anchored, as it has always been, in the plain word of Christ, the perfect Gentleman.

May 13th.—“He will keep His word, the Gracious One, full of grace and truth—no doubt of it. He said, ‘Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out,’ and ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name that will I do.’ He will keep His word: then I can come and humbly present my petition and it will be all right. Doubt is here inadmissible, surely.{195}”

He is reading Speke’s travels with critical enjoyment. He spends a page or two in challenging his statement that African mothers sell their own children. He does not believe it. He has never known an instance, nor have the Arabs. He always defends the essential goodness of the natives, and their common human feelings. Then he appeals to the heroism of the Church at home to come and help the African people. “I would say to missionaries, Come on, brethren, to the real heathen. You have no idea how brave you are till you try. Leaving the coast tribes and devoting yourselves heartily to the savages, as they are called, you will find, with some drawbacks and wickednesses, a very great deal to admire and love.” A little later he is arguing that the interior is a tempting field for “well-sustained efforts of private benevolence.” He thinks the missionary should make up his mind not to depend upon “foreign support,” and gives instances of his own resourcefulness where he had none to depend on but himself. He is{196} for “a sort of Robinson Crusoe life,” the great object being “to improve the improvable among the natives.” As to method, he writes later, “no jugglery or sleight-of-hand ... would have any effect in the civilisation of Africans; they have too much good sense for that. Nothing brings them to place thorough confidence in Europeans but a long course of well-doing.... Goodness and unselfishness impress their minds more than any kind of skill or power. They say, ‘You have different hearts from ours.’ ... The prayer to Jesus for a new heart and a right spirit at once commends itself as appropriate.” He notes, too, that music influences them, and often leads to conversion.

Scattered through the journal are his usual keen observations on the animal life and plant life of the district, together with brief narratives of tribal quarrels and crimes. Again and again he confesses uncertainty as to whether he has not been tracing the sources of the Congo rather than the Nile. If he had not had a scientific mind and train{197}ing, he argues that long ere this he would have cried “Eureka!” and gone home with a half-proved hypothesis. But his absolute love of truth forbids.

By the middle of July his men have not come, though he has heard of them as being on the way. He is very tired of the delay; but returns at length to the subject of missions in Africa, and indulges in one passage which clearly shows how his Puritan common-sense never deserted him. “A couple of Europeans beginning and carrying on a mission without a staff of foreign attendants implies coarse country fare, it is true, but this would be nothing to those who at home amuse themselves with fasts, vigils, &c.” A great deal of power is thus lost in the Church. Fastings and vigils, without a special object in view, are time run to waste. They are made to minister to a sort of self-gratification, instead of being turned to account for the good of others. They are like groaning in sickness. Some people amuse themselves when ill with continuous moaning. The forty days of Lent might be annually spent{198} in visiting adjacent tribes and bearing unavoidable hunger and thirst with a good grace. Considering the greatness of the object to be attained, men might go without sugar, coffee, tea, &c. I went from September, 1866, to December, 1868, without either.”

He gives us also a vivid summary of his impressions of the slave system, assuring us that “in sober seriousness, the subject does not admit of exaggeration. To overdraw its evils is a simple impossibility. The sights I have seen, though common incidents of the traffic, are so nauseous that I always try to drive them from memory. In the case of most disagreeable recollections I can succeed, in time, in consigning them to oblivion, but the slaving scenes come back unbidden, and make me start up at dead of night horrified by their vividness.”

August comes, and still no arrivals. There is a charming description of the African children and their sports and games, followed by observations on the swallows and the spiders. Then he breaks off to{199} exclaim: “That is the atonement of Christ. It is Himself. It is the inherent and everlasting mercy of God made apparent to human eyes and ears. The everlasting love was disclosed by our Lord’s life and death. It showed that God forgives because He loves to forgive. He works by smiles, if possible; if not, by frowns. Pain is only a means of enforcing love.”

At last, on August 14th, the miserable suspense is at an end. The new expedition marches safely into Unyanyembe. Livingstone lifts up his heart in gratitude to God. Many of those who have come to help him had marched with Stanley and were well seasoned. Some were Nassick boys from Bombay, among whom were John and Jacob Wainwright. It will never be forgotten how much we owe to the intelligence and courage of the latter. Five only in the new expedition belonged to Livingstone’s “original followers.” These are Susi, Chumah, Amoda, Mabruki and Gardner. It is much to know that Livingstone was never more loyally and devotedly served{200} than during this last march, which was to have so sad a termination and so heroic a sequel.

Ten days were allowed for rest and preparations for departure, which included the setting aside of certain stores to await them on the homeward march. Then, on August 25th, they slipped quietly out of the town of which Livingstone was so weary, and started for the southern part of Tanganyika. We are beginning now the last journey, which ended eight and a half months later, after incredible toils and sufferings. It is difficult to estimate the exact length of it, for there were many short diversions. One need only remember that from the middle of September David Livingstone was to all intents and purposes a dying man. The internal h?morrhage began again, and the entry in his diary on September 19th is that for eight days he has eaten nothing. No rest and no medicines have any lasting effect upon him after this; and he can scarcely have been out of pain, which frequently amounted to{201} agony. They made their way at first mainly through forest and hilly country, passing from village to village, each day having its burden of travel, its problem of supplies. Livingstone finds the climbing “very sore on legs and lungs.” On the 8th of October his eyes rested once again on the blue waters of Tanganyika. The day heat is very trying. Some of the men are sick; all are tired. “Inwardly I feel tired too.”

They had come to Tanganyika by a circuitous route. They now kept to the highlands running south-west, and travelled along the ridge, 1,000 feet above the lake. He notes that the lake-side is favourable for cotton, and admires the glory of the sunsets. The various arms and bays of the lake are carefully observed. The route is still very mountainous, and painfully up and down. October is past before he reaches the part where the lake narrows and becomes what the natives call Lake Liemba. It is slow and weary work around the southern section. The heat is intense. “The sun makes the{202} soil so hot that the radiation is as if it came from a furnace. It burns the feet of the people and knocks them up. Subcutaneous inflammation is frequent in the legs, and makes some of my most hardy men useless.” He maintains that walking is better than riding. Suddenly he breaks off his description of the toilsomeness of the journey to set this down:

“The spirit of Missions is the spirit of our Master, the very genesis of His religion. A diffusive philanthropy is Christianity itself. It requires perpetual propagation to attest its genuineness.”

The day after this he is “ill and losing much blood.” Another disaster is that the large donkey which has borne him from time to time over difficult ground has been badly bitten by tsetse, is now useless, and shortly dies. “It is a great loss to me.”

From the southern extremity of the lake they proceeded almost due south, the main difficulty being provided by the Lofu river, over which they built a bridge. A little further south they turned westward, evidently{203} making for the north of Lake Bangweolo. Many rivers are crossed, and more hilly regions negotiated. Then comes an entry in the journal in so shaky a hand as to be almost undecipherable. It simply tells us that he is ill and camping “in a deserted village.” Yet there is no halting on the march. River after river is crossed; and on December 18th he sees once more his old friend the Kalongosi or Kalongwesé river. “We crossed it in small canoes, and swamped one twice, but no one was lost.” They now march south for the lake. Christmas Day—“our great day”—is cold and wet, but it inspires Livingstone’s thanks to “the good Lord for the good gift of His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord.” He also finds time for some meditations on the Blue and the White Nile. The end of the year brings very heavy weather, during which no observations can be taken. One of the men also is taken critically ill and dies. They plant four trees at the corners of the grave.

As the expedition drew near Lake Bangweolo, they came upon a region com{204}posed of “spongy” morass. The men describe it as endless plunging in and out of morasses, and the effect on their strength and spirits must be conceived. It was terrible work, and Livingstone was spent with chronic dysentery. On they went, however, plunging through this horrible country. Yet such alleviations as nature affords are not forgotten. Livingstone enumerates all the flowers he sees: the marigolds and the jonquils, the orchids and the clematis, the gladioli and the flowering bulbs. He rejoices also to distinguish balsams and “pretty flowery aloes, yellow and red, in one whorl of blossoms.” The world is clearly not forsaken that has these tokens of the divine presence.

A week of priceless time was lost in the middle of January owing to the misrepresentations of a chief called Chungu; and all the while they were marching aimlessly over the desperate spongy country. They have to get back to their starting point, and strike eastward to make a circuit of the lake. Livingstone has to be carried across many{205} of the morasses and rivers on the shoulders of one or other of his men. The march was at times almost impossible. January 23rd saw them quite lost. No observations could be taken, and it was “rain, rain, rain.” Then came January 24th, and this dramatic entry in the journal:

“Carrying me across one of the broad, deep, sedgy rivers is really a very difficult task. One we crossed was at least 2,000 feet broad. The first part, the main stream, came up to Susi’s mouth, and wetted my seat and legs. One held up my pistol behind, then one after another took a turn, and when he sank into an elephant’s deep footprints he required two to lift him.... Every ten or twelve paces brought us to a clear stream, flowing fast in its own channel, while over all a strong current came bodily through all the rushes and aquatic plants. Susi had the first spell; then Farijala; then a tall, stout, Arab-looking man; then Amoda; then Chanda; then Wadé Salé; and each time I was lifted off bodily and put on another pair of stout, willing shoulders, and fifty yards put them out of breath—no{206} wonder!” We are not surprised to learn that progress is “distressingly slow; wet, wet, wet, sloppy weather truly, and no observations.” January closes miserably. They have no proper guides. “It is drop, drop, drop, and drizzling from the north-west.” The country is all froths and sponges. Livingstone loses much blood, but with characteristic optimism expresses the hope that it is a safety-valve, for he has no fever.

The lack of guides is serious. Livingstone reckons they lost half a month now floundering about in this sodden, depressing country, suffering much hunger; and it is all due to the unfriendliness of some and the fears of others. When guides were ultimately obtained progress was far more speedy and direct; but what the fatigue and exposure have meant to the sick man can be best gauged by the note in the journal on February 14th, which follows the record of another “excessive h?morrhagic discharge.”

“If the good Lord gives me favour, and permits me to finish my work I shall thank and bless Him, though it costs me untold toil,{207} pain and travel; this trip has made my hair all grey.”

Melancholy reading as the last month has been, it is perhaps not so heartbreaking as the next. It represents the almost desperate exertions of a dying man to get on; yet he is thwarted and deceived at every turn. He fixes his hopes on the chief Matipa, and on the 22nd of February sends Susi and Chumah to find him. Matipa appeared to be friendly, and eventually the expedition travels by canoes towards his country. Then they have to cross flooded prairie, and camp on a “miserable, dirty, fishy island.” They arrive at last, and Matipa is profuse in his promises and plausible in his plans. Time was of no value to Matipa. He drowned his cares in “pombe”; but Livingstone is in misery. Day after day passes, and no promised canoes arrive to carry the expedition westward. By the 18th of March he is convinced that Matipa is “acting the villain.” The next day is his birthday, and sacred to other thoughts. “Thanks to the Almighty Preserver of man for sparing me thus far on{208} the journey of life. Can I hope for ultimate success? So many obstacles have arisen. Let not Satan prevail over me, O my good Lord Jesus!”

Never had he been in worse case. Matipa was false again; and Livingstone took the extreme step, for him, of making a demonstration in force, and firing a pistol through the roof of the chiefs house—a movement which resulted in Matipa’s flight. He returned, however, soon after in a chastened frame of mind. Some canoes being available at last, on March 24th Livingstone started with all his goods, his object being to get across the Chambezé. It was an awful journey. Six hours’ punting brought them to a little islet without a tree, and the rain descended pitilessly. They got what shelter they could out of an inverted canoe, and crouched under it. The wind tore the tent and damaged it. The loads were soaked. It was bitterly cold. “A man put my bed into the bilge and never said ‘Bail out,’ so I am safe for a wet night, but it turned out better than I expected.{209}”

“March 28th.—Nothing earthly will make me give up my work in despair. I encourage myself in the Lord my God and go forward.”

The next day sees them across the Chambezé; but progress is extremely slow, and it is April the 5th before the neighbouring river, Lobingela, is passed. Meanwhile, as we learn from a subsequent entry in the diary, his final critical illness has begun. On March 31st, an artery began “bleeding profusely.” Yet he does not dream of resting. The whole country round Lake Bangweolo is a shallow sea. It is impossible to say where the rivers begin and end. Livingstone’s mode of progression is being punted along in a canoe. Further inland there is a marching party struggling along parallel with the canoes. On April 10th, he sets down that he is pale and bloodless. The artery “gives off a copious stream and takes away my strength. Oh! how I long to be permitted by the Over Power to finish my work.” The 17th of April witnesses another calamity, when “a tremendous rain after dark burst all our now rotten tents in shreds.{210}” He is now utterly weak and ill, fighting his complaint with quinine, and trying to believe it is no more than fever. On the 19th, however, he confesses he is “excessively weak, and but for the donkey could not move a hundred yards.” He adds pawkily, “it is not all pleasure this exploration.”

The diary is now painful reading, the writing becomes very shaky, eloquent of weakness and pain.

He has service on Sunday, April 20th, as usual.

The last entries are quite short.

“21st April.—Tried to ride but was forced to lie down, and they carried me back to vil., exhausted.” The fact is that the old hero insisted on being put on his donkey, only to fall to the ground. He was carried back to the halting-place on Chumah’s shoulders.

“22nd April.—Carried on kitanda over Buga, S.W. 2?.” The men made a rude palanquin, covered it with grass and a blanket, and in this way carried the dying chief for two hours and a quarter. They were two and a quarter hours of excruciating agony; and it was a relief to all when a village was reached where a rude hut could be erected.

The next day was similar. They carried him for another hour and a half. The following day one hour’s journey was all that he, in his extreme emaciation, could endure. He was too weak now to write anything except the date. On the 25th, they proceeded for an hour, and found themselves among a simple, friendly people. The trend of Livingstone’s thoughts may be gathered by some questions he addressed to the natives. He wanted to know whether they had ever heard of a hill on which four rivers had their rise. They shook their heads, but confessed themselves no travellers. On the following day they still moved on; and Livingstone’s unconquerable hope appeared in the fact that he instructed Susi to buy two large tusks, because he might be short of goods when they got back to Ujiji, and he could buy cloth of the Arabs with them.{213}

The last entry in the diary, the last words he ever wrote, stand under the date April 27th, 1873:—

“27.—Knocked up quite and remain—recover—sent to buy milch goats.—We are on the banks of the Molilamo.”

He is lying at Kolunganjovu’s town. His one hope is in milk, but the search for milch goats was vain. The whole district had been plundered by the Mazitu. He tried to eat a little pounded corn but failed. The 28th was spent in similar vain endeavours to obtain milk. On the 29th the chief, who said “everything should be done for his friend,” offered to escort the caravan to the crossing-place, and see them provided with canoes. There was an initial difficulty. Livingstone could not walk to the door of the hut to reach his litter. The wall was opened, and the sick man transferred from his bed to the litter in that way. The narrative of his devoted men is now most explicit. It is eloquent alike of the great leader’s fortitude and their own unfailing consideration. We need not linger on the{214} details; the agony of lifting him into the canoe, and lifting him out; the journey through “swamps and plashes”; the arrival at Chitambo’s village; the delays in building the hut while he lay “under the broad eaves of a native hut,” and a soft drizzle of rain descended. At last the shelter was erected and banked round with earth; the bed was made, raised on sticks and grass; the medicine chest placed on a large box that did duty for a table; and a fire kindled outside opposite the door. Just inside the boy Majwara lay down and slept, that he might be at hand if wanted.

The imagination reverently dwells on every detail of the scene, for the old hero has made his last journey, and is about to sleep his last sleep. While he was lying on his litter outside, and the rain was falling, curious villagers had gathered round, each man with bow in hand, for they had been guarding their crops. This was the great chief who had come from far. His fame they knew somewhat; they could not know that he was the best friend Africa ever{215} had. They gazed respectfully and wonderingly at the thin, pale, emaciated sufferer with the bloodless hands and lips, and the face distorted with sharp throes of agony. Through the falling rain they watched him; and in days to come would tell their children that they had seen Livingstone.

That night passed quietly; and when Chitambo called next day, Livingstone, with unfailing courtesy, received him, though he had to beg the chief to go away and return on the following day, when he hoped to feel stronger. All that morning he lay suffering, his strength gradually ebbing. In the afternoon he bade Susi bring him his watch, and with great effort he slowly wound it. Night fell at last; and at eleven o’clock Livingstone called Susi. There were noises heard. “Are our men making those noises?” said Livingstone. Susi told him that the villagers were scaring a buffalo. “Is this the Luapula?” he asked again; and Susi knew that his master was wandering in his mind. How ardently he had desired to reach the{216} Luapula through those terrible weeks and months on the sponges and through the floods! When Susi told him where they were, he asked again, “How many days to the Luapula?” “I think it is three days,” said Susi. There was no more except the cry of pain, “Oh, dear, dear!” Then he dozed. Near midnight he sent for Susi again. This time Livingstone told him to boil some water; and, when Susi had filled the copper kettle, he again asked for the medicine chest. The candle had to be held close to him, for his eyes were very dim. But he did just succeed in selecting some calomel, which he wanted to have at his side with a little water in a cup.

Then he said, very faintly, “All right! you can go now.”

These were the last words he was heard to speak. It almost seemed as if a higher Master had said to His tired servant, “All right! You can go now.”

What happened after that is known only to the One who was with him at the last.{217} The boy Majwara slept; and while he slept the miracle happened. For it appeared miraculous and incredible to his men, who had seen his utter inability to move himself, that he did actually rise from off that rude couch and did kneel down at the side, his knees probably on the bare soil, and there in the attitude of prayer commended himself to God,

“And his fair soul unto his Captain Christ.”

When the lad Majwara awoke at 4 a.m. and saw the strange sight of his master kneeling thus, he was afraid, and slipped out to warn the others. Susi dared not go in alone. He ran to rouse Chumah, Chowperé, Matthew, and Nuanyaséré. The six stood awestruck at the door of the little hut. On the box a candle was burning. It was just stuck there in its own wax, but it relieved the darkness; and they gazed at the still, bowed form. He was lying, stretched forward across the bed, in the attitude of prayer, his head buried in his hands. None seemed to dare to{218} approach him for a while. Then Matthew, reverently and tremblingly, stretched out his hand and laid it on his master’s cheek. It was quite cold. David Livingstone was dead. It was the morning of the first of May, 1873.

With the death of the hero, most biographies perforce end. In this respect Livingstone’s story is wholly unique. The most thrilling and sensational chapter remains to be written. Nothing more convincingly illustrates Livingstone’s ascendancy over his followers than the events which followed his death. It would have been easy for the men to have hurried the body into the ground, divided the property among themselves, and dispersed to their homes. Perhaps the last thing to be expected was that they would shoulder the dead body, and carry it from the centre of Africa, more than a thousand miles, through hostile and inhospitable country, to the ocean. Yet this was what they did; while the method, order and reverence of their proceedings would have done honour to the wisest and most civilised of our race.{219} Let us now see how they faced the duty that had suddenly come to them.

The discovery that Livingstone was dead was made about 4 a.m. The news was carried round at once to all the men; and as soon as day dawned they assembled for conference. The dead man’s possessions were collected, the boxes opened in the presence of all, and Jacob Wainwright made a careful and exact inventory on a page of Livingstone’s little metallic pocket-book, in which his own last entries had been made. The next business was to appoint Susi and Chumah, the oldest and most experienced of Livingstone’s followers, as leaders of the expedition. All promised to obey their orders; and all kept their word. Fearing lest the native superstitions in regard to departed spirits might lead to some outrage on the dead body, or that Chitambo might demand some ruinous fine, they decided to conceal for the present the fact of the death. In this respect they had misjudged Chitambo, who soon learned what had happened, and proved himself the kindest and most{220} sympathetic of advisers. All were agreed that the body of Livingstone must be carried back to the coast.

The first practical step, after making the inventory, was a remarkable one. Outside Chitambo’s village the men erected a small settlement of their own, fortified by a stockade. Here they built a circular hut, open to the sky, but strong enough to resist any attack of wild beasts, and in this they laid the body of Livingstone. His followers were stationed all round like a guard of honour. It happened that Farijala had once been servant to a Zanzibar doctor, and knew the elementary facts about a post-mortem. With the assistance of a Nassick boy, Carras, he undertook to do what was necessary. Certain rites of mourning having been performed, and volleys fired, a screen was held over these men while they did their work. The heart and viscera were removed, placed in a tin box, and reverently buried four feet in the ground, while Jacob Wainwright read the Burial Service from the English Prayer Book. The body was then dried in sun for fourteen{221} days. So emaciated was it that there was little more than skin and bone. For coffin, they stripped the bark off a Myonga tree “in one piece”; the corpse was carefully enveloped in calico and inserted in the bark cylinder. The whole was sewn up in a piece of sail-cloth and lashed to a pole, so that it could be carried on the men’s shoulders. Then Jacob Wainwright carved Livingstone’s name and the date of his death on the tree standing near where the body rested. Chitambo was charged to keep the ground free from grass lest bush-fires should burn the tree. Finally they erected two strong posts, with a cross beam, and covered them thoroughly with tar, so that the spot might be definitely identified. They seem to have forgotten nothing that could be done to keep in perpetual memory the place where Livingstone breathed his last.

The line of march determined on was up the west coast of Lake Bangweolo and across the Luapula River; then north-eastward till they struck the route by which they had come from Unyanyembe. It seemed at the outset as if all their hopes were to be{222} frustrated. In three days half the expedition were down with fever. Two women died. Susi became critically ill and could not move. They were delayed a whole month, and only started again to break down once more. It was not till they had crossed the great Luapula River—four miles broad—that things went better with them. Near where the River Liposhosi flows into the lake at Chawendes village, the expedition was unfortunately brought into active conflict with the chief and his tribe, and a regular affray took place in which blood was shed and many native houses burned. It is probable that a calmer and stronger leadership might have averted this; but it was proof of the determination of the devoted band to defend their precious burden with their lives. After this, the march was, on the whole, a favourable and peaceful one. They turned north towards Tanganyika, but, profiting by previous experience, gave the lake itself a wide berth, keeping well to the east, and traveling far more easily than Livingstone had done owing to the fact that they largely avoided the mountainous region. Everywhere the news of Livingstone’s death had preceded them; and they were made aware that a party of Englishmen was at Unyanyembe awaiting their arrival. Jacob Wainwright wrote down the story as we know it, and Chumah hurried on by forced marches to deliver it to the Englishmen in question, who turned out to be Lieutenant Cameron, Dr. Dillon, and Lieutenant Murphy, members of a search expedition. To them, on October 20th, 1873, Chumah brought the news, and soon afterwards the gallant band arrived and delivered all Livingstone’s belongings intact to his fellow-countrymen. Lieutenant Cameron was decidedly in favour of burying the body in African soil; he also took the liberty of appropriating most of Livingstone’s instruments to the use of his expedition. This latter act the men were powerless to resist, but in regard to the former they were not to be moved. It was useless to argue with them as to the dis{225}turbed district between Unyanyembe and the coast. They had made up their minds that the great Doctor must “go home.” Lieutenant Murphy and Dr. Dillon decided to return to Zanzibar with them, and the former does not appear to have been a very amicable companion. Dr. Dillon’s tragic fate is well known. Seized with fever on the journey, he went out of his mind and committed suicide.

One further incident has to be recorded illustrative of the resolution and ingenuity of the members of the expedition. Near Kasekera matters developed threateningly, and the men became convinced that there would be growing hostility along the route to the passage of a dead body. They accordingly resorted to a ruse. They unpacked the body, and repacked it to look like an ordinary bale of goods. Then they filled the old cylinder with sticks and grasses, and solemnly despatched six men back to Unyanyembe to bury it! Needless to say that as soon as these men got well into the jungle they disposed of their burden, and{226} rejoined the main caravan by devious routes. So well did every man keep his counsel, that it was believed henceforth that ordinary merchandise was being carried to Zanzibar. On February 15th, 1874, their sacred charge was fulfilled, and their precious burden, so jealously and triumphantly preserved, was handed over to the possession of the British Consul at Bagamoio on the coast. The Calcutta transferred the remains to Aden, and the P. and O. steamer Malwa carried them thence to Southampton, where on April 15th a special train was in waiting to convey them to London. That evening they were deposited in the rooms of the Geographical Society in Savile Row, and examined by Sir William Fergusson and other medical gentlemen. The “oblique fracture” of the arm which had been broken by the lion so many years before, and the false joint that had resulted, provided ample identification of the remains. On Saturday, April 18th, they were borne through the crowded streets of the capital to Westminster Abbey and deposited in the centre of the nave. Among the pall-bearers{227} were several who had been closely identified with the great explorer—Mr. Stanley, Dr. Kirk, Mr. Webb, Mr. Oswell, Mr. Young, and not least Jacob Wainwright, the Nassick boy. In the vast congregation there was no nobler, or more striking figure than Livingstone’s father-in-law, the veteran Dr. Moffat, the father of her who “sleeps on Shupanga brae, and beeks forenent the sun.” No grave in the famous Abbey is more frequently asked for by visitors than his. It makes its solemn appeal to the world year after year, for the plain slab is extraordinarily happy in its inscription:—

Brought by faithful hands
Over land and sea,
Here Rests
David Livingstone,
Missionary, Traveller, Philanthropist.
Born March 19, 1813,
At Blantyre, Lanarkshire.
Died May 4th,[A] 1873,
At Chitambo’s Village, Ilala.

[A] There appears to be a conflict of evidence as to the date of Livingstone’s death. Whilst the Diary gives the date as the 1st of May, that on the grave in Westminster Abbey is the 4th.{228}
For thirty years his life was spent
in an unwearied effort to evangelise
the native races, to explore the
undiscovered secrets,
And abolish the desolating slave-trade
of Central Africa, where, with
his last words, he wrote:
“All I can say in my solitude is,
may Heaven’s rich blessing come
down on every one—American,
English, Turk—who will help to
heal the open sore of the world.”

Along the right border of the stone the happily-chosen words:—

Tantus amor veri, nihil est quod
noscere malim
Quam fluvii causas,
per saecula tanta latentes.

And along the left border,
“Other sheep I have which are
not of this fold, them also I must
bring, and they shall hear my
voice.”


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