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.

CHAPTER VII.

FROM THE CAPE TO LINYANTI.

A.D. 1852-1853.

Unfavorable feeling at Cape Town—­Departure of Mrs. Livingstone and children—­Livingstone’s detention and difficulties—­Letter to his wife—­To Agnes—­Occupations at Cape Town—­The Astronomer-Royal—­Livingstone leaves the Cape and reaches Kuruman—­Destruction of Kolobeng by the Boers—­Letters to his wife and Rev. J. Moore—­His resolution to open up Africa or perish—­Arrival at Linyanti—­Unhealthiness of the country—­Thoughts on setting out for coast—­Sekeletu’s kindness—­Livingstone’s missionary activity—­Death of Mpepe, and of his father—­Meeting with Ma-mochisane—­Barotse country—­Determines to go to Loanda—­Heathenism unadulterated—­Taste for the beautiful—­Letter to his children—­to his father—­Last Sunday at Linyanti—­Prospect of his falling.

When Livingstone arrived at the Cape, he found the authorities in a state of excitement over the Caffre War, and very far from friendly toward the London Missionary Society, some of whose missionaries—­himself among the number—­were regarded as “unpatriotic.”  He had a very poor opinion of the officials, and their treatment of the natives scandalized him.  He describes the trial of an old soldier, Botha, as “the most horrid exhibition I ever witnessed.”  The noble conduct of Botha in prison was a beautiful contrast to the scene in court.  This whole Caffre War had exemplified the blundering of the British authorities, and was teaching the natives developments, the issue of which could not be foreseen.  As for himself, he writes to Mr. Moffat, that he was cordially hated, and perhaps he might be pulled up; but he knew that some of his letters had been read by the Duke of Wellington and Lord Brougham with pleasure, and, possibly, he might get justice.  He bids his father-in-law not to be surprised if he saw him abused in the newspapers.

On the 23d April, 1852, Mrs. Livingstone and the four children sailed from Cape Town for England.  The sending of his children to be brought up by others was a very great trial, and Dr. Livingstone seized the opportunity to impress on the Directors that those by whom missionaries were sent out had a great duty to the children whom their parents were compelled to send away.  Referring to the filthy conversation and ways of the heathen, he says: 

“Missionaries expose their children to a contamination which they have had no hand in producing.  We expose them and ourselves for a time in order to elevate those sad captives of sin and Satan, who are the victims of the degradation of ages.  None of those who complain about missionaries sending their children home ever descend to this.  And again, as Mr. James in his Young Man from Home forcibly shows, a greater misfortune cannot befall a youth than to be cast into the world without a home.  In regard to even the vestige of a home, my children
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The Personal Life of David Livingstone from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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