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亨利·莫顿·斯坦利 穿过黑暗大陆

2006-07-07 17:07

Henry Morton Stanley


November 27,1886

  Mr.Chairman and gentlemen of the Lotos Club:—One might start a great many principles and ideaswhich would require to be illustrated and drawnout in order to present a picture of my feelings atthe present moment.I am conscious that in my im-mediate vicinity there are people who were greatwhen I was little.I remember very well when Iwas unknown to anybody,how I was sent to re-port a lecture by my friend right opposite,Mr.George Alfred Townsend,and I remember themanner in which he said:“Galileo said:”The worldmoves round,' and the world does move round,“upon the platform of the Mercantile Hall in St.Louis—one of the grandest things out.The nextgreat occasion that I had to come before the publicwas Mark Twain's lecture on the Sandwich Is- lands,which I was sent to report.And when Ilook to my left here I see Colonel Anderson,whosevery face gives me an idea that Bennett has gotsome telegraphic dispatch and is just about to sendme to some terrible region for some desperate com-mission.

  And,of course,you are aware that it was ow- ing to the proprietor and editor of a newspaper thatI dropped the pacific garb of a journalist anddonned the costume of an African traveler.It wasnot for me,one of the least in the newspapercorps,to question the newspaper proprietor's mo-tives.He was an able editor,very rich,desperate-ly despotic.He commanded a great army of rovingwriters,people of fame in the news-gatheringworld;men who had been everywhere and hadseen everything from the bottom of the Atlantic tothe top of the very highest mountain;men whowere as ready to give their advice to National Cabi-nets as they were ready to give it to the smallestpolice courts in the United States.I belonged tothis class of roving writers,and I can truly saythat I did my best to be conspicuously great in it,by an untiring devotion to my duties,an untiringindefatigability,as though the ordinary rotation ofthe universe depended upon my single endeavors.If,as some of you suspect,the enterprise of theable editor was only inspired with a view to obtainthe largest circulation,my unyielding and guidingmotive,if I remember rightly,was to win his favorby doing with all my might that duty to which ac-cording to the English State Church Catechissm,“ithad pleased God to call me.”

  He first dispatched me to Abyssinia—straightfrom Missouri to Abyssinia! What a stride,gentle- men! People who lived west of the Missouri Riverhave scarcely,I think,much knowledge of Abyssinia,and there are gentlemen here who canvouch for me in that,but it seemed to Mr.Bennetta very ordinary thing,and it seemed to his agent inLondon a very ordinary thing indeed,so I of coursefollowed suit.I took it as a very ordinary thing,and I went to Abyssinia,and somehow or othergood luck followed me and my telegrams reportingthe fall of Magdala happened to be a week ahead ofthe British Government's The people said I haddone right well,though the London papers said Iwas an impostor.

  The second thing I was aware of was that I was ordered to Crete to run the blockade,describethe Cretan rebellion from the Cretan side,andfrom the Turkish side; and then I was sent to Spain to report from the Republican side and fromthe Carlist side,perfectly dispassionately.Andthen,all of a sudden,I was sent for to come toParis.Then Mr.Bennett,in that despotic way ofhis,said:“I want you to go and find Livingstone.”As I tell you,I was a mere newspaper reporter.Idared not confess my soul as my own.Mr.Ben- nett merely said:“Go,” and I went.He gave me aglass of champagne and I think that was superb.Iconfessed my duty to him,and I went.And asgood luck would have it,I found Livingstone.I re-turned as a good citizen ought and as a good re- porter ought and as a good correspondent ought,to tell the tale,and arriving at Aden,I telegrapheda request that I might be permitted to visit civiliza-tion before I went to China.I came to civilization,and what do you think was the result? Why,onlyto find that all the world disbelieved my story.Dear me!If I were proud of anything,it was thatwhat I said was a fact; that whatever I said Iwould do,I would endeavor to do with all my might,or,as many a good man has done before,as my predecessors had done,to lay my bones be- hind.That's all.I was requested in an off-handmanner—just as any member of the Lotos Club here present would say—“Would you mind giving us a little résumé of your geographical work?” Isaid:“Not in the least,my dear sir;I have not theslightest objection.”And do you know that to make it perfectly geographical and not in the leastsensational,I took particular pains and I wrote apaper out,and when it was printed,it was justabout so long [indicating an inch].It containedabout a hundred polysyllabic African words.And yet“for a' that and a' that” the pundits of the Geo-graphical Society—Brighton Association—said thatthey hadn't come to listen to any sensational sto-ries,but that they had come to listen to facts.Well now,a little gentleman,very reverend,full of years and honors,learned in Cufic inscriptionsand cuneiform characters,wrote to The Timesstating that it was not Stanley who had discoveredLivingstone but that it was Livingstone who haddiscovered Stanley.

  If it had not been for that unbelief,I don't be-lieve I should ever have visited Africa again; Ishould have become,or I should have endeavoredto become,with Mr.Reid's permission,a conser-vative member of the Lotos Club.I should havesettled down and become as steady and as stolid assome of these patriots that you have around here,Ishould have said nothing offensive.I should havedone some“treating.” I should have offered a fewcigars and on Saturday night,perhaps,I wouldhave opened a bottle of champagne and distributedit among my friends.But that was not to be.I left New York for spain and then the Ashantee War broke out and once more my good luck followed meand I got the treaty of peace ahead of everybodyelse,and as I was coming to England from theAshantee War a telegraphic dispatch was put intomy hands at the Island of St.Vincent,saying thatLivingstone was dead.I said:“What does thatmean to me? New Yorkers don't believe in me.How was I to prove that what I have said is true?By George!I will go and complete Livingstone'swork.I will prove that the discovery of Living-stone was a mere fleabite.I will prove to them thatI am a good man and true.” That is all that Iwanted.

  I accompanied Livingstone's remains to West-minster Abbey.I saw those remains buried which Ihad left sixteen months before enjoying full life andabundant hope.The Daily Telegraph's proprietorcabled over to Bennett:“Will you join us in sendingStanley over to complete Livingstone's explo-rations?”Bennett received the telegram in NewYork,read it,pondered a moment,snatched ablank and wrote:“Yes.Bennett.”That was my commission,and I set out to Africa intending tocomplete Livingstone's explorations,also to settlethe Nile problem,as to where the headwaters ofthe Nile were,as to whether Lake Victoria consist- ed of one lake,one body of water,or a number ofshallow lakes; to throw some light on Sir SamuelBaker's Albert Nyanza,and also to discover theoutlet of Lake Tanganyika,and then to find outwhat strange,mysterious river this was which hadlured Livingstone on to his death—whether it wasthe Nile,the Niger,or the Congo.Edwin Arnold,the author of“The Light of Asia,” said:“Do youthink you can do all this?”“Don't ask me such aconundrum as that.Put down the funds and tell me to go.That is all.” And he induced Lawson,the proprietor,to consent.The funds were putdown,and I went.

  First of all,we settled the problem of the Vic- toria that it was one body of water,that instead ofbeing a cluster of shallow lakes or marshes,it wasone body of water,21,500 square miles in extent.While endeavoring to throw light upon Sir SamuelBaker's Albert Nyanza,we discovered a new lake,a much superior lake to Albert Nyanza—the deadLocust Lake——and at the same time Gordon Pashasent his lieutenant to discover and circumnavigatethe Albert Nyanza and he found it to be only a mis-erable 140 miles,because Baker,in a fit of enthu-siasm had stood on the brow of a high plateau andlooking down on the dark blue waters of Albert Nyanza,cried romantically:“I see it extending in-definitely toward the southwest!” Indefinitely isnot a geographical expression,gentlemen.We found that there was no outlet to the Tanganyika,although it was a sweet-water lake; we,settlingthat problem,day after day as we glided down thestrange river that had lured Livingstone to hisdeath,were as much in doubt as Livingstone hadbeen,when he wrote his last letter and said:“I willnever be made black man's meat for anything lessthan the classic Nile.”

  After traveling 400 miles we came to the Stanley Falls,and beyond them,we saw the river deflect from its Nileward course toward the north-west.Then it turned west,and then visions of towers and towns and strange tribes and strangenations broke upon our imagination,and we won-dered what we were going to see,when the riversuddenly took a decided turn toward the southwestand our dreams were put an end to.We saw thenthat it was aiming directly for the Congo,andwhen we had propitiated some natives whom we encountered by showing them crimson beads and polished wire,that had been polished for the occa-sion,we said:“This is for your answer.What riv- er is this?”“Why,it is the river,of course.”Thatwas not an answer,and it required some persua- sion before the chief,bit by bit digging into hisbrain,managed to roll out sonorously that,“It isthe Ko-to-yah Congo.”“It is the river of Con-goland.” Alas for our classic dreams! Alas forCrophi and Mophi,the fabled fountains ofHerodotus! Alas for the banks of the river whereMoses was found by the daughter of Pharaoh!

  This is the parvenu Congo! Then we glided on andon past strange nations and cannibals—not pastthose nations which have their heads under theirarms—for 1,100 miles,until we arrived at the cir-cular extension of the river and my last remainingcompanion called it the Stanley Pool,and then fivemonths after that our journey ended.



1886年 11月 27日


  为了表达我现时的情感,不妨从许多需要加以阐发的原则和思想开始。我意识到,在我身边就有早在我孩提时代即已闻名遐迩的伟人。记得我还是个无名小卒时被派去报道坐在对面的老友乔治 ·阿尔弗雷德·汤申德的一次讲演,他在圣路易斯商业会堂讲台上讲话的情景依旧历历在目:“伽利略说过,'地球在旋转’,地球确实在旋转”,——真是了不起的说法。另有一次我务必到场的重大场合是在桑威奇群岛聆听马克·吐温演讲,我也是被派去作报道的。当我朝我的左边看时,看见了安德森上校,他那面容使我觉得贝内特接到了电报,正准备派我到某一可怖地区去执行某种紧急使命。






  首先我们解决维多利亚湖是不是一个水体的问题,它不是由一串浅湖或者沼泽地组成,而是一个水体,面积约21500平方英里。在探查塞缪尔·贝克发现的阿伯特湖时,我们发现了一个比阿伯特湖大得多的新湖(洛卡斯特死湖)。与此同时,戈登·帕夏派他的副官绕阿伯特湖探查一圈,结果伤心地发现其周长仅140英里,因为贝克曾满怀热情地站在高原之巅俯瞰阿伯特湖深蓝的湖水,夸张地惊叫:“我看到它往西南无限延伸!”先生们,无限不是一个地理词语。我们发现坦噶尼喀湖虽然是淡水湖,却没有出口;我们解决了这个问题后,就夜以继日地沿着那吸引利文斯通走上绝路的神秘的河顺流而下,想起利文斯通在其最后一封信中写道: “我不会为任何不及尼罗河古老的河流去冒成为黑人口中之食的危险。”我们和利文斯通一样怀有许多疑问。


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