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The committee, however, for the greater part, contrive to keep up the reputation of the stock; and for this purpose they resort to all sorts of tricks, buying and selling on their own account in an underhand way, and sometimes realising large sums. It is our belief, indeed, that almost all railways whatsoever have been primarily set on foot by some species of finessing and trickery.
After a short interval, the banker's receipts are taken in ex. change for scrip; on which occasion the scrip-receivers require to sign a bond, engaging to pay up the whole amount of the shares which the scrip represents. The scrip is a piece of paper, resembling a bank cheque; and each is usually a voucher for five shares. Before the issue of the scrip, the gambling on the stock has perhaps been carried on to a great extent. Sometimes engagements are made to supply scrip far beyond what will be issued ; and in this case the price rapidly rises, enriching certain knowing parties, and ruining those who have acted without the requisite caution. After the issue of the scrip, the gambling continues; and according as rumour or whim suggests, the stock rises and falls. Parties interested take care to propagate the most glowing statements as to the bill for the company getting the sanction of parliament; and, in short, no pains are spared to deceive the unwary, or at least to exaggerate every possible advantage. The mischief does not end here; nearly all the landholders through whose property the line goes, require to be bought over to the cause; and thus enormous sums in name of parliamentary expenses are incurred. The mania of buying shares in the concern comes to an end by loss of the bill, by a sudden languidness in the money market, or some other circumstance. Not an uncommon accelerating cause of stoppage, is a call on the holders of stock to pay a second deposit per share, a thing which few are inclined to do, even at the risk of forfeiting what has already been paid. Now occurs what is called a panic. Everybody wants to sell, but nobody wishes to buy; and down goes the price of the shares to par (their original issued value), or greatly below it. Many thousands of persons, the unfortunate last holders, are of course ruined.
Calmly considered, a share-speculation mania is, to all intents and purposes, gambling. Every one tries to take advantage of another's weakness, or avarice, with a view to gain. The whole thing is a deceptive make-believe. Falsehoods and specious rumours are circulated to maintain the delusion. No one cares for the fate of his neighbour. Each basely regards only his own benefit or safety; and knowing that the bubble is about to burst, if not already exploded, he hastens to sell out, and leave those who are still in ignorance of the fact to be ruined in his stead. All this is immoral; it is dishonest; and worthy only of being classed with cheating at cards, or any other dishonourable method of playing at games of chance.
H E extreme southern projection of the African conog tinent was formally taken possession of, in the name 10 of Great Britain, in the beginning of the seventeenth
century. No settlement, however, ensued this forbe mality. In 1650, the district was colonised by the Dutch,
who afterwards made settlements in Saldanha Bay and 20s elsewhere; and disregarding, like other colonising adven
e turers, the rights of the natives, gradually extended their encroachments, till their territory reached nearly to the boundaries of that now known by the name of Cape Colony. In 1795, the Cape was taken possession of by British forces; but at the peace of Amiens, in 1800, it was evacuated, and restored to its former masters. In 1806, it was again taken by the British, to whom it was finally ceded at the general peace in 1815. Since then, considerable numbers of our countrymen-Scotch, English, and Írish—have made it their home; where, following chiefly a rural life, they rear herds, flocks, and corn; export wool, hides, horns, and ivory; and attempt the preparation of wine, tobacco, aloes, and some other drugs and dye-stuffs. The aboriginal tribes consisted of Hottentots and Fingoes, Bushmen and Caffres, of whom the two former have become subject to the white settler, and been greatly reduced in numbers; while the latter have reluctantly retreated into the wilderness, contesting on the frontier whether barbarism or civilisation shall there prevail. The population of the colony--amounting to upwards of one hundred and sixty thousand-consists, therefore, of our countrymen, of the Dutch boers or farmers, the subdued natives, and a number of
half-castes—a motley community no doubt, but one which contains within it all the elements of steady and successful progress. It is to this region, and to this community, that we would now direct the reader's attention, not through any lengthened disquisition on the capabilities or eligibility of the colony, but through the random notes of a hasty ride along the eastern districts of the settlement during the months of February, March, April, and May 1846, at which period our traveller's visit was cut short by the formidable aspect of the then Caffre aggression. The writer, as the narrative will show, is a member of the medical profession, well acquainted with agricultural processes, an excellent botanist, and an unbiassed observer; so that his remarks on the natural capabilities and productions of the country, his hints as to the renovation of the exhausted pasture-lands, and his suggestions as to the introduction of various processes as the growth of tobacco, aloes, cochineal, &c.-may be of value alike to the intending emigrant and settled farmer into whose hands these pages may fall. With these preliminary remarks, we shall allow him to tell his own story, except where our limits demand abridgment of narrative more strictly personal, or of details too minute to be interesting to the general reader.
OUTWARD VOYAGE, AND ARRIVAL AT CAPE TOWN. In the autumn of 1845, labouring under indifferent health, and strongly recommended to pass the winter in a climate warmer than that of Scotland, I resolved to take a voyage to Southern Africa, and accordingly embarked on board the “ good ship Susan” at Southampton, about the middle of November. This vessel was the first of three about to proceed to the Cape with a supply of emigrant labourers of various sorts to the colony, at the urgent request of the colonial authorities, and at colonial expense. Abundance of food, high wages, and a free passage, were the inducements placarded for suitable persons to leave their old, and to adopt new abodes, and were quite efficient in furnishing occupants for the berths of the Susan. Upwards of two hundred accepted the bounty of a free transit, and about fifty less eligible, or more able and willing, paid their freight of expatriation. With this cargo of living beings I left England; occupying, along with three young men, one of the vessel's aftercabins, an apartment about ten feet square, where we slept and whiled away, in various occupations and amusements, a considerable portion of our time at sea.
I will not detain the reader with the monotony of a common voyage; suffice it to say, that after suffering one repulse from stress of weather, we finally set sail from Plymouth on the 230 November 1845, and reached Table Bay on the 27th January 1846. Having had several deaths on board, it was the second day after casting anchor ere any of us were permitted to land; and to tell the truth, the prospect from our decks of a visit to
the shore was anything but inviting. Vegetation was scarcely discernible; and where it did force itself on our notice, it was of so dingy a hue, as to make one melancholy to look at it, so very different from the lively hues of the land we had left behind us. Table Mount veiled its head with a cloth of fleecy clouds, constantly tumbling over, but never clearing away; the Lion crouched sullenly in his shaggy brown covering of rock and scraggy bush; and Cape Town itself attempted to look lively in the whitewash of its houses; but the stupendous rocks which frowned over it, and the mournful aspect of the firs, and other trees of a similar complexion, growing sparsely about, made it seem more like a city of the dead, with its whitewashed mausoleums, than the habitation of living men. Amongst the emigrants there was a general murmur of disappointment at the unpromising appearance of their new home; but as first impressions are often illfounded, I hastened to embrace the earliest opportunity of making a closer inspection of this repulsive-looking place by landing on its shores.*
On the morning of the 29th January I left the Susan, along with several of the passengers, in one of the heavy boats employed in discharging vessels which trade to the Bay-encountering, as we approached the shore, fitful gusts of wind, that descended from Table Mount, and occasionally laid our boat on its beamend, while in the intervals there was the most perfect calm. These squalls are well known to the frequenters of the port, and are known by the name of south-easters ; but blowing as they do off shore, they are unattended with danger to the shipping. Our boat put in alongside “the jetty”-a wooden erection stretching some way into the sea; and I had scarcely landed, when a cooley officiously laid hold of my carpet-bag-my only luggage--and hurried me off to the Phønix Hotel. Porters in this part of the world differ little from their brethren elsewhere: this one demanded a shilling for his trouble, and grumbled at receiving a sixpence instead, although, by a scale of charges I
* Though the writer experienced an agreeable passage in the Susan, which was in every respect well found and well commanded, yet he which was in every respecta loving England to eschew emigrant shoes would advise such as i and to go out, if they can, by a good private vessel. The emigrant agents profess to give a cheaper passage ; but when all the extras are added, the fare will be found actually higher than that charged by the latter Class of vessels. Besides, the number of persons crowded in so limited a space, causes a greater liability to the breaking out of disease, and adds
its virulence ; and a cabin passenger by an emigrant ship, whatever his views may be, is sure to partake of an emigrant character, as he will certainly find, at the end of the voyage. If, however, an emigrant ship should be adopted, no mere statement or verbal agreement with agent or subordinate should be relied on, but the conditions of passage, &c. should De properly set forth, and signed by the contracting parties. By such a course, the trouble and annoyance which the emigrant too frequently experiences on his arrival in Table Bay might be readily prevented.
afterwards saw, I had paid him double the regulated fare. After agreeing to dine with my fellow-passengers at the Phoenix, I had a saunter through the town, and found that it bore inspection well. The streets are of fair width, and almost all run at right angles to each other. The houses are substantial, commodious, and in many instances handsome : rows of oak, poplar, or fir, line the thoroughfares, yielding an agreeable shade, and contrasting finely with the spotless white of the houses, whose dazzling fronts were otherwise too bright for the eye. The practice of whitewashing prevails throughout the colony; and as there is neither coal-smoke nor prevalent rains to tarnish its lustre, it is maintained with little trouble and expense. There is abundance of shops throughout the town, but their keepers do not seem to bestow much labour in their decoration, or in the display of their goods, as is now the fashion at home.'
Having an introduction to Baron Von Ludwig, I called on the old gentleman to get a sight of his gardens, which are reckoned the finest in the colony, and have even a reputation beyond its bounds. He kindly drove me out in his carriage about a mile in distance, and accompanied me in a walk through the grounds. They are situated in Cloof Street, at the base of the Lion's Rump, and are about three acres in extent, divided by the inequality of the surface into an upper and lower garden. Plants from all countries in the world are here cultivated, and grow with a vigour and luxuriance scarcely inferior to indigenous specimens, particularly the New Holland plants, such as the eucalyptus, mimosa, and acacia. British flowers and British fruits constitute a numerous branch of the families domiciled, and, with a few exceptions, thrive well. The currant and gooseberry are among the exceptions ; but the baron thinks that he has at length succeeded in his object, by raising his plants from seed instead of growing imported specimens. The plants so raised are yet young, but they keep their season, shedding their leaves in winter, and sprouting forth vigorously again in spring: Several long walks in the gardens are covered in with an arched trellis, on which climbing plants are trained : one of the most extensive of these is grown over by varieties of the vine, the fruit of which then hung in abundant clusters, yielding an agreeable shade from the sun, and a refreshing object for the other senses. No little labour and money has been expended in constructing and furnishing these gardens, and much is still incurred in maintaining them. Seeds cannot be here sown, and plants dibbled into the ground, with full faith in the natural rains rearing them to maturity : the skies of Africa too often refuse their supplies, and art must make up the deficiency by other means. Indeed, without irrigation, gardening could not be carried on, and a supply of water for this purpose is seldom readily obtained. The baron has sunk a deep well, and erected a windmill to pump the water into tanks, whence it is drawn