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and which are the curses of the South Mealies are the chief food of the Kafirs, African race - firearms, including gun. but they rejoice at an occasional opporpowder, and spirits. The former restric- tunity of feasting off a tough “ trek” ox tion is rigidly enforced, both wholesale —no matter if it has died from natural and retail, and has done much to diminish causes-albeit their glimmering of religious the recklessness of bloodshed which is the superstition forbids them the use of animal invariable characteristic of all savage food. They loathe fish as we should loathe tribes. Even when I landed at Durban eating a snake ; but, on the other hand, an official instantly snatched up my gun, their fancies for certain tit-bits run in a and ere I could recover it I had fully to curious direction. One afternoon a spray satisfy the civil custom-house superintend- of glittering green foliage is brought to ent as to my identity and bona fides. At me, from whence are depending the most Pietermaritzburg I succeeded in obtaining enormous caterpillars I have ever seen in a small quantity of powder only through my life, as thick as my thumb, and twice the special order of a magistrate, to whom as long, -fat green fellows, studded with I was called on to declare that I required small sparkling scales. The little Zulu girl it merely for sporting purposes. The from whom they had been obtained wept amount so authorized is limited, I believe, because “ we had taken away her food.” to 10 lb. in twelve months to one appli- I fatly declined to try a caterpillar or two, cant. Unhappily the law is occasionally whereupon a native eagerly selects a couple evaded by the criminal greed of whites, of the finest, pinches off their tails, manipchiefly from the Cape Colony, some of ulates glove-fashion the wriggling creatures whom occupy a high social status, and one with the other, frizzles them before who have succeeded in baffling the utmost the fire, and finally daintily devours the efforts of the Natal authorities, and in es nauseous morsel, with the lingering enjoytablishing a regular traffic through a secret ment of an English schoolboy eating a fine route called “the Gun Runner's Pass.” fresh strawberry.
As regards the prohibition of the sale Close at hand was “ Bond's Drift,” the of liquor to the natives, even anti-total ab- ferry across the Tugela connecting the stinence opinions inust rejoice that the law Natal and Zululand roads ; and here I enis here generally successful, though of countered an occasional European teamster, course it is evaded in some out-of-the-way or a farmer, or a ferryman, or a Governplaces by miscreants who, for the sake of ment messenger, or a doctor, of whom a few sovereigns, perpetrate an evil-doing three or four are dotted about, at distances perhaps as great as is within the power of of thirty or forty miles apart. They form man to commit. Let it be remembered a pleasing contrast to the loafing specimens that with savages drink means, not detri- of the same class in the more populous ment, but downright destruction and parts of South Africa, who seem to assume death. In the Transvaal they are permit- that a worthless fellow in England is inted to buy, at almost a nominal price, as stantly levelled up to a valuable member of much as they please. They toss it down a colony the moment he disembarks. like water, and the slaughtering results are These Zululand strays, however rough in appalling. Never once during my sojourn dress and off hand in address, are frein Zululand did I see a drunken savage ; quently stamped with certain characterisand possibly this atmosphere of general tics of gentlemen, leading to the deduction sobricty may have influenced even the that they have been drafted from a far European hard drinkers. Total abstinence higher community than their present avoadvocates may be interested in hearing that cations would imply, and that they are proprietors of drinking-stores declare the bravely battling against adverse fortune. I amount of ginger-ale consumed has of late came across a strange specimen of an agent become amazing, even among white labor- for an American life insurance company, ers toiling under the glare of an almost who, with an amusingly scanty equipment tropical sun.*
in his saddle-bags, was riding hundreds of
miles through these wilds on the chance of * Though wandering from my subject, I can. Dot forbear mentioning that, during the re- a bag of oatmeal, which, stirred up in small cent intense Cape heat, the gunner parties quantities in water, is eagerly drunk, effectemployed in the formidable labor of mounting ually quenches thirst, and affords a singular 23-ion guns have daily taken out with them amount of support.
picking up a chance subscriber. Enter- intrusted to them certain measures and prise could hardly go further.
messages consequent on his approaching My companion was desirous of visiting death-he had left a young wife in Engthe grave of a relation who bad died in land-and added in dying accents, with a this neighborhood during the Zulu war; dying smile : “Now I must make a last and one sweltering morning we betake quotation, and I do not think you fellows ourselves to Fort Pearson, seven miles dis- will chaff me this time—Dulce et detant, where once were concentrated so coruin est pro patriâ mori'”—and so slept much national attention and so many pri- into the dawn of that eternal day which vate sorrows, but now lost in a weird soli- fools call death. tude which is almost oppressive.
We Musing in profound reverie on the found the old earthworks easily enough, coincidence which had brought the halfand their very outline spoke volumes. No forgotten story face to face with my formulated scarps, bastions, or banquettes : chance visit to the subject's solitary grave merely a gradation of rough parapets in the wilds of South Africa, I am startled hastily thrown up under the stress of peril, almost out of my skin by a deep organand trending one above the other toward sound,“ Ha-a.a,” at my elbow. A Zulu the apex of the highest hills. Our enemy had noiselessly crept up to me, and utterwas numerous as the hosts of Sennacherib, ing this wonted note of respectful greetbut unskilled as the ancient Britons ; and ing, with his right hand raised high over truly an antiquarian Oldbuck might declare his head in salute, and his left grasping the rude trace an intrenchment of some an assegai and a knob-kerry, he stood prehistoric nation until deceived by a motionless and splendidly stalwart, like a Zulu's declaration, “ I mind the bigging carved statue of the ideal noble savage. of it."
Pointing to a brass badge on his arm, inLong and fruitless, however, was our scribed“ Zulu Tugela Patrol," in token search for the grave, during which we of amity, he made signs that he could only just escaped treading on a monstrous show us another resting-place of our counreptile-until at last we hap upon a small trymen, and led us to a second enclosure "God's acre" enclosed with barbed fenc- as neat as the first, where I counted sixty ing, and marked by an exceptionally tall, graves of British soldiers, and where the gaunt euphorbia tree-a species of giant frequency of " died from fever” was a cactus. Thongh the spot is covered with more melancholy record than “ killed in beautifully tangled growth, it is in the action. same condition of careful delimitation as Game is plentiful in parts of Zululand, when left by the survivors eleven years but circumstances prevented my undertakago. Conspicuous among thirteen ing any shooting expeditions. I can only graves, marked by simple wooden crosses, state that about the Tugela veldt are is a plain white tombstone, whereon we abundance of partridges and quail in searead that Captain Wynne, R.E., here son, alligators are numerous in the river, died of fever in 1879, and the text, “I and monkeys swarm in the woods. I believe in the resurrection of the body.” witnessed the exceedingly revolting sight Stay ; here are some more words blurred of the skinning of four of our “poor reby sun and climate : “Dulce et decorum lations," the slaughter of which is only est pro patriâ mori''—and there flashes just saved from being wanton cruelty in across my recollection the pathetic circum- that their pelts are not entirely without stances I had heard many years ago value. specially accounting for this quotation The facilities for locomotion in England from Horace.
-where at Clapham we are “right for In the midst of the toil, the sickness, Earlscourt and Kensington ; change bere and the fighting of the campaign, Wynne for Constantinople and Jericho," - obused to elicit the friendly chaff of his scures in the minds of stay-at-homes the comrades by his persistency in classical constant and foremost difficulty of accomquotations. One day he too was stricken plishing point to point distances in savage by that fatal malaria which played such countries. Very gladly, therefore, do we havoc among our men. After a few avail ourselves of the opportunity of a hours, feeling that his end was at hand, four-muled cart to convey us to Eshowe, he sent for some of his brother officers, thirty miles in the interior of Zululand.
Our route, the sole one within an exten perience of natives, there is nothing dirty sive area of country, is little more than a or disgusting ; the Zulus are singularly track, unmetalled, unfenced, and un cleanly in their habits. The unlighted drained. Yet the amount of labor which interior is sombre and pungent with the the Colonial Government has wisely be- smoke, for which no exit is provided, of stowed on it has been considerable. Here the cooking fuel ; but the few household and there a slight cutting or an elementary goods are neatly arranged. The floor, embankment has been effected, the big hardened with the invaluable mixture of gest of the big boulders have been shoved mud-and-water, is tidily swept, and there aside, and the most advantageous curves is not a sign of nasty débris within or up and down the nearly mountainous without. The native mind is characterized heights have been rudely indicated. By by a curious incapacity to imagine any this rough-and-ready method of civiliza- shape beyond a circle, and consequently tion, communication, hitherto impractica- the kraals are enclosed in an annulus, with ble, has been opened up, and has facili a flimsy outside fencing and an inside tated the introduction into a barbarous paling where the cattle are penned. Each country of the blessings—I admit the group forms the headquarters of a family, curses likewise-of the nineteenth cen- comprising perhaps two or three generatury. In the Transvaal and the Orange tions. Free State I saw no instances on a parallel A Kafir provides himself with two or scale of this beneficent road-making. more wives, each of whom insists on hav
The general aspect of the Zulu country ing her separate tenement ; and though it is that of evenly rolling mountains, occa is stated that the husband maintains strict sionally dotted with brilliant red-sand discipline in his little harem, traits of patches, and generally covered with rich woman nature assert themselves with perturf, which is beautiful in its emerald sistent irrepressibility. Here is a digni. green during the rainy season, but which fied-looking savage stalking in front ; close in course of time produces a sense of at his heels steps his tall young wife, with monotony in the horizon. Yet, when we the perfect grace of women accustomed to come to details, we find under our very carry pitchers of water on their beads, and eyes plenty to charm. In the lower lands with all the haughty coquetry of conscious the view is relieved by innumerable thorn- beauty; far behind trudges the poor old bushes—a source of treasure to the natives, mate of early years, ugly, bowed, and as constituting their only fuel. The twist- broken, and seeming mutely to implore ing water-courses—there are no navigable forbearance from her successful rival. rivers—mark out streaks of lovely though The maternal instinct appears to be more rank vegetation, where are mingled tall strongly developed among the Zulus than grasses, enormous ferns, waving palms, is usual with savages. The women toil in graceful bamboos, and gaunt euphorbias ; the sun or walk for miles with infants and out of the tangled masses start many carefully slung behind their backs. I nobrilliantly plumaged birds, which, how- ticed in one small settlement a multitude ever, are songless, in disadvantageous con of eighty or ninety mothers assembled for trast to the sober-hued prima donnas of the enforced vaccination of children, and our English copses.
although a tax of 6d. per head is levied, Zululand is not a fishing country, and the natives recognize the blessings of the the numerous stagnant pools are only ten- process with an intelligent gratitude which anted by coarse fish, scarcely worth catch- would put Leicester to shame. The chating. Here and there are plots seldom tering, the petting, and pride of this black more than half an acre in extent of luxuri- baby-show was very amusing ; their ant mealies, cultivated by women, to whom charges were singularly bright and forthe Zulus habitually relegate field labor. ward ; but, characteristically of savages, More curious than aught else are the kraals this precocious development is suddenly -clusters of ten or twelve bee-hive-shaped arrested at an early age. Would that 1 wattle-and-daub dwellings, without win- could speak their language ! It is of dow or chimney, and for a door a mere Italian harmony, and so easily acquired aperture through which the inhabitants that most of the English officers have can just manage to crawl. Peer inside, picked up a smattering of it. Its pecuhowever, and, contrary to the usual ex- fiarity is three sorts of curious clicks
uttered with the tongue, and increasing in est, honorable native becomes, in deplofrequency in proportion to the excitement rably numerous cases, the drunken, lying, of the speaker. An angry Kafir will set thievish convert. The local British adminto work ticking like "Grandfather's istration tries gradually to check polygamy clock."
by ignoring in law cases the right to more The physique of the men is the perfec- than one wife ; but certain well-meaning tion of manly strength and symmetry. though ill-judging zealots urge on naTall, muscular, and well knit, their hair- tives the paramount necessity of instantly less bodies are of beautifully rich mahogany abandoning the sin of plurality. “What !" brown, resembling that of a polished, old- argues the indignant Colenso-Kafir; fashioned dining-room table. Their hands. “ cast adrift into suffering two or more and feet, their legs and arms, are the per- faithful women, who have ever been good fection of shape ; their every movement is and harmless! Is that the love and mercy graceful ; and when they spring forward of your Christianity ?”' at a run, they irresistibly recall the sculp Our thirty miles' journey takes us over tured attitudes of athletes in a Roman the ground of that fighting which culcircus. The young women are equally minated at Ginginhlovo. Only eleven well endowed bodily ; but the matrons are years ago every thicket and ravine, every absolutely repulsive to European eyes, kloof and donga, was regarded as possibly owing to what I may euphemistically de- harboring a horde of warriors who might scribe as their portentous development of sweep us off the face of their land as sudthe maternal fount. As for the features denly and effectually as at Isandhlwana. of all, men, women, and children, keep Now these same patriots recognize our your eyes off them, lest the spell of bodily superior strength, and honorably fulfil the grace be broken. To our white prejudices conditions of amity. They even respect they are agly as only negroes can be ugly, our men’s graves—a wooden cross undistheir sole redeeming feature being regular turbed marks the place where an English pearly teeth. Rarely does so favorable soldier "lies taking his rest ;" and the opportunity offer itself of studying the few Zulus we meet, formidable-looking human form. The men are content to with their glittering, tightly grasped twist round their loins a rag about as small assegais, salute us with their sonorous as a small pocket-handkerchief, the women “Ha-a-a,” and the hand extended high wear a little more, but the children are above the head. absolutely in their “birthday suits.” The sparseness of the population is strik
Here comes in a puzzling missionary ing in view of the fertility of the soil, but consideration. The chastity of the Zulu miles may be traversed without encounterwomen is proverbial, and any infraction ing a single wayfarer, and with only an of it in their native state is punished with occasional lad tending a few cattle. With Draconian severity. The young girl stands startling suddenness the scene changes from calmly before one, naked, innocent, and solitary savagedom to the familiar scene not ashamed. One of the first steps at- of a British detachment, with its redtending her conversion is to induce her to coated sentries, its fatigue-parties of put on a petticoat, and with a petticoat twenty men performing with military she frequently puts on the worst form of pomp the work of a single navvy, and its female vice. For the first time she is cook's mates conveying the soldier's tanght to realize the meaning of indecency. “sealed pattern" dinner ration, consistSee yonder two white-garbed girls in the ing of wads of beef and piles of potatoes vicinity of a mission station. At a dis- swimming in stiff gravy, tance I take them for European children, Eshowe, the harmonious Kafir imitabut as they approach I discover them to tion of the wind soughing over the veldt, be native converts, no longer of guileless “sh h-h-o-e,'* is adjacent to the fort so simplicity, but mincing, ogling, and smirk- long held by Charles Pearson, and which ing in true Haymarket fashion. Alas, we have thought fit to pronounce Eēkotoo, for the bewildering difficulties attend- a parallel to our transforming “San ant on Christianizing the men ! The sour Looarn" into Isandhlwana. It is now proverbial saying, “ Danger ! none at all ; there is not a Christian within 100 miles,' * Like Phædrus's “ tintinnabulum," repreis dishearteningly true. The sober, hon- senting the tinkling of a mule's bells.
held as an outpost against improbable Zulu equipped in guernseys, cord breeches, hostilities and probable Boer marauding ; “putties”-i.e., lengths of blue serge and here four companies of the Royal wound round the legs---stout shoes with Scots a hundred miles from their head. hunting spurs, and helmets washed in the quarters at Maritzburg, though left entirely local yellow clay instead of in pipeclay. to their own resources, manage to live hap- Indeed, though I admit the dress to be pily and healthily, and to maintain their thoroughly suitable, I would urge that the efficiency as soldiers. The men are lodged wearers bear a little too much the appearin primitive huts, and the officers in dwell ance of rustics. “ Fine feathers make fine ings which are little more than windowed birds," and some little addendum made and doored kraals, and in one of which I to decoration would tend to attract the was for days hospitably put up. Of course admiration of women, without which men it was furnitureless, but in this country have little admiration for themselves. and climate furniture is a superfluity; and They are armed with the ordinary rifle of course I was in constant association and sword-bayonet, and carry, bandolierwith cockroaches, beetles, and spiders, but wise, an ample supply of ammunition. here no one heeds entomological speci- My appreciation is doubled the moment mens, and the healthiness of the life and they begin to work in the field. Their the interest of the situation constituted riding is of a dashing nature. Regardless charms which would render one a willing of unexpected anthills and treacherous absentee for a time from the worries and chasms, they gallop with such reckless bickerings of civilization. The command- speed that it was not easy to keep up with ing officer had established bis family in a them. “No use to attempt to steer your group of three or four kraals, which the horse over this break-neck country, taste of the English lady had made almost marked the officer ; “ you must trust to attractive. Another officer, spurred on to the clever instinct of these animals, which, emulation, was baking his sunbricks and as a rule, will carry you safely when elsebuilding his mansion with his own hands. where 20 per cent would be rolling on the Others would wander about shooting, or ground." Their extending and skirmishexplore the veldt, or play lawn-tennis or ing, their aptitude for selecting cover, at cricket with the men, who, if they their rapid mounting and dismounting, lacked excitement, also lacked incentive to their rallying into laager with horses in crime. Some trouble has been taken to centre-in fact, their energy, skill, and add the graces of civilization 10 this little speed-constitute them the beau-ideal of settlement, complete in its fort, its horse- mounted infantry. Above all, they have lines, its Gatling-guns, its commissariat evaded the tempting snare of lapsing into and its other departmental offices. The mongrel cavalry. There are many military officers' kraals and the men's hnts are sur features connected with soldiering in Zulurounded with small gardens blossoming in land on which I long to expatiate-such the midst of the untilled veldt. Flowers as the tactics of our infantry, the equipand vegetables grow with hothouse ment of our cavalry, the employment of rapidity ; creepers and shrubs are a mass machine-guns, and the best nature of artilof bloom ; bananas and bamboos wavelery ; but I deem it best to abstain—for their graceful foliage all over the camp ; the present. and in one small spot I counted about fifty I was invited to inspect the headquarters old pine-heads which had been carelessly detachment of the native police under thrust into the ground, and which, with- Captain Mansel, * who formerly saw much out further care, were now in full promise service in Bolivia, subsequently greatly of luxuriant fruit-bearing.
distinguished himself during the Zulu Two out of the four companies present war, and now exercises the authority of an are composed of mounted infantry, and it autocratic chief over his native followers. would be difficult to find a body of men About eighty splendid Zulus were drawn more workmanlike and keen in their avo up on parade in a mathematical line, and cation. Their horses, fed on mealies and notwithstanding the sweltering sun and the on the fat pasture of the veldt, are admir swarms of tormenting insects, they stood able in build, size, and handiness; their so extraordinarily motionless, so absolutely saddlery is simple and strong, without being over-weighty. The
* Just nominated C.M.G.