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Aegle&t, in their turns, fubmitted fairies, called by them Nant-e-na, patiently to their lot, even without whom they frequently say they see, a murmur, knowing it to be the and who are supposed by them to common misfortune attendant on inhabit the different elements of old age; fo that they may be said earth, sea, and air, according to to wait patiently for the melancholy their several qualities. To one or hour when, being no longer capable other of those fairies they usually of walking, they are to be left alone attribute any change in their cirto ftarve, and perih for want. cumstances, either for the better or This, however shocking and unna- worse; and as they are led into this tural it may appear, is nevertheless way of thinking entirely by the art fo common, that, among those of the conjurers, there is no such people, one half at least of the aged thing as any general mode of bepersons of both sexes absolutely die lief; for those jugglers differ so in this miserable condition.
much from each other in their ac“ The northern Indians call the counts of these beings, that those Aurora Borealis Ed-thin ; that is, who believe any thing they say, Deer: and when that meteor is have little to do but change their very bright, they fay that deer is opinions according to the will and plentiful in that part of the atmo- caprice of the conjurer, who is sphere; but they have never yet almost daily relating some extended their ideas fo far, as to whim, or extraordinary event, entertain hopes of tasting those ce- which, he says, has been revealed leftial animals.
to him in a dream, or by some of " Beside this filly notion, they his favourite fairies, when in a are very fuperftitious with respect hunting excursion." to the existence of several kinds of
GENUINE Account of the NIMIQUAS, a Nation of SOUTHERN AFRICA,
intended to correct the fabulous Relations of Kolben,
(From the Second Volume of Le VAILLANT's New Travels into the interior Parts of Africa, by Way of the Cape of Good Hope.) W
HEN I entered the Ni. Even I, having no idea respecting
miqua country, my design these distant and unknown people, was to investigate every thing that gave some credit to the dreams of had been said of it at the Cape. this writer. In consequence, as I How many tales had I not heard penetrated into the interior of A. of this nation! what wonderful frica, and visited the Hottentots, I things concerning its manners, its every where fought the traces of arts, its treasures, &c.! The reader that flourishing agriculture, which knows already what to think of its "they understand incomparably pretended mines of gold and silver : " better than the Europeans of the and the tales of its arts and its laws • Cape, who frequently apply to are on a par with those of its 6 them for advice on the subject.' mines,
I was desirous of seeing some of “ Kolben is the man who has those solemn marriage ceremonies, Itamped authority on all these fables, which a priest performs, and which
he legitimates by sprinkling the ture that ever defiled 'the pen of a newly united couple with his urine. writer destitute of modesty. The I withed to visit the public prisons fight of the two twins of one of the of these people, and be present at wives of the chief was sufficient to the fittings of their tribunals, and convince me of this. However, the decrees of their sovereign coun, as these children might have been cil. Perhaps I had destroyed mon- an exception to the general law for fters enough in Africa to aspire to some particular reason, I resolved the honour of being admitted into to interrogate their father respects that order of knighthood; the pro- ing this pretended massacre. gress and ceremonials of which the “ Every morning before I went historian has described with no less a-hunting, he came to see me with pomp than minuteness.
his two wives, and regale himfelf " Alas! all these fplendid chin with a pipe of tobacco and a jopic, meras vanithed before me. Reli- or small glass, of brandy. Though gion, police, laws, military tactics, his language was different from that orders of battle, treaties of peace, of the Hottentots on the western experienced generals, prisoners of coatt, yet, in the two months I had war, vanquishers and vanquished, spent in the country. I had learned were all romances existing only in to understand it a little, and make the brain of the author, and in the myself understood. taverns where they had been told 5. One day as I was sitting on him by those who made him their the grass, near my tent, with him sport.
and his two wives, I turned the “ Thirty or furty years after the conversation to the subject of the publication of his voyage, abbé de twins, and asked his wife whether, la Caisle made some itay at the if the should have twins again, the Cape, and thus was enabled, on would not destroy one of them? some points at leaft, to pass judg- This question appeared to offend ment on the work. He spoke of her: the kept silence, and fell into it as he ought, and as it deserves. a deep mufing. But her husband, Since la Caille, other travellers have turning towards me, and reminding given their opinions of Kolben; me that I had several times asked and the learned now know how far him fimilar questions, declared with they may rely on the accounts of warmth, that such a sacrifice was that traveller.
impossible. “ To listen to him, in all the 6. Thus we fee how just are the Hottentot tribes without exception, whites, who, believing Kolben, acımothers have the inhuman preju- cuse thė Nimiquas of a crime so dice of resolving not to have twins, abominable as to be an outrage a: and the abominable custom of de- gainst the common mother of all stroying one of the two. If the twins beings. confist of two boys, or two girls, “ I will here add, that the Ni. they kill the weaker of the two; if miquas not only do not make away a boy and girl, the girl, he says, is with one of their iwins when they the victim: and he bluthes not to have them, but preserve and bring avow, that he has witnessed these up all their children. This duty iş crinies.
so natural, that I could not have “ Now I aver, that this charge made them comprehend an idea reis the blackest calumny against na. pugnant to it.
“ Beside the grand and revolting ceived. Wherever I asked any charge of which I have just spoken, questions on the subject, I saw that I had heard, respecting the Greater the people to whom I addreiled Nimiquas, another absurd fable, myself were ready to laugh in my the falsehood of which I equally face. Still, as it appeared strange verified. This was not told me at to me, that a man thould talk of the Cape, like the preceding one; what he had seen, when he had in I had it from Klaas Bafter, who, reality seen nothing, as it was pofbeing born near Orange River, fible, that the fable might have might have known some things re- some foundation, without being specting these people with cer- true in all its particulars, I was tainty.
willing to convince myself what “ According to him, the fathers, could have given rise to it; and, to thew what affection they bear every time I visited a horde, I took their children, feed their eldes in care, under different pretences, to a particular manner, as being of examine, one after another, all the right the first object of paternal huts of the kraal, and to ask which care. For this purpose, they put was the eldest child' of the family: him in a coop, as it were: that is, but I no where faw any thing that they fhut him up in a trench made indicated eitherthis pretended coop, under their hut, where, being de- pr this pretended cramming, prived of motion, he loses little by : " It is probable that such a tale perspiration, while they feed and may have originated among the cram him in a manner with milk planters residing on the Namero, and grease. By degrees the child and in the neighbourhood of the fattens, and gets as round as a bar- country of the Nimiquas; that it rel; and when he is come to such was a pleasantry of some wit of a state as not to be able to walk, the place on the leanness of these but to bend under his own weight, people, which indeed is extreme; the parents exhịbit him to the ad- and that Klaas Baster, the son of a miration of the horde ; who, from Hottentot and a planter, having had that period, conceive more or less it instilled into him in his infancy, esteem and consideration for the had finished, like other romancers, family, accordingly as the monster by asserting that he had seen what has acquired more or less rotundity. be had only been told. And thus
“ Such was the account given it is, that, throughout the whole of me by Klaas Bafter; and though it the colony of the Cape, the planters appeared to me altogether impro- and even the Hottentots will afure bable, yet the narrator related so you, that sprinkling with urine is many particulars, of which he pre- practised in the marriage ceremotended to have been an eye-witness; nies of the favage bordes." he had so little interest in imposing " In fize, the Greater Nimiquas upon me; and the human mind, in are taller than the other Hottentot uncultivated and ignorant nations, tribes. They appear even to exa appears sometimes capable of such ceed in height the Gonaquas, though senseless cuftoms and prejudices, perhaps they do not in reality. that, notwithstanding my reluc- Their slender bones, delicate air, tance, I could not avoid believ- thin shape, and small legs, every ing it.
thing, in thort, even to their cloaks, " Soon, however, I was unde. which reach from their fhoulders to
the ground, contributed to the il tubes of different colours, and tranf. lufion. On seeing the bodies of parent. These being unknown at thefe men as slender as the stem of the Cape, I wished to know whence a tree, you would almost suppose the favages procured them. They them to have passed through the in- informed me, that they got them strument of a wire-drawer. by barter with other neighbouring
“ Less deep in colour than the nations, who had them only at the Caffres, they have at the same time fecond hand; and that they came more pleasing features than the originally from the blacks who other Hottentots, because their nose dwelt on the coast of the Indian is less flattened, and their cheeks sea, to the east of Africa, by whom lets prominent. But their cold and they were fabricated. unmeaning countenances, their “ If the beads of which I am phlegmatic and immoveable air, give speaking were stones or gems cothem a particular character by loured by nature, it might be bewhich they are diftinguished. Evé. lieved that the blacks of the well
, ry time I looked at them, I fancied after having reduced them to little I be held one of those lank, long- pieces, might know how to shape visaged, gothic figures placed at and perforate them; as the savages the church-doors in certain catho- of Guiana do with the amazonian lic countries as if to serve as sen. ftone. I have found coloured fubtinels.
stances in several rocks on the west ** I have already said, that the of Africa, and there may be the women do not fare this tranquil fame on the east. But these in apathy. Gay, lively, sportive, and question are enamels; that is to loving much to laugh, you would say, glass, made by fusion and Suppose them to be formed of dif- formed by blowing. Now as such ferent materials. It is easy enough an operation requires, not only for to conceive, that a man and wife the melting, but also for the com. may live peaceably together, not- position of the colours, confiderable withstanding such difference of dif. ikill
, implements, chemical knowpofition; but it is not easy to under- ledge, &c. I think it may be affirm. stand or explain how such melan-ed, without any great rashness, that choly fathers can beget daughters so the negroes of the east were never gay, or such sprightly women bear masters of such an art; and that the fons fo dull.
enamels they sell to their neigh“ The kross differs not at all in bours probably come from the Por. fhape from the Hottentot cloak; tuguese colonies of Mosambique. only, as I have before remarked, it I have in my cabinet one of thefe is longer. Many of them use the girdles of glass beads, and I can fkins of the hyæna, the jackal, or allert that it is neither of French nor the isatis, when they are lucky e.' Dutch manufacture. nough to procure a sufficiency to “ Beside the kind of decoration make a kross.
which I have just described, the " They ornament them with Greater Nimiquas use another, that glass beads, and plates of copper, of daubing their hair with a thick which they obtain from the Hot layer of grease, mingled with the tentots of the colony. I found a. powder of different odoriferous mong them a particular fort of woods. Many of them tattoo their these lads, conaning of little long faces, arms, and even bodies. But
the latter custom is not so prevalent ble. This name is that of a neighamong them, as among other peo- bouring nation, born brave and pie more to the north. This too warlike, and distinguished from omay be a native custom, which the ther African nations by peculiar fame spirit of coquetry that gave features. I shall foon have occa. rife to it in other nations may have fion to speak of them. equally prompted the Nimiquas to • Nowithstanding his frigidity, invent.
the Nimiqua is not insensible to “ As to religion, divine worship, pleasure. 'He even seeks with avi priests, temples, and the idea of an dity those which, requiring but immortal foul, they are all non- little exertion, are capable of agientities to them. On thefe fub- tating him and procuring agreeable jes, like all the rest of the savages sensations. Every evening, as soon their neighbours, they have not the as the fire was kindled in my camp, Nightest notion.
thirty or forty persons, men and 1 Nature has told them, fuffi. women, would come and fit with ciently plain, not to do to another my people in a circle round it. For what they would not another should some time a profound filence was do to them; and their little asso- maintained : at length one of them ciations, which are a commence- would open his mouth to relate a ment of civilization, lead them in story, and would then 'speak withthis refpe&t farther than many cul- out ceasing for hours together. tivated people, by enjoining them * I was not sufficiently acquaintto do to others as they would be ed with the language to compredone by."
hend the whole of the narration; “ After what I have faid of the but I understood, that it commonly phlegmatic temper of the Nimi- related to fomc event to the honour quas, it will be supposed that they of the nation, and that the unforare by no means warlike. Yet, tunate hero of the tale was almost like the furrounding nations, they always a hyæna, a lion, or a Houhave their affagays and poison- zouana. Every now and then, the ed arrows;, and like them can orator was interrupted by the noisy handle these arms with dexterity. fallies of the women who Ihook They possess also those war-oxen, their very fides with laughter. The fo formidable in battle, and so fa- men, without taking any thare in vourable to the cowardice or in- this extravagant mirth, reasoned activity of the combatants. They gravely, and with an appearance of have even a peculiar implement of profound thought, on the circum: war, which their neighbours have stances they had just heard. In the not. This is a large buckler, of midst of this grotesque and incon. the height of the perfon who bears gruous picture, I amused myself it, behind which the Nimiqua can with the dignity of the reasoners ; completely conceal himself. But, while the women, who saw me belde that his natural apáthy pre- smile, and knew that I understood vents him froin giving or taking nothing of the tale, redoubled their offence, he is in reality pufillani- laughter till they were out of breath. mous and cowardly from the cold. 4 Their musical instruments are nefs of his disposition. To utter the same as those of the other Hotonly the name of Houzouana before tentots; but their dancing is very him is sufficient to make him treme different, and resembles the temper