Sir Harry Johnston & the Scramble for Africa

By Roland Oliver | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 2
ANGOLA AND THE CONGO

THERE survives among Johnston's private papers a curious document, belonging evidently to the period immediately after his return from Tunis, entitled "The Future of the Human Race".1 It is a fragment merely, and obviously intended solely for his own use; but it contributes much to the understanding of a character, apparently subtle and even at times deceitful, which was nevertheless really more straightforward and co-ordinated than many of his contemporaries supposed.

The parable of the mustard seed is among the most beautiful of those apt and touching similes attributed to Jesus Christ, and with the substitution of the Kingdom of Man for the vague and less satisfactory Kingdom of Heaven, it may serve for all time to illustrate the History of the Human Race. Sprung from so little. And man a mere accident. The chance combination of certain elements, as accidentally combined perhaps, as endued with that mysterious property we call life. This original cell, this protoplasm, has in the course of time, and almost inevitably, given rise to man, who individually illustrates in his embryonic development the stages he has passed through in his progress from the uncomplicated structure of the single cell to the complicated combination of many cells. . . .

Such being the origin of man [the paper goes on], what is to be done with him? How can he, just entered into his heritage, employ his inherited powers with the utmost advantage? How can he sufficiently apply the great lesson he has been learning all his life in such a way as to most profit by his precepts?

It is clear to begin with that both for the individual and the community there is no surer help towards improvement than a great ambition. The greater the ambition, the greater the advance. Though the goal may seldom or never be touched— perhaps never, for the more we advance, the higher mounts our ambition—yet ere our efforts cease we are sure to find ourselves considerably further on the road than when we started, and can at least leave the task to be continued by our descendants. The very fact of willing an advance is an immense progress in itself, for the desire brings about the accomplishment of the thing desired. One can recognize the immense power of will in the

____________________
1
It occurs in the Tunis MS, referred to on p. 26, between chapters 4 and 5.

-18-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sir Harry Johnston & the Scramble for Africa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 368

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?