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LEAVES FROM MY NOTE BOOK. (By ABERCORRAN). Laugharne, Wednesday, Hurrah for the land of sunshine, Where a man has room to breathe; Where the sky is clear above u-i, And the veld is free beneath. Where the air is pure and balmy, Aud sets the lungs at play- Tbce are things you don't know much about, In England far away. Thus sweetly sings the South African poet with a buoyant and joyous heart, to which no doubt the pure translucent atmosphere of the "Sunny South" in a great measure contribute. To most readers, anything connected with the Dark Continent (probably owing to its vastness, and the mystery by which it is surrounded) has ever afforded strangely attractive fascination. Thanks to the persistent perseverance of that great and intrepid explorer—MrH. M. Stanley- the world of to-day has had much light thrown upon that interesting and wonderful country. Mr Stanley has opened up vast territories, and fearlessly penetrated to the very heart ;)f regions hitherto untrod by the foot of the white man. It is sincerely to he hoped that England will not be slow to avail herself of the great explorer's work. It appears that the Germans who have an eye to No. 1, are already reaping the fruits of British explorations and enterprise in :Africa. There are travellers and trandlers. The following brief and amusing definition of the country may raise a smile :-It emanated from one who, I should imagine, travelled through the country in a mourning coach with the blinds down. Here is the famous and graphic description It is a land where the flowers have no smell the birds no song the rivers no water, where all the dogs are named" footsac," and, when called by their names they run away." To some English readers (says Noble), it may come as a surprise that South African scenery, instead of being dreary and monotonous, has a fair proportion of grand and majestic as well as wondroijsly beautiful and picturesque points. The bold, towering mountains of the Eastern districts, of the Stormberg, and the Drakensberg, compare favourably with anything in Wales, the West of Ireland, or the Highlands of Scotland. The combination of hill and lake and woodland in the divisions of George and Knysna, and along the reaches of the St. John's river, bear contrast in some respects with Cumberland and Westmoreland. The jungly ravines and the dense primeval forests, where nature reigns supreme in awful loneliness," have a rare wild beauty of their own, in their deep recesses, beneath the shade of majestic yellow-woods. You may wonder for hours, so far as the tangled undergrowth will let you, the silence unbroken, save by the wind among the trees, the subdued note of a bird, or the chirp of an insect. There is a great charm in the pure translucent atmosphere of the country, in its strange yet exquisite vegetation, and in the brilliant colouring of mountain slope or forest glade under the purple light of morning, or the rosy glow of sunset— When the sultry summer noon is past, And meHow evening comes at last, With a low and languid breeze, Fanning the Mimosa trees." Even the wide-extending pastoral plains of the Karoo have a certain attraction for many—not merely as valuable sheep-walks, or for the herds of wild game occasionally met with, but from the freedom as well as the exhilarating buoyant air of the desert, and that strange sense of solitude, which is realised as one yares over the unbroken perspective of blue sky and fading distance- Where ro tree, nor cloud, nor misty mount, Appear to refresh the aching eye; But the barren earth and the burning sky, And the blank horizon round and round, Spread-void of living sight and sound," There is much roughing it, however, in an up country life. I speak from experience. It is while roughing it in a remote up-country camp, amidst multitudinous discomforts that the prodigals' thoughts turn yearningly towards the II Old Country" and at such times one realises, to the full, those many comforts left far behind, and "thought lost to sight to memory dear." We were located at Hunters' Fountain, in the Orange Tree State. The camp was but small, with shanties primitive and quaint, and the European part of the population were of quite a cosmopolitan character. It being a diamond camp, we had amongst us old diggers, who had delved for precious gems in all parts of the globe. These I diggers, under a rough exterior carried good hearts and sound to the core, and I can testify to their sympathetic response when appeal led to by by their less fortunate brothers. The digger was, naturally, boss of the show and took the cake as the aristocrat of Hunters' Fountain. It was generally accepted in the camp that Jack was its good as his master," and yet I often felt much -i in ti. amused at the frequent appearance of the liol),,()])Iiii -Ca.te -which ever and anon persisted in peeping out through the thin strata of the much-vaunted equality. For example, Mrs A. who kept a kaftir winkle (shop) looked down with supreme contempt upon Mr Z, the butcher. Mrs A's antecedents came over with William the Conqueror (so she boasted to her feminine friends), and the family genealogical tree, with its numerous branches, must have assumed gigantic proportions. Ah, me how those said feminine friends trembled before the gaze of this stickler f'T propriety, the high and mighty Mrs A. the Kaffir winkle keeper, especially when her pedigree craze was on the tapis. Mr Z, who kept the butchers' shop in the camp, was described as a gentleman, a guaduate of the University of Cambridge. The roofs of our little shanties were covered with corrugated iron, but this did not render them impervious to heavy rains. When it rained in Hunters' Fountain, it poured, literally poured, and went on pouring till further orders, oh, the deluge And then, how the dreadful thunder roared, and the vivid lightning flashed I well remember on one occasion—a terrific thunder storm accompanied by heavy rain—how the rain penetrated through the roof of my little dwelling-house, and rushed out through the door. I was busy moving my bed about from corner to corner, and making frantic efforts to dodge the downpour, but my endeavours were futile. I took a shower bath quite out of the ordinary order of procedure. But these are trifles light as air, compared with other disagreeables. What with the intense heat-at times almost overpowering-- the plague of flies, and the frequent sandstorms, life in our little camp at Hunters' Fountain was tolerably enjoyable, very Add to this the pleasure, when you "turned in at night, to find a scorpion in your bed, and a snake under your bed. There is of course a reverse to this picture—a grand reverse—but I refer just now to camp, where I spent two years of my life. Around Cape Town there are some delightful spots, The voyage to the Cape has justly become famed as one of the most pleasant and enjoyable it is possible to make, and the great ocean steamers of the Cape Lines have become celebrated for their comfort and punctuality. Provided with every necessary and every comfort, each carrying a surgeon, they touch, either outward or homeward, at Lisbon, Madeira, St. Helena, and Ascession, and acomplish the voyage to Cape Town in some- what less than three weeks. "In all the world," says Mr Fronde, in his Oceana, there is no place so beautifully situated as Cape Town.




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