BOTANICAL MISCELLANY;

COKTAINING

FIGURES AND DESCRIPTIONS

OF

SUCH PLANTS AS RECOMMEND THEMSELVES BY THEIR NOVELTY, RARITY, OR HISTORY,

OR BY

THE USES TO WHICH THEY ARE APPLIED IN

THE ARTS,

IN MEDICINE, AND IN DOMESTIC CECONOMY;

TOGETHER WITH

OCCASIONAL BOTANICAL NOTICES AND INFORMATION.

BY WILLIAM JACKSON HOOKER, LL. D., F. R. A. & L. S., &c. &c.

REGIUS PROFESSOR OF BOTANY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW.

VOL. II.

LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE -STREET.

MDCCCXXXI.

If,

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE

OF THE LATE

CAPTAIN DUGALD CARMICHAEL, F. L. S. B?/ the Rev. Colin Sjiith, 3Iinister of Inverary.

[It was, I think, in the spring of 1820, when at the house of the late Sir Joseph Banks, that my friend, Mr. Brown, spoke to me of a gentleman of considerable acquirements having arrived from the Island of Tristan d' Acunha, with an exten- sive collection of its vegetable productions. My love for Cryptogamic Plants led me to inquire if these had constituted a part of his collections and studies, to which Mr. Brown replied in the affirmative, and added, that he had left no branch of the natural history of the island unexplored; as was fully exemplified in the account of the island which afterwards appeared in the I2th volume of the Transactions of the Linnaean Society. This was the first time I heard of Capt. Carmichael, for it was of him that Mr. Brown spoke; and I had then no opportunity of making his acquain- tance, as my professional duties required me to proceed to Scotland, where, however, I had soon the opportunity of obtaining a personal knowledge of the subject of this memoir. He had just retired from active life, having taken a farm at Appin, upon the romantic coast of Argyleshire ; a spot well suited to the researches of a naturalist. Already, in the few months he had spent there, Capt. Carmichael had ex- plored much of the country in the vicinity of his new residence, and he brought with him to Glasgow an interesting collection of the mosses of that district, with whose names and characters he soon made himself familiar. It was impossible not to be struck with the varied knowledge and information possessed by Capt. Carmichael; for though in botany he took the greatest delight, yet with almost every subject, and especially such as bore any relation to his ex- tensive travels, his mind was richly stored. Distant and reserved at first, it was not till acquaintance had ripened into friendship, that his conversational powers were fully brought

VOL. II. B

Nl^W VORU

BOTANiC/Vl

QARDBN

forth. With such a man, then in the very prime of life, I had promised myself the pleasure of frequent intercourse, and a mutual interchange of ideas on our common and favourite pursuit. But his habitual antipathy to society, a rooted dislike to a ci'owded and commercial city, and, above all, his partiality to the scenes and occupations afforded by the situation of his little farm, rendered his visits to Glasgow much less frequent than I could have wished, and his stay among us was always of short duration. When he com- plained of the difficulty of getting access to books, in his retired place of abode, I have urged him to come and live in the neighbourhood of Glasgow; but his answer invariably was, " How should I live without the woods, and mountains, and deep dells which afford me Fungi ; or the rocky beach that yields me such an infinite variety of amusement in the curious Algae, among which I am daily discovering something new?" It was, indeed, in examining these minute produc- tions of the Creator's hand that he spent almost the whole of his life after his retirement from active service. In pursuit of these, though his attention was wholly confined to the parish in which he lived, he was so eminently successful, that among the Fungi alone, he detected more species than had been before described as natives of the whole of Scotland. His specimens he preserved with the utmost care, gathering those Lichens which are the most firmlv attached to the rocks and the stones, by a method peculiar to himself; and drawing and describing with the greatest accuracy, and with the constant aid of a powerful microscope when characterising the minute kinds, all such as were new or rare. Capt. Carmichael's correspondence was limited to a small circle. All his dis- coveries were communicated to me ; and whatever could be useful to Dr. Greville's beautiful work on the Cryptogamiae of Scotland, was liberally sent to that author. His personal acquaintance with botanists was nearly as circumscribed ; yet the visits paid him by individuals of congenial tastes, were very gratifying, and he often spoke of the temporary residence of the Rev. J. M. Berkeley in his immediate neighbourhood, as a source of great pleasure to him.

My last interview with Capt. Carmichael was in the sum- mer of 1826, when 1 invited him to join an excursion with the students of my class, which it was proposed should ex- tend that year to Icolmkil], StafFa, and others of the more northern islands of the Hebrides. He met us in our vessel, immediately opposite his residence, when we proceeded to Mull, Skye, and thence, returning through the Sound of Mull, we visited Fort -William, Ben Nevis, and the majestic scenery of Glencoe. But it was easy to see that disease had made rapid progress in his constitution. His spirits were depressed, and his strength did not enable him to undergo any of the fatiguing ascents of the mountains; nor, at all times, to go ashore among the islands. But he brought a beautiful set of drawings of Confervse, and other Algse, and

while showing and describing these to the more zealous botanists of our party, his powers of mind seemed to be as vigorous as ever, and the interest which the subject possessed for him, appeared almost to reanimate his drooping frame.

In the month of September, of the following year, I re- ceived the melancholy tidings of his death.

The botanical mss., specimens, and drawings, have come into my possession, and in the publication of whatever is new amongst these, I hope to render some justice to the author in the forthcoming volume of the British Cryptogamiae. It has, farther, been a wish nearest my heart, to lay before the public some account of the life and labours of this zealous and indefatigable naturalist. Yet, honoured as I was with his friend- ship, and the greater part of his correspondence, I felt that our personal interviews had not been sufficient to furnish me with the necessary materials for such a memoir. I had recourse then to my valued friend, the Rev. Colin Smith, Minister of Inverary, who, previous to his present residence, lived at Appin, in the immediate neighbourhood of Capt. Carmichael, had frequent and unreserved intercourse with him, and whose own acquirements and scientific research * rendered him

* Botany has engaged a portion of Mr. Smith's attention ; and while writing, I am favoured by him with an interesting packet of plants from the woods and

B 2

amply qualified to narrate the circumstances of his friend's life. Mr. Smith readily entered into my views and wishes : he procured from Mr. Clarke, the brothei'-in-law, and several other relatives of our deceased friend, various documents, and original mss., and journals, which they obligingly con- fided to his care; and notwithstanding the laborious duties of an extensive Highland parish, and much family affliction, Mr. Smith has furnished me with the following interesting sketch of the life and pursuits of Capt. Carmichael. W.J.H.']

While it is highly desirable that every country should have its just share of credit for tlie men of literature and science which it has produced, there is no individual, considered in himself, to whom the place of his birth has been less impor- tant in forming his character, than the naturalist, and with whom, therefore, it may be less necessary to record it. Not because his life reflects no honour on his natal soil, nor because he is himself insensible to the glow of patriotism; but because the sympathies of the naturalist extend beyond his own home, and Universal Nature claims his attention. Amidst the multitude of organised beings, the individuality of his own being is less to him than to others. His eye ranges from pole to pole, while his hand is stretched over mountain and valley, lake and wood, and the spot which has presented him with a new genus or a peculiar formation, becomes attractive to his thoughts as the dwelling-place of his fathers. His breath seems as if first drawn where he experienced the ecstacy that arises from the conviction of having discovered what had escaped the observation of others, and which stands hitherto recorded only in the annals of the Almighty in creation. The naturalist thus becomes the revealer, as it were, of a little world, wherein the Divine power and wisdom are displayed in new relations ; and, while

mountains near Inverary. Among other Muscological rarities, he has recently gathered there Hypnum rufesccns and Hypmim Crista-castrensis, in fruit ; Gym- nostomum Icipponicum, Griffithiammi and viridissimum, Weissia recurvata and trichodes, and Grimmia torquata.

accustoming his eye to behold in every object a particular manifestation of infinite intelligence, he sees in each law the operating hand of the Almighty; in each being the life of the Eternal; in each climate His unity; in every distant planet His ubiquity ; in every provision the fulness of His mercy ; and in the constancy of their action His truth : while in the struggle to grasp the whole in his own finite comprehension, the naturalist possibly forgets or loses sight of self.

The Island of Lismore, in the county of Argyle, and one of the Hebrides, was the birth-place of Dugald Carmichael, in 1772. Born of parents who were in easy circumstances, he was early designed for a learned profession ; and though the opportunities which the parochial school afforded might not perhaps be very great, nor calculated to enlarge the youthful mind, the eye of genius is ever open, and ready to avail itself of every advantage. While his schoolfellows were scattered over the play-ground, pursuing their own wild gambols, young Carmichael might be seen in some neigh- bouring field, gathering and examining the flowers which grew there, or searching in some fosse for the organic remains that were then plentifully scattered throughout the mosslands of Lismore. Thus do the amusements of the boy " cast their shadows before," and often exhibit an outline of the pursuits of the future man. He was regarded by other boys, generally, with contempt or astonishment; and had not his habits of silence and retirement been occasionally broken by indications of spirit, which checked the insolent and awed the timid, while he was characterised by uniform gentleness and a more than ordinary capacity for learning the prescribed lessons, his schoolfellows would not have failed to consider him a fool.

Nor was he satisfied with the mere observation of nature. He took peculiar pleasure in sketching, and with a love for colouring worthy of a Titian, he sought in nature for the means of imitating her own hues, and blended these in the best manner that he could. The inkstand afforded black, or when he wanted a different shade, he had recourse to the bark of the Alder ; and the tops of the Heath yielded yellow.

6

Among other such zealous, though crude attempts, it is related by his sister, * that in order to procure red, he had recourse to his own blood, and when he had so mangled and drained his fingers by frequent puncturations that it became difficult or too painful to extract more from them, he endea- voured, by earnest entreaties, and such bribes as he could offer, to persuade her or some one of his companions, to suffer him to obtain a temporary supply from theirs.

This love of observation and experiment, which so far overcame bodily comfort, attended Mr. Carmichael thi'ough life, accompanied with an equally strong mental characteristic, that stamped him as an individual who listened principally to the voice of experience, and made fact the ground of all his reasonings. From a very early age it was remarked of him, that he only believed what he could see positive evidence for, so that the fireside stories of apparitions and goblins that are firmly credited in the Highlands of Scotland, and which caused the hair of the aged natives to stand on end, only excited his laughter. He had never witnessed these appearances, and seeing no use in them, he did not believe in their existence. But this incredulity was sometimes not comfortable to others; for, acquainted with the spots that were famed as the haunts of fairies and other praeternatural visitants, he would slip out alone in the evening, and carry- ing his violin, of which he was very fond, under his arm, and concealing himself behind some tree or rock that was cele- brated for ghostly appearances, he would there await the return of the servants from the fold, and alarm them with sounds, which, being unexpected, induced the belief that they proceeded from some unearthly inhabitant of the spot.

In 1787, Mr. Carmichael was sent by his parents to the University of Glasgow, to attend the literary classes, and he seems to have made a considerable proficiency in the Greek and Latin languages : but it is not surprising if the mysteries of metaphysical science should have but few charms for him,

* This anecdote was related to me by Mr. Clarke, near Oban, who has married the sister of Capt. Carmichael.

who looked to things more than to opinions; or that he should have turned his attention to nriedicine. as a study more congenial to his peculiar taste. What ardour he exhibited, or what progress he made during the years spent in attending these classes, cannot now be ascertained ; but it is probable that he did not make any considerable acquisi- tions in science, in an University which at that time afforded few facilities and no stimulants to the student of nature. To a much later period, Glasgow was almost exclusively a school for logic and metaphysics; and those who are now- enabled, in an attendance there, to benefit by the instructions of some of the first teachers of natural science that this age can boast, will hardly conceive the difficulties under which the student laboured, who, a few years ago, might have finished his curriculum without a master to inform him even of the authors whom it was necessary for him to consult.

How detrimental this was to the progress of general knowledge cannot be estimated ; but though Mr. Carmichael went to Edinburgh to finish his studies, there is reason to believe that he deeply felt the disadvantage of not being earlier instructed in the first principles of natural science. Several years afterwards he writes, " The plan adopted by several continental nations, particularly the French and the Swedish, of making natural history a branch of education in the public schools, possesses many advantages over the old Gothic system to which we still cling so pertinaciously on the English side of the channel. To those young men who are destined to pass a great portion of their lives in regions far removed from their native land, the study of natural history affords intervals of pleasing recreation from the fatigues of professional duty. This study, aided by a know- ledge of a few of the modern languages, is the surest passport to the best society. It occupies those idle hours which would otherwise lie heavy on the hands of the young, or incite, per- haps, to dangerous irregularities. It affords exercise to the mind, and frequently adds to the sum of human knowledge. It has, also, over every other study, this peculiar advantage, that whithersoever fortune may direct our footsteps, materials

8

for it present themselves to our view. The pathless forest, the arid plain, the alpine rock, the desert island, tender by turns their varied and inexhaustible stores, and demand of us only exercise of body as the price at which they will furnish us with food for the mind. Even the boundless waste of ocean, which the common traveller views with an eye of apathy or apprehension, yields to the naturalist a rich harvest of amusement and instruction. A man possessed of a taste for natural history, has it in his power to amass a store of subjects, wherewith he can associate a train of agreeable recollections sufficient to afford him amusement during the remainder of his life; not to mention the pleasure he must feel in sharing his discoveries with those who have the same taste with himself, but who want the opportunity of indulging it.

" There is no denying that this branch of education may engender a host of unfledged philosophers, who will fancy, on their outset in life, that every thing must be new to others which appears so to themselves; and when such undertake to visit remote countries and communicate to the world the result of their observations, v/e must be prepared to meet with a little vanity and egotism, inflated language, extrava- gant theories, and deductions not always the most legitimate. With these drawbacks, however, the journal of a young traveller moderately skilled in natural history, will prove infinitely more interesting to the intelligent class of readers than that of a person who is totally ignorant of that branch of science."

After taking his diploma as surgeon, in the University of Edinburgh, Mr. Carmichael returned to reside with his father at Lismore, where, as may be imagined, he again applied to his favourite pursuits. But his circle of observa- tion was limited, for this island does not abound in such productions as attract the eye of a young botanist. It is but little elevated above the level of the sea, and entirely formed of a blueish coloured limestone, more or less crystallized, which is occasionally traversed by veins of greenstone, and once only by a vein of pitchstone, scarcely an inch in thick-

ness, and exceedingly friable. The soil barely coats the rocks, which put forth their bald foreheads in every portion of the best cultivated fields, giving to this fertile island the appearance of a heap of stones, and rendering the spade as necessary an implement of husbandry as the plough. The plants found on it are not numerous, con- sisting chiefly of a few Orchidea^ PrimulacecB, SaxifragcB, Crucifercs, &c. ; and though the neighbouring mainland presents a greater variety of soil and elevation, we cannot believe that Mr. Carmichael would have made much progress in the knowledge of classification, far less have acquired his quick botanical eye, in a situation where he was excluded from the benefits to be obtained from books and sympathy, and where the list of native vegetables is by no means large. It is probable that his attention was at this time turned rather towards mineralogy, and that his sight was not indifferent to the majesty and beauty of the hills which form the great glen of Scotland, nor his mind inactive in speculating upon the manner of their formation. It was indeed a station calculated to arouse the slumbering spirit of the geologist into activity, and more callous observers than he who is the subject of this memoir might have their admiration excited by those mountains which inclose the island of Lismore as in a mighty amphitheatre, and which present so many and such varied aspects. It is believed that his knowledge of mineralogy was chiefly acquired at this time, while residing with his parents, after his return from the university.

In 1796, being appointed assistant-surgeon to the Argyle- shire Fencibles, then stationed in Ireland, Mr. Carmichael had an opportunity of extending his knowledge of the work- ings of nature. Yet he has not left behind him anything which enables us to trace what progress he there made in science. When the advantages of scientific instruction are wanting in youth, years of after labour become necessary for the student, during which we may find him labouring assidu- ously to compass the first elements of knowledge, and carefully treading the paths which others have trodden before him, in order to ascertain what has been already done, and what yet

10

remains to be effected. For nine years, during which he was stationed in Ireland, Mr. Carmichael seems to have been preparing his mind for future discoveries, and by a fortunate coincidence, Robeit Brown, Esq., who has justly been called " the first botanist of this or any other age," held a similar appointment upon the same station. That the advantages arising from this circumstance were improved by Mr. Car- michael, can hardly be doubted ; and an intimacy was then formed between him and the great British botanist, which was renewed in after life, when each had risen to eminence in his respective line.

Whatever pleasure he may have received from society such as this, his eye could only rest upon objects that others had discovered long before, and so long as foreign lands lay untrodden and unexplored, Mr. Carmichael could not but have a longing desire to visit them. He therefore gladly embraced the opportunity of entering the 72d regiment, in hopes of being sent to some foreign station; and whether it was that he deemed it most conducive to his interests to drop his profession as a surgeon, or, as is more probable, that he found his duties interfere too much with his favourite pur- suits, he exchanged the lancet for the sword, and entered the 72d regiment as Ensign. In 1805, his wishes were fully accomplished ; the corps to which he belonged being one of those which formed the expedition under Sir David Baird, against the Cape of Good Hope; and from this period he carefully noted whatever occurred to him that was deserving of remark, keeping a diary, in which, from time to time, he entered such observations on men, opinions, climate, plants, &c. as might be instructive to others, or amusing to himself. He was engaged in the action with the enemy which took place on landing at the Cape, and from the account which he gives of it, as well as from his general description of military movements and stations, we learn that he made his new profession his study, and that he was not contented merely witli being an officer, but brought his talents to bear on his occupations, until he knew the general duties which he might have to perform, as well as the general rules of the

11

military art. Colonel Grant, who then commanded the 72d, seemed to have duly estimated his merits, and desired his promotion ; but having been wounded in this engagement at the Cape, Carmichael lost, in consequence, an active friend. He always spoke of his profession with the warmth of a soldier, and of his brother officers with fondness; a fact, indeed, which also proves that his own deportment was such as commanded their rearard.

Of this brave action which terminated so favourably for the British arms, we shall give the description in Capt. Car- michael's own words.

" The expedition under the command of Sir David Baird, which was destined to act against the Cape of Good Hope, consisted of the 24th, 38th, and 83d regiments, commanded by Brigadier-General Beresford; and the 71st, 72d, and 93d, commanded by Brigadier-General Ferguson; three com- panies of the Royal Artillery under General Yorke; and two squadrons of the 20th Light Dragoons. To this force must be added the 59th regiment, embarked for the East Indies, which was ordered to co-operate with us in the re- duction of the Cape. The naval force, commanded by Sir Home Popham, consisted of two 64 gun-ships, and one of 50 guns ; two frigates, a sloop of war, and two gun-brigs.

" The expedition sailed from the Cove of Cork on the 2d day of September, 1805, and on the 4th of October, the fleet, amounting to about seventy sail, came to anchor in Funchal Roads, off the Island of Madeira. We weighed anchor again, and directed our course for St. Salvador, on the Coast of Brazil, where we arrived on the 12th of November, with the loss of the Britannia Indiaman, and the King George transport, with General Yorke on board, which were wrecked on the shoal called the Racers, off Cape St. Augustine. Leaving St. Salvador on the 26th of November, we made the Cape of Good Hope on the 3d of January, 1806; and on the evening of the 4th, the whole fleet came to an anchor in the channel, between Robin Island and the Blueberg.

" Early on. the morning of the 5th of January, General

12

Beresford's brigade made an attempt to land ; but on ap- proaching the shore, the sea was found to break with such violence, that it was thought prudent to desist. As that part of the coast was known to be subject to a heavy surge, and the situation of the fleet was such as forbade any unne- cessary delays, the Diomede, with the transports carrying the 38th regiment and General Beresford, was despatched to Saldanha Bay, and the whole fleet would have followed next day, had not the Highland brigade been fortunate enough to effect a landing about six miles farther to the Southward, in Sospiras Bay. The enemy's riflemen appeared lurking among the bushes, and showed a disposition to annoy us; but they were speedily dislodged by a few shots from the gun brigs that covered our approach. The only serious accident that occurred was the loss of one of our boats, having on board about forty men of the 93d regiment, which was over- set on a bank of shore-weed, and every soul lost.

" The 7th of January was employed in disembarking the remainder of the troops and the field artillery. Five hundred volunteers from the ships of war and Indiamen were also landed, for the purpose of dragging the guns, a service which they performed with their accustomed enthusiasm. At four o'clock, on the morning of the 8th, we moved from the sand hills along the road that leads over the shoulder of the Blue- berg. When we arrived on the crest of the hill, we per- ceived the enemy drawn up on the other side. Our disposi- tion was soon made. We were formed in echellons of bri- gades ; the left, or Highland brigade, being about two hun- dred yards in advance of the other. In this relative position we advanced, sometimes in line, at others in file from the heads of companies, according to the nature of the ground. We no sooner arrived within range of the enemy's artillery, than he opened his fire on us from twenty field-pieces, which were advanced considerably in front of his line.* The

* Capt. Carmichael's account of this action is that of a soldier : a peaceful missionary, the Rev. Henry Martyn, who witnessed it from the fleet, thus notices it in his interesting Journal:

13

action, on our side, was begun by the grenadiers of the 24th regiment, sent to dislodge a body of mounted riflemen, which occupied a rising ground on our right flank. This duty the grenadiers performed with great intrepidity, but not without serious loss : Capt. Foster * being killed on the spot, and fifteen men either killed or wounded.

" The line, in the meantime, continued to advance over a tract of ground where we were buried up to the middle in heath and prickly shrubs. Owing to some misconception of orders, we began firino- before we had arrived within killing distance of the enemy; but this error was speedily corrected by the rapidity of our movement, which alarmed him so much, that, by the time we came within a hundred yards of his position, he began to retreat. This he effected in very good order ; for, to tell the truth, we were in no condition to molest him. Fresh from the cool bracing climate of Ii*eland, then cooped up for five months on board of crowded trans- ports, a march of six hours over the scorching sands of Africa, exhausted us to such a degree, that even the exhilar- ating sight of a flying enemy could not prevent immense numbers from escaping to the rear.

" Our force of every description in this action, was about five thousand men ; that of the enemy three thousand. The loss was nearly equal, being about three hundred in killed

" The Indiamen being then ordered to get under weigh, and the men-of-war drawn up close to the shore, a landing was effected, and soon after seven the next day, a most tremendous fire of artillery began behind a mountain abreast of the ships. It seemed as if the mountain itself was torn by intestine convulsions. The smoke arose from a lesser eminence on the right side of the hill ; and on the top of it troops were seen, marching down the farther declivity. Then came such a long-drawn fire of musketry, that I could not conceive any thing like it. We all shuddered at considering what a multitude of souls must be passing into eternity. The poor ladies were in a dreadful condition : every shot seemed to go through their hearts. The sound is now retiring, and the enemy are seen retreating along the low ground on the right, towards the town."

* " Among several others, some wounded and some dead, was Capt. Foster, who was shot by a rifleman. We all stopped for a while to gaze in pensive silence on his pale body." Henry Martyii's Journal,

14

and wounded. After the engagement, we advanced as far as Reitt Valley, where we received from the fleet a supply of provisions and water. Next morning we marched on towards Cape Town, and had approached within a few miles of it, when we were met by a flag of truce demanding a cessation of hostilities for forty-eight hours, in order to arrange terms of capitulation. Sir David Baird returned for answer that they should have six hours only, and that, if the place was not surrendered at the expiration of that period, he would enter it by storm in the course of the night. This menace had the desired effect, and the 59th regiment marched in that evening and took possession of the lines. The rest of the troops lay on their arms, at the mouth of the Salt River, until three o'clock, p. m. next day, at which hour the British flag was hoisted on the castle, a royal salute was fired by tlie ships of war, and the Highland brigade marched to Wyn- berg.

" We thus, without much difficulty, got possession of the capital; but Jansen was still unsubdued. After the action at Blueberg, he had retired with his whole force to the pass of Hottentot's Holland Kloof, where he designed to establish himself in such a manner as should cut off the communication of Cape Town with the interior. With a view to dislodge him from this stronghold, the Highland brigade and 59th regiment marched on the 12th to Stetten- bock, and were followed, in a few days, by Sir David Baird in person. After some preliminary overtures between the two Generals, a negociation was set on foot which terminated in the formal cession of the whole colony to the British arms.

" While the transaction was pending, however, and with a view to accelerate its progress, the 59th and 72d regiments were detached up the country, to occupy a position in rear of the Dutch troops. We marched from the encampment at Stettenbock about eight o'clock in the evening of the 16th January, and arrived early next morning at the Paail. This charming little village consists of a single street, nearly a mile in length. The houses are built at some distance asunder, neatly white-washed, with an elevated terrace along

15

the front, and a row of trees to shade them from the street. Behind each dwelling, there is a small kitchen garden and vineyard, which ascend against the side of a pretty high hill, that shelters the village from the westerly winds.

" Notwithstanding the fatigue of a nocturnal march, curiosity prompted me to walk up to the top of this hill, to which the colonists, struck with some peculiarity in its appearance, have given the name of Paarlberg. The summit is of granite, worn into a hemisphserical form, and furrowed here and there by deep fissures, through which the atmospherical moisture, condensed from the clouds, gushes down in perpetual rills. The sides of the fissures are garnished with those fleshy plants, so abundant in South Africa, the Crassulos, the Cotyle- dons, and the Aloes. On the top of this granitic cupola, a number of detached masses of the same material lie scattered about, some of them apparently so nicely poised, that a slight push might roll them down upon the village.

" On our arrival at the Paarl, we found the people prodi- giously civil. Every door was thrown open for our reception, and several of the inhabitants carried their kindness so far as to send even to the parade to invite us to their houses. Some of our speculators ascribed this marked hospitality to fear; while others, inclined to judge more favourably of human nature, imputed it to general benevolence of disposition. Those who suspended their opinion on the subject, had the laugh at the expense of both, when, on our departure next morning, the true motive was discovered in the amount of their bills.

" We marched on the 18th to Waggonmaker's Valley ; and in the course of the day, had occasion, more than once, to cross the Great Bei'g River. In the summer season, this ^river is nothing but a series of deep pools, called the Sea-Cow Holes, connected by a trifling stream ; but in winter its depth and rapidity are such as to intercept the communica- tions between Cape Town and the intei'ior for weeks at a time. The sea-cow, (Hippopotamus amphibius,) formerly so abundant in all the large rivers, is now totally extirpated, or banished beyond the limits of the colony, with the exception

16

of a few individuals which still harbour in this stream, under the protection of a direct law. We had not long halted at Waggonmaker's Valley, when an express from head-quarters overtook us, announcing the surrender of the colony, and directing Colonel Gibbs to return with his regiment to Cape Town, while we were ordered to continue our route toTulbagh. With this view, we marched on the i9th to Eykeboom; and on the 20th arrived at the end of our journey.

" Within four miles of Tulbagh, we had to pass through a narrow tortuous defile, called Roodsand Kloof The corres- pondence between the sides and angles of this intricate pass, suggests the idea that it was originally formed by the violent disruption of the mountain mass which it traverses. The precipice, on both sides, is clothed with shrubs, and animated by flocks of large baboons, and the Little Berg River is seen forcing its way among the rocky fragments accumulated at the bottom of the chasm.

" The village of Tulbagh, the only one in the district of that name, consists of about thirty houses, disposed along one side of a street, through which a stream of water has been conducted, for the purpose of irrigating an equal number of gardens that occupy the other side. It stands near the northern extremity of a valley, twenty miles long, and five or six miles in breadth, inclosed within deep mountainous ridges. This valley is a sort of table -land, being elevated three or four hundred feet above the level of the country, toward the coast. Owing to this elevation, it enjoys a milder temperature, and the constant supply of water from the mountain streams renders it more fertile than most parts of the colony. The landrost, or chief magistrate, resides near Tulbagh, and the court of Hemraaden meets there to discuss the affairs of the district. A small neat church adorns one end of the village, and the parsonage stands unrivalled at the other.

" The avowed object of our expedition to this remote place, was to administer the oath of allegiance to the landrost and leading men of the district, and, at the same time, to impress on the minds of the boors an exalted idea of the

17

British power. This being accomplished to the satisfaction of our commanding officer, the regiment was again put in motion, and we returned by our old route to Stellenbosch. This village is the largest in the colony, and pleasantly situated on the Eerste River. It is sheltered on the east side by the lofty mountains of Drakenstein, the summits of which are, in winter, covered with snow. Stellenbosch is the Montpellier of the Cape, to which invalids of all descriptions, resident in Capetown, retire during summer, from the wind, the dust, and the heat of that boisterous, broiling capital. The sur- rounding country is rich and well watered. Its chief pro- duce is the grape, from which a large quantity of wine is annually prepared for the market.

" Just as we had got clear of Stellenbosch, on our march to Capetown, brimful of the wonders we had seen, we were met by an orderly dragoon, with a dispatch, directing us to take the route to Simonstown. This we thought a very serious hardship, and a sorry return for our recent services: but there was no alternative.

" Half way between Wynberg and Simonstown, lies Muysenberg ; where we found barracks for the accommoda- tion of three companies, which we left there. The road from the latter place was along a cold rocky shore, on which a heavy surge perpetually rolls. On the other side, a steep rugged mountain rises abruptly from the shore, leaving hardly room for the narrow path which winds along its base. From the nature of the ground, a succession of obstacles can be thrown in the way of an army landed at Simonstown, and advancing towards Capetown along this pass. On this account, Muysenberg, the outlet of the defile, has been styled the Thermopylae of Southern Africa ; and so far it no doubt merits the appellation, that a small body of troops could check the progress of a large army advancing along the shore : but, like its celebrated prototype, it fails in a most essential point; for it can be easily turned ; and not only turned, but commanded by several paths through the mountain behind it. It is equally untenable in another point of view ; a single ship of war, bearing her broadside on it, could knock the whole

VOL. II. c

18

barrier in a few minutes about the ears of its defenders. The battery consists of four eighteen-pounders, pointed to the sea, and an equal number bearing on the defile. The works are constructed of loose round pebbles, picked up on the beach, surmounted by an earthen parapet, and the whole is so frail that a single shot would demolish it from top to bottom.

" While describing the nature of this pass, I cannot help adverting to a volume of Travels which fell into my hands at the period in question. It is the production of a Mr. Perceval, and was written at the time the colony was in possession of the British durinfj the late war. This gentleman landed at Simonstown, and, having passed by Muysenberg on his way to Capetown, takes occasion to detail its natural productions in the followino; words:

" ' The eye now meets with a different prospect, and full scope is afforded for the Botanist to gratify his favourite pro- pensity. At the foot of the hills, which are close to your left hand, a great variety of African evergreen plants present themselves amongst a profusion of other shrubs and flowers. Those which attract the attention, chiefly, are the Red pepper tree, the Castor-oil shrub, the Silver-tree [Protea argentea). Myrtles, several feet high, Laurels, and Laurustinus in abun- dance. Arbutus, Jessamines, Geraniums, Sunflowers, Blood- flowers, Coflfee plant, Napal or prickly Pear, Asparagus, Mul- berry, and many others peculiar to this spot of the world,'

" Had Mr. Perceval omitted this precious list of evergreens, and selected his catalogue from amongst the ' many others* to which he alludes, he might perhaps have saved his credit as a Botanist. But, as the matter stands, he appears merely to have opened the Gardeners' Kalendar, and transcribed the first names he happened to cast his eyes on. To form a proper estimate of the fidelity of his enumeration, it is neces- sary only to mention, that the spot in question, which, according to his account, ought to be consecrated to Flora, is not only in a state of nature, but absolutely incapable of being improved by art. I may venture, indeed, to pronounce, that there is not, in all Southern Africa, barren as it is, a more barren or untoward spot than the Pass of Muysenberg. It

19

was my lot to be stationed there for six weeks ; and, as Botany was my chief amusement, I had an opportunity of forming a pretty correct idea of its natural productions, especially of the perennial kind. Not a day elapsed during which I did not walk over several miles of its vicinity in search of plants; yet, in all my rambles, I never could discover an individual of those he has named, with the exception of a few obscure Geraniums and Asparagus plants, which were not very likely to arrest the attention of a common traveller. It is true that most of those plants are to be met with as objects of use or curiosity in gardens ; but the only individuals of them that are natives of the country, are the Protea^ the Geranium, (or rather Pelargonium,) the Hcemanthus, or Bloodflower, and the wild Asparagus.

" That man must always travel pleasantly who possesses the happy art of strewing his path with flowers. Mr. Perceval seems to have been enviably gifted with this faculty. Where- ever he turns, nature, or his prolific pen, scatters around him the rarest productions of the vegetable world. Of him might truly be said what Hudibras says of his mistress

' Where'er you tread, your foot shall set The primrose and the violet.'

" Describing the gardens of the colonists as he passed along, he says that ' Myrtles, Laurels, Laurustinus, Geraniums, Jessamines, Albucas, and Hyacinths form part of their fences, growing spontaneously in most places.' Myrtle hedges are indeed very common, and grow to a much greater height than he seems to have been aware of; but with respect to Laurels and Laurustinus, I believe they are very rare at the Cape, and the Geraniums, Albucas, and Hyacinths have degenerated so much since Mr. Perceval's time, that they would, at this day, make but a sorry fence indeed.

" Mr. Perceval