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prosperous but by no means benevolent looking old gentlemen with gold chains, as we see them painted by Rembrandt and other Dutch Masters, were no doubt the owners of the Cape and its inhabitants. Slave labour was the readiest labour, and therefore slave labour was procured. The native races were not to be oppressed beyond endurance, because they would rise and fight. The community itself was not to grow rich, because if rich it would no longer be subservient to its masters. In the midst of all this there were fine qualities. The Governors were brave, stanch, and faithful. The people were brave and industrious,—and were not self-indulgent except with occasional festivities in which drunkenness was permissible. The wonder is that for so long a time they should have been so submissive, so serviceable, and yet have had so little of the sweets of life to enjoy.

There were some to whom the austerities of Dutch rule proved too hard for endurance, and these men moved away without permission into further districts in which they might live a free though hard life. In other words they "trekked," as the practice has been called to this day. This system has been the mode of escape from the thraldom of government which has been open to all inhabitants of South Africa. Men when they have been dissatisfied have gone away, always intending to get beyond the arm of the existing law; but as they have gone, the law has of necessity followed at their heels. An outlawed crew on the borders of any colony or settlement must be ruinous to it. And therefore far as white men have trekked, government has trekked after them, as we shall find when we come by and bye to speak of Natal, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal.

In 1795 came the English. In that year the French Republican troops had taken possession of Holland, and

the Prince of Orange, after the manner of dethroned potentates, took refuge in England. He gave an authority, which was dated from Kew, to the Governor of the Cape to deliver up all and everything in his hands to the English forces. On the arrival of the English fleet there was found to be, at the same time, a colonist rebellion. Certain distant burghers,—for the territory had of course grown, refused to obey the officers of the Company or to contribute to the taxes. In this double emergency the poor Dutch Governor, who does not seem to have regarded the Prince's order as an authority, was sorely puzzled. He fought a little, but only a little, and then the English were in possession. The castle was given up to General Craig, and in 1797 Lord Macartney came out as the first British Governor.

Great Britain at this time took possession of the Cape to prevent the French from doing so. No doubt it was a most desirable possession, as being a half-way house for us to India as it had been for the Dutch. But we should not, at any rate then, have touched the place had it not been that Holland, or rather the Dutch, were manifestly unable to retain it. We spent a great deal of money at the settlement, built military works, and maintained a large garrison. But it was but for a short time, and during that short time our rule over the Dutchmen was uneasy and unprofitable. Something of rebellion seems to have been going on during the whole time,——— not so much against English authority as against Dutch law, and this rebellion was complicated by continual quarrels between the distant Boers, or Dutch farmers, and the Hottentots. It was an uncomfortable possession, and when at the peace of Amiens in 1802 it was arranged that the Cape of Good Hope should be restored to Holland, English Ministers of State did not probably

grieve much at the loss.

At this time the population of

the Colony is supposed to have been 61,947, which was divided as follows:

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But the peace of Amiens was delusive, and there was soon war between England and France. Then again Great Britain felt the necessity of taking the Cape, and proceeded to do so on this occasion without any semblance of Dutch authority. At that time whatever belonged to Holland was almost certain to fall into the hands of France. In 1805, while the battle of Austerlitz was making Napoleon a hero on land, and Trafalgar was proving the heroism of England on the seas, Sir David Baird was sent with half a dozen regiments to expel, not the Dutch, but the Dutch Governor and the Dutch soldiers from the Cape. This he did easily, having encountered some slender resistance; and thus in 1806, on the 19th January, after a century and a half of Dutch rule, the Cape of Good Hope became a British Colony.

It should perhaps be stated that on the restoration of the Cape to Holland the dominion was not given back to the Dutch East India Company, but was maintained by the Government at the Hague. The immediate consequence of this was a great improvement in the laws, and a considerable relaxation of tyranny. Of this we of course had the full benefit, as we entered in upon our work with the idea of maintaining in most things the Dutch system.


English History.

I HAVE to say that I feel almost ashamed of the headings given to these initiatory chapters of my book as I certainly am not qualified to write a history of South Africa. Nor, were I able to do so, could it be done in a few pages. And, again, it has already been done and that so recently that there is not as yet need for further work of the kind. But it is not possible to make intelligible the present condition of any land without some reference to its antecedents. And as it is my object to give my reader an idea of the country as I saw it I am obliged to tell something of what I myself found it necessary to learn before I could understand that which I heard and saw. When I left England I had some notion more or less correct as to Hottentots, Bushmen, Kafirs, and Zulus. Since that my mind has gradually become permeated with Basutos, Griquas, Bechuanas, Amapondos, Suazies, Gaikas, Galekas, and various other native races, --who are supposed to have disturbed our serenity in South Africa, but whose serenity we must also have disturbed very much,-till it has become impossible to look at the picture without realizing something of the identity of those people. I do not expect to bring any readers to do that. I perhaps have been filling my mind with the subject for as many months as the ordinary reader will take hours in turning over these pages. But still I must ask him to go back a little with me, or, as I go on, I shall find myself writing as though I presumed that things were known to him, as to which if he have learned much, it may be unnecessary that he should look at my book at all.


The English began their work with considerable sucThe Dutch laws were retained, but were executed with mitigated severity; a large military force was maintained in the Colony, numbering from four to five thousand men, which of course created a ready market for the produce of the country; and there was a Governor with almost royal appanages and a salary of £12,000 a year,—as much probably, when the change in the value of money is considered, as the Governor-General of India has now. Men might sell and buy as they pleased, and the intolerable strictness of Dutch colonial rule was abated. Whatever Dutch patriotism might say, the English with their money were no doubt very welcome at first, and especially at or in the neighbourhood of Capetown. We are told that Lord Caledon, who was the first regular Governor after the return of the English, was very popular. But troubles soon came, and we at once hear the dreaded name of Kafir.*

In 1811 the Dutch Boers had stretched themselves as far east as the country round Graff Reynet,—for which I must refer my reader to the map. Between the Dutch and the Kafirs a neutral district had been established in the vain hope of maintaining limits. Over this district the Kafirs came plundering,-no doubt thinking that they were exercising themselves in the legitimate and patriotic defence of their own land. The Dutch inhabitants of course called for Government aid, and such aid was forthcoming. An officer sent to report on the matter recommended that all the Kafirs should be expelled from the Colony, and that the district called the Zuurveld,—a district which by treaty had been left to the Kafirs,

* The first record we have of the Kafirs refers to the years 1663-84, when we are told the Dutch were attacked by the Kafirs, who, however, quickly ran away before the firearms of the strangers.

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