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freshing to the unaccustomed eye. The plains appear stripped of

every kind of pasture, and the shrubs with which the country is thickly covered assume a hue of the most sombre description. The bold outline of the mountain ridges of the Camdeboo and lofty Snewberg which intersect the division, however, relieve the otherwise monotonous and dreary prospect, and upon their sides and summits, the herbage retrieves its colour and nutritiousness. The scenery of these elevated ranges, especially in the winter season, is particularly agreeable to an Englishman long removed from his native land ; their bracing climate, their streamlets, their cold blue pools often thickly covered with ice, their leafless trees, their snug homesteads, their cheerful and warm apartments, and still warmer and hospitable inmates, always ready to receive and befriend the stranger, forcibly recal half-remembered thoughts of long by-gone winter days, and carry back the visitor to

the land of his birth,

That loveliest land on the face of the earth.” The discouraging appearance of this district to travellers in search of the picturesque has, notwithstanding, the one advantage that it acts as a foil to the beautiful and extensive town situated at the foot of the Snewberg, also named Graf Reinet, the capital of the county. The vast contrast it exhibits in its fertility and liveliness of appearance (upon which the visitor stumbles unexpectedly and at once) compared with the immense and weary plains he has left behind has caused it to be called, in the homely diction of the inhabitants, “ the pearl upon a dunghill.” The celebrated Mr. Barrow, who visited this spot in 1797, thus describes the place as he then saw it :

“ Its appearance is as miserable as that of the poorest village in England. The necessaries of life are with difficulty procured in it; for, though there be plenty of arable land, few are found industrious enough to cultivate it. Neither milk, nor butter, nor cheese, nor vegetables of any kind, are to be had upon any terms. There is neither butcher, nor chandler, nor grocer, nor baker. Every one must provide for himself as well as he can. They have neither wine, nor beer; and the chief beverage of the inhabitants is the water of the Sunday River, which, in the summer season, is strongly impregnated with salt. It would be

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difficult to say what the motives could have been that induced the choice of this place for the residence of the landrost. It could not proceed from any personal comforts or convenience that the place held out; perhaps those of the inhabitants have chiefly been consulted, being the situation nearly central with respect to the district : though it is more probable that some interested motive, or a want of judgment, or a contradictory spirit, must have operated in assigning so wild, so secluded, and so unprofitable a place for the seat of the drosdy."

That Mr. Barrow was not gifted with the spirit of prophecy is apparent from the progress this still improving place has since made. It is copiously supplied with water from the Sunday River, on which it is seated, by two channels cut for the purpose. Its streets, admirably laid out at right angles, are remarkably well built, certainly not equalled by any other town in the province, and are lined with rows of lemon trees, the golden fruit of which is so plentiful as to be thrown away for want of demand. Some of the plots of ground in the cross streets are hedged with the same plant, or with quince enclosures, impervious to any animal. The public offices and court-house are a noble range of buildings ; the

parsonage

is another handsome structure. The church is also capacious, and its tower one of the most perfect specimens of good masonry; it has lately been improved by a spire of forty feet high. There is also a good public schoolhouse, and a very handsome and spacious chapel built by the abused frontier farmers of this county for the use of the coloured classes, before any missionary society had lent a hand to their instruction,

The number of houses in the town is about 300, with a population of 2450. Its chief support is derived from dried fruits, oranges, wine, and brandy, and a very considerable trade is carried on by a number of merchants, who exchange European imports for the raw produce of the surrounding country. The successful progress of this town must in all justice be attributed to Captain (now Sir A.) Stockenstrom, who, while its chief magistrate, was indefatigable in exerting himself for its improvement, where he acquired a well-deserved popularity, which afterwards he well nigh injudiciously sacrificed.

The natural curiosities of this county have not as yet had the

advantage of a steady and scientific inquirer to search them out. Iron ore in the pyritical form appears abundant. Fossil remains, in considerable quantities, have been discovered in several situations; and near the chief town is a medicinal spring similar to that of Harrowgate, much used by rheumatic patients, and, it is said, employed with success. Saltpetre is reported to occur largely in some places.

Perhaps the best criterion of the value of this division is to be found in the fact that it is rapidly filling up by English people from the adjoining districts, as well as by old colonists from the Western Province, who bought out the original Dutch holders on leaving for Natal. The most favoured haunts of the new occupants are the glens, which penetrate the Snewberg range, and are considered the fittest for sheep; but many persons are settling themselves on the great lower plains, where wine and corn farming are carried on upon a most extensive scale, as well as the breeding of the improved description of sheep.

6. COUNTY OF COLESBERG.—Colesberg, named in honour of the gallant and justly appreciated Governor of the colony, Sir G. L. Cole, was separated from Graf Reinet on the 8th of February, 1837, and invested with all the dignities of a separate county. It is the most northerly portion of the colony, having a part of the southern branch of the Orange River (the Nu Gariep), and what is in courtesy called Griqua Land, for its north-eastern boundary; the Stormberg Spruits for its eastern limit; on the south the counties of Graf Reinet and Cradock ; and its western skirts upon the desert country of the Cis-Garipine Bushmen. Its area is about 11,654 square miles, peopled by 9026 souls; of whom 4248 are white and 4778 coloured.

The scarcity of water in this division condemns it to a chiefly pastoral existence, for nothing cultivatable by art can be raised without irrigation, and the opportunity of effecting this is some- . what rare; the consequence is that it is dependent upon the other districts for its bread com. The practice of constructing dams is gaining ground, which will render the inhabitants in some measure independent in this particular. Its streams are the Sea-Cow River, the Orlogs and the Brake River, the Zureberg, the Brand and Stormberg Spruit. These streams are all

periodical, and empty themselves into the Orange River, a neverfailing and splendid stream, in some parts from 1300 to 1700 feet wide, beautifully fringed by forests of mimosa and willows, and studded with innumerable islands. If this river were diverted from its course, which doubtless might be effected by a good engineer, its waters could irrigate thousands of acres of the richest kind, and afford food to an immense population.

This division contains nine wards or hundreds, of which the Hantam is particularly noted for its hardy breed of horses.

The product of this district is, as already intimated, chiefly stock, of which large herds are successfully reared both of cattle and sheep, but the aridity of the soil and the uncertainty of rains force the farmers very frequently to remove from their estates, and to hire from the Griquas, inhabiting the opposite side of the Orange River, the pastures which they have not the means to feed off. The stock of this division is given as follows :- -Cattle 69,314, horses 9341, sheep 883,693, goats 64,068.

Official Return of Produce.
Wheat, bushels

17,420
Barley,
do.

2,838
Oats, do.

460 Colesberg is the name of the chief village, and is situated on the side of the Torenberg, or Tower Mountain, in a long sandy glen. It was selected in the year 1830 as the site of a church for the immediately-adjacent wards, and 18,000 acres were granted by the Government in freehold to the churchwardens, who have the right of alienating building lots as they may be required. About 100 houses have been built on this spot, which are occupied by from 400 to 500 inhabitants.' The spirit of teetotalism reigns triumphant over the rigidly righteous lords of the soil attached to this town, and no canteen or spirit-house is allowed to be licensed to any of its occupants. Notwithstanding this prohibition, large importations of the creature are daily made under the covert name of “ Eau-de-Cologne,” actually introduced in bottles of the “Eau Véritable,” but which smell much more strongly of the water of life than the celebrated perfume.

The village is situated, like Cradock, on one of the immediate high roads of the emigrant farmers to Natal ; has become, and is

likely to continue, a depôt for a principal part of the trade of that newly occupied dependency, the surplus live stock of which has only these outlets to the colony.

With the exception of the hot springs of Brand Valley in the ward of New Hantam, and the agate and porphyritic blocks in the bed of the Great or Orange River, there are few if any other remarkable curiosities; but the country east of the Sea-Cow River is well worth the visit of a geologist, where the mountains assume such fantastic shapes as are unparalleled in any other part of the globe ; cone, pyramid, table, cylinder, sometimes clustered and sometimes detached, of every height and at every degree of inclination, arrest the astonished beholder, who can hardly fancy he beholds natural objects with his own eyes, but is almost persuaded he has entered some fairy region.

If the scenery of this division is not altogether pleasing to the mere tourist, it is at all events striking to the lover of nature in its wildest form, and has peculiar interest for the sportsman. Immense plains, skirted or sprinkled by the extraordinary elevations above alluded to, stretch their interminable length, until vision would be weary if it were not relieved by the living mass of wild creatures which continually fit across the extensive waste. Troops of the galloping gnu, the stately ostrich, many varieties of the elegant antelope, the hartebeest and eland, the prancing quagga, the beautiful zebra, and the wild buffalo, pass rapidly before the traveller ; and lions, leopards, panthers, and other equally splendid specimens of the fere nature, occasionally favour the visitant, by exhibiting their forms in that state in which they are worth ten thousand caged or stuffed animals, as we see them imprisoned in menageries, or trussed up in those sepulchres of science called museums.

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