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The Life of John Wilson
Chapter XVIII. New Bombay — Dr. Wilson among the Europeans — Dr. Livingstone—The Abyssinian Expedition


1865-1868
NEW BOMBAY—DR. WILSON AMONG THE EUROPEANS—DR. LIVINGSTONE—THE ABYSSINIAN EXPEDITION.

The Changes in Anglo-Indian Society—Dr. Wilson leaves Ambrolie for “ The Cliff ”—The Memories of Thirty Years—American Slavery and Bombay Cotton—Rise of prices in India—The Bombay Mania of 1863-66—The Crash in 1867—Dr. Wilson’s Letters on the Crisis—His Hospitalities— Distinguished Visitors from 1863 to 1870—Mission in South Arabia— Discoveries in East Africa—Origin of Nyassa Settlement—Lord Elphinstone’s Letter—Dr. Livingstone’s First Visit—His Organisation of last Expedition—Address in the Town Hall—Chuma and Wykatane—Letter from Dr. Livingstone—The Abyssinian Converts Gabru and Maricha Warka—A Father in Christ—Four Years’ Imprisonment of Captives by Theodorus—Sir George Yule’s Offer of Rs. 20,000—Military Authorities apply to Dr. Wilson — His Abyssinian Converts become Counsellors of Prince Kassai—The Prince, now King John of Ethiopia—Dr. Wilson entrusted by [Government with more Abyssinian Youths—The Light radiating from Bombay.

Not the least of the results of the Mutiny was a change in Anglo-Indian society. On the one hand the influx of artisans for the railways, and of adventurers from Australia with consignments of horses or in search of employment, was accompanied by the military mistake which disbanded the East India Company’s European army, flooded the cities and stations with discontented and injured soldiers, and in too many cases doomed the widows and wives of the men who had regained the empire to a life of shame. The “loafer” class was called into existence, and for the first time in our history white prostitution was seen in India. Now the ablest even of the English authorities who were responsible for the blunder, in spite of the protests of Lord Canning, Sir Henry Durand, and all the experienced officers on the spot, begin to see that the only solution of the difficulty of recruiting 60,000 soldiers for India, is to fall back on a local army attached to the new organisation of Lord Cardwell. On the other hand, the ruling class, the civil, military, and mercantile communities, who emerged from the two years’ conflict with barbarism in its worst form, had lost all confidence in the permanence not of our rule but of our institutions. They ceased to trust the natives, to like the country. The “old Indian” was no more. The change had really begun in 1S56, when the first set of Competition-Wallas arrived, and the Haileybury monopoly passed away. But when complete peace once more settled down on the empire with the first day of 1859, there was a rush home. Xew furlough rules, the substitution of England for the Cape of Good Hope as the furlough sanitarium, more rapid and frequent means of communication, cheaper postage, and finally new men, changed the whole character of Anglo-Indian society. "Whether for good or evil we shall not here determine, so far as England is concerned. But the change has not been, either politically or socially, for the good of the people of India thus far. India is undoubtedly better ruled so far as systems of administration are concerned. Is it more wisely governed as to the mode in which these systems are applied?

Very much against his will Dr. Wilson had to submit to the social revolution, which, however, he continued to influence to the last in Bombay. The attendant rise of prices led the native owner of the Ambrolie mission-house to demand a rent of Bs. 300 a month. This, wrote Dr. Wilson to Dr. Tweedie, “is much beyond the ability of both the mission and myself to give;” and, accordingly, the home of thirty years was vacated.

To the adjoining Institution were added sheds, tents, and other temporary accommodation, and there Dr. and Mrs. Wilson, his colleague Mr. Stothert, who had brought new strength to the work some time before, the female schools, the book depository, and even some of the native catechists, were accommodated. Twelve years before, when her husband was subject to frequent attacks of fever, Mrs. Wilson had urged him to take up his abode permanently in the cottage given him by Dr. Smyttan on Malabar Hill. She did so, seconding the orders of the physicians, and pointing out that the good air of the higher region had made Dr. Stevenson a new man. But Dr. Wilson had persisted in living among the natives whom he sought to benefit, all these thirty years, trusting to his almost annual tour, and an occasional holiday at Poona or Mahableshwar, for the restoration of such robustness as may be possible in the tropics. Now, when the hot season of 1862 came on, he was fairly forced to reside in “The Cliff,” which thenceforth became indentified with him. There, and in a guest chamber which he added, he kept open house for English and Natives. Thence it was his delight, on coming up from the day’s toil at Ambrolie, or before returning to it in the morning, to watch the glories of the scene from the busy harbour away to the Western Ghauts, as he sat at work in his library, or pointed out to his friends the spots of historical and scientific interest. The house soon became more than classical in its associations j1 his death made it sacred.

Hardly had he taken permanent possession of “The Cliff,” when, on the 9th June 1862, the United States Senate decreed the abolition of slavery in all territories of the Union. The secession of South Carolina, eighteen months before, had another meaning also, which Bombay, of all cities, was the first to feel, if not intelligently to recognise. For five years the cotton trade of the world was transferred from the Southern States of the Union to Western India—from New Orleans to Bombay. The raw cotton of India rose in price from threepence to nineteenpence the pound, and the export gradually doubled in quantity. The normal value of the export and import trade of the one port of Bombay, in merchandise and treasure, had gradually risen during Dr. Wilson’s residence to forty millions sterling in value, or nearly half that of all India. In the year 1865-66, when the effect of the American civil war told most fully, that value was almost doubled, having risen to £75,693,150, exclusive of Sindh, which increased it to above eighty millions sterling, equal to the ordinary sea-board trade of Bengal, Madras, and Burma. Whereas in 1860-61, the year before that war began to tell, Bombay received only seven millions sterling for 35 5 b millions of lbs. of cotton, in the last year of the war she got upwards of thirty millions sterling for little more than the same quantity, or 380\ million lbs.

This was only one, though the chief, of a series of causes which had raised prices in India at a rate disproportionate to that throughout the civilised world. The gold discoveries had been working contemporaneously with the Russian War, which transferred the fibre and seed trade of Europe to Calcutta ; with the Mutiny campaigns which poured into India an army and the materiel of war on a scale not witnessed since Napoleon Buonaparte exhausted France; with the progress of public works made from borrowed capital to the amount of a hundred millions sterling; and finally with the Hindostan famine in 1860-61. The consequent rise of prices in a poor country, with only a silver currency, was alarming. First in Eastern India Government had been driven to appoint Mr. H. Ricketts commissioner for the revisal of civil salaries and establishments. Then, when the wave threatened to engulf Bombay in 1863, Sir Bartle Frere nominated a commission to report on “ the changes which had taken place during the preceding forty years in the money prices of the principal articles of consumption, in the wages of skilled and unskilled labour, and in house rents at the principal military stations.” Their conclusion was this—since 1829 the prices of grain had trebled, and were in 1861 double the average of 1860-63 ; meat and other necessaries had doubled in price; wages had increased fifty per cent; the hire of carriage had gone up from 200 to 400 per cent. Contrasted with Bengal, Bombay prices were pronounced double or treble, and in some cases at famine rates.

Visiting Bombay, as an outsider, at the height of the mania in 1864-65, and one of the earliest to make the journey by mail-cart across the province and Central India to the railway at Agra, we witnessed a state of things, economic and social, which no report could gauge. In the five years during which the cotton market of the world was transferred from New Orleans to Bombay, Western India received eighty millions sterling over and above the normal price of her produce before and since. So far as this reached the cultivators it was well. That it largely reached them, in spite of their ancestral usurers backed by the civil court procedure, has been unhappily proved by the quantities of silver ornaments sent down to the local Mint, in years of enhanced land-tax and repeated scarcity and famine. So far as the sudden profit could be utilised for the public good it was also well. Against the fatal mismanagement of the semi-Government Bank of Bombay must be set Sir Bartle Frere’s sale of the land on which the walls of the old fort stood, to form a fund for the creation of New Bombay. But the bulk of the profit was literally thrown into the sea, and with it the reputation and the happiness of not a few of the leading European, Parsee, and Hindoo merchants and bankers of the province. The catastrophe culminated in 1867, in the fall of the old Bank of Bombay, which led even members of the Government of India to recommend the prosecution of the guilty parties in the criminal courts; in the collapse of the fund for building New Bombay, which necessitated an addition to the ever-increasing Debt of India; in the flight of speculators like him who, after buying the Government-House at Dapoorie with paper, left an umbrella as his assets ; and in the exposure of countless scandals under the insolvent jurisdiction of the High Court by Mr. Chisholm Anstey, who as an acting Judge was no less pitiless to the gambling traders than he had proved to be to the obscene high priests of Krishna. But England cannot throw a stone at Bombay, for it was in the year before 1867 that Overend, Gurney, and Company had led the panic race.

The millions which might have enriched and beautified Bombay and its varied communities, were early and almost altogether directed to the mania of reclaiming the foreshore of an Island which already covered eighteen square miles. The harbour, beautiful and spacious by nature, was destitute of wharf and jetty accommodation for the necessary commerce. Before the mania there had been undertaken the legitimate and praiseworthy enterprise of removing the reproach by establishing the Elphinstone Company. The prospects and success of this really sound project fired the possessors of the surplus capital of the cotton trade with a dream of the profits to be obtained from reclaiming land. The foreshore of the shallow and useless Back Bay, fit only for fisher craft, became the object of the maddest of the Companies. Just above that, forming the eastern side which shelters it from the great Indian Ocean, rises Malabar Hill, and looking down on the generally peaceful water is “The Cliff.” One morning when we happened to be breakfasting with Dr. Wilson, he handed to us a letter received by urgent messenger. “That,” he said, “will show you to what we have come in Bombay; but I do not give the mania more than a year to collapse.” It was an offer from a substantially rich native speculator, to purchase the cottage and garden for a sum twenty times their original value. He of course put it from him at once ; for, all other reasons apart, he was one of the few sane men of Bombay at that time. Officials, chaplains, bankers—none escaped the infection, it was said, save three, of whom he was the chief. His entreaties, his counsels, his warnings, especially to his native friends, were in vain. A half share of the Port Canning Company, which threatened to lead away Calcutta also at one time, was assigned to him, but the friend who did so took care not to tell him. When some time after it was sold out and he became aware of the fact for the first time, he devoted the money (Rs. 4194) to those benevolent purposes which had seriously suffered from want of support at such a time.

These are extracts from a journal sent to his wife who had gone to Scotland for six months:—

“22nd May 1865.—Many of the native firms are in great jeopardy from the time bargains. The Kamas (a Parsee firm) have failed with upwards of three millions sterling of responsibilities, and involve many. This is but the beginning of the evil day, now instant.

“ 27th June.—I breakfasted this morning with the Heycocks. was present. Poor fellow! his failure, I hear, is for £100,000. When my work at the Institution was done I went to the Union Press, where our report is printing. I there met Dr. Bhau Daji. He and his brother, and most of our reforming friends, are ruined in their pecuniary positions by their rash speculations. Even Mr.-, who had lately a fortune of £300,000, is in great jeopardy. If--does not get through (and his liabilities amount to two or three millions) our friend will almost certainly fail. He was lately seized with the share-mania, and acted quite contrary to the advice of all his friends. The close of this month is by the whole city looked forward to with great apprehensions. Mr.--, your fellow-voyager, has been telegraphed for by his Financial Association. Most of the bankers are in a most perilous position as far as the shareholders (not I believe the deposits) are concerned. The Bombay Bank Shares have been selling at a discount! It is hoped, however, that Government will come to its aid. Back Bay shares have been down to a Rs. 1000 premium, though bought for Rs. 50,000 in some instances.

“22nd June.—In the Government Gazette of this morning the announcement of Sir Alexander Grant as Director of Public Instruction, in succession to Mr. Howard, appears. Mr. Howard remains to practise as a barrister ; he has lost much by late speculations. I had the usual Marathee meeting after the Institution work in the evening. David Manaji is now out of employment in consequence of the curtailment of the Back Bay works. I wish our friends would allow us to take him into the employment of the mission, according to his request; hut our prospects for the present year are very low, owing to the great losses following the bursting of the share bubble.

“30th June.—I went through my ordinary duties. Much anxiety felt throughout the city on account of the morrow being settlement day.

“1st July.—My lecture to-day, after my Sanskrit class, was on the History of David. The payments on account of time bargains, etc., have to a good extent been modified or postponed. Our friend had (it is said, but I doubt it) £120,000 paid him by one of his creditors, which carries him through his immediate difficulties ; -owes him £350,000 for shares, etc.--’s liabilities are for £2,400,000. His assets are valued at £1,600,000.”

TO DR. MURRAY MITCHELL.

“Bombay, 24th July 1867.—Since you left India great changes, both for the better and the worse, have occurred. Bombay has had her day of unequalled madness, and now it has her day of great sadness. The mercantile failures (especially among the natives), and the losses to our banks, have been astounding and far-reaching in their consequences ; and there has been much fraud connected with them, by which the innocent in many cases have suffered. It is scarcely to be wondered at that our religious and philanthropic Institutions have their local resources much curtailed, though it is sad to see retrenchment appearing so prominent in that direction. It is our prayer that the affliction which has fallen upon the city, in the retributive justice of God, not unmingled with mercy, may be sanctified to many. The native mind is certainly more sober at present than it has been for several years. The reforming party (including about one hundred of our mission friends) have founded a meeting for the social worship of God, but they have not yet come to a conclusion about the treatment and practice of idolatry in their own houses. We have some encouragement with the lads in our Institution. The attendance at it is large, but I do not know that our Christian influence over it expands with its extension. In other respects the mission is getting on well. Colonel Tripe of Kampthee, who was much with the converts and inquirers lately, formed a very favourable opinion of them. He presented each of them with a book on practical religion, which he gave them at an entertainment which they provided for him in the Institution. The ordination of Baba Pudmanjee at Poona is appointed for the 8th of August.”

Gradually, after the Mutiny, Bombay became the port of arrival and departure for Anglo-Indians, as the railways extended eastward and westward between it, Madras, and the metropolis of Calcutta. Thus the flow of guests through “The Cliff*” steadily increased, till it might be said that its hospitable owner became the best known man in India as well as Bombay. From the first Viceroy Lord Canning, and his truly noble wife, to the visit of the Prince of Wales, he was always in request as guide, philosopher, and friend, amid the antiquities not only of Bombay but of Salsette, Karla, and elsewhere. No distinguished person visited the Governor without seeking an introduction to “the king of Bombay.” Of these continuous hospitalities and intercourse we find few traces in his correspondence, for, much as he delighted in them, they were too much a part of his everyday life to demand chronicling, save when, as in Lord Lawrence’s case, they crossed his one great work. The thirtieth anniversary of his landing, and the passing of that statesman through Bombay, led him to write thus to Dr. Tweedie:—

“I should require every missionary now coming to India to pass an examination in the vernacular before his induction as a full missionary. The Church Missionary Society is here acting on this principle. It is one the propriety of which cannot for a moment be disputed. I intend to show cause in it to yourself in a distinct letter. I have lately received two letters on the subject from Bengal, but I intend to discuss it entirely free of personal and local considerations. I do not think that the missionaries are always to blame in the matter. We have thrust work prematurely upon them ; and we cannot blame them for neglecting, in the first instance, those studies for which we have left them no leisure.

“To India I feel a growing attachment from year to year, its very woes and miseries, in which I am constantly making new discoveries, increasing the tender regard which I cherish in its behalf. I feel no despair in connection with any of its interests. I see that it is a part, an important part, of the Saviour’s purchased inheritance, and I believe that ere long it must become His possession. My only regret is that I can do so little to advance its interests. They will not fail in the hands of Him who has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. I feel much encouraged, in connection with its present destiny, by a conversation I had last night with Sir John Lawrence, who proceeds to Europe by this mail. He s certainly one of the most courageous of men, both physically and spiritually, his Christian principle regulating and controlling all his movements. His judgment and tact are equal to his courage. The very appearance of such characters on the Indian scene on the day they have been specially wanted, is a pledge from God of His purposes of mercy towards this great and interesting land.”

Again, we find him mourning the death of Bishop Carr, in a letter to Mr. Farish; seeking to comfort the widow when announcing the movement from Serampore to raise a fund in commemoration of the services of the accomplished Dr. Buist; and bidding farewell to old friends on their final departure home, like Mr. Fraser Tytler, Dr. Harkness, and Sir Bartle Frere. To one who has proved himself the most learned and generous of true pundits in his own Edinburgh, as he long was the friend of the Christian education of the Hindoos at Benares and elsewhere, Dr. John Muir, C.I.E., he writes of Sanskrit MSS. Dr. Hanna he welcomes as the new superintendent of the Foreign Missions of his Church at home, and delights him with a report of the success of Mikhail Joseph’s mission in South Arabia. All this time, and every year, a stream of visitors passing east and west through Bombay, rested for a time at “The Cliff,” from Dr. Livingstone and the Maharaja Dhuleep Singh, to the young missionary and inexperienced traveller who sought counsel. Take this specimen from the Notes of Miss Taylor, Dr. Wilson’s niece:—

1861 March 8th.—Maharanee’s body burned at Nasik. Dr. and Mrs. Wilson, Miss Taylor, Madame Surtoo, a Native lady, who had been in England with the Maharanee and became a Christian there, her little boy, and the Maharaja, spent the day quietly at the Vehar Lake, Salsette.

12th.—Party in the Institution given by the Maharaja to all the missionaries and Native Christians in Bombay; 300 Natives were present; the Maharaja wore the Star of India.

13th.—Maharaja called to say good-bye. He took a very decided stand in Bombay as a Christian.

22d.—Dr. Wilson lectured on board the “ Ajdaha,” to sailors, on “The Shores of the Red Sea.”

June 23d.—Dr. Livingstone called. Dr. Wilson took him over the Institution. Dr. Livingstone came to Bombay for a few days on his way home from Africa. He crossed from Africa in the “Lady Nyassa,” a small steamer, 115 feet long and 11 feet broad, built for lake navigation, with a crew of seven Natives who had never seen the sea before. They came down with him to the coast at Zanzibar. He did this in the monsoon, too. Somehow they entered the harbour of Bombay unobserved, and Dr. Livingstone landed with no one to meet him—no one knew he was coming—and found his way in a deluge of rain in an old shigram to Dr. Wilson’s. The Governor was in Poona. Dr. Livingstone left with Dr. Wilson, to be educated, two African boys, Chuma and Wykatane. They attended the Institution for a year and a half, and learned a little English. They boarded in a Native Christian family. They were baptized by Dr. Wilson at Dr. Livingstone’s request, just before he took them back to Africa, in the end of 1865. Dr. Livingstone thought it would make a good impression on their minds, and be a safeguard to them in their future life. Every one knows how faithfully Chuma kept by Dr. Livingstone to the last, and brought his body to England. Wykatane had been rescued by Bishop Mackenzie and his party from a slave-catching gang, and was a great favourite of Bishop Mackenzie’s. On Dr. Livingstone’s last journey he became lame, and had to be left behind.

Dec. 23d.—Dr. Wilson went with Sir Bartle Frere to visit the Rajah of Dongurpore. He was staying in Dr. Wilson’s old house at Ambrolie, and Sir Bartle recalled how he himself had gone there as a young man with a letter of introduction to Dr. Wilson.

1865. Jan. 16th.—Dr. Wilson lectured in the Town-Hall on “ The Wandering Tribes of India.”

Feb. 1st.—Sir Dinkur Rao, ex-minister of Sindhia, called.

Sept. 11th.—Dr. Livingstone arrived from England on his way to make his last journey of discovery in Africa. He called on Dr. Wilson the day after his arrival, but Dr. Wilson was out. He went immediately to Poona to see the Governor, and to Nasik to arrange about some of the African Christians there going with him to Africa.

October 6th.—Dr. Livingstone came from Poona and stayed with Dr. Wilson till the 20th—a fortnight.

7th.—Dr. Wilson and Dr. Livingstone walked to see the temples at Walkeshwar (Malabar Point).

8th.—Dr. Livingstone at the Free Church, and at the Marathee Service in the Native Church.

9th.—Dr. Livingstone called with Sir Bartle Frere on the Sultan of Zanzibar.

10th,.—Dr. Livingstone went with Captain Leith to select men from the Marine Battalion to go with him to Africa.

11th.—Durbar in Town-Hall in honour of the Sultan of Zanzibar. Dr. Livingstone there.

12th.—Dr. Livingstone lectured on Africa in the Town-Hall. Dr. Wilson said it was the most enthusiastic meeting he had ever seen in Bombay. The lecture was very simple. Dr. Livingstone said much the same things and in much the same way as he did in conversation. A subscription was begun then which soon realised more than Rs. 7000, to help the expedition. Dr. Livingstone refused to accept it as a personal gift. The Bombay branch of the Geographical Society wished to present him with an address, and Captain Sherard Osborn was to read it, but Dr. Livingstone declined to come forward, and said he would rather have it if he should be spared to come back from Africa.

19th.—Drove through the native town to see the Diwallee illuminations.

Nov. 18th.—Dr. Wilson called on Lord Edward Seymour (eldest son of the Duke of Somerset) at the Governor’s bungalow, Malabar Point. Lord E. Seymour went out to travel in India. He visited the Institution, and examined some of the classes himself, and took a great interest in all that he saw. He died soon after, at Belgaum, from the effect of injuries he got when hunting a bear.

14th—Dr. Wilson, Dr. Livingstone, Lord Edward Seymour, and some others went to Elephanta.

Dec. 8th.—Dr. Wilson, Dr. Livingstone, and a party of gentlemen went to the Kanheri Caves, Salsette. Party was arranged by Mr. Alexander Brown, son of Dr. Charles Brown, Edinburgh.

10th.—Chuma and Wykatane baptized by Dr. Wilson in presence of Dr. Livingstone.

12th.—Large party at Dr. Wilson’s to meet Dr. Livingstone.

21st—Dr. Wilson went to Nagpore to the Exhibition.

1866. 1st Jan.—Dr. Livingstone and the two boys came to say good-bye.

3d, Wednesday.—Dr. Livingstone sailed for Africa in the “ Thule.” Dr. Livingstone was engaged most of the time he was in Bombay in preparations for his expedition. He also visited Goojarat. The Rev. Joseph Taylor (son of the Rev. Mr. Taylor, of Belgaum), of the Irish Presbyterian Mission in Goojarat, was at college with Dr. Livingstone, and they lodged together in Glasgow. Dr. Livingstone left for Africa, accompanied by eight or nine Christian Africans from Nasik, the same number, I think, of Sepoys of the Marine Battalion Bombay (they deserted him in Africa, and found their way back to Bombay with a story of his having been murdered), Chuma and Wykatane, and the Africans who had come across with him in 1864. They stayed in Bombay while he was in England, and used to come to Dr. Wilson’s to get news of him. Dr. Livingstone wished to have no European companion.

In January 1866 Lady Franklin visited Bombay, and Dr. Wilson saw her a few times. She spent one evening with Dr. and Mrs. Wilson.

Nov.—In this month Dr. Norman Macleod and Dr. Watson arrived in Bombay. They stayed with two young merchants. They spent most of a day with Dr. Wilson, going over the Institution, and another day in the Boarding School and Female Schools, and calling on several native gentlemen. They attended the Marathee service, and sat down with the native congregation at the Communion. Dr. Macleod read Wee Davie in the Town-Hall, for the benefit of the Scottish Orphanage.

1868. March 20th.—Mr. Clarke of Gya and Dr. Watson called.

23rd.—Kesliub Chunder Sen came to breakfast.

Oct. 23rd.—Dr. Wilson visited the Rajah of Kolhapore.

Dec. 21st.—Dr. Wilson attended a reception at Parell for Lord and Lady Mayo and Lord Napier.

29th.—Foundation-stone of University laid by Lord Mayo, Dr. Wilson, Vice-Chancellor. Dr. Wilson, after the ceremony, went to Elephanta with the Government-House party.

1869. Jan. 28th.—Native Church opened. First service in the morning at eight.

March 17th.—Dr. Wilson and I started for Calcutta. Lord Napier was a fellow-passenger to Nagpore, on his way to the Durbar at Umballa. We stayed a day or two at Nagpore with the Coopers, then went on to Serampore and Calcutta.

April 3d.—Large party at Mr. Fyfe’s, of Europeans and Native Christians, to meet Dr. Wilson.

From Serampore we went to Benares, and spent a day with Messrs. Hutton and Blake, London Mission; next to Mirzapoi'e, and stayed with Mr. Sherring; Allahabad, with Mr. and Mrs. Walsh, American Mission ; Cawnpore, Agra, Umballa, with Dr. Morrison; Subathoo, with Dr. Newton, Medical Missionary. At Simla Dr. Wilson was the guest of Lord Mayo for about ten days. His old friend, Sir Donald M‘Leod, was there at the same time, also Sir Douglas Forsyth.

June 28th.—Dr. Wilson dined with Mr. H. Rivett-Carnac, at the Byculla Club, to meet General Vlangally, Russian ambassador from China.

Aug. 31st.—Lord Napier went home. Dr. Wilson went to say good-bye to him at the Boree Bunder Station.

Nov. 13th.—Bishop of Madras called. Dr. Wilson dined with Mr. Fox to meet him.

10th.—Captain Beaumont and Mr. J. Candlish, M.P. for Sunderland, at breakfast.

29th.—Mr. Shaw called—the traveller who had been a year in Kashgar.

1870.—Dr. Wilson went, in January, to Jalna and Nasik.

22d.—Dr. Wilson called on Dr. Prime, editor of New York Observer, travelling with a party round the world. Dr. Elmslie, Cashmere, at tea.

Feb. 1st.—Dr. Wilson lectured in Town-Hall on “Marathee Country and People.”

Feb. 3d.—Dr. Wilson at a party given by Chief of Jamkhundee.

12th.—Addresses to students and Native Christians of Bombay.

19^.—Left Bombay for Scotland.

It was a Bombay officer, Richard F. Burton, who, in 1857, set out from Aden to East Africa to find the great lake reported by the Church Missionaries at Zanzibar. That proved to be Tanganika. In 1860 Baron Yonder Decken first struck out what has thus far proved a more important route into the lake region of Africa, that to Lake Nyassa from Kilwa.

But it was Dr. Livingstone, in many respects a man like Dr. Wilson, who, after discovering Lake Nga-mi so early as 1849, and crossing South Africa from the Atlantic to the Zambesi and the Indian Ocean in 1854-5, opened up Lake Nyassa itself, and pronounced it the spot, of all Africa, for such a missionary settlement as had killed the slave-trade by lawful commerce at Sierra Leone. His great Zambesi expedition, which lasted from 1858 to 1864, confirmed his desire to see Nyassa the centre of light to Eastern Africa. His passing visit to Bombay in June 1864, described by Miss Taylor, was repeated in September 1865, when he returned from England to organise in that capital the greatest of all his journeys of exploration, in which, after seven years, he died. We remember well the enthusiasm which his address, first at Poona and then in Bombay, excited all over India, when he compared Eastern Africa physically to the low Konkan and high Ghauts and uplands of Western India, and declared that all Great Britain was doing for the people of India she must yet do for the negroes of Africa. And there, he said, Nyassa is the spot. How well his vision is being realised, first by Mr. Young, B.N., who went to help him, and then by his companion Dr. Stewart of Lovedale, who together have there established the Livingstonia settlement of the Free Church of Scotland, every year is revealing.

In all the public enthusiasm which bore rich pecuniary fruit for the last expedition, and in organising the details, as in the relaxation of delightful social intercourse, Dr. Wilson was foremost. But perhaps his best gift to Livingstone was the Christian training of the two little slave-boys left with him eighteen months before—Chuma and Wykatan6. The baptism was to both the heroic missionaries a joy, and all know the fruit it bore. The beginning of 1866 saw Dr. Livingstone at Zanzibar with a letter of commendation from Sir Bartle Frere to the Sultan, and charged with the pleasant duty of presenting to his Highness the gun-boat “Thule,” in which he had crossed the Indian Ocean, as a gift from the Government of Bombay. From that sad hour on the 27th April 1873, when Livingstone made his last note in his Journal, Chuma became leader of the caravan, and brought safely to Lieutenant Cameron the precious remains which find fit resting-place in the nave of Westminster Abbey. To him, and to Susi, Amoda, and the two Nasik boys, his faithful comrades since 1864-5, Mr. Waller, the editor of the Last Journals, has expressed the nation’s gratitude. And hardly less is due to Wykatane, of whom, in his Nyassa, Mr. Young, RN., gives us this glimpse, showing how the light from Bombay had penetrated all the darkness of the slave-boy’s life, and continued to shine, however dimly, as years passed on. The scene is the jungle at night, near Livingstonia, among the Maviti; the time is September 1876. “I called to Wykatane, who lay in the next hut, and asked him who was singing: he replied that it was he. On telling him to repeat it, I found it was one of the chants used by the missionaries sixteen years ago in the hills at Magomero. Remembering how much pains Dr. Livingstone had taken with him, and good Dr. Wilson too, I asked him if he remembered anything of the former days. He said, ‘ This is what Dr. Livingstone taught me :—

“This night I lay me down to sleep,
I give my soul to Christ to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray to God my soul to take. Amen.’

In the long interval since he had seen white men he had forgotten nearly all the English he ever knew; but those lines, together with some few simple questions and answers taught him by Dr. Wilson, he could repeat.” When, at the end of 1864, we presided at the examination of Dr. Wilson’s college, Chuma and Wykatane were prominent in the class of catechumens gathered from all the natives of the East. Chuma is now assisting Mr. Thomson, representing the Royal Geographical Society, in his attempt to reach the head of Lake Nyassa from Dar-es-Salaam.

During Livingstone’s wanderings in the last seven years of his life he wrote to no friend so frequently as to Dr. Wilson. This is one of his then confidential communications, which Dr. Wilson at once submitted both to the Viceroy of India and to Dr. Duff, in the Free Church Foreign Missions’ Office :—

DR. LIVINGSTONE TO DR. WILSON.

“About twelve days east of Tanganyika,

“{Private.) 24th January 1872.

“My dear Dr. Wilson—This is not my first letter to you, but I have been in the slave-mart of East Africa, and looked on as a spy, and letters to and from me have nearly all been destroyed between this and the sea. All who have an interest in the slave-trade hate to think of me as sure to expose their proceedings. The sources of the Nile they know to be a sham, and what I have seen of the horrid system makes me feel that its suppression would be of infinitely more importance than all the fountains together; so my Arab and Banian friends are not so far wrong. I am now going east to a point called by Speke Kazieh, but by the natives and Arabs Unyanyembe, in order to get the remains of some £500 worth of goods, which were unfortunately entrusted to slaves, and these slaves like jolly fellows have been feasting on my stores ever since the end of October 1870. A precious £500 or £600 worth of goods were also committed to slaves, and at Ujiji the headman sold off all for slaves and ivory for himself. He divined on the Koran and found I was dead ! My friend Dr. Kirk has unintentionally inflicted these losses by going to a Banian for money when my cheques on Bombay were destroyed. He put the affair in the hands of his slaves, and I lost all. The second £500 was half of £1000 sent most kindly by H.M. Government, and this was given by the same Banian, called Sudha, to slaves again. I thought every one knew that our Government is stringently opposed to its officers employing slave labour, but Dr. Kirk—‘companion of Livingstone,’ Sir Koderick calls him—evidently did not; so he has, most unwittingly of course, inflicted a loss of two years’ time, at least 1800 miles of tramp, and what money I don’t exactly know. Sudha probably told him that he could not get pagazi or carriers, but Mr. Stanley, travelling correspondent of the New York Herald, was told the same tale by Sudha, and went over to the mainland where my slaves lay and feasted four months, and secured one hundred and forty pagazi in a few days. Mr. Stanley was sent to my aid by James Gordon Bennett junior, at an expense of over £4000, and with the goods he offers I hope to finish up my task. I don’t wish to injure Kirk, but I expected better than the ignorance and gross neglect he has displayed. [This was afterwards explained.] Nearly all the slave-trade is carried on by Sudha’s and other Banians’ money, and they manage adroitly to let the odium rest on their Arab agents, ancl being English subjects we protect them; and they instilled it into the minds of all the slaves they sent not to follow but force me back.

“I wish I could give a better report of the Africans I took with me from Bombay. Those from Nassick began by sending me at Bombay an anonymous letter, abusing the teachers who had fed, clothed, and taught them for years. On sending it to Mr. Price for identification, he made a whine about the ‘ poor boys,’ and quashed it. All their desires in Africa were to get back to live in idleness at Nassick; and to annoy me they reiterated perpetually ‘ Mr. Price told us lies.’ They knew that I could not relish a clergyman being called a liar. On demanding an explanation, they replied that he said that they were first to go to Mozambique and then return and get wives at Nassick. This was so evidently false I let them rave to each other about their benefactor unnoticed. All pretended that they did not know what tribes they came from. I was to leave them with their friends, but they knew that they had all been slaves, and would be treated as slaves again, and forced to work. We met the two uncles of one called Abram or Ibrahim. I advised him to remain with them, but he said, ‘ I have no mother, no sister here ; I cannot live with my uncles.’ The mother and sisters would have cultivated for him, hence his desire to have them. On the desertion of the Johanna men they did pretty fairly, because I employed the country people to do my work ; but on coming in contact with Arab slaves they turned back to their youthful habits of lying, stealing, and every vice. One called Simon Price begged ammunition from some Arab traders when I refused it, and being able to shoot in safety came and reported to me that he had killed two of the men who had been most kind to us. Other two boasted of having committed murder too. Price first bragged of the two slain, then justified himself, then denied it. All showed eagerness to engage uninvited in slave-hunting, and it was mortifying to see them march into the Arab camp, as I did, with captive women. Simon Price and Ibrahim even begged Muhamad Bagharib to make them his slaves.

I was afraid to call Price a Christian carpenter or Ibrahim a blacksmith—one could not cut a piece of wood straight even when chalked out for him ; the blacksmith had never welded iron. Mr. Price cannot have known this, but if you can inform the Bombay Government privately, and propose a ship anchored in a healthy spot as a school where real bona fide work would be taught, it would be a benefit to the community. Taught to cook, wash, sew, all the jobs sailors can do, and discipline enforced, these poor unfortunates would prove a blessing. At present the teachers fear them ; they dread their desertion, and bringing an ill name on Nassick school; and the Africans see it and take full advantage of it either to work or play.—Salaam to Dr. Birdwood and Mrs. Wilson. David Livingstone.”

Unyanyembe, 13th March 1872.

“This goes off to-morrow by Mr. Stanley, kindly sent to my aid by James Gordon Bennett of New York at an expense of over £4000. I have got all I need to finish up my work. Please not to publish this, but keep it for yourself. D. L.

“I am obliged to draw on the £645 collected at Bombay. Thought two years sufficient; it is now six years, and I am not finished until I see the ancient fountains of Herodotus, if they exist. What do you say about them?”

Still more remarkable than in Chuma’s case was the providence which in 1837 led Dr. Wilson unconsciously to prepare two Abyssinian youths for the deliverance of their country by Lord Napier’s expedition of 1867. We have told how, in the former year, Dr. Wolff sent to Bombay for instruction in Dr. Wilson’s college, and residence under his roof, Gabru and Maricha Warka, with their father, a high officer in the Abyssinian army. The two lads became most active catechists, occasionally accompanied Dr. Wilson in his tours, and left him only at Aden, whence, in 1843, he sent them with his benediction to evangelise their own people, and the oldest but most corrupt of Christian Churches. They found the almost chronic conflict of chief with chief raging, and attempted by personal intercourse and discussion to influence the priests. Very close, and at this time very pathetic, seems their correspondence with Dr. and especially with Mrs. Wilson to have been. They were at first supported by the kirk-session of the native church in Bombay, which thus early sought to evangelise the regions beyond. After a visit to the old scenes, on Dr. Wilson’s return from Scotland they settled down at Adowah, where for a long time they conducted a vigorous mission school, encouraged by the periodical epistles from Ambrolie. What a picture this is of the influence of the old mission home, in a letter written by Maricha from Aden on his return to his native country for the second time, in April 1849 :—

“Yes! it is a dream; and not only so, but it is a mystery and an awful dream that troubles my thoughts. Let me only be thinking of that family where I was brought up from my childhood, especially when now and then I think myself to be seated round that family altar ; beside me I see Hormasdjee and Gabru, and there I see you both—you, Sir, whom we love like a father, and by you sitting one whom we love like a mother. I see the large family Bible and the Psaim-book in your hands. I see you meeting round that family altar to offer up a living sacrifice. I hear you praying, especially for Ethiopia’s soon stretching out her hands unto God. From upstairs let me take you down where I used to meet among the different denominations that have come out from darkness to light, and from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ. From thence let me convey you to that holy spot, which spot is to be desired more than all the dwellings of Jacob. There I hear the harmonious songs of Zion, that carry the heart, as it were, to the third heaven. And what shall I not say more of Zion? yes, I might tell of the pure doctrines that are taught Sabbath after Sabbath, but the time will not allow me to do so. Alas ! is it true that I am to dwell with a people who have no fear of God in their sight? Yes, my soul, thou art no more in that holy society, thou art no more round that family altar where thou usedst often to sit, where thou usedst to be glad when they said unto thee, ‘ Let us go up to the house of God.’ Now then is the time for thee to cry out with a loud voice, ‘ My soul longeth, yea fainteth, for the courts of the Lord ; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.’ ”

The years passed as the young men married and carried on their mission-school, when they suddenly became of vast importance to the Commander-in-Chief of Bombay and the Viceroy of India. From the third day of 1864 the chief Theodorus, who called himself emperor of Abyssinia, had kept in confinement Consul Cameron and several German missionaries. When Mr. Rassam, an Armenian friend of Sir Austen Layard, along with Dr. Blanc and Lieutenant Prideaux of the Bombay army, had been sent as an envoy for their release, they too were put in chains. Still neither Lord Palmerston and the one party, nor Lord Stanley and the other party moved, in spite of the most persistent representations from the Government of India. The shame of it was such that, anonymously at the time, Sir George Yule asked us to publish his offer of Rs. 20,000 to fit out a volunteer expedition to rescue the captives who had languished under the power of a madman for nearly four years. That was on the 1st August 1867. The close of that year saw an imperial expedition of 50,000 men, including followers, on the way to Abyssinia, and the advance guard above the Ghauts at Senafe, whence the march to Magdala and its fall proved a holiday excursion that cost several millions sterling. How much of the facility with which the work was accomplished was due to the two Abyssinian students of Dr. Wilson, may be imagined from these circumstances. They had risen to be the official councillors of Kassai, the Prince of Tigre, who steadfastly supported the British in spite of the urgent overtures of Egypt and Turkey. In frequent telegrams and despatches Lord Napier of Magdala warmly acknowledged their services. The special correspondents with the expedition were even more emphatic, the most experienced of them writing thus :—“ The belief that, in connection with the campaign in Abyssinia, England owed more to the Free Church of Scotland’s Mission Institution in Bombay than it does to any institution in the Presidency, the Government itself and the commissariat department not excepted, was entertained by not a few.”

In truth, when her Majesty’s Government had tardily resolved on the expedition, the first men consulted by Lord, then Sir Robert Napier, were two missionaries. Mr. Blumhardt, half a century before a Church Missionary in the country, and then in the peaceful Bengalee villages of Christian Krishnaghur, was asked for information, and was invited to accompany the force as interpreter. At Lord Lawrdnce’s request we at once published at Serampore the Amharic vocabulary which that missionary hastily drew up, since old age denied him the privilege of going in person. Dr. Wilson received several letters from the Quartermaster-General of the army calling into requisition his multifarious information and experience on all details, from the history of the ancient church of Ethiopia to a certain breed of camels well adapted for mountain work. All his replies were submitted to the new Governor, Sir Seymour Fitzgerald, who had succeeded Sir Bar tie Frere.

Lord Napier gladly accepted the Bible Society’s gift of books to the soldiers of the expedition, and to the hospitals. The result, to himself, of the war, for the humane and bloodless fruits of which, then and since, Dr. Wilson is in a large sense responsible, was further work for the people of Abyssinia. With the approval of the Government of India General Merewether entrusted to his training two Anglo-Abyssinian girls, and two Abyssinian boys, Pedro and Wuldee Magios, one of whom had helped the captives, while the other had been presented by Prince Kassai to the conqueror. Lord Napier desired to place the son of Theodoras under his care, to fit the boy for a career in Abyssinia hereafter; but the English authorities decided that the youth should be trained in England, where he is passing through the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. So the radius of light and life from the Bombay mission went on ever extending. The prince whom Gabru and Maricha counselled so well, has, as Negoos and King Johannes,1 given to the people of Abyssinia a degree of peace and prosperity which only the unprovoked aggression of the late Mussulman Khedive of Egypt broke for a time.


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