Letters From The Cape By Lady Duff Gordon


I have fallen in love with a Hottentot baby here.  Her mother is
all black, with a broad face and - Page 70
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I Have Fallen In Love With A Hottentot Baby Here.

Her mother is all black, with a broad face and soft spaniel eyes, and the father is Bastaard; but the baby (a girl, nine months old), has walked out of one of Leonardo da Vinci's pictures.

I never saw so beautiful a child. She has huge eyes with the spiritual look he gives to them, and is exquisite in every way. When the Hottentot blood is handsome, it is beautiful; there is a delicacy and softness about some of the women which is very pretty, and the eyes are those of a GOOD dog. Most of them are hideous, and nearly all drink; but they are very clean and honest. Their cottages are far superior in cleanliness to anything out of England, except in picked places, like some parts of Belgium; and they wash as much as they can, with the bad water-supply, and the English outcry if they strip out of doors to bathe. Compared to French peasants, they are very clean indeed, and even the children are far more decent and cleanly in their habits than those of France. The woman who comes here to clean and scour is a model of neatness in her work and her person (quite black), but she gets helplessly drunk as soon as she has a penny to buy a glass of wine; for a penny, a half-pint tumbler of very strong and remarkably nasty wine is sold at the canteens.

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