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country, and, indeed, of all Southern Africa, is
the succession of terraces, or broad table-lands,
rising far above the level of the plains. The
base of these table mountains is composed of
green, accessible slopes, with rugged granite
buttresses breaking through; suddenly, from
these slopes, springs up a perpendicular wall
of reddish-grey rock, and on the top, "a
wide expanse of level pasture, often many
square miles in extent, which thus presents the
curious spectacle of a large tract of land,
isolated from the rest of the world by a
circumvallation of downward-dipping precipices, with
perhaps only one or two narrow rocky staircases,
by which the heights above can be scaled." It
is not easy walking on these table-lands even
after you have toiled up the steep serpentine
staircases. You push your way through the
thick high grass, and come to perhaps a
gentle slope: half a dozen steps more bring you
to a precipice striking sheer under your feet,
where another footfall would be your destruction.
The country is rich in rivers and water-
falls, which tumble and riot among the grey
granite rocks, neither " blessed for their beauty
nor made to turn a mill," according to Fox's
recipe; and almost all have pretty sentimental
kind of names. There is the Startling River, the
Great, and the Buffalo, of course; these are
absolute with all savages; the Stone, the
Beautiful, the Standing, the Glare, the Soft, the
Whey, and the River of the Entrance; while
one mountain range is the Spying-top Hills,
and a certain county is Weenen (Weeping); in
commemoration of a frightful massacre by the
Zulus, in 1836, of all the Dutch settlers found
there women and children as well as men.

A crew of eighty shipwrecked men, in 1683,
were the first English visitors to Natal, but no
attempt was made at colonisation or possession
until 1823, when Lieutenant Farewell got
together a little band of twenty, and established
relations and a certain kind of trade with King
Chaka and his tribe; he and his successors
managing so well, and laying such good
foundations, that, in 1856, Natal was considered of
sufficient importance to be recognised as a
chartered British colony, with governor and
legislative paraphernalia all complete. That Zulu
king, Chaka, was a man of remarkable genius;
of the Napoleonic and royal bandit order:
one of those initiative, original, creative men
who are absolutely needed to found a nation.
Chaka created the Zulu nation out of a mere
handful of warlike men, " ate up" all the clans
and tribes lying round, established his throne on
the points of his warriors' assegais, and lived
and ruled by his army alone. But Chaka's
doom came in the old way. His brother
Dingaan murdered him as he sat comfortably in
his tent. Dingaan proved a tyrant, of course.
He had a younger brother, one Panda, living in
exile on the Natal side of the Tugela, or Startling
River. Panda, exiled from the court, and
with only a scanty following of his own, made
overtures to the white men, who, befriended by
Chaka, had been renounced and persecuted by
Dingaan, and now held but a slippery footing in
the country. At first he was suspected of being
an underhand emissary of Dingaan, and coldly
dealt with; but when he proved his sincerity
by gathering an army of four thousand foot,
the Dutch gave him credence and four
hundred horse, under the command of Pretorius.
The result was, that the allied forces fought with
and defeated the king, and that Panda was placed
on the throne in his stead. This was in 1838.

Things went on briskly enough for about
eighteen years, when, in 1856, Panda's eldest
two sons quarrelled with their father and
each other; though, to be sure, they merely
represented the discontents of the nation at
large, and gave the discontented a visible head
and rallying-point. Panda had grown
enormously fat, and lived secluded from his people;
thus hearing none of their complaints; he kept
his army, too, without food or pay, and, what was
worse, kept them too long enlisted, consequently
unwived. After various skirmishes between
Ketchwago and Umbulazi, the sons, there was
a regular pitched battle, when the elder brother
was successful, and thenceforth assumed the
management of affairs. It was decided that
Panda was too old and too fat to move, and
that he must therefore only think; that he
was the head, while Ketchwago would be the
feet, of the empire; and the government has
gone on ever since in this Japanese, duplex
manner. These arrangements were made
tacitly, and more by dumb-show and unspoken
acts than by words, as it is " high treason
in Zululand to recognise in words even
the possibility of such an occurrence as the
deatn of the king." Once a missionary, going
up to the court, electrified both it and the king
with horror, by complimenting him on his good
looks, as he had heard a report " that he was
dead." Panda was for an instant struck dumb
with alarm and terror, but, recovering himself,
said in a low voice, hastily, " We never speak of
such things here," and changed the conversation.

The Kafirs about Natal seem to be of two
races- a mixture, it is supposed, of the Arab
and the negro; some having the thick lips,
protruding jaw, and broad flat nose of the negro,
while others show the aquiline nose, straight
lip, and prominent square forehead of the
Caucasian; both have woolly hair, soft dark eyes,
and delicately moulded limbs, small-boned, slim,
and taper. They seem to have come originally,
along the eastern coast from the north, and they
yet retain certain words and ceremonies
essentially Arab; while, on the other hand, the term
"Kafir" among the Arabs means literally an
unbeliever in Mahomet. Half naked in dress, the
Kafir is rich in arms. He wears simply a bunch
of skin strips fore and aft, brass bracelets,
necklaces of roots, or of wild beasts' teeth and claws;
and makes pockets or shelves of the holes in his
ears, where he sticks his snuff-box of reeds and
other little personals. With these adjuncts he
is in court costume, dressed to the utmost of his
wardrobe. But to make up for his paucity of
clothing he has his buckler of ox-skin, his