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ig by far the best criterions whereby to determine points f this nature and on consulting one of these upon this nd various other subjects, he very feelingly replied, sayig, "Until enlightened by the grace of God, my prayers ere made to the stones only, as are those of thousands f my countrymen at this very moment." This affecting ct forcibly carries us back as it were to a view of the ncient Britons, at the time when Thor and Woden were heir gods, and when these were the objects of homage mongst our ancestors.

CHAPTER IX.

War common-Preparations for Battle-Feudal System everywhere prevalent-Boochuana Army-Shot a Rhinoceros-Voracity of the Warriors-Encampment-Providential Escape from Lions-Arrival at the Marootze Capital-Description of the Town-War Council-Numbers killed-Interview with the King—Lamentation for the Slain-Moral Condition of the People.

EVERY page of African history renders it abundantly evident, that misery and destruction are in all the ways of fallen man; and that to him the way of peace is altogether unknown. As in the western, so also in the southern division of this dark continent, its numerous tribes and clans are continually feeding the vengeful flame. By predatory incursions alone, Caffraria has often been made a field of blood. Other causes indeed there are, from which strife, contention, and bloodshed have arisen; but in nine cases out of ten, at least, the native

troops are mustered either to pillage their weaker neighbours, or to retaliate upon some thievish aggressor.

The wars that were, for many years, kept up between old S'Lhambi, and his nephew Gaika, will, in all probabili form a prominent part of Kaffer history, as their battles were fought within a comparatively short distance from our boundaries. A view of either of these men in certain situations would probably excite our admi. ration, as the one possessed no small share of shrewdness and natural talent, while the other was more than ordinarily intrepid and courageous. But, as it has been very justly observed, "in our admiration of some of the bold and peculiar features of an uncivilized people, we are apt to lose sight of their vices, and give them credit for virtues which they do not possess." This remark is peculiarly applicable to the Chieftains; who, instead of being, as some travellers have represented them, "of an open and generous character, disdaining, in their wars and negotiations, any sort of chicane or deceit," are in truth men whose depraved minds and schemes generally evince the very opposite of "natural rectitude." No bond is too sacred for a Chief to break; no tie, relative, social, or political, sufficient to withstand his cupidity.

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It is worthy of remark, however, that they seldom engage in any warlike expedition with that precipitancy which might be expected from savages. Between the period of receiving and avenging any wrong, time is usually allowed for malignity to assume its blackest hue, their deliberations in such matters being generally very tardy. Days and weeks, and sometimes months, are spent in conferring upon all the different bearings of the case. In the event, for instance, of a challenge being given by one clan to another, or of any infringement of the rights of a Chief by his neighbour, messengers are sent backward and forward, to ascertain why or wherefore such steps have been taken, or upon what grounds hostilities

are contemplated. Should the challenge be withdrawn, or the injury satisfactorily repaired, the breach is made up, a token of peace is exchanged, and friendship restored. But if, on the other hand, the offending party continue to menace, or the offended feel confident of being more than a match for the adversary, their forces are speedily mustered, and every man comes to the standard armed with spears, with lance and shield. The whole affair in all its minutiæ is then proclaimed to the marshalled host with spirit-rousing eloquence, and in language the most hyperbolical. Not only are the sable troops made acquainted with their duty, but inspired with feelings the most revengeful towards the enemy. They almost always consult their soothsayers, on these occasions, and are by them assured of victory; after which, with waving plumes upon their heads, and sharpened weapons in their hands, they start from their seats, raise the fell whoop, and forthwith proceed to the field, loudly cheering and applauding their respective commanders.

Amongst the Boochuana and more northern tribes, which are beyond the reach of colonial influence, this feudal system prevails almost perpetually. As I had repeated opportunities, on one of my Missionary tours, of witnessing it in full operation, the system itself, together with some of its melancholy effects, will perhaps be best illustrated in a few extracts from my Journal. In order, as much as possible, to be prepared for attack, the population of the interior is in a great measure concentrated in towns, which are in many instances built on the very summits of mountains, commanding an extensive prospect every way. Immense tracts are consequently left wholly unoccupied, except by wandering Bushmen, who lurk amongst the trees, and depend entirely upon the chase for subsistence.

Several days were spent in travelling over uninhabited wastes of this description, where nothing save the

ostrich and the gazelle appeared to enliven the scene

*It has been thought that after depositing its eggs in the sand, this remarkable bird generally leaves them to be hatched by the genial rays of the sun; but the following facts will show the erroneousness of such an opinion, although maintained by some who have confidently assumed the character of historians. } "On approaching the nest," says the Rev. S. Broadbent, "we saw the female ostrich sitting upon it; and though she had been disturbed before by the Hottentot, she remained till we were very near, and then ran off at the report of two guns which were fired. The ground was sandy for several miles round, and covered with thinly-scattered bushes. There lay a great number of loose ostrich feathers about the nest, which appeared to have come off the female while sitting, and she had the naked appearance which domestic fowls have at such times.

ness.

"The eggs were forty-two in number, including two which had been taken away; and were arranged with great apparent exactSixteen were close together in the middle of the nest; and on these the ostrich was sitting when we arrived: they were as many as she could cover. The remaining twenty-six were placed very uniformly in a circle, about three or four feet from those in the middle. The eggs which were in the circle we found to be quite fresh, at which I expressed my surprise. The Hottentots informed me that these had been provided by the ostrich against the hatching of those in the middle; when she would break them, one after another, and give them to her young ones for food; and that by the time they were all disposed of in this manner, the young ostriches would be able to go abroad with their mother, and provide for themselves such things as the desert afforded. This fact affords as fine an instance of animal instinct, and as striking an illustration of a superintending Providence, as perhaps the whole circle of natural history is capable of furnishing.

"During the time that we continued beside the nest, which must have been near an hour,-for the Hottentots kindled a fire, and broiled some of the eggs, the ostrich remained at a short distance, looking towards us; and there we left her. The eggs weighed three pounds each, and measured seventeen inches in circumference. We took the greater part of the fresh ones. Seven were as many as I could conveniently carry. One of the Hottentots ingeniously contrived to carry a greater number, by pulling off his trousers, tying up one end, and filling them with eggs."

and our stock of provisions at length began to fail. This, however, was soon replenished, as one of my native guides succeeded in shooting two cameleopards that hap pened to be grazing, along with three others, near the place of our encampment. The first principal town we came to, after leaving Lattakoo, was Meribawhey, inhabited by the Tammaha. This tribe, which is said to have been both numerous and powerful, and deservedly celebrated for its bravery, was now reduced to a few hundreds, and proverbially poor. I was greatly surprised, however, to find amongst their stock a fine flock of goats, as scarcely any of the black tribes possess animals of this description. Not many miles from the town, was a natural salt-pan of considerable dimensions, containing a vast quantity of that valuable material. This the natives seldom use as a dietetic ingredient, nor indeed for any important purpose whatever.

Just as we entered, a number of messengers arrived from Bamuarimosana, with tidings from their Chief, that a plundering party of Tamahas had fallen upon and robbed some of his people. He had therefore sent his men to demand redress. But it was not until the second day after the report had been heard, that anything like a full inquiry was instituted. The council was then assembled ex officio, and the case argued at full length. In the course of the evidence it appeared, that one of the ring-leaders in this affair was sick, and confined to his hut. Thither the council immediately proceeded; and, stimulated by curiosity, I ventured to follow them, accompanied by my interpreter. No one dared to enter the house, as it was counted unclean, "because the habitation of a sick man." For this reason I was not allowed even to look over the fence; on the outside of which the elders all sat while questioning the delinquent. At this place I spent one Sabbath; preached morning and evening, and visited the natives from hut

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