Letters From The Cape By Lady Duff Gordon

 -   The Bishop's chaplain told Mrs. J- that she could not hope
for salvation in the Dutch Church, since her clergy - Page 32
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The Bishop's Chaplain Told Mrs. J- That She Could Not Hope For Salvation In The Dutch Church, Since Her Clergy Were Not Ordained By Any Bishop, And Therefore They Could Only Administer The Sacrament 'unto Damnation'.

All the physicians in a body, English as well as Dutch, have withdrawn from the Dispensary, because it was used as a means of pressure to draw the coloured people from the Dutch to the English Church.

This High-Church tyranny cannot go on long. Catholics there are few, but their bishop plays the same game; and it is a losing one. The Irish maid at the Caledon inn was driven by her bishop to be married at the Lutheran church, just as a young Englishman I know (though a fervent Puseyite) was driven to be married at the Scotch kirk. The colonial bishops are despots in their own churches, and there is no escape from their tyranny but by dissent. The Admiral and his family have been anathematized for going to a fancy bazaar given by the Wesleyans for their chapel.

April 8th. - Yesterday, I failed about my cart photograph. First, the owner had sent away the cart, and when Choslullah came dressed in all his best clothes, with a lovely blue handkerchief setting off his beautiful orange-tawny face, he had to rush off to try to borrow another cart. As ill luck would have it, he met a 'serious young man', with no front teeth, and a hideous wen on his eyebrow, who informed the priest of Choslullah's impious purpose, and came with him to see that he did NOT sit for his portrait. I believe it was half envy; for my handsome driver was as pleased, and then as disappointed, as a young lady about her first ball, and obviously had no religious scruples of his own on the subject. The weather is very delightful now - hot, but beautiful; and the south-easters, though violent, are short, and not cold. As in all other countries, autumn is the best time of year.

April 15th. - Your letters arrived yesterday, to my great delight. I have been worrying about a ship, and was very near sailing to-day by the Queen of the South at twenty-four hours' notice, but I have resolved to wait for the Camperdown. The Queen of the South is a steamer, - which is odious, for they pitch the coal all over the lower deck, so that you breathe coal-dust for the first ten days; then she was crammed - only one cabin vacant, and that small, and on the lower deck - and fifty-two children on board. Moreover, she will probably get to England too soon, so I resign myself to wait. The Camperdown has only upper-deck cabins, and I shall have fresh air. I am not as well as I was at Caledon, so I am all the more anxious to have a voyage likely to do me good instead of harm.

I got my cart and Choslullah photographed after all. Choslullah came next day (having got rid of his pious friend), quite resolved that 'the Missis' should take his portrait, so I will send or bring a few copies of my beloved cart. After the photograph was done, we drove round the Kloof, between Table and Lion Mountain. The road is cut on the side of Lion Mountain, and overhangs the sea at a great height. Camp Bay, which lies on the further side of the 'Lion's Head', is most lovely; never was sea so deeply blue, rocks so warmly brown, or sand and foam so glittering white; and down at the mountain-foot the bright green of the orange and pomegranate trees throws it all out in greater relief. But the atmosphere here won't do after that of the 'Ruggings', as the Caledon line of country is called. I shall never lose the impression of the view I had when Dr. Morkel drove me out on a hill-side, where the view seemed endless and without a vestige of life; and yet in every valley there were farms; but it looked a vast, utter solitude, and without the least haze. You don't know what that utter clearness means - the distinctness is quite awful. Here it is always slightly hazy; very pretty and warm, but it takes off from the grandeur. It is the difference between a pretty Pompadour beauty and a Greek statue. Those pale opal mountains, as distinct in every detail as the map on your table, are so cheerful and serene; no melodramatic effects of clouds and gloom. I suppose it is not really so beautiful as it seemed to me, for other people say it is bare and desolate, and certainly it is; but it seemed to me anything but dreary.

I am persuaded that Capetown is not healthy; indeed, the town can't be, from its stench and dirt; but I believe the whole seashore is more or less bad, compared to the upper plateaux, of which I know only the first. I should have gone back to Paarl, only that ships come and go within twenty-four hours, so one has the pleasure of living in constant expectation, with packed trunks, wondering when one shall get away. A clever Mr. M-, who has lived ALL OVER India, and is going back to Singapore, with his wife and child, are now in the house; and some very pleasant Jews, bound for British Caffraria - one of them has a lovely little wife and three children. She is very full of Prince Albert's death, and says there was not a dry eye in the synagogues in London, which were all hung with black on the day of his funeral, and prayer went on the whole day. 'THE PEOPLE mourned for him as much as for Hezekiah; and, indeed, he deserved it a great deal better,' was her rather unorthodox conclusion. These colonial Jews are a new 'Erscheinung' to me. They have the features of their race, but many of their peculiarities are gone.

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