The Personal Life of David Livingstone eBook

William Garden Blaikie
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about The Personal Life of David Livingstone.

It was deeply to be regretted that an enterprise so beautiful and so entirely successful as Mr. Stanley’s should have been in some degree marred by ebullitions of feeling little in harmony with the very joyous event.  The leaders of the English Search Expedition and their friends felt, as they expressed it, that the wind had been taken out of their sails.  They could not but rejoice that Livingstone had been found and relieved, but it was a bitter thought that they had had no hand in the process.  It was galling to their feelings as Englishmen that the brilliant service had been done by a stranger, a newspaper correspondent, a citizen of another country.  On a small scale that spirit of national jealousy showed itself, which on a wider arena has sometimes endangered the relations of England and America.

When Stanley reached England, it was not to be overwhelmed with gratitude.  At first the Royal Geographical Society received him coldly.  Instead of his finding Livingstone, it was surmised that Livingstone had found him.  Strange things were said of him at the British Association at Brighton.  The daily press actually challenged his truthfulness; some of the newspapers affected to treat his whole story as a myth.  Stanley says frankly that this reception gave a tone of bitterness to his book—­How I Found Livingstone—­which it would not have had if he had understood the real state of things.  But the heart of the nation was sound; the people believed in Stanley, and appreciated his service.  At last the mists cleared away, and England acknowledged its debt to the American.  The Geographical Society gave him the right hand of fellowship “with a warmth and generosity never to be forgotten.”  The President apologized for the words of suspicion he had previously used.  Her Majesty the Queen presented Stanley with a special token of her regard.  Unhappily, in the earlier stages of the affair, wounds had been inflicted which are not likely ever to be wholly healed.  Words were spoken on both sides which cannot be recalled.  But the great fact remains, and will be written on the page of history, that Stanley did a noble service to Livingstone, earning thereby the gratitude of England and of the civilized world.

CHAPTER XXII.

FROM UNYANYEMBE TO BANGWEOLO.

A.D. 1872-73.

Livingstone’s long wait at Unyanyembe—­His plan of operations—­His fifty-ninth, birthday—­Renewal of self-dedication—­Letters to Agnes—­to New York Herald—­Hardness of the African battle—­Waverings of judgment, whether Lualaba was the Nile or the Congo—­Extracts from Journal—­Gleams of humor—­Natural history—­His distress on hearing of the death of Sir Roderick Murchison—­Thoughts on mission-work—­Arrival of his escort—­His happiness in his new men—­He starts from Unyanyembe—­Illness—­Great amount of rain—­Near Bangweolo—­Incessant moisture—­Flowers of the forest—­Taking

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The Personal Life of David Livingstone from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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