140 FUTURE OF OVAMPOLAND, (CHAT'. vr11,
local and personal attachments ; they are also very national, and proud of their country.
I should feel but little compassion if I saw all the Damaras under the hand of a slave-owner, for they could hardly become more wretched than they now are, and might be made much less mischievous ; but it would be a crying shame to enslave the Ovampo. To me, as a stranger, they did not behave with full cordiality; and it was natural enough that they should not ; but among themselves the case was quite different. They are a kind-hearted, cheerful people, and very domestic. I saw no pauperism in the country; everybody seemed well to do; and the few very old people that I saw were treated with particular respect and care. If Africa is to be civilised, I have no doubt that Ovampoland will be an important point in the civilisation of its southern parts. It is extremely healthy, and most favourably situated for extending its influence. From the sea-coast it must be accessible; and inquiries really should be made at Mossamedes about the river which bounds it. A ship cruising along the sea-shore there can see nothing at all, for the coast is a low sanly desert, which extends quite out of ken of people afloat ; it is behind this strip of desert that the habitable country begins, and probably through the sand of it that the river percolates. It is very much to be wished that some explorer would make an attempt from Little Fish Bay, or thereabouts. It would be a far easier undertaking than that which I have gone through, because the starting point is an inhabited place, where every necessary can be bought with money. Full information could be obtained there on all the articles of exchange, and horses could be procured. Black men, who speak Portuguese, can readily, I am assured, be found; and there is so large an export of skins and ivory (according to Portuguese authorities) from Benguela, that there must be excellent shooting somewhere in the country. I will guarantee the healthiness of the lands to the south of the river; and the Portuguese declare the same of those to the north. * I also earnestly
* Translation from Jose Joaquim Lopez de Lima's work on the Portuguese Settlements in Western Africa. 1846. (Page 196.)
"To the southward of the river Longa is the fertile province of Benguela, where, instead of sandy plains, rich meadows watered by mountain-streams display themselves before the eye, covered with cattle and sheep, the principal riches of its pastoral inhabitants. The soil produces all the grains ar,d fruits of Africa, America, and Europe, while from amid these favoured