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X.

MADAGAS

CAR.

than the reputation, either of the Count or the Ministry: C H, A P. and I fear that their conduct to him cannot be even politi. cally justified, without impeaching their wisdom.--- The American troubles were coeval with the Madagascar colony. The ministry dropped the substance, and snatched at the shadow. Neglecting Madagascar, with her valuable and increasing productions * and her three millions of docile and ingenious people, + they lurked behind the malk of profeffions, for, what they thought, an opportunity of humbling: Great Britain. The consequences to France have been already hinted at. But Britain, disencumbered of her financial burden, and having her strength concentrated, rose superior to the blow, and has since resumed, and, if undisturbed by war, was long likely to maintain, her respectability among the nations. Her altonishing restoration, I think, ought, in candour, to be partly ascribed to the diftinguished. ability and industry of the statesman who has

* Having, under the preceding articles, enumerated the most valuable productions of the continent of Africa, it did not seem necessary to dwell on those of Madagafčar, which are very inuch the same. But, as the natives are far dess har. rassed by the flave-trade, and upon the whole, more civilized; the produce of their labour is proportionably more abundant. This is evident from the great quantities and value of provisions, &c. exported and supplied to shipping, by the Count. See the statement of charge and discharge above inserted.

A respectable merchant in London, of great experience in the French Eaft India commerce, affures me, that the cotton of the east coast of Madagascar is fully equal to that of Bourbon ; and that a great part of the cotton which comes to Europe, under the name of Bourbon cotton, is either smuggled from the East Indies or brought regularly from Madagascar into Bourhon, where it is stored and repacked for exportation to Europe. For an account of the Bourbon cotton see $ 271.

+ See Memoirs, vol. 2, p. 397. This, however, can be but a vague conjecture sespecting the population,

CH A P. since conducted her finances.-What should I say more of

statesmen and of their abilities or infirmities, but “ Alas ! poor human nature ?"

X.

DUTCH

C. of Gooi)

Hop£.

300. The Dutch East India ships began to frequent the

Cape, about the year 1600; but it was not till 1650, that Van Riebeck Van Riebeck, a surgeon, first discovered the advantages that colony there. would result from forming a regular colony there. On re

turning to Holland, he presented a memorial on the subject, to the directors of the Dutch East India company, who approved of his proposal, and ordered four ships to be equipped for the Cape, with some artificers, a few colonists, and the necessary tools and stores. Van Riebeck was appointed admiral of this fleet, and governor of the new colony; trusts which he fulfilled with such fidelity and success, that he well deserves to be recorded, as founder of that important

establishment. Liberality of 301. In executing this design, the directors acted with a

degree of wisdom and disinterestedness, too seldom found in the representatives of joint stock companies, and for which, in many other instances, the conduct of their predecessors and successors have not been very remarkable. They authorized Van Riebeck, to purchase territory from the natives, which he did, with goods to the amount of

the Dutch E. India co.

* This sketch of the colony at the Cape is compiled from Mortimer's Diet. of Trade and Comm. 1776.—Menzel's Beschreibung von Cap de Bonne Esper. 1785. -Das merkwurdigfte aus den besten Beschreibungen von Cap 1787.–Tableau de Commerce, 1787.- Forster's Voy, round the World, 1777, and Sparrman's Voy. to the Cape of Good Hope, Perth edition.

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C. OF GOOD

Hope.

50,000 guilders.--In the choice of colonists, their discern: CH A P.
ment and prudence were conspicuous. They suffered no
thieves and strumpets to poison the infant society with the
vices for which they had been expelled from Europe. But, Their choice
by advantageous promises, faithfully performed, the com- of colonists.
pany

induced laborious peasants, and honest artificers to
emigrate to the Cape *. They defrayed the expenses of the
voyage ; and provided the colonists with subsistence, tools,
implements of agriculture and cattle. To each, they gave a
portion of land, on condition that, in three years, he should
have, cultivated enough to enable him to fupport himself,
and to contribute to the defence of the colony t. They also
agreed to bring back to Europe, gratis, those to whose con-
stitutions the climate might be unfavourable, and who had
full liberty to dispose of their effects to the best advantage.
For the reception of the colonists, the company erected vil-
lages, each containing 20 houses, a church, an hospital, a
town-house and a public kitchen-garden. To furnish the
colony with females, girls from the orphan-houses in Hol-

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* Since I wrote 128 and 12g, I have heard it objected, that, in time of war, it would be improper to encourage colonization; as the people who might be expected to become colonists, are wanted for the armies.—The objectors, however, would do well to recollect, that, of all people, those who are disposed to become foldiers are, generally speaking, the most unfit for any new colonial undertaking; and that such being taken off by the war, a greater proportion of sober and industrious perfons will be left, from among whom to make a prudent fele&tion. Besides, that the war itself, and the general posture of public affairs, have disposed many worthy people, throughout Europe, to embark in any undertaking, likely to afford them more peace and security than they expect to enjoy in their respective countries.

+ The company, however, at present, never part with the property of the land; but rent it at the annual rate of about 25 dollars, for every 60 acres.

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Difficulties

CHA P. land, were sent out, with superintendants to educate them

at the Cape ; and, on their marriage, the company assigned C. of Good them small dowries. Expense very

302. The expense incurred by the company, in establishing this colony, has been immense--not less, it hath been computed, than a million of guilders annually, for the first 20 years; and in, 1713, above fixty years after it's first settlement, it still continued to be chargeable. But seldom has the property of a joint-stock company been so beneficially employed; for all difficulties are now surmounted, and the colony amply repays the expenses of it's establishment.

303. Those difficulties were of a kind which nothing short
very discour-
aging.

of cool, Dutch perseverance could have overcome. This
extremity of Africa consists of black and barren mountains
of granite, without any volcanic productions. The culti-
vated spots near the town, are of ftiff clay, with a little fand
and small stones; but towards False Bay, the arable soil is
almost entirely fandy. The colony of Stellenbosh is said to
have the best soil of any at the Cape, but even that produces
no very extraordinary proofs of natural fertility*.-Lions,
leopards, tyger-cats, hyænas, jackals, and several other wild
beasts, infest the Cape, now and then, even to this day.

304. Yet this country is not without it's advantages.--
The air and water, as in most other mountainous tracts, are
good, in the same proportion as the soil is bad. Though
the summer heats are sometimes excessive, the winters are
so mild that ice is scarcely ever seen about the town. But,

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4

Climate.

* The Dutch have, ftri&tly speaking, four colonies in this part of Africa, namely the Cape, properly so called, Stellenbosh, Drakenstein and Waveren. The farms in many places are very much scattered.

on

X.

C. of Good

Hope.

on the mountains, especially far inland, there are hard Ċ HA P. frosts, with snow and hail storms. The climate, however, upon the whole, is so falubrious, that the inhabitants are rarely troubled with any disorders more serious than colds, caused by the sudden changes of air, from the strong winds, to which the Cape is exposed at all seasons; and strangers foon recover from the scurvy and other complaints. The support of so many wild beasts, implies the existence of nu- Animals. merous tribes of milder animals; and accordingly an astonishing variety, from the mighty buffalo and camelopard, to the least of the beautiful genus of antelopes, and many smaller quadrupeds, are common, in this part of Africa. The elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus, formerly came within a short distance of the Cape; but they have been so much hunted, and are so seldom seen at present, that the government have issued an order against killing them, within many miles of the town*.—The neighbouring feas and bays abound with excellent fish.—I know not Metals. whether the metallic ores of the interior mountains ought to be mentioned as an advantage ; as it does not appear, that the colonists can work them with profit, on account of their remote and rugged situation. Some tribes of Hottentots; however, extract both copper and iron from the ores they find in their native mountains. See $71, 287. But the grand A ftation for advantage of the Cape, at least that which appeared such in Dutch Eart

India fhips. the eyes of the Dutch East India company, was it's convenient situation, as a place of refreshment for their ships; and, in this view, the bare inspection of a map of Africa, shows

* The flesh of the hippopotamus, is eaten at the Cape. In Mr Forster's opinion, it's taste is that of coarse beef, but the fat rather resembles marrow. It's tusks are the best of ivory.

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