« ForrigeFortsæt »
Whilst the Kaffirs so injudiciously admitted into the colony, were thus protected from the consequences of their misconduct, the enactments referring to our traders in Kaffirland, instead of being framed for their protection, were exclusively in favour of the savages!
We cannot, whilst on this subject, refrain from quoting the author of the Kaffir irruption of 1834-5.
"To such an absurd excess was the system of forbearance carried at this period, that it became a matter of doubt whether the owner of property could be legally justified in recovering it by force from the hands of the robber; preposterous as this may appear, yet the question to this effect was actually proposed by government to the attorney-general of the colony, and the reply of that officer will show the length to which principles that are in themselves humane and benevolent may be carried, when persons lose sight of common sense for refined and new-fangled Utopian notions. To those who know the Kaffir and his method of conducting his plundering expeditions, the reply in question will appear most extravagantly ridiculous. The following extract will sufficiently prove this. The learned attorney commences with becoming gravity by premising that no general rule can be laid down applicable to all cases,' but that when any theft or other serious crime has been committed by these savages, or when they are seen with arms in any considerable numbers, they may be pursued with hue and cry.' The best way,' he continues, of proceeding in such cases is to give immediate information to the nearest field cornet, whose duty it is then to raise all the neighbouring inhabitants, or at least such a number of them, as from the information given to him, he may deem sufficient for the purpose of apprehending them without bloodshed.
"Should the parties succeed in overtaking the marauders, the person commanding the party should adopt such measures and give such directions as are best calculated for their apprehension, without loss of life on either side. In no case should fire-arms or other deadly weapons be used until all other measures have proved abortive.'"
Had the learned limb of the law who gave utterance to this most sapient effusion, ever been in hot pursuit of a band of armed Kaffirs walking off with that part of his property, consisting of what is to them the greatest and most desirable of all riches, and in defence of which they are ever ready to risk their own lives, or to sacrifice the lives of those who may endeavour to wrest from them their ill-gotten prey; had the same learned attorney-general ever found himself in such a predicament, how far would he have been likely to put in practice, what he so wisely laid down in theory?
At the very period when these pacific enactments were issued by an individual whose person and property were in perfect safety, and 600 or 700 miles from the scene of robbery and plunder, the Kaffirs were perpetrating the most cruel murders, one within six miles of Graham's Town; whilst a set of banditti, composed of Bushmen, Hottentots, and runaway slaves, established themselves in the hills at the head of the Mancazana, from whence they with impunity carried on the most extensive depreda
* See "Introductory Remarks" to Godlonton's account of the Kaffir irruption of 1834-5, p. 44.
tions; for no one would now undergo the responsibility of putting a stop to these robberies; a farmer having been incarcerated on the charge of shooting one of the brigands whilst in defence of his own property!
Not content with adopting such weak and mistaken measures towards the Kaffirs, the course of folly was now made quite complete by the promulgation of that preposterous decree, notorious in colonial annals as the "50th ordinance," which, by placing the Hottentots of the colony on a footing with the white population, and removing every wholesome restriction on this idle and vagabond race, became the source of irremediable evil results, discontent, and confusion.
Our "faithful friends and allies," the Kaffirs, strenuously called upon us at this period (1828), to assist them in a dilemma which threatened them with instantaneous and universal destruction. I allude to the appeal which they made to the British government for protection against the Fetcani, a numerous and ferocious horde of savages, who themselves, driven from the far N. E. by the Zoolahs, had-after devastating and entirely depopulating the banks of the Caledon-crossed the Stormberg mountains under their bloodthirsty chieftain, Matiwana, and threatened to make a clean sweep of every thing in Kaffirland.
The appeal thus made was readily responded to, as much on the score of policy as on that of humanity. Colonel Somerset and Major Dundas were despatched to the assistance of the Kaffirs, defeated the Fetcani, and entirely cleared Kaffirland of these devastating hordes. This humane intervention and its successful results, have nevertheless been eagerly seized upon and distorted into a subject of animadversion and abuse by the class of "philanthropist" writers before alluded to, who, in their usual strain, do not scruple to stigmatise it as an act of wanton cruelty, and unheard of barbarity on our part!*
They severely censure and comment on the great slaughter which took place on the occasion of the Fetcani defeat; however, this chiefly occurred after the latter had broken and fled before our troops, and was then perpetrated by the very Kaffirs whom these godly hypocrites, on every occasion so strenuously support, and who, although standing well aloof during the combat, which they left exclusively to their allies, no sooner witnessed the flight of the enemy, than they commenced an indiscriminate system of butchery and rapine, which it was found impossible to put a stop to;-and such was the sense of gratitude evinced by them towards their deliverers, that during the course of the same year (as proved by the official returns) they plundered the colony of upwards of six thousand head of cattle, besides sheep and horses!
The trimming and conciliatory system towards the Kaffirs, having thus been so long tried with such unsuccessful results, a new leaf was turned, or rather only partly turned over, on the appointment, in 1828, of Sir Lowry Cole to the government of the Cape. He annulled that ordinance indiscriminately admitting Kaffirs into the colony on pretence of seeking service, restored the commandos to their full power of action, authorised such of the colonists as might be plundered of their cattle,
* See on this subject the works of Bannister, Kay, and Pringle. Sept.-VOL. LXXXIV. NO. CCCXXXIII.
and who could trace it to a Kaffir kraal, to retake it, if necessary, by force,-caused to be hanged, in the presence of the chief and of his whole tribe, a Kaffir who had been convicted of robbery and murder within the colonial boundary,-and finally, expelled Macomo from his location at the Kat River, in the "Ceded Territory," as a punishment for his turbulent conduct, robberies, and encroachments on the colony.
On the death of Gaïka, which took place in 1929, the government of that portion of the Hahabee Kaffirs, now generally known as the "Gaikas," devolved on his infant son, Sandilla; who,-in right of his mother Sutu, the "great wife" of Gaïka, was entitled, according to Kaffir usage, to the chieftainship, in preference to his elder halfbrothers Macomo and Tyalie, who were, during Sandilla's minority, entrusted with the regency, and then openly assumed so hostile an appearance towards the colony, as to require the governor's presence on the Eastern frontier.
Sir Lowry Cole succeeded in allaying for a while the long-boding storm, which, however, shortly after his resignation (in 1833) burst forth with such unrestrained fury, as to call into immediate action all the energies and skill of his successor, Sir Benjamin d'Urban.
The foregoing outline of our transactions with the Kaffirs has brought us to the eve of their devastating irruption of 1834; and although the limits of this paper do not admit a relation of the many immediate causes which gave rise to that disastrous event, and to the consequent war of 1835;-of that system of traitrous tampering by a set of mischievous and meddling individuals, which so excited these barbarians, that thus urged to avenge imaginary wrongs, they, without warning or provocation, precipitated themselves in overwhelming masses on this illfated colony-of their subsequent well-merited chastisement and forfeiture of territory to the British crown ;-of the shameful intrigues and misrepresentations which set aside the just and advantageous treaty of Sir Benjamin d'Urban, removed that gallant veteran from his commandand by establishing the "Stockenstrom" system of policy, eventually led to the last ruinous war of 1846-7;-though want of space permits me not to enter into all these details, they are fully given in the undermentioned writings,* to which the Reader is referred for ample information on the subject.
See "Authentic Records of the Cape," compiled by Donald Moodie, Esq.; "Account of the Kaffir Irruption of 1834-5," by the Editor of the "Graham's Town Journal" (Godlonton) with the "Introductory Remarks" to the same; also Chase's "Cape of Good Hope." But, above all, the reader is referred to Sir Benjamin d'Urban's admirable letter of justification to Lord Glenelg, together with Colonel, now Sir Harry, Smith's communication to the former both in the "Blue Book," containing" Parliamentary Correspondence" for 1836-7. relative to the colony of the Cape of Good Hope. The letters above alluded to, are in themselves a history of the Kaffir war of 1835, together with that of its origin and causes ; clearly exposing at the same time the fallacious system then pursued with respect to the Cape of Good Hope, together with the intrigues and misrepresentations which led to such misgovernment ;-in short, these documents should be perused by every one interested in the affairs of this important colony-doubly important at a moment, when so likely to become the grand focus of emigration from the Mother Country.
THE ADVENTURES OF MADAME DU BARRI.
BY DUDLEY COSTELLO.
The Château de Luciennes-How Louis XV. passed his Time there-Madame du Barri's Costume-The Contrivances of Ledoux-The Baigneuse-Madame du Barri's Portraits-Louis the XV.'s Breakfasts-The Favourite's Freedom of Speech-The Parc aux Cerfs-" Mon cher France"-Fine Situation of Luciennes-The Library-The Blue Bed-room-Madame du Barri's CookBouret's Surprise-The Visit to Chantilly-The New Year's Gift-The Parody on the Lord's Prayer-Dismissal of the Duke de Choiseul-Madame du Barri's Marriage Project-Voltaire's Compliments-The Abbé de Beauvais' SermonThe Governor of Luciennes-The Midnight Fêtes-The King's Illness and Death-The Lettre de Cachet-Madame du Barri's Seclusion-Her PardonHer Gratitude-Betrayal-Execution.
Of all the presents made by Louis XV. to Madame du Barri, the pavilion of Luciennes expresses most clearly what were the frivolous and ruinous tastes of the royal lover and his beautiful mistress; it is, moreover, the only one that has survived their guilty intimacy. Luciennes was built after the image of the fantasy which inspired it. The magnificent tenderness of Louis XIV. for Mademoiselle de la Vallière created Versailles; the sensual and faded passion of Louis XV. raised the pavilion of Luciennes ; the former has the grandeur of a sentiment,-the latter, the petitesse of a caprice. If of the works constructed by Louis XIV. there only remained the Orangery and the Baths of Apollo, they would alone suffice to represent the calmness and majesty of his reign; were Luciennes the sole vestige of the follies of Louis XV., it would serve of itself to give a complete idea of the corrupt manners of his time. To describe Luciennes, is, therefore, to wipe off the dust from a picture which may serve hereafter to compose the history of the eighteenth century.
The Pavilion of Luciennes, or Louveciennes, was built by the famous architect Mansard for the Comte de Toulouse, the legitimised son of Louis XIV. and Madame de Montespan. At his death, his son, the Duke de Penthièvre, became the possessor of this charming domain, and resided there for a considerable period, but on the death of his son, the Prince de Lamballe, he took an aversion to the place, and offered to sell it to Louis XV., who bought it for his mistress, and she occupied it, not only during her career of fortune, but up to the time of her tragical death in 1793. It was at Luciennes that the Terrorists came to seek and conduct her to the Abbaye, and from thence to the scaffold.
The grounds which surround the château are of limited extent, and owing to their being shut in by the Seine on one side, and the high road from Marly to Versailles on the other, could never have been susceptible of much extension. From this want of space there resulted an inconvenience which the clever favourite knew how to turn to advantage. The inconvenience was this, that the king, when he came to pay his visits, ran the risk of being met within its narrow precincts by some courtier, or of being seen by some intrusive servant. It was necessary to avoid this at whatever cost, for without some degree of mystery there is no pleasure, a truth felt even by Louis XV. When Madame du Barri took
possession of Luciennes, she shut out the stables and all the offices beyond the walls, and suffered nothing to be seen by her royal lover but the château which she occupied and the celebrated pavilion in which she received him. But her system of isolation did not stop here. During the whole time that she remained alone, her only attendants were her negro Zamore and one femme de chambre. Not a valet or servant of any description was visible, and the solitude was as complete as the approaches to the seraglio at Constantinople; nor was it less dreaded. In the retreat of Luciennes nothing troubled the impenetrable calm or the egotistical happiness of the two lovers, who gave themselves up, without witnesses, to their unalloyed pleasure in this terrestrial paradise.
To give a perfect account of Luciennes it is necessary to describe the manner in which a single day was passed there by Louis XV.
On his arrival, the king went directly to the château, in which he only remained just long enough to adjust his dress, a little out of order, perhaps, from the exercise of travelling or hunting. This toilette took place in the large saloon, which is on a level with the terrace. Here Zamore dressed his hair, brushed and powdered him, and handed him easier shoes to walk in the park. In summer the king changed his coat; and after taking off his waistcoat and sword, put on a light linen jacket, and, if the heat was great, washed his face and hands in a rich silver-gilt ewer. This saloon, which was very lofty, was most luxuriously fitted up on the walls were four large pictures, by Vernet; and on the chimney-piece, of exquisite workmanship, were vases of Dresden china of the most delicate fabric, which, at a later period, when Luciennes was dismantled, found their way to London. On leaving this apartment, Louis XV. proceeded to the pavilion of his mistress, through an avenue of limes. These trees have disappeared, all except a small double alley, still very pretty, which enables the visitor to reconstruct the whole plan.
At the same moment that the king descended the steps of the château, Madame du Barri set out from the pavilion to meet him. Affairs were regulated after this fashion, though etiquette was not very rigorously observed at Luciennes, and this was but a fair compromise on either hand, Louis XV. being King of France, and Madame du Barri the handsomest woman in his dominions.
Summer and winter, Madame du Barri wore at Luciennes loose dresses of coloured cotton or white muslin, which permitted her arms and beautiful shoulders to be visible; her waist was confined by a cordelière, and her whole appearance may be imagined by recalling the most charming figure in one of Watteau's pictures. To this invariable costume, of which the king was passionately fond, she added a broadbrimmed straw hat, ornamented with corn-flowers and poppies, and in this guise she welcomed her royal guest to the pavilion, which gleamed like one of the marble temples of old Greece, through a grove of orange trees, taken from Marly to adorn Luciennes. These robberies committed upon Marly were of frequent occurrence; whatever was rare or beautiful there soon found its way to Luciennes, in spite of the remonstrances of the old gardeners, who rigidly adhered to the old régime.
The pavilion of Madame du Barri was in the form of a temple, of miniature size, and was perched on the brink of a miniature precipice, of which the steep declivity was covered with the softest turf, where its