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After that no more was known of the coast for more than a hundred and fifty years. In the latter part of the eighteenth century the Dutch seem to have had a settlement there,—not the Dutch coming overland as they did afterwards, but the Dutch trading along the coast. It did not, however, come to much, and we hear no more of the country till 1823,-only fifty-five years ago, -when an English officer of the name of Farewell, with a few of his countrymen, settled himself on the land where the town of Durban now stands. At that time King Chaka of the Zulus, of whom I shall speak in a following chapter, had well-nigh exterminated the natives. of the coast, so that there was no one to oppose Mr. Farewell and his companions. There they remained, with more or less of trouble from Chaka's successor and from invading Zulus, till 1835, when the British of the Cape Colony took so much notice of the place as to call the settlement Durban, after Sir Benjamin D'Urban, its then Governor.

Then began the real history of Natal which like so many other parts of South Africa,-like the greater part of that South Africa which we now govern,—was first occupied by Dutchmen trekking away from the to them. odious rule of British Governors, British officers, British laws, and what seemed to them to be mawkish British philanthropy. The time is so recent that I myself have been able to hear the story told by the lips of those who were themselves among the number of indignant emigrants, -of those who had barely escaped when their brethren and friends had been killed around them by the natives. "Why did you leave your old home?" I asked one old

ments are well worthy of the attention of gentlemen in Downing Street. He thoroughly understands his subject, and, as I think, proves his conclusion. Mr. Bird is now Colonial Treasurer in Natal.

Dutch farmer whom I found still in Natal. With the urbanity which seemed always to characterize the Dutch he would say nothing to me derogatory to the English. "He says that there was not land enough for their wants," explained the gentleman who was acting as interpreter between us. But it meant the same thing. English were pressing on the heels of the Dutchmen.


The whole theory of life was different between the two people and remains so to the present day. The Englishman likes to have a neighbour near him; the Dutchman cannot bear to see the smoke of another man's chimney from his own front door. The Englishman would fain grow wheat; the Dutchman is fond of flocks and herds. The Englishman is of his nature democratic; -the Dutchman is patriarchal. The Englishman loves to have his finger in every pie around him. The Dutchman wishes to have his own family, his own lands, above all his own servants and dependents, altogether within his own grasp, and cares for little beyond that. There had come various laws in the Cape Colony altogether antagonistic to the feelings of the Dutch farmer, and at last in 1834, came the emancipation act which was to set free all the slaves in 1838. Although the Dutch had first explored Natal before that act came into operation,—it had perhaps more to do with the final exodus of the future Natalians than any other cause. The Dutchman of South Africa could not endure the interference with his old domestic habits which English laws were threatening and creating.

In 1834 the first Dutch party made their way from Uitenhage in the Eastern Province of the Cape Colony, by land, across the South Eastern corner of South Africa over the Drakensberg mountains to the Natal coast. Here they fraternised with the few English they found there,

examined the country and seemed to have made themselves merry,-till news reached them of the Kafir wars then raging. They gallantly hurried back to their friends, postponing their idea of permanent emigration till this new trouble should be over. It was probably the feeling induced by Lord Glenelg's wonderful despatch of Dec. 1835, in which he declared that the English and Dutch had been all wrong and the Kafirs all right in the late wars, which at last produced the exodus. There were personal grievances to boot, all of which sprang from impatience of the Dutch to the English law; and towards the end of 1836 two hundred Dutchmen started under Hendrik Potgeiter. A more numerous party followed under Gerrit Maritz. They crossed the Orange river, to which the Cape Colony was then extended, and still travelling on, making their waggons their homes as they went, they came to the Vaal, leaving a portion of their numbers behind them in what is now the Orange Free State. We have no written account of the mode of life of these people as they trekked on, but we can conceive it. No Dutchman in South Africa is ever without a waggon big enough to make a home for his family and to carry many of his goods, or without a span or team of oxen numerous enough to drag it. They took their flocks and horses with them, remaining here and there as water and grass would suit them. And here and there they would sow their seeds and wait for a crop, and then if the crop was good and the water pleasant, and if the Natives had either not quarrelled with them or had been subdued, they would stay for another season till the waggon would at last give place to a house, and then, as others came after them, they would move on again, jealous of neighbourhood even among their own people. So they went northwards till they crossed the Vaal river

and came into hostile contact with the fierce tribes of the Matabeles which then occupied the Transvaal.

What took place then belongs rather to the history of the Transvaal than to that of Natal; but the Dutch pioneers who had gone thus far were forced back over the Vaal; and though they succeeded in recovering by renewed raids many of the oxen and waggons of which they had been deprived by a great Chief of the Matabele tribe named Mazulekatze, they acknowledged that they must carry their present fortunes elsewhere, and they remembered the pleasant valleys which some of them had seen a few years earlier on the Natal coast. With great difficulty they found a track pervious to wheels through the Drakenbergs, and made their way down to the coast. There had been disagreements among the Dutch themselves after their return back over the Vaal river, and they did not all go forth into Natal. Pieter Retief, who had now joined them from the old Colony and who had had his own reasons for quarrelling with the British authorities in the Cape, was chosen the Chief of those who made their way eastwards into Natal, and he also, on reaching the coast, fraternised with the English there who at that time acknowledged no obedience to the British Government at Capetown. It seems that Retief and the few English at Durban had some idea of a joint Republic; but the Dutchman took the lead and finding that the natives were apparently amenable, he entertained the idea of obtaining a cession of the land from Dingaan, who had murdered and succeeded his brother Chaka as King of the Zulus.


Dingaan made his terms, which Retief executed. quantity of cattle which another tribe had taken was to be returned to Dingaan. The cattle were obtained and given up to the Zulu Chief. In the meantime Dutchman

after Dutchman swarmed into the new country with their waggons and herds through the passes which had been found. We are told that by the end of 1837 a thousand waggons had made their way into this district now called Natal and had occupied the northern portion of it. Probably not a single waggon was owned by an Englishman, though Natal is now specially an English and not. a Dutch Colony. There was hardly a Native to be seen, the country having been desolated by the King of the Zulus. It was the very place for the Dutch,-fertile without interference, and with space for every one.

Early in 1838 Retief with a party of picked men started for the head quarters of Dingaan, the Zulu King, with the recovered cattle which he was to give up as the price of the wide lands assigned to him. Then there was a festival and rejoicings among the Zulus in which the Dutchmen joined. A deed of cession was signed, of which Dingaan, the King, understood probably but little. But he did understand that these were white men coming to take away his land and at the moment in which the ceremonies were being completed, he contrived to murder them all. That was the end of Pieter Retief, whose name in conjunction with that of his friend and colleague Gerrit Maritz still lives in the singular appellation found for the capital of Natal,-Pieter Maritzburg.

Then Dingaan, with a spirit which I cannot reprobate as I find it reprobated by other writers, determined to sally forth and drive the Dutch out of the land. It seems to me of all things the most natural for a king of Natives to do,-unless the contemplation of such a feat were beyond his intelligence or its attempt beyond his courage. It may be acknowledged that it is the business of us Europeans first to subjugate and then to civilize the savage races—but that the Savage shall object to be subSouth Africa. I.


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