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irrigation, and, being averse to the little trouble it requires, make no other use of them than that of relieving the pressing calls of nature when thirsty; so that they scarcely know how to appreciate the abundance of water at their command.
The thorn, or mimosa, is seen growing both on the tops of the hills, and in the bottoms of the valleys; but it is most plentifully scattered about in the latter, where it thrives luxuriantly. The courses of the streamlets may generally be traced even at a distance, by the sombre foliage of the different trees that grow along their banks: amongst these the tall umkoba, or yellow-wood tree, appears most conspicuous; and is both useful and ornamental. This sometimes stands singly, and, when unincumbered by the pendulous lichen, or woodbine, which seems to cramp its growth in the forests, it becomes very lofty. It does not appear to thrive in a dry situation; but along the sides of water-courses considerable numbers of this species are frequently seen growing within the space of a few hundred yards. In the ravines we often meet with a euphorbia, which throws out a number of naked arms from a straight trunk, thirty or forty feet high: of this the natives make no use whatever. On the slightest incision being made in the bark, a strong juice instantly exudes, which in consistence and appearance very much resembles milk. It is exceedingly pungent, and, if dropped upon a wound or into the eye, occasions extreme agony. But, as remarked by Barrow, one of the largest and most showy trees in the country is the erythrina corallodendrum, so called from the colour and resemblance of its large clusters of papilionaceous flowers to branches of red coral. Numbers of beautiful birds, such as small paroquets, touracos, woodpeckers, and many others, flutter about these trees when in bloom, which is about September or October, for the sake of the sweet juices that are generated in the flowers. Nevertheless the coral tree, like
many other dazzling beauties, has its imperfections. The leaves are deciduous; and the blossoms, like those of the almond, decay before the young leaves have burst their buds. This is not the case with what is termed the Hottentot's bean tree. The clusters of scarlet flowers, intermingled with the small and elegant dark green foliage, give it a remarkable pre-eminence over the tall trees of the ravines, and the thick shrubbery on the sides of the swells. This is the African lignum vitæ, the Guajaeum Africum of Linnæus, and the Scotia Speciosa of the Hortus Kewensis. The wood, however, is not sufficiently hard to be converted to the same purpose as lignum vita; nor is the tree large enough to make it of any particular use.
The greatest and richest variety of shrubs are found within a few miles of the sea, where also I have most frequently met with the coral tree. The natives frequently use its branches for fencing; and being easily propagated and of rapid growth, the naked and hewed pole soon takes root, and forms a living hedge; which, when full grown and in blossom, might seem to vie in beauty with the richest flowers of the field. Of these also there is a vast variety. The Strelitzia reginæ is sometimes found thickly scattered over large patches of ground; and several species of xeranthemum and gnaphalium decorate the grassy plains with their brilliant colours of red, yellow, and silky white.
Probable Origin of the Kaffers First Settlement on the Kae River-Figure-General Character-Erroneous Views of Travellers-Apparel-Female Dress and Manners—Little visible Distinction-Change and Innovations-Ornaments -Houses-Hamlets-Wealth-Bullion of the CountryDiet-Superstitious Fears of the Guide-Vile Conduct of Individuals-Native Scruples concerning Swine's Flesh and Fish-Filthy Customs.
LITTLE or no information respecting the origin of these tribes can be obtained from the Kaffer himself, as he possesses no vestige of a record, nor indeed much traditionary knowledge that is at all satisfactory. Some are decidedly of opinion that they are not the aborigines of the southern angle of Africa. "Surrounded on all sides," says Barrow, " by a people that differ from them in every point, in colour, in features, in form, in disposition, manners, and language, it would be absurd to consider them indigenous to the small spot they now possess. Were I to speculate upon their origin, I would have little hesitation in giving it as my opinion, that they are descended from some of the tribes of those wandering Arabs, known by the name of Bedouins. These people are known to have penetrated into almost every part of Africa. Colonies of them have found their way even into the islands of South Africa, where more serious difficulties would occur than in a journey overland to the Cape of Good Hope. By skirting the Red Sea, and turning to the southward, along the sea coast, the Great Desert of sand, that divides Africa into two parts, is entirely avoided; and the passage lies over a country
habitable, as far as is known, in every part. Their pastoral habits and manners, their kind and friendly reception of strangers, their tent-shaped houses, the remains of that grand feature of Islamism, the circumcision of male children, which is universally practised among all the Kaffer hordes, all strongly denote their affinity to the Bedouin tribes. Their countenance is also truly Arabic. They differ only in colour, which varies from deep bronze to jet black; but that of the latter is most predominant. If they had the smallest resemblance to the African negroes, either in their features or conformation, they might be supposed to owe their dark complexion to an intercourse, in their passage through the country, with these people; but there is not the least appearance of this having been the case. To the Ethiopians, or Abyssinians, they bear a much stronger resemblance." According to tradition, the Amaxosæ first settled on the Kae River about 1670-5; at which period they appear to have been governed by a powerful Chief, named Toguh. Between them and the colony were the Gonaquas, a mixed tribe, which was ruled by Kohla. The Kaffer clans, belonging to Koocha and Tinde, (subordinate Chieftains,) subsequently purchased the Gonaqua territory, extending along the coast from the Fish River to the Sunday River. In consequence of this measure, the latter were obliged to remove further inland; and ultimately settled about Zuurberg, and Bruintjes Hoogte. Here, however, they had not remained long before the colonists came upon and drove them out in a manner the most barbarous. Being both armed and mounted, they of course found no difficulty in making themselves sole lords of the manor,-in enslaving the timid race whom they found in possession of it,-and in perfidiously infringing the rights of the Amaxosæ also. But more of this hereafter.
While I cannot go the lengths of some who have
panegyrized the Kaffers as "the finest race of men ever beheld," I may, without fear of contradiction, state that there are many remarkably fine and well-made men amongst them. Many of them are tall, robust, and very muscular their habits of life induce a firmness of carriage, and an open, manly, demeanour, which is altogether free from that apparent consciousness of fear and suspicion which generally characterizes uncivilized nations. In stature they vary from five to six feet ten inches; and a cripple, or deformed person, is seldom seen amongst them. "The particular causes to which they are indebted for their fine forms, and athletic strength of body, I do not pretend to develope; but it may be observed, that they are exempt from many of those causes that in more civilized societies contribute to impede and cramp the growth of the body. Their diet is extremely simple; their exercise that of the most salutary nature; their limbs are not encumbered with clothing; the air they breathe is pure; their frame is not shaken or enervated by the use of intoxicating liquors, for they are not acquainted with them: They eat when they are hungry; and sleep when nature demands it."* thus far are we able to go with this celebrated writer; but when hẹ represents the Kaffer as being free from licentiousness, we must dissent from his opinion altogether, although fully aware of standing opposed to the views of other travellers likewise, whose mistakes on subjects of this natureare perhaps to be attributed to their want of time for more minute and correct observation, rather than to any intention to mislead. It is easy for men who spend but a few days, or weeks, at most, amongst such people, to fall into errors of this kind.
Though black, or very nearly so, they have not one line of the African negro in the shape and turn of their