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If from the southern extremity of Africa, which on the old charts appears to terminate, improperly, in an angle, we proceed in an easterly direction about 500 miles, and northerly about 220 miles, we shall have the two sides describing the irregular parallelogram which constitutes the colony of the Cape of Good Hope. It comprehends, therefore, a surface of about 110,000 square miles, over which is spread a population, not much exceeding 65,000 persons. Of these, about 25,000 are whites, 25,000 slaves, and 15,000 Hottentots; the last mentioned, for any thing yet known to the contrary, being the original inhabitants of this part of Africa. Of this scanty population, the town of the Cape and its immediate neighbourhood contain at least 20,000, of whom about 3000 are whites, 4000 half casts of various mixtures, and 13,000 slaves.
Two chains of mountains of considerable height, lying parallel to each other in a direction of east and west, divide this territory into two portions of very different character. That part which lies between the first chain and the sea coast, and extends from the Cape to the Great Fish river, is generally rugged, broken into hill and dale, and intersected by numberless rivulets running in the bottom of deep ravines; the surface generally well clothed with herbaceous and frutescent plants; and, at the distance of about 200 miles from the Cape, the glens and chasms on the southern side of the mountains are thickly covered with forests of large trees, which continue with more or less interruption far beyond the eastern boundary of the colony. Those of largest dimensions and most common use are two species of yellow wood, (taxus,) stinkwood, (quercus,) ironwood, (syderoxylon) hassagai wood, (curtesia faginea,) and rood els, (cunonia capensis.) But besides these are a multitude of beautiful trees, not yet classed. On the hills and rugged plains are the most shewy productions in the vegetable world, the large and elegant tribe of proteus, and the beautiful and ever varying heaths, (erica,) of the latter of which not fewer, we believe, than 300 different species have been discovered and described. Almost as numerous, and far more diversified, are the families of geranium and mysembryanthemum, of gnaphalium, reranthemum, and other genera allied to the everlastings, the multitude and brilliancy of whose flowers dazzle while they delight the eye. In this tract are also found the various species of the gaudy aloe, but particularly that (perfoliata) from which the drug is extracted: these, with the crassula, the cotyledon, and the salsola, the latter of which yields a potash used in making soap, the diosmn, polygala, cliffortia, brunia and myrica, whose bunches of berries are coated over with a thin pellicle of wax
6-are the leading genera which clothe the surface, but do not cover it; for it is
characteristic, we believe, of the whole continent of Africa, that even in the most fertile and luxuriant parts of it, the earth is only partially covered; there being no such thing, in fact, as what we call turf or green sod. It would be endless to enumerate the products of the vegetable kingdom--but it is impossible to overlook the more humble tribe of liliaceous plants which, for their exquisite fragrance and boundless variety of shape and colour, stand uvrivalled in any other part of the globe. The amaryllis, the gladiolus, the ixia, the moræa and iris are the most conspicuous; but the lowly oslip, (oralis,) the star-flower (hypouis) and lachenalia, spriuging out of a naked, and almost impenetrable surface of clay, command attention by their lively and brilliant hues, exhibiting sometimes all the colors of the rainbow in a single flower.
Between the first chain of mountains, and the second, is a vast extent of country known by the Hottentot name of Karroo,-an unbounded waste of dreadful uniformity, except where broken by a few straggling hills of schistus or slate, rising, like little volcanic cones, out of a naked surface of clay, whose tinge is that of a dull ferruginous brown. All traces of animated nature are obliterated from this dreary solitude ; and the withered remains of the few succulent plants, sparingly scattered over the surface, crackle under the feet, and seem, from the faint and feeble traces of vegetable life, to maintain a perpetual struggle for existence. If, however, some partial thunder-storm should burst upon this desert, the bulbs begin to swell, and the leaves to push through the moistened clay; the melilotos creeps along the surface, the iceplant glistens in the sun, and the hemanthus spreads with wonderful rapidity its broad leaves along the ground, as if to throw a protecting cover over the little moisture the earth had received, and to defend it from the sun. Mr. Lichtenstein crossed a narrow arm of this Karroo, and as his description of it is among the happiest of his efforts, it is fair to give him the full benefit of it.
• As soon as, in the cooler season, the rains begin to fall, and penetrate the hard coat of earth, these fibres (of roots) imbibe the moisture, and, pushing aside the clay, the germ of the plant, under their protection, begins to shoot. As by successive rains the soil gets more and more loosened, the plants at length appear above it, and in a few days the void waste is covered with a delicate green clothing. Not long after, thousands and thousands of flowers enamel the whole surface: the mild mid-day sun expands the radiated crowns of the mysembryanthemums and gortinia, and the young green of the plants is almost hidden by the glowing colours of their full-blown flowers, while the whole air is filled with the most fragrant odour. This odour is more particularly delightful when, after a calm day, the sun declines, and the warm breath of the flowers rests quietly on the plain. At this time the whole dreary desert is transformed into one continued garden of flowers; the
colonist, with his herds and his flocks, leaves the snowy mountains, and, descending into the plain, there finds a plentiful and wholesome supply of food for the animals, while troops of the tall ostrich and the wandering antelope, driven also from the heights, share the repast, and enliven the scene.
• But, how soon is the country again deprived of all its glory it scarcely continues more than a month, unless late rains, which must not often be expected, call forth the plants again into new life. As the days begin to lengthen, the revived power of the mid-day sun checks once more the lately-awakened powers of vegetation. The flowers soon fade and fall, the stems and leaves dry away, and the hard coat of earth locks up the germs till the time arrives for the return of the rains ; the succulent plants alone still furnish food for the herds and focks. Soon the streams begin to dry, the springs scarcely flow, till at length the complete drought compels the colonists to seek again their more elevated homes; yet even then they quit the plain with reluctance, and the flocks, accustomed to endure thirst, still linger behind, feeding on the succulent plants which afford at once food and drink, and are particularly salutary to those that bear the wool. Every day, however, the Karroo grows more and more solitary, and by the end of September it is wholly deserted. The bardened clay bursts into a thousand cracks, which evince to the traveller the vast power of the African sun. Every trace of verdure is vanished, and the hard red soil is covered over with a brown dust, formed from the ashes of the dried and withered plants.'-(p. 124.)
About the meridian of the Cape point the two chains of mountains above mentioned approach cach other, and taking a northerly direction, parallel to the sea coast, for about 180 miles, spread themselves out and melt away gradually into the general surface of the country, which, as we advance to the northward, becomes more and more sandy, barren, and desolate. The mountains are generally of sandstone, resting on a base of granite; the inferior hills of compact or slaty schistus, abounding with argillaceous iron-stone. Every where iron ores are abundant. In some places they are found in small regular cubes, in others in the shape of elites or eagle-stone, in nodules of various sizes, filled with an impalpable ocreous powder, of every shade of red, brown, and yellow, serving the farmers as paint.* Silver and lead ores have been discovered to the eastward, and abundance of copper ores to the northward, whence are brought fine specimens of malachite, and the much admired stone of an apple green colour, called prehnite. Native
Two masses of what has been supposed native iron are described by Barrow. Onc of them being found on the summit of the Table Mountain, and containing about the same proportions of nickel as is found in those stones which are supposed to fall from the clouds, gave rise to an opiniog, that the masses in question might have proceeded from the same source. We understand that both have been sent to Holland by Governor Jansens, but specimens of them are in England, and have been examined.
very common in powder and in crystals, and traces of coal have been discovered not far from the Table mountain. No volcanoes have yet disturbed this southern corner of Africa, but hot springs are not uncommon, soine chalybeate, some hepatic, and others apparently free from any extraneous impregnation. Several violent shocks of an earthquake have, however, recently terrified the inhabitants of Cape Town.
We find nothing very remarkable in the lower classes of the animal part of the creation. The dryness of the air, the want of water, and the general sterility of the surface, are unfavourable to the propagation of some of the disgusting and nosious insects which infest most warm countries. There are, however, many venomous snakes and scorpions, whose bite has soinetimes proved mortal. Mr. Lichtenstein also mentious venomous spiders four inches in diameter; and he corroborates the opinion long entertained, of the fascinating power of snakes over the smaller animals. On a warm day, after a shower of rain, cameleons and other species of the lizard tribe, land tortoises of all sizes, and large bectles, (scarabei,) leave their haunts in swarins. But the great scourge of the country is the locust, which makes its occasional visits to this part of Africa. Mr. Lichtenstein speaks of the immeasurable trains of wandering caterpillars,' meaning the larvæ of those clouds of locusts' which Vaillant described as obscuring the light of the sun. No adequate idea can possibly be formed of the myriads of these animals, and their destructive powers ; marching forward in columns, which cover many hundred square miles, they devour every leaf and every blade of grass, leaving the surface perfectly naked, and appearing as if swept with a broom.
In the sandy plains of Africa, where the successive rotting and reproduction of heaths and rhinoceros-bushes, (seriphium,) with which they mostly abound, have mixed with the sand a portion of light boggy earth, thousands of hillocks, from one to three feet high, arrest the attention, and impede the progress of the traveller. These cellular masses, constructed by the termes, or white-ants, answer to the farmer a double purpose; their fragments afford a fuel as good as turf, which Mr. Lichtenstein thinks burns the better for having some portion of the juices of the animal combined with the loam, and the insects and their larvæ are collected to feed poultry, upon which they speedily fatten. (p. 63.) But the most curious circumstance in the history of this extraordivary insect is its ephemeral existence in its perfect state, and its flight into the air. Such myriads ascend together that they resemble a shower of snow. Their fine subtle wings, slightly attached to the body, unable to bear the least breeze of wind, or even their own esertion, float about in the air, while the insect tumbles to the ground
and creeps into the cracks and crevices of the earth, to avoid being devoured by its own young, in the ravenous state of larvæ.
Ascending in the scale of creation to the feathered tribe, barren as the country is, and apparently ill suited for supplying them with sustenance and shelter, we find no deficiency, in number or variety, from the largest species that exists, the tall ostrich, to the minute certhia, or creeper. The condor vulture is not uncommon.
The percnopteros, or Egyptian vulture, most abundant; and all that Pliny has related of this bird, as to its sagacity in discovering carcases, seems to be perfectly correct. Should an animal die in the very midst of the most desert karroo, in less than half an hour there will be seen, high in the zenith, a number of minute objects, descending in spiral wheels, and increasing in size at every revolution, uill, approaching the earth, they pounce upon the prey, which they tear in pieces, and devour with such greediness, that they are frequently unable to rise from the ground. Another vulture, the serpentarius, sometimes called the secretary-bird, (from a few quill feathers growing out of the head,) is worthy of notice. It is the avowed enemy of snakes, which it never fails to attack. Various kinds of eagles, kites, and crows, of bustards, grous, and partridges, are inhabitants of the Cape. Guinea fowls abound there. The Numidian, the Virgin, and the Balearic crane, are not uncommon in the interior. The rose-coloured flamingos, drawn up and standing erect on the shores of the hays, look like regiments of soldiers ; their wings are used by the colonists as fans to flap away the flies; and the solitary pelican is sometimes shot for the sake of the down which covers its sides. As an object of interest, the little cuckoo, (indicator,) which points out by its action and chirping noise the bees' nest, cannot fail to attract the notice of the traveller; and the elegant little honey bird, (certhia,) with its brilliant and iridescent plumage, perched on the petals of the vase-shaped corolla of the protea mellifera, will equally command his attention.
It is remarkable that, in the narrow compass of eight degrees of latitude from the Cape point, and in a tract of country of singular sterility, there should be found to exist the very largest as well as the most minute objects in almost every class of the animal world. Thus, as among the birds we had the ostrich and the creeper, so, among the quadrupeds, are the elephant and the black streaked mouse, (pumilio,) the one weighing 4000 pounds, the other about the fourth part of an ounce; the camelopardalis, of the astonishing height of seventeen feet, and the little elegant zenik, (viverra,) of three inches. Here too is the abode of the gigantic hippopotamus, more bulky though less tall than the elephant, and the twohorned rhinoceros, of the same ponderous sow-like formation. Of the thirty species of antelopes which have been described, the VOL. VIII. NO. XVI.