Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/349

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

the stream, compressed within the limits of a few yards, rushes down with tremendous force between high perpendicular banks of solid rock. But, from the Victoria Falls to the central Luabo mouth-branch, there is nothing else in the shape of hindrance except shoals, and these are only troublesome at the dry season of the year.

Tette, in native momenclature Nungwé, the farthest Portuguese settlement westward, was reached safely on March 3d. The commandant, Major Sicard, received the travellers kindly, and, on hearing the account of the coal discovered at Chicova, mentioned the fact of the existence of five other seams lower down. They were found on the banks of a small river, Lofubu, the visible width of the largest seam, according to Livingstone's measurement, being 58 inches. The whole of the district two miles below Tette proved to be carboniferous; and, if rumor counts for any thing, it extends into the Maravi country far to the north in the region of the lakes.

But the protracted journey is drawing to a close. Passing the Lupata gorge, Senna was reached April 27th. Morambala and the Shiré mouth, May 11th. Thirty miles below, Shupanga. It was here Mrs. Livingstone died of virulent fever, six years after she had joined her husband from England, on April 22, 1862. She lies buried under a fine baobab-tree, close to a modern Portuguese house, and a simple white monument marks her grave. From Mazaro, at the head of the Delta, down the Mutu River to Quelimane, and so the east coast is touched at last, May 26, 1856. A few weeks after, H. M. S. Frolic anchored off Quelimane, and, giving him a passage to Mauritius, the traveller embarked in a steamship of the Peninsular and Oriental Company, and on December 12th, landed in England.

Livingstone was the observed of all observers after his return. The feeling regarding him amounted to enthusiasm: and the eagerness with which his book was read, published in 1857, proved the interest that was taken in all he had done. A high estimate was formed of his abilities; but a still higher one, perhaps, of the qualities he had displayed, the energy, the perseverance, the tenacity of purpose, combined with powers of endurance and a courage and activity that certainly revealed a man of no ordinary calibre. Nor was the integrity of his personal character forgotten. On what just grounds this opinion rested, is proved by the fact that after a lapse of more than fifteen years, in spite of severe criticisms, and not a few hard words, his reputation stands as high as ever. And what had he done? He had overthrown the belief which previously existed, "that a large part of the interior of Africa consisted of sandy deserts into which rivers ran and were lost." He had filled up considerable portions of the map of Central Africa, lying between the 15th and 28th parallels of S. latitude. A splendid river was found crossing nearly two-thirds of the continent, and he had accomplished the work of tracing it down to its outlet with the hope of its becoming a path for the missionary and the mer-