David Livingstone | Henry Morton Stanley


Geschichte

David Livingstone
Henry Morton Stanley

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Abgegebene Stimmen: 92
Beginn der Abstimmung: 16.11.2009, 07:00 Uhr
Ende der Abstimmung: - offen -


Heute vor 154 Jahren, am 16.11.1855, erreichte der schottische Missionar und Afrikaforscher David Livingstone als erster Europ?er die Victoriaf?lle. 16 Jahre sp?ter, auf seiner dritten Afrikareise, galt er schon als verschollen, als ihn der Journalist Henry Morton Stanley am 10.11.1871 in Ujiji am Tanganyikasee fand. Stanley beschrieb das Aufeinandertreffen, das seiner britisch-reservierten Begr??ungszeremonie wegen in die Geschichtsb?cher einging, sp?ter so:

„We push on rapidly. We halt at a little brook, then ascend the long slope of a naked ridge, the very last of the myriads we have crossed. We arrive at the summit, travel across, and arrive at its western rim, and Ujiji is below us, embowered in the palms, only five hundred yards from us! At this grand moment we do not think of the hundreds of miles we have marched, of the hundreds of hills that we have ascended and descended, of the many forests we have traversed, of the jungles and thickets that annoyed us, of the fervid salt plains that blistered our feet, of the hot suns that scorched us, nor the dangers and difficulties now happily surmounted. Our hearts and our feelings are with our eyes, as we peer into the palms and try to make out in which hut or house lives the white man with the gray beard we heard about on the Malagarazi.

We are now about three hundred yards from the village of Ujiji, and the crowds are dense about me. Suddenly I hear a voice on my right say, ‚Good morning, sir!‘

Startled at hearing this greeting in the midst of such a crowd of black people, I turn sharply around in search of the man, and see him at my side, with the blackest of faces, but animated and joyous, – a man dressed in a long white shirt, with a turban of American sheeting around his woolly head, and I ask, ‚Who the mischief are you?‘

‚I am Susi, the servant of Dr. Livingstone,‘ said he, smiling, and showing a gleaming row of teeth.

‚What! Is Dr. Livingstone here?‘ ‚Yes, Sir.‘

‚In this village?‘

‚Yes, Sir‘

‚Are you sure?‘

‚Sure, sure, Sir. Why, I leave him just now.‘

In the meantime the head of the expedition had halted, and Selim said to me: ‚I see the Doctor, Sir. Oh, what an old man! He has got a white beard.‘ My heart beats fast, but I must not let my face betray my emotions, lest it shall detract from the dignity of a white man appearing under such extraordinary circumstances.

So I did that which I thought was most dignified. I pushed back the crowds, and, passing from the rear, walked down a living avenue of people until I came in front of the semicircle of Arabs, in the front of which stood the white man with the gray beard. As I advanced slowly toward him I noticed he was pale, looked wearied, had a gray beard, wore a bluish cap with a faded gold band round it, had on a red-sleeved waistcoat and a pair of gray tweed trousers. I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of such a mob, – would have embraced him, only, he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would receive me; so I did what cowardice and false pride suggested was the best thing, – walked deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said, ‚Dr. Livingstone, I presume?‘

‚Yes,‘ said he, with a kind smile, lifting his cap slightly.

I replace my hat on my head and he puts on his cap, and we both grasp hands, and I then say aloud, ‚I thank God, Doctor, I have been permitted to see you.‘

He answered, ‚I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.‘

Then, oblivious of the crowds, oblivious of the men who shared with me my dangers, we – Livingstone and I – turn our faces towards his tembe. He points to the veranda or, rather, mud platform, under the broad overhanging eaves; he points to his own particular seat, which I see his age and experience in Africa has suggested, namely, a straw mat, with a goatskin over it, and another skin nailed against the wall to protect his back from contact with the cold mud. I protest against taking this seat, which so much more befits him than me, but the Doctor will not yield: I must take it. . . .

Conversation began. What about? I declare I have forgotten. Oh! we mutually asked questions of one another, such as: ‚How did you come here?‘ and ‚Where have you been all this long time? – the world has believed you to be dead.‘ Yes, that was the way it began; but whatever the Doctor informed me, and that which I communicated to him, I cannot correctly report, for I found myself gazing at him, conning the wonderful man at whose side I now sat in Central Africa. Every hair of his head and beard, every wrinkle of his face, the wanness of his features, and the slightly wearied look he wore, were all imparting intelligence to me, – the knowledge I craved for so much ever since I heard the words, ‚Take what you want, but find Livingstone.‘

I called ‚Kaif-Halek,‘ or ‚How-do-ye-do,‘ and introduced him to Dr. Livingstone, that he might deliver in person to his master the letter bag he had been intrusted with. This was that famous letter bag marked ‚November 1, 1870,‘ which was now delivered into the Doctor’s hand 365 days after it left Zanzibar! How long, I wonder, had it remained at Unyanyembe had I not been dispatched into Central Africa in search of the great traveler? The Doctor kept the letter bag on his knees, then presently opened it, looked at the letters contained there, and read one or two of his children’s letters, his face in the meantime lighting up.

He asked me to tell him the news. ‚No, Doctor,‘ said I, ‚read your letters first, which I am sure you must be impatient to read.‘

‚Ah,‘ said he, ‚I have waited years for letters, and I have been taught patience. I can surely afford to wait a few hours longer. No, tell me the general news. How is the world getting along?‘ „

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Montag, November 16th, 2009 Geschichte
 

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