ONCE more, in December, the leaky "Asthmati " was got under
way, but every day fresh misfortunes happened to her, till Rae
declared : "She cannot be any worse than she is, sir."
He and his mate, Hutchings, had done their best to patch her
up, but her condition was past their skill. She soon grounded on a sand-
bank and filled. The river rising, all that was visible the next day was
about six feet of her two masts. The property on board was, however^
saved, and the expedition spent their Christmas of 1860 encamped on the
island of Chimba.
Canoes having been procured, they reached Senna late in the month.
They here saw a large party of slaves belonging to the comniandant, who
had been up to trade with Mozelekatse, carrying a thousand muskets
and a large quantity of gunpowder, and bringing back ivory, ostrich
feathers, a thousand sheep and goats, and thirty head of fine cattle, and
in addition a splendid white bull, to show that he and the traders parted
friends. The adventure, however, was a losing one to the poor com-
mandant : a fire had broken out in the camp, and the ostrich feathers had
been burned ; the cattle had died from the bite of the tsetse, as had the
white bull, and six hundred of the sheep had been eaten by the slaves,
they thinking more of their own comfort than their master's gain.
Proceeding down the river in boats, the expedition reached Congo
early in January, 1861. Here a flag-staff and a custom-house (a floorless
hut of mangrove stakes roofed with stakes) had been erected. The gar-
rison of the place being almost starved, the provisions of the expeditioni
also ran short, though they obtained game in abundance.
A Notable Arrival.
On the last day of the month the " Pioneer," the steamer which had
been sent to replace the "Asthmatic," appeared off the bar, but the bad
weather prevented her entering. At the same time two men-of-war
arrived, bringing Bishop Mackenzie at the head of the Oxford and Cam-
bridge mission to the tribes of the Shire and Lake Nyassa, It consisted'
of six Englishmen and five colored men from the Cape. The bishop
wished at once to proceed up to Chibisa ; but the " Pioneer " was under
orders to explore the Rovuma, and it was ultimately arranged that the
members of the missipn should be carried, over to Johanna in the " Lyra "
man-of-war, while the bishop himself accompanied the expedition in the "Pioneer."
They had reached the mouth of the Rovuma late in February. The
rainy season was already half over, and the river had fallen considerably.
The scenery was superior to that on the Zambesi. Eight miles from the-
m'outh the mangrove disappeared, and a beautiful range of well-wooded
hills rose on either side. Unhappily fever broke out, and the navigation.
of the " Pioneer " fell to the charge of Dr. Livingstone and his com-
panions. The water falling rapidly, it was considered dangerous to-
run the risk of detention in the river for a year, and the ship returned
down to the sea.
On their voyage back they touched at Mohilla, one of the Comoro
Islands, and from thence went on to Johanna, where they received the
bishop's followers, and proceeded back to the Kongone. Thence they at
once directed their course up the Zambesi to the Shire. The " Pioneer,""
it was found, drew too much water for the navigation of the river, and.
she in consequence frequently grounded.
Among his many duties, Charles Livingstone was engaged in collecting-
specimens of cotton, and upwards of three hundred pounds were thus
obtained, at a price of less than two cents a pounds, which showed that
cotton of a superior quality could be raised by native labor alone, and
that but for the slave trade a large amount might be raised in the country
Wherever they went they gained the confidence of the people, and
hitherto the expedition had been eminently successful. At Chigunda a
Manganja chief had invited the bishop to settle in his country near
Magomero, adding that there was room enough for both. This sponta-
neous invitation seemed to decide the bishop on the subject.
The country which this tribe inhabits is well and fully watered,
abounding in clear and cold streams, which do not dry up even in the
dry season. Pasturage is consequently abundant, and yet the people do
aiot trouble themselves about cattle, allowing to lie unused tracts of land
which would feed vast herds of oxen, not to mention sheep and goats.
Their mode of government is rather curious, and yet simple. The
country is divided into a number of districts, the head of which goes by
the title of Rundo. A great number of villages are under the command
of each Rundo, though each of the divisions is independent of the others,
and they do not acknowledge one common chief or king. The chief-
tainship is not restricted to the male sex, as in one of the districts a
woman named Nyango was the Rundo, and exercised her authority
judiciously, by improving the social status of the women throughout her
dominions. An annual tribute is paid to the Rundo by each village,
mostly consisting of one tusk of each elephant killed, and he in return is
Abound to assist and protect them should they be threatened or attacked.
The Manganjas are an industrious race, being good workers in metal,
especially iron, growing cotton, making baskets, and cultivating the
ground, in which occupation both sexes usually share ; and it is a pleas-
ant thing to see men, women and children all at work together in the
iields, with perhaps the baby lying asleep in the shadow of a bush.
They clear the forest ground exactly as is done in America, cutting
down the trees with their axes, piling up the branches and trunks in
lieaps, burning them, and scattering the ashes over the ground by way
of manure. The stumps are left to rot in the ground, and the corn is
sown among them. Grass land is cleared in a different manner. The
:grass in that land is enormously thick and long. The cultivator
gathers a bundle into his hands, twists the ends together, and ties
them in a knot. He then cuts the roots with his adze-like hoe, so
as to leave the bunch of grass still standing, like a sheaf of
wheat. When a field has been entirely cut, it looks to a stranger as if
it were in harvest, the bundles of grass standing at intervals like the
grain shocks. Just before the rainy season comes on, the bundles are
fired, the ashes are roughly dug into the soil, and an abundant harvest is
The cotton is prepared after a very simple and slow fashion, the fibre
being picked by hand, drawn out into a "roving," partially twisted, and
then rolled up into a ball. It is the opinion of those who have had prac-
tical experience of this cotton, that, if the natives could be induced to
plant and dress it in large quantities, an enormous market might be found
for it. The " staple," or fibre, of this cotton is not so long as that in
America, and has a harsh, wooly feeling in the hand. But, as it is very
strong, and the fabrics made from it are very durable, the natives prefer
it to the foreign plant. Almost every Manganja family of importance
has its own little cotton patch, from half an acre to an acre in size, which
is kept carefully tended and free from weeds. The loom in which they
weave their simple cloth is very rude, and is one of the primitive forms
of a weaver's apparatus. It is placed horizontally, and not vertically,
and the weaver has to squat on the ground when engaged in his work.
The shuttle is a mere stick, with the thread wound spirally round it, and,
when it is passed between the cross threads of the warp, the warp is
beaten into its place with a flat stick.
They are a hospitable people, and have a well-understood code of cere-
mony in the reception of strangers. In each village there is a spot called
the Boala, that is, a space of about thirty or forty yards diameter, which
is sheltered by baobab, or other spreading trees, and which is always
kept neat and clean. This is chiefly used as a place where the basket-
makers and others who are en'gaged in sedentary occupations can work
in company, and also serves as a meeting-place in evenings, where they
sing, dance, smoke, and drink beer after the toils of the day.
As soon as a stranger enters a village, he is conducted to the Boala,
where he takes his seat on the mats that are spread for him, and awaits
the coming of the chief man of the village. As soon as he makes his
appearance, his people welcome him by clapping their hands in unison,
and continue this salutation until he has taken his seat, accompanied by
his councillors. "Our guides," writes Livingstone, " then sit down in
front of the chief and his councillors, and both parties lean forward,
looking earnestly at each other. The chief repeats a word, such as
'Ambuiata' (our father or master), or ' Moio ' (life), and all clap their
hands. Another word is followed by two claps, a third by still more
clapping, when each touches the ground with both hands placed together.
Then all rise and lean forward with measured clap, and sit down again
with clap, clap, clap, fainter and still fainter, until the last dies away, or is
brought to an end, by a smart loud clap from the chief They keep
perfect time in this species of court etiquette."
This curious salutation is valued very highly, and the people are care-
fully instructed in it from childhood. The chief guide of the stranger
party then addresses the chief, and tells him about his visitors — who they
are, why they have come, etc. ; and mostly does so in a kind of blank
verse — the power of improvising a poetical narrative being valued as-
highly as the court salutations, and sedulously cultivated by all of any
pretensions to station. It is rather amusing at first to the traveller to
find that, if he should happen to inquire his way at a hut, his own guide
addresses the owner of the hut in blank verse, and is answered in the
The dress of this tribe is rather peculiar, the head being the chief part
of the person which is decorated. Some of the men save themselves the
trouble of dressing their" hair by shaving it off entirely, but a greater
number take a pride in decorating it in various ways. The head-dress
which seems to be most admired is that in which the hair is trained to
resemble the horns of the buffalo. This is done'by taking two pieces of
hide while they are wet and pliable, and bending them into the required
sh^e. When the two horns are dry and hard, they are fastened on the
head, and the hair is trained over them, and fixed in its place by grease
and clay. Sometimes only one horn is used, which projects immediately
over the forehead ; but the double horn is the form which is most in.
Others divide their hair into numerous tufts, and separate them by
winding round each tuft a thin bandage, made of the inner bark of a tree,
so that they radiate from the head in all directions, and produce an effect
which is much valued by this simple race. Some draw the hair together
toward the back of the»head, and train it so as to hang down their backs-
in a shape closely resembling the pigtail which was so fashionable an
ornament of the British sailor in Nelson's time. Others, again, allow the
hair to grow much as nature formed it, but train it to grow in heavy
masses all round their heads.
The women are equally fastidious with the men, but have in addition
a most singular ornament called the "the pelele." This is a ring that is
not fixed into the ear or nose, but into the upper lip, and gives to the-
wearer an appearance that is most repulsive to an American.
In this part of the country the sub-tribes are distinguished by certain
marks wherewith they tattoo themselves, and thereby succeed in stilL
farther disfiguring countenances which, if allowed to remain untouched,
would be agreeable enough. Some of them have a fashion of pricking
holes all over their faces, and treating the wounds in such a way that,,
when they heal, the skin is raised in little knobs, and the face looks as if
it were covered with warts. Add to this fashion the pelele, and the
reader may form an opinion of the beauty of a fashionable woman. If
the object of fashion be to conceal age, this must be a most successful
fashion, as it entirely destroys the lines of the countenance, and hardens
and distorts the features to such an extent, that it is difficult to judge by
the face whether the owner be sixteen or sixty.
One of the women had her body most curiously adorned by tattooing,
and, indeed, was a remarkable specimen of Manganja fashion. She had
shaved all her head, and supplied the want of hair by a feather tuft over
her forehead, tied on by a band. From a point on the top of her fore-
head ran lines radiating over the cheeks as far as the ear, looking some-
thing like the marks on a New Zealander's face. This radiating principle
was carried out all over her body. A similar point was marked on each
shoulder blade, from which the lines radiate down and back and over the
shoulders, and on the lower part of the spine and on each arm were other
patterns of a similar nature. She of course wore the pelele ; but she
seemed ashamed of it, probably because she was a travelled woman,
and had seen white men before. So when she was about to speak to
them, she retired to her hut, removed the pelele, and, while speaking,
held her hand before her mouth, so as to cpnceal the ugly aperture in
Cleanliness seems to be unsuitable to the Manganja constitution. They
could not in the least understand why travellers should wash themselves,
and seemed to be personally ignorant of the process. One very old man,
however, said that he did remember once to have washed himself; but
that it was so long ago that he had quite forgotten how he felt.
Afraid of Cold Water.
A very amusing use was once made of this antipathy to cold water.
One of the Manganjas took a fancy to attach himself to the expedition,
and nothing could drive him away. He insisted on accompanying them,
and annoyed them greatly by proclaiming in every village to which they
came, " These people have wandered ; they do not know where they are
going." He was driven off repeatedly ; but as soon as the march was
resumed, there he was, with his little bag over his shoulder, ready to
proclaim the wandering propensities of the strangers, as usual. At last
a happy idea struck them. They threatened to take him down to the
river and wash him ; whereupon he made off in a fright, and never made
his appearance again.
Perhaps in consequence of this uncleanliness, skin diseases are rife
among the Manganjas, and appear to be equally contagious and durable;
many persons having white blotches over their bodies, and many others
being afflicted with a sort of leprosy, which, however, does not seem to
trouble them particularly. Even the fowls are liable to a similar disease,
and have their feet deformed by a thickening of the skin.
Sobriety seems as rare with the Manganjas as cleanliness ; for they are
notable topers, and actually contrive to intoxicate themselves on their
native beer, a liquid of so exceedingly mild a character that nothing but
strong determination and a capability of consuming vast quantities of
liquid would produce the desired effect. The beer is totally unlike
ordinary drink. In the first place, it is quite thick and opaque, and
looks much like gruel of a pinkish hue. It is made by pounding the
vegetating grain, mixing it with water, boiling it, and allowing it to
ferment. When it is about two days old, it is pleasant enough, having a
slightly sweetish-acid flavor, which has the property of immediately
quenching thirst, and is therefore most valuable to the traveller, for
whose refreshment the hospitable people generally produce it.
As to themselves, there is some explanation of their intemperate
habits. They do not possess hops, or any other substance that will pre-
serve the beer, and in consequence they are obliged to consume the
whole brewing within a day or two. When, therefore, a chief has a
great brew of beer, the people assemble, and by day and night they con-
tinue drinking, drumming, dancing, and feasting, until the whole of the
beer is gone. Yet, probably on account of the nourishing qualities of
the beer — which is, in fact, little more than very thin porridge — the
excessive drinking does not seem to have any injurious effect on the
people, many being seen who were evidently very old, and yet who had
been accustomed to drink beer in the usual quantities. The women
seem to appreciate the beer as well as the men, though they do not
appear to be so liable to intoxication. Perhaps the reason for this com-
parative temperance is, that their husbands do not give them enough of
it. In their dispositions they seem to be lively and agreeable, and have
a peculiarly merry laugh, which seems to proceed from the heart, and is
not in the least like the senseless laugh of the western negro.
People Wlio Trade Karnes.
In this part of the country, not only among the Manganjas but in
other tribes, the custom of changing names is prevalent, and sometimes
leads to odd results. One day a head-man named Sininyane was called
as usual, but made no answer; nor did a third and fourth call produce
any result. At last one of his men replied that he was no longer Sinin-
yane, but Moshoshama, and to that name he at once responded. It then
turned out that he had exchanged names with a Zulu. The object of
the exchange is, that the two persons are thenceforth bound to consider
each other as comrades, and to give assistance in every way. If, for
example, Sininyane had happened to travel into the country where
Moshoshama lived, the latter was bound to treat. him like a brother.
They seem to be an intelligent race, and to appreciate the notion of
a Creator, and of the immortality of the soul ; but, like most African
races, they cannot believe that the white and the black races have any-
thing in common, or that the religion of the former can suit the latter.
They are very ready to admit that Christianity is an admirable religion for
white men, but will by no means be persuaded that it would be equally
good for themselves.
They have a hazy sort of idea of their Creator, the invisible head-chief
of the spirits, and ground their belief in the immortality of the soul on
the fact that their departed relatives come and speak to them in their
dreams. They have the same idea of the muave poison that has ah'eady
heen mentioned ; and so strong is their belief in its efficacy that, in a dis-
pute, one man will challenge the other to drink muave ; and even the
chiefs themselves will often offer to test its discriminating powers.
When a Manganja dies, a great wailing is kept up in his house for two
days ; his tools and weapons are broken, together with his cooking
vessels. All food in the house is taken out and destroyed ; and even the
beer is poured on the earth.
The burial grounds seem to be carefully cherished — as carefully,
indeed, as many of the churchyards in America. The graves are all
•arranged north and south, and the sexes of the dead are marked by the
Implements laid on the grave. These implements are always broken ;
partly, perhaps, to signify that they can be used no more, and partly to
save them from being stolen. Thus a broken mortar and pestle for
pounding corn, together with the fragments of a sieve, tell that there lies
below a woman who once had used them ; whilst a piece of a net or a
shattered paddle are emblems of the fishermen's trade, and tell that a
fisherman is interred below. Broken calabashes, gourds, and other
vessels, are laid on almost every grave ; and in some instances a banana
is planted at the head. The relatives wear a kind of mourning, consist-
ing of narrow strips of palm leaf wound around their heads, necks, arms,
legs, and breasts, and allowed to remain there until they drop off by decay.
As Livingstone marched forward word was received that the Ajawa
were near, burning villages ; and at once the doctor and his companions
advanced to seek an interview with these scourges of the country. On
their way they met crowds of Manganjas flying, having left all their
property and food behind them. Numerous fields of Indian corn were
passed, but there was no one to reap them. All the villages were
deserted. One, where on the previous visit a number of men had been
seen peacefully weaving cloth, was burned, and the stores of grain
scattered over the plain and along the paths. The smoke of burning
villages was seen in front, and triumphant shouts, mingled with the wail
of the Manganja women lamenting over the slain, reached their ears.
The bishop knelt and engaged in prayer, and on rising, a long line of
Ajawa warriors with their captives was seen. In a short time the
travellers were surrounded, the savages shooting their poisoned arrows
and dancing hideously. Some had muskets, but, on shots being fired at
them, they ran ofif.
The main body in the mean time decamped with the captives, two onljr
of whom escaped and joined their new friends. Most of the party pro-
posed going at once to the rescue of the captive Manganja ; but this
Livingstone opposed, beHeving that it would be better for the bishop to
wait the effect of the check given to the slave-hunters. It was evident
that the Ajawa were instigated by the Portuguese agents from Tete. It
was possible that they might by persuasion be induced to follow the
better course, but, from their long habit of slaving for the Quillimane
market, this appeared doubtful. The bishop consulted Livingstone as to
whether, should the Manganjas ask his assistance against the Ajawa, it
would be his duty to give it? The reply was : "Do not interfere in
Leaving the members of the commission encamped on a beautiful
spot, surrounded by stately trees, near the clear little stream of Magomero,.
the expedition returned to the ship to prepare for their journey to Lake
A Fresh Start.
In August, 1 86 1, the two doctors and Charles Livingstone started in a
four-oared gig, with one white sailor and twenty Makololo, for Nyassa.
Carriers were easily engaged to convey the boat past the forty miles of
the Murchison Cataracts. Numberless volunteers came forward, and the
men of one village transported it to the next. They passed the little
Lake of Pamalombe, about ten miles long and five broad, surrounded
thickly by papyrus. Myriads of mosquitoes showed the presence of
malaria, and they hastened by it.
Again launching their boat, they proceeded up the river, and entered
the lake early in September, greatly refreshed by the cool air which came
off its wide expanse of water. The centre appeared to be of a deep blue,
while thie shallow water along the edge was indicated by its light green
color. A little from the shore the water was from nine to fifteen fathoms,
in depth, but round a grand mountain promontory no bottom could be
obtained with their lead-line of thirty-five fathoms. The lake was esti-
mated to be about two hundred miles long and from twenty to sixty
The lake appeared to be surrounded by mountains, but on the west,
they were merely the edges of high table-land.
It is visited by sudden and tremendous storms. One morning the sea
suddenly rose around them, preventing them from advancing or reced-
ing, as the tremendous surf on the beach would have knocked their light
boat to pieces, while the waves came rolling on in threes, their crests
broken into spray. Had one of them struck the boat, nothing could
have saved her from being swamped.
'They are Lost! They are all Dead!'
For six hours they remained at anchor a little from the shore, thus ex-
posed to the fury of the gale. The crew became sea-sick and unable to
keep the boat's head to the sea, while some of their party who had
remained on shore watched them, the natives every moment exclaiming :
" They are lost ! they are all dead ! "
After this, every night they hauled the boat up on the beach ; and,
had it not been supposed that these storms were peculiar to one season,
they would have given the Nyassa the name of the " Lake of Storms."
A dense population exists on the shores of the lake, some being a tribe
of Zulus who came from the south some years ago. They own large
herds of cattle, and are on the increase by uniting other people to them-
selves. The marshy spots are tenanted by flocks of ducks, geese, cranes,
herons, and numerous other birds. The people cultivate the soil, grow-
ing large quantities of rice, sweet potatoes, maize and millet. Those at
the north end reap a curious harvest. Clouds of what appeared to be
smoke rising from miles of burning grass were seen in the distance. The
appearance was caused by countless millions of midgets. As the
voyagers' boat passed through them, eyes and mouth had to be kept
closed. The people collect these insects by night and boil them into
thick cakes, to be eaten as a relish. One of these cakes, which tasted
like salted locusts, was presented to the doctor.
Abundance of fish were caught, some with nets, and others with hook
and line. Women were seen fishing, with babies on their backs. Enor-
mous crocodiles were seen, but, as they can obtain abundance of fish,
they seldom attack men. When, however, its proper food is scarce, the
crocodile, as is always the case, becomes very dangerous.
The lake tribes appear to be open-handed , and, whenever a net was
drawn, fish was invariably offered. On one occasion the inhabitants, on
their arrival, took out their seine, dragged it, and made their visitors a
present of the entire haul. The chiefs treated them also with consider-
able kindness. One at the north of Marenga, who was living in a stock-
ade in a forest surrounded by a wide extent of .country, which he owned,
made them beautiful presents. The doctor admiring an iron bracelet
studded with copper which the chief wore, he took it off and presented
it to him, while his wife did the same with hers.
At one place a party of thieves stole into the camp and carried off most
of their goods, no one awaking, though their rifles and revolvers were all
ready. The cloth, having been used for pillows, escaped, but nearly
all their clothing was lost, and even their note-books and specimens.
On the highlands, at the northern end, a tribe of Zulus, known as the
Mazitu, make sudden swoops on the villages of the plains, and carry off
the inhabitants and burn villages ; and putrid bodies slain by Mazitu
spears were seen in all directions. In consequence of this the land party,
composed of blacks, were afraid of proceeding and Livingstone accordingly
landed to accompany them. While he struck inland to go round a moun-
tain, the boat pursued her course; but a fresh gale compelled her to run
in-shore. On continuing her voyage, a number of armed Mazitu were
seen on a small island, with several large canoes belonging to them.
It was evident that it was a nest of lake pirates. Further on they met a
still larger band, and the voyagers were ordered to come on shore. On
refusing, a number of canoes chased them, one with nine paddles perse-
vering a considerable time, till a good breeze enabled the gig to get
away from them. This circumstance caused great anxiety about Dr.
The boat party having sailed on for fifteen miles northward, he was
still nowhere to be seen, and they therefore resolved to return. Another,
gale, however, compelled them to put into a harbor, where a number of
wretched fugitives from the slave trade, who had crossed from the oppo-
site shore, were found ; but the ordinary inhabitants had been swept off
by the Mazitu. In their deserted gardens cotton of a fine quality, with
staple an inch and a half long, was seen growing, some of the plants
deserving to be ranked with trees.
The Way Beset with Dangers.
On returning, their former pursuers tried to induce them to come on
shore. Four days passed before Livingstone with two of his party dis-
covered them. He had in the meantime fallen in with the Mazitu, who
were armed with spears and shields, and their heads fantastically dressed
with feathers. By his usual courage and determination he prevented;
them from attacking him. When they demanded presents, he told
them his goods were in the boat ; and when they insisted on having a
coat, the Makololo enquired how many of the party they had killed, that
they thus began to divide the spoil; and at last, suspecting that he had
support at hand, they took to their heels.
Numerous elephants, suprisingly tame, were seen on the borders of the
lake even close to the village, and hippopotami swarmed in all the creeks
and lagoons. Several were shot for food during the journey. Some-
times food was thus abundant ; at others, a few sardines served for dinner.
The doctor saw that a small armed steamer on Lake Nyassa could, by
furnishing goods in exchange for ivory and other products, excercise a
powerful influence in stopping the traffic in that quarter.
The expedition had spent from the 2d of September to the 27th of
October in exploring the lake, and their goods being now expended, it
was necessary to return to the ship. On their way back they fell in with
a number of Manganja families, driven from their homes by Ajawa raids,
taking shelter among the papyrus growing on Lake Pamalombe, sup-
porting themselves on the fine fish which abound in it. The party
reached the ship on the 8th of November, but in a weak condition,
having latterly suffered greatly from hunger.
They soon received a visit from the bishop, who appeared in excellent
spirits, and believed that all promised well for future success. He
arranged to explore the country from Magomero to the mouth of the
river, and it was agreed that the " Pioneer," her draught being too great
for the upper part of the Shire, should on her next trip not go higher
The "Pioneer" Aground.
With three hearty cheers, the " Pioneer" steamed down the river. The
rain ceasing, she unfortunately ran on a shoal, and was detained in an
unhealthy spot for five weeks. Here the carpenter's mate, a fine healthy
young man, was seized with fever and died. A permanent rise in the
river enabled them at last to get on. On reaching Ruo, they heard that
Mariano had returned from Mozambique, and was desolating the right
bank of the river. He had lived in luxury during his nominal imprison-
ment, and was now able to set the Portuguese at defiance. An officer
sent against him, instead of capturing the rebel, was captured himself, but
soon returned to Tete with a present of ivory he had received.
The Zambesi was reached in January, 1862, when the " Pioneer" pro-
ceeded to the Great Luabo mouth of the river. Soon Her Majesty's
ship " Gorgon " arrived, towing the brig which brought out Mrs. Living-
stone and some ladies about to join the University mission, as well as the
sections of a new iron steamer intended for the navigation of Lake
Nyassa. The name of the " Lady Nyassa" was given to the new vessel.
The " Pioneer," with as large a portion of the vessel as she could
carry, accompanied by two of the " Gorgon's " paddle-box boats, steamed
off for Ruo in February. Her progress was very slow, and six months
were expended before Shupanga was reached. Here the sections of the
"Lady Nyassa" were landed, and preparations were made to screw her
Captain Wilson had kindly gone on in his boat to Ruo. On reaching
Ruo, greatly to their dismay the chief declared that no white man had
come to his village. They thence went on to Chibisa, where the sad
news was received of the death of the bishop. The sad tale of the
bishop's death has often been told. He had set off in the hopes of
rescuing some of his flock who had been kidnapped, and, undergoing
fatigue and exposure to rain far greater than his constitution could
stand, having been upset in a canoe and sleeping afterwards in his wet
clothes, had succumbed to fever when returning to Ruo.
About the middle of April Mrs. Livingstone was attacked by fever.
Notwithstanding the most skillful medical aid rendered to her, her eyes-
were closed in death as the sun set on a Sabbath day, the 27th of April,
1862. Her grave was placed beneath the great baobab-tree in the spot
before described. There rested the daughter of the Missionary Moffat,
that Christian lady who had exercised such beneficial influence over the
rude tribes of the interior, and might, it was hoped, have renewed her
labors in the country to which she had come. '
The " Lady Nyassa " was now screwed together and her stores got on
board ; but, as she could not be taken to the cataract before the rains in
Dec^.mber, the " Pioneer " sailed for Johanna to obtain mules and oxen
to convey her by land, after she had been taken to pieces, above the
To fill up the time the doctor resolved, on the return of the " Pioneer,"
to explore the Rovuma in boats. Captain Gardner and several of his
officers accompanied them two days in the gig and cutter. The water
was now low ; but when filled by the rains, in many respects the Rovuma
appears superior to the Zambesi. It would probably be valuable as a
highway for commerce during three-fourths of each year.
Trip up the Rovuma.
Above Kichokomane was a fertile plain, studded with a number of de-
serted villages. Its inhabitants were living on low sandbanks, though
they had left their property behind, fearing only being stolen themselves.
They showed, however, an unfriendly spirit to the white men, not under-
standing their objects. The blacks assembled on the shore, and evidently
intended to attack the party as they passed the high bank, but a stiff
breeze swept the boats by. Attempts were made to persuade the natives
that the travellers had only peaceful intentions, that they wished to be
their friends, and that their countrymen bought cotton and ivory. Not-
withstanding this, these savages were not satisfied, and their leader was
seen urging them to fire.
Many of them had muskets, while others, who were armed with bows,
held them with arrows ready set to shoot. Still the doctor and his
companions were exceedingly unwilling to come to blows, and half an
hour was spent, during which, at any moment, they might have been
struck by bullets or poisoned arrows. The English assured them that
they had plenty of ammunition, that they did not wish to shed the blood
of the children of the same Great Father, and that if there was a fight,
the guilt would be theirs. At last their leader ordered them to lay down
their arms, and he came, saying that the river was theirs, and that the
English must pay toll for leave to pass. As it was better to do so than
fight, the payment demanded was given, and they promised to be friends
The sail was then hoisted, and the boats proceeded up, when they
were followed by a large party, as it was supposed merely to watch therp,.
but without a moment's warning the savages fired a volley of musket-
balls and poisoned arrows. Providentially they were so near that six
arrows passed over their heads, and four musket-balls alone went through
the sail. Their assailants immediately bolted, and did not again appear
till the boats had got to a considerable distance. A few shots were fired
over their heads, to give them an idea of the range of the Englishmen's
rifles. They had probably expected to kill some of the party, and then
in the confusion to rob the boats.
They were more hospitably treated by a Makoa chief higher up, who
had been to Iboe, and once to Mozambique with slaves. Ilis people
refused to receive gaily-colored prints, having probably been deceived by
sham ones before, preferring the plain blue stuff of which they had
experience. Another old chief, on seeing them go by, laid down his
gun, and when they landed approached them.
They proceeded up the cataracts of the Rovuma, but finding that the
distance overland was far greater to Lake Nyassa than that by Murchi-
son's Cataracts on the Shire, they considered it best to take their steamer
up by that route. After having been away a month, they reached the
" Pioneer " on the 9th of October. The ship's company had used dis-
tilled water, and not a single case of sickness had occurred on board,
while those who had been in the boats had some slight attacks.
After this they put to sea and visited Johanna, returning to the fever-
haunted village of Quillimane. Here they were kindly entertained by
one of the few honorable Portuguese officials they met with in that
region. Colonel Nunes. He came out as a cabin-boy, and, by persevering
energy, has become the richest man on the East Coast.
Early in January, 1863, the "Pioneer," with the "Lady Nyassa" in
tow, steamed up the Shire.
The Shire marshes support prodigious numbers of many kinds of
water-fowl. An hour at the mast-head unfolded novel views of life in an
African marsh. Near the edge, and on the branches of some favorite
tree, rest scores of plotuses and cormorants, which stretch their snake-
like necks and in mute amazement turn one eye and then another
towards the approaching monster. By and by the timid ones begin to
fly off", or take " headers " into the stream ; but a few of the bolder, or
more composed, remain, only taking the precaution to spread their wings,
ready for instant flight. The pretty ardetta, of a light yellow color when
at rest, but seemingly of a pure white when flying, takes wing, and
sweeps across the green grass in large numbers, often showing where
buffaloes and elephants are by perching on their backs.
Ducks are very abundant, and being night feeders, meditate quietly by
the small lagoons until startled by the noise of the steam machinery.
Pelicans glide over the water catching fish, while the scopus and large
herons peer intently into pools. The large black and white spur-winged
goose (a constant marauder of native gardens) springs up, and circles
round to find out what the disturbance can be, and then settles down
again with a splash. Hundreds of linongolos rise on the wing from the
clumps of reeds, or low trees, on which they build in colonies, and are
speedily high in mid-air.
Charming little red and yellow weavers remind one of butterflies, as
they fly in and out of the tall grass, or hang to the mouths of their pen-
dant nests, chattering briskly to their mates within. Kites and vultures
are busy overhead, viewing the ground for their repast of carrion ; and
the solemn-looking, stately-stepping flamingoes, with a taste for dead
fish or men, stalk slowly along the almost stagnant channels. Groups of.
men and boys are searching diligently in various places for lotus and
other roots. Some are standing in canoes, on the weed-covered ponds,
spearing fish, while others are punting over the small intersecting,
streams to examine their sunken fish-baskets.
Towards evening, hundreds of pretty little hawks are seen flying in a
southerly direction, and feeding on dragon-flies and locusts. They come,
apparently, from resting on the palm trees during the heat of the day.
FIocks of scissor-bills are then also on the wing, and in ' search of food.
ploughing the water with their lower mandibles, which are nearly half an
inch longer than the upper ones.
At the north-eastern end of the marsh, and about three miles from the
river, commences a great forest of palm trees. It extends many miles,
and at one point comes close to the river. The gray trunks and greea
tops of this immense mass of trees give a pleasing tone of color to the
view. The mountain range, which rises close behind the palms, is-
generally of a cheerful green, and has many trees, with patches
of a lighter tint among them, as if spots of land had once been,
cultivated. The sharp angular rocks and dells on its sides have
the appearance of a huge crystal broken ; and this is so often the
case in Africa that one can guess pretty nearly .at sight whether
a range is of the old crystalline rocks or not. The borassus, though not
an oil-bearing palm, is a useful tree. The fibrous pulp round the large
nuts is of a sweet, fruity taste, and is eaten by men and elephants. The
natives bury the nuts until the kernels begin to sprout ; when dug up
and broken, the inside resembles coarse potatoes, and is prized in times
of scarcity as nutritious food. During several months of the year palm-
wine, or sura, is obtained in large quantities ; when fresh, it is a pleasant
drink, somewhat like champagne, and not at all intoxicating; though,,
after standing a few hours, it becomes highly so.
Sticks, a foot long, are driven into notches in the hard outside of the
tree — the inside being soft or hollow — to serve as a ladder ; the top of
the fruit-shoot is cut off, and the sap, pouring out at the fresh wound,,
is caught in an earthen pot, which is hung at the point. A thin
slice is taken off the end, to open the pores and make the juice flow
every time the owner ascends to empty the pot. Temporary huts are
erected in the forest, and men and boys remain by their respective trees
day and night; the nuts, fish and wine being their sole food. The Por-
tuguese use the palm-wine as yeast, and it makes bread so light that it
melts in the mouth like froth.
Above the palm-trees, a succession of rich, low islands stud the river
Many of them are cultivated and grow maize at all times of the year.
Some patches ripe are .seen, and others half-grown, or just sprouting out
of the ground. The shores are adorned with rows of banana-trees, and
the fruit is abundant and cheap. Many of the reedy banks are so inter-
twined with convolvulus, and other creepers, as to be absolutely impene-
trable. They are beautiful to the eye, a smooth wall of living greent
rjsingout of the;' crystal water, and adorned with lovely flowers; but sp
dense that, if capsized in the water, one could scarcely pass through to
land. Probably no tropical bird is more remarkable than the famous
flamingo. The following incident is related by one of a party of
travellers in Africa:
Our path led through the forest near the banks of the river, of which
we occasionally got glimpses. It was here of considerable width,
bordered by mangrove bushes. In one or two places there were wide
flits covered with reeds. Suddenly, as we passed a point of the river, I
saw drawn up what had much the appearance, at the finst glance, of a
regiment of soldiers, with red coats and white trousers.
"Why, where can those men have come from?" I cried out.
A Regiment of Birds.
One of the party, who was near me, burst into a laugh, in which his
sifters and the boys joined. "Why, those are birds," he answered. "A
regiment, true enough, but of flamingoes ; and see - they are in line, and
they quickly march away as we approach."
A second glance showed me that he was right; and a very curious
appearance they had. " See ! there is the sentinel."
As he spoke, one of the birds nearest to us issued a sound like that of
a trumpet, which was taken up by the remainder; and the whole troop,
expanding their flaming Avings, rose with loud clamors into the air, flying
up the stream. We went on, and cutting off a bend in the river, again
met it; and here our bearers declared that they must stop and rest. We
accordingly encamped, though our guide warned us that we must remain
but a short time, as we wished to reach some higher ground before dark.
A fire was lighted for cooking; and while our meal was preparing, I, with
others, went down nearer the banks to see what was to be seen. We
observed on the marshy ground a little way off a high mound, and
creeping along, that we might not disturb the numerous birds which
covered the banks or sat on the trees around, we caught sight of another
mound, with a flamingo seated on the top of it, her long legs, instead of
being tucked up as those of most birds would have been, literally astrad-
dle on it.
"That is one of their nests," whispered one. "The bird is a hen sitting
on her eggs. Depend upon it, the troop is not far off. See, see! there
are many others along the banks. What a funny appearance they have."
Bird Wings Sweeping Through. the Air.
Presently a flash of red appeared in the blue sky, and looking up, we
saw what might be described as a great fiery triangle in the air sweeping
down towards us. On it came, greatly diminishing its rate, and we then
saw that it was composed of flamingoes. They hovered for a moment,
then flew round and round, following one another, and gradually
approached the marsh, on which they alighted. Immediately they
arranged themselves as we had before seen them, in long lines,
when several marched off on either side to act as sentinels, while the
rest commenced fishing. We could see them arching their necks and
digging their long bills into the ground, while they stirred up the mud
with their webbed feet, in order to procure the water-insects on which
they subsist. They, however, were not the only visitors to the river.
The tide was low, and on every mud-bank or exposed spot countless
numbers of birds were collected — numerous kinds of gulls, herons, and
long-legged cranes — besides which, on the trees were perched thousands of
white birds, looking at a distance like shining white flowers. Vast flocks
of huge pelicans were swimming along the stream, dipping their enormous
bills into the water, and each time bringing up a fish. They have enor-
mous pouches, capable of containing many pounds of their finny prey.
Other forms of animal life abound in the Tropics, and not the least
marvellous of these is the spectral lemur.
Lemur is the name applied to about thirty species of monkeys. They
are divided into five principal genera, inhabiting chiefly Madagascar, a
few living in Africa and the warm regions of Asia and its archipelago.
The animals have two sharp claws on each hind foot, all their other
nails are flat. In their habits and economy, as well as in their hand-like
paws, the lemurs are like the other monkeys. They principally differ
from those animals in the shape of the head, which is somewhat like that
of a dog, and in the great length of their hind legs. The latter are so
long, that when the lemurs walk on all-fours, their haunches are consider-
ably more elevated than the shoulders.
But this structure is of great advantage to them in climbing trees.
Many of the species are so active that they leap from branch to branch
with a rapidity which the eye is scarcely able to follow. The lemurs
derive their name from their nocturnal habits and their noiseless move-
ments. They live in the depths of the forests, and only move by night,
the entire day being spent in sleep. Their food consists of fruits and
insects which latter they take while they are sleeping.
The spectral lemur is of a grayish-brown color, and lives in some of
the forests of Africa, its long tarsi, or hind legs enabling it to leap like
a frog, and. its curious eyes giving it a singular appearance.
Scenes Along the River's Banks.
Surrounded by such tropical scenes as we have just described, with
their wonderful specimens of animal life, Livingstone pursued his way.
A country once very populous was nearly deserted on account of con-
tinuous raids by slave hunters.
A hippopotamus was shot, and, at the end of three days, it floated.
As the boat was towing it, immense numbers of crocodiles followed, and
it was necessary to fire at them to keep them off. It is said that the
crocodile never eats fresh meat ; indeed, the more putrid it becomes, the
better he enjoys his repast, as he can thus tear the carcass more easily.
The corpse of a boy was seen floating by. Several crocodiles dashed at
it, fighting for their prey, and in a few seconds it disappeared. Sixty-
seven of the repulsive reptiles were seen on one bank. The natives eat
the animal, but few who had witnessed the horrible food on which' they
banquet would willingly feed on their flesh.
Their former companion, Mr. Thornton, here rejoined them. Hearing
that the remaining members of the bishop's party were in want at Chi-
bisa, he volunteered to carry over a supply of goats and sheep to them.
Overcome by the fatigues of the journey, he was attacked by fever, which
terminated fatally in April, 1863.
The whole of the once pleasant Shire valley was now a scene of wide-
spread desolation. Fearful famine had devastated it, and the sights which
met their eye in every direction were heart-rending. The ground was
literally covered with human bones. Many had ended their career under
the shade of trees, others under projecting crags of the hills, while
others lay in their huts with closed doors, which, when opened, disclosed
the mouldering corpse with a few rags round the loins, the skull fallen off
' the pillow ; the little skeleton of a child that had perished first, was rolled
up in a mat between two large skeletons.
Transporting the Boat Overland.
Hoping that the "Lady Nyassa" might be the means of affording
relief to sufferers across the lake, they hurried on with their work. She
was unscrewed at a spot about five hundred yards below the first cataract,
and they began to make a road over the portage of forty miles, by which
she was to be carried piecemeal.
Trees had to be cut down and stones removed. The first half-mile of
road was formed up a gradual slope till two hundred feet above the river
was reached, where a sensible difference in the climate was felt. Before
much progress was made, Dr. Kirk and Charles Livingstone were seized
with fever, and it was deemed absolutely necessary that they should be
sent home. Soon afterwards Dr. Livingstone was himself attacked.
The "Pioneer" meantime was roofed over and left in charge of the
trustworthy gunner, Mr. Young. One day, an empty canoe was seen
floating down with a woman swimming near it. The boat put off and
brought her on board, when she was found to have an arrow-head
in the middle of her back. A native cut it out, and, notwithstanding the
fearful character of the wound, being fed liberally by Mr, Young, she re-
About the middle of June the remaining members of the expedition
started for the upper cataracts. Cotton of superior quality was seen
dropping off the bushes, with no one to gather it. The huts in several
villages were found entire, with mortars and stones for pounding and
grinding corn, empty corn safes and kitchen utensils, water and beer-pots
untouched, but the doors were shut, as if the inhabitants had gone to
search for roots or fruits and had never returned ; while in others, skele-'
tons were seen of persons who died apparently while endeavoring to
reach something to allay the gnawings of hunger.
Several journeys had been made over the portage, when, on returning
to the ship in July, they received a despatch from Earl Russell, directing
the return home of the expedition. Arrangements therefore were made
to screw the " Lady Nyassa" together again, as the " Pioneer" could not
move till the floods in December. In the meantime it was determined
to make another trip to the lake in a boat to be carried overland past the
The same scenes were witnessed as before. Wild animals had taken
possession of the ruins of a large village in which on their previous visit
the inhabitants had been living in peace and plenty. They had no idea,
having before kept closer to the river, of the number of villages, always
apparently selected with a view to shade, existing in that region, all of
which were now deserted.
They at length reached a region which had hitherto escaped, where
the people welcomed them with the greatest cordiality, and were willing
to spare the small amount of food they had remaining for themselves.
But even here news of war soon reached them, and they found that a tribe
of Zulus, the Mazitu,. were ravaging the country, and that the inhabitants
were only safe within their stockades. They soon encountered men and
women carrying grain towards these fortifications, and soon they came
upon dead bodies, first one and then another, lying in postures assumed
in mortal agony such as no painter can produce.
Terror from Savage Invaders.
On their arrival at Chinsamba's stockade, they were told that the
Mazitu had been repulsed thence the day before, and the sad sight of the
numerous bodies of the slain showed the truth of the report. Chinsamba
urged them not to proceed to the north-west, where the Mazitu had
occupied the whole region, and they accordingly remained with him till
After this they visited Chia Lakelet. On their way they met men and
women eagerly reaping the corn in haste, to convey it to the stockades,
while so much was found scattered along the paths by the Mazitu and
the fugitives that some women were winnowing it from the sand. Dead
bodies and burned villages showed that they were close upon the heels of
the invaders. Among the reeds on the banks of the lake was seen a
continuous village of temporary huts in which the people had taken
refuge from their invaders.
Another extensive and interesting journey was taken in the neighbor-
hood of the lake, and, on their return along the shores, they found the
reeds still occupied by the unhappy fugitives, who were already suffering
fearfully from famine. Numbers of newly-made graves showed that
many had already perished, and others had more the appearance of
Jiuman skeletons than living beings.
Altogether in this expedition they travelled seven hundred and sixty
miles in a straight line, averaging about fifteen miles a day, and they
reached the ship on the 1st of November, where all were found in
good health and spirits. They were visited on board by an Ajawa, chief
named Kapeni, who asserted that he and his people would gladly receive
the associates of Bishop Mackenzie as their teachers.
About the middle of December news reached them of the arrival of
the successor of Bishop Mackenzie, but that gentleman, after spending a
few months on the top of a mountain as high as Ben Nevis, at the mouth
of the Shire, where there are few or no people to be taught, returned
home, while six of the boys who had been reared by Bishop Mackenzie
had been deserted and exposed to the risk of falling back into heathen-
ism. The poor boys, however, managed to reach the ship, expressing
their sorrow that they no longer had one to look after them, remarking
that Bishop Mackenzie had a loving heart, and had been more than a
father to them.
In January, I864, the Shire suddenly rising, the " Pioneer" was once
more got underway; but, her rudder being injured, she was delayed,
and did not reach Morambala till February. Here they received on
board about thirty orphan boys and girls, and a few helpless widows
who had been attached to Bishop Mackenzie's mission, and who could
not be abandoned without bringing odium on the English name. The
moment permission to embark was given, they all rushed into the boat,
nearly swamping her in their eagerness to be safe on the " Pioneer's "
At the mouth of the Zambesi, they found Her Majesty's ships
"Orestes" and ''Ariel," when the former took the " Pioneer" in tow, and
the latter the " Lady Nyassa," bound for Mozambique. After encoun-
tering a heavy storm, when the little vessels behaved admirably, while
the " Pioneer " was sent to the Cape, the " Lady Nyassa," under charge
of Dr. Livingstone, proceeded by way of Zanzibar to Bombay, which
they safely reached, though at times they thought their epitaph would
be: "Left Zanzibar on the 30th of April, 1864, and never more heard
Continued in 6099_10