Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/32

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

Cape-Town is generally described as a clean and neat place. With all due deference, I must dissent widely from this opinion. All the streets, for instance, are unpaved, and are, moreover, half filled with rubbish, swept from the shops and warehouses, until some friendly shower carries it away. Undoubtedly the town is regularly built, with broad streets, laid out at right angles to each other; but as almost every person of property resides in the country, few handsome dwelling-houses are to be met with—and by far the greater number are in the Dutch style. Here, however, as every where else where the English have obtained firm footing, improvements are very apparent; and, doubtless, now that the colony has obtained its own Legislature, such improvements will become still more visible.

No one can be at Cape-Town for a single day without being struck by the infinite variety of the human race encountered in the streets: Indians, Chinese, Malays, Caffres, Bechuanas, Hottentots, Creoles, "Afrikanders," half-castes of many kinds, negroes of every variety from the east and west coasts of Africa, and Europeans of all countries, form the motley population of the place.

Of all these, with the exception of the Europeans, the Malays are by far the most conspicuous and important. They comprise, indeed, no inconsiderable portion of the inhabitants, and are, moreover, distinguished for their industry and sobriety. Many of them are exceedingly well off, and, not unfrequently, keep their carriages and horses. They profess the Mohammedan religion, and have their own clergy and places of worship. Two thirds of the week they work hard,