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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.

LETTER VIII

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!’

LETTER IX

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 kindhearted.

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 funny.

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.

LETTER X

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 rather.

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 intent.

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 party.

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 room.

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

LETTER XI

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.

LETTER XII

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 dreary.

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!

LETTER XIII

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 mesure.

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.

LETTER XIV

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 ‘publics’.

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.

LETTER XV

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 Docks.

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.

LETTER XVI

Friday, May 16th.

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

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 motion.

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.