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Full text of "Zulu-land; or, Life among the Zulu-Kafirs of Natal and Zulu- land, South Africa. With map, and illustrations, largely from original photographs"

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, 8 94 ZULU-LAND; 












Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 
WM. L. HILDEBURN, Treasurer, 
in trust for the 4» 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District 
of Pennsylvania. 





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13 Mr-na/. M.S. 
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First Experience in Africa 7 

Terra Natalis, Christmas Land ; as seen by Early Voyagers. 18 

Position and Geographical Features of Natal 32 

The Seasons and Climate — The Nocturnal Heavens 39 


First European Settlement at the Cape — Migrations of the 
Dutch Farmers previous to their arrival in the District 
of Natal .?. , 48 


Origin and Relationship of the Zulu-Kafir and other Zingian 
Tribes 59 


Early Accounts of Natal — History of the Rulers — Reign of 

Chaka 68 





What the Dutch did and suffered in Natal, and how the 

District became a British Colony 79 

Appearance and pursuits of the Natives 94 


Zulu-Kafir Law and Government ; - their influence upon the 
Native Mind 115 


Superstitious Views and Practices of the People; Wizards, 

Priests, and Doctors 132 

Matrimonial Affairs in Zulu-land 163 


Character ; — Moulding Agencies ; — Bent and Capacities of the 

Native Mind 174 

Zulu Language and Literature 187 


History of the American Zulu Mission from 1834 to 1843, — 
The first nine years of its existence 201 

History of the American Zulu Mission from 1843 to 1862 213 


History of the Inland American Mission, to Umzilikazi and 

his People, at Mosiga 227 




European Missions to Zulu-land — English Wesleyan, Norwe- 
gian, Berlin, Hanoverian, Church of England, and Roman 
Catholic 238 

The Geological Features of Natal 255 

Botanical Productions 270 

The Fauna of Natal — Beasts 289 

Reptiles 305 

Insects and Birds , 320 

European Enterprise in Natal ?. 332 


Present state of affairs in Zulu-land 345 





Ordained and married, one day, among the hills of 
Vermont, the next brings us to Boston, and the third 
finds us out on the tossing, briny deep, speeding our 
course to the south-eastern shores of Africa. Two 
months' fair sailing shows us the Cape of Good Hope, 
Africa's great southern land-mark, rising out of the 
deep blue sea, and makes our hearts leap again to see 
and feel solid earth. >5ix weeks we wait here among 
kind, Christian friends, to find a ship bound direct to 
Natal ; and then thirty-two days of rough, risky sail- 
ing brings us to our long desired haven, than which no 
land had ever looked to us more beautiful. 

The nautical "Rosebud," must now be exchanged 
for a Boer's wagon ; the sailing ship for a tented tra- 
veling house; the horses of Neptune for a Dutchman's 
nag and a dozen African bullocks. 

u Now I leave you to take charge of the wagons, 
while I ride over yonder and make a few purchases. 
Drive out a little way up the plain, find out a good 
place in which to outspan for the night. Be diligent 


for the rain is coming." So said a brother missionary 
as we were about leaving the few rude signs of civiliza- 
tion in Durban, and setting off for a mission station 
forty miles away to the north. Friends in Natal had 
furnished us with a wagon, oxen, and all the essential 
paraphernalia of that interesting and important institu- 
tion, an African ox-wagon- — a leader and driver for 
the oxen, a chest of food, bedding, native attendants, 
cooking utensils, and tea dishes — indeed, all that was 
essential for three or four days' sojourn in the fields or 
along the coast, wherever a way can be found, over 
plains, hills and rivers, and among savages, till we reach 
the station of our missionary companion, who has come 
to bring us to his home. 

Just here and now it was that the realities and ro-- 
mance of mission life in a strange land, on a barbarous 
coast, began to roll up like the rush and mingling of 
waves about the point where two seas meet. I had al- 
ready heard something about u out spanning " — just 
enough to know that it signified to set the oxen free 
from their semi-civilized gear, that combination of iron, 
wood, and thongs cut from the hide of buffalo or other 
animal, a gear such as nothing but a good deal of Eng- 
lish ingenuity, Dutchified and Zuluized, could ever de- 
vise or execute. But to understand all the conditions 
of a good place in which to " outspan for the night," — 
to know that such a place ought to b.e a smooth, open, 
grassy plat on the lee side of a thick bush, which shall 
break off the driving wind, perchance the pelting rain, 
with grass, woocl, and water near at hand for man and 
beast, was a kind of knowledge to which I had not yet 
attained. Such a spot, however, I was now charged 


and expected to find ; and not for myself and family 
alone, but for that of a veteran, whose practiced eye, 
the moment he should ride up an hour hence, would see 
all our defects at a glance, and lead him to wonder how 
we could be so stupid as to stop for a night just out of 
reach of all that is desirable. 

But we must do our best. After some careful cogi- 
tation along the road, as to how and whither we shall 
proceed, we conclude to leave the question of a place 
in which to pitch our rolling tents to the better dis- 
cretion of our native attendants. 

Morning breaks upon our encampment. The rains 
have raised the rivers. The Umgeni is high ; but the 
tall driver, wading half through, thinks it fordable. 
The threatening clouds are beginning to pour their tor- 
rents upon the earth. As the day declines we outspan 
again ; — no difficulty is there in finding water now ! 
Amid the falling torrents the fire is to be kindled, by 
which to prepare our evening repast. This done — we 
dismiss our attendants to find shelter and lodgings, if 
they can, among the kraals of their own people, while 
we close the curtains of the tented wagon and prepare 
to pass the night in the broad, open fields, ever and anon 
all shining, as they are, with the* lightning's flash, or 
trembling with the thunder's terrific crash. But we 
" laid us down and slept, and awoke, for the Lord sus- 
tained us." 

The morning is wet and cloudy, but we must journey 
on. We resume our northward course. Stopping for 
dinner, the rains keep us till night, and then till morn- 
ing dawns. 

We have now learned several important lessons, one 


of which is, that a leaky wagon is only fit for fair wea- 
ther ; and another is, that it is easier to go without tea 
than to gather wood, kindle a fire, and make it in the 

The next day is fine, fresh, sweet ; everything is 
pleasant and inviting, except the slippery roads and 
swollen streams. Waiting a day for the Umtongati to 
subside, we venture in and pass over, though the water 
comes up some six or eight inches into the body of the 
wagon. Delayed by rains and rivers, we reach the 
Umhlali on Saturday, the sun fast setting in the west. 
Our food is all gone ; the river is higher than any we 
have crossed, and lies withal, right in the way of the 
station we seek. And besides, there is an alligator 
here ; we know there is, for he was found basking in the 
sun by the river side as we drove up. To spend the 
Sabbath where we are, within two hours' drive of the 
home we seek, — and nothing but sugar and salt to eat — 
how can we ? Leave our wagon here in the field, wfth 
all the heavier luggage ; put the two teams, twenty- 
four oxen, together ; put the trunks of clothing upon 
the bedstead, itself on a level with the top-rail of the 
wagon body ; put the bedding on the trunks, and the 
women and children on the bed, in the roof of the wa- 
gon. Now put the man who is to lead the oxen on a 
horse that can swim ; choose the best of the two drivers 
and give him the best whip. Such is the plan — these 
the orders. " All ready — Start !" Crash ! — " Stop ! 
w r hat's that?" The bedstead has broken down; — 
must be raised again, and propped up. All is in order. 
"Ready — Start! — Stop!" The front oxen have pulled 
away from the leader and returned to the shore. "Send 


another leader to his help; straighten the team." The 
orders are obeyed. " All right again. Now, go ahead !" 
We enter the stream, — down, down goes the wagon — 
up, up comes the water. The oxen are swimming — 
the water rushes over the top of the w T agon body, fills it 
full. But our brave oxen go forw r ard and we soon as- 
cend the opposite bank in safety. 

In about two hours more, as the silent shades of Sa- 
turday evening come stealing over us, we find ourselves 
safely arrived at the station we were seeking in the 
beautiful valley of the Umvoti. 

Weeks pass away. The native language occupies 
the most of my thoughts. How to speak it as they 
speak it — this, for the present, is the great object of 
study. At length there comes a chieftain — Umusi is 
his name — and says he wants a missionary. We go to 
find out his abode, the locality of his people, and select 
a place for a station. The journey is made on horse- 
back. The first day brings us to the station of the 
Rev. Daniel Lindley, who is to be our exploring com- 
panion. Towards the close of the second day we come 
up from our windings along the banks of the Umhloti. 
Fairly atj:he top of the steep ascent, on the margin of 
a broad, high table land, there we stand, enveloped in a 
dense fog, and giving a bewildered, prying gaze at the 
three paths into which the one we had followed thus far, 
now divides. Hoping to be directed in our course, at 
this point, by the sight of a high hill at the base of 
w^hich the chieftain had his abode, we had left our na- 
tive guide to fall in the rear and take a nearer foot- 
path, which our horses could not follow. We must de- 
cide for ourselves which of the three paths before us 


may be the right one. We take the wrong, and journey 
on. The path promises well at first ; but presently we 
begin to feel that this is not the course we ought to 
pursue. Still, it may be the right path, and we jour- 
ney on. 

We presently begin to wonder if we are not almost 
there. How long the road is, and nobody to be seen 
on the way. We are probably in the wrong, but how 
shall we get right ? We cannot go back ; night would 
be upon us before we could reach any shelter. In fact 
it is already upon us ; nor is there always light enough 
for us to tell whether we are in the path or out of it", 
except as we judge by the sound of the foot-falling of 
the beasts we are riding. Nor can we rid ourselves of 
the impression, now and then, that we are passing along 
the edge of some fearful precipice. The dense fog we 
encountered an hour ago has changed, first into a thick 
mist, next, into a drizzly rain. In a strange place, a 
new, wild country ; knowing that the hyena, or prairie 
wolf, often follows the horseman, sometimes in packs, 
to pick him up and take care of him, should he or his 
horse meet with any mishap ; knowing too that the 
leopard may be lurking in any dark ravine <©r bushy 
nook through which we pass, the sign of anything 
human, the cry of a child, of a sheep or goat, cow or 
clog — anything to tell us that we are not far from a 
human habitation, be it never so humble and rude, would 
be music in our ears. 

But look ! Hark ! There is a light in the distance ; 
and do you not hear voices ? We reach the spot, and 
find that a company of natives have just selected this 
as the site of their new house. We ask for corn to 


give our hungry horses, and a hut for ourselves. They 
say they have neither, and they seem to tell the truth. 
Offering to lead us over a plain and beyond a hill, to a 
large, flourishing kraal, with assurance that, once there, 
we can get all we want, we ride on for another hour. 

Wet, tired, hungry, we are glad" to find in a Zulu hut 
a shelter from the rain, though we must come down upon 
all fours to enter, the door, like all doors to these 
rude African houses, being only about two feet high and 
eighteen inches wide. In the absence of anything like 
a chair, we take our seat upon a piece of wood, a short, 
crooked pole which marks off a part of the house as an 
apartment for calves. Soon the people have gathered 
about us in great numbers, old men and young, mothers 
and maidens, boys and girls, an astonished, motley 
group, glad we have come, wondering what brought us 
thither, and not a little pleased and surprised that we 
can talk with them in their own tongue. They give us 
the best they have, though it be but a calabash of milk 
and a basket of boiled maize. It is late, and time to 
retire. The most of the people withdraw ; some re- 
main, between whom and ourselves, together with the 
calves, a dog or two, an army of rats and mice, the one- 
roomed, smoky hut is to be shared. Commending our- 
selves to the care of that kind Providence whose pre- 
sence may be found in all places, and recounting be- 
tween ourselves the events and labors of the day, the 
mat our host has brought is spread upon the ground. 
With our blankets spread upon the mat, we get sleep 
enough to be ready to greet refreshed the morning's 

And now, as the birds begin their joyous carol, ming- 



ling their sweet music with the song of the merry brook 
that flows at the foot of the hillock on which we have 
encamped, from the dark, low hut we emerge into the 
bright light. We think that our eyes have seldom 
fallen upon a landscape of more native beauty. Look- 
ing along the hills arfd valleys that stretch out'up and 
down the country, covered as they now are with flowers 
of various hue and shape and grass of richest green, 
fragrant withal as a rose, we fancy we have found some- 
thing like another Paradise, where "only man is vile." 

Admiring the prospect before us and turning his eyes 
to a green, oval field, across the brook, half a mile away, 
my friend Lindley said, " If we can only find a peren- 
nial spring in that region, you cannot have a better 
place for a station." We passed over, found the spring 
we required, and fixed upon it as a place of future abode 
and labor, calling it after the name of the brook upon 
whose sources it is situated, Umsunduzi. 

Returning to Umlazi, where, of late, I had been 
making my abode, I procure a wagon and oxen, en- 
gage a driver and leader, pack up such tools and other 
effects as I shall require to erect a house in the wild 
open fields, far from all the helps of civilized life — axe 
and spade, saw and auger, hammer and chisel, glass and 
nails, grindstone and vise, food and clothing, bedding 
and books, a large wagon well filled, and prepare to 
start. My oxen are fresh — some of them not more 
than half trained. The driver and leader with Zulu 
boys engaged to aid in the enterprise before us are well 
nigh as wild, and quite as uncivilized as the wildest of 
the oxen. Having "inspanned" and brought the oxen 
and wagon into all due traveling relations after the or- 


dinary Dutch and Zulu fashion, the driver takes his 
stand on the front of the wagon, gives his mammoth 
whip a crack, shouts to the leader, in Zulu, "Hamba;" 
to the oxen in Dutch, "Loop;" and the whole establish- 
ment begins at once to "trek." 

After advancing a few rods, we must descend a long, 
steep hill ; the driver has forgotten to stop and chain 
the wheel ; the wagon begins to crowd heavy upon the 
wheel oxen, and they upon the next in front ; now all 
are on the trot, then all on the gallop; soon some have 
taken fright at the rattle of the wagon, and begin to 
bellow, and presently all are racing down-hill at the 
top of their speed, and the wagon follows ; driver and 
leader meantime shouting to their team, now in Dutch, 
now in Zulu, and now in something else, to stop and' go 
steady; while the anxious proprietor attracted by the 
tumult to the top of the hill, stands watching the pro- 
gress of the lively operation, and expecting every mo-' 
ment to see the wagon and all in it dashed to pieces. 
But driver and leader, finding it impossible to stay the 
downward, rushing course of events, give themselves 
up wisely, to keeping the team straight, and finally 
fetch up in the plain below, the oxen all on their legs, 
the wagon on its wheels, and with only a few articles 
broken beyond repair. 

The contemplated station is fifty miles distant, and 
the road for a great part of the way must be found or 
made as we go. Three days of toil and travel, now to 
hunt up lost oxen, now to boggle in some river's deep 
sand and water, now to find a wagon road through some 
ravine, with an occasional surprise from the startled 
uprising and flight of buck or buffalo that might be 


lying in the tall grass of the fields we traverse, bring 
us to the site of our new home. 

In a note-book kept in those days, I find a memo- 
randum made on the day of our arrival, September 30, 
1847, — "Written at the close of day in my wagon, while 
the rain is falling in torrents, amid dazzling flashes of 
lightning and almost deafening roar of thunder." 

The Zulu boys make the oxen fast by the wagon for 
the night, and go to seek lodgings at a neighboring 
kraal ; the curtains of the wagon are closed and made 
fast fore and aft, the light extinguished, and the lone 
occupant of the premises is beginning to lose all con- 
sciousness of time, place and circumstance, when a pack 
of prowling hyenas set up one of the most hideous cries 
that ever entered the ear of man. They seem to. be 
passing along and approaching us, just down under the 
hill only a few rods from our encampment. I had never 
heard them before, though I had heard of them. The 
doleful, hideous cry sends a chill through my veins, 
raises the oxen from their recumbent posture, and sets 
them all a-stir. I strike a light, open the tent, set up 
a counter shout. They stop their cry, and move off in 
another direction. 

j}« ifc >}i jfc >fi jfi 

" Hail ! king ! white man ! teacher ! Where is thy 
Book ? How does it look, what does it say, what will 
it do? let us see it, hear it, have it, learn it." Such 
was the salutation and welcome which a company of 
boys gave us the next day. They had heard of our 
coming, had seen the white wagon outspanned in the 
field ; and now, leaving their herds of cattle on the 
hills, they had come down to see us, make us welcome, 


and ask to read the Book which they had understood it 
to be our object in coming there to teach them. 

" Si za kwenza njani na ? What shall we do ?" was 
the reply. "No house to live in. We were just starting 
for the bush to cut some poles and put up a shelter for 
our heads. But you shall see the Book and be taught 
to read it." So bringing out a copy, we commenced 
teaching them the alphabet. 

The next day we had a still larger class, more boys, 
and a few girls. Some of the latter, being nurses, 
brought their infant brothers and sisters with them, 
having them bound, a-la Zulu, on their backs with goat 
skins ; so that now, the second day, we have three 
classes, a class of boys, a class of girls, and an infant 

Meantime our own boys, as we were accustomed to 
call our native helpers, are cutting timber in the bush, 
and hauling it home for a house. Setting posts in the 
ground, weaving in wattles between them, plastering 
up and down, inside and out, with a kind of clay found 
there, putting on the frame of a roof and covering it 
with thatch, washing the walls with white clay found in 
the neighborhood, making also here and there a door 
and window, we have a house of two rooms, each ten by 
twelve feet, of which we think, perhaps, as much as 
Queen Victoria of her palace. 

Our w r ork is now begun, at our first station, Umsun- 

2 * 




From deserts wild and many a pathless wood 

Of savage climes where I have wandered long, 

Whose hills and streams are yet ungraced by song, 

I bring, illustrious friend, this garland rude. 

The offering, though uncouth, in kindty mood 

Thou wilt regard, if haply there should be 

'Mong meaner things, the flower simplicity, 

Fresh from coy Nature's virgin solitude. Pringle. 

It was about the middle of December, 1497, that 
Vasco de Gama passed the last beacon, a cross which his 

>neer predecessor, Bartholomew Diaz, had set up 
at two hundred leagues to the east of the " Stormy 
cape." Putting out now more to sea, he sailed to the 
north-east till the 25th of December, when he made 
land again. As this was Christmas day, in honor of 
our Saviour's birth, the country was called Tierra de 
Natal, or land of the Nativity. 

" This day God came by human birth, 
Atoned himself for all on earth : 
Thou beauteous land this love recall, 
And be for ever sweet Natal." 

Such was the discovery and naming of this land of 
Natal, from and about which I write. But Vasco de Gama 


was not the first voyager to these distant shores. The 
earliest history bearing upon the subject, dates from the 
diluvian age, and the realms of Ararat. It gives us a 
glimpse at movements made then and there for the peo- 
pling of this whole continent. In the 10th chapter of 
Genesis, we find that Africa fell to Ham and his sons. 
The second of his sons, Mizraim, is generally supposed 
to have planted himself first in Egypt, and to have 
spread from thence over the neighboring regions. Pos- 
sibly some son of his, some grandson, or great grand- 
son pushed off towards the south, and gave birth to 
some tribe which wandered on till it reached the south- 
ern point of the continent, and finally gave origin to 
the clans now known as the Hottentots and Bushmen. 
But in respect to the tribes that inhabit the land of Na- 
tal and adjacent districts, I may have more to say in 
other pages. 

About six hundred years before the Christian era, 
Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, he who fought Josiah, 
king of Judah, and slew him at Megiddo,* fitted out an 
expedition and sent it by sea to learn the form and 
limits of Libya, — as this land of the sun was then 
called. The habits and prejudices of his own people, 
the ancient Egyptians, not being such as to fit them for 
the navigator's life, Necho procured sailors from among 
the Phoenicians. The fleet seems to have been large, and 
the voyage long. Nor is this strange, when we con- 
sider how rude must have been their vessels, and how 
many the obstacles with which they had to contend. 
Sailing down the Red Sea, they entered the Indian 
ocean, and thence pursued a plodding course along 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 


Africa's eastern coast. On whatsoever part of the coast 
they might be when the rainy season set in, it was the 
practice of these patient mariners to lay up their ships, 
go ashore, dig and sow the land, reap the grain, and 
then put to sea again, and pass on. Having spent two 
years in this way, the third brought them round to the 
Pillars of Hercules, (the* Straits of Gibraltar,) into the 
Mediterranean Sea, and so back to Egypt. 

Since it is scarcely possible that a fleet creeping thus 
along the coast, should have passed a spte*K^d harbor, 
without entering and landing for a season, must we not 
suppose that Pharaoh Necho's Phoenician navigators, 
could they come up from the graves in which they have 
slept more than two thousand years, would lay a just 
claim to the credit of being the first foreigners to set 
their eyes and plant their feet on these enticing shores? 
After two or three years' travel and tossing in such 
new far-off land and water, they went home, no doubt — 

" Full of new and strange adventures, 
Marvels many and many wonders." 

The Phoenicians being men of letters, the first to in- 
vent and develop alphabetical writing, of course the 
Admiral of the fleet kept a Journal of their experience 
and observations ; and, if Necho had no newspaper, nor 
press of any kind, in which to have it printed, who can 
question that he got the gallant admiral to deliver the 
substance of it as a course of lectures in the City Hall, 
the Park, or Academy ? But were the people prepared 
to credit the weather-beaten mariner's w T onderful tale ? 
It would seem not. As in the case of the "young man" 
in the days of Hiawatha, so it seems to have been with 
the old navigator in the days of Necho. 


"From his wanderings far to eastward, 
From the regions of the morning, 
From the shining land of Wa'bun, 
Homeward now returned Iagoo — 
The great traveler, the great boaster, 
Full of new and strange adventures, 
Marvels many and many wonders. 
And the people of the village 
Listened to him as he told them 
Of his marvelous adventures, 
Laughing, answered him in this wise : 
' Ugh ! it is indeed Iagoo ! 
No one else beholds such wonders.' 
"He had seen, he said, a water 
Bigger than the Big-Sea-Water, 
Broader than the Gitche Grumee, 
Bitter, so that none could drink it ! 
At each other looked the warriors, 
Looked the women at each other, 
Smiled, and said, ' It cannot be so ! 
Kaw V they said, ' It cannot be so V " 

Even the much-traveled Herodotus found some things 
in the navigators' story which he could neither compre- 
hend nor credit. Thus, they related that, in the course 
of the voyage, while they were passing the most south- 
ern coast of Africa, they were surprised to find that 
they had the sun on their right hand, that is, to the 
north of them. Repeating this part of their story, and 
handing it down for our perusal, the learned " father 
of history" adds, " but, for my part, I do not believe 
the assertion, though others may." We are indebted 
to the historian's doubts for the notice of an incident 
which confirms our faith. To men of our day, who 
know more than Herodotus did about the shape of the 
earth and its relation to the sun, the navigators' " as- 
sertion" not only presents no difficulty, but really 


affords a strong proof that they made the voyage as- 
cribed to them, and gave a correct account of it. 

The sun continued to run his daily, yearly course, 
nations to rise, and kings to reign ; but for two thou- 
sand years after the days of Necho, little • more was 
known to the foreigner about the distant south-land of 
which we speak. Indeed, all that was ever known 
seems to have been forgotten. To all beyond the pale 
of its own tribes, this extreme of the African continent 
was as though it had never been. 

Discovering, at length, the mysterious powers of the 
magnet, the mariner was inspired with courage to strike 
out more boldly into the open sea, and go in search of 
new lands, or new routes to those already known. In 
the year 'I486,- Bartholomew Diaz was fitted out by 
the king of Portugal with three ships, to find a new 
way to the East Indies. For nearly a hundred years 
the Portuguese had been gradually extending their dis- 
coveries and their trade along the western coast of 

"And now, stout Diaz, hugging well the shore, 
Has passed each spot where vessel came before, — 
New lands and scenes their aching eyes define, 
And on, and further still, extends the line." 

. Diaz succeeded in passing the Cape of Good Hope, 
though in a storm, and at so great a distance that he 
did not see it. Reaching Algoa Bay they were glad to 
set their feet on solid earth, and rest awhile. Here they 
made a wooden cross, and setting it up, celebrated the 
mass. But on this African shore they saw and heard 
nothing of India, and the crew were now bent on re- 
turning home. Diaz persuaded them to go on three 


days longer. This brought them to the mouth of a 
river which they named Bel Infanta, now the Great Fish 
River. But the people here could tell him nothing 
about India, or of the way thither. Able to proceed 
no farther, he now planted a cross in honor of St. 
Philip and wept that he must go back without a sight 
of the land of which he was in search. 

On his return, Diaz discovered the famous Cape, the 
southern point of Africa; to which, annoyed and dis- 
tressed as he was by the mutinous spirit of his crew, 
appalled also by the stormy sky, and by the roar and 
swell of the oceans that meet and rage there, he gave 
the name of Cabo Tormentoso, or stormy cape ; and 
forthwith set off with his shattered barks for Lisbon. 
But his sovereign, John II., took a more favorable view 
of the point. Hailing the captain's report as a prelude 
to success, — seeing in it, as he believed, a fair prospect 
that one great end of their many maritime expeditions, 
a grand highway to the Indies, was about to be attained, 
— he thought the place deserving of a better name ; 
and so called it Cabo de Buena JEsperanza, or the Cape 
of Good Hope. . 

" Cape of storms, thy spectre fled, 
See, the angel Hope, instead, 
Lights from heaven upon thy head; 

"And where Table-Mountain stands, 
Barbarous hordes from desert sands, 
£les5 the sight with lifted hands." 

Ten years having elapsed, Emanuel the Fortunate 
essayed to complete the project which his predecessor, 
John II., had undertaken. The chief command of the 
royal squadron, which was fitted out for this purpose, 


was entrusted to Vasco de Gama. Receiving Lis 
charge and a richly embroidered flag from the king, he 
set off from Lisbon for India, by way of " the Lion of 
the Sea," as the Cape which Diaz had discovered 
w T as sometimes called. This was in July, 1497, five years 
after the discovery of America by Columbus. Reach- 
ing the vicinity of the Cape, and meeting most fear- 
ful tempests, the sailors' courage failed them, and they 
tried to induce the captain to put back. But the stout 
heart and fixed purpose of de Gama were not to be 
moved. At length, the sound of trumpets, made 
known that they had triumphed over the difficulties 
and dangers, had reached the Cape, and anchored in the 

Looking shoreward the adventurous voyagers saw 
cattle feeding in the fields along the coast. At a greater 
distance, the eye was greeted with the sight of villages; 
the houses of which were covered with straw. The 
people are described as small of stature, of a brownish 
yellow color, having an ugly appearance, and ^ clothed 
with the skins of animals, — doubtless the ancestors of 
the Hottentot of the present day. Sticks, hardened in 
the fire, and pointed with the horns of animals, served 
them as weapons of war. Roots and herbs, antelopes 
and pigeons, seals and whales, furnished them with food. 
They had dogs, and spoke a language the sound of 
which was thought to resemble groaning. In the gold, 
spices, and pearls, which de Gama showed them, they 
took little or no interest, but were much pleased with 
the little bells and pewter rings which he gave them. 

Bidding adieu to the Cape, Vasco de Gama sailed two 
hundred miles eastward, and landed at San Bias (Mos- 


sel Bay,) where he erected a pillar bearing the arms of 
i Portugal, and a cross. Sailing thence, he discovered 
and christened the land of Natal, whence the renowned 
navigator bore away to India, the object of his bold 

By early navigators, and largely at the present day, 
the natives of South Eastern Africa, are called Kafirs, 
and their land Kafirland, or Kafraria. The term (Ka- 
fir, Gaffer, or Caphar) is derived from the Arabic, and 
is used to signify an unbeliever, that is,' one who rejects 
the Mohammedan faith. Why they were so called, how 
'wide the application of the term at first, as also some- 
thing about the country and people, may be learned 
from the writings of one Samuel Purchas, an English 
clergyman, who was bofn 1577, and took pains to pick 
up and put on record all that was then known, or re- 
ported of South Africa, as of other countries new to 
that age. In his work, " The Pilgrimage ; or Rela- 
tions of the World, and the Religions observed in all 
Ages" he says : — 

"Caphraria, or the land of the Caphars, is next" to be 
considered, which Maginus boundeth between Rio de Spi- 
rito Sancto and Cajje Negro, extending to the Cape of 
Good Hope southwards. Why hee should call this part the 
Caphars, I know not : for the Arabians, of whom this 
word is borrowed, give that name to all the Heathen 
people in Africa : yea, both the Arabians and all of 
their religion call all such as will not receive their su- 
perstition, Caphars, even Christians also, as Master 
Jenkinson long since told us. And, for the Heathens 
in Africa, Barrius affirmeth that it is by the Moores 
given to them all: signifying without law, or lawless 


people* Zanguebar is in this respect called Cafraria. 
It should seeme it is appropriated to these, the South- 
erliest nations of Africa, from want of other the more 
true proper names, which were unknowne." 

"With the names of the capes and other places of note, 
Master Pory hath already acquainted his English 
reader. Gnely that notable and famous Cape of Good 
Hope, (so named by John the Second, king of Portugall, 
for that hope which hee conceived of a way to the In- 
dies, when it was first discovered,) deserveth some men- 
tion. * * * The waves there, saith Linschoten, strike 
againSt a shippe, as if they stroke against a hill, that * 
if it were of stone it would at last be broken. Heere 
Captaine Lancaster traded with the people, and for two 
knives bought an ox : for one a sheepe, &c, in good 
quantitie. Their sheep are great, with great tailes, but 
hairy, not wooled. The captaine killed there an ante- 
lope as bigge as a colt. There were diu^rs great beastes 
unknowne to them. * * * 

" The Hollanders in the yeare 1595, trafficked with 
the Cafres, which were valiant, but base in apparell, 
covered with oxe or sheepe skines wrapped about their 
shoulders with the hairy side inwards in forme of a man- 
tle. But now we see it made a daily matter to the Por- 
tugal, English and Dutch, so capable of hope of good, 
that the Cape of Good Hope is nothing feared : al- 
though at home many have no good Hope of publicke 
good, and wish they would carry out of Europe less 
money and bring home more men. For my part, I wish 
so well to Navigation and Discoveries, that I would wish 
such complaints to be but calumnies, and to be the kna- 
vigations of false discoverers. " 


" I cannot omit that upon the toppe of this Promon- 
tory, Nature hath as it were framed herselfe a delight- 
full bower, heere to sit and contemplate the great seas, 
which from the South, West, and East, beat upon this 
shore ; and therefore hath heere formed a great Plaine, 
pleasant in situation, which with the fragrant herbes, 
varietie of flowers, and flourishing verdure of all things 
seemes a Terrestrial Paradise. It is called the table 
of the Cape." . * * * 

" The Hollanders at the Cape of Good Hope, had of 
the inhabitants two kine for two rustic knives, and one 
much greater for a new one : two fat bulls and "three 
sheepe for a bar of iron, weighing three-score and ten 
pounds. The people make much account of iron : they 
are of short stature : darkish colour : their armes are 
adorned with copper and ivory, their fingers with rings 
of gold, and with beads of bone and wood. They brand 
their bodies with divers markes. And because they 
allways annoint themselves with grease and fat, they 
yeeld a ranke smell. At their feasts they would seeth 
a Beast in his hide, fastened on four sticks with fire 
underneath. They lived miserably, yet for gallantry 
wore bones and pieces of dried flesh about their neckes." 

To the celebrated English navigator, Dampier, we 
are indebted for a very full and interesting notice of 
this country and its inhabitants as seen by Captain 
Rogers, Dampier's friend, about the year 1684, or 
nearly two centuries ago, with a few abridged extracts 
from which we bring this chapter to a close. 

" The country of Natal," says Dampier, " lies open 
to the Indian sea on the east, but how far back it runs 
to the westward is not yet known. That part of the 


country which respects the sea is plain, champaign, and 
woody ; but within land it appears more uneven, by 
reason of many hills, which rise in unequal heights 
above each other. Yet it is interlaced with pleasant 
valleys and large plains, and it is checkered with natu- 
ral groves and savannahs. Neither is there any want 
of water, for every hill affords little brooks, which glide 
down several ways ; some of which, after several turn- 
ings and windings, meet by degrees, and make up the 
river of Natal, which dischargeth itself into the East 
Indian ocean, in lat. 30° south. There it opens pretty 
wide, and is deep enough for small vessels. But at the 
mouth of the river [Bay] is a bar, which has not above 
ten or eleven feet of water on it in a spring tide, though 
within there is water enough. This river is the prin- 
cipal of the country of Natal, and has been lately (1684) 
frequented by some of our English ships, particularly 
by a small vessel that Captain Rogers commanded." 

u The land animals of this country are lions, tigers, 
elephants, buffaloes, bullocks, deer, hogs, cows, &c. 
Here are also abundance of sea-horses. Buffaloes and 
bullocks only are kept tame, but the rest are wild. Ele- 
phants are so plentiful here that they feed together in 
great troops, one hundred or one hundred and fifty in 
company. Mornings and evenings they are seen graz- 
ing in the savannahs, but in the heat of the day they 
retire to the woods ; and they are very peaceable if not 
molested. Deer are very numerous here also. They 
feed quietly in the savannahs, among the tame cattle, 
for they are seldom disturbed by the natives. Here 
are fowls of divers sorts ; some such as we have in Eng- 
land, viz. — duck and teal, both tame and wild, and 


plenty of cocks and hens ; besides abundance of wild 
birds wholly unknown to us. Here are a sort of large 
fowls, as big as a peacock, which have very fine colored 
feathers. They are very rare and shy. There are 
others like curlews, but bigger. The flesh of these is 
black, yet sweet and wholesome meat." 

" The natives of this country are but of middle sta- 
ture, yet have very good limbs ; the color of their skin 
is black, their hair crisped ; they are oval visaged, their 
noses neither flat nor high, but very well proportioned ; 
their teeth are white; and their aspect altogether grace- 
ful. They are nimble people, but very lazy, which 
probably is for want of commerce. Their chief em- 
ployment is husbandry. They have a great many bulls 
and cows, which they carefully look after; for every 
man knows his own, though they run all promiscuously 
together in the savannahs ; yet they have pens near 
their own houses, where they make them gentle and 
bring them to the pail. They have guinea corn, which 
is their bread ; and a small sort of grain, no bigger than 
a mustard seed, with which they make their drink. The 
common subsistence of this people is bread made of 
guinea corn, beer, fish, milk, ducks, hens, eggs, &c. 
They also drink milk often to quench their thirst, and 
this sometimes when* it is sweet, but commonly they let 
it get sour first. Besides milk, which is the common 
drink, they make a sort of beer from the guinea corn, 
purposely to be merry with ; and when they meet on 
such occasions, the men make themselves extraordinary 
fine, with feathers stuck in their cap very thick. They 
make use of the long feathers - of cocks' tails, and . 
none else. 
3 * 


" Here are no arts or trades professed by thein, but 
every one makes for himself such necessaries as they 
need or ornament requires ; the men keeping to their 
employment, and the women to theirs. The men build 
houses, hunt, plant, and do what is to be done abroad; 
and the women milk the cows, dress the victuals, &c, 
and manage all matters within doors. [If Rogers or 
Dumpier be correct in what he says here about " plant- 
ing" and " milking," these labors have certainly changed 
hands since that day, as I may show at another time.] 
Their houses are not great or richly furnished, but 
they are made close and well thatched, that neither 
winds nor weather can hurt them. They wear but few 
clothes, and these extraordinary mean. The men go 
in a mariner naked, their only garb being a small piece 
of cloth, made with silk grass or moho rind, and wrought 
in form of a small apron. At the upper corners it has 
two straps to tie round their waists, and the lower end 
being finely fringed with the same, hangs doAvn to their 
knees. The women have only short petticoats, which 
reach from the waist to the knee. When it rains they 
cover their bodies with a simple cow's hide thrown over 
their shoulders like a blanket. 

44 Every man may have as many wives as he can pur- 
chase and maintain ; and without buying there are none 
to be had ; neither is there any other commodity to be 
bought or sold but women. Young virgins are disposed of 
by their fathers, brothers, or otherciearest male relations. 
The price is according to the beauty of the damsel. 
They have no money in this country, but give cows in 
exchange for wives ; and therefore he is the richest man 
that has most daughters or sisters, as he is sure to get 


cattle enough. They make merry when they take their 
wives ; but the bride cries all her "wedding-day. They 
live together in small villages, and the oldest man go- 
verns the rest ; for all that live together in one village 
are a-kin, and therefore willingly submit to his govern- 
ment. They are very just and extraordinarily civil to 
strangers. This was remarkably experienced by two 
English seamen that lived among them five years : 
their ship was cast away on the coast, and the rest of 
their consorts marched to the river of Delasor ; but 
they staid here till Captain Rogers came hither and 
took them away with him ; they had gained the language 
of the country ; and the natives freely gave them wives 
and cows too. They were beloved by all the people, 
and so much reverenced, that their words were taken as 
laws. And when they came away, many of the boys 
cried because they would not take them w T ith them." 




A look at the map will show the District of Natal to 
be situated in the south-eastern border of Africa, on 
that part of the Indian Ocean which lies chiefly be- 
tween the 29th and 31st parallels of latitude, being 
walled off from the interior regions by the Drakensberg, 
or Kwahlamba Mountains. To the north-east, and be- 
yond the Tugela River, is the district commonly called 
Zulu-land, stretching away to the Portuguese settlement 
at Delagoa Bay. On the west we have the Swazi tribes 
and Dutch Boers in the Orange River Free State. The 
Umzimkulu River has heretofore separated Natal from 
Kafraria on the south-west ; but the prospect is that 
the limits of the Natal Colony may be pushed on soon 
to the Umzimvubu. Nor is it at all unlikely that the 
whole of Kafirland may soon be subject to British rule. 

The land is pre-eminent for the beauty of its land- 
scapes, the fertility of its soil, and the healthiness of 
its climate. My delight in looking at the scenery of 
South Africa commenced with my first sight of it from 
the sea, and increased with. acquaintance. The moun- 
tains are rather tabular than conical in shape ; and when 
viewed from the sea, they rise, table above table, as they 


recede in the distance, having their summits and sides, 
with the intervening plains, covered with verdant groves, 
thick shrubbery, or wide fields of green grass. Add 
to this, that the whole picture is diversified with here 
and there a river, or a dark and deep ravine, with fields 
of Indian corn, or gardens of indigenous grain and 
fruit, and the reader will agree with me that it may well 
excite the most pleasing emotions in the lover of nature. 
The Christian's heart it inspires with the prayer that a 
new moral creation may be effected among the inhabi- 
tants, with which, for beauty and glory, even " the for- 
mer shall not be remembered nor come into mind." » 

To one accustomed to think of new lands as abound- 
ing in forests of tall trees, it will seem strange, for a 
time, that none of these things are to be seen in Natal. 
Knowing, as I did on my arrival that there were very 
few whites in Natal, and that those few had been there 
a short time, to me it seemed a marked feature of the 
country that a large portion of it had the appearance 
of being " cleared," as an American would say, and 
prepared for tillage, mowing, and pasturage. Along 
the coast, these open, unfenced, grassy fields, with here 
and there a mimosa or other bushy tree, give you the 
idea of so many large, irregular, half-neglected or- 

Hillocks covered with bushes, ravines filled with 
groves, rivers and rivulets skirted with evergreen trees 
of a goodly size and quality, I have often seen in Na- 
tal ; but nothing that could be called a forest, nor even 
a large tree, in the American sense of these terms. In 
some parts of the country, I have traveled all day, and 
not seen green, growing wood enough to make a whip 


stick, nor enough of the dry to "cook the kettle," 
and yet the whole country would be covered with the 
most luxuriant grass. This grass, dry and parched 
as it must become in the winter season, is sure to be 
burnt off, and with it every little twig, of a tree that 
would grow there ; thus the soil is impoverished, and 
parched by the sun and wind ; and forests and large 
trees are few and far between. 

The terraced character of this country is a fea- 
ture which strikes the attention at once. From the 
sea-coast to the foot of the Kwahlamba range, we 
have a curious succession of steppes, or tiers of table- 

Beginning with the coast, we have a most beautifully 
variegated ribbon of country, ten or fifteen miles wide. 
This lies but little above the level of the sea, and forms 
a kind of mosaic ground-floor for the rest. Then, ris- 
ing a thousand feet, we find another strip of table-land, 
of about the same width. Passing this, we ascend an- 
other step of a thousand feet, and come to what is 
termed the central or midland terrace. This is broader 
than the one below, being about twenty miles wide. 
We have now begun to traverse a region whose broad, 
open, undulating fields could hardly fail to remind you 
of some of Bryant's beautiful lines : — 

"These are the gardens of the desert, these 
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful, 
For which the speech of England has no name — 
The prairies. I behold them for the first, 
And my heart swells, while the dilated sight 
Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo ! they stretch 
In airy undulations, far away, 
As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell, 


Stood still, with all bis rounded billows fixed, 
And motionless for ever." 

Having advanced fifty miles from the sea, we come 
to still another terrace, which, with an elevation of three 
or four thousand feet above the level of the sea, stretches 
away for fifty or a hundred miles to the zig-zag range 
called by the Dutch the "Drakensberg," or Dragon's 
Mountain. This magnificent rocky range, boldly sloped 
and buttressed at the base, then beautifully built up,— 
like the steep sides of all our great Table mountains, — 
in pillars and walls of bare rock, with a perpendicular 
face of several hundred- feet, forms a limit to the colony 
in that direction ; while it also gives you another step 
of some two thousand feet, counting from the base to 
the summit. Having now raised you six thousand feet 
above the sea, it opens still another terrace, which 
stretches off in its turn towards the interior of the con- 

But let it not be supposed that these terraces are laid 
out with regularity, or that they present each a smooth, 
unbroken surface; as aa English writer (Dr. Mann) 
well observes: — " Nature does not work like the mason 
because her object is an altogether different one. The 
traveler who climbs these steps can hardly make out 
the facts of their general plan by the eye-glance. He 
has to deduce the notion from a series of iso- 
lated positions and reflections. The land has been dis- 
turbed again and again, and the terraced steps have 
-been heaved this way and that; they are consequently 
now battered and bent, traversed by cracks and notched 
by deep gorges through which the insinuating water 
finds its way, carving rugged channels for itself among 


the fragments of rock, and ever and anon making some 
bold leap to gain the lower level. Water-falls in Na- 
tal are almost as plentiful as blackberries. Even where 
the streams hold the more quiet tenor of their way across 
the floor of the steppes, they flow with great force and 
rapidity, surging along stony ground through a wilder- 
ness of half-worn boulders." 

" The sides of the ravines, or ' kloofs' (clefts) as they 
are provincially termed, are for the most part clothed 
with dense masses of foliage, from the midst of which 
lofty evergreens rear their heads. The edges of the 
terraces are also more or less lipped, or turned up ; the 
ascending traveler goes down into shallow valleys after 
he has mounted steep hills. The more open slopes are 
invariably covered by a coarse pasture, and here and 
there are dotted over by dwarf flat-topped bushes of the 
thorny mimosa. This pasture, in the early spring is 
emerald green, and variegated by the white and gaily 
colored blossoms of the aloes, amaryllids, and other bul- 
bous plants. In the autumn the nill-sides and valleys 
are russet brown, and in places look almost like English 
corn-fields at the approach of harvest, in consequence 
of the abundant crops which they bear of the tall tam- 
boti grass, — the staple resource of the thatcher. In 
the dry months of winter, they are hieroglyphiced at 
night by the flame-characters of the fires which are con- 
tinually set going at that season to do the' work of the 
scythe in the removal of the coarse growth ; and by 
day they are mottled with the resulting sable, which 
adds to, rather than detracts from the picturesqueness 
of the scenery, by the ever-varying diversity of its 
shades and tints." 


" Then fly to the prairie ! in wonder there gaze, 
As sweeps o'er the grass the magnificent blaze, 
The land is o'erwhelm'd in an ocean of light, 
Whose flame-surges break in the breeze of the night." 

As aridity characterizes so large a part of South 
Africa, the goodly number of fountains, rivulets, and 
rivers, with which Natal abounds, is a noticeable fea- 

Journeying along its hundred and fifty miles of coast 
between the Tugela and TJmzimkulu, you cross more 
than twenty streams which pour themselves into the sea. 
The two just named, together with the Umkomazi, have 
their sources in the Kwahlamba Mountains. The Um- 
voti, Umgeni, and Umlazi take their rise in the upland 
terrace. The rest are short. Yet both the short and 
the long, the small and great, are often swollen, some- 
times suddenly, to a fearful height. At the time of the 
flood four years ago, when twenty-seven inches of rain 
fell at Durban in three days, the Umgeni rose, near its 
mouth, to the height of twenty-eight feet above its usual 
level ; the Umtongati rose thirty feet ; and many other 
streams in like manner. It should be remarked, how- 
ever, that ordinarily in the winter season, that is, from 
April to September, even the largest of the Natal 
rivers may be forded without difficulty on horseback. 
Of course, from streams like these, so rapid and varia- 
ble, navigation can have little or nothing to expect ; not 
so with salubrity, pasturage, agriculture. But to discuss 
the value of one or two large sluggish streams as a 
means of transport, in a land like this, as compared with 
the numberless precious blessings which are poured forth 
daily for man and beast in the many springs, rivulets, 


and rivers, which burst from under every hill, and go 
sparkling, leaping, purling, each its own way, from the 
mountain to the sea, would be foreign to my present 
purpose. All have their time and place, theip uses, and 
their beauties. 




Coming from a land of civilization, and from a cold, 
northern climate, -new things are seen in this far-off land, 
and old things in a new light. You find men, animals, 
trees, flowers, grasses, differing from those of the coun- 
try you ha^e left, and see stars which are not to be seen 
in your northern home. You have the same sun, but 
on the north side of you, and more vertical than there. 

With this change of our position in relation to the 
sun, having it on the north at noon, there comes, of 
course, a change in all the seasons, the South African 
winter coming in June, July, and August. But a win- 
ter in Natal is not the same cold, sharp, shivery season 
which goes by that name in New England. Thus, while 
I write, at midday, the thermometer stands at 68° in 
the shade, — just a pleasant temperature without any 
fire ; and yet the season corresponds to the northern 

The seasons in Natal, especially upon the coast, are 
by no means well defined. The face of the country is 
not more diversified and peculiar than »is its climate. 
Now and then, in mid-winter, we have a day as warm 
as those of summer ; and then, in summer, one as cold as 


some in winter. Nay more, we sometimes have a single 
day, the first half extremely hot, the last, cold and 
chilly, — the thermometer falling ten or fifteen degrees 
in an hour, and occasionally thirty or forty degrees in 
half a day. Of course such extreme and sudden 
changes are not very frequent. They usually occur 
once or twice a month in August and September, and 
occasionally at other seasons of the year when the hot, 
" house-burning" wind, as the natives call it, blows for a 
day or two from the north, and then, as in a moment, 
a cold, chilly current comes driving up from the south- 
west, bringing dark clouds and torrents of rain, if not 
the roar and flash of thunder and lightning with it. 

On one occasion, in the latter part of ^September, 
thinking the morning unusually cold, I locked at the 
thermometer-and found it standing at 47°; two or three 
days after, looking again at the thermometer at mid- 
day, I found it 102° (in the shade.) The wind now 
changing to the west, the mercury fell half a degree a 
minute for twenty minutes in succession, or ten degrees 
in twenty minutes, and continued to fall until, in thirty- 
six hours, it was ranging from 50° to 55°, with a cold 
driving rain. 

Such sudden changes are, of course, exceedingly try- 
ing to the health. The real amount of cold however, is 
not great. At my station, fifteen miles from the sea 
coast, and thirty miles north of Port Natal, in the course 
of a dozen years I have seen frost a few times in the 
valleys, though scarcely more than once a year on the 
hillock on whieh my house stands ; and such a thing as 
snow or ice is quite unknown in all this section of the 
country. But if you go fifty miles inland, you may 


meet with both, every year, though not in any consider- 
able quantity, until you come to the Kwahlamba, or 
Drakensberg mountain. The mean temperature for the 
summer months, that is, from the beginning of October 
to the end of March, is about 73° at Durban (the sea- 
port town,) and about 70° at Maritzburg, the capital 
of the colony. During the winter months, the a~verage 
is about 64° at Durban, and 60° at the capital. At 
my station, the mercury ranges, during the year, in the 
shade, from 50° to 100°, with an occasional excess of 
two or three degrees on each extreme. Yet, for seve- 
ral years in succession we have gone without a fire, ex- 
cept for cooking, * and in a room detached from the 

The heat of summer would be far more oppressive 
were it not the cloudy, rainy season ; and the cold of 
winter more severe but for the fact that it is the dry, * 
sunny season. We have little or no rain from May to 
August, and then enough during the summer season to 
make it all up. The entire rain-fall for the year is 
about three feet, of v/hich about thirty inches usually 
fall during the six summer months. 

The prevailing wind in winter is from the west 
or north-west, morning and evening ; and from the 
west, south, or more commonly from the south-east, 
during the middle of the day. The prevailing winds 
for the summer season are north-east and south-west; 
bringing fair weather from the one quarter and foul 
from the other. 

The hot north-wind common in the early part of 
spring is powerful, parching and peculiar. It is a 

wide, sweeping wave of heated air, moving south- 

4 , 


ward, from the burning plains of the interior, and 
hugging the earth as it goes, and blowing hard, -harder, 
hardest, for from six to thirty-six hours ; heat- 
ing the earth, withering plants, warping timber, and 
testing alike the joints of tubs and tables, ploughs and 
pianos, until finally, its blow is all blown out. Then 
comes a cold west wind, dark clouds, thunder, lightning, 
and rain. And now no wonder that the careless take 
cold ; that poor, unprotected cattle die; that everything 
which is made of wood and exposed to the weather, — 
saturated with water, — goes rapidly to ruin. 

Hail-storms are' not uncommon in Natal, though nei- 
ther so frequent nor so heavy along the coast as in the 
upper parts of the district. The Uzwati, or Noodsberg, 
— that cold, elevated region where the Umhloti and 
three or four more rivers have their source, — surrounded 
as it is by deep, hot valleys on the east, south, and west, 
is a region specially favored by these storms. 

The Kwahlamba is another. The manner in which 
jagged masses of ice, as large as your fist or bigger, are 
sometimes begotten and sent down from the skies of 
that region, hurled and dashed perchance with the fury 
of a tornado against the old, gray buttresses and tow- 
ering walls of that everlasting range, till all the sides 
of the mountain, from the crest downwards, seem a per- 
fect cataract, roaring, raging, and foaming, as though 
the Atlantic had broken its bonds and begun to pour 
itself down from the upland table, must be counted 
one of the most sublime exhibitions of nature. Nor 
seen aright, can such things fail to give us new, yet 
more exalted views of the glory, might, and majesty 
of Him — 


""Who covereth himself with light as with a garment : 
Who stretcheth out the heavens like a curtain : 
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters : 
Who maketh the clouds his chariot: 
Who walketh upon the wings of the wind : 
Who maketh his angels spirits ; 
His ministers a flame of fire : 
Who laid the foundations of the earth, 
That it should not be removed for ever. 
He giveth snow like wool : 
He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. 
He casteth forth his ice like morsels : 
Who can stand before his cold? 
Praise the Lord from the earth, 
Ye dragons and all deeps : 
Fire and hail, snow and vapors; 
Stormy winds fulfilling his word ,* 
Mountains and all hills : — 
Let them praise the name of the Lord : 
For his name alone is excellent ,• 
His glory is above the earth and heaven." 

Not less grand and more solemn and fearful is the 
thunder-storm of our Zulu-land. Let it begin far away in 
the west, and thence come on, in its own dark liver j ? with 
swelling power. The bursting peals wax louder and more 
frequent; perchance each fresh peal breaking in upon 
its forerunner, prolonging and increasing the reverbera- 
tion, till you have one continuous roar, lasting for half 
an hour or more. Magnificent clouds roll up, mean- 
time, one upon another, until they reach and fill the 
vault of heaven, the very blackness and darkness of 
which helps to set off the brilliancy of the lightning with 
which, ever and anon, they are traversed or set all 
aglow. Behold this, and you have something to aid 
your conceptions of the littleness of man, to set forth 
the sovereign might and glory of Him in whose hands 
is the breath of our nostrils. 


" During the progress of the storm/' as Dr. Mann has 
carefully observed and well remarked, " the mercury of the 
barometer rises. The wind is generally from the north 
or west before the storm, and then becomes south-east 
during its continuance, and begins to blow with consi- 
derable violence. The air is not generally very moist at 
the time of the storm ; the hygrometer for the most part 
indicates between seventy and eighty degrees of mois- 
ture, the point of saturation being taken at one hundred 
degrees. The lightning is extremely vivid, and the 
track of the discharge appears against the dark cloud 
as a ribbon of light, rather than as a mathematical 
line. This track is also commonly seen to quiver, as if 
it were a successive or interrupted stream of discharges, 
and to endure in the sky while the observer counts two 
or three. The forms are of astonishing diversity. 
Sometimes it is curved, S shaped, or hooked. Very 
often it is a zig-zag line darting down from the centre 
of a broad paraboloid bow. Occasionally there, are 
quivering rays starting out from a centre like the lines 
of fracture when glass is starred. Now and then a com- 
plete coronal or garland is traced on the dark gray field, 
and lines of horizontal discharge may be seen ranging 
to and fro immediately above Uhe flat masses of the 
table-mountains. The color, too, of the electric track 
is as varied as the form. Now the light is of a bright 
rose color ; now it is the delicate pink hue of the topaz ; 
now of a light amethyst tint; now orange; now pale 
blue ; now pearly blue white ; and now of a remarkable 
dead leaden tinge. It is quite impossible that any 
adequate conception of the gem-like lustre and beauty 
of these subtropical lightnings should be given by mere 


description. They must be seen before a notion of their 
character can be realized. To those, however, who have 
contemplated them, it becomes a much easier thing to 
believe that modern science is right in considering light- 
ning to be fire fed by mineral and metallic substances 
found by the electric agency diffused in the air. These 
bright-hued lightnings bear a very obvious resemblance 
to the colored lights which are observed when the dif- 
ferent metals are burned in intense flame." 

To the admirer of the starry heavens it is a source 
of regret that its beautiful winter nights are so often 
clouded by smoke. For about six months, at this 
season of the year, the nights are generally cloudless ; 
but by reason of the smoke which comes from 
burning grass, the beauty of the heavens is greatly 
marred. Since the summer abounds in clouds, the 
enthusiastic South African star-gazer is often sorely 
baffled. During this season a good star-gazing night 
once a week is all he can expect. But when such a 
night does come it is prized. The rains ceasing, the 
clouds dispersing, you have a brilliancy and magnifi- 
cence in the nocturnal heavens which makes ample 
amends for a patient waiting. 

Directing the eye towards the zenith, you find the 
entire surface of the otherwise dark vault, thickly 
studded with silver points, sprinkled broadcast over the 
vast expanse. " The countless sixth-class stars, of 
which," according to the testimony of Dr. Mann, "even 
faint glimpses can but rarely be caught in England, are 
perfectly within the range of distinct vision, and are 
seen crowding up the spaces which lie between the more 
obtrusive twinklers. It is quite true, that as a whole, 


the heavens of the southern hemisphere do not present 
so many large and bright stars as the skies of the north. 
The brilliant luminaries of the Great Bear, Cassiopeia, 
Perseus Auriga, and the immediate attendants of the 
Pole-star are missed for themselves as well as for their 
associations. But these southern vistas of far space 
have on the other hand compensatory glories and graces 
of their own. When the Scorpion looks down from a 
high altitude in the black field, with its venomous red 
eye, and its star-barbed tail scrolled over its back, a 
stream of clear light sets from the scattered twinklers 
of Sagittarius across the reptile's tail, and then flows on 
past the truly magnificent pair of Centatirus, and past 
the kite-like rhomb of the so-called Cross, until it only 
fades in the far horizon among the gleaming points of 
Argo. On the one side, this phosphorescent track is 
ornamented, as if by a glittering gem-set pendant, by 
the broadcast cluster of third class stars, which is known 
as the Wolf. On the other side it is ornamented by the 
delicate garland-like tracing of the southern crown. 
There is nothing in the northern hemisphere which can 
compare with this southern sweep of the galaxy; in 
places it blazes up into all but distinguishable star-clus- 
ters, and in others it is rent by fissures and gaps of ab- 
solute blackness, — glimpses of the actual void made 
almost appalling to the eye by immediate close con- 
trast with the surrounding weird light. The southern 
pole is itself a desert tract of blank mystery, where 
the close observer seeks in vain for some distinguishable 
pivot on which he may fix the mighty whirl of stars ; 
and near at hand in this region of obscurity, as if to 
enhance the weirdness of the mystery, there loom two 


ghostly spectra of far-away star kingdoms, — remote is- 
lands of the illimitable firmament which are called the 
6 clouds of Magellan/ because their faint forms were 
first marked by the keen sight of that early navigator 
of the southern seas." 





" Away, away o'er the foaming main !" 

This was the free and joyous strain — 
" There are clearer skies than ours, afar, 

We will shape our course by a brighter star; 

There are plains whose verdure no foot hath pressed, 

And whose wealth is all for the first brave guest." 

Mrs. Hemans. 

To get a clear view of Natal, its borders, and its 
tribes, you must come by way of the " Old Colony," at 
the Cape, and learn something of the origin and migra- 
tions of the Boers previous to the arrival of a large 
party of them in Natal, more than twenty years ago. 
The Dutchman has had so much to do with the Zulu- 
Kafir, as to demand notice in this connection. 
I Although the Cape of Good Hope was discovered in 
the loth century, and was visited from time to time, 
by Portuguese, Dutch, and English navigators, yet it 
was not till about the middle of the 17th century that 
anything like an earnest effort was made to take pos- 
session and to plant a colony. In April, 1652, Jan van 


Riebeek, who, as surgeon for a fleet belonging to the Dutch 
East India Company, had recently spent some time at 
the Cape, being now a merchant and commander of a 
fleet, came to anchor in Saldanha or Table Bay; and 
by the Company's authority, began to build a fort, and 
to take possession of such neighboring lands as they 
deemed suited to their use, and to that of the Com- 
pany's ships on their way from Europe to India. In 
six years, (1658,) the colony contained 360 souls ; among 
whom were 95 garrison men, 51 free inhabitants, 187 
slaves, 20 women and children, and a few convicts. 

Among the4'easons urged by Van Riebeek and others, 
in memorializing the East India Company to plant a 
station at the Cape, the religious interests of the abori- 
ginal race were mentioned. In one of their memorials 
they say : — " By living upon good terms with them (the 
natives,) it is probable that children may become useful 
servants ; and if educated in the Christian faith, should 
the Almighty grant his blessing, as at Tayona and at 
Formosa, many souls may be brought to a knowledge 
of religion, and saved to God. Therefore the formation 
of the said fort and garden will not only tend to the 
advantage of the East India Company, but, what is of 
more consequence, may also be the means of preserving 
many souls to the praise of God's most holy name, and 
to the propagation of his holy gospel, for which your 
undertakings throughout India will, without doubt, be 
more and more blessed." 

One of the rules by which, they were to be governed, re- 
quired that " each individual should consider himself called 
upon in the most impressive manner not to molest the 
natives, nor take away their cattle ; but on the con- 
5 • 


trary to gam their confidence by kind and friendly treat- 
ment. " 

The settlement prospered, though not without trials. 
The natives brought them cattle and sheep ; their gar- 
den supplied them with turnips, carrots, and cabbages ; 
the plains gave them game, and the sea, fish. But the 
Hottentot would sometimes walk off with some of the 
Company's cattle ; or the leopards and lions would take 
them : the locusts w^ould come by day, darken the air, 
and eat the cabbages ; or some of the governor's own 
white people w T ould sometimes go by night and steal 
them : the people suffered sometimes from the ravages 
of an epidemic on land, and sometimes from fear of a 
hostile fleet in the Bay ; and the directors of the Com- 
pany at home declared that a country which could not 
grow its own corn did not deserve to be called a colony. 
Nor was the white man free from an occasional conflict 
with the natives. The first seems to have occurred in 
the immediate vicinity of the Cape, only seven years 
after the colony was commenced. 

The task assigned Riebeek, was by no means an easy 
one. He seems to have kept a copious journal of all 
his proceedings ; parts of which have been published. 
" Traduced, on the one hand, as a ruthless and inhuman 
destroyer of the wretches who owned the land ; by the 
opposite party, with equally mistaken feeling, extolled 
as an apostle of Christianity and civilization to the be- 
nighted heathen; he is now acknowledged," says an 
able Cape writer of the present day, " to have been 
merely a faithful and intelligent factor for his commer- 
cial principals, who, by inclination as well as policy, 
was humane, though his acts led necessarily to the ruin 


and destruction of the native tribes." The earlier 
growth of the settlement was slow ; yet, having sur- 
vived a full third of a century, a brighter day dawns 
upon it. 

It is an interesting fact that between the years 1685 
and 1690, about three hundred French Huguenots, — 
men, women, and children, of whom France was not 
worthy — the salt of the earth and light of the world, — 
found their way to the Cape. Robbed of the " free- 
dom to worship God" in the land of their birth : — 

" To this far nook the Christian exiles fled, 

Each fettering tie of earthly texture breaking ; 
Wealth, country, kindred, cheerfully forsaking 

For that good cause in which their fathers bled. 

By faith supported and by freedom led, 
A fruitful field amidst the desert making, 
They dwelt secure when kings and priests were quaking, 

And taught the waste to yield them wine and bread." 

It would be interesting and instructive, could we turn 
aside here for a time, to study and adore that good 
Providence which ruleth over all ; numbering the very 
hairs of our head, and suffering not a sparrow to fall 
unnoticed. Suffice it to say that from these 

" Pilgrim fathers, noblest blood of sunny France, 

Broad-browed men of free-born spirit, lighted with the eagle glance," 

have come some of the most valuable elements of the 
white race in South Africa. Pity, I must remark, how- 
ever, that, while these good men were encouraged and 
aided to come and settle here, the notoriously illiberal 
and restrictive policy of the Dutch company was far 
from giving proper scope to the industry, enterprise, 
and influence which they were prepared to exert, and 


which the highest welfare of all parties, both immediate 
and future, required. 

As the colony advanced in age, and the government 
in strength, the Dutch gradually gained control over 
the native population, reduced some of them to the con- 
dition of serfs or slaves, drove others back into the de- 
serts and beyond the mountains, and step by step en- 
croached upon the surrounding country. In the course 
of a century, their jurisdiction extended northward to 
about the line of 32° south latitude, and to the Keis- 
katnma on the east, and covered an area of more than 
100,000 square miles. 

Near the close of the eighteenth century, (1795,) the 
English captured the Cape, and in 1802, they restored 
it again to the Dutch. In 1806, the English took it 
again ; and from that time to the present, it has remained 
in their possession. Meanwhile, the boundaries of the 
colony have been extended from time to time, now reach- 
ing the Orange River on the north, and the Kei on the 
east. The population of the colony, which amounts to 
more than two hundred thousand, has had a very diver- 
sified origin. The white, or European portion, came 
primarily from Holland, France, England, Scotland, 
and Germany; while the colored portion, which is sup- 
posed to be quite equal to the white in numbers, must 
be traced to the Hottentot, the Malay, the Kafir, and 
the remnants of other tribes, or to a cross between some 
of these and the white race. 

Among the reasons originally urged for occupying 
the Cape, was the hope of thereby doing something to- 
wards the conversion of the natives to Christianity. 
But, so far as we can learn, little or nothing of the kind 


was attempted for many years. Indeed, shortly after 
the colony was founded, it would seem to have been the 
opinion of many, that this was impossible. Mr. Kolb£, 
the Dutch Historian of the Cape, says they would not 
receive the gospel, in proof of which he records the fol- 
lowing circumstance : 

The Governor, Simon Yan der Stell, took a Hotten- 
tot youth whose name was Pegu, for the purpose of 
training, whom he clothed in a military dress, and sup- 
plied with a wig, and a hat bordered with gold. He 
gave him a pair of silk stockings, a sword to hang by 
his side ; and thus equipped, Pegu was sent to school, 
where he learnt the Dutch, Portuguese, and other lan- 
guages, which he could speak with fluency. In 1685 
he went to India with the Commissioner Van Rheede, 
and continued with him till his death. Pegu then re- 
turned to the Cape, but would no longer remain in 
civilized life. He therefore took his fine clothing, and 
putting it into a chest, threw his carosse (skin-robe) 
over his shoulders, and went to the governor, saying : 
44 Hoort Myn Heer !" Hearken, your honor ! I must no 
longer wear clothing, much less be a Christian. Let me 
go to my own people, and live as they do. My clothing 
is in the chest ; I take nothing but this sword and cravat 
with me ! Having thus spoken, he departed to his peo- 
ple, and returned no more. He afterwards became a 
chief among them ; and Kolb£ says that he had seen 
and conversed with him repeatedly. 

It is hardly necessary to remark that it takes some- 
thing more than fine clothes and a foreign tongue to 
make a true Christian. 

The experience and most truthful remarks of the de- 
5 * 


voted Bryant, once our fellow-laborer among the natives 
of Natal, are worth repeating in this connection : " Of 
fourteen young men who have left my employ within two 
years," he writes in 1849, " one has since been con- 
verted at another station, and of course clothes himself; 
thirteen have returned to their heathen friends, and go 
as naked as ever. Some of these young men had re- 
mained with me only one or two months, and some had 
remained more than a year. These are painful facts, 
and I mention them to show how utterly futile is the 
attempt to civilize these people without first converting 
them. Wash a pig, shut him up in a parlor, and you 
may perhaps keep him clean for a while ; but as soon as 
he is free, he will return to his wallowing in the mire. 
Change him into a lamb and he will at once abandon 
some of his filthy habits. To think of civilizing the 
heathen without converting them, seems ta~me about as 
wise as to think of transforming a drove of swine into 
lambs, merely by washing them and putting on a fleece 
of wool. If, in twelve months, a young man will not 
become civilized enough to clothe himself, how long will 
it . take to civilize a nation ? The gospel being the 
grand remedy devised by God for the elevation and sal- 
vation of the degraded, the attempt to find a better 
way is a virtual impeachment of his wisdom; and, never 
will he endorse with his blessing any scheme of social 
or moral elevation which dishonors his gospel and him- 

In 1737, fifty years after Van der Stell's experiment 
with his Hottentot, the earnest, courageous Moravian, 
George Schmidt, arrived at the Cape, — having had a 
free passage granted him by the Dutch East India Com- 


parry, — with the design of laboring as a missionary 
among the Hottentots. He commenced his labors at 
Grenadendalj (the Vale of Grace), a place before known 
as Bavian's (Baboon's) Kloof. His efforts began to be 
greatly blessed ; but through the interference of the 
Colonial Government he was obliged to desist. Re- 
pairing to Europe with the hope of having these ob- 
stacles removed, he was grieved beyond measure to find 
that the Dutch Company, actuated by fear that teach- 
ing the Hottentot would interfere with the interests of 
the colony, would not allow T him to return to the country 

Another half century having elapsed, other laborers 
came, searched out the garden which Schmidt had 
planted, and found a little fruit still remaining. Among 
the rest, w T as an old Hottentot woman, with her Bible, 
which he had taught her to read. These men also met 
with much opposition from the Dutch Farmers. But 
they persevered ; and, as the colony soon came into the 
hands of the English, they found, under that govern- 
ment, the protection which they required. About this 
time, 1799, Dr. Vanderkemp and others came out under 
the auspices of the London Society, and commenced 
missionary labor among the Kafirs and other tribes. 

But I must pass to another topic, lest we reach the 
proper limits of our chapter before arriving at Natal 
via the Cape and in company with the Dutch. 

Not long after the Cape Colony came fully and per- 
manently into the hands of the English, the Dutch 
Farmers, or Boers, began to push their way more inland, 
beyond the limits of European power and possession. 
The causes of this movement were various. At first 


some went in search of fresh and unlimited pasturage 
for their cattle, designing to return when the dry season 
had passed. But becoming presently enamored with 
their free, migrating life/ 

" While on from plain to plain they led their flocks, 
In search of clearer spring, and fresher field, 

little by little they forgot to return, and began to fix 
their abode on the north of the Orange River, or rather 
between the two great branches of that river, the Nu 
Gariep and the Ky Gariep, in that part of the Bechu- 
ana country which is now called the Orange River Free- 

In 1832, about two hundred of this class had located 
themselves in that region. Some, doubtless, went there 
from a love of roving ; some, to free themselves from 
taxation and the restraints of law. Some complained 
that they were not duly compensated for the losses 
which they suffered in Kafir wars ; and some, that the 
Hottentot would leave them and their service for a mis- 
sion station. 

The last and chief cause of the migration of the Boers is 
found in the efforts which the British Government made 
to correct the abuses and finally to effect the abolition 
of slavery. In 1833, when a law was passed to give 
the slaves their liberty at the end of five years (Decem- 
ber, 1838,) the number of this class of persons amounted 
to something more than thirty-five thousand ; of these 
some were estimated by their owners to be worth £500 ; 
though the average estimate was about £85. As a 
compensation, in part, for the loss which the masters 
were to suffer, the British Government made a grant of 


<£1, 200,000; which gave an award of about <£35 for. 
each slave. The freeing of the slaves and the small 
compensation made to the master, gave . the Boers 
great offence. So unpopular w T as the whole affair, that 
some of the farmers threw up their claim, and left the 
money in the hands of the British Government. 

The Boers now began to leave the colony in large 
numbers. An exploring party of fourteen families 
came with their wagons to Natal, in 1834. Two or 
three years later, hundreds went beyond the Nu Gariep. 
into the Bechuana country. Some pushed farther on, 
until they reached the Ky Gariep, orVaal river, and 
came eventually in contact with the Matebele under 
Umzilikazi ; a people among whom missionaries from 
America were just then trying to plant a station and to 
declare the gospel. One party turned more to the east, 
all but two of whom perished in the sickly region of 
Delagoa Bay. The Cape government and many of the 
clergy begged the farmers to consider, and be dissuaded 
from the course upon which they were bent ; but their 
counsel had little permanent effect. 

Having made a successful attack upon Umzilikazi 
and returned to the south of the Vaal, into what is now 
called the Free State, clannish feelings, rivalry, and 
disunion began to be developed among the Boers. Some 
wished to settle on the Vaal; some would go further 
east, towards Delagoa Bay, others, at the head of 
whom was Pieter Retief, began to shape their course 
towards Natal. 

Breaking up their encampment on the Sand river, a 
branch of the Vaal, Retief and some of his people 
crossed the Drakensberg, or Kw T ahlamba range, and 


reached Port Natal on the 20th of October, 1837 ; and 
before the close of that year it was estimated that not 
4 less than a thousand wagons — (and a Boer's wagon is a 
big thing, drawn usually by no less than a dozen oxen,) 
—came down the slope of that mountain into this dis- 
trict. Other wagons, to the number of about five hun- 
dred, remained for the present on the other side of the 
range. The host of people connected with these fifteen 
hundred wagons was not probably less than fifteen thou- 
sand ; all entering Natal, or halting on her border at 
that time. 

The Boers found half a dozen or more missionaries in 
the field ; a part of them laboring some miles to the 
west of the Bay, and the rest to the north of the Tu- 
gela, in Zulu-land. Besides these, they also found fif- 
teen or twenty other white people, mostly Englishmen, 
who had come to Natal at different times and for vari- 
ous purposes, in previous years. These men were living 
for the most part, in the neighborhood of the Port ; and 
from them Retief and his company received a hearty 
welcome to new homes and broad fields. 




Language furnishes one of the safest guides to the 
origin and relationship of the nations of our globe. 
Taking this for our guide we conclude, in the first place, 
that all the aboriginal inhabitants of Southern Africa, 
save the Hottentot and Bushman, belong to one variety, 
and have a common origin. This variety, extending as 
it does from the vicinity of the Orange River in the 
south and south-west, and from the Kei in the south- 
east, to the so-called mountains of the moon, on the 
north, includes a large number of cognate clans, among 
which are the Zanguebar and Mozambique tribes on 
the east ; the Zulu and Kosa, or proper Kafir, in the 
south-east; the Bechuana, Bayeye, and kindred tribes 
in the interior ; and the Ovaherero, Ovampo, Kongo, 
and Mpongwe, on the west. 

The general characteristics of the several dialects 
spoken by the many and widely-scattered tribes here 
named being essentially the same, proves that they all 
belong to one group or branch of the human family, 
and that they had one common, subordinate origin. A 
glance, also, at their moral and physical characteristics, 


their religious notions, their mental type, their bodily 
conformation, color, features, goes to show the same 
thing ; namely, that the numerous tribes which occupy 
this broad section of southern and central Africa, that 
is, from seven or eight degrees north of the equator to 
half a dozen degrees beyond the tropical regions on 
the south, all spring from a common stock, and form 
but a single group in the larger divisions of the African 

For this group no name has yet been definitely adopted 
by the learned. Some would call it the Kafir, but custom 
at the present day limits that, term to a small district on 
the east coast between Natal and the Cape Colony. The 
term Chuana, the root of Bechuana and Sechuana, is for 
several reasons less objectionable, and has been already 
used to some extent by able writers. Zingian, from 
Zingis, the old name for Zanguebar, is another term 
which some of the learned have used, and Bantu an- 
other by which to designate the race. None of these 
names satisfies me, but of them all Zingian seems to 
be the best. 

The geographical position of the Hottentot, from the 
time he was first known to the European, situated as he 
was at the southern extreme of the African continent, 
and flanked from sea to sea on his north or inland side 
by a broad' belt of people of a very different language 
and appearance, would seem to indicate that any search 
for his pedigree and ancestry, provided the present be 
not his original home, must be made in regions far re- 
moved in respect to both time and place. Happily, 
within the last few years, a careful study of his lan- 
guage and a comparison of this with the old Egyptian 


and Coptic tongue, have given us a clew to his ancient 
abode. If we may credit some of the most learned and 
acute philologists of the present day, and those who 
have had the best opportunities for studying the Hot- 
tentot and Bushman, together with other African dia- 
lects, this Gariepine tongue of the southern extreme 
belongs to the same family as the old Egyptian and 
Coptic, the Berber, Haussa, and Ethiopic, in the far- 
thest north of the continent, and what is also highly 
interesting and important, this southern branch of the 
family is found to surpass all the rest in the integrity 
with which it has preserved the more essential charac- 
teristics of the original stock. 

Admitting the correctness of these views, we can 
have no doubt as to the earlier ancestry of our neigh- 
bors of the Hottentot and Bushman class, including 
the Koranna and Namaqua, and that their origin is the 
same as that of the nations of northern Africa, the old 
Egyptian and kindred tribes ; including, perhaps, the 
Tuarick or Berber and the Guanches on the one hand, 
and the Semitic or Amharic and Galla on the other. 

This conclusion is supported by other considerations. 
The appearance, manners, and customs of the Hotten- 
tots are all markedly different from those of the Zin- 
gian race, whilst they afford grounds for classing them 
with the old Egyptian and other north African nations. 
The antiquities of Egypt give us impressions and pic- 
tures which some of the learned at the Cape take to be 
so very like the Hottentot as to make it pretty certain 
that persons of this class must have formed the original 
of these representations. Some of the earliest Euro- 
pean observers and historians in south Africa tell us 



that the Hottentot of olden times worshiped the moon, 
an idea to which some of the traditions which he has 
brought down to the present day, would give at least 
some color of support ; and from ancient history it is 
evident that siderial worship was once common among 
some of the nations of northern Africa, as also among 
some of their nearer neighbors in the west of Asia; 
whereas of all this we find no trace among any of the 
Zingian or Kafir tribes. The Amahlozi, or shades of 
the heroic dead, the gods of the Zulu, are all regarded 
as having their homes beneath and never above. The 
Gariepine or Hottentot race makes use of the bow and 
arrow, in which respect it differs also from the Zingian, 
(Kafir and Zulu,) but agrees with many a nation of 
olden time at the north. But of all the points wherein 
the Hottentot differs from the Zingian, that of language 
is the most important and decisive. On the likeness 
of this most permanent and marked feature of the Hot- 
tentot family to that of the old Egyptian, we rely 
chiefly for proof that the Gariepine race and the old 
Egyptian* or Coptic are in origin the same. 

But, it will be asked, what has all this to do with the 
origin of the Zulu, the Kafir, and kindred tribes ? 
Though there are yet points on which we need more 
light, from what has been said, is it not evident that 
the great Zingian race coming in from abroad at a very 
early age, must have cut the old Egyptian » or Coptic 
family asunder ; and, shaping its course to the south, 
have carried a large portion of the sundered family be- 
fore it, till it eventually found itself located in the 
angle which two oceans make at the other extreme of 
the continent ? But you will ask, whence came the in- 


trusive race, the sundering wedge, into Egypt ? — from 
the south, the west, or the east ? We can scarcely sup- 
pose it to have come from the south ; it may have come 
from the west ; but most probably from the east. Ir- 
ruptions from that quarter, in those ages, were not un- 
common. The history of the Hyksos, or Shepherd 
kings, is a noted instance. As the families of the earth 
multiplied, and nations increased, there was, evidently, 
a general pressure of people from the north-east to the 
south-westr— from the Euphrates into Egypt — from all 
parts of western Asia into the north-east of Africa. 

To what great family, tribe, or nation, then, did this 
incursive, immigrating body, the original stock of the 
Zingian race belong ? Doubtless to some branch of 
the Hamitic. If, in the sweep by which it took up a 
group of Egyptians and set them down at this end of 
the continent, it came in from the west, — and some sup- 
pose the intrusive, transporting clan or race came from 
that direction, — it may have belonged to the line of 
Phut, the third son of Ham, who is reckoned to have 
settled in Mauritania. But I think the more likely 
supposition is, that it came from the east ; having had 
its origin, perhaps, in some branch of the family of Cush, 
the eldest of the sons of Ham. The descendants of 
this line were numerous ; and some of them settled in 
Asia. Thus, Nimrod, the mighty hunter, who was one 
of the sons of Cush, built several large towns in Baby- 
lonia and Mesopotamia, among which was Babel, the me- 
tropolis of his dominion ; and some suppose he invaded 
Assur, or Assyria, east of the Tigris, and there built 
Nineveh and several other towns. It would seem also, 
that other branches of the family of Cush settled, for a 


time at least, in Asia, more especially in the district of 
Arabia ; doubtless the greater part went at an early 
period to Africa, and settled to the south of Egypt, 
along the Nile and its branches, especially about Meroe. 

According to the English Cyclopedia (on Ethiopia,) 
Herodotus speaks of two classes, or groups of Ethiopi- 
ans — one in Africa, the other in Asia. This latter, 
class formed a part of the great army of Xerxes ; but 
their locality is not easily determined. "The historian 
however observes that the Asiatic Ethiopians were black, 
like those of Libya, but differed from them in language, 
and had straight hair ; whereas those of Libya had very 
curly hair, by which term some modern writers have 
somewhat hastily concluded that the woolly hair of the 
negro is intended. " 

Now between the Zingian tribes, of which we are 
speaking, and the proper negro race, there is, for sub- 
stance, at the present day, just that kind of difference 
which the great historian Herodotus remarked, more 
than two thousand years ago, between the Asiatic 
Ethiopian and his namesake in Africa. This remark 
holds to some extent, even in respect to the hair ; for, 
though that of the Zulu, or Kafir, is now woolly, yet it 
is admitted to be less so than that of the negro. And, 
in respect to language, — that most fixed, decisive mark 
of natural unity and difference, — -so far as our present 
knowledge extends, there is reason to believe that there 
is a broad distinction between the Zingian, on the south 
of the Equator, and the real negro of Soudan, and 
neighboring dialects in the north. 

It may here be further remarked, that, according to 
one mode of classifying the languages of men, that 


which is spoken by the Zingian family, and called the 
alliterative, prefixional, or reflective, and by some, the 
agglutinate, or by others synthetic, belongs to the same 
class as that which is spoken throughout central and 
northern Asia, the agglutinate character of which is 
particularly exemplified in the Turkish, Georgian, and 
all the great Tartar family. Those who adopt this clas- 
sification, some gf them at least, would reduce all lan- 
guages to three classes, — the monosyllabic, the agglu- 
tinate, and the inflective. In the so-called agglutinate 
family, they find three varieties ; — the agglutinate by 
insertion, as in the Indian dialects of America ; by in- 
corporation, as in the Turkish and Tartar tongues of 
Asia ; and the agglutinate by assimilation and repeti- 
tion, as in the Chuana, Zulu, Kafir, and other dialects 
of the Zingian tribes in Africa. 

Now, taking all these facts, thoughts, and hints to- 
gether, would it not seem that the Zingian race had its 
origin in central or western Asia, perhaps even in Arme- 
nia, — more likely, farther south, possibly on the Eu- 
phrates ; and that, in process of time, being straitened 
for room, it broke away from its original seat, or was 
driven out, the whole or a part, and led to shape its 
course to the south-west ; either carried along by a ge- 
neral movement, or drawn by the attractions of kindred, 
in that direction, until they came to Mizraim in the land 
of the Nile ? Finding the valley of that river already 
too full, they pass on, though not without driving a 
portion of the people before them, — a portion, perhaps, 
already removed of their own accord, or crowded out 
into the more open country, in search of a new home in 
a wider field. The northern coast already occupied, 


they naturally turn to the south, ascend the Nile, or 
move gradually along the eastern coast, until, at length, 
they reach the country and condition in which we find 

Of course, in passing through so many new lands, and 
so many ages of being, and coming in contact with other 
races, the original character and speech of this Zingian 
race would be considerably modified. ( Their progress 
being slow, they would naturally intermarry with neigh- 
boring tribes ; and be fashioned, physically, mentally, 
and morally, to some extent by the people, the country, 
the climate, the customs, and other molding influences 
to which they were exposed. In this way, whether 
originally a branch of the real negro stock or not, it is 
easy to account for both the agreement and the differ- 
ence which we find to exist at the present day between 
the two families. The Zingian race cradTed in Asia, — 
as our speculations incline us to believe, — the genuine 
negro or Ethiopic in Africa ; the one living for ages 
perhaps, without the tropic in the east, while the other 
hasted to its more sunny home in the great peninsula ; 
the former, perchance, long associated with Japhetic or 
Shemitic nations, and much traveled withal ; while the 
latter doubtless came into being, and passed both the 
plastic season of its youth and its maturer age, in the 
same secluded, sandy region where it is now found : it 
is easy to see why the Kafir, the Zulu, and all their kin, 
though they spring from a common stock, should be 
found at this day more robust, taller, of a lighter color, 
with hair less woolly, with a nose more elevated, of a 
much greater facial angle, a higher forehead, and alto- 
gether of a more intelligent, Caucasian look, than their 


Nigritian neighbors of the Ethiopia or Negro stamp. 
At the same time we see in these Zulu and Kafir tribes, 
in the whole Zingian race, so much of the true negro 
type, so much of dark color in the skin, of curling and 
woolliness in the hair, of breadth in the nostrils, of 
thickness in the lips, so much of likeness in the eyes 
and in other respects to the other race, — the tribes 
which now flank this northern domain, — that we must 
come to the conclusion, that if the Zingian family had 
an origin either more ancient or more modern, or in any 
wise other than the Negroes of Nigritia, it mingled with 
these in its formative days, on its migratory way through 
the Ethiopic regions, till it was largely imbued with 
their spirit, and fashioned after their type. 




Between the years 1684 and 1690, several vessels 
came to Port Natal, doubtless in search of slaves. The 
accounts which these voyagers have given to the world, 
show that the people of this district were numerous at 
that time, and their character and customs much the 
same as we now find them. 

At about the same period, nearly two hundred years 
ago, the Cape government (the Dutch East India Com- 
pany,) collected some facts respecting this country and 
people, from shipwrecked seamen who reached Cape 
Town, — some coming across the country, others by sea; 
also from agents who came here in behalf of that com- 
pany, for trade, exploration, and other purposes. These 
men, they tell us, " found the country of Natal very 
• fruitful and populous, and the natives friendly, oblig- 
ing, strong, and ingenious ; armed with only one as- 
segai ; obedient and submissive to their king, or chief; 
living in communities, in huts made of branches wrought 
through with rushes and long grass, and roofed like 
haystacks in Holland. In manners, dress, and beha- 
viour, they are much more orderly than the Cape Hotten- 

1 i ! ' 


tots. The women attend to cultivation ; the men herd 
and milk the cows. They do not eat poultry, because 
these feed on filth ; still less do they eat eggs. From 
their corn they make very well-tasted and nourishing 
bread, and brew beer, both small and strong, which is 
not unpleasant to the taste, and which they keep in 
earthen vessels. They have tobacco and smoke it. The 
country is populous and fertile, abounding in oxen, 
cows, and' goats, as also in elephants, buffaloes, har- 
tebeests, and other tame and wild beasts. The inhabi- 
tants are obliging ; and for a copper bracelet they will 
not refuse to carry a weight of fifty or a hundred 
pounds, a distance of three or four days' journey over 
hill and dale." 

Coming down to a later date, — a period of more defi- 
nite history, within the memory of the present inhabi- 
tants, — we find that Natal was visited by several white 
^people about a third of a century since. They came 
here, some for exploration, some for commerce, and 
some for other reasons, — such as the miscarrying of 
fortune, of character, or of some ship upon the Indian 
sea. When Captain King, Lieutenant Farewell, and 
others arrived in 1823, to explore the coast and harbor 
and engage also in trade, it was said that, at that time, 
no vessel or white man had been here within the me- 
mory of-the oldest inhabitants. These men, with a few 
others, some of whom had been wrecked upon this coast, 
took up their abode among the natives, soon after the 
above date. Being joined from time to time, by one 
and another, in 1835, their number had increased to 
eighteen or twenty. 

On their arrival, they found the whole country from 


Umzimvubu to Delagoa Bay, and inland to the Kwah- 
lamba range, the boundary of Basutuland, in possession 
of the Zulu chieftain Chaka, and his people, who had 
conquered the tribes that dwelt here in former days, 
incorporating them with his own nation, and adding the 
district to his own ancestral domain. 

The authority and dominion of this chief, Chaka, and 
then of his successor, Dingan, over all this vast region, 
were fully acknowledged by the white men during the 
period above named, as well as by the native tribes. It was 
by the consent or sufferance of these chiefs, first Chaka, 
then Dingan, that the foreigners remained in safety for 
many years, — some till their death, and others till the 
arrival of the Dutch emigrants in 1838, and the dis- 
turbances consequent upon that influx. When Captain 
Gardiner arrived here from England, and several mis- 
sionaries from America, to labor among the heathen, 
they all looked to the great Zulu chieftain as the arbi- 
ter of the land. 

In respect to the infancy and rise of the Amazulu as 
a nation, if we go back only so far as the memory of 
the oldest inhabitants of the land extends, we find the 
Zulus at that time a comparatively small tribe, living on 
the Imfolosi and Umhlatusi rivers, mostly between 28° 
and 29° South Latitude, and between the sea and 31° East 
Longitude. They are reported to have come down at 
,some former period from a more inland region on the 

The line of Zulu chiefs, (as remarked in the " Intro- 
duction" to my "Zulu Grammar,") so far as we can 
now ascertain, is the present incumbent Umpande, who 
succeeded his brother Dingan, who succeeded his bro- 


ther Chaka, who succeeded his father Usenzangacona, 
who was the son of Jama, who was the son of Umakeba, 
who was the son of Upunga. Some, however, give Um- 
buzi, in place of Umakeba, as father of Jama. 

Chaka was born about the year 1787. His father, 
Usenzangacona, was rich in wives and children ; hav- 
ing twenty-five or thirty of the former, and no one 
knows how many of the latter. Between him and one 
of his wives, Umnandi (the sweet one,) the mother of 
Chaka, there arose some cause of bitterness, which is 
common, actually inevitable, in a social state of which 
polygamy is the basis. In consequence of this difficulty 
between husband and wife, which increased with the 
father's jealousy of the precocious and aspiring youth, 
the mother took the boy Chaka, and fled, first to the 
Amaqwabe, and then to the Amatetwa or Umtetwa, 
whose chief at that time was Udingiswayo. The Ama- 
tetwa, reported to have come down the coast from the 
north-east, at a former period, were now a powerful 
tribe, and neighbors to the Amazulu ; probably the 
same, with those who are spoken of in some books of an 
ancient date under the name of Vatwa or Batwa. 

Udingiswayo gave Chaka and his mother to the care 
of Ungomana, an induna, or chief counselor of his 
trib^' Here the young prince passed most of his youth, 
and received all the training which he had for royalty. 
On the death of his father, he was sent back by Udin- 
giswayo, at the age of about thirty, to take possession 
of the kingdom. Arriving at home, he found his fa- 
ther's place already filled by another son, Usigujana, 
said by some to have been the rightful successor. Chaka, 
however, soon succeeded in deposing and destroying 


his brother, and in taking the power into his own hands. 
No sooner had he ascended the throne of his father, 
and fairly asserted his authority over the Amazulu, 
than a large portion of the Amatetwa joined him, and 
asked his aid against another tribe with whom they were 
at war. 

At the head of a tribe whose very name (from izulu, 
heaven) is equivalent to the celestials, now increased in 
numbers, in strength, in courage, by the voluntary al- 
liance of another powerful tribe ; himself an ambitious 
man, of royal blood, in the prime of life, already adored 
as of more than human origin, panting for forays, vic- 
tory, and plunder, Chaka sallied forth in person at the 
head of his warriors, soon conquered the tribe against 
which his aid was sought, took many of them captives, 
and added them to his own nation. Cruel and bloody 
as this mighty African conqueror is reputed to have 
been, or as he really became in the progress of his tri- 
umphs, his policy, especially at first, was not so much 
the utter destruction of the neighboring tribes, as to 
subdue, and incorporate them with his own. Pursuing 
this policy, he conquered one tribe after another, located 
them here and there among his own people, taking care 
so to distribute, guard, and govern them, as to hold 
them in the most complete awe and subordination to 
himself. In this way he seems to have gone on, five or 
•six years, without much interruption, increasing the 
number of his subjects and tributaries, the strength of 
his army, and the extent of his dominions ; so that, in 
1822, his conquering power was felt from the Umzim- 
vubu, or St. John's, on the south-west, to Inhambane 


on the north-east, and from the sea coast inland across 
at least half the continent of Africa. 

It is said that Chaka kept twelve or fifteen thousand 
warriors, in constant readiness for any expedition or 
emergency, in which he might deem their services requi- 
site. The first great law of his military code was, conquer 
or die. Unsuccessful troops had little to hope from him. 
If they would not die rather than fly, they must die for 
flying. " Elephant hides," "panther catchers," " the tra- 
velers," "the victors," "the bees," are a sample of the 
names by which his regiments were designated. The nu- 
merous force which he was accustomed to keep in readi- 
ness for service at a moment's warning, and the still greater 
number of fighting men which he ever had in reserve, all 
go to show that he must have had an immense population 
at his command. Remembering that the Zulu tribe proper 
was small when he came to the throne, we judge that, 
careless of life as he was, his leading policyin war was 
not so much to annihilate the neighboring tribes, as to 
subjugate and incorporate them with his own. 

Among his royal towns, — of which he had as many 
as he had regiments of soldiers, — Isiklepe, Nobamba, 
Bulawayo, Umbelebele, and Utukusa, may be named as 
some of the more important. Utukusa was built on 
the Umvoti after he had subdued this district. Here he 
passed much of his time during the latter part of his 
life, praised and worshiped, by his soldiers and all the 
people, as ^ the tiger, the lion, the elephant, the great 
mountain, the mighty black prince, king % of kings, the 
immortal only one." One of the songs which his sol- 
diers used to sing to his praise, turned into English, 

runs thus : 



Thou didst finish, finish the nations; 
Where will you go to battle now ? 

Hey ! where will you go to battle now ? 
Thou didst conquer the kings, 

Where do you go to battle now ? 
Thou didst finish, finish the nations, 

Where do you go to battle now? 
Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah ! 

Where do you go to battle now ? 

But during the last few years of his life, while the 
country was enjoying a season of comparative peace, 
his own mind seems not to have been at rest. Some of 
the last expeditions which he planned and prosecuted 
give plausibility to the report which was circulated con- 
cerning him, that he was entertaining the mighty pro- 
ject of sweeping the coast from Natal to the Cape of 
Good Hope with the besom of destruction ; nor would 
he leave an unsubdued nation to the north or north-east 
of his own domain. 

In 1828, alleging that a brother had robbed him of 
some of his cattle, and fled with them to the West, and 
that he must go in pursuit of the offender and of the 
stolen property, he not only marshalled his own forces, 
but also called the European residents at Natal, with 
their muskets and men, and pushed on to the West, at 
the head of a grand army. He led his forces in person 
till they reached the Umzimkulu. Here his majesty re- 
mained, reserving one regiment for his own protection, 
while he sent the remainder, including those who were 
armed with muskets, on a plundering expedition into 
distant regions beyond. It would seem that the Amam- 
pondo people had not recovered sufficiently from former 
fleecings to make it an object with Chaka to plunder 


them again at present ; or, at any rate, as he had now 
both force and time enough to go farther, he would not 
suffer his army to touch them or their cattle until it 
ghould return from a foray farther on. Hence, leaving 
Faku and his people unmolested in the forests to which 
they had resorted as a refuge from the storm, the Zulus 
passed on beyond the Umzimvubu to the Umtata re- 
gion ; coming within two days' march of Hinza's people 
on the west of the Bashee, or St. John's River. 

The terror of the bloody chief spread through all the 
tribes, down to the very borders of the Cape Colony ; 
so that a company of English troops, together with a 
volunteer corps of the Colonists; deemed it necessary to 
go out to meet and turn them back. These Colonial 
forces did great execution ; but their bullets and blows 
were directed against the wrong party, — some of the 
unoffending people of Kafirland, instead of the ravaging 
Zulus ; these having turned back long before the white 
man had begun to approach them. Having fallen upon 
three or four tribes and taken ten thousand head of 
cattle, these swift-footed foes from the North-East were 
far away on their homeward march, exulting in their 
success, ere the Colonial forces came down upon the 
poor, unfortunate tribe of Amangwana under Umati- 
wane, on the Umtata, some of whom they shot, and 
from whom, with the help of an auxiliary force of five 
thousand Kafirs, they are said to have taken twenty 
thousand head of cattle, which they delivered over to a 
neighboring tribe, the Tembus, and then returned home 
in great triumph. 

Returning from this expedition to the South-West, 
the Zulu monarch sent off his men at once to the North- 


East, to make a plundering attack upon Usoshengane, 
who was now living somewhere beyond Delagoa Bay, 
whither he had retired with the hope of escaping the 
hands of the mighty marauder, from whom he had suf- 
fered not a little on former occasions. 

It was during the absence of his army on this, north- 
ern expedition that Chaka 5 who remained at home at 
his great Kraal Utukusa on the Umvoti, was slain. The 
deed was committed in open day, on or about the 23d 
of September, 1828. Chief among the conspirators 
were two of the king's brothers, Dingan and Umhlan- 
gane ; also Umbopa, one of his servants, by whose hand, 
as many allege, the fatal stab which laid the king in 
the dust, was given. It would be wrong, however, to 
suppose that the two or three who planned and executed 
this deed were the only parties who were interested in 
it or approved of it. No doubt they felt assured that 
many would rejoice to see the tyrannical reign of this 
ruler at an end. 

Some of Chaka's great men, chief counselors, who 
might be feared as adherents to the cause of the king, 
were slain the same day ; and, on the next, the two 
brothers fought hand to hand for the vacant throne, the 
soil beneath their feet still wet with the blood which but 
yesterday they were united in spilling. Dingan pre- 
vailed, slew Umhlangane, assumed the government, and 
sent messengers to inform the army of what had been 
done, and to say that all was done for the good of the 
nation, — for the peace and safety of soldier and citizen. 
After two months the army returned from one of the 
most fruitless forays in which it was ever engaged, 
having been not only decimated in battle, but also 


greatly reduced by hunger, fatigue, and exposure, of 
the severest kind ; so that most of them were twice glad 
to find an end put to the power of one from whom they 
had naught but death to expect in case of defeat or ill- 

Nor would you wonder that the stout-hearted Zulu 
warrior stood in such dread of this mighty, marvelous 
man, could I find space to give any thing like an ade- 
quate view of the devastations he wrought in the land. 
Of the two or three scores of tribes which he broke up 
and scattered, or the remnants of which he incorporated 
with his own nation, during the early and more san- 
guinary days of his reign, about forty have been able 
to recover more or less of a tribal name and standing 
in the land since his death. Others, however, shared a 
worse fate, being able to show only here and there a 
feeble fragment. Some of those who fled to Kafirland 
were held and treated as a class of dependents, virtually 
as slaves, subject to the will of the Kafirs among whom 
they had taken refuge. Eventually, however, most of 
them either returned to Natal, or else found their way 
down to the Old Colony, where, under the name of 
Fingoes, they remain to this day, some of them labor- 
ing for the white people at Port Elizabeth. 

Sanguinary and sad, yet not altogether devoid of in- 
struction, or at least matter for reflection, are the facts of 
which so brief an outline is here given. Whilst showing 
what the Zulus and their neighbors have done and suffered 
in times of ignorance ; they also suggest of what these 
people may be capable under the influence of better mo- 
tives or better rule, should they ever be brought under 
the power of Christianity. If " it is a loss to uni- 


versal humanity to have the imprint of any phase of 
human life and experience entirely blotted out," it may 
be well to preserve some record of such men and things 
as were seen, known, and felt among the Zulu-Kafirs 
under the reign of that prodigy of a prince, that African 
Bonaparte, whose name recurs so often in the preceding 
pages, whose name, too, will not be forgotten so long as 
there shall be a Zulu-Kafir to talk of Chaka's great- 
ness or to swear by the terrors of his memory. 




In 1837 the Dutch farmers migrated in large num- 
bers to Natal, coming by way of the old Cape Colony, 
the Orange River, and the Kwahlamba range. At that 
time the District of Natal was in the hands of Dingan, 
chief of the Amazulu, most of whose military towns 
were beyond the Tugela, on the Umhlatusi and Imfolosi 
Rivers. As soon, therefore, as the Boers arrived they 
sent a deputation, chief of whom was Pieter Retief, to 
confer with Dingan and get permission to settle in Na- 
tal. The Zulu monarch kept Retief waiting three days 
before he would give him a hearing, telling him that he 
must not be in a hurry, but rest awhile, and give himself 
up to amusement. 

Retief describes the king's house as beautiful, of a 
circular form, with a diameter of twenty feet. It was 
supported in the interior £y twenty-two pillars, which 
were entirely covered with beads. There were one 
thousand and seven hundred other huts in the same 
kraal, or village, each capable of containing twenty sol- 
diers. Two days were spent in showing Retief the 
national dances, together with a sample of their militia. 


The first day was devoted chiefly to the performances 
of the younger soldiers, of whom there were about two 
thousand present ; the second, to the veteran warriors, 
the number of whom then present was about four thou- 

Retief thought their dances interesting and imposing ; 
but " their sham fights," says he, " are terrific exhibi- 
tions. They make a great noise with their shields and 
kieries, uttering at the same time the most discordant 
yells and cries. In one dance the people were inter- 
mingled with one hundred and seventy-six oxen, all 
without horns and of one color. They have long strips 
of skin hanging pendant from the forehead, cheeks, 
shoulders, and under the throat ; these strips being cut 
from the hide when the animals are calves. These 
oxen are divided into twos and threes among the whole 
army, which then dances in companies, each with its 
attendant oxen. In this way .they all in turn approach 
the king, the oxen turning off into a kraal, and the war- 
riors moving in a line from the king. It is surprising 
that the oxen should be so well trained ; for notwith- 
standing all the shouting and yelling which accompa- 
nies this dance, yet they never move faster than a slow 
walking pace. Dingan showed me also, as he said, his 
smallest herd of oxen, all alike, red with white backs. 
He allowed two of my people to count them, and the 
enumeration amounted to two thousand four hundred 
and twenty-four. I am informed that his herds of red 
and black oxen consist of three to four thousand each. ,, 

Dingan treated the Dutch delegation with kindness ; 
but said they needed to be better acquainted with each 
other ; he had had many cattle stolen from him of late 


by people wearing clothes, having h@rses and guns, and 
calling themselves Boers ; and his wish was that Retief 
and his party would prove themselves innocent by re- 
covering and returning the cattle, and if possible the 
thieves, to him ; and he would then grant their request 
for land. The alleged theft being attributed to Sikony- 
ela, a Mantatee chief, who was living to the west of 
Dingan's realm, on the sources of the Caledon, a branch 
of the Nu Grariep, Retief and his countrymen accepted 
the wily Zulu's proposal, and set off at once upon an 
expedition against the poor Mantatee. Obtaining from 
him about seven hundred head of cattle, sixty horses, 
and several guns, all without any direct attack or the 
shedding of blood, was counted a fortunate enterprise. 

On their return to Natal with the cattle, the Boers 
were divided as to the manner of delivering them over 
to Dingan. Gert Maritz offered to go with them, tak- 
ing only two or three men with him, arguing that the 
fewness of their number would be their surest safeguard : 
"if they were destroyed it would be quite enough." 
But Retief wished to take a large party of mounted 
men, thinking this would inspire the Zulu chieftain 
with respect and awe, and make him more willing to 
ratify and keep the treaty which the Boers were now 
proposing to make with him about land. Retief, how- 
ever, declined issuing any order for parties to accom- 
pany him, but left it optional for them to go or stay as 
they might please. 

It was in the latter part of January, 1838, that Re- 
tief took his leave of the emigrants' encampment about 
the Bushman's River, an upland southern branch of the 
Tugela, to go on his second, his last visit to the great 


Black King of Zulu-land. He was accompanied by 
seventy of his stalwart countrymen, besides thirty Hot- 
tentot after-riders, or servants, with extra horses. They 
reached the king's capital, Umkungunhlovu, the second 
of February, and delivered over the cattle, with which 
Dingan is said to have expressed himself highly grati- 
fied. For the purpose of making a display of their 
arms, their prowess and power, the Boers got up a 
sham fight on horseback. Dingan professed to be de- 
lighted with the exhibition and asked them to fire a 
hundred rounds. But the thoughtful Boer did not care 
to waste his powder. Calling together several of his 
own regiments, the Zulu chieftain for two days kept 
them " tripping on the light fantastic toe," only chang- 
ing now and then " from lively to severe," by introduc- 
ing a few sham exercises of a martial character. At 
length the great object of the Boers' embassy was taken 
into consideration, and Dingan was induced to affix his 
mark to a paper in which it was stated that he " re- 
signed to Retief and his countrymen all the land from 
the Tugela to the Umzimvubu, and from the sea to the 
north as far as it might be useful and in his possession." 
The farmers were now ready to depart, and made pre- 
parations to do so early the next morning. But Dingan 
had other things in mind. Morning came, — the morn- 
ing of February 6, 1838. In due time, the king took 
his seat on his throne, having two of his regiments, — 
the one composed of veteran warriors, bearing the white 
shield, and wearing the ring on their heads as a badge 
of their manliness and bravery; the other a company 
of ardent, daring youth, bearing the black shield, — both 
arranged in their usual order by his side. The farm- 


ers, having sent a few of their servants to bring up the 
horses, came in to bid adieu to the king ; leaving their 
guns, as on other days, and in accordance with Zulu- 
Kafir etiquette, without the gate. Inviting them to be 
seated — Retief beside himself and two of his most no- 
ble captains, the rest at a little distance, — the king of- 
fered them native beer, Ubuchwala. While they were 
partaking freely of this, he asked his troops who had 
been arrayed in a circle, to favor them with a song and 
a dance. In the midst of their dance and song, and 
whilst the Boers were drinking, the king cried out, Bu- 
lalani 'batakati! — "Kill ye the wizards !" In a mo- 
ment, one fierce, fatal rush was made upon the farmers 
and their attendants, and not a man of them escaped. 
All were killed ; and their mangled corpses dragged to 
a hillock, not far away, were left a prey to the vulture, 
the wolf, and the wasting elements. 

Of course, the farmers offered what resistance they 
could ; but in vain. Several made an attempt to es- 
cape by flight ; and one, being swift of foot, ran a long 
way before he was taken ; but the speed of his many 
pursuers was too much for him. The Zulu chieftain 
had evidently heard not a little about the Boers before 
that day of slaughter ; and it is said that Retief and his 
party would have fallen in this way on their first visit 
to the capital, had one of the king's captains been 
prompt to execute the orders with which he had been 

Dingan now ordered the heart and liver of the Dutch 
leader, Retief, to be taken out and brought to him, and 
then to be deposited in the road by which the Boers had 


come, that all who should attempt a^ similar approach 
might be cast down and killed on the road. 

Knowing full well, that "when things are once come 
to the execution, there is no secrecy comparable to ce- 
lerity," Dingan did not sleep till he had sent off ten 
regiments to attack and destroy the rest of the Boers, 
who were now stopping in their wagons and encamp- 
ments on the south of the Tugela. Nor did the expe- 
dition prove a failure. It would seem that the doubts 
and fears which a majority of the Boers had as to the 
good faith of Dingan had strangely subsided after their 
leader had left with the cattle for the capital. The men 
who remained at home were giving themselves up to the 
pleasures of the chase ; while the women were all at 
ease, or only preparing for the return of husband, bro- 
ther, or friend. The day before the army reached 
them, there was a vugue rumor that all was not well ; 
and a small patrol was sent out beyond the Tugela, to 
see if there was any truth in the report that a large 
party of Zulus had been seen in that neighborhood, al- 
though the ostensible object of this party was to hunt 
buffaloes. Advancing towards the spot where the Zulu 
army waS lying stealthily ensconced behind a hill, the 
patrol was met by an old Zulu, who asked where they 
were going. On being told that they were in search of 
buffaloes, he pointed them in another direction, where, 
he said, they would find plenty. The Boers kept on, 
however, till the old man went before them, and insisted 
so hard upon their changing their course, that, to avoid 
suspicion, they sconsented to do so, though not till they 
had come within a few hundred yards of the hidden foe. 


Returning to their encampment, they reported that all 
was right. 

Meanwhile, the artful Zulu had been sending out 
spies to learn the exact situation of the farmers, their 
wagons, tents and families, their flocks and herds. And 
now, on the second day ere the morn had fairly dawned, 
their enemy was ready to fall upon them. 

By dividing themselves into several parties, the Zu- 
lus managed to attack the two principal encampments 
of the Boers at the same moment ; one. at the Blaauw- 
kranz River, and the other on the Bushman's,* ten 
miles distant. The wagons were surrounded, and many 
of the people slain before they had risen from their beds. 
The cries of women and children availed nothing. The 
slaughter was wild, rapid, indiscriminate. So complete 
was the surprise, that some of the neighboring Boers 
mistook the first shots fired by their countrymen in self- 
defence, for a salute to Retief and his company. But 
as the day came on, they began to see their condition 
and to rally for defence. Here and there, a party of 
half a dozen might now be seen, some in the garb of 
night, laboring to defend themselves and families from 
the steel of their foe. Even some of the women joined 
in the struggle, trying to encourage and aid the men by 
dealing out the ammunition as they required. 

The Zulus were finally repulsed and the conflict 
brought to a close. The number of the slain, on the side 
of the Dutch, including those who died of their wounds, 
amounted to three hundred and sixty-six white people, 
besides two hundred and fifty of the colored attendants. 

* Both affluents of the Tugela River. 


The number of the Zulus that fell, was estimated at five 

In the early part of April, the Farmers made out a 
commando of about four hundred mounted men to take 
vengeance on Dingan for the evil he had done them. 
After several days' cautious advance, being within half 
an hour's ride of the king's great town, they were met 
and surrounded by the Zulus ; and after a desperate 
encounter of more than an hour, they were glad to turn 
back, leaving the king's forces in possession of a hardly 
earned victory. 

"Never stoops the soaring vulture 
On his quarry in the desert, 
On the sick or wounded bison, 
But another vulture, watching 
From his high aerial look-out, 
Sees the downward plunge, and follows ; 
And a third pursues the second, 
Coming from the invisible ether, 
First a speck, and then a vulture, 
Till the air is dark with pinions." 

While the Zulu is occupied with the Boer in the up- 
per part of the District, a few Englishmen at the Port 
make out a predatory force of about a thousand men, 
Hottentots, natives, and others, to go up the coast in 
search for cattle and other Zulu plunder. In about two 
weeks they return much elated with their success, bring- 
ing with them three thousand head of cattle, together 
with a large number of women and children. This ex- 
pedition succeeded so well that another is made, consist- 
ing of about three thousand natives, thirty Hottentots, 
and eighteen Englishmen. Reaching the field of plun- 
der they are met by the Zulu and nearly all slain. Of 


the white men only four or five escape, and only two 
or three of the Hottentots. 

Dingan was now prepared to avenge himself for the 
three thousand head of cattle, the women and children, 
which the previous English party had taken from him, 
under pretence of supporting the cause of the Boers. 
Three or four days found his army fitted out and on the 
march for Natal. Expecting its speedy arrival, the few 
white people, including two or three missionaries, (as 
Owen and Lindley,) who were at the Bay, took refuge 
on board the " Comet," a brig now lying there, detained 
beyond its time by the illness of the captain. The na- 
tives of that neighborhood, having no ship to which 
they could resort for protection, prepared to hide in the 
rocks and bushes that skirt the Bluff and Bay. 

Scarcely had the people about the Bay found hiding- 
places on ship-board or among cliffs and jungles, when, 
on the 24th of April, they saw Dingan 's forces hurry- 
ing towards them in two large bodies, the black shields 
and the w^hite, prepared to take or destroy all that 
should fall in their way. They met with no resistance. 
So sudden and rapid was their progress that the people 
to the west of the Bay, on the Umlazi and farther on, 
knew nothing of their approach till they saw them at 
hand. The mission-houses at Ifumi were burnt to the 
ground ; those at Umlazi were left standing, the brand 
that w T as stuck in the roof failing to do the work as- 
signed it. Having swept the country of its cattle, and 
taken such other property as they counted valuable, 
after three days of havoc and plunder they returned 
to the Zulu country. 

Toward the end of the year the Boers prepared to 


resume hostilities against their wily foe. With a force 
of four hundred and fifty mounted men they start for 
Zulu-land, taking their wagons with them. After two 
or three weeks' travel they approach the capital, meet 
the enemy, and hold their ground. The king sets fire 
to his great town and retires. The Boers advance, col- 
lect what cattle and other property they can find, and 
return home, feeling, however, that the monarch's power 
is not yet broken. 

On reaching Natal the Boers found a detachment of 
British troops come to take military possession of the 
Bay and country adjacent, and to prevent the aggres- 
sive operations which the Dutch were now prosecuting. 
The captain in command signified to all parties, Dutch 
and Zulu, that they should cease fighting and seek peace. 
In the early part of 1839 a treaty was formed between 
Dingan and the farmers, yet neither had confidence in 
the other, least of all the Boer in the Zulu. 

It was at this juncture that Umpande, Dingan's bro- 
ther, revolted, and went over with a large part of the Zulu 
nation to the side of the white man. The English 
troops having been recalled, the Boers, in the early part 
of 1840, made another military expedition against Din- 
gan, having Umpande with £our thousand of his best 
warriors as an ally. After fighting between Umpande 
and Dingan, the latter was worsted and driven beyond 
the confines of his realm. 

Advancing in pursuit of the conquered and fleeing 
enemy, the Dutch commando reached the Pongolo river 
on the 8th of February. Here they learned that Din- 
gan, having with him only about a hundred warriors, 
some of his heroes, and a few herdsmen, had crossed the 


river five days previous. Uinpande's chief captain, 
Nongalaza, was left to watch for the deserted and fugi- 
tive monarch, who, not long after, was assassinated by 
warriors of the Amaswazi tribe, and thus closed his 
career of violence, rapine, and blood. The Boers turned 
back, bending their steps towards the Black Folosi 
which they reached on the evening of the 9th. Here 
they remained till the 14th, and hearing that Nongalaza 
could learn nothing more about Dingan, and that he 
had captured and collected all the cattle that he could 
find, they gave him orders to return. Now, and here, 
amid the firing of guns, the Boers declare Umpande 
sole king of the Zulus, and that their own sovereignty 
shall extend in future from the Black Folosi (Imfolosi 
Emnyamd) to the Umzimvubu, and from the sea to the 
Drakensberg. After a great "hurrah'' they all cried 
out : " Thanks to the great God, who, by his grace, has 
given us the victory !" 

Having arranged for a distribution of the thirty-five 
or forty thousand head of cattle which were taken on 
this expedition, the victorious army returned home. 

But the day of their rejoicing was short. The British 
government had endeavored from the first to dissuade 
them from the course they were taking ; nor was it now 
willing to admit the claim they set up to be acknow- 
ledged a free and independent people. The manner in 
which the Boers treated the natives, seizing their chil- 
dren and binding them out to service, which the Eng- 
lish regarded as little else than virtual slavery, hastened 
a collision. 

Having nothing to fear from the Zulus on the north- 
east, the Boers turn their attention to the south-west. 
8 * 


Alleging that Uncapai and his people had assisted some 
Bushmen to steal their cattle, they collect a mounted 
force of about two hundred men, go out against the 
chieftain, make an attack upon him, kill a hundred and 
fifty of his men, take three thousand head of his cattle, 
abduct a company of women and children, and return 

The British government now sent two hundred and 
twenty men overland from the old colony to resume mili- 
tary occupation of the port and surrounding country. 
These arrived in May, 1842, and pitched their camp 
at Durban, near the Bay. The Boers sent word to the 
officer in command, Captain Smith, to withdraw from 
Natal forthwith, or they would drive him away. To 
this the gallant Captain returned reply that he had or- 
ders to take the place, but none to leave it. The Boers 
sent out a party and drove off six hundred head of oxen 
belonging to the Captain's baggage wagons. The Eng- 
lish attacked the camp of their foe (May 23) at Kon- 
gela, but were repulsed with a loss of thirty-four killed, 
sixty-three wounded, and six missing, leaving two six- 
pounders in the hands of the enemy. 

Having despatched a messenger to the Cape of Good 
Hope, urging the necessity of a reinforcement, the 
Captain now resolved to concentrate what strength he 
had, make the best use of his limited stores, and hold 
out to the last. On the morning of the 31st the be- 
sieged captain was suddenly saluted with a six-pound 
shot, which went through the officers' mess-room, send- 
ing pots and kettles flying in all directions. During 
the day upwards of a hundred balls were thrown in 
upon them, with an incessant fire of musketry. The 


bombardment was kept up from day to day until the 
besiegers' ammunition began to grow short. Meantime, 
their nights were spent in digging approaches to the 
camp. The bombardment was resisted with courage, 
and on several occasions parties were sent out by night 
to destroy the works of the enemy. The want of water 
was met by a well, which the captain dug within the 
encampment ; and, to eke out their scanty store of pro- 
visions the few remaining cattle were killed and the 
flesh made into biltong ; (as the Dutch say,) cut into 
strips, salted, and dried, and the issue reduced to half 
a pound a day, with a little biscuit, biscuit-dust, or 
rice at half allowance. When this failed, the horses 
were killed and made in like manner into biltong, 
their forage-corn being ground into meal to take the 
place of biscuit-dust and rice. The sick and wounded 
were suffering greatly, being obliged to lie in the 
trenches dug within the encampment. 

At length, on the night of the 24th, after a month's 
siege, the sight of several rockets, sent up from the sea, 
assured them that help was nigh. On the 26th, Lieut. 
Col. Cloete landed and relieved them in right gallant 

Having taken possession of the Port, Colonel Cloete 
followed the enemy to Kongela ; but all, save a small 
party of scouts, had fled to another encampment ten or 
twelve miles distant. Protection was now offered to all 
who were disposed to acknowledge allegiance to Her 
Majesty. The Boers held out for a time ; but on the 
15th of July, 1842, they made a solemn declaration of 
their submission to the Queen and obtained a pardon, — 


all save four, for whose apprehension a reward of a thou- 
sand pounds was offered. 

Among the conditions of the treaty, it was stipulated 
that the Emigrant Farmers, releasing all prisoners, 
giving up all cannon, and making a restitution of all 
public and private property, should be allowed to retain 
their existing institutions, for the present, subject, of 
course, to Her Majesty's supremacy. The tenure of 
their lands was to be left to the adjudication of the 
English government. The natives, or " Kafirs'' as they 
were called, were to remain, for the present, in the un- 
molested occupation of lands upon which they were re- 
siding when Her Majesty's troops arrived, subject to 
such future arrangements as the government might find 
it necessary to make for general security. 

Affairs remained in this state until the whole subject 
could be referred to the Home government ; when the 
Queen was pleased to approve the course which her re- 
presentatives had pursued, and to signify her pleasure 
to recognize and adopt the District of Natal as a British 
colony. Accordingly a proclamation to this effect was 
issued at the Cape, on the 12th of May, 1843, and 
proper means taken to regulate the affairs of the dis- 
trict in accordance with the terms on which it was to be 
made a colony. 

The chief reason given for adopting Natal as a co- 
lony was to secure the common good of the people — 
" the peace, protection, and salutary control of all 
classes of men settled at and surrounding this important 
portion of South Africa." Hence the three indispen- 
sable conditions, on which the Emigrants would be al- 
lowed to occupy the territory in question were : — 


" 1st. That there shall not be, in the eye of the law, 
any distinction or disqualification whatever, founded on 
mere distinction of color, origin, language, or creed ; 
but that the protection of the law, in letter and in sub- 
stance, shall be extended impartially to all alike. 

"2d. That no aggression shall be sanctioned upon 
the natives residing beyond the limits of the colony, 
under any plea whatever, by any private person, or any 
body of men, unless acting under the immediate au- 
thority and orders of the government. 

" 3d. That slavery, in any shape, or under any modi- 
fication, is absolutely unlawful, as in every other portion 
of Her Majesty's dominions." 

In 1844, the Queen gave directions to annex Natal 
to the Cape Colony ; the year following she instituted 
a separate government over it ; in 1847, it received a 
Legislative Council ; and in 1856, it was erected into a 
separate colony under a Lieutenant Governor, and fa- 
vored with a kind of representative system, — the Legis- 
lative Council being made to consist of sixteen members, 
of whom twelve are chosen by the people ; and the rest, 
to wit, the Secretary to Government, the Secretary for 
Native Affairs, the Attorney General, and the Colonial 
Treasurer, are appointed by the Crown. 

When Queen Victoria adopted Natal as an English 
colony, she came into possession of a gem of no ordi- 
nary value ; nor is it often that a new land makes a 
surer, steadier advance than this has done, since it came 
under her firm and benignant rule. 




Time was, when clothing, sumptuous or for use, 

Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. 

As yet black breeches were not; satin smooth, 

Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile : 

The hardy chief upon the rugged rock 

Washed by the sea, or on the grav'ly bank 

Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud, 

Fearless of wrong, reposed his weary strength. Cowper. 

In respect to the bodily form and carriage of this 
people, every one is ready to admit that they are well 
made, of good stature, generally erect, but rather slen- 
der, especially the men. Their average height, how- 
ever, is hardly equal to that of the English or Ameri- 
can ; though, from seeing them in their usual unclad 
state, one would think them taller than they really are. 
.Their frames are well developed ; their limbs delicate, 
But well proportioned, — a conformation fitted to make 
them more agile than strong. Hence one of these black 
men running on foot is a very good guide for a white 
man on horseback. And yet many of them, especially 
the women, will bear a heavy burden on their heads, 
and carry it a long distance without much difficulty. 
The color of the Zulu-Kafir varies in different indi- 


viduals, from a reddish copper color to a jet black ; the 
prevailing shade is a very dark brown, which, in their 
estimation, is of all colors the most beautiful. A native 
of Natal would count it no compliment to be called 
light-colored. One of the most -common, yet choicest 
of the titles of honor, with which this people attempt to 
praise and extol their king, is to say to him, " Thou art 
black."* Nor will you find any of them, especially 
among the young, a whit less indifferent than the white 
man as to their complexion, — not a whit less proud of 
a clear, deep brown, bordering as close as possible upon 
a pure black, than any Anglo-Saxon is of the fairest 
white. Ask any of these dark-colored gentlemen, or 
ladies, their opinion of complexion, and they will an- 
swer, that the light does very well for the European; 
but for themselves, the most beautiful is just their own, 
black with a little red. Nor, on this point,will I under- 
take to dispute their judgment. 

Their eyes also are black, and often sparkle with 
merry humor. Their teeth are generally well set, and 
beautifully white. Their countenance bespeaks cheer- 
fulness and contentment. Looking at the large mouth, 
thick lip, and flat nose of one, then at the small well- 
formed mouth, straight lip, and aquiline nose of an- 
other ; on the one hand, at the woolly hair, and often 
on the other, at the open face, retiring chin, and square 
forehead, we see in them a varied configuration, that 
oscillates through all the extremes of the Negro and the 
European type. On the whole, the Zulus must be 
pronounced a well-developed, and fine-looking race of 

Pass we now from his person to his habitation. 

96 . ZULU-LAND. 

In looking out a building spot, the Zulu generally 
finds it necessary to have an eye to several things, — a 
fountain or stream from whence to get-water, pasturage 
for his cattle ; a few patches of good soil, where he may 
dig and raise Kafir or Indian corn, and other articles 
of ftfod ; and then a site for the kraal, where the water 
will not lodge in times of rain, where also he may dig 
pits in the earth to deposit his grain, and where, again, 
he will not be too much exposed to bleak winds, and cold, 
driving storms. Under pure native law, a man has no 
right to build any where, nor at all, until he gets per- 
mission from his chief to do so ; his first step is to go 
and ask his chief for a place to build, unless, perchance, 
his chief may have given him one without his asking. 

Having selected a site, he goes to the nearest bush, 
or jungle, for stakes and wattles with which to construct 
his isibaya, a cow-pen or fold for his cattle, — a circular 
enclosure from two to four, or even ten, fifty, or a hun- 
dred rods in diameter, according to the proposed size 
of the kraal, and the number of cattle which the owner 
or captain of the kraal may have to provide for. Some 
of the great king's cattle-pens were made to enclose 
several acres of land, and so hold immense herds, thou- 
sands of head. In those sections of the country where 
little or no wood grows, the pen is built of stones or 

Having completed the isibaya, so far at least that it 
will serve to keep his cattle for the present, the next 
thing is to erect a hut or house, — inhlu, plural izinhlu, 
one for himself, and one for each wife, mother, or other 
dependent. These huts, built of wattles, sustained by 
two or three posts in the central parts, and covered with 


thatch. — some kifid of coarse grass, — are planted in a 
circle around the cattle-pen, at the distance of two or 
three yards from it, and about twice that distance from 
each other ; his own being at the upper or backside of 
the establishment, while the rest lead off on each side 
till the circular fold is enclosed by the two wings, — pro- 
vided he has wives and other dependents enough to fill 
out the circle. 

In former days, when war or predatory incursions 
were common, it was more customary than now for 
several men to unite and build together, all in one 
kraal, for material aid and security. These huts, being 
hemispherical in form, and thatched with grass, look very 
much like so many hay-cocks twelve or fifteen feet in 
diameter, and so high that a man can generally stand 
upright in the center, especially if he takes his hat off, 
and does not mind the cock-roaches, smoke, or soot, in 
which the roof commonly abounds. A single aperture 
at the lower side of the hut, arched at the top, only 
about eighteen inches wide, and two feet high, (measur- 
ing from the earth up,) serves for both door and win- 
dows. Of course, all the inhabitants, save the small 
children, the dogs, the goats, sheep, and calves, must 
creep in and out on their hands and knees. A small 
space near the door, on one side of this one-roomed 
house, is usually laid off for the calves and the other 
quadrupeds, at night, to keep them from the roaming 
wolf or leopard, though even here they are not always 
safe. Firewood, calabashes, and other water-pots, cook- 
ing utensils, the mill-stone, and the sleeping-mats, fill 
up the rest of the border of the hut. Near the central 
pillar, and on the side towards the door, is the fire- 


place, a shallow, basin-like excavation, scooped out in 
the earth, with an elevated rim of molded clay. This 
clay, as also that of which the floor is made, is usually 
brought from some neighboring ant-heap ; when it is 
properly wet, pounded, and rubbed down with a stone, 
a very hard, smooth, and durable surface is obtained. 

In the evening, and through most of the day, if the 
weather is cold or wet, gathered around this fire-place, 
their only hearth-stone, all seated on their haunches 
much like the dogs by their sides, poking the fire or 
putting up the brands, by grinding and snuffing their 
snuif, smoking their pipe, cooking and eating their food, 
cuffing and scolding their dogs, narrating exploits, tell- 
ing the news, or talking the merest nonsense, the peo- 
ple pass their hours in what they consider a very plea- 
sant and comfortable manner. When they are weary 
with sitting, snuffing, smoking, eating, talking, laugh- 
ing, if nothing worse, the hour for retiring having ar- 
rived they spread their bed, a single mat made usually 
of some kind of rush or flag, and with a block of wood 
for a pillow, and a coarse blanket or the hide of some 
animal for a covering, lie down and sleep until a new 
day dawns upon them. 

Around the fold for cattle and the huts for the peo- 
ple, some kind of enclosure is usually erected, a hedge 
or wattled fence, like that of which the fold is made, 
and in a like circular form, parallel to the inner enclo- 
sure ; the gate of each being on the same side, so as to 
make a straight passage through the two. When the 
people felt less secure than they now do, this outer 
fence was made strong, and at night the outer gate was 
shut with all available strength and care, the way being 


filled up with stakes and thorny bushes so as to make 
entrance from without next to impossible. 

Passing from the Umuzi, or Umzi, plural Imizi, the 
village or hamlet, or, as the Dutch say, the Kraal, we 
come to the Insimu, or garden, plural Amasimu. These 
may be near the kraal, or far away, according as the 
people can find patches of land suited to their ideas of 
fitness for cultivation. Such places may be nooks of 
made-land along the edges and angles of some stream ; 
or, they may be the bushy side or the open summit of 
some hillock. The field having been selected, it is the 
duty of the men and boys to cut away the brush ; the 
work of planting, w r eeding, and harvesting the crop, 
being assigned to the women and girls. Sometimes the 
men run a wattled fence round the garden, to protect it 
from cattle by day, and from the wild boar by night ; 
otherwise, the herd-boy must keep a sharp lookout for 
the cows, calves, and goats, for three months ; and when 
the corn puts out the ear, the men must guard it vigi- 
lantly, night after night, rain or no rain, to keep it from 
the wary, ravenous pig out of the bush. Of course, a 
new order of things is gradually introduced among those 
who embrace Christianity ; an open, level field, fit for 
the plow, being preferred to the narrow, stony, or preci- 
pitous patches, which must be dug by hand. But, in 
the heathen state of this people, the poor woman, w T ith 
her pick and basket, must serve as plow and cart, ox 
and horse. 

The season for planting having arrived, she takes her 
babe, if she has one, binds it upon her back by means 
of a goat-skin, balances a basket of seed on her head, 
lays her heavy pick on her shoulder, and goes forth to 


the field for a day's work. Sometimes she has a nurse 
to care for the child ; sometimes she keeps it bound to 
her back, or she lays it wrapped in the goat-skin on the 
ground by her side ; while she scatters the seed and 
goes on to labor, hour after hour, often under a burn- 
ing sun, swinging her rude pick of eight or ten pounds 
weight, to mellow the earth and prepare it to bring 
forth food for the support of her lord, herself, their 
children, and friends. Her day's work done, she re- 
turns home, gathering and carrying a bundle of wood 
by the way ; sends the children to the brook to fill their 
earthen pots and calabashes with water ; then, as the 
sun sinks behind the hill, she prepares to cook their 
principal meal. 

And just now is the best time for us to take a look 
at her pantry and cupboard, her crockery and kettles, — 
only you must not suppose the inventory large. There 
is the great pot in which she cooks her umbila or ama- 
bele, — that is, maize or millet, — standing on a tripod of 
three rough stones, while the faggots blaze beneath and 
on every side. Here, too, she boils her vegetables, — 
greens, pumpkins, or turnips, — and occasionally steams 
a loaf of bread. The potlid is just another pot of the 
same size, inverted, fitted lip to lip, one upon the other, 
its position secured, and the apertures closed by the use 
of a little ubulongwe from the cattle fold, the same article 
with which she smears the floor of her. house once a 
week, not to mention sundry other important uses to 
which the people are wont to put it ; though of its value 
as a fertilizer, judging from their neglect, they have 
little idea. These great pots, as also the few bowls • 
from which they eat their crushed corn and thick milk, 


are made of clay, and baked in some furnace, probably 
an ant-heap, and all perhaps by the woman who is now 
using them to prepare an evening repast. 

The corn being boiled, this woman-of-all-work brings 
out the mill to mash or grind it. This mill is one of 
the most simple of, all machines — two stones, one larger 
and flatter, six inches thick, ten or twelve wide, and 
fifteen or twenty long ; the other a small oval-shaped 
cobble, the size of your two fists. On the first, a little 
worn, or scooped out by art or by use, or by both, the 
grinder lays a handful of corn, which, under the steady, 
compressed, rocking motion which she gives the cobble, as 
she clinches it fast with both hands, and throws the 
strength of her arms and much of the weight of her body 
upon it, soon comes out mashed, somewhat like the po- 
mace of apples from a cider-mill, and falls upon a mat, 
which she has laid under the front edge of the nether 

Having ground her grist, she puts a good portion of 
it into a little basket, and bears it away to her husband, 
•w r ho, night having set in, lights a straw as a candle ; 
mingles his isicaba and amasi, — mashed mealies (or corn) 
and thick milk, — takes the w T ooden ladle, which is 
fashioned from a good bit of timber, and soon devotes 
the simple dish to the end for which it was designed. f 
If his means allow, his supper comprises several courses, 

* See Frontispiece. 

f In the group represented in the Frontispiece, (from a photograph taken 
from life), we have tfre wife grinding out the isicaba, and the husband 
mixing it with amasi preparatory to its consumption. By her side is her 
pot of corn and basket. A man with spears, and a woman playing a 
musical instrument called the ugubu, formed from a calabash and bow, [the 
tiring of which escaped the eye of the engraver], are members of the group. 


each course consisting of a single dish. Perhaps he will 
begin with meat, which may be either broiled or boiled, 
and served on the mat, which took the grist from the mill, 
and answers as a tray for numerous domestic purposes. 
For a carving knife he uses his spear ; for a fork, his 

Their ordinary drinking cup, at least for water and 
for home use, is a dipper made from the shell of a gourd, 
of which they grow various kinds. For beer cups, they 
may use a large earthen pot, or bowl, or a closely woven 
basket, holding from two to ten quarts. And if you 
ever saw two or three pigs after they had drunk their 
fill of whey, you have .some idea as to how these men 
generally look after sitting half a day over their pots 
and baskets of beer. Their mode of drinking water 
from a brook, when traveling, is both simple and in- 
structive, probably just that which is spoken of in 
Judges as a mark of the men with whom Gideon was to 
go out to battle against the Midianites. If the stream 
be small, the thirsty man stands upon the brink, forms 
the fingers and palm of one hand into a shallow kind • 
of spoon, stoops till he can reach the water, and then 
by a series of peculiar, sudden, rapid jerks, tosses the 
water from the stream to his mouth ; or if the stream 
be broad and high, he wades in, and tosses the water as 
before, yet without stooping, perhaps without halting, 
but drinking as he goes, lapping the water as a dog 
laps, tossing it with his hands as a dog with his tongue 
to his mouth. 

Their amasi, or thick milk, is made by pouring sweet 
milk into the igula, a large bottle-shaped calabash, where 
it soon undergoes a kind of fermentation, or acidulous 


chemical change, from being speedily leavened, as it 
were, by a little which was left there for the purpose 
when the previous mess was poured out. The whey 
which is generated by the process is first drawn off, and 
used as a drink, or as food for the little folks ; then 
comes a rich, white, inspissated substance, which is 
neither curd nor bonny-clabber, nor buttermilk, nor any 
thing else but just that light, acidulated, healthy, and, 
to most persons, very acceptable dish which the natives 
call amasi. 

Having been through the house, peeped into the 
pantry, enumerated and described their cooking, eating, 
and drinking utensils, we mttet take a look at their barn. 
As to a house for horses and hay, they have none ; since 
they never (until of late) have kept horses, and never 
think of laying up any thing for their cattle. As to 
their stables, I have already described them, that for 
the cows and oxen being the circular pen within the 
kraal ; that for the calves and goats being included in 
their own huts. All we can find, then, is a corn-house, 
or granary, and a threshing floor. The latter consists 
of a hard, smooth, open piece of ground, such as we read 
of in the Scriptures, prepared sometimes within the kraal, 
and sometimes outside, where the ears are poured down 
in a pile, and threshed by a company of women, who 
sit round and beat it with their flails. The flail is no- 
thing more than a staff, four or five feet in length, and 
an inch or so in thickness. The grain is winnowed by 
pouring it from one basket into" another in a breeze. 

When the corn is brought from the fields, the heads 
of am,abele, which look much like broom-corn, are 
stacked for a time in heaps, on a slender frame work ; 


the ears of maize, their Umhila, the Indian corn of 
America, are stored for a few months in cylindrical bins 
of reeds, (native ratan,) or other kinds of wicker work, 
which are also raised a little from the earth. Here 
their grain may stand, save what is required for imme- 
diate use, till the winter season begins to set in, or 
about the month of May,, when it must be threshed out 
and deposited in air-tight pits, in the cattle fold, to pro- 
tect it from the ravages of the weevil. These pits are 
large bottle-shaped excavations in the central part of 
the cow-yard,- having a small round mouth, about a foot 
wide, (just large enough for a man to let himself down 
through) a short neck of two feet ; and then a broad in- 
ternal enlargement in all directions, making a hole that 
will contain from ten to fifty or a hundred bushels of 
grain, according to the requirements of the proprietor. 
The grain having been poured in, the mouth of this 
great underground bottle is covered over, first with a 
flat stone or something of the kind, and next with earth 
or the contents of the yard ; and left for the cattle to 
trample and press, and so make it as proof as possible 
against air and moisture. The few bushels which are 
taken out now and then for daily use, are kept in the 
isilulu, — a large egg-shaped basket, made of twisted 
and woven grass, and set up on a kind of stool, like 
some of the granaries with which Dr. Barth met in 
Northern Africa. The natives often have a small hut, 
set up on poles five or six feet from the ground, in which 
to keep their seed-corn ; ears of seed are sometimes 
kept stuck in the smoky roofs of their huts. 

Let us look next at the Zulu wardrobe; nor can I have 
much need to premise that here we have truly a scanty 


subject. Judging from the wretchedly reduced compass 
to which they have brought both the inventory and the 
size of their garments, one would think, that, disgusted 
with the excess to which some of the so-called civilized 
races have gone in one direction, they were trying to 
indicate a proper medium by going to the opposite ex- 
treme. To see children five or six years old, going 
about in heathen kraals as destitute of clothing as the 
new-born infant is nothing unusual ; nor do the adults 
appear to much better advantage. The isinene, a small 
apron six or eight indhes wide and about twice as long, 
made of some kind of skin with the hair or fur on, and 
suspended in front, from a girdle about his loins, and 
the Umucha, of a little larger size behind, fully satisfy 
the Zulu's idea of dress for men. Sometimes a bunch 
of furry strips, cut from the skin of a wild cat, or other 
animal, and made to look like the bushy ends of half a 
dozen ox-tails, possibly the veritable tails themselves, 
black, white, speckled or gray, serve in place of the one 
whole bit of a hide. 

For a woman, the usual dress is half a cow-hide, 
tanned, colored, and wrapped about the loins, so as to 
fall half-way to the feet, more or less, according to 
the size of the skin, or the rank and taste of the 

Upon coming of age, that is, to be married, both men 
and women shave their heads ; the former leaving a 
ring, the latter a tuft on the top. This ring, or nar- 
row track of hair, which, with a diameter of three or 
four inches, extends quite round the crown, is sewed 
and worked up with a thread made of the tendon of a 
cow, and a kind of gum mingled with charcoal, by means 


of which the ring nearly an inch in thickness, becomes 
hard as a cord, black as a coal, and shows as fine a 
polish as ever "Day and Martin" could bestow upon a 
pair of boots. The tuft of hair on the crown of the wo- 
man's head, being gathered into a knot, is smeared and 
held together with a mixture of grease, and red ochre, 
which is obtained from a soft reddish stone, and so made 
to take the name of redtop, crest, or topknot. There 
are other modes of dressing the hair among some of the 
tribes, but the above are the neatest that I have seen, 
and by far the most common. These modes have at 
least this recommendation, that they leave no large 
forest or jungle to serve as hiding-places for vermin. 

The natives of South Africa, like other untutored 
tribes, are fond of ornaments. It would take no little 
space to describe the kinds and colors of beads which 
they wear, or the various modes of wearing them. They 
seem to think the neck is the best place for them, though 
it would be difficult to name any part of the body to 
which, in their estimation, these adornings are not 
adapted. It is no uncommon thing to meet a young 
man wearing a string of beads astride his nose and over 
his eyes, like a pair of spectacles. Sometimes the whole 
body is well-nigh covered with them. Beads of divers 
colors are woven and worn as a ribbon on the forehead, 
or as a breastplate upon the bosom. Sometimes you 
see their arms and ankles profusely decked with them. 
The young men often tie themselves about, head and 
shoulders, neck and arms, feet, legs, and loins, with 
strips of raw hide, instead of beads. These things be- 
ing cut and twisted with the hair or wool all on, give 
the body a rough, savage appearance. In hearing the 


story of John in the wilderness, clothed in camel's hair, 
with a girdle from the skin of some animal about his 
loins, eating locusts and wild honey, they have often 
looked as though they thought him, thus far at least, 
related to themselves, though from his preaching, " Pre- 
pare ye the way of the Lord, and bring forth fruits 
meet for repentance,' ' they nearly all with one consent 
pray to be excused. 

Bracelets of shells, armlets of brass, and glittering 
rings are worn by men, women, and children. Under 
a proper Zulu dynasty, however, armlets of brass, some 
of which are broad, heavy, and very cumbersome, judg- 
ing from one in my possession, all the work of Zulu 
smiths, being counted badges of the highest honor, are 
allowed to be worn only by the most distinguished per- 
sonages, — the great men of the king, and some of his 
wives. Various roots, pieces of bark, bits of wood, 
bones, horns, hoofs, teeth and claws of bird, beast, or 
creeping thing, are worn rather as amulets, or charms, 
than as ornaments ; though to the ornamental class I 
suppose we must assign most of the feathers which they 
are wont to stick in their hair. Some of these are 
taken from the tail of the common cock, some from the 
hawk and other birds ; but the longest and most valued 
are the rich and gaudy plumes of the ostrich or peacock. 

It is not uncommon to see a regular series, or a clus- 
ter of scars on the arm or bosom of a female, where the 
skin has been cut or burned for the purpose, thus to im- 
prove her looks. Similar scars are made by incisions 
into which medicines are introduced. I have seen the 
whole body covered with little gashes which the doctor 
was making and filling with what looked to me like a 


mixture of charcoal and ashes, — doubtless the charred 
and powdered bones and ashes of a snake. The most 
of the people have their ears perforated in their younger 
days, and then keep the holes filled and stretched with 
bits of wood till they grow large enough to hold their 
snuff-box, some ivory knob, or oth£r ornament. 

Here I must remark that, with the Zulu-Kafir, the 
snuff-box and the things which appertain thereunto, are 
deemed a social institution of surpassing importance. 
The tobacco is usually grown on the deserted site of 
some old kraal, of which place in a populous district, 
there can be no lack, since the people usually change 
their site every two or three years. Their tobacco be- 
ing duly cured and required for the box, it is ground, 
and often mixed with the ashes of an aloe leaf to give it 
greater pungency. Of boxes for carrying snuff they 
have a great variety. Some are made of a hollow reed; 
some of a small gourd ; some are wrought from the horn 
of a buffalo. The horn is hung to the neck ; the reed, 
generally carried in the ear ; the gourd in a little sack 
tied to the girdle about their loins. 

Then comes the spoon with which the native is to 
convey his snuff from his box, or rather from the hol- 
low of his hand to his nostrils. This is made of ivory 
or bone, and carried sometimes in the ear, ancl some- 
times stuck in the hair or under the headring, for which 
the three or four-tined handle is well fitted. 

The general rule for taking snuff is, — as to time, 
when one man meets another, when he is tired, sleepy, 
or lazy, when he can afford it, and when he has nothing 
else with which to amuse or occupy himself; as to amount, 
until it makes the tears come in his eyes ; as to manner, 


as follows : — calling his comrades round him, or meet- 
ing; friends on the road, he takes a seat with them on 
the ground ; after a little bantering as to who shall 
furnish the snuff, he takes out his calabash, horn, or 
reed, picks out the stopper, pours a pile into his left 
hand, from which, having first supplied the rest, he fills 
his own spoon, applies it to his nose, and begins to in- 
hale. If the tears delay to come, he opens his mouth, 
yawns, at the same time draws the ends of his little 
fingers from his eyes downward, as if to give the tears 
a start and make a channel for them. These beginning 
to flow, his enjoyment is complete ; nor could he be in- 
duced by any ordinary consideration to move from his 
seat until this absorbing matter is quite finished. 

A like institution with the Zulu, is the pipe. This, 
too, has something of a social though most degrading 
influence. The pipe consists of a horn, a bowl, and 
a reed by which the two are united. The home-made 
earthen bowl has a hole in the bottom, by which it is 
fitted to one end of a reed, the other end being inserted 
into the side of a large horn, igudu, at an angle of 
about thirty degrees, ten or twelve inches from the 
larger end ; the reed running down into the little end, 
so as to carry the smoke through a quantity of water, 
as in the East Indian " hookah," before it enters the 
mouth of the smoker. The most popular horn for this 
purpose is that of the magnificent kudu, Umgakha, a 
large, fine species of the antelope, found in the upper 
parts of Zulu-land, — this horn has the twofold advan- 
tage of a long body and a small orifice at the butt, 
where the mouth is applied, as to a trumpet, to receive 
the smoke. 


The bowl having been filled with the leaves and seed 
of the isa?igu, with which tobacco may be mixed, the 
smokers take their seats upon the ground in a circle, 
pass the lighted pipe from one to another, and pull away 
at it by turns, until either its contents are exhausted, 
or the party is overcome, stupified, intoxicated, mad- 
dened by the narcotic fumes. The profuse flow of sa- 
liva, stimulated by this operation, is often carried off 
by a long reed inserted in one corner of the mouth while 
the pipe is applied to the other. The habit of smoking 
the z'guduj though most destructive to mind and body, 
once formed, is followed with great pertinacity. The 
subject of it, lost to self-control and all good influences, 
neglects his business and becomes the slave of his be- 
sotting horn. 

As to the ordinary pursuits of the Zulus, some of 
them have been already named, especially those to which 
the women are called. With the men, in the past, war 
has been a chief business. They also build the kraal, 
they make the fences, and the frame-work of the houses ; 
leaving the women to gather the grass for thatch- 
ing, and to make the floors. 

In gardening, the men clear the land, if need be, and 
sometimes fence it in ; the women plant, weed, and har- 
vest. The gardens must be watched at first, by day, by 
the women and children, to fray away the birds from 
picking up the seed or pulling up the tender shoots ; 
and often, at a later season, to keep the monkey and 
baboon from eating the blade or the ear. And then, 
if the men have made no fence, as soon as the ear puts 
out, they must guard the field by night to keep it from 
the destructive visits of the wild pig. In passing the 


watch-towers which they construct for these purposes, 
I have often thought of the "cottage in a vineyard," 
the "lodge in a garden of cucumbers," of which the 
Scriptures speak. To make one of these booths they 
set up four posts in a commanding part of the garden ; 
on these they lay a platform of poles, five or six feet 
above the ground. On a part of this platform, they 
erect a small temporary hut as a shelter from wind and 
rain. The space below is wattled about from post to 
post, on three sides, to afford a protection against the 
storms, and form a kitchen in which to vkindle a fire 
and roast mealies when the field is far from home. 

When the garden is large, and amabele is grown, of 
which the birds are most fond, the field is often dotted 
over with tall posts, to the tops of which are tied strings 
of bark which reach from one to the other, as also to 
the watch-tower, where a little girl stands to guard by 
day. On seeing a flock of finches light upon the grain 
in a distant part of the field, she shouts, gives the string 
a twitch, sets all ttie lines and stakes in motion, and so 
puts the birds on the wing, — only, however, to alight, 
perchance in another part of the field, or in a neigh- 
bor's garden, there to be startled ancl sent flying 

To herd the cattle and milk the cows, is another part 
of the duty of men and boys. If the man be well off, 
and have boys or dependent men enough, he has him- 
self but little to do with herding and milking ; other- 
wise he must give his own hand to it. Since the fields 
are unfenced, the herd-boy must take good care that 
the calves do not get to the cows and steal all the milk ; 
also, that the cows do not get into the garden and 


eat all the corn, — else woe be to his back when night 
comes — and the rod, too. 

Every part of the Zulu's dairy is managed in his own 
way. " In the morning, the herd is sent out to pasture, 
under the care of a boy, who brings them home about 
ten o'clock, when the cows are milked. That process 
is singular, and not calculated to find favor with an 
English nymph of the pail. It requires strong lungs, 
as well as vigorous fingers. The Kafir engages in it 
with enthusiasm, and it is about the only kind of work 
he really likes. The first thing he does is to introduce 
the calf, and allow it to suck a short time. He then 
squats on his heels, pushes away the calf, and with a 
wooden vessel between his knees, draws as much milk 
as ^e can obtain. Meanwhile, the calf makes vigorous 
efforts to share it with him, and receives sundry moni- 
tory blows from a young boy, who keeps watch and ward 
over the precious fountain with a stick. When the cow 
will yield no more, the calf is again allowed to suck, 
and again obliged to give place to the man. The pro- 
cess of milking is thus a contest between the calf 
and the milker, in which the cow is umpire. This is a 
very imperfect sketch of the scene, and the reader must 
imagine that he hears the operator talking to the cow, 
and whistling in a manner incomprehensible to civilized 
ears, as if she required to be wheedled into benevolence, 
and would give her milk only when coaxed to do so by 
screams and ear-piercing notes." 

Having finished this part of the business, the dairy- 
man takes the milk to his hut, and pours it at once into 
his calabash ; most skillfully applying his two thumbs to 
the edge of the pail at each side of the stream, so as to 


reduce it to a narrow compass, since the mouth of his 
igula is scarcely larger than his little finger. Being set 
away in a warm place, the sweet ubisi soon turns to 
ama%% and is ready for use. 

The men also consider it a part of their business to 
make the clothes, such as they are, — and not for them- 
selves only, but also for the women. 

All seem to know how to dress a hide, whether it be 
for a pouch, a purse, or a knapsack, a woman's gown, 
a sling for infants on their mothers' backs, a bridal 
dress, or a war-shield. Some make spears; some, bas- 
kets ;* some carve milk-pails, spoons, and pillows, out 
of wood. Some work in iron, — dig it from the earth, 
smelt it, and make it into picks, hatchets, assegai-blades. 
Some of them used to work in brass, and make bangles 
and balls, or rings and buttons, and other brazen orna- 
ments. By the way, I have a rare antique of this kind 
before me — a royal armlet of early days, as the Zulu 
counts. It is said to have been made in the time of 
Senzangakona, and to have descended from him to 
Chaka, thence to Dingan, thence to Umpande, who gave 
it to one of his chief captains, who, obliged to flee from 
Zulu-land by Kechwayo's uprising, brought it with him, 
and sold it to me. It is made of brass, weighs about 

* In our cut, u The Zulu at tvorJc," we give (from photographs) an illus- 
tration of some of the employments which fill the Zulu's hours. 

We have the basket-maker, making with the awl in his right hand 
a puncture in which he will thrust the palm-leaf strand, the warp of the 
basket being made of a cord of tough grass. The barber is manufacturing 
a customer's head-ring. The women with burdens on their heads, corn 
and wood, well show the female dress. The mother, in cow-hide skirt, 
with a babe lashed to her back, is on her way with her heavy pick, to her 
weary task of tillage in the field. 


two pounds, and bears a good many marks of the smith's 
attempt at the curious and clever. 

The favorite pursuit of this people, however, and one 
of the most exciting, is the chase. Not much does it 
matter what the game is, a rabbit, buck, or boar, wolf, 
or wild-dog, leopard, or lion, buffalo or elephant* there 
is no want of life, speed, or daring in a hunting party. 
To see them gathering from all q.u&rter.Sv,— men, boys, 
dogs, — shouting from the hill-tops for a general rally, 
singing their hunting songs, whistlin$j'/ ; |$ their dogs, 
brandishing their spears, swinging' iliietr;!felubs, talking, 
laughing, racing, — you would think theni wilder and 
more fearful than any of the beasts of which they are 
in search. But my chapter, already too long, would be 
well nigh endless, were I to take the reader through 
the Zulu hunter's chase over the hills and prairies of 
these wild, sunny shores ; so I will stop at once, — do 
as Cowper did with his " Song," — 

" And cut it off short because it was long." 




Such dupes are men to custom, and so prone 

To reverence what is ancient, and can plead 

A course of long observance for its use, 

That even servitude, the worst of ills, 

Because delivered down from sire to son, 

Is kept and guarded as a sacred thing. Cowper. 

All the more important political institutions of this 
people, as in other lands, are 4:he growth of circum- 
stances, having had, first, a natural origin in the neces- 
sities and relations of the people, and then been modified 
and established by experience. Hence the power and 
stability of those institutions, and the attachment which 
both ruler and people feel for them. Many of their 
laws are bad — wholly wrong — just as the heart of the 
people, the great ruling purpose of their lives, is wrong. 
Yet some of their laws are honorable exceptions ; 
some of them are good, well fitted to promote the peace 
and good order of society. In one sense we may say 
that all their laws are good, being well suited to the 
end for which they were designed. The fault lies in 
the end sought, and not in the fitness of the means em- 
ployed. Leave the iniquitous and selfish ends out of 


view, and their system might be pronounced admirable, 
consistent, and symmetrical. The government is here- 
ditary, and, in a great measure, of a patriarchal cha- 
racter ; having, with all its faults, some points of re- 
semblance to that of the Jews in Canaan. The children 
must account to their mother ; the mother and wives to 
their husband ; the husband and men of the kraal to 
the head man ; all the head men of kraals to the induna, 
or chief man of a river or district ; and the izinduna, 
or chief men of the districts, to the king of the country. 
Hence, among themselves, the independent ruler, such 
as Chaka and Dingan were, has all the machinery for 
reaching the most remote and insignificant person or 
thing in his tribe, that Joshua had for finding out the 
perpetrator of an accursed act in the camp of Israel. 
Every boy has his father and mother, and would have, 
though father and mother should die a dozen times 
before he should reach the years of manhood ; and for 
him, all his affairs, even to the marrying of a wife, must 
be transacted through the father. So every woman has 
a husband, and must have till her strength is gone and 
her son is grown ; when she goes to spend the rest of 
her life with him ; and every girl, who is destined to 
fetch ten or fifteen head of cattle in the market, when 
old enough to marry, has her father or proprietor, and 
would have, though all her kindred were to die. 

Of marriage laws I shall have more to say at another 
time. A word, however, here, in respect to inheritance 
and succession to the chieftainship, will not be out of 
place. The wealth of a man among this people con- 
sists chiefly in the number of his cattle, wives, and 
daughters. Each wife costs so many head of cattle, and 


each daughter will sell for so many, ten, twenty, or 
fifty, according to their rank, ability, and beauty. 
"Where polygamy is practiced, the law of inheritance 
becomes very complicated ; yet their system is made to 
reach every case, since each wife has her own house, or 
family, and her allotted place in the line of matrimonial 
alliance, as first, second, or third, in her lord's inven- 
tory. The woman first taken is not always the first in 
rank, as the husband may give this to another. The 
eldest son of a given house, if grown to be a man, when 
his father dies, inherits the property of that house, or 
stands in the relation of father to that establishment. 
If he belong to the great house, having been born of 
the choice wife, he has the entire estate, and is bound 
to look after the interests of all parties till other sons 
come up and claim their portions. If the man have no 
son, the property goes to the next heir, — to his father : 
to a brother of the same house, or of some other house; 
to some more distant relation ; or, in case of an entire 
failure of heirs such as their laws recognize, it goes to 
the chief, the acknowledged embodiment of the state. 
The women, being themselves held and counted as pro- 
perty, — so many cattle, — are incapacitated, save in rare 
instances, to inherit or possess anything. 

The same general principles hold in respect to an 
heir to the throne as in respect to the inheritance of 
property ; though the king, in naming the particular 
wife or house from which this honor, his successor, shall 
come, provided he should ever die, finds it expedient to- 
consult the pleasure of the great men of his kingdom ; 
since any decision to which they should be opposed 
would be thwarted by intrigue after his decease. Quite 


likely the " great wife" may be one of the last in that 
usually long series with which the Zulu-Kafir king is 
connected. The reasons for this are obviously two-fold; 
the wives who were taken in his later days, when his 
wealth, his power, his name are known abroad at the 
.courts of other kings, are likely to be women of a more 
distinguished rank than those of his youth ; and then 
again, were the king to arrange for an heir from one of 
his first wives, the son might be ready for the throne 
before the father would be ready to give it up. Should 
the " great son" be a minor when the king dies, the 
great men of the realm, the ol& king's counselors, con- 
duct the affairs of state till he is old enough to be in- 
ducted into office ; or some brother may take the sceptre, 
as Dingan did. and after him, Umpande, both brothers 
of Chaka. 

The time to inaugurate the new chief having arrived, 
the people of his own nation, perhaps also the chiefs of 
neighboring tribes, send in their offerings, — a few head 
of cattle from each kraal, — when large numbers meet 
at the capital, and go through a grand dance, and other 
ceremonies suited to the occasion ; an ample charge 
being given him, meantime, by the veteran ministers of 
his father's reign, as to how he is to conduct the affairs 
of the kingdom. Henceforth he is king. The nation 
is his, the people, the cattle, the lands, — everything ; 
but then he must provide for all, protect all, govern all. 
His word is absolute law ; yet he must show a proper 
regard for the customs of the people, must consult his 
counselors, and take good heed to the precedents handed 
down from other days. The nation is all at his service, 
the great men to give him advice in respect to war, to 


lead his armies, to act as advocates, counselors, judges, 
in the trial of cases, or to carry out the decisions, col- 
lect the fines, inflict the penalties, which he declares : 
the commoners to serve as soldiers, build his military 
towns, dig his gardens, and take care of his cattle ;— 
but then all these must have a portion of the spoils of 
war, of fines collected, of property confiscated, — a liveli- 
hood for their services. The foreigner is surprised to 
see the minute completeness of this system, — agents and 
subagents posted throughout the realm, one responsible 
for the people about this mountain, another for those 
who live along the banks of that river ; each subordinate 
group, nook, and corner, having its subordinate officer, 
by whom petty cases are tried, and all minor affairs ar- 
ranged, subject, however, to an appeal to the paramount 

In cases of so-called witchcraft, — in which the al- 
leged guilty man's wealth, some whim of his neigh- 
bors, or some pique of the chieftain is, doubtless, in 
reality, the prime occasion of the complaint, — the royal 
magistrate is professedly aided by the izinyanga, witch- 
doctors, who " smell out" the obnoxious party; and 
among whom, together with the accusers and the king, 
the property of the condemned must be divided. 

In respect to some of the vices and crimes which are 
common in other nations, the people, especially the 
Amazulu and the unsophisticated natives of Natal, bear 
a much better character thafa could be expected. During 
a residence of many years among them, with almost no 
bolt or bar of any kind on my premises, I am not aware 
that I have had anything stolen from me. This fact is, 
no doubt, owing in a great measure to the severe penalty, 


death, with which the thief was wont to be punished 
under their own laws, especially in the days of Chaka. 
It must not, however, be inferred that no native now 
dares to take that which does not belong to him. We 
have reason to fear that this evil is on the increase. 
Nor need I say that stealing is common in the South of 
Kafirland, where the law requires restitution, or inflicts 
a fine. 

Murders, too, are much less frequent among the na- 
tives of Natal, and their pure Zulu neighbors, than 
might be expected from a people like those of whom we 
speak. A party found guilty of this crime is sometimes 
executed ; though more generally a fine is inflicted. In 
case of theft or murder, and crimes of a like character, 
it is not necessary to trace out the guilty person, since 
the whole affair may be adjusted on the principle of col- 
lective responsibility. If a case can be established 
against a given kraal or community, that community or 
kraal are bound to make reparation. Most of their 
fines are paid in cattle, a few head of which will gene- 
rally settle any case of adultery, rape, arson, homicide, 
or assault. 

The " glorious uncertainty of the law" is proverbial; 
but if " uncertainty" be a ground of "glory" in the 
law of other lands, then surely there can be no want of 
that attribute in the law of this. With no written code, 
no " letter of the law," to which appeal may be made, — 
but a mass of traditional and conflicting precedents, 
and dependence upon the word of the king for judg- 
ment, of AVhom it were expecting too much to suppose 
him always free from favoritism, caprice, prejudice or 
ignorance, we must believe the guilty often go unwhipt 


of justice, whilst the innocent suffer. Then, too, how- 
ever good a man's case may be, when we consider the 
amount of time, perseverance, courage, combativeness, 
and the number of friends required to carry a case 
through a Kafir court, we might almost suppose many a 
wronged party would rather endure wrong than go to 
law for redress. 

To get some idea of this point, as also insight into the 
character of this people, take the following graphic 
sketch of the forms and processes of Kafir jurisprudence, 
as furnished by the Rev. Mr. Dugmore, which describes 
the course of a case at law quite as well among the 
Amazulu, on the north of us, as among the Amakosa, 
where the sketch was taken, on the south of us : — 

" The conduct of a Kafir law- suit through its various 
stages is an amusing seems to any one who understands 
the language, and who marks the proceedings with a 
view to elicit mental character. 

" When a man has ascertained that he has sufficient 
grounds to enter an action against another, his first step 
is to proceed with a party of his friends or ad- 
herents, armed, to the residence of the person against 
whom his action lies. On their arrival, they sit down 
together in some conspicuous position, and await quietly 
the result of their presence. As a law party is readily 
known by the aspect and deportment of its constituents, 
its appearance at any kraal is the signal for mustering 
all the adult male residents that are forthcoming. These 
accordingly assemble, and also sit down together, within 
conversing distance of the generally unwelcome visitors. 
The two parties survey each other in silence for some 
time. ' Tell us the news !' at length exclaims one of 


the adherents of the defendant, should their patience 
fail first. Another pause sometimes ensues, during 
which the party of the plaintiff discuss in an under tone 
which of their company shall be ' opening counsel.' This 
decided, the 'learned gentleman' commences a minute 
statement of the case, the rest of the party confining 
themselves to occasional suggestions, which he adopts 
or rejects at pleasure. Sometimes he is allowed to pro- 
ceed almost uninterrupted to the close of the statement, 
the friends of the defendant listening with silent atten- 
tion, and treasuring up in their memories all the points 
of importance, for a future stage of the proceedings. 
Generally, however, it receives a thorough sifting from 
the beginning, every assertion of consequence being 
made the occasion of a most searching series of cross- 

" The case thus fairly opened, which often occupies 
several hours, it probably proceeds no farther the first 
day. The plaintiff and his party are told that the 
6 men' of the place are from home ; that there are none 
but ' children' present, who are not competent to dis- 
cuss such important matters. They accordingly retire, 
with the tacit understanding that the case is to be re- 
sumed the next day. 

" During the interval, the defendant formally makes 
known to the men of the neighboring kraals that an ac- 
tion has been entered against him, and they are expected 
to be present on his behalf at the resumption of the 
case. In the meantime, the first day's proceedings hav- 
ing indicated the line of argument adopted by the plain- 
tiff, the plan of defence is arranged accordingly. In- 
formation is collected, arguments are suggested, prece- 


dents sought for, able debaters called in, and every 
possible preparation made for the battle of intellects 
that is to be fought on the following day. The plaintiff's 
party, usually reinforced both in mental and in material 
strength, arrive the next morning and take up their 
ground again. Their opponents, now mustered in force, 
confront them, seated on the ground, each man with his 
arms by his side. The case is resumed by some ' advo- 
cate for the defendant ' requiring a re-statement of the 
plaintiff's grounds of action. This is commenced, per- 
haps, by one who was not even present at the previous 
day's proceedings, but who has been selected for this 
more difficult stage of the case on account of his debat- 
ing abilities. 

"Then comes the 'tug of war.' The ground is dis- 
puted inch by inch ; every assertion is contested, every 
proof attempted to be invalidated ; objection meets ob- 
jection, and question is opposed by counter question, 
each disputant endeavoring, with surprising adroitness, 
to throw the burden of answering on his opponent. The 
Socratic method of debate appears in all its perfection, 
both parties being equally versed in it. The rival ad- 
vocates warm as they proceed, sharpening each other's 
intellects, and kindling each other's ardor, till, from the 
passions that seem enlisted in the contest, a stranger 
might suppose the interests of the nation to be at stake, 
and dependent upon the decision. 

" When these combatants have spent their strength, 
or one of them is overcome in argument, others step in 
to the rescue. The battle is fought over again on dif- 
ferent grounds ; some point, either of law or evidence, 
that had been purposely kept in abeyance, being now 


brought forward, and perhaps the entire aspect of the 
case changes. The whole of the second day is fre- 
quently taken up with this intellectual gladiatorship, 
and it closes without any other result than an exhibi- 
tion of the relative strength of the opposing parties. 
The plaintiff's company retire again, and the defendant 
and his friends review their own position. Should they 
feel that they have been worsted, and that the case is 
one that cannot be successfully defended, they prepare 
to attempt to bring the matter to a conclusion by an 
offer of the smallest satisfaction the law allows. This 
is usually refused, in expectation of an advance in the 
offer, which takes place generally in proportion to the 
defendant's anxiety to prevent an appeal. Should the 
plaintiff at length accede to the proposed terms, they 
are fulfilled, and the case is ended by a formal declara- 
tion of acquiescence. 

"If, however, as it frequently happens, the case in- 
volves a number of intricate questions that afford room 
for quibbling, the debates -are renewed day after day, 
till the plaintiffs determine to appeal to the decision of 
the Umpakati, who has charge of the neighboring dis- 
trict. He proceeds with his array of advocates to his 
kraal, and the case is re-stated in his presence. The 
defendant confronts him, and the whole affair is gone 
into anew on an enlarged scale of investigation. The 
history of the case, the history of the events that led to it, 
collateral circumstances, journeys, visits, conversations, 
bargains, exchanges, gifts, promises, threatenings, births, 
marriages, deaths, that were taken, paid, made, given, 
or occurred in connection with either of the contending 
parties, or their associates, or their relatives of the pre- 


sent or past generation, all come under review ; and be- 
fore the ' court of appeal' has done with the affair, the 
history, external and internal, of a dozen families, for 
the past ten years, is made the subject of conflicting 
discussion. The resident magistrate decides the case, 
if he can, after perhaps a week's investigation ; but if 
not, or if either party be dissatisfied with his decision 
an appeal can still be made to the chief ' in council.' 

" Should this final step be resolved on, the appealing 
party proceeds to the c great place.' Here, however, 
more of form and ceremony must be observed than be- 
fore. As soon as he and his company arrive within 
hearing, he shouts at the full extent of his voice : ' Ndi 
mangele !' (Z lodge a complaint.) 'IT mangele 'nto 
nina V [You lodge a complaint of what?) is the imme- 
diate response, equally loud, from whichever of the 
1 men of the great place' happens to catch the sound. 
A shouting dialogue commences, the complainants ap- 
proaching all the while till they have reached the usual 
position occupied on such occasions, a spot at the re- 
spectful distance of some fifty paces from the council- 
hut. The dialogue lasts as long as the Umpakati 
chooses to question, and then ceases. The complainants 
sit still. By-and-by, some one else comes out of the 
house and sees the party : ' What do you complain 
about?' 'We complain about so and so;' and the case 
is begun afresh. He listens and questions as long as 
he likes, and then passes on. A third happens to be 
going by. The inquiry is repeated, and again a state- 
ment is commenced. The Umpjakati wakwomkulu ques- 
tions as he goes, and without stopping continues his in- 
terrogations till he is out of hearing. This tantalizing 
11 * 


and seemingly contemptuous procedure is repeated at 
the pleasure or caprice of any man who chances to form 
one of the ' court' for the time being, and it would be 
6 contempt of court' to refuse to answer. At length, 
when it suits their convenience, the councilors assemble 
and listen to the complainant's statement. The oppo- 
site party, if he has not come voluntarily to confront 
his accusers, is summoned by authority. On his arrival, 
the former processes of statement and counter-state- 
ment are repeated, subjected to the cross-examining or- 
deal through which old Kafir lawyers know so well how 
to put a man. The chief meanwhile is perhaps lying 
stretched on a mat in the midst of his council, appa- 
rently asleep, or in a state of dignified indifference as 
to what is going forward. He is, however, in reality as 
wide-awake as any present, of which he can generally 
give proof should he see fit to assume the office of ex- 
aminer himself. He sometimes does so, after having 
listened to the debates that have taken place in his pre- 
sence, and then decides the case. At other times he forms 
his decisions upon the result of the investigations con- 
ducted by Tiis councilors, and takes no part in the case 
but to pronounce judgment. On this being done, the 
party in whose favor judgment is given starts up, rushes 
to the feet of the chief, kisses them, and in an impas- 
sioned oration extols the wisdom and justice of his judge 
to the skies. A party from the i great place' is sent 
with him to enforce the decision, and bring back the 
chief's share of the fine imposed, and the affair is at an 

It will be seen, from what has been said, that the 
Zulus are generally disposed to pay deference to age, 


rank, and constituted authority ; and that, with all their 
want of discipline, they have an idea that every thing 
should be done in an orderly and systematic manner. 
This comes out not only in the greater, but often in some 
of the most trivial affairs. A messenger, returning to 
his chief or his employer, from the most distant journey, 
relates to him every event of the journey from the time 
he left till his return. A man going to pay a visit to 
his kins; must be announced and wait the king's con- 
sent, and then be ushered in, with all due form, or give 
his life for his neglect of law. One man going to the 
kraal of another must wait to be saluted before he ven- 
tures to speak, even to salute those whom he approaches. 
A person begins to treat for an article offered for sale, 
and all bystanders must be silent till he has finished; 
either obtaining or refusing the article as he pleases. 
A person speaking in public must "have the floor," 
'without interruption, till he has concluded, and then his 
opponent must have the same courtesy shown to him. 

Hence, again, a certain logical turn of mind for which 
the trJbes of which we speak are not a little distin- 
guished. A good argument they can both make and 
appreciate. Within the range of their own observa- 
tion and experience, they are not behind the most ac- 
complished logician in readiness to assign a reason, or 
draw an inference, to establish their own views on the 
best ground, or upset those of their opponent. In 
these things they often exhibit not only much tact, but 
also a quickness of perception, a faculty for making 
nice distinctions, and even a strength of mind for which 
many have been slow to give them credit. 

A boy from among this people once said to the writer : 


"You, my teacher, tell us that God is almighty, and 
that he abhors sin, and that the wicked angels were 
once expelled from heaven because of their rebellion. 
Why, then, does this mighty God suffer Satan to de- 
ceive men and work all manner of wickedness in their 
hearts in this world? Why does he not destroy the 
hateful tempter at once, and help men to be holy and 
acceptable by delivering them from such evil influ- 

Another, a professor of the Christian faith, once put 
to me the following inquiry : " What shall I do when I 
am out, for instance, on a journey among the people, 
and they offer such food as they have, perhaps the flesh 
of an animal which has been slaughtered in honor of 
the amahlozi, the ghosts of the departed? If I eat it, 
they will say : ■ See there, he is a believer in our reli- 
gion ; he partakes with us of the meat offered to our 
gods.' And if I do not eat, they will also say, ' See 
there, he is a believer in the existence and power of 
our gods, else why does he hesitate to eat of the meat 
which we have slaughtered to them?'" Examples 
might be multiplied in illustration of the mental quick- 
ness and judgment for which I have given them credit. 

This discriminating and casuistic turn of mind is fa- 
vored by another feature in their political institutions ; 
I refer to the open character of their courts of justice, 
and to the freedom granted to all to plead a case at 
law, or to discuss a public question in their councils. 
Advocates or lawyers by profession they have not; but 
the king always has with him a number of attendants 
from different parts of his realm, who remain for some 
weeks or months, and then return hom^ and give place 


to others. In case of a law-suit, or the discussion of 
any great question, any of the attendants or counselors 
who may happen to be present, may come forward and 
advocate either side. There is, evidently, as much am- 
bition to appear well and make out a good case, among 
these sable advocates, as among those who elsewhere 
make law their profession. In this way, not only is a 
good knowledge of the law extended to all parts of the 
realm, and their political institutions handed down from 
age to age, but the whole national mind is quickened 
and taught the principles and the practice of logic and 
of oratory ; and that, too, in a royal college, the king 
himself being professor. 

But, though there are points of excellence in their 
civil institutions, and opportunities are afforded by them 
for valuable mental discipline, it is no strange thing for 
these institutions and opportunities to be abused. The 
advantages which they offer for enlarging and elevating 
the mind are too often turned to its degradation. In 
the administration of African law and government, there 
is, often, too much intrigue, and flattery, often the in- 
fluence of prejudice and force. Hence the smaller class 
suffers injustice at the hands of the larger, and must 
perish, if it will not yield ; the man of many cattle, 
under a charge, which, if proved, forfeits them, is too 
sure to be condemned, though innocent ; and the weaker 
party in a suit loses his case, because he is weak. 

But all this low cunning and deceit, the perverting 
of truth,, and giving of false testimony, the suppressing 
of the better feelings, and the warping of the mind to 
admit and approve the wrong in face of the right, must 
always have a pernicious influence upon both mind and 


morals. Such perversions of mind — of truth and right — 
may be found, to some extent, in all lands, and are in- 
variably attended with the same evils. And the wonder 
is, not that these perversions and evils exist here, but 
that, in the absence for ages, of all revealed truth, 
and of all proper religious instruction, there should still 
remain among them so much of mental integrity, so 
much of ability to discern truth and justice, and, withal, 
so much of regard for these principles in their daily in- 
tercourse with one another. 

But an effect upon the mind of the Amazulu, more 
pernicious than any which has been named, is that which 
results from the capricious and despotic character of 
their kings. True, their king is influenced to some ex- 
tent by public opinion, and can never go against the 
wishes of the mass except at the hazard of his own 
life: yet the lives of his subjects are really in his hands, 
to take or to spare as he pleases. And as his pleasure 
cannot always be known from his professions, nor in- 
ferred from any fixed regard either for the right, or for 
the common laws of evidence, where the people are not 
shielded by other powers, (as now in this colony,) they 
pass their lives in constant fear of incurring his dis- 
pleasure, and hence, of confiscation and of death. 

This leads them continually into the most extravagant 
professions of confidence, and love, and adoration, 
though at heart, they may be strangers to all these af- 
fections for their sovereign. The king, in tarn, learn- 
" ing that these professions are hollow-heatted, and that 
his people are not likely to obey and sustain him through 
love, resolves to rule them through fear ; hence he re- 
sorts to those sanguinary measures which strike his sub- 


jects with dread, and serve to beget within them a 
stoical indifference to life when once they are suspected 
and brought into the hands of authority. 

This state of things has within itself no remedy, but 
of necessity grows worse and worse. It leaves in the 
king and his subjects no place for the nobler sentiments 
of generosity, frankness, and gratitude ; but tends to 
hypocrisy, and a kind of fatalism, which are far from 
favorable to true dignity of character and good mental 
development. The only real remedy for all these evils 
is the blessed gospel of the Son of God. Under the 
teachings of the Bible such mental and moral changes 
have been wrought among the Zulus, as to prove the 
power of Christianity to meet even the degraded South 
African's spiritual wants, to renew his heart, and 
to raise the whole race to civilization, virtue, and hap- 




" God left himself 
Not without witness of his presence there; 
He gave them rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, 
Filling unthankful hearts with food and gladness. 
He gave them kind affections which they strangled, 
Turning his grace into lasciviousness. 
He gave them powers of intellect, to scale 
Heaven's height; to name and number all the stars; 
To penetrate earth's depths for hidden riches, 
Or clothe its surface with fertility ; 

* * * • * * * 

Such powers to these were given, but given in vain, 
They knew them not, or, as they learned to know, 
Perverted them to more pernicious evil 
Than ignorance had skill to perpetrate." Montgomery. 

As the district of Natal does not suffer so much for 
the want of rain as do some other parts of Southern 
Africa, rain-makers are not so common here as they 
would be under other circumstances ; and most of those 
who really attempt to practice that art in this land are 
Bechuanas from the other side of the Kwahlamba range. 
In former years, when the real object and character of 
the missionary were not understood so well as now, the 
people used to apply to him to bring on a shower in 


time of special need ; and even now they seem to think, 
ofttimes, that he has some peculiar, magical kind of 
control over the clouds ; so that if they muster a good 
audience for a few Sabbaths in a time of great drought, 
and especially in early spring before the rains have set 
in, it will have in some way a happy influence on the 
heavens, and be pretty sure to bring them down a bles- 
sing. Moreover, as the missionary was naturally wont 
to put on dark-colored, thick clothes, when the raw, 
rainy winds began to blow, many of the natives used to 
conclude there was some mysterious connection between 
a black coat and a plentiful shower. 

The people have great faith in medicines and amu- 
lets, — roots, herbs, bark, wood of various kinds, certain 
bones and claws, hoofs and horns, sundry bits of hide 
and hair, various forms and ceremonies ; and the more 
hideous or destructive the animal from which bones and 
claws, hide and hair are taken, the greater virtue do 
these things seem to be possessed of. The more benighted 
and superstitious a man is, the larger the string of such 
articles about his neck. They no doubt have some good 
medicines ; and some of their herb-doctors evidently 
know something about their proper use ; but they are 
far from disposed to abide by that which is known, na- 
tural and proper. A man once came to me, asking for 
medicine for a sick friend. I gave him a dose of salts. 
Half an hour afterwards, going in that direction to visit 
a kraal, I found the man soliciting other medicines of 
a native doctor, — bits of wood and bark, parings from 
the skin of a wolf, scrapings from various bones, claws, 
and other things, — all to be mixed with my salts and 
given to the unfortunate patient. 


Nor is it for sickness alone that they take medicine ; 
neither do they suppose the effect of medicine to be con- 
fined to the party who takes it. Sometimes you see a 
man nibbling away at a little root, or a bit of wood, 
that dangles from his neck, the design of which may be 
to soften the heart of some man of whom he wants to 
make a purchase, or some woman whose hand he is seek- 
ing in marriage. Should he see a snake in the grass, 
he has another bit to nibble and blow at the reptile ; 
hoping by this means to repel an attack, and effect an 
escape from all harm. In a thunder storm, he has still 
another bit to nibble ; whereby he hopes to protect him- 
self from lightning. 

They have still other medicines to eat on the eve of 
battle, to make the foe faint-hearted. 

It would not be easy to find a people more learned 
than the Zulus profess to be in the science of augury. 
I once saw a woman in the greatest distress, in fact she 
thought she was about to die, because a large bird, a 
kind of turkey-buzzard, had happened to visit their 
kraal. For one of these birds to be caught in a snare 
is a bad sign. If any body kills either this bird or a 
kind of hawk, he too will die, — so they say. It is omi- 
nous of evil, a sign that some of the people or the cattle 
are to be sick or die, for a cock to crow in the early 
part of the night, before people retire. If a rock-rab- 
bit runs into a kraal, if a dog or a calf jumps upon a 
hut, it is a sign that something is going to happen, — 
somebody, or something be sick or die. They must not 
eat amasi when it thunders, lest they should be struck 
by the lightning. They must not dig their gardens, 


but sit idle and do nothing, the day after a hail-storm, 
lest their crops should be blighted. 

For -a man to eat amasi at a neighbor's kraal or 
among strangers would be a most indecent thing, a sign 
that he would eventually return thither for criminal 
purposes. The whiskers of a leopard put in a person's 
food will produce nausea and death, but pounded up and 
eaten with some of the flesh will give a man courage and 
success in the hunt. The people killing one of those 
creatures are bound to take it to their chief, where the 
man who gave it the first stab gets a cow for his ex- 
ploit ; and the man who gave it the second, a goat. Its 
claws are strung on a string and worn, sometimes with 
other things of like character, such as the claws of large 
birds, or the smaller horns of cattle, about their neck, 
as a charm, a mark of distinction, or a proof of prowess. 
Feeding their dogs on the beaks and claws of birds, is 
said to make them fierce and so fit them for good ser- 
vice in the chase. 

In slaughtering to the amahlozi, or departed spirits, 
the gall is counted most precious; being that on which 
they must chiefly depend for appeasing the wrath of 
their gods, and obtaining their favor. Hence they 
sprinkle it about their persons, on their heads, over the 
whole body, and drink some of it ; at the same time of- 
fering a kind of supplicative address to the shades. But 
more of this anon. The gall-bladder is also valued, and 
w^orn upon the head, perhaps on the arm or wrist. 
Should the animal slaughtered be found to have but 
little gall, the amaldozi are charged with having come 
and drunk it while the cow or goat was yet alive. 

Ask the untaught heathen natives what they know or 


believe, or what their fathers and mothers used to tell 
them about the origin of our race, — who was the first 
man, or whence he came, — and the reply of one is that 
the race began with Unkulunkulu, " the great-great 
one," who burst out of a stock, literally, out of a reed, 
and made us ; another says the race was made by Urn- 
velikangi, "the originator;" while still another says, 
the old people tell us, — Our great progenitors w T ere two, 
Unkulunkulu and Umvelikangi, who both sprang from 
a reed, one a man, the other a woman ; and that, after 
wandering about for a time, they fell upon a garden, 
where they found various kinds of food, which they 
plucked, tasted, ate, and found to be very nice. Here 
they lived and multiplied, and soon became very nu- 

Ask them about the end of man, — where he goes af- 
ter death, — and one will reply that he becomes an ihlozi, 
plural amahlozi, or an itongo, a shade, or ghost, and goes 
to live somewhere underground, there to build and abide 
with his ancestral friends. Tradition says, a certain 
man once paid a visit to this spectral region ; being 
taken by a large lion and put into a great deep cavern, 
the abode of the amahlozi. The passage to the occu- 
pied portion was long and narrow. But the shades did 
not allow him to stay long with them, giving him some 
food and sending him back. He said they seemed 
happy, had plenty of cattle ; only they were very small 
people, cattle, houses, and all, — a kind of Lilliputian 
race, and everything to match. So much for tradition. 

But there is little congruity in the accounts which 
the people give of all these things. Some say that when 
a man dies his isitunzi, shadow, spirit, ghost, goes off 


and turns into a snake. Hence, for certain kinds of 
serpents they have a great respect, a kind of awe, so 
that when one comes about their houses, perhaps en- 
ters, and crawls among their dishes and bedding, they 
never attempt to harm it, but rather adore it, gaze upon 
it, entranced, saying, " The spirit of our friend has come 
to see us." Sometimes they prepare for it a pot of beer. 
Should any one attempt to kill or harm it, they cry out 
against him, call him a fool, and declare that should he 
strike it he himself would die. 

Lions and elephants are also, sometimes, looked upon 
as an embodiment of the spirit of their departed friends, 
especially their chieftains. Hence, should one of these 
animals visit their kraal, pass near or round it, without 
doing them any harm, they would say they had been 
favored with a visit from the spirit of their royal an- 

To these shades of the dead, especially to the ghosts 
of their great men, as Jama, Senzangakona, and Chaka, 
their former kings, they look for help, and offer sacri- 
fices ; that is, slaughter cattle to them, and offer a sort 
of prayer, in time of danger and distress. As an illus- 
tration of their delusion, and degradation, and for an 
outline of their creed and worship, its objects and modes, 
take the following, from their own people, and in their 
own words, translated into English. 

The first statement is from one who had forsaken 
these superstitions and become a Christian. He says : 

"When sickness comes, some one takes something, 

and goes to the priest to inquire about the sickness. 

And when he arrives at the priest's, he comes up, sits 

down, and pays his respects, saying, friend, good news. 



The priest remains silent for a time, then takes his 
snuff-box, and says, come on, let us go yonder. What 
have you brought? Then they say, king, we have 
brought nothing of any value ; we have brought — here 
is a trifle. Then he pours out his snuff, and snuffs, and 
says, come my friends, speak that we may hear ; smite, 
smite ye ; (i. e., smite the earth with rods, that I may 
hear.) Then the people say, hear. And he says, sick- 
ness. Then the people say, hear. And he says, smite 
ye again. Then he says, it is in the chest. And the 
people say, hear. Then he says, it is in the belly. And 
the people say, hear. Then he says, it is in the head. 
And the people say, hear. Then he says, he has the 
worms. And the people say, hear. Then he says, 
smite ye again. Then the people say, hear. And he 
says, he has a demon. And the people say, hear. He 
says, his paternal shade wants something. And the 
people say, hear. Then he says, it is the shades of his 
ancestors. And the people say, hear. His ancestral 
shades say, why is it that he does not care for us? 
Why does he no longer recognize us?" since we have 
preserved him from infancy. Then the people say, hear. 
Will he never build a large kraal for our sake? Why 
does he not still recognize us? Then the people say, 
there, that's it. And he says, they ask, why is it that 
no offering is made to them by the slaying of an animal? 
Then the people say, there, that is just it. Then he 
says, smite again, my friend, that I may hear. And 
the people say, there, there, he is coming nearer and 
nearer to the seat of the difficulty. Then he says, his 
paternal shade is angry with him. And the people say, 
hear. Then he says, he is diseased, he is sick ; the 


shades are calling him. Then the people say, who told 
you? — hear. Then he says, smite on again, my friend. 

" Then he takes out his snuff-box, pours out some snuff, 
and takes it, the people who were smiting being now 
silent; and when he has taken some snuff, then they 
also go and ask for some ; and he snuffs, and finishes ; 
and then says, smite again, my friend. And the people 
say, hear. Then he says, he has a biting pain in the 
bowels. Then he says, he is sick, he is very sick. 
And the people say, hear. Then he says, should an 
animal be offered he will recover. And the people say, 
hear. Then he says, the shades require that particular 
cow of theirs. 

"And so when he has finished, the people give him 
the present which they brought, and go home. Arriv- 
ing at home, the people there at home say, come now, 
tell us, that we may hear the words of the priest. 
What did he pretend to say? How did he inquire and 
perform? Oh! the priest performed thus; he came 
and followed the omen of the occasion ; he came and 
said, he is sick ; he came and said, he has a disease ; he 
came and said, he is called by the shades of his ances- 
tors, who reproach him, saying, why is it that he ac- 
knowledges them no longer, since long ago they went 
and delivered him from great suffering while other 
people died? Have they not delivered him from great 
evil? Why, then, does he not continue to acknow- 
ledge us, and give us what we require? 

" And now the sick man admits it all, and says, oh ! 
since that which they require is thus required by them- 
selves, who then can refuse it? Then the people all 
say, oh ! yes, as you say, who could refuse a thing when 


it is thus demanded by the owners themselves ? How 
can the priest be mistaken, since he has gone so evi- 
dently according to the omen ? Do not ye yourselves 
perceive that he has run according to the omen ? Then 
let them have their cow, the very same which they have 
demanded ; and then we will see whether sickness will 
leave me. To this they all assent; and now some one 
person goes out, and when he has come abroad without 
the kraal, all who are within their houses keep silence, 
while he goes round the kraal, the outer enclosure of the 
kraal, and says, c honor to thee, lord' — offering prayer 
to the shades, he continues — ' a blessing, let a blessing 
come, then, since you have really demanded your cow ; 
let sickness depart utterly. Thus we offer your animal. 
And on our part we say, let the sick man come out, 
come forth, be no longer sick, and slaughter your ani- 
mal, then, since we have now consented that he' may 
have it for his own use. Glory to thee, lord ; good news ; 
come then, let us see him going about like other people. 
Now, then, we have given you what you want ; let us 
therefore see whether or not it was required in order 
that he might recover, and that the sickness might pass 

"And then coming out, spear in hand, he enters the 
cattle-fold, comes up, and stabs it ; the cow cries, says 
y-e-h ! to which he replies, an animal for the gods ought 
to show signs of distress ; it is all right then, just what 
you required. 

" Then they skin it, eat it, finish it. The disease 
still remaining, he goes and talks with other people, and 
says : how is it with me that I have slaughtered my 
cow — it was said to be required by my paternal shades — ■ 


and yet I have never recovered ? And if he should not 
recover, most of the people begin to say, oh ! they just 
went and forged lies ; they would just take a man's last 
cow, and say it was required by the shades, whereas 
that cow was not required ; it was a mere device of the 
lips. If it had been required by the shades, then why 
has he not already recovered ? They never made any 
such request ; it was a mere cheat to rob a man of his 
cow. The shades did not require it. If they did, then 
let him get well ; it is now a long time since we saw 
that the cow was required. How is it that he has not 
recovered ? That priest has been fabricating a lie ; he 
does not know how to inquire of the oracle. Let us go 
to another priest. 

" They consent, take a present, and go to another 
priest. Coming to the other, they salute him, and say, 
hail, friend, good news. And then he would inquire, 
saying, what present have you brought ? And they 
say, we have brought a present so and so. Says he, 
oh! the ghost (oracle, or divinity) refuses ; he is not 
willing that I should inquire to-day ; he is absent. 
They return home, and go to another; arrive, pay their 
respects, and say, hail, friend, good news. He inquires, 
what present have you brought ? We have brought — 
here is our present. Then after sitting a short time, 
he calls them, and says, sit here. Then he takes out 
his snuff-box, takes snuff, and talks the news awhile ; 
and after a little time, having finished the snuff, he says, 
come now, my friends, speak ye, that we may hear. 
And they say, hear. Then he says, sickness ; he is 
afflicted ; thy brother is sick ; smite, that I may hear. 
And they say, hear. He is sick — hear ; he is sick in 


the belly ; his belly is bad. And they say, hear. He 
has a biting pain. And they say, hear. The pain ex- 
tends from the back to the hip. They say, hear. He 
says, smite — hear — my friend. And they say, hear. 
He says, he has a ghost ; he is called by his deceased 
; father, who says, why does he abuse him by conducting 
in that manner ? His father is weary. They say, hear. 
He says, the shade of thy mother says, what art thou 
doing there yonder to her ? She is angry with thee. 
And they say, hear. Then he takes snuff; and having 
finished the snuff again, he says, drive the hearing again, 
my friend. And they say, hear. And he says, thy 
father demands a cow, and says, of the cattle of so and 
so let an offering be made by slaughtering. And they 
say, hear. He says, smite. They say, hear. He says, 
smite. They say, hear. He says, smite. They say, 
hear. And then, when he has finished, they give him 
his present, and go home ; and when they have arrived 
at home, the people at home inquire, saying, what did 
the priest pretend to say ? And they say, oh ! thus per- 
formed that priest, and pretended to say, the ancestral 
spirit requires that particular cow, thy favorite ; and 
says, since the cattle are mine, being given to you by 
myself, why have you never made me a decent offering ? 
And when all have heard, then the sick man says, oh ! 
since the owners themselves decide thus, why, what can I 
Bay ? So then let them have an offering. And then I 
will see whether or not I shall recover. Now, then, let 
me recover, since I have made them an offering. 

" Perhaps beer was prepared, with the understanding 
that some might like beef and beer. Then some one 
goes out, and there talks ; and accordingly all the peo- 


pie keep silence, and listen to what he says, to wit : — 
ye dwellers below, shades, ye our fathers, there then 
is your cow ; we offer the same. Now, then, let this 
your sick one recover ; let disease depart from him ; the 
cow is already your own. 

" Then he goes back into the house, takes a spear, 
goes out with it, and then the cow is slaughtered ; and 
when she bellows, he says, let your cow cry then, and 
bring out the evil which is in me ; let it be known 
abroad then, that it is your cow, which was required by 
yourselves. Thus it is slaughtered, thus it dies; and 
the rest of the cattle are put out to pasture, while this 
remains dead in the fold, and is left alone for a time ; 
then they go into the house, then come out and skin it ; 
and when they have finished, they cut it up, and carry 
it into the house. And taking the gall, he pours it 
over himself, and says, yes, then, good business this ; 
let all evil come to an end. Then the meat is shut up 
in the house, and is said to be eaten by the ancestral 
shades in the house. No one ever opens the house while 
it is said the shades are eating the beef. Then the con- 
tents of the stomach are strewn upon the houses of the 
man himself. And it comes to pass, towards evening, 
that they open the house, cook the meat, and then eat 
it, and finish the whole." 

By way of explanation and farther illustration my 
native narrator continues : — 

"When they are sick, they slaughter cattle to the 
shades, and say, father, look on me, that this disease 
may cease from me. Let me -have health on the earth, 
and live a long time. They carry the meat into the 
house, and shut it up there, saying, let the paternal 


shades eat, so shall they know that the offering was 
made for them, and grant us great wealth, so that both 
we and our children may prosper. 

" In the cattle-fold they talk a long time, praising the 
ghosts ; they take the contents of the stomach, and strew 
it upon all the fold. Again they take it, and strew it 
within the houses, saying, hail, friend! thou of such a 
place, grant us a blessing, beholding what we have done. 
You see this distress; may you remove it, since we have 
given you our animal. We know not what more you want, 
whether you still require anything more or not. 

u They say, may you grant us grain, that it may be 
abundant, that we may eat, of course, and not be in 
need of anything, since now we have given you what 
you want. They say, yes, for a long time have you 
preserved me in all my going. Behold, you see, I have 
just come to have a kraal. This kraal was built by 
yourself, father; and now why do you consent to dimi- 
nish your own kraal? Build on as you have begun, let 
it be large, that your offspring, still here above, may in- 
crease, increasing in knowledge of you, whence cometh 
great power. 

" Sometimes they make beer for the ghosts, and leave 
a little in the pot, saying, it will be eaten by the ghosts 
that they may grant an abundant harvest again, that 
we may not have a famine. If one is on the point of 
being injured by anything, he says, I was preserved by 
our divinity, which was still watching over me. Per- 
haps he slaughters a goat in honor of the same, and puts 
the gall on his head; and when the goat cries out for 
pain of being killed, he says, yes, then, there is your 
animal, let it cry, that ye may hear, ye our gods who 


have preserved me; I myself am desirous of living on 
thus a long time here on the earth ; why, then, do you 
call me to account, since I think I am all right in re- 
spect to you? And while I live, I put my trust in you 
our paternal and maternal gods." 

The following is the account which a true believer 
in these practices has given of them. His language 
shows, as you will perceive, that he has great confidence 
in the doctor's diagnosis. 

" They arrive and pay their respects thus, saying, 
hail, friend, according to the honor which belongeth to 
thee. Then presently he goes with them outside of the 
kraal, and says, consent ye. Then they say, hear. He 
says, if they have come because of sickness, you 
have come because of sickness. And if it be an in- 
fant, he says, the sickness is in a child, the belly. And 
should it be a case of worms, he says, it is a case of 
worms; they are in his stomach; you must seek a cer- 
tain medical man for him, who will dislodge them. But 
he will not be sick when he has dislodged them. Ac- 
cordingly, they go to that " doctor who deals in herbs, 
and when he has dislodged them he recovers. 

" Perhaps they go for an old person, and proceed as 
before ; they pay their respects, and say, hail, friend, 
according to your office. And then he takes them, and 
goes without with them, and arriving, says, let them 
consent. They say, hear. He says, you have come in 
behalf of an old person. They consent, and say, hear. 
He says, he is attacked with disease. If it is in the 
head, he says, the disease is in the head. They say, 
hear. He says, come now, consent, my friends. They 
say, hear. He says, let me hear what the disease is. 


They consent, and say, hear. And if he has disease iri^ 
the head, he says, he has disease in the head ; he must 
have a decoction of herbs prepared for him ; and it will 
descend from the head and break out in the lower limbs. 
And it may be another is sick, having some internal 
disease. Or perhaps they say, he has evil spirits ; let 
a certain cow be slaughtered ; the cow being slaugh- 
tered, he recovers. So another has evil spirits, though 
he is killed by the witches. In respect to another, the 
priests smell after a difficulty which is not in the sick 
man ; and then others smell out this disease which is in 
that man ; and tell him of a doctor who will have power 
over him. Another has had poison given him in his 
food ; and for him they must seek a doctor who will give 
him an emetic. Yet another is suffering from enchant- 
ment ; and yet another from witchery. 

" Then, of course, the animal comes, and is slaugh- 
tered at home. And they come and address the spirits, 
and say, eat ye, ye so and so, there is your animal. 
Why should you come and claim one of our people ? 
' and say, he must die ? Are ye not satisfied with de- 
manding your cow ? Thus they praise them with their 
songs ; and then they praise their grandmothers, who 
are in advance of their fathers. Then the cow is slain, 
and the contents of the stomach are scattered about the 
whole fold, being mixed with the contents of the yard ; 
for they are afraid of the witches, saying, they will 
come and take out the umswani, and then the sick man 
will have a relapse ; therefore it is mingled. And when 
the meat is ready, it is all carried into the house and 
left there. The blood is cooked. The house is shut, 
that no one may enter. At night, the little boys sleep 


there. In the morning, it is brought out and cooked ; 
and companies come from the kraals to eat the head. 
And when they have finished eating, they render thanks, 
saying, the company is thankful, and hopes, in view of 
this, that the man may recover and continue to enjoy 
health; though so and so (the ghosts) would have done 
an evil thing ; but since their cow has been eaten, the 
man ought now to escape and remain." 

When death actually comes, the friends of the de- 
ceased set up a general wail, — run to and fro, in and 
about their kraal, wringing their hands, smiting their 
breasts, and crying for an hour, more or less, at the top 
of their voices, weeping and lamenting for the dead. A 
kind of grave is then dug, often under the fence of the 
kraal, sometimes within, sometimes without ; the corpse 
is interred in a sitting posture, the same day ; and the 
place covered over with stones, or fenced about with 
thorn-bushes, to keep it from being disturbed by man or 
beast. The most of the garments and implements 
which belonged to the deceased, are buried with the 

The burial over, all parties rush to the river for a 
general ablution. Then some animal, — goat or cow, — 
must be slaughtered to propitiate the gods. Medicines 
must also be obtained, mixed with parts of the slaugh- 
tered animal, such as the brains, and administered to 
the survivors, to ward off evil, and make them proof 
against disease and death. Having remained a few 
months to guard the grave, a new building spot is 
chosen, and the kraal removed. 

When they begin to occupy a new kraal, whether on 
an occasion like the above or not, the first thing to be 


done is to offer an animal to the gods, and propitiate 
their favor. 

The natives are exceedingly averse to touching a 
dead body ; and when a stranger falls sick among them, 
and seems about to die, he is sometimes cast out, yet 
alive, and left in the open field, or in a jungle to die, or 
to be eaten by beasts of prey, ere life becomes extinct. 
But I have never known an instance of their treating a 
friend or acquaintance in this revolting manner. 

We have seen how this poor people try to cure dis- 
ease and avoid death. But how do they account for the 
origin of this great evil ? They ascribe it to a decree 
of Uukulunkulu, the very great one ; and in their spe- 
culations on the subject, you may think that we find 
a relic of an ancient truth, — a tradition which would in- 
dicate that the ancestors of the Zulu-Kafir knew some- 
thing of the account which the Scriptures give, " Of 
man's first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden 
tree, whose mortal taste brought death into the world, 
and all our woe." 

On this subject, to take their own words again, and 
turn them into English — " The people say, to begin with 
their origin, there was sent a chameleon, the command 
being, let him proceed, go and tell all people, and pro- 
claim, saying, let not the people die. And after the 
chameleon, there was sent a lizard (or salamander) that 
he might proclaim, again, saying, let the people die. It 
came to pass on the way, the chameleon delayed to come 
to say, let them not die. But the lizard ran hard, and 
overtook the chameleon lingering to eat mulberries, 
walking just a little, not running hard. But the lizard 
ran hard, arrived, and said, the command is, let the peo- 


pie die. And afterwards the chameleon arrived, the 
lizard having already arrived ; and the chameleon pro- 
claimed, saying, the command is, let the people not die. 
And as he was speaking thus, he received a slap in the 
face from the lizard, saying, get thee gone ! the com- 
mand is, let the people die. But the people asked him, 
saying, whence comest thou ? The lizard told us first, 
saying, it is said, the people must die. As for you, you 
lingered for mulberries. As for ourselves, said they, 
we have already received the lizard's (message.) 

" But if the people tell us (about it,) at just this pre- 
sent time, they say, people would not have died, if the 
chameleon had arrived first, and shouted, let not the 
people die; whereas the lizard came first, and said, let 
the people die. But, even now, a portion of the people 
hate the lizard, saying, why is it that he ran first, and 
said, let the people die? Some see it, and love to beat 
it, and kill it, saying, why did it speak? And again, a 
portion of the people, those who hear by the ears, being 
told by a few old people, having heard this, they hate 
the chameleon, and love to push it aside, saying, that 
is the little thing which delayed to tell the people that 
they should not die ; (had he told them,) we too should 
not have died; our ancestors also would have been still 
living; there would have been no diseases here on the 
earth. It all comes from the delay of the chameleon. " 

In respect to the urntakati, plural abataJcati, the so- 
called wizards or witches, I scarcely know where to be- 
gin, nor where I shall end. They are certainly a very 
mysterious class of persons. The natives' idea of them 
is, that they are the worst characters that could have 
being; in fact, that they are not fit to live, and only 


deserve to be put to death in the most horrible and 
summary manner. Hence, under their own law, a man 
is no sooner suspected of being an umtakati than he is 
smelt out, condemned and despatched. Many no doubt, 
are willing to do, and some even attempt, all the evil 
of which they are reputed to be capable. I think, 
however, that the people ascribe to them far higher 
powers than they possess, and a far worse character 
than they deserve; and, too, that the a batakati them- 
selves have far too exalted notions of their own abili- 

Bad as they are thought to be, however, it is not al- 
lowable to execute witches without a trial, nor without 
the king's command. But the trial is a mere sham. 
The people call an assembly and form an investigating 
committee, having among them an inyanga, witch-doctor, 
or priest, whose business it is to " smell out" the cul- 
prit. Of course, the doctor knows very well whom the 
people wish to have condemned ; and, so, after the usual 
ceremonies, he gives judgment accordingly. 

Many are the evils for which the wizards have to 
answer. Sometimes they bring sickness, and even 
death, upon a man, woman, or child ; upon a cow, a calf, 
sheep, or goat. Or they are guilty of doing an injury 
to the gardens, — causing noxious weeds to grow, and 
the crops to fail. In short, they are up to everything 
that is difficult, despicable, and wicked. 

The means by which the villain works all this mis- 
chief are various. At one time, he puts poison in the 
gate-way, in the path, in the field, or strews it upon the 
house, where the party he wishes to injure resides or 
has to pass ; at another, he is said to make use of owls, 


wild-cats, baboons, leopards, or snakes, to effect his ini- 
quitous designs. 

One of the most unlikely, and repulsive modes of 
mischief, ascribed to them, is that which relates to what 
are called the umkovu, plural imiJcovu, specters, or hob- 
goblins. When any one dies, — so the story goes, — the 
abatakati, wizards, hunt for the body, dig it up, give it 
physic, restore it to life, burn a hole in the head, cut 
out the tongue, then reduce the monster to the form of 
a cat, wolf, or owl ; and so make it a servant, and set 
it to do their work, to dig their gardens, run on errands, 
catch game, kill people, or anything else they may re- 
quire to be done. Should the wizard be overtaken or 
interrupted in the midst of his work, he flees, leaving 
the body half restored, which then remains alive, and 
goes wandering about the country, a fool or an idiot. 
If he succeeds in completing his goblin-servant, when 
he wishes to bring evil, that is, sickness or death upon 
some house, he has only to send his cat, owl, or wolf, 
at dead of night, within hearing distance of the devoted 
habitation, with orders to cry, in the Zulu tongue, 
"may el maye! — -woe! woe!" By this cry the party 
is doomed ; nor must any of the people stir hand or 
foot, speak, or make a noise, while the cry is heard ; 
else every heedless wight that does so must also die. 
Whether the wizards and their agents, the weird owl, 
wolf, or cat, are duly thankful for this guarantee that 
they shall not be sought out nor disturbed in delivering 
their doleful message, does not appear. 

The following accounts, which I take from the natives 
themselves, will give some farther idea of the estimate 
in which the abatakati are held by the multitude, also 


of the manner in which they are tried and banished, or 
put to death, — executed, in Zulu-land, under their own 
laws, but banished or driven out of the neighborhood, 
in Natal ; since the power of capital punishment does 
not belong to the natives under British rule. The first 
account was taken from the lips of a Christian native, 
and has respect to Natal. 

" When death occurs in a family, some one goes to 
inquire of the priest. Many people go to form an in- 
vestigating commission. An animal is provided, in 
order to bring a multitude together upon the commission. 
The priest comes and performs his incantations in the 
midst of them, and says, smite ye, that I may hear, my 
friends. All the people speak, as they are sitting down 
around him, and say, attention ! silence ! He says, 
smite ye, my friends ; they all speak and say, attention ! 
silence! And thus he smells out the person among 
them, and says, I myself think you are wasted by this 
so and so (pointing out a person). This man stoutly 
denies, saying, no, I never touched poison with these 
hands of my father; neither have I the least knowledge 
of it ; neither was poison ever known among my people. 
Come, for I will appeal, and be heard by another priest. 

" Then his friends agree with him, saying, yes, we 
too have no knowledge that so and so is thus guilty of 
witchery ; we never knew him to touch poison. We are 
utterly confounded. Come, then, let us appeal for him 
to be heard by another priest. 

" Perhaps he, also, comes and condemns him, saying, 
we believe he is really guilty of witchery. To another 
they go, taking a cow, which they give him. The people 
assemble before that priest; he performs, and goes 


through with his incantations, inquiries, and says, my 
friends, come now, speak, that I may hear. They say, 
attention ! silence ! He says, I myself contend for this 
one ; another priest says he is guilty; but I do not con- 
sent. I think he has no knowledge of poison, and 
never touched the least particle. There is one, who 
destroys the people referred to ; he lives far away in 
another place ; he does not belong to the home of this 
man. And so they return, when he has finished. 

" And then there arises a great dispute among all the 
people of that tribe, saying, why did the other priest 
not admit that he is guilty of witchcraft ? Why did he 
refuse, and say it was somebody else ? And hence 
there is a great quarrel in that tribe. Therefore they 
banish the man whom the priest condemned, saying, go, 
build far away among distant tribes ; dwell not with us. 
And then he departs, and goes to reside among his dis- 
tant friends. 

"Another, perhaps, they kill. Another, perhaps, 
they watch, and just say nothing ; and at another time, 
in the night, they see him walking about their home, 
the people being asleep, he having come from his own 
kraal ; they see him walking about in the night, behind 
their houses, wishing to jump over the fence of the 
kraal, and flee, and hide. But perhaps they catch him 
as he is jumping over the fence ; they bind him in the 
night ; they ask him, what do you want here ? Do you 
wish to kill us ? They heat some water to the boiling 
point. Some sharpen sticks ; while others take the 
boiling water and a horn." — [The rest of this account is 
too inhuman to be translated. Suffice it to say, that the 
man does not survive their cruelty.] 



The following was given me by a Zulu, and has re- 
spect to the treatment of the abatakati under the reign 
of such men as Umpande, Dingan, and Chaka : — 

" When one is sick, his friends go to inquire of the 
commission as to the cause and remedy. The priest 
comes in and says, smite, that I may hear ; you have 
come on a case of witchcraft. The people say, hear. 
He says, smite, that 1 may hear. They say, hear. 
You have come concerning a great man ; he is sick ; the 
disease is in a certain place; he is killed by~Somebody. 
And, if the person who killed the other be at the home 
of the sick man, he says, he was killed by a person at 
home. He says, smite, that I may hear ; it is some one 
w T ho lives with him. They say, hear. He says, smite, 
that I may hear ; there is evil coming ; he is given to 
witchcraft ; he has left the multitude, and become a 
wolf; but now I know him, and he shall be killed; he 
does not sleep by night ; but, in time of sleep, he goes 
about bewitching other people ; therefore he must be 
killed, his cattle confiscated, and possession be taken of 
his grain and every thing else." 

In respect more to the details of captujing and exe- 
cuting the alleged wizard, the Zulu remarks again : — 

"When it is reported that there is a wizard about, 
some one who built with him, if he destroys his people, 
starts and goes up to the king ; and on arriving, he 
speaks with the servants ; and the servants go and tell 
the king. And when they have told the king, he shows 
great displeasure, and says, can it be there is a wizard 
about? and that he should destroy another man's kraal? 
He himself deserves to die. Go ye, and kill him this^ 
very moment. Then he (Umpande) fits out a mili- 


tary force, which goes at once, and by night, to kill 
him. ■ 

" And when they have nearly reached the place where 
he lives, they enter a neighboring kraal and remain 
there. And when it is dark, they assemble within the 
kraal, where the wizard resides, for he has none of his 
own. Now the force having arrived that day, som£ one 
of the company will have gone to inform the head-man 
with whom the wizard resides. Then the head-man 
calls all his people together, saying, come ye, listen, — 
here is a man who has come from the king. Perhaps 
they ask what he has come for ? And he replies, say- 
ing, he has come to call me. After a while, the head- 
man makes a motion to one of his people, and points 
out the individual who is to be killed. Then the man 
who came from the king, says, let us go outside and 
have a talk ; and so they go out. And the master of 
the kraal calls the man who is to be killed, and goes out 
with him first. Then the man who came from the force 
remains with the rest of the people of the place, and 
converses with them, saying, you must not be frightened; 
I come from the king ; and you must kill the man who 
has gone out with the master of the kraal ; look out for 
him, that he does not get away. Seize him at once ; 
just when I shall begin to talk, and say, the king has 
said to thee, that head-man, — just then seize him at 

" Should he (the wizard) have sons, the king inquires, 
saying, has he any sons there ? And if they answer, 
saying, there are, the king says, let them be called. 
And accordingly they are called, and go up to go to the 
king. And when they get there, they remain till after 


their father is killed ; for there is fear of the sons, lest 
they may stab the people, if their father should be\killed 
in their presence. 

" Some wizards are killed by their own head-men, 
without first going to the king about it. The king, 
being informed by those who happen to be on good terms 
with him, is exceedingly enraged. Perhaps he kills all 
the people of those kraals who killed the king's favor- 
ite ; his order being, so let all those people be destroyed, 
nor let a dog escape." 

It would be doing great injustice to the inyanga, 
plural izinyanga, doctors, diviners, or quasi priests, were 
I to dismiss the subject of my present chapter without a 
more particular notice of them. They may be divided 
into several classes ; though the lines of division cannot 
be drawn with any very well defined accuracy. 

The term inyanga, in its largest acceptation, signifies 
any one who has a trade or profession, — a blacksmith or 
basket-maker, tanner or ferryman, a cattle doctor, one 
skilled in the use of herbs and the lancet for the dis- 
eases of mankind, or one possessed of supernatural 
power, knowledge, or perception, so as to be able to 
hold converse with the spiritual world, and find out 
things which are hid from the eyes of common men. In 
the more limited use of the word, it signifies, par excel- 
lence, the two last named professions,- — a doctor of 
medicine ; and a diviner, priest, wizard-finder, or, as he 
is more commonly called, a witch-doctor. 

The doctor of medicine may be a self-taught man, 
one who has picked up some knowledge of diseases 
roots, and herbs, by observation and experience ; or he 
may have sought to qualify himself for the profession 


by going to study for a time with one who is already- 
known as a doctor. 

The natives have, doubtless, some knowledge of dis- 
eases and their remedies. For example, they make use 
of the male fern (inkomankoma — Lastrea Filix Mas,) 
as a remedy for the tapeworm, as Europeans, both an- 
cient and modern, have also done. They rely, too, a 
good deal, on cupping, making use of an ox-horn, with 
the tip cut off and applied to the mouth, as a cupping- 
glass. Medicines are often administered by scarifying, 
and rubbing them in upon the surface. But the little 
knowledge which they possess is so mixed up with error, 
and their useful medicines are so adulterated by useless or 
even positively hurtful combinations that, for the most 
part, it would doubtless be better for the sick that no- 
thing were done. And if this must be said of their best 
doctors of medicines, what shall be thought of their 
inyanga yokubula, plural izinyanga zokubula — those who 
find out diseases and all evils, their causes and reme- 
dies ; find out and reveal secrets, by professedly superna- 
tural means, by dreams, visions, and converse with the 
shades of the dead ? Examples have been given of the 
manner in which he proceeds, how he calls the people 
before him. requires them to smite the earth with their 
rods, and respond to his guesses. - In this way, if he 
have no knowledge, or even opinion, as to the case in 
question, he manages to make the people tell what they 
know or think about it, and gives decision accordingly. 
And so willing are the people to be duped, provided it 
be done professionally and at some little expense, that 
they will go a long way to see a doctor, help him through 
all the tricks of his incantations, then pay and praise 


him as a most marvelously successful diviner ; when, in 
fact, he has told them nothing save what they first told 
him. Nor is it difficult to understand how he is often 
able to impress them with a sense of his supernatural 
discernment, when we bear in mind that he has agents, 
observers, and eavesdroppers, out in all directions, pick- 
ing up all sorts of information, facts, and suspicions, 
about everybody and everything, and reporting all to 
him for special use in time of need. Add to this that 
his answers are often ambiguous, after the style of the 
ancient Delphian oracles ; that he utters his oracular 
sayings with an air of the surest knowledge, and that 
he speaks to a people w T ho are only too glad to believe 
all he says, and we have a key to his reputation as one 
who is inspired and able to tell men the cause and cure 
for all the evils w T hich they suffer. 

As to the manner in which the diviner attempts to 
attain his "high degree," I cannot describe it in any 
way better than by giving you an extract from Dohne's 
"Zulu-Kafir Dictionary," where, speaking of the in- 
yanga yokubula, he says : " He must be a priori, an 
inyanga yokwelapa, a doctor of medicine, and must 
have practiced as such, in order to become a man who 
is the oracle of the nation. He has to go through a 
course of experiment of an extraordinary nature. Ac- 
cording to the idea of this profession, he must be re- 
duced to a low condition, in order to become acquainted 
with the amaltlozi ; that is, spectres, under whose 
directions he is expected to act. From them he is to 
obtain all information about the causes of evil, (sick- 
ness, death, &c.,) and about the remedies to be em- 
ployed. For that purpose he has to adopt a very spare 


diet, the more abstemious the better ; he must expose 
his body to all kinds of wants and sufferings, as also 
inflict castigation upon it. He must often dive into 
deep water for the sake of trying whether he can 
see at the bottom, or whether he may there catch 
sight of the amahlozi, or obtain some revelation from 
them. He must go into the solitude of the field, the 
wilderness, and other horror-exciting places, to make 
observations there by listening to the wind, or the air, 
attending to the noise and cries of birds and wild ani- 
mals, day and night, if in any possible way he may 
come into connection with the amahlozi. Besides, and 
above all, he must engage in frequent dancing and other 
fatiguing exercises of the body, until his health begins 
to decline, his strength fails, and he sinks into a faint- 
ing fit, or great exhaustion, (the consequence of which 
is, sometimes, certain madness.) Having, during the 
time of these exercises, been told a great deal about 
the amahlozi, and the whole system of superstition, it is 
no wonder that he then, some day in his fainting fit, has 
peculiar feelings and imaginations, or receives impres- 
sions which he is not able to explain himself; or that 
he should fall into a deep, death-like sleep for several 
days, from which no one may be allowed to awake him, 
as that state is the very ecstasy he must experience. 
At this stage he begins to speak of his wanderings, 
visions, dreams, conversations with the amahlozi, &c. ; 
henceforth he is acknowledged as a professional man, 
and enters upon the practical part of his ukutwasa — 
his duties as a doctor of divination." 

To the same effect is the following account, which I took 
from the lips of a Zulu, a genuine believer in diviners. 


" It comes to pass that the candidate for this degree 
is sick till the end of the year, and then he undergoes 
a course of medicine, that he may surpass those doctors 
who practice medicine. And then, when he makes 
his appearance, he appears with a wish to enter pools. 
He returns, covered with a whitish clay, bringing 
snakes ; and then they go to the priests. They say, 
my friend, that man is becoming a priest. And then 
he is taken, sent away, and brought to those who have 
taken the priest's degree. And when he arrives there, 
they take him, and go and throw him into the waters 
of the sea ; and having thrown him in, there they leave 
him ; nor is he seen again all that day, nor all of the 
next. After some days, he arrives with his degree, 
ready to practice. Having arrived, he begins to dance 
with the songs with which he returned ; and the people 
clap their hands for him. He slaughters goats, and 
cattle, everything save sheep ; and the reason these are 
left is because they never cry w T hen they are slain ; he 
wants something which will cry when it is about to be 
slaughtered. With the bladders and gall-bags he covers 
his head, till they hang about in all directions. He 
enters pools of water abounding in serpents and alliga- 
tors. And now if he catches a snake, he has power 
over that ; or if he catches an alligator, he has power 
over that ; or if he catches a leopard, he has power 
over the leopard ; or if he catches a deadly poisonous 
serpent, he has power over the most poisonous serpent. 
And thus he takes his degrees, the degree of leopards, 
that he may catch leopards, and of serpents, that he 
may catch serpents." 

A few words about Ukwechwama, or the opening of 


the new year with what is called the feast of first fruits, 
shall finish our chapter. According to native law and 
custom, no individual is allowed to taste new corn or 
any of the fruits of the new year, till the king gives 
his sanction, which is always done in the most public, 
formal manner by a general celebration. The feast, 
or gathering, is made at the king's great town about the 
first of January, which is the time when green mealies 
(maize) is just the right size for roasting, or boiling, and 
eating. The occasion serves for a general muster of 
all the military forces of the nation — a grand review — 
when also old soldiers are allowed to retire and marry, 
and new recruits are gathered in to fill their places. 
Nor can the feast be kept without the services of the 
ablest izinyanga, doctors, who, with the help of the 
cooks, must furnish a preparation for the kings and his 
subjects to taste and apply to the various parts of the 
body, to make them strong, healthy, and prosperous 
the coming year. The man who ventures to taste new 
food before going through this ceremony, and getting 
with it the king's permit, will surely die — so they say. 
^The celebration lasts several days. One of the first 
things is for the warriors to catch and kill a bull which 
has been chosen and furnished for the purpose ; nor 
must they use any rope, thong, or weapon of any kind, 
but catch and kill the animal in some way with their 
naked hands. This done, the doctor opens it, takes out 
the gall, mingles it with other medicines, and gives it to 
the king and his people to drink. The flesh is given to 
the boys, to eat what they like and burn the rest with 
fire ; the men not being allowed to taste it. Other cat- 
tle are now slaughtered, and the feasting, reveling, and- 
14 * 


dancing are begun in earnest, and kept up till all are 
sated and weary. During the last day, they form a 
semi-circle into which the king enters ; and, after leap- 
ing, dancing, and singing his own praises,— his glory, 
greatness and power, — in the presence of the silent, 
gazing throng, he breaks a green calabash in pieces, 
thereby signifying that he opens the new year, and 
grants the people leave to eat of the fruits of the 

To discover the original idea of this ceremony, is 
difficult. So far, however, as we can interpret the mean- 
ing, both the killing of the bull and the crushing of the 
calabash seem to be symbolical of the great power which 
the king alone claims and exercises, — indirectly, indeed, 
or by means of his soldiers upon his enemies ; yet di- 
rectly and absolutely upon his own people, who must 
have his leave to eat, must thank him for all their food ; 
and who also openly acknowledge and extol him, as a 
god in the favors he grants and in the dispensation and 
indulgence of all heathenish lusts. 

Nothing ' can show more clearly than the language 
and the customs of this people, how far they have wan- 
dered from the true God — how thick the darkness in 
which they grope ! 




"Woman was here the powerless slave of man 

Thus fallen Adam tramples fallen Eve, 

Through all the generations of his sons, 

In whose barbarian veins the old serpent's venom 

Turns pure affection into hideous lust, 

And wrests the might of his superior arm 

(Given to defend and bless his meek companion) 

Into the very yoke and scourge of bondage ; 

Till limbs by beauty moulded, eyes of gladness, 

And the full bosom of confiding truth, 

Made to delight and comfort him in toil, 

And change care's den into a halcyon's nest, 

Are broke with drudgery> quench'd with stagnant tears, 

Or wrung with lonely unimparted woe. Montgomery. 

Among the Amazulu, under the reign of their own 
chiefs, Chaka, Dingan, or Umpande, preparation for 
war being deemed of the first importance, no "man is al- 
lowed to marry till his ruler gives him leave. The best 
years of his life must be devoted to military pursuits. 
From the time he is able to grasp the spear and shield, 
and endure the fatigue of long, forced marches, he must 
hold himself ready at a moment's warning to go on some 
predatory excursion, or to help resist some advancing 
foe. Having served in the army for five, ten or twenty 
years, according to the king's good pleasure, at the 


great national gathering, the feast of first fruits, he and 
his veteran comrades are discharged, or excused from 
ordinary service, allowed to marry, and to have a home 
of their own. As a badge of their maturity and free- 
dom, they are now allowed to wear the head-ring. 

The same law holds in a measure among the tribes 
of Natal ; but under the British rule, and in time of 
continued peace, the observance is not very strict. As 
a general thing in Natal, the young man thinks himself 
at liberty to marry as soon as he can find cattle enough 
to pay for a wife. The idea of looking to his chief for 
permission to be 'of age/ and meddle with matrimony, 
if it come at all into his mind, comes more from respect 
to an old national usage than from any sense of depend- 
ence upon the will of his king. More dependent is he, 
generally, upon the will of his father ; since from him 
he must often have aid in making out the number of 
required cattle — five, ten, twenty, or fifty head, accord- 
ing to the rank, beauty, and ability of the girl to be 
bought, or according to the state of the matrimonial 
market. A widow, or any woman of advanced age, 
may be had for less than a girl in her prime, and some- 
times on credit. In fact the English government is just 
now talking of a law to let the widow go free, — and for- 
bidding her proprietor to require any pay on her 
second marriage. 

It is a painful part of South African experience to 
note the debasing effects of this custom — ukulobola — on 
the female mind. Instead of shrinking from the idea 
of being bought and sold for cattle, the poor heathen 
girl glories in it, esteeming it a proof of her worth. 
Nor is the man himself (whilst a heathen) willing to 


have a wife for nothing. In fact, the parties would 
hardly think themselves married, unless the man should 
either pay or promise something for his wife ; the 
strength and validity of the marriage bond consisting 
chiefly in this commercial contract, — so far have poly- 
gamy and heathenism rooted out all right ideas of 

Should the woman prove to be a very serviceable wife, 
according to the Zulu standard, that is, healthy, fruit- 
ful, and efficient, her former proprietor will press a de- 
mand upon her husband for more cattle ; and should 
the husband be unable to pay, at least the stipulated 
number, the children must be mortgaged, and go to set- 
tle the debt. Should the woman be unfortunate, fee- 
ble, have no children, or lose what she may have, her 
husband may send her back to her father, or former 
proprietor, whoever or whatever he may be, and demand 
compensation. Obedient^to the call, her father slays 
an animal, ox or cow, prays their ancestral gods to be 
gracious, sends the woman back with half the beef, and 
hopes all will be right. Should the poor woman prove 
more prosperous and acceptable to her lord, he retains 
her ; but should he wish to part with her permanently, 
he seeks some accusation against her, sends her back, 
and demands the cattle which he paid for her. If she 
has children, she leaves them with her so-called hus- 
band, in which case he has no claim to the cattle. Were 
it not for the almost interminable delay and difficulty 
of establishing a charge against the woman, and recover- 
ing the cattle after they have been once paid over, cases 
of this kind would be much more frequent than they 
are. Sooner than throw himself upon the " glorious 


uncertainty of the law/' the dissatisfied man generally 
prefers to repudiate the woman as a wife, yet retain her 
as a slave, and go on to marry others as fast as his 
means will allow. 

Nor do native law and custom impose any limit to the 
number of wives a man may have, provided he can find 
them and obtain the means with which to purchase them. 
Since peace has prevailed in Natal for the greater part 
of the generation now passing, the number of men, of 
whom many were wont to be cut off by war, is fast 
coming on to equal that of the other sex. Peace is no 
friend to polygamy. The difficulty in the way of a 
man's multiplying wives within the colony, at the pre- 
sent time, would be still greater but for the fact that a 
few females are smuggled into the country from the 
bordering tribes. 

Polygamy has often been a cause of war among the 
tribes in which it has prevailed. Chaka's predatory 
raids not only brought cattle and women from abroad, 
but also greatly reduced the number of men, both at 
home and abroad, so that he could never be at a 
loss for means to supply a retiring regiment with as 
many wives as they could wish. Although the practical 
operation of peace is to restore the equality of the 
sexes among the natives of Natal, yet, so long as the 
government allows the custom called ukuloholisa, the 
celling of women in marriage for cattle, just so long the 
richer, and so, for the most part, the older, and the 
already married man will be found, too often, the suc- 
cessful suitor, — not indeed at the feet of the maiden, 
for she is allowed little or no right to a voice as to whom 
she shall marry, but at the hands of her heathen pro- 


prietor, who, in his degradation, looks less at the affec- 
tions and preferences of his daughter, than at the surest 
way of filling his kraal with cattle, and thus providing 
for buying himself another wife or two. 

It is a sad fact that these commercial, compulsory 
elements enter very largely into the polygamic system 
of this people, and so go to make it a most bitter thing 
for the female.* For every woman that has not been 
degraded by heathen polygamic customs to a perfect 
level with the brute, must prefer to be the only wife of 
the man to whom she is married ; and, in my opinion, 
the various kinds of torture which are so often resorted 
to by the father and friends of a girl, to compel her to 
marry contrary to her choice, in ninety-nine cases out 
of a hundred, are in consequence of the commercial 
and polygamic character of the marriages. The man 
whom the woman hates can pay better than the one she 
loves ; or she abhors the thought of being made a ser- 
vant of servants in the shape of a wife, and of entering 
the list of rivalry with half a dozen others, for a 
fraction of a man's affections, where God and nature 
designed that she should have the whole as a free gift. 

A single case, as it occurred under my own eye, will 
illustrate the points before us. Aroused once from my 
slumbers, by the clamor of men in my yard at dead of 
night, I asked the cause. They replied that one of 
their girls had escaped, and they were in search of her. 
I said we had seen and heard nothing of her, and re- 
quested them to withdraw and be silent till morning. 
An hour or two later, the girl came to the kitchen, 

* As the Author argued in his Reply to Bishop Colenso's Defence of 


having passed the night, thus far, in the bush, with wild 
beasts, to elude the grasp of her pursuers. 

The men appeared again, at early dawn, and de- 
manded the girl. She had worshiped occasionally, as 
she could get opportunity, at our station, had enjoyed 
the blessing of God upon medical aid at our hands ; and, 
unknown to us, had formed an attachment for one of 
the Christian young 'men at our station ; and would 
have been glad, I doubt not, to profess the Christian 
faith. The young man had reciprocated the affection, 
and made his wishes known tp her and to her friends. 

But now a polygamist had come for her, who could 
command all the cattle that her friends could wish. 
They demanded the girl ; she refused to go, — said she 
would sooner die than submit to their demands. She 
withdrew into the kitchen, and forced her way into the 
pantry, to escape their power. Unable to retain her 
by force, I brought her out, placed her before them, and 
labored long to convince them that the girl ought to be 
allowed to marry the man of her choice ; that he was a 
worthy, kind, intelligent man ; I had known him long, 
and had seldom seen his equal in social and moral ex- 
cellence. But no ; the girl they must and would have ; 
she must marry according to their wishes, and not her 
own. Again she escaped, and forced her way into the 
house, and plead to be allowed to remain, — -with tears 
of anguish begged that I w T ould have mercy on her, and 
not deliver her up to her tormentors. I told her I was 
sorry for her, and could weep over her destiny, but that 
it was not in my power to help her. I had already had 
two cases of a similar kind, (the second almost precisely 
the same ;) I had referred them both to the constituted au- 


tkoritiesof the land; and both had been decided, virtually, 
— the second openly and clearly, — against me, and in 
favor of the girl's proprietors. I say " proprietors," 
for in both of these cases, the claimants of the girls had 
simply inherited them as cattle, or claimed them as 
"marriage payments," a sort of mortgage upon some 
sister or other female kindred that had been married, 
but not paid for. I knew, that, according to native 
"law and custom,' ' I was bound to give the girl up to 
her merciless owners, and suffer her to be sold into po- 
lygamy and heathenism ; and from the experience of 
the past, that I had nothing to hope from a reference to 
the British Colonial Government. I therefore told the 
poor girl that I could render her no assistance, and ad- 
vised her to go quietly home to her friends. She re- 
fused, and begged again, most imploringly, to be allowed 
to remain. 

Again I endeavored to persuade her friends to allow 
her to have the man of her choice ; but all to no pur- 
pose. I saw that the only way in which this lovely 
young woman — for such she was — could ever succeed, 
would be by a dogged endurance of various kinds of 
torture for weeks and months, if not for years. I 
warned the men against personal maltreatment of the 
poor girl, and her tears fell not alone, as her cruel 
people gathered around her, and pulled, shoved, and 
pushed her, till they disappeared behind the hill. 
Whether her own repeated predictions, and those of my 
people, proved true, that she would be cruelly beaten 
as soon as they were out of my sight, and be subjected 
to every possible abuse, till she should comply with the 
wishes of her proprietor, I know not. I only know that 


she has been sold to the polygamist, for whose cattle 
she was hunted down, and her affections trampled in the 

" My ear is pain'd, 
My soul is sick with every day's report 
Of wrong and outrage with which" 

this land " is filled. " These merciless, compulsory mar- 
riages, which abound among the natives, are the direct 
fruit of their polygamy, and of that slavish position to 
which polygamy has reduced .the women, and in which 
the men are determined to hold them. In numberless 
cases, they must be married to just the man who can 
pay best ; and, once married to him, — if indeed a rela- 
tion so forced and servile can claim that name, — he has 
the same control over them as over anything else which 
he may have purchased. 

When a man from among this people, especially a 
young man, thinks of contracting a matrimonial alli- 
ance, he often finds it but too true, that there is "many 
a slip between the cup and lip." To woo and win as 
w T ell as buy, and that where custom requires the man to 
conduct the most of his matrimonial affairs by proxy, 
and makes him, moreover, dependent on another for 
purchase money, is a w T ork, in view of which men of 

even less valor than Miles Standish might well prefer 

"Be but a fighter of battles, a lover and wooer of dangers." 

Under British rule, however, many a rigid native cus- 
tom is growing lax. Most of the sable sons of the 
colony are beginning to find out that it is better to earn 
their own cattle, as they can, in these days, by work- 
ing for the white man, than to depend upon a father 


or guardian for them. They are also beginning to learn, 
with the valiant Miles Standish, that, in matrimonial 
affairs, it is better to speak each one "for himself alone," 
if he would have his cause speed well. Under pure and 
rigid native law, as in Zulu-land, or in the days of Chaka, 
w T here all right and power emanated from the king, and 
where the king held each man responsible for the mem- 
bers of his family, or kraal, of course the Puritan mai- 
den's advice would hardly be found practicable. 

When personal rank, wealth, beauty, address, or 
other attractions prove unavailing, the Zulu lover has 
great confidence in the subduing influence of certain 
medicinal preparations. Knowing or fearing that his 
affections are not reciprocated, he prepares a philter 
for the object of his love ; hoping thereby to move her 
heart in his favor. Various are the preparations of this 
kind, and various the ways of administering them, — 
one of which is to reduce the herb, bark, or other 
charming substance to a powder, and send it by the 
hand of some unsuspected friend to be given in a pinch 
of snuff, deposited in the dress, or sprinkled upon the 
person of the party whose affections are to be kindled 
or won. Perhaps the most common occasion for a re- 
sort to measures of this kind is where the lover has a 
rival. Neither is the practice limited to any particular 
age, sex, condition, or method. Only a few days ago, 
I met a young man wearing perhaps fifty pieces of 
wood, bark, roots, herbs, and other things about his 
neck. On being asked what all that meant, he replied 
that he had put them on as a means of retaining the 
affections of his young wife, during his absence from 


Wh^n the parties are at liberty to manage affairs for 
themselves, as- among those who have come out from 
their native heathen customs and put themselves under 
the better influences of mission stations, the proceed- 
ings are much more after the civilized Christian style. 
The woman has, however, much less reserve about intro- 
ducing the subject and putting the question to the other 

The engagement made, and the time for celebrating 
the nuptials being at hand, a wedding party is made up 
at the home of the bride, consisting of parents, kindred, 
friends, to conduct her to the kraal of the man she is to 
marry; the escort, in their best attire, — their bodies well 
anointed ; their limbs arrayed in beads, brazen rings, 
or leathern thongs ; and their heads stuck full of fea- 
thers, or bound about with oxtail fillets. The bridal 
dress consists chiefly of two garments, — the hide of an 
OX) tanned soft, with a nap on the outer side ; stained 
black ; and adorned especially about the edges, with 
rows or clusters of large brass buttons. This garment 
wrapped about the body, reaches from the waist to the 
knees ; while the breast is covered with a piece of blue 
calico, hanging loosely from the neck and shoulders. 

Starting for the wedding and her new* home, she 
takes with her a few bunches of beads and other pre- 
sents, to distribute^ among the particular friends of the 
groom ; her proprietor must lake an ox to be slaugh- 
tered as an offering to the shades of the dead, their an- 
cestral gods, that they may smile on the house of the 
bride and make it to prosper ; also another animal for 
the bridegroom, as a germ of others, — a presage that 
his fold, now empty of all cattle through the draft made 


upon it in the purchase of a wife, shall yet, by her fruit- 
fulness, be filled again. 

Arriving at the kraal of the bridegroom, when every- 
thing is ready, the new-comers begin to dance and sing; 
the bride and her younger attendants commencing the 
exercise : nor is it long ere the young men of the kraal 
join them ; the old mothers of the bride meantime sing- 
ing her praises, setting forth the care with which she 
has been educated, her beauty and ability, her many:, 
virtues, graces and charms ; while the old mothers at 
her new home take the counterpart, — all leaving the 
bridegroom and his companions seated at a little dis- 
tance to look on and listen. At length the master of 
the kraal slaughters an ox belonging to the bridegroom, 
whereupon all parties leave dancing and singing, and 
go to feasting and carousing; and so bridegroom and 
bride, according to Zulu-Kafir law and custom, become 
husband and wife. 

The man now gives the bride's mother an animal, 
which is also slaughtered ; and after various excuses 
and regrets that he is not now able to finish paying for 
the new wife, with a promise that the rest of the cattle 
shall be delivered over as soon as possible, the cere- 
monies, festivities, and business of the occasion are 




character; — moulding agencies; — bent^and capa- 
cities OF THE native mind. 

That the Zulu-Kafir tribes should have some marked 
peculiarities of mental development and character would 
be presumed. But these characteristic traits seem due less 
to an original peculiarity of mental constitution than to 
circumstances. Strong moulding agencies, operating upon 
a nation from age to age, such as climate, government, 
religion, commerce, cannot fail to give its mind some 
marked modification. This fact, so well known in the case 
of the Anglo-Saxon, the German, the French, and the 
Spanish races is not less true of the tribes of South- 
Eastern Africa. ■ 

To the influence of their government and law T s, I have 
already alluded. The debasing tendency of their re- 
ligion, their superstitions, their omens, their augury, 
their prayers to the shades of the dead, their intense 
dread of a supernaturally mischievous power in the so- 
called wizard, their confidence in the divinations of the 
doctors, their belief in the efficacy of charms and 
amulets, — all these things have exerted a most deplor- 
ably degrading influence on the mind and heart of the 


There is, however, another class of modifying agen- 
cies to which allusion has not been made ; I refer to 
the influence of the climate, and the country in which 
this people have their abode. In neither of these do we 
find anything greatly fitted to invigorate the body, or 
inspire and energize the mind. 

Here are not those long-continued and cold winters, 
which make men diligent to prepare food and clothing, 
and which have so powerful a tendency to stimulate all 
the mental faculties, as well as those of the body. Here 
are none of those lofty forest-trees and mountains, look- 
ing ever upward, and with a steady, solemn, significant 
grandeur, pointing men to the skies, and to the mighty 
God who made them, — all which have had, in various 
ways, a powerful, though silent influence to raise and 
enlarge the minds of men in other lands. On the con- 
trary, the mountains, though they have an extended 
base, have but the most moderate elevation; and their 
tops are generally as level as the plains. So the forests, 
for the most part, are but low, contracted jungles, with 
here and there, indeed, a tree of a hard, enduring fibre, 
quite erect, and straight withal, — but abounding most 
in crooked, gnarly shrubs, and thorny bushes. And as 
with the jungles and mountains, so with the people. 
The mind is debased and groveling, groping in dark- 
ness among the sensualities of the world. 

As a careful observer and pleasing writer, resident 
among this people, has said : " The 'Kafir is far from 
being as honest in word as he is in acts. It is not 
in his nature to be straightforward in speech, and 
to tell the whole truth. He is prone to have very 
large reservations in his own mind when he is avowedly 


giving a full account of some occurrence, and manages 
to disguise and distort facts with exceeding cleverness 
and skill. A Kafir will excuse a fault with such ready 
plausibility, that he will make an intentional act of 
wrong doing seem but an undesigned accident. He is 
also a consummate hypocrite. Praise and flattery are 
commonly on his tongue, when there is only contempt 
within his breast, and when he thinks the man whom he 
is flattering but little better than a fool. 

" The Kafir is greedy and stingy. He is very fond 
of cattle, and of money also, when he has learned what 
it is. With the exception of the practice of hospitality, 
w T hich has been alluded to, he is a miser, and influenced 
by an unaccountable impulse to hoard. It is a maxim 
with him that, ' It is better to receive than to give.' It 
is almost impossible to ascertain what a Kafir is worth. 
He always pleads poverty and hunger. However easy 
in circumstances he may be, he is always unwilling to 
buy clothes. All his cash must be turned into cows. 
It is to buy cows that he works and saves. The Ka- 
fir's mode of taking care of his money is to tie it up 
in a piece of rag, with so many knots that it is next 
to impossible even to get the fastenings undone, other- 
wise than by the adoption of Alexander's plan in a 
similar case. 

" Beneath their light-heartedness, sociality, and po- 
liteness, the Kafirs have a considerable vein of grosser 
ore. They quarrel, as w r ell as talk. They easily t#ke 
offence, and their most usual mode of settling the dis- 
pute in such cases, is to club each other fiercely. The 
ladies of a kraal may sometimes be seen rating each 
other soundly with their heads just protruded from the 


low portals of the several huts ; and occasionally, when 
the verbal sharpness has acquired a certain edge, they 
rush forth upon each other, and continue the dispute, 
at the point of the nail. In cases of extremity they get 
their little affairs finally brought into arrangement by 
the authoritative application of the marital club. The 
anger of the wild Kafir is blind and unreasoning rage, 
when it has reached a certain point. As might be ex- 
pected, in this respect, uncivilized barbarians very much 
resemble the lower and irrational members of creation. 
When they break through the surface-shell of good 
humor and politeness, they are devoid of all farther re- 
straint, and then fight like dogs, which turn the sharp 
tooth towards an antagonist's throat, until one or other 
of the combatants is beaten or cowed. It must, how- 
ever, be added that the Kafirs are not, as a general 
rule, vindictive in their resentments. In Kafir-land 
the moral tempest commonly passes by as quickly as the 
thunder-storm ; and when the sunshine again breaks 
out, it is without any cloudy obstruction from revenge, 
or moroseness." 

In all the configuration, scenery, and climate of this 
part of Africa, there is a remarkable degree of unifor- 
mity and moderation, qualities in which the native mind, 
for savages, is not deficient ; nay, in which, but for cer- 
tain opposing causes, it would greatly excel. No coun- 
try, bordering on the ocean, presents fewer harbors, so 
few and such moderate indentations, and has so seldom 
an island lying over against it to give variety and 
awaken enterprise. The rivers, too, though numerous 
in this region, are generally small, rapid, and short, 
with high, precipitous banks, affording no facilities for 


navigation and commerce. Hence, all the expanding in- 
, fluence which navigable rivers, an open sea, and contigu- 
ous islands have given other nations, has always been 
wanting here. 

But the prevailing temperature so tepid, soft, and 
enervating, has doubtless done more than the tame fea- 
tures of the country to weaken or suppress in this peo- 
ple that rugged nature for which savage tribes are pro- 
verbial, and to indispose their minds to deep thought 
and arduous enterprize. Man is, by nature, at best, 
but a lazy animal, and will doubtless be so always and 
everywhere, but for the urgent necessity under which 
he is laid by a severe climate, sterile soil, or other cir- 
cumstances, to rouse himself to thought and effort. 
Hence, in a country where the appetite is not quick- 
ened by pinching cold ; where life can be sustained' for 
a time, at least, upon wild herbs and roots ; where 
clothes are often an incumbrance, and fires are required 
rather for cooking than for comfort ; and where the 
houses, more a protection from wind and rain than from 
the cold, may be of the rudest kind ; what is there to 
stimulate a people, destitute of moral principle, to make 
those attainments in a knowledge of the arts and manu- 
factures on which food, clothing, and habitations depend 
in colder climates, and to which the strength and refine- 
ment of the mind in those climates is so much indebted? 
So far as the mild, moderate, uniform features of the 
country have served to subdue or attemper the wild na- 
ture and fierce passions so common to the savage, and 
to attune the mind and heart of this people to more har- 
mony and peace than they would have cherished in other 
circumstances, the native of Natal has cause for grati- 


tude, and to say, " My lines have fallen to me in plea- 
sant places, I have a goodly heritage.'' So far, again, 
as he has abused his freedom from the necessity of ac- 
quiring a knowledge of the arts to obtain a subsistence, 
and has 'thus failed of the blessings, both mental and 
moral, not to say physical, which the acquiring of such 
knowledge imparts, he may yet be reclaimed, and laid 
under tribute, as it were, to good, by being instructed as 
to his duty and shown the moral evil, the actual guilt, 
which his neglect incurs. The heart once truly con- 
vinced of folly, and of wrong, and made right, will 
make the whole man "a new creature,' 1 and lead to an 
outward observance of as many proprieties in dress, 
food, and habitations, and to the exercise of as much 
intellect and good taste in these things, as the sterner 
teachings and requirements of mere climate and other 
outward circumstances could ever induce. 

But from, the enervating influence of the climate 
upon the bodily constitution, and chiefly, though not 
wholly, through that upon the mind, there can never 
be a total escape for those who dwell here ; though, doubt- 
less, much may be done to counteract and modify that 
influence. There is, however, this also to be considered, 
that in such a climate, for a great part of the year so 
bland and beautiful, (though not without sudden changes 
and pestiferous localities,) men may really enjoy more, 
life in a given space of time, than in another of a more 
severe and bracing character. If life is measured by 
the extent of its freedom from the annoyances which 
some climates present, and by the amount of positive 
enjoyment which may be derived from palmy groves 
and a shrubbery of living green, and from soft airs suf- 


fused with the sweet odor of flowers which never cease 
to blossom on open plains and sloping hills, and banks 
of meandering brooks, rather than by the numerical 
length of the months and years to which life may be 
drawn out ; it will be seen that even in this respect 
nature has made her allotments to man with no very 
unequal hand. For though she has given the dwellers 
in this land a climate of a debilitating tendency, pre- 
eminently so to those who abuse it, or abuse themselves 
under its influence, she has also freed them from many 
of the sufferings incident to an inclement sky, and set 
before tliem some peculiar sources of pleasure while life 
does last. 

To these milder features of the country, these months 
of mellow atmosphere, evergreen groves, ever-blooming 
fields, the natives are, no doubt, not a little indebted for 
some of those more, pleasing traits which are a«pt to at- 
tract the attention of the intelligent, unbiased resident. 
By one of this class they are as happily and truthfully 
sketched as the darker side of the picture at which we 
have just glanced. "As a general thing," says this 
writer, " the affections of the Kafir are gentle, steady, 
and enduring. Grown men may be commonly seen in 
their kraals, fondling and nursing their children. Pas- 
sion is far from being highly developed in his nature, 
excepting when it is called forth by some excitement 
or phrenzy, such as that of war. Under such circum- 
stances, he becomes a fierce and uncontrollable man. 
He possesses a very tolerable opinion of himself; and is 
generally observing, sagacious, and shrewd, and very 
slow to attach faith to what seems to him unusual or 
strange. ^He is inclined to despise luxury, and to hold 


that things which are simply useful are beneath the 
attention and regard of dignified men. The Kafir of 
high station is almost always reserved and self-possessed, 
but studiously polite towards those with whom he has 
grounds for intercourse. 

" First and foremost among the qualities that come 
out prominently in the Kafir, when intercourse is held 
with him, is his lightness of heart and cheerfulness. 
However the case may be in the matter of work, he is 
always ready to dance and sing, or laugh and play. 
Let him have but the smallest occasion, and he will 
laugh without ceasing. This frame of mind is in a 
large measure due to the entire absence of what civil- 
ized men call 'care.' His wants are very few; and 
those wants are almost entirely provided for by nature. 
The mealies, the pumpkins, and the corn spring from 
the ground in abundance ; the cattle multiply and fat- 
ten upon the wild pasture ; the children bring them- 
selves up, and find their own place. An old and ex- 
perienced missionary in Natal .remarks that he has 
never been able to preach to his Kafirs from the text, 
4 Take no thought for the morrow!' The Kafir never 
does take thought of the morrow. Futurity has for 
him no practically recognized existence, and one conse- 
quence is that he is not galled by the spur which above 
all other things makes the civilized man anxious, fret- 
ful, and ill-tempered. It is generally remarked that 
when Kafirs live long in the employment and under the 
influences of white men, they generally lose their cheer- 
fulness and lightness of heart, and become sulky and 

" The Kafir is by nature as social as the ant, which 


makes its hillock-nests upon his plains. The men as- 
semble day by day, and pass their time in incessant 
conversation. To sit together, and snuff, and talk, and 
then to dance and sing, is the prime enjoyment in Kafir 
existence. It must also be added that the talk is, not 
uncommonly earnest and concerning grave State affairs. 

" The hospitality which is universally practiced among 
Kafirs is a natural and necessary result of their social 
disposition. No traveler in Kafir-land ever used to 
think of taking food with him on a journey, or of offer- 
ing to pay for what he received. The Zulu and Natal 
Kafirs are now, however, learning through their inter- 
course with white men, that such is not the custom of 

" Another result of the strong social instinct of the 
Kafir, is a readiness to sympathize with those of his 
people who are in distress. Wherever there is sickness, 
the neighbors and friends make constant visits of com- 
fort and condolence ; and when bereavement takes place, 
an innumerable staff of assistant mourners immediately 

" The Kafir is essentially polite. This is possibly 
also a consequence of the strength of his social instinct. 
Salutations are constantly given when visits are made. 
The host receives his guest with, Sa ku bona, ' we see 
or respect you.' The guest on taking leave says, Sala 
kahle, ' farewell;' and the host replies, Samba kahle, 
'go well/ In the statement of a disputed case before 
a chief, the plaintiff or complainant is allowed to speak 
as long as he pleases, and then the defendant has the 
same grace granted to him. No one ever thinks of in- 
terrupting either of the parties. The same also is the 


case in familiar conversation. At feasts, all who are 
to share, group themselves according to their proper 
positions, as old men, young men, boys, matrons, young 
women, and girls, and wait patiently until the head-man 
who is presiding apportions the proper share, and then 
render thanks. No one begins to eat until all are served. 

" The Kafirs have a very fine and correct sense of 
justice. They never murmur at the infliction of any 
punishment or penalty that has been deserved. There 
is scarcely any jury in the world which would be more 
ready to find a verdict of ' served him right,' in a case 
of merited penalty, than one impannelled from Kafir 

" There is perhaps no more astonishing trait of the 
Kafir character, at least so far as the tribes surround- 
ing Natal are concerned, than the scrupulous honesty 
of almost every individual. The houses of white set- 
tlers are left without fastening on window or door, and 
unwatched from year's end to year's end. Articles of 
linen and clothes are habitually left on the open ground 
to dry and bleach. And yet it is an occurrence of the 
rarest kind that any article, however trifling, is miss- 

Now, in all these varied characteristics of the Zulu- 
Kafirs, there is much to encourage the missionary, and 
every philanthropic heart, to make efforts to enlighten 
and save the race. Even the worst traits are only so 
many proofs of what eminence they might attain as 
Christians, .could they be converted, and led to conse- 
crate themselves, their days and energies, to the service 
of the true God. Those very faculties by the abuse of 
which they have become famous for superstition and 


iniquity, once sanctified and used aright, may yet make 
them as eminent for good as they have been for evil. 
And as the African has a character of his own, even in 
his ignorance, in his barbarism, and sin, so, when he 
shall awake, arise, and stretch out his hands to God, 
his new life will doubtless be found to differ somewhat 
from that of the other great branches of the tripartite 
human stock. Nor, if we take the leading traits of his 
present character to be any index of what shall be 
those of his new and Christian character, will his pe- 
culiar type be without its place, use, and glory, in the 
great family of regenerated men — the one body of that 
Church which shall be gathered oat of all nations, 
" When Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God," — 
the African race be converted and gathered with the 
sons of Shem and Japheth, into the one fold of Christ ? 
" For as we have many members in one body, and all 
members have not the same office : so we, being many, 
are one body in Christ, and every one members one of 
another ;" having gifts, however, which differ accord- 
ing to the grace that is given to us. In the Shemitic 
branch we have already had a manifestation of the spir- 
itual, — an earnest, serious, self-relying soul, — the will, 
as it were, of the human race ; in the Japhetic, a mani- 
festation of the mind, the intellect, — all those higher 
powers which give us politics, science, and the fine arts; 
for a marked manifestation of the heart, — the suscepti- 
bilities, emotions, affections, we must look to the sons 
of Ham. 

Indeed, the very nature of the African exhibits in 
itself a remarkable "union of recipiency with passion." 
Being of a plastic, ductile, docile disposition ; having 


nothing of the hard, self-asserting nature of the Goth; 
indisposed to stamp his own individuality upon others; 
the African is not likely to become famous, as the sons 
of Japheth have, for carrying on conquest and planting 
empires in other parts of the globe ; nor for enlarging 
and enriching the domain of politics and jurisprudence, 
science and the fine arts. Nor yet are we to expect 
from the African an exhibition of so much that is sim- 
ple, sublime, self-reliant, — so much that is capable of 
being continuously bent to one object ; of preserving 
itself separate, exclusive, and peculiar, for ages, — as 
we have had in the sons of Shem. But are there no 
other possible traits of character, which, in the coming 
ages of the world, in the future unfoldings of that plan . 
of redemption which the Maker and Ruler of men has 
devised for their recovery from sin, shall be deemed 
equally important and glorious ? 

There is much of deep, happy thought in the remark 
of Prof. Shedd, that — " The African nature possesses a 
latent capacity fully equal, originally,. to that of the 
Asiatic or the European. Shem and Japhet sprang 
from the same loins with Ham. God made of one blood 
those three great races by which he repopulated the 
globe after the deluge. This blending of two such 
striking antitheses as energy and lethargy, the soul and 
the sense ; this inlaying of a fine and fiery organization 
into drowsy flesh and blood ; this supporting of a keen 
and irritable nerve by a tumid and strong muscular 
cord, — what finer combination than this is there among 
the varied types of mankind ? The objection urged 
against the possibility of a historical progress in Africa, 
similar to that in the other continents, upon the ground 


that the original germ and basis was an inferior one, — 
an objection that shows itself, if not theoretically, yet 
practically, in the form of inaction, and an absence of 
enthusiasm and enterprising feeling when the claims of 
Africa are spoken of, — this objection is invalid. 

" The philosophic and the philanthropic mind must, 
both alike, rise above the prejudices of an age, and look 
beyond a present and transient degradation, that has 
been the result of centuries of ignorance and slavery. 
If this be done, the philosopher sees no reason for re- 
fusing to apply the same law of progress arid develop- 
ment (provided the circumstances be favorable, and the 
necessary conditions exist) to the tropical man, that he 
does to the man of the temperate or the arctic zones ; 
and no reason for doubting that, in the course of time, 
and under the genial influences of the Christian reli- 
ligion — the mother of us all — human nature will exhibit 
all its high traits and qualities in the black races, as 
well as in the white. And certainly the philanthropist, 
after a wide survey of history; after tracing back 
the modern Englishman to the naked Pict and bloody 
Saxon ; after comparing the filthy savage of Wapping 
and St. Giles with the very same being and the same 
blood in the drawing-rooms of Belgrave Square — has 
every reason for keeping up his courage and going 
forward with his work. There have been much stranger 
transformations in history than the rise of African re- 
publics and African civilizations, an<J African litera- 
tures will be." 




The striking peculiarity of the Zulu language is that 
curious cluck or smack, a sharp, shrill sound, occurring 
in some words, perhaps one in ten or a dozen, which is 
known as a " click." This peculiar sound constitutes 
an elementary part of the word in which it occurs, as 
much so as its vowels or consonants. Indeed the native 
is not aware of its being at all peculiar. So far as my 
knowledge extends they are to be found in no language 
save the Zulu and some of its cognates. 

Of these clicks there are three kinds ; the dental, 
which is made by placing the tip of the tongue upon the 
front teeth and then withdrawing it suddenly, so as to 
produce a sharp kind of kissing sound ; the palatal, 
which is a kind of sharp crack, or smack, made by the 
tongue in the roof of the mouth ; and the lateral, which 
is a similar sound made by the sides of the tongue in 
conjunction with the double teeth, a sound not unlike 
that sometimes made to urge on a horse. If we look 
for the origin of these peculiar sounds, or for the reason 
why they were ever employed as a means of indicating 
an idea, we shall doubtless find it in that principle 
which is usually denominated the onomatopoetic^ or an 


effort to suit the sound of the word, to the thing signi- 

One of the most important points in which the Zulu 
language differs from the English and many others, is 
found in the fact that, for the most part, the formative 
letters precede the root ; that is, most of the changes, 
the inflections, to which a word is subject, are made in 
the beginning of a word ; thus, umfana, boy ; abafana, 
boys : inkomo, cow ; izinkomo, cows : izwi or ilizwi, word ; 
amazwi, words. So in the adjective ; umfana omkulu, 
large boy ; abafana abakulu, large boys : inkomo enkulu, 
great cow ; ilizivi elikulu, great word. So in the pos- 
sessive pronouns ; abafana bami, my boys ; izinkomo 
zami, my cows ; ilizivi larni, my word. 

From these examples it will be noticed that there is 
a peculiar alliterative agreement among related words, 
— the adjectives and pronouns taking a prefix which 
accords with the preformative or incipient part of the 
noun with which they agree, or to which they relate ; 
thus, abafana abakulu, large boys ; abafana bami aba- 
kulu, my large boys ; ilizwi labafana, word of the boys ; 
izinkomo zabafana, cattle of the boys. 

And then, too, the personal pronoun takes a form to 
correspond with the incipient portion of the noun 
for which it stands ; thus, (abafana) ba tanda, (boys) 
they love ; (izinkomo) zi tanda, (cattle) they love ; (iliz- 
wi) li tanda, (the word) it loves. Now, in English, talk- 
ing about boys and cattle, if I say they love them, you 
might be in doubt whether I meant to say the cattle 
love the boys, or the boys the cattle ; but not so in the 
Zulu, — the form of the pronoun showing to what noun 
it refers ; thus, ba zi tanda, they love them, literally, 


they them love,' — that is, the boys love the cattle ; zi ba 
tanda, they thern love, — that is, the cattle love the boys. 

From all this it will be seen that the Zulu allows of 
great scope and variety in the arrangement of w T ords in 
a sentence, and at the same time gives you great clear- 
ness and precision as to what is meant. Thus, in the 
phrase — ' the face of the animal which is large,' one 
might be in doubt as to what ' is large;' not so, how- 
ever, in the Zulu phrase — ubuso benkomo obukulu, 
where the form of the adjective obukulu, great, leaves 
no doubt that it is meant to describe ubuso, face. So, 
too, though the most natural and common order is to 
put the noun-nominative before the verb, and the noun- 
objective after the verb, yet both may either precede or 
follow ; thus, for the English — ' the boys love the cat- 
tle,' we may say either abafana izinkomo ha zi tanda ; 
or ha zi tanda abafanda izinkomo. 

At first sight, nothing seems more confused and com- 
plicated than the Zulu language ; yet, when we come to 
look carefully into its forms, changes, and laws, we are 
obliged to -admit that no language of w T hich we have any 
knowledge, can lay claim to more order and regularity, 
flexibility, and precision. Thus, nouns are divided into 
eight classes, according to the form of their incipient 
element, and the manner in which they make the plu- 
ral. Umfana, boy, belongs to the first class ; ilizwi, 
to the second ; inkomo, to the third ; and so on, — the 
plural of the first being made in aba, of the second in 
arna, and of the third in izin. Each class and each 
number has its own form of the pronoun, personal or 
verbal; as, u, ba ; li, a; i, zi: each, its own form for 
the relative ; as, o, aba ; eli, a ; e, ezi; each, its own 

190 • ZULU-LAND. 

form for the possessive ; as, ake, abo ; alo, awo ; ayo, 
azo, — and so on. And then, too, each class and num- 
ber has its own preformative letter to be used in form- 
ing the possessive ; as, u, which passes over into its se- 
mivowel w, for the first class, singular; b for the plu- 
ral ; 1 and a for the second class ; y and z for the third. 
Thus, for the possessive my or mine, (the ground form 
for which, as it were, in Zulu, is ami, that is, a, of, 
and mi, me — of me,) we have, wami, bami ; lami, ami; 
yami, zami, according to the class and number of the 
noun ; as, umfana wami, my boy ; abafana bami, my 
boys. For the possessive his or her, if the noun be of 
the first class, we have the ground form, or basis, ake, 
a of, and ke him, — and then wake, bake, lake, &c, ac- 
cording to the noun possessed ; as umfana wake, his 
boy ; ilizwi lake, his word ; izinkomo zake, his cattle. 
For the possessive their, referring to persons or to 
nouns in aha, as abafana,^oys ; abantu, people, — the 
basis being abo, — we have tvabo, babo, labo, abo, yabo, 
&c, as, ilizivi labo, their word ; izinkomo zabo, their cat- 
tle. And for the possessive their y referring to nouns in 
izin, as izinkomo, we have, in like manner, wazo, bazo, 
lazo, azo, yazo, &c, as, ilizwi lazo, their voice ; isibaya 
sazo, their fold ; izimpondo zazo, their horns. 

Now, when you come to carry this through all the 
eight classes of nouns, singular and plural, you will 
find that there is no small number of forms for each 
class and kind of the pronoun. But for all this, com- 
plicated, exact, and numerous as these forms are, the 
native never makes a mistake, or talks, as we say, un- 
grammatically. Even the children seem to find it as 


natural and easy to speak properly in respect to gram- 
mar as they do to eat and sleep. 

The Zulu language pays a high regard to euphony. 
No doubt this is owing in part to the fact that it has ever, 
till recently, been addressed solely to the ear. Some 
of its ideas of euphony are peculiar to itself; others 
are founded on general laws, such as prevail more or 
less in all languages. Hence, some of the forms and 
changes on which it insists for euphonic purposes, are 
external, accidental, and to be attributed to the taste, 
fashion, or caprice of the people; while others are in- 
ternal and necessary, the reasons for which are to be 
found in the very structure of the language,' or in the 
physiological character of articulate sounds. Perhaps 
no, language can lay a better claim than the Zulu to an 
exemption from tw T o great faults, — on the one hand, 
that superabundance of vowels and liquids which pro- 
duces excessive softness ; and on the other, that super- 
abundance of consonants which produces excessive 
harshness. The happy mean which it has observed in 
its intermixture of mute consonants with vocalic and 
liquid sounds makes it both pleasing to the ear and easy 
to speak. 

One of the greatest defects of the language, as might 
be supposed, is the paucity of words, especially those 
which are most needed for the expression of moral and 
religious thoughts. The people having few ideas on 
subjects of this kind, their words are few also. Yet, 
even here, the case is not so difficult as might be pre- 
sumed. In some instances we are able to convert a 
word from a secular to a sacred use. And then the 
language is yet young, as it were, uncultivated, waiting 


to be developed and fashioned for the largest and no- 
blest ends. One root will often give you a large stem, 
with a good number of branches, and no small amount 
of fruit. Thus, from the verb bona, see, w T e have bo- 
nisa, cause to see, show ; bonisisa, show clearly ; bonela, 
see for ; bonelela, look and learn, imitate ; bonana, 
see each other; bonelana, see for each other; boni- 
sana, cause each other to see, show each other ; 
bonakala, appear, be visible; bonakalisa, make visi- 
ble; umboni, a seer; urnboneli, a spectator; umbo- 
nelo, a spectacle; umbonisi, an overseer; umboniso, 
a show ; isibono, a sight, curiosity ; isiboniso, a vision ; 
isibonakalo, an appearance ; isibonakaliso, a revelation, 
— and all this without going into the passive voice ; as, 
bonwa, be seen; boniswa, cause to be seen ; bonisiswa, 
cause to be clearly seen, et ccetera. I doubt if the Ger- 
man, Greek, or any other language can exceed the Zulu 
in the scope and liberty which it gives for the formation 
of derivative words. 

The liberty which it gives for combining two or more 
words, so as to form a significant compound, is another 
point worth mentioning. In this way we get impurna- 
langa, east, from two words — puma, come out, and 
ilanga, the sun ; inclionalanga, west, — from chona, sink, 
and ilanga, sun. So, inhlilifa, an heir, comes from 
combining two words which signify, "to eat the estate 
of the deceased;" while inhlulanhlebe, a bat, signifies 
"a long-eared animal ;" and ihlolenkosikazi, the jasmine, 
" queen's eye." 

Many of the names which the natives give to persons, 
places, rivers, mountains, are also compound terms ; 
and, whether simple or compound, the most of them are 


significant. Thus, Amanzimtoti, the name of a stream, 
signifies " sweet water;" Inhlangukazi, the name of a 
tall sugar-loaf mountain, signifies "a tall reed." I once 
had a great stout boy to work for me, whose name sig- 
nified "ruan^f the mountain;" and another, of a cun- 
ning, crabbed disposition, who was called by a name 
signifying " strength of the wolf." One is called spear, 
another hatchet, another money, another whiskers. The 
names which the natives give the white people are often 
appropriate and amusing. Thus, one who wears spec- 
tacles is called glasses ; one who keeps a good look-out 
for those in his employ, eyes ; one who moves about 
briskly, with a staccato step, crackle-gait. 

The native has no family, or surname ; though he is 
sometimes designated as the son of so-and-so. A man 
also not unfrequently designates his wife, that is, one 
of his wives, as the daughter of so-and-so, — a practice 
which had its origin, doubtless, in polygamy ; since the 
term my wife, or Mrs. so-and-so, would often be ambi- 
guous where a man has half a dozen wives. 

But I must pass to the literature of this people, and 
give a few samples of it, — if, indeed, that which is pro- 
duced by a people ignorant of letters can be called 
literary. • 

The most of their songs consist of only a few words, 
which they repeat over and over, with such musical va- 
riation as their national taste and habit, or their indi- 
vidual fancy may dictate. Thus, a company of travel- 
ers may go singing what amounts to nothing more than 
so-so, so-so ; while the substance of another song is 
summed up in the two words — he saith, he saith, he 
saith, — which, like "so-so, so-so," mean, I suppose, 


about as much as our do-re-mi, or lullaby, lullaby. Their 
songs often have a special fitness for t}ie occasion ; as, 
when a man, in search for a lost cow, goes humming — 

Ma i ze inkomo yetu, si ya yi biza ; 

Si ti, ma i ze, ma i zeke ; 

Ma i ze kumi, ma i zeke ; 

Ma i ze inkomo yetu, si ya yi biza. 

That is— 

Our cow let her come, we are calling her; 

"We say, let her come, let her come, so let her come; 

Let her come to me, then let her come; 

Our cow let her come, we are calling her. 

Several natives spent a rainy day, hard at work, dig- 
ging out and killing three or four porcupines, which had 
made them trouble in their gardens ; and the next morn- 
ing one of them passed my door, singing the following 
song, which I was told, he indited for the occasion ; — 
though the language would seem to indicate that he was 
thinking quite as much of the Zulu people as of porcu- 
pines and potatoes : — 

Truly, oh truly, they'll perish anon, 
The land of the Zulu so slyly they leave; 
All the people they come, they come, 
The land of the Zulu so slyly they leave. 
Truly, oh truly ! &G. 

The young men sometimes pass an evening in their 
hut, playing the gumbu — a musical instrument made by 
attaching a calabash to the middle of a bow which keeps 
a cord in tension between its two ends, — the player and 
his companions singing some kind of a song, called a hut 
song, or an evening song ; of which the following, with 


regard to an expected attack to be made upon them, is 
a specimen — 

Let peaceful tribes be undisturbed ; 
We hear it said, there are foes at hand ; 
Little do they know of Kula kwa Zulu • — ■ 
That the soldiers of Sanku are there, 
Now waiting for orders all rivers to cross. 
Come, show thyself, thou tiger of kings ! 
Let peaceful tribes, &c. 

The following will serve as a specimen of their hunt- 
ing songs. The last two lines have respect to a law 
among them, that the animal belongs to the party who 
gives it the first wound. Hence, if a man would get any 
thing, he must aim at a fresh beast, and not stop to kill 
one that is already half dead. 

Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah ! 
A whirlwind ! the buffalo ! 
Some leave and go home,* 
Some pursue and obtain ; 
We shoot the rising, 
But leave the wounded. 
Hurrah ! hurrah ! &g. 

Having finished a hunt, the parties assemble with the 
game, which they lay together in a pile, and sing some 
joyous, parting song, of which the following is a sam- 
ple — 

Come, let me go, Umchengele * 

I must look for the cows of my father. 

Where has the son of Masina gone ? 

He went with Zingane son of Yabane ; 

Never, oh never, never, never ! 

That hunt was a good one, give us a fill. 

The following is a compound of praise and prayer 
which is said to be offered by the kings to the shades of 
their ancestors : — 


Then hear, king, thou tallest of the tall ; 
Son of Kumede Mandondo, splendid and fair! 
While I linger I would implore the first-born : 
great progenitor of Jama ! let us twist us a rope, 
And ascend up to heaven where ghosts never come, 
But break their tiny toes if to mount they try. 

In addition to these common, domestic, hunting, and 
religious songs, if the last can be called religious, 
there is another class which the people sing in honor of 
their kings. As they consist chiefly in attempts to eu- 
logize the monarch ; rehearsing and extolling what they 
profess to regard as his virtues, — his strength, courage, 
and valor, and his many wonderful deeds, they may be 
called heroic songs, or a kind of eulogistic rhapsody. 
And since the object of the panegyrist is to call the 
king by such names and recount such deeds as are most 
pleasing to his majesty, and such as will set him forth 
in the most desirable light in the eyes of the people, 
the fearful titles, the savage character which are 
given him by the royal eulogist, are a sad index to the 
moral condition of poet, prince and people. You will 
find, however, here and there, a good turn of thought, a 
bold figure, and some of the marks of a poetic genius. 

The isibongo, royal rhapsody, or song, in honor of the 
king, whether Chaka, Dingan, or some other princely 
personage, generally opens with something like* the fol- 
lowing : — 

JBayeti, 'mngani ! wena 'yinkosi ! wena umnyama ! 
Wena wa kula, be libele ; icena u nga ngentaba. 

That is— 

Hail, my lord ! thou art king ! thou art black ! 

Thou hast outgrown others ; thou art like a mountain. 


The closing lines of the following song show how 
gracefully the Zulu poet can retire from His Majesty's 
presence, when he has said what he has to say in his 
praise. The piece seems to be but a relic of what was 
sung in old time to one of the first of the kings»of the 
Zulu race. The old Zulu warrior who gave it to me de- 
scribed it as the fragment of a song 


Thou dark grave of Nobamba ! 

Ever noosing the ankles of foes at home and abroad; 

Black spotted beast of Zwa Ngendaba; 

Thou deadly destroyer of Makanda and Unsele; 

Voracious consumer of the root and the branch ; 

Descendant of Menzi ! plundering till plunder is gone ; 

Thou fount of Nobamba ! drinking of which, 

I dropped down dead, and sunk into the shade of Punga. 

Nobamba was one of the first of the great royal 
towns of the Zulu race. The term " Menzi/' (Umenzi,) 
as now used, signifies maker, and is often employed by 
us to designate God as the Maker of all things. Per- 
haps it was designed to convey some idea of that kind 
when the poem was composed. 


Thou striker of poison into every conspirator, 
As well those abroad as those who're at home ; 
Thou art green as the gall of the goat; 
^Butterfly of Punga, tinted with circling spots, 
As if made by the twilight from the shadows of mountains, 
In the dusk of the evening, when the wizards are abroad ; 
Lynx-eyed descendant of Punga and Makeba, 
| With looking at whom I am ever entranced. 

What beautiful parts ! a calf of the cow ! 
The kicking of this cow confuses my brain, 
Kicking the milker and accepting the holder. 
17 * 


In the foregoing song the words " calf of the cow" 
designate Chaka as the son of Senzangakona, a worthy 
son of worthy ancestor, "true chip of the old block, " 
as we should say. The last line, " Kicking the milker 
and accepting the holder," refers to the fact that a 
vicious cow requires one to hold her by the nose and 
horns, while another milks ; and the design of the 
figure seems to be to represent, at once, the power, the 
caprice, and the sovereignty of the king, putting one to 
death, and promoting another to honor, without any 
apparent reason. 


Thou needy offspring of Urnpikazi, (the hyena,) 

Eyer of the cattle of men ; 

Bird of Maube, fleet as a bullet ; 

Sleek, erect, of beautiful parts; 

Thy cattle like the comb of the bees, 

A herd too large, too huddled, to move. 

Devourer of Umzilikazi of Machobana; 

Devourer of 'Swazi, son of Sobuza; 

Breaker of the gates of Machobana; 

Devourer of Gundane of Machobana; 

A monster in size, of mighty power; 

Devourer of Ungwati of an ancient race ; 

Devourer of the kingly Nomafu ; 

Like heaven above, raining and shining. 


Thou brother of the Chaka3, considerate forder ! 

A swallow which fled in the sky ; 

A swallow with a whiskered breast; 

Whose cattle cross over in so huddled a crowd, 

They stumble for room when they run. 

Thou false adorer of the valor of another; 

That valor thou tookest at the battle of Makonko. 

Of the stock of Ndabazita, ram-rod of brass, 

Survivor alone of all other rods ; 



Others they broke, and left this in the soot, 

Thinking to burn it some rainy cold day. 

Flesh of the bullock of Inkakavini ! 

Always delicious, if only 'tis roasted, 

'Twill always be tasteless, if boiled. 

The woman from Mankebe's delighted ; 

She has seen the leopards of Jama, 

Fighting together between the Makonko. 

He passed between the Intuma and Ihliza, 

The celestial who thundered between the Makonko. 

I praise thee, king ! son of Jokwane, the son of Undaba, 

The merciless opponent of every conspiracy. 

Thou art an elephant, an elephant, an elephant, 

All glory to thee, thou Monarch who art black. 

Some of the more important historical incidents re 
ferred to in this song have been noticed in former chap 
ters. When Dingan killed Chaka and others, he wat* 
persuaded to leave Umpande alive, — " Survivor alone 
of all other rods." When the natives wish to season 
a walking-stick or other bit of wood, or preserve it for 
future use, they often stick it up in the roof of the 
house, directly over the fire-place. With this fact in 
mind, you will see the pertinency of the lines — 

" Others they broke, but left this in the soot, 
Thinking to burn it some rainy cold day." 

The phrase, " considerate forder," in the first line, re- 
fers to Umpande's taking advantage of the time to flee 
while Dingan's army was off on a plundering expedi- 
tion in another direction. " The woman from Man- 
kebe" was Umpande's wife, who is represented as pre- 
sent and " delighted" at the battle between her hus- 
band and Dingan at the Makonko, of which I have 
spoken in connection with the Boers. 

These brief and imperfect samples of Zulu song will 


serve to give at once some notion of their genius and 
of their degradation. We see here what they count 
noble and valorous. In their low views of excellence 
we read the story of their fallen and savage condition, 
their need of elevation, of light, and all that Chris- 
tianity confers on ruined man. 




" Ye Christian heralds ! go, proclaim 
Salvation through Immanuel's name ; 
To distant climes the tidings bear, 
And plant the rose of Sharon* there." 

The Rev. Dr. Philip, of Cape Town, superintendent 
of the London Society's Missions in South Africa, seems 
to have been the first to call the attention of Christians 
in America to this part of the world as a field for mis- 
sionary operations. In 1834, the American Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent out six men, 
three of whom were designated to the maritime region, 
among the Amazulu, and three to an inland district, 
among Umzilikazi's people. On the 3d of December 
this party, with their wives, set sail from Boston, in the 
ship Burlington, and reached Cape Town on the 5th of 
February, 1835. In about six weeks, the Rev. Messrs. 
Lindley, and Venable, and Dr.* Wilson started in their 
ox-wagons for the interior ; and at the end of about 
seven more weeks, having traveled six hundred miles, 
they reached Griqua Town. Here they remained five 
months with English missionaries, affording their w T eary 


cattle a chance to rest, and giving themselves to the 
study of the language, preparatory to a farther advance 
and future labors among the people to whom they had 
been sent. 

The overland route to the Zulu field being counted 
unsafe, in consequence of a Kafir war which had just 
now commenced, the other missionaries — Rev. Messrs. 
Aldin Grout, and Champion, and Dr. Adams— remained 
at the Cape, waiting the termination of hostilities or an 
opportunity to reach Natal by sea. In July they left 
the Cape for Algoa Bay, where they remained till the 
7th of December, then took ship, and in two weeks, 
Dec. 21st, 1835, they cast anchor in Port Natal. Land- 
ing, the next day, they found a few white people, chiefly 
hunters and traders*, of whom they purchased a span 
of oxen for the wagons which they had brought with 
them from the old colony, and started at once on a trip 
of a hundred and fifty or sixty miles, to visit the Zulu 
chieftain, Dingan, at his residence in Zulu-land, and 
get permission to settle in his country and to labor as 
missionaries among his people. Two weeks brought 
them to the capital. Here they were received and 
treated with kindness ; though the king seems to have 
been slow, if not reluctant, to comply with their wishes 
in respect to the people just about him. He therefore 
proposed that they take up their abode and open their 
school in the vicinity of the port; being allowed, how- 
ever, to spend some time with him, or among the people 
in his more immediate neighborhood, till he should know 
more of the character of their labors. They remained 
six days at the capital, and were supplied, meantime, 
with two cows and a goat to slaughter, together with 


other kinds of food, such as the king and his country 
could afford. 

Mr. Champion was now left in the country to make 
arrangements ; while the other two, Grout and Adams, 
returned to Algoa Bay, for their families and effects. 
As they wished to return to Natal with a good supply 
of oxen and wagons, they made preparations to come 
back by an overland route. Mrs. Grout, however, was 
called away by death, before they were ready to start. 
She died of consumption, at Bethelsdorp, February 
24th, 1836, " full of faith, and rejoicing that she had 
been counted worthy to leave her country and home on 
such an errand." The rest of the company soon set 
off, in their ox-wagons, for Natal ; and after about two 
months' traveling, in a new land, without roads, and 
through many rivers all without a bridge, on the 21st 
of May they reached the Umlazi River, where Mr. 
Champion had prepared a house for their reception. 
During the absence of his brethren, Mr. Champion ex- 
plored the country as far south-west as the Xlovu, and 
selected a site for their first station, on the Umlazi, 
eight miles west of the Bay. Here he set about building 
a temporary house on the 22d of February. On the 
7th of March he opened a school for the natives ; using 
the shade of a large tree for a school-room, and the 
earth — the letters written in the sand — for an a-b-c book. 
The*first day he had about a dozen scholars, some of 
them nurses with infants tied, as usual, to their backs. 
On the 21st of March he began, with about thirty people, 
to clear a spot for the mission house at that place. Thus 
commenced the first mission station among the Zulu 
Kafirs in the region of Natal. 


The other members of the mission having returned 
from Algoa Bay, the brethren now made a second visit 
to the king, when he gave them permission to commence 
a station in Zulu-land. The site chosen was eight or 
ten miles north of the river Tugela. and about the same 
distance from the sea, on a stream called — as two others 
in Natal are called — the Umsunduzi. The name Ginani, 
which was given to the station, is composed of three 
Zulu words, in which it was designed to embody the 
promise of our Saviour : " Lo I am with you." It was 
now arranged that this station should be occupied by 
Mr. Champion, and that on the Umlazi by Dr. Adams ; 
the labors of Mr. Grout to be divided between the 

The first work at Ginani was to put up a house, the 
missionaries dwelling meantime in tents. Their house, 
built of stones and mud, covered with grass, having 
neither a board nor a straight piece of timber in it ; the 
floor being made of earth which was taken from an ant- 
hill ; mats and reeds serving for doors and windows ; 
began to be occupied about the middle of November. 
And though it leaked badly, yet, as a refuge from 
the scorching sun, it was considered a palace of com- 

Mr. Champion had now made such proficiency in the 
language as to be able to tell the people about Godwin 
their own tongue. His audience on the Sabbath num- 
bered about two hundred. The king also sent him ten 
or a dozen pupils, boys and girls, to be taught, which, 
with others, at the end of eight or nine months, made 
a school of ten boys and twenty girls. The day 
school under Dr. Adams' instruction at Umlazi now 


numbered fifty ; and his Sabbath audience amounted to 
some five or six hundred, most of whom were also ga- 
thered into a Sabbath-school. Meantime the printing- 
press was set up at Umlazi, and a few elementary books 
printed in the native language for the schools. 

The mission to the interior having been broken up by 
an attack of the Boers upon the natives, in January, 
1837, the missionaries left that field to join their bre- 
thren in Natal. Their journey hither was long and 
tedious. Coming as they did by way of Grahain's- 
Town, which would make a distance of twelve or fifteen 
hundred miles, and traveling in the usual slow-paced 
ox-wagon, they were about six months on the way. 
, Their arrival at Natal, however, was a speedy response 
to the request which their brethren of the mission had 
just made to the Board, in Boston, for a reinforcement. 
Mr. Lindley was now stationed at Ifumi, on the Ilovu, 
about thirty miles South-west from the Bay ; and Messrs. 
Venable and Wilson, at Hlangezwa, on the Umhlatusi, 
near Mount Umagakazi, in Zulu-land ; a hundred and 
ten or fifteen miles to the north-east of the Bay, thirty 
or thirty-five miles beyond Ginani. Scarcely, however, 
had t^ey taken up their abode at these new stations, 
when their labors were again interrupted, and their 
lives put in jeopardy by the scourge from which they 
had suffered in the interior. 

The Dutch farmers, after their attack upon Umzili- 
kazi, came also to Natal ; and very soon, early in 1888, 
(as narrated in Chapter VIII.,) they became involved in 
difficulty with Dingan. Having slain the Dutch em- 
bassy, the king sent forthwith for Mr. Venable to come 
at once with his interpreter and see him. Complying 


with the request, and arriving at the gate of the king's 
capital, Umkungunhlovu, Mr. Venable saw the Boers' 
luggage, but saw nothing of the men. One of the boys 
told him they had gone out for a hunt, but every thing 
looked suspicious. He soon met the king, who told him 
of the massacre there that morning, adding that the 
missionaries had nothing to fear, as he considered them 
his friends. Mr. Venable asked permission to go and 
see Mr. Owen, of the Church Missionary Society, who 
was then living near the capital, to which request the 
king consented. Mr. Owen was found in great distress, 
having heard of the fate of the Boers, and also seen 
something of it with his glass, his own house being in 
sight of the king's kraal. The missionaries decided to» 
leave that part of the district without delay, fully per- 
suaded that there were other evils at hand. With ap- 
parent reluctance the king allowed them to depart. 
But as Mr. Owen's wagon was not at hoine, Messrs. 
Venable and Wilson delayed a little for him. 

Meantime, Mr. Venable set off on foot to go and see 
his brother missionary, Champion, and consult w T ith him. 
He reached Ginani in the evening, but found no one at 
home. The house was closed and deserted, ^eary 
w T ith his walk of thirty-five miles, in addition to his 
previous trip to the capital and back, without food, and 
with no bed save the floor of the verandah, he laid him- 
self down to rest till morning, and then returned to 
Hlangezwa. The missionaries were not long in complet- 
ing arrangements to leave this station and go to Natal. 

As soon as news of the slaughter at Dingan's kraal 
had reached Dr. Adams on the Umlazi, well knowing 
that the circumstances of his brethren in Zulu-land 


were anything but desirable, he lost no time in attempt- 
ing to aid their escape.* The swollen state of the Tu- 
gela making it impossible for them to ford the river, 
Dr. Adams despatched a Hottentot and others with a 
wagon and boat, giving them instructions to leave the 
wagon on the Natal side of that stream, and, under 
cover of the night, cross over in the boat, go to Ginani, 
and urge them to leave without delay. The Hottentot 
arrived, delivered his message, and offered to drive their 
wagon for them, if they would start for the Tugela at 
once ; otherwise, he must go back without them. Pained 
at the thought of leaving till those beyond should ar- 
rive, yet seeing no other way, they threw a few things 
into the wagon, and set off for the Tugela. Reaching 
its bank, they found that the party left there in charge 
of the boat had taken fright, crossed over to the Natal 
side of the river, and gone off with the wagon. The . 
old Hottentot, however, too well aware of the danger 
of delay in their present circumstances, and preferring 
to risk his life on the bosom of the broad river, haunted 
as it was with alligators, rather than be exposed to the 
peltings of the gathering storm, plunged in, swam over, 
and got the boat. And thus, little by little, the mis- 
sionary, his family, their effects, wagon, and all, were 
brought over, and eventually enabled to reach the Bay, 
in safety. In like manner, those who were farther 
away — Venable and Wilson — having complied with the 
monarch Dingan's request to give him the greater part 
of their goods, made' their preparations quickly, in- 
spanned their oxen, and, in due time, found themselves 
in the company of their brethren at Umlazi and the 


Bearing in mind what has been said in former pages 
of the state of Natal at this time, it will easily be un- 
derstood why the missionaries deemed it expedient to 
withdraw from the field for a time ; until the fearful 
tempest, so near and so certain, should be past. Leav- 
ing Mr. Lindley to watch the progress of events and 
report results, the rest took ship and sailed on the SOth 
of March, for Port Elizabeth. 

The Zulus w r ere not long in getting ready to avenge 
the attacks which had been made upon them by resi- 
dents in the neighborhood of the Port. Yet no evil be- 
fell Mr. Lindley. Seeing the danger nigh at hand, he 
took refuge on board the " Comet," a vessel then lying 
at anchor in the Bay. After the country had been 
swept, as none but an infuriated Zulu army can sweep, 
he took passage with Mr. Owen, on the 11th of May ; 
and, after a trip to Delagoa Bay, went to Port Eliza- 
beth, where he joined his family and associates on the 
22d of June, 1838. 

Several of the mission now returned to America. 
Mr. Aldin Grout had already gone temporarily, having 
left Natal in December, 1837. From Port Elizabeth-Mr. 
Venable proceeded to Cape Town, where he labored for 
a time ; then went on to America, and there, at his own 
request, received an honorable release from his connec- 
tion with the Board. Mrs. Champion's health being 
much impaired by the dangers and hardships to which 
she had been subject, Mr. Champion went with her to 
America, where they arrived April 9th, 1839. Nor 
was he permitted to realize his ardent desire to return 
again to this field. He labored for a time in the minis- 
try at home ; but being soon attacked with a pulmonary 


complaint, he went to Santa Cruz, where, on the 17th 
of December, 1841, at the. age of thirty-one, he died. 
" His life was one of rare consecration to the cause of 
Christ." Dr. Wilson, who had also gone to Ame- 
rica, embarked again on the 27th of July, of the same 
year, 1839, at New York, and went to join the West 
African mission, which was laboring at that time at Cape 
Palmas. Here he remained for two years, diligently 
engaged in his Master's service, when he was attacked 
with dysentery ; and, on the 13th of October, 1841, 
taking a cheerful leave of this life, he entered into rest. 

The British Government having taken military pos- 
session of Port Natal, and many of the affairs of the 
District beginning to betoken peace and safety, Dr. 
Adajae left Graham's-Town for an overland trip to Na- 
tal, where he arrived on the 23d of March, 1839, to 
ascertain the true state of things, and see what opening 
there might be for farther missionary operations. Much 
encouraged by his visit, he carried back a good report, 
and presently returned with Mrs. Adams and Mr. Lind- 
ley, reaching Natal on the 12th of June. Mrs. Lind- 
ley having been detained by the illness of one of their 
children, came by another opportunity. 

Mr. Lindley now thought it advisable to devote him- 
self to the instruction of the Boers, and accordingly be- 
gan to labor among them as' a teacher and a preacher ; 
in which course he had both the approval of the Board 
and the gratitude of the Boers. Dr. Adams returned 
to his old station on the Umlazi, where he found his 
buildings yet standing, though bearing marks of an at- 
tempt having been made to set them a fire. Nor" 
was he long in learning that great changes had 


been wrought — not for the better — among the people 
of his former charge. Still there was enough to do, and 
much to encourage him. 

In a year from the time of his last return to Natal, 
he had a Sabbath audience of about five hundred ; a 
Sabbath-school of more than two hundred ; a large and 
flourishing day-school ; and an out-station six miles dis- 
tant, where he went to hold worship every Sabbath, 
after the home labors of the day were done. Mrs. 
Adams had a prayer-meeting once a week for adult fe- 
males, and a school for girls ; gave each class a lesson 
from time to time in needle-work ; and soon had the 
satisfaction of seeing that one of the women gave evi- 
dence of having become a new creature in Christ Jesus. 
The printing-press was also set up, and a few small 
books printed. 

Mr. Aldin Grout, returning from America, reached 
Natal on the 30th of June, 1840 ; and after remaining 
at Umlazi nearly a year, he returned to the Zulu coun- 
try ; re-crossing the river Tugela, with the Boers' con- 
sent, in May, 1841. Passing by the now solitary site 
of Ginani, where he and Mr. Champion had formerly 
labored, going on also a little beyond Hlangezwa, where 
Messrs. Venable and Wilson were once stationed, he 
commenced operations anew, at Empangeni, an eastern 
branch of the Umhlatusi. He called the station Inkan- 
yezi) which means a star. The country around was 
thickly inhabited, there being no less than thirty-seven 
kraals, or villages, so near that the people could meet 
at the station for worship on the Sabbath. For a time, 
the affairs of the station seemed to prosj>er. The au- 
dience on the Sabbath amounted to two or three 


hundred, and the day-school was well attended. At 
length, however, the king, perceiving that some of the 
people who lived even at a distance from the station 
were looking at it and fleeing to it as a place of refuge, 
and that some who lived about the station were gradu- 
ally beginning as he thought, to forget their allegiance 
to him, and to attach themselves to the missionary, 
sent a military force to punish and destroy them. 

Both the missionary and his people were, for some 
months, in a measure aware that Dingan's favor was 
not towards them. Hence, the people about the station 
shunned the king's presence, and kept away from the 
royal residence, — all which, in its turn, served to ex- 
asperate the king, and widen the breach between him 
and his suspected subjects. 

Accordingly, on the 25th of July, 1842, that is, a little 
more than a year after the station was commenced, an 
attack was made upon half a dozen of the nearer kraals, 
three of which the king doomed to utter destruction. In 
accordance with the Zulu mode, the attack was sudden, 
and at early dawn. Though no violence was done to 
the missionary, he thought it no longer safe to remain. 
He accordingly left the place at once, and returned to 
Natal, taking with him such of the surviving natives as 
ha.d attached themselves to him, and felt that their lives 
were not safe where they were. After spending a few 
weeks at Umlazi, he went to the Umgeni, six miles north 
from the Bay, where he took up his abode, and remained 
four or five months ; preaching to a numerous audience 
of natives on the Sabbath, and waiting to see what way 
Providence might open for him, for the mission, and for 
the tribes of the District. 


In view of the many reverses to which the mission 
had been subject, and of the still unsettled state of 
things in and around Natal ; also in view of the pros- 
pect that this field would be looked after by Eng- 
lish missionaries : and that the funds of the Board could 
be expended to better advantage in other lands, the Mis- 
sionary Board now thought it expedient to discontinue 
the mission. Their committee wrote, August 31, 1843, 
instructing the missionaries to bring it to a close. The 
letter reached the mission in the early part of 1844 ; 
and Mr. Grout, hearing of a vessel about to sail for 
Cape Town, took passage to that place with a view of 
returning to America. Dr. Adams, however, still re- 
mained. Thus passed the first nine years of the mis- 
sion from America to the Amazulu and other heathen 
tribes in and around Natal. \ 




1843 TO 1862. 

Before the arrangements, mentioned in the foregoing 
chapter, to bring the American Zulu mission to a close, 
could be carried into effect, the social and political state 
of Natal assumed a more orderly and hopeful aspect, 
which induced the mission and the Board to hold on, 
and so, eventually, to establish themselves and extend 
their labors among the people. In fact, Dr. Adams 
continued, steadfast, hopeful, and diligent, at his post, 
preventing an absolute interruption of the work. 

Arriving at Cape Town, Mr. Grout was dissuaded 
from returning to America. Ministers of the gospel, of 
various denominations, together with the American con- 
sul, and the governor of the colony, in short, men of 
all classes, took up the subject, and showed in both 
words and deeds a hearty desire to have the mission 
continued. A public meeting was held, addresses made, 
and money raised to defray. Mr. Grout's expenses, while 
he should present the case anew to the Board, and wait 
farther instructions. The Rev. Dr. Faure, Dr. Philip, 
and others wrote to the Prudential committee, giving 
their views of the field, and urging the Board to con- 


tinue the mission. In view of all these facts the com- 
mittee could not doubt the importance of resuming ope- 
rations in Natal, and accordingly gave the mission in- 
structions to do so, — at the same time encouraging them 
to hope for an early reinforcement. 

Mr. Grout, however, did not wait a replj from the 
Board before returning to Natal. With an appoint- 
ment from the governor of the Cape, Sir Peregrine 
Maitland, as government missionary, with a salary of 
£150, he returned in June, 1844, to Natal, and selected 
a site for a station on the Umvoti river, about forty 
miles north-east from the Port, and six from the sea, 
where, with the exception of a visit to America a few 
years since, he has remained to the present time, labor- 
ing with untiring zeal and devotion. His appointment 
from the government was retained about a year, after 
which his previous connection with the Board was re- 

Towards the close of this year, 1844, Dr. Adams 
made a visit to the Cape ; and on the 10th of Decem- 
ber received ordination as a minister of the gospel ; the 
services being performed by Drs. Philip and Adamson, 
Messrs. Faure and Brown, clergymen of that place. 
The offer of an appointment as government missionary 
was made to Dr. Adams, but, with thanks to the government 
for the proffer, he declined to receive it. On his return 
from the Cape he resumed his labors at Umlazi, and in- 
deed throughout the new colony, with a heart full of hope. 
His Sabbath audiences were large, varying from five 
hundred to a thousand ; their attention to the preach- 
ing was good, often earnest and solemn ; and their ge- 
neral deportment was quiet and orderly. His Sabbath- 


school numbered from three hundred to five hundred, 
and his day-school about a hundred. Nor did he con- 
fine his labors to the station alone, but in the summer 
season held services at an out-station six miles away, 
and made occasional tours among the tribes at a dis- 
tance. Here, his arrival at a kraal was a signal for the 
people in that and the neighboring kraals to assemble 
for worship. Having addressed them for half an hour, 
more or less, he rode to another settlement ; and when 
night came his hut would be filled with men, women, 
and children, all glad to hear as long as his strength 
would allow him to speak. 

More than ten years elapsed, after the mission first 
set their feet on the shores of Natal, ere they began to 
see any very manifest or important results of their 
labors. But during the year 1846 not only were the 
Sabbath audiences and day-schools large and flourishing, 
but the missionaries began also to have hope that a few 
of their hearers had profited by the truths of the gospel, 
and become the true friends of God. ( 

In the early part of the year an old woman, Umba- 
lasi by name, once the wife of a distinguished chief, ex- 
pressed to the missionary a wish to be baptized, and to 
make a public profession of her faith in Christ. For 
many months her life had been such as to induce the 
belief that she had been born of the Spirit.' Accord- 
ingly, in June of that year, she was permitted to sit 
down with the missionary and his wife at the table of 
the Lord, to commemorate with them his dying love. 
On the 19th of August, two men, then living at Umlazi, 
came out from their heathenism and polygamy; and, in 
presence of a sinful and adulterous generation, took 


each a wife in accordance with the teachings of the 
gospel, and the forms of a civilized. Christian govern- 
ment; These men having had two wives each, one of 
them was now married to the woman who was first taken ; 
the other to the one who was taken last, inasmuch as 
the first was opposed to his embracing the gospel, and 
had no desire to remain with him longer. Near the 
close of the year, another party was married in a Chris- 
tian manner at Umvoti, who also, in a few months, made 
a profession of the Christian faith. 

On the 15th of August, the Rev. J. C. Bryant reached 
Umlazi. Immediately after the mission meeting in 
September, 1847, he went to commence a new station 
at Ifumi, where Mr. Lindley had begun to labor ten 
years before ; but no trace of that former occupation, 
which was broken up by Zulu forays, was now to be 
found. Mr. Bryant remained here, laboring with much 
fidelity, devotion, and success, for about two years, 
though suffering from an affection of the lungs. Being 
relieved from oral labor and the charge of his station, . 
in September, 1849, when Mr. Ireland was located 
there, he devoted the remnant of his strength chiefly 
to the work of preparing books in the Zulu language ; 
having a home for most of the time with the writer at 
Umsunduzi. He died at Inanda, December 23, 1850, 
beloved and lamented by all who knew him. 

In the early part of the year 1847, Mr. Lindley re- 
sumed his connection with the mission, and commenced 
a station a little more than twenty miles north-westerly 
from the bay, near a mountain called Inanda, from 
which the station took its name. Here he remained 
till 1858, when he transferred his station to a new site 



some miles nearer to ©urban, the seaport town. After 
visiting America he has again resumed his labors for 
the land to which he has devoted his life. 

On the 15th of February, 1847, Mr. Lewis Grout 
reached Natal ; and, after a few months' residence at 
Umlazi and Umvoti, he commenced a new station, 
October 1st, on the sources of the Umsunduzi, an 
eastern branch of the Umhloti, about thirty miles 
north of the port, and about half that distance from the 
sea. In the good providence of God he is permitted to 
remain here till the present time, fourteen years from 
the day of his landing in Natal.* 

The same year, 1847, Dr. Adams transferred his sta- 
tion from the Umlazi river to the Amanzimtoti, some 
ten or twelve miles farther from Durban, to the south- 
west ; the new site being more centrally situated in re- 
gard to the people among whom he wished to labor. 
Here he remained, diligent and faithful, till called to go 
hence and rest from his labors. He died on the 16th 
of September, 1851, a pioneer missionary, whose faith 
and patience never failed. 

The old station (at Umlazi river) was kept up for a 
year or two, being left in charge of Mr. M'Kinney, who 
arrived on the 31st of July^ and a year later began to 
explore the country in the region of the Amahlongwa 
river. He here selected a site for a station about four 
miles west of the Umkomazi, five from the sea, and 
forty-five from Durban, and labored till the latter part 
of 1852. His health failing, he eventually was obliged 

* Here lie continued to labor, so far as impaired health would allow, 
still another year, and then returned to America, leaving Natal in March, 



to return to America. Regaining his health he returned 
to Africa, reaching Natal again in January, 1857, and 
was designated to Amanzimtoti, where he is still labor- 
ing. The station, or rather the site, at Umlazi river, 
being abandoned by the mission, was taken up by 
Bishop Colenso of the Church of England Missions. * 

In January, 1848, Messrs. Marsh and Rood arrived; 
and soon each began a new station, the former at Table 
Mountain, the latter at Ifafa. The station commenced 
by Mr. Marsh was situated on the north side of the 
Umgeni, forty miles from the sea, and about twenty-five 
miles to the east of Maritzburg, over against Umkam- 
bati, or Table Mountain, from which the station took its 
name. But in view of the difficulty of reaching this 
locality, the ford on the Umgeni being rocky, and the 
water often high and rapid, endangering the lives of 
the missionary and his family, that place was abandoned 
for another, fifteen miles farther east, or about thirty- 
five miles west of north from Durban, and twenty-five 
from the nearest sea-coast, among the sources of the 
Umhloti. To this place, called Itafamasi, he removed 
about the middle of 1849, and there continued to labor 
till laid upon a bed of sickness, where he suffered for 
two months, and then died on the 11th of December, 
1853, — u a brother greatly beloved. " 

Mr. Rood was first stationed at Ifafa, sixty miles 
south-west from Durban, where he remained till called 
to take the place of Dr. Adams at Amanzimtoti, Sep- 
tember, 1851. Here, in 1853, his labors were made 
doubly arduous by having to take charge of a seminary 
for the education of young men. A failure of health, 
in 1857, obliged him to seek a change ; he went first 


into the upper part of the colony, and afterwards to 
the Cape, with a hope to recover his strength. He re- 
turned from the Cape in June, 1858. After remaining 
a year, with health still feeble, he embarked for a visit 
to America, leaving the station at Amanzimtoti in care 
of Mr. M 'Kinney. 

At the close of the year of which I am now speaking, 
1848, the mission -numbered eight stations, — Umlazi, or 
rather Amanzimtoti, Umvoti, Inanda, Ifumi, Umsun- 
duzi, Amahlongwa, Ifafa, and Umkambati, or Table 
Mountain ; together with the same number of ordained 
missionaries, — Adams, Aldin Grout, Lindley, Bryant, 
Lewis Grout, M'Kinney, Rood, and Marsh. There were 
also three out-stations at that time, chiefly under the 
care of Dr. Adams. The attendance upon preaching 
was good ; and the word w T as blessed to the hopeful con- 
version of souls at all the older stations. The number of 
pages which had been printed, counting from the first, 
amounted to nearly three hundred thousand. 

In 1849, the mission was enlarged by the addition of 
Mr. Ireland, in February ; and Messrs. Abraham, 
Tyler, and Wilder, in July. At the general meeting 
in September, Mr. Jreland was stationed at Ifumi, in 
connection with Mr. Bryant: where he soon came into 
entire charge of the station, and continues to labor 
with a good degree of success, to the present time. At 
the same meeting, Mr. Abraham was appointed to com- 
mence a new station at Mapumulo, some seventy-five 
miles north of Durban, and twenty-five from the 
sea; where he still continues to labor. Mr. Wilder was 
designated to the charge of the printing-press, tempo- 
rarily, or till the printer should arrive. The press was 


set up, for the time, at Umbilo, three miles west of 
Durban. At the meeting in September, 1850, Mr. But- 
ler, the printer, having arrived, Mr. Wilder was re- 
leased ; and, in the following February, appointed to a 
new station at Umtwalume, seventy-five miles south- 
west of Durban, — a continuation of the line of stations 
along the coast in that direction, — where he is still la- 
boring. 4 

In December, Mr. Tyler was stationed in the region 
called Isidumbi, or Esidumbini, about forty-five miles 
north of Durban, and twenty from the sea, where he is 
still prosecuting his work. 

Daring the year 1849, the Rev. J. L. Dohne, a Ger- 
man missionary, who had labored for several years in 
Kafirland, under the Berlin Society, and subsequently 
at Pietermaritzburg, among the Dutch, became a mem- 
ber of the mission, and commenced a new station near 
Table Mountain, on the south of the Umgeni. Mr. 
Dohne continued to labor here, until 1860, with the ex- 
ception of a visit to the Cape to get his Dictionary 
printed ; when his feeble health obliged him to relin- 
quish his labors. 

His " Zulu-Kafir Dictionary," 459 pages, 8vo. dou- 
ble columns, which was printed at Cape Town, in 1857, 
containing more than ten thousand Zulu words, etymo- 
logically explained, with copious illustrations and ex- 
amples, is not only the first Dictionary of a South Afri- 
can tongue that can claim any approximation to com- 
pleteness ; but also a living monument of the author's 
industry, careful observation, and unfaltering perse- 

At the annual meeting of the mission held in Sep- 


tember, 1850, at Umsunduzi, all the members of the 
mission, fourteen families, numbering forty-six souls, 
were present ; and though nearly fifteen years had 
elapsed since the mission was commenced, no member 
of the mission had died in the field. The first grave 
for any of our number was dug in the following Decem- 
ber, when Mr. Bryant died, at Inanda. A nucleus 
of nine churches had now been formed, containing a 
hundred and twenty-three members, thirty-six of whom 
were received during the current year. 

During the next year, 1851, two men joined the mis- 
sion, — Mr. Stone in January ; and Mr* Mellen, in Au- 
gust. The former was placed at Ifafa. The latter was 
appointed to the Umtwalume station, with Mr. Wilder. 
In 1857, he took the place of Mr. Aldin Grout, then 
on a visit to America, at the Umvoti station. Leaving 
Umvoti, on the return of Mr. Grout, in 1859, he went 
to Inanda, to fill the post of Mr. Lindley, during his 

During this and the following year, in fact, from 1851 
to 1857, owing in great measure to the social and politi- 
cal state of the country, the mission saw but little fruit 
of its labors, and had to work chiefly by faith. Through 
the ill health of Mr. M'Kinney, and the death of Mr. 
Marsh, two stations were relinquished. The Sabbath 
audiences at the several stations were ,small, averaging 
from forty to two hundred. In 1854, the number of 
church members amounted, in all, to about a hundred 
and fifty ; and in 1857, to about a hundred and ninety. 

The brightest spot in the mission, at this time, was the 
school, or seminary, for raising up teachers and preach- 
ers from among the natives who had professed the 


Christian faith. This commenced with nine scholars in 
1853. The next year it numbered eleven ; the year 
following, twenty ; the fourth year, twenty-five. The 
health of the teacher, Mr. Rood, was now so far im- 
paired as to oblige him to give up the school ; and there 
being no one to take his place, it was discontinued. 

The years 1855 and 1856 were marked by a thorough 
discussion of the subject of Polygamy. In this discus- 
sion Bishop Colenso took an active part in defence of 
the sufferance of polygamy in the church and in oppo- 
sition to the principles and practice of the American 
missionaries. The debate was maintained in the Colonial 
papers and by several pamphlets, and elicited much at- 

During a visit from Sir George Grey, Governor of 
the Cape colony, High Commissioner, &c, &c, in 1855, 
steps were taken to secure the use of five hundred acres 
of land at each of our stations as a glebe for missionary 
purposes ; in addition to which a reserve of six or eight 
thousand acres was to be laid off round each station for 
the people. But what was to become of the original, 
larger reserves or location lands, in the midst of which 
most of our stations had been planted, did not appear. 
Sir George's plan, however, is, as yet, but partially ex- 
ecuted ; though several years have elapsed since it was 

Mr. Pixley reached Natal in January, 1856, and 
spent a year at Umlazi, as the new site at Amanzimtoti 
continued to be called, — studying the language of the 
natives, and aiding Mr. Hood in the school. In Fe- 
bruary, 1857, he was appointed to rebuild the Amah- 
longwa station, where he is still laboring. It was at 


about this tim€, also, that a large number of Zulus came 
over into the colony of Natal to escape the ravages of 
the intestine feuds in which the princes of the land, 
Umpande's sons, and their respective adherents were 
now engaged. Among the refugees were two of Um- 
pande's younger sons, who, with others, through the 
agency or assistance of Mr. Shepstone, Secretary to 
government for native affairs, have been committed to 
the care of Dr. Colenso, Bishop of the church of Eng- 
land in Natal. 

In the early part of 1859, the printing-press was set 
up at Umsunduzi ; and in a little more than six months, 
half a sheet of easy lessons, a translation of the Acts 
of the Apostles, and a grammar of the Zulu language 
were printed, — the whole number of pages amounting 
to nearly three hundred thousand, all large octavo; 
which, considering the size of the pages and other cir- 
cumstances, was really more than twice as much as had 
been done for us, on the presses of the colony, during 
the seven previous years. These three works were 
printed in Dr. Lepsius's " Standard Alphabet," which 
the mission had resolved to adopt. A pity it is, the 
writer must add, that, before any of these works had 
been fairly published, much less tried, — in fact, while 
his grammar was still in press, being now about half 
printed, — at a meeting in June, which the author was 
unable to attend, a majority of the mission was found 
disposed to discard that " Standard" in a very sum- 
mary manner, and that, too, after it had been carefully 
prepared in accordance with specifications which the 
mission had published in previous years. Let it not be 
supposed, however, that this came through any real 


fault or defe'ct in the new " Alphabet.'' . As I have re- 
marked in the " Introduction" to my grammar: — 

" It was not to be expected that a new measure of 
this kind would satisfy the particular preference or pre- 
judice of all parties, especially when it happens that 
some who think themselves most competent to make an 
alphabet, or to criticise one which has been made, are 
really ignorant of the first great principles on which an 
alphabet should be constructed ; and where, too, one ' 
person is often inclined to look only at one point, an- 
other at another, each with eyes so intent upon his own 
one point as to exclude a dozen others of equal or 
greater importance. Nor is it any new thing for new 
things to be opposed. Even the greatest improvements 
have often met, at first, with the greatest opposition ; 
the fault being, not in the improvement or change, but 
in the opponent's ignorance of its value, or in a lack of 
willingness to accommodate himself to it." 

On the 30th of December, 1859, Mr. Robbins ar- 
rived at Natal. He was appointed to commence a sta- 
tion on the Umzumbe River, a little beyond the Um- 
twalume, ninety miles south-west of Durban, yet not 
far from the sea-coast. Mr. Bridgman, who arrived in 
1860, was stationed at lfumi with Mr. Ireland. 

The " Tabular View" of the mission for 1860 gives a 
general summary of the more important facts, as they 
then stood. Guided by this " view" we find that the mis- 
sion now numbers twelve stations, not counting Itafa- 
masi. It also numbers thirteen ordained missionaries and 
their wives, not counting two temporarily absent. The 
average size of the Sabbath audiences, of the schools, 
and of the churches, at the several stations, Umzumbe 



excepted, may be learned from a glance at the follow- 
ing table : — 

















Table Mountain » 
















Three or four native teachers are employed : one at 
Umvoti ; one at Inanda ; and one or two others, as also 
one or two native assistants, at some of the other sta- 
tions. Ninety thousand pages were printed in Zulu 
during the year, which, added to what had been done 
in former years, makes a total of 1,780,680 from the 

From the annual report of the mission for 1860, I 
make the following extract, which will give my rapid 
sketch a fitting close. Under the heading, " Results 
of Labor," it says : — 

" Christians at home are asking what are the results 
of missionary labor among the Zulus ? They have a 
right to ask. And we can reply : Though we had had 
no success, that would not diminish our obligation, or 
relieve us of our duty, to preach the gospel. Though 


there had been no converts, though our discouragements 
were increased a hundredfold, though the heathen were, 
if possible, more depraved than they now are, so long 
as we have the command, i Go ye into all the world and 
preach the gospel to every creature,' we would desire 
cheerfully to continue our work and leave results with 
God. But we rejoice *\o say, we see results. There 
are indications of progress, and the grounds of confi- 
dence, as to our ultimate success, are as certain as the 
word and promise of an unchanging God can make 
them. It is no small result, that we have gained free 
access to the heathen people ; have acquired their lan- 
guage and committed it to writing ; have translated into 
it portions of God's word ; and are prepared to preach, 
every Sabbath, to hundreds, the words of eternal life. 
The rapidly advancing civilization ; the improved mode 
of cultivating the soil ; the increasing number of for- 
eign implements of labor ; the upright houses erected 
and filled with more and better articles of furniture ; 
the gradual change of native customs ; the Christian 
families gathered ; the schools sustained, and the 
churches- organized — all results, direct or indirect, of 
mission labor — are positive evidence of progress, and 
encouragements to continued effort.' ' 




That branch of the Americo-African Mission which 
was sent, primarily, to " the interior," as the inland 
region was then called, consisted of the Rev. Messrs. 
Lindley, Venable, and Wilson, with their wives. Ar- 
riving at the Cape on the 5th of February, 1835,' they 
provided themselves with wagons, oxen, et ccetera, and, 
after six weeks' travel, found themselves at Griqua 
Town, six hundred miles on their way to the north. 
Remaining here with Mr. Wright of the London Mis- 
sionary Society, for some months, then making a visit 
to the eminent missionary Moffat, of the same society, 
at Kuruman, another hundred miles farther north, — at 
length, in the early part of 1836, they set forward, 
again, for the court of Umzilikazi* at Mosiga. Meeting 
and conferring with the chief, they received permission 
to establish themselves at this place. A station was 
commenced about the middle of June, fifteen months 
after their departure from the Cape. 

Mosiga, Mosika, or Mosega, as some write it, — In- 
singo, as the Zulus call it, lies embosomed among the 
hills near the Kashan or Kurechane mountains, the 

* By Moffat, written, — Mosilikatze. 


Empama of the Zulus, the Megalisberg of the Dutch, 
about 25J° south latitude, and between 26° and 27° 
east longitude, or a thousand miles north-east from the 
cape. In this beautiful valley, a basin three or four 
miles in diameter, and among the hills by which it is 
surrounded, are some of the sources of the Molopo, an 
affluent of the Orange, which pours its waters into the 
Atlantic on the west ; and also some of the sources of 
the Ori and other affluents of the Limpopo, which runs 
first to the north, then to the east and south, where it 
takes the name of the Manice, or St. Spirit river, and 
pours itself into the Indian ocean at Delagoa bay. 

In 1832, an attempt was made by the Paris (Evan- 
gelical) Missionary Society, to establish a station at 
this place. But they soon found themselves obliged to 
abandon the enterprise, on account of the jealousy 
which prevailed among the tribes, especially on the 
part of Umzilikazi towards Mokahla who was at this 
time chief of the Bahurutse. Though Umzilikazi was 
now living at a distance of some days' travel towards 
the east, yet he claimed the Bahurutse as tributaries. 
And, so large were his demands, so great his power, so 
rapid the extension of his dominion in this direction, 
that many of the inhabitants of Mosiga, feeling unsafe, 
soon deserted the district, — some of them following the 
French missionaries to Motito, a new station which, 
driven from Mosiga, they had now begun some forty 
miles north-east from Kuruman. Some of Umzilikazi's 
people, the Matebele, under command of Kalipe, one 
of his chief captains, now took possession of the com- 
paratively deserted district ; so that, in 1835, the Mo- 
siga basin contained a large military capital, besides 


half-a-dozen other kraals, or villages, all of which be- 
longed to the Matebele tribe. Besides these, there 
were also nearly as many of the Bahurutse people living 
there in a state of servile dependence upon their near 

Who, then, was Umzilikazi, or Mosilikatze, as they 
call him on the Bechuana side of the Kwahlamba range? 
Arbousset represents him as " the formidable king;" 
Moffat, as "the Napoleon of the Desert;" Captain. 
Harris, as "the Lion of the North." All this, no 
doubt, gives some idea of his character. If we seek 
for his parentage, the home of his youth, and the name 
of his tribe, we shall find that he was the son of Macho- 
bana, who was the son of Ubeche, who was the son of 
Magauze; that he was born and brought up at the home 
of his ancestors, Egumeni, at the foot of Mount Ingome, 
on the Black Folosi, in the northern part of Zulu-land. 
The tribe or clan of which he was chieftain was called 
Ukumalo, or Kwakumalo, and sometimes Uhlohlo. 
Their two largest towns were called, the one Egumeni, 
the other Esigudeni, — situated, the former above, the 
latter below, the Ingome mount. Being attacked or at 
least harassed by a powerful neighbor, Umzilikazi 
sought the aid of Chaka, and thus became, in some de- 
gree, subordinate to the great monarch of the Zulus. 
This relation, however, was not destined to continue 
long, especially after Dingan came to the throne. Still 
professing a. kind of allegiance, yet failing to satisfy 
the claims of that most petulant, uncompromising king, 
an army was sent to chastise him, and exact the tribute 
w T hich they and their sovereign held to be their due. 
Umzilikazi, conscious of his weakness, yet expecting 


an outbreak, made timely preparation for flight, set his 
face and his feet towards the north-west, and so escaped 
the doom which Dingan had designed to bring upon him. 
Going out, w T ith his people, from this ancestral abode, 
leaving the upland sources of the Black Folosi on his 
left, crossing the Ibivana and Pongolo ; then the Um- 
konto and Ingwempisi, the two most inland branches of 
the Sutw, or Lusutw ; then the Iqwa of the Zulus, the 
Likwa of the Bechuana, the same which makes the 
highest source of what the Boers call the Vaal ; then the 
plain called Udede-ngenhlale, and finally the Ubalule, 
whose waters go down to the west, through the Orange, 
to the Atlantic, — he reached the Empama, or Kashan 
mountains, and the vale of Moslga. Passing beyond 
the limits of Zulu-land, his tribe seems to have lost 
their original name Ukumalo, and to have been called, 
sometimes, Abakwazulu, or Zuluites, but generally Ma- 
tebele, which is said to have signified those who disappear, 
as behind their large shields. 

These Matebele, then, with their chief Umzilikazi, 
were the people for whom the missionaries, Lin d ley, 
Venable, and Wilson, with their wives, went to labor, 
when they commenced operations in the valley of Mo- 
siga, on the 15th of June, 1836. But Providence had 
ordered that the time of their sojourn at this place should 
be most afflictive and transient. Three months' work, 
with such native help as they could obtain,. enabled the 
missionaries to prepare a dwelling ; but, moving into it 
w T hile the floors were yet damp, which, for want of 
boards, were made in the usual pioneer African style 
by covering the ground with a thick layer of ant-hill 
moistened, pounded, and polished, all save Dr. Wilson 


were soon seized with a most distressing and obstinate 
fever. After eight days' suffering, one of their num- 
ber, Mrs. Wilson, yielded to the disease. Her body 
was laid uncoffined in the ground, hard by. The rest 
recovered, though not until the fever, together with dis- 
tressing rheumatic affections, had preyed upon them 
for several months. Indeed, some of them were still 
confined to the house, some to their beds, when they 
were startled one morning in January, 1837, by the 
guns of the Boers, who were now making a sudden at- 
tack upon the people by whom the missionaries were 
surrounded. So unexpected and vigorous was the on- 
slaught that the greater portion of the dwellers in the 
vale of Mosiga were shot down on that one bloody 
morning ere the sun could reach the meridian. 

Many of the Boers, tired of British rule in the Cape 
Colony, bid adieu to that district, and went to seek new 
homes, pasturage, and license, in lands which lay to the 
north and north-east. Crossing the Orange River, they 
advanced as far as Thaba ' Nchu, and pitched their 
tents in the land of the Barolongs and other of the 
Bechuana tribes in that region. Beginning, presently, 
to think this new district too small for them, being also 
at variance among themselves, a part of their number 
crossed the Vaal, or Ky Gariep, and pushed on farther 
north, till they came into the country over which Um- 
zilikazi and his followers were now claiming possession; 
and, inasmuch as the Matebele chieftain had lately suf- 
fered not a little from Griqua and other forces, which 
came up from the same direction, his jealousy and fears 
were all the sooner excited by the approach and squat- 
ting of the Boer upon lands which he had already begun 


to call his own. Seeing, too, the large, fat herds which 
these new-comers had brought to feed on his farms, 
thinking also how it would please his men to take them, 
moreover knowing as yet but little about the make and 
metal of the men and arms with which he was coming 
into collision, he made out a predatory force, fell upon 
the immigrants, slew nearly fifty of their party, — of 
whom twenty were white men, the rest colored people 
in their employ, — and carried off some thousands of his 
victims' herds and flocks, — the Boers say, six thousand 
head of cattle, and more than forty thousand sheep. 
Those of the Boers who survived the attack now re- 
turned to their friends in the neighborhood of Thaba 
'Ncliu ; and in two or three months they succeeded in 
making up a hostile force of a little more than two 
hundred warriors, — to wit, sixty armed savages on foot, 
forty mounted Griquas, and the rest mounted Boers, — 
to go and punish Umzilikazi for the evil he had inflicted 
upon them, and do what they could to recover the loss 
which they had suffered at his hands. 

Leaving Thaba 'Nchu on the 3d of January, with a 
captive deserter from Umzilikazi's army for a guide, 
crossing the Ky Gariep and bearing to the west till they 
came to the Kuruman road, at the earliest dawn on the 
17th, all unobserved, unexpected, they suddenly emerged 
from a pass just in the rear of the mission house ; came 
down upon the inhabitants of that beautiful valley; and, 
ere half the day was done, their long guns had laid 
the bodies of four hundred Matebele warriors lifeless on 
the ground, — and not a Dutchman wounded throughout 
the whole affair. So secret and sudden was their ap- 
proach, that even the missionaries knew nothing of it 


till roused from their slumbers by the firing of the guns; 
a musket ball coming in at the window of Mrs. Vena- 
ble's bedroom, and striking upon the wall just over her 

Having destroyed fourteen or fifteen villages, and re- 
covered six or seven thousand head of cattle, together 
with the wagons which Umzilikazi had taken from them, 
the -Boers prepared to return, — not, however, till they 
had persuaded the missionaries to go back with thern. 
Reduced, as they had been, to great weakness, depressed 
by fever and rheumatic pains ; far removed from the 
sight of civilization and from the society of intelligent, 
Christian friends ; shocked by the sanguinary aspect of 
every thing about them, and assured by the Boers that 
they had not yet done with Umzilikazi and his. people ; 
in doubt if their own lives would be any longer safe ; 
they packed a few things into their wagons, where also 
they placed some of their own number who had not 
walked for months, bid adieu to their station, and started 
on a journey of twelve or fifteen hundred miles to join 
their brethren of the maritime mission among the 

Fearing that the infuriated Matebele would follow them, 
neither the Boer nor the missionary made any halt for 
twenty-three hours. Nor did the sick seem to suffer from 
the ride. Such a journey, however, as that was until they 
judged themselves to be beyond the reach of Umzili- 
kazi's vengeance, and especially whilst they continued 
in the company of the Boers, and so within the sound 
of the thousands of bellowing cattle and bleating sheep, 
not to mention the noise, and, eventually, the strife, 
which occurred when the heterogeneous army came to 


divide the spoils, peaceful men and feeble women would 
not wish to repeat. 

7** To their fear of being followed by a host of exaspe- 
rated savages, to the unceasing cry of cattle, and to all 
the tumult of an irregular, excited soldiery, add the 
want of proper food, especially for the sick; the ab- 
sence of a road, save such as the open field affords; the 
want of a bridge or a boat on the now swollen streams ; 
the want of a dry suit for the women and children who 
had to be floated across the Orange on a bundle of 
reeds, keeping only head and shoulders above water ; 
then, forthwith, out of the river, add a night of Egyp- 
tian darkness, through all the hours of which no sleep can 
be had, save that which comes in spite of torrents of rain, 
thunder, lightning, and all the noise of the motley group 
by which they are surrounded, — and you have some 
idea of what fell to the lot of the missionaries, Lindley, 
Venable, Wilson, and their families, on this journey. 
From this place, the banks of the Ky Gariep, a few 
days' travel brought them to the station of a Wesleyan 
missionary at Thaba 'Nchu, where they were kindly re- 
ceived. After resting for a time, they passed on to 
Graham's Town, and thence over-land to Natal, where 
they arrived the last of July. 

Shortly after the attack which Umzilikazi had now 
suffered from the Boers, on the south, another was made 
upon him by Dingan, from the east. Whether the 
monarch of the Zulus had heard how many sheep and 
oxen had just now come into the hands of his* old ac- 
quaintance, and thought he ought to have a taste of the 
beef and mutton on the score of some old outstanding debt ; 
or thought it all the safer to send an army against his 


troublesome neighbour just when he was suffering from 
a foray from the other side ; does not appear. At all 
events, Dingan secured some of the sheep ; but his impi 
had scarcely returned with them, when the Boers came 
up, on the other side, from the district of Natal, and 
laid claim to them. Nor were the flocks long in finding 
their way back, some of them at least, in this manner, to 
their rightful owners. 

Several native chiefs and tribes, Sikonyela of the 
Mantatees, Moroko, and Tuane of the Barolongs, with 
some others, having been treated rather roughly by 
their Matebele neighbor, were now ready to combine 
with the Boers, whom they at first hailed as friends and 
deliverers, io put this African Attila out of the way. 
They soon discovered, however, that in entering into 
this arrangement, they had only " caught a Tartar." 
They found to their grief, as they said, that " Umzili- 
kazi was cruel to his enemies, yet kind to those he con- 
quered; while the Boers destroyed their enemies, and 
reduced their friends to slavery." 

Joined by these native allies, it was only a few months 
after the foray at Mosiga ere the farmers made out an- 
other expedition to go and hunt " the Lion" again. 
But it would seem that they did not succeed, this time, 
in finding him. Already had he begun to look out a 
more distant lair. Finding himself unable to grapple 
successfully with the forces which were likely to be 
brought against him, should he keep his present abode, 
he permitted his Bahurutse and other captives to return 
to their own clans, so many, at least, as might please 
to do so ; while he and his tribe turned their steps to 
the north. In this direction he pushed on till he came, 


eventually, to the region of the famous inland waters, 
Lake Ngami, and the river Zambesi, where his fame, 
power, and dominion are now said to be great. 

His old friend, the Rev. Robert Moffat, by whom 
his name is written, Mosilikatze, made him a visit 
some years since, at his great capital, Matlokotloko, 
in latitude about 20° and longitude about 28°, where 
he remained several weeks, and, after a time, prevailed 
upon the veteran and traveled chief to allow him " to 
preach to him and his warriors the gospel of salvation." 
Since that time the London Missionary Society has 
been endeavoring to plant a few mission stations among 
his people. It is understood, however, that Umzilikazi 
has given the missionaries no very cordial reception. 

The lovely and fertile valley of Mosiga was not long 
in becoming the abode of other people when deserted 
by the Matebele. After the troubles between Dingan 
and the Boers, by which the Rev. Mr. Owen, of the 
Church Missionary Society, was driven from Zulu-land, 
he went to labor for the new settlers in that distant 
vale. But for some cause unknown to me, he returned 
to England. 

In the " Missionary Herald" for April and May, 
1853, and in the second chapter of " Livingstone's 
Travels," may be found accounts of what evils the cause 
of Christian missions has had to suffer at the hands of 
those who profess to be subjects of civilization and 
Christianity, in the region of Mosiga, since the events 
spoken of in the foregoing pages, — how the Boers plun- 
dered Mr.' Edwards' house, reduced his station, Ma- 
botsa, to ashes, and compelled both him and Mr. Inglis 
to leave the country of the Bakwains; and how, also, 


they went thence to Kolobeng, Dr. Livingstone's sta- 
tion, plundered his- house, destroyed his books and 
medicines, carried off his furniture and clothes, and 
took two hundred native school-children captive, in the 
year 1852. Both of these stations were near the 
memorable Mosiga, where first Lemure and Holland, then 
Lindley, Venable, and Wilson, and after them Owen, 
tried to plant the standard of the cross ; the former, 
Mabotsa, being situated only a few miles to the north- 
west of this place, and Kolobeng a little farther on in 
the same inland direction 





Next after the mission of the American Board, the 
oldest and largest is that of the English Wesley an 
Methodist Society. This mission labors for all classes, 
colored and white, heathen or otherwise, combining, in 
principle, what the American churches have^in the two 
departments, Home and Foreign. Their first missionary, 
Mr. Archbell, who received his appointment to thfe field 
in 1841, had previously labored in other parts of South 
Africa. He was followed by Mr. Davis, who had pre- 
viously labored in Kafraria, and Mr. Richards. In 
1849,. they had five missionaries in the field : — Mr. Hol- 
den at Durban, Mr. Parkinson at Maritzburg, Mr. 
Davis at Kwangubeni, Mr. Allison at Indaleni, and 
i Mr. Jenkins at Palmerston, among Faku's people, in 
the Mampondo country. The number of their church 
members at that time was about two hundred ; their day 
school teachers, seven; with about five hundred scholars. 
In 1852, they had among the heathen or colored popu- 
lation of Natal, a hundred and fifty communicants, fifty 


catechumens, four day-schools, and three hundred scho- 

Mr. Allison commenced his labors in 1832, in the 
Griqua country. Three years after that he was sent to 
establish amission among the Mantatees, of Basutuland, 
and in 1844, to labor among the Amaswazi and Ba- 
hurutse, about the sources of the Pongolo, north-west 
of the Zulu country. Driven thence by war and fa- 
mine, he came with about four hundred natives to Natal, 
with whom, in 1847, he settled at Indaleni, on the Ilovu, 
twenty-five miles south of Maritzburg. In 1851, on 
account of differences between him and the Wesleyan 
authorities, he separated from the Society, and went 
with a large portion of his church and people, four 
hundred and fifty souls in all, to form a new station at 
Edendale, six or seven miles west of Maritzburg. 
There he and his people bought a farm of six thousand 
acres, and in 1857, the population of the place amounted 
to six hundred souls, of whom, a hundred and seventy 
were church members. Many of the houses were built 
after a civilized fashion ; the people owned a dozen 
wagons, nearly as many ploughs, a hundred oxen, and 
twenty horses. At a later date some difficulty having 
arisen between the people and their pastor, the latter 
withdrew from them, and made the station over again 
to the Wesleyan Society. 

The principal stations of this society, at the present 
time, are Maritzburg, Durban, Palmerston, Indaleni, and 

What is called the " Natal District" of Wesleyan 
missionary operations includes the Mampondo, or Faku's 
country, with the Natal Colony ; and their statistical 


reports include their labors among the white or civilized 
and Christian portion of the population, as well as the 
colored or heathen. 

They reported in 1860, within the Natal Colony :■ — 
chapels, 16; other preaching places, 40; missionaries, 
6 ; catechists, &c, 6 ; day-school teachers, 12 ; Sab- 
bath-school teachers, (unpaid), 94 ; local preachers, 39 ; 
full and accredited church members, 523 ; on trial for 
membership, 77 ; number of Sabbath-schools, 11 ; Sabbath 
scholars of both sexes, "894 ; day scholars, 437 ; attend- 
ants on public worship, including members and scholars, 
4,200. Beyond the colony. Number of chapels, 1; 
other preaching places, 24; missionaries, 2; catechists, 
frc, 3; day-school teachers, 1; Sabbath-school teach- 
ers, 8 ; local preachers, 8 ; church members, 149 ; on 
trial for membership, 6 ; Sabbath-schools, 1 ; scholars 
of both sexes, 140 ; day-schools, 1 ; day scholars, 140 ; 
occasional and regular attendants on public worship, 
6,000. Other laborers of the society have lately ar- 
rived from England, and others still are expected. 

The Noriuegian Mission was commenced by Mr. 
Schreuder in Natal, about the year 1845. Some of the 
first months of his residence here were passed with Dr. 
Adams at the Umlazi station. When I reached Natal, 
1847, he was dividing his labors between two places, — 
one on the Umhloti, a little above Verulam ; and one 
oh the Umtongati, a little above the ford and Saunders' 
Sugar Establishment. Not fully satisfied with the pros- 
pects of this field, and finding the king, Umpande, op-- 
posed to his going to Zulu-land, he left the colony in 
1847, and went to China, seeking another field. He 
returned, however, to Natal in a year or two, and 


bought a large farm on the road from Durban to Maritz- 
burg, with a view of devoting it to missionary purposes. 
But the land was not such as the natives like, and few 
availed themselves of the offers made to settle upon it 
and come under instruction. 

In 1850, selling the farm, he commenced another 
station, in the upper part of the Mapumulo region, 
eight miles north-west from the station occupied by 
Mr. Abraham, of the American Board,' near the Inhlim- 
biti, a branch of the Umvoti. In the early part of the 
same year, he went also to commence operations in the 
Zulu country, having received* an invitation from Uiix- 
pande, who was now desirous of medical aid, to'settle 
there. The place selected for his abode in Zulu-land 
was called Echowe, on the Umlalazi. His time and 
labors seem to have been divided between this and his 
old station, at Mapumulo, till the next year, when, 
being strengthened by the arrival of co-laborers, Messrs. 
Larsen and Oftebro were put in charge of the Natal 
station, while Messrs. Schreuder and Udland devoted 
themselves to the Zulu field. 

In 1854, Mr. Schreuder commenced a new station at 
Entumeni, among the sources of the Matikulu, twenty- 
five miles from the sea. Mr. Oftebro has now a station 
at Empangeni, a branch of the Umhlatusi. 

In 1855, the mission consisted of seven men, — of 
whom only Mr. Schreuder, was ordained. 

The Sabbath audiences at the several Norwegian sta- 
tions are good ; and their work prosperous. They have 
built a large church at Mapumulo ; at which place they 
have also set up a printing-press, and begun to furnish 
the people with books in the Zulu language. Mr. 


Schreuder wrote a Zulu grammar in his own tongue, 
which was printed in 1850, at Christiana, — eighty-eight 
pages, octavo. 

The society which supports this mission, has its seat 
in Stavenger, on the Bukke Fiord, Norway. I think 
they have, as yet, only one mission, — this in Natal and 

The Berlin Mission in Natal dates from the year 
1847, when two or three missionaries of that society, 
of whom were the Rev. Messrs. Dohne and Posselt, 
driven by war from their stations among the Amatola 
Mountains in Kafirland, came over the Kwahlamba 
Mountains and commenced operations in Natal. Mr. 
Dohne, after laboring for a time among the Dutch, 
joined the American Mission. The others founded two 
stations, one called Emmaus, by the Kwahlamba, on the 
sources of the Tugela; and another, called New Ger- 
many, near Pine Town, a dozen miles from Durban. 
This station is still occupied by Mr. Posselt, who now 
calls it Christianaburg. The place is small, containing 
only about nine hundred acres of land. The mis- 
sionary's native audience on the Sabbath numbers about 
a hundred, of whom about three-fourths are communi- 
cants. A school-teacher has been sent out to aid Mr. 
Posselt at this place, and also a carpenter and a black- 

Emmaus is now occupied by Mr. Zunckel ; the Sab- 
bath audience numbers about eighty, of whom twenty- 
five are communicants. Mr. Guldenpfenning has a 
station called Middle Place, at Blaauwkranz, in the 
upper part of the colony. The mission has also one or 
two men at Stendal, near Weenen. 


Being reinforced by the arrival of three or four men, 
the mission sent two of the number to commence a sta- 
tion among the Amaswazi ; but, the chief and his tribe 
not allowing them to remain in his country, they passed 
on farther north, and commenced operations at Leden- 
berg, in the upper part of the Trans Vaal Republic. 
The Berlin Mission now numbers four stations in Natal, 
with five or six missionaries, and a hundred or more 

The Hanoverian Mission had its origin, under Provi- 
dence, in the zeal and energy of the pious pastor Harms 
and his charge, at Hermannsburg, in Hanover, twelve 
or more years ago. Soon after Mr. Harms was called 
to minister to the inhabitants of Hermannsburg, the 
simple-hearted peasants and villagers were moved with 
strong desires to extend the blessings of the religion 
which they professed to those who were dwelling and 
dying in the darkness of heathenism. Accordingly 
their teacher and guide proposed that they become a 
missionary society, and send out some of their own 
number. Twelve came forward and offered their ser- 
vices. Their pastor undertook to give them a few 
years' training for their new work, and to provide, also, 
the means for sending them abroad and securing their 
support. While this class was yet in training for their 
future labors, it was enlarged by the addition of a 
number of newly converted sailors from the German 
fleet. Several peasants also expressed a wish to go out 
as settlers, or colonists. In this way a new element 
was infused l into the scheme ; emigrants, or colonists, 
being now associated with the missionary. " Without 
these sailors," said Harms, "we should never have been 


colonists ; for we, honest, but somewhat stupid heath- 
people, should never have dreamt of sending any but 
real missionaries." During the preparatory course, 
however, these Sailors withdrew, one after another, till 
only two were left. Being at a loss as to how the men 
should get to the new field of labor, one of the sailors 
proposed that they build a ship. By faith, prayer, and 
good works the ship was built, and the brave pastor, 
with some hundreds of his parishioners, took a special 
train to Hamburg, and dedicated the " Candace" to the 
work of carrying the gospel to the Ethiopians. Eight 
of the twelve candidates for appointment as missionaries 
being accepted, together with eight colonists, 'on the 
21st of October, 1853, the Candace weighed anchor 
and spread her sails for Mombas, via the Cape and Port 

Not being well received at Mombas, and not seeing 
any prospect of an opportunity to penetrate inland, the 
Imaum being opposed to the white man's entering that 
part of Africa, their plan to plant a mission among the 
Grallas was frustrated ; and the Candace put back to 
Natal, where she had called on her way up the coast 
some months before. The party landed here on the 
2d of August, 1854 ; and, on the 19th of the next 
month, they reached the seat of their first, their central 
station, which they call Hermannsburg, a large farm of 
six thousand acres, on the sources of the Inhlimbiti, 
one of the eastern branches of the Umvoti. 

In 1856, they were reinforced by the arrival of an- 
other company of colonists, chiefly young farmers and 
girls. In 1857, another reinforcement arrived, about 
forty-six in number, twelve of whom were missionaries ; 


and, in I860, still another, numbering twenty-nine, of 
whom four were missionaries and the rest colonists. In 
1860, their mission consisted of a hundred and twenty 
souls, eighty of whom were colonists, and the rest mis- 
sionaries, catechists, or teachers. They were also ex- 
pecting a fresh reinforcement. 

Among the colonists they can reckon men of almost 
every kind of handcraft, — agriculturists, carpenters, 
joiners, wheelwrights, shoemaker and tailor, mason and 
miller, tanner and turner, shepherd and dyer. 

Their first labor at Hermannsburg was to build one 
large, or rather long house, a hundred and thirty feet 
in length, for a common abode. Through the centre, 
from end to end, runs one straight passage, on either 
side of which there are about two dozen rooms, with 
windows looking out upon the verandah by which the 
building is encompassed. When I visited them in May, 
1860, this dwelling constituted the abode of thirteen 
families, who take their meals all at one table in one 
of the central rooms. Here, too, they all meet, morn- 
ing and evening, for family worship. At a little dis- 
tance, less than half a mile, there was another company 
of seven families, living in a similarnnanner, in one 
house. I was assured by the superintendent and his 
lady, Mr. and Mrs. Hardeland, that everything goes 
on in the most orderly and harmonious manner. 

The Rev. Mr. Hardeland, Doctor of Theology and of 
Philosophy, was formerly, for many years, a missionary 
among the Dyaks in Borneo. When in Germany, a 
few years since, he was invited to 4 take charge of Mr. 
Harms' mission in Natal. To this he consented on con- 
dition that Mr. Harms would allow the mission to be 
21 * 

246 ZULU-LAND. m 

brought in some measure into connection with the Lu-" 
theran church ,of Hanover ; so far at least as to require 
that church to examine and ordain all missionaries who 
might be sent by the Hanoverian Society to this field. 
To this Mr. Harms assented. Mr. Hardeland arrived 
in 1859, since which time the mission has been subject 
to his oversight and direction. 

There are not many natives living either on the mis- 
sion farm, " Perseverance,'' as they call it, nor indeed 
any where in the immediate vicinity of Hermannsburg ;•■ 
but the mission has already commenced operations in 
numerous other places. Besides their parent and head 
station, " Hermannsburg," they have one at Sterk Spruit, 
Ehlanzeni ; one at Etembeni on the Impafana, ten or 
twelve hours' ride, inland, from Hermannsburg ; and 
another, Muden, six or seven hours' farther riding, in 
the chief Pakade's region. In Zulu-land, they have a 
station on the Inyezani, a north-eastern branch of the 
Matikulu ; another on the Umlalazi ; and another at 
Landela, near the Umkumbana, a branch of the White 
FolosL These stations are occupied. Their laborers in 
Zulu-land, number twenty-seven. They have also three 
stations, occupied by four missionaries, among the Be- 
chuana, the Bamangwato in the Trans-Vaal, and Se- 
chele's people, where Dr. Livingstone once labored, and 
not far from Mosiga. Sechele and the Boers having 
sent a united request to Hermannsburg, for missionaries, 
these stations were commenced, and much success seems 
to attend their labors. Their schools are large ; the 
attendance upon the services of the Sabbath good; and 
many have been baptized. 

At Hermansburg the baptized natives live in eottages 


arranged in a row, close by the houses and shops of the 
Germans. Until Mr. Hardeland took charge of the 
station, these natives had been accustomed to receive 
much aid of a secular kind from the mission, especially 
in the building of their houses, the plowing of their 
land, the grinding of their meal, and other things of a 
like character. 

No baptized person is allowed to marry a heathen, or 
one who has not been baptized ; and if any one who has 
been baptized leaves the station and church, or gives 
occasion to be dismissed, he must leave his children in 
care of the mission ; that being one of the conditions 
on which he is baptized and received into the church. 

The Church of England Mission, can hardly be said 
to have had a beginning in Natal, till the 20th of May, 
1855, at which time Bishop Colenso arrived in the co- 
lony, on his return from* England ; having made a visit 
of ten weeks in the early part of the preceding year. 

Previous to this movement of the Church of England, 
Ca*pt. A. F. Gardiner, of the Royal Navy, visited Na- 
tal for the purpose of planting a mission. He reached 
the district in 1835, a little before the arrival of the 
American missionaries, having come by land, along 

the coast, through Kafraria. Going at once to Din- 

gan to get permission to commence missionary opera- 
tions in the Zulu country, he succeeded only in part; 
being allowed to settle in Natal, at the Bay. About 
this time, Dingan being suspected of hostile feelings 
towards the Europeans at Natal for harboring people 
of his, who, repudiating their chieftain's authority fled 
to them for protection, Captain Gardiner and other 
white men at the Bay, entered into a treaty with the 


Zulu monarch, not only not to receive any of his people 
who might flee from Zulu-land to seek refuge among 
them, but also to use every endeavor to secure and re- 
turn all such parties to the king. Nor was it long be- 
fore three persons, one man and two women, were thus 
sent back ; the captain going with them. Notwith- 
standing his entreaties, the bloody despot put them to 

The enthusiastic missionary at length succeeded in 
getting Dingan to make him a grant of all Natal; 
whereupon he set off for England to have the act ap- 
proved by the British Government, and also to procure 
men and means for prosecuting the great work on which 
his heart was set among this heathen people. Of the 
former, he failed ; in the latter, he succeeded, in part 
at least, — returning to Natal in May, 1837, accom- 
panied by the Rev. Mr. Owen of the Church Misssionary 

The captain was soon involved in difficulty with the 
British settlers in Natal; as they repudiated his treaty 
to deliver up refugees, as also his authority over them- 
selves. He soon took final leave of the country and 
returned- to England. He afterwards went on a mis- 
sion to the Patagonians, w T here he and his followers 
eventually died of starvation. 

Mr. Owen was allowed to take up his residence near 
Dingan's Great Kraal, Umkungunhlovu, where he com- 
menced his labors, October 10, 1837. Here he re- 
mained till the following February, when the troubles 
between Dingan and the Boers obliged him to leave his 
work. On his return from England, he labored, for a 
time, at Mosiga. 


In 1850, Bishop Gray, of the Cape, regarding Natal 
as a part of his diocese, made it a visit, and drew up a 
scheme for mission work by the Church of England 
among the heathen. Supposing that ten locations were^, 
to be formed here for the exclusive use of the natives, 
each to contain ten thousand souls, he proposed that one 
or more institutions be founded in each of these, to con- 
vert the heathen to the faith of Christ, to educate the 
young, to form industrial habits, and to relieve the sick 
and afflicted. Each institution was to be under the care 
of a clergyman, who should be aided in the industrial 
and educational part of the work by teachers. In 
addition to the ordinary instruction of schools, the 
pupils were to be taught, the males, gardening, farm- 
ing and mechanical arts, — the females, sewing, cooking, 
washing, &c. Each institution was to exhibit a model 
farm and garden, and to have a guarantee of aid from 
government to the amount of three hundred pounds 
sterling, per year, so long as such aid should .be 
needed. The whole scheme and all the institutions 
were to be under the direction of the Bishop of the* 
Diocese; though their accounts would be open to the 
inspection of the government, so long as its aid should 
be continued ; and it was hoped that each of these in- 
stitutions, the cost of which was put at five hundred 
pounds per annum, would be self-supporting in five 
years from the time they should be commenced. The 
school at each place was to consist of fifty Zulu chil- 
dren, who were to be under the charge of four mission- 
aries, — a clergyman, a catechist, a mechanic, and a 
farmer — and be content with shelter, food, and raiment. 

I have been the more particular to give the substance 


of Bishop Gray's plan, because, if I mistake not, Dr. 
Colenso approved and took it as his own, when Natal 
became a separate diocese, and he became its bishop. 
Dr. Colenso, however, thought that, instead of entering 
at once upon the formation of ten stations, it would be 
better first to establish one, which should be a general 
centre of operations, and a parent and model for others. 
This was accordingly commenced, on his return from 
England, about the middle of 1855 ; the government 
having granted a farm of six thousand acres for the 
purpose. These lands are situated contiguous to an- 
other grant of two thousand five hundred acres, an 
endowment for a bishopric, four or five miles north of 
east from Maritzburg. 

I think the bishop has found it more difficult than he 
expected, to carry all parts of his plan into successful 
operation ; in fact that much can scarcely be said to have 
been as yet begun. He has shown, however, no lack of 
resolution, zeal, and perseverance in his missionary 
work. " On the first of February, 1856," says the 
Natal Journal, " nineteen young Kafir children were 
brought by their friends to Ekukanyeni, and delivered 
formally up into the hands of the bishop for education, 
by the chiefs, Ngoza and Zatshuke. At the instance 
of Sir George Grey, and, indeed, on his express pro- 
mise, made at the time of the review at the Table Moun- 
tain, it was intended originally to have founded a sta- 
tian among Ngoza's people, in the neighborhood of his 
principal kraal. Upon examination, however, it was 
found that the country, in which this station would have 
been placed, was so broken and precipitous, and utterly 
impracticable for agricultural purposes, that the idea 


was abandoned in favor of one, which would eventually 
be of far greater importance, both to Ngoza himself, 
and to the colony, if only the people could be induced 
to think so — namely, that of collecting their boys, by a 
voluntary act on their part, for separate, continuous 
education, apart from the heathen kraal. Mr. Shep- 
stone determined to make the experiment, and sounded 
the principal men upon the subject. They appeared 
convinced by his arguments ; and, after various discus- 
sions and debates with their people, Ngoza and Zatshuke 
announced their intention to accept the proposal made 
to them, and bring their own children, at all events, 
and, they hoped, several others, to the station at Eku- 
kanyeni — ' for (said Ngoza) I should like to be the last 
fool of my race.' At that time it was necessary to 
seize the opportunity, and make the most of it, while 
the hearts of the people were this way inclined. " 

In a little more than a year from this time, that is, 
in April, 1857, the number of children had increased 
to thirty-three, all but two of whom were sons of chiefs 
or captains, the head men of their tribes. 

In 1860 the boys' school numbered thirty or thirty- 
five scholars. A girls' school, with twelve or fifteen 
pupils, had been commenced. The number of baptized 
persons, connected with this station, amounted to about 
two dozen. Half a dozen native houses, of an upright 
or civilized fashion, had been put-up; besides which 
there were several Kafir huts on the place, some of the 
people not being able or disposed to be at the expense 
of providing better habitations, at least for the pre- 
sent. The bishop had three assistants, and a native 


Being at Ekukanyeni-— the bishop's station, the word 
signifying in the light — in June, 1858, I spent an hour 
or two in his school, hearing the boys read in Zulu and 
in English, looking at their penmanship, at their draw- 
ings, — for Mrs. Colenso gave them lessons in this art, 
— at their exercises and answers in arithmetic and geog- 
raphy. All was highly creditable to both teacher and 
pupil. Dr. Colenso's labors, aside from a general super- 
intendence of the stations, seem to be mainly directed 
to the preparation of Zulu books, — a department in 
which he has done much, and done it well; and in which 
there is also yet much to be done". 

Bishop Colenso has half-a-dozen other stations under 
his care in different parts of the country. At Maritz- 
burg, where Dr. Callaway labored for several years, 
they have a large stone chapel, or native church, 'and a 
printing establishment. Dr. Callaway at a later period 
left the city to plant a station on the Umkomazi, where 
he has about twenty baptized persons. 

The Church of England Mission on the Umlazi River, 
where the American Mission had a station for many 
years under the care of Dr. Adams, was commenced by 
Mr. Robertson, in 1856. In 1859, leaving the station 
in the care of another, he went, with some native ad- 
herents, to establish a station in Zulu-land, at a place 
called Magwaza, or Kwamagwaza, on some of the higher 
branches of the Umhlatusi, between that and the Im- 
folosi, — a place which Umpande gave the bishop for 
that purpose. The mission has two other stations ; one 
between the Ilovu and Umkomazi, near the sea ; the 
other, at Ladysmith, in the northern part of the 


Archdeacon Mackenzie, who came out with the bishop 
in 1855, devoted a part of his time to mission labor 
among the natives, first at Durban, and afterwards at 
the Umhlali, but left, about 1859, for England. While 
Mr. Mackenzie was in England, he was appointed mis- 
sionary bishop to central Africa, where Dr. Livingstone 
is laboring. He was consecrated at Cape Town and 
gave Natal a call, as he passed, in 1860, on his way to 
the Zambesi. 

The Roman Catholic Mission among the natives of 
Natal is not large. I think it has only one station, and 
that in its infancy. It is situated somewhere in the 
neighborhood of Dr. Callaway's station, on the south- 
west side of the Umkomazi, and forms a center from 
which the Roman Catholic bishop, Dr. Allard, and two 
or three priests are making some efforts to introduce 
their faith among ^he heathen. 

In conclusion, then, so far as I can learn, excepting 
the American Zulu Mission, we have in the District of 
Natal and on its immediate borders, about thirty mis- 
sionary stations, and seventy-five men — ministers and 
catechists — laboring, either entirely or in part, for the 
welfare of the heathen natives. If we include the 
American Mission, we have upwards of forty stations, 
of which about thirty-five are in the colony ; and nearly 
ninety men, of whom seventy-five are in the Natal 

The reader will observe that I have abstained from 
all criticism or discussion upon the particular policy, 
views, or doctrinal tenets of the several missions and 
men whose stations and labors I have noticed. I have 
supposed that he would value a plain narrative of facts 


more than any mere fancy sketch, — -a general survey of 
the whole field more than a few pleasing, partial, and 
isolated incidents from the labors of a single missionary. 

Nor in the isles of Africa alone 
Be the Redeemer's cross and triumph known : 
Father of mercies! speed the promised hour; 
Thy kingdom come with all-restoring power; 
Peace, virtue, knowledge, spread from pole to pole, 
As round the world the ocean waters roll. 





To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, 

Slowly to trace the forest's shady scene, 
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, 

And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been ; 
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, 

"With the wild flock that never needs a fold; 
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean ; 

This is not solitude ; 'tis but to hold 

Converse with nature's charms, and see her stores unroll'd. 


In a preceding chapter, the face of the country in 
Natal was described as consisting of a series of eleva- 
tions, rising one above another as we advance from the 
coast to its inland limit, the Kwahlamba wall, on the 
west and north. This wall or range is usually called a 
mountain. But, save a place here and there where it 
has been broken down, or nibbled off by the tooth of 
time, instead of a gradual slope, we find an almost per- 
pendicular ascent of fifteen hundred or two thousand 
feet. And when we reach the top, instead of descending 
at once, we move off westward upon a broad, open 
plain, and then enter upon a gradual slope, which 
stretches away for two thousand miles, to the waters of 
the Atlantic, before it gives us back the six thousand 


feet of our orient elevation, and so brings us to the 
level which we left a hundred and fifty miles to the east 
of this rocky range. 

With such a structure it will be supposed that Natal 
is rich and interesting in its geological exhibitions. 
And so it is. Along the edge of each terrace, along 
the surface of each plain, along the dark recess of each 
ravine, along the deep-worn channels, the rapids and 
falls of every river, along the steep and furrowed sides, 
the Kloofs and caverns of the hills and mountains, 
or wherever the student of the " stony science" may 
please to wander, he finds a book open — often a new 
and curious one — for him to read. All of its pages 
we may not stop to study, but some of them are so 
plain that he who runs may read. Nor will his pro- 
gress in knowledge speed the worse if he sometimes 

Mount, then, your horse, and take half an hour's 
gallop up the gentle slope that lies to the west of my 
station. From the large herds of fat cattle, through 
which we pass, you will infer that these elevated plains, 
with their comparatively short, fine grass, make the 
best of pasture-lands ; while the utter absence of human 
habitations and gardens indicates, with equal truth, that 
the cold and shallow soil is little fit for cultivation. 
Now, then, here we are at the edge of the open plain 
over which we have been riding. At our feet — our 
faces still to the west — we have an almost perpendicular 
descent of some hundreds of feet down to the floor of 
the beautiful valley before us, — all filled, as it is, with 
hillocks, rounded ridges, truncated cones, tabular moun- 
tains ; among which scores of rivulets are winding their 

% H 


way to form the brooks that fill the rivers, the Umhloti 
on our left, the Umtongati on our right, which have their 
fountain-heads partly here, partly on the distant table- 
land, and flow on either hand to the sea. 

These truncated cones, tabular hills, of which we 
have several of gigantic proportions, in the valley be- 
fore us ; being all of the same height as the plain on 
which we stand, and the same also as the broad pla- 
teaus beyond the valley, whether we turn our eye to the 
Noodsberg on the north or to the Inanda table on the 
west ; being, moreover, all composed of the same ma- 
terial, — the base of granite and the summit of sand- 
stone, — are, doubtless, so many substantial proofs, that 
the surface of the whole region was once an unbroken 
level ; the valley that now is, being the product of 
aqueous and other agencies which have wrought the ex- 
cavations at some later period.* 

Looking at these mountains, two things will attract 
your attention — the horizontality of the tabular surface, 
and the great perpendicularity of their sides, especially 
that upper portion of *the sides which consists of sand- 
stone. And as every year is doing something to di- 
minish the circumference, taking off a slice, a slide, here 
arid there, at every annual deluge of rain, coming ages 
will find these tabular summits of sand-stone disappear- 
ing one after another ; and the flat-topped mountain 
reduced to a round-topped hillock, a copy of which we 
now behold in other parts of the valley. 

During the great deluging rain of 1856, all the re- 

* The illustration represents Table Mountains as seen from the Itafa- 
masi station. In the foreground is a native kraal or village, as described 
in Chapter Ninth. 
22 * 


servoirs and crevices of the mountains being filled and 
pressed with water, their sides soaked and softened, 
. here and there a broad, deep avalanche of earth and 
rock, mud and water, extending, in some instances, 
from the summit to the very base, was sent thundering 
down with fearful fury into the valley below r . Some- 
-thing of the kind, though not on the largest scale, oc- 
curred at the time of w^hich I now speak, in sight 
of my window. These grand, startling phenomena 
are witnessed more frequently by the natives than by 
us ; since they more frequently set their habitations 
under the brow of some towering elevation, just where 
events of this kind are most likely to happen. Such a 
case occurred at Inanda, not far from the old station 
occupied "by the Rev, Daniel Lindley. The heavens 
had been pouring down torrents of rain for two or three 
days, till the side of the mountain, and, probably, some 
great, internal cistern had been surcharged. The people 
who had built on a hillock over against the place, hear- 
ing a hoarse, heavy sound, on turning their eye to the 
side of the mountain whence it seemed to proceed, saw 
the trees rocking to and fro ; the very surface and body 
of the declivity meantime swelling and rising. And 
now, in a moment, the accumulated waters, bursting 
forth, bore a mighty mass of rock and rubbish down to 
the base of the mountain. Here the rushing torrent 
of earth, rock, and river, from out the side of the moun- 
tain, was swollen by the rising floods of another stream. 
Huge rocks, and other marks of the outbreak such as 
ages can hardly be expected to efface, are now lying 
scattered all along up and down the once smooth and 
grassy vale through w T hich they were poured. Sc/ 


changed was the whole region, that, on passing that 
way shortly after this event, I could scarcely believe it 
to be the same. 

In addition to the rain, there is the tropical heat, and 
the earthquake, (of which we have had one since I be- 
gan the writing of this chapter, and two the day before,) 
helping and hasting to reduce these upright, square- 
built mountains to the hemispherical hill. 

To return to our stand on the edge of an elevated 
plateau, — if we now look out a place where we can de- 
scend into the valley, and examine the rocks which lie 
at the base of the tabular mountains, and form the sub- 
soil of the rounded hills, we shall find them to consist 
chiefly of granite. In some places we have the pure 
rock cropping out, or lying in a separate, solid mass 
upon the surface. But the more common form and 
state of that which comes to the eye is a kind of reddish 
detrital, abounding in quartz ; most of the feldspathic 
and micaceous ingredients having been washed away. 

At Esidumbini, not far from Mr. Tyler's station, 
there is a remarkably large slab of granite, perched 
upon a ledge and two pillars, by the side of which stands 
a lofty column, a kind of spike, or cone ; all of the same 
material. This slab is about twenty feet thick, ninety 
wide, and a hundred and thirty in length ; and, resting 
as it does, upon another ledge at one end, and again 
upon two huge pillars, or props, towards the other end, 
with still another ledge and the conical spike on one 
side, all that is wanting is to wall up the other two 
sides, leaving a door and two or three windows, to have 
a large hall, the height of whose ceiling would be about 
ten feet at one end, and twenty or thirty at the other ; 


the height of the contiguous shaft being nearly a hun- 
dred. A thicket of bushes, shutting in the unwalled 
side, gives it the appearance of a cavern, and makes it 
easy to believe that it used to be a place of refuge, 
whither men, women and children were wont to fly and 
hide themselves from the bloody hands of Chaka's 
marauding forces. 

A farther account of the geological features of that 
part of the district to which, in imagination, I have 
taken you ; some notice of the geology of the whole 
colony ; together with a little pleasant speculation as to 
how all these things came about, and what is yet to 
come of, upon, or in place of them in the future, are 
given in the following instructive extracts which I make 
from the "Natal Journal" for October, 1858. 

" The Table Mountain of Maritzburg, is of identical 
composition with the Table Mountain of the Cape of 
Good Hope. Its top is a few hundred feet lower than 
that of the giant of Table Bay, but it rises from a plain 
already elevated above the sea, instead of starting from 
the sea level. Its lower slopes are verdant declivities, 
inclined at an angle which can be easily climbed, with 
buttresses and props thrown out upon the declivities in 
various directions ; but two or three hundred feet from 
the top, the slope is converted into a perpendicular wall 
of bare reddish gray rock, which is ridged vertically 
with projecting angular pillars and furrows. The broad 
base of the mountain is formed of solid granite or gneiss ; 
the summit is a tabular mass of coarse sandstone, 
washed and weather-worn upon its perpendicular edges 
and sides. This sandstone is entirely without trace of 
organic remains, and therefore obviously belongs to a 


very eld period. The old sandstone Table Mountains 
are found extensively scattered through the district of 
Southern Africa. They are obviously remnants of a 
vast sandstone plateau which has been shattered by 
earthquake force, fragments of the sandstone-bed hav- 
ing been left here and there perched in their original 
horizontality upon the tops of the protuberant masses 
of crystalline granite or syenite, which have heaved 
them up into their present position. 

"In some places the primeval shattering has originally 
left narrow fissures, which have been subsequently 
carved out and widened by continuous water flow. In 
other places the sandstone fragments have been torn 
asunder to vast intervals, and the intervening chasms 
have been scattered with debris, and subsequently 
broken up again by irruptions of trap, which have burst 
forth and rolled over in huge plastic masses, until fixed 
in the form of the smaller and younger hills. The lop- 
sided mounds standing within the Inanda wilderness, 
between the tabular mountains, — the fixed billows of 
that wonderful rocky sea, — are all of them gneiss, with 
little bonnets of coarse sandstone just tipping their sum- 
mits ; they are all children of the same parentage, — re- 
sults of the same mighty outburst which shattered the 
sandstone pavement of the olden time, and which reared 
those tables of the South African Titans. 

u The Table Mountain of Maritzburg is a regular 
quadrangular block of nearly equal sides, with winged 
buttresses running out from each of the angles, and with 
a level pasture-clothed top of about four square miles. 
It can only be climbed in one place, where a deep green 
slope leads up to a craggy staircase eroded in the face 


of the precipice. Its summit presents the curious spec- 
tacle of a fine pasture-farm of between two and three 
thousand acres, isolated from the rest of the world by 
bodily upheaval. In one spot a stream of crystal water 
breaks out from a small bared ledge of the sandstone, 
and trickles into a shallow basin, whence it flows as a 
streamlet over the edge of the mouutain to the lower 
slopes. This mountain pasture is retained in the hands 
of the government, but horses and cattle are allowed to 
be driven upon it to feed. As the visitor canters along 
upon its level sward, he is all at once pulled up by find- 
ing the land fail him in front beneath his feet. Beyond 
a gentle slope of a short distance, there comes the edge 
of a precipice, and then there opens out, many hundreds 
of feet below him, the gigantic mounds, and the valleys 
and chasms of the Inanda wilderness, the nearer objects 
clothed with hues of green and brown, and the distant 
hills tinted with soft violet-purple, and almost vanish- 
ing into clouds. N 

" At times the entire atmosphere is so transparent 
and clear, that every rocky inequality stands revealed 
mile after mile, with a distinctness that entirely pre- 
vents any adequate notion being formed of the vastness 
of the scene. From the north-west angle of the sum- 
mit, the Umgeni is observed coming down from the up- 
land valleys, and sweeping up almost to the base of the 
, mountain, then wriggling off to the east through the 
wide and deep valley which here breaks as a sort of 
gap into the Inanda basin. Many hundred feet be- 
neath, the silver stream is caught by the eye, winding 
and bending upon itself in so many successive folds, 
that it is quite impossible to say which way it is going 


in any one particular contortion of the inextricable 
knot, foliage-covered declivities running down to its 
banks, and squeezing and pressing its course between 
their points in every possible w r ay. Even before climb- 
ing the mountain, and w r hile still at its apparent base, 
the observer stands at the top of a steep precipitous 
wall, whence he can look down into the ravine of the 
Umgeni — so profound is this valley chasn> — hundred's 
of yards below T . 

" The land of the colony of Natal is entirely com- 
posed of granite, gneiss, trap, sandstones, and shale. 
Of the sandstones there are two kinds, the old coarse 
sandstone, which forms the summits of the true table- 
mountains, and which is evidently analogous to the Si- 
lurian rocks in age, and a much finer-grained sandstone 
which is associated with carboniferous strata, and con- 
tains impressions of vegetable remains imbedded in its 
layers. The hills immediately round Maritzburg are 
composed of this newer sandstone, mingled with trap. 
These sandstones are chiefly formed of layers of con- 
solidated sand, alternating with shale ; and there are 
beds of an imperfect kind of coal deposited here and 
there between. The trap itself is obviously of different 
ages. Some is closely associated with the granite and 
old silurian sandstone; some is palpably newer than the 
younger sandstone, and cuts through it and the shale in 
dykes, and then overlies the rocks it has penetrated in 
vast rounded beds. The older trap occurs in enormous 
masses, and probably has played scarcely an inferior 
part to the granite itself in the work of disruption and 
upheaval. It is nearly always found resting upon silu- 
rian sandstone on one side, and with shale flanking it 


on the other. It may generally be distinguished, too, 
by its amygdaloidal form, having small rounded fragments 
of the more ancient rocks imbedded in oval pits in its 
substance, very much as almonds are imbedded in paste.. 

" The shale is sometimes gray, and sometimes red, 
and is fissured and laminated. The more recent traps, 
which form dykes through the carboniferous sandstone, 
are never of amygdaloidal form, but they vary consi- 
derably in compactness, in different places. In conse- 
quence of this unequal degree of compactness, fragments 
of these rocks are often cut completely off from the 
mass by the influence of the wind and rain, and of 
coursing water. In some situations, enormous bare 
boulders of trap are scattered over the face of the 
country for miles so thickly that the horse can but just 
pick a pathway among them. The bed of every water- 
course is encumbered with them, and wherever the fall 
is great, is converted by them into a craggy staircase, 
along which, in the dry season, the Kafir path and 
horse route passes in a very surprising way. 

" In almost all parts of the colony these several kinds 
of rocks are mingled together in the most irregular 
manner, as if they had been stirred and tumbled to- 
gether again and again, and then been allowed to find 
their own resting-place as each best could. Along the 
sea coast there are spots whose granite ribs jut com- 
pletely out into the waves ; at other places there are 
terraced shores of sandstone ; and at others there are 
mighty rocks of trap protruding their bare black heads 
and oyster-covered shoulders, in the midst of the lashing 
surf, carved and eroded by the surge into the most gro- 
tesque forms and shapes. 


" The granite hills inland are generally broad, low, 
and smoothly-rounded protrusions. The gneiss gene- 
rally takes the form of more abrupt tuberculated pro- 
minences. The trap often rises into bold truncated 
cones, as in the Zwartkop Mountain to the west of 
Maritzburg. There are places in which the violence of 
the force that was exerted in producing the present con- 
tour and condition of the land, is indicated by laminated 
or stratified beds of rock, having been carried down 
five or six hundred feet lower than the masses with 
which they were continuous before they were fissured 
by the disruptive heave. Towards the north-east boun- 
dary of the. colony, the pure crystalline granite is mainly 
in the ascendant ; — the bed of the lower l^ugela is 
carved out in the solid granite rock. Towards the 
north-west boundary the trap takes its turn. The 
broad plain intervening between the top of Maritzburg 
hills and the Drakensberg is principally composed of 
trap in various forms of condensation. There are 
s. uare tabular elevations upon this plain — a kind of 
ps- udo-table mountains. These are all moulded en- 
tirely of trap, and may be at once distinguished by the 
eye from the true sandstone-slabbed table-mountains, not- 
withstanding their general resemblance. The Drakens- 
berg ledge itself is trap, and beyond the Drakensberg, 
on the yet higher terrace, there are still trappean tables 
reared, like those upon the lower plain. The Nelson's- 
Kop and Rensburg's-Kop, hills beyond the Drakens- 
berg, are of this character. 

" If, after a run through the picturesque ravines, and 
over the undulating plains of Natal, the observer were 
to sit himself quietly down upon some fragments of 


rock, and looking back into remote regions of past 
time with closed eyes, were to endeavor to realize for 
himself some of the physical vicissitudes through which 
this young colony and all South African land has had 
to pass before it was spread out in its present condition 
and fitness for the exercise of Anglo-Saxon enterprise 
and industry, he would have presented before him some 
few very clear scenes. He would see the great deserts 
of bare primeval adamant, wide spread and crystalline 
from the gradual way in which it had cooled into 
stone after it had been passed through the fire of the 
reverberatory furnace where the material of the world's 
foundations are annealed and forged. 

" He would see this primeval desert submerged be- 
neath the waves of a sea-deluge, to be pavemented with 
sandstone, cut and ground from the crystals of its own* 
substance, and compacted by cement powdered from the 
attrition of its own softer ingredients, and hardened 
under the force of subsequent pressure. Then he would 
see this submarine pavement shattered by an ear h- 
quake, bursting from the hidden depths of the gl< oe, 
and here bearing fragmentary slabs of the pavement 
up as mountain-traps, and there scattering them upon 
the declivities and at the bottoms of the cracks ; the 
soft and pasty adamant heaving and squeezing, this 
way and that, under the throes, as it performed the me- 
chanical tasks of upheaval, and then again hardening 
and crystallizing into granite and syenite. Next there 
comes a vision of a rain pouring down in all the abun- 
dance of the tropical storm, and of water coursing 
through the fissures and cracks, and leaping in torrents 
from ledge to ledge, cutting along their sides, and weav- 


ing them into continuous systems of winding and branch- 
ing valleys, and making foaming rivers in the depths. 

" Then, after long ages of the wearing tyranny of 
water and of wind, there is earthquake again, and old 
mountains plunged down into the abysses of the ground, 
and new mountains of old rock reared into the air, and 
chimney fissures opened out in the progress of the con- 
vulsion, through which, plastic rock, a veritable molten 
lava, wells up, bringing with it involved fragments of 
infusible minerals from below, and smoothing over with 
its pasty mass the sharp bends and breakings of the 
tortured granite and sandstone, here sliding down the 
granite declivities in thick-spreading waves, and then 
rolling over in viscid lumps, and fixing, almost as it 
rolls, into the amygdaloidal hills. The rain falls, and 
the tempest beats on the sides of these lava-hills, and 
the thick mud runs down with the descending water, 
and settles wherever it finds a resting-place, and when 
it has been again covered up, after subsequent shatter- 
ings, and by subsequent eruptions of molten rock, it 
dries and hardens into stone, and cracks into laminae 
and blocks as it shrinks in the drying. So is formed 
the shale which now fringes on one side the trap-rocks 
of to-day, as they recline upon, and are buttressed by, 
the hoary granite, and the unfossiliferous sandstone on 
the other. 

" In some confined basins, hollowed out or moulded 
at the junction of the sandstone and trap, torrents 
sweep down the prevailing sandstone-slopes laden with 
sand. Then the inclination of the flanking rocks is 
changed, and the torrents run upon the trap, and bear 
contributions of mud, to be spread over the sand. 


Then a moist ravine, which had become green with the 
old world leaves in the old world sunshine, is visited by 
the deluge, and cleared of its growth, and the swept- 
away fragments are bedded on the mud. Then, again, 
there comes mud, and again sand, and again vegetable 
remains. So the carboniferous sandstones and shale 
are built, and so hollow after hollow is .filled in with its 
appropriate pabulum, and so 'rough places are made 
plain.' The ground then again heaves and cracks, and 
rises and falls, and the molten lava oozes from below 
to condense into trap, or to crystallize into a new birth 
of granite, and the rivers and the torrents again enter 
upon their rasping and denuding labors. 

"It is pleasant, from such an old-world reverie as 
this, to awake, and to open one's eyes upon the new 
and more stable state of things, where the green cane 
of the sugar is already waving on the sides of the es- 
tuaries in almost impenetrable thickets, where the ba- 
nana is clustering like a gorgeous plumage, bent witS 
its load of purple and white flowers, and rich panicles 
of fruit, and where experimental specks of the settled 
land are already pink with the blossoms of the. indigo, 
or white with the seed-beards of the cotton, pr glossy 
with the lily-like foliage of the arrow-root, or shrubbed, 
with the elliptical leaves of the coffee ; and then, to 
close them again, and dream of the time when the 
bright promise of the present day shall have been ful- 
filled — when the open pastures have become hedged into 
fields — when the russet slopes are ridged and blackened 
by the fertilizing plough, rather than by devastating 
fire — when the roads have shod themselves with iron to 
carry to the port the surplus produce wrung from the 


ground by a thriving and crowded community — and 
when the harbor of Durban has permanently opened 
its arms to vessels of heavy burthen, kept busily at 
work in wafting in wealth in exchange for the super- 
fluity carried away." 

Nor, to make the picture complete, must we leave the 
moral aspects and interests of the land out of view. 
To a thoughtful, observing mind, what can be more 
obvious than to see that all this fair land, the whole 
earth, indeed, in which we dwell, was fitted up, origi- 
nally, for a higher, better order of life than that which 
the multitude are now leading — a place, indeed, where 
man may prepare to dwell with the King of kings in 
the blissful Paradise of the heavenly world ? Hence, 
the assurance that there shall be "a highway" — "the 
way of holiness," whereby the ransomed of the Lord 
shall return, and come to Zion with songs and ever- 
lasting joy upon their heads. The valley shall be ex- 
alted, the mountain and hill made low, the crooked 
made straight, and the rough places plain. The igno- 
rant must be enlightened, the vicious reclaimed, the 
lost recovered. All commerce, therefore, and enter- 
prise, all inventions, improvements, and changes, which 
do not aim, or tend to culminate in4he moral elevation 
and welfare of the race, are imperfect, out of tune, 
transient. Wanting in unison with the mind of Him 
who seeth the end from the beginning, and doeth all 
things " according to the counsel of his will," they are 
doomed to pass away and give place to better, higher, 
holier things. 
23 * 




Bear me, Pomona ! to thy citron-groves ,* 
To where the lemon and the piercing lime, 
With the deep orange, glowing through the green, 
Their lighter glories blend. * • • 

• • * * * . * * & 

From these the prospect varies. Plains immense 

Lie stretch'd below, interminable meads, 

And vast savannas, where the wandering eye, 

Unfix'd, is in a verdant ocean lost. 

Another Flora there, of bolder hues, 

And richer sweets, beyond our garden's pride, 

Plays o'er the fields, and showers with sudden hand 

Exuberant spring ; for oft these valleys shift 

Their green-cmbroider'd robe to fiery brown, 

And swift to green again, as scorching suns, 

Or streaming dews and torrent rains, prevail. Thomson. 

The Botany of Natal is not less peculiar, interesting, 
and instructive than its geology. Lying, as the coun- 
try does, on the border of tropical regions, and rising 
rapidly from the sea to the Kwahlamba, — nearly six 
thousand feet in the course of a hundred miles, — it is 
not strange that this land should give us a large vayety 
of tropical plants along the coast, and show itself 
equally suited to most of the productions of the tempe- 
rate zone in its higher portions. 


My mission home, of Umsunduzi, lies about fifteen 
miles from the sea, and twice that distance north from 
the Port of Natal. Here, a grove of orange trees in 
front of my study, half of them laden with the now 
green, but soon-to-be golden fruit ; an avenue in front 
of our dwelling, shaded by the syringa, or skirted by 
lemon trees in full bearing; a garden of bananas on the 
one hand, and a garden of pine-apples on the other, with, 
here and there, a lime-tree, and pomegranate, all prove 
that we are near enough to the tropical region to avail 
ourselves of -its more important advantages. The ap- 
ple-tree, however, and others of a like character, which 
require a real winter in which to husband their strength, 
come to nothing so near the coast, though said to thrive ' 
in some parts of the upland. Sugar-cane, cotton, ar- 
row-root, sweet potatoes, are all easily grown along the 
coast ; wheat is grown in the upper districts ; maize, or 
" mealies" as most of the colonists call it, the Irish or 
round potato, oats, pease and beans, tomatoes and 
pumpkins, beets, carrots, and cabbages seem ready to 
grow wherever any one is willing to take pains to plant 
and protect them. 

Among the plants which may be called indigenous, I 
think w^e must reckon the banana. I have found it 
■ growing in the rankest, wildest way among the rocks 
and rivulets of most inaccessible mountains, — in kloofs 
and ravines the farthest possible from all arable land, 
or any place that could ever have been sought out and 
occupied or planted by a foreigner in other ages. The 
natives call it the king 9 s food, from the fact that their 
rulers, Chaka and others, used to require the people to 
take all the fruit to them ; and made it death for any 

272 - ZULU-LAND. 

one to taste it without their permission. A plant of 
this kind, twenty feet high, with leaves two feet broad 
and eight or ten feet long, and a cluster of fruit weigh- 
ing thirty or forty pounds — as much as a man cares to 
lug up to the house, is not uncommon in Natal. 

Around us we have several species of the fig-tree. 
That which best deserves the name is called by the na- 
tives, Umkiwane. A tree of this sort, which sprang up 
on the border of our garden, a few years ago, is now fif- 
teen feet high, and six inches in diameter; not half- 
grown; yet laden with fruit. And this is the second 
time it has borne the present year. The body of the 
tree, from about eight feet and upwards, as well as 
all the thicker parts of the branches are covered and 
quite hidden by the bunches of fruit and the leafless 
twigs on which these bunches hang. Sometimes we find 
a single fig surmounting a stem an inch long, the stem 
itself standing out from the tree, as stiff and stubby as 
a nail in a post. More generally, however, the stem 
resembles a twig from six to eighteen inches in length 
with fruit hanging at random on all sides. But the fig 
itself, of a dark brown, spotted color, the size of a 
peach, is worth more, to me at least, as an object of 
sight than as an article of food ; though, dry, and insipid 
as it is, the natives do not dislike it. 

Another species of the fig-tree, more famous for its 
great size, dark, rich foliage, and ever-green appear- 
ance, than for its fruit, is evidently related to the Ban- 
yan of India. It is easily propagated ; and its growth 
is rapid. Ten years ago, those about my house — inter- 
spersed with the syringa and lemon, which skirt our 
avenues — were so many stakes, two or three inches 


thick, and six or seven feet in length, just stuck in th-e 
ground, -without root or branch. Now some of them are 
twelve or fifteen inches thick, and not less than twenty- 
five or thirty feet high. The bark when punctured 
yields a tenacious, milky juice. But the most notable 
fact about this tree is the manner in which it is some- 
times found " married" to another. A bird, which is 
fond of its cherry-like fruit, drops a seed in the fork of 
a distant tree. This germinates and sends out nume- 
rous parasitic, absorbent roots, which traverse the trunk, 
to and fro, in a downward direction, till they reach the 
ground ; while ascending shoots develop into a stem, 
which becomes a new tree. ^The net-work of little wiry 
roots soon develops into a smooth body, and goes on to 
increase in size and stature, till the original tree, peep- 
ing out at the side, or perchanqe from the top of the 
compressing encasement, is eventually compelled to as- 
sume for itself the appearance of a parasite, and finally 
to succumb, root and branch, to the overpowering exotic 
intruder. When this tree — Ficus Africana — the Um- 
tombe of the natives, is found embracing the Umsinsi, 
a species of HJrythrina, so long as the latter is allowed 
to live, the large clusters of beautiful scarlet flowers 
with which its branches are covered in early spring ere 
it unfolds its own leaf-buds, having the dark green fo- 
liage of the fig for a back-ground, present a picture of 
floral beauty of no ordinary splendor. The seeds of the 
Umsinsi, or " Kafir-boom" as the Dutch call it, grow 
in pods, and look like so many small scarlet peas. 

Of the mimosa we have in Natal a great vari- 
ety. Many of them yield a gum, like that called 
"Arabic." The bark possesses the tanning property. 


The most useful, if not the most'Tommon, is the spring 
mimosa, or thorn-tree, which makes good firewood. 
Its size and shape, at a little distance, remind one of 
the apple tree ; but woe to the garments of the man 
who walks or rides too near its branches. Its blos- 
som is beautiful and fragrant. To the mimosa tribe 
belongs the flat-crown, as it is called, — a kind of Acacia, 
whose little leaflets always fold themselves to sleep 
when night comes on. To it also belong a good number 
of the sensitive plants, whose leaves close quickly on 
the slightest touch. 

Large and tall trees, such as America would think 
worth the name, certainly in any number, I have never 
seen in Natal ; though there are places, especially in 
the kloofs or ravines of the upland regions, where trees . 
of a proper size and quality for boards and beams, may 
be found. Among them, the most important are the 
yellow wood, which is a kind of yew (Taxus elongata); 
stink-wood, a species of laurel (Laurus bullata); and 
another which goes by the name of sneeze-wood, being 
yclept thus by the Boers, because of an irritating dust 
which it gives off when worked. Trunks of this tree 
are sometimes found four feet thick and eighty feet long. 
Nor is the colony wanting in iron-wood, called by the 
natives umsimbiti ; and used by them for making pick 
handles, clubs and canes. 

I The mangrove (red) grows on the borders and islands 
of the bay, and about the mouth of the Umkomazi, — a 
very hard, durable wood, and much sought after by the 
colonists for building and other purposes. Then there 
is the assegai or lance-wood, of which the natives make 
the shafts, or handles, of their spears ; the milk-wood, 


of which wagon-axles are often made ; the tamboti, used 
for gun stocks, and axles ; the African mahogany, or 
hard, red-ivory wood ; and other kinds, of like grain. 
The wood of very many of the shrubs and trees, of 
Natal is exceedingly hard and tough ; though there is 
no want of that which is soft, brittle, and porous. If 
the trees are, for the most part, neither large, nume- 
rous, nor very straight, yet the evergreen appearance 
which they exhibit ; the rich and varied gloss of the 
leaf, in which they excel ; together with the bright and 
beautiful flowers which very many of them put forth, 
make them useful for shade and beauty. 

Perchance, however, the reader begins to inquire,— 
" Are we not lingering too long with the larger trees ?" 
Then let us take a look at the smaller plants, — at a few 
of the flowers and grasses, the euphorbias, the wild ba- 
nana, ferns and palms, and whatever else of botanical 
beauty or novelty may lie in the zigzag line of our 
ramble. Nor can you go out for an hour, any month 
in the whole year, at least in the coast region, without 
finding here and there a wild flower, most likely a pro- 
fusion of them, on every side. In September and 
October, the spring of our African year, I have often 
traversed the open fields where the ground was almost 
covered with flowers, — so thickly, indeed, that scarce a 
step could be taken without treading some of them under 
foot. Nor would these be of one kind or color ; but of 
every color, and of varieties as yet past all attempts to 

As the grass becomes dry in winter, being neither 
cut for hay, nor all consumed by the cattle, it is gene- 
rally burnt off once a year. Now, as the author of an 


article on the " Botanical aspect of Natal," which ap- 
peared in the u Natal Journal" for October, 1858, has 
well observed : — " The earliest tint of greenness, when 
the young grass begins to peep through the burnt stub- 
ble, blends itself so intimately and harmoniously with 
the sable hue of the charred stalks, as to impress upon 
the eye the sense of a surface of the richest dark green 
velvet. In the month of September the ground is green 
again within ten days of" the burning $f the grass. 
Then come flowers, small and large, in infinite variety, 
amongst which, plants of the lily, the amaryllis, and 
the iris tribes are the most conspicuous. The bulbs are 
first seen projecting their opening tufts of leaves from 
the bare ground ; next the flower stalk rises from the 
midst, and soon crowns itself with a cluster of magnifi- 
cent bright-hued flowers. Even before the grass begins 
to sprout the aloe projects its spike of orange or red 
flowerets above its pointed and serrated chevaux defrise 
of leaves. Then there are three species of cyrtanthus, 
a genus of amaryllids bearing blossoms of indescribable 
beauty ; it is one of these which is known to the Dutch 
as the ' fire-lily/ and so far as the brightness of its color 
is concerned, it well deserves its name. The scarlet 
flowers of these plants hang down in clusters round the 
summit of the otherwise bare peduncles, those of the 
'fire-lily' being, at the first careless glance, not unlike to 
the blossoms of the large flowered scarlet fuchsia, de- 
prived of the inner corollal leaves. 

" Another of these amaryllids bears a large, almost 
spherical, but rather ragged-looking bunch of dark pink, 
or claret-colored flowers, fringed externally with white 
stamens, and possessing an ^overpowering honey-suckle 


scent. Yet another (A Hcemanthus) looks like an enor- 
mous sunflower, but the head is formed of a multitude 
of stalked blossoms, surrounded by an involucre, and 
crowning a single thick peduncle, the flowers being 
profusely powdered with, coarse saffron-colored pollen, 
to which the natives attribute, and probably upon suf- 
ficient ground, a power of causing sore eyes when the 
flowers are smelt. 

" The actually moist places, and the immediate banks 
of the running streams, are brilliantly gay at this sea- 
son with the blossoms of the so-called ' Natal-lily' 
(Amaryllis Belladonna), undoubtedly the queen, as well 
as the 'beautiful lady/ of the bulbous tribes. The 
flowers of this pseudo-lily are large, white, and pink- 
ribbed bells, hung in all directions round the summit of 
the flower-stalk, often in very remarkable profusion ; 
the stalk rises from a sheathing tuft of broad fleshy 
leaves, to a height of about three feet. 

" The Amaryllids really seem to have fixed upon South 
Africa as the headquarters of their clan. They are found 
upon its hill-sides and slopes in so rich an abundance, 
and in such a countless diversity. They are nearly all 
' lilies' in common language, on account of the lily-like 
character of the flower, having, in common with the 
lilies, large bell-like corollas with six stamens. The 
two tribes may, however, be readily distinguished from 
each other at a glance, because, in the amaryllis, the 
three-celled ovary, or young fruit, is visible to the eye 
beneath the bright petals ; while, in the true lilies, the 
three-celled ovary is concealed within the bright petals. 
In the amaryllid the flower-leaves grow from the sum- 
mit of the ovary ; in the lily they grow from the base 


of the ovary. This is not by any means an unimport- 
ant distinction, because the lilies are altogether harm- 
less plants, while a virulent acrid poison lurks in the 
juice of most of the amaryllids. 

" A hsemanthus of South Africa is known among the 
Dutch settlers under the designation of the ' poison 
plant.' The poison employed by some of the native 
tribes of South Africa for rendering thd 7 arrows deadly 
is taken from this amaryllid. It is a piece of botanical 
lore quite worth having in South Africa, that any suc- 
culent bulbous plant, with bell-shaped flowers, possess- 
ing six stamens, and growing from the top of the 
ovary, may be at once put down as an object to be 
looked at, and admired rather than to be meddled with 
or brought into more intimate relations. 

" The gladiolus, a member of the iris family, makes a 
very distinguished appearance among these bulbous at- 
tendants of the spring grass, one species being pecu- 
liarly beautiful on account of its large one-sided spikes 
of bright party-colored orange and yellow blossoms. 

" The pride of the irids, however, unquestionably" 
concentrates in another genus of Natalian plants (izia), 
which accompany the young grass everywhere, and 
which are without parallel for graceful elegance, seem- 
ing as if they had caught the delicate habits of their 
companions, without, in consequence, abandoning the 
privilege of wearing gaily-colored corolla! garments. 
Their flowers are pink and lavender-hued bells, sus- 
pended from long pendulous hair-like foot-stalks, some- 
thing after the manner of the English hare-bell. The 
bright blossoms issue from dry membranaceous bracts, 
which are persistent after the flowers have withered. 


Before the buds open out, the spikes of imbricated mem- 
branaceous bracts exactly simulate the appearance of 
the fructification of a true grass, and after the flowering, 
the flower-stalks stiffen and erect themselves, and, with 
their dried spikes, again put on the gramineal aspect. 

" These Ixias, indeed, look exactly as if some of the 
elegant pendulous wood-grasses of England were suffer- 
ing from an eruption of flowers at the ends of their 
spikes ; the resemblance is so complete, that these 
plants are spoken of as J flowering grasses' by casual 
observers. There are several species of them scattered 
about. One of the species which grows in great abun- 
dance on the top of the Table Mountain, attains to a 
height of three feet, and has comparatively large and 
magnificent flowers. Among the pseudo-grasses of the 
early spring, there is a peculiarly delicate sedge, or 
carex, which adds greatly to the adornment of the 
pasture, in consequence of the spikelets of its digitate 
or fingered panicles being flat-pressed and purple-lined 
where one floret is joined to, or imbricated upon, its 

" There is also a great number of species of this flat- 
flowered sedge, some of small dimensions, and others 
having flower-bunches of a considerable size. A very 
curious exogenous flower appears with the bulbous blos- 
soms on the upland pasture; it has a large, solanaceous- 
looking (petunia-like) white flower, with, however, only 
four lobes and four stamens to its thin crumpled, mono- 
petakms corolla, which covers itself with black lines 
and patches as it withers, till the whole becomes of an 
inky hue, whence the plant which bears it has acquired 
the appellation of the ' ink plant.' Large spaces of the 


pasture are often white from the dense masses of these 
flowers. At a late period of the season the red papilio- 
naceous blossoms of the indigo appear upon these up- 
land pastures/' 

Ye field-flowers ! the gardens eclipse you, 'tis true, 
Yet, wildings of nature, I doat upon you, 
For ye waft me to summers of old, 
When the earth teem'd around me with fairy delight, 
And when daisies and buttercups gladden'd my sight, 

Like treasures of silver and gold. Campbell. 

Among the more striking botanical productions of 
Natal, or those which are likely to attract the attention 
of a new-comer, mast be reckoned the tall, stiff, succu- 
lent-stemmed Euphorbias, that grow about. the Berea, 
and along the road from Durban to the Umgeni, as, in- 
deed, in many other parts of the coast districts. As 
you look at their leafless, spiny, angular or channeled, 
club-like limbs, shooting up forty or fifty feet into the 
air, your first thought is, What a splendid cactus ! We 
meet with the plant in almost every variety of size and 
shape, from the above gigantic dimensions down to the 
size and length of the little finger. It differs, however, 
from the cactus in yielding a most acrid milky juice, 
when punctured; and in respect to its spines, also, when 
it has any, those of the Euphorbia not growing, like 
those of the cactus, in tufts, or clusters. The candela- 
bra spurge, which looks so much like the old-fashioned 
candlestick from which it takes its name, is found along 
the rocky banks that overlook the Umgeni, Umhloti, 
and other large rivers. Stripped of the bark and 
roasted, the central pith affords an amount and quality 
of food which a starving man, like the German botanist 


Krauss wandering and lost on the plains of the Karroo, 
is glad to get. 

The castor-oil plant (ricinus), or "Pairna Christi," as 
some of the older botanists used to call it on account 
of its elegant lobate leaves, may be found in half the 
old deserted kraals, or in the rich yet neglected gardens 
of the land. It belongs to the same tribe as the Eu- 
phorbia. Nor are the natives ignorant of the medicinal 
or poisonous qualities of the oil which its seeds afford. 
They sometimes use it as an ointment for sores, some- 
times give it to sick calves as a medicine, and sometimes 
to wolves and tigers as a poison. But to beguile a wild 
animal into taking enough of it to destroy life is, I 
fancy, not very easy ; though the natives say it used to 
be done w T hen they could not as now get something 
better from the wdiite man. 

Among the many, very many, kinds of fern which 
thrive here, there are two or three which deserve a pass- 
ing notice. The male fern {Filix mas) is known among 
the Amazulu, as it has been among Europeans, both 
ancient and modern, as a remedy for the tape worm. 
The natives call it Inkomankoma. It abounds in all the 
region round about us. And growing, as it often does, 
in the deserted hole of the ant-eater, or jackat, which 
its leaves fill and hide from view, you will take care not 
to ride over it, lest your horse fall^ and throw you over 
his head. Lastrea athamantica is the more recent sci- 
entific name of this plant. . 

There is also a peculiar and splendid climbing fern. 

The stem, about half an inch in diameter, running 

straight up the trunk of a tree to the height of forty or 

fifty feet, adheres so closely to the bark as to require 



some effort to pull it off. At every foot or two, it 
throws out a beautiful, glossy, plume-like leaf, or frond, 
five or six feet long. These fronds, unequally pinnate, 
have twenty or more pairs of smooth, alternating leaf- 
lets, all lanceolate, serrated, and measuring from six to 
twelve inches in length. I have never seen anything 
of the kind before ; neither do I see it noted in the 
enumeration of South African Ferns in the "Cape 
Monthly Magazine" for 1857; though the "enumera- 
tion" includes a hundred and sixty species, very many 
of which, in fact nearly all, may be found in Natal. 

Here, too, we have the beautiful " tree fern." There 
are several specimens of it to be found in this neighbor- 
hood, chiefly on the banks or borders of the rivulets. 
One of these odd-looking, arborescent plants (cyathea 
arborea) grows not far from my house, which has a stem 
ten feet high, and about as many inches in diameter ; 
erect, cylindrical, surmounted by a tuft of about thirty 
elegant lance-shaped, bipinnate fronds, six or seven feet 
in length. The leaflets, of which there are about twenty 
pairs, alternating along the almost-round, tapering leaf- 
stalk, are pinnatifid, lance-shaped, and often measure 
nearly a foot in length. 

Nor must I omit to mention a species of palm that 
grows along the coast, here and there, from the Umvoti 
to the Umzimkulu ; though, so far as I know, it is only 
in the Southern part of the colony that we find the re- 
markable fruit for which it is distinguished. Some of 
the plants reach the height of only four or five feet, 
others, ten or twelve, and even more. From the fan- 
like form and folds of the leaves — which the natives 
slit and braid into baskets, hats, and strainers, the plant 


is sometimes called the fan-palm. Its external appear- 
ance would seem to give it a place between the palm 
and the Zamia, or bread-tree, while from its fruit it 
would seem to be allied to the ivory-plant (JPhytelephas) 
of Peru. It bears a curious fruit, the shape of a cherry, 
the size of a good large peach, within the dark brown 
pericarp of which there is an exceedingly hard white 
ball which goes by the name of " vegetable ivory." 

Then there is the wild banana of Natal (Strelitzia 
alba,) the erect, cylindrical stem of which, being some 
twenty feet high in the mature plant, all marked as it 
is with a series of concentric circles, looks like that of 
the palm ; the long, wide leaves, like those of the ba- 
nana, or plantain ; while the flower looks like nothing 
save its own most peculiar self. But the leaf of the 
Strelitzia is only about half as long, yet quite as broad, 
as that of the banana ; the former being somewhat 
ovate, about two feet wide, and four or five long, while 
the latter is lanceolate, and often nine or ten feet long, 
as I know from actual measurement. The oddest thing 
about the strelitzia is the flower, or rather series of 
flowers which it puts out. A stalk shoots up from out 
of the side of the tuft of leaves at the apex of the stem, 
turns a right angle, and gives support to a long floral 
envelope, a kind of purple, horny-looking, monosepalous 
calyx. Out of this come three long petals, two white, 
one^blue, the latter also barbed, as it were, at the base. 
You think this all the flower you are to have, nor do 
you complain that it is not enough, — when, lo ! in a day 
or two, up comes another just like the first, then ano- 
ther, and another. While this bud is putting forth its blos- 
soms, another is coming up from the same stalk, turn- 

284 ZULU-LAND. x 

ingvover into the same horizontal plane as the first, and 
preparing to give out another series of the same unique 
flowers, — two long white petals, a third blue and barbed. 
Thus, in time another bud, perchance still another, and 
another ; after which, come the bright red and black 
seeds. The inner part of the trunk of this tree is some- 
times used by the natives, in time of famine, for food. 

Here, too, w r e have the wild date, the Isundu of the 
natives ; the wild olive, or Umgivenya, and the Umtun- 
gulu, a species of evergreen periwinkle, bearing a beau- 
tiful scarlet-colored, edible fruit, not unworthy of the 
name " Natal plum," by which it is often called. 

But to enumerate and describe all the Botanical pro- 
ductions of Natal would make more than a chapter — in- 
deed, more than a book. Messrs. Harvey and Souder 
are just now getting out a work entitled " Flora Capen- 
sis : being a Systematic Description of the Plants of 
the Cape Colony, Kafraria, 'and Port Natal." The first 
volume, containing about six hundred pages, octavo, has 
made its appearance, and the authors think it will take 
four or five more volumes to complete the subject as 
they have begun. 

I will close this chapter with a few extracts, somewhat 
abridged, from a valuable paper in the " Cape Monthly 
Magazine," for October, 1860. Prepared as it was "by 
the Colonial Botanist," and that recently, it giv*es us 
the last, best phase of the science in' this part of the 

The probable number of South African species of 
plants, says this article, was estimated by Harvey, in 
1838, at 1,086 genera, and 8,500 species ; but Dreg£, 
who, during his travels, never penetrated into the in- 


terior any farther than fifty geographical miles inland 
from the coast, has actually collected 1,008 genera, and 
7,092 species. If, then, we take into account all the 
discoveries made since 1834, and consider that the vast 
territories of the Free State, Kafraria, Natal, and the 
countries beyond the Gariep are all but explored, we 
may readily expect a much larger amount, which in all 
likelihood cannot fall short of at least 18,000 species. 

This great number of plants is variously dispersed 
through the different provinces^ every one of which may 
be said to have its peculiar flora, since the majority of 
South African plants are confined to narrow limits. A 
still greater and more marked difference in the distribu- 
tion of orders, genera, and species, presents itself, if 
from the extreme west we advance towards the east, 
where along with gradual climatical changes vegetation 
gains an altered character, until at Natal it assumes 
tropical forms. 

The family which predominates over all others in 
South Africa, is that of the eornpositce. It constitutes 
the sixth part of the whole number of its flora, is nearly 
equally distributed through all provinces, and amounts 
to 182 genera, and 1,593 species. Many of the former, 
and the greatest part of the latter, are quite peculiar to 
the land, and not a few of them, such as the everlasting- 
flower, the gazanias, othonnas, arctotides, and others, 
gladden the eye by the brilliancy of their hues, and the 
grace and variety of their forms. 

Next to them, the leguminous tribe occupies, as far 
as numbers are concerned, the second rank in our flora, 
comprising between 500 to 600 species, two-thirds of 
which belong exclusively to the Western Province ; it 


forms about the thirteenth part of the whole of South 
African vegetation. Indigofera, Psoralea, and Aspala- 
thuSy are the prominent and most numerously repre- 
sented South African genera of this order. 

The third great natural family to be noticed in this 
place, refers to gramineoe, or grasses. This tribe is 
pretty equally distributed between the two principal 
divisions ; but the species occurring in the Eastern Pro- 
vince and Natal, partake of v a more social character 
than those of the west. ^Grasses form about the one- 
and-twentieth part of South African vegetation, and 
embrace 95 genera, with 859 species. It is remarkable 
that only six of the genera are truly South African, 
while the remainder are scattered wide and far over 
various portions of the globe. 

None, however, of the three orters named exert so great 
an influence upon the flora as to bestow distinctive phy- 
siognomical features to the country. This is effected by 
plants limited in their range of dispersion, but which, 
within certain bounds, surpass all others in originality 
of form, variety, and luxuriance of growth. 

The most prominent amongst these are the Proteacece, 
so named in allusion to the diversity of their genera. 
Their favorite stations are dry, stony, exposed places, 
mountain slopes, or sandy localities ; and their number 
amounts to 11 genera, and 288 species. 

. After proteacece, the numerous heaths, which cover 
vast tracts of uncultivated land, attract our attention. 
This large genus contains shrubs, with rigid, linear, en- 
tire leaves ; and its species are equally interesting for 
the variety of the forms of their flowers, and the bril- 
liancy of their tints. The total number of South 


African heaths, hitherto known, amounts to 410 spe- 
cies, two thirds of which are peculiar to the western 
parts of the colony; towards the east they sensibly de- 
crease, and reach their limit at Natal, the high moun- 
tains of which produce one solitary representative of 
this extensive and beautiful genus. Not less character- 
istic of the cape flora are Mesembryacece and the genus 
Stapelia. Predominant also, in some parts of the west- 
ern divisions, in addition to the orders just named, are 
the Bucchu family, or Diosrnece, known for their pecu- 
liar odor; the Sorrel tribe, and the Rope grasses. 

Leaving this zone, and approaching the East, we are 
surprised at the change which takes place in the nature 
of vegetation. Already, in the border district of 
George, this alteration begins with verdant hills, fertile 
lawns, and aboriginal forests, rich in excellent timber; 
yet the farther we move, Proteaceae, Ericas, and Resti- 
acese become rarer in proportion, and make room for 
families, which gradually merge into the sub-tropical 
flora of Natal. Grassy pastures, admirably adapted 
for the breeding of sheep, alternate with impenetrable 
masses of arborescent, evergreen, often succulent 
shrubs, once the cherished haunts of herds of elephants 
and other huge herbivorous beasts ; and almost every- 
where the gigantic Euphorbia canariensis, with its fluted, 
pillar-like, prickly stem, is seen along with thorny 
Acacias^ the speck-boom (Portulacaria afra) r tall, hand- 
some aloes, and a profusion of fleshy plants in the 
greatest variety. These, in conjunction with the splen- 
did strelitzia regina and juncea, the beautiful Tecoma 
capensis, the curious elephant's-foot, and the palm-like 
Lyeadeoe, or Kafir bread-trees, the modern representa- 


tives of an extinct antediluvian tribe, are forms which, 
to a certain degree, express the character of the vege- 
tation of the Eastern Province. The most prominent 
and numerous vegetable orders found in those regions 
comprise, besides grasses and composite : Malvaceae, 
Capparidese, Celastrinese, Sarindacese, Acanthaceae, 
Euphorbiaceae, Amaryllideae, &c, many of which spread 
towards Natal, where they are joined by the still more 
tropical types of Rhizophorese, Anonacese, Sterculiaceae, 
Malpighiaceae, Connaracese, and Palms. 

Go to the fields, and nature woo, 

No matter what thy mood ; 
The light heart will be lighter made, 

The sorrowful imbued 
With joyous thoughts. The simplest flower 
Has o'er the soul a magic power. 

Alone, communing with thyself, 

Or with congenial friends ; 
If joy expands thy soaring soul, 

Or woe thy bosom rends, 
Go to the fields, and thou wilt find 
Thy woe subdued, thy joy refined. Langford. 




Afar in the desert I love to ride, 

With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side : 

Away — away from the dwellings of men, 

By the wild deer's haunt, by the buffalo's glen ; 

By valleys remote where the oribi plays, 

Where the gnu, the gazelle, and the hartebeest graze, 

And the kudu and eland unhunted recline 

By the skirts of grey forest o'erhung with wild vine, 

Where the elephant browses at peace in the wood, 

And the river-horse gambols unscared in the flood, 

And the mighty rhinoceros wallows at will 

In the fen where the wild ass is drinking his fill. Pringle. 

With the lion, which is expected to make so large a 
figure in every South African volume, I can boast but 
little personal acquaintance. Though no strangers to 
this region, as the cattle of my missionary associates 
could testify had they the art of speech, these monarchs 
of the field have paid me and my station little attention. 
They are not very often met within those portions of 
the district most frequented by the colonist and mis- 
sionary. Farther inland, the native and the European 
alike must be prepared to encounter this powerful and 
dangerous beast. 

The iiger, however, or rather, the leopard, as his 

290 , ZULU-LAND. 

beautifully spotted coat requires us to call him, has 
never scrupled to make himself more familiar. Such a 
compound of respect and disrespect, prudence and im- 
prudence, courage and cowardice, is not to be found in 
any other animal of my acquaintance. If you were to 
meet him in the field or by the wayside, and give him 
timely notice of your approach, he would doubtless 
withdraw, and give you the whole road ; yet I should 
not like to come upon him abruptly. When pursued he 
generally betakes himself, cat-like, to a tree, if nothing 
better offers ; and more than one white man, failing to 
give him a mortal shot, in this position, has died of 
the wounds inflicted by his exasperated foe. 

In coming to any strange place or new thing, the 
leopard seems to study his first approach, and look 
about with the greatest caution ; and yet, if he makes 
up his mind to it, he will walk straight into a trap which 
was set on purpose to catch him, or attempt to take a 
piece of beef from the muzzle of a musket, with as 
much non-chalance as you would a nice piece of broiled 
steak from the end of your fork. Nor will he hesitate 
to take up and swallow a piece of meat in which you 
have deposited a dose of poison, — stiyehnine, — if so be 
the slice was cut from the cow or dog which he slaugh- 
tered the night before ; though if it be not something 
of his own killing, the chances are that he will walk 
straight over without touching it. If he would practice 
more economy, his nightly visits to your premises would 
be less intolerable. But he thinks nothing of killing 
half-a-dozen fowls, or two or three calves, sheep, or 
goats, more than he needs, and leaving them uncon- 
sumed. Once setting his heart on a thing, he is ready 


to run any ganger to get it. When you go out in the 
morning and find that, in order to make sure of a fowl, 
he has actually thrown himself twenty or thirty feet, 
and come down, leopard, birdie, branch, and all, upon a 
pile of stones, you are ready to wish that he had broken 
his neck. When you have hung a bit of beef high up 
under the verandah for the morrow's dinner, and he 
comes, pouncing, at dead of night, from the top of a 
tree, upon the roof of the house, just over the head of 
your bed, hoping, of course, to break through and 
breakfast on the beef, — half awake, half asleep, your 
first thought is, What's all that noise overhead? Strik- 
ing a light, you reach the window just in time to see 
this beautiful night-walker and jumper come down, head 
first, from the roof, and move off, all majestically, as 
though nothing had happened ; at the same time think- 
ing, no doubt, that you are putting yourself to un- 
necessary trouble to light him out of the yard. The 
best accommodation you can make for these unceremo- 
nious callers, judging from my own experience, is to 
make a little room, three feet by six, a few rods from 
your house, with a place for a chicken at one end, and a 
trap-door at the other. 

The inhlozi, tiger-cat, is nearly as tall as the leopard, 
though not more than half as heavy. Nor does it differ 
much from the leopard in the colors of its beautifully 
spotted skin, — except that the inhlozi has the larger, 
brighter patches of color, both black and yellow. The 
tiger-cat is quite as fond of fowls as the leopard, 
though not so formidable ; else two or three natives had 
not captured and killed one, a week or two since, only 
a few rods from my house. 


The UmMangala, a kind of civet-cat — *which, after 
all, with its short legs, very long body, and still longer 
tail, looks to me more like a genet — is a little, mischiev- 
ous animal that makes its habitat among the long grasses 
of the lowlands, and comes creeping up, sometimes by 
day, oftener by night, to see if it can find a fowl for a 
feast. A pity it is, that when it gets into the poultry- 
yard, it should kill half-a-dozen where it ought to be 
content with one. 

A kind of fox, impunguche as the natives call it, has 
a home on some of the lonely fields of Natal, though I 
have never seen it, — only heard it one night when, 
missing my way, I wandered, and waited for the morn- 
ing, on a plain between the Noodsberg and the Umgeni. 

But, of all the hideous sounds that I have ever heard, 
the cry of a hungry, roving wolf, or hyena, — the impisi 
of the natives — is the most peculiar, piercing, and 
frightful, — a strange compound of a scream and cry, a 
howl and yell. Riding alone by night, you do not like 
to find that one, two, or half-a-dozen of them are bent 
on following either you or your horse ; though you 
know they are so cowardly as to be sure to turn and run 
the moment you face about and give chase. Nor are 
they at all particular as to the state or quality of the 
food, so that it be, or ever have been, of the flesh kind, 
or bear at least some distant relation to the animal 
kingdom. Hence, as Pringle says, " One of the chief 
functions of the hyena in the economy of nature, ap- 
pears to be that of carrion-scavenger, an office which 
he divides with the vulture. The lordly lion, the im- 
perial eagle, always kill their own game. The hyena 
and vulture come afar and gather up the offals.' ' 


When reduced to the necessity of killing their own 
game, if they can get a plenty of buck, sheep, goats, 
calves, pigs, or fowls, hyenas seldom molest other and 
larger animals, as children, cows, oxen, and horses. 
And yet, if the pack is large and hungry, they do not 
hesitate to s^ize upon an ox or a horse, especially if 
they can find one in a feeble state or a little separated 
from the rest of the troop. 

And here I must remark that the cattle in this coun- 
try are to be commended for the care which the stronger 
sometimes take of the weaker, and for the very wise, 
efficient manner in which they often combine to protect 
each other in time of danger. Thus, when a leopard 
leaps from his hiding-place in a bush, or in a patch of 
tall grass, to seize upon a straggling cow, no sooner 
does she cry for help than the bold and strong of the 
herd rush to her rescue. Or if they see a pack of hyenas 
hanging about them, intent upon having one of their 
number, they form a kind of hollow circle, to the center 
of which the weak and small retire, while the strong and 
large parade on the periphery, walk to and fro, out and 
in, plunging and bellowing at their foes, till they pass 
on and leave the herd to rest. 

In both looks and acts, the wild dog, inJcenjana as the 
natives call it, is one of the most savage brutes with 
which I ever met. The Naturalists seem puzzled to 
know where to class it ; hence the many names which 
one or another of them has given it, — as Hyena picta. 
Cants pictus, Hyena venatica. Lycaon tricolor. In size 
and looks, it is something between a large fierce dog and 
a wolf or hyena, and very properly described as the 
Hyena dog. Its head is large and almost black ; a 
* 25 * 


whitish ring round the neck ; its body, shaggy and mot- 
tled, a reddish yellow with brown and gray, also here 
and there a black spot or stripe ; its tail, long, whitish, 
and bushy. They go in packs of three, four, twenty or 
thirty; run fast; wander from place to place; and 
make fearful havoc among cattle, sheep, and goats, 
taking an ox by the tail, and a cow by the udder. 

The buffalo, whose hide is so valuable for making 
straps, reims, and trek-tows, or draw ropes, — the ox- 
tackle of Natal, — is still to be found among the thick, 
thorny retreats of mimosa forests and jungles on the 
Umgeni, Umvoti, and Tugela. 

Nor have all the elephants of Natal been, as yet, 
killed, or driven out, though their number has been 
greatly reduced since the white man came among them. 
A troop of two dozen or more, attempting to pass this 
way, several years ago, the natives managed to turn 
them into a small dense bush, (or grove,) and then shot 
about half the number, — all within hearing distance 
from my house. When night came on, the remainder 
were glad to avail themselves of the silence and safety 
which it offered, to move on and seek refuge in some of 
the larger jungles in the Tugela region. 

The encounters of the natives with these gigan- 
tic creatures afford them topics for many a tale. 
Though naturally inoffensive, the Elephant is, when pur- 
sued and wounded, a fearful antagonist, and woe be to 
the man who then comes within the reach of his trunk. 
Dashed to the earth, the poor wretch is trodden to a 
jelly by his ponderous feet, or transfixed by his ivory 
tusks. In the encounter with the herd near my station, 
very narrow escapes were made by our Zulus from the 


frantic bulls thus brought to bay ; — one of them very 
similar y to that of Mr. Baldwin, the English Nimrod of 
Natal. Mr. Baldwin having wounded a large male ele- 
phant, the savage beast pursued him up a steep hill 
to which he fled hoping to escape his pursuer. The 
hunter constantly slipping and gained upon by the ele- 
phant was in a fair way to fall a victim to his rage. 
Seeing no disposition on his part to give up the chase, 
Baldwin changed his tactics. He got above a tree and 
leaning on it a few seconds to recover his wind, — 
a critical moment, for the elephant was not more 
than four of his own lengths from him, — then sprang to 
the right and ran, down the hill at full speed, the mon- 
ster screaming and trumpeting after him at a tremen- 
dous pace. When almost overtaken the hunter leaped 
to one side, leaving the elephant to go crashing by, ut- 
terly unable to stop his career, greatly to the relief of 
the exhausted Englishman. 

The rhinoceros is found, two kinds of it, — -the one 
called Umkombe, and the other, Ubejani, designated, by 
some, as the white, and the black, — in the upper part 
of the colony and in Zulu-land. That called Urnkombe 
is much the larger and milder of the two, and has two 
horns. The front and longer horn is two feet or more 
in length ; the other, only eight or ten inches. 

The hippopotamus — the irnvubu of the natives, the 
sea-cow of the colonist — has a home amid some of the 
waters and fields of Natal. Not far from the mouth of 
the Umgeni is a large pond which goes by the name of 
sea-cow lake, so called from its being the abode of this 
species of monsters. The hippopotamus is now found 
only in Africa. Its suggested identity with the Behe- 


moth of the book of Job, is doubtful. Its canine teeth 
make the finest ivory in the world ; it is used for the 
manufacture of certain mathematical instruments ; also 
for artificial teeth. Its hide makes the best whip- 
lashes ; its flesh, also, is eaten with satisfaction. 

Of the wild boar, or wi&pig as we generally call it, 
we have two kinds, — the pig of the bush, ingulube ; and 
the pig of the plain, inhlovudawana, "a little substitute 
for the elephant," as the name implies ; being so called, 
doubtless, because of its tusks. The former will go a 
long way in the night, to find a good field of green mea- 
lies (maize), and when he has once got a taste of a gar- 
den the owner must keep a good look out, night after 
night, from dusk till dawn ; else this greedy porker and 
his peripatetic party will eat and w T aste the whole crop 
ere it is ripe for the harvest. A very good specimen 
of a peregrinating philosopher, at least from among the 
lower order of animals, — a good w T alker, a remarkably 
good runner, keen-scented, curious, cunning, is this va- 
riety of the suidce, of which we speak. The pitfall is 
the only kind of trap in which I have ever known one 
of them to be caught ; and many are the hunting par- 
ties which the people make every year, to chase, kill, 
and exterminate the last relic of the race from all their 
borders. And yet poor piggy and his party manage to 
live, thrive, keep up their number and character, and 
come round as regularly as the new year, for a new taste 
of the new corn. The flesh of this animal, when fat, 
makes very good pork. It sometimes attains to the 
weight of a hundred and fifty pounds, or even more, — 
nearly twice that of the other kind. 

The pit-fall which the natives make for wild hogs, 

ITS FAUNA. . 297 

as also for the sea-cow and some other animals, is a 
large, deep hole, dug in the earth, and filled with sharp 
stakes stuck here and there in the ground, with their 
pointed ends upwards. The pit, thus prepared, is co- 
vered with slender rods, bushes, and grass, so that any 
animal, passing that way, must fall in, and be wounded 
beyond power to escape, if not actually transfixed and 

Altogether -a different animal from those above named 
is the so-called earth-pig (Orycteropm capensis,) which 
some call also the ant-eater, or the ant-bear, the Isarn- 
lane of the natives. His hog-like head, with a long 
upper jaw, which projects far over the lo*Yer 5 *and termi- 
nates in a snout ; his erect, large, pointed ears ; the 

. shape, size, and position of the eyes ; and some other 
things, make him look, at first sight, not a little pig- 
gish ; and hence, with his habit of burrowing and spend- 
ing his days mostly in the earth, he comes, properly 
enough, by the name of earth-pig. With his large, 
strong feet, and pointed, powerful claws, he is enabled 
to burrow fast and far in the earth, so that it is next to 
impossible to dig him out. He is noted for the admira- 

- ble instinct and ex£ .rtness with which he enters an ant- 
hill, and takes out its affrighted and rallying occupants. 
Opening a small hole ok one side of the hillock, he 
thrusts in his long snout as far as it will go ; and then, 
reaching forth his still longer tongue, all covered as it 
is with a kind of glutinous saliva, as he runs it up and 
down their covert-ways, and meets the ants all rushing 
to the breach, he seizes upon them, draws them out, 
swallows them down, and goes on repeating the per- 
formance, in the dark and at leisure, looking and feel- 


ing, no doubt, very much like a boy with a straw in his 
mouth at the bung of a cider barrel. 

The common porcupine [Hystrix cristata) the inungu 
or ingungumbane of the natives, is no stranger in this 
part of Africa, as all know who have a patch of sweet 
potatoes in the neighborhood of its burrow. It thinks 
nothing of walking a mile or two any dark night, if so 
be it can thus find a field of umhlaza, or a garden 
of other nice vegetables. It is a formidable animal, 
about two feet long, of a rough, grizzly appearance, 
armed all about the back and sides with long, sharp 
quills, or spines. These vary from two to ten or fifteen 
inches in length, being longest on the back. They 
never throw their spines at an enemy, only erect them, 
" bristle up," when excited; or, perchance, they shake 
and toss themselves to and fro, when attacked ; in 
which case here and there a spine may be shaken out 
in the skirmish. When the nightly depredations of 
these animals become intolerable, the natives usually 
hunt up their burrows and dig them out. My own gar- 
den once suffered not a little from one of them, till, one 
morning, he found himself swung up in a slipping noose 
which had been set for him, the night before, at a hole 
in the fence through which he had been accustomed to 

Of rats and mice, and all that class, there is no 
.want in this part of the world. As the native, with 
rare exceptions, never keeps a cat, they are generally 
accustomed to have it all their own way, save when 
they meet with some variety of the weasel-tribe, or per- 
chance come under the eye and talon of some bird of 
prey. Nor can you work long in a rich old garden 


without turning up some kind of mole. Perhaps the 
fairy-rings, or verdant circles, the curious circular 
patches which we find here and there in the open fields, 
a rod or two in diameter, where all the grass within the 
circle looks so different from that without, may owe 
their origin to the mole, instead of the lightning to 
which the natives are accustomed to ascribe the pheno- 

In passing through a jungle, it is nothing strange to 
see a monkey leaping from tree to tree over your head; 
and if you would like to be in possession of one, you 
have but to ask a native to catch him for you, and he 
will do it, only he will expect you to pay him a few 
shillings for the job. In riding along the open, grassy 
fields in the neighborhood of some wild, bushy cliff, or 
"kranz," I have often fallen in with a troop of two or 
three dozen baboons of all ages, evidently Trom the in- 
fant to the father and mother of many a long summer. 
If you seek to approach them, they take fright, and 
ever and anon half turning their heads to watch your 
progress, begin to move off, helter-skelter, with a sort 
of lazy, waddling gallop, to hide among the rocks and 
bushes of the cliff; the younger and more timid taking 
the lead, while the bold and strong tarry longer, as if to 
show their greater courage, though in reality to scan 
your movements and see that all the little folks are 
fairly out of harm's way before they leave the field. 
Both the monkey and the baboon, inhau and imfene, 
being fond of green mealies and other garden vegeta- 
bles, give trouble to the natives. They sometimes are 
seen and heard from our own door. 

The baboon can make himself very formidable, though 


so far as I have observed, lie is innocent enough when 
let alone. But I should not like to hear his cry, much 
less to fall into his hands, after doing either him or his 
family an injury. Let them be set upon by a dog, and 
one of their number, one. of "the men," as the Zulus 
call the males, will take him with a firm grasp in his 
two hands, bring him suddenly to the mouth, sunder 
the jugular vein, or bite him through the small of the 
back, with his great, sharp teeth, then give him a fling, 
and all so sudden that the poor dog scarcely knows 
what was done, or who did it. 

One of the most interesting and useful divisions of 
animal life, in this colony, is that which comprises the 
antelopes, or the numerous kinds of "bucks" as the 
colonists generally call them. The predominance of 
this class of ruminants is the characteristic feature of 
South African Zoology, As the reader will remember, 
the horns in the deer family consist almost of solid bone, 
usually branched and shed annually. The horns of the 
ox and goat families, consist of a core of bone covered 
by a sheath of true horny matter, not branched nor 
shed ; the antelope, which fills the gap between these 
two families, like them, and unlike the deer, has the 
hollow horn, unbranched, permanent, and composed of 
true horny matter. In Natal and the adjacent districts 
the number of species of antelope is large. It is not 
less common than charming and beautiful to see some 
of these graceful creatures cropping the green grass 
about our house in the dusk of evening ; or to go 
out in the morning and find them gamboling up 
and down our avenue, as if trying to thank us that 
they have finally found a place where they may come 


forth, meet a man, feed in his yard, frolic in his pre- 
sence, and have naught to fear from dog or gun, naught 
to care — 

" For all the savage din of the swift pack, 
And clamors of the field," — 

a place, in this respect, not unlike the home and haunts 
of him from whose beautiful " Task" these lines are 
taken ; and whose own fondness for a class of animals 
which bear at least a resemblance to some of the tribe 
of which we speak, has been so sweetly sung by a kin- 
dred spirit, Mrs. Barrett Browning, where she says : — 

And timid hares were drawn from woods 

To share his home caresses, 
Uplooking to his human eyes 

With sylvan tendernesses. 

Nor can you ride about the country and visit different 
localities, without being surprised at the great variety 
of these bright-eyed and light-footed creatures, as they 
start up here and there at your approach, and bound 
away across the grassy plain, or plunge into some jungle 
nigh at hand. 

The ipiti, a very small blue buck, scarcely larger than 
a rabbit, with horns to match, lives mostly in the bush ; 
and will make a very nice titbit for the table — if you 
can catch him. The impunzi, duiker alopus, is only a 
little larger than the ipiti. This lives also, for the most 
part, in the bush, and gets the name of diver from the 
Dutch, because of its habit of running under, instead 
of leaping over, the bushes with which it meets, when 
seeking to escape the hunter and his hound. Its color 
is dark gray. 


The iula, as the natives call the oribi, or ourebi, is of 
a pale yellow or reddish color, with white on the under 
parts. It inhabits the open plain; is two feet high, 
three long ; weighs about thirty pounds, and makes very 
good venison. Its black horns are very slender and 
sharp, four and a half inches long, with half a dozen 
rings and several wrinkles at the base. The inxala, or 
red reed-buck (an eleotragus), is a reddish fawn-colored 
animal, with long ears, large eyes, horns black, about a 
foot long, curved forwards, and beautifully annulated; 
hair long, and tail shaggy. It lives in high grass, and 
along the reedy banks of rivers, stands about three feet 
high, and weighs from seventy-five to a hundred pounds. 
Much like to this, only larger, is the umzilci, or inhlanyu, 
another kind of reed-buck, the color of which is a dull 
ashy-gray. I have before me a pair of beautiful horns, 
which show fifteen large rings, measure fifteen inches 
along the curves, the bold and forward sweep of which 
forms nearly a segment of a circle ; while they also 
spread so as to measure upwards of fifteen inches from 
tip to tip. The inkonka, a large, dark brown bush-buck, 
or ram, (tragelaphus sylvatica) is about the size of the 
iimzild. His erect, nearly straight, and parallel horns, 
a pair of which I have before me, are about fourteen 
inches long, twisted once round, heavy, pointed, and 
marked from the base up with numerous wrinkles. 
Hard-pushed, he is inclined to show fight, and is said 
to bark like a dog when rushing upon his foe. 

Besides the foregoing, we have the umkumbe, a small 
red bush-buck, which lives chiefly along the coast ; the 
graceful iquina, or stein-buck, which likes to live in 
stony places and among stunted bushes ; and, occasion- 


ally, the blesse-buck comes from inland to pass a winter 
on the Natal side of the Drakensberg range. Then 
there is the magnificent inhluzele, the hartebeest of the 
Dutch (Alcephalus caama), which naturalists reckon 
among the bovine antelopes ; but, seen at a distance, it 
looks to me more equine than otherwise, — only, to be 
sure, it has horns and cleaves the hoof. Its color is a 
grayish brown ; its size, that of a cow, or two-year old 
colt ; it weighs two or three hundred pounds ; goes in 
herds, in open upland pastures ; and looks harmless 
enough ; though it can be very savage, as I judge from 
a fight which I saw last year between two bulls, not far 
from Grey Town. 

The Impofu, eland, which is much larger than the 
hartebeest, is also found in herds in the open upland 
pastures. It is a splendid animal, fat and heavy, weigh- 
ing from five hundred to a thousand pounds. 

But taken as a whole, body, eyes, horns, and all, per- 
haps the umgakhla, or Kudu, (strepsiceros capensis), 
which has its principal haunts in the woody regions of 
the Zulu country and Kafirland, is the most magnificent 
of our East-African antelopes. The horns of the male 
are three or four feet long, twisted spirally with a bold 
sweep twice round, slightly wrinkled and highly wreathed, 
but not annulated. The natives use these horns or 
rather two feet of the little end, as pipes for smoking 
w T ild hemp. 

The imbutumUy gnu, or wilder-beest of the Dutch, 
and the idube, or quagga, which some call the wild ass, 
can hardly be said to belong to the fauna of Natal ; 
though they often come down and spend some of the 
cold winter months on this side of the Kwahlamba, to- 

304 ; ZULU-LAND. 

gether with hordes of other wild animals, the lion among 
the rest, all living and feeding together, day after day, 
in the same field in those more secluded regions — 

By valleys remote where the oribi plays, 

Where the gnu, the gazelle, and the hartebeest graze, 

And the kudu and eland unhunted recline. 




As to the u finny race," so far as niy information ex- 
tends, the rivers of Natal are wonderfully wanting in 
all kinds ; though the still waters of the Bay are tole- 
rably well stocked with such as like the salt of the sea. 
Under the urgency of appetite or the force of a habit 
contracted in other lands, one may be moved to try 
"to tempt the trout" in some of the beautiful brooks 
of fresh water by which he may happen to be sur- 
rounded. But, owing, doubtless, to the rapidity with 
which they flow, together with the fact that they are of- 
ten swollen to a fearful height by heavy rains, he will 
not be long in concluding that they contain nothing 
worth the "baited hook." 

With reptiles, great and small, it is far otherwise ; 
in these our Zulu-land abounds. With the alligator,. the 
most formidable and most feared of this family, nearly 
all the deep, still waters of our larger rivers are in- 
fested. These ugly, fierce, scaly brutes, too well known 
to need description, are called by the natives ingwenya, 
— a name which some make to mean u aquatic gorging 
tiger." Basking upon the sand-banks, or among the 
reeds of the river's brink ; or scouring its deep pools, he 
- 26* 


is the dread of the traveler compelled to cross the stream. 
Mr. Butler, a member of our mission narrowly escaped 
from one of these savage creatures with his life. 

In going to one of the stations, it was necessary for 
him to cross the Umkomazi. No natives being at hand 
to manage the boat, he ventured to cross on horseback, 
though the water was deep and turbid. As he went 
over safely, when he returned the next day he again 
ventured into the river in the same way. When about 
two-thirds of the way across, his horse suddenly kicked 
and plunged, as if to disengage himself from his rider ; 
and the next moment an alligator seized Mr. Butler's 
thigh with his horrible jaws. The river at this place is 
about one hundred and fifty yards wide, if measured at 
right angles to the current ; but from the place we enter 
to the place we go out, the distance is three times as 
great. The water at high tide, and when the river is 
not swollen, is from four to eight or ten feet deep. On 
each side, the banks are skirted with high grass and reeds. 

Mr. Butler, when he felt the sharp teeth of the alli- 
gator, clung to the mane of his horse with a death-hold. 
Instantly he was dragged from the saddle ; and both he 
and the horse were floundering in water, often dragged 
entirely under, and rapidly going down the stream. At 
first the alligator drew them again to the middle of the 
river ; but at last the horse gained shallow water, and 
approached the shore. As soon as he was within reach, 
natives ran to his assistance, and beat off the alligator 
with spears and clubs. 

Mr. Butler was pierced with five deep gashes, and had 
lost much blood. He left all his garments, except his 
shirt and coat, on the opposite shore with a native who 


was to follow him ; but when the struggle commenced, 
the native returned, and durst not venture into the wa- 
ter again. It was now dark ; and, without garments 
and weak from loss of blood, he had seven miles to ride 
before he could reach the station of a brother missionary. 
He borrowed a blanket of a native ; and after two hours 
succeeded in reaching the station, more dead than alive. 

His horse also was terribly mangled ; a foot square 
of the flesh and skin was torn from his flanks. The 
animal, it is supposed, first Seized the horse ; and when 
shaken off, he caught Mr. Butler, first below the knee, 
and then in the thigh, making five or six wounds, from 
two to four inches long, and from one-half to two and a 
half inches wide. After a severe illness, Mr. Butler 
recovered, but will not soon lose the marks of this fast 
and loving friend's hold upon him. 

The Uqamu, or Unxamu, a kind of amphibious Igu- 
ana, looks enough like the alligator to be mentioned at 
the same time. Upon a closer inspection it might be 
considered an aquatic chameleon of monstrous dimen- 
sions. Its body is about two feet long, and its tail 
three; its home is in the deep shady pools of brooks, and 
rivers ; though, for a change, it often goes out to sun on 
a sand-bank. It feeds on toads, rats, birds, and liz- 
ards ; and it has, withal, perhaps wrongfully, the repu- 
tation of biting boys that go to bathe in the little la- 
goons of the rivers which it inhabits. Very like this, 
in shape, size, and appearance, is the irnbulu, a land 
animal of the Iguana stamp. Pass it in the field, as 
though you saw it not, and it will lie still, " squat like 
a toad;" but give it a sharp look, and it starts at once to 
waddle away. Whether it be really chargeable with t^e 


trick of going about stealing milk, winding its long tail 
round the legs of the cow, and then sucking away at 
the udder, like a great calf, is a point which I should 
not like to be called on to prove ; yet some of the na- 
tives will tell you that it 'is even so, and add, in confir- 
mation of the remark, that the animal is very fond of 
milk ; this latter point being proved by the former, — 
that he goes about sucking cows. 

I might be charged with slighting the reptile race of 
Zulu-land, and overlooking a class of creatures which 
seldom fail to command attention the moment they show 
themselves, should I omit to remark that Natal is truly 
a land of snakes. Nor will any of them be slandered 
if it be said that, for size, the python (Hortulia Nata- 
lensis) bears away the palm. This rock snake, as some 
call it, the inhlwati of the natives, a kind of boa-con- 
strictor, is sometimes found eighteen or twenty feet 
long. After swallowing a goat or buck, all at one 
mouthful, it is quiet for a day or two ; and in this state 
it may be approached and dispatched with great ease. 
The native doctors attach some virtue to its skin and 
bones, mixing the former with their medicines, and 
wearing the latter on a string about the neck or other 
part of the body. But though the python is so large, 
and quite able to swallow a man, yet he is a very inno- 
cent creature in comparison with the imarnba. Of the 
snakes which go by this name, there are at least two 
kinds, — the green, and the dark gray or mottled. These 
are six or eight feet long ; and their bite, as too many 
sad instances prove, is fatal, unless speedy help be 
found. The green is fond of climbing trees, and seems 
quite at home among the branches ; nor is it easily dis- 


covered there, since its color is so exactly that of the 
green foliage in which it lies ensconced. Not so, how- 
ever, when it enters a house, great facility for which is 
afforded by the loose way in which many new comers 
make their first habitations in this sunny land. And 
when the reptile takes alarm from the internal or do- 
mestic commotion which its presence occasions, and be- 
gins to drag its slow length along through a hole between 
the wall and the roof, with a view to escape, she is a 

brave woman, who, like Mrs. , will catch and hold 

it by the tail, while her husband goes out with a rod 
and gives it a rap on the head. 

The gray 'mamba will sometimes give chase, as I 
know from my own observation. Riding one day at a 
slow pace, a walk, in the field, I saw a serpent of 
this class hastening down the side of a hill on my left, 
rising and falling with a wavy, undulating motion, half 
upon the tops of the tall grass, his progress all in my 
direction, as if he had some special intept on me or my 
horse. As I advanced he turned his course and hurried 
on after me, and was just raising his head for a thrust 
close by my side, when a whistle and cut of the whip 
put my horse upon a gallop, and so delivered us from 
the evidently meditated attack. 

The inhlonhlo is a large, dark flame-colored serpent, 
seven or eight feet long, with a fin-like crest. If his 
looks are at all significant of the virtues of his venom, 
one can easily believe, what all the natives say, that 
his bite is mortal. The ipimbi is a kind of cobra de ca- 
pello, or hooded snake, so called from the membranous 
distension which it produces along the sides of its head 
and neck when irritated and preparing for attack. It 



lias a series of rings under the neck, and a body six or 
seven feet long. When angry, it stands and runs, as it 
were, upon its tail ; lifting its head two or three feet 
from the ground. Having dilated his hood, raised his 
head, and begun to dart his forked tongue at you, be- 
ware ! — either flee or be sure that you can deal him 
at once a deadly blow. Meeting one in my front yard 
the other day, I applied a rod to his back, and now have 
his head pickling in a bottle of alcohol. Another species 
of the cobra is a greenish brown or steel-colored crea- 
ture, which the natives call imfezi. The body of this 
snake is about as large as your wrist, and as long as your 
arm. His disposition is altogether bad. Displeased 
with your approach, he raises his head, flattens his 
neck, and begins to spit venom. Woe be to you if you 
come now within the reach of his fangs. 

The ibululu, or irobocha (viper a eaudalis), is what the 
colonists often call the " puff adder." It is of a dark- 
ish yellow color, with a profusion of black and white 
spots along the back ; the head, broad and flat ; the 
body, thick, short/and depressed, — only two or three 
feet long, and sometimes as large as your wrist. Its 
movements are very slow. In fact, it will lie, flat and 
still, right in your path, see your approach, and never 
care to budge an inch, — only puff and blow, and make 
a sort of hissing noise, as if to warn you of your dan- 
ger. It was by this hissing sound that I was once 
made aware of the presence of one in my path, as I 
was going to hold evening service with my people. Nor 
did he deign to move till I came with a light and a rod 
and put him out of the way. His bite is reputed to be 
most fatal. We have here, also, another, smaller kind 


of puff adder (Echidna inornata), which the natives 
call inhlango. Umanjingelana is the name of a dark 
brown, scaly, yet glossy-looking animal, which, with 
the reputation of being poisonous, has a great liking 
for such places as a back yard, — nay, often goes 
so -far as to crawl into the kitchen ; all of which 
our laws look upon as capital crimes and punish 
accordingly. When such invasions occur we comfort 
ourselves with the reflection that, thus far, we are more 
fortunate than some others — missionaries and colonists 
— of our acquaintance, who have sometimes found one 
of the serpentine family in their parlor or bedroom, and 
occasionally a very sly, obtrusive character snugly 
coiled away between the sheets or under the pillow. 
But, to the credit of the creeping tribe, it must be said 
that most of them, bad as they are, have better man- 
ners than this ; nor can it be denied, on the other hand, 
that the way in which some houses are built, holds out 
strong temptations to these animals to practice such 

The reader must not, however, think all our snakes 
endowed with deadly venom. I am sure some of them 
could not harm you much, if they should try ; and pos- 
sibly some of them are so well disposed, or, at least, so 
indifferent in respect to both self and others, that they 
would not, without good reason, if they could. Per- 
haps the 'mamba is the only one that can be counted 
really aggressive. Among those which are reputed to 
be harmless are the inyandezulu, a slender green snake, 
with a sprinkling of black spots ; the umzinganhlu, so 
called from its living about houses ; the ivuzamanzi, a 
black water-snake ; ifulwa, a green water-snake ; ukolcoti, 


a long, dark yellowish snake ; inkwakwa, a reddish 
snake ; and the umhlwazi^ a long greenish brown snake. 
Besides these, we have — but there is no need to men- 
tion more. As another has said, " Snakes constitute a 
legion in the land, far too numerous to have been 
hitherto numbered and catalogued. They abound alike 
in the tangled bush, in the grassy pasture, and in the 
stony wilderness. ,, 

It is worthy of remark, however, and of remem- 
brance with gratitude, that, with the one or two excep- 
tions noticed, even the worst of the snakes with which 
the land is infested are glad to move out of the way 
when they happen to find themselves in your presence, 
and only make an attempt to attack you when they 
consider it necessary on the ground of self-defence and 
preservation. And even then, be it observed, a kind 
Providence has endowed most of them with a way of 
warning you of your danger, ere the fatal blow is struck. 

As the editor of the " Natal Journal" has playfully 
said : " Nearly all the wounds that are inflicted by 
venomous snakes upon man, are the result of a want of 
frank understanding between the parties. The gentle- 
man inadvertently sets his foot on the reptile's tail, and 
the reptile, under the impression that the insult was 
premeditated, resents the action. Or the gentleman 
has a friend who wishes for a green snake to put in a 
bottle, and endeavors to reduce some slippery individual 
of the race to the bottling condition, while the snake, 
knowing nothing of the honor of the embalmment for 
which he is marked out, do^es his best ' to give' his as- 
sailant 'pause,' in order that he may take himself off 
out of the way during the cessation of the strife. There 


is, however, nothing in this which ought really to sur- 
prise. It is the habit of the snake to swallow his prey 
whole, and he only wounds, in a general way, that he 
may feed. He first licks his intended meal all over to 
make it unctuous and smooth ; he then opens his mouth 
very wide, fixes his peg-like teeth upon the unskinned 
mouthful, and by dint of sheer muscular effort sucks it 
in whole, hair-breadth by hair-breadth, often spending 
whole hours in the accomplishment of the single-mor- 
selled meal. 

" Now, the venomous snake is sharp enough to know 
that neither men nor oxen are at all adapted for this 
proceeding. He is instinctively a trigonometrical rep- 
tile, and effects a careful observation of the intended 
mouthful before he commits himself to the task of stow- 
ing it away. The fact is simply that the venomous 
snakes are not the largest of their race, and, therefore, 
do not affect great prey. The Ophidian Titans, — the 
Pythons and the Boas,-^are wrestlers, and not stab- 
b rs, and prepare their meals by rolling them round 
with the suffocating folds of their lithy and sinewy 
bodies, rather than by instilling a narcotic poison into 
their blood. But even these serpentine giants find rab- 
bits and goats more in their way of business than bullocks 
and men. 

" When the matter is fairly and philosophically viewed, 
it would be about the same thing to be surprised that 
the venomous serpents do not pursue and attack men, 
as it would be that canary birds do not peck at cocoa- 
nuts. What little danger there is of hurt from veno- 
mous snakes, is in reality mainly due to their timid 
and stealthy habits, rather than to their ferocity, or else 


to the aggressive and museum-furnishing spirit of man. 
For our own parts, as neophytes in colonial life, we 
always assume grand airs, and make a great noise, when 
we walk into the long grass, and we carry on our inves- 
tigations into the domestic habits of modest and retiring 
reptiles by the aid of a telescope. When they pay an 
accidental visit, as they occasionally do, to our windows, 
in the sunny afternoon, we shut the casement close, and 
contemplate them through the glass. We met a green 
fellow the other day, we don't know how many feet long, 
or how many inches round, on the open path as we were 
strolling, and we w T alked briskly oif, and told one of our 
native attendants where he was to be found. We dare 
say the time will come when we shall bag our ten brace 
of Ophidians before breakfast, and have to speak of the 
prow T ess of our shambok. At present, when Mr. Lay- 
ard w 7 rites from the Cape to request thirty or forty 
new serpents for the shelves of the South African Mu- 
seum, we temporise, and write back in reply, i to know 
which kind he would like to have.' " 

The action of a snake, when he inflicts a wound and 
infuses poison into the flesh of man or beast, is generally 
called biting, though striking, or stabbing, would be a 
more correct description of the deed. Nor can it be de- 
void of interest to look a moment at the poisoning ap- 
paratus which the really venomous serpent carries about 
with him ; and at the manner in which he packs it away 
when it is not required. This apparatus consists chiefly 
of two parts — a long, delicate, slightly-curved, sharp- 
pointed fang, with a hole through the middle from end 
to end, for inflicting a wound and transmitting venom, 
and a gland for secreting the venom to be transmitted. 

REPTILES. ' 315 

The fang is so fixed in a little separate, movable jaw- 
bone, which carries no other teeth, that when the snake 
has nothing for it to do, it folds itself backward, that 
is, with its point towards the throat, and there lies em- 
bedded in a little sheath of soft, thick gum, altogether 
out of the way. But the moment snakie sees any work 
of a venomous character to be done, up comes the fang ; 
being drawn out, set up, and kept in a proper position, 
with its base on the venom-bag, all by a little muscle 
which stands there waiting to perform these offices ; so 
that, when the reptile comes to strike the point of the 
fang against anything, as into the flesh of man or beast, 
the pressure upon the gland forces the venom through 
the canal, directly into the wound. Should the fang 
be broken at any time, there is another lying in em- 
bryo by its side, ready to spring up and take its place. 
The light, easy manner in which the fang is suspended, 
being fixed to a little movable jaw of its own, provides 
for withdrawing the instrument without a strain upon 
its delicate point, which, with the careful manner in 
which it is packed away when not required, like the 
blade of a penknife in its handle, would seem to make 
it seldom necessary to bring out a second. 

Before dismissing this snaky subject, let me add a 
few words about the remedies to be used when one is 
bitten. And here it is worthy of remark that we really 
hear of comparatively few deaths from the bite of one 
of these reptiles. No doubt the number of the really 
venomous is less than the people suppose. Nor is this 
strange. The certain, speedy, distressing death which 
is known to* follow from the bite of some, together with 
the general external likeness which the harmless bear. 


in many cases, to those "which are not so, naturally' gives 
them all a bad name. The real venom looks very much 
like gum arabic or fat reduced to a liquid state, and is 
said to be tasteless, or nearly so. It is also said — and 
the fact is an important one, if it be indeed a fact, as I 
have reason to believe — that the venom of which we 
speak may be swallowed with impunity ; only you should 
have no cut or other wound about the mouth, through 
which it could reach the blood. It is the action of the 
poison upon the blood, destroying its vitality that does the 
mischief. Once in the blood, and there left to do its 
work, its progress is rapid — a smarting pain about the 
wound, swelling, extension of the pain and swelling 
along up the limb, nausea, delirium, death, all in two 
or three hours, if not, indeed, in one hour, or even 
thirty minutes ; except, perchance, the poison prove 
too little or too feeble for its allotted task, or speedy, 
effectual efforts be made to extract or neutralize it. 

To prevent the poison from being diffused through 
the system, a bandage is tied tight about the finger or 
limb, just above the wound. To extract the poison, the 
w T ound is opened and suction employed ; or a bit of 
lunar caustic, or a red hot iron is applied, to destroy 
the poison. Then, to counteract the internal effects, in 
case the poison in spite of these efforts has found its 
w r ay into the system, great reliance is placed upon the 
use of ammonia. There seems to be no doubt that this 
has often proved an effectual remedy. Twelve grains 
of the carbonate of ammonia, dissolved in water, may 
be given every ten or fifteen minutes ; or thirty drops 
of hartshorn, or sal-volatile may be substituted for the 
carbonate. So says Dr. Mann; and so, for substance, 


the late Dr. Adams. " The ammonia is also applied, 
meanwhile, externally, that is, rubbed upon the wound. 
I have applied this remedy — hartshorn or ammonia — 
in several cases, giving a dose of castor oil with it ; and 
the parties have all recovered. Bat whether they had 
been bitten by one of the venomous sort, and would 
have died without the use of ammonia, is, of course, 
more than I know. But when one is bitten or stung 
by a spider, wasp, bee, or other reptile or insect of this 
kind, a little ammonia rubbed upon the wound acts like 
a charm in allaying the pain and arresting the swelling, 
as I can testify from ample experience and observation. 
The principle upon which this remedy operates is found 
in the fact that the acid of the poison is neutralized by 
the alkali of the ammonia. Other alkalies, as soda and 
potassa, may be used with benefit when ammonia can- 
not be procured. 

From the snakes, we come by an easy gradation, to 
the lizards. In justice, however, to all the families 
of this tribe with which we have ever happened to meet 
here in Natal, it must be said that a few years' observa- 
tion and acquaintance with them go far towards dispel- 
ling the many prejudices and much fear with which one 
is at first accustomed to regard them. The isibankwa, 
a brown copper-colored lizard, about six inches long, 
may be seen at almost any time of day, now quietly 
basking, now darting about, here and there, on the 
sunny side of a house, cattle-fold, or any old fence, 
always ready to play bo-peep in the most familiar way 
with observers. The uhotocheni is a spotted kind of 
lizard which lives mostly under stones. The isiquzi, 

which makes its habitat mostly in the grass, is about a 


foot long, of a most beautiful, yellowish green color, and 
of motions " quick as wink." 

But the great lizard of the land, or that which outran 
the chameleon, according to popular tradition, and so 

" Brought death into the world, and all our woe," 

is called intulo. Its length is some six or seven inches ; 
its color, spotted gray, like the bark of trees, on which, 
for the most part, it seems to have its home. Its move- 
ments are exceedingly sudden and rapid; and the man- 
ner in which it darts from one side of the tree to an- 
other, to avoid being seen, and yet keeps peeping round 
on this side, and then on that, to see what you may 
want or will do, and all as though he were trying to 
pick a play with you, is amusing. 

The chameleon, unwabu as the natives call it, is very 
common, and just the same careful, creeping animal — 
eyes, hands, feet, changing colors, and all that you have 
heard and read. The tradition concerning his message 
to men, has been given in another chapter. Mr. Dohne 
gives the substance in his dictionary, which, for the sake 
of the remark with which he closes, I will copy. 

" This slow and curious little animal is of some his- 
torical importance in respect to these savage nations. 
Tradition says, that Unwabu was sent by Unkulunkulu 
(a first great being), after men had been made, to tell 
them that they should live for ever, and not die. But 
after he had started, the great being repented, and sent 
Intulo (the quick running salamander), to tell the people 
that they should die. Unwabu, being too slow in de- 
livering his message, was outrun by Intulo, who came 
first with his message to men, by whom, also, it was ac- 
cepted. When, therefore, Unwabu arrived afterwards, 


his message was not accepted, because men answered 
him : 'Do thou go, for we have already accepted of that 
which Intulo brought to us.' And hence, adds tradition, 
it is that men die, 

" Comparing these names with the nature of the tra- 
dition, there can hardly remain any doubt but that we 
have here some report of the creation of man, and his 
primary, blessed state or destination, which was inter- 
rupted and lost by the acceptance of a message bearing 
upon death.' ' 




Oh ! how canst thou renounce the boundless store 

Of charms that Nature to her votary yields ? 
The warbling woodland, the resounding shore, 

The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields; 
All that the genial ray of morning gilds, 

'And all that echoes to the s'ong of even ; 
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields, 

And all the dread magnificence of heaven; — 

Oh ! how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven ? 


As to the insects of the land — I was about to say 
that they are numberless. I cannot do better than to 
give my reader some paragraphs on these multitudinous 
tribes from the " Natal Guide." " The insect race," 
says its editor, " as a matter of course, musters strong 
in the South African sunshine. The tribes, however, 
which seem to claim for themselves most immediate no- 
tice, are those which belong to the fan-winged (orthop- 
terous) division. A locust, two inches long, and wear- 
ing a gorgeous green, gold, and black coat-of-mail, feeds 
gluttonously under the trees. Grasshoppers leap from 
under the pedestrian's feet, and when well up in mid- 
air, expand a pair of bright scarlet wings, and lengthen 
their leap into a flight. The grotesque phasmidae, or 


spectre-insects, lurk in the pathway like limbed and 
animated straws and twigs ; and the green mantis lies 
in wait on the branches and trunks of trees, and with 
clasped and uplifted legs turns its green goggle eyes 
upon the approaching intruder, and even waits curiously 
and patiently with waving horn-like antennae whilst its 
back is stroked. Big-thighed crickets complete this 
motley orthopterous (fan-winged) group, which as much 
deserves to be considered the representative type of the 
insect race of the colony, as the amaryllids do to be 
taken as a leading type of the vegetable tribes. 

" The butterflies of Natal are very varied and beauti- 
ful. At night, throughout the season of the summer, 
the darkness is spangled with the soft-glowing light of 
the fire-flies. The water-courses along the streets of 
Maritzburg are completely fringed with their dancing 
fires night after night. The cicadas keep the air filled 
with shrill grating discord, during pretty well eight 
months of the year. Solitary bees make tunnels in 
the walls of dwelling-houses, and long brown-and-gold 
wasps suspend their paper nests from the beams of 
verandahs and out-houses. The ground is alive with 
colonies of ants, some being shiny-black fellows, others 
rusty red, and others of pigmy size and brown. Scarcly 
a yard. of bare ground can be discovered which is not 
occupied with the busy marchings and runnings to and 
fro of these active and energetic insects. 

" The 'white ant' is properly not an ant at all. It 
is an insect holding an intermediate position between 
the orthopterous tribes already alluded to, and the true, 
or hymenopterous, ants. The little white workers which 
constitute the laboring part of the community, are the 


immature forms (larvce) of the insect. The soldiers, 
recognized by their larger heads and mandibles, are in 
more matured states ; but these soldiers never put on 
wings. The winged members of the community are in- 
dividuals which have attained full perfection as males 
and females ; these fly off from the nest as soon as their 
development is complete, to establish fresh colonies. 
Such of the females of these insect emigrants as escape 
the numerous dangers of their out-of-door excursion, 
are found by scattered parties of workers, and impri- 
soned in a cell of hardened clay as the centers of inde- 
pendent settjcments. 

"The white ants labor entirely out of sight in covered 
ways. They form galleries of hardened clay a short 
distance beneath the surface, which ramify in various 
directions from the royal cell or nest. These galleries 
are often carried beneath the foundations of houses, and 
then up through the interior of the w T ood-work ; a mere 
thin surface-layer of which is alone left to hide their 
proceedings. The ants sometimes travel from the floor 
to the upper stories or the roof, through plastered walls. 
They then betray their course by making small open- 
ings here and there, through which they fling the waste 
materials of their excavations. These ingenious depre- 
dators are very abundant. 

" There is, however, one kind of true ant which be- 
I longs especially to the house, and which is especially 
the housekeeper's pest. This is a small brown species, 
or emmet, which makes its nest in walls and beneath 
floors, and which has an unconquerable liking for all 
sweet and fat articles of food. The first thing it does 
is to find out the pantry. Some stray foragers then 


discover where the good things are deposited, and a run 
is forthwith established ; that is to say, a procession be- 
gins of insects passing to and from the discovered trea- 
sures in a wide track or train, in which every pair of 
mandibles going downwards or outward, is laden with 
a pilfered morsel. If the run be broken across, or dis- 
turbed,' a detour is made round the difficult point, and 
the communications are established along another line. 
Complicated campaigns extending over weeks, may be 
fought in this way with the emmets, and be ended in 
their favor by their establishing themselves in posses- 
sion of the disputed ground. The ingenuous shifts and 
contrivances to which they resort in such contests would 
be quite incredible, if not observed. There is only one 
course of proceeding which proves to be too much for 
them. This consists in isolating every article that they 
affect by placing it upon shelves 1 or in safes and cup- 
boards, standing upon legs thrust into little tin vessels 
of tar. All the shelves of a pantry may be easily iso- 
lated in this way, by havfhg four legs three inches long 
at their corners, placed in such tar receptacles standing 
on lower shelves. 

" There are several kinds of the insect known under 
the name of the tick (ixodes) found in Natal. The 
larger species confine their attention to oxen and horses. 
These are often as large as, or larger than, a pea. Those 
which attack man are very much smaller. The most 
troublesome of all is so small, that it can be barely seen. 
These insects are shaped something like a bug. They 
have no wings, and cling to the stalks of the grass, from 
which they are brushed by passing animals. They pos- 
sess, in the place of mouths, a pair of sharp delicate 


lancets, and a pipe covered over externally with small 
curved-back spikes. They plunge this implement into the 
skin, and then suck away, holding unconsciously, and 
therefore very resolutely, by their barbs. They are 
destitute of eyes, and hence it may be hoped are not 
altogether conscious of their evil deeds. The ticks are 
very troublesome to animals, especially in the sea-coast 
district. They also occasionally cause an inconveni- 
ent amount of irritation in the human skin. This 
much, ho'wever, must be said even for these blind, blood- 
thirsty insects ; their reality is not so bad as their re- 

" The spiders of Natal are also a host which can 
hardly be numbered. Some of them are big, hairy, bold 
rascals, rather given to letting themselves down from the 
thatch in unceiled rooms, at inconvenient and un- 
seasonable times. They are of seemingly infinite diver- 
sity, and many are spotted, ajid of beautifully bright 
colors. The scorpion now and then turns up, but is 
very rarely seen." K 

Here, too, we have the "fish moth," called also by 
some the " Silk moth." "This is a steel-gray fishy- 
looking creature with six legs, without wings, and with 
diverging spikelets to its tail. It inhabits the crevices 
of walls, and wood-work, and is nocturnal in its habits, 
being greatly addicted to the insides of boxes which are 
not often disturbed, and more especially if lined, as 
instrument cases are, with green baize. It is very fond 
of all fabrics containing starch, and attacks woolen 
clothes of all kinds, riddling them full of holes. Very 
considerately it prefers old clothes to new ones. The 
slimy-looking gray body is really covered with scales of 

/ * 


microscopic minuteness. The troublesome creature is, 
indeed, a species of the Lepisma, which is in such high 
repute among the microscopists of England, on account 
of its furnishing them these minute scales as test-ob- 
jects adapted to try the optical excellence of their in- 
struments. It is an insect which is destitute of wings, 
which undergoes no transformation, and which for these 
and other structural reasons is placed in the ' Thy s an- 
ourous,' or tassel-tailed, wingless group of entomologists. 
The fish moths possess an incredible tenacity of life. 
The writer now has one of them, which was placed in a 
wine-glass three months ago to test its power of endur- 
ance, which has had no supply of food since, saving one 
companion that was at first the sharer of its captivity, 
and which is at the present time as. lively as when the 
incarceration commenced." 

In a sunny land like this, where, as along the coast, 
we have no wintry cold, from year to year, to diminish 
the races of insect life, you can easily conceive that the 
tribes must be numerous, and the habits of some of 
them novel and interesting. Nor have you ever need 
to go far to find them and study their curious character. 
For instance, now, while I write, and almost in sight of 
my windows, along the borders of the verandah on one 
side of my house, there is a strip of dry, sandy earth, 
filled with little conical or funnel- shaped pit-falls, the 
work of the ant-lion, (myrmeleon) — perhaps a dozen of 
them on a piece of ground, no larger than my table. 
This ant-lion, which the natives call inkunzana, or little 
bull, is a very stout, savage sort of an animal, and very 
resolute withal, though only about a third of an inch in 
length. Nor is he at all ignorant or unskilled as to the 


manner in which the unwary may be engulfed and 
made to yield their life to his support. Moving spirally 
backwards in a' small circle, and tossing out the sand 
by a series of sudden jerks with neck and mandibles, 
as he goes round and round, he soon finds himself 
snugly ensconced and waiting for prey at the bottom 
of a conical pit about the size and shape of a wine- 
glass — all the steep and sandy surface of which is 
ready to roll in at any moment, and carry down any 
luckless ant or other insect that may be passing that 
way. Should his victim seem to be aware of his dan- 
ger, as he goes tumbling down the sides of the funnel, 
and so make an effort to escape, the little lurking assas- 
sinator shoots up a volley of sand, his little balls of 
granite, which fall pattering, of course, upon the poor 
traveler's head, perhaps set other sands in motion, till 
the pelted prey is utterly bewildered, enveloped in an 
avalanche, and carried down to the bottom of the pit. 
The murderous myrmeleon now seizes his victim with a 
pair of large, sharp-pointed mandibles, and drags him 
down under the sand out of sight. Here, all in the 
dark, still holding on with' his mandibles, he applies a 
powerful sucking apparatus, kept on hand for the* pur- 
pose, with which he extracts all that is soft and juicy ; 
then, bringing up the dry carcass, he gives it a sudden 
jerk, and throws it out of his den, the walls of which 
are now put in repair for entrapping another victim. 
Having lived a year or two in this way, he retires for a 
few weeks, wraps himself up in a little globular cocoon 
which he spins and weaves of sand and silk, and then 
comes out a sort of four-winged freebooter in the shape 
of a dragon-fly, and still goes on to keep up his preda- 


ceous habits by waging war on various tribes of winged 
insects, such as the moth and the butterfly. 

Oh ! cruel and iniquitous ant-lion, I think I hear you 
exclaim. But if there was nothing like the ant-lion 
and dragon-fly to prey upon other insects, and then no- 
thing like the weasel and lizard, owl and bat, hawk and 
buzzard, to prey upon these and upon one another, all 
such things as ants and ant-lions, dragon-flies, butter- 
flies, and other flies, useful and beautiful as they are in 
their time, place, and proper proportion, would soon 
become as numerous and annoying as any of the swarms 
and other plagues ever were in Egypt. 

Nor does the land of Natal seem to be wanting in 
the number, beauty, or variety of her feathered family. 
To quote again from the Guide to Natal: " The field is 
abundantly stocked with pheasants, partridges, and 
quails. The pheasant is an ugly brown bird, marked 
by a white horse-shoe, and with a cry exactly like that 
of the English pheasant ; it has white but dry flesh. 
The gray-winged partridge is like the English bird ; it 
is principally confined to the coast-lands. A red- 
winged partridge, as large again as the gray-winged, is 
found in most parts of the colony. The teal is occa- 
sionally met with in small numbers. The wild duck is 
rare. The Muscovy duck is more common. So also 
is the wild goose, which is a very delicious bird on 
table. The paauw (wild turkey or bustard) is very 
abundant, and is one of the most esteemed species of 
game in the colony. The meat of the breast is brown 
and of a peculiar short fibre ; the meat of the other 
parts is white ; its flavor is intermediate between that 
of the pheasant and the wild duck, and nearly resem- 


bles that of the Moor fowl of Scotland. It is shot in 
the open country by sportsmen riding in circles round it. 

" The Koran is a smaller bird, but of excellent qua- 
lity in the proper season ; it is more like the English 
woodcock, and has half an inch of delicious fat upon its 

" The guinea-fowl abounds in the bush. A species 
of snipe is very common in the open land. There is 
also 6 a golden snipe,' w T hich is ornamented with circu- 
lar yellow and black spots. There are various kinds 
of storks, cranes, and pelicans in Natal. There is one 
known as the locust bird, and another as the Kafir 
crane. One of the most interesting of the tribe is the 
secretary bird, which wages incessant and very success- 
ful warfare with the snakes. 

" The birds of prey are an extensive family in Natal, 
and have very important business entrusted to their 
care. A large black eagle is now and then seen. 
There are several kinds of falcons, kites, hawks, and 
owls. Some of the hawks are very small, and prey 
only on the insects (insect hawks.) There are two spe- 
cies of the vulture. One kind, a large, heavy, black 
and white bird, with fringed, flapping wings, is con- 
stantly seen winging its way through the higher regions 
of the air, intent upon some business visit to carrion. 
The most common crow is a raven-like bird, with a 
curious carunculated and hooked beak, and a white cres- 
cent upon its back. 

" The birds of the bush are many of them of most 
beautiful plumage. Among the most striking may be 
named parrots, toucans, the lory, king-fishers, wood- 
peckers, the sugar-bird, the honey-bird, and a kind of 


canary. There is a very remarkable long-tailed finch, 
common in most localities, the male of which carries 
behind it a waving tail three times the length of its 
body. This is known as the Kafir-finch." 

The intungonono (Gft/pogeranu$), called the "secre- 
tary bird" because of the tuft of plumes on the back 
of its head giving it, thus far, a resemblance to the 
head of a clerk, who sticks his pen in his hair, behind 
his ear, is a bird of no inconsiderable fame. The orni- 
thologists were long puzzled to find a place for it among 
the classes into which they had divided the feathery 
tribes. The general conclusion seems to be that it must 
be arranged among the vultures ; though in view of cer- 
tain external characters, it is still looked upon as " one 
of those mixed and aberrant forms by means of which 
the arbitrary divisions of natural objects established by 
man are so frequently assimilated to each other in the 
most beautiful, and occasionally in the most unexpected 
manner." The Hottentots used to call it the "ser- 
pent eater ;" and for its many valuable services in this 
line, either real or reputed, it has ever been looked upon 
and treated with very great respect. In size, color, 
and general appearance, it looks very much like a great 
gray turkey on stilts. 

The honey bird or guide (an indicator), called by the 
natives ingende or inhlavu. is another curious South 
African bird ; being noted for conducting people to 
cells of wild honey. I have met with it, or it with me, 
in some of my journeyings about the country; and had 
it fly along before me, with its peculiar chirping, but 
neYer in circumstances where I was free to follow it, 
and see if it would actually bring me to a nest of honey 


bees. But I have often been assured, both by natives 
and others whose testimony I had no reason to doubt, 
that they do conduct to such treasures. The whole 
truth, however, seems to be, that it will lead you to 
anything unusual, provided you follow its chirping 
calls, especially to something of a marked and fearful 
character, as a snake, a tiger or lion, a buffalo or ele- 

The ijuba is a beautiful kind of crescent-necked dove 
or pigeon, — a South African specimen of the columba 
risoria or Turtur risorius ; being so called from a fan- 
cied resemblance between some of its cooings and a 
hearty laugh. Its tones, however, are too plaintive to 
make the name in all respects appropriate. Ask the 
natives, who are good at imitating the songs of birds," 
what the ijuba says, and he replies, — goo-goo goo-goo; 
the first compound ending in a rising intonation or slide 
of the voice, the second in a falling. If the bird be 
near, you hear other notes also*; as, amagoo-goo goo-goo ; 
then again the bird seems to suppress one note, and say, 
amagoo goo-goo. At another time, especially in the 
season of harvesting, this feathered songster gives us 
another piece, which the natives represent thus, — ama- 
dokive avutiwe ; the accent of each word being on the 
penult o and i, — the sentiment, not the sound, of which 
is — the harvest is ready. But, whatever it may say, the 
ijuba is one of the pretty things with which our eyes 
and ears are greeted, ever and anon, in all our peram- 
bulations on these Natalian shores. Indeed, scarcely a 
day passes that half a dozen, or more, do not come to 
roam and flit in our avenue, or to see what nice little 
titbit they can find under the window, in front of the 


door, or in the garden. Among the beautiful shades 
of its color, a kind of bluish gray or slate color pre- 
vails ; the sides and back of its neck being marked with 
a black crescent or demi-collar. In size, it seems nearly 
as long, but not so large as the domestic pigeon, or 
common dove. Nor must I omit to mention that men 
of science think the bird of which I speak to be " pro- 
bably the Turtle of the Scriptures, " — the same which 
Noah sent forth "to see if the waters w r ere abated,' 
and which finally " came in to him in the evening; and 
lo, in her mouth was an olive-leaf plucked off;" and 
the same whose swiftness and innocence are so beauti 
fully alluded to by the Psalmist, where he says : " Oh, 
that I had wings like a dove ! for then would I fly away, 
and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and 
remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape 
from the windy storm and tempest." 




"A land of climate fair, and fertile soil, 

Teeming with milk, and wine, and waving corn, 
Invites from far the venturous Briton's toil j 

And thousands, long by fruitless cares foreworn, 
Are now across the wide Atlantic borne, 

To seek new homes on Afric's Southern strand ; 
Better to launch with them than sink forlorn 

Tc vile dependence in our native land ; 

Better to fall in God's than man's unfeeling hand." 


The foregoing pages respecting men and things in 
and about Natal, would not approximate completeness, 
without some notice of the European footstep,- — or those 
marks of civilization, of agriculture, of trade, and of 
commerce, which the white man is imprinting upon 
these shores. Nor can too high an estimate be formed 
of the change that has come over the face of this 
country since it began to be subject to the influence of 
Anglo-Saxon energy. 

When I first arrived at Natal, some fifteen years 
ago, the number of vessels coming to this port was 
small, somewhat like angels' visits, few and far between. 
But, for the last year or two, it has been no uncommon 
thing for two or three to come into port in a single day 


The shipping list often gives us the names of ten or a 
dozen vessels in the bay at once. No less than ninety- 
seven came here during the last year. In passing, I 
may remark that while I write, March 12, 1862, there 
are three American vessels in port, — the " Warren," a 
barque, from Baltimore; the " Cornelia," a schooner, 
with a cargo of oil from Desolation Island ; and the 
"Mary and Louisa," a barque, from New York, with 
an assorted cargo and deals. 

The anchorage in the roadstead, outside of the bay and 
bar, is generally safe, except when the wind blows with 
great violence directly on shore, which is not often the 
case. The cape of Natal consists of a prominent head- 
land, rising abruptly, on the south side of the entrance 
to the bay, to the height of about three hundred feet. 
This " Bluff," as it is called, is surmounted with a flag- 
staff; and it is hoped the time is not distant when it 
shall have a light-house for the guidance of the be- 
nighted mariner. The bar of sand which crosses the 
mouth of the port, the entrance into the bay, is subject 
to considerable change ; being raised by the swell of 
the ocean, and then scoured away again by the force 
of the ebbing tide. The depth of water on this bar of 
sand varies from eight to seventeen feet, the average 
being nine or ten feet. Hence, vessels of three or four 
hundred tons burthen are often obliged to wait in the 
outer anchorage, till the high tides give them an addi- 
tion of two feet more water, ere they can enter the 
quiet, land-locked harbor. Within a year or two, how- 
ever, a useful little steam tug has been provided, by 
means of which many of the chances of being detained 
outside, especially those which arose from adverse winds, 


have been removed. Very extensive and important 
harbor works have also been commenced, the object of 
which is to confine the sweeping current of the tide to 
one central and narrow channel, and so remove; the pre- 
sent bar, and prevent the formation of another. These 
works completed, it is believed that Port Natal will be 
found one of the safest and best of all the harbors on 
the coast of Africa. 

Coming ashore, instead of the low, sandy beach of 
other days, you now find a nice landing quay, and a 
pier extending so far into deep water that vessels of a 
heavy burthen may be moored by its side. -Here, too, 
you find a custom-house, the offices and ware-houses of 
the landing agents, together with a railway terminus 
and depot ; while, scattered here and there, in the sur- 
rounding u bush" are to be found the dwellings of the 
pilots, sailors, and others connected with the port. 
Here, too, the Episcopalians have erected a neat little 
church. A block-house, with artillery arid a few sol- 
diers, marks the summit of a neighboring hillock. 

Taking a seat in one of the railway carriages, you 
leave the Port, or " Point," as it is often called, pass 
the village of Addington, soon complete the route of 
three miles, and find yourself in the town of Durban. 
Port Natal, it will be noted, is but a port, not a town ; 
Durban being the name of the town upon the port or 
bay. Fifteen years ago, a dozen or two of " wattle- 
and-dab" dwellings, two or three so-called stores, and a 
barn-like chapel constituted the substance of the little 
half-hidden hamlet, which has since grown into a large, 
flourishing town, with a white population numbering 
something more than a thousand souls. The streets 


are straight, and cross each other at right angles. Some 
of the side-walks have been redeemed from the trouble- 
some sand which abounds in all this region, and begun 
to be shaded and adorned with trees. Good brick 
houses with slate or metal roofs are taking the place 
of the cheap, temporary structures of earlier days. 
Many of the stores are of a large, substantial character, 
with plate-glass windows, and a supply of goods of no 
mean quality. Four or five places of public worship 
may be found here. The Wesleyans have two chapels, 
one for the white people, and another for the natives. 
The Congregational chapel, which was built some six or 
seven years since, has been enlarged by the addition of 
a gallery, and must be enlarged again, or give place to 
a new and more commodious house. The other places 
of worship belong, one to the Episcopalians of the 
Church of England, the other to the Roman Catholics. 
The Mechanics' Institute has a reading-room, well sup- 
plied with periodicals, and a library containing about 
fifteen hundred volumes. There are two newspapers 
published in Durban, — the "Natal Star," once a week, 
and the "Natal Mercury," twice a week. 

About a mile from town, on the lower slope and sea 
side of the Berea,-is a botanical garden, the property 
of a company which bears the name of the Agricultural 
and Horticultural Society. This garden extends over 
an area of fifty acres, about half of which are under 
cultivation. The ground was laid out some ten or twelve 
years since, and contains groves of bananas, beds of 
pine-apples, hedges of mulberries, oranges, and lemons, 
the* papaw and mango, sugar-cane and cotton-plant, 
arrow-root and ginger, euphorbias, cactuses, and aloes. 


There is also a military camp in the neighborhood of 

Leaving the seaport town, we may take an omnibus 
in the morning, and, after a ride of fifty-four miles, find 
ourselves at night in the city of Maritzburg, the capital 
of the colony. In shape and size,, this is a regular 
quadrangle, nearly a mile wide and about a mile and a 
half in length, with a population of about two thousand 
inhabitants. On approaching the city, we cross a cast- 
iron bridge, which has been thrown over the Little 
Bushman's river at a cost of more than two thousand 
pounds sterling. Near the bridge, is a large and 
valuable grist mill, which is driven by water taken by a 
canal from the river. The streets of the city are wide, 
and intersect each other at right angles. Along the 
side of almost every street there is a stream of running 
water, from which the inhabitants derive an abundant 

The town was laid out by the Dutch, and some of the 
streets still retain the cumbersome names which their 
projectors gave them. At the upper end of the town, 
at the distance of a quarter of a mile, is the military 
camp called Fort Napier. The large, open space in the 
centre of the town, where wagons from the country go 
to dispose of their produce, is called " Market Square." 
Adjoining this square is another open space reserved 
for government offices. On one side of this site is a 
stone Gothic building, erected by Bishop Colenso as a 
chapel for the natives ; on the other side stands another 
stone building, known as the " Scotch Church." The 
Dutch Reformed Church have a new house below the 
square ; while, pending the erection of a more suitable 


edifice, the Congregationalists rent a public room within 
the square. The Episcopal Church has two fine stone 
buildings, besides the native chapel, — the cathedral and 
St. Andrew's. The Wesleyans have two chapels, one 
for the white people, and one for the native, also a large 
school-room, all near the centre of the city. The Ro- 
man Catholics have also a chapel, and a college, as they 
call it. 

The public buildings, government offices, are, for the 
present, merely rented tenements, which do neither the 
city nor anything else any great credit. The govern- 
ment school-room serves to accommodate the Legisla- 
tive council during its annual sessions. The Natal 
Bank, recently erected, is a fine building, and Grey 
Hospital will doubtless prove as useful as it is commo- 
dious. The Natal Society, a Literary Institution, has 
an excellent library, also a reading-room ; and often 
favors the public with an interesting lecture on some 
useful topic. There are three weekly newspapers 
printed in the city — the " Witness," the "Courier," 
and the "Bode;" the last being of recent origin and 
in the Dutch language. The "Government Gazette," 
should also be reckoned among the periodicals of this 

The city is adorned and shaded with a goodly num- 
ber of trees, the most common of which are the syrin- 
gas, blue gums, and weeping willows. The rose is used 
as a hedge, and blossoms at all seasons of the year. 
Many of the private gardens abound in the peach and 
other kinds of fruit. Some of the houses are of a good, 
commodious, substantial character. 

Continuing our route inland and on the road to the 


Orange Free-State, a hundred miles from Maritzburg, 
we find Ladismith, (Lady Smith,) the seat of a magis- 
tracy, and chief settlement in Klip-River County. The 
town numbers about a hundred inhabitants, and pos- 
sesses a government office, a court-house, a Dutch 
Reformed Church and an Episcopal Church ; also a 
few stores and mechanic shops. In the neighborhood 
are several Dutch farmers, who regard the District a& 
well suited to dairying, to the growth of cattle and 
sheep, and to the cultivation of wheat. The white po- 
pulation of the county amounts to about 1,500, of 
which nearly five-sixths are of Dutch origin. The na- 
tive population of the county numbers upwards of 6,000. 
The yearly produce of butter is estimated at two hun- 
dred thousand pounds ; there are about 25,000 head 
of cattle in the county, and 40,000 sheep. 

The village of Weenen was the seat of the magistracy 
for the county of Weenen till a few years since, and a 
branch of the magistrate's office is still retained there ; 
though the headquarters are now at Estcourt at the 
" drift," or ford, of the Great Bushman's River. The 
county contains about a thousand w T hite inhabitants, 
chiefly Dutch, and about two thousand natives ; 15,000 
head of cattle, 10,000 sheep, and nearly 2,000 horses. 
The farmers grow wheat, Indian corn, oats, barley, and 
fruit, and distill a kind of brandy from the peach. 

The village of York is a thriving little settlement in 
the county of Maritzburg, situated about thirty-five 
miles north-east from the city. The most of the set- 
tlers are engaged in growing oat forage, which they 
send to Maritzburg. They have a Wesleyan minister 
among them, a Wesleyan church, and a school. 



The village of Richmond is situated about twenty- 
five miles south of the city, on the Ilovu River. It is 
the seat of a magistracy, and contains a school-house, 
an Episcopal Church, a store or two, and a few trades- 
men. The w^hite inhabitants, scattered here and there, 
in and out of the village, number some three hundred • 
or more. 

The county of Maritzburg contains a population of 
nearly 4,000 white inhabitants, and about 50,000 black ; 
about 5,000 head of catjtle, nearly 40,000 sheep, more 
than 2,000 horses, and six or seven thousand goats. 
Its principal productions are oats, Indian corn, wheat, 
and potatoes. The county contains a good supply of 
water-mills for grinding meal and sawing timber. Of 
these there are half a dozen or more in the city. 

The Umvoti county contains seven or eight hun- 
dred white inhabitants, and upwards of 15,000 black. 
Wheat, oats, and Indian corn are its chief productions. 
Many of its white inhabitants are of Dutch origin. 
The principal village is known by the name of Grey 
Town, and contains some signs of thrift, among which 
must be reckoned a school-house, a store, a grist-mill, 
and the seat of magistracy for the county. 

Coming back to the coast-lands of the colony, whe- 
ther we w T ind our way up or down, north or south, we 
see signs of European enterprise on every hand. Large 
tracts of land that were lying waste ten or fifteen years 
ago are now bringing forth the sugar-cane, the arrow- 
root, the cotton or the coffee-plant, the orange-tree, and 
the lemon ; or some other product of an equally useful 
character, such as oats, corn, and potatoes. Scarcely 
more than ten years have elapsed since the first attempt 


to prove the capabilities of the soil for growing sugar- 
cane, and now I can count no less than forty-five 
sugar-mills, each of which must have cost four or five 
thousand pounds, or from twenty to thirty thousand 
dollars. There is a continuous line of cane-field, some 
six miles long, on the low lands of the Umlazi and 
Isipingo ; nor are there less than a dozen mills in that 
neighborhood. s 

The southern division of coast-lands comprises the 
county of Durban and a large district beyond the Um- 
komazi. Passing from Durban in this direction we find 
the little village of Congela, three miles out of town, 
at the head of the Bay. Here the Dutch had an en- 
campment at the time of their contest with the English, 
twenty years ago. A few cottages and vegetable gar- 
dens, a salt manufactory, and a few brick an/i lime- 
kilns are about all that mark the place at the present 
time. Farther on, we find Claremont and Wentworth, 
and the farms known as Sea View T , Snaresbrook, and 

The county of Durban contains a population of about 
2,500 white people, mostly of English origin, 12,000 
blacks. The produce of the county for 1858, was 362 tons 
of sugar ; 127 tons of arrow-root; upwards of 7,000 lbs. 
coffee, besides a large quantity of Indian corn, oats, 
beans, and potatoes. There are several schools and 
places of worship in different parts of the county. The 
pleasant little village of Pine Town, which is situated 
about twelve miles from Durban, on the road to Maritz- 
burg, contains a small Episcopal church, a good school, 
several stores, a butcher's and a baker's shop, and a 
goodly number of neat, commodious dwellings scattered 



here and there over a broad expanse of ground. The 
Congregationalists and Presbyterians unite in the sup- 
port of public worship at this place. In the immediate 
neighborhood of Pine Town, is the settlement of New 
Germany, the name of which indicates the land from 
which most of the settlers came twelve or fifteen years 
ago. The white population of this place and Pine Town 
together, numbers about 300. 

Passing from Durban to the north, we soon cross the 
Umgeni, and come into the county of Victoria. The 
obstacle which the Umgeni river has heretofore pre- 
sented to travel in the summer season, when rains 
abound, is about to be removed by the erection of an 
iron bridge, the cost of which will be upwards of <£12, 
000. This will be a great help to the ' enterprising 
farmers^ and especially the planters who have large 
quantities of sugar to transport. Indeed, so great is 
the amount of traffic in this direction that the people are 
talking of a tramway. 

Verulam is the most flourishing village in the county, 
and forms the seat of a magistracy. It is situated on the 
river Umhloti, eighteen miles from Durban ; contains 
» about 200 inhabitants ; and has a neat little chapel be- 
longing to the Wesleyans, a Literary Institution, with 
a library and reading-room, a post-office, a day-school, 
two or three good stores, a wheelwright, blacksmith, and 
a flourishing mission station near by, together with se- 
veral well-managed farms in the immediate neighbor- 
hood. There is also a magistrate, a post-office, and the 
nucleus of a village at the Umhlali. 

The population of the county is somewhat less than a 
thousand white people, and about 30,000 black. The 
29 * 

81-2 ZULU-LAND. 

extent of land under cultivation, amounts to nearly 
4,000 acres, of which about one-half is devoted to sugar- 
cane. The produce of the county consists of sugar, ar- 
row-root, oats and oat-hay, Indian corn, and potatoes. 
The number of cattle in the county would probably ex- 
ceed 10,000 head, besides a good number of goats and 
horses, and a few sheep. s 

The strictly commercial history of Natal as a British 
dependency is generally considered as dating from the 
year 1846. During that year thirty vessels came to 
Natal, averaging each 117 tons, and shipping goods to 
the value of about <£40,000 ; in 1850 the number of ships 
'was 64, which averaged 259 tons, and brought goods 
worth upwards of £100,000 ; in 1858, the number of 
ships was 45, averaging 245 tons, value of imports about 
£175,000 ; in 1860, 71 ships, average tons nearly 220, 
value of imports about £355,000. During the past 
year (1861,) the number of ships which came to this 
port was 97. These measured 18,192 tons, and brought 
imports worth upwards of £400,000. Of these 97 ves- 
sels, 86 came from Great Britain, 39 from Cape colony, 
10 from other parts of Africa, and one from the United 
States. Of the above £400,000 worth of imports, more 
than £10,000 went for strong drink, upwards of £3,000 
for tea and coffee, about £1,500 for beads, and about 
£1,000 for arms and ammunition. 

Among the exports from Natal, the most important 
articles are wool, ivory, hides, sugar, and butter. Of 
these articles the value of the exports of the last year 
was, — wool, nearly £33,000; ivory, nearly £23,000; 
hides (buffalo and ox) about £10,000, and about £1,000 
for calf, sheep, and goat skins ; sugar, (764 tons) nearly 


£20,000; butter (upwards of 126 ton's) nearly £15, 

In 1848, the value of the produce exported from the 
colony of Natal was estimated at £10,000 ; in 1850, at 
£15,000 ; in 1855, at £45,000 ; in 1858, at £91,000 ; 
in 1860, at £129,000; and the last year, at nearly 
£110,000. The total revenue of the colony for the 
last year was about £114,000. 

There are two Banking companies in Natal — the Na- 
tal Bank at Maritzburg, with a capital of £40,000; and 
the Commercial and Agricultural Bank at Durban, with 
a capital of £50,000. The Natal Fire Assurance and 
Trust Company, which was established in 1849, under- 
takes the administration of Intestate and other estates, 
insures life and property, and does agency business of 
other kinds. ' 

The following is the average price of some of the 
principal articles of consumption in Natal at the present 
time : — Sugar (lump) Is. per lb., (raw) 4d. to 6d. per 
lb. ; tea, mixed, 3s. 9d ; coffee, raw, Is ; flour, 6d ; 
meal 4d ; best rice 5d ; butter Is. 6d ; beef steak 6d ; 
bacon Is. 6d; pork 6d; mutton 6d; candles, tallow, 
Is. per lb., sperm Is. 9d; potatoes 5s. a bushel; Indian 
corn 4s. a bushel ; beans 7s. a bushel. Good oxen fetch 
£8 or £10 each ; cows from £3 to £6 ; horses £15 to 
£25. Tradesmen, as masons, carpenters, and printers, 
get from five to eight shillings a day and board them- 

Almost every white man, at least every householder 
has two or three natives in his employ, mostly young 
men, the wages of whom average eight or ten shillings 
per month and food. Most of the planters have a large 


number of these colored laborers, twenty or thirty in 
their service. I believe the whole number of natives 
thus employed by the white man is reckoned at about 
twenty thousand, or about twice as many servants as 
there are white people in the colony. - 

The price of land in Natal varies, of course, accord- 
ing to quality, situation, and other circumstances. In 
the neighborhood of Durban, the sea-port town, it may 
cost from one to five pounds per acre ; at a distance 
from port, it may be had for two, five, or ten shillings. 
No census of the population of the colony has ever been 
taken, but the number of white inhabitants is now reck- 
oned at about twelve thousand. Natural increase and 
immigration from the mother country are steadily add- 
ing to their number. 

So far as I can judge, the British crown lays claim to 
no dependency of more promise as a field for emigration 
than the colony of Natal. 




The present state of Zulu-land proper, that is, 
the district north-east of Natal and beyond the Tu- 
gela River, claims a brief space, and will close our 
effort to acquaint our readers with this portion of the 
African continent. In a previous chapter we have 
sketched the reigns of Chaka and Dingan, bringing the 
history of the Zulu dynasty down to the flight and death 
of Dingan, and the general acknowledgment of Um- 
pande as king in his stead. These events occurred in 
the early part of the year 1840. Since that time Um- 
pande has continued his seat upon the throne of Zulu- 

The most important event of this period, thus far, is 
the battle which occurred in 1856, between two of Um- 
pande's sons and their respective adherents, on the 
east side of the lower Tugela. 

An extract from Dr. Mann's " Colony of Natal," 
will give as good a view as can be presented of the 
state of affairs in the Zulu country at that period : 
" In the year -1856, a feud broke out in Zulu-land, just 
beyond the northern boundary of the colony, between 
the sons of Pande, the Zulu king, which led to a san- 


guinary struggle among the extra-colonial Zulus. The 
conflict took place close to the confines of the colony 
of Natal, and the vanquished party sought refuge by 
thousands in the British territory ; — the boundary 
stream was nevertheless respected by the victors, even 
in the first flush of conquest. The remote causes of 
this struggle can be briefly explained, and the explana- 
tion will serve the farther purpose of representing the 
state of affairs existing at the present time in the terri- 
tory of the most powerful of the independent native 
tribes residing near to Natal. 

" All the male Zulus above a certain age, are banded 
into regiments, and these regiments are required by the 
king to render certain service at the royal military 
kraals. The ordinary service consists mainly in build- 
ing huts and fences, and in milking and herding the cows 
belonging to the king. The captains and chief men of 
the regiments on service are expected to spendjiheir 
time mainly at the king's residence, or principal kraal, 
where they have huts ; their food being forwarded to 
them from their own people. The custom of the land 
is that these chiefs in attendance should receive gratui- 
ties of cattle from the king, in recognition of their ser- 
vices. In the time of Chaka and Dingan, the payment 
w r as easily made. There was then constant war, and 
there was always abundance of spoil to be divided. 
Pande, (Um-pande), however, came into power in the 
interests of peace. As soon as he was firmly seated on 
his throne, he found himself closely hemmed in by his 
Dutch and English neighbors, and had to depend en- 
tirely upon his own internal resources for carrying on 
his government. The consequence has been, that the 


chief men assembled at the king's place have often been 
in a starving state ; and when they have gone home to 
their kraals, at the expiration of their court-attendance, 
they have commonly been forced to do so empty-handed. 
Now and then, an excuse has been found to get rid of 
a wealthy subject, in consequence of a snake having 
made its appearance at some particular spot, or for some 
other equally pertinent reason, and to constitute the 
royal person his heir. Pande's soldiers have, neverthe- 
less, had but small pickings since his accession, and 
upon more than one occasion have had to disperse in 
search of food for themselves. This state of matters 
has furnished ground for a growing dissatisfaction with 
the king. In addition to this, it has pleased Pande to 
keep his braves unwived, as well as unfed, to an un- 
usually advanced age. The king has also been con- 
tinually in ill health, and waxing enormously fat. His 
people have not often seen him, excepting when walking 
in solitary state at a distance. His captains have been 
rarely assembled in council, and not uncommonly his 
orders have been issued to his immediate attendants in 
such a confused and hasty way, that the recipients have 
scattered themselves in all directions only to look blank 
at each other, and wonder what they were after, and 
what they were expected to do. From these several 
causes, the idea has gradually been generated in the 
popular mind that Pande is not a king ' after the Zulu 
heart.' He has, nevertheless, been himself personally 
kept in ignorance of the disaffection of his people, in 
consequence of the isolated manner in which he has 
lived, and the unwillingness of those around him to 
speak with him of unpalatable facts. 


" After this state of matters had continued at the 
Zulu court for some time, the king gave permission to 
his eldest sons to found kraals of their own, and to go 
to reside in them, in order to relieve the pressure upon 
his immediate resources. The young men forthwith 
availed themselves of the permission, and the most dis- 
affected of the king's subjects soon began to pay court 
to the rising luminaries, and to attach themselves to the 
persons of these juvenile chiefs. They called this ' liv- 
ing under the tiger's tail;' and when, at any time, they 
were called upon to leave their chosen position, and go 
up towards the tiger's head, they considered that this 
would necessarily bring them more within reach of the 
tiger's teeth and claws, and so they declined to obey. 
In this way the parties of the king's sons gradually 
waxed strong, but at the same time grew more and 
more jealous of each other. The two eldest sons, Kech- 
wayo and Umbulazi, ultimately became the rallying 
points of the dissension. The young men of the tribe, 
who had heard glowing accounts of the pleasant and 
profitable days of Chaka and Dingan, rallied round 
Kechwayo. The younger sons of the king attached 
themselves to Umbulazi. Hunting parties were assem- 
bled, and the hunters appeared with the large war- 
shield, instead of with their hunting gear, and assegais 
began to manifest an inclination towards human breasts, 
in the place of seeking only quadrupedal prey. A 
rumor of what was going on at length reached Pande's 
ears, and he sent for his two sons, and charged them to 
lay aside their jealousies, and to live together in peace. 
They demanded to have the people called together to 
hear and decide their claims. Pande turned a deaf ear 


to this demand, and for a time kept the younger of the 
two litigants, Umbulazi, near to him, but at last gave 
him permission to go towards the Tugela River, and 
build there. Umbulazi went slowly towards the spot 
assigned to him, garnering adherents as he went, who 
all carried the great war-shield, saying that they did so 
because Kechwayo wanted to destroy their chief. It 
was generally understood that Pande inclined to favor 
Umbulazi ; this younger prince accordingly became the 
representative of the old king's party, and Kechwayo 
the hope of the new movement. He was also looked 
upon as the real descendant of Dingan, and as the 
man who would restore cattle and fatness to the im- 
poverished kraals. 

" At the critical moment, the Prime Minister and 
Commander-in-Chief of Pande, declared for the i White 
Rose,' and went over to Kechwayo, carrying a large 
body of the king's regiments with him. The final con- 
sequence of the embroilment was, that about the begin- 
ning of December, 1856, the army of Kechwayo swept 
dow T n upon Umbulazi's party in three divisions, and, 
after a short conflict, dispersed his men. Umbulazi's 
adherents sought safety by crossing the Tugela into the 
Natal District. The river was swollen at the time, and 
thousands of them fell either under the assegai, or in 
the flood. Umbulazi and five other of Pande's sons 
were slain in the fight. Two young sons of Pande, 
Usikota and Umkungu, (the latter a mere boy,) who 
were not in the fight, escaped into British territory, 
and are now living in Natal as refugees. 

" Since the battle at the Tugela the old king Pande 
has been gradually losing power, while his son Kech- 

350- ZULU-LAND. 


w T ayo has been gaining. At one' time the king was so 
desolate that Kechwayo had to send him twenty men to 
serve him. The person of the king was, nevertheless, 
respected. In the month of November, 1857, a great 
assembly of the people was called together at the king's 
kraal, for the adjustment of differences. It was then 
decided that all party distinctions were thenceforward 
to be dropped, and that Kechwayo's right to the suc- 
cession, on Pande's death, should be recognized. Kech- 
wayo being for the present the chief Induna under the 
king. It was ruled that Pande was still competent to 
think, but that he was too old to move. Thenceforth, 
therefore, Pande was to be ' the head' of the nation, and 
Kechwayo ' the feet. 1 All important matters of state 

' were first to be carried to Masipula (the Prime Minister) 
and Kechwayo ; and were then to be referred to Pande 
for final sanction. The arrangement regarding the 
succession was, however, a matter of tacit understand- 
ing, rather than of definite agreement, because it is 
high treason in Zulu-land to recognize in words even 
the possibility of such an occurrence as the death of the 
king. It is related of a gentleman, at the present time 
connected with missionary work, that upon a certain 
occasion he electrified the entire court of Pande by 
congratulating the monarch upon his good looks, and 
adding that he 'had heard a report he was dead.' 

^Pande himself was for a brief interval mute from horror 
and alarm ; but he then recovered his presence of mind, 
and with a furtive glance said, ' We never. speak of such 
things here ;' and so proceeded to ehange the conversa- 

"Affairs in Zulu-land remain pretty much in the 


same condition up to the present time. Pande is the 
nominal 'head,' and Kechwayo the acting 'feet.' Both 
parties in the State, the old and the new, continue to 
have their adherents, and appeals are frequently made 
to the colonial government from each for countenance 
and recognition. The government, of course, remains 
on friendly relations with Pande, as the actual ruler, 
and observes a strict neutrality in all matters concern- 
ing the affairs of- Zulu-land.'' 4 

Besides the missionaries of various societies, a con- 
siderable number of other white people, of divers kinds, 
are beginning to settle in the Zulu country, beyond the 
Tugela ; and there is a report that the British govern- 
ment contemplates annexing at least a part of that 
land to Natal. For several years there has been a 
very brisk trade carried on -by both white people and 
natives, who go with goods, blankets, beads, et cetera. 
from Natal to Zulu-land, after cattle ; while others go 
there, especially to the more distant regions, as among 
the Amanhlwenga and Amaswazi, to hunt the elephant 
for the sake of its ivory. 

To predict the future history of these regions is be- 
yond our power. But we may trust, as we hope, that 
the light of the gospel will penetrate these dark realms, 
carrying with it the blessings of civilization for the 
present whilst it illumines the future of their now 
savage inhabitants. Then will this be a goodly land, 
the home of happy millions, — a contributor to the 
comfort of earth and to the joy of heaven. God grant this 
happy fate to our African 


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