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the mountain's side, forming too often the last sad anthem of many an expiring wretch

Lured by the scent of death, these grim, midnight visitors, fearlessly prowled amongst the tents and sheds, whose helpless inmates could oft, on the lowly, fevered, and sleepless couch, feel their hot carrion breath rankly steaming through the gaping crevices of those frail planks, their sole protection from a living grave.

Days and weeks thus wore slowly into months, which lazily dragged on their weary length, though bringing succour neither by sea or land; for, to the straining eyes of this forlorn and desolate crew, not a sail e'er loomed o'er the far watery horizon, nor was the fluttering of a single “ kaross,”ť or the dusty track of cattle, to be discerned amidst the distant sand-hills along the bay, or the wild, barren heaths beyond.

To add to their distress, the fishing-nets, by means of which they had hitherto been supplied with an occasional meal, became at last nearly worn out, and could be scarcely made to hold together. Table Bay, at this inclement season of the year, was, moreover, found most insecure for the ships; discontent spread rapidly amongst the crews, and this mutinous disposition was shortly followed by plunder on their part, and desertion from the settlement.

Van Riebeck had, in short, to contend with all those vexatious trials and difficulties to which Columbus, Bartholomew Diaz, and other early discoverers and explorers of unknown regions, have ever been exposed; his courage and strength of mind continued, nevertheless, unshaken to the last; he bravely faced the storm, kept a steady hand on the wheel of government of his infant state, nor, in all his difficulties, for a single moment appears to have given way to despondency or despair.

In order to obtain tidings of the Saldanhers, and to procure provisions of some description, the smallest vessel, called the Good Hope, was sent on several exploring trips to Saldanha Bay, as likewise to Dassen and Robben Islands, from whence she always succeeded in bringing back supplies of some sort in the shape of seals, penguins, or sea-birds' eggs, which though, with their oily and rank fishy flavour, perhaps not very palateable to an Epicurean taste, were, nevertheless, eagerly received and greedily devoured by his starving people.

Van Riebeck having thus provided for their immediate wants, his next endeavour was by appointing a provost-marshal, and instituting summary and immediate punishment, to repress those great irregularities which appear at this time to have crept in amongst his people, who, not content with committing thefts on each other, commenced plundering the company's stores, and robbing the public gardens of their crops.

A spirit of desertion which might have still more seriously affected the future prospects of the infant colony, now, as before observed, likewise manifested itself amongst the emigrants, four of whom, towards the latter end of September, clandestinely left the Cape, with the intention, it after

“ This night it appeared as if the lions would take the fort by storm, that they might get at the sheep. They made a fearful noise, as if they would destroy all within ; but in vain, for they could not climb the walls ..... worked lustily at raising them higher, that we may care as little for the English,” &c.—(From Van Riebeck's Journal, January 23, 1653.)

+ The “ kaross” is the cloak of dressed hide, sometimes worn by the native tribes of South Africa

wards appeared, of reaching by land the Portuguese settlements at Mozambique, and thence endeavouring to procure a passage to Europe. In a few days, however, hunger forced them to return and give themselves up ; when, although deemed advisable to remit the sentence of death decreed as a punishment for their offence, it is recorded that they were sentenced to work for two years in irons as slaves, and the leader, Jan Blank, was, moreover, “ keel hauled,” and received, in addition, 150 lashes.

It is, perhaps, worthy of remark that the said Jan Blank--the first European traveller in Southern Africa-should, likewise, have been the first to hand down to posterity, a written account of his adventures in this part of the world.

The following naïve relation of this his ill-fated expedition, written in red chalk, was found on his person at the time of his apprehension.

“ In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sept. 24.- In the evening set out from the Kaap de Boa Esperance, directing our course to Mozambique, four of us, Jan Verdouk of Vlaanderen, Willem Huytgens of Maastricht, Gerrit Dirkse of Maastricht, and Jan Blank of Mechelen, having with us four biscuits, and fish ; God grant us success on the journey ! also four swords, two pistols, and the dog.

Sept. 25.—This evening marched seven mylen ; saw two rhinoceroses, which advanced upon us, intending to destroy us. Jan Verdouk was obliged to leave behind his hat and sword ; a little before our dog ran at a porcupine, by which he was so wounded in the neck that we thought he would die ; took our rest to-night by a rivulet, in God's name ; saw, also, two ostriches ; obliged to leave ditto again because of two rhinoceroses that came towards us, then we chose the beach ; after we had gone two mylen, we made our camp in the first of the sand hills.

Sept. 26.—This morning again set out on our journey, chose the coast to the Kaap Aquillas, marched about seven mylen, our first food was four young birds who lay in the nest, and three eggs ; encamped on the beach where we got some limpets.

Sept. 27.-Went along the beach about seven mylen; came in the evening to a very high mountain close to the sea, which we must over, therefore rested at the foot until

Sept. 28.–And provided ourselves with limpets to take with us over the mountain, which we prepared strung on lines and dried, and also with calabashes to carry water,

Sept. 29.-Setting out in the morning intending to get over this corner, but not being well able to do so, Jan Verdouk and Willem Huytgens began to repent, but went on.

Sept. 30.- Nothwithstanding until the afternoon of next day, when Gerrit also was knocked up, and, for me, I could not make a dance of it alone, therefore resolved to return to the fort in hopes of mercy and grace in God's name.

How many subsequent explorers of “Southern Africa," would have done well to imitate this concise and unvarnished statement, and how many whom we could mention (present company always excepted) have richly merited the punishment of poor Jan Blank, for wilfully deserting” in their lengthened narratives, the paths of rectitude and truth :*

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Chiefly applicable to those who from political or interested motives have so long misled the British public relative to the state of the plony of the Cape of Good Hope.

Upwards of six months had now elapsed since the arrival of the expedition in Table Bay, and affairs began to assume with the infant colony, a most gloomy aspect. In consequence of the non-appearance of the return fleet from India, from whom relief had been confidently expected, it was concluded to have probably made for St. Helena, without touching at the Cape ; sickness still prevailed, the remaining stock of bread and flour was fast decreasing, and even hope itself began to fail ; great therefore, was the joy of these unfortunate exiles, when at length, about the middle of October, a few strange Hottentots were seen approaching the fort, who, through the interpreter “ Herry" gave intimation of the vicinity of their tribe, provided, as they stated, with abundance of sheep and cattle, which they further gave to understand would readily be bartered for tobacco and brass.

It appeared by Herry's account that numerous tribes coming from the direction of Saldanha Bay, made an annual practice of thus periodically visiting this part of the country, where, after consuming the pasturage about Table Mountain, they formed a circuit to the East, through the district at present known as Hottentots' Holland, and thence back again to their own country, or rather to that point from whence they had taken their departure, for their homes appeared to be (like those of many of the interior tribes of the present day), wherever pasture was to be found, and where they were unopposed by more powerful tribes or nations than themselves.

The expected party accordingly arrived, bringing in their train innumerable herds and focks. The barren heath extending between Table and Simon's Bay, hitherto an unoccupied and desert tract, suddenly teemed with animated life; the green valleys and wooded “ kloofs” of the mountain re-echoed the lowing of browsing kine, and the settlement now presented the bustling appearance of a cattle-fair. Through the medium of Mr. Herry (who played the part of both broker and interpreter), an active system of barter and traffic took place, on terms which were probably considered equally advantageous by both parties ; for we find that the price established for a cow was usually “two small plates of copper, or one large plate,” whilst “sheep were generally bought for as much tobacco, or thin copper wire, as the sheep-tail included-measured in length.”

The Saldanhers incited, as was then supposed, and subsequently fully proved, by the traitor Herry (said to be more favourably inclined to the English than to his actual benefactors and employers), however, shortly began to show less eagerness for the wares in question, and encouraged by the mistaken lenity enjoined in the before-mentioned proclamation (and the consequences of which ill-judged line of policy have so often been displayed with the same results, in subsequent intercourse with the natives), committed innumerable thefts of property, accompanied even with personal violence towards the settlers, whenever the opportunity presented itself of so doing.

Towards the latter end of February, 1653, the Saldanhers—who of late had shown such hostile dispositions, that considerable armed parties of the Dutch were deemed necessary to traffic in safety at their “ “kraals”

* A corruption from “ corrāl,” a term used in South America, and meaning the inlosure where cattle is secured at night;-the word “ kraal” is now used in South Africa, in the above sense, and also to express an assemblage of native buts.

-finally took their departure in an easterly direction, having disposed of 130 head of cattle and 350 sheep; which supply was the more acceptable, as the provisions brought by the expedition were by this time completely exhausted, and with no hopes of being replaced until the arrival of the homeward bound feet from Batavia : which, to the great joy of Van Riebeck and all the settlers, appeared in sight on the 1st of March, and after having furnished the settlement with bread, flour, and other requisites, received in return fresh water, meat, and vegetables, and again took its departure for Europe on the 15th of April, 1653.

By this opportunity Van Riebeck sent an account of the first year's proceedings of the new settlement, with which he appears then to have been so thoroughly disgusted, that he thus terminates his despatch :

“I will now, to conclude, most humbly, respectfully, and earnestly pray, that

your honours will think of removing me hence to India, and to some better and higher employment, in order that in due time, and in consideration of better services than I can render here, I may earn promotion ; for, among these dull, stupid (batte, plompe), lazy, stinking people, little address (subtylteyt) is required as among the Japanese, Tonquinese, and other precise nations thereabouts, who, as I have sufficiently experienced in my ten years' service, give enough to do to the brains of the cleverest Dutchman; and here there is nothing to be done, except to barter a few sheep and cattle, in which little address is required; and whether there is any thing to be done in ostrich feathers, musk, or any thing else, I shall have sufficiently ascertained between this time and the receipt of your honour's answer, and should I then see my successor, I shall be able to give him such good instructions, after the experience I shall have gained upon all points connected with your service, that he will be as well qualified to take charge as myself; and, as you have done me the honour in all your letters to entitle me commander (for which I am very thankful), I would still respectfully request that (should my conduct have given you any satisfaction) you would be pleased to honour me with that rank, as also with the usual emolument of 150 guilders per mensem, thereto appertaining, under a written instrument in debita formâ, in order that I may produce it on my arrival in India, for otherwise the title would tend to nothing but contempt, for being now entitled commander, and hereafter arriving in India being looked on as only a merchant; and, to say a few words more, I would gladly bind myself to remain in India with that quality and pay, for three years beyond my first engagement: and awaiting the pleasing intelligence of my removal to India, for the purpose above stated, I shall hold myself fully rewarded and satisfied for the services which I have done here to the utmost of my ability, hoping that on reaching India through your favour, I shall render you services of somewhat more importance than I have here a field for, &c.

"J. VAN RIEBECK. “In the Fort the Goede Hoep, 14th of April, 1653."

TICK;

OR,

MEMOIRS OF AN OLD ETON BOY.

BY CHARLES ROWCROFT, AUTHOR OF " TALES OF THE COLONIES ; OR,

THE ADVENTURES OF AN EMIGRANT."

CHAPTER V.

there were very

THERE were more than five hundred boys at Eton in the year to which these memoirs relate, of ages varying from nine to twenty ; but

few

among these two extremes. The general age was from twelve to seventeen or eighteen ; after seventeen most of them left school for one of the universities, or for the army, for the period to which I refer was during the war. Of these five hundred, sixty-two, if I remember the number correctly, were on the foundation, that is, were received as king's scholars by the ruling powers of the college, for education and partial support from the funds provided by the founder Henry VI., of scholastic memory.

The value of these funds, which consist principally of lands, has increased enormously, as measured in money, since the first establishment of the college. These sixty-two king's scholars are, indeed, the real Eton boys, properly so-called, as it is they who constitute the college by right, whereas the other students are admitted to such advantages as the college possesses only by favour.

There are various rules and regulations in respect to the king's scholars which do not affect the larger number who have not the same privileges. By the original institutes of the college, the king's scholars are obliged to wear academical gowns; and by a singular and fanciful prescription, the moral uses of which I have never been able to discover, they are condemned to wear knee-breeches, which, in the instances of little boys, has a very droll effect. For some reason, also equally mysterious, they are forbidden to wear gaiters; so that their drum-sticks, when unconcealed by their gowns, are exposed to the view of the critical spectator in their natural and unsophisticated state. As to their headgear, it seems that the regulation for covering that superior part of the body has been omitted ; at least no ordinance, that I am aware of, exists respecting it, so that hats were the universal wear; I rather think that caps were considered objectionable, as I do not remember to have seen that article of dress sported on any occasion.

The masters, also, all of whom must have been educated at Eton on the foundation, wore gowns, and for a long series of years formidablelooking cocked hats of rather extensive dimensions, and which reminded me, when I first beheld them, of the one under which the late Professor Grimaldi appeared in one of the pantomimes at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden. The weight and incumbrance of those monstrosities, however, which in the heat of summer were peculiarly oppressive, produced a spirited remonstrance on the part of the sufferers in the year 1809 or 1810, I forget which, and after a grave deliberation on the part Feb.- VOL. LXXXII. NO. CCCXXVI.

P

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