Page:National Life and Character.djvu/50

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
38
CHAP.
NATIONAL LIFE AND CHARACTER

dishonourable; and from the moment that a white population will not work in the fields, on the roads, in the mines, or in factories, its doom is practically sealed. It is limited to supplying employees, merchants, contractors, shopmen, and foremen to the community. Sooner or later the black race will be educated to a .point at which it will demand and receive a share in these employments and in the government.[1] Whenever that happens, the white race will be either absorbed or disappear. The mass will gradually depart, but a few, who have lost the sense of superiority, will remain, intermarry, and be perpetuated in the persons of a few hundred, or it may be a few thousand, mulattoes and quadroons.

Now the fate of Natal is bound to be the fate of those parts of the African Continent which lie north of Natal and south of the desert of Sahara. It is quite conceivable that tracts will be discovered with rich gold-fields, like those of California and Australia, and with a climate allowing white men to labour. Tens of thousands of diggers may be attracted there, and may determine to keep the gold deposits to themselves, and to debar blacks or Chinamen from working them. Even in this case the blacks will still press into the country that they may enjoy the security of English rule, and will be field -hands, domestic servants, and generally drudges of every kind, reinforcing the original negro population, so as to keep it always superior in numbers to the whites. Before long the surface and easily worked deposits will have been exhausted. Independent miners will be replaced by companies, and

  1. This is already the case, to some extent, at the Cape. Mr. Theale remarks, that as landholders the Fingoes " are entitled to vote for members of Parliament, and large numbers avail themselves of this privilege."—South African History, chap, xxvii.