Letters from the Cape
Lady Duff Gordon

Part 2 out of 2

of Mendelssohn's choruses from 'St. Paul' splendidly, the Caffres
rolling out soft rich bass voices, like melodious thunder. They
are clever at handicrafts, and fond of geography and natural
history, incapable of mathematics, quick at languages, utterly
incurious about other nations, and would all rather work in the
fields than learn anything but music; good boys, honest, but
'trotzig'. So much for Caffres, Fingoes, &c. The Bastaards are as
clever as whites, and more docile--so the 'rector' told me. The
boy who played the organ sang the 'Lorelei' like an angel, and
played us a number of waltzes and other things on the piano, but he
was too shy to talk; while the Caffres crowded round me, and
chattered away merrily. The Mantatees, whom I cannot distinguish
from Caffres, are scattered all over the colony, and rival the
English as workmen and labourers--fine stalwart, industrious
fellows. Our little 'boy' Kleenboy hires a room for fifteen
shillings a month, and takes in his compatriots as lodgers at half
a crown a week--the usurious little rogue! His chief, one James,
is a bricklayer here, and looks and behaves like a prince. It is
fine to see his black arms, ornamented with silver bracelets,
hurling huge stones about.

All Gnadenthal is wonderfully fruitful, being well watered, but it
is not healthy for whites; I imagine, too hot and damp. There are
three or four thousand coloured people there, under the control of
the missionaries, who allow no canteens at all. The people may
have what they please at home, but no public drinking-place is
allowed, and we had to take our own beer and wine for the three
days. The gardens and burial-ground are beautiful, and the square
is entirely shaded by about ten or twelve superb oaks; nothing
prettier can be conceived. It is not popular in the neighbourhood.
'You see it makes the d-d niggers cheeky' to have homes of their
own--and the girls are said to be immoral. As to that, there are
no so-called 'morals' among the coloured people, and how or why
should there? It is an honour to one of these girls to have a
child by a white man, and it is a degradation to him to marry a
dark girl. A pious stiff old Dutchwoman who came here the other
day for the Sacrament (which takes place twice a year), had one
girl with her, big with child by her son, who also came for the
Sacrament, and two in the straw at home by the other son; this
caused her exactly as much emotion as I feel when my cat kittens.
No one takes any notice, either to blame or to nurse the poor
things--they scramble through it as pussy does. The English are
almost equally contemptuous; but there is one great difference. My
host, for instance, always calls a black 'a d-d nigger'; but if
that nigger is wronged or oppressed he fights for him, or bails him
out of the Tronk, and an English jury gives a just verdict; while a
Dutch one simply finds for a Dutchman, against any one else, and
ALWAYS against a dark man. I believe this to be true, from what I
have seen and heard; and certainly the coloured people have a great
preference for the English.

I am persecuted by the ugliest and blackest Mozambiquer I have yet
seen, a bricklayer's labourer, who can speak English, and says he
was servant to an English Captain--'Oh, a good fellow he was, only
he's dead!' He now insists on my taking him as a servant. 'I
dessay your man at home is a good chap, and I'll be a good boy, and
cook very nice.' He is thick-set and short and strong. Nature has
adorned him with a cock eye and a yard of mouth, and art, with a
prodigiously tall white chimney-pot hat with the crown out, a
cotton nightcap, and a wondrous congeries of rags. He professes to
be cook, groom, and 'walley', and is sure you would be pleased with
his attentions.

Well, to go back to Gnadenthal. I wandered all over the village on
Sunday afternoon, and peeped into the cottages. All were neat and
clean, with good dressers of crockery, the VERY poorest, like the
worst in Weybridge sandpits; but they had no glass windows, only a
wooden shutter, and no doors; a calico curtain, or a sort of hurdle
supplying its place. The people nodded and said 'Good day!' but
took no further notice of me, except the poor old Hottentot, who
was seated on a doorstep. He rose and hobbled up to meet me and
take my hand again. He seemed to enjoy being helped along and
seated down carefully, and shook and patted my hand repeatedly when
I took leave of him. At this the people stared a good deal, and
one woman came to talk to me.

In the evening I sat on a bench in the square, and saw the people
go in to 'Abendsegen'. The church was lighted, and as I sat there
and heard the lovely singing, I thought it was impossible to
conceive a more romantic scene. On Monday I saw all the schools,
and then looked at the great strong Caffre lads playing in the
square. One of them stood to be pelted by five or six others, and
as the stones came, he twisted and turned and jumped, and was
hardly ever hit, and when he was, he didn't care, though the others
hurled like catapults. It was the most wonderful display of
activity and grace, and quite incredible that such a huge fellow
should be so quick and light. When I found how comfortable dear
old Mrs. Rietz made me, I was sorry I had hired the cart and kept
it to take me home, for I would gladly have stayed longer, and the
heat did me no harm; but I did not like to throw away a pound or
two, and drove back that evening. Mrs. Rietz, told me her mother
was a Mozambiquer. 'And your father?' said I. 'Oh, I don't know.
MY MOTHER WAS ONLY A SLAVE.' She, too, was a slave, but said she
'never knew it', her 'missus' was so good; a Dutch lady, at a farm
I had passed, on the road, who had a hundred and fifty slaves. I
liked my Hottentot hut amazingly, and the sweet brown bread, and
the dinner cooked so cleanly on the bricks in the kitchen. The
walls were whitewashed and adorned with wreaths of everlasting
flowers and some quaint old prints from Loutherburg--pastoral
subjects, not exactly edifying.

Well, I have prosed unconscionably, so adieu for the present.

February 3d.--Many happy returns of your birthday, dear -. I had a
bottle of champagne to drink your health, and partly to swell the
bill, which these good people make so moderate, that I am half
ashamed. I get everything that Caledon can furnish for myself and
S- for 15l. a month.

On Saturday we got the sad news of Prince Albert's death, and it
created real consternation here. What a thoroughly unexpected
calamity! Every one is already dressed in deep mourning. It is
more general than in a village of the same size at home--(how I
have caught the colonial trick of always saying 'home' for England!
Dutchmen who can barely speak English, and never did or will see
England, equally talk of 'news from home'). It also seems, by the
papers of the 24th of December, which came by a steamer the other
day, that war is imminent. I shall have to wait for convoy, I
suppose, as I object to walking the plank from a Yankee privateer.
I shall wait here for the next mail, and then go back to Capetown,
stopping by the way, so as to get there early in March, and arrange
for my voyage. The weather had a relapse into cold, and an attempt
at rain. Pity it failed, for the drought is dreadful this year,
chiefly owing to the unusual quantity of sharp drying winds--a most
unlucky summer for the country and for me.

My old friend Klein, who told me several instances of the kindness
and gratitude of former slaves, poured out to me the misery he had
undergone from the 'ingratitude' of a certain Rosina, a slave-girl
of his. She was in her youth handsome, clever, the best
horsebreaker, bullock-trainer and driver, and hardest worker in the
district. She had two children by Klein, then a young fellow; six
by another white man, and a few more by two husbands of her own
race! But she was of a rebellious spirit, and took to drink.
After the emancipation, she used to go in front of Klein's windows
and read the statute in a loud voice on every anniversary of the
day; and as if that did not enrage him enough, she pertinaciously
(whenever she was a little drunk) kissed him by main force every
time she met him in the street, exclaiming, 'Aha! when I young and
pretty slave-girl you make kiss me then; now I ugly, drunk, dirty
old devil and free woman, I kiss you!' Frightful retributive
justice! I struggled hard to keep my countenance, but the fat old
fellow's good-humoured, rueful face was too much for me. His
tormentor is dead, but he retains a painful impression of her
'ingratitude '.

Our little Mantatee 'Kleenboy' has again, like Jeshurun, 'waxed fat
and kicked', as soon as he had eaten enough to be once more plump
and shiny. After his hungry period, he took to squatting on the
stoep, just in front of the hall-door, and altogether declining to
do anything; so he is superseded by an equally ugly little red-
headed Englishman. The Irish housemaid has married the German
baker (a fine match for her!), and a dour little Scotch
Presbyterian has come up from Capetown in her place. Such are the
vicissitudes of colonial house-keeping! The only 'permanency' is
the old soldier of Captain D-'s regiment, who is barman in the
canteen, and not likely to leave 'his honour', and the coloured
girl, who improves on acquaintance. She wants to ingratiate
herself with me, and get taken to England. Her father is an
Englishman, and of course the brown mother and her large family
always live in the fear of his 'going home' and ignoring their
existence; a MARRIAGE with the mother of his children would be too
much degradation for him to submit to. Few of the coloured people
are ever married, but they don't separate oftener than REALLY
married folks. Bill, the handsome West Indian black, married my
pretty washerwoman Rosalind, and was thought rather assuming
because he was asked in church and lawfully married; and she wore a
handsome lilac silk gown and a white wreath and veil, and very well
she looked in them. She had a child of two years old, which did
not at all disconcert Bill; but he continues to be dignified, and
won't let her go and wash clothes in the river, because the hot sun
makes her ill, and it is not fit work for women.

Sunday, 9th.--Last night a dance took place in a house next door to
this, and a party of boers attempted to go in, but were repulsed by
a sortie of the young men within. Some of the more peaceable boers
came in here and wanted ale, which was refused, as they were
already very vinous; so they imbibed ginger-beer, whereof one drank
thirty-four bottles to his own share! Inspired by this drink, they
began to quarrel, and were summarily turned out. They spent the
whole night, till five this morning, scuffling and vociferating in
the street. The constables discreetly stayed in bed, displaying
the true Dogberry spirit, which leads them to take up Hottentots,
drunk or sober, to show their zeal, but carefully to avoid meddling
with stalwart boers, from six to six and a half feet high and
strong in proportion. The jabbering of Dutch brings to mind
Demosthenes trying to outroar a stormy sea with his mouth full of
pebbles. The hardest blows are those given with the tongue, though
much pulling of hair and scuffling takes place. 'Verdomde
Schmeerlap!'--'Donder and Bliksem! am I a verdomde Schmeerlap?'--
'Ja, u is,' &c., &c. I could not help laughing heartily as I lay
in bed, at hearing the gambols of these Titan cubs; for this is a
boer's notion of enjoying himself. This morning, I hear, the
street was strewn with the hair they had pulled out of each other's
heads. All who come here make love to S-; not by describing their
tender feelings, but by enumerating the oxen, sheep, horses, land,
money, &c., of which they are possessed, and whereof, by the law of
this colony, she would become half-owner on marriage. There is a
fine handsome Van Steen, who is very persevering; but S- does not
seem to fancy becoming Mevrouw at all. The demand for English
girls as wives is wonderful here. The nasty cross little ugly
Scotch maid has had three offers already, in one fortnight!

February 18th.--I expect to receive the letters by the English mail
to-morrow morning, and to go to Worcester on Thursday. On Saturday
the young doctor--good-humoured, jolly, big, young Dutchman--drove
me, with his pretty little greys, over to two farms; at one I ate
half a huge melon, and at the other, uncounted grapes. We poor
Europeans don't know what fruit CAN BE, I must admit. The melon
was a foretaste of paradise, and the grapes made one's fingers as
sticky as honey, and had a muscat fragrance quite inconceivable.
They looked like amber eggs. The best of it is, too, that in this
climate stomach-aches are not. We all eat grapes, peaches, and
figs, all day long. Old Klein sends me, for my own daily
consumption, about thirty peaches, three pounds of grapes, and
apples, pears, and figs besides--'just a little taste of fruits';
only here they will pick it all unripe.

February 19th.--The post came in late last night, and old Klein
kindly sent me my letters at near midnight. The post goes out this
evening, and the hot wind is blowing, so I can only write to you,
and a line to my mother. I feel really better now. I think the
constant eating of grapes has done me much good.

The Dutch cart-owner was so extortionate, that I am going to wait a
few days, and write to my dear Malay to come up and drive me back.
It is better than having to fight the Dutch monopolist in every
village, and getting drunken drivers and bad carts after all. I
shall go round all the same. The weather has been beautiful; to-
day there is a wind, which comes about two or three times in the
year: it is not depressing, but hot, and a bore, because one must
shut every window or be stifled with dust.

The people are burning the veld all about, and the lurid smoke by
day and flaming hill-sides by night are very striking. The ashes
of the Bosh serve as manure for the young grass, which will sprout
in the autumn rains. Such nights! Such a moon! I walk out after
dark when it is mild and clear, and can read any print by the
moonlight, and see the distant landscape as well as by day.

Old Klein has just sent me a haunch of bok, and the skin and hoofs,
which are pretty.


Caledon, Sunday.

You must have fallen into second childhood to think of PRINTING
such rambling hasty scrawls as I write. I never could write a good
letter; and unless I gallop as hard as I can, and don't stop to
think, I can say nothing; so all is confused and unconnected: only
I fancy YOU will be amused by some of my 'impressions'. I have
written to my mother an accurate account of my health. I am
dressed and out of doors never later than six, now the weather
makes it possible. It is surprising how little sleep one wants. I
go to bed at ten and often am up at four.

I made friends here the other day with a lively dried-up little old
Irishman, who came out at seven years old a pauper-boy. He has
made a fortune by 'going on Togt' (German, Tausch), as thus; he
charters two waggons, twelve oxen each, and two Hottentots to each
waggon, leader and driver. The waggons he fills with cotton,
hardware, &c., &c.--an ambulatory village 'shop',--and goes about
fifteen miles a day, on and on, into the far interior, swapping
baftas (calico), punjums (loose trowsers), and voerschitz (cotton
gownpieces), pronounced 'foossy', against oxen and sheep. When all
is gone he swaps his waggons against more oxen and a horse, and he
and his four 'totties' drive home the spoil; and he has doubled or
trebled his venture. En route home, each day they kill a sheep,
and eat it ALL. 'What!' says I; 'the whole?' 'Every bit. I
always take one leg and the liver for myself, and the totties roast
the rest, and melt all the fat and entrails down in an iron pot and
eat it with a wooden spoon.' Je n'en revenais pas. 'What! the
whole leg and liver at one meal?' 'Every bit; ay, and you'd do the
same, ma'am, if you were there.' No bread, no salt, no nothing--
mutton and water. The old fellow was quite poetic and heroic in
describing the joys and perils of Togt. I said I should like to go
too; and he bewailed having settled a year ago in a store at
Swellendam, 'else he'd ha' fitted up a waggon all nice and snug for
me, and shown me what going on togt was like. Nothing like it for
the health, ma'am; and beautiful shooting.' My friend had 700l. in
gold in a carpet bag, without a lock, lying about on the stoep.
'All right; nobody steals money or such like here. I'm going to
pay bills in Capetown.'

Tell my mother that a man would get from 2l. to 4l. a month wages,
with board, lodging, &c., all found, and his wife from 1l. 10s. to
2l. a month and everything found, according to abilities and
testimonials. Wages are enormous, and servants at famine price;
emigrant ships are CLEARED OFF in three days, and every ragged
Irish girl in place somewhere. Four pounds a month, and food for
self, husband, and children, is no uncommon pay for a good cook;
and after all her cookery may be poor enough. My landlady at
Capetown gave that. The housemaid had ONLY 1l. 5s. a month, but
told me herself she had taken 8l. in one week in 'tips'. She was
an excellent servant. Up country here the wages are less, but the
comfort greater, and the chances of 'getting on' much increased.
But I believe Algoa Bay or Grahamstown are by far the best fields
for new colonists, and (I am assured) the best climate for lung
diseases. The wealthy English merchants of Port Elizabeth (Algoa
Bay) pay best. It seems to me, as far as I can learn, that every
really WORKING man or woman can thrive here.

My German host at Houw Hoek came out twenty-three years ago, he
told me, without a 'heller', and is now the owner of cattle and
land and horses to a large amount. But then the Germans work,
while the Dutch dawdle and the English drink. 'New wine' is a
penny a glass (half a pint), enough to blow your head off, and
'Cape smoke' (brandy, like vitriol) ninepence a bottle--that is the
real calamity. If the Cape had the grape disease as badly as
Madeira, it would be the making of the colony.

I received a message from my Malay friends, Abdool Jemaalee and
Betsy, anxious to know 'if the Misses had good news of her
children, for bad news would make her sick'. Old Betsy and I used
to prose about young Abdurrachman and his studies at Mecca, and
about my children, with more real heartiness than you can fancy.
We were not afraid of boring each other; and pious old Abdool sat
and nodded and said, 'May Allah protect them all!' as a refrain;--
'Allah, il Allah!'


Caledon, Feb. 21st.

This morning's post brought your packet, and the announcement of an
extra mail to-night--so I can send you a P.S. I hear that Capetown
has been pestilential, and as hot as Calcutta. It is totally
undrained, and the Mozambiquers are beginning to object to acting
as scavengers to each separate house. The 'vidanges' are more
barbarous even than in Paris. Without the south-easter (or 'Cape
doctor') they must have fevers, &c.; and though too rough a
practitioner for me, he benefits the general health. Next month
the winds abate, but last week an omnibus was blown over on the
Rondebosch road, which is the most sheltered spot, and inhabited by
Capetown merchants. I have received all the Saturday Reviews quite
safe, likewise the books, Mendelssohn's letters, and the novel. I
have written for my dear Choslullah to fetch me. The Dutch farmers
don't know how to charge enough; moreover, the Hottentot drivers
get drunk, and for two lone women that is not the thing. I pay my
gentle Malay thirty shillings a day, which, for a cart and four and
such a jewel of a driver, is not outrageous; and I had better pay
that for the few days I wait on the road, than risk bad carts,
tipsy Hottentots, and extortionate boers.

This intermediate country between the 'Central African wilderness'
and Capetown has been little frequented. I went to the Church
Mission School with the English clergyman yesterday. You know I
don't believe in every kind of missionaries, but I do believe that,
in these districts, kind, judicious English clergymen are of great
value. The Dutch pastors still remember the distinction between
'Christenmenschen' and 'Hottentoten'; but the Church Mission
Schools teach the Anglican Catechism to every child that will
learn, and the congregation is as piebald as Harlequin's jacket. A
pretty, coloured lad, about eleven years old, answered my questions
in geography with great quickness and some wit. I said, 'Show me
the country you belong to.' He pointed to England, and when I
laughed, to the cape. 'This is where we are, but that is the
country I BELONG TO.' I asked him how we were governed, and he
answered quite right. 'How is the Cape governed?' 'Oh, we have a
Parliament too, and Mr. Silberbauer is the man WE send.' Boys and
girls of all ages were mixed, but no blacks. I don't think they
will learn, except on compulsion, as at Gnadenthal.

I regret to say that Bill's wife has broken his head with a bottle,
at the end of the honeymoon. I fear the innovation of being
MARRIED AT CHURCH has not had a good effect, and that his
neighbours may quote Mr. Peachum.

I was offered a young lion yesterday, but I hardly think it would
be an agreeable addition to the household at Esher.

I hear that Worcester, Paarl, and Stellenbosch are beautiful, and
the road very desolate and grand: one mountain pass takes six
hours to cross. I should not return to Capetown so early, but poor
Captain J- has had his leg smashed and amputated, so I must look
out for myself in the matter of ships. Whenever it is hot, I am
well, for the heat here is so LIGHT and dry. The wind tries me,
but we have little here compared to the coast. I hope that the
voyage home will do me still more good; but I will not sail till
April, so as to arrive in June. May, in the Channel, would not do.

How I wish I could send you the fruit now on my table--amber-
coloured grapes, yellow waxen apples streaked with vermillion in
fine little lines, huge peaches, and tiny green figs! I must send
dear old Klein a little present from England, to show that I don't
forget my Dutch adorer. I wish I could bring you the 'Biltong ' he
sent me--beef or bok dried in the sun in strips, and slightly
salted; you may carry enough in your pocket to live on for a
fortnight, and it is very good as a little 'relish'. The
partridges also have been welcome, and we shall eat the tiny haunch
of bok to-day.

Mrs. D- is gone to Capetown to get servants (the Scotch girl having
carried on her amours too flagrantly), and will return in my cart.
S- is still keeping house meanwhile, much perturbed by the placid
indolence of the brown girl. The stableman cooks, and very well
too. This is colonial life--a series of makeshifts and
difficulties; but the climate is fine, people feel well and make
money, and I think it is not an unhappy life. I have been most
fortunate in my abode, and can say, without speaking cynically,
that I have found 'my warmest welcome at an inn'. Mine host is a
rough soldier, but the very soul of good nature and good feeling;
and his wife is a very nice person--so cheerful, clever, and

I should like to bring home the little Madagascar girl from
Rathfelders, or a dear little mulatto who nurses a brown baby here,
and is so clean and careful and 'pretty behaved',--but it would be
a great risk. The brown babies are ravishing--so fat and jolly and

One great charm of the people here is, that no one expects money or
gifts, and that all civility is gratis. Many a time I finger small
coin secretly in my pocket, and refrain from giving it, for fear of
spoiling this innocence. I have not once seen a LOOK implying
'backsheesh', and begging is unknown. But the people are reserved
and silent, and have not the attractive manners of the darkies of
Capetown and the neighbourhood.


Caledon, Feb. 22d.

Yesterday Captain D- gave me a very nice caross of blessbok skins,
which he got from some travelling trader. The excellence of the
Caffre skin-dressing and sewing is, I fancy, unequalled; the bok-
skins are as soft as a kid glove, and have no smell at all.

In the afternoon the young doctor drove me, in his little gig-cart
and pair (the lightest and swiftest of conveyances), to see a wine-
farm. The people were not at work, but we saw the tubs and vats,
and drank 'most'. The grapes are simply trodden by a Hottentot, in
a tub with a sort of strainer at the bottom, and then thrown--
skins, stalks, and all--into vats, where the juice ferments for
twice twenty-four hours; after which it is run into casks, which
are left with the bung out for eight days; then the wine is drawn
off into another cask, a little sulphur and brandy are added to it,
and it is bunged down. Nothing can be conceived so barbarous. I
have promised Mr. M- to procure and send him an exact account of
the process in Spain. It might be a real service to a most worthy
and amiable man. Dr. M- also would be glad of a copy. They
literally know nothing about wine-making here, and with such
matchless grapes I am sure it ought to be good. Altogether, 'der
alte Schlendrian' prevails at the Cape to an incredible degree.

If two 'Heeren M-' call on you, please be civil to them. I don't
know them personally, but their brother is the doctor here, and the
most good-natured young fellow I ever saw. If I were returning by
Somerset instead of Worcester, I might put up at their parents'
house and be sure of a welcome; and I can tell you civility to
strangers is by no means of course here. I don't wonder at it; for
the old Dutch families ARE GENTLEFOLKS of the good dull old school,
and the English colonists can scarcely suit them. In the few
instances in which I have succeeded in thawing a Dutchman, I have
found him wonderfully good-natured; and the different manner in
which I was greeted when in company with the young doctor showed
the feeling at once. The dirt of a Dutch house is not to be
conceived. I have had sights in bedrooms in very respectable
houses which I dare not describe. The coloured people are just as
clean. The young doctor (who is much Anglicised) tells me that, in
illness, he has to break the windows in the farmhouses--they are
built not to open! The boers are below the English in manners and
intelligence, and hate them for their 'go-ahead' ways, though THEY
seem slow enough to me. As to drink, I fancy it is six of one and
half a dozen of the other; but the English are more given to
eternal drams, and the Dutch to solemn drinking bouts. I can't
understand either, in this climate, which is so stimulating, that I
more often drink ginger-beer or water than wine--a bottle of sherry
lasted me a fortnight, though I was ordered to drink it; somehow, I
had no mind to it.

27th.--The cart could not be got till the day before yesterday, and
yesterday Mrs. D- arrived in it with two new Irish maids; it saved
her 3l., and I must have paid equally. The horses were very tired,
having been hard at work carrying Malays all the week to Constantia
and back, on a pilgrimage to the tomb of a Mussulman saint; so to-
day they rest, and to-morrow I go to Villiersdorp. Choslullah has
been appointed driver of a post-cart; he tried hard to be allowed
to pay a remplacant, and to fetch 'his missis', but was refused
leave; and so a smaller and blacker Malay has come, whom Choslullah
threatened to curse heavily if he failed to take great care of 'my
missis' and be a 'good boy'. Ramadan begins on Sunday, and my poor
driver can't even prepare for it by a good feast, as no fowls are
to be had here just now, and he can't eat profanely-killed meat.
Some pious Christian has tried to burn a Mussulman martyr's tomb at
Eerste River, and there were fears the Malays might indulge in a
little revenge; but they keep quiet. I am to go with my driver to
eat some of the feast (of Bairam, is it not?) at his priest's when
Ramadan ends, if I am in Capetown, and also am asked to a wedding
at a relation of Choslullah's. It was quite a pleasure to hear the
kindly Mussulman talk, after these silent Hottentots. The Malays
have such agreeable manners; so civil, without the least cringing
or Indian obsequiousness. I dare say they can be very 'insolent'
on provocation; but I have always found among them manners like
old-fashioned French ones, but quieter; and they have an
affectionate way of saying 'MY missis' when they know one, which is
very nice to hear. It is getting quite chilly here already; COLD
night and morning; and I shall be glad to descend off this plateau
into the warmer regions of Worcester, &c. I have just bought EIGHT
splendid ostrich feathers for 1l. of my old Togthandler friend. In
England they would cost from eighteen to twenty-five shillings
each. I have got a reebok and a klipspringer skin for you; the
latter makes a saddle-cloth which defies sore backs; they were
given me by Klein and a farmer at Palmiet River. The flesh was
poor stuff, white and papery. The Hottentots can't 'bray' the
skins as the Caffres do; and the woman who did mine asked me for a
trifle beforehand, and got so drunk that she let them dry halfway
in the process, consequently they don't look so well.

Worcester, Sunday, March 2d.

Oh, such a journey! Such country! Pearly mountains and deep blue
sky, and an impassable pass to walk down, and baboons, and
secretary birds, and tortoises! I couldn't sleep for it all last
night, tired as I was with the unutterably bad road, or track

Well, we left Caledon on Friday, at ten o'clock, and though the
weather had been cold and unpleasant for two days, I had a lovely
morning, and away we went to Villiersdorp (pronounced Filjeesdorp).
It is quite a tiny village, in a sort of Rasselas-looking valley.
We were four hours on the road, winding along the side of a
mountain ridge, which we finally crossed, with a splendid view of
the sea at the far-distant end of a huge amphitheatre formed by two
ridges of mountains, and on the other side the descent into
Filjeesdorp. The whole way we saw no human being or habitation,
except one shepherd, from the time we passed Buntje's kraal, about
two miles out of Caledon. The little drinking-shop would not hold
travellers, so I went to the house of the storekeeper (as the
clergyman of Caledon had told me I might), and found a most kind
reception. Our host was English, an old man-of-war's man, with a
gentle, kindly Dutch wife, and the best-mannered children I have
seen in the colony. They gave us clean comfortable beds and a good
dinner, and wine ten years in the cellar; in short, the best of
hospitality. I made an effort to pay for the entertainment next
morning, when, after a good breakfast, we started loaded with
fruit, but the kind people would not hear of it, and bid me good-
bye like old friends. At the end of the valley we went a little
up-hill, and then found ourselves at the top of a pass down into
the level below. S- and I burst out with one voice, 'How
beautiful!' Sabaal, our driver, thought the exclamation was an
ironical remark on the road, which, indeed, appeared to be
exclusively intended for goats. I suggested walking down, to
which, for a wonder, the Malay agreed. I was really curious to see
him get down with two wheels and four horses, where I had to lay
hold from time to time in walking. The track was excessively
steep, barely wide enough, and as slippery as a flagstone pavement,
being the naked mountain-top, which is bare rock. However, all
went perfectly right.

How shall I describe the view from that pass? In front was a long,
long level valley, perhaps three to five miles broad (I can't judge
distance in this atmosphere; a house that looks a quarter of a mile
off is two miles distant). At the extreme end, in a little gap
between two low brown hills that crossed each other, one could just
see Worcester--five hours' drive off. Behind it, and on each side
the plain, mountains of every conceivable shape and colour; the
strangest cliffs and peaks and crags toppling every way, and tinged
with all the colours of opal; chiefly delicate, pale lilac and
peach colour, but varied with red brown and Titian green. In spite
of the drought, water sparkled on the mountain-sides in little
glittering threads, and here and there in the plain; and pretty
farms were dotted on either side at the very bottom of the slopes
toward the mountain-foot. The sky of such a blue! (it is deeper
now by far than earlier in the year). In short, I never did see
anything so beautiful. It even surpassed Hottentot's Holland. On
we went, straight along the valley, crossing drift after drift;--a
drift is the bed of a stream more or less dry; in which sometimes
you are drowned, sometimes only POUNDED, as was our hap. The track
was incredibly bad, except for short bits, where ironstone
prevailed. However, all went well, and on the road I chased and
captured a pair of remarkably swift and handsome little
'Schelpats'. That you may duly appreciate such a feat of valour
and activity, I will inform you that their English name is
'tortoise'. On the strength of this effort, we drank a bottle of
beer, as it was very hot and sandy; and our Malay was a WET enough
Mussulman to take his full share in a modest way, though he
declined wine or 'Cape smoke Soopjes' (drams) with aversion. No
sooner had we got under weigh again, than Sabaal pulled up and
said, 'There ARE the Baviaans Missis want to see!' and so they
were. At some distance by the river was a great brute, bigger than
a Newfoundland dog, stalking along with the hideous baboon walk,
and tail vehemently cocked up; a troop followed at a distance,
hiding and dodging among the palmiets. They were evidently en
route to rob a garden close to them, and had sent a great stout
fellow ahead to reconnoitre. 'He see Missis, and feel sure she not
got a gun; if man come on horseback, you see 'em run like devil.'
We had not that pleasure, and left them, on felonious thoughts

The road got more and more beautiful as we neared Worcester, and
the mountains grew higher and craggier. Presently, a huge bird,
like a stork on the wing, pounced down close by us. He was a
secretary-bird, and had caught sight of a snake. We passed 'Brant
Vley' (burnt or hot spring), where sulphur-water bubbles up in a
basin some thirty feet across and ten or twelve deep. The water is
clear as crystal, and is hot enough just NOT to boil an egg, I was
told. At last, one reaches the little gap between the brown hills
which one has seen for four hours, and drives through it into a
wide, wide flat, with still craggier and higher mountains all
round, and Worcester in front at the foot of a towering cliff. The
town is not so pretty, to my taste, as the little villages. The
streets are too wide, and the market-place too large, which always
looks dreary, but the houses and gardens individually are charming.
Our inn is a very nice handsome old Dutch house; but we have got
back to 'civilization', and the horrid attempts at 'style' which
belong to Capetown. The landlord and lady are too genteel to
appear at all, and the Hottentots, who are disguised, according to
their sexes, in pantry jacket and flounced petticoat, don't
understand a word of English or of real Dutch. At Gnadenthal they
understood Dutch, and spoke it tolerably; but here, as in most
places, it is three-parts Hottentot; and then they affect to
understand English, and bring everything wrong, and are sulky: but
the rooms are very comfortable. The change of climate is complete-
-the summer was over at Caledon, and here we are into it again--the
most delicious air one can conceive; it must have been a perfect
oven six weeks ago. The birds are singing away merrily still; the
approach of autumn does not silence them here. The canaries have a
very pretty song, like our linnet, only sweeter; the rest are very
inferior to ours. The sugar-bird is delicious when close by, but
his pipe is too soft to be heard at any distance.

To those who think voyages and travels tiresome, my delight in the
new birds and beasts and people must seem very stupid. I can't
help it if it does, and am not ashamed to confess that I feel the
old sort of enchanted wonder with which I used to read Cook's
voyages, and the like, as a child. It is very coarse and
unintellectual of me; but I would rather see this now, at my age,
than Italy; the fresh, new, beautiful nature is a second youth--or
CHILDHOOD--si vous voulez. To-morrow we shall cross the highest
pass I have yet crossed, and sleep at Paarl--then Stellenbosch,
then Capetown. For any one OUT of health, and IN pocket, I should
certainly prescribe the purchase of a waggon and team of six
horses, and a long, slow progress in South Africa. One cannot walk
in the midday sun, but driving with a very light roof over one's
head is quite delicious. When I looked back upon my dreary, lonely
prison at Ventnor, I wondered I had survived it at all.

Capetown, March 7th.

After writing last, we drove out, on Sunday afternoon, to a deep
alpine valley, to see a NEW BRIDGE--a great marvel apparently. The
old Spanish Joe Miller about selling the bridge to buy water
occurred to me, and made Sabaal laugh immensely. The Dutch farmers
were tearing home from Kerk, in their carts--well-dressed,
prosperous-looking folks, with capital horses. Such lovely farms,
snugly nestled in orange and pomegranate groves! It is of no use
to describe this scenery; it is always mountains, and always
beautiful opal mountains; quite without the gloom of European
mountain scenery. The atmosphere must make the charm. I hear that
an English traveller went the same journey and found all barren
from Dan to Beersheba. I'm sorry for him.

In the morning of Sunday, early, I walked along the road with
Sabaal, and saw a picture I shall never forget. A little Malabar
girl had just been bathing in the Sloot, and had put her scanty
shift on her lovely little wet brown body; she stood in the water
with the drops glittering on her brown skin and black, satin hair,
the perfection of youthful loveliness--a naiad of ten years old.
When the shape and features are PERFECT, as hers were, the coffee-
brown shows it better than our colour, on account of its perfect
EVENNESS--like the dead white of marble. I shall never forget her
as she stood playing with the leaves of the gum-tree which hung
over her, and gazing with her glorious eyes so placidly.

On Monday morning, I walked off early to the old Drosdy
(Landdrost's house), found an old gentleman, who turned out to be
the owner, and who asked me my name and all the rest of the Dutch
'litanei' of questions, and showed me the pretty old Dutch garden
and the house--a very handsome one. I walked back to breakfast,
and thought Worcester the prettiest place I had ever seen. We then
started for Paarl, and drove through 'Bain's Kloof', a splendid
mountain-pass, four hours' long, constant driving. It was
glorious, but more like what one had seen in pictures--a deep,
narrow gorge, almost dark in places, and, to my mind, lacked the
BEAUTY of the yesterday's drive, though it is, perhaps, grander;
but the view which bursts on one at the top, and the descent,
winding down the open mountain-side, is too fine to describe.
Table Mountain, like a giant's stronghold, seen far distant, with
an immense plain, half fertile, half white sand; to the left,
Wagenmaker's Vley; and further on, the Paarl lying scattered on the
slope of a mountain topped with two DOMES, just the shape of the
cup which Lais (wasn't it?) presented to the temple of Venus,
moulded on her breast. The horses were tired, so we stopped at
Waggon-maker's Valley (or Wellington, as the English try to get it
called), and found ourselves in a true Flemish village, and under
the roof of a jolly Dutch hostess, who gave us divine coffee and
bread-and-butter, which seemed ambrosia after being deprived of
those luxuries for almost three months. Also new milk in
abundance, besides fruit of all kinds in vast heaps, and
pomegranates off the tree. I asked her to buy me a few to take in
the cart, and got a 'muid', the third of a sack, for a shilling,
with a bill, 'U bekomt 1 muid 28 granaeten dat Kostet 1s.' The old
lady would walk out with me and take me into the shops, to show the
'vrow uit Engelland' to her friends. It was a lovely place,
intensely hot, all glowing with sunshine. Then the sun went down,
and the high mountains behind us were precisely the colour of a
Venice ruby glass--really, truly, and literally;--not purple, not
crimson, but glowing ruby-red--and the quince-hedges and orange-
trees below looked INTENSELY green, and the houses snow-white. It
was a transfiguration--no less.

I saw Hottentots again, four of them, from some remote corner, so
the race is not quite extinct. These were youngish, two men and
two women, quite light yellow, not darker than Europeans, and with
little tiny black knots of wool scattered over their heads at
intervals. They are hideous in face, but exquisitely shaped--very,
very small though. One of the men was drunk, poor wretch, and
looked the picture of misery. You can see the fineness of their
senses by the way in which they dart their glances and prick their
ears. Every one agrees that, when tamed, they make the best of
servants--gentle, clever, and honest; but the penny-a-glass wine
they can't resist, unless when caught and tamed young. They work
in the fields, or did so as long as any were left; but even here, I
was told, it was a wonder to see them.

We went on through the Paarl, a sweet pretty place, reminding one
vaguely of Bonchurch, and still through fine mountains, with Scotch
firs growing like Italian stone pines, and farms, and vineyard upon
vineyard. At Stellenbosch we stopped. I had been told it was the
prettiest town in the colony, and it IS very pretty, with oak-trees
all along the street, like those at Paarl and Wagenmakkers Vley;
but I was disappointed. It was less beautiful than what I had
seen. Besides, the evening was dull and cold. The south-easter
greeted us here, and I could not go out all the afternoon. The inn
was called 'Railway Hotel', and kept by low coarse English people,
who gave us a filthy dinner, dirty sheets, and an atrocious
breakfast, and charged 1l. 3s. 6d. for the same meals and time as
old Vrow Langfeldt had charged 12s. for, and had given civility,
cleanliness, and abundance of excellent food;--besides which, she
fed Sabaal gratis, and these people fleeced him as they did me.
So, next morning, we set off, less pleasantly disposed, for
Capetown, over the flat, which is dreary enough, and had a horrid
south-easter. We started early, and got in before the wind became
a hurricane, which it did later. We were warmly welcomed by Mrs.
R-; and here I am in my old room, looking over the beautiful bay,
quite at home again. It blew all yesterday, and having rather a
sore-throat I stayed in bed, and to-day is all bright and
beautiful. But Capetown looks murky after Caledon and Worcester;
there is, to my eyes, quite a haze over the mountains, and they
look far off and indistinct. All is comparative in this world,
even African skies. At Caledon, the most distant mountains, as far
as your eye can reach, look as clear in every detail as the map on
your table--an appearance utterly new to European eyes.

I gave Sabaal 1l. for his eight days' service as driver, as a
Drinkgelt, and the worthy fellow was in ecstasies of gratitude.
Next morning early, he appeared with a present of bananas, and his
little girl dressed from head to foot in brand-new clothes, bought
out of my money, with her wool screwed up extremely tight in little
knots on her black little head (evidently her mother is the
blackest of Caffres or Mozambiques). The child looked like a
Caffre, and her father considers her quite a pearl. I had her in,
and admired the little thing loud enough for him to hear outside,
as I lay in bed. You see, I too was to have my share in the
pleasure of the new clothes. This readiness to believe that one
will sympathize with them, is very pleasing in the Malays.

March 15.

I went to see my old Malay friends and to buy a water-melon. They
were in all the misery of Ramadan. Betsy and pretty Nassirah very
thin and miserable, and the pious old Abdool sitting on a little
barrel waiting for 'gun-fire'--i.e. sunset, to fall to on the
supper which old Betsy was setting out. He was silent, and the
corners of his mouth were drawn down just like -'s at an evening

I shall go to-morrow to bid the T-s good-bye, at Wynberg. I was to
have spent a few days there, but Wynberg is cold at night and
dampish, so I declined that. She is a nice woman--Irish, and so
innocent and frank and well-bred. She has been at Cold Bokke Veld,
and shocked her puritanical host by admiring the naked Caffres who
worked on his farm. He wanted them to wear clothes.

We have been amused by the airs of a naval captain and his wife,
who are just come here. They complained that the merchant-service
officers spoke FAMILIARLY to their children on board. Quel audace!
When I think of the excellent, modest, manly young fellows who
talked very familiarly and pleasantly to me on board the St.
Lawrence, I long to reprimand these foolish people.

Friday, 21st.--I am just come from prayer, at the Mosque in
Chiappini Street, on the outskirts of the town. A most striking
sight. A large room, like a county ball-room, with glass
chandeliers, carpeted with common carpet, all but a space at the
entrance, railed off for shoes; the Caaba and pulpit at one end;
over the niche, a crescent painted; and over the entrance door a
crescent, an Arabic inscription, and the royal arms of England! A
fat jolly Mollah looked amazed as I ascended the steps; but when I
touched my forehead and said, 'Salaam Aleikoom', he laughed and
said, 'Salaam, Salaam, come in, come in.' The faithful poured in,
all neatly dressed in their loose drab trousers, blue jackets, and
red handkerchiefs on their heads; they left their wooden clogs in
company, with my shoes, and proceeded, as it appeared, to strip.
Off went jackets, waistcoats, and trousers, with the dexterity of a
pantomime transformation; the red handkerchief was replaced by a
white skullcap, and a long large white shirt and full white drawers
flowed around them. How it had all been stuffed into the trim
jacket and trousers, one could not conceive. Gay sashes and
scarves were pulled out of a little bundle in a clean silk
handkerchief, and a towel served as prayer-carpet. In a moment the
whole scene was as oriental as if the Hansom cab I had come in
existed no more. Women suckled their children, and boys played
among the clogs and shoes all the time, and I sat on the floor in a
remote corner. The chanting was very fine, and the whole ceremony
very decorous and solemn. It lasted an hour; and then the little
heaps of garments were put on, and the congregation dispersed, each
man first laying a penny on a very curious little old Dutch-
looking, heavy, iron-bound chest, which stood in the middle of the

I have just heard that the post closes to-night and must say
farewell--a rivederci.


Capetown, March 20th.

Dearest mother,

Dr. Shea says he fears I must not winter in England yet, but that I
am greatly improved--as, indeed, I could tell him. He is another
of the kind 'sea doctors' I have met with; he came all the way from
Simon's Bay to see me, and then said, 'What nonsense is that?' when
I offered him a fee. This is a very nice place up in the
'gardens', quite out of the town and very comfortable. But I
regret Caledon. A- will show you my account of my beautiful
journey back. Worcester is a fairy-land; and then to catch
tortoises walking about, and to see 'baviaans', and snakes and
secretary birds eating them! and then people have the impudence to
think I must have been 'very dull!' Sie merken's nicht, that it is
THEY who are dull.

Dear Dr. Hawtrey! he must have died just as I was packing up the
first Caffre Testament for him! I felt his death very much, in
connexion with my father; their regard for each other was an honour
to both. I have the letter he wrote me on J-'s marriage, and a
charming one it is.

I took Mrs. A- a drive in a Hansom cab to-day out to Wynberg, to
see my friends Captain and Mrs. T-, who have a cottage under Table
Mountain in a spot like the best of St. George's Hill. Very dull
too; but as she is really a lady, it suits her, and Capetown does
not. I was to have stayed with them, but Wynberg is cold at night.
Poor B-'s wife is very ill and won't leave Capetown for a day. The
people here are wunderlich for that. A lady born here, and with
7,000l. a year, has never been further than Stellenbosch, about
twenty miles. I am asked how I lived and what I ate during my
little excursion, as if I had been to Lake Ngami. If only I had
known how easy it all is, I would have gone by sea to East London
and seen the Knysna and George district, and the primaeval African
forest, the yellow wood, and other giant trees. However, 'For what
I have received,' &c., &c. No one can conceive what it is, after
two years of prison and utter languor, to stand on the top of a
mountain pass, and enjoy physical existence for a few hours at a
time. I felt as if it was quite selfish to enjoy anything so much
when you were all so anxious about me at home; but as that is the
best symptom of all, I do not repent.

S- has been an excellent travelling servant, and really a better
companion than many more educated people; for she is always amused
and curious, and is friendly with the coloured people. She is
quite recovered. It is a wonderful climate--sans que cela
paraisse. It feels chilly and it blows horridly, and does not seem
genial, but it gives new life.

To-morrow I am going with old Abdool Jemaalee to prayers at the
Mosque, and shall see a school kept by a Malay priest. It is now
Ramadan,. and my Muslim friends are very thin and look glum.
Choslullah sent a message to ask, 'Might he see the Missis once
more? He should pray all the time she was on the sea.' Some pious
Christians here would expect such horrors to sink the ship. I
can't think why Mussulmans are always gentlemen; the Malay coolies
have a grave courtesy which contrasts most strikingly with both
European vulgarity and negro jollity. It is very curious, for they
only speak Dutch, and know nothing of oriental manners. I fear I
shall not see the Walkers again. Simon's Bay is too far to go and
come in a day, as one cannot go out before ten or eleven, and must
be in by five or half-past. Those hours are gloriously bright and
hot, but morning and night are cold.

I am so happy in the thought of sailing now so very soon and seeing
you all again, that I can settle to nothing for five minutes. I
now feel how anxious and uneasy I have been, and how I shall
rejoice to get home. I shall leave a letter for A-, to go in
April, and tell him and you what ship I am in. I shall choose the
SLOWEST, so as not to reach England and face the Channel before
June, if possible. So don't be alarmed if I do not arrive till
late in June. Till then good-bye, and God bless you, dearest
mother--Auf frohes Wiedersehn.


Capetown, Sunday, March 23d.

It has been a REAL hot day, and threatened an earthquake and a
thunderstorm; but nothing has come of it beyond sheet lightning to-
night, which is splendid over the bay, and looks as if repeated in
a grand bush-fire on the hills opposite. The sunset was glorious.
That rarest of insects, the praying mantis, has just dropped upon
my paper. I am thankful that, not being an entomologist, I am
dispensed from the sacred duty of impaling the lovely green
creature who sits there, looking quite wise and human. Fussy
little brown beetles, as big as two lady-birds, keep flying into my
eyes, and the musquitoes are rejoicing loudly in the prospect of a
feast. You will understand by this that both windows are wide open
into the great verandah,--very unusual in this land of cold nights.

April 4th.--I have been trying in vain to get a passage home. The
Camperdown has not come. In short, I am waiting for a chance
vessel, and shall pack up now and be ready to go on board at a
day's notice.

I went on the last evening of Ramadan to the Mosque, having heard
there was a grand 'function'; but there were only little boys lying
about on the floor, some on their stomachs, some on their backs,
higgledy-piggledy (if it be not profane to apply the phrase to
young Islam), all shouting their prayers a tue tete. Priests, men,
women, and English crowded in and out in the exterior division.
The English behaved a l'Anglaise--pushed each other, laughed,
sneered, and made a disgusting display of themselves. I asked a
stately priest, in a red turban, to explain the affair to me, and
in a few minutes found myself supplied by one Mollah with a chair,
and by another with a cup of tea--was, in short, in the midst of a
Malay soiree. They spoke English very little, but made up for it
by their usual good breeding and intelligence. On Monday, I am
going to see the school which the priest keeps at his house, and to
'honour his house by my presence'. The delight they show at any
friendly interest taken in them is wonderful. Of course, I am
supposed to be poisoned. A clergyman's widow here gravely asserts
that her husband went mad THREE YEARS after drinking a cup of
coffee handed to him by a Malay!--and in consequence of drinking
it! It is exactly like the mediaeval feeling about the Jews. I
saw that it was quite a DEMONSTRATION that I drank up the tea
unhesitatingly. Considering that the Malays drank it themselves,
my courage deserves less admiration. But it was a quaint sensation
to sit in a Mosque, behaving as if at an evening party, in a little
circle of poor Moslim priests.

I am going to have a photograph of my cart done. I was to have
gone to the place to-day, but when Choslullah (whom I sent for to
complete the picture) found out what I wanted, he implored me to
put it off till Monday, that he might be better dressed, and was so
unhappy at the notion of being immortalized in an old jacket, that
I agreed to the delay. Such a handsome fellow may be allowed a
little vanity.

The colony is torn with dissensions as to Sunday trains. Some of
the Dutch clergy are even more absurd than our own on that point.
A certain Van der Lingen, at Stellenbosch, calls Europe 'one vast
Sodom', and so forth. There is altogether a nice kettle of
religious hatred brewing here. The English Bishop of Capetown
appoints all the English clergy, and is absolute monarch of all he
surveys; and he and his clergy are carrying matters with a high
hand. The Bishop's chaplain told Mrs. J- that she could not hope
for salvation in the Dutch Church, since her clergy were not
ordained by any bishop, and therefore they could only administer
the sacrament 'unto damnation'. All the physicians in a body,
English as well as Dutch, have withdrawn from the Dispensary,
because it was used as a means of pressure to draw the coloured
people from the Dutch to the English Church.

This High-Church tyranny cannot go on long. Catholics there are
few, but their bishop plays the same game; and it is a losing one.
The Irish maid at the Caledon inn was driven by her bishop to be
married at the Lutheran church, just as a young Englishman I know
(though a fervent Puseyite) was driven to be married at the Scotch
kirk. The colonial bishops are despots in their own churches, and
there is no escape from their tyranny but by dissent. The Admiral
and his family have been anathematized for going to a fancy bazaar
given by the Wesleyans for their chapel.

April 8th.--Yesterday, I failed about my cart photograph. First,
the owner had sent away the cart, and when Choslullah came dressed
in all his best clothes, with a lovely blue handkerchief setting
off his beautiful orange-tawny face, he had to rush off to try to
borrow another cart. As ill luck would have it, he met a 'serious
young man', with no front teeth, and a hideous wen on his eyebrow,
who informed the priest of Choslullah's impious purpose, and came
with him to see that he did NOT sit for his portrait. I believe it
was half envy; for my handsome driver was as pleased, and then as
disappointed, as a young lady about her first ball, and obviously
had no religious scruples of his own on the subject. The weather
is very delightful now--hot, but beautiful; and the south-easters,
though violent, are short, and not cold. As in all other
countries, autumn is the best time of year.

April 15th.--Your letters arrived yesterday, to my great delight.
I have been worrying about a ship, and was very near sailing to-day
by the Queen of the South at twenty-four hours' notice, but I have
resolved to wait for the Camperdown. The Queen of the South is a
steamer,--which is odious, for they pitch the coal all over the
lower deck, so that you breathe coal-dust for the first ten days;
then she was crammed--only one cabin vacant, and that small, and on
the lower deck--and fifty-two children on board. Moreover, she
will probably get to England too soon, so I resign myself to wait.
The Camperdown has only upper-deck cabins, and I shall have fresh
air. I am not as well as I was at Caledon, so I am all the more
anxious to have a voyage likely to do me good instead of harm.

I got my cart and Choslullah photographed after all. Choslullah
came next day (having got rid of his pious friend), quite resolved
that 'the Missis' should take his portrait, so I will send or bring
a few copies of my beloved cart. After the photograph was done, we
drove round the Kloof, between Table and Lion Mountain. The road
is cut on the side of Lion Mountain, and overhangs the sea at a
great height. Camp Bay, which lies on the further side of the
'Lion's Head', is most lovely; never was sea so deeply blue, rocks
so warmly brown, or sand and foam so glittering white; and down at
the mountain-foot the bright green of the orange and pomegranate
trees throws it all out in greater relief. But the atmosphere here
won't do after that of the 'Ruggings', as the Caledon line of
country is called. I shall never lose the impression of the view I
had when Dr. Morkel drove me out on a hill-side, where the view
seemed endless and without a vestige of life; and yet in every
valley there were farms; but it looked a vast, utter solitude, and
without the least haze. You don't know what that utter clearness
means--the distinctness is quite awful. Here it is always slightly
hazy; very pretty and warm, but it takes off from the grandeur. It
is the difference between a pretty Pompadour beauty and a Greek
statue. Those pale opal mountains, as distinct in every detail as
the map on your table, are so cheerful and serene; no melodramatic
effects of clouds and gloom. I suppose it is not really so
beautiful as it seemed to me, for other people say it is bare and
desolate, and certainly it is; but it seemed to me anything but

I am persuaded that Capetown is not healthy; indeed, the town can't
be, from its stench and dirt; but I believe the whole seashore is
more or less bad, compared to the upper plateaux, of which I know
only the first. I should have gone back to Paarl, only that ships
come and go within twenty-four hours, so one has the pleasure of
living in constant expectation, with packed trunks, wondering when
one shall get away. A clever Mr. M-, who has lived ALL OVER India,
and is going back to Singapore, with his wife and child, are now in
the house; and some very pleasant Jews, bound for British
Caffraria--one of them has a lovely little wife and three children.
She is very full of Prince Albert's death, and says there was not a
dry eye in the synagogues in London, which were all hung with black
on the day of his funeral, and prayer went on the whole day. 'THE
PEOPLE mourned for him as much as for Hezekiah; and, indeed, he
deserved it a great deal better,' was her rather unorthodox
conclusion. These colonial Jews are a new 'Erscheinung' to me.
They have the features of their race, but many of their
peculiarities are gone. Mr. L-, who is very handsome and
gentlemanly, eats ham and patronises a good breed of pigs on the
'model farm' on which he spends his money. He is (he says) a
thorough Jew in faith, and evidently in charitable works; but he
wants to say his prayers in English and not to 'dress himself up'
in a veil and phylacteries for the purpose; and he and his wife
talk of England as 'home', and care as much for Jerusalem as their
neighbours. They have not forgotten the old persecutions, and are
civil to the coloured people, and speak of them in quite a
different tone from other English colonists. Moreover, they are
far better mannered, and more 'HUMAN', in the German sense of the
word, in all respects;--in short, less 'colonial'.

I have bought some Cape 'confeyt'; apricots, salted and then
sugared, called 'mebos'--delicious! Also pickled peaches,
'chistnee', and quince jelly. I have a notion of some Cherupiga
wine for ourselves. I will inquire the cost of bottling, packing,
&c.; it is about one shilling and fourpence a bottle here, sweet
red wine, unlike any other I ever drank, and I think very good. It
is very tempting to bring a few things so unknown in England. I
have a glorious 'Velcombers' for you, a blanket of nine Damara
sheepskins, sewn by the Damaras, and dressed so that moths and
fleas won't stay near them. It will make a grand railway rug and
'outside car' covering. The hunters use them for sleeping out of
doors. I have bought three, and a springbok caross for somebody.

April 17th.--The winter has set in to-day. It rains steadily, at
the rate of the heaviest bit of the heaviest shower in England, and
is as cold as a bad day early in September. One can just sit
without a fire. Presently, all will be green and gay; for winter
is here the season of flowers, and the heaths will cover the
country with a vast Turkey carpet. Already the green is appearing
where all was brown yesterday. To-day is Good Friday; and if
Christmas seemed odd at Midsummer, Easter in autumn seems
positively unnatural. Our Jewish party made their exodus to-day,
by the little coasting steamer, to Algoa Bay. I rather condoled
with the pretty little woman about her long rough journey, with
three babies; but she laughed, and said they had had time to get
used to it ever since the days of Moses. All she grieved over was
not being able to keep Passover, and she described their domestic
ceremonies quite poetically. We heard from our former housemaid,
Annie, the other day, announcing her marriage and her sister's.
She wrote such a pretty, merry letter to S-, saying 'the more she
tried not to like him, the better she loved him, and had to say,
"Aha, Annie, you're caught at last."' A year and a half is a long
time to remain single in this country.

Monday, April 21st, Easter Monday.--The mail goes out in an hour,
so I will just add, good-bye. The winter is now fairly set in, and
I long to be off. I fear I shall have a desperately cold week or
so at first sailing, till we catch the south-east trades. This
weather is beautiful in itself, but I feel it from the suddenness
of the change. We passed in one night from hot summer to winter,
which is like FINE English April, or October, only brighter than
anything in Europe. There is properly, no autumn or spring here;
only hot, dry, brown summer, with its cold wind at times, and fresh
green winter, all fragrance and flowers, and much less wind. Mr.
M-, of whom I told you, has been in every corner of the far East--
Java, Sumatra, everywhere--and is extremely amusing. He has
brought his wife here for her health, and is as glad to talk as I
am. The conversation of an educated, clever person, is quite a new
and delightful sensation to me now. He appears to have held high
posts under the East India Company, is learned in Oriental
languages, and was last resident at Singapore. He says that no
doubt Java is Paradise, it is so lovely, and such a climate; but he
does not look as if it had agreed with him. I feel quite heart-
sick at seeing these letters go off before me, instead of leaving
them behind, as I had hoped.

Well, I must say good-bye--or rather, 'auf Wiedersehn'--and God
knows how glad I shall be when that day comes!


Capetown, April 19th.

Dearest mother,

Here I am, waiting for a ship; the steamer was too horrid: and I
look so much to the good to be gained by the voyage that I did not
like to throw away the chance of two months at sea at this
favourable time of year, and under favourable circumstances; so I
made up my mind to see you all a month later. The sea just off the
Cape is very, very cold; less so now than in spring, I dare say.
The weather to-day is just like VERY warm April at home--showery,
sunshiny, and fragrant; most lovely. It is so odd to see an autumn
without dead leaves: only the oaks lose theirs, the old ones drop
without turning brown, and the trees bud again at once. The rest
put on a darker green dress for winter, and now the flowers will
begin. I have got a picture for you of my 'cart and four', with
sedate Choslullah and dear little Mohammed. The former wants to go
with me, 'anywhere', as he placidly said, 'to be the missis'
servant'. What a sensation his thatchlike hat and handsome orange-
tawny face would make at Esher! Such a stalwart henchman would be
very creditable. I shall grieve to think I shall never see my
Malay friends again; they are the only people here who are really
interesting. I think they must be like the Turks in manner, as
they have all the eastern gentlemanly 'Gelassenheit' (ease) and
politeness, and no eastern 'Geschmeidigkeit' (obsequiousness), and
no idea of Baksheesh; withal frugal, industrious, and money-making,
to an astonishing degree. The priest is a bit of a proselytiser,
and amused me much with an account of how he had converted English
girls from their evil courses and made them good Mussulwomen. I
never heard a naif and sincere account of conversions FROM
Christianity before, and I must own it was much milder than the
Exeter Hall style.

I have heard a great many expressions of sorrow for the Queen from
the Malays, and always with the 'hope the people will take much
care of her, now she is alone'. Of course Prince Albert was only
the Queen's husband to them, and all their feeling is about her.
It is very difficult to see anything of them, for they want nothing
of you, and expect nothing but dislike and contempt. It would take
a long time to make many friends, as they are naturally
distrustful. I found that eating or drinking anything, if they
offer it, made most way, as they know they are accused of poisoning
all Christians indiscriminately. Of course, therefore, they are
shy of offering things. I drank tea in the Mosque at the end of
Ramadan, and was surrounded by delighted faces as I sipped. The
little boy who waits in this house here had followed us, and was
horrified: he is still waiting to see the poison work.

No one can conceive what has become of all the ships that usually
touch here about this time. I was promised my choice of Green's
and Smith's, and now only the heavy old Camperdown is expected with
rice from Moulmein. A lady now here, who has been Heaven only
knows WHERE NOT, praises Alexandria above all other places, after
Suez. Her lungs are bad, and she swears by Suez, which she says is
the dreariest and healthiest (for lungs) place in the world. You
can't think how soon one learns to 'annihilate space', if not time,
in one's thoughts, by daily reading advertisements for every port
in India, America, Australia, &c., &c., and conversing with people
who have just come from the 'ends of the earth'. Meanwhile, I fear
I shall have to fly from next winter again, and certainly will go
with J- to Egypt, which seems to me like next door.

I have run on, and not thanked you for your letter and M. Mignet's
beautiful eloge of Mr. Hallam, which pleased me greatly. I wish
Englishmen could learn to speak with the same good taste and

Mr. Wodehouse, who has been very civil to me, kindly tried to get
me a passage home in a French frigate lying here, but in vain. I
am now sorry I let the Jack tars here persuade me not to go in the
little barque; but they talked so much of the heat and damp of such
tiny cabins in an iron vessel, that I gave her up, though I liked
the idea of a good tossing in such a tiny cockboat. I will leave a
letter for the May mail, unless I sail within a week of to-morrow,
or go by the Jason, which would be home far sooner than the mail.
I only hope you and A- won't be uneasy; the worst that can happen
is delay, and the long voyage will be all gain to health, which
would not be the case in a steamer.

All I hear of R- makes me wild to see her again. The little
darkies are the only pleasing children here, and a fat black
toddling thing is 'allerliebst'. I know a boy of four, literally
jet black, whom I long to steal as he follows his mother up to the
mountain to wash. Little Malays are lovely, but TOO well-behaved
and quiet. I tried to get a real 'tottie', or 'Hotentotje', but
the people were too drunk to remember where they had left their
child. C'est assez dire, that I should have had no scruple in
buying it for a bottle of 'smoke' (the spirit made from grape
husks). They are clever and affectionate when they have a chance,
poor things,--and so strange to look at.

By the bye, a Bonn man, Dr. Bleek, called here with 'Grusse' from
our old friends, Professor Mendelssohn and his wife. He is
devoting himself to Hottentot and aboriginal literature!--and has
actually mastered the Caffre click, which I vainly practised under
Kleenboy's tuition. He wanted to teach me to say 'Tkorkha', which
means 'you lie', or 'you have missed' (in shooting or throwing a
stone, &c.)--a curious combination of meanings. He taught me to
throw stones or a stick at him, which he always avoided, however
close they fell, and cried 'Tkorkha!' The Caffres ask for a
present, 'Tkzeelah Tabak', 'a gift for tobacco'.

The Farnese Hercules is a living TRUTH. I saw him in the street
two days ago, and he was a Caffre coolie. The proportions of the
head and throat were more wonderful in flesh, or muscle rather,
than in marble. I know a Caffre girl of thirteen, who is a noble
model of strength and beauty; such an arm--larger than any white
woman's--with such a dimple in her elbow, and a wrist and hand
which no glove is small enough to fit--and a noble countenance too.
She is 'apprenticed', a name for temporary slavery, and is highly
spoken of as a servant, as the Caffres always are. They are a
majestic race, but with just the stupid conceit of a certain sort
of Englishmen; the women and girls seem charming.

Easter Sunday.--The weather continues beautifully clear and bright,
like the finest European spring. It seems so strange for the
floral season to be the winter. But as the wind blows the air is
quite cold to-day; nevertheless, I feel much better the last two
days. The brewing of the rain made the air very oppressive and
heavy for three weeks, but now it is as light as possible.

I must say good-bye, as the mail closes to-morrow morning. Easter
in autumn is preposterous, only the autumn looks like spring. The
consumptive young girl whom I packed off to the Cape, and her
sister, are about to be married--of course. Annie has had a touch
of Algoa Bay fever, a mild kind of ague, but no sign of chest
disease, or even delicacy. My 'hurrying her off', which some
people thought so cruel, has saved her. Whoever comes SOON ENOUGH
recovers, but for people far gone it is too bracing.


Capetown, Saturday, May 3d.

Dearest mother,

After five weeks of waiting and worry, I have, at last, sent my
goods on board the ship Camperdown, now discharging her cargo, and
about to take a small party of passengers from the Cape. I offered
to take a cabin in a Swedish ship, bound for Falmouth; but the
captain could not decide whether he would take a passenger; and
while he hesitated the old Camperdown came in. I have the best
cabin after the stern cabins, which are occupied by the captain and
his wife and the Attorney-General of Capetown, who is much liked.
The other passengers are quiet people, and few of them, and the
captain has a high character; so I may hope for a comfortable,
though slow passage. I will let you know the day I sail, and leave
this letter to go by post. I may be looked for three weeks or so
after this letter. I am crazy to get home now; after the period
was over for which I had made up my mind, home-sickness began.

Mrs. R- has offered me a darling tiny monkey, which loves me; but I
fear A- would send me away again if I returned with her in my
pocket. Nassirah, old Abdool's pretty granddaughter, brought me a
pair of Malay shoes or clogs as a parting gift, to-day. Mr. M-,
the resident at Singapore, tells me that his secretary's wife, a
Malay lady, has made an excellent translation of the Arabian
Nights, from Arabic into Malay. Her husband is an Indian
Mussulman, who, Mr. M- said, was one of the ablest men he ever
knew. Curious!

I sat, yesterday, for an hour, in the stall of a poor German
basket-maker who had been long in Caffre-land. His wife, a
Berlinerin, was very intelligent, and her account of her life here
most entertaining, as showing the different Ansicht natural to
Germans. 'I had never', she said, 'been out of the city of Berlin,
and KNEW NOTHING.' (Compare with London cockney, or genuine
Parisian.) Thence her fear, on landing at Algoa Bay and seeing
swarms of naked black men, that she had come to a country where no
clothes were to be had; and what should she do when hers were worn
out? They had a grant of land at Fort Peddie, and she dug while
her husband made baskets of cane, and carried them hundreds of
miles for sale; sleeping and eating in Caffre huts. 'Yes, they are
good, honest people, and very well-bred (anstandig), though they go
as naked as God made them. The girls are pretty and very delicate
(fein), and they think no harm of it, the dear innocents.' If
their cattle strayed, it was always brought back; and they received
every sort of kindness. 'Yes, madam, it is shocking how people
here treat the blacks. They call quite an old man 'Boy', and speak
so scornfully, and yet the blacks have very nice manners, I assure
you.' When I looked at the poor little wizened, pale, sickly
Berliner, and fancied him a guest in a Caffre hut, it seemed an odd
picture. But he spoke as coolly of his long, lonely journeys as
possible, and seemed to think black friends quite as good as white
ones. The use of the words anstandig and fein by a woman who spoke
very good German were characteristic. She could recognise an
'Anstandigkeit' not of Berlin. I need not say that the Germans are
generally liked by the coloured people. Choslullah was astonished
and Pleased at my talking German; he evidently had a preference for
Germans, and put up, wherever he could, at German inns and

I went on to bid Mrs. Wodehouse good-bye. We talked of our dear
old Cornish friends. The Governor and Mrs. Wodehouse have been
very kind to me. I dined there twice; last time, with all the dear
good Walkers. I missed seeing the opening of the colonial
parliament by a mistake about a ticket, which I am sorry for.

If I could have dreamed of waiting here so long, I would have run
up to Algoa Bay or East London by sea, and had a glimpse of
Caffreland. Capetown makes me very languid--there is something
depressing in the air--but my cough is much better. I can't walk
here without feeling knocked-up; and cab-hire is so dear; and
somehow, nothing is worth while, when one is waiting from day to
day. So I have spent more money than when I was most amused, in
being bored.

Mr. J- drove me to the Capetown races, at Green Point, on Friday.
As races, they were nichts, but a queer-looking little Cape
farmer's horse, ridden by a Hottentot, beat the English crack
racer, ridden by a first-rate English jockey, in an unaccountable
way, twice over. The Malays are passionately fond of horse-racing,
and the crowd was fully half Malay: there were dozens of carts
crowded with the bright-eyed women, in petticoats of every most
brilliant colour, white muslin jackets, and gold daggers in their
great coils of shining black hair. All most 'anstandig', as they
always are. Their pleasure is driving about en famille; the men
have no separate amusements. Every spare corner in the cart is
filled by the little soft round faces of the intelligent-looking
quiet children, who seem amused and happy, and never make a noise
or have the fidgets. I cannot make out why they are so well
behaved. It favours A-'s theory of the expediency of utter
spoiling, for one never hears any educational process going on.
Tiny Mohammed never spoke but when he was spoken to, and was always
happy and alert. I observed that his uncle spoke to him like a
grown man, and never ordered him about, or rebuked him in the
least. I like to go up the hill and meet the black women coming
home in troops from the washing place, most of them with a fat
black baby hanging to their backs asleep, and a few rather older
trotting alongside, and if small, holding on by the mother's gown.
She, poor soul, carries a bundle on her head, which few men could
lift. If I admire the babies, the poor women are enchanted;--du
reste, if you look at blacks of any age or sex, they MUST grin and
nod, as a good-natured dog must wag his tail; they can't help it.
The blacks here (except a very few Caffres) are from the
Mozambique--a short, thick-set, ugly race, with wool in huge
masses; but here and there one sees a very pretty face among the
women. The men are beyond belief hideous. There are all possible
crosses--Dutch, Mozambique, Hottentot and English, 'alles
durcheinander'; then here and there you see that a Chinese or a
Bengalee a passe par la. The Malays are also a mixed race, like
the Turks--i.e. they marry women of all sorts and colours, provided
they will embrace Islam. A very nice old fellow who waits here
occasionally is married to an Englishwoman, ci-devant lady's-maid
to a Governor's wife. I fancy, too, they brought some Chinese
blood with them from Java. I think the population of Capetown must
be the most motley crew in the world.

Thursday, May 8th.--I sail on Saturday, and go on board to-morrow,
so as not to be hurried off in the early fog. How glad I am to be
'homeward bound' at last, I cannot say. I am very well, and have
every prospect of a pleasant voyage. We are sure to be well found,
as the Attorney-General is on board, and is a very great man,
'inspiring terror and respect' here.

S- says we certainly SHALL put in at St. Helena, so make up your
minds not to see me till I don't know when. She has been on board
fitting up the cabin to-day. I have SUCH a rug for J-! a mosaic of
skins as fine as marqueterie, done by Damara women, and really
beautiful; and a sheep-skin blanket for you, the essence of warmth
and softness. I shall sleep in mine, and dream of African hill-
sides wrapt in a 'Veld combas'. The poor little water-tortoises
have been killed by drought, and I can't get any, but I have the
two of my own catching for M-.

Good-bye, dearest mother.

You would have been moved by poor old Abdool Jemaalee's solemn
benediction when I took leave to-day. He accompanied it with a
gross of oranges and lemons.


Capetown, Thursday, May 8th.

At last, after no end of 'casus' and 'discrimina rerum', I shall
sail on Saturday the 10th, per ship Camperdown, for East India

These weary six weeks have cost no end of money and temper. I have
been eating my heart out at the delay, but it was utterly
impossible to go by any of the Indian ships. They say there have
never been so few ships sailing from the Cape as this year, yet
crowds were expected on account of the Exhibition. The Attorney-
General goes by our ship, so we are sure of good usage; and I hear
he is very agreeable. I have the best cabin next to the stern
cabin, in both senses of NEXT. S- has come back from the ship,
where she has spent the day with the carpenter; and I am to go on
board to-morrow. Will you ask R- to cause inquiries to be made
among the Mollahs of Cairo for a Hadji, by name Abdool Rachman, the
son of Abdool Jemaalee, of Capetown, and, if possible, to get the
inclosed letter sent him? The poor people are in sad anxiety for
their son, of whom they have not heard for four months, and that
from an old letter. Henry will thus have a part of all the
blessings which were solemnly invoked on me by poor old Abdool, who
is getting very infirm, but toddled up and cracked his old fingers
over my head, and invoked the protection of Allah with all form;
besides that Betsy sent me twelve dozen oranges and lemons. Abdool
Rachman is about twenty-six, a Malay of Capetown, speaks Dutch and
English, and is supposed to be studying theology at Cairo. The
letter is written by the prettiest Malay girl in Capetown.

I won't enter upon my longings to be home again, and to see you
all. I must now see to my last commissions and things, and send
this to go by next mail.

God bless you all, and kiss my darlings, all three.


Friday, May 16th.

On board the good ship Camperdown, 500 miles North-west of Table-

I embarked this day week, and found a good airy cabin, and all very
comfortable. Next day I got the carpenter's services, by being on
board before all the rest, and relashed and cleeted everything,
which the 'Timmerman', of course, had left so as to get adrift the
first breeze. At two o'clock the Attorney-General, Mr. Porter,
came on board, escorted by bands of music and all the volunteers of
Capetown, quorum pars maxima fuit; i.e. Colonel. It was quite what
the Yankees call an 'ovation'. The ship was all decked with flags,
and altogether there was le diable a quatre. The consequence was,
that three signals went adrift in the scuffle; and when a Frenchman
signalled us, we had to pass for brutaux Anglais, because we could
not reply. I found means to supply the deficiency by the lining of
that very ancient anonymous cloak, which did the red, while a
bandanna handkerchief of the Captain's furnished the yellow, to the
sailmaker's immense amusement. On him I bestowed the blue outside
of the cloak for a pair of dungaree trowsers, and in signalling now
it is, 'up go 2.41, and my lady's cloak, which is 7.'

We have had lovely weather, and on Sunday such a glorious farewell
sight of Table Mountain and my dear old Hottentot Hills, and of
Kaap Goed Hoop itself. There was little enough wind till
yesterday, when a fair southerly breeze sprang up, and we are
rolling along merrily; and the fat old Camperdown DOES roll like an
honest old 'wholesome' tub as she is. It is quite a bonne fortune
for me to have been forced to wait for her, for we have had a
wonderful spell of fine weather, and the ship is the ne plus ultra
of comfort. We are only twelve first-class upper-deck passengers.
The captain is a delightful fellow, with a very charming young
wife. There is only one child (a great comfort), a capital cook,
and universal civility and quietness. It is like a private house
compared to a railway hotel. Six of the passengers are invalids,
more or less. Mr. Porter, over-worked, going home for health to
Ireland; two men, both with delicate chests, and one poor young
fellow from Capetown in a consumption, who, I fear, will not
outlive the voyage. The doctor is very civil, and very kind to the
sick; but I stick to the cook, and am quite greedy over the good
fare, after the atrocious food of the Cape. Said cook is a
Portuguese, a distinguished artist, and a great bird-fancier. One
can wander all over the ship here, instead of being a prisoner on
the poop; and I even have paid my footing on the forecastle. S-
clambers up like a lively youngster. You may fancy what the
weather is, that I have only closed my cabin-window once during
half of a very damp night; but no one else is so airy. The little
goat was as rejoiced to be afloat again as her mistress, and is a
regular pet on board, with the run of the quarter-deck. She still
gives milk--a perfect Amalthaea. The butcher, who has the care of
her, cockers her up with dainties, and she begs biscuit of the
cook. I pay nothing for her fare. M-'s tortoises are in my cabin,
and seem very happy. Poor Mr. Porter is very sick, and so are the
two or three coloured passengers, who won't 'make an effort' at
all. Mrs. H- (the captain's wife), a young Cape lady, and I are
the only 'female ladies' of the party. The other day we saw a
shoal of porpoises, amounting to many hundreds, if not some
thousands, who came frisking round the ship. When we first saw
them they looked like a line of breakers; they made such a splash,
and they jumped right out of the water three feet in height, and
ten or twelve in distance, glittering green and bronze in the sun.
Such a pretty, merry set of fellows!

We shall touch at St. Helena, where I shall leave this letter to go
by the mail steamer, that you may know a few weeks before I arrive
how comfortably my voyage has begun.

We see no Cape pigeons; they only visit outward ships--is not that
strange?--but, en revanche, many more albatrosses than in coming;
and we also enjoy the advantage of seeing all the homeward-bound
ships, as they all PASS us--a humiliating fact. The captain
laughed heartily because I said, 'Oh, all right; I shall have the
more sea for my money',--when the prospect of a slow voyage was
discussed. It is very provoking to be so much longer separated
from you all than I had hoped, but I really believe that the bad
air and discomfort of the other ships would have done me serious
injury; while here I have every chance of benefiting to the utmost,
and having mild weather the whole way, besides the utmost amount of
comfort possible on board ship. There are some cockroaches,
indeed, but that is the only drawback. The Camperdown is fourteen
years old, and was the crack ship to India in her day. Now she
takes cargo and poop-passengers only, and, of course, only gets
invalids and people who care more for comfort than speed.

Monday Evening, May 26th.--Here we are, working away still to reach
St. Helena. We got the tail of a terrific gale and a tremendous
sea all night in our teeth, which broke up the south-east trades
for a week. Now it is all smooth and fair, with a light breeze
again right aft; the old trade again. Yesterday a large shark paid
us a visit, with his suite of three pretty little pilot-fish,
striped like zebras, who swam just over his back. He tried on a
sailor's cap which fell overboard, tossed it away contemptuously,
snuffed at the fat pork with which a hook was baited, and would
none of it, and finally ate the fresh sheep-skin which the butcher
had in tow to clean it, previous to putting it away as a
perquisite. It is a beautiful fish in shape and very graceful in

To-day a barque from Algoa Bay came close to us, and talked with
the speaking trumpet. She was a pretty, clipper-built, sharp-
looking craft, but had made a slower run even than ourselves. I
dare say we shall have her company for a long time, as she is bound
for St. Helena and London. My poor goat died suddenly the other
day, to the general grief of the ship; also one of the tortoises.
The poor consumptive lad is wonderfully better. But all the
passengers were very sick during the rough weather, except S- and
I, who are quite old salts. Last week we saw a young whale, a
baby, about thirty feet long, and had a good view of him as he
played round the ship. We shall probably be at St. Helena on
Wednesday, but I cannot write from thence, as, if there is time, I
shall get a run on shore while the ship takes in water. But this
letter will tell you of my well-being so far, and in about six
weeks after the date of it I hope to be with you. I hope you won't
expect too much in the way of improvement in my health. I look
forward, oh, so eagerly, to be with you again, and with my brats,
big and little. God bless you all.

Yours ever,

L. D. G.

Wednesday, 28th.--Early morning, off St. Helena, James Town.

Such a lovely UNREAL view of the bold rocks and baby-house forts on
them! Ship close in. Washer-woman come on board, and all hurry.

Au revoir.


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