The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume II (of 2), 1869-1873 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 336 pages of information about The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume II (of 2), 1869-1873.

One word on a subject which will commend itself to most before we close this long eventful history.

We saw what a train of Indian Sepoys, Johanna men, Nassick boys, and Shupanga canoemen, accompanied Dr. Livingstone when he started from Zanzibar in 1866 to enter upon his last discoveries:  of all these, five only could answer to the roll-call as they handed over the dead body of their leader to his countrymen on the shore whither they had returned, and this after eight years’ desperate service.

Once more we repeat the names of these men.  Susi and James Chuma have been sufficiently prominent throughout—­hardly so perhaps has Amoda, their comrade ever since the Zambesi days of 1864:  then we have Abram and Mabruki, each with service to show from the time he left the Nassiok College with the Doctor in 1865.  Nor must we forget Ntoaeka and Halima, the two native girls of whom we have heard such a good character:  they cast in their lot with the wanderers in Manyuema.  It does seem strange to hear the men say that no sooner did they arrive at their journey’s end than they were so far frowned out of notice, that not so much as a passage to the Island was offered them when their burden was borne away.  We must hope that it is not too late—­even for the sake of consistency—­to put it on record that whoever assisted Livingstone, whether white or black, has not been overlooked in England.  Surely those with whom he spent his last years must not pass away into Africa again unrewarded, and lost to sight.

Yes, a very great deal is owing to these five men, and we say it emphatically.  If the nation has gratified a reasonable wish in learning all that concerns the last days on earth of a truly noble countryman and his wonderful enterprise, the means of doing so could never have been placed at our disposal but for the ready willingness which made Susi and Chuma determine, if possible, to render an account to some of those whom they had known as their master’s old companions.  If the Geographer finds before him new facts, new discoveries, new theories, as Livingstone alone could record them, it is right and proper that he should feel the part these men have played in furnishing him with such valuable matter.  For we repeat that nothing but such leadership and staunchness as that which organized the march home from Ilala, and distinguished it throughout, could have brought Livingstone’s bones to our land or his last notes and maps to the outer world.  To none does the feat seem so marvellous as to those who know Africa and the difficulties which must have beset both the first and the last in the enterprise.  Thus in his death, not less than in his life, David Livingstone bore testimony to that goodwill and kindliness which exists in the heart of the African.

FOOTNOTES: 

[37] The men consider it five days’ march “only carrying a gun” from the Molilamo to the bank of the Luapula—­this in rough reckoning, at the rate of native travelling, would give a distance of say 120 to 150 miles.—­ED.

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The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume II (of 2), 1869-1873 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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