A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries
A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries
A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries / And of the Discovery of Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa, 1858-1864
TO THE RIGHT HON. LORD PALMERSTON,
I beg leave to dedicate this Volume to your Lordship, as a tribute justly due to the great Statesman who has ever had at heart the amelioration of the African race; and as a token of admiration of the beneficial effects of that policy which he has so long laboured to establish on the West Coast of Africa; and which, in improving that region, has most forcibly shown the need of some similar system on the opposite side of the Continent.
NOTICE TO THIS WORK
The name of the late Mr. Charles Livingstone takes a prominent place amongst those who acted under the leadership of Dr. Livingstone during the adventurous sojourn of the “Zambesi Expedition” in East Africa. In laying the result of their discoveries before the public, it was arranged that Mr. Charles Livingstone should place his voluminous notes at the disposal of his brother: they are incorporated in the present work, but in a necessarily abridged form.
It has been my object in this work to give as clear an account as I was able of tracts of country previously unexplored, with their river systems, natural productions, and capabilities; and to bring before my countrymen, and all others interested in the cause of humanity, the misery entailed by the slave-trade in its inland phases; a subject on which I and my companions are the first who have had any opportunities of forming a judgment. The eight years spent in Africa, since my last work was published, have not, I fear, improved my power of writing English; but I hope that, whatever my descriptions want in clearness, or literary skill, may in a measure be compensated by the novelty of the scenes described, and the additional information afforded on that curse of Africa, and that shame, even now, in the 19th century, of an European nation,—the slave-trade.
I took the “Lady Nyassa” to Bombay for the express purpose of selling her, and might without any difficulty have done so; but with the thought of parting with her arose, more strongly than ever, the feeling of disinclination to abandon the East Coast of Africa to the Portuguese and slave-trading, and I determined to run home and consult my friends before I allowed the little vessel to pass from my hands. After, therefore, having put two Ajawa lads, Chuma and Wakatani, to school under the eminent missionary the Rev. Dr. Wilson, and having provided satisfactorily for the native crew, I started homewards with the three white sailors, and reached London July 20th, 1864. Mr. and Mrs. Webb, my much-loved friends, wrote to Bombay inviting me, in the event of my coming to England, to make Newstead Abbey my headquarters, and on my arrival renewed their invitation: and though, when I accepted it, I had no intention of remaining so long with my kind-hearted generous friends, I stayed with them until April, 1865, and under their roof transcribed from my own and my brother’s journal the whole of this present book. It is with heartfelt gratitude I would record their unwearied kindness. My acquaintance with Mr. Webb began in Africa, where he was a daring and successful hunter, and his continued friendship is most valuable because he has seen missionary work, and he would not accord his respect and esteem to me had he not believed that I, and my brethren also, were to be looked on as honest men earnestly trying to do our duty.
The Government have supported the proposal of the Royal Geographical Society made by my friend Sir Roderick Murchison, and have united with that body to aid me in another attempt to open Africa to civilizing influences, and a valued private friend has given a thousand pounds for the same object. I propose to go inland, north of the territory which the Portuguese in Europe claim, and endeavour to commence that system on the East which has been so eminently successful on the West Coast; a system combining the repressive efforts of H.M. cruisers with lawful trade and Christian Missions—the moral and material results of which have been so gratifying. I hope to ascend the Rovuma, or some other river North of Cape Delgado, and, in addition to my other work, shall strive, by passing along the Northern end of Lake Nyassa and round the Southern end of Lake Tanganyika, to ascertain the watershed of that part of Africa. In so doing, I have no wish to unsettle what with so much toil and danger was accomplished by Speke and Grant, but rather to confirm their illustrious discoveries.
I have to acknowledge the obliging readiness of Lord Russell in lending me the drawings taken by the artist who was in the first instance attached to the Expedition. These sketches, with photographs by Charles Livingstone and Dr. Kirk, have materially assisted in the illustrations. I would also very sincerely thank my friends Professor Owen and Mr. Oswell for many valuable hints and other aid in the preparation of this volume.
April 16, 1865.
Objects of the Expedition—Personal Interest shown by Naval Authorities—Members of the Zambesi Expedition.
When first I determined on publishing the narrative of my “Missionary Travels,” I had a great misgiving as to whether the criticism my endeavours might provoke would be friendly or the reverse, more particularly as I felt that I had then been so long a sojourner in the wilderness, as to be quite a stranger to the British public. But I am now in this, my second essay at authorship, cheered by the conviction that very many readers, who are personally unknown to me, will receive this narrative with the kindly consideration and allowances of friends; and that many more, under the genial influences of an innate love of liberty, and of a desire to see the same social and religious blessings they themselves enjoy, disseminated throughout the world, will sympathize with me in the efforts by which I have striven, however imperfectly, to elevate the position and character of our fellow-men in Africa. This knowledge makes me doubly anxious to render my narrative acceptable to all my readers; but, in the absence of any excellence in literary composition, the natural consequence of my pursuits, I have to offer only a simple account of a mission which, with respect to the objects proposed to be thereby accomplished, formed a noble contrast to some of the earlier expeditions to Eastern Africa. I believe that the information it will give, respecting the people visited and the countries traversed, will not be materially gainsaid by any future commonplace traveller like myself, who may be blest with fair health and a gleam of sunshine in his breast. This account is written in the earnest hope that it may contribute to that information which will yet cause the great and fertile continent of Africa to be no longer kept wantonly sealed, but made available as the scene of European enterprise, and will enable its people to take a place among the nations of the earth, thus securing the happiness and prosperity of tribes now sunk in barbarism or debased by slavery; and, above all, I cherish the hope that it may lead to the introduction of the blessings of the Gospel.
In order that the following narrative may be clearly understood, it is necessary to call to mind some things which took place previous to the Zambesi Expedition being sent out. Most geographers are aware that, before the discovery of Lake Ngami and the well-watered country in which the Makololo dwell, the idea prevailed that a large part of the interior of Africa consisted of sandy deserts, into which rivers ran and were lost. During my journey in 1852-6, from sea to sea, across the south intertropical part of the continent, it was found to be a well-watered country, with large tracts of fine fertile soil covered with forest, and beautiful grassy valleys, occupied by a considerable population; and one of the most wonderful waterfalls in the world was brought to light. The peculiar form of the continent was then ascertained to be an elevated plateau, somewhat depressed in the centre, and with fissures in the sides by which the rivers escaped to the sea; and this great fact in physical geography can never be referred to without calling to mind the remarkable hypothesis by which the distinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society (Sir Roderick I. Murchison) clearly indicated this peculiarity, before it was verified by actual observation of the altitudes of the country and by the courses of the rivers. New light was thrown on other portions of the continent by the famous travels of Dr. Barth, by the researches of the Church of England missionaries Krapf, Erkhardt, and Rebman, by the persevering efforts of Dr. Baikie, the last martyr to the climate and English enterprise, by the journey of Francis Galton, and by the most interesting discoveries of Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria Nyanza by Captain Burton, and by Captain Speke, whose untimely end we all so deeply deplore. Then followed the researches of Van der Decken, Thornton, and others; and last of all the grand discovery of the main source of the Nile, which every Englishman must feel an honest pride in knowing was accomplished by our gallant countrymen, Speke and Grant. The fabulous torrid zone, of parched and burning sand, was now proved to be a well-watered region resembling North America in its fresh-water lakes, and India in its hot humid lowlands, jungles, ghauts, and cool highland plains.
The main object of this Zambesi Expedition, as our instructions from Her Majesty’s Government explicitly stated, was to extend the knowledge already attained of the geography and mineral and agricultural resources of Eastern and Central Africa—to improve our acquaintance with the inhabitants, and to endeavour to engage them to apply themselves to industrial pursuits and to the cultivation of their lands, with a view to the production of raw material to be exported to England in return for British manufactures; and it was hoped that, by encouraging the natives to occupy themselves in the development of the resources of the country, a considerable advance might be made towards the extinction of the slave-trade, as they would not be long in discovering that the former would eventually be a more certain source of profit than the latter. The Expedition was sent in accordance with the settled policy of the English Government; and the Earl of Clarendon, being then at the head of the Foreign Office, the Mission was organized under his immediate care. When a change of Government ensued, we experienced the same generous countenance and sympathy from the Earl of Malmesbury, as we had previously received from Lord Clarendon; and, on the accession of Earl Russell to the high office he has so long filled, we were always favoured with equally ready attention and the same prompt assistance. Thus the conviction was produced that our work embodied the principles, not of any one party, but of the hearts of the statesmen and of the people of England generally. The Expedition owes great obligations to the Lords of the Admiralty for their unvarying readiness to render us every assistance in their power; and to the warm-hearted and ever-obliging hydrographer to the Admiralty, the late Admiral Washington, as a subordinate, but most effective agent, our heartfelt gratitude is also due; and we must ever thankfully acknowledge that our efficiency was mainly due to the kind services of Admirals Sir Frederick Grey, Sir Baldwin Walker, and all the naval officers serving under them on the East Coast. Nor must I omit to record our obligations to Mr. Skead, R.N. The Luawé was carefully sounded and surveyed by this officer, whose skilful and zealous labours, both on that river, and afterwards on the Lower Zambesi, were deserving of all praise.
In speaking of what has been done by the Expedition, it should always be understood that Dr. Kirk, Mr. Charles Livingstone, Mr. R. Thornton, and others composed it. In using the plural number they are meant, and I wish to bear testimony to the untiring zeal, energy, courage, and perseverance with which my companions laboured; undaunted by difficulties, dangers, or hard fare. It is my firm belief that, were their services required in any other capacity, they might be implicitly relied on to perform their duty like men. The reason why Dr. Kirk’s name does not appear on the title-page of this narrative is, because it is hoped that he may give an account of the botany and natural history of the Expedition in a separate work from his own pen. He collected above four thousand species of plants, specimens of most of the valuable woods, of the different native manufactures, of the articles of food, and of the different kinds of cotton from every spot we visited, and a great variety of birds and insects; besides making meteorological observations, and affording, as our instructions required, medical assistance to the natives in every case where he could be of any use.
Charles Livingstone was also fully occupied in his duties in following out the general objects of our mission, in encouraging the culture of cotton, in making many magnetic and meteorological observations, in photographing so long as the materials would serve, and in collecting a large number of birds, insects, and other objects of interest. The collections, being Government property, have been forwarded to the British Museum, and to the Royal Botanic, Gardens at Kew; and should Dr. Kirk undertake their description, three or four years will be required for the purpose.
Though collections were made, it was always distinctly understood that, however desirable these and our explorations might be, “Her Majesty’s Government attached more importance to the moral influence that might be exerted on the minds of the natives by a well-regulated and orderly household of Europeans setting an example of consistent moral conduct to all who might witness it; treating the people with kindness, and relieving their wants, teaching them to make experiments in agriculture, explaining to them the more simple arts, imparting to them religious instruction as far as they are capable of receiving it, and inculcating peace and good will to each other.”
It would be tiresome to enumerate in detail all the little acts which were performed by us while following out our instructions. As a rule, whenever the steamer stopped to take in wood, or for any other purpose, Dr. Kirk and Charles Livingstone went ashore to their duties: one of our party, who it was intended should navigate the vessel and lay down the geographical positions, having failed to answer the expectations formed of him, these duties fell chiefly to my share. They involved a considerable amount of night work, in which I was always cheerfully aided by my companions, and the results were regularly communicated to our warm and ever-ready friend, Sir Thomas Maclear of the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope. While this work was going through the press, we were favoured with the longitudes of several stations determined from observed occultations of stars by the moon, and from eclipses and reappearances of Jupiter’s satellites, by Mr. Mann, the able Assistant to the Cape Astronomer Royal; the lunars are still in the hands of Mr. G. W. H. Maclear of the same Observatory. In addition to these, the altitudes, variations of the compass, latitudes and longitudes, as calculated on the spot, appear in the map by Mr. Arrowsmith, and it is hoped may not differ much from the results of the same data in abler bands. The office of “skipper,” which, rather than let the Expedition come to a stand, I undertook, required no great ability in one “not too old to learn:” it saved a salary, and, what was much more valuable than gold, saved the Expedition from the drawback of any one thinking that he was indispensable to its further progress. The office required attention to the vessel both at rest and in motion. It also involved considerable exposure to the sun; and to my regret kept me from much anticipated intercourse with the natives, and the formation of full vocabularies of their dialects.
I may add that all wearisome repetitions are as much as possible avoided in the narrative; and, our movements and operations having previously been given in a series of despatches, the attempt is now made to give as fairly as possible just what would most strike any person of ordinary intelligence in passing through the country. For the sake of the freshness which usually attaches to first impressions, the Journal of Charles Livingstone has been incorporated in the narrative; and many remarks made by the natives, which ho put down at the moment of translation, will convey to others the same ideas as they did to ourselves. Some are no doubt trivial; but it is by the little acts and words of every-day life that character is truly and best known. And doubtless many will prefer to draw their own conclusions from them rather than to be schooled by us.
Arrival at the Zambesi—Rebel Warfare—Wild Animals—Shupanga—Hippopotamus Hunters—The Makololo—Crocodiles.
The Expedition left England on the 10th of March, 1858, in Her Majesty’s Colonial Steamer “Pearl,” commanded by Captain Duncan; and, after enjoying the generous hospitality of our friends at Cape Town, with the obliging attentions of Sir George Grey, and receiving on board Mr. Francis Skead, R.N., as surveyor, we reached the East Coast in the following May.
Our first object was to explore the Zambesi, its mouths and tributaries, with a view to their being used as highways for commerce and Christianity to pass into the vast interior of Africa. When we came within five or six miles of the land, the yellowish-green tinge of the sea in soundings was suddenly succeeded by muddy water with wrack, as of a river in flood. The two colours did not intermingle, but the line of contact was as sharply defined as when the ocean meets the land. It was observed that under the wrack—consisting of reeds, sticks, and leaves,—and even under floating cuttlefish bones and Portuguese “men-of-war” (Physalia), numbers of small fish screen themselves from the eyes of birds of prey, and from the rays of the torrid sun.
We entered the river Luawé first, because its entrance is so smooth and deep, that the “Pearl,” drawing 9 feet 7 inches, went in without a boat sounding ahead. A small steam launch having been brought out from England in three sections on the deck of the “Pearl” was hoisted out and screwed together at the anchorage, and with her aid the exploration was commenced. She was called the “Ma Robert,” after Mrs. Livingstone, to whom the natives, according to their custom, gave the name Ma (mother) of her eldest son. The harbour is deep, but shut in by mangrove swamps; and though the water a few miles up is fresh, it is only a tidal river; for, after ascending some seventy miles, it was found to end in marshes blocked up with reeds and succulent aquatic plants. As the Luawé had been called “West Luabo,” it was supposed to be a branch of the Zambesi, the main stream of which is called “Luabo,” or “East Luabo.” The “Ma Robert” and “Pearl” then went to what proved to be a real mouth of the river we sought.
The Zambesi pours its waters into the ocean by four mouths, namely, the Milambé, which is the most westerly, the Kongoné, the Luabo, and the Timbwé (or Muselo). When the river is in flood, a natural canal running parallel with the coast, and winding very much among the swamps, forms a secret way for conveying slaves from Quillimane to the bays Massangano and Nameara, or to the Zambesi itself. The Kwakwa, or river of Quillimane, some sixty miles distant from the mouth of the Zambesi, has long been represented as the principal entrance to the Zambesi, in order, as the Portuguese now maintain, that the English cruisers might be induced to watch the false mouth, while slaves were quietly shipped from the true one; and, strange to say, this error has lately been propagated by a map issued by the colonial minister of Portugal.
After the examination of three branches by the able and energetic surveyor, Francis Skead, R.N., the Kongoné was found to be the best entrance. The immense amount of sand brought down by the Zambesi has in the course of ages formed a sort of promontory, against which the long swell of the Indian Ocean, beating during the prevailing winds, has formed bars, which, acting against the waters of the delta, may have led to their exit sideways. The Kongoné is one of those lateral branches, and the safest; inasmuch as the bar has nearly two fathoms on it at low water, and the rise at spring tides is from twelve to fourteen feet. The bar is narrow, the passage nearly straight, and, were it buoyed and a beacon placed on Pearl Island, would always be safe to a steamer. When the wind is from the east or north, the bar is smooth; if from the south and south-east, it has a heavy break on it, and is not to be attempted in boats. A strong current setting to the east when the tide is flowing, and to the west when ebbing, may drag a boat or ship into the breakers. If one is doubtful of his longitude and runs east, he will soon see the land at Timbwé disappear away to the north; and coming west again, he can easily make out East Luabo from its great size; and Kongoné follows several miles west. East Luabo has a good but long bar, and not to be attempted unless the wind be north-east or east. It has sometimes been called “Barra Catrina,” and was used in the embarkations of slaves. This may have been the “River of Good Signs,” of Vasco da Gama, as the mouth is more easily seen from the seaward than any other; but the absence of the pillar dedicated by that navigator to “St. Raphael,” leaves the matter in doubt. No Portuguese live within eighty miles of any mouth of the Zambesi.
The Kongoné is five miles east of the Milambé, or western branch, and seven miles west from East Luabo, which again is five miles from the Timbwé. We saw but few natives, and these, by escaping from their canoes into the mangrove thickets the moment they caught sight of us, gave unmistakeable indications that they had no very favourable opinion of white men. They were probably fugitives from Portuguese slavery. In the grassy glades buffaloes, wart-hogs, and three kinds of antelope were abundant, and the latter easily obtained. A few hours’ hunting usually provided venison enough for a score of men for several days.
On proceeding up the Kongoné branch it was found that, by keeping well in the bends, which the current had worn deep, shoals were easily avoided. The first twenty miles are straight and deep; then a small and rather tortuous natural canal leads off to the right, and, after about five miles, during which the paddles almost touch the floating grass of the sides, ends in the broad Zambesi. The rest of the Kongoné branch comes out of the main stream considerably higher up as the outgoing branch called Doto.
The first twenty miles of the Kongoné are enclosed in mangrove jungle; some of the trees are ornamented with orchilla weed, which appears never to have been gathered. Huge ferns, palm bushes, and occasionally wild date-palms peer out in the forest, which consists of different species of mangroves; the bunches of bright yellow, though scarcely edible fruit, contrasting prettily with the graceful green leaves. In some spots the Milola, an umbrageous hibiscus, with large yellowish flowers, grows in masses along the bank. Its bark is made into cordage, and is especially valuable for the manufacture of ropes attached to harpoons for killing the hippopotamus. The Pandanus or screw-palm, from which sugar bags are made in the Mauritius, also appears, and on coming out of the canal into the Zambesi many are so tall as in the distance to remind us of the steeples of our native land, and make us relish the remark of an old sailor, “that but one thing was wanting to complete the picture, and that was a ‘grog-shop near the church.’” We find also a few guava and lime-trees growing wild, but the natives claim the crops. The dark woods resound with the lively and exultant song of the kinghunter (Halcyon striolata), as he sits perched on high among the trees. As the steamer moves on through the winding channel, a pretty little heron or bright kingfisher darts out in alarm from the edge of the bank, flies on ahead a short distance, and settles quietly down to be again frightened off in a few seconds as we approach. The magnificent fishhawk (Halietus vocifer) sits on the top of a mangrove-tree, digesting his morning meal of fresh fish, and is clearly unwilling to stir until the imminence of the danger compels him at last to spread his great wings for flight. The glossy ibis, acute of ear to a remarkable degree, hears from afar the unwonted sound of the paddles, and, springing from the mud where his family has been quietly feasting, is off, screaming out his loud, harsh, and defiant Ha! ha! ha! long before the danger is near.
Several native huts now peep out from the bananas and cocoa-palms on the right bank; they stand on piles a few feet above the low damp ground, and their owners enter them by means of ladders. The soil is wonderfully rich, and the gardens are really excellent. Rice is cultivated largely; sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, cabbages, onions (shalots), peas, a little cotton, and sugar-cane are also raised. It is said that English potatoes, when planted at Quillimane on soil resembling this, in the course of two years become in taste like sweet potatoes (Convolvulus batatas), and are like our potato frosted. The whole of the fertile region extending from the Kongoné canal to beyond Mazaro, some eighty miles in length, and fifty in breadth, is admirably adapted for the growth of sugar-cane; and were it in the hands of our friends at the Cape, would supply all Europe with sugar. The remarkably few people seen appear to be tolerably well fed, but there was a dearth of clothing among them; all were blacks, and nearly all Portuguese “colonos” or serfs. They manifested no fear of white men, and stood in groups on the bank gazing in astonishment at the steamers, especially at the “Pearl,” which accompanied us thus far up the river. One old man who came on board remarked that never before had he seen any vessel so large as the “Pearl,” it was like a village, “Was it made out of one tree?” All were eager traders, and soon came off to the ship in light swift canoes with every kind of fruit and food they possessed; a few brought honey and beeswax, which are found in quantities in the mangrove forests. As the ships steamed off, many anxious sellers ran along the bank, holding up fowls, baskets of rice and meal, and shouting “Malonda, Malonda,” “things for sale,” while others followed in canoes, which they sent through the water with great velocity by means of short broad-bladed paddles.
Finding the “Pearl’s” draught too great for that part of the river near the island of Simbo, where the branch called the Doto is given off to the Kongoné on the right bank, and another named Chindé departs to the secret canal already mentioned on the left, the goods belonging to the expedition were taken out of her, and placed on one of the grassy islands about forty miles from the bar. The “Pearl” then left us, and we had to part with our good friends Duncan and Skead; the former for Ceylon, the latter to return to his duties as Government Surveyor at the Cape.
Of those who eventually did the work of the expedition the majority took a sober common-sense view of the enterprise in which we were engaged. Some remained on Expedition Island from the 18th June until the 13th August, while the launch and pinnace were carrying the goods up to Shupanga and Senna. The country was in a state of war, our luggage was in danger, and several of our party were exposed to disease from inactivity in the malaria of the delta. Here some had their first introduction to African life, and African fever. Those alone were safe who were actively employed with the vessels, and of course, remembering the perilous position of their fellows, they strained every nerve to finish the work and take them away.
Large columns of smoke rose daily from different points of the horizon, showing that the natives were burning off the immense crops of tall grass, here a nuisance, however valuable elsewhere. A white cloud was often observed to rest on the head of the column, as if a current of hot damp air was sent up by the heat of the flames and its moisture was condensed at the top. Rain did not follow, though theorists have imagined that in such cases it ought.
Large game, buffaloes, and zebras, were abundant abreast the island, but no men could be seen. On the mainland, over on the right bank of the river, we were amused by the eccentric gyrations and evolutions of flocks of small seed-eating birds, who in their flight wheeled into compact columns with such military precision as to give us the impression that they must be guided by a leader, and all directed by the same signal. Several other kinds of small birds now go in flocks, and among others the large Senegal swallow. The presence of this bird, being clearly in a state of migration from the north, while the common swallow of the country, and the brown kite are away beyond the equator, leads to the conjecture that there may be a double migration, namely, of birds from torrid climates to the more temperate, as this now is, as well as from severe winters to sunny regions; but this could not be verified by such birds of passage as ourselves.
On reaching Mazaro, the mouth of a narrow creek which in floods communicates with the Quillimane river, we found that the Portuguese were at war with a half-caste named Mariano alias Matakenya, from whom they had generally fled, and who, having built a stockade near the mouth of the Shiré, owned all the country between that river and Mazaro. Mariano was best known by his native name Matakenya, which in their tongue means “trembling,” or quivering as trees do in a storm. He was a keen slave-hunter, and kept a large number of men, well armed with muskets. It is an entire mistake to suppose that the slave trade is one of buying and selling alone; or that engagements can be made with labourers in Africa as they are in India; Mariano, like other Portuguese, had no labour to spare. He had been in the habit of sending out armed parties on slave-hunting forays among the helpless tribes to the north-east, and carrying down the kidnapped victims in chains to Quillimane, where they were sold by his brother-in-law Cruz Coimbra, and shipped as “Free emigrants” to the French island of Bourbon. So long as his robberies and murders were restricted to the natives at a distance, the authorities did not interfere; but his men, trained to deeds of violence and bloodshed in their slave forays, naturally began to practise on the people nearer at hand, though belonging to the Portuguese, and even in the village of Senna, under the guns of the fort. A gentleman of the highest standing told us that, while at dinner with his family, it was no uncommon event for a slave to rush into the room pursued by one of Mariano’s men with spear in hand to murder him.
The atrocities of this villain, aptly termed by the late governor of Quillimane a “notorious robber and murderer,” became at length intolerable. All the Portuguese spoke of him as a rare monster of inhumanity. It is unaccountable why half-castes, such as he, are so much more cruel than the Portuguese, but such is undoubtedly the case.
It was asserted that one of his favourite modes of creating an impression in the country, and making his name dreaded, was to spear his captives with his own hands. On one occasion he is reported to have thus killed forty poor wretches placed in a row before him. We did not at first credit these statements, and thought that they were merely exaggerations of the incensed Portuguese, who naturally enough were exasperated with him for stopping their trade, and harbouring their runaway slaves; but we learned afterwards from the natives, that the accounts given us by the Portuguese had not exceeded the truth; and that Mariano was quite as great a ruffian as they had described him. One expects slave-owners to treat their human chattels as well as men do other animals of value, but the slave-trade seems always to engender an unreasoning ferocity, if not blood-thirstiness.
War was declared against Mariano, and a force sent to take him; he resisted for a time; but seeing that he was likely to get the worst of it, and knowing that the Portuguese governors have small salaries, and are therefore “disposed to be reasonable,” he went down to Quillimane to “arrange” with the Governor, as it is termed here; but Colonel da Silva put him in prison, and then sent him for trial to Mozambique. When we came into the country, his people were fighting under his brother Bonga. The war had lasted six months and stopped all trade on the river during that period. On the 15th June we first came into contact with the “rebels.” They appeared as a crowd of well-armed and fantastically-dressed people under the trees at Mazaro. On explaining that we were English, some at once came on board and called to those on shore to lay aside their arms. On landing among them we saw that many had the branded marks of slaves on their chests, but they warmly approved our objects, and knew well the distinctive character of our nation on the slave question. The shout at our departure contrasted strongly with the suspicious questioning on our approach. Hence-forward we were recognized as friends by both parties.
At a later period we were taking in wood within a mile of the scene of action, but a dense fog prevented our hearing the noise of a battle at Mazaro; and on arriving there, immediately after, many natives and Portuguese appeared on the bank.
Dr. Livingstone, landing to salute some of his old friends among the latter, found himself in the sickening smell, and among the mutilated bodies of the slain; he was requested to take the Governor, who was very ill of fever, across to Shupanga, and just as he gave his assent, the rebels renewed the fight, and the balls began to whistle about in all directions. After trying in vain to get some one to assist the Governor down to the steamer, and unwilling to leave him in such danger, as the officer sent to bring our Kroomen did not appear, he went into the hut, and dragged along his Excellency to the ship. He was a very tall man, and as he swayed hither and thither from weakness, weighing down Dr. Livingstone, it must have appeared like one drunken man helping another. Some of the Portuguese white soldiers stood fighting with great bravery against the enemy in front, while a few were coolly shooting at their own slaves for fleeing into the river behind. The rebels soon retired, and the Portuguese escaped to a sandbank in the Zambesi, and thence to an island opposite Shupanga, where they lay for some weeks, looking at the rebels on the mainland opposite. This state of inactivity on the part of the Portuguese could not well be helped, as they had expended all their ammunition and were waiting anxiously for supplies; hoping, no doubt sincerely, that the enemy might not hear that their powder had failed. Luckily their hopes were not disappointed; the rebels waited until a supply came, and were then repulsed after three-and-a-half hours’ hard fighting. Two months afterwards Mariano’s stockade was burned, the garrison having fled in a panic; and as Bonga declared that he did not wish to fight with this Governor, with whom he had no quarrel, the war soon came to an end. His Excellency meanwhile, being a disciple of Raspail, had taken nothing for the fever but a little camphor, and after he was taken to Shupanga became comatose. More potent remedies were administered to him, to his intense disgust, and he soon recovered. The Colonel in attendance, whom he never afterwards forgave, encouraged the treatment. “Give what is right; never mind him; he is very (muito) impertinent:” and all night long, with every draught of water the Colonel gave a quantity of quinine: the consequence was, next morning the patient was cinchonized and better.
For sixty or seventy miles before reaching Mazaro, the scenery is tame and uninteresting. On either hand is a dreary uninhabited expanse, of the same level grassy plains, with merely a few trees to relieve the painful monotony. The round green top of the stately palm-tree looks at a distance, when its grey trunk cannot be seen, as though hung in mid-air. Many flocks of busy sand-martins, which here, and as far south as the Orange River, do not migrate, have perforated the banks two or three feet horizontally, in order to place their nests at the ends, and are now chasing on restless wing the myriads of tropical insects. The broad river has many low islands, on which are seen various kinds of waterfowl, such as geese, spoonbills, herons, and flamingoes. Repulsive crocodiles, as with open jaws they sleep and bask in the sun on the low banks, soon catch the sound of the revolving paddles and glide quietly into the stream. The hippopotamus, having selected some still reach of the river to spend the day, rises out of the bottom, where he has been enjoying his morning bath after the labours of the night on shore, blows a puff of spray from his nostrils, shakes the water out of his ears, puts his enormous snout up straight and yawns, sounding a loud alarm to the rest of the herd, with notes as of a monster bassoon.
As we approach Mazaro the scenery improves. We see the well-wooded Shupanga ridge stretching to the left, and in front blue hills rise dimly far in the distance. There is no trade whatever on the Zambesi below Mazaro. All the merchandise of Senna and Tette is brought to that point in large canoes, and thence carried six miles across the country on men’s heads to be reshipped on a small stream that flows into the Kwakwa, or Quillimane river, which is entirely distinct from the Zambesi. Only on rare occasions and during the highest floods can canoes pass from the Zambesi to the Quillimane river through the narrow natural canal Mutu. The natives of Maruru, or the country around Mazaro, the word Mazaro meaning the “mouth of the creek” Mutu, have a bad name among the Portuguese; they are said to be expert thieves, and the merchants sometimes suffer from their adroitness while the goods are in transit from one river to the other. In general they are trained canoe-men, and man many of the canoes that ply thence to Senna and Tette; their pay is small, and, not trusting the traders, they must always have it before they start. Africans being prone to assign plausible reasons for their conduct, like white men in more enlightened lands, it is possible they may be good-humouredly giving their reason for insisting on being invariably paid in advance in the words of their favourite canoe-song, “Uachingeré, Uachingeré Kalé,” “You cheated me of old;” or, “Thou art slippery slippery truly.”