Lady Anne Barnard Journal - Hottentots Holland Kloof (2)

...Continued from Part One

Lady Anne Barnard's Journal Crossing over Hottentots Holland Kloof (7th May 1798)

Part 2:

As we ascended it grew worse and worse, & sometimes the path was so perpendicular and the Jutting rocks (over which the waggon was to be pulled) so large in the middle of the road, that we were astonished how it coli Id be accomplished at all, particularly at one pass called the Porch, at length we reached the Summit, and the new canaan opened on my view. "The World was all before me where to choose my place of rest, and providence my guide" . . . Providence seemed to be certainly the only guide in this land to trust to, for far as the sight could reach and it was no where bounded, there was hillock on hillock . . . Mountain behind Moun­tain, a slight thread of rivulet here and there like a silver eel winding thro' the valleys, but scarcely preceptible [sic], and the only objects on which the eye found any thing to pause was sometimes a few pointed stones on the summit of rising grounds, under which fancy would fain have laid the bones of Hottentot Heroes slain in Battle had not observation pointed out that this was only the natural form of the Country.
Indeed . . . Indeed Mynheer you have never been over Bergh yourself, or never supposed I should when you described this as being so rich, ... so cultivated ... so peopled ... so planted. I should have been disappointed had one of my own Countrymen given me this account, but the Dutch here know so very little! . . . nothing indeed beyond what they see, that they have no idea of misleading by painting their Country with that exaggerated vanity which is also in their characters, for I have in more than one Instance observed that the sight of the best Countries does not cure them of the opinion that their own is superior, a prejudice which I have somewhere read is always to be found in proportion as it is unfounded.The descent was not much better tho' less fatiguing than the other side, in about half an hour we reached the bottom where we found the Waggon safe and the horses put to it. Mr. Barnard stood by the Team of Oxen, and called "Anne don't look this way" but at the sound of his voice I naturally and involuntarily turned my head and saw what made my heart sore, how much the poor Animals had suffered in our Service, their sides streaming down with the blood which the Knives of their Savage drivers had brought, they are very cruel here to their cattle, the whip itself which carrys away with it the Hide is not thought enough on some occasions, with their sharp knives they cut the poor creature till bellowing and kicking he per­forms his almost impossible task, & they are sufficiently good Anatomists to know exactly the vital parts to be avoided ... I shall say nothing on the effects of sickness, that has been a subject already copiously explained, but this I shall say, that no one could feel sicker than I did when I saw this and my beautiful Oxen looking so miserable. Mr. Barnard however did not re­venge their cause on the Hottentots who drove them, but gave to one two dollars, and one to the Inferior, sending both off rejoicing.


The Cape Journals Of Lady Anne Barnard 1797-1798
The Van Riebeck Society
Second Series No.24
A.M. Lewin Robinson
Margret Lenta
Dorothy Driver

Avalible at The Somerset West Public Libary

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