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Title: A Winter Tour in South Africa
Author: Young, Frederick
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Winter Tour in South Africa" ***




(Reprinted by permission from the Proceedings of the Royal Colonial
Institute, with large additions, Illustrations, and a Map.)

E.A. Petherick & Co., 33, Paternoster Row, E.C.


[Illustration: MY WAGON.]


This Volume, describing a recent tour, during which
   a large portion of Her Majesty's magnificent
     Dominions in South Africa were traversed,
       is, by gracious permission, dedicated
              with feelings of sincere

[Illustration: Decorative]


The growth of the great Colonies of the British Empire is so phenomenal,
and their development is so rapid, and remarkable, that if we are to
possess a correct knowledge of their actual state, and condition, from
year to year, their current history requires to be constantly

The writer of a decade since, is, to-day, almost obsolete. He has only
produced a current record of facts, and places, at the period he wrote.
This is especially the case with South Africa.

I have recently returned from a very interesting tour in that remarkable
country. My impressions were noted down, as they occurred, from day to
day. A summary of my observations, and of the incidents, in connection
with my journey, was the subject of a Paper I read at the opening
meeting of the present Session of the Royal Colonial Institute, on the
12th of November last. I wish it to be understood that the opinions
expressed on that occasion were my own, and that the Institute as a body
is in no way responsible for them. This Paper has formed the outline of
the volume, which--with much new matter from my note book--I now offer
to the public, in the belief, that the narrative of a traveller, simply
seeking instruction, as well as amusement, from a few months tour, while
traversing some 12,000 miles by sea, and 4,000 miles by land, through
the wonderful country in which he lately roamed, might prove of some
use, in awakening additional interest on the part of the general public,
to one of the most promising, and valuable portions of the Colonial

In this spirit, I offer my "Winter Tour in South Africa," to my
countrymen, "at home and beyond the seas," in the hope that it may
receive from them, a favourable reception.

On the "Political Situation," I have spoken strongly and frankly, I hope
not too much so. The result of my personal observations has convinced
me, that I have only correctly expressed the opinions, very widely
entertained by large classes of Her Majesty's subjects in South Africa.

I cannot conclude without acknowledging the aid I have derived from the
Statistical information contained in the "Argus Annual," and it also
affords me much pleasure to thank Mr. James R. Boosé, the Librarian of
the Royal Colonial Institute, for the assistance he has rendered me.


5, Queensberry Place, S.W.
_1st January, 1890._



MY WAGON                                                       Frontispiece

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, CAPETOWN                                         facing 6

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CAPETOWN                                         facing 8

JOHANNESBURG, MARKET PLACE                                        facing 57

CEMETERY, MAJUBA HILL                                             facing 81

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, MARITZBURG                                      facing 83

A STREET IN MARITZBURG                                            facing 84

TOWN HALL, DURBAN                                                 facing 86

HARBOUR WORKS, DURBAN                                             facing 89

HEX RIVER PASS                                                   facing 107



DEDICATION.                                                              v.

INTRODUCTION.                                                          vii.

THE VOYAGE.--Embark at Southampton--Amusements at
Sea--Lisbon--Madeira--Teneriffe--St. Helena--Longwood--Arrival
at Cape Town                                                            1-4

CAPE TOWN.--Queen's Birthday--Review of Troops--Regatta--Table
Bay--Table Mountain--Hotels--House of Parliament--Observatory--South
African Museum--Public Library--Botanic Gardens--Record Office--Places
of Worship--Harbour Works and Breakwater--Graving Dock--Simon's
Town--Kalk Bay--Constantia--Wynberg--Journey to Kimberley              5-21

KIMBERLEY.--Address of Welcome from the Fellows of the Royal Colonial
Institute--Diamond Industry--Bultfontein Mine--DeBeer's
Mine--Compounds--United Companies--Central Kimberley Diamond
Mine--Kimberley Hospital--Progress of Kimberley--Town Hall--Post
Office--High Court--Public Library--Waterworks--_En route_ for
Bechuanaland--Wagon Travelling--Warrenton--Drake's Farm               22-38

BECHUANALAND.--Scenery--Field for Settlement--Vryburg--Lochnagar
Farm--Prospect of Gold Discovery                                      39-46

KLERKSDORP.--Nooitgedacht Mine--Pan Washing--Klerksdorp Gold Estates
Company--Future of Klerksdorp                                         47-49

POTCHEFSTROOM.--Wagon Journey--Presence of Gold-bearing
Reefs--Vultures--Fort and Cemetery--Chevalier Forssman                50-52

JOHANNESBURG.--Difficulties of Travelling--Appearance of the
Town--Gold--Knights--The Jumpers--Robinson's--Langlaagte--Descent
to the Mines--Market Square--Growth of Johannesburg--Sanitary
arrangements                                                          53-59

PRETORIA.--Water Supply--The Volksraad--President Paul Kruger--High
Court of Justice--Want of Railroads--Growing Prosperity--Post
Office--New Government Buildings--Political and Social Life--Pretoria
Races                                                                 60-65

WATERBURG.--Polonia--Hebron--Salt Pans--Kafirs--Appearance of the
Country--Prospects of Gold--Scarcity of Game--Bush Fire--Narrow
Escape--Transport Driver--Waterburg Sulphur Baths--Nylstroom
Road--Return to Pretoria                                              66-78

PRETORIA TO NATAL.--Coach to Johannesburg--Post Cart
Laagte--Natal Railway--Coal Fields--Laing's Nek--Majuba
Hill--Ingogo--Scenery of Natal                                        79-82

MARITZBURG.--Public Buildings--House of Assembly--Statue of the
Queen--British Troops                                                 83-84

DURBAN.--Railway Journey--Town Hall--Municipal
arrangements--Trade--Harbour Works--The "Berea"--Natal Central
Sugar Company's Manufactory--Trappist Establishment at Marion
Hill--Defences--Embark for Port Elizabeth                             85-96

PORT ELIZABETH.--Trade--Town Hall--Public Library--Ostrich
Feathers--The "Hill"--Botanical Garden--Hospital--Water
Supply--Churches--Presentation of an address                         97-101

GRAHAMSTOWN.--Railway Journey--Scenery--Botanical Gardens--Mountain
Road--Museum--The Prison--Kafir School--Ostrich Farm at Heatherton
Towers--Export of Feathers                                          102-105

PORT ELIZABETH TO CAPE TOWN.--Scenery--Hex River Pass--Arrival at
Cape Town--Lecture at Young Men's Christian Society--Start for
England--Arrival at Southampton                                     106-108

CLIMATE.                                                            109-112

THE NATIVE QUESTION.                                                113-116

RAILWAYS.                                                           117-122

COLONISATION.                                                       123-127

THE POLITICAL SITUATION.                                            128-148


    I. Discussion on a Paper entitled "A Winter Tour in South
    Africa," by Sir Frederick Young, at the Royal Colonial
    Institute                                                       149-163

    II. Lecture on Imperial Federation delivered at Cape Town       164-173

[Illustration: Decorative]


On the 3rd of May last, I left Southampton in the s.s. _Spartan_ for
Cape Town. This three weeks' ocean voyage has become one of the most
enjoyable it is possible to take by those who are seeking health or
pleasure on the sea. The steamers of the great companies, which carry on
so admirably the weekly communication between England and South Africa,
are so powerful, handsome, and commodious, their captains and crews are
so attentive and obliging, their food and cabin accommodation so ample
and luxurious, that it seems impossible for anyone, excepting a
confirmed grumbler, to find any reasonable fault with any of their
arrangements, where all are so good. Passengers will select the
particular vessel by which they desire to travel, rather by the
convenience of the date fixed for sailing, than from any particular
choice of the name of the steamer, either belonging to the Castle Mail
Packet Company, the Union Steamship Company, or any other line.

A sea voyage of the kind I have recently taken does not give opportunity
for much striking incident, or exciting variety. If restful and pleasant
to those who are escaping for a while from the bustle and turmoil of
life on shore, it is at all events bound to be somewhat monotonous, in
spite of the many amusements which are daily arranged, including
cricket, tennis, quoits, concerts, dances, etc., of which I experienced
a fair share. On many occasions I was called upon to preside at
concerts, lectures, etc., not only amongst the saloon passengers, but
also in the third class cabin. A rough voyage across the Bay of Biscay,
a view of the Tagus, a brief run on shore to look at the picturesque
capital of Portugal, a gaze at the spot, which marks the memory of the
scene of the fearful earthquake of 1755, which destroyed most of the
town, and 50,000 of its inhabitants; a short stay at the lovely island
of Madeira, sufficient to glance at its beautiful scenery, to breathe
its balmy air, to taste its delicious fruits, and to land at its pretty
town of Funchal, to see some of its charming surroundings; a passing
peep at Teneriffe, which is now receiving so much attention in Europe as
an attractive health resort; a few days' run of exhausting heat through
the tropics; a visit to Saint Helena, enough to allow of a drive to
Longwood, and a look at the room, where the first Napoleon breathed his
last--leaving there the legacy of the shadow of a mighty name to all
time--on this "lonely rock in the Atlantic"; a few days more of solitary
sailing over a stormy sea, a daily look-out for whales, porpoises,
dolphins, flying fish, sharks, and albatrosses; a glance upward, night
after night, into the starry sky, to gaze on the Southern Cross, so much
belauded, and yet so disappointing in its appearance, after the
extravagant encomiums lavished on it; and at length, on the early
morning of May 24, I safely reached Cape Town.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


To produce the most favourable impression of any new place, it is
essential that it should be seen for the first time in fine weather.
Places look so very different under a canopy of cloud, and, perhaps, a
deluge of rain, or when they are bathed in the sunshine of a beautiful
day. Happily for me, my first view of Cape Town was under the latter
genial aspect. I need scarcely say, that I was, in consequence, quite
charmed with my first sight of this celebrated town, the seat of
Government of the Cape Colony. What made the scene more than usually
striking to a traveller, fresh from the sea, was, that it was the
Queen's birthday, and the day dawned with a most perfect specimen of
"Queen's weather." Cape Town was literally _en fête_. The inhabitants
thronged the streets. I was astonished at the great variety of gay
costumes among the motley crowd--English, Dutch, Germans and French,
Malays, Indian Coolies, Kafirs, and Hottentots--a tremendous gathering,
in fact, of all nations, and "all sorts and conditions of men." There
was a grand review of all the military branches of the Service, in which
His Excellency the Administrator, General Smyth, surrounded by a
brilliant staff, received the homage due to the British flag; and, as
her representative on this occasion, to Her Majesty's honoured name. The
review was followed by a regatta in the afternoon. It was quite
refreshing to a new arrival, like myself, to observe the enthusiastic
evidences of loyal feeling everywhere exhibited in the capital of the
Colony to our Queen, the beloved and venerated head of the British


Before commencing my long and interesting tour "up country," I spent a
few most pleasant, days at Cape Town. My impressions of it, and of its
beautiful surroundings, could not fail to be most favourable. The
panoramic view of its approach from Table Bay, at the foot of Table
Mountain, is very fine. The town itself appeared to me much cleaner, and
brighter than I expected to see it, although, it must be admitted, there
is still considerable room for improvement in its sanitary arrangements,
and also in the accommodation, and condition of its hotels, to make them
as attractive as they ought to be. The best of them do not come at all
up to our standard at home, nor to our English ideas of comfort and
convenience. A great improvement in these respects, I am satisfied, is
not only necessary, but would pay well, and induce a far larger number
of visitors to stay at Cape Town, and avail themselves of its
attractions of climate, and fine surroundings.

While I was at Cape Town, I visited among other places, the House of
Parliament, the Observatory, the South African Museum, the Public
Library, the Botanic Gardens, &c.


The House of Parliament, which was opened for public use in 1885, is a
very handsome building, having a frontage of 264 feet, and is divided
into a central portico, leading into the grand vestibule, the two
debating chambers, and side pavilions. The portico, which is of massive
dimensions, is approached by a commanding flight of granite steps, which
runs round three sides of it. The pavilions are relieved by groups of
pilasters with Corinthian capitals, and are surmounted by domes and
ventilators. The whole of the ground floor up to the level of the main
floor has been built of Paarl granite, which is obtained from the
neighbouring district of that name. The upper part of the building is of
red brick, relieved by pilasters and window dressing of Portland cement,
the effect being very pleasing to the eye. The interior accommodation
for the business of the two Legislative bodies is most complete, and
arranged with a careful view to comfort and convenience. In addition to
the Debating Chambers, which are sixty-seven feet in length by
thirty-six feet in width, there is a lofty hall of stately appearance,
with marble pillars, and tesselated pavement, which forms the central
lobby, or grand vestibule. I might mention, that the debating chambers
are only ten feet in length and width less than the British House of
Commons. Adjoining the central lobby is the parliamentary library, a
large apartment, with galleries above each other reaching to the full
height of the building. The usual refreshment, luncheon, and smoking
rooms have not been forgotten, in connection with the comfort of the
members. The public are accommodated in roomy galleries, and ample
provision has been made for ladies, distinguished visitors, and the
press. The portrait of Her Majesty, and the Mace at the table reminds
one forcibly of the fact that one is still in a portion of the British
Empire. The total cost of the building, including furniture, was

I attended two or three debates in the House of Parliament, and was much
impressed with the manner in which, in this superb and commodious
legislative chamber, the discussions were carried on. There was a quiet
dignity of debate, as well as business-like capacity and orderly tone,
observed on both sides of the House, which might be copied with
advantage, as it is in striking contrast to much of the practice, in the
Parliament of Great Britain. It is certainly satisfactory to notice,
that the modern manners and customs, in the popular branch of our own
ancient national assembly, which so frequently fail in orthodox
propriety, have not been imitated in the Cape Colony.

At the Record Office attached to the House of Parliament, I went into
the vaults, and inspected the early manuscripts of the Dutch, during
their original occupation of the Cape of Good Hope. These are most
deeply and historically interesting, and valuable. The minute accuracy,
with which every incident is recorded is most remarkable. There are bays
in these vaults, filled with records, which must be of priceless value
to an historical student, and they are now in course of arrangement by
the able librarian, Mr. H.C.V. Leibbrandt, who is the author of a most
interesting work entitled "Rambles through the Archives of the Colony of
the Cape of Good Hope."[A]

At the South African Museum I found a valuable collection of beasts,
birds, fishes, &c., not only from South Africa, but from various parts
of the world. The collection has been enriched by valuable contributions
from Mr. Selous, the distinguished African traveller, and sportsman, his
donations consisting chiefly of big game, including two gigantic elands,
(male and female), buffaloes, antelopes, &c. The series of birds
comprises the large number of two thousand species.

A visit of great interest to me was to the South African Public Library,
which boasts of about 50,000 volumes, and embraces every branch of
science and literature. It contains three distinct collections, viz.,
the Dessinian, the Grey, and the Porter. The first-named was bequeathed
to the Colony in 1761 by Mr. Joachim Nicholas Von Dessin, and consists
of books, manuscripts and paintings. The Porter collection took its name
from the Hon. William Porter, and was purchased from the subscriptions
raised for the purpose of procuring a life-size portrait of that
gentleman, in recognition of his services to the Colony. As, however,
Mr. Porter declined to sit for his portrait, the amount subscribed was
appropriated to the purchase of standard works, to be known as the
Porter Collection. By far the most valuable, however, is the Grey
Collection, numbering about 5,000 volumes, and occupying a separate
room. These were presented by Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape
Colony from 1854 to 1859, and still an active member of the New Zealand
House of Representatives. Here are many rare manuscripts, mostly on
vellum or parchment, some of them of the tenth century, in addition to a
unique collection of works relating to South Africa generally.

Among the places of worship in Cape Town the most important are St.
George's Cathedral, which was built in 1830, and is of Grecian style of
architecture, and accommodates about 1,200 persons; and the Dutch
Reformed Church, which possesses accommodation for 3,000 persons, and is
not unappropriately named the Colonial Westminster Abbey. Beneath its
floors lie buried eight Governors of the Colony, the last one being Ryk
Tulbagh, who was buried in 1771.

No account of Cape Town would be complete without a reference to the
important Harbour Works, and Breakwater, which at once attract the
attention of the visitor, and which have been in course of erection for
several years past, from the designs of Sir John Coode. These works
have been of the greatest importance in extending, and developing the
commercial advantages of the port. The Graving Dock now named the
Robinson, after the late Governor, Sir Hercules Robinson, was formally
opened during the year 1882, and it so happened that the first vessel to
enter it was the _Athenian_, in which I returned to England, at the
termination of my tour. The whole of the works connected with the
building of the Docks and Breakwater reflect credit upon all who have in
any way been engaged upon their construction. The amount expended on
them up to the end of 1887 was £1,298,103.

Before leaving Cape Town, at the invitation of the Naval
Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Wells, I paid a visit to Simon's Town, the
chief naval station of the colony. The railway runs at present as far
as Kalk Bay, which takes about an hour to get to from Cape Town. Kalk
Bay is a pleasant seaside resort for the inhabitants of the colony, the
air being regarded as particularly invigorating. The remaining distance
of six miles to Simon's Town is performed in a Cape cart, which is a
most comfortable vehicle on two wheels, drawn by two horses with a pole
between them, and covered with a hood, as a protection from the weather.
The scenery from the Kalk Bay station to Simon's Town is very
picturesque. A bold sea stretches out on one side of the road, and the
mountain on the other. Amongst other things which attracted my attention
at Simon's Town was the Dockyard, which embraces about a mile of the
foreshore, and contains appliances for repairing modern war vessels, a
repairing and victualling depôt, and a patent slip, capable of lifting
vessels of about 900 tons displacement. I went with the Admiral, and a
party of ladies to have luncheon on board the Steam Corvette _Archer_.

Simon's Bay is very sheltered, excepting from the south-east, with good
holding anchorage ground. It seems a quiet, secluded spot, well-adapted
for a naval station in this part of the world, although I have heard
that an opinion prevails that the fleet should be at Cape Town instead
of Simon's Bay. The _Raleigh_ is the flag-ship; I saw also some other
vessels of the Royal Navy at anchor in the bay. The fortifications which
are now in progress for the protection of this important point in our
chain of defences will, when completed, render the place practically
impregnable from sea attack.

Some of the most beautiful coast scenery I have ever seen is to be found
in that very lovely drive by Sea Point to Hout's Bay, and thence back to
Cape Town by Constantia and Wynberg. This is a celebrated excursion,
and well deserves the praises bestowed upon it. The road has been
admirably constructed by convict labour.

A very convenient short line of railway also brings within easy reach of
the inhabitants of Cape Town the pretty villages of Mowbray, Rondebosch,
Rosebank, Newlands, Wynberg, Constantia, &c., where, in charming villas
and other residences, so many of the wealthier classes reside. At
Constantia the principal wine farms are situated, the most noted being
the Groot Constantia (the Government farm) and High Constantia.
Constantia wine can only be produced on these farms. Another farm in
this neighbourhood is Witteboomen, which is particularly noted for its
peaches, there being over one thousand trees on the farm, in addition to
many other kinds of fruit. Another one, and probably the largest in the
district, is named "Sillery." Here not many years ago the ground was a
wilderness, but it has now attained a high state of perfection, there
being at least 140,000 vines and hundreds of fruit trees of all kinds,
under cultivation.

At Cape Town I received the first proofs of the kind and lavish
attentions which everywhere in South Africa were subsequently bestowed
upon me. From everyone, without exception--from His Excellency the
Administrator and Mrs. Smyth, and the members of his staff--from all the
public men and high officials--from members of the Cape Government, and
from the leaders of the Opposition, besides from innumerable private
friends, Dutch and English alike, I received such cordial tokens of
goodwill, that I can only express my deep sense of appreciation of their
most genial and friendly hospitality. I bid adieu to Cape Town (which I
was visiting for the first time in my life) with the conviction that I
was truly in a land, not of strangers, but of real friends, who desired
to do everything in their power to make my visit to South Africa
pleasant and agreeable to me; and this impression I carried with me ever
afterwards at every place I visited during the whole of my tour.

On Wednesday, May 29, I left Cape Town at 6.30 p.m. for Kimberley,
passing Beaufort West, the centre of an extensive pastoral district, and
De Aar, the railway junction from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. This
journey is a long one, of between 600 and 700 miles, and of some
forty-two hours by railway. I travelled all through that night, and the
whole of the next day, through the most remarkable kind of country I
ever saw. Flat, and apparently as level, as a bowling-green (although we
were continually rising from our starting-point at Cape Town to a
height at Kimberley of about 3,800 feet above the sea), a sandy and
dreary desert, with occasionally low, and barren hills in the far
distance--not a tree to be seen, and scarcely any vestige of vegetation,
excepting now and then, a few of the indigenous Mimosa shrubs, which,
for hundreds of miles, grow fitfully on this desolate soil. This is the
wonderful tract of country called the Great Karoo. Not a sign of animal
life is to be detected, at this period of the year. During the summer
months it affords pasturage for large flocks of sheep. It is a vast
interminable _sea of lone land_, over which the eye wanders unceasingly
during the whole of the daylight hours.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Footnote A: The First Series was published in 1887.]

[Illustration: Decorative]


After another long night in the railway train, at noon on the second
day, after leaving Cape Town, I reached the celebrated diamond town of
Kimberley, the population of which consists of about 6,000 Europeans,
with a native population estimated at about 10,000, chiefly concentrated
in the mining area.

On my arrival at the railway station, I was met by the Mayor, and a
deputation of the residents of the town. At a conversazione held later,
and which was attended by over four hundred ladies and gentlemen, the
following address was presented to me by the Fellows of the Royal
Colonial Institute resident at Kimberley and Beaconsfield:--

     "Kimberley, _June 1st_, 1889.


     "A Vice-President of the Royal Colonial Institute.

     "DEAR SIR,--We, the Fellows of the Royal Colonial Institute,
     resident in the towns and mining centres of Kimberley, and
     Beaconsfield, South Africa, cordially welcome your arrival amongst

     "We are persuaded that your visit to this distant part of Her
     Majesty's Dominions has been undertaken, not merely for personal
     pleasure, but also on behalf of the great and growing need for the
     consolidation and expansion of colonial interests throughout the

     "We feel that your own career has been an important factor in the
     formation of a sound public opinion on this subject, and that it
     is largely through your patient and far-seeing efforts, that the
     Royal Colonial Institute has attained its present proud position
     amongst the various, influences, moulding, organising, and guiding
     the life and destinies of Her Majesty's Colonial Empire.

     "We believe the present time to be vitally important in the history
     of Her Majesty's Dominions in South Africa. The tide of
     confederation, and corporate union is manifestly rising, the wave
     of extended British influence is flowing northwards, the various
     nationalities and states of this vast country are educating
     themselves by experience to see the folly and sterile weakness of
     isolation, and are learning to realise the inherent strength, and
     vitality of mutual co-operation, based on a self respecting, yet
     unselfish responsibility to South Africa as a whole.

     "We venture to suggest that this growing feeling for co-operation
     will prove a valuable element in the growth, and formation in the
     near future, of one Grand Confederation of all countries and
     peoples, owing allegiance to, or claiming corporate alliance with,
     Her Britannic Majesty's Empire.

     "We rejoice, as members of the Royal Colonial Institute, that your
     personal merits and public career have been recognised by Her
     Majesty in the honour conferred upon you, which we trust you will
     enjoy for many years.

     "Coming amongst us as a Vice-President of our own Institute, your
     presence symbolises to us the aspiration, radiant in hope, and
     prophetic in promise, which animates all true and loyal subjects of
     Her Majesty, and which is alone worthy of our past history, and
     present responsibilities--the aspirations of a strong and united
     people for a vigorous, and progressive 'United Empire.'"

To anyone visiting, for the first time, this great centre of the diamond
industry of South Africa the scene is most extraordinary. The excitement
and bustle, the wild whirl of vehicular traffic, the fearful dust, the
ceaseless movement of men and women of all descriptions, and of every
shade of complexion and colour, are positively bewildering. The thoughts
of everybody appear to be centred in diamonds, and the prevailing talk
and speech are accordingly. Being the recipient, myself, of the most
kind attention and genial and generous hospitality, my stay was most
agreeable, and pleasant. Great facilities were afforded me for seeing
everything connected with this wonderful industry, and satisfying
myself, that there are no present signs of its being exhausted or
"played out." Indubitable evidences were given me, that diamonds
continue to be found in as large quantities as ever. They appeared to me
to be "as plentiful as blackberries."

At the Bultfontein Mine I descended to the bottom of the open workings
in one of the iron buckets, used for bringing up the "blue ground" to
the surface. This is rather a perilous adventure. To go down by a wire
rope, some five or six hundred feet perpendicular into the bowels of the
earth with lightning rapidity, standing up in an open receptacle, the
top of which does not approach your waist, oscillating like a pendulum,
while you are holding on "like grim death" by your hands, is something
more than a joke. It certainly ought not to be attempted by anyone who
does not possess a cool head and tolerable nerve.

Here I saw multitudes of natives employed,--as afterwards in the De
Beer's, the Kimberley, and other diamond mines,--with pickaxes, shovels,
and other tools, breaking down the ground at the sides of the mine,
perched at various spots, and many a giddy height. Diamond mining at
Kimberley is altogether a very wonderful specimen of the development of
a new industry. In this mine I had explained to me the various
processes, by which diamonds are discovered in the rocky strata which is
being constantly dug out of the enormous circular hole, constituting it.

I also visited the celebrated De Beer's Mine. This vast mine, where some
thousands of workmen, white and coloured, are employed, is carried on
much in the same way as the Bultfontein, as far as the different
processes are concerned, of treating the material in which the diamonds
are found. It is much richer, however, in "blue ground," and
consequently far more valuable results are obtained from it. For
instance, the average value of each truck load of stuff from the
Bultfontein is said to be about 8s., while from the De Beer's it is
28s. or 30s. The latter mine is now worked underground, in the same way
as copper and coal mines are worked in England. Excellent arrangements
are made for the protection and well-being of the native workmen,
especially by the introduction of "compounds" during the last year or
two. These are vast enclosures, with high walls, where the natives
compulsorily reside, after their daily work is done during the whole
time they remain at work in the mine. This system has been attended with
the most satisfactory results. I went over the De Beer's "compound,"
where I saw an immense number of natives, all appearing lively,
cheerful, and happy. A large number were playing at cards (they are
great gamblers), and others amusing themselves in various ways. No
intoxicating liquor is permitted to be sold within the "compounds." The
weekly receipts for ginger beer amount to a sum, which seems fabulous,
averaging from £60 to £100 a week. The natives can purchase from the
"compound" store every possible thing they want, from a tinpot to a
blanket, from a suit of old clothes to a pannikin of mealies. Before the
establishment of the "compounds," when the natives had the free run of
the town, and could obtain alcoholic liquor--on Saturday nights
especially, after they had done their work and received their weekly
wages--Kimberley was a perfect pandemonium.

An interesting visit was one to the central offices of the United
Companies, where I saw the diamonds, as they are prepared ready for
sale, lying on a counter in small assorted lots, on white paper. This is
a most remarkable sight. The lots, varying from half-a-dozen to twenty,
or thirty, or more diamonds, are spread out arranged according to their
estimated value. I took up one, which I was told would probably fetch
£1,000, and of which there were several similar ones in the different
parcels on the counter. The manager showed me a paper of a sale to the
buyers, a day or two before, of a parcel, which was calculated to
realise £14,189, and which actually was sold afterwards for £14,150;
showing the surprising accuracy of the previous estimate on the part of
the experts.

Another day I went to the Central Kimberley Diamond Mine. After going
over the mine, my party and myself all "assisted" at the counter in one
of the large sheds in picking out diamonds from the heap of small stones
just brought up and laid out from the day's washings. It is rather a
fascinating occupation, turning over the heap with a little triangular
piece of tin held in one hand, and continually "scraped" along the
board. I found several diamonds. We were told, after we had been
working diligently for an hour or two--there were six of us--that the
value of the diamonds we had found, and placed in the manager's box, was
probably £1,200. This seemed to us a good afternoon's work. The entire
district of Kimberley seems to teem with diamonds, and yet there is no
cessation in the demand for them, and they are still rising in price.
Accidents are frequent at these mines, but excellent provision for
meeting these misfortunes is made in the admirably conducted Kimberley
Hospital (where there are no less than 360 beds for patients), which I
visited during my stay. It is under the management of a very remarkable
woman, Sister Henrietta, and reflects the greatest credit on everyone
connected with its conduct, and support. The number of native cases
treated at the Hospital during the year 1887 was 2,975.

Kimberley has risen with immense speed, commencing from what is
generally known as a "rush," to a large and prosperous centre of wealth,
trade, and commerce. There, where only a few years since, was to be
found a collection of tents and small huts, I found a city with handsome
buildings, churches, stores, institutions, and law courts, and, above
all, a well ordered society. Some of the buildings which I might
specially mention, are the Town Hall, the Post Office, the High Court,
and the Public Library, which has been in existence about seven years,
and is superintended with such excellent results and most gratifying
success by the Judge President. One noticeable fact connected with this
Library is that the number of works of fiction annually taken out by the
subscribers, exceeds, per head of the population, that of any Public
Library in the United Kingdom.

The Kimberley Waterworks, which I also visited, have proved a great boon
to this part, of the Colony. They were erected at a cost of £400,000,
the water supply being obtained from the Vaal River, seventeen miles

After spending a most pleasant and agreeable week there, I left
Kimberley at six o'clock on the morning of June 7, in a wagon drawn by
eight horses, and accompanied by five friends, for Warrenton, _en route_
for Bechuanaland and the Transvaal. This mode of travelling was quite a
novelty to me. Although in this journey of altogether three weeks'
duration, we occasionally put up at one or two hotels, at some of the
towns, and sometimes at the farmhouses on our way, we frequently "camped
out" on the open veldt, and, after finishing our evening meal of the
rough-and-ready provisions we carried with us, supplemented by the game
we shot, we wrapped ourselves in our karosses, and slept for the night
under the canopy of the starlit sky. I occupied the wagon, my more
juvenile companions lying on the ground beneath it.

This was my first experience of sleeping in the open air in a wagon, and
this, too, in the depth of a South African winter.

The town of Warrenton is situated on the banks of the Vaal River, and is
forty-three miles north of Kimberley. It is at present an unimportant
town, but diamond diggings have been recently opened, and it is a good
cattle district. It took its name from Sir Charles Warren. Soon after
leaving Warrenton we crossed the Vaal River on a pontoon. Here a trooper
of the Mounted Police joined us, who was said to be a very crack shot.
He rode a charming and well-bred grey horse, and had two admirably
trained pointers with him. He offered me his horse to ride, he taking
my place in the wagon. I had a most enjoyable morning's ride on one of
the best little hacks I ever mounted, cantering over the veldt in the
track of the wagon for about eight or ten miles--through a charming
country with a superb view towards Bechuanaland, the veldt being more
wooded and picturesque, than I had hitherto seen.

We slept that night at Drake's Farm. Before starting the next morning, I
had a long conversation with Mr. Drake. He was born and brought up in
London, and was in business with the firm of Moses & Son, of Cheapside,
as a traveller. He came out here nine years ago with £10 in his pocket,
and travelled up from Port Elizabeth. Mr. Drake is evidently a man of
great energy, and perseverance. He has a high opinion of the country,
and a great idea of its future. His farm and store are situated on the
borders of Bechuanaland; but he now wishes he had settled there, even in
preference to where he is. He laughs at the idea of there being no
water. He says there is plenty to be found at from seventeen to
twenty-five feet below the surface. But he says it must be dug for. If
properly irrigated, it is his opinion that thousands and thousands of
tons of mealies might be grown. He is enthusiastic about the beauty of
Bechuanaland, and spoke of having seen parts of it in which the charms
of English scenery are to be found, and even greater attractions than in
many gentlemen's parks in the Old Country. His opinion of the climate is
very high. He told me he would on no account exchange his present
location, with its dry, pure, and bracing air, so healthful,
invigorating, and free, for the chill, and damps, and fogs of England.
Mr. Drake was in England during the year 1887 (the Jubilee year), but
he was glad to get back again to his home on the border of
Bechuanaland--a very comfortable one, as I can testify from my own
personal experience.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


I was very much struck with the appearance of the country on first
entering Bechuanaland. The vast plain, over which I was then riding on
horseback, was bounded by low, sloping hills, covered with brushwood and
trees. It suggested to me forcibly the idea of a "land of promise,"
wanting only an intelligent and energetic people to secure its proper
and successful development.

In fact, as a field for settlement, I entirely concur with the remarks
of Mr. John Mackenzie, who has worked for so many years in
Bechuanaland, and who states in his recent work, entitled, "Austral

     "I come now to give my own thoughts as to the capabilities of
     Bechuanaland as a field for colonisation. My mind reverts at once
     to thrifty, and laborious people who are battling for dear-life on
     some small holding in England or Scotland, and who can barely make
     ends meet. I do not think that any class of men, or men of any
     colour, endure such hardships in South Africa. There are portions
     of Bechuanaland where, in my opinion, a body of some hundreds of
     agricultural emigrants would, like the Scottish settlers in
     Baviaan's river, some sixty years ago, take root from the first,
     and make for themselves homes. If they came in considerable
     numbers, and accompanied by a minister of religion, and possibly a
     schoolmaster, the children would not be losers by the change, while
     the church and school-house would form that centre in South
     Africa, with which all are familiar in Scotland, and give the
     people from the first a feeling of home. I would not suggest that
     such men should be merely agriculturists, but that like most
     farmers in South Africa they should follow both branches of
     farming. They would begin with some sheep, or angora goats, and a
     few cows. In the first instance they would have a freehold in the
     village, with right of pasturage, and they would also have their
     farm itself in the neighbourhood, the size of which would depend
     upon its locality and capabilities. But with the milk of his stock
     and the produce of his land in maize, millet and pumpkins, the
     farmer and his family would be, from the first, beyond the reach of

For two days more we travelled through the same kind of country, a fine,
bold, and very extensive plain (a promising district for cattle
farming), with rolling and undulating hills in the distance, till we
reached Vryburg, about a hundred and forty-five miles--in four
days--from Kimberley. This is the capital of British Bechuanaland, and
the head-quarters of Sir Sidney Shippard, the Administrator. The town
itself contains about 500 inhabitants, chiefly Europeans. Here we spent
four days. On one of these I was taken by Mr. M---- to visit his fine
Bechuanaland farm of 6,000 morgen--12,000 acres--which he has named
"Lochnagar." We left Vryburg at 7.30 a.m., and drove about twelve miles
in the direction of Kuruman, reaching Lochnagar Farm about 10 o'clock.
While breakfast was preparing, Mr. M---- took me round the nearest part
of this excellent and valuable farm. He has had it about three years,
and he has already shown the wonderful capabilities for development
which an enterprising proprietor, possessed of some capital, can evolve
from farms in Bechuanaland. He first took me into his fruit garden,
which he has stocked with fruits of all descriptions. I was particularly
struck with the healthy appearance of the wood (it was then the middle
of winter) of the trees of all sorts of fruit. He has planted mulberry,
apple, pear, apricot, peach, orange, citron, and several other fruits,
all of which seem to be growing fast, and taking root vigorously in the
soil. A large space is also devoted to a vineyard, as well as another to
an orchard.

The farm is well irrigated, there being an abundance of water on it, as
I myself saw. After breakfast we walked round the cattle lair, where a
large portion of his 200 head of cattle were collected. I was much
impressed with the fine appearance of the stock. Large-framed, stalwart
oxen, and fat milch cows were round me on every side during my
inspection. I did not notice a single animal that was not in capital
condition, and fit for the market--if market there could only be. I next
went through a large enclosure, in which there were about forty horses,
part of the eighty belonging to Mr. M----. Here I saw several
three-year-olds, and brood mares, and colts, all looking well and
healthy, and containing several good, well-shaped, and promising
specimens of young horseflesh. Mr. M---- has also a flock of one
thousand sheep on his farm, but these I did not see, as they were out
grazing on the veldt. We then walked to another portion of the farm,
lying close to the capital house, built of stone by Mr. M----, to a
large "pan," or lake, in which there were fish caught with a net. These
are a sort of carp, and a black-coloured fish of seven pounds or eight
pounds weight, said to be very good eating. I saw in an outhouse a small
collapsible boat, which is sometimes used on the lake. In summer, I am
told, the farm looks very pretty, with its long stretches of bright
green herbage, and wild flowers, and sunny aspect.

Mr. M---- was born at Cape Town. He is of Dutch origin, and is a fine,
stalwart-looking man with great energy of character and keen
intelligence. He seems well fitted to be a pioneer farmer, to develop
the too-long neglected resources of this fertile land. He is about
forty-five years of age, and a bachelor. He first arrived on his farm on
a Saturday night three years ago, and the next day commenced tree
planting. His first trees were thus planted on a Sunday Morning. This
was a good omen of the success he deserves, as I remarked to him.

While I was at Vryburg I was also taken by the proprietor of the Vryburg
Hotel to see a farm about five miles off, where they were prospecting
for gold. Mr. H---- informed me that the reef I saw, was the same
description of rock, I should see at Johannesburg. The people in this
neighbourhood are very sanguine; I was told that this may prove a great
discovery for Bechuanaland.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


Having received the same hospitable attention, as elsewhere, at Vryburg,
our wagon party once more resumed its journey. Thirty miles brought us
to the south-western frontier of the Transvaal, from whence we travelled
on, through the most dreary, flat, uninteresting, barren, treeless
plain, for two or three days more, sleeping every night on the veldt,
until we reached Klerksdorp, about 120 miles from Vryburg. The
south-western part of the Transvaal is certainly exceedingly inferior in
appearance to what I saw in Bechuanaland. We remained at Klerksdorp
three days. While there I visited one or two of the gold mines of this
promising district.

At the Nooitgedacht Mine I saw the process performed of pan washing of
the previously crushed quartz. I also went to the stamping house, where
a machine for crushing has been erected of twenty stamps. I inspected
the mine generally, and its various shafts already sunk. The work
appeared to me to be well and systematically conducted. Before leaving
this mine the great gold cake lump, weighing 1,370 ozs., which was being
forwarded, the day I was there, to the Paris Exhibition, was put into my
hands. It seemed a wonderfully big lump of the precious metal, which is
so earnestly sought for by every race of civilised man.

I also went over another mine, at present in the early stage of its
development, but which struck me as being conducted, as far as the
working management was concerned, on good, sound, business
principles--belonging to the Klerksdorp Gold Estates Company.

My stay at Klerksdorp much impressed me with the idea of the future of
this town of yesterday's growth. It is only fifteen months ago, (a
little more than a year) that the whole of the town on the side of the
stream where the Union Hotel is situated, was begun. The inhabitants
already number some thousands; and the indications I have seen in the
mines, of great prospects of gold being found in large and payable
quantities, are very strong. Klerksdorp may yet become a second
Johannesburg, whose remarkable and rapid development I was told, would
astonish me.

[Illustration: Decorative]


After leaving Klerksdorp, we travelled the next day in our wagon
thirty-two miles, halting for the night at Potchefstroom, which is not
only one of the oldest, but one of the most important of the Transvaal
districts. Recently the presence of gold-bearing reefs has been
demonstrated in many parts of the division. On our way we passed, during
the afternoon, a spot on the road where a flock of not less than fifty
of those unclean birds, vultures, were hovering over and around the
carcase of a recently dead bullock. These birds are the scavengers of
this part of the world; they feed greedily on carrion, and rapidly pull
a dead animal completely to pieces, leaving only the bones, which
afterwards lie bleaching on the Veldt, to mark the spot where it has
fallen in death--whether it be either horse, or mule, or bullock--left
to die, worn out with fatigue by its unfeeling owners.

Before leaving Potchefstroom, the next morning, I paid a hasty visit to
the Fort and Cemetery, rendered so tragically historical in connection
with the Transvaal war. It was here that my lamented friend, the late
Chevalier Forssman, was shut up with his family for ninety days, and
lost during the siege, two of his children, a son and a daughter. I was
much struck with the picturesque appearance of Potchefstroom. It has a
population of about 2,000. Another long two days' journeying of about
sixty-four miles, through a prettier country than the wide wilderness
of the boundless and treeless plain, we had hitherto passed through in
the Western part of the Transvaal, brought us to Johannesburg.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


We had some little trouble in finding our way into the town, as for the
last two hours the daylight failed, and we had to grope our way along at
a snail's pace in total darkness. This, in a country of such rough roads
and deep and dangerous gulleys and water-courses, was a most intricate
and difficult proceeding. Eventually, however, we reached our
destination about nine o'clock at night.

This "auriferous" town is indeed a marvellous place, lying on the crest
of a hill at an elevation of 5,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Along its sides are spread out every variety of habitation, from the
substantial brick and stone structures, which are being erected with
extraordinary rapidity, to the multitude of galvanised iron dwellings,
and the still not unfrequent tents of the first, and last comers. It is
indeed a wonderful and bewildering sight to view it from the opposite
hill across the intervening valley. Scarcely more than two years have
elapsed since this town of twenty-five thousand inhabitants commenced
its miraculous existence. The excitement and bustle of the motley crowd
of gold seekers and gold finders is tremendous, the whole of the
live-long day. The incessant subject of all conversation is gold, gold,
gold. It is in all their thoughts, excepting, perhaps, a too liberal
thought of drink. The people of Johannesburg think of gold; they talk of
gold; they dream of gold. I believe, if they could, they would eat and
drink gold. But, demoralising as this is to a vast number of those, who
are in the vortex of the daily doings of this remarkable place, the
startling fact is only too apparent to anyone who visits Johannesburg.
It is to be hoped that the day will come when the legitimate pursuit of
wealth will be followed in a less excitable, and a more calm and
decorous manner, than at present regretably prevails.

I spent a pleasant, as well as interesting, week at Johannesburg; and,
during my stay, visited several of the mines, among them Knight's, the
Jumpers, Robinson's, Langlaagte, &c. At Robinson's, I had an opportunity
of inspecting the wonderful battery just completed, and in full working
order, constructed on the most approved principles for gold crushing,
with sixty head of stamps. It is a marvellous specimen of mechanical
contrivance for crushing the ore. Many parts of the machinery work
automatically. I ascended the various floors, and had all the processes
minutely and clearly described to me in a most courteous manner, by the
superintendent of the battery. I afterwards went down into the mine,
first to the 70-feet, and then again to the 150-feet levels. In this
way, I passed two hours wandering underground with a candle in my hand,
and inspecting the gold-bearing lodes of one of the richest mines in the
Randt. This mine possesses magnificent lodes, and millions of tons of
gold-producing quartz. There is a prospect of most profitable results in
it for years to come. Altogether, from what I have seen of the various
gold mines of Johannesburg, I am satisfied of the permanence of its gold
fields. Of course they are not all of equal value; but many, even of
the poorer mines, when they come to be worked more scientifically, and
on proper business principles, will ultimately be found to pay fairly,
although they may never be destined to yield such brilliant results, as
some of those I have mentioned. The Market Square (of which an
illustration is given) is the largest in South Africa, covering an area
of 1,300 feet in length, and 300 feet in width. Some idea of the growth
of Johannesburg may be gathered from the fact, that at the latter part
of the year 1886 there was not a Post Office in existence, whilst the
revenue of that department for the first quarter of 1887 was £167, and
at the end of 1888 it had risen to £7,588.


This extraordinary and rapid growth has unfortunately produced the usual
results, when an immense population is suddenly planted on a limited
area, without any proper sanitary arrangements being provided for their
protection. From its elevated situation and naturally pure and dry
atmosphere, Johannesburg ought to be a very healthy town. That it
notoriously is not so, and that the amount of sickness and death-rate
from fever and other diseases is abnormal, must, undoubtedly, be
attributed to the great neglect and utter absence of an efficient system
of drainage. I fear this state of things will continue; and the
certainty of serious increase, as the population continues to grow
rapidly, is only too likely, until there is established some kind of
municipal body, acting under Governmental authority, to adopt a thorough
and complete system of sanitation. It is to be hoped that the Transvaal
Government, which is having its treasury so rapidly filled from the
pockets of the British population, which is pouring into Johannesburg,
as well as into so many other towns in the Transvaal, will awake in
time to the importance of taking measures for thoroughly remedying this
great and glaring evil, which is becoming such a scandal, as well as
creating such widely spread and justifiable alarm among the British
community in the Transvaal.[B]

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Footnote B: Since my return to England I am glad to hear that a
Sanitary Board is to be established at Johannesburg.]

[Illustration: Decorative]


From Johannesburg I proceeded to Pretoria, a distance of about
thirty-five miles, through a fine, and bold, and sometimes pretty
country. Some of the views on the way were extensive and picturesque.
Pretoria itself is an exceedingly pretty town, situated at the base of
the surrounding hills. There is a continuous, and most abundant supply
of water running through all the principal streets. Here, again, I was
forcibly reminded of the absence of any municipal body--although
Pretoria is the seat of Government--for dealing with the sanitary and
other wants of the town. The dust, every day (as at Johannesburg), was
intolerable, although, with the abundance of water flowing unceasingly
through the streets, it would be the easiest thing in the world to apply
it, as much as could possibly be wanted, to water them, and keep the
dust down. I remained for three weeks at Pretoria. While there I
attended some meetings of the Volksraad, accompanied by a Dutch friend
who kept me _au fait_ of the proceedings by translating to me the
speeches of the various members, on the subjects under discussion.

The debates are held in a very large, somewhat low-pitched apartment.
About fifty members were present. The President of the Volksraad sat at
a table on a platform, covered with green cloth. On one side of him, at
the same table, sat Paul Kruger, the President of the Transvaal
Republic. General Joubert--who defeated the English at Majuba Hill--sat
at a separate table on the left of the chairman.

I was also present, more than once, at the sittings of the High Court of
Justice. The proceedings are conducted both in English and Dutch.

By the courtesy of the Chief Justice, I was introduced by him at a
special interview, which lasted half-an-hour, to Paul Kruger. During our
conversation, which was carried on by my speaking in English, translated
into Dutch by the Chief Justice, I referred to the fact of my having
been introduced to him in England some years ago. I went on to speak of
my having come from England to South Africa to learn. That I had already
learned much, and that I was much pleased with all I had seen,
especially in the Transvaal, which seemed to me a country teeming with
riches and great natural resources. That I was a great friend to
railroads, and that I was never in a country which I thought required
railroads so much as the Transvaal. I expressed a hope, therefore, to
see the day when the country would be penetrated by them in every
direction--east, and south, and west. The President smiled at my
strongly expressed aspiration, but did not give me any other reply.

Like every other town in the Transvaal, Pretoria shows signs of
rapidly-growing prosperity. Public buildings and private dwelling-houses
are springing up in every direction. The Post Office, recently finished,
is capacious and commodious; and the new Government buildings for the
accommodation of the Volksraad and the Courts of Justice, already
commenced, but, as yet, only a few feet from the ground, and which cover
a very large space, promise to be very fine and imposing. While at
Pretoria I had ample opportunity for observing many of the prevalent
features of both political and social life, and especially of the
condition of the large native population of the town.

The Pretoria winter races took place during my stay there. The races
were very good and well-conducted. There was a large and orderly crowd
who appeared thoroughly to enjoy themselves, and their outing in that
fine and sunny climate. The Racecourse seemed a good one, though rather
hard owing to the dry weather. It is in a very pretty spot with
picturesque surroundings.

The Kafirs, who are employed in great numbers, and who are earning high
wages at their various occupations, are always to be seen, either
working hard, or, after the hours of labour are over, amusing
themselves cheerfully, chatting at street corners, walking, gossiping,
and talking, and gratifying themselves by giving vent to their very
voluble tongues. Here also, as at Johannesburg, at Potchefstroom, and at
Klerksdorp, I was forcibly struck with the large amount of English
spoken, as well as of the number of English names over the various shops
in the Transvaal towns. This is an interesting and important fact, which
marks the tendency of the direction of future development. The country
must certainly become more and more anglicised, in spite of the
political efforts made to oppose it.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


I left Pretoria on July the 17th in a wagon with eight horses,
accompanied by two friends, for an excursion into the Waterburg district
of the Transvaal. On this occasion we travelled about one hundred and
fifty miles north of Pretoria in the course of a fortnight, returning
about the same distance back again. We had a half-breed servant named
Sole with us, who made himself generally useful during our journey. All
this time we camped out day and night, sleeping always in the open
veldt, in true gipsy fashion.

We went by the Van der Vroom Poort, having the Maalieburg range of
mountains on our left.

Our first night was spent at a farm called "Polonia," belonging to a
Russian Missionary who has been for many years in the Transvaal. He
unites the pursuits of spiritual instruction according to the tenets of
the Greek Church, with farming on a large scale. On leaving "Polonia" we
passed the large and picturesque German Mission Station of "Hebron,"
which is situated in the midst of a rich and fertile valley. One night
we outspanned at a spot called the "Salt Pans." While breakfast was
being prepared the next morning, I walked to see those wonderful "Salt
Pans," which were close to our camping ground. I descended by a steep
path some six hundred or seven hundred feet to the bottom. It is an
immense amphitheatre at the base of thickly wooded hills. It is larger
in extent than the vast open excavation formed by the "Kimberley" Mine
at Kimberley. The salt and soda brine is perpetually oosing from the
bottom, and is continually being scraped up with a sort of wooden
scraper into heaps, where, after a time, by the action of the
atmosphere, it becomes crystallised. I picked up and brought away with
me several crystals of pure salt. This is another of the marvels of the
Transvaal, a country which abounds in natural wealth of all kinds,
fitted for the service of man. These Salt Pans are the property of the
Transvaal Government, which derives a considerable income from the tax
imposed for taking away the salt, and soda, from them.

Frequently during our journey we outspanned just outside the Kafir
kraals, and often entered into them; one of my companions speaking the
native, as well as the Dutch languages very fluently. We were always
received by both Boers, and Kafirs, very kindly. Sometimes we were
accompanied by a large number of Kafirs for days. I remember once,
counting as many as forty Kafirs sitting round our camp fire, clothed
and unclothed, and in every variety of costume, from the old British
Artillery tunic to the equally ancient pea coat, the bright-coloured
blue morning jacket, and the cloak of Jackall skins. On this occasion
they remained all night with us, keeping up the fire and indulging in
endless and cheerful talk among themselves. When I wrapped myself in my
kaross and turned into the wagon at night I left them talking. When I
awoke in the early morning I found them talking still.

The country I saw in the Northern part of the Transvaal is very
different, and far more picturesque than it is in the South-West or
South-East, which have a close resemblance to one another, in their
bare, barren, treeless, and dreary character. I saw some parts which
were really beautiful. One day we drove for several miles through quite
lovely scenery. In passing along the road I was forcibly reminded of the
road between Braemar and Mar Lodge, in Aberdeenshire, which it strongly
resembles. The road runs on the side of the hill, sloping down to the
rivulet at the bottom, exactly like the river Dee, and the Rooiburg, or
red tinted, Mountain, exactly resembles the heather on the Scottish
hills. It is altogether a charming spot, and a perfect picture of fine
scenery. There is a large quantity of excellent and valuable timber in
this district, as well as abundant evidence of mineral-bearing quartz. I
believe that, some day, other Johannesburgs are destined to rise in the
Northern part of the Transvaal, rivalling, or perhaps even eclipsing,
the treasures already discovered in the Randt.

At the spot I have described, which is called Hartebeestepoort, not far
from the banks of the Zand River, where there is a good quantity of
excellent and valuable timber, there was quite a romantic scene one
night. We were discussing, as usual, our evening meal round our camp
fire. It was starlight, but otherwise we were in total darkness. In
addition to ourselves, there were nine Kafirs, making a party of a dozen
altogether. It was an intensely interesting and remarkable scene to me,
to find myself surrounded by these wild fellows in perfectly friendly
fashion, in the midst of the vast veldt, the silence and stillness only
broken every now and then by the cry of the jackals howling in the
distance. On leaving here we travelled north towards Grouthoek, which
is situated in the midst of the Rhynoster range of mountains, being
drawn by oxen, our horses following us, in order to give them rest, and
so keep them fresher.

I was disappointed at the small quantity of game we found on our
journey. We occasionally shot a springbok, and I thus had an opportunity
of making myself acquainted with the delicious flavour of the South
African venison. But the days of the enormous herds which once abounded
in these regions are gone. They have been either exterminated by the
Boers, or been driven far northward, into the interior of Africa,
together with the lions and elephants, over whose former habitation I
was travelling. There are still a good many koodoos, and hartebeestes in
this neighbourhood, but I was not fortunate enough to come across them.
Our commissariat was occasionally supplemented by a delicious bird,
about the size of a pheasant, called the kooran, as well as by a few
pheasants, partridges, and guinea fowls.

One afternoon we were exposed to a thrilling adventure, which, but for
the merciful interposition of Providence, might have terminated in a
most disastrous way. Suddenly, as we were driving along the road,
through a dense wood, we discovered to the right of us the light of an
immense bush fire. It was careering wildly along, fiercely burning, and
sweeping everything before it. We saw it was coming swiftly towards the
road we were travelling. We pulled up the horses, and taking out lucifer
matches, jumped off the wagon, and tried to set alight to the grass,
which was about five or six feet high, and very dry, close by us, in
order to secure a clear open space around us. But it was too late. The
fierce fire, to the height of several feet, was rushing and crashing
through the wood furiously towards us. Another moment, and we should
have been within its terrible grasp, and wagon, horses, and ourselves
infallibly burnt. It was in truth an awful crisis. We jumped back into
the wagon and pushed frantically forward. Showers of sparks were already
in the road. But, fortunately, the fire, which for a full half mile was
burning behind us, was only a short distance in front of us, and, thank
God, we happily escaped.

One of the great advantages I have derived from my tour is, that I have
had many opportunities of communicating personally with so many men of
different races, and all classes--British, Dutch, and natives.

During my present journey I had a most interesting conversation one
morning with a transport driver, who was travelling by the northern
part of the Transvaal, with three hundred lean cattle from the Cape
Colony into Bechuanaland. He gave me some very valuable and important
information with regard to Colonial feeling in the country districts of
the Cape Colony. He was Colonial born, and a fine, handsome man of about
forty--a descendant of the Scotch farmers, who emigrated to the Cape in
1820. His conversation impressed me much. He told me that the Colonists
generally are loyal to the Queen to the backbone; but not to the British
Government, which they consider has not represented their feelings and
opinions, and has sacrificed their interests. They dislike the Colonial
Government, and are not favourable to responsible Government, as they
see it.

They would prefer being under the British Government direct, in spite of
all its terrible mistakes and mishaps, from which they have so cruelly
suffered. My informant's opinion was, that the present policy of the
administration in Bechuanaland is not conducive to encourage emigration,
as it puts artificial impediments in the way of farmers with small means
settling there, which, he thought, they would do in crowds from the
Colony, if they were allowed to do so on paying a quit rent, say of £10
or £15 per annum, instead of the high terms of £40 demanded at present.
He had a very high opinion of Bechuanaland as a cattle-grazing country.

The Waterburg warm sulphur baths--to which I paid a visit, taking a hot
bath myself, which was certainly much too hot for me, but which was
otherwise refreshing, after nearly a fortnight's residence on the veldt,
where there is a decided scarcity of water, both for drinking and
washing purposes--are situated about seventy miles north of Pretoria.
They are extensively patronised by the Boers, and are said to be most
efficacious in every variety of rheumatic and gouty complaints. They are
strongly impregnated with sulphur, and might be made very attractive in
the hands of anyone of enterprise, who would construct a suitable
establishment of baths, fit for patients who would be quite ready to pay
handsomely for them, instead of the miserably primitive and wretched
receptacles, called baths, into which the highly excellent natural
sulphur water is conveyed, and used by the motley crowd of invalids I
saw there.

From the Waterburg warm baths our route lay to the southward, across the
Springbok Flats, to the Nylstroom road, along which, in two days more,
we accomplished the intervening distance of about seventy miles back to
Pretoria, thus concluding a most interesting and instructive journey
into the northern part of the Transvaal. During all this time, with the
exception of the first night, I lived entirely in our wagon, sleeping in
it every night, and having every meal (which consisted principally of
the game we shot on the way), cooked at the various camp fires kindled
on the veldt, and drinking nothing but tea. I saw much, of course, of
the Kafirs in their kraals, as well as of the Boers in their tents and
wagons, in my trek through this wilderness.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


After reaching Pretoria, I stayed only two days there, engaged in
bidding farewell to my numerous friends, and making preparations for my
next long journey into Natal. I left Pretoria for Johannesburg by coach,
on the 1st of August, and started from the latter town at five o'clock
in the morning of the 3rd, in very cold weather and pitch dark, by the
post cart. This most uncomfortable vehicle is a kind of wagonette, with
somewhat dilapidated canvas curtains, through which the wind whistled
most unpleasantly, being utterly insufficient to keep out the cold. It
is drawn by eight horses, and has cramped seats for eight or ten
passengers. On this occasion there were seven others besides myself. In
addition the mail bags were crammed inconveniently under the seats. In
this post cart I travelled for three days and two nights by way of
Richmond, Heidelburg, Standerton,--where cattle rearing and horse
breeding is successfully carried on,--and Newcastle, which will be
remembered as having been the base of operations during the Boer war,
and also as the place where the final treaty of Peace was drawn up and
signed by the joint Commission, to Eland's Laagte, the present terminus
of the Natal railway, thirteen miles beyond Ladysmith. At Eland's Laagte
a very promising coal field is being worked, from which great and
important results are expected in the future. Soon after crossing the
Transvaal border we passed the battle fields of Laing's Nek, Majuba
Hill, and Ingogo, names indelibly associated with one of the saddest, as
well as most humiliating, episodes of English modern military history,
in connection with the Transvaal War of 1881. I gazed mournfully on
Majuba Hill, that black spot of bitter memories to every Briton, and of
natural exultation and pride to the Boers; and on Colley's grave, the
unfortunate commander, whose unhappy and most unaccountable military
blunder led to the lamentable and fatal defeat, which cost him his life,
and resulted in the miserable fiasco--the retrocession of the Transvaal
to the Boers. It is impossible to estimate the damage done to British
influence, prestige, and power by the political consequences resulting
from that disastrous day.

[Illustration: CEMETERY, MAJUBA HILL.]

The south-eastern part of the Transvaal is as bare, and treeless, and
altogether as uninteresting and unattractive as the south western
region, between Bechuanaland and Klerksdorp, through which I had
travelled a few weeks previously. The instant, however, the border is
crossed, and Natal is entered, the scene is at once changed, and the
beauty of the surrounding country becomes apparent. Instead of the flat,
wearisome desert of the Transvaal, undulating hills, clothed with
verdure, and an extensive panorama of broad and fertile plains meets the

[Illustration: Decorative]


[Illustration: Decorative]


After leaving Ladysmith, I proceeded to Maritzburg, the seat of
Government of Natal. This picturesque town is in a charming situation,
the surrounding scenery being extremely pretty. The town itself, is well
laid out, the streets being wide, and in most cases edged with trees.
Amongst its public buildings may be mentioned the new House of Assembly,
of which Sir John Akerman is Speaker. It is a handsome edifice, well
arranged, and economically constructed at a cost of £20,000. A life-size
statue of Her Majesty is to be erected in the front of the building,
the pedestal of which is already _in situ_.

While staying at Government House, and enjoying the kind hospitality of
Sir Charles and Lady Mitchell, my ear was often gladdened by the sound
of the cavalry bugle and the roll of the drum, those striking symbols of
British sway, as the troops passed my window in their early morning
rides. I am persuaded that these outward evidences of latent power,
impress not only the minds of Englishmen, but of natives also, in this
distant land. There cannot be a doubt of the influence exercised by the
British race over the aboriginal inhabitants of South Africa. That this
should be used, at all times, with justice, tact, and discretion, "goes
without saying;" but that it is a factor of great effect on their minds
is unquestionable.


[Illustration: Decorative]


The railway journey from Maritzburg to Durban, a distance of fifty-seven
miles by road, is long and rather tedious travelling on account of the
slow pace. The line (a single one), which seems to have been very
skilfully engineered, is necessarily constructed with such steep
gradients that this seems inevitable. The long stoppages at stations
might be certainly improved. Durban is the prettiest as well as one of
the cleanest, and most well-ordered towns I have seen in South Africa. I
was at once struck with the Town Hall, a magnificent building, recently
erected, and generally stated to be, although not the largest, in some
respects the handsomest in South Africa. The total cost of construction
was about £50,000, and it is worthy of note that in their selection of
an architect, the Corporation of Durban did not have to go beyond their
own town, an efficient man being found in Mr. P.M. Dudgeon. The building
is of the Corinthian order of architecture, having a frontage of 206
feet, with a depth of 270 feet. It is prettily situated, and is a
striking proof of what colonists can do when an occasion demanding
skill, and perseverance, arises. There are several other fine buildings
in the town. A stranger coming from the Transvaal is immediately
impressed with the contrast between the careless indifference, which
marks the absence of proper municipal arrangements in the towns of the
South African Republic, and the proofs of their presence in an
energetic British community. The Natalians certainly deserve the
greatest credit for the way in which they carry on the business and
manage the public affairs of their prosperous, and thriving town, which
has a population of 17,000, of whom about 9,000 are Europeans. Recent
commercial returns show that the trade of Natal, of which Durban, as the
seaport town, is the centre, is rapidly increasing.

[Illustration: TOWN HALL, DURBAN.]

The imports during the first three-quarters of the year 1888 were about
two millions; and in 1889, during the same period, they had risen to
three millions. The exports during 1888 were one million; for the same
period in 1889 they were one million and a quarter. Imports have
advanced 50 per cent., exports by 25 per cent. Customs revenue has
advanced by 25 per cent., and if the receipts be maintained, which is
more than probable, the total income for the year from this source will
reach £350,000. It is anticipated that the combined trade of Natal for
the year 1889 will not be far short of six millions sterling. The
increase is a substantial one, and, what is more satisfactory, is that
there appears to be every reasonable prospect that the trade will go on
increasing by leaps and bounds. Affairs are in a generally prosperous
state, and a good sign is to be found in the fact that the emigration
returns are also rapidly rising.

[Illustration: HARBOUR WORKS, DURBAN.]

The gigantic Harbour Works, commenced and now nearly successfully
completed for the purpose of removing the bar, according to the plans
both of Sir John Coode, and subsequently of his pupil, their late
lamented engineer, Mr. Innes, and under the active personal
superintendence of their distinguished townsman the Chairman of the
Harbour Board, comprise an undertaking of which the citizens of Durban
may well be proud. Nor is less credit due to them, and to their spirited
leaders, for their enterprise in so rapidly pushing on their railway to
the Transvaal border, in the confident expectation that they will be the
first to bring the benefits of that most necessary modern mode of
conveyance, both for passengers and goods, into the heart of the
Transvaal Republic.

The Harbour Works, the Railway, and the Durban Town Hall are all works
of sufficient magnitude to give undoubted evidence of the public spirit
and unconquerable energy of the people of Natal.

The inhabitants of Durban are fortunate in possessing picturesque
surroundings to their pretty town. The "Berea," one of its most
attractive spots, is an elevated suburb where many of the principal
merchants, and others have their residences. It commands a lovely
prospect over the bay, and a beautiful view of the country inland.

During, my stay at Durban I paid visits to two of the most remarkable
places in the neighbourhood. These were the Natal Central Sugar
Company's manufactory at Mount Edgcumbe, and the famous Trappist
establishment at Marionhill. The sugar manufactory is situated on a farm
of some 8,000 acres, about 15 miles from Durban. A short railway ride
brought me to it. I was courteously received by the manager, Monsieur
Dumat. This gentleman, a Frenchman of great experience in the
manufacture of sugar both in India and Mauritius, has been at Mount
Edgcumbe for the last ten years. He is remarkable for the way in which
he maintains order and control over all his numerous native workmen. In
the mill itself there are 160 men employed, everyone of whom is a
Coolie. There is not a single white man on the premises, excepting two
English clerks in the counting house. I was astonished at the perfect
order which reigned in the mill, where I spent some time. Everyone
appeared to perform his allotted task with activity, cheerfulness, and
untiring perseverance. Monsieur Dumat told me he could never get the
same steady work from white workmen. He seems to govern them all with
perfect tact and kindness. Some of them have been with him for many
years. There are about 900 other men, Kafirs and Coolies, employed on
the farm. I was shown all the various processes of sugar manufacture,
from the crushing of the cane, to the crystallising of the sugar. The
first sorts are ready for sale in forty-eight hours; other qualities
require a week, and again even as much as six months to perfect them.
There is some wonderful machinery in the mill.

The Trappist establishment at Marionhill is one which should be seen by
everyone visiting Natal. It is reached by rail from Durban in about an
hour's ride to the Pine Town station. A drive from thence of about four
miles brings a visitor to Marionhill. The monks, as is well known, are
under a vow of strict silence. I was met by one of them at the station,
who drove me in a waggonette to the Trappist farm. Here I was met by,
and presented to, the Abbot. He is the real leader and director of this
remarkable establishment. He devoted three hours to taking me over it,
and showing me all the various industries and works which are carried
on. About two hundred brothers are there at present, but more are
expected shortly, and upwards of one hundred sisters, and about three
hundred Kafirs. The latter are taught, not only the ordinary branches
of a practical education (of course including religion), but all sorts
of handicraft. It is, emphatically, a school of technical education.
Everything is manufactured and made at Marionhill, from the substantial
bullock wagons, and the delicate spiders, to the baking of bread, the
building of houses, stables, and cattle lairs, the printing of
periodicals, and book-binding. Work is the great and leading feature of
the Trappist creed. The motive power is religion. Its controlling
influence is here complete.

I came away quite amazed at all I saw, as well as pleased at the
attention I received from the Abbot. He is certainly a very remarkable
man, of great natural gifts, and indomitable energy and power. He is
sixty-five years of age. He was born on the shores of Lake Constance;
and before he took to studying for the Roman Catholic Church in a
German University, he was employed, as he told me, in early life in the
care of cattle at his native home.

The Trappist farm is beautifully situated, and within its area contains
some really fine scenery. The Kafir women's part of the establishment is
distinct, and quite half a mile distant from the men's quarters. Women
are taught to sew, and sing, to cut out and make dresses, to cook,
clean, and go through all the usual routine of household work. The
costume of the female Trappists, who, as well as the male, are highly
educated, is scarlet serge, with white aprons. The men are clothed in
brown serge.

I was struck with the admirable arrangement of the stables, constructed
for twenty horses, and of the cow and cattle sheds. All the engineering
works also show evidences of the complete knowledge of science possessed
by the "brothers," and their energetic leader. I came away much
interested, and wonderfully impressed with all I had seen in this
remarkable institution.

Up to the present time the defences of the Colony have been in a very
backward state but I was glad to find that a battery is in course of
construction, commanding the entrance to the Bay, which is to be armed
with guns of the latest pattern, one of them having recently arrived at

Having passed ten very pleasant days at Durban and its neighbourhood, I
embarked, on the 15th of August, on board the coasting steamer,
_Anglian_, for Port Elizabeth. I had a terrible experience of the
annoyance of the present mode of embarking passengers at Durban. After
attempting to get over the Bar in a tremendous sea, we were obliged to
put back into the Harbour thoroughly drenched. Once more attempting it,
we succeeded after another good wetting in getting alongside the
_Anglian_, where we remained at anchor until the morning, waiting for
the Cargo Boat we were obliged to leave behind, rolling and pitching all
night. The eastern coast of South Africa is subject to weather which is
often very rough and stormy; and I was, unluckily, destined to
experience it. I certainly had a most disagreeable time, in making this
short voyage. After touching at East London, where extensive harbour
works are being constructed, I was landed at Port Elizabeth (after three
days' knocking about at sea) on the 18th, being let down, like St. Paul,
in a basket, from the deck of the _Anglian_ to the tug, which took me to
the pier in the open roadstead. Right glad was I to get on _terra firma_

[Illustration: Decorative]


Port Elizabeth (Algoa Bay) which is generally known as the "Liverpool"
of South Africa, is the chief seaport of the Eastern Province, its trade
being steadily increased by the development of the Transvaal Gold
Fields, and the growth of the interior towns of the Cape Colony. It is a
thriving business town. Its inhabitants, like those of Natal, are
thoroughly energetic and active in the pursuit of their various
mercantile avocations, and number about 12,000, a large proportion being

The town contains many fine buildings, the most conspicuous being the
Town Hall and Public Library combined, which is a striking edifice,
erected at a cost of £26,000. Attached to it is the market, leading out
of which is a splendid and capacious hall, 180 feet long by 90 feet
broad. Here I saw a curious and unique scene. Long tables were extended
along its entire length, on which were arranged large heaps of ostrich
feathers, carefully tied up, and sampled for sale. Port Elizabeth is the
staple market for this industry. The value of the feathers I saw, I was
told, was something fabulous.

Port Elizabeth is a handsome town. In the upper part of it, called the
Hill, there are many good private residences, and an excellent club
house, at which I stayed, and enjoyed the kind hospitality, courteously
extended to me.

A large, well kept, and conveniently laid out botanical garden, which
is much resorted to, is a great attraction to the town. There is also an
excellent hospital at Port Elizabeth. I was much pleased with its
appearance, and with the arrangements made for the comfort of the
patients. The ventilation struck me as being particularly perfect. There
is accommodation for 100 patients, male and female. A well-arranged
children's ward, attracts much attention, especially with the lady

There is, in addition, a good water supply obtained from Van Staden's
River, distant about twenty-seven miles from the town, at a cost of
about £150,000.

There are several Churches, including Trinity Church, St. Augustine's
Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Scottish Presbyterian Church, and a
Congregational Church, upon which no less a sum than £7,715 was

Previously to leaving Port Elizabeth, the following address was
presented to me by the Fellows of the Royal Colonial Institute resident


     _A Vice-President of the Royal Colonial Institute._


     "We, the undersigned Fellows of the Royal Colonial Institute, take
     advantage of your presence amongst us to join in the expression of
     hearty welcome to South Africa, which has greeted you in the
     several towns where you have met the Members of the Institute, with
     which you have been so long and honourably connected.

     "We are mindful of the valuable services which you have so long
     rendered to our Institute, as Honorary Secretary, the indefatigable
     zeal ever displayed by you in forwarding the interests of the
     Colonies of Great Britain; and that the success of the
     Institution, over which you now preside, as one of the
     Vice-Presidents, is in no small degree due to your exertions. We
     venture to hope that your visit to South Africa has been an
     agreeable one, and that with renewed health you will return home to
     resume and continue the valuable services you have heretofore
     rendered, and that the Royal Colonial Institute may continue to
     flourish under the auspices of the distinguished men who so ably
     guard its interests."

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


While I was at Port Elizabeth I paid a flying visit to Grahamstown. A
railway journey of rather over one hundred miles carried me there. The
railway runs through the veldt, where wild elephants are still strictly
preserved. There are said to be more than one hundred of these animals
in the district. They occasionally do great damage to the line. During
my stay I was hospitably entertained by the Bishop. I had already heard
that Grahamstown was noted for its natural charms, and its appearance
certainly did not disappoint me. Beautiful in situation, it merits the
high praises which have been bestowed upon it. It has also acquired a
reputation for being the seat of learning, and the centre of the
principal educational establishments of the Colony. The Bishop having
kindly provided me with a carriage, I drove to see the various objects
of interest in the neighbourhood. I first went to the Botanical Gardens,
which are very striking. They contain a large collection of rare and
valuable specimens of both arboriculture and horticulture. They are
admirably kept, and are very ornamental. I next drove round the Mountain
road. This is a beautiful drive of seven miles back into the town. The
views of the surrounding country are superb. It is a priceless boon to
the inhabitants of Grahamstown to possess such an attractive and
health-giving spot, for their recreation and enjoyment. I afterwards
visited the Museum, where there is a most interesting and valuable
collection of animal, vegetable, and mineral curiosities, both ancient
and modern. I also went over the Prison, and recorded in the visitors'
book my favourable opinion of the arrangements made for the health and
comfort of the prisoners. They appeared to me to be all that could
reasonably be expected, or desired. I also went to see the Kafir school,
carried on under the careful management of the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. M----.

I regretted that time did not permit of my visiting the celebrated
Ostrich Farm of Mr. Arthur Douglass, at Heatherton Towers, about fifteen
miles from Grahamstown. Mr. Douglass has the largest and most successful
Ostrich Farm in the Colony, in addition to which he is the patentee of
an egg hatching machine, or incubator, which is very much used in
various parts of South Africa. The export of feathers has increased
rapidly, and has become one of the chief exports of the Colony, as
whilst in 1868 the quantity exported was valued at £70,000, in 1887 it
had reached the value of £365,587. This is by no means the largest
amount appearing under the head of exports during recent years, as in
1882 the value of feathers exported was £1,093,989. It is estimated that
during the past half-century the total weight of the feathers exported
has been more than one thousand tons. The Cape Colony has, in fact, had
a monopoly of the ostrich industry, but in 1884 several shipments of
ostriches took place to South Australia, the Argentine Republic, and to
California, and the Government of the Cape Colony, being alarmed, that
the Colony was in danger of losing its lucrative monopoly, imposed an
export tax of £100 on each ostrich, and £5 on each ostrich egg

[Illustration: Decorative]


On my return to Port Elizabeth, I spent another day or two there, and
left on the evening of Monday, the 26th of August, by railway for Cape
Town. This long journey of between eight hundred and nine hundred miles
occupies nearly two days and two nights. It was the last I took in South
Africa. The country, generally speaking, is very much of the same kind
as that northward, over the Karoo, and in the southern part of the
Transvaal. High land,--in the neighbourhood of Nieupoort 5,050 feet
above the sea level,--flat, bare, and treeless. It is certainly a very
desolate-looking country to travel over in winter. Nearing Cape Town,
however, I ought not to omit to mention the Hex River Pass. The scenery
here is certainly very grand, and is some of the best of its kind I have
seen in South Africa. The railway, which winds through it by a
succession of zigzags from a great height, is another of the many
triumphs of engineering skill which are to be found in all parts of the
world. The fine views of the Pass, when I traversed it, were heightened
by the tops of the mountains being tinged with a wreath of snow. From
Hex River the route to Cape Town lay through a rich and fertile valley,
conveying ample proofs of the agricultural value and resources of this
part of the Cape Colony. I arrived at Cape Town in the afternoon of the
following Wednesday. Here I spent another pleasant week, seeing various

[Illustration: HEX RIVER PASS.]

One of the last duties which devolved upon me before leaving South
Africa--at the urgent invitation of some of my friends--was to deliver
an address at Cape Town on Imperial Federation. This I did at the hall
of the Young Men's Christian Society, to a large and attentive

On the 4th of September I left Cape Town in the s.s. _Athenian_; and,
after a pleasant and rapid voyage of eighteen days, touching only at
Madeira on the way, I landed safely at Southampton on Sunday the 22nd.

I have now given an account of the prominent features of my tour, during
which, in the course of five months, I travelled about twelve thousand
miles by sea, and four thousand by land.

I proceed to touch as briefly as I can, on a few of the public
questions, and other matters of interest which have arrested my
attention while I was in South Africa.

[Footnote C: See Appendix.]

[Illustration: Decorative]


The climate of South Africa has already been so well, and exhaustively
described, in the admirable and interesting paper, read at a meeting of
the Royal Colonial Institute, on the 13th November, 1888, by Dr. Symes
Thompson, that it seems superfluous for anyone to attempt to add
anything to what such an eminent professional authority has said on the
subject. But I cannot help remarking that, from my own personal
experience, I can fully corroborate all he has said in its favour. The
winter climate seems perfect. The atmosphere is so bright and clear, the
air is so dry, and the sun is so agreeably warm in the day, although it
is cold and frosty at night, that I think it must be as salubrious, as
it has been to me most enjoyable. I found this the case everywhere,
especially in the higher altitudes, and on the elevated veldt of the
Transvaal. For myself, I never had an hour's illness during the whole
winter I passed in South Africa; and this I attribute entirely to the
purity of the air, and the dryness of the climate. One thing it is
necessary to be cautious about, and I have an impression that it is not
sufficiently attended to, and is consequently frequently the cause of
illness, and injury. There is always a sudden great variation of the
temperature immediately the sun goes down. To a sensitive person this is
instantly perceptible. In the afternoon everyone ought to be very
careful in guarding against this change; and should be provided with an
extra garment to put on at sunset, in order to avoid a dangerous chill.
I strongly advise, also, temperance in the use of alcoholic beverages,
which, in my opinion, are far too freely consumed. I have noticed too
much drinking among all classes. This cannot be necessary, or very
conducive to the preservation of health, and the prolongation of life,
in a climate like that of South Africa.

It is to be earnestly hoped, that a good, and thoroughly efficient
system of sanitary organisation may be speedily established in all the
rapidly-growing towns throughout the country, especially in the
Transvaal. Terrible neglect in this respect has been the cause of
exceptional sickness, and great mortality in the past, for which the
climate is not responsible. In order, too, to render the undoubted
excellencies of the South African climate more attractive to invalids,
who ought more largely to avail themselves of its advantages, it would
be an excellent thing, as well as undoubtedly a paying speculation, if
better hotels, fitted up in all respects with all modern European
improvements, were established both at Cape Town, and at all the other
principal towns up country, as well.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


The native question is one of the most prominent and difficult ones to
deal with in South Africa. The great preponderance of the native over
the white races, and the different theories of treating them prevalent
between the English and Dutch, render it one of the most perplexing
problems to solve. The wisest and most experienced people, with whom I
have communicated on the subject are of opinion that the natives are so
far behind us in civilisation that they must be regarded as mere
children. This means, however, that they are not to be treated harshly,
but, on the contrary, with the utmost fairness and justice, and that
they must be under the guidance of a controlling and firmly governing
hand. They respect authority, when they have confidence in its being
exercised with impartiality. They have a great deal of natural
shrewdness, and they must never be deceived. Alas! I heard of frequent
instances of this having been done, in times past, by those who have
represented the British Government. Promises have been made to them
which have been carelessly broken, and this means ruin to the prestige
in their minds of the British name.

From the wonderful and ever-increasing development which has taken place
in the northern part of South Africa since the discovery of diamonds and
gold, causing the employment of thousands upon thousands of native
Kafirs at high wages, their social position is being materially changed.
They are really becoming "masters of the situation." Their constant
contact with white people is having the effect of introducing among them
the germs of an incipient civilisation. The mode of treating them by the
British and the Dutch is, undoubtedly, very different. A far harsher and
more cruel method has been in vogue by the Dutch towards them, than
would be tolerated by the British. But, from the cause to which I have
alluded, the day has arrived when all this old system is sensibly
changing; and the Draconian code of the Boers, from the force of
circumstances, is becoming modified every day. I have made it my
business to observe carefully all the signs of the times, on this native
question during my tour. I have seen the Kafirs in thousands working in
the mines at Kimberley, and Klerksdorp, and Johannesburg; I have
observed them in multitudes employed in extensive building operations
at Pretoria, and as labourers on the public works at Maritzburg and
Durban, and at the other great shipping centres of Port Elizabeth and
Cape Town; I have noticed them in their capacity of servants in private
houses, and I frankly confess that no evidence has been brought before
me to indicate, that they are harshly or unkindly treated. On the
contrary, it appeared to me that they are receiving good wages, and are
everywhere well cared for and comfortable. They are naturally a lively
and a happy race, and I have seen them as cheerful and light-hearted in
the town, as in their kraals on the wild and open veldt.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


I have already mentioned that, in my interview with the President, Paul
Kruger, I told him that I was never in a country, which, in my opinion,
required railways more than the Transvaal, and that I hoped to see the
day when it would be penetrated by them in every direction. It is much
to be regretted that there is so much jealous rivalry, inducing fierce
contention, as to the precise direction, from the east, or south, or
west, railroads should enter the Transvaal. I contend, that there is
such a prospect of future enormous development in this wonderful centre
of South Africa, that there is no need for all this rivalry, but that
there is room for many lines in which all may participate and prosper,
in the future. Political considerations have undoubtedly complicated a
question, which I should wish to regard solely from its commercial

Personally, I am anxious to see the line over the ground which I have
myself treked, pushed on as speedily as possible, from Kimberley to
Vryburg, and thence through British Bechuanaland to Mafeking, and so on,
northwards, into the Matabele country, with branches eastward into the
Transvaal. But I should like, also, to see the contemplated line
constructed from Kimberley, through the Orange Free State, to
Bloemfontein; and the Delagoa Bay Railway carried on to Pretoria, as
well as the Natal line to Johannesburg; and, in fact, any other, whether
through Swaziland, or elsewhere, which commercial enterprise may
hereafter project. They will all have the effect of opening up the
Transvaal--the El Dorado of South Africa--and meeting the demand for
the transit of the enormous traffic, with which the old system of
bullock wagons is utterly unable to grapple, and which, consequently, is
so fearfully congested. The transport riders will have ample
compensation, under the new system, in their increased employment in the
conveyance of goods from the various stations to their actual
destination. It was in this way the coach proprietors, without loss, and
with great advantage to themselves, became the great and successful
railway carriers, when stage coaches were superseded by railways in

Since I arrived in England, Sir Gordon Sprigg, in an important speech
delivered at Kimberley, referred to the question of railway extension
from that town in the following words:--"With the South Atlantic Ocean
for our base, we started with our railway, and then we came up to
Kimberley. From this place we have only fifty or sixty miles to go
over, and then we come to the border of this province, and of British
Bechuanaland. Farther north, we get to that ill-defined sphere, called
the sphere of influence, that extended the power of Britain in South
Africa, as far as the Zambesi.... Now that we have our railway up to
Kimberley, we have the British South African Company to take it in hand,
and the object of the Government is to see that we have an extension
line into these territories which will, in time to come, be recognised
as portions of the Cape Colony. Gentlemen, I and my colleagues have come
to the conclusion, that we cannot better advance the best interests of
South Africa than by joining hand-in-hand to advance British interests
westward of the Transvaal State, and right up to the Zambesi. Well,
then, that being so, I may say, that the first object of the Company,
in order to carry on their operations to the best purpose, is to
construct a railway from Kimberley to Vryburg. The section from
Kimberley to Warrenton has, of course, first to be undertaken, and from
there on to Vryburg, as the second section. The Company are in
possession of the requisite funds to carry out this great work; and
there is no reason why it should not be accomplished before many month's
are over. The Government of this country (Cape Colony) have come to the
conclusion that it is desirable that this work should be carried out,
and an arrangement has been made between the Government of this country
and Mr. Rhodes as representing the British South African Company,
whereby a railway starting from Kimberley up to Vryburg will be
constructed by the British South African Company. Certain conditions
have been entered into between the Company and the Government of this
Colony, under which the Government of the Colony will have the right to
take over the railway at any time they think proper, on certain
conditions to be entered into by one side or the other. This railway
extension is to be immediately proceeded with. You may take it as a
moral certainty that you will be able to travel by railway up to
Warrenton, some time in the course of next year. The Government have
come to the conclusion that it is in the interests of South Africa that
this work shall be carried on; that, in short, it would be highly
injudicious to place any obstacles in the way of an undertaking which is
calculated to have so beneficial an effect on the prospects of this part
of Her Majesty's Empire." This Speech, coming from the Premier of the
Cape Colony, requires no comment from me, beyond the expression of my
satisfaction at its having been made.

[Illustration: Decorative]


Colonisation is a subject on which I wish to say a few words. The
definition given by Adam Smith of the three elements of national wealth,
"Land, Labour, and Capital," cannot be too often repeated. How to blend
them in proper proportions, is a problem, which has puzzled generations
of statesmen, philosophers, and philanthropists. I have always been a
warm advocate for colonisation. It appears to me to be a question of
such supreme national importance, that I think it ought to be undertaken
by the State. This, of course, means, that it is possible, as it is
undoubtedly indispensable, to get a Government to act wisely and well.
In order to have a chance of its being successful, colonisation must be
conducted on sound principles and practice.

In South Africa I have seen millions of acres of fertile land--in
Bechuanaland, in Natal, in the Eastern and Western provinces of the Cape
Colony, to say nothing of the Transvaal--capable of supporting many
thousands of our surplus population. But I have also satisfied myself,
that it is no use whatever to transplant those, who are unfitted for it.
Instead of a success, certain failure will be the result of an attempt
so unwise. Colonial life is alone suitable for the enterprising,
energetic, steady, and industrious men, and women, who are determined,
with patience and courage, to overcome the difficulties and trials,
which they must certainly encounter on the road to ultimate success.
South Africa is a land of promise for them. It is by no means so for
the feeble, the self-indulgent, the helplessly dependent class, of whom,
unfortunately, we have so large a number in the over-populated Old
Country. Cordial co-operation with the self-governing colonies is also
absolutely indispensable to ensure success in any national system of
colonisation. It is equally essential that a strict selection of the
right sort of people should be made. According, too, to their positions
in life, they must be provided with sufficient means to support them on
their first arrival, while they are settling themselves, and their crops
are growing, and they are acquiring knowledge, of the natural conditions
of the new land, to which they have been transplanted.

These are the principles necessary to be observed in any national system
of colonisation. They apply to all the other British Colonies, equally
with South Africa, in order to prevent failure, and command success.

While speaking of this subject, I should like to mention a suggestion
for a system of special colonisation, which may well attract the serious
attention of the Home Government, with the view of encouraging and
promoting it.

In the military garrisons, comprising the British troops, quartered in
South Africa, there are a considerable number of steady, and
well-conducted married men, non-commissioned officers and soldiers, who,
having been stationed for some time in the midst of its genial climate,
and pleasant surroundings, would, I feel satisfied, like, if sufficient
inducement were offered them, to make South Africa their permanent home.
If, therefore, a military colony were established at the expense of the
Home Government in a well and wisely-selected spot and under proper and
judicious arrangement, it would probably be, not only a great boon to a
number of deserving British subjects, but would be attended with
success, and be a politic, and interesting factor in the art of

I earnestly commend the idea to those, who would have to deal with it,
as an experiment, eminently worthy of their attention and support.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


The political situation of South Africa is the last subject to which I
shall refer. I am quite aware that this is a very difficult and delicate
question to touch upon, but it would be impossible for anyone like
myself, to whom it has presented itself so prominently during my tour,
to avoid some allusion to it. I shall endeavour to state my impressions
impartially and fairly.

Before I went to South Africa I had formed a general opinion on this
vitally important and very critical subject. My previous views have been
most thoroughly confirmed, and painfully accentuated by all I have
seen, and heard, and gathered, on the spot. The mournful mismanagement
of South African affairs during the last twenty-five years, and most
especially during the last decade, has been truly lamentable, and cannot
fail to awaken the saddest feelings on the part of every loyal Briton,
and true-hearted patriot.

The absence of continuous, wise, and statesmanlike policy, which has for
the most part marked the tone of those, who have had the Imperial
guidance and control of South African affairs in the past, has had the
effect of sowing the seeds of enmity to the Government of the Mother
Country, which it will require all the wisdom, and tact, and
conciliatory sympathy possible to be displayed in the future, in dealing
with this magnificent part of the Empire, to allay. It will demand the
greatest skill to prevent the permanent alienation, and estrangement of
South Africa from Great Britain.

This has all been brought about by our unaccountably careless and
culpable want of accurate knowledge at home, of the actual situation. We
lost a splendid chance of consolidating South Africa in a homogeneous
union under the British crown. Our insular in difference, our ignorance,
the fierce animosity of our party political prejudices, made us neglect
the opportunity. It has had the effect of creating the sorest feelings
against us, on the part of the large English population, spread over the
land, which is uncontaminated and uninfluenced by the party spirit of
local colonial politicians. It is melancholy, and most deplorable to
observe the indications of this feeling, which are constantly apparent.
The old love for the British flag is still widely cherished; but it was
impossible for me to shut my eyes to the evidence so continually
brought before me, that the British Government is neither loved nor
respected. No confidence whatever is felt in it--and no wonder!
Everywhere there are proofs of how all have been allowed to suffer and
smart under it.

Either from ignorance, or carelessness, or indifference--probably from
all combined--and perhaps even unconsciously, but at the same time as
surely, we have deceived the Natives, the Boers, and the Colonists. This
is only the natural consequence of the feeble, vacillating, uncertain
course, which is followed, when the State machine is guided without
compass, and where there is no firmness, nor courage at the national
helm. What we have to do, however, now, is to advocate union and
co-operation between the two dominant races--the British and the
Dutch--and to do all we can to promote harmony and goodwill between
them. True, their mental character, and natural instincts are
different. Our own race is essentially energetic and progressive; while
theirs is slow, unemotional, and phlegmatic. But if sympathy, and tact,
and cordial good temper, are invariably practised in our intercourse
with them, I am persuaded it will ultimately have the effect of
promoting co-operation in securing their mutual interests. This, I
trust, will ultimately neutralise the effect of the fatal course of past
political action, which unnecessarily developed race jealousies, and
stimulated national friction and animosity; and will bring about in the
future, a blending of the Dutch in friendly union and fellowship with
the British, such as has been undreamed of in the past.

Among many expressions of opinion on the subject of the political
situation made to me while I was in South Africa, I received the
following communication from a gentleman of prominent position in one
of the principal towns of the Cape Colony. It appears to me of such
importance that I avail myself of this opportunity of giving publicity
to it.

     "The fact of your arrival at very short notice, combined with the
     fact that there are only a few Fellows of the Royal Colonial
     Institute resident here, will probably prevent the presentation of
     any formal address of welcome to you.

     "Nevertheless, to a section of the community which is animated by
     patriotic jealousy for the rights and dignity of the Crown
     throughout South Africa, your visit is regarded with feelings of
     genuine satisfaction, and our hopes are encouraged, that your visit
     may result in some good to the cause, which we have at heart.

     "You are doubtless acquainted well enough with the principal events
     of great national moment of recent years in South Africa. From
     whatever point of view politicians may like to regard the end of
     the Transvaal war, any resident in this country can be only too
     well aware of the fact that one result of that terrible experience
     has been, a material weakening of respect for English people, and
     for the rights of the Crown throughout the Cape Colony.

     "Since the period referred to, a very powerful Dutch-Africander
     combination has come into existence, and there can be no doubt but
     that one object of such a body, is the severance of all but nominal
     ties between the Cape, and Great Britain.

     "However visionary such hopes as these must for a long series of
     years remain, the fact of their existence, and of their being in a
     variety of ways advanced from time to time, has a very marked
     influence upon all classes of people in this country.

     "For instance, the youth of the country are influenced to hope for
     a time, when they shall be members of an independent State; and
     while on the one hand they may not see any immediate prospect of a
     change in such a direction being effected, nevertheless they lessen
     their interest in, and their respect for, the Crown of England and
     its attributes, and thus grow up comparatively devoid of any sound
     patriotism, even to their native country; and, above all, without
     any touch of that enthusiasm, which is ever engendered by high
     national traditions.

     "That some momentous changes are likely to occur in South Africa,
     and that possibly, before very long, all are agreed. The question
     only remains in what direction will these changes tend?--towards
     some Foreign Continental Power, towards a Confederation with the
     existing Dutch Republics, or in the direction of a strengthening
     of the union with England?

     "It is sometimes surmised, and this not merely by extreme men, but
     by quiet and experienced observers of events in this country, that
     the large population, mainly British, which has been attracted to
     the Gold Fields of the Transvaal, is unlikely to endure much longer
     the systematic misgovernment and suppression, to which they are
     subjected by men of avowedly anti-English sympathies, and pledged
     to a policy directed to check British progress by all means.

     "What form the suggested revolt in the Transvaal may take is not
     likely to be revealed, until some overt step towards its execution
     has been taken. We would all desire that the end in view should be
     secured by peaceful means, and that the Transvaal should become a
     part and parcel of British territory.

     "To effect a revival of loyalty to England in the Cape Colony, and
     to influence the destinies of other States in the direction of
     union with England, should surely be the hope and endeavour of all
     true Englishmen, whether in this Colony, or elsewhere.

     "And the end in view is not an easy one to attain in a country,
     where the majority of Europeans consider that they, or their
     compatriots, inflicted disgrace, and a permanent loss of influence
     upon the Imperial Troops on the one hand, and the Imperial British
     Government on the other.

     "The application of any remedy seems to lie more with the Sovereign
     personally, or Her Majesty's immediate advisers in England, than
     with any Governor, and High Commissioner, or Cabinet of Cape

     "For _quâ_ Governor, the Queen's Representative at the Cape, is
     necessarily checked, or controlled by the Ministry of the day, his
     Constitutional advisers, and the presence in the Cape Parliament of
     a dominant force of the essentially non-English, or Africander
     party, must necessarily also have a very material influence upon
     Ministers, who depend upon a majority of votes for the retention of
     their office.

     "In short, the problem in the Cape Colony is one, which happily
     does not exist in either of the other great dependencies of the
     Crown; it is altogether peculiar to South Africa, of which, after
     all, England acquired possession by conquest, and, having acquired
     it, has never completely won the adhesion of the Dutch inhabitants,
     who resent such acts of Government as the abolition of slavery, the
     introduction of the English principle of equality before the law,
     and, above all, an unsettled vacillating policy, which last has the
     worst possible effect upon all the nationalities, European, as
     well as native, throughout South Africa.

     "The present attitude of even British South Africa, is one, not of
     expectancy, but of slight hope, mingled with distrust, and after
     such conspicuous events as the dismemberment of Zululand, the
     retrocession of the Transvaal, in addition to the ineffective
     efforts towards confederation, he would be a bold man who, as an
     Englishman, would dare assert either that his country protected her
     children, or her dependent races, or that there is any settled
     British policy in the very Continent, where vigour, firmness, and
     consistency, combined with mere justice, seem to be absolutely

     "South Africa has yet to be won over to England, or, in other
     words, confidence has to be restored. The effort is surely worth
     making, and anything like a determined effort on the part of the
     Sovereign, and Her Majesty's immediate advisers would find a most
     vigorous and cordial response.

     "The idea of confederation seems to be quite dependent upon such
     preliminaries, as mutual confidence, and a measure of common
     necessity, in order to such a question being seriously entertained.

     "The Colonial Conference of two years ago, seems however to have
     paved the way for effective development in the direction of

     "For it must be remembered, that the somewhat complex British
     constitution is not the creation of any one Monarch, or Parliament.
     It has grown to its present dimensions little by little, influenced
     always by the necessities of particular cases. The House of Peers
     has ever been summoned by writ, and early precedents indicate, that
     the Sovereign was not always limited to a particular class of
     Barons, who alone could be invited to the deliberations of the

     "Although it is not admitted, it is nevertheless the fact, that, at
     the present time, all who are most anxiously desirous of seeing a
     way to establish a means of drawing together, in Council, the
     Colonies and the Mother Country, are quite disagreed, as to what is
     the best means to this end.

     "A formal confederation is desired, but all are agreed upon the
     difficulties which, for the present, at any rate, stand in the way
     of completing an exactly defined treaty, or definition, to
     confederate as between the Mother Country, and the Colonies.

     "Perhaps a means to this much-desired end may be discovered, by way
     of less formal, but almost equally effective, courses of policy as
     regards Colonial possessions.

     "Every one feels the difficulty in the way of summoning Colonial
     Representatives to either the House of Lords or the House of
     Commons, for, while special provision would be required to increase
     the numbers of the House of Commons, there are apparent and real
     obstacles in the way of inviting Colonial Representatives to sit in
     the House of Lords, either as ordinary, or as _Life_ Peers.

     "It does not seem too much to hope that, before long, the Crown,
     may desire to see assembled in London, during some period of the
     annual session of the Imperial Parliament a Council of Colonial
     Delegates, meeting in a place to be assigned to them, who will have
     no voice in other than Colonial Policy, just as now, the House of
     Lords has no voice in the originating of Money Bills, who will be
     free to discuss any measure affecting Colonial Policy in general,
     or the affairs of any Colony, in particular, who will be entitled
     to forward their conclusions, requests, or opinions to Her
     Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, and who
     will constitute a most effective means for ascertaining the current
     of opinion in any particular Colony for the time being.

     "The Houses of Convocation might be referred to as an example of an
     extra Parliamentary Body of recognised position in the
     deliberations of the State.

     "And, to revert to South Africa, the sympathies, and probably loyal
     adhesion of all the intelligent classes of every nationality, would
     be elicited by nothing more than by the express personal interest
     of the Sovereign, and Her family in the Cape Colony. The occasion
     of the visit of Prince Alfred, when a mere child, elicited
     unbounded demonstrations of enthusiastic loyalty to the Crown, and
     those from Dutch and English alike. The name 'Alfred,' in honour
     of His Royal Highness, is to be everywhere met with in connection
     with all sorts of public bodies, Volunteer Corps, and other

     "Personal influence goes for more than all the defined policies of
     successive administrations, or excellent theories of Government. A
     Prince is of more weight than the best of official Governors, and
     it is not likely that in medieval ages, or even at later periods,
     such an appanage of the Crown, as we desire South Africa to become,
     would be unvisited by either the Sovereign, or someone of the
     Sovereign's family. The visit of their Royal Highnesses Prince
     Albert Victor, and Prince George of Wales was limited to a brief
     sojourn at Cape Town, and did not extend to the Colony in general.

     "The necessity for the employment, in the interests of the Empire,
     to use the phrase most practical,--uncouth, however, it may
     seem,--of our Royal Princes appears to be a very decided and
     certain means to the end we have in view, namely, the binding
     together, by means of sympathetic enthusiasm, the Colonies to the
     Mother Country, but most particularly the creating of a healthy
     common accord between South Africa and Great Britain.

     "Let any Colony or Dependency feel assured that it is regarded as
     worthy of attention by those nearest to the Crown, and any sense of
     isolation, any suspicion that the people, or their country are
     regarded with any measure of contemptuous indifference must
     forthwith vanish. Sympathy, encouragement, personal contact, seem
     to be essential elements to the solution of what is admittedly a

I regard this letter of my well informed correspondent as a most
interesting and truthful expression of wide-spread opinion, among the
intelligent classes of Her Majesty's loyal subjects in South Africa.

I do not believe the South African political problem to be insoluble.
Two things are required to solve it satisfactorily. For the present,--I
quote the eloquent words of a distinguished politician with whose wise
and noble sentiments I cordially agree--"what we ought to do in a case
of this kind is to send out a statesman of the first order of talent,
patience, and truthfulness, irrespective of politics or prejudice. For
it is an Imperial problem of the highest importance; and the powers of
true patriotism and ambition should be amply gratified in dealing with

And for the future, let me add my own earnest conviction, that what is
wanted is Imperial Federation, as the goal to be ultimately reached, to
render South Africa politically satisfied and content.

Imperial Federation means a constitutional system, under which she would
be no longer misruled and misunderstood, by a Government, in which she
has no share, in which she places no confidence, and by whom her wants
and wishes are often ignored. It is not, as is frequently untruly
asserted by writers, and speakers, who have neither studied,
comprehended, nor understood its theory and intention, its end and aim,
that it means the subjugation of the independence of the Colonies to the
control of the Mother Country.

As one of its most earnest advocates, I emphatically protest against all
such erroneous interpretations, as a libel on the principle put forward,
as a plan for the National Government. On the contrary, the project of
Imperial Federation, without any _arriere pensée_, clearly and
distinctly involves the condition, that the Colonies themselves are to
take their adequate part, and share with the Mother Country in its
future concrete constitution. In the brief, but expressive phrase, I
have already publicly adopted, Imperial Federation means, "the
Government of the Empire by the Empire." In Imperial Federation,
therefore, South Africa would be fairly and influentially represented,
along with the other Colonies of Great Britain. In union with them she
would take her part in guiding the policy, and directing the destinies
of the whole British Empire.

[Illustration: Decorative]

[Illustration: Decorative]


The following discussion took place on the paper read by Sir Frederick
Young, on South Africa, at the opening meeting of the Session of the
Royal Colonial Institute, on November 12th, at which the Marquis of Lome

     PROFESSOR H.G. SEELEY: In common with you all, I have listened with
     great pleasure to this interesting and wide-reaching address. I
     have not myself been so far afield. My observations were limited to
     Cape Colony; and the things which I saw in that Colony were
     necessarily, to a large extent, different from those recorded by
     Sir Frederick Young. On landing at Cape Town I naturally turned to
     what the people of South Africa were doing for themselves, and
     confess I was amazed when I saw the great docks, by means of which
     the commerce of South Africa is being encouraged, and by which it
     will hereafter be developed. I was impressed, too, with the
     educational institutions, the great Public Library, worthy of any
     town, the South African Museum, the South African College, and the
     various efforts made to bring the newest and best knowledge home to
     the people. But perhaps in Cape Town, the thing which impressed me
     as most curious was the new dock, in process of construction by
     excavating stone for the breakwater and other purposes. This work
     was carried on by coloured convict labour. The convicts thus become
     trained in useful manual work, as well as in habits of obedience,
     and when they are discharged, are not only better men, but people
     in whose work employers of labour have confidence. I learned that
     the great public mountain roads in Cape Colony have thus been
     constructed by convict labour, at a comparatively small cost, while
     the convict acquires skill and useful training. Going up country,
     my attention, among other matters, was turned to the distribution
     of mineral wealth and difficulties of water supply, for, as Sir
     Frederick Young has remarked, the water supply is one of the great
     problems which all persons have to consider in South Africa. The
     season during which rain falls is short, and the rain drains
     rapidly down comparatively steep inclined surfaces, so that science
     of many kinds has to be enlisted to conserve the water, and turn
     the supply to account. I found the rocks of much of the country
     have been curiously compressed and hardened and thrown into
     parallel irregular folds, and that these rocks were afterwards worn
     down by the action of water, at a time when the land was still
     beneath the ocean, with the result that many basin-shaped
     depressions are preserved and exposed, each of which holds a
     certain amount of water. Just as we never dream of putting down a
     well in this country without knowing the positions of the
     water-bearing strata, so it is hopeless to bore profitably for
     water in the Colony till the districts are defined over which the
     water-bearing basins are spread. Nothing arrests the escape of
     water in its course through the rocks more efficiently than
     intrusive sheets of igneous rock which rise to the surface, but
     until the distribution of these dykes is systematically recorded it
     will not be possible to open out all the water which is preserved
     underground. There is no doubt that by utilising geological facts
     of this nature, a better water supply may be obtained, which will
     enable more land to be brought under cultivation, and larger crops
     to be raised. I may say that the Colonial Government is fully aware
     of the importance of following out such lines of work, and steps
     are being taken to give effect to such exploration. Vegetation,
     however, by its radiating power, must always be one of the chief
     aids to improved water supply. In the matter of mineral wealth,
     Cape Colony is not so rich as some adjacent lands. It contains
     coal, but the individual beds of coal are thin, and owing to this
     thinness the coal necessarily alternates with shale, which is more
     conspicuous than in the coal fields of Britain. I remember that
     Professor Sedgwick, my old master in geology, told me that in his
     youth seams of coal only some four to six inches thick were worked
     on the sides of hills in Yorkshire, and that the coal was carried
     on horseback over the country to supply the wants of the mountain
     population. Cape Colony is in a far better state than that. In the
     Eastern Province the beds of coal are frequently a foot or two or
     more in thickness. They crop out on the surface with a slight dip
     near to the railway, and although only worked at present in a few
     pits (as at Cyphergat, Fairview, Molteno--I did not visit the
     Indwe)--the coal-bearing rocks certainly extend over a much wider
     area of country than that which has been explored. One of the happy
     results at which I arrived in my short visit to this district was
     to find that there are certain extinct forms of reptilian life
     associated with these coal beds, by means of which the geological
     horizon upon which the coal occurs may be traced through the
     country; so that there is a prospect of this mineral being followed
     along its outcrop in the Eastern Province with comparative ease by
     this means. It is desirable on all accounts that coal should be
     burned rather than timber, since the destruction of wood is harmful
     to the supply of water. With regard to the gold of Cape Colony, I
     have not the requisite knowledge to speak with the same confidence.
     The quantity in any district is probably small: the amount is great
     in the aggregate, but very widely diffused. Gold appears to be
     present in small amounts in almost all the volcanic rocks, so that
     as those rocks decay and new mineral substances are formed out of
     the decomposed products, the gold which they contained is often
     preserved and concentrated in thin and narrow veins of zeolitic
     minerals, which extend over the surface of these volcanic rocks. To
     what extent these zeolites may be hereafter worked with profit it
     is impossible at present to say, for much may depend upon water
     supply, by means of which the ore would be crushed and washed, and
     much on the varying quantities of gold present in samples from
     different localities. On the whole, the utilisation of science in
     the service of man, especially in relation to metals, coal, and
     water supply, if systematically carried out, will, I believe, be an
     element of future prosperity to Cape Colony, and enable the Colony
     to minister to the welfare of adjacent lands.

     Mr. J.X. MERRIMAN: I am sure South Africans are very grateful
     indeed to the amiable and kindly critic in the person of Sir
     Frederick Young. It is no new thing to Colonists to owe him a debt.
     All those present will acknowledge the great things he has done for
     the Colonies in connection with the Royal Colonial Institute. Sir
     Frederick Young is a man who has been content to look after small
     things, and the result is this Institute has been worked up by the
     individual efforts of Colonists and others to its present
     flourishing condition. I hope the Institute will long flourish,
     and never be absorbed by anything under more magnificent
     auspices--in other words, that you will "paddle your own canoe." It
     is good sometimes to have a plain statement from a plain man. South
     Africa suffers under a plague of experts who, after spending a few
     weeks there, tell us exactly what we ought to do; and we don't like
     it. I wish I could speak to you as a sort of amiable critic, but I
     have the misfortune to belong to that much-despised class the local
     politician, and I notice that, when anybody says anything about the
     Colonies in England, all unite in kicking the local politician. In
     order not to sail under false colours, I state frankly that I
     belong to that class. Of course, South Africa is creating a deal of
     interest at the present time. People who come to fortunes usually
     do excite a great deal of interest among relations who may in times
     gone by have given them the cold shoulder. There can be no doubt as
     to the material prosperity of South Africa at the present time, and
     still less doubt as to the future. The gold fields of Witwatersrand
     are unique in the world. This is not my own statement, but the
     statement of eminent mining engineers from America. For thirty
     miles and more you have a continuous stretch of reef, which gives
     throughout a uniform yield per ton, and which has been proved to
     the depth of some hundred feet, and may--there is every reason to
     believe--go to unknown depths. The reefs are now being worked in
     the most economical manner. When proper appliances for mining are
     used, and when we get the stock-jobbers off our backs, I believe a
     career of prosperity will open of which few people dream. From
     another point of view, to those who love the country and make their
     home there, there cannot but be a seamy side to the picture. Great
     wealth brings other things in its train. It has brought into South
     Africa a great spirit of gambling. People neglect the honest
     industries of the country: they leave their farm work, and rush off
     to make fortunes in a minute. Everybody--from the king to the
     beggar--is gambling in gold shares. Everybody neglects his
     business, and talks about nothing else. I ask whether this is a
     wholesome state of society? Is it not a state of society to which
     we may look with some degree of apprehension? I believe myself that
     things will work round, but, undoubtedly, the state of affairs is
     serious. After all, there is something which goes to build up a
     country besides material wealth, and I am not sure that gambling in
     gold shares is exactly the thing which is wanted. Of course, there
     have been other countries where these vast increases of material
     wealth have occurred--California and Australia--but there the
     conditions were different. They were new countries, which attracted
     large numbers of white men, and, when they found the gold fields
     did not pay, they made homes for themselves on the land.
     Unfortunately, that state of affairs does not exist at the present
     time in South Africa, and that brings us face to face with the
     great problem on which Sir Frederick Young has touched--the great
     problem which we have always before us--viz., how two races utterly
     alien to each other, the black and the white, are to live and
     increase side by side. South Africa is the only country in the
     world where that problem exists, excepting the Southern States of
     North America. This is a great question, on which the future of
     South Africa depends. Unfortunately, the white men do not work in a
     country where the black race flourishes. If the white man does not
     become a "boss," he sinks to the level of a mean white man. The
     difficulty is to get a state of society in which the white race
     shall flourish side by side with the black; and when people talk
     about the "local politicians," the "average Cape politician," and
     the like, they should remember we have to deal with this enormous
     problem--that we are anxious to do justice to the "black," and at
     the same time we are naturally anxious to see the European
     population flourish. I believe the gold fields will attract a
     large European population. The wages are enormous. There are 20,000
     black men, without a stitch upon them, earning as much as eighteen
     shillings a week a-piece, and getting as much food as they can eat,
     in the mines of Johannesburg. People talk about the treatment of
     the blacks. Nobody dares to treat them badly, because they would
     run away. There is a competition for them, and the black man has an
     uncommonly rosy time of it. The white men naturally won't work
     under the same conditions as the blacks. I saw a letter from an
     operative cautioning his fellow artisans against going out. He
     says, "We get thirty shillings a day, but it is a dreadful place to
     live in." I ask the operatives in England to mistrust that
     statement. ("What is the cost of living?") You can live at the club
     very well indeed for £10 a month--the club, mind you, where the
     aristocracy live. It is idle to tell me the honest artisan cannot
     live. In addition to the black and white population, there is
     another problem, and that is, the influx of Arabs, who creep down
     the East Coast through the door of Natal. They are gradually
     ousting the English retail trader. You may go to up-country towns,
     and in whole streets you will see these yellow fellows, sitting
     there in their muslin dresses, where formerly there were English
     traders. In places where we want to cultivate the English
     population, that is a very serious thing. Our yellow friends come
     under the garb of British subjects from Bombay, and are making
     nests in the Transvaal and elsewhere by ousting the English retail
     trader. Sir Frederick Young has alluded to State colonisation. I am
     sorry to differ from so amiable a critic of our ways, but, as one
     who has had a little experience, I can tell him that you may send
     Colonists out, but you cannot as easily make them stay there. If
     they make their fortunes, they come home to England to spend them.
     If they are poor, and bad times come, the black man crowds them
     out, and off they go to Australia. You can depend on a German
     peasant settling, but bring an Englishman or a Scotchman, and he
     wants to better himself. In that he is quite right, but he does not
     see his way on a small plot of ground, and off he goes down a mine,
     or something of that sort. There are great difficulties in the way
     of State-aided emigration. We do not want the riff-raff; we don't
     want the "surplus population." It is one of the greatest
     difficulties to get decent, steady Englishmen to settle on the
     land. It is the people who settle on the land who make a country,
     and if Sir Frederick Young can give us a receipt for making English
     people settle there he will confer one of the greatest possible
     benefits on South Africa. Sir Frederick Young departed from the
     usual custom on such occasions by touching on politics. I am glad
     he did, because more interest is given to the discussion, and there
     is nothing like good, healthy controversy. Sir Frederick Young is
     greatly concerned that there should be a settled policy for South
     Africa. All I can say is, in Heaven's name, don't listen to a syren
     voice of that kind. So surely as you have a settled policy--some
     great and grand scheme--so surely will follow disaster and
     disgrace. The people of South Africa may be very stupid, but they
     are very much like other people--determined to make their policy
     themselves, and the policy of South Africa is not going to be
     framed in Downing Street. I cannot help thinking Sir Frederick
     Young did injustice to some of my friends who have been at the head
     of affairs. "The mournful mismanagement of South African affairs,"
     he says, "during the last twenty-five years, and most especially
     during the last decade, has been truly lamentable, and cannot fail
     to awaken the saddest feelings on the part of every loyal Briton
     and true-hearted patriot." But have affairs been mismanaged for the
     last twenty-five years? The revenue twenty-five years ago was
     £500,000. It is now nearly £4,000,000. For twenty-five years, under
     the beneficent rule of Downing Street, we had not a mile of
     railway. Now we have 2,000 miles. Twenty-five years ago there was
     no national feeling at all. Now there is a strong South African
     feeling, which is destined to grow and build up a South African
     policy. As to the talk about a settled and firm policy, Sir Philip
     Wodehouse was the last Governor who had a grand scheme from Downing
     Street. A more honest, conscientious, and able man did not exist;
     but his policy was a failure. Then came my friend Sir Henry Barkly.
     His policy was distinctly opposite. It was a true policy for South
     Africa. It was a policy of _laissez-faire_. The result was, things
     went on as merrily as a marriage bell, Dutch and English drew
     together, the natives were quiet, South Africa was prosperous, and
     everything went on as happily as possible till Mr. Froude and Lord
     Carnarvon hit on the grand scheme of uniting South Africa. From
     that day our misfortunes began. One of the most able, courteous,
     and high-minded gentlemen in the British service--Sir Bartle
     Frere--was sent to carry out this firm policy. What was the result?
     Failure. I will say nothing more about it. Then Sir Hercules
     Robinson reverted to the _laissez-faire_ policy. South Africa was
     under a shade--nobody would look at us. But now we are gradually
     righting ourselves, and getting into a prosperous condition. Now
     are being raised again the cries for a grand policy. I caution you
     against them. Let us manage our own affairs. _Laissez faire,
     laissez aller_--that is our policy for South Africa. There are no
     nostrums required. The one thing required is the gradual bringing
     of the Dutch and English together. There are no two races more
     fitted to unite. You know how like they are to Englishmen. The Boer
     is as like the English farmer as possible. There are no people more
     fond of manly sports than the Dutch; they enter into them
     heartily, and in the cricket and football fields they are among the
     best players. They are as fond of riding and shooting as Englishmen
     are. In fact, the Dutch and the English are as like as Heaven can
     make them, and the only thing that keeps them apart is man's
     prejudice. The one thing to do is to bring them together. How can
     you help that end? Not by girding at them, and writing against Boer
     ways, but by recognising the fact that they have been pioneers in
     South Africa, and that they are the only people who will settle on
     the land. I see there is a great agitation about Swaziland, which
     is entirely surrounded by the Transvaal Republic. ("No.") Well,
     except as to Tongaland, and I am not going to say anything about
     that. The cry is got up, "Don't hand it over to the Boers." In
     whose interest is that cry got up? It is in the interest of a few
     speculators, and not in the interest of the capitalists, who have
     £108,000,000 invested in the Transvaal, and yet are not afraid to
     trust the Boers with Swaziland. This girding at the Dutch is
     resented, and does incalculable harm. People at home have very
     little idea how much influence public opinion in England has in
     South Africa. Sir Frederick Young has alluded to President Kruger,
     who won't put down prize fights because he might be thought to be
     oppressing the Englishman! All I ask is, don't let your talk about
     union with the Dutch be mere lip service. Trust them; work hand in
     hand with them. Unless you do you will make little progress in
     South Africa. By that I mean political progress. The material
     progress of South Africa is now secured; therefore my advice
     is--cultivate the Dutch, because, unless they are our friends, we
     shall be a divided people, and our black and yellow brethren will
     get the best of us. Our true policy is, _Laissez faire, laissez

     Sir G. BADEN-POWELL, K.C.M.G., M.P.: My friend, Mr. Merriman, has
     made a speech of the utmost value to South Africa, and it is a
     very fitting, I will not say reply, but comment, on the address to
     which we have listened with such pleasure; but Mr. Merriman, with
     his strong arguments and apt illustrations, came at the end to the
     conclusion at which Sir Frederick Young had arrived. I have not
     much to add, but I think we have heard from Sir Frederick Young a
     view of South African affairs on the political side which, I may
     tell you frankly, differs diametrically from my own. I have heard
     from Mr. Merriman a view of affairs in which I cordially concur,
     but from neither have I heard of that third aspect which, I think,
     is necessary to complete the view. Sir Frederick Young has told us
     that for twenty-five years, certainly during the last ten years,
     South Africa has been mismanaged. I must confess I was sorry to
     hear the strong language he used, because one cannot but remember
     that for the greater part of the last twenty years most of the
     affairs of South Africa have been in the hands of free
     self-governing communities. Cape Colony has been under Responsible
     Government since 1873, and the Free State and the Transvaal have
     always been self-governing. I agree with Mr. Merriman that for the
     last twenty-five years affairs in South Africa have progressed,
     with one signal and fatal exception, and that was the policy under
     which we took over and then gave back the Transvaal. Omitting that,
     I think we have but little to be sorry for in the history of South
     Africa. There have been troubles, but I, for one, think that all
     difficulties, would have been avoided if the phrase "Imperial aid"
     had been substituted for that of "Imperial interference" in the
     affairs of South Africa. It is the aid which has been given by the
     Mother Country which has resulted in developing the material
     resources, and, above all, in establishing the security from native
     attack of various European States in South Africa. Sir Frederick
     Young spoke of the attitude towards the Imperial Government. I
     could wish he had been in Cape Town on the day Sir Charles Warren
     landed, and seen the ovation he received from all classes. Let me
     add this--that the Bechuanaland expedition, which was led by Sir
     Charles Warren, and in which I had the good fortune to take part,
     cost the Mother Country perhaps £1,500,000, but in the discussions
     in Parliament or in the press as to the future of Bechuanaland, the
     fact is seldom mentioned that Bechuanaland was acquired for the
     Empire at the cost of the British taxpayer. Let me remind you of
     another fact, which the Cape Colonist well knows--that when the
     Imperial Government wished, from wise motives of economy, to extend
     the Cape system of railways to Kimberley, at a time when the Cape
     Ministers were not prepared to carry out the extension, the British
     Parliament advanced a loan of £400,000, at a low rate of interest,
     for that object. Another instance I could quote, in connection with
     the history of that interesting native territory--Basutoland. You
     remember how that country was handed over to the Cape Colonists,
     and that for various reasons the management of the Basutos got
     beyond their power, the result being that the Imperial Government
     went to the aid of the Cape Colony and took back Basutoland. I
     mention these cases because they illustrate an aspect of affairs
     which is, I think, apt to be neglected. We at home--and certainly
     those who have enjoyed the kind hospitality of their brethren in
     South Africa--wish to do all we can to aid our fellow-countrymen in
     that part of the globe. We do not wish to interfere, and I should
     like to see this put forward as the grand and final policy of South
     Africa--that we are ready to aid that portion of the Empire, but
     set our faces against interference. In conclusion, I will add that
     I am sure all of us congratulate Sir Frederick Young on having so
     successfully accomplished his arduous journey, returning to us, as
     he does, in better health than when he left. If you wish to renew
     your youth, and grow younger instead of older, follow his
     example--make a trip through South Africa, sleeping in the open

     Dr. SYMES THOMPSON: Another year's experience has confirmed and
     strengthened my conclusions as to the remarkable salubrity of the
     South African climate in cases of chest disease and of nerve wear,
     which I laid before the Royal Colonial Institute in November last.
     While regarding the neighbourhood of Cape Town and Grahamstown as
     beneficial for a short sojourn, among the upland stations I would
     call attention to Middelburg and Tarkestad. Hotel accommodation and
     adequate comfort for invalids, as regards food, quarters,
     attention, occupation, and amusement, are still most deficient.
     During the recent drought the dust storms proved very trying to the
     eyes and to the bronchial membranes at Kimberley, and at
     Johannesburg the dangers were great. I rejoice to learn that Sir
     Frederick Young has found his winter trip so health-giving, and
     believe that a similar expedition might prove of immense value to
     many Englishmen who are overwrought in body or in mind.

     The CHAIRMAN (the Right Hon. the Marquis of Lorne, K.T., G.C.M.G.):
     I propose a hearty vote of thanks to Sir Frederick Young for his
     kindness in reading the Paper. I was extremely interested myself,
     as I think you all were. In his political observations, and in
     speaking of a firm policy, I think that, after all, what the reader
     of the Paper meant was firmness in allowing each nationality to
     develop itself as it best might, with aid from home. I think that
     is the sense of his observations, and I am sure we are obliged to
     him, not only for speaking of more personal matters, but also for
     telling us the actual impressions he derived from the journey. I
     entirely agree with Mr. Merriman--and I believe Sir Frederick Young
     does--that, finding ourselves in South Africa with the Dutch, we
     must work with them and through them. I hope the Dutch will allow
     themselves to be helped in one matter which Sir Frederick Young
     impressed on President Kruger--apparently not with great
     results--viz., in the matter of railways, and that they will allow
     railways to pierce the Transvaal. I am sure he is a man of too much
     intelligence very much to object to railways. That policy would be
     too much like that of the Chinese. I remember, when I was at the
     head of a society in London, asking the representative of China to
     come and listen to a paper in regard to railways through Siam. He
     said solemnly--"Chinese not like railways." I said this railway
     would not go through the Imperial dominions--that it would only be
     at a respectful distance. Again my remarks were interpreted to him,
     and again, after a long pause, he solemnly replied--"Chinese don't
     like railways near frontier." I am sure President Kruger will not
     fritter chances away in that manner, and that he will allow us to
     help him.

     SIR FREDERICK YOUNG, K.C.M.G.: I feel extremely flattered by the
     compliment which our noble Chairman has been good enough to pay me.
     It was really most gratifying to me to be able to take the
     interesting and instructive tour from which I have recently
     returned, and the only difficulty and hesitation I felt as to
     giving an account of what I saw was that I saw so much that I did
     not know how I could crowd a tithe of it in the reasonable
     dimensions of a paper. I was a little in dread, I confess, when so
     astute and able a politician as Mr. Merriman rose to make his
     criticisms; but I wish him to understand, as well as you, that the
     view I put forward--perhaps I did not explain myself as clearly as
     I ought to have done--was that advocated by Mr. Merriman himself,
     namely, that South Africa should be allowed to frame her own
     policy. That is the sum and substance of what I wished to say on
     that point. As the noble Marquis has been so kind as to act as my
     interpreter, I need not take up more of your time by enlarging on
     this question. I have now the greatest possible pleasure in asking
     you to join with me in thanking the noble Marquis for having, as
     one of our Vice-Presidents, been so kind as to preside on this

[Illustration: Decorative]

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     An address on the above interesting subject was delivered by Sir
     Frederick Young, K.C.M.G., in the Y.M.C. Association Hall, on
     Monday, when the room was filled to its utmost capacity. The chair
     was taken by the President of the Association, Mr. E.J. Earp, who,
     in introducing the lecturer to the audience, said he was a
     gentleman who was well and favourably known to many colonists, who
     had received great attention and kindness from him during their
     visits to the Old Country. Sir Frederick Young had very kindly
     responded to the invitation of the committee to lecture this
     evening, and though the subject of Imperial Federation was of a
     somewhat political nature, still it was not of such a character as
     to preclude its being spoken about within the walls of the
     association. The subject of the lecture was one worthy of all
     attention, which had recently been occupying the attention of
     eminent statesmen of various political opinions. This was an age of
     specialists, and he thought that Sir Frederick Young might be well
     considered as a specialist on the subject upon which he was now
     about to address them. He had for many years been connected with
     the Royal Colonial Institute, and his services had received
     recognition at the hands of his Sovereign.

     Sir Frederick Young, who was most warmly received, said in he first
     place he must tender his hearty thanks to the Chairman for the very
     kind manner in which he had introduced him. The attention of the
     audience this evening would be directed to the desirability of
     promoting the unity of the British Empire. Before commencing his
     address, he wished to emphasize what the Chairman had already
     expressed with regard to the rules of the association on political
     subjects. In connection with that, he would say that the subject he
     was about to speak upon did not touch upon party politics in any
     way, as it was a National question, and might be excepted from
     their rigid rule. The subject of Imperial Federation was, to his
     mind, of so vast and vital a character, and of such importance to
     the whole nation collectively, that it impressed him with the
     responsibility he incurred in speaking upon it, and the feeling he
     had of being unable to do full justice to it. He spoke with some
     confidence on the subject, because he claimed to be one of the
     pioneers of the idea of Imperial Federation, which meant "the
     government of the Empire by the Empire." He wished to take his
     hearers back to the origin of English parliaments, when the first
     idea of representation occurred to our early kings, and when the
     scattered portions of England were at last drawn into one focus of
     representation by Edward III., and gradually that kind of
     representation succeeded in effecting the Union of England and
     Scotland, and subsequently Ireland, things remaining in that form
     until the present day. Latterly, our Colonial Empire had grown up
     to wonderful and vast dimensions, but as far as the principle of
     representation was concerned there had been no great change, though
     it was perfectly true that during the past few years a certain
     number of the Colonies had obtained what was called
     self-government, or what he called the shadow of English government
     on the parliamentary system, as retained in its original principle
     and plan up to our own times. The Imperial policy of the British
     Empire was entirely conducted at Home, and Imperial Federation
     meant that this system should be changed, and that those who were
     living outside the borders of the British Isles should have their
     true participation in the government of the Empire. This led him to
     a point on which there was very much misunderstanding on the part
     of those who had heard the subject of Imperial Federation
     mentioned, and who thought there must be some idea of those who
     advocated it at Home getting some advantage over their colonial
     brethren, and draw them into a net, by which they would have to
     part with their rights of local self-government. He utterly denied
     that there were any such intentions--on the contrary, this was an
     invitation to them, a cry from the Old Country, asking them to come
     and assist in governing the Empire. This could only be effected by
     Imperial Federation, which would mean the termination of what was
     called the rule of Downing Street, which would be superseded by
     something far different, and, in his opinion, be far more
     acceptable to the colonists themselves. They would not have to
     suffer, as they had in the past, in many ways, from ignorance,
     prejudice, and narrow views, but they would have an opportunity of
     taking part in the policy of the Empire, particularly in that which
     affected themselves. In consequence of the agitation at Home during
     the past few years a successful attempt had been made to establish
     what was called the Imperial Federation League, of which he was an
     active member, and which took no part in party politics, and was at
     the present moment presided over by Lord Rosebery, with the Hon. E.
     Stanhope, the present Minister of War, as Vice-President, who, so
     far as party politics were concerned, were on totally different
     sides. That would prove that in England they did not regard this
     great question as one of party politics. One of the most important
     results in connection with that League had been the celebrated
     Colonial Conference, which the League had been able to induce the
     Government to summon two years ago at Westminster. They all knew
     what a remarkable gathering that was, which was presided over by
     Lord Knutsford (then Sir Henry Holland), the summons being
     responded to by the self-governing Colonies of the Empire sending
     their foremost men to represent their interests. From South Africa
     were sent such men as Sir Thomas Upington, Sir John Robinson, and
     Mr. Hofmeyr, and he confessed that, when he had the honour of being
     at the first meeting of the Conference, and seeing these men
     gathered in the Foreign Office, and having present the Prime
     Minister, Lord Salisbury, if his dream of Imperial Federation was
     to be anything more than a dream, he felt that these were the first
     symptoms of its realization. It was the first time in history that
     the Colonies of Great Britain had come to the Mother Country to
     consult on great National questions. He had read nearly the whole
     of the large Blue Book which contained the reports of the
     Conference, and all he could say was that he challenged any
     assembly of public men to meet together and show more ability and
     statesmanlike thought in the discussion of the questions submitted
     to them than was shown by that Conference during its short reign.
     He was delighted with the noble words of Lord Salisbury, when he
     expressed his satisfaction, and said he hoped this would be only
     the first of many similar Conferences, but Lord Salisbury, like
     other public men, sometimes saw occasion to change his views,
     because not long ago he said, on a public occasion, that all he
     knew about Federation was, that it was a word spelt with ten
     letters, which was somewhat of a wet blanket to some of those who
     had reckoned upon Lord Salisbury as an ardent supporter. More
     recently he said, in reply to a question put to him at a public
     meeting at the East End of London, that geographical considerations
     would prevent the realization of such a scheme; but his allusions
     to geographical difficulties vanished before modern science. Was it
     not in their cognizance that in South Africa, through the medium of
     the telegraph, they were able to know what was taking place in
     England within twenty-four hours? Geographical considerations,
     indeed! that might have been all very well some years ago, when it
     took three or four months to reach the Cape, but now it took only
     two or three weeks, and that time would even be probably reduced as
     time wore on. Such being the case, geographical considerations had
     nothing whatever to do with the matter. He had no desire to speak
     unfairly of the gentleman who occupied the position of Prime
     Minister of the Empire, but he felt sure the time would come when
     Lord Salisbury would think that Imperial Federation was something
     more than a word of ten letters; and that his geographical
     considerations would vanish also, as having no reason in them. In
     contrast to Lord Salisbury, he would read a short extract from a
     speech, made only a few months ago at Leeds by Lord Rosebery, when
     he said: "For my part, if you will forgive me this little bit of
     egotism, I can say from the bottom of my heart that it is the
     dominant passion of my public life. Ever since I traversed those
     great regions which own the sway of the British Crown outside these
     islands, I have felt that there was a cause, which merited all the
     enthusiasm and energy that man could give to it. It is a cause for
     which any one might be content to live; it is a cause for which, if
     needs be, any one might be content to die." Lord Rosebery was at
     this moment the President of the Imperial Federation League, and
     only recently he addressed a letter, on behalf of the League, to
     Lord Salisbury, asking that the Government would summon another
     Conference like the one which took place with such wonderful
     results two years ago, and which Lord Salisbury had said he hoped
     would be the first of many more. The answer he gave, however, was
     something to the effect that he did not think it desirable that the
     Government should move in the matter, but that the Colonies should
     take the initiative. With all humility he would ask how anything of
     this kind could be moved, except by some motor? There must be
     something to move the colonists, and who could do that so well as
     Her Majesty's Government, by inviting, in a courteous and
     sympathetic spirit, the Colonies to come again and consult on
     Imperial subjects. He would now touch upon some of the errors
     prevalent on this great question of Imperial Federation. In some of
     the Colonies, New Zealand in particular, something had been said
     that in course of time independence must be the inevitable result.
     But he asked why should this be the case? He would also like to say
     something about what were Imperial questions? Some of the subjects
     which would be dealt with by the Imperial Federated Parliament
     would be those of National defence, peace and war, and all subjects
     in which national interests are concerned. As he had attempted to
     explain, it would be a federation in which the Colonies would be
     completely and fairly represented. The whole subject resolved
     itself into this: Representation. One hundred years ago, one of our
     distinguished statesmen in England, Charles James Fox, said that
     "representation was the sovereign remedy for all evils," and that
     was what was contended for by Imperial Federation. He would now
     venture to make some allusion to one of the most distinguished
     statesmen in South Africa, who attended the Conference in
     London--he alluded to Mr. Hofmeyr--who made a most remarkable
     speech. He was sorry it was too long to read, but he would select a
     portion of that very statesmanlike address. Referring to the fourth
     and eighth subjects proposed for discussion--viz., the feasibility
     of promoting a closer union between the various parts of the
     British Empire by means of an Imperial tariff of Customs, to be
     levied independently of the duties payable under existing tariffs
     on goods entering the British Empire from abroad, the revenue
     derived from such tariffs to be devoted to the general defence of
     the Empire--he said: "I have taken this matter in hand with two
     objects, to promote the union of the Empire, and at the same time
     to obtain revenue for general defence. It would establish a
     connecting link between the Colonies mutually, as well as between
     the Colonies, and the Empire also, such as is not at present in
     existence, and which might fuller develop, by-and-by, into a most
     powerful bond of union." Again, speaking of how this was to be
     effected, he said: "A body would be required with legislative, and,
     to some extent, administrative powers; in other words, you would
     have a limited fiscal Parliament by the side of the British
     Parliament and the various Colonial Parliaments. This small body,
     which would have to be created, would perhaps be the germ of an
     Imperial Federation afterwards." He thought those were most
     remarkable, and striking words. If people would think the subject
     out in a calm judicial, and fair spirit, they would see in it the
     fulfilment of what would not only promote the best interests of the
     British Empire, but would also be the handmaiden of civilization to
     others as well, because in it there was no idea of aggrandisement.
     He had recently made a most remarkable tour through this
     interesting country, and since he landed in Cape Town, on the 24th
     May, had seen a great deal of it. He had visited Kimberley, and
     gone down in a bucket to see one of the diamond mines; he had
     travelled to Vryburg, and across the treeless desert in the
     south-western portion of the Transvaal to Klerksdorp; thence on to
     Johannesburg and down the gold mines, and further on to Pretoria,
     where he had an interview with President Kruger, and attended
     meetings of the Volksraad. He had been 150 miles north of Pretoria,
     and dwelt for a fortnight in the open veldt, without going near a
     house, and had seen the Kafirs in their kraals. He had crossed the
     Transvaal, through Heidelburg and Newcastle, in Natal, down to
     Durban, he had visited Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, and had now
     returned to Cape Town. What he had seen of this great country had
     astonished him, and he thought it had a vast future before it; but
     it required to be governed in the most enlightened and satisfactory
     manner, and he appealed to both races--Dutch and English--to
     co-operate and unite in developing its wonderful resources. It was
     by this way alone--by cordial co-operation and a generous feeling
     towards one another, that this would be realized. He believed that
     Imperial Federation would be the best solution of the difficulties
     which had arisen. He had heard whispers of what was called
     Republicanism. We worshipped words rather than things; but the
     British Constitution, especially when it would be expanded by
     Federation, would be practically a Republic with a Queen as
     President. He would, therefore, appeal once more to the judgment of
     thoughtful men to weigh the principles contended for, calmly,
     wisely, and without prejudice or passion. The flippant, the
     superficial, the thoughtlessly ambitious, and those who did not
     take a fair, judicial, and comprehensive view of the great issues
     involved in it to each portion of the Empire over which the British
     Crown held sway, might deride and condemn it, but he, as one of its
     most ardent pioneers and supporters, recommended it to all
     colonists as well as to his countrymen at home, as the best
     preservation of their commercial, social, and political interests
     in the future, which they would lose altogether if they abandoned
     it in favour of the disintegration of the British Empire. He had
     studied this question for some years, and by a sort of instinct he
     felt that it was the right thing to be brought about. He had
     brought before them proofs that some distinguished men were already
     feeling the desirability of some such thing being effected, and he
     could not but help thinking that their ranks would be augmented by
     other people of influence and power, who may hereafter be brought
     to think seriously and carefully over this great question. He took
     the opportunity himself, some three years ago, to put a letter in
     the London _Times_ suggesting that as the question had now been
     some years before the public, both in the Colonies and the Mother
     Country, it would be very desirable indeed if a Royal Commission of
     Inquiry were sent out, under distinguished auspices, for the
     purpose of ascertaining the opinions of the various Colonies. This
     could be carried out on parallel lines to the celebrated Commission
     sent to Canada, and which resulted in the consolidation of the
     Dominion. The obtaining of these opinions would be invaluable
     evidence as to the consensus of feeling in the Colonies on the
     subject. If the question was to be more than a dream, and became
     one of practical politics, it would require all the Colonies to
     express an opinion on the subject. He could not conceive that
     anything could be more desirable than to take the evidence of
     distinguished representative men on such a great National question.
     Those were the views he expressed in the leading journal; they were
     individual ideas, which did not yet appear to be acceptable, though
     he could not help hoping that the day would arrive when some such
     Royal Commission might be appointed, which would give an impetus to
     the question--and, at all events, afford all those who took such a
     deep interest in it an opportunity of seeing how far, in the
     opinion of the various Colonies, such a change in the British
     Constitution could be effected, to the entire satisfaction of all
     concerned. There was no desire on the part of the Mother Country,
     in propounding questions like this, to take any advantage of the
     Colonies, or do anything which would not be for their benefit.
     There was no hurry on the part of the Mother Country, which simply
     asked the Colonies to help to govern and take part in the National
     politics of the British Empire.

     Mr. J.A. BAM proposed a vote of thanks to Sir Frederick Young for
     his able and instructive lecture, which was heartily accorded.

     SIR FREDERICK YOUNG having acknowledged the compliment, the
     proceedings closed with a vote of thanks to the President.

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