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towards a gate in the outer fence of the town, still meat having now been duly apportioned, he slowly under the idea that the party were in advance, approached the place where we were seated, and and fearing that I should be deprived of the ad- in solemn silence stood motionless like a statue vantages of an interpreter at the very time when before me until a chair was brought from within, his services would be the most needed. At this when he at last sat down and commenced a long moment, a person suddenly came up, and seizing conversation. His first inquiries were respecting the bridle of my horse, without further ceremony, the conduct of the guides, who were also present, turned him short round. The effect was so im- seated in a group, but who were readily pardonmediate and unexpected, that I did not at first re-ed on the assurance which I gave that if blame cognise the individual, and struck at his hand with were attached it must entirely rest with me, as I a stick; but in a moment I found that it was my had mistaken the road while in advance of the servant, Umpondombeeni, and from the hurry of party. He then requested to know the object of his demeanor, and the extense anxiety he por- my visit, which I found great difficulty in explaintrayed by his countenance, felt at once convinced ing. that all was not right. Submitting therefore to That
views were not in any degree connecthis guidance, he soon conducted me to the party, ed with trade he could understand, but what was anxiously awaiting my return upon the road which God, and God's word, and the nature of the inI should have taken, and where I found many of struction I proposed, were subjects which he could the baggage-bearers actually in tears, and all not at all comprehend. In order to give him some under the highest state of agitation and alarm. illustration, I related a few of the leading circum
No causeless fears were theirs, for had I pro- stances which in other heathen countries had led ceeded and entered by the gate I was approach to the worship of God, and contrasted their suing, they would all, it appears, by the custom of perior character, and the many advantages which the country have atoned for my mistake by their they possessed since their reception of Christianity, lives, and, as it was, there was still an apprehension with their former condition. He asked if his that some at least would be capitally punished. people could learn also, and seemed to regard the We soon after entered the town, and on applica- whole as an impossibility. The subject of the tion to the principal Indoona (Umthlella) two huts presents was then adverted to; but on this unfornot far from his own dwelling were appointed, into tunately I had little to say, but that they were on one of which I was not sorry to creep after the their way, and I hoped would arrive safely; still fatigues of the journey, having walked and ridden he was not satisfied until I had not only enumeratalternately since leaving the Tugala.
ed every article, but entered into a minute descripA bundle of imphi and a large bowl of outchualla tion of each. The mention of a red cloak quite (native beer) was sent to my hut by order of Din- filled his mind, and seemed likely to suit his fancy garn, and a messenger soon after signified his wish more than all the rest. He then asked if my to see me. Crossing the area of the circular town, king's name was George, and, on the mention of accompanied by the chief who had been despath- our gracious sovereign, inquired how he governed by Dingarn to conduct me to the capital, we ed his people. With so many decided proofs of were desired to sit at a short distance from the despotism around, I considered this as rather a fence which surrounds the Issigordlo (or palace). / delicate question, and therefore avoided the cirAfter a little pause the bust only of a very stout cumstance of parliamentary interference altogether, personage appeared above the fence, which I was by informing him that king William governed his soon informed was the despot himself; he eyed people by means of his great men. He smiled me for a considerable time with the utmost gra- and seemed evidently to regard even this as an vity without uttering a word ; at last pointing to inconvenient approximation to popular institutions. an ox that had been driven near, he said, “ There Finding that he had now sufficiently relaxed in state is the beast I give you to slaughter," and on this reserve, I thought it a favorable opportunity again important announcement he disappeared. The to revert to the subject of teaching, and requested carcasses of several oxen, recently killed, were at permission to build a house for that purpose ; but this time lying separate heaps not far from this was a knotty point, the objections to which I the gate of his fence, the quarters divided and had yet to learn ; no denial however was given, piled one upon another, and in order, no doubt, to and I took my leave with a full understanding that exhibit at once his wealth and his munificence; a person should accompany me on the following he again appeared slowly emerging from the arch- day to direct me in the selection of the spot. ed gateway, and advancing with a measured step Dingarn had already expressed a desire to see to the nearest animal mound. Instantly he was “the Book," of which I had spoken so much, and surrounded by fourteen or fifteen men who ran now reminded me to bring it with me on my next from a distance and crouched before him; a word visit. and a nod were then given, and as quickly they For three days subsequently he was unwell
, and arose and carried off the meat at full speed, holding on the second sent to apologize for not seeing me. it up the whole way with extended arms, and sing. My next interview was in the Issigördlo, where I ing as they went. Another heap was then ap- found the king reclining on a head-stool at the proached, and as systematically distributed, and door of his house before which I was desired to so on until the whole had been conveyed away in seat myself on a mat. His first question was whea similar pantomimic manner. Dingarn was ha- ther I had brought “ the Book," on which my bited in a blue dungaree cloak relieved by a white pocket testament was produced, and at his desire border and devices at the back; the train swept delivered into his hand; but after turning over the the ground, and, although tarnished and worn, well leaves with much curiosity for a few minutes, rebecame his height and portly figure. The soldiers' turned to me again. On requesting that I would
then read the words of the Book, I read in order occur. Nothing seemed to gratify them more a number of passages previously selected, as ex- than to find that I returned to the town when thus hibiting the nature and penalty of sin, the power summarily ordered, or to announce on my applicaand omniscience of God, and the auful day of ac- tion to Úmthlella for the cause of this intrusion count when he will judge the world in righteous- that they had directed it, palliating the affront by ness. At the conclusion he asked several very merely saying that they wished me to sit down and pertinent questions, such as,—"Where is God? talk with them. So systematic was this species of How did he give his Word? Who will be judged persecution, that on one occasion, as I was leaving at the last day? What nations will appear? Will the town, one of the inferior Indoonas, a very powermine be there? Shall I live for ever if I learn ful man, more than six feet high, took me by the his Word?” Two women only were in his house, shoulder and attempted to obstruct my passage in and but one chief attended me, so that it might be the gate. I immediately walked up to Umthlella considered a confidential meeting, and to me was and Tambooza, seated with a group of people particularly interesting. Before I left I reminded round them, not far distant, and inquired if it was him of his promise respecting the house, on which by their sanction that strangers were thus ill treathe inquired if the open court in which I was then ed. The only reply was that they had sent him standing would do, and from the friendly manner in to call me, as they wished me to join them, and which it was expressed, I almost thought it pos- converse. sible that he might take my hint, and roof it in for Supposing that the non-appearance of the prethe purpose, but now for the first time he mention- sents might have greatly contributed to place me ed a reference to the Indoonas as requisite before in my present dilemma, I waived the opportunity this matter could be finally decided." Hitherto I which soon after occurred, of making a direct had been treated with great civilty by all, but an complaint to Dingarn, and contented myself with unaccountable change was now but too apparent. hinting the advantage of sending a messenger to Although the government is absolute, a consider- Port Natal, to ascertain whether the wagon had able share of power is vested in the hands of the yet arrived ; adding that, should that be the case, two principal Indoonas of the nation, who are al- the presents might be forwarded without delay. ways consulted and generally supposed to sanction This arrangement was no sooner proposed, than every important measure of their sovereign, and messengers were appointed; and by this means I in this manner it becomes a convenient triumvi- also succeeded in sending a letter to England, which, rate, contracting or expanding its powers within under my present circumstances, was a great itself according to the humor of the ruling despot. relief. Had this letter reached its destination, it These two important personages, Umthlella and would have been a singular production. It was Tambooza, I must now introduce—the one a chief written upon the only half sheet of paper that I of hereditary rank, of a slight person, and a mild possessed, by the light of a lamp made by placing and intelligent countenance; the other sufficiently native butter in a small calabash, and inserting å indicating, without the science of Lavater, a cha rag wick. Some essidoodo (my usual meal) supracter for tyranny and insolence but too exactly cor- plied the paste for a wafer. The shed hoof of a responding with his scowling profile. From some calf is not a bad substitute for a lamp when a calacause or other of which I was perfectly uncon- bash cannot be procured. On this occasion I fully scious, unless it was my determination not to make thought some treachery was meditated. Umthella confidants of either, but to treat only with the king had again taken upon himself to send for me, and on the object of my visit, they not only treated me on reaching his hut, I hesitated, when required to about this time with every indignity, but by their enter, begging that he would himself come out. rude example induced the people to accost us with The messenger who had called me, and whom I insolence, and often to salute us with opprobrious knew to be a principal person, assured me that epithets as we passed. Even my walks were Umthella was alone in the hut, but, to my surprise, distributed, and often, while seated under my on crawling in, the sides were lined with men, favorite tree,* about three quarters of a mile from Umthella commenced a long preamble, by informthe town, a message would be sent in the king's ing me, as he had often done before, that Tamname to desire that I would immediately return. booza and himself were the King's eyes and ears, On one of these occasions my interpreter happen- and that all matters of importance must be first ed to be near Umthlella's house when the order notified to them before they could be expressed to was issued, and heard Tambooza's further instruc- him. He then pointed to the messengers about to lions that in case I should not willingly come they proceed to Port Natal, and who were then present, were to drag me along. Doubtful how far they saying, that whatever message I wished them to had the power, or to what extent they might be take must be delivered to them now. There apacting under the king's directions—as I had not peared to be no alternative, and, surrounded as I been able to approach him for some days, and they was by so unexpected a party, I delivered a short assured me that without their sanction I should message, reserving the remainder for a note, which not have another interview, I thought it prudent was given to them on their departure. From this to bear all without reproaching them, with a full time, matters gradually assumed a more pacific intention of stating the whole circumstances to character: they had in vain attempted to wear Dingarn on the very first opportunity that should out my patience; and, probably, finding that they
could not irritate me into any overt act of retalia. * This extraordinary tree, of which I have only tion, the system of annoyance was dropped, and met with a few, lias no leaves, but the branches pro- the change in their manner so apparent, that I (rude numbers of green pipes containing a milky cannot but think they had received some positive liqnid.
rebuke from the Dingarn on the subject. My in.
terviews with the King were now more frequent; ance. For women, they seemed to be in a high but although I made it a point never to leave him state of discipline, and rather enjoyed the display without giving him a hint respecting my desire to than otherwise; and Dingarn seemed highly graticommence teaching his people, and constructing fied at the well-merited encomiuins which I paid a house for the purpose, no decisive answer could to his taste, every one of these devices having ever be extracted that he would take an oppor- originated in his fertile imagination. It was tunity of consulting with the Indoonas, was the nearly dark before this extraordinary exhibition was invariable reply. Since my return to Port Natal
, ended, Dingarn, during the latter part
, frequently the following story has been related to me, which, turning round, and addressing me thus :-“ Are I doubt not, has operated much to my disadvan- we not a merry people? What black nations can tage, and will in a great measure account for the vie with us? Who among them can dress as we recent strange conduct of the two Indoonas.-do?” It was some of these ladies whom I met Jacob, the native intepreter of the late Lieutenant on my first approach to the town, after missing Farewell
, who was tħe first settler at Port Natal, my party—they had then been bathing; but I from some cause became greatly incensed against have frequently met large parties of them carry, the settlers, and took every opportuniiy to preju- ing burdens for the use of the Issigördlo, and dice them in the eyes of Charka, at that time the more than once seen them march out, with Dinsovereign of this country. He assured him that garn at their head, and employ themselves in a white man, assuming the character of a teacher weeding his corn and imphi grounds, while he inor missionary, would arrive among them, and ob- spected the crop. tain permission to build a house; that, shortly after, he would be joined by one or two more white men; and in the course of time, an army would enter his country, which would subvert his government,
CHAPTER II. and, eventually, the white people would rule in his stead.
My mind was much relieved by the return of One afternoon, while occupied in what may be the messengers, who not only brought the welesteemed a very puerile amusement, planning out come intelligence of Mr. Berken's safe arrival with the rooms of a house, with stones laid together on the wagons at Port Natal, but some substantial the ground on the spot, which (if permission could proofs of my integrity to Dingarn in the longbe obtained) I had selected for the mission build- promised presents, some of which, indeed, had so inga, a messenger, running and breathless, came deteriorated in their various submersions by the to inform me that Dingarn was waiting to see me. way, that they were scarcely produceable, while, I found the King seated near the fence of some to my great satisfaction, that which was most detached houses at the back of the Issigördlo, prized, the red cloak, was in the best preservation. where I was joined by my interpreter, who inform- For the selection of this article, which was comed me that several messengers had already been posed of red baize, with a long silky nap, such as despatched for me in different directions. Din- is often used in lining the collars of boat cloaks, garn appeared in high good-humor, but with a I am indebted to Mr. Fynn, who kindly recomdegree of mystery which rather prepared me for mended it to me, in Graham's Town, as a de. some strange antic. He began some trifling con- scription of cloth in color and texture more likely versation to eke out the time, when suddenly the to please his Zoolu majesty than any other that head of a column of the most grotesque looking could be procured ; and, certainly, no advice could figures debouched from their ambush on the right, have been more correctly given. No sooner was and marched past four deep, raising and lowering it opened, than it was displayed in every possible their bent arms, as though in the act of tugging manner; first, on the king's shoulders, then on at steeple bell-ropes, and repeating two lines of a one of his servants, who was ordered to turn and song as they passed, which may be thus transla- twist about in all directions, that its every bearing
and fold might be shown off to the best advanArise, vulture!
tage; it was then stretched to its widest extent,
and two men, holding it up at arm's length, were Thou art the bird that eateth other birds."
directed to run at full speed backwards and forWhen they had passed and repassed in this or- wards, that he might witness its appearance while der, they appeared again, broken into irregular flowing in the air ; at length, for some minutes it companies, according to the color of their dresses, was hung upon the fence opposite his own house, —and seeing that I admired the arrangement of that the curiosity of the people who were viewing the beads, with which they were literally covered, it from a distance might be satisfied. Strange to they were ordered to advance in files, and ap- say, after all this display, he never even wore it, proach nearer, that their dresses might be inspect- but has had it carefully preserved ever since for ed. They proved to be no other than the King's the grand national assembly at the feast of the women, about ninety in number, decorated as they first fruits, which takes place annually about the usually are previous to the army taking the field. first week in January. In the evening I received Their faces were veiled with pendants of beads, the important information, by special messenger, with which also the petticoat was covered, forming that it was neither too long nor too short, but exan elegant checkered pattern, while their throats actly suited. and arms were adorned with large brass rings. Dingarn, with all bis barbarity, is dearly fond Some wore short cloaks also covered with diffe- of a joke, and one morning sent for me and my rent-colored beads, and all two strange head fea- interpreter, for the sole purpose of affording some thers, which gave them a very uncouth appear-| amusement. The open court which surrounds
his house, into which we were admitted, was lin on the brow of the hill, where the horrid purpose ed with seventy or eighty women, seated on mats, was completed by additional blows on the head. while he himself was standing on an earth mound, Goujūana, I understand, made no resistance, and about the size of an ant-hill, from which he is only requested, as he was led along, that in conenabled not only to overlook the fence, but to sideration of his being a king's son, he might be take a general view of the whole town; and it is strangled, in lieu of being struck with the knobbed from this rude pedestal that his orders are fre- sticks, which was granted. quently given to the people without.
Much affected by what I had witnessed, I could “ There has been a contest," was his first ob- scarcely take my eyes from the spot, and was still servation. “My women will not believe that you standing in the same place, when the principal can do the things that are written down, unless executioner entered the town on his return, holdyou were present when the directions were noted ing in his hand the brass ornaments which had -but I tell them you can."
been taken from the necks of the deceased. He In order to place this knotty question beyond advanced directly towards me, and for a second all further dispute, I was requested to remain at a or two, as he was approaching, the thought crosssufficient distance outside the fence, while my in ed my mind that I was to be the next victim; but terpreter, at their dictation, wrote in pencil the it appeared he was only actuated by curiosity, names of twelve or fourteen of the women, de- and after displaying the brass rings, passed on. scribing their relative situations, when I was again The following afternoon I took an opportunity of admitted. The accuracy with which I was ena- visiting the spot, but so effectually had the hyenas bled at once to point to each individual named on and the vultures performed their office, that the the paper was a source of great merriment and skeletons only remained to add to the number of surprise, but still they were not satisfied, and de- skulls and bones with which the whole slope of vised another plan, which they thought would the hill was strewed. Goujūana was one of the certainly puzzle. On my return, after a consider. most intelligent looking men I have ever seen, able interval, it appeared that several articles had of an open and engaging countenance, and, albeen hid, and for which I was required to search, though the next in succession to Dingarn, was so according to the direction given. My first essay unassuming in his manners, that I have often had was to produce a broom, which had been rolled great pleasure in his conversation, and had indeed up in the end of a mat; then a bead, in the indulged in the hope that it might please God to closed hand of one of the ladies ; afterwards, an make him the first convert to Christianity. A ear ornament, concealed in the skirt of Dingarn's mystery hangs over his death ; but whether true cloak, but here I was at default-pointing to the or false, the alleged offence is an intrigue against cloak, he shook it loose, to show that nothing was the king, in which two other of his brothers were there; still I pointed at the same spot near his also said to have been implicated, and about a feet; at last, with a laugh of triumph, he lifted year ago suffered the same fate. Dingarn, acup one of his feet, which had been purposely cording to report, had hitherto spared his life, placed upon the article in question. This, of contrary to the wishes of the two Indoonas, but course, all acknowledged was an unfair adyan- so determined was Umthlella to effect his death, tage; and I then proceeded to pronounce the that, because his recommendations in this partiname of his favorite dog, Marquillana, and to cular were not attended to, he had for some time watch the first lizard which happened to run over refrained from visiting the king, excepting on the thatch of the king's house ; on noticing which, matters of business ; and the other day plainly my task was ended, and I doubt not my reputa- told him that it was impossible that they could tion for literary acquirements wonderfully en ever go out to war while the prisoner (as he termhanced. Dingarn, it appears, had on some former ed Goujuana,) lived. occasion, proved the skill of a white man in deci But even here the matter was not allowed to phering his own language.
rest. When a chief falls by the hand of the exBut a more tragical scene was about to be ex- ecutioner, all his property is confiscated, and every hibited. Early one morning, my servant came to individual, of whatever age, who is in the remotest inform me that they were killing a man; and on degree connected with him by family or dependleaving my hut to ascertain the truth of the re-ence, is summarily put to death. An Indoona, port, I found that Goujaana, one of the king's who lived in an adjoining hut to mine, was orderbrothers, had already been hurried through the ed upon this revolting duty, and from his lips, on gate to the place of execution, and was at that his return, the following account is given. The time followed by his two servants in charge of a principal property belonging to Goujuana was in party of executioners, armed with knobbed sticks. the neighborhood of the Tugăla, and thither he Partly dragged and partly goaded on, they were was sent with a party of men, not exceeding distinctly traced across the stream, and ascending thirty, to destroy the entire population of ten vil. the opposite hill. Here, however, they stopped, lages. On reaching the first of these devoted and a horrid scene took place. The two servants places, he entered with one man only, to avoid naturally enough had endeavored to effect their suspicion ; in the course of the evening one or escape ; but instead of binding them, they deter- two more dropped in, and so on, until the whole mined, as they called it, to take away their had arrived. He then informed the principal men strength by throwing them down, and striking that he had a message to deliver from the king, them violently on all parts of the body with sticks and as it was addressed to all, it would be better --their blows I could distinctly hear.' Again they for the men to assemble in a place together, were placed upon their feet, and urged on less ra- where all could hear. This arrangement being pidly to the fatal spot, near a large euphorbia tree made, he so contrived it that his men, with om
a previous signal had been concerted, should in- suggest. On a late expedition it appears, that termingle with the party, and endeavor to divert the troops now harangued had not performed the their attention by offering them snuff. While service expected—they had entered the territory thus apparently on the most friendly terms, the of Umselekāz, and, instead of surrounding and cap fatal blow was given, each of the Indoona's party, turing the herds within their reach, had attended to on noticing the signal, rising and stabbing his fel- some pretended instructions to halt and return; Inw with an assagai. The houses were instantly some palliating circumstances had no doubt screenfired, and the women and children indiscriminately ed them from the customary rigor on such occabutchered. The same horrors were perpetrated sions, and this untoward occurrence was now turnat each of the remaining villages, and it is said ed to the best advantage. After a long tirade, in that but a very few escaped by flight out of the which Tambooza ironically described their feeble whole number!
onset and fruitless effort, advancing like a Mercury It is truly lamentable to reflect on the numbers to fix his dart, and gracefully retiring as though to of cold blooded murders which are thus syste- point a fresh barb for the attack; now slacking his matically occurring, and that under the highest wrath by a journey to the right, and then as abruptly sanction, in these habitations of cruelty, going far recoiling to the left--by each detour increasing in to depopulate many flourishing districts.; and vehemence—the storm was at length at its height, surely it should be the earnest and the constant and in the midst of the tempest he had stirred, he prayer of Christians, that the glorious light of the retired to the feet of his sovereign, who I remarked Gospel may illumine their dark mountains, pro- could scarcely refrain from smiling at many of the ducing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth taunting expressions that were used. Georgo's peace, good-will towards men.'
countenance can better be imagined than describA few days after this painful occurrence, a chief ed at this moment. Impatient to reply, he now named Georgo, at the head of a large detachment rose from the centre of the line, his person deco from his regiment, came from a distant part of the rated with strings of pink beads worn over his country, for the purpose of begging shields. As shoulders like a cross-belt, and large brass rings all the cattle folded in the military towns belong on his arms and throat. “ Amanka,” (it is false,) to the king, and but few are killed there in propor- was the first word le uttered. The various chition to the numbers which are daily slaughtered valrous deeds of himself and his men were then at the capital, this is, in consequence, the great set forth in the most glowing colors, and a scene deposit of shields, the manufacture of which is con- ensued which I scarcely know how to describe. stant and almost the only occupation of the mon; Independent of his own energetic gesticulations, two being formed from each hide. The reception his violent leaping and sententious running, on of this party, which was somewhat curious, I shall the first announcement of any exculpatory fact innow describe. Their arrival at the principal gate dicating their prowess in arms, one or more of the of the town having been notified to the king, an principal warriors would rush from the ranks to order was soon after sent for their admission, corroborate the statement by a display of muscular when they all rushed up with a shout, brandishing power in leaping, charging, and pantomimic contheir sticks in a most violent manner, until within Alict, which quite made the ground to resound una respectable distance of the Issigordio, when they der his feet; alternately leaping and galloping, (for halted. Dingamn soon mounted his pedestal and it is not running,) until frenzied by the tortuous showed himself over the fence, on which a simul- motion, their nerves were sufficiently strong for taneous greeting of Byăte ran through the line the acme posture-vaulting several feet in the air, into which they were now formed. He soon dis- drawing the knees towards the chin, and at the appeared, and the whole party then seated them- same time passing the hands between the ankles. selves on the ground they occupied. Dingarn In this singular manner were the charges advancshortly after came out, the two Indoonas and a ed and rebutted for a considerable time; Dingarn number of his great men having already arrived, acting behind the scene as a moderator, and ocand seated themselves in semicircular order on casionally calling off Tambooza as an unruly bulleach side of his chair, from whom he was, how- dog from the bait. At length, as though imper. ever, removed to a dignified distance. Tambonza, ceptibly drawn into the argument, he concluded who is the great speaker on all these occasions, and the business in these words, “When have we the professed scolder whenever necessity requires, ever heard any thing good of Georgo? What has was now on his legs; to speak publicly in any Georgo done? It is a name that is unknown to other posture would, i am convinced, be painful us. I shall give you no shields until you have to a Zoolu; nor is he content with mere jesticula- proved yourself worthy of them; go and bring me tion-actual space is necessary-I had almost some cattle from Umselekāz, and then shields said sufficient for a cricket-ball to bound in, but shall be given you.” A burst of applause rang this would be hyperbole; a run however he must from all sides on this unexpected announcement; have, and I nave been surprised at the grace and under which, in good taste, the despot made his effect which this novel accompaniment to the art exit, retiring into the Issigördlo, while bowls of of elocution has often given to the point and mat- beer were served out to the soldiers, who with ter of the discourse. In this character Tambooza their Indoona were soon after observed marching is inimitable, and shone especially on the present over the hills, on their way to collect the reoccasion, having doubtless been instructed by the mainder of their regiment, for the promised exking, in whose name he addressed Georgo and his pedition. I am inclined to think that there was party, to interlard his oration with as many pun- much of state policy in the whole of these progent reproofs and cutting invectives as his fertile ceedings, particularly as the order for the attack imagination could invent, or his natural disposition on Zmselekaz was shortly after countermanded,