« VorigeDoorgaan »
the place and the stables and outhouses less cheery, more puritanical and staid. in its rear. We enter a voorhuis, or front His ancestors .came from France and room, very lofty and but slightly fur- Holland, but in this wondrous climate nished. Its walls are lined by benches, of the Cape, perchance for animal life and a table stands in the middle. There the finest under the sun, their offspring are pictures, it may be, very quaint and have developed into a race sui generis, old world ; scenes in the life of the Pro- nobly grown and quite unlike the typical digal Son, or limnings of the Manger at Hollander or Frenchman. We converse Bethlehem, or the Cross on Calvary. A in Dutch, the only language he cares to new piano may be noted, and a good speak, although his children are apt harmonium, and pious books with Dutch scholars in the English tongue, and bytitles lie scattered about. And there are and-by he takes us into his garden. flowers on table and on mantelpiece, A shady place this is, with groves of photographs and albums, for there are peach trees, apricots, and almonds, a daughters in the house. In some place stray apple-tree here and there, and of honor lies a great old Bible, a massive pears, walnuts, and nectarines, all in exfolio bound in leather and with brass cellent bearing. Here a vineyard, there clasps ; it is printed in foreign-looking a patch of tall Indian corn rising far over type on ancient-looking paper, and full
At our feet a wilderness of of the strangest pictures that ever de- gourds and water-melons-a veritable lighted the antiquary or mystified the garden of cucumbers." There are child. A companionable book upon a white-hearted cabbages which would fill dull occasion, but disappointing, inas- a bucket, and cauliflowers that would much as its date discovers it to have been puzzle a boiler to cook them ; enormous printed but the other day. Spittoons potatoes and carrots large as our manstud this chamber's floor, for it is the gold-wurzel. Scarcely a weed to be
. great reception-room, and visitors sit seen ; the ground was a desert before round it and smoke their pipes at times ‘the water came there, and grows only and seasons of conference and waiting ; what is planted there by man. Twice and many such times there be.
weekly the place is carefully flooded, At the back of this voorhuis is the din- and our friend rises in the middle of the ing-room, entered by large and even night for one of these hebomadal spells handsome folding doors. In both apart- of water leading. The region is herements the walls are painted light blue, abouts too cold for oranges, but in many or green, or mauve ; in both the ceiling a district from Capetown to the far is raftered and wooden, varnished and Transvaal these beautiful and fruitful dark. The great feature of the dining- trees lend a romance and pleasantness room, apart from the usual furnishings, of their own to the orchards of the is a small table near the window, with a Boers. chair on either side. Upon this table The poorer Boer lives in a humbler stands a coffee urn with chafing-dish be- dwelling, with floors of hardened mud neath it ; and the day has scarcely consolidated by frequent washings of turned before this urn begins to steanı liquid cow-dung. His rooms are ceiled and to bubble. On its dexter side is with reeds laid cunningly on rough beans seated the lady of the house, who pours of yellow-wood. The attic beneath his out coffee for all comers, and, with feet comfortable thatch is a very storehouse well planted on a box-like footstool, of vegetable products, dried and housed rules and manages
her household. for winter use. His furniture is ruder Children play around her, a colored girl and of hɔme construction. His walls sits watchful at her feet, and at favorable are whitewashed, and in shelved recessmoments her lord and master occupies es stand favorite pieces of crockery, the corresponding chair, utters familiar mysterious bottles, and well-thumbed maxims and remarks, and his friend, sit- books of devotion. He spends his leisting hard by, carries on an intermittent ure in making boots of untanned leather, conversation between wary mouthfuls of which he sews together with the sinews the scalding beverage. He is a well- of animals which he has previously prebuilt man, not unlike the English farmer pared for the purpose ; and in mending of our early days, but more sallow and the bottoms of his chairs and benches
with leather thongs he has also manufac- amined, and the culprit was regularly tured to that end.
tried and condemned. In the Boers we have the remarkable Church and people being thus identispectacle of a nation holding but one re- cal, the first-class undenominational ligion, strict conformity to which is es- school is really a very denominational sential to respectability of any sort; institution indeed. The head-master while the devotee or active professor with his £350 a year, the head-mistress alone can hope for social leadership with her £200 or more (a young lady among them.
In the district of which from Capetown, who is sure to be perour village is the only town there are suaded into matrimony by some ardent three thousand souls. On the occasion and eligible bachelor, almost before the of a revival some years since, a religious year is out), and their subordinates, are paper stated there were but fifty persons managed and chosen to all intents and of the number who had not been con- purposes by the Dutch congregation and verted. The district was founded in its leaders. Nor could it well be otherorder to support a place of worship, and wise. To the Boer stripling, even to the village is known technically as a the Boer child, school-going is a passion “ Church town.” A scoffing European -a relief, it may be, from the monotony suggested it should bear a kirk rampant of home. Holidays are deplored, and for its coat of arms. Nine thousand the end of a vacation is hailed with depounds were expended on the church light. Dullards there are, of course, but and parsonage.
The former much re- some of the pupils make admirable progsembles a dissenting chapel, but is digni- ress. Some aspire to the ministry, and fied by steeple and bell, and by a town the University of Capetown is besieged by clock which strikes the hours. At the eager candidates from the haunts of the cost of £500 and more an organ was springbok and the ostrich. Young girls added. The purchase was made in too, some very sweet and lovable, more Germany. At a cost of £200, again, the enthusiastic than their brothers, proceed building was lighted with hanging lamps. to local examinations, and pass with The parsonage-pastorie is the local word éclat. Learning is the fashion, and a - large, low, convenient, and handsome, good one ; and the professions begin to stands in a garden, with lone vine-roofed teem with scions of Boer houses who have walkes and peaches of admirable flavor. sought pursuits more ambitious and The Dutch minister or Predikant-often eventful than the watching of harvests or a man of good Cape family who has the herding of sheep. studied at Utrecht or at Leyden-is the The colored people have a minister spiritual leader and director of his flock, and a chapel to themselves, nominally subject only to the mild and hesitating autonomous, but practically managed control of his deacons and his elders. and mostly paid for by the Boers. Their No English rector enjoys a higher social services are more emotional and often status. A bishop of Grahamstown, wit- more interesting than those of their pale- . nessing the comfort and the unlimnited faced masters. Their minister is a kind influence of such an one, ejaculated of curate, socially inferior to the Predialmost unconsciously, “You are little kant of the Boer congregation ; nor is he Popes."
Not only are the ministers permitted to ascend the pulpit of the great men, but ecclesiastical discipline white man's church. He, too, has his reigns supreme. Wue to the unlucky elders, deacons, and church wardenscouple who have married too tardily for Kafirs, Hottentots, or the mixed deabsolute propriety, to the young man scendants of Malay slaves. Now these who has been sowing wild oats, or to the poor negroes have a passion for religious jolly old fellow who has taken a glass too worship and for school. You will see much ! One and all are hauled up before men and women seated among the chilthe Consistory, in full conclave assem- dren, slate in hand ; boys and girls give bled, and publicly censured and pun- up everything for their lessons. Servants ished. An accused person whom the will desert you at the school-hour and Solicitor-General had refused to prose- neglect their duties to con their spellingcute for lack of evidence was summoned books. The tyranny of some of their before the Kerkraad, witnesses were ex- teachers is almost worthy of a School Board, but it is backed by the scholars bone of municipal contention, if contenthemselves, and the much-enduring em- tion there be in so peaceful and united ployer of labor has only to grin and bear an assembly, is the control of the water it as best he can.
supply. A special contractor keeps in Foremost among the local magnates is working order the trench or canal which the wealthy landowner-a Boer, as are conveys a stream some two miles long all the up-country landowners, but whose from the higher level of the distant river intelligence, hospitality, and common- bed ; a stream on which depends the sense would be a credit to any nation- very existence of the town. Unpleasant ality. He owns a first-class house in the for this functionary it is when the watertown, which he inhabits on Sundays, course, which winds sometimes along hillcoming on the Saturday with his entire sides and sometimes in deep cuttings, family and riding off again on the Mon- becomes choked with sand, or breaks its day ; a house which rivals his country banks, or gets too palpably full of frogs residence in the excellence of its furni- and weeds. The public are aggrieved, ture and appointments. All kinds of and it is easier to worry a subordinate people call to ask his advice or his assist- than to have it out with a drought or a ance, to do business or to evidence their water flood. . Then there is a pound, friendship. All drink his coffee, shake filled sometimes with stray cattle, and hands round the circle of his family, and there are rather lively sales when the said call him “uncle” or “cousin" as the cattle remain unclaimed. Gangs, too, case may be ; and with show of reason of prisoners have to be superintended, too, for the district is peopled by his who clean and level the streets and conkindred. The town is filled with such struct earthworks and dams. A municihouses, whose closed shutters have a pality, slow but honest, of well-to-do dreary aspect all the rest of the week. middle-class men, untroubled by the Such a rushing and plunging of horse- warfare of politicians or the hectoring of men, a rumbling of wagons drawn by demagogues. trains of oxen, a whirling of tented carts, Such ihen, is a Boer village from Anas Saturday comes round; such buying guillas to Kuruman, from Capetown to and selling in the stores ; such throngs the Portuguese frontier. In some the of men and women in the streets, where European population is much larger ; in grass would grow at other times if the some anti-English feeling is more ingrowth of grass were possible in such a tense. In the Transvaal Republic the desert ; such crowded services at church; Landrost took the place of the Resident such crowded and hearty prayer meet. Magistrate, Dutch was the language of ings ; such pleasant converse at those the Government as well as of the people, evening gatherings on the stoeps; such and the negroes were more palpably an thrilling love passages between the young inferior and subject race ; but there the and such cordial greetings among the distinction ended. English communities old ; such fuss, noise, sensation, and life of any size are only to be met with in as we have long forgotten in these old the coast districts around Algoa Bay, in and jaded communities of Europe. Natal, and at the Diamond Fields.
The local supervision of the township British rule is fairly tolerated, if we exis intrusted to a municipality, founded cept the older divisions about Capetown on European traditions and provided and the widespread settlements beyond with regulations which have had the pre- the Orange River—and there we are hatvious sanction of the Government. ed with a hatred that affects no concealHere again the members, from the Chair- ment. The causes of this dislike are not man to the Town Clerk, are Boers and far to seek. We govern an alien race Africanders. The large town lands are who hunger for the mastery. In their admirably managed. No one can quarry eyes England is represented by the unstone or dig sand without a license. sympathizing stranger, the drunken Each householder is allowed to departure navvy, or the quasi-aristocrat whose arso many sheep, horses, or oxen, and no rogant puppyism has made us a by-word more. Special laws are enacted respect the whole world over. Their Church, ing ostriches and pigs. Sanitary require with its pulpits filled by pastors trained ments are not forgotten. But the great in the Universities of Holland, or by the pupils of these men, is a propaganda, statesmanlike elaboration planted angry passive it may be, of anti-English senti- Republics at our very doors. It was like ment. Stern Puritans of the Cromwell- the creation of another Ireland. To ian type, and the children of baffled these new governments disaffected coloslaveowners, they deem the negro a nists have ever turned their eyes. When veritable Canaanite, doomed to the hew- the Transvaal started into active life uning of wood and the drawing of water to der the leadership of an enthusiastic and the end of time. This dream, so dear to imaginative President, and made alliances their hearts, we have rudely broken. with the Continental powers, Boer and The savage, raw from his kraal, and the Africander alike looked forward to the cultured European, hedged about by day, now dawning upon their vision, moral restraints innumerable, are both when the strong young Commonwealth alike in the eyes of our Government. should wrest the Cape from the wavering The colored thief, vagrant, or laggard, grasp of England. The annexation smitten aforetime with over many stripes, crushed these hopes for a while. To rewe now tickle with punishments of far- store the independence of such a Recical mildness; and, legally speaking, public would be the renewal of a terrible the quondam slave is as good a man as blunder, postponing to a distant epoch his master. It is not difficult to con- the pacification and the advancing civiliceive how intolerable such a turning of zation of the whole land. The Cape the tables must have seemed to the Dominion we have been endeavoring to Boers, many of whom were ruined by the construct, when out of its tutelage, and process.
At a date so recent that some leavened sufficiently with English influof us can well remember it, thousands of ences, will form a noble country of the them sold their farms for anything they future. But no argument can be adduced could get, and crossed the Orange and for the premature independence of any the Vaal, if only to be rid of the hate. portion of it that is not equally appliful stranger. Shirking our responsibili- cable to all the white communities of ties, we gave them autonomy, and with Southern Africa. --Contemporary Review.
MADAME DE STAËL: A STUDY OF HER LIFE has not aimed at ; and his own contributions
AND TIMES. By Abel Stevens, LL.D. In to the record are confined for the most part to Two Volumes. With Portraits. New
intensifying the epithets of praise and to palYork: Harper & Bros.
liating or discrediting the faint hints at faultThose who go to Dr. Stevens' work expect finding which, in spite of his vigilance, someing to find a calm and careful study of Madame times creep into his quotations. When he de Staël's character, a detailed and dispassion cannot either commend or excuse, he maintains ate record of her life, or a critical estimate of that discreet silence which is said to be the her literary work, will be disappointed. In finest fruit of affection ; and no one would infer spite of the eminence of her position and the from his narrative that “Corinne's" eloquent number of her friends, the materials for a tributes to " love in marriage” were otherwise biography appear to be the reverse of copious; exemplified than in her relations to her two but however abundant and accessible they husbands, Baron de Staël and M. Rocca. To might have been, only one variety of them the grosser fascinations and complaisances would have answered Dr. Stevens's purposes. which drew some at least among the worshipNo one of her contemporaries was inspired by pers at the shrine of this “ greatest of literary Madame de Staël with a more infatuated and women," Dr. Stevens makes no faintest refer. uncritical admiration than that exhibited by ence ; and by reason of this, no doubt, his Dr. Stevens ; and his really praiseworthy in- book is free from objections which would have dustry has been expended chiefly upon the lain against any completer and more unbiassed effort to bring together every eulogistic phrase record. that has been inspired by her person, her con- Due allowance being made, however, for the versation, her “wrongs,” or her writings. biographer's partiality, the book is not without It is scarcely injustice to say that his “ study" value, and in parts, at least, is very readable. consists of the passages thus gathered. Any. The chapters on the Revolution, on Life at thing like independent opinion Dr. Stevens Coppet, and on the German travels, are par. ticularly interesting; and in general the author's can be done, as a general thing, is to make a skill in the use of his materials is to be com- few suggestions negatively, which may serve mended. The sketches of Madame de Staël's
as warnings against violations of certain elefather and mother, M. Necker, the statesman, mental canons of taste ; and to supplement and Madame Necker, Gibbon's early love, these with a few recommendations which may are more satisfactory than the more elaborate serve as indicators of the direction in which study of Madame de Staël herself ; and ani- the individual fancies should work. Miss mated pictures are given of the brilliant social Church's little book does about as much in circle which gathered around her alike at Paris both respects as discretion would justify, and and at Coppet.
both her warnings and her suggestions are in BUILDING A HOME. By A. F. Oakey. New
most cases judicious and helpful. The illusYork : D. Appleton & Co.
trations are much superior to what would nat
urally be expected in books of this character. How to FURNISH A HOME. By Ella Rodman Church. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
The ECLECTIC HISTORY OF THE UNITED
States. By M. E. Thalheimer. Cincinnati These little books are the initial numbers of
and New York: Van Antwerp, Bragg & Co. a series of new hand-volumes at low prices,
This little book exhibits the characteristic devoted to all subjects pertaining to home and
merits of Miss Thalheimer's work-competence the household,” to be known as Appletons' Home Books." Plain, practical, and service
of knowledge, clearness of statement, and able hints—a clear exposition of the elementary graphic animation of style. By transferring principles involved in each case-is what is
most of the personal and other details to notes
at the end of each chapter, she has managed to aimed at, rather than ästhetic disquisition ; and there can hardly be a doubt that the series
secure great compactness of treatment without will render valuable aid in guiding and matur
burdening her text with those arid tracts of
bald dates and facts which manuals of this sort ing that taste for household art which is one of the most unmistakable evidences of a widen
are apt to consist of for the most part. Par
ticularly good is her treatment of constitutional ing popular culture. Mr. Oakey treats his subject with the easy
questions, and helpful suggestions are given as
to the books which should be consulted by confidence of a master, and it is surprising how
those who desire further information on special much really helpful information about the choosing of a site for and the building of a
subjects or periods. Designed primarily for house he has managed to compress into his practical use as a text-book in school, the volsmall and copiously illustrated volume. Some
ume is properly equipped with questions, few of his crisp sentences should be memorized
tables, and maps. The latter are of especial
excellence, and the and used as maxims by those proposing to
numerous illustrations establish homes for themselves ; and there is
inake up in picturesque vigor for what they
lack in finish. scarcely a paragraph in the book without its practical lesson or implication. There is a TREATISE AND HANDBOOK OF ORANGE CULnoteworthy absence, too, of that cant of cul- TURE IN FLORIDA. By T. W. Moore, Fruit ture'' which is already producing a reaction
Cove, Florida. among those who prefer a rational to a senti- This compendious treatise, on a subject mental view of such matters ; and the volume which is every year attracting wider attention, contains nothing which will not be as helpful is recommended by the State Bureau of Immito the man who proposes to build a cottage as gration, and has every appearance of being to him who intends to erect an abode of written with both candor and knowledge. The wealth.”
author's experience as an orange-grower covers Miss Church's task was more complex if not a period of more than ten years, and his range more difficult. In matters of architecture, the of observation has included not only the whole principles of taste are closely involved in hon- of Florida, but nearly all the orange-producing esty of design and construction, and can be regions of Europe and America. His book formulated in a few general rules that are well furnishes the needed corrective to the exag. nigh universal in their application. In furnish- gerated and somewhat fantastic stories that ing a house, on the contrary, personal individ- interested parties now and then set afloat uality is all-important, and nothing which fails through the press ; and demonstrates — what to express this can be really tasteful in the every discriminating reader might readily have highest sense. This is why general rules in guessed — that in orange-growing, as in all such matters are so hard to construct, and must other occupations, success is the result, not of be so carefully qualified ; and the difficulty is blind chance, but of patient and well-directed not lessened by the infinite variety of the labor. There can be no doubt that many hunarticles and considerations that must enter into dreds of would-be orange-culturists have failed the furnishing of a house. The utmost that because they did not know the conditions and