A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries: And of the Discovery of the Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa (1858-1864)

Part 6 out of 7

provisions, by means of this boat, being thus disappointed, we turned
back with the intention of carrying another up to the same spot; and,
in order to find level ground for this, we passed across from the
Shire at Malango to the upper part of the stream Lesungwe. A fine,
active, intelligent fellow, called Pekila, guided us, and was
remarkable as almost the only one of the population left with any
spirit in him. The depressing effect which the slave-hunting scourge
has upon the native mind, though little to be wondered at, is sad,
very sad to witness. Musical instruments, mats, pillows, mortars for
pounding meal, were lying about unused, and becoming the prey of the
white ants. With all their little comforts destroyed, the survivors
were thrown still further back into barbarism.

It is of little importance perhaps to any but travellers to notice
that in occupying one night a well-built hut, which had been shut up
for some time, the air inside at once gave us a chill, and an attack
of fever; both of which vanished when the place was well-ventilated
by means of a fire. We have frequently observed that lighting a fire
early in the mornings, even in the hottest time of the year, gives
freshness to the whole house, and removes that feeling of closeness
and langour, which a hot climate induces.

On the night of the 1st July, 1863, several loud peals of thunder
awoke us; the moon was shining brightly, and not a cloud to be seen.
All the natives remarked on the clearness of the sky at the time, and
next morning said, "We thought it was God" (Morungo).

On arriving at the ship on the 2nd July, we found a despatch from
Earl Russell, containing instructions for the withdrawal of the
Expedition. The devastation caused by slave-hunting and famine lay
all around. The labour had been as completely swept away from the
Great Shire Valley, as it had been from the Zambesi, wherever
Portuguese intrigue or power extended. The continual forays of
Mariano had spread ruin and desolation on our south-east as far as
Mount Clarendon.

While this was going on in our rear, the Tette slave-hunters from the
West had stimulated the Ajawa to sweep all the Manganja off the hills
on our East; and slaving parties for this purpose were still passing
the Shire above the Cataracts. In addition to the confession of the
Governor of Tette, of an intention to go on with this slaving in
accordance with the counsel of his elder brother at Mosambique, we
had reason to believe that slavery went on under the eye of his
Excellency, the Governor-General himself; and this was subsequently
corroborated by our recognizing two women at Mosambique who had lived
within a hundred yards of the Mission-station at Magomero. They were
well known to our attendants, and had formed a part of a gang of
several hundreds taken to Mosambique by the Ajawa at the very time
when his Excellency was entertaining English officers with anti-
slavery palavers. To any one who understands how minute the
information is, which Portuguese governors possess by means of their
own slaves, and through gossiping traders who seek to curry their
favour, it is idle to assert that all this slaving goes on without
their approval and connivance.

If more had been wanted to prove the hopelessness of producing any
change in the system which has prevailed ever since our allies, the
Portuguese, entered the country, we had it in the impunity with which
the freebooter, Terera, who had murdered Chibisa, was allowed to
carry on his forays. Belchoir, another marauder, had been checked,
but was still allowed to make war, as they term slave-hunting.

Mr. Horace Waller was living for some five months on Mount Morambala,
a position from which the whole process of the slave-trade, and
depopulation of the country around could be well noted. The mountain
overlooks the Shire, the beautiful meanderings of which are
distinctly seen, on clear days, for thirty miles. This river was for
some time supposed to be closed against Mariano, who, as a mere
matter of form, was declared a rebel against the Portuguese flag.
When, however, it became no longer possible to keep up the sham, the
river was thrown open to him; and Mr. Waller has seen in a single day
from fifteen to twenty canoes of different sizes going down, laden
with slaves, to the Portuguese settlements from the so-called rebel
camp. These cargoes were composed entirely of women and children.
For three months this traffic was incessant, and at last, so
completely was the mask thrown off, that one of the officials came to
pay a visit to Bishop Tozer on another part of the same mountain,
and, combining business with pleasure, collected payment for some
canoe work done for the Missionary party, and with this purchased
slaves from the rebels, who had only to be hailed from the bank of
the river. When he had concluded the bargain he trotted the slaves
out for inspection in Mr. Waller's presence. This official, Senhor
Mesquita, was the only officer who could be forced to live at the
Kongone. From certain circumstances in his life, he had fallen under
the power of the local Government; all the other Custom-house
officers refused to go to Kongone, so here poor Mesquita must live on
a miserable pittance--must live, and perhaps slave, sorely against
his will. His name is not brought forward with a view of throwing
any odium on his character. The disinterested kindness which he
showed to Dr. Meller, and others, forbids that he should be mentioned
by us with anything like unkindness.

Under all these considerations, with the fact that we had not found
the Rovuma so favourable for navigation at the time of our visit as
we expected, it was impossible not to coincide in the wisdom of our
withdrawal; but we deeply regretted that we had ever given credit to
the Portuguese Government for any desire to ameliorate the condition
of the African race; for, with half the labour and expense anywhere
else, we should have made an indelible mark of improvement on a
section of the Continent. Viewing Portuguese statesmen in the light
of the laws they have passed for the suppression of slavery and the
slave-trade, and by the standard of the high character of our own
public men, it cannot be considered weakness to have believed in the
sincerity of the anxiety to aid our enterprise, professed by the
Lisbon Ministry. We hoped to benefit both Portuguese and Africans by
introducing free-trade and Christianity. Our allies, unfortunately,
cannot see the slightest benefit in any measure that does not imply
raising themselves up by thrusting others down. The official paper
of the Lisbon Government has since let us know "that their policy was
directed to frustrating the grasping designs of the British
Government to the dominion of Eastern Africa." We, who were on the
spot, and behind the scenes, knew that feelings of private
benevolence had the chief share in the operations undertaken for
introducing the reign of peace and good will on the Lakes and central
regions, which for ages have been the abodes of violence and
bloodshed. But that great change was not to be accomplished. The
narrow-minded would ascribe all that was attempted to the grasping
propensity of the English. But the motives that actuate many in
England, both in public and private life, are much more noble than
the world gives them credit for.

Seeing, then, that we were not yet arrived at "the good time coming,"
and that it was quite impossible to take the "Pioneer" down to the
sea till the floods of December, we made arrangements to screw the
"Lady Nyassa" together; and, in order to improve the time
intervening, we resolved to carry a boat past the Cataracts a second
time, sail along the eastern shore of the Lake, and round the
northern end, and also collect data by which to verify the
information collected by Colonel Rigby, that the 19,000 slaves, who
go through the Custom-house of Zanzibar annually, are chiefly drawn
from Lake Nyassa and the Valley of the Shire.

Our party consisted of twenty natives, some of whom were Johanna men,
and were supposed to be capable of managing the six oxen which drew
the small wagon with a boat on it. A team of twelve Cape oxen, with
a Hottentot driver and leader, would have taken the wagon over the
country we had to pass through with the greatest ease; but no sooner
did we get beyond the part of the road already made, than our drivers
encountered obstructions in the way of trees and gullies, which it
would have been a waste of time to have overcome by felling timber
and hauling out the wagon by block and tackle purchases. The Ajawa
and Manganja settled at Chibisa's were therefore sent for, and they
took the boat on their shoulders and carried it briskly, in a few
days, past all the Cataracts except one; then coming to a
comparatively still reach of the river, they took advantage of it to
haul her up a couple of miles. The Makololo had her then entirely in
charge; for, being accustomed to rapids in their own country, no
better boatmen could be desired. The river here is very narrow, and
even in what are called still places, the current is very strong, and
often obliged them to haul the boat along by the reeds on the banks,
or to hand a tow-rope ashore. The reeds are full of cowitch
(Dolichos pruriens), the pods of which are covered with what looks a
fine velvety down, but is in reality a multitude of fine prickles,
which go in by the million, and caused an itching and stinging in the
naked bodies of those who were pulling the tow-rope, that made them
wriggle as if stung by a whole bed of nettles. Those on board
required to be men of ready resource with oars and punting-poles, and
such they were. But, nevertheless, they found, after attempting to
pass by a rock, round which the water rushed in whirls, that the
wiser plan would be to take the boat ashore, and carry her past the
last Cataract. When this was reported, the carriers were called from
the various shady trees under which they had taken refuge from the
sun. This was midwinter, but the sun is always hot by day here,
though the nights are cold. Five Zambesi men, who had been all their
lives accustomed to great heavy canoes,--the chief recommendation of
which is said to be, that they can be run against a rock with the
full force of the current without injury--were very desirous to show
how much better they could manage our boat than the Makololo; three
jumped into her when our backs were turned, and two hauled her up a
little way; the tide caught her bow, we heard a shout of distress,
the rope was out of their hands in a moment, and there she was,
bottom upwards; a turn or two in an eddy, and away she went, like an
arrow, down the Cataracts. One of the men in swimming ashore saved a
rifle. The whole party ran with all their might along the bank, but
never more did we see our boat.

The five performers in this catastrophe approached with penitential
looks. They had nothing to say, nor had we. They bent down slowly,
and touched our feet with both hands. "Ku kuata moendo"--"to catch
the foot"--is their way of asking forgiveness. It was so like what
we have seen a little child do--try to bring a dish unbidden to its
papa, and letting it fall, burst into a cry of distress--that they
were only sentenced to go back to the ship, get provisions, and, in
the ensuing journey on foot, carry as much as they could, and thus
make up for the loss of the boat.

It was excessively annoying to lose all this property, and be
deprived of the means of doing the work proposed, on the east and
north of the Lake; but it would have been like crying over spilt milk
to do otherwise now than make the best use we could of our legs. The
men were sent back to the ship for provisions, cloth, and beads; and
while they are gone, we may say a little of the Cataracts which
proved so fatal to our boating plan.


Dr. Livingstone's further explorations--Effects of slave-trade--
Kirk's range--Ajawa migration--Native fishermen--Arab slave-crossing-
-Splendid highlands.

The Murchison Cataracts of the Shire river begin in 15 degrees 20
minutes S., and end in lat. 15 degrees 55 minutes S., the difference
of latitude is therefore 35 minutes. The river runs in this space
nearly north and south, till we pass Malango; so the entire distance
is under 40 miles. The principal Cataracts are five in number, and
are called Pamofunda or Pamozima, Morewa, Panoreba or Tedzane,
Pampatamanga, and Papekira. Besides these, three or four smaller
ones might be mentioned; as, for instance, Mamvira, where in our
ascent we first met the broken water, and heard that gushing sound
which, from the interminable windings of some 200 miles of river
below, we had come to believe the tranquil Shire could never make.
While these lesser cataracts descend at an angle of scarcely 20
degrees, the greater fall 100 feet in 100 yards, at an angle of about
45 degrees, and one at an angle of 70 degrees. One part of Pamozima
is perpendicular, and, when the river is in flood, causes a cloud of
vapour to ascend, which, in our journey to Lake Shirwa, we saw at a
distance of at least eight miles. The entire descent from the Upper
to the Lower Shire is 1200 feet. Only on one spot in all that
distance is the current moderate--namely, above Tedzane. The rest is
all rapid, and much of it being only fifty or eighty yards wide, and
rushing like a mill-race, it gives the impression of water-power,
sufficient to drive all the mills in Manchester, running to waste.
Pamofunda, or Pamozima, has a deep shady grove on its right bank.
When we were walking alone through its dark shade, we were startled
by a shocking smell like that of a dissecting-room; and on looking up
saw dead bodies in mats suspended from the branches of the trees, a
mode of burial somewhat similar to that which we subsequently saw
practised by the Parsees in their "towers of silence" at Poonah, near
Bombay. The name Pamozima means, "the departed spirits or gods"--a
fit name for a place over which, according to the popular belief, the
disembodied souls continually hover.

The rock lowest down in the series is dark reddish-grey syenite.
This seems to have been an upheaving agent, for the mica schists
above it are much disturbed. Dark trappean rocks full of hornblende
have in many places burst through these schists, and appear in
nodules on the surface. The highest rock seen is a fine sandstone of
closer grain than that at Tette, and quite metamorphosed where it
comes into contact with the igneous rocks below it. It sometimes
gives place to quartz and reddish clay schists, much baked by heat.
This is the usual geological condition on the right bank of the
Cataracts. On the other side we pass over masses of porphyritic
trap, in contact with the same mica schists, and these probably give
to the soil the great fertility we observed. The great body of the
mountains is syenite. So much mica is washed into the river, that on
looking attentively on the stream one sees myriads of particles
floating and glancing in the sun; and this, too, even at low water.

It was the 15th of August before the men returned from the ship,
accompanied by Mr. Rae and the steward of the "Pioneer." They
brought two oxen, one of which was instantly slaughtered to put
courage into all hearts, and some bottles of wine, a present from
Waller and Alington. We never carried wine before, but this was
precious as an expression of kindheartedness on the part of the
donors. If one attempted to carry either wine or spirits, as a
beverage, he would require a whole troop of followers for nothing
else. Our greatest luxury in travelling was tea or coffee. We never
once carried sugar enough to last a journey, but coffee is always
good, while the sugarless tea is only bearable, because of the
unbearable gnawing feeling of want and sinking which ensues if we
begin to travel in the mornings without something warm in the
stomach. Our drink generally was water, and if cool, nothing can
equal it in a hot climate. We usually carried a bottle of brandy
rolled up in our blankets, but that was used only as a medicine; a
spoonful in hot water before going to bed, to fend off a chill and
fever. Spirits always do harm, if the fever has fairly begun; and it
is probable that brandy-and-water has to answer for a good many of
the deaths in Africa.

Mr. Rae had made gratifying progress in screwing together the "Lady
Nyassa." He had the zealous co-operation of three as fine steady
workmen as ever handled tools; and, as they were noble specimens of
English sailors, we would fain mention the names of men who are an
honour to the British navy--John Reid, John Pennell, and Richard
Wilson. The reader will excuse our doing so, but we desire to record
how much they were esteemed, and how thankful we felt for their good
behaviour. The weather was delightfully cool; and, with full
confidence in those left behind, it was with light hearts we turned
our faces north. Mr. Rae accompanied us a day in front; and, as all
our party had earnestly advised that at least two Europeans should be
associated together on the journey, the steward was at the last
moment taken. Mr. Rae returned to get the "Lady Nyassa" ready for
sea; and, as she drew less water than the "Pioneer," take her down to
the ocean in October. One reason for taking the steward is worth
recording. Both he and a man named King, {5} who, though only a
leading stoker in the Navy, had been a promising student in the
University of Aberdeen, had got into that weak bloodless-looking
state which residence in the lowlands without much to do or think
about often induces. The best thing for this is change and an active
life. A couple of days' march only as far as the Mukuru-Madse,
infused so much vigour into King that he was able to walk briskly
back. Consideration for the steward's health led to his being
selected for this northern journey, and the measure was so completely
successful that it was often, in the hard march, a subject of regret
that King had not been taken too. A removal of only a hundred yards
is sometimes so beneficial that it ought in severe cases never to be

Our object now was to get away to the N.N.W., proceed parallel with
Lake Nyassa, but at a considerable distance west of it, and thus pass
by the Mazitu or Zulus near its northern end without contact--
ascertain whether any large river flowed into the Lake from the west-
-visit Lake Moelo, if time permitted, and collect information about
the trade on the great slave route, which crosses the Lake at its
southern end, and at Tsenga and Kota-kota. The Makololo were eager
to travel fast, because they wanted to be back in time to hoe their
fields before the rains, and also because their wives needed looking

In going in the first instance N.E. from the uppermost Cataract, we
followed in a measure the great bend of the river towards the foot of
Mount Zomba. Here we had a view of its most imposing side, the west,
with the plateau some 3000 feet high, stretching away to its south,
and Mounts Chiradzuru and Mochiru towering aloft to the sky. From
that goodly highland station, it was once hoped by the noble
Mackenzie, who, for largeness of heart and loving disposition, really
deserved to be called the "Bishop of Central Africa," that light and
liberty would spread to all the interior. We still think it may be a
centre for civilizing influences; for any one descending from these
cool heights, and stepping into a boat on the Upper Shire, can sail
three hundred miles without a check into the heart of Africa.

We passed through a tract of country covered with mopane trees, where
the hard baked soil refused to let the usual thick crops of grass
grow; and here we came upon very many tracks of buffaloes, elephants,
antelopes, and the spoor of one lion. An ox we drove along with us,
as provision for the way, was sorely bitten by the tsetse. The
effect of the bite was, as usual, quite apparent two days afterwards,
in the general flaccidity of the muscles, the drooping ears, and
looks of illness. It always excited our wonder that we, who were
frequently much bitten too by the same insects, felt no harm from
their attacks. Man shares the immunity of the wild animals.

Finding a few people on the evening of the 20th of August, who were
supporting a wretched existence on tamarinds and mice, we ascertained
that there was no hope of our being able to buy food anywhere nearer
than the Lakelet Pamalombe, where the Ajawa chief, Kainka, was now
living; but that plenty could be found with the Maravi female chief,
Nyango. We turned away north-westwards, and struck the stream Ribve-
ribve, or Rivi-rivi, which rises in the Maravi range, and flows into
the Shire.

As the Rivi-rivi came from the N.W. we continued to travel along its
banks, until we came to people who had successfully defended
themselves against the hordes of the Ajawa. By employing the men of
one village to go forward and explain who we were to the next, we
managed to prevent the frightened inhabitants from considering us a
fresh party of Ajawa, or of Portuguese slaving agents. Here they had
cultivated maize, and were willing to sell, but no persuasion could
induce them to give us guides to the chieftainess, Nyango. They
evidently felt that we were not to be trusted; though, as we had to
certify to our own character, our companions did not fail "to blow
our own trumpet," with blasts in which modesty was quite out of the
question. To allay suspicion, we had at last to refrain from
mentioning the lady's name.

It would be wearisome to repeat the names of the villages we passed
on our way to the north-west. One was the largest we ever saw in
Africa, and quite deserted, with the usual sad sight of many
skeletons lying about. Another was called Tette. We know three
places of this name, which fact shows it to be a native word; it
seems to mean a place where the water rushes over rocks. A third
village was called Chipanga (a great work), a name identical with the
Shupanga of the Portuguese. This repetition of names may indicate
that the same people first took these epithets in their traditional
passage from north to south.

At this season of the year the nights are still cold, and the people,
having no crops to occupy their attention, do not stir out till long
after the sun is up. At other times they are off to their fields
before the day dawns, and the first sound one hears is the loud
talking of men and women, in which they usually indulge in the dark
to scare off beasts by the sound of the human voice. When no work is
to be done, the first warning of approaching day is the hemp-smoker's
loud ringing cough.

Having been delayed one morning by some negotiation about guides, who
were used chiefly to introduce us to other villages, we two whites
walked a little way ahead, taking the direction of the stream. The
men having been always able to find out our route by the prints of
our shoes, we went on for a number of miles. This time, however,
they lost our track, and failed to follow us. The path was well
marked by elephants, hyenas, pallahs, and zebras, but for many a day
no human foot had trod it. When the sun went down a deserted hamlet
was reached, where we made comfortable beds for ourselves of grass.
Firing muskets to attract the attention of those who have strayed is
the usual resource in these cases. On this occasion the sound of
firearms tended to mislead us; for, hearing shots next morning, a
long weary march led us only to some native hunters, who had been
shooting buffaloes. Returning to a small village, we met with some
people who remembered our passing up to the Lake in the boat; they
were as kind as they could be. The only food they possessed was
tamarinds, prepared with ashes, and a little cowitch meal. The
cowitch, as mentioned before, has a velvety brown covering of minute
prickles, which, if touched, enter the pores of the skin and cause a
painful tingling. The women in times of scarcity collect the pods,
kindle a fire of grass over them to destroy the prickles, then steep
the beans till they begin to sprout, wash them in pure water, and
either boil them or pound them into meal, which resembles our bean-
meal. This plant climbs up the long grass, and abounds in all reedy
parts, and, though a plague to the traveller who touches its pods, it
performs good service in times of famine by saving many a life from
starvation. Its name here is Kitedzi.

Having travelled at least twenty miles in search of our party that
day, our rest on a mat in the best hut of the village was very sweet.
We had dined the evening before on a pigeon each, and had eaten only
a handful of kitedzi porridge this afternoon. The good wife of the
village took a little corn which she had kept for seed, ground it
after dark, and made it into porridge. This, and a cup of wild
vegetables of a sweetish taste for a relish, a little boy brought in
and put down, with several vigorous claps of his hands, in the manner
which is esteemed polite, and which is strictly enjoined on all

On the third day of separation, Akosanjere, the headman of this
village, conducted us forward to our party who had gone on to Nseze,
a district to the westward. This incident is mentioned, not for any
interest it possesses, apart from the idea of the people it conveys.
We were completely separated from our men for nearly three days, and
had nothing wherewith to purchase food. The people were sorely
pressed by famine and war, and their hospitality, poor as it was, did
them great credit, and was most grateful to us. Our own men had
become confused and wandered, but had done their utmost to find us;
on our rejoining them, the ox was slain, and all, having been on
short commons, rejoiced in this "day of slaughter." Akosanjere was,
of course, rewarded to his heart's content.

As we pursued our way, we came close up to a range of mountains, the
most prominent peak of which is called Mvai. This is a great, bare,
rounded block of granite shooting up from the rest of the chain. It
and several other masses of rock are of a light grey colour, with
white patches, as if of lichens; the sides and summits are generally
thinly covered with rather scraggy trees. There are several other
prominent peaks--one, for instance, still further north, called
Chirobve. Each has a name, but we could never ascertain that there
was an appellation which applied to the whole. This fact, and our
wish to commemorate the name of Dr. Kirk, induced us afterwards, when
we could not discover a particular peak mentioned to us formerly as
Molomo-ao-koku, or Cock's-bill, to call the whole chain from the west
of the Cataracts up to the north end of the Lake, "Kirk's Range."
The part we slept at opposite Mvai was named Paudio, and was
evidently a continuation of the district of one of our stations on
the Shire, at which observations for latitude were formerly taken.

Leaving Paudio, we had Kirk's Range close on our left and at least
3000 feet above us, and probably not less than 5000 feet above the
sea. Far to our right extended a long green wooded country rising
gradually up to a ridge, ornamented with several detached mountains,
which bounded the Shire Valley. In front, northwards, lay a valley
as rich and lovely as we ever saw anywhere, terminating at the
mountains, which, stretched away some thirty miles beyond our range
of vision and ended at Cape Maclear. The groups of trees had never
been subjected to the landscape gardener's art; but had been cut down
mercilessly, just as suited the convenience of the cultivator; yet
the various combinations of open forest, sloping woodland, grassy
lawns, and massive clumps of dark green foliage along the running
streams, formed as beautiful a landscape as could be seen on the
Thames. This valley is named Goa or Gova, and as we moved through it
we found that what was smooth to the eye was very much furrowed by
running streams winding round innumerable knolls. These little
brooklets came down from the range on our left, and the water was
deliciously cool.

When we came abreast of the peak Chirobve, the people would no longer
give us guides. They were afraid of their enemies, whose dwellings
we now had on our east; and, proceeding without any one to lead us,
or to introduce us to the inhabitants, we were perplexed by all the
paths running zigzag across instead of along the valley. They had
been made by the villagers going from the hamlets on the slopes to
their gardens in the meadows below. To add to our difficulties, the
rivulets and mountain-torrents had worn gullies some thirty or forty
feet deep, with steep sides that could not be climbed except at
certain points. The remaining inhabitants on the flank of the range
when they saw strangers winding from side to side, and often
attempting to cross these torrent beds at impossible places, screamed
out their shrill war-alarm, and made the valley ring with their wild
outcries. It was war, and war alone, and we were too deep down in
the valley to make our voices heard in explanation. Fortunately,
they had burned off the long grass to a great extent. It only here
and there hid them from us. Selecting an open spot, we spent a night
regarded by all around us as slave-hunters, but were undisturbed,
though the usual way of treating an enemy in this part of the country
is by night attack.

The nights at the altitude of the valley were cool, the lowest
temperature shown being 37 degrees; at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. it was 58
degrees, about the average temperature of the day; at mid-day 82
degrees, and sunset 70 degrees. Our march was very much hindered by
the imperfectly burned corn and grass stalks having fallen across the
paths. To a reader in England this will seem a very small obstacle.
But he must fancy the grass stems as thick as his little finger, and
the corn-stalks like so many walkingsticks lying in one direction,
and so supporting each other that one has to lift his feet up as when
wading through deep high heather. The stems of grass showed the
causes of certain explosions as loud as pistols, which are heard when
the annual fires come roaring over the land. The heated air inside
expanding bursts the stalk with a loud report, and strews the
fragments on the ground.

A very great deal of native corn had been cultivated here, and we saw
buffaloes feeding in the deserted gardens, and some women, who ran
away very much faster than the beasts did.

On the 29th, seeing some people standing under a tree by a village,
we sat down, and sent Masego, one of our party, to communicate. The
headman, Matunda, came back with him, bearing a calabash with water
for us. He said that all the people had fled from the Ajawa, who had
only just desisted from their career of pillage on being paid five
persons as a fine for some offence for which they had commenced the
invasion. Matunda had plenty of grain to sell, and all the women
were soon at work grinding it into meal. We secured an abundant
supply, and four milk goats. The Manganja goat is of a very superior
breed to the general African animal, being short in the legs and
having a finely-shaped broad body. By promising the Makololo that,
when we no longer needed the milk, they should have the goats to
improve the breed of their own at home, they were induced to take the
greatest possible care of both goats and kids in driving and

After leaving Matunda, we came to the end of the highland valley;
and, before descending a steep declivity of a thousand feet towards
the part which may be called the heel of the Lake, we had the bold
mountains of Cape Maclear on our right, with the blue water at their
base, the hills of Tsenga in the distance in front, and Kirk's Range
on our left, stretching away northwards, and apparently becoming
lower. As we came down into a fine rich undulating valley, many
perennial streams running to the east from the hills on our left were
crossed, while all those behind us on the higher ground seemed to
unite in one named Lekue, which flowed into the Lake.

After a long day's march in the valley of the Lake, where the
temperature was very much higher than in that we had just left, we
entered the village of Katosa, which is situated on the bank of a
stream among gigantic timber trees, and found there a large party of
Ajawa--Waiau, they called themselves--all armed with muskets. We sat
down among them, and were soon called to the chiefs court, and
presented with an ample mess of porridge, buffalo meat, and beer.
Katosa was more frank than any Manganja chief we had met, and
complimented us by saying that "we must be his 'Bazimo' (good spirits
of his ancestors); for when he lived at Pamalombe, we lighted upon
him from above--men the like of whom he had never seen before, and
coming he knew not whence." He gave us one of his own large and
clean huts to sleep in; and we may take this opportunity of saying
that the impression we received, from our first journey on the hills
among the villages of Chisunse, of the excessive dirtiness of the
Manganja, was erroneous. This trait was confined to the cool
highlands. Here crowds of men and women were observed to perform
their ablutions daily in the stream that ran past their villages; and
this we have observed elsewhere to be a common custom with both
Manganja and Ajawa.

Before we started on the morning of the 1st September, Katosa sent an
enormous calabash of beer, containing at least three gallons, and
then came and wished us to "stop a day and eat with him." On
explaining to him the reasons for our haste, he said that he was in
the way by which travellers usually passed, he never stopped them in
their journeys, but would like to look at us for a day. On our
promising to rest a little with him on our return, he gave us about
two pecks of rice, and three guides to conduct us to a subordinate
female chief, Nkwinda, living on the borders of the Lake in front.

The Ajawa, from having taken slaves down to Quillimane and
Mosambique, knew more of us than Katosa did. Their muskets were
carefully polished, and never out of these slaver's hands for a
moment, though in the chiefs presence. We naturally felt
apprehensive that we should never see Katosa again. A migratory
afflatus seems to have come over the Ajawa tribes. Wars among
themselves, for the supply of the Coast slave-trade, are said to have
first set them in motion. The usual way in which they have advanced
among the Manganja has been by slave-trading in a friendly way.
Then, professing to wish to live as subjects, they have been welcomed
as guests, and the Manganja, being great agriculturists, have been
able to support considerable bodies of these visitors for a time.
When the provisions became scarce, the guests began to steal from the
fields; quarrels arose in consequence, and, the Ajawa having
firearms, their hosts got the worst of it, and were expelled from
village after village, and out of their own country. The Manganja
were quite as bad in regard to slave-trading as the Ajawa, but had
less enterprise, and were much more fond of the home pursuits of
spinning, weaving, smelting iron, and cultivating the soil, than of
foreign travel. The Ajawa had little of a mechanical turn, and not
much love for agriculture, but were very keen traders and travellers.
This party seemed to us to be in the first or friendly stage of
intercourse with Katosa; and, as we afterwards found, he was fully
alive to the danger.

Our course was shaped towards the N.W., and we traversed a large
fertile tract of rich soil extensively cultivated, but dotted with
many gigantic thorny acacias which had proved too large for the
little axes of the cultivators. After leaving Nkwinda, the first
village we spent a night at in the district Ngabi was that of Chembi,
and it had a stockade around it. The Azitu or Mazitu were said to be
ravaging the country to the west of us, and no one was safe except in
a stockade. We have so often, in travelling, heard of war in front,
that we paid little attention to the assertion of Chembi, that the
whole country to the N.W. was in flight before these Mazitu, under a
chief with the rather formidable name of Mowhiriwhiri; we therefore
resolved to go on to Chinsamba's, still further in the same
direction, and hear what he said about it.

The only instrument of husbandry here is the short-handled hoe; and
about Tette the labour of tilling the soil, as represented in the
woodcut, is performed entirely by female slaves. On the West Coast a
double-handled hoe is employed. Here the small hoe is seen in the
hands of both men and women. In other parts of Africa a hoe with a
handle four feet long is used, but the plough is quite unknown.

In illustration of the manner in which the native knowledge of
agriculture strikes an honest intelligent observer, it may be
mentioned that the first time good Bishop Mackenzie beheld how well
the fields of the Manganja were cultivated on the hills, he remarked
to Dr. Livingstone, then his fellow-traveller--"When telling the
people in England what were my objects in going out to Africa, I
stated that, among other things, I meant to teach these people
agriculture; but I now see that they know far more about it than I
do." This, we take it, was an honest straightforward testimony, and
we believe that every unprejudiced witness, who has an opportunity of
forming an opinion of Africans who have never been debased by
slavery, will rank them very much higher in the scale of
intelligence, industry, and manhood, than others who know them only
in a state of degradation.

On coming near Chinsamba's two stockades, on the banks of the
Lintipe, we were told that the Mazitu had been repulsed there the day
before, and we had evidence of the truth of the report of the attack
in the sad sight of the bodies of the slain. The Zulus had taken off
large numbers of women laden with corn; and, when driven back, had
cut off the ears of a male prisoner, as a sort of credential that he
had been with the Mazitu, and with grim humour sent him to tell
Chinsamba "to take good care of the corn in the stockades, for they
meant to return for it in a month or two."

Chinsamba's people were drumming with might and main on our arrival,
to express their joy at their deliverance from the Mazitu. The drum
is the chief instrument of music among the Manganja, and with it they
express both their joy and grief. They excel in beating time.
Chinsamba called us into a very large hut, and presented us with a
huge basket of beer. The glare of sunlight from which we had come
enabled him, in diplomatic fashion, to have a good view of us before
our eyes became enough accustomed to the dark inside to see him. He
has a Jewish cast of countenance, or rather the ancient Assyrian
face, as seen in the monuments brought to the British Museum by Mr.
Layard. This form of face is very common in this country, and leads
to the belief that the true type of the negro is not that met on the
West Coast, from which most people have derived their ideas of the

Chinsamba had many Abisa or Babisa in his stockade, and it was
chiefly by the help of their muskets that he had repulsed the Mazitu:
these Babisa are great travellers and traders.

We liked Chinsamba very well, and found that he was decidedly opposed
to our risking our lives by going further to the N.W. The Mazitu
were believed to occupy all the hills in that direction, so we spent
the 4th of September with him.

It is rather a minute thing to mention, and it will only be
understood by those who have children of their own, but the cries of
the little ones, in their infant sorrows, are the same in tone, at
different ages, here as all over the world. We have been perpetually
reminded of home and family by the wailings which were once familiar
to parental ears and heart, and felt thankful that to the sorrows of
childhood our children would never have superadded the heartrending
woes of the slave-trade.

Taking Chinsamba's advice to avoid the Mazitu in their marauding, we
started on the 5th September away to the N.E., and passed mile after
mile of native cornfields, with an occasional cotton-patch.

After a long march, we passed over a waterless plain about N.N.W. of
the hills of Tsenga to a village on the Lake, and thence up its
shores to Chitanda. The banks of the Lake were now crowded with
fugitives, who had collected there for the poor protection which the
reeds afforded. For miles along the water's edge was one continuous
village of temporary huts. The people had brought a little corn with
them; but they said, "What shall we eat when that is done? When we
plant corn, the wild beasts (Zinyama, as they call the Mazitu) come
and take it. When we plant cassava, they do the same. How are we to
live?" A poor blind woman, thinking we were Mazitu, rushed off in
front of us with outspread arms, lifting the feet high, in the manner
peculiar to those who have lost their sight, and jumped into the
reeds of a stream for safety.

In our way along the shores we crossed several running rivulets of
clear cold water, which, from having reeds at their confluences, had
not been noticed in our previous exploration in the boat. One of
these was called Mokola, and another had a strong odour of
sulphuretted hydrogen. We reached Molamba on the 8th September, and
found our old acquaintance, Nkomo, there still. One of the
advantages of travelling along the shores of the Lake was, that we
could bathe anywhere in its clear fresh water. To us, who had been
obliged so often to restrain our inclination in the Zambesi and Shire
for fear of crocodiles, this was pleasant beyond measure. The water
now was of the same temperature as it was on our former visit, or 72
degrees Fahr. The immense depth of the Lake prevents the rays of the
sun from raising the temperature as high as that of the Shire and
Zambesi; and the crocodiles, having always clear water in the Lake,
and abundance of fish, rarely attack man; many of these reptiles
could be seen basking on the rocks.

A day's march beyond Molamba brought us to the lakelet Chia, which
lies parallel with the Lake. It is three or four miles long, by from
one to one and a half broad, and communicates with the Lake by an arm
of good depth, but with some rocks in it. As we passed up between
the Lake and the eastern shore of this lakelet, we did not see any
streams flowing into it. It is quite remarkable for the abundance of
fish; and we saw upwards of fifty large canoes engaged in the
fishery, which is carried on by means of hand-nets with side-frame
poles about seven feet long. These nets are nearly identical with
those now in use in Normandy--the difference being that the African
net has a piece of stick lashed across the handle-ends of the side
poles to keep them steady, which is a great improvement. The fish
must be very abundant to be scooped out of the water in such
quantities as we saw, and by so many canoes. There is quite a trade
here in dried fish.

The country around is elevated, undulating, and very extensively
planted with cassava. The hoe in use has a handle of four feet in
length, and the iron part is exactly of the same form as that in the
country of the Bechuanas. The baskets here, which are so closely
woven together as to hold beer, are the same with those employed to
hold milk in Kaffirland--a thousand miles distant.

Marching on foot is peculiarly conducive to meditation--one is glad
of any subject to occupy the mind, and relieve the monotony of the
weary treadmill-like trudge-trudging. This Chia net brought to our
mind that the smith's bellows made here of a goatskin bag, with
sticks along the open ends, are the same as those in use in the
Bechuana country far to the south-west. These, with the long-handled
hoe, may only show that each successive horde from north to south
took inventions with it from the same original source. Where that
source may have been is probably indicated by another pair of
bellows, which we observed below the Victoria Falls, being found in
Central India and among the Gipsies of Europe.

Men in remote times may have had more highly-developed instincts,
which enabled them to avoid or use poisons; but the late Archbishop
Whately has proved, that wholly untaught savages never could invent
anything, or even subsist at all. Abundant corroboration of his
arguments is met with in this country, where the natives require but
little in the way of clothing, and have remarkably hardy stomachs.
Although possessing a knowledge of all the edible roots and fruits in
the country, having hoes to dig with, and spears, bows, and arrows to
kill the game,--we have seen that, notwithstanding all these
appliances and means to boot, they have perished of absolute

The art of making fire is the same in India as in Africa. The
smelting furnaces, for reducing iron and copper from the ores, are
also similar. Yellow haematite, which bears not the smallest
resemblance either in colour or weight to the metal, is employed near
Kolobeng for the production of iron. Malachite, the precious green
stone used in civilized life for vases, would never be suspected by
the uninstructed to be a rich ore of copper, and yet it is
extensively smelted for rings and other ornaments in the heart of
Africa. A copper bar of native manufacture four feet long was
offered to us for sale at Chinsamba's. These arts are monuments
attesting the fact, that some instruction from above must at some
time or other have been supplied to mankind; and, as Archbishop
Whately says, "the most probable conclusion is, that man when first
created, or very shortly afterwards, was advanced, by the Creator
Himself, to a state above that of a mere savage."

The argument for an original revelation to man, though quite
independent of the Bible history, tends to confirm that history. It
is of the same nature with this, that man could not have MADE
himself, and therefore must have had a Divine CREATOR. Mankind could
not, in the first instance, have CIVILIZED themselves, and therefore
must have had a superhuman INSTRUCTOR.

In connection with this subject, it is remarkable that throughout
successive generations no change has taken place in the form of the
various inventions. Hammers, tongs, hoes, axes, adzes, handles to
them; needles, bows and arrows, with the mode of feathering the
latter; spears, for killing game, with spear-heads having what is
termed "dish" on both sides to give them, when thrown, the rotatory
motion of rifle-balls; the arts of spinning and weaving, with that of
pounding and steeping the inner bark of a tree till it serves as
clothing; millstones for grinding corn into meal; the manufacture of
the same kind of pots or chatties as in India; the art of cooking, of
brewing beer and straining it as was done in ancient Egypt; fish-
hooks, fishing and hunting nets, fish-baskets, and weirs, the same as
in the Highlands of Scotland; traps for catching animals, etc.,
etc.,--have all been so very permanent from age to age, and some of
them of identical patterns are so widely spread over the globe, as to
render it probable that they were all, at least in some degree,
derived from one Source. The African traditions, which seem
possessed of the same unchangeability as the arts to which they
relate, like those of all other nations refer their origin to a
superior Being. And it is much more reasonable to receive the hints
given in Genesis, concerning direct instruction from God to our first
parents or their children in religious or moral duty, and probably in
the knowledge of the arts of life, {6} than to give credence to the
theory that untaught savage man subsisted in a state which would
prove fatal to all his descendants, and that in such helpless state
he made many inventions which most of his progeny retained, but never
improved upon during some thirty centuries.

We crossed in canoes the arm of the Lake, which joins Chia to Nyassa,
and spent the night on its northern bank. The whole country adjacent
to the Lake, from this point up to Kota-kota Bay, is densely peopled
by thousands who have fled from the forays of the Mazitu in hopes of
protection from the Arabs who live there. In three running rivulets
we saw the Shuare palm, and an oil palm which is much inferior to
that on the West Coast. Though somewhat similar in appearance, the
fruit is not much larger than hazel-nuts, and the people do not use
them, on account of the small quantity of oil which they afford.

The idea of using oil for light never seems to have entered the
African mind. Here a bundle of split and dried bamboo, tied together
with creeping plants, as thick as a man's body, and about twenty feet
in length, is employed in the canoes as a torch to attract the fish
at night. It would be considered a piece of the most wasteful
extravagance to burn the oil they obtain from the castor-oil bean and
other seeds, and also from certain fish, or in fact to do anything
with it but anoint their heads and bodies.

We arrived at Kota-kota Bay in the afternoon of the 10th September,
1863; and sat down under a magnificent wild fig-tree with leaves ten
inches long, by five broad, about a quarter of a mile from the
village of Juma ben Saidi, and Yakobe ben Arame, whom we had met on
the River Kaombe, a little north of this, in our first exploration of
the Lake. We had rested but a short time when Juma, who is evidently
the chief person here, followed by about fifty people, came to salute
us and to invite us to take up our quarters in his village. The hut
which, by mistake, was offered, was so small and dirty, that we
preferred sleeping in an open space a few hundred yards off.

Juma afterwards apologized for the mistake, and presented us with
rice, meal, sugar-cane, and a piece of malachite. We returned his
visit on the following day, and found him engaged in building a dhow
or Arab vessel, to replace one which he said had been wrecked. This
new one was fifty feet long, twelve feet broad, and five feet deep.
The planks were of a wood like teak, here called Timbati, and the
timbers of a closer grained wood called Msoro. The sight of this
dhow gave us a hint which, had we previously received it, would have
prevented our attempting to carry a vessel of iron past the
Cataracts. The trees around Katosa's village were Timbati, and they
would have yielded planks fifty feet long and thirty inches broad.
With a few native carpenters a good vessel could be built on the Lake
nearly as quickly as one could be carried past the Cataracts, and at
a vastly less cost. Juma said that no money would induce him to part
with this dhow. He was very busy in transporting slaves across the
Lake by means of two boats, which we saw returning from a trip in the
afternoon. As he did not know of our intention to visit him, we came
upon several gangs of stout young men slaves, each secured by the
neck to one common chain, waiting for exportation, and several more
in slave-sticks. These were all civilly removed before our interview
was over, because Juma knew that we did not relish the sight.

When we met the same Arabs in 1861, they had but few attendants:
according to their own account, they had now, in the village and
adjacent country, 1500 souls. It is certain that tens of thousands
had flocked to them for protection, and all their power and influence
must be attributed to the possession of guns and gunpowder. This
crowding of refugees to any point where there is a hope for security
for life and property is very common in this region, and the
knowledge of it made our hopes beat high for the success of a
peaceful Mission on the shores of the Lake. The rate, however, in
which the people here will perish by the next famine, or be exported
by Juma and others, will, we fear, depopulate those parts which we
have just described as crowded with people. Hunger will ere long
compel them to sell each other. An intelligent man complained to us
of the Arabs often seizing slaves, to whom they took a fancy, without
the formality of purchase; but the price is so low--from two to four
yards of calico--that one can scarcely think this seizure and
exportation without payment worth their while. The boats were in
constant employment, and, curiously enough, Ben Habib, whom we met at
Linyanti in 1855, had been taken across the Lake, the day before our
arrival at this Bay, on his way from Sesheke to Kilwa, and we became
acquainted with a native servant of the Arabs, called Selele
Saidallah, who could speak the Makololo language pretty fairly from
having once spent some months in the Barotse Valley.

From boyhood upwards we have been accustomed, from time to time, to
read in books of travels about the great advances annually made by
Mohammedanism in Africa. The rate at which this religion spreads was
said to be so rapid, that in after days, in our own pretty extensive
travels, we have constantly been on the look out for the advancing
wave from North to South, which, it was prophesied, would soon reduce
the entire continent to the faith of the false prophet. The only
foundation that we can discover for the assertions referred to, and
for others of more recent date, is the fact that in a remote corner
of North-Western Africa the Fulahs, and Mandingoes, and some others
in Northern Africa, as mentioned by Dr. Barth, have made conquests of
territory; but even they care so very little for the extension of
their faith, that after the conquest no pains whatever are taken to
indoctrinate the adults of the tribe. This is in exact accordance
with the impression we have received from our intercourse with
Mohammedans and Christians. The followers of Christ alone are
anxious to propagate their faith. A quasi philanthropist would
certainly never need to recommend the followers of Islam, whom we
have met, to restrain their benevolence by preaching that "Charity
should begin at home."

Though Selele and his companions were bound to their masters by
domestic ties, the only new idea they had imbibed from Mohammedanism
was, that it would be wrong to eat meat killed by other people. They
thought it would be "unlucky." Just as the inhabitants of Kolobeng,
before being taught the requirements of Christianity, refrained from
hoeing their gardens on Sundays, lest they should reap an unlucky
crop. So far as we could learn, no efforts had been made to convert
the natives, though these two Arabs, and about a dozen half-castes,
had been in the country for many years; and judging from our
experience with a dozen Mohammedans in our employ at high wages for
sixteen months, the Africans would be the better men in proportion as
they retained their native faith. This may appear only a harsh
judgment from a mind imbued with Christian prejudices; but without
any pretention to that impartiality, which leaves it doubtful to
which side the affections lean, the truth may be fairly stated by one
who viewed all Mohammedans and Africans with the sincerest good will.

Our twelve Mohammedans from Johanna were the least open of any of our
party to impression from kindness. A marked difference in general
conduct was apparent. The Makololo, and other natives of the
country, whom we had with us, invariably shared with each other the
food they had cooked, but the Johanna men partook of their meals at a
distance. This, at first, we attributed to their Moslem prejudices;
but when they saw the cooking process of the others nearly complete,
they came, sat beside them, and ate the portion offered without ever
remembering to return the compliment when their own turn came to be
generous. The Makololo and the others grumbled at their greediness,
yet always followed the common custom of Africans of sharing their
food with all who sit around them. What vexed us most in the Johanna
men was their indifference to the welfare of each other. Once, when
they were all coming to the ship after sleeping ashore, one of them
walked into the water with the intention of swimming off to the boat,
and while yet hardly up to his knees was seized by a horrid crocodile
and dragged under; the poor fellow gave a shriek, and held up his
hand for aid, but none of his countrymen stirred to his assistance,
and he was never seen again. On asking his brother-in-law why he did
not help him, he replied, "Well, no one told him to go into the
water. It was his own fault that he was killed." The Makololo on
the other hand rescued a woman at Senna by entering the water, and
taking her out of the crocodile's mouth.

It is not assumed that their religion had much to do in the matter.
Many Mohammedans might contrast favourably with indifferent
Christians; but, so far as our experience in East Africa goes, the
moral tone of the follower of Mahomed is pitched at a lower key than
that of the untutored African. The ancient zeal for propagating the
tenets of the Koran has evaporated, and been replaced by the most
intense selfishness and grossest sensuality. The only known efforts
made by Mohammedans, namely, those in the North-West and North of the
continent, are so linked with the acquisition of power and plunder,
as not to deserve the name of religious propagandism; and the only
religion that now makes proselytes is that of Jesus Christ. To those
who are capable of taking a comprehensive view of this subject,
nothing can be adduced of more telling significance than the well-
attested fact, that while the Mohammedans, Fulahs, and others towards
Central Africa, make a few proselytes by a process which gratifies
their own covetousness, three small sections of the Christian
converts, the Africans in the South, in the West Indies, and on the
West Coast of Africa actually contribute for the support and spread
of their religion upwards of 15,000 pounds annually. {7} That
religion which so far overcomes the selfishness of the human heart
must be Divine.

Leaving Kota-kota Bay, we turned away due West on the great slave
route to Katanga's and Cazembe's country in Londa. Juma lent us his
servant, Selele, to lead us the first day's march. He said that the
traders from Kilwa and Iboe cross the Lake either at this bay, or at
Tsenga, or at the southern end of the Lake; and that wherever they
may cross they all go by this path to the interior. They have slaves
with them to carry their goods, and when they reach a spot where they
can easily buy others, they settle down and begin the traffic, and at
once cultivate grain. So much of the land lies waste, that no
objection is ever made to any one taking possession of as much as he
needs; they can purchase a field of cassava for their present wants
for very little, and they continue trading in the country for two or
three years, and giving what weight their muskets possess to the
chief who is most liberal to them.

The first day's march led us over a rich, well-cultivated plain.
This was succeeded by highlands, undulating, stony, and covered with
scraggy trees. Many banks of well rounded shingle appear. The
disintegration of the rocks, now going on, does not round off the
angles; they are split up by the heat and cold into angular
fragments. On these high downs we crossed the River Kaombe. Beyond
it we came among the upland vegetation--rhododendrons, proteas, the
masuko, and molompi. At the foot of the hill, Kasuko-suko, we found
the River Bua running north to join the Kaombe. We had to go a mile
out of our way for a ford; the stream is deep enough in parts for
hippopotami. The various streams not previously noticed, crossed in
this journey, had before this led us to the conclusion, independently
of the testimony of the natives, that no large river ran into the
north end of the Lake. No such affluent was needed to account for
the Shire's perennial flow.

On September 15th we reached the top of the ascent which, from its
many ups and downs, had often made us puff and blow as if broken-
winded. The water of the streams we crossed was deliciously cold,
and now that we had gained the summit at Ndonda, where the boiling-
point of water showed an altitude of 3440 feet above the sea, the air
was delightful. Looking back we had a magnificent view of the Lake,
but the haze prevented our seeing beyond the sea horizon. The scene
was beautiful, but it was impossible to dissociate the lovely
landscape whose hills and dales had so sorely tried our legs and
lungs, from the sad fact that this was part of the great slave route
now actually in use. By this road many "Ten thousands" have here
seen "the Sea," "the Sea," but with sinking hearts; for the universal
idea among the captive gangs is, that they are going to be fattened
and eaten by the whites. They cannot of course be so much shocked as
we should be--their sensibilities are far from fine, their feelings
are more obtuse than ours--in fact, "the live eels are used to being
skinned," perhaps they rather like it. We who are not philosophic,
blessed the Providence which at Thermopylae in ancient days rolled
back the tide of Eastern conquest from the West, and so guided the
course of events that light and liberty and gospel truth spread to
our distant isle, and emancipating our race freed them from the fear
of ever again having to climb fatiguing heights and descend wearisome
hollows in a slave-gang, as we suppose they did when the fair English
youths were exposed for sale at Rome.

Looking westwards we perceived that, what from below had the
appearance of mountains, was only the edge of a table-land which,
though at first undulating, soon became smooth, and sloped towards
the centre of the country. To the south a prominent mountain called
Chipata, and to the south-west another named Ngalla, by which the Bua
is said to rise, gave character to the landscape. In the north,
masses of hills prevented our seeing more than eight or ten miles.

The air which was so exhilarating to Europeans had an opposite effect
on five men who had been born and reared in the malaria of the Delta
of the Zambesi. No sooner did they reach the edge of the plateau at
Ndonda, than they lay down prostrate, and complained of pains all
over them. The temperature was not much lower than that on the
shores of the Lake below, 76 degrees being the mean temperature of
the day, 52 degrees the lowest, and 82 degrees the highest during the
twenty-four hours; at the Lake it was about l0 degrees higher. Of
the symptoms they complained of--pains everywhere--nothing could be
made. And yet it was evident that they had good reason for saying
that they were ill. They scarified almost every part of their bodies
as a remedial measure; medicines, administered on the supposition
that their malady was the effect of a sudden chill, had no effect,
and in two days one of them actually died in consequence of, as far
as we could judge, a change from a malarious to a purer and more
rarefied atmosphere.

As we were on the slave route, we found the people more churlish than
usual. On being expostulated with about it, they replied, "We have
been made wary by those who come to buy slaves." The calamity of
death having befallen our party, seemed, however, to awaken their
sympathies. They pointed out their usual burying-place, lent us
hoes, and helped to make the grave. When we offered to pay all
expenses, they showed that they had not done these friendly offices
without fully appreciating their value; for they enumerated the use
of the hut, the mat on which the deceased had lain, the hoes, the
labour, and the medicine which they had scattered over the place to
make him rest in peace.

The primitive African faith seems to be that there is one Almighty
Maker of heaven and earth; that he has given the various plants of
earth to man to be employed as mediators between him and the spirit
world, where all who have ever been born and died continue to live;
that sin consists in offences against their fellow-men, either here
or among the departed, and that death is often a punishment of guilt,
such as witchcraft. Their idea of moral evil differs in no respect
from ours, but they consider themselves amenable only to inferior
beings, not to the Supreme. Evil-speaking--lying--hatred--
disobedience to parents--neglect of them--are said by the intelligent
to have been all known to be sin, as well as theft, murder, or
adultery, before they knew aught of Europeans or their teaching. The
only new addition to their moral code is, that it is wrong to have
more wives than one. This, until the arrival of Europeans, never
entered into their minds even as a doubt.

Everything not to be accounted for by common causes, whether of good
or evil, is ascribed to the Deity. Men are inseparably connected
with the spirits of the departed, and when one dies he is believed to
have joined the hosts of his ancestors. All the Africans we have met
with are as firmly persuaded of their future existence as of their
present life. And we have found none in whom the belief in the
Supreme Being was not rooted. He is so invariably referred to as the
Author of everything supernatural, that, unless one is ignorant of
their language, he cannot fail to notice this prominent feature of
their faith. When they pass into the unseen world, they do not seem
to be possessed with the fear of punishment. The utensils placed
upon the grave are all broken as if to indicate that they will never
be used by the departed again. The body is put into the grave in a
sitting posture, and the hands are folded in front. In some parts of
the country there are tales which we could translate into faint
glimmerings of a resurrection; but whether these fables, handed down
from age to age, convey that meaning to the natives themselves we
cannot tell. The true tradition of faith is asserted to be "though a
man die he will live again;" the false that when he dies he is dead
for ever.


Important geographical discoveries in the Wabisa countries--Cruelty
of the slave-trade--The Mazitu--Serious illness of Dr. Livingstone--
Return to the ship.

In our course westwards, we at first passed over a gently undulating
country, with a reddish clayey soil, which, from the heavy crops,
appeared to be very fertile. Many rivulets were crossed, some
running southwards into the Bua, and others northwards into the
Loangwa, a river which we formerly saw flowing into the Lake.
Further on, the water was chiefly found in pools and wells. Then
still further, in the same direction, some watercourses were said to
flow into that same "Loangwa of the Lake," and others into the
Loangwa, which flows to the south-west, and enters the Zambesi at
Zumbo, and is here called the "Loangwa of the Maravi." The trees
were in general scraggy, and covered, exactly as they are in the damp
climate of the Coast, with lichens, resembling orchilla-weed. The
maize, which loves rather a damp soil, had been planted on ridges to
allow the superfluous moisture to run off. Everything indicated a
very humid climate, and the people warned us that, as the rains were
near, we were likely to be prevented from returning by the country
becoming flooded and impassable.

Villages, as usual encircled by euphorbia hedges, were numerous, and
a great deal of grain had been cultivated around them. Domestic
fowls, in plenty, and pigeons with dovecots like those in Egypt were
seen. The people call themselves Matumboka, but the only difference
between them and the rest of the Manganja is in the mode of tattooing
the face. Their language is the same. Their distinctive mark
consists of four tattooed lines diverging from the point between the
eyebrows, which, in frowning, the muscles form into a furrow. The
other lines of tattooing, as in all Manganja, run in long seams,
which crossing each other at certain angles form a great number of
triangular spaces on the breast, back, arms, and thighs. The cuticle
is divided by a knife, and the edges of the incision are drawn apart
till the true skin appears. By a repetition of this process, lines
of raised cicatrices are formed, which are thought to give beauty, no
matter how much pain the fashion gives.

It would not be worth while to advert for a moment to the routine of
travelling, or the little difficulties that beset every one who
attempts to penetrate into a new country, were it not to show the
great source of the power here possessed by slave-traders. We needed
help in carrying our goods, while our men were ill, though still able
to march. When we had settled with others for hire, we were often
told, that the dealers in men had taken possession of some, and had
taken them away altogether. Other things led us to believe that the
slave-traders carry matters with a high hand; and no wonder, for the
possession of gunpowder gives them almost absolute power. The mode
by which tribes armed with bows and arrows carry on warfare, or
defend themselves, is by ambuscade. They never come out in open
fight, but wait for the enemy ensconced behind trees, or in the long
grass of the country, and shoot at him unawares. Consequently, if
men come against them with firearms, when, as is usually the case,
the long grass is all burned off, the tribe attacked are as helpless
as a wooden ship, possessing only signal guns, would be before an
iron-clad steamer. The time of year selected for this kind of
warfare is nearly always that in which the grass is actually burnt
off, or is so dry as readily to take fire. The dry grass in Africa
looks more like ripe English wheat late in the autumn, than anything
else we can compare it to. Let us imagine an English village
standing in a field of this sort, bounded only by the horizon, and
enemies setting fire to a line of a mile or two, by running along
with bunches of burning straw in their hands, touching here and there
the inflammable material,--the wind blowing towards the doomed
village--the inhabitants with only one or two old muskets, but ten to
one no powder,--the long line of flames, leaping thirty feet into the
air with dense masses of black smoke--and pieces of charred grass
falling down in showers. Would not the stoutest English villager,
armed only with the bow and arrow against the enemy's musket, quail
at the idea of breaking through that wall of fire? When at a
distance, we once saw a scene like this, and had the charred grass,
literally as thick as flakes of black snow, falling around us, there
was no difficulty in understanding the secret of the slave-trader's

On the 21st of September, we arrived at the village of the chief
Muasi, or Muazi; it is surrounded by a stockade, and embowered in
very tall euphorbia-trees; their height, thirty or forty feet, shows
that it has been inhabited for at least one generation. A visitation
of disease or death causes the headmen to change the site of their
villages, and plant new hedges; but, though Muazi has suffered from
the attacks of the Mazitu, he has evidently clung to his birthplace.
The village is situated about two miles south-west of a high hill
called Kasungu, which gives the name to a district extending to the
Loangwa of the Maravi. Several other detached granite hills have
been shot up on the plain, and many stockaded villages, all owing
allegiance to Muazi, are scattered over it.

On our arrival, the chief was sitting in the smooth shady place,
called Boalo, where all public business is transacted, with about two
hundred men and boys around him. We paid our guides with due
ostentation. Masiko, the tallest of our party, measured off the
fathom of cloth agreed upon, and made it appear as long as possible,
by facing round to the crowd, and cutting a few inches beyond what
his outstretched arms could reach, to show that there was no
deception. This was by way of advertisement. The people are
mightily gratified at having a tall fellow to measure the cloth for
them. It pleases them even better than cutting it by a tape-line--
though very few men of six feet high can measure off their own length
with their outstretched arms. Here, where Arab traders have been,
the cubit called mokono, or elbow, begins to take the place of the
fathom in use further south. The measure is taken from the point of
the bent elbow to the end of the middle finger.

We found, on visiting Muazi on the following day, that he was as
frank and straightforward as could reasonably be expected. He did
not wish us to go to the N.N.W., because he carries on a considerable
trade in ivory there. We were anxious to get off the slave route, to
people not visited before by traders; but Muazi naturally feared,
that if we went to what is said to be a well-watered country,
abounding in elephants, we might relieve him of the ivory which he
now obtains at a cheap rate, and sells to the slave-traders as they
pass Kasungu to the east; but at last he consented, warning us that
"great difficulty would be experienced in obtaining food--a district
had been depopulated by slave wars--and a night or two must be spent
in it; but he would give us good guides, who would go three days with
us, before turning, and then further progress must depend on
ourselves." Some of our men having been ill ever since we mounted
this highland plain, we remained two days with Muazi.

A herd of fine cattle showed that no tsetse existed in the district.
They had the Indian hump, and were very fat, and very tame. The boys
rode on both cows and bulls without fear, and the animals were so fat
and lazy, that the old ones only made a feeble attempt to kick their
young tormentors. Muazi never milks the cows; he complained that,
but for the Mazitu having formerly captured some, he should now have
had very many. They wander over the country at large, and certainly

After leaving Muazi's, we passed over a flat country sparsely covered
with the scraggy upland trees, but brightened with many fine flowers.
The grass was short, reaching no higher than the knee, and growing in
tufts with bare spaces between, though the trees were draped with
many various lichens, and showed a moist climate. A high and very
sharp wind blew over the flats; its piercing keenness was not caused
by low temperature, for the thermometer stood at 80 degrees.

We were now on the sources of the Loangwa of the Maravi, which enters
the Zambesi at Zumbo, and were struck by the great resemblance which
the boggy and sedgy streams here presented to the sources of the
Leeba, an affluent of the Zambesi formerly observed in Londa, and of
the Kasai, which some believe to be the principal branch of the Congo
or Zaire.

We had taken pains to ascertain from the travelled Babisa and Arabs
as much as possible about the country in front, which, from the
lessening time we had at our disposal, we feared we could scarcely
reach, and had heard a good deal of a small lake called Bemba. As we
proceeded west, we passed over the sources not only of the Loangwa,
but of another stream, called Moitawa or Moitala, which was
represented to be the main feeder of Lake Bemba. This would be of
little importance, but for the fact that the considerable river
Luapula, or Loapula is said to flow out of Bemba to the westward, and
then to spread out into another and much larger lake, named Moero, or
Moelo. Flowing still further in the same direction, the Loapula
forms Lake Mofue, or Mofu, and after this it is said to pass the town
of Cazembe, bend to the north, and enter Lake Tanganyika. Whither
the water went after it entered the last lake, no one would venture
an assertion. But that the course indicated is the true watershed of
that part of the country, we believe from the unvarying opinion of
native travellers. There could be no doubt that our informants had
been in the country beyond Cazembe's, for they knew and described
chiefs whom we afterwards met about thirty-five or forty miles west
of his town. The Lualaba is said to flow into the Loapula--and when,
for the sake of testing the accuracy of the travelled, it was
asserted that all the water of the region round the town of Cazembe
flowed into the Luambadzi, or Luambezi (Zambesi), they remarked with
a smile, "He says, that the Loapula flows into the Zambesi--did you
ever hear such nonsense?" or words to that effect. We were forced to
admit, that according to native accounts, our previous impression of
the Zambesi's draining the country about Cazembe's had been a
mistake. Their geographical opinions are now only stated, without
any further comment than that the itinerary given by the Arabs and
others shows that the Loapula is twice crossed on the way to
Cazembe's; and we may add that we have never found any difficulty
from the alleged incapacity of the negro to tell which way a river

The boiling-point of water showed a descent, from the edge of the
plateau to our furthest point west, of 170 feet; but this can only be
considered as an approximation, and no dependence could have been
placed on it, had we not had the courses of the streams to confirm
this rather rough mode of ascertaining altitudes. The slope, as
shown by the watershed, was to the "Loangwa of the Maravi," and
towards the Moitala, or south-west, west, and north-west. After we
leave the feeders of Lake Nyassa, the water drains towards the centre
of the continent. The course of the Kasai, a river seen during Dr.
Livingstone's journey to the West Coast, and its feeders was to the
north-east, or somewhat in the same direction. Whether the water
thus drained off finds its way out by the Congo, or by the Nile, has
not yet been ascertained. Some parts of the continent have been said
to resemble an inverted dinner-plate. This portion seems more of the
shape, if shape it has, of a wide-awake hat, with the crown a little
depressed. The altitude of the brim in some parts is considerable;
in others, as at Tette and the bottom of Murchison's Cataracts, it is
so small that it could be ascertained only by eliminating the daily
variations of the barometer, by simultaneous observations on the
Coast, and at points some two or three hundred miles inland. So long
as African rivers remain in what we may call the brim, they present
no obstructions; but no sooner do they emerge from the higher lands
than their utility is impaired by cataracts. The low lying belt is
very irregular. At times sloping up in the manner of the rim of an
inverted dinner-plate--while in other cases, a high ridge rises near
the sea, to be succeeded by a lower district inland before we reach
the central plateau. The breadth of the low lands is sometimes as
much as three hundred miles, and that breadth determines the limits
of navigation from the seaward.

We made three long marches beyond Muazi's in a north-westerly
direction; the people were civil enough, but refused to sell us any
food. We were travelling too fast, they said; in fact, they were
startled, and before they recovered their surprise, we were obliged
to depart. We suspected that Muazi had sent them orders to refuse us
food, that we might thus be prevented from going into the depopulated
district; but this may have been mere suspicion, the result of our
own uncharitable feelings.

We spent one night at Machambwe's village, and another at Chimbuzi's.
It is seldom that we can find the headman on first entering a
village. He gets out of the way till he has heard all about the
strangers, or he is actually out in the fields looking after his
farms. We once thought that when the headman came in from a visit of
inspection, with his spear, bow and arrows, they had been all taken
up for the occasion, and that he had all the while been hidden in
some hut slily watching till he heard that the strangers might be
trusted; but on listening to the details given by these men of the
appearances of the crops at different parts, and the astonishing
minuteness of the speakers' topography, we were persuaded that in
some cases we were wrong, and felt rather humiliated. Every knoll,
hill, mountain, and every peak on a range has a name; and so has
every watercourse, dell, and plain. In fact, every feature and
portion of the country is so minutely distinguished by appropriate
names, that it would take a lifetime to decipher their meaning. It
is not the want, but the superabundance of names that misleads
travellers, and the terms used are so multifarious that good scholars
will at times scarcely know more than the subject of conversation.
Though it is a little apart from the topic of the attention which the
headmen pay to agriculture, yet it may be here mentioned, while
speaking of the fulness of the language, that we have heard about a
score of words to indicate different varieties of gait--one walks
leaning forward, or backward, swaying from side to side, loungingly,
or smartly, swaggeringly, swinging the arms, or only one arm, head
down or up, or otherwise; each of these modes of walking was
expressed by a particular verb; and more words were used to designate
the different varieties of fools than we ever tried to count.

Mr. Moffat has translated the whole Bible into the language of the
Bechuana, and has diligently studied this tongue for the last forty-
four-years; and, though knowing far more of the language than any of
the natives who have been reared on the Mission-station of Kuruman,
he does not pretend to have mastered it fully even yet. However
copious it may be in terms of which we do not feel the necessity, it
is poor in others, as in abstract terms, and words used to describe
mental operations.

Our third day's march ended in the afternoon of the 27th September,
1863, at the village of Chinanga on the banks of a branch of the
Loangwa. A large, rounded mass of granite, a thousand feet high,
called Nombe rume, stand on the plain a few miles off. It is quite
remarkable, because it has so little vegetation on it. Several other
granitic hills stand near it, ornamented with trees, like most
heights of this country, and a heap of blue mountains appears away in
the north.

The effect of the piercing winds upon the men had never been got rid
of. Several had been unable to carry a load ever since we ascended
to the highlands; we had lost one, and another poor lad was so ill as
to cause us great anxiety. By waiting in this village, which was so
old that it was full of vermin, all became worse. Our European food
was entirely expended, and native meal, though finely ground, has so
many sharp angular particles in it, that it brought back dysentery,
from which we had suffered so much in May. We could scarcely obtain
food for the men. The headman of this village of Chinanga was off in
a foray against some people further north to supply slaves to the
traders expected along the slave route we had just left; and was
said, after having expelled the inhabitants, to be living in their
stockade, and devouring their corn. The conquered tribe had
purchased what was called a peace by presenting the conqueror with
three women.

This state of matters afforded us but a poor prospect of finding more
provisions in that direction than we could with great difficulty and
at enormous prices obtain here. But neither want of food, dysentery,
nor slave wars would have prevented our working our way round the
Lake in some other direction, had we had time; but we had received
orders from the Foreign Office to take the "Pioneer" down to the sea
in the previous April. The salaries of all the men in her were
positively "in any case to cease by the 31st of December."

We were said to be only ten days' distant from Lake Bemba. We might
speculate on a late rise of the river. A month or six weeks would
secure a geographical feat, but the rains were near. We had been
warned by different people that the rains were close at hand, and
that we should then be bogged and unable to travel. The flood in the
river might be an early one, or so small in volume as to give but one
chance of the "Pioneer" descending to the ocean. The Makololo too
were becoming dispirited by sickness and want of food, and were
naturally anxious to be back to their fields in time for sowing. But
in addition to all this and more, it was felt that it would not be
dealing honestly with the Government, were we, for the sake of a
little eclat, to risk the detention of the "Pioneer" up the river
during another year; so we decided to return; and though we had
afterwards the mortification to find that we were detained two full
months at the ship waiting for the flood which we expected
immediately after our arrival there, the chagrin was lessened by a
consciousness of having acted in a fair, honest, above-board manner

On the night of the 29th of September a thief came to the sleeping-
place of our men and stole a leg of a goat. On complaining to the
deputy headman, he said that the thief had fled, but would be caught.
He suggested a fine, and offered a fowl and her eggs; but wishing
that the thief alone should be punished, it was advised that HE
should be found and fined. The Makololo thought it best to take the
fowl as a means of making the punishment certain. After settling
this matter on the last day of September, we commenced our return
journey. We had just the same time to go back to the ship, that we
had spent in coming to this point, and there is not much to interest
one in marching over the same ground a second time.

While on our journey north-west, a cheery old woman, who had once
been beautiful, but whose white hair now contrasted strongly with her
dark complexion, was working briskly in her garden as we passed. She
seemed to enjoy a hale, hearty old age. She saluted us with what
elsewhere would be called a good address; and, evidently conscious
that she deserved the epithet, "dark but comely," answered each of us
with a frank "Yes, my child." Another motherly-looking woman,
sitting by a well, began the conversation by "You are going to visit
Muazi, and you have come from afar, have you not?" But in general
women never speak to strangers unless spoken to, so anything said by
them attracts attention. Muazi once presented us with a basket of
corn. On hinting that we had no wife to grind our corn, his buxom
spouse struck in with roguish glee, and said, "I will grind it for
you; and leave Muazi, to accompany and cook for you in the land of
the setting sun." As a rule the women are modest and retiring in
their demeanour, and, without being oppressed with toil, show a great
deal of industry. The crops need about eight months' attention.
Then when the harvest is home, much labour is required to convert it
into food as porridge, or beer. The corn is pounded in a large
wooden mortar, like the ancient Egyptian one, with a pestle six feet
long and about four inches thick. The pounding is performed by two
or even three women at one mortar. Each, before delivering a blow
with her pestle, gives an upward jerk of the body, so as to put
strength into the stroke, and they keep exact time, so that two
pestles are never in the mortar at the same moment. The measured
thud, thud, thud, and the women standing at their vigorous work, are
associations inseparable from a prosperous African village. By the
operation of pounding, with the aid of a little water, the hard
outside scale or husk of the grain is removed, and the corn is made
fit for the millstone. The meal irritates the stomach unless cleared
from the husk; without considerable energy in the operator, the husk
sticks fast to the corn. Solomon thought that still more vigour than
is required to separate the hard husk or bran from wheat would fail
to separate "a fool from his folly." "Though thou shouldst bray a
fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, YET will not his
foolishness depart from him." The rainbow, in some parts, is called
the "pestle of the Barimo," or gods. Boys and girls, by constant
practice with the pestle, are able to plant stakes in the ground by a
somewhat similar action, in erecting a hut, so deftly that they never
miss the first hole made.

Let any one try by repeatedly jobbing a pole with all his force to
make a deep hole in the ground, and he will understand how difficult
it is always to strike it into the same spot.

As we were sleeping one night outside a hut, but near enough to hear
what was going on within, an anxious mother began to grind her corn
about two o'clock in the morning. "Ma," inquired a little girl, "why
grind in the dark?" Mamma advised sleep, and administered material
for a sweet dream to her darling, by saying, "I grind meal to buy a
cloth from the strangers, which will make you look a little lady."
An observer of these primitive races is struck continually with such
little trivial touches of genuine human nature.

The mill consists of a block of granite, syenite, or even mica
schist, fifteen or eighteen inches square and five or six thick, with
a piece of quartz or other hard rock about the size of a half brick,
one side of which has a convex surface, and fits into a concave
hollow in the larger and stationary stone. The workwoman kneeling,
grasps this upper millstone with both hands, and works it backwards
and forwards in the hollow of the lower millstone, in the same way
that a baker works his dough, when pressing it and pushing from him.
The weight of the person is brought to bear on the movable stone, and
while it is pressed and pushed forwards and backwards, one hand
supplies every now and then a little grain to be thus at first
bruised and then ground on the lower stone, which is placed on the
slope so that the meal when ground falls on to a skin or mat spread
for the purpose. This is perhaps the most primitive form of mill,
and anterior to that in oriental countries, where two women grind at
one mill, and may have been that used by Sarah of old when she
entertained the Angels.

On 2nd October we applied to Muazi for guides to take us straight
down to Chinsamba's at Mosapo, and thus cut off an angle, which we
should otherwise make, by going back to Kota-kota Bay. He replied
that his people knew the short way to Chinsamba's that we desired to
go, but that they all were afraid to venture there, on account of the
Zulus, or Mazitu. We therefore started back on our old route, and,
after three hours' march, found some Babisa in a village who promised
to lead us to Chinsamba.

We meet with these keen traders everywhere. They are easily known by
a line of horizontal cicatrices, each half an inch long, down the
middle of the forehead and chin. They often wear the hair collected
in a mass on the upper and back part of the head, while it is all
shaven off the forehead and temples. The Babisa and Waiau or Ajawa
heads have more of the round bullet-shape than those of the Manganja,
indicating a marked difference in character; the former people being
great traders and travellers, the latter being attached to home and
agriculture. The Manganja usually intrust their ivory to the Babisa
to be sold at the Coast, and complain that the returns made never
come up to the high prices which they hear so much about before it is
sent. In fact, by the time the Babisa return, the expenses of the
journey, in which they often spend a month or two at a place where
food abounds, usually eat up all the profits.

Our new companions were trading in tobacco, and had collected
quantities of the round balls, about the size of nine pounder shot,
into which it is formed. One of them owned a woman, whose child had
been sold that morning for tobacco. The mother followed him, weeping
silently, for hours along the way we went; she seemed to be well
known, for at several hamlets, the women spoke to her with evident
sympathy; we could do nothing to alleviate her sorrow--the child
would be kept until some slave-trader passed, and then sold for
calico. The different cases of slave-trading observed by us are
mentioned, in order to give a fair idea of its details.

We spent the first night, after leaving the slave route, at the
village of Nkoma, among a section of Manganja, called Machewa, or
Macheba, whose district extends to the Bua.

The next village at which we slept was also that of a Manganja smith.
It was a beautiful spot, shaded with tall euphorbia-trees. The
people at first fled, but after a short time returned, and ordered us
off to a stockade of Babisa, about a mile distant. We preferred to
remain in the smooth shady spot outside the hamlet, to being pent up
in a treeless stockade. Twenty or thirty men came dropping in, all
fully armed with bows and arrows, some of them were at least six feet
four in height, yet these giants were not ashamed to say, "We thought
that you were Mazitu, and, being afraid, ran away." Their orders to
us were evidently inspired by terror, and so must the refusal of the
headman to receive a cloth, or lend us a hut have been; but as we
never had the opportunity of realizing what feelings a successful
invasion would produce, we did not know whether to blame them or not.
The headman, a tall old smith, with an enormous, well-made knife of
his own workmanship, came quietly round, and, inspecting the shelter,
which, from there being abundance of long grass and bushes near, our
men put up for us in half an hour, gradually changed his tactics,
and, in the evening, presented us with a huge pot of porridge and a
deliciously well-cooked fowl, and made an apology for having been so
rude to strangers, and a lamentation that he had been so foolish as
to refuse the fine cloth we had offered. Another cloth was of course
presented, and we had the pleasure of parting good friends next day.

Our guide, who belonged to the stockade near to which we had slept,
declined to risk himself further than his home. While waiting to
hire another, Masiko attempted to purchase a goat, and had nearly
concluded the bargain, when the wife of the would-be seller came
forward, and said to her husband, "You appear as if you were
unmarried; selling a goat without consulting your wife; what an
insult to a woman! What sort of man are you?" Masiko urged the man,
saying, "Let us conclude the bargain, and never mind her;" but he
being better instructed, replied, "No, I have raised a host against
myself already," and refused.

We now pushed on to the east, so as to get down to the shores of the
Lake, and into the parts where we were known. The country was
beautiful, well wooded, and undulating, but the villages were all
deserted; and the flight of the people seemed to have been quite
recent, for the grain was standing in the corn-safes untouched. The
tobacco, though ripe, remained uncut in the gardens, and the whole
country was painfully quiet: the oppressive stillness quite unbroken
by the singing of birds, or the shrill calls of women watching their

On passing a beautiful village, called Bangwe, surrounded by shady
trees, and placed in a valley among mountains, we were admiring the
beauty of the situation, when some of the much dreaded Mazitu, with
their shields, ran out of the hamlet, from which we were a mile
distant. They began to scream to their companions to give us chase.
Without quickening our pace we walked on, and soon were in a wood,
through which the footpath we were following led. The first
intimation we had of the approaching Mazitu was given by the Johanna
man, Zachariah, who always lagged behind, running up, screaming as if
for his life. The bundles were all put in one place to be defended;
and Masiko and Dr. Livingstone walked a few paces back to meet the
coming foe. Masiko knelt down anxious to fire, but was ordered not
to do so. For a second or two dusky forms appeared among the trees,
and the Mazitu were asked, in their own tongue, "What do you want?"
Masiko adding, "What do you say?" No answer was given, but the dark
shade in the forest vanished. They had evidently taken us for
natives, and the sight of a white man was sufficient to put them to
flight. Had we been nearer the Coast, where the people are
accustomed to the slave-trade, we should have found this affair a
more difficult one to deal with; but, as a rule, the people of the
interior are much more mild in character than those on the confines
of civilization.

The above very small adventure was all the danger we were aware of in
this journey; but a report was spread from the Portuguese villages on
the Zambesi, similar to several rumours that had been raised before,
that Dr. Livingstone had been murdered by the Makololo; and very
unfortunately the report reached England before it could be

One benefit arose from the Mazitu adventure. Zachariah, and others
who had too often to be reproved for lagging behind, now took their
places in the front rank; and we had no difficulty in making very
long marches for several days, for all believed that the Mazitu would
follow our footsteps, and attack us while we slept.

A party of Babisa tobacco-traders came from the N.W. to Molamba,
while we were there; and one of them asserted several times that the
Loapula, after emerging from Moelo, received the Lulua, and then
flowed into Lake Mofu, and thence into Tanganyika; and from the last-
named Lake into the sea. This is the native idea of the geography of
the interior; and, to test the general knowledge of our informant, we
asked him about our acquaintances in Londa; as Moene, Katema, Shinde
or Shinte, who live south-west of the rivers mentioned, and found
that our friends there were perfectly well-known to him and to others
of these travelled natives. In the evening two of the Babisa came
in, and reported that the Mazitu had followed us to the village
called Chigaragara, at which we slept at the bottom of the descent.
The whole party of traders set off at once, though the sun had set.
We ourselves had given rise to the report, for the women of
Chigaragara, supposing us in the distance to be Mazitu, fled, with
all their household utensils on their heads, and had no opportunity
afterwards of finding out their mistake. We spent the night where we
were, and next morning, declining Nkomo's entreaty to go and kill
elephants, took our course along the shores of the Lake southwards.

We have only been at the Lake at one season of the year: then the
wind blows strongly from the east, and indeed this is its prevailing
direction hence to the Orange River; a north or a south wind is rare,
and seldom lasts more than three days. As the breeze now blew over a
large body of water, towards us, it was delightful; but when facing
it on the table-land it was so strong as materially to impede our
progress, and added considerably to the labour of travelling. Here
it brought large quantities of the plant (Vallisneriae), from which
the natives extract salt by burning, and which, if chewed, at once
shows its saline properties by the taste. Clouds of the kungo, or
edible midges, floated on the Lake, and many rested on the bushes on

The reeds along the shores of the Lake were still crowded with
fugitives, and a great loss of life must since have taken place; for,
after the corn they had brought with them was expended, famine would
ensue. Even now we passed many women and children digging up the
roots, about the size of peas, of an aromatic grass; and their wasted
forms showed that this poor hard fare was to allay, if possible, the
pangs of hunger. The babies at the breast crowed to us as we passed,
their mothers kneeling and grubbing for the roots; the poor little
things still drawing nourishment from the natural fountain were
unconscious of that sinking of heart which their parents must have
felt in knowing that the supply for the little ones must soon fail.
No one would sell a bit of food to us: fishermen, even, would not
part with the produce of their nets, except in exchange for some
other kind of food. Numbers of newly-made graves showed that many
had already perished, and hundreds were so emaciated that they had
the appearance of human skeletons swathed in brown and wrinkled
leather. In passing mile after mile, marked with these sad proofs
that "man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn," one
experiences an overpowering sense of helplessness to alleviate human
woe, and breathes a silent prayer to the Almighty to hasten the good
time coming when "man and man the world o'er, shall brothers be for
all that." One small redeeming consideration in all this misery
could not but be felt; these ills were inflicted by heathen Mazitu,
and not by, or for, those who say to Him who is higher than the
highest, "We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge."

We crossed the Mokole, rested at Chitanda, and then left the Lake,
and struck away N.W. to Chinsamba's. Our companions, who were so
much oppressed by the rarefied air of the plateau, still showed signs
of exhaustion, though now only 1300 feet above the sea, and did not
recover flesh and spirits till we again entered the Lower Shire
Valley, which is of so small an altitude, that, without simultaneous
observations with the barometer there and on the sea-coast, the
difference would not be appreciable.

On a large plain on which we spent one night, we had the company of
eighty tobacco traders on their way from Kasungu to Chinsamba's. The
Mazitu had attacked and killed two of them, near the spot where the
Zulus fled from us without answering our questions. The traders were
now so frightened that, instead of making a straight course with us,
they set off by night to follow the shores of the Lake to Tsenga, and
then turn west. It is the sight of shields, or guns that inspires
terror. The bowmen feel perfectly helpless when the enemy comes with
even the small protection the skin shield affords, or attacks them in
the open field with guns. They may shoot a few arrows, but they are
such poor shots that ten to one if they hit. The only thing that
makes the arrow formidable is the poison; for if the poisoned barb
goes in nothing can save the wounded. A bow is in use in the lower
end of Lake Nyassa, but is more common in the Maravi country, from
six to eight inches broad, which is intended to be used as a shield
as well as a bow; but we never saw one with the mark on it of an
enemy's arrow. It certainly is no match for the Zulu shield, which
is between four and five feet long, of an oval shape, and about two
feet broad. So great is the terror this shield inspires that we
sometimes doubted whether the Mazitu here were Zulus at all, and
suspected that the people of the country took advantage of that fear,
and, assuming shields, pretended to belong to that nation.

On the 11th October we arrived at the stockade of Chinsamba in
Mosapo, and had reason to be very well satisfied with his kindness.
A paraffin candle was in his eyes the height of luxury, and the
ability to make a light instantaneously by a lucifer match, a marvel
that struck him with wonder. He brought all his relatives in
different groups to see the strange sights,--instantaneous fire-
making, and a light, without the annoyance of having fire and smoke
in the middle of the floor. When they wish to look for anything in
the dark, a wisp of dried grass is lighted.

Chinsamba gave us a great deal of his company during our visits. As
we have often remarked in other cases, a chief has a great deal to
attend to in guiding the affairs of his people. He is consulted on
all occasions, and gives his advice in a stream of words, which show
a very intimate acquaintance with the topography of his district; he
knows every rood cultivated, every weir put in the river, every
hunting-net, loom, gorge, and every child of his tribe. Any addition
made to the number of these latter is notified to him; and he sends
thanks and compliments to the parents.

The presents which, following the custom of the country, we gave to
every headman, where we either spent a night or a longer period,
varied from four to eight yards of calico. We had some Manchester
cloths made in imitation of the native manufactured robes of the West
Coast, each worth five or six shillings. To the more important of
the chiefs, for calico we substituted one of these strong gaudy
dresses, iron spoons, a knife, needles, a tin dish, or pannikin, and
found these presents to be valued more than three times their value
in cloth would have been. Eight or ten shillings' worth gave
abundant satisfaction to the greediest; but this is to be understood
as the prime cost of the articles, and a trader would sometimes have
estimated similar generosity as equal to from 30 to 50 pounds. In
some cases the presents we gave exceeded the value of what was
received in return; in others the excess of generosity was on the
native side.

We never asked for leave to pass through the country; we simply told
where we were going, and asked for guides; if they were refused, or
if they demanded payment beforehand, we requested to be put into the
beginning of the path, and said that we were sorry we could not agree
about the guides, and usually they and we started together. Greater
care would be required on entering the Mazitu or Zulu country, for
there the Government extends over very large districts, while among
the Manganja each little district is independent of every other. The
people here have not adopted the exacting system of the Banyai, or of
the people whose country was traversed by Speke and Grant.

In our way back from Chinsamba's to Chembi's and from his village to
Nkwinda's, and thence to Katosa's, we only saw the people working in
their gardens, near to the stockades. These strongholds were
strengthened with branches of acacias, covered with strong hooked
thorns; and were all crowded with people. The air was now clearer
than when we went north, and we could see the hills of Kirk's Range
five or six miles to the west of our path. The sun struck very hot,
and the men felt it most in their feet. Every one who could get a
bit of goatskin made it into a pair of sandals.

While sitting at Nkwinda's, a man behind the court hedge-wall said,
with great apparent glee, that an Arab slaving party on the other
side of the confluence of the Shire and Lake were "giving readily two
fathoms of calico for a boy, and two and a half for a girl; never saw
trade so brisk, no haggling at all." This party was purchasing for
the supply of the ocean slave-trade. One of the evils of this
traffic is that it profits by every calamity that happens in a
country. The slave-trader naturally reaps advantage from every
disorder, and though in the present case some lives may have been
saved that otherwise would have perished, as a rule he intensifies
hatreds, and aggravates wars between the tribes, because the more
they fight and vanquish each other the richer his harvest becomes.
Where slaving and cattle are unknown the people live in peace. As we
sat leaning against that hedge, and listened to the harangue of the
slave-trader's agent, it glanced across our mind that this was a
terrible world; the best in it unable, from conscious imperfections,
to say to the worst "Stand by! for I am holier than thou." The
slave-trader, imbued no doubt with certain kindly feelings, yet
pursuing a calling which makes him a fair specimen of a human fiend,
stands grouped with those by whom the slave-traders are employed, and
with all the workers of sin and misery in more highly-favoured lands,
an awful picture to the All-seing Eye.

We arrived at Katosa's village on the 15th October, and found about
thirty young men and boys in slave-sticks. They had been bought by
other agents of the Arab slavers, still on the east side of the
Shire. They were resting in the village, and their owners soon
removed them. The weight of the goree seemed very annoying when they
tried to sleep. This taming instrument is kept on, until the party
has crossed several rivers and all hope of escape has vanished from
the captive's mind.

On explaining to Katosa the injury he was doing in selling his people
as slaves, he assured us that those whom we had seen belonged to the
Arabs, and added that he had far too few people already. He said he
had been living in peace at the lakelet Pamalombe; that the Ajawa, or
Machinga, under Kainka and Karamba, and a body of Babisa, under
Maonga, had induced him to ferry them over the Shire; that they had
lived for a considerable time at his expense, and at last stole his
sheep, which induced him to make his escape to the place where he now
dwelt, and in this flight he had lost many of his people. His
account of the usual conduct of the Ajawa quite agrees with what
these people have narrated themselves, and gives but a low idea of
their moral tone. They have repeatedly broken all the laws of
hospitality by living for months on the bounty of the Manganja, and
then, by a sudden uprising, overcoming their hosts, and killing or
chasing them out of their inheritances. The secret of their success
is the possession of firearms. There were several of these Ajawa
here again, and on our arrival they proposed to Katosa that they
should leave; but he replied that they need not be afraid of us.
They had red beads strung so thickly on their hair that at a little
distance they appeared to have on red caps. It is curious that the
taste for red hair should be so general among the Africans here and
further north; in the south black mica, called Sebilo, and even soot
are used to deepen the colour of the hair; here many smear the head
with red-ochre, others plait the inner bark of a tree stained red
into it; and a red powder called Mukuru is employed, which some say
is obtained from the ground, and others from the roots of a tree.

It having been doubted whether sugar-cane is indigenous to this
country or not, we employed Katosa to procure the two varieties
commonly cultivated, with the intention of conveying them to Johanna.
One is yellow, and the other, like what we observed in the Barotse
Valley, is variegated with dark red and yellow patches, or all red.
We have seen it "arrow," or blossom. Bamboos also run to seed, and
the people are said to use the seed as food. The sugar-cane has
native names, which would lead us to believe it to be indigenous.
Here it is called Zimbi, further south Mesari, and in the centre of
the country Meshuati. Anything introduced in recent times, as maize,
superior cotton, or cassava, has a name implying its foreign origin.

Katosa's village was embowered among gigantic trees of fine timber:
several caffiaceous bushes, with berries closely resembling those of
the common coffee, grew near, but no use had ever been made of them.
There are several cinchonaceous trees also in the country; and some
of the wild fruits are so good as to cause a feeling of regret that
they have not been improved by cultivation, or whatever else brought
ours to their present perfection. Katosa lamented that this locality
was so inferior to his former place at Pamalombe; there he had maize
at the different stages of growth throughout the year. To us,
however, he seemed, by digging holes, and taking advantage of the
moisture beneath, to have succeeded pretty well in raising crops at
this the driest time. The Makololo remarked that "here the maize had
no season,"--meaning that the whole year was proper for its growth
and ripening. By irrigation a succession of crops of grain might be
raised anywhere within the south intertropical region of Africa.

When we were with Motunda, on the 20th October, he told us frankly
that all the native provisions were hidden in Kirk's Range, and his
village being the last place where a supply of grain could be
purchased before we reached the ship, we waited till he had sent to
his hidden stores. The upland country, beyond the mountains now on
our right, is called Deza, and is inhabited by Maravi, who are only
another tribe of Manganja. The paramount chief is called Kabambe,
and he, having never been visited by war, lives in peace and plenty.
Goats and sheep thrive; and Nyango, the chieftainess further to the
south, has herds of horned cattle. The country being elevated is
said to be cold, and there are large grassy plains on it which are
destitute of trees. The Maravi are reported to be brave, and good
marksmen with the bow; but, throughout all the country we have
traversed, guns are enabling the trading tribes to overcome the
agricultural and manufacturing classes.

On the ascent at the end of the valley just opposite Mount Mvai, we
looked back for a moment to impress the beauties of the grand vale on
our memory. The heat of the sun was now excessive, and Masiko,
thinking that it was overpowering, proposed to send forward to the
ship and get a hammock, in which to carry any one who might knock up.
He was truly kind and considerate. Dr. Livingstone having fallen
asleep after a fatiguing march, a hole in the roof of the hut he was
in allowed the sun to beat on his head, and caused a splitting
headache and deafness: while he was nearly insensible, he felt
Masiko repeatedly lift him back to the bed off which he had rolled,
and cover him up.

On the 24th we were again in Banda, at the village of Chasundu, and
could now see clearly the hot valley in which the Shire flows, and
the mountains of the Manganja beyond to our south-east. Instead of
following the road by which we had come, we resolved to go south
along the Lesungwe, which rises at Zunje, a peak on the same ridge as
Mvai, and a part of Kirk's Range, which bounds the country of the
Maravi on our west. This is about the limit of the beat of the
Portuguese native traders, and it is but recently that, following our
footsteps, they have come so far. It is not likely that their
enterprise will lead them further north, for Chasundu informed us
that the Babisa under-sell the agents from Tette. He had tried to
deal with the latter when they first came; but they offered only ten
fathoms of calico for a tusk, for which the Babisa gave him twenty
fathoms and a little powder. Ivory was brought to us for sale again
and again, and, as far as we could judge, the price expected would be
about one yard of calico per pound, or possibly more, for there is no
scale of prices known. The rule seems to be that buyer and seller
shall spend a good deal of time in trying to cheat each other before
coming to any conclusion over a bargain.

We found the Lesungwe a fine stream near its source, and about forty
feet wide and knee-deep, when joined by the Lekudzi, which comes down
from the Maravi country.

Guinea-fowl abounded, but no grain could be purchased, for the people
had cultivated only the holmes along the banks with maize and
pumpkins. Time enough had not elapsed since the slave-trader's
invasion, and destruction of their stores, for them to raise crops of
grain on the adjacent lands. To deal with them for a few heads of
maize was the hungry bargaining with the famished, so we hastened on
southwards as fast as the excessive heat would allow us. It was
impossible to march in the middle of the day, the heat was so
intolerable; and we could not go on at night, because, if we had
chanced to meet any of the inhabitants, we should have been taken for

We had now thunder every afternoon; but while occasional showers
seemed to fall at different parts, none fell on us. The air was
deliciously clear, and revealed all the landscape covered everywhere
with forest, and bounded by beautiful mountains. On the 31st October
we reached the Mukuru-Madse, after having travelled 660 geographical
miles, or 760 English miles in a straight line. This was
accomplished in fifty-five travelling days, twelve miles per diem on
an average. If the numerous bendings and windings, and ups and downs
of the paths could have been measured too, the distance would have
been found at least fifteen miles a day.

The night we slept at the Mukuru-Madse it thundered heavily, but, as
this had been the case every afternoon, and no rain had followed, we
erected no shelter, but during this night a pouring rain came on.
When very tired a man feels determined to sleep in spite of
everything, and the sound of dropping water is said to be conducive
to slumber, but that does not refer to an African storm. If, when
half asleep in spite of a heavy shower on the back of the head, he
unconsciously turns on his side, the drops from the branches make
such capital shots into his ear, that the brain rings again.

We were off next morning, the 1st of November, as soon as the day
dawned. In walking about seven miles to the ship, our clothes were
thoroughly dried by the hot sun, and an attack of fever followed. We
relate this little incident to point out the almost certain
consequence of getting wet in this climate, and allowing the clothes
to dry on the person. Even if we walk in the mornings when the dew
is on the grass, and only get our feet and legs wet, a very uneasy
feeling and partial fever with pains in the limbs ensue, and continue
till the march onwards bathes them in perspiration. Had Bishop
Mackenzie been aware of this, which, before experience alone had
taught us, entailed many a severe lesson, we know no earthly reason
why his valuable life might not have been spared. The difference
between getting the clothes soaked in England and in Africa is this:
in the cold climate the patient is compelled, or, at any rate,
warned, by discomfort to resort at once to a change of raiment; while
in Africa it is cooling and rather pleasant to allow the clothes to
dry on the person. A Missionary in proportion as he possesses an
athletic frame, hardened by manly exercises, in addition to his other
qualifications, will excel him who is not favoured with such bodily
endowments; but in a hot climate efficiency mainly depends on
husbanding the resources. He must never forget that, in the tropics,
he is an exotic plant.


Confidence of natives--Bishop Tozer--Withdrawal of the Mission party-
-The English leave--Hazardous voyage to Mosambique--Dr. Livingstone's
voyage to Bombay--Return to England.

We were delighted and thankful to find all those left at the ship in
good health, and that from the employments in which they had been
occupied they had suffered less from fever than usual during our
absence. My companion, Thomas Ward, the steward, after having
performed his part in the march right bravely, rejoined his comrades
stronger than he had ever been before.

An Ajawa chief, named Kapeni, had so much confidence in the English
name that he, with most of his people, visited the ship; and asserted
that nothing would give his countrymen greater pleasure than to
receive the associates of Bishop Mackenzie as their teachers. This
declaration, coupled with the subsequent conduct of the Ajawa, was
very gratifying, inasmuch as it was clear that no umbrage had been
taken at the check which the Bishop had given to their slaving; their
consciences had told them that the course he had pursued was right.

When we returned, the contrast between the vegetation about Muazi's
and that near the ship was very striking. We had come so quickly
down, that while on the plateau in latitude 12 degrees S., the young
leaves had in many cases passed from the pink or other colour they
have on first coming out to the light fresh green which succeeds it,
here, on the borders of 16 degrees S., or from 150 to 180 miles
distant, the trees were still bare, the grey colour of the bark
predominating over every other hue. The trees in the tropics here
have a very well-marked annual rest. On the Rovuma even, which is
only about ten degrees from the equator, in September the slopes up
from the river some sixty miles inland were of a light ashy-grey
colour; and on ascending them, we found that the majority of the
trees were without leaves; those of the bamboo even lay crisp and
crumpled on the ground. As the sun is usually hot by day, even in
the winter, this withering process may be owing to the cool nights;
Africa differing so much from Central India in the fact that, in
Africa, however hot the day may be, the air generally cools down
sufficiently by the early morning watches to render a covering or
even a blanket agreeable.

The first fortnight after our return to the ship was employed in the


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