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sea the country is very fertile. Wherever water is found, the ground brings forth abundantly corn, or grass, or fruit; but in general the Cape Colony is a very dry country: for want of rain even the very large rivers almost cease to run during some months of the year; the only one which never becomes dry is the great Orange river; it forms the northern boundary of the colony. After rain a great many beautiful plants spring up even in the deserts : large geraniums and the fragrant white jasmine grow wild in the woods ; and, near the Cape, the most common wild flowers are the heaths which we rear so carefully in our greenhouses. There are vast numbers of wild animals in the Cape Colony, and many fierce beasts of prey. This country was formerly possessed by the Hottentots, a people with dark copper-coloured skins and woolly hair, who did not cultivate the ground, but roamed over the land with their flocks and herds wherever they could find pasture. They were a mild, goodnatured race, divided into many tribes, but living in peace one with another. Their houses were very low, round huts; a number of these placed together made a village or kraal, and the inhabitants of each kraal chose one of their number to be their headman or captain. They were clothed in sheepskins, and lived upon

the milk and flesh of their cattle. In the year 1652 the Dutch sent a party of one hundred men to found a small settlement near the Cape of Good Hope. They landed on the south shore of Table Bay, and built a little fortress which they enclosed with walls of earth. The Hottentots gave them a friendly welcome, and supplied them with sheep and oxen ; in return for which they were presented by the Dutch with strings



of copper beads, and, unhappily, with brandy and tobacco, of which they became but too fond. The settlers found these poor people remarkably truthful, and so honest that, during fifty years from the time when the Dutch first landed in the country, not one instance occurred of a Hottentot stealing anything belonging to a colonist. They were not seen to observe any kind of religious ceremonies or worship, excepting that once a-year there was a great rejoicing. This was at the beginning of summer, which, in South Africa, is at the time of our winter, for their seasons are contrary to ours. As soon as the stars called the Pleiades were first seen again in the sky, the inhabitants of every kraal met together to dance and sing; the mothers even awoke their little children and held them up to look at the stars, and the words of their song were like these :-“O Father over our heads, give us rain, that we may have food in plenty !" When the Dutch had been a long while in the land, the Hottentots seem to have added some other and very sad words to their song. good year that we may not be obliged to rob the white people, and they may not come and kill us.” For the white people took no pains to give the Hottentots a clearer knowledge of the God who sent them "rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness;" they thought of nothing but how to grow rich and powerful themselves.

Bands of settlers came from Holland, who built their farmhouses and sowed and reaped in the rich lands where the natives had led their flocks and herds to pasture, and the Hottentots were obliged to retreat farther and farther back to the mountains. They bore

“ Give us a

this patiently for a long while, until the Dutch had driven them out of almost every fertile spot, and had even attacked them in their kraals, and robbed them of their cattle. Then, at last, the natives began to return evil for evil, and to rob the farmers; but the Dutch, being the most powerful, they compelled the Hottentots to submit, and to become their servants. They were hard masters, and the poor natives, ill-used

, and despised, with no one to help them, lost all heart; they forgot even the dim imperfect knowledge of their Great Father which their ancestors had possessed, and became so dull and indolent that, when they were not obliged to work, they would lie whole days on the ground, sleeping or smoking tobacco.




IN 1737, a Moravian missionary, named George Schmidt, who had heard to what a miserable condition the Hottentots were reduced, obtained permission from the Dutch government to settle in the Cape Colony, and to instruct the natives in the Christian religion. On his first arrival in the colony, Schmidt settled in a place about seventy miles from Cape Town, where he built a little cottage and laid out a garden. He gathered a few Hottentots around him, and gained their affection by his kindness, and one of the natives, who could speak Dutch as well as his own language, interpreted what Schmidt said to the others. But the governor thought it would be better for Schmidt to fix his abode at a greater distance from the capital, so, at the end of a year, he removed to a desert spot, one hundred and twenty miles to the east of Cape Town. Eighteen Hottentots followed him to this place, and, soon afterwards, others came and settled there. He assembled them morning and evening for religious worship and instruction, and the blessing of God rested upon his labours. Six, who earnestly desired to be admitted into the Church of Christ, were baptized after Schmidt had carefully prepared them, and about fifty came every day to be instructed in the Scriptures. He found it easier to teach them his language than to learn theirs, because of the odd clucking sounds with which the Hottentot words are pronounced, and some of his scholars made good progress, and were able to read the Dutch New Testament for themselves.

He also planted a garden and orchard, and showed the Hottentots how to raise corn and vegetables; and at the end of a few years the little settlement seemed in a fair way to become a thriving village. All this while the farmers had been looking on with a jealous eye; they thought Schmidt was making the Hottentots much too wise, but while he was there it was of no use to complain that his teaching was doing any

harm; everybody could see that the natives were becoming more industrious and better in every way. In 1743, however, Schmidt was obliged to go to Europe for a short time, and the farmers determined that he should never return. They had many

among the chief men in Holland, and they persuaded them to represent to the Dutch government that Schmidt ought not to be allowed to preach to the Hottentots,



and that if the Hottentots were allowed to form little settlements of their own, and to enjoy the same privileges as the white people, they would refuse to serve the farmers any longer, and the colony would come to ruin. The government believed all this, and refused to let Schmidt return : it was in vain that he entreated that some one else might be permitted to go and preach the gospel to the Hottentots, if they would not allow him to do so; they would listen to nothing that he could say, and he could only try to be patient and

, pray that, if it were God's will, he might go back some day to the little flock he had gathered in the wilderness. He had charged them when he left to meet regularly to worship God, and to read the Scriptures, and he heard from time to time that they obeyed his injunctions, and longed to see him again. But the teacher and his people met no more in this world—forty-nine years passed away, and the little settlement was deserted; the houses fell to ruin and the gardens became a waste; only the trees which Schmidt had planted grew and flourished still, requiring no hand of man to tend them, and year by year the monkeys came out of the neighbouring thickets, and feasted upon their fruit. At length, years after Schmidt was dead, the Moravian Church received permission to send out missionaries to the colony. This was joyful news; and a good man, named Henry Marsveld, with two others, immediately prepared to go: they understood how to teach the Hottentots to do various kinds of useful work, but they were most of all desirous to lead them to the knowledge of God. The governor of the colony received the missionaries kindly, and told them that the valley watered by the

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