How I Found Livingstone

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HOW I FOUND LIVINGSTONE. Travels, Adventures and Discoveries in Central Africa including four months residence with Dr. Livingstone


Sir Henry M. Stanley, G.C.B.




On the sixteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, I was in Madrid, fresh from the carnage at Valencia. At 10 A.M. Jacopo, at No.-- Calle de la Cruz, handed me a telegram: It read, "Come to Paris on important business." The telegram was from Mr. James Gordon Bennett, jun., the young manager of the `New York Herald.'

Down came my pictures from the walls of my apartments on the second floor; into my trunks went my books and souvenirs, my clothes were hastily collected, some half washed, some from the clothes-line half dry, and after a couple of hours of hasty hard work my portmanteaus were strapped up and labelled "Paris."

At 3 P.M. I was on my way, and being obliged to stop at Bayonne a few hours, did not arrive at Paris until the following night. I went straight to the `Grand Hotel,' and knocked at the door of Mr. Bennett's room.

"Come in," I heard a voice say. Entering, I found Mr. Bennett in bed. "Who are you?" he asked.

"My name is Stanley," I answered.

"Ah, yes! sit down; I have important business on hand for you."

After throwing over his shoulders his robe-de-chambre Mr. Bennett asked, "Where do you think Livingstone is?"

"I really do not know, sir."

"Do you think he is alive?"

"He may be, and he may not be," I answered.

"Well, I think he is alive, and that he can be found, and I am going to send you to find him."

"What!" said I, "do you really think I can find Dr Livingstone? Do you mean me to go to Central Africa?"

"Yes; I mean that you shall go, and find him wherever you may hear that he is, and to get what news you can of him, and perhaps" --delivering himself thoughtfully and deliberately--"the old man may be in want:--take enough with you to help him should he require it. Of course you will act according to your own plans, and do what you think best--BUT FIND LIVINGSTONE!"

Said I, wondering at the cool order of sending one to Central Africa to search for a man whom I, in common with almost all other men, believed to be dead, "Have you considered seriously the great expense you are likely, to incur on account of this little journey?"

"What will it cost?" he asked abruptly.

"Burton and Speke's journey to Central Africa cost between 3,000 and 5,000, and I fear it cannot be done under 2,500."

"Well, I will tell you what you will do. Draw a thousand pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, FIND LIVINGSTONE."

Surprised but not confused at the order--for I knew that Mr. Bennett when once he had made up his mind was not easily drawn aside from his purpose--I yet thought, seeing it was such a gigantic scheme, that he had not quite considered in his own mind the pros and cons of the case; I said, "I have heard that should your father die you would sell the `Herald' and retire from business."

"Whoever told you that is wrong, for there is not, money enough in New York city to buy the `New York Herald.' My father has made it a great paper, but I mean to make it greater. I mean that it shall be a newspaper in the true sense of the word. I mean that it shall publish whatever news will be interesting to the world at no matter what cost."

"After that," said I, "I have nothing more to say. Do you mean me to go straight on to Africa to search for Dr. Livingstone?"

"No! I wish you to go to the inauguration of the Suez Canal first, and then proceed up the Nile. I hear Baker is about starting for Upper Egypt. Find out what you can about his expedition, and as you go up describe as well as possible whatever is interesting for tourists; and then write up a guide-- a practical one--for Lower Egypt; tell us about whatever is worth seeing and how to see it.

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