The Boer in Peace and War by Arthur M. Mann


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Page 1

A BOER HOMESTEAD

WAGGONS CROSSING RIVER

A BOER FAMILY

MAJUBA HILL

A BOER ENCAMPMENT

RAADZAAL, OR BOER PARLIAMENT HOUSE

PRESIDENT KRUGER'S HOUSE

PRESIDENT KRUGER

DUTCH CHURCH (PRETORIA)

BOER CATTLE FARM NEAR MAJUBA

SHOOTING RINDERPEST OXEN

WAGGON ON PONTOON OVER RIVER

BOERS OUTSPANNED FOR NACHTMAAL

BLOEMFONTEIN




THE BOER IN PEACE AND WAR


CHAPTER I


A Boer may know you, but it will take you some time to know him, and
when a certain stage in your acquaintance is reached, you may begin to
wonder whether his real nature is penetrable at all. His ways are not
the ways of other people: he is suspicious, distant, and he does not
care to show his hand--unless, of course, there is some pecuniary
advantage to be gained. He is invariably on the alert for advantages
of that description.

His suspicious nature has probably been handed down to him from
preceding generations. When he first set foot in South Africa he was
naturally chary concerning the native population. He had to deal
firmly with Bushmen, and the latter certainly proved a source of
continual trouble. The Boer set himself a difficult task when he
undertook to instil fear, obedience, and submission into the hearts of
these barbarians--a task that could only be faced by men of firm
determination and unlimited self-confidence.

These characteristics have always inspired the Boer, and although he
may often have been the object of derision, it is to his credit that
the predominant qualities mentioned have enabled him to pull through
the miry clay. Without these qualities, it is patent that the little
band which landed at the Cape long years ago would have succumbed
before the conflicting forces which then existed. And as succeeding
years passed on, and the sun still shone upon the heads of the
pioneers, it is worthy to note that, despite the difficulties which
continually presented themselves, the little band multiplied,
prospered, and evolved an ensample not too mean to contemplate.

The Boer cannot be charged with any incapacity where the mere
treatment of natives is concerned; he can manage that business
perfectly. In the first place, he does not make the too common mistake
of allowing the black populace to insert the thin end of the wedge.
This is a mistake too often fraught with serious results, and the Boer
knows it. A native, no matter if he be Swazi, Zulu, Basuto, or any
other nationality, will always take advantage where such is offered,
and he will follow it up with enough persistence to warrant ultimate
success. In Natal, at the present time, this mistake is very apparent,
and, in consequence, one very seldom encounters a native who is
content to attire himself in any other manner than that adopted by his
master. He demands decent clothing, and, if possible, it must be new
and fashionable. I have known cases where a 'boy' has been presented
with a respectable suit of clothes a little too small for him, and it
is unnecessary to add that he disposed of that suit. People who have
hitherto allowed their children to put their pennies in the Sunday
School Mission box, will perhaps hesitate to continue supporting the
'poor, down-trodden native' when they learn that he is so fastidious,
and perhaps, after all, their spare coppers might be assigned to a
more deserving cause.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Mon 16th Dec 2019, 10:21