CHAPTER XII. LIVINGSTONE'S OWN STORY OF HIS JOURNEYS, HIS TROUBLES, AND DISAPPOINTMENTS.
"No; I did try to go there, but the Wajiji were doing their best to fleece me, as they did both Burton and Speke, and I had not a great deal of cloth. If I had gone to the head of the Tanganika, I could not have gone, to Manyuema. The central line of drainage was the most important, and that is the Lualaba. Before this line the question whether there is a connection between the Tanganika and the Albert N'Yanza sinks into insignificance. The great line of drainage is the river flowing from latitude 11 degrees south, which I followed for over seven degrees northward. The Chambezi, the name given to its most southern extremity, drains a large tract of country south of the southernmost source of the Tanganika; it must, therefore, be the most important. I have not the least doubt, myself, but that this lake is the Upper Tanganika, and the Albert N'Yanza of Baker is the Lower Tanganika, which are connected by a river flowing from the upper to the lower. This is my belief, based upon reports of the Arabs, and a test I made of the flow with water-plants. But I really never gave it much thought."
"Well, if I were you, Doctor, before leaving Ujiji, I should explore it, and resolve the doubts upon the subject; lest, after you leave here, you should not return by this way. The Royal Geographical Society attach much importance to this supposed connection, and declare you are the only man who can settle it. If I can be of any service to you, you may command me. Though I did not come to Africa as an explorer, I have a good deal of curiosity upon the subject, and should be willing to accompany you. I have with me about twenty men who understand rowing we have plenty of guns, cloth, and beads; and if we can get a canoe from the Arabs we can manage the thing easily."
"Oh, we can get a canoe from Sayd bin Majid. This man has been very kind to me, and if ever there was an Arab gentleman, he is one."
"Then it is settled, is it, that we go?"
"I am ready, whenever you are."
"I am at your command. Don't you hear my men call you the `Great Master,' and me the `Little Master?' It would never do for the `Little Master' to command."
By this time Livingstone was becoming known to me. I defy any one to be in his society long without thoroughly fathoming him, for in him there is no guile, and what is apparent on the surface is the thing that is in him. I simply write down my own opinion of the man as I have seen him, not as he represents himself; as I know him to be, not as I have heard of him. I lived with him from the 10th November, 1871, to the 14th March, 1872; witnessed his conduct in the camp, and on the march, and my feelings for him are those of unqualified admiration. The camp is the best place to discover a man's weaknesses, where, if he is flighty or wrong-headed, he is sure to develop his hobbies and weak side. I think it possible, however, that Livingstone, with an unsuitable companion, might feel annoyance. I know I should do so very readily, if a man's character was of that oblique nature that it was an impossibility to travel in his company. I have seen men, in whose company I felt nothing but a thraldom, which it was a duty to my own self-respect to cast off as soon as possible; a feeling of utter incompatibility, with whose nature mine could never assimilate. But Livingstone was a character that I venerated, that called forth all my enthusiasm, that evoked nothing but sincerest admiration.
Dr. Livingstone is about sixty years old, though after he was restored to health he appeared more like a man who had not passed his fiftieth year. His hair has a brownish colour yet, but is here and there streaked with grey lines over the temples; his whiskers and moustache are very grey. He shaves his chin daily. His eyes, which are hazel, are remarkably bright; he has a sight keen as a hawk's. His teeth alone indicate the weakness of age; the hard fare of Lunda has made havoc in their lines. His form, which soon assumed a stoutish appearance, is a little over the ordinary height with the slightest possible bow in the shoulders. When walking he has a firm but heavy tread, like that of an overworked or fatigued man. He is accustomed to wear a naval cap with a semicircular peak, by which he has been identified throughout Africa. His dress, when first I saw him, exhibited traces of patching and repairing, but was scrupulously clean.
I was led to believe that Livingstone possessed a splenetic, misanthropic temper; some have said that he is garrulous, that he is demented; that he has utterly changed from the David Livingstone whom people knew as the reverend missionary ; that he takes no notes or observations but such as those which no other person could read but himself; and it was reported, before I proceeded to Central Africa, that he was married to an African princess.