Journal of Henrietta Townsend [5D10] 1841-1845

This remarkable journal by Henrietta Townsend recounts her voyage to Cape Town in 1841, the five months spent in South Africa and the twenty two months she spent in India with her brother-in-law Edward Hume Townsend who was a Collector and Political Agent with the British East India Company in the Bombay Presidency. The journal, 336 pages of quarto size manuscript, was transcribed in 2022 by Larissa Tompkins, daughter of Jill Townsend. The only editing changes made by Larissa were adding commas and full stops in place of the many dashes that Henrietta used to punctuate her sentences, writing people’s names in full where she used just their initials and writing numbers in words instead of in numerals. Her spelling as it is written (waggons, untill, &cc, etc) has been retained. Clarification, explanation, translation or commentary in the body of the text is shown in italics. Indecipherable words are shown as XXX.

Journal at the Cape of Good Hope and at Belgaum, Bombay &cc to 1845

On board the Childe Harold August 3rd 1841 Lat. 28.9

It is no easy thing to begin a journal anywhere. How much more difficult it is than at sea; where the soul still “sickens at the heaving wave” tho’ nearly a fortnight has elapsed since the poor body was first made subject to the trying motion. This is Tuesday, and last Friday week (the 23rd July) we left Portsmouth having been on board some days waiting for a favourable wind. The indescribable wretchedness of seasickness has prevented me from beginning till now to mark the daily little nothings which must go to swell the amount (if nothings may be said to do so) of everyday doings. The novelty of the situation would in many ways be very amusing, if we were in the humour to be amused. My first effort must be to say something of our fellow passengers &c. Captn Willis, commander of the vessel is an excellent man, amiable, honourable, benevolent, and truly pious; his wife is making her first voyage with him; but has as yet been such a sufferer that I can scarcely say that I have become acquainted with her. Mrs Fraser, the only married lady on board besides, is a pretty, playful Irishwoman going to join her husband. She is a Roman Catholic and therefore absents herself from our morning and evening prayer in the saloon. We have a very considerable national variety on board – A Motley Crew of Bombay Lascars (among whom I hear are different castes), besides Portugese Christians and Mussulmen are the sailors, with a few Englishmen. Among the Passengers is a Danish gentleman and a French Lady, three Scotch ladies and an English girl, a Cadet of the name of Williams, Dr Moyle, the “experienced surgeon” who has charge of the vessel, and these I think are all, with the exception of the 3 Mates 1st 2nd and 3rd. I need not mention the three Passengers by the names of Townsend (her brother Richard William Townsend - Dick and her sister Katherine Corker Townsend - Kate), poor Hibernians, who are crossing the seas to meet at the Cape of Good Hope with a dearly loved sister who, with her husband and family, have become the magnet which can draw even from the green shores of Erin, and from all the ties of “kindred, friends and quiet home” two sisters and a brother who have been ten years separated from those whom they now hope to meet. I am not writing for publication, and yet I cannot help fancying myself writing for somebody to read. Expect not therefore gentle reader that I can give a correct seamanlike account of all the vessel’s arrangements &c. I will try and make plain to you and myself what happens, and no more.

Two of the Ladies, Mlle Jallot and Miss Shaw, are going as teachers to join a Missionary Society in Bombay. They are in the same Cabin (a large lower Stateroom) with Miss Edward, a Scotch girl, going also to Bombay in a Missionary spirit and to become a Missionary’s wife but not sent by a Society. We drank tea with them last night that is, Kate and I – Mrs Fraser joining our party – the gentlemen of course excluded. They determined however to have their revenge, for when our tea was over and we were singing, a sudden noise and commotion on deck alarmed Mrs Fraser, and what was intended as a good joke to excite the curiosity of the ladies and get them out of their cabin (only to shew them the ladders had been removed and they could not come on deck) ended disastrously, for poor Mrs Fraser who had once suffered greatly from a fright at sea, and who is still quite nervous, got into such a state of alarm and misery that it was long ere she was quieted enough to believe that all was a jest.

August 7th 1841 Within the tropics

We are beginning to feel the heat but as yet it is accompanied by such a delightful breeze, that except when walking too much, I do not find it disagreeably warm. I have been anxiously looking out for flying fish, but have seen none. Some of our party have been more fortunate. Now that we all are well our mode of life is becoming more regular. At 8 we meet for Morning prayer, after which for breakfast, and then go to our various occupations. Luncheon is at 12 and dinner at 3, then evening is generally spent by the whole party on deck – we get up a concert or walk until 9 o’clock summons us to Evening Prayer, and at 10 we are in our own Cabins.

August 11th 1841

Day after day slips on very smoothly and pleasantly. We are all now quite well, and able to enjoy each other’s society. Yesterday we were greatly amused watching numbers of grampus tumbling and rolling about the ship; one could hardly help wishing to join their company and plunge into the blue waters. The heat is now very great during the day and we sit most of it in the cool cuddy. This cabin of ours (which is close to the cuddy) seemed at first an undesirable one, so small and noisy, but it has the advantage of being airy. At any time, we can have a draft of air thro’ it, and the noise which at first disturbed us so much has by now become familiar. It is now 6 o’clock am. I have been awakened by the scrubbing of the poop deck. It is regularly scrubbed with a large brush-like cushion called a bean. This is made of cannon balls sewed up in a thick hempen mat and makes a very considerable noise. Bucket fulls of water are poured constantly over the deck and the refreshing sound is worth awaking to listen to. (I find the poop deck is only scrubbed with a common brush but it makes such a noise I fancied the other was used.)

I have seen flying fish. They look like a flock of silver winged birds, and took a short flight into the regions of air, and doubtless were glad soon again to return to their cool abode beneath the waves. Mrs Willis came with great delight to shew us, a day or two since, the fruits of her fishing net, in the shape of one of those pretty little blue-bordered floating gossamer-like creatures, whom I have so often seen on our strands and coves at home after a summer storm. We used to call them Nautilus, for they have a membrane-like sail, but I fancy they more properly belong to the family of Medusae. We are now not only approaching new terrestrial scenes but new celestial objects also. Kate and Dick are making nightly observations and have “made out” many of the Southern constellations. The brilliancy of the stars does not appear to me much greater than I have seen it in our latitudes, tho’ the nights are now very dark – no moon (at least during our night walking) – the Southern Crown, the Centaur, the Southern fish – are all apparent. The Cross does not yet rise early enough for us to see. Jupiter is very brilliant and the Galaxy is remarkably luminous. Our old friend the Great Bear is going down in the world. Last evening nothing of him was visible as we left the deck but his tail, rising perpendicularly from the water and the North Star was sunk “below the watery floor”.

We stand shadowless now while the sun shines at 12 o’clock. I went out on deck for the purpose of seeing myself without this usual appendage and it was quite plain I had lost my shadow and yet I looked and felt very little like a spirit. It was amusing to see Dick, so tall, with only the shade of the brim of his hat encircling his feet. I should make a very agreeable affair of this journal if I could put down all Mr Donovan’s (the Chief Mate’s) amusing stories and a very learned affair of it could I transfer some of Herr Dr Westergaard’s (the Danish gentleman’s) stores of information on all subjects. He is a regular dictionary, or lexicon, and will answer you any question on Ancient or Modern History with the precision of a Gazetteer.

August 19th 1841

We have had a storm and seen a shark (on board I mean) since I last wrote. We had some very rough uncomfortable days, and were made sick. The rain which fell in torrents was the most violent I ever heard and the thunder without an echo, sounded like a charge of artillery, close to us. There is so much motion I can scarcely write, but if I defer writing until all is smooth I may possibly keep no log at all, for this promises to be rather a rolling voyage, tho’ now near the line.

We have suffered little or nothing from heat. The wind is so high that our evening walks have been interrupted; at least those who choose to walk do it at the risk of many a slide. We spoke to a vessel yesterday, the Union from London. She came close to us and looked very pretty. A schooner, a French vessel was also in sight. We have seen several vessels lately but none are homeward bound, all going our own way, tacking about now, as the wind is contrary. We are daily expecting to get into the S.E. Trades, which are to carry us smoothly off towards S America. We saw multitudes of dolphins rolling around us one day and a shark was caught. He was a small one but gave fresh food to the Lascars for a day or two. I tasted a morsel with curry but I only tasted the hot curry. Mrs Willis is much better and so are all our companions now.

Saturday Aug 21 1841. Lat 1. Long_

Tomorrow we expect to cross the line and last night we had a messenger from Neptune promising us a visit this day. His messenger was an extraordinary looking creature who came and saluted us on the poop – water was splashed on the deck but the ladies escaped. How we may get off this evening when His Marine Majesty comes himself on board, I know not. The gentlemen I daresay will get a shaving. The Lascars acted a sort of drama last night. They dress themselves in so picturesque a style and use their arms &cc with such grace that it was all really worth seeing, tho’ we did not understand a word they said. After the drama was over, one of them went thro’ a variety of tricks, pretending to stab himself and put out his eyes &cc &cc using the most extraordinary gestures. The tom-tom, a sort of drum was played the whole time, and a curious monotonous (or nearly so) recitation sung, which now and then rose to a sort of scream. This we are told is the way numbers of the Hindoos &cc amuse themselves nearly all night.

I feel a sort of inability to set myself seriously to anything, which is very unpleasant – sometimes sick and so different from oneself that one scarcely feels the same being as on land. I wonder what Mr Self-Formation (Capel Lofft) would have efforced himself to do at sea. He seems to think even an inferior mind may do anything it really desires to do – may become its own oracle and chalk out its own destiny. I should like to read his diary at sea and find out whether he discovered a mode of restoring the tone of the stomach, spirits, temper &cc and exalting the intellect above all marine considerations. I have been greatly amused reading Self-Formation since I came on board. I am sometimes provoked by the author and yet I think there is a good deal of wisdom as well as folly in his book. I am sure he gives a faithful picture of his own mind and I really believe with a good motive too.

August 25th 1841

I found a letter on my plate this morning as I came to prayers and restrained my curiosity until prayers were over; which was no small self-denial, as the sight of a letter warmed my heart. I believe everybody else was as curious as myself. It turned out to be a card of some Hotel at Cape Town, which Mr Donovan assured us with a grave face had arrived by boat from the Cape. I don’t know why they chose me to send it to. (Our party is probably the only one who will not have occasion to stop at an Hotel, as I presume we shall be carried off to Wynberg immediately.) We crossed the line on Tuesday about one o’clock and are now dashing on gaily thro’ the Southern Latitudes. We are in the S. East Trades. We escaped a visit from Neptune, I know not by what luck.

August 30th 1841

Time passes so fast that I can scarcely believe that we have already spent five weeks on the water. It has grown quite cool now, and as we shall get to the Cape at the spring season it will be still cooler soon. The nights are always fine and I seldom go out until then Dinner being early, the day soon passes away. Some of the Ladies have been ill from heat I believe, those in the lower cabin especially. However, the cool breezes have restored them. We have seen neither fish nor ship lately. We seem quite solitary on the wide waters. The sea is very heavy but there is not much wind and we roll a great deal. The Gentlemen have got up a chessboard – men of cork painted white and black.

September 1st 1841

The Childe Harold’s pilgrimage is progressing rapidly. I seem to have nothing to say but that we are moving fast. We lost all chance of seeing Trinidad, yesterday I think, we passed it at such a distance. We have now nearly run our Southward course and are turning Eastwards – 5000 miles we have already traversed, and we have 2000 more to get over. The little nightly and daily trifles are not worth recording – how this Lady rolled out of her cot, and that Lady off her sofa, how one was frightened and the other hurt, how we talked, sang, read and walked, how I practised the guitar and can actually play two or three tunes on it, how I beat the Dane at two games of chess and hope to beat him again &cc &cc &cc. The weather has grown very cold; warm shawls are again in requisition and flannel is beginning to ‘look up’. The moon is now in full beauty at nights. I must do justice to the night skies of these latitudes. I never saw such lovely ones. The moon is so brilliant that the stars are very pale. But the clouds and soft blue expanse on which they float surpass the night scenes I have known elsewhere. It is not a grey sky like ours but a perfect tho’ pale blue. The sunsets I have been disappointed in - nothing to equal what I have seen in Italy, Germany or even Ireland has at yet been seen, at least nothing to surpass, but we have not had much calm or cloudless weather and I am told sometimes one may pass these regions without seeing the true tropical sunset. We are now nearly out of the Tropics.

September 6th 1841. Monday

Six weeks are now passed, and before two more are gone we have every hope of reaching our destination. The wind is fair and we are progressing gaily to the S.E. Yesterday, Sunday was a very damp, disagreeable evening so none of us stirred out after dinner, but before 3 we walked. Three vessels are in sight. One of them was spoken to on Saturday night, the Bland from Liverpool, and as she passed called out goodbye. We have now passed her and bid her goodbye. This vessel is keeping up her character for a good sailor. I can scarcely believe that I am so soon to see Susy (Susan Townsend) (and all her little party), Edward (Edward Hume Townsend) and his mother (Henrietta Hume wife of Rev Richard Townsend). The last time I saw the three was the morning of March 22 1831, when they left us. How well I remember it. We were all collected to a sorrowful breakfast. Met without a smile, and with many tears and few words we parted. We had much to bear that day. We looked for the last time as it has since proved (and as she then felt) on the face of a sleeping parent, not daring to trust herself or to gain time by a farewell embrace, for six years longer was he left among us, but never again in this world did she see him, a sister too, and a brother. The brightest and best of the circle have “dropped away” to shine in a fairer world and the sight of us must surely recall painfully all these things to him. But “Love is strength, Love with divine control, recalls us when we roam, in living light love bids the dim eye roll, Love gives the dove’s wing to the fainting soul, and bears it home”. Her joy at seeing us will be more than enough to compensate for her pain at not seeing those dear ones no longer among us and whose absence she and I trust all of us now long since learned to look at as so much their gain that we can without sorrowing think of our loss. Our weather is very cold and squally and a good deal of rain too, and yet with books and drawings, chess, meals &c “tempus fugit” as usual.

Sept 10th 1841. Lat.33

We have had rather opposing wind the last few days and have not made much progress. In twelve days, they now say we shall be at the Cape. Some of our fellow passengers will come on shore to see friends, all probably will, just to see what is to be seen. The stars were very brilliant last night - The Cross shone more than usual. We roll a great deal but notwithstanding sometimes take an evening stroll on the poop and generally warm ourselves with a walk before dinner.

I think I forgot to insert the interesting incident of our having got oranges and cigars from a ship, bound from Bahia to Calcutta, which we passed, and Mr Donovan went on board. I watched from the stern cabin the little boat in which he went. The water was rough but beautifully blue; and at times the little speck was lost to view between the lapis lazuli barriers of the waters. Its return, or rather its near approach to our side, seemed rather a dangerous procedure. However, skill overcomes all difficulties, and the men were soon on board again, and the boat hoisted up to her place.

I have been reading Undine in German. It is a lovely little Romance, incredible yet natural. A fairy tale and yet so human a fairy that our sympathies are not denied to the sorrowful Undine. I felt so much pleased with the little book, that I determined Undine should be my muse.

Sept 14th 1841

We are drawing close to the close of our voyage. It certainly has been much more agreeable than I expected. Kind friends and the constant occupation has made the time fly. I look back on it as a dream (an unpleasant one at first) but on the whole as fair and fleeting as a vision of the night. Thus, it is with Life or thus it will be when we arrive at its close. We can scarce believe that so much time has elapsed since we set out – so many dangers safely gone by, so many mercies shown, so many pleasures enjoyed for which we ought ever to be grateful and thankful.

Tuesday 12th was a lovely day, so calm and smooth. It was indeed a day of rest and yet we lost no time. Our voyaging prospered all through. Early on Sunday the men were mustered, dressed in their best, to be looked at by the Captain. They are so picturesque, the variety of turbans and dresses – trowsers of all hues; generally light-coloured surtouts; and bright coloured handkerchiefs so tied round their waists that the corners hang down behind just like a woman’s neck handkerchief. Two of the black men are Portugese Christians and come into prayers which begin at half past ten. The Cuddy is nearly filled then. All seem anxious to go to “Church”. As the hour approaches, the Carpenter gives notice to the Captain that the “Church is rigged” and then “Five Bells Sir” shortly follows (for I perceive the Captain is told of every hour before it is struck) and as soon as “Five bells” is struck and a few Church bell notes given, afterwards we all meet in the Cuddy for the Morning Service, after which the Captain reads a sermon - he has always chosen very good ones - and the Chief Mate who knows he is not a “serious character” says they are all directed to or at himself. (The rigging of the Church consists of laying buckets on the floor so as to support planks, on which the men sit.) I wish he may feel them really so, poor man. He is an amusing creature and contrives to find amusement for the men. Last night he had a “ragged regiment” and was himself dressed in an extraordinary manner and he was drilling them and calling out directions whilst a drum was beating and all the exercise going on, greatly to the amusement of the whole party, who watched him from the poop and others from the cuddy.

We have seen the Magellan Clouds the last clear nights – two bright cloudy spots in the South like milky patches. There is a dark spot also just over the Cross constellation. It seems rather a blank in the Milky Way rather than anything else.

Sunday evening, we have service too at 7 o’clock, the Evening Service – no sermon, but we sing hymns, generally for an hour after the service is over. The Scotch ladies sing (Miss Shaw at least and Miss Edwards) and are generally very anxious for their version of the Psalms but the majority are for the Church of England version so we generally sing hymns which we all know.

Sept 20th 1841, Monday

Perhaps the last I shall write on board the Childe. Everything we do has a tinge of melancholy pervading it. It is the last. The last time perhaps we walk on the poop, the last time we sing this song, or hear that one sung. And yesterday was certainly the last Sunday we shall meet for prayer and praise on board. All are so kind that it is really painful to part, though the pleasure of meeting before us makes the parting seem nothing in comparison. We shall see Captain Willis too again I hope in Feb or March next. He means to call at the Cape returning from Bombay. How little I thought, when I first stepped on board the Childe Harold that I could invest it with such a home feeling but then I did not know Dick was to be one of the party and as he visited the cabin that was to be ours, (as the vessel lay in the docks) I only felt “I must conceal my feelings now but when we are once separated from him, that couch will certainly be watered with my tears”. But the scene changed soon and suddenly he determined to come and the weight was taken off my heart. It sometimes returns when I think of the possibility of his going back to England sooner than I do, but I ought not to anticipate. That may be too very differently arranged from what I expect and even wishes may change.

We are within 150 miles of the Cape, and expect to reach it tomorrow afternoon at the farthest. How very anxiously are our friends looking out for us. Soon their wishes will be fulfilled, their expectations more than realised, for one at least will be added to the party that they do not expect. We have had some lovely days “so cool, so calm, so bright”. “Bridal of Sea and Sky” and a feeling of Spring in the air. This is now the beginning of Spring at the Cape. Yesterday was a day of rest. The vessel was as steady as possible yet going quickly enough and we had a refreshing walk after service up and down deck.

The Lascars quarrelled today; Miss Willis and I who were walking up and down first heard high words, then saw blows, and presently silence announced that some mischief had been done. The mischief was not much however. It was only a “fisty cuff’ yet it drew blood and Eyder Ally (one of the strongest of the men) was the aggressor and looked like a tiger, those who saw him said.

I only once saw men in a dreadful passion; it was at Genoa, as we passed the Doria Palace. Two muleteers were quarrelling, and striking one another. They were scarlet from rage, and the unbridled fury of their faces was frightful. It really made me quite sick. I never could wish again to look on man when he looks so like a devil. I can call it no less.

After evening service and singing hymns, I took a walk on the poop - Sunday evening I mean - and then sat some time. The moon was a lovely little silver boat sailing among the clouds. She is now placed as we have never before seen her but even with the horizon. Dick puzzled Mr Bree (2nd mate) by asking him at what places the moon is seen in when rising/ setting, hours downwards towards the horizon (only in the tropics where the sun is vertical) but Mr Bree did not answer this.

A homeward bound bark appeared today, and Mr Donovan went on board with letters from us for England and Ireland. It was the ‘William Harris’ from Calcutta for London, and had been three months at sea, and was in great want of provisions. Their chief mate came on board of us, and got beef &cc from Capt. Willis and returned carrying his provisions with him. Dr Moyle went with him to see a sick man. The necessary delay for giving provisions and the return of our boat detained us eight or ten miles but we are so near now I do not feel as if this delay signifies. This evening became wet and instead of our usual walk I was set down to chess with the Captain, and beat him. My two final games with him. I must just beat the Dane once and go off victorious. Dr Moyle I have already beaten.

Tuesday Sept 21st 1841

Still 60 or 70 miles from the Cape. We have had but little wind, and shall do no more than anchor tonight, if we do so much – so I may say a few “last words” today. A man of war is approaching which they suspect to be the Melville and if so, Phil S must be on board and we shall miss seeing him, a mutual disappointment. We had hoped to see him at the Cape. It is not the Melville. It is the Scalesby Castle from Bombay to London with “important news from China” her signals declare: but they have not told what the news is, so we go ignorant of it to the Cape…Land is seen already, Table Mountain, at about 40 miles distance. We shall anchor tonight and tomorrow see dearest Susy and Edward and all their party. Another vessel is now seen, after dinner, at 4 o’clock. I shall write no more. The rest of the evening must be spent with my companions. A farewell feeling has possessed me. I look on every body with regret. I cannot be ungrateful. All have been so kind. I must be sorry to leave them, so many kind friends, never perhaps to meet again in this world. What a changing scene this life is, joy and sorrow so disguised. Be it so. There is the rest for the soul here, its “deck yearnings” will never be stilled, until all who love the Lord are united on a happier shore.

11 o’clock . Here we have arrived and are safely anchored in Table Bay. Land was seen about 4 o’clock, and might have been earlier but that the horizon was hazy. After tea, i.e. after 6 o’clock, I went out on the poop deck and saw land, a fine bold outline – a headland running into the sea and cloud-capped hills behind. We continued on the poop, walking and watching till near nine, every moment the land becoming more distinct and the lighthouse was seen before we left the poop. The moon was brilliant, stars shone like diamonds, sea as smooth as glass. All was lovely and my last evening walk on the Childe Harold’s deck will not be easily forgotten. Mrs Fraser and I sang some farewell songs. After prayers, at 10, we again went out for a moment. Table Mountain had risen before us and the lighthouse and even the indistinct whiteness of Cape Town houses was distinguishable. We stayed with Mrs Willis watching our progress untill we actually anchored in Table Bay and announced our arrival to a vessel anchored near, which hailed us. And is this South Africa I see before me? Incredible after so easy a transition, so prosperous a voyage from England. We should indeed return grateful thanks to our great Guardian and Protector who has brought us in safety to the Haven where we would be. Tomorrow we shall see dearest Susy. I can scarcely believe in my identity.

Vreydenhof, Wynberg Wednesday 22nd September 1841

How shall I describe my sensations? They were painful to a degree I cannot express at seeing the change in the once blooming Susy. Oh, I could not believe it was she – so thin, so pale, so weak, I really think I should not have known her, and what seems more curious to me, her very voice so altered that I never should have recognised it, but the heart, the affectionate heart is the same, or fonder than ever and now that a few hours have passed over since our meeting I see glimpses of her former self. Dick’s coming was altogether a surprise to her. She had not an idea of it and after she had long and lovingly embraced us and that we had shed tears of joy, mixed with a feeling of sorrow that she was so changed (on my part) Ed brought Dick in and her scream of joy was almost hysterical. Tomorrow I will describe our landing &cc. Now to bed.

September 24th 1841. Friday

Till now I have had no time to write and my first impressions are passing away of the change in dearest Susy. I see more than glimpses of her former self. I recognise expressions of face and I actually think if she were to grow fat she would again be blooming. She has five fine children who look like roses. Edward is very well. He looks thin but is in excellent spirits and appears very strong. But I must return a moment to the Childe Harold and only for a moment. Wednesday morning, the 22nd Major Jacob, a friend of Edward’s, came on board for us and told us that Edward had authorised him to take us away and bring us to his house and there we should be met by our own ones. It rained heavily and we waited until the shower was over and bidding adieu with regret to our companions and friends and to the “wooden walls” where we had been so happy, we were lowered into the boat and arrived safely at Cape Town. Crowds of coolies were on the pier. The appearance of the Lascars to which we were accustomed on board prepared us for the foreign air of the men and women in the streets &cc. The high hats of the men look very extraordinary. Imagine a man driving a nice barouche with a hat on him like the roof of a little summer house. Major Jacob’s carriage met us on shore and conveyed us to his house where Mrs Jacobs kindly received us, her husband (and Richard) having gone from the landing place straight to the custom house with our goods. On the way to Major Jacob’s, we met Edward who had just arrived from Wynberg. He gave us a warm salute and then went to join Dick, and when all were returned from business, we got into a barouche with the thatched man driving us, and proceeded to Wynberg, eight miles into the country. The lovely flowers that bloomed on both sides of the road were quite bewildering to the eye, so long unused to such brilliancy. Acres of white arums, lovely heaths, flowering shrubs of various kinds and colours by turns caught our attention; large oak trees just in their fresh green leaves shaded us and, on our right, rose the majestic Table Mountain. Notwithstanding this succession of objects, new and lovely, we were impatient to arrive at Vredenhof (the Court or Garden of Peace) which is the name of their particular house. We arrived during a shower. Edward left us and ran in before we reached the house to prevent Susy coming down the stairs as she had a cold. We also had a plan of surprising the party by Dick’s appearance, as he found his intention of coming had not been announced in consequence of the non-reception of a letter written about a fortnight before we left London. After a few minutes spent in embracing Susy and looking at her, Edward came in saying “Here is a friend whom I must introduce to you” and in he ushered Dick. Susy’s scream of joy, as I have before said, was hysterical. However, soon we were all composed, gazing into each other’s faces. Susy is far, far more changed than Edward. He looks lively and well. She is languid and not strong but both are much better than they were from change of air and we are to take an excursion into the interior for further change.

The house stands apart from all the other houses of Wynberg, in a sort of shrubbery. It is a thatched, cottage-built house of one storey and lofty large rooms, and being well shaded by trees will be cool or at least shady in the summer. The children are fine creatures. Richard (Richard Hume Townsend), a handsome boy, nine years old, the eldest. Then follows Kate (Katherine Jane Townsend), seven years. Not a pretty, but a very intelligent- looking little girl. Harriet (Harriet Murray Townsend) comes next, a sweet pretty-looking little creature, and Horace (Horace Webb Townsend and Edward (Edward Hume Townsend, the two youngest, are very fine boys, all as rosy and health- looking a party of youngsters as England or Ireland could boast of.

Capt. and Mrs Willis are here and will stay, I hope, while the Childe Harold remains in harbour. The other passengers all came ashore, with the exception of Mademoiselle Jallot who is delicate and Dr Moyle stays also to attend to her, so I fear we shall see neither of them, as it seems to be really a serious matter to get to the vessel, squalls come on so suddenly.

Saturday the 25th September 1841

I drove into Cape Town today with Mrs and Miss Sanderson, who came here with the Willises, and walked about the town to ‘see the lions’. It is a very regularly built town, close under the mountain which is like a green wall in some places, and a rocky precipice in others closes the vista as you look down the streets. There are excellent shops; European and French goods are dearer than in London. The long wagons drawn by six, eight, ten or fourteen bullocks as the case may be, are very picturesque concerns – you meet them frequently on the road between Wynberg and Cape Town – and sometimes a peasant cart of manure &cc drawn by four or six horses. The washerwoman drives four-in-hand when she comes for the clothes! Mules too are used. The sandiness of the roads makes the number of beasts almost indispensable to drag the long and heavy carts; but there has been a good deal of rain at present, and the roads are not disagreeable.

Wednesday 29th September 1841

One week has passed since we left the Childe Harolde, and she leaves the harbour today for Bombay. We parted with those of our friends who were on shore yesterday evening, having dined with them at Mr Stegman’s cottage close to Cape Town. God only knows whether we shall meet them again in this world.

30th September 1841

The Childe did not sail yesterday; the weather grew very squally and wild, and after preparing to sail she cast anchor again. I drove with Mrs RT (Henrietta Hume wife of Rev Richard Townsend) part of the way into Cape Town. The drives about here are very beautiful. Table Mountain rises abruptly, clothed halfway up with verdure and flowering shrubs, groves of trees called from the whiteness of its silky leaves, the silver tree, vary the shading of its base very prettily. The numbers of flowers that make the ground everywhere look like a wild garden are quite bewildering. I observe many which we cultivate in our gardens as – the Meridian plant, the Arum lily (this is used for feeding pigs and is called the pig plant) &cc growing in vast abundance and many more which would be great ornaments for our pastures could we transplant them thither, as we hope to do with some. The oxalis rosacea is a brilliant little thing and gladioli of sorts are abundant. We collected many splendid bouquets and sent them on board the Childe Harold to Mademoiselle Jallot and our friends there. We are looking forward to an excursion of some hundreds of miles into the country as far as Packelsdorp in bullock wagons; and we shall scarcely be returned from that when we shall have to think of moving again, some homewards and some to Bombay; for Edward has no leave beyond March next.

October 1st 1841

Mr Reid, a missionary, and son of a missionary, with his wife and sister in law, spent the day here. His father is still a missionary at or near the Cat River to which young Mr Reid is now going. His Mother was a Hottentot, and he has the features and complexion of one. He is a very intelligent and interesting man, and gave us much information about the poor Hottentots. The Hottentot click in some of the words amused us greatly and we must learn to add this to our other accomplishments for the benefit of friends back home. I mean we must learn one or two words with the click. In the evening we went to a meeting at Mrs Rose’s pretty cottage, about a mile and half from here. The views are beautiful and as the moon rose the mountain looked lovely. I saw a firefly for the first time. It looked like a wandering spark. We could not catch it. We had an interesting meeting. Mrs Rose and her daughter Mrs Davies keep a school for young ladies. Mr Reid gave us an interesting address on the subject of Christian unity, the blessings of it even under circumstances of separation painful to flesh and blood. He besought us to pray for him and for all missionaries – their task is arduous, their situation often difficult, always trying. At all these little meetings prayers are put up for our friends on the Childe Harold in which I join heartily for I do wish them God speed with all my heart. So many of the best people in the neighbourhood have left this for India in that vessel, that everyone has been watching her departure with great anxiety. She only left the Harbour yesterday at one o’clock having been tossing about at anchor since Wednesday.

October 2nd 1841

Kate and I went with Edward and with the two Richards into Cape Town today and returned visits to those who had called on us. The roadside is perfectly dazzling from Meridicae plant, a lovely blue reed, exquisite purple flower, of the nature of the Hottentot fig, besides innumerable minor splendours. Monday 3rd Yesterday we took classes at the Sunday School for the first time. I had the swarthy visages of African children around me. The clergyman does not attend this school. It is conducted chiefly by Mrs Haw, an excellent woman residing near. After evening service, we took a stroll in a long shady avenue belonging to this place, from one end of which we have a view of Simon’s Bay. It will be a delicious retreat in Summer. A great packet of letters was brought in this morning at breakfast, all from India and therefore none for us three. I felt quite disappointed, tho’ it is unreasonable to expect letters so soon. An old missionary from the Namaqua country, the opposite coast of Africa to Mr Reid’s sphere came here this morning. He is to preach in the Scotch church here today and in Dutch, Schmelin by name. He has been thirty years labouring among the Hottentots and has a great many anecdotes to tell of them. He is a German and does not speak English very well.

October 6th 1841

We attended the meeting at Mr Blair’s house near Cape Town on Tuesday. It was an interesting one. Many friends who were there this day week are now far enough off in the Childe Harold and they were not forgotten in the prayer. How pleasant to be able to commit them all to his keeping whom the winds and waves obey. We dined with Capt. and Mrs Watts and had a lovely drive home in the evening. We saw the Stegmans for a moment in their own house and Mr Stegman gave me a book to read. I hope I may find time for it, but if I do, I must learn either to make time or to redeem it better than I do now. A fortnight has passed since I arrived and I have neither looked into a book (except the One Book, at morn and evening prayers) nor touched a pencil, nor looked at my guitar, nor done anything worth doing for man, woman or child. I have begun to make a collection of dried plants, the exquisite beauty of the flowers surpasses even my botanical dreams, which used to be brilliant.

Yesterday we went to Calk’s Bay to Capt. and Mrs Aston’s. It is a very beautiful spot. The Bay is shut in on one side (Simon’s Bay rather which runs beyond it) by a precipitous cliff, and Cape Hangklip encloses it on the other side. The Aston’s cottage is situated under a steep mountain covered with shrubs which the gentlemen and children climbed. We amused ourselves sitting or roving along the Strand. The sand is a brilliant white and there are some pretty shells, plenty of the Haliotes or Venus’ ear, and close even to the rocks grow brilliant ixias and other lovely flowers whose names I know not. A shrubby Polygula grows in plenty close to the cottage. Of this plant I have seen some species here. We have but one (a little blue one) in Ireland.

The road from Wynberg to Calk’s Bay is almost perfectly level, thro’ a sandy flat covered with brushwood and blazing here and there with brilliant flowers, especially as we approached the Bay and wound under the mountains whose base it washes. I rode home with Edward, Susy being tired from her ride in the morning. It was a lovely evening and Table Mountain looked magnificent approaching it, the setting sun behind it, the red glow stealing thro’ the kloofs or passes in the mountainous ridges and painting the rocky sides of the hills. We met several long spans of bullocks and wagons. They look very formidable as you approach them in a narrow road, their great horns turning perhaps towards your horse, and you fancy the unwieldy creatures will run you down. They are also controlled by a long whip which the driver flourishes.

Ed spoke to me on our ride of going to India with him and Susy. I feel that it would be the kindest part to act but it is most painful for me to think of parting from all I most love, with the exception of one dear brother and sister, yet she will part with her eldest three children and will certainly be very lonely. And what use am I at home that I should return there to gratify friends when I could perhaps be of use to a sister by staying with her? I shall seek and hope to find Divine guidance that my own will may not lead me. Both Susy and Mrs RT have spoken on this same subject to me.

Monday October 11th 1841

“Rain, rain, pelting pitiless rain.” Well for us we have delayed our waggon travellings until all the Spring rains have fallen. Swollen rivers and weeping skies would be anything but agreeable for African travellers. This is an unusually wet season in these regions. Happily for us, it is so. Summer will be cooler and the flowers all the more brilliant for the “brief delay” and plentiful watering. Saturday, we gathered bulbs of gladiolus and other plants for taking home. I think we see new flowers every day. If Botany Bay deserves its name more than this country (which ought to be the very land of Botany) it must be indeed a garden of beauty, for here one might imagine oneself in a great Conservatory.

We saw the face of an old friend Saturday - A.D. who had been many years in the household of C and E as child’s maid. She is married to a soldier now at the Cape and came to spend the Sunday here. We talked over all our home friends and she was quite delighted to see so many home faces about her. On Sunday, Mr Stegman came to luncheon. He preached at the Dutch Church here and then set off for two more sermons in Cape Town, one at the Scotch and the other at the Lutheran Church. He is an indefatigable man. He thinks he has the largest heathen congregation in Africa. The liberated slaves are a very interesting class of his listeners and are eager to be taught. He has an evening adult school for them twice a week. Upwards of 300 attend it and 30 teachers, who since the liberation of the slaves have devoted themselves to this great and useful work.

Friday October 15th 1841

Continued wild weather – thunder yesterday and violent rain. “No go” to Swellendam as yet. This day is new moon however, and anyone who has any weather wisdom prophesies that the weather will “take up”. We were in Cape Town on Tuesday at Mr Blair’s meetings. Dined at the Leightons and what a pleasant drive home late in the evening. The “Plantaganet” from London came in this morning, but has brought no letters for us tho’ she left England a fortnight after we did. No one at home had the grace to write so soon. It is October, and not a word have we heard from our friends since we lay tossing at Portsmouth on July 22nd. Dick is daily finding out new flowers, I mean finding out their names in Mr Harvey’s book. I have written eight letters home and read a little of “Der Mefrius”. I find it very difficult.

October 16th 1841

Mrs and Miss Leighton dined here today. The latter is a pleasing girl. We sang some duets, or two, last sung in Ireland. How the mind wanders while apparently engaged in what is going on. The rapidity of thought is truly wonderful – scenes are brought back as if by a flash of lightning, the lightning of the mind, and stand in full brilliancy for a moment. A bad habit of mind this retrospection gives one; I feel it often too when I really ought to attend when Scripture being read. Even at Prayer, how often I start at finding how far apart my thoughts and words are. Therefore, this idle retrospection is a bad habit. But just how many I love at home that I must think of! I must make a regular time for musing.

Susy, the children and I took a pleasing walk under shadowy avenues near this and then through a wild, sandy, jungly moor gathering lovely flowers. The Oxalis are various and very pretty, and some of the oxalis tribe so gigantic and fleshy that they scarcely look like flowers. We visited (some time ago) the Baron von Ludwig’s gardens in Cape Town and saw some curious plants. The Strelitzia is a very handsome flag-like flower, reminding one of the head and breast of a beautiful bird. The Zamias are a curious class of plants and aloes in great varieties we saw. The gardens are not nearly so well kept as a nobleman’s in England would be. Labour here is very expensive 1/6 or 2/= a day for the commonest labour. The only Lauristinus there was a wretched dwindled shrub. I thought of the beautiful ones at home and in the Emerald Isle. Mr Stegman’s house stands in his garden. He has some very curious and beautiful flowers – a sweet English (or European) violet, breathing of home, and Spring was in bloom in a stone vase the last day I was in the Stegman’s garden and it seemed sweeter than any other, dearer at least.

Monday October 18th 1841

Tho’ Dr O chose to call yesterday the 19th day of the month and read the Psalms and lessons accordingly, to my certain knowledge this is the 18th. I expect the old gentleman wanted to escape the ‘Venite” in the regular course. The Sunday before he left out the Litany, however I forgive him this (tho’ I think it one of the most beautiful parts of the Liturgy) as he had the Sacrament to administer and had no assistant. My Sunday school class is an unruly ill-mannered set. As for the black girls, I wish I were well rid of them. In the first place they are so ugly I cannot keep looking at them. They seem perfectly happy with their personal appearance and indeed secondly to heighten its effect. I continually catch them making frightful faces to set the other children laughing. I trust I may be of some little use to these poor creatures. Kate and Mrs R.T. and Dick are gone today to Cape Town to remain at the Stegman’s tonight and see Mr Stegman’s school for adults.

On Saturday evening I rode to Constantia with Edward. It is a lovely spot, a rich valley, the fields cultivated with vines and beautiful groves of oak and silver trees. Mr Clooty (Cloete) (a name as common here as Smith in England, Donovan in Ireland or Wilson in Scotland) is the proprietor of the great vineyard and his place is Groot Constantia or Great Constantia. Mr van Reynan has a pretty place too called High Constantia and there is a third Constantia where another Dutch family reside. Table Mountain looked “magnifique” from the valleys of Constantia. The lights and shades were most picturesque the evening I was there, and I thought I had never seen a more Arcadian spot. “Here” (methought)” could I forever dwell – far from the smoke and stir of that dim spot called” Cape Town” but the vision of a Mr Clooty crossed my path and I instantly felt “happiness is a state not a place - give me a sandy flat or a desert shore with XXX”. The sunset was brilliant as we left Constantia. I brought home a bunch of wild geraniums, little blossoms almost as bright as the evening sky. How I should have nourished such a one in the greenhouse at home.

Dick scrambled up part of Table Mountain today and came home with his seven pockets full of flowers. He was nearly lost in a jungle some ten feet deep from fallen trees and tall shrubs but luckily escaped leaving only a pocket handkerchief behind. The silver tree is a very beautiful indigenous ornament of this country. The leaves are like sea-green satin, so silky and soft. They glisten like silver in the sun, from whence their name I presume. Groves of them may be seen a great way up the Mountain side distinguishable by the peculiarly blue green of their silvery leaves. They belong to the Protea class and bear cones like a fir cone. There are several large shrubs here called Proteas in common parlance. One bears a yellow blossom which sits terminally on the branches and has a very brilliant candelabra effect. There is also a red protea which I have not seen in full beauty and a black one I have heard of but not yet seen. A trailing yellow one is common but it lies inconspicuously on the ground and almost buries its head. It is a small plant too.

I walked a new walk this evening and saw some fine views. We command a long range of the Hottentot Hills from Wynberg and they sometimes look magnificent in the evening sun – they are east of us, some of them now tipped with snow. Our weather is improving. This day was very hot but it is not considered sufficiently settled for us to venture into the bullock wagons yet. For twenty years so wet a season as this has not been known in the Colony and we hear of the rivers being so swollen as to be impassable, therefore we wisely determine not to pass them. The sun was more powerfully hot today than I have ever felt it in Ireland and yet not a week since such large hailstones fell at Cape Town as to crack panes of glass, Mrs Leighton assures us, in the windows of her house. How fares the Childe Harold now? Still ploughing the deep, I trust, as prosperously and pleasantly as when we were on board of her.

October 22nd 1841, Friday

Lovely weather. The bullocks are written for and will be here in ten days. In the meantime, we are to have a horse-waggon excursion, some of us, and I am to be one of the favoured ones. So, I have made a new pen for the purpose of description. I had a lovely ride with Dick today. We got very near Table Mountain and could see the deep ravines clothed with silver trees and some finely contrasted dark evergreen which looks like Lauristinus. The views of the mountain were lovely and the Hottentot Hills, Cape Hangklip and “the Cape” with the bright blue sea between them seemed like a painting. Geraniums with immense bunches of “deep-lilac” blossom covered a great path of the jungle thro’ which our path lay, and the brilliant Anagallis whose modest brilliancy never tires the eye, actually covered the ground beneath us. The Ryngthoglossum luxuriates now and a pink gladiolus, tall and graceful is just showing her beautiful hues. Snow has disappeared from the mountain tops, and on Monday we are to set out for “Sir Lowrie’s Pass” so called because Sir Lowrie Cole, Governor of this Colony, caused a road to be made thro’ the mountains which had been considered impassable, and which road in obedience to the Governor’s desire, Major Mitchell (who told Dick of the circumstance) laid down and made, and it is considered to be one of the places to be seen in the colony.

Vergenoegd (Ferkenucht) October 25th 1841, Monday

After rather a dreary day’s journey, I prepare to give my first impressions of South African travelling. Mr Stegman (whom I have before mentioned as a friend of Edward’s), arrived early this morning at Wynberg, and though the rain fell heavily he encouraged us to set off on our journey. The horse-waggon followed him, made very comfortable for us ladies by his cushions, and arranged altogether under his superintendence, and with C for our coachman, we left Wynberg at 11 o’clock am, bidding adieu for a few days to Mrs Townsend and all the little ones except Richard, who came with us. Our conveyance was drawn by eight horses, (the first time I had been so conveyed) who were managed by two men, one brandishing the whip, and the other holding the reins. Mr Stegman, as I have said, undertook the latter part for a mile or two, until we were safely launched into the flats, as the low country is called which divides Hottentots Holland from Wynberg. He there left us, and we proceeded on our way.

Such roads as we travelled! They are beyond description. Quagmires here and there which we had to wade through, or else to avoid by taking a detour into the heath. Where a sandhill was to be crossed, the horses cantered up gaily, and we in the waggon could see the leaders on top of the mound while we were still below. Our journey would have been altogether delightful, from its novelty, but for the rain which continued to fall heavily. We saw beautiful flowers and should have had fine views but for the envious mists. We dined very comfortably in the waggon, and reached this place about 4 o’clock. On a favourable day this journey is one of three hours in a horse waggon, but we had so much marsh and waters to wade through that it detained us greatly. There is a large farm belonging to Mr Cobus Faur, brother to the Dutch minister at Wynberg. Fortunately, the latter gentleman is here; fortunately, I say because he speaks English very well and Mr Cobus scarcely at all. Mr Stegman had given us a letter of introduction to Mr Faur, and it is the custom for travellers to stop at these farmhouses, whose owners are glad to entertain them hospitably, sometimes without any payment; more, at least than “making good” the forage for your horses. We have brought two riding horses and so have ten in all. Mr Faur is a homely but pleasing looking person – very kind – speaking only a few words of English. He has given us two good bedrooms, into which we have disposed our party. This is the large low house, with a great many outhouses, for farming purposes. The great scarcity of hands in this Colony is one cause why all the places look so wild and overgrown with weeds as they do. And the number of scattered outhouses is in consequence of their having been used for the accommodation of slaves, at the time when slaves were.

Now Susy has caught cold and is suffering from a crick in the neck – she went to bed on our arrival. The Dutch families dine at 12, take tea at 2 and have a supper at 8. They gave us travellers a cup of tea about 7 o’clock, after which I left the party and remained with Susy. Family prayers were read before tea. They commenced by a hymn in Dutch. In their books I observed the music with the words and Mr P Faur said they always had them so and learned to sing by note – the music was not in parts – only the simple air. Mr P. Faur read a chapter in the Dutch Bible and expounded in the same language, then prayed, all standing (except our party who knelt as usual) and concluded with another hymn or psalm.

Stellenbosch Tuesday. October 26th 1841

This morning looked rather more promising than yesterday; no rain falling so it was determined that we should proceed. The Faurs seemed determined too on the same subject for they did not ask us to stay, tho’ it was with difficulty Susy could rise, her neck being very stiff and painful. We set off after breakfast, Edward and Dick riding, and as Susy suffered a good deal from the jolting of the waggon, our route was changed. We had intended to go to Worcester by the Kloof as one of the mountain passes is called; but this being, it seems, a rather rugged way, and the accommodation at the Kloof not being very good, we turned towards Stellenbosch, which being more in the world, and having a post-waggon road (into which we shortly entered) was on the whole the best for us. It is but two and a half hours drive from Vergenoegd to this place and compared to our expedition of yesterday, an easy, smooth road. I think we saw more beautiful gladioli today and greater numbers of them than we have ever yet seen. In one place a whole field was pink from the tall graceful creatures, more brilliantly arrayed than “Solomon in all his glory”. Dick constantly rode up to the waggon with handfuls of beautiful blossoms. Stellenbosch is a village at the foot of a range of mountains, which I have before mentioned as the Hottentot Hills. The houses are generally large and respectable, separated from each other in many cases by gardens – for room being plentiful, the villagers choose to have enough of it. The streets are like wide roads, with rows of fine oak trees at each side, after the manner of towns in the Netherlands; the houses closely shaded by the trees. Dick and I have just returned from a perambulation of this town – we can see few but dark faces and heads wrapped up in the Malay fashion in a red or white handkerchief – a few only of the fair inhabitants appeared, standing on the stoeps enjoying the evening air. I mean fair in complexion (and yet not like Hollanders – they have lost the white tint of their origin) and of the fair sex. There is a garden opposite the windows of this hotel in which I can see an orange tree full of fruit. The hotel has no sign to distinguish it from its neighbours, and Ed, who has been here before was forced to ride up close to the windows and peep in for the purpose of recognising the pictures, beds, furniture &cc, before we knocked at the door to ask for accommodation. The Landlord is an old man, a canny Scot, who has been 37 years in the Colony.

Wednesday. October 27th 1841

A Killarney shower – it rained in the night - and has rained all day and there seems little prospect of a clearance this evening. Meanwhile we are very comfortably housed. A fire of vine roots keeps the parlour warm and with our books and letter writing we have all enough to do. Susy’s neck is better, she lies patiently in bed. One might imagine oneself in a forest, or at least a country house. The rustling of the rain in the trees is the only sound to heard in the street. There seem no passers-by fortunately, as our bedroom window is curtainless and so low a child might peep in. This seems a deserted town. Even last evening (tho’ a dry one) it seemed as if all the inhabitants had left their homes, for doors and windows were barred. I presume they live in the back apartments and keep the front ones for state days and holidays. Today they may be forgiven for keeping close – none but an Irishman would like to expose himself to the heavy rain.

The Paarl Friday October 29th 1841

The weather improved somewhat yesterday, and we proceeded to this pearl of a place, which has got its name from the circular tops of two rocks which overlook the village. The village is a long street in a very rich wooded valley, through which the river Berg runs. The houses are well-shaded by fine oak trees. I remarked one of immense size, another seems the village post. On it were nailed papers – one giving a ‘lyst’ of all the unclaimed letters, and the other some municipal regulations &cc. All the houses are built in the Dutch style, and inhabited chiefly by Dutch, or by French refugees, who seem now more Dutch than French, and speak the former language. Mr Barker, the London Missionary with his daughters were here last evening and we took a walk with Miss Barker to see the cottages, built by liberated slaves, on the side of the Paarl Mountain. They are most romantically situated amongst huge masses of granite and have all pretty gardens and vineyards. Fruit trees of all sorts abound here, the almond trees are covered with fruit, also apricots, peaches &cc. I see no orange trees, but the Waggonmaker’s Valley, not far from hence, is full of these, and remarkable for fine oranges. There is a Dutch church here – Mr Barker’s chapel is much smaller, too small, for numbers are obliged to remain outside the door. His Sunday School is a very large one – over 260 children constantly attend it. This is a far more stirring, lifelike place than Stellenbosch.

Monday 1st November1841 At Dr Malan’s farm 4 hours from the Paarl.

The Paarl still – the uncertainty of the weather detained us Saturday here – and of course Sunday too. There is no English service, there being no resident English here except the Barkers (who all speak Dutch as a native language) but after reading our own service and taking a walk towards the ford to see the state of the river which had been greatly swollen from the recurrent rains, we went to the Sunday School and spent an hour there in the most gratifying manner. The room was crowded with coloured people, almost all liberated slaves and their children, scholars and teachers amounted to more than 200. The school was opened with prayers conducted by a liberated slave and then the classes were formed, and the teaching began; Miss Barker and her three little sisters, together with some Dutch ladies and gentlemen were assisted by some of the older people of colour in teaching the young and the adult classes. I was given a class who could read English and answered very well in the same language. I sat outside the door teaching for the room was like a hothouse. It was indeed an affecting scene when all joined in a concluding hymn and the voices rose to the air of “Home, Sweet Home”. Again, one of the old freed slaves, doubly freed – from the bondage of Man and the worse bondage of Satan - prayed. We were afterwards told that he prayed for blessings on those friends from a distant land who that day had joined their school, and taken an interest in their proceedings. At the request of Miss Barker, Edward had addressed a few words in English to the people, expressing his pleasure at seeing so many hearings and learning the Word of God and giving them some account of the idolatries of the poor Hindoos among whom he had long been resident and of their greater privileges and greater responsibility.

Mr Villiers (called Filyee in the elegant Dutch tongue) a gentleman who superintends this school, translated what Edward said into Dutch for the people. We left the school much gratified by what we had seen. In the evening Edward again said a few words to the people in Mr Barker’s chapel and we took a walk to the end of the Paarl village which is nearly a mile long.

This day we arrived at Mr Malan’s farm Eickenboom and have settled ourselves comfortably in three rooms. Mr Malan is from home; but his Vrow and her maidens prepared dinner for us in the kitchen; and we dined comfortably attended by Rama (Edward’s Indian servant). A little black girl kept brandishing a withered bough over the table during our meal to keep off the flies, who were certainly rather troublesome. But I think the moving of the bough was equally so; and she looked so like a slave, poor little creature, so attentive to her employment, while the children of the house were squalling and playing in the room.

Nov 2nd 1841

Our good friend Mr Barker accompanied us to the Berg River today and staid on the bank untill we had forded safely onto the opposite bank. It was tolerably deep, up to the horses’ shoulders and the rest of the way was over a barren district but we had fine views of the mountains and got some lovely flowers. We did not pass thro’ Waggonmakers Valley, famed for its fine oranges. Mr David (our whip) and Pete, his companion, passed the road leading to it without letting us know. All our journey today was eastwards. The most distant mountains we saw were between us and St Helena on Saldana Bay, into the former of which the Berg River falls. This day is so hot it is quite refreshing to sit in our cool room, with a cow-dunged floor and half-closed window shutters. Two swallows who have their nest in one of the bedrooms are fluttering about the ceiling. If they could be taught to eat the flies it would be some comfort. The white ants have made several holes in the floor of this room, the first I have seen in a house.

Nov 3rd 1841 Eendraght, halfway between Tulbagh and Worcester

Yesterday we came to Tulbagh, the sun was hot and we set out early to avoid exposure for Edward who rode. The Malans gave us breakfast. I was amused to see one of the daughters of the house waving the bough over our heads, or rather before our eyes, the black slave having disappeared. We had beautiful views and a smooth road untill we reached the pass in the mountains which leads to the valley in which Tulbagh is situated. We crossed a river (before reaching the pass) in the mountains. Three bullock wagons had drawn up on the brink, apparently uncertain whether to venture across the narrow but deep stream. Seeing some cattle from the other side wade (up to their necks) over in safety, we ventured in and were quite amused to see how near the water we were, without actually having our feet in it. The bullock wagons followed, and the foremost with some difficulty got through, for the great beasts that drew it seemed unwilling to leave the cool element, and the poor man who led them seemed half drowned and totally splashed before he could drag the foremost bullocks to the bank. We met an immense drove of fine sheep with the broad tails for which the Cape sheep are famous and a flock of beautiful goats, more like deer, so elegantly spotted and so clean. They were driven by wild-looking creatures with ostrich feathers in their hats, which we presume are, as well as the sheep, to be sold in “Kaapstad” whither all are going.

At the kloof leading to Tulbagh we had to cross a river and David assured us the road on the opposite side was very bad and he must give his horses water. We left the waggon and so did the horses, knee-haltered as they were and one broke his halter and crossed the ford, before the man could stop him and catching him, (for he chose to climb the mountain on the other side and look down in defiance on his companions) detained us for an hour at least. David and Pete had a warm run after him and when he was once caught and coaxed into his former position, we proceeded. To describe the rugged road we ascended, the stony depths we descended, would be impossible. Now apparently on their knees, and now on the haunches, the horses dragged the waggon after them. To add to our enjoyment, we met a waggon on a steep and narrow part. Now David, exercise thy wits. How are we to pass? Neither can go back and one cannot lie down like the goat to be passed over. David flourished his whip and at some magic words from him the opposite party turned his horses up the side of the mountain and drew the waggon close to the same, leaving us just room to pass. Edward had ridden on before and was amazed at our delay. We met him, returning to look for us, and on explaining the case, continued on to Tulbagh without more adventures.

We drove to the parsonage where Mr and Mrs Shaw received us. Mr Shaw is minister of Tulbagh of the Dutch Church, but is a Scotchman. We just found the good people had done their dinner, and they gave us their places and supplied us with an excellent meal. Mrs Shaw, although a Cape Lady, speaks English very well, as does her Father, Mr Truiter, who was there, so English was the order of the evening and we were quite at ease. The Parsonage is beautifully situated under Winter Hoek Berg. It is shaded with fine Oak trees but the village of Tulbagh cannot boast of many more.

Our whole party called on the German missionaries. They are in connection with the London Missionary Society, but not understanding their language, and they knowing but a few words of English, we held but little discourse. Edward visits the missionaries wherever he goes and enquires into the state of missions and generally has something interesting to tell of their brethren in India. Mr Shaw took us to call on a superannuated Missionary of the Society, who resided in this little village. Old Mr Voss was seated on the stoop outside his door and received us with great courtesy. He understands no English therefore Mr Shaw was the interpreter and Edward had some interesting conversation with the old gentleman. In reply to one of Edward’s questions, Mr Truiter said that he had been 35 years in the Colony, that in many things it was improved, in more it had fallen back. The coloured people were far better off, both as regards soul and body, but he thought among the “better classes” (as they are called) there was less Love, more dissension, than when first he knew them. The church at Tulbagh is in an unpleasant state, some dissension having arisen between Mr Shaw and his flock. Before he left Mr Voss, Edward said he hoped we should next meet him in that place where one language will be spoken. He exclaimed immediately, laying his hand on his heart, “I had just the same thought. I had just the same thought”. Mrs Voss is a friendly old dame. She sat kindly by Susy and me, and tried to make me understand her sentences but in vain. We were seated in the Hall (voorhuis) which I so call as the outer door enters into it but in Dutch houses it is often a parlour too. It is always furnished with a clock, two or three large sofas, a dresser ornamented outside, with china swans, geese, ducks or deer, as the case may be and well fitted inside with a good store of plates, bowls &cc. A hen and her chickens were quite at home in Mrs Voss’s parlour. One chick seemed to think a place on the sofa next to his old Master, his place and Edward could scarcely dislodge him and the whole set made such a noise that at length a black girl was called who swept and drove the whole party into the kitchen. After leaving this primitive pair, glad that we had seen a specimen of so happy an aged Christian, Dick and I, with a Dutch jonkergevrou who is staying with the Shaws, set off for a sketch and had a pretty walk.

Early the next morning we left the parsonage and proceeded to Mynheer Plessis to breakfast. He lives on the bank of the Brede River. It rained heavily. He and his worthy vrow received us very kindly. We exchanged some words in mangled Dutch on our side and broken English on his. Edward has got a set of questions and answers “verdentekt” by different friends and added to as he requires them. These and his mode of pronouncing them, amuse the Dutch boors greatly. After getting a breakfast of bread and cheese, tea, eggs and thin slices of dried beef (an invariable accompaniment to breakfast which we rarely touch), we left the Plessis family and prepared to cross the several branches of the river Brede, which are considerably raised now by the quantity of rain lately fallen. For the first time during our short experience of African travelling, the horses seemed to swim and the water came into the waggon; but we had been prepared for this, and all the luggage had been secured, as had our feet. It was just over one hour before we had quite done with the river Brede, not that we were all that time passing through water; the branches of the river separate and the sandy jungle intervenes.

It rained heavily through most of the day but cleared towards evening as we approached Mr Hugo’s farmhouse at Eendraght. We got lovely flowers and plenty of their bulbs. Dick and David are indefatigable at getting up roots. David is a very good-natured creature, his black baboon-like face often amuses us as he turns around to see if “Missus” is comfortable, or to find out if we have observed that he enjoys a cigar; or have seen the dexterity with which he has wounded or killed a poor little bird with his whip, a piece of coachmanship we wink at, as it secures a little fresh meat for David’s dinner. At Mynheer Hugo’s farm, we were entertained for the night comfortably enough. This was the most patriarchal family we have been in. There were the old man and his dame (looking like “John Anderson” and his wife) seated together on one of the hall sofas; then the eldest son, his “Vrow” and nine ‘kinders’, with generally a black girl in charge of some of the young children. The servants in these families are invariably Africans, and many of them are bound by contract to their employers, no longer their owners. We reached Eendraght after the family dinner was over, but they prepared something for us, and coffee went round later in the evening. We joined the family at supper, and as we sat in the hall with them some time before it, we saw the primitive public washing which we had been told to expect. A small tub of water was brought in, and placed before the man of the house, who first washed his hands and face. His son came next, and so on with several male members of the family, the youngest washing last. ‘All hands’ clean, a black woman came with a sort of small whisk or brush, and taking off her master’s shoes, washed and dried his feet. She did the same office for his son and some of the others, and shortly after supper was laid, and we proceeded to the business of eating it about 8 o’clock PM. An old man was in the family, either as friend or relation, who spoke French, and told Edward that he had been seven years in an English prison. He had served in Buonaparte’s army, and was a prisoner of war. He did not seem very communicative and did not look happy. Supper is like a dinner - hot and cold meat, vegetables, salad, and a tureen of new milk, which almost all partook of, as we do of soup, in large plates. I think we sat down a party of twelve or fourteen to this meal. I did not observe this family at prayers. The grace before and after supper was pronounced by one of the young lads, as is usual amongst these people. The habit of making the youngest come forward seems more a habit in careless families than in pious ones. We had our reading in our own rooms.

Early this morn we left the kind Hugos and proceeded to Worcester where I now write, this 4th November. Our views today of ranges of hills were beautiful and this small town or village in a large plain surrounded by hills is very picturesque. The weather has again cleared and all is bright. We are at a comfortable Hotel and Edward and I have got letters from Wynberg announcing the arrival of letters from England and the health and safety of all most dear to us there, and at Wynberg too.

Stellenbosch Nov 6th 1841 Saturday

Safely lodged in our old quarters here, I sit down to record the adventures of two days. The 4th we left Worcester at the early hour of 5. It was a bright morning and the hills all around looked clear and beautiful. We crossed the plain, a stony and barren one, to the Berg river and here the business of crossing the river began. It is here too deep to be forded; a small boat is therefore employed, which takes over two passengers at a time, a man to manage the boat, and a man to hold the bridles of the horses, who, two at a time are thus made to swim after the boat. Susy and Richard Jnr went first, and I sat on the bank sketching and watching the scene before me. The waggon was unpacked, and all the luggage, cushions, collections of flowers, &cc strewn on the ground to be carried over by boatfuls. When lightened of its load, an empty hogshead was put into the waggon, and this latter fastened to the boat, which forthwith was worked across, the waggon, wheel deep in the water, floating after. I had crossed in the second turn of the boat but I think it took five turns to bring over our whole party &cc. Meantime we were clambering on the opposite side and examining the curious variety of succulent plants, with which the rocky hill abounded. Very beautiful that class of plant are who thus bear in themselves the nourishment they cannot get from stony soil or the cloudless skies for so many months of the year. Their nature is one of those wonderful instances of adaptation which we so invariably see in the arrangements of Providence for even the ‘hyssop that growth on the wall”.

We mounted our waggon again, and the Gentlemen their horses, and proceeded on our way, a great part of which was ascent. Before this began we had a long, low plain to get through, abounding in beautiful flowers. We dined while the horses were let loose to drink. Two serpents crossed our path today; one of a dull yellow colour, and a very large one – three or four feet long. Our driver did not see him so he escaped with his life into a neighbouring bush. The other was a very small prettily marked creature, which Dick killed – it was a poisonous one. We saw an ostrich also, half-tamed, standing near a farmhouse and in (I believe) the Mouee Hook Pass on the lefthandside of the road was a hot spring, so hot that Edward could not leave his hand in it. We stopped at Mr Villiers, for a short rest and refreshment and pushed on for Mr _ at the foot of the French Hook Pass, which we reached as it grew dark. The road to Genadendal was on our left as we started from Mr de Villiers, he pronounced it Filyee (as he did himself when he introduced Mr Villiers to us) and we pursued our eastward course. As it grew dark the way seemed to become intricate and stony, and when the sun actually sank, the grey twilight showed broken mazes of stone which looked quite grand. The white sandy road was of itself a rock of luminous guide and David seemed as sure of his way as if the sun shone on it. Dick kept close before us. Edward had gone on to secure rooms at Mr H’s, and it was very pleasant to see for some time before we reached the house, the light from its windows. We did reach it in safety, found Edward within, rooms ready, of which we took possession, and ordered tea. Coffee appeared and was followed by Mine Host, an elegant specimen of a Landlord, with a diamond broache, and a profusion of apologies for not receiving the Lady at her waggon. No milk was to be had. His sons, “clever as they are”, Mr H told us, had given all to the calf, so we were forced to drink coffee plain, and to go to bed. This place seems to be in the sorry place where the winds meet – they made a howling and whistling as kept up all night. As early as 6 o’clock this morning we departed, having again partaken of milkless coffee (cream seems to be unknown in this colony) and Edward having paid for the fine speeches of Mine Host, and for the sight of his diamond broache.

The French Hook Mts is a very grand mountain range indeed. It reminded Ed and Susy of the Ghats in India and it brought to my mind and to Dick’s the Alps into Italy. The morning light shone on our ride and left the others in gloom. We got some beautiful “everlastings” which grows in luxuriance here – white, yellow and pink. The ascent and descent took us nearly three hours. We had a very comfortable breakfast at Mr Hugo’s (an uncle to our former host of that name, though a much younger man). He and Mrs Hugo were very kind, and seemed to be very pleased to be asked various questions about their 16 children, and themselves. They, as well as the Malans and Plessis are descendants from the French refugees who in 1685 landed at the Cape. Mr Hugo showed us an Almanac in which this fact is entered and also by himself on the opposite half three texts of scripture which were preached from on the anniversary of the event, last August. The day is observed every year by the now prosperous refugees.

Nov 22nd 1841

Our road, after leaving the French Hook, wound under the Drakenstein Hills. We saw the Paarl Mountain and village in the distance and saw beautiful views of Simons Bay as we passed between it and the Drakenstein, before descending to Stellenbosch.

And here we are near the end of our pleasant and prosperous tour. We have enjoyed much and I learned the pleasure of seeing that Susy and Edward, the two invalids are better and strengthened by their exertions. I ought not to pass over in silence the lovely lilies we saw today. Such ornaments tho’ common as air, are not to be lightly forgotten. Against all the grandeur of the French Hook Mountains, the eye is attracted by their grace and beauty as they bend their tall heads to the breeze and approaching Stellenbosch whole fields are brilliant from them. We come in today something like a flower cart to market laden with these beauteous spoils and wishing we could send them to our friends in Ireland one peep at the beauteous flowers we are almost weary of gathering and which all the greenhouses in England or Ireland could not equal.

Wynberg Nov 11th 1841 Thursday

We came home last Monday, after enduring another wet day at Stellenbosch, watching the rain pour on the orange tree opposite our windows. At Wynberg we found all the young ones well and merry and the old ones in consternation at having heard that the waggons from Swellendam were coming and we (half of the party who were to occupy them) were not returned from the first ramble. However, our appearance put all to rights. Martinus Prinslow, the owner of the Swellendam wagons, came last night, and we are in the height of confusion preparing to start tomorrow or next day for a longer excursion. Yet I must record the delight it was to find letters from home, and to hear of T’s arrival in America and her first impressions there, and to hear that all, so dear to our hearts, were well at the beginning of last August. We desire to bless God for all His past mercies and to trust those we love to Him for the future.

Chambers Hotel in Sir L Coles’ Pass Nov 15th 1841

Seated on a lowly mattress in good Mrs Chambers’ hotel, so called because travellers occasionally stop thereat (uncomfortable tho’ it be), I make a new pen to give the gentle reader (and who art thou if not a gentle reader) an idea of our adventures since we left the “breezy bowers of Wyn” (not “stay”) but berg. (reference to a Washinton Irving quote) We packed ourselves into two ox-waggons the 12th, (ie- Friday) at 7 o’clock PM, and left Wynberg, of a bright morning, attended by five outriders. One of these was Ed himself, the second was Dick. Then followed two Indian grooms, and the Butler on a pony expressly purchased for his convenience. The whole family emigrated, five children, four Ladies, and two maidservants. We soon found the wagons roomy enough, though at first, we seemed crammed like pigeons in a pie. We were even able to give the Gentlemen a seat occasionally when the heat of the sun made riding unpleasant. Ox-waggons are slow coaches.

The first day’s journey brought us to an ‘uitspan platz’ on the Cape Flats, about eight or ten miles from Wynberg, where the experiment of sleeping in the waggons and tent was first made. On a sandy space among hillocks of sand, the tent was pitched and the waggons cleared of their luggage and metamorphosised into sleeping apartments. Two tiers of beds may be arranged; one on the floor, so to speak, of the waggon, and the other on a cane bottomed stretcher that is laid over half the length of the waggon about two feet above the lower floor. Dick, Edward and Richard slept in the tent and we divided ourselves into the waggons. I cannot say I found the couch a refreshing one – the close quarters, the talking of the men, the deep breathing of the bullocks and the occasional knocks given by the horses who were fastened to the wheels (and the oxen to the yokes) combined to keep us wakeful; and we were roused again as early as 4 to start again on our journey. About every three hours nearly, the outspan, i.e. the unyoking of the bullocks, takes place and at these times while the creatures are grazing for an hour or two loose over the plain, we roam about or dine or breakfast as the time of day suits us. The calling in of the oxen, when the inspan, or yoking, of them is to be performed is amusing enough. The driver gives two or three violent cracks of his whip to the grass. Whether the creatures themselves understand this or the boys who drive them I have not yet discovered but soon they all collect and are driven into a group and the rings caught around their horns to which are attached the leather thongs, which are used for dragging the animals to their places. Their heads are then put into wooden yokes, two and two, and all is ready. No reins are used. A boy generally leads the foremost pair, and the voice of the man who wields the whip and sits on the box does, with the help of the whip, the rest. When the bullocks are going too fast down a hill or for any other cause are to be checked, the boy turns round towards the hindmost ones and makes a gesture as if endeavouring to throw dirt in their eyes, taking up at the same time a handful of sand or earth and flinging it towards them. The jolting is dreadful on a bad road, worse than in the horse waggon, but on a smooth road the motion is easy and one can read or even sketch.

Our second day’s journey brought us to Hottentot’s Holland Hotel at the foot of Sir L. Coles Pass and here we rested for Sunday. It is a shady spot and close to the hotel is a lovely view of Simons and False Bay. The village of Somerset thro’ which we passed shortly before reaching this hotel is very pretty – about three miles from the sea, on False Bay. The sunset was lovely this evening and Table Mountain &cc looked very beautiful. Early this morning, about 6, we left and began immediately to ascend Sir L Coles pass. It is not a very steep ascent, but winds easily to the top - about an hour’s drive – and the views are beautiful. You see both Table and False Bays and Table Mountain seems almost an Island. The morning mists lay so thickly as to seem to connect the two bays. There are some big fine turns and views in the pass, but it is not equal to French Hook Pass. The quantity of crimson everlastings which grows here is quite bewildering. We picked bunches of it until we could stow away no more in the roof of the waggon. The descent is much longer than the ascent, thro’ a wild region, stony and sterile but covered with white dried “Immentilles”. About 5 o’clock we reached this place and with the help of our own mattrasses shall be able to make Mrs Chamber’s little bedrooms commodious for so large a party. We were thankful to arrive so early under her roof as for the last few hours since our dinner it has rained heavily and the waggons are not yet covered in Indian rubber. We are beginning to feel that even in South Africa we can feel as well drenched as if we had been travelling under our own moist skies.

Caledon 17 Nov 1841

We left the Howe Hook or Mrs Chamber’s hotel at 5 o’clock yesterday morning, and pursued our journey. I was on horseback for the first three hours and saw therefore to great advantage the beautiful pass thro’ which we ascended. Tho’ the mountains are but clothed with little, nothing could exceed the beauty of some spots, but their nakedness and sterility gives an air of desolation which there are few farms or houses to interrupt. An Irishman from County Limerick lives at the foot of the pass, and he supplied us with brown bread and food for dinner besides eggs, not for love but for money. The rest of our way to Caledon was unmarked by anything worth mentioning. The hills undulate beautifully and the distant mountains look very fine, but not a tree, not a house. We had better roads on the whole than before; but many of them were that natural road on the side of a steep hill which places the waggon in an inclined position; and very often, but for the huge wooden drag that is put upon the lowest wheel, and thus supports it a little, we should have thought an upset the most likely thing that could befall us.

We crossed the Bat River coming in to Caledon, which scarcely deserves the name town though it does contain five shops and a church and has a weekly post from Cape Town. The houses are scattered, no two standing together, no regularity of street, no shade, as at the Paarl and Stellenbosch. The few trees are young, except a cluster of fine fir, which was too far from any of the houses to be any use as a shelter from the sun. Yet there are some rich gardens here, and the ground looks as if it might easily be improved. There is surely a want of energy about the Dutch. They have no ambition for improvement – it is twelve years since a house was built at Caledon. We are nearly a mile from the village, at the bath Hotel, or boarding house rather, constructed by Mr Richards, an Englishman, who received us but not without some of Edward’s blarney being called into requisition to persuade him to allow lodgers in. There is a hot spring close to this house, and four bath rooms, where you may parboil yourself at any hour of the day and outside some of our bedroom windows is an everflowing gush of steaming water which keeps up a refreshing sound, tho’ it is so hot that you cannot keep your finger in it. The water is clear and tasteless – useful for all purposes in kitchen and parlour. Mr Richards is making great additions and improvements to this house, which is a very large one – he intends to beautify the exterior – I mean the ground around the house, which is at present, as wild and disorderly as need be, but labour is very expensive. A little care would soon tell how abundantly everything grows here. The rocks have a volcanic look, but the earth is rich and black. Dick says there is a great deal of granite here and of course the hot springs is a mineral one. It is used successfully for gouty and rheumatic patients. We had hoped to go from here to Genendaal but the rains have swelled the river so that it is impassable and therefore we are to proceed to Swellendam tomorrow, a few days’ journey from here in the tedious, but I think not fatiguing, mode of travelling we are engaged.

Swellendam Monday Nov 22nd 1841

On the evening of Wednesday, Mr Simpson, a friend of Susy and Edward’s arrived at Caledon and gave us very interesting details of his travels. He had been to Grahams Town – much further than we shall venture – had been in a Hottentot kraal, and heard the Gospel preached there by the Clergyman who was with him and seems on the whole to be greatly pleased with his excursion, and the varieties of characters he met – Hottentot, Caffre, Bushmen, Dutch, English &cc. Grahams Town is far more of an English settlement than Cape Town, and there is a bustle of enterprise there, he says, that reminds one of the business-doing active English, and is strongly contrasted to the sleepy indolence of the Dutch. At 5 Thursday morning we left Caledon, and breakfasted as is usual on our travelling days, under the shade of a mat supported by the two waggons. We had a fine range of mountains on our left. The country around us, as far as the eye could reach was barren, and covered with low jungle, except where here and there a farmhouse and cultivated fields appeared. We stopped for the night at Mr Lindes on the banks of the ZonderEnd river. His wife and daughter received us kindly. The latter only, speaks English – she is a pleasing girl. She is an only child. Mr Lindes is an extensive farmer - he has 20 000 acres of land - but probably not over 10th of his land is under cultivation. The house we have been received into is just like the other Dutch farmers’ houses, but of a superior kind, and tho’ the view from it is fine, the place, like most of its kind, is neglected-looking outside. On the opposite banks of the river however Mr Linde has another house to which their daughter told us they go in summer. There they have excellent gardens, oranges and all sorts of fine fruits. At this side trees will not grow. She seemed quite attached to this country, very naturally, and to the place where she had spent her life, and seemed to pity us for only having been two months in Africa. We supped with this family at 8 o’clock PM and bade them farewell, intending to be off at 5 next morn. Edward however was not well in the night so we were delayed a few hours longer than we had proposed and breakfasted with the Lindes. Mr Rivers, Civil Commissioner of the Swellendam district and to whose family Edward had letters, drove up before we left Mr Lindes and hearing our waggoneer intended not to bring us into Swellendam until Monday, he sent for him and told him he could easily reach Swellendam by Saturday evening, and that early too, and Mr Rivers, who was himself going thither, promised to call at a house enroute to prepare the people to expect us on Friday night. This was very satisfactory and we pursued our journey.

The weather was now grown hot and we are well-baked in the waggons. The roads are very good, hard and smooth. We dined at Mrs Knowflocks(?). In her best bedroom this lady has a London piano, not of the very finest certainly but a Broadwood, and to this, she and her daughter seated me. It was certainly amusing enough to see the landlady &cc sitting down to discuss this or that air or song with her guests – but such is a Dutch landlady’s way – and we travellers must only be amused at it. We did not reach Davis’ house where we were to stop until very late. The stars were up and began to sparkle brilliantly. Davis is an Englishman, steward to a gentleman now in India. The house is not very comfortable and clean however we have learned content. With any roof we are satisfied, and we have our own beds.

It was a lovely morning at 5 as we left Davis’. The house is prettily situated close to a hill and the river runs by the garden. Here are orange trees of a very fine size. We who rode turned away from the dirt road with Davis and crossed a jungle to try and get a sight of Ostriches – they are often seen about here. Edward and I followed the waggon after about an hour’s jungle riding. We saw no ostriches but Davis’ dogs startled deer who bounded from them with the fleetness of an arrow. This was really a sultry morning. We road on to the uitspan place near the river’s brink. The course of the Sonderend is marked with shrubs and small trees. The rest of the country is barren – clumps of aloes in the distance look like human figures. Dick took a longer ride with Davis than we did and saw two ostriches at a distance. The range of hills under which Swellendam is situated is very beautiful. We stopped for a moment at Dr Hills, eight miles from this place and crossed the Breede river by a new floating bridge finished three weeks ago, for our especial convenience we presume. Swellendam is a long, scattered village, much larger than Caledon or I think than any others except Paarl. However, it is seated so close to the hills that it has quite a wild look to my eyes. Some of the houses are very large and all as white as lime can make them, indeed it is the case with all the village houses. Roses and Oleanders bloom profusely outside some of the doors here. Mr River’s place is at the head of the village, and quite out of it, with large gardens and seems a lovely spot, but we have not yet been there. Mr and Mrs River called here yesterday before service to accompany us to Church. English service is held in the afternoon at the Dutch Church, conducted by Mr. Robertson the clergyman here. Mrs Rivers, Edward and I and the two Dr. Richards went. Susy was fatigued and staid at home. The form of the worship was the Presbyterian. Mr Robertson gave us a very faithful excellent discourse on Proverbs 3 – this chapter (the 3rd) was the only section of Scripture read. One of the hymns sung “I heed of the word” from the Scotch ladies on board the Childe Harold. The Church is a large one and it is well-filled in the morning during Dutch service, but for the English service is but thinly attended, there being comparatively few English here. Our first day here, Sunday, was spent in a lodging house for which the owner was enormous enough to ask £12 a week. So, as it had been engaged for us by a friend, we remained one day. Paying £2.10 for it, and £2.10 for the part of Saturday and Monday. £5 for Saturday to Monday! So “precious is rest” in the town of Swellendam! Now we are in equally good lodgings for a third of the price, where we remain until Friday next.

Yesterday going to Church, which is but a little way from us I saw a large tortoise shuffling across the dusty road and more than once, during the morning ride, I have seen tortoises scratching up the Earth and a great many small dead ones lying on the road. We watched, at Caledon, a pair of the large beetles which make balls of manure or of soft earth, sometimes as large as themselves and bury them in a hole or cover them with rubbish, having laid their eggs in the ball. Wilde gives a sketch of a pair of these creatures rolling their ball. They are very large beetles, with so strong a shell on their backs that they will move a large stone if it be laid on their backs.

November 25th 1841 Swellendam

We dined yesterday at the Rivers’ and walked about their garden – lemons in quantities decaying under the trees, it being impossible for one family to consume so many, even if they drank nothing but lemonade and washed their hands in lemon juice. The orange trees are cleared of their fruit, it being more palatable. Mrs Rivers is very pleasing, family-friendly and kind. They have a beautiful view from their house of the mountains &cc. One of our morning rides has been to a jungle at the entrance to one of the little forests that creep up in the kloofs and ravines of the mountain near us. It was a beautiful spot – the variety of wild shrubs, creepers in bloom and fragrant herbs and above us the wood with here and there the blackened stump of some tree long since perished either by fire below or fire above – i.e. – by lightning or by the jungle having caught fire (as is sometimes the case), all united to make the spot beautiful, surrounded as we were by rising hillocks and the great mountain near which we stood. Pomegranates and Oleanders seem to flourish wonderfully here – he latter grow to a height of ten or twelve feet in Dr Robertson’s garden – and close to this little lodging house, is a row of pomegranates in full blossom. At Dr Robertson’s we were gratified with the visit of an old Hottentot woman, nearly one hundred years of age, but in good health and action. She has been converted to Christianity and it was delightful to hear what she said in Dutch, repeated in English. She spoke some of the Hottentot language for us. It is a soft, pleasant-sounding tongue, interspersed by a variety of curious clicks, which have not an unpleasant effect. Her countenance reminded me of the pictures of the old Countess of Desmond who live to 140 or 50 years of age, the years producing a similarity of countenance which the Irish Lady’s face did not probably bear to the Hottentot’s features when it was young and certainly not when it was fair.

Friday 26th November 1841

Dick and I took a ride this evening with Miss Rivers. She is a very pleasing girl. One would not expect to meet here so completely one, considering that she was born and bred in South Africa, and spent but three years in England. She is a specimen of colonial manners. We rode towards the mountains on our right leaving the village. The evening threatened rain. It had been wet all the morning and we were afraid to go far. Susy is not well this evening. She thinks the heat yesterday disagreed with her. It certainly was roasting hot at Mr Hills where we spent the day. He and his wife are very kind, and do everything they can to make our abode agreeable. The flies in their little drawing room were perfectly a plague; the buzzing was so loud you might have fancied yourself in a beehive. The drive home was cool and pleasant but the jolting of the horse waggon is certainly not a trifle. It was poor Dick however, who had to endure it for 12 hours yesterday, who is to be pitied. He went with Dr Robertson and Mr Rivers into the country in a horse waggon at a great pace and it was really hard work holding on in some places, he said. When they stopped at the house where the gentlemen had appointed to meet several of the farmers, he left them and rode on 6 miles further to see Kokman’s Kloof, which he describes as a magnificent pass, well worth going to see. He did not return till 9 o’clock but has felt no unusual fatigue today.

Monday 29th November 1841

Dependent on others for a means of conveyance from hence, and unable to arrange about waggons as yet, here we still are. Dr Robertson, who has interested himself very kindly in trying to procure them, has been greatly disappointed at the spirit shewn by those of his parishioners who offered their services in conveying us to “George”. They have shewn a determination to charge for Sunday as much as for travelling days: and this too, calling it a charge for Sunday, when it was in their power to charge highly for other days if they chose, but leave Sunday free. There has seemed too among them such a determination to screw as much money as possible out of Edward that one cannot help seeing the Dutch character to be as grasping and money-loving as ever it was represented to be. “What else are we to expect?” said Mrs T. after a discussion on this trait in the colonist’s character; “Are they not descendants, or countrymen at least, of those who when at war with England, at night sold powder to the English Fleet, which powder was to be the next day employed against themselves?” Our very washerwoman has turned out to be an extortioness. She made her own terms at first, and curious terms they were – a dollar a bag for washing and a dollar for smoothing and this bag is very large and held a great number of things. We never heard of such an arrangement before, but agreed to it and on her bringing the clothes back she charged nearly three times much as her original agreement tho’ she had been given soap, starch and blue! Of course, she got to know then the original bargain expired and she is to get no further employment from us. It is as necessary to ‘marchander’ among these people as among the Swiss; they seem to think one fair game for imposition. In Cape Town the shops have three prices for everything – one for the Dutch inhabitants, the lowest charge; the second for the English residents, and the third, the highest for English Indians. Yesterday we attended divine service in the afternoon and heard Dr. Robertson preach. He gave us an excellent sermon on “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem” a powerful, faithful discourse. He seems to think the greater part of his English audience very careless and worldly-minded, and we hear that he has more comfort and encouragement in his Dutch parishioners. The Rivers attend both services. The principal shop here belongs to an English man named Darcy, who has quite made his fortune by it, and is an influential man in the village. We had reason to suppose that he exerted that influence unfavourably for us among the waggoneers as after consulting twice now, one of them refused Edward’s terms which were far from being hard. This was not fair of Mr Darcy from whom a great deal has been bought. Many of the articles in the “Negotie winkels” as shops (or shopkeepers) are called would be an amusing concern - firearms, and fishing tackle, pins, needles, threads, shoelaces, spoons, spades, shoes, calico, flannels, lace, ribbons, hats, soap, candles, sugar, tea, bacon, sheepstails, locks, screws, water casks, glass, china, leather, snuff and various etceteras. There are three shops in Swellendam, and when composed of such a pleasing variety as described above, fewer shops would be sufficient in a much larger village. In the South of Ireland, this sort of Noah’s ark shop, into which clean and unclean are packed is sometimes to be met with, but not such a store house as Mr Darcy’s is.

Dick and I took a ride before breakfast this morn and brought in some beautiful flowers – one a Digitalis like our white foxglove with purple spots inside, and a beautiful scarlet parasitical plant. Why will not the good people bring these lovely flowers into their gardens and cultivate them instead of the dwindled larkspurs, stocks &cc that they are fond of having in the hard, stony little plots allotted to flowers near their houses? Why with these flowers they might view a pretty track if for no other pleasure, they would cultivate them, and sell roots, seeds or even bouquets to strangers.

December 1st 1841 Wednesday

Tomorrow we are to leave Swellendam and this day we spent partly in paying farewell visits and taking a few sketches. Dick and I went early to the Rivers’ and sat with them, also walking about the garden in search of the picturesque. It is easily found here for the Langeberg Range is a noble object from all quarters of this neighbourhood and the lovely weeping willows or graceful plantain make a suitable foreground. We also bade adieu to the Robertsons and even paid Mr Darcy’s Negotie winkel a farewell visit to supply ourselves with varieties needful for our journey to George.

Thursday 2nd, left Swellendam on a broiling day, and at the hottest time of day too in consequence of the delay of our wagons till near 12 o’clock. One of our carriages has 14 and the other 16 oxen and the drivers are very civil, orderly men, Gabriel Le Roux being the name of the chief. We walked only a few steps to Dr Robertson’s but even this heated us terribly – the ground seemed to blaze under our feet. Mrs Robertson refreshed us with bread and beer and we got at her door into the waggon. On the top of the hill near the Drosty, the Rivers ran out to take a parting glance, and doubtless thought we were setting out on a journey of dubious pleasure. We passed through a very pretty country – swelling hills under the great line of mountains. Our spot was quite a picture, composition and all, perfect. Imagine a Dutch farm house with ornamental gables and close to it an immense looking willow gracefully drooping down to the very ground - on the opposite side of the way, a low jungle, here and there a thorny mimosa and the blue mountains beyond, in front a river thro’ which we had just waded and the whole scene animated by the horsemen following us, some in the water and some on the nearest bank. I longed for a magic glass to perpetuate the scene.

It was dark before we reached Zuarbrack (Suurbrak) – and what delicious darkness. All the stars were out and brilliant sparkling like gems. Sirius blazed when you looked at his near neighbours but modestly seemed to retain his beams when the eye rested on himself. This effect I have often observed when looking at stars. The Magellan clouds, with whom I had first made acquaintance on board the Childe Harold, were here looking like fleecy moonlit clouds. The servants soon lighted a fire near the waggons and sat around it cooking their supper, and looking in their Indian garments supremely picturesque. Meantime we had been introduced to good Mr Helm, the Missionary, who received us with real hospitality, set us down to tea &cc and went to his evening service at the Chapel close by. This is now a flourishing Missionary station. Between 6 and 800 Hottentots and Fingoes are here taught the great truths of Christianity and also the agricultural arts. It is a beautiful valley - a deep ravine in the mountain near is thickly wooded - and the rows of earthen houses for the poor people with pardons attached scattered thro’ the valley look comfortable and neat. At sunrise and sunset there is service in the Chapel and as many as can attend it. Most of the men are now absent at Harvest - they work for farmers - but a great many women were at the service we attended at 5 o’clock Friday morning. It consisted of alternate singing and praying. The former was very pleasing. The Africans are remarkable for good deep voices – high and clear too – and the prayers were made by different members of the congregation, elderly men, who appeared perfectly fluent and deeply devotional.

We left this interesting spot after breakfast and proceeded to Mr Lutz’s, a long day’s journey. The hills were covered with Aloes, and a pretty Cotyledon with red blossoms. The valley of Zuarbrack looks beautiful from the neighbouring heights. It was dark when we reached Myneer Lutz’s. He is a pious man and while preparing for rest in the room near the hall, and entrance room, we heard his voice in prayer and singing (and that of his wife and servant) alternatively for a long time. We outspanned this day and dined on a Zuarbrack mat laid between the waggons and shaded by a carpet thrown from one to the others at top. Another waggon party were similarly engaged near us – a farmer, his wife and three kinders, heading to the Karoo, their home, from Port Beaufort whither they had gone for trading purposes. They presented the children with a few dried raisins and walnuts and found out the relative position we all stood in to each other – of bruder, sister, moeder, kind, unkel, tante, nicky, neef &cc, where we were going, for what we were going and suchlike interesting and useful queries.

This morn at 6 we left Mr Lutz’s. It was a cold, showery morning but the day was delightfully cool and bracing. I read some home letters to Susy which lead to pleasant converse and soothing thoughts. We generally put baby into a sleepy mood by singing the morning hymn and reading a chapter, and when over, he and the two other little ones are asleep we can learn Dutch, read or talk uninterruptedly. We passed thro’ some beautiful jungles today and stopped at Myneer Humann’s for an early tiffin. He is a substantial farmer, a fine-looking man with a natural ease of manner I have seen unsuccessfully put on by some gentry elsewhere. He and his wife, who live nearby, have a noble garden – immense orange and lemon trees, mangoes also, a small kind of orange (little fools literally) and pears, pumpkins, peaches, nectarines &cc in profusion. They supply the neighbourhood with fruit. The walks in their garden are raised nearly ½ a foot above the ground and the garden can be overflowed with water from a neighbouring dam, which looks quite lake-like close by. In one of the houses here, manufacturing of house-made soap was going on - a large pot of fat was boiling and in the kitchen of the other houses a sheep was hanging up – I fear we shall soon have nothing but mutton to eat. We can now get down a little raw beef dried and cut into shavings. Here we had a black slave keeping the flies off our meal. She was clothed comfortably but we often see naked black little figures flit across the doorways of the farmhouses, clothes being thought unnecessary encumbrances, it seems, on the little Africanders, yet this day was cold enough for a jacket at least and we were glad to wrap ourselves up comfortably even in the waggons.

It was a lovely evening as we approached Mnr Badenhorst‘s hospitable “huis”. Dr Robertson directed us here and had written him to expect us. His house is prettily situated and near the Fet river. We were given a cup of coffee by his good wife and then took a lovely stroll into the neighbouring jungle. As we returned, the cattle were being folded and put up for the night. The sheep were standing as thick as possible within its wattled walls, and the goats, beautiful speckled creatures, in another. A boy on horseback drove 20 or 30 horses thro’ the river to their fold or kraal and the rustic sounds of all these rustic occupations gave a great animation to the scene. We have just supped with this good family and after supper joined their family’s worship, all in Dutch and conducted with great solemnity and devotion by the Master. They pray twice and read a portion from “Begaty’s Golden Treasury” translated into Dutch by Mr Stegman of Cape Town. Lord C would have been shocked had he been here for not only was a black bottle of wine on the table but two black bottles held candles in addition to the two which were legitimate candlesticks. Black bottles are worth 6 apiece at Swellendam and may be still more valuable here.

Sunday, we spent here – the nearest place of worship is three hours distance (distance is invariably and necessarily reckoned by time). Mynheer Badenhorst rode to Riversdale, a familiar name in the town where the church is, and was home in time for the family dinner at 1 o’clock. – but I should begin with the early part of the day and say that we were aroused at 5 by the loud voice of our host in the hall at family worship. We got up and at 6 breakfasted with him and his family. At dinner, two black girls waved opposing boughs over our heads keeping close to the chairs of those they stood behind. The flies here really amount to a plague and this luxury of waving boughs is almost a necessity.

We are quite a travelling wonder – the window of our bedroom opens on the stoep and groups of faces are perpetually peeping. Hands even have been introduced to feel the sponges, hairbrushes and other curiosities laid there to dry. We cannot be sure of a moment’s privacy. The children of the family come and tumble on the floor of the bedroom allotted to us and their mothers, for there are three babies and mothers here, very composedly seat themselves to nurse their babies in the self-same apartment. Even a lad of 18 or 19 came in and danced the baby before the mirror which adorns our walls. In short, Society here is in a very primitive state. These good people seldom or never see their superiors, and they are surrounded by black servants on terms (now) almost of equality with themselves.

Edward spent a great deal of the day over the Scriptures with Mr Badenhorst, finding our texts in English, which Mr Badenhorst then read in the Dutch Bible and vice versa. Thus, he contrived to have some profitable exchange of ideas. Indeed, it must be a very naked, destitute spot if Edward could not contrive to find or have some good there. Mr Badenhorst is a pious man – he went to Church at Riverdale on horseback and returned in time for the early dinner. One great disadvantage of the distance between the farm’s centre and the Churches is that families can seldom attend divine worship and the children are of course very often uninstructed on that day. However, Mr Badenhorst had some family readings while we read our Sabbath Day Service in our room, having requested the people to keep a respectful distance.

Early on Monday morning (at 5) we heard the voice of family worship in the hall, and at 6 we were all at breakfast, after which we bade farewell to this good family from the Bas or Master down to Ghertruda Petronella, the youngest baby, and proceeded on our way.

The village of Riversdale was the first human habitation we reached. It is about 12 miles from the Fet River Farm. Mr Robertson had told us that this place was first merely a station when he met some of his parishioners for worship and religious instruction in a room. It being a convenient position, a church was built, round which houses have collected, and now it is a respectable little village and has received its name from Dr Robertson wishing to give it a pretty name and one that would also commemorate Mr Rivers, the commissioner of the district. We outspanned at a pretty spot, and as is our custom, strolled into the jungle, I with a knife to wound some of the huge aloes and collect their bitter juice. We see several kinds of aloes.

Tiger Fontein was to be our station for this night – our drivers do not know the road – but a good-humoured woman who emerged from a hut near which we dined at 3 o’clock assured us we were about three hours from it. This dame could of course speak nothing but Dutch and we were forced to try and answer her queries, and ask our own in the same “taal”. She could not believe we were travelling for mere pleasure and repeatedly asked what we were taking in the wagons to George. She begged a little tea and sugar and offered eggs and a fowl in exchange, which exchange was made, and we proceeded on our journey. We passed thro’ some prettily diversified jungle but no house appeared and it was growing late. Edward had ridden on with one groom and as we were wondering at the length of the way, Balla was seen approaching us with the news that Sahib had sent him back to say that we had lost the way and were still some two hours distance from Tiger Fontein. It was now after 7 and we were thus sure of two hours in the dark, over an unknown trackless jungle. The lumbering waggons too; every jolt seems such a jolt that in the dark a molehill would seem a mountain. However, we silently commanded ourselves to His protection who never slumbers or sleeps, and we had Dick with us, who rode to and fro, bringing what intelligence he could procure (by going off the road to a hut) as to the way we should go. Many a time the scoon (skoen) was put to the wheel descending some pitch which to us seemed steep enough and the poor oxen seemed as if anxiously expressing their fatigue by their low moanings when the wagon was stopped for a moment. The night was very cold, starlight but no moon, and the wind extremely high. At a little past 10, we reached the farmhouse of Mynheer Wosterhuiz, at the door of which stood Sahib, glad to see us, or rather to hear our voices, and to conduct us into the house where the civil poor people had been waiting supper since 8 o’clock. The children who had slept very comfortably in the waggons were supped and bedded first and we soon followed, glad to lay us down under a roof this cold night. At one time, this place by its name was the resort of tigers to quench their thirst but now no creatures but harmless oxen or more harmless geese frequent the nearby river, and what is lost in sublimity (the exchange from roar of the tiger to the peaceful lowing or the noisy cackle) is gained in the safety and comfort suggested by the now rural sounds we now heard.

We did not leave this place till 10 o’clock, having repaired our fatigue by a long sleep - I now write in the waggon. We have stopped for the night close to the Gauritz River, almost in view of a Mr Bland’s house. He is in Cape Town and as the location is fine and the ground dry, we have pitched our tent and will seek no better shelter tonight than the waggons can give. Our journey today was through a wild, jungly country, branches of aloes throwing up their prickly arms. In some spots I observed what looked very like a heap of broken crockery of red earth, like flowerpots in pieces, but on closer observation, I perceived these to be heaps of dried withered aloe leaves from which the medicinal sap had been collected. As we approached the Gauritz River, the ground became broken into deep romantic ravines and the descent to the river was fearful. It was really almost precipitous and one could not help a feeling of terror both at watching the other waggon descending and at descending ourselves. The patient oxen bear the great waggon coming down on them admirably, and on going up the opposite side, which was excessively steep and long too, the manner they stood to take breath on the hill surprised me.

Friday December 10th 1841 Mossel Bay

The Gauritz River is the boundary of the Swellendam District, and after crossing it, we entered “George”. On the morning of Wednesday 8th we left Tiger Fontein and outspanned for dinner at a place remarkable only for the quantity of great aloes which surrounded a stagnant tank near a small farmyard. These immense plants seem to have been flourishing here for centuries. The masses of dried leaves and stems of past years’ blossoms strewed the ground near and the plants were of an enormous size – leaves of 8 or 10 feet long and great flowering stem heads shot up to a height as far as I could judge of between 30 and 40 feet. That evening we reached Myneer Pienaar’s farm, about 3 miles from the sea, Zuidzee by name, and on the road to this place. The house was uncomfortable and dirty so we preferred sleeping in the tent and waggons. I set off on a voyage of discovery to a beautiful ravine a stone’s throw from the farmyard. On the edge of this steep and deep dell, a semicircular kraal for goats was constructed and a great flock of these creatures were at the moment ascending to their resting place adding to the beauty of the view. Our arrival seems to have given a swarthy pair in the farmyard some work. A sheep evidently but just butchered was hanging up, and while the woman assisted the operation with a knife, the man dragged off the skin; and that with such great force that when it came off he fell on his back, to the great amusement of his wild companion who danced with glee like a child.

I proceeded into the place and got onto a projecting rock covered with aloes in clustered bushes throwing their entrailed arms or rather horns in circular bunches and mingling beautifully with the masses of green healthy plants. The heath in this place was 6 or 8 feet high and bore a beautiful delicate blossom. A polygula (milkwort) tree in bloom was also beautiful here. Dick followed me here with his gun and declared the place had a fearsome smell of the Zoological Gardens, and was surely the haunt of jackals at least. We returned when it was almost dark, noticing in the distance a mountain on which several bright fires were burning. The night became quite a fine one before we went to bed. The fire climbed the steep sides of the mountain, it is on the range on the other side of George and therefore many miles from us. Next night we were again encamped exactly opposite to it and it was even a fiercer sight than before. The fire was not on our side but blazed at the other and cast up a lurid glow into the sky all around. The deep roar of ocean lulled us to sleep in our canvas chamber and I never slept more soundly.

We rose at 4 and after breakfast, sketchbook in hand, I descended to the ravine of which I had caught glimpses the evening before for a closer acquaintance. I was perfectly enchanted with it. The deepest part was certainly 2 or 300 feet deep, and the place so narrow that in one place, where projecting rocks approached each other, an antelope might have bounded across. It seemed to be the haunt of many birds and they so unaccustomed to man that a number of pretty grey doves perched on a rock close to me, apparently intending to bathe in a pool near. On a closer inspection however of their new neighbour they saw she was neither a sheep or a goat, and away they flew. The ravine seems to stretch on to the sea and must at times be the bed of a torrent, now only a series of deep black pools separated by huge masses of rock are to be seen. The ravine is in parts thickly wooded and the music of birds fills the solitary spot. The beautiful clusters of aloes peeking out from among the rocks were particularly picturesque and had a different character to this place from any other I had seen, besides I think it is a more beautiful spot of the kind than I have ever seen.

A short stage from here brought us to Mossel Bay, a beautiful spot. We are encamped near the strand and the “beauteous Bay” is spread before us. A range of fine mountains beyond it bounds our prospect, one of these being our brilliant burning friend. There are but four dwelling houses in this village, if such it may be called, but it is to be a town and place of trade some “fair future day”. A collector of Customs has lately been sent here, and he has kindly given us a room in his house, where some of our party sleep. Susy and I keep to the tent. There is a delightful sea view and a pretty walk to some curious rugged cliffs on the eastern side of the mountain. The jungle here is remarkably pretty – all sorts of aloes are mingled with a glistening leaved evergreen shrub, and a low-creeping heath, together with the bright blossoms of a Cotyledon, give it the appearance of a flower garden.

We bathed after our arrival yesterday and enjoyed the plunge greatly. A great seal was brought on shore today by a fishing boat which we went to see; it seems very like our own seals, but I had never seen one so close before.

Monday 13rd December 1841

We remained at Mossel Bay and had the pleasure of another plunge and of an evening ramble by the sea shore. We watched the little spiral snails taking theirs too, describing indescribable figures on the sand with their flat-sliding monopedal. The sandhills that run down to the shore are covered with a variety of beautiful shrubs, one acacia-like, one bears crimson blossoms but is eaten almost to the ground by cattle. Our bullocks rove wild on these sunny slopes. At night they are brought in and fastened to the waggons which are close to the tent where we sleep. They are quiet neighbours but not so the village dogs and cocks. Early risers are we and the cocks are before us and instead of scattering the “river of darkness thin” they “scatter our sleep and scare our morning dreams”.

Two of the houses here are “Winkels” (shops) and of the same variegated characters as those before described at Swellendam and the Paarl. I got gloves and ghee, which was all I wanted, and got myself weighed - 9 stone 4 pounds. Dick was 9 stone 9 pounds. Both of us were 10 stone when last we weighed in London at the Adelaide Gallery.

On Sunday we had service in a room fit for the purpose by Mr Acker, one of the dwellers here. Edward conducted the service and gave us (he had about 30 persons present) a very nice discourse on the 3 of John, a truly faithful statement of the important truths of Christianity, the necessity of a change of heart and of the influence of the Holy Spirit. In the evening we walked to the Eastern shore and climbed to a grotto in the cliff from whence we had a fine sea view. The view here looks solitary, not a sail probably to be seen day after day and certainly not now. The roar of the ocean is like the voice of an old friend and comes fraught with many recollections. We found a little green scorpion under a stone and Dick brought it home. It is now in duller spirits than before – it is rather a torpid creature.

We left Mossel Bay this morning at 7 and are now outspanning for dinner at a pretty spot just beyond the Brack river which we crossed. We have crossed three rivers today, two called the Brack, from the waters being saltish. The aloes around us here are very fine and the yellow Mimosa tree is just coming into blossom. To us, who have only seen greenhouse specimens of this tree, it seems quite extraordinary to see a fire lighted for cooking our dinner under a Mimosa acacia in full blossom. The ground we passed over today is very prettily shaped and our route was sometimes on the top of a ridge of hills and commanded a fine view of the valley and winding river beneath. Sometimes Mossel Bay lay stretched behind us and a fine chain of mountains was always within sight.

Towards night we approached the Groot Brack River and found an unexpected delay in the height of its waters which were now swelled by the tide, and impassable to wagons at least. It was a beautiful spot and we strolled about waiting for the falling of the water. Edward rode to a farmhouse nearly a mile off to buy and procure milk, bread and forage, articles which it is sometimes difficult to get. He succeeded in getting milk and forage; the latter consists of oats in the sheaf which is the food for horses who are lucky to get oats at all. The Dutch are very stingy of their goods, even for money. I have no doubt that had the original inhabitants of the soil been here, we should find them more easily softened. When it has chanced us to meet a Hottentot and acquire his services, we find him civil and obliging, willing to take any trouble either to show the way or show where water is to be found. The tent was first sent over on horse back and pitched on the other side, and we followed in the waggon. The river was deep only in one place but the patient bullocks waded through and landed us safely on the other side. All was quiet by ten o’clock and our little encampment was as still as possible considering that men, women and children to the amount of 20 souls, and horses and bullocks consisting of 35 bodies are all laid to rest within a few yards of each other.

Tuesday 14th December 1841

Early in the morning we were roused and proceeded to Packall’s dorp (Pacaltsdorp), from whence I now write. From the river side where we encamped, we ascended a tremendous hill and walked up to spare the poor bullocks who toiled patiently after. Richard and Mrs RT remained in the waggon, having had a severe fall out of the waggon just as we set off. Her nose and eye were much hurt, but providentially she is not seriously injured. From the top of the hill we had a magnificent view of Mossel Bay and the wide ocean, and the river beneath our feet winding to the sandy shore. The air was cool and delicious - most invigorating and helped to brace our horses for the difficulties we had to encounter on our route. There were deep ravines down which the road descends precipitously and they were rough enough. I remained in the waggon and did not see the swinging (which the gentlemen who rode said was fearful-looking) of the heavy machines. Later we crossed the Lusikama (?) River and after our dinner we crossed the Koin. This latter was a lovely spot, a great rock overhangs the ford and it is clothed with fine aloes and the nearby islets in the water are full of beautiful bright scarlet watsonia lilies, and varieties of shrubs and heaths. A beautiful pair of birds, black and yellow, were flying about the spot and I thought it altogether the most Eastern looking I had seen. The descent to this river was very dangerous. Susy and I had walked on so, looking back, we saw the waggons swing round the sharp turns with fearful rapidity – the great length of the span of oxen make it a matter of difficulty to lead them aright. For sections, the foremost ones are out of sight of the driver when he is still urging on the wheelers in a winding pass. The way to Pacaltsdorp was now plain and easy. We arrived about 9 o’clock and were received at the Missionaries Messrs Anderson and Melville who have given us a large room to expand in, which after the tent appears quite a gigantic size. This place is said to be very healthy. It has a beautiful mountain view and is not far from the sea. This night is lovely and calm, and we hear the distant roar of ocean. The stars are brilliant, the new moon has just risen in the west “with the old moon in her arms” and the grasshoppers are singing us to rest.

Wednesday 15th December 1841

We went to the Andersons to breakfast. Old Mr Anderson (now 73) is a very intelligent, agreeable man and Mrs and Miss Anderson are excellent, kind persons. Mrs Anderson had a meeting in the Church last evening of the females especially the mothers among the people and we could hear their voices singing hymns after we had retired to our room. The hymn sung at their family worship too fell on our ears as we were falling asleep, for we retired early to rest being fatigued. Mr Melville, missionary at XXX Kraal, about 40 miles from here, is here for the benefit of his health. He is a pleasing man and, I need not say, a truly pious one. The Missionary families are truly happy people – all seem to unite in the labour of love they are engaged in, heart and hand. We visited Miss Anderson’s Infant School. 70 or 80 little creatures are here instructed. One might have fancied oneself in an English School, but for the colour of the children, which varied from black to the lightish yellow brown. The walls of the airy room were hung with English prints and pictures and the children are instructed in English and sing hymns in that language. Mr Melville however seems to think this labour thrown away for that English is quite forgotten when the children leave school, Dutch being the language of their homes. The boys’ and girls’ school we also visited. It seems flourishing as far as we could judge on a short inspection. The numbers of Hottentots and Africans settled here are about 800. Many of these are constantly employed in various ways from home by farmers, as drivers of waggons &cc and they are trusted with loads of great value by merchants. The attendance on Sundays at Church is from 3-400. 75 were at the infant school today. Mr Anderson gave us this evening much interesting information, both of this place and of Griqua town, which 40 years ago he first went to, when the Hottentots there were savages dwelling in kraals. Before he removed from that place, they had become a highly improved settlement and had 60 waggons in their possession. That settlement is still flourishing and has now been left without a missionary.

We went to the village of George today, about 3 miles from here, close under the mountains. It is a pretty spot. The houses are good, with gardens surrounded by lovely hedges of China roses in full bloom. Willows here and there as at Swellendam and ‘winkels’, one of which we visited and found there a countrywoman, and a Cork woman too – a Mrs Guest – late Mrs Harding and once a Miss Hervink. The forests that lie at the foot of the mountain add greatly to the beauty of George. We paid a long visit to Mrs Guest and then Edward and Susy went into a certain Butchers shop to secure meat for the morrow. He has one of the best houses here and seems to be one of the aristocracy of George. Mrs Butcher (Smith by name) invited Edward and Susy into her drawing room – mistook them for some strangers expected at the village – but seemed just as glad to see them when she heard they were other unexpected strangers. Dutch manners are most amazing, by the way. They must be infectious for these people are English but completely Dutchified. We took the drive to George in Mr Anderson’s cart, which gave us a grand shaking the four bullocks seemed to take a malicious pleasure in swinging side to side of the path and giving us double and treble benefit of every rut and dell. We were ‘taken and well shaken’ like an Apothecary’s drug and it remains to be proved whether we shall long survive.

Thursday 16th December 1841

The morning became wet. The breakfast was over and the waggons packed at 6 o’clock, so we changed our purpose and remained. I walked this evening round the settlement with Miss Anderson, Edward, Susy and the children. The houses are in general mere huts, constructed of reeds and stalks of Indian corn, thatched with the stems of the same, and the walls rudely plastered with mud – some of a better order are built of square sods. We went into several. They were almost all clean and neat. Miss Anderson became interpreter between Edward and one poor pious woman of whom he asked some questions. She answered that she “was happier since being baptised than before”, she “believed her Saviour loved her”, that she knew the wickedness of her own heart, that she was content and wished for nothing. She had once wished for children, but now she did not. God did not give them to her – he knew she would not have brought them up properly. Could many who are enjoying this world’s good have seen this poor creature, in a wretchedly small hut, the roof and walls full of crevices, and herself old and probably not enjoying the best health (for the wretchedness of the houses leads to illness among these people), they would have been ashamed of discontent and wondered at her happiness, not knowing that she possessed ‘true riches’. At Zuarbrack, Mr Nelson does not allow such infirm houses to be constructed, all must be made on a certain model, but here it is otherwise. There is frequently a beehive-shaped straw house close to the hut for cooking purposes. We saw a girl and a boy heating barley in a wooden vessel, the stem of a tree partly hollowed and a great sack of barley which was lying outside the door. Some of the gardens are neat, abounding in peach trees, potatoes are very good here. There are no vineyards. Temperance is the order of the day, in consequence of which drunkards have been reformed. The Church Schools and Mission house are on a height almost of the huts and gardens of which a passing stranger could have no idea. We remained at Pacaltsdorp longer than we had first intended as Susy had a slight cold.

Friday and Saturday, we walked and drove with Miss Anderson near the seashore and some beautiful wooded ravines. To one of these I went and enjoyed the sight of the clear blue sea. The shores are something like the South of Ireland. We went in one of the Missionary waggons 3 miles across the heathy and grassy mountain to the shore down which we clambered close to a little wooded ravine. The waves dashed beautifully on the rocks, which are hard and like granite, heaths and pretty shrubs, some being fragrant, growing to the ledge of the cliff down which we descended. We had an extensive view of Cape Blaise, Mosselbay, the headlands beyond, and on our left the headlands in the directions of the Knysna. We find our friends here extremely intelligent, giving a great deal of information. They have made us anxious to see more of Africa than we shall be able to do, telling us of the Bechuana Country and the Caffre towns containing 6 or 10,000 inhabitants, as well as giving us histories of lions, tigers, elephants, serpents &c whose acquaintance it is not likely we can make during this trip. I have gone all over this settlement with Miss Anderson. The people seem happy and full of employment. Peach trees seem the chief timber here. There are a few firs planted by Mr Pacalt, the founder and first missionary of this place, and weeping willows and castor oil bushes in which the fowl roost. This is high flat land. We can see the horizon of the sea from our door, but not the shores.

Sunday the bell for early prayers roused us at half past 5. We are often able to fall asleep here to the sound of singing. At a distance it is very sweet, but the people sing very loud and at the highest pitch of their voices. It is overpowering when one is near it. At half past nine we attended at the Church. It was very full, all the men sat on one side, all the women at the other, in their neat white quilted bonnets or handkerchiefs bound tightly over their hair. A chapter was read (all in Dutch), a hymn sung and prayers made and then again singing and a sermon preached by Mr Melville of which we could only make out a few words or the general drift. The beautiful order with which this large congregation left the church, struck us all, too much accustomed to see Christians at home hurry from their place of worship. They all sat so still we scarcely believed service was concluded. Then those nearest the door first went, then all the men remained until all the women had gone and then followed, ‘decently and in order’. Having partaken of the cold meat dinner with the Andersons, we went to the Sunday School, some to the adult and some to the infant classes. We did not go to afternoon service but read our own Sunday service and had one of Mr Nesbitt’s powerful sermons from Edward, thus concluding the day’s public service.

On Saturday, some of us were driven to the sea. Edward, Dick and Mr Melville had gone to see Craddock’s Kloof, a desperate mountain pass 6 or 7 miles from here. They came back satisfied that the sketch they had seen of a waggon getting over this pass (and which was compared to a bee crawling up a wall) was no exaggeration, and we may thank our stars we have not to cross this mountain on our way to the Knysna. The weather is now fine and we may hope we shall have no more rain, which would make the steep roads too slippery to be safe.

We early on Monday the 20th have left our kind friends at Pacaltsdorp, and with some fresh bullocks set out for the Knysna, our long-desired object. Our drivers have been alarmed by the accounts of the desperate roads we are to traverse, and they almost refused to go further without a guide. Mr Anderson has given that office to one of his old Hottentots, a good man too, who knows the way well, and with his dogs and his gun adds not a lot to our party, at least to the picturesque part of it. Before we got out of the settlement we had a very steep ravine to cross but our heroes are strong and we bore the jolting famously. We had not gone far when a second ravine appeared and we left the waggons to walk. The Schwartz River runs thro’ this ravine, which is thickly wooded and the views were beautiful – lovely scarlet lilies growing to the water’s edge and fine trees towering above. Here we met an unexpected delay. The bullocks of our foremost waggon refused to mount the steep ascent, and turning round, wound themselves into a knot, two of them falling and being trampled on by their companions. The rear guard, perceiving the confusion turned round also and would have rushed back to the river or up the jungle, in either case upsetting the waggon but they have fortunately stayed in their course. The children, some asleep and some awake, were dragged out and all our party, except the two gents who remained, walked up the steep ascent and amused themselves roving about the beautiful woods on either side. Great masses of creepers flung from one tree to another to form canopies over your head and the beautiful variety of shrubs in and out of blossom, tho’ common to African travellers, delight European eyes. A handsome purple Polygula covered with blossom adorned the jungle. Meanwhile the refractory bullocks gave a great deal of trouble. Two of them were nearly choked. Three waggons, we learned, were close after us and the drivers kindly assisted our people out of their unpleasant predicament.

It was nearly three hours before the waggons had followed us up the hill and we were again seated in them, soon again to be unseated at Kayman’s Gat. This beautiful spot (the name of which means the crocodile’s hole or pool) is worthy of a more graphic pen than mine. Two deep ravines meet about half a mile from the sea, unite their streams and flow together in one ravine to the ocean. This triple stream is ‘deeply, darkly, beautifully’ wooded with a beauteous variety of foliage. The road is as dreadful as a road can be. It descends precipitously to the water and up again at the opposite side in the style of most similar passes in this country. We walked it all. The ravine opens to the blue sea which was before us. I am sure the descent and ascent occupied us for an hour and a half. It was as steep as stairs and most fatiguing but the views as we paused and looked down were magnificent. He was a crocodile of taste who chose this pool. Thirty bullocks dragged up each waggon. We have fifteen to each and their united strength was necessary to find them enough to do. Glad were we again to enter our carriages and ‘repose our wearied strength’. We soon after halted for the night at a pretty spot, and sitting at the tent I write this account of the day’s adventures. Fatigued tho’ I was and am, I could not resist strolling into a neighbouring jungle with Dick while our tent was being pitched. I call the forests ‘jungles’ and E and S do in the Indian fashion. In England they are woods and are here called the ‘bosch’. Here we were again delighted with ‘the plants aflower’ and long lacy lichens which hang cobweb-like from the branches. The views about here are beautiful. I cannot help fancying from the wooded ravines and rich look of the country that it is a highly cultivated one, and I expect to see castles and cottages peeping from among the green recesses but in vain – not one farmhouse did we pass today. We are now near a small house whose dweller keeps a toll gate. Our Hottentot guide has gone into the bush as the woods are called in this country’s language with his dogs in search of deer and we have heard shots. The mountains have put on their nightcap of clouds and the horses are fastened for the night, and all is preparing for repose. I too must follow.

On the banks of the Schwartz (another Schwartz) River we have encamped this Tuesday evening 21st, after a day of fatigue but great enjoyment. We walked up and down many ravines, tho’ the rivers as they are called are more streams (in general, at least at this time of year), yet the beds in which they flow are deep, and as no engineering being displayed in the construction of the roads, it is quite a dangerous affair to get heavy waggons up and down. The first river we crossed today was a scene of surpassing loveliness. Both sides of the ravine were magnificently wooded and the road was cut through the embowering branches. Immense trees, some of them have which overshadowed the river which expanded into a calm mirror near the ford. Many stems of fallow trees lie half in half out of the brown water and all the scene was beautifully reflected – the scarlet lilies, the rich ferns and the luxuriant trees. I might defy any painter to produce so lovely a scene. To avoid sketching it was impossible, tho’ to do it justice was equally so. I consider this scene as worth all our journeying to see. The quantities of magnificent scarlet lilies which have mingled with the soft green underwood of the forest repaid us for many an exertion. The descent here was desperate work for the poor bullocks, thirty have again been put to each waggon, our waggon waiting in the river for the return of the beasts. It was really frightful to see the waggon dragged up by these creatures. Miss T, who was fatigued, remained in and it seemed miraculous that she was not pitched out on her feet. It was a scramble for us who walked. I went into the jungle and saw the wild vine throwing its rich canopy from tree to tree. E (the servant) discovered a tree serpent (boomslang) of which I got a glimpse – a beautiful little creature with dark and light alternate rings on its body. These creatures are very destructive to birds and their eggs and we have seen numbers of pendant nests, generally overhanging a river so as to keep off the formidable foe. They are on the extreme end of the bough and have a long burrow entrance like the neck of a bottle, so flexible too that a serpent winding round it must close it and so prevent his own entrance. The river whose beauty so enchanted us today is called the Tow river. Our Hottentot says that his countrymen had another name for it, almost unpronounceable even by Dutch lips, and perfectly beyond the spelling of Dutch brains so the Dutch have fixed on a simple sounding and simply spelled name. The Hottentot name was something like Thrackinathough.

After this we passed on thro’ a fine country, and outspanned for dinner at the field cornet’s (the veldcornet or field cornet is a petty magistrate) Moetsel, from where we had a lovely forest view. We have had this afternoon some more ravines to walk, but none of particular beauty, with the exception of this spot where we have stopped. We walked down the sandy road which leads to it, admiring the beauteous trees and creepers blossoming up to the very topmost bough. The tent has been pitched on a height commanding a view of the river and the woods. Clumps of fine scarlet cotyledons are in bloom here. This day has been hot but the evening is mild and delicious. Mr Rex, to whose house we have been going at Knysna met us on the road today, going with part of his family to George. He is a “stout gentleman” and good humoured looking one. He told Edward that they had letters for us at the Knysna. I trust that some of them are from England and that we shall get there tomorrow.

The Knysna December 23rd 1841 Thursday

Here at length we are. The Harbour is a large one, but not so magnificently surrounded by forests as we expected. Why we anticipated so much I cannot exactly recollect, but the beauties of the road helped to make us anticipate still greater beauty at this place the road led to. Several spots appear very beautiful, and some of these we shall visit. There are grassy islands on marshes in the Harbour which is yet in parts deep enough for large vessels and these islands diminish the effect of the expanse of water especially as they are perfectly flat and bare. The River Knysna from which the Harbour takes its name falls into it at the side we are at. We shall be able to judge of the beauties of its banks tomorrow. We are now encamped at Mr Duthie’s. He seems to be the only resident gentleman on this side of the Harbour and Mr Rex’s house on the opposite side we can see, 3 or 4 miles across. As Mr Rex’s family are from home, Mr Duthie has kindly insisted on our staying with him till Christmas is past ie till next Monday. He is a very pleasing gentlemanlike man, a retired officer, married to a Miss Rex, and settled here. They have four fine children. Yesterday we left our pleasant spot on the banks of the Swart River at an early hour. We are called at 4 and have breakfast in the tent at 5. The tent is taken down and waggons packed before or about 6 and we are ready to start, which considering the number of our party does credit to our experience at dressing and packing in our tent. I have made my bed every night that I have used it and, in the morning, make up my bedclothes. Richard, Susy &c do the same.

Our journey yesterday was through a very pretty country and some magnificent forest scenery – immense trees of the yellow wood, a species of yew, with green berries as large as a cherry, and masses of wild vine flung about in natural beauty. (This vine has a grape which makes a good preserve.) The hanging, rope-like stems of creepers, which in some places swing across the road, leaving scarce room for the waggons to pass is beautiful, vistas and frames to the pictures fresh from nature’s hand. We have sometimes on the bank of a smooth, still river, at other times from the hill on which we stood (being obliged to walk up) thought that the view beneath our feet was perfectly Arcadian.

The long descent to this place is thro’ a jungle and by a deep sandy road. A beautiful orange lily of the Watsonia kind covers some spots, and looks like fire creeping along the ground. The first appearance of the Harbour disappointed us. We had been travelling thro’ such beautiful country to it, that it may have appeared less beautiful than it otherwise would have done. Mr Duthie and his family expected us, for letters have been at Mr Rex some days from us (the post office is at his house). I bathed with the children shortly after coming and most refreshing it was to be purified from the “dry dust of weary life”. The garden, which is close to the store is full of beautiful plantains. Apropos of plantains, the first I tasted was one Miss Rex gave me yesterday and this reminds me that I have not mentioned our encounter with a wagonful of the Royal family at a shady spot where we dined. Edward chose an immense yellowwood tree for our canopy and beautiful trees of the same and other kinds were near – the long grey lichens, which are peculiar to these woods, hanging in long festoons from the branches. When dinner was over, a waggon of a superior order, but somewhat inferior to His Majesty’s state coach (and yet not quite unlike in shape) and as we knew Rexes were on the road, and as they knew Townsends were in the same predicament, we contrived to get acquainted with each other and Mrs Rex forthwith gave a sketch of her family history to Mrs Townsend, which I presume was returned in kind. We parted very good friends, and they gave us some plantains in token of amity, and begged us to go on to their place (Melkhouts kraal) where a sister still remained. However, we are too large a party to invade a young lady, so we remain here.

We have got our home letters, and I had one from HG, the accounts office of date Sept 18th. It was delightful indeed to get these letters here, and converse with absent friends which we were so far, even from the place which they had directed them to us. We are now 300 miles from Cape Town. Both pleasing and painful has it been our lot to receive. Some have been ill, several so, and others in trouble who we love, and all this time, since we parted from them, have we been enjoying good health and great pleasures.

Susy and I walked this evening along the banks of the Lake, as the Harbour may be called, both from its appearance, and because from this side the waters are much fashioned by the Knysna River. The banks were prettily arching, with people here and there, and the calm beauty of the waters pleased us, but we could not help wishing for more grandeur. The gentlemen went to the village of Melville which consists of a few houses opposite the mouth of the Harbour. Three vessels are here from Table Bay. In two days by water we could reach Cape Town, which it will probably take us a month to arrive at in our mode of travelling. We have now reached the length of our tether and have only to retrace our steps, making some little difference in the route for the sake of variety.

December 27th 1841

With the kind friends whom we found here we have remained untill today and shall untill tomorrow. The weather has been wild and cold. We have been unable to go much out. Christmas Day and Sunday, we had our little congregation in Mr Duthie’s parlour. Yesterday was a brilliant long day and we prepared to cross the Harbour and visit Mr Rex’s place at the opposite side. The tide was low and we were lifted into the boat by a stout black gentleman and enjoyed greatly the beauties of the row. The head of the harbour is beautifully wooded and at our spot when the Eastford river falls into it is especially so. The spot too where the village of Melville is situated is most romantic. This village is to be extended into a larger one and called Rexton or Rexbury, after old Mr Rex, who first settled here forty years ago, and has been dead about two years. He was highly respected and loved. He is said to have been a son of George 3rd – whether his name (George Rex) gave rise to this, or whether it be true, I know not. We landed at a pretty spot about two miles from Melkhouts Kraal and walked over to the house thro’ pretty groves and lawns, giving beautiful views of the Harbour looking back and looking out of the entrance, which is narrow and has a precipitous cliff on each side. Unless the tide be full in and all the lowland covered, this Harbour has more the appearance of a broad river winding thro’ green fields than of what it actually is, but the high tides cover a great part of the land, and there is even at low water, a deep channel in which vessels lie. Three were in today, from Table Bay for timbers which is brought down from the forest in this neighbourhood. The Duthies and Rexes communicate with each other across the harbour by signals and accordingly a white tablecloth was hung on a mulberry tree in front of this house to announce that the party would require the waggon to start to meet them. The signal however was not early enough and the waggon was sent off to the forest as we afterwards found, so we had to walk. The refreshment of getting into a lofty, large hall and nice cool drawing room may therefore be imagined. It was a delightful change and a few ripe figs and glass of lemonade with which we were instantly refreshed set all to rights soon. There were two Miss Rexes at home, and one staying here with her sister, and we met two on the road, and there are five brothers. They seem a very fine family. English comfort in the large house and the drawing room is even elegant, quite a palace in these wild regions. Old Mr Rex spent his early life in England. The views from the house and grounds are beautiful – such rich foliage and various trees in the garden which we had not seen before – the Gardinia - Caffirtree (?) – a beautiful red blossoming one and an immense wild fig.

Nothing can exceed the kindness of the Rexes. They wish us to stay longer here and go to them but this we cannot do. They accompanied us to the beach, a walk of two miles, and lent two riding horses to help the ladies for the sun was burning hot and the waggon still at the forest. At Melkhout we saw some beautiful birds stuffed, some of this country. The golden cuckoo is a lovely green bird with a yellow breast. Mrs Rex promised me a pair of these specimens of Knysna beauties. Our new home last evening was lovely. Nothing could exceed the calm beauty of the waters, the rich luxuriance of the woody shores and the beautiful view of the harbour’s gates, for so the entrance may be called. One side belongs to the Duthies and the other to the Rex’s. On one of the grassy marshes of this harbour we saw a number of pelicans, and wild geese were plentiful here. We have also seen the fishing eagle or osprey frequently.

Thursday December 28th 1841

This day was devoted to the picturesque and no botany of this study could have ever been more highly gratified than we with the results of our search. The tide just suited to carry us up the River Knysna at 9 o’clock and on the arrival of one of the ship’s boats, which the Captain has kindly lent for the occasion, we set out. The scene was lovely. The sun, which might have been too hot for an excursion overland, was quite bearable from the cool breeze of the waters. The two Captains of the two traders in the harbour were in our party, Mr and Mrs Duthie and our six selves. As we proceeded up the river, the rich luxuriance of the woods which overhang it, and the variety of scenery from the various windings, each opening views of exquisite beauty, enchanted us. We saw the bright winged lowries in the branches of some of the huge trees and a monkey of a large size was also observed and in the very topmost bough, with a black face. A small snake in one spot was seen swimming across, winding his way to his grassy retreat. We penetrated further up the river than Mr Duthie had done before, and when we reached the point from which we could ‘no further go” we saw the surprised faces of Hottentot children peering over the river bank at the unaccustomed sight of a boatful of ladies and gentlemen. These were children of a tenant of Mr Duthie’s who resides in the lovely solitary spot. Mrs Duthie and I took several sketches. Every spot was sketch-worthy and is painted on the tablets of my memory. The high wooded cliff, the rich deep woods, the innumerable grotesque, graceful branches overhanging the deep brown waters, all together formed pictures of almost unparalleled river scenery.

We have had an addition to our party in Mr Rex, who had come from Melkhouts Kraal to join us. He, like the other gentlemen of the family seems a good-humoured man, perfectly unlike in appearance, as indeed all the family are, to the Royal family from whence they are said to be descended. Miss Rex, who has not come with us, joined us with the children on the banks of the river about a mile from the landing place at Belvidere (Mr Duthie’s place) and all proceeded joyously to that hospitable little mansion. We had dined under a milkwood tree, a beautiful evergreen which is one of the ornaments of these regions. It was late when we arrived at home and we did not separate from our kind host and hostess until the moon was high, a fair full moon gazing on the waters. We feel already as if we are old acquaintances of the Duthies, and regret much that our stay here must be so short.

Thursday 30th December 1841

Again, at the Toll House, which we left some nine or ten days ago. I prepare to write in my ‘journey book’, as E the servant calls it, of our departure from the Knysna. Yesterday the morning looked cloudy but clearing about 12 o’clock we bade farewell to Mrs Duthie and the children. Mr Duthie and Miss Duthie (whom the children call Aunt Christine) accompanying us as far as the Goukamma, the first river. We had a desperate hill to descend and I remained in the waggon. All the rest walked – such a shaking and upsetting I never before experienced. It was fearful. I buried my head in the pillow and reached the bottom in safety. At the Goukamma, our friends turned back. Tho’ never perhaps to meet again on earth, we trust we may meet them in a happier world and we shall at least learn of their welfare here below. Again, we outspanned for dinner under the wide spreading Yellow wood tree and reached the Swart River for the night. Early this morning we proceeded on our journey, again travelling in the deep ravine of the Trackenlough (?), wondering how easily we have got over the difficulties. Again, we admired the forests, the lilies, the water, the picturesque trees, each one a separate study for an artist and again listened to the re-echoing of the driver’s whip as he encouraged his bullocks up the steep ascent before us. We sketched and sketched again, and I now write while five of the children are getting their supper in the waggon around me, famished after their long drive from the Field Cornet Hunis, where at one o’clock we dined. It is now 8pm.

At Pacaltsdorp December 31st 1841

I close this year’s accounts. We returned here today. Last night, when all were settled in the tent, the wind rose and blew about our frail tenement, so much as to prevent us from sleeping. We weathered the storm in safety however. About 1 o’clock, Edward left his waggon and came to tighten the ropes of our tent and early this morning we were glad to get up and proceed on our journey. At Kayman’s Gat the wind was fearfully high. We all walked down, and in some places could scarcely stand. The descent of one of the waggons (the chain of the wheel having broken), was fearfully rapid. However, thanks to a gracious Providence, we have reached our old resting place in safety and have been kindly welcomed by Mr and Mrs Anderson and all their party. We outspanned for dinner today at the foot of the ravine thro’ which the Swart River (there are two Swart Rivers between this and Knysna) runs. It is one of those romantic spots which I have before attempted to describe (before our bullocks turned back). I remained in the waggon which descended it as some of the children were sleeping and such is the force of habit that I thought nothing of this shaking. The dust was tremendous today, at least half a foot deep in the ravine. We were half-smothered and blinded ‘entirely’. We came thro’ George Town, and stopped at our old acquaintance Mrs Guest’s door, who refreshed us with a cup of tea. Kate has discovered her to be a Clonakilty lady.

January 1st 1842

I went with Mr and Mrs Anderson to the funeral of three natives. It is remarkable that these within the settlement should have died yesterday and be buried today, thus giving a solemn warning to all at the end of the old and at the beginning of the new year. Mr Anderson spoke at the event standing on a mound of earth surrounded by his people, this minister addressed to them words of warning and of comfort. I could understand but the general drift of what he said, as it was in Dutch. None of the three who died had been baptized but they had all of them heard the gospel, and he attends the burial of any who die here, baptized or not, and addresses a few words for the benefit of survivors. Immediately after the address was over, a thunderous sound was heard, which I found to be the throwing in of dry earth on the three coffins. At a scene of this kind, the gay clothes of the women seemed quite out of place. They are fond of gaudy colours – flowery chintzes and handkerchiefs worn on their heads and white, quilted ‘cappies’. The men frequently wear small ostrich feathers stuck round their hats. Sometimes the worst-dressed among them add this ornament to a weather-beaten straw hat which gives them a very crackbrained appearance. Some of the young men wear white cotton jackets and dress very well. Those who can work and thus get money spend a good deal of it on dress, vanity being as busy among blacks and yellows as among whites.

Sunday January 2nd 1842

Mr Anderson told us last evening that he was to give the sacrament today and that he would willingly include us among his communicants (he is of the Independent Church), which we accepted as it was long since we enjoyed this means of grace. The “table” was arranged like ours, covered with a “fair linen cloth”. After service Mr Anderson, before the congregation, broke the bread into pieces repeating our Lord’s words (all in Dutch) “Take, eat &c” and saying some suitable words of his own at the same turn, after which a woman from our side of the church and a man from the other came forward to the table and received each a plate of bread, which they (as deacons) carried and distributed to each communicant at their own sides of the church, for the men and women are separate. No person in this arrangement rises from their place, but the deacons. It is altogether very solemn and simple but I prefer the C of E form of communicating, where you receive the bread and wine directly from the minister, I mean the clergyman.

After service and early dinner with the Andersons, some of us walked to the burial ground and saw Mr Pacalt’s grave. This is a white plastered, rounded mound, very large, as are all the graves here and unmarked by any slabs or stones, except one grave which in the English manner had a headstone and some attempt at an inscription. We then went to the Sunday schools. The adult school is conducted by the natives themselves. They teach each other and it is very interesting to watch the old spelling over this task or listen to the readings of others. The variety of countenances and peculiarities of woolly, knotted or long hair is most curious and remarkable, and the variety of shades of complexion and features. The creeping in of white satin bows to some of the women’s quilted bonnets is rather ridiculous looking. One girl had green satin bows on her shoulders and a white muslin dress. Mr Anderson at dinner today spoke in a very animated and interesting manner of the happy deaths of some of his Hottentot converts, some at Griqua Town and some here. He has already seen the fruits of this ministry. He also spoke very profitably of various subjects connected with the Christian life and daily walk. At night Mr Melville and his son joined our party and we closed our little meeting by reading the scriptures and prayer. The Psalms were chosen as full of sentiments suitable to all states of mind and each gentleman read a Psalm and then prayed.

Monday 3rd January 1842

Early on we were stirring and bade adieu to our kind friends at Pacaltsdorp and turned our faces westward. Again, we crossed the Koin and the Lusikama rivers. At the latter we walked up and down the ravine and saw two beautiful antelope bounding among the rocks. The roads are by comparison so much better than those to Knysna. Edward rode into George Town and followed our waggons with a packet of letters which proved to be from our friends at home. What a refreshment and delight to be thus greeted and occupied so delightfully. I heard from the Mrs and AA, Kate from Mrs P, RR and Daisy. Thank God all friends are pretty well, DP better, so many things seem to have happened since we left home!

We pitched our tent on the opposite side of the Great Brack river, from our last encampment. Every place looks parched. The heath plants on the hillside are red and powdery when touched. A great many jungles have been on fire lately and their blackened remains only are to be seen. A poor Hottentot woman came to the tent door to ask Edward to go see her husband. He will go tomorrow – the night is dark and the place is not near.

Tuesday January 4th 1842

We left the Groot Brack river’s banks about half past 7. Edward had visited the poor man and found him ill with dropsy. He gave him medicine (to which Susy added Dutch tracts), advised him to go to Pacaltsdorp for care as there is a Physician in Georgetown nearby. This day we departed from our former route as we approached Mosselbay and after crossing the Kleine Brack Rivier turned off to the right. The day was very hot and dusty. The doringboom or Mimosa acacia was in bloom and fragrant. It filled the air with its fragrance. Those who like Hottentot figs may now refresh themselves along the roadside. This fruit is plentiful. I have tasted some. The immensurable seeds are in a slimy, sweet fluid, and have an agreeable “smaak” (taste) sometimes but I do not patronize them. The slime is disagreeable in itself. At some places we have got beautiful blackberries, exactly like our Irish ones. There is a wild sort of raspberry too, more acid than the former, and the Cape gooseberry is to be found at some places. This is the berry of a bush quite unlike a gooseberry bush and the berry is contained in a bag – the calyx of the flower. It is the size of a small gooseberry, and a very tasty fruit – extremely good preserved – or served with cream and sugar. We had quantities of them at the Knysna, where they grow plentifully and wild. I don’t think I have mentioned the little bush called in Dutch, “Wacht een weinige” or stopawhile. It is covered with small, hooked thorns and makes good its name if your clothes touch it in passing. There are many thorny plants in the jungles. The thorns of the doringboom are sometimes immense - 5 and 6 inches long. The delicate green foliage of this tree’s leaf is now almost the only refreshment that meets the eye. There has evidently been little or no rain since we passed here last. Even the succulent plants are looking withered, always excepting the bitter aloe, which proudly lives on its own resources.

We outspanned tonight at a spot not far from the farmhouse of Mr Meyers, a common name in these parts. At Mr Meyer’s door we saw waggons and one of them being of a peculiar shape announced itself as belonging to the Rex’s whom we had met before. This was the case. They are now returning to the Knysna. We exchanged salutations and passed on to our resting place. All this day we could see the George mountain and now distinguished the winding road of Craddock’s Kloof on this side of it, but tho’ we saw the flat town of Pacaltsdorp, we could not distinguish its Church.

Yesterday we proceeded to the Gauritz River thro’ a very pretty ravine. This part of the River is several hours journey from Mr Bland’s where we crossed entering the district of George three weeks ago. The river here is in a low, flat bed with earthy banks, so regularly formed on our side as to look like a built wall – swallows in numbers have chosen this earthy wall for their nests and the entrances look like pigeon holes in a pigeon house. The country thro’ which we passed having crossed the river and entered the district of Swellendam was very pretty and we gradually ascended and wound our way on a good road with shrubby like plants and aloes on each side and behind us (but from the way we lie in the bay this view is before us) the fine range of hills we had left. The stars were up and some jungle fires brilliant around us before we reached our resting place, the farmhouse of a Mr Lombard where we got bad coffee, good milk and an indifferent bedroom. Susy and I slept in the tent, and soundly too tho’ amid the usual noises of a farmyard. The kraals for goats and cows &c are always near the house. This house was a particularly dirty one and as most of the houses are dirty, that is saying not a little. The wife and children are almost always slatternly dressed and there seems great want of order in their family arrangements – a child generally to be found stretched asleep on the wooden sofa or settle and others crying about the “voorhuis” at 9 or 10 o’clock. Two or three boors were in high comfort in this room, settling the affairs of the nation in Colonial Dutch. One was a dark looking man with a scowl. I have just been reading the “Wrongs of the Caffirs” and other books on this subject and I could not but think that dark man had seen dark deeds in those days when Hottentots, Caffirs and Bushmen were only looked on as such and not as men, brothers - rightful owners of the land, or justly enemies to those who encroached on their ancient possessions. These days are I trust over but the memory of the wrongs of these much-oppressed people, so recent, and of those frays and robberies which all the Boors must well remember is enough to make one suspect that one may meet a man with the blood of his “brother” on his head or hands, as may the possessors of these overgrown farms and flocks of cattle. The advantage of outspanning at night near a farm is that we can get milk for the “kinders” and generally mutton and eggs &c, also oats for the poor horses who are daily pulling more. They can now scarcely get a meal of fresh grass. The poor bullocks are greatly jaded. It is impossible to get them good pasture ground and rarely can they find water enough. The disadvantages of outspanning near a house is that we pitch our tent generally on dirty ground, suffer from ticks in the night, and hear the various noises of cattle all around us at an early hour, as well as the “lively din” of numerous cocks. I am told jackals are heard almost every night but I have not distinguished their voices.

Thursday January 6th 1842

We departed in our carriages and wended our way to the spot from whence I write. This day’s journey was rather uninteresting; we got into our old route before we outspanned for dinner, near the place where we had previously stopped and been accosted by a dame from an adjacent mud house, who, being a Dutch booress thought herself very good company for us and continued as one of our party during our stay. Fortunately, she was not at home now, or did not appear and we dined in peace and continued our journey to Mnr Du Prie’s farm near Riversdale, where we rest part of today. We had intended to go to Port Beaufort and spend Sunday there but Lerou protests against this, there being no good water there, and his oxen are failing and two of them are sick. So, we shall proceed to Swellendam at our ease, all parties being rather fatigued by the long journeys we have made since leaving Pacaltsdorp. I am sure the baby looks on his life as one long bullock waggon journey. He can call to mind nothing distinctly but the two months we have already spent in this manner and which he enjoys greatly, as do the other children. They however can look forward to our arrival at Wynberg, which Master Edward, now 18 months old, cannot.

Friday January 7th 1842

Mr Du Prie’s house is before us and we are encamped in the flat plain before it. Not even a gentleman farmer (for so this one appears to be from the size &c of his house and outhouses), seems to think it worth his while to improve the ground close to his dwelling house. Only two trees are to be seen in the whole coup d’oeil here. (The garden I discovered in a low place, with fruit trees only.) The cattle kraals one would suppose might be easily planted out or they must be, as perhaps is necessary, near the dwelling house and some flowers made to “bloom around the cots” but only in the villages are these ornaments to be seen even in connection with houses. Mr Du Pris sells his milk and mutton dear, at least to the English, as someone has told us. He thus endeavours to compound his interest on the money he got for compensation when his slaves were set free. He has not forgiven England this stroke yet, nor probably the extension of just laws to the Aborigines. He cannot make the Hottentot an unpaid drudge. The travelling Fingoes have just called at our tent and asked for bread. Fingoes are a race of the natives, who were subjugated by another tribe (Zoolus, I fancy), who being driven from their country have joined other tribes, live with the Caffirs and have been scattered about the colony among the Hottentots and at the Mission Stations, but their countenances are quite different from the Hottentots. These men and the little son of one, who carries a gun, are dressed in their carosses i.e.: they have only one garment thrown over their bodies. One wears a leopard skin caross, the hairy side in. It is looped on his shoulder and hangs down below his knees in front and behind. One arm is quite naked and the other grasps a set of javelins (assegais), on the end of which are shiny leather boots &c and a bag perhaps for food. This man has also a thick necklace of blue and red beads but no earrings tho’ his ears are largely perforated. His companion has a coarse blanket on him in the same way, with necklaces for ornament, and a red night cap surmounting all. The other man has an old hat with a worn-out ostrich feather. They are going to Swellendam and the Paarl, where their wives and children are. Their present dress is, I presume, their travelling costume, for among civilised society they do not generally persist in wearing the native costume. I find on enquiry that these poor Fingoes are going only for a short time to Swellendam and the Paarl, one to seek his daughter, who was carried off by another Fingo, and the other as his companion. Their passes (a sort of passport), explain this. A Caffir or Fingo cannot travel thro’ the colony without a pass, but an Englishman may go the length and breadth of their country without one.

We came on to Mr Badenhorst’s Friday evening and found the good man and his family well and hospitably inclined. They seemed quite shocked at seeing the tent pitched, fancying that we were going to refuse the “kamer” but were relieved by hearing it was only to be an additional accommodation, and seemed highly amused when they found we were luxurious enough to use the waggons, tent and “kamer” as separate sleeping places. Their whole family have only two bedrooms besides the one kept for strangers. Myneer Badenhorst is a pious man but the state of misrule of his family and servants (blacks) show how unenlightened the best Boors are as to the bringing up of their children or servants. He is a man of very quiet disposition. This may account somewhat for the state of things, but Mrs Badenhorst is a stirring, active woman. The young children seem desperately troublesome and quite spoiled. Their favourite food is bread covered with a thick layer of sheep’s tail fat, surmounted by another of sugar. Their half-naked companions, the children of the black servants, are not more untutored. Indeed, the latter have the advantage of having been accustomed to obey. The mothers of these poor little blackies are disgusting figures, at least in this family, as to dress and dirt. One of them, who frightens the flies at dinner, and who might really frighten horses from their oats, was immodestly covered about the bosom, and filthily dressed. And yet, these good Dutch matrons, covered up to their own chins, seemed not to think anything of their servants’ state.

It was here before that we were objects of curiosity and even now we are tormented by visitors and they have ventured into the tent. We rested here Sunday. As this was Sacrament Sunday at Riversdale, the whole family departed for Church at 6 o’clock and we had the house to ourselves. It was like a calm after a storm. The stillness was very pleasant, only broken by the crying of a black baby now and then. The young boys who remained at home, or rather did not go to Church, amused themselves galloping wild horses over the country. There is a house on the opposite side of the road from this one belonging to Mnr Badenhorst’s brother-in-law and the double set of children, black and white, who are continuously moving from one house to another make great uproar. Edward was not very well today and did not get up till near dinner time. We read our service in the Hall without him and I took his role as Predicant and read one of Mr Nesbit’s powerful sermons.

Monday January 10th 1842

We remained at Mnr Badenhorst’s as Mrs R T had not been well Sunday night. It was a desperately hot day and we staid within doors writing, reading, drawing &c. Sunday evening a number of waggons passed here from Riversdale Church, some galloping gaily, drawn by eight horses, others creaking slowly, dragged by bullocks, and groups of horsemen between. A troop of horses (at least forty) has just galloped by on their way to tread out the corn. This, as regards the straw, seems a wasteful process, for the straw is broken into short pieces, and lies drifted at the lee side of the enclosures, and you see it in old farmyards in blackened heaps, not even used as manure, gardens not being common.

Tuesday January 11th 1842

We bade a second and last farewell to the good-natured family of Badenhorst, and packed ourselves into the waggons once more. By the way, Edward has engaged two waggons, to follow us to Swellendam and take us from there to Capetown. They are to be with us next Monday, for then we part with LeRou and Kriel, our present drivers. We retraced our steps to Jan Lutz’s house, at which we had before spent a night. Our route was the same as before but looked different from the brilliancy of this day and the gloominess of the day we had left Lutz’s. His house was in excellent order, now whitewashed within and without. He was from home. We pitched the tents and did not sleep in the house and as early as possible Wednesday morning started for a long day’s journey to the Swellendam or its neighbourhoods.

The jungles all about Jan Lutz’s, and this day’s route too, are now beautiful from the yellow Mimosa which are in full bloom. We have now bidden adieu to the bitter aloe which suddenly ceases after a few miles from Jan’s house. It covers acres there. Part of the day’s route was new. We went before thro’ Zuurbrack, which we now did not, as it was some hours out of our way. We outspanned for dinner on a high, barren spot, where the sun was powerful and the wind hot and high. At dinner here, I felt a chill – two large “kraai vogel” (crows) were stalking about the farmyard close by, tamed, brought from “beyond the mountains” a man informed us. We could not make Swellendam tonight, but we came near it, and to the houses of our drivers who on our arrival at the meeting place asked permission to go see their families, which being granted, they set off speedily, bathing in the river, which was close, to disencumber themselves of dust &c before seating themselves unexpectedly to their wives and children. They were not unexpected however - they told us next morning, some travellers had seen us the day before and had told we were coming.

Thursday January 13th 1842

We entered Swellendam at full gallop, LeRou and Kriel having brought fresh and racy oxen who, once get going, could scarcely be stopped and tho’ nearly shaken to pieces with the jolting, we laughed immediately at each other and looked at the sleeping children with wonder. Glad was I to lay my wearied bones on a bed at Roper’s lodgings, our old quarters to which we have returned and here I remained until the day on which I write (the 16th). I had a heavy cold and sore throat, now much better, thank God, and able to resume travelling tomorrow. I have seen Ed only but our friend Mr Hills and his wife and Dr White, the district surgeon, who has been prescribing for my throat. I have heard the voices of others in the parlour, which is not far. Mr Robertson, has frequently been there, but Mr Robertson and the whole family of Rivers who were so kind before, are gone to Capetown. Immediately on our arrival we found letters from all quarters of the world – Asia, Africa (Capetown) and America, the latter from dearest Isobel herself, describing that boundless wonder of waterfalls, also from the Green Isle, an abundance of information and almost all, thanks God pleasing, nothing to give us real pain, everything to call forth gratitude and thankfulness to our Heavenly Father. Swellendam does not agree with Edward. It is low and the breeze sweeps off the heated air – he feels it much. He was to have gone for a few day’s excursion with Susy but now that I have recovered, Dr White says I may go too tomorrow, which will be less a day than by waiting a day for me, than by going and returning in a few days for me even tho’ we proceeded to Genedendal (our next object) by a shorter route than we shall now. I gain greatly by this arrangement as by going the long way, I shall see Kokman’s Kloof, which Susy and Edward meant to have visited, and which in that case I could not have seen, it not being in the shortest way. Kate, who would have staid with me, and Mr RT who would have taken the opportunity to rest, will now see this rocky pass, Dick will have the gratification of seeing it with us, and sketching it with me. Adieu therefore Swellendam.

Wednesday January 19th 1842

As soon as the manifold troubles of packing were over, in which end, I took no part even as regarding my own affairs, as the heat made it impossible without becoming almost feverish at least to one not strong, we left Swellendam and turned from the direct route by which we had entered it some six or seven weeks ago, for the purpose of visiting Kockman’s Kloof, a spot which Dick has seen, as I have before mentioned, and which he says we must not leave the neighbourhood without seeing too.

We outspanned for dinner a few hours from Swellendam, and reached the neighbourhood of a farmhouse where pitching our tent we spent the night and proceeded Thursday to a farmer of the name of Le Rous to whom Dr Robertson had directed us, and who gave us fresh bullocks to carry us thro’ the kloof that night. The evening was misty and some heavy showers fell. We could only get glimpses of the beauty thro’ which we passed, but sufficient to show us what a treat we should have next morning returning, for this was our intention. The kloof winds thro’ beautiful mountains. Great masses of rock beautifully coloured by lichens and clothed in a kind of creeping aloe face you on each side of the way and beautiful mimosas in full bloom adorn the road side here and there, where there is sufficient room for this expansion.

This night we spent in a farm house at the head of the kloof, glad to get a room as the ground was wet. Swanepoel was the name of the farmer resident here. He has just married a girl of eighteen, being himself seventy or eighty and a very fascinating figure in his prim old age. They crammed us into a small room with three beds in it, hardly room for the little ones on the floor, however we contrived to sleep and were called at three to prepare for our return to the beauties of the kloof. The farmhouse here is shaded by fine oaks and there is a good garden near. We tasted some of the grapes scarcely ripe. From this spot we almost immediately entered on the fine scenery we had come to see and we outspanned for breakfast at about 6 o’clock at a lovely spot where mimosas bloomed and a little stream ran at our feet thro’ the sand. Susy and I walked up a ravine from this spot, admiring the beautiful forms of the rocks beyond and before us, some rising like statues, on the ridge of the mountain and some in large masses overhanging our heads. All around the views were magnificent and Mrs T and I sketched most industriously. After breakfast we strolled on before the waggons, looking back now and then to admire the grotesque forms of the large masses of rock, and forward to similar beauties at each turn of the road. The aloes are of a particular creeping kind, unfortunately not in bloom now. We walked nearly through all the fine part of the kloof and then returned on waggons to get the most desperate shaking we had as yet experienced. The bullocks were fresh and went as quickly as possible over such a road. It was almost impossible to stay in the waggon. Three hours brought us back to the Le Rous’, where we got our own oxen. After dining on the grass under an awning we proceeded.

We outspanned Friday night at a Dutch/Boer door, or rather at this garden gate. This person, who’s name I forget and his lady, who both were very busy in the farmyard overseeing the treading out of corn, refused to give milk for the children’s suppers, though Edwards’ eloquence was put into requisition to describe their want. It was promised for the morning, but none could be given that night. Eight or ten hours in this hot weather almost always turns the milk sour, tho’ it is boiled. This was the case for the supply for the day before, so we drank plain coffee and went to bed.

Saturday the January 22nd 1842

We left this inhospitable neighbourhood and crossed the Zonderend river before outspanning for dinner. The river is very pretty here, the banks covered with grass and a beautiful blue water lily (Nymphaea), like our home white one in form and size, on the water, its immense, green leaves lying on the surface. Then the children were bathed, and I was greatly tempted to the same but the sun was too hot to make it a refreshment, so I gave up the idea, the trouble of dressing being so great – helping to dress the children can throw one into perspiration.

After dinner as the sun grew low, we mounted our waggons, and proceeded thro’ the kloof to join the direct road between Swellendam and Caledon on which we had before travelled. The beauty of the kloof surprised us. We had expected nothing of the kind. Fine rocks like walls of huge stones at each side and beautiful scarlet aloes in blossom crowning the heights at different places. It was but short. I never had seen such immense Aloes (of the bitter kind but in bloom) as here and in some places crowded together in large patches some twelve or fourteen feet high. At or about 6 o’clock we reached Davis’ (Storm Valei) where we had before spent a night. It is on the road into which we had just got. We found Davis not at home having gone to Swellendam for a coffin, a poor Scotsman, his friend, having died at this house the day before. We pitched our tent near the house and late that evening Davis came back. He begged Edward to read the burial service next day over the body of poor Lowry who was to be buried close by, and Ed promised to do so. It was curious that we should remain here, just as such a solemn service was to be performed, and as the funeral would collect a few people, who would form a congregation for our Sunday service, it was particularly providential that some one should be there, like Edward, able and willing to impress the scene on all who met there.

Sunday January 23rd 1842

Dreadfully hot. The thermometer was 101 degrees in the shade at 2 o’clock. We were glad to take refuge in the voorhuis of Davis’ mansion, and there we read the service. A School master (who is now in Davis’ family to teach the children) reading the Chapter in Dutch, which I read in the English Bible, and repeating also a few words of exhortation, addressed by Edward to us all for the benefit of them who understand that language only. The burial had been concluded before this service and there were eight or ten men present. We left the house that the family might go to dinner and made our way to a thick orange grove, where we sat in the shade for an hour or two, in the shade but suffering from the heat. The river Zonderend runs close by but here it is nearly dried up. The plant roots are exposed to the burning sun. The orange trees are languishing for want of water. They are very fine here and peaches and apricots in abundance, only the latter ripe. As the evening cooled we returned to the tent, having dined in the house. This evening we heard from Davis who had read the post that morning, that Queen Victoria has given birth to a Prince of Wales, on the 9th of November last. This was very joyful tidings to us and trust the young Prince will prove a National blessing. The children were all informed of the event and received it as a piece of information particularly interesting to little people. Early this morning the 24th we were stirring and started a little after 3 from the Davis’ and reached Mrs Knowflocks (Knoffel) for our early dinner from whence I now write. Some of our party are sleeping on the chairs and beds, and the children who sleep in the waggons are playing merrily, while Kate and I are assiduously writing our journals.

Genadendal January 26th Wednesday 1842

I must go back to Mrs Knowflocks (alias Garlic) where we dined on Monday. The winds blew in parts like a hurricane, dashing in windows and doors if not fast barred. A few hours brought us to Mr Linde’s where we had before spent a night. The family could not now give us a room as Capt. and Mrs R__ from Cape Town (who has just taken a farm from Mr Linde) was staying here but Richard, Dick and I called at the house and saw Miss Lindes and were refreshed by a “koppi koffi”. Our tent was pitched near the house, and tho’ the wind was high we slept very comfortably and early Thursday morning prepared to set out for this place. Capt. and Mrs R visited us that night in the tent, regretting that they were the means of turning us out of the house (she was a Miss Leisching of a family Susy and Edward know in Cape Town). We crossed the Zonderend River, which was close to Lowekraal (Mr L’s place) and turned towards Genadendal. We stopped for dinner at a Mr Thuenissen (whom we have voted a relation as the name is sounded something like ours). Hartebeest Kraal is the name of this place, which is a large house in a better style than any we have lately seen (excepting the Lindes). Mevrow Thuenissen was very kind – her husband was absent - and on our entering the hall, sent her eldest daughter with a glass of wine to each, and then the usual conversation ensued as to her family, the number of her children, alive and dead &c, and our own history (abridged) was given in return. She understands English, but does not speak it. We had a huge party at dinner. Our two waggoneers sat at the same table, at the lower end. One of them, Van Weck, is a very respectable young farmer (brother to Mnr Badenhorst) and the other is his wife’s brother. He is very superior to Le Rou, our former driver and is received everywhere just as we are. The country about here is dreadfully dry – the trees languish and the grass is burned up – no rain has fallen since November last. As we approached Genadendal, the mountain scenery became very pretty. We could perceive we were coming to a little amphitheatre enclosed by high, rocky hills, and so it was. On reaching the top of a tolerably long ascent and looking down on the valley before us, we saw Genadendal at our feet. It is a deep and rather narrow valley and looked from thence a sweet, shady, sheltered spot. Luxuriant trees growing in the center and the houses of the people in streets or patches outside the gardens and trees. On approaching the spot where the Hotel and Mission Houses, Church and school etc stand, we were much pleased with the beauty of the scene. Five large oak trees shade a large space around and among which the buildings are, and this hotel, a long, low thatched cottage, stands close by. Edward had ridden on before us and presented a letter of introduction to one of the Missionaries, but either from the number of visitors that they see, or from the manner in which (we have heard) some visitors have treated the Missionaries and spoken of them, they are not remarkable for cordiality to new strangers and we felt a difference in our reception here, and at Pacaltsdorp and Zuarbrack. However, there is an Hotel here for visitors, and such a large party as ours might well alarm any orderly people, so Edward took rooms at the Hotel and we established ourselves comfortably in them.

Streams of water are abundant – a beautiful clean stream was close to this house. Vines are trained along the roof and the bunches of grapes almost come in at the doors and windows, and figs and peach trees luxuriate outside and all around. It was a lovely night and the moon rose in great beauty over a fine mountain behind the Hotel. We slept in luxury in three bedrooms and rose at 6 this brilliant morning. After breakfast as we were reading, one of the Missionaries, a Mr Schopman, came in and brought us an invitation to join the Mission Table at dinner at 12 o’clock. He sat with us for some time, a very pleasing excellent man – speaks English, but not fluently, however he told us a good deal of the Morovian Mission here, and corrected some mistaken ideas we had on the subject of their plan of locking away the heathen. A little before 11 o’clock, some of us went to the Church close by where was a service for the children, hundreds of whom were arranged in a very orderly manner in the large Church. A small organ was played by a native lad and was a very great improvement to the voices of so many children. They sang, and then Mr Schopman gave a short lecture, after which the young children were dismissed and Mr Schopman proceeded to examine the children in the Morovian Catechism and subjects connected with it. They seemed to answer well and readily. I could understand most of his questions – he spoke very distinctly. We had scarcely returned from Church, when dinner was ready and we proceeded to the dining room, a few hundred yards from this Hotel. We were introduced to five “Brethren” and as many “Sisters” and sat down to an excellent dinner attended by two native girls. We had been told to expect that some of the Mission Ladies would attend but they did not. We had a variety of fresh fruit – strawberries, figs, plums &c and after a little conversation, not kept up with spirit as here we speak English well, we returned to our rooms. The late Bishop Halbeck’s widow and daughter live here and the latter was at dinner, a pleasing girl who speaks English very well. Mrs Halbeck is an invalid and was not present but we mean to visit her this evening.

In this settlement there are 2300 inhabitants at least and 1600 baptised including children. We are in the neighbourhood of the schools and there are children passing the low windows and peeping in constantly. On our first arrival the waggons were surrounded with women and children and we began to think there must be a very wild population here, but we afterwards found they were on their way to Church (the grown people) and that the waggons had stopped in the playground, which accounted for the number of noisy children.

Mrs Halbeck is a pleasing old lady and with her daughter inhabits one of the nicest dwellings here. A superintendent is expected from Germany but no Bishop is to be placed here again. Mr Schopman took us to the library and depositary for school and reading books for the settlement. It is a very nice room. A picture of Latrobe adorns its walls and it is well-supplied with schoolbooks, tracts and English, German and Dutch books for the Missionaries. This house was all built by Hottentots. We next visited Mr Zonderman’s workshop, where he keeps tools, and his wareroom full of chairs, sofas, boxes &c for sale. He is a cabinetmaker as well as a preacher. Edward bought some boxes made of pretty woods. The root of the Olive is a beautiful wood, like the root of Yew. We next went to the Forge and wagonmaking establishment but made no purchases here. Waggons are particularly well-made here and when completed are worth £60 or £70. The Morovian needlework here is much inferior to similar work in Germany or England. Hottentot fingers cannot be got to work as well as European ones. However, at Mr Schopman’s we saw some work for sale and got muslin bags each as a “Rememberance of Genedendal” which words were worked on the muslin. In the evening we walked into some of the shady oak groves around. The emancipation of slaves has added greatly to this place. There are well-kept walks here and from them got into some of the people’s gardens through which the cool waters were rushing and irrigating peach trees, Indian corn, beans, gourds &ce &ce. For the purpose of irrigation, the gardens generally speaking are in the lowest part of the valley and the houses out on the sides of the slopes. We had some beautiful views of the mountain which encloses this on the Eastern side and of the Kloof over called Batavian Kloof or Baboon’s Kloof. It is a fine rocky pass in the mountains, still the haunt of monkeys, who sometimes pay the gardens of Genadendal a predatory visit. The name of Genadendal, which all this valley bears now was given by the first Missionary here about 105 years ago. It means “Vale of Grace”. For 50 years in consequence of the persecution of the Settlers (Dutch Boors) and the discouragement given by Government, this Mission was deserted but when brighter days returned and the Missionaries were able to come back too, one old woman only survived of those who had heard the Gospel, and her delight at the return of the Missionaries was extreme. The Mission is now flourishing. It has been many years revived and tho’ receiving no support from Government, it receives no discouragement and has had benefactions from English friends, as I saw by a list hanging up in one of the schoolrooms. It does not support itself but is supported by German subscriptions or societies besides the aid which visitors may give it. This Hotel belongs to it and visitors being charged 6s a day each which their food cannot amount to, any surplus goes to the Mission fund, besides paying the servants and landlord here.

Thursday January 27th 1842

At nine o’clock we went to the girls’ school. The girls’ and boys’ schools are held on the same day but at different hours in the same room. We found them writing and heard them reading and learning English. We next visited the Infant School. 175 little creatures were arranged on benches and went through various exercises greatly to our satisfaction and to the amusement of the little ones who (even Baby) had been brought to see them. They had two Masters and two Mistresses who were Hottentots. Some of the party then proceeded to the adult school, where Masters and Mistresses are taught, and were greatly pleased with their reading and intelligence. They read English very well, considering that they were taught by Germans. The Missionaries here are certainly rather shy of us. Mr Schopman, however, has attended us everywhere and Mrs Zouderman. This may be because they were the best English scholars or perhaps the others are differently employed, and cannot attend to strangers. Each Missionary has but two rooms, so it would be almost impossible for them to receive strangers into their houses. One of the ladies or “Sisters” has a shop which supplies the settlement with coffee, sugar, calicoes &c, and at which Mr RT and Susy have made several purchases and given us all rememberances of Genadendal in the shape of handkerchiefs.

This evening we walked about the place, which is certainly beautiful and some of the party went to a short evening service in the Church, after which, two of the Ladies, one of them, a remarkably nice young woman came and called on us at the Hotel. Were we to stay here long enough to get acquainted with these good people, I am sure we should like them much. The gentlemen are remarkably distant, at least to ladies and this may arise from the peculiar habits in which they are brought up.

Friday January 28th 1842

We left Genadendal early. It was a lovely morning and I went out into the peace to sketch a great tree. Mrs Zouderman was near and came out kindly with a chair – she is a very friendly woman. We left Genadendal at about 8 o’clock tho’ up at 4. It is so difficult after the rush of a day or two, to get all things packed. Our way now lay thro’ the valley and we passed between gardens and orchards for half a mile at least. Our views of the mountains all this day were beautiful. At the place where we dined, several gentlemen rode up, invalids they said, from the Caledon baths returning to Cape Town. They had pieces of white (cloth) rather tightly over their faces to protect them from the sun, but which gave them a most ghastly appearance. Had we met them by moonlight, I should have supposed they had deaths heads on.

We passed thro’ the Draken Hook Kloof, a rugged pass abounding in scarlet everlasting like Sir L Coles pass, but nothing like that place in wild beauty. Towards evening we had reached the vale leading to the French Hoek Pass, which we had before travelled thro’ and here we outspanned and pitched our tent for the night. It was very windy but we slept securely and in the morning of Saturday 29th proceeded on our journey. Before entering the French Hook Pass, we dined on a sandy, sunny spot. We can see by the flowers about here, and the greenness of the shrubs, that rain has fallen here lately. We got some very pretty flowers. The approach to Mr Hahn’s who keeps the toll at the Franschoek, we had scarcely seen before - it was so late at night when we passed it on our first expedition. It is very fine from the great masses of stone which are thrown in grotesque forms and figures all around. Mr Hahn came out in a stupefied state, looking as if he was half asleep or half tipsy, and after Edward’s paying toll we crossed the bridge and began our ascent. The scenery looked magnificent today. Mrs T and K (whose first visit now it was) were greatly delighted with it and I thought the view of the valley of Franschoek and the mountains around, one of the finest views of the kind I had seen here. As we reached the place where the valley opens again, we descended to Mynheer Hugo’s comfortable dwelling and were received with great kindness by him and his family. They gave us our chamber and we pitched the tent close to the house.

Sunday January 30th 1842

We read our service as usual after an early dinner with the Hugos, our waggoneer sitting with us at table, for being a Dutch boor, tho’ of a lower grade than Hugo, he has not himself the least trouble sitting down by one of us us or being helped to water (at table) by one of the “English” ladies. Edward, Susy and I went to afternoon service in the Dutch Church in this valley, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the Hugos. It is a small Church and was well-filled with Dutch people only. There is no room for the coloured race, for which I fancy the Dutch are not very sorry. The Clergyman, a Mr Verhaag is a Dutch Missionary and seems a very zealous, energetic little man in the pulpit. He seemed to have an attentive congregation, with the exception of two rows of young ladies who were eating lozenges and passing them to each other during the sermon. The service consisted of preaching and singing alternatively and a short prayer, no teaching of scripture. In no form of Protestant worship but the Ecclesiastical Church of England is much scripture regularly read. After Susy showed one of these who offered her some lozenges the text Lewin, Mr Verhaag came to Mr Hugos and paid our party a visit. He had a good deal of interesting conversation (Mr Verhaag speaks English). We have met here, Timothy Linehann, a countryman and county man of our own who has been in this colony for many years. Dick had met him during our last visit here. He has written to his family by us and seems a very respectable man, his family clean and neat. He is a blacksmith, a Roman Catholic, but sometimes attends the Dutch Church, being out of the way of priestly influence.

Monday January 31st 1842

We were stirring early. The place looked beautiful – the valley so rich and clouds pouring down the mountain sides meeting in the air below in the most picturesque manner. Then on two half-tamed ostriches ran, which have been a great amusement to the children. Mrs T gave me leave to pluck a plume from the wings of one of them while she fed him to keep him quiet. He only resisted my boldness by running off and I keep the feather as a remembrance of the place. The Hugos are a very pleasing specimen of Dutch boor. Tho’ probably not nicer than the Badenhorsts, they are much cleaner and more orderly, the girls being nice and pleasing and the lads quiet – all well-behaved and the food &c clean and nicely cooked. They have but two little black girls to help in the arrangement of a large family – 10 children. Mr Hugo is a wine farmer and we had wine of his own making at table.

We crossed the great Berg river a few hours after leaving Fransch Hoek and again (it takes a turn) near the Paarl Village. We had very lovely views as we crossed the Drakenstein Valley today. The ranges of mountains both near and distant seem very beautiful. The Paarl seems all life and bustle after the quietness of George, Swellendam &c. It is a much larger village than either of these and has better houses. Our entry seemed to excite great curiosity. We stopped at a storehouse to get a bag of oats for the horses (which Ed who had ridden on before had purchased) and an Englishman who keeps the “Birmingham Manufacturing” as he calls it, came to the waggons and enquired of the servants the name of the gentleman who had arrived at the Paarl, whether he was coming to reside, where he had been, where the family were going to – in short, as many questions as a Dutchman could ask. We came on to the kind Backers and with the help of a crowbar the tent was here pitched in a yard opposite their door. The ground was so hard it was a difficult matter to pitch it. All the Bs are as well and as busy as their namesakes in the hives, and were very glad to see us. They have given us our bedroom so we are independent of Mr Van Soutier at whose hotel we last stopped. There was a Missionary meeting this evening of the coloured people chiefly in the school close by, to which Ed went and said a few words, translated by Mr Backer into Dutch. One of the coloured people got up and returned him thanks for the information he had given them and hoped his labours of love would be blessed, imagining he was a Missionary. Mr B says these poor people have no idea of religious instruction being given by any but a Missionary and when a pious officer or physician have been preaching or have spoken at their meetings, they have been greatly surprised at hearing these gentlemen were not “Missionaries”. I went with Dick for a few minutes to the door of the meeting room but the air inside was so greatly hot, we were forced to come away again soon. The Paarl dogs are very noisy and would scarcely let us sleep.

Tuesday February 1st 1842

We are to stay here and rest this day as heavy showers of rain fell and as suddenly, several of the tent pegs gave way (we were in the house) and all would have fallen in but for the speedy call of Edward to the men who drove the pegs down into the suddenly softened ground. All our beds &c were brought into the house and a trench dug around the weather side of the tent. We have got delicious grapes here in great quantities. The evening cleared and we walked about the pretty village which certainly is, whether you consider it in itself or with regard to the beautiful mountain scenery around it, one of the nicest villages in the colony.

Wednesday 2nd February 1842

We bade adieu to our kind friends the Backers (who had coffee for us at 5 o’clock) and left the Paarl, bidding it and the Backers in all human probability a final farewell. It was a lovely morning. Everything looked beautiful and there was a delicious cool breeze. We stopped for breakfast at 7 o’clock and for dinner at 12. At the latter place we were near farmhouses and vineyards but intruded not into either. We reached Stellenbosch early in the evening. The mountains around it looked very fine. They were free from clouds and for once we saw Stellenbosch without rain.

I forgot to say that at the Paarl yesterday we visited the Infant School, a school for boys and girls, just set up by Miss Backer, and the government school, only a few months in progress. The Master had just arrived when we were here three months ago and was then walking about the village, smoking and playing the accordian in the Hotel with a nonchalance and gentlemanlike air. He has now a great many children to instruct and was giving an arithmetic lesson (a “stiff job” as he said to Mr Backer, shrugging his shoulders) as we went in. He seems capable of instructing but his airs are amusing enough. Miss B’s new school is but just begun. I fear it will be too much for her to attend to – she is not strong. Her little sisters manage the Infant School but seem rather inexperienced even for this. “The children are more missionaries than I am myself,” said poor Miss B. However, I doubt whether it would not be better to lay them aside as teachers until they have learned a little more themselves. We established ourselves in the hotel. Richard has not been well for some days and is gone early to bed. I trust he may be well enough tomorrow to proceed to Wynberg.

Thursday 3rd February 1842

We visited the schools of the German mission. The rooms are commodious and nicely arrayed. The children had just gone to dinner but two of the missionaries, their sole teachers, were there and Mr W, a Bombay acquaintance of Edward’s, who has been converted under Mr Stegman’s preaching at Cape Town and has fixed his residence in the colony. These gentlemen gave us information respecting the schools, and the state of religion here generally; they took us to the German mission church, a spacious building which is crowded every Sunday. We walked more around Stellenbosch today than we had done before. Some of the houses are very handsome, all in the Dutch style. Mr W dined with us and shortly after we prepared to depart. Richard was feverish but Dr Felzman, an Irish physician who lives here, having been sent for, declared he might be moved. Some of us who had thought it might be possible we might be called on to separate from the rest and remain with him, joyfully prepared to mount our waggons for the last time and at 4 o’clock, our cavalcade left Stellenbosch, of a sultry evening. Dr Felzman by the way has spent a good deal of time in Clonakilty and knew our family. He is considered one of the cleverest Physicians in this country (so much for the honour of my own).

Our plan for this, our last travelling night was to remain in the waggons, to lose no time pitching and striking the tent. to travel in the night and to be early in Wynberg on Friday. All this we accomplished pretty well. We outspanned for tea on the borders of the Flats and then packed ourselves to sleep in the waggons, the gentlemen laying themselves on the ground under an awning and in their clothes. At 2 o’clock am they mounted their horses, the bullocks were inspanned and some sleeping and some awake, our party was moved on thro’ the sandy flats till 6 o’clock when we stopped for breakfast. There stood our old acquaintance Table Mountain looking down on Wynberg – Capetown – Rondebosch the distance of some ten or twelve miles from us. Edward and Dick rode on soon after breakfast, but our tired bullocks went slowly and we did not reach Wynberg till the afternoon Feb 4th. We were rejoicing to find ourselves once more in spacious and clean apartments. Everything looked lovely and refined. We sat down to a cold dinner in the Hall with our waggoneers. Thus we had done before in the farmhouses and we could not hurt them by giving them a separate table here, besides they are very respectable farmers and we would not send them to the servants’ hall. Such aristocratic proceedings would not do for the colony. We shook hands with them moreover in parting. This evening they have gone back to the flats to feed and rest the bullocks and tomorrow they set out for Swellendam. Farewell then to waggons and waggoneers.

16th February 1842

How time passes! Nearly a fortnight since we returned and not a word have I written. I must not forget that I am still in S Africa (tho’ everything here is so European I can scarcely believe it) and that many everyday sights will be written a place in this record. We have now delightful weather and after a day of excessive heat, were refreshed by a morning of rain. We have been into Cape Town several times and have had numbers of visitors, all wondering at our achievements, at our perseverance, self-denial &c for few English ladies have ventured so far in bullock waggons and for the sake of seeing the country and people lived a wandering life so long, exposed to the various inconveniences attending such an irregular proceeding. We find ourselves heroines and have signalised ourselves in this colony. Irishwomen have certainly some spirit in them. We are not of that class, as a gentleman remarked to Edward, who require lamb chops and green peas every day.

One subject engrosses us much now, our approaching separation. I have determined to go to India with Susy and Edward, and Dick is going home with Mrs RT and the three eldest children. (Richard, Katherine, Henrietta). The Childe Harold is almost daily expected in and in her they may go while I remain to go in another direction, when the vessel in which Edward has taken his place calls. I will say nothing about my feelings, my wishes, my hopes, my fears at parting. I feel I shall be a comfort to poor Susy who will be very lonely and I know I am doing as she wishes and that is enough to reconcile me to much that is painful. We have now many fine friends about us. Mr B, a Bengal civilian, an elderly man and a most superior Christian is a great favourite of ours. We have resumed our Friday evening meetings here and go as before on Monday to Mrs H’s and Thursday to Cape Town.

The poor Stegmans have lost a little babe and are in great affliction. This is the second baby they have lost. They have now but one. The vintage is coming in and delicious grapes are abundant as well as excellent peaches. There are very few flowers – the heaths are not come in – but we gather many seeds. I have taken one ride since our return, among the beautiful groves of Protea.

18th February 1842

We dined yesterday at a Mr Steedman’s (who is known as the author of Travels in Africa). He is a man of a good deal of information and is very communicative. He has a nice little place at Rondebosch and has brought some rare trees and shrubs to his garden. After dinner, on our way home we visited some property of Mr Steedman’s which commands a fine view of the Hottentot hills and flats. There is now no house here but the place was once the residence of Governor Jansens, (a Dutchman) and bears the remains of staircases &c. Orange, guava, loquat and peach trees still grow where the garden had been. This day had been dreadfully hot but the evening was cool and lovely and the night delicious. We brought Mrs Steedman’s mother, Mrs Rose, to her cottage and it was quite dark before we reached Vredekloof, a crescent moon only giving light when the dark shade of trees did not interrupt her beams. I must not forget to state that we have heard that this very house in which we reside was occupied by the Duke of Wellington when as Sir A or Colldellesly he stopped here on his way to India and his ground was the field in which Wynberg Church now stands. His and Mrs Harris were the only houses then built at Wynberg. This information has added new interest to this house. The stoep is here worth looking at. A quantity of bunches of the crystal grape, a rich green, almost within reach of the hand form a ceiling over you as you walk thro’. At Mr Faur’s place (the Lions Rest) at Cape Town there is a long walk overshadowed with vines and now a beautiful sight from the quantity of grapes which form a canopy beneath their leaves.

Monday 21st February 1842

The Dartmouth is come in which will take us off in a week to Bombay. Oh, sudden separation! We expected to stay here some weeks after seeing the rest of the party off but this cannot now be.

March 1st 1842

The last day at Wynberg. Tomorrow we go into Cape Town and we who go to Bombay sail next day in the Dartmouth. We do not exactly know when the English party sails but a few days will see them off too. We are all sorry to leave Wynberg. It is certainly a lovely spot and we have many friends here who do not figure in my journal yet we have had much pleasant intercourse with them, especially two Indian gentlemen – Messrs Brun and Beauchamp. We have had letters from home. Those dear ones will soon be rejoiced by the sight of Richard and Dick, and I shall be far away.

On board the Dartmouth March 14th 1842

Nearly a fortnight has passed since we left the Cape. It was indeed a painful parting. There is no describing our feelings, the irrepressible fears, the faint hopes that darken the day of separation from those with whom “we forever could dwell”. Wednesday 3rd we came on board. Dick, little Richard and some friends came with us. The misery of the poor little girls at parting from their mama was very great and little Richard could scarcely be carried away from his parents’ cabin when they and his two little brothers were embracing him, Baby all unconscious of what was to happen. Finding however that the vessel would not sail that evening, we came on shore and surprised our dear party at Mr Stegman’s, again enjoying by this a little of our former pleasure, but next day we were obliged to come on board (tho’ we did not sail that evening either) bringing with us, for the latest embrace, the two Richards. I say nothing of my own sorrow at embracing my dearest Dick, perhaps for the last time and yet it was not so, for again the next day he and Kate came on board as we weighed anchor Friday the 5th and left Table Bay. Then came the last parting, to be a ‘parting’ till we meet again.

We have had contrary winds and were wretchedly sick for some days. We are the only passengers excepting two cadets, military. The vessel is a fine large one. We have the stern cabins. The children and I are in one, Susy and Edward in the other. All the officers of the ship are civil and most anxious to please. The captain (Hill by name) is a good-humoured Londoner. He was first mate as far as the Cape and was there promoted to his present station in consequence of Captain Jacob’s being obliged to fly, having wounded a passenger in a duel at the Cape. When he left it, Mr Barrington was in a dangerous state from his wounds. Captain Jacob and the surgeon are gone to Bombay in a French vessel, but we get on very well without either. I often think of my days aboard the Childe Harold. We had social and agreeable companions then, but we have nothing to complain of now and are at all times as much to ourselves as we wish. I have begun to learn Hindostanee. The two cadets are learning it also. Edward is my master and helps them too. We have had a good deal of rough weather, and the time has passed heavily. It seems an age since we left Cape Town. We are now very far south and the weather is cool and cloudy.

17th March 1842. St Patrick’s Day Lat 35.33 Long 39. 13E

This is a lovely day - wind favourable and as balmy as is possible so far from the “oriental flowers” which make it fragrant. We walked on the poop after breakfast and, having quite got over seasickness, thank God, can really enjoy a fine day. Norton fifed us to breakfast this morning by playing our national air. Poor Erin – we are far away from your shores and have not even a morsel of shamrock wherewith to adorn ourselves and display our patriotism. I have been writing letters today and reading some verses in Hindustan from the testament. The cadets are rather idle – writing out songs and reading novels is, it seems, more to their taste than studying grammar.

25th March 1842. Lat 31.05 Long 55.25E

We have not got very far since last I wrote. The winds are light and variable. However, as the Captain says, “We never stops”. Therefore tho’ slowly we are getting on. Ladies seldom complain of calm or of light winds therefore I will not. It makes but little difference at the end of a voyage whether it was one of nine or ten weeks and the comfort of a little calm, a little rest is very great. The days are growing warm and the nights are delightful. Some of our old pleasures on board the Childe Harold are coming back. The moon “reigned” heavily “full orbed” last night and with “now pleasing light shadowy set of the face of things” – not in vain for we sat on the poop watching the ivory lights and the ebony shades for nearly two hours after sunset. Norton the fiddler mounts on the spars which are piled near the longboat and there he fiddles away for an hour while the men dance jigs, or country dances, and it is really amusing enough to see the creatures ‘turning’ their partners and reminds me of a description I once saw in an old magazine “Irish man and woman gallop down the middle and back again” (and this before gallopades were in fashion) The weather is growing warm, still we are in a delicious climate, and if we could call up an island from the deep we should like well enough to spend a few weeks building our airy castle upon it. It would do for me as well as Bombay where I have not an acquaintance but I am quite sure I shall have a very reasonable supply after a very short residence there. Yesterday was sheepshearing day and after losing their warm dresses the poor sheep walked comfortable about the deck and even visited the cuddy, not for the last time. A pig too, poor fellow, put his black face inside and smelling pork, for we were at dinner, ran off to his den near the forecastle. Edward has taken some pains to teach me the names of the sails, ropes &c which are (ropes at least) almost endless and have each a separate name. I had really rather learn the fifty characters of Hindostanee than be obliged to know each and all of these. We daily write letters in hope of meeting a ship homeward bound. It is not very likely in this course but it may be. Horace and Baby are great favourites on board. They seem to enjoy their sea life very much but what life is it that children do not enjoy? They have a playfellow in a large dog, Sultan by name, belonging to Captain Jacob, and feeding the chickens is a very favourite occupation. The hen coops are not on the poop as in the Childe Harold – they are in a much more convenient place under the long boat. The sheep are in the long boat and it is a great amusement to the children to see the sheep drinking their allotted bottles of water. The cow and goats are in the hold. There are several midshipmen on board this vessel, nice lads, almost all the sons of surgeons, as also is Mr Gay (cadet) and Mr Marten (chief mate).

Saturday March 26th 1842 Lt 30.25 Long 55.25E

40 miles of “northing” have we made since yesterday. The winds are so variable, that we have “put about” six times since sunset yesterday and noon of this day. Last evening a great shark was caught and we saw him brought on board. He was nine feet in length and had three large fishes in his maw, or craw. Being so very large and coarse, he was unfit for food and his head was cut off and the rest thrown overboard. Captain Hill says you may know a sharks’ age by adding a year to the number of the rows of his teeth, and this monster had eight rows. I cannot vouch for the truth of this statement, not being sure that Captain Hill is a good naturalist. He also avers that the Stormy Petrel or Mother Cacey’s chicken hatches by putting her eggs under her wing. How she manages to sleep at that time, floating on a wave with her head I presume under her wing also, he did not explain. This (however she manages it) he considers more likely than her building a sea weed nest on the waves. I think she either drops her eggs in the water, leaving them to be hatched by a cuckoo fish, or has recourse to the nearest land in her proper season and builds like a sensible bird on Terra Firma.

Tomorrow will be Easter Sunday. Five years ago – can it be five years ago! On that day I watched the deathbed of a parent. My dear Father, who on that day 1837 entered into his rest. Here, far away from the spot where his bones rest, awaiting the final call, I shall think on that day, melancholy to us all (for our loss was great) but joyful to the parting spirit of an aged Christian.

Monday 4th of April 1842 Lat 30. 67 S Long 50.20 E

Time, as usual on-board ship, is flying fast and as for this last week, our vessel has been flying too. We shall in a short time, unless we are becalmed or baffled by contrary winds, be at our destination. This day a week ago we were going at a rate of ten knots an hour, and this rate continued for some days so that we made up for lost time. Now four knots an hour is our rate and the vessel is as steady as possible and the water smooth. Nothing can be pleasanter than sitting on the poop at night “making out” the constellations or watching the sparks of phosphorus rushing by in ever varying constellations of their own. For some days since I wrote we had so much rolling and pitching that Susy and I were made very uncomfortable and could not venture to walk. Even sitting on the poop seemed dangerous. We have been studying the stars. There are some excellent planispheres and maps of the heavens on board and with a dark lantern on the poop and the maps, the starry heavens before us, we have made extraordinary discoveries. One of the cadets (Mr B) saw “the Sisters” as he called Castor Pollux, and our old friend, the Great Bear is reappearing tail downwards in the Northern Horizon.

We visited the lower deck where the cow and two goats are very comfortably lodged. They have plenty of room, air, and continue in excellent health, tho’ one of the goats is gone dry.

I have seen a curious bird called a Boatswain, with a very long white tail, hovering about the ship. Saturday evening the 2nd we were so near Madagascar that some thought they saw it and as we steered westwards we all strained our eyes about sunset and fancied we discovered cliffs and promontories in the clouds that rose in the neighbourhood of the setting sun. We were soon undeceived however; the cliffs and promontories vanished in thin air or rose into shapeless masses of cloud. Next morning, we had passed the possibility of seeing Madagascar, but we are in the neighbourhood of Islands. Birds of different kinds are seen and a locust was found on board yesterday and a fine large butterfly also. Both it is supposed must have come fifty miles to meet us. The locust was caught and treated so badly (having his head held in oil in hopes of putting him to death in the quietest manner) that he was let go that he might die more naturally, he took one spring out of the cuddy thro’ the skylight and has since very sensibly remained so high on the major mast that he is seldom seen.

For the last two Sundays we have had service on the quarter deck. The capstan is covered with the colours and Edward and Mr Martin stand there to read, making it a sort of desk. Susy and I sit near the Captain, the Mates and Middys &c on the other side of the forehatch and the men all round outside enclosing, as it were, the quarter deck.

The weather is growing very warm. This day the decks have been varnished with a sort of Venice turpentine, or pine juice of a similar nature, to prevent them from splitting in the sun.

April 7th 1842. No latitude

Today I have seen a whale and flying fish. The former was an enormous mass of black rolling about and spouting – not Shakespeare.

April 11th 1842. Lat 00.14S Long 56.33E

We are now we are told within a fortnight of Bombay and can scarcely believe that we have been six weeks on board for nothing has occurred worthy of remark. The sun is bright by day and the stars by night. They throw lines of light on the water like little moons and no wonder considering they are suns.

April 16th 1842

Nearly a week since I wrote. We have had a calm the last two days to the great dismay of our good Captain but the ship is being painted. We have given up our hopes of being in Bombay in a fortnight. The children have both had colds. They seem to have got whooping cough and hot as the weather is, I have contrived to get cold too. The heat at night is tremendous and the consequent melting that one undergoes is very unpleasant and weakening. A water spout was seen one morning before I had left my bed, a very fine one. We had desperate showers eight or ten days since. Such heavy rain I had never seen or heard. It was like a shower of storms rattling on the deck. We were at dinner and the scene on deck was amusing enough – the men running about drenched, collecting water on the pots and pans, footbaths, buckets and in the course of half an hour, filling a cask of 100 gallons, after which they washed their clothes on the deck which was a foot at least deep in water. We should be glad of such a downpour now (as wind would probably be the consequence) except for the sake of the newly painted vessel. The nights are delicious on the poop. The moon, now a brilliant crescent, descends like a little boat keel downwards to the horizon.

April 19th 1842. Lat 2. 55 N Long 60.36 E

One calm night I wish I could describe, it was so lovely. A calm upon the line is not a very desirable state of things. The day is tremendously hot – one cannot stir without streaming – but at night all is different. Walking indeed is not pleasant for even then the breath of Heaven is too warm to be refreshing, but sitting and gazing on the moon and the water of a perfectly calm night is a treat. The great ocean lies like a mirror before you lost in indistinct haze, save where the stream of moonlight guides the eye to the horizon, every constellation brilliantly reflected and almost as steady as those in the sky. Sometimes a slight swell lengthening the brilliant points into long lines of “living light”. A more lovely scene can scarcely be imagined.

April 26th 1842 Lat 6.6N Long 63. 54E

We find it very difficult to get out of this region – the line entangled – our rudder we suspect. The winds are very high however they are now grown more favourable. We have given up all hopes of being in Bombay before the 1st of May, which we much regret, as that day the steamer leaves for the Red Sea and we shall miss sending letters home. We have much to be thankful for in the health and comfort we have on board. The children are now quite well and my cold is departed. How it ever had the audacity to seize me in this hot part of the world does surprise me.

I think I gave, in the early part of this interesting work, an account of a day on board the Childe Harold. I must give a sketch of a Dartmouth day also. About ½ past 5, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, we, or at least I, am awaked by the scrubbing of the poop, or the dashing of water from the decks into the quarter gallery window. Horace is awakened and begins to chatter, joined by his brother who now sleeps in his Mama’s cabin, but is brought early into mine. At 7 the children are ready for their breakfast and I am left to task of dressing which is a task and no small fatigue these hot mornings. We breakfast at half past 8 and sometimes take a few turns on the poop before. Breakfast over, we then retire to Edward and Susy’s cabin for reading and prayers. Susy and I then retire to the cuddy where we write, read, draw, work, play the guitar, sing, chat or otherwise occupy ourselves till 2 o’clock. About 12, when the measurements are taken, Mr Martin announces the latitude and longitude and the Captain displays his chart on which he says we have cut a “scandalous figure” this voyage, which anyone may prove to their satisfaction by finding out our course as I have marked it in Lats and Longs in my book. Edward remains in his cabin, reading and writing all the morning.

Our Captain is no small amusement to us. His disposition is so extraordinary. Sometimes the weather affects his temper unfavourably, sometimes he argues with Mr Marten, his chief mate, for being too attentive to the Portugese. Il Capitano himself has no manners and but for Mr Marten we should be badly off in many ways. Then this same great man is as stupid as can be. He never understands a joke and as some of the rest of the party are fond of amusing themselves and each other, the poor Captain is bewildered and sets it down that he is laughed at. He knows that I have taken sketches of some of the most remarkable figures on board and he supposes (nor was he wrong but the face is now metamorphosised into that of an old lady) that he is amongst them and therefore he declared to Mr Marten that he did not care, that Miss Townsend might sketch him with his heels upwards if she liked, an attitude in which I might safely say I never before pictured him. At 3 o’clock we dine, about 4 retire to our cabins till 5 or so, when we sit on deck till tea time, perhaps watching a fine sunset. Sometimes we take tea on the poop and always immediately after tea walk for an hour, admiring Venus setting, or as now happens, the moon rising. At nine o’clock we retire for the night, having refreshed ourselves with a glass of lime juice or wine and water, which makes a very nice drink. While we walk on the poop, the two little ones pace the quarter deck with the Indian servants, looking very picturesque in the moonlight. They go to bed at 8.

May 3rd 1842

May morning was spent on board, which a short time ago we did not expect would be the case. It was Sunday (a lovely day of course) and we had service on the quarter deck as usual. Edward gave us an excellent sermon, one of Bibdin’s. The son of old Bibdin who wrote sea songs and who himself was a song writer has become an excellent clergyman and his sermons are remarkable for faithfulness and simplicity. He is cousin to W.B. the cadet and the book belongs to him. Yesterday our latitude was 11.22N Long 71.39E and the wind being very much to the East we knew we were approaching the Laccadives but as we were making a little northing hoped to weather there. Our Captain is very fond of stay sails and tho’ many a hint was given him that we were going quite enough to the East without them, he persisted in keeping the main top stay sail and has done so for several days.

After dinner we were seated in our cabins. I had just heard the Captain taking observations for the Longitude and very soon after hearing a bustle on deck, and Mr Marten’s voice hollowing, I ran into Susy’s cabin, wondering why the ship was to be put about. We both saw, apparently about two miles off, a great surf rolling in the direction toward which we had been going but which now was coming ashore of us. When the surf broke we could see smooth, green and of course shallow waters, inside was no land, which wondering what it was, Edward came saying it was a coral reef over which we were running had not Mr Marten seen it. When the ship was quite about, we went on the poop and watched the danger from which we had been so providentially preserved. Some said they saw land inside. I could discern some low blackish line but saw no trees. I believe it was not exactly one of the Islands within but low rocks. How thankful we felt that this had not occurred at night – the consequences might have been frightful. The Captain tried to assure us that this could not have occurred, for he would have put about immediately on checking the longitude and discovering that the Islands were eight or nine miles NE of us. As it happened they were much nearer – certainly about 3 miles, which he afterwards acknowledged, but had he not taken the Longitude or had not the reef been seen by Mr Marten before the calculations were complete we might have been dangerously near it. A vessel was lost on this spot not long since. The men on the forecastle had seen the surf and thought, or said they thought, it was great fish or a storm. We desire to be thankful for the mercy shown us. This is the second deliverance from shipwreck we have experienced. The very day after we left Table Bay we found ourselves, when the fog cleared off, running toward Houts Bay on a frightfully dangerous coast. Yesterday we were within 400 miles of Bombay.

May 11th 1842

Only yesterday was land seen, yesterday evening, and a pattimar (a native trading vessel of the Malabar coast) passed not far from us. We would, before the sun sunk (which he did beautifully like a ball of gold, gilding the fleecy clouds above, some after his own disappearance) see the coast clearly defined. We, however, in consequence of the wind being easterly, were obliged to tack along the shore astern of us. The clouds have prevented any observations being taken for some days so our latitude is not exactly known, however it is supposed that we see Rajapoor or Banoor.

This morning we have ben gazing thro’ glasses and can distinguish a building (a pagoda) and trees. The shore is prettily indented and we can distinguish jungle. The tide is against us - we cannot get into harbour tonight - and we have very little wind. I shall probably write no more aboard the Dartmouth. Our voyage is nearly over. It has been tho’ a long one, pleasant one on the whole, and has slipped rapidly away. One cannot be two months at the same house and at the same table with any persons who are kind and attentive without feeling regret at parting from them, tho’ we are one and all glad to get on shore, especially our companions who have more than five months from England and yet have heard nothing of their friends.

On Sunday last (8th) (our tenth Sunday on board) we had a squall during prayers, which dispersed our congregation and again at night, just as we were about to separate for the night, suddenly a gust came on and in a moment the officers were on deck and the confusion appeared great to those within the cuddy, who could only hear the shouting, the flapping of sails, the wind and the thunder. We saw by the lightnings glare that our sails were drawn back in and that we were in the midst of a squall. In half an hour, however, all was tolerably quiet and at 10 o’clock it was completely over and the night was a calm one.

May 12th 1842

I have time for a few more last words. We are slowly approaching the harbour of Bombay and if we are in early enough, shall go on shore this evening. The coast is very prettily indented and from the number of points and inlets looks like a cluster of islands and reminds me of the views in and about Baltimore Harbour and the scenery of the SW coast of Ireland, only not so rugged. R_ rock is a small fortified rock looking something like Battery Island in Glengariff harbour. We see masses of cocoanut trees along the coast, looking something like fir groves in the distance. Yesterday afternoon we met a ship, The Isabella, bound for China. We both stopped and our gentlemen went on board to hear the news, disastrous some of it was, of the massacre in Cabel (Kabul) of Sir W McNaughton and nearly 7000 English troops. Treachery must have encompassed this dreadful deed. Lady McNaughton and fifteen ladies are in the possession of the Afghans and reinforcements have been sent into the country. We can now see numbers of masts belonging to vessels in Bombay Harbour. There are 90 vessels there (the Captain of the Isabella mentioned yesterday) but the Cremona in which Captain Jacob of this ship sailed had not arrived, greatly to our good Hill’s delight who could scarcely look glum at the massacre in Kabul, so rejoiced was he at the Cremona’s delay - she sailed from the Cape a week before us.

We sat last night on the poop to an unusually late hour and had, as the Captain said, ‘a regular singing match’, he gloomily sitting alone in the cuddy musing over his grog. We had the guitar on deck and Susy and I sang merry songs and duets. This morning we are in a bustle at the prospect of going on shore but the wind is so light we may not be able to do so or to get in early, and so we have arrived in India, far away from old Erin. I trust our party from the Cape are now arriving, if they have not already done so, in England. The steamer from the Red Sea bringing April letters – how delightful if we get a share of them – was seen going towards Harbour this morning.

May 13th 1842 Bombay

We anchored about noon yesterday and Edward went on shore to find out who would receive us. His friend Mr Webb (whom he first met when he landed in Bombay on 12 June 1822) and he soon came off in a bunder boat for us and after dining on board the Dartmouth we were hurried off. Susy and I had sat on the poop nearly the whole day watching the proceedings of the Pilots and admiring the gay appearance of the harbour which has more than 200 British Merchant ships in it, besides native boats innumerable and two or three steamers.

Captain Jacob arrived last night in the Cremona. He came on board (with Mr R the surgeon) immediately on our arrival and I presume our friend Captain Hill is to be displaced. Captain Jacob is a gentlemanlike man – we may so far have had a loss in him. We left our friends on board, Mr Martice at least and some of the others, quite happy at the receipt of a bundle of letters from England. Nevertheless, sorry to part with us, as we were with them. We hope to see them before we leave for Belgaum (Belagavi, Karnataka). The season now is dreadfully hot here – a change to a cooler will be a great relief.

On being lowered from the Dartmouth, we got into the bunder boat’s cabin and were rowed to the shore, half an hour’s work. The native boats near which we passed are extraordinary looking concerns and the brown creatures, some half-naked, and some more than half, squat on the boats and navigate their spoon-like oars or stand to display their picturesque forms to greater advantage, to strike the newly arrived stranger with amazement and amusement. Indeed, long before we left the Dartmouth, many boats had come alongside of her, managed by natives, whose great head dresses and little concern about any other dress (tho’ none were absolutely naked) greatly amused me. The full trousers of the Mohammedans, the scanty drawers of some of the Hindoos and the sans culottism of others are enough to make one ponder on the “Philosophy of Dress”. Mr Webb’s carriage was in waiting for us into which we stepped and were driven to him through the Esplanade and Bazaar, as that part of the town where the natives chiefly reside is called, to his own large house where we stay for the present. The varieties of people and nations that we passed and that passed us, completely bewildered me. Carriages full of Parsees in stiff conical turbans and white dresses, some with fine and all with sallow faces, groups of Mohammedan priests in long white robes and beards, the flowing black locks of the Persians, the black bearded Jews &c (all pointed out to me by Edward and Susy) made me fancy myself transported to the land of Phantasy, not to mention Dewars and Sepoys and Coolies and a host more whose style and titles it is impossible for me now to recollect. The street called the Bazaar is a curious scene – the houses are irregular, some very low, others imposing as to height and with ornaments in relief, in which style of architecture I know not. The rooms are so open, from windows and doors innumerous, that we can see into all the stories and could almost fancy the house had no wall to the street. The balconies or verandah doors and windows are crowded by native men, women and children. Almost all the women wrapped from head to foot in saurees, the children generally quite naked. The sights, the sounds (of tom toms and some tinkling sort of instrument) are so new, the smell from incense and spices &c so peculiar, that Bombay is really like a new world to me. There is nothing European in its aspect. This house is a large one and very nicely furnished – floors covered with fine China mats and everything that can promote coolness is arranged for the desired effect. The windows have all venetians and some have China blinds and the doors from the parlour and drawing room to the bedrooms are generally left open and a sort of half-door, which leaves a space above and below for the circulation of air is the only one used, and this is of plaited silk – ornamental as well as useful. Last night a servant with a long rod bent at one end and at the same end blazing like a candle came into the room and before I could settle in my mind whether this was to be held behind his master’s chair or how it was to be used he gracefully lighted little high lamps which hung in glass globes from the ceiling and disappeared. Besides these were lower lamps lighted in a less Promethean like style and candles with glass shades as there was a cool draft through the room. It takes some days to make me feel like myself among strange places and customs but I daresay I shall soon be able to give my eyes rest, and to open my mouth. At present I stare, and write, and write and stare again. I have finished most of my letters today.

Monday 16th May 1842

Two days more have shown me somewhat more of the strange place, and still my eyes are not satisfied with seeing. By night or day, the bazaar is a scene of interest and some of the drives we have taken are beautiful. I greatly admire the coconut groves – the feathery date tree too is beautiful – and in the evening when the shadows are deep, and the light soft, nothing can be more lovely than some of the scenes. I have met a great many nice and excellent people, some of whom I had heard thro’ Susy and Edward and with whom I soon felt I was well-acquainted. But our stay must be short – we are to set out on the 28th for Vingurla (Vengurla) by water on our way to Belgaum. On Sunday the 15th we went in the morning to Mr Candy’s (a Missionaries) Church and heard an excellent sermon from him on the Office of the Holy Spirit (it was Whitsunday). At this Church I saw my old shipmates Miss Willis and Miss Sanderson. They were seated close behind me. They both looked very well and we were glad to meet each other. I have not been able to see them since.

In the evening we went to the Cathedral, which is a large handsome Church filled with monuments. In both these places of worship the air was kept cool by Punkas that I now less felt the heat in a church in summer at home, than I did here. I have not yet mentioned the death of dear Mademoiselle Jallot, which took place a very short time before we arrived. She was seized with cholera in the night and being in the house of an invalid lady did not like to arouse her by arousing the servants. In the morning Mademoiselle Jallot was found nearly insensible and soon after died rejoicing in the Lord. She is a great loss to the Mission but the Lord who took her can supply her place.

We breakfasted one morning with the E Harts on the Esplanade. The houses or bungalows there are very comfortable abodes. Indescribable as to their architecture but commodious rooms opening through a multitude of doors and windows on a deeply thatched verandah which is a delightful place to sit in and is surrounded by pretty flowering shrubs &c beyond which at some distance was seen the shore and the plash of the waves plainly heard.

We dined with the W Webbs (brother to our host) and the dining room was walled in - there were mats rolled up attached to the roof so that in case of the sun or wind being too powerful, shelter could have been procured. The number of servants that are to be seen hovering about a mansion in Bombay quite surprises a newcomer. If friends dine with you, they bring their own and these, added to the number belonging to the house, make an assembly nearly as great as that of the guests.

In the evening drives here, one meets bullock carriages or carts (savaarees as carriages are called here, with the exception of a closed sort of chair called a shigram) laden with natives – they seem to think it right to cram these savaarees as full as they can hold. They are drawn by Brahminee cattle. I have seen some very pretty little cows, scarcely as high as a donkey, and droves of buffaloes – long, low-necked, leaded-coloured animals. I have seen some small specimens of the Banyan tree – roots hanging from the branches but not yet reaching the ground. The Boab tree is a curious one. From the top of a long bean pole outstripping all its neighbours, several large hand shaped leaves project and give you the idea of a gigantic mop or broom.

May 21st 1842. On board a Pattymar

Yesterday we embarked. After sending off our packages to the boat, we met in Mr Webb’s drawing room and he read the 103rd psalm and prayed for his departing guests. Susy, the children and I set off in the shigram for Mr Webb’s office, Edward and M following, calling on our way at the W Webbs, Harts and Candy’s to say farewell. I think we sat an hour or more at the office before Ed sent us word that all was ready. We then drove to the Custom house – bunder – amidst crowds of natives all talking at the pitch of their voices and making us fancy that confusion reigned throughout. Here I entered a palanquin for the first time – Edward had provided very nice ones for us – lined with green satin. I was very much pleased with the motion and so appeared “sticky boy” who sat with me but I would much rather have walked down the steps and climbed into the boat that was to convey us to the Pattymar than have been carried as I was, fearful at being upset at any moment from the steepness of the descent and the apparent difficulty of getting the palanquin into the boat. The number of natives too who seemed engaged in directing the bearers or clearing the way by shouting at the highest pitch of their voices and gesticulating in the most impassioned manner was enough to make one suppose that danger was near, tho’ I so far preserved my equanimity as to be able to answer to Ed’s question “Were you frightened out of your wits?” in the negative, as he opened the palanquin door and put in his head when the pass was over. Susy and Horace (Horace Webb Townsend) followed in her “palkee” and Mr Webb said farewell and returned to his carriage while we were rowed to the Pattymar and (still being in the Palanquin) lifted steadily into it.

To describe a Pattymar to one who has never seen any but trim yachts and large ships, is not easy, but my dear reader (it is a long time since I addressed you) imagine a large rudely built (80 or a 100 ton) vessel half thatched (with bamboo canes and large boab leaves) with two masts, two large lateen sails and a gib it may be. In the stern is a tolerably sized cabin and you are to get on the poop from the locker within thro’ a hatchway which opens over the storm windows. Your elbows and toes are to serve as ladders by which to raise yourself for while standing on the latter, the former may be made to rest on the poop. The greater deck is roofed as I have before described, and floored with split bamboo. Under this, in the hold, the luggage is stowed and under the forecastle is a place for horses, four of whom belonging to Ed were settled on board before we arrived. We dined &c under the awning and the children slept in the cabin. Edward on a couch and Susy and I in our palanquins, sleep on the quarter deck. Ten half-naked savages manage the vessel and besides these are ten or twelve servants of Ed’s with some wives and children who sleep all day and night under a sheet on the forecastle. On the whole it was a very curious and amusing scene. The ease with which the copper-coloured native strut about with just as much clothing as Adam and Eve had when turned out of Paradise is not a little amusing. They look at a distance like baboons and one soon begins to think as little of their want of clothing as if they were. The women are all wrapped in sauries except when to facilitate any work they take up their sauries and look like little men in short breeches as did the. For a long time, I felt quite sure she was a little man. The dress of the female Mohamedan servants struck me as pretty on the young but ridiculous on the old women. A grey-haired nursery maid at Mrs Webb’s wore long drawers and a chemise up to her knees. In short, the varieties of dress are endless.

Monday 23rd May 1842

Safely arrived. I sit down on the government bungalow to tell of our pleasant little voyage and safe landing tho’ amidst torrents of rain. It might have been very pleasant to stay a little longer in Bombay but it would not have been wise for we had scarcely reached Vingurla Sunday night on this morning early when a southerly wind and heavy showers began with thunder and lightning. I don’t know how many boatloads of furniture were taken on shore. The horses were first lifted out, and each with his ghora wallah (horse servant) holding his head from a little canoe swam on shore. Vingurla is a curious little harbour. The river winds thro’ a sandy beach into a grove of coconut trees and the rocky point and shore on the north side of the harbour is very pretty. It has little or no protection on the south side. I caught glimpses of patterned and white flowers on the shore as we packed into the palanquin with Ed and Heetie (Henrietta Townsend)) for it rained. I was rowed from the Pattymar. (Yesonetee was the name of our Pattymar, so named after a Hindoo goddess.) Susy had gone first with Horace and was waiting at the bungalow for us. The scenery about here is very pretty. The foliage, consisting of a mixture of bamboo, coconut, mango and peepal &c whose forms and names I am just beginning to remember, is beautiful. There is a scattered native village here and just now a curious group of men, thirty or forty in number who had brought our luggage from the boat here (1/4 of a miles’ distance) were ranged before us. A large party of Persians with horses for sale were close by when we arrived but are gone. The sum of 4 or 5 shillings divided among the human porters satisfied them. Labour seems as cheap here as it is dear at the Cape.

We spent our Sunday busy pleasantly aboard the Pattymar – read prayers under our awning and our poor crew were as quiet as possible, a few of them always sitting (and this day they were at work, hemming handkerchiefs &c) on that part I have dignified with the name of poop, and the rest sleeping on the forecastle. At night, for the three evenings we have been on board, we sat on the poop till nine at night, enjoying the delicious coolness after sunset. Venus descended brilliantly and the moon was nearly full and of transcendent beauty. The glow in the evening sky is of the colour of a mango inside - a rich orange. By the way, I have tasted mangoes, plantains &c and am beginning greatly to enjoy the former tho’ I did not admire it on a first try.

We had scarcely done dinner when eight or ten dewars ie- mounted native police bringing a letter for Edward from Belgaum, and shortly after followed twenty ponies with guides or riders each, for luggage &cc, besides coolies for carrying burdens. Hamaals (porters) for the palanquins are yet to arrive. We shall make a great cavalcade. All these Ed had written for from Bombay. Before we retired for the night we were called out to see the Hamaals who had all arrived and were seated in a ring before the bungalow under a brilliant moon. It seems an immense number of people for our family to employ, and presents altogether to me a most amusing scene.

We walked towards the seashore this evening – the place is low and the air was oppressively hot. The native procure salt here by digging square pits into which, at high tides, the water flows and the powerful sun quickly causes the water to evaporate. The salt is left and collected by the natives and made into conical heaps covered with straw and so ready for use.

Tuesday 24th May 1842

Indian travelling is as different from European, or even from South African, as can well be imagined. It bears more of a resemblance however to the latter than the former though it is far more comfortable. You have not to force your way into an unwilling Boor’s house, nor to feel that you are giving trouble to an hospitable one. The Government Bungalows are perhaps not very commodious or highly finished but you carry your own furniture with you (rather it goes before you) and on your arrival find everything in order, and dinner or tea &c ready. When the division of loads &c is arranged it seems troublesome enough and from the great number employed it is a scene of confusion, and to me, who am ignorant of the language in which all are chattering and also ignorant of the different offices of each of the men, it appears of course doubly confused. 
 I have been surprised to find in India most of the work is done by men. Hamaals sweep out the rooms and make the beds, fill the baths &c. The Ayah seems only to help at a lady’s dressing or to dress the children. The sort of seclusion which one enjoys at home from the approach of men servants to your bedroom is not to be thought of here, and a lady will go and give orders to her servants in her dressing gown and night cap without seeming to feel it anything out of the way, and why should she not? She is to all intents and purposes more dressed than when she receives a large party of an evening.

I cannot put down all that strikes me as curious and amusing in the manners and habit of the natives – their low bows, foreheads touching the ground at your feet – or the graceful salaam, the right hand raised to the forehead – and their use of their feet. All is so different to England. I saw a porter, with a heavy load on his head, who had dropped his walking stick, just slip off his sandal, take the stick up by his toes, and raising it to the height of his hand, get possession of it without the least danger to his load. In doing needle work, the men invariably hold the work steady by their toes and always sit on the ground. On Sunday evening last, on board the “Yesonetee” the men, several of whom had been talking to Edward early in the evening on various subjects, chiefly connected with their religious belief, came around us as we sat on the poop and asked him to tell them something about God – “the great God” – and they seemed to listen with great interest while he spoke to them. They also talked a good deal, told him some of the stories their priests tell them, and wondered at his information, when he showed them he knew all these and had far greater things to tell of his God. I knew nothing of what was going on (in Mahratta) but what Susy interpreted to me. I have often heard Ed remark that the anxiety of the poor people to speak on the subject of their religion, and their forwardness and willingness to do so, puts many professing Christians to shame. Most of the Hindoo women wear nose rings, which are very ugly, and their ears are sometimes laden from top to bottom with brass rings covered with beads. Some have necklaces. The men too wear earrings and necklaces too when they are particularly dandified. One of the pony-leaders today was very well-dressed – an overwhelming turban, trowsers actually to his heels, a long white surtout (overcoat), a scarf wrapped round him, and a necklace of large, garnet-coloured beads. (The lowest castes are those who wear the fewest clothes.) But this is not common – a turban, a girdle and an umbrella are quite enough to make a well-dressed man, rings and earrings perhaps too.

May 25th 1842.

Tuesday evening, we left Vingurla, Susy and I in our palanquins, she with Horace and I with “Heetie” as my companion, and proceeded thro’ a beautiful country to Banda. When we ascended the first hill on our route, we got a last glimpse of the sea. My bearers turned the palanquin round that I should get a farewell peep and I could see the rocky point of Vingurla and the distant blue sea. Looking down the pass in the direction in which we were to go the view was really splendid. A finely wooded country lay before me and a range of blue hills beyond which as the sun set became beautifully coloured and the clouds became tinged with the most brilliant hues.

I saw several varieties of trees and some beautiful flowers. The Sepoys (Indian soldiers) gathered some of the latter for me by Susy’s desire. The moon rose in great beauty and my old friend the cross was on my right. Fire flies immeasurable sparkled like little stars in the trees and among the plants. I had no idea of their brilliancy and beauty before. The Hamads carried a blazing torch which spoiled my prospect on one side of the palanquin but my little companion fell asleep and I enjoyed the beauty of the other. Each “palkee” has twelve bearers who relieve each other. They carry on a sort of monotonous chorus answering each other. Besides these we had sepoys and sewars attendant (the latter are mounted). We met a Hindu wedding reception. Two children, dressed gaudily and seated in a cart, were the happy pair preceded by tom toms and a tinkling instrument followed by a number of relations and friends.

We reached Banda about 9 o’clock and had but a short sleep as some of our goods were late coming in and we had coffee at 3 o’clock this morn and set off by moonlight for this place.

The whole country we came thro’ is lovely, like a finely wooded park, huge trees laden with jackfruit (a rough coated, melon-shaped fruit) and beautiful creepers. I think I recognised some old African friends among them and several kinds of trees and shrubs I know not. Edward rode and reached this place, as he had reached Banda before us. We are now in the Bungalow. A very large number of bullocks are here resting for the day, carrying powder to Belgaum and cotton to Vingurla. An elephant is also of the party and several camels, the only ones of these animals that I have ever seen out of a menagerie. The tinkling of the bells round the bullock’s necks keeps up an unceasing sound, not unpleasant at a distance.

Friday 27th May 1842

We left Baitsee at 2 o’clock yesterday morning. The moon was high and bright. The fireflies still brilliant but nothing to be compared to their beauty the night before. I could compare the trees around to nothing else than an illumination from diamond sparks, across which a branch was rapidly passed. They suddenly presented a blaze of light among the leaves, extinguished in a moment, to be again illuminated.

Untill we came to the foot of the Ghat I could see but little. Even though it was only by moonlight that I could catch glimpses of the beauty by which I was surrounded, the trees were magnificent. The bearers turned the palanquin on coming to the ascent so that I went head foremost as we approached the top. I opened the doors and looked out on the magnificent scene – wooded hills and vales stretching away to a great extent, the sea in the distance and some white buildings which the Sepoy told me were churches in Goa. The shrieking and shouting of the men was vociferous as they (twelve of them) came up the tremendously steep pass. Edward was seated in the verandah as I was brought to the Bungalow on the top. Susy and her palanquin followed closely.

The air is cool and delicious – I had almost said cold but that the therm is 80 in the room. But after the great heat of Vingurla, Banda and Baitsee, this air feels most refreshingly cold. Last evening Edward left us for Belgaum to take charge of his office and look out for a house. We are to follow on Monday. Mrs Reeves (wife of the acting collector, who is now leaving Belgaum after Ed’s arrival) has come with her two children this morning.

Friday evening Mrs Reeves left us and not long after her spouse arrived bringing us a budget of home letters as well as letters from the Cape, from our party there, who up to the 21st of March were unable to get places in a ship going home and were still at Mr Stegman’s, well, and the dear children, happy, though thoughtful of their absent friends. Our Irish letters were old ones and contained little news, but it was cheering to get them. Mr Reeves is an excellent man, unfortunately very deaf. He slept at the bungalow and early in the morning of Saturday, followed Mrs Reeves to Vingurla. That evening we too departed from the Ramghat to Turkewari (Turkewadi, Maharashtra) where we were to remain till Sunday. The evening was very dark and great thunder clouds gathered over us. The lightning was so vivid that the glowing torches seemed completely extinguished. Red, green and purple flashes of dashing brilliancy enlighten the whole atmosphere. We stopped at Patua for nearly an hour during the violence of the rain. Our palanquins were carried into the chowrie, which was crowded with native travellers, and we remained in there. Edward met us at Turkewari. Our journey had been amongst jungle more or less cleared away – and very pretty scenery it was. The view from the Bungalow reminded me of the views in Ireland - a wild, hilly country, neat patches of cultivation here and there and a few clutches of very fine trees looking at a distance like Elm, which I imagined would in Ireland have belonged to some nobleman’s or gentleman’s park.

31st May 1842. Belgaum

At 3 o’clock Monday morning we left Turkewari and proceeded hither. I scarcely looked out untill we entered this place. We passed the barracks on our right and entered this place which is of great extent, an indescribable sort of settlement. There is a native part, the bazaar and a fort, a mile and a half in circumference, filled with pretty bungalows, fine trees and beautiful shrubs. We live in a house taken from Mr Seymour the missionary neither in the fort or camp but near the former with the advantage of a good open view to the south which in the fort cannot be enjoyed on any side as there is an embankment all round. We have a pretty garden and altogether a commodious house. All the rooms open on a verandah which goes round the house, besides opening into each other. Galleries and passages are not necessary here, or not thought so. There is a publicity in our private rooms and ways that I have not learned to like yet. You are sure to meet Hamaals perambulating somewhere, if not in your own room or bathroom, then passing the open windows or doors, looking in. Or if it be a stranger come to see Sahib or Madam sahib, he would bow to the ground and you of course acknowledge his near neighbourhood.

Last evening Mr Taylor, the London Missionary came with his daughter Miss Lechman, and gave Susy and me a drive through the bazaar round the fort and out over the high breezy campground where officers and ladies were driving and riding. Ed’s horses and carriage are not yet in order. We found him on our return lying on the sofa, a respectable-looking, white robed native speaking at his ear and telling what seemed a very long tale of some political misdemeanours that occurred during Ed’s absence. Edward is Collector and Political Agent. This morning at breakfast a peon (attendant) came in to announce that some great Lady, a native, had sent Sahib a “breakfast” as a welcome back, and presently four men marched in bearing different eatables – a huge cake, mangoes, small cakes &cc, which he graciously received, and off went the great Lady’s servants. Numbers of old acquaintances come to see Edward and Susy, natives I mean, who bow to the ground, leaving their slippers outside the door as a mark of respect.

June 15th 1842

A fortnight has made me quite at home here, and Ed and Susy have resumed acquaintances with all their old friends, and received the visits of several strangers. We have driven out constantly, and occasionally taken a morning’s ride. Susy has had a sore throat which has confined her to the house for a week. The neighbourhood, I mean the scenery of it, is nothing remarkable, generally flat, except it be for the size and beauty of some of the trees. There are groves of mangoes and some beautiful tamarind trees. The bamboo grows luxuriantly here and some lovely shrubs, among which, for brilliancy of blossom the golden XXX outshines most of the others, growing luxuriantly in the gardens around. The shoe plant, a lacy shrub of which hedges are formed, and which bears a brilliant scarlet blossom, is plentiful here and there is now in bloom in our own garden a yucca or Adam’s needle - something of the Aloe kind bearing rich spikes of large white Campanula-like blossoms. It is four or five feet high. Belgaum is rich in hedges of a species of Aloe or Agave now in bloom. The blossoming stem rises to a height of 20 or 30 feet and from the great number of these stems looks like a light fence of feathery larch. There seems no petal. A calyx (perhaps containing minute flower leaves) and a very prominent anther of a buff colour (but not so brilliant as those of the Agave Mexicano that blossomed at Castle Freke some years ago) form the blossom of this Aloe.

July 23rd 1842

Now that my second batch of overland letters have been viewed and answers dispatched I must turn to my neglected journal. All things now appear so natural to me. I have grown so accustomed to change in the mode of life from European habits that I feel as if I had nothing particular to say, tho’ I doubt not a stranger landed at Belgaum would see much that is new and worthy of remark. The natives amuse me not a little. Edward (as Collector and Political Agent) has had visitors from various natives of distinction and their dresses, their profound salutations and the display of state with which they arrive is very amusing and has given my pencil something to do, tho’ not my pen.

We have had very heavy rains and this month is very wet, however we almost daily contrive to have a walk or a drive and have even dined out. The bullock gave a comfortable tho’ slow conveyance, being perfect security against rain. Since I last wrote, Ed and Susy, I may say all of us, have lost a dear friend in Capt Webb who died of cholera in Bombay on the 27th June to the deep regret of all his friends and leaving a poor widow and four children to mourn him. He died a blessed death and we may well wish for a death like his for it was indeed that of the righteous.

August 3rd 1842

More than a year now since I began this journal, exactly a year I see by referring to the first page. I should have supposed that I had begun it earlier on my first voyage but that page says Aug 3rd 1841. This evening I felt a desire to write a few lines, curious enough that it should be precisely a year since I first wrote in it – a year! Mercies countless as the sands I have received and what interesting scenes have I been led thro’. What beautiful sights have I seen. Have a lost a friend? No, not one but I have gained several. This evening reminds me of home – it is cool and fresh. The rains have remitted and as I sit writing the evening sun casts a pleasant green hue, shining thro’ the trees, into my room. I could almost fancy myself in a well-known window at home gazing over scenes familiar to me from infancy and so clearly enamelled on my memory that a momentary wish calls them before me. I must not shed tears, tho’ I could. I have too much to be thankful for, too much to rejoice at. No, I will rather look forward to the glorious time when all I love and who love me shall meet together never to part in a scene and place “delightful – exceeding this world’s delight”. The source and centre of our happiness being His love and His service who has “chosen and called and washed and purified us” and who will present us “faultless” with “exceeding joy” to his Father and our Father, “His God and our God”. Let me not then with this hope give in to sad feelings on any occasions that might lead me to mistrust his love and wisdom who has guided me hither. I am happy with a truly beloved brother and sister and I would not be anywhere but here. I am perfectly underserving of all the kindness and love shown to me and I trust I may be enabled to repay by love what their love does for me.

Now I hear the distant sound of the Hamauls (porters) carrying a palanquin into the Fort - that is not a home sound - and frogs are croaking and grasshoppers chirping in foreign accents. Now comes a peon rushing along the verandah with a message from “Sahib” to the ghora wallahs (or grooms) which he delivers at the highest pitch of his voice, and Ayah follows wrapped in her white and red sauree to get supper for the children and slowly (for no power on earth would make a native woman walk fast) pacing backward and smiles at me who sits at an open window, sharing the bright red of the inner part of her black lips, red from some strong plant or leaf she chews. Now the Masaul, with my lamp for the night and a candle, enters the room and with an air that would make an English (or Irish) houseman very indignant, walks up to my dressing table and there lays the “buttys”. Remember the Masaul is a man – this is the fashion here.

20th August 1842

The overland mail has now for the second time, maybe the third, since our arrival brought us delightful letters, and the happy intelligence of the arrival of our dear party from the Cape in London on the 20th June, having left the Cape the 24th April. Our minds are at ease, so far, about them and we feel thankful to our gracious God for his many mercies towards us and them. Our days are rapidly passing away. Regular employment adds wings to time. We went on the 11th to Mr Taylor’s school and were much impressed in the proceedings. 80 boys were present – 100 are on the books. English is the language spoken in school and they read it and pronounce it remarkably well. Some of the pupils are men. There is a native master but Mr Taylor and his son attend daily and Mr Rey occasionally. The latter has schools at Shakpore, a native town about a mile from here. Some of the pupils at the Belgaum school are men. The variety of costumes is as great as the variety of sizes and makes the school a very picturesque one. Unlike the usual uniformity at home in schools, this is a scene of varied and brilliant effect. The Parsee and Brahmin headdresses are the most curious. The Hindoo, of different castes (I suppose), colours and forms add too to the effect. A class read some chapters in St Matthew’s gospel and were examined by Edward. They answered pretty well. Another class did the same. We saw a class in Geography, Mathematics and closed by going through a scene taken from a play where a colonist receives persons of various trades and professions. They pronounced the English very well and seemed to understand what they said. I have several sketches of that day’s visit.

The Bazaar here, tho’ of course very inferior to that of Bombay, is a curious scene. We drive thro’ it occasionally in the mornings and see the natives squatting in their wretched porches or verandahs, wrapped up (this is the cold weather) in shawls or cotton cloths, the women perhaps sweeping out the miserable habitations. In the rains they look very wretched, mats often their only shelter against the weather, but this must be from choice or indolence, for most of them could build better houses. They are a dirty race. Some of the houses look well among the luxurious vegetation that surrounds them in some places – the broad-leafed plantain, the castor oil plant, varieties of creepers, gourds, flowering shrubs &cc. The dress and figures of the women are occasionally graceful and their carriage good but for every one you see ten squalid looking creatures. Their jaws, one sunk, one apparently swelled from a hunk of pans supari (betel nut) kept there for chewing which blackens their teeth and their scanty saurees barely covering their limbs. The women grow old very early.

Saturday 20th 1842 Cocoanut Day

It seems a cocoa nut is thrown into the sea today (a religious ceremony of course) after which pattymars may brave the weather in safety. The rains have set in heavily again. We are not in the way of seeing much of the idolatry of this people – we hear more than we see. The tom toms are ceaseless day and night occasionally. One night, returning from dining out, we passed a group of Hindoos over a fire. A sheep was roasting, or burning rather, - a sacrifice to the Cholera spirit. Yesterday was a Mahomedan festival and during this morning’s drive we saw tents and sheds erected close to one of the Mosques, where the devotees of the peer (or saint) spent last night.

September 5th 1842

This evening we saw in the course of our drive a flock of pretty green parakeets, to me a new sight, but my companions were used to such and say that sometimes these beautiful little creatures have been very troublesome, screaming and chattering in the trees under which their tents were pitched. We occasionally see a brilliant bird and used often to see large butterflies in the garden before the rains were heavy. The varieties of insects seem endless – spiders of all sizes, sorts and colours, jumping spiders and spiders flying on their gossamer railroads all over the room, seeming to diverge from the bouquet on the centre table. I wish my dear Dick were here – he would find much amusement and instruction in these curious creatures.

October 12th 1842

Preparations have been going on for the last two days for a trip to Gokak (Gokak Falls, Karnataka) to see a fine waterfall. It will be an expedition of four or five days. In Europe the number of persons and cattle employed would denote a removal for months, but here it is nothing. We are all going. Edward has now got camels. I have often stopped lately when in a room that looks on the paddock where they are kept, to watch them slowly-moving their thin, curious necks and to wonder how they can be used as beasts of burden, laden as they already seem by nature with huge humps on their backs. Yesterday, however, I saw the whole process of packing as the patient creatures knelt down outside my verandah, and tents, tent poles &cc were swung in huge bundles at their sides, a sort of thick saddle covering their backs. Some of them groaned and grunted as if unwilling to be laden. We go this evening to Chundoor over ten miles from here in palanquins. Early this morning I went out to sow some seeds and on my return to my room I found it empty, minus at least bed and bedstead that had been carried off by the packers, and are now well on their way to Chundoor. This morning was, as most mornings here are, delicious. The roses, grass &cc were thickly and beautifully studded with rich drops of crystal dew. The nights are now cold and clean and the dew is very heavy. The gossamer threads and the webs of multifarious sorts spun by the industrious spider- natives looked like minute strips of pearls. What a delicious refreshment to plants and flowers must be this wonderful arrangement for supplying them with moisture in a climate like this. The rains are now quite over.

13th October 1842. Padshapoor

Last evening, we left Belgaum. Heetie and I in our palanquin and Susan and Master Horace in theirs. We turned down by the large tank near the fort, and pursued an eastward course, under a ridge of low hills. We reached Chundoor by moonlight, at near 8 o’clock and found our tent pitched and tea ready. Captain Reynolds, Mrs Reynolds and their baby are of our party – they had arrived before us. After reading we separated for the night ie: I joined the two little boys in one tent and attempted to sleep, but the chattering of the men, some of whom were preparing to set out from this place, and the neighing of the horses banished sleep and I was rather pleased than otherwise when I heard Edward’s voice at 4 o’clock calling the servants. We all dressed hastily, swallowed a cup of coffee and got into our palanquins by brilliant starlight. The gentlemen rode after but arrived before us. It was a lovely morning as the dawn appeared. We passed through some hedges of the milkbush, a large shrub with few or no leaves, but the stems multifarious like green quills and full of milk – several pretty flowers showed their faces but I had a runaway peon in attendance, who, mounted on a smart grey pony, was always too far away for me to call to, so I had no means of gathering the flowers. Once he gave me a few heads of a beautiful grain, thro’ fields of which we passed, a large head, like Indian corn without its husk, studded with round pearly grains, without husk to cover them. The Jewary is a very handsome grain too and grows to a point highest seven or eight feet, crowned with a pendant head of grain, each grain so small as to give a feathery appearance to the bunch, which is large and full. Parts of our route were covered with a low, yellow acacia-like shrub in full blossom. I observed some pretty creepers and the beautiful blue convolvulus we have in the hedges at Belgaum.

We passed several pagodas. Inside I could just distinguish a frightful image covered in flowers, and some deluded worshippers within. Close to the Choultrie or rude building intended for travellers here, in which we dressed this morning, is a pagoda, and in a smaller one here I see a large stone image of a bull. On a hill here is a ruined fort of which I hope to get a sketch. From the large tent which we have pitched for sitting in I can see a few houses but nothing to be called a town or village. A large peepul tree (a large poplar apparently, fruit - purple) is at one side of us, fenced round with a sort of stone platform as these trees actually are for the convenience of those poor creatures who worship the peepul. Our horses are now fastened around the tree and the Sewars, six or seven of whom accompany us, have tied theirs close by. The snorting and neighing of all the beasts keep up a perpetual concert in which the ponies used for luggage and for servants join.

October 14th 1842. Gokak

We almost despaired of sleep last night from the noises made by a procession of men riding bullocks and ponies to the river, (this is the last day of some festival) and returning, with drums and cymbals shouting &cc and occasionally a discharge of artillery. However, the “dud artillery” of heaven soon put the meaner noises to shame. A thunder storm came on and the rain drove the natives home and their noise ceased and I, at least, slept until 3 this morning. Again in the palanquin with my little companion, who slept till sunrise, we proceeded gaily to this place thro’ a sandy jungle, full of a curious sort of a cactus tree and a great deal of prickly pear, occasionally passing thro’ fields of grain and under hedges shaded with mango trees. We passed the village or town of Chupoor, outside which were great flocks of cow, and buffaloes disporting themselves in a muddy tank. On reaching Gokak we found Ed had arranged one of the curious pagodas near the falls for our reception and breakfast was ready as soon as we were dressed. After this we sallied forth to see the falls. Only a few feet of the fall are visible from this pagoda, as we are a little raised above it. We got in front of it by a short walk on the Cliffs, which are very fine, and were made gratified. It is said to be 130 feet high, but does not look more than 100. The body of water is not very great now. It rushes down this little chasm, perfectly perpendicular, with great force and a rainbow sits at the spray at the bottom. The valley in which this river (the Ghatprabha - the Gokak Falls) is, just here, a mass of rock and looks like the bed of a torrent, as indeed it is during the rains. From the fissures of the rock, trees, shrubs and plants spring – for earth they have little or none. There are several pagodas here, three or four on the opposite side of the river and as many here. They are the only specimens of Hindoo or Mahratta ancient architecture I have seen and are very curious, the masonry very simple and solid. A number of small rooms supported of pillars twelve or fourteen feet high, each pillar one solid stone and huge, flat stones laid above resting on the pillars and supporting the flat stone roof. The arch was unknown when these temples were built. You ascend to them by a flight of steps and the outer rooms (the one on which we are sitting for instance) has a balustrade of immense stones reaching halfway up the pillars and leaving the rest of the space free for the admiration of air &c. The inner chambers are indeed dark and dismal, walled in with solid masonry in which are pillars carved in relief and shrines on recesses once used for the idol, one door the only entrance to each. In one of the dark chambers is an oil lamp kept burning in honour of some idol – Shiva I believe - for in the room where I write is a rudely carved bull, which was supposed to be a favourite of that Hindu deity. A miserable old woman bent double and nearly blind crawled up the flight of steps, and rather crept than walked through the room carrying oil for the lamp (and flowers for the idol) that is kept burning in front of some idol. She is a miserable specimen of the wretched votaries of idolatry – on the verge of the grave, but as ignorant as a dumb beast of aught worth knowing at this side of it. I could not but contrast her in thought with old Catrina, our Hottentot acquaintance, who had been brought from darkness to light, her aged face beaming with love to Christ and love to his people, was really an object pleasant to the eyes and rejoicing to the heart. God alone can judge these wretched people, born and living in the very depths of heathen darkness. Oh, the depths of his mercy and goodness in not having all the world in this awful state.

This wretched old woman has now come out of the dark chamber and is covering the carved figures on the wall and the face of the stone bull with water of which she bears an earthen vessel. She has given Edward (who said a few words to her) a handful of dates, probably intended as an offering to the idol or perhaps (as they must have been aware that a party was here) brought as a present, for the natives think it disrespectful to come into our presence without one.

15th October 1842. Sooliebaway

After dinner at Gokak, and another stroll to sketch and look about us, to watch the groups of our people squatting under the trees or sitting on the verge of the cliff feeding the monkeys, who are tame and seemed to have no objection to mix with their fellow creatures. After this second stroll, which nobody but myself ventured on (a sketcher will do much for a sketch) we again stepped into palanquins and returned to Padshapoor. Nothing occurred worthy of remark during our return. The evening was lovely as is customary here and after tea and evening prayer we returned to rest till 4 o’clock when we were again stirring. Instead of stopping at Chupoor as before, we proceeded here, a little further on, where is a large village and the residence of Annah Sahib and his brother – native chiefs. They have three residences in different parts of this neighbourhood and their families live together, moving about to each. To describe our reception here would be impossible. Edward had let the Sahib know we would call here, consequently the whole village turned out to greet us and we were ushered in by the beating of drums, the bellowing of huge brass trumpets and a running accompaniment of numbers of the retainer of our host and passed through crowds of men, women and children gaping at the palanquins. The tumult did not cease untill we were safely landed in the courtyard round which the house is built and ushered into the little apartments prepared for us. One of the sahibs was at the door to greet us with a tribe of youngsters decked in gold, jewels and brilliant turbans. By the way I was amused to hear some days ago that each family of distinction keeps a goldsmith to enlarge or diminish the gold and silver chains, rings &cc according to the size of the wearer.

When ready for breakfast, we came up to the gallery which is open to the air round the small centre court, supported on wooden pillars. From each corner of the roof hangs a wooden ball attached by two wooden rings to the block above, all cut in one piece of wood – a clumsy curiosity. We had scarcely sat down to breakfast when two or three men bearing dishes with garlands and bouquets of beautiful little roses came and distributed their presents. Then followed various mixtures served on leaf dishes, of most of which the man who brought them took out a handful or a pinch as his judgement directed and crammed our plates – such a mess as all mixed together would have made! and did make for I tried it, but soon gave up the idea of eating it. We got also cakes of flower (flour?) and sugar, hollow balls and puffs and flat asafoetida cakes, which latter delicacy we quietly put aside. The simplicity of Hindu cooking certainly has been lost among the higher classes. One dish was pickled mango, another raw peas and chopped eggs and salt (as well as I could analyse it), other “varieties of the season” quite incomprehensible to me were added to these - a sweet rice by the fingers of our attendant, no spoon intervening (fingers were made before spoons). On one occasion a wooden ladle was used to distribute almonds chopped and boiled in milk. At last the feast was over and here I sit, having survived its effects. I could fancy myself now in an inferior Italian hotel as far as the building goes – the sights and sounds are different. A deck gallery looks down into the centre court. Susy and I are writing in our end of it. Opposite us at the other end are a number of children, some swinging in a large swing (which I mistook for a washing machine) and others listlessly hanging over the balustrade, and sitting on the floor and inside against the wall are a number of men squatted, servants or retainers of some sort, dressed in their best, I presume. On the gallery to my right, Edward holds his office and to the left Captain and Mrs Reynolds have, with tent walls, enclosed an apartment for themselves. The Master (one of them) of the mansion, I see at this moment sitting in the gallery or verandah rather, apparently just out of the bath or preparing to go in. At all events he is enjoying an air bath, being without turban or vest, a white cloth around his shoulders serving to be his only covering. Many of his people are about him, from these galleries inner apartments diverge where the women lie perdues (in purdah?) and from whence little naked children with ornaments on sometimes appear for a moment to gaze at the strangers.

We have seen the women. We were first carried into a dark little room, where even a cat could scarcely have distinguished a mouse, and on Susy’s saying it was too dark to see the ladies, their children or the ornaments, we were led down a narrow staircase to an open courtyard in the verandah of which we stood and were introduced to two women and several children. One of the women was a handsome creature – a fine, soft countenance, her forehead streaked with red paint, and rich pearls descending from her nose, ears and neck. The other woman was older, similarly ornamented and there were several girls and boys – very pretty little things covered with gold chains and pearls. Susy talked in Mahratta to the women, who were well pleased to be noticed but shy, and the fathers showed off their little boys with great pride.

Our dinner was as hospitably added to as our breakfast had been, and with equally palatable food. After this, we prepared to depart and were ushered out of the village with all the noisy demonstrations of joy that we had entered it. We were greatly amused at finding, about half a mile from the village, an old hackney chaise and gig and a buggy each to carry us on a mile or two of smooth road, our host thinking that English people must prefer English conveyances. However, tho’ gratified by this tender attention, we preferred the palanquins to trusting ourselves to the wild looking horses who looked askance at us, and sending “bohot salaam” to our host, continued our way along a very pretty country, until darkness prevented us from seeing the beauties.

The “one tree hill” near Belgaum was visible before sunset and by moonlight we were safely landed at our own door and soon enjoying the sweets of repose, after returning thanks to our gracious Father for bringing us back in safety to our pleasant home.

December 1842. Belgaum

I am very lazy about my journal, tho’ I often see things &cc I wish I’d put down, but I have a large correspondence and great daily interruptions. We have been for a week at the Bhave Ghat since last I wrote. After our return from Gokak, the children got heavy colds and Heetie had a feverish attack which followed close on the recovery of his cold. So, we were advised to remove for change of air to the Bhave Ghat. This we did, travelling easily, and making three stages of it. Tackewan – Patua – Bhave Ghat: the scenery there was lovely and I enjoyed it much – all of us indeed did so. Edward spent two days there with us. Our little invalid recovered, thank God, rapidly and we all came back here on the 3rd. Edward is in the districts and we hope soon to be with him.

January 5th 1843

I recommence journalizing. A new year has opened on us, finding us all well, thank God, enjoying many blessings and mercies and desirous to be made more thankful for them. On Christmas Day we attended divine service in the Fort Church in the morn and at the Missionary’s Chapel in the evening (there was no C of E evening service). We almost always attend evening service at the missionary’s Chapel and invariably have excellent sermons from either of the two Missionaries. I have avoided (rather omitted) writing anything of our friends and daily doings at Belgaum in this book as my letters home are full of everyday life and it would make this work swell to an enormous size. Now we are setting out on our travels through Edward’s districts, and to the Mahabaleshwar Hills so I prepare to write down all that strikes me in our mode of life. Ed returned to Belgaum on Thursday the 29th Dec and on Monday the 2nd January we left Belgaum. The tents had been sent on two days before and pitched at Honoor, 8 or 10 miles on the way to Hookary. Edward rode, Susy and I and the children went in palanquins. We reached the tents by torch light and it is time for me now, gentle reader, to ask if you know what an Indian tent is? It is none of your gaudy, summerday marquee concerns, but a solid canvass house, with double walls, a passage left between (wide enough for the palanquins to rest in) and each wall of double or treble canvass, the inners being a chintzy pattern that gives the appearance of a paper’d wall to the interior. We require four tents – three sleeping ones and a large sitting room, besides a bechooa or dressing tent for Ed, and smaller tents, for the servants, of an inferior kind. On a day that we rest, the tents rest too as is but fair. On a travelling day, as soon as we have left our sleeping tents, they are carried off to the next stage and prepared for us. The one allotted to me divides into two rooms, and in one of these we spend the evening after our arrival, before the large sitting room can be brought on for of course it does not move until after our dinner and when we are on our evening journey. We have camels, bullocks, ponies, porters, to an almost incredible amount of bodies, for bringing luggage of all sorts, and the arrangements for moving such a cavalcade require no little care and forethought. We have all our servants and their families – peons, sewars, and a guard of fifty native soldiers. This may give you some idea, good reader, of what great people we are.

7th January 1843. Hookeri

When I wrote yesterday we had encamped near Yemcunmundy, a considerable village on the banks of a river, prettily shaded by trees, several cocoanut trees, which look remarkably graceful among others – the mangoe predominates – in the jungle thro’ which we passed from Honoor to Buddee (our first stage from thence) and second day’s journey. I observed some beautiful banyans and acacias and a brilliant red blossoming tree, without leaves. We rested a day at Yemcunmundy and as Edward carries on his business in the tent, we had full opportunity of seeing all of his native visitors and being seen by them. At our end of the tent Susy and I sit at our work or drawing &cc and at the other, in all variety of graceful and extraordinary attitudes, squat the writers &cc (karkoons as they are called) and Ed sits at a table in the centre. One day petitions are heard and the crowd of petitioners outside is very great. Another day the vakeels (or lawyers) belonging to the different native sirdars (a person of high rank, such as a hereditary noble) come and chairs &cc are placed for them. The chobdars (peons in scarlet robes) grasp their silver sticks and shout “Melibaum salaam” at the entry and egress of each distinguished visitor. “Melibaum salaam” as I understand it means “Your Excellency’s worship” or “Please your Honour, Sir, My Lord” as a poor Irishman may say. It is amusing to watch the faces of the different vakeels as they sit listening to their dooms (?). I have not an idea of what the business is about, but I know they are often convicted of bribery, corruption &cc. I sometimes sketch them.

This morning I strolled out to get a sketch of our encampment. It was a very pretty scene, our tents looking like white cottages under the brilliant green of mangoe trees. In the foreground the groups were various. Beka, the children’s servant had been robbed during the night (which he and his two wives were sleeping near the articles stolen) and around him were gathered a wondering group, listening to his tale). The camels, some standing, others lying low in the next distance, and beyond were various groups formed of the 150 followers we have and the villagers and loungers who come to wait and watch.

The day we were at Honoor, a set of the famed tumblers or rather balancers came and performed their really wondrous feats before us. My attention was first attracted by something like a huge bird playing antics before the hut door, but I perceived soon, indeed immediately, that it had human legs. This was a man in a sort of sack, fledged and with a red beak, and after a short display of his plumage, he threw it off and prepared with three or four companions to raise a pole and sort of framework or ropes on it, whereon to perform. However, the most curious part was performed on a shorter pole which one man fixed in his cummerbund (waistband) and which another climbed, making the calf of the leg and the shoulder of his companion his first steps. Up the pole he climbed like a monkey and the various feats he performed when on the top I really should have imagined could only have been performed by one of the above-mentioned animals. He, or one of them, made several ascents and there was a sort of play carried out among themselves, one of the party pretending to mimic as to defy the others to do the next wonder. Of course, a native Tom-tom was going during the performance. The man on the pole fixed the top of it in his back - or his back on it - and lay extended in air, balancing himself wonderfully. He hung by one heel, by one knee bent around the top, by one arm, in short, in every possible manner. When I look back at hasty sketches I made I can scarce believe I saw such things done. When the other pole was ascended on which a framework of ropes was attached, equally wonderful performances were shewn and our man hung by both heels, head down of course and which in this position quietly unwound his turban and folded it again. A poor little child was brought and fastened to a string, one end of which this man aloft held and swinging the child violently around the pole, drew it up to him, the little creature salaaming with both hands all the time.

Jan 10th 1843. Chickkodi.

From Hookery we came to Gadgoor but before I leave the former place, I must describe our residence there, which was in a tomb! Hookery was once a place of some importance and possesses even now a citadel with mud walls and is refreshed by one at least good tank, which seemed full of clear water the evening we entered the town. In honour of Edward’s approach, strings with half withered branches on them were hung across the narrow street, over our heads, and the “natives” stood outside salaaming low to “Sahib”. There are three large Mohamedan tombs, several smaller ones and mosques outside the town. In the second largest dwelling of the dead we entombed ourselves. It was a large room, 24 feet square at least, covered by a dome 50 feet high, richly ornamented inside and outside with niches and flower work done in chunam (a cement or plaster used in India that is usually highly polished and decorated with paintings) – something like plaster of Paris look.

We spent Sunday the 8th here and read service, with three English writers attending. The three large tombs were built on a high stone platform, with steps ascending, and we slept in little rooms (which have been built by some Englishmen resident here) attached to the tomb. I did not even dream of a Massalman ghost. It seems these large tombs are built for meetings over the body of the deceased, which is buried in the centre and who is supposed to be gratified by the number of his visitors, and of the lamps suspended or placed in the numerous niches inside. This practice has of course led to saint worship and pilgrimages to tombs, although Allah is the only acknowledged God of the Mohametan. The mosques, altho’ places of worship, are much smaller than the tombs and beautifully built with cut stone minarets, buttresses, arches and balustrades round the roof. The old Hindoo architecture is massive – enormous doors, no arches, immense pillars, and though deeply and richly carved, inferior in elegance to the Mohameddan mosque. The tomb, with its heavy door, I do not admire so much, and I am told there is no variety in these buildings except in their size. Gadgoor, where we spent this day and last night, is a dusty, windy spot, with nothing that I saw to recommend it. This place possesses more natural beauty. The Curandwar-kar (kar is an affix denoting “Lord” or “Chief”) and his three brothers are here to see Ed and have some shewy tents about ¼ a mile from ours. They came in state to our tents, with a large attendance of retainers &cc. Our guard were drawn up to receive them. The two Chobdars (a macebearer or attendant of a king or eminent dignitary) in scarlet robes and with silver sticks shouted the titles of these chiefs. Ed met them at the hut door. Chairs had been placed and they all sat. Only the great people or very respectable visitors are allowed chairs – a chair is considered an honourable distinction so much so that on occasion when a sirdar or chief came who was of a low caste, the peons were uncertain whether to allow him a chair of not, but Ed instantly ordered one for the poor old man.

The Curandwar-kur brought his little son, about four years old, dressed in a beautiful turban, diamond agritte, and pearl necklace. His father shone in yellow satin. The other brothers were more simply dressed but had all handsome turbans and good cloth shawls in their hands. A respectable native invariably has a shawl in his hand or thrown in a roll over his left shoulder. We who sit at the head of the tent are seldom or never noticed by these gentry. They send their children however to us. Some come over with little vessels of confits, when “Sahib” allows these and many a curious glance is cast to see what we are doing. The Curandwar-kar offered to send an elephant for the ladies to ride in the evening and we accepted the offer to give me the opportunity of trying how I liked the motion. When Ed thinks his visitors have stayed long enough, conversation (when not on business) very soon exhausted, for these poor great people are ignorant and uneducated, he calls for the rosewater and the “pans souparree” (betel nuts). Silver vessels are brought, one containing rose-water, a little of which he sprinkles on the visitors’ handkerchiefs (a drop of some rich scent is put also on the same with a wee silver spoon). The eatable leaf in which the silvered and gilded spices are wrapped - the “pans souparree” - is then offered and presently the guests vanish, amidst the shouting of the chobdars &cc. This is the regular routine.

In the evening the Elephant came, and a procession, one of the Curandwars with it. The huge creature kneeled, a ladder (slung at his side) was unslung and I ascended into a scarlet tray, Edward following into another. The motion was a curious, violent, rocking one and going down or up a steep ascent or descent we were obliged to hold on firmly. As we neared the Indian tents, at the command of his Mahout the Elephant knelt, and Ed descended. He, as etiquette required, went to return the visit of the “kurs” and I continued my elevated jaunt, Susy being carried in the toujou alongside. On our return to our tents, I sketched the hathee (elephant) and the children fed him.

Next day (12th) we came in the phaetons to Birkiehall. The road was in general good, merely a way across the fields the horses were very wild. Susy got about half-way in her palanquin, unable any longer to endure the shaking. Birkiehall is a very nice, shady station. We were encamped under mangoe trees and a beautiful red blossoming tree was near – a splendid tree covered with flame-coloured papillonacious blossoms. Here the Inchulcurringi-kur visited Ed, in blue satin, and presented us with comfits “neel” called. From Birkiehall I rode with Ed our next stage to Barwar, rather a pretty ride. We crossed a river, the Godavari, and saw distinct mountains at the other side of the Krishna, which lies beyond our present destination, Kolapoor. From Barwar to Cagul where I now write, was our next stage. We have had heavy rain here and shall probably be detained beyond Sunday.

Monday 16th January 1843

Encamped in a native garden at Cagul. I must try and describe what a native garden is. It is like a wilderness, in want of taste or order – fields of “gram” (a pulse for cattle) and perhaps, as here, a splendid hedge of bamboo on the river side, and acre of rose trees, thickly planted and without a walk in between! Plantains in groves, guava trees, custard apple trees, orange trees, vines creeping over a low frame and all stuck in without order or arrangement, besides the babul (Acacia Mimosa) and various flowering trees of the pea kind whose names I know not.

Close to us is a splendid tank, which it is said cost 10,000 rupees to build. It is of cut stone as far as we can see down ie 50 or 60 feet. Where the water begins it is 40 feet span at least. At our side hung six large leathern bags and frames for bullocks to draw water stand above, for the watering of the garden and a flight of steps leads down to the water thro’ a cut stone arch for those who draw water. There are fish below who come for bread, rice &cc when thrown to them. On a stone platform near is a stone figure of a bull, an idol. A small bungalow is near but it is small and confined and we prefer tents. A large awning of white cloth is erected outside this bungalow and here on our arrival, Ed received the great people of the place (one of whom was a little child). The chief person here is an old lady. As yet she has shown no inclination to visit us tho’ we are here at her special invitation, but she sent her relatives the first day. Her son, the Chief, is in Hindustan with the Gov General’s Court. Bye Sahib (Bye is Lady) sends plentiful supplies of food, which if we partook of, would make it expedient for her also to send plentiful supplies of medicine. Sweets, sugar cakes, sugar balls, sugar squares, sugar bars (like brown soap), puffs, pastries cover our silver dishes while we are at meals, besides sheep and fowl, which being sent in their natural state are of some use. Sugar cane grows richly here and there is a rude sugar press, open to the air and full of earth and dirt.

Monday 22rd January 1843. Kolhapur

We arrived here on the 19th making two stages from Cagul. The first was of no particular interest, except as a pleasant ride. We were accompanied by Kasinath, the English reporter at the court of Kolapoor, a native of very uncommon principle and character, one who can be trusted and is above “bribery and corruption”. He dresses like a European when he rides, and looks somewhat like a London policeman in deep blue cloth with a “leathern belt likewise”. He wears boots and spurs, has an English saddle and bridle (very unlike the mountainous saddles and clumsy bridles of the natives) and a cap something like a hunting one. He sits all day in the tent in a native dress, turban &cc and is looked on with quiet jealousy by the natives at the court where he is placed (indeed, Edward expects that they will poison him) from his love for, and approximation (in dress) to an Englishman.

As we approached Kolapoor, we were met and joined by horsemen and men on camels riding on to give warning of our approach and we soon observed a large body advancing, in the centre of whom were the great people, or Karbarries (guardians of the Rajah), two Elephants (still greater people) and innumerable horsemen, runners and of course crowd of gazers. On meeting the Karbarries, Edward dismounted and saluted then was saluted by each. They touched his hands, and bent on each side as if to whisper in his ear or kiss his cheek. A few words were exchanged, he remounted and we rode quickly on for the horses were made fidgety by the near neighbourhood of the Elephants. It was a very gay scene – the white turbans (generally speaking) and dresses of the men contrasting with the dark shawls, and occasionally dark dresses, richly caparisoned horses, camels &cc and even the guns carried by some of the men were carried in cases of bright coloured cloth.

Our tents were pitched on a hill outside the town of Kolapoor, which is surrounded with trees and of whose buildings we can only see a clumsy round tower, part of the Rajah’s palace, I am told. We are pitched in a mangoe grove but the trees are small and do not give much shade. Here we found Susy and the children, who in palanquins, and Horace, on his pony, had arrived before us. Thursday, we arrived. Friday evening, we took a drive, I at least did, on the fields and rough ways (for there is no decent carriage road) by which we had come here. The horses were nearly wild so long out of harness. Susy went in the palanquin’s easier mode. Saturday, we thought Edward would probably visit the Rajah but the toujou came so late to say that His “Great Kingship” and Dewar Sahib (the Regent Mother) expected him, that Ed would not go. He said he must give the ladies a drive and we heard later that the court was thrown into the greatest consternation at this, and wondered what the cause of delaying to visit them was. The fact is these little great people must be required to treat the English agent with all respect. In the evening, the native tutor of the princes came, and Ed had a long conversation with him (he speaks English very well) on the attainments of the Rajah and his brother (a fortnight younger than him, both nearly 13 years old; children of different mothers). It seems that learning does not flourish at the court of Kolapoor. The five hours of the day set apart for attending the tutor are seldom strictly observed. Meals, bathing, wrestling and doing pooja or worship are more congenial occupations, both to the children and their courtiers, than “meditating the thankless Muse”. Esops Fables is their English standard book and “The Children’s friend”, a translation of” L’amie des Enfants”.

Today a large procession arrived at an early hour to conduct Edward to the palace. Two Elephants with Howdas, on one of which he was requested to go, but preferring not to be shaken to pieces, he chose to go in the toujou. Some of the Karbarries came, old Dinker Rao looking very handsome, with a scarlet and gold shawl and as usual, a tasty little white turban. A gold stick-in-waiting, stood behind his chair and little Lord of Bowra Fort, a boy of 12 who has been going about the country with Ed at his desire came into the tent at the same time, and threw himself into his chair with the air of a very great man. He is a pretty boy; Ed is anxious to improve him, and show him a little of the world. He has not been well treated at the Court here, so Ed has brought him under his wing, and is taking him today to meet the Rajah and his brother.

I have passed over yesterday, Sunday. It was spent quietly and enjoyably to us all. Ed reads Morning Service and the three English writers attend. He reads an excellent sermon and most of the day is spent studying the Scriptures. We had a book of Mr J’s questions and amused ourselves answering them. In the evening we took a quick walk. It is impossible, rather would be unpleasant, for a lady to walk out alone here. One meets so many natives and such droves of cattle in the evenings. The respectable natives are usually armed with a sword, or have attendants who are so. Europeans would have but a small chance in a scuffle if unfortunately, they got into one with an armed native, and they are a desperate set, reckless of life and sometimes very vindictive. The English resident at Secunderabad was shot at by a revengeful Musselman and killed; and even now it not safe for a European to pass through the streets of Hyderabad (tho’ we have a large force encamped near it) unless he be mounted on an Elephant. Then he would be quite safe. Going to the court today, Ed was accompanied not only by the native procession who came for him (the grandeur in native palanquins curious dishes, or trays, with arched red covers) but by the guard of fifty men who have come from Belgaum with us.

The morning of the 20th we received home letters. All well, thank God. Much reason have we for thankfulness to the Giver of all good for His great mercies to us and ours.

23rd January 1843

Edward visited the Rajahs today and was much pleased at the progress of the eldest in English. He spent nearly the whole day in Kolapoor - a deputation had come to escort him, among others, Dinkar Rao and the little Lord. After sitting in the hut for a short time, Ed got into the toujou, escorted by the guard, and the procession followed and the two Elephants, their bells tinkling, and the whole of our people going until 3 o’clock when he returned in the same state again, some of the Rajah’s ministers came, rosewater and pans was distributed and they departed.

24th January 1843

I may never again see a Rajah, or two, as I have today therefore I must not delay putting on paper my first impressions with regard to the species. The large tent was prepared for their reception about 12 o’clock – chairs placed for them and their people. I staid on a sofa in our corner (my drawing stand before me). Susy was obliged to keep her bed today in consequence of cold. The children’s sleeping hour was come, so I had nothing to direct eye or ear from the expected sounds and sights. The former was first distinguishable – the tinkling of the Elephant’s bells and all the sounds incidental to an approaching crowd (and that a crowd of Easterns who love noise) were heard some time before the gold and silver sticks in waiting shouted forth the titles of the two delicate looking boys who were met at the tent door by Edward, and led to their seats. They had come, each on a state Elephant, and descended into palanquins about 20 yards from the tent, not being allowed to walk even so far. When seated and their numerous attendants camped around the tent, I had time to examine these little Regents, or rather little puppets of Royalty. They are nearly the same age – 13 years, a fortnight between them – and the eldest is the Chief, tho’ this distinction does not involve the same proportion of power on his side that it would in a European state. The Chief power is nominally his but the younger brother is also Rajah and has a large share of the wealth and influence in the little kingdom. Kolapoor and Sattara (Satara, Maharashtra) were once united and are now two kingdoms, having been divided to satisfy the claims of brothers. The two little Rajahs are, especially the eldest, melancholy looking boys, dressed exactly alike, all in gold cloth (a sort of muslin of red silk and gold threads), long trousers of this material , angrikhas (a sort of surtout) of the same (an outer robe with long sleeves), rich red and gold shawls carelessly thrown over their shoulders, white stockings, red slippers (the only natives in the room who wore such) and beautiful turbans decked with jewels and a bunch of splendid pearls dangling on the right side of each, completed the dress. Besides they wore necklaces long and short of pearls, emeralds, shells, gold anklets, bracelets, rings also. In short, poor little boys, they were covered with gold and jewels. They seemed not much interested in what was going on around them – an air of indifference and careless pride seemed to be the natural expression on their pale faces. That of the eldest was more gentle and intelligent in its expression than the younger; and I hear the difference of their characters is the same. The younger is the pet of the Dewar’s (the Regent) and at one time there was some suspicion that poison had been put into the food of the elder Rajah. Their adherents, instead of strengthening the kingdom by uniting the brothers as much as possible in affection and interests, endeavour to separate them in every way. I stared and sketched and they often cast a curious glace at the corner where I sat. They sat nearly half an hour. The little lord of Bowra was present too, but was quite in the background. He is a feudal chief of the two Rajahs of Kolhapur, but looks as if he thought himself a much greater man than either.

One evening I went in the toujou to the Kolapoor riverside where it expands into a harbour, like a sheet of water, and the scene was very beautiful. Could I but divest my mind of the painful idea that “these poor little creatures are the slaves of Satan and all these picturesque buildings are his chambers”, I should better enjoy the beauty of the scene but the Earth is the Lord’s in a supreme sense and all will be His and bring glory and honour to Him. On a height on the Rivershore stood some beautiful Banyan trees, their many shrivelled arms hanging down in graceful masses. Underneath their shade and on a sort of hanging row of terraces which came down to the water’s edge were many little stone temples, some with beautifully carved pillars and others were scattered along the shore among arched gateways. Two curious boats (kept for use during the rains) lay on the strand. A fine red stone cliff rose on one side and numbers of people, some washing clothes, others washing themselves, and women filling and carrying vessels of water added liveliness to the scene, which the calm river reflected all and the setting sun coloured both Earth and Heaven. Part of our way back to the tents was through the town of Kolapoor, a mixture of mud and misery, few stone houses. Crowds of gazers, men, women and naked children in groups staring at the “white lady”. The palace gateway is the only building in the town that makes any show and looks like a huge, square tower and many people were standing on the top.

We made a second excursion to the same pretty spot on the riverside, to sketch. Returning we met a beautiful Elephant of an immense size pacing along like the Lord of the place. We turned into a miserable yard to see the Royal Tigers who are kept in rude wooden cages on the top of which some human beings looking like monkeys were squatted, who lifted up the centre board of the cages to show us the tigers.

Jan 27th 1843

After a long ride, I sit down, rather fatigued, to announce to the public that we have departed from Kolapoor, never probably to return. While there, we have heard that Edward is to be made Secretary to the Bombay Government, so we have bid adieu not only to Kolapoor, but probably to Belgaum a place where we have been very happy and where we have many kind friends.

(This arrangement is changed – Ed is still left at Belgaum)

Edward has had a great many interviews with the Rajahs and the Regent – she is not mother to either, but is the widow of their uncle and is a bad regent and a bad woman and very likely to be removed unless she submits to the Regulations laid down for her as to expenses &cc. Edward has been very much pleased with the elder Rajah’s attention to his tutors. Sensible and quiet and eager to please, he might be, under proper training, a valuable head to the now wretchedly neglected kingdom of Kolapoor. His brother is more boyish and self-willed, being a favourite of the lady Regent, who has addled him. The eldest Rajah’s mother is alive.

This was petition day and the crowds were enormous who came for justice, a scarce article at Kolapoor as barely the semblance of a kutcherry (Kachehri - acourt of justice; a tribunal) is kept up there. After the palanquins went off and the tents were taken down, Ed sat at work until 5 o’clock as usual, and then we set off on horseback. Queen Victoria herself could scarcely be gazed at with more earnest eyes than was I, a lady on horseback being quite a rarity. Indeed, on horseback or not, we ladies are well-watched. Our ride here was a very pretty one. The numerous villages in the Kolapoor Valley, shaded generally by trees of a large size, remind one of parks, tho’ the lawns are parched and yellow. The road was on the whole, very good, the soil being gravelly – beds of rivers make good roads. We crossed one large river, the Kolapoor one, called the “Paunch Gunga” ie- Five Rivers. A junction of any river is considered holy and that of five, of course being rare (the cause of its being chosen as holy), is very holy. Gunga is a name given to all streams – it is the same as “Ganges”. Most of the products of the soil are now gathered in. Occasionally a second crop of Jowar (sorghum) or some other grain is seen. Coming to Kolapoor, I recalled we passed through fields of cotton in bloom (a pale, yellow blossom) and fields of red pepper. The women were employed in gathering the seed and bearing it in baskets, the crimson pod looking very brilliant. Castor oil plants are also much cultivated, the oil being used for lamps and other purposes besides medical ones. We overtook the palanquins before reaching Wurgaon. On approaching this village, a large encampment became visible chiefly by the lights around it, for the shades of evening were closing around us. This turned out to be that of Chintaman Rao, a Sirdar of importance under the British government, who was come to meet Edward. Ed had asked him to come and meet him at Kolapoor, wishing to introduce the young Rajahs to him and heal a breech that exists between the two families but old Chintaman, tho’ he promised to come, sent an excuse, but has come from his own place to meet Ed, who is an old acquaintance of his. He sent men to meet the palanquins with brilliant torches made of saltpetre and brimstone, and as they approached the tents, I, who was watching, was quite dazzled by the brilliancy of the flame. It was white, and cast a light as clear as day around, throwing the common torches quite into shade. This tender attention of Chintaman Rao’s was followed by several sweet proofs of friendship in neatly papered baskets, in the shape of sugar sticks and comfits, oranges and lemons &cc. We are pitched in a beautiful grove of mangoes. Going from our tent to another at night, I could just see the stars sparkling brilliantly between the trees.

Janauary 1843. Tandalwarree

Before we left Wurgaon today we received a visit from Chintaman Rao and his children. He is a fine old man – was a companion in arms of the Duke of Wellington, and his name appears in the Mahratta History of those wars and days. He lost a son some twenty years ago and hopeless of the birth of another had adopted one, allowed to do so by the British Government on payment of a large sum. However, in his old age, Tatta Sahib, the little boy whom we saw today was born. He is now four years old and Afra or Abra Bye, the little girl is eight. Chintaman Rao is one of the few Sirdars of Maharashtra who really are anxious to improve their people and land. He has a large fortune, three or four lakhs (lakh is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand) of rupees, and has I hear, improved his place in a very unusual manner for a native of India. He brought a large party of relatives today, and a bodyguard of at least fifty Sepoys dressed as English soldiers, besides horsemen, camels, Elephants &cc. The old chieftain himself rode but his little boy came in on an Elephant and the girl in a palanquin. He was dressed very plainly. Tata Sahib had a few handsome ornaments, bracelets, earrings and a turban diamond agritte, besides little vagaries stuck in his girdle of gold and mother of pearl to imitate a gunpowder case &cc. but the young lady was indeed laden with ornaments. Both were very pretty children. She had lovely, black eyes but her nose and mouth were spoiled and the latter almost concealed by a ring with immense pearls on it. She must have worn 2- or 3000s worth of these ornaments – pearl armlets, each three rows, ditto bracelets, two thick necklaces of pearls and 14 separate strings of pearls, each larger than the other, the lowest reaching below her waist, diamond ornaments in the centre of each string, diamond bracelets besides. A solid gold ceinture (a belt or sash) over her little hips, and gathering in her crimson silk sauree which was bordered with gold. Her slender ankles were laden with silver chains, and ditto rings on her toes. By the way, I forgot two rings diamond and emerald on her wee fingers. Now for her head. Her long black hair was plaited in one thick mass and from the top of her head to the end of this tail were inserted a series of highly wrought gold ornaments, terminating in a huge silk tassel, the silk tassels which tied all her necklaces lay on her neck under this hair. This young lady carried her fortune, and that not a trifling one, on her little person, which was beautifully formed. She wore, as is usual among Mahratta females, a little spenser with short sleeves, and her sauree gathered around her hips, a separate one covering her neck and shoulders, except when, to gratify me, she removed it. How could I have forgotten! Her ears were almost concealed by pearl ornaments which hung from their tops over them. In short, Rundell and Bridges could not have imagined a more valuable little girl than Abra Bye of Sanglee. I sketched the whole family, to their evident gratification, and they sat a long time, the old man conversing with Edward. Two young elephants were made to dance before the tent door for our amusement and a huge creature, their father I suppose, at the command of his Mahout, reared repeatedly, throwing his huge paws high in the air, like Samson “making sport” before the Philistines. Tatta Sahib rode his pony to gratify us, a boy little older than himself, his Chobdar (attendant), shouting his titles as the young lord left the tent and returned, rang a handbell which Susy presented him with until our ears tinkled. All departed with the same state they arrived and left us very much in the same state too that they found us. A messenger was sent back to examine my drawing stand, which had struck the old Sahib as a novelty. He is fond of getting his people to imitate anything of the kind ie- new to him. By the way, Tatta is the nickname of the little chief, his own I cannot remember. (It is Dungee Bajah, called after one of the Hindoo Gods.) Appah is Chintaman Rao’s name.

We made a short stage this evening in palanquins and are encamped in a field of red pepper. We crossed a river which divides Satara from Kolhapur territory and are now in the former.

Jan 31st 1843. Kurar

The 24th, Sunday, we spent quietly at Tandoolwarree, our last evening together for the present and Monday, we parted from Edward. He remained there to go about the districts for a little longer. We have proceeded on the way to Sattaree. Our first evenings stage to Kasigoan was a long, long one. We did not arrive till near 9, having travelled by torch and starlight for the last two hours. In the morning we found ourselves encamped in a tobacco field of very large size, the village and river on our right. The Maumledar, a native civil officer who has authority in several villages, paid us a visit and had a long conversation in Mahratta with Susy. He seemed quite pleased to find a lady who could speak to him and listen to him and to reward her consideration he sent four Sewars to guard our party and has ordered a watch of twenty men to take care of us tonight, having come over here himself. We left Kasigoan at 3 o’clock and passed thro’ a rich valley – the valley of t|he Krishna, a holy river, which rises in the hills we are going to. We are between two ranges of hills, not Alps but Appenines, which are beautifully coloured in the evening sun. Large fields of Jowar, a beautiful grain are in this valley, also tobacco and cotton and a variety of plants used for procuring oils or for dyeing by the people. This is a large village, a town, properly speaking, and has some old temples and gateways. Near the former our tents are pitched, among trees, and in sight of the Krishna. There are two old pillars which shake, from their thin foundations probably having given way, but they stand. The drums &cc of the temples were in full play as we passed thro’ the Bazaar, but they have ceased now, fortunately or we would otherwise not sleep. I observed some native looms in the Bazaar – they are very rude - and look like a huge skein of cotton prepared for being loomed – but the hand weaves this into a sauree or it may be a short piece of cloth such as the men use for turbans or shawls.

On our journey both yesterday and today, several of the “gaonwallahs” or villagers came out to meet us and say salaam. The road has been marked all along for us by Sewars. In this territory the roads are wonderfully good and carts are used. We saw none in the Kolapoor district. Large sheaves of grain were brought into the district leaning on a pole between two bullocks and trailing on the ground or two large sheaves overwhelming one little animal. Warna Feb 3rd

From Kurar we descended into the Krishna, our palanquin bearers in water nearly up to their hips, soaked through. Our route is now a pretty one, occasionally barren stony wastes but the villages are frequent and appear very comfortable, the trees rich and green, a fine contrast to the distant ranges of the hills. We are expected everywhere. The Mamlatdar (Head of revenue administration) of Musoor came out to meet us and brought us to a beautiful spot where our tents were pitched in a grove of Mangoes. He was a very merry, courtly little man with diamond rings and a beautiful cashmere shawl round his waist, and sat some time in the tent, when tea was laid, offering to do anything and everything for us. “Serving the English was the same as serving the Maharajah himself.” Susy says this great civility was not general in the Satara territory, but as it is to fall to the English on the death of the present Rajah (who has been ill lately, and is even now completely under English control owing his throne to us, on the deposition of the late Rajah) the authorities think it worth their while to go out of their way even to be civil. However this be, we have been very well received. Our encampment at Mussoor was a very nice one. It was near the dwelling of a Gosaen, a holy beggar, who seems to have a very comfortable establishment here. Grants of land to such people are called Enams and this man seems to have a very tolerable share of the Church endowment of Hindooism for a beggar, but these holy beggars are a most extorting, impious class of people. The house was buried in trees. Occasionally we used to hear the beating of drums or tomtoms, a favourite religious occupation. From Mussoor to this place we had a long stage of four and a half hours, passed several pretty villages and recrossed the Krishna. There were villages on each side of it, with flights of stairs of cut stone leading down from pagodas to the waters edge. At the river, the scene is almost always picturesque from the number of people washing or drawing water. It was late when we reached Warna but this morning we find ourselves encamped among beautiful banyan and peepul trees, a large handsome pagoda close by, our people rather too close to us to allow much quiet. I have just been watching the women and children at their breakfast and toilette. They make little cakes for themselves and prepare rice and curry and drink water out of brazen lotas. They were seated just in the sort of place they like – under temple walls, shaded by the holy banyan, -and some of the men seated on the stone platform which is generally built around the peepul tree. One little girl was employed rubbing oil into her mother’s head with both hands, she then oiled her own and proceeded to polish her arms &cc after which she wrapped her sauree around her head, and was ready for her journey. The parrots overhead are dreadfully noisy. Last night I heard several domestic quarrels in the nests and sticks &cc were knocked down on the tent, and I heard the clattering of feet. I think squirrels as well as parrots must have been of the party.

4th Februay 1843 Saturday. Satara

We left Warna at our usual hour, 4 o’clock pm and had a hot journey here. As we approached Satara mountains crowned with fort walls on most of their highest points seemed to close around us. A number of tents, evidently native ones, and a great many horses pitched in their neighbourhood first attracted my eye and the peon informed me that the Rajah “Maharajah” was now living there, for change of air. The travellers’ bungalow where we now are, is on a height which looks down into the valley where lie the tents and the English camp. The town of Satara is concealed in a valley beyond us and the fort overhangs it. Many native gentlemen may be seen riding about here. Europeans are comparatively few, besides they only come out in the evening, but natives seem to like kicking about the dust all day. This place is deep with dust, the roads at least. We had a visit this morn from the Resident’s Lady, Mrs Evans and the resident surgeon, Dr Erskine. There is but one regiment here. This evening the band played in the valley beneath us, at such a distance that we could not hear it plainly, and we saw a few carriages and riders going about. The hills around look beautiful in the setting sun. They are generally speaking curiously stratified, straight lines like wall marks running horizontally all along the rocky sides. This seems to continue along the whole range. Some few have conical tops but in general they are flat – just fit for the forts built on them in ancient days. I am just reading a history of the Mahratta wars and of that extraordinary and successful warrior and plunderer Sivagee (Shivagi). This part of the country was the scene of many of his adventures and of his residence occasionally. His sword is preserved here.

7th Februay 1843. Mhera

Yesterday evening we left Satara at 4 o’clock and taking a northwest direction got into the road that leads to (Mahabaleshwar. Satara fort looked handsome on our left and in the valley beneath I got some glimpses of the town – county houses, or villa-like looking residences (tho’ of an inferior description) peep from among the trees a little way over the hill that overhangs the town. Dr Erskine told us that the Rajah spent a good deal of money building houses and improving the town. The road to this place is in very good order, bridges are built over most of the ravines so that even in the rains it may be travelled. The scenery was very pretty (as long as I could see it). The mountains seemed to close around us as we wound through them. We made very little, if any, ascent and reached Mhera by moonlight. The bungalow here is curiously arranged. The two rooms are separate buildings, many yards from each other, and the two bathing rooms (tho’ together) are separated from the two bedrooms. The cookroom forms a fourth building but it is always built separate from the dwelling house in India. Almost all our luggage is now gone on. We have a stage of eighteen miles to perform tomorrow morning and must be up betimes. It will be our last of this journey to the Hills. The wind is occasionally very high here but not the fearful looking whirlwinds that we saw at Satara yesterday. A first, a whirl arose, of straws, leaves &cc and this rolled on, increasing in violence until a huge column of dust arose and we, who were half a mile from it, could see either birds or large pieces of the turf carried round and round high in the air. It passed among houses and we really thought the rooves would be removed but no mischief ensued. The dust seemed to mingle with the clouds and the whirlwind died away. In some parts of India, tents are torn up, houses stripped and much mischief done by these “airy somethings”.

Feb 13th 1843. Mahabaleshwar Hills

At 3 o’clock on the morning of the 8th, we got into our palanquins and set out for the Ghat. It was too dark to see the beauties when I heard the bearers shouting and when they turned the palku at the steepest part. When the sun arose, I found we were on a ferny height, tops of distant mountains visible, and craggy heights nearer – quantities of the Pteris aquiline, very high and mingling with shrubs growing all over the tableland. We soon passed thro’ the bazaar and reached the bungalow taken for us which has little view but is in a pretty little domain and garden. I have walked all over it and its shady walks remind me of home. There is a detached bungalow for visitors else we could have none, for the house is very small and barely holds our own party. It is not the sort of place I expected, being rudely finished, as a mountain lodge in the wilds of Ireland might be – doors and windows closing badly &cc, but comfort in this country is of a cool temperament, broken windows and open doors please her. However, it is cold enough in the mornings here to make one suppose she might be more studied after the European fashion. Susy and the children have got colds in consequence of the change in climate.

I went one evening in the toujou to the top of the Bombay Ghat and the view was splendid. The descent into the valley below seemed nearly precipitous and the hills and vales beyond stretching as far as the eye could reach and melting in the blue haze of the horizon presented a lovely scene, the radiance of the setting sun beautifying all. The road to this spot was beautifully shaded and opened various pretty views – bungalows are scattered all around. We have as yet seen but few visitors besides the Resident Physician Dr Murray, who is a kind, friendly man. I hear singing birds and feel feels that remind me constantly of “home”. No tinkling native instruments tease the ear, no temple drums, no perpetual loud voices but more rustic sounds are frequent – the tinkling of the bells on the passing cattle in the evening &cc. All is soft and soothing to the ear.

March 2nd 1843

One year today since we left Wynberg for Capetown! A year of numberless Mercies. I have now become pretty well acquainted will the Hills scenery, having already walked three times to Sydney point, descended the deep dell to Chinaman’s garden, visited the Mahabaleshawar, the source of the Krishna, walked to the three points that overhang the valley near the Bombay Ghat and strolled a good deal about our immediate neighbourhood. First Edward was my companion, then Mr B from Belgaum, now both are gone but as the horses are come and a carriage is soon to follow, I need not require much walking. The weather is warmer than on our arrival, the colds and sneezings have vanished and our whole party daily enjoy a plentiful supply of fresh air. The various high points which I have mentioned all look down into the ridgy, rocky concave. We can see vales extending to a great distance on all sides and some of the roads leading to these views are beautifully shaded, others winding through lawn-like fields with clumps of copse, like park scenery. Again, the way sometimes lies along the verge of a deep ravine from whence you see down the green precipices into the valleys beneath. Pratapgad, a fort belonging to Satara, is a prominent object in the landscape on the western side. It is famed in Mahretta history and is still a place of strength and finely situated. The road to Mahabaleshwar is over a wild, ferny moor - few trees except in the ravines, those of the Euphorbia cactus kind, which seem to flourish even in cold, rocky places. Some pretty shrubs mingle with the ferns. One species of indigo with a pretty pink, pea-like blossom is common. Over the source of the Krishna, a temple is built and the water is made to pour through a bull’s mouth into a basn in a court enclosed by a deep verandah and pillars of cut stone. From here it passes through another bull into another basin – there was nothing very tempting in the look of the water. Girls were washing clothes at the basins. My companion, Mr B, drank it however, taken from the mouth and declared it was delightful. The people would not permit us to enter, or to do more than just enter the court. Possibly a rupee might have smoothed our way, but I had no curiosity to do more than just “lay eyes” on the bull &cc. From hence we proceeded a little lower in the valley where the Krishna again appears and over which another, and apparently an older temple is built, the water similarly conducted to a basin. It looked purer here, tho’ a man was on the stone steps washing his clothes. This temple stands on the verge of a beauteous deep ravine, almost precipitous and many hundred feet deep, clothed with cactus, ferns, shrubs and all the rich luxuriance of vegetation natural to a damp, shaded spot like this. A beautiful valley extends as far as the eye can see below, thro’ which the Krishna flows, and joined by the Ganga, a stream flowing from the valley on the left, becomes visible below, winding its way among cultivated patches, fine trees &cc. The valley is shut in by steep-sided mountains in which I hear a quantity of iron is found and many iron smelters live on the mountainsides in almost invisible little forges, or smelting houses. The Chinaman’s gardens are deep in a vale, “unknown to public view”. They cultivate potatoes, strawberries, vegetables of many kinds, tea trees (for curiosity, not for use) and make their livelihood by selling the produce of all. The Chinese are, or were, prisoners, who have been sent from Singapore to Bombay as a punishment and have, in many instances, been sent here to Dr Murray, the resident physician, to work on the roads &cc. In cases where they have shown good conduct, they have been given gardens to cultivate and some have willingly remained here after the term of their transportation has expired. The Church here is a neat building. The minister, I fear, a careless, worldly man, a most disagreeable reader and uncertain preacher. A missionary and his wife, of the name of Graves – Americans – reside here. They are old people, nearly worn out in the service. Mrs Graves has a native female boarding school, to which she attends daily. Mr Graves, tho’ scarcely able to crawl, has two services in Mahratta on Sunday and daily visits the bazaar saying a few words to the people. I find he is a botanist and fond of the study so I hope to get some information from him in regard to the hill Flora.

April 13th 1843

Time seems to have added some feathers to his wings up in the regions. More than a month has elapsed since I wrote and an important event has taken place, which calls for a place in my records. The birth of a little nephew – of a fourth son to dearest Susy. The babe was born on the 26th March, Easter Sunday, and is a fine little creature and to be named Chambre Corker Townsend. Susy is, thank God, remarkably well and is now sufficiently recovered to join our party. Edward came to us a fortnight before the baby’s birth, and was just able to remain untill dear Susy was well.

May 4th 1843

I find days slip so quickly away, that our stay here is nearly at a close and regret that I have told nothing of our doings. Life here is so like, in many things, life at home that there seems nothing to tell, tho’ all is so enjoyable. We have many Christian friends here and meet once a week for the purpose of reading the Scriptures and prayer, at each other’s houses. The scenery that I admired much at first has imposed still more and the beauty of the rides, drives and walks has become familiar, altho’ not the less admired, and certainly more dear. I walk or ride each morning and drive almost every evening. We have all enjoyed excellent health. Heelie, for whose health we principally came here, tho’ subject to cold, is generally well. Mr Webb, whom we saw first on our arrival in Bombay, a very dear friend of Edward’s, is staying here, in a separate bungalow in our garden and we are a very happy party. We want only Edward to make our circle complete.

22nd May 1843

I have seen some new places lately quite in a different style from the woody vales beneath us and which we enjoy driving in our evening drive. Mr Webb and I set off (we generally leave this place riding or walking at half-past 5 (Captain Candy is always my walking companion) and turning our backs on Mahabaleshwar, proceeded along a wild mountain road to a ridge which lies between two valleys, the Yena, at the head of which is a pretty waterfall, and the Krishna Valley. We reached a point that overlooks the latter valley, which hundreds of feet below stretches far as sight can reach. The river, somewhat swollen by the late rains, (for we have had heavy rains with thunder and lightning) wound perceptibly thro’ the valley, its banks cultivated richly, fields of rice, sugarcane &cc. On the hill where we were was a village of Iron smelters (Dhowars as they are called in Mahratta). These poor people for years unknown been so employed in their trade – generation following generation in the same occupation. They are Mahomedans they say, but have no priests, no mosques, no tombs of saints even. Iron is dug from the earth and they burn the earth and thus procuring a coarse iron, make the rude implements which they and their neighbours use. They are a hardy, half-savage race.

In another valley, which runs parallel to the Krishna, the Yena falls from a rocky precipice and makes a very pretty cataract. At present time there is but little water but the height of the fall and the beauty of the spot make it well worthy of a visit. I have seen it from both sides and sketched it too. In one of our rugged rides across the country, we met an extraordinary figure, a devotee of the Deity Kundaka – the tiger destroying God of the Hindoos. This man wore a heavy iron chain around his neck as a mark of his holiness, from his childhood he had been made to wear one. This seemed dreadfully heavy, almost like the anchor chain of some large vessel. He had a pouch of tiger skin in front and a tiger skin hanging on his right arm. In his left he carried a long spear. Mr Webb spoke to him, while I sketched. He had a great many black woollen tassels hanging about him and altogether made a curious figure. Whenever a pretty grove is to be seen in the country, there be seen a temple also. Even if it is only a thatched hut, it contains an idol. We passed by such a grove and on asking a poor Dougar (shepherd) who was near who lived there he answered “God” and Mr Webb said “Nay, a stone”. The poor man shook his head, laughed and followed his buffaloes who, little wilder than himself, were rustling among the bushes near.

We had a visit some days since from a Hindoo, come for a change of air with his family from Bombay. Juggernaut Saukerset by name, he speaks English very well and seemed quite at his ease. The Parsees and Hindoos of fortune like to do as the English do and visit the hills for fashion’s sake, more than for any benefit to their health. This man has brought his family and his wife who was carefully concealed with parasols, grass mats &cc in a phaeton. The poor Ranee of Satara, who has been here for weeks now with the Rajah in tents, has never I believe stirred outside the walls of her canvas house. We have seen the Rajah several times. He drives out in an open carriage followed by his ministers in an old shigram (vehicle drawn by animals)and escorted by runners and riders of rather shabby appearance.

25th May 1843

Our party is already breaking up ie- our outward circle. Our own little party leave the same day. Susy and the children and I for Belgaum and Mr Webb for Poona and Bombay. I shall probably see little more here worth recording in the way of scenery. We are now generally enveloped in fogs and couchant mists which conceal the valleys from our view.

27th May 1843

An unexpected clearance in the weather gave us the opportunity of a ride to Elphinstone point, which runs out into the concave opposite Sidney point, which place I already mentioned. Mr C (of the IN), Mr Webb and myself went out on horseback about 11 o’clock am and proceeded to Mahabaleshwar. A thunderstorm last evening had cleared the air most beautifully. Clouds still veiled the sun and the air was pure and delicious beyond description. We visited first the lower temple at Mahabaleshwar and looked down the valley of the Krishna which was rich and beautiful. We then proceeded three or four miles further along the high ridge of land which leads to Elphinstone point and looking back on the settlement we distinctly saw the bungalows, the Rajah’s camp, the vales, the woods of this spot. But on reaching the verge of the precipice, dismounting and walking down to the platform which overhangs a drop of 12 or 14 000 feet the view was dazzlingly beautiful – down down thro’ the pure air woods like tiny beds of moss covering the dells and vales beneath and the curiously stratified mountains, the pure green of the grassy lines contrasted with the lines of rock on their sides gave me the idea of looking down into the green depths of ocean thro’ its crystal body. Clouds hung over the tops of distant hills, which stretched far away but the sun shone on the vales beneath. We had brought some paper and I attempted a sketch. We remounted, rode to the top of the ridge and looked down a valley at the other side, so narrow that we fancied they could throw a stone across tho’ the depth between was massive and the distance greater than one could have any idea of. Once more before leaving Mahabeleshwar we had a beautiful peep at the scenery below us and around. On Tuesday 30th, after paying several farewell visits, we walked for some last sketches and then ascended to the platform in front of Mr Wright’s house (built by Sir Malcolm) from whence we enjoyed a most delicious view of Sidney and Elphinstone point and the Mhera river wound among its romantic vales and we could see trees on its banks and had boats been on its surface, could have easily distinguished them. Clouds hung over us but beyond all was bright, a few drops of rain fell and we hastened home.

June 20th 1843. Belgaum

Back again in our old quarters. My residence at Mahabaleshwar seems like a pleasant dream. We left on the first of this month, a dark, misty day. The two previous ones had been spent paying farewell visits, taking last walks and last sketches. Not pleasant occupations in this uncertain world when one knows not whether they shall soon again be permitted to enjoy the pleasures from which one is called to part. But it is well to learn that all below is changeable and that here we have “no continuing city”. We were packed and in our palanquins at half past 2 Thursday 1st June and we dined early and read the 90th and 91st psalms with Mr Webb who stayed in the deserted bungalow to leave it (for Poona) next morning.

We had a misty journey as far as Mhera tho’ when actually descending the steepest part of the Ghat all was clear and the views were fine. We reached Satara early next day and Rahimatpur on Saturday. We rested Sunday, comfortably established in a mosque, on the top of which I took a solitary walk, musing on my many pleasant scrambles at Mahabaleshwar. “What I would not give to wander where my old companions dwell” but my old companions do not wander there. The Hills are deserted now. Monday brought us to Pushie Sowley where we had very indifferent accommodation. Tuesday to Hingougaon where thanks to a Fakeer or Gosoen, I forget which (either a Mahomedan or Hindoo beggar I forget which) we had a comfortable “dharamshala” and unassailed by bats, cats and village dogs, slept soundly. Wednesday, we reached Yelloway and Thursday, Sanglee Chintaman Rao’s place. Here, to our great joy, we met Edward, who had left Belgaum the day we left the Hills, to meet us. Sanglee is a good specimen of a Mahratta Sirdar’s place. It is in a rich, flat part of the country on the banks of the Krishna. Chintaman Rao lives in a large fort near the village which appears more comfortable than Indian villages usually are. The house in which we stopped is in a large garden. Roses, tuberoses and the sweet-scented plants so prized by the natives grow in abundance in squares, hedged in by brilliant blossoming shrubs among which the golden mohur is conspicuous. The travellers house is a very large one with, like all native houses, dark little rooms opening on a large gallery or balcony. Large curtains may be let down to shade you from the sun which blazes on the front rooms or galleries in the mornings. Before quitting Sanglee we paid Chintaman Rao a visit in his castle. The horsemen met and escorted us thither and the old man himself met us at the door or entrance and led us up a narrow stair to the balcony above which was crowded by his retainers. His son, the child we saw before, was there but his wife and daughter not present, being at some other residence. A small fountain was spouting in a stone basin near us. Two dancing girls were performing the evolutions and singing to the sound of two musical instruments, one somewhat of the guitar and the other of a castanet kind. This party were at some little distance from us in the long gallery. After sitting for some time, Edward keeping up conversation with the chieftan, we proceeded to dinner which was laid out on leaves on a table covered in compliment to us with a cloth. The usual compounds of rice and sugar, pickled vegetables, asafoetida cakes &cc were placed on our plates. Little silver vessels full of the muddy Krishna water were near to quench our thirst, and after this repast, we departed and proceeded to Kurandwar, next to Chicoorie (Chikodi), to Hookery (Hukkeri), Bowtie Hall, Motigee, and lastly on Thursday the 15th to Belgaum. We had some rivers to cross the last few days but all was accomplished in safety tho’ the mercy of our Heavenly Father. In all cases but one, our bearers brought the palkees raised on the shoulders, thro’ the rivers. Once mine was put into a boat made of coarse wickerwork covered with skins and safely rafted across.

October 2nd 1843. Belgaum

Nearly four months since we arrived here, and not a word have I written. Now that I hear a visit to Dharwar is contemplated, I begin to think of my neglected journal book. The rains - the Elephants - are over. We have bright weather again.

Nov 1st 1843. Dharwar

I cannot account for the disinclination that possesses me as to continuing my journal. Our visit here is just over yet have written nothing. My letters home carry off all my best ideas, but I know I may one day be glad to look over this so I will “carry on” a little. We left Belgaum the morning of the 18th and reached Baghewarre (Baghewadi) for breakfast. We travelled in our usual manner – two palkees and a bullock gaurre for Chambre and the maids. Baghewarre is a native village – a place had been prepared in a native Chowrie for us, with tent walls, so we dressed, breakfasted, wrote, read, learnt Mahratta, for old Ching, who has been teaching us since March last is one of our party, and after dinner again got into our palkees and came to Hooblee (Hubli), a pretty spot, fine trees in its neighbourhood. Here, Edward joined us, having ridden out from Belgaum after his day’s labour. The bungalow here consisted of a house with two rooms only, so I slept in my palanquin in the verandah – in an apartment formed of tent walls – better than breathing vital air in a room where I should have been the sixth human being. Early next evening we came to Tegoor (Tegur), where the bungalow is very prettily seated on a height overlooking a pretty, wooded country. Here we remained that day and the next (Edward having carried on) and Saturday morning we reached Dharwar and were most kindly received by the Shaws at their fine extensive bungalow on a hill commanding the station. We occupy one wing of the bungalow. Edward remained with us until Tuesday the 24th and then, his four holidays being over, left us for Belgaum. Dharwar is a pretty station, smaller than Belgaum, but on the whole, I do not like it better – there are fewer trees, no very fine ones, but it has a great many roads, and there being but our regiment and few carriages, one is not constantly reminded – as at Belgaum that one is in a military neighbourhood. There is but one regiment here, a Resident Judge, Collector (Mr Shaw) and his two Assistants, besides some Officers Civil and Military engaged in taking a Survey of the country. There are a good many pretty tanks here which add to the effect of the scenery and which Belgaum wants, there being but one there of any size. We drive out every evening and have dined out twice. There are two German Missionaries here and their families. This day, Susy and I visited a Mr and Mrs Layer and their girls’ school. Mrs Layer has twelve orphans in her school whom she teaches to read Scripture, English and work of different kinds, lacemaking among the work, some specimens of which we saw and thought very pretty.

Mr and Mrs Layer are now absent, gone for a change of air for the latter and her baby. They were here on our arrival. Once a month the Chaplain from Belgaum (Mr Laing) comes here, every other Sunday the German Missionaries lead the Church of E service and preach in English very well. There is no Protestant place of worship. Service is held in the Suddar Adaalat or Judges Court. There is a neat little RC chapel which has been built by the exertions of a private resident, a Mr Loughman, one of Mr Shaw’s assistants whose zeal in subscribing largely and getting assistance from government puts to shame the lukewarmness of the protestants here. What a strong motive to exertion is “merit”, but should not “love” be stronger? Love to God and love to man.

Nov 4th 1843. Hooblee

Yesterday after tiffin we left Dharwar, Susy and I in Mr Shaw’s carriage (the children in palanquins) and proceeded to Tegoor. The country thro’ which we passed was very pretty - hill and dale -occasionally very prettily wooded. The bungalow at Tegoor is on a height overlooking the village and a pretty country all around. We were in long before the palanquins and saw their torches at a distance reflected in a tank as they passed close to its banks, for it was dark when they arrived. Early this morn we left Tegoor in palanquins and proceeded hither where we remain today and tomorrow and hope on Monday 6th to proceed to Belgaum. You perceive, dear reader, how seldom I write of persons. I do not wish to make this journal a gossiping concern, else I might tell you of the As and the Bs, the Ms and Ls of Dharwar, of our dinings out and doings at home, of what Mr G did and Mr S said but I do not wish to set posterity by the ears quarrelling their ancestry as they might if journalists gave names and told stories. Suffice it to say we met some agreeable and some not agreeable people, some young and some old, some short and some tall, we met a Jew, a German, an American, a Scotchman, an Irishman, and English of course, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, religious people and others not thinking religion worthy of much consideration, and yet all people, like ourselves soon to die and leave this changing, fleeting, unsatisfying scene.

Dec 27th 1843. Padshapoor

Again, on our district tour, I find time for noting our departure from Belgaum. We left our abode there on the 19th of this month. The week before had been spent in making preparations for this move, which, as we propose going again to Mahabaleshwar, will be one of some months. There seems also an uncertainty about our returning to Belgaum at all again, so we feel as if we are saying a long adieu to friends and places there. Early on Tuesday morning, the 19th, Edward and I set out on horseback for Motikee, a village five or six miles from Belgaum on the Koludghee road. As we passed under the fort walls the guns fired a salute to announce the departure of the Collector to his districts. He however returned again, leaving me at the tents where I was soon joined by the children and in the evening by Edward and Susy who dined with friends in the Fort and then finally left Belgaum. We spent two days at the first stage. Some friends from Belgaum came and spent one with us, the 21st. That day there was an eclipse of the sun, which lasted for more than an hour and was at its height while we were at breakfast at 8 o’clock. The 22nd we came to Marihall and we encamped in a shady mangoe grove. Here we remained Sunday and Christmas Day. On Tuesday we arrived at Sooldal and this morning came from thence, Edward and I on horseback, to Padshapoor. This place we have been at more than once before on our trip to Tokak last year, and returning from the Hills. The mornings are delightful for riding and driving. We have hitherto been in the rich valley of Belgaum and the morning mists and distant mountains make the scene very pretty indeed. The air is quite cold – riding scarcely warms us – but by day the tents are warm enough. Cutcherry is carried on in the tent and we travel with a guard, just as we did last year and with the same complement probably of councils, bullocks, ponies &cc – one palanquin less – for as we have quiet horses we can occasionally travel in Phaetons.

January the First 1844 Khonoor

Here we arrived from Padshapoor on the morning of the 28th. Long before sunrise we were on horseback and I had the pleasure of seeing my old, unchanging friend, the Great Bear, high in the heavens. Our ride was rather a pretty one and we reached Khonoor long before the palanquins or carriages. The Express mail, overland dispatched the middle of November, had reached Bombay a few days before and very shortly after our arrival there arrived our papers, no letters alas. I got a parcel too from home, containing paints and a sketchbook. We spent the day arranging ourselves as we are to remain here for some time. In the evening the Bishop and his party whose tents are pitched near us arrived and Edward paid his Lordship a visit. Next morning Friday, the Bishop, Mr Morant and Mr Harper the Medico came to breakfast. The Lord Spiritual is a tall, pale, delicate-looking man, apparently about 45. Mr Morant is younger and a comfortable, healthy Chaplain, and the Doctor is a lad of quiet manners. The Bishop asked if he should be our Chaplain and then proceeded to read the morning verse in Isiah, on which he made some remarks in a very striking, solemn strain, and Mr Morant read prayers.

After dinner we rode to the Falls of Gokak, about a mile from hence. They were indeed beautiful – less water than I had seen in October but the water clearer. The fall had two masses of foam instead of one and in the evening light the scene around looked lovely. Our guests, especially the Padre, are very fond of fine scenery and greatly admired the wild cliffs, blue river and all the accompaniments, not forgetting the picturesque old Temples around the Falls of the Guthurba of Gokak. It was dark when we returned home and as our road was party covered with sliding rocks and amid spiky Eupherbiee, I was glad to perceive our attendants bringing torches.

Early the morning of the 31st, Edward and I set off for the Falls, I to sketch and he to measure their depth if possible with ropes. The Bishop and Mr Morant followed us and the latter and I took various sketches. As the sun rose and the rainbow began to appear in the spray, I thought I had never seen anything prettier. The whole family had now arrived, even Master Chambre in his servant’s arms was gazing at the “Dubdub” (the Mahratta word expressing well enough the sound of the Fall). The height was ascertained to be around 100 feet. That evening again some of our party went (a tent had been pitched there) and Mr Morant finished his sketch. Edward and I rode in another direction. Sunday, we had two services in the lay tent and the Bishop gave us the Sacrament and preached a very good sermon. Mr Morant preached in the evening – an excellent sermon also. We had a congregation of 11 persons (6 Europeans) - Dhoudapa, a native convert who comes with us, and the English writers in Edwards’ office - half-castes - and two servants of the Bishops. After evening service our friends bade adieu to us and set off for Hookery. We were sorry they found it necessary to travel on Sunday evening but the Bishop, who is very weak, finds morning travelling too fatiguing and has not much time to spare. We were glad to have met him and find him very different to what we had expected – certainly he seems a conscientious, laborious man and as he studies the word of God and seeks for the aid of the Spirit of God, we may trust he will not be straitened in himself or by his own views, which are very High Church but will he be led into the preaching and practising of “all truth”.

This morning we saluted the first sun of the new year, 1844, on horseback. We got into a pretty valley near this and when approaching a wild, jungly spot, saw some large brown animals scampering before us - wolves or bears. There seems a good supply of game here. People have brought partridge, jungle fowl, deer, peafowl for sale. They catch the poor creatures, alive, and tame them by tying up their eyes in a most cruel manner, dragging up their lower lids and running a string through both which they tie over their noses. The poor jungle fowl were quiet as possible. We got a pair of scissors and Edward cut the string on the poor hen’s nose. Soon she perceived some glimpses of light though she seemed to be unable to open her eyes fully and struggling off she flew to the nearest bush, making the noise I had so often heard at Mahabaleshwar.

12th January 1844. Ghouziry

Edward had a heavy, feverish cold which made us leave our last resting place sooner than we otherwise would have done. This is about 6 miles from thence. The evening before we left Khonoor, Susy and I visited the Falls once more, she in the palkee and I on horseback. There is even now less water than there was a week since but the Fall is very beautiful. On the evening of the 10th, Ed travelled in the palkee and Susy and I in the carriage. Such a road as part of journey was over – it not only never was made, but seemed especially intended as a beacon not to go that way – so rough, stony and the prickly pear hedges so close. Edward, who had set out first, arrived before us and was quite uneasy lest we break down enroute. We are encamped under what appears a row of banyans, but is I believe, one. The branches seem all united at top and different stems have dropped down from them and fixed in the ground. Our kind friend, Doctor Doig surprised us here from Belgaum the morning after our arrival. He was anxious to see Edward and judge for himself whether his illness was of no consequence or requiring a change of air to the coast and he has decided against the latter so we may go on our way, rejoicing in the goodness and mercy of our God the Father. Ed is every day improving.

February 26th 1844. Chota Hingougaon

On our way to the Hills again! Few pages back and I was leaving them! We have left Belgaum, not to return again. Edward is appointed Secretary in the R and F Department of Bombay and thither we turn our faces. We parted from Edward at Hookaree where we remained for three weeks, some of us suffering from colds. We had friends with us for the last few days. We have proceeded by stages hither, enjoying the pleasures of native travelling and enduring its fatigues, which on this journey have rather been greater than usual, as the children have coughs and disturb us at night. Suzy and I frequently travel in the Phaeton on every stage, as the roads are sufficiently good and the horses quiet. We thus arrive at our tents way before the children and palanquins come up and having gladly refreshed ourselves with a cup of tea, are ready to receive the youngsters. Our morning stage from Hookeree on the 19th was to Gadgoor, where we rested under the shade of mangoes and when evening came onto Chicoree. Both these places we had rested at last year. From there to Gelloway – the way was new to me. At Geddoor on the banks of the Krishna, we rested in a beautiful spot, shaded by huge banian trees, under which natives in various attitudes in groups remain all day. Some lighted fires close to the roots, a common practice which scarcely seems to injure the massive and matted roots. Numbers washed their clothes, themselves and their buffaloes in the calm river, on which floated one large, odd-looking boat, with high railings round its square deck. Here we were visited by six children of some neighbouring Serdars – four were grown boys – two were almost babies, dressed in short, clean muslin shirts and caps. The elder ones wore turbans and white clothing like their parents. None of them were much ornamented. At Mirij where we spent a day we also received a visit from the two “kurs” - stupid looking youths who sat uninterested by, while their workeel &cc spoke with much animation and gesture to Susy. One of the party was a gosaen – he was nearly naked, with hair like tow or flax, matted and filthy hanging over his face, which was smeared with white ashes so as to make him look hideous. He sat on the floor, pretending to see or hear nothing. I never before had seen one of these holy men among visitors and we asked if he always attended at the visits of the mirijkurs but the wokeel said no but he happened to be with them now. After touching the hands of the youths, salaaming (first distributing rosewater and paan sooparee, brought by them) was over, they departed and we took a walk in the neighbouring garden. A grove of cocoa and betel nut trees was near.

The Betelnut is a very small cocoanut, not larger than a large acorn. It is of a strong, bitter flavour and constantly chewed with the “pans” or leaf of some other plant by the natives, a little lime added to give additional taste. We were here in a native house full of little rooms and pigeon holes, or rather composed of them, and looking on a fine tank of cut stone, supplied with dirty water in which we could see tortoises lazily swimming and at one corner to which steps descended from the street, people washed clothes, or going into the tank swam about the green water to cool themselves. We did not feel much inclination either to call for baths, or to drink water here, tho’ in the evening, when the “motes” began to work and the large leathern bags full of water were drawn up and allowed to pour into various channels to refresh the garden, the stream looked quite clear and pure enough. If ever I travel in a European country again, I shall doubtless often look back with peculiar pleasure on the Indian travelling – now nearly over and so different from all others. When you consider everything you want, even to your places of abode (for it is not always that durramasalas - or old temples - can be found) must be brought along with you, it seems wonderful how all is arranged and how your servants are able to meet all your needs and with very inferior accommodation prepare dinner, breakfast &cc for so large a party as ours. We have no Inns here, but if not, no travellers to interfere with us, no squeezing into public carriages, no trouble hiring private ones, but as all states have their trials, we have other inconveniences, which however shall not find a place in my journal and which travellers in India learn to bear, only wondering that under the circumstances that they are not greater.

Feb 28th 1844. Bymutpoor

Monday evening 26th we left Hingougaon and Susy and I in the Phaeton came to Pasheesoolie. It was a much longer drive and worse road than we expected, and the sun had long set before we arrived, but this is the pleasantest time for travelling. The views are very pretty of the distant purple hills to which we are approaching and of which new lines open daily. We had few villages on this road, which is always a loss as the trees round the villages are rich and beautiful. Pasheesoolie is a large village with a tall pagoda on which I saw monkeys when last we were here – eight months ago! It was moonlight as we wound round the village into a beautiful grove of mangoes where our tents were pitched. The children soon came up. Chambre is not well. We spent a weary night, the watchers watching to keep the children covered as it was a cold night. One of our porters met with ill treatment at a village near. He and another were carrying a sofa on their heads. (On this sofa were its cushions, my guitar and a tin box of sundries and a bag of drawing books, Susy’s accordion and the little boys’ tool box.) One man left the sofa and went to a party, who seated in a chowrie, were smoking and talking, and asked the way to Pasheesoolie, upon which one of the party ran out with a sword, which weapon is worn by numbers of the native authorities or non-authorities, and striking the poor porter in several places cut his hand deeply. Next day, Susy sent for the village authorities and complained of this treatment, so different from any we experienced last year when travelling thro’ the Satara territory, and a fine of four rupees is to be levied on the offender and was given to the poor offended in hopes of preventing any further trouble by our mentioning the affair to the Resident of Satara, Col O.

Poor little Chambre was ill all day. We were glad to get off and had a long drive in the Phaeton to this place. Our views were beautiful – the blue hills rising in tiers before us, the rich foreground of trees, and mud forts surrounding villages, or here and there a pretty winding river and a wild mountainous pass. This place looked beautiful like a Park as we looked down on it – such large trees, so brilliant in colouring and effect and the mosque in which we are and a large tomb close by, looking as Heelie said “velly like Hookalee”. The mangoe trees are now in full blossom and covered with great tufts or feathery sprays of small blossoms of a greenish yellowish hue, which but for their great number would be very inconspicuous. Some are of a reddish hue, which at a little distance gives the tree the appearance of a copper beech, and mingles well with the clear light or rich dark green of other trees. Here we spent a bad night, poor little Chambre being very ill, Susy up constantly and the people outside talking and snoring and coughing and dogs innumerable barking and growling so that sleep was very shy of us, and poor Susy, with fatigue, anxiety and having not much spare strength is very much knocked up. I trust however that as we are near the end of our journey so we are near the end of our fatigues. With what pleasure shall I again hail the Rajah of Mahabaleshwar, and hope for a rest there! Even tho’ we may not see the friends of last year, if we are granted health and peace, how much shall we have to be thankful for. We go to Satara this evening.

29th Feb 1844. Satara

The last day of February, Susy and I left Kymutpoor yesterday evening about 4 o’clock in the carriage, the children having departed in palanquins a little before us. We anticipated an easy drive as Rama assured us the road was good. (Rama has but one eye and that cannot be a “piercer”.) At first all seemed smooth. We approached the Krishna, which sunk into its wide bed and a narrow stream, which looked like an arm of the sea when the tide is out. We crossed easily but soon found the road became rather dangerous approaching so near the edge of the steep, earthy river bank. Sometimes a nulla (ie- a deep bed of some tributary stream now dry) forced us to diverge into the fields, twice we got out of the carriage, the way was so rocky and steep. Sometimes our guide, a Sewar, misled us, his guide being a few faint trains of former travellers, country carts or our own bullock garre which went some hours before us. The horses behaved very well and untiringly dragged us thro’ stony fields or up and down steep slopes, trotting gaily when we came to a smooth road. We saw Satara Fort long long before we reached it. The sun sank, the deep glow in the sky faded away and still we were pursuing our devious course. The views were very beautiful and now moonlight shone o the scene. We came to a deep ravine which looked as tho’ it was intended to stop our course and truly it was impassible for a carriage. Happily, a man was there who told us we had lost the good road but it was near, so again crossing some fields, the bullock garre, which we had overtaken leading the way, we got into the regular made road (which a good guide would probably have led us sooner into) and soon reached the travellers bungalow.

The last half mile we had been wondering what all the lights which were gleaming from the ground portended and on approaching we saw the Raja had pitched his camp in the neighbourhood and his Sewars, whose horses were picketed in the plain, had lighted fires. Large droves of bullocks carrying produce to Bombay probably were also tied for the night by the roadside and the fires lighted by their drivers added to the sparkling from the ground. We had not long arrived, being nearly four hours on the road (said to be fifteen miles) when the palanquins came. Chambre is certainly better, poor, little fellow and Dr Bowstead who called on him last night seems to think nothing of his illness. Dr Erskin is gone, a Dr Bowstead in his place.

March 6th 1844. Mahabaleshwar

We left Satara on Friday evening and sleeping at Mhera reached Mahabaleshwar the morning of Saturday 2nd of March. Edward had arrived a few hours before us. We are in a better house than we had last year and have a larger domain, but not so pretty a one. Everything is so like last year – the same lovely views, the same deep purple hills, lights and shades - that I expect to see the same faces too. Edward left us for Bombay on Monday evening and we have been occupied settling ourselves and receiving visitors. Gentle Reader, do not expect me to say much of this place here. My book is nearly done… I want to keep a little room for Poona, whither I hear we go next and I shall see nothing here (in the way of “sights”) that I did not put down in black and white before now. (Edward's first cousin, Major Edward Townsend and married to Henrietta’s sister, Isabella Townsend was stationed at Poona at this time. On several occasions whilst there he met his cousin Edward Hume and in a letter from Poona to his mother dated 5 February 1850 Major Edward wrote "he (Edward Hume) looks very well; that is two thirds of him, the other third being invisible in a long beard and green spectacles”).