Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/22

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so when we passed down again;" and out of the 300 slaves who started on that fearful march, 100 were left murdered on the bloody track. Dr. Livingstone, in Chap. xix. of the "Zambesi and its Tributaries" says,—

"Would that we could give a comprehensive account of the horrors of the Slave-trade, with an approximation to the number of lives it yearly destroys: for we feel sure that, were even half the truth told and recognised, the feelings of men would be so thoroughly roused, that this devilish traffic in human flesh would be put down at all risks; but neither we, nor any one else, have the statistics necessary for a work of this kind. Let us state what we know of one portion of Africa, and then every reader who believes our tale can apply the ratio of the known misery to find out the unknown. Let it not be supposed for an instant, that those taken out of the country represent all the victims; they are but a very small section of the sufferers. Besides those actually captured, thousands are killed and die of their wounds and famine, driven from their villages by the slave raid; thousands in internecine war waged for slaves with their own clansmen and neighbours, slain by the lust of gain, which is stimulated by the slave purchasers. The many skeletons we have seen amongst rocks and woods, by the little pools, and along the paths of the wilderness, attest the awful sacrifice of human life which must be attributed, directly or indirectly, to this trade of hell. We would ask our countrymen to believe us when we say, as we conscientiously can, that it is our deliberate opinion, from what we know and have seen, that not one-fifth of the victims of the slave-trade ever become slaves. Taking the Shiré valley as an average, we should say, not even one-tenth arrive at their destination."

Again, in his report to Lord Clarendon, dated the 20th August, 1866, he speaks of "a tract of very fine, well-watered, but depopulated country, which took us eight days' hard marching to cross":—

"It was about 100 miles broad, and so long, there was no possibility of going round either end. It bore all the marks of having been densely peopled at some former period. The ridges in which the natives plant grain and beans were everywhere visible; and from the number of calcined clay pipes used in furnaces, it is evident that they worked extensively in iron. The country was very beautiful, mountainous, well-wooded, and watered. I counted in one day's march fifteen running burns, though it was the dry season, and some were from four to ten yards broad. The sound of gushing water, though not associated in our minds with Africa, became quite familiar. It was too cold to bathe in with pleasure, the elevation above the sea being between 3000 and 4000 feet.