Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

my steps; and on which I thankfully proceeded, Monday, 12th. -Went out in two parties to exalthough it became shortly after as thick as ever; plore a road. This time I was attended by two but before I had gone far, it again entirely cleared people, a Hottentot, and a Zoolu. My horse up; and I was thus enabled, after a tedions walk, having had such a severe lesson in the anand not until it was quite dark, to rejoin the wa- telope step on Saturday, I thought it but fair that gons. Two men had been sent out in quest of it should not be repeated to-day; and, indeed, as me, but I did not fall in with them until I had it turned out, he would only have proved an in.: reached the foot of the mountain. In the course cumbrance. As we ascended, the effect of the of my scramble I picked up, on some of the highest new and the old grass divided by the river, which points, several specimens of agate, which were had obstructed the burning, was singular, and had İying about on the surface in great quantities. all the appearance of the distinguishing colors of They occur generally in small irregular pieces, two contiguous countries on a map. Never do I about the size of a nutmeg, and appear to be very remember to have a more difficult scramble; in transparent. From this circumstance, I have many places it was necessary only to regard the given the valley the name of Agate Vale. actual rocks over which I was clambering: the

precipices on each side were too fearful to be conSunday, 11th.

templated for a moment. After all this toil I was prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, be your standing suddenly terminated at my feet, in a per“Be careful for nothing ; but in every thing, by again disappointed in obtaining a glimpse of the

country beyond: the ridge upon which I was requests be made known unto God.”—(Philipp. iv. 6.)

pendicular chasm, which, until I reached the brink,

had appeared to be connected with an opposite Hence, ye vain corroding cares,

pinnacle, adjoining the crest of the Giant's Cup. Never more my heart oppress ;

To return by the way I had come I considered as The word of God a balm prepares

impossible; and it was this conviction which in For every hour of deep distress.

part had induced me to proceed thus far: there

appeared, however, no alternative. The descent A throne of grace is there revealed,

was commenced by letting myself down one or Where Jesus sits to answer prayer;

two of the most difficult places; but the worst 'Tis but to come and to be healed,

was yet to come. Just at this critical point, one And leave our anxious burdens there.

of the men most providentially discovered a less

perilous route, by which we were enabled to reach And oh ! how full the promise runs

the valley in safety. Bare and sterile rocks ocIn every time of need draw near,

cupy the highest elevations of these mountains ; And I will deal with you as sons,

but the middle and lower regions are scantily And banish every doubt and fear.

clothed in detached patches with trees, chiefly the

protea grandiflora, which grows from five to twelve Nought that is needful I restrain,

or fourteen feet in height. Many of the heaths And you may ask for all you need;

are very beautiful ; but did not strike me as difNone ever came to me in vain ;

fering from those which I have met with in the My promise you may always plead.

Cape Colony. The most common bear a white

daisy-like flower. Bamboo from ten to twelve feet But let not prayer alone ascend ;

high are found near the banks of the river. The Shall we the cup of blessing drink,

most remarkable is a tree which is evidently a And thankless our petitions end?

connecting link between the palms and the ferns: No more upon our mercies think! the nearest approach that I have seen is the

Zamia or Kafir-bread tree; but this is evidently a Acceptance we could never gain ;

variety, the leaves of each branch being precisely A fiery sword would bar the way,

those of the fern, while those of the Kafir-bread Had not the blood of Jesus slain

tree partake of the palm. The trunks of those in Procured access whereby we pray.

question, which are only found on the lower slopes

and valleys, are similar to the palmyra—but selAnd never can we fully know,

dom exceed six or seven feet in height; and, Until we reach the realms of love, when blackened by the burning of the grass may The debt of gratitude we owe

easily be taken for a man at a distance. Though To such an Advocate above.

disappointed in my chief object, I was not a little

gratified by the peculiar grandeur of the mountain Well then with prayer may praise unite scenery, which exhibited in great variety many of Our highest privilege while here;

the sublimest characteristics of Alpine regions,— In Heaven 'twill be our chief delight, the rocks, in many situations, being rent and scatEternity itself endear.

tered about in shapeless fragments and in others

standing erect, like the ruins of ancient castles. So shall that perfect peace be ours, Their general composition, as far as I could ascer

Which none but suppliants fully share; tain, was compact and soft limestone; the former And we shall deem our happiest hours abounding with minute particles of quartz. While Were those that we have spent in prayer. we were on the summit a column of smoke was

observed to rise from a distant point of the same Morning.-English service in the tent ;-Afler- range, towards the S. W., probably some grass noon.--Kafir ditto in the open air.

still ignited, as it is now evident that these exten

success.

sive burnings must have swept over the whole ed the colony in the neighborhood of the Stormcountry from the inhabited districts near the coast. berg. The vicissitudes of climate are here very We dir, not reach the bivouac until it was dark; great: yesterday the heat was almost tropical: and as no provisions could be taken, after nine to-day the wind from the S. W. is high, and we hours of nearly constant walking and scrambling, are all suffering from the cold: the natives nearly I felt quite ready for a mess of our gipsy fare. benumbed. The other party had already returned, but without About nine this morning we broke up our bi

vouac, and taking our final leave of Agate Vale Tuesday, 13th.--As no practicable road has with is romantic rocks and precipices, proceeded been discovered by either party, and there is every as soon as we had turned the mountains which probability of there being as broken a country for margin this sequestered valley, in a S. W. direcsome distance on the other side of these moun- tion by compass. Before noon we reached a very tains as (contrary to every previous account) we rocky stream, in the attempt to ford which the bag. have proved to be the case on this, I have decided, gage-wagon was thrown over. Happily nothing after well considering our present position, as well material was broken; and the provisions escaped as our future prospects as to provisions, to send with but a trifling wetting, though most of the back one wagon, with two spans of oxen, to Port other things were thoroughly soaked. As soon Natal; and to proceed with the remainder of the as it was entirely lightened, the sides were lashed oxen, packed with the provisions, &c., on foot. down to the bed; and, with the united strength of The baggage wagon I purpose leaving here. This, ourselves and the oxen, it was again placed upon its under existing circumstances, appears to be the wheels and drawn up the bank. The other wagon quickest, and indeed the surest way of reaching crossed by a better ford, soon after discovered at the colony. Our present distance, west of the a short distance above; and here of course it be. meridian of Port Natal, I consider to be about one came necessary to remain a sufficient time to rehundred geographical miles, the true course made pair damages, and dry the bedding, &c. This good W by N half N.; and that by shaping a s. morning, while riding in front of the wagons, I W.compass course, we shall reach Stockenstrom's picked up the handle of a native hoe, which apriver, and enter the colonial boundary by the dis- peared to have been long exposed to the weather: trict of New Hantam, which is the nearest point. although in itself a trifling circumstance, it could

Friday, 16th.—The rain, which continued not be viewed without interest in this solitary wildernearly the whole of Wednesday, prevented us ness: and I regard it either as an indication of our from making the necessary preparation for pack- approach to the habitable abodes of man, or as a ing the oxen, &c. The cold was quite piercing, memento of a race now extinct, or driven by the with a sharp frost during the night. Yesterday, invader far from the land of their nativity. after much previous practice with stuffed bags

Afternoon.—We had not proceeded more than and a great deal of trouble, the oxen were at four miles when we were obliged to cross another length packed, their noses having been bored for river, which I consider to be still the Umzincoolu; the purpose ; and in the afternoon we commenced that which we forded this morning being a smaller our new mode of travelling. To an indifferent stream, and appearing to fall into it at no great spectator our appearance at this time would have distance below. To this I have given the name been somewhat ludicrous : but few out of the of Cyrus Ford.* Spanned out soon after sunset. whole number of oxen were decidedly quiet under Distance travelled about fifeen miles-general their burdens, while by far the greater part were course, S. W. Road good over open downs withrebellious; and in consequence spanned in two- out trees, and-two, with the tractow between, and led in the Saturday, 17th.—I do not recollect ever to hare usual manner, with the hope of keeping them thus suffered so much from cold as during the past night. under sufficient control. Between the two front pair Some water which remained in the bucket was the camp kettle was suspended from the yoke; frozen a quarter of an inch thick. A South African and to the horns and yokes of the rest many of wagon is but a poor defence against wind, every the lighter articles—such as mats, tin mugs, &c. part being moveable and well adapted for admut. were attached. We had not, however, proceeded ting currents of fresh air in all directions; and far when some of the latter floundered in cross- this being my only dwelling for the time being, no ing a rivulet, and one regularly packed, from fire that could have been kindled would have avail. which better things were expected, with a violent ed. As the last stick was consumed in cooking effort dislodged his burden; and, in the struggle our supper last night, we moved off this morning to disengage himself from it altogether, rent the fasting. The weather was again warm, and the greater part into shreds with his horns and feet. sun powerful; but, after travelling about ten miles My driver, Richard King, was still limping from a

we found ourselves not more than two or three kick he had received in the course of this morn- from our last night's bivouac-a succession of steep ing's training; and at once perceiving, from the and rocky precipices frequently impeding our difficulties attending this first essay, that we were progress, and being the usual termination of the likely to have much trouble by the way, and that most even and promising-looking downs. In the in all probability more than half the provisions course of these disappointing circuits, I was, at would be damaged, I was induced to give up the one time, quite startled at the appearance of a attempt, and returned, with the intention of taking rugged mountain which I have named the Giant's on both wagons, and endeavoring to cross the Castle, as seen over an intervening hill. Its remountains at another point ; and, should this still semblance to Edinburgh Castle, from one or two be found impracticable, to follow their course, keeping as near them as possible, until we reach

From my interpreter, Gorge Cyrus.

open

points, was so striking that, for the moment, I could And Jesus oft himself becomes almost fancy myself transported to Prince's Street Our sanctuary and priest ; -an illusion which, as it passed my mind, made Not only scatters children's crumbs, me more than ever sigh for the termination of the But furnishes, and 'tends the feast ! trackless wilderness, and the cheering sight of the abodes of man. Crossed with some difficulty a small Grace makes the howling desert brightrivulet, and spanned out on the opposite side.

An Eden bloom where all was drear; Afternoon.-Crossed a stream which appeared It soothes in sorrow's darkest night, to unite itself with the river I have taken to be

And chases every anxious fear. the Umzimcoolu, further down. On gaining the opposite bank, our curiosity was greatly excited

For ever then that grace impart, by the appearances of human foot-prints in the

No more thy presence, Lord, deny; sand. From these marks, it was evident that two

Oh never from my soul departpersons, accompanied by a dog, had very recently

I cannot want if Thou art night! forded the stream in a contrary direction to that we were taking. The general conclusion was, that they were bushmen, who had either travers Morning - English service in the tent; After

air. ed the mountains in quest of game, or were the noon—Kafir ditto in the inhabitants of some neighboring district on this Monday, 19th.—The level of the country has side of the Quathlamba range. In the course of gradually ascended since yesterday afternoon, and this day's journey we fell in with several hartebeests we were to-day in great expectation that we had and elands, as also a herd of gneu, eleven in num- at length gained the wished-for pass. Appearances ber. The latter are known in the colony by the were certainly favorable we were enabled, with name of wilderbeest (wild beast;) a most indefi- the wagons, to ascend almost to the height of nite appellation, which has been given to them by some of the rocky eminences, which I was inclinthe Dutch. About sunset spanned out under some ed to consider as a part of the main range, and, findhills in the neighborhood of both wood and water. ing a deep valley before us, I left the party to span As several lateral ridges are here observed to out, and Climbing over a long and craggy ridge to branch off to the S. E., like buttresses from the the right, reached some table land. The result of main range, the prospect of finding a practicable this two hours' scramble was still disappointment. pass through the mountains in this direction is It proved to be only a collateral ridge, between more cheering. Travelled twenty-one miles-ge- which and the real Quathlamba a series of steep neral course, S. W.

and rocky chasms precluded the possibility of ap

proach. Sunday. 18th.

On these heights several plants of indigo were

growing, similar to those so abundant in the neigh“ Can God furnish a tabie in the wilderness ?"- borhood of Port Natal, where two or three species (Psalm Ixxviii. 19. See also Isaiah xlv. 17. 18.) are found.

Afternoon. There being no choice, we crossed How sweet when kindred hearts unite, the neck, and by a very steep descent entered a

In God's own house of prayer and praise ! narrow valley between high mountains, from which, What holy joy-what calm delight after crossing the stream that wound through it, To each that hallowed hour conveys !

we had some difficulty in extricating ourselves,

the entrance being so narrow, and the night clos. How sure the promise-precious word ! ing in upon us before we had emerged from the

“Where two or threc for prayer shall meet, defile. Travelled twenty miles--general course There are my choicest gifts conferred,

S. W.
And there my presence shall be sweet!” Tuesday, 20th.-Completed the descent which

we had been unable to do last night, having been But are there, then, no streams that flow

obliged to span out on sloping ground; and, on For weary pilgrims by the way!

reaching the flat below, twice crossed the stream Is there no ear to heed their wo

which was winding through it, and soon after a No voice to answer when they pray?

branch of the same. Near this spot some burnt, sticks were observed, so methodically arranged

near the skull of an eland, that there seemed little Ah, yes ! omnipotent to save,

doubt that a fire had here been kindled by some The Lord our Refuge still is near, wandering bushman or other native in order to Alike to solace on the wave,

dress the meat of the animal that had been killed. Or in the wilderness to cheer!

As the ridges continued to run off to the south-east,

to avoid a considerable circuit we crossed the only How oft a table there he spreads,

practicable one; but it was a severe labor for the With angel's food our strength renews; poor oxen, requiring both spans to each wagon on Around our drooping spirits sheds

ascending, and no less than three wheels to be Refreshing showers of heavenly dews. locked as we descended on the other side, where

it was necessary to apply reims to the sides, in Though oft we seem, like Ishmael, left order to keep them from falling over. On gaining Alone to languish and to die;

the first even ground we spanned out. From our Of every outward means bereft,

present position, and the tendency of all the E'en there the living streams are nigh. | streams we are now crossing, I consider that they

fall into the Umzimvoobo.-Rocks still sandstone, cooking bowls, a head-plume and armlet of hair, with fine particles of quartz.

with several other articles, but more especially Wednesday, 21st. We were prevented by a the traces of the horses, sufficiently proved who storm of heavy rain, attended with thunder, from had been the late occupants of this singular place completing the descent yesterday afternoon, which of refuge. It could have been no other than a with the usual preparation of locking three wheels, party of Amakosa, who had retreated into this and holding on ropes, was this morning effected, mountain fastness; and a more well-chosen place the last slope being just as difficult and preci- for defence it is scarcely possible to conceive. pitous as the first. Having crossed the stream The cave itself could contain at least one hun. which divided the base of the mountain from an- dred persons; and from the irregularity of the other, up which it was necessary to toil, we approach, and the numerous masses of rock lying gained a more level country, traversing downs, detached about its mouth, its very existence until we again reached the same stream further might have long been concealed, while in the imto the westward, where we spanned out. One mediate neighborhood there is good and ample solitary hartebeest, with a few bucks, (ore buck,) pasturage for a numerous herd of cattle. From alone were seen.

various appearances, I am of opinion that they

could not have quitted the spot more than six or Afternoon.—The route again becoming very

seven weeks previously ; had it been otherwise, intricate, and requiring much inspection, we were unable to proceed far, as the sun had nearly set and Kafir mercy is unfortunately but too well

we should have been completely at their mercy when we gained the neighboring height, when we known. With respect to their movements, but halted for the night. Distance travelled, twelve two conjectures could be formed; they had either miles—general course, W.

abandoned their rock refuge on the notification of Friday, 23rd.--Finding yesterday morning that peace with the colony, or with the intention of a continued barrier of steep rocks prevented all concentrating their scattered forces in a place progress to the south-west, we again descended, more favorable for general combination. The and following the windings of a steep acclivity, former I consider as the most probable ; but while skirted on our right by the river, forcing its pas- a doubt remains on the subject, it is sufficient to sage by a series of cataracts over the huge frag- deter ine from proceeding any further in a southments of rock that encumbered its bed, we pro- westerly direction, as from reports received when ceeded up the ravine, anxiously looking for an last at Bunting, and more especially from the outlet. Hemmed in on two sides by steep and avowal of Kheeli's spies, the tribe of the late rugged mountains, we were still enabled for three Hinza were meditating a retreat to the northward, miles to continue our course to the westward ; and would probably, ere this, have occupied the but here a stop was at once put to all further ad- whole country from the head of the Kei to the vance, the mountains uniting near this point, and mountains, directly across our track. The time presenting nothing but a confused mass of crags had now arrived to decide whether or not it would and precipices

, towering to a considerable height. be advisable, under al circumstances, to proseTo span out was obvious-nothing further was cute the present intention of reaching the colony practicable for wagons : parties, however, were by crossing the Quathlamba range. This, it was soon detached in different directions ; but after a evident, could only be effected by abandoning the toilsome and difficult scramble to the summit of wagons and packing the oxen; but as they had the neighboring heights, which proved to be our already proved so refractory on comparatively unyielding friends, the noted Quathlamba, we all plain ground, it was exceedingly doubtful, if, with returned with the same unfavorable report that it all our exertions, we could urge them over the was utterly impossible to proceed. Level spots mountains without losing the greater part of our indeed were there—and could the wagons by any supplies. I never longed so much for a Spanish means have been conveyed to the top, it is pro- “ borico;" but even then, deceived as we had bable that for five or six miles they might travel been by every previous account of this country without difficulty; but, then the descent!—and (having encountered nothing but steep mountains the complete labyrinth of rocky precipices which where open plains were reported, and actually seemed to intersect the country in every direc- laid down in the maps,) there was little probation, made it evident that the same labor must be bility of meeting with any very even country repeated again and again, before we could hope throughout the whole intervening route to Stockto surmount the difficulties with which we were enstrom's river. The only prudent course seemed beset. While on this fruitless search, numerous to be to endeavor to make the coast by the neartracos of horses and cattle were observed; and est route (a south-east course ;) and when thus Jacob reported that he had traced a well-beaten assured of our actual position, to make the best path to the brink of a cave, which appeared to be of our way once more to Bunting, in the hope of inhabited. No time was lost in exploring this the Kafir war having in the mean time terminated, unexpected haunt; and following the winding foot- and the usual road to the colony being again path for about half a mile further up the valley, open. Having finally come to this determination, we suddenly reached the mouth of a cavern, we took our leave of tue rucks and precipices of formed by a huge slab of rock jutting out from Quathlamba, and, retracing our steps, yesterday the precipice, the interior of which had been in- afternoon traversed open downs until some time geniously partitioned off by trunks and branches past sunset, when we spanned out. Several of trees, so as to form four separate rooms or paths worn by the Kafirs were observed by the compartments. Marks of fire were every where way. To the ravine, in which the cave was dis. visible : remnants of mats, bunches of Indian corn, covered, I have given the name of “Cavernglen."

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Distance travelled fourteen miles-general course, And bowls, and plumes, and corn we found, E. E. by E. half E.

As they had left them strewed around, This morning crossed a stream, apparently a Beside their rocky lair. branch of a larger, issuing from the mountains more to the westward, and which, from its general Oh! could these crags the tale unfold, course and size, I consider to be the Umzimvoo Of all that passed within that hold; bo; its source cannot be far from the position we How oft on Abaloongu's * race occupied yesterday morning. Continued our pro

Were threats and bitter curses heaped, gress over open downs without trees ; herds of As frantic round their fires they leaped, gneu in all directions, in one of them í counted Burning t avenge their foul disgrace. thirty-seven; two shots were fired, but without effect. When seen at full gallop, with their heads

But all is still—and now again down, their long white tails floating in the wind, The beasts of prey resume their den, and the necks and foreheads thickly covered with By fiercer men thus dispossessed; long shaggy hair, they have a most ferocious ap Where once was heard the Kafir's shout pearance. On gaining the heights we had a fine A dreadful silence reigns throughoutview of the Quathlamba range, which, as far as A solitude that quite oppressed ! they were visible, appeared to run in one continuous line due east and west by compass. The

Adieu, ye rocky heights-adieu ! highest points (Saddle-back and the Giant's Cup) Your cloud-capped tops I love to view, I should not suppose were more than 4000 feet For there my Maker's power I trace ; from the level of the valley, probably not so much. Firm as your base His word remains, A remarkable detached peak has been in view, And as your streams refresh the plains, bearing by compass E. by S. On our right is an Unbounded flows His sovereign grace. extensive undulating plain bounded by mountains, through which the river I take to be the Umzim What though no human voice is there, voobo is observed to make many windings. One Of all your wonders to declare, of my people (Georgo,) who had accompanied

And waft the breath of praise ; the last expedition of the Zoolus against Tpai, As long as earth's foundations stand, recognised it as the spot where the guides lost You 'll witness bear of Him who planned, their way, and in consequence the army was ob And who alone your peaks could raise. liged to return.

Afternoon.-Several gneu in sight. On riding Saturday, 24th.—This morning before we starttowards them they often stand and snort for some ed a gneu was killed, the flesh of which was soon time, and then suddenly plunge, kick up, and lash after suspended at the back of the wagon. Contheir tails, and in an instant are off at full gallop, tinued over open downs, skirted by inountains ; making the dust fly as they sweep over the hills. troops of gneu prancing about in all directions ; Compared to our late difficulties all seemed now spanned out at nine. smooth and plain, indeed, in the direction we are now travelling, open undulating downs generaly same ; counted seventy-six gneu from the spot

Afternoon. Appearance of the country the lay in our way; the slopes, however, are often where I stood; there must have been many more very steep and rocky. Soon after sunset reached in the neighborhood. About midway took a last a valley, where we stopped for the night; we had look at the Quathlamba ; they were soon aftertaken the precaution of carrying wood in the wa- wards hid by the mountains we were approachgon, or we should have been unable to have pro- ing; at this time the peak over Cavernglen bore cured any this evening. Travelled twenty-one N. w. by N. by compass. Having collected sufmiles general course, $. E. half s.

ficient fire-wood by the way, we spanned out

about sunset on the bank of a rocky river. TraON LEAVING THE QUATHLAMBA velled twenty-one miles_general course, 8. E.

MOUNTAINS.
Although we toiled in vain to clamber

Sunday, 25th.
Across the steeps of proud Quathlamba,
Still that rugged vale we trod,

I will never leave thee por forsake thee."-(Ae-
Where treacherous Amakosa sought

brews xiii. 5.) A refuge from the sword they brought

Oh ! for faith to walk aright,
Just recompense for deeds of blood.

Seeing Him who's always near;

Guided—not by erring sight--
Deep in the mazes of that dark defile,

Till the promised day appear.
Hid by a huge gigantic pile
Of rocky fragments strewed around,

How 't would sweeten every care,
A yawning cavern stood revealed,

How 't would every joy enhance,
Where long the foe had been concealed,

Did we know the Lord was near,-
And yet a trophy there we found.

Like Peter feel His loving glance !
The cave was black with smoke and flame,
Each grassy couch remained the same The general term for white men among all

As though they'd just been sleeping there these tribes.

« AnteriorContinuar »