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better location of the superiors, will put an end to these wild forays, in which so much time and energy is lost in moving, and in planning how to move about. Still, as to the exposure and risk—whatever there may be of that, and though it were even greater than people commonly imagine-I must say, on reviewing what I have heard and seen, and had the privilege to share in doing, that it has been, and to me will ever be, well worth it all. But what more I thought of that day must be reserved for another opportunity. Believe me yours very truly,
P. April 12, 1850.
CRADOCK, CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. [ALTHOUGH a considerable portion of the following letter has no direct bearing on our ordinary topics, we give insertion to it as containing a graphic description of travelling incidents in this Missionary Diocese. -Ed.]
I left Graham's Town, on the 4th of September, for Cradock, and spent two whole days there, and returned here again on the 11th. From this you will discover that it is a three days' journey, which, at Colonial rate of travelling, will make it about 120 miles distance ; no trifling journey for hacks fetched up, a day previous to starting, from grass ; especially with a road, for three-fourths of the journey, in a shocking state of disrepair, and exceedingly rugged and mountainous
. This is a bad time of the year for undertaking long journeys, as about this season we usually have heavy rains, and the rivers become impassable. I was fortunate enough, however, to accomplish the whole distance without any rain whatever, though I found the want of it along the road distress my horses between the stages. Leaving Graham's Town, the first day's “trak” is an easy one, as far as Simpson's, on the Fish River, at Espay's Drift, about thirty miles. Between this and town is a neat and thoroughly English little roadside accommodation house, kept by English folk, named Hyde. As you proceed onwards for some way, you regret the want of such houses. During the previous Caffre war, the house was completely perforated by the musketry of quasi soldiers and enemies—the doors, windowframes, and every thing but the bare walls, being taken away, or burnt, or destroyed. It was completely restored after the war, and the proprietor has begun to repair the damage done to his garden and dam. Immediately after leaving this “hotel," you ascend a mountain, and thence drive along, or through, De Bruin's Poort, as it is called ; i.e. through a pass between two slopes of hills. A genuine Caffre pass this is, too, the bush being dense, and very extensive, and such as is seen nowhere else but in South Africa. It is called De Bruin, after a Dutchman of that name, who was shot here, during one of the wars, in a skirmish with the Caffres.
I well remember, a twelvemonth ago, having to walk through this Poort (an hour's ride) on a scorching hot day, carrying my saddle and
bridle on my back, my horse having “knocked up” just before we got to the entrance of it !--not a very uncommon occurrence in this country, where you have to perform long journeys without anything to give your horse at “off saddles,” but what he can nibble off the ground in half an hour. Through the Poort you have a good piece of road across one of those extensive flats which become more numerous the further you get upwards, until a trial of patience for two hours brings you to Simpson's. This is a little wattle-and-dab construction--a very rough kind of place after Hyde's, where everything is so clean and neat. Here you suffer, if at all delicate as to your skin, from the number of flies which abound on the Fish River, and which pester one most pertinaciously, especially at meal time, reminding you forcibly of the sufferings of Æneas on the shore of the Strophades.
Leaving Graham's Town at twelve, you get here easily by five o'clock, which allows you about one hour at Hyde's. horses get a good night's rest and plenty of forage, and off you start at break of day next morning. One of the greatest comforts of this climate is, that the nights are always cool, be the day never so hot, and your early rising is not proof against a great coat and a cup of hot coffee before starting. Across the river you begin the ascent of the Fish River Road (i.e. ridge), and a terrific ascent it is ; the road is very bad, indescribable and disgraceful, considering the very heavy road-rates which are yearly levied. The bush is not so dense, and here and there you see something more like a tree. It will take you an hour and a half to get over this mountain ridge, and then you proceed, over hill and dale, with occasional bits of disreputable roads to Jelliman's - usually reckoned three hours from Simpson's. Jelliman is an Englishman, formerly storeman in a Scotch warehouse in Tooley Street, and a very respectable, civil man. He has a large farm here, principally for sheep and cattle ; and his house affords accommodation to travellers along the road. Like Simpson's, it is a wattleand-dab building, and swarms with flies, and is not remarkable for a cleanly appearance, - attributable, in a great measure, to the dirty, slovenly habits of his vrau (wife), a woman of Dutch extraction. You are thankful to find yourself here, however, and you satisfy the cravings of nature by a substantial breakfast. Your horses, too, get a couple of bundles of forage, a good rub down, and plenty of water. Man and beast being refreshed by an hour's tarry here, you set off again, and drive along an almost flat country, at this season, and after a drought like the present, particularly uninteresting, wearisome, and as barren looking as can well be imagined. You outspan, after three hours' trot, on the banks of a small river, called the Guba, in a hole in the bend of which is water, at which you water your horses. Just about here, the country is fine, thickly covered with the Mimosa of large size. After rains, the patches of karoo, which lie between the hills and mountains, enriched as they are by the disintegration 'of the calcareous rocks of which these mountains are composed, are often carpeted with heather and flowers
of the most diversified and beautiful hues. But then this beauty is transient ; a single week suffices to dissipate all its glory. The colours of the flowers fade, the sun withers up the herbage, the winds scatter it, and spots lately so pleasing, speedily assume the embrowned and sterile appearance of the desert. The uplands and hills, however, though stony, and in parts scattered over with large boulders, retain their verdure much longer, and, in general, afford good and sufficient pasturage for the flocks and herds of the inhabitants. Having rested here in all the glory of complete loneliness, monarch apparently of all you survey, you resume your journey, and keep on driving away till you cross the Baviaan's River-a deep, broad-bedded river, whose banks are prettily shaded by the weeping willow. Just the other side this river (which is now quite dry) is a brick-and-mortar neat little cottage belonging to Field-Cornet Stokes, a civil, intelligent, and extensive sheep-farmer. Hereabouts the road begins to get disgustingly bad, and you begin to feel that you are ascending. In front is a lofty range of mountains, the Kaga range, which you puzzle yourself to imagine how you will cross. The road, however winds round the base, through a beautiful valley,' and just as the actual ascent begins, you see the “ Daggaboer Inn, by S. T. James,” a large castle-looking edifice with two or three horels à l'Irlandaise around it, and several kraals in which are large flocks of sheep and cows. Had I not known that two miles further up, on the summit of the mountain, a new house was now open, I should have had to put up here ; but I was the more disposed to push on to the new inn, where I was assured I should get plenty of forage for ту horses, and with a very spare allowance of which I should have had to be satisfied here.
I passed Mr. James's inn, and climbed up to the new inn, kept by one Trollip, and after nine hours' driving, you may imagine I was as glad as were my poor nags, to reach this truly comfortable and English house. The house itself is a substantial stone edifice, with stabling and outhouses complete ; and all the internal arrangements are handsomely finished and in unison, even to door-plates and polished fire-irons. There is not such another house all the way up from Graham's Town to the Orange River, the colonial boundary. The people are exceedingly civil and obliging, and the cleanliness and elegance of every thing for the table and bed-room make you feel quite at home. The charges are moderate, and no more than you have to pay at the other little canteen places previously passed. You have, arrived here, broken the neck of the journey, and your next day's journey being but a short one, you can afford to start a little less early next day. Leaving Trollip's it is as gradual a descent as it was to reach his house an ascent, and when fairly on the level again, you rattle along for about eight miles, and then get into the New Road, which brings you direct into Cradock. This is a remarkably fine piece of road, and what is a very unusual thing here is, that for a great proportion of its length it iš as straight as an It is a great improvement over the old line, which was not only
in a very bad state of repair, but crossed the Fish River twice, and the Rice River once. By the new line all these nasty drifts are avoided, and you have but the Tago River to cross once.
In going up to Cradock I mistook the turning point into this road, and made a detour of about half an hour extra round “ Blau Kraus, a lofty mountain of the Tago range. By this route I passed the farm of one Anthony Lombard, a Dutchman of considerable substance. I experienced much civility from this man, at whose house I stayed upwards of an hour. Here I found one of those worthies acting as schoolmaster amongst the Dutch,—an Englishman, and an exact type of those countrymen you see in different parts of old England, whose vocation is the trap-catching of moles. The old father here could not understand why I did not exchange the customary greeting amongst Africanders of a shake of the hand with this man, and finally insisted that we should be made friends, as he would have no enemies meet at his house and remain so. We were therefore obliged to explain our custom, although we readily complied with his request to shake each other by the hand. After perambulating his garden and satisfying all his inquiries to the best of my ability, as to the best way of cultivating different things, my friend the schoolmaster introduced me to his pupils, and showed me the results of their labours. He had some half-dozen dirty little children, including one or two of a neighbouring farmer's, who were all learning English, and already appeared to have made some progress. They were learning to read and spell, and their copy and arithmetic books certainly gave signs of considerable diligence on the parts of his pupils, and pains-taking on his. Altogether I was much pleased to find even so fecble an attempt at disseminating English education amongst these rude people, though I could have wished that a more rigid example of British cleanliness, order, and regularity, had been insisted on. Leaving this Lombard's I drove on * to his brother's, two hours further off, one Hans Lombard. This is a regular Dutch farm ; the building large, but only the principal room (a kind of dining hall) of any size, mud floors, and sundry ruins, whipsticks, and lots of wagon-gear here and there. Here I found a conclave of Boers all "jolly," dram drinkiny, smoking, and talking very vehemently together. They raised a laugh at my expense on my friend Hans declining to shake hands with me because I had my glove on, and not to take which off is considered by them as an affront. I, however, assured him there was no such intention on my part, and having taken it off
, I gave him a cordial “grouting” with “ mein schone hand,” which fully satisfied him. I stayed here a full halfhour and satisfied the curiosity of the whole party by telling them of myself, family, and friends, and answering all their inquiries about the price of meal, &c. &c. at “Graham stad.” I met with no further adventures, and got safe to Cradock at sundown, of which I will now give you a brief account.
This little village is situated on the left bank of the Fish River, and, like all other African settlements, at the foot of a mountain. It is of Dutch origin ; and many of its houses are of Dutclì style, long
buildings containing one large-sized room and several smaller ones, with a good stoep in front, and the gardens stocked with vines, peach and other fine fruit-trees. The village is supplied with water by means of water-furrows along the sides of the streets, which receive their share of the supply on stated days from the reservoir, a large dam constructed two or three miles above the village. Originally it consisted of one long sandy street upwards of a mile in extent ; of late years, however, it has increased in population, and another street parallel to the old one is laid out, and almost entirely built up. The number of inhabitants is about 500, a less amount than
would imagine it contained from a bird's-eye view of it. The situation of Cradock as an entrepôt is exceedingly valuable and important, and it is therefore a place of considerable trade, and one likely to become still more so as the up country, the Orange River Sovereignty especially, becomes more settled and populous. The character of its mercantile people is not, however, very high,-its trade being conducted by adventurers and speculators, whose principle is to do business on
Hence the usually heavy civil roll at assizes, and the frequency of insolvencies. The staple for export is wool, for which the shopkeepers will give as much as 13d. per lb., and then transmit it here for resale at 8d. or 9d., they must therefore stock their unfortunate customers with goods at an exorbitant price, and defraud them in the weight of the bales. This kind of traffic was at one time common all over the frontier, it being a common notion that it was fair play to cheat an ignorant Africander, or a poor Hottentot. I be-. lieve Cradock is the only place where the system is still practised, to any extent at all events. It is a place with which few of the merchants here or elsewhere care to have any thing to do.
As regards religion, it is provided for by a large rude cruciform building, with churchyard around it, belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church, under the service of the Rev. J. Taylor. There is also a neat little Wesleyan chapel, under the charge of a Mr. Green, who is very popular and zealous ; and an Independent brick-built square edifice, principally for Coland folk, I believe, under Mr. R. B. Taylor, a son, I understand, of Mr. J. Taylor. The great time for the Dutch Church is always that of the quarterly administration of the Holy Communion (nachtmael), on which occasion large numbers of the farmers come into the village from the remote parts of the district, and “ the place assumes the appearance of a fair, rather than of an assemblage for the celebration of a solemn religious ordinance." But I was informed that there is a very good congregation on Sundays, and a regular attendance at the Independent conventicle. The Wesleyites, however, have the supremacy amongst the English population, partly by reason of there having been no provision (until within the last nine months) for the members of our own communion, and partly by reason of the pulpit eloquence of their leader. Happily, now we have a priest there, the Rev. S. Gray, who has a small congregation of about forty, assembling temporarily in the Court House, and the time-honoured services of our Church are now regularly