Page:National Life and Character.djvu/48

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Practically the Bushmen were exterminated; and when the English conquered the colony in 1795 the Hottentots were only as 14,500 to 21,000 whites.[1] Nevertheless, the convenience of slave labour had been found to be so great that the coloured population of the colony altogether was roughly as two in three, and that proportion has been maintained ever since or increased, though slavery has been abolished, though thousands of British settlers have been poured into the country, and though the diamond-fields have attracted thousands of immigrants. As many as 30,000 Kaffirs are said to have taken refuge under British rule during the governorship of Sir George Grey alone.[2] Meanwhile it must be borne in mind, that the outlying parts of the Cape colony have always been very largely peopled by Dutch Boers, who have to some extent stemmed the influx of free coloured settlers by their constant wars with the natives, and by their disinclination to admit them except as slaves. The Cape therefore shows us European influences at their strongest in Africa; and their strongest is for the most masterful of European races to be a decided, though at present a governing minority. Still the influx of blacks at the Cape is not yet so great as to have made manual and unskilled labour discreditable to white men.

The case of Natal is more instructive for what may be expected in Africa generally. Natal was seized by the British in 1842, the Boers who had occupied it, and to whom it was valuable for its sea-board, being a mere handful of men among natives who accepted them for the moment as deliverers from the Zulus. Nevertheless, the number of black inhabitants at that