Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/344

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advisable that he should abandon his original design, and look elsewhere for a sphere of enterprise. It was soon offered. Mr. Moffat, another of the London Society's missionaries, was laboring successfully in Southern Africa among the tribe of the Bechuana. Livingstone heard of this; and, as both the scene and the work were attractive, he resolved to join him.

Accordingly in 1840, with the full approval of his Society, he left England for Kuruman, Mr. Moffat's station. There he spent the first three years. In 1843 he moved to Mabotsa, some three hundred miles to the northeast, where, in the effort to help his Bakatta protégés, the memorable encounter with the lion occurred, which so nearly proved fatal to him. In 1844 he married the veteran missionary's daughter. Having made a friend of Sechele, chief of the Bakwains, he ultimately removed to his country, and built a station with his own hands, near a small stream called the Kolobeng.

Some years pass in hard and successful work, and then Livingstone renounces his life as a stationary teacher; and, though never entirely relinquishing his missionary character, assumes that of an explorer, by which he is best known. The change came about in this way:

To the southeast of Kolobeng lay the Kashan Mountains, to which a number of Dutch Boers, fugitives from English law, had migrated, and formed a small republic. Having appropriated their territory, they had compelled the natives themselves to live, if not in absolute slavery, yet under a system of unpaid labor very closely allied to it. Livingstone, with his missionary views, was of course looked upon as an interloper, and hated in a corresponding degree. To add to the grievance of the settlement at Kolobeng, his subsequent discovery of Lake Ngami had encouraged traders to advance from the south, who, by giving the natives ideas about commercial matters they never had before, tended to raise disaffection toward themselves. The result was a determination on the part of the Boers to make a raid on the Bakwains, which a report that the latter were well armed with guns and cannon (an amusing myth about a black pot of Livingstone's) alone prevented. They then tried to get the governor at the Cape, Sir G. Cathcart, to interfere, and negotiations which followed ended in a treaty far more favorable to the natives than to themselves. In spite of this, however, an attack was made by the Boers on Sechele and the Bakwains in 1852, in which Livingstone's house was burnt down, and all his property destroyed, while he was absent on a journey to the Cape.

This opposition was very provoking to Livingstone; and the determination to carry out his plans for bettering the condition of the natives set him at work forthwith to open up the country northward. In company with two English gentlemen, Mr. Oswell and Major Vardon, the great Kalahari Desert was crossed, and Lake Ngami discovered, in August, 1849. Livingstone's opinion of this country de-