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The custom of holding both a winter eyes, not his own bleared and dulled and a summer farm is a very common organs. one in parts of South Africa. In the In such districts the Great Cape Colony a large district around Karroo, a region three hundred and Richmond and Victoria West is called fifty miles in length and fifty in the winter veldt, and in other parts we breadth, near Beaufort West, the find a distinction between the cold and dreary expanse of earth resembles the the warm veldt.

dried-up bottom of some vast lake. The veldt, therefore, has a very Forests and woods and lakes exist only wide application in South Africa. in airy and unsubstantial fashion when There is nothing in England with the mirage mocks us. What would not which to compare it. There is some- the African colonists give for a real thing about Wimbledon Common and lake popped down in their midst someparts of the country round Aldershot where in the interior! There is a which, on a hot summer's day espe- wondrous capacity of growth in even cially, reminds us of its radiating sur- the Karroo if only the touch of that face; and here and there little bits of magic element, water, is felt. The Devon scenery, with its dismembered deep soil answers with a noble reboulders and rough appearance, may

sponse to its subtle influences. Occarecall the familiar vision. For there sionally we

a fontein, is no green sward in Africa as in as the Dutchmen call the spring that England ; there are no such trees as makes a garden of a desert. Tall the stately elms with their noble green green mealie beds wave aloft, the vine

Vegetation is, for the most springs along the slope, the dark orangepart, stunted, and the weary sports- grove catches the eye amongst the man often longs for “umbrageous quince, apricot, and pomegranate, and bowers and a limpid Devonshire the unwieldy pumpkins lie in scores stream, as he wends his way over the upon the fertile ground. But outside burning plain and hears the strange this little oasis on a hot summer's day and hollow ring of his horse's hoofs in there is a wilderness of mimosa-bush, a place where the nymph Echo has over which the sun holds terrible no sportive hiding-place. Far up in power.

In the noontide hours both yonder jagged mountains rising up birds and beasts seem cowed into on the distant horizon and amongst silence. The small kopjies (hillocks), the endless cliffs the nymph is jocund which stand up here and there enough and answers the Kaffir's call or

and serve

as landmarks, give little the herdsman's whistle

shelter. The brown and green lizards mood. Sounds travel with wonderful lying still and motionless upon

the distinctness in the clear and still broad heated slabs of stone, scarce African climate, and Kaffirs call to one hidden at all by the ragged growth another from cliff to cliff over almost around them, seem to enter into the incredible distances. In this, as in spirit of the noontide dream; and

, other native accomplishments, the child even the singerjies (cicadæ) cease to jar of civilisation cannot hope to compete. our nerves with their shrill monotone. He can only wonder at the savages' The only active being in this hot hearing as he has wondered at their swoon of nature is the bustling ant, powers of vision.

He can simply whose restlessness seems to increase moralise upon their accomplishments, with the heat. The only birds that and venture a theory that the pre- seem to move are the vultures, which valence of vowel sounds in the liquid swing in lazy circles high up in the Kaffir tongue may perhaps be partially dizzy heights above us, mere specks in accounted for by these rock-to-rock dialogues. If he is a campaigner or a

1 Karroo is one of the very few Hottentot

words incorporated into the Cape dialect ; it sportsman he will use their ears and

signifies a wide plain.

in merry

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the sky, but ready to swoop, keen- of the Cape Colony, is the northscented and keen-visioned, upon any west. It comes from the Kalihari, stray carrion. They have high feast- and howls over the plain with dull ing and a merry carnival when a wave monotonous fury. It is always dry, of horse-sickness (that strange and but sometimes it feels as if it came fatal malady) has passed across the from the mouth of a furnace charged veldt, or the lung-sickness has deci- with heat and electricity. A moist mated the oxen. In the heat of the bit of paper when exposed to it moday the ox-waggon stands idly by mentarily seems to shrivel up. It is some public outspan, looking with its a thirsty and a thirst-giving tyrant canvas tent like a stranded ship of the blinding the eyes and chapping the desert. The ox-waggon, with its labour lips. What benighted traveller in

, ing spans of sixteen or twenty oxen, South Africa has not felt it, and is a familiar feature of the scenery.

listened to its dull roar and angry Certain public places are allotted in blustering? The loose corrugated-iron the veldt as outspans, and round these, roof of any small up country caravanin the lazy hours of midday, a motley serai can do little to keep it out, and

of Hottentot drivers, kur- sleep is rendered almost impossible. A veyors (carriers), dogs and horses, strange sight too is the whirlwind of are gathered together.

the veldt ; not the sweeping tornado, It is wonderful how plants and but the miniature creation of the hour, shrubs thrive here where a season the tiny disturbance of a still summer of drought often prevails for many day. Its sign is a thin spiral column years in succession, and sends the of dust collected from the well-worn trek-bokken 1 down in myriads from track or road, and mounting up in the north like locusts. Famine eddying circles. Dried sticks and makes them collect in troops and leaves, as well as dust, are forced to migrate with a steady ravening in- take part in this elfish gambol, and in stinct upon the more cultivated parts contrast with the swooning silence of of the colony.

Plants and animals the noon it seems like a spirit of unhave a terrible struggle for existence. rest, a sprite or fiend playing a merry Fortunately nature has given to the prank and mocking the solemn monodesert plants long and succulent tubers tony of the quivering radiating landreaching deep down in the earth, and scape, a strange fancy, a witty anomaly, the kengwe (water-melon) is a won- a tempest in a calm, a rushing hurriderful instance of a juicy vegetable cane in a

" doldrum flourishing in the midst of desolation. But the quaint morris-dance is soon In the Kalihari it is the hope and over, the flaw expends itself, and the stay of the adventurous traveller. thin column of dust melts away imThere is a great redeeming feature perceptibly in mid air, and silence about the desert life in its compara

broods again. tive healthiness. No steaming mo

In the midst of this strange country rasses, oozing with rank and rotting an African Boer will often build his vegetation, carry disease and death house and lead a pastoral life, the with them, as in the low fever-haunted lord of all he surveys. The glistencoast districts around Delagoa Bay. ing walls of his whitewashed house, Even the germs of death seem to be the steely light from the corrugated

iron roof above the stoop (verandah), A not uncommon wind, especially the rude mimosa-fenced hut, with the in the northern and eastern districts inevitable dam of muddy and dis

coloured water, and the inevitable blue 1 The springbok when migrating south in times of drought are so called : nothing then

gum towering in lonely glory close by, seems able to frighten or turn them from their are conspicuous objects in the wide

karroo. He is leagues away from his

space of earth.

withered up.






drop (village), which nestles in side. Suddenly the foundations of distant kloof

(valley), and a strict and terribly hard faith are he rarely sees his more fortunate broken

up, and the uneducated mind neighbours who

mountain is hopelessly at loss to find solace. farm. If the rules of his Protestant The

great lonely brooding veldt Church did not demand his presence presses with its solitude and barrenfour times a year at the kirk, to par- ness upon the scarcely awakened contake of the nacht-maal (or night-feast, science, and the result is despair, desoas the sacrament is there termed by lation, and utter scepticism. It is the them), he would be almost completely penalty Calvinism pays for its Pharisaic lost. In a certain grandeur of a rude burdens and joylessness. It is a notedesert description he reigns as the able fact that the Dutch Boer, when owner of broad acres and countless once freed from the terrors of his locks of sheep and goats. But his lot Church, has no intellectual or spiritual is a hard and narrow one, as our idea prop to lean upon, and is completely of life and its many sympathies and anarchical. No poetry or history has wide interests go.

The mental wilder- made for him a spiritual heritage in ness is worse than the actual one. the country ; the mind is at the mercy Until very recently, few books, news- of the physical surroundings, and bepapers, or literature of any kind, except, comes hardened and materialised. perhaps, an old family Bible which has It will be gathered that life in the served as a register of births, deaths, veldt is hard enough to bear, except for and marriages, have graced the home the mind educated elsewhere which of a South African Boer in these can pause a little and brood over its up-country regions. The angel of de- contrasts. Nature, there, is often subsolation seemed to spread her wings lime in her aspects, especially at night. over the place, and man appeared will- It often happens that as the sun sets ing to go back to the primitive acorn- the desert wind dies down. Then, with eating epoch. The descendants of edu- a suddenness of which dwellers in cated Huguenot settlers forgot the northern climes have little conception, arts and education of their fore- the stars leap forth in myriads upon the fathers. Perhaps they clung most to sky, the Milky Way spans the blue the Puritanism of their religious creed, vault with a twinkling zone of light, and viewed man and nature in the and soon, it may be, the great clear midst of the freest physical life imagi- queen of night rises up behind the nable with the narrowest theological mountain, and throws a silvery flood vision. Calvinism hardens men's upon the landscape, hiding its ugly hearts, especially in a black man's scars and rents and brown ruggedcountry. The strict disciples of pre- ness with a soft mantle. There are destinarianism have conceived of no no creeping mists or billowy clouds. bridge between the nature of black All is clear and still. Perhaps the and white. On this side the sheep and jackals and antelope are afoot, and on the other the goats, and a great the sharp short bark of the former gulf between the two now and here- and the belling of the bush-buck after. This lonely life has been reach us from the mountain side. The an evil thing for the Boers. It bas night-owl hawks slowly and solemnly crystallised their conceptions, and by, and the kiwie utters aloft his made them bigots and zealots. Now well-known whistling cry, sharp and and then the old Covenanter's in- clear, like the curlew's note along the tensity of thought reveals itself in shores of the distant north. But the morbid speculations and imaginings terrors of the day have fled, and peace as another kind of light dawns upon is over hut and kraal. the solitary farm-house, and echoes But turn from the deserts of the are heard of the great world out- interior to the bosch and forest

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country of the south, and we find noblest of the thousand gladioli which a wonderful contrast. There, desola- cover the slopes in spring; here the tion; here, verdure; there, treeless arum raises its pure white petals wildernesses ; here, kloofs and hills up through the soft beds of maidencrowned with a wealth of trees; there, hair fern in the twilight of a deep one unvarying brightness staring upon and solemn combe; here the tree-ferns a parched and stony landscape ; here, spread over the water-worn rocks their the broken shafts of light falling upon fan-shaped foliage, and here the yelemerald nooks; there, parched lands, low-tree towers aloft like some grave dried watercourses, and a gaping, deep- and reverend ancestor of the forest, fissured veldt; here, streams and with flowing white beard of lichen brooklets, falling with pleasant sound gracing his gnarled and twisted past the undulating valleys till they limbs. He stands proudly and loftily, rush into the sea. From the Knysna like a monarch in the serene supeHeads and Plettenburg Bay, to the riority of strength, lording it well in Bluff at Natal, the coast-line for some these silent nooks, where the ruthless hundreds of miles is well-wooded and axe has not yet been heard. well-watered. It is in direct contrast A distinction has been drawn beto the low-lying, scrubby, and white- tween the forest properly so called sanded shores of the west coast, that and the bosch country. The extent stretch from Table Bay to the nearly of the latter is calculated at two waterless littoral of Walvisch Bay and million four hundred thousand acres. the German colony. It is on the east Along the south-east corner of the of South Africa, in the ranges of hills Cape the Addo Bush is best known. that culminate in the Quathlamba, The elephants still roam along these that we must look for the main water- tracts, and occasionally make mashed of the country. Parts of the rauding expeditions into gardens and Kaffrarian coast look from the sea mealie plots. In their inquisitive like English park scenery, with clumps zeal they have been known to tear up of trees scattered over a smiling land. the telegraph poles along the line that Beyond are the mountains, which seem runs from Port Elizabeth to Grahamsnearly always here to follow the line town. I have myself seen a herd of the coast, and give birth to those of them feeding quietly within easy numerous rivers which tumble hur

range of the railway.

It is conriedly and noisily from their lofty venient, however, to speak of the sources through picturesque gorges “bush” and “forest” as if they meant into the Indian Ocean-such as the the same thing

The one passes Bashee, Umzimkulu, and Umzimvubu. easily and naturally into the other.

In the Cape Colony itself perhaps The taller trees merit the grander the best piece of forest scenery is name, and, unfortunately for South found in the Knysna district, close Africa, there are comparatively so few. under the blue ranges of the Outeniqua of them, if we compare their number Mountains, which bear the name of with the inexhaustible forest wealth the ancient Hottentot clan. Unfor- of Canada and New Zealand. The tunately there is comparatively little Cape woods are, however, of great real forest in the Cape Colony. Out value ; there is the Cape box-wood, of the whole two hundred thousand worth, it is said, a penny per cubic square miles of surface, only two inch for engraving purposes; the hundred and thirty thousand acres in sneeze-wood, with its bitter taste like the Cape are covered by the primæval the green-heart, firm and strong and forest. To the traveller wearied with proof against insects and rot; there the open country these forest glades is the African oak, called by the name are inexpressibly grateful. Here is of stink-wood, and the yellow-wood the home of the tall Knysna lily, the of the yew class, and termed the



pine of South Africa. The assegai- round the troop with fell design of wood is best known as the wood from seizing and carrying off a young one, which the Kaffir tribes make the shafts which, with the indiscretion of youth, of their lances. But in the Knysna has roamed away from the protecforest the smaller trees are countless tion of the mannikin baboon, the in number. Perhaps the two most natural guardian of the troop. The striking are the yellow-wood and the antelope here are different from those wild horse-chestnut. The first is a of the veldt. Instead of the little splendid tree, with beautiful foliage, steinbok and springbok, find and may claim royal honours. The the bush-buck and the blue-buck. chestnut, with its snow-white blossoms Often, as we turn round the bole of raised above the evergreen shrubs of some tree, we can hear the sudden the forest, is a notable feature of the snort of alarm the blue-buck raises on landscape.

the approach of man.

He is the The bosch or forest country is, in- smallest and most beautiful, and also deed, different from the veldt. Let the most inquisitive, of all the African a traveller, who has expended his antelope. Tarry long enough by the money and energies on the exploration spot from which you have roused him, of the interior plateaux, try a short and you will see him coming back, trip to the southern belt of forest creeping slily on a reconnoitring expewhich stretches from the Knysna to dition, with his beautiful lustrous eyes. Humansdorp. He will find a decent The elephants and buffaloes are the

by convict labour right primitive engineers of this country; through the heart of the forest and without their broad well-trampled country that lies between the Long paths the sportsman would have little Kloof and the

He will pass

chance of getting at his game in the along a hundred miles of noble and thick deep scrub. romantic scenery.

There is a spot To describe the berg or mountain by a stream called the Groot Rivier, scenery of South Africa is not so easy close by the sea, on the shores of though it is sufficiently distinctive. Plettenburg Bay, where I spent some The highest peaks are in the northdelightful weeks. Sea, river, and hill east of the Cape Colony and along here meet in noble rivalry. It is the the Drakenburg range, but nowhere ideal home for a naturalist and do they reach the line of perpetual lover of wild scenery. The sights and

The Compassberg is about sounds of nature are far different eight thousand feet, and as we travel from those of the open veldt. The westward the elevation decreases cunning loeri, with his bright bronze- until we reach the Kamiesberg and coloured plumage flashing in the sun, Roggeveldt Mountains. Two distinct loves here to dart and hide


the series of ranges are traceable on the lichen-covered boughs, making the hill- map of South Africa. One series side reverberate with his quaint, gut- beginning from Quathlamba, and tural cooing. The lachter-bird, from forming the chief watershed of the his perch bigh up, makes the welkin Orange River, is the retaining wall, ring with his merry peal, and the as it were, of the interior plateau. troops of little Cape canaries twitter The second line includes a well-marked and warble along in the boughs below. range from the Zuurberg and the The spreo, a well-known member of Winterhoek to the Cedar Mountains. the Sturnidæ, whistles loudly from It is nearly parallel to the first, and the beetling krantz (cliffs)not unlike our forms a distinct plateau. Along the English starling. Now and then the coast there are a series of subsidiary gruff “haw haw" of the baboons and less continuous ranges, less marked reach us from a distance. Perhaps in character. Corresponding with these the crafty Cape leopard is prowling elevations there is a variety of climate




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