Arrive at Cape Town--A disagreeable surprise--Interviewers--State of feeling--Contradictory opinions--Prospects of Sir Charles Warren's expedition--Mr. Upington--SirHercules Robinson--English policy in South Africa.
WE steamed into Table Bay at dawn on December 30. The air, though it was early, was sultry with the heat of mid- summer; fishing-boats were gliding away to the offing before the light morning breeze. The town was still asleep in the shadow of the great mountains, over whose level crest a rosy mist was hanging. In all the world there is perhaps no city so beautifully situated as Cape Town; the grey cliffs seem to overhang it like Poseidon's precipice which threatened the city of Alcinous; from the base a forest of pines slopes upwards wherever trees can fasten their roots, and fills the entire valley to the margin of the houses.
The docks had been enlarged and the breakwater carried far out since I had seen the place last. A few ships were at anchor in its shelter, otherwise there were no signs of growth or change. Business thrives indifferently in a troubled political atmosphere. We went in alongside the pier. One of the first persons who came on board thrust into my hand the ' Argus' of the previous day. I opened it and was in consternation. A week or two before I left England, a gentleman whom I knew slightly and was inclined to like, had called on me and asked me a number of questions, which I had answered with the unreserve of private conversation. Among other things we had talked of the prospects of South Africa,