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PREFACE.

The country which is the subject of the following narrative is of considerable interest to Englishmen.

The noble efforts to found colonies which have been made by England have been rewarded by results unequalled either in ancient or modern times.

Many problems have yet to be solved. One of the most important of these is, how to preserve the independence of the colonies without causing them to lose their filial affection for their mother country.

The following pages will illustrate some of the difficulties of this problem. They contain descriptions of the country and anecdotes of its inhabitants. The Book is divided into

Chapters I. to XI. contain an account of a journey from Cape Town to the Eastern Frontier, the Free States, and Basuto land. Chapters XII. to XVIII. describe my visit to Pondo land and Natal. In Chapters XIX. to XXII. I give an account of the threatened rebellion in the Diamond Fields, and the expedition sent to check it. Chapters XXIII. to XXIX. deal with the annexation of the Transvaal; and Chapters XXXI, to XLI. are devoted to a description of the war on the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony. In these pages I shall often have the pleasure of praising the conduct of my own officers and others; sometimes I shall be obliged to speak severely of men from whose policy I differed, but I am sure that I have not put down anything in malice, and I take this

five parts.

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opportunity of thanking those of my friends in South Africa whose kindness so greatly contributed to the pleasure of my stay.

By far the greater part of the information in this volume is derived from personal observation, but many interesting facts have been gathered from articles written in the colonial newspapers by gentlemen of knowledge and ability, to whom, as a body, I wish to acknowledge my gratitude for their valuable assistance.

The colonies of South Africa, taken all together, are in

about 450,000 square miles, or equal in size to United Germany, France, Belgium, and Holland; or nearly five times as large as Great Britain. The total population is rather more than two millions, of which about 440,000 persons are white.

There are only five principal ports in South Africa ; Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, and Delagoa Bay. With the exception of the last named, none of them possess very great natural advantages, and some are mere roadsteads. The coast is rocky. The rivers run between high banks, and are torrents in winter, and streams in summer. The coldest time of the year is in our summer, but the climate is delightful, and excellent for pulmonary complaints. The country is very varied, containing mountain chains, deserts, scanty forests, and boundless plains, once swarming with game, which have been destroyed in enormous quantities. Copper, coal, gold and diamonds form the chief mineral wealth of the country, but almost every species of metal exists. The chief pursuit is cattle-grazing, and the chief export is wool. Fruit-trees grow well all over the colony, and“ nartjees” (or Maltese oranges) cost, in the season, a penny for twelve. In Natal, pine-apples grow

. , wayside. The vine, apricot, apple, pear, loquot, and cherry, all thrive there. Fish are plentiful, and you can live well on that food for 6d. a-day; but they are not of so good a kind as

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those in the northern seas. Housekeeping at Cape Town costs on the average much the same as in England. While fruit and fish is cheap, and meat not so dear as at home, butter is very expensive. European luxuries cost about one-fourth more than at home, and clothes perhaps one and a half times the price here. This is due to the difficulty of finding good workmen in Cape Town to cut them out and make them.

Repairs of all sorts are very expensive, particularly if they require any degree of skill. The arts do not flourish at the Cape. You might try every shop in the town and not be able to buy an oil canvas or colours, but music is cultivated, and many pianos come over from England. Reading is practised to a limited extent only, and even the barristers, whom one would expect to find provided with good libraries, seem to rely in argument rather upon readiness and elocution than upon an extensive reference to authorities. The chief amusements of all classes are riding, driving, shooting, and billiards; and unfortunately there is too great a tendency on all sides, from the highest to the lowest, to “take a glass with a friend” at all hours of the day, a practice which, to say the least of it, involves a considerable waste of time and money. Life proceeds at the colony at rather a slower pace than in England—there is more breathing-time, and the happy faces and jovial manners of the inhabitants suggest the idea of a people accustomed to a rude plenty, and not harassed to death by constant worries.

Trade morality, I fear, does not rise to a very high level at the Cape. I dare say it is not worse than in other lands, and, being a soldier, I am not, perhaps, very well qualified to express an opinion. I can only go by what I have heard, but I certainly recommend any young gentleman who lands in Cape Town with money in his pocket to look well to the bargains ha makes, and, above all, to be careful of the speculations in which he embarks.

opportunity of thanking those of my friends in South Africa whose kindness so greatly contributed to the pleasure of my stay.

By far the greater part of the information in this volume is derived from personal observation, but many interesting facts have been gathered from articles written in the colonial newspapers by gentlemen of knowledge and ability, to whom, as a body, I wish to acknowledge my gratitude for their valuable assistance.

The colonies of South Africa, taken all together, are in area about 450,000 square miles, or equal in size to United Germany, France, Belgium, and Holland; or nearly five times as large as Great Britain. The total population is rather more than two millions, of which about 440,000 persons are white.

There are only five principal ports in South Africa; Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, and Delagoa Bay. With the exception of the last named, none of them possess very great natural advantages, and some are mere roadsteads. The coast is rocky. The rivers run between high banks, and are torrents in winter, and streams in summer. The coldest time of the year is in our summer, but the climate is delightful, and excellent for pulmonary complaints. The country is very varied, containing mountain chains, deserts, scanty forests, and boundless plains, once swarming with game, which have been destroyed in enormous quantities. Copper, coal, gold and diamonds form the chief mineral wealth of the country, but almost every species of metal exists. The chief pursuit is cattle-grazing, and the chief export is wool. Fruit-trees grow well all over the colony, and“ nartjees” (or Maltese oranges) cost, in the season, a penny for twelve. In Natal, pine-apples grow

by the wayside. The vine, apricot, apple, pear, loquot, and cherry, all thrive there. Fish are plentiful, and you can live well on that food for 6d. a-day; but they are not of so good a kind as those in the northern seas. Housekeeping at Cape Town costs on the average much the same as in England. While fruit and fish is cheap, and meat not so dear as at home, butter is very expensive. European luxuries cost about one-fourth more than at home, and clothes perhaps one and a half times the price here. This is due to the difficulty of finding good workmen in Cape Town to cut them out and make them.

Repairs of all sorts are very expensive, particularly if they require any degree of skill. The arts do not flourish at the Cape. You might try every shop in the town and not be able to buy an oil canvas or colours, but music is cultivated, and many pianos come over from England. Reading is practised to a limited extent only, and even the barristers, whom one would expect to find provided with good libraries, seem to rely in argument rather upon readiness and elocution than upon an extensive reference to authorities. The chief amusements of all classes are riding, driving, shooting, and billiards; and unfortunately there is too great a tendency on all sides, from the highest to the lowest, to “take a glass with a friend" at all hours of the day, a practice which, to say the least of it, involves a considerable waste of time and money. Life proceeds at the colony at rather a slower pace than in England—there is more breathing-time, and the happy faces and jovial manners of the inhabitants suggest the idea of a people accustomed to a rude plenty, and not harassed to death by constant worries.

Trade morality, I fear, does not rise to a very high level at the Cape. I dare say it is not worse than in other lands, and, being a soldier, I am not, perhaps, very well qualified to express an opinion. I can only go by what I have heard, but I certainly recommend any young gentleman who lands in Cape Town with money in his pocket to look well to the bargains he makes, and, above all, to be careful of the speculations in which he embarks.

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