In the preceding pages some details have been given concerning domestic slavery upon the Congo River. Like polygamy, the system of barbarous and semi-barbarous races, it must be held provisional, but in neither case can we see any chance of present end. Should the Moslem wave of conquest, in a moral as well as a material form, sweep — and I am persuaded that it will sweep — from North Africa across the equator, the effect will be only to establish both these “patriarchal institutions” upon a stronger and a more rational basis.
All who believe in “progress” are socially anti-slavers, as we all are politically Republicans. But between the two extremes, between despotism, in which society is regimented like an army, and liberty, where all men are theoretically free and equal, there are infinite shades of solid rule and government which the wisdom of nations adapts to their wants. The medium of constitutional monarchy or hereditary presidentship recommends itself under existing circumstances to the more advanced peoples, and with good reason; we nowhere find a prevalence of those manly virtues, disinterestedness and self-sacrifice to the “respublica,” which rendered the endurance of ancient republics possible. Rome could hardly have ruled the world for centuries had her merchants supplied Carthage with improved triremes or furnished the Parthians with the latest style of weapons. We must be wise and virtuous before we can hope to be good republicans, and man in the mass is not yet “homo sapiens;” he is not wise, and certainly he is not virtuous.
The present state of Africa suggests two questions concerning the abolition of the export slave-trade, which must be kept essentially distinct from domestic servitude. The first is, “Does the change benefit the negro?” Into this extensive subject I do not propose to enter, contenting myself with recording a negative answer. But upon the second, “Is the world ready for its abolition?” I would offer a few remarks. They will be ungrateful to that small but active faction which has laboured so long and so hard to misinform the English public concerning Africa, and which is as little fitted to teach anything about the African as to legislate for Mongolian Tartary. It has prevailed for a time to the great injury of the cause, and we cannot but see its effects in almost every step taken by the Englishman, civilian or soldier, who lands his British opinions and prejudices on the West Coast, and who, utterly ignoring the fact that the African, as far as his small interests are concerned, is one of the clearest sighted of men, unhesitatingly puts forth addresses and proclamations which he would not think of submitting to Europeans. But I have faith in my countrymen. If there be any nation that deserves to be looked upon as the arbiter of public opinion in Europe, it is England proper, which, to the political education of many generations, adds an innate sense of moderation, of justice, and of fair play, and a suspicion of extreme measures however theoretically perfect, which do not exist elsewhere. Heinrich Heine expressed this idea after his Maccabean fashion, “Ask the stupidest Englishman a question of politics, and he will say something clever; ask the cleverest Englishman a question of religion and he will say something stupid.” Hence the well-wishers of England can feel nothing but regret when they find her clear and cold light of reason obscured, as it has been, upon the negro question by the mists and clouds of sentimental passion, and their first desire is to see this weakness pass away.
I unhesitatingly assert — and all unprejudiced travellers will agree with me — that the world still wants the black hand. Enormous tropical regions yet await the clearing and the draining operations by the lower races, which will fit them to become the dwelling-place of civilized man.
But slave-exportation is practically dead; we would not revive it, nor indeed could we, the revival would be a new institution, completely in disaccord with the spirit of the age. It is for us to find something which shall take its place, and which shall satisfy the just aspirations of those who see their industry and energy neutralized by want of labour. I need hardly say that all requirements would be met by negro-emigration; and that not only Africa, but the world of the east as well as of the west, call for some measure of the kind. The “cooly” from Hindostan may in time become a valuable article, but it will be long before he can be induced to emigrate in sufficient numbers: the Chinese will be a mistake when the neglected resources of the mighty “Central Empire,” mineral and others, shall be ready to be developed, as they soon must, under the supervision of Europeans. It remains only for us to draw upon the great labour-bank of Negro-land.
A bonâ fide emigration, a free engagé system, would be a boon to Western and Inner Africa, where the tribes live in an almost continual state of petty warfare. The anti-slavers and the abolitionists, of course, represent this to be the effect of the European trade in man’s flesh and blood; but it prevails, and has ever prevailed, and long will prevail, even amongst peoples which have never sent a head of negro to the coast. And there is a large class of men captured in battle, and a host of those condemned to death by savage superstition, whose lives can be saved only by their exportation, which, indeed, is the African form of transportation. “We believe,” says the Abbé Proyart (1776), “that the father sells his son and the prince his subjects; he only who has lived among them can know that it is not even lawful for a man to sell his slave, if he be born in the country, unless he have incurred that penalty by certain crimes specified by law.”
It will be objected that any scheme of the kind must be so involved in complicated difficulties that it cannot fail to degenerate into the old export slave-trade. This I deny. Admitting that such must at first be its tendency, I am persuaded that the details can so be controlled as to secure the use without the abuse. Women and children, for instance, should never be allowed on board ship, unless accompanying husbands and parents. Those who speak some words of a foreign tongue, English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese, and on the eastern coast Hindostani, might lead the way, to be followed in due time by the wilder races. Probably the best ground for the trial would be the Island of Zanzibar, where we can completely control its operations. And what should lend us patience and courage to meet and to beat down all difficulties is the consideration that success will be the sole possible means, independent of El Islam, of civilizing, or rather of humanizing, the Dark Continent. The excellent Abbé Proyart begins his “History of Loango” with the wise and memorable words: “Touching the Africans, these people have vices — what people is exempt from vice? But, were they even more wicked and more vicious, they would be so much the more entitled to the commiseration and good offices of their fellow-men, and, should the missionary despair of making them Christians, men ought still to endeavour to make them men.”
The “Free Emigration” schemes hitherto attempted have been mere snares and delusions; chiefly, I hold, because the age was not ripe for them. In 1844 three agencies were established at Sierra Leone for supplying hands to British Guiana, Trinidad and Jamaica. As wages they offered per diem $0.75 to $1, with leave to return at pleasure; the “liberated” preferred, however, to live upon sixpence at home, suspecting that the bait was intended as a lure to captivity. Nor were their fears lulled by the fact that the agents shipped amongst 250 “volunteers” some seventy-six wild slaves, fresh captives, who were not allowed to communicate with their fellow-countrymen ashore. In 1850 certain correspondents from Liverpool inquired of King “Eyo Honesty” if he could provide for service in the West Indies 10,000 men, women, and children, as the “quotum from the Old Calabar River,” which would mean 100,000 from the West Coast. “He be all same ole slave-trade,” very justly remarked that knowing potentate: he added, that he would respect the Suppression Treaty with England, and that he personally preferred palm-oil, but that all the “Calabar gentlemen” and the neighbouring kings would be glad to supply slaves at a fixed price, four boxes of brass and copper rods.
Followed, in 1852–3, the gigantic scheme of MM. Régis et Cie, which began operations upon the East as well as the West Coast of Africa. Having studied it on both sides of the continent, I could not help forming the worst opinion of the attempt. The agents never spoke of it except as a slave — trade; the facetiæ touching “achat” and “rachat” were highly suited to African taste, and I have often heard them declare before the people that “captives” are the only articles which can profitably be exported from the coasts — in fact, as old Caspar Barlé said, “precipuæ merces ipsi Ethiopes sunt.” I subjoin to this chapter the form of French passport; it will serve, when a bonâ fide emigration shall be attempted, to show “how not to do it.” Happily this “emigration” has come to an end”: M. Régis, seeing no results, gave orders to sell off all the goods in his factories, and to retain only one clerk as housekeeper. The ouvriers libres deserted and fled in all directions, for fear of being “put in a cannibal pot” and being eaten by the white anthropophagi.
The history of missionary enterprise in the Congo regions is not less interesting than the slave-trade. The first missioners sailed in December, 1490, under Goncalo de Sousa; of the three one were killed by the heat, and another having made himself “Chaplain to the Congolan Army,” by a “Giaghi” chief. The seed sown by these friars was cultivated by twelve Franciscans of the Order of Observants. The Right Reverend Fathers of the Company appeared in 1560 with the Conquistador Paulo Dias de Novaes. According to Lopez de Lima, who seems to endorse the saying, “Si cum Jesuitis, non cum Jesu itis,” they worried one captain-general to death, and they attempted to found in Congo-land another Uruguay or Paraguay. But here they totally failed, and, as yet indeed, they have not carried out, either in East or West Africa, the celebrated boast popularly attributed to their general, Borgia (1572):
“We shall come in like the lambs;
We shall be driven out like the dogs,
We shall rush like the wolves;
We shall be icnewed like the eagles.”
The baptism of D. Alvaro I. (1491), the founding of the cathedral at S. Salvador (1534), the appointment of the Bishop and Chapter, and their transfer to São Paulo de Loanda (1627), have already been alluded to.
According to Fathers Carli and Merolla, Pope Alexander VII. sent twelve to fifteen Capuchins and apostolic missioners, who baptized the King and Queen of Congo and the Count of Sonho. Between A.D. 1490 and 1690 were the palmy days of Christianity in Congo-land, and for two centuries it was more or less the state religion. After this great effort missionary zeal seems to have waxed cold, and disestablishment resulted, as happens in such cases, from unbelief within and violent assaults from without. Under the attacks of the Dutch and French the Church seems to have lost ground during the eighteenth century. In A.D. 1682 the number of propagandists in Sonho fell from a father superior and six missioners to two (Merolla). In A.D. 1700 James Barbot found at Sonho only two Portuguese friars of the Order of Bernardins. In A.D. 1768 the Loango Mission was established, and in A.D. 1777 the fathers were followed by four Italian priests sent by the Propaganda for the purpose of re-christianizing Sonho. Embarking at La Rochelle they entered the Nzadi, where one died of poison, and the survivors escaped only by stratagem. Christianity fell before the old heathenism, and in 1814 we find the King of Congo, D. Garcia V., complaining to His Most Faithful Majesty that missioners were sadly wanted. Captain Tuckey’s “Expedition” (A.D. 1816) well sets forth the spiritual destitution of the land. He tells us that three years before his arrival some missionaries had been murdered by the Sohnese; the only specimen he met was an ignorant half-caste with a diploma from the Capuchins of Loanda, and a wife plus five concubines. In 1863 I found that all traces of Christianity had disappeared.
These reverends — who were allowed to dispense with any “irregularity” except bigamy or wilful murder, and “to read forbidden books except Machiavel,”— took the title of Nganga Mfumo1 — Lord Medicine-man. In the fulness of early zeal they built at S. Salvador the cathedral of Santa Cruz, a Jesuit College, a Capuchin convent, the residence of the father superior, maintained by the King of Portugal; a religious house for the Franciscans, an establishment for the Bishop and his Chapter, and half-a-dozen stone churches. All these edifices have long been in ruins.
Father Cavazzi da Monte Cuccoli, Denis de Carli, and Merolla, themselves missioners, have left us ample accounts of the ecclesiastical rule which, during its short tenure of office, bore a remarkable family resemblance to that of the Jesuit missions in South America. The religious despotism was complete, a tyranny grossly aggravated by the credulity, the bigotry, and the superstition — I will not say of the age, because such things are of all ages, but of the imperfect education which the age afforded. There was no improvement, but rather a deterioration from the days of Pliny. One father tells the converts that comets forbode ill to the world. Another describes a bird not much unlike a sparrow, at first sight it seems wholly black, but upon a nearer view it looks blue; the excellency of its song is that it harmoniously and articulately pronounces the name of Jesus Christ. A third remarks, “they (the heathen) are excited by the heavens forming a cross under the zone; they are excited by the mountains which have the cross carved on them, without knowing by whom; they are excited by the earth which draws the crucifix in its fruit called Nicefo.” Yet all these things are of little force to move the hearts of those Gentiles who scoffingly cry, “When we are sick, forsooth, the wood of this cross will cure us!” Another father, resolving to denounce certain heathen practices, placed on the Feast of Purification an image of the Virgin in relievo upon the altar, and “with a dagger struck through her breast on which the blood followed:” like Mark Antony, he “improved the occasion,” and sent home the fathers of families to thrash their wives and daughters who were shut up in the “paint houses.” It is gravely related how a hungry friar dines copiously on fish with an angel; how another was saved by the “father of miracles, the glorious Saint Anthony of Padua,” whom another priest, taking as his patron, sees before his hammock. A woman, bearing a child in her arms and supposed to be the Virgin, attends the Portuguese army, and she again appears in the shape of a “beautiful beggar.” The miraculous resurrection of a boiled cock is gravely chronicled. A certain man lived 380 years “at the intercession of Saint Francis d’Assise.” Of course, the missioners saw water-monsters in the Congo River. A child “came from his mother’s womb with a beard and all his teeth, perhaps to show he was born into the world grown old in vice.” A certain scoffer “being one day to pass a river with two companions, was visibly taken up by an invisible hand into the air. One of his companions, going to take hold of him by the feet, had such a cuff given him that he fell down in the boat, and the offender was seen no more.” Father Merolla talks of a breed in the Cabo Verde Islands “between bulls and she-asses, which they compassed by binding a cow’s hide upon the latter:” it would be worth inquiring if this was ever attempted, and it might add to our traditions about the “Jumart.” And the tale of the elephant-hunters deceiving the animals by anointing themselves with their droppings deserves investigation. Wounds of poisoned arrows are healed by that which produced them. A woman’s milk cures the venomous foam which cobras spit into the eyes. A snake as big as a beam kills and consumes men with its look. An “ill liver,” reprimanded by his father for vicious inclinations, fires a pistol at him; the rebound of the bullet from the paternal forehead, which remains whole, severely wounds the would-be parricide: the ablest surgeons cannot heal the hurt, and the flesh ever continues to be sore and raw upon the forehead, acting like the brand of Cain.
It is said that two of a trade never agree, and accordingly we find the hottest wrath of the missioners vented upon their rival brethren, the Ngangas or medicine-men in Africa, and the Pages or Tupi doctors in South America. The priestly presence deprives an idol of all its powers, the sacerdotal power annihilates all charms and devices, “thereby showing that the performances of Christ’s ministers are always above those of the devil’s.” These “Scinghili,” or “Gods of the Earth” (magicians), can sink boats, be ferried over rivers by crocodiles, and “converse with tigers, serpents, lions and other wild animals.” The “great ugly wizards” are “sent martyrs to the devil” on all possible occasions. One father soundly belabours one of these “wicked Magi” with the cord of his order, invoking all the while the aid of Saint Michael and the rest of the saints: he enters the “hellish tabernacle, arming himself frequently with the sign of the cross,” but he retreats for fear of a mischief from the “poor deluded pagans,”— showing that he is, after all, but an “unbelieving Thomas.” On the other hand, the wizards solidly revenged themselves by killing and eating Father Philip da Salesia. And the deluded ones must have found some difficulty in discovering the superiority of exotic over indigenous superstitions. When there is a calm at sea the sailors stick their patron against the mast, and kneeling before him say, “Saint Antony, our countryman, you shall be pleased to stand there, till you have given us a fair wind to continue our voyage!” A certain bishop of Congo makes the sign of the cross upon a “banyan-tree,” whereupon it immediately died, like the fig-tree cursed by our-Saviour. A ship is “sunk in a trice” for not having a chaplain on board her. The missioners strongly recommend medals, relics, Agni–Dei, and palm-leaves consecrated on Palm Sundays. They rage furiously against and they flog those who wear “wizards’ mats,” against magic cords fastened round young children as amulets, and against the teeth and bones of animals, and cloth made from the rind of certain trees carried as preservatives from disease and supernatural influences: even banners in burial-places are “superstitious and blamable.” They claim the power of stopping rain by cursing the air, and of producing it by prayer, and by “a devout procession to Our Lady of Pinda,” a belief truly worthy of the Nganga; and a fast ship is stranded that “men may learn to honour holidays better.” When the magicians swear falsely they either burst like Judas or languish and die —“a warning to be more cautious how they jest with God.” An old hag, grumbling after a brutish manner, proceeds to bewitch a good father to death by digging a hole and planting a certain herb. The ecclesiastic resolved to defeat her object by not standing long in one place. He remembers the saying of the wise man, “Mulier nequam plaga mortis;” and at last by ordering her off in the name of the Blessed Trinity and the Holy Virgin, “withal gently blowing towards her,” she all of a sudden giving three leaps, and howling thrice, flies away in a trice. The Bolungo or Chilumbo oath or ordeal is, of course, a “hellish ceremony.” Demons play as active a part in Africa as in China. The Portuguese nuncio permits the people in their simplicity to light candles before and to worship the so-called “Bull of the Blessed Sacrament,” that by which Urban VIII. allowed the Congo kings to be crowned after the Catholic manner by the Capuchins, because the paper bears the “venerable effigies.”
Priests may be good servants, but they are, mundanely speaking, bad masters. The ecclesiastical tyranny exercised upon the people from the highest to the lowest goes far to account for the extinction of Christianity in the country where so much was done to spread it. The kings of Congoland, who “tread on the lion in the kingdom of their mothers” must abjectly address their spiritual lords. “I conjure you, prostrate at your holy feet, to hearken to my words.” Whilst the friars talk of “that meekness which becomes a missioner,” their unwise and unwarrantable interference extends to the Count of Sonho himself; whose election was not valid unless published in the church, owning withal that, “though a Black, he is an absolute Prince; and not unworthy of a Crown, though he were even in Italy, considering the number of his Servants and the extent of his Dominions.” They issue eight ordinances or “spiritual memorandums” degrading governors of cities and provinces who are not properly married, who neglect mass, or who do not keep saints’ festivals. Flogging seems to have been the punishment of all infractions of discipline, for those who used “magic guards” to their fields instead of “setting the sign of the Cross;” and for all who did not teach their children “to repeat, so many times a day, the Rosary or the Crown, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, to fast on Saturdays, to eat no flesh on Wednesdays, and such things used among Christians.” One of the Mwanis (governors) refuses to grub up and level with his own hands a certain grove where the “hellish trade” (magic) was practised; he is commanded to discipline himself in the church during the whole time of celebrating mass. If the governor is negligent in warning the people that a missioner has arrived, “he will receive a deserved punishment, for we make it our business to get such a person removed from his employment, even within his year,”— a system of temporal penalties affixed to spiritual lâches not unknown elsewhere. The following anecdote will show the style of reproof. Father Benedict da Belvedere, a Neapolitan who had preached at Rome and was likewise confessor to the nuns, heard the chief elector, one of the principal nobles, asking the heretical question, “Are we not all to be saved by baptism?” A “sound box on the ear” was the reply, and it led to a tumult. The head of the mission sent for the offended dignitary, and offered him absolution if he would sincerely recant his words and beg pardon of the churchman militant. The answer was, “That would be pleasant indeed; he was the aggressor, yet I must make the excuse! Must I receive a blow, and, notwithstanding, be thought to have done wrong?” But the peace-maker explained that the blow was given not to offend, but to defend from hearkening to heresies; that it was administered, moreover, out of paternal affection by a spiritual father, whom it did not mis-become, to a son who was not dishonoured by receiving it. The unfortunate elector not only suffered in the ear, but was also obliged to make an abject apology, and to kiss the offender’s feet before he was re-admitted to communion. At Maopongo the priests lost favour with the court and the women by whipping the queen, and, by the same process they abated the superhuman pretensions of the blacksmith.
When the chiefs and princes were so treated, what could the subjects expect? The smallest ecclesiastical faults were punished with fining and a Talmudic flogging, and for disobedience, a man was sent “bound to Brazil, a thing they are more than ordinarily afraid of.” A man taking to wife, after the Mosaic law, a woman left in widow-hood by his kinsman, is severely scourged, and the same happens to a man who marries his cousin, besides being deprived of a profitable employment. Every city and town in Sonho had a square with a central cross, where those who had not satisfied the Easter command or who died unconfessed were buried without privilege of clergy. The missioners insist upon their privilege of travelling free of expense, and make a barefaced use of the corvée. The following is the tone of a mild address to the laity: “Some among you are like your own maccacos or monkeys amongst us who, keeping possession of anything they have stolen, will sooner suffer themselves to be taken and killed, than to let go their prey. So impure swine wallow in their filth and care not to be cleansed.”
A perpetual source of trouble was of course the slave-trade: negroes being the staple of the land, and ivory the other and minor item, the great profits could not fail to render it the subject of contention. The reasons why the Portuguese never succeeded in making themselves masters of Sonho are reduced by the missioner annalists to three. Firstly, the opposition of the people caused by fear; secondly, the objections of the Sonhese to buying arms and ammunition; and, thirdly, the small price paid by the Portuguese for “captives.” The “Most Reverend Cardinal Cibo,” writing in the name of the Sacred College, complained that the “pernicious and abominable abuse of slave-selling” was carried on under the eyes of the missioners, and peremptorily ordered them to remedy the evil. Finding this practically impossible, the holy men salved their consciences by ordering their flocks not to supply negroes to the heretical Hollanders and English, “whose religion is so very contrary to ours,” but to the Portuguese, who would “withdraw the poor souls out of the power of Lucifer.” One father goes so far, in his fear of heretical influences, as to remunerate by the gift of a slave the dealer Ferdinando Gomez, who had supplied him with “a flask of wine for the sacrament and some other small things,” yet he owns F. Gomez to be a rogue.
As the Portuguese would not pay high prices like the heretics, disturbances resulted, and these were put down by the desperate expedient of shutting the church-doors — a suicidal act not yet quite obsolete. Whereupon the Count of Sonho, we are told, “changed his countenance almost from black to yellow,” and complained to the bishop at Loanda that the sacraments were not administered: the appeal was in vain, and, worse, an extra aid was sent to the truculent churchmen. Happily for them, the small-pox broke out, and the ruler was persuaded by his subjects to do the required penance. Appearing at the convent, unattended, with a large rope round his neck, clad in sackcloth, crowned with thorns, unshod, and carrying a crucifix, he knelt down and kissed the feet of the priest, who said to him, “If thou hast sinned like David, imitate him likewise in thy repentance!”
The schismatics caused abundant trouble Captain Cornelius Clas “went about sowing heretical tares amidst the true corn of the Gospel;” amongst other damnable doctrines and subtleties, this nautical and volunteer theologian persuaded the blacks, whom he knew to be desirous of greater liberty in such matters, that baptism is the only sacrament necessary to salvation, because it takes away original sin, as the blood of the Saviour actual sin. He furthermore (impudently) disowned the real presence in the consecrated Host; he invoked Saint Anthony, although his tribe generally denies that praying to saints can be of any use to man; and he declared that priests should preach certain doctrines (which, by the way, were perniciously heretical). Thus in a single hour he so prevailed upon those miserable negroes that their hearts became quite as black as their faces. An especially offensive practice of the Hollanders, in the eyes of the good shepherds, was that of asking the feminine sheep for a whiff of tobacco — it being a country custom to consider the taking a pipe from a woman’s mouth a “probable earnest of future favours.” When an English ship entered the river, the priests forbade by manifesto the sale of slaves to the captain, he being a Briton, ergò a heretic, despite the Duke of York. The Count of Sonho disobeyed, and was excommunicated accordingly: he took his punishment with much patience, although upon occasions of reproof he would fly into passions and disdains; he was reconciled only after obliging 400 couples that lived in concubinage to lawful wedlock, and thus a number of “strayed souls was reduced to matrimony.”
We can hardly wonder that, under such discipline, a large ecclesiastical body was necessary to “maintain the country in its due obedience to the Christian faith,” and that, despite their charity in alms and their learning, no permanent footing was possible for the strangers. Nor can we be astonished that the good fathers so frequently complain of being poisoned. On one occasion a batch of six was thus treated near Bamba. In this matter perhaps they were somewhat fanciful, as the white man in India is disposed to be. One of them, for instance cured himself with a “fruit called a lemon” and an elk-hoof, from what he took to be poison, but what was possibly the effect of too much pease and pullet broth. In “O Muata Cazembe “(pp. 65–66), we find that the Asiatic Portuguese attach great value to the hoof of the Nhumbo (A. gnu), they call it “unha de grãbesta,” and use it even in the gotta-coral (epilepsy).
And yet many of these ecclesiastics, whom Lopez de Lima justly terms “fabulistas,” were industrious and sensible men, where religion was not concerned. They carefully studied the country, its “situation, possessions, habitations, and clothing.” They formed always outside their faith the justest estimate of their black fellow-creatures. I cannot too often repeat Father Merolla’s dictum, “The reader may perceive that the negroes are both a malicious and subtle people that spend the most part of their time in circumventing and deceiving.”
Nor has spiritual despotism been confined to the Catholic missions in West Africa: certain John Knoxes in the Old Calabar River have repeated, especially in the case of the king “young Eyo,” whom they excluded from communion, all the abuses and the errors of judgment of the seventeenth century with the modifications of the nineteenth. And we must not readily endorse Dr. Livingstone’s professional opinion. “In view of the desolate condition of this fine missionary field, it is more than probable that the presence of a few Protestants would soon provoke the priests, if not to love, to good works.” Such is not the history of our propagandism about the Cape of Good Hope. Dr. Gustav Fritsch (“The Natives of South Africa,” 1872), thus speaks of the missionary Livingstone, who must not be confounded with the great explorer Livingstone: “A man who is borne onward by religious enthusiasm and a glowing ambition, without our being able to say which of these two levers works more powerfully in his soul. Certain it is that he endured more labours and overcame more geographical difficulties than any other African traveller either before or after him; yet it is also sure that, on account of the defective natural-historical education of the author, and the indiscreet partisanship for the natives against the settlers, his works have spread many false views concerning South Africa.” This, I doubt not, will be the verdict of posterity. See “Anthropologia,” in which are included the Proceedings of the London Anthropological Society (inaugurated 22 January, 1873. No. 1, October, 1873. London: Baillière, Tindall, and Co.) The Review (pp. 89–102), bears the well-known initials J. B. D., and it is not saying too much that no man in England is so well fitted as Dr. Davis to write it. I quote these passages without any feeling of disrespect for the memory of the great African explorer. Truth is a higher duty even than generous appreciation of a heroic name, and the time will come when Negrophilism must succumb to Fact.
1 In Carli Gramga and Fomet, evident cacography.
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