The Personal Life Of David Livingstone
by William Garden Blaikie
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LL.D., D.C.L.



W. GARDEN BLAIKIE, D.D., LLD. Author of "Heroes of Israel," etc.


The purpose of this work is to make the world better acquainted with the character of Livingstone. His discoveries and researches have been given to the public in his own books, but his modesty led him to say little in these of himself, and those who knew him best feel that little is known of the strength of his affections, the depth and purity of his devotion, or the intensity of his aspirations as a Christian missionary. The growth of his character and the providential shaping of his career are also matters of remarkable interest, of which not much has yet been made known.

An attempt has been made in this volume, likewise, to present a more complete history of his life than has yet appeared. Many chapters of it are opened up of which the public have hitherto known little or nothing. It has not been deemed necessary to dwell on events recorded in his published Travels, except for the purpose of connecting the narrative and making it complete. Even on these, however, it has been found that not a little new light and color may be thrown from his correspondence with his friends and his unpublished Journals.

Much pains has been taken to show the unity and symmetry of his character. As a man, a Christian, a missionary, a philanthropist, and a scientist, Livingstone ranks with the greatest of our race, and shows the minimum of infirmity in connection with the maximum of goodness. Nothing can be more telling than his life as an evidence of the truth and power of Christianity, as a plea for Christian Missions and civilization, or as a demonstration of the true connection between religion and science.

So many friends have helped in this book that it is impossible to thank all in a preface. Most of them are named in the body of the work. Special acknowledgments, however, are due to the more immediate members of Dr. Livingstone's family, at whose request the work was undertaken; also to his sisters, the Misses Livingstone, of Hamilton, to Mr. Young, of Kelley, to the venerable Dr. Moffat, and Mrs. Vavasseur, his daughter. The use of valuable collections of letters has been given by the following (in addition to the friends already named): The Directors of the London Missionary Society; Dr. Risdon Bennett; Rev. G.D. Watt; Rev. Joseph Moore; Rev. W. Thompson, Cape Town; J.B. Braithwaite, Esq.; representatives of the late Sir R.I. Murchison, Bart., and of the late Sir Thomas Maclear; Rev. Horace Waller, Mr. and Mrs. Webb, of Newstead Abbey, Mr. P. Fitch, of London, Rev. Dr. Stewart, of Lovedale, and Senhor Nunes, of Quilimane. Other friends have forwarded letters of less importance. Some of the letters have reached the hands of the writer after the completion of the book, and have therefore been used but sparingly.

The recovery of an important private journal of Dr. Livingstone, which had been lost at the time when the Missionary Travels was published, has thrown much new light on the part of his life immediately preceding his first great journey.

In the spelling of African proper names, Dr. Moffat has given valuable help. Usually Livingstone's own spelling has been followed.

A Map has been specially prepared, in which the geographical references in the volume are shown, which will enable the reader to follow Livingstone's movements from place to place.

With so much material, it would have been easier to write a life in two volumes than in one; but for obvious reasons it has been deemed desirable to restrict it to the present limits. The author could wish for no higher honor than to have his name associated with that of Livingstone, and can desire no greater pleasure than that of conveying to other minds the impressions that have been left on his own.





* * * * *



A.D. 1813-1836.

Ulva—The Livingstones—Traditions of Ulva life—The "Baughting-time"—"Kirsty's Rock"—Removal of Livingstone's grandfather to Blantyre—Highland blood—Neil Livingstone—His marriage to Agnes Hunter—Her grandfather and father—Monument to Neil and Agnes Livingstone in Hamilton Cemetery—David Livingstone born 19th March, 1813—Boyhood—At home—In school—David goes into Blantyre Mill—First earnings—Night-school—His habits of reading—Natural-history expeditions—Great spiritual changes in his twentieth year—Dick's Philosophy of a Future State—He resolves to be a missionary—Influence of occupation of Blantyre—Sympathy with People—Thomas Burke and David Hogg—Practical character of his religion.



A.D. 1836-1840.

His desire to be a missionary to China—Medical missions—He studies at Glasgow—Classmates and teachers—He applies to London Missionary Society—His ideas of mission-work—He is accepted provisionally—He goes to London—to Ongar—Reminiscences by Rev. Joseph Moore—by Mrs. Gilbert—by Rev. Isaac Taylor—Nearly rejected by the Directors—Returns to Ongar—to London—Letter to his sister—Reminiscences by Dr. Risdon Bennett—Promise to Professor Owen—Impression of his character on his friends and fellow-students—Rev R. Moffat in England—Livingstone interested—Could not be sent to China—Is appointed to Africa—Providential links in his history—Illness—Last visits to his home—Receives Medical diploma—Parts from his family.



A.D. 1842-1843.

His ordination—Voyage out—At Rio de Janeiro—At the Cape—He proceeds to Kuruman—Letters—Journey of 700 miles to Bechuana country—Selection of site for new station—Second excursion to Bechuana country—Letter to his sister—Influence with chiefs—Bubi—Construction of a water-dam—Sekomi—Woman seized by a lion—The Bakaa—Sebehwe—Letter to Dr. Risdon Bennett—Detention at Kuruman—He visits Sebehwe's village—Bakhatlas—Sechele, chief of Bakwains—Livingstone translates hymns—Travels 400 miles on oxback—Returns to Kuruman—Is authorized to form new station—Receives contributions for native missionary—Letters to Directors on their Mission policy—He goes to new station—Fellow-travelers—Purchase of site—Letter to Dr. Bennett—Desiccation of South Africa—Death of a servant, Sehamy—Letter to his parents.



A.D. 1843-1847.

Description of Mabotsa—A favorite hymn—General reading—Mabotsa infested with lions—Livingstone's encounter—The native deacon who saved him—His Sunday-school—Marriage to Mary Moffat—Work at Mabotsa—Proposed institution for training native agents—Letter to his mother—Trouble at Mabotsa—Noble sacrifice of Livingstone—Goes to Sechele and the Bakwains—New station at Chonuane—Interest shown by Sechele—Journeys eastward—The Boers and the Transvaal—Their occupation of the country, and treatment of the natives—Work among the Bakwains—Livingstone's desire to move on—Theological conflict at home—His view of it—His scientific labors and miscellaneous employments.



A.D. 1847-1852.

Want of rain at Chonuane—Removal to Kolobeng—House-building and public works—Hopeful prospects—Letters to Mr. Watt, his sister, and Dr. Bennett—The church at Kolobeng—Pure communion—Conversion of Sechele—Letter from his brother Charles—His history—Livingstone's relations with the Boers—He cannot get native teachers planted in the east—Resolves to explore northward—Extracts from Journal—Scarcity of water—Wild animals, and other risks—Custom-house robberies and annoyances—Visit from Secretary of London Missionary Society—Manifold employments of Livingstone—Studies in Sichuana—His reflection on this period of his life while detained at Manyuema in 1870.



A.D. 1849-1852.

Koboleng failing through drought—Sebituane's country and the Lake 'Ngami—Livingstone sets out with Messrs. Oswell and Murray—Rivers Zouga and Tamanak'le—Old ideas of the interior revolutionized—Enthusiasm of Livingstone—Discovers Lake 'Ngami—Obliged to return—Prize from Royal Geographical Society—Second expedition to the lake, with wife and children—Children attacked by fever—Again obliged to return—Conviction as to healthier spot beyond—Idea of finding passage to sea either west or east—Birth and death of a child—Family visits Kuruman—Third expedition, again with family—He hopes to find a new locality—Perils of the journey—He reaches Sebituane—The Chief's illness and death—Distress of Livingstone—Mr. Oswell and he go on to Linyanti—Discovery of the Upper Zambesi—No locality found for settlement—More extended journey necessary—He returns—Birth of Oswell Livingstone—Crisis in Livingstone's life—His guiding principles—New plans—The Makololo begin to practice slave-trade—New thoughts about commerce—Letters to Directors—The Bakwains—Pros and cons of his new plan—His unabated missionary zeal—He goes with his family to the Cape—His literary activity.



A.D. 1852-1853.

Unfavorable feeling at Cape Town—Departure of Mrs. Livingstone and children—Livingstone's detention and difficulties—Letter to his wife—to Agnes—Occupations at Cape Town—The Astronomer-Royal—Livingstone leaves the Cape and reaches Kuruman—Destruction of Kolobeng by the Boers—Letters to his wife and Rev. J. Moore—His resolution to open up Africa or perish—Arrival at Linyanti—Unhealthiness of the country—Thoughts on setting out for coast—Sekeletu's kindness—Livingstone's missionary activity—Death of Mpepe, and of his father—Meeting with Ma-mochisane—Barotse country—Determines to go to Loanda—Heathenism unadulterated—Taste for the beautiful—Letter to his children—to his father—Last Sunday at Linyanti—Prospect of his failing.



A.D. 1853-1854.

Difficulties and hardships of journey—His traveling kit—Four books—His Journal—Mode of traveling—Beauty of country—Repulsiveness of the people—Their religious belief—The negro—Preaching—The magic-lantern—Loneliness of feeling—Slave-trade—Management of the natives—Danger from Chiboque—from another chief—Livingstone ill of fever—At the Quango—Attachment of followers—"The good time coming"—Portuguese settlements—Great kindness of the Portuguese—Arrives at Loanda—Received by Mr. Gabriel—His great friendship—No letters—News through Mr. Gabriel—Livingstone becomes acquainted with naval officers—Resolves to go back to Linyanti and make for East Coast—Letter to his wife—Correspondence with Mr. Maclear—Accuracy of his observations—Sir John Herschel—Geographical Society award their gold medal—Remarks of Lord Ellesmere.



A.D. 1854-1856.

Livingstone sets out from Loanda—Journey back—Effects of slavery—Letter to his wife—Severe attack of fever—He reaches the Barotse country—Day of thanksgiving—His efforts for the good of his men—Anxieties of the Moffats—Mr. Moffat's journey to Mosilikatse—Box at Linyanti—Letter from Mrs. Moffat—Letters to Mrs. Livingstone, Mr. Moffat, and Mrs. Moffat—Kindness of Sekeletu—New escort—He sets out for the East Coast—Discovers the Victoria Falls—The healthy longitudinal ridges—Pedestrianism—Great dangers—Narrow escapes—Triumph of the spirit of trust in God—Favorite texts—Reference to Captain McClure's experience—Chief subjects of thought—Structure of the continent—Sir Roderick Murchison anticipates his discovery—Letters to Geographical Society—First letter from Sir Roderick Murchison—Missionary labor—Monasteries—Protestant mission-stations wanting in self-support—Letter to Directors—Fever not so serious an obstruction as it seemed—His own hardships—Theories of mission-work—Expansion v. Concentration—Views of a missionary statesman—He reaches Tette—Letter to King of Portugal—to Sir Roderick Murchison—Reaches Senna—Quilimane—Retrospect—Letter from Directors—Goes to Mauritius—Voyage home—Narrow escape from shipwreck in Bay of Tunis—He reaches England, Dec. 1856—News of his father's death.



A.D. 1856-1857.

Mrs. Livingstone—Her intense anxieties—Her poetical welcome—Congratulatory letters from Mrs. and Dr. Moffat—Meeting of welcome of Royal Geographical Society—of London Missionary Society—Meeting in Mansion House—Enthusiastic public meeting at Cape Town—Livingstone visits Hamilton—Returns to London to write his book—Letter to Mr. Maclear—Dr. Risdon Bennett's reminiscences of this period—Mr. Frederick Fitch's—Interview with Prince Consort—Honors—Publication and great success of Missionary Travels—Character and design of the book—Why it was not more of a missionary record—Handsome conduct of publisher—Generous use of the profits—Letter to a lady in Carlisle vindicating the-character of his speeches.



A.D. 1857-1858.

Livingstone at Dublin, at British Association—Letter to his wife—He meets the chamber of commerce at Manchester—At Glasgow, receives honors from Corporation, University, Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, United Presbyterians, Cotton-spinners—His speeches in reply—His brother Charles joins him—Interesting meeting and speech at Hamilton—Reception from "Literary and Scientific Institute of Blantyre"—Sympathy with operatives—Quick apprehension of all public questions—His social views in advance of the age—He plans a People's Cafe—Visit to Edinburgh—More honors—Letter to Mr. Maclear—Interesting visit to Cambridge—Lectures there—Professor Sedgwick's remarks on his visit—Livingstone's great satisfaction—Relations to London Missionary Society—He severs his connection—Proposal of Government expedition—He accepts consulship and command of Expedition—Kindness of Lords Palmerston and Clarendon—The Portuguese Ambassador—Livingstone proposes to go to Portugal—Is dissuaded—Lord Clarendon's letter to Sekeletu—Results of Livingstone's visit to England—Farewell banquet, February, 1858—Interview with the Queen—Veledictory letters—Professor Sedgwick and Sir Roderick Murchison—Arrangements for Expedition—Dr., Mrs., and Oswald Livingstone set sail from Liverpool—Letters to children.



A.D. 1858-1859.

Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone sail in the "Pearl"—Characteristic instructions to members of Expedition—Dr. Livingstone conscious of difficult position—Letter to Robert—Sierra Leone—Effects of British Squadron and of Christian Missions—Dr. and Mrs. Moffat at Cape Town—Splendid reception there—Illness of Mrs. Livingstone—She remains behind—The five years of the Expedition—Letter to Mr. James Young—to Dr. Moffat—Kongone entrance to Zambesi—Collision with Naval Officer—Disturbed state of the country—Trip to Kebrabasa Rapids—Dr. Livingstone applies for new steamer—Willing to pay for one himself—Exploration of the Shire—Murchison Cataracts—Extracts from private Journal—Discovery of Lake Shirwa—Correspondence—Letter to Agnes Livingstone—Trip to Tette—Kroomen and two members of Expedition dismissed—Livingstone's vindication—Discovery of Lake Nyassa—Bright hopes for the future—Idea of a colony—Generosity of Livingstone—Letters to Mr. Maclear, Mr. Young, and Sir Roderick Murchison—His sympathy with the "honest poor"—He hears of the birth of his youngest daughter.



A.D. 1860.

Down to Kongone—State of the ship—Further delay—Letter to Secretary of Universities Mission—Letter to Mr. Braithwaite—At Tette—Miss Whately's sugar-mill—With his brother and Kirk at Kebrabasa—Mode of traveling—Reappearance of old friends—African warfare and its effects—Desolation—A European colony desirable—Escape from rhinoceros—Rumors of Moffat—The Portuguese local Governors oppose Livingstone—He becomes unpopular with them—Letter to Mr. Young—Wants of the country—The Makololo—Approach home—Some are disappointed—News of the death of the London missionaries, the Helmores and others—Letter to Dr. Moffat—The Victoria Falls re-examined—Sekeletu ill of leprosy—Treatment and recovery—His disappointment at not seeing Mrs. Livingstone—Efforts for the spiritual good of the Makololo—Careful observations in Natural History—The last of the "Ma-Robert"—Cheering prospect of the Universities Mission—Letter to Mr. Moore—to Mr. Young—He wishes another ship—Letter to Sir Roderick Murchison on the rumored journey of Silva Porto.



A.D. 1861-1862.

Beginning of 1861—Arrival of the "Pioneer," and of the agents of Universities Mission—Cordial welcome—Livingstone's catholic feelings—Ordered to explore the Rovuma—Bishop Mackenzie goes with him—Returns to the Shire—Turning-point of prosperity past—Difficult navigation—The slave-sticks—Bishop settles at Magomero—Hostilities between Manganja and Ajawa—Attack of Mission party by Ajawa—Livingstone's advice to Bishop regardin them—Letter to his son Robert—Livingstone, Kirk, and Charles start for Lake Nyassa—Party robbed at north of Lake—Dismal activity of the slave-trade—Awful mortality in the process—Livingstone's fondness for Punch—Letter to Mr. Young—Joy at departure of new steamer "Lady Nyassa"—Colonization project—Letter against it from Sir R. Murchison—Hears of Dr. Stewart coming out from Free Church of Scotland—Visit at the ship from Bishop Mackenzie—News of defeat of Ajawa by missionaries—Anxiety of Livingstone—Arrangements for "Pioneer" to go to Kongone for new steamer and friends from home, then go to Ruo to meet Bishop—"Pioneer" detained—Dr. Livingstone's anxieties and depression at New Year—"Pioneer" misses man-of-war "Gorgon"—At length "Gorgon" appears with brig from England and "Lady Nyassa"—Mrs. Livingstone and other ladies on board—Livingstone's meeting with his wife, and with Dr. Stewart—Stewart's recollections—Difficulties of navigation—Captain Wilson of "Gorgon" goes up river and hears of death of Bishop Mackenzie and Mr. Burrup—Great distress—Misrepresentations about Universities Mission—Miss Mackenzie and Mrs. Burrup taken to "Gorgon"—Dr. and Mrs. Livingstone return to Shupanga—Illness and death of Mrs. Livingstone there—Extracts from Livingstone's Journal, and letters to the Moffats, Agnes, and the Murchisons.



A.D. 1862-1863.

Livingstone again buckles on his armor—Letter to Waller—Launch of "Lady Nyassa"—Too late for season—He explores the Rovuma—Fresh activity of the slave-trade—Letter to Governor of Mozambique about his discoveries—Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear—Generous offer of a party of Scotchmen—The Expedition proceeds up Zambesi with "Lady Nyassa" in tow—Appalling desolations of Marianno—Tidings of the Mission—Death of Scudamore—of Dickenson—of Thorton—Illness of Livingstone—Dr. Kirk and Charles Livingstone go home—He proceeds northward with Mr. Rae and Mr. E. D. Young of the "Gorgon"—Attempt to carry a boat over the rapids—Defeated—Recall of the Expedition—Livingstone's views—Letter to Mr. James Young—to Mr. Waller—Feeling of the Portuguese Government—Offer to the Rev. Dr. Stewart—Great discouragements—Why did he not go home?—Proceeds to explore Nyassa—Risks and sufferings—Occupation of his mind—Natural History—Obliged to turn back—More desolation—Report of his murder—Kindness of Chinsamba—Reaches the ship—Letter from Bishop Tozer, abandoning the Mission—Distress of Livingstone—Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear—Progress of Dr. Stewart—Livingstonia—Livingstone takes charge of the children of the Universities Mission—Letter to his daughter—Retrospect—The work of the Expedition—Livingstone's plans for the future.



A.D. 1864.

Livingstone returns the "Pioneer" to the Navy, and is to sail in the "Nyassa" to Bombay—Terrific circular storm—Imminent peril of the "Nyassa"—He reaches Mozambique—Letter to his daughter—Proceeds to Zanzibar—His engineer leaves him—Scanty crew of "Nyassa"—Livingstone captain and engineer—Peril of the voyage of 2500 miles—Risk of the monsoons—The "Nyassa" becalmed—Illness of the men—Remarks on African travel—Flying-fish—Dolphins—Curiosities of his Journal—Idea of a colony—Furious squall—Two sea-serpents seen—More squalls—The "Nyassa" enters Bombay harbor—Is unnoticed—First visit from officer with Custom-house schedules—How filled up—Attention of Sir Bartle Frere and others—Livingstone goes with the Governor to Dapuri—His feelings on landing in India—Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear—He visits mission-schools, etc., at Poonah—Slaving in Persian Gulf—Returns to Bombay—Leaves two boys with Dr. Wilson—Borrows passage-money and sails for England—At Aden—At Alexandria—Reaches Charing Cross—Encouragement derived from his Bombay visit—Two projects contemplated on his way home.



A.D. 1864-1865.

Dr. Livingstone and Sir R. Murchison—At Lady Palmerston's reception—at other places in London—Sad news of his son Robert—His early death—Dr. Livingstone goes to Scotland—Pays visits—Consultation with Professor Syme as to operation—Visit to Duke Argyll—to Ulva—He meets Dr. Duff—At launch of a Turkish frigate—At Hamilton—Goes to Bath to British Association—Delivers an address—Dr. Colenso—At funeral of Captain Speke—Bath speech offends the Portuguese—Charges of Lacerda—He visits Mr. and Mrs. Webb at Newstead—Their great hospitality—Livingstone room—He spends eight months there writing his book—He regains elasticity and playfulness—His book—Charles Livingstone's share—He uses his influence for Dr. Kirk—Delivers a lecture at Mansfield—Proposal made to him by Sir R. Murchison to return to Africa—Letter from Sir Roderick—His reply—He will not cease to be a missionary—Letter to Mr. James Young—Overtures from Foreign Office—Livingstone displeased—At dinner of Royal Academy—His speech not reported—President Lincoln's assassination—Examination by Committee of House of Commons—His opinion on the capacity of the negro—He goes down to Scotland—Tom Brown's School Days—His mother very ill—She rallies—He goes to Oxford—Hears of his mother's death—Returns—He attends examination of Oswell's school—His speech—Goes to London, preparing to leave—Parts from Mr. and Mrs. Webb—Stays with Dr. and Mrs. Hamilton—Last days in England.



A.D. 1865-1866.

Object of new journey—Double scheme—He goes to Paris with Agnes—Baron Hausmann—Anecdote at Marseilles—He reaches Bombay—Letter to Agnes—Reminiscences of Dr. Livingstone at Bombay by Rev. D.C. Boyd—by Alex. Brown, Esq.—Livingstone's dress—He visits the caves of Kenhari—Rumors of murder of Baron van der Decken—He delivers a lecture at Bombay—Great success—He sells the "Lady Nyassa"—Letter to Mr. James Young—Letter to Anna Mary—Hears that Dr. Kirk has got an appointment—Sets out for Zanzibar in "Thule"—Letter to Mr. James Young—His experience at sea—Letter to Agnes—He reaches Zanzibar—Calls on Sultan—Presents the "Thule" to him from Bombay Government—Monotony of Zanzibar life—Leaves in "Penguin" for the continent.



A.D. 1866-1869.

Dr. Livingstone goes to mouth of Rovuma—His prayer—His company—His herd of animals—Loss of his buffaloes—Good spirits when setting put—Difficulties at Rovuma—Bad conduct of Johanna men—Dismissal of his Sepoys—Fresh horrors of slave-trade—Uninhabited tract—He reaches Lake Nyassa—Letter to his son Thomas—Disappointed hopes—His double aim, to teach natives and rouse horror of slave-trade—Tenor of religious addresses—Wikatami remains behind—Livingstone finds no altogether satisfactory station for commerce and missions—Question of the watershed—Was it worth the trouble?—Overruled for good to Africa—Opinion of Sir Bartle Frere—At Marenga's—The Johanna men leave in a body—Circulate rumor of his murder—Sir Roderick disbelieves it—Mr. E.D. Young sent out with Search Expedition—Finds proof against rumor—Livingstone half-starved—Loss of his goats—Review of 1866—Reflections on Divine Providence—Letter to Thomas—His dog drowned—Loss of his medicine-chest—He feels sentence of death passed on him—First sight of Lake Tanganyika—Detained at Chitimba's—Discovery of Lake Moero—Occupations during detention of 1867—Great privations and difficulties—Illness—Rebellion among his men—Discovery of Lake Bangweolo—Its oozy banks—Detention—Sufferings—He makes for Ujiji—Very severe illness in beginning of 1869—Reaches Ujiji—Finds his goods have been wasted and stolen—Most bitter disappointment—His medicines, etc., at Unyanyembe—Letter to Sultan of Zanzibar—Letters to Dr. Moffat and his daughter.



A.D. 1869-1871.

He sets out to explore Manyuema and the river Lualaba—Loss of forty-two letters—His feebleness through illness—He arrives at Bambarre—Becomes acquainted with the soko or gorilla—Reaches the Luama River—Magnificence of the country—Repulsiveness of the people—Cannot get a canoe to explore the Lualaba—Has to return to Bambarre—Letter to Thomas, and retrospect of his life—Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear and Mr. Mann—Miss Tinne—He is worse in health than ever, yet resolves to add to his programme and go round Lake Bangweolo—Letter to Agnes—Review of the past—He sets out anew in a more northerly direction—Overpowered by constant wet—Reaches Nyangwe, the farthest point northward in his last Expedition—Long detention—Letter to his brother John—Sense of difficulties and troubles—Nobility of his spirit—He sets off with only three attendants for the Lualaba—Suspicions of the natives—Influence of Arab traders—Frightful difficulties of the way—Lamed by footsores—Has to return to Bambarre—Long and wearisome detention—Occupations—Meditations and reveries—Death no terror—Unparalleled position and trials—He reads his Bible from beginning to end four times—Letter to Sir Thomas Maclear—To Agnes—His delight at her sentiments about his coming home—Account of the soko—Grief to heat of death of Lady Murchison—Wretched character of men sent from Zanzibar—At last sets out with Mohamad—Difficulties—Slave-trade most horrible—Cannot get canoes for Lualaba—Long waiting—New plan—Frustrated by horrible massacre on banks of Lualaba—Frightful scene—He must return to Ujiji—New illness—Perils of journey to Ujiji—Life three times endangered in one day—Reaches Ujiji—Shereef has sold off his goods—He is almost in despair—Meets Henry M. Stanley and is relieved—His contributions to Natural Science during last journeys—Professor Owen in the Quarterly Review.



A.D. 1871-1872.

Mr. Gordon Bennett sends Stanley in search of Livingstone—Stanley at Zanzibar—Starts for Ujiji—Reaches Unyanyembe—Dangerous illness—War between Arabs and natives—Narrow escape of Stanley—Approach to Ujiji—Meeting with Livingstone—Livingstone's story—Stanley's news—Livingstone's goods and men at Bagamoio—Stanley's account of Livingstone—Refutation of foolish and calumnious charges—They go to the north of the lake—Livingstone resolves not to go home, but to get fresh men and return to the sources—Letter to Agnes—to Sir Thomas Maclear—The travelers go to Unyanyembe—More plundering of stores—Stanley leaves for Zanzibar—Stanley's bitterness of heart at parting—Livingstone's intense gratitude to Stanley—He intrusts his Journal to him, and commissions him to send servants and stores from Zanzibar—Stanley's journey to the coast—Finds Search Expedition at Bagamoio—Proceeds to England—Stanley's reception—Unpleasant feelings—Eclaircissement—England grateful to Stanley.



A.D. 1872-1873.

Livingstone's long wait at Unyanyembe—His plan of operations—His fifty-ninth birthday—Renewal of self-dedication—Letters to Agnes—to New York Herald—Hardness of the African battle—Waverings of judgment, whether Lualaba was the Nile or the Congo—Extracts from Journal—Gleams of humor—Natural history—His distress on hearing of the death of Sir Roderick Murchison—Thoughts on mission-work—Arrival of his escort—His happiness in his new men—He starts from Unyanyembe—Illness—Great amount of rain—Near Bangweolo—Incessant moisture—Flowers of the forest—Taking of observations regularly prosecuted—Dreadful state of the country from rain—Hunger—Furious attack of ants—Greatness of Livingstone's sufferings—Letters to Sir Thomas Maclear, Mr. Young, his brother, and Agnes—His sixtieth birthday—Great weakness in April—Sunday services and observations continued—Increasing illness—The end approaching—Last written words—Last day of his travels—He reaches Chitambo's village, in Ilala—Is found on his knees dead, on morning of 1st May—Courage and affection of his attendants—His body embalmed—Carried toward shore—Dangers and sufferings during the march—The party meet Lieutenant Cameron at Unyanyembe—Determine to go on—Ruse at Kasekera—Death of Dr. Dillon—The party reach Bagamoio, and the remains are placed on board a cruiser—The Search Expeditions from England—to East Coast under Cameron—to West Coast under Grandy—Explanation of Expeditions by Sir Henry Rawlinson—Livingstone's remains brought to England—Examined by Sir W. Fergusson and others—Buried in Westminster Abbey—Inscription on slab—Livingstone's wish for a forest grave—Lines from Punch—Tributes to his memory—Sir Bartle Frere—The Lancet—Lord Polwarth—Florence Nightingale.



History of his life not completed at his death—Thrilling effect of the tragedy of Ilala—Livingstone's influence on the slave-trade—His letters from Manyuema—Sir Bartle Frere's mission to Zanzibar—Successful efforts of Dr. Kirk with Sultan of Zanzibar—The land route—The sea route—Slave-trade declared illegal—Egypt—The Soudan—Colonel Gordon—Conventions with Turkey—King Mtesa of Uganda—Nyassa district—Introduction of lawful commerce—Various commercial enterprises in progress—Influence of Livingstone on exploration—Enterprise of newspapers—Exploring undertakings of various nations—Livingstone's personal service to science—His hard work in science the cause of respect—His influence on missionary enterprise—Livingstonia—Dr. Stewart—Mr. E.D. Young—Blantyre—The Universities Mission under Bishop Steere—Its return to the mainland and to Nyassa district—Church Missionary Society at Nyanza—London Missionary Society at Tanganyika—French, Inland, Baptist, and American missions—Medical missions—The Fisk Livingstone hall—Livingstone's great legacy to Africa, a spotless Christian name and character—Honors of the future.


I. Extracts from paper on "Missionary Sacrifices".

II. Treatment of African Fever.

III. Letter to Dr. Tidman, as to future operations.

IV. Lord Clarendon's Letter to Sekeletu.

V. Public Honors awarded to Dr. Livingstone.




A.D. 1813-1836.

Ulva—The Livingstones—Traditions of Ulva life—The "baughting-time"—"Kirsty's Rock"—Removal of Livingstone's grandfather to Blantyre—Highland blood—Neil Livingstone—His marriage to Agnes Hunter—Her grandfather and father—Monument to Neil and Agnes Livingstone in Hamilton Cemetery—David Livingstone, born 19th March, 1813—Boyhood—At home—In school—David goes into Blantyre Mill—First Earnings—Night-school—His habits of reading—Natural-history expeditions—Great spiritual change in his twentieth year—Dick's Philosophy of a Future State—He resolves to be a missionary—Influence of occupation at Blantyre—Sympathy with the people—Thomas Burk and David Hogg—Practical character of his religion.

The family of David Livingstone sprang, as he has himself recorded, from the island of Ulva, on the west coast of Mull, in Argyllshire. Ulva, "the island of wolves," is of the same group as Staffa, and, like it, remarkable for its basaltic columns, which, according to MacCulloch, are more deserving of admiration than those of the Giant's Causeway, and have missed being famous only from being eclipsed by the greater glory of Staffa. The island belonged for many generations to the Macquaires, a name distinguished in our home annals, as well as in those of Australia. The Celtic name of the Livingstones was M'Leay, which, according to Dr. Livingstone's own idea, means "son of the gray-headed," but according to another derivation, "son of the physician." It has been surmised that the name may have been given to some son of the famous Beatoun, who held the post of physician to the Lord of the Isles. Probably Dr. Livingstone never heard of this derivation; if he had, he would have shown it some favor, for he had a singularly high opinion of the physician's office.

The Saxon name of the family was originally spelt Livingstone, but the Doctor's father had shortened it by the omission of the final "e." David wrote it for many years in the abbreviated form, but about 1857, at his father's request, he restored the original spelling[1]. The significance of the original form of the name was not without its influence on him. He used to refer with great pleasure to a note from an old friend and fellow-student, the late Professor George Wilson, of Edinburgh, acknowledging a copy of his book in 1857: "Meanwhile, may your name be propitious; in all your long and weary journeys may the Living half of your title outweigh the other; till after long and blessed labors, the white stone is given you in the happy land."

[Footnote 1: See Journal of Geographical Society, 1857, p. clxviii.]

Livingstone has told us most that is known of his forefathers; how his great-grandfather fell at Culloden, fighting for the old line of kings; how his grandfather could go back for six generations of his family before him, giving the particulars of each; and how the only tradition he himself felt proud of was that of the old man who had never heard of any person in the family being guilty of dishonesty, and who charged his children never to introduce the vice. He used also to tell his children, when spurring them to diligence at school, that neither had he ever heard of a Livingstone who was a donkey. He has also recorded a tradition that the people of the island were converted from being Roman Catholics "by the laird coming round with a man having a yellow staff, which would seem to have attracted more attention than his teaching, for the new religion went long afterward—perhaps it does so still—by the name of the religion of the yellow stick." The same story is told of perhaps a dozen other places in the Highlands; the "yellow stick" seems to have done duty on a considerable scale.

There were traditions of Ulva life that must have been very congenial to the temperament of David Livingstone. In the "Statistical Account" of the parish to which it belongs[2] we read of an old custom among the inhabitants, to remove with their flocks in the beginning of each summer to the upland pastures, and bivouac there till they were obliged to descend in the month of August. The open-air life, the free intercourse of families, the roaming frolics of the young men, the songs and merriment of young and old, seem to have made this a singularly happy time. The writer of the account (Mr. Clark, of Ulva) says that he had frequently listened with delight to the tales of pastoral life led by the people on these occasions; it was indeed a relic of Arcadia. There were tragic traditions, too, of Ulva; notably that of Kirsty's Rock, an awful place where the islanders are said to have administered Lynch law to a woman who had unwittingly killed a girl she meant only to frighten, for the alleged crime—denied by the girl—of stealing a cheese. The poor woman was broken-hearted when she saw what she had done; but the neighbors, filled with horror, and deaf to her remonstrances, placed her in a sack, which they laid upon a rock covered by the sea at high water, where the rising tide slowly terminated her existence. Livingstone quotes Macaulay's remark on the extreme savagery of the Highlanders of those days, like the Cape Caffres, as he says; and the tradition of Kirsty's Rock would seem to confirm it. But the stories of the "baughting-time" presented a fairer aspect of Ulva life, and no doubt left happier impressions on his mind. His grandfather, as he tells us, had an almost unlimited stock of such stories, which he was wont to rehearse to his grandchildren and other rapt listeners.

[Footnote 2: Kilninian and Kilmore. See New Statistical Account of Scotland, Argyllshire, p. 345]

When, for the first and last time in his life, David Livingstone visited Ulva, in 1864, in a friend's yacht, he could hear little or nothing of his relatives. In 1792, his grandfather, as he tells us, left it for Blantyre, in Lanarkshire, about seven miles from Glasgow, on the banks of the Clyde, where he found employment in a cotton factory. The dying charge of the unnamed ancestor must have sunk into the heart of his descendant, for, being a God-fearing man and of sterling honesty, he was employed in the conveyance of large sums of money from Glasgow to the works, and in his old age was pensioned off, so as to spend his declining years in ease and comfort. There is a tradition in the family, showing his sense of the value of education, that he was complimented by the Blantyre school-master for never grudging the price of a school-book for any of his children—a compliment, we fear, not often won at the present day. The other near relations of Livingstone seem to have left the island at the same time, and settled in Canada, Prince Edward's Isle, and the United States.

The influence of his Highland blood was apparent in many ways in David Livingstone's character. It modified the democratic influences of his earlier years, when he lived among the cotton spinners of Lanarkshire. It enabled him to enter more readily into the relation of the African tribes to their chiefs, which, unlike some other missionaries, he sought to conserve, while purifying it by Christian influence. It showed itself in the dash and daring which were so remarkbly combined in him with Saxon forethought and perseverance. We are not sure but it gave a tinge to his affections, intensifying his likes, and some of his dislikes too. His attachment to Sir Roderick Murchison was quite that of a Highlander, and hardly less so was his feeling toward the Duke of Argyll,—a man whom he had no doubt many grounds for esteeming highly, but of whom, after visiting him at Inveraray, he spoke with all the enthusiasm of a Highlander for his chief.

The Ulva emigrant had several sons, all of whom but one eventually entered the King's service during the French war, either as soldiers or sailors. The old man was somewhat disheartened by this circumstance, and especially by the fate of Charles, head-clerk in the office of Mr. Henry Monteith, in Glasgow, who was pressed on board a man-of-war, and died soon after in the Mediterranean. Only one son remained at home, Neil, the father of David, who eventually became a tea-dealer, and spent his life at Blantyre and Hamilton. David Livingstone has told us that his father was of the high type of character portrayed in the Cottar's Saturday Night. There are friends still alive who remember him well, and on whom he made a deep impression. He was a great reader from his youth upward, especially of religious works. His reading and his religion refined his character, and made him a most pleasant and instructive companion. His conversational powers were remarkable, and he could pour out in a most interesting way the stores of his reading and observation.

Neil Livingstone was a man of great spiritual earnestness, and his whole life was consecrated to duty and the fear of God, In many ways he was remarkable, being in some things before his time. In his boyhood he had seen the evil effects of convivial habits in his immediate circle, and in order to fortify others by his example he became a strict teetotaler, suffering not a little ridicule and opposition from the firmness with which he carried out his resolution. He was a Sunday-school teacher, an ardent member of a missionary society, and a promoter of meetings for prayer and fellowship, before such things had ceased to be regarded as badges of fanaticism. While traveling through the neighboring parishes in his vocation of tea-merchant, he acted also as colporteur, distributing tracts and encouraging the reading of useful books. He took suitable opportunities when they came to him of speaking to young men and others on the most important of all subjects, and not without effect. He learned Gaelic that he might be able to read the Bible to his mother, who knew that language best. He had indeed the very soul of a missionary. Withal he was kindly and affable, though very particular in enforcing what he believed to be right. He was quick of temper, but of tender heart and gentle ways; anything that had the look of sternness was the result not of harshness but of high principle. By this means he commanded the affection as well as the respect of his family. It was a great blow to his distinguished son, to whom in his character and ways he bore a great resemblance, to get news of his death, on his way home after his great journey, dissipating the cherished pleasure of sitting at the fireside and telling him all his adventures in Africa.

The wife of Neil Livingstone was Agnes Hunter, a member of a family of the same humble rank and the same estimable character as his own. Her grandfather, Gavin Hunter, of the parish of Shotts, was a doughty Covenanter, who might have sat for the portrait of David Deans. His son David (after whom the traveler was named) was a man of the same type, who got his first religious impressions in his eighteenth year, at an open-air service conducted by one of the Secession Erskines. Snow was falling at the time, and before the end of the sermon the people were standing in snow up to the ankles; but David Hunter used to say he had no feeling of cold that day. He married Janet Moffat, and lived at first in comfortable circumstances at Airdrie, where he owned a cottage and a croft. Mrs. Hunter died, when her daughter Agnes, afterward Mrs. Neil Livingstone, was but fifteen. Agnes was her mother's only nurse during a long illness, and attended so carefully to her wants that the minister of the family laid his hand on her head, and said, "A blessing will follow you, my lassie, for your duty to your mother." Soon after Mrs. Hunter's death a reverse of fortune overtook her husband, who had been too good-natured in accommodating his neighbors. He removed to Blantyre, where he worked as a tailor. Neil Livingstone was apprenticed to him by his father, much against his will; but it was by this means that he became acquainted with Agnes Hunter, his future wife. David Hunter, whose devout and intelligent character procured for him great respect, died at Blantyre in 1834, at the age of eighty-seven. He was a great favorite with his grandchildren, to whom he was always kind, and whom he allowed to rummage freely among his books, of which he had a considerable collection, chiefly theological.

Neil Livingstone and Agnes Hunter were married in 1810, and took up house at first in Glasgow. The furnishing of their house indicated the frugal character and self-respect of the occupants; it included a handsome chest of drawers, and other traditional marks of respectability. Not liking Glasgow, they returned to Blantyre. In a humble home there, five sons and two daughters were born. Two of the sons died in infancy, to the great sorrow of the parents. Mrs. Livingstone's family spoke and speak of her as a very loving mother, one who contributed to their home a remarkable element of brightness and serenity. Active, orderly, and of thorough cleanliness, she trained her family in the same virtues, exemplifying their value in their own home. She was a delicate little woman, with a wonderful flow of good spirits, and remarkable for the beauty of her eyes, to which those of her son David bore a strong resemblance. She was most careful of household duties, and attentive to her children. Her love had no crust to penetrate, but came beaming out freely like the light of the sun. Her son loved her, and in many ways followed her. It was the genial, gentle influences that had moved him under his mother's training that enabled him to move the savages of Africa.

She, too, had a great store of family traditions, and, like the mother of Sir Walter Scott, she retained the power of telling them with the utmost accuracy to a very old age. In one of Livingstone's private journals, written in 1864, during his second visit home, he gives at full length one of his mother's stories, which some future Macaulay may find useful as an illustration of the social condition of Scotland in the early part of the eighteenth century:

"Mother told me stories of her youth: they seem to come back to her in her eighty-second year very vividly. Her grandfather, Gavin Hunter, could write, while most common people were ignorant of the art. A poor woman got him to write a petition to the minister of Shotts parish to augment her monthly allowance of sixpence, as she could not live on it. He was taken to Hamilton jail for this, and having a wife and three children at home, who without him would certainly starve, he thought of David's feigning madness before the Philistines, and beslabbered his beard with saliva. All who were found guilty were sent to the army in America, or the plantations. A sergeant had compassion on him, and said, 'Tell me, gudeman, if you are really out of your mind. I'll befriend you.' He confessed that he only feigned insanity, because he had a wife and three bairns at home who would starve if he were sent to the army. 'Dinna say onything mair to ony body,' said the kind-hearted sergeant. He then said to the commanding officer, 'They have given us a man clean out of his mind: I can do nothing with the like o' him,' The officer went to him and gave him three shillings, saying, 'Tak' that, gudeman, and gang awa' hame to your wife and weans, 'Ay,' said mother, 'mony a prayer went up for that sergeant, for my grandfather was an unco godly man. He had never had so much money in his life before, for his wages were only threepence a day."

Mrs. Livingstone, to whom David had always been a most dutiful son, died on the 18th June, 1865, after a lingering illness which had confined her to bed for several years. A telegram received by him at Oxford announced her death; that telegram had been stowed away in one of his traveling cases, for a year after (19th June, 1866), in his Last Journals, he wrote this entry: "I lighted on a telegram to-day:

'Your mother died at noon on the 18th June.

This was in 1865; it affected me not a little[3]."

[Footnote 3: Last Journals vol. i. p. 55]

The home in which David Livingstone grew up was bright and happy, and presented a remarkable example of all the domestic virtues. It was ruled by an industry that never lost an hour of the six days, and that welcomed and honored the day of rest; a thrift that made the most of everything, though it never got far beyond the bare necessaries of life; a self-restraint that admitted no stimulant within the door, and that faced bravely and steadily all the burdens of life; a love of books that showed the presence of a cultivated taste, with a fear of God that dignified the life which it moulded and controlled. To the last David Livingstone was proud of the class from which he sprang. When the highest in the land were showering compliments on him, he was writing to his old friends of "my own order, the honest poor," and trying, by schemes of colonization and otherwise, to promote their benefit. He never had the least hankering for any title or distinction that would have seemed to lift him out of his own class; and it was with perfect sincerity that on the tombstone which he placed over the resting-place of his parents in the cemetery of Hamilton, he expressed his feelings in these words, deliberately refusing to change the "and" of the last line into "but":






David Livingstone's birthday was the 19th March, 1813. Of his early boyhood there is little to say, except that he was a favorite at home. The children's games were merrier when he was among them, and the fireside brighter. He contributed constantly to the happiness of the family. Anything of interest that happened to him he was always ready to tell them. The habit was kept up in after-years. When he went to study in Glasgow, returning on the Saturday evenings, he would take his place by the fireside and tell them all that had occurred during the week, thus sharing his life with them. His sisters still remember how they longed for these Saturday evenings. At the village school he received his early education. He seems from his earliest childhood to have been of a calm, self-reliant nature. It was his father's habit to lock the door at dusk, by which time all the children were expected to be in the house. One evening David had infringed this rule, and when he reached the door it was barred. He made no cry nor disturbance, but having procured a piece of bread, sat down contentedly to pass the night on the doorstep. There, on looking out, his mother found him. It was an early application of the rule which did him such service in later days, to make the best of the least pleasant situations. But no one could yet have thought how the rule was to be afterward applied. Looking back to this period, Livingstone might have said, in the words of the old Scotch ballad:

"O little knew my mother, The day she cradled me, The lands that I should wander o'er, The death that I should dee."

At the age of nine he got a New Testament from his Sunday-school teacher for repeating the 119th Psalm on two successive evenings with only five errors, a proof that perseverance was bred in his very bone.

His parents were poor, and at the age of ten he was put to work in the factory as a piecer, that his earnings might aid his mother in the struggle with the wolf which had followed the family from the island that bore its name. After serving a number of years as a piecer, he was promoted to be a spinner. Greatly to his mother's delight, the first half crown he ever earned was laid by him in her lap. Livingstone has told us that with a part of his first week's wages he purchased Ruddiman's Rudiments of Latin, and pursued the study of that language with unabated ardor for many years afterward at an evening class which had been opened between the hours of eight and ten. "The dictionary part of my labors was followed up till twelve o'clock, or later, if my mother did not interfere by jumping up and snatching the books out of my hands. I had to be back in the factory by six in the morning, and continue my work, with intervals for breakfast and dinner, till eight o'clock at night. I read in this way many of the classical authors, and knew Virgil and Horace better at sixteen than I do now[4]."

[Footnote 4: Missionary Travels, p. 8.]

In his reading, he tells us that he devoured all the books that came into his hands but novels, and that his plan was to place the book on a portion of the spinning-jenny, so that he could catch sentence after sentence as he passed at his work. The labor of attending to the wheels was great, for the improvements in spinning machinery that have made it self-acting had not then been introduced. The utmost interval that Livingstone could have for reading at one time was less than a minute.

The thirst for reading so early shown was greatly stimulated by his father's example. Neil Livingstone, while fond of the old Scottish theology, was deeply interested in the enterprise of the nineteenth century, or, as he called it, "the progress of the world," and endeavored to interest his family in it too. Any books of travel, and especially of missionary enterprise, that he could lay his hands on, he eagerly read. Some publications of the Tract Society, called the Weekly Visitor, the Child's Companion and Teacher's Offering, were taken in, and were much enjoyed by his son David, especially the papers of "Old Humphrey." Novels were not admitted into the house, in accordance with the feeling prevalent in religious circles. Neil Livingstone had also a fear of books of science, deeming them unfriendly to Christianity; his son instinctively repudiated that feeling, though it was some time before the works of Thomas Dick, of Broughty-Ferry, enabled him to see clearly, what to him was of vital significance, that religion and science were not necessarily hostile, but rather friendly to each other.

The many-sidedness of his character showed itself early; for not content with reading, he used to scour the country, accompanied by his brothers, in search of botanical, geological, and zoological specimens. Culpepper's Herbal was a favorite book, and it set him to look in every direction for as many of the plants described in it as the countryside could supply. A story has been circulated that on these occasions he did not always confine his researches in zoology to fossil animals. That Livingstone was a poacher in the grosser sense of the term seems hardly credible, though with the Radical opinions which he held at the time it may readily be believed that he had no respect for the sanctity of game. If a salmon came in his way while he was fishing for trout, he made no scruple of bagging it. The bag on such occasions was not always made for the purpose, for there is a story that once when he had captured a fish in the "salmon pool," and was not prepared to transport such a prize, he deposited it in the leg of his brother Charles's trousers, creating no little sympathy for the boy as he passed through the village with his sadly swollen leg!

It was about his twentieth year that the great spiritual change took place which determined the course of Livingstone's future life. But before this time he had earnest thoughts on religion. "Great pains," he says in his first book, "had been taken by my parents to instill the doctrines of Christianity into my mind, and I had no difficulty in understanding the theory of a free salvation by the atonement of our Saviour; but it was only about this time that I began to feel the necessity and value of a personal application of the provisions of that atonement to my own case[5]." Some light is thrown on this brief account in a paper submitted by him to the Directors of the London Missionary Society in 1838, in answer to a schedule of queries sent down by them when he offered himself as a missionary for their service. He says that about his twelfth year he began to reflect on his state as a sinner, and became anxious to realize the state of mind that flows from the reception of the truth into the heart. He was deterred, however, from embracing the free offer of mercy in the gospel, by a sense of unworthiness to receive so great a blessing, till a supernatural change should be effected in him by the Holy Spirit. Conceiving it to be his duty to wait for this, he continued expecting a ground of hope within, rejecting meanwhile the only true hope of the sinner, the finished work of Christ, till at length his convictions were effaced, and his feelings blunted. Still his heart was not at rest; an unappeased hunger remained, which no other pursuit could satisfy.

[Footnote 5: Missionary Travels, p.4]

In these circumstances he fell in with Dick's Philosophy of a Future State. The book corrected his error, and showed him the truth. "I saw the duty and inestimable privilege immediately to accept salvation by Christ. Humbly believing that through sovereign mercy and grace I have been enabled so to do, and having felt in some measure its effects on my still depraved and deceitful heart, it is my desire to show my attachment to the cause of Him who died for me by devoting my life to his service."

There can be no doubt that David Livingstone's heart was very thoroughly penetrated by the new life that now flowed into it. He did not merely apprehend the truth—the truth laid hold of him. The divine blessing flowed into him as it flowed into the heart of St. Paul, St. Augustine, and others of that type, subduing all earthly desires and wishes. What he says in his book about the freeness of God's grace drawing forth feelings of affectionate love to Him who bought him with his blood, and the sense of deep obligation to Him for his mercy, that had influenced, in some small measure, his conduct ever since, is from him most significant. Accustomed to suppress all spiritual emotion in his public writings, he would not have used these words if they had not been very real. They give us the secret of his life. Acts of self-denial that are very hard to do under the iron law of conscience, become a willing service under the glow of divine love. It was the glow of divine love as well as the power of conscience that moved Livingstone. Though he seldom revealed his inner feelings, and hardly ever in the language of ecstasy, it is plain that he was moved by a calm but mighty inward power to the very end of his life. The love that began to stir his heart in his father's house continued to move him all through his dreary African journeys, and was still in full play on that lonely midnight when he knelt at his bedside in the hut in Ilala, and his spirit returned to his God and Saviour.

At first he had no thought of being himself a missionary. Feeling "that the salvation of men ought to be the chief desire and aim of every Christian," he had made a resolution "that he would give to the cause of missions all that he might earn beyond what was required for his subsistence[6]." The resolution to give himself came from his reading an Appeal by Mr. Gutzlaff to the Churches of Britain and America on behalf of China. It was "the claims of so many millions of his fellow-creatures, and the complaints of the scarcity, of the want of qualified missionaries," that led him to aspire to the office. From that time—apparently his twenty-first year—his "efforts were constantly directed toward that object without any fluctuation."

[Footnote 6: Statement to Directors of London Missionary Society.]

The years of monotonous toil spent in the factory were never regretted by Livingstone. On the contrary, he regarded his experience there as an important part of his education, and had it been possible, he would have liked "to begin life over again in the same lowly style, and to pass through the same hardy training[7]." The fellow-feeling he acquired for the children of labor was invaluable for enabling him to gain influence with the same class, whether in Scotland or in Africa. As we have already seen, he was essentially a man of the people. Not that he looked unkindly on the richer classes,—he used to say in his later years, that he liked to see people in comfort and at leisure, enjoying the good things of life,—but he felt that the burden-bearing multitude claimed his sympathy most. How quick the people are, whether in England or in Africa, to find out this sympathetic spirit, and how powerful is the hold of their hearts which those who have it gain! In poetic feeling, or at least in the power of expressing it, as in many other things, David Livingstone and Robert Burns were a great contrast; but in sympathy with the people they were alike, and in both cases the people felt it. Away and alone, in the heart of Africa, when mourning "the pride and avarice that make man a wolf to man," Livingstone would welcome the "good time coming," humming the words of Burns:

[Footnote 7: Missionary Travels, p. 6.]

"When man to man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that."

In all the toils and trials of his life, he found the good of that early Blantyre discipline, which had forced him to bear irksome toil with patience, until the toil ceased to be irksome, and even became a pleasure.

Livingstone has told us that the village of Blantyre, with its population of two thousand souls, contained some characters of sterling worth and ability, who exerted a most beneficial influence on the children and youth of the place by imparting gratuitous religious instruction. The names of two of the worthiest of these are given, probably because they stood highest in his esteem, and he owed most to them, Thomas Burke and David Hogg. Essentially alike, they seem to have been outwardly very different. Thomas Burke, a somewhat wild youth, had enlisted early in the army. His adventures and hairbreadth escapes in the Forty-second, during the Peninsular and other wars, were marvelous, and used to be told in after-years to crowds of wondering listeners. But most marvelous was the change of heart that brought him back an intense Christian evangelist, who, in season, and out of season, never ceased to beseech the people of Blantyre to yield themselves to God. Early on Sunday mornings he would go through the village ringing a bell to rouse the people that they might attend an early prayer-meeting which he had established. His temperament was far too high for most even of the well-disposed people of Blantyre, but Neil Livingstone appreciated his genuine worth, and so did his son. David says of him that "for about forty years he had been incessant and never weary in good works, and that such men were an honor to their country and their profession." Yet it was not after the model of Thomas Burke that Livingstone's own religious life was fashioned. It had a greater resemblance to that of David Hogg, the other of the two Blantyre patriarchs of whom he makes special mention, under whose instructions he had sat in the Sunday-school, and whose spirit may be gathered from his death-bed advice to him: "Now, lad, make religion the every-day business of your life, and not a thing of fits and starts; for if you do, temptation and other things will get the better of you." It would hardly be possible to give a better account of Livingstone's religion than that he did make it quietly, but very really, the every-day business of his life. From the first he disliked men of much profession and little performance; the aversion grew as he advanced in years; and by the end of his life, in judging of men, he had come to make somewhat light both of profession and of formal creed, retaining and cherishing more and more firmly the one great test of the Saviour—"By their fruits ye shall know them."



A.D. 1836—1840.

His desire to be a missionary to China—Medical missions—He studies at Glasgow—Classmates and teachers—He applies to London Missionary Society—His ideas of mission work—He is accepted provisionally—He goes to London—to Ongar—Reminiscences by Rev. Joseph Moore—by Mrs. Gilbert—by Rev. Isaac Taylor—Nearly rejected by the Directors—Returns to Ongar—to London—Letter to his sister—Reminiscences by Dr. Risdon Bennett—Promise to Professor Owen—Impression of his character on his friends and fellow-students—Rev. R. Moffat in England—Livingstone interested—Could not be sent to China—Is appointed to Africa—Providential links in his history—Illness—Last visits to his home—Receives Medical diploma—Parts from his family.

It was the appeal of Gutzlaff for China, as we have seen, that inspired Livingstone with the desire to be a missionary; and China was the country to which his heart turned. The noble faith and dauntless enterprise of Gutzlaff, pressing into China over obstacles apparently insurmountable, aided by his medical skill and other unusual qualifications, must have served to shape Livingstone's ideal of a missionary, as well as to attract him to the country where Gutzlaff labored. It was so ordered, however, that in consequence of the opium war shutting China, as it seemed, to the English, his lot was not cast there; but throughout his whole life he had a peculiarly lively interest in the country that had been the object of his first love. Afterward, when his brother Charles, then in America, wrote to him that he, too, felt called to the missionary office, China was the sphere which David pointed out to him, in the hope that the door which had been closed to the one brother might be opened to the other.

When he determined to be a missionary, the only persons to whom he communicated his purpose were his minister and his parents, from all of whom he received great encouragement[8]. He hoped that he would be able to go through the necessary preparation without help from any quarter. This was the more commendable, because in addition to the theological qualifications of a missionary, he determined to aquire those of a medical practitioner. The idea of medical missions was at that time comparatively new. It had been started in connection with missions to China, and it was in the prospect of going to that country that Livingstone resolved to obtain a medical education. It would have been comparatively easy for him, in a financial sense, to get the theological training, but the medical education was a costly affair. To a man of ordinary ideas, it would have seemed impossible to make the wages earned during the six months of summer avail not merely for his support then, but for winter too, and for lodgings, fees, and books besides. Scotch students have often done wonders in this way, notably the late Dr. John Henderson, a medical missionary to China, who actually lived on half-a-crown a week, while attending medical classes in Edinburgh. Livingstone followed the same self-denying course. If we had a note of his house-keeping in his Glasgow lodging, we should wonder less at his ability to live on the fare to which he was often reduced in Africa. But the importance of the medical qualification had taken a firm hold of his mind, and he persevered in spite of difficulties. Though it was never his lot to exercise the healing art in China, his medical training was of the highest use in Africa, and it developed wonderfully his strong scientific turn.

[Footnote 8: Livingstone's minister at this time was the Rev. John Moir, of the Congregational church, Hamilton, who afterward joined the Free Church of Scotland, and is now Presbyterian minister in Wellington, New Zealand. Mr. Moir has furnished us with some recollections of Livingstone, which reached us after the completion of this narrative. He particularly notes that when Livingstone expressed his desire to be a missionary, it was a missionary out and out, a missionary to the heathen, not the minister of a congregation. Mr. Moir kindly lent him some books when he went to London, all of which were conscientiously returned before he left the country. A Greek Lexicon, with only cloth boards when lent, was returned in substantial calf. He was ever careful, conscientious, and honorable in all his dealings, as his father had been before him.]

It was in the winter of 1836-37 that he spent his first session in Glasgow. Furnished by a friend with a list of lodgings, Livingstone and his father set out from Blantyre one wintry day, while the snow was on the ground, and walked to Glasgow. The lodgings were all too expensive. All day they searched for a cheaper apartment, and at last in Rotten Row they found a room at two shillings a week. Next evening David wrote to his friends that he had entered in the various classes, and spent twelve pounds in fees; that he felt very lonely after his father left, but would put "a stout heart to a stey brae," and "either mak' a spune or spoil a horn." At Rotten Row he found that his landlady held rather communistic views in regard to his tea and sugar; so another search had to be made, and this time he found a room in the High street, where he was very comfortable, at half-a-crown a week.

At the close of the session in April he returned to Blantyre and resumed work at the mill. He was unable to save quite enough for his second session, and found it necessary to borrow a little from his elder brother[9]. The classes he attended during these two sessions were the Greek class in Anderson's College, the theological classes of Rev. Dr. Wardlaw, who trained students for the Independent Churches, and the medical classes in Anderson's. In the Greek class he seems to have been entered as a private student exciting little notice[10]. In the same capacity he attended the lectures of Dr. Wardlaw. He had a great admiration for that divine, and accepted generally his theological views. But Livingstone was not much of a scientific theologian.

[Footnote 9: The readiness of elder brothers to advance part of their hard-won earnings, or otherwise encourage a younger brother to attend college, is a pleasant feature of family life in the humbler classes of Scotland. The case of James Beattie, the poet, assisted by his brother David, and that of Sir James Simpson, who owed so much to his brother Alexander, will be remembered in this connection.]

[Footnote 10: A very sensational and foolish reminiscence was once published of a raw country youth coming into the class with his clothes stained with grease and whitened by cotton-wool. This was Livingstone. The fact is, nothing could possibly have been more unlike him. At this time Livingstone was not working at the mill; and, in regard to dress, however plainly he might be clad, he was never careless, far less offensive.]

His chief work in Glasgow was the prosecution of medical study. Of his teachers, two attracted him beyond the rest—the late Dr. Thomas Graham, the very distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Andrew Buchanan, Professor of the Institutes of Medicine, his life-long and much-attached friend. While attending Dr. Graham's class he was brought into frequent contact with the assistant to the Professor, Mr. James Young. Originally bred to a mechanical employment, this young man had attended the evening course of Dr. Graham, and having attracted his attention, and done various pieces of work for him, he became his assistant. The students used to gather round him, and several met in his room, where there was a bench, a turning-lathe, and other conveniences for mechanical work. Livingstone took an interest in the turning-lathe, and increased his knowledge of tools—a knowledge which proved of the highest service to him when—as he used to say all missionaries should be ready to do—he had to become a Jack-of-all-trades in Africa.

Livingstone was not the only man of mark who frequented that room, and got lessons from Mr. Young "how to use his hands." The Right Hon. Lyon Playfair, who has had so distinguished a scientific career, was another of its habitues. A galvanic battery constructed by two young men on a new principle, under Mr. Young's instructions, became an object of great attraction, and among those who came to see it and its effects were two sons of the Professor of Mathematics in the University. Although but boys, both were fired at this interview with enthusiasm for electric science. Both have been for many years Professors in the University of Glasgow. The elder, Professor James Thomson, is well known for his useful inventions and ingenious papers on many branches of science. The younger, Sir William Thomson, ranks over the world as prince of electricians, and second to no living man in scientific reputation.

Dr. Graham's assistant devoted himself to practical chemistry, and made for himself a brilliant name by the purification of petroleum, adapting it for use in private houses, and by the manufacture of paraffin and paraffin-oil. Few men have made the art to which they devoted themselves more subservient to the use of man than he whom Livingstone first knew as Graham's assistant, and afterward used to call playfully "Sir Paraffin." "I have been obliged to knight him," he used to say, "to distinguish him from the other Young." The "other" Young was Mr. E. D. Young, of the Search Expedition, and subsequently the very successful leader of the Scotch Mission at Lake Nyassa. The assistant to Dr. Graham still survives, and is well known as Mr. Young, of Kelly, LL.D. and F.R.S.

When Livingstone returned from his first journey his acquaintance with Mr. Young was resumed, and their friendship continued through life. It is no slight testimony from one who knew him so long and so intimately, that, in his judgment, Livingstone was the best man he ever knew, had more than any other man of true filial trust in God, more of the spirit of Christ, more of integrity, purity, and simplicity of character, and of self-denying love for his fellow-men. Livingstone named after him a river which he supposed might be one of the sources of the Nile, and used ever to speak with great respect of the chief achievement of Mr. Young's life,—filling houses with a clear white light at a fraction of the cost of the smoky article which it displaced.

Beyond their own department, men of science are often as lax and illogical as any; but when scientific training is duly applied, it genders a habit of thorough accuracy, inasmuch as in scientific inquiry the slightest deviation from truth breeds endless mischief. Other influences had already disposed Livingstone to great exactness of statement, but along with these his scientific training may be held to have contributed to that dread of exaggeration and of all inaccuracy which was so marked a feature of his character through life.

It happened that Livingstone did not part company with Professor Graham and Mr. Young when he left Glasgow. The same year, Dr. Graham went to London as Professor in University College, and Livingstone, who also went to London, had the opportunity of paying occasional visits to his class. In this way, too, he became acquainted with the late Dr. George Wilson, afterward Professor of Technology in the University of Edinburgh, who was then acting as unsalaried assistant in Dr. Graham's laboratory. Frank, genial, and chivalrous, Wilson and Livingstone had much in common, and more in after-years, when Wilson, too, became an earnest Christian. In the simplicity and purity of their character, and in their devotion to science, not only for its own sake, but as a department of the kingdom of God, they were brothers indeed. Livingstone showed his friendship in after-years by collecting and transmitting to Wilson whatever he could find in Africa worthy of a place in the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art, of which his friend was the first Director.

In the course of his second session in Glasgow (1837-38) Livingstone applied to the London Missionary Society, offering his services to them as a missionary. He had learned that that Society had for its sole object to send the gospel to the heathen; that it accepted missionaries from different Churches, and that it did not set up any particular form of Church, but left it to the converts to choose the form they considered most in accordance with the Word of God. This agreed with Livingstone's own notion of what a Missionary Society should do. He had already connected himself with the Independent communion, but this preference for it was founded chiefly on his greater regard for the personnel of the body, and for the spirit in which it was administered, as compared with the Presbyterian Churches of Scotland. He had very strong views of the spirituality of the Church of Christ, and the need of a profound spiritual change as the only true basis of Christian life and character. He thought that the Presbyterian Churches were too lax in their communion, and particularly the Established Church. He was at this time a decided Voluntary, chiefly on the ground maintained by such men as Vinet, that the connection of Church and State was hurtful to the spirituality of the Church; and he had a particular abhorrence of what he called "geographical Christianity,"—which gave every man within a certain area a right to the sacraments. We shall see that in his later years Dr. Livingstone saw reason to modify some of these opinions; surveying the Evangelical Churches from the heart of Africa, he came to think that, established or non-established, they did not differ so very much from each other, and that there was much good and considerable evil in them all.

In his application to the London Missionary Society, Livingstone stated his ideas of missionary work in comprehensive terms: "The missionary's object is to endeavor by every means in his power to make known the gospel by preaching, exhortation, conversation, instruction of the young; improving, so far as in his power, the temporal condition of those among whom he labors, by introducing the arts and sciences of civilization, and doing everything to commend Christianity to their hearts and consciences. He will be exposed to great trials of his faith and patience from the indifference, distrust, and even direct opposition and scorn of those for whose good he is laboring; he may be tempted to despondency from the little apparent fruit of his exertions, and exposed to all the contaminating influence of heathenism." He was not about to undertake this work without counting the cost. "The hardships and dangers of missionary life, so far as I have had the means of ascertaining their nature and extent, have been the subject of serious reflection, and in dependence on the promised assistance of the Holy Spirit, I have no hesitation in saying that I would willingly submit to them, considering my constitution capable of enduring any ordinary share of hardship or fatigue." On one point he was able to give the Directors very explicit information: he was not married, nor under any engagement of marriage, nor had he ever made proposals of marriage, nor indeed been in love! He would prefer to go out unmarried, that he might, like the great apostle, be without family cares, and give himself entirely to the work.

His application to the London Missionary Society was provisionally accepted, and in September, 1838, he was summoned to London to meet the Directors. A young Englishman came to London on the same errand at the same time, and a friendship naturally arose between the two. Livingstone's young friend was the Rev. Joseph Moore, afterwards missionary at Tahiti; now of Congleton, in Cheshire. Nine years later, Livingstone, writing to Mr. Moore from Africa, said: "Of all those I have met since we parted, I have seen no one I can compare to you for sincere, hearty friendship." Livingstone's family used to speak of them as Jonathan and David. Mr. Moore has kindly furnished us with his recollections of Livingstone at this time:—

"I met with Livingstone first in September, 1838, at 57 Aldersgate street, London. On the same day we had received a letter from the Secretary informing us severally that our applications had been received, and that we must appear in London to be examined by the Mission Board there. On the same day, he from Scotland, and I from the south of England, arrived in town. On that night we simply accosted each other, as those who meet at a lodging house might do. After breakfast on the following day we fell into conversation, and finding that the same object had brought us to the metropolis, and that the same trial awaited us, naturally enough we were drawn to each other. Every day, as we had not been in town before, we visited places of renown in the great city, and had many a chat about our prospects.

"On Sunday, in the morning, we heard Dr. Leifchild, who was then in his prime, and in the evening Mr. Sherman, who preached with all his accustomed persuasiveness and mellifluousness. In the afternoon we worshiped at St. Paul's, and heard Prebendary Dale.

"On Monday we passed our first examination. On Tuesday we went to Westminster Abbey. Who that had seen those two young men passing from monument to monument could have divined that one of them would one day be buried with a nation's—rather with the civilized world's—lament, in that sacred shrine? The wildest fancy could not have pictured that such an honor awaited David Livingstone. I grew daily more attached to him. If I were asked why, I should be rather at a loss to reply. There was truly an indescribable charm about him, which, with all his rather ungainly ways, and by no means winning face, attracted almost every one, and which helped him so much in his after-wanderings in Africa.

"He won those who came near him by a kind of spell. There happened to be in the boarding-house at that time a young M.D., a saddler from Hants, and a bookseller from Scotland. To this hour they all speak of him in rapturous terms.

"After passing two examinations, we were both so far accepted by the Society that we were sent to the Rev. Richard Cecil, who resided at Chipping Ongar, in Essex. Most missionary students were sent to him for three months' probation, and if a favorable opinion was sent to the Board of Directors, they went to one of the Independent colleges. The students did not for the most part live with Mr. Cecil, but took lodgings in the town, and went to his house for meals and instruction in classics and theology. Livingstone and I lodged together. We read Latin and Greek, and began Hebrew together. Every day we took walks, and visited all the spots of interest in the neighborhood, among them the country churchyard which was the burial-place of John Locke. In a place so quiet, and a life so ordinary as that of a student, there did not occur many events worthy of recital. I will, however, mention one or two things, because they give an insight—a kind of prophetic glance—into Livingstone's after-career.

"One foggy November morning, at three o'clock, he set out from Ongar to walk to London to see a relative of his father's[11]. It was about twenty-seven miles to the house he sought. After spending a few hours with his relation, he set out to return on foot to Ongar. Just out of London, near Edmonton, a lady had been thrown out of a gig. She lay stunned on the road. Livingston immediately went to her, helped to carry her into a house close by, and having examined her and found no bones broken, and recommending a doctor to be called, he resumed his weary tramp. Weary and footsore, when he reached Stanford Rivers he missed his way, and finding after some time that he was wrong, he felt so dead-beat that he was inclined to lie down and sleep; but finding a directing-post he climbed it, and by the light of the stars deciphered enough to know his whereabouts. About twelve that Saturday night he reached Ongar, white as a sheet, and so tired he could hardly utter a word. I gave him a basin of bread and milk, and I am not exaggerating when I say I put him to bed. He fell at once asleep, and did not awake till noonday had passed on Sunday.

[Footnote 11: We learn from the family that the precise object of the visit was to transact some business for his eldest brother, who had begun to deal in lace. In the darkness of the morning Livingstone fell into a ditch, smearing his clothes, and not improving his appearance for smart business purposes. The day was spent in going about in London from shop to shop, greatly increasing Livingstone's fatigue.]

"Total abstinence at that time began to be spoken of, and Livingstone and I, and a Mr. Taylor, who went to India, took a pledge together to abstain[12]. Of that trio, two, I am sorry to say (heu me miserum!), enfeebled health, after many years, compelled to take a little wine for our stomachs' sake. Livingstone was one of the two.

[Footnote 12: Livingstone had always practiced total abstinence, according to the invariable custom of his father's house. The third of the trio was the Rev. Joseph V.S. Taylor, now of the Irish Presbyterian Mission, Gujerat, Bombay.]

"One part of our duties was to prepare sermons, which were submitted to Mr. Cecil, and, when corrected, were committed to memory, and then repeated to our village congregations. Livingstone prepared one, and one Sunday the minister of Stamford Rivers; where the celebrated Isaac Taylor resided, having fallen sick after the morning service, Livingstone was sent for to preach in the evening. He took his text, read it out very deliberately, and then—then—his sermon had fled! Midnight darkness came upon him, and he abruptly said: 'Friends, I have forgotten all I had to say,' and hurrying out of the pulpit, he left the chapel.

"He never became a preacher" [we shall see that this does not apply to his preaching in the Sichuana language], "and in the first letter I received from him from Elizabeth Town, in Africa, he says: 'I am a very poor preacher, having a bad delivery, and some of them said if they knew I was to preach again they would not enter the chapel. Whether this was all on account of my manner I don't know; but the truth which I uttered seemed to plague very much the person who supplies the missionaries with wagons and oxen. (They were bad ones.) My subject was the necessity of adopting the benevolent spirit of the Son of God, and abandoning the selfishness of the world.' Each student at Ongar had also to conduct family worship in rotation. I was much impressed by the fact that Livingstone never prayed without the petition that we might imitate Christ in all his imitable perfections[13]."

[Footnote 13: In connection with this prayer, it is interesting to note the impression made by Livingstone nearly twenty years afterward on one who saw him but twice—once at a public breakfast in Edinburgh, and again at the British Association in Dublin in 1857. We refer to Mrs. Sime, sister of Livingstone's early friend, Professor George Wilson, of Edinburgh. Mrs. Sime writes; "I never knew any one who gave me more the idea of power over other men, such power as our Saviour showed while on earth, the power of love and purity combined."]

In the Autobiography of Mrs. Gilbert, an eminent member of the family of the Taylors of Ongar, there occur some reminiscenses of Livingstone, corresponding to those here given by Mr. Moore[14].

[Footnote 14: Page 886, third edition.]

The Rev. Isaac Taylor, LL.D., now rector of Settringham, York, son of the celebrated author of The Natural History of Enthusiasm, and himself author of Words and Places, Etruscan Researches, etc., has kindly furnished us with the following recollection: "I well remember as a boy taking country rambles with Livingstone when he was studying at Ongar. Mr. Cecil had several missionary students, but Livingstone was the only one whose personality made any impression on my boyish imagination. I might sum up my impression of him in two words—simplicity and resolution. Now, after nearly forty years, I remember his step, the characteristic forward tread, firm, simple, resolute, neither fast nor slow, no hurry and no dawdle, but which evidently meant—getting there[15]."

[Footnote 15: On one occasion, in conversation with his former pastor, the Rev. John Moir, Livingstone spoke of Mr. Isaac Taylor, who had shown him much kindness, and often invited him to dine in his house. He said that though Mr. Taylor was connected with the Independents, he was attached to the principles of the Church of England. Mr. Taylor used to lay very great stress on acquaintance with the writings of the Fathers as necessary for meeting the claims of the Tractarians, and did not think that that study was sufficiently encouraged by the Nonconformists. Any one who has been in Mr. Taylor's study at Stanford Rivers, and who remembers the top-heavy row of patristic folios that crowned his collection of books, and the glance of pride he cast on them as he asked his visitor whether many men in his Church were well read in the Fathers, will be at no loss to verify this reminiscence. Certainly Livingstone had no such qualification, and undoubtedly he never missed it.]

We resume Mr. Moore's reminiscences:

"When three months had elapsed, Mr. Cecil sent in his report to the Board. Judging from Livingstone's hesitating manner in conducting family worship, and while praying on the week-days in the chapel, and also from his failure so complete in preaching, an unfavorable report was given in.... Happily, when it was read, and a decision was about to be given against him, some one pleaded hard that his probation should be extended, and so he had several months' additional trial granted. I sailed in the same boat, and was also sent back to Ongar as a naughty boy.... At last we had so improved that both were fully accepted. Livingstone went to London to pursue his medical studies, and I went to Cheshunt College, A day or two after reaching college, I sent to Livingstone, asking him to purchase a second-hand carpet for my room. He was quite scandalized at such an exhibition of effeminacy, and positively refused to gratify my wish.... In the spring of 1840 I met Livingstone at London in Exeter Hall, when Prince Albert delivered his maiden speech in England. I remember how nearly he was brought to silence when the speech, which he had lodged on the brim of his hat, fell into it, as deafening cheers made it vibrate. A day or two after, we heard Binney deliver his masterly missionary sermon, 'Christ seeing of the travail of his soul and being satisfied.'"

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