TO MR. WOODCOCK.
H.M.S. Orestes, Friday, May 1, 1863.
ENTRANCE OF MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL.
MY last will have told you of my arrival at Cape Town and of my meeting there Steere, Alington and Drayton, all well, and anxious for a start. By the great kindness of the authorities the Orestes was allowed to wait a week at Simon's Bay, after the arrival of the Cambrian, to give us time to make all our plans. I was myself so weak and ill from the effects of continuous sickness that I was heartily thankful for such a respite. The first part of the time I spent with the Bishop at his house, and I need not say that I received every kindness from him and Mrs. Gray. The quiet of Bishop's Court was just what an invalid needed, and by the week's end I was quite prepared to be off. The chief inconvenience of the place lies in its eight miles distance from Cape Town. I went in, however, several times, and, so to speak, "took stock" of all our property, sending on almost everything to Simon's Bay, condemning certain things to be sold, as utterly useless, and directing the photographing apparatus to be sent to England for sale. This latter is contained in two huge boxes, and, as it has no chance of a sale in the Colony, we all agreed that it was worth while to re-ship it to England. The church tent, which was put up and examined, was found to be a small trumpery affair, capable of containing very few persons, and so gim-cracky in its construction as to be wholly useless for our purposes. As a last resort, we asked the Bishop of Cape Town to accept it, and use it as he thought best, and though he appeared to demur to this plan, yet it is left with him, and we are freed from further responsibility about it. This has reduced our property to about three or four packages, one of which is a huge box of medicines, another of clothes, another the portable altar, etc., another church furniture, and another a crate of domestic articles purchased by Miss Mackenzie, besides a magic lantern. All the rest are with us, amounting in weight, together with such stores as we purchased or brought from England, to about thirty tons.
On the Saturday before sailing I went to Government House, and remained as the guest of Sir Philip and Lady Wodehouse until Monday morning. Their kindness to me was very great, and I have agreed to write from time to time to his Excellency, who was good enough to express a wish for me to do so. I have omitted to say that he took the chair at a meeting for the Mission at the Town Hall the Friday evening previously. On Sunday morning I preached at the Cathedral, and in the evening at Mr. Lightfoot's most interesting Missionary Church to a congregation wholly coloured. The next morning I left Cape Town for Simon's Bay, calling at Bishop's Court to breakfast and say good-bye, and to take up Steere and Archdeacon Thomas, who, with the Dean of Cape Town, were my companions. We drove to the Admiral's at once, and were most kindly entertained by him, all the notabilities of the station, with the officers of the flagship, the Narcissus, being asked to meet us at luncheon, immediately after which we were conducted by Sir Baldwin Walker himself to his own barge, and so introduced to H.M.S. Orestes. I cannot help again saying how very sensible we till are of the great consideration which has been shown us, and of the extreme personal kindness of all those with whom we have been brought in contact since leaving England. Sir Baldwin Walker again and again desired me to feel no scruple in applying to him in any emergency, and we left his hospitable roof, only regretting that our acquaintance with him and Lady Walker was necessarily so short.
Nor has our good fate forsaken us; since leaving Simon's Bay, Captain Gardner has, in the most disinterested manner, put his own cabin at our disposal, which has had to accommodate not merely ourselves but our luggage also. I feel that the Mission is placed under very serious obligations to him, as well on account of our inroad on his private apartment, as for his constant and never-ending forethought for our present and future comfort. He seems never to tire in suggesting something which we may possibly want, either at the station or on our journey to it, and then it is at once put in hand and speedily added to our store. The officers are, without exception, like their captain, all that one could wish, and we shall feel the parting from such real friends very acutely. I am glad to say that I have felt little or no inconvenience from sea sickness since I came on board the Orestes, and, in spite of occasional touches of lumbago, I am unusually well.
Our plan of operations is not definitely settled. The captain will put in at the Kongone, and failing to gather tidings of Dr. Livingstone there, will send a boat over the bar at Quilimane. I have some small hopes of meeting Waller there, in which case many of our difficulties would disappear at once. It will depend very much on the weather, and the state of the bar, our being able to land our goods. If the worst comes to the worst, we shall all go on in the Orestes to Mozambique, and there charter Senor Suarez' schooner, which, we understand, can cross the Quilimane bar at high tides. But, in any case, I am inclined to go to Mozambique myself, taking with me Steere and one of the men, and letting the others make the best of their way up to the Mission station from Quilimane. My object in doing this is twofold. First to see, and enter into friendly relations with, the Governor-General, and if possible to allay the irritation which recent occurrences would naturally have produced on his mind, and secondly to make arrangements with Senor Suarez about his becoming our Agent, and keeping up a communication with us. From enquiries which I have made, I fancy that Mozambique would be able to supply us with flour, and possibly other things as well, and in that case a great saving of time and anxiety would be effected, if not of actual cash. The present Cape Town system of relying on such chance and uncertain help as the navy can give us will never work satisfactorily so far as provisions are concerned, and the sooner we can put this matter on a better basis the better. Indeed, until regular traffic is developed along this East African Coast, of which there seems to be no immediate prospect, Cape Town has very few advantages as a victualling depot for the Mission. What is purchased must be conveyed overland to Simon's Bay, a distance of more than twenty miles, and this is a very costly business in itself. Then, there is always an uncertainty about the amount of goods which a ship can take, and frequently a surplus remains behind, in some storeroom, at Simon's Bay. Of course, all this could be done in such a way as to involve no considerable loss to the Mission, but, as a matter of fact, without paid clerks we cannot expect the Cape Town Committee (which is another term for Mr. Eustace) to devote time and trouble enough to so very complicated a machinery, and judging from the past, the less we inflict on them the better. It has been a case of everybody's business being nobody's, as the case of the gunpowder pretty well shows, tor which vide last letter. Still Cape Town must be the route for all things coming to us from England, and I do not see why this should necessitate any very bulky parcels, provided that Mozambique can furnish flour, etc. Should I see Suarez, all this can be determined, and if I make any arrangement with him, I will lose no time in writing to tell you of it, and also the good people at Cape Town.
Friday, May 8.--We have anchored this evening off the Kongone, and a boat will put ashore early in the morning. If we gather no news of the Doctor the ship will steam up to the Quilimane Bar--about thirty miles north of this.
Saturday, May 9.--Two attempts have been made to land a boat, but without success. We can see a flagstaff on shore, but the channel, if one exists, appears to be extremely tortuous.
May 11.--We are off Quilimane, and after a council of war this morning we have settled that, if a landing can be effected, Steere and Drayton shall go on to Mozambique, and the rest shall push up to the station. The Confirmation* took place yesterday morning. We are all well.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
H.M.S. Orestes, OFF QUILIMANE,
May 15, 1863.
MY former letter to you is closed, and I must therefore commence another, as I have important news to communicate. Yesterday we were able to land two boats; one came back to the ship again after merely crossing the bar, the other with the captain and Dr. Steere, went up to Quilimane, and returned this morning. They brought the report of the deaths of Mr. Scudamore and Dr. Dickenson. The former event is, I regret to think, beyond a doubt, because Steere read a letter from Procter, addressed to Señor Nunez, in which it was mentioned. We have not the same evidence about Dr. D.'s death, but I fear that there is no room for any reasonable doubt. I am able to copy a part of Livingstone's last letter received by Senor Nunez at Quilimane:--
"RIVER Shiré, February 21, 1863.
"The whole valley of the lower Shiré is depopulated by Tete people, Mariano, and famine. We cannot buy a single article of food, the river has not yet risen high enough for us to reach the Cataracts. We are waiting about thirty miles below Chibisa's for the water to rise, and rains seem to promise that this will take place soon. The vines sprouted out and died." (Referring to some cuttings he had taken from Q.) "We must go again in the Pioneer for provisions, so I may have the pleasure of seeing you again. Waller was here two days ago."
The captain, finding that the route via Quilimane is impracticable for heavy baggage, has weighed anchor, and hopes to land us all and our goods at Kongone to-morrow and the next day, Nunez undertaking to get six large canoes down for the transit up the river. The division of our party is thus abandoned.
The three black men and Gamble have been sent to Mozambique on their way to the Cape, so that the Mission is numerically much reduced. I must leave it to you to communicate all this to those whom it so sadly concerns. I have written myself to poor Scudamore's mother and brother, but I don't know the address of any of Dr. Dickenson's friends. It may perhaps be as well to ask the Guardian to insert as much of this letter as you think important.
So far as I can speak of plans, I mean to go up to Mazaro, near Chupanga's, and then press on to Chibisa's, and see with my own eyes the state of affairs. It is a comfort to think that we shall have Dr. Livingstone to consult, and I shall be largely guided by his advice. Should a real necessity arise, I shall not scruple to remove the Mission to a quieter and more healthy spot.
As I have no time to write to my sister an account of this day's news, I would ask you, or Mr. Marshall, to be so good as to let her hear it from the office; we are now steaming back to the Kongone mouth, where we shall be to-morrow, and if the weather prove fine we shall land at once. You may be quite at ease about us so far as the landing is concerned, as we shall leave all our letters on board, and if nothing accompanies them, you may take it for granted that we were all well when last seen by our friends on board. This will be a relief to many anxious minds. In spite of all that has happened, we are anxious to get on the river, so as to be actually at work; but I don't mean to run any risks, either by deputy or in propria persona.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
KONGONE POINT, Monday, May 25, 1863.
YOU will have received, ere this, news by the Orestes of our safe arrival here. We are waiting for canoes to take us up the river. Señor Mesquita here thinks that we cannot expect them for another week. We are all well, and yesterday (Whitsunday) we had three services and a celebration of Holy Communion.
It is important for you to know that barter goods are now for the first time to pay duty, and at what we think is a very exorbitant rate, viz., T,d. per lb. on cloth, and 12 per cent, ad valorem on the wire, estimating the worth by the value here, which is, of course, much more than the cost price at home. We think that we shall have to pay not less than £30 on the goods which we have brought with us.
Senor Nunez of Quilimane complained to Steere of his difficulty in negotiating bills drawn by the Mission. I have written to the Cape about this, and advised the Committee there to send a round sum to Senor Suarez of Mozambique in specie. We see more and more that Cape Town is not the best headquarters for these sorts of matters. There is little or no communication between it and this East Coast, and as Suarez has correspondents in Bombay, I should be glad if you would open an account with some house there, to enable me to draw bills, which could be easily realized by either Suarez or Nunez. I may mention, as an instance of the great difficulty of getting anything from Cape Town, that Vianna of Shupanga has had a claim against the Mixed Commission at the Cape for £200 or £300, and up to the present time has been unable to get the money, although it has been due now for more than two years. As I cannot hear from you for a considerable time, I will in case of need draw on the Bishop of Bombay, and you will perhaps advise him of my intention by the next mail after the receipt of this. It would be very fatal to our credit here if a bill were returned dishonoured.
There has been little to record since we landed. Our days are chiefly taken up with cooking, and airing our bedding, as we are all sleeping on our ground sheets, and we take this precaution against damp. We have been here a week to-day, and this letter will go by hand to Quilimane, and so to Mozambique. Its arrival at Mitre Court is naturally liable to great uncertainty. My last letter will have told you of the sad news of the deaths of Scudamore and Dickenson; we are still without any details, and the fact only became known to us through Steere's visit to Quilimane. But perhaps you know more than we do.
[The two following extracts are taken from a Report for the year 1865; they probably formed part of the Bishop's journal sent periodically to his sister.]
Tuesday, June 23, .
AFASA made signs of something on the left bank, and laid his head on his hand--his meaning proved to be wholly unsuspected by either of us. The object of interest was the Bishop's grave, while the island on our left hand, the whole of which was cultivated, was Malo, and long before we had hoped we were at the entrance of the Ruo and on the scene of Mackenzie's last illness and death. . . . The land seemed well cultivated, which, besides the natural beauty of the spot, was the only redeeming feature of the place. Our first object, of course, was to find the grave. We took the chief, as I supposed him to be, with us, and crossed the river and were carried from the boat across some rushes to the bank, and began to make a long sort of burrow through the giant grass and jungle. The chief evidently did not know where the spot was, and after a long and fruitless search under his auspices, Alington agreed to go to one tree and I to another. The thicket was so dense that our progress was exceedingly slow. I had the good fortune to be the first to find the grave. It had a tall rough cross over it, made of a pole for the upright, about six inches in diameter, and a piece of board, thick and stout, for the cross-piece. The staves of a barrel were heaped up round the base. The cross itself stood about five feet high, and when once you get near, it is sufficiently conspicuous. There was no sign of the place ever having been visited, much less tampered with, since the cross was set up. We set to work to clear the ground of the small growth which entirely covered it. I then returned to the boat with the chief for my books. On my return I began the Consecration Service. Afterwards we sang "Nearer my God to Thee," and the words seemed very appropriate and touching. It was a very solemn service, and the thought of it having taken place will perchance comfort sorrowful hearts at home.
Friday, June 26.--I was standing with telescope in hand, when suddenly I saw a gabled roof ahead. The Mission station certainly is coming into view.
It looked like a street, with certainly two gabled roofs. It was not long before I saw some movement, and almost immediately the street had its little crowd, gazing with all their eyes at the strange white boat with the English Jack flying from the mast. They stood thus an instant, and then rushed down to the water's side. We tried to make out white faces; and when we thought we were within hail we began to cheer, and they answered, until I was able to rush to the bows and jump on shore and grasp and be grasped all round. "This is Waller," and "This is Rowley," and "This "--and a weak voice from a poor dear sick face said "Procter." Alas! alas! I needed no one to tell me that he was very, very weak and ill. And then I found which was Blair and which Adams, and "I am the Bishop," I said, which, by-the-bye, was needful, for I had on only my blue sailor's jacket and holland trousers. Giving an arm to my newly found sick friend Procter, we made the ascent of the steep path which leads to the platform on which the Mission is placed. Question and answer quickly followed, and I learnt what I was anxious to know, the sad certainty of Scudamore's and Dickenson's death. They seemed astonished we had not heard of it. I made the tour of the place in company with Waller. Soon after we went to the chapel, and had a special service, usual on all fresh arrivals, and thanked our good God for His loving care over us on our journey, and for so speedy a meeting with our brethren of the Mission. In the afternoon we all visited the two graves of Scudamore and Dickenson.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
MAZARO, RIVER ZAMBEZI,
July 16, 1863.
I THINK that my last letter to you was written from the Orestes, from which we landed on the eighteenth and nineteenth of May. I cannot speak sufficiently of the kindness which we received from all on board, and especially from Captain Gardner, whose thoughtfulness for our future wants lays every member of the Mission under continual obligations to him.
We remained at the Kongone mouth of the Zambezi till the fourth of June, by which day some canoes had arrived from Mazaro, but not enough to take the whole of our goods up the river. In order to hasten their arrival, Mr. Alington and our carpenter had previously left us for Mazaro, and we were rejoiced to meet them again at this place on the tenth. Unfortunately, we missed by only a few days a party of English who had passed through Mazaro for Quilimane, and who eventually proved to be Dr. Kirk, Mr. Chas. Livingstone, and four sailors attached to the Expedition, [i.e. Dr. Livingstone's Exploring Expedition] and the Mission's shoemaker, R. M. Clark, all of whom, I regret to say, were leaving the country on account of health. One of the sailors has since died at Quilimane. Vague but very unsatisfactory reports of both Mission and expedition were current here, and I therefore resolved to push on, with Mr. Alington as my companion, to Chibisa's with the utmost speed, taking as much food as I could, together with the mails, and the despatch for Livingstone, which Captain Gardner had entrusted to me. The passage takes on an average thirty days, but thanks partly to our sail, and partly to the exertions of our crew, who were to receive a fathom of cloth for each day saved from the thirty, we reached the Mission station in less than twelve days, leaving Mazaro on Monday, the fifteenth of June, and landing at Chibisa's on the morning of Friday, the twenty-sixth.
I was glad to find our friends in no very great need of provisions, but the deaths of Scudamore and Dickenson were confirmed, as also that of a Mr. Thornton, geologist to the expedition, who seems to have suffered severely from a journey to Tete in company with Mr. Rowley. Nor is this all. Gamble and Clark had both been sent home invalided, while Mr. Procter was merely awaiting my arrival to be able to follow them. Mr. Rowley is very far from well, and I mean to urge his return at once in consequence of Dr. Mellor's strongly expressed opinion that his remaining in this climate is likely to be attended with the most serious results. Of the rest, Johnson, the black cook, has for some time been anxious to leave the Mission, and although in many respects he has been very useful, yet I understand that his departure is not wholly to be regretted. Blair and Adams have both suffered very much from fever, as is but too apparent from their looks. Their conduct has been all that could be wished, and they have more than fulfilled the expectations formed of them. Poor Adams has rallied from above a hundred attacks of illness, and was wishing, so they told me, not long since, to leave, but he has not lately mentioned the subject. I don't know why I have left Mr. Waller's name to the last except that he appears to have suffered in health less than the others. His skill in the treatment of fever has made his services to the Mission extremely valuable, and since the death of Mr. Dickenson he has in the kindest manner supplied to the utmost of his power the great need of a medical man. Mention was made again and again during my stay of the great attention shown to the sick by Dr. Livingstone and his companions, Drs. Kirk and Mellor, the latter of whom I met, and was able to thank personally for all that he and the other members of the expedition had done for our friends.
I heard on my arrival of the great straits caused by the famine in the Mission's immediate neighbourhood, full accounts of which have been sent to you; and none could be surprised to find that amidst such troubles as sickness, war, and this terrible famine, the Mission had not been able to do much missionary work. Indeed, at times the services in the temporary 'chapel had to be dropped, from the prevailing weakness, caused by repeated attacks of fever, while latterly, to use their own expression, "It has been a fight for life with us."
One has assuredly no wish to be critical in reviewing the acts of men who have been so sorely tried, and who have still maintained their places until news reached them of another Bishop's appointment; but I confess that I had expected to have found that more had been done, if only among the Mission's own dependents, to impart distinctive Christian truth. It may indeed be said that Bishop Mackenzie's acknowledged plan was to postpone all definite religious instruction until he could teach without' risk of mis-statement on his own part, or misconception on the parts of his hearers; and although I cannot myself see the expediency of such delay, yet I can sympathize with those who have yielded an almost excessive obedience to his wishes. But when I find that from the force of these many sorrowful circumstances to which I have already referred, the actual work of the Mission--that, I mean( of proclaiming the good tidings of Christ's kingdom to the heathen around--has been as yet barely attempted, I am compelled to ask whether some decided change of place is not absolutely required to avoid for the future such counteracting influences.
Finding on my arrival that Dr. Livingstone had gone up the country, I remained at the Mission station until his return, and then went with Mr. Alington to the anchorage of the Pioneer, and had a long and interesting conversation on the prospects of the Mission.
The same evening I made a memorandum of what appeared to be the Doctor's opinion about the selection of a new site, and I intend to send you a copy of it with this letter. Of course, it could not be expected that we should elicit any very decided advice to withdraw from that part of the country, which Dr. Livingstone himself had originally selected as the most suitable starting-point for our Mission; but it was, to my mind, satisfactory to find that he saw no paramount reason against our removal to the Morumbala mountains, while indeed on the score of prudence he appeared to advise us to go there rather than commence work again on some lofty spot on the Manganja heights.
On Monday morning, the sixth of July, I left Chibisa's on my return for Mazaro, and took with me Mr. Procter and Blair, while Mr. Alington, who, I regret to say, was already suffering from fever, volunteered to remain behind. It had been arranged that during my absence Dr. Steere and one of our men should go to Quilimane, partly to try and overtake Dr. Kirk and the others, and partly to see the Governor and discuss with him the question of our removing the Mission to some spot further down the Shiré, and also to deliver a protest, which I had signed, against the payment, for the first time, of Custom duties on our Mission goods landed at the Kongone in May by the Orestes' boats. We were also anxious to make some purchases which had been accidentally overlooked when we left Cape Town.
This journey was successfully accomplished by Dr. Steere and Richard Harrison, who left on the sixteenth of June, and returned to Mazaro on the twenty-seventh. The acting Governor of Quilimane, Major Tito Sicard, shows every disposition to befriend the Mission, and offered a soldier to accompany Dr. Steere to the Morumbala mountains as guide and interpreter. Taking advantage of his kindness, Dr. Steere again set off from Mazaro on the sixth of June, in company with Sefior Antonio Luis Varilla and our own carpenter, on a tour of inspection, and on the ninth met Procter and myself on our passage down the river from Chibisa's. This was a most fortunate accident, and I resolved at once to change places with the carpenter and join Dr. Steere's expedition to Morumbala. The following day we landed at a spot where the Shiré winds round the base of the mountain, and after a somewhat difficult march found ourselves in Mr. Sarchio's village--Mr. Sarchio being the leading chief on that side of Morumbala. After an unsuccessful attempt on Saturday, we were able to discover a tolerably good road on Monday, and in about three and a half hours we reached the top of the mountain, where we remained until the following morning.
Our very brief experience confirms all that has been said by Dr. Livingstone and others of its healthfulness. The air was keen and fresh, the soil good, and the climate such as can produce orange trees and bananas, side by side with very English-looking peas and beans. Tobacco, sweet potatoes, and Indian corn (maize, or mealies) were all in various stages of cultivation. Our guide showed us the road to a hot spring, the same iri all probability as that which we visited on Saturday at the foot of the mountain. The water which we saw was not excessive in quantity, but the people told us that it never failed. The character of the land was undulating, partially covered with low brushwood, and in appearance not unlike English scenery, the common fern being found in great abundance, while the slopes of the mountain are for the most part covered with enormous trees.
The journey to Quilimane from the summit could be made in about a week, and we ourselves returned to Mazaro in something less than a day and a half. On arriving once more at this place, after what seemed to me an immense interval, I found all my party well with the exception of Thomas Sivil, whose weak state of health had been the cause of much anxiety in my absence. Both Mr. Procter and Blair seem better for the change of air and scene.
Yesterday we discussed at great length our future plans. The removal of the Mission station to Morumbala is strongly deprecated by Mr. Procter, Mr. Rowley, and Mr. Waller, who all agree in wishing it to be re-organized on Mount M'bamis,which is some twenty miles on the road to Magomero from Chibisa's. They acknowledge the very great difficulties which present themselves in this attempt, but they feel deeply the abandonment of a locality which was originally selected for the Mission, and wish most chivalrously to maintain the original programme. The fact, too, of having with them above a hundred people, to whom they are much attached, makes them naturally cling to their present neighbourhood, while the fear of what Portuguese immorality might effect, should the Mission come within the influence of their settlements, makes it clear to them that Morumbala is not a tenable position for a Church of England Mission.
I am very far from saying that these objections a«re of little weight, but I cannot shut my eyes to the experiences of the Mission, first at Magomero, and now more recently at Chibisa's, and I feel that the selection of a healthy site, within easy reach of supplies, is at the present crisis of primary importance. Granting that some such site as M'bamis is suitable on the score of health, which, it must be remembered, experience only can decide, and such experience as we possess is not wholly favourable to such a supposition, yet the other requisite, viz., resources, is wanting. War and famine combined have reduced a populous and fruitful country to a waste. Ninety-five per cent, of the former inhabitants have disappeared. The Manganja are wholly extinct in that part of the Shiré Valley, and the Ajawa alone remain. How far this tribe may be expected to look favourably on any advances from us may be doubted, after the painful collisions which have already taken place; but perhaps a still stronger objection to our settling down near Chibisa's arises from the presence of Dr. Livingstone's Makololo. These men are hopelessly connected with the English.
I must now in fairness admit that Morumbala has also its attendant disadvantages. Its healthiness has never been tested by Europeans; it is clearly within Portuguese rule, and happens at the present moment to be leased to a person whose character is none of the best. It appears to be but thinly inhabited, and the people who are there speak neither the Ajawa nor Manganja languages, while within the three past years the whole mountain has been desolated by war.
These are serious considerations, and there is yet another, applicable indeed in some degree to Mount M'bamis, but more forcibly to Morumbala, and which will be viewed differently by different persons; I mean that if the responsibility of converting the heathen rests with that nation which asserts a territorial claim over the country in which such heathen live, our right to be here at all as a Church of England Mission may be questioned. It seems now to be admitted that the Shir6 Valley is a part of the King of Portugal's dominions, and he is certainly able to exercise considerable influence over it, while the entrance to it, and so to the regions beyond, is by way of Quilimane, or the Kongone mouth of the Zambezi.
That no substantial opposition to us as a Mission is likely to arise is, I think, evident, and when it is found that we have no desire to take undue liberties, and are willing to accept things as they are, and make the best of them, I believe that the Portuguese will not only tolerate our work, but give it God speed. Nor are we likely to excite any ecclesiastical prejudices, for there are but three half-caste priests in all the country, who are stationed at Tete, Senna, and Quilimane; and the Jesuit Missions, which once existed, have long since been abandoned.
Speaking then for myself, and with the reserve which is necessary from the little thought which I have been able to bestow on the matter, I do not see any sufficient reason to hinder our undertaking a Mission to the heathen in this land, and I am not only desirous of going to Morumbala with its acknowledged drawbacks, but I am sanguine that an establishment there, with its missionary college, will prove to be the true "door" to Central Africa. But I am aware that some amongst us think differently, and as for at least a year our residence on Morumbala will be experimental, and must be abandoned unless its healthfulness is fully established, I would in the meantime commend the whole future of the Mission most earnestly to the consideration of our friends at home.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
MAZARO, RIVER ZAMBEZI,
July 29, 1863.
I WRITE by this mail to the Bishop of Bombay to ask him to allow me to draw on him, until a credit is opened for us there. Bills on the Cape or London cannot be negotiated here, and I would strongly advise that all letters from home should be directed to the care of Señor Suarez, Mozambique, and sent under cover to the Bishop of Bombay, whom I have also asked to nominate some person who will get our things on board some dhow chartered to Mozambique or Quilimane. The route via the Cape is hopeless, and must be abandoned. There is no certain communication between this coast and the Cape Colony, and letters for Cape Town sent from the Mission in October were known to be lying at Quilimane in February, and then were only taken on to Mozambique, where, for anything we know, they may be vegetating still. This mail we entrust to Mr. Procter, who will avail himself of the Rapid's putting in at the Kongone at the end of next month to return home.
Writing up to the present time has been a difficulty--no tables or chairs, or account books. Next time, I hope, we shall show in more business-like appearance.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
CHICAMA'S, THE MORUMBALA, RIVER SHIRS,
September 30, 1863.
MY last to you was dated from Mazaro, and I think its date was July 20. On that day Dr. Steere, Mr. Drayton, Sivil, Kallaway, and Blair set out for this mountain, leaving Mr. Procter, Harrison, and myself in charge of our goods at Seiior Vianna's. You will remember that Mr. Alington was at this time at Chibisa's. On the sixth of August Mr. Procter left me, and went, in company with Dr. Mellor, who had arrived from the Pioneer, to the Kongone to await the Rapid, which had been ordered to be there by the end of the month. Harrison and myself were thus left alone. The boats and canoes which had taken up our party to Morumbala were ordered to hasten on to Chibisa's as soon as they had unloaded, to assist in the removal to our new station. By this means I was able to communicate with our friends at Chibisa's, who were of course very anxious to know what plans for 'the future had been decided on. The most important points in my letter to them were ist: The removal of the mission to the Morurnbala, and 2ndly: My strong desire that none of the native people except the orphan boys should be encouraged to accompany the Mission to its new home., (The reasons for this I shall be able to give at length further on in my letter.) I wrote also privately to Mr. Rowley, urging his return to England on the score of health. A copy of Dr. Mellor's letter on the subject accompanies this, which seemed to leave me no option in the matter; indeed the terms of it were so unequivocal that I begged Mr. Rowley to try to start at once, and catch the Rapid, and accompany Mr. Procter to England. Johnson, the black cook, who had also expressed a strong wish to leave, I proposed should join them, and act as their servant on the voyage to the Cape. It was desirable on many grounds that this man should not remain longer with us, and I was very glad that some one's eye should be kept on him until his connexion with us should be at an end.
While waiting at Mazaro I had two letters from Dr. Steere, sent down by special messengers. His party had encountered very rough weather, which had for nearly a fortnight kept them from making the ascent of the mountain, and, what was worse, nearly all had been seized with illness. Mr. Drayton's life was for some days almost despaired of, and Sivil, who had been far from well at Mazaro, was thought to be in a very critical state. Dr. Steere and Kallaway had both had attacks of fever. This sad news hastened my departure from Señor Vianna's, and as soon as I could get a sufficient number of canoes, I left with Harrison, taking all our goods and cloth. This was on the twelfth of August. The following day we met our own whaler, with Mr. Rowley and Johnson in her. They were bound for the Kongone, according to the plan which I had arranged for them, and I am very thankful that such an opening for Mr. Rowley's return to England occurred. He appeared to be much better than when I saw him at Chibisa's, and I trust that on his arrival at home he will be quite well and strong again. On Sunday morning, the sixteenth of August, I reached the landing-place at the foot of Morumbala, and, curiously enough, at the very same moment Mr. Alington came in sight with two canoes from Chibisa's, a first instalment from the old to the new settlement.
It may be interesting here to describe the main features of the Morumbala, which, it may be remarked, spells itself in any way most convenient or pleasing to the writer. The mountain is nearly north and south, and is on the left bank of the Shiré, although Arrowsmith's maps place it on the right. It presents a long range of elevated land, to the extent of about eight miles, so far as I can judge, although its length has been variously stated from five to thirty-five miles. So little is really known about the matter. The eastern face, which looks in the direction of Quilimane and that part of the coast, appears to have a much easier ascent than the western, along which the Shiré winds. This latter side of the mountain is exceedingly precipitous, and our path up it is made at what appears to be the least promising part of the whole mountain. It certainly involves the very stiffest bit of Alpine Club work which I ever have had to encounter, and the only wonder is how the natives could get up our things. Both sides of Morumbala are intersected by deep clefts and gullies, which are extremely picturesque, immense masses of granite and gigantic trees appearing here to contend for the mastery. Behind you, as you climb up from our landing-place, a vast plain, dotted over with palm trees and lagoons, spreads out to the horizon west and south, and to some mountains towards the north. The Zambezi winds along in an almost parallel line with the Shiré, and Senna, which is on it, lies due west from us. Although it is, they say, from 20 to 30 miles away, yet it looks comparatively near in the foreground of this huge landscape. The idea that Europeans could exist in this marsh is, of course, now exploded. Mr. Waller speaks of its climate as more deadly than the valley of the Niger. We are now solving the problem whether health can be maintained at a height above it of 3,500 feet. I much fear that the "Examiner" was not very far wrong when it called the Zambezi "a great humbug." It has fulfilled no prediction or hopes once entertained with respect to it, and does its chief sponsor no credit whatever.
On arriving at the top of the Morumbala, which is certainly not "large" nor "well cultivated," for the mountain almost immediately drops to the eastward, and has very few inhabitants, and those most wretchedly poor, a path of about a quarter-mile length will bring you to our settlement. The little clearing (which formerly belonged to an old man called Chicama, and hence our address) on which our huts are placed is an oblong piece of ground facing the south. The only distant view from it is of the plain in the direction of Mazara. We once thought that we saw the sea at the horizon, which, I suppose, in this climate might have been the case.
I will draw a little plan of our station on the other side, which will give you a better idea of what we have done than a long description. The huts are of straw, circular for the most part in plan, and crowned with a conical roof and very wide-spreading eaves. The door acts as window and chimney. The floors as yet are only of earth, or I should say dust, which is a great worry, but we dream of substituting mud, brick, and even tile floors some day. Unfortunately, for so cold and exposed a situation these huts are not well adapted. If we remain here, we must contrive others of a more permanent character. The mist, which is our greatest enemy, cannot be shut out, in spite of fires which are kept up all the night. On awaking in the morning you are sensible that something is wrong, and you soon feel a shivering sensation, and discover that everything about you is dripping. On opening the door for a little light, you find that a thick mist is driving across the top of the mountain, and this lasts sometimes the whole day, but more frequently the sun shines out about noon. The mist is always accompanied with a high wind, and very often with rain. One generally finds that two mornings out of the seven are misty. I think that this is quite the worst feature of our new home.
When we first came here we found three huts, occupied by the family of Chicama. We bought his huts and his tenant right in the shape of cleared ground and its crops of peas and beans for three fathoms of cloth (six yards), and so entered peaceably on the estate. Hence the name of the new Mission station, as I have said before.
It would take a much longer time than I can afford just now to describe to you our work up to this date, but our usual day is divided somewhat as follows:--Rise at 6.30, breakfast 7.0, service 7.30, work from 8.0 to 12.30, dinner; school from 2.0 to 3.0, work again until tea at 5.30; service at 7.0. When our chapel is finished, we shall begin with the service at 6.30, and in a little time I hope to make room for a morning school, in addition to the hour in the afternoon, but much order or arrangement has been as yet out of the question, and we are only now beginning to shake into our places.
The boys who have joined us from Chibisa's are twenty-five in number. They seem nice little fellows for the most part; but, unhappily, cannot speak any English, and so our communication with them is at present very restricted. We are trying to remedy this sad oversight, and already I have induced them to answer "Here, sir," at name calling, and "Thank you, sir," on receiving their food, etc., and they are beginning the usual school drill of "Hands up," "out," "in," etc. I have already expressed in a former letter my surprise and grief that after two years' residence at Magomero and Chibisa's these boys have to begin at the very beginning of a Christian education, and therefore I will not enlarge on what is, I fear, a very sore subject. A good many of them are in Drayton's hands, on account of large sores in the legs and back, and for these we have provided a separate hut immediately under Drayton's care.
In my last letter I said that I intended to discourage the removal of any native people from Chibisa's to the Morumbala, except these boys. I believe it was found that the large mass of those who had been living at the Mission station refused to entertain the idea of removing. But there were some women, old and young, and a few little girls, who were anxious to remain with the English, and the proposal was brought down to me by Mr. Alington that they should be allowed to come here, and as an inducement for me to comply with this plan, he and Mr. Waller asked to be allowed to bear between them the expense of their maintenance. It was with extreme reluctance that I felt obliged to say no. But I foresaw so many difficulties in admitting females to a Mission station composed wholly of the other sex, that I pressed upon Mr. Alington the necessity of putting a stop to his kindly intentioned scheme. My duty was the harder on learning that some of the women were very helpless, and one, I believe, is a confirmed cripple, but, after due reflection, I decided that the Mission, as a Mission, could not receive these poor people, and I suggested that a plan should be made for sending them to the Cape or Natal, in case it was thought an actual necessity that they should not be left behind when the Mission party were coming to Morumbala. But this alternative was not accepted, and it has ended in Mr. Waller bringing these people to the foot of the mountain, there to await Dr. Livingstone's arrival, who will, it is believed, undertake their future support. This step deprives the Mission of Mr. Waller's services. In order the better to carry out Dr. Livingstone's philanthropic aims, he found it necessary to send me a formal resignation of his post as "Lay Superintendent." In many ways we are the losers. Mr. Waller, since Mr. Dickenson's death, has acted as the medical man with acknowledged skill and unvarying self-devotion to the sick, and if the object of his original connexion with the Mission has, through no fault of his, been a failure, you can easily understand that the history of the two past years has made the heaviest demands on the love and endurance of each of the survivors. The correspondence which has taken place on this subject I send home for the satisfaction of yourself and the Committee.
I have every comfort in those who accompanied me from England, as well as in Blair and Adams, who now are the sole representatives of the original Mission party. Of course, the first settlement on a wild mountain [of thirty-four persons, young and old), amidst occasionally very uncomfortable weather, could not fail to be attended with much privation and hardship. But all has been borne with true Christian patience and cheerfulness; our carpenter is an excellent fellow, and just the sort of workman that we wanted. Harrison, who acts as cook, lays every member of the Mission under heavy obligations to him. He and Tom Sivil, both of whom you may remember I took from my old parish, are very great helps and comforts to me. Mr. Drayton acts as our medical man, in the absence of any regular practitioner. I have more confidence in him than he has in himself. I cannot speak as yet very favourably of our general health, but our sojourn has been far too short to judge with any certainty of the suitableness of the climate for Europeans. My fear is that the mist of which I have spoken, together with the great and sudden alterations of temperature, may compel us to give in our verdict against our present resting-place. On the other hand, the soil seems all that we could wish, and such parts of the mountain as we have explored are most interesting and picturesque. Water is evidently scarce, and we are rather anxious about our own supply during the hot season.
The want of medical assistance is rather a subject for you at home to discuss than for me to enlarge on. It must be remembered that on the final withdrawal of the Expedition, the country will contain no more practised adviser than Drayton, and even now, through the retirement of Drs. Kirk and Mellor, the only person who can be relied on is Dr. Livingstone himself. The uncertainty of our future plans makes "it extremely difficult for me to offer any advice on the matter. As the subject of health is likely to be a very interesting point with you, I may say that just now we are all tolerably well, and Sivil seems to have received real benefit from the mountain air. With the exception of myself, all have had attacks of fever, the effects perhaps of our stay for some ten weeks in the lowlands.
Of our missionary prospects it would be premature to boast. The twenty-five orphan boys, who have to be taught everything, will prevent us from sinking down into mere backwood settlers. The mountain people seem to be very few in number, and widely scattered about in little villages, consisting of three or four huts each. Of the plain between us and Quilimane nothing is known, but it is not a swamp, like the Morumbala marsh on the Shiré side of the mountain, and may possibly contain numerous villages. In my next letter I hope to be able to tell you more about this all-important topic.
Dr. Steere has kindly undertaken the post of storekeeper, which entails constant attention and no little trouble. For the sake of security, he prefers to make a portion of the store hut his sleeping place. I believe he will be able to send with this a pretty accurate list of what we have in stock. Our greatest want is money. With English gold we can supply very many of our daily necessities. Bills, on the other hand, the Portuguese have much difficulty in negotiating, and in consequence fail to supply us with goods at ready money prices.
I have already mentioned in a former letter my belief that the Cape must be abandoned as the Mission's point of supply. There is some little trade with Bombay, but none whatever with the Cape Colonies; in consequence, all communication via Cape Town is painfully protracted, and when the Livingstone Expedition is actually gone, our last sheet anchor, the arrival of an occasional man of war, will go with it. I should advise, therefore, in future that all letters, and possibly parcels too, should be sent under cover to the Bishop of Bombay, and if a credit account can be opened for us with some Bombay bankers we may find it of very great use in times of emergency.
You are aware that heavy duties were demanded on some portion of the goods which the Orestes put on shore for us in May, and that I delivered a protest against this demand when I paid the money to Senor Mesquita. I have since received an official answer from the Governor of Quilimane, who, instructed by the Governor-General of Mozambique, informs me that the protest cannot be entertained. I send you this document as it is of some importance, and I cannot venture upon a translation. The reasons for demanding import duties on Mission goods seem to me to be perfectly valid, and I think we have no ground of complaint against the Portuguese authorities on this score.
I intend to write a separate letter to the Finance Committee, which will contain a full statement of accounts.
TO MISS TOZER.
CHICAMA'S, MORUMBALA, RIVER
October 20, 1863.
YOUR first budget of letters arrived with Dr. Waghorn; we received them on the ninth and tenth of this month. They were dated March, April, and May, three packets, and the last told me of a serious illness, which makes me extremely anxious for further news. Somehow, I hope and trust that all is well again; at any rate, I try and make myself believe so. But how much suffering you must have undergone! F. tells me more than you had strength to do, and this is a comfort to me. It is far best, as you say, to tell all, and I shall never flinch from doing so when I write about myself.
I much fear that the long detention of letters at the Kongone will prove very trying to you at home. Those which we sent off from Mazaro on the sixth of August are, I believe, still waiting a man of war at Inhamissengo (Kongone), being in charge of Procter and Rowley, who are detained there most vexatiously all this time, through the non-arrival of expected vessels. We now hear that the Rapid is certainly going to call there at the end of next month, and I hope to send you this by her, so that you will get two sets of letters together.
Let me mention what letters I have already sent you. The first we left on the Orestes, and have ere this, of course, been delivered. The next, written from Inhamissengo, dated May 25, were sent to Quilimane. The next (as I have said), dated in August, Mr. Procter has charge of. The fourth mail we sent down to Quilimane on the eleventh of this month by young Vianna, who brought Mr. Waghorn up here from Mazaro. This letter will be the fifth, but it will not leave for another fortnight or three weeks. In case previous letters have not arrived, I may mention the chief news they contain. The removal of the Mission from Chibisa's to Morumbala; the not bringing down the people here, except the twenty-five native boys; the return of Mr. Procter and Mr. Rowley to England, through bad health; the return to the Cape, with them, of the black cook for less satisfactory reasons; the resignation of Mr. Waller, and his coming to the foot of the mountain with thirteen women and children to wait Dr. Livingstone's arrival in the Pioneer, when it is presumed that the whole party will quit the country. Added to this is the generally unsatisfactory state of things as left by the old Mission party. You will have heard long ago of the deaths of Scudamore and Dickenson, and of the return home of Gamble and Clark through sickness, but you knew nothing of this when you sent off Mr.Waghorn, and we are all touched with the extreme kindness of the Committee in this matter, and we may well compliment you for the amount of wise forethought which you showed in obtaining another medical man's assistance.
Before saying anything of ourselves, I will run through your delightful letters and answer your questions; they have been such a joy as only they know who have had to wait patiently for months, "knowing nothing."
"... Please send the Church Times so long as he lives; I shall get news there occasionally which would not appear in other papers, and one is always interested in St. Mary Magdalene's.
My last letter was dated ninth or tenth inst., and the departure coincided with Mr. Waghorn's arrival. It was sent to Quilimane on the mere chance of its getting to Mozambique, and so to England. I just acknowledged receiving yours, but had no time for answering them, and I suspect you will receive this before that mail. We all like Mr. Waghorn very much. He is ready to accommodate himself to circumstances. Just now he has a severe attack of fever. The hot weather has set in, and we have all felt the change. By mutual consent, chapel is to be henceforth before breakfast, and we shall have it the first thing after sunrise, which they say is about 5.30, but this is all guess work. We had to put the doctor into a little corner of the store-hut, designed for a surgery. It was very small, and as he did not seem comfortable there I exchanged huts with him. The little surgery did very well for me, and was snug and warm and close to Steere, but now that the store-hut is being reconstructed, Steere and I have removed to a new hut.
We find the prevailing wind from the south-east, so we have made all doors open from north-west, as I have indicated. At first we made them all front into the open space, but now one and then another had to give way to the native custom and make the "lew "side the one for the door. Half past one. I now go out of my hut and scream for all the boys to go to wash, preparatory to school at 2. I generally speak in English and native, "Boys all go to wash." The new doctor brought a good quantity of stores with him. His list was not made out very accurately, but when we came to look it over we discovered that some things which had been at the landing-place had not arrived here at Chicama's. By mere accidental circumstances, Alington was sure that three boxes which he had sent up had been stolen, so on the sixteenth he went down to make a disturbance about it. The first hut he went into he found a box of soap. This was at Manasomba's village. He then went to Enjugama's, and heard that two boxes had been hidden in the bush. These were brought in the evening by men who threw them down outside the hut at the half-way and then "ran for their lives." Another box of sago mysteriously appeared next morning. This had been untouched, but two others were broken open. This was a very serious offence, and I sent down the mountain an order for all the guilty parties to come up here with their chiefs. Sarebi refused to come. The great offender, Enjugama, had run away, but five men came, and Manasomba. I found that two of these were more or less implicated, and I ordered them to bring up a very heavy burden next day as a punishment, which they did. Messrs. Enjugama and Sarebi's cases stand over, but I shall confer with the Portuguese soldier, whom we are daily expecting from Quilimane, as to the best course with respect to them.
Blair, who had gone to Chibisa's for some few things left there, arrived at the landing-place yesterday. He reports the river in a very disturbed state. A rebel called Matakinka (Mariano), who has recently died, had gathered round him a large number of natives, who are now availing themselves of the opportunity for making war in every direction. Blair found that the Malo people, who were all right when he passed up the river, had in the short interval before his return been dispersed and their island desolated. We have since heard of these fellows on the other side of our mountain, and the very name of Matakinka, alive or dead, frightens the poor natives terribly. On the smallest pretence, they, too, run for their lives.
October 31.--This morning Steere, Alington, and Drayton have been down the mountain on the Quilimane side. They returned in the evening, bringing no cheering report of the country at the foot. Steere says whatever was not rock was swamp and what was not swamp was rock. The descent, however, was pretty.
November 3, 4, 5.--For the last three days I have been but poorly--no fever, but great prostration. The doctor recommends wine, which I am taking in consequence.
November 6.--Steere and I remove to-day to our new hut from the store-hut. This latter is being quickly pulled down and put up again. It had too low a pitch of roof, and we have narrowed the width of it some five feet, and substituted apsidal ends by which means we hope the goods may be kept dry when the rains come. We are clearing a good piece of ground beyond the chapel for a garden. C. A. superintends this, and it affords good employment for the boys. A kind Mr. McGibbon at the Cape supplied us with a good assortment of seeds, many of which have been already put into the ground.
Quarter to 4. I have just dismissed my class. The twenty-five boys are divided into three sets for school. A. takes the nine most forward, I the next eight, and Drayton or Steere the rest, who certainly would be styled "Dulherds "at Burgh. You will like to hear as a specimen of native names what my eight are called. (JPronounce the vowels as on the Continent.) Senjiri, Nampoka, Yo, Mizilengi, Gawa, Disingiji, Nyngama, Morongo.
November 17.--I fear you will consider this the shabbiest of letters, but we are sending off a canoe to Kongone rather unexpectedly. On Sunday we opened our little church. It is really a most thorough success, and inside the effect is unusually good. All round the apse we have hung some of our barter blue cloth, and pinned seven of the pictures on it. A wooden corona lights it well up. Withers' altar cloth, Mr. Harris' beautiful brass altar desk and book, Miss C.'s linen, my own set of psalters and hymn books, and the dossal from Brighton, all combine to adorn the little place.
On Sunday, for the first time, the boys came to service, and I have settled that in future they shall come every morning. Yesterday was a general holiday. The men revelled in cartridges and rifles, and were cracking away from morn to dewy eve, and enjoyed themselves hugely. On Sunday we had a sort of school feast. Also, for the first time in their lives, the boys sat down to a table and were served. The feast was a stew, with a slice of cake afterwards, and water at discretion. It was intensely appreciated. We mean henceforth to let them have their meals in this way instead of letting them cook each for himself alone. As a memento of the occasion I have given each boy a clasp knife.
The rains are just beginning and we have a good deal of fog and damp. Our health in general is not very good, but beyond a feeling of lassitude and ennui common to us all, I am myself well.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
CHICAMA'S, MORUMBALA, RIVER Shiré,
November 16, 1863.
YOUR letters of the sixth of May arrived here with Mr. Waghorn at the beginning of last month. We were all exceedingly touched with the kindness of the Executive Committee in sending us another medical man so soon as they heard of Mr. Dickenson's failing health.
You will not be surprised to hear that I have determined to remove the Mission from the Zambezi with all speed. While we have been free from any very severe sickness since coming to Morumbala, we have still had so much illness that all hopes of finding this a "sanatorium" and a refuge from fever have long since disappeared. This alone would, I feel sure, satisfy our friends at home of the inexpediency of prolonging our experimental visit to the mountains, but there are very many other reasons which combine to sanction the removal of the Mission from this part of the country. Many of these can be gathered from my former letters. The disturbed state of the country, the fewness of the inhabitants, their scattered and restless condition, all make it clear that this is no place for a Church of England Mission.
I have, in consequence, written to Captain Gardner of H.M.S. Orestes, asking for the use of the Pioneer after she has been handed over to him by Dr. Livingstone at the Kongone. If we fail to secure the Pioneer, we shall, I doubt not, hear of some other plan for the removal of ourselves, the boys under our charge, and our stores. But before this can take place, I daresay we shall hear again from home, and from the Bishop of Cape Town.
When once I had made up my mind that the Mission could not stand its ground here, I resolved to lose not a day in communicating with you on the subject, and in endeavouring to secure some exit from this land of fevers and sickness. The remaining on here, beyond the necessities of the case, will be a mere waste of time and strength. As I cannot make definite plans myself, I shall hope that you will hear from the Bishop of Cape Town, and possibly from Captain Gardner, so soon as anything has been decided as to the time and method of our removal.
As I am writing against time, I shall content myself with a very short note. I have written at some length to the Bishop of Lincoln, and should you like to see the letter, I am sure you have only to express a wish to that effect either to his Lordship or to my sister. [Dr. Jackson, afterwards Bishop of London.]
TO MISS TOZER.
November 19, 1863.
MY chief care now is to get away, and I am not particularly careful about our next stopping place; it may be Mozambique, Johanna, or Cape Town. At either of them we can easily send or receive letters, and so decide on our ultimate destination. To-day we have our old enemy the fog. . . . The succession of this weather day after day is very trying. It perfectly prostrates Steere, and Drayton and I both feel it very sensibly.
On Sunday, for the first time in their lives, the boys came to church. My hope is that they understand at least the object of a church, and some of them are very apt at taking in one's meaning, although they are shy of ever speaking a word of English. They stand and kneel and squat, just as we do, and they range themselves all along the wall of the ante-chapel. As yet, their conduct is beyond praise. . . . The school goes on, and has never been interrupted since we began it, except for an occasional day. We make very fair progress, considering that we only keep them for an hour at a time. We are sadly in want of apparatus. Perhaps, now that the weather is unsuitable for out-door employment, we may have school twice a day instead of once.
We are none of us very brisk. The mountain was not what it was represented to be, and a continued residence would fail, I doubt not, as signally as that at Magomero or Chibisa's. Poor----- has had no home letters by this mail, which is very disappointing. If you are sending a box at any time to the Cape, will you send a Clergy List for me, a copy of Mackenzie's Life, and anything else you think may interest us. I have such hopes that the captivity may soon end well, and that some real work may be found for us all in the great cause. The "trivial task," etc., is quite true, but it is not the normal condition of a bishop to dig up roots and wash clothes, and I begin to pine for something better to do. My stay here will have opened my eyes as to what should not be the features of a Mission. Perhaps I may get to know in time what they ought to be.
TO THE BISHOP OF CAPE TOWN.
CHICAMA'S, MORUMBALA, RIVER Shiré,
January 6, 1864.
THE enclosed dispatches written to the London committee will explain our plans, so far as we can frame them beforehand. I intend to leave the envelopes open, for your perusal, and I am sure I may rely on your sending them to England by the earliest opportunity.
The Zambezi has proved in every way a miserable failure, and the selection of it for English missionary work can only be due to the blindest enthusiasm. Of course, our departure brings down on us the fierce wrath of '-----. ... I need only add, in quitting this subject, that to have kept the Mission here against my own convictions, for fear of being called a coward, would certainly have entitled me to-----'s imputation.
I have to thank Mrs. Gray for copies of the Bishop of Oxford's letter and Mr. Krapf's interesting communication. The originals were also brought by Capt. Forsyth. You will see that all the men (five in number) are returning to Cape Town. The civilization side of our scheme has not been a success, and there has been no field whatever open for the services of printer, tanner, shoemaker, or tailor, beyond the actual Mission party. In fact, the attempt to transport a little piece of English civilization into the interior of Africa has proved abortive, and, considering all things, I don't think that we need grieve over the discovery; for in planting an English village here (which was, I believe, the original idea) you must take the bad side with the good, and you must run the risk of introducing English bad habits as well as English virtues, and when all this is considered I fancy you will agree with me that purely missionary work, directed to the one end, and independent of commercial aspirations, presents the best augury for future success.
You will see that Dr. Livingstone relieves us of the further care of the boys who came down to Morumbala from Chibisa's. I cannot say how thankful I am that I am able to concur in his request that they shall be placed on board the Pioneer as soon as she arrives here. The boys, with the exception of some two or three, are unwilling to be taken away, and evidently sigh for their old manner of life and for a return to their own people. Many of them are too young to really understand the advantages and disadvantages of a return to Chibisa's, and I was in great doubt how to act, when Livingstone's timely request reached me.
It is somewhat amusing, after all that has been said of the helplessness of the Mission's proteges, and of the sin and wickedness of leaving them behind, an easy prey to their tormentors, to hear, as the last news from Chibisa's, that the remaining Manganja chief, Mankokwe, had been burnt out by the Makololo, assisted by the former dependents of the Mission and other Ajawa from the hills. Chimlolo, whose name occurs constantly in the past history of the Mission, seems to have been actively engaged in this successful campaign. Mankokwe, you will remember, was the chief who refused the presents which were offered him by Dr. Livingstone and the late Bishop on their first ascent of the Shiré; and he showed a shrewd foresight in disclaiming any alliance with the newcomers. There are, in my opinion, few men who deserve more sympathy than this poor "down-trodden "Manganja who has seen his worst fears so sadly realized. But I shall weary you with these sad details, which, however, are important in their way, and may not be altogether put aside.
I am sorry that my letters have not reached you. I have written, I think, by every opportunity, so that some may possibly turn up after a time. But the interval between your getting our letters written on board the Orestes and those which Procter and Rowley took with them will, I fear, have proved very trying to all interested in us.
A mail which we closed up in August, and sent to Kongone on the sixth of that month, remained there month after month, until at last Rowley, Procter, and Dr. Mellor gave it up as a bad job, and went in the early part of November to Quilimane, en route for Mozambique. I scarcely dare to think when the letters can have reached England, or how much anxiety this excessive delay must have caused. While on the subject of letters, let me say that none of those which left England on the sixth of June and the sixth of July have reached us. But we have the August, September, and October (six) letters. Mr. Woodcock refers to some minutes of meetings of the Executive and General Committees (July 28 and 29), which he had forwarded to the Cape. These have not reached me, and I am unable to make any observations on them. Things which are still at Cape Town will, of course, not be forwarded. I am sorry that a large quantity of preserved meat has been lately purchased in London for our use. The Cape Town Committee would do well to sell it when it arrives.
Under present circumstances, the Bishop of Mauritius' plan for Madagascar seems judicious. The missionaries on the eastern side of the Island may well be attached to his Diocese, and it would be premature, I think, to make any other missionary settlement there for a time.
Should Alington arrive at the Cape before me, which in all probability he will do, he might be induced to visit the country you speak of "beyond Natal," so as to report to you the aspect of affairs there.
I am not very sanguine about Dr. Krapf's plan. But if I can visit Kilwa, I will, or even push on to Rebmann's station near Mombas,
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
CHICAMA'S, MORUMBALA, RIVER Shiré,
Wednesday, January 6 (Epiphany), 1864.
LETTERS which you have already received will have announced our decision to quit the Zambezi, nor will you be unprepared for such a determination. The question of health alone seems to leave us no option, and I cannot say how thankful I shall be when all our party are well out of the river.
The experiment of a station on this mountain has conspicuously failed, fever has followed us to our home above the clouds, and we have scarcely a day when we all can meet either in chapel or for meals.
Our last mail, which brought us letters from England up to October, was accompanied with one from Captain Forsyth of H.M.S. Valorous, promising to do all in his power to help us in removing the Mission from the country. I propose, therefore, to send the bulk of the party to the Kongone as soon as the canoes arrive, which I have ordered from Señor Vianna's. In this way I trust that the five working men, with Mr. Drayton and Mr. Waghorn, will secure an early passage to the Cape. Dr. Steere and myself will go to Quilimane, and from thence to Mozambique and Johanna, and possibly to Zanzibar and Mombas, should we see our way to extending our travels so far north. I shall thus be in a position to say how far Dr. Krapf's plan of planting a Mission somewhere in the neighbourhood of Kilwa is likely to succeed. Mr. Alington has volunteered to remain at the foot of the mountain (near Mr. Waller) for the arrival of the Pioneer, in charge of the native boys, whom Dr. Livingstone, in rather peremptory terms, has asked me to give back to him. I may here mention the circumstances which led to this request. When it was known that we had decided to leave Morumbala, the boys became somewhat unsettled, and some of the older ones asked me to send them back to their friends at Chibisa's. I set before them very plainly the dangers in store for them when the English had left the river, together with the possible wars and famine with which they would have to contend. However, at the end of some weeks the eldest came to me and said he still wished to return, and that there were others of the same mind. As we were without news of the Pioneer, and a report was being freely circulated that Dr. Livingstone had been murdered, I sent up a boat with some stores for the ship's crew, of which we knew they were in great want, and I took the opportunity of allowing six of the eldest boys to return to Chibisa's in accordance with their repeated request. I provided them with cloth, corn, and various other things likely to prove useful. Blair, who was in charge of them, left them at Chibisa's, where their own people were comfortably settled, and I took credit to myself for having acted with great discretion. But Dr. Livingstone (who had returned to the ship) seems displeased that the boys were not sent to him, and demands the rest who are with us at Morumbala. As they were liberated by him in the first instance, and were sent to school to the Mission, I daresay he can establish his claim to them far better than I can, but, independently of this, there are two considerations which make me singularly grateful to Dr. Livingstone for stepping in at this crisis and taking the boys off my hands. The first is that almost all of them are wild to go back to Chibisa's, and if I did not allow them to go I should have to take them away against their consent; and secondly I have reason to believe that the Portuguese authorities might at the last moment step in and prevent the boys accompanying us. With this latter difficulty Dr. Livingstone can cope far better than a mere private individual like myself. Mr. Alington will, therefore, remain behind and deliver the boys into Dr. Livingstone's hands when he arrives.
I have to acknowledge the kind letter which the Bishop of Oxford has written to me on behalf of the General Committee. It is a great satisfaction to feel that the course which circumstances have compelled me to adopt will be endorsed by our friends at home. .
The abandonment of the Zambezi for English missionary work becomes each day more necessary. The death of Matakinka has resulted in leaving all the country for many miles exposed to the predatory visits of his so-called followers, neither property nor life is secure for any of the native people, and we have been petitioned, as the late Bishop was at Magomero, to head warlike expeditions against the soupies (Sepoys), as they are called.
I believe myself that the influence of the Portuguese, either for good or for bad, has been much exaggerated. Nor do I think that the political aspect of the Colony would be altered to any great extent if the Portuguese retired in a body, and I would wish to guard myself from being mixed up with the wholesale charges which have been so constantly and eagerly made against them. I regret to say that anything is greedily believed to their prejudice, and industriously circulated by too many who have been placed under constant obligations to them, and the good English maxim of "hearing both sides of the question "is systematically set aside when the supposed criminal is a Portuguese.
The associating mechanics with missionaries is felt to be a mistake. Indeed, there is no point upon which we all are so fully assured as this, and I would never venture to recommend the Committee again to plant a Mission upon this basis. The men who are with me are, one and all, excellent fellows, but they feel the unreality of their position as strongly as I do. Although I have no time to enlarge on this point, I shall not scruple [in reliance on your kindly expressed desire to leave me unfettered in these matters) to comply with the men's wish and terminate their connexion with us so soon as they arrive either at the Cape or in England. They will each take a high testimonial of character from me, and will, I doubt not, do well in their respective trades, wherever they may happen to settle. I believe that some of them may prefer to remain in South Africa rather than return to England, in which case I think the Committee would do well to give them the amount of passage money, so that they might at any future time go home, in case they wished to do so.
It is just possible that the Bishop of Cape Town may induce Mr. Alington on his arrival there to visit the country "beyond Natal" which belongs to a native chief called Panda, to see how far a Mission would be likely to flourish in that part of South Africa. At any rate, I hope in a future letter to be able to tell you something of the East Coast, north of this, and to report on the openings (if any) which present themselves for the establishment of English Church Missions in that direction.
I see with regret the death of Admiral Washington in the papers. You will remember how strongly he advised me, when I saw him in England, to retire from the Zambezi, and the event proves how wise his counsel was.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
March 12, 1864.
A LITTLE Arab dhow is announced to leave this for Mozambique at the full moon. As she is far too small to take passengers, I shall make use of her by writing a note to you under cover to Suarez. Steere and I have been here just five weeks to-day, and I fear that we cannot hope for any immediate prospect of leaving. No ships have come up the river as yet, except a barque, which is bound for Lourenzo Marques, but Suarez' schooner is expected shortly, and by it we hope to get to Mozambique.
On arriving there our plans will depend on the news we get, and on the movements of the Orestes,
The rest of our party, consisting of Alington, Drayton, and Waghorn, and the five men, were all taken off from Inhamissengo (Kongone) by Captain Gardner on the fifteenth of last month. The Orestes then went on to Mozambique, accompanied by the Pioneer, and we have had no later information than this, which was communicated to us by Seftor Mesquita.
I have written at length to you by the home party, as well as to the Bishops of Lincoln and Oxford, and these letters cannot fail to reach you long before this. Indeed, the uncertainty of your ever receiving it at all is so great that I merely content myself with saying that it leaves us in good health, with the intention of getting on to Mozambique by the first opportunity, which can scarcely be for another month at the least.
TO THE REV. J. W. FESTING.
[Now Bishop of St. Albans, and Chairman of the Mission's Home Committee.]
SIMON'S TOWN, CAPE OF GOOD HOPE,
Monday, May 23, 1864.
THE mail has left, and this will come by the flagship, which sails on Wednesday morning. Steere and I arrived here yesterday morning. I found a mass of letters waiting for me, which I have not, even yet, been able to get through, and Steere has gone over to Cape Town for the rest. I do not, therefore, write officially, because, with the exception of one finance letter, which cannot be answered off-hand, no office letters have yet reached me. The Bishop of Cape Town is at Natal, so that I shall have time to read and consider everything that may have been sent out since the beginning of the year, without distraction; at least, I hope so. But I have said nothing of our coming here. After waiting at Quilimane for just over eleven weeks, we got off in a tiny schooner, and arrived at Mozambique on Friday, April 29. The day before, H.M.S. Penguin had come in for coals, on her way from Zanzibar to the Cape. Lieut. McHardy, her commander, at once took us on board, and we sailed the next day, and anchored here yesterday morning. There were but two English mails for us at Mozambique, but there must be four here at the Cape. Had the Penguin not put in there, and her doing so was a mere accident, we might have had to remain many months dependent on Mr. Suarez' hospitality, as every ship, except Rapid and Ariel, has come down to the Cape to meet the new Admiral, and to take leave of Sir Baldwin Walker, who is returning home.
His kindness to us, as well as that of Mr. McHardy, has been most unremitting; the latter has insisted on vacating even his own berth to accommodate us, and there are others too, nearer home, whom we can never repay, and whose secretarial lives at Mitre Court must of late have been a burden to them.
I do so grieve over the disappointment which our removal must be causing to so many warm hearts in England. This is my chief sorrow. The removal itself was imperative. I cannot wish to have pursued a different course in any of the difficulties with which I have had to contend. This is to me a great source of comfort now. I wish I saw the future as clearly. It would be presumptuous to hazard an opinion thus early. But I see serious difficulties in every suggestion which has thus far reached me.
By the next mail, please God, you shall have letters to the full.
I have suffered more from sea sickness in this last voyage than I did even in the Cambrian, and had to lie in my cot day after day like a block of wood. Yet a very few days on shore will set me quite on my legs. My kindest regards to your good brother secretary, and to your own family and Mr. Fish.
I sometimes fear I may have after all to return to England before any solid settlement can be made, but, for many reasons, I should be sorry to have to do so.
TO THE REV. J. W. FESTING.
CAPE TOWN, June i, 1864.
AT this crisis in the history of the Mission I don't like to lose any opportunity of communicating with you. I shall try and send you my thoughts about the future, which, however, can only be written down in the most hurried way, and amidst constant interruptions, as the Hydaspes sails this afternoon, and takes Drayton and Waghorn and the five men to England.
To take the suggested fields of labour in order:--1st, Madagascar. In many ways this is promising, but there is the present critical state of the new government, which must make a new Mission very much of an experiment. Then a Bishop should certainly fix himself in the capital, and this is somewhat questionable when we remember the claims of Ellis and his Society. Take it all in all, I am inclined to think that what has been adopted is the wisest present course. I mean for the missionaries to work on the coast under the Bishop of Mauritius.
It is, of course, doubtful whether all the supporters of the Church of England missionaries would like their agent to work under a Missionary Bishop, and I could not compel any to recognize me as their Ordinary.
It is, I confess, with something of a sigh that I hasten on to scheme No. 2, Johanna. There are conflicting accounts about the health question in the Comoro Islands. Certainly such of our own party as have had Johanna fever have suffered terribly. Burrup is said never to have recovered from it, and Waghorn's mind and memory are still, I fear, suffering from the effects of his illness at Pomony. Captain Gardner also has a great dread of letting any of his crew sleep at Johanna. Other officers think that the unhealthiness of the Islands is exaggerated. I have met with no one who thinks that the opening for Mission work is very hopeful. The Sultan is well inclined to us, but avowedly from political motives alone. ... I am inclined, therefore, to think that while Johanna presents a fair field for a single missionary, or even two, it is no sort of centre for a large missionary staff, and I imagine that the Bishop of Mauritius could easily take the oversight of such work as may be carried on there, his own Diocese being, as you know, very small, and, in consequence of the large French element which pervades it, not a laborious one.
No. 3. Inland work, via Zanzibar. I feel that we must know and hear more than we do at present of this opening before committing ourselves to it. It was from an indiscriminating reliance on Livingstone's description of Zambezia, and an unhesitating confidence in his first impressions of it, gained by a hurried march across the Continent, that we have already suffered. What I have seen of Speke's statements makes me fear that they are drawn from a too short acquaintance with the regions through which he has passed. One thing is certain from our experience, that we must have some base on or near the coast, and this would, I fear, prevent our occupying at once the field which Speke has pointed out. Should the Committee wish it, I would gladly accompany either Burton or Speke in their next expedition (in case they would allow of my doing so) and see with my own eyes the possibilities of the scheme which they have suggested. I confess to feeling much interested in this wish to penetrate Africa from the north-east. No. 4. The now favourite plan is for us to go to the tribes north-east of Natal. The objections to this field of work are as follows. The evidence in favour of the selection is obtained second-hand. I have heard nothing whatever of it from an eyewitness. (I am speaking of the territory suggested by Mr. Robertson--not, of course, of Mr. R.'s own station or neighbourhood, where, I understand, he does not desire the Mission to settle down.) The heads of the Zulus and other tribes are spoken of by Bishop Forbes' informants, and also by Mr. Robertson, as strongly opposed to Christian missionaries, and Mr. Glover, of Cape Town, tells me that the two Zulus whom Mr. Robertson has baptized have been saved from martyrdom only through his strong influence with their chief, one of Panda's sons. In the face of such opposition, it would seem to be wiser to work on gently and quietly, as Mr. R. seems to be doing, than to go with a certain amount of pomp and circumstance into the more openly hostile settlement. But the main objection would seem to be in taking the Zulu territory away from the legitimate see, that viz. of Natal. A glance at the map will show how naturally and comparatively easily the work would come under the oversight of the Bishop of Natal. That diocese, as at present constituted, is not only the smallest in South Africa, but even with the addition of the whole of Zululand it would be smaller than Grahamstown (so far as I can judge), and very far smaller than that of Cape Town. The fact, too, that Bishop Twells' "Diocese "stretches all along the northern boundary of Zulu-land would cut it off from any contact with Central Africa. Indeed, were we settled among the Amaswazi, Bishop Twells would be the Central African Bishop. Until I hear further, therefore, which I shall do without doubt before long, I am disinclined to accept unhesitatingly this proposition, which evidently would, as you say, secure many suffrages. I need scarcely add that under present circumstances the neighbourhood of Natal would be a very painful post to occupy. Every one would at once see the delicacy of a Bishop's position who has to make that Colony his base of operations. Yet even should my fears prove well founded, and prevent our occupation of Zululand, there may be many desirable openings for individual missionaries to work quietly on, as Mr. Robertson is doing. No. 5. Dr. Steere, and possibly the Dean of Cape Town, are the only people who appear to have thought of the Western Coast north of Namaqua Land. There is a trade between the Cape and Walfish Bay, and it was from this latter place that Baines started for the Victoria Falls. I shall shortly have an opportunity of consulting a Dr. Faur of the Dutch Church, who is the best authority on the subject in the Colony, and meanwhile I must refrain from any expression of opinion.
I am so thoroughly convinced of the hopelessness of uniting successfully English trades with missionary work, and of associating working-men from home with clergymen in the same Mission station, and under the authority of a Missionary Bishop, that I should feel obliged to decline undertaking such a post again. There is no point, I believe, upon which we all agree so entirely as that this feature in the original plan of the C.A.M. should not be retained.
I wish I could write more hopefully of our future prospects. Each suggested scheme appears to be surrounded with very special difficulties, and the present is certainly not the time to embark hastily in any project which has not been thoroughly considered in all its bearings.
At this time precipitancy would be more than foolish, and the Committee may rely on my doing nothing rashly.
You will perceive how hastily I have had to throw these observations before you. I am writing against time. By the next mail you may rely on my writing to you again.
There is one black boy whom I brought down from the Mission, and who was never released from slavery, and so could not be returned to Dr. Livingstone. There were circumstances which seemed to justify my bringing him with me, and the Portuguese authorities gave him a passport, and kindly refused to make any charge for it. I have placed the boy in the Kaffir College for the present, and I shall ask the Committee to maintain him there until he is in a position to work his way in the world.
A statement of accounts will accompany this. I have had no time to audit them myself, but I believe you will find them correct. . . . The keeping of the accounts has been an intricate business, from the different currencies and the different value of the same Portuguese coins of different dates, a "penny" being either 20 or 40 reis, according to whether it was coined recently or some years since. This is most puzzling, and one scarcely ever gets through a money payment without some mistake.
TO THE BISHOP OF CAPE TOWN.
GRANITE LODGE, CAPE TOWN,
Tuesday, June 14, 1864.
YOUR letter of January 22, which was written from Kalk Bay, reached me at Mozambique. It refers to a previous one, which I have not yet received. I found also on arriving here a packet of letters written by Mr. Robertson, Bishop Twells, and the Bishop of Lincoln, with reference to the selection of Zululand for the Central African Mission, and which you had been kind enough to leave for me.
A resolution of the General Committee (April 18, 1864) has been sent to me by this mail, which "sanctions the proposed transference to the country lying at the north of Zululand, and the attempt to reach thence the regions for which the Mission was originally designed."
I gather from this, as well as from the minutes of the Cambridge meeting, which have been forwarded, that Zululand commends itself at home, primarily, from its supposed suitableness as a point de depart for Central Africa, while the idea of absolutely removing the Mission to any country which would not prove eventually a stepping-stone to the Central tribes is deprecated.
I confess that I do not see how a settlement in any part of Zululand can be said to meet the requirements of the case. To the north and north-east lies the territory around Lourenzo Marques belonging to the Portuguese; on the west the Drakenberg Mountains shut off Zululand from the Transvaal and Orange Free State Republics. It follows, therefore, that a passage must be made through the Dutch or Portuguese possessions before any portion of Central Africa can be reached from Zulu-land. A glance at the map will at once show that should the Central African Mission establish itself anywhere in Zululand, Bishop Twells would necessarily be de facto the Central African Bishop.
The difficulties of pushing across the Transvaal would, in any case, be great, but from the hostility which the Dutch Boers have ever exhibited to missionaries working among the native people, the idea of reaching the Central tribes by this route must be abandoned.
When, however, we look at Zululand by itself, independently of the region beyond, I doubt not but that it presents many advantages for the establishment of new Missions, for although the strip of country between the coast and the Lebombo range is marked "unhealthy" on the charts, there is every reason to believe that the tract suggested by Mr. Robertson for our occupation is perfectly unobjectionable on this score. The extreme north must be avoided, as the Transvaal people have, I hear, repeatedly endeavoured to settle there for the sake of obtaining some part of the coast, but have invariably failed on account of the prevailing fevers.
I do not gather from either Mr. Robertson's or Bishop Twells' letters that the chiefs are as yet friendly to missionaries as a rule, and it is evident that much caution and tact will be needed in dealing with them.
Mr. Robertson mentions that some people with whom the Amaswazi were at war were assisted in obtaining a victory by the Portuguese, which goes to prove that these latter have more or less influence in the neighbourhood of their own boundary. It must also be confessed, I suppose, that the larger part of Zululand is, comparatively speaking, unexplored, and even the information which we do possess has not come directly from eye-witnesses.
I imagine that the missionaries, wherever stationed, would regard Pietermaritzburg in Natal as their real base of operations, and in this case one is inclined to ask whether the Bishop of that Colony might not be able to superintend the infant missionary work among the tribes to the north-east of his own see just as the Bishop of Grahamstown (with, I believe, harder work at home) superintends the Missions in Kaffraria.
I speak entirely under correction, but, so far as I can judge, the present Diocese of Natal, together with the whole of Zululand, is the smallest of the South African Dioceses, and possesses fewer clergy and Church people than either Cape Town or Grahamstown, while the plan I have ventured to recommend exactly coincides with the suggestions of "The Representation of the Lower House of Convocation (January, 1860) on the subject of Missionary Bishops," where the distinction between "heathen tribes lying contiguous to a Christian people" and "heathen isolated and removed from any Christian Church" is strongly insisted on.
For myself, I feel sure that if Missions such as those contemplated for Zululand were in full operation as near to Cape Town as in fact they are to Pietermaritzburg, neither Mr. Robertson nor the clergy beyond him would have any occasion to complain of insufficient episcopal guidance and support. That so zealous and successful a man as Mr. Robertson should be assisted in every possible way is clear, and undoubtedly he ought to have the means of extending his work as favourable opportunities for doing so arise; but while Panda and other chiefs are hostile to the Gospel, it may be a question whether a less bold front may not ultimately prove the more effectual way of gaining over the whole country to the Redeemer's Kingdom.
Still I feel that I am writing to one who can judge far better than myself of the expediency or the reverse of planting a Missionary Bishop in Zululand. But I am sure that if a Bishop be needed, it would be unfair to Mr. Robertson himself, and yet more to his work, to put in authority over him one so young as I am--a complete stranger to the country, and to the tribes amongst whom he has been so earnestly labouring now for some years.
Your January letter mentions two other fields open to the Central African Mission, viz., Madagascar and the Eastern Coast of Africa north of the Portuguese possessions.
Even were we obliged to abandon Central Africa altogether, for which I see at present no necessity whatever, I should be disinclined to disturb the existing arrangement, which leaves Church of England Missions to Madagascar under the control of the admirable Bishop of Mauritius, whose zeal on behalf of the Malagasy is notorious. Our Church's work there must be more or less of an experiment until the present government is well established. And Dr. Ryan's Diocese is not so large but that he can occasionally visit Tamatave, or even Antananarivo, without any great inconvenience. We can thus decide against a removal to Madagascar without discussing the many perplexities which would arise on the establishment of a Missionary Bishopric on the Island.
There remains the East Coast of Africa, of which Zanzibar is the acknowledged capital, and I have no doubt myself that it presents a very favourable position for us to occupy. You have yourself, I know, long wished our Church to be represented there, and the English resident, Colonel Playfair, has sent to say that he will gladly welcome and support us. A Bishop stationed at Zanzibar might overlook a Mission to the Comoro Islands, and another to Kilwa, should Dr. Krapf's idea be found feasible. He might provide for the wants of the European population, and do some good amongst the English and American ships which are always to be found there. Assistance might also be rendered to the devoted Rebmann at Mombas, and yet these external, though very necessary, works would be secondary to those required in Zanzibar itself, and the central tribes which are more or less connected with it. The distances reached by traders who start from Zanzibar are astonishing. They undersell the Quilimane and Mozambique merchants at Tete and other places on the Zambezi, although they have to travel entirely overland to do so. Speke's book also proves that Englishmen can penetrate into Equatorial and Central Africa from this part of the East Coast, although it remains to be proved whether Europeans could live and work in the countries through which he and Captain Grant have passed. To select any missionary field which is free from difficulties is, of course, impossible, and Zanzibar will have many special difficulties of its own. But if Central Africa is to be reached at all, we must select the best starting-place which past experience and present inquiry suggest, and then continue our way boldly to that dear Lord who will, in His own good time, bring it to pass.
Steere has drawn up a sort of memorandum on the whole subject, a copy of which I enclose. Without committing myself to every detail, I am satisfied with the principle he has laid down, and I hope it may be of use to the Committee at home.
TO THE REV. J. W. FESTING.
June 18, 1864.
I RECEIVED by the last mail the minutes of the General Committee of the eighteenth of April, and also those of the Oxford and Cambridge Committees, which relate to our change of position. I observe that in suggesting our removal to Zululand they rely upon its suitableness as a base for eventually carrying out the original purposes of the Mission, viz., the Christianization of the Central tribes. My letter to the Bishop of Cape Town, and Dr. Steere's very able memorandum on the whole case, copies of which accompany this letter, will explain to you my reasons for not being able to look at Zululand from this point of view. I should have felt, however, bound either to have accepted the proposed position, or at least to have waited until I might have communicated with you and received the Committee's instruction, had not Zanzibar presented itself as a very favourable spot upon which to recommence our work. My attention was called to the great want of a Mission in that capital by the Bishop of Cape Town himself last year, and in a letter I received from him quite recently he mentions the North-East Coast as being one of the only three positions open to us, the others being Madagascar and Zululand. In accepting the first of these, rather than the last, I believe I am acting conformably to the express wishes of the Committee, although of course, I stand convicted of disregarding the letter of their instructions. It is the decided opinion of every one whom I have consulted that, however promising Zululand may be for missionary efforts, it can never be made a base of operations for penetrating into the interior, and I think this will at once appear by a reference to the map.
The Dean of Cape Town and the Archdeacon have both urged me to take the earliest opportunity of going to Zanzibar, and I have at length accepted the kind invitation of the Admiral and Captain Gardner, and you may therefore think of us, on reading this, as already on our way in the Orestes to our future sphere of work. The reasons which have induced me to act with such promptitude are these: owing to changes in the station, it is unlikely that any man-of-war will be again leaving Simon's Bay for the Mozambique for a considerable time. The Princess Royal sailed yesterday, the Penguin follows in a few days, and the Orestes will leave in about three weeks. I must, therefore, accept Captain Gardner's kind offer, or wait here possibly for some months. Then it is of no small importance for the Mission to be introduced to the Sultan by the senior officer of the station. Again, our arrival at Zanzibar will just tally with the best season of the year, whereas if we postpone our departure, we should land either in the rains or during the tornadoes which follow the rains. Another kind of inducement which hurries me away from this is the satisfaction which you all at home will feel on hearing that the interregnum is passed, and that the Mission is again fairly in a position to recommence operations.
I shall hope to receive from the Committee at their very earliest convenience an expression of opinion as to this, my own selection of a new base for the Mission's work. It has, of course, its special difficulties, and some will view the selection of a Mahometan city as in itself unfavourable to any missionary progress. But while I believe we shall discover an extensive amount of work ready to our hands in the town and Island of Zanzibar, I wish to impress upon you that I am looking rather beyond either the one or the other for our proper and legitimate work. Zanzibar may well be the Mission's depot, on account of its commercial importance and its ready communication with Bombay and England, and there I imagine the Bishop's headquarters would be; but in fact he would be really always absent from it so soon as different Missions requiring, his superintendence were established. This moving from place to place would, one may hope, keep him in tolerable health, by providing for a constant change of air and scene.
Dr. Playfair of the Orestes, who is cousin to the Resident of the same name at Zanzibar, speaks very hopefully of the healthfulness of the town for Europeans. The late Resident, Col. Rigby, in his published "Report on the Zanzibar Dominions," which is to be found in Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government, No. LIX. New Series, a pamphlet which you should procure at once for very valuable information on the whole subject, writes--"Recent experience has proved that the climate of Zanzibar is not deserving the evil reputation it had acquired in former years. The town being situated on a tongue of land almost surrounded by the sea, is open to every breeze, and this is doubtless the chief cause of its salubrity." But, on this point, I think it is sufficient for a Missionary Society to know that Englishmen and ladies are living there in the pay of the Government. Surely, then, we need not be too scrupulous on the subject of health. What Government officials can bear, that and far more, ought the missionaries of the Church to "suffer gladly." East Africa can never suit Europeans perfectly, and Englishmen even suffer from the effects of the Cape climate. If transplantation be necessary, there will always be more or less inconvenience felt in the process. On this subject I may well quote from a letter of Captain Gardner's, which I received yesterday:
I quite agree with you in thinking that, although there may be a great field for missionary labour in the Zulu country, it is not at present a province for a Bishop. Zanzibar is springing into importance it will be now the headquarters of our cruisers on the East Coast of Africa. We have a political agent there, ready and willing to sup port missionary efforts, and the Sultan is our staunch friend, and confessedly owes everything to the English. Zanzibar is the entrep6t of trade for the whole of the neighbouring coast, and therefore the lines of communication radiate from it. The climate is not quite healthy, but steady, careful men live there well enough. The heat is not very great. There is constant and tolerably regular communication with Europe, and generally something going on to amuse the mind.
I wish I could copy the whole letter, which, though long, is most interesting, and to the purpose. It speaks of the apparent hopelessness of converting Mahometans, and of the degraded state of the surrounding country on account of the prevalence of the slave trade; of the existence of the French hospital, and of Col. Playfair's and Dr. Seward's disposition to help us "in every way," and their repeatedly expressed wish "for a resident clergyman "; he adds:
I would suggest that you write by this mail, to have instructions sent out through the Government, with whom your Society will have influence, to prepare your way. There is a large house, which we have been in treaty to purchase for a store house, but as the Sultan will not sell it at the price we understood it was going for, although he offers it as a gift, we are about to give it up. Now this building is close to the British Consulate, overlooking the sea, in the most healthy part of the town, and would suit admirably for a mission house, as it is very spacious, with good rooms for schools. If Colonel Playfair could be instructed by the Government to secure this building for a mission, it would be a great coup. Might you not yourself address a letter to Lord Russell on the subject?
I think I must leave this latter suggestion in the hands of those at home, although it may be well for me to write to the Foreign Secretary, thanking him for his kind mention of us in his dispatch, and intimating our change of plan.
Mr. Alington had left the Cape for Natal before the Penguin arrived. I have written to him to speak of our movements, and to suggest his following us to Zanzibar . . . The whole pecuniary condition of the Mission must now be reviewed. Steere's clear statement will, I trust, be of use to the Committee in coming to a determination on the subject. It will be well, should Zanzibar be accepted by them as the Mission's headquarters in Africa, to let me know what terms they may be able to offer to such clergy as are willing to join us. I have continual applications of one sort or another from men who are, or who think themselves, ready and willing for the work. But I cannot come to close quarters with them until I can say "I can offer you such and such terms." Perhaps too it may be as well for a fresh communication to be made to Messrs. Stenhouse of Bombay, to prepare them for any drafts which we may have occasion to draw on their house.
Very much of the machinery of the Mission will be simplified by our not requiring food to be sent from a distance, and should a money payment take the place of outfit, and the supply of clothing, stationery, etc., your office work will be wonderfully decreased.
I shall write to the Bishop of Lincoln by this mail, and he will be the person to speak in my behalf, in case there is any difficulty in persuading the Committee to forego sending the C.A.M. to Zululand. I need only say to you 'that they shall never have occasion to feel that I am a dead weight preventing them from carrying out their own views for the good of Africa. But for myself, I don't think I shall personally give up a hope of doing something for our Lord's Kingdom on the East Coast, unless on experience I find that local or physical circumstances present an absolute barrier to all progress. It will be time enough then to throw up my commission as Bishop and seek work elsewhere as a simple priest.
I must now try and learn the lesson of how to keep well on board ship. I don't despair of conquering in time that wearing nausea, which attends on me like the classic gadfly whenever I put foot on board, and really the satisfaction of getting on shore is a counterbalance to the miseries of a sea voyage. It is such a contrast! But I must not gossip in an official letter. I have thought you might like to make my letter to the Bishop of Cape Town public, as an exposition of my views of Zululand and hopes for Zanzibar.
TO MISS TOZER.
ZANZIBAR, September I, 1864.
WE arrived here yesterday, and found to our surprise two men-of-war--Lyra and Wasp--the latter commanded by a Capt. Bowden, whose wife lives at Newton, and somehow the name is very suggestive of the old country; the captain of the Lyra is none other than Robert Parr! So strangely are we for ever meeting those known to us.
But I must go back in my account of myself, for though I left at Johanna only a few days ago (August 26) a large mail for the Rapid to take on to Mauritius, yet I feel sure this must reach you many weeks before that. So to recapitulate.
We sailed from Simon's Bay July 28 arrived at Mozambique August 12; leaving next day, we anchored off Johanna Town the evening of the fifteenth. Waited for the Rapid till the evening of the twenty-second, when we steamed over to Mohilla, sighting it the following morning. We went on shore and saw the Queen, and in the evening weighed anchor and stood over for Pomony, where we remained till Friday evening, the twenty-sixth, and when no Rapid appeared we left our mails in charge of Mr. Sunley and stood out to sea. The very next day (twenty-seventh) Rapid met us! We hove to, and the captain came on board for a few hours. He is a brother of Edward Jago who used to stay with us. Parting from Rapid, we went on our way, and except landing at Lindi we did not stop till we arrived here yesterday morning.
September 2.--When the Rapid's mail reaches, you will have a full account of us up to this date, and now I will take up the thread of my story and tell you of Zanzibar. No sooner had we anchored than Lieut.-Col. Playfair, the Consul, came alongside and carried us off to dine at the Consulate. He is a young man of about 38, fair, good-natured looking, and rather inclined to be stout. His wife is not unlike our Kate, and has here one little baby girl. The first thing we learnt was that the Pleiad was going to start on Sunday morning for Bombay for repairs, stopping at Seychelles with the mails. And as her return here is uncertain as to date, I must scribble as hard as I can, in the midst of constant interruptions, my very first impressions of Zanzibar. Unfortunately, I am in one of my worst writing humours. My hand shakes, and so does the table, and my pen is a brute--yet, as we do not know when the Seychelles communication may be open again, I must do my best, and ask you to excuse all defects.
Penguin had brought news of our intended arrangements, and so all Zanzibar was on the qui vive for our arrival. A little room on the flat roof of the Consulate was ready for us, where we both are at this moment writing away for dear life at one small table. ... I must now say what the town looks like from the sea, as I have scarcely seen it from any other point of view. It stands on a complete promontory, and you scarcely observe the crowd of huts which cover the surface like bees in front of a hive at swarming time, for all along the shore is a fringe of tall, and for the most part stately, flat-roofed houses, as Eastern as possible. The chief of these is the Sultan's Palace, and three large men-of-war belonging to him are lying at anchor, surrounded by large numbers of dhows and a few European merchantmen. The water is of a lovely greenish blue colour, the beach of pure white sand, the debris of coral, the sky, of course, Italian. It is a very beautiful sight. We saluted the Sultan's flag on anchoring with twenty-one guns; one of his ships immediately returned in very good style. Indeed, on reaching His Highness's capital you at once perceive you are on the borders of civilization, if not exactly at Paris or London.
The Playfair establishment is simply an Indian one, with punkahs and everything else to match. Plain, I should think, for India, but in extremely good style. The ground floor is always eschewed here, and so you have at once to ascend to the first floor before you arrive at the house. There seems to be invariably a square courtyard in the centre, and odd little arcades in all directions. Everything is plastered, and looks white, clean, and wholesome. After dinner we went to French Island, which is the European cemetery, a pleasant sail in the cool twilight, and returned to a tea which was charmingly English, spite of black attendants and punkah. We all went back to sleep on board. Next day Steere and I packed a few things and came to the Consulate to stay. The captain joined us at dinner, and we afterwards went to look over the house, which had been proposed for the Mission.
I never thought, or even dreamt, of possessing a palace by the side of which Riseholme might look, I won't say small, but mean! But in point of fact it is quite next to the Sultan's in appearance, and certainly superior in situation. It is close to the water's edge, and a most exquisite building, in spite of having been used heretofore as a coal store for the Navy. I'll try and describe it more in detail when we hear whether we have been able to secure it. This morning after breakfast at half past 9 we set out to pay our respects to the Consuls and the Fathers of the French Hospital, preceded by two men with sticks, who cleared the way for us by shouting. The Sultan particularly requested Col. Playfair to have these attendants, not for use but for dignity. We met during the morning some great man, one of the ministers, whose retinue must have consisted of thirty or forty, which showed us how strange it must be to these Easterns to see us preferring to go about alone. The Consul, moreover, is a sort of king in his way, and the British subjects claiming his protection, Banyans and such like from India, compose, if not the largest, by far the most important part of the population. We scarcely went a step without some one briskly stepping in front of us, exclaiming, with extreme reverence, bending very low and placing the hand on the heart, "Salaam." Our first visit was to the French Hospital, a very charming oeuvre. They have large premises close to this, and the inmates consist of two Priests, two Lay Brothers, and six Sisters of Mercy, or rather Nuns; these last we did not see. Their works of mercy are a hospital for any sick Europeans and a school for little children whom they have purchased. At present they have thirty boys, some quite babies, but the girls I did not see nor learn the number of. One Lay Brother is teaching the elder boys the blacksmith's art. We entered into the friendliest relations, albeit they could not speak English nor we French! They showed us their little chapel, two little gardens, and the view from the roof and atelier--all very simple and touching. We then went to the French, American, and Hamburg Consuls, all very charming people in their way; but I must hurry on. Steere and I then went alone to see the house again; it stands in its own compound, and is a square block of large size and great height, but, owing to its peculiar construction, not much accommodation. The entrance hall is about the size of the Bishop's study at Riseholme; on either side is a long narrow and very lofty room, which we set apart in our minds' eye at once for chapel and school. Beyond the entrance hall is the courtyard, round which are various rooms, rather dark, as there are no windows. You ascend a rather narrow staircase, and come to the house proper. There is, of course, in the middle the square opening which is just over the courtyard; round this is a lovely cloister, perhaps fifteen feet wide, and opening upon this are various rooms, few in number, and, like those below, narrow and very high. The doors are all perfect wonders of wood carving, and the plaster is moulded into beautiful forms. The whole looks barbaric and rich, and if only coloured might vie with some of the plainer portions of the Alhambra. Rising above this you gain the flat top of the house with a tall parapet round, perforated with square holes; there, oddly enough, is the kitchen.
We went on board to dine, and met Capt. Parr and one of his officers, and after spending a pleasant evening, and feeling half at home and half visitors, we returned at nine to the Consulate.
This morning (September 3) we had the good news that the house is rented to us by the Sultan on the same terms as it was held by former occupants, viz. 600 dollars. We have agreed moreover to let for the Navy stores the lower rooms, except one for the chapel, for one year, the captain promising to pay half the rent; nor is this all, for, without my saying a word, the Consul has promised me £50 a year on his own account, and Mr. Witt, the Hanoverian Consul, £50 for a year, as a provisional arrangement before he has consulted his partners at home.
I should have said that Mr. Witt is a Lutheran, the son of one of the Scandinavian Bishops. The American Consul is also a Churchman (Protestant Episcopal), while the Playfairs are Scotch Church people, swearing by Glenalmond and Bishop Wordsworth. The house of Fraser, here represented by a Captain Fraser, are Presbyterians; I have not seen them, but I believe they will consider themselves as under my jurisdiction. All this sounds really too good to be true, but it is peace after war--sunshine after rain--the morning joy after the heaviness of the black night. Praise to our good God for it, and for all His mercies. The Mombas Mission has just had another clergyman sent out, a Mr. Taylor, I believe, is his name. But what is most joyful is that the time seems to be really fast approaching when we may hope to have you and Mrs. Steere with us. As far as I can learn, Zanzibar seems to be really healthy, if only people will take care of themselves, and, except in the middle of the day, the heat is by no means oppressive. In a fortnight after you get this you may expect another mail, for this very morning the captain has announced his intention of sending the Lyra to the Seychelles for the mail, a piece of kindness which will put all Zanzibar into good humour.
TO MISS TOZER.
September 14, 1864.
WE have hired two servants, Assami and Ali, at five dollars each a month, they providing their own food, etc. One of them speaks French, and the other "small small English." Everything has at least the charm of novelty. We went out last week from Monday to Saturday to Col. Playfair's shamba, or country house, a pretty quiet place embosomed in orange groves. They have proved most kind friends to us. I am trying hard to make out our plans for the future, but until I first hear from the Committee it is rather like castle building. The faith of Mahomet is a marvellous dead weight against us, and I am inclined to think that the only way to act is negatively, so to speak, and to refrain from all hostile attacks. It seems certain that the very contact with Christianity improves and softens the Mahometan character and disposition. The Sultan is a very pleasing young man. He has several brothers, but only one child, a little girl. We called on him directly after coming here, and the Consul and Captain Gardner went with us. The Sultan on our approach came out into the street to meet us, his great people drawn up on either side, and no remonstrances would prevent his compelling us to go in front of him. The reception room was upstairs, large and lofty, and paved with white marble, and without furniture, except two long rows of chairs on either side. We had coffee served in the smallest possible cups, and afterwards sherbet. Col. Playfair acted as interpreter, talking Arabic. We remained half an hour, and then were obliged to walk out first and descend the staircase with rows of soldiers on either side, and a large crowd, out into the street, where Seyed Majid at last consented to take leave and return to his palace. Every Arab is a "perfect gentleman," and so you may be sure that the Sultan's manner and behaviour were perfect. There was a grace and an ease which I never saw equalled, only to Western taste the humility was rather overdone. He was dressed very simply, and in no way distinguished from his suite, nor had he a throne nor any badge of office. The most incongruous thing was the staircase, for the Palace is a large and handsome building, but the ascent was by a mean and very narrow staircase little better than one leading up to a hay-loft. On leaving I begged the Colonel to tell His Highness that we should never fail to pray for him every day. September 18.--We slept in our new house for the first time last night. A few days ago the Consul received news of a slave dhow going out of the harbour, and fortunately took her. He then mentioned to the Sultan that we should be glad of a few boys if he liked to give us any, but it was to be on the understanding that he did not ask for them as Consul, and that His Highness was to do exactly as he pleased in the matter. The result is that we are the fortunate possessors of five very nice little fellows, of whom four come from the Lake Nyasa and one is a Gindo. I am not master as yet of their names, but two slept with great content last night on the floor by my bed and three in Steere's room.
I look upon this acquisition as almost a providential one, giving us work just when we wanted it, and opening out a prospect of securing the raw material without committing felony, which it seems it would be if we went into the slave market and bought children. It is so odd the having the boys for one's own in a way. I shall ere long baptize them, and this afternoon we are going to have a Litany and take them with us to the chapel. The latter was opened this morning, and I must describe it. It is the room on the left hand as you enter the house. There is a similar one on the right, and a noble entrance-hall between. You go up two steps into the chapel, which is a room about thirty feet long and thirteen feet wide, and very lofty, with a set of windows along one side reaching to the ground and about five feet high. The two at the east end we have mounted up high in the wall; a row of niches all along is the only other noticeable feature.
The opposite side is exactly like it, but without windows, while the east end has the addition of the altar; the foot-pace is covered with a carpet, we have brass altar desk, beautiful red office books, and the floor is covered with a nice grass matting made in one piece; two dozen rush-bottomed chairs are as yet our only fittings.
September 20. I hear to-day that a mail will be dispatched on Saturday, the last of the large dhows which ply between Bombay and this during the present monsoon leaving on that day, and, unfortunately, this will be before we get letters from home in answer to mine announcing our coming to Zanzibar. In about another week Baron Von der Decken is expected here. He is starting a steamer out here, and a large number of savants will come out with it and help the Baron in his approaching expedition. He is very anxious that I should occupy the region round Kilimanjaro, and promises help in every way. I shall certainly keep it in view. Everything seems to prove that Zanzibar is the place for our headquarters. We are getting nicely into our places here. The chapel is a great comfort. On Sunday, our opening day, it was quite full, and the music went capitally, proving that the room is a good one for sound. We have Hymns A. & M., and chant the Canticles. Among the Communicants were a Capt. and Mrs. B. from a merchantman in the harbour. In the afternoon we had the Litany with the boys, who behaved very well. In the evening we had prayers simply. We have provided them with red fez caps, which is the headgear here for all that are above the condition of slaves, and they have been measured for the linen garment of the country, which is white and reaching to about a foot from the ground. This will at once stamp them as something superior. To-day the Sultan sent me a letter in answer to one of thanks which I wrote on the receipt of the boys. It ends very characteristically thus: "Any desire of yours, by the aid of God, whose Name be exalted, shall be performed on our part. Peace as the best conclusion." It is all written in Arabic, but fortunately a translation is appended. I have just returned from paying some visits in the town. The streets recall The Thousand and one Nights, they are so narrow and winding, and so dirty, except those occupied by the Indians who have British protection, and they are obliged by the Consul to lay down a sort of lime ash floor. There are three distinct races here, distinguished by the colour of their skins--negroes, either black or chocolate; Arabs, who are dusky, and have very peculiar features and a sharp intelligent look; lastly, Indians, who are yellow.
I am thinking of an arrangement for training girls as well as boys. There is much to be considered thoughtfully and prayerfully. When other Missions are started I must be almost as much away from home as here.
TO MRS. JACKSON.
ZANZIBAR, September 24, 1864.
THE Sultan has, to my extreme surprise, given me five little boys, who were lately taken from a slave dhow. It is on all accounts most noteworthy that of these one is a Gindo, one from the Lake Nyasa, and the others are Ajawa or Yaos. Surely it is not wrong to gather from this a special token of God's good providence in opening a way for us to the very tribes for whom the Mission was originally set on foot. Nyasa is here quite a household word, indeed they told us at Lindi that we could reach it in ten days. Another satisfactory bit of news is the coming here of Baron Von der Decken with a steamer for the purpose of thoroughly examining the whole of this part of Eastern Africa and the rivers north of Zanzibar. His pet scheme is for missionaries to occupy the region round the Snowy Mountain, Kilima-njaro. I mean to take an early opportunity of paying a visit to Mr. Rebmann at Kisaladini, near Mombas, one of the Church Missionary Society's clergy, who has been labouring here for seventeen years. Meanwhile we are teaching our little boys, and trying to learn ourselves Swahili, which is very similar to Manganja. I feel more and more that for the interests of "Central Africa" it would have been fatal to have selected any place south of the Zambezi, and it is astonishing how completely Zanzibar is the centre and key of the whole of this part of Africa. Arabs have occasionally crossed the entire continent and returned here overland. But people of sanguine temperaments will he disappointed if they expect any very immediate effect. It is an utter mistake to imagine that there is any way by which Africa can be won over to the faith as it is in Jesus, save that Royal one which His own blessed footprints traced from the cradle to the Cross. People forget, in measuring the effect of our Missions to the heathen with those of apostolic times, that, so far as knowledge was concerned, we have far the more difficult task. The Jews, who certainly composed the most prominent part of almost every Church, had simply to accept Christ as the Messiah, and be at once baptized, and perhaps almost at once ordained to preach, as witness the case of Candace's minister, whom tradition speaks of as the Apostle of Ethiopia. But with us, we have to create a knowledge of God Himself and distinguish Him as other than the shades of departed heroes, and even when the existence of a Supreme Being is acknowledged, His character is understood to be rather that of the arch-fiend than of the All-merciful and the All-good. If one is occasionally overwhelmed with the amount of iniquity which is allowed to abound throughout the universe, and the immense hindrances which exist in the work of salvation, I think we may also feel surprised that the heathen are not worse than they are, and see in this fact the restraining power of our merciful God in keeping Satan from accomplishing all that is in his heart.
I meant to write only a short note, and I have engaged in a treatise.
But let me say something of the disadvantages of Zanzibar. No one knows from mere description what a dead weight against us is the Mahometan faith. It is a kind of horrible parody of religion, pandering to every passion and lust, and utterly misrepresenting God and goodness. That Mahomet must have been a coarse, vulgar, treacherous man to invent a system which could lull his followers into security, and yet leave them as far from God as ever. This is our greatest hindrance, of course. Then the climate. By all accounts (and all agree), it is actually healthy, and few diseases prove fatal. Much care and great regularity are needed, of course, and dysentery when it comes is very dangerous. But then, sooner or later, Europeans get into a fossilised state, of which poor Mr.-----is a deplorable specimen, by what I hear on all sides. As a rule, the men of business here come for three years and then go home, and often return for another three years; one or two have remained for double this time, or even more. Of course, this is against us, and it seems to warn us from the first that the chief work of evangelization must sooner or later be entrusted to a native ministry. If Zanzibar can be made into a School of the Prophets, we shall have cause to rejoice in that day when all work shall be tried, and every jewel counted up.
TO MISS TOZER.
ZANZIBAR, October 10, 1864.
WE have had a bitter disappointment in not receiving any letters by the Lyra; with the exception of a short note from Festing and two papers there was absolutely nothing for either of us. I believe the explanation is that some box which should have been left at Seychelles has been taken on to Mauritius. I am without any news of you later than June 3, 1863. . . . and it is difficult to write, or rather to know how to write, being in such ignorance of the feeling at home about the move to Zanzibar.
The harbour is quite full of ships. . . . His Highness came to call on us a few days since. We fitted up one end of the corridor with mats and chairs all round, borrowed cups and tumblers for the indispensable coffee and sherbet, and when the boat touched the shore we were all ready to receive the great man. There is always a sort of by-play, as he insists on walking behind and entering the house or room after us, so that the progress is not rapid and interspersed with apologies, bows, and sighs! He was accompanied by a sufficient suite. He went into our chapel, and had our prayers for him interpreted. The Playfairs and Sewards are full of kindness, always sending us over something.
I find I cannot go up to Mombas yet. There is so strong a current setting north that, until after the monsoon alters, I should have small' chance of getting back, and I don't wish to make a long stay at Kisaladini.
The Baron (Von der Decken) is all eagerness for us to occupy the D'jagga country at the foot of Kilima-njaro, which he describes as being only fourteen days' march from the coast, and possessing every conceivable advantage for missionaries. But as yet far too little is known of it for us to venture. When his steamers are afloat, which will not be at least till April next, I may pay it a visit. Meanwhile our work lies here, and I am trying to see my way, which in the absence of news from home is difficult. I shall not be able to write to the office by this opportunity, so please let our good friend Mr. Woodcock hear anything which may interest him. As far as I can see my way, I think that, independently of any work at Johanna, we might have here in Zanzibar the Bishop, two clergymen and a schoolmaster and good carpenter.
You and Mrs. S. should each bring a female servant. The work of this house will be the training up boys for the ministry and some girls as suitable wives for them (at least I hope to see our way to this, so as to make the scheme more complete). Many, of course, will fall below the standard of Holy Orders, and be useful in other ways. But, besides the indoor work, there is an opening for day schools, especially for the children of the Indian population who live here under British protection. They would not aim at proselytism, but at influence and the breaking up of ignorance and prejudice, which are great stumbling-blocks at present. If the children, or even the grandchildren, of our first pupils become Christians, our work will not have been in vain, and I don't think it wise to hold out hopes of more speedy results. The Arab mind is inimical to change of any kind, and clings tenaciously to the old ways; and yet there are signs, I firmly believe, as well here as in Turkey, of a shaking of the dry bones, and tolerance is very largely on the increase.
But to return to the future work of this house. I hope that one clergyman's salary will be provided by the Protestant inhabitants here, subsidized by a grant from the Bombay Government; £200 has been spoken of as the sum to be aimed at. [The Bombay Government did not see its way to allowing the annual grant asked for by Bishop Tozer.] If other Missions under me are established, I shall be a moving stone, unable to be relied on as a fixture. Once a year at least I shall like to visit Rebmann, once a year Johanna if a Mission be established there, and we must always be numerous enough to allow of one being away for change, which is a necessity in this otherwise enjoyable climate. I want to creep rather than run, and for this reason I decline for the present any addition to our little group of boys, who thus far are very satisfactory. When these five are taught something and got into order we can very well take more. Now in mentioning a carpenter I must not be accused of doing one thing to-day and another to-morrow. I am glad I did not bring Kallaway up here, and I am quite in the same mind that I was about the mistake of placing working-men with clergy in a Mission. But with boys one needs some manual employment, and as a carpenter could get ample work out here I think we might encourage some trusty fellow to come, help him with his passage and with some small sum for tools, and let him have a workshop in the house, on the understanding that he would teach the boys for a certain time every day. It would depend on the kind of fellow he was, whether to offer him a permanent lodging here or not. I think for the first year it would be well to offer him definite wages, and encourage him after that to take work on his own account. In the event of starting a. Mission on the mainland, we could send him up for a time to build houses and settle the first incomers comfortably. Now if we could find some steady fellow (like joiner Smith, of Kelsey), and if he had a wife who could make herself useful, it would be more settling for him, and I think the plan would work. What I rely on is that he would come on his own account, and, so to speak, in his own interest and with a view of picking up a good trade here. A man needs this stimulus, whereas to provide everything for him, food, clothing, medicine, etc., and a salary to boot, would make any but a saint lazy and careless. The great temptation here is drink, which in most cases ruins the workpeople who come here. You see my work now looks as if it would be something like Mr. Patteson's. [Of the Melanesian Mission, afterwards Bishop.] I want to get rid of native women servants. They are, of course, all Mahometans, and have no sympathy with us. The boys, under superintendence, can easily be taught, and they will have a better chance of picking up English when they have no Swahili to assist them at every turn.
I hope in my next to send you some photographs of Zanzibar, promised me by Dr. Kerston, one of the Baron's people.
October 11.--Mail leaves to-day, so I must be speedy. You see my not having heard for so long makes it difficult for me to act with anything like decision. It is possible that I have not carried the Committee with me, nor brought the C.A. Mission to Zanzibar at all, and I wish it always to be remembered that I did not select it as absolutely a very good or promising field for Mission labour, but as the best for ultimately reaching the Central tribes. The programme was made for me by the various committees, and to have gone to Zululand would have been to abandon absolutely Central Africa. Perhaps the next mail will clear up many difficulties. We are both perfectly well, which is a great mercy.
TO THE REV. J. W. FESTING.
ZANZIBAR, November 30, 1864.
I AM in no small doubt and difficulty from the absence of any mails. You may imagine how wearisome the delay in hearing from home is, and how impossible, meanwhile, it is to make any very decided plans, or to lay out for oneself any extensive missionary work. However, we have not been by any means idle. The boys given us by the Sultan are making very fair progress, and thus far have proved both teachable and orderly.
The chapel Sunday services are fairly attended by the Protestant population, and the two offertories which we have already received have been very liberal. The harbour is seldom without vessels of some kind in it, and thus far some part of the crews have found us out and come to service, which is very satisfactory.
We are picking up Kiswahili as quickly as we can. The main difficulty of learning it consists in its vagueness and uncertainty, scarcely two persons agreeing as to pronunciation, and Zanzibar is about the worst possible place for remedying this, as its inhabitants are a mingling together of so many tribes and races.
On the seventh inst. I left for Mombas, and visited the Church Missionary station at Kisaladini, the scene of Mr. Rebmann's labours. He has lately been joined by a very engaging young clergyman, a Mr. Taylor, in Deacon's orders. I was most kindly welcomed by them, and during my stay I was able to gather much valuable information about the Wanyika country and the prospects of the Church along this East Coast.
I must not forget to say that I spent one night at Ribi, some nine miles from Kisaladini, a station of the "United Free Methodist Churches," where two young men are working, Mr. Wakefield and Mr. New. I was much pleased with what I saw, and I have promised to help them in any way which lies in my power; but I fear that from the fewness of the Wanyika tribe, and their custom of living in separate huts, instead of in villages and towns as on the West Coast, these good men will find a difficulty in making any extensive impression, placed where they are at present. Indeed, they feel this themselves, and I believe they are looking forward to find, if possible, some better site rather to the north of their present abode. I returned to Zanzibar on the twenty-fifth inst. somewhat knocked up with the journey, which I made in a small dhow, and on the following Sunday the mail came in from the Seychelles, bringing letters and papers for every one except ourselves, which is a puzzle not easily to be explained. The store-ship brought up from the Cape (October 11) the mail which was dispatched on the sixth of July, and this is (excepting your note and that of the Bishop of Oxford) my latest news from home.
Just now the weather is beginning to be very hot, and especially at night, and it tells on us both, although, thank God, we are substantially well.
There is an interesting colony of Madagascar people here, living altogether in a suburb of Zanzibar. Their houses present a great contrast to those of the negroes and Swahili, and there is a neatness and cleanliness about them which quite corresponds with Mr. Ellis' account of the Madagascar at Tamatave and the capital with the unpronounceable name. I have a young Malagasy boy here in the house on trial, and another has been offered to me. I can quite believe that a very hopeful Mission might be begun here, but I shall write more fully of this and the openings which are likely to be found among the Khojas, when I have heard from the Committee, as I am at the present time quite in doubt as to their acceptance of Zanzibar and my own position in respect of the C.A.M.
There is much anxiety felt for the safety of several vessels, which should have arrived here from Europe long ago. One of these is the Baron Von der Decken's. It contains his two steamers for the proposed expedition up the Juba. We have tidings of a fearful storm in the neighbourhood of the Comoro Islands some few weeks ago, and it is possible that this may account for the non-appearance of the expected ships. In case my plans for Zanzibar are accepted by the Committee, I have a nice investment for the Wells Tozer Fund. It is a small estate near the town, beautifully situated, and capable of being made the site of a Missionary College. [Afterwards known as Kiungani.] I have already bought it, but on the understanding that its former owner shall have the first refusal of it, in case I wish to part with it at any time. But more of this hereafter. The mail is leaving quickly for the Seychelles, which compels me to be brief.
TO MISS TOZER.
ZANZIBAR, December 20, 1864.
THE boys have made really wonderful progress, although they have not been with us yet three and a half months. They can read an easy narrative with words of one syllable, and have no longer need to spell the and's and the's. Their writing is, to my mind, remarkably good, and they can read the scripture alphabet. They say with ease the Lord's Prayer and the Gloria, and have quite a storehouse of English words, and as a result of my Sunday pictures and talk they begin to know something of our Lord's life. Now this has been effected amidst very constant interruptions, such as my journey to Mombas and the getting the house repaired and altered and cleaned.
. . . On Sunday all the Wasp's crew came to church, and many of the Orestes' officers. We had a special Holy Communion, and the singing was very good and brisk. The offertory amounted to £6. Some of the Wasp's men entreated to have "a means "during the week, and on the following Wednesday they came to the chapel and sang like Britons. The little room was crowded. Last night again we had quite a full church. . . . All this shows forcibly that Zanzibar must never again be left without at least an English chaplain.
. . . We discovered last night a delightful shop kept by a Portuguese, at which we were able to buy pickles, biscuits, and tea at 3^. a pound. It is most amusing going into the bazaars. A white man is always asked some extravagant price, and never gets anything for what others do, but on the whole this is a cheap place.
January 23, 1865.--. . . My last letter discussed the question of your coming out, and spoke of the possible need of my returning for you. This I would gladly avoid, but it would, of course, be premature to decide anything before we know what the committees are resolved to do. If they accept Zanzibar, well and good. I am anxious to act entirely in concert with them. Act then for the best as to coming out. In any case, your coming will be a huge comfort. If I hear beforehand, and have a chance, I will try to get to Mahe to meet you. Could you get some nice person to come with you who could manage a native girls' school and would be a companionable person as well?
TO THE HON. SECRETARIES.
December 24, 1864.
[The first part of this letter is missing.]
YOU ask for the result of our present experience of Zanzibar, and what protection and goodwill we may as missionaries expect to receive from the Government. The letters which I have already sent you will, I think, sufficiently explain the position in which we stand with the Sultan. His Highness has on all occasions been most friendly to us, but it would be unreasonable to imagine that he can, as a Mahometan, look favourably on the object of our Mission; we are welcomed by him rather as Englishmen than as Christian missionaries, and such tokens of goodwill as we have received from Said Majid are doubtless due in large measure to the influence of Colonel Playfair, whose unvarying kindness and co-operation deserve our warmest acknowledgments. So far, therefore, as the Sultan's authority extends, we may fully expect protection for ourselves and toleration for our converts, which perhaps is all that we have any right to demand of a Mahometan Prince.
I am anxious that the Committee should fully realize the special difficulties which missionaries living here will have to meet before they accept Zanzibar as the headquarters of their Mission. They will be good enough to recollect that Zanzibar approves itself to me, not as being a specially promising field for Christian work, at least as compared with many others, but as in all probability the very best starting-point for the future evangelization of the tribes in Central Africa.
While, therefore, I feel no doubt about the propriety of fixing the headquarters of the Mission at Zanzibar, I must carefully guard myself from creating an idea that any great or sudden change is likely to be the result of our earlier efforts.
It is pleasing to gather from independent sources a confirmation of my own views on this subject. Mr. Alington writes to me, soon after his visit in the Orestes: "I had quite made up my mind to write to the S.P.G. to see if they could do anything there. It has always seemed to me to have been unaccountably neglected. I do not think that there could be better headquarters for a Mission."
Mr. Rebmann has, I believe, said very much the same to the C.M.S., and Mr. New of the East African Wesleyan Mission has urged the "United Free Methodist Churches," whose missionary he is, to make Zanzibar one of their stations.
In discussing future plans, I am largely influenced by the conviction that the evangelization of Eastern and Central Africa must ultimately be entrusted to the care of a native ministry. To insist that Europeans are the only fitting instruments for this work would be to ignore the experience of all missionaries in tropical countries; and if the Central African Mission is to be free in future from feebleness on the one hand, and constant interruptions on the other, we must regard the training of native teachers (and that in numbers proportioned to the task before us) as a duty of primary importance.
On many accounts Zanzibar is a good position for a native Training School, and the experience which we have gained by teaching the six little boys who are with us makes me anxious to set about this preliminary work in good earnest. The institution at Sharanpur near Bombay, which has been conducted for some years by the Rev. C. W, Isenberg of the Church Missionary Society, could doubtless send us native Africans to teach carpentry, gardening, and the like, and by this plan the boys would be associated with Christians of their own race who could speak English as well as the East African dialects. The higher branches of instruction should, of course, be given by Europeans, and I see no necessity for these to burden themselves with acquiring the native tongues. Indeed, the more thoroughly English they were the better.
A very necessary adjunct to this school for boys would be another for the education of native girls.
But I don't think that our strictly missionary work in Zanzibar should be confined to the establishment of these schools. The influence which this Mahometan capital exercises over the whole of East Africa makes it clear that what is done here in the way of Missions will make itself widely felt on the adjacent continent. Indeed, were Zanzibar to become a Christian island, I am convinced that the conversion of all Eastern and Central Africa would follow in due time as a matter of course.
It is partly with this view that I would open day schools for the children of the Khojas and other inhabitants of Zanzibar. It should be remembered that no inconsiderable portion of the Indian residents here are either British subjects or at least entitled to British protection, and that they form by far the most intelligent portion of the community, and are fully alive to the advantages of an English education. Some time since, day schools were opened by the clergy of the French Mission, and at first there was no difficulty in procuring pupils as soon, however, as it was found that French only would be taught the attendance became so limited that the schools had to be closed. I am assured that it would be otherwise with us, and indeed I have already been asked to let children be sent here to learn English, but as yet we have not been in a position to open a day school.
There is yet another work which could be carried on in parallel lines with those I have already mentioned, and which could not fail to be attended with important results. This is a Mission to the large Malagasy population who live outside the town. I do not hear that these people are strongly attached to their own native superstitions, nor are they as yet thoroughly committed to the Mahomet-anism by which they are surrounded. Their conversion consequently presents no extraordinary difficulty, and were they to embrace Christianity their influence on the lower classes of Mahometans might prove of immense value. Christian Malagasy are to be found in Mauritius and elsewhere, and we should do well to get some to act as schoolmasters and catechists under the direction of a clergyman specially appointed to superintend this particular Mission. One Malagasy lad is already with us, and I am much struck with his gentle behaviour and the readiness with which he acquires information of all sorts; so far as a short acquaintance allows me to judge, I think him one of the most promising of our boys. For the present I have thought it best to refuse a second Malagasy, whose parents were very anxious that I should have him.
I will now speak of the mainland, and describe, as well as I can, the openings which it appears to present for the establishment of Mission stations.
The county of Usambara, lying a little to the north of us, may be occupied, I doubt not, after a time, but for political reasons it would be unwise to attempt anything there at present. The South Coast, lying between Zanzibar and the Portuguese territory, is said to be quite impracticable to Europeans, unless some healthy spot could be found in the neighbourhood of the Lindi River. About two degrees to the north is the town of Mombas, near which are the Mission stations of Kisaladini and Ribi, the former under Mr. Rebmann and Mr. Taylor of the C.M.S., the latter under Messrs. Wakefield and New of the "United Free Methodist Churches." It was with very much pleasure that I made the acquaintance of all these devoted men on the occasion of my recent visit to Mombas. Mr. Rebmann, of whom I must ever speak with the deepest respect, has, as you are aware, been labouring among the Wanyika tribe for the past seventeen years, and few missionaries can have encountered the same amount of difficulty and discouragement, or exhibited such noble patience and perseverance, as this tried and eminent servant of God. He is now surrounded by a small but earnest body of native believers, the first-fruits, I cannot but think, of the whole Wanyika tribe. There is a proposal that two young men shall be sent to me in the course of a few months for training as Christian missionaries.
The Rev. James Taylor, who was recently ordained by the Bishop of Mauritius, is a young missionary of great promise, and Mr. Rebmann is to be specially congratulated on having obtained as his fellow labourer one so singularly fitted for the difficult task before him.
It would be a matter for great congratulation if the C.M. Society could supplement the labours of Mr. Rebmann and Mr. Taylor by placing another clergyman at Mombas, where there is already a good house and one native Christian family.
Were this done, we might at once select some site for another station further to the north, either at Lamu, where an agent of Mons. Barraud's house resides, or at Port Durnford. From either of these points a line of Missions might gradually extend itself to the interior, and by the very route which I believe commended itself so forcibly to Captain Speke.
You will have heard, of course, that Dr. Beke has determined to head an expedition to explore this immediate tract of country, while the Baron Von der Decken will leave Zanzibar in the course of a few weeks for the purpose of ascending the Juba River and visiting the Galla country lying to the north of it. The light which these expeditions will throw on a vast tract of unexplored territory cannot fail to be of infinite service to us.
[Bishop Tozer's experience of the English mechanics who formed part of the Mission staff in its early days had not impressed him favourably, and for some time he used his influence to prevent that mixture of "classes "which has since become so marked and profitable a feature in the Mission. In his endeavour to avoid the failures of the first venture, he even took the extreme line of advising that no men whatever of the working class were to be sent out. Probably the reason of the failure was first the artificial and impracticable scheme of "creating an English village," and next the rigid adherence to English class distinctions, such as maintaining a separate table for the Bishop and clergy, etc. which may well have caused the men to feel "the unreality of their position" and the Bishop to feel the plan a "mistake". Later experience has proved that men of the artisan class carefully chosen, definitely trained, and knowing a trade or handicraft, may with the happiest results share the common life of the Mission with the Bishop and his colleagues; united in the brotherhood that their membership implies. Such men have for years been indispensable to the work; and have formed not the least valuable part of the staff.]
TO THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN.
ZANZIBAR, January 7, 1865.
IN fact the idea of creating an English village to re-act on the heathen around is necessarily one of the hardest things to carry into actual practice; and when the village is made and peopled you will find that a necessity must soon arise for the same machinery for the maintenance of order as we require at home: and if it be undesirable to have clergymen acting as magistrates in England, is it less so to make a Missionary Bishop the executive of the civil sword? I think that there is a danger too in trying to make our converts black Englishmen instead of adopting all native customs and habits which are in themselves unobjectionable. An instance occurs to me in the selection of Clark, who was a shoemaker, as a member of the Mission. To go without shoes in England would I suppose never do, but to create a desire for them here, where they are unknown, and where their use would deprive the people of what almost amounts to a second set of hands, would be, me judice, the introduction of the very opposite of civilization. My boys can pick up a needle from the floor and place it in your hands with their feet, and one constantly sees men holding a knife with their toes and the like, while the naked foot for climbing purposes is manifestly superior to one cased in leather. I should say the same of dress and food and many other things. To anglicize the people in all these respects would be a very doubtful gain, and it is wonderful how much wisdom after a time you will discover in the use of customs which at first sight seem barbarous.
[Bishop Tozer evidently found difficulty in acquiring the language, and in the early days of the Mission the plan adopted was for the boys to learn English rather than for the Europeans to master Swahili. This was probably the only workable plan then, as, until Dr. Steere's books were published, there was no means of learning the language.]
There was K----- teaching Devonshire of the broadest kind, S-----the most undoubted Lincolnshire, which was quite an unknown tongue to the other, and H-----indulging in low cockney slang, where "grub" stands habitually for "food" and "kid "for "child." The effect was that the boys who heard all this jargon were naturally puzzled, and, with the exception of a few such sentences as "O, my eye" and the like, made but a small advance in speaking English.
TO THE HON. SECRETARIES.
ZANZIBAR, March 20, 1865.
YOUR joint letter of November 26, 1864, conveying the Committee's acceptance of Zanzibar as the Mission's future headquarters, has arrived, and I hasten to thank you for information which has been so long and anxiously waited for.
By this time you are aware that official letters which left in September, about three weeks after our landing here, were returned to us at the end of December; the buggalow, carrying the English mail to Bombay, met with contrary winds, and after tossing about for three months had to return to Zanzibar.
Nor was this our only postal disappointment, for, from some unexplained cause, we had to wait till Christmas for the letters which we had hoped to receive on landing in August. This, as you can well imagine, was a very great trial of patience. Coming to Zanzibar so much on my own responsibility, I felt that I had no right to commit you to any definite line of action until I had received some assurance that what I had done would be seconded by the General Committee. Thus I was obliged to postpone all but the most provisional arrangements until I knew that I had carried you along with me. . . .
Thus far we have every reason to be proud of our little scholars. Already the more advanced begin to read with ease, and write and cipher very creditably. They all say their prayers in English, and take some small part in making the responses in church, and they are able to understand very fairly anything that is said to them in English. They know moreover the outlines of our Lord's life. We find them very useful in the house; they sweep and clean, and do anything they can to help the servants, but they want more active exercise than they get in a town. Still they get some employment in cooking, washing, and mending their clothes and the like, and certainly I never saw happier children, or any who give less anxiety or trouble. It is well, however, to remember that the special time of trial is yet future--the time, I mean, when the boy is quickly becoming the man, which occurs at an earlier age with the negro than with the white--so that we must not be disappointed if our boys as they grow up give us cause for more anxiety than happily they do now.
The next thing to speak of is the purchase of a small estate just outside the town. Its extent is about ten acres, and it is well stocked with cocoanut and mango trees. I bought this on very easy terms, and with money which some of my friends of the Wells Theological College have kindly placed at my disposal. The situation is very beautiful, and I think healthy, and it is as accessible by land as by sea. I look forward to placing there our Missionary School, and for this purpose I propose shortly to commence building a small stone house, which can be done at no great cost. We have already found water, after digging to a considerable depth for it, and this is a matter of much consequence, for those who live in the town have to send to some distance for all the water they require.
This is the place to put on record the great kindness with which the Mission has been received. In addition to other favours, the Sultan has presented us with a costly and very beautiful clock, and on my recent visit to Mombasa supplied me with letters of introduction and allowed me to occupy his house, which was immediately on my arrival made ready for me. To Col. and Mrs. Playfair we are under peculiar obligations, and not less so to Dr. and Mrs. Seward. The latter gentleman has volunteered in the kindest way to act gratuitously as our medical adviser, as well as for any member of the Mission (white or black) who may be in need of his professional skill. I am sure that the Committee will duly appreciate the kindness and liberality of Dr. Seward's offer.
The time has now come for me to speak of some addition to our ranks. It was impossible to do so before the arrival of your last letter and while it was so uncertain what the future of the C.A. Mission was likely to be. Perhaps it may be well to say something in the first place of those friends who joined the Mission at the same time as myself. ... Of so good and kind a friend as Dr. Steere it is indeed difficult to speak. When I think of his unflagging zeal, his great patience, his skill in the management of everything entrusted to him, his far-seeing and admirable judgment, and above all the genuine affection which exists between us, I feel how helpless I should have been for the last two years without his companionship, and how bitter to each of us will be the hour of separation when it comes. Recent letters, however, make it abundantly clear that his wife's health is such as to make her coming here an impossibility, and this must eventually lead to Dr. Steere's return to England. I am at the same time very thankful to find that through Mrs. Steere's thoughtful forbearance there is no immediate necessity for any change of plan, but we shall do well to be prepared for what sooner or later must happen.
We are scarcely in a position as yet to speak of future possibilities. So soon as the work in Zanzibar is fairly started I should like to make some excursions to the mainland and endeavour to find suitable sites for two or three stations, but our immediate work, preparatory to any steady advance on the Continent, must be for a time in Zanzibar, and such helpers as we now want are those who are fitted to take an active part in it. If two, or even three, clergymen, can be induced to come out here for a time we can promise them very useful and interesting employment. A schoolmaster would also be a welcome addition to our forces. Possibly one might be found desirous of being ordained, or some clergyman who has himself passed through a Training College. I am specially anxious to gather round me men who will come for the work's sake, and not for secondary considerations of any kind. Nor must I lose sight of my projected girls' school. I have written on this subject to my sister, who is in correspondence with several of the Committee, and so perhaps I need not enlarge on the subject, while I am in the dark as to any arrangements which may ere this have been made. The most efficient missionaries are those who, cceteris paribus have received a special education for their work, and I think we shall do well to devote some portion of our funds in sending to St. Augustine's or elsewhere any young men who have a special missionary vocation, and are willing to accept East Africa as their future field of labour. This the Rhenish Missionary Society has done systematically for many years, and with the happiest results. I have seen it stated that £100 sent annually to St. Augustine's enables the Bishop of Nelson to receive into his Diocese an additional clergyman every year. I have no hesitation in saying that some such machinery as this will have a better chance of success than any other in supplying us with the men we shall want, and I shall rejoice to find the Committee of the same opinion.
It is a question well worth consideration, and especially now that we have no regular communication with the Seychelles, whether the passage by the Cape in Messrs. Fleming's or Oswald's vessels is not preferable to the overland route by the Peninsular and Oriental Company's steamers. Ships not stopping at the Cape generally get here in from 90 to 100 days, while the expense is, of course, much less than through Egypt.
After making every practicable inquiry, I am inclined to advise that letters and book parcels should be directed to me to the care of the Postmaster, Aden. It might be as well to write and request the authorities to use their discretion as to the mode of transmission from Aden. Occasionally vessels sail from thence to Zanzibar direct, but more usually the mail would be forwarded to the Seychelles. The Bombay route is wholly impracticable, except during the northern monsoon.
The enclosed prayers were printed at our own press, which is likely to be of very great service to us. Dr. Steere is in want of some additional printing materials, which can be forwarded by the next opportunity, if the Committee think well.
I have already asked for a liberal supply of school requisites from the National Society's Depository. Of course they must be of an elementary character. Slates and slate pencils can fortunately be obtained in the bazaar here, and so need not be included. My sister, if in England, can readily suggest a very suitable selection. We have had ourselves to manufacture most of our schoolroom furniture, alphabets and such like.
A few prayer books in French and English and German and English, if such can be procured, would be useful, as well as a supply of Bibles in various languages, such as French, German, and Arabic.
About the time of your receiving this, the Orestes will be arriving at Portsmouth. We have received so many kindnesses from everyone connected with her that I think the Committee would do well to convey to Captain Gardner (United Service Club) in some formal manner their appreciation of his unwearied solicitude for the Mission and every member of it during his command as senior officer of this station.
TO MISS TOZER.
ZANZIBAR, May 10, 1865.
WE are having cold weather just now. The thermometer has been standing for two days at 63°, and it has occasionally gone down to 50°. Last night an Arab friend sent word it was really too cold for him to come and pay us a visit, as he had intended.
May 14.--Two nights since, from information received, two of the Wasp's boats left to intercept a northern Arab vessel which they heard was about to sail with a cargo of slaves. On coming up to her a fearful fight took place, the result of which was on our side one man killed and ten wounded, including two lieutenants and one midshipman. Of the Arabs several were killed, including the captain, who fought desperately. Many jumped overboard and endeavoured to escape by swimming, others made off in a boat which was towing astern. I cannot conceive anything more awful than the scene at the moment our boats came alongside. The vessel, which is of a class called a "Beddeen," and is more of a boat than a ship, was crowded with slaves, to the number, they say, of 350, and some 40 or 50 Suri Arabs, who immediately began firing and thrusting their long spears at our men. I have seen three of the wounded Arabs, and so can, in a measure, realize the execution made by the sailors' cutlasses. The marvel is that so few of the poor slaves were injured; one boy is badly wounded and three have since died, but the rest appear to have escaped. Very many jumped overboard, but when I went on board there were no less than 288, and they seemed to cover the Wasp's deck.
May 15.--The upshot of the captain's interview with the Sultan is that the capture is declared a legal one, and the Wasp leaves for Seychelles on Wednesday, and Captain Bowden urges me to go with him. He says the state of the wounded men makes it very desirable that they should have a clergyman on board, and that I may make a selection from the slaves and bring back any number I like with me for our school. I would rather not leave again so soon, and must think it well over before I decide. I go on board to-morrow morning to see the sick.
[The Wasp reached Seychelles with her cargo of slaves on May 24, and there the Bishop had the joyful surprise of meeting his sister, who had come out to join him much sooner than he had expected. The narrative is continued by a letter from Miss Tozer.]
The slaves were to come on shore at once, and Captain Bowden asked us to walk down to another pier a little farther on to see the first cargo of slaves landed. I went down with him, and the Bishop and some of the officers of the boat came ashore with its dusky load. Oh! how can I describe that landing? Tenderly lifting the tiny baby things out, with rough kindly words the sailors set them down, and they squatted patiently on the ground, like little tired black lambs. Some no more than three years, but the most about six. Then came a poor little girl wounded in the battle, lifted so tenderly in a carpet by the sailors, who put her down as if they had been nurses. Then I saw the Bishop handing out a mother and baby, the great tearful eyes looking wildly round as she clutched her child close, and he, in a few words, consoling, telling her "No more slave--English ground now--no one hurt her more." It was almost too dark to see their faces, but the sight of those fifty little creatures squatting round so patiently was quite touching, and I think you would have done as I did, sit down and cry--it was the first realization of slavery, the first coming face to face with it. After a pause the sailors took the children up, those who could not walk, and the procession moved on to the prison, where they were to sleep and eat; and this morning I am to go up there and choose my ten little girls. The Bishop says it is impossible to describe the kindness shown to the slaves by the officers and men, and the week the poor souls have been on board they have grown quite fat. One of the officers told me, when they took them out of the dhow they only had two feet of space to live in--I mean in height--packed in as close as if they had been logs of wood. Only fancy what the older ones must have suffered; and all they had to live on was uncooked rice. I spoke to a great many, and the Bishop brought me a little Indian girl of thirteen, who is actually friendless. Captain Bowden said, "She is too old for you"; but she is a sweet modest little girl, and has no one to take care of her, so you may be sure I took her at once. The Bishop spoke to her in Swahili, and she smiled at me and nodded her head. They had no clothes, except the linen cloth, but the girls, even the tiny ones, show instinctive modesty.
The next day, Ascension Day, after church at 11, the Bishop took me down to choose my own children, as we were to have the first selection. It was a most difficult work; one longed to have them all, but I was only to have five boys and nine girls, so we divided them as well as we could into tribes, and chose the boys first and then the girls. Their names are very pretty, as near as I can make them sound. I specially picked out a little soft-eyed child for you, about seven years old, as near as we can guess; her name is Sutia, pronounced "Soo-teah," with the accent on the e. We have two called Sutia, and another Mabruki; we must call them Mabruki Horsham and Sutia Horsham, I think. And be sure your little girl was better dressed than the rest, for I found she had been such a pet on board that everyone had given her beads, and a beautiful cloth. She has a necklace with many strings of beads, and black bracelets round both arms; her blue cloth is bordered with red and gold, and she wraps it round her like a little mantle, tucking in the end. She has beautiful white teeth and the brightest of eyes, and I made her say "Yes, sir," over and over again. They are all very happy and have plenty to eat, and the Bishop and I go down and see them every day, and he talks to them. All have skin disease, more or less. They will live where they are till we go home, and then my fourteen little chicks will go with us, and begin, I hope, and learn something.
TO THE HON. SECRETARIES.
June 10, 1865.
YOU will be glad to hear of the safe arrival of my sister and her party at these Islands. It has been a most providential ordering of events that I was induced to come here in H.M.S. Wasp without any previous knowledge of the meeting in store for me. H. Goodwin has already left in H.M.S. Lyra for Zanzibar, and Captain Bowden of the Wasp has placed his cabin at the entire disposal of the ladies, who will thus secure the most ample and comfortable accommodation. He proposes to sail on Monday or Tuesday next. The Pantaloon which must have crossed both Wasp and Lyra on her way to Zanzibar, is the bearer of mails, which I shall not receive until my return. I gather that they contain official letters for me, which I will answer by the earliest opportunity. By the kindness of Captain Bowden and Mr. Ward, the Civil Commissioner of the Seychelles, I have been permitted to make any selection I pleased from some 300 slaves whom we brought over here for emancipation. From the happy circumstance of meeting my sister I have felt able to accept nine girls, as a beginning of a female school at Zanzibar, and five boys. I am sure the Committee will feel, as I do, that all these concurring events are special signs of God's goodness towards us. It is a matter for much thankfulness that the children selected are, in many cases, the representatives of other tribes than those to which our boys at Zanzibar belong; nor can I fail to point out the great importance of training girls as well as boys for the stability and completeness of our future work. I hope ere long to be able to visit Johanna and receive some pupils from that most interesting island. The Sultan has lately sent to tell me how disappointed he was that he did not see me when I was there in the Orestes. The French, wiser in their generation than ourselves, have effected a footing at Mohilla; a Mons. Lambert, of Madagascar notoriety, has obtained from the Queen permission to settle there. The ostensible object is for the cultivation of cotton, but it is not a little remarkable that the Queen (whose governess was a Frenchwoman) is nearly connected with the late King Radama of Madagascar and is his legitimate successor to the Crown. I sent you at the time an account of my own interview with her, if I mistake not.
I have, as always, to express my deep obligations to yourselves and to every member of the Committee for their many continued proofs of kindness to myself personally, and interest in the Mission generally.
FROM MISS TOZER.
ZANZIBAR, June 26, 1865.
ON Wednesday morning, June 20, I came in sight of my new home, already so dear to me! Lovely as is Seychelles, I like Zanzibar far better, and would rather live here than there; though, with many dear kind friends at Mahé, and the shower of pressing invitations to come whenever we want change, Seychelles must always be a haven of rest and refreshment to us. We had hardly anchored when the Consul arrived to welcome us, and the captain of the Penguin, which we found lying here. We were detained on board to dine, and then Captain Bowden manned his galley and brought us safe home. Such kind partings on board! The children were fondled and loaded with presents, especially Sutia, who was the darling of the main-deck, and very much spoilt in consequence. Dear Mrs. Seward came down to the landing-place to receive me, and walked with our whole procession to the Mission House. Dr. Steere had come on board with the Consul, and you will believe what a satisfaction it was to meet! Little black faces peered anxiously from the room, and as soon as the Bishop called "Njoni watoto wangu"--"Come, my children"--down the nine little fellows came, flying out on the terrace, seizing the Bishop's hands and kissing them, and saying to me "Good morning, ma'am," as they had been taught. They call me the "Bibi," which, I believe, really means grandmother, and I accept the name gladly. The sun was low, and we had but little time to see our palace, as it is called here; they all stood back that I might enter first with the Bishop, and then in procession all went round and admired, almost in the dark, Doctor Steere's and Harry's clever arrangements. They had built walls, pulled down walls, opened doors, shut windows, and so made room for us all. One side of the corridor is allotted to the girls and me and Miss Jones; the boys and Harry Goodwin have their rooms on the other side. Thus, you see, we are separate as to apartments, and in the room where we sit to work and write we have our little classes. At this moment seven girls are seated hemming some handkerchiefs. The boys, having finished lessons, are gone to bathe with Dr. Steere, and I am divided between this letter and a page of Kiswahili. My first impressions are the wonderful amount the Bishop and Dr. Steere have accomplished since October. The nine boys are perfect little gentlemen--nice soft manners, full of intelligence; they speak a little English with a pure accent, and understand all you say. Yesterday I gave them a singing lesson in chapel; they sang the Glorias and two hymns in English very nicely, and their conduct is beyond all praise. I have seen two sums in addition and multiplication both right, and long rows of figures; and to-day I heard six of them read a card--the history of Joseph--in English and Swahili, and their answers to questions were quite beautiful, evidently attending to and understanding all the story. Two of the boys are Christians in will; and Kongo, the oldest, we always call the future Bishop--he is so good, steady, grave, and thoughtful. Mabruki is the dearest, brightest little fellow--very pretty, with lovely white teeth, and of a sweet temper, very quick and clever; while 'Mkono the Malagasy is so good and obedient, and withal so quick in apprehension. These three and a fat little Songolo and Feruzi, who is as fat as a sheep, are my chief acquaintances as yet. They are so gentle and obedient and so still when required to be, as in chapel and at lessons, that they are totally unlike English boys; you can trust them with glass or tender things--they rarely break them. They are delighted with the fourteen new friends we brought them, and ever since we came I have watched in vain for the smallest quarrel; they never disagree, and share everything that is given them. I suppose they will be naughty sometimes, like others; but, so far, we have seen nothing of temper, though they are full of spirits, at least the old lot, and Mabruki, who is a great beau about his dress, was quite vehement on the subject this morning, assuring Dr. Steere he had nothing fit to wear--everything coming to an end--rags and holes in his cloth--cap faded--things would not last--must be new--nothing fit for Sunday. To-day they have all had new caps, and Mabruki acted as a valet, fitting them on and arranging the tassels. Our poor little girls are not yet come to the intelligent stage; they are all more or less sickly. Dr. Seward is attending three. We wash them all over daily in warm water and soap, or rather Annie Jones does, for I have been too busy as yet to help, except in the medical line.
Tuesday,--It is almost impossible to write amidst such constant interruptions, and you will like to know most about the children, and how we pass the day. (I have a little one kneeling by me now, curiously watching my pen--such a funny wee creature, called Mgandua; he is the smallest we have, and a real little droll specimen--very talkative--he comes and chatters to me like a monkey.) To return to my subject, at 6 a.m. the bell rings; it is just light, the sun only coming up above the horizon, and I get up and call "Sukajua! Sukajua! "on which a little black form glides in through the open door and says "Good morning," opening the two or three shutters that have been closed. She is my small handmaid, a very dunce in sewing, so I hope may improve in housework. The best needlewoman is Kaduruwali, who can already hem handkerchiefs neatly--the rest are hemming glass cloths--so I think, considering our time, it has not been wasted; it is often picked out, but really done very respectably. The second bell soon rings, and we go down to chapel, all the children looking so nice; the boys in their cloths and white jackets (little calico things given them by the Consul), the girls in pink frocks, and their little half handkerchief round their heads. The Bishop is reader this week; Dr. Steere is therefore in plain clothes, Harry at the harmonium, and we three women sitting in various places.
This morning the Penguin sailed out of harbour, and you will believe that we are sorry to lose her when I tell you that we have never been at one service since we came, morning or evening, without finding one or two of the officers present. It was so nice to go into chapel in the grey morning light and find one or two already in their places, quite homelike; and it must have been an immense comfort to themselves. Our harmonium which is a very nice one, and extremely soft and sweet, is a gift from the Commandant and friends at the Cape. After service we come up again to our second floor, and find our breakfast ready; then the children have theirs, Dr. Steere superintending. They all sit together at a long table in the corridor. Afterwards we go to our morning work, teaching the children, and needlework till 12, when we have dinner. Dr. Steere is housekeeper, but he is teaching me, and I hope soon to take it off his hands, already too full. Meat is very cheap; you have six or seven pounds of beef for two shillings. The vegetables are yams, onions, and beans. We work again with a little interval of rest till past 4, when we ought to walk.
TO THE HON. SECRETARIES.
ZANZIBAR, June 30, 1865.
I AVAIL myself of a ship which leaves this for Aden to inform you of the safe arrival of Miss Jones and Miss Tozer and her servant at Zanzibar. Through the kindness of Captain Bowden, they were accommodated with a passage in H.M.S. Wasp from the Seychelles. . . .
Dr. Steere desires me to ask if, in the event of your sending money to Zanzibar, you could acquire dollars (Marie Thérèse), as they are the currency of the country, and a loss is incurred in exchanging any other kind of coin. I am not asking for money, but simply for information.
I regret to say we have no means of prepaying letters from Aden. The post office there is considered as belonging to the Indian Department, and consequently Mauritius stamps, which we have, are valueless.
The printing press is becoming of such constant use that I would urge the speedy execution of the commission for type, ink, etc., recently sent for by Dr. Steere. A Swahili grammar and vocabulary is being printed at the present time, and the materials at our command are very inadequate for the purpose.
FROM MISS TOZER.
July 9. Sunday.
LITANY is just over, and I have left all the boys in chapel with Mr. Goodwin having a practice, and it is quite wonderful how well they sing the three hymns they know in English--so pretty and pure a pronunciation, and the "th "they say quite well, as it is a common sound in Arabic. I have not much to do with Arabic beyond the figures and counting, as, oddly enough, after nineteen the Swahili adopts the Arabic sounds, and instead of saying "Kumi na Kumi "--ten and ten--they say "Asherini," which is Arabic, and so on to a hundred, putting in the Swahili numbers for the units. The Kiswahili gets on apace; you know I was always fond of languages, but the Eastern ones are so very difficult. The housekeeping here involves a knowledge of the language, and a perfect calculating machine of arithmetic--128 pice to the dollar, and 4 3/4 dollars to 1 English, 3 3/4 to a Louis, these being the current coins. Then the rate of exchange differs, and you receive 132 sometimes for your dollar, or 130, and this makes fresh calculation necessary.
I am becoming more and more satisfied with the results of my hospital experience, for we have many of our children on the sick list, and some with surgical cases, and Miss Jones and I are about three hours every day over our dispensary and surgery. Three have weak chests, and many with skin diseases on heads and bodies. I have two small sick boys on a mat at my feet, one with boils on the arms, and one with swollen leg and knee. }% Tuesday morning, 9 a.m.--All quiet and at work \ the morning hospital walking is over, and I am exhausted with the bathing, fomenting, and bandaging. I am sitting now to rest in the corridor. Miss Jones is teaching the nine girls their "one, two, three, four," etc., and then a little of the Lord's Prayer. Dr. Steere has the second class in his room of the new boys; they are very slow in pronouncing some of the numbers. He goes over and over "Six, six,--seven, seven," with the utmost patience they say. The Bishop, with the first class, is in his room; they are reading. We have been making a new room, and a most noisy day we have had. The floor has been chunammed, as all the rest are. The material is a kind of lime-ash, about the consistency of mortar, and this is spread and crammed down by thirty or forty women, who have poles in their hands and flat pieces of wood at the end, with which they strike the floor all in time. This noise, however, would be nothing, but they accompany it with a kind of monotone or recitative which is perfectly deafening. The boys have been at cricket this afternoon in the court, and we all stand and look and take the greatest interest in the cricketers. Mrs. Seward comes in daily for our work hours, from 2 to 4, and we should hardly know how to go on without her, so kind and cheerful is she. There will be a sort of rendezvous of ships here just now, and we are expecting one of them to bring our mail. I think to-night I shall take my letter and sit up within the shelter of my curtains and go on, for at this moment the sun is down and the mosquitoes have begun to arise, and I, unluckily, am now the sole person of the party whom they bite. I do not know what the summer will be if this is winter, but everyone says it is so cold now, and the early morning, when I get up, is as cold as England.
Wednesday morning.--The Sultan is gone to-day on board the Wasp. The two ships manned their yards when he left the shore, and salutes were fired till the whole harbour was a cloud of smoke and nothing could be seen. First, the Highflyer saluted when he stepped into his boat, which one of his ships instantly returned; the Wasp began to salute as soon as he reached her deck, and his own three men-of-war at the same time; then all his ships saluted by way of acknowledgment. The steam was then got up, and, the deck and bridge crowded with his suite, she slowly steamed out past our windows; we could see the Bishop standing by the mainmast, and the officers in full dress. The Highflyer sent up three white ensigns, and the Wasp the Sultan's own red flag at her main, and blue and white ensigns at her mizen and fore. Now they are saluting again. The Sultan has left the Wasp. I see the long-boat, with scarlet-clothed crew, pulling him in; all the yards are manned, and five ships saluting at once--enough to shake down the house. Now it is over, but the smoke is stealing over the bay and gradually opening out first one and then another. It really gives me a good idea of a battle, but I would rather not see anything more real.
July 24, 1865.--I feel I am getting on fast in learning the language. I can say almost anything in bad Swahili, because I know all the verbs, having industriously learnt them up, sheet by sheet, as they came out of the press wet. Now we come to concords, which are terribly difficult. Pronouns, adjectives, and nouns, all possess certain prefixes: single letters for the most part, which alter in the plurals--for example, "kasha langu," my box, "makasha yangu," my boxes; "kiti changu," my chair, "viti vyangu," my chairs; "nyumba yangu," my house, "nyumba zangu," my houses. We try to reduce these to rules, but I think the exceptions outnumber them.
Yesterday a nice thing happened. An Arab servant of the Consul's, very intelligent, came with a message to Dr. Steere, went into his room, and as he was writing at the moment the story of Lazarus in Swahili for me to translate he read it to Ali to find out how far his translation from the Arabic was correct, giving Ali the Arabic Testament at the same time to enable him to follow the Swahili story. Ali grew so excited as the story came near the end that he could not think of anything else, and when at the words "Loose him and let him go," Dr. Steere came to his conclusion, Ali clutched the Arabic Bible and said, "If I may take it away and read more," in such a hurry was he to get on with the story that he carried off the Bible and forgot the message he was charged with. So before he reached the foot of the stairs he came back to say it. He has not yet brought the precious Book back.
The Arabs are all astonished over our Arabic Testament, which they have never seen before, and which we hear is an excellent translation. We have several copies, which we lend. Now we hope to begin to translate the Gospels into Swahili. Dr. Steere can quite do it, but a difficulty is in the not having anyone who is scholar enough to correct the Swahili and decide on the most domestic and usual words. We get a great many from our boys, and when all agree about a word we feel pretty confident it is right, as these boys come from so many different tribes. Still you can see how immensely difficulties crowd upon such a work as writing a grammar of a language still in its infancy, or rather so very incomplete. It is fortunate his learning and patience equal one another. He is a wonderful man. After a hard day of teaching the boys, and printing and writing, and accounts, he comes quite fresh to give me a Swahili lesson after tea, and goes on till Ali comes to give him a lesson in Arabic.
TO THE HON. SECRETARIES.
ZANZIBAR, July 22, 1865.
I MEAN to enclose in this letter the first few sheets of the Swahili vocabulary which Dr. Steere has printed. This is widely circulated in Zanzibar for the purpose of corrections and additions, and we hope in time to be able to fix some sort of standard which may be accepted as the foundation for all future literary attempts. The importance of this work can be scarcely over-estimated, and much interest is felt in it by our European and American friends, who freely help us to the utmost of their power.
Dr. Steere is writing to you for some more additions to his printing materials, and I am sure you will gladly supply him with all he asks for. It is also of some importance that he receives what he requires with as little delay as possible.
Since the arrival of the Seychelles party (eighteen in all) the need of further accommodation is making itself felt. To supply more house room I propose ere long to build on our estate outside the town, which will involve a large outlay, but we shall be acting wisely in making arrangements for severing the boys from the girls. At present they are practically living together, which, of course, can never be considered as anything but a temporary plan, and I long to see the boys removed from the confinement of the town to a country establishment of their own.
For the oversight of this School or Missionary College, I should propose that a clergyman be provided, and I feel that so much of the future success of our work is bound up with the prosperity of this school, and that, under God, so much depends on the characters and dispositions which the training there bestowed will help to form and foster, that nothing should be taken so seriously in hand as the looking out for the best possible person for a post so important and yet so difficult. Delay in selecting him will be a far less evil than the appointment of one who does not possess the necessary qualifications.
The next step which I should like to take would be the forming a branch station on the mainland. In returning from my visit to Mr. Rebmann at the end of last year, I put in at Tanga, where Erbert lived for some months, endeavouring to get access to the interior. The difficulties which then existed are removed, and I am inclined to think that we might select Tanga as a suitable spot for our first attempt. It would not be wise to try the experiment of a mainland station until we could find at least two men well suited for the purpose. I distinctly ask that they may either be clergymen or at least candidates for Orders, and not mechanics, and I should greatly prefer those who have undergone a specific missionary training. The attempt had far better be deferred than entrusted to any but earnest devoted men who are willing to accept the post as their work for life. Even with these the experiment may fail, but it can scarcely help failing if we employ men who are actuated by any lower and merely secondary motives.
In all I thus see my way to employing not less than four additional clergy. May the great Head of the Church give us labourers suited outwardly by strength and constitution, and inwardly by manifold graces, to lay the foundation stones of His Church here in Africa!
I would wish to point out to the special notice of the Committee and their able fellow labourer Dr. Budd that what is known as a "robust constitution" in England is certainly not best adapted to resist the unhealthy influence of this coast. We have again and again observed that a spare, thin, wiry frame, if only free from serious organic disease, has a far better chance of escaping fever than a stout, corpulent, ruddy habit, which is the very first, ordinarily speaking, to succumb to miasmatic influences. Perhaps it might be well for the clerk to communicate this portion of my letter to Dr. Budd, with my best respects.
My letter is already so long that I scarcely dare to add anything about our prospects as a Mission. Thank God, they look now fairly bright and prosperous, though trials and troubles are sure to arise to strengthen and purify our faith in the only true source of strength. The boys are special comforts, and the five new ones are certainly not behind their companions in attractiveness.
PS__I fear that we shall as usual be prevented from prepaying our letters. We have Mauritius stamps, but as the mail is made up for Aden, a branch of the Indian Post Office, these are valueless, and will not even be obliterated.
TO THE REV. J. W. TESTING.
ZANZIBAR, August 5, 1865.
WE completed, only yesterday, the purchase (for a little more than £200) of a large and very valuable plot of land, enclosed by its own stone walls at the back, and open towards the sea. It is the next property to this, and possesses a long sea frontage, which is becoming every year of more and more value. So soon as we can obtain two or three other little pieces of land which intervene between our new purchase and the small stone house which I told you in my last letter that we had bought, we shall have a fine open site on the extreme end of the promontory on which the town stands, capable of being used for almost any number of buildings which may be required hereafter for the purposes of the Mission.
While I think of it, may I ask you to send me, either at the expense of the Mission or at my own, as the Committee like, English copies of the Koran. Sale's, though old, is, I believe, a good translation, and I should like to have it, but another has recently been published which is spoken very highly of; I regret that I cannot call to mind the names of either translator or publisher, but any catalogue would give you that information at once. Also the Mission should certainly possess a printed Arabic copy of the Arabian Nights. I cannot say where this can be obtained. Mr. Marshall could inquire of that. Probably it is printed at Amsterdam. But the book is to be had, although an ordinary bookseller would very likely make out that no such work is known to the trade. With this we should have Lane's translation, which is the best, and also Lane's Arabic Dictionary as soon as it is published.
I find that the Arabian Nights is to the Arabs what Don Quixote is to the Spanish, the only standard work (besides the Koran) which they have. I should be glad if these commissions are executed at once.
The Swahili Vocabulary is going bravely on; many are taking great interest in it. Steere's progress in the language is surprising, and in the interest of the Church at large he should have every encouragement to stay here and work at translations. Already he talks with great facility.
[The following letters from Mr. H. Goodwin, a new member of the staff, are here inserted, as giving an excellent idea of the life in Zanzibar in the early days of the Mission.]
I LIKE the Bishop exceedingly, and I believe he likes me, which is more to the point. It would make you laugh to see the various punishments that he invents for the boys. When they are told to go and bathe or wash, and some of them neglect to do so, he calls them to him, and first gives them an explanation of the meaning of the expression "Dirty pig," causes them to say about six times "I'm a dirty pig," and then sends them down to wash. Perhaps to tell you about my life here, the best way would be to give an account of one day, as it is likely I shall go through the same routine for some time to come. Well, at 6 o'clock in the morning Dr. Steere rings a bell that can be heard all over the town, and consequently has the desired effect of waking everyone in the house; at half past 6 the bell is rung again, and then we all go down to the chapel, which is one of the rooms on the ground floor, and have a short morning service; at 7 bell number three is rung, which means breakfast, and there is a rush from our respective rooms to the dining-room. Breakfast generally consists of cold beef or fowl, coffee, bread, marmalade (some of Miss Tozer's manufacture), oranges to any amount--most delicious they are too. Directly after our breakfast the boys and girls have theirs. I betake myself to sketching or something else for an hour, and about half past 8 don my working costume, which is shirt and trousers and shoes, and go down to the lower regions of the house, where I have established a bench. All the ground floor of the house is rented by the Government to keep stores for the men-of-war. We all live on the storey above, and the cooking is carried on at the top of the house. While I am studying the science of joining, the Bishop and Dr. Steere teach the boys reading, writing, and arithmetic, and Miss Jones sits at the head of a small table with about ten Swahili girls and repeats the alphabet with a sort of mechanical chorus from her pupils. About half past 11 I leave work to go to my room to wash for dinner; at 12 o'clock the bell rings again for dinner. Dinner is a repetition of breakfast, only we generally eat more, and now and then get some pastry, rice puddings, and the like. The amount of oranges eaten is something wonderful; no one eats less than a dozen every day, and nobody looks the worse for it. After dinner, which generally takes about three quarters of an hour, I go down to the chapel and practise on the harmonium for about half an hour, and then commence work again.
I have been making tables, forms, and putting up cupboards and all sorts of things; and it's such a big house that there seems as much to do as ever. School commences about 2 o'clock, and finishes at 4, at which time I retire to my own room and have a bath, which out here is most refreshing (we have one in every bedroom). About 5 o'clock the Bishop takes the boys and girls for a walk, and I either go with them or do some sketching, generally the latter. We have a small country house about two miles from the town, standing close to the beach, with about two acres of ground, covered with cocoanut and orange trees. On the way to this place there is a large flat space of ground about the size of Penender Heath, where we sometimes stop and play rounders or football, to the great astonishment of the natives. Occasionally we go out for a row in our boat, which is about the size of a small barge, and is got down to the beach from the boat-house with much labour, and amid the yells of the natives, who always sing at everything they are moving or carrying--at least they keep up a monotonous kind of howl. At 7 o'clock, or a little before, the bell rings for tea, which is much the same as breakfast, only we have tea instead of coffee, and pineapples and bananas. When I first came here I used to eat dates a good deal, but we are out of them at present, and shall not get them until the next monsoon. I daresay you wonder what that is--simply the change of wind, which blows six months one way and six another, or nearly so. The next monsoon has got to be quite a household word, as the Bishop and Dr. Steere are always telling us how we shall suffer from the heat when it comes. Both of them have experienced it without looking much the worse (though Dr. Steere certainly looks weather-beaten). We are sceptical on the point, and laugh at their tales of stifling weather. However, I have not finished the day yet. After the boys have had tea, I give them a drawing lesson about three nights out of the week, which is quite a game, as they invariably draw things upside down, and have to be admonished by sundry taps with a fimbo, which is the African for stick. At 9 o'clock we go down to the chapel and have evening prayers, and then retire for the night. We have not instituted supper yet, and nobody cares about it. It does not do to eat much out here before going to bed. The moonlight nights here are most lovely, so bright and blue to what they are in England, and it is beautifully cool, and the house standing close to the sea, it is quite romantic--only the natives sometimes have musical entertainments on the beach, which consist of one beating a kind of drum and the rest howling.
You must not be afraid of my standing the heat, if it is not worse than it has been yet. I am in as good health as ever I was in my life.
FROM MR. GOODWIN.
[Date uncertain, probably 1866.]
THE boys now at the Mission House at Zanzibar were, with few exceptions, taken out of a slave dhow; very different they are now from the miserable half-starved looking creatures which they were when just entrusted to the Bishop's care. Few persons probably realize the sufferings endured by the poor creatures brought over to Zanzibar from the mainland. The dhows by which the slave trade is carried on are, on an average, not much larger than the fishing boats which one sees at Hastings or Ramsgate; and in these wretched little craft something like a hundred or even two hundred black people, men, women, and children are packed together for a week or a fortnight, during the passage to Zanzibar, and with scarcely enough food given them to keep them alive. I never should have thought it possible for human beings to live with so little flesh on their bones as I have sometimes seen in the town of Zanzibar.
It is a very curious trait in the character of the boys that they always try to evade any questioning about their life before they came to the Mission House. If one only asks them what they called such and such a thing in their own native dialect (as, although the Swahili language is generally understood and spoken on the east coast, many different tribes have peculiarities of their own in the pronunciation of the words), they will turn away and hang their heads down, and, if their colour allowed it, certainly blush; they seem to want to forget utterly everything connected with their past life, even so far as to disown their own relations. I do not think that this is a bad sign when one considers that family ties in Africa are as different from what we understand by them in England, as dark from daylight. You cannot expect reasonable children to show much affection for parents who would and do sell them for a few yards of cloth; the brutal way in which some of them punish their children is quite enough to drive away all notions of there ever being any love between them. I have sometimes seen from the window of my room at the Mission House a woman take a child less than two years old who had been crying, up by one leg, and drag it about with its head knocking on the ground, holding it with one hand and whipping it with the other, the child being without a vestige of clothing. It cannot be wondered at that as soon as they are kindly treated they wish to forget that they were ever in such a state, and spend what love they are capable of on those who befriend them. Slavery may be, and doubtless is, a very bad and wicked institution, but, as far as the actual present is concerned, the slaves are infinitely better off and more cared for than they would be among their own people.
Another peculiarity of the boys is their amazing fondness for everything English, English ships (Merikebu, as they call them), being their chief delight. If ever I asked one of them to draw anything it was certain to be a Merikebu, and very well some of them drew ships, too, considering it was an art they were quite unused to. As soon as ever the flag at the American consulate announced that a ship was in sight, there was a rush of the boys to the roof unless a lesson was going on, and then it was quite amusing to see their impatience under the spirit of discipline. They one and all want very much to come to England. I often told them that it was dreadfully cold there; that oranges were about three pice each instead of being six for one pice; that there were no cocoa-nut trees there; no mango trees; no pineapples, none at least that they could buy; and, in short, drew as melancholy a picture of dear old England as I possibly could, in order to reconcile them to their own country, but it did not matter. "Pliss, sir, I want go England," little M'gandua said to me one night, after I told them I was going back to England, in that plaintive tone of voice, really as if his little life depended upon the answer; and Kongo, the biggest and best of the boys (the future Bishop, as we used to call him), was positively sulky for the space of a week after the four boys chosen by the Bishop had left with him for England, because his future lordship was not included in the number.
Kongo is a tall well-made boy for his age, or rather, for his looks, for his age is a matter of conjecture, with very small features, and without any of that particular ugliness of lip and nose so common to most of the negroes, and such a fellow to run, but very shy and bashful to strangers. One night, just before going to bed, I heard a great scuffling going on among the boys outside my bedroom door, and on coming out to see what was the matter, I found Mr. Samuel Kongo having a stand-up fight with Farajala, who had been always a sort of cock of the school, and a little bit of a bully besides. Both boys were pounding away at each other in good earnest, English fashion, with fists. I saw Farajala had met with his match, and felt very much inclined to let them go on--a very improper feeling, no doubt--but one always likes to see a bully getting a thrashing. However, the smaller boys were looking at me, and made it necessary for me to separate them, a very easy thing to do for the moment, but as soon as one's back was turned they would commence again as hard as ever. I never saw such obstinate creatures as they are in their quarrels. You can get nothing out of them--not a single word about the origin of the disagreement--all they seem to be capable of thinking about at the time is how to take revenge for their injuries. Kongo is a capital fellow for work; anything he is set about is always carefully done--his capability for drawing was quite surprising to me; he always seemed to know when a line was wrong, and would come and ask for the indiarubber to correct it before I came and looked over his work. I think they all liked drawing, even Maconyessa, dull at everything else, brightened up when I gave him a pencil and some paper, and something to draw from. It was amusing to see the smaller boys looking over pictures, as they always insisted on having them upside down, and would shout "Merikebu "with great delight whenever a ship turned up. I think very few people would doubt their capability for receiving and benefiting by instruction if they could have seen a lot of them looking over some old numbers of the Illustrated London News--eyes sparkling, each one pointing to some particular thing that struck him, and all wanting to turn over the leaves in a great state of excitement about what would come next; it was quite a picture of black intelligence.
I believe for some time the prevailing idea among many of the slaves in Zanzibar was that the boys were being fattened for the English to eat, the idea somehow having got into their heads that English people were great cannibals; either it was that they could not understand what the Mission wanted to do with them, and so seized upon that idea as the only reasonable solution to a mystery, or it must have been insinuated by the Arabs, in order to weaken the influence that English people have over the slaves. My knowledge of Swahili was scarcely sufficient to enable me to interpret all the remarks that were passed by the natives as we walked through the town, or possibly I might have clearer ideas on this subject.
Their progress in reading, writing, and arithmetic is very considerable; the eldest of them can write quite as well as I can--perhaps that is not saying much; but it is a fact they will answer you any questions in common multiplication--that is, the eldest of them, of course. Some are too young to comprehend figures. As to reading, they can read words of two syllables without being obliged to spell them, and seem to take great pleasure in reading at odd times--sometimes even in bed. Some of them speak English tolerably well, and understand it better when spoken. Among themselves they generally speak Swahili, and in time forget their own peculiarities of tongue. Often they will agree among themselves to speak nothing but English for an afternoon, if it happens to be a half holiday, and then it is very amusing to hear the way the conversation is carried on--the roars of laughter when some unfortunate boy commences hallooing out something in English, and has to stop and bring in Swahili for want of a word to express his meaning. They are wonderfully good-tempered among themselves, and seldom quarrel, very neat and clean in their habits, although there are exceptions to this, and take great pride in their clothes.
The signs of improvement shown by the children are so many that one can only say that they were "dead and are now alive." The difference between them and the children out in the town is very wonderful; it does not consist so much in a moral change--though that is very marked--as in a quickening and reviving of those faculties which seem to be almost dormant in the others. I think it will be some little time before they could be entrusted to teach their own people; the probability is that if they were left alone they would soon forget all they had learned, instead of teaching others, but as assistants to work under some one who knew them, or even a European whom they could respect, they would be invaluable on the mainland, and have always proved so in every missionary's experience.
FROM MISS TOZER.
ZANZIBAR, August 24, 1865.
THIS day, so long looked forward to, dawned at five o'clock in a perfect calm, one of those tropical still days that portend the change of the monsoon, but the sunrise colouring was lovely, and at 5.30 the house was up, and I heard the Bishop proceeding to every part in turn, and dressing his boys in their new white kanzus. I must describe the chapel a little bit, for we are justly proud of it': the little super-altar had four bouquets of scarlet, purple and yellow (we have no white) flowers, boughs of mango in all the recesses. Mr. Cator's beautiful offertory bag was used for the first time, and our offertory we had before decided on devoting to St. Augustine's. It amounted to £20 zs. od. in English money. Our numbers were three women and seven men, small, but all so genial and earnest in the cause. The one drawback was the absence of the dear Consul who would have been a godfather too. The font stood on a white dais covered with sprigs of mango and strewed with flowers. When I went down to put the finishing touches, three officers and a sergeant of marines were kneeling round it, touching up the work of the evening before and laying the flowers about freshly taken out of water. The font itself was very effective, a large bright tin basin with the gold offertory dish at the bottom. When filled with water this looked as if floating a few inches below the surface, and shone out wonderfully. The font was sunk into a box lined with Miss Campbell's beautiful linen, and a purple marker with monograms hanging over the pure white. At the corners were four bunches of the red roses we have in England, tiny double roses, these were sent us by one of our good Arab friends, and being in tumblers are still quite fresh--the deep scarlet against the pare white cloth, and the silver shining basin was very lovely. The base of the font was scarlet cloth with a deep gold fringe, and round the edge of the dais, which was four inches high, went a fringe of red and gold which I happily brought with me to repair possible misfortunes. The west end was cleared of chairs, and the white dais took up nearly a third of the width. On either side, on their little low chairs, sat the boys at the beginning of service--at least the nine catechumens, the other five were in their places at the east end. Mrs. Seward kindly got up early and came, and four from the ships.
. . . Farajala was the first; he came forward so gently, knelt down by the Bishop's side, shut his eyes and folded his hands, and then he rose, went back to his place and knelt again to the end of the service, as they all did. I cannot remember their order, but the second was Francis Robert Feruzi, after the Metropolitan--John Swedi, after our own dear Bishop--Samuel Kongo after Bishop of Oxon, peculiarly appropriate as he is, we say, to be the future Bishop of this country--Petros Mwamba, his name chosen by Mr. Rebmann from whom he came--ditto Mark Melankulu who came down with poor Mr. Taylor, and Arthur Sangolo.
I hope you will think we have named them well; one name was quite enough. The service was exceedingly sweet and solemn and quiet. We had three hymns, one to begin the service, another before the prayer for Church militant, after which and the offertory the fourteen heathen children left the Church, the newly-baptized remaining for the whole.
To-night we have an early service so that they may all come, and many from the ships as well. We have had, of course, a holiday the games all the morning have been incessant. Harry has devoted himself to balls and cricket, the Bishop rushing in and out from his letters, Dr. Steere from his printing press, while Miss Jones has had a pie on her mind, which, en passant, I may say is happily baked and put to cool. I had also severe trials with orange custard, tartlets and blancmange, all being fabricated, dear reader, under intense difficulties, as we had no butter, cream, eggs, patty pans, rolling pin, flour dredge or strainer, but hampers of cloves, thousands of oranges and lemons, cocoa-nuts in heaps, and a bottle of rum bestowed by a charitable ward room on Miss Jones, which last is a mine of wealth in flavouring, some rose water and a little glue! arrowroot and flour, and you have our wherewithal. I must ask for a few more things which my commissary with unpardonable carelessness has forgotten.
This is a very happy day. I am writing against time, as in half an hour the pinnace and cutter Pantaloon are coming for us, and we are going (the whole party) to French Island, to put up the beautiful cross the "Pantaloons" have just finished for Mr. Taylor. They have done such a deal of work for us this week--cut a mitre on the Bishop's boat and inlaid a back board for him, and now this grand cross of nine feet high. This morning too, the ship's company has sent us nearly £16 for our cemetery. You remember my telling you little Lyra gave us £15. So much depends on the first lieutenant of a ship, and both these are very lucky in their head officers. We shall have a cruise after French Island. I would give 5s. not to go, but the disappointment of a lady off the list is too real to inflict on them--we are so few, and they like one in each boat. I hope I shan't disgrace myself and my seamanship, but it is so rough to-day, and the white horses are rolling in. I begin to enjoy sailing when the boat carries enough canvas to steady her, and having no idea of what fear is, I never know whether she is heeling over or not; as long as we don't roll about I'm happy, and then they are so pleased to have us, and so grateful to us for going, that we should have the hearts of spiders if we refused. They all come back to a great tea and service, and so will end happily, I trust, an eventful day.
I ought to tell you that Dr. Steere read the service as far as the exhortation, then the Bishop went on to the end.
Our offertory is worth sending. You will think it large for ten people I dare say, but we rarely get less than from £10 to £20 however small the party, on any special occasion. The Consul is a tower of strength, and we missed him to-day sadly.
Thursday night, 11 p.m.--All the house quiet. The Bishop and I up writing, which he will have to do all night to get ready. To-morrow we go after one o'clock to picnic with both ships on French Island, where to-day we have spent the evening and put up the beautiful cross. Harry has made a sketch; he cannot finish it in time for this mail. We had a huge party to tea, and after that had evening chapel and sang Mr. Hastings' favourite hymn, "Who are these like stars appearing?" And now though I long to go on, I feel I ought to stop and be selfish and go to bed, or to-morrow will find me unfit for work--it has been such an exciting day.
TO THE REV. J. W. FESTING.
ZANZIBAR, August 2 5, 1865.
I WAS able to send you a letter by a passing American ship bound for Aden, on the 11th inst. This will be taken by the Pantaloon which leaves to-morrow morning for the Seychelles.
The most important topic to speak of is respecting Dr. Steere. He feels, from the tenor of letters lately received, that he must return home unless the way is made plain for Mrs. Steere to join him. In that event he is willing and desirous to remain on here for some few years.
You will recognize the extreme importance of this crisis. If we can retain him we shall in a very short time be able to put forth Swahili translations, and the language will have been systematized by a scholar possessing the rare qualifications for so difficult a task. Indeed I cannot describe to you how greatly we rely on Steere, or how severe a blow his departure would be.
This being the case, I think that our plain duty is not merely to sanction any course which he desires us to follow, but to aid and assist him in any plan which will have the happy effect of keeping him at his present post.
I have concluded a very favourable agreement with the acting Senior Officer on this station, subject only to the approval of his Commander in Chief, by which the Navy bind themselves to retain the portion of the house now set apart as a store, for the remaining six years of my lease with the Sultan at an advanced rent of £90 (instead of £74) the Mission undertaking the repairs of the whole house. We thus shall enjoy the very magnificent accommodation which we have for a rental of about £57 a year, plus the cost of repairs.
Yesterday, St. Bartholomew's Day, we baptized nine of our boys. We had been asked for a special celebration of Holy Communion for the ships now in harbour, and as this is (within a few days) the anniversary of our arriving at Zanzibar, we gladly seized the opportunity for the baptism which we had been preparing for and to which the boys had been looking forward.
I have no time to describe the day with its many occasions for deep thankfulness. The service was at 6.30 in the morning, and the baptism followed the Nicene Creed. The devout behaviour of the dear little fellows was very striking. It will be interesting to the original friends of the Mission to hear that four were Ajawa and one a Maganja, or, as they are more usually styled, Wayao and Wanyasa. Of the rest one is a Malagasy, and three Wanyika, the proteges of Mr. Rebmann, and very satisfactory lads. Here especially, we need to rejoice with trembling, but rejoice we must, and I have every comfort in those who are now, thank God, Christians indeed as well as Christians in will, as at least two of the Wanyika have been for some time.
As I think you may have, from other sources, a better account of the day than I have either the power or the time to give, I will not linger over an event which, however, is to us, out here, second to none in importance.
There are two additional openings for Missionary work to which my attention has been directed; one is Lamu (two degrees south of the line). I mean in the first instance to direct the attention of the Ribi missionaries (belonging to the (!) "United Free Methodists' Churches Missionary Society") to this very favourable point de départ for the Country of the Southern Gallas. The Society in establishing a Mission in East Africa were especially desirous to benefit the Gallas, and from accidental circumstances they have been settled in a most unfortunate position for any missionary work.
It would be well if their secretary were told that I had expressed a strong desire for the removal of Messrs Wakefield and New to Lamu. My communications with these young men have invariably been of the most friendly kind, and you will remember that Mr. Alington was a visitor at their Station on the occasion of the death and funeral of their colleague, Mr. Butterworth. The headquarters of "The United Free Methodist Churches" in London is "15, Creed Lane, Ludgate Hill."
Should the Wesleyans refuse, which of course is more than probable, I think we ought to discover if C.M.S. are inclined to extend their work to Lamu, as it would be very undesirable to even seem to trench on ground which they might wish to occupy.
Our kind neighbours of the French Mission would, I know, establish themselves at Lamu if they were sufficiently strong to do so, and this is an additional witness to its importance for missionary operations. Monsieur Hausser, a Swiss Protestant, has given me much valuable information respecting Lamu and its neighbouring towns, having resided there for some time as the agent of the French House here at Zanzibar. He speaks very favourably of its healthfulness.
Should your own engagements prevent your undertaking conferences with the good people in Salisbury Square and Creed Lane, you might perhaps depute some one to act for you.
The second opening to which I referred is the large sugar plantation at Mkokotoni belonging to the houses of Fleming and Fraser. The Africans amounting to some hundreds who are employed on the estate are, I believe, hired from an Arab master, on the understanding that after a certain period of service they will be set free.
In conversation with Captain Fraser, previous to his leaving this for England, I gathered that he and his partners were very sensible of their responsibilities respecting these heathen, and would gladly entertain any proposal for their religious instruction.
The whole concern has been thus far regarded as a doubtful experiment, but latterly an opinion has been gaining ground that Mkokotoni may prove a successful venture, in which case we ought to be in a position to take charge of it.
There has been so great a demand for the Arabic Bibles and Prayer Books which the S.P.C.K. and Bible Societies have so kindly granted, that we must ask to have our stock replenished as quickly as possible. The number of Arabic copies sent was comparatively limited, and we should like to have a quarter hundred copies of St. Matthew's Gospel and any other portions of the Bible in Arabic, as well as complete copies of both Bibles and Prayer Books and anything which may be printed in Gujerati or other kindred Indian dialects, as our Indian population is very considerable. Are there any Arabic Tracts to be procured? If so, please send an abundant supply. Perhaps in this the secretary of the Modern Missionary Society might be so kind as to give advice and assistance.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
ZANZIBAR, September 27, 1865.
LET me ask you to caution your Organizing Secretary (with whom I always regret to say that I have no direct communication of any kind), in putting too much trust in such sanguine enthusiasts as Dr. Krapf. On the cover of his (the Secretary's) Blue Book for this year (which in many ways is such a capital and well worked out little tract) that wildest of schemes of "a chain of Christian settlements across the whole continent of Africa" costing £5,000 a year, is spoken of as something tangible. It is the merest folly to endorse in any way such castle buildings as these, or even to appear to treat them as though they came from any but a diseased state of a most estimable mind. I should be more satisfied too if it could be made plainer what were my own sentiments and what those of the compiler of the Blue Book. The sensational chapter (IV) on the Slave Trade, is, like all exaggerations, likely to injure the very cause it aims at helping, and it is remarkable that the slave master so graphically described "by a clergyman who has lately returned from Africa" is the son of an English woman, and was born at Plymouth.
The Committee will regret to hear that Colonel Playfair, who went to Bombay in anticipation of the Sultan's arrival there, has been compelled suddenly to leave for England, on account of the state of his health. Dr. Seward, who remained here as acting Consul is also giving us much cause for anxiety; a few days since his life was in great danger, and in all probability he will be carried on board the Vigilant and taken to the Seychelles. It is possible that we may thus lose, at one blow, two very warm and invaluable friends.
A letter just received from Bombay informs me that the Messrs. Stenhouse will forward us £200 in English sovereigns by H.M.S. Lyra. This will be a very seasonable assistance to our exchequer, and I shall be glad to hear what the transaction will cost with a view to future remittances.
I have not yet had time to read letters from Mr. Kirby and others about Mr. P.'s application for employment as a catechist. I don't quite know what a "catechist" means, but no plan for securing future missionaries strikes me as so available as that of sending (or helping to send) such young men as this Mr. P. may possibly prove to be, to St. Augustine's College.
On the other hand it is a rash experiment to let a young man of small attainments come to Africa before any sufficient trial has been made of his character and capacity, and as a rule I would prefer to have those who are either ordained or prepared for Orders, or at least such as one may reasonably hope to ordain before very long.
TO THE REV. F. W. FESTING.
ZANZIBAR, October 27, 1865.
A MERCHANT ship is leaving us very shortly for Bombay, and in the absence of any more direct and reliable communication, I shall send you a few lines by this round-about route. There is no prospect of ever getting anything from the Seychelles at present, as almost all the men-of-war are attending a rendezvous at Trincomalee. So that for some months we must make up our minds to be out of the world.
The most important Zanzibar news relates to the poor Baron Von der Decken and his Juba River Expedition. The accounts so far as I have heard them are rather confused, but this much is certain, that two Europeans (one of whom is the amiable and accomplished artist, Mr. Trenn), have been killed by the Somali, during an attack which was suddenly made on their camp. The Baron himself and Dr. Link with the interpreters were away at the time, visiting (if I remember rightly) the chiefman, at Bardera. The others who were at the camp, after beating back the enemy, escaped down the river in a boat, carrying with them their money, papers, etc.
I understand that their impression is that the attack which they sustained was part of a concerted scheme for the destruction of the entire expedition, and they have but faint hopes of the safety of the Baron. Captain Ritter Von Schiesch, with whom I have had some conversation since his arrival here on Tuesday morning, is leaving again almost immediately for Brava, with the hope of gaining from the people there some definite tidings of what has been the fate of the Baron and Dr. Link.
It is peculiarly unfortunate that just at this moment we have neither Consul nor man-of-war here, and some time must elapse before our anxiety on this subject can be relieved by further news.
. . . Then come books, reading lessons, and so forth. What we have are so strangely unsuited to our Eastern notions. Ice and snow are for ever tripping one up. One sheet lesson begins: "The Arabs do not live in houses of stone or wood as we do"; "They do not stay long in one place," etc., which is very confusing to our boys, who know that every stone house which they ever saw was built by and for the Arabs. On reading this one day an Arab exclaimed: "How is this? Arabs always live in stone houses. It is the Bedouins who live in tents," and at once, poor fellow, his faith in the accuracy of English literature received a rude shock.
TO MR. WOODCOCK.
ZANZIBAR, December 26, 1865.
I HAVE just finished a long letter to you on thin paper, but I am so sure that you will never be able to read it that I am going to copy it out again, for which I hope I shall not be blamed by our Mitre Court Officials. I regret to say that I have of late perceived a shakiness in my hand which must make my writing a terrible crux to my correspondents, and my only resource is to choose thick paper and renounce crossing, for which I deserve the thanks of the Post Office authorities.
It would be difficult, in writing to so thoroughly sympathizing a friend as yourself, to avoid mission concerns, and I don't think you would care for me to follow your example in this respect. We are, I am sure, more than fortunate in having Festing as our colleague. He is quite the man that we required. I dare say he has told you that I have ventured to speak openly to him on the amount of the Home Expenses. These for 1864 were £773, a mere trifle less than one third of the entire amount of contributions which are set down as £2,483. A very earnest letter came to me at the same time as yours from a warm friend of the Mission pointing this out, and urging me to do what I could to prevent so unequal an outlay for the future. It is impossible for me to criticize the details of home expenses. I mean, to say what is and what is not necessary, for this is the proper work of a Committee, and they are far better able to judge than I can be; but I certainly feel that the future Home expenses of the Mission ought to be very carefully considered, and I say this boldly to you, because you have always advocated the strictest economy and adopted it--to, I fear, an extent which may have been occasionally irksome to you. But there must be something amiss, and some needful retrenchment required, when Home Salaries and Home Expenses consume nearly one-third of what the Church annually gives us for her Mission work. Out here we have certainly made money go as far as was possible. I doubt whether any other English mission spends less in proportion than we do, and yet I am not satisfied with our position. What I chiefly desiderate in our mission is some leading principle which will cause all whom it employs to look at the work as their own, and to live and labour and save, simply for the sake of the work and its indefinite extension. Nor do I think that I am seeking for what is unattainable; one only has to look at such institutions as Clewer and Wantage among women, and at Hurst and Lancing and Shoreham among men, to see this principle bearing the most noble results. I have friends in (I think) each of the sisterhoods and colleges which I have named, and so can speak positively of what the attraction has been in their cases at least, and you can easily understand that it has had nothing in common with pecuniary or worldly considerations of any kind. Men who were my contemporaries at Oxford, and who took very brilliant degrees, have worked on at Hurst and Lancing year after year, with a devotion and constancy which must strike even careless beholders, and one lady who has had to leave Wantage on account of the failing health of her parents looks forward eagerly to resume her place there when the course is open for her to do so; this is no singular instance, and I only mention it because it has come under my own observation. I know of no English Missionary Society which can boast of such whole-hearted adherents as those whom I have named. Perhaps the missionaries of the C.M.S. exhibit a stronger esprit de corps than those of the S.P.G., but I am not aware of any radical difference of principle in the constitution of the former society which would account for it. It is otherwise, I am assured, with the Rhenish Missionary Society, and I much wish that our Committee might be induced to study the plan and operations of that most remarkable organization. I have before me their annual statement for 1862. Their expenditure for that year was in English money £8,997; with this they were carrying on missions in South Africa, Borneo, Sumatra and China. In addition they had in Germany a College for Missionary Students, a Preparatory School for the same, and another for the education of the children of missionaries. There are also items for outfit, passage money, missionaries at home, grownup children of missionaries, travelling, repairs, printing, etc., etc.
The following are the persons drawing on the funds of the Society:--
Missionaries, 48; students, 26; children being educated, 23; officers and teachers, 9. In all 106!!
Many of the Stations after paying every expense are able to contribute largely to the General Fund.
It may be said, and doubtless with truth, that Germans have the gift of making money go further than we English can, but I don't think that this goes at all to the bottom of the matter. After visiting some of the Rhenish Missions myself, including that of Superintendent Zahn at Steintal, I was struck with the prevailing tone which showed itself in every conversation I had with the missionaries, that they were doing their own work, and not merely carrying out the wishes or plans of their supporters in Germany; each man's station was his home. If he sent his children away to be educated in Europe, he was looking for their return. How this feeling was created I cannot presume to say, but from what I was able to learn I gathered that the government and control of the South African Missions was with the South African missionaries (subject to their superintendent) and did not emanate from Germany, and I believe that if you would break down self seeking and that lower view, which measures its work in the scales of worldly advantage, you at home must trust us more implicitly than it has been the wont of missionary committees heretofore to do. For you want to make us feel that the work is ours--whereas for the most part societies insist on it that the work is theirs and plume themselves on their zeal, their liberality, their faith, their thankfulness, etc., etc., and speak in their reports and on platforms of "your missionary "at this place and at that. The end of it all being that the missionary accepts the position assigned, takes his salary like any other servant, and the zeal and spirit, and faith and self-denial so loudly proclaimed in the ears of subscribers is but the verbiage to distinguish this from any other mercantile transaction under the sun. We have both been subscribers for some years to the New Zealand Fund, which, in a quiet way, has helped on what perhaps is the most successful Mission of modern times, and here we have in some degree the principle for which I am contending, and which I think you will understand, although I have much difficulty in setting it down in black and white.
Pray remember, my dear Mr. Woodcock, that what I have said above does not refer to our own Society in particular, and certainly not to our Committee which has ever been most generous and kind, but to what I conceive is an almost general defect in such Societies as undertake to represent the Church's work abroad. So far indeed from reflecting on the existing organization of the C.A.M., I am ready to admit that until it has worked itself out of its tentative and experimental stage it has no claim to a "constitution "of its own.
As soon however as it attains what may fairly be called its majority I hope that we may be allowed to adopt some at least of the leading features of the Rhenish Society. Their plan of educating their men is I am sure a sensible one, and I should like to see a liberal sum devoted every year to this specific work, but while such institutions as War-minster and St. Augustine's are available for our missionary candidates it may be doubted whether we have need to maintain a seminary of our own. . . . Then, as soon as we have grown out of the present infancy of numbers I should suggest that everything connected with salaries be transferred from the Committee at home to the working body out here.
The effect of this would be, I hope, a common feeling of responsibility and a united effort to make the Church's alms as fruitful as possible in missionary results. To be able to write home to a committee for this thing or that produces, almost as a necessary consequence, a wasteful habit of mind on our part, and we get, quite insensibly, into the way of saying or thinking: "Oh, the Committee have lots of money; they can afford it," while the temper to be aimed at is: "Cannot we do without it? Is it absolutely necessary, and might not the money be better spent in another way?" You see I want to bring into healthy action a corporate conscience, and the readiest way to do it is to give the community (as soon as we have one) something of its own by which the conscience will be drawn out and exercised, and one can see at once how different the effect will be in the whole temper of those who are living and working together if you let them govern themselves, than if you set over them one to consult the interests of the Committee.
In the former case the very sense of responsibility would induce an economical style of living, for it would be felt that everything saved was so much gained for the common work.
In the latter case all would depend on the tact and good management of the individual, and as a rule, his popularity would expand or diminish in proportion as he held the purse strings tightly or loosely. There would be no room for the growth of the higher principle.
I am conscious that I have expressed myself very badly in trying to set down my thoughts on the future organization of this Mission, which, however, I care for the less if I have managed to carry you at all along with me. Out here writing is always a difficult task, and as I have no study or place of seclusion I am interrupted about every five minutes. This militates against a very even or consecutive style. In spite of all hindrances, however, my letter has assumed the proportions of a small pamphlet, which alone demands an apology. So now I shall stop.
TO MR. HALCOMBE.
ZANZIBAR, January 15, 1866.
I AM quite sure that exaggerations will do neither ourselves nor the poor slaves any good. The whole question is a very wide one, as anyone who has resided long in East Africa will tell you, and those who perhaps are best informed on all its bearings find a difficulty in saying how the manifest evils of the slave trade should be met. Our work here must be for many years very elementary and uneventful. Of course if we rushed about the country we should be able to send you home journals full of adventure, but our strength is to remain quiet. Deep waters make but little noise, and great works have generally been commenced in comparative silence. The mistake of our Mission was, T think, the raising people's hopes and expectations unduly. A little reflection would have convinced the originators of C.A.M. that even "a Bishop and six clergy "thrown upon the shores of Africa could not effect, without a miracle, the change which they evidently had allowed themselves to look for. Let us learn from the past wisdom for the future. We are at present one Bishop and one priest. For all practical considerations we are two clergymen starting a mission in East Africa. Don't make us look ridiculous by assuring every one that to keep us going we must be permitted to canvass every parish and cathedral in the kingdom for subscriptions. It will be enough to do that when our clergy are 200 instead of two. Though by that time I hope the Mission will be strong enough to swim without corks.
TO THE REV. J. W. FESTING.
ZANZIBAR, March 6, 1866.
YOU will have heard before this of my sister's departure. She left us in the Vigilant on February 7 for the Seychelles, and her return depends on her state of health, as well as on the movements of the men-of-war. There is some hope that the Wasp may pick her up on its way from the Mauritius to Zanzibar, but I scarcely venture to think she will have had sufficient time for recovery to take a passage in it.
. . . Last week the building at the Shamba actually began. I want if I can to build the college (Kiungani) without applying to the Committee, making it a sort of memorial of Finder and Wells. ... I am more and more convinced that the college will have a good deal to do with whatever is done eventually for this side of Africa. As soon as help comes I shall take a trip to the Usambara country, but at present the leaving home is an impossibility as you will see by my sending my sister over to Seychelles alone.
. . . Livingstone is still here, but I see very little of him. I have only heard of his book from you and the Bishop of Lincoln, and I think that no copy has reached Zanzibar. He is taking with him a troop of Sepoy soldiers, some Comoro men, and eight trained Africans from the C.M.S. school at Nasik, near Bombay. I think he would do better with fewer followers. Just now he is not very well. The Penguin is ordered to carry him over to the mainland when she arrives here, and then I suppose we shall lose all trace of him for some time. [This proved to be Dr. Livingstone's last journey of exploration. He died at Ilala seven years later, having declined to be "rescued" by Mr. H. M. Stanley in 1872.]
. . . As a curiosity too, I mean to enclose copies of the Lord's Prayer and Creed in Swahili. They have been elaborated with much care, and even yet Steere is not quite satisfied with them.
TO MISS BULLER.
ZANZIBAR, May 7, 1866.
I have now before me a heap of letters, unanswered, and which I quite dread to begin upon. To-day I am better than usual, but occasionally I cannot even write the shortest memorandum.
My sister returned to us about three weeks ago in the Wasp, certainly better for her visit to Seychelles, but not at all so strong as I could wish. A very little exertion knocks her up. By the way, what a contrast to your way of going on is this "run" of 1,000 miles and back in a man-of-war to get a little fresh air for a week or two--just as you might go and stay at Weston for the same time. One gets to think the world very small and very much of a muchness by living out here. I fancy none of us would look at the journey back to England as anything more tremendous than ordinary folks would of a trip to the Highlands.
... If you want to permanently help us pray support the St. Augustine's Studentship scheme either by (a) hunting up proper candidates, or by (£) getting subscriptions for their support. My own idea is to take boys in hand early (if likely ones can be found) and assist in their education by sending them to Hurst or Warminstcr or other such schools, and so help them on their way to Canterbury and in due course to Zanzibar. We have already entered one at St. Augustine's, and we ought to have others. Just now we seem to want the candidates rather more than the money, and a diligent search and inquiry ought to bring these to the surface in any quantity.
We have no immediate hope of getting any letters as all the men-of-war are better engaged than in running over to Seychelles for the mails. Recent events in Muscat, where the Sultan has been murdered by his own son, compel some ships to remain up the Persian Gulf which would otherwise be available on this side of the station.
TO THE HON. SECRETARIES.
ZANZIBAR, May 21, 1866.
OWING to an unpleasant shakiness of my hand I am for the present obliged almost wholly to give up writing, which will explain why my letters are reduced to the smallest compass. In all other respects I am, thank God, well and strong. While it may be unwise to say anything publicly or in print of this little ailment, yet I shall be obliged if you will let any of my friends hear of it, who may be rendered uneasy by my omitting to write to them. Our work goes on steadily. We only want fellow-helpers to extend it almost indefinitely. Mr. Steere's Handbook of Kiswahili is finished, and a second edition is urgently needed. He is preparing a companion Handbook of the Kishambala Dialect in anticipation of our being able to plant a Mission Station there ere long.
ZANZIBAR, September 6, 1866.
AT present establishment at Zanzibar is but a stepping stone to the Central Tribes, and can never be considered as the "Ultima Thule" of our hopes and plans, unless we forego the very object for which the Mission was inaugurated. For my own part I shall never rest satisfied, should God spare my life, until I find myself in some sense the Bishop of the "Tribes around Nyasa, and the adjoining country in Africa," according to the terms of the Royal License under which I was consecrated.
How best to carry out this work is the problem which we have to solve. Those who have studied the Mission's past history know well the cost at which it has been maintained, and the state of the entire continent is such that for many years to come we must depend solely on the home Church for pecuniary aid.
But if the Mission and its missionaries were merged in the S.P.G. [Referring to a suggestion which had been made that the S.P.G. should be asked to "take over" the Mission.] Central African subscriptions would naturally cease, while the duty of carrying on the work which we have marked out for ourselves would be transferred to a Society which already needs a more generous support than it obtains. The fact is, that the S.P.G. is in no position to undertake the task we have in hand, and any union which involves the sacrifice of our separate existence as a Society will prove, I am convinced, a death blow to the very cause for which the Cambridge resolution so earnestly pleads.
I am assured that at home the Mission is gradually winning to itself that support and sympathy which is essential to its ultimate success even while some of its older friends are failing us; for myself, I can have no misgivings for the future, if only we, to whom this great cause has been committed, are true and faithful to our trust.
[On September 20, 1866, Bishop Tozer sailed for England, as the state of his health necessitated a change. His sister, who had already had to leave Zanzibar for the Seychelles, followed him to England in December. During this furlough they made the acquaintance of Miss Louisa Twining, to whom a good many of the remaining letters are addressed. The Bishop returned to Zanzibar in July, 1868, and his sister followed on her second visit in 1872.]
TO MISS TOZER.
ZANZIBAR, July 31, 1868.
WE have been here exactly a fortnight and I am scarcely yet put to rights. The flood of matters calling for thought and consideration each day becomes larger.
Poor Lea has had a very sharp attack of fever from which he is slowly recovering. Dr. Kirk's kindness and attention knew no bounds. Mrs. Kirk's nursery has of course fallen entirely on our ladies, so the school has come again under my hands. My four boys are sturgeons among the other minnows, and of the very greatest use.
The new boys are very nice fellows; their names are (i) Mabruki, (2) Sehera, (3) Jenessi, and (4) Hamisi. The first two can already read and sum in a most creditable manner.
August 1.--This morning a French man-of-war came in and brought us letters of dates April 26 and May 7. I can scarcely hope to discuss all your charming news for the mail closes to-morrow and it is already late. Steere has settled to go by the New Orleans round the Cape. He will probably go direct to Falmouth, but in case he can catch the mail at St. Helena I advise him to do so.
I mean to have a large baptism on St. Bartholomew's day, in connection with a Confirmation as well.
August 7.--Lea is convalescent, and resumes his school duties to-day. They say the Commodore is coming here in his flagship Octavia.
September 9.--The Clyde has come in promising to go to Aden, so I begin a letter. I don't seem to have had a regular chat since landing, and in truth there has been but little leisure for writing, one matter following another closely and my hand being very unruly.
The salient Mission news is the purchase of this house on very easy terms, and the receiving from H.M.S. Nymph thirteen more children. They came only this day week. They had been so petted and fed up by the sailors that they were quite fat, and many of them shed tears at leaving the ship, not knowing, poor little souls, what might befall them next!
The arrival of the flagship was an equal surprise and pleasure. She is a queen of a ship. From the Commodore downwards we liked them all and got on admirably. The chaplain we were delighted with; he lived here a good deal, and collected more than £30 for our school, on board. A sick lieutenant came on shore and shared my bedroom, and proved a most charming fellow.
The Gun Room asked me to dine on Sunday, which of course I did, and they came all hands on shore afterwards to church and tea. Chapel was crammed, a special request being made to the Commander for leave to attend service, and so all the "special leave men "were allowed boats. Two mids. and S. chummed exceedingly, Napier, a son of the Governor of Madras, and Crofton, the youngest officer at the taking of Magdala; of course we heard many interesting details of the siege and war. They took our boat on board and worked, I believe, by candle light, to finish her for us. You see the sailors are all alike, dear fellows!
The Nymph too was very nice. I liked them all; eight charming Gun Room youngsters, who made me go down for a cup of tea in their mess, though it was immediately before leaving for a swell dinner with the Commodore.
While the ships were here the Sultan gave the officers a banquet, and I was admitted by special favour. It was a curious affair. The pièces de résistance were two goats roasted whole. The great men Sheikh Sulemani, the Arab Commodore, etc., waited on us! One evening the band of the flagship played before the palace and His Highness sent them out a cheque for £100! so everything was most agreeable during her stay, we clapping up the ship and affirming that Zanzibar was the pride of the station, etc.
My visit to Mr. Hill at the General Post Office seems to have had an effect, for Zanzibar is to be made a Post Office and an abundance of stamps and forms have been sent to the Consulate.
I fear the monsoon threatens to change early this year, but hitherto the weather has been most delicious.
September 11.--This evening letters came from Alington on the mainland; he writes in good spirits and seems well.
I have such heaps to say and writing is such a poor substitute. To-day the walls for enclosing the cemetery are begun, and we hope to consecrate on St. Michael's Day. A large cross will be erected in the enclosure, and the graves will have a sort of dos d'âne over them. You can't think how pleased I am with my elder boys. Their confirmation has been such a decided step forward, and though bitter disappointment may be in store for us ahead, yet thus far we have, I am sure, to thank God on their behalf. All four attend Holy Communion regularly and their conduct is quite edifying. Sam, too, is a very good and improving boy, and his influence in the house excellent. I am surprised to find how homelike Zanzibar is on my return to it, and how comfortable the heat is.
September 21.--Since writing I have had a short attack of fever which has naturally left me rather weak. The monsoon too is changing rapidly, and I begin to feel the heat. The Consul also has been ill. It begins to seem long waiting for letters, June 3 being the last date, and of course one knows they are lying at Seychelles in "perfect heaps." We are having a good deal of rain and you know that always brings sickness. To-day we have had torrents.
One of my little boys who rejoices in the name of Chingama is tattoed all over his face after, I suppose, the manner of his country, and to say the truth, it verges on the hideous! It will never come out as long as he lives, and may be exceedingly attractive and sensational hereafter in a surplice!
September 27.--They say Nadir Shah is really going to-morrow, so I must end my letter. Little Acland Sahera is such a dear little fellow, which will rejoice our good friends at Oxford. Quite a little gentleman both in person (which is most elegant) and in manner--with a face absolutely pretty! Preston Mabruki too is a most gentlemanly boy with quite prepossessing manners.
TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, August 7, 1868.
IT was no small pleasure to get your most kind letter of June 5 a day or so since (the precursor, I trust, of many others), and to find from it how well St. Luke's Home keeps in memory its absent friends. I should be simply an ungrateful wretch were I ever to forget all the warm and affectionate sympathy which was always there to be had. May God bless you a hundredfold for it, and for all your labours of love.
I write, as you will too readily understand, with much difficulty. I do miss dear Helen's ready pen, always so ungrudgingly at my disposal, and I miss likewise (why need I deny it), that happy time in London, the Holy Week, and Easter, with its many mercies and blessings. The world is so very full of love--at least I find it so--and amidst much so sadly to depress. I sometimes wonder how heaven can exceed in glory this wondrous world, or how even the love of heaven can surpass what God, in His great love, allows us to experience here below.
I am very happy in the prospect before me. It is all so different from what met us when we landed here just four years ago. We have now twenty-nine children, twenty boys, and nine girls. The unbaptized ones will, D.V., all be christened on St. Bartholomew's Day, and four of the elder boys will be confirmed. What joyful fruit for the labourers in the Lord's vineyard, and then too, the horizon seems to extend itself and fresh labourers are being hired for the Lord's work. I can't bear to dictate some letters and so I shall ask you to accept a very short scrawl from my own pen, rather than a longer letter from another hand.
[The following letter is the earliest account of work in the Usambara country. A beginning had been made by Mr. Alington in 1867, but the work had been interrupted for some time, to be resumed in 1868. This was the Bishop's first visit to the country. Repeated attempts were made to establish a permanent station in this district, but they were always frustrated by illness or death. At last, in 1875, the foundations of the present station of Magila (or MsalabaYii) were laid, and the work has never since been dropped.]
MAGIRA, November 7, 1868.
[Now always written "Magila." The interchange of l and r in the Bantu languages is of frequent occurrence.]
WE left Zanzibar in a dhow on Monday afternoon, November 2. We were a party of six, to wit: Alington, Fraser and myself, William Jones and two of the boys--Connop and Francis. We got away from the harbour rather slowly and only glided along all night, and were becalmed for some hours on Tuesday morning. As there was a ground swell on I quickly got sick, and landed in a woe-begone sort of way some little time before sunset. We were met by our old friend, Khatibu; he is the proprietor of the only stone building of which the little town of Mworongo can boast. As yet there are but two of its rooms completed, and of one Alington is the tenant. Here we were to put up until we could get bearers and make a start for Magira. Of course the arrival of so distinguished a party set the whole town in motion, and anything like peace or retirement was out of the question.
Alington's room was fitted up with all sorts of ingenious devices, and contained everything that was needed to make us comfortable, only the absence of windows made it feel extremely close and stuffy. As the night was likely to be fine I decided on establishing myself in the courtyard, in spite of Khatibu's anxieties on the score of leopards.
We rested all Wednesday, and the actual start did not come off till latish on Thursday afternoon. We left in two canoes, the bearers having gone on in front earlier in the day.
Besides ourselves we had now Kifungiwe, Alington's little chief, who had come down to the coast with him and had waited to escort us, and Khatibu our good friend.
In about a quarter of an hour we were set down on the other side of the creek, where the bearers and Alington's donkey were awaiting us. Staying only so long as ordinary politeness required, and making ourselves amiable by drinking "madafu," we began our journey, almost every one in the village turning out and accompanying us for some way with every expression of kindness and goodwill. This first day's march was not to be a long one, but it was very pleasant, and just at sunset we came to our halting place.
Often as I have camped out I think I never was so much struck with the exceeding picturesque-ness of the scene as on this night. The entrance to the village, through double gates in a sort of stockade fence and the lofty trees on either side and banks of shrubs and creepers gave the effect in the twilight of our passing into some rustic Petra by a bowery kind of defile, and then the opening out of the little place itself kept up the illusion. We quickly were cooking and making our beds, and the bright fires on every side, our large one in the centre and many others inside the huts, produced an effect of light and shade which I shall not easily forget. We had a little service before turning in and sang "As now the sun's declining rays," to St. Peter's.
We were up decidedly before the lark, and got away somewhere about four o'clock, with a lovely moon shining down on us, and turning night into day. About nine we gained the summit of a stiffish hill and came to a halt just outside a stockaded village. Here we cooked and rested for an hour and a half. The satisfaction of the entire population knew no bounds; it was on a par with the arrival of a circus in some out-of-the-way village in England. But the delight of the populace came to a climax when I began to wash. The sponge, the soap, the towel, all seemed to add to the general hilarity; but when I took out brush and comb and performed on them it was evidently thought that I deserved an ovation, and I fairly brought down the house! Bursts of frantic applause followed every step in the simple process of washing my face and hands and brushing my hair.
In an hour and a half we were off again, and now the country became more hilly, and the grand mountain range was continually in sight. We had fears how Eraser would stand the long trudge, so he was put upon the donkey for this stage, Alington walking in the rear and doing the needful with a long stick. At last we reached a village, the chief of which is called Dawa (medicine), where we were beguiled into resting for nearly two hours by our host's great hospitality. First a live fowl was presented, then three mitungi (vessels) full of a gruel made of mhogo, and which, I think, they call ugali. With this were served dishes of dried and baked bananas; then a spatchcock was produced, and, lastly, several large platesful of a glutinous-looking composition which our train of bearers received with every sign of satisfaction. In fact, it was a perfect banquet, and all provided with the utmost kindness and simplicity, Dawa, the chief, sitting on his kitanda and doing the honours.
Bidding our good friends adieu, we set off once more. Our road now for some miles lay through well cultivated shambas skirting the little river which in time was to conduct us to Magira itself. On the ground above the shambas we could see peeping out here and there quite a line of villages, each with its stockaded entrance. The whole look of the country hereabouts was very striking; on the right the Vuga range, with magnificent clefts and gullies and covered with luxuriant forests; between, a broken rolling stretch of country, full of underwood, and intersected by the little stream in the valley; while the path itself was leading us along the side of a slanting hill, planted, as I have said, with numberless shambas, and studded with mhogo, bananas, papais, and here and there a few cocoa-nut trees.
The length of the day's march now began to tell on us all. Punda (the donkey) was evidently weary; the bearers were nowhere in sight; the path appeared interminable, and its ceaseless turnings and windings almost provoking. At last the river was reached, and we threw ourselves down on one of its banks, while the outpouring of a neighbouring town, which had been rushing before, with, and after us, for the past quarter of a mile, had an opportunity of gazing at us to their heart's content.
Now for the final push forward. "About half an hour," says Alington, and on we go, bearers all far behind.
Had we been in better heart and spirits I think we should have been much struck with Magira itself. The huts of the station are built on the top of a round hill, itself low; on every side rise higher well-wooded hills, while right in front stands the first of the Vuga ranges, with a little valley, as it seems, lying between, across which you might easily shoot an arrow, though, of course, in reality it is much wider.
The outlines of these ranges are marvellously varied and broken up, and though I have never been in Scotland, I fancy they are not unlike the sort of mountains you see there, with the addition of forests which clothe them to their very summits. We arrived a little before sunset. I was so tired that I could only think of bed.
The next day was spent in various ways according to the taste and capacity of the individual. Alington devoted his morning to killing and cutting up an ox. I went to the river and bathed and washed a pair of socks, and did little else. Fraser wrote up a diary and did a little sketching, but, like me, was evidently glad of a rest.
The following day, Sunday, was spent very quietly. I felt the fatigue of Friday almost more on this day than on Saturday. Many people drop in and chat pleasantly enough at the door of one's hut. They call themselves Washenzi.
Next morning we started early on an excursion to .the top of the opposite mountain, our pleasant little chief, Kifungiwe, acting as guide.
Tuesday we visited Kifungiwe's village and walked about in the neighbourhood, and made our preparations for the return journey.
Wednesday, we were up betimes, and got away somewhat before sunrise. Alington came with us as far as Dawa's village and there we parted, he proposing to go once more as far as Vuga. We reached Kwomkembe's village just before sunset. Next morning we pushed on to the coast, arriving when the tide was out. The crossing of the creek was pronounced impracticable for "Mzungus." The people's legs, indeed, gave evidence that the mud was at least knee-deep and they tried to keep us from crossing by saying that the water would reach to our armpits. Nothing daunted, we stripped off all nether clothing and proceeded on our muddy, watery way. In one or two places the water was very deep and the current strong, but we got presently across, and were soon at our old quarters at Mworongo. To every one's amazement we ordered the dhow to be prepared at once, but the idea of starting in two hours was evidently regarded as a sort of scandal on African propriety.
We made a hasty meal, paid the bearers, packed up our various commodities and actually got the dhow under weigh without having to spend a single night on the coast. We left Mworongo with a pleasant breeze, and came to an anchor soon after dark under the lee of an island called Masiwa. The next morning it was a dead calm, and there we lay and tossed and rolled for many a weary hour. In the evening we anchored off the north end of Zanzibar (island) within sight of Mkokotoni, and the following afternoon we landed just outside the Mission House We were not expected back so soon. Thank God! we found every one well.
TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, December 30, 1868.
I CANNOT say how rejoiced I was to get your long welcome letter dated November 3 on the 1yth inst. The speed with which it travelled is I am sure a good omen for your intended visit to Zanzibar. Alas! I cannot answer you as St. Paul would say, "with mine own hand." The power of writing entirely left me quite suddenly after my return from the mainland, and it does not look as though it would return again. I have got to use initials instead of my usual signature and frequently have to make them with my left hand. It is a special grief to me to have to write through another such letters as this to you; it is comparatively of little consequence in mere business negotiations, but in chit chat, gossiping, friendly letters, I feel it makes all the difference in the world. A good part of your letter I might have been able to answer could we have had a tête à tête together, so to speak, but it feels to me unreal, though of course it need not really be so, to gravely dictate to another the little nothings which go to express love and sympathy in corresponding with a dear friend. I have read and re-read all your many interesting details about your own work and plans, and I cannot be too grateful to you for keeping such a kind loving eye upon dear Helen.
Our own work is full of interest, and though studded with anxieties is certainly not oppressed with them. Our children have rapidly increased to fifty-five. Three of a batch of fourteen we received from the Daphne. All boys are recovering from small-pox--it has been most mercifully confined to that small number whom we sent off at the earliest premonitory symptoms into the country. I had myself previously vaccinated all the newcomers, and this perhaps may account for the mild shape in which they have taken the disease. The remaining batch are dear little pets--all about the same size and perhaps averaging eight years or so. It is a comfort to find that each new set more quickly fall into their places than their predecessors, and really we have had next to no trouble with these last. The house is very full as you can imagine. I can now in some measure sympathize with ladies who have "an addition to their family," but few can return the compliment by fully entering into my feelings on receiving not one or two or three at the most, at once, but a party of fifteen, none of whom can be said to be clothed, nor in some respects altogether in their right minds Your own boy has been suffering for some time with a troublesome ulcer in his ankle; he has a lively recollection of his evening at Queen's Square, and without being very bright in some things is a thoroughly good affectionate lad. The confirmation has been a great help to us and a wonderful step forward. Three of the elder boys, including yours, subsequently became sponsors to some who were waiting for my return to be baptized. Before long we hope in some very solemn way to set apart at least two of the elder boys to the subdiaconate. In this, as in many other points, I daresay I shall be inclined to pass beyond the usual caution of my Episcopal brethren, both in the service itself which admits them to the minor order, the distinctive outward mark of that admission, and the place I should assign them in the celebration of Divine Service. I should in fact, act on the full belief that they were now included in the clerical body, and try to make them realize that fact themselves. You will see at once that our sub-deacon will belong altogether to a different genus from the customary Scripture Reader or Lay Deacon of Colonial dioceses. As soon as they have "purchased to themselves a good degree" in this lower ministration I shall not scruple to say to them, "Friends, go up higher." Have you seen Bishop Bowen's memorials? They form a delightful work, but, like every one else, the good man seems to have shrunk from imparting any "spiritual gift" on the negroes of Sierra Leone. How can the Church of God flourish and spread itself abroad in all lands so long as we insist on providing them merely with a foreign ministry, and make open war against everything they possess that is peculiar to their nationality?
TO THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE HOLY TRINITY, OXFORD.
MY dear Brethren,--Our "Form for Holding Chapters "allows the Master to bring forward any communications from absent brothers. I propose, therefore, to submit to the Brotherhood some thoughts about the work of Missions, in the hope that they may kindle an interest in what we are doing here in East Africa.
Few among us are aware of the numerical weakness of the missionary body. In England the want of more clergy is felt in every diocese, and yet some 18,000 are said to be engaged in direct parochial work. In France the clergy similarly employed are considerably above 43,000, and they are assisted everywhere by large bodies of "religious," as they are called, of both sexes. But the clergy at work in our many colonies and dependencies throughout the world, including Colonial and Government Chaplains, as well as missionaries to the heathen, are less than 2,000 and of these latter I fear the number falls far short of 300. This statement is very humiliating, nor is it encouraging to be told that our missionary colleges not only have difficulty in finding students, but that such as offer themselves for admission are drawn from a lower grade of the middle class than was the case but a few years ago. These facts I fear do not witness to a high standard of missionary zeal among us; still, the fault does not lie wholly on one side. The Church at home is needing now, more than ever, all the labourers that she can secure, and no one has to look far for employment when the work is confessedly so disproportioned to the number of workers.
Then, men who would perhaps offer themselves to a Bishop for foreign service, feel a dislike to communicate with a society and undergo an examination before its board or committee. For myself I can conceive nothing so distasteful as this sort of personal inspection of one's merits and demerits by an assembly of strangers, and yet it is self evident that some guarantee of fitness is necessary and must be forthcoming. Indeed, to forego all inquiry from feelings of delicacy would be as unjust to the candidate as to the cause he wishes to serve. Again, others decline to become the paid agents of any society that expects an obedience more implicit, and claims a control more absolute, than any which the Church demands constitutionally through the Bishop.
But perhaps the most forcible cause of all why men shrink from committing themselves to the Church's work among the heathen is a secret dissatisfaction with the whole method of missionary enterprise, and an undefined doubt of what its ultimate success is likely to be. An impression, too, certainly prevails, which perhaps fosters this feeling, that missionary reports are not absolutely free from embellishment and exaggeration, that successes are magnified and failures passed over in silence. I do not pause to examine into the truth or falsehood of such impressions, but I may add that inquirers are not always reassured when they ask of those who have visited the different scenes of their labours "what are the missionaries doing?"
Our friends and supporters so constantly use the language of apology when speaking or writing in our behalf, that I feel no hesitation in discussing the question of what should be done by all of us to win a greater success on our efforts for the heathen and a corresponding interest in that work at home. It is a truism that we must ourselves be prepared to trust in that which we desire others to trust in. Our object as missionaries is to extend the Church of Christ in foreign lands and therefore our faith in the Church must be absolute; whatever she teaches we must teach, whatever she requires as necessary to salvation, that we must require. But when, for example, we have founded a diocese and committed the oversight of it to a Chief Pastor, we must not claim a control over both Bishop and Clergy on the strength of our money contributions to their work, for that would be to substitute an organization of our own for that of the Church. The Bishop then, and not a Home Committee representing the subscribers, must be the centre of authority in all missionary work--but I would have the Bishop act in concert with his Clergy as was always the case in old times; much inconvenience, both at home and abroad, would I am sure be avoided if only we could generally revert to this primitive mode of action. In new fields of labour where unforeseen difficulties are constantly occurring, I think it indispensable that the Bishop should have the constant aid and counsel of his Clergy assembled in Synod or Chapter.
A Mission so organized will, I think, be more attractive to men like yourselves than such as are nursed and governed by a paternal committee in London--Episcopal in name, but too often Presbyterian in fact.
Now, on turning to the actual work in heathen lands we shall find two principles very generally adopted and in force, either of which seems sufficient to account for almost any degree of weakness or failure.
The first is--the systematic employment of a foreign clergy, and the second--an avowed desire to obliterate everything connected with the convert's nationality.
Let me speak of these subjects separately.
1. The clergy engaged in missionary work are confessedly foreign, and I mean by this term, of a different race from those to whom they minister. For some years past the Colonial and Missionary Episcopate has been receiving continual accessions, and at the present time it outnumbers all the Bishops of England, Ireland and Scotland, yet it is remarkable that their Colonial and Native Clergy bear no kind of proportion to those who are either in English orders or who have received an English education with a view to ordination.
The West Indies, for instance, have enjoyed Episcopal superintendence for nearly half a century. The population of the four Dioceses of Jamaica, Barbadoes, Antigua and Nassau is said to exceed 890,000, of whom all but an insignificant proportion are negroes, yet the clergy numbering 248 are, with one or two trifling exceptions, English either by birth or extraction. Jamaica, which has two Bishops, no Clergy, and a population of 441,000 has never witnessed the ordination of a single negro, and I believe the same may be said of Antigua and Nassau, while Barbadoes, which has a Native Training School in connection with Codrington College carries on the work of education rather for the Pongas Mission in Western Africa than for a home supply of native ministers. Nor is the case of the West Indies by any means exceptional, for the same rule seems to be extensively followed.
Not to mention Cape Town, Mauritius or Colombo, all intimately committed to Mission work, I would ask what have we been able to do for our great Indian Empire by omitting to ordain a native ministry? Certainly where we have gained any substantial success for the Cross of Christ, as in the Diocese of Madras, natives have been employed, but elsewhere the attempt to win even a favourable hearing for Christianity by foreign missionaries has met with no very encouraging response.
But though this system is so universally adopted, at the present time it is difficult to find any precedent for it either in Holy Scripture or in the practice of the primitive Church.
In the Acts of the Apostles the first deacons were certainly taken from "the multitude of the disciples," and "appointed" i.e. ordained by the Apostles and St. Paul is expressly said (Acts xiv. 23) to have "ordained elders in every Church," selected we may be sure from among the Christian converts belonging to each particular congregation. Thus the principle was established that "those were best qualified for propagating the Christian religion in the world who had expressed a greater zeal than others in embracing the Gospel," and henceforward it became a fixed rule "that the firstfruits of the Gentile converts were to be ordained to the Ministry." Bingham quotes Clemens Romanus as his authority for saying that "the Apostles, in all countries and cities where they preached, ordained their first converts Bishops and Deacons for the conversion of others, and that they had the direction of the Spirit for doing this." (Ep. i. ad Cor. n. 42). So the author that personates the same Clemens in his pretended Epistle to James, Bishop of Jerusalem, says that the reason that moved St. Peter to ordain him was "because he was chief of the firstfruits of his converts among the Gentiles "(Ep. ad Jacob n. 3). See Bingham's Works, vol. ii. page 3.
It is hard to say why such a plan should have been abandoned, nor can I discover any reason for not recurring to it again.
Of the relative cost of a native and foreign ministry I shall have something to say presently, but it is clear that many difficulties with which the modern missionary is beset would be no difficulties at all to the native minister. There would be no new language to acquire, no acclimatisation to undergo, no strange modes of life to encounter. He would be intimately acquainted with all his people's characteristics, their modes of thought, their likes and dislikes, their superstitions, their national habits and customs. Nor would his own conversion to Christ have made any very sensible change in his daily life. Possessing the pearl of great price, all things, in one sense, would have become new, and yet outwardly the things themselves would not be different. His hut, his food, his dress would all be as before, and if these external circumstances are but the accidents of a Christian man's life in no way affecting its truthfulness or reality, why should they be considered inconsistent or even unsuitable for such as are admitted to Holy Orders? If, as St. Clement says, the Apostles in all countries and cities ordained their first converts for the conversion of others, they must have treated these subordinate matters with much less consideration than we are apt to do.
2. And this leads me to speak of that other principle which is scarcely less of a hindrance in planting the Church of Christ among the heathen. I mean the doing away with everything connected with the nationality of the converts. The plea for this is that "civilization "is the handmaid of Christianity and must go along with it, and some are bold enough to say that the teachers of modern civilization must even precede the missionaries of the Cross, and prepare a way for them. But what do we mean when we say ex. gr. that England or France are civilized countries and that the greater part of Africa is uncivilized? Surely the mere enjoyment of such things as railways and telegraphs and the like do not necessarily prove their possessors to be in the first rank of civilized nations. We claim td have been a civilized people long before these things were in use, and mere superficial distinctions of this kind cannot go to the root of the matter or satisfy the inquiry which we have proposed.
Looking at the etymology of the word, civilization is the carrying into practical effect the command "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." It is that which teaches a man that he is not a solitary and isolated unit in God's creation, but a member of a brotherhood which embraces all nations of the world, and that as such he has duties to perform beyond those which mere self-interest dictates. When a man realizes this fact and acts upon it he is no longer a savage, for he has attained to that higher principle which is the parent of all true civilization. His life henceforth is civilized because in its measure and degree it is the life of a citizen. The rule of mutual co-operation and mutual forbearance which lies at the very base of all human society was but imperfectly understood until it received its very highest illustration in that life which gave glory to God at the same time that it brought peace and goodwill to men. Judged by this standard, civilization may be reached by the very humblest of the sons of men. The poor fishermen of Galilee, the followers of Him who had not where to lay His head, were teaching civilization in its noblest development, when by the sacrifice of all earthly things they became the missionaries of the Cross of Christ. So true is it that life, whether of nations or of individuals, consisteth not in the abundance of things which they possess.
Nothing can be so false as to suppose that the outward circumstance of a people is the measure either of its barbarism, or of its civilization. The chief ornaments of the Apostolic Church would certainly be regarded as uncivilized at the present day, and possibly we shall ourselves appear so to those who come after us. But the Church of Christ is not affected by distinctions such as these. She has no commission to bring all nations to any other uniformity than that of the faith. She can leave national habits and customs alone. She will bear with everything save that which is inconsistent with a Christian life and conversation. Nay, even towards a waning mythology of a false religion she will show herself patient and gentle, as when in the Catacombs her Lord is symbolized by figures of Orpheus and Arion, and thus she accepts the method of the Great Apostle of the Gentiles and is made all things to all men that she may by all means save some.
The want of more men and more money is constantly being urged by the advocates of the missionary cause. I have already shown where we should seek for men, viz., in the mission field itself, and now I would say a few words on missionary finance.
We are often told that our contributions are small--and relatively to our national wealth they may be so; but from an independent point of view they are by no means insignificant. One Society has an income of more than £150,000. That of another does not fall far short of the same amount. How these sums are spent, and with what results, the various reports which appear from time to time are intended to show. From an examination of these documents it will appear not only that the work of the Church abroad is maintained at a very great cost, but that in many cases the aid supplied year after year from England has elicited no wholesome spirit of self-reliance, but the reverse. For instance, the five Dioceses of Montreal, Quebec, Fredericton, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are some of the oldest pensioners of the Propagation Society, and yet grants of upwards of £16,000 were voted to them last year.
Another Colonial diocese which for more than twenty years has had as its Bishop one whose natural gifts are only equalled by his earnestness, his activity and thorough devotion to his work, and who commands a very remarkable influence both in the Colony and in England, receives no less than £2,775 a year from the same Society, in addition to considerable contributions from other sources. But we are told by the Bishop himself that the existing work will have to be contracted unless more external support is forthcoming, and to accomplish this he is organizing in England a special association for the needs of his own diocese.
But must we not fear that this constant appeal for help to the nursing mother at home betokens great constitutional weakness in the offspring? In Holy Scripture the Church is represented under the figure of a grain of mustard seed which on being sown groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches. Surely that means that she has within herself sufficient powers of vitality and self-production for the extension of the Kingdom of Christ throughout the world. And by the fowls of the air lodging under its shadow we are to understand that men of every age and every land will recognize the Church and welcome it as a refuge, long expected, from the storms and tempests of this life.
It may be difficult to say how far our work in the colonies or among the heathen is an illustration of these Gospel principles, but no one will doubt that plans of Church extension which are simply dependent, year after year, on the bounty of strangers, and which carry with them no elements of self-support, resemble far more closely the sick and feeble Lazarus, lying at the rich man's gate and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fall from his table, than the grain of mustard seed which carries in its womb the living germs of a marvellous increase.
The present system cannot fail to be an expensive one for its aim is not simply to preach the Gospel to the heathen and to build up the Church of God among them after the Apostolic model. It asks for some more sensible tokens of its labours than such as merely affect man's spiritual condition, and so, in alliance with a spurious civilization, it undertakes to abolish existing habits and customs and to supplant the native simplicity of life with what will harmonize better with the ideas of European society. To bring about so radical a change it adopts the plan of separate communities, where native Christianity may enjoy British protection and' be hedged off from the barbarous heathen world without. The submission that was formerly claimed by the tribal ruler or chief is now ignored, and the foreign missionary combines the offices of magistrate and teacher. If after a while it is thought desirable to prepare a convert for Holy Orders care will be taken during a long course of training to imbue him with English tastes and habits, to surround him with the artificial wants of our nineteenth century, and to cut him off from all his former associations and sympathies. To admit any into the Christian ministry whose attainments and manner of life do not approach the English standard is felt to be undesirable, and thus the giant strength of heathenism is sought to be overcome by the green withes of a modern education, and the new ropes of western civilization.
The difficulties with which the missionary is confronted in Eastern Central Africa have compelled us perhaps, to examine more closely than we should otherwise have done, the fundamental principles of the Church of Christ in its missionary character. The hopelessness of making any wide Christian impression on tropical Africa through the agency of Europeans alone was already sufficiently clear, and this led to the inquiry, why, in a case so analogous to that of the first missionaries of the Gospel, we might not boldly accept the method of Apostolic times.
A very few words will serve to bring before you the distinctive features of our Association.
By the Constitution of the Central African Mission the executive is vested "in the Bishop and such English priests as he may have with him in Africa." The committee at home profess to exercise no kind of control over the missionary body. They forward all money collected for the Mission in England, and receive in return a detailed statement of the yearly expenditure for the satisfaction of the subscribers. It is rightly thought that the disposal of public money should always be publicly accounted for by those to whom it has been entrusted. Our Mission, therefore, is a society of missionaries, warmly supported at home by many friends and contributors, who on their part are willing to leave the whole conduct of the work unreservedly to the Bishop and his Clergy.
All Mission business is transacted in Chapter where practically every clergyman has an equal vote, although on questions of finance a veto may be claimed by such priests as are in English Orders.
Without binding ourselves to remain so, we are at present an unsalaried body--the common fund providing us with food and raiment. Cases may occur where it may be thought right to depart from this rule, and then we shall not scruple to assign salaries, but in all probability the necessity for so acting will not arise for some time to come. By a resolution of the English committee all paid agency has been abandoned at home, so that for nearly two years the working expenses have barely exceeded a payment to S.P.G. for office accommodation at 5, Park Place, St. James'. It will not be out of place to mention here how much the good cause is indebted to the zeal and devotion of our general and local secretaries.
Acting on the principle already laid down in this paper that missions should from the very first search for local materials from which to form the Native Church, we have been carefully training a number of boys, many of whom seem to be hopeful candidates for a native ministry. Eight have already been confirmed and admitted to Holy Communion. Three of these we intend shortly to advance to the sub-diaconate, and they are receiving daily instruction with a special view to this lower order of the ministry. As subdeacons I propose to assign them distinct ministerial work in the offices of the Church, as for instance attending the priest at the altar, reading the Scriptures in the native tongue and translating when necessary the sermons and catechetical addresses of the Clergy, and if they are found to "use this office well" then I shall not hesitate, with the advice of my Chapter, to admit them to the full diaconate, and so, in due course, to the priesthood itself.
But the success of such a ministry depends in no small degree on its acceptance of all the marked outward features of the native life from which it springs. The heathen will not suspect Christianity of being a crusade against all they hold dear on seeing that the preachers of the new religion in no way differ from themselves, save in the purity of their lives and steadfastness of their faith.
After an experience of between four and five years we find that an annual sum of six pounds is sufficient for each boy's maintenance, so far as food, clothing, etc., is concerned. For house rent, books, and school apparatus generally, a small addition is needed. With an income of no larger amount a native deacon living on the mainland might enjoy comparative independence, and after a while it would not be at all impossible for his converts to contribute the equivalent of some such sum for the support of their own minister. In this way the rising faith would not be regarded as a mere exotic. The seed originally sown would readily propagate itself, and in time exercise a very widespread influence on every thing connected with the people's national life.
It is not my object in this paper to enter fully into the details of missionary life. These will of course vary "according to the diversities of countries, times, and men's manners," but I would press upon you the great importance of all secondary aids in preparing the heathen mind for the reception of Gospel truth. At first, far less can be hoped for through the hearing of the ear than by the seeing of the eye, and,
Because things seen are mightier than things heard, it will not be our wisdom to despise any outward symbol of that which our lisping and stammering tongues are endeavouring to make known. The same charity which at one time contents itself with the barest simplicity of Christian Worship rather than to put an occasion to fall in its brother's way will, under other circumstances, deem no ceremonial excessive which serves to instruct the ignorant and to lead them that are out of the way to the Saviour's Cross. Yet such ritual as the Missionary Church adopts in the celebration of Divine Service must be the expression of no doubtful hesitating view of religious truth, for if the trumpet give an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself to the battle? "Know what you have to do and do it" is a maxim as applicable in religion as in art, and if at any time men's teaching should be distinct and dogmatic it is when as missionaries they declare the testimony of God to the heathen.
No apology can be needed for laying the wants of "The Universities' Mission to Central Africa" before a body consisting almost exclusively of University men, but in addressing the Brotherhood of the Holy Trinity my hope is that the help we so sorely need may be supplied, and our want is men.
I would have you brethren, one and all, to whom these poor words may come, ask yourselves whether in some mysterious way they do not reveal to you the will of Him who, even in the days of His greatest earthly hunger and thirst and want and nakedness, was never so really truly poor as now when Christian men make light of the spiritual necessities of the heathen.
TO THE MISSES JACKSON.
ZANZIBAR, April 4, 1869.
YOUR charming joint note (September 9) came in a chest of drawers on Christmas Day. Safe and sound and very welcome, though just a thought long on the road. Still there is comfort in a saying which perhaps you may chance to have heard about the longest way round, etc., which has every hope of being fulfilled in our case again, for we have had no English letters since November 5, no less than four mails having stuck at the Seychelles and declined to "move on." This proposes to go by a steamer to the Cape and to be forwarded thence. Our poor consul, Mr. Churchill, takes the same mode of returning to England with his wife and family, being in a very precarious state of health, mental and bodily. Before this you will have seen Charles Alington and heard all about us by word of mouth. Just at this moment I am at our country house, in what is called "The Shamba," about two miles away from the town, with my forty-one boys, and Mr. Pennell and Mr. Davis. The change was necessary, as both Miss Jones and Miss Pakeman were taken ill together and so we simply exchanged houses to let the invalids be near the doctor. But we are so enjoying it. There never was so lovely a view as that upon which I look as I write here to you, sitting at the window (which by the way is a funny sentence, now that I have finished it). Look at Enoch Arden from top of page thirty-one to the middle of thirty-three, and you will find a description of it in the very choicest words. The sea with its unceasing changes is certainly the eye of the picture. You poor souls, can have no idea, not the very faintest of what its blues are, and then far out at sea here and there, little sandbank patches of the purest, most dazzling whiteness. Oh! the coral sea. Its beauty is unrivalled. . . .
Mr. Pennell (whom I fear you don't know) is my great comfort now that Steere has basely gone home to his other wife (you must know they always called us in Zanzibar man and wife, though I fancy I was the man). We (Pennell and I) were at Oxford together, which is always a great tie, and he is the quaintest, dearest, driest, most jokeable old soul you ever cast eyes on. He indulges habitually in theories--knows all the answers in that pest of childhood, The Why and Because, if ever you saw the hideous little book. Why does the sun do this? or Why does the moon do that? and so he has a theory that Zanzibar abounds in the singing of birds, and twice he has called our attention to "that sweet bird's note" when once it was an old cock crowing and the second time it was the frogs croaking. Another time a recent arrival, a poor boy, had been for very obvious reasons rubbed all over with a preparation of sulphur and oil (an unpleasant allusion, though pray pardon it for once) Pennell bringing his face into the closest proximity to the poor child's skin--he is as blind as a bat--built at once a theory. "It is very singular," he said, announcing as it were an incontrovertible fact, "how very green these children's skins become when they are at all out of health" . . .
Well, I must really finish. Loves many and true to you all--" of course "--you will say. Write again soon either by another chest of drawers or the far less romantic and possibly more tardy medium of the Messageries Imperiales.
TO MISS TWINING.
KIUNGANI, ZANZIBAR, May 23, 1869. Trinity Sunday.
ALL is going on steadily and well. It is mere foundation laying, but what a mercy to be permitted to place, if but a stone and that the least and most out of sight, in the building of the spiritual house here in Africa. With many questionings and searchings of heart I am looking forward ere long to a commencement of my sub-diaconate. "The time is short," I say so often to myself and we must be bold and faithful. I write by this mail to our Commodore, Sir Leopold Heath, who has attacked the slave trade this year chiefly on the Arabian coast, to let me have as many as forty or fifty more children if so many are taken by the cruisers. I feel so much the need of an increase. Our elder boys are so useful in the school that we dare not send any away to help on the mainland. Our system cannot get into full working order for some years to come, but I am convinced that we are working on in the right direction. I was able lately to hold another confirmation, the third since my return from England, when four boys and two girls were admitted to the higher privileges of the Church. In ten minutes a class of eight (all communicants) come to me for their weekly instruction, your Connop among them.
TO MISS TWINING.
June 3, 1869.
ONE little line by way of supplement to my last, which was much shorter than I had hoped. The Canton has not arrived, although the Madagascar, which left later, has, bringing something for Mrs. P., an agreeable surprise to her when she comes. I hope I feel truly thankful to you for your great consideration in foregoing her services and letting her come out here to the rescue. The being able to provide a new companion for the one who remains here is beyond anything a comfort.
. . . How I should have liked to have flown over for the anniversary--only I don't shine at such ffites especially since I have had the purple thrust on me, and seldom feel comfortable qud Bishop anywhere. It is so kind of you to make No. 20 our house of call. My hope is that by way of return the callers will get to know you, and you them. By some good fortune Helen and I seem to be always so very happy and blessed in those we get to know. The disagreeable folk manage to keep their distance, and I stumble up against very few, and yet I should think that neither she nor I were persons with whom the greater part of the world would agree. ... I can't stop to say much about the good Clewer sisters. I am deeply thankful for their decision, and I think that on it depends more than at first appears. Out here a married missionary body is not to be thought of. The veriest Protestant would confess it if he had any experience, and that, too, purely on non-theological grounds. This being the case, we must have celibacy among the female helpers--and you know what they are if not strait-waistcoated by the rules and regulations of a religious society!
I have not said one word of St. Andrew's. [The church of St. Andrew's, Wells Street, to which the Bishop was then and in after years, greatly attached.] If St. Andrew's were a "she" I suppose people would say I was deep in love with her, and I think I must feel toward them all there very much as a poor young man does when quivering under Cupid's darts. From Webb down to the little old asthmatic man who carries the Cross on Saints' days, I do feel (of course in some sort of proportion, not all alike you know), the very warmest regard--which is a poor cold word to apply to some of them. Such pretty notes the boys wrote me. One spoke of his "inexpressible joy" at hearing of my safe arrival. Another says he shall never forget the last service on Easter Tuesday, and I am sure if he won't, I shall not.
Sam out here is a good steady lad, and has never given me one moment's trouble or uneasiness. He is getting insensibly to show that he is fast leaving boyhood behind him (for he is close upon seventeen, I think), but he does not grow--except in grace. Just now he has a mild attack of fever on him.
TO THE HON. SECRETARIES.
ZANZIBAR, (?) September, 1869.
FRASER and Davis are off to Magira, taking with them Speare. We have a good deal of sickness among the boys, and two of the little ones are very bad. This is the first serious illness we have had with the children. . . . With so many boys under our roof we must expect a pretty constant demand on the medicine-chest, and this makes me sigh for a medical missionary, either in Holy Orders or desirous of being ordained.
December.--The cholera has come to the town for the first time, and many deaths are reported. By the beginning of December the number of deaths had risen frightfully, though chiefly among the poorer classes, the negroes and the Comoro men. The Sultan has ordered Litanies, which perambulate the town daily in solemn and mournful procession. It is very sad to sit still and not do anything for those who are dying around us, but yet I feel that we cannot attempt anything. As it is, our number is only just sufficient for our work, and we know not what may be in store for us. But with an increased staff, what an opportunity such a visitation might furnish us as missionaries!
Just after I had written the above, our good Fraser arrived from the mainland, and we were overjoyed to welcome him, knowing how severe the cholera was there. Though tired after his journey, he seemed bright and well, and we spent almost the whole of the afternoon talking over all that had happened since we parted. This was Saturday, December 4, and he agreed to take the service at the shamba next day. But in God's ordering that was not to be, and we were to have our share of the universal sorrow and trial.
He did not come to chapel in the evening, feeling weary. At 10 he was seized with what proved to be an attack of cholera. Eventually I remained up the whole night with him. Next morning the doctor thought badly of the case. Throughout his illness, which lasted six days, he was very restless, but complained of no pain, and appeared to be never quite conscious. He passed away to his rest on Friday, December 10, at 4 in the morning.
All this time the disease has been raging in the town. You may imagine what a trying time it has been. During Fraser's illness one of our little boys, Peter Chingama, after eating his dinner as usual at 1, came to my room not quite the thing, was speedily attacked, and was a corpse at half past 8.
At such a time every slight symptom in the children makes one timid. Last night was the first for some time that I have not been disturbed, and very welcome and refreshing the rest was.
TO MISS LEE.
SHANGANI HOUSE, ZANZIBAR, April 6, 1870.
I HAVE just unpacked your beautiful and costly desk which you intended for our dear George Farajala. I do not know whether you will have heard before this of his sudden death through cholera. I cannot tell you how I mourn him; there is so much, however, in the recollection of his last days of peculiar comfort, that sorrow is strangely mingled in my own heart with great thankfulness. On February 2, the Purification, the anniversary of my own consecration, I ordained George and John Swedi sub-deacons; George had for some previous weeks made a full and special preparation for his self-dedication to his work in Christ's Church, and perhaps realized more vividly than his companion all that was involved in it. On February 21 I had to leave the town temporarily, and took up my residence in the country at our girls' school, where I was wanted. On March 19 (Saturday) dear George came out to stay with me and to assist me as sub-deacon in the Celebration of Holy Communion, which he received with peculiar devotion, and after a fortnight's very earnest preparation he read the Epistle, Eph. v. 14, the Lessons at the following morning service, and remained with me until the evening, when we went together to the town for the service there. The following day, March 21, he was seized with cholera about 10 o'clock, soon after returning from taking a letter for me to a neighbouring house. From the moment I decided that it was cholera, which was within an hour, I never left him till he died. For some hours he was in extreme pain--I may almost say agony--and by his request as many as seven of us at a time joined in holding him down on the bed, and so keeping his poor contorted limbs from moving, but the convulsions were of exceeding violence. This phase of the disease was succeeded by a time of comparative rest and quiet, and my recollection of those midnight hours is most consoling--he was quite resigned to what he knew well was coming on apace, and left it all as he said to God. To me he was singularly sweet and affectionate; once he seized and kissed my hands. He asked us all to forgive him for causing so much trouble, and made some trifling distribution of his property. During the collapse, as it is called, as many as could find a place on either side of him rubbed him constantly with oiled hands for the purpose, had God so willed, of retaining life in his cold body. Towards morning he became drowsy and unobservant, and then I saw what the Divine Will had in store for him. We gathered round him to commend his soul to God, and he passed away with apparently an entire absence of pain. He was buried in our Mission cemetery close to Mr. Fraser and our dear little Peter and Mganya, and my only sorrow was that I could not do more than take the earlier part of the service in the chapel here and leave him to be committed to the grave by Mr. Pennell. I was so exhausted by those two or three and twenty hours of close attendance upon him that I fairly feared to leave the house, and it was some days before I felt able to take my part in the work of the house. The funeral was very nice; we never use coffins, and the body was wrapped in one of our pretty Zanzibar mats, with a large cross of flannel running the whole length--so prepared it calls to mind pictures of Old Testament burials, such as that of Sarah, and is, of course, far more like the ones that prevailed in our Lord's day than what we see in England. Dear George, in addition to his dress of kisibau and shuka, had on his sub-deacon's surplice and a cross of alabaster, which it seems he had specially requested might be used at his funeral, was laid on his breast. In chapel we sang "When our heads are bowed with woe," and then he was placed in our own boat with a beautiful white pall (with fringe and red and gold cross) over him. Francis sat in the boat with our processional cross, and so as it were in Christian state he was rowed gently by another boat along the shore, the large bell tolling heavily at intervals and telling the town of our great loss. On looking over his things I found some very pretty gifts, and your photographs in his album. I scarcely know what I ought to do with the desk; I think I shall keep it until I hear from you. As I write I have another little cholera patient lying at my feet, convalescent, I am thankful to say, but barely out of danger. The Sultan thinks he has lost as many as 30,000 in this island alone; and even if this be an exaggerated estimate, as I think it is, there is no doubt that the mortality has been quite unusual, even when compared with other visitations of the same dreadful scourge. The other poor dead we may well leave to the mercies of a good and loving Lord. Our own we have not lost; they are the first-fruit of the harvest, and while their departure hence is a source of infinite joy, our separation from them has its merciful purpose for us who are left. If it be the fire to try our work and to purge out its dross, the gold that is left will be a more chaste offering for the acceptance of the King of kings. You must forgive me if I have written a sombre letter this time. My dear boy's death is too recent for me to say much that is not coloured by my many thoughts, and this I think you will understand.
TO MISS TWINING.
SHANGANI HOUSE, ZANZIBAR, Tuesday in Holy Week, April 12, 1870.
MR. Morton's ship came in on April 1, and by him we received such a host of things (chiefly contained in "the box" of happy memory) that I don't see how I can even properly acknowledge them. Not the least pleasurable sight was your Recit d'une Soeur, which I shall keep up, as a special treat. I do not read French with any facility, but I like it nevertheless. Your little odds and ends are so interesting to me, I mean little parochial papers and such like; one almost feels as one of you in receiving them.
Sad to say, the cholera still lingers--of all diseases it is perhaps the most mysterious, coming and going no man knoweth how. A nice boy, Philip, has had it, and he was just recovering when yesterday two others were seized together, and lie in a very precarious state. One, poor little Austini, "The Boy Pusey," is a great sufferer, but good and gentle as possible, and rambles on in his Mkoa tongue, which no one can understand. What a trial it must be in extreme illness to have to think your thoughts in a foreign tongue. The other is a new boy, and unbaptized, and as fractious as a baby. It is a terrible disease, and its proper treatment is a puzzle. I can see that our doctors are all at sea about it.
It seems almost unprecedented for cholera to remain month after month, as it is doing here, but God knows what is best for us, and just now suffering and sorrow are in time with this holy season. The death of my dear George Farajala was indeed a heavy blow, and I seem to miss him rather more than less day by day. John, the other sub-deacon, is an immense comfort to us--as steady and good as it is possible for a lad to be. And your Connop is an extremely nice fellow too, though of quite a different caste from the others. He remembers you he assures me, and the old ladies and the tea, but he is not very gushing, leastways in English, and so we will hope that the less he says the more he thinks and feels.
Maundy Thursday, April 14.--Yesterday our dear little Austini died and was buried (so like the Creed, the one following the other so rapidly). To-day I am tired, and of course somewhat sad and anxious, but bodily quite well. Mr. Morton's timely arrival is very nice. Last night he sat up for me, and appears to be most anxious to be a helper in the best sense of the word. He was present at your conference I believe, and is charmed with your report, for which accept my best thanks.
ZANZIBAR, June 20 (1870).
I WRITE very feebly, having had at sea a slight sunstroke, from which I am only gradually recovering, I was brought up here by eight men from Mkokotoni in the night to escape the sun, and have mercifully been gathering strength ever since. For a month or two I had been feeling a little languid and relaxed. The great strain and anxiety during the prevalence of the terrible epidemic made me so weary that I was fit for little.
TO MISS TWINING.
SHANGANI HOUSE, ZANZIBAR,
October 6, 1870.
YOURS of August 17 has just come by H.M.S. Frazer. I am sure you are too sceptical about letters. I do not think as yet I have ever actually lost one, and at times they come very quickly indeed. It will shock you to hear that poor Hand-cock, whom so recently you saw, is no more. He died from the effects of a sunstroke just eight weeks after his landing. The poor man quite over-rated his powers, and (as so very often happens) was perilously careless about the state of his health, which in this climate exposes one to great danger. All this came out afterwards, and when it was too late to repair the mischief.
. . . We are alarmed about our Sultan, who is dangerously ill. The Arabs are so odd that one never knows what to believe. When his father died, he had been buried some days before the town was informed of the event, but I fear very much that Sayid Majid is very near his end.
ZANZIBAR, February 27, 1871
I HAVE just received the Guardian of November 23, via Bombay, with your address upon it, which was a treat, as we have had no papers since the end of September or beginning of October. The supplement contained the interesting correspondence between the Bishop of Cape Town and the Archbishop of Canterbury on a matter which concerns me personally very really. An application has been for some time before His Grace to allow me to be transferred from Cape Town to Canterbury, and I daresay that the final answer will be considerably affected by the correspondence in question. His may be a hard case, but the Bishop of Cape Town is simply asking the Archbishop to set aside what is law, and instead thereof to be a law unto himself. The long gap in our hearing from any of you is very tedious, although by this time we are in a measure hardened to it, and scraps of news from the war occasionally reach very quickly. [i.e. the Franco-German war.] For instance, the signing the armistice on January 28 was heard of here first a month afterwards--of course, through Bombay. We have had the disappointment of two ships coming down from Aden district without bringing us a single letter or paper of any sort, and thus I gather that it is a mistake to send everything to Aden for the Seychelles mail, for then ships leaving Aden for Zanzibar can never find anything at the post office for us, the mails having gone on at once to Seychelles, and thus Seychelles is a perfect trap for letters--as bad as the old handleless pumps about the neighbourhood of Queen Square, which have been mistaken for pillar posts. We are so dull that I cannot hope to find anything to interest you. At the Shamba the new temporary chapel is being built, but building out here is so tedious that it quite sickens one. Fancy a girl walking out two miles with a stone on her head no larger than a half-quartern loaf, and then returning for another. We have about a hundred so employed, and they scarcely carry through enough material to keep four masons at work. But even this plan is cheaper and more profitable than using donkeys. Francis writes his thanks to you for what you so kindly sent him. The concertina has not yet turned up--a bitter disappointment to Connop, but no fear it will come all in good time. I fear that the contributions for the war will cripple many of our good works at home.
TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, May 10, 1871.
YOUR St. Andrew's Day letter came per Monitor, after its four and a quarter months' voyage. The travellers were naturally weary with the length of the journey, but otherwise they seemed in good spirits. I am writing now more to fill up the time than with the hope of being at all entertaining, for the fact is that for some weeks I have been the victim of a headache which declines to go, and is only bad enough to destroy all pleasure in one's proper work; added to this, my throat is very troublesome, and every public service is a great drag. So don't expect a very lively letter. I shall chat on selfishly rather for my own amusement than for any ulterior view.
I wonder whether the ideal "Italian sky" is all blue, or, like ours, relieved with huge masses of snow-white banks of clouds. We are never without these latter, I am glad to say. Were it not for colour, this land would be extremely dull and commonplace, from the absence of any marked features in the landscape. I have lately been reading with very real interest Stanley's Life of Arnold. If you know the Dean, perhaps you will tell him how much pleasure his charming biography has given me. I had thought of writing him a line to say so, only this might seem too formal, and, for a nobody like me, too forward also.
. . . Your comparison of Norfolk Island and Zanzibar is natural, but you forget that the climate of the one is everything that can be desired, whereas here sickness is a part of our daily burden. At this moment Pennell, Sam, and I are all in a semi-invalided state. Morton and Fred are both down with fever, and Ben is (or considers himself to be) every few days in a very poor way indeed. The illness, taken as a whole, does not amount to much. It does not kill (as a rule), but it makes work a very up-hill task, and, so far from there being any truth in acclimatization, I am sure that all newcomers have the best of it. Old hands get to be more careful and more knowing, but also far more obnoxious to fever. I think there is no one in Zanzibar who would say that a married missionary is to be preferred to a single estated one, whether male or female; added to which the married state does put a man in fetters. Think of his coming and going! Think of an English woman tossing about in a dhow! Think of confinements and the natural anxieties about the baby's health! A wife may be a valuable article in some parts, but I feel it is cruelty to invite her here, if, that is to say, she is to follow her husband's fortunes and to be no hindrance to his work. Mrs. W., the wife of a Wesleyan missionary, came here in June, en route for Mombas (a passage of two days); she stays here six months to get over her confinement, and at the last advices seemed to be sticking for another six at Mombas, without going on to the station. Confinement No. 2 will, I daresay, bring her back to Zanzibar, and it will be well if the third baby is not born in England. My dear boy John is just arranging for his marriage, and of this I approve greatly. [The subdeacon, John Swedi.] In fact he and such as he are the hope of the East African Church.
We have only just heard of the dreadful civil disturbances in Paris; as yet no details have reached us. God grant that the miseries of unhappy France may not be lost upon us.
May 26.--Since writing I received your nice long letter by the box, and with it so many little interesting odds and ends, such as anthem papers and the like, which are always so useful in bringing before one your daily goings on.
The rainy season which is now approaching its conclusion has weakened the whole party more or less, but it is always the most trying part of the year. I found Pennell to-day at the Shamba again laid up with fever, and quivering like a leaf. E. is also weak, and I fear me that he will turn out one of the nervous, timid sort. He is one of those kind of people who seem to suggest the need of somebody who is absent, if you understand. I should declare that he, for instance, must have had a certain amount of petting all his life, and if so, the having to forego it here will do him no harm. It is sad, but true, that all tonics are bitter, as well those for the mind as for the body.
You will like to hear that I have three or four such delightful little boys, who come so earnestly to confession and Holy Communion at stated times, and give me every comfort and yet outwardly they are free from all affectation. As yet I have come across no acting among the boys; as a class they seem to be entirely natural. I should say that with them the narrow road presents fewer difficulties than for such as we with stronger characters and wills. But to find the devil out one must live among Arabs. Surely this may be one cause why Christianity remains a sealed book to them--their awful wickedness, maintained all through the performance of daily, hourly acts of religion.
Please don't let (so far as you can help it) Helen or Capel or any one else talk as though I were certainly going home at any fixed time. There are reasons for my return I know well at the end of five years after the commencement of our new Mission organization, but there may, and I think will be, far weightier ones for remaining where I am. I expect that Pennell will fail in health sooner than I shall, and you see some one must be left behind, even though it be but one, and to say truth the idea of an early return is not at all to my taste.
I have been wondering lately whether we do well to use the Psalter indiscriminately in our morning and evening Services. The length is sometimes excessive, and the meaning of countless passages is anything but patent, except to the learned few. Indeed, few books of the Bible need such an amazing mass of illustration for the clearing up difficulties as the Psalms. Scarcely is there a Psalm, I had almost said a passage, which has not some recondite reference to something not on the surface. Pennell differs from me toto ccelo, as I suppose most would, but speaking only for myself, and not at all for others, I do feel guilty of having gone on year after year reciting morning and evening the appointed Psalms, simply as an ill-instructed Romanist is supposed to recite his Latin devotions, and I want to know whether I am singular. I said to Pennell the other day, "Now we had to-day 'and found it in the wood.' You and I have said that some thousands of times; what does it mean? Where is the wood, and what was found there? "He could not tell, and when we sought out the passage in Hengstenberg (or whatever the man's name is) there was the most unsatisfactory allusion possible to some wood of Ephraim, which left one where one was. Take again "or ever your pots be made hot with thorns," etc. Either, it seems to me, we should leave such parts of the Psalter out, as we do the Book of Revelation, and parts of Ezekiel, or else the Church should take some means of teaching us some meaning for what we are daily reciting as worship to God. A whole congregation reading out, with a certain smack of self-contentment, what none of them could explain were they asked by some heathen bystander, is, I think, pitiful. To say that good devout minds will always find good from God's word, whether they exactly understand it or not, may be true, and I daresay is, but so would the same people if the service were offered in Kiswahili!
TO THE REV. K. H. BARNES.
SHANGANI HOUSE, ZANZIBAR, EAST AFRICA,
October 25, 1871.
I WRITE in anticipation of the arrival of the bell, which you are so generously sending to us, and which Mr. Capel tells me has been already forwarded in a Hamburg vessel. I gladly seize this excellent opportunity of entering into closer relations with one whom I already know as a friend to our Mission, and hearing that Mr. Toppin has become your curate, who has long been a Central African sympathizer, I am thus enabled in a way to kill two birds with one stone.
When the bell gets to us, I shall despatch it at once to our Shamba Establishment, where we have just completed and opened on St. Luke's day our much needed College Chapel. The only bell at present is quite an insignificant one, that was obtained from a wrecked ship, so that your gift will be exceedingly appropriate and welcome. Allow me, therefore, in all our names to thank you very warmly for it.
And now I will describe the new Chapel. It is a long low room, forming one side of the court or quadrangle, round which other buildings are grouped, and it is entered by a magnificent wooden doorway, which we were fortunate enough to obtain by a sort of happy accident. On passing this, you find yourself in an ante-chapel, through which you enter the chapel itself by a pointed arch. The eastern end is elevated by a succession of steps for the choir and sanctuary, and the whole of the floor is laid with white and black marble, interspersed with square red tiles, the whole effect of which is singularly good. The dimensions are about eighty feet by twelve, and the boys are arranged as in a college chapel, and not congregationally. The windows are on the right hand side as you face the altar, without glass, and look on the Mission Cemetery. We have dispensed with seats of any kind, and the ordinary postures are standing and kneeling. On entering and leaving, the whole body prostrate themselves in accordance with the popular requirements of what is demanded of a worshipper in the presence of Almighty God.
It is exceedingly interesting to adapt, so to speak, the outward expression of our familiar offices to the different circumstances of those among whom we live. And as our work extends and spreads on the mainland, we hope that what is established as the Ritual of our College Chapel at Shangani, may be found practicable in the various native villages, as they accept the teaching of the Gospel. And it is important to remember that we are forming traditions which may some day become venerable. But we, as English Christians, are often so insular in our ideas, that we can scarcely understand any deviation from our own modes of worship, and the endeavour to force them in every direction so as to preserve uninjured what is so dear to ourselves is, I am convinced, one of the greatest missionary mistakes.
We must be all things to all men, and in introducing a new system of religious truth, it is clearly our wisdom to disturb as little as possible the national habits and customs and modes of thought of those to whom we come.
I have never seen this position put forward in any definite shape by those who direct our Missionary operations, and I am not aware that such principles are being actually put into practice anywhere in the Mission field itself. But one cannot doubt that the first Missions of all were conducted in accordance with them. The Church's influence could surely never have been intended to eliminate the various differences observable in every separate nation and country. And yet one never reads any Missionary Report without finding some evidence that an Anglicizing spirit is at work, and a raid more or less successful is being made against the local dress, or government, or some other of the thousand and one details that go to compose a people's separate national life.
TO MISS TWINING.
SHANGANI HOUSE, ZANZIBAR,
October 26, 1871.
YOURS of May 6 arrived only on September 8, and since that date we have no mail.
In this particular I do not find that use becomes a second nature. Among the minor worries of life this infrequency in getting letters, and the complete uncertainty as to the time of any mail arriving, takes with me a very prominent place. However it cannot be helped, and one comfort is that nothing seems to get absolutely lost. You will be glad to learn that the concertina came at last. I wish I could give more cheering news of your protégé. Without being anything very bad, he lets his old wild nature get the better of him far too often, and I have my fears about the future. Fortunately he stands quite alone, and has no sort of following among the rest. His wife is daily expecting her confinement, and perhaps this may have a steadying effect on him. Your letter is full of interest in many ways, but how hopeless it is to try and follow out any friendly discussion on paper and through the post, especially when the post is as ill-regulated as ours.
The fact is that the past few months have been anything but a quiet time with me. With an increased party, there has arisen quite a fresh crop of demands on my time, thoughts and pen; and of course in many ways I ought to be glad of this. Whether rest will ever come, as at times one craves for it, in the shape of abundant leisure and quiet and uninterruptedness, one may well doubt. If it does I shall at once drop into an armchair, put up my feet on a high stool, seize on a French Dictionary, and devour Le Récit d'une Soeur. Meanwhile I certainly do not despair of being in a position to write you a critique on your kind gift. To my own great surprise I have lately read and liked Eugenie de Guerin's Journal. But even now that I have finished it, I cannot say in what its charm consists, for the ever recurring reference to Maurice alive or dead is sufficiently wearisome, and the life is singularly featureless and uneventful, while the style is intensely French. Still as a whole the book is a success, I feel sure.
. . . The Psalter as it stands in the Prayer Book is clearly inapplicable to the wants of Missionary congregations, just emerging out of heathenism. Indeed, any service that necessitates the use of a book is so, and it is interesting to see how small a part the people are asked to take in the Prayer Book itself. The Confession, the Lord's Prayer and the Creeds, and the Amens, is about all that is assigned to them, and the direction that the Confession is to be said after the minister, that is, sentence by sentence (like the espousals in the marriage service) seems to have an eye to a crowd of people without books; of course "the clerks" were indispensable, if only as the people's mouthpieces, in such parts of the service as Psalms and elaborate responses.
I will also send a copy of "Private Prayers for the Central African Mission." I have put these out, as you see, authoritatively, with fear and trembling, but not without months and I may say years of thought devoted to the whole subject. Until the Church puts prayer into the hands of her children, I do not see how we can be surprised at our people either neglecting prayer altogether, or using, as we know they do, mere doggerel like "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John," etc., or "How doth the little Busy Bee."
I imagine these "Private Prayers" of mine would strike many people as jejune and poor, but they are purposely made as simple as possible, on account of translation difficulties.
TO MISS TWINING.
SHANGANI HOUSE, ZANZIBAR,
January 23, 1872.
YOUR welcome and most interesting letter of October 31 came at the end of last month, whereas no box has yet been heard of, so you did well to use the mail.
Our Sultan has left us for Mecca--does it not sound odd and romantic?--and will be absent three months. His large steamer takes him up to Jiddah, which is a modernizer that might well make Mahomet turn in his coffin.
Politically we are all at sixes and sevens. There would appear to be a misunderstanding between the India Office and the Home Government, and each seems to do as much mischief as it can to the other department. India cares nothing about the slave trade. The Foreign Office pretends to be eager for its suppression, money is not forthcoming from the Treasury, and so India has forbidden her agent here to correspond direct with the Home Government, and threatens to stop him from acting at all in reference to the slave trade. Meanwhile--won't resign without the promise of another appointment, which nobody is eager to give him, and absolutely threatens in the teeth of Lord Mayo and every one else to return, and some think that as his leave expires early in February, he is as likely as not to be on his way, at this moment. So that we are not very comfortable.
I daresay you will see a little pamphlet that three of us here have put out, and glean from it how small really is the sympathy with the slaves on the part of official persons. What Steere says in his preface is painfully true, that "Englishmen generally have a very much less kindly feeling towards a free negro than the Arabs have towards their slaves."
Hence all the twaddle and jargon about "inhuman traffic," with which every official paper is bespattered, is like doctored beer, manufactured to suit the taste of the British public.
[The Mission staff was now reinforced by the arrival of the Bishop's sister for her second sojourn in Zanzibar. The first visit--in 1865--had been but short, owing to Miss Tozer's inability to stand the climate. Of that period few of her letters are preserved, but of this second visit a full record exists in the correspondence with her intimate friendy Miss Louisa Twining. Extracts from these long letters are now given to supplement the Bishop's letters for unfortunately during this year his powers of writing grew less and less, owing to a paralytic affection from which he never fully recovered during the remainder of his residence in Zanzibar.]
TO MRS. JACKSON.
ZANZIBAR, March 28, 1872, Maundy Thursday.
IT is a comfort and a joy having dear Helen once more by my side. She is looking better than I have known her for years. Such cheeks! such colour! and so good an appetite. But they are not complimentary (neither she nor Steere) in return; they say we all look like "razors," and bring us acquainted, as my old nurse would say, with language to which we are not accustomed. I wish to get change for Pennell, but so far as the rest are concerned we are substantially well, and rejoicing in the help and comfort and support which Steere seems to shed on us instinctively.
I seem just now to be most abundantly blessed--there are so many causes for thankfulness. Of course a Mission work like this is full of almost family cares, and the burden of them generally settles first or last on one pair of shoulders. Still a life apart from cares, if any such there be, must be well-nigh intolerable for a true Christian, who longs to be allowed to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ--in which holy task you, dear Mrs. Jackson, are permitted by the Great Master to have an abundant share.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
SHANGANI, Wednesday, March 19, 1872.
AFTER all we did not get in till Sunday morning, the 17th (St. Patrick), being overtaken among the reefs by sunset, and our cautious skipper anchored at Mkokotoni, just out of sight of Zanzibar, so that had it been light enough our smoke would have betrayed us. The first thing in the morning we got up steam, and by six were off--very slowly, and close to the land all the way in. It was an exciting time, you may guess. Afterwards we found that the town was watching us. The Bishop knew nothing of the ship because they have chapel at seven, so till that was over he had no idea of a ship, and even then till we actually passed his windows, he never dreamt of my being there! Dr. Steere he never even thought of as a possibility till he arrived at the ship.
The great strain of suspense was broken by the pilot coming on board about half-way in; he said all was well, no sickness in the town. Sultan away on pilgrimage to Mecca, expected back in twenty days--his two ships were lost last year, and have never been heard of since. You remember we saw it mentioned in the paper?
I must try and tell you everything, and yet writing is so difficult--hands always wet and sticking to the paper, and then the constant interruptions, incursions of Arabs who walk up and enter the room unannounced. The English, or rather Europeans, send word on by their own attendants.
The Bishop is looking well, quite healthy; his beard whiter than it was, which is his only sign of age. He is full of energy and devoted to his work, but of course disappointed with the recent failures.
The improvement in the boys and chapel service is wonderful. Francis reads most surprisingly, and last night he preached to the few in chapel. On Wednesdays in Lent the Bishop and Dr. S. go out to the Shamba in the evening for service, and Lewin comes in here to take it with Francis; after the prayers which they read between them, F. leading in the Confession, Psalms and Canticles, and one lesson which would surprise you by its loud, distinct, clear enunciation (quite equal to St. Andrew's reading), Frank went to the lectern, and repeated the Invocation in English, and gave out the subject: "The Sacrifice of Isaac," and then very modestly and fluently gave about five minutes' exposition in Swahili--as far as I could follow it was just the story explained--he concluded with the Invocation again, and returned to his place, when Lewin gave the final blessing. Present only the girls and two little boys besides himself, the rest having gone with Bishop to Shamba.
I shall have much to tell you about Easter festivities, I know, and long to be able to write, but it is very hard work, indeed, and I fear my powers won't hold out long.
As far as I can judge, the girls have washed and ironed my clothes very well. Poor Miss P. has been in bed ever since I came, and is still. To-day I am sitting in her house waiting the arrival of the doctor; he gave her opium last night after long sleeplessness, and I fear rather too strong as she is very queer to-day--sick and blind and uncomfy--still I hope the fever is turned, and the cough going to move at last.
A group of Arabs on the beach at this moment waiting for a boat. One standing in full dress, his sword at his side, gun over shoulder, shield shining like gold at his side, he has on loose white trousers and black joho or long outer garment (coat), usual blue turban, bare breast very brown; his shield is round with bosses on it. A woman stands by him enveloped from head to foot in a black sort of loose shawl, under which you see as she moves scarlet satin trousers, a red thin skirt and bangles; tassels and ornaments hang from his sword; he has sandals; the woman's feet are bare. The third sits on the beach, a red cap on his head, and flowing down long curls of black hair, or rather twists; a loose drapery of white covers him partly; it is floating about, shewing his naked legs. He holds a gun upright in front of him. The woman turns, and I see the bars of her mask. The fourth Arab is a venerable, tall person. All in white, turban and kanzu, white beard and naked feet; a Banyan is passing them, looking so naked, only yards of thin muslin wound about and around him under his legs and over one shoulder, bare head with the long black hair twisted into a sort of knot behind. He is going to bathe and when he comes back will dress in a high red turban and more folds of white muslin. In comes a boat with a white sail, and baskets of fish are being landed. Eight slaves around it, all more or less costumes--most of them white loin cloth and red cap, two with turbans, and one with a kanzu or long garment to the feet. The fish are tossed out on the beach in heaps, a sort of blue looking fish, broad and short, and others like mackerel. Here come five Arabs very gay, bordered cloths and white kikois and sticks--always stick is a part of full dress. Oh, the lady has tucked up her black drapery round her head, and stands revealed in a thin red flowing garment of indescribable make. Three huge white asses come frisking by, kicking and plunging, and rush out of sight, and two gay slave girls with baskets come down to purchase fish, and oh, the noise of jabbering!
Are you tired of the beach? one can sit and gaze on the ever-changing groups--every colour, so picturesque--I wish I could photo them, colour and all. . . . Our ship lies out just opposite, taking her cargo in. The harbour is full of ships and dhows. In the chapel below, all the men of the house are putting up the organ, some trouble yesterday in the notes ciphering has obliged them to take it all to pieces again. I am not dressed or bathed yet, and I feel as if it were afternoon; it is such hours since I got up at 5.30 and dressed and washed in a fragmentary way. Then a cup of tea brought by Francis, with his graceful bow and salaams, then chapel, then a visit to Miss P., then breakfast, tea in half-pint mugs, bread and fruit with a slice of cold meat for those who like. The fruit now is oranges, green, just coming in--seven for a pice--dear, very. Banana, dodo mangos just going out--huge things, size of ostrich egg, custard apples, guavas--these are all I have yet seen. The basket full I send daily to the ship costs about 1s. 6d.--so pretty with fresh boughs and leaves. I must try and send you some coral; it is lovely cleaned from its native dirt.
After breakfast I unpacked a few things till I grew too hot, and put away my linen into one of the drawers I have had sent in from this house, then wrote to the Captain for a few things he is to sell us from his stores. Then came in here to write, but it is all done so very slowly and with such a deal of difficulty.
Feast of Annunciation, March 25.--We had very nice services yesterday, but I seem to have no time to tell you much, dearest. Lots of sailors in the evening to chapel, but only ourselves at 7 a.m., which is our great Sunday service. I wish you could hear Francis read; it is really wonderful. On Wednesday evenings in Lent he preaches a nice sermon in Swahili; he is a charming fellow, quite the Bishop's right hand here, as John is at the Shamba. Did you know that the Bishop went to the mainland in December? Mr. Morton went with him, and they travelled by moonlight, took a donkey with them, and enjoyed the trip, but everything was wretched and miserable, the people behaved abominably, all combined to prevent his getting hearers, and at Magira the people shut their doors and would have nothing to do with them. In fact the whole country is now lost and ruined by the constant wars, and almost depopulated.
We are expecting seven new boys from Aden, Abyssinians. They started long ago in a buggalow, but are not come, I suppose detained by the south winds now prevalent.
March 27.--My dear! the heat. I can't think what you would do. The Bishop and I opened a box this morning and put away the contents, and I had to go to lie down after it, I was so worn out. He said how much he should like to have you here for a month. He thought more would kill you. I believe a week would do it!
TO MISS TWINING.
April g, 1872.
SINCE finishing my earlier sheet the Abydos came in, and brought her unexpected and unannounced freight. I scarcely know whether the event will prove that Helen's coming was wise, but I am enjoying it meanwhile exceedingly. She looks quite unusually well, and the voyage has been short and prosperous. I was surprised to find that its length exceeded 7,000 miles.
Steere's return is an unmixed happiness and blessing.
If you won't think me too cold-blooded, I will leave the subject of the new comers, and turn to your letter of February 6. I daresay you feel the Little Psalter to be restricted, but you should recollect its special aim, which is to fix in the memory a few Psalms so firmly that they will not readily be forgotten.
My own fear was, and is, that the Little Psalter is better adapted for a congregation, that can read than for poor folks, who will never handle a book. For instance, how few of our own unlettered poor could say the Te Deum through to the end. Our plan here is to use on Sundays the same Psalms that would be said or sung in church on Sunday at home. Having to select a few Psalms, we put aside all that were used on special days or on special occasions, and hence the more obvious Psalms are excluded, such as the 22nd and 51st. If I have not mentioned it before, let me point out how the church takes for granted that the congregation is unprovided with Prayer Books. Hence only the more well-known formulas are to be said "by the people," and some of those "after the priest," i.e. sentence by sentence--other responses are relegated to "the clerks," and this view will help to dissipate that bugbear of mine, which goes by the hackneyed name of "Congregational Psalmody," which to many seems the highest possible ideal of the service of praise in the House of God, and so all are encouraged to do their best and sing out and so forth, as though God's House could be best served by any scheme which aimed at nothing higher than a babel of discordant sound. The true view is to offer God the best, in music as in everything else; and where from deficiency of natural gift we cannot do this ourselves, then to use the agency of others. Apart from such a view, "difficult pieces "are intolerable in the service of the Sanctuary. But if we once adopt it, we shall stop at nothing (at least, I should not), the highest efforts, both vocal and instrumental, should be dedicated to God, and I would allow Congregational Psalmody only out of deference to the weakness of poor human nature. "For the hardness of your hearts," a rory tory hymn now and then, not as the rule, but as a pardonable exception.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, April 5 .
WE actually have not been able to get our boxes yet. All which came from the ship straight, we of course have, but the Custom House is impervious. We are promised some to-day. Lewin [Pennell] is come in from the Shamba this morning (it is just eight now, and we have been up two hours and a half) to have a regular day at Swahili with Dr. Steere, Mr. New, and others..... Miss P. still in bed; I believe she has had small pox! huge pustules all over her face, neck, throat, chest and stomach, full of matter, and the fifth day indented in the centre, which was to me a revelation. Hope I haven't caught it.
Raining hard in torrents. The rainy season we suppose just beginning. The heat is very great. Bishop well save his throat, which is troublesome, but no wonder, with all his shouting in chapel, everlasting talking and singing and reading. He can only write by turning his hand in at right angles with his body most awkward and uncomfy it looks, but I say nothing.
April 9.--We are all well, despite the wretched steamy weather; torrents of rain all last night, and such thunder and lightning; I don't think I ever saw or heard such. The rain almost drowned the thunder, loud as it was, and the incessant down-pour lasted more than an hour, very unusual, as this heavy tropical rain seldom lasts long. We should be all under water to-day but that it dries so quickly. The ship will sail on Saturday or Monday, this being Wednesday, so I must get my box ready.
Dr. Steere is gone for three days to the Shamba to print. Did I tell you last week our seven Abyssinians came from Aden--such charming boys. I think I shall pick one out for you instead of Connop, who may now be considered off your hands, and except for his wonderful ear (he plays every tune on his accordion) is not interesting. These seven little things are such sweet European looking children, some black, some brown; their manners are so strange and pretty . . . they came in rather wretched and dirty as to clothes, from being weeks in a dhow, but quite fat and well-cared for, and skins as clear and soft as our own. The first thing they asked for was to bathe; for two days we kept them upstairs lest they should run away, but they settled down as soon as the little Persian cat a captain gave us last week, and who is so fond of the boys that she goes to chapel regularly with them, and runs after them, twining round their legs and half frightening them at first. The game of bagatelle charmed our new boys, as we could all count in Arabic, and this was the sole communication between us. Their hair is cut close, but will be straight, and altogether they are a delightful set. "Our Dan," Mr. Gotts' boy, a Galla (almost the same as Abyssinian), is quite a beautiful fellow, and a little one to be called "Cecil," so pretty and elegant, that every one picks him out and notices him. He is to be Mr. Capel's boy. So we consider ourselves lucky to get these seven, and are indebted to Colonel Tremenheere for them, the Resident at Aden.
In chapel it was quite strange to see their conduct, though it may have been imitation only, but they bowed low when the others did, knelt up with folded hands motionless, tried to sing! and at the end prostrated themselves with foreheads on the ground. They may be Christians, but at present we can't talk a word, and their Arabic is not the sort spoken here.
I wish you were here at this moment to draw some of the groups on the beach. I can make nothing of the pretty flock of banian cows, with their great humps and soft eyes lying and standing under our windows, a woman slave with scarlet cloth wrapped round her pounding mtama, and heaps of other objects.
MISS TOZER TO THE EDITOR OF THE GUARDIAN.
[On April 15, 1872, Zanzibar was visited by a terrible, cyclone. The following letter written by Miss Tozer to the Guardian, gives a graphic account of the disaster.]
ZANZIBAR, Thursday, April 18, 1872.
SIR,--Your readers will like to hear a few details of the terrible cyclone which has desolated this island, destroyed the town, and ruined the trade of Zanzibar, and more or less every individual and mercantile house in the place. The steamship Abydos was to sail on Monday, the 15th inst., and our mail was ready; consequently none of the letters will speak of this terrible catastrophe.
Zanzibar was supposed to be out of the range of cyclones. There is no record of any sort of hurricane in the island, although they are so common at Mauritius; and this one occurred without any previous intimation or atmospheric warning. One officer of the Abydos, who was in the Calcutta cyclone, thinks there was very little difference of intensity between the two, although there was more shipping at Calcutta, and consequently more loss of life.
We are all too shattered and unhinged to be able to collect our thoughts sufficiently for writing; but, as the Abydos is to sail the day after to-morrow, I will try to put down a few particulars, bespeaking your indulgence for all deficiencies.
On Sunday, the 14th inst., our harbour contained H.H. the Sultan's steam man-of-war Sea King, his frigate the Shah Allum, his corvette the Secundra Shah, his two small steamers, the English steamship Abydos (loaded for London, and intending to sail next morning), the German brig Adele Oswald, the full-rigged ship Lobelia, taking cargo for London, a full-rigged ship from India lately arrived, about 150 dhows, mostly loaded, waiting for the set-in of the south monsoon, and native craft of all sorts. It had been a squally day, with much rain, and at 11 p.m. it began to blow hard. Our roof, which, like all the other large houses here, is covered with sheets of corrugated iron, made a terrific noise, and kept the Bishop and some of his boys up all night, attempting various measures for securing the portions which the violent wind had loosened. At 6 a.m. on Monday the sea was in commotion, and so high that the beach had almost disappeared, the spray flying over the houses, and the flags of the several Consulates torn in shreds soon after they were hoisted. In an hour more the flag-staffs all blew down or were broken off, and by ten o'clock our kitchen, a detached building, was partly unroofed, and sheets of corrugated iron were flying out to sea in every direction, the gale now blowing from south to southwest. The Sultan's frigate had by this time lost her foremast, the Abydos was steaming at full power to keep at anchor at all, the other ships tossing and drifting about, and threatening to go ashore on the reefs and islands. Our south rooms were now flooded, our staircase running like a cascade, the little children were huddled together in the most sheltered angle, watching the fearful sheets of iron as they were peeled off and driven away on the gale like paper, occasionally coming down into the quadrangle with an awful crash. The lightning at times was very vivid, but we could not hear the thunder from the incessant clatter, roar, and clamour around and above, which resembled a. cannonade of artillery. We could hardly hear ourselves speak. The-roof was gone from three sides of the square by one o'clock, and it was about half-past one when the gale suddenly subsided, leaving us exhausted and breathless as if from a fight.
As the spray and mist cleared away we looked out anxiously at the shipping: Abydos still rode at her old moorings; the Sultan's ships were all more or less dismantled, two aground; the English vessels floating but driven from their anchors, and the Adele nowhere to be seen--many dhows driven on the reefs and a few sunk, their masts just showing above water. The sea was rough, but the wind quite still, and it was with feelings of relief that we opened our shutters and windows, and looked out to see how our neighbours had fared. The Bishop and Dr. Steere went down to the Consulate to inquire as to the state of the town, and came back in half an hour, with a sad report of the various losses and misfortunes, many native huts were down, and hardly a house but had lost its roof. We believed the worst was over, and had begun to bale out water, etc., when a gust, that no one in Zanzibar will ever forget, suddenly seized the town, this time from the north. It is hardly too much to say that every shutter and window in the place was blown in, or carried away instantly. I was in my room, from which I escaped with the help of some of our biggest boys; the Bishop had to exert all his strength to get out of the sitting-room (which faces north), and meeting me in the corridor, where at this moment the end shutters, which had been barricaded with boxes and planks, were blown in, we had much ado to escape through a pair of heavy doors into the inner corridor, where we crouched into the solitary corner which was any way sheltered on this side of the house--two of the boys terrified out of their senses with us. The hurricane had burst upon us in all its fury. We sat watching with a sort of fascination the only piece of roof that was left, of which we had a full view and as each sheet of iron in turn flapped up, rose in the air, and after a horrid suspense came flying down within a few feet of us, we could only pray in our utter helplessness that a Mightier Hand would shield us from the danger. One swerve of the sharp iron sheet, and we must have been killed. Some of them flew away out of sight, but the greater number came down into the quadrangle past our shelter place with a crash and clang that made our poor boys quiver and tremble in every limb.
It was a touching incident--that a large wild bird of the gull species had been blown over the house, down into this corridor; and during these two or three hours of suspense and crouching, the poor bird crept up to the children as if for protection, allowing them to stroke it, and sitting at their feet like a tame thing.
In the lull of the gale (which was the centre of the cyclone) Dr. Steere had gone to his little house to look after his property, so we were absolutely alone, for though the Bishop made two attempts to get down stairs, and see how the rest of the household were bestowed, he was driven back each time; nor could he open a door in our corridor to see how our solitary invalid, Mr. Pennell, was bearing the storm. We had succeeded in the beginning in covering him with a ground sheet, but the room fronted north, and it was impossible to open the door in face of the gale.
There was nothing to be done but wait for whatever might happen. We did not say much, except to console the children, and hardly took our eyes off the dreadful corner where the last of the roof still hung--what might be going on among the girls on the other side of the quadrangle we could not guess. There was no means of communicating in the pitiless roar of that awful incessant hurly-burly.
It might be five o'clock when the storm had so far abated that we could open a door and get a sight through the blinding mist and spray of the town and sea. What a view! Abydos was the only thing visible. The harbour was swept clean of every mast and hull. Far away on the distant reefs we could make out the Sultan's ships lying wrecked and broken. One of his steamers on the Malindi shore completely smashed; the large English ship Lobelia on shore, beating backwards and forwards, a piteous sight. No news of the Adele till next day, and then, as was feared, she proved to be a total wreck on the other side of French Island: her crew all lost. Several bodies were washed ashore. I have not heard particulars.
The sea view was sufficiently sad, but on land things were even worse--the whole town destroyed, not a house uninjured; the native huts swept away, the streets blocked up with iron sheeting, stones and stores, our outbuildings entirely gone, the wall and entrance gate flat, our boat, which hung on davits from the sea wall, was lying in the street, about eighty feet from its original position. The front rooms, including the chapel, with all our new Easter presents, utterly soaked, ruined, filled with sand and water. The garden, which the day before had been a mass of tropical verdure, cocoa-nuts, bananas, and stately rows of aloes, swept bare of every leaf, and filled with planks, stones, ruins of every kind: from our windows we could see half houses standing up with neither walls nor roof, the whole town looking as if it had been bombarded; and so sunset came, and darkness, and thankfully we heard the gusts becoming less frequent, and the gale evidently decreasing.
We had just assembled in the least exposed room, and were trying to arrange some plan of sleeping after what seemed to have been a week of watching and labour, when a boy came to say the sea wall was down! This proved to be true, alas! and nearly the whole of our terrace was washed away, the tide rising and beating against our house in a way to threaten its foundations. There was a hurried consultation; and it was decided that we must leave instantly. In the darkness and storm the Bishop carried our invalid downstairs through the ruins and into the neighbouring house of Mr. Rieck, which, being further inland, was safe, although only one room in the whole house was habitable; we all followed by degrees, and were made welcome by the hospitable German merchants, who gave up sofas and easy chairs, and did all they could to ensure us a little rest; but it was a strange and eventful night. All the Consulate houses are, like our own, built close on the beach, and all were so much injured and endangered by the high tide that nearly every one followed our example, and sought safety in more sheltered houses during this night. The English Consulate is in as bad a state as we are, their furniture, books and clothes soaked, destroyed, and ruined--in short, no one has escaped. Our bell-turret and bell, the gift of Lady Franklin, fell in the first part of the storm: two dismal tolls gave us notice of our loss. I think we feel the ruin of our chapel most. So many beautiful things had just come in time for Easter, the gifts of various kind friends. The Sultan's steamship had brought us from Mecca a new Persian carpet, which, of course, had been devoted to the chancel; the corona had been up but a few days, and the organ only just put together on its return from England. New hangings, frontal, cushions, all had looked so festive last Sunday, and now the chapel is not only empty, but the very access to it cut off by the fall of the sea wall, and it must be months before we can look forward to rebuilding this. Our books are gone--in fact, it is like beginning the world again. The want of water is one of our troubles; our beautiful tanks, the admiration of the town, are destroyed, and we shall have to buy water as in the old days of six years ago, when the work here was only beginning.
The extent of the cyclone is not yet known; the whole island appears to have suffered; but whether the mainland came within its influence we do not yet hear. All the trees, or nearly all, are down--cocoa-nuts, mangos, cloves, bananas, oranges; the market empty; the people, paralyzed as yet, have not even begun to rebuild their huts; the clove trade, of which Zanzibar is one of the great depots, is gone, and it is thought that all trade for at least two years is destroyed. If the mainland was visited by the cyclone we shall have to dread a famine, but we trust this may be spared us; of course no news can be relied on yet, and the Abydos will set sail before we have any authentic information.
The way Captain Cuming managed his ship has excited the admiration of all the Europeans. Without steam he could not possibly have saved her, so that no blame can attach to the other vessels in the harbour. Nothing could have been done in such a gale; but even with steam at his command there was ample scope for seamanship and presence of mind, and these he displayed to a very high degree. His valuable cargo is absolutely saved.
You may form some idea of the force of the wind by the following incident:--Mr. Sparsholt, a C.M.S. missionary on his way to Bombay, was standing at his window, trying to barricade the upper part of it, when his little daughter at his side was blown out at the lower portion and carried into the street sixteen feet below. This will show you the suddenness as well as the strength of the gale. The child was almost unhurt.
No doubt accurate and scientific descriptions will reach England at the same time as this letter. I am induced to trouble you with a hasty and plain statement of our personal losses and experiences, knowing that your paper will be seen by so large a number of our friends, to whom I would gladly' write did time and strength permit.
It is impossible to guess when we may have another opportunity of sending letters home, and thus you will kindly be the medium of communication for us as you have often been before.
HELEN R. TOZER.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
May 5, 1872.
WE are beginning to recover our health a little and to put things tidy; but when it is simply the loss of all, we can but piece the broken bits as far as possible, and our place, like all others, looks terribly dreary. The town still is as if it had been sacked, and a fire passed over the land, all trees down, and woodwork gone, and houses and walls in ruins.
Our first work is of course to rebuild our sea wall, which is a huge undertaking; luckily we have the old mass to serve as a quarry whence to dig out the stones and coral, but it will cost us near £300 we expect, the round of workpeople who can do only a small portion daily to be paid, and labour is so much dearer than it used to be. This last week we have paid £2 and £3 a day in wages, and the lime and sand and udongo (clay) brought on women's heads is so small in quantity and so dear, that every few days the fundis have to stop till a fresh supply comes in. [Skilled workmen.] Anything so lazy and slow as these wretches are you can't imagine; in fact it is a horrid thing to have any work to get out of them.
Now that I have had leisure to see and talk and observe, I can see that the Bishop has much altered; he is broken down sadly by all the trouble and nursing he has gone through, and is less buoyant and bright than he used to be, and no wonder. Very energetic still at times, but not always, and you never hardly hear him whistling and singing as he used to do incessantly.
Dr. Steere is gone to the Shamba in Mr. Pennell's place, as he came in here sick, and is not yet sufficiently recovered to be let go back. I am always giving him beef tea, wine, etc.; what we should have done without Dr. Steere in this emergency I cannot think.
May 6.--I could get no further yesterday (Sunday), for a most hot sun all day brought on a headache, added, perhaps, to my morning work of dressing wounds. I have eleven feet and legs to do daily, and really five or six of them are bad enough for a hospital, down to the bone and the cavities large enough to hold a quantity of water. A few I find my treatment agree with, and two are nearly healed, but the obstinacy of these ulcers and their sluggishness is something fearful and wonderful, and these ten boys drag themselves about uncomplaining, whereas we should be in bed and nursed up for half such a sore. This work takes from two to three hours, so you see my coming has been of some use, let alone the cyclone! I said I was coming for something special, and voici. On Saturday two ships came in, a merchant from Hamburg, and a man-of-war, the little Magpie from the "Gulf." They are looking for Columbine, and had orders not to go to Mahe, so we missed our mail! so tiresome, and most likely would have found her there, as she left us about April 7 to go there.
We calculate the Abydos, dear thing, must be at Suez about to-day, having posted our Brindisi letters at Aden. I do hope the telegram from home about the cyclone will not have frightened you all much. Perhaps you may not hear of it, though with the Times daily that is hardly possible. The Magpie has three old friends on board, so they came directly to see us, and brought in papers and Punches, etc. The date, March 22, more than a month later than the last. The attempt on the Queen with the empty pistol of course filled us with horror! but the assassination of Lord Mayo and death of the Admiral were the saddest things for us, who knew the latter so well. Poor dear old man; he was so friendly and kind not long ago here, and the boat he sent the Bishop is now lying stove in by her flight through the air on the 15th ult.
... A little girl, a poor little thin skeleton, died on Thursday. The Bishop went and baptized her the evening before; she was buried in the evening; the boys carried her on a kitanda, covered with a bright pall, and the girls, twenty of them, walked after two and two in scarlet and white; it was rather a pretty sight. I don't know what her name was, she had been here only a short time.
Miss P. is better, but has a horrid cough; she gets up now for nearly all the day, but looks like a skeleton, and has been to chapel only twice since I came, so you may guess how ill she has been. I have never been out of the house since the first days when I went to call on the ladies Kirk, Christie and Schultz. The society is quite changed from the old days; there is no visiting, hardly ever a party. We were asked to a dinner directly at the German Consulate, Schultz, but most luckily for us it was on Easter Eve, and we of course refused. I was so glad and thankful, and no invite has come since; indeed, every place is in ruins, and people have no rooms, even if they had food and plates to set before friends.
May 8.--It is 3 p.m., the tide rising, alas, and will in half an hour cover the whole of our ten days' work; the Bishop is shouting "haya! haya!" from the window; he has to be in all places at once, for though we have a "msimamizi," a head man to look over and hasten the three work people, he wants just as much looking after himself. I can't think what you would say to peeping out of our front windows now! a crowd of black things doing the work that some six or eight would do at home; about thirty women all with chains or bead necklaces, bangles and ear ornaments, and large drop hanging from the nose, handing up and down eight buckets of mortar, each bucket holding about as much as you could put in your slop basin, the bucket taking several minutes to traverse the string of women, who stand two feet from each other, and generally each sets it down and has a talk before passing it on; the empty ones come back at even a slower rate. About thirty more creatures carrying stones--one on head and one in hand--walking at a snail's pace, and waiting to see each stone put into position before they turn and lounge back to the beach for more; about twenty more bringing baskets of sand and lime, and some thirty or forty men "building "the wall--all seated with little twopenny hammers--and as each stone is brought they gently tap it and tap it and sit and wait till a bucket of mortar comes down, which it takes three men to hand up, empty, and return! so in spite of the Bishop's cries of "haya, haya, hima! "you may suppose the work goes on slowly enough.
At the other end of the corridor Mr. Pennell has got about ten girls and all the lame sick boys at lessons, the eight well ones are working at the wall, and one boy very bad indeed is lying at my feet with a poultice on a swelled foot, which if it were white I believe would look as if mortifying. Some terrible mischief is going on, but the colour of the skin baffles me. A little white Banian in his short-waisted coat of white muslin and gay scarlet kofia is sitting at a table mending the three clocks which were all damaged more or less; and here comes Tom Mitchell, once of Orestes, and a dear friend of the Bishop's, now paymaster of Magpie, and he brings in 100 lbs. of tea and 100 lbs. of soap, for which we pay respectively is. and ^d. a pound, so you see we can afford to drink our tea strong.
We have all our possessions in this corridor where we are living, our only room being of course turned into the chapel--three or four odd plates, cups and saucers, two broken soup plates, two spoons, a few knives and forks, bread plate, jar and canister, one sugar glass unbroken! a milk jug and a few bowls and pans. All these trigged up on two boxes with a board over them, the whole tied with a bit of kamba [Rope.] to the rails or balustrade, as a sudden gust in the night might deprive us of these last household goods. Three or four tables, some American chairs, two mats, some oil boxes, a long ladder, the cross of the unlucky bell turret, a heap of tools in a corner, my little Persian puss licking her white breast, always uneasy when there are no boys to rub against and fondle, a few cocoa-nuts thrown down as they were brought from Shamba, a heap of "bovu" kisibaus and cloths which I have been mending, and some wet clothes hanging on said balustrade to dry, washed in my bath by one of my sick boys (i.e., the water came out of my bath, but they were washed by being pounded on a board on my bedroom floor), and I think you have the contents of my present sitting-room, comprising in itself dining and drawing room. The mangle which was here is now moved into the other corridor. This, which is uninjured most luckily, having been in the only safe corner, is the greatest blessing; it answers for both drying and ironing, and now that washing is done by driblets, having no water unless it rains, we live from hand to mouth, and you should see me getting up a white jacket in the mangle! and ironing collars for the men and the white coats, carefully avoiding the buttons, and doing a few inches at a time! The washing machine is in shivers, and alas all our stoves and cooking things, pots, pans, stove lamps, dishes, etc., all flew away bodily when the kitchen itself went.
. . . Connop and Mary have one of the rooms below that used to be the navy store place, and Mary does our cooking, making a fire on the stones in their queer gipsy fashion, the smoke whereof ascends into my drawing-room and blinds me at this moment; thus the wood is chopped, the fowl killed, with fearful shrieks, the curry made, the dishes washed and the dinner dished, literally under my eyes! fancy all your household affairs going on in your area, and the whole of the side of the house out, so that you must see and hear everything. Connop is such a nice useful fellow; he works with a will, like an Englishman, is immensely strong, very ingenious, and has rigged up some iron sheeting and pipes to catch water and convey it into an iron tank we bought of the Abydos for twenty dollars, so that after rain we can dip to any extent for two days or so, and we do enjoy it so much; fancy having a bath after waiting for days before you dare to waste so much water; our washing is all done in a pailful at a time and half a dozen pieces.
Connop has, we hope, sown his wild mtama or kundi, or whatever answers to oats here, and is coming out very well; he is musical exceedingly, and his accordion is his greatest delight; he plays every tune we have in chapel, and never a note wrong; his ear is something very unusual, and the accordion is like another wife to him. The moment work is over you hear him beginning, and after I am in bed and sometimes asleep I hear the distant wail of some hymn tune.
May 14.--No chance still of a ship or of sending letters; still I write on, as if we should suddenly hear of anything it would be mournful to have no letters ready. The wall is stopped for the present, both because of letting the new work settle and getting the indoor work done we must make a new entrance to the chapel, as the whole of the terrace is gone, and there is no getting in on that side, and of coiirse we want to clean and mend and fit up the chapel as soon as possible, because till we can move back into it we have no sitting-room--that being now the chapel, and very un-comfy, for all the shutters and jalousies were blown away, and the sun streams in at 6.30 through the two end windows, and no boarding up will keep out streaks, which make us all wretched, and I keep changing my place every few minutes but generally in vain, as the sun pursues me.
MISS TOZER TO MRS. JACKSON.
ZANZIBAR, May 24, 1872. Queen's Birthday.
GLOOMY and mournful weather perhaps best typifies our present state, but it is depressing hardly ever to see the sun and have floods of rain every day and mostly half the nights! There never was any such experience before, and most of it is laid, truly or not, at the cyclone's gates. However, we must do our best to keep up a good heart, though pour mot, it would be infinitely easier to sit down and cry, especially as there are about sixty workpeople to give an eye to--as well as our own twenty or twenty-five children who are carrying stones and sand at the other end of the beach by our poor sea wall. The Bishop is lying half asleep on the bed and rouses up with difficulty whenever the frequent messages come to know what is to be done here or there? so I do all I can to save him, though I am not sure that such rest is what he wants. It is change of air, scene, ideas, society, that will be his only medicine; he is worn out with the past dreadful four years, and has kept up perforce until now, from sheer necessity.
We are trying to build our wall, but it is a constant battle with the waves; the tide is extremely high just now, and up comes the sea and washes over and washes out the new mortar every twelve hours! The mass is so huge of the ruin that we use it as a quarry, but the breaking it up is no small work, eight men with iron bars doing about half a man's day in England. I fancy you and I could do as much as the men do here and not sleep sounder for the fatigue. To-day Dr. Steere is here; he has been at the Shamba during Mr. Pennell's serious illness. He was brought in here on the very evening the cyclone began, and I have only just sent him back in a state of partial cure, able to keep school two hours a day and restrained with difficulty from doing more, and so over-doing it; very little now would bring back his fever which constantly has been recurring. Every one has suffered more or less in fever except me. I don't want to boast, but I never had it last time I was here, and now perhaps may keep well till the climate as usual overpowers me. If I could get the Bishop off for a cruise I would stay here with Miss P. and mind the house.
May 25, Saturday.--We have had a gale though not a cyclone. Wind blew so hard (from the north too--very unusual) that at high tide, 5 p.m. last night, the sea came in like a storm and knocked down and carried away all the left side of our wall which we have been building for several days. Such resistless force! It was difficult to avoid being fascinated by it, and we stood watching the destruction till sunset, when a change of wind drove us out of our corridor and made everything wet and dripping for the night. I don't think it has once ceased raining during the night, and at two o'clock it blew again a gale. We were all up more or less; poor Miss P. ten times had up the girls to bale water out of her room, all the window frames and shutters having been smashed in the cyclone, and it takes a fortnight to get one replaced properly! So you see our troubles are not over nor indeed likely to be, but I don't think I should feel these things as troubles if the Bishop were well, but to see him dragging himself about and hardly able to bear a sound if it is sudden or loud, and totally unfit for the smallest business is enough to knock me down, you will confess. The wet is quite horrid, so unusual that we have no preparations for it. I am at this moment damp all through! Wherever one goes there are pools to walk through and spouts of rain to avoid. I put a mat down in a sheltered corner and establish my writing chair, ink, etc., go off and do something, come back and find the wind has changed and it is all a swim! I really have hardly any sort of writing materials left, all were soaked in the cyclone. Fancy one's very dresses and boxes full of water, and even the canisters of tea. I don't think any description could give you an idea of it. May 26, Sunday.--We had an awful storm last night, almost a little cyclone, our whole wall gone--a month's work! and were in great anxiety for hours as to the safety of our house and whether we should again have to turn out. The only description of it is that the rain descended, the floods came and the winds blew, and alas! we are only built here on the sand!
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, Monday, May 27, 1872.
AH, me! we have again been in trouble--such awful weather, and such high tides. We feared for our house Friday and Saturday nights, and indeed the furious sea washed down all the work we have been a month in building. The Christies had to turn out of theirs, fearing it would come down--they have been knee deep in water in their bedroom all the week, up half the night baling out of the top rooms. You can't in England have the least idea of our state; we have a few things packed so as to fly if needful, for another such tide and wind combined and our house could hardly fail to totter.
But all these would be minor troubles to me if the Bishop were well. He is utterly shattered, knocked down and out of heart. His head so bad he can't bear the boys' voices, and gets irritable even at the cry of a cat, drags himself in and out to chapel and meals, and then lies down in his chair and either turns white and sharp in the face, with the drops running down his forehead, or scarlet in colour, and as if all the blood were gone to the head. I dare not give him wine, and tonics make his head ache, and but for Dr. Steere I should be broken hearted (this is quite entre nous}, and Dr. Steere even is nervous and out of sorts; he has had fever, and no wonder--in and out of the sun all day, though little sun have we had lately. We have all been wet through the last ten days, I damp to my chemise--every corner in the house dripping--dozens of buckets, basins and cups about to catch the water--half the night up either watching or baling water out. The climate is utterly altered since the cyclone. Mercifully this is a fine day, and 100 workpeople are working to repair one bit of our wall, in hopes of getting it done before the next high tide, and the Africa is working as hard to unload so as to get off with the party to-morrow night, and catch the mail at Mahd on June 5. The Africa is a tiny thing, and only goes about here to mainland, Nossibe, and so on. Here she has brought grain from opposite coast, and is going on to Madagascar for rice. We hope to avert the threatened famine, but financially Zanzibar is ruined, and we doubt whether she will ever recover. The Germans are the only ones likely to make a harvest; they have three ships in now, and can buy very cheap all that was stored in the town, because they have money. I hope they will; they are good people.
I hope and trust we shall get a vessel sooner than the little Africa comes back, as she will be away a month en route to Madagascar. I should like the Bishop to go by her for a trip, but it would be a most uncongenial party. I look for a better opportunity before long, and we all feel that we must get him off. Mr. Pennell is quite well now, if he doesn't overdo the school work and make himself feverish. Gillett is in bed every other day with fever and ague, and of course the alternate days he can't work, so thus far he is not much of a success; but I like him, he is a nice cheery fellow.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
June 13, 1872.
EVEN Dr. Steere succumbs and has fever about twice a week, which he never used to do, and Gillett is hardly ever well enough to work. He is in bed covered up in a blanket on Monday, then up and just able to crawl on Tuesday. Perhaps he looks out his tools and puts his work ready on Wednesday, hoping to begin next morning, and when Thursday comes he is down again in fever. Poor fellow, he was only well for a fortnight. I believe it was the sun in the beginning, but this he denies. He was bright and cheery, prophesying that he should soon be all right, but by little and little he has lost spirit and heart and two days ago wrote in to beg to be allowed to go home I This the Bishop wisely answered by persuading him to try a little longer, that three months was too soon to give in.
The bright side after all these troubles is that the three boys are well and most useful and good. Dr. Steere--worth of course any money to us, and Mr. Morton tolerably well, though his three years will be up in November.
We have come to one decision on hearing that a Hamburg ship is daily expected, to pack off Mr. Pennell. His attempt at resuming work has resulted in another utter breakdown, and he now has fever intermittent and can only totter about with a stick like an old man. He is most cheery however, and declares six weeks will be as much time as he wants at home, so we may count on seeing him back in eight or nine months and really I believe he is right, and the voyage is pretty sure to set him up.
June 14, Friday.--Dr. Steere was to have spent to-day with us, but he has just sent in to say he has fever and hopes to come to-morrow instead. Sam and Gillett are also sick to-day, and poor Fred Chapman expects his day of fever to-morrow.
June 16.--Since last Sunday we have had a furious wind which brings in the waves against our corner in a fearful manner and gives us much anxiety. Happily for our wall, it is a time of extremely low tides, but we are being cut off in a curious way by the formation of sand and now instead of our beach being as usual a huge expanse at low water right and left, we are reduced to a little curve, I daresay you can't understand. Ere very long I trust, my dearest, to be able to talk face to face. The poor Bishop is up and down; his hand is almost useless, his head quite incapable of work, and each day makes him more languid, less able to exert himself. We must get away without delay, but till a mail comes and a ship we are just tied to inactivity. This is Sunday; he took the service at seven entirely, but Mrs. Roberts, an Indian lady whose husband is a clerk here, fainted and had to leave early in the service. They were our only strangers to-day.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
Sunday, June 23, 1872.
OUR three worst patients are Mrs. Kirk, Dr. Christie and Lewin Pennell--all extremely ill in fever, of course.
Anxiety is so wearing; I was up and down all last night with L., but the silver lining to this extra cloud is that the Bishop is better, though one sees too plainly that it is the actual necessity of bearing up that makes him work and do and he will probably pay for it by and by. We have taken Lewin's passage in the Madagascar, now loading in harbour and I hope he will be off in three weeks, though at this moment he lies as helpless as a baby and as ill as can be. He has great power of rally like the Bishop, and now it is the liver that is in fault.
Yesterday we had a boat's crew in from the ship to work for us all day and they did wonders, putting up the bell which rang for the first time this morning at 6 a.m. and sounded quite like old days.
Thursday morning, June 27.--Oh! my dearest, we have gone through three terrible days and nights since I wrote the words "old days "and it seems a fortnight ago. Our dear Lewin was buried at sunset last evening at the Shamba after a sharp illness and most happy and most edifying death--but these things tell on us so hardly. I will just recall the events since Sunday when I wrote. That evening Dr. Kirk saw him and said the liver was greatly enlarged both up and downwards and that it was this and not jaundice that made him so yellow. . . . That night I carried him beef tea every three hours and on Monday morning we began to give him something every two hours and so till Tuesday morning when each hour he had champagne, beef tea, egg and brandy, or port wine and quinine at intervals. Dr. Christie being ill in bed and delirious, we sent for Dr. Merton from the Wolverene and he and Dr. Kirk were most kind and unremitting in their attendance. He had, dear fellow, every help that doctors and nurses could give. It was beautiful to see his peaceful calm face and hear the never failing "very good--thank you" that greeted every spoonful we gave him; so quiet, childlike and acquiescent, no restlessness, he lay perfectly still with folded hands and closed eyes and slept a great deal. We hoped till Tuesday morning; then his voice, which had been full and strong, began to be husky, and by eleven o'clock on that day we could not distinguish the few words he said. He then began to wander, but still so calm and quiet. At one o'clock we gave up trying to make him swallow and for the next eleven hours he lived, the Bishop was incessantly reading verses and saying litanies for him, and we thought his lips moved now and then. I lay down an hour and then the Bishop lay down, for as we were alone in the house and no sort of assistance beyond the children we had to husband our strength. Nothing touched me more than after dark on Tuesday night to find him with a lamp on the chair in his bedroom, a needle and thread in his hand sewing at the cassock the dear fellow was to wear on his journey. I lay clown at ten to be up again at twelve. I woke exactly at the hour and putting on a skirt went across the corridors and looked in the lighted room of death. The bishop and four boys were preparing him for the grave. He had died half an hour before. As I stood there the Bishop had him in his arms to lay him into his robes, surplice, stole and cassock. I crept away and waited till all was done and at two o'clock the house was quiet. The boys went to their mats. We left him lying in state. Altai-candles burnt at his head, the great cross between them, and no stiller, no whiter than he had been for three days past he lay, his hands crossed on his breast, and his face full of perfect peace. I had got a cup of hot tea for the Bishop who I hope was soon after in bed, and at six a.m. we woke to a full consciousness of our heavy loss. There lay the ship that was to have taken him home in a fortnight, and there in the corridor his boxes and books which he had already selected for the voyage. We can only rejoice for him, for he was a very saintly character and far fitter for heaven than earth, but it is a grievous loss to us, and what shall I say to poor Mrs. Pennell?
As yet we have no hope of a ship going. The Wolverene is here for a month and we expect the flagship; this may give us some opportunity of sending a mail and also of getting one. It is now eighteen weeks since we heard a word from any of you and I am pining to hear. All are up and down in fever at Shamba. Dr. Steere could not even come in to help with the services.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
July 16, 1872.
YESTERDAY the Magfie brought the last mail, but that Africa with the heavy letter bags is still at sea--little beast. Not one word from you or F.!
... A letter from Mr. Brunei and W. Capel speaks of the telegram of cyclone, but they little know the utter ruin it has been to us. Dr. Steere most nobly takes the whole responsibility at present. We mean to get the Bishop off to Seychelles by first Queen's ship that goes, for two months' entire rest, and after that he will be more fit to judge of his future line. I can't go with him, alas, for Miss P. has been so near death the last fortnight, and is still in so precarious a state, that we must pack her off home by the steamer we hear is coming out and expected daily at Rieck's House (Gibsen's), so I must stay unless, as we devoutly hope, Miss J. may arrive in her.
The work is now most interesting--the nine years past are beginning to bear fruit. The two elder girls Elizabeth and Dora are really all we could wish. Through Miss P.'s illness, Elizabeth has managed the money, bought everything, kept accounts, seen to the little ones. Dora has cooked, washed, nursed the sick children (we have lost two more), and Pekiva was the best of night nurses to Miss P. A certain little Esther too is worth her weight in pice, always at her post and most trustworthy. Then the boys are such good boys; it is marvellous what they do and so well, and things are very hard now. Every drop of water to be brought two miles for example.
The Bishop is in a state that breaks my heart, but I can do little, so we keep him from worry. He told me yesterday that what he has ever before him is the fear of paralysis, that some morning he shall be found speechless in bed. The horror of this is enough to unnerve him. Things are all brighter around us. We have stopped work here and begun to build at the Shamba where they are terribly squeezed up, all the dormitories having been destroyed. Dr. S. doesn't think any ship will take the Bishop without me--too much responsibility. Anyhow I shall send Vincent with him as servant; he is a charming fellow, so taking and nice and talks English well.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, August 1, 1872.
THE Bishop is gone and I feel desolate beyond description. The very noise of the incessant sea adds to the depression--for I hate it more than ever--but I have loads to say and must get on as I shall have a chance in three weeks of sending (eleven days they tell me).
It was finally fixed that he should go away in H.M.S. Wolverene. He was doing harm here as well as getting harm. Dr. S. and I agreed that there was no knowing what would happen--his head was in a most alarming state, and I believe paralysis threatening or apoplexy--his hands paper white and his face so shrunk and old, quite withered, and he used to sit in chapel with both hands clasped over his face--enough to frighten one. Dr. S. thinks he never ought to come back, but he is coming, i.e. if he lives, and is only gone to Mahe. He took two boys and is to set up alone in a house there. The Governor of Mauritius, Sir A. Gordon, an old friend of his, will be there this month, and Bishop Ryan and it is just on the cards that their companionship may do him good, but never be surprised if you hear he is dead. Of course I hated leaving him, but what was I to do? The girls could scarcely be abandoned, and we have a chance of sending off Miss P. as I will proceed to relate.
The Wolverene was to sail on Tuesday, July 30, at daybreak, and steam out thirty miles so as to get clear of the reefs which are all altered they say since the cyclone and so doubly dangerous. On Sunday, July 28 there came in a big steamer--we couldn't think who she was--and three women on board, we fondly hoped Miss Jones and her helpers, in which case I should have gone with the Bishop. However, she proved to be for Rieck and Gibsen, to have left London May 8 for Constantinople bringing four passengers, a Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Brown, maid and a friend, Miss Lowndes for a cruise in the Mediterranean! Luckless creatures, they little thought when they set out of running such a rig! Well, the cargo was not forthcoming and they were sent on to Odida in the Red Sea, and the luckless passengers were offered to stay at Port Said for a fortnight for the chance of a return vessel of the same owners, but their horror of the place was great (no wonder) they preferred baking in the Red Sea, and baked they must have been! Fancy, in July! From Odida they were sent to Aden and then to their dismay found the captain was ordered to a place in another world of which they had never heard called Zanzibar! Well, they came and here they lie, almost within an orange throw of my windows, taking in cargo.
Having left in May so early, accounts for Miss Jones not being here, if the ship then knew where she was coming, which is doubtful, but it was a bitter disappointment to us both.
The ship is loading fast and they hope to be off again in three weeks. Of course I shall send a heap of letters by them, though I trust, oh, I trust most earnestly to be off myself by October. The Rieck and Gibsen people say they still expect their steamship theStlberie, but that her coming was to be put off some weeks on account of this Etkelred coming unexpectedly. I suppose they telegraphed from Aden; however, we rejoice in the delay as it may enable Miss Jones and any others to come by her and of course I should gladly go home. I promised the Bishop I would, and I made him promise not to come back here for some months, so if I have the chance I shall try and go home by Mahé where one is sure of a mail once a month and where he will probably get your letters for me!
We are tolerably straight again in doors. Out, the amount of work is appalling, and just now we are stopped here to go on at the Shamba where the dormitories having been blown away they are sadly cramped. Dr. Steere is up and down in fever every few days but it doesn't make him ill or prevent his working. Mr. Morton is anxious to stay on a little longer though his time expires in November, so that is a convenience, as he speaks the tongue so well and is first rate at overlooking work.
I feel inexpressibly thankful to have got the Bishop off, though there is still great anxiety of course till I hear how he is at Mahé. A cruise may, must do him good, but I doubt myself if he will ever be fit for work again even at home, and I feel very sure the tropics are not for him; he will never be any use again. He said himself:
"If I were a clerk I should be turned home as useless," and this is exactly what he has lately been. The Kirks are both very ill. . . . She is in bed and he on the floor, his head on a pillow, with dysentery. I shall get Dr. Steere to go and see them to-morrow. I never go out of the house. He comes in on Friday to hold a mission service in the street, in native, of course, and to address the unbaptized and sing a litany which they understand, as this is the Arab form of worship.
August 3.--I am, thank God, quite, quite well. Of course I have no future plans. What I hope is that Miss Jones will come and release me; that I shall go home and receive the Bishop, and then we two must go away together to America or Norway or Scotland out of the ken of all civilized society, and try for a year or two if there is any recovery possible for him, though God only knows whether I shall ever see him again. Sometimes I feel sure he will die there away from me, and my longing is intense to get over there to Mahé. Then again I hope he will go home from there and then I only long to go up via Red Sea and meet him. All is chaotic just now, but I have plenty to do, and so according to your theory and mine can't help being happy, and so I am in a way. Of course it is a very solitary life and I rarely speak to any one but blacks from 7.30 to sunset when my white man comes in from the Shamba. I told Dr. S. I could not possibly be here at night surrounded by blacks, and he, though despising my folly, has allowed me one of the boys week and week about.
Dr. S. has offered to take thirty more girls! Heaven help me if they come in my time! I believe I shall get an Arab in and sell them at once! We can't take more boys till the dormitories are finished; the cyclone destroyed them all. The Consul sent to ask how many we could take, as dhows are expected from Aden. Another Abyssinian dead! he is the third, and more beautiful children you never saw when they came to us. The cyclone did for them; the rain, wet, and cold since throws them into decline.
My dearest, if only you could walk in this afternoon and have one hour with me! How you would open your eyes and how we should talk. You might bring in your Times, but I fear we should hardly be inclined to read it! You would find too much to do in looking out of the window!
At this moment the canoes are coming in with fish, all of which are thrown out in heaps on the sand and a crowd instantly gathers round talking! Oh, jabbering, chattering, bargaining, screaming, laughing! The noise from one o'clock to three or four is like a Babel, but at this time the sun comes round into my sitting room, and as the blinds and jalousies are all gone and not yet replaced, it is too bright and hot to bear, and I retire into my bedroom and get under my mosquito nets and either write, read or work till five (one hour's interval to sit with Miss P.) when I emerge with a fan which never stops again till I am safe for the night under my net.
August 8.--He has been nine days at sea this morning and must be about arriving at Mahé, I expect. I would give a good deal for a magic glass this morning. I hear Captain Fraser is going home in the Ethelred. He is nearly ruined, and his sugar plantation and great establishment at Mkokotoni destroyed, so I suppose he succumbs poor man, and won't return. One American house is already bankrupt and shut up, the principal gone. The rest are, they say, very shaky, with hardly anything to do. I hope the Rieck & Gibsen, i.e. English house, and Oswalds are making a good haul, for this will be the last chance for trade here for some years. They may keep it going till the land recovers itself. A song going by at this moment in a dhow in five minor notes, so curious, exactly like a Gregorian that has never been heard before. The sound hardly died away when another boat comes by with a song in four notes, quite minor too, as all are.
Two Arabs are sitting by me. Dr. Steere is talking very fast to one, telling him a long story. The other sits a little apart telling his beads which are dropping slowly through his ringers and his lips moving. I suppose, poor creature, his prayers, such as they are, may be heard.
August 15.--We had such a bitter disappointment when this Silberie came in. One of Mr. Kirk's black idiots whom he sends to talk English appeared at our door saying: "Mr. Kirk salaams, and do you know Miss Jones is come! "How we rejoiced! sent for a boat (our own being broken) got the beds and mosquito nets up and arranged, and were in full swing of our own plans when the wretch reappears," Mr. Kirk salaams. Say do you know if Miss Jones come!!!" I could have knocked him down, and, like Balaam if I had had a sword in my hand could have slain him.
MISS TOZER TO MISS JACKSON.
ZANZIBAR, August 5, 7, 12, 1872.
I AM quite alone here and it is a curious life, but the one consolation is that I am useful! What they would have done without us now I can't think. The Bishop went off in the Wolverene a week ago--it seems like a month; Miss P. is to return home in this steamer, the Ethelred (I can't imagine why they give ships which are feminine such names!). Bad as it was to lose him I was too frightened to be sorry, for every day that he stayed he was growing worse and I felt as if we were living on the brink of a volcano, expecting him to have a fit of apoplexy or a paralytic attack daily. The day before he left he looked sixty years old, his face so drawn and shrunk, and his hands the colour of paper; his voice too was changed, and he spoke almost in a whisper. The last morning he had picked up and was cheerful, but probably for my sake. He went off at 7.30 a.m., and took the usual service at 6.30 in chapel though twice I thought it would have been a breakdown. The lesson too was so unlucky! It was St. Paul's departure, special prayers on the beach--and here were we within a few feet of the waves saying our last prayer together. I am prepared for anything now, and should never be surprised to hear that we shall see his face no more. It was very hard not to go with him, but my staying here made his going easier and it would be unfair to Dr. Steere to have left him without some head here. He is all sufficient at the Shamba and everything there is in full swing and doing well, but here it would have been a grave anxiety if the girls were left under the charge of the two married ones only, for good as they are, Kate and Mary are no older than three of the others, and authority hardly goes by marriage only!
Dr. Steere has not been free from fever since the cyclone, but his attacks don't last long, and I hope he will soon loss them.
Housekeeping here is so different to yours. Mabruki came to my door before six this morning to say we wanted kuni (firewood), and here was a man selling it. So the man was introduced at my open door with two specimens in his hands. I asked how much the hundred? Three quarters of a dollar. So I said I would take 300. "Hakuna! Bibi." "But why? "I naturally asked. He had a dhow full and I must take it all--he could not go about selling--he was hungry--he must eat. Bibi could have all or none! I asked where was the dhow. "Li yuko," out there, and through the window I saw a rubbly little boat tossing far out to sea; so, fearful of getting none, and visions of cold tea before me, I consented to take the boat load, and now they have just finished stacking it in the yard, and I have the comfort of knowing that for some weeks I can have boiling water.
It is rather lonesome in this huge house all day with one small boy to wait on me, who sits at the door to receive visitors or messages. At sunset I have one of the Shamba men (Ben Hartley this week) to come in and sleep, and he leaves me at 7.30 in the morning for school at the Shamba.
Our daily services are taken entirely by the subdeacon, and on Sunday Dr. S. comes in at 6.30 to celebrate, and then remains all day, giving several services and concluding with evensong at 6 p.m. Yesterday a huge party came with him, all the confirmed, as it was the first Sunday in the month. I had a good deal to provide and when they mustered to go at eight o'clock it was quite dark. The crowd went off saying "Salaam "and "Kwa heri." This morning we discovered a small child who had been asleep when they set off, and woke to the belief that he was safe at the Shamba! Of course he would only be missed at "calling over "before chapel this morning, and I sent out at once to relieve Dr. Steere's paternal anxieties, as if a child is not forthcoming, the Northern Arabs are generally blamed,--and with justice I must confess.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, August 23.
IF only I could describe to you the length of the days now!
Alone in this huge house with twenty-three girls and a mass of black life outside. All over vigilance is needed for you hear no sound and suddenly see a creature standing by you, in bed or out, as it may be; but the blacks look so ghastly through a mosquito net that even our own children startle me. I have begun my rule with a faint heart, but my place will be to keep very much aloof from them. Miss P. lived with them night and day, and except for two hours' needlework in the afternoon I never mean to be with them; only pay visits occasionally and leave orders as to what they are to do and go an hour after and see it done. Our house requires as much cleaning as a whole village or town at home, so there is never any difficulty in setting them to work.
Sunday, August 25.--St. Bartholomew over, I am most thankful to say. I feel a hundred years older since I wrote above.
Well, the Siku Kuu was very merry and noisy, but to be surrounded by a black tribe of near 100 from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. was enough and too much. The chapel was filled to overflowing. The baptisms were very nice--ten boys, seven girls--all behaving as though they were cast in bronze, not a movement or twinkle of an eyelid! I never saw such motionless little images. It is a curious sort of comfort to feel in a crowded congregation of children that you need never give an eye or a thought to their behaviour. If you only behave half as well yourself it is lucky. The smallest mite of two-and-a-half or three is as composed and still as an image!
Tuesday, August 27.--The Bishop has been gone a month to-day! Sometimes when I wake in the early dawn I have a feeling come over me as if I could not bear it any longer, a despairing sort of heart sickness, but then it goes off and after breakfast I begin to have a dozen things at once to attend to, and all the children to look after, food to measure out, lamps to superintend, sugar, salt, pepper to give out, for one tropical pleasure is that unless basin, salt cellar, etc., etc., is washed and dried every day, the sugar, salt, etc., is not to say damp but wet by dinner time, and if you leave a spoon in either, woe betide you! Then all ink dries up if exposed to the air, needles, scissors, etc., rust entirely, and every tin or iron ditto, so that a new green watering pot which I brought out yesterday as a great find to act as water jug in my room was found to have two tiny holes in the bottom, and as soon as a weight of water was in it out came the bottom bodily! and this is repeated ad infinitum \ You can have no idea how utterly everything is spoilt in a few weeks. Put away ever so carefully any sort of possession--scissors, boots, dress, needles, tin boxes, books, and don't look at them for a month and your first idea is to throw all on to the beach! No use to try and restore what is apparently gone bad--there is no other word. So it is with every single thing. You must have eyes all over you. Orders are "strictly and punctually attended to" it is true, but without them you are lost, and a forget is fatal. It is good discipline in one way, but then the tension of mind, memory and forethought is excessive, and no wonder the Bishop sank under the charge not only of this huge house, and every domestic detail, remember, but also of the entire working of the Shamba, temporal and spiritual.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, September g, 1872.
I MUCH hope the Bishop won't be tempted by the chance to come back! All agree that he should not attempt it till Christmas and then only for a wind up. Dr. Merton, who kindly took charge of him over, had a long talk with me, and said that though there was great cause for anxiety he felt sure there was rallying power enough to enable nature to repair, if she had a fair chance, but there would be no chance in the tropics. Seychelles is better than Zanzibar.
While I write a delicious breeze is coming in behind me. It is 10 a.m. The beach is a busy scene and I have been trying to catch a few figures below my window and wishing for your hand and pencil. I wish I could draw figures. There is ample scope here for filling any amount of paper, and the colours of the Arabs' turbans, johos and garments is something wonderful.
I was watching a dhow go off yesterday and the passengers going to it in a small canoe. I was close to them and I could see through a glass the features of every one on board. On the raised part sat a most charming group--a Hindi woman, for her face was white as mine; she had a most sweet face, pensive with a smile on it, a pale yellow drapery hung across her front head and behind dark green finished it; her dress I could not see. In converse with her stood a tall very handsome Arab, and a young slave girl with blue and red kofia and nguo was squatted in front. This, with the mahogany colour of the dhow, the matting-bags of grain, and baskets, cordage and sails on deck, and the moving throng of naked and clothed beings getting up the big sail, etc., made quite a picture.
September 20, Friday, 8.30.--I sit expecting Dr. Steere who always comes on Friday. On the matting at my feet sits or rather lies my man, Othmani, counting the pice in little heaps that he has been marketing with. He holds up his finger now saying "Bibi, andika! "" Bibi write I" and proceeds to tell me what he has spent: viazi four, machungwa eight, and so on. I seem to be always paying out pice they are such nasty dirty things, but after all go a good way, eight of them representing somewhat less than three pence. Still, we are spending terribly much just now on account of the three buildings all going on at once, dormitories, kitchen, and sea wall, all too being built against time as we must be finished before the monsoon turns or shall be again swept away and more seriously than before. How glad I shall be to finger sixpences and shillings again. It is so awkward having no currency between a dollar and a pice, so that if you want to pay one penny or twopence you must give a gold dollar the size of a threepenny piece and receive back 13Orpice!
September 21. St. Matthew, 2.30.--This is a terribly hot afternoon and I have taken refuge in my net. Usually this is the time for needlework, 2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., but Saturday is the day for washing, and after a fatiguing morning of cleaning and dusting [seeing and ordering is as hard as doing it very nearly), I am glad to lie down. Every minute or two comes a mosquito buzzing against my net, which is easily killed, and each slaughter gives me a happy moment! Very bloodthirsty you will say. We have lost five out of the seven Abyssinians who came to us in April; they have just died off like fading flowers. I never saw anything so remarkable--the cyclone broke their hearts.
September 24, Tuesday.--We have begun the other end of the sea wall. Ninety people at work to wait upon three masons who sit with trowel in hand squatting on the wall and every single bit of stone handed to them; thirty women bringing stones, thirty bringing sand and lime, four mixing, ten carrying mortar, and ten breaking down the old remains which are in the way of the foundation, slipped out like a landslip and so thick that nothing seems to make any impression and yet it must all be cleared away before the new wall can be built.
We are preparing to send another expedition to the mainland station. The last two have been so fatally unfortunate and resulted in such terrible losses--Mr. Fraser, Mr. Handcock, and the Bishop's serious illness--that we send these in doubt and fear, but it is the first time for two years that we have had the power, and if it fails the blame will lie on those at home who have refused to come to our help. It is a small and feeble party consisting of English sub-deacon, native ditto, and an elder boy or two. They are to go under Khatibu's protection as far as the coast is concerned, and he will send an escort up with them to the station. When the Bishop was there, it was deserted by inhabitants, war being so rife, but now we hear the people are coming back and the war has drifted away into the Wazigua country (Connop's tribe), more warlike than the others. You will be glad to know how well your great savage is doing. He is my guard and porter at night--a devoted father, perfectly worshipping his baby which he nurses at every spare moment--and last week I was quite struck by his lover-like performance of coming all the way from the Shamba at noon, to inquire for Mary who was poorly!! He always was the most affectionate among the boys in spite of his savagery, and I really think we shall make something of him.
Dr. Steere spent yesterday here but he is fully occupied at the Shamba where the dormitories are ready for roofing, and the dining room sixty-six feet long with schoolroom over is already some feet high. He wants to make it worthier of its name "St. Andrew's College," and really it will be very nice if we don't get another cyclone. It left us in such a state of nerves that whenever the wind is higher than usual we fancy all sorts of unknown terrors, and my heart beats to positive pain if I wake in the night and hear a commotion among the loose planks and rubbish on the roof. We have an immensity of work still before us.
September 25, Wednesday.--How fast the time goes! Incredible that the Bishop has been gone eight weeks. We are so rejoiced to have him away now when all the bustle, noise, and shouting is enough to turn even my strong head, and with his ticklish brain I should have been much alarmed for him.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
ZANZIBAR, October i, 1872, 2 p.m.
I THOUGHT the tide was really turned and our troubles come to an end, my dearest, but what will you say when I tell you our fresh one! Connop has been poorly since Saturday, but I thought nothing of it till yesterday, when Ben came to tell me he had spots on his face. I sent at once to Dr. Christie, who kindly returned with my messenger, and pronounced it small-pox indisputably! We could do nothing till this morning except padlock up the house to ensure separation, and the first dawn of day saw my preparations begun. Such a seven hours I have had! first to bring over here every stick of Dr. Steere's and Mabruki's, and turn Connop and Mary into the little house. Many hands may make light work for them, but ah me, it is heavy enough for the one head, and I feel worn out quite. At eleven we were both so done up that I had to improvise a meal, and at the moment of wondering what to get, arrived two plates from Mrs. Kirk with slices of cold hump,* which were very acceptable, for I literally had nothing but bread and oranges, and the everlasting tea, which, though excellent and always good and cheering, can hardly be managed more than four times a day! so this plate of hump came at the nick of time, and though it involved my hunting up mustard, vinegar and pepper, I did not grudge the extra labour. Just when it was ready and I went to call Dr. Steere, alas! I saw him coming up the stairs smiling like Malvolio, and leading no less a person than Suliman bin Mohammed bin Abdulla, one of the court grandees, who of course must be entertained, so that eventually I could not catch him till close on twelve o'clock, and of course in all the bustle and change of the moving, dinner could not be ready as we had locked up the quad, where cooking still goes on, and now Julia comes to the door with her hands spread out in despair.
* i.e. the meat from the hump of African cattle.
"Dinner Bibi! hapana; you like it when? two o'clock? "So I graciously say, in prospect of this appetizing little lunch, whenever you like, and we finally got a really decent repast about two.
... It is an extraordinary year! we hardly pass two days without rain and torrents for a short time. Yesterday from five to seven a.m., and the sad part is our tanks not being ready, we lose all the water, and are buying every drop we use, except what we catch in a few buckets.
Connop is said to be very bad--but that doesn't trouble me if only it doesn't come to this house. What I should do then I really can't imagine. Ben is so constantly ill and ailing in fever that Dr. Steere fears he will have to go home, a great loss to us, for he does so well and is a nice good boy, but now for six months quite undependable from constant ill-health. Sam is on the eve of starting for the mainland with Francis and a party. We hope this may be a more successful expedition than the former ill-fated ones have been. They are to take their time in native style and be three days getting to the Station. After they are settled in and have got things nice about them, John is to be sent up with wives and babies, so there will be a colony at once. I do trust it may succeed; we can do no more, as no one at home will come to help.
October 8, Tuesday.--Well, dear, our venture is off--we started the expedition at 9.30 this morning. It was such a successful start, that never has anything been like it. All yesterday we were preparing--buying bread, calico, coffee, salt, fowls, biscuits, of which we got a barrel, delicious, for five dollars from the American ho use, packing up kettles, saucepans, tin jug, cup, knife, etc., and arranging the tent, which you may remember Dr. Steere and W.H.C. went to see about, and which we set up and found very useful and easily put together. I nearly finished myself by making a case for it of sail cloth, and finally their thirty or forty packages were ready, and the master of the dhow said he should be ready to start this morning. Of course we did not believe him, but he has proved himself the exception to the rule. Dr. Steere would go back to Kiungani last night, ill as he was, and Sam and I and his little boy Parry Feruzi made a night of it, and went to bed soon after 7.30, being so very tired. I felt as if I had walked a hundred miles! my feet quite used up, so I undressed, lay down, leaving my door open, and read the life of Archbishop Sancroft, in which I got so interested I could not stop, and finished it between ten and eleven, which is, my dear, equal to your two or three a.m.!
Well this morning we were all early, and at seven the whole Kiungani white party arrived for a High Celebration and all the elder boys except Robert, who stayed to keep house and look after the juniors. It was a sweet service. Fifteen men and boys all kneeling in turn, in three and four at the altar step. John Swedi assisted the celebrant and the two subdeacons who were going forth, first communicated, then the others, two and three as they went up. Between the ante and post services Dr. Steere gave them the prettiest address, quite touching, which I hope you will see, as I have begged him to send it home. The service over, a breakfast followed, improvised entirely by my genius. It really was a huge success, and when during the repast the Arab Captain arrived with a following to say the dhow was ready and the wind fair, we could hardly believe our ears. The whole party of men accompanied them to the boat, and by 9.30 the dhow was out at sea, catching a strong south wind which, however, only lasted till night.
Before ten o'clock the flag went up, and we saw a man-of-war coming in. We made her out to be Wolverene, by her gold balls on her masts, the pride of Mr. Shannen's heart. She anchored at twelve in her old billet opposite our windows, and off came the jolly boat. We held our breath as we gazed through the glasses to see if a mail bag was handed out, but, alas, there was none. Not the ghost of a letter. We soon had a note from Dr. Kirk, to offer us the pick of slaves, of whom she has seventy on board, captured off Brav, but of course we can't take on more now, it would be madness, though a great pity to refuse, so they were offered to the French Mission, with what result we have not heard.
October 13, Sunday.--The French Mission took all the slaves, little and big, so our hopes of Wolverene going across to Mahé with letters died away. They have orders to be there in December! to meet the Briton, by which they all think the Bishop will return. Fancy, we shall be six months again without letters! isn't it terrible? no use, however, to grieve! Since writing the other side I have been extremely busy, somehow; yesterday I turned out my room--a work only to be described by comparing it to the labours of Hercules. Ben Hartley is to come in to live with me; we both thought it a good plan when Mabruki was gone that I should have a man in the house, and he can be spared from Kiungani when all the rest are well, so he teaches the girls Swahili in the mornings and reads prayers, which make me so hot that I really can't undertake them--English in morning, Swahili at night. Then he looks after the work during the day, settles disputes which I can't understand, and goes on with his own lessons, getting his Greek and Latin for Dr. Steere to hear and look at when he comes in. I can't help feeling very useful, but that is a poor consolation for being left stranded here without my brother! a thing I never bargained for, as you know. Still I am wondrously well, never a pain nor ache, good appetite and spirits. I never go off this floor now except on Sunday, when the service is in chapel. The Wolverenes are for ever in, but I treat them with no ceremony, and leave them in possession of the sitting-room, for I find it now too hot to live in front of the house after noon, so retire to my curtains and the corridor until sunset. We work from 2 to 4.30, and get through an immensity of needlework. I am reduced to the old English plan of letting the tinies hem strips and sew them together for petticoats for the heathen at home! at the "East end!" and I shall bring some specimens which would astonish the said heathens, I think. I have a thing of two feet high who works like a machine! hemming and sewing, and no doubt could do more if I had time to teach her. It is 9.30 a.m. Ben is hearing the girls read, and at 10 we go down to chapel for a Swahili service. Dora, Julia, and two assistant myrmidons are "cooking," and the house is quiet but for the splash, splash of the low tide far down the beach. Othmani in his kanzu and headdress of peculiar construction sits asleep at my door like a beneficent "genius," ready to start up if I want anything fetched from my bedroom, where he is quite at home! or to carry any message anywhere with invincible good temper and patience.
October 14, Monday.--This is one of my downhearted days. I begin to weary so for news of you all and of the Bishop, and we can't see a prospect of any letter this side of Christmas. If only we knew that help was on the way! but Dr. Steere is so poorly, suffering now from neuralgia in face and teeth, that it keeps me in constant anxiety as to what we should do if he broke down. "Sufficient unto the day," is very hard to act upon. I have sent Othmani to the old pilot with my salaams to know if any vessel is going north, that I may send this to you, and one to Will the same time. I am deep in Bishop Ken's charming life, and feel like living for the time in saintly company, Bishops Turner, Ken, Morley, Bancroft, Bull, Geo. Herbert, Izaac Walton, etc., I won't write more till I have a chance of sending it.
October 16, Wednesday.--There is a chance of a dhow going, but very slight, so I dare not send more than one letter. If it ever arrives, please let F. see it.
October 17, Thursday.--Alas, this letter was brought back last night to say "all dhows had finished to be gone," so my only chance is to let the Wolverene have it to carry to Mahé on December 10. Dr. Merton will do his best, and should a chance from Nossibé occur, he will not fail to forward it, but I don't expect you will have it till about January 18, 1873! Three months is a woeful time, but we shall have been six months without letters long before that.
Dr. Steere writes me that he is better to-day. I do hope we shall soon turn the corner of our troubles. No fresh case of S.P.
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
November 29, 1872.
WHAT can I have to say? Fancy not a word of home news later than July 4, and here we are just going into December! Sometimes my heart sinks too low; I feel as if one sight of you, or even the old Queen Ann in the Square, would overcome me!
Of course you know so much more than we do and can calculate when help may reach us. I hope oh! so earnestly, that a few more days may bring some one or two or three to take my place, for I feel as if I could not hold out much longer entirely alone. I am not going to write of all our troubles, as I shall hope some day--Pandora being my aid--to be able to tell them, and telling is better than writing. Besides now I write with infinite difficulty. The heat is such that even the sailors can't stand it. You break out into profuse showers if you move, or reach for anything, or even think. It is beyond all our experience, and if I had a creature to do anything for me, of course I should be ill and knock up. As it is, necessity keeps me going.
We have had fearful weather, storms almost like little cyclones almost daily, the rooms, chapel, etc., swamped, corridors under water for two hours, and a wind blowing our windows all but in--then out comes a sun which scorches up the skin, and scalds and glares till one feels in Purgatory.
Of course all this terrible and unheard of weather injures and impedes our work, and has put us to great expense. This week we find ourselves at the end of our money, and if the Mozambique does not come in soon we must stop work next Saturday, as Dr. Steere will not borrow. She has been heard of at Nossib6, so is all right, but as no cargo is to be had, or very little at Zanzibar, she is, we suppose, stopping about to get loaded in one place or another.
The Wolverene came in on Sunday--another disappointment--as she brought no news, having been "down south," and is now going to Mahé to meet the Admiral, and give up the station to the Briton, who, we hope and pray, may directly after Christmas bring over our four months' mails, so that we may get them in the New Year. My hopes too are set on a steamer that rumour says is certainly coming very soon to Rieck's House. Surely you will not leave me here longer than you possibly can without help? If I knew anything for certain it would be easy to wait for months, because every day would be so much nearer, but not even to know where or how the Bishop is! Ah, you can suppose it is hard to bear.
Dr. Steere and I both earnestly hope for our own and the Mission's sake that the Bishop is gone home. He says he cannot undertake both houses till June next, which will be the earliest date we can look for help, as long as the Bishop is out in these parts. He must be in England for any successor to be appointed, and if Dr. Steere should fall. . . .
(The rest of this letter is missing.)
MISS TOZER TO MISS TWINING.
December 18, 1872.
CAN you picture our feelings when our first mail steamer came
in on Sunday morning, the 15th inst. She leaves to-night, but
as the Silberie is not arrived I can't go by her, as I should
otherwise do. We expect the "beast of a Silberie,"
as Mr Capel calls her, about the 28th or 30th, and now my plan
is to go by the next mail to Aden, reaching there January 27,
stay with the Chaplain, Mr. Kirk, a few days, hoping to be joined
by the Bishop from Seychelles; but in the meantime, owing to
Sir Bartle Frere and his "Mission "there is a chance
of the Flag Ship coming over from Mahé, and if so, she
will no doubt bring him, and then he must accompany me. I fear
his state is a very sad one. For two years past he has been failing
and utterly unable at times to judge or think correctly. When
we meet I can tell you much that won't go on paper. The wonder
is he kept about at all. "The brain aches and throbs less,"
he says in his October 25 letter, which reached me December 8,
"and I dread footsteps less, I think," but even these
words reveal a state of things horrid to contemplate. Whether
our letters which went by two men-of-war a fortnight ago will
have had the effect we wished, and induced him to go home straight
we can't tell, but probably not, as in the restlessness of illness
he would prefer coming over again, and, indeed, he is hardly
fit to travel alone. Dr. Steere is most anxious he should not
stay here long, and, indeed, every week is fraught with danger.