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of the Colony is populated, and lies in a Rasselas happy valley,- -a basin so surrounded by hills

as to shew no The real Rasselas valley, however, was, easy way out. we suppose, very narrow, whereas this valley is ten miles long by six broad, and has a mail cart road running through it. It lies on the direct route from Capetown to Fraserburg, and thence, if you choose to go that way, to the Diamond Fields and the Orange Free State. Nevertheless the place looks as though it were, or at least should be, delightfully excluded from all the world beyond. Here again the houses stand separate among trees, and the river flowing through it makes everything green. I was told that Ceres had been lately smitten with too great a love of speculation, had traded beyond her means, and lost much of her capital. It was probably the reaction from this condition of things which produced the peculiarly sleepy appearance which I observed around me. A billiard room had been lately built which seemed just then to monopolize the energy of the place. The hotel was clean and pleasant, – and would have been perfect but for a crowd of joyous travellers who were going down to see somebody married two or three hundred miles off. On our arrival we were somewhat angry with the very civil and considerate landlady who refused to give us all the accommodation we wanted because she expected twelve other travellers. I did not believe in the twelve travellers, and muttered something as to trying the other house even though she devoted to the use of me and my friend a bedroom which she declared was as a rule kept for ladies. We of course demanded two rooms, but as to that she was stern. When a party of


eleven did in truth come I not only forgave her, but felt remorse at having occupied the best chamber. She was a delightful old lady, a German, troubled much in her

mind at the time by the fact that a countryman of hers had come to her house with six or seven dozen canaries and had set up a shop for them in her front sitting room. She did not know how to get rid of them; and, as all the canaries sang continuously the whole day through, their presence did impair the comfort of the establishment. Nevertheless I can safely recommend the hotel at Ceres as the canaries will no doubt have been all sold before any reader can act on this recommendation.

The name of Ceres has been given to the valley in a spirit of prophecy which has yet to be fulfilled. The soil no doubt is fertile, but the cereal produce is not as yet large. Here, as in so large a proportion of South Africa, irrigation is needed before wheat can be sown with any certainty of repaying the sower. But the valley is a smiling spot, green and sweet among the mountains, and gives assurance by its aspect of future success and comfort. It has a reputation for salubrity, and should be visited by those who wish to see the pleasant places of the Cape Colony.

From Ceres we went back over Mitchell's Pass to the railway, and so to Worcester. Worcester is a town containing 4,000 inhabitants, and is the capital of a "Division." The whole Colony is portioned out into Divisions, in each of which there is located a Resident Magistrate or Commissioner, who lives at the chief town. The Division and the Capital have, I believe always, the same name. Worcester is conspicuous among other things for its huge Drotsdy, or Chief Magistrate's mansion. In the old Dutch days the Drotsdy was inhabited by the Landroost, whose place is now filled by the English Commissioner. I grieve to say that with the spirit of economy which pervades self-governing Colonies in these modern days, the spacious Drotsdy houses have usually been sold,

and the Commissioners have been made to find houses for themselves,-just as a police magistrate does in London. When I was at George I could not but pity the Commissioner who was forced day after day to look at the beautiful Drotsdy house, embowered by oak trees, which had been purchased by some rich Dutch farmer. But at Worcester the Drotsdy, which was certainly larger than any other Drotsdy and apparently more modern, was still left as a residence for the Commissioner. When I asked the reason I was told that no one would buy it.

It is an enormous mansion, with an enormous garden. And it is approached in front through a portico of most pretentious and unbecoming columns. Nothing could be imagined less like Dutch grandeur or Dutch comfort. The house, which might almost contain a regiment, certainly contained a mystery which warranted enquiry. Then I was told the story. One of the former great Governors, Lord Charles Somerset, the greatest Governor the Colony ever had as far as a bold idea of autocratic authority can make a Governor great, had wanted a shooting lodge under the mountains, and had consequently caused the Drotsdy house at Worcester to be built, of course at the expense of the Crown. I can never reflect that such glorious days have gone for ever without a soft regret. There was something magnificent in those old, brave, unhidden official peculations by the side of which the strict and straight-laced honesty of our present Governors looks ugly and almost mean.

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Worcester is a broad town with well arranged streets, not fully filled up but still clean, without that look of unkempt inchoation which is so customary in Australian towns and in many of the young municipalities of the United States. The churches among its buildings are

conspicuous, those attracting the most notice being the Dutch Reformed Church, that of the Church of England, —and a church for the use of the natives in which the services are also in accordance with the Dutch Reformed religion. The latter is by far the most remarkable, and belongs to an Institution which, beyond even the large Drotsdy house, makes Worcester peculiarly worth visiting.

Of the Institution the Revd. Mr. Esselin is the Head, but was not the founder. There were I think two gentlemen in charge of a native mission before he came to Worcester;-but the church and schools have obtained their great success under his care. He is a German who came to the place in 1848, and has had charge of the Institution since that date. That he has done more than any one else as a teacher and preacher among the coloured races, at any rate in the Western Province, I think will hardly be denied. But for Lovedale in the East of which I shall speak further on, I should have claimed this pre-eminence for him as to all South Africa. This I believe is owing to the fact that under his guidance the coloured people have been treated as might any poor community in England or elsewhere in Europe which required instruction either secular or religious. There has been a distinct absence of the general missionary idea that coloured people want special protection, that they should be kept separate, and that they should have provided for them locations, with houses and grounds. The ordinary missionary treatment has I think tended to create a severance between the natives and the white people who are certainly destined to be their masters and employers,—at any rate for many years to come; whereas M. Esselin has from the first striven to send them out into the world to earn their bread, giving them such education as they have been able to receive

up to the age of fifteen. Beyond that they have not, except on rare occasions, been kept in his schools.

The material part of the Institution consists of a church, and four large school-rooms, and of the pastor's residence. There are also other school-rooms attached of older date. The church has been built altogether by contributions from the coloured attendants, and is a spacious handsome building capable of containing 900 M. Esselin told me that his ordinary congregapersons. tion amounted to 500. I went to the morning service on Sunday, and found the building apparently full. I think there was no white person there besides the clergyman, my companion, and myself. As the service was performed in Dutch I did not stay long, contenting myself with the commencing hymn-which was well sung, and very long, more Africano. I had at this time been in various Kafir places of worship and had become used to the Kafir physiognomies. I had also learned to know the faces of the Hottentots, of old Cape negroes, of the coloured people from St. Helena, and of the Malays. The latter are not often Christians; but the races have become so mixed that there is no rule which can be accepted in that respect. Here there were no Kafirs, the Kafirs not having as yet made their way in quest of wages as far west as Worcester.* The people were generally Hottentot, half negro,-with a considerable dash of white blood through them. But in the church I could see no Europeans. It is a coloured congregation, and supported altogether by contributions from the coloured people.

The school interested me, however, more than the church. I do not know that I ever saw school-rooms better built, better kept, or more cleanly. As I looked

* Mr. Esselin told us that since he had been at Worcester he had had a few but only a very few Kafir children in his schools.

South Africa. I.


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