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The accounts which Mr. Cumming gives of they engage, to protect them from lion or lightthe habits of the native tribes, aud the other in-ning, or to propitiate the clouds, as the case may habitants, are very sparse and unsatisfactory. be. The following application of "medicine" Indeed he seems to have thought that the world to gunpowder, will illustrate the wisdom of their would be far more interested in the way he wise men. During Mr. Cumming's stay at Booby, smashed the shoulder of a springbok, or left a a village of one of the Bechuana tribes, he sold mosaic of shirt and skin on the thorn bushes as some guns and powder to the chief, who, trying he rode headlong through the jungle, than in a his purchases, missed every object he aimed at. detail of the habits and customs of the unknown As a matter of course, "medicine" must be aptribes of the interior, or the half-civilized Boers plied to the powder to correct its faults, and one of a more Southern latitude. wiseacre happily suggested fire as most approThe principal classes of men which inhabit priate to the cure of the ill-humors of gun-powthe Southern point of the African continent, are der. The result may be imagined; the chief and the Boers, Hottentots, Bushmen, Griguas, Kaf- his council, solemnly bending over the experifirs, Bechuanas and Bakalahari. The Boers are ment to witness the results, were blown to the the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of stars. The name of that village was not unsuitthe country, and are a rough and generally un-ed to its inhabitants.
principled set, given to abusing the nation, and But the most interesting of all the people nodrinking to drunkenness. Indeed, we may re- ticed in the work upon our table, are unquesmark in passing, that this disgraceful vice seems tionably the Bushmen-the Arabs of the Southto be universally popular with all the classes of Africau continent-whose hands are against all, inhabitants, both Boers and natives, that have and against whom are the hands of all. They access to the settlements of the English; and have been driven back into the wild and impenemany of Mr. Cumming's troubles with his ser- trable precincts of the interior, by the fierce revants arose from their making free with the stores prisals their own depredations have been provoof brandy he carried with him. The hostility of ked, and from these fastnesses they suddenly and the Boers to the English government seems to silently issue across the deserts and fall like lighthave existed in unabated vehemence since the ning upon the flocks and herds of the Griguas country fell into English hauds; and a regular and Boers, massacre all persons they can find, and war was waged between them as late as 1847, return with their booty to their homes in the junrendering the passage of our author through the gle. When pursued and they discover that there territory of the Boers, an experiment which he are no chances to secure their plunder, they will would not have risked except under the pressure at once destroy it, by mangling and butchering
of necessity. He only escaped being plundered of his ivory and valuables, by insisting upon the distinction between a Scotchman and an Englishman, aud by making liberal contributions to the vanity of the Boer women. The Hottentots are the poor and degraded descendants of the aborigines of the country. The Kaffirs are a bold and warlike race, that live on the eastern coast of the great promontory. The Bechuanas are the tribes which live far in the interior-in the range of the elephant. These people are generally tall, well-formed savages of a light copper color, clad in karasses, or "mantles," of leopard's or jackal's skin, with a plume of black or white ostrich feathers stuck into their storming of a Bushman cave by the Bechuanas, woolly hair and armed with a shield of hide, a battle-axe, and an assagai, or light stabbing spear or javelin. Both men and women besmear themselves with fat and a grey ore like mica, and wear a profusion of beads and ornaments of copper Ostrich eggs are in general use among the wire. The women, as usual with barbarous tribes of the interior as water vessels, and the tribes, do the most, if not all of the cultivation women sometimes bring water from immense of the soil. Polygamy is allowed, and they gen-distances in these frail and unique culinary imerally live in Kraals or villages. They are de-plements. These eggs are abundant, some vout believers in the rites of superstition, and thirty or forty being frequently found in a nest; apply "medicine" to every enterprise in which but if the discoverer of a nest should be so im
the cattle in the most horrible manner, and then retreat swiftly beyond the reach of their pursuers. Their chief weapon is an insignificant little bow, with short poisoned arrows, which they discharge with deadly effect. They are a bold and desperate race, and do not hesitate to attack the elephant to obtain his tusks for the trade of the more wealthy and commercial tribes of the Bechuanas and Bakalahari. They have a singular habit of burying ostrich eggs, filled with water, along their line of march through the desert, so that they can retreat in safety, where their enemies cannot follow them for lack of water. Mr. Cumming gives an interesting account of the
and of the death of a Bushman hero in a foray in the year 1847; but we forbear to make the extract. The reader may find it on pp. 67-70. Vol. 2.
prudent as to take only a part of his prize undergrowing on the snout. Of these the principal the expectation of returning for the rest, he will are the "borèlé," or black rhinoceros, and the find them crushed by the ostrich itself to prevent" muchocho," or common white rhinoceros. The the triumph of its foe. These volumes contra-"keitloa" is a two-horned black rhinoceros, and dict some of the settled ideas of naturalists, and "kobaoba" is the long-horned white variety of the among them the idea that the ostrich lays its eggs the same animal. These huge and hideous lookand then deserts them to the tender mercies of ing monsters feed almost entirely on the waitthe sun and the wild beast; this is not true; the a-bit thorns, and the black varieties are exceedmale takes turus with the female during the pe-ingly fierce and dangerous. Their hides are imriod of incubation. Mr. Cumming reiterates the penetrable to any bullet that has not beeu haraccounts of the strength and fleetness of this re-dened. The skull is massive, and the horn, markable bird, and relates that his leg was nearly which seldom exceeds eighteen inches in length, broken by the kick of a dying ostrich, who re- and is susceptible of being used in a number of paid its slaughter by knocking its slayer full useful articles, grows upon the skin and is not length on the rough plain. immediately connected with the skull. The following incident will illustrate the character of the brute and give a sample of Mr. Cumming's adventures with this species of animal.
The honey bird is another remarkable little member of the feathered tribes of Africa, for whose acquaintance we are indebted to our author. This bird is about the size of a chaffinch, and of a light gray color, and will always lead the person, who will accept its invitation, to the nest of the wild-bee. This invitation it will give by fluttering and chattering round the traveller, and having gained his attention, will lead the way by the same anxious and laborious process to the spot, where its instincts have discovered its choicest food. It will sit quietly on an adjoining bush, while the hive is plundered, and will then descend to feed upon the fragments. It will sometimes lead the hunter to two or three different hives in succession.
There are four varieties of the rhinoceros, dis tinguished by color and the number of horns
"Shortly after this I found myself on the banks of the stream beside which my wagons were outspanned. Following along its margin, I presently beheld a bull of the borelé, or black rhinoceros, standing within a hundred yards of me. Dismounting from my horse, I secured him to a tree, and theu stalked within twenty yards of the huge beast, under cover of a large, strong bush. Borelé, hearing me advance, came on to see what it was, and suddenly protruded his horny nose within twenty yards of me. Knowing well that a front shot would not prove deadly, I sprang to my feet and ran behind the bush. Upon this the villain charged, blowing loudly, and chased me round the bush. Had his activity been equal to his ugliness, my wauderings would have termiuated here, but by my superior agility I had the advantage in the turn. After standing a short time eyeing me through the bush, he got a whiff of my wind, which at once alarmed him. Uttering a blowing noise, and erecting his insignificant, yet saucy-looking tail he wheeled about, leaving me master of the field, when I sent a bullet through his ribs to teach him manners." Vol. I, p. 215.
The social grosbeak is alse worthy of notice. This bird seems to be afflicted with a species of the mania which seizes all members of American assemblies, and can only be relieved by a copious discharge of inflated oratory through the mouth and nostrils. Large numbers of them associate themselves for the purposes of society, and taking possession of a spreading mimosa, they fairly thatch it over with an impenetrable roof, while the cells thickly ranged and opening below, present the spectacle of an enormous honey comb, or wasp nest.
But by far the most interesting of all the auimals described by Mr. Cumming, is the sagaThe rhinoceros bird is one whose habits ap- cious and majestic elephant. These animals proach the confines of the marvellous. They once wandered far within the borders of the are constaut attendants upon the hippopotamus English territories, but they have been driven and the rhinoceros, to feed upon the parasitic in- back, by the advancing progress of civilization, sects that swarm on the hides of these animals. into the forests and deserts of the far interior. It is a small gray bird, whose chief business it Through the vast and solitary domains they range seems to be to rouse the rhinoceros when he is far and wide in search of food, marking their asleep, by shrieking the note of warning of the progress by rending the forest before them, or approach of danger. It never fails to awaken plowing up whole acres with their powerful tusks, its enormous pet, and as he plunges heavily in search of the bulbs and roots to which their through the jungle, the bird quickly resumes its instincts direct them. This habit, of breaking feeding, and if swept off by a limb, immediately the trees to pieces is a singular one, being appareturns to its place on the side or back of its rently as much the result of mere wantonness as friend. of a desire for food, since they will frequently level large trees with the ground and only crop a twig before they pass. Large masses of forest
lands are frequently rendered impassible by the tusks broke from his comrades, and I at once felt complete devastations wrought by the elephants. convinced that he was the patriarch of the herd, They consume immense quantities of food, and and followed him accordingly. Cautering alongpass the larger portion of both day and night in and uttering a trumpet so strong and shrill, that side, I was about to fire, when he instantly turned, satisfying their hunger. They roam in herds, the earth seemed to vibrate beneath my feet, he varying from two to a hundred, and attain fre- charged furiously after me for several hundred quently to sizes the most enormous. The bull yards in a direct line, not altering his course in grows much the larger, and Mr. Cumming the slightest degree for the trees of the forest, declares that he has in his possession a tusk which he snapped and overthrew like reeds in his headlong career. of an African elephant, ten feet nine inches in length, weighing one hundred and seventy-three halted; and as he slowly turned to retreat I let "When he pulled up in his charge, I likewise pounds! The elephants drink every night in fly at his shoulder, Sunday' capering and pranwarm weather, but in cool and cloudy weather, cing aud giving me much trouble. On receiving they visit the fountains only once every third or the ball, the elephant shrugged his shoulders and fourth night. These fountains are frequently at made off at a free majestic walk. This shot immense distances from their pasturage, and the brought several of the dogs to my assistance which had been following the other elephants, elephants frequently come fifteen or twenty miles and on their coming up and barking, another to quench their thirst and enjoy the pleasure of headlong charge was the result, accompanied spouting huge volumes of water over their backs. by the never-failing trumpet as before. In his Many of these fountains seem to have been places charge he passed close to me, when I saluted of resort for elephants and other large game from him with a second bullet in the shoulder, of which he did not take the slightest notice. I the earliest times, inasmuch as the pathway is now determined not to fire again until I could frequently worn deep in the solid rock, by the make a steady shot; but although the elephant feet of the mighty denizens of these primeval turned repeatedly, Sunday' invariably disapforests. They sleep generally from midnight pointed ine, capering so that it was impossible until towards day, sometimes on their broad sides, to fire. At length, exasperated, I became reckand sometimes standing on their feet. Their less of the danger, and springing from the saddle, approached the elephant under cover of a gait is a free and majestic pace, singularly sound-tree, and gave him a bullet in the side of the less from the peculiar, soft and spongy formation head, when trumpeting so shrilly that the forest of their feet. When alarmed they retreat in a trembled, he charged among the dogs, from brisk amble that takes them along in a degree of whom he seemed to fancy that the blow had speed marvellous in so large a brute, but they come; after which he took up a position in a are easily overtaken on horseback. When at walked up very near, and as he was in the act of grove of thorns with his head towards me. I tacked, they retreat until brought forcibly to bay, charging, stood coolly in his path until he was when they will charge the foe with undaunted within fifteen paces of me, and let drive at the courage, making a loud and imposing trumpet- hollow of his forehead, in the vain expectation ing to sound the onset. An elephant roused that by so doing I should end his career. The thoroughly up to the fighting point is one of the shot only served to increase his fury—an effect which I had remarked shots in the head invariamost dangerous of all animals. We select the bly produced; and continuing his charge with infollowing description of the slaughter of an ele- credible quickness and impetuosity, he all but phant, from many equally lively and entertain- terminated my elephant hunting forever. A ing; but this will suffice to give the reader some large party of the Bechuanas, who had come up, notion of the mode in which Mr. Cumming re- yelled out simultaneously, imagining I was killed, alized the grand idea of his life. for the elephant was at one moment almost on the top of me; I, however, escaped by my acAs the elephant was charging, an enormous thorn tivity, and by dodging round the bushy trees. ran deep into the sole of my foot, the old Badenoch brogues, which I that day sported, being worn through; and this caused me severe pain, laming me throughout the rest of the conflict.
"We proceeded as silently as might be for few hundred yards, following the guide, when he suddenly pointed, exclaiming Klow," and before us stood a herd of mighty bull elephants, packed together beneath a shady grove, about a hundred and fifty yards in advance. I rode slowly towards them, and as soon as they observed me, they made a loud rumbling noise, and tossing their trunks, wheeled right about and made off in one direction, crashing through the forest, and leaving a cloud of dust behind them. Of the ing along at a steady pace with blood streaming four old fellows, two had much finer tusks than from his wounds; the dogs. which were knockthe rest, and for a few seconds I was undecided ed up with fatigue and thirst, no longer barked which of these two I would follow; when sud-around him, but had dropped asteru. It was denly the one which I fancied had the stoutest long before I again fired, for I was afraid to dismount, and Sunday' was extremely troublesome. At length I fired sharp right and left from the
"The elephant held on through the forest at a sweeping pace; but he was hardly out of sight when I was loaded and in the saddle, and soon once more alongside. My elephant kept crash
But Mr. Cumming told the Nwana story!
saddle: he got both balls behind the shoulder, tous and lively description of the dissection of and made a long charge after me, rumbling and the elephant by the natives, and their method of trumpeting as before. The whole body of the cooking the feet, which are considered a great Bamangwato men had now come up and were following a short distance behind me. Among delicacy, promising that this shall be the last long these was Mollyee, who volunteered to help; extract, to which we shall insist upon the readand being a very swift and active fellow, he ren- er's attention. dered me important service by holding my fidgety After speaking of the manner in which the horse's head while I fired and loaded. I then outer skin is removed, and the inner skin shaped fired six broadsides from the saddle, the elephant into water-bags, and premising that the Bechucharging almost every time, and pursuing us to
the main body in our rear, who fled in all direc-anas are very fond of fat, Mr. Cumming protions as he approached.
"The sun had now sunk behind the tops of
the trees; it would very soon be dark, and the "The fat of the elephant lies in extensive layelephant did not seem much distressed, not-ers and sheets in his inside, and the quantity withstanding all he had received. I recollected which is obtained from a full grown bull. in high that my time was short, and therefore at once condition, is very great. Before it can be obresolved to fire no more from the saddle, but tained, the greater part of the bowels must be to go close up to him and fire on foot. Riding removed. To accomplish this, several men evenup to him I dismounted, and approaching very tually enter the immense cavity of his inside, Dear, I gave it him right and left in the side where they continue mining away with their asof the head, upon which he made a long and de- sagais, and handing the fat to their comrades termined charge after me; but I was now very outside until all is bare. While this is transpiring reckless of his charge, for I saw that he could with the sides and bowels, other parties are not overtake me, and in a twinkling I was loaded, equally active in removing the skin and flesh and again approaching, fired sharp right and left from the remaining parts of the carcass. The behind his shoulder. Again he charged with natives have a horrid practice on these occasions a terrific trumpet, which sent Sunday' flying of besmearing their bodies from the crown of the through the forest. This was his last charge. head to the sole of the foot, with the black and The wounds which he had received began to tell clotted gore; and in this anointing they assist on his constitution, and he now stood at bay one another, each man taking up the fill in both beside a thorny tree, with the dogs barking around his hands, and spreading it over the back and him. These, refreshed by the evening breeze, shoulders of his friend. Throughout the entire and perceiving that it was nearly over with the proceeding an incessant and deafening clamor of elephant, had once more come to my assistance. inany voices and confused sounds is maintained, Having loaded, I drew near and fired right and and violent jostling and wrestling are practised left at his forehead. On receiving these shots, by every man, elbowing the breasts and counteinstead of charging, he tossed his trunk up and nances of his fellows, all slippery with gore, as down, and by various sounds and motions most he endeavors to force his way to the venison gratifying to the hungry natives, evinced that his through the dense intervening ranks, while the demise was near. Again I loaded, and fired my sharp and ready assagai gleams in every band. last shot behind his shoulder: on receiving it he The angry voices and gory appearances of these turned round the bushy tree beside which he naked savages, combined with their excited and stood, and I rau round to give him the other bar-frantic gestures and glistening arms, presented rel, but the mighty old monarch of the forest an effect so wild and striking, that when I first needed no more; before I could clear the bushy beheld the scene, I contemplated it in the motree, he fell heavily on his side and his spirit had mentary expectation of beholding one half of the fled. I climbed on to him and sat enthroned gathering turn their weapons against the other." upon his side, which was as high as my eyes when standing on the ground. I never felt so gratified on any former occasion as I did then." Vol. I, pp. 297-301.
Then follows the account of the baking of the feet and trunk:
"A party provided with sharp-pointed sticks,
The elephant is sometimes very tenacious of dig a hole in the ground for each foot and a porlife, requiring from twenty to sixty bullets before tion of the trunk. These holes are about two he will yield. In only one instance did our au- feet deep and a yard in width; the excavated thor succeed in taking his life by a single shot. earth is embanked around the margin of the hole. The number of these animals that fell before his This work being completed, they next collect an immense quantity of dry branches and trunks of rifle during his five tours, was considerably over trees, of which there is always a profusion scatone hundred; he does not specify the precise tered around, having been broken by the elenumber, but refers to his "fiftieth" and "hun-phants in former years. These they pile above dreth" elephant at the time he slew them. We the holes to the height of eight or nine feet, and then set fire to the heap. When these strong are tempted to treat the reader to another de-fires have burned down, and the whole of the scription of elephant-shooting by moonlight, but wood is reduced to ashes, the holes and the surwe are compelled to forbear. We cannot, how rounding earth are heated in a high degree. Ten ever, refrain from extracting the following felici- or twelve men then stand round the pit, and rake
out the ashes with a pole about sixteen feet in, the flock. If he starts a troop of giraffes, he length, having a hook at the end. They relieve invariably gets the best, if a herd of wilde-beest, one another in quick succession, each man run the likeliest wilde-beest falls to his aim, or if a flock ning in and raking the ashes for a few seconds,
and then pitching the pole to his comrade and of pallah or koodoos, or buffalo, or elephants, or retreating, since the heat is so intense that it is anything else, he always has the miraculous good scarcely to be endured. When all the ashes are fortune to get the very prime and pride of the thus raked out beyond the surrounding bank of group. Now this species of huntsman-like boastearth, each elephant's foot and portion of the ing is endurable within modest bounds—if a man trunk is lifted by two athletic men standing side by side, who place it on their shoulders, and ap- for probabilities, he may be somewhat excused; would only exaggerate with a moderate contempt proaching the pit together, they heave it into it. The long pole is now again resumed, and with but in the case before us, the improbabilities of the assertion being true are so infinitely multiplied, that we feel a little indignation at the nonchalance with which Mr. Cumming sports with our credulity. If the assertion did not bear such
it they shove in the heated bank of earth upon the foot, and another bonfire is kindled over each, which is allowed to burn down and die a natural death, by which time the enormous foot or trunk will be found to be equally baked through out its inmost parts. When the foot is supposed a marvellous resemblance to the marvellous little romances in which the hero always gets the best of everything, we should be more disposed to receive it with toleration. As it is, it only excites our contempt.
to be ready, it is taken out of the ground with pointed sticks, and is first well beaten, and then scraped with an assagai, whereby adhering particles of sand are got rid of. The outside is then pared off, and it is transfixed with a sharp stake for facility of carriage. The feet thus cooked are excellent, as is also the trunk, which very much resembles buffalo's tongue."
Vol I, pp. 303-306.
We must say in conclusion, that one or two incidents related in these volumes have given us a very unfavorable opinion of the elevation of moral sentiment in the character of our author. We had intended to give our readers a sam- This opinion is mainly based upon the following ple of an adventure with each principal ani- fact. During Mr. Cumming's first tour, he was mal that formed the object of Mr. Cumming's overtaken by dark on the plains, hunting springattentions; but we have already occupied too boks, and as he rode on towards his waggons, he much space. He had an encounter with a lion roused what he supposed to be a troop of quagat midnight, meeting face to face in a narrow gas, and immediately started in pursuit. After path, and a narrow escape from a horrid snake, a hard chase he managed to shoot one of them, which it would be interesting to repeat. But we and when he returned in the morning to look after must refer the reader to the book itself for these his prize, he found that he had hunted the horses and many similar adventures of a like interest. of a Boer in the vicinity and killed a valuable We must say, however, that we feel a very phi- auimal. His first impulse was to seek the owner losophical degree of incredulity at the story of and pay for the horse; but on being told by anoththe wounded hippopotamus, floundering in the er Boer with whom he was then hunting, that water, which was guided by Mr. Cumming to the owner of the animal would make him pay the bank in a manner decidedly unique, to say more than the horse was worth, he meanly conthe least of it. He swam to the wounded brute, sented to conceal the act and concerted with and finding her tail too short to afford him a hold, Strydom to lay the loss on the lions or the Bushhe cuts two parallel slits in her skin, and insert-men. Now we do not know what may be the ing his knife, he framed an extempore handle to moral sentiment, admitted to be obligatory by a his game, and thus secured it in triumph. This member of a race of Celtic nobles; but we do may be true, but we feel most uncomfortably at know that the above transaction would disgrace a loss how to begin to believe it; and do here a much more vicious person, than we think Mr. most pathetically repeat our solemu conviction, Cumming of Altyre to be. We would also invite that Mr. Cumming had no right to place us in the reader to inquire into the meaning of the enthe dilemma of risking the denial of an asser-suing outbreak of sensibility from the man, whose tion, without the documents" to disprove it, or time for five years was occupied in the most of losing our self-respect for crediting a thing wholesale and remorseless destruction of brute that verges upon the ridiculous. life. He had just shot a wild beast, whose flanks were dreadfully torn and lacerated by the teeth of the fierce and undaunted wild dog; and while contemplating the mangled body of the victim, he gives vent to the following extravagant burst
Before coucluding this review, we would remark upon one singular peculiarity in the author He was hunting almost every day for five years, in the midst of enormous crowds of game ranging in herds of all sizes, and yet, sin- of romantic tenderuess. gular to relate, Mr. Cumming never but once or "Poor old bull! twice failed to get the very pick and flower oferating his fate. It is melancholy to reflect that I could not help commis