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CHAP, IV.]

LEGISLATING.   75

evidently felt they had gone much too far, and openly acknowledged that the system of robbing had done much mischief to themselves. No planting or sowing was going on ; the Hottentots were idle and restless ; there was no law in the country; and tF,e Damaras harassed them with frequent, retaliation. They begged me to suggest some system on which they could proceed; and also to draw up some laws which would at least meet the common cases of cattle robbing and murder. I was rather diffident of success; but in these wild parts a trained legislator is hardly to be expected to travel, and the best must be made of what materials are at hand; so being convinced that I had already gained a favourable footing amongst them, and that what I said would be attended to, I thought the matter well over, and made my dcdut as a lawgiver.

As every one of my new friends were robbers by profession it would never do to make much ado about theft, for if I did nobody would enforce the law. I therefore simply made theft finable at double the number of oxen stolen, together with a mulct upon the people of the werft to which the criminal belonged, if, as was usually the case, they concealed him. The spoor is so certain and honest a witness, and facts become so notorious, that there is little difficulty about questions of evidence. In this spirit I drew up a few laws which Cornelius and Jonker discussed, and to which they fully assented. I also endeavoured to restrain the jealousies and quarrels between the Oerlams and Hottentots by inducing Cornelius and Jonker to make a mutual agreement that criminals should be punished by the captain of the country where the crime was committed, and not, as heretofore, by his own captains.

The greater part of the Hottentots about me had that peculiar set of features which is so characteristic of bad characters in England, and so general among prisoners that it is usually, I believe, known by the name of the " felon face ; " I mean that they have prominent cheek bones, bullet shaped head, cowering but restless eyes, and heavy sensual lips, and added to this a shackling dress and manner. The ladies have not universally that very remarkable development which was so striking in Petrus' wife at Barmen. It is a peculiarity which disappears when one of the parents have European blood, while other points, more especially the absence of white at the root of the finger nails, remain niter many crosses with the Dutch. Some few of the lads and girls have remarkably pleasing Chinese-looking faces.