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Author of " The Large Game and Natural History of South and South-East Africa.' 











Preface — By the Hon. W. H. Drummond, 
Obituary Notices, ..... 
Port Natal, ..... 

A Hunting and Tradino Expedition in South Africa, 
A Zulu Foray, ..... 

Kaffir "Doctors," .... 

A Trip into the Zulu, and a Visit to King Panda, 
Wild Life in South Africa — . 

I. — Mornmg in Soutk-Eastern Africa, 
II.— A Day in Wild Life, 
III. — A Zulu Mawriage, 
IV.— A Zulu Story of a Haunted Wood, 
v.— Ool Bottibo, .... 

VL— A Night Round the Fire, . 
VII. — A Runaway Match, 
' VIIL— A Buflfaio Hunt in the Water, 

IX. — A Few Odds and Ends about the Zulus, 

X.— A Kaffir Hunter's Story, . 
XL— Making the Most of It in "Wild Life, 
Transvaal versus Zulu, .... 
The Native Custom of Hlonipa, 
The Tsetse Fly— ..... 

Remarks on Mr St. Vincent Erskine's Paper, 
Answer to Mr Leslie*s Critique, 
Kaffir Character and Customs, 
The Labour Question, 
Suggestions for Governing the Kaffirs, 
Marriage Customs, 
The Training of Children, . 
The Kaffir Character, 

Kaffir Etiquette, .... 
Kaffir Cosmogony, . . 











127 I 



141 ' 



















The Zulu Word for "Life," 

Katal Scenery — Kaffir Music axd a TiCxEr Hunt, 

A Border Eaid, .... 

African Travel, Travellers, and their Books, 

Among the Asiatonga, . . . 

Taken by the Portuguese, 

A Zulu Romance, .... 

Letters to the Press — 

Native Labour, .... 

The Gun Trade with the Natives, . 

Defence, .... 

The Kaffir Rising in Natal, . 

Natal and Ashantee, 

The Native Rising in Natal, 

The New African Gold Discoveries, 

Is Dr Livingstone Dead ? 
The Isle in the Eastern Sea: A Missionary Story 
A Dublin "Boy," .... 

Plimsoll's "Jack," . . . 

Extracts from Hunting Journal— 

Agreement for Imi^ortation of Native Labour, 

Specimen of Savage King- Craft, 

Names and Interpretations of JSIoons, in Kaffir, 

Reflections of the Day, \ . 
Statement of my Claim against the Portuguese 
Government for Illegal Seizure, &c., 







The Delagoa Bay Arbitration — 

Marshal MacMahon's Award, . . . 417 

Leader in " Daily News " thereon, . 420 

Leader in " Times " .... 425 

Leader in " Morning Post " . . . 430 

Leader in "Herald of Peace," . . . 434 

Leader in "Newcastle Daily Chronicle," (Excerpt) 436 

Sharp Practice with Spain ! — What about Portugal ? 436 


In placing this book before the notice of the public, and, more 
especially, before those who knew the author, the late Mr David 
Leslie, it is necessary I should say a few words in explanation of the 
objects aimed at in its publication ; and in which, it is hoped that 
some measure of success has been attained. 

These are, primarily, to make such a selection from his published 
writings, as shall best recall him, as he lived amongst them, to the 
recollection of his friends ; secondly, to preserve, in a compact form, 
many of his contributions to literature, which might otherwise have 
been lost ; and thirdly, to enable the general public to appreciate, 
from his writings, the life of a man who, in an indirect yet practical 
manner, has influenced the future of South- East Africa more than 
almost any other of his contemporaries. 

The Obituary Notices, to be found in another part of this Volume, 
tell all that is necessary regarding his career ; and, to those who 
knew him, it would be superfluous to say more ; but the general 
public may reasonably expect to know what his qualifications were 
for writing on the subject to which the greater proportion of these 
pages is devoted, i. e., Life in South-East Africa ; and, as I spent 
many of the best years of my life— years to which I now look back 
with pleasure, which would be unmixed, had not Mr Leslie's death 
precluded the possibility of their ever repeating themselves in the 
future — alone with him, among the native tribes, and in the unin- 
habited districts of the interior ; I will endeavour to afford the 
desired information. 

It would indeed be difficult to imagine a man more thoroughly fitted, 
both by nature and education, for the life of a colonist ; or to be a 
pioneer among savage tribes. His abilities and practical knowledge 
were so great, that he left his mark upon every colonial question he 
took up ; as several of the articles in this collection, especially those 
on the much vexed questions of Labour and Polygamy, sufficiently 
show ; while his shrewdness and capacity in business matters were 


such, as to render his success in life assured, had he only been 
permitted to live a few years longer. It will be observed in the 
Obituary Notices, that, after having spent almost his whole life in 
the Colony of Natal, he came home in May, 1873, for the purpose 
of joining his uncle in a business, than which nothing more dissimilar 
to the wild-free -life, he had so long been accustomed to lead, could 
well be imagined; and it says much both for his personal character, 
and the versatility of his talents, that he at once and markedly 
succeeded in the new sphere he had entered upon. His acquain- 
tance with the languages, politics, customs, and feelings of the 
natives of Natal, and of the important semi-independent States lying 
between the British and Portuguese possessions on the East Coast, 
was probably greater than that of any other man ; while the paper 
read before the Natural History Association of Natal, on the native 
custom of ^' Hlonipa,'' as well as the discussion on the Zulu word 
for *' Life," and the remarks on the names and interpretations of the 
native Months, and, indeed generally throughout his papers, show a 
knowledge of his subject, as well as a power of grasping it, certainly 
unsurpassed, and, in my opinion, unequalled, by that of even those 
who have made it the study of their lives. 

These qualifications, added to a temper which nothing could ruffle, 
to powers of cheerfully undergoing fatigue and hardships of every 
kind, which I have seldom seen fipproached : (I have seen him, after 
walking and hunting in the blazing sun for fourteen or fifteen hours, 
without having tasted food the whole day, insist upon his men divid- 
ing among themselves, the small basket of boiled maize which the 
villagers had brought for his personal consumption ! ) : and that 
aptitude for turning his hand to the work of the moment, whether 
it was digging his waggon out of some hole, or conducting a delicate 
negotiation with a native potentate, without which no one can hope 
to succeed in "wildlife," enabled him to control with complete 
success the large number of natives who attended him in his expe- 
ditions — a task, the difficulty of which is only known to those who 
have experienced it ; and it may truthfully be said that in him the 
country has lost one who was peculiarly suited for the post of leader 
of any of those great exploring expeditions into the far interior, 
which we may expect to be undertaken, from time to time, until the 
whole of that continent has been thoroughly explored. 


I cannot pass from my subject, without saying a few words on the 
personal character of a man, who was liked and respected by his 
acquaintances, and loved by all his friends. His honesty, straight- 
forwardness, and industry commanded respect ; while, as a pleasant 
and intelligent companion, he possessed the happy knack of suiting 
himself to any society into which he might be thrown. He was 
equally popular with his fellow- colonists and among the great Chiefs 
of the interior, numbering among his friends the late and present 
Kings of the Zulus ; and, although somewhat cautious in forming a 
friendship, having once made it, he never forgot it ! As a hunter 
among the large game, with which his various expeditions made 
him acquainted, he was brave without rashness, cool and self-reliant 
in the midst of dangers, fertile in resources in emergencies, and 
was physically endowed with such strength as enabled him to bear, 
in favourable comparison to the natives, the tremendous fatigue such 
sport entails. Kind-heartedness and good-nature were his special 
characteristics, and many a poor white hunter or trader, beyond the 
boundaries of the Colony, has cause to remember his name with 
gratitude. Nor can I do less than repeat here, what I have already 
stated in the preface to my book, The Large Game and Natural 
History of South and South-East Africa, that " to his kindly placing 
at my disposal, during my expeditions, the large number of hunters 
and natives in his service, I owe many of my opportunities for obser- 
vation ; " nay, I must add, that it is chiefly to his skill, attention, 
and kindness in illness, and to his assistance in many of the dangers 
and difficulties incident to travel and hunting among the natives in 
the interior, that I attribute my having ultimately returned alive to 
this country. 

It would be an easy and pleasant task for me to dilate on this 
subject, and to commit to paper some of the many characteristic 
anecdotes which occur to me, as I think over the years we spent 
together ; but enough has perhaps been already said to enable the 
reader to form a just idea of the Author of these pages ; and, before 
passing on to a few short remarks on their contents, I will only add 
that, while to all of us who knew him, his loss is one that can never 
be replaced, we have the comfort of knowing that throughout his 
life, not less than in its closing scenes, he was ready for the great 
change which has now overtaken him ; and that, whatever comfort 


there is to be found in tlie knowledge of a life well and usefully spent, 
and an end worthy of the life, his bereaved mother, relations, and 
friends have that well-grounded consolation ; for he was, in the best 
sense of the term, a Christian gentleman. 

The original object in the selection and printing of this Volume 
was to preserve to his friends the fugitive papers, " In Memoriam " 
of the Author ; but, at the urgent solicitations of friends, who knew 
the permanent value of these papers, it has been agreed to give them 
to the public in a second edition, which will shortly be issued by 
Messrs Edmonston & Douglas, Edinburgh. It will be observed that 
every article which has been selected for publication has the date of 
its original appearance attached to it. For some of them, this was, 
no doubt, needless ; but in the case of such papers as " Port Natal," 
"Transvaal vei^sus Zulu," and others, circumstances are so altered 
since they were written, that the point would have been lost, had 
the date of their writing not been mentioned. As true pictures of 
Zulu life and modes of expression, nothing could be more perfect 
than "A Zulu Foray," "A Runaway Match," and "A Zulu 
Romance." I leave the reader to judge of their literary merits for 
himself, and I only offer the testimony, which my knowledge of the 
Zulus themselves enables me to give, of their truthfulness. " Wild 
Life " will have its own peculiar charm for those who have exper- 
ienced it, as well as for the general reader ; and each of the 
other papers has been selected as containing something charac- 
teristic of the Author, or of interest to the reader ; but I cannot help 
referring to the Extracts from his Hunting Journal, wherein the 
"Reflections of the day" show the bent of his mind, these being 
written in the wilds of Africa, after an exhausting day's hunting and 
travelling, without the slightest expectation that they would ever 
be seen and criticised by others. His gun and his books were his 
inseparable companions in his expeditions; the one procuring his 
physical sustenance — the other providing his mental pabulum. 

It is unnecessary to say anything here regarding the Delagoa Bay 
Dispute, and Mr Leslie's claim against the Portuguese Government, 
which depended upon the late Arbitration Case. But if, by the 
subject becoming more widely known through these pages, the 
British Government is induced to make an arrangement with the 
Portuguese, by which Delagoa Bay may return to its original owners, 


and the rampant Slavery of the East Coast be put down, the cause 
will not have altogether failed, for which Mr Leslie fought so well, 
and in which he lost so much, for even his death may, in a great 
measure, be attributed to the fever he caught on that very expedi- 

In conclusion, I must express my thanks to Mr Robert M 'Tear, 
of Glasgow (the late Mr Leslie's uncle), for the assistance he has 
afforded me in editing this Volume ; an assistance, indeed, so gTeat 
and valuable — but a labour of love to him — that, although I would 
most willingly have done it all out of respect for my late dear 
friend, my share of the labour has been almost nominal ; and, while 
apologising for any errors which may have been allowed, inad- 
vertently, to creep in, or been passed over, I leave it in the hands 
of the public, satisfied that, under the circumstances, they will be 
generous in their judgment. 


London, Oct. 4th, 1875. 


*' Our obituary to-day announces the death of Mr David Leslie, 
whose career has been such, that it deserves some more extended 
notice. Mr Leslie, who had only attained his 35th year, was born 
at Taymount, Perthshire. His father was accidentally killed by 
being thrown from his gig six months before the deceased was born, 
80 that he was left to push his own way in the world. He went to Katal 
when he Was only eleven years of age, and having become proficient 
in the Zulu language, Was, at the early age^of fourteen, appointed 
interpreter to the courts of law in Natal. Subsequently he became 
one of the principal merchants in Natal, and for several years was a 
member of the firm of Acutt & Leslie. Through a commercial 
crisis, which occurred there about ten years ago, he was obliged to 
abandon his mercantile connection, and from that time until his 
return to this country, he was engaged trading and hunting in the 
interior of Africa, having been a most ardent Nimrod and accom- 
plished marksman. Mr Leslie was long on intimate terms with the 
native chiefs of Natal. His knowledge of the country, and of the 
habits and customs of the natives was extensive, and he delivered 
frequent lectures on the subject, before the Natural History Society 
of Natal. The local papers published numerous contributions of 
great interest from his pen, and since his return to this country, Mr 
Leslie has written a great deal of instructive matter, regarding 
Africa and its inhabitants, in various newspapers and magazines. 
One of his letters, which appeared in the Times, gave so truthful 
and able a description of the country, that it attracted the attention 
of Sir Bartle Frere, who took occasion to have an interview with 
him during his late brief stay in Glasgow. Whilst on a hunting 
expedition in his schooner, the ' William Shaw,' Mr Leslie and his 
vessel were seized by the Portuguese authorities, in what were con- 
sidered British waters. The question of the exact marine boundary 
between the British and Portuguese was thus raised, and referred to 


the arbitrament of the President of the French Republic, who has 
been in no hurry to give his decision. Mr Leslie was consulted by 
the Colonial Office in the matter of adjusting their claim, and his 
individual claim for illegal seizure, against the Portuguese Govern- 
ment was, of course, held in abeyance until that of the British 
Government should be determined. After the seizure, and while 
detained at Lorenzo Marques pending negotiations, Mr Leslie was 
attacked by fever, which is believed to have seriously aflfected his 
constitution. On recovering, he started for this country, arriving 
about fourteen months ago, and since his return he has resided with 
his uncle, Mr Robert M'Tear. For some time his health has been 
indifferent ; but, a few weeks ago, he was seized with a severe affec- 
tion of the lungs, to which he succumbed after much suffering. 
Mr Leslie's relations on the maternal side are all in Natal, with the 
exception of Mrs M 'Tear ; but his paternal relatives reside at Blair- 
gowrie. The funeral of the deceased will, we believe, take place on 
Friday, when his remains will be interred in the Necropolis. We 
may add that Mr Leslie, since his arrival in Glasgow, had gained 
the respect of many friends, who will sincerely mourn his loss." — 
Glasgow Citizen, 13th May, 1874- 

"Brief as is the time allowed us, we cannot permit the formal 
obituary notice, in another column, to pass, without a word regard- 
ing the late Mr David Leslie. Little more than twelve months 
since he left Natal, his home from boyhood, to enter and eventually 
take over the extensive and flourishing business in Glasgow of his 
uncle, Mr Robert M'Tear. A mail or two ago, news were received 
that he had been seized with inflammation of the lungs, but a later 
telegram, via Brindisi, reported him to have somewhat rallied from 
the attack, and stated that hopes were entertained of -his recovery. 
By the mail just arrived, we learn that he sank on the 11th May, in 
his 35th year. 

"Mr Leslie arrived in the Colony in March, 1850, being then a 
lad of about ten years of age, as one of the large party headed by our 
veteran colonist, Mr John Forbes, his grandfather. For some 
years he was engaged in business in Durban, but the best years of 
his life were spent in hunting and trading among the native tribes to 
the north, and many a graphic tale he had to tell of ' hair- breadth 


'scapes by flood and field.' His intimate acquaintance with the 
politics, as well as the manners and modes of thought, of the Zulus 
and other northern tribes enabled him, by means of a ready pen, to 
contribute to the Natal Herald more than one able paper, which 
attracted the notice and commendation of the Secretary for Native 
Affairs ; and not the local journals only, but leading newspapers at 
home — notably the Times, during these late troubles — gladly wel- 
comed his contributions. He read at least two interesting and valu- 
able papers, on Hlonipa and other native customs, before the Natural 
History Association in Durban ; and, to this journal, prior to his 
departure for his native country, he contributed an interesting series 
of letters on native politics, and the gun trade. 

" But we must close, however we may shrink from reverting to the 
sudden ending of a life, which appeared to have just opened out a 
new vista of hope and prosperity, to one endowed with many amiable 
qualities, and much beloved. To the widowed mother, whose only 
child he was, and who hoped soon to join him in Scotland, to the 
venerable grand-parents, and to the rest of his bereaved relatives, 
from whom he has thus suddenly been taken in the prime of his 
days, we can only, in common with many attached friends in Natal, 
offer the most heartfelt sympathy." — Natal Colonist, 7th July, 1874- 

"We much regret to hear by this mail of the death of a former 
fellow-townsman, who, though much absent from the colony of late, 
occupied for many years an honourable position here. Mr Leslie 
was noted here for his intelligence, public spirit, and enterprise. 
The rapidity of his rise amongst us, as a commercial man, was entirely 
due to his remarkable sagacity and shrewd sense, and his death will 
be much lamented by many old friends. His bereaved mother and 
her family, will have the warm sympathy of all, in their sad affliction. 
It cannot be doubted that, had he lived, Mr Leslie would have 
made no inconsiderable mark in the world ; and been of great service 
to Africa, to whose interests he was devoted. We have only room in 
this issue to give the following appreciative notice from the Glasgow 
Citizen of 12th May last."( Vide ante). — Natal Mercury, 7th July, 1874. 


EXTRACT FROM PREFACE to the Hon. W. H. Drummond's 
Work on "The Large Game and Natural History of 
South and South-East Africa:" — 

" It would be unjust to the memory of my late friend Mr Leslie, 
were I to omit to mention that, to his great knowledge and 
experience, I owe much of whatever may be of value in these pages ; 
and that, to his kindly placing at my disposal, during my expedi- 
tions, the large number of hunters and natives in his service, I owe 
many of my opportunities for observation." 




(Chambers' Journal, ilth June, 1859.) 

A FEW facts concerning the Colony of Port Natal, which has 
lately begun to attract a share of public attention as a new 
field of emigration, may be interesting both to intending 
emigrants and to readers generally. There are three things 
currently believed throughout this country to be detrimental 
to Natal — namely, the heat, the unhealthy climate, and the 
very inadequate supply of labour. 

Now, such remarks, which I have often heard made, only 
show the great want of correct information which exists 
regarding the colony. According to Government statistics, 
the thermometer on the coast during winter averages 72 
degrees, and in summer 80 degrees; further up and above 
the capital (Pietermaritzburg), the climate is very much the 
same as in Britain; at D'Urban, and along the coast, the 
sea breezes cool the atmosphere. 

Hot winds, as in Australia, are seldom felt; so much so, 
that when one does come, people go about very much sur- 
prised, informing one another that it is "actually a hot wind!" 

When warm in Natal, it is always dry; few and far 
between are those close, humid, sultry days, so much felt in 
India, in which men go about as if the exertion of dragging 
one leg after another was too much, and when the only 



comfcg^table position to be in, is up to your chin in cold 
water; when to eat is a nuisance, and to drink is a necessity. 

The rains in summer are constant; scarcely a day passes 
without a shower, and when it rains there, it does rain — not 
as it is in Britain, an unpleasant drizzle, but "an even down 
pour." So much, however, is the earth parched by winter 
droughts, and so great the evaporation, that no rain, however 
heavy, lies on the surface more than three days; and, of 
course, fever and all diseases arising from decayed vegetable 
matter and stagnant water are unknown. Now, in what is 
called the Amatonga country, about 250 miles from D'Urban, 
the decayed vegetable matter and stagnant swamps are so 
great, that it is death to any European to venture there. 
Miles upon miles of flat country; in fact, one great rich 
swamp, covered with game, is there inhabited by a people 
civilized in comparison with their neighbours, the Zulus; but 
where death or disease is sure to attack any white man who 
enters. Great is the contrast Avithin so short a distance! 
Tor Natal is a country without one virulent disease peculiar 
to itself, where consumption and scrofula are unknown, 
where health is, in fact, rampant, where the ladies are all in 
despair about getting so stout and so strong, and where 
many have saved their lives from the grasp of those fearful 
diseases so prevalent in the old country. 

The Colony of Natal contains a population of about 
10,000 whites and 225,000 Blacks. Now, with this im- 
mense number, the most credulous cannot believe the 
assertion that labour is scarce; for, allowing one servant to 
every white man, woman, and child, what an immense 
number there remains for future emigrants ! It may be said 
that the greater portion of the 225,000 are women and 
children; but it is they who, at their own homes, labour 
most. The women hoe, plant, and reap, carry water, cook. 


and, in fact, do everything except build tlie huts, miik the 
cows, and hunt. AVhere, also, would you get better pickers 
of cotton than Kaffir children? Such is the increasing 
fondness of the Kaffirs for money, and the articles which it 
will procure, that they are fast overcoming the j>rejudice 
about letting their women and children go out to work. 

It is also plain that, as they begin to feel the advantages 
and security of being under British government, the chances 
of any outbreak are constantly lessening. I have heard 
many people say — " Oh, but your natives are a very bad set 
— are they not? — always warring and plundering;" but they 
have been confounding the Kaffir war in the Cape Colony, 
a place 700 miles away, with Natal. Every Kaffir in Natal 
knows well that, were the white men gone from the colony, 
the surrounding nations would at once make a clean sweej), 
so envious have they become of their accumulations of cattle 
and other riches; and at the same time the Europeans are 
well aware that, should any of the surrounding nations 
attempt anything against Natal, there are Kaffirs enough in 
the colony, who, combined together under a European leader, 
would "eat them up" altogether, as their own expression is. 
The fact being so, then, and the price of labour so low — 
ranging from 5s. to 10s. per month, according to the style of 
servant, and about 7s. more to feed them — ^there need be no 
fear about want of labour to carry out any kind of agri- 
cultural operations whatever.* 

Having endeavoured to explain away the prejudices con- 

* Experientia docet. This was written in 1859, when hopes were 
high and expectations were sanguine ; but time has told a different 
tale ; and the disinclination of the natives for work, and the induce- 
ments to lazinesss which polygamy offers, have forced the colonists to 
introduce Coolies, at a great expense, to do what the Kaffirs ought 
to do. — Ed. 


cerning the climate, and the scarcity of labour in Natal, the 
next thing to be done is to give as fair a description, as my 
limits will permit, of the general outline of the port and 
harbour, the country, and the articles of commerce which it 

Upon arriving in the outer anchorage, the emigrant is 
struck by the quiet beauty of the bay — one broad sheet of 
water — stretching up into the country about six miles, with 
one or two islands towards the north-west side; on the left 
a majestic bluff looks down upon i30or ocean fretting at its. 
feet; to the right — a low sandy point, partially covered 
with a peculiar creeper, and gradually rising as it recedes, 
dips into the level flat upon which stands the town of 
D'Urban; then rising again abruptly into the range of hills 
called the Berea; stretching up ste-p by step, wall upon wall, 
until it meets the grass-land upon the top, almost as level a& 
the sea itself. Between the aforesaid point and the bluff is 
the entrance to the bay, and rather outside of that the bar — 
the much dreaded bar — whereon there is, at high-water and 
spring-tides, generally from 12 to 18 feet of water, and 
which, there is no doubt whatever, might be very much 
improved by the expenditure of a little more money. 

The present bar would not, in Great Britain, be suffered 
to remain six months; and Natal is only waiting until, by 
the introduction of more people and more capital, she is 
enabled to make it a splendid harbour. A prospectus has 
lately been issued for a railway from the landing-place to 
the town, a distance of three miles, and all the shares have 
been taken up within the colony itself As it is a dead- 
level all the way along the beach, it is not expected to cost 
more than £10,000. It is very much wanted, and no doubt 
will pay, as all goods under the present system have to be 
carted up to town at a great expense. 


The agricultural part of the colony is, as it were, in two 
divisions. On the coast line of about 120 miles long by 20 
broad, all tropical products, such as sugar, arrowroot, coffee, 
indigo, cotton, &c., grow with great facility; and not as 
in mere experimental gardening, but in such quantities as 
to assure the people of Natal that they will all, ere long, 
become staple articles of export. 

Last season's crop of sugar was 750 tons; arrowroot forms 
now a great part of the cargoes from Natal; the cultivatior 
of indigo is being vigorously prosecuted by several wealth} 
planters from Java; cotton grows wild throughout the lower 
parts of the colony; the Natal coffee is considered equal to 
that of Mocha — one planter sold his crop for home consump- 
tion at 95 s. per cwt.; oil-nuts, flax, fibrous plants of every 
description, and, indeed, the difficulty is to say what will mt 
grow in Natal, and grow well too. The cocoa-nut is the only 
exception that I know of. Of course, in sj^eaking of the 
products of a country in a commercial point of view, it is not 
usual to enumerate gooseberries, black currants, and such 
small game, and it must be acknowledged that in these 
Natal shows her weakness. But, as a compensation, she 
produces, in the greatest luxuriance, pine apples, oranges, 
bananas, peaches, and other fruits which here are considered 

Land, which, eight or ten years ago, was sold for Is. per 
.acre, now fetches 30s. ; and it may be assumed that a good 
sugar farm may, at the present time, be purchased at about 
the latter rate. Oxen — with which all ploughing is done at 
Natal^may be got for £5. Ploughs, carts, &c., ought all 
to be brought from Great Britain, as the emigrant will find 
a considerable difference between Natal and British prices. 
How very different the style of farming there is to what I have 
seen in travelling through Britain. Here, every inch of land 


is cultivated up to the railway; in Xatal, a man in starting 
takes, a look over 400 or 500 acres of land ; sees a piece 
which he thinks will do; away he goes, breaks it up, ploughs 
it over, banks and ditches it round, and there it is. Then 
for another piece, half-a-mile away it may be. In fact, there 
is so much rich land that he is difficult to please, and he 
picks and chooses like an epicure. 

Again, that part of the colony which is called, in colonial 
parlance, "up the country" — that is, high table-lands 
sprinkled with forests of yellow-wood, sneeze-wood, and 
other timber indigenous to the colony — is best suited for 
sheep, cattle, and horses. 

Sheep have lately been introduced to a great extent, and 
many Dutch farmers have emigrated from the Orange Eiver 
Free State to Natal, preferring security under British 
government to so-called independence under their own Ee- 
publicj and the greatest part of the aborigirial white in- 
habitants — ^that is, those who have been there ten or twelve 
years — ^have been giving up cattle and horses; the former of 
which constituted the principal merchandise of the people of 
Natal before they turned their attention to sheep and sugar. 

Natal is the country for the sportsman — from a blue buck 
of nine inches to an elephant of twelve feet high, and, through 
all the intermediate sizes there is game in especial abundance. 
In the vicinity of the settlement it has been rather thinned 
off; but within 100 miles of D-'Urban — the seaport town — 
you may in one hour fill a bag which it would take fourteen 
oxen to draw; and then think of the hairbreadth escapes, 
the running, the dodging, the getting-up thorny trees, to tho 
great detriment of your original and only pair of trousers, 
with a buffalo or a rhinoceros grunting at your heels ! 

I do not wish to give the impression that people in 
Natal are almost as barbarous as the natives, or without the 


amusements of society. Such an idea would be extremely- 
erroneous. Let any one look at the Natal papers; let him 
see its advertisements of balls, pic-nics, concerts, botanical 
and agricultural shows, &c., and he will allow that Natal is 
one of the gayest little places in the world. 

The society is equal to that in most towns in this country, 
and superior in many respects; for there you .have all its 
amenities, courtesies, and enjoyment, without its conven- 
tionalities. Even the Dutch Boers, who are, generally 
speaking, a heavy, respectable set of people, give their balls 
and parties, and attend them with the greatest zest. Though 
it does seem rather ridiculous to see a sixteen stone fellow 
whirling about in a waltz with a partner as big as himself! 
I have gone to a Dutch party, and on entering the room 
been very much surprised to find a Kaffir, dressed in a white 
shirt, standing in one corner of the room grinding away at a 
barrel-organ, producing polkas and waltzes with as great an 
indifference as if they had been pepper or coffee for domestic 
consumption. But this is an exceptionally ludicrous case. 

Natal, however, is not the place for a large emigration of 
the poorer, classes to be directed to — that is, of agricultural 
labourers and mechanics. The field is, no doubt, extensive, 
and land plenty and fertile; but still a man must have some 
thing to keep him while his crops are groAving. 

The number of farmers who can afford to employ white 
men, in the face of native labour being so cheap, is at present 
very small. But every man who goes to Natal with a 
capital of from £100 up to £20,000, it does not matter how 
much, and has anything like energy and determination, is 
almost sure to succeed. 


(GLASGOW Hebald, 7th and 14th February, 1859.) 

The foUowing most interesting and graphic description of a 
hunting and trading expedition from Natal into the Zulu 
country is from the pen of a young Perthshire gentleman, 
aged 19, who, about nine or ten years ago, was a pupil in 
the High School of Glasgow, It is a private journal, writ- 
ten for friends in Glasgow, and not intended for publication; 
but we believe it will be equally interesting to the general 
reader, from the capital description it gives of the manner 
in which an important branch of business in Natal is carried 
out: — 

On Monday the 16th of February, I crossed the Tugela, 
the boundary of Natal and Zulu-land. It is not such a large 
river as I thought it would be from the traders' description. 
The water was up to my chin in fording it, and there were 
plenty of alligators strewed about the banks. 

All the way from the Tugela to Emtente's kraal, on this 
side Enginginblovo, it rained, and consequently both I and 
the goods were very wet. We got to Emtente's about half- 
an-hour before dark, and after great difficulty I managed 
to get one hut, with the promise that so many of the Kaffirs 
as could not sleep with me, should sleep among the natives. 
Now I wanted one side of the hut for myself, and when I 
wished to go to sleep I turned out five of them, and had just 
got to sleep when back they came, as they could not get in any- 
where. There we were — nine Kaffirs, nine parcels, and myself 


in one small hut, about eight feet in diameter. What with 
heat, dirt, &c., I was almost smothered : my first night 
in Zulu-land ! Next morning we started off without any- 
thing to eat — passed Enginginblovo, one of Cetshwyo's (the 
king's son) principal kraals, with about sixty-five huts in 
it; and about mid-day had to stop at a kraal, both to get 
something to eat and to dry the goods. The owner of the 
kraal happening to have the stomach-ache from eating too 
much beef, I gave him some castor oil. His gratitude was 
so fervent that he gave me two huts, as much food as I 
could eat — that is thick milk, whey, and sweet-milk — and 
killed a small ox for myself and Kaffirs, so that I determined 
on sleeping there, as I was rather comfortable in comparison 
with the night before. I had a slight sort of feverish touch; 
but I made a big fire in the hut till I perspired freely, and 
then took two pills, and next morning felt all right. When 
he was skinning the ox I asked if he would sell me the skin. 
He said " Yes, for a rely" — about 2d. worth. Next morning 
I started, and walked, I should think, about fifteen miles 
from kraal to kraal. Such hills ! I never perspired so much 
in- my life as when toiling up them, and my eyelashes were 
fringed with drops. Some of the Zulus are excellent fellows; 
they bring you food and anything you want, taking any- 
thing you like to give them without a grumble. Others 
again make the most exorbitant demands, and are imperti- 
nent if you don't give it them. 

In the evening I reached a kraal belonging to the brother 
of Gaon an Induna, or Captain of Panda's (the king), and 
there I did my first trade — a beast for two blankets, and 
hard work I had to do it too. I heard that a Moloonga, 
with a boy, had passed the day before. I think it is John 
. Speaking to an old Zulu to-day about the fight at the 


Tugela,he says: — "Wow! the police, they saved all Umbulazi's: 
people that got away ! If it had not been for them we would 
have finished them entirely, and," he said, "the police were 
only a handful. How did they manage it 1 It was only by 
about as much as my finger-nail that tve did not run, instead 
of Umbulazi's people. And it was all through the police^ 
as they (Umbulazi's people) didn't fight at all." The place 
where the fight took place is a succession of round green 
knolls all the way to the Tugela. 

To-day (the 18tli) has been the most fatiguing day we 
have had as yet. We started in the morning from Jubana's 
kraal, and walked about five miles to a kraal where I learned 
that a Kaffir at another kraal, about three miles off", wanted 
to sell a cow. Off I started, taking one Kaffir and his 
bundle with me, telling the others to stop where they were, 
as I would come back, and we would go on and sleep at 
Gaon's kraal. However, when we got to the kraal, I found 
the cow was up on the "gangalla" (highlands), and when I 
got there we could not trade after all; and being near Gaon's, 
and far from where I had left the Kaffirs, I decided upon 
going there. We arrived about eight o'clock at night, 
regularly done up. Gaon himself is a very good fellow ; he 
gave us lots of food and a hut directly I asked for it ; but 
next morning I had great difficulty in getting food for my 
people. Gaon's finger-nails are at least two inches long, and 
some of his people's are nearly as long. They seem to take 
a pride in it. All the natives here are very "hlaugana- 
peely" (wide-awake). They ask two blankets for a cow, 
and some beads on the top of it. My Kaffirs grumbled 
terribly about being left behind. They said they had no 
hut and no "scoff" (food), they were "feely"(dead) entirely. 
If the 18th was the most fatiguing day I have yet had, 


the 19th was the most bothersome. I rose in the morning, 
and after getting something to eat for my hungry Kaffirs I 
set to work to buy from the Induna. The first beast he 
brought me was a small one. He began by asking two 
blankets for it. I said No ! He brought up another, and 
wanted seven bunches (about £1 worth of beads) for it. It 
was a good cow, and I offered him 12s. worth. There we 
were, bargaining and bargaining on into the afternoon, till 
I was thoroughly disgusted. I never in my life had such 
a day's talking, and all for nothing. 

I left in the afternoon, and slej)t at a kraal about 
four miles from Gaon's, on the road to the Norwegian 
Mission House. Trade was very bad: the Kaffirs say 
they never saw anything like it. From Gaon's kraal I saw 
two parties draw up for a fight. The young fellows of one 
kraal and those of another had a row about where their 
separate cattle ought to graze, and they assembled in two 
parties of about ten each to fight it out. They advanced 
in Hne till within about ten yards of each other, when one 
of them broke and ran as hard as they could, and were 
pursued by the others, till they in turn were met by two 
Indodu's men, who entirely dispersed them, so that the 
encounter did not come off after all. On the 20th, it 
rained in the morning, and one of the Kaffirs being sick, I 
determined upon staying in the kraal where I was, as I had 
rather good quarters. In the afternoon the Zulus said to 
me, " Why don't you go out and shoot the buffalo — ' Eesa 
Zotwa' (they only) — there in the 'hlauzen' (bush)?" So I 
took the gun, one Zulu, Jacob, Numbona, and Emjeeba, 
and off I went. 

We had walked about two miles along the road, when the 
Zulus said " Nausia Engapesliea," and there they were, a 


regular drove. Down we went as quietly as possible; and 
after a good deal of hiding and creeping, we got close upon 
them. They seemed just like black cattle, if it had not 
been for the horns. I had loaded the gun after my o"wti 
principle — viz., 2^ drams fine powder. I sat down and 
took a steady aim at the shoulder of the foremost cow. I 
fired — crack! sounded the ball. I had just time to take 
one look at her on the ground, when down came the whole 
drove right on the top of us. I ran, and all the Kaffirs, 
except Jacob. He saw that the buffaloes had not charged 
us, but were only what he called " banye " (stupid). They 
heard the shot, and just ran. They happened to run past 
us. Jacob "ciba'd" them, and missed. The others did the 
same, and all missed except the Zulu, and his assegai went 
off mtli them. I ran forward to cut them off at the turn 
of the hill, and just caught sight of them. I fired amongst 
them, and missed. We followed the cow I had wounded, 
and found a bull had gone off with her to help her. She 
lay down and rose up three times, and at last both of them, 
in attempting to go down a place like a precipice, so as to 
cross the " Umklatuse," the cow, with her game leg, fell, and 
rolled over and over down into the river. She picked 
herself up and got across, the bull helping her all the 
time, to another herd on the other side of the river. The 
Kaffirs say they never saw such a place for buffaloes. We 
saw three herds, forty-six in all. On Sunday, I think 
the 21st, I was awoke by the cry of " nansia esinblovo " the 
elephants ! Up I got, seized the gun, and called the Kaffirs; 
and in case the Zulus, who by this time were running from 
-all quarters, should give him the first stab, I ran just as I 
was, in my flannel shirt and hat, no shoes or trousers. After 
running for about two miles I found them in a little clump 


of bush, in the course of a burn, a famous place to shoot 
them in. I ran down as they cried " they are coming out;" 
and out they came, rather too far off, however, for shooting 
at. The sight of them just then was quite enough for 
me, so I ran back and gave "Potassa" the gun, and 
told him to shoot them. He started after them, and 
fired at one, and struck it in the belly. Just at the same 
time Dideesa flung his assegai at the other, and hit it 
in the rump, so that, by " hunter's law," they were both 
secured to me if we killed them. The one went down the 
burn, the other up. Potassa went after the one he fired at, 
and gave it the other barrel, only he fired so far off, being 
afraid, that the ball struck its shoulder, but did not seem to 
hurt it a bit. The other Kaffirs were all saying to me, 
" Oh ! Ponda [my Kaffir name], if you had only given me 
the gun that elephant would not have gone so far." And 
just then Potassa fired again, and missed it altogether. 
So, getting rather savage, I ran down and took the gun 
from him; and, as the enormous creature was standing 
amongst some bushes, I crept up till about three yards from 
him. I gave him just one shot : it went right to his brain, 
and finished him. Then began the row. The Zulus said 
they had hit him first, and that Potassa had missed him. 
We managed to convince them, however, that it was ours, 
and got possession of the tail. It had one tooth, and that 
very small. Of course it was Potassa's elephant. One Zulu 
I used rather forcible arguments with. He jamp on the 
carcase, called me some name or other, and said the beast 
was theirs. I also jumped up and knocked him off, heels- 
overhead for his pains. After this elephant, I should 
think I ran, not walked, five miles. The Zulus stopped by 
the elephant, and I and Dideesa started after the other one. 


We saw a lot of people running, and ran too, and found 
another lot of Zulus had turned him, and got him into a 
patch of reeds. I had only four bullets, so I sent Aplain 
back for more, and ran do"\vn with Dideesa to where he was. 
I sent him ahead to tell the Zulus that it was our elephant, 
and came myself just as he ran out after a dog, which he 
caught and trampled to pieces. I fired at his head, but my 
breath was gone, and I missed him. I fired again and 
hit him in the ear, but rather too far back on liis neck, and 
just at this moment a Zulu flung his assegai — it struck him 
in the ear and stuck there, notwithstanding all his 
endeavours to pull it out. The assegai was flung over my 
head, and the beast made a dead set at me just as I was 
loading. I had to run as fast as I could, but luckily the 
hill was near; I ran up to it, and when he got to the foot he 
stopped. I fired my other two bullets at him, with I don't 
know what effect: they struck him, but did not seem to 
damage him at the time. Then I had to sit down and wait 
till Aplain came with the bullets. The Zulus were throwing 
stones at him to get him out of the reeds, but he wouldn't 
move; just then, after a great deal of tugging, he managed to 
get the assegai out, and champed it to pieces -with his mouth. 
At last the bullets came, and I determined to repeat my 
former manoeuvre, so I told the Zulus to make a -row at the 
other side, while I crept up to him in the reeds. I gave him 
just one shot in the ear, and down he went. The upshot 
was that I had some trophies in the shape of three teeth 
and two tails, but, from running about till afternoon in 
nothing but my shirt and trousers, I was burnt all over with 
the sun, and felt very tender. When I came back to the kraal, 
I found that Gaon had been there to call me to trade in 
the morning, so that I hope to do some good with him. 


Time will show. I forgot to say that for the elephants I 
loaded four drains of fine powder, and found it not a bit too 
much. On the 22nd that old scoundrel Gaon did me 
completely. I went as he called me, and found him just as 
hard as ever. But I thought, well, I will give him what he 
wants, and then I shall be able to buy the cattle cheaply 
his people may bring, and I knew of about ten being about, 
at different kraals, waiting till I had done buying from the 
" umnennzaua " (headman). So for one cow, worth about 
£2, I gave him 27s. 6d. worth of beads, and for another, 
beads and a blanket to 20s. 6d. However, I found that, 
instead of his people selling, they brought all their cattle 
for him to sell to me, so that I was as badly off as ever, 
and I therefore packed up and came away. 

On the 23rd I reached the Missionary's, and had a 
long talk with him. He says the report here in the 
Zulu about Machian is that he fought two battles with 
the Kaffirs Mr Shepstone sent against them, and beat 
them, and that he was coming over the Buffalo with all 
his cattle to be a subject of Panda's, but that the Zulus 
would not receive him, being afraid of lung sickness, and 
that then the white people got his cattle. The Missionary 
has a very nice place; it is in a valley or amphitheatre 
of about a mile in circumference. There are two white 
people here — one married. It is just above the Choi Bush. 
Mr Schraeder (the Missionary,) says that Cetshwyo's army 
was at least 23,000 or 24,000 men, and Umbulazi's 
(his rival) was not more than one-third. They both passed 
by his place, and he had a good opportunity of judging. He 
says he considers Cetshwyo a much superior sort of man 
to Umbulazi — ^the latter behaved like a fool throughout. 
He says the population of the Zulu country is over 200,000, 


and out of that there are about 40,000 soldiers. He says 
also that the Zulu country during the late war lost from 
15,000 to 20,000 peoi^le — 5000 in one way or another killed, 
and 10,000 or 15,000 over to Natal; and also about 20,000 
cattle as well. He adds the loss was not so much felt in the 
country, as the people who ought to have been fed by these 
cattle went over to Natal. 

On the 24th, in the morning, I left Mr S.'s. I did so 
enjoy the tea, bed, and breakfast there, I had great difficulty 
in tearing myself away. I descended such a hill — it was like 
going down a ladder, or an angle of 60 degrees, for a mile. 
I got to Maukle Silo's kraal, where I stayed till next 
morning, it was so fearfully hot, about lOO"" in the shade. 
Nothing worth mentioning occured there, except in the 
morning, before leaving, I managed to buy a beast. On the 
25th, I started again, and called at two or three kraals — no 
trade. At the top of a hill we got to Zonklubo's kraal, 
and had a tremendous thunderstorm in the evening, after 
which it got cooler. Here I noticed a peculiarity amongst 
the Zulus; they did not allow the spoon to stand upright in 
the food, it must lie across the dish. They say that if it is. 
allowed to stand up, the " scoff" will stick in your stomach 
and not digest. In the evening, of course I went to sleep, 
nothing very eventful having happened that day. On the 
26 th, I bought some cattle at Zonklubo's, and after that, 
hearing that some Kaffirs wanted blankets, a little way off, I 
took two Kaffirs and their bundles, and set off on a small 
tour. I was unsuccessful, that day; however, I heard that 
there was to be a dance, or marriage, at a kraal a little way 
off next day, and, as the owner promised there would be 
cattle for sale then, I waited that day also at Zonklubo's. 
At night all Zonklubo's Kaffirs gathered to try how they 


could dance — in fact to get their hands, or feet, in for next 
day's work. The way they gathered put me in mind of 
what Mr Schraeder said about Cetshwyo's army. He said 
a quarter of an hour before they passed, there was not a 
vestige of them to be seen, and then, as it were the sudden 
rush of a volcano, they spread over the country. So at 
Zonklubo's, before the dance I had only seen two or three 
men, but when I heard the row outside, and went to look, 
there they were, at least thirty — where they came from I 
don't know. My Kaffirs were dancing with them, but in 
my opinion could'nt come up to them at all ; they wanted 
that disciplined regularity of movement the Zulus had, and 
were altogether much more fantastic, and not so solemn and 
dignified in their gestures. The dance coming off at night, 
under a clouded moon, seemed under the influence of Casta 
Diva to have a sort of dim veil thrown over it, giving it all 
a much greater appearance of uniformity than it actually had, 
— it seemed to me, as it were, in one piece. Well, that went 
on till about ten o'clock, and then all was quiet; it made me 
feel so excited that I too sang (not) "like a lint^e." On the 
27th I got up and walked to a kraal about three miles off, 
to try and buy some cattle, but couldn't, so came back and 
started off. After walking till afternoon, I came in sight of 
a river. I asked if it was the "Umblutuse." "Wow!" said 
Potassa, "that's the Tugela, and there is the Slonquise" 
(Natal). I felt — I don't know how I felt — a sort of yearning 
to cross the river, and put my foot in Natal, if it was only 
for half-an-hour; it revived all the home sickness I had 
felt two or three days before, and of course I was quite 
miserable. We were just opposite the " Entoongambele," a 
thing like a man's head stuck on the end of a high table- 
land. At night, the song "Sweet Home" came into my 



head, I sang it, and, upon my honour, it nearly made me 
"greet." I thought the Zulu country was very much 
broken, but the Natal side from here looks quite as much, if 
not more so. On the 28th, being Sunday, I determined 
to stop when I was near Mashoban's. At night I was 
terribly bitten with fleas — they were jumping about on 
the floor, just as they were on the Berea, and, of course, 
I didn't get much sleep. 

All Sunday I lay still, and on the 29th, in the morning, 
Mashoban brought a bull and wanted other skins ; 
after a great deal of bargaining, I managed to get it for 
three of them. After that I started off", and after walking 
all day, I got to Debe Blango's kraal, where I stayed all 
night. I had then, for the first time in the Zulu country, 
great difiiculty in keeping the hut clear of girls. They 
flocked in, a dozen at a time, to see the " Moolongo " (white 
man). At last I got to sleep, and in the morning, being the 
30th, I started and walked in by far the hottest day I had 
yet felt; and, having started early in the morning, I had 
not eaten anything, expecting to get something to eat at the 
next kraal; however, in that I was disappointed, and got 
nothing till evening, when I had some porridge, of 
stamped mealies and water; however, it was the nicest 
"pallitch" I ever tasted, by Jove ! During the day I stayed 
at a kraal a few minutes, and there saw a boy about two 
feet high "geaing" (dancing). The men were shouting to 
encourage him, and they shouted " Bob e Ka Foges, Bob e 
Ka Foges" (Bob of Forbes). The natives, in asking the 
name of any person, always ask who was his father, who 
did he belong to. Bob e Kaba? Bob e Ka Foges — the 
native style of pronunciation. I asked how it was, and 
they told me Bob had been there, and given him that name. 


On the 31st, I started for Lolioonga's (a chief), and there 
saw a sort of human creature, whom I don't know how to 
describe. He was about 2 J feet high; no arms, only hands 
out from his shoulders; he managed with them, however, 
very well, eating and snuffing, &c., cleverly. Lohoonga 
himself is a famous fellow; and, to please him, I gave him 
my knife. He was describing to me all the different battles 
he had been in, from the time of Chaka downwards. He 
came out of every one of them scatheless. He showed me 
the place where he had killed Tobolongwan in a quarrel 
they had. Now this Tobolongwan was his brother, and 
upon my asking whether he had buried him, the only answer 
I got was "Magwababa, magwababa, magwababa," — the 
crows, the crows, the crows ! Rather a cool answer. He is 
a great, tall, strong fellow, a great friend of Bob's, according 
to his own account. I stayed there all the 1st of March, 
buying cattle, or trying to do so; but trade was very bad. I 
had a nasty attack of diarrhoea, but cured it by drinking 
whey till I was nearly exploding. On the 2nd, in the 
morning, I bought a beast at Lolioonga's, and in the after- 
noon set out after buffaloes, but could not find any. In the 
heart of the Eukauhla bush we found a lot of honey, and 
had a jolly good blow-out; but it set my diarrhoea agoing 
again, and bothered me. The Eukauhla bush is a most 
extraordinary place. It is not a bush like the Berea, but a 
succession of very steep hills, precipices some of them, and 
in the bottoms and up the sides of some is all large 
timber. The different hills seem to run up to a point 
as if it had once been one gigantic mountain, and had by 
some eruptive process or other been fluted down the sides. 
Lohoonga's kraal is just at the bottom of the bush. The 
Zulus showed me a place where they had driven seven 


elephants over a precipice, and killed tliem all. I managed 
to buy one elephant's tusk from Lohoonga. He said it was 
wounded by Tozak (a hunter of Bob's), and one of his people 
had found it after it died. I started from Lohoonga's, and 
had a very long walk, without buying anything. Walking 
along the side of a hill I noticed a peculiarity in the Kaffir 
paths from which you might draw a very good moral for 
every-day life. You may think that all the paths lead to 
one goal, but if you do not take care to keep up you 
insensibly slide away to the bottom, and you have a hard 
pull to get up again, and the chances are that you wet your 
feet at the bottom. We walked along, keeping up the 
Ensuse, the finest water I had yet seen in the Zulu, 
except at the Missionary's, until we got considerably above 
Maxondo's, when we turned down towards the Tugela, 
determined to follow it up. 

Next day was Sunday, and I stayed all day at Maxondo's. 
In the morning I started up the river — passing a place where 
we heard sea-cows making a noise — determined, if we found 
trade bad, to stop and have a shot. Looking at Entoongam- 
bele from this side, it looks more like the figure of the Sphinx 
than a man's head. I remained all day at the river, and blazed 
away, but only managed to kill one sea-cow. Such a feast- 
ing as we had ! I returned at night to Emfuleui's, leaving 
the gun with Aplain; he wanted to shoot a buffalo, and 
came back saying he had wounded one. In the morning 
he went after it, and found it dead. I had to use strong 
measures to get the Kaffirs away. At Emfuleui's I bought 
30s. in money for 12s. worth of goods. The Tugela just 
here, with the sea-cows in it, put me very much in niind of 
Gordon Cumming's picture, in the Illustrated London News, 
of " The River Limpopo, with a herd of sea-cows eating." 


There were the same large trees on the banks, and on the 
river itself just such a sprinkling of rocks. The sea-cow I 
killed had no teeth, which the Kaffirs said was very remark- 
able. Everywhere I go the talk is about the fight at Endonda 
Gosuka, and the Zulus say how well the police fought, and 
what a great coward John Dunn was. They say that when 
the O'Sato (Cetshwyo's Pootie) showed its front above the hill, 
lie fired his revolver at them, rode away to the right, and 
saw them coming up; to the left saw the same, and then 
rode away as hard as he could. They all had instructions 
— those with guns to shoot the horse — but they say he 
never gave them the chance. All the people up the Tugela 
were at it. The descriptions some of them gave of it are 
most thrilling. Their language is not complete enough to 
enable them to describe it as they would like; but what 
they cannot do with their mouth, they make up with their 
hands, and you can tell by their gestures what they mean, 
almost as well as if they spoke. One fellow told me that 
there was no " emkuba" (torture) that was not done at the 
fight — the pursuing army played with their victims. Two 
of them would catch hold of a man, and another would 
stand in front and say, "Where shall I put the assegai inf 
and then put it slowly in and cut him up, while he would 
be "singing out" all the time. Others they cut the arms off 
by the shoulders, and then let them go. "Just a stick," 
the fellow said who told me. 

From Emfuleui's went to Godeed, from there to Banda- 
manas, and from there to Umvoonielwa, and there slept. 
Nothing particular to record, except that I shot a baboon. 
From there we went on to Sofotca, and there we stayed as 
it rained. The last few days have been very destitute of 
adventure. The country all about Sofotca's is "gangalla* 


(highland), with bush simnkled here and there. Plenty- 
buffaloes here they tell me, so I shall go and have a shot. I 
have noticed that all the Zulu country that I have yet seen 
has been very stony, so much so that I doubt whether any 
use could be made of it for agricultural purposes. After I 
passed the Missionary's it was very much more stony than 
before. On Saturday, as usual, it rained. We were still at 
Sofotca's, so I went with several Zulus and Jacob to have a 
shot at the buffaloes. I never saw so many in one place ; 
they were like cattle over the country. We stood on a high 
conical hill, and whichever way we looked we saAv game. 
We started to stalk one herd, and on the way started three. 
They were over the hill before I could get a shot. When 
we got to the top of the hill we looked down into a sort of 
ravine, and there saw one bull — and an old one he was too 
— standing looking at us. We — Jacob and I and a Zulu — 
went to one side of the valley, and we sent the Zulus in at 
the other to drive them out. Luckily I had taken my 
station near a tree, too large, however, to climb. Jacob 
was beside me, and the Zulu rather behind. The Zulus 
turned them out. Besides the bull, there were a cow and 
calf lying down. They passed within ten yards of us. I 
iired at the bull — he was last — he fell. I stepped out from 
behind the tree ; he saw me, was up in a moment, and at 
me. I had just time to step behind the tree ; but the poor 
unfortunate Zulu seemed to have lost all presence of mind, 
for he stood till the brute struck him right on the breast 
with his forehead, one horn on one side, and one on the 
other. He dashed almost all the breath out of his body, 
and then passed on and died. I had shot him through the 
lungs. We picked the poor fellow up, with the blood 
running out of his mouth and nose, and carried him home. 


Next day (Sunday) he was better, and I think would do 
well. I had a very narrow escape myself, and was very 
much disgusted, as the Zulus were all on my top for letting 
their brother be made "feely" (dead). The Zulus here 
have a sort of fibrous root which they place on the top of 
their huts, as a charm against lightning. They have some 
peculiar customs : instead of the lover going to see his 
mistress, she comes to him. While here one came from the 
Tugela, a distance of twenty miles, to see a young gentle- 
man here. 

From there I started and had a long walk, first to 
Fogoza's, and from there to Makupula's, on the Italia, where 
the Boers and Zulus had a battle. It is on the Ensuse — 
a valley surrounded by steep hills, with rocks on the face, 
as if precipices had been trying to shove themselves through, 
and had only managed it in one or two places. 

While there I had a most peculiar dream — hona-fide. I 
think it must have been suggested to me by a print I saw 
at Jack's of the Christmas tree. I dreamt that we were all 
walking along — the Kaffirs and I — and that in the 2:>ath we 
came to a fig-tree, and that on it there were only two figs, 
but they were such beauties that I determined to secure at 
least one of them. One was at the top of the tree where 
I should have to climb; but though the branches were easy 
to climb, they were so shaken about by the wind that it 
was rather dangerous, as they seemed to be sweeping about 
in all directions, and you were very likely to get swept off". 
The other was near the ground, within reach of your hand; 
but to get to it you had to go through thorns and nettles 
and a great many holes, and as, beside, the one at the top 
looked by far the finest, I determined to try for it. By-the- 
by, I had just noticed that I had ten Kaffirs instead of nine; 


but I did not think much of it at the time, as he (the tenth) 
might be a Zuhi. After a great deal of hard climbing and 
scrapes, and nearly fallings-off, I thought I reached the top 
and plucked the fig, and put it in my mouth; when, lo and 
behold ! it turned to ashes. I descended very much disgusted, 
and Avas telling the Kaffirs, when the tenth one seemed to 
swell out most marvellously, and thundered out that I had 
chosen the one that looked the fairest; that I had only thought 
it fair because so far out of my reach; that had I chosen the 
one near the ground the thorns would have vanished, the 
holes would have filled up under my feet, and, when reached, 
I would have found it sweet and good; that now, however, 
it was too late — that I must just go on my way hungry. 
I was very much dissatisfied with myself, as may be imagined. 

From Makupula's I started, and reached Machian's. He is 
a famous fellow — a tall, black "Kehla" (top-knotted). I 
drank such a quantity of Kaffir "ionalla" (beer) that, as the 
ladies say, I felt quite giddy. He professed to be a great 
friend of mine, and sold me five head of cattle to prove it. 
Here I saw kraals built of stone. They make good dykes, 
better than I can recollect at home. They also, by some 
means or other, manage to make an exact circle. At Maku- 
pula's they had gone a little out, and were pulling it down 
to make it exact, while I was there. All the country I 
travelled over — bare of a single bush — burn cows' dung as 
fuel. Altogether, however, it was a fine country. I never 
felt better or more jolly than when travelling over it. From 
Machian's I went to a Kaffir called " Bye-and-Bye ;" from 
there to Uhlonte, and from there to Faku's. 

On the road to Faku's, I was told that John had passed 
by the day before on his way back. I don't know how it is, 
I hear of people passing in front of me and past me, and yet 


I buy; while the Zulus themselves say they only look at 
them. I buy, I think, pretty well too. I have now 57 
head of cattle, and have been five weeks in the Zulu, and 
hope in another three weeks to turn homeward. 

At Faku's the Zulus were what they called " Fetaing an 
Ecalla," i.e., having a law case. They commenced talking in 
the morning, and carried it on till sunset, and I don't know 
whether they finished it even then. At night, while at Faku's, 
we heard a great noise of men shouting and dogs barking. 
Upon enquiring next day what it was about, I was told that 
they were chasing an "Esedowan." I asked what it was, and, 
to my great astonishment, was told that it was a beast about 
the size of a wolf — rather larger — with a hole in its back 
about the size of a Kaffir basket ; that it only lived upon 
the brains of people, and the way it obtained them was this : 
it would come to the hut-door at night, and say something ; 
for instance, it would tell one of the men that the captain 
wanted him, or ask for something in the hut; and the 
instant he put his head out of the door it would whisk him 
away into the hole in its back, and off to some stone, and 
there dash his brains out ! I endeavoured to convince them 
what nonsense it was ; but Aplain swore it was true, and 
referred me to Makovella, who, lie said, had escaped from 
one as it was carrying him off, by clinging to the branch of 
a tree. He also told me to ask the Zulus — which I did at the 
first kraal I came to; when they said one had been killed 
some time before as it was carrying off a boy. It had got 
him in the hole in its back, and was walking him off, when, 
at the gate, it was met by a man, who happened to be 
coming from a distance. He stabbed it, and roused the 
other people, and between them they finished it. After 
this circumstantial evidence, of course it was of no use 


attempting to convince them what nonsense it was — a beast 
speaking ! I expect it is some goblin story. At night, 
while sleeping, Grout (a Kaffir) slept with me ; something 
came to the door of the hut and tried to open it. We 
got up, and, on looking through the door, saw an animal 
which our fears at once magnified into an esedowan. 
Grout got an assegai, and ran it through the door, when a 
great howl convinced us of our mistake. Notwithstanding 
I knew what nonsense it was, I confess I was rather 
frightened. Next morning I started, and had a very hard 
walk to Duabu's, and from there to a kraal on the White 
Umvelose, where I saw a woman with a hole right through 
her nose. A tiger had one night broken into the hut, killed 
two people, and wounded three. She was one of the 
wounded. At Duabu's I saw him thrash one of his people 
with a knob-kerrie, and he very nearly killed him. The 
country about Duabu's is fearfully stony — large masses of 
rock piled together in all sorts of fantastic shapes; as 
Aplain said: " Ponda, don't you see those stones, like a 
kitchen? " He meant they w^ere in the form of a chimney. 
Wolves were about in any quantity. There are a tre- 
mendous quantity of traders in the country; I hear of 
them on all sides of me, and I could not get clear of them, 
whichever way I went. Next day I started, and crossed 
the White Umvelose, and had a very long walk for nothing. 
Not a beast did I buy that day. I saw a man afflicted with 
lockjaw, or something like it, who lived on thick milk and 
porridge, by rubbing it in with his hand. On my road I 
also saw a troop of animals; the Kaffirs called them 
Euhloselis. I could not make out what they were; they 
were larger than hartebestes — at least I thought so. From 
there I went to Chingwair, near Entabaenkulu (the " Great 


Hill "). From there I struck away seawards ; and in the 
afternoon I climbed a hill, and had the most splendid view 
I ever witnessed. I sat with my face towards Nodwengo 
(Panda's Palace) : in front of me was the Black Umvelose, 
winding amongst hills and rocks — black with "hlangi" 
(Mimosa bush) — with a hill the Kaffirs call the "Esehlalo'* 
towering above all. To the right was a grazing country, flat, 
and bare of a single tree, with the Black Umvelose, like a 
thread of silver, running through it, Entabaenkulu shutting 
out the view. To the left I saw the sea at a distance of at 
least 70 miles, and the country in that direction was actually 
black with bush everywhere I looked — all flat, except just at 
the sea, where it seemed to rise. The Zulu country must be 
very thinly populated, for the extent ; as, from the hill, I saw 
at least fifty miles on every side, and on the seaward at 
least seventy, and, within my view, I don't think there were 
more than thirty kraals. At the Black Umvelose I saw 
nothing but snakes ; in the morning, climbing a hill, I 
stepped over one in the path, and Jacob, who was behind 
me, tramped on it twice ; it was a little one, and got away. 
About mid-day, while crossing a brook, Umsungulu tramped 
on an Emfesi (water snake); he tramped on it near its head, 
and broke its back: we killed it. In the afternoon, going 
along over the Gangalla, I stepj^ed over a Mamba — a black 
one, about a yard long. Umsungulu, who was behind, 
tramped on it ; he sprung away, and alighted just where it 
was going, and tramped on it again. I killed it with a 
stick. In the evening, just as we were crossing the Umve- 
lose, Potassa, who was before me, sung out suddenly — 
" Mei Mame ! " He had tramped on a black Mamba, at 
least ten feet long ; its tail was across the road, and its head 
in a bush. He sprang away, and in doing so took the snake 


witli him ; it had twisted its tail round his leg. He looked 
round, and just saw it bringing its head out of the bush 
to bite him ; he flung down his bundle and ran. It alighted 
right on it, and while it was trying to get away, I killed it. 
In the evening, just as we got to the kraal, we heard a 
great noise, and all ran to see, and were just in time to kill 
a Hlangi. All that in one day was pretty fair, I think. 

After leaving Chingwair, I saw Nobeta, the fattest Umum- 
zana I had yet seen in the Zulu country. He would not 
buy, as he said his mother had just died. She had sent for 
the Xyanga (doctor) to find the Tagati (witch). He said his 
mother had started in the morning in good health from a 
kraal, about a mile off, to see him, and that some people 
coming along the road an hour or two after had found her 
dead and rotten I Also, that a man that same morning had 
gone out of the hut to let out the cattle, and a little while 
after some of the people going out had found him within a 
few yards of the kraal, dead and rotten! I don't know what 
to make of it; but I suspect they must have been poisoned. 

At night we slept at an Umumzana's with a most unpro- 
nounceable name, "Cxraw." All Sunday I stayed there, and 
did nothing but get a history of his battles from an old man 
at the kraal. He had been one of Dingaan's army, when 
fighting with Panda, and had gone away with Dingaan to 
Hlatievolo, in the Umserazi. It seems Dingaan sent away 
all his remaining army to carry his goods to where he 
was, intending to start away northward and find another 
country to settle in ; and while they were away the Umserazi 
came on him and killed him, and all that were there. 
The old fellow added that Dingaan just died because he was 
an "Inkosi" (king): he had only one wound, a stab in the 
leg. I noticed a custom the Zulus here have. A man com- 


ing home kisses all his wives, a young man his sisters, and 
so on. 

Next day I started and reached the Squebes, a small 
river with a great many alligators in it. It runs through a 
very fine valley belonging to IJmniamana; he is captain of 
the district. In the evening I slept at a kraal, the owner of 
which was covered with scars gained in battles. He had a 
shot in his thigh; it came out at his groin, struck his knee, 
and fell to the ground; he had a scar across his head from 
the butt-end of a gun; these he got from the Boers. His 
shoulder was all scarred from an encounter with a lion. His 
thigh was pierced by a buffalo. His knee was laid open by 
an assegai in the battle between Panda and Dingaan. He 
had a gash down his back, and another through his arm, and 
last of all, he had his arm broken by a shot at Endona 

I am still on the Squebes. There is, I think, a fair 
prospect of my goods being finished here. The people 
buy pretty freely. I marched away up the river until I 
came to a large bush the Zulus called the Engome; and 
there, having reduced my stock to four blankets, I turned 
homewards. I sent the Kaffirs back to pick up the cattle, 
and took a turn round myself to finish up my goods. On 
my road I saw at a distance what I thought were two white 
people going naked, but on approaching close I found they 
were white Zulus, the most horrible looking beings I ever 
saw. They were as white as I am, and their bodies were 
covered with red inflamed sores. They had white eyes and 
white hair — one a girl and one a boy. Bege, king of a 
people called the " Amagaons," lived just under the Engome 
before Chaka conquered him — or rather Dingaan — as 
although Chaka began, Dingaan finished him. The Zulus 


shot him and his people and cattle in the bush, and starved 
the lot. The Zulu country proper is on the ISTatal side of 
the Umhlatuse; all the remainder of the now Zulu country 
was occuj)ied by different kings till Chaka conquered them 
all. On returning to Cxraw's I learned that two people had 
been killed at his kraal while I was away. They were 
accused of killing Nobeta's mother. Also, at a kraal a few 
miles off, the Zulus had a fight amongst themselves, and 
fourteen were killed, besides the two at Cxraw's. There 
were eight others killed in different places, and all because 
an old woman died. Nobeta himself must be at least sixty 
years old. At Cxraw's Emjuba fell sick — a sort of fever — 
and one of the cattle broke out of the kraal at night and fell 
over a precipice; and as it was unable to proceed, I had to stop 
five days there. The second day one of the Zulus in the 
bush found a buck just killed by the tiger. He brought it 
to the kraal. I took it back and set the gun for it. I had 
not left half-an-hour before we heard the report, and on 
going back to look we found master tiger stretched out 
before the gun with a bullet through his head. I skinned 
it, and took great pains, intending to send it home. Cxraw 
gave me a small beast for killing it. On the Tuesday we 
started from there — Emjuba still very sick — and crossed the 
Black Umvelose on our Avay home. We slept at the hut 
where they had killed one of the Tagati's, and learned that 
ten of his relatives had fled a day or two ago for Natal. 
Next day we came to the place where the Euhloseli's were. 
I had only one shot left, which I kept religiously for them. 
I tried to stalk one, and after getting within about one 
hundred yards, had the satisfaction of seeing it whisk up its 
tail and off like the wind. The Zulus tell me that Panda 
now is killing a great many people — so many, that Cetsh-vvyo 


has remonstrated with him, saying that he will drive all the 
people over to Natal. 

I am now on my way home. This is my eighth Sunday in 
the Zulu. I don't know what sort of trip I have made; I 
am afraid not a very good one. I have 78 head of cattle 
clear, after paying the Kaffirs, for £50 worth of goods. They 
are all large cattle — ^most of them cows. Eeckoning the cows 
at £2 each, I have about £120 worth over: if I get tliat I 
shall be well satisfied; but I am afraid I have been very "green" 
all throughout. I had bad goods — large beads, and not good 
blankets — and trade was so very bad at the beginning that I 
got frightened, and bought at very high prices; if I had 
gone on to where I had finished my goods, I think I should 
have had 100 head of cattle. To-day I noticed that one of 
the cattle I bought at the Squebes coughed very much. I 
asked the Kaffirs about it, and they said it had coughed in 
that way from the first. They also said that they thought it 
was "Nakau," a sickness that will finish off" a herd in no time. 
Altogether they so frightened me that I determined on killing 
it, which I did, and found it was ill with what they called 
" Embela," not "Nakau." I asked the Zulus the symptoms of 
"Nakau," and they told me that a beast with that disease 
just pined away and died, but never coughed. I did pitch 
into the Kaffirs for humbugging me ! I lost my pencil here. 
I am very glad to get back to the store- again. — Yours truly, 
David Leslie. 


(ilACMlLLAN'S MAGAZINE, October, 1861.) 

True, 'tis pity ; pity 'tis, 'tis true. 

" Imagine yourself, my dear Bob, after having toiled for 
an hour up the sunny side of a South African hill, among 
stones and sand, trees and rank undergrowth, holes and 
ant-heaps, with the sun beating on your back until it almost 
calcines your vertebrae and fries your spinal marrow, not 
a breath of wind to cool the super-heated air, not a sound to- 
disturb the stagnant atmosphere, except the laborious, 
breathing of your Kaffir attendants, and now and then the 
rustle of some snake or lizard hastening to hide itself from 
man, the destroyer — imagine yourself, I say, arrived at the 
summit at last. \\Tiat a glorious breeze ! ^Vhat a lovely 
prospect ! How cool, how delicious ! You feel as if all 
nature were re-animated. 

" You look down before you and see a country covered 
with black mimosa trees, appearing even more dark and 
rugged because it lies in the deep shade of the lofty 
mountain on which you stand. Beyond that again the land 
rises on all sides ; the trees are scattered in picturesque 
clumps ; and the same sun which you had felt to be an 
unmitigated torture on the other side, now enhances the 
beauty of the prospect, by enabling you to mark the strik- 
ing difference between the bright and happy-looking country 


behind, and the dark gloomy valley in front. On the 
right you have hills and valleys, rivers and plains, kraals, 
kloofs and trees, until the view is bounded by the Drack- 
ensberg mountains. On the left you have the same 
description of landscape, with the sea in the distance, 
looking bright and ethereal, as if — as if " 

" ' As if ! As if ! ' — So you have got out of your depth 
at last, have you 1 Well, that's one comfort, at any rate. 
I asked you what he said, and hmv he told it, and you bolt 
off into a rambling, ranting description of country, that I 
can neither make head nor tail of. Now, what did he tell 

** Well, confound it, I was just coming to that," said I, 
by no means pleased with the interruption ; '* but, since 
you're in such an unreasonable hurry, I'll give in to your 
whim and tell you, without any more preface. I turned 
to go down the hill, expecting to get some ' mealies ' and 
milk at the next kraal." 

" Did he say tJiaf ? " 

" No, of course he didn't." 

" Oh ! I beg your pardon — go on — " 

" Come now, none of yo2i7' nonsense — no sarcasm, or no 

"As I was saying, I felt as if the slightest sensation 
of dinner would not come amiss, and the smallest donation 
in that way, even although it was only a few mealies, was 
sure to be most thankfully received. So I made for a kraal 
at a little distance off, intending to stay over night there, 
but found, on reaching it, that there was no room, and 
nothing wherewithal to refresh my inner man. This, al- 
though at the moment very provoking, proved in the sequel 
to be a very fortunate circumstance, as it compelled me to 



move farther on, and had thus the effect of bringing me 
into contact with an old warrior, who gave me the best 
description I have ever heard of a Zulu foray into the terri- 
tory of a neighbouring potentate. Indeed, I quite despair 
of being able to give it to you with anything like the effect 
of the original delineator. You know too well the extraor- 
dinary descriptive powers of the Kaffirs, their natural 
eloquence and expressive action, to expect that. But, when 
you consider the external circumstances — the mise en schne, 
so to speak — ^you will at once perceive the impossibility of 
my being able to give you anything but an outline of the 

" Imagine the scetie — a Kaffir kraal, with the the dramatis 
jpersonoe, consisting" of the old warrior, your humble servant, 
and about a dozen of Zulus, congregate/! round a fire in the 
open air — time, night ; the occasional growl of the tiger, and 
howl of the hyena, speaking through the stillness, and the 
fitful gleams of the fire lighting w]} the dark countenances 
of the savages. Imagine, too, the effect on the wild, im- 
pulsive natures of the native listeners, alternately swayed 
by the different emotions of hope and fear, as the speaker 
unfolded his ' strange eventful history.' You may perhaps 
be disposed to smile, when I tell you that even I, usually so 
cool, was, while I heard and looked, almost as excited as 
they were ; that I felt every reverse of the Zulus almost as 
a personal calamity ; and that when the narrator came to 
the triumphant denouement, my feelings were so acute and 
raised to such a pitch, that I almost started up from the 
ground and shouted for joy, in spnpathy with the stalwart 
warriors around me ! It would, of course, be absurd in me 
to hope, for a moment, that my recital at second-hand, and 
under circumstances so comparatively tame, can produce a 


like impression. No matter ; I shall endeavour to give you 
the story as I heard it, and, making due allowances for the 
want of scenic effect and the imperfections of translation, 
I trust it may still be interesting to you. Thus, then, 
the veteran began : — 

" A great many years ago, just after Dingaan became our 
king, our captain, Umniamana, called his head men toge- 
ther ; and, after we were full of meat and angry with beer, 
he said, ' My father was a great chief, and I am a great 
chief ; are you not all my children, and ought I not to feed 
you and kill oxen, so that all the Zulu may say, Umniamana 
is a king ; every day he kills his cattle, and gives to his 
people — we will go and join him ; he alone in this land is a 
great captain — he is a lion ! he is the man tliat is black ? 

" We admitted it. 

" ' But how can I give you meat, if I have no oxen ? 
How can my young men and girls get milk, if I have no 
cows 1 We are at peace ; we are becoming women. Sur- 
rounding nations will say that we are no longer warriors, 
but women : we fight no more, but dig the ground ; our 
assegais have become hoes, our men have no hearts ! Is it 
to be so 1 Shall the Umswazi herd their cattle in our sight, 
and we Zulus not take them ? Say ! Answer me ! are we 
to hide our heads for the strength that is gone, or shall we 
cross the river and show to our enemy that we are Zulus, 
not men (cravens) f 

" My ears are old, and many sounds have entered them 
since then; but the shout of mingled rage and defiance, 
that answered our chief's words, still rings in my ears. 
When I think of the great warriors and the wise men that 
were there assembled, and the deeds that they afterwards 
did ; I say, when the thought of these things comes in my 


mind — if it were not that the tears of a man are far away — 
I could weep to think that I am the last of them. I have 
lived too long, because I have lived to see the degeneracy 
of my race. 

" The chief's speech had kindled the war spirit in our 
warriors' minds ; and, after all had agreed to take the cattle 
of the Umswazi, the evening passed away in rejoicings, 
caused by the knowledge that the young men would have 
the opportunity of proving themselves heroes worthy to be 
subjects of our great king — our lion ! 

" The intended expedition was kept secret from the 
nation, as it was the wish of Umniamana that ours alone 
should be the risk, and ours alone the glory ; and accord- 
ingly, on the appointed day, his own people assembled in 
the valley, and on counting them it was found that we 
numbered only three regiments ; whereupon some of the 
old men wished to get help from Segetwaio, our neighbour- 
ing chief. Umniamand rose ; Umniamand spoke ; and his 
words were like the firebrand api^lied to dry grass in winter. 
* Were the Umswazi more than one nation, and were not 
we three regiments 1 And who among us was afraid of 
encountering a whole nation with one Zulu regiment ? 
How many men did it take to drive a herd of cattle 1 The 
Umswazi were dogs that should be made to eat the offal of 
the Zulus ! ' He was a great man, our captain ; as he 
wished, so we did ; as he motioned, so we went ; if he 
commanded, then we died ! 

" We marched towards the enemy's country ; we thirsted, 
yet we marched ; we hungered, yet we marched. On and 
on we went, determined to quench our thirst with Umswazi 
water, and satisfy our hunger with Umswazi cattle. 

" I need not tell you how they fled at our approach ; 


how the name of Zuhi caused their hearts to die ; how the 
name of Umniamana caused their women to weep ! We 
gathered their cattle like stones off the ground ; and the 
«moke of their kraals obscured the land ! 

" Onwards and onwards we went ; oftentimes hearing 
the lowing of their oxen far beneath us ; they had retreated 
to their holes in the earth, like wolves as they were, and 
had taken their cattle with them.* 

" One night we had encamped on a hill, with our sjDoils 
in the midst, when there came a runner from our great 
father, our king, who ever thinks of the welfare of his 
children, and he said, ' Listen to the words of the Lion 
of the Zulus ! — I have heard that some of my people have 
gone to war without my knowledge ; I have heard that a great 
captain of mine has led them ; but I forgive both them and 
him, because I have dreamed a dream, and my great bro- 
ther — he that is dead — appeared to me ; and his words 
were partly good and partly evil. He said, " It is I that 
have kindled the war-flame amongst your warriors on the 
Pongola; it is I that have induced Umniamand, to lead 
them j and now I conie to warn you of their danger. The 
Umswazi have found that their number is small, and the 
nation is roused to attack them. Quick, then, send them 
word, or the cattle that would be yours will return to their 
€aves; and the women of the Zulus will hoe mealies in vain, 
for there Avill be no one to eat them." 

^' These were the words of Cliaka, my brother ; and mine 
to you are, ' Be watchful, be wary ; sleep not, till you come 
back — return victorious, or return not at all ! ' 

* There are many caves in the Umswazi country, and among 
them one so large, that the whole nation with their cattle took 
refuge in it during a great raid of the Zulus into their country. 


" The message of the king was ended. Those who were 
to watch took their posts, and those who could sleep lay 
down with anxious hearts, wishing the dawn would come, 
so that they might go their way. The words of our father 
troubled the chief, and he slept not at all. 

" At the break of day we sprang up, and, behold, it was 
true what the king had dreamed ! Danger was before us 
— danger in ten thousand, thousand shapes ! * The hill on 
which we slept sloped gently down towards a deep brook, 
and on the other side was a large grassy plain, which was 
black with people. The Umswazi were there ; they were 
more in number than the grass — they covered it. 

" I have said before that we were three regiments, each 
about one thousand people ; two of these were boys, but 
the one I belonged to were warriors indeed — Umniamana's 
own regiment. All of us had wounds to show, and all on 
our breasts. The two younger he posted, one at each 
ford of the brook, and his own he kept on the hill as a 

" The enemy crossed the river ; they attacked the young 
men ; they came like a cloud of locusts in summer, and our 
regiments were like to be eaten up by the swann. Nearer 
and nearer they came, still fighting, still struggling. What 
deeds of valour were done 1 AYith what determination 
they fought ! The Umswazi slipped and fell in their own 
blood, and he who slipped died. Still up the hill they came 
— our brave young men contending every inch of the way — 
and, still as they came, we sat and sharpened our assegais, 
and said not a word ; not a face moved, not a limb faltered. 

* The Zulus have no number to express so many ; but I have 
translated in this way some figurative expression relating to 
an extraordinary quantity. 


" Then up spoke Umniamana and said, ' My children ! 
you see how this is ; you see our enemy coming nearer and 
nearer ; my young men cannot stop them. You know that, 
in coming here for cattle, we came without the sanction 
of the king. You remember our father's message, " Eeturn 
victorious, or return not at all." But in this attempt I alone 
have led you. I alone induced you to come. Go, there- 
fore, while there is yet time ; cross the hill, and dej^art ; 
mine alone will be the blame with the king. Go, then, my 
children; escape death; but, as for me, I will stay here!* 
And he folded his arms and sat down. We sprang up 
(the old savage gasped with excitement) — we sprang up as 
one man, we clashed our shields together, we shook our 
assegais in the air, and we shouted from the bottom of our 
hearts, ' Stay, chief, stay ! we will not go ; we will bear 
you company. If we are to die, let us die together ; but 
never shall it be said that a Zulu army turned before Um- 
swazi's while one man remained to show front ! ' 

" And we sat down, calm and black, like the thunder- 
cloud before it bursts. Our chief replied — 

" ' That is well with such warriors. How can we die 1 ' 

" Still the Umswazi came up the hill ; nearer and nearer 
came the mixed throng of warriors, their path black with 
bodies, and red with blood, until they came so close that we 
could distinguish their faces. Then ! then ! upon them 
we went, thundering down the hill ! The cloud had burst, 
and they saw the lightning flash, which next moment anni- 
hilated them. Friend and foe, foe and friend, in one 
indiscriminate mass of struggling, shrieking fiends we drove 
them before us ; we carried them on our assegais, we 
brained them with the poles of our shields, we walked over 
the brook on their bodies ! A panic had seized them ; 


and the plain, which in the morning was black with living 
people, two days after was white with their bones. 

" Slowly we returned, glad for our victory, but sorrowing 
for the friends who were slain ; and, leaving the crows to 
bury the dead, we commenced our homeward march with 
the spoil. 

" We crossed the boundary, and everywhere were met 
by the rejoicings of the people. No moaning for dead men 
was there ; they had died in their duty ; they had died for 
their king, who liberally gave to his people the cattle we 
had brought, which were so great in number that no ten 
men could stop them at a ford. 

" On arrival at the king's kraal, our father killed cattle 
for us, gave us beer to drink, and gave us permission to 
marry, as we had earned it by our deeds. The day we 
spent in dancing and feasting, and in the evening we fought 
our battles over again, as I have now been doing to you." 

Note. — The Zulu style of speaking is very sententious : they 
bring out their remarks in jerks ; such as, " Our king is great " — 
** Our king is black " — " Terrible to look at " — "Great in war," &c. 



(Glasgow Herald, May, 1S62.) 

A GOOD grievance has become a necessary to an Englishman's 
existence ; and " John GrimiHe " may therefore be looked 
upon as a representative man. This phase of character 
shows itself in a thousand ways ; but as this paper is not 
intended to be an essay on that subject, I shall be excused 
from entering into it, further than to refer to one exemj^li- 
fication of it, which, to a certain extent, has been the 
impelling cause of my writing the following paper. We 
have all of us either personally experienced, or heard our 
friends complain, of " the most miserable day in my life, 
which I spent in Wales," or " that horribly wretched day 
in the Highlands," when in a lonely country inn, with a 
howling wind and a pouring rain, without society, and with 
nothing to read but an old Almanac, a " Ready-Reckoner," 
a Times^ Supplement a week old, and one of those lively 
and entertaining tracts, which seem always to be dropping 
from the clouds, where and when nobody wants them. 
Well, I admit that this sort of thing must be very wretched 
to any man of a suicidal turn of mind. But in order to 
fully comprehend the idea of utter loneliness, let your 
grumbler transport himself to South Africa, and in a 
waggon, hundreds of miles away from civilisation, with next 
to nothing to read, and none but savages as companions, 
and ten to one but we should hear nothing more of his 


petty grievances. In such a position did I find myself in 
the Zuhi country not very long ago. I had, unfortunately, 
mislaid or lost my books, and was reduced to a few numbers 
of " All the Year Eound," containing a portion of Bulwer 
Lytton's " Strange Story," and as it was very incomplete, 
having neither beginning nor end, I had a fine opportunity 
opened up to me for exercising my imagination in filling up 
the hiatus, which, I must confess, afforded me considerable 
amusement. I wondered whether Fenwick would, as usual, 
wake up and find it was all a dream, or whether by some 
steady, practical adaptation of electro-biology, animal 
magnetism, or what not, it will be all explained at last ; 
and, giving imagination and conjecture full play, with the 
Jielp of the smoke from my pipe, I built quite a beautiful 
" castle in the air," which, like many other " things of 
beauty," ended in smoke ! 

But this, on Mrs Nickleby's " association of ideas " prin- 
cij^le, set me to thinking on some things, bordering on the 
supernatural, which have come under my own observation 
in this land of utter savagedom y'clept '' the Zulu ; " and I 
set them down to wile away the weary hours, without, 
however, having the vanity to suppose that, strange and 
unaccountable as my narrative may be, it can, like the 
literary " Icenhse," imperatively draw the reader to its 
perusal. But I would ask him to apply some of Jules 
Fabre's practical philosophy to the solution of the various 
wonders, juggles, or facts of my " strange story." I feel a 
considerable amount of timidity in beginning this narration, 
because I am fully aware of the feeling of incredulity, and 
even contempt, with which such subjects are received by a 
very large body of readers who make broad their literary 
and intellectual phylacteries, pride themselves on their 


superior intelligence, and laugh to scorn such " old wives' 
fables," as they are pleased to term them. Whatever may 
be thought of it by the reader, I conscientiously declare 
that it is written in sober earnest — no romance ; no mere 
foundation only on fact, with an imaginary superstructure ; 
no attempt to foist " travellers' tales " on a credulous 
public ; but a plain, straightforsvard declaration of facts 
which occurred within my own knowledge and experience. 

If it wants that easy flow of language which adds so much 
grace to the writings of our popular litterateurs; if it be not 
embellished by gems of learning or deep thought ; if it do 
not sparkle with racy narrative or witty dialogue ; if I can- 
not fill out this short story with philosophical treatises, 
vivid descrijjtions, and startling sensational incidents — yet^ 
because I shall " a plain, unvarnished tale deliver," and 
shall " tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth," I confidently ask for it a candid perusal and a gen- 
erous consideration from those who are not afraid of the 
truth, however plainly it may be told, and however strange 
it may seem, even in these days of wonders and surprises ; 
and let my Lord Hamlet's sage dictum be kept in mind, 
" There are stranger things in nature than are dream't of in 
our philosophy ! " 

Amongst the Kaffirs of South Africa there are certain indi- 
viduals known colloquially as " Doctors," but whose powers, 
whether really possessed or merely attributed, vary very 
greatly — from the curing of a cut finger to the concocting 
of a love philter or a deadly 2)oison — and who also pretend 
to the attributes of the pythoness, the old Highland spae- 
wife, and all that " clamjamphray " who profess to tell, 
with exact precision, what will happen to-morrow, next day, 
or the day after, and who always make the generally vain 


request that the ** anxious inquirer " make his arrangements 

The first time I heard 'anything of the power which these 
Kaffir " Doctors " exercise over the native mind, was when 
one of my Kaffir servants had^the sum of ten shilHngs stolen 
from him, while in my service. Of course, as may be ima- 
gined, the hullaballoo was something awful. " Oh ! master, 
I'm dead ; my heart is dead ; my strength is gone ; that 
for which I have expended my life has been taken from 
me ;" and other ejaculations he kept giving vent to contin- 
ually. In plain English, somebody had prigged his month's 

In answer to his wailing appeal to me, I told him to go 
down to the Magistrate and have the matter investigated, 
which he did, more to please me, however, than from any 
faith he had in the result, and after being assured that he 
is in no danger, and will have nothing to pay — an important 
consideration with Kaffirs. In two or three hours he 
comes back very disconsolate, accompanied by a Kaffir 
policeman, who has been despatched by his superior officer 
to make the necessary inquiries, and who does so with a 
perfectly careless air and demeanour, as one who considers 
his mission altogether useless, speaking and looking as if he 
thought it "served him right" for not taking better care 
of his money, rather than as an officer deputed to protect 
the lives and property of her Majesty's lieges in the colony 
of Natal from depredations, losses, "hame-sucken" or raid. 
The sufferer himself seems as if devoid of hope, stricken 
helpless and hopeless, by the, to him, great loss : for the 
Kaffirs are a very avaricious lot. 

Then a white policeman comes, a stolid, respectable friend 
of mine; which places the victim in a worse condition, as he 


is deprived of the "sweet sorrow" of relating and talking- 
over the particulars of his misfortune — whether it was white 
or red money that he had lost; whether it was tied round his- 
neck or his waist ; who he got it from ; how long he had 
possessed it ; and what he intended doing with it. He is 
perfectly impervious to the well-meant but ill-understood or 
appreciated consolations of the " Bobby," which generally 
run to the effect that it is, or will be, " all right ; " and he 
is quite sceptical as to any great detective powers in our 
friend, whom he only recognises by having seen him on 
Saturday afternoons at the Volunteer band performance,, 
wearing a tiger skin in front, and beating the big drum. 

After all this, I must beg that your readers consider 
themselves served by an awfully hypochondriacal Kaffir for 
a couple of days — one who might well say with Burns, so. 
keenly does he feel it — 

" Oppressed with grief, oppressed with care, 
A burden more than 1 can bear, 

I sit me down and sigh ! " 

Until at last you get so disgusted with the fellow that you 
feel inclined either to make him a present of the ten shil- 
lings, or give him a jolly good kicking, and send him about 
his business. 

About six o'clock of the morning after the event I called 
out "Caesar!" Caesar, from the next room, answers 
" Swae 1 " (Sir.) " My bath ready 1 " " All light, Swae !" 
I then get up, shove on my " continuations," or entre nous, 
perhaps do without them, as the neighbourhood is not by 
any means thickly inhabited, and off I go for my " wallow." 
As I am luxuriating in cold water, it strikes me suddenly 
that something has come over Csesar, for he is actually 


chirping like a black nightingale, with alternate grunts, as 
of a prize pig — which, allow me to inform you, is the very 
perfection of Kaffir melody — and, of course, I immediately 
conclude that he has found his "life's blood," his "heart's 
darling," or in plain words, his ten shillings — that he is 
now, figuratively, killing his fatted calf over his prodigal 
" tin ; " and, if you are a stranger in the land, and still in 
your bath, thereby being prevented from seeing Caesar's opera- 
tions, you may conclude, from an occasional squeal in his 
song, that the custom is the same amongst the natives here 
as it was in Israel of old, only the animals differ — the 
Kaffir's calf being a j^iff- 

Being amused at the sudden change in Caesar's spirits, I 
ask him, " Caesar, what's the matter 1 " He answers, 
" Nutting, Swae." I ejaculate, " Oh ! " and then the dia- 
logue ends. But, notwithstanding his pro forma denial of 
anything having happened to him, I find on after inquiry 
that some friend of his has been kind enough to lend him 
a shilling, and with that amount of currency he is going to 
the " Doctor," from whom he expects to learn, without the 
slightest doubt on his part, what has become of his missing 

Hereupon ensues argui^ient and expostulation, and a few 
observations as to the value of information derived from 
such a source ; but nothing shakes him in his belief that he 
is now in the right road, and will certainly recover his 
money ; and so you let him go. 

In the evening Caesar's voice is again heard in the kitchen, 
and inquiry as to his success immediately follows ; and he 
then recounts to you a long rigmarole of what the " Doctor " 
said to him : — " You come from a house on a hill." " Your 
master is a young man." " You come to inquire about 


some money of yours which has been stolen," &c., &c., all of 
which, however, may very easily have been known, in the 
ordinary way, to the " Doctor," as the theft has been the 
talk of the Hack neighbourhood ever since its occurrence. 
But the result of it all is that the Kaffir is quite confident 
he will have his money again in a few days. 

I must request your readers to remember that all this talk 
and argument has not been confined to two or three people, 
but has been the topic of the day, and night too, amongst all 
the Kaffirs within visiting distance. 

Two days after, Caesar brings his recovered treasure to 
show me, in a state of great triumph and jubilation, stating 
that he had found it at his feet on awaking that morning ! 

This shows, in a two-fold manner, the great power over 
the native mind possessed by these " Doctors." Eminently 
pernicious is this power, and eminently dangerous are these 
so-called " Doctors," who claim, and to whom is attributed, 
without question, by the superstitious Kaffirs, the power of 
bringing to light, and home to the criminal, T)y supernatural 
means, any theft, murder, robbery, &c. And not only this, 
but they also claim to be able to prophesy things to come ; 
to commune with the spirits of departed friends of natives 
applying to them ; and they are constantly telling their 
dupes that the sickness with which they may be afflicted ; 
the non-success they have met with in hunting ; or, in 
short, any ill with which they are, or imagine themselves to 
be afflicted, is caused by the restlessness of their father, 
their mother, or their uncle, who requires an ox to be 
slaughtered ere his or her restless sj)irit can lie quiet in the 
^ave. All this, of course, involves a Doctor's fee. 

By the way, I may mention that the Kaffirs believe that 
after death their spirits turn into a snake, which they call 


" Ehlos6," and that every living man has two of these 
familiar spirits — a good and a bad. When everything they 
undertake goes wrong with them, such as hunting, cattle- 
breeding, &c., they say they know that it is their enemies 
who are annoying them, and that they are only to be 
appeased by sacrificing an animal ; but when everything 
prospers, they ascribe it to their good Elilos6 being in the 

Now, can any of your readers . find any analogy in this 
creed, so far as it goes, to any other 1 I fancy there would 
be little difficulty in such an investigation. 

The Kaffir Doctors also profess to be able to tell what 
any person at a distance is doing at the moment of 
inquiry, and also the precise spot where he may be at the 
time ; and really some of their performances in that way 
are positively marvellous, and would put to the blush the 
Davenports and Homes, who have been astonishing the 
enlightened white man for so long. I shall subsequently 
endeavour to show this wonderful power of theirs in two 
cases, selected from many equally astonishing, which I 
might have quoted. But by far the most pernicious attri- 
bute claimed by the Doctors, and universally believed in 
and admitted by the natives, is that of detecting witches 
and witchcraft. This, like Sir Peter Laurie with suicide, 
has been " put dowm " by the British Government in the 
colony ; but when I inform your readers that under inde- 
pendent chiefs it is in full sw^ay, and that in savage and 
independent tribes, such as the Zulu, no person is ever 
believed to have died a natural death, unless in battle or in 
a row, and not always even then, but must have been " done 
to death " by witchcraft, which these Doctors are employed 
to ferret out; it will easily be perceived w^hat an immense 


power for evil they exercise. I have seen all this and 
deeply regretted it, as everyone must do when they become 
acquainted with the results. But, nevertheless, I have seen 
so many instances of the occult powers or sagacity of these 
extraordinary men, that I have sometimes half-fancied that 
they had a familiar spirit — a Puck or a Robin Goodfellow 
— ^which kept them ate courant of matters hidden from mortal 
ken, and brought to them intelligence of everything which 
had happened, or was going to happen, within a radius of 
hundreds of miles. And, as an apology for a vindication of 
this weakness of mine, I proceed to give some more serious 
experiences than the first I have submitted to your readers. 

Some years ago I had occasion to travel beyond the 
boundary of the colony of Natal, in a country where the 
Kaffirs' savage nature and the Kaffirs' savage king ruled 
rampant. When, so far from being able to "take mine 
ease in mine inn," I considered myself fortunate if by 
chance I arrived at a kraal (or Kaffir village), where the 
usual concomitants of Kaffir domesticity only allowed you 
to take your uneasy rest in a private house, or rather hut, 
and where even these equivocal havens of rest were so few* 
and far between, and the country so infested with wild 
animals, that I was glad to pay almost any price, and 
submit to almost any amount of inconvenience, for the 
privilege of shelter. 

I had arrived at a kraal just as it was growing dark ; 
and from the top of the hill I noticed that there was an 
unusual commotion — many fires and many people passing to 
and fro. Being rather anxious about my accommodation 
for the night I pressed on, and on arriving at my destina- 
tion was surprised at finding that, instead of the usual 
greetings and boisterous welcome, no one spoke to me or 



noticed me in any way. I need not say that I felt annoyed 
at this cool reception, it was so unusual, as at a Zulu kraal 
you are always welcomed with hearty salutations ; hut if, 
like the auld Hielan wife, " She disna mak' ony sliarge " 
for the hospitality, it is expected, and you generally have 
to "pay for your whistle" in the shape of a handsome present 
at parting. 

At last, on becoming urgent for lodging and something 
to eat, I was told that I could not be attended to or allowed 
sleeping room, as a great " Doctress " from Natal, with all 
her suite, was there staying for the night, en route to King 
Panda, by whom she had been summoned to prescribe for 
him in some trifling illness, and to counteract the spells of 
his enemies, to which, of course, he ascribed his illness. 

One part of the duty which she was expected to perform 
rather amused me, although it was related with all imagin- 
able gravity. 

The Zulus in the north-east had been very greatly 
annoyed by lions, which had during that season appeared in 
great numbers, killing the people and the cattle ; and, as I 
stated before, nothing of this kind, or death by sickness, is 
ever allowed to arise from natural causes. It had been told 
the king that certain poAverful Doctors amongst the Ama- 
tongas — the tribe bordering on the north-east — had cast 
spells over the lions, and despatched them into Zululand to 
destroy the people and cattle of the king. 

This the Natal Doctress, being of great repute — a black 
" Dr Mary Walker " in fact — was expected to counteract — 
exorcise the bad Ehlose of the Amatongas, remove the spell 
Avhich caused the king's sickness, and send the lions back to 
their original habitat. Both of these objects, I afterwards 
heard, were effected ; although the most probable way of 


accounting for it was that, the approach of summer causing 
the game to go inland for "pastures green," the lions 
" followed suit " as a matter of course, while the inability 
to eat and drink — in fact, a little wholesome starvation — 
had restored the king's appetite and health. 

I decided at last on appealing to this great lady for a hut 
for the night ; and, knowing that she would be all-powerful, 
I took my measures accordingly. To my surprise, however, 
she needed no bribing, but received me, metaj)horically, with 
open arms, and said that " as we were fellow-subjects of 
<3ueen Victoria, she would procure me the usual hospitality." 

I have never in my life seen such a horrible-looking being 
«as this woman was. In height she was about the middle 
size, and very fat. From her ankles to the calf of the leg 
was wrapped round with the entrails of a cow, or some animal 
of the kind, filled with fat and blood. Then came the 
usual petticoat, made of hide, secured and embroidered with 
lions' and tigers' teeth, snakes' bones, beads, round bulb- 
looking things, little buck horns, and such-like savage 
bijouterie ; round the loins was one mass of entrails, snake 
skeletons, medicine bags, roots, human and other teeth, 
brass buttons, and wire. The body was tattooed all over, 
iind smeared with red and black earth ; round the neck was 
a repetition of the above " ornaments." The hair was long 
and smeared with all sorts of abominations, with a stuffed 
snake round the forehead by way of decoration ; a tiger 
skin hung down her back, with the grinning physog. showing 
over her head, and the head of the snake peering, with a 
startling lifelikeness, out of its mouth. And, "oh! ye gods 
and little fishes," didn't she sm — 1 — ahem ! 

Keeping at a respectful distance — which was necessary 
under the circumstances — I entered into a conversati( n with 


my lady friend, and I confess with sorrow that I was so 
unpoHte, or impoHtic rather, as to commence " chaffing "" 
her about the powers she claimed. The argument lasted a 
long time, and at last she promised me that I should have 
instances of her j)ower ere long, which would completely 
convince me. She would not condescend on particulars, 
but simply said that I would recognise her hand in the 
matter, as I should go out of the country uithout a coinimnion 
or a hoof of cattle ! This I laughed at, saying she might 
bribe or frighten my companions (my Kaffir servants) away, 
and might induce them or others to steal my cattle. But I 
had soon cause to wish that I had never seen or spoken to 
her, as, by a coincidence as strange as it was unpleasant, 
her words came true. 

r give these experiences as instances of the power which 
these Doctors possess over the native mind. No arguments 
will have the slightest effect in counteracting the wildest 
speech or threat; and everything which haj^pens afterwards, 
which is at all out of the common, is at once twisted and 
turned so as to be evidence in favour of the Nyanga's 
(doctor's) power. 

We were very hospitably treated that night — coffee and 
wine were amongst our protectress' stores — and I j^arted 
from her in the morning with a laughing reminder of her 
promise of the night before. The only answer I got was in 
English, "All right!" 

We had scarcely travelled five miles when one of my men 
pointed out a herd of buffalo a little way off the road, and 
it was immediately decided that we should try and kill one. 
Leaving two natives with the cattle, we started. We could 
see two of the animals standing in a capital position, just 
below a clump of thick bush, which afforded us cover to 


creep round. I told one of my people to go one way and 
stand by a tree, about three or four feet from the chmip, 
but hidden from the buffalo, while I went in the other 
"direction and took the first shot. Thus far all went well. 
I got pretty close, fired, and dropped one. Directly I fired 
the rest of the herd started out of the clump in all direc- 
tions, and one of them charged right out at the man at the 
tree and " pinned " him before he could look round or 
make the slightest effort to escape. I was terribly shocked 
at this fatal termination to our day's sport ; but never for 
one moment did the prophecy of the Doctress cross my 
mind. Not so with my Kaffirs, however, for they looked 
j^articularly queer, although such "trifles" don't usually 
disturb their equanimity; and while they said nothing to 
me, I could perceive that they discussed the occurrence long 
iind seriously among themselves. 

All went well again after that for a couple of days, with 
the exception that the cattle took the hoof sickness, and could 
only travel very slowly, and with long intervals of rest. 

On the third day we had to cross a river famed for alliga- 
tors. The water was a little high, up to our waists, and 
flowing rapidly over slippery stones. The drift, or ford, 
was pretty good, but just below there was a deep pool. In 
crossing, one of the cattle turned down the river drinking, 
when one of the Kaffirs took two or three rapid steps to 
turn it, but, imfortunately, missed his footing, and in a 
second was shouting for help and S2:)lashing in the deep pool 
below. He was not more than three yards from us, and I 
was reaching out a stick to him, when suddenly his arms 
were thrown up with a yell, there was a swirl in the water, 
something like a log appeared for a moment, and — the poor 
fellow was gone ! 


We remained staring at one another for two or three- 
seconds, then ont we went, helter-skelter, as best we could. 
Not a word was spoken by the Kaffirs for several hours ; 
and when I tried to break through their taciturnity, wdiich 
made me feel rather miserable, I could elicit no response. 

At last, without any preface, one of them got up and 
said, " Let us go home." " Yes," I said, " that is just 
what I want — let us go." Still, I never thought of the 
Doctress ; but the Kaffirs did, and it appeared that when 
they said, " Let us go home," they meant to go without 
the cattle, and leave me alone ; and they excused themselves 
by saying that it was of no use fighting against the predic- 
tion, and, if they remained, they would only be killed like 
the others, or else die. Threats, arguments, and promises 
were all in vain ; I might kill them if I liked — it was the 
end they expected ; I knew nothing — how indeed could I T 
— of the powers of their Doctors. What was the use of 
plenty of money to them, when, if they accepted it, they 
would die or be killed on the road 1 and so the end of it 
w^as that they w^ent off in a body, and I was left in a, 
precious quandary. 

Certainly I was in a pretty predicament. Drive the 
cattle without assistance I could not, for there were about 
a hundred, footsore and inclined to straggle as they were; 
and I was compelled to leave them at the first kraal, with a 
l^romise of liberal joayment if they were taken care of until 
I could proceed to Natal and get other Kaffirs. 

And thus it happened that / left the country without a 
companion or a hoof of cattle ! 

The coincidence struck me as " passing strange," and it 
annoyed me excessively as I saw at once that nothing would 
now shake the belief of the natives who had been with me^ 


who would to a certainty inoculate a large circle of their 
friends with the virus. But as all I suffered at that time 
was only a little inconvenience, I did not mind it so much. 

I went into Natal and procured other Kaffirs; but, alas! on 
my return I found that the lung-sickness had broken out at 
the kraal, where I had left my cattle, and all I brought back 
with me was seven head out of a hundred ! Surely "a heavy 
blow and sore discouragement " enough for my unbelief in 
the supernatural powers of the " Nyanga." Certes, I never 
again meddled with Kaffir notions of their Doctors. I 
had got "the redder's lick!" 

Some time afterwards I was obliged to proceed again to 
the Zulu country to meet my Kaffir elephant hunters, the 
time for their return having arrived. They were hunting 
in a very unhealthy country, and I had agreed to wait for 
them on the N.E. border, the nearest point I could go to 
with safety. I reached the appointed rendezvous, but could 
not gain the slightest intelligence about my people, at the 

After waiting some time, and becoming very uneasy about 
them, one of my servants recommended me to go to the 
Doctor, and at last, out of curiosity and pour passer les temps, 
I did go. I stated what I wanted — information about my 
hunters — and I was met by a stern refusal. " I cannot tell 
anything about white men," said he, " and I know nothing 
of their ways." However, after some persuasion and 
promise of liberal payment, impressing upon him the fact 
that it was not white men but Kaffirs I wanted to know 
about, he at last consented, saying " he would open the 
gate of distance, and would travel through it, even although 
his body should lie before me." 

His first proceeding was to ask me the number and names 


of my liunters. To this I demurred, telling him that if he 
obtained that information from me he might easily substi- 
tute some news which he may have heard from others, 
instead of " the spiritual telegraphic news " which I ex- 
pected him to get from his " familiar." To this he answered, 
" I told you I did not understand white men's ways ; but 
if I am to do anything for you it must be done in my 
way — not in yours." On receiving this fillip I felt inclined 
to give it up, as I thought I might receive some rambling 
statement with a considerable dash of truth — it being easy 
for anyone who knew anything of hunting to give a tolerably 
correct idea of their motions. However, I conceded this 
point also, and otherwise satisfied him. 

The Doctor then mad^ eight little fires — that being the 
number of my hunters ; on each he cast some roots, which 
emitted a curious sickly odour and thick smoke ; into each 
he cast a small stone, shouting as he did so, the name to 
which the fire was dedicated ; then he ate some " medicine," 
and fell over in what appeared to be a trance for about ten 
minutes, during all Avhicli time his limbs kept moving. 
Then he seemed to wake, went to one of the fires, raked 
the ashes about, looked at the stone attentively, described 
the man faithfully, and said, " This man has died of the 
fever, and your gun is lost." To the next fire as before, 
" Tliis man (correctly described) has killed four elephants,/ 
and then he described the tusks. The next, " This man 
(again describing him) has been killed by an elephant, but 
your gun is coming home ; " and so on through the whole, 
the men being minutely and correctly described ; their 
success or non-success equally so. I was told where the 
survivors were and what they were doing, and that in three 
months they would come out, but as they would not expect 


to find me waiting on them there so long after the time 
appointed, they would not pass that way. I took a par- 
ticular note of all this information at the time, and to my 
utter amazement it turned out cmred in every jmrtimlarl 

It was scarcely within the bounds of possibility that this 
man could have had ordinary intelligence of the hunters. 
They were scattered about in a country two hundred miles 
away ; and, further than that, he could not have had the 
slightest idea of my intended visit to him, and prepared 
himself for it, as I called upon him within an hour of its 
being suggested to me. 

I could give many more instances of this " power," 
" diablerie," or whatever it may be called, but this last 
related was the most remarkable ; and I must acknowledge 
that I have no theory to urge or explanation to offer re- 
garding it, for I have in vain puzzled my own brains, and 
those of some of the shrewdest men in the colony, for some 
sort of elucidation of the mystery. 

I am afraid I may tire your readers with these crude 
anecdotes ; but if you and they think otherwise, I shall be 
happy to send you some other papers on Kaffir matters, 
which will show to those " who stay at home at ease " 
something antipodical to English civilisation, but which will 
still, I hope, tend to prove that Kaffirs, like a gentleman 
who shall be nameless, are " not so black as they are 
sometimes painted." 


(Glasgow Her alp, February and March, 1868.) 

My trip was from that " brightest jewel in the British 
crown," Natal, in South Africa, into a neighbouring terri- 
tory belonging to the Zulus ; and I took with me a waggon, 
twelve oxen to draw it, six Kaffir servants, and an omnium 
gatherum of goods for the purposes of trade. 

I am inclined to think that a description of my cavalcade 
may not be uninteresting, and therefore subjoin a pen-and- 
ink photograph of it. 

Those who have seen the model of the South African 
waggon in the Exhibition of 1862, or "the genuine article" 
in poor Gordon Cummin g's Museum, may recollect the 
shape and make of it ; but unless they have travelled 
in one over such a country as this — for I cannot say 
roads unless on the hccus a nan lucendo j^rinciple — they 
can have no conception of its capabilities and wonderful 
adaptability to its purposes. A machine on four wheels, 
about fourteen feet long, loosely, yet strongly, put together, 
the joints and bolts working all ways, so that one wheel 
may be buried in a hole, and the front or hind j^art of the 
waggon sunk with it, and yet the other wheel will be per- 
fectly straight and upright ! It is well covered with canvas, 
which makes it so far comfortable. To see this "ship 
of the desert" coming sailing over ground full of stones 
and holes, is something wonderful; it twists and wriggles 


about in the most incomprehensible, yet safe, manner, 
and jolts frightfully. Nine of the oxen were steady 
old stagers, but three of them were young, undergoing the 
process of " breaking-in," which consists in tying them 
between two old oxen until the yoke is on, then thrashing 
them until they kick and pull, and then thrashing them 
until they are quiet and steady again ! After undergoing 
this ordeal a few times they are generally quite as quiet 
and tractable as Craiser after his Rarey-fied course of 

Such being the waggon and oxen, we now come to 
the noble Zulus. They are a very decent lot; but, "oh I 
ye gods ! " must I confess it ? — not one of them ever heard 
of Colenso. When I spoke to them of the benefits 
they have received by being brought by him before 
the notice of the generous Christianising and civilising 
British public — when I pointed out to them the churches 
and schools whicli are, no doubt, spread over the land by 
his means and with the sums raised by him from generous 
Christian philanthropists for the benefit of his diocese, and 
reminded them of the care and anxiety he has always 
taken in and shown towards them, in order to render them 
cognisant and worthy of the blessing they enjoy in living- 
under a civilised government, and in the care of such a 
bishop ; and which they may have in richer abundance by 
turning from their own ways, which, of course, must be 
evil, to those of a Christian people, which, of course, must 
be good — upon my word, wonderful as it may appear, they 
are so blind that they positively do not or will not see it ! 

Then, again, when determined to add my mite to the 
Bishop's Imidahle endeavours for the benefit of his flock, 
I took the trouble to read to them — ^translating as I went 


Along into the purest Zulu — liis " First Book on the Penta- 
teuch," which I happened to have with me, omitting none 
of the algebraic or mathematical signs, but giving every- 
thing — such is the perverseness or stupidity of this people 
that they didn't seem to be any the better for it ; so, 
€oming to the conclusion that they must be utterly irre- 
claimable — " Anathema Maranatha " — I just did what the 
Bishop does — let them alone I 

But to return. In describing my Kaffirs, I shall begin 
with " Jacob," a very " grave and reverend signior," 
highly impressed with the dignity of his position, middling 
honest, very obliging, rather lazy, and has been in my 
service (off and on) for ten years. 

" Sequata," the leader, a boy very much given to tears, 
■dirt, and food — especially food — a new hand. 

" Entabin," the hunter, has been in my service since he 
was a boy — twelve or fourteen years ago — a good shot and 
very handy for looking after the guns, loading cartridges, 
•&C. — cleanly in his person — conceited, but faithful. 

" Jacob," the carrier, came to me at the same time as 
Entabin— can drive and shoot a little, but cannot be consi- 
dered very accomplished in either — "cheeky," and swears by 
his "Boss." 

" Salt," the cook, ^Y^^gol\-maid^ laund?'e55, and house- 
keeper ; has been in my employ many years — a very good 
fellow^ — cleanly in his habits, and prides himself upon his 
English. Being asked (in Kaffir) what he is looking for 
<amongst the grass, he disdains to answer in his own langu- 
age, or even to use the " Pigeon English " word " Moote," 
but says " Medditsin," and to " Where is it ? " replies, 
^' Heel he is." 

" Sam," another carrier — the butt of the rest ; a good 


fellow enough, however — spends all his money on clothes, 
and rum, and goes into debt for the same laudable purposes, 
.so that he is, in a manner, compelled to stick by me, being 
afraid to go home to Natal and face his creditors. He does 
very well in Zulu-land, however, where there is neither rum 
to be got nor money to borrow. 

With this cavalcade, and the waggon well loaded, I left 
my home, about forty miles on the Natal side of the boun- 
dary, on the 17th October, "Anno Domini" 1866. 

We passed through a very pretty country, partly dotted 
over with clumps of mimosa trees and partly covered with 
denser bush, with here and there cultivation so luxuriant 
as to afford satisfactory evidence of what can be accom- 
plished. We crossed three or four small rivers, and then, 
last of all and most important, the Tugela, the boundary of 
the colony of Natal and Zulu-land. We had to take the 
waggon to pieces and boat it over ; but after a good deal of 
bother and an outlay of two pounds, Zulu-land opened its 
arms to us. Me it received most vmmistakeably; for, in 
leaping from the boat, I pitched out head foremost and left a 
cast of my physiognomy in the sand. But, barring this little 
accident, all went well ; and we had tlie proud consciousness 
that we had now only ourselves to depend upon in the 
midst of a savage and warlike people, and yet we feared 
nothing ! We carried no " British ^gis " with us ; bo- 
cause, to tell the honest truth, the Zulus hadn't the slightest 
idea of what it is — ^yet we felt no timidity. So, after a 
good supper, we determined to go up to the King's, and, as 
it were, " beard the very lion in his den." Of course, we 
knew very well that nobody would annoy us, Imt then it is 
en regie to indulge in a little " tall talk " on such an 
occasion, as it tickles the ears of the uninitiated. 


We travelled on -for several days through a A^ery broken 
country, but constantly mountmg. to the first plateau — a 
tract of high level land, running north and south, about 
thirty miles from the sea, finely timbered hi some parts, 
and covered with small game — bucks and birds. 

Towards the north end of this level lies Eundi, the head 
kraal of the King's son Cetchwyo, who, although not 
exactly King, reigns nearly absolutely. 

While I was there, word came from the King, granting 
permission to the regiment of which Cetchwyo is Colonel 
to " Toonja," that is, that they were of age to marry, and 
might put upon their heads the ring — the sign of manhood. 
On receiving this gracious message, he sent for all the men 
within a distance of thirty miles to come up in their various 
regiments to his kraal, and have a feast and dance in honour 
of the King's condescension. 

About four in the afternoon he started his runners off, 
like Roderick Dhu with the cross of fire, with instructions 
that all the people were to be there next morning by day- 
light. All those who lived furthest off were up to time, but 
^bout five hundred who lived pretty near at hand, thinking, 
I have no doubt, that they had plenty of time, were about 
half-an-hour late — "Nearest the kirk, furthest frae grace." 
Cetchwyo saw them coming in the distance, and instructed 
about a thousand men to go outside the gate, make a lane 
for them to pass through, and when they were in to close 
the entrance. Up they came, very unsuspiciously, shouting 
and clashing their shields and assegais in honour of the 
Prince ; but directly they got within the gate it was closed, 
and one of the captains coming forward simply said, " Why 
are you late? Beat them!" Immediately all the others 
who were in the kraal fell upon them and did beat them 


with a vengeance. The poor fellows made no resistance, but 
only guarded themselves as well as they could, and tried in 
every way to escape. The noise. and clatter of sticks — they 
did not use their assegais — was tremendous, and broken heads 
were going freely. At last they managed to get out, and 
they were chased all over the country — " they scattered like 
a herd of wilde-beeste when a lion makes his sudden appear- 
<ance in their midst," as a Zulu described the stampede. 
One fellow was chasing another, who suddenly stopped, 
when one of the assegais which his pursuer carried in his 
left hand accidentally run him through and killed him : but 
that Avas the only fatal result of this fray. 

While at Cetchwyo's I could not help admiring how 
thoroughly he had made himself acquainted with his people 
from all parts of the country. I should think that in nine 
days, at least two hundred different head-men came on all 
sorts of business, each one of whom he greeted by his name, 
and inquired into their special circumstances ; and they 
left him evidently highly satisfied with his urbanity and 

He has decreed that in future no one except witches shall 
be killed in the Zulu country. AVliat have hitherto been 
capital crimes are now punishable with the loss of one or 
both eyes, and for this purpose a knife and fork have been 
provided — the one to cut the nerves, the other to pick out the eye ! 

Cetchwyo is a stoutly built black Kaffir ; and of him I 
shall have more, to say anon. 

We left the Eundi, and travelled until we came to the 
brink of the Umhlatusi "Hlanzi," a valley of about twenty 
miles in width, between tile first and main plateaus of the 
country, covered with mimosa trees, and through which 
winds the river "Umhlatusi." This is a very beautiful 


district. From the lofty hills on the south side you look 
down on an extensive plain, about six hundred or seven 
hundred feet beneath you. Overlooking it thus, you can 
distinguish all the patches of green grass between the clumps 
of mimosa, here large and there small; and at that lofty 
elevation you are not aware that what looks so short and 
green is a tangled net-work of strong coarse grass as high as. 
your waist. Near the centre rises a conical hill called 
" Mandowee," and on the slopes of that eminence we saw 
some herds of buffalo and koodoo, w^hich added life to, and 
enhanced the beauty of the landscape. 

Directly we out-spanned, I sent one of the Kaffirs with a 
gun to kill a buffalo for our larder. He took two other natives 
with him, and I sat upon the brink of the plateau and watched 
the whole proceeding through a capital binocular. For a 
long time everything was quiet, but suddenly there was a 
rush of buffalo galloping off in every direction, a faint sound 
reached the ear, a slight curl of smoke was seen hovering 
over a clump of bush, and a black spot dotted the ground ! 
In about an hour the Kaffirs came marching up the hill, 
singing the hunter's death-song. This is always sung when 
they have been successful, and goes to a strange wild air. 
I do not know the composer of either the words or the music, 
but it has a very exciting effect — even on myself, who am 
rather a cool customer — when sung by a number of people. 
It goes on in this Avay : — 

"The assegai of England {i.e., the gnn), 
There it is disappearing. (In the bush is meant) 
Do you hear ? 
It explodes ! " 

Some variations, almost untranslatable, and then repeat 
da capo. 


I may here mention that the natives have regular 
" nyangas " (doctors), whose business it is to compose 
songs, set them to music, and teach them to the people ; 
and I can assure you that some of their effusions are well 
worthy of praise, and create as great a sensation among the 
Kaffirs here as a new opera by Yerdi or Gounod would with 
you at home. 

We crossed the plain, and ascended the hills on the 
opposite or north side in one day. We reached the level 
plains on their summit — for recollect they are table moun- 
tains — through a deep gorge, only remarkable, however, for 
the name of a round-topped hill, by which you wind, and 
which guards the head of the pass. To spell it is, I am afraid, 
impossible ; to pronounce it, equally so ; but I will do my 
endeavour to enlighten the reader — " Nxockqwin ! " You 
sound the " N " first. The " x " is pronounced by press- 
ing the tongue against the roof of the mouth, and letting it 
go suddenly with a click on the " ock " as in clock. You 
manage the " q " by clearing with a loud noise that part 
of your throat just under your right ear at the same time 
as you pronounce the last syllable " win." But, remember, 
you must do all this continuously in one word, and not spit 
out all these sounds as if they were so many distinct ones. 
This suggests to my mind the anecdote of the singing pupil, 
whose master, after keeping him at the scales for five years, 
dismissed him as fit to sing anything. But I know many 
Europeans who are good Kaffir speakers, and have been in 
the colony a dozen years in the constant practice of the 
language, and yet have not, and seemingly never will, 
overcome this Kaffir shibboleth. 

The next day we arrived, without any adventurous inci- 
dent, at one of the King's kraals or country seats, where we 



were detained four days by rain. We were unquestionably 
(as we should have been in the shadow of the King's palace) 
under the influence of " the raining pours ! " 

It is, for even the most Mark Tapleyish person, slightly 
dreary being detained in one spot by wet weather, especi- 
ally if you are travelling in Zulu-land and in a waggon. 
Doctor Marigold says truly that a waggon in such circum- 
stances does find out the holes in one's temper awfully ! 
You are either obliged to stick to the very limited compass 
of the waggon, or else seek society in the huts of the natives, 
of which experience I assure you that " a little goes a long 
way." Not that one cannot obtain any fun out of it, if 
you know the language well, and choose to indulge in 
telling extraordinary tales of the white man's doing-s to the 
old women and the men, and listening to their decidedly 
original remarks, which, from their naiveU, are often ex- 
tremely amusing. But then you cannot vary the subjects 
much, as, besides your own Munchausenisms, cattle, food, 
and marriages, with any little floating gossip, are the whole 
and sole staple of the conversation of the natives. And 
then, again, it is not pleasant to be cooped up in a round 
hut like a Brobdignagian bee-hive, about ten feet in dia- 
meter, with a fifteen-inch rat-hole of a door, which serves 
for window and chimney besides, as there is no other outlet 
for the smoke ; and consequently your eyes are smarting 
and watering all the time, which makes you feel envious of 
the smoke-proof optics of the Zulus. 

My principal consolations when it rains are my pipe and 
my books. I have one volume especially — a two hundred- 
year-old edition of Titus Livy's History of Eome — which I 
find a famous stand-by in all weathers and at all times. Fre- 
quently, with an empty larder, have I dined sumptuously 


off the delights of Capua, and assisted digestion by reading 
of the hardships endured by the Faventines and the Sagun- 
tines. There's "a deal of battles" in that history ! 

Again, to lie in your waggon listening to the pattering of 
the rain within a couple of feet of your nose, watching the 
curl of the smoke as it emerges and rises from your meer- 
schaum, and building castles in the air, is decidedly luxurious, 
and a very jolly way of enjoying the dolce far niente. 

At last we were able to start again, and after a week's 
travelling without any remarkable adventures, except some 
narrow escapes from capsizing the waggon, we came within 
a day's journey of the King's kraal, and there we remained 
trading for nearly a fortnight. The head man of the kraal 
was a very decent old fellow, " fat and scant o' breath," 
and " happy as a king." The only plague of his life was 
the wolves. We could hear them at night howling all 
round the kraal, and I frequently had a pop at them to 
frighten them off. The old man told me that they fre- 
quently carried off sheep, goats, and calves out of the very- 
house, that some of them were common wolves, but that 
others belonged to "Takati's" (witches); and when I asked 
him how he could tell that, he answered that he had seen 
mealies in their droppings, and where could they get 
mealies except from their masters 1 

I may mention incidentally that this " Tri]^ " was written 
under difficulties, many of them trifling in themselves, but 
still very annoying, and some of them of a rather formi- 
dable character. There was no room in the waggon to write 
there at night, while in the day-time we were never free 
from pests, in the shape of girls, boys, and young men 
chattering, whistling, laughing, and jumping all about the 
waggon. The natives are just children with the strength 


and passions of men; they climb everywhere, handling- 
everything, and asking questions on all subjects within their 
ken, or which may be suggested by what they see and hear. 
When you don't answer their interrogations, one will take 
upon himself to give information to the others, and some of 
their ideas about the uses of things are most laughable. 
They themselves know of no other use to which anything 
can be applied than hunting, fighting, making their dresses, 
working with cattle, or cooking food ; it can, therefore, be 
easily understood that the endeavour to apply to those 
jnirposes all the multitudinous articles which a white man 
carries in his waggon, and which he considers necessaries, 
often elicits the most ludicrous comments and remarks. 
But, withal, the Kaffirs are a happy race, kindly disposi- 
tioned, and generous according to their means, but terrible 
thieves nevertheless. Their wants are very few, and are 
supplied without nmch labour. Their cattle give them 
milk, and their land corn in plenty. Their huts they can 
build, of wattles and thatch, in a day. Such amusements 
as they have, seem to be sufficient for them, and, as usual, 
"the old, old story" — love-making — is a favourite pastime 
with them. They go to sleep with the fowls and rise with 
the lark. Their lives pass away in an unclouded round — 
here and there, perhaps, a shadow comes over them in the 
shape of the displeasure of the King or their Chief, which, 
as the case may be, they may have incurred, unwittingly or 
otherwise ; but it is usually only sufficient to vary the 
monotony a little. It is very seldom, indeed, that their 
head men allow their offences to be punished with death, 
or, what to the Kaffir is even worse than death, the taking 
of his cattle ; and an occasional thrashing with heavy 
sticks they seem to mind no more than we would the- 
tickling of a fly on one's nose. 


I remember reading some time ago about '' The Camels'- 
liair-tents of Kurdistan " — a good-sounding, mouth-filling 
phrase, and one which smacks of the romantic. Hearing 
their habitations called by a name like this, completely 
does away with all the notions one might otherwise have 
of their discomforts. But, sitting one night in a Kaffir hut, 
it just struck me that the compound of sour milk, calves, 
goats, and dirt was exactly like the contents of — I must 
say it again — "The Camels'-hair-tents of Kurdistan;" and 
barring the historical recollections, I might as well be in 
Eastern Siberia as in Southern Africa, there is so little real 
<lifFerence between savage peoples. 

I have said before that it is seldom their offences are 
punished with death, yet it must be borne in mind that 
death is always hovering over thenij but, although they 
know this to be the case, they think no more of their end 
by order of their chiefs, or by violence, than most of our- 
selves do of "shuffling off this mortal coil" in the quietude 
of our beds and through natural causes. 

Umcallan, the old head-man I have just mentioned, had 
arrived from the King's a few days before I reached his 
kraal, and he told me an incident which happened there 
which shows the uncertain tenure by which life is held in 
this country. 

A regiment of soldiers were going through some evolu- 
tions before Panda. One of them happened to wear his 
hair a little longer than ordinary, which the King having 
noticed, he flew into a violent rage, and ordered the man 
out, and had him killed immediately. The only comment 
he made on this was "it was perfectly right: what were the 
people for, unless to be killed when the King chose r' It is 
the old story resuscitated, on the other side of the globe, of 


the Highland clansman, "Come oot Tonald, come oot, man, 
an' be hangit, an' pleesure the laird ! " — proving that human 
nature is human nature all the world over. 

After a pleasant and profitable stay at Umcallan's, we left, 
and travelled about half-a-day's journey towards the capital 
to one of his Majesty's large military kraals, the "Escepene."" 

The head man in this kraal is, as Paddy would say, a 
loomany one of Panda's mothers, i.e., one of his father 
" Ensensengakona's " wives ; and a remarkably jolly old 
lady she is. 

Langasana is the biggest woman I ever saw, weighing^ 
at least twenty-five stone. She never moves out of the hut, 
but lolls away day after day on a mat inside, "keeping the 
corporation up" on Kaffir beer and beef. 

She rules over a large tract of country, and, consequently,, 
has her hands full of cases to decide every day. 

The old woman is governor, but the kraal belongs to the- 
King, and it has, therefore, a " Sgohlo " — like the inner 
apartment of the Sultan's palace — sacred to Langasana her- 
self and about forty girls, " the pecooliar wanity " and 
p'operty of King Panda. It is a great honour to be 
admitted into the Sgohlo, and at night it is jealously 
watched by the Kaffir Janissaries. The girls are allowed 
no social intercourse with the other sex. They grow up- 
separated and apart from every one until the day they are 
bestowed upon those " whom the King delighteth to 
honour." This kind of reward is something akin to the 
King of Siam's white elephant, as, in return for the present 
of a cava sposa, the individual thus honoured is expected, in 
order to show his gratitude, to send to his Majesty a gift of 
about ten times the value of an ordinary wife in the regular- 


The district all round the capital — a square of about 
twenty miles, in the heart of the country — is called " Mah- 
labati," which ordinarily means " earth," but in this case 
it means earth par excellence, the King's earth ! and all the 
kraals on it belong to the King. 

Each regiment has a large kraal as head-quarters, but 
they are collectively called " Mahlabati." For instance, 
Escepene is the head-quarters of the Escepe or Nonkenke 
regiment, and in it I counted three hundred and thirty- 
eight huts, eighteen of which are in the Sgohlo. 

The huts are planted in a large circle, which the natives 
seem to have an especial faculty for drawing ; even the 
children, in playing at making kraals in the sand, will draw 
one as correctly as if they had used a compass. A square 
they cannot manage by any means ; even Kaffirs who have 
worked for whites, and understand the use of a line, will 
infallibly go askew. 

In each and &,11 of the kraals there is a posy of girls, and, 
sometimes, as in more civilised regions, the belles of one 
kraal will have a quarrel with those of another, and then 
they meet and fight it out, as happened here at the Escepene 
the other day. 

It appears that some girls who lived close by were carry- 
ing beer to the King's, and were met by three or four of 
those belonging to the Escepene, who asked them how they 
came to cover up the King's beer with nasty rags. It is 
dangerous work jesting with Panda's name, and an accusa- 
tion of this sort might, if not rebutted, become a very 
serious matter ; so by way of confutation they set to work 
and severely beat the jesters ; but on their return they were 
met by the whole force of the Escepene, and had the 
compliment returned with interest. 


Next day all Dugusa's girls turned out, encamped about 
two hundred yards from the waggon, and sent two heralds 
with a challenge to the Escepene. I was there when the 
challenge came, and the commotion was tremendous. The 
young men were all out hoeing, so the girls got hold of 
their small shields and sticks and out they went. Langasana 
sent a lot of men after them to turn them, which they did, 
and chased them back into the kraal. However, "they 
that will to Cupar maun to Cupar," and so answer the 
challenge they would; and directly the guards were with- 
drawn, out they went again. The old lady, seeing it was 
useless to oppose them longer, said " Let them go ! " and I 
followed to see the fun. 

Both sides were armed alike with sticks, knobkerries, 
and shields, but Dugusa's girls numbered only twenty, while 
Langasana's were double that number. 

The opposing forces met just at the back of the kraal at 
which my waggon was " outspanned," and, without any 
preliminary " feints or dodges," at it they went at once, 
and with a will. 

The noise, clatter of sticks, and shouts were most 
startling. Every minute one or two w^ould roll over with 
a broken head, and, meeting an opponent on the ground 
in the like predicament, would have a pas de deux of 
biting, scratching, and kicking. They kept at it with 
intense energy, vociferation, and gesticulation, for about 
ten minutes, and then the lesser number turned and fled. 
The victors then returned, covered with blood, shouting, 
and boasting of their deeds in the fray, and of their 
"glorious victory!" 

The men, of whom there were a considerable number 
present, looked on very composedly, philosophically re- 


marking that " when girls quarrel they will fight, so it's of 
no use attempting to separate them ! " 

The leaders on the Escepene side were three daughters 
of King Panda ; one of them the handsomest girl, whether 
black or white, I have ever seen. Ah ! siveet Nomanxewa, 
how shall I describe thee 1 A little over the middle size — 
a splendid bust, but not over-developed, as in most Kaffir 
women — a waist like Titania's, limbs like the Venus de 
Milo ; she has escaped, too, the bane of thick lips and a flat 
nose, and rejoices in what, without stretching, may be called 
aquiline features ; head small, and set on a neck like a 
classic column, well-rounded arms, small hands and feet ; in 
manners neither bold nor forward, but an indescribable 
easy gracefulness of motion pervading the whole. A fine 
clever girl to talk to — a little bit of a vixen and a good deal 
of the coquette — but, oh, dear ! what spoils the whole, like 
the garlic in the Olla Fodrida — so aivfully odorifermis / 

And then, again, you may easily imagine how the charm 
would be broken if you were conversing with a pretty, 
clever, ladylike girl, and she were, disdaining even the 
2Kipier mouclioir of the Japanese, to blow her nose with her 
fingers, or spit against the wall and rub it dry with this 
Eve's pattern of a handkerchief! Pah ! there's no sentiment 
and no romance where there's no soap/ 

We have all heard and read a good deal about the 
soldiers' stocks — much against, but precious little in favour 
of them. One of the most original ideas on the subject 
was advanced by one of my Kaffirs the other day. He was 
describing to Langasana the great power and resources of the 
British ; and amongst other things declared that they could 
cover the country with red-coats ; soldiers who never run 
away — in fact, it was impossible that they could, as they 


were peesella'd* round the neck with a piece of iron, so that 
they could not " t^mi and flee ! " Could there be any better 
argument against that absurdity than this one given by a 
savage in its f aimer, as he thought 1 The Kaffirs are quick 
enough to discern the true uses of things when they come 
into frequent contact with them, but the soldier's stock is a 
mystery, a puzzle, " a thing which no black fellah can 
make out." 

It is early morning. The day is just breaking, and soon it 
is heralded in with a variety of sounds, some of which defy 
description. A profound stillness prevails ; yet, as it were 
through the silence, is heard the wailing departure of day's 
enemy. And as Aurora gradually presses night back to the 
west, all nature, animate and inanimate, seems breathlessly 
to watch the contest. 

Presently comes morn's auxiliary, the breeze ; and, as if 
assured by it that their friend the day is conqueror, the 
birds strike up their notes of welcome to the dawn, and of 
triumph over their foe, fast receding from its advancing light. 

Then begin the sounds connected with human life. A 
voice is heard, a dog barks, the cattle low ; " shrill chanti- 
cleer proclaims the approach of morn," and with the rays — 
the heralds of day's general the sun — a burst around hails 
another day begun ! 

The day having fairly set in, the first operation is the 
toilet. This scene is unique, and, had I the graphic pencil 

* To lieesella is to make a hole. They apply it principally to 
burning the hole for the iron in the end of the assegai-shaft ; but it 
also in Kaffir " slang" means to settle or fix a thing as firmly as it 
is possible to do. When they say " such a thing, or so and so, is 
peesdla'd," it amounts to our phrase " I've cooked that goose at 


of a John Leech, I should like to sketch it for you ; but I 
must content myself with doing my best in the uwd-painting 

It must be borne in mind that we have here in Zulu-land 
a " Eegent " in Cetchwayo ; and as bad habits are very 
recuperative, and are apt to repeat themselves in very 
curious ways, we have here gone back to the manners of 
"the Eegency." AVe make our toilet in public! It is the 
custom of the country; (but pray don't suppose for a single 
moment that I "go the entire animal," for I always keep up 
a decent reserve in the shape of "pants"), and like every- 
thing else amongst the natives is delightful from the absence 
of starch ; and yet there is nothing at all immodest in the 
custom amongst themselves, because of their entire ignorance 
of anything like obscenity or grossness. In this respect 
"the benighted heathen" in this quarter of the globe, are 
"a caution" to many of your "enlightened" Pharisees. 

The first wonder is the soap. " Where does all that froth 
come from ? " " Doesn't it burn you 1 " says one. " Burn 
him ! " quoth another, " No ! how can it burn him ] " 
" Why, it's boiling," rejoins the first interrogator. Then a 
little pas de hallet round the waggon, and much laughter at 
the ignoramus. " What's that for % what's it made of ] " 
inquires a Zulu belle, to which I answer " That's for clean- 
ing my nails, and it is made of pigs' hair." " But why do 
you cut your nails 1 Why don't you let them grow like 
that % " pointing to her own fingers with nails an inch-and- 
a-half long, which you must bear in mind is a mark of 
distinction in Zulu-land, as showing that the owner has no 
necessity to soil her hands with labour. I reply that " I 
must work, and if I tried to do it with nails like that I 
should always have them broken or dirty." 


Here one of my Kaffirs strikes in. He has seen " how 
are the mighty fallen" in the estimation of the bystanders 
by my inadvertent confession that / must tcorh, and he 
hastens to explain that I must not be thought any the less 
of on that account, as all white men, from the highest to 
the lowest, had to work in some way ; and, on being asked 
" why the big men don't do the same as their brethren of 
Zulu — sit still all day, drink beer, eat beef, and hear the 
news 1 " simply answers "It is the way they were ' torn 
out.' "* 

Then come the most free and easy remarks about my 
personal appearance — the colour of my skin, the cut of my 
phiz, &c. The general summing-up is not flattering to my 
amor proprice, but it is admitted that if I were only black I 
might pass in a crowd ! 

Every stage of my simple toilet is narrowly watched and 
criticised, and when I have given myself "the finishing 
touch " there is a general clapping of hands, dancing and 
shouting, and I am coolly requested to repeat the whole 
operations de novo for the benefit of some who had just 
arrived ! 

At Langasana's I was shown a willow-pattern j^late — a 
genuine old Spode — and was asked what was the meaning' 
of all those blue marks upon it. They were particularly 
delighted when, like old Hamlet's ghost, I proceeded to 
unfold the tale (illustrated with ]plates !). It was " the old, 
old story," which they could well understand. The two 

* This is an idiomatical expression, meaning ' ' it has been their 
•custom from the time they were first a people." Their idea is that 
the Zuhis were " torn ont" of the reeds — I supjjose from the pecu- 
har murmuring-like noise they make when "shaken hj the wind;" 
or may it not be some faint tradition of the Deluge ? 


fond lovers, the hard-hearted father, the broken-hearted girl 
shut up, and the ultimate bolting with the jewels, came 
home to their bosoms as an everyday incident in Zulu-land. 
I had to go over it again and again ; and after I had pointed 
out the young man in the boat, told them that the girl was 
immured in the house, and the obdurate father asleep in the 
arbour, and then shown them the three running figures on 
the bridge, one would get hold of the plate, turn it upside 
down and twirl it round and round, and then gravely expound 
it to the others in the most ridiculous manner. Tired at last 
with their endless questions — descending to even the third 
and fourth generations of the runaways — I got rid of the 
subject by seriously telling the old lady that the plate was 
of such a material that if much handled the colours would 
fade away, and then it would all fall in pieces, which so 
frightened them that not one of them would touch it, and I 
had myself to i^ut the plate back in its place for my pains. 

Having completed my business at Langasana's, we moved 
to the King's, to whom I made a present of three blankets, 
and received from him, as a quid pro quo, an ox to kill for 
food. I would rather have taken it home to Natal with 
me than have eaten it, but the etiquette of the country 
forbade such an economical course. 

Panda is the King de jure, but his son Cetchwayo is de 
facto the ruler. Panda is a fat old fellow of about sixty 
years of age, with peculiar white rings round the pupils of 
his eyes; very kindly, and fond of gossip. He inquired 
about all the doings and wonders of the white man; and, 
after about half-an-hour's talk, gradually dozed off to sleep, 
when I left him to enjoy his siesta. 

The day after I arrived he sent his chamberlain to inquire 
if I liked beer, and, upon my answering that it was very 


good, he was "graciously pleased" to invite me to a drink- 
ing bout. Kaffir beer is, in substance and taste, something 
like butter-milk, and about as intoxicating as thin gruel 
would be if made with sauteme and water. It is also a 
primary article of food, as most of the great people live 
nearly entirely upon it, with the occasional addition of a 
little beef. 

On my arrival in the Eoyal presence, a bowl holding 
about a gallon was set down before me, and I, as in duty 
bound, addressed myself most loyally to the work. About 
a fourth had disappeared when I began to feel " an inward 
satisfaction," and, like the fat boy in Pickwick, as if "I 
was a wisibly fattening under the operation," and con- 
sequently felt disinclined for more extensive experiments 
on my internal capacity; but the King was inexorable. 
*' Drink, white man, drink! you said you liked beer, and 
yet you leave it." I reply, sotta wee, "True, oh King! but 
I have drank enough, and am unworthy to drink with the 
great King." 

Now, in Zulu-land, if the King were to tell any one to 
eat an ox, the gastronomic feat must be performed. Thus 
my answer was an utter infringement of all Zulu notions of 
etiquette. Being made aware of this, I again "strove 
mightily and prevailed;" and, having thus made amends 
for my gaucherie, I returned to the waggon feeling like a 
boa after swallowing a calf, with the sensation of my skin 
being too small for me; but yet with a mind just so 
"elevated" as to make light of all these discomforts. 

When I saw the King again I explained to him that, 
never having been in his country before, my stomach was 
not adapted for stowing away the large quantities of beer 
which it was so easy for his people to do; but, as I intended 


to remain some time, I should no doubt, by practising 
diligently, train my interior economy to receive the proper 
amount of Kaffir pahilum. And with this assurance I 
hoped he would not press me to drink, but leave me to my 
own exertions, which he might rest assured would be 
unremitting. After pitying my neglected education, he 
j^romised that I should be left to myself, and benignantly 
hoped that a blessing might attend upon my laudable 
exertions ! 

The old King is wheeled about in a little waggon. He 
never walks, although I am inclined to think he might do 
&o] but I should not like to "lay the odds" on his ability, 
as, from his enormous obesity, it would be rather a difficult 
matter at the best to carry "the Habeas Cm'^us Act" into 
operation with him. "It is a lesson to him who would be 
admonished" to see him drawn out into the centre of the 
kraal, the people running in front removing every little bit 
of stick, grass, or stone which might impede tl:e waggon, 
however slightly — no one daring to stand up, but all 
creeping about him on their hands and knees, shouting 
^'Bayete! Bayete!" (or "King of Kings"), "You who are 
black," "Zulu," "Lion," "King of the world," &c., &c.; and 
when he speaks, all stretching forward in the attitude of 
intense attention, their eyes bent on the ground, and at 
4jvery pause crying "Vooma" (we agree), "Yes, Father," 
"You say it," "Hear to him," &c., &c.; and then, when he 
orders them to do anything, they fly like lightning — an 
example which it were well that our civilized white servants 
would follow! If any one displeases him, he says "Beat 
him," or "Take him away" (meaning "kill him"), as the 
case may be, and instantly fifty ready fellows dart out, only 
too happy to execute his commands. Yet, as I said before, 


for all this lie has no regal power in the country. Cetch- 
wayo is the actual king, although all the outward semblance 
is allowed to his father. The power to kill a few people 
whenever the freak seizes him is simply considered nothing 
— merely a toy given to please him. 

Cetchwayo came here to-day with a large following to 
see his father, and show him the new ring on his head. He 
slept last night at a kraal about three miles off, and about 
ten o'clock this morning we noticed him leave it on his way 
hither. I determined to witness the meeting; so, when 
the King was wheeled out, I went up, paid my respects, 
and took my place, which, by right of accident of colour, 
was alongside his little waggon amongst his chiefs. Ho 
waited about half-an-hour, and then the whole band, with 
the "child" (the literal translation of his Zulu title) at 
their head, made their appearance at the gate of the kraal, 
about two hundred yards off, and immediately commenced 
shouting "Bayete, Bayete," &c. There were about three 
hundred men, all of his own regiment, with him, and as 
they approached nearer they bent lower and lower, until, 
when within about thirty yards, they were about to go 
down on their hands and knees as usual, when a gracious 
command to the contrary prevented them, and up they 
stood for inspection. 

After a dead silence of perhaps five minutes, a voice from 
the waggon said, "Good morning, Cetchwayo," when imme- 
diately every tongue was loosed, and he was greeted with a 
perfect storm of " Bayete " and " Yebo Baba." 

I may mention, parenthetically, that it is the rule when 
you arrive at a kraal to take your seat and say nothing. 
No one will address you for a few minutes, but all the while 
you will be subjected to a most minute inspection. The 


greater the man the longer the silence. At last the head 
man m presence will bid you "Good morning." He will 
say, '' Ge sa koo bona" (I see you). You will answer "Yebo" 
(yes); or, if an old man, "Yebo baba, ge bona nena" (Yes j 
father, I see you). 

Those with Cetchwayo were the sons of the greatest men 
in the country. Their fathers had shared Panda's good and 
bad fortune; and as the old King called them one by one to 
stand out and show themselves, and recognised the family 
vraisemblance to his old companions, I could see that he was 
very much affected, yet proud at the same time; and proud 
he might well be, for three hundred handsomer specimens of 
humanity it would be difficult to bring together anywhere. 
Each of them would have made a model for a sculptor. 

After the reception ceremonial was over, I went and had 
some conversation with Cetchwayo. He is evidently 
*' native and to the manner born," as a first-rate ruler of the 
Zulus, and they thoroughly understand and appreciate these 
qualities in him. But beyond a fondness for guns, of which 
he knows the power, he seems to have no wish to improve, 
or, in other words, to learn anything from the whites. It 
is, however, pride perhaps which i:>revents him; his invari- 
able answer to any suggestion of this nature being, "It is 
not our custom — we are Kings of the Zulu" ("Zulu" in 
native parlance means "the heavens"). Any attempt, 
therefore, to improve upon this "heavenly" state, he thinks 
a work of supererogation. He is kind to the whites, both 
from his natural disposition, and because he is acute enough 
to see that any quarrel with them would be niinous to him. 
In person, he is a good-looking, tall, powerful man, but he 
is developing the characteristic of all Ensensengakona's 
jirogeny — terrible fatness — especially about the hips and 


legs; and he has, hi common with all Panda's children, 
small hands and feet — the mark of good birth. He 
remained at the capital but one night, and then he left for 
the headquarters of his own regiment, "Toolwan." 

It is amusing to see the natives doing what they call 
woi'h The other day the King wanted some wattles for a 
hut; and immediately, instructions were sent round all the 
kraals in the Mahlabate, to the Amakanda (heads) as they 
are called. The whole of the young men turned out to the 
bush, each cut a wattle (or branch), leaving the leafy head 
upon it, and returned marching up the hill, looking as if 
"Birnam wood had come to Dunsinane." When they 
came into the kraal each man threw down his wattle with 
the air of one who had done some great deed; then they 
had a dance, and each "went his several way," entirely 
satisfied with the great day's icork which he had done. 

Nodwengo, the capital, lies in the northern end of an 
amphitheatre about eight miles in diameter. The surround- 
ing hills are very beautiful — partly green and partly covered 
with mimosa trees, and broken up here and there into 
precipices. The White Umvelose river runs through the 
centre, and smaller streams intersect the area in all direc- 
tions. The consequence is, that from its situation it is very 
hot in summer, while from the plenteousness of water it is 
very cold in winter. The kraal itself contains, I should 
think, about five hundred huts. I have not counted them, 
but judge by comparison with the Escepene. 

Over the hills to the north is a large Hlanzi called the 
Ewela, from which I have just returned after two days' 
unsuccessful buff'alo shooting. 

The heat — it is the middle of summer — was something 
frightful; it must have been 140° in the sun. Not a 


breath of air can penetrate the dense mimosa clumj)s. The 
country is very broken, and stones are strewn thickly 
amongst the grass, which reaches up to your thighs, render- 
ing walking extremely difficult and exhausting. 

Then at night, after a hard day's work, to come home 
and take "a feed" of roasted beef half-raw, some sour 
milk and mealies, and go to sleep in one of the native huts 
on a hard clay floor, is not, by any means, either luxurious 
or refreshing. 

I should not have spoken of buffalo shooting at all, but 
that my experience of it bears out a free-and-easy description 
which I once heard, viz., — "Buffalo hunting is devilish hard 
work, but then, by Jove, it's glorious fun!" This is true. 
The rising in the morning before the dawn, the walk to the 
ground while you are fresh, the taking your stand upon 
some high point to watch for the game, and the noting, as 
light increases, the gradual unfolding of peak after peak, 
valley after valley — the chiar-oscuro, the light and the shade, 
with here and there a nebulcB of mist hiding some spot on 
which you feel assured there must be buffalo — is positively 

You forget for a time the object of your excursion in 
admiring the beauties of the landscape, and the exquisite 
and ever-varying Turneresque atmospheric effects, until at 
last you are recalled to the work in hand by a sudden cry 
of "Nanzya!" (there they are) from the native at your side, 
who has no artistic or ideal sympathies, but whose whole 
soul has been concentrated on buffalo beef all this time. 

Then comes a consultation as to how the game may be 
best approached, and the direction of the wind has to be 
ascertained and considered. They are travelling towards 
the bush for shade and rest, and the lay of the land has to be 


noted. When all is settled the start is made, and then comes 
the hard work. The jDurity of the atmosphere is such that 
distance is almost annihilated, and what seems close at hand 
is, in reality, miles away; therefore you have generally a long- 
and weary tramp before you strike the trail. The word 
is passed, "Steady now, no talking, they are in that bush, 
look outl" and away we go. Eyes roving in all directions, 
foot-falls as if on velvet, and the nostrils of the natives — 
and doubtless my own, too — expanded with excitement. 
Presently we come to the dense part of the bush, where 
they lie during the heat of the day, and creejnng is the 
word — moving like mice as regards noise, like the tortoise 
as regards speed. Suddenly the boy in front of me halts, 
and I creep up to his side; no words are necessary. I 
gently move aside a leafy screen, and there they are. And 
noble fellows they are too ! Some standing, some lying down, 
some snoring away, and one old bull looking out in our direc- 
tion, evidently susj^icious, yet not sufficiently so as to induce 
him to alarm his fellows. He is within about ten yards; so, 
as gingerly as possible, I come into something like Hythe 
position, and in a second the woods ring with the report 
which accompanied the bullet as it entered his brain. 
There is a snort and a heavy fall, a rush like thunder 
through the thick tangled bush, and amidst the smoke I 
deliver the second barrel at a glancing black object, and, 
above the reverberation of retiring hoofs, a "Ba — a — a — a'' 
is heard, which assures us that that shot has also been 
successful. This is all. One minute of intense excitement 
in the day, with your life on the hazard; but it is enough, 
and repays all the toil and risk, as there is not only the 
pride of killing such nol)le game — accounted the most 
dangerous in South Africa — l)ut there is also the pleasure 


of supplying the natives with meat, which they seldom get 
by any other means, and whose imichant for it is in the 
inverse ratio to its scarcity. 

I need scarcely say after this ei)isode that I am fond of 
shooting, and that I consider the sport here worth following; 
but as for those books indited by " mighty Nimrods," I'd as 
lief read a season's game-book in England as their lucubra- 
tions, for, like your "Alpine Club" adventures, if not "toast 
and waterish," there is generally too strong an infusion of 
" bosh and bunkum," and pervading self-glorification. 

I heard a story the other day which, if the power of 
writing fiction were possessed by me, I might have worked 
up into a first-class sensational novel. 

It was at night, while we were all sitting round the fire 
at the waggon. The fitful light was thrown on the narrator, 
who being right opposite to me, I had a full view of his 
gestures and the action of his body, without which, I greatly 
fear, my description will lose half its interest. I fancy that 
not even the Eastern story-tellers can come up to the Kaffir 
in power of pictorial narration; their language is not very 
copious, but, notwithstanding, by the combined effects of 
oratory and expressive pantomine, they can bring circum- 
stances, time, and place most vividly before you. 

When any person is accused of witchcraft, it is generally 
one who has a good stock of cattle, so that his destruction 
may be profitable to the King. If he is found guilty — 
which, by the way, is always a foregone conclusion — " an 
army," small or large, according to the size of his kraal, is 
sent against him. The proceedings are kej^t a profound 
secret, and the first notice he has of the trouble he has got 
into is the shout of " the avengers" surrounding the kraal. 


It was a case of this kind which the Kaffir described. It 
appears that some years ago one of Panda's wives was taken 
ill. The " doctor" was sent for, and, having made his 
diagnosis, pronounced that she was bewitched — a convenient 
method, by the way, of covering his ignorance — whereupon 
he was ordered to discover the culprit; and, after a little 
fugleing, he "smelt out" a petty chief who lived high-up on 
the Tugela. It was necessary to be particularly careful in 
dealing with this man, as he lived so near to the border 
that, if he had the slightest inkling of what was intended, 
he could easily slip over into Natal. Everything, however, 
was well managed, and at night the kraal was surrounded.* 

The kraals, as I have said elsewhere, are built in a circle, 
and where they are anyways near the bush they are encircled 
on the outside with a thorn fence about the height of a man, 
besides the inner fence, which forms the cattle stand; and 
between the two are ranged the huts. 

The modus operandi is first silently to surround the outer 
fence, then open the gate, which is made of branches, enter, 
and surround the huts. When all is complete, they set uj) 
a shout and call on the unhappy inmates to come forth and 
be killed, which they generally do without any fuss or noise, 
both from their sense of the uselessness of struggling against 
their opponents, and from the fatalism which runs in all 
their natures. They say it is their Ehlose, i.e., fate, and 
"who can prevent it?" But in this case it happened that 
the chief was a powerful, active, daring young fellow, who, 
besides the natural love of life, had another incentive to 

* The practice is, if one of the people is condemned to be executed 
for witchcraft, to kill the whole kraal, even the very dogs and fowls 
do not escape. They then set fire to the huts, and so ends tlie 
dismal tragedy. The cattle, of course, are driven off to the King. 


escape in the shape of his intended, who was on a visit to 
him, and in his hut.* 

The people, aroused from sleep by the yells of the King's 
messengers, knew at once what their fate would be, and 
without any ado submitted to it. But the chief determined 
to make a dash for it, and, at all events, try to save the 

Together they rolled up a mat, fastened a shield and some 
assegais on the top as if held by a man, and thrust it 
suddenly out into the midst of those guarding the door. 
Immediately they closed on to it, stabbing and striking it in 
the dark. Before they had discovered their mistake the 
man had got out of the little door — the most difficult part — 
and, placing his back against the outer fence, was able to 
defend himself for a few moments. As the attacking force 
drew off to assail him, the girl got out, and, seizing the 
" dummy," threw it over the outer fence amongst those who 
were guarding round the kraal, where the same scene was 
repeated. Those inside, seeing another suddenly appear, 
and fearing that there might be more, halted, puzzled for a 
moment; then the two, seizing the opportunity, sprang 
clear through or over the fence, and got away, stabbing two 
of their opponents who " stopped the way." Now, the 
escape of any one under such circumstances is supposed to 
show such bravery and acuteness that it is always reckoned 
a condonation of past offences; and the successful is sure to 
arrive at high honour in the Zulu country. They infer that 
he cannot be a witch if he is such a brave man. Therefore 
the chief and his bride might with perfect safety have 
appeared at the King's kraal — if they could have escaped 

* The Kaffirs have no notion that there is any immodesty in tho 
two sexes occupying the same hut at night. 


pursuit — and, once there, would have been respected highly, 
and, in all probability, have his cattle returned to him. 

But this chief's " heart was red," and, having " a large 
liver" (great bravery), he determined first to avenge the 
slaughter of his friends, and then cross over to Natal. No 
one in the Zulu country would molest him except those sent 
by the King for the purpose. 

This party, after completing the destruction of the kraal, 
drove off the cattle to the King's, having first despatched 
six men and an officer on the trail of the fugitives. 

The Kaffir's ideal description of the runaways was in- 
imitable. He employed few words, but the action of his 
body, head, and arms brought vividly before your eyes the 
fugitives — ^the stumbling over stones and into holes, the 
hard breathing, the wiping away the perspiration, and at 
last the halt, when a tolerably safe distance had been 
reached; the sitting on the ground in despair — nothing said, 
but constant mutual exclamations of grief and anger escap- 
ing from them, the start from the ground to flee " at the 
turning of a leaf," the re-seating themselves, and the gradual 
return to " mitigated grief;" the conversation between them 
as to future prospects and ^proceedings, and the decision at 
last that the girl should hide and the man return to see the 
results of the fray, and, if possible, avenge the destruction 
which he felt too certain had overtaken his people. 

The parting — " Ah ! my child, take care. Walk as the 
snake goes through the grass. Strike as it does and dis- 
appear. Remember that though I remain here, the assegai 
that strikes you is my death. But go; you are a man. In 
after days we shall talk over this matter in Natal, and with 
the more pleasure that you will have appeased the Ehlose 
of your friends who are gone." 


The girl was hid away in a hole in the side of a rocky- 
hill. The man rolled a large stone to the mouth of the 
recess; and, to prevent it from falling away, stayed it round 
with smaller ones. Ah ! too fatal precaution ! 

The remainder of the tragedy is brief but sorrowful. 
After a smart but short walk, the chief saw the pursuing 
party advancing up the side of the hill by a path which at 
the top passed between two high banks. He posted him- 
self under cover of a bush in their front and waited for 

Expecting nothing less than that he would come of his 
own accord to meet them and deliver himself up, the seven 
men were hurrying carelessly up. As they passed the bush 
the chief sprang out, and with two short sharp stabs 
despatched two men, and had effected his escape before they 
recovered from their surprise. 

It was not long, however, before, with shouts and yells, 
the remainder plunged into the bush after him; and in the 
confusion they, mistaking one another for their intended 
victim, fought amongst themselves, and the result was the 
loss of two more. The other three, when they saw how 
their numbers were reduced, determined to return home and 
give up the pursuit. For this purpose they proceeded up 
the path, but on one of the high banks at the top the vin- 
dictive and. undaunted avenger was awaiting them, and, 
hurling a huge boulder from his coign of vantage, dashed 
out the brains of the officer as he came beneath him. Seeing 
his enemies reduced to two, he considered it beneath his 
manhood to use strategy, and he therefore descended to 
engage them hand-to-hand. Ah! rash adventurer — forget- 
ful lover ! Why will he forget the warning of his affianced, 
that the assegai which reached him equally wounded her? 


Many days passed and went, and at Nodwengo the people 
began to wonder that there was no appearance of the party 
sent in pursuit of the chief, and another corps was des- 
patched to endeavour to obtain some tidings of them. They 
arrived at the ruins of the kraal, and there took up the 
trail. First they found the skeletons — picked by the wolves 
— of the four who had been slain at and in the bush; then 
those of the three at the top. They marvelled greatly at 
the prowess of the chief, and wondered what had become 
of him. One of them, however, struck his trail, and the 
party following it soon came to the cavity where the girl 
had been hid. In front of it lay the bones of the chief, and, 
directed by the effluvia, they rolled away the stone, and 
there discovered the corpse of the unfortunate girl ! 

Her figurative words had come, in effect, literally true. 
The wounds which her lover had received in the fight had 
just left him strength sufficient to creep to the hiding place 
of his intended, but not enough to remove the stone ; and 
he had fastened it in such a manner that she from the inside 
could not free herself! There they both died — he, most 
likely, quickly, owing to his wounds; but she slowly, 
lingeringly, the agonising death of famine ! 

Who shall paint the heart-rending scene ? — the bleeding 
lover on the outside ; his feeble and ineffectual attempts to 
release her ; the blood welling-out afresh at every abortive 
effort; at last the despairing conversation as the awful 
reality of their hopeless position stares them in the face; 
the agonising cries of the poor girl immured in her living 
tomb as the voice of her lover gradually faded away in 
death ; thsn the loving aj^peals of the girl meet no response; 
and, at length, the conviction steals over her that no more 
shall she hear the voice of her beloved — no more shall she 


see his dear form ; and she Draw the curtain ! Their 

agonies are past ; but while they lasted, ah ! who shall 
paint their bitterness 1 It is a sad, mournful story, which 
has deeply touched even the native heart, callous as it is to 
scenes of rapine and slaughter. 

It is a custom in the Zulu country that every year, just 
as the Indian com is filled, but yet still milky and soft, the 
people repair to the King at Nodwengo, and there hold " a 
feast of first-fruits," when the King has a grand review of all 
his troops, big and little, old and young, male and female — 
all who are able to go up, like the Jews to the Passover ; 
and, after the King has eaten of the green food, and put his 
army "through their facings," they all disperse again as- 
rapidly as they collected together. This they call " Hlala^ 
bkos;" literally, "Playing to the King!" The feast will 
begin in about ten days, and, from all I have heard, and 
what I have seen of the smaller one, I am sure it will be 
worth witnessing and describing. 

The lesser one was celebrated about a fortnight ago, when 
about three thousand men came up to the kraal, caught the^ 
bull, and danced the " Ingoma." 

The natives call the smaller feasts the " Niatella," or the 
"Treader on heels;" and at it every year a bull is turned 
out, which a i:>articular regiment — this year " Tool wan " — is 
ordered to kill. They must not use assegais or sticks, but 
must break its neck or choke it with their bare hands. It 
is then burned, and the strength of the bull is supposed to 
enter into the King, thereby prolonging his health and 

The bull — which on this occasion was a fine three-year- 
old — is turned out, and the men throw themselves upon it 


like ants. It accepted their embraces quietly for a while, 
until finding that something more than a joke was intended, 
it commenced to kick and plunge furiously. Three or four 
got kicked and gored ; but it was of no use, for despite of 
its tremendous exertions, they at last fairly choked it, 
shouldered it off to the kraal, and then burned it. 

Then they danced the " Ingoma." This is the national 
song of the Zulus, and has as great an effect on them as our 
national anthem has on us. It is a very old song, but 
became all of a sudden famous in Chaka's time, who made 
it his war song, and to this African " Lullibullero" conquered 
all of what is now the Zulu-land and Natal as well ; and 
€ver since then it has become a sort of combination of the 
''Queen's Anthem" and "Scots wha ha'e" among the people. 

When the soldiers commenced the cantata, in front of the 
King, they had it all to themselves for a few minutes, but 
gradually the patriotic feeling got roused, and all the 
bystanders — old women and children, the chiefs, and the 
Koyal attendants, and at last the old King himself — ^joined 
in the loyal chorus, and the air became full of " J6, J6, J6 — 
J^, J6, Je," accompanied by regular stamps on the ground, 
steadily increasing in intensity until everything rattled 
again. Then leaving off the chorus they struck up — 
speaking of the Zulus — 

' * They cut them to pieces, 
They put them to rights; (ironically) 

By the way, you are not one of them. 
We are braves, that fear the King ; 

By the way, you are not one of ug. 
Je, Je, Je, (stamp) Je, Je, Je," (stamp). 

The words will not seem to express or even suggest much 
to an Englishman, and would not appear at all striking even 


if I could convey the idioms ; but to Zulus, accompanied as 
they are with glorious remembrances, they are sufl&cient 
thoroughly to arouse their savage blood ; and, therefore, 
when the " Ingoma " is sung, an extra number of captains 
are always spread about, as a sort of special constables, as a 
necessary measure of precaution, in order to quell any 
attempt at tumult which may arise. And, I may add, that 
tumults always do arise. A wry word or a crooked look 
sets the whole in a blaze like a spark among powder ; and 
then the captains immediately commence to hammer away 
with heavy sticks or " knob-kerries " till they cry " hold, 
enough ! " The stick is the great disciplinarian and 
" argumentarium " in the Zulu. The young men have a 
saying, "We never can hear, unless we first feel the stick!" 

The whole of the kraals on the Mahlabate are filling fast ; 
the people are trooping in from all directions, each party 
with its household goods and a package of Indian corn for 
their support ; for, although the King will kill a number of 
cattle for them, there will be only a tit-bit for each, so they 
must attend to their own commissariat. 

It is the custom for all the young men in the country to 
spend a few months every year " Konsaing," i.e., laying 
their respects at Court ; but " not to put too fine a point 
upon it," this means in fad that they have to hoe the King's 
corn, and at the same time find themselves in provant. 
Those who live close at hand are pretty well off, but those 
who come from a distance have generally veiy short 
commons. They, however, can stand starvation wonder- 
fully. They will travel or work for days on nothing but 
an occasional drink of water ; but then, on the other hand, 
when they have the chance they can eat enormously and 


This is a time when all the Zulus are full of old recollec- 
tions, always speaking and boasting of old deeds and glories; 
consequently, I have the history of the rise and progress of 
Zulu greatness continually dinned into my ears; and, having 
been overdosed with this sort of thing, I have determined 
to dispense a modicum of it to the readers of my " Trip." 
This cannot be grumbled at, however, seeing that I have 
^iven fair warning ; so that, if Zulu history possesses no 
charms, it may be skipped; but as forty-two years of 
" strange eventful history " will only occupy as many lines, 
I think I may anticipate having a few readers among 
" anxious enquirers " into that most romantic of all 
romances — history. 

About the year 1820 Ensensengakona "died in his bed" 
peaceably. He was, like all his ancestors, merely a petty 
chief of a country extending over the now " Mahlabati," 
the then MUtat of the Zulus. " Chaka," his son, succeeded 
him, and reigned peaceably enough for two years. 

Then a tribe called the " Endwandwe," who lived at the 
extreme northern end of what is now the Zulu country, 
began to aim at " universal dominion," and, with that end 
in view, under their chief " Zweete "■ — a would-be South 
African Caesar — conquered all the tribes around them up to 
the Zulu. 

Chaka felt uneasy, but did not know how to oppose them, 
his tribe being so small. Just then, however, as the fates 
would have it, a tribe called " Zoongoo," abutting on the 
Zulus, quarrelled amongst themselves "for the throne!''' 
One party craved the assistance of the Endwandwe, and 
the other asked the armed intervention of Chaka. This 
was the beginning of Chaka's wars. In the first campaign, 
however, he and his Zoongoo allies were beaten, and driven 


<lown to the Tugela or southern boundary of what is now 
Zulu, where they again, being in fighting trim, conquered, 
and drove out the Amaquabe tribe, the remainder of whom 
now consider themselves Zulus. Zweete, not satisfied with 
his former victory, determined to " wipe out " the Zulus, 
^nd, having pursued them, was thoroughly beaten, and his 
people '' Konza'd " (made their allegiance) to Chaka, who, 
having now tasted blood, and becoming gradually more 
powerful, carried on his wars until he conquered and brought 
under subjection ten tribes which then occupied Zulu, a 
country about two hundred miles square. He then turned 
his attention to the countries around, completely subjugating 
what is now Natal, and even sent out armies as far as the 
Amaponda and Mosilekatse, the latter a thousand miles 

He improved the discipline, and altered the arms of his 
people. Formerly they used to go to battle in one dis- 
orderly crowd; he formed them into companies and 
regiments. It was their custom to carry a bundle of 
assegais, which they used both to throw and to stab with ; 
he took them all away but one large one, so that they were 
less hampered, and were compelled to adopt hand-to-hand 

If any one lost his assegai — he was killed. If any one- 
showed the least symptom of fear — he was killed. 

The Zulus admire him intensely — as a sort of black 
Napoleon I — but yet they acknowledge that he was a blood- 
thirsty tyrant. At his mother's death he was with the 
greatest difficulty dissuaded from killing all the mothers in 
the country, saying that now, since he had no mother, 
neither should any one else have one. As it was, he killed 
about seven thousand people at the mourning feast, " so 
that the tears of the survivors should run plentifully." 


Chaka was killed by his brothers Dingaan aud Umhlan- 
gana — the former of whom killed the latter, and reigned 
alone until the arrival of the Dutch, by whom he was, beaten 
and driven away, when Panda, a younger brother, reigned 
in his stead. 

Panda departed from the custom of his two predecessors 
by marrying, having children, and allowing them to grow 
up ; and to this the Zulus ascribe his milder sway. 

When his children were very young he named the present 
heir-presumptive, Cetchwayo, as his successor; but after- 
wards, about twelve years ago (1855), he changed his mind, 
and appointed another son, Umbulazi, as " Crown Prince." 

This occasioned a civil war, in which the latter was. 
defeated and slain, so that the former is now rehabihtated 
by force of arms, and is the acknowledged future King. But 
in Zulu-land " Amurath an Amurath succeeds," and all the 
other sons of the King are well aware that, on Cetchwayo's 
succession, he will take the earliest opportunity of killing 
them, and no doubt they will endeavour to " turn the 
tables" on him, if they can. The peojile are quite well 
aware of all this, and si)eak of it freely as if it were a mere 
matter of course. They say that he will most likely spare 
those who were bom of the same mother with himself; but 
even they, if they don't behave themselves very circum- 
spectly, need expect no mercy at his hands. 

The King knows it, and, in common with his great chiefs, 
has had his sons taught the use of the gun, so that in future 
troubles the jjenple shall not be slaughtered, and he would 
" let those who make the quarrels be the only men to 
fight ! " but the princes may shoot away at and amongst 
themselves until the one who is fated to be supreme is, like 
"the last rose of summer, left blooming alone." Thus, 
nothing is certain until one stands alone. Cetchwayo^ 


however, has by far the best chance, having command of 
the army. The King's other sons stay on, simj^ly saying 
that their time has not yet come, and meanwhile all is 
coiileur de rose, and it is very pleasant in Zulu-land, 

We have just returned from a week's dissij^ation at the 
head kraal during the celebration of "Unikos." It is 
Christmas time, and a description of how I spent it may 
not be unacceptable. 

I was staying at a kraal about five miles from Nodwengo, 
the proprietrix of which is Panda's sister Baleka. The old 
lady is very much afflicted with gout, and consequently 
unable to walk. She asked me to take her down in the 
waggon, and I consented. On the 30th December we took 
everything belonging to myself out of the waggon, and 
received Baleka's household goods, family, and servants. 

First came some girls with mats, wooden pillows, blankets, 
baskets of beer, pots of fat, dresses, beads, spoons, and a 
miscellaneous assortment of greasy, odoriferous articles. 
Then came the old lady herself, and, after a tremendous 
struggle and much groaning, her people managed to hoist 
the twenty-stone of her into the waggon. When she was 
comfortably laid down, two men stationed themselves — one 
at her feet and the other at her head — to render any assist- 
ance she might require. 

After this came two daughters, and a host of slave girls, 
her servants ; then, with the waggon filled with a heap of 
chattering, screaming, laughing black-humanity, we made 
a start, two men going in front to look out for holes and 
stones, and away we went. 

I have said before that African waggons jolt frightfully, 
so, notwithstanding all our care, the ups and downs which 
Baleka had to submit to, rather disordered her nerves and 



temper, not to mention the gout. At every jolt we had a 
grunt from lier ladyship and screams from the girls. 
Twenty times a mile we had to halt to allow her to recover 
breath and arrange herself. All this was comparatively 
tolerable, but a steep hill which we had to descend was 
fated to tiy her metal to the uttermost. As for the girls, 
they were just the same prettily-frightened, timid dears 
they are all the world over. 

When we came to the hill we had a consultation as to our 
mode of procedure, and decided not to say anything to her 
about the difficulties of the descent. The Latin proverb 
says that it is easy to descend to Avernus, but, as Zulu 
means " heaven," we found the obverse hold good, for it 
was something positively frightful. But as there was no 
possibility of avoiding it — there being no choice of roads, 
and if we attempted to argue the point we should likely 
have to remain all day, and then have to do it after all — 
we at once set oft'. I sat on the box in front, told her 
that it was a little steep and rough, and suggested that 
she had better hold on to something; then down we 
went ! 

The scene was indescribable. In addition to the steep- 
ness, the road was full of stones ; the oxen could not hold 
the waggon back, so we went jolting over everything, in 
more senses than one, at a rattling rate. Screams and 
broken exclamations; everything and everybody shaken 
down into a heap in the front part of the waggon, and on 
the top of poor old Baleka. But for all that, we could hear 
her voice, broken with jolts, gasping forth entreaties to keep 
quiet, and not to be afraid, it was perfectly safe, and she 
knew all about it ! Did you ever see a lot of eels twisting 
together about in a box ? Well, just thus looked the con- 

ZULU warriors; fete. 99 

geries of struggling, screaming humanity in the bottom of 
the waggon. 

At hxst we got to the bottom, put everything to rights, 
iind reached Nodwengo without further adventure — the 
young men at the kraal evidently highly envious of my 
Jiappiness in travelling with such a bevy of Zulu belles. 
When Baleka came to the King he ordered an ox to be 
killed for her, of which I was fortunate enough to get a leg 
as payment of the " freight and passage money," and next 
day I was presented with an entire animal by the King 

The whole country-side was full of people, and the noise, 
day and night, was incessant — chattering at night and dan- 
cing during the day. At night the fires on the hill, and the 
figures of the natives passing the light, imparted a weird- 
like character to the scene which would have made a famous 
study for a Gatti or a Van Schendal. 

During the day the troops dancing in full war dress, 
showed one the maximum of native ideas of greatness and 
splendour. It was actually impossible to distinguish one 
chief from another, so covered were they with skins and 
feathers — a kilt of monkey and cat skins round their waist, 
their breast and back covered with white ox tails, on their 
head a sort of cap with lappets of monkey skins, and as 
many ostrich and crane feathers as they could manage to 
stick in. 

Each regiment danced separately, then filed before the 
King for his inspection, so that he could judge which danced 
best, and also have a closer view of their persons. As they 
passed, every man shouted at the top of his voice, and 
with the most fierce and warlike look he could put on, 
expressions of what he would, could, and was ready to do 


for the King, sucli as '' Here is Tool wan ! " " These ai'e 
soldiers 1" "Tell us to do something!" "Send us anywhere!" 
"Even the 'Moloon-KAvana' (a contemptuous diminutive 
of * white man') are afraid of Tool wan ! " "Send us to 
Natal!" <^c., &c. The last day all together had a great 
dancing match. All their songs go to the tune of Zulu 
greatness. For instance the burden of two — " The world 
has no people of any account " (except the Zulus, is, of 
course, understood), and "We stopped-u]) the Amaswazi,^ 
we forayed the Amaponda, and every nation cries out to us 
when we come in sight, ' Put down your shields, the cattle 
are waiting for you at the kraal !'" 

The whole scene was well Avortli seeing, but a little 
description goes a long way; there was such a sameness 
about the manoeuvres — it was dancing, eating, and drink- 
ing — drinking, eating, and dancing; nothing more. After 
remaining for a dance or two, and listening to the King's 
speech, which he regularly made to each regiment, I used 
to betake myself to the Sgohlo, to the hut of the head 
" child," amongst the girls, where I would sit me down and 
talk and argue and answer the multitudinous questions they 
put to me. Generally there were only Matonieel and five or 
six of her sisters present, all handsome, well-fed girls, whose 
only occupation is (to use an Irishism) to lie still, drink 
beer, eat beef, and hear the news ; but towards afternoon 
the great chiefs never failed to call and pay their respects, 
so that I had a good view of, and opportunity for making 
acquaintance with, the most famous men in the Zulu country, 
all of whom are interesting to a Natal man. 

Tliey run to caves -vvlien invaded ; and tJie Zulus on one occasion 
stopped-up a cave in which the x\maswazi liad taken refuge, and the 
hundreds who crowde<l it were suffocated. 


I have come to tlie conclusion that Queen Ehzabeth's 
maids of honour were not at all so badly off with their 
iillowance of beef and beer. I have had some experience of 
late in living on these comestibles; but I do hope that they 
had something else to do than eat the former and drink the 
latter all day long, as Baleka's maids of honour do. Panda's 
princesses, with their ladies in waiting, generally finish the 
day in a happy state of ignorance of, and indifference to, 
"all those ills which flesh is heir to." Eat, drink, and sleep, 
forms the daily routine and summum honum of their lives. 

After five days* experience of this style of living, we 
returned, I feeling very bilious and out of sorts ; and yet I 
was highly complimented on my personal appearance, 
having, as I said, grown positively fat — a Falstafiian habit 
of body, " with good fat capon lined," being looked upon as 
'' a thing of beauty and a joy for ever" by the natives. But, 
alas! beauty evanishes too quickly, for two hot toilsome 
days in the Hlanzi soon dissipated it, and, as " the too solid 
Hesh melted and resolved itself into a dew," I proportionately 
fell in the estimation of my previous admirers. 

Before concluding, a few hints as to what to do, and how 
things are done, in the Zulu, may be found useful for the 
^guidance of any of my readers Avho may think of taking 
" a vacation ramble" to that interesting, beautiful, and 
healthy quarter of the globe : — 

Ist, — Swear by the King and chiefs; just as you might 
say in England, " Victoria, what I say is true !" or " Glad- 
stone," or "Derby, it is correct!" 

2d, — You must never spit at meals; but you may hloiv 
your nose as much as you like — pocket handkerchiefs are in 
the form of the finger and the thumb. 


3(1, — A wife must never speak to her husband's male 
relations, but must hide, or a])iJear to do so, whenever she 
sees them. The husband must not S2:>eak to, look at, or eat 
with his mother-in-law. And neither husband, nor wife 
must utter their relations' names. This is called "Hlonipa."" 

4tli, — If any one complains of a headache, and says it arises- 
from an old wound, they shave the hair from the spot, cut 
into the bone, scraj^e well for about five minutes, and during 
the operation have water constantly squirted from the 
mouth into the gash. Tlds is a certain cure fm' headache ! 

5 th, — If you sprain your thumb, get some one to pile 
about a couple of inches of sand over your hand, which you 
have resting on the ground ; make a fire over it until the 
thumb is half-roasted, then cut about twenty slits above the 
joint, and — the spmn is cured/ 

I might add numerous other hints, social, political, and 
medicinal, but these will suffice for the present. I may, 
however, on a future occasion devote a j)ai:)er to these 
" curios" of South African life and manners. 

Ah, me ! my days in Zulu-land come to an end. " Home- 
ward bound" is now the mot d'ordre. Isiotwithstanding the 
pervading roughness, and occasional annoyances and dis- 
comforts, I have thoroughly enjoyed the open air, the free, 
happy life, and the novel and interesting circumstances by 
which I was surrounded. When I reached the Tugela on 
my return, I felt inclined to parody Juliet, and exclaim — 

" All ! Tugela, Tugela, wherefore art tliou Tugela? 
Why aren't you the other boundary?" 

But then, again, I think of home and the comforts and 
delights of civilised life, for which, e7itre iious, I have still 


an arriere pemee, and I come to the conclusion tliat " my 
lines have fallen in pleasant places" after all, seeing that I 
shall have — in a verse from "Cymbeline," altered to suit 
the circumstances — 

'* No more to brave the summer's sun, 
Nor yet the furious buffalo's rages ; 
My work iu Zulu-land all done, 
Home I go to get my ivages!" 


(Stab, February and JSIarch, 1870). 

Ah, Wild life ! — Wild life ! what a charm there is about it. 
I used to wonder, and have often laughed at the rhapsodies 
— as I then thought them — indulged in by Mayne Reid 
regarding his prairie days; but never, never more shall I 
be guilty of such silly incredulity, for have I not had similar 
experience? And while writing this paper exactly the same 
feelings come over me — ^my heart throbs; my blood boils; 
my frame tingles; and I long to be at the old game again. 

I have given it up — I am afraid for ever; but am still 
subject to ever-recurring attacks of the prairie-fever, which, 
doubtless, is the same in its symptoms and effects in South- 
Eastern Africa as in AVestern America. 

No one who has not lived such a Wild life can know the 
fascination which after-thoughts of it exert. It is not so 
much felt at the time, but when one has at last settled down 
in the midst of civilisation, the mind reverts to the old scenes 
with a vividness, a fondness, and an excitement, which must 
be experienced to be appreciated. 

The glorious freedom of Wild life — free from every fetter 
except what you yourself may choose to wear; free from the 
constantly irritating contacts and annoyances to which you 
are subject in an old country; free to come; free to go; free 
to halt; free — and often necessitated — to experience the 
extremes of hunger and satiety, heat and cold, wet and dry; 
plenty of adventure to season your food; tale-tellers equal 


to the Eastern ones to amuse your leisure hours ; and the 
study of the habits, customs, and pecuHarities of the wild 
races amongst which you may be thrown — constitute a life 
delightful to experience, and pleasant to look back upon. 

These thoughts — or rhapsodies if you like — came crowding 
upon me, after reading over some sketches in a journal of 
old times — for, although not many years ago, it looks an 
age — and it struck me that a few of them might not be un- 
interesting, even in these days when everybody must relate 
his experiences to everybody else, whether he may travel to 
Aldgate Pump or to Timbuctoo, or whether he may scale 
Primrose Hill or the Matterhorn, or whether he may make 
a voyage in the Eob Eoy or the Great Eastern. 

I have no pretensions to be considered a litterateur^ so 
that my reminiscences of Wild life, while wanting in dash 
and polish, may be pardoned on the ground that they are a 
faithful record of scenes I have mixed in, stories I have 
heard, and of some peculiarities of the natives I have 
observed. It is Zulu-land I write about, and the Sketches 
are taken at random. 

I. — Morning in South-Eastern Africa. 

Nothing, in South-Eastern Africa, can be so charming to 
my mind as a fine morning after the first rain of the season. 
For months a dull, dry haze, called by the natives 
"■ Lofusseemba," has covered the face of the country, causing 
i'ven the nearest hills to loom as if in the far distance. The 
atmosphere has been dry and close ; your beard frizzles and 
your skin crumples up from the want of moisture. Hunting 
is most unpleasant, from the dust and black ashes — the 
remnants of the grass fires — which you raise at every step. 


The feet of the natives get cut up by constant trampHng on 
the sharp stems of grass, left by the same cause; and 
altogether you feel as if the greatest luxury in life would be 
to "paidle in the burn" the live-long day; but, unfortunately, 
owing to the long drought, there isn't the tiniest pool to 
be seen. 

The rains come at last, and with a vengeance too ! For 
three days you have to endure the stifling atmosphere of a 
native hut — a sort of exaggerated beehive — and as the grass 
of which it is constructed has contracted during the long 
spell of dry weather, you may say you have a covering, but 
no shelter. However, that doesn't matter much — all your 
care is for the guns and ammunition ; as for yourself, you 
won't melt, nor take harm by exposure in this fine cHmate, 
and it isn't the first time you have slept in the wet. 
Towards morning one of the natives looks out of the door 
and exclaims "Le^Balele" (it shines — it is fair). You also 
rise at last from your damp couch and go out; when 
immediately you forget all the previous discomfort in the 
exquisite charm of the lovely morning. The country lies 
dark, yet distinctly defined, before you; the relief is magical, 
and would have enraptured Turner. No glimmering haze 
to pain the eye — no blur in the landscape — but all the out- 
lines and details clearly majoped out before you. The sheen 
of the river is seen below, its heretofore dry bed now filled 
with a tumultuous flood ; and here and there amongst the 
peaks, and dotting the flat-land, lie white, soft, fleecy nebulae 
of mist. The freshness and balminess of the air is delicious; 
the breeze — the handmaid of the morn — rises so pleasantly, 
dispelling the misty spots and Avi^eaths ; and then Aurora, 
on the wings of the morning, bursts upon us, bathing the 
whole face of tJie country in a flood of light; and all nature. 


animate and inanimate, seems to liail the advent of morning 
in a chorus of joy ! Such a morning is worth seeing, and 
worth writing about, and I only regret that I am so in- 
capable of doing it justice. 

II. — A Day in AVild Life. 

The waggon has been "out-spanned" u2)on a hill over- 
looking miles upon miles of Hlanzi (o^^en bush), dark and 
sombre-looking at this winter time in all parts. Here and 
there are small peaked and table hills, which, however, but 
slightly diversify the landscape. Beyond rise the high bare 
hills of Amaswazi* and the Bombof. Through the middle 
of the fiat runs the river Pongolo. The uniformity of colour 
imparts a dull yet grand aspect to the river. You feel, in 
descending to the habitat of the game, as if you could realise 
Dante's famous inscription on the gate of the Inferno. 
Although there may be a cool breeze blowing in the hills you 
have left, directly you reach the flat, and are fairly amongst 
the mimosa trees, it ceases. The sun beats down on your 
head in such a manner — so directly and with such persever- 
ance — that you are half inclined to believe in the ancient 
mythology, and ascribe the infliction to some offence un- 
wittingly given to Phoebus. Occasionally the chirrup of a 
bird is heard, but otherwise all is hot, silent, and lonely. 

When, however, you are once fairly in the Hlanzi the sense 
of oppression ceases in the excitement of hunting. Game 
is abundant and sufficiently wild to give zest to success. 

First, most probably, the graceful Pallah will be seen in 
troops, gazing with evident wonder and terror in your 

* Amaswazi, the tribe on the N. and N.W. of Zulu. 
+ See "Bombo," Sketch No. 4. 


direction. As you draw nearer and nearer a little movement 
Avill be seen — one or two will change their places, then 
suddenly the whole herd, without any further preliminary 
motion, will start away, each leaping high as they go. The 
effect is very pretty, for as they leap the red of their backs 
and sides, and the white of their bellies, alternately appear 
and disappear, producing a glittering zoetropic effect on a 
magnificent scale. 

Next your attention is drawn to the other side by a loud 
sneeze, and on looking thither you behold a troop of Gnu 
and Quagga mixed. They, on the other hand, are in constant 
motion — gnu and quagga passing and repassing each other 
without pause. A single gnu will every moment plunge 
out, whisk his tail, give a sneeze, and then back again to 
the ranks ; but the head quagga stops any impudent mani- 
festation of this kind by laying his ears back and biting any 
forward youngster which attempts to pass him. When this 
herd considers you are near enough for any agreeable pur- 
pose, away it goes, kicking and plunging with such an 
evident " catch me if you can" expression that you feel very 
much inclined to send a bullet among them to give them a 
lesson of respect to the genus homo ; but we are after "metal 
more attractive" and therefore leave them alone. It is very 
interesting to notice the discipline kept uj) in gnu families. 
Any laggard amongst the youngsters is immediately taken 
to task by its mother or by a bull, and well switched with 
their horse-tails to make it keep up. From this circumstance 
the natives say that a gnu's tail is "medicine," and that, 
however tired you may be, if you bnish your legs with it the 
.sense of fatigue passes away. Of course, one hair of faith is 
more effectual than all the hairs on the tail in producing 
this result. 


A little further on a troop of the noble-looking bull Koodoos 
i;;; geeu — thc most wary buck I know — with their spiral 
liorns and large ears laid Imck, glancing between the 
mimosas ; when, if you manage to get within range, a bullet 
either arrests the flight of one, or hastens the stampede of 
the whole. 

Again you march on, when with a crash out rushes a noble 
Wild Boar from the thicket in which he has been lying. 
AVith head up and tail on end away he goes at a short, 
quick gallop, and, as he breaks through the long grass and 
thick, tangled underwood, a flock of Guinea-fowl and Phea- 
sants are roused, and, flying hither and thither, the air is 
filled with their discordant notes, and also with a shower of 
sticks which the natives shy at them with some success. To 
this noise and confusion is added the cry of a species of 
Caurie, which attracted by the din, perches on a tree close 
by, and reiterates "go away" as plainly as an angry child 
of four or five years of age would do, and with something 
like the same eff'ect on your nerves. 

Again on the tramp towards the thickest part of the 
Hlanzi — the deepest gloom of this Tartarus — where larger 
trees of the mimosa species prevail — where the creeper, the 
"wait-a-bit" thorn (called by the natives " catch-tiger" and 
"come-and-I'll-kiss-you"), a long-spiked thorny bush (called 
by the natives "the cheeky"), the cactus-thorn of three 
inches long, the nettle, and all sorts of such abominations 
most do abound ; and on entering there, in sternest silence 
as regards speech and footfall, the business of the day com- 

With a very black, lithe, active native in front, whose 
most prominent features are the whites of his eyes, and 
whose name, " Bah-pa," deserves to be recorded, away we 


go, to be met by a Black Eliinoceros, who, having smelt 
our wind, is coming to see who has ventured to intrude 
into his habitat and disturb his mid-day siesta. He is the 
only wild animal I know who, deliberately and without 
provocation, will set himself to hunt down man on the 
slightest intimation of his presence. He comes! The 
thunder of his gallop and the sounds of his displeasure are 
only too audible. It is stand fast, or up a tree like a squirrel, 
for there is no running away from such an antagonist in such 
a thicket. Fortunately, however, his sight is not very good, 
and a very slight screen suffices to save you; and, as he 
furiously plunges past, a shot through the lungs brings his 
career to a termination; but even his dying scream is indi- 
cative of pain and anger, not of fear. Certainly he deserved 
to live for his pluck, but is bound to die from his vicious 
disposition, for there is no quarter in the battle with such 
as him. The sound of the shot seems to vivify the bush 
around, and crash, crash ! on all sides is heard, caused by the 
hurried flight of the startled game. Never mind ! they leave 
tracks by which we can easily follow and find them through 
the wood. On emerging from the thicket we come across a 
White Rhinoceros, much larger than his sable cousin, but not 
at all vicious. Our sudden apj^earance startles him into a 
trot, which presently breaks into a gallop, especially if he has 
a dog at his heels. His trot and gallop are exactly like 
those of a well-bred horse. He is a heavy animal, but what 
splendid action he shows ! He keeps his head well'up, and 
lifts his feet cleverly from the ground, and goes at a pace 
which few horses can equal. What a sensation a Bhinoceros 
race would create among your Dundrearys and Verisophts 
at^^Epsom! When he has "gone from our gaze" we follow 
buffalo tracks which evidently lead to another thicket, and 


on approaching it we hear sounds of wild-animal warfare 
— grunting, bellowing, and roaring, and roaring, bellow- 
ing, and grunting, as Tennyson would jingle it; but the 
Kaffirs call it "belching." Cautiously Bah-pa whispers 
''Lion, Lion'" and warily we draw near to the scene 
•of the commotion. In a clear space are a Lion and a 
Buffalo cow fighting; and a Buffalo calf lying dead, sufficiently 
•explains the casus belli. The lion springs — immediately the 
cow rushes through the thick bush and wipes him off, turning 
instantly and pounding away at him on the ground; the lion 
wriggles free after tearing the nose and face of the buffalo ; 
^nd the same process is repeated, all so quickly and in such 
a whirl of motion, that you can only'see the result and guess 
how it has been effected. The last time the lion is brushed 
off, he evidently gives up the game, as we can hear the 
buffalo tearing after him through the bush. Two or three 
of my fellows creep forward and quickly draw away the 
calf; the cow returns, smells about for a little, and finding 
her lui inachree gone, dashes off, more furious than before, 
after the lion again, and we can hear the renewal of the 
conflict, gradually dying away in the distance. 

On, on again; this time towards the river. We have 
rhinoceros and buffalo beef for lunch; ^^but although 
ravenously hungry, we are too thirsty to eat or even to 
talk, and in silence therefore we make our w^ay towards the 
water. On our road we put up a herd of " Peeva" (water- 
buck). One goes down; the remainder dash to the river — 
their haven of refuge — we following close on their heels. 
As we use the last little incline, before coming in sight of 
the Pongolo, the natives, with eyes and fingers on the stretch, 
point to the other side, where a file of Elephants are slowly 
making their way down to the drift or ford, and, forgetting 


hunger and thirst, we creep carefully to the edge, and fonn 
an ambuscade for their reception on crossing. They enter 
the river ; on their way over, one halts for an instant and 
looks back, then goes on again, but he appears to be dragging 
a weight at his leg; and when he comes into the shallows 
on our side, we observe an Alligator holding on to his knee. 
AVithout much ado the elephant drags him out on to the 
bank and utters a peculiar shriek, when immediately anothei- 
turns round, and, seizing the alligator between his trunk and 
his teeth, carries him to a stiff-forked thorny tree, and ther(^ 
deposits him with a smash — hung in chains one may say — 
and before long his bones would be all that remained of the 
A'oracious brute — causing some curious speculations in the 
mind of some future hunter as to how the animal found its 
Avay there. 

During our wandering observations we have allowed the 
elephants to go. Never mind, we can follow after lunch, or 
even mid-day, as we know where they were heading for. 

Then the tramp home — coffee and biscuits, and biscuits 
and beef, round the fire, and consumed wdth such an appetite I 
The recapitulation by the natives of the whole day's sporty 
in animated language and appropriate gesture — one story 
leading to another till far on in the night — then the last pipe 
and cup of coffee, and to bed with a healthy frame and a 
clear conscience. 

Such is a day you may spend in Wild life; and ah! tell 
me, if you can, what is there to equal it? 

Or it may be a quieter day, yet full of its own beauty and 
excitement. I wish I had the pencil of a John Leech, who 
delighted so much in, and depicted so well, sporting scenes; 
as a sketch of " waiting for dinner" in wild life would have 
been a first-rate subject. 


It is the day of a great hunt. The whole country-side for 
many miles around has been warned; and, literally, ''a 
thousand men have turned out to hunt the deer with hound 
and horn." It is arranged that those with guns are to take 
their places at the fords of the river, and wait there for the 
game crossing. Early in the morning we start — not because 
it is necessarj^ seeing that it will be hours before anything 
in the shape of game makes its aj^pearance at the water; but 
when everybody else is off, what is the use of us staying at 
home. In the bustle and stir, breakfast has been forgotten 
— but never mind, we'll enjoy an early dinner all the better 
— so away we saunter in the cool fresh air of the morning. 
We mark the changing hues of the landscajDe, as here the 
sun makes brilliant a patch of springing green, and there a 
cloud throws a dark shade on what had a moment before 
been bright and beautiful; and, as the breeze springs up, 
the view becomes quite panoramic — here a peak coming 
suddenly into distinct outline, there as suddenly darkening 
as the shadows envelope it — and in that half-hour every 
charm which sun, clouds, wind, atmosphere, hills, flats, 
verdure, trees, and flowers — all of their brightest and best — 
can develope, pass in ever-changing and rapidly-dissolving 
view before your delighted vision ! 

Or, on to the river, through and past game in hundreds, 
and we there take up our post and " wait for dinner." We 
are seated on the high bank of the river, snugly hidden 
behind a bush quietly smoking a pipe, and watching, as only 
hungry hunters can or will watch, for a chance of a shot. 
But let me tell you that by this time the poetical aspects of 
the scene have, so far as we know or care, pretty well 
evanished, and the practical question of dinner is the great 
so that it is after having satiated the cravings of 



the inner man you think over and thoroughly enjoy the 
scene which has all this time been displayed before you. 
Up and down are the windings of the river, here silent and 
deep, flowing between reedy banks; there, swift and 
tumultuous, tearing over its stony bed ; cranes and ducks 
flying and wheeling about ; and on the flat stones and sand 
banks alligators " waiting for tJieir dinners " also. There 
wait, and yet longer wait, till a low " hist " from one of the 
watchful natives sends your eyes from mooning over the 
flowing waters below you, over to the opposite side; and 
there, amongst the mimosas, you see, glancing along, the first 
head of the day. It proves to be a female Koodoo — a sign 
of good luck ! — and graceful and " wide awake " she appears 
as she comes out on the open ; many a look thrown behind 
— many a one before ; her large ears moving quickly from 
side to side ; a step as light as Venus when she danced with 
Adonis ; a halt for a moment, and then a dash to the river, 
there to meet her fate. After that began to be heard the 
shouts of the natives, and thick and fast came the game. 
For half-an-hour the sounds of battle — for battle it is — wake 
the echoes around ; then a silence while we count our 
trophies; and then . . . Ah! then, we take that "one 
step," and subside to dinner! There is nothing but fire, beef, 
and water; but I agree with Hawkeye in "The Prairie," 
"there's nothing to beat it if you're healthy and hungry!" 

III. — A Zulu Marriage. 

Among the Zulus marriage is a very elaborate ceremony, 
and etiquette is as strictly observed among them as at those 
fashionable affairs enacted at St. George's, Hanover Square. 
I have seen all classes of them married, and the forms and 
ceremonies are in all cases the same, the only diff'erence 


being, as at home, more people, more food, and finer dresses, 
according to the rank of the parties. And, as the marriage 
question is occupying an unusual amount of attention at 
home, a description of a marriage ceremony abroad may not 
be uninteresting even to Belgravian mammas. 

First, then, when the preliminaries have been agreed upon 
— i.e., the number of cattle to be given in exchange for the 
bride, being settled — and that young lady's consent having 
been obtained, although, as in some civilised communities, 
that is generally a mere form, an ox is slaughtered, and a 
brewst of beer is prepared — the relations of the bride are 
invited to the feast, of which, however, she does not j)artake. 
The bride's dress is got ready, and it depends upon the 
wealth of her people the quantity of beads and extent of 
coloured worsted and other finery with which she is de- 
corated. She also receives in presents her household 
utensils, such as pots, gourds, spoons, mats, &c., and, if the 
father can afford it, a blanket. When all is ready the party 
sets out ; it consists of the bride, a head man to *' Endeesa" 
her (to have her married), young men — the number of whom 
depends upon the rank of the parties — and young girls, 
under the same conditions. They set out, frequently on a 
two or three days' walk — hospitality in a case of this kind 
never being refused, nor ever, as is sometimes the case with 
chance travellers, grudgingly given. When they arrive near 
the bridegroom's Kraal they halt, as it is against all etiquette 
for the bride and party (called Emteemha) to enter the bride- 
groom's home in the daytime.* When all are supposed to 

* "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behokl, the bridegroom 
Cometh !" (Matt. xxv. 6.) I have been tokl that in old times the 
custom in Zuhi was thus : — The bridegroom went to the bride's 
Kraal, and took her away; but now it is reversed — much war having 
altered the position of women, and doubtless led to the change. 


be asleep tliey enter the Kraal, singing and dancing, no one 
daring to look out of doors. The huts for their occupation 
are empty, and in them they rest. Early in the morning, 
before any of the others are astir, they all go down to the 
nearest brook, where they remain — washing, dressing, and 
eating the food sent do^vn to them, until about eleven 
o'clock, by which time the bridegroom and his party 
have taken their places beside the spot appointed for 
the dance. When all is ready, the young men of the 
bride's party come singing and dancing up, pass in pro- 
cession twice or thrice round the bridegroom and hii^ 
party, then tliey halt, and the spokesman begins a long-^ 
story. For instance, he will say, " We are a party of 
Amaswazi, who are travelling through the country, and ha^^e 
just called to see how you are — ^you are a good-looking 
fellow;" and away they go. Presently back they come with 
the old man at their head, who says, " The young man you 
saw just now lied — we are an * Emteemba,' and have come 
from so and so, who has sent his daughter to be married to 
you. She is a verj^ good and clever girl, and her father 
hopes you will treat her well, and give her plenty of food," 
&c., &c., and whatever else he may have been told to say 
by her relations. Then away they go. After a short time 
the whole lot come singing uj) with the bride hidden in the 
middle, so that no one can see her. They stand fronting 
the bridegroom for a little; then the bride starts a song, 
which they all join in. When that is done they break away 
suddenly, and the bride is discovered standing in the middle,, 
with a fringe of worsted or beads round her brow and 
covering her face. The men then lay aside their shields and 
assegais, and the dancing of the bride's party commences; 
the bridegroom and his party sitting still all the while. 
They have no particular song which they sing on an occasion 


of this kind, except one at the end, in Avhich everyone joins, 
«and which they call " Esehlabello," and in which they all 
clap their hands in correct time to the tun^. The words 
generally have no signification, and vary very much. During 
the " Emteemba's" dancing, the bridegroom, and here and 
there a young man of his party " Geea,'' that is they spring 
out, jump about, and, to show their strength and agility, go 
through a number of antics — a sort of Kaffir '' Houlaghan," 
but tameness itself compared with the classic "Eumenides" 
or the Parisian "Carmagnoles;" and another part of the 
ceremony is that two or three old women run up and down 
between the parties, wailing and shouting, and every now 
^nd then coming up to the bridegroom and swearing at him, 
calling him all the annoying names they can think of, and 
disking him how it is that such a stupid, ugly fool as he has 
managed to secure such a good-looking girl ! 

When the " Emteemba" has finished dancing, the bride- 
groom and his party begin their part in the dance, and it is 
:a great matter of emulation as to which dances the best. 
The proceedings close towards evening, generally with a fight. 

I omitted to mention that the bride, when the dancing of 
her party is drawing to a close, creeps up to the wives (if he 
has any) or mother of the bridegroom, and says she has come 
to stay, and hopes they will be good to her, &c., &c., other- 
wise she will go back to the father, mother, and reflations 
^vho were so loath to part with her. They reply that they 
do not know — they are not sure — they will see how she 
behaves herself, and so on. She then makes a simulated 
^it tempt to run away, when she is at once laid hold of and 
biought back by one of the bridegroom's female relatives, 
who is watching for the opportunity. 

In the evening, the bride, with her face unveiled, runs 


about the Kraal with a following of girls crying after her. 
She is siij^posed to be running back to her old home, and tlie 
girls are supposed to be preventing her ! 

Next day the bridegroom kills an ox, and there is a 
general eating and drinking match. The bride " Hlo7ii]^a\s" 
(hides) from the male sex ; but, in the afternoon, she comes 
out into the cattle kraal with some girls, and commences the 
ceremony of ^' Illambeesa," literally, "washing." The nearest 
relatives of the bridegroom sit down, the bride takes some 
beads and water in a large gourd-spoon, and, coming singing 
up, throws it about the male relative ; she then goes back 
and breaks the assegai which she carries in lier hand. (No 
widow re-marrying breaks the assegai!) She then repeats 
the bead and water ceremony with the female relative, 
striking her at the same time Avith a stick, as a symbol that 
she takes authority as a wife from that time. No sooner is. 
this done than she makes a bolt for the gate of the kraal,, 
which is supposed to be a last attempt to return home, when 
one of the young men cuts off her retreat, and she then gives, 
in. There have been cases, however, where the bride got 
out of the gate, which was a terrible disgrace to the young 
man who had been appointed to stop her, to the husband, 
and to all concerned; besides the expense, seeing that the 
whole ceremony had to be gone through again. 

lY. — A Zulu Story of a Haunted Wood. 

"Don't go into that wood." "Why not?" "Oh! be- 
cause," &c., &c., and here came out a whole chapter of native 
superstition, which was altogether new to me, and may not 
be uninteresting to others. 

To give the story literally as I heard it is well nigh im- 
possible, from the difficulty of translating the innumerable 


idiomatic phrases in the Zuhi hmguage ; but, as near as I can, 
I mil give the narrator's experience, premising that, however 
much the narrative may resemble the ghost stories and fairy 
tales of other lands, it is essentially Zulu. 

"Many years ago a tribe called ' Endwandive' lived here- 
abouts, a numerous and powerful tribe. There was no 
^ Nakau' * then, and all those hills which you see were 
covered by their cattle. All the chiefs in the country, even 
the Zulu, paid homage to the Endwandive ' Zweeti,' who 
was loved by his people, and respected everywhere his name 
penetrated — and where did it not 1 At last came the bad 
time, when the country went wrong — when all the tribes 
fought against themselves till the rivers ran red, and evt^n 
the corn took a redder tinge. The end of that was, that 
the Endwandive were scattered, their chief killed, and Chaka 
with his Zulus became king over all. 

"While Zweeti lived he did everything like a king. When 
he wanted to kill any of his wives or girls he always had 
them taken to the same place, the pool below the ftills on 
the Umkool. When any of his captives or the common 
people were to be the sacrificial victim, the wood over the 
hill there, was where they had to submit to the will of their 
chief; and his own relations were conducted to the wood 
before us on such occasions ; and he himself was * flung in ' 
there after his death, and there he keeps his state now." 
" What do you mean," I interrupted, " by a dead man keep- 
ing his state ; are there people living in the wood 1" He 
replied, " Of course, Zweeti and all his people ; only they 
are not quite people you know, they are Esemkofu." I asked, 

* "Nakau," a fatal disease amongst cattle, which of late years 
has spread greatly in Zulu. It is supposed by many to be caused by 
the Tsetse fly. 


" What are Esemkofu ?" '' An Esemkofu is a person who 
has been dead, and has been raised again by witches, who 
cut off his tongue, and so j^revent him from talking and 
telling secrets ; he can only utter a wailing noise — ' Maieh ! 
maieh!' and whenever any one hears that sound, if outside, 
he runs away ; or, if in his hut, he eats medicine. Yes ! very 
few people have been bewitched by the Esemkofu, because 
they don't like their duty, and always give notice with their 
warning cry." " What do you mean," I exclaimed, " by 
talking such nonsense to me? Do you think — " "Wait a 
moment, don't be in a hurry, listen to what I have got to 
say, first; remember you asked me to tell you the storj\ 
The Esemkofu is a very different thing from a man who has 
been dead, and is sent back by the Mahlose." " Are there, 
then, two kinds of people raised from the dead?" "Of 
course, there are people who have died and come back again 
in the proper way. My brother was one, and it was through 
him I went into that wood and saw what I was going to tell 
you about." " But tell me first about the Mahlose; what or 
who are they, and where are they?" "They are all the 
people who have died, whose breath has gone out of them. 
I don't know exactly what they are, or where they are, biit 
they revisit the kraals that belonged to them, in the form of 
a snake; and whenever we see it, we sacrifice a beast; or, if 
we are sick in the kraal, or unfortunate in hunting, we know 
that our Ehlose (or familiar spirit) is angry, and we sacrifice 
to it, when all comes right again ! My brother died and 
was ' flung away' in the usual manner. W^e dug a hole and 
sat him up in it, put in his blanket, his dress, his sticks, 
assegais and mat, beside him, covered him up, and left him. 
Next day we saw him walking up to the kraal. Of course 
we knew he had been sent back by the Mahlose, and bade 


liim welcome. He told us that he had been m a fine country, 
where the corn and sugar-cane grew thick and tall, and the 
cattle were as fat as fat could be; and that he met a cousin 
of his, who had died a long time before, who told him to go 
back immediately, that instant, ' because,' said he, ' you will 
meet some one else just now if you don't, who will give you 
food, and then you must remain an Ehlose for ever.' ' I 
remembered nothing more,' my brother said, ' till I found 
myself lying on that hill. I looked at my legs and arms, 
said ^'ivotof" and came home, thinking all the way, ah ! what 
a delightful country I have been in.' " "Then why didn't he 
stay there*?" I asked. "He couldn't, you know, after the 
Ehlose of one of his relatives had told him to go back." 
"And suppose he had met the Ehlose of a stranger, what 
would have been the consequence?" " Why, of course, just 
what his cousin told him; he would have given him food, he 
would have taken it, and he would then have been obliged 
to remain. And that accounts, you see, for so few coming 
back, for if you think of the number of people who have 
died, and then think how small the chance is that the first 
man you meet should be a relative." "Ah! I see," cried I, 
*' well, go on with your story." 

"My brother went about the kraal, but he seemed con- 
tinually to mourn for the good things he had left; would 
speak to no one, and wandered about as if he did not belong 
to us. At last it began to be Avhispered that he must be an 
Esemkofu, as he never spoke, but constantly wailed; and 
the question was mooted whether he ought not to be killed. 
I objected to this on the grounds that it was well known to 
])e impossible to kill an Esemkofu, and, therefore, if we put 
my brother to death it would be but a poor satisfaction to 
lind that, after all, he was a real man. At last, it was 


agreed that I should take him to that wood — ^the Emagoodo 
— ^which was known to be haunted, and, if he fraternised 
with the others, it would set the matter at rest, and wo 
should get rid of him from the kraal. To avoid giving cause 
for suspicion, I told my brother to get axes to cut wood ; 
without saying anything he did so, and away we went — I, 
with fear and trembling ; he seeming to care for nothing. 
I had heard that the wood was full of Zweeti's people, 
and that the ^ JBayete' ('King of Kings' — the greeting to 
majesty), was often heard mysteriously soughing through 
the trees ; but I was determined to do what I could for my 
brother, and so if there was danger in the attempt, I must 
run the risk at all hazards. 

"We entered the wood. AVlien we had gone about ten 
paces, a sound, as if the wind was rising and moaning 
amongst the trees, began to be heard. Yet it was not 
altogether like wind, but dull and heavy, as if you could 
almost feel it. I looked towards my brother, but he seemed 
unconscious of anything peculiar. I cut a wattle. Immedi- 
ately the sound increased in density — came nearer us, round 
us, over us, under us, and, I may say, in us ; and amidst it 
I seemed to hear half-broken ejaculations of the human voice. 
I looked towards my brother; he seemed wakening up, more 
life was visible in his face. Cheered by this I cut another 
wattle. No sooner had my axe struck the wood than 
immediately were heard on all sides exclamations of surprise 
and anger; the sound increased in loudness, and a heavy 
pressure seemed to be upon me. I could scarcely breathe, 
and felt as if something was fingering my axe and assegais. 
I looked towards my brother ; he evidently was now alive 
to his situation ; terror was in his countenance, and he 
looked beseechingly towards me. Con\dnced now that he 


was no Esemkofii, I shouted aloud for joy, and struck one 
more blow at a tree. With the blow there came a rushing, 
irresistible force — like a great river after mighty rains — and 
from the midst we heard the angry exclamation — 'Wow, 
wow! who comes here? Do they dare us?' Eesistance 
was impossible — we never thought of it; something we could 
not see, but almost felt, twitched the axes and assegais out 
of our hands ; there came at us, propelled by some unseen 
but powerful agency, showers of stones and branches of trees ; 
but not one struck us. We were swept out of the Avood in 
less time than I take to tell it, and when we reached the 
open country the angry spirits became reconciled, their 
furious attack ended, and even the faintest sound was 

"My brother was, of course, rehabilitated in his tribe — the 
ordeal being held to be perfectly complete and satisfactory, 
his humanity being held to be proved to a demonstration. 
But my brother took me severely to task for having been so 
foolhardy as to dare to enter such a place, which I must 
have known was full of Esemkofu. I ansAvered him nothing, 
although I might easily have vindicated myself by telling 
him that thereby I had saved his life; but I wished to avoid 
raising unpleasant feelings in his mind against those who 
were now his friends. Ever after he was his old self again ; 
but both of us have carefully avoided going near 'the 
haunted wood' again, or indeed speaking of it to each 

It is scarcely necessary to say that I entered the wood, 
that I cut wattles there, and that I saw or heard nothing of 
all their wonders. But that did not shake his belief in them 
in the slightest degree, and he merely remarked that the 
inhabitants, knowing me for a white man who cared nothing 


for these things, did not trouble themselves about me. The 
legend, I may state, is implicitly believed in by the natives 
to this day. The pity is that belief in such fables is not 
<?onfined to the Zulus ! 


The most remarkable feature of this country is the range 
of mountains known as the Bombo — a spur of the Drachens- 
berg, running as nearly as possible due north and south. 

They are not particularly lofty, being at no part, I should 
say, more than 1200 feet above the level of the sea. But 
the whole range on the west side rises abruptly out of the 
great plains of the Amatonga country. It is like a huge 
wall ninning across a plain. On the east side the ridges roll 
from the top, surge upon surge, down to a level with the 
country at its foot. 

The climate is magnificent, always pleasantly hot or 
cool ; even the north-east wind, which blows so hot and dry, 
on the top is soft and refreshing, as, from the quantity of 
timber, there is always a certain amount of moisture per- 
meating the atmosphere, through the action of the sun on 
its leafy storehouse. The natives themselves declare that 
there is never any winter in the Bombo country, and I my- 
self have seen the grass green and succulent in what was the 
middle of the winter season, although there had been no rain 
for several months, and there was nothing unusual or 
peculiar in the weather. Hlatihoolo (the forest) is the largest 
in those parts : its name signifies this — Illati (bush), Ikoolo 
(large). It spreads over the broken country, constituting 
the top of the Bombo for many miles, and contains splendid 
timber. There is a romance connected with it of a Zulu 


King and all his army having been destroyed there; and who 
shall say that the Zulus may not have their legends, as well 
as the Teutons in their Hartz Mountains and Black Forests t 
The people — as if by climatic influence — are a much softer 
race than the Zulus, of whom they are mightily afraid, being 
constantly subjected to "harrying" on the slightest pretence, 
or on no pretence at all, by their warlike and rather un- 
scrupulous neighbours. 

I believe that, if the Zulus would permit it, the natives (I 
Avas almost calling them "Bombo-zines !") would be very glad 
to have a missionary settled amongst them. They fancy it 
would be — and they are quite right — a sort of protection ta 
them; and a finer field for missionary enterprise I do not 
know. It is a sort of neutral territory; the peojile call 
themselves, and are called by the Zulus, Makenkani (nobody's 
people). On the east and north there is the whole Ama- 
tonga nation ; and on the west and north there is the 
Amaswazi — none of wliom are so wedded to old habits and 
customs as the Zulu. They have no old glories to look back 
to — nothing to confirm the impression upon their minds, as 
with the 'Zulus, that the customs under which they con- 
quered every one around them must be the best possible, 
and that therefore Christianity would be of no advantage to 
them. Another sign of greater civilisation is that the men 
take their share in cultivating the ground, and the women 
are held in much greater respect than with the Zulus and 
Kaftirs generally. 

These people obtam cattle, the riches of the South African, 
from the Zulus, in exchange for the produce of their labour, 
principally tobacco. Famine is unknown among them, 
whereas it is frequent in the Zulu, where only the women 
and girls hoe, the men thinking it mfra dig. to do it, except, 


under compulsion, to the King. In short, the Zulus are the 
Spartans of this Greece. War they delight in, hardship they 
boast of, and they have reduced the neighbouring tribes to 
the condition of Helots, whose superiority in the peaceful 
arts and the production of food, they point to as only 
deserving of ridicule and contempt. The only blot upon 
the former is their extreme bloodthirstiness; but even for 
that I can scarcely blame them, for it is the custom of the 
country, and they know no better. 

The view is magnificent. For many miles on either side 
stretch plains covered with mimosa trees. On the east the 
river Pongolo is seen winding away northwards, and, in the 
morning sun, it glistens like a silver ribbon, while the mist 
hanging on either side constitutes the fringe. In the far 
distance are seen the low sand-hills on the beach, and 
beyond, to the horizon, the peculiar haze which marks the 
Indian ocean. To the north and west, at a distance of 
about thirty miles, begin the lofty broken hills marking the 
conformation of the Zulu and Amaswazi countries; and 
again the Pongolo, coming from the westward, winding its 
way towards the break in the Bombo, through which it 
turns to the north. 

The people also are of kindly disposition — a common form 
•of expression with them being " sneenesaJcakoJco" (friend of 
my grandfather). It is a courteous phrase, without very 
much in it, but sufiicient to mark character. 

Another peculiar custom among them is that the neiohew 
always succeeds to the chieftainship. On asking the reason 
why, they give no other answer than that " it is the way of 
the people." Their conversation is about cultivation, trading, 
•&C. — ;padfic; that of the Zulus of deeds of arms, hardships 
bravely endured, and glory attained — icarlike. The dis- 


tinctioii is plain and evident between the conquerors and 
the conquered. These work at their homes — those disdain 
it; and yet get the Zulu into Natal and regularly harnessed, 
-nnd he is worth two of the other. 

VI.— A Night Round the Fire. 

The scene round the fire, which I have before spoken of, 
is unique. Nowhere else than in " Wild life " could you hear, 
with anything like the same zest, the stories and adventures 
which companionship of the kind bring forth. Fancy six or 
eight young fellows, brimful of life and energy, underneath 
a bush, gipsy fashion, a bright fire, a brilliant starlit sky, a 
gentle, warm, balmy breeze blow^ing, each one "hungry as a 
hunter," and all about to satisfy their vulgar appetites ; 
fancy that operation comj^leted, and each "blowing a cloud" 
of the Virginian weed, grown in South Africa. Then the 
"jawing" commences; old scenes and recollections are 
brought up and talked over, and adventures of all sorts 
recounted ; and, where there is so much reality in this way, 
it is unnecessary to draw on the imagination, for, besides, 
"truth is stranger than fiction" in "AVild life" in South 
Africa. Thus the night wears away, and wdien a halt is 
called, we are all surprised when we find it so long past 

"I say, Dick, how long have you been out?" "About 
seven years." " And you, Bob V " Eight." "Ah ! I beat 
you both ; I've been nine years at it. You've been at it as 
long as I have though, Tom." "Who, me'? Well, yes, 
something the same, I think. Who'd have thought it, when 
I left England, that I'd have been all these years among 
these blessed niggers." "I propose Tom gives us the history 


of his life," cries one, and there is a chorus of " hear, hear,"" 
and cheers, from the others. " Well, boys, I've no objec- 
tion, only I won't begin at the beginning, Tristram Shandy 
fashion ; for, as the Irishman said, although I was present 
when I was born, I can't recollect a circumstance about it, 
and it's of no use bothering you with how I got over my 
teething and "the distemper," so you must be content with 
a start from the time I left old Trinity." " Were you at 
Trinity*?" "Yes, of course; I'm telling you so." "What 
year?" "185 — ." "Well, I was close to you, at Jesu& 

College." " By Jove ! were you ? Do you remember ." 

A chorus of malcontents interj^osed here, and requested a 
truce to these college reminiscences till the story was finished. 
" All serene ! here goes for an opening. My father, gentle- 
men, who was a clergyman — ." " We could easily tell that 
by the life you lead." " Give that fellow some coffee, Dick, 
for he's never quiet unless he's gourmandising." "Well, 
my governor told me, when I came from college, that I was 
big enough and ugly enough to do something for myself; 
and I elected to see the colonies. I needn't tell you that 
one learns precious little at college which he finds of much 
use to him when he has to fight his way in the world. 
Latin, Greek, and mathematics are excellent things in their 
way, no doubt ; but when you get adrift in the world, and 
bring your college training into the market, ten to one but 
you find some son of a Scotch ploughman or weaver beating 
you out of the field with these very weapons, sharpened 
at some village school, the name of which is not even in 
your geography. The fact is, laying prejudices aside — and 
they are deucedly strong — the Scotch understand what is- 
meant by education far better than we English. Excuse 
me, gentlemen, for this divergence; but the truth is, I always. 


get funky when I get on this track. AVell, as I was saying, 
I fixed on having a look at the colonies, and at last I chose 
ISTatal. It struck me that, as we were both young, we might 
pull better together. I needn't tell you about the passage 
and landing, and that sort of bosh ; and I suppose you will 
believe me when I inform you that I at last arrived at my 
destination, and no sooner had I landed and it was known 
that I had a little ' tin,' and meant farming, than I had to 
hold a regular levee to meet those who had land for sale. 
It is a curious thing in Natal, but so I was solemnly assured 
by all these most disinterested gentlemen, that all the land 
is good, and all the situations accessible and pretty ; and 
when a fellow has ever so many acres offered to him in free- 
hold at a sovereign or so per acre, and thinks what a grand 
thing it is to be a landed proprietor, he is not quite so 
particular as he ought to be — at least I wasn't." (Omnes — 
"We agree with you, old fellow, we've sailed in the same 
boat.") " Well, I bought some land — so much, indeed, that 
I barely left myself cash enough to build a house, buy oxen, 
cart, and plough, and had nothing to keep me till the crop 
was gathered. Never mind, I thought, I'll plough and I'll 
plant, and live on tick in the meantime. Well, I ploughed 
and I planted, but, my friends, allow me to assure you that — " 
" You never reaped, I suppose." " Just so, you've hit my 
case exactly. It's no use going over a long story, but I got 
into debt, and had to sell off. Then I found that the fine 
land and beautiful situation I had paid so much for would 
not fetch half what I paid for it, unless I could catch some 
fiat like myself and take him in and do for him ; but I was 
too hard-up to wait for that. So away it all went, and after 
paying my debts I was left with a few pounds, which I soon 
spent in that pretty colonial occupation 'looking about me.' " 



*^ Did you come into the Zulu then V " No, no ; hold on a 
bit and I'll tell you how at last I got to that refuge for the 
destitute." " No names, if you please, Tom ; for it is the 
most gentlemanly and independent calling going, is hunting 
and trading in Zulu-land, and ' Wild life' there, is always 
pure life." " All right, old fellow ; but don't interrupt me, if 
you please. Well, at last I found that I had ' looked about 
me' to very little purpose, and was left without a rap. I 
didn't like to write home and tell them that I had made 
such a mess of it so very soon ; so I asked a few fellows, 1 
had got to know a little, if they could put me up to how and 
where I might get something to do. They could tell me of 
nothing but a baker's ; and, although you may guess it wasn't 
much in my line, I determined to give it a try and do my 
best. I got the berth, with £4 a month and board and lodgii^. 
I worked away at it for about six months, kneading flour, 
making fires, sweeping the place out, and doing any odd job 
that came to hand. I wasn't very particular, and although it 
might seem scarcely the thing for a swell from old Trinity, 
I did my duty honestly and manfully. I was always writing 
to the governor that I was doing remarkably well, but had 
determined to learn baking, as it was a most useful ac- 
complishment in a new country ! The good old fellow 
believed it all, and I hadn't to ask him for money. However, 
I got tired at last ; it was such devilish hot work, with the 
thermometer up to anything ; and, hearing of a situation at 
a farm, I determined to apply, principally for the purpose of 
seeing if other people were any more successful than I had 
been. I got the place, and spent six months there, digging 
drains and that sort of rough work, and going into Maritz- 
burg to have the ploughs mended. We used to dig splendid 
drains, then plough over them, and plant crops, which the 


locusts consumed. The M.'s gave it up at last as a bad job ; 
4ind, as I had saved a trifle, I bought a few goods and came 
into the Zulu. You know all about me ever since, and there 
is one thing which, if you don't know, I'll tell you — Fve never 
regretted the step f" " Hear, hear ! I vote Tom a testimonial 
in the shape of a cup of coffee." " Bother ! there's none in 
tlie kettle." " Throw something at that Kaffir and waken 
liim up to cook some more." " Ah ! Tom's case was nearly 
mine," says Dick, " only letters of introduction did for me." 
'' How was that V *' Why, my friends made themselves so busy, 
and got me such a lot when I left, that I found myself in clover 
when I arrived here — at least as long as the money lasted. 
I had so many people who 'took an interest' in me, advised 
me against this and against that; this was doubtful and that 
was not sure; that I hung about idling till the tin went done, 

^and at last found out that my truest friend was old AY 

— to whom I had no letters, by-the-bye— for he gave me tick 
for a lot of goods, and it was thus that I came into the Zulu. 

You know old W surely ?" " What ! he that had the 

bet with B as to wJio umdd sing the most songs .?" "That's 

him." "Which won," asks Bob, "Neither; they kept it 
up for three nights and two days, and then made a drawn 
battle of it." " Oh ! nonsense." " It's a fact, though ; ask 
Max there." " Yes," says Max, " it's quite true ; another 
time too he made a bet with another queer stick as to who 
should sleep the longest; but when old W. went off he looked 
so death-like that the others got frightened and wakened him 
up, for which he refused to pay the bet." " And quite right 
too." Well, I am not so clear about that, for you see it was 
done for his benefit and by his friends to save his life, as 
they thought." Chorus of " Oh 1 " Turning to one of the 
party who is recovering from a touch of fever, and is lying 


alongside the fire wraj^ped in a blanket : " How are you 
now, old fellow." "Middling." "I think," says one, "Fred 
ought to turn a little pail this round, considering how often h(v 
has been reported to have 'kicked the bucket!'" "Yes,'" 
says the invalid, " I expect they will have me done for this 
time also ; they seem determined not to believe that I'm 
alive." "No, I'm jolly sure they wont; but what are you 
to do when you return to your friends T " Well, I suppose 
I must tell them that Fve heen 'hern' again/" " That's not a 
bad Natal joke, and its evident you're getting better, my fine 

A howl better known than liked is heard. " Hallo, 
there's a wolf, throw him a bone." " Yes, and put some 
arsenic on it first; you have some, haven't you, MaxT' 
"All right, there's some in the waggon chest; take care 
though, as it isn't very well tied." " Look here," says the 
fellow who has mounted the waggon, " Max evidently means 
to poison us instead of the wolf; did you ever see such a 
careless beggar?" and he brings out a crumpled piece of 
paper, and displays it in approved Dr. Marigold style, " Here's 
what the arsenic or strychnine ivas in, but noiv it is mixed 
with the dishes, knives, forks, spoons, biscuits, beef, &c. ; in 
fact, our pantry and store-room are worse than a score of 
Pritchard's." Grand chorus, reprobatory of Max, who takes 
it very coolly, and says he daresays Dick has just spilt it, 
" his fingers being all thumbs," but never to mind, as he 
won't use any of the things till he has cleaned out the chest. 
The wolf, however, has the bone thrown to him, and the 
conversation is just recommencing when " rumble, inimble, 
rumble," is heard above the clatter. " There goes a lion — 
hang him ! do you mind when they cleared out my oxen at 
Puganyonil" "Ah! and what a go we had at them with 


the Zulus." " Yes, that was a day." " What was it?" asks 
Bob. " Why, at the kraal the waggon was at, they were 
terribly troubled with lions; one night they broke in and 
killed six people and some goats. After that the niggers 
kept watch, having a fire on each side; notwithstanding 
that, they were daring enough to kill a lot of my oxen, which 
were tied up to the yokes. Next day the Zulus asked me 
to shoot them, to which I cheerfully agreed, especially as 1 
was to be paid an ox for each lion shot. We went out, a 
regular army of us, and found the lions on the other side of a 
canal-like river. I fired and wounded one, who instantly 
charged, but the Zulus finished him in the water. It's no 
use going over the whole affair in detail to you fellows, who 
know all about that sort of thing, but we had famous sport." 
'' Didn't you give him another shotV " We had no time; 
those weren't the days of double-barrelled breech-loaders; 
and if you didn't do the business the first shot, you had to 
take your chance of a charge, and sometimes dodge, or cut 
and run." And so the conversation goes on, and thus the 
night wears away. I have been able to give but a faint 
representation of "A Night round the fire" — the fun and 
bye-play I cannot picture; indeed, most of the jokes would 
look very poor upon paper, and I daresay were not very 
bright, but we laughed at them from pure, healthy happi- 
ness of heart, in such a manner as would have delighted the 
big-wigs of Punch, had the jokes been theirs. 

VII. — A Runaway Match. 

There are several "Gretna Greens" for the Zulus. Those 
nearest the Tugela fly to Natal ; those high up also get into 
Natal, across the Buffalo river ; and those near the north, 


cross the Pongolo to the Bombo and Amaswazi countries. 
In no instance, however, do they fly to the north-east to 
Tonga land, the natives of which they hold in utter contempt, 
and describe as " dirty old women and witches." I may b(> 
excused for interpolating an instance of this. The Tongas 
are sj^lit up under a great many small chieftains, who all of 
them "put their hands" (pay homage or fealty) to the Zulus 
— some paying tribute to one chief and some to another. 
Not long ago a Zulu chief got permission to kill a small 
Tonga chief and his people, who had bewitched one of his- 
own Tongas to death. He sent a small army, but when they 
arrived they found the whole district deserted, the Tongas 
having by some means got information of what was coming, 
and fled. Thus disappointed, the Zulus were returning 
home, when they stayed for a night at another Tonga's 
called Mangaleesa, who paid tribute to Masipula, another 
great Zulu chief By some means the cry got up that 
Mangaleesa had given information of their coming to the- 
other tribe, and during the night the Zulus set to work and 
killed the chief and most of his people. When I heard of 
this I asked if Masipula would not be very angry at having 
this source of revenue destroyed. " Yes," I was answered. 
" Would he not fight with Mapeeta *?" " No 1 do you think 
the King would allow a dead Tonga to make work between 
two big people of the Zulu V And that was all his regret ! 
To return to my story, from which I am a " runaway "" 
myself Angry and pursuing fathers, and danger of broken 
limbs from overturning coaches, driven recklessly by drunken 
postboys, were the principal risks incurred in " the good old 
times " by an attempt to get " o'er the borders and awa' wi*" 
Jock o' Hazeldean," or somebody else, to get Hymen's chain 
rivetted by the blacksmith of " Gretna Green." In these 


degenerate times of railways, telegraphs, and reform bills, I 
don't know how they manage these things at home, never 
having ventured on a trial; but here in the Zulu a " Gretna 
Green" journey is attended with hardships and dangers 
sufficient to damp the courage of the most devoted lovers. 
In the first place, if caught, the man is killed to a dead 
certainty ; but even should they escape from their pursuers, 
they both run a good chance of death in a flight to the 

One night, while lying on one side of the hut, with about 
a dozen Zulus on the other side, who had come to Ott-e-hanhla 
— a figurative expression, meaning literally to " heat them- 
selves at the fire" — I being considered to be the fire, dispensing 
light and warmth around ! — all chattering away, my attention 
was attracted by one fellow who had found an acquaintance 
in one of my hunters, and was describing to him how he had 
won his wife. I have inadvertently called them Zulus, but 
they were Bombo people — this one, however, was a Zulu, 
who had fled with his sweetheart and settled there. He 
described it capitally, and, one by one, the others became 
silent and listened to the story, so congenial to their nature. 

Runaway matches, when they do happen in Zulu, come 
Avith a rush. So long as the young man has his girl to 
himself he is content ; but, when a regiment has permission 
to marry, it takes all the supply in the country, of marriage- 
able girls, to meet the demand of the dusky warrior Coelebs' 
in search of wives, and thus the other young fellows are 
deprived of their sweethearts, and have consequently to wait 
till others grow up, unless they adopt active measures to 
overcome the difficulty by " a runaway match." The fol- 
lowing is the little episode : — 

" I had had two sweethearts, and both were taken away 


by ' Toolwan ' (the name of a regiment) : so when I got the 
third I determined not to lose her. After a good deal of 
persuasion on my part, she agreed to run away with me, 
and there only remained to be arranged the way it was to 
be managed, and whither we were to go. We spoke of 
Natal, but the great extent of Zulu to be traversed frightened 
us ; consequently, although we had friends there, we agreed 
that it would be better to strike north for the Bombo, the 
distance being so much less, and the country more thinly 
peopled. It was decided that we should meet at a ^rook 
about ten miles from my kraal, and there make a start 
together. I got up in the morning and wanted to take my 
blanket, but my mother asked me where I was going to. I 
told her that I intended to visit some friends in the opposite 
direction. * Why then,' she said, ' don't trouble yourself 
with your blanket, or people will say you're afraid of the 
cold, for young Zulus don't carry their blankets about with 
them when they go visiting.' To avoid suspicion I had to 
leave it, but I caught up a bit of girls'-cloth that was in the 
hut, and ran off with it laughing. On the road I had to pass 
some kraals where there were friends of mine, one of whom 
met me at the gate and insisted that I should go in and drink 
beer with him; and, as that is an invitation which no one 
thinks of refusing, I was obliged to go in, although very 
anxious, as you may suppose, to proceed to the place of 
meeting. While in the hut they asked where I was going 
to ; I told them to a kraal where there were friends of mine. 
'Why,' said they, 'this is not the road.' I answered, 'No, 
but I'm carrying this cloth to a girl.' They wanted me to 
stay all night, but I refused, and went away as rapidly as I 
could. I think, however, they knew what I was about, 
they ' chaffed ' me so slyly. 


" I at last arrived at the place of assignation, and found my 
girl, true to her promise, anxiously waiting for me, but very 
much frightened at my long delay. I however soon soothed 
her by explaining the cause of the delay, and then, leaving 
the usual path, we started across the country. 

" Night fell before we arrived at the last kraal ere you enter 
the long stretch of uninhabited country running to the 
Bombo. We were very hungry, I having had nothing that 
day but the drink of beer, and my poor girl nothing what- 
ever; so we determined to try for some food. We dared not 
ask for it, because, as you know, they would have seized tht^ 
girl and taken possession of her, whilst they would have 
killed me.* 

" So I hid her, and went to see whether there was a chance 
of stealing any. The kraal, fortunately, was not very well 
fenced, which enabled me to creep quietly in and go upon 
my hands and knees, feeling for a pot with some mealies in 
it, as I knew there must be some about at that time. I could 
hear the people talking in the huts as I crawled past, and I 
was in momentary fear that the dogs would discover me, 
but fortunately they did not. At last I found what I was 
in search of, and took them to my girl, when, after having 
satisfied our ravenous appetites, w^e started again on our 
journey, carrying the remainder with us. You know the 
kraals I speak of. They are situated on a high hill, from 
which you descend to the wooded flats of the Bombo. Well, 
when we had got about half way down, my heart suddenly 
told me not to go further, and I said to the girl, ' Let us go 
back a little and stay till morning.' She replied, * No ; let 
us get far away before morning ;' but I refused, and went 

* Such is tlie law, and it is rigidly carried into practice, as a girl 
is a very valuable "chattel" in the marriage market. 


back. The influence of my Ehlose was strong that night. 
We had not gone up again but a few steps when a lion com- 
menced roaring within a few yards of where we had stood — 
quite close, as close as that door — and answering him, others- 
at the foot of the hill made up a pretty chorus. * Wow !' said 
I to the girl, 'get up this tree.' I heljied her up ; then took 
post at the bottom with my shield and assegais. It was sl- 
pitch-dark night, and I could hear the lions snuffling and 
growling all round about me, and a more unpleasant night I 
never spent. Morning came at last, when we ate the mealies- 
in sight of the kraal we had stolen them from, and then 
marched off" merrily for the Bombo ; for our hearts were full 
of happiness, because we had escaped not only from the 
Zulus, but also from the lions ; and we felt that our diffi- 
culties and dangers were now near an end. When we arrived 
near our destination, Lamban, the Bombo chief, married us, 
and gave my wife a pick, and an axe, and a hut to live in ; 
and here we are settled as Makekani for the rest of our days.'" 
The last words were given with a half sigh, as if, amid all 
his happiness in the land of his adoption, a feeling of home- 
sickness would steal over him, and induce him to regret that 
even "a Runaway match " should have been the cause of his. 
expatriation from his beloved Zulu-land. 

VIII. — A Buffalo Hunt in the Water. 

There is one red day in my calendar, which will never 
fade from my recollection — a day upon which we started 
with quite a small army of natives with a firm resolution to 
'' do or die !" For years afterwards the Zulus spoke of it as- 
an era in their hunting life, and I myself often look back 
upon it as a day worth any fifty in a town. 


We were all marching along in single file, "and the 
boldest held his breath for a time," for there was not a word 
spoken; when, suddenly, to our right was heard the thunder- 
ing noise and vibration, and was seen the dust raised by the 
stampede of a herd of buffaloes. It was a call to skirmish,, 
and was answered with much greater promptitude than that 
of the bugle. In a moment the Hlangi"* was alive with 
people, running in all directions, some toward the sound, 
some ahead, some behind, and in five minutes' time my 
hunters' guns spoke out, and two fine animals " bit the dust.'" 

In the confusion I got separated from my hunters, having 
followed another herd on my own account, with a tail of about 
twenty Zulus. After walking about two miles we lost the 
track, or rather gave in, as we had passed all the thick 
clumps of bush, in which the natives expected the buffaloes 
to have taken refuge. " It's of no use going further," said 
they, " for they have crossed the Pongolo." This made me 
look towards the river, and there they were, sure enough, 
on the sand in the bed of the stream; but nearly on the 
other side of it. The river is about seventy yards wide, 
with high reedy banks, principally shallow, but with deep 
pools here and there. At the ford, from constant crossing 
of game, the banks were very much broken down ; and, for 
a distance of several hundred yards, this was the only place 
where large game, like buffaloes, could get out. 

I ran down, under shelter of the reeds, and fired at a 
s{)lendid bull which stood nearest the bank on the other 
side; the commotion was instantaneous and tremendous. 
" Ba-a-a-al" cried the poor animal as he fell; those behind 
pressed forward, those in front wheeled round, thinking the 
Khot came from the bank nearest them, and at last the whole 
* Country covered, but not very thickly, with minosa bush. 


herd of about three hundred plunged into the deep water 
below the ford, and tried in vain to ascend the steep banks 
on either side. The natives dashed' across the river further 
down and guarded the other bank, and the noise of my firing 
having brought my hunters to my assistance, there we had 
them fairly dominated in a sort of pond, some parts of which 
were shallow enough to allow them to get a footing. 

We soon fired away all our bullets, and then we took to 
the assegai, and engaged them at close quarters in the water. 
The scene which ensued baffles description — the excitement 
and shouts of the natives, the bellowing and madness of the 
game, the whole pond being in one whirl of constant motion 
— the buifaloes being bad hands at the water. You would 
see one old bull facing defiantly three or four enemies who 
were pegging away at him, up to their shoulders in water, 
while another would gently swim up in the deep water 
behind, and send his spear home to a vital part, then round 
goes the bull and down goes the native ; the bull swims 
about a little, then gets his depth again to have the same 
process repeated, till, being utterly exhausted and mortally 
wounded, he becomes an easy prey to the spoiler. Once, 
when about a dozen of them were swimming up under the 
the reeds, one fellow tried to lean over the bank and stab 
one en passant, but the earth gave way and down he plunge<l 
amongst them head foremost with such a yell ; in a few 
moments he reappeared, much to our amusement, careering 
on bufi'alo-back down the river, doubtful about holding on, 
but fearing to let go, and roaring as if he were being carried 
off by a water kelpie. Another, drawing cautiously near to 
the reeds, was suddenly met vis-a-vis by an old bull, which 
had somehow managed to struggle up the bank, and, as he 
turned to run ignominiously, he received such an impetus 


from the infuriated animal as sent him clean over into the 
deep water, fortunately none the worse for the plunge, if we 
except the dreadful fright he got. These slight sketches of 
a few of the incidents of the day may helj^ the reader to 
imagine something of the extraordinary and exciting scene, 
but it is impossible to paint or describe it. At last, how- 
ever, we stood upon a sandbank, thoroughly exhausted, and, 
because we really couldn't help it, allowed the remainder of 
the herd to go. They struggled up, one here, one there, 
completely blown ; and in a quarter of an hour all was again 
silent on the river, and, except for our trophies, there was 
nothing to indicate that there had so recently been "a buffalo 
liunt in the water." 

IX. — A Few Odds and Ends about the Zulus. 

If any of the cattle paid for a wife die during the year^ 
they must be replaced. If the wife should die during that 
period, the cattle can be reclaimed ; but that is generally 
arranged by a sister being sent — as expressed in tlieir own 
figurative language — " to raise up the house of her that is 

Intimately connected with, and in fact arising out of, 
marriage amongst the Zulus, is the custom of " Hlonipa."" 
AVhen a mother in-law meets her son-in-law, she will not 
speak to him — she will hide her head and breasts that 
suckled his wife. If she meets him on the road where she 
cannot turn away, and she have no covering, she will tie a 
piece of grass round her head as a sign that she Hlonipa's. 
All correspondence has to be carried on through third 
parties. A wife will not mention the name of any of her 
husband's male relations ; she will not even say the name of 


her husband's father if you ask her ; and any word in which 
the sound of her father-in-law's name occurs, she will alter i 
And so also will a whole tribe alter any word in which the 
name of their dead chief occurs ; for instance, one of the 
King's (Panda) wives will not say "Enzani" (what are 
jou doing 1), but " Enkani," because Panda's father was 
" Enzenzengakona," and they rather injure the sense than 
risk the euphony. One chief's people will not say "Manzi" 
(water), but " Mata," because their chief's father's name was 
" Manzini." The higher the rank the more strictly is the 
•etiquette observed, and in consequence the language is ever 
altering, as they are continually manufacturing new terms, 
And puzzling the most learned pundits in the Kaffii- 

Another matter I would touch upon is polygamy. I am 
not quite sure whether it may be considered out of place in 
sketches of this kind ; but as it is a matter of the most vital 
importance to the colony, and as I have had peculiar 
advantages and opportunities for gaining a thorough 
Acquaintance with Kaffir habits and feelings, I am inclined 
to think that I shall be excused for not keeping my light 
hid under a bushel. 

Much has been said and written, especially in the colony, 
-on this subject ; and one portion of the press has, without 
regard to time and place, constantly advocated its abolition. 
It is scarcely necessary to say that I agree with it, in so far 
that jpolygamy is an evil ; but in abolishing a long-rooted 
custom you must take the same care as in transplanting a 
long-rooted tree. Do it roughly and inconsiderately by the 
strong hand in the one case, and the tree fades and dies; in 
the other the people fight and die. The simile holds good 
still further, for in the one case you seek to remove, for the 


purposes of improvement, use, and ornament; in the other- 
<)ase the alteration would improve and render more useful; 
and I fancy that there can be no greater ornament to a 
•country than a savage people civilised and Christianised— 
mark, not vice versa — by those who have come over the sea 
to make it their home. Why, then, in the name of common- 
sense, take a course which would kill the tree and extermi- 
nate the people, and during the process would produce 
incalculable misery to all? Whenever an instance happens 
■of a girl being compelled to marry a man she doesn't like, it 
is blazoned forth with all pomp and circumstance; every 
item of cruelty described in heart-rending language and most 
sensational manner, and the whole wound up by an in- 
dignant protest against, and an imperative demand for, the 
-abolition of polygamy, as if, forsooth, there were nothing of 
the kind ever heard of in civilised England, and that 
" forced marriages" were peculiar to South Africa. There 
is a distinction without a difference in the nwdus operandi — 
the one people using the stick, pure and simple; the other, 
cruelties more refined and subtle, but none the less cruel for 
all that. The Zulu girl is spoken of by rabid anti-poly- 
gamists as a mere chattel with no will of her own, and liable 
to be sold to the highest bidder. It is the same in Zulu as 
in England — the greatest fortune stands the best chance; 
but amongst the middle classes, if the girl refuses an offer, 
her parents, with few exceptions, do not attempt compulsory 

Supposing that an attempt were made to abolish polygamy 
and the purchasing of wives, there would be three distinct 
-classes of opponents amongst the natives to be met with and 
disposed of. The young men would say " Yes, abolish the 
practice of payment, and let us take as many wives as we 


like; but what would be the use of one wife only ? Sup- 
posing she falls sick, what a pretty fix we would be in, for 
who could do the work"?" The old men would say, "No! 
our wealth consists in our daughters; we paid for other 
men's, why then prevent us from getting cattle for our's? 
Our position in society depends upon the number of our 
wives; why then prevent us from obtaining as many as we 
can pay for? Is there any harm to you, in plenty of wives for 
us?" The women would be the bitterest opponents of all; 
they would say, " I will not marry a poor man, who will 
only have one wife. Why should II when I can marry so 
and so, who has twenty; besides, one wife makes hunger in 
a kraal." Looking at the question in its whole bearings, 
carefully and candidly, without prejudice one way or the 
other, and being thoroughly acquainted with the symptoms 
and effects of this disease of the body-politic, I prescribe as 
follows : — Tax each wife beyond the first, but not so heavily 
as to raise a spirit of resistance; the proceeds of this tax to 
be applied by Government to establishing good schools 
throughout the country, where the native children would be 
taught trades, as well as letters; and I am satisfied that the 
natives would offer little or no objection to the tax, if the 
purposes to which it was to be applied were explained to 
them. As Paramount Chief, the Governor has a right, by 
native law, to claim what children he requires for his 
servants. Let the Government then, acting on this law, 
which the natives will not object to, exercise a gentle 
despotism, and compel as many children as can be taught to 
be sent to these schools; let them even pay each j^upil a 
trifle, which would be well laid out, and have the children 
bound for a term of years. Let civilization be the great 
thing aimed at in their teaching, and let the lesson be 


sharply and unmistakably taught; thoroughly impress upon 
them how completely inferior they are to us; and, when the 
conceit is well taken out of them — for, while they are proud, 
they are very sharp — then " train them up in the way they 
should go." Avoid by every means "humanity-mongering," 
and that pernicious sentimentalism which teaches and 
preaches that all men are brothers, and on an equality; 
but "Educate, educate, educate!" — not "Agitate, agitate, 
agitate!" — for the gradual abolition of polygamy. Mis- 
sionary work is all very well, and no doubt good fruits 
have been produced occasionally through the efforts of 
judicious missionaries; but it must be obvious that an 
educated native is much more likely to perceive the truths, 
and appreciate the beauties of Christianity, than the un- 
tutored savage; and yet the system goes on, like a useless 
salve, which glozes over without healing the sore, so 
apparently indeed, that "Missionary Kaffirs" have become 
a byword and a reproach, and are considered the greatest 
rascals in the colony ! 

The Kaffirs are very epigrammatic in their speech, which 
arises no doubt from the meagreness of their language. I 
will quote one instance which struck me particularly when I 
heard it. We were coming home after a ten days' walk; 
the last morning we started without anything to eat, and, 
while tramping along, one fellow made the remark that he 
was hungry, and it was a long way to the kraal we were 
bound for; then we had silence for a little, when suddenly 
another turned and spoke — "Bah-pa, yes; travelling is belly." 
"Yes," says the other fellow, "belly!" and no more was 
said; but what more was required *? I couldn't help laugh- 
ing at the quaintness and completeness of the little dialogue; 
but the poor fellows didn't see the fun of it. 



The whole Zulu nation, as at present constituted, is 
liroken up into little tribes ; the remnants of those conquered 
by Chaka. Each tribe has its "Esebongo," or name of 
thanks; for instance, one tribe is called Emtetwa, or scolders; 
another Niaow, or foot; another Zungu, or weariness; 
and when the chief makes a present of anything to one of 
his people, they will say, "Yes, father; yes, Zungu;" or 
" Yes, Emtetwa," as the case may be. Each of these tribes 
has its peculiar habits and customs ; for instance, one, 
*' Mat-e-enja" (dog's spittle), will not eat goat-flesh, because 
they always leave a goat on the grave of their dead. When 
any one dies they bury him, and over his grave they spread 
out his mat, blankets, &c., and on the latter they place a 
goat, then go away and leave it. They say the goat never 
deserts the spot, but grazes about, and on the fourth day 
dies. If they eat any part of a goat unawares, they are 
seized with epilepsy and die. Even the young children in 
the kraal, who are too young to know anything of this, 
when a piece of goat-flesh is given to them, will not eat it, 
but carry it in their hands for a little, and then throw it 
away; and, be it remembered, that meat is their greatest 
dainty ! 

The greatest difficulty in writing about native superstitions 
and customs is, that although you may describe the peculiar 
custom or superstition itself, yet you cannot give any satis- 
factory reason for it. If you ask a Kaffir why he does so 
and so, he will answer — " How can I tell 1 It has always 
been done by our forefathers." They have a custom which 
was at one time prevalent in Scotland — viz., piling cairns of 
stones at certain spots as mementos of particular events. I 
remember, on one occasion, travelling along with the waggon, 
when the leader of the oxen picked up a stone, spat upon it, 


iind then threw it upon a heap of others ; then the driver got 
down and did the same. A few yards further on there was 
another heap, where the same process was repeated. I in- 
quired why they did it, when I got the answer quoted above. 
I asked if it was not because some witch had been killed 
there 1 The reply was — *' Very likely, but we don't know ; 
only, wherever a heap like that is seen, we must add a stone 
to it, otherwise something unpleasant is sure to happen." 
Another peculiar custom is, that when any big man marries 
his daughter off, he always sends one or more handmaids 
wdth her, according to rank, who are called " Umshanells" 
(broom). The husband may marry them too, if he pleases, 
but the offspring of this "morganatic marriage" does not 
take the same rank as the others. 

Their superstitions are legion. I desjDair of enumerating 
them. In hunting, if on starting they meet a female of any 
kind, they consider themselves certain of success ; but if it 
should be a male, they are just as certain of having bad luck. 
Certain kinds of animals and birds crossing their path are 
lucky, and others the reverse. When they kill game of any 
kind, they immediately tie a knot on the tail, in order to 
prevent the meat from giving them the stomach ache ! If, 
when hunting, they fire twice or thrice without killing, they 
mil turn back, saying their Elilose, or familiar spirit, is bad 
that day, and therefore it is of no use wasting powder and 
.shot. If they sneeze, they don't say exactly "God bless 
you," but something very like it, such as "Yes, father; may 
my way be clear, and my path smooth," or something of 
that sort. Dreams they are devout believers in, and tliey 
will curiously turn and twist any event of the day, so as to 
make it coincide with the vision of the night. In one tribe, 
whenever a mother leaves her child for a few moments, she 


will squeeze a few drops of milk over its head, breast, and 
back ; in another, she will spit on its hands ; in a third, she 
will put a piece of clay on its head — each of which is con- 
sidered by the operator as an effectual charm and protection 
while " The baby was sleeping " in its mother's absence. 

AVhen in battle two men are fighting, their snakes. 
(Mahloze) are poetically said to be twisting and biting each 
other overhead. One "softens" and goes down, and the 
man, whose attendant it is, goes down with it. Everything 
is ascribed to Ehlose. If he fails in anything, his Ehlose is- 
bad ; if successful, it is good — a very convenient doctrine, 
which I recommend to Dr. Manning's attention, as in na 
case is blame attached to, or acknowledged by, the man. It 
is this Thing which is the inducing cause of everything. In 
fact, nothing in Zulu is admitted to arise from natural 
causes ; everything is ascribed to witchcraft or the Ehlose. 

Their system of government is peculiar. The king is 
presumed to be proprietor of everything — people, land, and 
cattle — all being at his disposal for gift, for life, or for 
death; and this is actually the practice, under certain 
recognised rules or laws. No one can be killed but for some 
offence, although, of course, if the King wishes to kill him, 
the offence is usually not difficult to find. The cattle of any 
one killed become the proj)erty of the king, but there are 
certain recognised portions which go to his captains, and 
from them again to their people. If the king wishes to 
make war, he is su2:>posed to do so of his OAvn accord, yet the 
consent of his captains is required. He is despotic, but his 
despotism must not traffigress known laws; in fact, as it 
has been well said by the Rev. Mr. Shaw in his " Story of 
my Mission," " The chief or king is all powerful to preserve 
things as they are, but not to alter ; as the king governs- 



the nation, so does each chief his people, and each head man 
his kraal." 

All the tribes in South Eastern Africa seem to have had 
one common origin, and it would be interesting, as far as 
possible, to trace their descent. The data are neither positive 
nor extensive ; but the more I see of their habits and 
customs, the more strongly do I incline to the opinion, that 
they originally, and, comparatively speaking, at no very 
distant period, migrated from the Xorthernmost parts of 
^ Africa, and I would even go as far as Asia for their origin. 
The question of the lost ten tribes of Israel is too abstruse 
and dark a one for me to enter into, and besides, it would 
far exceed the limits of these Sketches, to give such a minute 
description of their little ways and peculiarities, which 
would be utterly uninteresting, excej^t for the purpose of 
supporting such an ethnological hypothesis, and I therefore, 
in the meantime, merely suggest the idea, and leave to a 
future and more appropriate occasion the elucidation of it. 

The natives have absolutely no traditions as to religion 
or origin, except the Ehlose, and one confused idea about 
Inkulumkulu, which may be translated "the big one of 
all." The first man, who they say " tore them out of the 
reeds;" Uhlanga, literally "reed," they use for "custom." 
For instance, any peculiarity in a tribe they account for by 
.saying it is our "reed" or custom. They never try to arrive 
at the causes of things ; even the names of their kraals or 
their chiefs, or the king's kraals, they can seldom give you 
an interpretation of. They say "it is a name." "But what 
is the meaning of the name V "How should we know? it 
is just a name." You ask again " What do you think the 
fiun isf "Oh, it is just the sun." "Yes, but what do 
you think it is V " How should we know, the sun is the 


sun, and the moon is the moon — they shme." One fellow, 
however, said he heard there was a great fire somewhere 
in the sea, where the sun and the moon rise from; and 
that a spark sprang from the fire, stuck in the sky, grew 
and grew till mid-day, and afterwards faded away, and that 
was the sun ! The moon they thought was a hole in the 
heavens. What the firmament was they could not com- 

X. — A Kaffir Hunter's Story. 

To " Wild life," with all its freedom and enjoyment, there 
is, not unfrequently, a tragic side, caused in many cases by 
quarrels between Kaffir hunters. When a batch of them are 
sent away from their masters with guns and ammunition, 
many a tragic scene is enacted. No cognisance can be taken 
of them by any court of justice, the quarrels and crimes 
usually taking place out of the colony, consequently they 
establish rough courts amongst themselves, and administer 
a sort of Lynch law ; the only two punishments recognised 
by which being a thrashing, and what is called the last 
penalty of the law. No one who is not intimately acquainted 
with the ways and habits of the Kaffir hunter, and who has 
not frequently mixed with and lived among them in " Wild 
life," can know anything of these incidents ; for when, on 
returning to the colony, inquiry is made about any missing 
man it is the simplest thing in the world to place the blame 
on the broad shoulders of an elephant or a buffalo, and no 
more is said about it. I speak now, be it understood, of an 
earlier period of the history of the colony than the present, 
when the whites were few and far between, and Kaffir lives, 
owing to the feeling induced by recent wars, were thought 


of small consequence ; and besides, as lives of both blacks 
and whites were risked every day in many ways, the loss of 
one was an incident merely, and nothing more. 

Those unused to "Wildlife" are very apt to consider 
stories of this kind exaggerated ; and more than probably I 
may get the credit of exaggeration ; but, as such has been 
the fate of even the greatest of those who have gone before 
me, in describing savage countries and "Wild life," I am con- 
tent to take my chance in such goodly company, merely premis- 
ing that what I describe in these Sketches I have either seen 
with my own eyes, or have every reason to believe in their 

Many times have I heard the hunters, in talking to one 
another, say that so and so was dead ; and, on being asked 
what he died of, the answer would invariably be " I don't 
know," but said in such a peculiar manner that the questioner 
would immediately respond with an appreciative " Ah !" 
long drawn out. I had noticed this several times, and never 
could manage to get any explanation, until at last I prevailed 
upon one who had been in my service for several years, and 
the result of his confidence was the following story : — 

" There were fifteen of us crossed the Tugela together, and 
Dugusa was our captain. We were bound for the Um- 
suto, the river near Delagoa Bay, where we had heard 
elephants were in plenty, while nearer at hand they were 
scarce and wild, having been so much shot. You must 
know that the Amatongas, the people down there, are a very 
cowardly lot; for, whatever may be the case now, in those 
days they would submit to anything from the hunters, who 
would take their girls for wives, and eat up the food in their 
kraals, and for payment would thrash or shoot them. The 
consequence was that when the hunters came to the kraals 


the inmates used to run away, so that at last they could get 
no one to assist them in carrying the ivory out. 

" Our master when we left, seeing this difficulty, gave us 
some beads and knives, and warned us to behave properly 
to the people, pay for what we could with meat, and when 
we failed to kill any animals, to use the goods he had given 
us; and he wound up by saying that he would hold Dugusa 
responsible, and that he would be sure to find out if we did 
anything wrong, as he would be down in the country him- 
self in the winter. 

'* On the road we began talking about our instructions, 
and all agreed to follow them out, except one fellow, who 
had been down there before. He said he meant to be 
comfortable, and would take some wives when he arrived 
there. Dugusa told him he should do no such thing. ' "Wlio 
will prevent me?' 'I will.' 'Then I'll go off by myself 
and leave you.' ' You shall go without your gun, then.' 
And this was the beginning of ill-feeling between them, 
which was occasionally breaking out all the way to the 
Umsuto. None of us liked the man, and several of us 
warned Dugusa to be cautious, and keep a good watch on 
the fellow; but he only laughed, and said, ' Wait till he 
really does something, and then you will see if I don't put 
him to rights.' Poor fellow ! when that something was 
done, it was too late. 

" We reached the Umsuto and built our hut, which was 
no sooner done than it began to rain. The captain of a lot 
of hunters is only captain while they are hunting, or in 
giving directions about the district to shoot in, and how to 
hunt it. After the hunt, and in the kraal, his authority 
depends very much upon the kind of man he is, and the 
amount of deference which the others may be inclined to 


pay liim. It may be said of him that he has only a voice, 
albeit a potent one, in all matters except hunting; but in 
that, as representing the master, he is all powerful. While 
in our hut, of course, we were all thrown together like cattle 
in a kraal, and with just about as much comfort. It is at 
these times that bad blood is engendered and aggravated, 
which, in the excitement of a hunt, with the deadly materials 
in one's hands, frequently breaks out with tragical results; 
and so was it in this case. The two I have spoken of 
quarrelled and scolded day after day, so much so that we all 
predicted that something serious wovdd be the result. At 
last the weather cleared up, and we were all started off to 
try the bush, which was close by. Our instructions from 
Dugusa were that two were to remain with him, and the 
others were to go right round the bush, dropping two at 
regular intervals, until it was surrounded, and then all were 
to enter simultaneously. Just as the last two were getting 
to their place, we all heard a shot, and immediately the 
trumpeting and crashing of elephants. They broke out in a 
troop, not having been separated, and got away with only a 
flying shot or two sent after them. Dugusa immediately 
came running round, angrily inquiring, 'Who did this V and 
soon found out that it was Umgona, the fellow I have been 
speaking of, when he at once felled him, and the others 
having closed in on him and taken his gun from him, he 
was prevented from doing further mischief. He rose up 
bleeding and muttering vengeance, and walked off to the 
hut, we following close at his heels, expecting to see the 
ijuarrel renewed when he arrived there. But, no ! he had 
washed his face and seemed very penitent, asking for his 
gun back, and promising to behave better for the future. 
Dugusa gave it to him, saying. ' Ah ! I thought I would 


mend him.' But we all had our doubts about it, although 
we said nothing. 

" It came on to rain again, and the river rose very high. 
We were all crowded together in the hut, cold, wet, and 
hungry, and by no means good tempered, when one of us, 
happening to go out, saw a file of elephants making for the 
river, with the evident intention of crossing. He came back 
instantly with the news, and Umgona said he would go and 
watch them. Dugusa agreed, but told him to leave his gun. 
' No,* replied he ; ' no one walks without his stick, so I will 
take it with me, but will be careful not to frighten them.' 
All agreed, warning him to be cautious, which he promised 
to be. After he went away the others began to get their 
guns and ammunition in order, when, just as they were 
preparing to start, they heard a shot. ' Umgona again,* 
cried Dugusa, and rushed out, we following at some little 
distance. We saw Dugusa run up to Umgona in a 
threatening manner; we saw Umgona raise his gun and 
fire ; we saw Dugusa fall, and we heard the bullet whistling 
past us. We arrived in time to prevent Umgona from 
throwing Dugusa into the river, to which he was dragging 
him, not having seen us coming up. Dugusa was dead 1 
What was to be done 1 We first tied the murderer, who 
maintained a dogged silence ; and we counselled with one 
another as to what should be done. Some proposed to take 
him to Natal; others objected, on the reasonable grounds 
that we could not take him through the Zulu country as a 
prisoner, and that, if we once let him go, we should never 
see him again ; others, again, proposed that he should be 
handed over to Dugusa's relations, who were with us, to do 
as they liked with him. This was objected to by some, 
because, they said, it was throwing the duty of his punish- 


ment on a few, which they were all bound to execute. At 
last, after a great deal of talk, it was agreed that we should 
do nothing that night, but tie him up and watch him till 
the morning, when we should again deliberate what to do. 

" Next morning, before the sun had risen from its bed in 
the sea, we had resumed the discussion; and, after long and 
anxious deliberation, it was resolved that the culprit should 
be given up to the friends of Dugiisa, and that they should 
carry out the sentence of death, to which we unanimously 
condemned him. They therefore took possession of the 
prisoner, and, after a short consultation amongst themselves, 
they proceeded to carry the sentence into effect in a manner 
which, to us, accustomed to see many a dreadful death, 
seemed the very refinement of cruelty. The living murderer 
was taken and bound to his dead victim, face touching face, 
and hand tied in hand, and then slowly, and in solemn 
silence, the dead and the living, clasped in this horriblt> 
embrace, were carried to the bank of the river. We heard 
one fearsome cry, and the swollen waters closed over, and 
buried the victims of this double tragedy!" 

XL — Making the Most of it in "Wild Life." 

Among all the benefactors of humanity, I reckon Charles 
Dickens one of the chiefest; and among his many delightful 
characters who really " point a moral and adorn a tale," 
Mark Tapley is one of my special favourites, because over 
and over again, when, in "Wild life" — aye, even in civilised 
life — I have been beset by apparently inextricable dangers 
and difficulties, Mark's philosophy of common sense, self- 
reliance, and good nature has come to the rescue, and carried 
me through it all victoriously. 


It is really wonderful how comfortably one can get through 
the world, and how little is positively necessary for enjoy- 
ment, if a fellow lays his mind to " make the most of it," 
and, like Mark Tapley, resolves to be "jolly under any 
circumstances." In " Wild life" I find unfailing solace, in 
wet weather, in my books and my pipe, and " many a time 
and oft" have I (in my Livy), albeit as hungry as a hawk, 
made a sumptuous repast off the delights of Capua, and the 
hardships of the Saguntines and Tarentines have induced me 
to endure my own miseries with more equanimity. It affords 
great fun, too, to stand up in the waggon and, book in hand, 
gravely spout Shakespeare to the natives. If you keep your 
countenance well, they will take it very seriously, and when 
you have finished they will, like your learned critic at home, 
sagely nod their heads, look wise, and say, " It is good, very 
good, only — is he a missionary?" One line my Kaffirs have 
got hold of, which they seem to enjoy exceedingly, because, 
I suppose, " it feels grand," as poor Artemus Ward said. 
" What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba T' They seem to 
have a glimmering of the meaning of it, and they lug it in 
on every opportunity, with studied dramatic effect, especially 
to the Zulus, who generally appreciate it, and say, " Yes, it 
is very nice;" and then my fellows are quite proud at being 
able to disi^lay such very superior knowledge. The query 
has frequently suggested itself to my mind on such occasions : 
*' Is there not a good deal of this ignorant pride and show 
otherwheres than in Zulu-land?" I wot there is; and as I 
*' cram" my Kaffirs, so are others " crammed" by the banks 
of the Cam and the Isis, and elsewhere; and with very 
similar results too ! 

Then, when the raining powers are omnipotent, you 
esconce yourself under the awning of your waggon, and pull 


away at your favourite meerschaum, watching the smoke as 
your imagination shapes it into all manner of eccentricities, 
and commence to " build castles in the air." Now, this sort 
of thing I consider to be decidedly luxurious, and a very 
jolly way of enjoying the dolce far niente ; and I cannot help 
saying commend me to " Castles in the Air," for I look upon 
the privilege of building them as a great, glorious, and free 
institution. For instance, now, while in the position de- 
scribed, I think over these Sketches — something noteworthy 
I have that day seen, and am turning over in my mind how 
it may be best described. From one thing, I am insensibly 
led on to another ; from composing these Sketches to tran- 
scribing them ; from transcribing to posting them ; and to 
their reception by the editor, and there my fancy runs away 
with me entirely. I picture to myself a liberal cheque, 
pleasant thanks and profuse praise ; the fame of a Dickens 
or a Bulwer ; people wondering who wrote that first-rate 
thing " Wild Life," and myself walking through the throng, 
proudly conscious of being " the great unknown ;" and, for 
an hour or two, " Lord bless you," as Tommy Traddles says, 
" I'm just as happy as if I had them !" 

I don't think either that these imaginary building specula- 
tions are in any way hurtful to anybody ; for my part, I 
always find that the waking to reality — and, mind, you must 
wake to it some time or other — spurs me on to try and 
realise the pleasant dream. Therefore, I'll never, without 
protest, hear a word against Chateaux en Espagne; and, if any- 
one will give me such a property in reality — I'll — I'll — why, 
I'll send some one to look after it, and remit me the rents, 
Avhilst I indulge in "Wild life" in the Zulu, and otherwise, 
as it seemeth good to me. But if I can't be a landed 
proprietor in the country of " pronunciamentas," of active 


revolutions and passive debt, of bigoted religionists and ex- 
emplary queens; then, with the " Castles in the Air" which, 
with the help of my pipe, I can build in my waggon, and 
the stern realities of this work-a-day world, I shall learn to 
be content. 

In " Wild life" everything is free and easy, and the absence 
of starch is something perfectly delightful. In your inter- 
course with the natives, only a simulating prude would 
pretend to be shocked; but "to the pure all things are 
pure !" and, although ajJjJearances msiy he against them, there 
is nothing immodest about the natives, because of their entire 
ignorance of anything like obscenity or grossness. 

I feel impelled to say a word or two en passant about 
Starch. Possibly it may be the effect of the climate, but I 
don't like starch. I dislike it on Dr. Johnson's principle ; I 
can't say I liate it, but I don't like it. I dislike it particularly 
in my clothes ; it seems to give a false position to everything 
it touches, whether it be a man, or a lady's dress. For instance, 
there is Mr. Meff. Istoffyles, yellow's the white of his eye, 
he has a down look, a flat nose. He is known to stick at 
nothing to effect his purpose, lies and swears to it, falsifies 
statements, makes use of his own power and that of those 
whom he can influence, to oppress any one who may have the 
honesty and courage to expose his dishonest nature. Yet, 
by sheer force of " starch," this man is not only tolerated in 
society, but is even looked up to as a sort of moral Turvey- 
drop ! A starched beard and hair, ditto coat, waistcoat, 
continuations, and demeanour, cover present rottenness and 
scurvy antecedents. But, bother starch, and all its votaries, 
for they are " always crossing my path !" 

It is no doubt a perfectly gratuitous assertion on my part 
to say that printing has been of immense benefit to mankind. 


Of course it is needless to attempt to prove such a self-evident 
]>roposition; but I wish, nevertheless, to record my own 
personal gratitude to the inventors, for it is impossible for 
those who travel in a savage country, far away from the 
haunts of men, to prevent this feeling from frequently 
recurring to their minds. I don't speak of books merely, or 
of popular works, but of every, or any printed thing, for in 
'*Wild life" the merest trifle is often a God-send, and is 
valued accordingly. 

It is not so very long since that, while travelling far in the 
interior, with absolutely nothing in the shape of a book, or 
even a missionary magazine to read, I was so fortunate as to 
have a piece of beef sent to me wrapped in a Daily Telegraph 
newspaper. It was really food for both mind and body, 
and "I speak the words of truth and soberness" when I say 
that I devoured the paper with even more relish than the 
meat which it enclosed, although, sooth to say, my larder 
was reduced to its last extremity at the time. 

"The great pennyworth," had rather too much of the 
amleur de rose in some places, as may naturally be supposed, 
from the purpose to which it had been applied, but was 
rather the better of that than otherwise, because it rendeied 
the task of deciphering more difficult, and thus protracted 
the pleasant occupation ; and as, for this reason, I could not 
bolt the savoury morsel, I was compelled to " read, learn, 
and inwardly digest " it the more leisurely ; and, looking 
out for a shady nook, I set to work to enjoy the intellectual 
feast, and commenced operations in a .systematic manner. 

Starting from " the Telegraph dial," I went straight on 
through the theatre advertisements, enjoying " in my mind's 
•eye" the syren notes of the pirtia donna, and took a peep 
into the somewhat grotesque mirror which is professed to be 


held up to Nature on the stage, and in which it would be 
somewhat difficult to " see oursel's as ithers see us." I dis- 
cussed the editor's politics, and was astonished at his descend- 
ing to such Billingsgate in his abuse of Mr Disraeli, and 
" concluded" that the Asian mystery was past the compre- 
hension of even the clever editor of the Telegraph. I then 
proceeded on and on till I ariived at the impimahcr, and 
again and again returned to my feast ; sjieculating, as I went 
along, over the various advertisements, picking out the estates 
I should like to buy, the furniture with which I should 
plenish "that desirable mansion," and the pictures and vertu 
with which I should decorate it ; the books I should like to- 
read, and the tours I should like to take ; and, in imagination,. 
I seemed to enjoy them all. I wondered at the various 
notices in Chancery, and whether, under another name, there 
might not be a prototype of " Jarndyce v. Jarndyce." The 
law and police courts induced me to philosophise upon the 
comparative advantages and disadvantages of savagedom 
and civilization, and I came to the sage conclusion that "much 
could be said on both sides !" The "wind-bags" of Parlia- 
ment, and the " spouters" at that institution for letting off 
the steam — the public meeting — ^made me think that if less 
notice, or none at all in many cases, were taken by the papers 
of your bore with the cacoethes loquendi, we would be less 
bothered with them; for it is unquestionable that the vanity 
of knowing that " a chiel's amang them takin' notes, an' feth 
he'll prent them," is the inducing cause of more than a half 
of the speechifying with which this age is afflicted. The 
letter of the Paris correspondent amused me exceedingly, 
with its self-complacent egotism, so pleasant withal ; and the 
ubiquitous Sala too, playing with words and phrases as a 
Japanese juggler does with his magic tojDS and butterflies I 


Before the day was half over I feared I had exhausted the 
sheet ; but it happened that I noticed a corner turned down, 
and flying at it greedily, my anxiety was rewarded with 
this one line : — 

' ' Where is Spikins ? " 

This rather curt advertisement, which if the proverb holds 
good must be ivitty, afforded me employment for the rest of 
the afternoon. " Methought," as the Spectator used to say, 
that "Where is Spikins" might cover a multitude of feelings; 
and that, under this simple query, what a tragedy, what 
sorrow, what love-lorn plaint might be hid; or it might be 
some comedy or broad farce. However it might be, I 
managed to construct a very nice little romance, a la Wilkie 
Collins, abounding in the most improbable and astounding 
sensational situations, but which, although quite satisfactory 
to myself, I fear would be " laughed at consumedly" by your 
readers; so in the exercise of a wise discretion I shall neither 
trouble them, nor risk my reputation, by giving even an out- 
line of the "Wild life" I led Spikins. Moreover, Dickens is. 
the only man I know, who can make a readable story with 
characters having the most ridiculous names. 

I now conclude, trusting that these rough Sketches may 
give some idea of what we see, what we do, and how we- 
enjoy ourselves in " Wild life" in South Eastern Africa. 



(Leader in Xatal Hekald, October, 1SG9.) 

In the issue of the Mercunj of the 23rd October appeared a 
communication from their Utrecht correspondent, giving the 
Transvaal version of the present embrogho with the Zulus 
regarding the boundary question. Now, as the Zulus have 
no " Own Correspondents" of any public print, residing 
amongst them, it is but just that their side of the story 
should be laid before the colonists and the mother country, 
as, in consequence of Boer misgovernment, and that inor- 
dinate lust of land by which they are actuated — especially 
when it is in the possession of black races — trouble will, we 
are afraid, ensue on our north-eastern frontier, and we may 
be drawn in, as we w^ere with the Basutos; in fact, we shall 
be compelled to interfere, to prevent the results of the quarrel 
spreading into our own colony. The information we now 
lay before our readers we have taken considerable pains to 
procure, and we think it may be depended upon as correct. 
It has been obtained from those, whose occupations have 
detained them for some considerable time at the head- 
quarters of the Zulu Government, who know the language 
and the ways of the people, and who have often had occasion 
to admire and appreciate the friendly feeling displayed and 
felt towards the British, and to note the utter contempt 
and dislike of everything Boer, which are the characteristics 
of the present generation of Zulus, and of their ruler 


In considering this matter, wv. should remember tliat, 
^dtlioiigh Panda is nominally King, yet for many years (to 
;i great extent before, but altogether since, the battle of the 
Tugela in 1856) Cetchwayo has been virtually so, and by what 
is considered a legal title in the Zulu. He is the Prime Minis- 
ter of his lather, or, perhaps more correctly speaking. Grand 
Vizier. What he says is law, as if the King had said it. 
He is an acknowledged power in Zulu, and, sjjeaking apart 
from his legal status, he has such power that, although he 
has, with rare policy and self-command for a savage chief, 
continued to accord to his father all the outward tokens of 
Koyalty, he could at any moment, and in any way he chose, 
remove him and reign in his place. Again, we must consider 
the conditions of property in land to the Zulu. The land 
belongs to the nation and the King is trustee. Xo man can 
hold it as his own and dispose of it at his pleasure ; — he may 
squat, but that is all, and is liable to be removed for mis- 
behaviour. The King, properly speaking, cannot allot any 
land without the consent of the tribe in Council, though in 
some small matters he may do so — say to a single family— 
without thinking it necessary to consult his people, and 
without their thinking it worth while to go against him. 
The Zulus have no idea of selling land away from their con- 
trol. When they speak of so-and-so having bought a piece 
of land from the King, they invariaT>ly consider that it is 
only the right to live on it during good behaviour, which has 
been sold, and they never say, so-and-so has purchased the 
land, but "a place to build on;" this of course only applies 
to the whites, who are the only buyers. Now, bearing 
this in mind, let us give a little history of the transaction. 
The Utrecht Correspondent of our contemporary says 
that it was a regular purchase and sale, that cattle were 


given in payment, and the deed of transfer signed by Panda 
iind all his Indunas, that " Koobooloo " (Kebiila) was sent to 
deliver up the land, and that boundaries were pointed out 
and beacons set up. But what was the true state of the 
case? About 1858 (the date mentioned) the lung-sickness 
was sweeping off the cattle in the Zulu country. Panda sent 
a message to the Boers, saying that he was hungry, his cattle 
were all dead, and he had nothing to eat. This is a common 
thing amongst the natives, and is a token of friendship : a 
return would become necessary, if ever the donor asked for 
anything in the same way, — it is what is called " gupana." 
The Boers, in answer to his message, sent him fifty head of 
cattle and some sheep, saying " here is a mouthful of beef 
for you." {Emta was the word used, which is a piece cut 
off a roasted strip, of sufficient size to put in the mouth). 
These cattle were put with those belonging to one of his 
head kraals (" Um-dumoezuln " — the thunder of Heaven, 
and, by implication, of the Zulus), and they very shortly 
after died of the lung-sickness. Not long afterwj^rds there 
comes a message from the Boers — " We also are hungry 
— we are hungry for land — we have no place to live on 
— we are too crowded — allow our people to live on your 
land" (not sell us land), "the Blood Eiver, the U-bivana, 
and the U-pongolo." On the principle of " gn^ana" the 
King could not refuse, and besides, as the upper districts 
are comparatively thinly populated, he thought there would 
be no harm in allowing them to squat. He accordingly 
sent some Indunas to tell them so — Kebiila very likely 
amongst them, but Si-ry-o (Assegaio) was the head one. 
The Boers immediately said to Si-ry-o, " Show us our 
beacons." Eeply: "I do not understand you." " Show us 
where we are to live." Reply: "Oh, wherever you like 


about here." "Make an 'uicwadV" Eeply: "No, that I 
oan't do, I had no instructions from the King." Notwith- 
standing this they took Si-ry-o's hands, forcibly placed a 
stick in them, and made him make a mark! They then 
proceeded to drive in stakes for beacons, and marked off 
^ibout one-third of the Zulu country as belonging to them ! 
When Cetchwayo heard of this high-handed proceeding, he 
immediately sent a party, who drove the Boers away and 
tore up their beacons — but those few who chose to squat 
peaceably in the Zulu and near the borders, in terms of 
his father's permission, he did not meddle with, and there 
they are to this day. 

Ever since then, the Boers have been demanding this land, 
xmd Cetchwayo and the Zulus, as well as Panda, refusing to 
^ive it, alleging that it was a cheat from beginning to end, 
and that they cannot part with the land on any terms. 
" But," say the Boers, " you have got our cattle ;" and the 
-Zulus answer that they got permission to squat, but not to 
43rect an independent state within ten miles of the " Mahla- 
ImH," the original nest of the Zulus, sacred to the King and 
his military kraals. " But here," say the Boers, " we have 
a paper showing that the King and his Indunas agreed to 
the sale of this land." " We know nothing about your 
papers," reply the Zulus, " nor their contents. We never 
meant to sell the land ; we never said we would do so, and 
we won't do so now," and so the parties separated for the 
time. Still, however, there is this constant irritating mes- 
sage-carrying about the land, and at last the Zulus gather 
together to hold council as to what is to be done. The first 
-cry is for war, and they hold a council of war and decide 
how it is to be carried on should it break out ; let us hope, 
however, that this may be averted. They then decide that 


tliey will first of all make a fair offer to tlie Boers. They 
say, ''This affair seems to have been a misunderstanding- 
altogether ; the King thought he was only asking you for a 
hit of beef when he was hungry. You thought you were 
buying a tract of country. To end this matter we will jjay 
you back. You gave the King fifty head of cattle and some 
sheep in 1858 : they all died, but that is not your fault ; they 
might have bred with you. We will therefore give you back 
1,050 head, the odd thousand for their produce, and we trust 
you will accept this and end the matter — if not, we suppose 
we must fight, and we are quite ready." 

Thus at present stands the affair. The Zulus have re- 
])oi*ted tlie proceedings to our Government regularly (they 
consider themselves tributary, or rather, under our guidance^ 
as regards all their foreign relations), and we trust they 
will make sufficiently strong representations, to prevent the 
Transvaal meddling Avith the Zulus, whose only wish is to 
live on veiy good terms with us, and to be at peace with all 
white men. 

We shall never be free from trouble of this kind until 
Britain agrees to extend her authority over the whole of 
South Africa. The Boers are no more fit to govern the 
native races than they are — what shall we say"? well — to 
govern themselves ! 


Kead by the Author before the Natural History Association of Natal. 
(Reprinted from the Natal Mercury.) 

When last in Durban, Mr Sanderson requested me to 
prepare a paper on " Hlonipa," to be read before this Asso- 
ciation. I promised to do so, and have now come before 
you for the purpose of fulfilling my promise, to the best of 
my ability. 

It was a difficult matter for me, being utterly without 
experience in this sort of thing, to judge how to render the 
subject most interesting, and most in accordance with the 
customary style of papers read to an Institution of this kind. 
Ikit I decided that I had better do it in my own way, and 
trust to the interest of the matter itself, and to your leniency 
for any shortcomings there might be in my treatment of it. 

The study of Kaffir habits and customs is a very curious 
one. To my mind, it would take a lifetime of close applica- 
tion to make one thoroughly acquainted with their modes of 
thought, their peculiarities of speech, their untranslateablo 
idioms, and their superstitions— the last of which are legion. 
Were I to endeavour even to number them to you, I am 
afraid I should occupy more time than you would be inclined 
to spare me; but in a paper of this kind, though supposed 
to be only on one subject, I may be excused if I merely 
indicate a few of the subjects I refer to. 

There are two diiferent kinds of superstitions — those con- 
nected with witchcraft, and simple omens, lucky or unlucky. 


The former are the most deeply rooted, because (besides 
being actually afraid of the consequences to themselves of 
witches living amongst them) they have the motive of interest 
to support their belief. The plunder of a dead sorcerer is 
always shared — in different proportions, however — amongst 
his slayers; and no one in the country (conscious of his own 
freedom from witchcraft) ever fancies, until his fate comes 
upon him, that he himself stands a chance of being put to 
death for a witch. They allow, however, that sometimes 
people are "smelt out" who are not witches; but in this case 
they consider that the doctors only act as a necessary engine 
of state, and each one who talks to you is free from any idea 
that he may fall under the envy or displeasure of the King. 
He lives and goes on his way without fear, believing (by the 
way, a thoroughly Kaffir idea) that "whatever is, is right!" 

There are also the omens connected with every occurrence 
in life — hunting; starting on a journey; eating; marrying; 
or even simply moving about the kraal — there is always a 
something, from which the natives infer whether they will 
be successful or not in their journey or their hunt, or whether 
something evil or good is going to happen. In a hunt, 
various birds or animals crossing their path, or even seen, 
are ominous of success or failure. On a journey it is the 
same, but especially as to whether they will be lucky in 
procuring food at their destination; and at kraals, rats, cats, 
dogs, and even things inanimate, are supposed to influence 
their destinies, or at all events to bring about pleasure or 

Dreams especially they are devout believers in, and many 
a hunter will leave his work and hasten home — perhaps 150 
miles away — to ascertain whether some bad dream was 
founded in fact or not. If he does not go so far as this, he 


will, at all events, spend some time and money in a visit to 
the diviner, whose interpretation is always satisfactory for 
the time. 

Again; I have often noticed a good hunter who has been 
unsuccessful for some days appear one morning quite radiant, 
announcing that he is certain to kill that day, as he had 
dreamt it; and — he does so! It is curious, and shows how 
deeply-rooted the belief is, that the fact of having dreamed, 
gives him the confidence necessary to be successful. 

It is also curious to observe how a first-class hunter — a 
brave man and a good shot — will, after having missed, or 
failed to kill, for two or three shots, go on in an unbroken 
course of failure for weeks, until at last he goes to the 
*' doctor," who tells him the cause — nearly always that 
some spiritual relation of his is dissatisfied; whom, having 
appeased by sacrifice, his hunting succeeds as before. Or 
else he goes to some known medicine man, who prescribes 
for his gun, so as to relieve it from the spell which some 
evil-disposed person has cast, or caused to be cast, upon it. 

Everything in nature is under the power of '' isinvanga " — 
rain, storms, sunshine, earthquakes, and all else, which we 
ascribe to natural causes, are brought about or retarded by 
various people to whom this power is ascribed. Every rain 
that comes is spoken of as belonging to somebody, and in a 
drought they say that the owners of the rain are at variance 
amongst themselves : and, of course, if they can find out the 
one who stops the way, they kill him ! 

There are many idiomatical expressions which, literally 
translated into English, sound ridiculous; but one who 
understands their language cannot help admiring how ex- 
pressive the phrase or the word is. For instance, ^^unesisila;' 
you have dirt or are dirty — but it means that you have 


done or said something, or somebody else has done so,, 
which has bespattered you with metaphorical dirt — in the 
Scriptural sense, has defiled you. It is nearly the same as 
our expression "his hands are not clean," but only it is 
stronger ; as, in saying so, we but refer to some failing of 
the man, but they, when they say so, mean that he is 
radically bad. 

I have spoken, too, of their peculiarities of speech, and 
may mention one or two instances to show what I mean. 
Fat, in English, is fat, whatever it may be on. We say a 
fat man or a fat cow. It would not be correct to say so in 
Kaffir. A fat cow is oionile ; cow fat is amanoni, but only 
whilst it is eatable ; afterwards it becomes amafuta. A man 
is kuhqMle if in good condition ; if very fat he is said to be 
zimuUli, which latter I take to be a word related to hlonipa^ 
as they will sometimes say of cattle also, that they are 
kiiliqjde (though they will never use the other word, nomlt\ 
to a man), and are ashamed to use the same word in 
speaking of their chief (fat is always a sign of j^osition), as 
they do in the case of their ox. 

Again ; speaking in English, we would say young grass, or 
last year's grass ; and, if older than that, it would require a 
sentence to describe it. But, in Kaffir, young grass would 
simply be ihlungu, old grass isikofa or umlalane. The first, I 
take it, is derived from the appearance of the ground, the 
black ashes seen through the young grass looking like isi- 
hlungu — snake medicine, or medicine to give deadliness to a 
man's hand or weapon ; and, as it purges the cattle, they 
call it ihlungu. 

The second means literally " it is licking," and I fancy is 
derived from the peculiar motion of the cattle when eating 
succulent, well-grown grass. They gather it with their 


tongue and throw their mouths forward as if licking the 
ground. The interpretation of the last I am not quite so 
sure about, but I think it comes from lala, to sleep, and a^ 
the Kaffirs use it, means that it has missed, or slept over, 
the regular grass-burning. 

The Kaffir language I consider much more copious and 
minute, as well as concise, than our own, in terms relating 
to things material — which they can see with their eyes — but 
is not fitted for sustaining a 2)hilosophical or metaphysical 
argument, and that naturally so. 

Again ; there are all the customs connected with the con- 
<luct of children to parents, and of parents to children; the 
law of inheritance as regards cattle, goods, daughters, and 
wives ; the apportioning of his cattle by a man, who has 
children beginning to grow towards manhood, so that each 
hut or wife has its cattle, and which the children of that 
wife look upon as the " cattle of their house," enkomus 
t'kivaho ; though they, of course, belong to the father. 
The man himself has also cattle, but when he marries he 
perhaps draws upon these apportioned cattle; and in the 
case of a man of large property, where the one wife's por- 
tion is sufficient, the new one becomes umlohokasi okwaho 
— belongs to that house, she and all her children. In the 
case of a poor man, where he has to take cattle from various 
houses, the umlohokasi — i.e., the one just lohola'd, or married 
— goes into the house of her from whom he took the first 

Then there are all the customs connected with marriage 
and childbirth, and the ceremonies which are observed; the 
conduct of the bride after marriage; the laws regarding 
buying and selling, and the putting out of cattle to graze ; 
the proper forms of politeness observed amongst themselves. 


both to strangers and relatives; and much more which I 
dare say might, in proper hands, be interesting, but which 1 
refrain from speaking of to-night for three reasons: — 1. 
Because I doubt my o^vn powers to make them so; 2. 
Because they would require a paper of no ordinary length 
to themselves; and, 3. Because I wish to get on to the 
principal thing I intend to speak about to-night, which is 
the custom of Hlonipa. 

The name is derived from the word enhloni (shame), and 
means that they are ashamed, or are too polite, to use the 
names of great people, or such others as they pay respect to, 
in the common speech of every day. 

There are three kinds of Hlonipa — the family, the tribal, 
4ind, in the case of the Zulus, the national. The first is 
confined to the women, as far as speech is concerned. They 
will not mention the name of their father-in-law, and they 
hide, or appear to hide, whenever they come in contact with 
their son-in-law. She says it is not right he should see the 
breasts which suckled his wife, and she will not call him by 
his name, but by the title of Urnkweniana — equivalent to 
son-in-law; or, more generally, relation by marriage. If 
she meets her son-in-law in the road, where she has nothing 
to cover herself with, and no means of getting it, she will 
break off a piece of grass and tie it round her head, as a sign 
that she ^' Hlonipa' s;" and if a son-in-law comes suddenly 
upon his mothers-in-law, he is expected to give notice that 
he is there so as to enable them to cover themselves up. It 
would be a sign of great want of respect or of politeness 
should he come suddenly into their society when uncovered, 
without giving notice. 

All the females in any way related to the girl's family will 
call her husband Urnkweniana, but never by his name ; and 


when he has children grown up they will call him father of 
so-and-so. They think it not respectful to call him by his. 
name, and this is the case also with all young persons to old 
ones. The son-in-law too will not call his mother-in-law by 
her name, but simply mother, and the wife is generally called 
so-and-so of so-and-so, child of her father. 

Also, all those who are in any way related to the husband 
will not drink milk at any kraal connected with the wife, 
and the same of the wife's relations as regards those of the 

This custom I think very likely to have been established 
to prevent the relatives, to whom food could not be refused, 
eating up the contents of the calabashes, and so leaving those 
of the kraal without any of the food which they are fondest 
of, and which is their stand-bye in times of hunger. 

The higher the rank of the parties the more strictly is the- 
etiquette observed. At the King's kraal it is sometimes, 
difficult to understand his wives, as they Hlonipa even the 
very sound of the name of the King's fathers, his and their 
brothers back for generations. They will not say ivenzani 
(what are you doing?), but wenkani, because the sound 
of the z comes in Enzenzengakona (Senzangako7ia) — Panda's 
father. The same with water — amanzi. They call it aman- 
dambi, and the wives of the King's sons, for instance, will 
never call me by my Kaffir name vJLpondo because part of 
the sound is in Panda, but Utshibo, which is Hlonipa for 
horn. This is also the case with Mhldnkulu, the girls whom 
the King has gathered together at his kraals. They are 
only liable to be the King's wives, but they IIloni;pa even in 
consequence of that liability. 

Speaking of the King's wives and Hlonijpa, puts me in 
mind of something I wished to say, arising from a paper read 


before this society. Some time ago, when in the Zuhi 
<30untry, I got a Mercury containing a notice of Mr Wynd- 
ham's address on the game birds of Natal. He there enu- 
merated four different kinds of partridges which I knew, but 
said there was a fiftli which the Kaffirs called " mahope," 
-and which he remembered having shot in the Zulu countr}-. 
I did not know of this variety, and made many and strict 
^'uquiries about it. At last I found that Ehope is the 
Hlonipa for the generic name of " i//*///M "-pigeon ; Mahope 
is, of course, the plural; they ^'Hlonipa" Somajuha, a 
brother of Panda's. 

So deeply rooted, and so strictly observed, is the custom 
"' Hlonipa" that the worst oath they can address to a woman 
■or girl — it is only applicable to females — is ^'O'mha ninazala" 
which means that she does or will bear children to her 
father-in-law. The woman to whom this is applied imme- 
<liately throws off her blanket, or cloth, and takes no care 
4ibout Hlonipa, because, as she argues, if this is said to me 
of him of whom I am so afraid, or pay such respect to — i.e., 
Hlonipa so strictly — what is the use of my continuing to do 
so. She will tell all her female relations, and they will 
gather together and go to the man's kraal, or if they cannot 
do that, to any kraal, and kill a beast ; the liability and 
wrong lies at the door of him who has sworn at them. This 
ox or cow will be eaten by old women or little children, 
but by none of a marriageable age : — men are always mar- 
riageable, so there is no necessity to except them. It has 
the " insila," which has now gone off the woman who was 
sworn at. If you remember what I said about the phrase 
'• U-nesisila" a few minutes ago, you will see that this is 
smother illustration of its meaning. The women take the 
<$all and squeeze it over themselves, and then the affair is at 

A TRUTH-'raSTER. 175 

iin end, so far as they are concerned. If the women cannot 
get at any cattle readily, as is often the case in the bush- 
country, they will go into the hut of the offender, or if he 
lives far away and has escaped into anyone's hut, break the 
dishes, throw his clothing away, after pulling it to pieces, 
overthrow his hut, and all this without risk to themselves, 
as the offender has to make good the damage. 

If a husband addresses this name to his wife, or, in fact, 
to anyone, no matter how close the relationship, it is always 
cleared away by the sacrifice of a beast. 

On the other hand, if a woman swears by "Afamemla," you 
may always believe her. She says, " so surely as I shall 
not do this thing is what I tell you truth." If she speaks 
falsely the opposite jmrty would then without risk say, " Oh 
then you do this. You are nesisila" And if you say to a 
woman, don't do such a thing, and she persists, then say 
that is, or will be, equivalent to Onyokozalo, and she will 
desist at once. But it is dangerous to play with this, as if 
she is doing what is evidently right, although you may not 
wish her to do it, she will at once say you have sworn at her 
because you have spoken so strongly without reason. 

I may here explain that Mamemla, Unyolco Zdlo, and 
O'mkaninazala, mean the same thing, but only different 
persons. They are /, thou, and they take their mother-in- 
law's place. 

Again ; if a man or a woman in quarrelling with a woman 
turns aside, and looks disgusted, and Tshaka, i.e., spits 
through their teeth (from this came " Tshaka,^' the Zulu 
king's name), it amounts to the same thing as if they had 
said the words — as this being a sign of the utmost disgust, 
the person doing so is supposed to have reason for what he 
does — I mean that he considers her ninazala. There was a 


case of this the other day which I cannot do better than 
mention, as it illustrates the strength of the custom. Some- 
of the girls belonging to one of the King's kraals were 
washing in a river. A stranger woman was there, with 
whom they had high words. In the course of the quarrel 
she turned aside and spat through her teeth. Immediately 
the girls left the water and went to the King's cattle. They 
picked out a fine ox and killed it. Nothing was said,, 
except that the husband of the woman had to make it good, 
whereas in another case the penalty for killing the King's 
cattle would have been death. 

The Tribal Hlonijpa is a much simpler affair. It is merely 
that no individual of any of the tribes which now constitute 
Zulu, will use the name of their chief or his progenitors, as 
far as they remember, in the common parlance of every day. 
As, for instance, the Zungu tribe say mata for manzi (water), 
and Inkosta for Tshanti (grass), and emUgatdu for umlcondo 
(assegai), and inyatugo for enhlela (path), because their present 
chief is Umfan-o inhlela — his father was Manzini, his grand- 
father Imkondo, and one before him Tsliani; the national 
Illonipa is all the tribes omitting the King's name, as also 
Cetchwayo's, whom they now also Hlonipa. For instance, 
the root of a tree they call nxabo — whereas the true name is 
impando. Also the hill now known as EntabanJculu, was 
Emjpandwene. - Neither do they now use the word Amacebo 
(lies or slander), because of Cetchwayo, but Amahwata^ which 
is equivalent in Hlonipa. They do not, however, carry it so 
far as the women, as regards omitting the very slightest 
similarity in sound. 

And now comes the question of whether or not there are- 
any rules by which they are guided in Hlonvpa, and how it 
arose in the country. 


It is always a very difficult matter to get at the reason 
for, or cause of, a thing, from a Kaffir. They say so-and-so 
is so. And if you ask how it is that it is so, the general 
answer is simply " because !" And if you press them hard, 
they take refuge in saying that "it is the custom of the 
country." If you ask questions, they will agree to anything, 
and in such a manner, that I have often been deceived, 
thinking that I had at last arrived at the truth. Therefore, 
I say that one without a personal knowledge of Kaffir ways 
will reaUy never get at the truth of their habits, laws, and 
customs, as you are obliged, in a manner, to depend greatly 
on your own experience, in putting together what you hear, 
and so arriving at a true result; and, generally, as regards 
the derivation of words, you have to decide for yourself 
altogether, as the Kaffirs have no idea of, and take no 
interest in, any such thing. A name is a name, and, if you 
ask for an explanation, they tell you that it is a name, and 
that is all they know about it. 

With this preface, then, I now, after many years' know- 
ledge of them, and one or two years' enquiry as to this 
particular custom, say to you that they have no rules to 
guide them in Hlo7ii2)a, and I claim that the practice is one 
of great antiquity, as the language, at this present time, 
almost presents the phenomenon of a double one. There is 
scarcely a word in it applicable to a proper name — at least 
as far as I have enquired — which has not its corresponding 
Hlonijpa; and in a case in which it might happen so — I have 
never heard of on& which did — those interested should 
gather together and decide what they were to say. 

As one of Panda's sisters, who is an old woman, and well 
versed in the etiquette, described to me — some might pro- 
pose one name, the others might object, saying that it was 



not a nice one, for no other reason that I can discover, and 
at last they would agree to call him so and so. 

If they could, they would find a word as near as possible 
to the meaning of that which they had laid aside, but not 
even that of necessity. As for example, impise (a wolf), they 
call engadule, because he is a great traveller — to gadula 
means to wander — or umdela 'Monga, one who despises 
sleep, because of his nocturnal habits; utshani (grass), they 
call inJcota, as being near to the name of a particular age of 
grass, isikota, which I have explained before. Idtsbe, a 
stone, they call egaio, which may be translated "the grinder," 
because they grind their corn on stones. But on the other 
hand they call imJilisio, the heart, inkeddamu. Inhleldy a 
path, inyatugOj inJcomo, a cattle beast. Emai, intshumpa 
and emetshe — manzi (water), mandamhi, mahta, macubane. 
In all these latter Hlonipa names, I can discover no connec- 
tion at all with the real ones. And a greater proof, and one 
which to my mind is incontestible, is that all the different 
tribes in Zululand have different Hlonipa terms for the 
same words. Thus mandamhi is the King's kraal Illonijpa 
for water, because of the same sound as in manzi being in 
Ensenzangakona, the name of Panda's father. Malida is the 
Ziangu Hlonipa for water, because of Manzini the father of 
their present chief. There is no difference in dialect in what 
is now Zulu, nor has there been for the last forty years — 
perhaps longer, for what I know. The only difference at all 
is the tefula, the using the Y for the L confined to the 
Xumalu or Endwandwe and the Emzansi or Emtetwa tribes ; 
therefore if they had rules to guide them in Hlonijpa the 
different tribes such as Emtetwa^ Ubtelesi, Endwandwe, 
Mambatij Zungu, Zidu, &c., &c., &c., having been mixed so 
long under one authority, would all use the same term — 


whereas they do not do so : and that has caused the 
language to be not only a double one, as I have said, but, 
in the case of multitudes of words, they have three or four 
to express the same meaning, which, by the admixture of 
tribes, are known all over Zululand. Or, say that the living 
under the same authority, and the mixture of tribes, has 
nothing at all to do with it — I mean the fact of there being 
separate rules, for each tribe may be so in spite of that — 
I think it still incredible that so many small tribes, all 
speaking the same language, not differing in dialect like the 
Amaswazi and the Amatonga, and living close together, 
should have different rules for Hloni^a. 

I will give yet another proof, and that is the Hlonijpa word 
for inhomo (cattle beast) amongst the Amambati. Onhomo 
was the chief of that division before their present one 
Diekana. About the time he was killed by the Emtetwa 
chief Dingiswayo, was the time when whites began first to 
be heard of, or rather known. The great thing amongst 
whites is well-known by the natives to be money, and no 
doubt it was so at the time of his death, as cattle are valueil 
correspondingly amongst them — are in fact their ^'mali." 
They now call them invariably by that name — Hlonipa-imj 
their dead chief Onkomo. 

It is well known that there is a fashion in Hlonipa, as in 
everything else amongst whites and blacks ; and there are 
those who set it. If a certain kind of bead or colour of 
blanket is adopted by the King, or his sons and daughters, 
it is immediately in request all over the country by those 
who are of rank and importance enough to risk the wearing 
them. So it is with Hlonipa — and as an instance I may give 
Cetchwayo. It began amongst his female relations and 
Ikulonkulu girls at his own kraal, and then spread to the 


King's kraals, and so as the natives put it, it began to be 
known all over the country that he was HlonijjoJd. One man 
in talking to another would innocently use the word Amaceho; 
the other would stop him saying "Don't you know they 
Hlo7iipa him now ?" "No," the other would reply, "what 
do they say?" "They ssij Amahwata." And thus though 
there are other Hloni^a words for Amacebo (slander), which^ 
in the case of another, they would use without scruple, yet, 
as it is the King, they enquire about it, and thus it gradually 
spreads, till all use the same word. 

I don't know whether what I have said j^roves my argu- 
ment, viz., that Hlonipa is a very ancient custom among 
them ; that it is very strictly observed ; and that they have 
no rules for their guidance, as to the adoption of a word in 
the place of the one ordinarily in use. If it be not so, I 
must beg you to remember another thing I have touched 
upon in this paper, viz., that there is much, which one who- 
is well acquainted with Kaffirs and their ways knows, but 
yet is unable to write about, much which, if I may so put it, 
he knows intuitively, but yet is unable to offer proof of; 
and I would beg of you to believe that I would have stated 
nothing here unless I was tolerably sure, in my own mind^ 
that it was correct. 

I have made this paper as short and as concise as I could,, 
being afraid that, if uninteresting when brief, had I 
lengthened it by an infusion of words, simply for the sake 
of occupying a little more time in its delivery, I would have- 
rendered it weaker than it is even now. And, for what 
want of interest there is, pray consider that it arises from 
my manner of treatment, not from the matter itself, which 
is by no means uninteresting to a Natal audience. 

I have another reason for making this a short j)aj)er, and 


that is because, although I have written all that I know on 
the subject, yet, amongst those who hear me, there will no 
doubt be many who understand the custom, and will wish for 
further information which I may have forgotten, or perhaps 
am unable to give; therefore I have left time, without 
running it too late, to answer any questions I can, and to 
avow my ignorance as to those which I cannot elucidate. 


[The following is published, as an Appendix to the Essay on "The Tsetse Fly' 
(Glosinia Morsitans), by St. Vincent W. Erskine, Explorer of the Limpopo 
Hiver, South Eastern Africa, which was read before the Natural History Associa- 
tion of Natal, August 8, 1870.] 

Since writing this essay, I have been favoured with 
further remarks from Mr Leslie, as undernoted : — 

" December 16, 1870. 

" I am not at all satisfied with the commonly-received idea as to- 
the deadlmess of the Tsetse Fly, neither am I, as I daresay you have 
seen, satisfied with your explanation of the causes of death to cattle 
in countries infested by the fly. I heard yesterday that Capt. Elton, 
on his journey from the Tati to Delagoa, had four pack-oxen, and 
they have escaped. 

" My theory, that the fly is deadly, but goes in droves, and so 
cattle driven a short distance through bush may escape, by not falling 
in with any of these droves, I thought a good one ; but this long 
journey of Elton's, if truly reported, upsets that. 

"It appears to me — and it is a common Kaflir saying — that the 
fly afi"ects those places most where the zebras are plentiful. I know 
places in the Zulu country where cattle are sure to die if kept there 
any time — say a few days ; but they can be safely driven through, 
even although they eat on the way. I know another place, which 
I knew to be bad, where I lost an ox this time, although they were 
never outspanned and never halted. In the former district, there 
are no zebras ; in the latter, there are plenty. 

"Elton, I believe, says he saw the fly settle in hundreds on his 
oxen, and there were no ill eflects. I am puzzled what to think of it. 

"It is very easy to upset any other person's explanation of the 
cause of death of cattle in these districts, but it is very difficult to 
construct a theory ; and more so to give a decided opinion that will 
hold water." 


*« December 20, 1870. 

" Perhaps you are aware that if the Tsetse settles upon your hand, 
although it leaves no mark and you do not feel it at the time, yet it 
will cause a sore, itchy feeling ; and a slight scratch will leave a 

"The symptoms of Tsetse are not always the same. Cattle will 
sometimes die, fat, in a few days. At other times they will linger 
for months, getting thinner and thinner, and never appearing to get 
a bellyful, though they eat voraciously to the last — even when they 
cannot get up from weakness, they will eat all round where they 
lie. It may be that the former are badly bitten, or in some way 
have absorbed more of the poison — the latter not so badly. 

" Certain roots which the Kaffirs know — of the nature of febrifuge 
— are very bitter, are good for this disease, whatever it is. So is 
salt. But nothing, that I have heard of, is a certain cure. Some- 
times, however, they recover, especially if they are not subjected to 
wet, cold weather, in their weak state. 

*' There is no doubt whatever about what I told you, as to the 
'Unakane,' ie.. Tsetse fly, having spread in the Zulu country, 
driving out cattle from places, where they had thriven from time 

"I think I have now told you all I know about the Tsetse. 

** Yours truly, 

"David Leslie." 

Note. — I publish these remarks so that readers at a dis- 
tance may understand the arguments likely to be used in 
combating any theory as to the death of cattle from other 
causes than that of the bite of the Tsetse fly, in spots 
unhealthy for cattle. 

Individually, I have no theory as to the cause of death, 
but suggest the greater probability of it proceeding from 
some exceptional poison in the vegetation or atmosphere 
prevailing in those spots. 


Tlie theory appears to have originated with the original 
Zulus, and is only known amongst their offshoots — the 
Amaswazi, the Mahlamene or Umzeila's people, and the 
Matabele. Dr. Livingstone mentions that neither the 
Portuguese nor other inhabitants of Africa, to the north of 
these tribes, have any such theory as to this extraordinary 
cause of death in cattle, and he appears to have adopted it 
from them. I have reason to believe, from experiments made 
upon dogs, that the disease will yield to the administration 
of quinine and purgatives. 

St. Vincent Erskine. 

Remarks on Mr St. Vincent Erskine's Paper on the 
Tsetse Fly. 

Read by Mr Leslie before the Natural History Association at Durban on 
Monday evening, 8th August, 1870. 

With great courtesy Mr Erskine put me in possession of 
his paper on the above subject, in which I see he combats 
the received idea that the bite of the fly is fatal to the ox, 
the horse, and the dog. 

I, unfortunately, know something of the Tsetse, and 
although I have never studied or examined the subject 
scientifically, yet there are some parts of Mr Erskine's 
paper with which I cannot agree. 

Page 19 : — ** Then comes the other side of the question : But 
where cattle lived at one time there is now the fly and there are no 
cattle ? because, I will answer, the smiling picture which was made 
out of a dismal wilderness, was suddenly changed, destroyed at one 
fell swoop, by some reckless and blood-thirsty tyrant, the cattle were 
swept away, the men killed, the women taken captive, the huts burn^ 
leaving *not a wrack behind,' and the wilderness is again restored 


to its primitive and undisturbed quiet. The buffalo returns to bis 

liaunts, and the giraffe and again appears upon 

the scene the Tsetse fly !" 

For some years after Panda became King of the Zulus, 
the country, between and about the junction of the black 
xind white Umvolosi, was thickly populated and full of 

There have been no wars whatever in Zulu-land since his 
accession, exeept the battle of the Tugela. But Mr Erskine's 
" client" has been the " reckless and blood-thirsty tyrant " 
that, gradually creeping up from the northward and east- 
ward, swept away the cattle and " left not a wrack behind." 
And, more than that, during the last three years there has 
been a great prevalence of easterly and northerly winds in 
the Zulu country, and the consequence has been, that where 
no unakane (Zulu name for the Tsetse) was before, i.e., up 
on the grass lands, for ten or twelve miles from the borders 
of the bush country, no cattle can now live. 

Page 26 and 27 : — "At present certain Kaffirs are willing, for a 
moderate consideration, to take their cattle through the fly country, 
and, they state, that they seldom lose any, in consequence of their 
giving them medicine (or muti). This medicine, containing a number 
of Tsetse mashed up. Of course,* the fly has nothing to do with the 

•curative properties of the muti, which is probably 

Here I might mention that it is said • districts infested by the Tsetse 
can be safely passed through in the night. ' . . . . The natives 
have introduced cattle to spots which were several days distant from 
healthy country " 

* Why, "of course V I am aware that natives do run 
■cattle through infected districts. But I also know from 
them that it is a lottery — sometimes they escape, and some- 
times they die — and I account for this, by the fact of the fly 


attaching itself to game in swarms. It is not spread all 
over the country, like the house fly — some on every tree and 
bush — but keeps together in droves. The natives' cattle, 
sometimes, do not come across any of these swarms and 
escape. When they do meet them, they die. 

I do not say that Mr. Erskine is wrong in his conclusions, 
but I should like to hear his ideas on the above few facts. 

David Leslie. 

Answer to Mr Leslie's Critique on Mr Erskine's 
Paper on the Tsetse Fly. 

1. Mr Leslie, from the very precision with which he points 
out the spread of the fly, namely from the northward and 
eastward, would seem to demonstrate most strongly that the 
cause of death is not a fly, which ought to spread itself 
promiscuously in all directions, together with the game to 
which it attaches itself. 

Why should the fly extend only northward and eastward? 
Does the game extend only in this manner? Would not 
this particular spread of unhealthy country, perhaps, be 
more likely to occur from spread of certain vegetation, 
favoured by the special climatic influences mentioned? 
Would not the spread of vegetation, in the slow and circum- 
scribed direction, defined by Mr Leslie, be more probable 
than that of an insect, constantly referred to in works of 
travel, as well as by Mr Leslie in query 2, as migratonj ? 

2. Dr. Livingstone expressly states that the limits of the 
Tsetse fly are sometimes sharply defined, and, as I said, the 
Kaffirs being willing, for a moderate consideration, to allow 
their cattle to be bitten by the fly, it is proved that the 


medicine cures the disease under discussion; any part of it 
being composed of fly, mashed u]^, it is shown that fly infests 
the country; therefore, Mr Leslie's statement, that the cattle 
do not come across the fly, is not in " point." Abrupt 
cessation of suitable soil, or " exposure," might explain the 
limit of the vegetation, in the latter; and partial poverty of 
soil, and limited vegetation, in the former. Under favourable 
conditions (perhaps "easterly and northerly winds") the weed 
might be able to propagate to its extraordinary bounds, and 
geological faults, or "thinnings out" of formations, might 
define its ordinary limits. 

Prevalence of particular winds might be the cause of an 
unusual amount of miasma or epidemic. 

St. Vincent W. Erskine. 

September 1st, 1870. 


Read by the Author before the Natural History Association of Natal, 
20th April, 1871. 

Some months ago I had the pleasure of endeavouring to 
interest the members of this Association in a peculiar Kaffir 
custom, which I had reason to believe was not known to 
many. And in writing of that Institution — for such it is — 
I mentioned en imssant the laws, habits, and modes of 
thought and speech of the Kaffirs. To-night I will try, as 
best I can, to explain some of these to you; and it is my 
wish, if possible, to combine with this explanation something 
which may be useful to masters and mistresses in their 
treatment of their native servants. 

There can be no doubt about it, that, if you understand a 
man, it is easier to deal with him, and this applies equally 
to your friend or your labourer. It is with the latter class 
I have to-night mostly to deal, though I think it perfectly 
possible to have a friend amongst the natives. There are 
many of them as thorough gentlemen in their way, as we 
are in ours. 

I do not know that I can do better than refer you to my 
former paper on " Hlonipa," and request you, when you hear 
this one, to bear in mind what I have there spoken of. I 
said that I thought it would take a lifetime to make one 
thoroughly acquainted with their modes of thought, their 
peculiarities of speech, their untranslatable idioms, and their 
superstitions, and I also mentioned the customs connected 


with the conduct of children to parents, and of parents ta 
children — the laws of inheritance as regarded cattle, goods, 
daughters, wives, &c. — the proper forms of politeness ob- 
served amongst themselves, both to strangers and relatives 
— ^the rules by which they went in marrying and paying for 
their wives, and much more, that it is impossible to com- 
l)ass in one paper, but as much of which, as I can, I shall 
endeavour to make plain to you as I go on. 

The Labour Question. 

We continually hear the cry of "want of labour;" and 
there is no doubt whatever that this same want has a bale- 
ful influence upon the progress of the Colony. But we must 
remember that these people, amongst whom we live, are 
independent of us; they are our peasantry, not our serfs. 
It is not an absolute necessity that they should work. At 
home this would be hailed as a healthful sign, and wages 
increased accordingly. Here, by some reason or other, it 
is decided that because there are 17,000 whites who require 
labour, and cannot afford to pay more than a certain sum, 
the 250,000 blacks ought nolentes wienies to furnish it ! 

Many people say that it is a shame to see so many 
thousands of able-bodied blacks amongst us so lightly taxed, 
that they can afford to work a very little, and rest a great 
deal, whereas we are fainting for want of the labour which 
they can supply; that after they have bought a wife, they 
can sit down for the rest of their lives, and live on the pro- 
duce of that wife's labour; and their only remedy for this 
anomalous state of things seems to be — double or treble the 
hut tax, and compel them to come out. 

I agree that it is sad to see this state of things, but it 


cannot be altered in a day. We must either take their 
children and educate them, so that the next generation shall 
have some idea of the principles regulating labour and 
taxation, and so imbue the natives with new habits and 
knowledge — and this can be done, if gradually and carefully 
done by Government — or we must carry things with a high 
hand, force them into civilization, and be prepared for the 
preliminary war which will infallibly break out. The natives 
might pay something more — grumble and pay — and we 
might for a time be a little easier as to labour. But as the 
cultivation of our land increases, the lack would surely come 
again, because the Kaffir will only work until his own simple 
wants, and his requirements for paying his taxes, are satisfied; 
then go to his kraal as before. To rectify this, we should 
have again to put on more taxation, and the ignorant unin- 
structed savage would look upon us as the horse-leech's 
daughter, whose constant cry was — "Give, give!" It is not 
generally known, but I think I may say, without exagger- 
^ition, that hundreds of heads of families are at this time 
going back into the Zulu country, rather than submit to the 
restraints and taxation now imposed upon them. These 
people are out of our control ; are disaffected towards us, 
nnd leaven the tribes around with their disaffection; and 
herein lies an increasing danger, which must be carefully 
watched and guarded against, for it is a serious one ; and we 
must be careful not to ignore it and "live in a fools'-paradise" 
by shutting our eyes to it. 

A Kaffir, although fond of money, and perfectly well 
aware of the power and luxuries that money brings him, 
will not sacrifice all his old habits for the sake of the 10s. or 
12s. a month he gets from his master. In time those habits 
and traditions may be cast aside, but that will only result 


from education, and from a careful, "steady," honourable 
policy towards them. It must be the dropping water which 
will wear away this rock. A strong current will only cause 
turbulence, breakers, and danger. 

Suggestions for Governing the Kaffirs. 

It perhaps may be that the discussion of matters touching 
■on the Government of the Natives would be out of place in 
iin Institution of this kind ; but everyone who knows any- 
thing of native character and habits, will know how difficult 
it is, in speaking of them at all, to avoid touching on this 
question ; and if I were addressing an audience in another 
country, who were only interested ethnologically, I might 
content myself with an ethnographical paper. But here — 
where everything connected with the races amongst which 
we live concerns us deeply, and nothing more so than the 
proposition as to how we are to do good to them, and receive 
benefit from them, which I take to be the essence of good 
Government, when the educated man is the governing power, 
the savage the governed — I think I may be pardoned if 
this controversy creeps in. In civilized nations it is now 
allowed that the very essence and refinement of governing 
is to interfere as little as possible, or not at all, with the 
liberty of the subject — not even to restrain him from doing 
evil to himself, or to compel him to do himself good, but to 
trust that to his own nature, to his surroundings, or to the 
influence of public opinion. It is only when what he does, 
causes damage or loss to his neighbour, that the law steps in, 
protects the sufi'erer, and punishes the ill-doer. In a 
homogeneous nation benefits are of a necessity reciprocal ; 
injuries equally so. 


If a man becomes rich he has more money to give away,, 
or spend, thus benefitting in a greater degree the objects of 
his charity, or those with whom he deals. If he loses his 
money he has less to spend, and those whom he has aideti, 
or those with whom he dealt, feel, in their different propor- 
tions, the injury he has suffered. To go to higher illustra- 
tions. The genius who has created a noble statue, or a 
splendid painting, receives benefit in fame and wealth ; but 
he gives to those who can appreciate his creation, and who- 
give him his money and his celebrity, that "joy for ever" 
which they receive from gazing on a "thing of beauty," — a 
magnificent work of art. An author does this in a still 
higher degree, inasmuch as a painting may be destroyed, a 
statue broken and forgotten : but a moral sentiment, a noble 
thought, has immortal life, and although the work in which 
it occurs is lost, yet it lives in the minds of the people, and 
endures for ever, fructifying and leavening " not for an age- 
but for all time." When a poor' man works for a rich one, 
the benefits are equalised. There can be no difference of 
interests in a nation like Britain, and, therefore what is good 
for one must be good for all, when we escape the snare of 
class legislation. 

Here it is not so ; for with us there is a decided antagon- 
ism. We, the dominant race, are insensibly led to feel that 
the natives ought to be our hewers of wood and drawers of 
water ; and it is in the very nature of those we have to 
govern to believe, that we have no other object in view 
than to get as much as we can out of them, and on their 
part to evade, in every possible way, giving any return for 
the benefits they receive from us. There is no reciprocity 
here, simply because they do not see that what we propose 
for their benefit is really so. Therefore, there must of 


necessity be class legislation; and the essence of good 
government in this Colony would be, to do good to the 
natives, and to receive in return an equivalent benefit and 
no more. 

To understand how to set about this work, then, and to 
give us the right to criticize those who are attempting it, it 
becomes necessary that we should know something of the 
laws, habits, and customs of the people amongst whom we 
dwell — something, in fact, of their character. If I know 
nothing about sugar, for instance, it would be presumptuous- 
in me to say So-and-so was a bad buyer ; and if, repeating 
only what I was told, I should first find out whether my 
informant was himself qualified to judge. And if I knew 
nothing about the qualities and requirements of a coff'ee-tree, 
I should not be surprised if I got a bad crop. Therefore, if 
I am equally ignorant of the people who serve me, it would 
be more just to say, not that they are bad servants, but that 
I did not know how to manage them. Again, if I had bad 
land, and could get no other, I should have to be content 
with the crops it gave me ; but if I thoroughly understood 
its capabilities, I should not blame myself or the land, because 
the returns were disappointing, but should try and improve 
it. So with Kaffirs. You must rest content with what you 
can get from them ; but to know what that is, you must 
first know them. When you have acquired that desideratum, 
you may the more easily improve their working i:>owers, 
their honesty and civility. 

Marriage Customs. 

I will endeavour to-night to impart to you a portion of 
the little I have learned, during my rather intimate and 


extensive intercourse with them, about the natives witli 
whom we daily mix, with the hope that it may be of interest 
to you as members of this Association, as masters and 
mistresses of househohls and plantations, and as British 
l^eople who hold in their hands the destinies of the savag(^ 
nations of South Africa. 

I think I may reasonably begin my endeavour to delineate 
their manners, temperament, and customs, at those connected 
with marriage, as it is a good starting point for an exposi- 
tion of Kaffir character. 

It is a mistake to imagine that a girl is sold by her father 
in the same manner, and with the same authority, with 
which he would dispose of a cow. There may be a few 
instances of such things being done, but they are the excep- 
tion, not the rule. Amongst people of high rank it is not 
etiquette for the girl to choose her husband. She will take 
a pride in saying that such as she has no choice; and that 
she is of sufficient position to be compelled to go where the 
chief or the King sends her. Amongst the middle class the 
young men have always their sweethearts, whom they know 
will marry them immediately they are in a position to claim 
the fulfilment of their promise. They are, as a rule, faithful 
to them; and if any other richer suitor send a couple of 
friends, with one or two young heifers, to the father, to 
" T'libula" (i.e., " shoot the daughter"), if she refuses, they 
are quietly sent back. Perhaps a more literal translation of 
this phrase ivould be " hit her hard," as the interpretation 
^' shoot" has only been applicable since their knowledge of 
fire-arms. The word is here used in a joking sense. The 
heifer is the " arles-penny," which, if accepted, clinches the 
bargain — ergo, he has shot, winged, crippled her, so that she 
can't get away from him. I know of many men, with plenty 


of cattle, who arc obliged to remain bachelors because tluy 
•<3an't get a girl to accept them. 

When the parties are agreed, great prej^arations are made. 
Both sides have new dances and songs, and it is a matter of 
•emulation as to which shall excel. The bride has always 
ready a stock of mats, spoons, dishes, &c., which she has 
been preparing; and her father gives her a blanket, and cattle 
according to his rank. But no girl ever goes to her husband 
without one beast, which is ever afterwards looked upon as 
the ox of the '^ Amadhlozi;" the loss of wdiich by death 
would be considered a token of desertion by the protecting 
spirits of her father's house; and the slaughter of which, in 
the event of any calamity such as disease or barrenness, is 
an acceptable sacrifice. 

When the eventful day has arrived, the bride and party— 
the higher the rank the more followers — set out for the 
bridegroom's kraal; wdiicli, however, they wdll not enter 
until it is night, singing and dancing as they come. Then^ 
are certain huts prepared for them, and " no one looketh 
upon their approach." If the j)air live close together, the 
party of the bride will go straight to the spot appointed for 
the ceremony. If not, it is as I have stated above. Early 
in the morning they go down to some stream, wasli and 
dress, and, about mid-day, come up and begin the dance, tlu', 
bridegroom's party looking on. When both sides havt^ 
finished, which may or may not be the first day, a beast, 
which belongs to the bride's party, is slaughtered by the 
bridegroom. At night the girl goes wandering about th(^ 
kraal, with a following of her own sex, but relations of th(; 
man's. She is crying for her father's house, where she was 
well treated. Now she is coming into a strange household, 
where she may be ill used, and has the certainty only of 


hard work and cliildbirtli. She is supposed to be trying to 
run away, and the girls to be preventing her. 

Next day the husband, his brother, sister, and friends, 
take their seats in the cattle kraal, and the second and last 
part of the ceremony, " tikuhlamhm" takes place. The bride 
comes in with her party of girls, carrying in her hand an 
assegai — which, by the way, she has carried all through. 
One girl bears a pot of water, and a calabash spoon ; another 
some beads. The bride pours some water into the spoon, as 
also some beads. Then, coming up, singing and dancing, 
she throws it over her husband. She repeats this with her 
brother and sister-in-law, striking the latter at the same time, 
as a S3anbol that she from that time takes authority over the 
girls in her husband's household. Immediately this is done 
she breaks the staff of the assegai which she has all along 
held in her hand, and makes a run for the gate of the kraal 
as a last effort to get away. If she is not stopped by ar 
young man appointed for the purjjose, it is looked upon as a 
great disgrace, and the husband has to pay a beast to get 
her back. " VhuhlamUsa " means, to give wherewithal to 
wash the hands. I think it is a symbol that on that day 
she has washed away all her old life. The marriage rites 
are then finished. No widow when re-married breaks the 
staff of the assegai. 

The principal idea in a Kaffir wedding seems to be, to show 
the great unwillingness of the girl to be transformed into a 
wife. When an English girl is married, it is incumbent 
upon herself, her bridesmaids, and all her female relatives, 
to shed tears abundantly, as if the great event of their lives 
were one of sorrow and woe ! Just so with the Kaffirs. 
The whole ceremony is based upon this assumption. A 
modest girl will omit nothing, but fight tooth and nail for 


4ill the observances. Hence most of the charges of cruelty 
we were entertained with some time ago ; and which only 
showed ignorance of the native customs. 

For some time after marriage the wife will not eat sour 
milk. She was paid for with milk-giving cattle, and she 
■could not eat her own purchase price. She would be 
"nesisila" — would have dirt, would be defiled. But after a 
time she will go home to her father's, taking the broken 
iissegai with her, and come back with a goat, a sheep, or a 
beast, according to the rank of the parties. This is 
.slaughtered, and the " isisila " — the dirt or defiling principle 
— goes off the milk into the dead animal, and henceforth 
the milk may be eaten ! In native metaphorical phrase — 
''she has cleaned her spoon." Each wife in a kraal has her 
separate hut, her independent household. 

The Training of Children. . 

It is part of Kaffir law that, if no children result from the 
union, the wife may be returned, or compensation claimed. 
The latter is often done; the former very seldom. It is 
also the case that if any of the cattle, which have been paid 
for her, die within the year, they must be replaced. This 
custom causes much litigation, as a man may, through pre- 
valence of disease or a bad locality, have to go on paying for 
years. This is also the case in bargains amongst themselves. 
If a man buys a cow from another, or gets one given him 
by his chief, and she dies, the seller or the giver has to 
replace ; but as this is no object to them, it- may be years 
before this is done. 

When a child is born, all in the kraal eat medicine, i.e., 
something to protect them from any evil influence. They 


do the same on the occasion of a death. The little one is 
for the first two or three days fed upon sour milk. It is not 
until the third day, at soonest, that it receives its natural 
sustenance. Kaffir children's training is a very hard one. 
They roll about in the sun or the rain, they scramble for 
what they get to eat, they sleej) in the huts without covering, 
and the result is that only those .of hardy constitutions sur- 
vive. I never yet, even in a single instance, inquired of an 
old Kaffir woman who had had children, but I found shcv 
had lost one or more of them in this way. 

AVhen they become a little older, say about eight or nine, 
the boys' first duty is to herd the calves ; and the girls to do- 
any little odd jobs about the kraal which their mothers may 
desire — principally fetching water — and you will see a little 
thing tottering along, not much bigger than the pot or dish 
she carries on her head. How well and gi^acefully these 
Kaffir girls and women carry burdens in that way ! I have 
seen them with a round clay pot, holding about six gallons, 
full of water ; they twist a little grass into a ring of about 
three or four inches in diameter, place that on their heads,, 
on it they place the pot, and away they go, up and down 
hill, and along broken ground; they will stop and turn, 
but never put a hand to it; and yet they never break or 
spill ! 

This I may safely say is all the training native children 
get. They learn other things, such as — the females, mats, 
dress, pot making, and hoeing ; and the boys hunting and 
cow milking — of themselves. The natives have no idea of 
" training up a child in the way he should go." If a girl or 
a boy refuses to do anything they are told, the parents simply 
say that he or she is not old enough yet ; in a few years- 
they will have grown up, and have more sense ! 

untruthfulness and laziness. 199 

The Kaffir Character. 

The natives have no idea of morahty whatever. A lie is 
useful in daily life; but they admit that it is awkward, if 
found out; if successful, it is considered rather a clever 
thing than otherwise. In trading with them, you may 
make up your mind that all they tell you is untrue, and 
act accordingly. Give no heed to their representations as 
to the age of a cow, or the value of any article. But yet, in 
" a deal," if you adhere to the truth, " it bothers them 
entirely." Your own natives, on the other hand, if they like 
you, will lie for your benefit as strongly as the opposite 
])arty against you ; and both sides think it all fair trade. 

The natives have been brought up in one fixed idea, viz.^ 
to do as little as they can for anybody. They have been 
used to work for the King and their chiefs without pay, and 
the shirking feeling has been bred in the bone; therefore, 
though we, with our notions of what work ought to be, cry 
out against the laziness of the Kaffirs, and grumble at the 
trouble they are to us, yet I do not really think that it is so 
much their fault as their breeding, which they cannot over- 
come in a day. The dislike to stead}^, constant work, is 
inherent in them. Hoeing from morning till night is 
especially irksome. For a rush of work and then a long 
interval of rest, Kaffirs are good; but for steady manual 
labour, as we understand it, they require constant super- 
vision. But, again, this supervising is a difficult matter. 
It is not easy to get the right quantity of work out of a 
native and yet have him to like you. It is not to be done 
by constant "nagging," nor yet by the solitary system, 
which I have heard has been adopted in the colony; I 
mean posting them out here and there, so that they have 


no opportunity of speaking to one another, and it is 
supposed they must therefore work; but it is only to be 
done by the constant presence of some one who can 
understand their language and their habits, who will 
neither bully nor joke with them, who knows how to put 
in a word of commendation when deserved, and, on the 
other hand, to give them a short, sharp admonition, when 
necessary, with a threat of punishment in case of repetition 
of the offence, which threat must always be carried out. It 
is a difficult matter to say what is the best form of punish- 
ment for a native, but I incline to the old plan, which I 
have heard freely described as " hitting him over the head 
with a hoe ! " If you fine him, he suffers loss, and the 
punishment rankles, and he feels as if he had been injured; 
whereas if you thrash him, after it is over he is no worse, 
but would not like to have to go through it again. If he 
is in the wrong, twenty to one he will not complain. 
Never let a woman lift her hand to a Kaffir; it is a disgrace 
to him; I say nothing of w^hat it is to her. Let her com- 
2)lain to some male relative or to a Magistrate; but — keep 
her hands off ! 

I have often heard people complain of the disobHging 
nature of the Kaffir. If you ask him to do the simplest 
thing, when he is not in your employ, the answer invariably 
is, " What will you give me V Naturally so, I think. They 
Are not our equals, neither do we live amongst them. We 
do not visit at their homes, and do them little kindnesses. 
The only relation, betwixt the generality of whites and 
blacks, is that of employer and employed. The one tries all 
he can to get as much as possible out of the other. There 
is no idea of reciprocity. I hear nothing but " tax as high 
as possible" on the one side, and "ask plenty wage" on 


the other. We never attempt to teach them in any way. 
What they learn they pick up of themselves, and they do 
not often pick up much good. We try to get at their purses 
just now, because we are poor, and they are supposed to be 
comparatively rich ; but we ought to have the manliness to 
say that it is necessity which presses us on to this course. I 
never yet heard that protection to the exile, be he white or 
black, was a thing that he must pay for in Britain, or in a 
British colony. 

It is often said that the Kaffirs are arrant thieves : well, 
perhaps they are so, in a way. That they cannot be trusted 
with anything, I don't admit. If you show a native that 
you distrust him ; if you are constantly on the watch against 
theft; if, on something being mislaid, you don't take the 
trouble to look for it, but, priding yourself on you own care 
and method, at once tax the Kaffir with having stolen it ; if 
you constantly express the opinion that your sugar is 
diminished, your wine lessened in quantity, your meal not 
so much as there was yesterday, and every day ask your 
Kaffir " Who has been at my wine, my sugar, or my meal?" 
why then you had better put everything under lock and key 
i\t once, because your native will most certainly steal some 
when he gets a chance. On the other hand, if you can raise 
■courage enough to say, " Here, Tom, see this meal, sugar, 
&c., well, mind you look after everything, as I am going 
away," I think, without doubt, your goods and chattels 
would be taken care of. Trust him, and, as a rule, he will 
be faithful; show that you distrust him, and he will give 
cause to justify the feeling. There is one thing, however, 
you may make up your mind to, and that is — there are 
few Kaffirs who will not leave the impress of two fingers 
and a thumb in the sugar-bowl ; for, like others, they have 
a sweet tooth ! 


Their moral principles are very low. A theft, a lie, or 
even a murder are all very well, providing the first two are 
not found out, and sufficient provocation is given for the last. 
The value they put upon life is so little, that the killing^ 
another is consequently not thought by them such an 
enormous crime as Avith us. If a man has given sufficient 
provocation, it is his part to see that he does not get killed 
for it. 

The natives are not bound by their law to give up any- 
thing they may have found, which has been lost by some 
one else. Tlie loser should have taken better care of his. 
property, is their moral theory. 

I have heard also of their cruelty. Yes, they are cruel^ 
as we look upon it, but, like the dogs in Watts' hymns, 
"it is their nature to." We ought to try and teach them 
better, instead of vilifying them for wliat they cannot help 
— or, rather, for what they do not see the wickedness of. 
We might as well censure the alligator, for stowing away 
the man he has drowned, in his larder in the reeds, until 
he becomes properly tender, and then eating him. We 
shudder at the cruelty of the death, but we do not blame 
the reptile's modus operandi. 

Again, I may refer to the many scenes of confusion and 
I'ecrimination between the Kaffir and his master, which arise 
from a want of knowledge of the language ; and I cannot 
give a better example of what I mean than the word with 
which a native often prefaces a speech wherein he has to- 
express a difference of opinion. " Amanga " literally means 
"lies;" but, idiomatically, it is the most polite form of 
contradiction. It is equivalent to our " I beg your pardon, 
I must differ from you." How often liave I heard a white 
man say, speaking of some conversation with a native,. 


*' Why, the first word the so-and-so fellow said, was that I 
lied. Didn't I warm him 1 He won't do that again." No, 
I should think not. You may take it for granted that a 
Kaffir will never be deliberately insolent without cause. If 
you speak to him properly he will answer you so, but if you 
liabitually speak harshly, and in an angry voice, you will 
"raise his corruption," and get insolence in return. People 
speak of Kaffirs being so far below whites, while they act as 
if they considered them of a higher nature; for, if Englishmen 
were sjioken to in the way that many masters and whites- 
generally speak to natives, it strikes me there would be a 
breach of the peace in a very short time ; but then they are 
only " adjectived niggers !" 

Every employer of Kaffir labour ought either to study, or 
have some one about him who has studied the customs, 
feelings, and nature of the natives. He would then know 
what to expect from them, and never be disappointed; 
because, on that knowledge he would base his calcultions, 
:ind his conduct to them. 

I say that the Kaffirs are — when you know them and they 
know you — notwithstanding all their shortcomings, a kindly, 
hospitable race ; and in time, with good management, good 
training, and good treatment, will become good subjects, 
iiood workers, and faithful friends. 

Kaffir Etiquette. 

Their forms of politeness are very strictly adhered to, and 
are many. When a stranger arrives at a kraal, he will most 
likely — if in the daytime — find the owner sitting out by the 
gate, and he will hdeJca (salute) ; he will say wngane (literally 
" friend"), but it is a respectful salutation. If he is his. 


superior he will place his assegais at a little distance, advance, 
and sit down, saying nothing until he is saluted in turn. 
Presently the head man will say — Saka bona, abbreviation 
of ge sa u gu hona (literally, "I will see you," equivalent to 
our "good morning !"), and all round, one by one, will give 
him the same greeting. He will answer to each one separa- 
tely — Yeho (yes, I agree) ; after that, conversation may go 
on. If the owner is not at the gate, but in his hut, even 
although the visitor did not come to him, yet he will not 
leave without going up to salute him, as it might be said 
that he was sneaking about the kraal. If it is his chief, or 
any other chief's kraal, he will find the captain or head man 
under the chief, and after saying ^'umgane" to him, will ex- 
press his wish to see the great man, or explain his business. 
The captain then takes him up, and he " kukkas," giving the 
chief his proper title, such as '^ Zungu" for the head of this 
tribe, or " Ubtelesi" for the head of that one (he is the Zungu 
or the Ubttetesi, just as a Highland chief was the Macnab or 
the Macpherson), accompanied most likely by Baba (father) 
and a portion of his "isibongo," or name of thanks. If he is 
of sufficient consequence, the chief will salute him in return, 
-and ask what has brought him there ; if not he will sit out- 
side the hut, nothing being said to him, until he sees an 
opening, when he will begin his business. I should like to 
explain the *^ Islbongo," or name of thanks. It is a very 
curious custom. When a Chief or the King gives a man 
anything, or agrees that he shall do something that he wished 
to do, he thanks him. He will go outside, and walk up and 
down for perhaps ten minutes, shouting out all the praise he 
•can think of. This '' Isibongo" is taken from some trait or 
traits in a man's character, from his bravery, his strength, or 
his comeliness. For instance, I can quote a j)ortion of one 


— " You who stick a man running." [The word used is 
" hlaba" which means to throw the assegai into anytliing, in 
contradistinction to " gicaza," holding it in your hand and 
stabbing with it.] This does not sound Hke any very high 
praise, but the interpretation of it is that he is very liberal — 
that a man has not to stand and ask, but that, even as he 
runs past, he will throw him something of his own accord. 
AYhen the native is brought into the presence of the King 
the same ceremony is gone through. He gives him all his, 
titles, and sits down outside the hut. It is not etiquette for 
an inferior to stand in the presence of a superior. He must 
squat down. They reverse our idea. They say, " Is he to- 
overshadow the chief?" When he takes his leave of any 
one he has been visiting, he says " a usalehe" or " ealcake" 
literally "please remain and build;" but, inferentially, it 
means " remain healthy and well, extend your kraal, may 
you become great." A curious piece of thanks from a native 
is, when he tells his superior to ^^iimana" literally stand 
still, or stand up, but it means that he hopes he will take 
root and grow, and always be in a position to give him pre- 
sents or protect him as he has done that day. The Kaffir's 
idea is, that those of high rank are the dispensers of bounty 
to those of lower position, for which the latter render them 
service. It is exactly our "work and wages" under another 
name. The chief is only supposed to give, not to pay, yet 
by custom, he is bound to do it. 

It is not etiquette to give you beer, without first tasting it. 
I have heard many whites say, " Bother them, putting their 
dirty mouths into the pot;" but I think it a loyal custom,, 
similar to the office of " taster" in the old feudal times; and 
it is meant to insure you against there being " death in the 
pot." While any one is eating, you must not spit, but you 


may blow your nose as much as you like; and there are no 
handkerchiefs amongst the Zulus ! 

To the King, or to his sons and daughters, the cook will 
never say that the meat, which he had cut up for him to 
roast, is all done. That would be a great breach of etiquette, 
<ind he would be asked " Are the King's cattle, then, all 
done?" He will say, " I am tired," or '' I won't roast any 
more." With few exceptions, everything that is unpdite 
amongst us, is so amongst them. There are gentlemen and 
snobs amongst all nations; and to speak to a well-born, 
<;entlemanly Kaffir, who has reason to respect and like you, 
is really a pleasure. 

There is wit and fun amongst the natives, too, though I 
am. afraid you will have to take my word for that. Being 
•on Kaffir subjects, it would take too long to translate, so 
that you should understand. I will mention two instances, 
however. A hunter was boasting of what he had done 
4igainst the buffalo, with his assegai, before he got his gun. 
He spoke of two or three doughty deeds, and at last said, 
■" Go to such-and such a kraal and ask who it was that took 
the buffalo's eye out with his assegai." Of course, the 
answer to that was inferred. One of his hearers who had 
been staring at him, open-mouthed, said, " Was he coming 
■at you, then?" " Look at this fellow!" said he, addressing 
the audience; then, turning, said, "Are the buffalo's eyes 
heliind then?" Another: — In the roads we go in the Zulu 
Country, the waggon often sticks fast, and when that happens 
you naturally bully your driver, though very likely it is not 
his fault. The other day my old driver was on the Berea, 
and I pointed out to him the sea, on which I was soon to be 
journeying, saying, " That is my road now, Klaas." " Ah I" 
he said, " take care you don't stick fast there too." The 


joke was, that the ship might get into a hole, and require a 
lot of pulHng to get it out, like the waggon. 

There is poetry in their natures. Many expressions of 
theirs have struck me, and I will quote two or three of them 
to prove what I say. A man was boasting to another that 
he never had had a day's illness in his life. "Ah!" said his 
friend, " the spirit of your father has been watching over 
you so far; but, when he turns about, he will beckon you 
to follow!" A girl sings a song, the burden of which is, 
" You have put a heavy burden upon my shoulders — a 
greater one than I can bear." The burden is envy — envy 
that they should have sweethearts and she should have 
none ! The stars they call "the children of the sky, born 
by her to her husband the sun!" Am I not right when I 
say there is poetry among them^ 

Kaffir Cosmogony. 

There are many other matters of interest in Kaffir 
character, laws, and customs, but they must, if worth while, 
wait for another day. Meantime I have given you so much 
which is dry and hard of digestion, that I think I had 
better end with something lighter in the shape of a Kaffir 
tradition as to the origin of men and animals, and the habit 
of eating, and how people came to be born and to die. It 
appears that first of all there was one UmveV nqanU, which, 
being interpreted, means "the one who first made his 
appearance." It is said that he came out of the Ulilanga, 
which is literally "reed;" but it is understood as a custom, 
or the origin, time of origin, or place of origin of all things ; 
as in the case when Inhosi Uhlanga is spoken of, it means 
that he is the representative of a line of kings from the 


beginning. This UmveVnqank% after coming on the scene- 
himself, brought out — whether he made them or not is not 
stated — men, women, animals, corn, and all the fruits of the= 
earth. At first, and for a time, it is related that black 
humanity lived without eating or drinking, without multi- 
plying or dying. Corn and pumpkins grew and reproduced 
their crops, without tending by man. The people saw them 
growing in large gardens, but did not know that they were- 
eatable. Feeling no hunger they never attempted to use- 
them as food. Cattle, sheep, and goats roamed wild, with 
all other beasts of the field ; no man tended, no man paid 
any heed to them. People lived happily, without wants, 
and never died. This innocent and unsophisticated state of 
affairs went on for a long time, but how long is not stated. 
All were happy and without fear of anything. At last,, 
however, to the great consternation and dismay of every 
one, there appeared upon the scene a little baby ! This was 
something out of their experience. While ill in her house, 
the mother of the child complained of a curious feeling, a. 
gnaAving pain in her stomach which she had not felt before. 
Those around knew not what to do, but at last another 
Avoman said, " I will give her some of that stuff growing out 
there," meaning corn and pumpkins. This she did with the 
idea that she would kill her, because of this strange thing 
that had happened. She did give her food, and, after a 
while, the sick woman, instead of dying began to grow well, 
and even fat ; then the people first learned that food was- 
good, and they ate of it. After a while they found, or killed 
(I am not sure which) some beef This they also found was 
good to eat, and so they set to work, to try and bring the- 
beasts of the field into subjection at their kraals. The 
buffaloes and all wild animals, however, were too many for 


them, and remain in the bush to this clay. Cattle, sheep, 
and goats alone, allowed themselves to be driven and herded. 

I am aware that what I have written is rather confused, 
as far as regards my first having said, that the people never 
die, and then tliat tlie woman gave the other food with the 
idea that she wouhl kill her. But I must tell the story as it 
^vas told to me. And, again, I know how greatly it would 
add to the interest of this tradition if I could say the popular 
belief is tliat it was in consequence of UrmeVnqanMs anger 
at the child-bearing and food-eating that the following 
messages were sent. But there seems to be great uncertainty 
on this point. The only portion firmly rooted is what I 
liave related, and what follows: — 

AVhen UmveVnqankl had finished his work, and saw that 
it was good, he sent two messages : one by the " Entulo" or 
little stone-lizard often seen — some blue and some flame- 
coloured; and one by the " Unwaho" or chameleon. The 
first message was by the latter, and its purport was that the 
j)eople should not die but live for ever, or, as some say, that 
''they should die, but rise again!" The ^^ Entulo" he sent 
afterwards to tell them that " they should die and never rise 
again !" The chameleon started, but loitered by the way, 
eating a little purple berry (uhktvehesane), and the " Entulo" 
who came on behind, passed him and delivered his message. 
When the chameleon came with his, the people, not knowing 
liow sore death was, refused to listen to him, saying they 
had accepted the word brought by the " Entulo" And it 
so happened, through the slowness of the chameleon, and 
the alacrity of the lizard, that death came to all men! 
There is a great deal in this Zulu tradition, that is like, 
and yet unlike, our Bible history of the Creation and Fall 
of Man. 



(Xatal Colonist, ■27th April, 1875.) 

Our readers will remember an interesting discussion in our 
columns in the year 1871 upon a question of no small im- 
portance to missionaries, and all who take an interest in the 
adequate rendering into Zulu, of a word of no less moment 
than is the word "Life." The discussion was joined in by the 
Bishop of Natal, the Rev. H. Callaway, M.D. (now Bishop 
of St. John's, Kaifraria), the Hon. Mr Shepstone, Secretary 
for Native Affairs, the Rev. Mr Dohne, and others, including 
the late Mr David Leslie, who in his boyhood had acquired 
an intimate knowledge of tlie native language and habits of 
thought, and was therefore by no means the least competent 
of those who took part in the discussion to throw light upon 
the question at issue. At our request Mr Leslie, then about 
to return to the Zulu and Amatonga Countries, undertook 
to make further enquiries for us, and embodied the results 
in a letter which circumstances have hitherto prevented our 
publishing. It is now proposed by his uncle, Mr R. M'Tear, 
to issue a volume of the more interesting of the Literary 
Remains of our deceased fellow-colonist, and we propose 
therefore now to give to the public the letter in question, 
and to follow it up by one or two other papers prepared for 
us by Mr Leslie shortly before he left Natal. The following 
paper on Ubomi, far removed as it may seem from matters 
of daily concern, will yet be found to contain much that will 
be of interest to philologists, and something, too, to interest 


tlie ordinary reader who lias any curiosity as to the habits 
of life and modes of thought of his fellow-men, even of low 
stages of civilization. 

Among the papers, with which we propose to follow this 
up, will be some further remarks on the custom of uhu 


"UsuTU, July 29, 1871. 

" Dear Mr Sanderson, — As you wished, I have made 
many enquiries here into the Tonga idea of ' ubomi,' and of 
the word for ' Life.' The Zulu I knew pretty well before, 
but I have gone further into that too, with Zulus I have 
with me. I find that Tonga and Zulu agree. There is not 
much difference in their language except in pronunciation; 
certainly that is very different indeed, and renders them 
unintelhgible for a while to one who only knows Zulu. 

" I have read the letters of the Bishop, Mr Shepstone, Dr 
Callaway, and Mr Dohne, and regret that on some points, 
(speaking of course of the Zulu and Tonga), I must differ 
from them all. I shall not answer the various points they 
raise, as it would take me too long; but simply give you the 
result of my enquiries; tell you what I know, and my reasons 
for coming to the conclusions I do ; and then leave you to 
draw yours. 

" The word ' uhomV is taken from the verb ' oraa' (to 
dry), and means that a thing ' has dryness.' In its peculiar 
signification it is derived and applied as follows i^They 
say of a rich man or a chief that he has ' eaten uhonil,' 
because he has killed so much meat, that it has dried up 
and got maggots in it, while hanging in the hut. He. 
cannot eat it fast enough. Thus it has come (long befort^ 

212 ZULU WORD roil LIFE. 

Chaka's time) to signify 'haj^piness/ as a Kaffir understands 
tlie meaning of the term; — 'plenty of meat, beer, and 

"They use it in both ways. Simply for maggoty meat, 
they would say ^Le n'lmna i no homi;' but when speaking of 
a man, they would put it differently (for a reason I will give 
presently) : — ' That man is a king,' ' udJde uhomi,' ' he eats 
maggoty meat' — idiomatically, ' he is happy,' or perhaps 
more strictly, ' he has all the elements of hapj^iness.' 

" I have never heard the phrase 'unoho^nV used in speak- 
ing of a man (though of course it may be so amongst tribes 
with which I am unacquainted), and I think it is not so used, 
in the Zulu or Tonga countries, for the following reasons : 
because the natives tell me it is not so; because I have never 
heard it (you know they have been my constant and only 
companions for nearly five years, and I have always taken a 
great interest in their language and customs) ; and because 
of the derivation of the Avord. When a man has just died 
and anyone asks 'Is he deadf the answer would very likely 
be ' Oiv, u si omile.' In telling another of a hunt, a native 
would say 'The white man fired and the buff'alo disappeared 
behind a bush — I ran round to see the result; I found it 
long dried up' (na funiana hate i si omile). It is, if I may 
use such a Hibernicism in terms, the superlative of dead, 
but is only used immediately after death, as much as to say 

* there is no chance for him now.' 

" I have never heard, nor can I find on enquiry, that 

* ubomi' has ever taken any other idiomatical meaning than 
' happiness' as explained above, but I do find, and I think 
so myself, that to say of a man — a sick man, for instance, 
who was supposed to be dead — ^tinobomi,' would — though 
not good Zulu or Tonga, as spoken in their countries — be 


nearer akin to confirming his death, than affirming that he 
was aUve. This is the reason I promised, a few lines back, 
to explain why they always say, in speaking of a man, 
' udhle uhomV and not ' unohoml.' 

"Dr Callaway speaks of the Zulus Illonipa-ing the mag- 
gots in the meat given them by Chaka, taken from the 
■cattle killed as a ' peculiar sacrifice,' ' Esitmzimu,' as much as 
to say ' the cattle of Umzimu.' Xow ' Umzimib ' is derived 
from ' enzima" which has another signification than the 
<'ommon one of heavj/. It means, when applied to a man, 
^ exactly Avhat we express in our phrase ' he carries weight 
Avitli him.' ^'Umzimu' are nothing more than the Amahlose 
of Chaka, Dingaan or Enzenzengakona, or any of the King's 
^mcestors — 'Amahlose, who carry weight with them.' It is, 
2)erhaps, not generally known that the natives do not con- 
sider the visible part of their chiefs' Amahlose, i.e., the 
snake — the equal of that of common people. The Ehlose 
of Chaka and other dead kings is the Boa-constrictor, or 
the large and deadly black Mamba, whichever the doctors 
<lecide. Tliat of dead Queens is the tree Iguana. To 
return : — the King eats certain portions of these cattle, but 
tlie principal portion is cooked, and given to the Amabutu 
(soldiers), who, before receiving it, te ta, i.e., petition for 
health and success, with the slow and solemn dirge of the 
'Bau Oh ' 

"I don't think the Zulus Illompa-ed the maggots in 
Chaka's meat, but he had so much of it that I daresay some 
got maggoty, and when one said ' izlmpetu,' another would 
*say 'no, this is ^'uhoml'" — happiness, or, as they would 
<3xplain, if asked for a definition, ' git husa.^ (Bitsa is used 
for fjoverning, but literally it means to be made hap)p)y, as 
Uihoml' is the abstract quality of happiness — idiomatically.) 


This is a matter of court etiquette, not of Hlonipa. Even 
now in the Zuhi, no man will say of maggoty meat given 
him by a superior in rank, ' enezim^ehi,' but 'ino uhomV At 
all events, I have told you what I have learned. 

"Xow for the word 'Life,' and first for the 'physical life 
of men and animals.' 

" As to the abstract thing — the principle of life implanted 
in us by our Creator — I don't think they have a word which 
expresses it ; therefore translators would have to make one ; 
perhaps take a compound one or a phrase. In that case, 
they would, no doubt, take a word or phrase the nearest to it. 
The natives say that every thing alive is only so by reason 
of its heart. ' Zi hainba nrje enhledo' or ' abanhi ha hamba 
nge enhlezioJ In speaking of a man's lifetime, they say ' nxa 
gu sa hamba! (while he is going dy alive). If a man is very 
ill, and at last thought to be dead, a doctor will come and 
say ' Qu, enhhzio ikona ' (no, the heart or life is in him), and 
this without reference to feeling the beatings of the organ. 
Therefore, I think if ' life ' was translated ' enJdezio u gu 
liamUsa 'bantu' (or ^muntu'), it would be peculiarly applicable, 
and very little explanation would be needed to enable the 
natives to understand what was meant. I think it will be 
some time before 'ubomi' is naturalized, amongst the Zulu 
and Tonga generally, as expressing ' life." 

" The expression which has been quoted — 'God is life' — is 
a much more difficult one to deal with, and leads us into a 
wider range. I have not the slightest pretensions to be a 
theologian, but I take this to be a figurative promise that 
God is life — to men, to those who believe in him, is the 
giver of immortal life — altogether a different thing to the 
other 'life' I have just been writing of To a Kaffir who 
has no idea of life after death, beyond his crude ideas about 


the Amalilose, who has no religion whatever, the words 
quoted above are an utter blank as to any meaning ; so here 
again w^e have to find others Avhich will require as little ex- 
planation as possible. It may be said that if ' uhomV signifies 
happiness, what better happiness can we have than immortal 
life % and that, therefore, it is peculiarly fitted to express the 
meaning of the words above. If ^'udle' or ^ehla' could be 
fitted to it in the translation, it could be done, but '2ibomV 
by itself is only 'worms' — it is by the addition of '2idle' 
or ^ehla,' 'eating the worms' — that the idea of happiness is 
attained. Then again, even if that is done, it would only 
express to the Kafiir mind the sensual happiness of good 
living — the very thing the missionaries wish to prevent. 
And if they went on to explain in what, to Christians, the 
hajDpiness of that better life consists, there would most likely 
be a general scattering of the congregation, utterly ignoring 
that definition of happiness, or eating uhomi. 

" What I have now to say, I say with all respect to the 
men who have devoted their lives to teaching the heathen, 
and with due diffidence, as to my own knowledge of the 
subject, but you have asked me to tell you all I know and 
therefore I do it. 

" When I speak with the Kaffirs on these subjects — (we 
I tften have arguments) — I say, * No, you are not quite correct 
when you say that we don't believe in Ehlose. You are like 
a man who is still travelling in Zulu, but has lost the path 
to the kraal he is bound for. We diff'er with you greatly ; 
inasmuch as we say that there is only one Ehlose, the Creator 
of all things, who was, and is, and ever will be ; whereas 
your Amahlose are only a remembrance of men who have 
been overpowered by death. You look to them for every- 
thing, you say you only hold your life by their permission 


— if they could not live themselves, what power have they 
gained by dying?' It is needless to go further. You will 
understand what I mean when I say, that if 'God is life' 
were translated 'God is the only Ehlose,' a Kaffir would 
very easily be made to understand what was meant. It 
may be said that the natives would say, ' Oh ! then you 
believe in the Amahlose too V Well, perhaps they might ; 
still, I think, that would give the apostle (which a mis- 
sionary is sujiposed to be) a natural opportunity of speak- 
ing to them of that which he most desires to speak, — their 
creation, their life, their death, and their hereafter. 

" There is another form the natives use in speaking of a 
man's life or death. One man will ask another from a 
distant part, of the ^ nkona' so-and-so? The answer will be 
^iikona' or ' gaseho' — he is, or he is not — he is alive, or he is 
dead. Therefore, if in using the phrase ' God is life,' it is 
meant that animal life only exists by the pleasure of God, 
then it might be translated ' a hanki ha Jcona lujo Titxo.' 

" Yours very truly, 

" David Leslie." 

" P.S. — I have come across a little piece of etymology, 
which, I think, may interest you. You, no doubt, as well as 
myself, have seen a portion of the country on the other side 
of the Zambezi (I am not sure which), marked as inhabited 
by ' Landines.' The meaning of the word never struck me 
till the other day, when I heard one native address the other 
as ^ IlandV I have often been told that the 'Landines' 
were Zulus, and ' Ilandi' is a thoroughly Zulu word, and, to 
my mind, affords a curious circumstantial j^roof, of the migra- 
tion of the southern natives from the north. Ingenious 


evidence of tins kind is often wrong, but you may take it 
for Avliat it is worth. The verb ' landa' means to follow, or 
to go for anything, e.g., ' UmlandenV — 'follow him.' ' Landa 
enduku amV — ' go and bring my stick.' * Amalandi,' there- 
fore, means 'followers.' The natives, in their southern pro- 
gress, no doubt separated at the Zambezi, some remaining 
behind. The aborigines would ask those that were left, 
'When are you going after your brethren?' The answer 
would be, ' Zi za u ha landa' — ' we will follow them,' and so 
they came to be called 'Amalandi,' the followers! I need 
scarcely say that ' Landines' is only a mispronunciation, and 
consequent mis-spelling of the word ' Ilandi.' 

" Again, curious mistakes are often made regarding the 
names of places. It is well that these should be corrected, 
as otherwise original native names will be corruj)ted into 
something without sense. For instance, the custom is to 
speak of the Maputa Eiver. Now, the name of the river 
is the ' UsutUj' and that has a meaning. It is taken from 
the word ^stita/ meaning to be full-of-food, and is applied 
because they say 'iisuht 'I minia manzi,' 'The Usutu which 
swallows all the water.' Nozingli's country is the country 
of ^Makidtu,' who was the King who founded the king- 
dom, or as the natives will express it ^tva 'I ])e7nha le liswe.' 
'Pemba' is to 'kindle a fire.' We are accustomed to speak 
of the island of Inyack which has no meaning whatever. 
The true name is ^Unyaka' — ' the year,' but why that name 
has been ffiven to it I don't know." 



(Extract from a Private Letter to a Gentleman in Glasgow— 
in Glasgow IIkkald). 

How I wish you could be taken up and set down here, at 
this present moment, ;per special haloon, or other Asmodeusian 
conveyance. I am writing at 10 o'clock at night, and my 
ears are assailed by the Kaffirs singing, by all the world like 
a chorus of porkers — the old ones grunting, and the young 
ones squeaking — they would damage your tympanum "in less 
than no time." You look in at the door of their bee-hive- 
looking hut, and you see them hard at work, persjnring at 
the music — some singing the words of the song, the others 
shouting, screaming, whistling, and making other unearthly 
noises — but all done in the most perfect time (indeed, they 
are a lesson, in this respect, to some of your precentors at 
home), and all this seen by the uncertain light of the fire, 
which, fitfully gleaming on their dark and excited faces and 

figures, makes them look like a parcel of , and gives you 

a sort of phantasmagoric vidimus of pandemonium ! You 
look out of our back door at the Berea, and you see hills and 
mountains, bush and plain, river and lake; with the know- 
ledge that the one is the habitat of tigers, wolves, and other 
ferce naturae, and the other of alligators and hipjjoi^otami. 
You' look out of our front door, and you see the town of 
D'Urban, and the magnificent bay of Natal, with the outer 
anchorage in the Indian Ocean — forming the most glorious 
2)anorama it is possible to imagine. 


By the bye, I had almost forgotten to tell you of my 
tiger adventure. One night lately a tiger came to our 
]ieighbour's, and walked off with a goat, into the bush 
behind our house, but it did not quite finish it that 
night. Mr F. set a gun for it, and next night the tiger 
returned for his supper, when pop went the gun, and broke 
his shoulder. Both Mr F. and I, hearing the gun go off, 
resolved to make "a voyage of discovery" into the bush, 
which is very dense here, to see the effect; and getting two 
Kaffirs and a lantern, and being armed with a double-barrelled 
gun (one barrel only being loaded with buck-shot), away we 
went in Indian file, and frequently on hands and knees; one 
Kaffir leading with the lantern, I next with the gun, Mr F. 
1)ehind me, and the other Kaffir bringing up the rear. 
AVhen we got to the spot, the Kaffir in front with the lantern 
suddenly drew back, and cried, " There he is ! There's the 
tiger !" I was bhnded with the glare of the lantern and 
could not see distinctly; but Mr F. looking over my shoulder, 
-aid, "I see him — I see him. Give me the gun, and I'll 
>lioot him in the head !" I gave him the gim, but, instead 
of damaging his os frontis, he hit him on "the head's 
(ndqjodes," "and the consekens of the manoeuvre," as old 
Tony Weller says, was that the beast got up with a roai\ 
A\'hich made the Kaffir in front beat a precipitate retreat, in 
doing which he knocked me over, dropped the lantern, and 
the light went out. I lost my helmet, Mr F. his cap, and 
tlie Kaffir the lantern; and having a wholesome dread of 
losing something more mhiahle than either, we didn't lose a 
moment, I can assure you, in getting out of the bush, and 
the difficulty, at the same time. Fortunately the tiger didn't 
follow us, as I suspect he was stunned with the shot, 
otherwise I am afraid it would have been a rather awkward 


job. Next iiioriiing three of us, with a whole lot of Kaffirs, 
went down to find him, and directly he saw us he bolted. 
I fired at him, but my gun snapped ; he then turned — " his 
soul in arms, and eager for the fray," open-mouthed, and 
roaring terribly. Mr F.'s gun snapped also ; but luckily Mr 
P.'s went off, and just grazed his cheek as he was leaping 
the fence at us. The Kaffirs ran "like winking;" indeed 
we never saw more than two out of the thirty after that. I 
put i30wder in the nipple of my gun and a fresh caj) ; and 
going up, caught sight of the tips of his ears ; directly lie 
.saw me, he crouched for the spring. I took a sight at the 
top of his head, and, with a steady aim, fired, and shot him 
dead as he was sjDringing over the fence. Although I killed 
him, the skin belongs to Mr F., as hunter's law here is that 
he who gives the animal the first wound, however slight, 
gets him, Avhoever may kill him. 


AYhen I was a boy I used to make great friends with our 
watch-dog, "Rover." After reading "The Tales of the 
Borders," " The Lay of the Last Minstrel," or " The Seven 
(Jhampions of Christendom," I would go out, and with him 
rehearse the different "passages of arms." Rover, I think, 
understood the matter quite as well as I did, and enjoyed it 
as much in his own way. The usual proceeding was some- 
what as follows : — After, in fancy, driving the enemy's 
cattle, I would make a stand at the Border, mount my 
horse, Rover, and shout, in the most approved manner, 
opprobrious chivalric language to my pursuers. Armed 
with a pitchfork, I would charge to meet them, and the 
result was a general capsize by the bringing uj) of Rover's 
tether; then he, erst my horse, now my foe, towsled me 
most unmercifully. As gallant knight should do, however, 
I regained my feet and drove my enemy to his cas-kennel. 

In those merry days, when everything glittered in the 
light of romance, when the hardships and discomforts, which 
the Knights and Raiders must have endured, were unknown 
or unthought of, how little did I think that I should one 
day, in an opposite quarter of the globe, be engaged in a 
veritable Border Raid. If chronicled by Froissart or Blind 
Harry, and the time removed a few centuries back, I have 
no doubt it would read as well as the usual specimens of this 
kind of romance. But now-a-days, in matters like this, there 
is little of the "Away false traitor !" style of conversation, 


and more of the "You, be d d." Thus it is difficult to 

make it wear a romantic appearance. 

As a specimen of " Wild Life," however, of an existence 
where your hands have to guard your head, Avhere you have 
to be your own law-maker and law-enforcer, I hope it may 
be interesting. Fortunately, at home in England this stat*^ 
of affairs is unknown; but, on the other hand, fortunately, I 
think, for our youth and enterprise, there are countries where 
Anglo-Saxons may learn the lessons of self-dependence, and 
receive the physical training which fits them for their posi- 
tion, as natives of a country, whose Empire is so extended 
and of such variety. 

I had been hunting with a friend, D , about the Eiver 

Pongolo, which is at the northern end of the Zulu country, 
in Eastern Africa. I had with me about fifty Kaffir hunters, 
and the extent of territory we ranged over was very con- 
siderable. AYe were pretty close to the so-called Transvaal 
Republic (a small Dutch Boer State, which the British have 
allowed to establish itself in the interior), and part of the 
district — say about as large as a good sized English county 
— was claimed by a Boer, as having been given him by the 
Swazi King — a tributary to the Zulu power. This man 
was a Pariah amongst his o^vn people, and one who carried 

*' The good old rule, the shuple plan, 
That he shall take who has the power, 
And he shall keep who can." 

I had frequently been warned by the natives that he would 
give me trouble, either by shooting or robbing my hunters. 
However, as two could play at that game, I was not particularly 
troubled. The way we managed was this : — My friend and 
I pitched our headquarters in some spot tolerably accessible 


to waggons, and from there the hunters radiated, bringing 
back their hides, horns, and ivory as they had collected 
sufficient, or as their ammunition gave out. We all of us 
lived upon meat and pure water, and took plenty of exercise 
for vegetables. Some of the men would be 30 or 40 miles 
away ; but, as I had possession of the country by mandate 
from the Zulu King, I had no lack of natives to carry the 
spoils any distance. Generally there were four or five 
hundred hanging about for the sake of the meat. 

One evening, after the fatigues of the day, my friend and 
I were lying under the trees, by the fire, listening to the 
songs of the natives, and watching the re-acting of the 
cxjDloits of the day, when two of my hunters made their 
appearance in sorry plight. They were unarmed — " like 
women" — and altogether looked very miserable. After a 
great deal of difficulty we managed to get a coherent story 
out of them, something as follows: — It appeared that they 
had met this famous and dreaded Boer, who had, at first, 
been very kind and chatty with them. They had sat down 
together — ^they and the Boer, two of his sons and his son-in- 
law. They had fed and smoked together, and, while in the 
full swing of confidence and friendship, he requested them 
to show him their guns. This they unhesitatingly did, and 
then he immediately ordered them to begone; beating them 
severely when they lingered about. They came away at 
length, infonning him that they would go and tell their 
master, and he replied that their master and the King at 
his back — i.e. of the Zulu — might come and — behave our- 
selves in a way we were not likely to do ! 

Now this would never do. I had not only lost my guns, 
but I had lieen insulted in the persons of my natives. My 
prestige Avas gone, and I was bound to recover it. Besides 


this, I must say that a somewhat savage feelmg had grown 
up within me. My " corruption" was raised at his message. 
However, for the time I simply told the men that I would 
see about it ; bullied them for being such fools, and turned 

For days after, there was great surmising amongst the 
natives as to what I would do. I kept very quiet until I 
had reported the affair to the King, who very simply told 
me that, as the Boer had begun it, I had better go and 
" Xova Xova" him, an expression meaning to mix the malt 
with the beer by grasping it with outstretched fingers, time 
after time — a very strong figure of speech ! He recommended 
me at the same time to be careful, so as not to have any 
"shooting around." "You know," said he, "that white men 
have a stupid prejudice against that sort of thing, and I don't 
want any 'talk' with the British or Transvaal Govern- 
ments." Promising to be as w\ary as possible, I went my 

About a fortnight afterwards, behold my friend and I, at 
the head of some thirty good men and true, on our way for 
a Border Eaid. We had a large retinue besides, and our 
proposed expedition made more noise in the country than 
pleased me. I was told that our friend " Koonclana" 
("Conrad" Kaffirised) was on the look-out, with all his clan 
about him, and therefore thought it better to spend a month 
in hunting, about one hundred miles from his location. I 
felt sure the natives would not tell him of my whereabouts, 
as they both hated and feared him; and thus time would 
be allowed for his fears and suspicions to die away. 

After a month's thorough good sport, we started for his 
place. As in all expeditions of that kind in that country, 
the gun was the only provider. And, as is always the case. 


being particularly hungry, we could shoot no game. On the 
third day we arrived at a Zulu village, within about 20 miles 
of his location ; and then my friend and I got a good feed 
of milk and Indian corn, though my poor fellows had 
nothing. " Never mind," said they, " we shall get plenty 
to-morrow. Eat, master; if you are satisfied, we are full!" 
Next day, before sunrise, we were off in light marching 
order. On arriving at Conrad's house, we found that there 
was no way of surj^rising him. There was no bush about. 
All was open round the house, and I felt sure that, if we 
were seen, the enemy would retreat to the house and stand 
a siege. We did not know how many they were ; and we 
knew that there were more of his people within a short 
distance, so that we had no time to spare. Remembering 
my injunctions, to have no bloodshed, I was in a dilemma, 
but, at last, my hunters came forward, and we circumvented 
the rascal. 

They proposed that we whites, with the most of the men, 
should remain on the hill where we were, and that eight or 
ten of them should lay aside their guns and bandoliers, and, 
appearing as Zulus simply, should go down to him, as a jjarty 
in pursuit of a runaway girl of their own tribe. So said, so 
done, and away went my forlorn hope, trusting principally 
in their own pluck, but also trusting to the effect of the 
surprise. I gave them strict orders to come back if they 
found their scheme impracticable without danger ; in no case 
to lay a finger upon the women and children, and to be 
careful that they did not hurt the men. All this I was most 
anxious about, since, although good and brave men, they 
were but savages after all. I must do them the justice to 
say, however, that in the very heat of triumph — resistance 
there was none — they remembered and obeyed my orders. 



They went down and acted their part to a miracle. The 
Boer was mending a gun just inside his own door. One of 
his sons lounging about ; the others were away. Little by 
little some of my fellows edged in, crying to one another to 
come and see how guns were made, others disposed them- 
selves about the son, and, at a given signal, seized them ; 
while one or two guarded the old woman, who, seizing a 
spade, seemed very much inclined to come to the rescue. 
T had told them to shout for me, if successful. Instead of 
that, they commenced firing off the loaded guns of the Boer's 
which were in the house. . The result of tins was, that we 
thought they had been discovered, and pelted down the hill 
as fast as we could, everybody carrying a couple of guns 
each, and expecting to meet the remains of our forces in 
full flight. 

When we arrived, we found the Boer sitting on the ground, 
tied hand and foot, but none the worse; the son held by a 
couple of my men; and the old woman dodging backwards 
and forwards with her spade. My natives were shouting, 
jumping, and dancing, in the full swing of triumph, and many 
of the people of the country, who were by this time gathered 
<ibout, looking on and enjoying the thing amazingly. 

The next thing was to get something to eat, and I must 
plead guilty to having cleared the house of whatever was 
eatable. Starv^ing men have little conscience, but we did 
him little harm in doing so, since we got scarcely anything 
but meat, and of that there was abundance in the country 
round. A jar of stuff was brought to me which I thought 
was KafRr beer, and, in the hurry, it was not till I had taken 
a good drink, that I discovered it was yeast 1 Immediately 
afterwards, I found some honey, and, not thinking of 
•consequences, I ate a quantity of that. It is scarcely 


necessary to say that I soon felt like the Yankee who took 
the component parts of a seidlitz powder in large quantities, 
and at different times ! 

Well, when we had finished recruiting famished nature, 
we addressed ourselves to the business of the day, and held 
ii palaver. I found the man as abject now, as he had been 
coarse and brutal before. His wife came with a little child 
in each hand, begging that I would leave her a couple of 
milk cows for their support. The son pleading guilty, and 
.saying that he had warned his father of the consequences, 
when he robbed and beat my natives. Altogether, I believi^ 
that I should have come away empty handed — had I not 
overheard my natives whispering, " Now he has them in his 
power, he's sure to do nothing, and we shall liaA^e had all 
this trouble for nothing." 

On this I spoke to the old lady. " My good woman, 1 
don't come here to rob you, but to teach your husband a 
lesson. He must not fancy that he can rule the roast and 
rob with impunity. I have had a great deal of trouble over 
this affair, and my people must be paid." 

I took twenty head of cattle, and one to kill. His guns 
<'ind ammunition I also took away. It would have been too 
dangei|)us to leave them. My fellows had begun the sack of 
the house, but I argued against this with the butt-end of my 
gun, and not even a spoon was taken away. We marched 
back to the Zulu kraals that night, doing a distance of 40 
miles in the day, besides the attack and capture of the Boer. 
We were met by the natives everywhere with great praises 
and rejoicings. The only dissatisfaction being thus often 
<^xpressed — " Why did you not kill the evil doer who sells 
* Tshefu' (arsenic) to people to kill one another 1" 

After eating the cow that night, we again marched 


and in three days my friend and I, with two Zuhi boys^ 
reached the waggons; the whole of the natives knocked 
up; their feet having given way. We, however, walked 
it out. At the waggons we lay on our backs for a week 
doing nothing but eating continually. There seemed to be 
a void somewhere to fill up. On the seventh day I turned 

to D , saying, " I think we had better be on the move^ 

again, I am beginning to feel a little indigestiblefied ! " 

D agreed with me, and so we went on to fresh fields^ 

and hunting-grounds new. 


(SAINT JAMES' Magazine,' February, 1874.) 

In books of travel, especially in those wliicli contain a great 
admixture of hunting adventures, the tendency is, of neces- 
sity, to glorify the author. It is not that he has that object 
in view, but that he writes of successful exploits, both in 
travel and sport, with much greater pleasure and verve, than 
he does of failure. Such books cannot help being egotistical, 
4ind it is really an excusable fault. 

Everything centres round the traveller and sportsman. It 
is with his eyes we see, it is by his ideas of things we are 
compelled to judge. We enter into his enthusiasm. We 
sympathize with his difficulties and dangers. AVe starve, 
Ave thirst, we feed and are full, with the hunter. We watch 
distant mountains ; we listen round the camp-fire at night 
to stories of distant lands and tribes. We long to visit 
them, equally with the explorer, and we do so in the pages 
■of his book. 

How carefully, then, ought such books to be written ! The 
great fault of most of the kind lies, not in the egotism itself, 
but in the style and prominency of it. The wanderer in 
Africa is the central figure, with most grand accessories. He 
is the one, which stands in relief against a vast but hazy 
background, only visible at all through the rents in the mist, 
caused by his movements. This background is a continent 
teeming with animal life ; a land of rivers, mountain, and 
plain, on a dim but magnificent scale. Elephants, lions, 


iliinoceri, alligators, and buffalo, pass in wild panorama, and^ 
at the sound of a gun, disaj)pear into limbo. Savage tribes 
perform their war-dances, fight, kill, and are killed. In theii^ 
wild dresses, with strange shouts and gestures, they pass and 
repass. Trees and j^lants, fruits and flowers, afford shade, 
nourishment, and pleasure to the traveller ; while the climate- 
and the heavens, by day and by night, fill up a picture, 
which, by a good painter, is superlatively grand. And, in 
reading a well-written book of travel and adventure, it is^ 
only by the impression made upon us by the surroundings- 
that the central figure is evolved into view. He has had 
the art to make us forget himself, and thus to evoke at last 
our greater admiration. In such works the egotism is unfelt. 
The writer, in dwelling upon the strength and prowess of 
wild animals, the grandeur and inaccessibility of mountains 
and rivers, the manners and customs of races unknown to 
Europeans; interests readers of all kinds, and, at last, brings- 
them to think, how staunch and enduring must have been 
the man, who has seen and done all this. Those are the 
successful authors, and deservedly so, who render us grateful 
for description of country which is interesting in itself, and 
who do not seem to demand your admiration of their prowess 
in visiting such a region, jet hardly take the trouble to 
describe it. 

The volumes to which we give the palm as books of 
travel and adventure are those of Sir Samuel Baker and 
Mr Chapman (the latter of Avliom, alas ! has taken his last 
great journey). There is imparted a charming mixture of 
knowledge and excitement, and in the works of neither are 
they themselves prominently brought forward, otherwise^ 
than the necessity of the story requires. Notably in the 
volumes of these two travellers, others, black as well as white,. 


have their full meed of praise for their pluck and endurance 
allowed them. One of the daily papers, in July last, had a 
short article upon the "stereotyped" remark of British sports- 
men in India, when the half-armed, or no-armed, native ran 
away from a tiger or other wild animal, and the Englishman, 
with his double breech-loader, stood fast ; that the Hindu 
" was wanting in the stamina necessary for encounters such 
as these !" There is one line which might be stereotyped for 
insertion in the shooting adventures of most African Nimrods, 
and that is " on looking round" (and remember this is always 
at a most critical moment) " I found the native had bolted 
with my second gun." This, of course, renders the escapes 
(which are always accomplished) more wonderful, and the 
poor native gets an undeserved bad character. We have 
travelled and hunted in Southern and Eastern Africa, and 
our experience of natives is very different to this. No doubt, 
if you come a stranger into the country — one whom they 
have never seen before, and may never see again, one in 
^\-hom they have no interest, other than the hope of getting 
a little meat, who knows nothing of their habits, or even 
their language — it is but natural to white and black, to allow 
the well-armed stranger and alien to stand the brunt of the 
danger. But if these same men are your own servants, and 
liave been well treated, they are too apt to go to the other 
extreme, and treat you as they would a child. Many times 
we have seen men of the Zulu tribe thrust themselves into 
danger to save their master. 

Sir Samuel's descriptions of country, of people, and of 
hunting, are all graphic, and most readable. They bring 
before you the scenes which surrounded him, and the dangers 
which he surmounted, without in any way pushing forward 
his own part in them. 


Mr Chapman's is a book full of information of a pleasant 
and useful character. That he was a most daring and 
successful hunter there is no doubt (the writer of this knew 
him well), but he preferred giving us what he had learned 
in geography and natural history, fearing that the public 
was satiated with lion stories, and he gave us a charming 

As records of slaughter j)ure and simple, which rouse the 
destructive tendencies of our young men with j^lenty of 
money and little to do, Gordon Gumming and Baldwin take 
the lead. Keej^ers' game-books, with a little embellishment 
as to fur and feather, and notes of the 2>laces in which the 
birds or animals were killed, would read as well, only that 
their scenes would be laid in a country which boasts no 
dangerous carnivori or pachydermata. Still we are not 
inclined to condemn this class of book. If it tempts people 
to go out on a crusade against wild animals, whether in 
Africa or India, it leads them to a better life than wasting 
health, time, and money in London. They gain by the 
change, and become men, in the strongest sense of the 

As an example of the steady, practical traveller who 
wastes no time in sport or romance, who is a thorough 
specimen of the Utilitarian in his travels and their 
results, we have Dr Livingstone. His books put us in mind 
of nothing so much as the business catalogue of an old- 
established, steady-going publisher, which includes a little 
" sensation." There is no going out of his way to cater to 
the public taste. He tells what he has seen and done, and 
if you don't like it, you may, to use a vulgar but expressive 
phrase, " lump it." But certainly there is generally enough, 
and much more than enough, in his books to hold the 


attention of the public closely riveted. AMiat Dr Living- 
stone describes, he describes well; coldly but clearly, as 
matters of business ought to be done. The public seem to 
have the idea, that all other travellers travel for their own 
pleasure, give us very readable books, but are scarcely to be 
■depended on. Here, they seem to say, we have a man who 
is well used to the business; who knows what we sober old 
geographists want, and who will give it us. Egyptian 
Pashas, Equatorial Gorillas, Turkish Hadjis, and Armenian 
Dervishes, may be very interesting, but we prefer our steady 
old friend, who has catered for us so long. 

Captain Galton's is a wonderful book of its kind. The 
amount of research shown in its pages is enormous. Yet 
we must decide that it is only fit, as it mostly purports to 
be, for those who travel for amusement, to whom money is 
no object, and time less. It is utterly impossible for an 
exploring party, which has a wild, uninhabited country to 
go through, to carry such stores and magazines as he recom- 
mends. We are writing, of course, of what is portended in 
this article; that what we say is true, will be seen farther on. 

Besides the books which treat of sporting, solus, there are 
often very good articles in such papers as The Field and 
Land and JFater. They give much information regarding 
the habits of animals, as well as the modes of killing them. 
Notably some papers on rhinoceri, leopards, and lions, signed 
W. H. D., " Upindo," &c. 

We have, as we have said, travelled much and long in 
Southern and Eastern Africa, and have always taken an 
interest in the country and the natives. The consequence 
is, we cannot help arriving at the conclusion, that, not- 
withstanding all which our travellers have written, w^e 
have not yet a book of travels such as there ought to be. 


Row miicli there is to describe in Africa! What a vast 
field for science! What scope for the ethnologist, the 
natural historian, the philologist, the botanist, the geologist, 
and the geographer! Who will, who can, give us all this as 
it ought to be given, to complete our knowledge of this still 
little-known country, of its character and products, and of 
the manners and customs of its people 1 No one man can. 
It is impossible. The scientific societies ought to join in 
despatching an expedition, consisting of properly-qualified 
men, who have a thorough knowledge of these subjects, and 
Avho are able to compile solid information into a readable 
book. The interest in such a quest ^s^oulcl be immense. 
Government ought to contribute. The public would 'do so 
freely; as witness the munificence of Mr Young of Kelly. 
Men who love science for its own sake, are never backward 
in volunteering their services, even though life may be risked 
in carrying out their plans. Large sums of money would, 
no doubt, be required. Years Avould also pass before the 
survey was completed ; but the result would be a standard 
book for the present, and of reference for all time to come. 
How much benefit would also accrue to the natives from the 
knowledge that we were doing such a work ! The anarchy 
Avliich exists behind and around the Portuguese settlements, 
could do so no longer. If the attention of the civilized 
world was drawn to it, Portugal must alter or give up. She 
has not the power nor, seemingly, the inclination to improve 
matters ; but she would be compelled to give place to those 
who have both. 

It is not necessary that Britain alone should carry out 
this exploration. Science is cosmopolitan. Germany, France, 
Italy, and Portugal, would no doubt gladly contribute both 
men and monej^ What there is a paucity of in one nation. 


may exist in superabundance in another. Poitugal in 
Europe is, and always has been, honourably anxious for 
pre-eminence in all that is good, and of use to mankind. It 
would be of great service to her, and to humanity, wert^ 
her emissaries to see Avliat goes on in her Eastern African 
possessions, in the company of men of other nations, of 
unbiassed judgment and undoubted integrity — men who 
would not be content with official reports, or judge by 
official civility, but look for themselves into the state of the 
people and tribes around. 

Such an expedition, well organized and well led, could go 
through the length and breadth of Africa, and, with care, 
might experience but few of the usual dangers and hardships. 
It would have the support of money to any amount, which 
is the sinews of travel, as well as of war ; and the more 
quietly and unostentatiously it went about its work, the less 
liable it would be to interruption. The peculiar "madness' 
of white men, other than Portuguese, is beginning to be well 
known in Africa ; namely, that many of them simply travel 
for knoAvledge and not for profit ; and, as a consequence, they 
are cheated, laughed at, and not molested. Thus both sides 
can afford to laugh, as both sides win. We are now, 
however, not so certain as to what will be the treatment 
< 'f travellers in Northern Africa. The fact of Sir Samuel 
Baker having first ajopeared as an explore]*, and then 
returned with an army, will spread through the countries 
around a fear that all others may be spying out the land for 
the same purpose ; and we doubt very much whether the 
"Jtimate results of Sir Samuel's expedition will be of so much 
1 >enefit to mankind generally, as to make up for the obstruc- 
tions which we fear will be thrown in the way of scienc(^ 
and missionary enterprise — the true and lasting civilizers. 


Speaking of such an expedition as this, naturally leads us 
into the subject of African exploration, as carried out under 
the fostering care of the Eoyal Geographical Society. It is 
•deplorable to see such a fiasco as the great Livingstone relief 
party, under Lieutenants Dawson and Henn; and yet we do 
not altogether blame the young commanders. Who, at 
their age and in their position, would refuse such a chance 
of renown as this leadership offered? Who would have 
«elf-abnegation enough to say, *'No, )^ou had better get some 
one more acquainted with this sort of thing. We are afraid 
we have not sufficient experience ; and we know nothing of 
Africa." We are no admirers of Mr Stanley's rather offensive 
•depreciation of others and glorification of himself; but we 
must allow that his strictures on the Royal Geographical 
Society are not altogether devoid of truth. One great 
mistake is made, which is this. No exj^loring party can 
possibly be strong enough for defence, in the event of a 
serious attack ; therefore, none ought to be rich enough to 
excite the cupidity which infallibly leads to such a result. 
An example ought to be taken from Livingstone himself. 
How much he has accomplished with so little means ! It 
may be said that he is sui generis ; but it is not so. Any 
man who throws himself heartily into such work, ought to 
be prepared to go with staff and scrip ; his instruments and 
medicines, the only real necessities ; his knowledge of native 
character, his high resolution, and undaunted heart, standing 
him in place of all else. An expedition which might be 
mistaken for the baggage-guard of an Indian army, which is 
laden with patent rifles, patent saddles, food, tents, and 
pontoons, which is an endeavour to take the comforts, and 
€ven the luxuries of home into Central Africa, is ridiculous. 
It might by this time have been recognized that, whatever 


amount of Inggage, parties of this kind have started with, the 
j^rincipal work has been done with very little. A man's 
guns, his medicines, and his instruments, he can get better 
in London ; but for all else, it is wiser to go with the money, 
and buy what he wants at the place from which he starts. 
It ought not to require demonstration that, at Zanzibar, 
goods necessary for inland travel are more likely to be got 
of the right quality and kind than in Cheapside. It is on 
these grounds that we have expressed such an opinion of 
Captain Galton's book as appears in the foregoing. 

A little knowledge of the seasons, in different parts of the 
world, would also be advisable, so as to avoid sending out 
expeditions to arrive at the beginning of the rains; as was 
the case with that of Lieutenants Dawson and Henn, and 
the true reason, to our mind, for its breaking up. 

We know many men who have started on long expeditions 
in Africa, covering distances in wild, unknown, and in- 
liospitable countries, which would bear comparison with 
those of our great travellers who are Fellows of the Eoyal 
Geographical Society, but who think very little of it ; so little, 
in fact, that it is difficult to get them to advert to their exploits. 
We are quite aware that it is a very different matter ta 
conduct or take part in a scientific exploration, to simply 
travelling through a country on business with which all the 
natives are acquainted ; but still we adhere to our opinion 
that it is easy to do, if a knowledge of the natives, the 
<«)untry, and the difficulties, is possessed by the leader, who 
above all things ought to be somewhat acclimatized. In 
support of this we refer to Captain Frederic Elton's explora- 
tion of the Limpopo. We might well take example by 
military matters. In the conducting of an army there is one 
commander-in. chief, but many subordinate ones. Each has. 
his defined station and his share of duty. 


If such a combined expedition as we advocate is ever de- 
spatched, it wouhl be well that the leader of it was one who 
is acquainted with African travel, even if he had no scientific 
attainments. Or if that be thought infra dignitate, make 
him " sailing-master." It is not necessary that a man should 
liave been all over the continent, to enable him to travel in 
any part of it. His experience in one part, will serve him 
well in another, as witness Dr Livingstone himself. It is a 
mistake to accept it as a principle, that men who have done 
well in another cpiarter of the world, must do equally well 
in Africa ; the conditions are so different. Just as correctly 
might we say that he who is a good dancer, must be a good 
musician. African travel is of itself and by itself. AVerc 
there no other proof of this, the mere fact of it all having to 
be done on foot, would be sufficient. 

Let it be borne in mind, that we do not for one moment 
wish to depreciate the work which has been done by men, 
who travel in the interests of science. The hardships they 
endure are no doubt very great, such as would deter any 
but those who were supported by a genuine enthusiasm for, 
iind love of, exploration, or an honourable ambition to 
associate their names with the advance of science and civili- 
zation. They endure hunger and thirst, rain and sun, heat 
iind cold ; are exposed to dangers from disease, wild animals, 
and savage men. Still, these are but olives to their wine. 
Dr Livingstone has said that, after long association with 
black men, one forgets that they are black, and accepts the 
€olour as a matter of course. We know this to be true from 
experience. So it is with the dlsagreinens of travel. That 
Avhich, when we first encounter or read of it, feels, or sounds, 
insupportable hardship, comes to be takeii as a usual occur- 
rence. It is as in some of our every-day amusements in 
England, the danger is good fun, while in the pursuit or 


-e'xecution ; the brush or the prize is an honour, the prospect 
of which only adds zest to the game itself. If the scientific 
explorer has not this feeling he will never succeed. The 
hunter and trader has it in full force. He loves tlie life, and 
liis success enables him to pursue it. 

Englishmen, above all, ought to Ije greatly interested in, 
and, as we admit they do, support African travel. The 
Anglo-Saxon race has already struck root in the southern 
parts of the continent : and, if diplomatists do their duty 
with reasonable quickness and decision, no other power will 
gain a footing there, and we shall avoid disputes of the San 
Juan character. AVe have said that no other power will 
gain a footing ; it may be answered, that one other power 
has already done so. Portugal has been there, ere English- 
men had made to themselves a name beyond the boundaries 
of Europe, and its settlements still exist. Truly they do ; 
but they are no credit to the nation. Slavery, debauchery, 
drunkenness, anarchy, war, murder, and robbery stalk in 
the midst, and around, unchecked and unheeded ; nay, rather 
fostered, so as to render it an easy task for the few who are 
there to nde. There is no spring, no life in the Portuguese 
of East Africa. As they traded three hundred years ago, 
so they do now. As they Christianized and civilized three 
hundred years ago, so do they not now. They have inaugu- 
rated no new era of commerce and civilization. Anglo-Saxon 
settlements would do this ; and the Portuguese factories — 
like those of all worn-out and effete nations — would cpiickly 
and surely die out. 

Britain has done much for the putting down of slavery. 
No nation can question her disinterestedness in this matter. 
So long as she commands the sea she can j^revent slaves 
being exported in that way; but all the treaties in the world. 


will not have the effect of doing away with domestic slavery^ 
until public opinion is brought to bear on it, and, Avithout 
travellers, how can that be] We ourselves, while waiting 
on business in the Government office at one of the Portu- 
guese settlements, have read the treaty between " the high, 
contracting Powers;" and, shortly afterwards, have been 
offered boys by the Banians at £5 each. Another time wa 
were witness to a quarrel between a Banian and a German, 
which arose as follows : — A certain Portuguese had left for 
Mozambique, and given his power of attorney to the German 
(first) and to the Banian (second). He had left eight slaves 
whom the German employed, but regularly paid them wages. 
This was against all precedent, and the Banian threatened 
to complain to the Governor that the slaves were being 
spoiled, by being taught to look for payment for their work 1 
These East African j^eople — white, black, or yellow — ^will 
sign as many treaties as you like, and — keep none of them. 

The Court of Lisbon, no doubt, fancies that all is as it 
should be. It depends upon the representations of its- 
officials, who risk their lives to make as much money as they 
can, in as short a time as possible; and our British Govern- 
ment, which is accustomed to keep its word (in philan- 
thropical matters), takes all for granted. 

The country is no doubt unhealthy, but we consider that 
its deadliness has been much exaggerated, and that it is. 
more especially a consequence of the life which people lead 
there. The habitual residents have no amusements of any 
kind whatever. They seldom or never take to sporting, 
and their time is passed in sedentary employment, varied 
too often by excess, as a relief from monotony. Travellers, 
especially such as are unacquainted with the country, have 
hardships to endure which a little knowledge would avert. 


They come fresh from hurrying, driving Europe, and expect 
that everything is to give way to push and dash, as there. 
It is not so. The African, with no sense of the value of 
time, cannot be hurried; and as regards the travelling itself 
— through marsh and river, forest and plain — over hills and 
amongst hostile or phlegmatic tribes — the longest way round, 
is generally the shortest in the end. Stanley found it so. 
Let them take time therefore. Look at Livingstone, how 
quietly and comfortably he takes it; no hurry there. He is 
determined to work out his problem thoroughly. Years are 
no object, and truly they are not. If a man, or party of 
men, spent their whole lives in opening up to European gaze, 
with a view to occupation, the lovely and fertile lands of 
xifrica, would any one say their lives had been wasted? 
Surely not. 

We want men for this exploration, who will look beyond 
a gold medal for their reward; who take such an interest in 
their species that they will become apostles of Africa — it 
would be a great name — apostles of science, civilization, and 
religion; who would give us a true and unexaggerated report 
upon this continent, the one portion of the globe which is 
still, to the disgrace of modern philanthropy, allowed, except 
on the sea-coasts, to take its chance as to all which we con- 
sider of value among men. 

The names of men who shall do this Avork, will live in the 
memories of mankind, surrounded by a brighter halo than 
those of warriors or statesmen; and though they may rest 
at last far from St Paul's or Westminster Abbey, yet shall 
their deeds be their brightest monument ! 


(Glasgow Herald, I7th April, 1875.) 

In May, the first of the winter months of 1871, I started 
from Natal on a pioneer hunting and trading triji amongst 
the people whose name heads this article. They occupy the 
low, flat country to the east of the Bombo range of hills, 
from the Zulu on the south to the River of Spiritu Sanchi 
(English River) on the north (including all the southern 
shores of Delagoa Bay), and to the Indian Ocean on the east. 
It is a territory of about 150 miles long by 80 broad. It 
reaches to a little beyond the 26th parallel of s^uth latitude, 
and its northern boundary is the line between their last 
African possessions, now in dispute between Great Britain 
and Portugal. 

There are different tribes of Amatonga {Itonga the person, 
Amatonga the people — a general name for all the tribes 
thereabouts) in this country under different chiefs, but the 
principal, and by far the largest, is that of Mabudtu 
("Mapoota") or Temby. Their king's name is Unozingili, 
and it was to him I was bound. 

We started on the 11th May from the port of Natal in a 
little schooner, with about fifty Portuguese natives, who were 
returning from work, as passengers. These people come 
regularly to earn money on the sugar and coff'ee plantations, 
and after two or three years' service go back to their homes, 
where they spend, in a very short time, in riotous living and 
debauchery, what they have been so long in gaining. The 
schooner crept up the coast, little by little, anchoring when 
the wind was foul, and creeping on when fair though light, 


until, on the second day before arriving at Loren90 Marques, 
we had a good stiff S. W. breeze, which brought us up abreast 
of the Island of Unyaka (Inyack). But, lo and behold ! 
when the next day dawned, the set of the current had been 
such, that we were out of sight of land, and then such a 
commotion amongst the natives on board 1 It was a day of 
fasting, of lugubrious faces, of much whispering and gathering 
in comers. They were to be taken and sold as slaves. The 
way was lost. The high wind of yesterday had obliterated 
the tracks of former vessels, so that the road could not be 
ilistinguished. They would all be starved, and would never 
see their homes any more. The sailors, when appealed to, 
•comforted them by saying that food would not fail with so 
many Amatonga on board. That when the head, hands, 
and feet were thrown overboard, Itonga meat would look 
like beef, and taste much nicer ! Water we had in plenty. 
My own natives (four Zulus whom I had taken with me) 
•came, in some trepidation, to consult me about this, but I 
laughed them out of their fears, and they went away 

All this day we had been leading westward, and, towards 
(.'vening, high land was seen. This was at length recognised 
as Unyaka, and a general jubilee was the result. We 
anchored for the night inside the northern point of the 
island, the captain fearing to cross Delagoa Bay in the 
dark, because of the many shoals and the intricacy of the 

The island of Unyaka (Inyack) is about eight miles long, 
in its greatest length, and about six broad. It has evidently 
at one time been an extension of Cape Colatto on the eastern 
or seaward side of Delagoa Bay, which it encloses and shelters 
for half its length. It is perfectly healthy, summer and 


winter. The N.E., E., and S.E. winds blow from tlie sea„ 
The S.W., W., and N. winds come from the land, but they 
seem to cross enough of salt water to take the fever out of 
them. Two ridges run throughout its length, both terminat- 
ing in ^bluffs at their northern ends, and covered with bush; 
between the ridges is a valley where cultivation is principally 
carried on. 

The soil seems to be pure sand — in some parts white, in 
some red — yet it grows good crops of rice, beans of variou!> 
descriptions, yams, maize, Kaffir com, manioc, turmeric, 
eschalots, and pistachio nuts. Pigs and fowls are reared in 
great numbers, and cattle do pretty well. Orchilla weed is 
gathered on it in great quantities. It is separated from Cape 
Colatto, on the mainland, by a channel of about half-a-mile, 
and Elephant Island — a small spot of land on tlie inside of 
the northern point of its western ridge — forms the good and 
safe harbour of Port-Melville. The inhabitants number about 
eight hundred, and are part of the tribe of Mabudtu, under 
the chief Unozingili. It has been proclaimed a British 
possession, and gazetted as part of Natal in the Gazette of that 
colony, but the right to it is disputed by Portugal, and the 
matter is now, I believe, under arbitration. As a trading 
station it is first-class, and as a point of departure by sea for 
the yearly influx of labourers to Natal from the far interior, 
it would be invaluable to the colony, since the planters are 
forced to expend large sums on the importation of coolies, 
because the thousands of the Xorthern tribes are deterred 
from coming by land, by the great extent of hostile and law- 
less nations they have to traverse ; and by sea, by the many 
obstacles thrown in their way by the Portuguese. 

Next day, at half-past eleven A.M., we anchored in English 
Eiver, opposite the Portuguese settlement of Loren9o Mar- 


ques, having crossed tlie bay (about 20 miles) with a good 
north-east breeze. We were cleared at the Natal Custom- 
Hoiise for the Usutu River (called on the maps Mapoota) ; 
but we called at Lorenco Marques to land our native pas- 
sengers — who were by this time very hungry — intending then 
to proceed. It is not my purpose, in this present paper, to 
•describe Lorenco Marques and its inhabitants, so I will 
merely tell what befell us there. After landing the Kaffirs, 
we wished to go whither we were bound, but the Governor 
would not allow us, threatening, in case we did so, to seize 
the ship, on the grounds that the Portuguese claimed all the 
southern coasts of Delagoa Bay. The consequence was, that 
I had to land in Lorenco w^ith my goods and pay duty. 
After this was done, the people were kind and polite enough. 

Major S , the Governor, lent me one of the Government 

boats to take myself and my property up the Usutu. I had 
difficulty in procuring one, through the jealousy of the 
Banians, the principal boat-owners and traders to Mabudtu. 
We started one morning at daybreak from Lorenzo 
Marques in a large boat of five or six tons, half-decked, and 
•carrying one immense lateen sail. We had a crew of eight 
men and a padrone ; and capital oarsmen and sailors they 
were. Their oars consist of a long mangrove-pole with a 
flat piece of wood bound to the end, which works in a piece 
of rope tied round the thole-pin. It was a calm when we 
started, and the men had to pull. They generally stand 
up on the thwarts, with their faces to the bow, and as they 
row they sing. I much prefer the Tonga singing to the 
Zulu. The former keep good time, and in their tunes 
tliere is melody; whereas that of the Zulus is a series of 
•shrieks, grunts, and bellowing, great sound, good time, but 
not the slightest approach to harmony. 


It was very pleasant tliat bright winter niornii]g as we 
lazily rolled over the placid waves of Delagoa Bay, passing 
along a coast which was new to me. Every point and bluff' 
was of interest. Each had its native tradition; especially a 
wall of rocks on the Teniby shore called by the natives- 
" Joinhbvana" — the little houses — where the breakers had 
excavated caves in the sandstone, approachable at low water, 
but not at high — which long ago had aff'orded refuge in time 
of war. Towards evening, we entered between the two 
l^oints (Hood and Flamingo), which constitute the mouth of 
the river. It was too dark to see much, but I saw it many 
a time afterwards in the daytime, from its mouth to 35 
miles u]), and a noble river it is — I mean for South Africa. 
Flowing through flat country, its course is not interrupted 
by falls and rapids as are the rivers in the hill countries of 
the Zulu and Natal. For the distance that I know it, there 
is water, summer and winter, for vessels drawing five or six 
feet, and so far the influence of the tide is felt. Up to the 
Bombo Mountains, 80 miles from its mouth, there is three 
and a-half feet of water. Its banks are mostly covered with 
mangrove and reeds, though in some places they are high 
and dry. 

The natives rowed against the tide, which has a rise of 
about eight feet, and about eleven P.M. we put ashore at a 
ferry on the right bank. When I awoke in the morning 
we were lying high— but not dry — on a bed of mud. The 
tide had receded and left us there, and the river was 
covered with a thick mist which smelt of fever in every 
globule of it. There was no way of getting on to firm land, 
except by laying out two or three oars, and sliding along 
them. By that means you reached mud which was not above 
your thighs, through which you could wade to the bank. 


As tlie birthplace of mankind was Asia, so, I believe, the 
birthplace of the mosquito-kind must have been upon the 
Usutu. From there, I believe, as they increased and filled 
the country, they spread over all the world, but none of 
them leave the spot, so long as there is room to fly. 

About eleven A.M. we started again, and passing through 
many herds of hippopotami, and starting many an alligator 
and strange bird, we reached our destination at night. On 
the way we had to land a Portuguese passenger, and did 
so (excuse the Hibernicism) 07i a tree that hung over the 
water. It is the strongest and toughest wood I have seen 
— a branch, the thickness of two fingers' breadth, easily 
})earing the weight of a man ; and ropes made from its bark 
are stronger than the strongest hemp. The natives call it 
" Ublolo." It grows to no great size, and has a large thick, 
soft, bright green leaf. On this voyage, I also made 
acquaintance with another very useful shrub, the ^' Uqum- 
bukwekwe." It has a small green leaf, with a very dark 
smooth bark. The leaves of it, when bruised, are used as 
soap, and a very good substitute they are, for washing either 
your clothes or your skin. 

Next morning we commenced landing the goods, and as 
we did so, though in the middle of the dry season, it came 
on to rain. The bales and cases had to be carried about 
half-a-mile over a swamp to the ferryman's kraal, which was 
situated on the first low ridge running parallel with the 
river, and ere we had finished I was thoroughly drenched. 
That night one of my Zulus complained of his head : it was 
the beginning of the fever. Next day also it rained, and we 
all had to lie up in the kraal, bitten by mosquitoes and stifled 
Avith smoke. 

I had been told that it was necessary to have rum with 


me, botli for purposes of trade and for gifts. I took none 
for sale; but I took with me a thirty-five gallon cask and 
a piece of very nice fancy twilled stuff as a present to 
the King; and next day apj^earing fine, we started for his 
kraal, about 20 miles distant, carrying a five-gallon keg as a 
sample. On the way, however, it rained again, and having 
no change of clothes I was constrained to wear the wet 
ones until they dried. Unozingili's head kraal is situated 
in the heart of a thick bush, the living and decayed 
vegetation of which smelt rankly as we passed through it. 
The name of this town is " 'Ncin'amacebo'ezwe," meaning 
"where all lying and false accusations current in the country 
come to an end" — i.e., find their level. It is shortly called 
" 'Ncina." It contains about a hundred huts, and is sur- 
rounded by smaller kraals inhabited by his wives, servants, 
and captains. In one, belonging to one of the last men- 
tioned, I was told to sleep, and in the evening a chamberlain 
came down for the present. He got the keg and the piece 
of cloth, and I told him of the cask, which the king would 
have to send for. That night I heard a tremendous uproar 
in the big kraal, and on inquiry found that they had been 
using my undiluted rum, as if it had been that of the Portu- 
guese, which is first reduced by two-thirds water, and then 
strengthened with cayenne pepper and tobacco juice. An 
old man, who lived where I was staying, was carried in 
about nine p.m. in a frightful state — he was roaring like a 
maniac, and foaming at the mouth. When I saw him I 
thought he would surely die, and was blaming myself for 
having given the King the liquor. I need not have troubled 
myself about the matter. Next morning he was up at day- 
break, none the worse, and telling me that mine was remark- 
ably good rum (or, as they call it, " Isopi "); it made them so 


very tipsy in so very short a time ! Euin and arrack are 
like mother's milk to these people. Even children of six or 
seven years old will drink a tumblerful, raw, without winking. 
I have seen one of the King's sons, a l)oy of eight, drink a 
bottle at a sitting. This is one of the delightful habits 
taught them by the Portuguese. It is the most profitable 
merchandise they deal in, and to do any trade in Mabudtu 
you must have rum as well as other goods. " All that a 
man hath will he give for his life," but to such an extent is 
the love of drink carried amongst the Amatonga, that they 
will give even that for rum, since they care not though they 
die, if they only die drunk ! 

Morality in the men, virtue in the women, are things 
unknown amongst the Amatonga. The slave girls and 
servants of the King, l)ear children for the King, and to 
whom they please. The females of the King's kin are not 
allowed to marry, but their families rank as of the blood 
royal. The price of a wife is £5, or its equivalent in rum or 
goods; and the Tonga men buy children of eleven or twelve 
years old, who grow up with their husbands. A man will 
go away to work in Natal, leaving his wife, or wives, at 
home. On his return they will show him the goods they 
have gained by prostitution in his absence, and be praised 
for their diligence ! Yet adultery, when '• discovered," is 
23unislied by the *' co-respondent" paying the price of a wife. 
Disease prevails amongst them to a frightful extent, and, 
having no proper medicines, the result may be fancied. All 
this is another of the delightful customs taught them by the 
Portuguese, since it is only in the tribes with which they 
have contact, that such open debauchery is seen. 

The rule of Portugal in Eastern Africa is a curse to black, 
a shame and disgrace to white humanity. Murder, anarchy, 


plunder, and licentiousness arc the normal conditions of the 
nations inhabiting the territory which it claims. Tlie Portu- 
guese have no power to control them. They only exist by 
setting one tribe against another, and in consequence of 
their possessing the only markets where the natives can sell 
their produce and purchase the goods they require. We 
have had great and successful agitation against slavery in 
America, Cuba, and Brazil. Slavery exists amongst the Poiiu- 
f/uese/ Were only half the iniquity, misrule, and efFeteness 
of Portugal in Eastern Africa known, not Britain only, but 
the civilised world, would compel her to part with her 
possessions, since she is too weak and too bigoted, to 
improve matters. 

The King has a most Caliban-like way of carrying hi& 
immense hands and feet; and with him, as with all his 
people who can get spirits, it is impossible to do any business 
after mid-day. He has sense enough to know this, however; 
and although he may listen to what you have to say, he will 
return no answer until next morning. The number of his 
wives and slave girls is immense, and they live all about 
him. There are generally about five hundred soldiers in 
his kraal, two of whom are continually marching up and 
down in front of his hut, armed with double-barrelled guns, 
who give every few minutes a ludicrous imitation of the 
Portuguese cry of " Sentinela Alerta." 

There is, in 'Ncina, a dwarf who was a chamberlain to 
the King's grandfather, who died about 1854. He is not 
more than 33 inches high, and is not in any way deformed, 
except, if you may call it a deformity, the fact of his having 
immense ears, such as would be w^ondered at in a full-grown 
man. He is so old that the people say he is a spirit, was 
not born of woman, but came down from the heavens. I 


myself was told by the Portuguese that they have papers 
in the archives of Loreiico Marques with this man's name 
written as witness ninety years ago ! He witnessed the 
ceremony of Captain Owen's (with the present King's grand- 
father's consent) taking possession of the Usutu Eiver and 
the surrounding territory for Great Britain in 1823. I have 
often heard of this treaty from the natives; and it is a 
common saying amongst them that the country belongs to 
the Englishman. The Government is a clesj^otism pure and 
simple. The land, the people, their goods and their crops, 
tlie cattle, goats, and sheej^, belong to the King. He can, 
and does on occasion, take what he chooses from them. 
They have to supply him with food for his numerous wives, 
and for the soldiers who may be at headquarters; and the 
latter can, when sent on errands and expeditions, take what 
food the)^ require, even that which is being sent to the 
King; for, he says, they are myself — I am King by reason 
of them. In the Zulu nation the captains and councillors 
can save a man. If they say he shall not be killed, the 
King must give way; though it is not often they do so, since 
they share in the plunder. In Mabudtu the King's word is 
>uifficient — the lives of all are in the breath of his mouth. 

He is friendly to Englishmen, hoping by their means to 
<'scape from under the power of the Zulus, of whom he is in 
daily fear. He has a great contem2:)t for the Portuguese, 
whom he plunders with impunity; and would sweep Loren90 
Marques off the face of the earth, were it not that he would 
tlien be unable to procure his supply of goods. The only 
method of retaliation which the Portuguese can adopt, when 
plundered, is to stoj) the trade; and this makes them so 
jealous of the British. claim to the English River boundary, 
since, if they had a settlement there, not only Unozingili's, 


but all the tribes around would be independent of them, and 
Loren90 Marques be among the things of the past. AVell 
that it was so ! 

The King is a very superstitious man. Every day, and 
nil day, some of his councillors are sitting with the diviners, 
who pretend to tell them what is going on in all parts of 
his country, what will happen, and with what dangers he 
is threatened. They divine with shells, stones, and knuckle- 
bones of sheep and goats. These they throw down out of 
their hands on the ground, muttering incantations the while ; 
iind from the position they fall in they foretell events, and 
find out secret plots against him. I need not say that most 
of the prophecies and revelations are obscure enough to 
warrant any interpretation. While I was in his country 
his mother died. Immediately the King was begirt with 
^'medicine" and charms, to keep the evil from him. Catth^ 
were killed for food on her way, and two of her servants 
sent to attend on her. All the peo2:)le of the country came 
up to the King, under their different chiefs, to mourn with 
him ; they also had to be charmed and purified, which took 
many days, cattle being sacrificed the while, with solemn 
dancing and ceremonies. Last of all they went to " close 
up her house." The whole country, with the King at the 
head, went to her kraal, sacrificed cattle at the door of her 
hut, then sprinkled it over with the gall, and at last carried 
it away into the bush. After this the people returned to their 
homes, and the King was " a man again !" 

At another time, while I was at 'Ncina, the army was 
there. It appeared that a chief of one of the tribes, under 
the so-called rule of the Portuguese, had sent to the King to 
say, that he was ready for him whenever he chose to come — 
a defiance. Of course he accepted the challenge, and called 


up his people to tell him of the great deeds they Avould do, 
and to be "doctored." They killed many cattle, and ate 
many medicines for good luck ; and, last of all, he set ta 
work to make them courageous. They came round him in 
their regiments, one after another. One of his chamberlains 
took in his hand a huge lighted torch, with which he went 
round the circle, and, through the flame of it, he blew some 
oily substance out of his mouth into the faces of the men, 
renewing the supply, when exhausted, out of a bottle which 
the King held. It was a most amusing sight. Some of 
them stood the flame well; others drew back in fright; 
others, again, it was plain he had a grudge against, as he 
thrust torch and all under their noses, singeing their beards- 
and their eyebrows, and setting their already well-greased 
hair on fire. When all was over, they were dismissed to. 
their homes, to await his summons for the war. 

I have spoken of his power for life and death, and will 
mention one instance which came under my own observation, 
both as illustrating that power, and as an episode in savage 

While in Mabudtu, there came to me one day a native 
from Loren90 Marques, who told me he wished to go under 
my protection through the Zulu to Natal. It happened 
afterwards that thisihan ("Umtabula 'Nhlesio," the splitter 
of hearts ; he was brave in war), although then under the 
Portuguese, had been Unozingili's. He did not tell me this, 
or I would have sent him on at once. He was recognised 
l)y the people, who immediately reported him to the King. 
On the third evening, I heard that this man had committed 
some crime, and would very likely get into trouble about 
it. After calling him, I asked if it was so. He did not 
<leny it. 


I tlien gave him some blankets, which were wanted by my 
hunters west of the Bombo, and warned him to start early 
in the morning, so that the rising sun should see him many 
miles away. I had no idea of all that was going to happen. 
Just at dawn, I was awakened by some one loudly calling 
my name, and at the same time shouting that we were being 
killed ; there was a noise of people running, the door was 
burst open, a man came head over heels over me, and 
crouched between my mat and the hut. Between sleeping 
and waking, such a violent entry and disturbance rather 
startled me, and, for a few moments, I did not recognise the 
man I had sent away the preceding evening. It appeared 
that people from the King had been on the look-out, and had 
met him on a ridge about two miles away. He broken 
through them, however, and reached my hut ; and the men 
were now gathering outside, demanding him with loud shouts 
and threats. I went out and spoke to them. I refused to 
give him up. I offered to ransom him ; but the only rej)ly 
to all was, " Give him to us." They were afraid to attack 
him in the hut, and runners began to come from the King, 
continually asking, " Is he dead yet 1 " and requesting me to 
go and see the grave of his wife, who died by reason of this 
fellow. At last, about eleven o'clock, when I saw that they 
would have him, notwithstanding all I could do, and about 
a thousand men had gathered, I washed my hands of the 
whole matter, and told them that, as I had no strength to 
prevent their doing this deed, they must act as they pleased. 
Then I went in, and told him that I was beaten. Poor fellow ! 
he prayed me to save him. I told him that I could not save 
him, but said, "You are a man; take your spear and go." 
If he had burst out I believe he Avould have got away, as the 
forest was close at hand ; but I had no sooner turned my 


back than lie stabbed himself, though not to death. Then 
began a scene of butchery. Spears were thrown and shots 
fired at him. He fired straight at me with my own gun, 
which I had left in the hut, so that, by slaying me, he might 
render his own death memorable, by the punishment which 
he hoped would come to the King, for a white man being 
killed in his country. That he made a bad shot is patent 
by this writing. At last, as my natives said, he died like a 
wounded buffalo in a bush. It was a frightful experience of 
savage life ! 

The trade of Mabudtu is extensive, considering the size of 
the country. The natives work hard in Natal, and although 
'they spend some of their money there in goods, to take home 
with them, yet the surplus is considerable. The goods 
saleable in Unozingili's country, and indeed through all the 
tribes for many hundred miles north, are blue salempore, 
striped salempore, all kinds of fancy prints, derries, ginghams, 
chintz, cotton blankets and sheets, woollen blankets in small 
quantities, common coats and shirts, brass wire, hatchets, 
Kaffir picks, rum, guns, powder, lead, and caps. In all 
these, the Portuguese do a large trade. In return for this, 
they get rice, money, orchilla weed, maize, beans, cattle, 
sea-cow ivory, elephant ivory, hides both of cattle and wild 
animals ; tiger, tiger-cat, and monkey skins, the two latter 
being saleable in Zulu-land for cattle. Eice they do not get 
in any great quantity — that comes principally from the 
northward of Lorenzo Marques — but the Amatonga are such 
bom traders and agriculturists (there the men hoe also, not 
the women only), that whatever was wanted, and their 
country would grow — and what would it not? — they would 
produce in any quantity. The profits the Portuguese get 
are immense, but by such high prices they cramp the trade. 


Under the British rule of small profits and quick returns^ 
it would grow and expand, and the country become rich ; 
but, as the Portuguese traded three hundred years ago, so- 
they do now ! 

The people are arrant thieves, as seems the case with aJl 
black races. Stealing is bone of their bone and flesh of the; - 
flesh. It is no crime unless found out, and then the culpi. 
has only to restore what was stolen. No punishment follow , 
unless, indeed, the owner of the article administers it with a 
stick; and, when in the wrong, I must do them the justice- 
to say, they submit very quietly. 

They are much more liberal than purely pastoral tribes^ 
perhaps because they have more food to give away. In- 
Zulu, unless you are known, you have to pay for everything; 
but in Tonga you are never asked to pay for what you eat, 
though, if you want a store, you must buy it. The dress of 
the men is simply a bunch of skins in front and one behind, 
but some of them continue the habit, they have learned in 
Natal, of wearing clothes. The women, however, are much- 
better dressed, having salempore or handkerchief wound 
round their body, from above the breasts to the ankles. It 
is the pride of the men to adorn their wives. Bad as these- 
people are, I think them a much better subject for missionary 
operations than the Zulus, among whom so many preachers 
are placed. The latter have made themselves the first tribe 
in South Africa, and are thoroughly wedded to their tradi- 
tions, and to the customs, under which they have acquired 
so much power and glory. The former are a much more- 
impressionable people — ^more ready to accept new wages and 
habits — ^more open to teaching, not so conceited and self- 
satisfied, more clever and handy too than the Zulus. It is 
an unsavoury comparison, but I think a true one, that the 


Amatonga may be compared to a liquid cesspool which may 
easily be cleared — the Zulus to one of long continuance 
which has petrified. The constituents are the same, but the 

nsistence different. The immorality and debauchery of 
,,i;iie one is open, and offensive to the senses, but may soon be 
'r*one away with. The same nature exists in the other, 
vuough not so visible, and is as hard as rock. 

The country of the Amatonga, I have already said, is 
about 150 miles long by 80 broad, and it consists of a 
succession of low rolling ridges, covered in some parts with 
forest, and in others with thorns and scrub. I do not think 
there is a hill in the country, up to the foot of tlie Bombo 
range on the west, that is 200 feet above the level of the 
sea. The soil is pure sand for about two feet of surfjice, but 
underneath is alluvial deposit. There is no doubt that not 
long ago, geologically speaking, the whole of tlie flat country 
on the East Coast of Africa, which I believe extends nearly 
to the Red Sea — a strip of from 80 to 150 miles from the 
sea to the high lands — was covered by the ocean. The 
general level of the country is from 20 to 50 feet above high- 
water mark. 

In the forests is good timber, which might be easily made 
use of. It would not be, as in Natal, where the roughness 
of the country, and the want of roads, renders imported 
timber cheaper. In Tonga you might drive waggons any- 
where. Railroads would have only to be laid down. The 
only obstructions are the swamps, and they might be avoided, 
with the exception of one, which is a natural curiosity. 
From the Umkusi River, at the south end of the Tonga to 
the Entshulweni, a huge swamp at the mouth of the Usutu 
— a distance of a hundred miles — there runs a river called 
the Umfusi. It is a running stream, but has neither source 



nor embouchure, in the usual sense of the words. It begins 
in a large swamp, flows north, sometimes running w^ater, 
sometimes stagnant marsh, until at last it ends in the 
Entshulweni, which has no visible outlet. 

I know of no country which is better adapted for tropical 
cultivation than the Tonga. Cotton, sugar, rice, indigo, and 
tobacco are, I may say, indigenous. Frost is unknown. The 
seasons are more regular than in hilly countries. The facili- 
ties of transport are great. I liken the country to Demerara, 
but it is better ofi" in the way of labour. The Amatongas are 
not like the Zulus and Negroes, who, when they have enough 
for their immediate wants, go home and are idle. They will 
work on, so as to get rich. The india-rubber vine is abun- 
dant, but it is not tapped in Mabudtu as in the country to 
the north of Loren90. Several kinds of wild-fig are found, 
and there is a pink plum which is delicious, and makes a 
most refreshing drink. The vegetable-ivory palm is abun- 
dant, and is of great use to the joeople. Of its leaves they 
make thread, twine, and ropes; and they weave baskets and 
mats. Of its juice they make wine, which, fresh from the 
tree, is delicious, exhilarating^ yet scarcely intoxicating; but, 
when old, it tastes like rotten eggs and water, will make you 
very tipsy indeed, and will give you the ague into the bar- 
gain. Of the nuts they make snuff-boxes. They have many 
edible roots and spinaches, and those who live by the lakes 
catch plenty of fish. A great drawback, however, is the 
want of good water. Apart from the Usutu and the Pongolo; 
which runs north, under the Bombo mountains, through the 
country into the Usutu; there is no running stream that is 
not brackish, and the water of the pools is apt to give you 
dysentery. I suppose, if proper wells were dug, good water 
would be found. The country is inhabited in patches. One 



part will be thickly peopled, then for miles not a kraal. 
They gather and settle where there are springs. 

In most parts, now that the game has been driven away, 
and the Tsetse fly with it, cattle thrive and do well. 1 see 
nothing to prevent horses and mnles doing the same. 

With British capital, energy, and enterj^rise, what might 
not the Eastern Coast of Africa become ! With British 
justice and good government, what a change Avould be 
wrought in the condition of the tribes ! 

The great l)ugbear — the great deterrent — is the i'oxtv. 
AVell, it is not pleasant, ])ut one must remember that the 
many deaths we hear of, are mostly of travellers who arc 
<ixposed to all kinds of hardship — hunger, thirst, fatigue, 
Avet, the burning sun by day, and the dews of heaven by 
night. They are half-dead before the fever comes. It would 
be different were the country settled, each man living in his 
own house, with comfort around him. I do not think the 
fever is so very virulent as is said, neither does it break 
one's constitution. I have been very nearly dead with it 
twice, and feel none the worse now — a year after. Temper- 
iince, good food, exercise, and medicine, will ensure you 
against dying by the fever, unless your day has come ; but 
I believe you get it, summer or winter, all the same. 

After seven months' stay in the country, I started from 
the King's kraal on the 21st December, 1871. I had done 
my trade amongst them, and, like most pioneers, had i)aid 
for my experience. I had no adventures worthy of record, 
except one, which I will tell of in a future paper. On the 
seventh day I reached the Zulu hills; and although I carried 
the fever with me as a souvenir of them, yet I was no longer 
amongst the Amatonga. 


(Glasgow TIkrali>, 2itli April, 1875.) 

When I left Natal for iiiy trip among the Amatonga,* I 
had arranged that the schooner "William Shaw" should come 
up again in September, 1871, with guns, powder, and Kaffir 
hoes, and to take away what produce I might have ready to- 
send. I wished her to come into the Usutu River (Mai3oota) 
direct, not thinking that the Portuguese would dare to seize 
a British ship in British, or at all events disputed, waters,, 
especially after the lesson they had in 1823, when Captain 
Owen, in H.M.S. "Leven," forcibly released the schooner 
" Orange Grove," of Capetown, Avliich had been seized by 
the authorities of Lorenco Marques when trading in the same 
river, and compelled the Governor to pay a debt of £250 
which he had incurred to the supercargo, and thought he had 
got rid of by the seizure of the vessel. I knew also that the 
Usutu was well within the boundary line of the territory, 
belonging to certain chiefs, who ceded it to that officer for 
Great Britain, by treaty, in the same year. Accordingly, on 
the 8th of September, two friends who were in her, came up- 
to me, at the King's, with the information that she had 
arrived in the river. I must tell, however, that, as far back 
as July, I had arranged with Unozingili for jjeople to carry 
the hides of the game killed by my hunters, from the Bomba 
hills to the mouth of the Usutu, a distance of 90 miles, and 
fully expected that all Avould be done by the time the vessel 

* See " Among the Ainatonga." 


■came. In the interim happened the death of his mother, 
4ind everything was thereby put in confusion in the country, 
and all work suspended, Avhen only about one-third had been 
carried, and I was then expecting the people with the re- 

I found the ship anchored about six miles up the river, 
and immediately had the cargo landed and carried away, by 
people I had provided for the purpose. We lay in the river 
some six or seven days, with a part of the cargo in, consist- 
ing of hides and ivory, and waiting for that w Inch was to 
<:ome. We amused ourselves trying to shoot ducks, geese, 
mid hippopotami, and, without that, had plenty of occupa- 
tion in defending ourselves from the assaults of numberless 
mosquitoes, which were almost as bad as the Portuguese. On 
the 1 3tli of the month we saw the lateen sails of two large 
boats coming round a bend in the river, and suspected that 
our friends w^ere going to pay us a visit. 

They came up (twelve soldiers, the Government Secretary, 
and the Clerk of the Customs,) and boarded us; and after 
inspecting our papers, informed the skipper that he would 
have to go into Loren90 Marques, about 22 miles to the 
northward, situated just half-a-mile to the north of 26" south. 
To this we duly protested, and handed in a formal protest, 
but were told this must be done to the Governor in person. 

Two or three days passed away before we got a fair wind, 
iind during that time, we w^ere on very friendly terms indeed 
with our captors. 

On the Sunday they attempted to tow the vessel down 
with the tide, but it resulted in our running ashore on a 
mudbank, to the great alarm of the Secretary and Clerk, 
since, if she had been wrecked before being condemned l^y 
their Courts, they would perhaps have had to bear the loss. 


On the Monday there came a change of wind, and we 
went quietly down the river, across the bay, and u^t English 
Eiver, till we anchored opposite the fort, and were then left 
with a guard of a corporal and four different coloured 
soldiers on board, to see that we did not run away with her. 
^¥[\i\e in the schooner, and coming down to Lorenzo 
Marques, I had many conversations with the Secretary, who 
Avas most kind and polite (as one of the seamen said, " Too- 

b dy polite altogether"), and who exjiressed a most 

gentlemanly regret at the contretemps; no doubt, however, 
it was all a mistake ; they were very sorry indeed to- 
interfere with British ships, but they were bound by their 
orders from Portugal, and so on; I should only have to 
explain matters — although I was rather puzzled as to what 
I could explain — and I could go back to the river for the 
remainder of my cargo. But when they got us fairly in 
their power the tune changed. Nothing then could be done 
— ship and people must be tried. It was a matter for the 
civil court at Mozambique to decide on appeal; even the 
Governor-General of the Portuguese possessions on the East 
Coast could do nothing. I was anxious about the vessel, as 
she was only chartered, and offered to pay duty and the fine 
under protest ; but after they had told me the amount of the 
fine — £111 — and I had asked for a day to consider, but 
really to get the money, I was told that they had found a 
new clause in their law, which precluded them from doing 
anything but trying the ship, and condemning or releasing 
her. But I must mention that, even when at first they 
agreed to take the fine, they refused to allow me to j^rotest 
against the seizure of the schooner, I must jjay and hold 
my tongue. The trial went on for some days in the most 
wearisome manner — many times interrupted by St Some- 


body's day. All the while the sailors and myself were 
hanging about the Custom-Hoiise, and I had to provide food 
for all hands. 

While this w^as going on, I again wished to hand in my 
protest; but the answer was that I must wait the result 
of the trial, and, if the ship was condemned, I could at any 
time do so. Afterwards, I took an opportunity of asking 
one of the officials to go with me to the Governor for that 
purpose, and was then told that, as I had not done it within 
twenty-four hours, I could not now do it at all. 

Next day we were turned out of the ship and had to live 
on shore. The sailors were provided with food and a room 
to lie in. I was not allowed to leave, and had to provide 
for myself. I determined to try one day, and marched off 
to the shore; but I w^as stopped. Fortunately, however, 
the Governor-General, who was just then on his round, paid 
Loren9o Marques a visit, and released me after eighteen 
days' detention. Thus it was that I was "taken by the 
Portuguese," and thus, and from previous visits, I came to 
know something about their settlement, the country round 
about, the tribes under their so-called rule, and, generally, 
their little goings-on. 

The seizure of the " William Shaw," and the boundary 
question, are before the Arbitration Commissioners, but the 
result of the whole affair is not yet known. 

I need not speak more of that matter, but it struck me 
that a truthful description of this little-known country, and 
of the effeteness and misrule of the Portuguese, might do 
good, and be interesting to British readers. So, allons! 

Delagoa Bay is a piece of water about 40 miles long from 
north to south, by 20 broad from east to west. For about 
half of its length on the south it is enclosed by Cape Colatto 


and the Island of Unyaka (Inyack), and in the north-west 
corner lie the Islands of Sefeen, three low-lying banks 
covered with mangrove, between wdiich and the mainland is 
the mouth of the river Umkomati (St George's). The bay 
itself, although so large, is very shallow in most parts, and 
the navigation consequently very difficult. But one comfort 
is, that though you may run on a sandbank you can easily 
get off again. Right in the centre of the bay enters the 
river, called by the Portuguese " Spiritu Sanctu;" by our- 
selves, English Eiver. For some eight or ten miles up it is 
more like a firth than the usual outlet of a South African 
stream — there being no bar at the mouth either of it, or of 
the Umkomati — ^they flow into a bay, instead of into the open 
sea, and for this distance it runs directly east, so that the 
26tli parallel divides it in the centre, and is not only a mathe- 
matical line but a natural boundary. The Portugueses 
Government, in a late treaty with the Transvaal Eepublic 
(a small independent Dutch State which the British have 
allowed to establish itself on the north-east corner of Natal), 
settled, between themselves, their southern boundary at 26" 
30^' south. This was evidently done so as to give the former 
the whole of Delagoa Bay — for no other purpose and on no 
other groun^. It is simply an arbitrary line drawn through 
the territory of the chief of Mabudtu (Mapoota), the grand- 
son of him who ceded the country to Great Britain. It 
would give them the mouth of the Usutu (Mapoota) and 
about 12 or 15 miles inland from the southern beach of 
Delagoa Bay. Through this belt all imports and exports, 
into or from the remainder of the country, would have to 
pass, and Britain, on her northern boundary, would be denied 
all access from the sea, to her possessions, by a narrow band 
of Portuguese territory. The TransA^aal was only too proud 


to luive arrived at the dignity of treating with a European 
State at all, to object to anything; and, besides that, it was 
not their business to demur to any boundary in this quarter. 
Britain was entirely ignored in this treaty between these 
two. In the other case — i.e., the line claimed by Britain — 
there is the broad division of the river, and, besides that, 
there is the fact, that the undoubted owner of the country 
fully ceded it to Captain Owen ; and although the Portu- 
guese persist in speaking of the Chief of Mabudtu as their 
subject, on the one side, and of the " Amanundwana," an- 
other tribe on the "Umkomati" (St George's) Eiver, on 
the other ; yet both parties are continually plundering their 
so-called masters, and making war upon each other, and scout 
the idea of dependence. 

The Portuguese, I believe, base their claim to this terri- 
tory on a treaty made with the Emperor '' Monopotapa" (a 
Prester John kind of character), who they say reigned in the 
sixteenth century; but how that can be I do not know, since 
it is not so many years ago that they paid rent for the very 
ground on which Lorenzo Marques stands. There must have 
been some treaty since, of an opposite character, which they 
say nothing about, if the first is anything more than a myth. 

On the south bank of English river the country is most 
beautiful. It is, although perfectly fiat, high and healthy. 
Plenty of good water, and large trees dotted all over it. The 
soil is sandy, but underneath it must be good, as the country 
is very fertile. 

On the northern side, it is also high, but being very 
swampy, it is decidedly unhealthy. Round about Loren90 
Marques, for 20 miles, there are very few inhabitants; 
the constant wars, which the Portuguese are unable to 
.suppress, having depopulated the country. Further north, 


from tlie latitude of St George's River 20 miles from 
its embouchure, to away beyond that of Sofala, there is a 
teeming population, willing, nay anxious, to come to work 
in Natal, but who are prevented by the distance and the 
danger, consequent upon frequent disturbances amongst 
themselves, and the enmity which they have engendered. 

The great advantages which all this northern coast has^ 
are its river navigation, splendid soil, abundance of fuel, and 
cheap labour ; yet all are useless for want of a good Govern- 
ment. Indeed, worse than useless, because these good 
things not only lie neglected by whites, but even the natives 
are not allowed to enjoy them in that peace and quietness 
which the power of Britain or Germany would give. 

The Portuguese have no care for improving the condition 
of the natives, either temporally or spiritually. If they 
became wealthy, they would be "powerful. If they were 
instructed, they would no longer remain dependent uj^on 
Lorenzo Marques for their suioplies, nor submit to be guided 
or influenced by the advice or the bribes of a people in many 
essential ways no better, and, in some respects, worse than 
themselves. It is a curious physiological study, why the 
character of a native of Portugal, high or low, changes so 
completely when he comes to Eastern Africa. I have 
generally understood that, in Europe, they are an honourable 
people, generous and hospitable, straightforward and truthful. 
Perhaps it is the weakness of their miserable settlements, 
surrounded by many, if not hostile, yet contemptuous 
natives, which so alters their nature. They are obliged to 
truckle and bribe, submit to insult and exactions, and are 
laughed at and plundered, whenever they step outside their 
walls ; so perhaps, after all, they are deserving of pity as 
well as censure. 


The whole country, in dispute between Britain and 
Portugal, is one immense alluvial fiat, where there is every 
facility for communication, either by water or on land. It 
is the same up the coast, as far as I know it. We must also 
remember that up the banks of English River is the nearest 
and best routes to the interior of the Transvaal — a district 
capable of producing everything required by man, and rich 
in minerals — gold amongst them. The new fields of 
Marabastadt, where there is a British company at w^ork, 
are about a hundred miles from its mouth, and are actually 
in independent native territory, although the Transvaal has 
a better and more convenient mode of annexing, than many 
other States; they simply make a map, and when adventurers 
come before the British public for railways in that little 
known country, the length of the line necessary and the 
difficulties, diminish wonderfully. No doubt a railway would 
be the making of the territory, and open up a trade w^hich 
would pay both trader and carrier, but let those who enter 
into the affair ascertain all about it. The present idea seems 
to be — let the company only commence, the line will then 
be finished somehow. 

Regarding the tribes considered by the Portuguese to be 
under their authority, and the hitter's misrule and effeteness 
generally, I will only tell one story. It is one which did 
actually happen, and is susceptible of plenty of proof. This, 
T think, will show the state of things much more strongly 
tlian any declamatory writing on my part, and as I am 
merely stating matters of fact, I shall be free from any 
suspicion of malice or exaggeration. 

I have already spoken of the natives from the northward 
constantly wishing to come to work in Natal on the sugar 
and coffee plantations. A few do so. This is also true of 


some tribes of the Basuto nation who Hve to the westward 
of Lorenzo Marques, but a long way in the interior. 

In the beginning of 1871, sixty of these peoj^le left Natal 
together on their journey home. They belonged to the tribe 
of Umjantji, in the N.E. corner of what the Boers consider 
Transvaal territory. They had each their pack of goods — 
blankets, calicoes, &c. — and each had money. Their most 
direct road would have been through Zulu and then through 
Amaswazi-land; but the latter and their own tribe, although 
the one nominally in Boer territory, and the other tributary, 
had been at war. So they chose to go along the coast, till 
they reached the latitude of their own country, and then 
struck inland. They passed through Zulu and Mabudtu in 
.safety, the chief of the latter tribe even giving them convoy 
to the banks of English River, to prevent them being 
maltreated or plundered by his people ; and they crossed to 
the Portuguese side. 

In July, 1871, I had been down to the Island of Inyack, 
and on my return landed at the usual passage of the Usutu. 
It was dark. When I came up to the ferryman's kraal, I 
saw some miserable-looking wretches seated round a fire, on 
which there was a pot with some maize in it. There were 
ten of them, and they, on inquiry, told me that they were the 
survivors of the sixty men who had passed, in good health 
and high spirits, two months before. Poor fellows ! I wish 
some of our diplomatists had seen them as they then were. 
Emaciated, and coveretl with wounds, many of them burnt 
in the inside of the thighs, and on the breast, by sitting till 
they fell asleep over the fire in the cold nights, hungry and 
broken. It would have stirred the bile of even a member of 
the Peace Society. I learnt afterwards that about ten more 
had escaped in different directions. Forty were killed, and 


tliis was the how and the wherefore. On crossmg Enghsh 
Kiver they came amongst the i)eople of a httle tribe called 
*'Madtolo/' the head kraal of the chief of which is within eight 
miles of Loren90 Marques gates. This tribe, 1 daresay, could 
muster about four hundred men (they have since been nearly 
exterminated by Unozingili, the chief of Mabudtu), and are 
considered by the Portuguese, as peculiarly their own. The 
Basutos encamped under a tree outside the kraals, and some 
of them went that afternoon into the settlement to buy guns, 
and returned to sleep. Just before daylight in the morning, 
all the fighting men of "Madtolo" came down upon them, 
killed forty men, wounded the others, and plundered them 
of everything they possessed. The only reason given for 
this was that some of the plunderers' relatives had lost their 
lives some years ago in Umjantji's country. It was not 
pretended that these men were the murderers, or even that 
they knew anything about it. There is no doubt that the 
prospect of plunder was the real reason for the massacre. 
The consequence of all this was, that the remnant of these 
poor fellows were now trying to find their way back to 
Natal, destitute of everything ; subsisting on charity, and, 
from weakness and wounds, most likely to die on the way. 
Fortunately, however, I fell in with them, fed and cured and 
sent them out to Natal. What became of the others who 
escaped I never heard. The Portuguese did nothing ; too 
weak to punish, too indifferent to help the survivors. I 
heard afterwards that the Governor of Loren90 Marques 
had sent to the Chief of Madtolo demanding the property of 
these people. He returned him three pounds sterling (X3) 
in derision, with a message to the effect that, if he did not 
like to take that, he could leave it alone. So much for the 
])0wer of Portugal in her possessions in Eastern Africa 1 


The comment of tlie Chief of Malmdtu, Unozingili, who 
i-onsiders himself an " Enghshman," both by reason of his 
grandfather's treaty, and because he, being a vassal of the 
Zuhi, knows that they are tributary to us, was that lie had 
been a fool. If he had thought the plunder was to go to 
Madtolo he would have had it himself. After this, what 
chance will the next batch of labourers have, who return 
through his territories, I should like to know 1 

This continual anarchy does harm to Natal and to the 
natives, directly and indirectly — to the former by preventing 
the influx of a regular supply of labour; to the latter because 
they not only lose their lives and their property, but because 
they lose the chance or the amount of civilisation they would 
^gain in Natal, and which they would carry back with them 
to their distant homes. Need I harp longer upon this topic ? 
Surely not. When I can speak of so foul a murder having 
happened within cannon-shot of a Portuguese settlement, 
considered by them the capital of a territory, I have surely 
said enough to prove that in those days, when good govern- 
ment is felt to be a necessity as well as a duty, Portugal 
must either alter or give up. Her colonial possessions are 
a disgrace to any civilised community. In the nineteenth 
century, she is debasing instead of raising mankind, and 
wilfully too, so as to make-believe keep her power in the 
ascendant. Until Sir Bartle Frere's recommendation of the 
appointment of consuls in the Portuguese ports on this coast 
is carried out, there will be no security for British natives, 
or knowledge in Europe of one-half the slavery and anarchy 
which exist in the so-called civilised colonies. 

The harbour of Lorenzo Marques is in the open mouth 
of the river, where it is about a mile across. There is very 
good holding-ground and plenty of water. It blows occa- 


sionally liard from the S.W., but there is no danger. On 
landing you may, if the tide is high, get close to the land ; 
but if it is low water you have to be carried on a Kaffir's 
back for perhaps a hundred yards. Ashore, you must be 
•careful of your feet, as the worship of "Cloacina" is carried 
into practice on the beach. All goods have to be landed in 
the same manner, at great risk and trouble. For all tlie 
•centuries the Portuguese have been there, they have made 
no improvements, and a quay might be run out at very little 
expense. Splendid, straight mangrove poles are abundant 
•close around the settlement — but no I change is abhorrent to 
them, except for the worse. The idea seems to be that, in 
tlie event of improvement, a knowledge of their proceedings 
would be disseminated, and they would be obliged to alter, so 
they keep themselves to themselves. In this idea the Court of 
Lisbon seems to concur, as they have lately refused to grant 
a subsidy to the Union Steamship Company, which is running 
steamers up the eastern coast, calling at the different ports. 
They refuse, although it would be a good thing for them- 
selves, commercially S2)eaking, setting aside the philanthropic 
motive which alone actuates Great Britain. I have known 
the various settlements to be six months without any com- 
munication with each other, or with headquarters at Mozam- 
bique, before the Union Company had established this branch 
of their line. 

The settlement of Lorenco Marques is situated on the 
north bank, about two miles from Point Eeuben — the 
northern point at the mouth of the river. It is built on a 
sandbank, which has a swamp between it and the mainland, 
nnd is about 500 yards long by 200 yards broad. There 
<,ould not have been a more unhealthy spot selected, since 
whatever benefit it gets by the sea breeze is neutralised by 


the efFects of the swamp at the back, the stench from which, 
in the ^ houses close to it, is anything but pleasant or even 
bearable. Add to this seventy-one other, from every descrijv 
tion of filth and ordure, and you have a place v»rhicli — not 
for variety perhaps, but for pungency — beats Cologne in 
Coleridge's days; but safety had to be considered. At the 
west and east ends, and on the north side, it is surrounded 
by a wall. To seaAvard there is a tumble-down old fort, 
which is used as a barrack and a jail. In the whole place 
there are about ten guns of different sizes; and 120 various 
coloured soldiers, half of Avhom are constantly in hospital^ 
form the garrison. These soldiers are, indeed, a Falstaffian 
company, with the addition that the clothes, which they 
seem to have procured by following that great commander's 
advice, have not been properly distributed — the big men 
have got the small clothes, and vice versa. 

Within these walls the Portuguese may be said to govern, 
and those who are really their people amount to about five 
or six hundred. The west end of the settlement is the 
native quarter. There they are as thick as bees in a hive, 
and at night the sounds of drunkenness and debauchery are 
frightful ; it is a perfect brothel ! 

The Portuguese rule these people by terror. For a 
trifling offence I have seen a man lashed over a gun, and 
then two men, with each a stick about an inch thick, laying 
on to him — one, two! one, two! — till he was half-dead. 
There is no restriction on the sale of rum to the natives. 
In fact, I have seen palm wine (not nearly so intoxicating 
as the other) prohibited from being brought into the place, 
for no other reason that I could see, than that they sjDent 
their money on it instead of on rum, with less harm to 
themselves, but less profit to the customs. Outside of their 


walls the Portuguese have neither power nor respect, they 
dare not step out in anger. They carry on, or rather 
prevent, their wars, by setting one tribe against another, 
and Loren^to Marques itself exists but on sufferance; yet 
they claim — and Euroj^ean diplomatists may perhaps allow 
it — territory to a vast extent and of great value and im- 
portance ! 

There are perhaps thirty white men and one white woman 
in Lorenzo Marques, the latter the very kind, hospitable 
Portuguese wife of a German merchant. Amongst the 
former are the Governor, Secretary, Collector and Clerk of 
Customs, and an officer, generally an ensign, of the troops. 
There is also a representative of a large French house in 
Marseilles, who carried with him to this miserable spot the 
kindness, politeness, and hospitality of his native country. 
I often used to wonder, with regard to the German and this 
last, not that they were peculiarly "rich or rare" sjiecimens 
of their two nations, but "how the devil they got there !" 
The houses are flat-roofed, built of adobe, cool and spacious ; 
sanded floors, little glass, and less furniture. The two streets 
are ankle deep in sand. 

About Lorenzo there are a few cocoa-nut trees, but fruit 
and vegetables are almost unknown. If they attempt gardens 
or plantations outside, their own so-called natives plunder 
and bum them, as has happened. The latter seem willing 
that the whites may keep a store there ; but are determined 
that they shall make no settlement, such as they see in 

In one thing the Portuguese are fortunate, and that is, 
that they have a splendid supply of fish at their door. 

The trade is considerable for so small a place, and might 
be increased fifty-fold, were it not for the high protective 



duties, the want of security, and the jealousy of the presence 
of foreigners, evinced every day. There are only three im- 
porting houses — two French and one German. These sell 
to the Banyans and half-castes, who travel through the 
native tribes trading for ivory, orchilla weed, ground nuts, 
<and Natal sovereigns. 

In such a place there is not much to describe. One does 
not like to dwell upon j^articulars which are disgusting, and 
there is little else to record. Let us hope that the day may 
not be far distant when Great Britain or Germany will open 
up this magnificent but neglected country, and give it the 
blessings and the civilisation which follow in the train of 
commerce and good government, and enable him, who next 
describes Lorenco Marques and the country around, to give 
ii very different picture from mine. 


(Glasgow Herald, 1st May, 1875.) 

*'Well, yes; there are some interesting stories of Kaffir 
life — at least they are so to me. I have, in a measure, been 
l)rought np amongst them. Most of their ways and habits 
of thought are familiar to me ; and I have grown to take an 
interest in their lives, almost as if they were my own people. 

" Is there any romance V "I cannot exactly answer the 
question. I think you know my belief, that there is no 
romance where there is no soap. I mean by that, that 
iilthough cleanly (extremely so) in their own idea, there is 
much which is repugnant to a European, and detracts, in his 
mind, from many situations which would otherwise be 
romantic. There are, however, all the incidents of romance 
occurring in many passages of their lives ; and let me tell 
you, they lose nothing in the narrative by a native of high 
class." " Let us have a specimen ; we have an hour to spare, 
iind should like to hear a real Kaffir story." " I can't do it 
now. I must think it over ; but will write one down, and 
send it you." 

Such was the substance of a conversation held some time 
xigo. What follows is the result. I have endeavoured to 
give it in Zulu translated into English. It is a genuine 
native narrative ; it pretends to nothing more. 

" What is it we like most of all? We like war! Is there 
anything that equals if? No ! no ! certainly not. We 
fight nowhere now. You white men have encircled us ; but 


perhaps the day may come when you will allow us to pass 
through your country, and remind those nobody's people 
that the Zulus are still on the face of the earth. AYe would 
not meddle with your cattle. We hear that the outside 
tribes say we sway no one now but the Amatonga [looked 
upon as w^omen and dogs]. When will you let us prove that 
we can do more 1 It may be, as you say, that fighting is- 
wrong, but we have not yet learnt to think so. It is true 
that the country is quieter and that all live in comparative 
safety, but what of that ? there are none of us now that can 
say they are braves. We might as well be women. Yes,. 
many people were killed in the old time — ^men, women, and 
children — but that was nothing; it kept us from crowding. 
The cows had more room to get fat, and w^e to make our 
gardens. And then, besides, the young men had a chance 
of getting cattle, and, when they sewed the ring on their 
heads, wives. Now, we are poor all our days. Then we 
had people amongst us who had a name through the country 
for valour and for cunning ; now, no one is known except 
the chiefs and the King. Then w^e had something to live or 
die for, some excitement in our lives ; now, all the soldiers 
are good for is to build or mend the King's kraals, or hoe 
his corn. AYe all see what it is coming to ; we shall pay 
money to you w^hite men at last [taxes], and take to digging^ 
dow^n hills under you [roadmaking, &c.] Ah ! the army, 
my man ; the army ! There's something to talk about when 
that goes out. Y"ou w^ant me to tell you of some exploits in 
which I shared ; well, wait till I take some snuff and then 
I'll do it. Make up the fire, boy. 

" Long ago in the aforetime — how many years, say you 1 
How should I know" 1 two hundred may be ; yes, so many 
[showing two fingers]; I was a young man, and strong. 

A king's raid. 277 

Wow ! but I ivas strong and active. I could throw every 
man in our regiment. When I ran, people used to exclaim, 
'Wow! just now he was here, and now he is yonder; where 
<lid he go 1 ' And when I jumped I went till I struck the 
sky. Is it hard, say you 1 Don't, white man, don't ; you 
are laughing at me now. Let me tell my story my own way. 
You understand our tongue and ways. Here, my equal, 
help me in the nose [asking another for snufF]. Eh-h-h ! 
man of our tribe [thanking him]. As I was saying, long, 
long ago it was once decided by the King and chiefs to make 
a raid into the Amaswazi — a King's raid. I mean that the 
King was getting short of cattle ; and as it was known that 
the Amaswazi had again gathered herds since the last war, 
we were to be sent to bring him some. It was denied to 
anyone to take what he could manage to get away out of 
the herd, as you know is always allowed in other wars. 
Well, well, it is not exactly allowed ; but nothing is said if 
the man can get clear off. This time, however, it was 
announced that spies would be sent all over the country, 
mid any one found with cattle he could not account for, 
would be killed. They also told us that all girls we took 
should be brought to the King, to form his slaves of the 
interior. As I have said, we are fond enough of war, but 
we like to look forward to some reward at the end ; so to 
us young men these orders were peculiarly unpalatable ; we 
loathed, and many were the talks we had in discussing, this 
•expedition. I decided, for my part, that there was no harm 
done. I should of course go out, and be guided by circum- 
stances. If my snake was favourable, I should not return 
<^mpty -handed, for all the orders. If not, and I showed 
above the others, the King might perhaps soften, and give 
me something. Anyway, I had to go. 


"All Zulu was gathered together to Nodwengo. [The- 
King's kraal: — the mode of expression is not plagiarised 
from Scripture.] By twos and threes, tens and two tens, 
they came trooping over the hills. Others, whose head- 
quarters were farther off, came in their regiments. The 
earth thundered with the noise of their feet. Our ears 
were closed up with the sound of their songs. The country 
all round was black with their forms by day, and was red 
with the fires they lit at night. The clatter of sticks and 
shields was continually heard, as they hustled together in 
the joyous excitement of fight. It was the beginning of 
the war; and no cattle could graze where the army had 
been, till after the next summer rains. Ah-h-h, Zulu, my 
man ; Zulu ! ! can they be spoken of 1 [in a manner com- 
petent to describe them,] 

" Well, one day we hungered, and another day we feasted^ 
just as the King happened to give us beer and beef At last 
our number was complete, the generals appointed, and we- 
started on our way. As we went, the people hid their food 
and fied with their cattle, into almost inaccessible places. 
Nevertheless, we managed to get at them, and fed. Our 
path was known by the cattle bones which strewed it, by 
the remains of dishes and corn, and here and there a body. 
Whose people were they, say you 1 Why, our own — ^tho 
Zulus. The assegai [spear] had got loose, my man, and Avho 
was to stop it 1 We walked long. We hungered. We 
crossed many rivers, but we never tired. We began to long 
for some opposition, just to vary the monotony, but none 
was to be seen. You must know that the 'Swazi country m 
full of large caves, the secret of the entrances to which is 
rigidly kept. They are so large that all the people of a dis- 
trict, together with their cattle, can take shelter in them : 


and they had done so on the report of our coming. We 
were travelling along a ridge of mountains, when the sound 
of cattle lowing was heard, seemingly underneath and all 
about us. A halt was called, to consider how we should get 
at them. Parties were sent out in all directions to try and 
fall on an opening, but, for a long time, none could they 
find. At last one of them came upon a small hole in the 
rock, of size about sufficient for a man to creep in. One was 
instantly directed to make the attemj^t, and laying down his 
shield, he took an assegai in one hand, and in he went. We 
heard a shout, a groan, and all was still ; our man came not 
back. Another was at once sent after him, and shared the 
same fate. Now we began to hang back. It was certain 
death to refuse ; it seemed to be the same to go in. So far 
it was equal ; but we loathed the idea of being killed like a 
porcupine in a hole. I considered for a moment, and then 
it struck me that I had the idea, and I said to myself, ' Now 
is the time to show above the others ; now for some cattle.' 
I spoke out; I cried out, 'I will go in.' 'Who is thaf?' 
inquired one of the officers. ' Myself, father,' I answered. 
' Appear T was the next word, and I did so. I was greatly 
praised, and told that my fortune was made. May be^ 
thought I, but what use if I'm killed. However, there's 
nothing wrong, my snake may be good, and I may escape. 
Laying down my shield, and taking off my dress, I crept in 
on my belly, having asked those outside to make a great 
noise, so that my movements should not be heard. I went 
along very €[uiet]y, witli my spear in my hand, till I felt the 
feet of the dead man who had gone before me. I lifted them 
up very gently, and 'swurmed' along until I had got liim 
fairly on my back ; then with him in that i^osition, I went 
on for about my own length, and felt stab, stab, thud, thud, 


as they ran assegais into his body and struck him with sticks. 
I shouted ' Mai6 ' [oh, dear], groaned, and gave a wriggle 
or two, then lay still. It was quite dark, and all was quiet 
outside. Immediately some one said, ' That is the third ; 
move the stone and let us see him,' and one stepped over 
me in obedience to the command. I grasped my assegai, 
and, just as the first light came in by the opening he was 
making, I sprang up and stabbed him, shouting at the same 
time to our people, ' In with you, in with you ; I am holding 
the pot on the fire; quick and shove it up ;' and, turning, 
defended myself from those who were in the entrance. I 
had only to do so for a few moments. Our people came 
rushing in, and I escaped with a few cuts. By this time we 
could hear the hum of the alarmed Amaswazi, like bees in a 
hole ; so like was it, that the instantaneous cry was, ' Let us 
dig out this honey-nest, it is fat ;' but our officers made us 
wait for more force ; it came, and we went forward. We 
walked along a good way on a fine grassy glade, a stream of 
water running through the centre, and the rocks nearly 
meeting overhead, until at last we came to a large circular 
piece of ground — as large as the flat outside there (say a mile 
in diameter), a waterfall at one end, precipices all round, 
and wood here and there about the foot of them, but not a 
soul was to be seen. We hunted until at last we found many 
openings into caves at the sides, and these we at once 
stormed, our whole force having by this time come up. The 
people within fought well, and we were hunting one another; 
but we got lights, and then we finished them off. Did we 
kill the women and children, say you 1 Ay, that did we. 
Why nof? The children would grow up into soldiers to 
fight us, and the women would bear more. 

" I came to one girl. As I raised my assegai she looked 


at me, clasped her hands over her eyes, and said ' Ow um- 
ta-ka-baba' [oh, child of my father, my brother] ; that was 
all, and, do you know, I could not kill her. Chaka! I 
couldn't [swears by his king]. She had ' medicine,' that 
girl. I had killed that day till my assegai was blunt and 
my arm was weary, but all anger seemed to go out at my 
fingers and toes. So I said, 'Rise, Tdadte, [literally, Sister, 
l)ut in meaning, as in sound, the same as the Scotch "dawty"], 
no one will hurt you.' I defended her from others. Many 
would have attacked me, but I was always recognised in 
time, as the brave who had gained the entrance; and the 
cry was, ' Let him alone; let him keep the girl.' ' Ah, but,' 
cried others, ' he'll have to give her up to the King.' Then, 
for the first time, I remembered the orders, and I looked up 
to see if I had not come suddenly under a waterfall. I 
turned towards the girl; she was gazing on the ground. 
' Lulama' [straighten yourself], I cried. Our eyes met. 
Something seemed to soften and melt, warmly and gradually, 
within me. I began to be disgusted with the blood which 
covered me. I thought of my sisters and my mother at 
home, and I thought of her father and mother, most likely 
killed that day. Somehow or other it came into my mind 
that she was alone and in sorrow, and would be torn from 
her country and her people, and given to be a slave to the 
King, for no fault of her own; and still I warmed and 
melted, until at last I became a child, and determined to 
save her from our army, and send her back to her folk, if, 
haply, any were alive. I tell you she had medicine, that 
girl. I took her quietly to one side, and said, ' Look here ! 
I must give you up to the officers for the King ; but watch ; 
be quick to understand what I say or do, and I'll find an 
opportunity of letting you go safely.' She did not answer 


— she only looked at me ; but something in the look wa."* 
better than spoken words. Well, when all was over, we^ 
gathered together our cattle and our captives, ready for our 
homeward march ; and by way of reward I was appointed 
an officer of the guard of the latter, just what I would have 
wished for. We travelled for a day without being able to- 
exchange a word with the 'Swazi girl, though I wanted to,, 
very much ; I felt just as if I was hungry. She was some- 
where in the centre of the throng, and has told me since 
that she kef)t edging outwards, until she got close to where 
I was, hoping that I would, yet fearing I would not, address 
her. When I saw her near I began to look about for an 
opening to let her go. I made a sign to keep close by me. 
She did so ; and towards dusk, as we were marching by a 
wooded ravine, I managed to give her a push. She sprang 
clear in, and I purposely fell in the way of the man behind, 
who was jumping in after her. She got away, the mor(^ 
easily, as I shouted to my men to stand firm and guard those 
who were left, in case they should go too. I thought I had 
managed so cleverly ; but I was to hear more of it, as you 
shall see. I would have been killed, only my snake stood 
straight up. 

"We reported to the generals the loss of the captive; 
they said it could not be helped, and spoke of something 
else. We travelled on without further adventure until we 
got near the King's again ; when we halted, and messengers 
were sent forward to announce our return. A day was. 
appointed for a review at Nodwengo, and we all brushed 
ourselves up to look our best. The day came. We defiled 
l)efore the great one, and each had our little praise ; then 
came the giving out of the cattle. A great many had 
received their rewards, when the cry was raised for the bravo 


wlio had gained the entrance, to show himself, and I had to 
step forward. ' To me,' said the King, ' you have shown 
yourself a soldier indeed, and deserving of a King's notice ; 

there is a troop of cattle for you. But , now I shall 

Idll 3^ou for helping one of the captive girls to escape. AVhat 
say you*?' I saw it was no use attempting to get out of the 
hobble, so I spoke boldly. I knew that kings like those 
who speak out, but I trembled all the while. ' Yes, father; 
yes, wild beast; yes, you that are black,' I replied. ' The 
King is, of course, right. I ought to be killed; but I could 
not help it. She bewitched me.' ' How sol' asked he; and 
I told him the whole affair, with all the symptoms. AVhen 
I had done, he burst out laughing, and said, ' Wow ! the 
idiot fell in love with her. Go, go; you are a brave soldier, 
but a fool in these matters. I should have thought a young 
man of your age and appearance would have known more. 
Wow! the fool! What was it like? Was it sore 1' 'No, 
father, I can't say it was sore. It was like a sickness, 
though. It was just " Umhlolo." '* 'Go, go,' he said, 'You 
have escaped.' I went quickly, took my cattle, and thanked 
my snake all the way home. That was the beginning of 
my rise; till now, as you see me, I have many kraals, much 
people, and plenty cattle. 

" Well, when I had been at home for about ten days, I 
went paying visits all round, was everywhere 2)raised and 
fed; but still something was wanting. My heart continually 
ached with a dull pain. I felt a want. At night I dreamt 
about the 'Swazi girl. By day I thought of her. I saw her 
face in the burning coals of fire. I halted while eating my 
food to think of her, until my people said, ' How much that 

* Anything out of the v/ay. Anything unnatural ; not explain- 
able in ordinary or natural grounds. Used in a great many senses. 



young man speaks to his heart' [thinks]. I went hunting, 
but I used to forget what I was about. In the dance I 
would stop and not know it. Wow 1 that love is an Umhlolo 
indeed. At last, one morning while lying lost in my hut, 
my sisters came rushing in, saying that they had found a 
girl half-dead with cold in the garden, and that she was 
'Swazi by her tongue. My heart leapt up at once, and with 
it my body. I knew it was she. It was as if something 
was drawing me with a rope. The girls laughed; they 
had a shrewd idea as to what was the matter. I ran 
out, and there I found her: pinched with hunger, shrivelled 
with cold, done with weariness; but yet with the same 
glancing look I remembered in the cave. I spoke to her ; 
<asked her where she came from, and why she had left her 
own people. She crossed her arms upon her breasts, burst 
into tears, and, as she was falling to the ground, I caught 
her up and carried her to the kraal. On the way she told 
me, ' My people were all killed; who was I to go to? Our 
kraals were burnt; Avhere was I to live 1 I thought of you, 
and said, I will go to him who spared me in the great 
slaughter; I will hoe his corn, and cook his food, and' — 
Avhat more she said does not matter now; but there is the 
old woman beside you, and sometimes I think she has 
medicine still. So, after all, you see, notwithstanding the 
orders, I got cattle, praise, and a wife. My snake was good 
to me, you old hag; long have I been speaking of you. 
Ask now from the white man a cloth to cover you when the 
nights are cold 1" 

Native Labour. 

(Natal Colonist, 4th Mai-ch, 1873.) 

To THE Editor of the Natal Colonist. 

Sir, — Many suggestions, and much advice liave been given 
on tliis subject to the public, through your own columns and 
those of your contemporaries. 

Knowing something of the difficulties with which the 
Government, as well as private persons, have to contend, in 
their endeavours to procure the necessary labour for planters 
and others — both w^ithin and beyond our borders — I WTite 
to you, in the hope that I may be able to state those diffi- 
culties, and to show how they may be surmounted. 

1st. With regard to labour from tcithin our herders. We 
may dismiss any hope of creating a sudden increase in the 
number of labourers, by any means which we can, with jus- 
tice, employ. We must be content to w^ait until civilization 
gradually teaches the natives that the end of man's work is 
not to procure cattle and wives, and then become a drone, 
till it teaches them to like work for its own sake. But, even 
when it does so, we may be sure that the Kaffir will strive 
to become his own master as trader, farmer, cattle-dealer, or 
perhaps storekeeper, and will not be content to be a labour 
ing man all his life long. 

When the revenue was less than the expenditure, w^e used 
to hear a great outcry against the Government, for not 


increasing the taxation of the natives, as also against the 
marriage law, as being a farce. We must remember that 
the principle of taxation — the support of a Government — is 
only to draw what is required for that Government : where 
more is done it becomes tyranny. At present, I doubt very 
much whether all that the natives pay directly, is spent 
upon them. "What they jjay indirectly, in the shape of 
customs' dues, I say nothing about. If we were establish- 
ing colleges, industrial schools, and large establishments 
for teaching the natives trades and agriculture, — if we were 
l^reparing them to be clerks and interpreters in the civil 
service, or fitting them for the counter and the desk — I 
should say, Tax, even at the risk of a little grumbling and 
discontent, since, although they might not see the benefit 
of it now, they would be sure to do so at a future time. I 
cannot agree with those who say that, as we have given 
them Locations, and saved their lives, when fleeing from 
their own Governments, we ought to make them pay — 
vrhat ? Why, whatever the luhites run short of, to pay for 
the roads, the railways, the bridges, the liarbour works, 
iind the civil service, which they require for their own 
prosperity. To the Locations many of them have a right, 
from having been in Natal before the British came. As 
the natives become more civilized, I would do away with 
Locations, but very gradually and gently ; and principally 
by giving each deserving native, not tribe, a title to his piece 
of land. Such as are not worthy of a freehold, and for whom 
there is no room on the Location, may very well pay rent to 
the white proprietor. We must remember that we have a 
higher mission than simply to make this a prosperous colony, 
and fill our own pockets. AVe are a Christian and a civilized 
nation, and, as Britons, should have, peculiarly, the welfare 


and improvement of the black races under our care. To do 
anything Avhich would drive them back into barbarism would 
be to declare ourselves false to our promises and our duties. 
With regard to the argument that, " as we have given pro- 
tection they ought to pay," I cannot think it a right one, 
although we act on it to a certain extent now, by making all 
refugees work three years at half wages. It is principally 
political crimes, or supposed crimes and witchcraft, which 
drive them out of the Zulu. As well might Britain have 
said to Louis Napoleon, " Pay double taxes or go back to 
where you will be shot." The illustration may seem extrava- 
gant, but the principle is the same. I am afraid the interest 
I feel in this subject has caused me to digress ; but, however, 
having said thus much, regarding the j^rospects of labour, 
from within our own boundaries, I have now to turn to the 
natives who live beyond, and as my knowledge is only of 
those to the north, it is of them I shall speak. And first of 
the Zulus. 

We were told some time ago in the papers that some 
regiments of Zulus had been sent by Cetchwayo to work 
in Natal. This was a mistake. There has never been 
anything of the kind, and I say most decidedly that I 
should be sorry to see either the Zulus coming to work in 
Natal, of their own accord, or sent by their King. No one 
but Mr Shepstone knows how the Zulus, being an inde- 
pendent and to some extent antagonistic nation, facilitate 
the ruling of our oayu Kaffirs — what a damper they act upon 
their even entertaining the thought of getting rid of the 
whites. When such a thing happens, I shall look upon it 
less as a mark of the progress of civilization, than an attempt 
at coalition with our natives, or of possessing friends in the 
enemy's camp. 


But, although this is not true, what has happened is this : 
— Cetchwayo being a despot, with command of hfe and 
death over his people, and especially over the Amatonga, 
who are looked upon by the Zulus as dogs, has compelled 
the small tribes of Umanaba, Umangaliso, Endongene, 
Uhlomula, and others, who are directly under Usomkele, a 
Zulu chief at St Lucia Bay, to turn out numbers of men 
(between 300 and 400) to work in Natal, and the money to 
go to him. These small tribes being directly under the 
Zulus have no choice. They cannot fight ; and if they refuse 
to go, they die. This was spoken of, in the Mercury, some 
time ago, and glossed over, by saying that, excepting some 
reductions to their chiefs, their money was paid them at the 
end of their time. The truth of the matter was this, that 
they were bound for six months at 8s. per month = 48s. 
The 8s. they got to buy a blanket, the 40s. went to Cetch- 
wayo, with which he buys guns and powder. Surely this is 
not the right way to get labour. It is nothing more nor 
less than slavery ; and of a dangerous sort for the colony. 

Now, as Mr Shepstone has said in his Memorandum, there 
are three routes by which labourers come into Natal; 1st, 
Through the Transvaal ; 2nd, Through the 'Swazi or Tonga 
and Zulu country ; and 3d, By sea. Let us consider these 
three routes, and what is required to make the natives travel 
on them, in greater numbers than they do now. Every one, 
with any knowledge of the subject, is aware that all that is 
wanted, is to free the land routes from danger, and, if possible, 
help the travellers with food on the way. We spend large 
sums on Coolie immigration. I do not see why we should 
not spend a little on this. With regard to the Transvaal, 
the natives consider it as dangerous as any other, and rightly 
so, I think ; since, although we see on the map an immense 


tract of territory as belonging to the Eepublic, yet, over fully 
one-half of it, it has neither right nor j^ower. Consequently, 
the tribes have a double safety in murdering and plundering, 
since the Dutch cannot, or will not, punish them; and outside 
tribes do not like to attack them in the so-called Transvaal 
territory. When the unfortunate labourer reaches what is 
really the country conquered by the Eepublic, he is just as 
badly off as ever, in consequence of the chronic antagonism 
of the Dutch to the black man, and their peculiar ideas of the 
relation of the one to the other. 

As regards the second route, through tlie 'Swazi, Zulu, 
and Tonga, all the Gaza tribes, i.e., those under Umzila, 
and they are an immense number, would choose this route. 
It is their natural one. But the Amaswazi are their 
deadly enemies, because of wars between them, and latterly 
because of Mawewe, who was deposed by Umzila, being a 
friend of, and located amongst them. Unozingili, the King 
of Mabudtu (Mapoota), was friendly enough with Umzila 
and his people, but since the last war he had with the 
Amanundwana, when he took all the guns the Portuguese 
had lent them, and so comj)letely defeated them that our 
ingenious neighbours were obliged to own tliat their mdory 
had cost them dearly, he has been challenged by the Gaza 
l)eople, who say, "Let him come here. We should only 
like to see him come here ! " To this he has answered, 
"Wait a little. I am making ready. I shall come ! " So 
that we suppose his country to be not a very safe one for 
( laza labourers. 

With every wish to oblige our Government in the matter 
of protection to the Tonga labourers, going and coming, 
the Zulu King is unable to do it thoroughly. They are 
l)lundered and ill-used by the young men, and, as the Zulus 



are all banded together in any dealings with outsiders, the 
unfortunate wayfarer often puts uji with his loss, rather 
than undergo the bullying, trouble, and expense he would 
incur in bringing his case before Cetchwayo, or a great 

I have pointed out the dangers ; now, it remains to be 
seen how they are to be obviated. 

Let our Government make arrangements with the 
Transvaal — I do not loiow the country sufficiently to say 
where; but others do. Let them buy farms at proper 
distances along the route, and appoint a Briton to be 
on each farm ; who shall be the Consul, to whom all com- 
plaints of plunder or ill-usage are addressed, and let him 
apply to the -Dutch authorities for redress, and if none is to 
be had from them, let him forward his case to Natal. Let 
him always have a certain stock of mealies on hand. He 
may buy them, or grow them, so that he could both feed 
the people for a day, and give them some to carry them on. 
Let the proper buildings be erected for him, and, I am 
much mistaken, if many men would not take the situation 
at a very low salary indeed, because of the advantages it 
would offer, as a store or trading station. 

In the Zulu, 'Swazi, and Tonga, the same may be done. 
I must mention that the Amaswazi and the Basutos of 
Umjanji and Usikwata are at deadly enmity. There is no 
passage for the latter. Neither can the former pass through 
Zulu-land. But all this can be remedied if our Government 
takes it in hand. 

The first station might be on the Temby side of English 
River — of course I am supposing that the English boundary 
of 26° south will be upheld — it is a fine country and not 
particularly unhealth}'. 

immigrants' stations and agents. 291 


The second could be out of the unhealthy country of 
Mabudtu on the Bombo Eange, south of the Pongolo river. 

The third and last should be in the centre of the Zulu 
•country. The same arrangement applies to these stations 
— as regards men to take charge of them and their duties— 
as to those in the Transvaal. Lastly, appoint an Inspector 
of all these stations. 

If this were done, the routes would be rendered perfectly 
safe — which concerns the natives more than their food — and 
every labourer from the Xorthern countries — except, j^erhaps, 
those who live within the boundaries of the Portuguese 
settlements — would come by them and go by them, in 
preference to the sea route. Time is no object to the 
natives, if they are safe. The most of their food they will 
manage for themselves. They fear the sea, and they save 
passport duty and passage money, as well as duty on their 
goods when returning by land. 

I have pointed out the dangers of the two routes, and 
what I think the best means of obviating them. Is it my 
business to say where the ways and means are to come from, 
too ? Well, perhaps it is, so I shall try to do so. 

I would not hamper these people in the slightest. I 
would say nothing about taxing them, since the story of the 
three black crows, is exemplified every day amongst the 
natives. Let the first Station-Master they come to, give 
them each a ticket as labourers for Xatal, and let each 
succeeding one stamp it as "Passed." When the natives 
reach the first Magistracy in Natal, they shall be bound to 
go there and exhibit their tickets, pay one shilling, and have 
them stamped with the Magistracy and " Paid ; " or, if he 
has no shilling, " Unpaid." This ticket they shall be bound 
to show when they seek employment. If they have no 


ticket when they ask for work, they may be taken to the 
nearest Magistrate, where tliey shall have to give an account 
of themselves and receive a ticket. The arrangement to 
engage, must be made before the Magistrate. The employer, 
if he cannot go himself, can always send a messenger with 
the people, and with a letter stating that he has employed 
certain natives, giving their names, term of engagement, and 
wages, and, if necessary, paying the unpaid shilling, to be 
deducted from their wages. Let there be a penalty upon 
any engagement of a labourer from beyond the borders, 
without his ticket ; and, if the system was extended to our 
own natives, so much the better, and there shall be no redress, 
if a Kaffir is engaged otherwise than before a Magistrate. To 
afford facilities this might be done before a Field Cornet 
or J. P., the employer forwarding the engagement to the 
Magistrate for record. The ticket shall remain in the 
employer's possession, so that the natives shall not be able 
to lend them to one another ; and, on leaving his employ, 
his master shall endorse his discharge upon said ticket, 
without inspection of which, it shall be penal for any other 
man to engage him. When he wishes to go home the 
Magistrate shall give him a clearance, homeward bound, on 
payment of another shilling, which he can show along the 
route ; and, without this clearance, he shall receive neither 
help nor shelter. 

In all laws of this kind it is impossible to prevent there 
being some loophole, by means of which it can be evaded. 
Unless the employers of labour work with each other and 
the Government, and are satisfied that the law is a good 
law, we may as well save ourselves the trouble of putting it 
on. the Statute Book. 

If I remember rightly, Mr Shepstone in his Memorandum 


proposes to tax the labourer one sliilling per montli, for the 
]>enefits he receives, from a scheme something Hke the one 
I am proposing. I say No ; but rather tax the employer 
one shilling per month. If labour becomes plentiful, it will 
eventually be paid by the labourer ; but if it be scarce, it is 
simply one shilling per month higher wages, and this course 
will prevent rumours, of immense sums having to be paid, 
circulating amongst them. 

I think I have pointed out sufficient ways and means, and 
even if I have not, surely Government and the planters will 
not grudge a little more, when they are going to ten times 
the expense for Coolies. 

Now for the Sea route. I see that Captain Elton has been 
commissioned by the Government to proceed to Mozambique, 
to arrange with the Portuguese authorities, for leave to the 
natives to embark from their settlements for Natal. No 
man is more fitted for this than Captain Elton. He will 
arrange his treaty. Our polite neighbours will express them- 
selves anxious to do all their " possibilities " for their good 
friends the British. He will come back with flying colours 
and — it tvill be money throivn away ! 

I saw some time ago an account of a meeting of the Immi- 
grants' Aid Office, at which it was stated that Captain 
Kaminski, of the " Sea Nymph," said that the Portuguese 
imthorities prevented natives embarking for Natal. This 
was denied by Mr Peace, the vice-consul for Portugal. 
Nevertheless, Captain Kaminski was right and Mr Peace 
was wrong. I remember hearing a story from some one, of 
Captain Elton asking the Governor of Lorenzo Marques if 
the natives might embark in the " May," and his being told 
that, as they were free now, they might do as they liked, 
there being nothing to prevent them. Captain Elton's agent, 


I was told, procured fifty-two men, and while they wero^ 
collected outside the office, waiting for their tickets, some 
soldiers from the garrison passed among them. They 
gradually melted away and the vessel came back empty. It 
does not suit the Portuguese that their natives should come; 
to work in Xatal ; for they would get notions of liberty and 
good government which are entirely contrary to Portuguese 
ideas. Besides that, seeing large numbers of Britons and 
their power and progress, they would be sure to imbibe a 
very unpleasant contempt for their masters and their miser- 
able ordure-scented settlements. 

If we had a station on Inyack Island — then indeed the 
sea route would become the best. All the natives from the 
Interior would come })y it. They would just come quietly 
round the walls of the Portuguese settlements, — they could 
not stop them, — cross over to Inyack and there wait for a 
vessel. The Island is perfectly capable of growing food for 
their support, and it is healthy. By this means they would 
avoid the Swazi, the Zulu, and the Mabudtu, and the very 
name of Britons being settled on Inyack would draw out 
thousands who now fear the distance and the danger. 
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

Peter Schlemil. 

Durban, February 17, 1873. 

The Gun Trade with the Natives. 

(Natal Colonist, 4th April. 1873.) 

To THE Editor of the Natal Colonist. 
Sir, — The vexed question of the trade in arms and ammu- 
nition with the natives, and how to stop it, is one which just 


now occupies a great share of public attention. To my mind, 
no one who has spoken or written, on this subject, has gone 
deep enough. The cure of a wound must begin from the 
interior — if cicatrised it only bursts forth again — worse than 
before — and, perhaps, dangerously affects other parts of the 

I see that the Lieutenant Governor has put a stop both to 
the importation and exportation of guns — the latter either 
l)y land or sea. I cannot say " very good," since this is only 

There have been three routes by which guns and powder 
have hitherto reached the natives, with whom we in Natal 
might come into collision : — 

1. From the Cape Colony and the Diamond Fields 

2. From our own Colony of Natal, with and without the 
I»ermission of the Government — nior(^ without than with, 

3. Through the Portuguese settlement of Loren9o Marques, 
situated about two miles up the left bank of English Eiver, 
which runs into Delagoa Bay. 

I believe that, owing to the representations of the Free- 
State and Transvaal, Sir Henry Barkly and Mr Southey 
have, or are about to, put a stop, not only to the sale of 
lirearms to natives, but to their indiscriminate importation 
and sale altogether. So far so good, but will Sir Henry 
prevent them being exported by the new line of steamers to 
Loren9o Marques? I need not speak of the settlement to 
the North of that one. Or, if he does that in Capetown 
and Algoa Bay, can he stop, in transhipment, guns, shipped 
in ICngland, consigned to Lorenco direct 1 Supposing, 
however, all this be done, combined with what has already 


been done in Natal, it will prevent any guns or ammunition 
from leaving the British Colonies in South Africa for the 
Portuguese settlements ; hut Avhat does that help 1 They 
themselves can, and do, import from France, Britain, and 
Portugal. The next proceeding, I su2)pose, would be a 
treaty, between Great l^ritain and Portugal, to the effect 
that neither Power should dispose of arms to the natives. 
All would be properly settled, diplomatically, and, after all, it 
would be a mere farce. 

I could not help laughing to myself the other day, when 
I saw something in the Mercuiij, about the 500 guns having 
been delivered to the Zulus by the Governor of Lorenco 
Marques, "to the great dissatisfaction of the inhabitants." 
Dear me ! There are perhaps thirty pure white inhabitants 
— the only ones who dare call their souls their own — in the 
jilace, besides those among the soldiers who are white, but 
who count for nothing. If they were dissatisfied, take my 
word for it, that it was only because the j)rofit did not go 
into their pockets ! As for the Governor, he could not do 
otherwise. If he offended the Zulus, who would keep the 
Amaswasi and Mabudtu tribes from him % 

Here I cannot help digressing, to remark how ignorant 
people are, who might be enlightened by the slightest 
enquiry, not only of the tribes surrounding us, and their 
politics and proceedings, but also of the geography of the 
surrounding countries. A good while ago I saw in your own 
journal, or that of your contemporary, an extract from a 
Transvaal paper, to the effect that Mr George Moodie has 
inspected the route of the proposed road from New Scotland 
to the mouth of the Usutu Eiver, as far as the Bombo range. 
That up to that 2:)oint he had found no difficulties, and, from 
there, it was only dghteen miles of level country, free from 


obstructions, to Delagoa, Bay. It is eighty every inch of it, 
and if he goes down the right bank of the Usutu, he has 
the Pongolo to cross — if down the left, he has lakes and 
morasses — which will necessitate a detonr. Again, quite 
lately, I saw that the President of the Transvaal had been 
to the Swazi Queen's head kraal " Lotito" (Udidti), one. 
<lay's journey from Delagoa Bay. Now it is five days' hard 
walking. There may be a " motive" in the original penning 
of these statements, but it is careless in the Natal Mercuri/ 
and Colonist, to take them for granted, and transcribe them; 
they may mislead abroad. 

To return to the treaty, and why it would be a f^irce. It 
is acknowledged that Governments may make treaties, but 
unless the nation considers them beneficial or honourable, 
they do not hold. The voice of other nations, or the public 
opinion of an honourable people, may for a time cause th(^ 
obnoxious and harmful treaty to be adhered to, simply 
because unfortunately it has been made; but, sooner or 
later, it is openly abrogated, and in most cases systemati- 
cally evaded. Honourable public feeling does a great deal, 
but even that will not do all. 

How will it be, then, where there is neither public opinion, 
press, nor feeling of any kind — where a few men risk their 
lives, for the sake of making money quickly, and returning 
to tlieir native land — where the end and aim of everything 
is profit; the description of trade in which it may be gained 
being of no consequence'? The British may make represen- 
tations, should they break or evade the treaty; but will the 
Portuguese Government accept such representations, in 
despite of those of their own officials and subjects ] Never ! 
What do those who reside in the East African settlements 
of Portugal care? They live within stone walls, and con- 


sicler themselves tolerably safe, not only because of their 
defences, but because the natives think that, should they 
sweep them off, they would be unable to procure their 
supplies of goods, and the arms with which they murder 
and plunder one another. There is only one remedy for 
this, as for other matters, and that is a British settlement- 
on the southern bank of English River, as well as Unyaka, 
with posts along the border. This would aid our labour 
supply, and stop the gun trade. What the Portuguese do, 
to the northward, is a question for philanthropists — not of 
our safety. 

I cannot pass on, without referring to a late article in th& 
Transvaal Advocate, in which the Colonial Governments ar& 
bitterly blamed for the " reckless" way, in which they allow 
the natives, in and about the liepublic, to procure arms; 
and, it is tolerably broadly said, that Great Britain does 
this for the jmrpose of compelling the two States to come 
under British rule, by involving them in wars with the 
natives. The Transvaal shouldn't throw stones, and the 
reason why it should not do so, I will give in an anecdote. 
T remember, some two or three years ago, having some 
conversation with a trader, who takes, every year, large 
(piantities of goods into the Transvaal, and amongst other 
things, guns and powder. He was telling me that he traded 
with the natives on the outskirts of the Kepublic, about and 
across the Limpopo, and mentioning his large i)rofits, a £10 
tusk for a £3 gun, and so on. I — filled with a natural 
envy — was trying to find " a worm in the rosebud" he was 
holding, so tantalisingly, to my nose, so I said : — " But do 
not the Transvaal authorities interfere with you?" I shall 
never forget his look of pitying contempt at my simplicity, 
as he replied, " No I I get the Yeld Cornets to trade for 


me." Now the Natal Government do their best; wlienever 
they give a permit to export guns to the Free State or 
Transvaal, they take a bond, to be redeemed by the Land- 
rost's certificate. This gives the authorities tlie information 
that certain guns have come into their country: and it 
surely then becomes their business to see that they are 
properly disposed of. The Governing powers of the Re- 
public may rest assured, that, so long as their officers are 
amenable to reason, and the profits will allow of reason being 
shown, guns will be sold to the natives, whatever nation 
may bear sway in Natal, the Cape Colony, or the Diamond 

I have pointed out, what I believe to be the only thorough 
preventive of the sale of arms and ammunition, by the Portu- 
guese, to the natives bordering on Natal: and, as regards 
our own Colonies, I think that the various Governments 
ought to take the trade in guns into their own hands, just 
as they have done that in powder. They can appoint 
agents for the sale of fire-arms, at a fixed salary, and they 
can always keep a stock on hand. I do not think that bona 
fide buyers of guns would object to this, as the Government 
(;ould afford to sell cheaper than importers, since what they 
want is safety, not profit. As at j)resent, the Magistrates 
could give permits. They would never be required to 
adjudicate on an application for a great number, because, as 
nobody can sell, nobody would buy, except what they 
required for their own use; although I think that one 
l)rivate individual may sell his gun to another, provided the 
Magistrate is satisfied. It is only the imjmiation of guns 
that I would have in Government hands. From the 15th 
to the 31st of every January, might be the time in which 
registered owners of guns should be compelled to show or 


account for tliem, at their respective Magistracies. As 
regards guns going Overberg, I don't think that the present 
arrangement can be improved upon. The Free State and 
Transvaal may rest assured, that the first use of these guns, 
if they get into the possession of the natives, will not be in 
war ic'ith the British! Instead of grumbling at us, let them 
look closer after their disposal. 

There is one thing, however, which our Government is 
remiss in, and that is, the allowing so much' gun and powder 
.smuggling to be carried on. Many cases of guns, and casks 
of i:>owder, pass yearly into Natal, without paying duty, or 
being registered. It is impossible to say more, but this 
islight reference ought to be enough ; verhum scqj : ! 

Notwithstanding all I have proj^osed, and other people 
may propose, and all that the Government can do, we may 
rest assured that, while the profits are so high, the trade 
will be carried on, but it is our duty to do all we can to 
stop it. The more strict and vigilant the Government is, 
the greater the risk to the illicit traders. To cover that 
risk, he can only sell a class of gun which is much more 
dangerous to the man behind it, than to the one in front ; 
and, after all, it is not what an undisciplined horde of 
natives can do with firearms, that I am afraid of, but what 
they think they can do, so that, if they can only get a class 
of weapon, which will quickly betray their confidence, in 
a disastrous manner, the result might almost be better, 
than if we could stop the trade altogether. 

It is known that the Zulus (The Ma Zitu) about tlic 
Zambezi and Shire, will have nothing to do with guns, and 
when they take them from tlie enemy, they beat the iron 
into assegais. Some time ago I was conversing with one of 
the Mabudtu Tongas, and I made the remark — speaking of 


the late war — " Now you liave taken the Portuguese guns, 
I suppose every man in Mabudtu is armed." " Oh ! " he 
repUed, "guns help nothing. They are very well for 
hunting, but not for war. You fire one shot, and before you 
can load again they are on you with the assegai ! " 

These tribes have learned by experience; but that of 
other tribes has yet to come. 

I am &c., 

Peter Schlemil. 


(NATAL Colonist, lOtli April, I87;i.) 

To THE Editor of the Natal Colonist. 

Sir, — In common with everyone in the Colony — especially 
those who live in the country — I take a great interest in 
this subject, and that must be my apology for offering a 
suggestion or two. 

The Volunteer law is a good one, but it is not sufficient. 
We ought most decidedly to have a militia law to supple- 
ment it. This would, however, most likely be a dead letter, 
since everyone would then join the Volunteers — as they 
ought to do. I have not the law by me to refer to, and 
(consequently cannot say whether there is a compulsory 
clause or not ; but, if there is not, there ought to be. Any 
man, who has once voluntarily joined a corps, ought to be 
compelled to keep up his drill and practice. If he does not, 
let him fall back into the militia. Sure am I that no 
employer will grudge the necessary time to any employe. 


Another thing tliat comes within tlie compass of this 
subject, is the arming of our natives. What is there to 
prevent our training two hundred Kaffirs, at eacli magistracy 'i 
I feel perfectly confident that we could find trustworthy 
natives, who would stand by us in any war ; and the fact of 
there being diff'erent tribes, at difi"erent magistracies, would 
prevent them ever coalescing against us. They might drill 
twenty-four days in a year, and receive one shilling per day 
pay. The same on service — besides rations, but no rations 
during j^ractice or drill. These men might be attached to, 
and officered by, the different Volunteer corps ; and we 
should thus, with our Volunteers and militia, be prepared 
for any outbreak in the Colony — and, with the addition of 
our Kaffir Sepoys, be ready for any inroad from, or war 
beyond, our borders. Their arms, after drilling, to be 
deposited in the care of the magistrate. 

It is well known that the Kaffir " in authority " — say the 
policeman — is harder on his coloured brethren, than the 
whites are. So I believe it w^ould be, in the event of mak- 
ing them soldiers. And we could obviate any chance of a 
rebellion, such as that of the Hottentots of the Cape Corps, 
by keeping their arms from them, except at drill, or on 
service. But I reiterate — and I have some knowledge of the 
natives — that I believe they would make faithful soldiers. 
Besides that, it would be a step in the right direction, as 
showing them that we identified our interests with theirs, 
and expected them to do their sliare in defending a country 
in which they, as Avell as ourselves, have their homes. 

I am. Sir, yours, 

Peter Schlemi]>. 

Durban, Fehruary 22, 1873. 


The Kaffir Rising in Natal. 

(Times, 2nd January, 1874.) 
To THE Editor of tue Times. 

Sir, — As one who has lived many years among the natives 
of Natal and surrounding countries, I would say a few words 
.as to the alarm, no doubt felt by many, about the recent 
outbreak in Natal, of which we have such scant news, in 
•consequence of the detention of the mail, and Avhy I think 
it of little moment. 

At intervals of a few years, a tribe becomes rich and 
unmanageable. Something happens to cause a quarrel and 
disobedience, and the tribe is punished. There have been 
two cases of this in Natal, before the present one of 
Langalibalele (Anglice, " The sun, it shines") — those of 
Isidoi and Matyana. Both were "eaten up" and driven 
from the country. Some of the other tribes were gathered 
by Mr Shepstone, and, in company with a few whites, 
perfectly succeeded in their expeditions. They took all the 
cattle and scattered the offenders. Their place knew them 
no more. Among such an agglomeration of petty nationali- 
ties as there is in Natal, it is certain that every now and 
then one will be contumacious — ^just as in civilized com- 
munities there are always individuals who commit crime. 
The unfortunate part in this case is, that what was intended 
as simple punishment, should have ended in something like 
a battle, in which we were defeated, and the natives escaped 
with their cattle, which are all in all to them. I have no 
fear whatever of any general war in Natal, unless some 
question is raised which would band the tribes together. 
Summary interference with polygamy might do it. 


There is one thing, however, which I have constantly 
advocated, in the Natal newspapers and in papers read 
before the Natural History Association of that place, and 
that is the necessity for education. It applies equally to 
West Coast and East. Missionary exertions are good so 
far, but they are slow. Let us have Mr Forster's Act out 
there. The natives have been used to plenty of room for 
their cattle and their gardens. As time goes on, under the 
peaceful rule of Britain, they increase and multiply, and, 
unless they are educated into a different mode of livings 
they become crowded, they quarrel, and wars are the result; 
simply because, in their own idea, they had not room to exist. 
It has been an infallible law in the history of all savage and 
half-civilized peoples (in that of others, too, perhaps), that a 
long peace bred a bloody war, but this is the principal 
reason for it among natives — they must have room; and 
wars, once begun, are hard to put a stop to. 
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

David Leslie. 

Natal and Ashantee. 

(Glasgow Herald, January 6th, 1874.) 

To THE Editor of the Glasgow Herald. 

Sir, — I see that you have done me the honour, in to-day's 
issue, of republishing my note to the Timei< of the 2nd inst. 
I wish to mention that that letter was written on 31st 
December, and I am now glad to see that the news by the 
Anglian, corroborates my opinion of the so-called "rising." 
My object in addressing you to-day is to point out the 
i:)arallel which, to a certain extent, exists in the conditions 


of the tribes on the West and East coasts; as also the 
position in which a different mode of Government and a 
different pohcy, has placed them to their English rulers. 
Xatal has not the disadvantage which the West coast 
labours under, viz., that of being an unhealthy country, but 
as regards the number of natives to rule, the position is the 
same ; nay, in that colony it is not so favourable, since it is 
but the other day that the Zulu immigrants were constantly 
at war, and still they are naturally turbulent, brave, and 
warlike, whereas the natives of the Protectorate are the 
opposite. Natal is surrounded by strong and restless tribes, 
> et are they all friendly. A severe, yet just and honourable 
policy, has always been adopted towards them, and though 
in the case of the Zulu nation beyond the border — the 
Ashantees of the East — it has been aided by the accident of 
fear of civil war amongst themselves, and by the influence 
exerted by Mr John Dunn, Secretary to their King; yet 
Ave may truly say, that it has been successful in the highest 

Natal proper, is inhabited by a number of tribes, each of 
which preserves its autonomy, and is governed by its chief, 
who exercises magisterial authority, but is subject to the 
white magistrate of the district in which his tribe is situated. 
He has a right of appeal, however, as have any of his people 
— nominally to the Lieutenant-Governor, as Great Chief, 
])ut virtually to the Secretary for Native Affairs, the Hon. 
Theo. Shepstone, C.M.G., to whom Britain is greatly 
indebted, not only for what he has done in Natal, but 
because he has thereby shown that natives in our depen- 
dencies can be well and easily governed, and at the same 
time improve their condition morally and physically, yet 
remain loyal subjects and good friends. 



Thus, tlien, one tribe keeps the other in check ; and 
whenever a case like the 2)resent one of LangaHbalehi 
happens, they are only too anxious, for love, or for hatred, 
or reward — perhaps all three — to help the whites against 
their contumacious brethren. 

It is inevitable, ''in the unalterable fitness of things," that 
such quarrels should happen in Natal. Although the present 
affair began by the chief's refusal to register guns, bought by 
his people when working at the diamond fields, yet he has 
long been known as one who had a great opinion of his own 
power. These natives are located — i.e., portions of the land of 
Natal are laid off for occupation by them. Each tribe holds 
a title from the Government. The people, however, are at 
Uberty to, and thousands of them do, reside on private 
property, if they prefer the locality, and can arrange with the 
proprietor. Much has been said against this system of 
locations, but I myself cannot see how, for the present, it 
can be altered. As I wrote in the Times — it is worth 
repeating — unless they are educated to a knowledge of, and 
desire for, a higher mode of life, they cannot exist on small 
plots of land, as could a white man ; and to throw them 
abroad in the colony with no foot of ground — no locus standi 
— compelled to find place for their kraals where they could 
arrange with the landholder, would subject them to, in their 
opinion, persecutions and fleecings, and drive them into 
rebellion against what the white men Avould only consider 
their just claims. 

Education is the great civiliser. The mandate of the 
Governor, as Great Chief, of course supported by the Legis- 
lative Council, Avill be more simple and efficacious than Mr 
Forster's Act. The natives can very well pay taxes to 
support the schools, and education will do no more than it 


lias done in this country, when it induces reform amongst 
the Kaffirs of Xatal. 

I must also point out as the brightest side of all, that there 
is less drunkenness, debauchery, and crime — the usual con- 
<:omitants of civilization — amongst the natives under the 
Government of Natal, than in any other colony I have seen 
or read of. The Cape papers abuse the Natal Government 
for strictness in its native policy — the Natal colonists cry 
out against its too great leniency, and call it negrophilism. 
Be sure, therefore, that the happy medium has been hit. 
The Cape is always pleased to get a bone to pick with its 
younger sister ; but yet it has not been so successful in its 
own native policy, as to entitle its criticism to weight. 
Natal, since it has been a colony, has never cost the Imperial 
Government a penny, or a man, through its wars or its 
rumours of w^ars. That is only negative praise; l)ut it has done 
more. From the Zambezi southwards the natives come to 
Avork in its sugar and coffee plantations. They compare the 
■condition of things in Natal with the anarchy, murder, and 
robbery which prevail in countries, which we allow to t)e 
under the degraded so-called rule of Portugal, and they 
spread the name of Euglishman (Scotch though I am, I must 
acknowledge that W(^ go by no other) as a synonym for jus- 
tice, honour, and humanity. This is the state of things in 
the East. 

On the West Coast, as on the East, there seems to be a 
belt of coast land which is unhealthy. Throughout those 
low-lying countries there are a number of tribes under our 
protectorate, who bear the same relation to the Ashantees us 
do the Amatonga tribes, under so-called Portuguese rule, on 
the East, to the Zulus. The latter can neither control nor 
protect the Amatongas. They encourage them in forays on 


one another, so as to j^revent themselves from bemg over- 
whelmed ; and they actually make their complaints and pay 
tribute, in the shape of presents, to the Zulu power, which 
is tributary to the British, against the very people whose 
territory they now claim, notwithstanding its cession to us 1 
The result of the question being at present under arbitration 
is, that we are unable to give the peoj^le that ^jrotection, from 
themselves and from the Zulus, which the presence of a single 
British official would afford them. We have hitherto been 
in much the same position on the West Coast as the Portu- 
guese on the East. The difference is, that we are able and 
willing to do what is right. AVe only require awakening. 
In consequence of our having nothing but trading posts on 
the Gold Coast, the demoralisation caused by us amongst 
the natives has been something frightful. There has been 
no colony, little authority, and no public opinion. By 
taking possession of the Ashantee country, and establishing 
our headquarters there, our trooj^s and officials would be 
free from disease, and we should be enabled to keep our 
factories on the coast. Those who reside in them, would no 
doubt risk their lives for money-making, but, if they choose 
to do it, neither themselves, nor any one else, has a right to 
grumble. A railway from the low to the higher lands, would 
reduce the risk from fever on the passage to a minimum. 

The Ashantees, like the Zulus, seem to be, upon the 
whole, a manly, brave, and generous people. But again, 
like the Zulus, as they have gained their power by an utter 
disregard for human life and a love for war, created and 
fostered by early successes — and through their possessing 
finer constitutions, both physically and morally, in conse- 
quence of living in a hilly, healthier country, and being far 
from the debauchery and drunkenness which inevitably 

don't spare the rod. 309 

€xist in the vicinity of the factories — they have a love for, 
and consider it necessary to keep np, their bloody customs 
and wars, in the belief that without them they would neither 
be respected nor unmolested. 

A thorough beating first, and good treatment (though 
firm and just) afterwards, will at once reconcile them to the 
temperate rule of Britain, and to the safety for their persons 
and property which would obtain. It has been so on the 
East, where the Zulu Power desolated the South-East Coast, 
until they came in contact with the Dutch Boers, who com- 
pletely defeated them; and afterwards, the British having 
defeated the Boers, their supremacy was accepted, and the 
Zulus became good neighbours and vassals. This, of course, 
does not apply to the Xorth, as the way is open there for 
the Zulu forays, through the claim of the Portuguese to the 

The natives of Africa, East and West, are born traders. 
It is about trade that the quarrels on the West principally 
arise. Give them peace and security — by conquering them 
— and an immense trade with the interior would result. 
Adopt the system at work in Natal, where the one tribe 
keejis the other in check, and we should have a magnificent 
dependency in Western Africa, easily and inexpensively 
ruled, with prospects for commerce scarcely to be equalled, 
except, perhaps, in China. 

Adopt the other plan which is openly advocated, and 
what is the results We avenge our honour, re-establish our 
X^restige, and — what ? We leave the country a j^rey to war, 
anarchy, and crime of every kind. The slave trade would 
revive in all its horrors. (It has never died out on the 
East Coast, under Portuguese rule, notwithstanding treaties 
and Sir Bartle Frere's embassy 1) Britain would falsify her 


past liistory as the coiintiy which has preferred benefit U> 
humanity to her own profit; as the nation wliich never 
calcuhited the cost, wlien what she thought good was to be 
done to oppressed and degraded peoj^les. We need not go 
to Coomassie for that end. Halt now, and leave the countr}'. 
Our honour and our prestige have had many a worse rul> 
than what they would suffer from doing so, especially with 
the princii:)le avowed that "the game is not worth the 
candle." In one sense — the lowest — it is not; but let us 
hope that higher motives will prevail. If they do, we shall 
undoubtedly meet our reward, even in a pecuniary sense. 
I am, &c., 

David Leslie. 

The Native Rising in Natal. 

To THE Editor of the Times. 
Sir, — In writing of the circumstances of the late outbreak 
in Natal, it is necessary, to a true understanding of the 
affair, to have a knowledge of the condition of the tribes in 
that colony; of the position which they occupy towards the 
whites, and of their character and customs. Most Natalians 
■will know my name, and will not deny my acquaintance 
with the subject, though they have generally considered me 
a "negrophile," in consequence of my always having defended 
Mr Shepstone's policy towards the natives; and their rights, 
against rash politicians, who, either on the one side wish to 
reduce them to something like serfdom, or, on the other, 
adopt the Exeter Hall cry of " a man and a brother. — our 
equal in all respects." I know Langalibalele personally, 
his country, and his tribe. 


The letter of " Even-handed Justice," which appeared in 
your issue of the ITtli January, is, except on one point 
which I will notice, merely a tirade which shows how much 
harm an "amiable enthusiast" may do, when he takes upon 
himself to write, on so grave a question as this, on second- 
hand information. Even in his first paragraph there is a 
gross mistake, calculated to mislead. The tribes in Natal 
were never "vanquished" by us. They came in for pro- 
tection from the Zulus and other large and warlike nations. 
Naturally, therefore, it must be considered a more heinous 
crime to rebel against those who have protected, than against 
those who conquered or " vanquished" them. 

I have no objection to his adoption of such a noin de])lume. 
Let us see, however, whether he remembered it in writing. 

1st. — He quotes from the letter of a correspondent, "above 
suspicion of misrepresentation" — -"hundreds of men killed." 
Very likely. That generally does happen in a rebellion. 
We ought to feel thankful that they who rebelled, and not 
those whom they rebelled against, were the sufferers — 
" thousands of men, women, and children made prisoners, 
who are to be converted into slaves for the benefit of the 
colonists." In this case the " correspondent" has certainly 
not simply misrepresented, he has made an assertion which 
is positively untrue, and I cannot see that it is " even- 
handed justice" to brand the struggling colonists of Natal, 
in the columns of the leading journal of the Empire, as a 
slaveholding community, on no other foundation than an 
extract from a letter, which has no date, and comes from no 
l)lace, to an anonymous writer who dates from " London." 

Some time ago I saw a sort of circular from the Peace 
Society on the same matter, and thought of replying to it. 
I was very busy, however, and thinking that the senile 


complaints of these sixteen-cup-of-tea-and-bread-and-butter- 
philanthropists did not press for refutation, I let it pass. 
Now, however, as it crops up again in a more virulent 
manner, I think it but right to lay the truth before your 
readers, for simply to deny the assertion may not l)e 

When Langalibalele and his men decided to leave the 
colony, they deserted their women and children (in the 
usual Kaffir fashion) by the thousand, thinking that once 
they (the men) were fairly settled somewhere else, these 
poor creatures would find their way to them. In all Kaffir 
wars the women have to look after themselves and their 
children. These unfortunates Avere found by the Govern- 
ment forces in all sorts of out-of-the way places — in the bush, 
the caves, and amongst the rocks; and when it was decided 
to follow up the tribe (rightly so, as I shall show) the 
question arose, What was to be done with the captives'? 

To have let them alone, would have resulted in the star- 
vation of one half, and the dispersion of the other amongst 
the loyal and auxiliary tribes, who would have made them 
the captives of their spear and shield. Mothers would hav(; 
gone one way, children another. Families would have been 
broken up, and intense misery the result. Under these 
circumstances, the Government wisely and mercifully decided 
that these helpless women and children should be placed out 
amongst respectable colonists, ])y whom they would be j^aid, 
fed, and taught — thus caring for them in the meantime, and 
endeavouring to raise them in the social scale in the future, 
just as helpless pauper children, deserted by their natural 
guardians, are apprenticed out in this free country of ours. 
It was always provided, further, that should the husbands 
and fathers of these women and children return peaceably. 


and settle down in the colony as good citizens, they might 
claim tlieir families and receive them. 

Tlie remainder of the paragraph from the "correspon- 
dent's " letter is mere clap-trap. 

"Even-handed Justice" then goes on to "narrate the 
events which have led to so shocking a history," and, in 
doing so, makes a gross misrepresention (whether for the 
sake of argument or through ignorance, I do not know). 
He says that many young Natalians paid these natives for 
work at the diamond-fields in guns, the possession of which 
Avas the first cause of the rebellion. This is not so. They 
paid their labourers — and they came from all parts of South 
Africa — in money, and these men purchased firearms and 
brought them liome, although they knew that, by the law 
of the colony, they were not allowed to own them without 
permission. He makes several other insinuations as excuses 
for the natives, and tending to throw tlie blame upon the 
whites, such as " a near relative of the district magistrate 

icas supposed to have dealt in the i:)rohibited 

merchandise" (the italics are mine), and "the old chief 

having been taught to love rum by the white 

man." Is it " even-handed justice " to make use of under- 
hand, unsupported aspersions of this kind in a grave contro- 
versy concerning matters of so much moment 1 

" Even-handed Justice " goes on to say (and here I must 
begin to mix up his two letters, of the 17th and 26th inst.) 
that there was really no outbreak, no rebellion in the usual 
sense of the term. Let me tell him, tliat a refusal to come 
to head-quarters, when called by his supreme chief, is the 
worst rebelHon a native can be capable of, short of plundering 
the residence of the King. It is as much as to say, " You 
have no right to call me. I am as good as you. If you 


want to see me, come to me. If you want my arms, come 
and take them." He asks also why this tribe should not 
have been allowed to go in peace when they wanted to take 
refuge with the Basutos. He evidently is in ignorance that 
the Basutos are also under British rule. How, then, could 
we have allowed a tribe, which had defied and then left us, 
to take up a habitation amongst a nation which is still 
l)oiling and heaving with the excitement of the last war 
with the Dutch 1 

Again, if they had been allowed to go in peace, taking 
their cattle with them, and their wives, children, and 
household goods, having plenty of time to follow, what 
l)unisliment would that have been for insubordination ? 
The native is not rooted to his native soil, as we are. This 
chief would have gone away victorious, and all the other 
tribes would have seen that they were in effect independent 
if they chose. There would have been an end to all rule 
and order. The colonists of Natal were sitting on a mine, 
and they hiew it, as do all who have personal knowledge of 
tlie colonj^ 

AYith regard to the death of the three volunteers at the 
Bushman's Pass, your correspondent says that about " sixty 
volunteers " were posted there. There were thirty, " backed 
by a body of Basutos as auxiliaries." There were twenty 
"when the natives came up by twos and threes, quite peace- 
ably, until about two hundred had assembled, of whom not 
more than one-fourth were armed [with guns, I suppose 
he means], and then a parley began." What followed, 
according to your correspondent, created the savage desire 
for vengeance in the minds of the colonists. 

Major Durnford's orders were not to fire on the natives 
until fired at, but to try and stop them peaceably; and it 


was in endeavouring to fulfil these orders, by reasoning with 
them on their conduct, that his men were fired at, were then 
l)anic-struck, and in the flight the three were shot down. 
I will not say that they were " basely murdered." Savages 
deal after their kind;\but it'is difficult for the fathers and 
l)rothers of these young men,"to excuse the natives by saying, 
" Poor fellows ; they knew no better." 

The fact of the natives leaving the colony under such 
circumstances would be no " remedy for the i)re2:)onderance 
in numbers" in the colony. Are they to go, creating a wave 
of war throughout South-Eastern Africa, and leaving insub- 
ordination and rebellion amongst those who remain behind'? 

Your correspondent's remarks on the Court of Inquiry are 
worth nothing — since all was done under native law, by 
which the tribes have preferred to be governed, and which is 
administered, with the exception of questions of polygamy, 
consistently with Christian jirofession — if not with the 
" usages and laws of Britain." 

Now I come to the only point on which I agree with the 
letters of " Even-handed Justice," only here again he is dis- 
ingenuous. In your issue of the 17th he quotes from a letter 
of Mr H. Bucknall. I at once allow that it is a brutal letter. 
In your issue of the 26th he says : — " I will not pile up 
horrors, but take almost at random the following extract from 
a letter in the Natal Times to illustrate my meaning," and 
then goes on to quote another account of the same occurrence as 
described hy Mr Bucknall. He has, at all events, here jailed 
one horror into tiuo, which shews that what I said in the 
l)eginning of my letter about an "amiable enthusiast" is 
truly the case. 

And now, Sir, I would say one or two more words before 
I end my trespass on your space. 


Is it '' even-handed justice," that in every case Avhere the 
colonists endeavour to defend themselves from massacre in 
cold blood, which would entail upon Britain a costly exj)edi- 
tion — as in Jamaica, so now in Natal — that there should 
be in this country a party of crack-brained enthusiasts as 
regards the rights of the black men — rights which they too 
often show they do not appreciate amongst the whites — to 
villify them for their pains '? Is it " even-handed justice," 
that because a few men have committed the crime of being 
cruel, and the blunder of boasting of it, that the whole body 
of colonists is to be aspersed as slaveholders and "ferocious" 
shedders of blood 1 Is it reasonable to suj^pose, think you, 
that our brethren and our fathers, who left here but yester- 
day, should have so far changed their nature and forgotten 
their training, as to trample upon all the rights and feelings 
of the natives, who, thoughlower in the scale of humanit}-, 
are still their fellowmen 1 

Is it in any way fair that philanthropists, who sit in their 
easy chairs, with no personal knowledge of the circumstances, 
are to be judges of the conduct of men who are changing a 
wilderness into a smiling land, and really doing much to 
raise so many nations, morally and socially, but who, sur- 
rounded by these savage thousands in an uneasy state of 
transition, carry their lives in their hands 1 Are they to be 
judges of they know not what ? — to cry shame ! when there is 
no shame, except to themselves for misjudging 1 Are the 
colonists first to see their fields and houses in ashes, and 
then only to retalifate, or to cry for assistance to Britain, and 
hear the univeral growl, "Why can't you defend yourselves, 
you colonists ? What good are you 1 Only an expense !" 

Xo, Sir, I have lived amongst these same natives many 
years, and have liked, and for many things, admired them. 


I have always been their reasonable advocate ; but in this 
case of the rebeUion of Langahbalele and its certain conse- 
quences, if unchecked, the colonists have done well for them- 
selves, the natives in general, and the Anglo-Saxon name. 
Look at the aifair in all its points, and give, I also say, 
" oven-handed justice " to all concerned. 
I am, &c., 

David Leslie. 

The New African Gold Discoveries. 

(Times, 19th January, 1874.) 
To THE Editor of the Times. 
Sir, — By the last mail we have important news from Natal. 
Some years ago the people and journals of that colony, led 
away by Herr Mauch's vivid descriptions, announced to all 
parts of the world that gold had been discovered in immense 
fields. The result was that many came from all parts of the 
world and were disappointed. 

Gold there was, no doubt, but it was not to be found in 
(quantities which would pay the diggers. Since then, there 
lias been continual talk of finding the precious metal in 
different localities; but the papers, warned by the odium 
they incurred on that occasion, have been very careful as to 
])ublishing the various reports. 

This time I have no hesitation in believing what is told 
us. In 1871, when I was in the neighbourhood of the dis- 
trict in which auriferous deposits have been discovered, I 
heard many stories from the natives of gold being there. 
There were white men also at work, and they said very little 
as to their progress — a very good sign of success ; and now, 

318 LETTj:rxS to the press — new gold discoveries. 

instead of l)eiiig suddenly blazoned forth, the stories have 
gradually increased in volume, until the announcement has 
been, in a manner, forced from the'Natal papers. Within a 
year or two I fully believe that we shall see a large mining 
population at work, and the exports of gold beginning to 
rival those from Austraha, the gold-bearing districts of which 
are in much the same parallels of latitude. 

Now, Sir, what is the present position as between the 
white and black races in South-Eastern Africa, and what 
will be the position if my anticipations be realized 1 We 
all know how that Britain was compelled to assert her rights 
over the country in which the diamond fields are situated, 
so as to prevent the Dutch Boers of the Orange Free States 
from assuming the sovereignty, over a country and a popula- 
tion, which they could neither have governed nor kept in 
order. The present gold fields are situated in a country 
which is claimed by the Transvaal Republic, another i)etty 
Dutch Boer State Avhich Britain has allowed to establish 
itself on the north-east of Xatal, but Avliich is in reality 
native territory. The Boers have many curious modes of 
annexing native lands. 1 will give you two out of my 

A certain district was required, so as to give a right of 
way to the coast from New Scotland (a settlement in the 
eastern part of Transvaal). The operating agent, who Avas 
in this case an Englishman, approached the chief with a 
request to be allowed to cut a few trees in the forest, for 
which he paid him about £15 or £20 worth of blankets. 
Of course, the request was granted, and some timber was 
felled. It so happened that this forest swarmed with 
monkeys, the skins of which were valuable for purposes of 
trade among the neighbouring and powerful nation of tlu^ 


Zulus. I wished to place some native hunters there, for the 
purpose of shooting these monkeys, and applied to the chief 
for the purpose of doing so, offering him a couple of blankets 
in return, which usually avouIcI have been ample remunera- 
tion. '' No, no," said the chief. " The white man has given 
me all these goods for mere permission to cut trees. You, 
who wish to deprive us of every means of existence, since it 
is only by possessing these skins that we are enabled to pay 
tribute to the Zulus, only offer me two blankets. No, no." 

I met the Englishman afterwards, and he acknowdedged 
that it had been done with a view to asserting that the land 
had been bought ! 

Again, a certain Boer, named Conrad Vermack — a man of 
the nomadic class, which moves about with their flocks and 
herds, and exist by hunting — applied to the King of the 
Amaswazi, a tribe bordering on the east of Transvaal, for 
permission to hunt in a certain district (say about the size 
of Lancashire), and to squat there (by the laws of the tribes 
land cannot be sold, as we understand it, and this is well 
known to whites who have any relations with the natives) ; 
also for the general assistance and countenance of his people 
while hunting. This was granted, and now I see that the 
country is included in the map of Transvaal as j)art of that 
republic ! 

Up to the present time these transactions have only led 
to constant bickerings with the natives. Wars have been 
prevented by the interposition of the English Government 
of Natal, and the sparseness of the white population has so 
far prevented the natives from feeling any pressure ; l)ut, 
when we remember the results of this class of bargains be- 
tween the whites and Maories in New Zealand, we may wt^U 
anticipate trouble, and adopt measures to avoid it. 


Again, on tlie coast of Delagoa Bay — tlie nearest seaport 
]jy far to the gold fields — we have the Portuguese shut up 
in their factory of Lorengo Marques, and holding on their 
ground only by keeping up wars and anarchy among the 

In 1823, Captain Owen, in her Majesty's ship "Leven," 
visited the bay, and entered into a treaty with the chiefs 
south of English river (on the north bank of which Lorenco 
Marques is situated), by which they ceded their territory to 
Great Britain fully and freely. I have had the ceremony 
described by old natives who Avitnessed it. While Captain 
Owen was there, a schooner from the Cape, called the "Orange 
Grove," entered the river Mapoota for purjioses of trade. 
The " Leven " went on a cruise to Madagascar ; during her 
absence the crew of the schooner fell sick of the fever, and 
the Portuguese took advantage of the opportunity to 
seize her. Captain Owen returned and compelled her 
restitution, together with all of which she had been 
plundered, thus setting at rest, once and for ever, as one 
would think, the question of ownership of the territory. 
Ever since then, that country has been held to belong to 
Great Britain. The Island of Inyack (a portion of it) was, 
in 1861, Gazetted as a j)art of Natal, in the Government 
Gazette of that colony. The diocese of the bishof> of Zulu- 
land was marked for him as including it, and it was only in 
September, 1871, when I took a schooner into the same 
river, and for the same purposes as the "Orange Grove" had 
in view, that the Portuguese seized it with its cargo, and 
our Government agreed to refer the territory in dispute to 
arbitration, without even insisting, that they should first 
l)ut matters in the same position as before the agreement, by 
restoring the vessel. 


Surely the mere fact of agreeing to arbitrate, on the part 
of the Portuguese, showed there was some doubt as to the 
ownership of the territory, and that they had no right 
whatever to act in this high-handed manner. It may be 
asked by all, what this has to do with the gold discoveries 
in Eastern Africa. This much — that a giving way to the 
pretensions of a petty, but obtrusive and self-sufficient State 
like Portugal, from a wish to save trouble, is as great a sign 
of weakness in policy, and w^ant of the just regard which we 
ought to have to our own power, and the protection which 
is due to our fellow-citizens in all parts of the world, as it is 
to bend to the fear of consequences, in dealing with a great 
one like Russia or America. 

The "let alone" policy which has enabled petty states, 
like the Orange and Transvaal Republics, to establish them- 
selves in such close proximity to our Colonies, and in the 
midst of a teeming population of natives which they are 
unable to control, will surely end by our being drawn into 
wars, which the aggressions and misgovernment of these 
states will create. Remember how, some years ago, we had 
to establish a protectorate over the Basutos, so as to put a 
stop to the war, in which they were then engaged with the 
Orange Free State, which was dragging its weary length 
along, and creating a feeling of restlessness among all the 
natives around. 

If the present laissez faire, and careless dilettante policy 
in Eastern Africa, is persisted in, and my anticipation of a 
large and motley gathering of miners on the Gold-fields 
becomes a fact, (and I unhesitatingly i:)rognosticate its 
fulfilment), what will be the result? It will be this, that 
rowdies and ruffians, from all quarters, will flock to the 
diggings, the more numerously and the more readily, that 



they will be in a country where there is neither law nor 
strong Government. Then will follow wars with the natives, 
plunder and massacre. Will our own Colonies escape from 
fermentation, with the malt in such close contact '? If Britain 
does not retain a footing in Delagoa Bay, she cannot control 
these diggers, unless she first annexes the Transvaal, and 
then only through 500 miles of weary, rugged road from 
Natal, the nearest seaport. If she retains her undoubted 
right to the south bank of English Eiver, she is within 
150 miles of the fields, with a country between, which is 
remarkably fertile, level, and easily travelled. 

On grounds of self-respect, of right, of justice to ourselves, 
and to the claims of humanity, and for political and com- 
mercial reasons, our Government (I speak of no party) 
ought to listen to the advice of that Christian gentleman 
and wise politician (Sir Bartle Frere), whose addresses in 
Edinburgh and Glasgow, show how well and how thoroughly 
he understands the present position and future prospects of 
Eastern Africa. — I am, &c., 

David Leslie. 

Glasgow, January 16th, 1874. 

Is Dr Livingstone Dead? 

(Glasgow Herald, 23r(l February, 1874.) 

To THE Editor of the Glasgow Herald. 

Sir, — Every man in this country will mourn for the death 

of Dr Livingstone, and all of us would be glad to grasp at 

any straw of hope that the news is untrue. 

I have travelled for some years in South-Eastern Africa, 
and have some experience of the natives, and knowledge 


of their character and customs. I have lived entirely 
amongst them, have made them my study, and am not 
satisfied with the accounts we have received of the death of 
the great traveller. The tribes I know, which are those 
inhabiting the low-lying coast-lands round the Portuguese 
settlements, are the same, in all their characteristics, as those 
inland from Zanzibar, and it is upon my knowledge of them, 
that I ground my doubts as to the truth of the reports. 

What we are told regarding the Doctor's death is so 
circumstantial, and seems to be believed by so many, who 
ought to have means of judging, that I am afraid to say "he 
is not dead;" but I think we ought to suspend our decision, 
and await further intelligence, before accepting and bewailing 
such a loss to the nation. 

Lieutenant Cameron's report is grounded on the story of 
" Tshunia," a faithful servant of the Doctor's. Dr Living- 
stone's son thinks Tshuma " too faithful to desert his master 
and too honest to tell a lie." It may be so. But Mr Living- 
stone has spent much of his time in this country, and has 
not better means of judging, than others who are not satisfied. 
The Johanna men were also " faithful servants," and they 
lied. Dr Kirk, who travelled much in the interior, before 
lie rested in his well-earned and well-filled position at 
Zanzibar, seems to question the fact of the Doctor's death. 
I do the same, on the following grounds : — 

I remember, in 1871, that I had occasion to send a 
messenger a distance of about seven days' walk. I was in 
an unhealthy country, and he was a native of Natal, who 
had followed my fortunes. Knowing that he was liable to 
be struck down, I applied to the King for men to go with 
him, both to show him the way and to aid him in the event 
of sickness. Four messengers went with him, men well 
known throughout the country as being about the person of 


the King. On the way back he was taken ill, and came in 
a very weak condition to a village at night. The influence 
of the King's men gained him entrance, but in the night the 
owners of the village, fearing that he would die, insisted on 
his being carried out to the hillside, and there his com- 
panions watched him, kept the wolves away, until towards 
dawn he " went home !" 

]N"ot even for fear of the King would the jDeople allow the 
man to die in their village ; and sure am I that for no con- 
sideration would the natives of Eastern Africa carry a dead 
body any distance, let alone marching with it day after day. 
They have an utter horror of a corpse. After in any way 
coming in contact with one, they eat "medicine" to avert 
the baleful influence, to carry oft' the defilement; and the 
mere fact of having such a circumstantial account raises, in 
my mind, a doubt of its correctness. 

It has also been truly asked, " Where would the natives 
procure salt and brandy to embalm the corpse"?" Salt they 
might get, as " salt pans" are plentiful through the country. 
But brandy 1 No ; it is impossible ! 

Let us rest patiently awhile, and hopefully. It cannot be 
long ere the news is authenticated or denied. 

If we have to mourn, we may remember this, that Dr 
Livingstone never expected any other death than the one 
now reported. He considered himself a soldier whose end 
would most likely be the battle-field; and if he has died as 
we are told, the greatest proof to my mind of the ascendancy 
he gained in Africa, of the power which his A^ery name was 
possessed of, would be the fact of his men having carried his 
remains to Zanzibar, and having been allowed to do so by 
the inhabitants of the villages through which they passed. 
— I am, &c., 

David Leslie. 


(Xews of the Week, Dec. 1S74, and Jan. 1875.) 

Chapter I. 

Voyagers, driven into obscure regions by untoward winds, 
may have passed a low peninsula jutting out from one of the 
islands of the Eastern Archipelago. Twenty years ago they 
would have admired the luxuriant beauty of the vegetation, 
and the many lovely nooks created by the entrance of the 
sea, forgetting that in its depths hovered the voracious 
.shark, and unaware that ashore they would have found this 
seeming paradise, apparently so green, so cool, and yet so 
gaudy with lovely hues, to be teeming with snakes, and rank 
with miasma. 

The island itself was not a large one, but was peculiarly 
formed. On the eastern side, it sloped gradually down from 
a, high ridge, and the slopes were covered with jungle, which 
had, however, in many j^laces yielded to the slight labour 
necessary for cultivation in that favoured region. Springs 
towards the loftier parts of the range were the parents of 
innumerable little streams, which here and there sparkled 
and glanced in the sun, as they wandered on their way, 
through forest and open country, to the sea. And the shady 
nooks and tiny waterfalls were seldom without an occupant, 
in the shape of a native enjoying that greatest luxury of all 
in a hot climate — fresh, clear, and cold water. 

The banana, the plantain, the cocoa-nut, the pine-apple, 
iind every rich and luscious fruit known to the clime, 


bountifully and almost spontaneously offered tlieir product 
to the hand that wished to gather ; while numberless gaudy 
creepers and flowers of many hues, relieved and set off the 
dark green of the jungle. Birds of the most brilliant plum- 
age and discordant cries, fluttered and glanced through the 
foliage, and made their nests in the gigantic ferns which 
lined the courses of the streams. But in the most lovely 
spots of this most beautiful part of the island — in the under- 
wood, or in the open glades — coiled or basked the most deadly 
snakes ; and at night, amongst other noises which spoke of 
danger to man, the roar of the tiger was heard predominant. 

The numerous prahms which lay upon the beach, and the 
number of people walking up and down, or gambling and 
carousing in the shade, spoke of a community supported by 
piracy at sea, and debauched by a sensual life on shore — 
men with black skins and long hair, some of them grown 
grey in their career of crime, others showing in every feature 
the sensual and brutal life they led, and all of them wearing 
that villainous physiognomy peculiar to the lowest class of 
the tribes of the Eastern Archipelago. 

"Ramesamy," said an old man (speaking the Malay 
language) who appeared to have some authority amongst 
them, "it is time the prahms Avere out. Know, my son, 
that, for our sins, the gods have given us far to go, before we 
can procure what we require, to support our modest life in 
this island." 

" It is true," said the other. " Still, that distance is our 
safety. Think how long we have been without those accursed 
British ships paying us a visit. Shall I call the men 
together this evening, to decide as to the expedition 1 They 
are willing, nay, anxious to go." 

" Do so ; but stay. Are we not rather short of slaves V* 


" My father speaks with his usual correctness. Many of 
our men will have to labour as well as fight." 

" I do not know that," said the old man. " Have you 
never heard, Ramesamy, that when our fathers first landed 
here, though they were suj^posed to have destroyed the 
original inhabitants, yet a few families did manage to make 
their escape 1" 

" Yes, I have heard so," replied the other, " and there is 
a vague tradition amongst us, that they still exist on the 
western side of the island." 

" I believe it to be true, and I will tell you why. You 
know, when Moonesamy stole my daughter — whose bones, 
for her disobedience, lie bleaching in the jungle — that they 
passed some days near the top of yonder ridge you see in 
the far distance. Well, on his return, and after receiving 
my pardon " 

" For which he paid well," interposed the other. 

" He related his adventures," continued the chief, without 
noticing the interruption, " and, amongst others, asserted 
positively that he had seen smoke arising from the jungle 
on the western side, where there is a peninsula. I have 
never spoken of this, although it is years ago, until now, 
because I did not wish the attention of the men to be drawn 
from richer booty, which sails far afloat. But we will see 
about it." 

It is with the simple people, referred to in the foregoing 
dialogue, that we have now to do. Let us, therefore, leave 
this fair scene of nature, the principal blot on which is the 
presence of man, and transport our readers to the western 
end of the island. 

The ridge to which we have already referred as rising 
gradually from the eastern shore, extended the whole breadth 


of tlie island, from north to south. At its highest elevation, 
it suddenly broke into a precipice, fronting, like a huge wall, 
the gales from the westward. Below this was the peninsular- 
shaped i^ortion of which we have spoken — level ground, 
stretching almost to the sea. The ground itself was broken 
and rocky, covered with plants and trees of the aloe and 
cactus, mixed with thick grasses and creepers peculiar to 
the East. Towards the beach, slimy and foetid mud abounded, 
and nourished patches of the mangrove, amongst which the 
sea wound in clear green channels, haunted by sharks, and 
by fish as gaudy as the birds on land. Of timber, properly 
so called, there was none; neither were there wild animals. 
They had either found it impossible, or thought it not worth 
while, to scale the precipice which divided the island. The 
coral reefs which encircled the shore, and the fact of the 
j)lace being far out of the track of vessels, constituted it a 
safe refuge for the unfortunate few who were its inhabitants. 

These people looked, and most likely were, amongst the 
most miserable of the earth. Long residence in an unhealthy 
locality, caused by the heat arising from the reflection of 
the sun against the precipice, and the exhalations from the 
beds of mud, had reduced them to poor, sickly specimens of 
humanity, content to be in the shade of a rock by day, and 
to bury themselves in the grass at night. They lived on 
what they could pick up from the sea, and what few yams 
they could coax from amongst the rocks and prickly j)lants; 
but yet withal they were a kindly, innocent race. 

Many years before, their ancestors had occupied the fertile 
eastern declivity, from which, as mentioned by the old 
Indian, they had been driven on the advent of the Malay 
pirates from the mainland. They had not increased in 
number, and amounted, at the time of which we write, to 
about one hundred families. 

A DERELICT. , 329 

Chapter II. 

The scene changes, and this time there is no landscape to 
describe. It is at sea we first make acquaintance with the 
other characters in our story. The circumstances under 
which we find them, are sufficiently fearful to test their 
courage, and their trust in a higher power. The sky is over- 
cast with clouds in wild commotion; the sea whirling and 
heaving; the waters wearing that leaden hue, sprinkled with 
drifts of spray, which shows the force of the hurricane, before 
which the ship has been driven for days; and the driving 
rain, which has lately begun to fall, seems to join sea and 
sky into one element. The masts of the vessel have long 
gone, and the helpless hulk drives before the wind. 

Shortly after the storm arose, the captain had been washed 
overboard, wdiile superintending the wearing of the ship, to 
get her before the gale ; the mate, scarcely recovered from 
sunstroke, had succumbed to the resumption of duty at such 
a time ; and now the second mate, a rough and good enough 
sailor, but not competent to control such a crew, was in 

The "Criterion " had been unfortunate in her men. She had 
left New York when the gold fever — the rage for California 
— was at its height, and her captain had to be content with 
anyone who offered his services — in very many cases the 
lowest of the low. And now, after many days of license 
and riotous living, the fear of that death, to which they 
seemed too surely driving, impelled them to work as hard as 
the heaving and rolling of the vessel would permit, at 
strengthening and stowing different articles in the boats, of 
which only two were in any way serviceable. 

On the main-deck, sheltering themselves as well as they 
could by what was left of the bulwarks, stood, or rather 


crouched, a grouj) consisting of eight persons, the principal 
figures in which, were a female, who was clinging to her 
husband, and an old man, her father, whom she seemed to 
he supporting and soothing, while her two children clung 
weeping to the folds of her gown. The other three were 
unmarried men, and they all were a party of missionaries, 
who had started with joyful hopes and high ambition to do 
their work amongst the heathen. 

It is the fortunes of this family party which we are princi- 
pally concerned to narrate. Some years before the date we 
are speaking of, John Maxwell had received holy orders, and 
at the same time decided that he would carry the glad tidings 
of the Gospel to those who knew them not. This determi- 
nation was a sad blow to Mary Munro, his betrothed bride. 
She was the only daughter of a widowed father, and could 
not leave him. After a long struggle, however, John com- 
promised with his conscience, so far as to agree to remain at 
home during the lifetime of Mr Munro, and they married. 

Time passed on, and two children, a boy and a girl, were 
born to them. Their parents might have been happy, were 
it not that, as year succeeded year, his heart upbraided and 
vexed him more and more. He felt that he had not obeyed 
the call — that he was not in the way of his appointed duty. 
To two, who bore each other such deej) affection, the unhappi- 
ness of one was that of both, and she felt it the more, as it 
was her influence which had led him to this dereliction. 
His father-in-law saw this, and mourned that he should be 
the cause of keeping his son from doing what he felt was 
right, and thus inducing misery to two he loved so well. 
One day he thus abruptly and decidedly settled the question 
of their future course : — 

"John, my dear son, I have watched, with great disquiet, 

A patriarch's resolution. 331 

the struggle going on in your bosom, between what you con- 
sider your duty to your God and your duty to me ; and, 
after much prayer and calm thought, I have come to a con- 
clusion. It is useless for you to attempt to dispute it, as 
there is no other course by which I can be assured of peace 
of mind in my old age. I am now an old man, near the 
grave, and it matters not, in my estimation, where I lay my 
head, provided I am in my appointed path at the time. I 
notice that, in about a month, the " Criterion" will sail for 
Shanghai, and both you and I know that our board is want- 
ing missionaries to send out by that opj^ortunity. AVe will 
gather together our substance and go. Who can tell 1 It 
may be that I shall be as a second Jacob, going to see the 
establishment of another people of the Lord; and, after all, 
come back to lay my bones in my native land. Besides, my 
son, you know that warm climates are favourable to old 
people, so that, in doing what is right, I may be renewing 
my lease of life." 

And so, on the old man's j^art, with this mixture of religi- 
ous feeling and the kindly wish to make light of the journey 
for his son's sake; and, on the other side, the two with a 
sacred joy at being at last in the right way; and the children, 
with feelings of unmixed delight at the romantic prospect; 
they sailed for China in the good ship "Criterion." 

As the vessel drew nearer and nearer to the breakers, now 
distinctly visible through the clearing of the sky, many eyes 
were strained, in the anxious endeavour to spy out a passage 
to the quiet waters beyond. The sailors' preparations for 
escape in the boats Avere hurried on, and to a few anxious 
inquiries made by the troubled missionaries, rough and 
coarse answers were returned. 


Everything being at last in order, those on deck prepared 
to launch their largest boat, their comrades in her standing 
ready to cast-ofF the moment she touched the water. To all 
the prayers of the passengers that they might be allowed to 
enter, the same answer was given, namely, that they must 
wait, and it would be lucky for them if there was room in 
the other boat. At all events, it did not matter much, as 
those who came to show others the way to live and die, could 
not surely fail in the last act of their lesson ; and further, 
that it was all through having so many " Jonahs " on board 
that their ship had " come to grief." 

As the ship rolled, the launch was fairly got into the water, 
through the gangway cut in the bulwarks. " Now for the 
other boat," was the cry. "Lower her down from the 
davits, it's the safest way ; " and everything was made ready 
for so doing. After a little consultation among the men, 
one came aft, and addressed the party. 

" We have only room for three ; who goes 1 " was all he 

To all prayers, to all commands or offers of reward, he 
was deaf. 

" It's no use, when I tell you there's no room. It is each 
for himself here, and your money would be of precious little 
use to those who had to stay behind." 

"Quick! you on deck, there," came from the boat, "or we 
shall be stove in. AVe can't hold on much longer." 

" You hear that 1 " cried the spokesman ; " decide quickly. 
I count twenty, and then leave you. Hold-on a moment, 
mates. One, two, three, four " — 

"Save my children, at least," was the father's anxious 
plaint ; but the mother interposed with a holier confidence. 

" No, husband. AYe have always been a loving and united 


family, putting our trust in the Lord, and so shall we continue 
in life or in death, whichever God pleases to send. Let us 
leave it in His hands, and, rest assured, that all will be 
ordered as is best for us." 

Then turning to the three unmarried missionaries who had 
stood watching this discussion, and ready at any moment to 
acquiesce in the decision which would apparently consign 
them to certain death, and give the family party, or at all 
events a portion of it, a chance of safety, she said — "Go, my 
friends. We have made up our minds to abide by the vessel. 
It is evidently God's providence that the boats should be for 
you. Go, and carry, if you are permitted, the tidings of how 
calmly we met our fate. It may be that, in punishment of 
our former dereliction of duty, in thinking of ourselves 
instead of obeying our call, this dispensation is sent us. If 
so, we thankfully and cheerfully submit to our chastisement ; 
and it maybe that the land now visible, and which you 
have a chance of reaching, is that in which you are destined 
to labour." 

The sailor had in the meantime forgotten to count, and 
stood watching the scene vrith emotions new to him. The 
sight of such unselfishness, and of such an entire faith and 
trust in an overruling power, stirred within his breast good 
thoughts, long slumbering. They were destined never to 
bear fruit. After a silent embrace all round, the three 
turned towards him, and went forward to meet their fate. 

Everything seemed fair for safety. The gale had broken, 
the land was not far away, and there must be a passage in 
the reef The one boat was fairly afloat, the other coming 
over — but it was not to be. A surging wave brought the 
launch back directly under the one descending. There was 
a cry, a crash, and immediately the freights of both boats 


were struggling for life in the waves. The scene was heart- 
rending. Those who had been so selfish and so sure of 
safety, were now at death's door, through the very means 
they had thought were to carry them to life. Those who 
were swimmers were gradually, but surely, swept towards 
the breakers and the sharp coral reef, while others sunk 

Amongst the latter, consigned to a swifter, but more 
merciful death, were the three missionaries, who, feeling the 
uselessness of struggling for safety, with a farewell wave of 
the hand to their friends on the deck of the now much- 
desired haven of refuge, went to that death which they had 
sought to avoid, though they feared it not. Not one of the 
sailors who had deserted the family party so unfeelingly, 
survived to repent of their misdeeds. They all perished; 
and those who had so nobly accepted a death, apparently 
certain, to give others a chance of life, now looked on the 
scene with feelings of mingled sorrow and thankfulness for 
the mercy which God had vouchsafed to themselves. 

After a few moments spent in prayer, they began to look 
to their own position, and that with some feelings of hope- 
fulness. The gale had evidently spent its force, and although 
the waves were as high and as wild as ever, yet the progress 
made by the vessel to seemingly sure destruction was 
evidently slower. 

All their faces were now turned to the breakers in silent 
prayer, and hope that there might be some passage. After 
a time, it became evident that the ship was taking a slanting 
direction — still surging on towards the breakers — but, at 
the same time, bearing more to the northward, as if taken 
by some current. This circumstance gave them fresh hope, 
and they began to look about for means of escape, should the 


vessel reach the sheltered water, which they felt certain 
must be within the reef. After some minutes of intense 
watchfulness, those on board became aware of a channel of 
tolerably smooth water leading into the inner basin, and it 
was evident that the vessel was slowly approaching it. 
Nothing, however, could they do to help themselves. They 
had only to wait. It was plain enough that, if they reached 
the inside safely, the vessel would not break up at once, and 
they would have plenty of time to gather together what they 
wanted to take on shore; whereas, if they struck on the 
reef, amidst the enormous breakers — the hoarse roar of 
which deafened, and the spray from which by this time was 
sprinkled over them — they would require nothing more in 
this world. 

Onwards rolled and heaved the vessel, gradually drawing 
nearer and nearer to the passage. It seemed fearfully 
narrow, and the rollers, which on each side broke upon the 
reef, swelled through it with fearful velocity. Closer and 
closer comes the disabled ship, and now on both sides of it 
there is broken water. It seems to the devoted party on 
<leck that they must touch the reef — that there is no room 
to pass through. While contemplating their end with awe, 
indeed, but yet with calm Christian courage, one of the 
heavy rollers came. The "Criterion" rose with a rush, as if 
seeking the sky, and the next moment went down, down, as 
if she sought the very foundations of the earth. 

Chapter III. 

Again the upward heave, the downward shoot ; the ship 
was past the channel, and all was for the time safe. Giddy, 
wet, blinded, and deafened, those on board did yet remember 


their first duty of thanks to the Ruler of the winds and 
waves, for His mercy in sparing them from the awful death 
which had overtaken their friends and the sailors so few 
minutes before. 

The set of the current seemed to be round the basin they 
were now in, and slowly and smoothly the " Criterion "' 
went with it. When they had got about opposite the 
channel by which they had entered, over on the shore side, 
the hulk struck upon a projecting spit, and there remained 
firmly fixed and out of danger. Now came the reaction. 
While in deadly danger from the storm, any land seemed 
welcome — the veriest desert would have been a paradise ;. 
but, while recruiting exhausted nature with the first food 
eaten in tolerable peace and security for many a day, they 
allowed their eyes to roam over the miserable peninsula 
which we have described, on which there was not the slightest 
sign of inhabitants; they began to think that they had only 
been spared from one death to suffer another, if possible, 
more dreadful. 

Old Mr Munro, however, speedily rebuked the first 
symptoms of repining. " Whatl" he said, "what is this I 
hear 1 We are no sooner saved from what seemed certain 
death, than we commit the sin of ingratitude to Clod, for such 
it is, to be dissatisfied with the place where he has seen fit to 
land us — to cavil at His mode of displaying to us His mercy. 
How are we better than those whom in His wisdom He has 
seen fit to die 1 We murmur, but have we not this ship to 
live in for the present 1 It will be long ere she breaks up 
in this quiet haven. Have we not planks and spars to build 
a boat ? Have we not abundance of food 1 and can you not 
see little rivulets glancing among the rocks on shore 1 Though 
this miserable peninsula seems uninhabited, there must be- 


Malays on the other side. Most of these Eastern Islands 
arc peopled. Besides all this, my daughter, remember your 
farewell to our friends who are gone. This may be the land 
in which you are destined to labour." 

After this little speech, his son and daughter, ashamed of 
themselves for their momentary giving way, looked at their 
situation and spoke of it more cheerfully. It was decided to 
go on shore as soon as possible. The first thing, therefore, 
they set to work at, was to make a raft. The great danger 
in this was from the sharks. Yet they could not build their 
raft on deck and then launch it ; they were not strong enough. 
They had to do it in the water, and send everything over 
piece by piece. To be safe from the monsters they saw 
swimming around them, they made a stage and hoisted it 
over the side. On it Mr Maxwell wrought, while his wife 
watched to give warning of the approach of the dreaded shark. 

After many hours' hard labour they finished a something, 
which they thought would take them safely to the shore, not 
many paces distant. Who was to go first 1 It would not 
carry them all. It was decided that old Mr Munro and 
one of the children should go with Mr Maxwell ; that he 
should leave them on shore, and then return for his wife and 
other child. Mr Munro, who had been a great sportsman 
in his youth, armed himself with one of the ship's muskets, 
and, before starting, they gathered together provisions for 
some days. After much labour and some narrow escapes, 
they were all safely landed on what could scarcely be called 
terra firma, seeing that it was on a bank of mud which lay 
between two small creeks, which emptied themselves into the 
basin on both sides of their resting-place. But, such as it 
was, they were obliged to be content with it for the time, as 
the night had fallen ere their labours were well over. 



Early in the morning tliey started to explore, with a 
vScarce living hope that the vegetation they had seen on the 
peninsula, from the deck of their vessel, was not merely a 
covering to such unhealthy mud as they were then on. They 
had seen the little streams trickling down the rocks at the 
foot of the precipice, but if this narrow strip of ground was 
all the dry land there was between that and the sea — God 
help them ! They felt that but few days would be necessary 
to prostrate their strength, and disable them from building 
boats to take them off the island. As the place seemed 
utterly uninhabited, they deemed it safe enough to leave 
Mrs Maxwell and the children for a while, and they started 
up a creek to find, if possible, some solid ground. They 
poled their way along, and, as they went, the mangroves 
began to get fewer, and the sides of the creek to be over- 
grown with grass and rushes. At last they found they 
could get no farther with the raft, and were obliged to step 
on shore. They broke their way through the tangle, till 
they reached the head of the creek, and there they found 
dry land, such as has already been described. They pushed 
about for an hour or two, until Mr Maxwell saw that the 
whole of the peninsula was evidently of the same character 
as what they had explored. They then returned to his wife 
and little ones at about the middle of the day. 

They found them safe and well; Mrs Maxwell sitting on 
a box, under the miserable shade of a mangrove tree, 
beguiling the time by telling stories to the children, who 
were leaning on her knees. Immediately their father and 
and grandfather stepped off the raft they ran to meet them, 
and it was " Oh, papa — oh, grandpa, mamma says we shall 
soon get away from this nasty place, where we can't play." 
^' See here, papa," said Eobert, " I tried to run after Effie, 


and I fell down and dirtied myself, and mamma washed my 
face with salt water, and it made my eyes so sore." 

While Mrs Maxwell Avas getting some food ready for the 
returned pioneers, they told her of all they had discovered 
in their little trip, and it was decided that they should go 
up that very afternoon, so as, at all events, to get away from 
the mud they were now in, and, when settled at the head of 
the creek, they would there begin to build their boat. They 
had refreshed themselves, and were standing for a moment, 
all three looking at the "Criterion," the children standing 
a little way behind them on the boxes, which served for 
chairs and table, when Robert's voice was heard crying, 
'' Oh, papa, a black man!" "Me see him, too," said Effie. 
In great alarm they turned round, but nothing was visible. 
The children, nevertheless, persisted that they had seen a 
naked black man spring behind a clump of mangroves, which 
stood a few paces off. As it was not so far, but that they 
could quickly return for the protection of Mrs Maxwell and 
the children, both Mr Munro and her husband moved 
forward to reconnoitre. On getting round the trees, they 
saw, to their great surprise and alarm, four or five men 
standing talking amongst themselves, frequently pointing in 
their direction, and evidently debating as to wdiether they 
should make their appearance or not. It was plain they 
did not know they had been observed; and at their feet were 
•some yams, roots, and fish. 

As soon as Mr Munro and Mr Maxwell came in sight, 
there was a commotion amongst them, as if they meditated 
flight, but at length one came forward ^vith many Eastern 
bows and genuflexions, and tendered to the two, some of 
the food which he had taken from the ground. Surprised 
and pleased at these friendly tokens, the missionaries did 


everything they could to establish the j^eace so evidently 
offered ; and, reassured by observing the ^^eople's miserable 
and unarmed condition, they managed to induce them to 
follow them to their temporary camp. Mrs Maxwell was 
evidently a little alarmed at her new visitors, but the children 
fraternised at once. They induced their mother to give them 
some ship biscuit and pork, which they immediately took ta 
their sable friends ; and, after much talk on both sides, which 
no one understood, they managed to make them comprehend 
that it was good to eat, and from that hour a firm alliance 
was established. 

Surprised as they were to find j^eople on that desert 
peninsula, yet our party took hope from their seemingly 
peaceful disposition. Thej^ had no idea that they inhabited 
the spot upon which they had been wrecked, but thought 
they had seen, from the high land above, the fate of the vessel, 
and had come down the precipice to see for themselves. 
But after much pointing to the hill on the part of the mis- 
sionaries, and head-shaking on that of the natives, thej^ 
came to the conclusion, that it was useless to attempt to 
learn anything about the country, until they could under- 
stand one another a little better. 

They then decided to go on with their idea of proceeding 
up the creek, and Mr Munro ai^proached the natives to try 
and get them to help. He pointed to the raft, and then up 
the creek. They nodded, and said something, evidently in 
approbation. He then went on to it with the two children, 
and began poling up, at the same time beckoning to them to 
come. Immediately two of them jumped into the water, 
and pushed the raft up much faster than he could. The 
remainder stayed with Mr Maxwell and his wife. Mr Munro 
wished to land where he had landed before, but the natives 


-would not allow him, and went on to a landing-place on the 
other side. They walked for about a hundred yards, and 
<3anie to a large rock, where there were signs of people 
1 laving been about. There one of the natives, with a word 
to his companion, sprang away, and after an absence of a 
few minutes returned with ten or twelve more men, women, 
and children, who showed evident signs of pleasure at their 
visitors, and again laid some food before them. By the aid 
of signs, Mr Munro managed to make them understand that 
he could not eat until joined by his friends, which they at 
once acquiesced in, some of them snatching up Kobert and 
springing on to the raft, which immediately disappeared. 
In great alarm, Mr Munro endeavoured to follow, but was 
stopped by the smiles and gestures of all around, of whom 
he could not find it in his heart to be suspicious. He sat 
down and tried to pacify Effie, who was much astonished at 
Eobert's apparently violent abduction. In a surprisingly 
short time Mr and Mrs Maxwell, Robert, and the natives 
reappeared, bringing with them a supply of cooking utensils 
and food, with which, under the rock, they all made them- 
selves as comfortable as circamstances would allow, still 
surrounded by the laughing, wondering people of the place. 
For days after this, Mr Munro, with a party of the natives, 
was engaged in landing necessaries from the hulk, while Mr 
Maxwell and another party were busy building a shelter. 
He'had attempted to find a practicable path up the precipice, 
on the eastward, but when the natives became aware of his 
intention, with much speaking and many gestures, they 
compelled him to desist. It was not till some time after, 
when he had learned something of the language, that 
he came to know their motive for so doing. Mrs Maxwell 
and the children were employing themselves in many ways 


— the latter principally in making friends with their black 
companions, whom all of the party found then, and ever 
afterwards, to be honest, kindly, and generous to the extent 
of their means. Food they were continually bringing — in 
small quantities, it is true — but, when the sterility of their 
little peninsula is considered, it was wonderful that they 
brought any at all. They were ever ready to assist in any 
labour that was going on, without making any demand for 
payment, and, during the whole of the missionaries' sojourn 
with them, theft was unknown. 

After a while they learned to wear clothing, and to build 
houses ; and, as the two parties began to understand one 
another better, they were taught many things which added 
to their comfort, and gradually they were transformed into 
civilised men. The ship was an inexhaustible mine. For 
years she lay in the quiet basin, and as her timbers began to 
rot and her sides to open, the remainder of her contents was 
transferred to sheds on shore. From her the missionaries 
procured seeds of all kinds, plants, and agricultural imple- 
ments, pigs, fowls, and sheep. They taught the natives 
how to dress their miserable land, by making use of the 
mangrove mud from the shore. They taught them to gather 
the stones into heaps, and so leave open spaces for cultiva- 
tion; and as vegetables, corn, and fruits became j^lentiful, 
as the pigs, fowls, and sheep increased, a flesh diet was 
added to their usual one of fish, and the result of all this 
was visible in their improved personal appearance and better 

One may fancy how these simple people revered their 
benefactors. Some time after their landing, when they 
began to understand one another, Mr Munro asked them to- 
tell him their notions of a God. One of the old men replied 


that he had heard long ago of their ancestors, who lived on 
the other side of the island, worshipping gods, to whom 
they prayed, and whom they thanked and looked to for 
protection; bnt he thought they must have left them there, 
as now they never saw them, and knew nothing of their 
whereabouts. But they proposed that Mr Munro and his 
relatives should be adored, as they were sure no gods could 
do more than they had done. It was not without great 
difficulty that Mr Munro had been able to divert them from 
their purpose. 

It was during this conversation also that Mr Maxwell, 
hearing them speak of their ancestors on the other side of 
the island, and remembering that they prevented him from 
trying to climb the precipice, now inquired their reasons. 
Little by little he managed to understand their terror on 
that occasion. They told him how peaceably and happily 
they had lived on the eastern declivity, until men in great 
numbers, and of ferocious aspect — cannibals and blood- 
drinkers — had attacked and destroyed them, except a few 
Avho had escaped in their canoes, and who had, after coast- 
ing the island, been washed into the same basin as the 
"Criterion," and how these destroyers — to whom time had 
given the attributes of demons — still inhabited their old 
country. " Some of us," continued the narrator, " have 
climbed on the top there, and have reconnoitred. We have 
seen the habitations of those, who blast with a look, who 
kill with a gesture; but whom — if what our fathers told us 
is true — we shall one day conquer again." Mr Maxwell 
was at no loss to put a true interpretation on all this, and 
aware of the dreadful cruelty and bloodthirsty disposition of 
the Malay pirates of the Eastern Archipelago — on one of 
the islands of which he guessed they had been cast — the 


party decided to be content with their lot for the present, 
while they prayed to God, to bless their i:)reparation for the 
conquest, which the old man spoke of as having been pre- 
dicted by his ancestors, and which they liad a feeling would 
surely come to pass. 

So for a time they went on, teaching and improving the 
condition of the poor people with whom they lived. Day 
by day, they taught them the love of Christ to man, His 
sacrifice for us. His promises to us, if we walked in His way. 
After the day's work was done, they all assembled together 
as one family, and devoted themselves, with greater success, 
as they became more proficient in the language, to teaching 
them the knowledge of God, and trust in Him as our 
Heavenly Father. Ere long, this simple peojole became an 
example, which many a white man might have learned 
from. On every occasion they bore themselves like good 
Christians. Their faith was evident and strong, and at the 
end of seven years no one would have known the orderly, 
well-clothed, happy-looking people, who assembled before 
their teachers to hear the glad tidings, which were for them 
as for all men, to be the same with those miserable-looking 
beings, who, at the commencement of our story, had been 
content to burrow in the grass at night, and lie in the shade 
all day. 

All the family party, also, had been mercifully preserved. 
Mr Munro's face was whiter, the lines on his face more deep, 
but otherwise he was strong and hearty. Mr and Mrs 
Maxwell were in good health, and Eobert and Effie, now 
fifteen and thirteen respectively, were of the greatest use to 
their parents in all ways, particularly in teaching, since they 
had mastered the language completely. 


Chapter IV. 

About seven years from the landing of our missionary party 
in the island, there came such a Sunday as had never been 
seen on that peninsula. 

It gladdened the hearts of Mr and Mrs Maxwell and Mr 
Munro, to see the change that had been wrought, by God's 
providence, in that miserable people. They had assembled 
together for morning worship, before the missionary build- 
ings, and had divided themselves into four groups — three 
attended to by the grandfather, son, and grandson, and one 
by the mother and daughter — the latter group consisting of 
the children of the settlement. All were devout, staid, and 
well clothed, though as regards the item of clothes our 
friends were beginning to feel anxious, seeing that the 
supplies from the '-Criterion" were drawing near to a close, 
and where to get more they knew not. All over the 
peninsula could be seen plots of cultivated ground, and little 
stone and wood cottages. The hearts of people and teachers 
alike swelled with gratitude, and they raised with greater 
fervency their hymn of praise and thankfulness to God, as 
they looked upon what had been brought to them by His 
goodness. After service they scattered in parties over their 
little domain, talking over the lessons of the day, and 
planning fresh improvements for the morrow; and under the 
shade of the rocks, and the trees which they had planted, 
they enjoyed their frugal yet much-relished meal. 

In the afternoon they began to gather again for service, 
and were walking towards the church buildings, when an 
interruption occurred — one which alarmed them, and sent 
them flying to the missionaries, like chickens to their mother 
when the hawk appears in sight. 


Round the northern end of the reef which touched the 
northern end of the island, a number of boats were coming 
in sight. Prahm after prahm appeared, each crowded with 
ferocious-looking Malays, wdio were pulling with all their 
strength against the current. They set up a shout of joy, 
when they saw the frightened natives; and of derision, as 
they perceived them running headlong from the shore. Mr 
Munro and Mr Maxwell came out of their house, attracted 
by the tumult, and immediately noticed the cause. At once 
they understood the calamity which had befallen them, and 
as they saw the boats searching for a j^assage in the reef, 
they betook themselves to the task of soothing and calming 
their frightened flock — a task of no little difficulty. At last, 
teachers and people knelt down together, and implored 
protection and aid from that God, who they felt could alone 
give it them. Mr Munro inculcated upon the people the 
policy of a calm demeanour and a Christian resignation, 
both as being the best and the most likely to save their lives, 
and as being their duty as followers of the Prince of Peace. 

The boats, in the meanwhile, had found the passage 
through which the "Criterion" gained the inner basin, and 
from thence the Malays could see some of her timbers still 
standing, while at the same time they became suddenly 
aware of the houses on shore. They seemed to understand 
what had happened — that a vessel had been grounded, that 
some Europeans had been saved, and were still on land. 
This caused a halt and a consultation. They evidently had 
a wholesome dread of the white man, and, of course, were 
not aware of their number, or how they were armed. That 
they were not few, they thought to be the case, as it never 
struck them that the miserable inhabitants had been taught 
and civilised. For a time they seemed to hesitate, as to 


what measures they should adopt, but it was not long before, 
firing their muskets and shouting their war-cries, they 
dashed to the beach, and immediately advanced to the larger 
houses, which alone were visible. 

Our missionaries had prepared for them. They had drawn 
their flock up in a body, in the oj^en space before the church 
— the men in front and the women and children in the rear 
— and they themselves stepping forward, took up their 
2)osition in advance of the people. 

With many wild shouts and brandishing of weapons, the 
Malays came on, encouraging one another by the fact of their 
encountering no resistance, until on coming in sight of the 
missionaries and their people they halted, and seemed about 
to commence hostilities; but, seeing no sign of any opposition, 
they did nothing, but waited for the coming of the old 
Malay chief, who had originated the expedition. 

After his arrival, the fate of the inhabitants seemed still to 
hang for a moment in the balance, till at last he beckoned 
the missionaries towards him, and on their advancing they 
found, with great pleasure, that they could understand what 
he said. 

He asked them many questions. Who they were*? Where 
they came from 1 What the vessel contained 1 How many 
of them were there 1 AVhere was the treasure] All this 
with many menaces and blows. At last Mr Munro reques- 
ted his permission to speak. At length it was granted, and 
he addressed them. He told of the wreck of the "Criterion," 
now seven years ago, and of their landing on this peninsula. 
He described the state of the inhabitants on their arrival, 
and then he said — 

"Come with me, and I will show you what, by God's 
providence, tliey have now arrived at, and I trust that the 


same God, who lias improved their condition, will so soften 
your hearts, as to induce you to leave them undisturbed in 
their little possessions, since they have nothing which can be 
of any value to you." 

" We will see," replied the Malay. " Lead on." 

They passed the anxious, fearful group, and the pirates 
inspected everything on the peninsula. They showed great 
delight on finding some j^owder, lead, and guns amongst 
the stores wdiich had been landed from the "Criterion," after 
which they ordered the natives to be drawn up before them. 

" You wish me to leave you unmolested," said the old 
Malay chief. " And you say you have nothing which will be 
of any value to us. We will not molest you; but all you 
have, and you yourselves, are of value to us." 

Then, turning to his own men, he said — 

"Take these dogs with you, and gather everything I 
have shown you to the prahms." 

Then began a scene of sorrow — weeping and wailing, on 
the part of the natives ; expostulation and entreaty, on that 
of the missionaries. All was useless. 

"You say," cried the pirate, "that we are taking you 
away from your homes ; that we are robbing you of your 
23roperty. We have the right of the strongest. Your men 
must labour at sea, your women on land. Thus you will 
have no occasion for property, and houses you can build again 
at the other side of the island. 

On hearing this, the old man's relation of the prophecy 
flashed into the minds of our friends. 

These were the" "demon" men who had driven their 
ancestors away from the fertile eastern declivity, and whom 
their descendants were to conquer again. It seemed a 
manifest decree of Providence that they should go with 


tliem, not only without repining, but with joy, since there 
was good hope that that conquest would be effected, not by 
force of arms, but by the power of the Gospel. 

While the natives were grovelling on the ground, at the 
feet of the Malays, in despair, Mr Maxwell addressed the 
cliief. He told them that they could make no resistance ; 
that the grief of the people was natural ; but if he would 
allow him the opportunity of privately addressing them, he 
thought he could reconcile them to their fate. 

" What will you say V asked the chief. 

" That I must not tell you. What I shall say is between 
my people and myself." 

The pirate glanced at him suspiciously, then at the people, 
and then looking at his own numerous and well-armed 
horde — 

" Bah!" said he. "Go; say what you please; the slaves 
will be useful to us, and I wish not to kill them. Only 
haste you; ere the sun sets we must be clear of yonder 

Turning to his sorrowful flock, Mr Maxwell addressed 
them. He recalled to their memory the long-cherised pro- 
phecy, and on that he based his address. 

"My friends," he said, "it is true we are leaving a spot, 
endeared to us by much hardship and much joy. Here you 
passed the greatest portion of your lives in misery and 
want; here you heard the message of the Gospel of Christ; 
and here you have lived for a time in peace and plenty. 
Now it appears as if we were leaving our happy homes, and 
going to a state of slavery, degradation, and want. That 
we shall suff'er much is certain; that our minds will be 
shocked by sights of bloodshed and robbery is sure; but, for 
all that, let us go cheerfully. It is evidently the providence 


of God. Never let us forget Him. In all our troubles and 
straits let us apply to Him, and He will render them light. 
Let us remember that we are soldiers of Christ, and in His 
spirit let us go forth to conquer — not with the arms of 
the flesh, but with those of the spirit. Let us fulfil the 
prophecy. Rest assured that the time has come for its 
fulfilment, and in subjecting them to God, we make them 
fellow-subjects of our King. Let us go, my friends; go as 
gladly as we may, with the hojDe of better times to come, 
and the knowledge that we are doing our duty." 

The effect of these few words was wonderful. The people 
rose with one accord, and one of the elders replied — 

" We will do as you say; we ivUl accomplish. All we 
have, and all we are, we owe to you; and it is not now, in 
time of adversity, that we will begin to question your 
wisdom, or your right to advise us. Hardships we shall 
suff'er. Many things we shall see which we shall grieve 
over, but we will consider that we are fulfilling the orders of 
the Great Chief, you have taught us to know, and that it is 
part of our warfare. We go now to gather such property 
as these men will allow us, and we will follow them, in a 
full belief that, though they know it not, we are to conquer, 
and bring them into subjection to the Great King, who, we 
hope and trust, will do for them what he has done for us." 

Mr Maxwell then told the j)irate chief that they were 
ready, and he directed his men to take the natives with 
them, and bring everything of value down to the boats. 
He then turned to the missionaries, and spoke with threat- 
ening aspect — 

" I know not what you have told these people. I seek 
not to know. If you have been hatching some conspiracy, 
let me tell you that vre are strong enough to restrain a 


parcel of dogs and slaves. If anything of the kind is dis- 
covered, your women and children shall die, your men be 
for ever chained to the oar." 

Our friends assured him that such was not the case, that 
tlie Master whom they followed forbade his people from 
ssucli courses. They had only been inculcating upon their 
people, the duty of resignation to the inevitable, and telling 
them that what was sent by their Master and Friend, was 
doubtless for their benefit in the end. 

" Who is this master — is he on the island 1 " 

" No," said Mr Maxwell; " He is God, who reigns in 
Heaven, over you and over me." 

" Ay, and are these his doctrines 1 " 

'' They are." 

" Good ! We Avill speak further of this matter." 

Mightily comforted l)y this auspicious beginning, our 
friends turned away to assist at the embarkation. The 
chief, though no doubt bloodthirsty and pitiless, like all his 
race, did not seem to love bloodshed and cruelty for their 
own sakes. He was evidently also an intelligent man, and 
their hearts were cheered by the hope that their warfare 
might be more easily accomplished than they had thought — 
that their Master had cleared the way. As the shades of 
night drew over the sea, the heavily-laden prahms went clear 
of the reef, and urged by the exertions of the unfortunate 
natives of our peninsula, which were stimulated by the blows 
and cries of the Malays, they proceeded at great speed along 
the northern end of the island. 

Towards morning, they rounded a point, and as the 
daylight increased, they became aware of a settlement on 
shore, to which they were making their way. It consisted 
merely of a number of heaps of mud and dry grass, with 


the entrance in one gable — in these the families of the 
Malays lived. In the centre of the little village there was 
a larger building, in which the men usually congregated, 
and where they caroused throughout the day. Our friends 
and their natives were landed, and after assisting to draw 
up the prahms on dry land, they were driven into the large 
building above mentioned, where they awaited their fate. 

Towards afternoon some food was given them, after 
eating which they were brought out for distribution, along 
with the other plunder, amongst their captors. 

The old chief called the missionary party to him, and told 
them that they were amongst those who had been allotted 
to him, and that he expected them to oversee the natives in 
house-building and gardening. He had seen how comfortably 
they lived on the peninsula, and was determined to take the 
opportunity of having such artificers and agriculturists, to 
improve his own and his people's condition, without trouble 
to themselves. This was at once promised, and then our 
friends took advantage of the^occasion, to petition for liberty 
to gather their flock together for worship and prayer, 
promising, that if that was granted them, they would clieer- 
fuUy submit to labour for their masters, and would do it 
all the more effectually, as they would gain strength by 
intercourse with God. There were some demurs to this, 
both on account of the loss of time, and from fear that when 
gathered together they might be hatching conspiracies. The 
old chief, however, overruled all objections, by reminding 
his people of the result of the missionaries' speaking in the 
peninsula, and decided that, if the pirates feared conspiracy, 
some of them might attend their meetings and watch. As 
this was just what Mr Munro and Mr Maxwell wished, they 
eagerly agreed to the chief's decision, and on this basis 
everything was settled. 


Now, for a time, things went on regularly and without 
change. Some of our natives practised at the oar. Some, 
headed by our friends, cut wood, built houses, and cultivated 
the land. When taken by the pirates, they had brought 
away many seeds, grains, and plants, Avhich they hoped 
would improve their condition, and soften their minds 
towards them. 

Eobert and Effie made themselves useful — each in their 
own way. The former was very useful with tools, and he 
made and mended cheerfully, always with merry countenance 
and voice, and at every opportunity repeating the lesson of 
our Saviour, as taught him by his father and grandfather. 
Effie also became a great favourite with the women and 
children. The former she taught to sew, and from them 
learned to weave. She taught them, also, how to cook many 
little dishes, which were palatable to their male relatives ; 
and taught them cleanliness in their houses. The children 
she played with, and while she played she taught. Gradually 
the women became more refined and feminine, the children 
less savage ; coarseness of language was insensibly avoided, 
and Effie's mother and herself, took every opportunity of 
speaking to these poor women and children, and of unfolding 
to them a life of peace and love — a life which touches the 
heart of women all the world over. Mr Munro used to say 
that these two, were the best teachers and preachers of them 
all ; and no doubt they were. A missionary's wife can do 
more, towards softening and civilizing a savage nature, than 
can her husband, if her heart is in her work, and she her- 
self a true Christian woman, and a well-bred one. 

I am, however, going on too fast in my chronicle, since 
many things had happened, and much suffering been gone 
through, ere the results above mentioned were apparent. 

2 a 


The first battle fought in this new conquest was that of 
the Lord's Day. Teachers and people both saw that they 
would have to bear with much, ere they gained j^ermission 
to keep it holy. At their first evening meeting after their 
capture, Mr Maxwell spoke of this to them, and exhorted 
them to stand fast in their faith, to run the race that was 
set before them, and to let no ill-usage or persuasion induce 
them to break the Fourth Commandment. " I speak of this 
to you to-night," said he, " and in this manner, because I 
intend mentioning to the chief to-morrow (Friday) that our 
religion will not allow us to profane God's holy day. I 
foresee that this will be the first open fiery trial of your 
faith. Let me hope you will not give way. Give me not 
the grief of seeing my children whom I have taught, lived 
amongst, and loved, fall away from their Heavenly Father, 
forget the benefits which they have received, cast away the 
grace which has been given them, and run into debauchery 
and wickedness, which will render them the natural slaves of 
their former conquerors. It is not thus, my friends, that the 
prophecy will be fulfilled. It is not thus our conquest will 
be achieved. Show that you are worthy to be conquerors, 
by being able to endure, and conquerors you will be." 

As he had said, Mr Maxwell next day took the first 
opportunity of mentioning their determination to the head- 
man, who laughed at the idea of their doing nothing one 
■day in seven. "I see how it is," said he, " I agreed that 
you should have liberty, after the work of the day, to 
perform your absurd ceremonies; and now, as my people 
foretold, you have begun at once to plot, and this is the 
first move. What was that you were telling the slaves last 
night about their being conquerors? Some of my men 
heard you and reported it to me. Take care. So long as 



you are quiet find useful to us, you may live. That is all 
you can expect ; but you know your doom, in the event of 
my suspicions proving true." 

Mr Maxwell saw that he had not been sufficiently careful 
in his address of the night before, and knew no other w^ay 
to dispel suspicion and to gain his object, than by describing 
to the chief and the Malays, who had now begun to gather 
around, the beauties of Christianity, the holiness, the meek- 
ness, the love to man, displayed by Christ in His life and 
in His doctrine. He reminded the chief of his assurance, 
while on the peninsula, that they " would speak further of 
this matter." He now requested permission to do so, 
telling their captorsjthat what he should now say, would 
afford the explanation they required, and at the same time 
show the reasons, why he and his people refused to work on 
Cxod's holy day. 

" Well," said the leader, " what do you say, my men ? 
We have nothing else to do. Shall we listen to this mad- 

Chapter V. 

All the Malays, probably in anticipation of some amuse- 
ment, agreed that Mr Maxwell should go on to speak to 
them as he wished. They gathered more closely round 
him, and seemed deeply interested in what was about to 
take place. 

" Listen to me, men of the East, and let me tell you a 
.story," Mr Maxwell began. "It is not a fiction which I 
invent, not a tale of sorrows and of griefs fabricated for the 
purpose of imposing upon you, so as to touch your hearts 
and lessen our bondage. That it will stir your hearts Avithin 


you, I lioi^e and believe, since I know that, in sowing the 
good seed, I am obeying the commands of our Lord and 
Saviour — yours as well as mine — and in doing so I am sure, 
of a blessing to follow." The good man then went on to 
tell them of Jesus, His life and sufferings, and cruel death, 
inculcating upon them the necessity for faith and constant 
watchfulness. " We are your slaves," he said, " and have to 
work for you all day and every day, with little food and no 
recompense, yet, in our faith, we are hapj^y. Could you say 
as much were you in our place ? You know you could not. 
This, then, was the sense in which I spoke to my children 
last night, and this our determination which I have announced 
to you. AYe cannot renounce our religion ; we cannot dis- 
obey God's commands. May He send His grace to your 
hearts, and His blessing upon all of us." 

There was silence for some minutes after Mr Maxwell had 
finished. His evident earnestness had impressed the 
natives ; but soon loud threats and execrations burst forth, 
and, amid a shower of curses, he was driven to his work, 
blows also not being spared. He went with a heavy heart, 
seeing nothing but a falling-away and much suffering, per- 
haps martyrdom, but determined to do his utmost to preserve 
his people in their faith. Their evening meeting, for that 
and the following night, Avas interdicted, but Messrs Maxwell 
and Munro, as also Mrs Maxwell and the children, managed 
to say a few words to cheer and strengthen the sinking 
hearts of their flock. They continued their work that day 
and the next, but w^ien Sunday came, none appeared at 
their usual labour. Great cruelties were practised upon 
them by the Malays, without effect. They stood firm. 
They were given no food, and at last sej^arately confined, 
being told that if they did not work, neither should they 


oat nor meet together, the last being by far the greatest 
privation of all. 

However, the day passed away, and next morning they 
went cheerfully to their work. No sullenness appeared, no 
anger at their cruel treatment ; but the pirates overheard 
them cheering one another, and pitying their captors as 
men who knew no better, yet hoping they would learn in 
time. All this had its effect, and next Sunday, though the 
attempt was again made, yet it was not persevered in, and 
their evening meetings were not forbidden. 

Again some days passed on, and it was evident that 
something was being discussed. Our friends judged rightly 
that it was an expedition, and sorely were they distressed 
at it. 

They knew, from the practising at the oar which had been 
going on, and from what the chief had said on the peninsula, 
that their ])eo])\e would be called upon to row, and a refusal 
to do this would, they saw, be worse than their so-called 
idleness on the Sunday. What to do they knew not ; they 
<30uld only pray to God for light and help. Mr Munro and 
Mr Maxwell were decided, so far as they were concerned; 
they had served God too long to fail Him now. The 
<piestion was, whether they should expose their natives to 
certain death, by directing them to refuse to work. That 
this Avould be the result they felt sure, as the Malays would 
no doubt put them to death as drones, who preferred death 
to labour, a preference which they could perfectly under- 
stand. In that case the conquest which they hoped to 
<3ffect, by Christianising and reforming the Malays, would be 

At last, after much prayerful thought, they decided to 
<3xplain everything fully to their people, then leave it to 


their own consciences ; and, at the same time, they intended 
to protest against their being forced to sin against God, by 
being thus made to help in piracy. A day or two after this, 
orders were given out by the chief for the expedition to 
prepare, and for food to be collected, and got ready. At 
the same time, he told our friends, that they had better pre- 
pare such of the natives as would be required to go. Mr 
Munro took the opportunity of making his protest. He 
entered long and fully into the question, exj^laining to him 
the double sin he was committing, in the acts of murder and 
robbery, and in forcing those, to whom it was so abhorrent,, 
to participate in them, by their presence and assistance. 

" You white men will not have to go," said he. 

"It is the same," replied Mr Munro; "those whom you 
took with us, are equally Christians with ourselves." 

"Listen tome now," said the chief "I think you may 
have seen that I am disposed to be friendly towards you and 
your people, therefore you may take my warning as sincere. 
Do not think of refusing to obey these orders. So surely as 
you do, you die. I have heard, when I was in Singapore, of 
white men of your kind, wdio travel about different countries 
teaching good doctrines, though not those to which we are 
accustomed, men who, I know, are not to be moved by 
danger, from preaching and doing what they think right. 
And I have all along understood your motives, in submitting 
to your slavery to us so cheerfully. You think that you may 
do with us, as you have done with the natives of the penin- 
sula. Well, it may be so. I, for one, would not reject what 
is good, simply because it is new. But how can you do this ? 
How can you be successful in your mission if you are all 
massacred? Give way; glide gently like the serpent. Do 
you think that such men as you see around you, are to be 


turned from their every-day life, their old habits and feelings, 
by the bold face of a miserable set of slaves, or in a day?" 

"Perhaps not," was Mr Munro's answer; "but we are 
commanded not to do evil that good may come, and we are 
assured that, if we do what is right, we can safely leave the 
issue in the hands of the Lord." 

"Then leave it in his hands," said the chief. "You have 
spoken on this matter to your people, and shown them the 
sin, as you call it?" 

Mr Munro assented. 

"Then say no more about it. Those who are weak will 
do as they are required, and I scarcely think their God will 
account it deadly sin. Human nature is human nature. 
The fear of death is powerful. You have done your duty. 
Continue to do it. I am not going on this expedition myself. 
A younger chief heads it. Many people will remain at home 
with me. Go ! I will do my best for you." 

The day came for starting, and a sad day it was. The 
original slaves of the pirates, went quietly enough on board, 
but our natives stoutly refused to a man. Three of their 
number were immediately put to death. So it has been from 
the beginning — Christians have always suffered for their 
faith. At last, as the old chief j^rophesied, the weak ones 
began to give way, and the struggle was at last ended, by the 
pirates carrying bodily, such as they wanted, on board, and 
there tying them to the oar. The fleet put out to sea, and 
our sorrowing friends were left with a portion of their people 
on shore. Then their first act was to put up a solemn and 
fervent prayer for pardon, on behalf of the Malays and of 
their unfortunate companions, for the sin which they were 
committing. Afterwards, with heavy hearts, they returned 
to their work on shore. 


The fleet was away nearly six months. They had gone 
to join an expedition in which the Malays of other islands, 
all of them pirates, had coalesced; and were to lie, in the 
track of European vessels, a very long distance off. 

On our island, the labour of each day was constant and 
regular. Our friends built houses and cultivated the land, 
and although, in their mission work, they did not make 
much progress, yet there was a more peaceful, more refined 
air throAvn over the community. Now the influence of 
Mrs Maxrvvell and her children began to be made manifest. 
Insensibly they humanised those cruel barbarians. As 
their wives and daughters improved, so their imj^rove- 
ment reacted upon the men. When these latter found 
their homes more comfortable, their wives more obedient 
and loving, they also tamed down, and began to pay more 
respect to the missionaries, and to improve the condition of 
their slaves. Gradually not only all mockery ceased, but 
the pirates actually began to take an interest in the services, 
and in the doctrines which were taught. These people had, 
no doubt, once upon a time, followed the Pantheism of the 
Hindoos and Malays, but they had been so long by them- 
selves, and had so long revelled in bloodshed and robbery, 
that they had cast adrift or forgotten all knowledge of any 
gods whatever. This was an advantage in some respects, 
since it is easier work to implant the knowledge and love of 
Christ in new soil, than to convert those who have already 
a system of their own, and to which they are most likely 
bigoted. At the daily meetings for prayer, and the Sunday 
services, there were always some of the women and chil- 
dren present. At last, a few of the men began to stroll in, 
and one Sunday morning, the old chief, with a number of 
his immediate followers, took their seats amongst the 


congregation. One can imagine how thankful our friends 
were to see this, and how fervently they prayed that the 
good seed might that day be sown, and that they might 
have strength and wisdom granted them, to touch the hearts 
of these men, and bring them to a knowledge of Christ the 
Saviour. In the afternoon a message came calling Mr 
Munro to the presence of the chief. On his attending, the 
old Malay told him to sit down, as he wished to have some 
conversation with him, regarding what he had said that day. 
Mr Munro expressed his pleasure, and they began. 

" You spoke very strongly," said the old chief, " against 
our helping ourselves to what we need, by the strong hand, 
and you called it very ugly names. Why so 1 since we only 
follow the ways of our forefathers from time immemorial; 
and, w^ere we not to show our strength, we should be over- 

Mr Munro replied — "It is difficult for me to speak to you 
so that you can understand. As you say, it is the life led 
by your forefathers and yourselves. But what is in itself 
bad, does not become good by age. Many of your people 
have now gone away on an expedition. Supposing they are 
successful, think how much bloodshed there will be — think 
]iow many women and children will weep. This you may 
not care about, since they are no relations of yours, and 
belong to another country. Suppose, however, they are 
defeated and slain ; what grief will be caused here in your 
own community ! Eeflect, then, that you who remain at 
home, are peaceful and happy. You have enough for all 
your wants. You are molested by no one ; you molest no 
one. You might live amongst your families, till you die in 
a happy and revered old age. A life of peace and goodwill 
to all men, is preferable to one of bloodshed, rapine, and 
care. Add to that, the belief in God, and the love of Him 


and obedience to His commandments, and you are assured 
of a glorious resurrection after death, and a life of eternal 
joy and felicity." 

" It is true as you say," was the answer, " that at death 
the women weep. It is their nature — but the tears of a man 
are far away. Our brother who is killed in battle, only takes, 
the road we all hope to follow. Why should we sorrow when 
a man dies ? It is the fate of us all. I should say, in the 
event of any one being so womanish, that he was a coward ; 
that he wept, not because his friend was dead, but because 
of the reminder he had received, that he also would one day 
die. Xo doubt, if we remained on this island, we should 
always have enough to eat ; but we want more — we want 
wealth, power, and glory. More than this : we war for our 
own protection. Did we not, we should be attacked and 
perhaps made slaves of by other tribes, as we have done to 
you. And, do you mean to tell me, that we shall rise again 
after we are dead V 

" I will answer you as you have spoken," said Mr Munro 
in reply. " I acknowledge that women, being of a softer 
nature, are more prone to show their feelings; but their 
sorrow for the death of a friend or relative is no deeper than 
that of a man. You say a man is a coward who weeps. Not 
so; he is only a human being. One who does not is on 
a level with the beasts of the field, which see the tiger 
slay one of their number, and go on feeding, indifferent as 
before. You say you cannot be content with sufficient to 
eat, but that you want wealth, power, and glory. There 
are legitimate means of getting all this. Easier means alsor 
more certain than war or bloodshead — means which are not 
offensive to God, nor productive of unhappiness to men. 
You have here a magnificent island, with many products 
saleable to white men. You, chief, say you have been at 


Singapore; you must there have seen a flourishing commerce. 
Power you will get with your wealth, and if you make it the 
power of doing good, it will endure. Glory also will come 
to you, as you will have that of being a peaceful, kind, and 
happy people. Your influence will be all-powerful for good 
amongst the other islands, and a man who can say that he 
is a Malay of this one, will be revered and trusted. You say 
that, did you not make war, you would be made slaves — that 
does not follow. It is allowable and right to make defensive 
war. You would be all the stronger to defend your happy 
homes, your wealth, and your commerce, and it would soon 
1)0 seen, that your change of life had strengthened as well 
;is enriched you. In time, you would have the glory of a 
new conquest; you would have conquered jourselves — made 
yourselves amenable to the law of God, and by the influence 
of a good life, the fruit of a love to God, and adherence to 
the doctrines of Jesus Christ, His Son, the Saviour ; you 
would conquer to yourselves many friends, and from the 
devil many subjects. This is a conquest worth brave men's 
attempting. You ask if we shall rise again. That is sure 
and certain. What are your thoughts as to the fate of man 
after death f 

" They die, and there is an end of them. I have, indeed, 
heard from Malays and Hindoos of the j^eninsula many old 
women's stories, such as that men become higher or lower 
animals according as they have behaved in this world. 
Something they call a soul, goes into the bodies of these 
animals, but we here know nothing of this. When we die, 
we sleep for ever, without the power of awakening, and as 
we cannot awaken again to life, our bodies decay, as every, 
thing else decays." 

" Then," said Mr Munro, *' you put yourselves on a level 


with the deer in the jungle, with the fish in the sea. Do you 
not feel 1 Does it never strike you, when you look at your 
hands and limbs, when you see the reflection of yourself 
in the water, that although that is your body, yet it is not 
yourself 1 Just as although the oar i)ropels the prahm, yet 
it is not the propelling power. Do you never have the con- 
sciousness that there is a something within, which tells you 
when you are doing wrong, which enables your mind or your 
body to do that wrong, since thought or speech may be evil, 
iis well as action. That something we call the soul of men, 
is immortal and indestructible. That never dies, but wings 
its way to the place appointed for it, where it abides till the 
great day of judgment, when God the Son shall come to 
judge the good and bad. Then, as our actions have been 
committed in the body, as in the body we have accepted or 
rejected the salvation offered us through Christ the Saviour, 
and ordered our lives accordingly, so, in the body again, shall 
we receive our reward or our jnmishment — in a glorious and 
purified body everlasting bliss, or in an evil body everlasting 
damnation. Rest assured, my friend, that we are here 
merely on trial. Those who hear the truth, as I am now 
telling it to you, and reject it, woe to them. Try this sal- 
vation I off'er you, only try it, and so sure am I of the power 
of the Lord Jesus in the hearts of those who earnestly ask 
for His Spirit, that I am not afraid of any return to your old 
ways. Try it, I implore you." 

There was a minute or two of silence, and then a long 
breath, as if of satisfaction at a way of escape from a visible 
<langer, so much had Mr Munro's earnestness impressed them. 
Then the chief spoke again. 

" We have listened to you, and you ^have spoken well. 
We believe you to be a good man; but as yet we cannot say 


that we see that yonr religion is adapted for us. Let me ask 
you a question. What, then, has become of our people who 
have died without a knowledge of this salvation you offer 
us? and who is this other king you call the 'devil,' whom 
we are to fight against and conquer?" 

"Your first question," Mr Munro replied, "I cannot 
answer for certain. But Christ says, 'In my Father's house 
are many mansions,' and as God's mercy and justice are 
infinite, we cannot say that they will be 2:)unished for the 
want of what they had no means of knowing anytliing 
about. According to our lights we shall be judged ; and a 
Malay, good and upright according to his conscience, though 
ignorant of the name of Christ, will take a better place than 
one who, having a knowledge of the Christian religion, has 
yet neglected and despised its precepts. But now God, 
working through your own wicked purpose of enslaving an 
innocent and unoffending people, has brought the message to 
you. In the name of Christ, I command you to listen to 
His word and reform your lives. There is no escaj^e, if you 
neglect the great salvation which is offered you. I know — 
I can see — that, through God's grace, my words are working 
in you. You know that I am right. You feel that what I 
say is true. You are inclined to give way to the Holy Spirit, 
who is gently drawing you. But is there not a something 
in your hearts which whispers to you, not only now, but at 
every good action you feel inclined to do : — 'Why should you 
trouble 1 The old way is a good way. Eat, drink, and be 
merry, for to-morrow you die. Plunder away. What folly 
to talk of right or wrong ! What to you is the death of men 
or the sorrow of women 1 Don't be a fool. Take what you 
want, if you are strong enough.' That, my friends, is the 
devil — the principle of evil, the deadly antagonist of all that 


is good — working in jour hearts, so that you may, at the 
last, join him in everlasting damnation, by becoming his 
subjects in this world. As I have already told you, we are 
here on trial. We have a mind of our own — a reasoning 
power, which tells us what is good, and what is bad. God, 
who made us, gives us free will. AVe do as we please, and, 
for His own wise purj^oses. He allows us to be tempted by the 
devil. He gives us our choice, and if we deliberately choose 
€vil when we know the good, if we defy and condemn Him 
to whom we owe our being and our life, is it not right that 
we should be punished 1 It is right, and it is certain." 

" Tell me," said the chief, " when all this was — when and 
how you got your religion 1 " 

" God, who is our God," said our venerable friend, with a 
holy fervour, " was from the beginning, is now, and is to 
<}ome. He hath neither beginning nor end. He made the 
heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is therein, by the 
word of His power. You and I, as we stand here, are in 
the hollow of His hand. He fills the world and infinite 
space with His presence; and yet He will condescend to dwell 
in your heart or mine. It is by His direct inspiration, that 
holy men have written His word — have given us his law and 
precepts. The good news of the Gospel, was given us by the 
disciples of Christ — men who lived with Him during His 
sojourn on this earth — ^^vlio saw His daily life and conversa- 
tion, and who witnessed his life of sacrifice, finished by His 
death on the cross. You have travelled, and you no doubt 
know what books are 1 You have also seen me reading V 
The chief nodded. " Well, these men wrote all these things 
in a book, and the book has descended to us." 

One of the Malays, who seemed most dissatisfied, now 

THE leavp:ning of the whole lump. 367 

"You have advised us a great deal. Amongst other 
things you recommend commerce with Singapore. This 
would be all very well ; but is it not that you wish for com- 
munication with Singapore, so that you may inform your 
brothers of your presence here; and would not the result be, 
that we should be invaded, and you rescued 1" 

This at once created an effect which Mr Munro was not 
slow to notice. He sighed, and said — 

" It may be so to some extent. I will not deny, that I 
ishould have wished to console many mourners, by the tidings 
that we are alive; and we should be glad to tell many 
friends of our work here. Yet I tell you that I am willing, 
for myself and for my children, to avoid all communications 
with any whites till you give us leave. That day I feel 
assured will come." 

The people then dispersed, and Mr Munro returned to his 

Chapter VI. 

Xow things went on very quietly. Every day brought its 
duties, and little knots of men, women, and children might be 
seen listening to the exhortations and explanations of our 
friends. They were instant in season and out of season ; 
they were all things to all men, so that they might win some. 

At last the men began to take an interest in agriculture, 
and under the missionaries' directions, and with their help, 
they planted many things which were articles of commerce. 
.Soon the village and its vicinity wore a neat and smiling 
aspect. Food was more abundant and better; and the palm 
wine calabash was not so often resorted to, to pass away the 
<lay. The men were softened, the women cheered, and many 
<'omforts were added to their houses, by the results of another 



trip to the wrecked stores, organised by Mr Maxwell and 
his son. There were fewer speculations now, as to the 
results of the expedition, and of the i:>lunder that would be 
brought back. There were still some discontented spirits — 
men who regretted the change which was evidently coming 
over them, who longed for bloodshed, robbery, and licence. 
These stood obstinately aloof; but they were not many in 

One thing there was that troubled the missionaries — 
what would be the result of the return of the fleet, especially 
if it returned victorious and laden with plunder? They 
were afraid that the sight of such success would throw the 
Malays into piracy or barbarism, or if it did not, that they 
would all have much trouble — perhaps persecution — ^from 
the returned warriors. Then, again — how had these poor 
natives stood the fiery trial 1 All seemed very dark ahead. 
The old chief — ^who was by this time a Christian at heart — 
comforted Mr Munro when he spoke to him about this. 

"Yes," he said, "It may be so. It most likely will be so ; 
but what can you do 1 You have told us* much about God, 
and, amongst other things, of His power. Let us wait 
patiently and see the result. I will do what I can, but you 
see that those who are here are not unanimous, and those 
who are coming are the largest number. In a matter of this 
kind my power is little." 

Day followed day, quietly and peacefully; and, resting on 
the Lord, they waited. 

One day, just as the sun was setting behind the island, 
and throwing its beams to the eastward, some prahms 
were discovered by the discontented Malays, who had been 
anxiously looking out, in the hope that when their friends 
came back, all things would be changed. 


In a few minutes, word was passed from house to house, 
that the fleet was returning, and they all gathered on the 

But was this the gallant and numerous flotilla which, 
nine months ago, had put out to sea, full of hopes of plunder, 
and a glorious return l Eickety, broken boats, much dimin- 
ished in number, and with scarcely anyone to be seen on 
board, coming slowly and painfully towards the land ; and, 
at last, when they touched the beach, what a lamentable 
sight was there ! Those who were well, were scarcely able 
to work the vessels, and in the bottoms of them, lay thickly, 
the sick and the wounded. 

Battle and tempest had done their work; all their friends 
and relatives crowded to help, and with much tenderness 
carried them up to their houses. Our natives also attended 
to their friends on board — now, alas, how few ! and the 
missionary party dispensed their help, and their medical 
knowledge, to all alike. 

Nothing of moment took place for some days, except the 
occasional laying in the earth of some slave, or the burning 
of some Malay, who had succumbed to wounds or to 

Many a black look was cast by the discontented Malays, 
who had remained on shore, at our friends, as if they, by 
some magic art, had been the cause of this calamity. Others, 
who had allowed the influence of the Gospel to reach their 
hearts, and had been inclined to believe its doctrines, now 
looked upon this catastrophe with awe, and accepted it as a 
proof of the truth of the teaching. They had heard that 
such a life as they had hitherto led, was abhorrent to God, 
and could not be continued without His long-suff'ering mercy 
})eing exhausted, and retribution coming upon them. They 



determined to go and sin no more. It was the turning- 
point, and by God's goodness and wisdom, it turned the 
right way. Even the Malays who survived, when they 
found food abundant, seasoned with kindness and affection, 
no complaint, no scoff addressed to them — when they saw 
the comfort of their houses, and generally the change for the 
better which had come about, softened and lowered by 
affliction, they instinctively turned to God, as the flowers 
to the sun. They had precept and example to guide them. 
The missionaries sowed and watered, and God gave the 

The natives of the peninsula had suffered much in the 
expedition, but they had stood the trial well. Some of the 
Malays said that the example of their resignation, coupled 
with their resolute denunciation of all that was bad, coming 
after what the missionaries had told them before their 
departure, had a great effect, even w^hile at sea. There was 
much grief for those who were lost, but time, and the belief 
that they should meet again, tempered and softened their 

Now, indeed, there was a change in the island. It 
became an earthly paradise. As year succeeded year, they 
increased more and more in the knowledge and love of God. 
Some few, I am sorry to record, resolutely refused to listen, 
or to quit their old ways, but as they were few, the others 
kept them in order. At last they announced their deter- 
mination of leaving to join some other tribe, to which many 
objected, saying that they would be sure to bring other 
tribes upon them, and they should be involved in war. 
The missionaries, however, considered that, some day or 
other, the change must become known, and the sooner the 
better. Against invasion they hoped to be able to defend 


themselves. So, by their influence, the malcontents were 
allowed to depart. 

I may mention here, that the fears of the people were 
realized. Some time after, they were invaded by a party, 
headed by the runaways; but they were defeated, and 
learned such a lesson, that the island was never troubled 

The slaves were freed, and all dwelt together as brethren. 
Polygamy was abolished, and marriage held sacred. They 
tilled the soil greatly, though for many years they stored 
what they did not use, as they refused to listen to the 
recommendations of the missionaries, to open communica- 
tions with Singapore. They were, they said, happy and 
prosperous. They wanted for nothing. They were not now 
afraid of harm coming to them, through intercourse with 
white men; but why should they advertise their j)eaceful 
and unwarlike state, amongst the other islands ; why sub- 
ject themselves to the risk of evil 1 Mr Munro and Mr 
Maxwell — to whom they looked up, as their fathers in God 
— argued the matter with them, told them that they must 
be strong to resist the evil, and that they had no right to 
hide their light under a bushel ; it was their duty to dis- 
seminate the blessings they had received amongst others. 
Englishmen at Singapore would cheerfully and heartily 
helj) and protect them in doing so. 

In the summer of 1871, 1 was cruising about, on a trading 
expedition amongst the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. 
It was rather dangerous work, and we were well-manned 
and armed. One evening, we found ourselves in sight of an 
island, of which no one on board knew the name. We had 


encountered a gale, and were considerably out of the usual 
trading track. The night fell while we were still some 
distance off, but as it was nearly calm we hung about, 
keeping good watch, and determined to have a nearer look 
at it in the morning. 

The night passed without any visitors, and at dawn we 
found ourselves closer in. Many telescopes were directed to 
the shore, and in a few moments the second mate shouted, 
in an accent of great surprise, *'I see the American flag 
flying !" And truly there it was. We, of course, imagined 
that some vessel had been wrecked, and that the crew had 
found their way on land ; but knowing the character of the 
inhabitants of these islands, we wondered by what miracle 
they had remained alive, and, most of all, how they were 
allowed to communicate with us. 

We manned a boat, and armed it well, in case this should 
only be a ruse, though by this time we saw some few people 
sauntering down to the beach, as if to meet us. We could 
not understand the apathy which was evinced, still less the 
absence of white men, although the flag was still flying ; and 
there was apparently no preparations for launching the 
prahms, which, when the inhabitants mean well, and in 
some cases when they do not, is always done. Imagine our 
great surprise, on cautiously approaching the beach, to hear 
ourselves hailed in English, and asked to land, as there were 
some of our brethren there in great sorrow; and on our 
showing some hesitation, the people shouted to us not to be 
afraid, as they were Christian men like ourselves. Little did 
we know what was the true state of things, though we 
afterwards learned all that is here recorded from Mr and 
Mrs Maxwell, and their son and daughter. 

On reaching the shore, we immediately began to inquire 


into this strange state of affairs, but were answered only 
with the sorrowful request, that we would follow them to 
the hill where we saw the flag, and where (here the tears 
flowed freely) we would find their fathers dying. Alas ! it 
was too true. Mr Munro and the chief, now brothers in 
Christ and in heart, white-headed and broken, had been 
carried to say their last farewell to their people — to die in 
the light of God's day, and to be an example to their flock 
of the joy, the bliss of dying in the Lord. Hand in hand, 
they were proj^ped-up, on mats, under the "feathery shade'' 
of the cocoa palm. Eound them knelt, in great yet calm 
sorrow, Mr and Mrs Maxwell, Robert and Eflie, and, in the 
outer circle, the people both of the peninsula and island. 
So impressed were we with the touching solemnity of the 
scene — which we comprehended at a glance — that we also, 
without one word, took up our position amongst the mour- 
ners, and listened to the last words of the dying patriarchs. 

" My brother," said Mr Munro in feeble accents, " we are 
to-day to die. We leave our friends and our relatives, but 
we exchange this world, for one of everlasting joy and felicity, 
where we shall again meet them. Is this a matter for 
sorrow "?" 

" No," said the chief, " not altogether so. The shortest 
parting is a matter of grief, but the joy is the greater when 
we meet again. Thanks to God, who sent you, and to thee, 
my brother, that we have that hope. God grant that I may 
desire that certainty, and He will give it ; of that I feel 

" See how good He is," said the missionary ; all I have 
wished and prayed for, has come to us in good time. The 
commerce and protection of our people will be assured. 
The work of God will be continued. My friends and relatives 


■\vill have the blissful knowledge of our existence. Our 
people will be brought into contact with a good and Christian 
nation. He has brought these strangers to cheer our dying 

We waited in solemn silence, only broken by occasional 
whispers from the two friends, and sobs from — I am not 
ashamed to own it — ourselves, as well as the people, till at 
last, as the sun sank in the west, with words of affection 
and Avisdom on their lips, these two good men passed 

Their rest cannot be otherwise than calm and happy.. 
May their example ever be remembered ; so may God's work, 
thus happily begun, have His blessing to a good continuance^ 


(GLAsaow Weekly Herald, May 8th, 1875.) 

I WAS travelling once from Glasgow to Dublin by one of 
the Clyde steamers. It was a very stormy night, and we 
had a regular game of pitch and toss. I tried to keep out 
of the heated atmosphere of the cabin as long as I could, 
but an extra gust and a roll, sent me down nolens volens. I 
got to my feet again, and while removing my wet wrappers, 
and shaking myself generally, I was accosted by a stout, 
sturdy, bullet-headed respectably-dressed man, with Irish- 
man written in every feature of his face, and heard in every 
roll of his tongue. 

" Thry some of this, sur," said he, handing me a smoking 
tumbler. " It won't agree wid the cowld, an' it will dhrive 
it out, for sure it's the better man av the two." 

I did so, and soon found that my friend was right, so to 
turn what was still an undecided battle into a complete 
victory, I ordered a jorum for myself and sat down beside 
him. It was my first trip to Ireland, and, of course, I 
could talk about nothing except the country and the people. 
The " Dublin Boy," as he called himself, was evidently a 
man who, although perhaps a "broth of a boy" once, and 
even yet not objecting to a jollification, had evidently "done 
well" in the world. He knew, and cared, nothing about 
politics. Perhaps that accounted for his success. 

"Arrah! go way wid ye now. What do I know about 
Fanienism an' Home Rule? Begorra, what do they want? 
Let them attend to their business; pay twenty shillings in 

376 A DUBLIN "BOY." 

the pound (somehow this sounded so strange in the Irish 
brogue), an' those that have no business let them work stiddy 
— there's plenty jobs for them — an' you'll soon hear the last 
of their cries. I have thravelled over ivery bit of Ireland, 
an' a great deal of England and Scotland. In them two 
counthries I seen ivery man minding his own business, an' 
not botherin' about the Government; an' what's the con- 
sequence ? The Government don't bother them. In Ireland 
you'll see every bog-throther's son of a pitatie patch, if he 
isn't polthougueing his neighbour, he's sure to be blowing 
away about the wrongs of Ireland, and the oppression of the 
English. Sorra a wrong I iver seen, nor heerd of nayther, 
from a man as could pay his way. I see by the papers, sur, 
that they be doin' the same thing in France and Spain. It's 
in the blood, it's in the blood ! I've seen some of them fur- 
riners — and they do be more like the Irish than you English 
are. Nothin' will put things right, but time and the strong- 
hand. I don't mane that the strength of England should 
be always held up before Ireland, but let the people know 
and see that it is there, and will be used if occasion requires. 
The Government is good enough; though it is not so very 
long ago since yees icere hard upon us." 

" Yes, that is true." 

"Well, well, that oughtn't to matter now; he's a good 
boy that gets better as he gets older. Time '11 do it, sur. 
Time '11 do it. We didn't — English or Irish ayther — lie 
down in our paint and skins at night, and get up in frock 
coat and throusers in the marnin'. Did we now?" 

" No, we did not. I quite agree with you in all you say." 

" Ah, to be sure; well, let's say no more about it. It's 
only waste av time. Take another tumbler and a pipe. 
Do you smoke?" 


I agreed to both my friend's recommendations, and finding 
that he would say no more about pohtics, I tried him in 
another direction, being anxious to ascertain if the wild 
^' divarsion" of their social life, as portrayed by Barrington, 
Lover, and Lever, was still " to the fore." 

" What sort of a life do people lead in Dublin 1" 

" Arrah, it's better now, but it was a wild divil-may-care 
life at one time." 

" In your own young days, now, how was it '?" 

'' Don't spake of it, sur. What with whisky, an' fighting, 
an' dancing, an' horse racin' — sure horse racin' bruk all 
Ireland, it did !" 

The sudden change, from the hilarious look and voice to 
the mournful brow and quaver, was indescribable ; it was 
as plain as a pikestaff that my friend had at one time been 
^' bruk," or near it, by a fondness for the sport, an' divilment 
of all kinds. 

" We had some rare goin's-on in Dublin in the owld time. 
A lot of us young fellows, twenty years ago, would go on the 
batter, night after night, and feel none the worse for it. 
Sure, everybody did the same, an' why shouldn't they. 
Maybe it's me that is changed, but sure it can't be that, since 
my eyes is to the fore yet. It seems to me, anyway, that 
the people is changed. Donnybrook, and most of that kind 
of divarsion, is done away wid ; there's more quiet drinking, 
I think, but not the divilment there wunst was. What wid 
Fanienism, Home-Rule, emigration, fine-art exhibitions, an', 
an' botheration of all kinds, the fun of Dublin is clean gone 

" I'm not so very ould ; how ould would yees think I am 1 
No, no ; I'm just six-an'-forty, so that the times I speak of 
are not so very long ago. I'll tell yees now of a night me 

378 A DUBLIN "BOY." 

and some other boys had — wild divils they was, too — some- 
five-aii'-twinty years agone. There wor just five of us. an' 
we had all come up from Baldoyle races together. We had 
won a bit of money, an' bed ad ! nothin' would sarve us but 
we must spend some of it. There was an owld fellow kep* 
a hotel, that I knew well ; so, on my recommendation, we 
decided to go there ; it was in a good quarther for society, 
sure, an' we thought we could get a few together an* make 
a night of it. It was late when w^e got there, but, be gorra ! 
we wor decaived. The owld man, a rich, comfortable, well- 
to-do owld fellow, had gone an' cut his t'roat." 

" What did he do that for 1" 

" Bedad, not a mother's son could tell. Yees see this, now. 
His head waither had left him some time before, an' started 
in opposition. He took away a great deal of his thrade ; 
particularly the commercial men, with whom he had been a 
great favourite. The owld fellow wor vexed at this, an*^ 
took it to heart so, that the night before we came up, he 
went down to the hotel that belonged to his waither, an' 
tuk a bed there. AVell, when they came to wake him up in 
the mornin', they found he had spoiled the bed and a new 
carpet, sure he had ; an' it was as plain as the nose on yer 
face, that he had done it for nothin' else but to injure the 
opposition business. Wasn't he a 'cute owld fellow, now ?" 

" Well, I don't know. But did it have that effect ?" 

" Begorra an' it did, sur. Not a man-jack went near the 
place for a twelvemonth after. Well, sur, we could not well 
have our fun, when the man of the house was lying dead in 
it ; and as it wor gettin' late, w^e were thinking of going to 
our homes. The old fellow had been a friend of mine, so 
I did not like going over to the opposition, seein' wdiat 
he'd done, an' why he'd done it, an' we wor just biddin' one 


another good night, when up comes a waither, and he says, 
'Gintlemen,' says he, 'yees want some liquor an' divarsion,. 
why wouldn't yees go up to the wake ? Yees'd get both 
there; an sure the frinds would take it kindly av ye.'' 
'Where is it, Dan?' says I. *It's jist round behind the 
hotel,' says the waither. ' I'm sure they'll make yees wel- 
come, an' it'll be health to the owld woman's sowl, to see 
yees at it 1 ' 

" Nothin' more was wanted. Away we went, primed an'' 
ready for anything. When we came to the door, we found 
a crowd of ragged vagabonds outside. Yees'll see the 
l)eggars in Dublin, an' can guess we had throuble in gettin' 
through, but at last we managed to get upstairs an' into the 
room where the owld woman lay on a bed forenint the door. 
In the middle, there was a bit of a table at the foot of the 
bed, an' on it wor whisky, pipes, an' tibaccay. Eound the 
room the people, male and faymale, wor sittin' three deep. 
B' the powers! the old lady had more visitors and good 
words whin dead, nor ever she had whin livin'. Takin' them 
upon the average, they was all half dnmk, an' one pair was 
croonin' an' dhronin' away at a song. All the others was 
lukin' towards them, tho', faix, little could they see for the 
smoke that filled the place. We squeezed in, an' room was 
made for us as well as they could. We got seats someway,, 
half on the people an' half on nothin', but one of our party 
nearly made throuble, by dhriving his way up close to the 
bed ; he wor a gallows young bird, that one. 

" Barrin' some black looks an' mutterin's, that our im- 
pident talk and ways occasioned, everything went very 
comforthable for a while, till the whisky got done, an' then 
such a screechin' and clatterin' for more. A fresh supply 
came in, an' at it we went airain. 

380 A DUBLIN "BOY." 

" By-an'-by, there came in a purty counthry-luckin' girl, 
that stud by the door, as if she belonged to no one in 
particular, just a dissolute faymale orphan; an' as I wor the 
same, I thought I'd go over and help her, wid her lonesome- 
ness. I scrooged along, until I had got nigh forenint the 
door, when in came Biddy wid a fresh supply of spirits an' 
hot wather in a tray. She just gave wan luck at me (as I 
thought), an' wid a ' Agh-O-A,' down she went, the contints 
of the thray powdering a-toj) of her, an' she kicked an' she 
scramed, as if she was possessed wid siven divils. Begorra, 
sir, it shuk me, it did. Here was I a-goin' to comfort a 
young cratur, and somethin' horrible about me that frightened 
Biddy out of her sinses; but just then there was a yell from 
all in the room, an' I turned my head. Oh, Holy Mother ! 
there was the corpse a-sittin' up in the bed, noddin' its head 
iit us, an' says she " 

"Says who r' 

"Blue blazes, sur, amn't I tellin' ye. ' The corpse,' says 
she, * Bless yer sowls,' she says, * aren't yees a pretty 
lot of nagurs, niver to ax me to join yees; an' the liquor 
mine, an' the tibaccay too.' Be all the saints, sur, I 
thought I shud have dropped, an' most in the room was on 
their knees, or a top av one another. The corpse, sur, 
turned round, as if she were goin' to get out av the bed. 
Iverybody roared an' tried to run. There was sich a crun- 
-chin' an' crowdin' at the door. Some fell over the banisthers, 
an' some fell down the stairs. I got away wid my head 
broke, my ilbows skinned, an' my coat torn off me back, 
sure I did. B' me sowl, sur, when I think av it now, I'm 
like to split my coat agin wid laughin', I am; but it wor no 
laughin' matther thin. An' what do yees think it was all 
iibout, nowf 


" How can I tell^ Some trick, I suppose." 

" Thrick ! Begor it icor a tlirick, an' no mistake. It wor 
just that blackguard spalpeen, young Dick O'Flynn, as I 
towld yees was a-dhriving his way up to the bed. He had 
tied a cord round the owld lady, an' passed it round the fut 
av the bed; an' he underneath it at the other side, pulled 
away till he raised the dead an' nearly killed the living; 
bedad so he did. I didn't hear how it was done for some 
time afther. The rascal kept quiet till we all got better av 
our bruises, an' well for him too. There Avor many av us so 
sore, in our minds an' our bodies, that we would ha' spared 
him some av the pain wid pleasure." 

*' Well, I suppose you didn't try for any more ' divarsion' 

" Divil a bit, sur. It kep' us quiet for a week afther; 
but let us go to bed, sur; and if yees have no objections, 
I'll give yees a wake, av another kind, in the marnin'." 


(Glasgow Weekly Herald, 22d May, 1875.) 

There is no doubt whatever that Mr Plimsoll has clone 
^ood service in agitating on the subject of unseaworthy 
ships. I am inclined to think, however, that he has not 
been discreet enough in his advocacy. To look upon his 
picture, one would imagine that the life of a sailor is one of 
-exceptionable hardship and low wages ; that they are unable 
to combine, as do workmen on shore, so as to control their 
labour market ; that they are ill-fed, hard worked, and 
frequently offered up, as unconscious sacrifices to the genius 
of swindling, especially in the department dedicated to 
insurance companies and underwriters; or, when that is not 
wilfully done, that they are looked upon as the crew of the 
commercial fireship, with this difference, that no honour 
accrues to them if they escape, though substantial profit may 
result to the sender. Such partisanship tends to mislead. 
I believe there is good foundation for Mr Plimsoll's stric- 
tures, so far as home-going. North-sea, and short-voyage 
ships are concerned. It is in the forecastles of these that 
you often hear the sailors say — 

** He who would go to sea for pleasure, 
"Would go to hell for pastime. " 

And, certainly, some stories I have heard from the men show 
that reform is needed. I remember a Swede telling me of 
ii Russian prize having been condemned, and sold for £65. 
Instead of being broken up, she was despatched from London 


by her owner, a Norwegian, with a cargo of coals for Malaga. 
At the time, after the war, the shipping trade was very bad, 
and this man had been loafing about for two months, living 
from hand to mouth, unable to get a berth. At last, he 
signed articles for the voyage in this " old coffin," and she 
sailed. They had pretty fair weather and fair winds, till 
near their destination. Nevertheless they had to be con- 
stantly at the pumps. At last it came on to blow, and the 
timbers of the "old hooker" opened and shut "just like as 
many oysters." She was perfectly rotten at the stem, and 
at last a hole opened " that let in the water faster than we 
could take it out again." They tried many ways of stopping 
it, and at last the captain succeeded ; he himself went over, 
fast to a line, and stuffed salt beef into the opening 1 With 
only this between them and destruction, they reached their 
port. They could get no cargo for anywhere there. So, 
after some patching up, away they went, in ballast, for the 
St Lawrence. By the mercy of Providence they scrambled 
over somehow, and loaded with timber for London again ! 
After being blown and battered for a month, losing their 
deck cargo, with enough of her under water to enable the 
men to " lean over the bulwarks and wash their hands," they 
got back as far as Queenstown; and there my informant, 
hearing that ships were more plentiful and wages better, 
forfeited his wages by leaving her — so what became of her 
afterwards, I had not the pleasure, or pain, of knowing. Of 
course, at any j^ort he might have left the vessel, and got 
his wages, too ; but what was Jack to do 1 He says, " I 
did try ; but none of us had no money for the lawyers, and 
v/e didn't know nothin' about how to go to work, and so we 
slipped South as soon as we could, and forgot all about it 
after a bouse out." Again, on being asked why he shipped 

384 tlimsoll's jack. 

in sucli a vessel at all, he says, "Why, we didn't know 
nothin' at all about that either ; and if we had, I, for one, 
was so blessed hard up, that I'd have gone to sea on a gratin' 
for grub and wages. Besides, we were well treated ; plenty 
to eat, and none of your confounded teetotal ships; so what's 
the odds so long as you're happy?" Such is Jack all through 
the piece ; and, being such an indispensable member of the 
community, it is but right that his friends should see he is 
well treated, and his life cared for. 

Having said this much in favour of Mr PlimsoU and his 
championship, it becomes us now to point to the peculiarities 
of Jack in fighting against himself, and to show long-voyaged 
Jack especially, as one who is well fed, lightly worked, and 
in a better position by far, than his fellow-workman on shore, 
to save money, so as to be in comfort in his old age; that he 
has time, and, in very many ships, opportunity, for improv- 
ing his knowledge of the art he lives by, and that generally 
Jack, if he would only take care of himself, might be as 
happy and prosperous as he is useful. 

Jack is like the herring — the prey of every other variety 
of his own species; but none are so fatal to him as those 
who, as quoted in one of the magazines some time ago, 
when the ship arrives at St. Katherine's Docks, 

" Come down in flocks ; " 

and, as the writer did not continue, say 

** Come on, Jack, you're welcome back, 

And I'll go you shares in your three years' whack, 
For I see you're homeward bound." 

It is characteristic of the sailor that he sings those songs — 
and enjoys them too — although they tell so much against 
his usual proceedings on shore. Another verse of the same 


jack's unthrift. 385 

"shanty," is referring to Jack just returned from sea, and 
Jack who has been some time on shore, and, as a natural 
consequence, in a state of impecuniosity : — 

' Then, in comes the landlady with a smile, 
Says, * Taste this liquor, it's worth your while.' 
For I see you're, &c. 

' ' Then, in comes the landlady with a frown. 
Says, 'Get up, Jack, let John sit down.' 
For you'll soon be outward bound." 

I remember one old sailor telling me that his last pay-day 
was .£48, "and in twelve days I hadn't a cent!" 

" What did you do with iti" I inquired. 

" Do with it ! why, spent it like a man !" 

And nothing would convince him that he hadn't done so. 

"What's the use?" he says. "If it was known in the 
forecastle that I was a ' miser,' what a pretty life I'd lead. 
And if I gave it to some one to take care of — some of your 
institutions or such like — they'd be sure to burst up, and 
I'd lose it. No, no; I'll take the benefit of it while I can. 
This voyage I want clothes bad enough. I'm just thinking 
whether I shall spend all my money in clothes or none." 

Giving up the attempt at conversion as hopeless, I saunter 
away aft, and ruminate over the opportunities which Jack 
has of doing himself good, and how completely and per- 
sistently he neglects them. 

Notwithstanding all the sailor's coarse ways and modes 
of expressing himself, his too often filthy conversation, and 
licentious habits, it is wonderful how he respects a man 
who is consistently and quietly the opposite — always i3ro- 
vided that he is liberal with his money. We knew one 
Swedish carpenter who was a staid, well-behaved man, never 
mixed in the wild talk of the other men — rather discouraged 


386 plimsoll's "jack." 

them than otherwise — read his Bible on a Sunday, never 
swore, and did his work without grumbHng, which was as 
extraordinary as any other trait in his character. It was 
pleasant to see how this man was respected. How the oath 
would die away upon the lips of the speaker, as " chips" 
<lrew near; and how willing — nay anxious — they were to 
do any little thing to serve him. Yet, strange to say, he 
was carried on board dead drunk by his mate; and it was 
perfectly well known, that he would be in the same state an 
hour after landing. Jack seems to accept drunkenness as 
the normal condition of a sailor. Even the very few lusus 
naturce, who do not drink themselves, think nothing of it in 
other men. One who is careful of his money, may give good 
advice, and example too, but all he gains by it, is the reputa- 
tion of a miser; and he has no influence whatever. 

It is a very difficult matter to say what ought to be done. 
Teetotal ships are supposed to be a step in the right direc- 
tion, but it is questionable. It is another phase of the 
*' making men sober by Act of Parliament." The men are 
sober enough while on board, but, whenever they get the 
opportunity, they rush into the opposite extreme; and it is 
a common saying about Wells Street, when a man is so 
drunk that he cannot lie down without holding on, " Oh, 
j)Oor devil! he's just landed from a teetotal ship." Of 
course, if owners choose to lay it down as a stipulation, 
before engaging a man, that they shall supply no grog, and 
he to accept it, it is all right enough; they have a perfect 
right to do so, and nobody can complain. But it is as to 
Avhether it does the sailor good, morally, that I am speak- 
ing. I don't think it does; and he, more than most men, 
requires, for his physical well-being, his " glass of grog 


jack's grumbling and revenge. 387 

Jack's grumbling propensity is marvellous. It seems to 
be a safety valve; it lets off the steam which would other- 
wise blow-up the ship. If, also, he considers himself ill- 
treated, his revenge is sure; and, in taking it, he is not 
always guided by considerations of the danger his own life 
may be brought into. I remember one case, where the 
master had roughly expressed some suspicion, that the men 
were tampering with the cargo, and threatening them with 
severe punishment if it was so. Nothing had been touched 
up to that time, but they then determined to give him some 
cause for his suspicions; and before they reached Madras 
had drank, and actually thrown overboard, about XI 00 
Avorth of wines and spirits, just to inflict that loss upon the 
ship, and " get the captain into a row." They had reached 
it through a bulkhead, which partitioned-ofF the forecastle. 

Another time, when I was a passenger in a large barque, 
off the New Zealand coast, we were struck by a heavy squall, 
with everything aloft that would draw. The men had some 
real or fancied cause of complaint against the caj^tain and 
mate, and to all the quickly-following orders of the former, 
they responded by fiddling about the wrong ropes — they 
dared not refuse duty, while stern-sail booms and upper spars 
were tumbling about their ears. 

" Let the b y ship go to ," I heard one of them 

growl, as I passed him ; and they were all doing their best 
to send her somewhere. 

The old skipper knelt on the poop-rail, and implored, 
^' For God's sake, men, keep the masts in her." 

" Aye, aye, sir," was the instantaneous response, and to 
work they went with a will. They had brought " the old 
man to his marrow bones," and were satisfied. 

I was once in a " Methodist ship," the ca2:)tain of which 

388 plimsoll's "jack." 

was a local preacher. He was a thoroughly good old man — 
one who had a close grip of the things of this world, but 
whose Christian feeling made him constantly fight against 
this propensity. He was a first-class sailor, and the men 
respected and rather liked him. Everywhere, scattered 
through the ship, were Methodist publications, of course 
especially those \mtten for sailors — many of them " yarns,'^ 
(supposed to have been told in the forecastle) of a highly 
religious character. It was amusing to hear the sailors' 
critiques on these. 

"AVhat ship was that in V says one, after the reader had 

" There's no name given," was the rei)ly. 

" Ah ! I thought not," said another. 

" They was too sharp to put that in : they knew Ave should 
find out what humbug it is. I have been in many ships, 
and hang me if ever I heard any talk of that kind — nothin' 
but sprees and judes." 

" It's very pretty, though," says a fourth. 

" Wery," cries a Londoner. 

"Don't you see, mates, that Christians is thankful for 
anything that's given them, and never grumbles at overwork 
or underfeeding. Them's the ticket for captains and owners." 

"Ay, they'd bring us to something, if we all took that line : 
sing us a song. Bill ;" and away goes the forecastle mirth in 
full fling. Humorous — nay, often witty — it is, I allow ; but, 
as a rule, filthy in the extreme. 

It seems to me to be a mistake, for people who wish ta 
improve the sailor, to -write as if they had to deal with chil- 
dren whose character had to be formed, and not with full 
grown men with strong passions, shrewd and sharp in many 
things, but whose principal fault — the principal reason why 

jack's "broad" language. 389 

the man before the mast so seldom prospers — is that they 
<}amiot, or will not, restrain those passions. Again, in writing 
on this subject, it is not well to write what Jack would call 
" finikin." The sailor uses broad language and oaths, often 
without thinking, always without feeling that it is wrong to 
do so. I remember arguing with an old fellow about this ; 
he didn't see it. 

"You don't, ah]" 

" No. There's no women about here." 

" Well, wait a moment." I then went on, on the same 
subject, but interlarded my argument with every specimen I 

Jack stared, then looked shamefaced, and at last said, " I 
see what you're drivin' at. Well, it do sound queer -, but you 
iin't a sailor!" 

" No ; I am not ; but why should it be ' all right ' in you, 
and all wrong in me ?" 

He walked away thoughtful ; I did some good there. 

The men who sail in short-voyage ships are generally a 
^' scaly" lot, especially in those from Liverpool to America. 
There the sailors (1) are generally engaged for the run, and 
captains are not particular, so long as they are able to pass 
the law. This throws extra work upon the few A.B.'s there 
really are, who, as a natural consequence, do not stay in the 
vessels longer than they can help; neither do they go again, 
unless compelled by circumstances. 

On the other hand, however, there are no better sailors on 
blue water than those who man the regular coasting craft — 
no men who understand better how to work a ship in all 
difficulties. These are generally husbands and fathers, who 
set the pleasure of being at home, at frequent intervals, 
-against the hardships and dangers of their service. 

390 plimsoll's "jack." 

Big-ship, long-voyage Jacks are generally prime men^ 
especially on the homeward passage. The know-nothings^ 
and the skulkers have been pretty well weeded out by 
the rough but effectual process of making it "darned un- 
comfortable" for them. The vessels I speak of generally 
carry from fourteen to twenty-eight men before the mast. 
They leave port in splendid order, well found, and every- 
thing good of its kind. 

For the first few days, they have hard work in getting 
eveiything in its place and ship-shaj)e ; and, if the wind is 
against them, and it is a case of beating down Channel, it is 
labour of the most severe and harassing kind, especially in 
winter. Given a fair wind, however, and away they go ; 
and when they " get " the " Trades," it is easy times for 
them. Often, in well-manned ships, the men forget whose 
"wheel" and "look-out" it is, and, regularly the ordinary ' 
seamen and boys take the latter, though it may not be their 
turn — this by private rules amongst the men. Instead of 
watch and watch, four hours in and four hours out, it is more 
often four hours out and eight hours in, at all events at 
night. The old plan of making men work all day, or at least 
be on deck, and then keep watch and watch at night, has 
been abandoned. It was found that they would sleep, over- 
come by the fatigues of the day. The crew have generally 
a good, roomy topgallant forecastle, or a house on deck. 
Ventilation is well attended to. Their food is good of its 
kind, and well cooked. It is much better than they would 
voluntarily accept on shore, and by private understanding 
with the cabin cook, they have daily " treats." In foreign 
ports, the work of loading and unloading, is frequently done 
for them, or lightened by assistance. On the homeward 
passage there is generally about a fortnight's hard work. 


scraping, painting, bending new ropes and sails, setting up 
and tarring down rigging, and getting everything into tip- 
top order for coming into dock. This is done on the south- 
east trades, generally while "rolling down into St. Helena." 
The men, for weeks together, have not work enough to " keej) 
the devil out of them" — the mere working the canvas, in 
sailing the ship, is very little. • Thus, long-voyage Jack has 
plenty of time to improve himself, in any way he chooses, 
and, as a rule, his officers are willing to devote themselves, 
and their spare time, to his welfare. But his course of 
procedure reminds me very much of what I have seen occur 
between natives and missionaries : — " Why don't you come 
to church ? it is for your good." 

"I am good enough already — very well as I am; but I'll 
come to church if you like. What will you give me?" 


Kept During a Hunting and Trading Trip in the Zulu and 
Amatonga Countries. 

Note by Editor.— The following extracts from Mr Leslie's Journal, have been 
considered suflftciently interesting and instructive, to find a place in this volume 
of his Collected "Writings. The Journal itself is a somewhat curious melange of 
the details of the day's hunting j^nd trading, both by himself and his hunters- 
such as, the shooting of so many Buffalos, Elephants, Tigers, &c. , and the 
exchanging of Blankets, Beads, Picks, &c., for Elephant and Rhinoceros' Teeth, 
Skins, Cattle, and eve^i Sovereigns /—with information about the IS'ames of the 
Kaffir Moons, Reflections for the Day, &c. 

Agreement for Importation of Native Labour 
INTO Natal. 

<* November 2nd, 1871. 
"Memorandum of Names of Natives (and Chiefs' Names) 
who have engaged to go to Natal under my protection, and 
work for one year from date of engagement, at the various 
monthly wages set opposite their respective names, with 
Messrs Kennedy, Campbell, Thomas Milner, A. W. Evans, 
and Smerdon. The above agreement has been entered into 
by them, in consequence of, and in repayment to me of food 
and protection, to be received from me on the way; and 
further, in the case of the natives belonging to Nozingili's 
country, of a payment of 10 single guns, 1 double gun, 18 
gallons rum, 11 51b.-bags powder, and 2750 caps, made by 
me to the said chief, Nozingili, who has the right to dispose 
of their services. — David Leslie." 


" Mabudtu, December 6th, 1871. 

^' Memorandum of Agreement made with the King Nozin- 
gih this day : — That, in consequence of my remitting a debt 
of the amount of Eleven Pounds, Ten Shillings, Sterling 
(£11 10s), which the King owes me, he gives me full right and 
title to a piece of ground, to be chosen by Mr S. Sanderson 
or myself, on the banks of the River Usutu, near a Kraal, 
belonging to one 'Hokosa,' in the district of Tshalasa, 
under the Sub-Chief Ushuso. The above was agreed to 
between us through the medium of his Ncekus (Counsellors), 
Utsholotosholo and Un-Hlafela. — David Leslie. 

" P.S. — And the arrangement is further, that, on my 
return, and on my erecting a house there, I am at full 
liberty to do so without further payment ; notwithstanding 
Mr S. Sanderson's occupation of Hokosa's Kraal in the 
meantime. — David Leslie." 

"Mabudtu, December 16th, 1871. 

" With reference to Memorandum as regards the King's 
debt to me of £11 10s, on page 22, I have further to write 
that, after reading over what I had written to the Ncekus 
aforesaid, they went and told the King, and he sent word to 
say that I must not consider the affair concluded, until he 
had spoken to his head men. Then he told me the same 
day, after constantly pressing him either to give me my 
money or settle the affair, he positively refused to do either, 
but said that, as Mr Sanderson was staying behind to trade, 
and I was coming back, he would settle the affair on my 
return, provided I brought a man from the Zulu with me. 
I could do nothing else, so made the best of a bad job, and 
agreed. He has refused to carry my hides remaining, saying 
he has no people. — David Leslie. 

"P.S. — In the meantime, Mr Sanderson is not to be 
bothered for rent or gifts. — D. L." 

394 extracts from journal. 

Names and Interpretations of Moons, Thirteen 
IN A Year, in Kaffir (Zulu.) 

Spring. — ''Umandula" dying about 29th September. To 
Wanclula, is for one man to strike another before he is aware 
of his intention. It is then said " Wamandula" (he "andula"-ed 
him.) So, in that month, thunder storms are not expected, 
and, when they do come, they "andula" — hence "Umandula."" 

Spring. — "Umfuntu," dying about 27th October. This 
moon, the young meahes are said to be " Umfunfusa," i.e., 
they are grown so that they hide the earth, and will have to 
be cleaned next moon — ^lience '' Umfuntu-umfunfusa" is a 
word applied to the growth of mealies or corn only. 

Spring. — "Ulweze," dying about 24th November; is named 
so, because a small insect, something like the cicada, which 
adheres to the branch of a tree, and passes water (poisonous) 
from its body, drop by drop, until the ground is quite wet, 
begins to do so this month, called " Ulweze." 

Summer. — ^^UsihaiiJilela" dying about 22nd December; 
means the "Hider of Paths," because this moon, the grass is 
so grown, that the path is invisible, and a man has to feel 
for it with his feet. 

Summer. — "6"?/mszv^^«?^«," dying about 19th January. To 
" Singa," means to shade the eyes with the hand. In this 
month bees' nests begin to get fat, and are hunted after. In 
the afternoon, when the sun begins to get low, the people go 
out, and shading their eyes with their hand, look towards 
the sunset, so as to see the bees flying past. They follow 
their course, and so find their nests — hence " Umasinganed,'' 
the shader of eyes, the one which causes the eyes to be 


shaded. Literally speaking, it makes them to shade one 
another, i.e., the eyes from the sun, and the sun from the 


Summer.—" Uandasa" dying about 16th February. To 
" Anda," is to increase and multiply. So this month, the 
few mealies, &c., first crop have ripened, and food is of no 
account; it has " andile," i.e., become plentiful; it is the 
"Uandasa" moon, i.e., the result of plenty. 

Autumn. — " Umlilolanga," dying about 16th March. 
" Umhlolo" is a wonder, something out of the common, or 
some act or event which is repulsive, or causes loathing. 
"Inga" is a dog. The "I" is changed into an "a," and 
and the second "o" eliminated from "Umhlolo," as in Zulu 
letters are often altered and eliminated to make compound 
words, for the sake of the euphony — hence " Umhlolanga," 
the loathsome act of the dogs — they copulate. 

Autumn. — '' Umhasu," dying about 11th April. "The 
Causer of Fire." This month it begins to get cold, and the 
people cannot do without fires. 

Autumn. — " Umhlaba," dying about 9th May. This 
moon, the red flower of the aloe (" Umhlaba") comes forth 
— hence the " Moon of the Aloes." 

Winter. — " Unhlanf/ulana," dying about 6tli June. When 
the foliage of the thorn country, principally different species 
of mimosa, dries and falls off; when the creepers of various 
kinds do the same, and the bushes become more open, — 
the bushes, trees, and creepers are said to "Hlangula;" 
the addition of the "na" makes it a diminutive — hence 
" Unhlangulana," the lesser moon of " Hlangula." 


Winter. — " Unhlangula," dying about 4tli July. The 
explanation given above does for this, only that there being 
no diminutive, it is the moon when the bush is as open as 
it will be. 

Winter. — " Umaquba" dying about 1st August. "Quba" 
is to drive, in its proper sense, though it has other signifi- 
cations. This moon, the whole country is very dry, being 
the last of the winter months, and one in which strong, hot 
winds are very prevalent, the dust is driven about the 
country and the kraals — hence "Umaquba," the "Driver." 

First of Spring. — " Uncwaha" dying 29th August. 

The natives generally are very ignorant as to the names 
and times of the moons. It is often a cause of great argument, 
as to which moon is overhead, but I believe the above to be 
the true and correct list as to the names, times, and inter- 

When a man from a long journey washes and anoints 
himself with fat he is said to be "ncwabile," i.e., he shines, 
is clean, puts on a new appearance. So the earth, after the 
dust and dried appearance of the winter, puts on a new coat. 
Shines is "Ncwabile" — hence " Uncwaba." 

The Zulus allow four months for sj^ring, because they 
do not consider summer arrived, until they cut the green 
mealies, of the first crop, which they generally do about 
the end of November; although different districts have 
different times. 

Reflections of the Day. 

Tuesday, 10th September, 1872. — Curried rabbit is more 
indigestible than pine-apples, when taken in quantity. 


Wednesday, 11th Septemher, 1872. — To go to bed and be 
rained on, is very unpleasant, and lias four results : — It makes 
you wish that the principles of grass buildings were better 
understood amongst the Zulus. It seriously detracts from 
the comfort of your night's rest. It makes you very wet, 
and it makes you wish there were no white ants in the roof. 
" Second Eefiection engendered by the above" : — That my 
blankets must be put out to dry, and that water in sugar 
increases its weight ! 

Thursday, 12th September, 1872. — Hunger and thirst cannot 
be natural to the human frame ; they are so remarkably un- 
pleasant. Yet, with plenty to eat and drink, the sensations 
are delightful. 

Friday, 13th Septemher, 1872. — This is the tenth day of rain, 
more or less, and the earth is fast returning to the chaotic 
period, before the waters under the firmament, and the waters 
above the firmament, were separated. It was a time, by all 
accounts, of mud and water. I find, from exj^erience, that 
tobacco-smoke, soup, and cofi'ee, even with the addition of 
pen, ink, and paper, are no efficient substitutes for the sun. 

Saturday, 14th Sej^tember, 1872. — Threatening rain again. 
Everything wears a dark and gloomy look; like a child's 
face, who has been whipped for rolling in the gutter, after 
he has rubbed his eyes to clear the tears away. My reflec- 
tions naturally take the same hue, and as I look at the place 
where the carcase of a goat was wont to hang, I reflect 
on the evanescence of all things, especially such as are 

Sunday, 15th Seiotember, 1872. — It is said that, in Christian 
countries, the Sabbath is a noticeable day. The hum of 


labour ceases, even the birds and the cattle seem to know 
that it is a day of rest and calm. This is true; but I think 
it arises from long observance and association of the day 
with holy things. In the Zulu, unless a man has pen, ink, 
«and paper, or an almanac, he forgets both the day of the 
month and the week. There is nothing to remind him. 
When I reflect on this, I think I had better just note the 
fact and no more, or I may be led into a disquisition which 
will disquiet me, and use up my j)aper. 

Monday, 16th September, 1872. — Human nature is very 
perverse! We have had rain and clouds all this month, 
and to-day the sun shines strongly. Fourteen days' gloom 
and longing for sunshine. One day's sunshine and we 
grumble. The way of the world ! 

T'lcesday, 17th September, 1872. — Since I have been here, I 
have been very much put about, for want of the Zulu mats 
to eat meat on, and been trying to get some every day. On 
Saturday I got a present of two beauties, and have never 
used them, having the feeling that they are too pretty to be 
soiled. Hereupon, it strikes me that I was not so very much 
put about after all ; it was only the fact that I had none, 
which made me think them indispensable, and be discon- 
tented. It is a lesson in contentment, and shows that the 
possession of a thing, gives not half so much pleasure, as the 
prospect of acquiring it. 

Wednesday, 18th September, 1872. — I wonder if we do the 
natives good in trying to civilize them. They have existed 
very well for ages without missionaries or civilization. We 
now teach them wants which they never felt before, and 
so make the act of simply living much more difficult. Certain 
habits and customs of theirs are revolting, and ought to be 


put down ; but as the richest of men gets no more out of his 
riches than his meat, his clothes, and his lodging, so all we 
do for the Kaffir, gives him no more than he had before ; 
and, having, by our means, " eaten of the tree of the know- 
ledge of good and evil," he is rendered discontented with his 
state of life, past and present. 

Thursday, 19th September, 1872. — AVe have had four days' 
fine weather this month, and I reflect on the fix the rain- 
doctors will be in. Since, this year, they will be killed for 
drowning the country, as they have been killed, in years past, 
for burning it up ! It is strange that the natives do not see 
the fallacy of these notions, for they are generally sharp 
enough. The cause is, that it is to the interest and profit of 
the King and Chiefs to keep up the superstitions of witch- 
craft and rain-making, as engines of Government, and as 
excuses for killing i)eople and getting their cattle. So long 
as it is so, the Missionaries will make but poor progress. 

Friday, 20th September, 1872. — On looking at my Eeflection 
for September lOtli, it seems rather ridiculous; but yet I 
think it is not so, since it is founded on one of the great 
sources of human happiness — a knowledge of what is diges- 
tible. I consider that discovery of more interest to mankind 
than that of a live frog in, say, the old red sandstone ; or an 
undecipherable inscription on a stone, which causes much 
wrangling and personality. 

Saturday, 21st September, 1872. — What a change sickness 
makes in a man. Yesterday and to-day my inward parts 
have been out of order, and I could reflect upon nothing but 
that. Now, as a reflection on the stomach-ache would hardly 
be interesting to those w^ho have not got it, I am forced to 
•consider what a nuisance it is, that there is such a close con- 


nection between the stomach and the mind ; and yet, I don't 
know. Supposing they were antagonistic, one would be apt 
to become all stomach or all mind, whichever prevailed, and 
in neither case, I fancy, would a man be haj)py. 

Sunday^ 22iid September, 1872. — The Italians are quoted as 
leading an idle and sunny life, but in that they do not approach 
the Zulus. Civilization is a great boon, no doubt, to those who 
have the means to enjoy its products. But the poor, who 
feel all its wants, yet have not the means of satisfying them, 
how are they off ^ I think the Zulus lead the happiest life. 
I speak of the material life upon this earth, not of that, the 
hope of which supports a Christian man in his trials. 

Monday, 23rd September, 1872. — I wonder for what good 
purpose flies were created. In Kaflir kraals, in summer, 
they are a perfect nuisance ; they annoy the cattle and the 
people, spoil your meat, and, in civilized houses, they dirty 
the windows, the furniture, and the blinds. They cause 
putrefaction, but they do not clear it away, like the vulture 
and the wolf. To sum up all, in short, their creation is a 
very undoubtable and unpleasant mystery. 

Tuesday, 24th September, 1872. — What a great thing is 
knowledge! A trite remark, but it was brought to my 
mind by the case of a cow or horse. I have been here some 
time, and the cattle of the kraal know, and are used to, my 
pony. Yesterday I bought a cow and a calf, and we had 
some trouble in keeping her from running away. The last 
time she tried it, the horse, in galloping home, met her 
about half-a-mile away. Immediately, she turned tail, and 
came full-tilt down to the other cattle, " Cliarlie " after her, 
seeming to enjoy the fun. I could not help thinking that 
there was an expression of contempt on the faces of the 


herd, as that they should say, " Look what a stupid cow, it 
is actually afraid of a horse," forgetting that it was their 
case a few days ago ! Therefore, I say, what a great thing 
is knowledge ; but what a dangerous thing a little of it is ! 
Since, in the one case, it renders a man calm and strong — 
in the other, it only makes one animal, without reason, 
contemn another. 

JFednesday, 2oth September, 1872. — It has been very 
prettily said that "Distance lends enchantment to the 
view," but that saying, like many others of the "pure 
intellect" order, is only adapted to gentlemen, who have 
nothing else to do, but cultivate the picturesque, with 
their luncheon basket behind them ! Supposing you see 
a hill far-off, and know that you have to walk there, 
and that before you can get any breakfast, I think that^ 
under such circumstances, the hill would look much 
prettier if it were just over the way. I speak not of 
the intrinsic beauty of the landscaj^e, but of the enchant- 
ment which is lent it by its being near, or far away. 

Thursday, 26th September, 1872. — To-day, throwing a stone 
at a dog, I nearly killed a woman. What a little there is 
l)etween life and death, health and sickness, and in how 
short a time an accident may happen 1 If one thought on 
those things much, one would die a hundred deaths a-day. 
Verily, Dr Johnson said truly, that courage is one of the 
\ irtues, since, without it, all the others are of little use. 

Friday, 27th September, 1872. — I have found that one 
never enjoys one's food so much, as when one has difficulty 
in getting it. If you don't know where your supper is to 
come from, when it does come it is delicious. If you know 
your supper is secure, you are sure to criticise it. A thing 



in another man's possession is of great value. When it 
comes into your own, its value seems to diminish somehow. 
The same of an article of your own. While you have it, you 
think nothing of it ; when you have passed it away, the 
further it goes from you, the more valuable it appears. 

Saturday, 28th September, 1872. — "When goods increase, 
they are increased that eat them ; and what good is there to 
the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their 
eyes." Truly, saith the Preacher, "All is vanity 1" We labour 
so as to increase our store, never thinking that others will 
enjoy the fruit of our toil. Never content with sufficient 
for the day, always thinking of to-morrow. Nevertheless, 
it is well, humanly speaking, that mankind have more care 
for their posterity than for themselves, else the world would 
not go on ; and also, as regards a man's own subsistence 
and prosperity, "Providence helps those who help them- 

'• Sunday, 29th September, 1872. — AVhat a thorough old 
bachelor St Paul was. He says, that those who have no 
wife, care to please the Lord, but those who have, care only to 
please their wife; and that those who marry do well, but those 
who don't do better; and that although he gives no com- 
mand, yet it is his judgment; he thinks he has " the spirit 
of God." If all the world had taken his advice, I should 
not have been writing this, nor you reading it. It is good 
that mankind did not, in this case, choose the better part, 
but that they " let well alone !" 

Monday, 30th September, 1872. — There are many prover- 
bial sayings, current in the world, which, under a religious 
or honourable guise, greatly tend to mislead. I, through 
habit, made use of one of them on the 28th, " Providence 


lielps those who help themselves." This is a cynical remark, 
as much as to say that those who do so, need not look to it, 
since they are sure of its assistance. They are their own 
Providence ! Another, " Honesty is the best Policy." Those 
who adopt that for their motto, will be apt to give way, 
when they think another policy better. Honesty is no policy, 
but a duty 1 

Tuesday^ 1st October, 1872. — "Give me neither poverty 
nor riches," but a competence. Yet who is content with 
any of these ? The j^oor wish to be rich — the well-off to be 
richer. The wealth of the rich is a burden to them, beyond 
the poor-man's daily toil, yet they long for more. What is 
the exact medium, which renders a man perfectly happy % or, 
is it neither riches nor poverty, but a contented mind 1 No 
doubt the latter, and uitli it how little suffices ? 

Wednesday, 2nd October, 1872. — Washing one's self is 
certainly an acquired habit. It is not natural. A baby cries 
on being put into cold water, and a man, who is not in the 
habit of bathing, does not like it. Yet bathing is good for 
both body and soul, since we are told that " cleanliness is 
next to Godliness." So it appears that, in the case of man- 
kind, we can improve upon nature's handiwork. My experi- 
ence, deduced from observation of savage life, is that all bad 
habits are natural, all good ones acquired ! 

Thursday, 3rd October, 1872. — What a strange thing the 
imagination is, when not under the control of reason! I 
had been reading yesterday I. Timothy, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 
and 5th verses, which appears to me to be a plain prophecy, 
and condemnation of monkery. Then I began to think of 
a speech of Mr Winterbotham's, who said that no one turned 
Catholic in England but " Peers, Parsons, and Women," and 


as to how it would be now-a-days, should the Queen or the 
heir-apparent go over to that faith. All this I must have 
mixed up at night with something I had seen in the "Kraal," 
since I dreamed that I saw the Poj^e and the Prince of 
AYales at " the Point." The former was a tall, old gentle- 
man, with one eye, and he seemed to be very fond of his 
Eoyal Highness, as he was doing to his head what Kaffir 
mothers do to their children, when the game becomes too 
abundant ! I remember that, in Bulwer's " Pilgrims of the 
Rhine," there is a student who had the power of continuing 
his dream, night after night, so as to make it a separate and 
consecutive existence in dreamland. Is this only a poetical 
fancy, or may it be realized? 

Friday, 4th October, 1S72. — I have been reflecting on the 
excessive cost which is entailed by the smallest action at 
law, and wondering why our legislators do not introduce a 
Court, like the ancient Jewish Court of Three. It stood 
through all mutations of rule, with which the country was 
afflicted, and by it such suits, which are of a long and 
changeable nature amongst us, were settled at once, and 
substantial justice done between man and man. Its con- 
stitution was, that one of the litigants chose a judge, the 
other another, and these two a third ; and it had cognizance 
of all matters of sale, purchase, or contract. This was a 
legally constituted Court, which is the difl'erence between it 
and arbitration as practised amongst us ; and to render it 
practicable, a fee might be payable to the judges, according 
to the time occupied by the suit. 

Saturday, 6th Odoher, 1872. — That a running nose, sore 
eyes, a cough, and a bad cold, generally prevents reflection 
at all! 


Sunday, Gth October, 1S72. — A man's conscience is surjly 
the result of long training. We are told that it is im- 
planted in us, as a guide to what is right, and as a scourge 
for evil doing. It is no doubt the case, amongst Christian 
and civilised men, that a man will often — smitten by his 
conscience — confess a crime, and find it a relief to be 
hanged. But how is it in the natural man"? The savage 
— -the Zulu, say. I have known cases, where the man's 
greatest friend was sent to kill him, on the grounds that he 
would not be alarmed at his approach. This friend has 
come and asked for food, and while he is eating the food 
which has been given him, and talking over the news of the 
day, he has stabbed the man to death. I have known a 
case, where an equally treacherous murder has been com- 
mitted, without the excuse that it was an execution. When 
the man fled to Natal, and after the affair had blown over 
{since in the Zulu, when a man is dead, there is little more 
said about him, on the ground that you cannot restore him 
to life), he boasted of the deed, as did the other. The 
Kaffir will commit any crime, and if he escapes, is never 
troubled by conscience. If he is caught and punished, he 
only thinks what a fool he was, not to take better pre- 
cautions. How is it, then? Is conscience dormant in the 
savage 1 I really doubt whether it is there at all ! To have 
a conscience, is it necessary to know a God'? or, is it a 
habit of thought which will take many generations to 

Monday, 7th October, 1872. — I think it a pity that so many 
difi'erent sects of missionaries should be sent to Christianise 
one tribe of natives ; each have their different ways, and the 
Kaffir is sharp enough to notice it. I have been asked by 
one of the King's daughters, how it is that there are so 


many different modes of teaching, and could only reply by 
an illustration, saying, that she herself knew that there were 
many paths in Zulu, but, whatever direction they appeared 
to take, they all led to the King's kraal, which satisfied her.. 
It is the case, that any path you like to follow, will eventually 
bring you to " Nodwengo," the capital ! 

Tuesday, 8th October, 1872. — Gratitude is another feeling^ 
which appears to be awanting in the Zulu. If you give him 
anything, or do anything for him, he thinks that you do it,, 
either because you wish to make yourself a great man by 
assisting others, or that you will want some return. His^ 
very form of thanks, is a prayer that you may always continue 
rich and powerful, so that you may never desist from giving him 
^presents, and he always in the position to do so ! He has no idea 
that you may do a thing from a kindly feeling towards a 
fellow-man. How is it, then % Is this virtue also dormantr 
or was it never in them ? I think it is with the savage, as 
with wild fruit. Conscience, gratitude, mercy, honour, honesty* 
truth, chastity, are all acquired by cultivation, just as wild 
fruit is made rich and good for food, by the same j^rocess. 
As in wild fruit, you will sometimes find one tree of a much 
better quality than the others, more nearly approaching to- 
that which is tended, — so you will sometimes find one savage, 
who approaches very nearly to a civilized and Christian man, 
in appreciation of the virtues — but it is a freak of nature 
after all ! 

Wednesday, 9th October, 1872. — My horse is dead, and I 
don't know which I am most sorry for — the death of the 
horse, or the fact that I shall have to walk out to Natal. Of 
course, as the horse dying is the cause that I shall have to 
walk, the primary sorrow is for the horse ; but then, one is. 


SO constituted, that the knowledge that you will have to 
walk, engenders a feeling of anger against the horse for 
dying. So it stands as follows : — I am sorry at the death 
of the horse, and I am angry at the horse for dying. I am 
annoyed at having to walk, yet I would walk with pleasure 
if the horse were alive, and all this mixture of feelings is 
engendered by one event. 

Thursday, 10th October, 1872. — Was there ever a man who 
was content with what he had, or the position he was in ? 
Did ever any one say, I have enough ? I doubt it. Life is 
one continual struggle to " get on." The soldier, the lawyer, 
the merchant, all strive after two things — rank and money, 
or, rather, I should say money and rank, since the one 
follows the other. There are, no doubt, " seven thousand 
who have never bowed the knee to Baal," who, though they 
are obliged to take part in the daily struggle, yet look upon 
their money and their rank as a means, and not an end, who 
think more of their fellow-men, than of themselves. These, 
however, are seldom those who become peers and mil- 
lionaires, but are they who are called " no-man's-enemy but 
their own" by " the successful man." Nevertheless, it is 
well (humanly speaking), for the sake of the world, that the 
principle of progress is implanted in man, else we had all 
remained savages, as at the beginning. 

Friday, 11th October, 1872. — I question if we are improved 
in our modes of speech — whether it is not better and wiser, 
as in old times, to call a spade a spade. For instance, St 
Paul, in speaking of a man's latter end, keeps plainly before 
you the dark-side, viz., death, corruption, and the judgment 
to come. Now-a-days, in speaking of a dead man, we 
" Hlonipa" (adopt a poetic-philosophic mode of speech), and 


say that he has " cantered away into the eternal silences!" 
Such a mode of expression may render the thought of the 
event, surely to come, less painful, but, when it does come, 
we will wish that we had faced it more bravely. 

Saturday, 12th October , 1872. — One works, toils, slaves, and 
saves to make money, which gives one a position in this 
world. But, after he has houses and lands and goods in 
store, what profiteth it him ? ' It does not endure ! There 
are two kinds of life in this world, which will render a man 
happy, with different kinds of happiness. One is, if it is 
possible, " let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we 
die." Gratify the senses. Think of nothing but a material 
life and be happy, as a savage is happy in years of abundance 
— as a cow is happy when the grass is good. The periods of 
sickness, which must intervene, enhance the enjoyment of 
the times of health, and when you die, you die, "and there's 
an end on't." 

Sunday, 13th October, 1872. — This is not possible for a 
Christian man. Is it so for a civilized one 1 It may be, to 
those who teach that man is only the product of the constant 
working of nature — is evolved by the progression of its forces. 
But I doubt even that, since science takes nothing for granted, 
has no faith in anything, which it cannot see and prove ; and 
as man is not all-knowing, without faith, one cannot rest in 
the belief of a better future, whether it is that pointed out by 
religion, or that hinted at by scientific men. It may be that, 
through long teaching, the belief is engrafted in us, has be- 
come part of our being, that the law of Christ is the only 
one which imparts to us, if followed, calm and peace. But 
so it is. No other mode of conduct renders us content with 
ourselves. If we do wrong, we know it and feel it, and are 


restless till the wrong is repaired or repented of; and, when 
repentance comes too late for the sufferer to benefit by it, 
how bitterly we sorrow. The peace imparted by the obey- 
ing that law — by the belief in religion, and the faith which 
is thereby engendered — are worthy of a man's pursuit, since 
we know that they must be endured ! 

Monday, 14th October, 1872. — The pursuit of riches and 
position, puts me very much in mind of hunting. The chase 
is the pleasure; the riches, when procured, or the animal 
when killed, are soon little thought of. 

Tuesday, 15th October, 1872. — I have said that the peace of 
religion endures; and it may be said," how do we know it 
endures longer than houses and lands 1 Thus, on a man's 
deathbed, his riches are no consolation to him; but the 
thought of immortal life is so, if that thought be accompanied 
by the knowledge of a well-spent life in this world, and the 
hope of a reward. The grave has no terrors, since there 
will be rest — rest with a bright morrow to come — no toil, 
no trouble, no weariesome wrestling with the world ! 

Sunday, October 20th, 1872. — Ever since drojDping my 
reflections I have had a cough, earache, and neuralgia, start- 
ing pains in the head, and continual want of appetite. I 
have no medicine, so have just had to " grin and bear it" — 
a miserable time ! I have been as deaf as a post, for ten 
•days; can't hear a word, without they come near and 
shout. I hope it will go away. I am slowly getting better, 

Monday, 21st October, 1872. — I feel strangely home-sick 
and low-spirited to-day. I hope there is nothing wrong at 

Tuesday, 22nd October, 1872. — I hear a report to-day that 


the King is very ill ; cannot speak or hear, and that some- 
white men had been at Nodwengo, who uncovered him, and 
said that he was " very old," and that the disease (the gout), 
he had been suffering from, was " going up !" I have a strong^ 
suspicion that he is dead, and that it is known, though not 
openly spoken of. It will be awkward if it is so. We 
shall see. 

Thursdcuj, 24th October, 1872. — I hear to-day that the King 
is not dead, but expected to die every moment. He seems, 
from what I hear, to be paralysed. All the great folks are 
beginning to go up. I expect there will be great confusion 
and disturbances. I wish I had my Kaffirs here, so that I 
could get my cattle about me, and be out of it. 

Friday, 25th October, 1872. — I have been to Tikasa to-day 
to see Uzwetu, but he would not see me. He said his father- 
in-law, Enkunga Kastai, was dead, and he could see no one. 
I met all the King's wives (nine of them) going to Nodwengo. 
I expect I was right in my first conjecture, and that the King 
is dead. Masipula has gone to ISTodwengo, and he has not 
been there for seven years. I expect my business will all 
fall through now, and I shall lose five or six head of cattle. 
Uzwetu had appointed to see me at Umkondo on his way to 
Tikasa, but I was too ill, besides being deaf as a post. 




(Sent to the Colonial Office ; and to Mr George Anderson, M.Y., 
February C, 1874. 

In 1823, Captain Owen, H.M.S. '^Lcven," made a treaty 
with the chiefs on the banks of the Mapoota River, which 
has its embouchure on the southern part of Delagoa Bay, by 
which they ceded to Great Britain all the territory south of 
English River, called by the Portuguese " Spiritu Sanctu," 
and on the northern bank of which their factory of Lorenco 
Marques is built. 

These chiefs were tributaiy to the Zulu Power, but held 
the territorial right to their country, which was never 
invaded by the Portuguese. The Zulus themselves imme- 
diately afterwards became tributary to the British, and have 
remained so ever since. 

During the negociation of the treaty a schooner called the 
" Orange Grove," of Capetown, went up the Mapoota for 
purposes of trade with the natives, and Captain Owen, sailing 
on a cruise to Madagascar,* left her there. On his return he 
found that the crew had gone down with the fever, and the 
Portuguese of Lor€n90 Marques, taking advantage of his 
absence, had sent up anned boats and seized her. He com- 
pelled her restitution, together with everything of which she 
had been plundered, thus settling once and for all, as we 
thought, the claim to the territory. 

* Vide "Taken by the Portuguese," page 2G0. 


In 1861, the Government of the day, instructed the pubb"- 
<;ation in the Natal Government Gazette of a proclamation, to 
the effect that the Island of Unyaka (Inyack), far to the 
north of the mouth of the Mapoota, was a British possession 
and a part of Natal. Some time after, Earl Kimberley, 1 
think, gave a Mr M'Corkindale, who had established a settle- 
ment — New Scotland, at the source of the Mapoota — a right. 
in writing, to land his goods oi\ Unyaka, and to take them 
up the said river. 

Depending on all this, I, anxious to open a trade with the 
natives of Mapoota (the name of the country as well as the 
river), went up in a schooner, the'" William Shaw," in May, 
1871, being cleared at the Natal Custom-House for the 
Mapoota Eiver. I, however, wishing to land some native 
passengers, called at Loren90 Marques, and was prevented 
from proceeding, unless I paid'duty to the Portuguese, under 
threat of seizure of the ship. I paid under protest. 

In September 1871, the schooner came to me again with 
gims, powder, and Kaffir hoes. She was cleared this time 
for Delagoa Bay simply, and came directly into the mouth of 
the river, ivhicli is in Delagoa Bay. 

Seven days or so after, the Portuguese,''encouraged by the 
policy which has lately obtained, seized the ship and a 
quantity of cargo, consisting of hides, ivory, skins, &c., on 
the ground that the territory was theirs, and that the ship 
being cleared for Delagoa Bay, meant Loren90 Marques, and 
that they considered that I was smuggling. 

The Portuguese had surely no right to_ enter what had 
always been considered British territory — send armed men 
on board a British ship — search and demand her papers, 
and afterwards send her to Loren9o Marques. And on 
protest being made and reparation refused, the British 


Government allowed the question of the territory, in which 
my claim is involved, to go to arbitration, without, in the 
firlb place, insisting that the Portuguese Government should 

store things to their status ante quo, by returning the ship 
and cargo, and paying damages; although my petition to 
I*]arl Kimberley prayed for this, on the ground that the 
Portuguese having agreed to arbitration, showed that the 
t(MTitory was at all events in dispute, and the claim of the 
British had some foundation. All these transactions 
happened before we in Natal heard, or could hear, that the 
question of territory was to' be arbitrated upon; while we 
.still had a right to consider, from the course j^ursued by 
tlie Government, that they intended to hold to their rights 
over the territory in question. 

In old times, before the telegraph had connected all the 
world, when peace or war was declared, a certain time was 
allowed, during which captures were valid or otherwise, 
before or after the declaration. Arbitration takes the place 
of war, and surely, in a place like Natal, where there is no 
telegraphic communication, the same latitude should be 

I think that I have failed in receiving'that protection and 
justice, which every man, who does not contravene the laws 
f)f the country he is in, is entitled to receive from his 
( Jovemment. I broke no laws. I was attacked in a country 
wliich has always been held to belong to Britain, and which 
assuredhj is not Poi'tuguese, since they dare not put their foot 
on shore in anger. And for the British Government to give 
way to a petty, but obtrusive and self-sufficient power like 
Portugal, is as great a sign of weakness, as to bend to the 
fear of consequences, in dealing with a groat one like Russia 
or America. 


This spoliation and arbitration as to territory, occurred in, 
And concerns, a distant and obscure part of the globe ; and 
that it interests few, is the only reason why, that I can 
see, the matter was not put right immediately, instead of 
being still — in 1874 — in abeyance. 

David Leslie. 






REMARKS or tue Leading LONDON JOURNALS Thereon. 

Marshal Macmahon's Award. 

The following is the text of Marshal MacMahon's award 
in the question concerning the Bay of Lorenzo-Marques, or 
Delagoa Bay, submitted to his arbitration by Great Britain 
and Portugal : 

" We, Marie Edme Patrick Maurice de MacMahon, Due 
de Magenta, Marshal of France, President of the French 
Republic, in virtue of the powers vested in the President of 
the French Republic, by the minutes drawn up and signed 
at Lisbon on the 11th day of September, 1872, according to 
which the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of Great 
Britain and Ireland, and that of his Majesty the King of 
Portugal, agreed to submit to the President of the French 
Republic, to be definitively decided by him without appeal, 
litigation pending between them since the year 1823, con- 
cerning the possession of the territories of the Tembe and 
Maputo, and of the Inyack and Elephant Islands, situated 
on the Bay of Delagoa or Lorenzo-Marques, on the east 

2 E 


coast of Africa. Having considered the memorandums 
presented to the arbitrator by the representatives of the two 
parties on the 15th September, 1873, and the counter- 
memorandums also presented by them on the 14th and 15th 
September, 1874 ; having also taken cognisance of the letters 
from his Excellency the British Ambassador and the Portu- 
guese Minister at Paris, dated February 8th, 1875 : 

"The Commission appointed on March 10th, 1873, to 
examine the papers and documents submitted to us by both 
parties having communicated to us the result of their 

" Considering also that the litigation, the object of which 
has been defined by the memorandums presented to the 
arbitrator, and by the letters above mentioned from the 
diplomatic representatives at Paris of the two parties, refers 
to the title to the following territories, viz. : 

" 1. The territory of Tembe, bounded on the north by 
the Eiver Espiritu Sancto, or English River, and by the 
River Lorenzo-Marques or Dundas, on the west by the 
Lobombo Mountains, on the east by the River Maputo, and 
from the mouth of this stream to that of the Espiritu Sancto, 
along the coast of the Bay of Delagoa or Lorenzo-Marques. 

" 2. The territory of Maputo, comprising the Peninsula 
and the Island of Inyack, as also Elephant Island, bounded 
on the north by the coast of the bay, on the west by the 
River Maputo from its mouth to the parallel 26-30 of 
southern latitude, on the south by this same parallel, and 
on the east by the sea. 

" Considering, also, that the Bay of Delagoa or Lorenzo- 
Marques was discovered in the sixteenth century by Portu- 
guese navigators, and that, in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, Portugal occupied various points on the northern 


coast of this bay and on the island of Inyack, of which 
Elephant Island is a dependency; 

" Considering that since the discovery Portugal has at all 
times claimed sovereign rights over the whole bay and the 
territories bordering it, as well as the exclusive right to 
trade there, and has further supported this claim by arms 
<against the Dutch about the year 1732, and against the 
Austrians in 1781; 

" Considering that the Acts by which Portugal has sup- 
ported its pretensions have not given rise to any complaint 
on the part of the Government of the United Provinces, 
and that in 1782 those pretensions were tacitly accepted 
by Austria, in consequence of diplomatic explanations ex- 
changed between that Power and Portugal; 

'' Cojisidering also that in 1817 England herself did not 
contest the right of Portugal, when she concluded with the 
King's Government the convention of 28th July for the 
suppression of the slave trade, and that in fact Clause 12 
of that convention must be interpreted to designate the 
whole of the bay, bearing the name of Delagoa or Lorenzo- 
Marques, as forming part of the Portuguese possessions; 

"Considering that in 1822 her Britannic Majesty's 
Government, when sending Captain Owen to make a 
hydrographic survey of Delagoa Bay, and the rivers dis- 
charging themselves into it, recommended that officer to 
the good offices of the Portuguese Government; 

" Considering that although the accidental Aveakening of 
the Portuguese authority in those parts may, in 1823, have 
led Captain Owen erroneously, yet in good faith, to regard 
the native chiefs of the territories now contested as really 
independent of the Crown of Portugal, the conventions 
concluded by him with those chiefs, were none the less 
contrary to the rights of Portugal; 


" Considering that almost immediately after the departure 
of the English vessels, the native chiefs of Tenibe and 
Maputo again recognised their dependence upon the Portu- 
guese authorities, and themselves affirmed that they had no 
power to contract treaty engagements; 

" Considering, lastly, that the conventions signed by 
Captain Owen and the native chiefs of Tembe and Maputo, 
even if they had been^ concluded between responsible 
parties, would nevertheless now be void, as the agreement 
respecting Tembe, contained essential conditions which have 
not been executed; and the agreement respecting Maputo, 
concluded for a limited period, was not renewed at the 
expiration of that time. Upon these grounds we have 
judged and decided that the claims of the Government of 
his Most Faithful Majesty to the territories of Tembe and 
Maputo, to the peninsula of Inyack, and to Inyack and 
Elephant Islands, are duly proved and established. 
"A^ersailles, July 24th, 1875. 
" (Signed) Marshal MacMahon, Due de Magenta.'* 

Leader in Daily News, 17th August, 1875. 
The last of the series of Arbitrations, to which the late 
Government referred questions pending between Great 
Britain and Foreign Powers, has been concluded, and, as in 
the two former cases, a decision has been given against this 
country. The Portuguese Government has published in the 
Lisbon Gazette the award by which Delagoa Bay is declared 
by Marshal MacMahon to belong to the King of Portugal, 
and not to the Queen of England. Delagoa Bay is perhaps 
not a possession the gain or loss of which would weigh much 
in the prosperity of a great Empire. At the same time, we 


trust the day will never come when the territorial rights of 
tliis country, even in a corner of the least important of the 
continents of the world, will be regarded with indifference. 
Tlie inlet of the Indian Ocean on the East Coast of Africa, 
vfhicli the Portuguese call the Bay of Lorenzo-Marques, and 
we Delagoa Bay, is situated about 350 miles north of Port 
Natal, and forms a safe and commodious harbour, on a coast 
\'ery deficient in such conveniences. The shores of the bay 
are fiat and marshy, and in summer exceedingly unhealthy, 
])ut the bay itself, besides forming a good harbour, receives 
<x number of rivers, to which the progress of this portion of 
South Africa, in population of European descent, is giving 
importance. Behind the Drakenberg Mountains is the 
flourishing Transvaal Kepublic, which could have no better 
;iccess to the sea than that which Delagoa Bay affords. The 
bay receives the Manice river and Mapoota river from the 
sonth, and has, on its west side, an estuary called English 
river, formed by the mouth of several streams, one of which, 
the Delagoa river, is navigable by vessels, drawing twelve 
feet of water, for forty miles, and by boats for two hundred 

In the north-western corner of Delagoa Bay, the Portu 
guese have a fort and factory of Lorenzo-Marques, with an 
<'xport trade in ivory, gold dust, and, it is said, in slaves. 
This is the only part of the bay which they or any other 
I'^uropeans occupy; but, upon that occupation, the Portu- 
guese base their claims, not only to the whole of the inlet, 
l)ut also the coast line several miles below its southern 
extremity. The Portuguese also put forward their discovery 
of the bay by Vasco de Gama, but it does not appear that 
t hey based any claim to the whole, or, indeed, to any part of 
it, except this fort and its rayon, until many years after the 


commencement of the present century. As, holding the 
sovereignty of the Cape Colony, we inherit the claims of 
the Dutch, from whom we acquired it by cession, and,., 
certainly, the Dutch, when the Cape w^as theirs, did not 
recognise any exclusive title on the part of the Portuguese 
in Delagoa Bay. They went there a hundred and fifty 
years ago, and, without the slightest misgiving, established 
a fort near that of the Portuguese on the English river. 
It is true they did not remain, but they withdrew before the 
influences of a pestilential climate, and without any renun- 
ciation of their rights. Against the limited occuj^ancy of 
the Portuguese, we have set up our occasional occupancy, 
not to insist upon the cession of the western coast in 1822 
by a native king who was exercising a very real authority 
there. It is quite clear that at no time did the Portuguese 
ever exercise and enjoy the rights they claimed at the hands- 
of the arbitrator. A controversy arose, however, between 
the British Government and that of Portugal, and, during 
the Presidency of M. Theirs, it was eventually agreed to- 
refer the case to the arbitration of the French Government. 
M. Theirs, although overloaded with labour, did not think 
it right to decline the task, but, before he could well 
take it in hand, he had been driven from power, and the 
work devolved upon his successor. Marshal MacMahon, wc 
cannot doubt, has decided imj^artially upon the facts before 
him, and it is very far from our intention to question his 
judgment. The Portuguese Government has thanked him 
for the trouble he has taken, and if Lord Derby has not 
already done so, he certainly will. But, without for a 
moment impugning the justice of Marshal MacMahon, we 
may express the regret, which will be universally felt, at 
this settlement of a long-standing question. The Marshal 


could only decide iq^on the case as it was laid before liim, 
and a moment's reflection will suffice to show, that there 
were important bearings of this territorial dispute, which 
could not be placed before any arbitrator for decision. 

Those among us, who have been impelled by humanity 
and love of peace, to advocate the policy of obtaining the 
decision of disputed international questions, from the reason 
of an arbitrator, rather than from the sword, must not be 
surprised if their favourite method should be discredited by 
the fact, that every arbitration to which we have assented 
during the last six years, has been decided against us. It 
would be strange if the event were otherwise. The decision 
against us at Geneva, was emphasized by an award of more 
than three millions sterling damages. That rendered by the 
Emperor of Germany cost us the island of San Juan, and 
now we are deprived of a bay and harbour, which we could 
have made useful to all trading and maritime peoples, but 
which may now become a source of annoyance to us in poli- 
tics and trade. Our people must not be blamed if they 
judge even of so sublime a principle as arbitration partly by 
its results. We know that there is no Government in the 
world so magnanimous and unselfish in its dealings with 
other nations as our own; and our patience is tried, when 
award after award is given against us, mth as much 
certainty, as if we were a greedy, grasping people, against 
whom the civilized world had found it necessary to combine. 
This cannot go on. Islands, bays, and millions we may 
lose, and be not much the worse for it, but we cannot con- 
sent to be systematically discredited, and many will think 
that, after all, our honour is safest in our own keeping. 
These feelings are perfectly natural; at the same time, it 
will be well to beware of surrendering ourselves to the 


impulses of a mere reaction of sentiment. If arbitration has 
not produced all the good results we hoped from it, we may 
find it worth while to ask the reason why. It may be that 
it has failed because it has not been wisely appealed to, but 
been relied on in conditions under which it was not truly 
applicable. Whatever may be said as to the reference of 
the Alabama claims, and the San Juan question to arbitra- 
tion, we may safely pronounce that this dispute^concerning 
Delagoa Bay should not have been allowed to pass out of 
the hands of our Government. It should not have been 
allowed to do so, because it involved various points, of 
which some of those, which could not be submitted to the 
arbitrator, were of more importance than those which might 
and must be. Every intelligent advocate of the principle of 
arbitration, admits that there are some claims which touch 
the interests of a nation so closely, that their denial must 
never be deemed possible, but they must be defended at any 
and all cost. On the other hand, there are, as undoubtedly, 
other matters o^i which a Government may be at variance 
with a neighbour, and as to which any decision that might 
be given, would be more tolerable than the prolongation of 
unfriendliness. Between these two conditions, statesman- 
ship has plenty of room to make a discerning choice. No 
independent State should place at the disposal of an arbi- 
trator, consenting to surrender it at his bidding, any power 
which is necessary to enable it to fulfil that civilizing part in 
the world, which is marked out for it by its history and rela- 
tions. Neither should arbitration be resorted to, when it is 
likely that an adverse decision would create a situation 
more embarassing, than that which it is sought to terminate. 
For both of these reasons, this dispute concerning Delagoa 
Bay, should have been either settled by negotiation with the 


Portuguese Government, or permitted to remain open, until 
it could be terminated in a satisfactory manner. Marshal 
MacMahon's decision is founded on a view of the past, with 
its shadowy claims and confessedly imperfect rights, but the 
present and future of South-East Africa are more important 
elements in any settlement of the Delagoa Bay question, 
that could 1)6 described as politic and statesmanlike, than 
the technical considerations that have weighed with Marshal 
MacMahon's advisers. This decision Avill be honourably 
accepted, but it will cause difficulties. History tells us what 
has been the character and tendency of Portuguese influence 
on the East Coast of Africa, and it clearly foreshows that 
other kind of influence which is destined to supersede it. 
Portugal, it is notorious, can turn its possession of Delagoa 
Bay to no use that is important to the world, though it can 
easily make of it an occasion of strife between those who 
should be friends. The event of this reference to the 
French Government, of a case which ought not to have been 
referred to any Power, should'not discourage the friends of 
.arbitration, but it should certainly enlighten them, and lead 
to a more careful application of the principle, so that its 
great advantages may not be altogether lost to the world. 

Leader in Times, 21st August, 1875. 

A THIRD application of the principle of Arbitration has had 
ii result adverse to this country. The tribunal of Geneva 
nudcted us in the sum of three millions sterling ; the Em- 
peror of Germany and his jurists were against us in the San 
Juan controversy ; and now Marshal MacMahon gives 
Delagoa Bay to the Portuguese, after their claims have been 


questioned by us for some fifty years. We publish the text 
of the award, which, in the usual manner of a French judg- 
ment, gives clearly the grounds on which the decision is 
made. The precise territories in dispute are defined, and 
the Arbitrator proceeds to summarise the historical facts 
connected with them, which in his opinion lead to the con- 
clusion that Portugal has acquired and has never lost a 
sovereignty over them. First comes discovery. The Bay 
of Delagoa, or Lorenzo-Marques, was discovered in the 15th 
century by Portuguese navigators, and in the 17th and 18th 
centuries Portugal occupied various points on the northern 
coasts of the bay, and on the island of Inyack at its entrance. 
Portugal has at all times claimed sovereign rights over the 
whole bay and the territories bordering on it, as well as the 
exclusive right to trade there, and has further supported 
this claim by arms, against the Dutch about the year 1732, 
and against the Austrians in 1781. These pretensions were 
at that date recognised by more than one power. " The 
acts by which Portugal has supported its pretensions did 
not give rise to any complaint on the part of the Govern- 
ment of the United Provinces ; and in 1782 these pretensions 
were tacitly accepted by Austria, in consequence of diplo- 
matic explanations exchanged between that Power and 

This seems to be the substance of the case on the part of 
our opponents. In those distant days, when the Portuguese 
w^ere a maritime and colonizing people, and their adventur- 
ous navigators were on every sea, the eastern coast of Africa 
for hundreds of miles passed under their domination. They 
were without a rival on the Indian Ocean, and on all its 
shores they established their factories or made more am- 
bitious settlements. Thev were to be found in the Persian 


Gulf, on the Coasts of India, in the Malay Archipelago. 
They took possession of the most advantageous points on 
the eastern shores of Africa, and the coast over which our 
late visitor, the Seyyid of Zanzibar, rules, or claims to rule, 
once acknowledged their supremacy. The decay of this- 
wonderful prosperity, the stagnation of this restless enter- 
prise, the ruin or the alienation of so many coveted estab- 
lishments, is matter of history. Other nations supplanted 
the Portuguese, as they had supplanted the Venetians. 
Their possessions in Eastern Africa dwindled in importance, 
and though the Governor of Mozambique still exercises a 
nominal authority over a large undefined territory, the 
Portuguese occupation of the greater part of it is something 
very shadowy and unreal. This shrinking of the Portuguese 
power has led to the disputes about Delagoa Bay. In the 
war of the French Ee volution the Cape of Good Hope fell 
into the hands of the British, and though it was restored to 
Holland at the Peace of Amiens, it was subsequently recap- 
tured, and retained at the Peace of 1815. This placed us 
in new relations with the Portuguese. We were the lieir.s 
of the Dutch in Southern Africa, and the Portuguese had 
now to deal with a people more adventurous and pusliing: 
than their former neighbours. The British Government 
and the East India Company attached the highest import- 
ance to the Cape of Good Hope, and desired to see a great 
colonial development in South Africa, as securing the route 
to India, and creating a European society, in a country which 
was not hopelessly remote from India itself. Southern 
Africa became a territory for which too much could not be 
done. The colonists, it is true, were treated like children, 
spoilt by the indulgence of unreasonable requests, at the 
same time that they were scolded for not accepting some 


pedantic regulation of the Colonial Office ; but they had, 
on the whole, little to complain of, and the British taxpayer 
\\as the chief victim. The authority of Great Britain ex- 
tended itself over one tract of country after another, until 
at last we came uj^on a region which, to all appearance, coukl 
belong to no European State. Delagoa Bay, its shores, and 
islands were in the possession of the natives, and of no one 
else. Consequently, there has been a disposition in the 
Colonial authorities to deal with the tract as belonging to 
tribes without the pale of the civilized world, and therefore 
open to British occupation. The fact is that if the Portu- 
guese occupation of Delagoa Bay had ever been a reality, it 
had lost this character in the lapse of years. 

The Portuguese rights seemed to have been abrogated by 
disuse. The Portuguese did not rule the country ; they did 
not occupy it, and there was no prospect that they would do 
either in the future. All hopes of the development of the 
country rested on the British. But the award of Marshal 
MacMahon instructs us tliat we must not entertain such 
considerations. The rights of a State, which belongs to the 
community of civilized nations, are indefeasible. They can- 
not be diminished by the lapse of years or generations ; at 
least, the slightest assertion of authority or any act of occu- 
pation, however artificial or constructive, is sufficient to 
maintain the claim. The Portuguese, as we have already 
mentioned, made "pretensions" to the territory in 1782 
which "gave rise to no complaint on the part of the United 
Provinces," and which were "tacitly accepted" by Austria. 
This fact is, of course, evidence against our contention, but 
it appears that 35 years later we furnished by our own act 
iui argument against ourselves. In 1817 England herself did 
not contest the right of the King of Portugal, when she con- 


eluded with the King's Government the Convention of the 
28th of July for the suppression of the slave trade. " In 
fact, Clause 12 of that Convention must be interpreted to 
designate the whole of the Bay bearing the name of Delagoa, 
or Lorenzo-Marques, as forming part of the Portuguese 
possessions." Furthermore, in 1822 the British Government, 
having sent out an officer to make a hydrographic survey of 
tlie Bay and the rivers flowing into it, recommended him to 
the good offices of the Portuguese Government. This, no 
doubt, is strongly on the Portuguese side, according to all 
the theories which prevail as to national rights; but we find 
within the limits of Marshal MacMahon's own judgement 
ample evidence that all substantial authority had passed 
away from Portugal. He says that "though the accidental 
weakening of the Portuguese authority in those parts, may, 
in 1823, have led Captain Owen erroneously, yet in good 
faith, to regard the Native Chiefs of the territories now 
contested as really independent of the Crown of Portugal,, 
the Conventions concluded by him with those Chiefs were 
not the less contrary to the rights of Portugal." The fact 
that an intelligent officer could mistake the Natives for the 
independent tribes, shows that there could have been no 
efficient representative of the Portuguese Government in the- 
vicinity; and the effect of this is not lessened by the cir- 
cumstance that, subsequently, the Portuguese Government 
obtained anew from the Chiefs a recognition of its authority. 
But the rights of Portugal, acquired by discovery in the 
sixteenth century, asserted by force of arms as well as 
diplomatically in the eighteenth, recognised incidentally in 
the early part of the nineteenth, appear to the French 
President, sufficiently established, and he gives to His Most 
I'aithful Majesty all the territory claimed. We do not 


contest the justice of the Award, but Ave may regret a 
decision which will tend to retard the settlement and 
civilization of those regions, which can now only be accom- 
plished by union with the great South African community 
growing up under the British Crown. In the end we may 
fairly expect that no obstacles, raised by a strict interpreta- 
tion of the rights of nations, will impede a consummation 
.so beneficial to the world. 

Leader in Morning Post, August 23, 1875. 

The text of Marshal M'Mahon's award on the Delagoa 
Bay controversy has at length been made public. On the 
23d March, not very long after the latest representations 
appear, by the document in question, to have been made to 
the Marshal by the British Ambassador and Portuguese 
Minister at Paris, Ave Avere enabled to announce to our 
readers Avhat Avould be the result of the arbitration, and the 
statements made subsequently in Parliament confirmed our 
information. It is only noAv, hoAvever, that the official 
decree is made public, and it rather briefly and summarily 
disposes of our claims. The convention agreeing to the 
arbitration seems to have been signed at Lisbon on the 11th 
September, 1872, and as the aAvard is dated Versailles the 
24th July, it has taken nearly three years to come to a 
conclusion. We cannot complain of unnecessary haste in 
the matter, therefore, inasmuch as nearly a year seems to 
have elapsed betAA^een each move in the affair. The com- 
mission of investigation AA^as appointed by the Marshal on 
the 23d of March, 1873. On the 15th September folloAving, 
the representatives of the tAvo parties presented their 


memoranda to the arbitrator, and exactly a twelvemonth 
later counter-memoranda were handed in, the case on either 
side being finally closed by letters dated the 8th of February 
in the present year. Two different points arose in the 
question, the one having reference to the territory on the 
northern side of Delagoa Bay, as far as the Espiritu Sancto, 
or English Eiver; and the other being in regard to the 
territory on the southern side, known as Maputa, and 
-embracing the island of Inyack. With respect to the former, 
we had imagined all along that the Portuguese claim to that 
was established, but we had also considered that our title to 
the latter portion of the Bay was one that could be sus- 
tained. Whatever might have been the Portuguese assump- 
tions as regarded the Dutch and Austrians, and however 
much those Powers might have given in to their pretensions, 
we had certainly never acknowledged them; at any rate, in 
reference to the Southern half of the Bay ; and we cannot 
now see how the fact, so markedly dwelt upon in the award, 
of our Government recommending Captain Owen to the 
kind offices of the Portuguese authorities, when making in 
1823 his survey of the bay and rivers discharging them- 
selves into it, is to be construed into our having admitted 
the right of Portugal to the whole of the territory. The 
Portuguese had a settlement at Lorenzo-Marques, and what 
could be more natural than that our Government should 
request their officials to tender the Captain their good offices 
should occasion require it. But indeed the proof that we 
had no intention of acknowledging them as complete masters 
of the territory is self-evident from the conduct of Captain 
Owen in dealing with the native chiefs in the vicinity, whom 
he treated as quite independent of Portuguese authority. 
Nor are we prepared to admit that the terms of our previous 


convention with Portugal in 1817, for the suppression of 
the slave trade, are such as to imply a recognition of their 
right to the whole of the Bay. We never intended any- 
thing of the kind. The decision is, however, given against 
us, and as it was agreed in the arrangement of September, 
1872, that the question should be decided by the President 
of the French Eepublic without appeal, all we can now do 
is to make the best of a bad bargain, if so it may be termed. 
Since the result first became known to the public in England, 
a very strong feeling has been evinced, that an endeavour 
should be made to come to terms with Portugal for pur- 
chasing the Bay, or at any rate that portion of it which it is 
advisable we should possess, and which, indeed, we claimed. 
Its growing importance is acknowledged, and, now that its 
reputation for unhealthiness is proved to be greatly un- 
deserved, there is the more reason why we should be anxious 
to retain it. Its situation at the entrance to the Mozam- 
bique Channel, and its being the only available seaport for 
the Transvaal, destined at no distant day to be one of the 
South African Confederate States, and which it is well to 
remember is already attracting a good many Australian 
diggers, greatly enhance its value. With every disposition 
to trust in the good intentions of the Portuguese Govern- 
ment, and in its willingness to offer facilities for commerce at 
the Bay, we would much j^refer to have the port in our own 
hands. It is tolerably certain that British subjects will be 
the parties chiefly interested in the trade that will be carried 
on at the Bay, and a far larger traffic is likely to take place 
under British jurisdiction, than if it be exercised by a foreign 
Power, however much it may be actuated by good intentions. 
The inhabitants of the Transvaal, we are satisfied, would 
much rather that the port were in English hands, and it is 


needless to remark how the project for railway communica- 
tion between the Bay and its proposed terminus in the 
Kepublic would be furthered under British auspices. It is 
not of the present alone that we think; Southern Africa is 
destined to become a confederation of States owning British 
supremacy, and whatever objection may at the moment 
exist amongst certain parties in the two Eepublics against 
union under the British flag, is pretty sure to die away. 
The increased settlement of British subjects within their 
l)orders must of itself necessarily tend to this, and it is most 
desirable that, when a confederation is established, every 
inch of territory in the neighbourhood should be held by 
ourselves. We have no apprehension that Portugal will 
enter into negotiations with any other foreign Power for the 
disposal to it of Delagoa Bay — a proceeding which would be 
very injurious to our interests. But at the same time 
Portugal will, doubtless, wish to reap some advantage from 
the award, which, rightly or A\Tongly, has handed over to it 
territory we had reason to believe belonged to ourselves. 
It is not probable that Portugal has any special interest in 
retaining possession of the port. Its African territories are 
not of paramount importance to it, and in surrendering a 
small portion of them it would have no objection to make a 
good bargain. Very likely the award is an unexpected slice 
of good luck to Portugal, and if we can only come to 
reasonable terms with her for the purchase of the Bay, we 
may eventually not have so much reason to grumble at what 
has happened. Perhaps, even, it may become a subject of 
rejoicing, as it may act as a lesson to us in the future to be 
distrustful of the arbitration system, which, somehow or 
other, however good a case we may think that we have, 
results in our being the losers. If it only leads us to dis- 
countenance the practice in the future, the award in the 



Delagoa Bay controversy will not be without its advantage. 
Of international arbitration the British public is beginning 
to think we have had quite enough, for it only ends in 
every other State getting the better of us, a consummation 
by no means to be desired. 

From the Herald of Peace, London. 
The award on the recent Delagoa Bay case went in favour 
of Portugal. This fact, coupled with the adverse decisions 
on the Alabama and San Juan questions, has considerably 
disturbed the equanimity of our press, and led to some hard 
things being said against the principle of arbitration. We 
are told that wherever that method of settling disputes is 
had recourse to, the issue is unfavourable to our country. 
This is not quite correct as a matter of fact. The Anglo- 
American Commission, which was only arbitration under 
another name, and which dealt with a great variety of 
irritating questions, some of long standing, between us and 
the United States, gave, on several points, judgment in our 
favour, and decided that the United States should pay 
Great Britain various sums, amounting in the aggregate to 
about half a million sterling. It is gratifying to find that, 
while many of our journals are dissatisfied, and perhaps 
naturally so, at finding the award of an arbitrator for the 
third time going against us, there is not, so far as we know, 
in any quarter the slightest whisper of repudiation. It is 
honourable to our countrymen that the universal and un- 
hesitating conclusion is, that we should abide loyally by the 
decision of the French President, however unpalatable it 
may be to ourselves. Nor is there any serious attempt to 
impeach the fairness of that decision on the grounds sub- 
mitted to the arbitrator. Indeed, the Times distinctly says, 
** We do not contest the justice of the award;" and, after 


stating the reasons specified by Marshal MacMahon as the 
ground of his judgement, the same paper adds, " This, no 
doubt, is strongly on the Portuguese side, according to all 
the theories which prevail as to national rights;" though it 
afterwards somewhat qualifies this admission by affinning 
that the Portuguese rights had lapsed, or, at least, become 
doubtful by desuetude. We have no doubt that Delagoa 
Bay would be of greater use, not only to ourselves, but 
possibly to the interests of civilisation, if it were in British 
rather than in Portuguese hands, though our contribution 
to the civilisation of Africa has hitherto been of a very 
equivocal kind indeed. But the same thing may be said, 
probably, of Lisbon or Oporto, and a hundred other ports 
in all parts of the world, upon which we may choose to cast 
a covetous eye, and, if that be a sufficient ground of claim — 
and especially if the claimant himself is to be the judge — it 
would let loose all mankind to engage in one universal game 
of mutual spoliation. We should be glad to see Delagoa 
Bay pass by rightful means into the possession of Great 
Britain, but we contend that the settlement of the in- 
dispensable and preliminary question of title, will servo 
rather to facilitate than to frustrate negotiations for that 
purpose. But on the subject of arbitration, if we find the 
award going against us on so many occasions, where we 
have no reason to call in question the competency or the 
integrity of the arbitrators, would it not be well for us to 
ask ourselves whether this does not point to the fact, that, 
nationally, we are of an aggressive and masterful spirit; not 
consciously unjust, but prone, from a sense of our enormous 
power, to be somewhat arrogant and exacting in our claims? 
Nations, even more than individuals, have reason to say — 
** wad some Power the giftie gie us 
To see oorsells as ithers see xis." 


The Newcastle Daily Chronicle, of 15th September, in an article 
on "The Conservative Government and Slavery," animadverting 
on the Admiralty order ^prohibiting Ships of War being made a 
harbour of refuge for runaway Slaves, says : — 

"It is of some importance to know if the law officers of 
the Crown have been consulted as to this Order. It would 
also be interesting to learn who are the parties the Govern- 
ment thus means to favour*? Is it because the decision 
was against us in our dispute with Portugal, that we are 
about to propitiate the slave powers on the coast of Africa I 
Portugal is the European protector of slavery, and it must 
be either the Portuguese Government we are anxious to 
' pleasure,' or some one or other of those barbarous African 
Chiefs to whom slavery is wealth. There has of late been 
much in our transactions with Portugal that will scarcely 
bear criticism. Whoever has read the very able statement, 
by the late Mr David Leslie, of his claim against the Portu- 
guese Government for illegal seizure, can scarcely fail to be 
satisfied on this point. The treatment that accomplished 
man received from 'this petty but obtrusive and self- 
sufficient power' was a public scandal, which Mr Leslie's 
premature death does not absolve us from avenging. But 
the Circular of the Admiralty is another pertinent illustra- 
tion of that ' spirited foreign policy ' the Premier promised 
would distinguish his reign. Seriously, the subject with 
which this Circular , deals is something far transcending 
mere party politics. The interests and honour of the nation 
are compromised thereby." 

Fatal Encounter between British and Spanish Forces.— A telegram from 
the Gibraltar correspondent of the Western Morning Neics, dated September 1.5, 
1875, 9 p.m., says an investigation was being held concerning a serious affair 
which took place on Tuesday, it being reported that a French vessel had been 
captured by the Spanish Coastguard in British waters. A steam-launch from 
Her Majesty's ship Express went in chase, and took both in tow. The Spaniards 
resisted, and, although warned by the British Officers, persisted in attempting to 
cut the tow-rope. During the affray a Spaniard was accidentally shot dead. 


Now ready in 1 vol., large 8vo,, with Woodcuts and Coloured and Tinted 
Sketches, price, 21s., 


By the Hon. W. H. DRUMMOND. 

1. Buffalo. 

2. Rhinoceros, 

3. Eland. 

4. Elephant. 

5. Lions. 

6. Leopards. 

7. Hunting with Dogs. 

8. Game Birds. 

9. Anecdotes op Antelopes. 


' ' The freshest and most interesting sporting book that has appeared for 
many a day. Freshest in subject and in treatment, most interesting in the 
novelty of its scenes and the greatness of its adventures is the Hon. W. H. 
Drummond's * Large Game of South and South-East Africa.'" 


" Wielding his pen almost as successfully as his rifle, he has succeeded 
in delineating a graphic picture of Sporting Life in South African Wilder- 
nesses, with all its perils, privations, and pleasures." 

Liand and "Water. 

' ' We can recommend it strongly." 


" For hair-breadth escapes, exciting struggles, and desperate combats, 
it far surpasses any similar book we have ever read, and we can but 
wonder at the good fortune which carried him almost scatheless through 
so many adventures." 

Daily News. 

"He is one of the best types of the traveller and the sportsman ; he is 
indomitable in courage, unswerving in determination^ always ready to 
submit to what must be endured." 

Liverpool Albion. 

" It has attractions, alike for the traveller, the sportsman, the student 
of natural history, and the general reader and lover of adventure. To its 
value as a practical educational book, it adds the charm of thrilling and 
always interesting narrative, of a kind which carries its character for 
horesty and competency in its face." 

New Book on African Sport. 

Court Journal. 

''The volume is a record of numerous exciting adventures with hair- 
breadth escapes, and it contains much that will interest the student of 
natural history." 

Edinburg-h Courant. 

** The Hon. W. H. Drummond has given us one of the very finest books 
in the library of sport. The sportsman hoping some day to stalk game 
under the southern cross, or wishing to enjoy at his own fireside lifelike 
pictures of hunting scenes, cannot turn to a better book than this ; while 
the naturalist who desires new light on animal nature, and the general 
reader who likes picturesque grouping and lucid description, will be certain 
to enjoy this narrative of an African hunter." 

New York Evening: Post. 

"The entire book is one of great interest." 
Glasgow News. 

"The great fault of Livingstone's writings about Africa— dryness of 
style — cannot be imputed to this one, which is as attractive in manner as 
it is instructive in matter. * * * ♦ rpj^g simplicity of the 
tnie sportsman beams from every page, and the reader is charmed with the 
freshness and vividness of the pictures drawn by an artist who is absorbed 
in his subject," 

Pall Mall Gazette. 

" Abook that contains an adventure on almost every page ; may be taken 
iip anywhere with the certainty of amusement ; and Mr Drummond's 
adventures and hair-breadth escapes are of an exciting description." 
Leeds Mercury. 

" It is quite within the truth to state that every page of the volume 
contains some adventure of the greatest interest." 
Glasgow Herald. 

"Such a book as this, it maybe easily understood, is one to be read 
and enjoyed. * ♦ * * ^jj. Drummond may rest assured 
that the public will not soon get tired of his Avell digested knowledge and 
lively narrative." 

Saturday Review. 

"This is probably one of the most genuine books ahout big game that 
we have had since the volumes of Mr Gordon Gumming * * * 

We can concientiously recommend Mr Dnimmond's book to those who 
desire information either about the vicissitudes of sport or the chances of 
colonization in a land of striking scenery and great game," 

Similar laudatory notices have appeared in the Spectator, Observer, Morning Post, 
Daily Free Press, Daily Ilevieio, Dundee Advertiser, Chambers' Journal, d-c. 


88 Princes Street, 

Edinburgh, June 1875. 




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