Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/353

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
337
DR. LIVINGSTONE

looked at, in England, from different points of view, led to the impression that the pictures on the Zambési had been too highly colored, and public interest flagged.

But it was not duly considered, perhaps it was never thoroughly understood, that the jealousy and secret opposition of the Portuguese colonists contributed largely to Livingstone's want of success. It was to their interest to encourage the upper slave-trade with all its demoralizing influences; and dispatches from the home government, in favor of the expedition, if ever received, if ever sincerely written, would be of small avail: the distance from Europe was fatal; and then the colony consisted chiefly of political refugees and convicts. Livingstone's aim was to abolish the slave-trade; and, as long as they felt that, the Portuguese on the Zambési, themselves prospering, would do all they could to throw moral obstacles in his way. They would simply not cooperate; the better disposed would sit still with their slaves around them; the less scrupulous would combine to misrepresent the country, cry down the people, and talk as loudly as possible of the hopelessness of the inland trade. Their slave-drivers all the while might be putting their gangs into the fork-stick shackles; but get rid of Livingstone and the English, and who would be the wiser?

However, things were just beginning to look brighter. A new steamer, sent out by Livingstone's friends, for the navigation of the Upper Shiré, had been taken to the foot of the Murchison Falls. Several miles of broken country divide the Upper from the Lower Valley, over which the steamer, built accordingly, was to be carried piecemeal; a road had been already commenced for the purpose, when Mackenzie's successor arrived from England, in the middle of June, 1863, bringing the dispatch from Lord John Russell, recalling the expedition. This, in connection with other ostensible grounds, induced Bishop Tozer to remove the mission to another sphere of work; and, in the summer of 1864, the original members who survived were once more in England, Dr. Livingstone himself following in the autumn.

And now commences what is likely to prove the most eventful period of this remarkable life. It would seem that the independent spirit which chafed under control at the outset, could find a stimulus only in roaming over its congenial wilds, and must be left to work out its grand problems at its own unfettered will. For in the autumn of 1865 Dr. Livingstone is again on his way out to Eastern Africa, unsupported by public aid, and entirely alone, crossing first to Bombay. His object was—the words are Sir Roderick Murchison's, in 1867—"to discover whether there was an outlet to the south from Lake Tanganyika, discovered by Burton and Speke, which was a fresh-water lake, and which, but for such an outlet as was supposed, ought to be a saline lake." The Rovuma River, between latitude 10° and 11° S., had previously engaged his attention, and he thought by ascending this to be able to connect it with Lake Nyassa, in which case, having no