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at them one after another I remembered what had been the big room at Harrow in my time, and the single school-room which I had known at Winchester,—for there was only one; and the school-room, which I had visited at Eton and Westminster; and I was obliged to own that the coloured children of Worcester are very much better housed now during their lessons than were the aristocracy of England forty or fifty years ago. There has been an improvement since, but still something might be learned. by a visit to Worcester. At Worcester the students pay a penny a week. At the other schools I have named the charges are something higher.

There are 500 children at these schools among whom I saw perhaps half a dozen of white blood. M. Esselin said that he took any who came who would comply with the general rules of the school. The education of coloured children is, however, the intention of the place. In addition to the pence, which do not amount to £100 a year, the Government grant,-given to this school, as to any other single school kept in accordance with Government requirements,-amounts to £70 per annum. The remaining cost, which must be very heavy, is made up out of the funds raised by the congregation of the church. Under M. Esselin there is but one European master. The other teachers are all females and all coloured. There were I think seven of them. The children, as I have said before, are kept only till they are fifteen and are then sent out to the work of the world without any pretence of classical scholarship or ecstatic Christianity.

Having heard of a marvellous hot spring or Geyser in the neighbourhood of Worcester I had myself driven out to visit it. It is about 8 miles from the town at, or rather beyond, a marshy little lake called Brand Vley, the name of which the hot spring bears. It is adjacent to a

Dutch farmhouse to which it belongs, and is to some small extent used for sanitary purposes. If, as I was told, the waters are peculiarly serviceable to rheumatic affections, it is a pity that such sanitary purposes should not be extended, and be made more acceptable to the rheumatic world at large.

There is but one spring of boiling water. In New Zealand they are very numerous, bubbling up frequently in close proximity to each other, sometimes so small and unpronounced as to make it dangerous to walk among them lest the walker's feet should penetrate through the grass into the boiling water. Here the one fountain is very like to some of the larger New Zealand springs. The water as it wells up is much hotter than boiling, and fills a round pool which may perhaps have a circumference of thirty feet. It is of a perfectly bright green colour, except where the growth of a foul-looking weed defaces the surface. From this well the still boiling water makes its way under ground, a distance of a few yards into a much larger pool where it still boils and bubbles, and still maintains that bright green colour which seems to be the property of water which springs hot from the bowels of the earth.

At a little distance a house has been built intended to contain baths, and conduits have been made to bring a portion of the water under cover for the accommodation of bathers, while a portion is carried off for irrigation. We made our way into the house where we found a large Dutch party, whether of visitors or residents at the house we did not know; and one of them, a pretty Dutch girl prettily dressed, who could speak English was kind enough to show us the place. We accompanied her, though the stench was so foul that it was almost impossible to remain

beneath the roof.* It was difficult to conceive how these people could endure it and live. The girl opened the bath rooms, in which the so-called baths, constructed on the floor, were dilapidated and ruined. "They are all just now near broke to pieces," she said. I asked her what the patients paid. "Just sixpence a day," she replied, "because one cannot in these hard days charge the people too much." I presume that the patients were expected to bring their diet with them, and probably their beds.

And yet an invaluable establishment might be built at this spot, and be built in the midst of most alluring scenery! The whole district of which I am now speaking is among the mountains, and the Worcester railway station is not more than eight or ten miles distant. The Auckland Geysers in New Zealand cannot be reached except by long journeys on horseback, and accommodation for invalids could be procured only at great cost. But here an establishment of hot baths might be made very easily. It seemed at any rate to be a pity that such a provision of hot water should be wasted,-especially if it contain medicinal properties of value. We were forced to return to Worcester without trying it, as there were not means of bathing at our command. No possible medicinal properties would have atoned for the horrors of undressing within that building.

CHAPTER IX.

Robertson, Swellendam, and Southey's Pass.

FROM Worcester we went on to a little town called Robertson, which is also the capital of an electoral

This did not come at all from any property of the water but simply from the foulness of the place.

division. The country here is altogether a country of mountains, varying from three to seven thousand feet high. The valleys between them are broad, so as to give ample space for agriculture,—if only agriculture can be made to pay. Having heard much of the continual plains of South Africa I had imagined that every thing. beyond the hills immediately surrounding Capetown would be flat; but in lieu of that I found myself travelling through a country in which one series of mountains succeeds another for hundreds of miles. The Cape Colony is very large,—especially the Western Province, which extends almost from the 28th to much below the 34th degree of latitude S., and from the 17th to the 23rd of longitude E. Of this immense area I was able to see comparatively only a small part; but in what I did see I was never out of the neighbourhood of mountains. The highest mountain in South Africa is Cathkin Peak, in Natal, and that is over 10,000 feet. In the districts belonging to the Cape Colony the highest is in Basuto, and is the Mont aux Sources. The highest in the Western Province is called The Seven Weeks Poort, which is in the neighbourhood of Swellendam and belongs to the district of which I am now speaking. It is 7,600 feet high. As the first and most important consequence of this the making of roads within a couple of hundred miles of Capetown has been a matter of great difficulty. In every direction passes through the mountains have had to be found, which when found have required great skill and a very heavy expenditure before they could be used for roads. But a second consequence has been that a large extent of magnificent scenery has been thrown. open, which, as the different parts of the world are made nearer to each other by new discoveries and advancing science, will become a delight and a playground to travel

lers, as are the Alps and the Pyrenees and the Apennines in Europe. At present I think that but few people in England are aware that among the mountains of the Cape Colony there is scenery as grand as in Switzerland or the south-west of France. And the fact that such scenery is close to them attracts the notice of but a small portion of the inhabitants of the Colony itself. The Dutch I fancy regarded the mountains simply as barriers or disagreeable obstacles, and the English community. which has come since has hardly as yet achieved idleness sufficient for the true enjoyment of tourist travelling.

Robertson itself is not an interesting town, though it lies close under the mountains. Why it should have missed the beauty of The Paarl, of Ceres, and of Swellendam which we were about to visit, I can hardly say. Probably its youth is against it. It has none of the quaintness of Dutch architecture; and the oaks, for it has oaks,—are not yet large enough to be thoroughly delightful. We found, however, in its neighbourhood a modern little wood large enough to enable us to lose ourselves, and were gratified by the excitement.

I have said that in these districts, mountainous as they are, the valleys are broad enough for agriculture, if only agriculture can be made to pay. The fertility of the soil is apparent everywhere. Robertson itself is devoted to the making of brandy, and its vineyards are flourishing. Patches of corn were to be seen and trees had grown luxuriantly here and there. It seemed that almost anything would grow. But little or nothing useful will grow without the aid of other water than that bestowed in the regular course of nature. "I plant as many trees," said the magistrate of the district, speaking to me of the streets of the town, "as I can get convicts to water." "Wheat;--oh yes, I can grow any amount of wheat," a

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