Part IV. Notes and Memories by Workers for Africa and Africans
Six weary travellers clambered down the sides of the Charles Janson, and were rapidly rowed to shore. We had reached Likoma at last, after nearly three months' travelling. It was the evening of November 27th, 1893. The sun was sinking in a blaze of glory, and lighting up a figure in white standing on the shore to welcome us. I see Archdeacon Maples now, as I saw him then, spare, and of middle height, with his piercing grey eyes, which seemed to read us through and through. He gave me the impression of being very anxious to see what his three new workers were like. I do not remember anything he said, beyond a few simple words of greeting. He took possession of the doctor, and with those rapid strides of his (I never knew any one who could keep up with him easily), led the way to the Mission Station. I thought his dress slightly comical, but then I was fresh from England. A strip of Turkey twill served as a sash for a white cotton cassock which bore evident signs of being "rough dried." But very soon this well-known costume spread more awe and consternation in my mind (if I was getting into mischief!) than the purple of a Cardinal! On his head he wore a grey pith helmet, lined with very bright green, and surmounted by a calico covering (which never quite fitted). It was kept in its place, or, to be truthful, slightly over one ear, by very obvious tapes.
Before six months were over we newcomers had gone over to the majority. The smallest village child would have laughed at our Sunday best; but first impressions are interesting. The Archdeacon's first thought was to escort the ladies to their quarters. He looked so proud and pleased over his preparations that I murmured as hearty a "thank you" as I could muster when he threw open the door of a sort of wigwam, made of sticks tied to a bamboo framework, and roofed with grass, and told me it was my home. The world by this time was rapidly sliding into darkness, and I could only dimly descry a rickety native bedstead destitute of furniture, a table made of packing cases very thick with dust and cobwebs (we were not expected that week), and a pail of water, for my ablutions, of the sort usually found in stables. "It is quite new," he said cheerfully, "and made on purpose for you (referring to the wigwam), but if you like the old one over the way, you can move into it to-morrow." Then he strode off, to point out to Miss Woodward the beauties of her residence, which was a full size larger than mine, and had the luxury of a verandah roofed with grass or "baraza" as we call it. I nearly sat down on my mud floor, tired and weary as I was with long tossing on the Lake, and wept, but the gong sounded, and after a hasty brush up, Miss Woodward and I sped over to the large hut a few hundred yards from our quarters, where the members of the staff took their meals in common.
Two lamps were burning on a long table already thronged with faces. A huge tin teapot--in the spout of which, as I afterwards learnt, cockroaches reposed at night to meet with a watery death next morning--stood, with an army of big white cups, on one side. Below it sat the native teachers.
Little schoolboys, with bare feet, paddled in and out, plunging into the darkness to return with some dish, which they invariably set down crookedly at one end of the table. The Archdeacon took the head, Mr. Wimbush the foot, Miss Woodward presided, and the rest of us fitted in between. We never began without the Archdeacon, and he very seldom kept us waiting. More often than not he came in carrying the baby Jamusi. Like many of our greatest and best, he had a warm corner in his heart for children. It made a pretty picture, the chubby face pressed close to his, and the tiny black arms clasped round his neck. Jamusi would be deposited on a chair close up to the Archdeacon's own, and his plate kept supplied with good things. Often, if the meal proved tedious, Jamusi's head dropped lower and lower, until finally the curly pate sank quite on to the tablecloth, and our little visitor was wrapped in peaceful slumber.
We usually had three courses--soup, roast fowls (or goat), varied by rissoles of Chicago beef, or a potato pie, the potato being "desiccated," the part that wasn't potato being tinned salmon (this was a Friday dish). Our vegetables were either pumpkins, yams, tomatoes, or, now and then, for a treat, "love-lies-bleeding," a nice old-fashioned flower, whose leaves, when young, taste like spinach. The third course was often a fruit tart, or, on other days, a banana fritter. The "menu "was not half bad, but it lacked variety, and we seldom had fresh fruit or salads. The Archdeacon thoroughly enjoyed dinner, not the food part--he was no great eater--though he would jokingly say, that the whole of British Central Africa looked to him for cooks, as his fame as a trainer had spread far and wide. It was the only part of the day he allowed himself any social intercourse with his workers.
I shall never forget those meals--they were an education in themselves. He would talk on every subject under the sun, sometimes forgetting to carve as he did so, seemingly oblivious of the hungry countenances of his fellow-workers, who occasionally grew somewhat impatient at the delay. History, music, poetry, philology, botany, geology, and metaphysics--the list was endless. Your part was to listen, and draw him out by a question or two. As a rule, all other conversation at table was suspended and every head was turned towards the Archdeacon. I never expect to meet a man of such varied attainments again. I often wondered if it would be possible to puzzle him. He was not above taking an interest in light literature as well, and often and often he has convulsed the table with laughter by a joke newly culled from Punch. I shall never forget the keen enjoyment he derived from "Mr. Footer" (whose absurd sayings he was never weary of quoting) in that ridiculous story of Grossmith's "The Diary of a Nobody." The only other book that ran it close was "An American Girl in London." And he was almost impatient with me because I would not allow that some of his favourite passages were funny, or, at any rate, as laughable as those in the "Diary."
He was not only a wide reader of books, but also of human character. Though quick to notice faults, he was the first to appreciate good qualities. You felt, too, that he was a man of ready sympathy. Nothing was too trivial, if it interested you, for him to take an interest in it as well.
If he had to reprove, he liked to come out with what he had to say, then and there, regardless of your feelings and the surroundings, but once said it was over and done with; there was no alluding to your delinquencies afterwards.
He set us an example of ceaseless energy; no one, for very shame, could be idle in Archdeacon Maples' company. He threw his whole heart into whatever he happened to be doing, which, probably, was the secret of his success.
Sometimes, as we sat at dinner, the steamer's whistle would be heard, and the Archdeacon's face would light up, and a place was hastily cleared for Mr. Johnson. He and his old college friend would sit on the Archdeacon's baraza after dinner, talking until past midnight, and settling questions relating to the Mission. I do not think either of them ever undertook any important work without discussing it first with the other.
Archdeacon Maples loved music, and took a special interest in his choir of little schoolboys. He hardly ever missed an afternoon (and at 2 p.m., the hour he chose, the day was at its hottest) without giving them a singing lesson. I sometimes went to help, and when he saw me appear, he always thanked me for coming, and seemed specially pleased, but he never enjoined it upon me as a duty, which he well might have done.
I used to marvel at the energy he threw into it, singing all the parts himself, treble, alto, tenor, and bass, so as to help the boys and men to pick it up, all the time working the bellows lustily with his feet, and playing the air, times without number. He spared himself no trouble.
The boys were very fond of the tunes he had written for them. When he had gone to England, and I was "choir-master," they always begged for his, if I let them choose the chants and hymns.
While he was with us he never let any one but himself preside at the harmonium. The only service unaccompanied during the week was the choral celebration on Sunday. The huge congregation drowned the instrument, and he found he could keep them better together without it, but he started the musical portions for them from the altar himself.
And now I come to my recollections of those last sad weeks at Likoma. Even now I can hardly bear to write of them. We knew our Bishop was hurrying back to us, but we were not sure whether he was walking overland as he first intended, or coming up by the river. We were all looking forward to a joyful meeting. The first heavy cloud was caused by the death of Mr. Atlay, slain by the Magwangwara. He had hardly been laid to rest when our little community was stirred by a still greater shock. The boat bearing our Bishop and Mr. Williams had been capsized, and both the white men were drowned. The news reached us on Wednesday, a week after the accident happened, Mr. Johnson sending a hasty note across from the mainland in a canoe. Miss Woodward and I, according to custom, had retired to our quarters directly after dinner, and Miss Woodward had locked up for the night, when an unusual knocking was heard, and Mr. Glossop begged to be let in. He broke the sad news to my companion, and she in turn to me. My first cry was--and even now at times I feel inclined to re-echo it--"Oh! it cannot be true! "He, so strong and full of life, with all his plans for the future, on whom we all depended, lying cold and still at the bottom of Lake Nyasa.
With his wonderful personality, he seemed essential to the very existence of the Mission; no one could ever take his place. But calmer thoughts followed. Nothing can happen unless it is God's will. Unknown to us, our Bishop's work on earth was finished, and he, safe in our Father's holy keeping. But oh! the aching void of those first few days, as we tried to realize what his loss meant to us.
Little Jamusi ran about the station as usual, but no voice lured him into the dispensary and persuaded him (sometimes with the aid of a lump of sugar) to repeat with his baby lips the hymn we were preparing as a surprise for his "Archideeki." There was no face to light up with pleasure as Jamusi lisped the words "Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me"--the last hymn the Archdeacon translated into Chinyanja, and gave me in manuscript before leaving.
I hardly know whether the child ever quite realized his loss, but I have a vivid recollection of the heart-rending sobs which shook his little frame when he saw Archdeacon Maples sail for England. The plaintive cry floated across the water, and was heard even on board the steamer, as the anchor was weighed, and her head pointed South. I am told by those on board, that it quite unnerved the Archdeacon, and he had to go below.
The people of the island, like ourselves, were stunned by the magnitude and suddenness of the disaster. They could hardly believe it.
The women he had taught, and prepared for baptism, came into our quarters by twos and threes, and sat sorrowfully down on the mud floors of our huts, trying in their simple way to show their sympathy.
They spoke no word, but the tears coursed slowly down their dark cheeks. They had lost in him more than a father.
The Wissmann came in on September 15th and brought me a letter from Bishop Maples. It was inexpressibly sad to see it lying there.
If only he had waited, he would have arrived in the steamer with his own letter--but God willed otherwise.
The letter lies before me as I write, dated June 9th, 11.50 p.m. He had just been to Norwood, and after alluding to the kind hospitality of his host, he goes on to say "I did so enjoy preaching in that beautiful, most beautiful church" (the church of St. John the Evangelist, which must have been one of the last he visited before leaving for Africa). And then he adds:--"I hope to be in Likoma by the end of September, if all goes well with me in my journey across country from Lindi with Mr. Farler." And then, after mentioning the names of a party about to start for Likoma, he writes "But I hope to reach Nyasa before any of them, except Mr. Wimbush and Mr. Brooke, who have already started."
Before the end of September our Bishop had reached a "better country." The long journey had ended; he was in a city whose Maker and Builder is God.
GERTRUDE PALMER. January 9th, 1897.
REMINISCENCES OF BISHOP MAPLES.
When going out to Nyasa in 1888 I felt I had one friend in Likoma, for I had seen Bishop (then Archdeacon) Maples in England, and had heard so much about him. We arrived at Likoma one moonlight night, and I have a very vivid recollection of the scene on the beach with the hearty welcome from Archdeacon Maples. During the first few days we saw a great deal of him, for he was continually running over to the girls' school to help us in every possible way in the beginning of our girls' boarding-school. Having taught the girls himself before our arrival he always took a keen interest in them. He was one who did not seem to consider any necessary work drudgery; he had often taken an alphabet class, which most of us consider very tedious work. After our arrival Archdeacon Maples continued for some years to give the more advanced girls daily religious instruction, and for a time he gave them singing lessons. He never seemed tired of taking choir practices, and would sing himself always. Before our arrival the Archdeacon had kindly written out a little timetable, also a few rules to help us. He impressed on us the necessity of looking after things ourselves. I was much struck by his measuring out the girls' food himself when we took two of the girls over daily to receive it. He taught us to look carefully after everything, saying it was often the European's own fault if things were stolen. Few men have as much patience as he had in listening to details in school work or about school children. He realized how necessary it was to stop at once the quarrelling amongst the girls. All the girls felt he was their friend; and on his return to Nyasa in 1891 the girls were wild with delight. I have seen no other European receive such a hearty welcome from the natives when returning to Africa. Besides introducing us to the children, Archdeacon Maples wished us to know the mothers, for he took a keen interest in the women; and there have been larger classes of women under instruction in Likoma than anywhere else in the Universities' Mission. As the sad news of the Bishop's death spread over the island, women from various parts came to show their sympathy with us.
Archdeacon Maples liked meal time to be not only a real rest from work, but a pleasant time. Often, when tired or depressed, he would make an effort to start and carry on some interesting conversation about a book or a famous person. He would tell us not to look at the clock, that he did not wish us to hurry away from the table; even when very busy he would not shorten this time. On Sunday afternoons we had tea out of doors, and this he always tried to make a specially pleasant time. He used to say he felt then that the greater part of his work for the day was over. It was a busy day for one man. At that time the Celebration was at 6.30 a.m.; preaching out of doors at 9 o'clock, after which catechumen's class, and then matins at 11; at 2 p.m. catechizing the schoolchildren.
He did not like us to say, "It was so," but rather, "I thought it was so." If he found he had been mistaken in any assertion he had made he always told us afterwards, and expected others to do the same.
Of Bishop Maples as Bishop I knew nothing, for, alas! he never reached us. To us he was, and ever will be, "the Archdeacon," the moving spirit of the Mission on Lake Nyasa. Bishop Smythies was scarcely there, owing to the size of his diocese, Bishop Hornby through illness had soon to retire, so that the Archdeacon had always been the principal builder by the shores of Lake Nyasa. One might recall many anecdotes, and especially his own gift of telling them, but to us his brightness, with his untiring energy, must chiefly remain an inspiring memory. One would think of his work under two heads, his influence over the band he was called to lead, and his influence over the natives of Africa, to whom his life was so singly and simply devoted.
It is often the case that a man who excels in one fails in the other, Bishop Maples singularly succeeded in both. Prom the first he struck me as a man whom one could follow. Firm and masterful, he was withal sympathetic and frank. He was a keen judge of character, and had a gift of making a quick and accurate estimate of men. Yet he possessed a broad and catholic power of sympathy, which was no doubt the secret of his ability to lead, while his frankness, among other personal gifts, made one love as well as admire.
Next, as to his influence with the natives. They all speak of him as a true father--as one who sympathized with their own views and best aspirations, and dealt so tenderly with their failings and weaknesses, a father in the native idea of the term, that is, one who was to govern and correct as well as love.
"Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing!"
A. G. B. G.
One of the Staff at Nyasa.
[EDITOR'S NOTE.--The following letters were written to me by two native teachers at Nyasa. They were written in Chinyanja, their native tongue. It will be understood that both Eustace and Augustine call Chauncy Maples Bishop, in anticipation. These letters require no comment, but I should like to draw attention to what in Augustine's own simple words seems their keynote when speaking of Bishop Maples he says--He was one to make people happy.]
Translation of Eustace Malisawa's Account of Bishop Maples.
KIUNGANI, January 19th, 1897.
Account of Bishop Maples on leaving Zanzibar for Masasi and Newala--
When he arrived here in Zanzibar [In 1876 Eustace was then a boy at school at Kiungani. He is now (1897) studying for the diaconate.] he remained for half a year, and then he was ordained to the priesthood with Mr. Johnson, he (Bishop Maples) to the priesthood and Mr. Johnson to the diaconate. Bishop Steere had sent Mr. Johnson on first to Masasi with the people from Mbweni, and Bishop Maples followed him after nine months. And he chose six of us boys at Kiungani to go to Masasi with Mr. Williams, and we arrived at Lindi with the people from Zanzibar (the porters). When we arrived at Lindi, other people from Lindi were taken to carry the loads, and we arrived at Masasi (after) a journey of seven days. We met Mr. Johnson and a European, neither a priest nor a deacon, but a layman. Later on Bishop Maples said to Mr. Johnson, "You must go back to Zanzibar." At first he refused; afterwards he agreed, and he was carried in a hammock, and Bishop Maples sent a person with him, the first Christian of Masasi, Charles Sulimani, because Mr. Johnson had ulcers on both his legs; therefore they, Bishop Maples and Mr. Williams, stopped alone. Notice these people from Mbweni were not baptized, and they were taught by him, and they were converted and became Christians till only a few heathen were left. And they built a very nice stone church; they planted mangoes and cocoanuts; and there began to be Christians at Masasi. And he went to the chief of Masasi, Bishop Maples said to the chiefs named Che Namkurnba and Che Mkuti, these two chiefs, he said, "Look, we have come on purpose to tell the words of God, we have not come to stay idly, but to teach the words of God." And the chiefs said, "Our gods are beer, and to hear cases, and to cultivate." Then Bishop Maples answered and said, "If you refuse to accept God, God will bring dreadful things on you and this land where you live. Perhaps God will send war, perhaps sickness." And the people refused. Afterwards Bishop Maples said, "Let us go and see the people of the country that we may be reconciled with them and make friendship." Then we went and prepared for our journey, with Mr. Williams and Kiongozi, Barnaba Mwatuka and people from Mbweni. We went and we came to a chief of Newala named Matola, a good and honoured man. We stayed with him and when we came away he gave us a goat, and a person to show us the way; Matola gave us a man named Liwewe. In the journey to Mawia the people were afraid of the Angoni; on the road they were much frightened. Bishop Maples said, "Do not be frightened."
We arrived at a chief's named Che Liganga, a Yao. After a little while, we saw Bishop Maples fall and vomit. And Mr. Williams said, "Let us return because Bwana is ill." We went back, but there was no food; in that country food was scarce. And we arrived at another chief's named Akundonde. We met a great man named Che Machilika, we stayed with him. Next day we went to Newala to Che Matola, and he fired a gun to salute us, and the chief Che Matola said to Bishop Maples, "I want you to send me a teacher," and he said, "I want you to teach me how to leave off work on Sunday, what am I to do to leave it?" The Bishop said, "Bring some 'chitalaka'"--beads (red with white inside). Some were brought. The Bishop counted seven, and said, "When you reach six, it is Saturday." And Matola said, "I understand, I will do so." And he gave us two boys to read (go to school) at Masasi. We left to go to another chief, Machemba. First we passed another chief, Akumitema, we talked with him. We went to the chief Machemba, he was pleased with us, he said, "I have got a good friend." Bishop Maples taught the words of God. We stayed four days, we left and arrived at Masasi November 21st.
Machemba gave us three boys and one man and his wife, who had bad eyes. Bishop Maples sent her to Zanzibar to the doctor; the man's name was Che Ini, We stayed and began to teach the people of Masasi. The Yao chiefs Akumbemba and Akumachinga and Kalua came, and some of their people received the cross. The year the Magwangwara arrived at Masasi, all the people ran away for fear of the Magwangwara. Then Bishop Maples sent Mr. Janson and a European and a black teacher to teach at Newala, and they returned to Masasi, also Mr. Johnson returned from Mataka's. Bishop Maples sent Mr. Janson and Mr. Johnson to Ngoi to the chief Chitesi, and afterwards came the Magwangwara war. Bishop Maples said, "I am going to make friends with the Angoni, [Angoni=Magwangwara.] that they may come in a pleasant manner, and not kill people; let us make friendship with them." Then he took five people with him. He left his companion, Mr. Porter, behind. The Magwangwara went by another path; Bishop Maples had a very trying time. The Magwangwara came to the village to kill people, and little children. Bishop Maples loved his people; he did not love himself, but he stayed and gave up his life for them. When they saw the village on fire he said to some one, "Look, look at the village." He saw they had set it on fire, but it was not our village but other people's. That man said to Bishop Maples, "The Magwangwara are burning our village." Then Bishop Maples said, "Let us go to Newala to Matola;" they went, and on the road he hurt his leg in an elephant pit. I met him at Newala because the war had made us go out of the way. He asked me if the people were alive, if Mr. Porter were alive? I said he was alive. And he asked, "How did you come here?" And I said, "The war made me wander far from the village, and the Angoni stayed fifteen days and then went home." Bishop Maples returned to Masasi, but he had still a bad leg. Then he said, "Who will follow the Magwangwara to their homes?" Then Mr. Porter said, "I will go." Bishop Maples said, "It will be well to do up some bundles of cloth to ransom the people taken by the Angoni." The Bishop said, "He who takes a truss of calico let him ransom his own people." They had no wages. Many people went with Mr. Porter. They arrived at the Angoni chief's, Sonjela. Mr. Porter said to the chief, "Give me my people." The chief said to his people, "Very well." He gave them to him. He returned to Masasi and we stayed one whole year. The Mbweni people returned to Mbweni for fear of the Magwangwara, Bishop Maples sent them. They stayed a little longer; then Bishop Maples said, "Let us go to Newala to Matola to teach, because these people refuse the words of God." The Masasi people are of the Makua tribe. And there was a great famine, people nearly died of hunger.
Then Bishop Maples got up to help them till the famine was over. The people came and said, "Do not go away to Newala." Bwana [Anglice master] said, "We go because God has ordered us to go and teach other people." We left one man, Charles Sulimani. We began a school, we taught people, they believed and were baptized. Afterwards the chief ordered that whoever had two wives should leave one, and the chief said, it was well that his people had begun to be baptized.
Then Bishop Maples prepared to go to Meto with one European and thirty-six people, to go on purpose to look at the country, and afterwards send a mission. But when he got to Mwalija (at) Meto, he had a trying time, because the chief was a bad man, always drunk. This bad chief said, "I have never seen a white man till to-day, so I will kill him, that I may try killing a European." Bishop Maples said to the people, "Don't be afraid, God will save us from the hands of this bad chief." And next morning they had & good journey, and so reached Masasi. We were very glad to see him. He told us all about his journey and all his trouble because of the Gospel. He was a man who loved the black people. He stayed, and gave up his own life for the black people. He was not afraid in dreadful places.
Now about the journey to Newala to the chief Matola, he who called for teachers to come to teach him.
We went and lived under this chief at Newala. Bishop Maples began to teach the Gospel and to teach schools. There was the work of teaching chiefs and young men and women. Some were baptized. The chief himself received the cross (became a catechumen). Some that he taught in school have become deacons. We stayed four years at Newala. Then Bishop Smythies said, "It will be well for you to leave and go to Nyasa." He agreed to the words of his Bishop; he went at once. The Newala people wept because of his going away, because their teacher was leaving. They accompanied him two days' journey. He was one who loved his people in the time of trouble, in the time of famine; a strong man, a brave man. One thought he would be able to stay a very long time. And he himself said, "If it were possible to cut myself in half, I would have stayed at Nyasa and at Newala; but I cannot. The Lord will send some one like me to stay with you."
My beloved, my friend has left me alone; he who brought me up has passed away. I may meet him when I leave this earth. He left Newala; then he stayed at Nyasa. I am here (at Kiungani) preparing for the diaconate. Greeting, my friend. May God take care of you always.
EUSTACE MALISAWA E. [R,. i.e., Reader.]
P.S.--I have four children, two were baptized by Bishop Maples. Some are now deacons, who were taught by the Bishop himself. Their names are:--Yohana Barnaba Abdallah; Daudi Machina; Sipriani H. Chitenji--these are deacons. Readers.--Samwil Chiponde R.; Arthur Kasembe R.
The Bishop left Newala, 1886, to go to Nyasa with me. I went with him up to Nyasa. I returned to Newala. After half a year, he wrote me a letter calling me to follow him to Nyasa, and I followed him with my wife. We lived at a village named Pachiya, he (Bishop Maples) at Likoma. On a holiday we went to Likoma to see him.
Greetings to all the relations of Bishop Maples.
We left Zanzibar 1876.
We left Masasi 1881.
He was not afraid to go and meet the Magwangwara, because he loved black people.
[EDITOR'S NOTE.--Bishop Maples left by his will a legacy to three of the native teachers at Nyasa, of whom Eustace Malisawa was one. The sum of money, though small, was quite a fortune to an African. The day after Eustace was told of this legacy, he came to the missionary in charge at Likoma and said he wished to give a tenth of the money to God.]
Translation of Augustine Ambali's letter.
KIUNGANI COLLEGE, January 23rd, 1897.
MY DEAR DONA,--
An account of Bishop Maples.
Ever since long ago we have known him, our head teacher in Africa whom we have loved dearly. Now hear the account of our beloved Bishop Maples, when he left Masasi to go to Nyasa in the year 1886; he arrived that same year, 1886, at Likoma. We had gone on before on to Likoma. The first priest to arrive at Likoma was Mr. Swinny. When Bishop Maples came he found him there. Mr. Johnson had bad eyes and was in England. There were two priests in Likoma that year. And Bishop Smythies was at the Lake that year, he went by the Magwangwara path. Bishop Maples got to Likoma first; afterwards Bishop Smythies arrived, and he thought it well to make him head in the country at the Lake. And Mr. Maples was made Archdeacon Maples of Likoma; we had known him (Archdeacon Maples) so much longer than Mr. Swinny. He (Mr. Swinny) was a stranger in the land of Africa; but Archdeacon Maples knew all the customs of the black people in Africa better than Mr. Swinny and the other Europeans who were in Likoma at that time. And Bishop Smythies thought it best to make him head, Archdeacon of Likoma, and so he made him head that year, and I was there at the time. I had known him long ago in this Mission. He was one to make people happy. Then Bishop Smythies went back to Zanzibar and left us to be with our head, the brave Archdeacon Maples. Ah! he was a strong man in all his work. And he stayed at Likoma with me and So, long ago--in 1886--till Mr. Johnson arrived from England. Then we rejoiced to see our two friends, who had been so long in the Mission together in their work, loving and honouring one another--Mr. Johnson and Archdeacon Maples--till his death, never quarrelling at all. In that year of 1886 he sent me to live on the mainland, and to leave the island of Likoma and stay at Pachiya to teach.
And now news of him at Likoma only.
For in those days he did not travel, he stayed at Likoma and kept to his work of teaching people. In the year 1887 they divided their work, Mr. Johnson and he; Mr. Johnson on the steamer, Charles Janson, to teach everywhere on the mainland. All the villages on the mainland to Mr. Johnson, and Likoma and Chisumulu to the Archdeacon. There was no one so valiant in his work as Archdeacon Maples, truly, and to love the people in the country of Africa as our father who has left us, Bishop Maples. Even I and others truly we got heart by seeing these two, Bishop Maples and Mr. Johnson strong in their work, till we were bereaved of one. We people of Africa truly, ah! when we remember Bishop Maples we shed tears truly. All his work was thorough (strong), whether to teach the children singing at the harmonium in church, he was steadfast (strong), and did not tire, nor complain over his work. All the children loved him, from the biggest to the smallest, they loved him indeed. About his class for teaching the elder people, he took them himself and taught them indeed. And his preaching, if you ask any one, how did Bishop Maples preach? he will answer quickly, "His words are understood like one born at the Lake, he preaches so well, and with meaning, beautiful words, to enter into your heart." He was clever in teaching, and in drawing people to come and hear the words of God. The Lord Jesus will keep him for everlasting life in His kingdom. Because always he did his work well. The Lord knows the work of Bishop Maples.
From 1886 to 1894 I worked with him, with both him and Mr. Johnson, my chiefs. I can say with force that he was one who did the work of the Lord Jesus as if he were sent by God. He had no fear in his work. He left the good things at home because of the Gospel, to teach the African people, because he loved them; he died for ns. In the year 1894 when he took leave of us, he said to me, "Perhaps you and I, Mwalimu Augustine, we shall see one another again. God alone knows." He came to Msumba and slept there on his way to England. We here at the Lake hoped he would return our Bishop, our head, our father. In the year 1894 in the month of November he passed to go to England to be consecrated Bishop. In 1895, June, we heard he was consecrated Bishop. We were delighted to hear he was made our Bishop of Nyasa. We began to look forward, saying, "When will he arrive here?" but God liked to take him on the Lake of Nyasa, to consecrate (literally, make white or holy) the water of this Lake, in the month of September. This is the news of his death in this land of the Lake.
These two people, Bishop Maples and Mr. Johnson, I have worked with them at the Lake for ten years, from 1884 till 1894--1895, and then Bishop Maples left us. He slept in the Lord Jesus, he was brave, he did his work with his might till he died. I followed him, seeing his habit of loving his work. He did not want to return to his nice home, he wished much to stay with us in Africa. And we got heartened to love this work. I did not live at Masasi, but the teacher, Eustace Malisawa, lived at Masasi with Bishop Maples. But I stayed with him a long time at the Lake. He was a priest who loved games, and at the big festivals like Easter and Christmas he made the children happy with sports (running), and all kinds of amusement. This was his custom, all the days of his life, he was one to laugh with his people. He used to teach the classes of catechumens himself, women and men. And he went all round Likoma to look for the older people, to teach them till they began to be accustomed to come and hear his words on Sunday. There was no one who did not like Bishop Maples. The chiefs, the older people, and the children, and the women, all loved him, especially at Likoma. There is much to tell about him, I cannot remember all.
But he (the Bishop) was truly trustworthy in his work which he was given by the Lord, and he did it with his might. He was not afraid at all of reproving and warning people who left the way of the Lord and returned to their heathen ways. He was truly the shepherd of the Lord Jesus, Who said, "Take care of the sheep of the Lord."
But the Lake and the wind cut off his work from being finished. But the news of him of old is very good indeed, of doing his work in the Universities' Mission at Lake Nyasa. We black people, we say he followed it, but there is none like him in our Mission. But one, his companion, still stays in the country, perhaps he will be like him when he has gone to sleep in the Lord. Now I have finished my words. I know one thing, Bishop Maples was one who loved his work till he died, because of the Nyasa people; he was strong till he died. But we, his friends and children in the Lord, we hope to see him again at the day of Judgment. Bishop Maples is asleep, "E. I. P." He is in the bosom of Abraham, he rests from all his work.
SOME MEMORIES OF CHAUNCY MAPLES.
One year seems to me to be especially marked out from others--that during which it was my privilege to live alone with Chauncy Maples at Newala--from 1885 to 1886. Few who have not tried it can imagine how difficult it is for two men to really enjoy one another's society under such conditions, even though they be missionaries. It was certainly not so, at least from my point of view, during that year. As a companion he was charming. Whence the charm arose it is not hard to say. Given an unfailing cheerfulness, a ready sympathy, a natural humility, a keen intellect, a strong sense of humour, and an open-hearted generous disposition, who could fail to be charming? And all these belonged to him. One generally expects to find people of his temperament enthusiastic and impulsive--subject to fits of great depression, but it often struck me as remarkable, that, whatever his mood might be, he was never depressed. Perhaps it was owing to his having such a great variety of interests outside of those intimately bound up with a missionary's life. Music, botany, geology, and astronomy, of all these he had somewhat more than a superficial acquaintance. Any question of natural history received his lively attention, and he would often pore over his Wallace's "Geographical Distribution of Animals," in order to identify some strange beast brought to him by the natives. During that year we kept a regular menagerie--eagles, hawks, baboons, monkeys, galagos, a mongoose, a few wild river pigs, a porcupine, a pangolin, and once a young koodoo, which he fed carefully with condensed milk for a week, but it was brought to him too young to live under such strange conditions.
The only time I ever remember to have seen him really put out was one Good Friday, when, in the middle of his sermon, a baboon of mine got loose, bounded into church, and sat at his feet, evidently determined to do the right thing. It was at length ejected, after a lively chase and a painful interval.
In all his dealings with natives he was extraordinarily patient, letting them have their say, and to this a great deal of his influence over them was probably due. That he won their confidence to an unusual degree could not be doubted. He understood them, and had a great sympathy for them, being at the same time firm and impartial. Between him and Matola, the chief of the district, there was a sincere friendship. After he had gone to Lake Nyasa, Matola used often to quote what "Mapo," as he called him, had said, or done, or advised. It was during this happy year, when we were daily expecting Bishop Smythies' arrival from Lake Nyasa, that a caravan of porters turned up telling us that Bishop Smythies had died of fever close to Blantyre. They were quite certain about it. Maples was not. He had had too much experience of native rumours to credit them lightly. So he sent down to Lindi, one hundred miles away, to make inquiries of another caravan of porters who had lately come from Blantyre. They corroborated the report in every particular. The Bishop had died in his hut two days' march from Blantyre. It all seemed so circumstantial--and the Bishop was already so long overdue--that we made up our minds to believe it. Maples wrote off volumes to the then secretary at Delahay Street. We opened the Bishop's papers which we had been keeping for him, we sorrowfully ate the delicacies we had been reserving for him. And suddenly there was heard the' firing of guns close by, as of an approaching caravan. In a few minutes in walked Bishop Smythies, travel-stained and weary, but well enough. He was a little surprised to find his papers opened and the larder so scantily supplied, but shook with laughter when Maples explained to him that if he had not died at Blantyre he would have found things otherwise. As a linguist Maples was very apt. He spoke Swahili and Yao well, and had a smattering of Makua--the hardest of all languages in those parts. Later on these were discarded in favour of Ki-nyanja. He took great pains to impress on the native congregation that they ought to bring offerings in kind to the church. One old chief brought a small basket of grain, and then squatted down for some hours just outside the door of Maples's room. On being asked what he wanted he said he was waiting to be paid for his offering. Maples had to use all the Yao he knew to explain to the old man that he would not get any payment in this world. Maples had a boundless stock of anecdote and reminiscence. We used to sit out in the open yard at night watching the bread bake in a small stove, and then he would talk of all kinds of things--his old schooldays at Charterhouse, his college days at the University with W. P. Johnson, his experiences of the Masasi raid. How he used to laugh over his visit to Meto--with Goldfinch--when Meto [Mwaliya, Sultan of Meto.--Ed.], a really bloodthirsty savage, who was most frightfully cruel, made him sit in the midst of his counsellors with a red cloth tied round his head to be jeered at.
He was never tired of speaking of his mother, and his intense devotion to her. It was quite a sacred subject with him.
It seemed as if he was born to be a leader, and he had the great gift of inspiring enthusiasm in others. Those who worked under him knew, that with all his familiarity and open intercourse with them, there must be no trifling or neglect of work. One could not mistake the foundations of his character--the deep faith in Christ; but he was always repudiating the idea that any special merit was to be attributed to the missionary life. "Why don't people look on us merely as privates in troops on foreign service?" he would often say. Knowing how he shrank from the thought of anything being written in his praise after his death, one hesitates to write as fully of him as one's affection and admiration of him would naturally prompt.