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Cetywayo and the Zulu Settlement

Claims of affairs of Zululand to attention--Proposed visit of
Cetywayo to England--Chaka--His method of government--His death--
Dingaan--Panda--Battle of the Tugela--John Dunn--Nomination of
Cetywayo--His coronation--His lady advocates--Their attacks on
officials--Was Cetywayo bloodthirsty?--Cause of the Zulu war--Zulu
military system--States of feeling amongst the Zulus previous to
the war--Cetywayo's position--His enemies--His intentions on the
Transvaal--Their frustration by Sir T. Shepstone--Cetywayo's interview
with Mr. Fynney--His opinion of the Boers--The annexation in connection
with the Zulu war--The Natal colonists and the Zulu war--Sir Bartle
Frere--The Zulu war--Cetywayo's half-heartedness--Sir Garnet Wolseley's
settlement--Careless selection of chiefs--The Sitimela plot--Chief
John Dunn--Appointment of Mr. Osborn as British Resident--His difficult
position--Folly and cruelty of our settlement--Disappointment of
the Zulus--Object and result of settlement--Slaughter in
Zululand--Cetywayo's son--Necessity of proper settlement of
Zululand--Should Cetywayo be restored?


Zululand and the Zulu settlement still continue to receive some
attention from the home public, partly because those responsible for the
conduct of affairs are not quite at ease about it, and partly because of
the agitation in this country for the restoration of Cetywayo.

There is no doubt that the present state of affairs in Zululand is a
subject worthy of close consideration, not only by those officially
connected with them, but by the public at large. Nobody, either at
home or in the colonies, wishes to see another Zulu war, or anything
approaching to it. Unless, however, the affairs of Zululand receive a
little more attention, and are superintended with a little more humanity
and intelligence than they are at present, the public will sooner or
later be startled by some fresh catastrophe. Then will follow the usual
outcry, and the disturbance will be attributed to every cause under the
sun except the right one--want of common precautions.

The Zulu question is a very large one, and I only propose discussing
so much of it as necessary to the proper consideration of the proposed
restoration of Cetywayo to his throne.

The king is now coming to England,[*] where he will doubtless make
a very good impression, since his appearance is dignified, and
his manners, as is common among Zulus of high rank, are those of
a gentleman. It is probable that his visit will lead to a popular
agitation in his favour, and very possibly to an attempt on the part
of the English Government to reinstate him in his kingdom. Already Lady
Florence Dixie waves his banner, and informs the public through the
columns of the newspapers how good, how big, and how beautiful he is,
and "F. W. G. X." describes in enthusiastic terms his pearl-like teeth.
But as there are interests involved in the question of his reinstatement
which are, I think, more important than Cetywayo's personal proportions
of mind or body, and as the results of such a step would necessarily be
very marked and far-reaching, it is as well to try and understand the
matter in all its bearing before anything is done.

[*] Since the above was written the Government have at the
last moment decided to postpone Cetywayo's visit to this
country, chiefly on account of the political capital which
was being made out of the event by agitators in Zululand.
The project of bringing the king to England does not,
however, appear to have been abandoned.

There has been a great deal of special pleading about Cetywayo. Some
writers, swayed by sentiment, and that spirit of partisanship that the
sight of royalty in distress always excites, whitewash him in such a
persistent manner that their readers are left under the impression that
the ex-king is a model of injured innocence and virtue. Others again,
for political reasons, paint him very black, and predict that
his restoration would result in the destruction, or at the least,
disorganisation, of our South African empire. The truth in this, as in
the majority of political controversies, lies somewhere between these
two extremes, though it is difficult to say exactly where.

To understand the position of Cetywayo both with reference to his
subjects and the English Government, it will be necessary to touch,
though briefly, on the history of Zululand since it became a nation, and
also on the principal events of the ex-king's reign.

Chaka, Cetywayo's great uncle, was the first Zulu king, and doubtless
one of the most remarkable men that has ever filled a throne since the
days of the Pharaohs. When he came to his chieftainship, about 1813, the
Zulu people consisted of a single small tribe; when his throne became
vacant in 1828, their name had become a living terror, and they were
the greatest Black power in South Africa. The invincible armies of this
African Attila had swept north and south, east and west, had slaughtered
more than a million human beings, and added vast tracts of country to
his dominions. Wherever his warriors went, the blood of men, women, and
children was poured out without stay or stint; indeed he reigned like a
visible Death, the presiding genius of a saturnalia of slaughter.

His methods of government and warfare were peculiar and somewhat
drastic, but most effective. As he conquered a tribe, he enrolled its
remnants in his army, so that they might in their turn help to conquer
others. He armed his regiments with the short stabbing assegai, instead
of the throwing assegai which they had been accustomed to use, and kept
them subject to an iron discipline. If a man was observed to show the
slightest hesitation about coming to close quarters with the enemy,
he was executed as soon as the fight was over. If a regiment had the
misfortune to be defeated, whether by its own fault or not, it would on
its return to headquarters find that a goodly proportion of the wives
and children belonging to it had been beaten to death by Chaka's orders,
and that he was waiting their arrival to complete his vengeance by
dashing out their brains. The result was, that though Chaka's armies
were occasionally annihilated, they were rarely defeated, and they never
ran away. I will not enter in the history of his numerous cruelties, and
indeed they are not edifying. Amongst other things, like Nero, he killed
his own mother, and then caused several persons to be executed because
they did not show sufficient sorrow at her death.

At length, in 1828, he too suffered the fate he had meted out to so
many, and was killed by his brothers, Dingaan and Umhlangan, by the
hands of one Umbopa. He was murdered in his hut, and as his life passed
out of him he is reported to have addressed these words to his brothers,
who were watching his end: "What! do you stab me, my brothers, dogs of
mine own house, whom I have fed? You hope to be kings; but though you do
kill me, think not that your line shall reign for long. I tell you that
I hear the sound of the feet of the great white people, and that this
land shall be trodden by them." He then expired, but his last words have
always been looked upon as a prophecy by the Zulus, and indeed they have
been partly fulfilled.

Having in his turn killed Umhlangan, his brother by blood and in crime,
Dingaan took possession of the throne. He was less pronounced than
Chaka in his foreign policy, though he seems to have kept up the family
reputation as regards domestic affairs. It was he who, influenced,
perhaps, by Chaka's dying prophecy about white men, massacred Retief,
the Boer leader, and his fifty followers, in the most treacherous
manner, and then falling on the emigrant Boers in Natal, murdered men,
women, and children to the number of nearly six hundred. There seems,
however, to have been but little love lost between any of the sons of
Usengangacona (the father of Chaka, Dingaan, Umhlangan, and Panda),
for in due course Panda, his brother, conspired with the Boers against
Dingaan, and overthrew him with their assistance. Dingaan fled, and was
shortly afterwards murdered in Swaziland, and Panda ascended the throne
in 1840.

Panda was a man of different character to the remainder of his race, and
seems to have been well content to reign in peace, only killing enough
people to keep up his authority. Two of his sons, Umbelazi and Cetywayo,
of whom Umbelazi was the elder and Panda's favourite, began, as their
father grew old, to quarrel about the succession to the crown. On the
question being referred to Panda, he is reported to have remarked that
when two young cocks quarrelled the best thing they could do was to
fight it out. Acting on this hint, each prince collected his forces,
Panda sending down one of his favourite regiments to help Umbelazi. The
fight took place in 1856 on the banks of the Tugela. A friend of the
writer, happening to be on the Natal side of the river the day before
the battle, and knowing it was going to take place, swam his horse
across in the darkness, taking his chance of the alligators, and hid in
some bush on a hillock commanding the battlefield. It was a hazardous
proceeding, but the sight repaid the risk, though he describes it as
very awful, more especially when the regiment of veterans sent by Panda
joined in the fray. It came up at the charge, between two and three
thousand strong, and was met near his hiding-place by one of Cetywayo's
young regiments. The noise of the clash of their shields was like the
roar of the sea, but the old regiment, after a struggle in which men
fell thick and fast, annihilated the other, and passed on with thinned
ranks. Another of Cetywayo's regiments took the place of the one that
had been destroyed, and this time the combat was fierce and long, till
victory again declared for the veterans' spears. But they had brought it
dear, and were in no position to continue their charge; so the leaders
of that brave battalion formed its remnants into a ring, and, like the
Scotch at Flodden--

"The stubborn spearmen still made good
The dark, impenetrable wood;
Each stepping where his comrade stood
The instant that he fell,"

till there were none left to fall. The ground around them was piled with

But this gallant charge availed Umbelazi but little, and by degrees
Cetywayo's forces pressed his men back to the banks of the Tugela, and
finally into it. Thousands fell upon the field and thousands perished in
the river. When my friend swam back that night, he had nothing to
fear from the alligators: they were too well fed. Umbelazi died on the
battlefield of a broken heart, at least it is said that no wound could
be found on his person. He probably expired in a fit brought on by
anxiety of mind and fatigue. A curious story is told of Cetywayo with
reference to his brother's death. After the battle was over a Zulu
from one of his own regiments presented himself before him with many
salutations, saying, "O prince! now canst thou sleep in peace, for
Umbelazi is dead." "How knowest thou that he is dead?" said Cetywayo.
"Because I slew him with my own hand," replied the Zulu. "Thou dog!"
said the prince, "thou hast dared to lift thy hand against the blood
royal, and now thou makest it a matter of boasting. Wast thou not
afraid? By Chaka's head thou shalt have thy reward. Lead him away." And
the Zulu, who was but lying after all, having possessed himself of
the bracelets off the dead prince's body, was instantly executed. The
probability is that Cetywayo acted thus more from motives of policy than
from affection to his brother, whom indeed he hoped to destroy. It did
not do to make too light of the death of an important prince: Umbelazi's
fate to-day might be Cetywayo's fate to-morrow. This story bears a
really remarkable resemblance to that of the young man who slew Saul,
the Lord's anointed, and suffered death on account thereof at the hands
of David.

This battle is also memorable as being the occasion of the first public
appearance of Mr. John Dunn, now the most important chief in Zululand,
and, be it understood, the unknown quantity in all future transactions
in that country. At that time Dunn was a retainer of Umbelazi's, and
fought on his side in the Tugela battle. After the fight, however,
he went over to Cetywayo and became his man. From that time till the
outbreak of the Zulu war he remained in Zululand as adviser to Cetywayo,
agent for the Natal Government, and purveyor of firearms to the nation
at large. As soon as Cetywayo got into trouble with the Imperial
Government, Dunn, like a prudent man, deserted him and came over to
us. In reward Sir Garnet Wolseley advanced him to the most important
chieftainship in Zululand, which he hopes to make a stepping-stone to
the vacant throne. His advice was largely followed by Sir Garnet in
the bestowal of the other chieftainships, and was naturally not quite
disinterested. He has already publicly announced his intention of
resisting the return of the king, his old master, by force of arms,
should the Government attempt to reinstate him.

A period of sixteen years elapsed before Cetywayo reaped the fruits of
the battle of the Tugela by succeeding to the throne on the death of his
father, Panda, the only Zulu monarch who has as yet come to his end by
natural causes.

In 1861, however, Cetywayo was, at the instance of the Natal Government,
formally nominated heir to the throne by Mr. Shepstone, it being
thought better that a fixed succession should be established with the
concurrence of the Natal Government than that matters should be left
to take their chance on Panda's death. Mr. Shepstone accomplished his
mission successfully, though at great personal risk. For some unknown
reason, Cetywayo, who was blown up with pride, was at first adverse
to being thus nominated, and came down to the royal kraal with three
thousand armed followers, meaning, it would see, to kill Mr. Shepstone,
whom he had never before met. Panda, the old king, had an inkling of
what was to happen, but was powerless to control his son, so he confined
himself to addressing the assembled multitude in what I have heard Sir
Theophilus Shepstone say was the most eloquent and touching speech he
ever listened to, the subject being the duties of hospitality. He did
not at the time know how nearly the speech concerned him, or that its
object was to preserve his life. This, however, soon became manifest
when, exception being taken to some breech of etiquette by one of his
servants, he was surrounded by a mob of shouting savages, whose evident
object was to put an end to him and those with him. For two hours he
remained sitting there, expecting that every moment would be his
last, but showing not the slightest emotion, till at length he got an
opportunity of speaking, when he rose and said, "I know that you mean to
kill me; it is an easy thing to do; but I tell you Zulus, that for every
drop of my blood that falls to the ground, a hundred men will come
out of the sea yonder, from the country of which Natal is one of the
cattle-kraals, and will bitterly avenge me." As he spoke he turned
and pointed towards the ocean, and so intense was the excitement that
animated it, that the whole great multitude turned with him and stared
towards the horizon, as though they expected to see the long lines of
avengers creeping across the plains. Silence followed his speech; his
imperturbability and his well-timed address had saved his life. From
that day his name was a power in the land.[*]

[*] A very good description of this scene was published in
the _London Quarterly Review_ in 1878. The following is an

"In the centre of those infuriated savages he (Mr.
Shepstone) sat for more than two hours outwardly calm,
giving confidence to his solitary European companion by his
own quietness, only once saying, 'Why, Jem, you're afraid,'
and imposing restraint on his native attendants. Then, when
they had shouted, as Cetywayo himself said in our hearing,
'till their throats were so sore that they could shout no
more,' they departed. But Sompseu (Mr. Shepstone) had
conquered. Cetywayo, in describing the scene to us and our
companion on a visit to him a short time afterwards, said,
'Sompseu is a great man: no man but he could have come
through that day alive.' Similar testimony we have had from
some of the Zulu assailants, from the native attendants, and
the companion above mentioned. Next morning Cetywayo humbly
begged an interview, which was not granted but on terms of
unqualified submission. From that day Cetywayo has submitted
to British control in the measure in which it has been
exercised, and has been profuse in his expressions of
respect and submission to Mr. T. Shepstone; but in his
heart, as occasional acts and speeches show, he writhes
under the restraint, and bitterly hates the man who imposed

It was on this occasion that a curious incident occurred which
afterwards became of importance. Among the Zulus there exists a certain
salute, "Bayete," which it is the peculiar and exclusive privilege of
Zulu royalty to receive. The word means, or is supposed to mean, "Let
us bring tribute." On Mr. Shepstone's visit the point was raised by the
Zulu lawyers as to what salute he should receive. It was not consistent
with their ideas that the nominator of their future king should be
greeted with any salute inferior to the Bayete, and this, as plain Mr.
Shepstone, it was impossible to give him. The difficulty was obvious,
but the Zulu mind proved equal to it. He was solemnly announced to be
a Zulu king, and to stand in the place of the great founder of their
nation, Chaka. Who was so fit to proclaim the successor to the throne
as the great predecessor of the prince proclaimed? To us this seems a
strange, not to say ludicrous, way of settling a difficulty, but there
was nothing in it repugnant to Zulu ideas. Odd as it was, it invested
Mr. Shepstone with all the attributes of a Zulu king, such as the power
to make laws, order executions, &c., and those attributes in the eyes of
Zulus he still retains.

In 1873 messengers came down from Zululand to the Natal Government,
bringing with them the "king's head," that is, a complimentary present
of oxen, announcing the death of Panda. "The nation," they said, "was
wandering; it wanders and wanders, and wanders again;" the spirit of
the king had departed from them; his words had ceased, and "none
but children were left." The message ended with a request that Mr.
Shepstone, as Cetywayo's "father," should come and instal him on the
throne. A month or two afterwards there came another message, again
requesting his attendance; and on the request being refused by the
Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, there came a third message, to which the
Natal Government returned a favourable answer.

Accordingly Mr. Shepstone proceeded to Zululand, and on the 3rd
September 1873 proclaimed Cetywayo king with all due pomp and ceremony.
It was on this occasion that, in the presence of, and with the
enthusiastic assent of, both king and people, Mr. Shepstone, "standing
in the place of Cetywayo's father, and so representing the nation,"
enunciated the four following articles, with a view to putting an end to
the continual slaughter that darkens the history of Zululand:--

1. That the indiscriminate shedding of blood shall cease in the land.

2. That no Zulu shall be condemned without open trial, and the public
examination of witnesses for and against, and that he shall have a right
to appeal to the king.

3. That no Zulu's life shall be taken without the previous knowledge and
consent of the king, after such trial has taken place, and the right of
appeal has been allowed to be exercised.

4. That for minor crimes the loss of property, all or a portion, shall
be substituted for the punishment of death.

Nobody will deny that these were admirable regulations, and that they
were received as such at the time by the Zulu king and people. But there
is no doubt that their ready acceptance by the king was a sacrifice to
his desire to please "his father Sompseu" (Mr. Shepstone) and the Natal
Government, with both of which he was particularly anxious to be on
good terms. He has never adhered to these coronation regulations, or
promises, as they have been called, and the probability is that he
never intended to adhere to them. However this may be, I must say that
personally I have been unable to share the views of those who see in
the breach of these so-called promises a justification of the Zulu war.
After all, what do they amount to, and what guarantee was there for
their fulfilment? They merely represent a very laudable attempt on the
part of the Natal Government to keep a restraining hand on Zulu cruelty,
and to draw the bonds of friendship as tight as the idiosyncrasies of
a savage state would allow. The Government of Natal had no right to
dictate the terms to a Zulu king on which he was to hold his throne. The
Zulu nation was an independent nation, and had never been conquered or
annexed by Natal. If the Government of that colony was able by friendly
negotiation to put a stop to Zulu slaughter, it was a matter for
congratulation on humanitarian grounds; but it is difficult to follow
the argument that because it was not able, or was only partially able,
to do so, therefore England was justified in making war on the Zulus.
On the other hand, it is perfectly ludicrous to observe the way in which
Cetywayo's advocates overshoot the mark in arguing this and similar
points; especially his lady advocates, whose writings upon these
subjects bear about the same resemblance to the truth that the speech to
the jury by the counsel for the defence in a hopeless murder case does
to the summing up of the judge. Having demonstrated that the engagements
entered into by Cetywayo meant nothing, they will proceed to show that,
even if they did, cold-blooded murder, when perpetrated by a black
paragon like Cetywayo, does not amount to a great offence. In the mouths
of these gentle apologists for slaughter, massacre masquerades under the
name of "executions," and is excused on the plea of being, "after all,"
only the enforcement of "an old custom." Again, the employment of
such phrases, in a solemn answer to a remonstrance from the
Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, as "I do kill; but do not consider that
I have done anything yet in the way of killing. . . . I have not yet
begun; I have yet to kill," are shown to mean nothing at all, and to be
"nothing more than the mere irritation of the moment."[*] Perhaps those
of Cetywayo's subjects who suffered on account of this mere momentary
irritation took a more serious view of it. It is but fair to the
particular authority from whom I quote (Miss Colenso's "History of the
Zulu War," pp. 230-231) to state that she considers this reply from
the "usually courteous and respectful king" as "no doubt petulant and
wanting in due respect." Considering that the message in question (which
can be read in the footnote) was a point-blank defiance of Sir Henry
Bulwer, admitting that there had been slaughter, but that it was nothing
compared to what was coming, most people will not think Miss Colenso's
description of it too strong.

[*] The following is the text of the message:--

"Did I ever tell Mr. Shepstone I would not kill? Did he tell
the white people that I made such an arrangement? Because if
he did he has deceived them. I do kill; but do not consider
that I have done anything yet in the way of killing. Why do
the white people start at nothing? I have not yet begun; I
have yet to kill; it is the custom of our nation, and I
shall not depart from it. Why does the Governor of Natal
speak to me about my laws? Do I go to Natal and dictate to
him about his laws? I shall not agree to any laws or rules
from Natal, and by doing so throw the large kraal which I
govern into the water. My people will not listen unless they
are killed; and while wishing to be friends with the
English, I do not agree to give my people over to be
governed by laws sent to me by them. Have I not asked the
English to allow me to wash my spears since the death of my
father 'Umpandi,' and they have kept playing with me all
this time, treating me like a child? Go back and tell the
English that I shall now act on my own account, and if they
wish me to agree to their laws, I shall leave and become a
wanderer; but before I go it will be seen, as I shall not go
without having acted. Go back and tell the white men this,
and let them hear it well. The Governor of Natal and I are
equal; he is Governor of Natal, and I am Governor here."

To admit that the Zulu king has the right to kill as many of his
subjects as he chooses, so long as they will tolerate being killed, is
one thing, but it is certainly surprising to find educated Europeans
adopting a line of defence of these proceedings on his behalf that
amounts to a virtual expression of approval, or at least of easy
toleration. Has philanthropy a deadening effect on the moral sense, that
the people who constitute themselves champions for the unfortunate Zulu
king and the oppressed Boers cannot get on to their hobbies without
becoming blind to the difference between right and wrong? Really an
examination of the utterances of these champions of oppressed innocence
would almost lead one to that conclusion. On the one hand they suppress
and explain away facts, and on the other supply their want of argument
by reckless accusations and vicious attacks on the probity of such
of their fellow-Englishmen, especially if in office, as have had the
misfortune to pursue a course of action or to express opinions not
pleasing to them or their proteges. For instance, an innocent and
unenlightened reader of the very interesting work from which I have just
quoted probably lays it down with the conviction that both Sir Bartle
Frere and Sir Theophilus Shepstone are very wicked men and full of bad
motives, and will wonder how a civilised Government could employ such
monsters of bloodthirsty duplicity. As he proceeds he will also find
that there is not much to be said for the characters of either Sir
Garnet Wolseley or Lord Chelmsford; whilst as regards such small fry as
Mr. John Shepstone, the present Secretary of Native Affairs in Natal,
after passing through Miss Colenso's mill their reputations come out
literally in rags and tatters. He will be shocked to find that not only
did one and all of these gentlemen make gross errors of judgment, but,
trusted and distinguished servants of their country as they are, they
were one and all actuated by dark personal motives that will not bear

Heaven help the members of the Shepstone family when they fall into the
hands of the gentler but more enthusiastic sex, for Miss Colenso is not
their only foe. In a recent publication called a "Defence of Zululand
and its Kings," Lady Florence Dixie gibbets Mr. Henrique Shepstone, and
points him out to be execrated by a Cetywayo-worshipping public, because
the ex-king is to be sent to England in his charge; when, according to
Lady Dixie, he will certainly be scoundrel enough to misinterpret all
that Cetywayo says for his own ends, and will thereby inflict a
"cruel wrong" upon him, and render his visit to England "perfectly
meaningless." Perhaps it has never occurred to Lady Dixie that this is a
very serious charge to bring against an honourable man, whose reputation
is probably as dear to him as the advancement of Cetywayo's cause is to
her. It is all very well to be enthusiastic, but ladies should remember
that there are other people in the world to be considered beside

As regards the question of Cetywayo's bloodthirstiness, which is so
strenuously denied by his apologists, I cannot say that a careful
study of the blue books bearing on the subject brings me to the same
conclusion. It is true that there is not much information on the point,
for the obvious reason that the history of slaughters in Zululand in the
vast majority of cases only reached Natal in the form of rumours,
which nobody thought it worth while to report. There were no newspaper
correspondents in Zululand. There is not, however, any doubt that
Cetywayo was in the habit of killing large numbers of people; indeed it
was a matter of the commonest notoriety; nor, as will be seen from the
message I have transcribed, did he himself deny it, when, being angry,
he spoke the truth. At the same time that this message was sent, we
find Mr. Osborn, then resident magistrate at Newcastle in Natal, who is
certainly not given to exaggeration, writing to the Secretary for Native
Affairs thus:--"From all I have been able to learn, Cetywayo's conduct
has been, and continues to be, disgraceful. He is putting people to
death in a shameful manner, especially girls. The dead bodies are
placed by his order in the principal paths, especially where the paths
intersect each other (cross roads). A few of the parents of the young
people so killed buried the bodies, and thus brought Cetywayo's wrath
on themselves, resulting not only on their own death, but destruction
of the whole family. . . . It is really terrible that such horrible
savagery could take place on our own borders. . . . Uhamu reproved
Cetywayo the other day, reminded him of his promises to Mr. Shepstone,
and begged him to spare the people. This advice, as could be expected,
was not relished."

Again, Mr. Fynney, in his report of his visit to Zululand in 1877,
states that though the king and his "indunas" (councillors) denied that
men were killed without trial, the people told a very different
tale. Thus he says, "In every instance, where I had so far gained the
confidence of the Zulus as to cause them to speak freely, was I assured
of the truthfulness of the statement that the king, Cetywayo, caused his
people to be put to death in great numbers; and when I remarked that of
course he did so after a fair and proper trial, in some cases my remark
was greeted with a suppressed laugh or a smile. Some remarked, 'Yes,
a trial of bullets;' others, 'Yes, we get a trial, but that means
surrounding the kraal at daybreak and shooting us down like cattle.'
One asked me what the Government in Natal intended doing, or what was
thought in Natal about the killing, saying, 'It was not in the night
that Sompseu spoke, but in the sunshine; the king was not alone, but his
people were around him, and the ears of all Zululand heard these words,
and the hearts of all Zulus were joyful, and in gladness they lifted up
their hands saying: The mouth of our white father has spoken good words;
he has cautioned his child in the presence of his people, and a good sun
has risen this day over Zululand! How is it now? Has the king listened?
Does he hold fast those words? No! not one. The promises he made are
all broken. What does Sompseu say to this? You should dine at my kraal
yonder for a few days, and see the izizi (cattle and other property of
people who have been killed) pass, and you would then see with your own
eyes how a case is tried.'" Farther on Mr. Fynney says, "When a charge
is made against a Zulu, the question is generally asked, 'Has he any
cattle?' and if answered in the affirmative, there is little chance of
escape. Instances of killing occurred while I was in Zululand, and to
my knowledge no trial was allowed. An armed party was despatched on the
morning I left Ondine, and, as I was informed, to kill."

There is no reason to suppose that Mr. Fynney was in any way prejudiced
in making these remarks; on the contrary, he was simply carrying out
an official mission, and reporting for the general information of the
Governments of Natal and the Transvaal. It is, however, noticeable that
neither these nor similar passages are ever alluded to by Cetywayo's
advocates, whose object seems to be rather to suppress the truth than to
put it fairly before the public, if by such suppression they think they
can advance the cause of the ex-king.

The whole matter of Cetywayo's private policy, however, appears to me
to be very much beside the question. Whether or no he slaughtered his
oppressed subjects in bygone years, which there is no doubt he did, is
not our affair, since we were not then, as we are now, responsible for
the good government of Zululand; and seeing the amount of slaughter
that goes on under our protectorate, it ill becomes us to rake up these
things against Cetywayo. What we have to consider is his foreign policy,
not the domestic details of his government.[*]

[*] A gentleman, who has recently returned from travelling
in Zululand, relates the following story as nearly as
possible in the words in which it was told to him by a well-
known hunter in Zululand, Piet Hogg by name, now residing
near Dundee on the Zulu border. The story is a curious one
as illustrative of Zulu character, and scarcely represents
Cetywayo in as amiable a light as one might wish. Piet Hogg
and my informant were one day talking about the king when
the former said, "I was hunting and trading in Zululand, and
was at a military kraal occupied by Cetywayo, where I saw a
Basuto who had been engaged by the king to instruct his
people in building houses, that were to be _square_ instead
of circular (as are all Zulu buildings), for which his pay
was to be thirty head of cattle. The Basuto came to Cetywayo
in my presence, and said that the square buildings were
made; he now wished to have his thirty head of cattle and to
depart. Cetywayo having obtained what he required, began to
think the man overpaid, so said, 'I have observed that you
like ---- (a Zulu woman belonging to the kraal); suppose you
take her instead of the thirty head of cattle.' Now this was
a very bad bargain for the Basuto, as the woman was not
worth more, in Zulu estimation, than ten head of cattle; but
the Basuto, knowing with whom he had to deal, thought it
might be better to comply with the suggestion rather than
insist upon his rights, and asked to be allowed till the
next morning to consider the proposal. After he had been
dismissed on this understanding, Cetywayo sent for the
woman, and accused her of misconduct with the Basuto, the
punishment of which, if proved, would be death. She denied
this vehemently, with protestations and tears. He insisted,
but, looking up at a tree almost denuded of leaves which
grew close by, said, significantly, 'Take care that not a
leaf remains on that tree by the morning.' The woman
understood the metaphor, and in an hour or two, aided by
other strapping Zulu females, attacked the unfortunate
Basuto and killed him with clubs. But Cetywayo having thus,
like the monkey in the fable, employed a cat's paw to do his
dirty work, began to think the Basuto's untimely death might
have an ugly appearance in my eyes, so gave orders in my
presence that, as a punishment, six of the women who had
killed the Basuto should also be put to death. This was too
much for me, knowing as I did, all that had passed. I
reproached Cetywayo for his cruelty, and declared I would
leave Zululand without trading there, and without making him
the present he expected. I also said I should take care the
great English 'Inkose' (the Governor of Natal) should hear
of his conduct and the reason of my return. Cetywayo was
then on friendly terms with the English, and being impressed
by my threats, he reconsidered his orders, and spared the
lives of the women."

I do not propose to follow out all the details of the boundary dispute
between Cetywayo and the Transvaal, or to comment on the different
opinions held on the point by the various authorities, English and
Zulu. The question has been, for the moment, settled by the Transvaal
Convention, and is besides a most uninteresting one to the general

Nor shall I enter into a discussion concerning the outrages on which
Sir Bartle Frere based his ultimatum previous to the Zulu war. They were
after all insignificant, although sufficient to serve as a _casus belli_
to a statesman determined to fight. The Zulu war was, in the opinion of
Sir B. Frere, necessary in self-defence, which is the first principle of
existence. If it admits of justification, it is on the ground that the
Zulu army was a menace to the white population of South Africa, and that
it was therefore necessary to destroy it, lest at some future time it
should destroy the whites. It is ridiculous to say that the capture of
two Zulu women in Natal and their subsequent murder, or the expulsion on
political grounds of a few missionaries, justified us in breaking up a
kingdom and slaughtering ten thousand men. Sir Bartle Frere declared war
upon the Zulus because he was afraid, and had good reason to be
afraid, that if he did not, Cetywayo would before long sweep either
the Transvaal or Natal; whilst, on the other hand, the Zulus fought us
because our policy was too philanthropic to allow them to fight anybody
else. This statement may appear strange, but a little examination into
Zulu character and circumstances will, I think, show it to be correct.

It must be remembered that for some years before Panda's death the Zulus
had not been engaged in any foreign war. When Cetywayo ascended the
throne, it was the general hope and expectation of the army, and
therefore of the nation, that this period of inaction would come to an
end, and that the new king would inaugurate an active foreign policy.
They did not greatly care in what direction the activity developed
itself, provided it did develop. It must also be borne in mind that
every able-bodied man in the Zulu country was a member of a regiment,
even the lads being attached to regiments as carriers, and the women
being similarly enrolled, though they did not fight. The Zulu military
system was the universal-service system of Germany brought to an
absolute perfection, obtained by subordinating all the ties and duties
of civil life to military ends. Thus, for instance, marriage could not
be contracted at will, but only by the permission of the king, which was
generally delayed until a regiment was well advanced in years, when a
number of girls were handed over to it to take to wife. This regulation
came into force because it was found that men without home ties were
more ferocious and made better soldiers, and the result of these harsh
rules was that the Zulu warrior, living as he did under the shadow of a
savage discipline, for any breach of which there was but one punishment,
death, can hardly be said to have led a life of domestic comfort, such
as men of all times and nations have thought their common right. But
even a Zulu must have some object in life, some shrine at which to
worship, some mistress of his affections. Home he had none, religion he
had none, mistress he had none, but in their stead he had his career
as a warrior, and his hope of honour and riches to be gained by the
assegai. His home was on the war-track with his regiment, his religion
the fierce denunciation of the isanusi,[*] and his affections were fixed
on the sudden rush of battle, the red slaughter, and the spoils of
the slain. "War," says Sir T. Shepstone, in a very remarkable despatch
written about a year before the outbreak of the Zulu war, "is the
universal cry among the soldiers, who are anxious to live up to their
traditions, . . . . and the idea is gaining ground among the people that
their nation has outlived the object of its existence." Again he says,
"The engine (the Zulu military organisation) has not ceased to exist or
to generate its forces, although the reason or excuse for its existence
has died away: these forces have continued to accumulate and are daily
accumulating without safety-valve or outlet."

[*] _Witch-doctor._ These persons are largely employed in
Zululand to smell out witches who are supposed to have
bewitched others, and are of course very useful as political
agents. Any person denounced by them is at once executed. A
friend of the writer's was once present at a political
smelling-out on a large scale, and describes it as a very
curious and unpleasant scene. The men, of whom there were
some thousands, were seated in a circle, as pale with terror
as Zulus can be. Within the circle were several witch
doctors; one of whom amidst his or her incantations would
now and again step forward and touch some unfortunate man
with a forked stick. The victim was instantly led away a few
paces and his neck twisted. The circle awaited each
denunciation in breathless expectation, for not a man among
them knew whose turn it might be next. On another occasion,
an unfortunate wretch who had been similarly condemned by an
isanusi rushed up to the same gentleman's waggon and
besought shelter. He was hidden under some blankets, but
presently his pursuers arrived, and insisted upon his being
handed over. All possible resistance was made, until the
executioners announced that they would search the waggon and
kill him there. It was then covenanted that he should have a
start in the race for life. He was, however, overtaken and
killed. These instances will show how dark and terrible is
the Zulu superstition connected with witchcraft, and what a
formidable weapon it becomes in the hands of the king or

Desirable as such a state of feeling may be in an army just leaving
for the battlefield, it is obvious that for some fifty thousand men,
comprising the whole manhood of the nation, to be continually on the
boil with sanguinary animosity against the human race in general, is an
awkward element to fit into the peaceable government of a state.

Yet this was doubtless the state of affairs with which Cetywayo had
to contend during the latter years of his reign. He found himself
surrounded by a great army, in a high state of efficiency and warlike
preparation, proclaiming itself wearied with camp life, and clamouring
to be led against an enemy, that it might justify its traditions and
find employment for its spears. Often and often he must have been sorely
puzzled to find excuses wherewithal to put it off. Indeed his position
was both awkward and dangerous: on the one hand was Scylla in the shape
of the English Government, and on the other the stormy and uncertain
Charybdis of his clamouring regiments. Slowly the idea must have began
to dawn upon him that unless he found employment for the army, which,
besides being disgusted with his inactivity, was somewhat wearied with
his cruelties, for domestic slaughter had ceased to divert and had begun
to irritate: the army, or some enterprising members of it, might put it
beyond his power ever to find employment for it at all, and bring one of
his brothers to rule in his stead.

And yet who was he to fight, if fight he must? There were three possible
enemies--1. The Swazis; 2. The Transvaal Boers; 3. The English.

Although the English may have held a place on Cetywayo's list as
possible foes, there is no ground for supposing that, until shortly
before the war, he had any wish to fight with us. Indeed, whereas their
hatred of the Boers was pronounced, and openly expressed, both the Zulu
king and people always professed great respect for Englishmen, and even
a certain amount of liking and regard.

Therefore, when Cetywayo had to settle on an enemy to attack, it was not
the English that he chose, but the Swazis, whose territory adjoined his
own, lying along the borders of the Transvaal towards Delagoa Bay. The
Swazis are themselves Zulus, and Cetywayo claimed certain sovereign
rights over them, which, however, they refused to recognise. They are a
powerful tribe, and can turn out about 10,000 fighting men, quite enough
for Cetywayo's young warriors to try their mettle on. Still the king
does not appear to have wished to undertake the war without first
obtaining the approval of the Natal Government, to whom he applied
several times for permission "to wash his spears," saying that he was
but half a king until he had done so. The Natal Government, however,
invariably replied that he was on no account to do anything of the sort.
This shows the inconveniences of possessing a complimentary feudal hold
over a savage potentate, the shadow of power without the reality. The
Governor of Natal could not in decency sanction such a proceeding as a
war of extermination against the Swazis, but if it had occurred without
his sanction, the Swazis would have suffered no doubt, but the Zulu
spears would have been satisfactorily washed, and there would have been
no Zulu war. As it is, Englishmen have been killed instead of Swazis.

Thwarted in his designs on the Swazis, Cetywayo next turned his
attention to the Transvaal Boers. The Zulus and the Boers had never been
good friends since the days of the massacre of Retief, and of late
years their mutual animosity had been greatly increased owing to
their quarrels about the boundary question previously alluded to. This
animosity reached blood-heat when the Boer Government, acting with the
arrogance it always displayed towards natives, began to lay its commands
upon Cetywayo about his relations with the Amaswazi, the alleged
trespassing on Boer territory, and other matters. The arrogance was
all the more offensive because it was impotent. The Boers were not in
a position to undertake the chastisement of the Zulus. But the king and
council of Zululand now determined to try conclusions with the Transvaal
on the first convenient opportunity, and this time without consulting
the Government of Natal. The opportunity soon occurred. Secocoeni, the
powerful chief of the Bapedi, one of the tribes whose territories border
on the Transvaal, came to a difference with the Boers over another
border question. There is good ground for supposing that Cetywayo
incited him to withstand the Boer demands; it is certain that during the
course of the war that followed he assisted him with advice, and more
substantially still, with Zulu volunteers.

To be brief, the Secocoeni war resulted in the discomfiture of the
Transvaal forces. Another result of this struggle was to throw the whole
state into the most utter confusion, of which the Dutch burghers, always
glad of an opportunity to defy the law, took advantage to refuse to pay
taxes. National bankruptcy ensued, and confusion grew worse confounded.

Cetywayo took note of all this, and saw that now was his opportunity to
attack. The Boers had suffered both in morale and prestige from their
defeat by Secocoeni, who was still in arms against them; whilst the
natives were proportionately elated by their success over the dreaded
white men. There was, he knew well, but little chance of a rapid
concentration to resist a sudden raid, especially when made by such a
powerful army, or rather chain of armies, as he could set in motion.
Everything favoured the undertaking; indeed, humanly speaking, it
is difficult to see what could have saved the greater part of the
population of the Transvaal from sudden extinction, if a kind Providence
had not just then put it into the head of Lord Carnarvon to send out
Sir T. Shepstone as Special Commissioner to their country. When Cetywayo
heard that his father Sompseu (Sir T. Shepstone) was going up to the
Transvaal, he held his hand, sent out spies, and awaited the course
of events. The following incident will show with what interest he was
watching what took place. At the Vaal River a party of Boers met
the Special Commissioner and fired salutes to welcome him. It was
immediately reported to Cetywayo by his spies that the Boers had fired
over Sir T. Shepstone's waggon. Shortly afterwards a message arrived at
Pretoria from Cetywayo to inquire into the truth of the story, coolly
announcing his intention of sweeping the Transvaal if it were true that
"his father" had been fired at. In a conversation with Mr. Fynney after
the Annexation Cetywayo alludes to his intentions in these words:--

"I heard that the Boers were not treating him (Sompseu) properly, and
that they intended to put him in a corner. If they had done so I should
not have waited for anything more. _Had but one shot been fired_,
I should have said, 'What more do I wait for? they have touched my
father.' I should have poured my men over the land, and I can tell you,
son of Mr. Fynney, the land would have burned with fire." This will show
how eagerly Cetywayo was searching for an excuse to commence his attack
on the Transvaal. When the hope of finding a pretext in the supposed
firing at Sir T. Shepstone or any incident of a similar nature faded
away, he appears to have determined to carry out his plans without
any immediate pretext, and to make a _casus belli_ of his previous
differences with the Government of the Republic. Accordingly he massed
his impis (army corps) at different points along the Transvaal border,
where they awaited the signal to advance and sweep the country.
Information of Cetywayo's doings and of his secret plans reached
Pretoria shortly before the Annexation, and confirmed the mind of the
Special Commissioner as to the absolute necessity of that measure to
save the citizens of the Republic from coming to a violent end,
and South Africa from being plunged into a native war of unexampled
magnitude. The day before the Annexation took place, when it was quite
certain that it would take place, a message was sent to Cetywayo by Sir
T. Shepstone telling him of what was about to happen, and telling
him too in the sternest and most straightforward language, that the
Transvaal had become the Queen's land like Natal, and that he must no
more think of attacking it than he would of attacking Natal. Cetywayo
on receiving the message at once disbanded his armies and sent them
to their kraals. "Kabuna," he said to the messenger, "my impis were
gathered; now at my father's (Sir T. Shepstone's) bidding I send them
back to their homes."

This fact, namely, that at the bidding of his old mentor Sir T.
Shepstone, Cetywayo abandoned his long-cherished plans, and his
undoubted opportunity of paying off old scores with the Boers in a most
effectual manner, and gave up a policy that had so many charms for him,
must be held by every unprejudiced man to speak volumes in his favour.
It must be remembered that it was not merely to oblige his "father
Sompseu" that he did this, but to meet the wishes of the English
Government, and the act shows how anxious he was to retain the
friendship and fall in with the views of that Government. Evidently
Cetywayo had no animosity against us in April 1877.

In his interview with Mr. Fynney, Cetywayo speaks out quite frankly as
to what his intentions had been; he says, "I know all about the soldiers
being on their way up, but I would have asked Sompseu to allow the
soldiers to stand on one side for just a little while, only a little,
and see what my men could do. It would have been unnecessary for the
Queen's people to trouble. My men were all ready, and how big must that
stone have been, with my father Sompseu digging at one side and myself
at the other, that would not have toppled over? Even though the size
of that mountain (pointing to a mountain range), we could put it on its
back. Again I say I am glad to know the Transvaal is English ground;
perhaps now there may be rest."

This and other passages show beyond all doubt from what an awful
catastrophe the Transvaal was saved by the Annexation. That Cetywayo
personally detested the Boers is made clear by his words to Mr. Fynney.
"'The Boers,' he says, 'are a nation of liars; they are a bad people,
bad altogether. I do not want them near my people; they lie and claim
what is not theirs, and ill-use my people. Where is Thomas?' (President
Burgers). I informed him that Mr. Burgers had left the Transvaal. 'Then
let them pack up and follow Thomas,' said he. 'Let them go. The Queen
does not want such people as those about her land. What can the Queen
make of them or do with them? Their evil ways puzzled both Thomas and
Rudolph, Landdrost of Utrecht; they will not be quiet.'"

It is very clear that if Cetywayo had been left to work his will, a
great many of the Boers would have found it necessary to "pack up and
follow Thomas," whilst many more would have never needed to pack again.

I am aware that attempts have been made to put another explanation on
Cetywayo's warlike preparations against the Boers. It has been said that
the Zulu army was called up by Sir T. Shepstone to coerce the Transvaal.
It is satisfactory to be able, from intimate personal knowledge, to
give unqualified denial to that statement, which is a pure invention, as
indeed is easily proved by clear evidence, which I have entered into in
another part of this book. Cetywayo played for his own hand all along,
and received neither commands nor hints from the Special Commissioner to
get his army together. Indeed, when Sir T. Shepstone discovered what was
going on, he suffered great anxiety lest some catastrophe should
occur before he was in a position to prevent it. Nothing short of
the Annexation could have saved the Transvaal at that moment, and the
conduct of the Boers after the danger had been taken on to the
shoulders of the Imperial Government is a startling instance of national

Here again the Zulu king was brought face to face with the ubiquitous
British Government, and that too at a particularly aggravating moment.
He was about to commence his attack when he was met with a polite,
"Hands off; this is British territory." No wonder that we find him in
despair renewing his prayer that Sompseu will allow him to make "one
little raid only, one small swoop," and saying that "it is the custom
of our country, when a new king is placed over the nation, to wash
their spears, and it has been done in the case of all former kings of
Zululand. I am no king, but sit in a heap. I cannot be a king till I
have washed my assegais." All of which is doubtless very savage and
very wrong, but such is the depravity of human nature, that there is
something taking about it for all that.

It was at this period of the history of South Africa that many people
think we made our crowning mistake. We annexed the Transvaal, say they,
six months too soon. As things have turned out, it would have been wiser
to have left Zulus and Transvaal Boers to try conclusions, and done
our best to guard our own frontiers. There is no doubt that such a
consummation of affairs would have cleared the political atmosphere
wonderfully; the Zulus would have got enough fighting to last them some
time, and the remainder of the Boers would have entreated our protection
and become contented British subjects; there would have been no
Isandhlwana and no Majuba Hill. But to these I say who could foresee the
future, and who, in the then state of kindly feeling towards the Boers,
could wish to leave them, and all the English mixed up with them, to
undergo, unprepared as they were, the terrible experience of a Zulu
invasion? Besides, what guarantee was there that the slaughter would
stop in the Transvaal, or that the combat would not have developed into
a war of races throughout South Africa? Even looking at the matter in
the light of after events, it is difficult to regret that humanity
was on this occasion allowed to take precedence of a more cold-blooded
policy. If the opponents of the Annexation, or even the members of the
Transvaal Independence Committee, knew what a Zulu invasion meant, they
would scarcely have been so bitter about that act.

From the time of the Annexation it was a mere matter of opinion as to
which direction the Zulu explosion would take. The safety-valves were
loaded whilst the pressure daily increased, and all acquainted with the
people knew that it must come sooner or later.

Shortly after the Transvaal became British territory the old Zulu
boundary question came to the fore again and was made more complicated
than ever by Sir T. Shepstone, who had hitherto favoured the Zulu
claims, taking the Boer side of the controversy, after examination of
the locality and of persons acquainted with the details of the matter.
There was nothing wonderful in this change of opinion, though of course
it was attributed to various motives by advocates of the Zulu claims,
and there is no doubt that Cetywayo himself did not at all like it, and,
excited thereto by vexation and the outcry of his regiments, adopted
a very different and aggressive tone in his communications with the
English authorities. Indeed his irritation against the Boers and
everybody connected with them was very great. Probably if he had been
left alone he would in time have carried out his old programme, and
attacked the Transvaal. But, fortunately for the Transvaal, which, like
sailors and drunken men, always seems to have had a special Providence
taking care of it: at this juncture Sir Bartle Frere appeared upon the
scene, and after a few preliminaries and the presentation of a strong
ultimatum, which was quite impracticable so far as Cetywayo was
concerned, since it demanded what it was almost impossible for him to
concede--the disbandment of his army--invaded Zululand.

It is generally supposed that the Natal colonists had a great deal to
do with making the Zulu war, but this is not the case. It is quite true
that they were rejoiced at the prospect of the break-up of Cetywayo's
power, because they were very much afraid of him and of his "celibate
man-slaying machine," which, under all the circumstances, is not
wonderful. But the war was a distinctly Imperial war, made by an
Imperial officer, without consultation with Colonial authorities, on
Imperial grounds, viz., because Cetywayo menaced Her Majesty's power in
South Africa. Of course, if there had been no colonies there would have
been no war, but in that way only are they responsible for it. Natal,
however, has not grudged to pay 250,000 pounds towards its expenses,
which is a great deal more than it can afford, and, considering that the
foolish settlement made by Sir Garnet Wolseley is almost sure to involve
the colony in trouble, quite as much as should be asked.

The fact of the matter was, that Sir Bartle Frere was a statesman who
had the courage of his convictions; he saw that a Zulu disturbance of
one kind or another was inevitable, so he boldly took the initiative. If
things had gone right with him, as he supposed they would, praise would
have been lavished on him by the Home authorities, and he would have
been made a peer, and perhaps Governor-General of India to boot; but he
reckoned without his Lord Chelmsford, and the element of success which
was necessary to gild his policy in the eyes of the home public was
conspicuous by its absence. As it was, no language was considered to
be too bad to apply to this "imperious proconsul" who had taken upon
himself to declare a war. If it is any consolation to him, he has at any
rate the gratitude of the South African Colonies, not so much for what
he has done, for that is being carefully nullified by the subsequent
action of the Home Government, but because, believing his policy to be
right, he had the boldness to carry it out at the risk of his official
reputation. Sir Bartle Frere took a larger view of the duties of the
governor of a great dependency than to constitute himself the flickering
shadow of the Secretary of State in Downing Street, who, knowing little
of the real interests of the colony, is himself only the reflection
of those that hold the balance of power, to whom the subject is one of
entire indifference, provided that there is nothing to pay.

The details of the Zulu war are matters of melancholy history, which
it is useless to recapitulate here. With the exception of the affair at
Rorke's Drift, there is nothing to be proud of in connection with it,
and a great deal to be ashamed of, more especially its final settlement.
There is, however, one point that I wish to submit to the consideration
of my readers, and that is, that Cetywayo was never thoroughly in
earnest about the war. If he had been in earnest, if he had been
determined to put out his full strength, he would certainly have swept
Natal from end to end after his victory at Isandhlwana. There was no
force to prevent his doing so: on the contrary, it is probable that if
he had advanced a strong army over the border, a great number of the
Natal natives would have declared in his favour through fear of his
vengeance, or at the least would have remained neutral. He had ample
time at his disposal to have executed the manoeuvre twice over before
the arrival of the reinforcements, of which the results must have been
very dreadful, and yet he never destroyed a single family. The reason he
has himself given for this conduct is that he did not wish to irritate
the white man; that he had not made the war, and was only anxious to
defend his country.

When the fighting came to an end after the battle of Ulundi, there
were two apparent courses open to us to take. One was to take over
the country and rule it for the benefit of the Zulus, and the other to
enforce the demands in Sir Bartle Frere's ultimatum, and, taking such
guarantees as circumstances would admit of, leave Cetywayo on the
throne. Instead of acting on either of these plans, however, Sir Garnet
Wolseley proceeded, in the face of an extraordinary consensus of adverse
opinion, which he treated with calm contempt, to execute what has proved
to be a very cruel settlement. Sir Garnet Wolseley has the reputation of
being an extremely able man, and it is only fair to him to suppose that
he was not the sole parent of this political monster, by which all the
blood and treasure expended on the Zulu war were made of no account, but
that it was partially dictated to him by authorities at home, who were
anxious to gratify English opinion, and partly ignorant, partly
careless of the consequences. At the same time, it is clear that he is
responsible for the details of the scheme, since immediately after the
capture of Cetywayo he writes a despatch about them which was considered
so important, that a member of his staff was sent to England in
charge of it. In this document he informs the Secretary of State that
Cetywayo's rule was resolutely built up "without any of the ordinary and
lawful foundations of authority, and by the mere vigour and vitality of
an individual character." It is difficult to understand what Sir Garnet
means in this passage. If the fact of being the rightful and generally
accepted occupant of the throne is not an "ordinary and lawful
foundation of authority," what is? As regards Cetywayo having built up
his rule by the "mere vigour and vitality of an individual character,"
he is surely in error. Cetywayo's position was not different to that
of his immediate predecessors. If Sir Garnet had applied the remark to
Chaka, the first king, to the vigour and vitality of whose individual
character Zululand owes its existence as a nation, it would have been
more appropriate. The despatch goes on to announce that he has made
up his mind to divide the country into thirteen portions, in order to
prevent the "possibility of any reunion of its inhabitants under one
rule," and ends in these words: "I have laboured with the great aim of
establishing for Her Majesty's subjects in South Africa, both white and
coloured, as well as for this spirited people against whom unhappily we
have been involved in war, the enduring foundations of peace, happiness
and prosperity." The spirited people were no doubt vastly thankful, but
the white man, reading such a passage as this, and knowing the facts of
the case, will only recognise Sir Garnet Wolseley's admirable talent for
ironical writing.

Sir Garnet entered into an agreement with each of his kinglets, who,
amongst other things, promised that they would not make war without
the sanction of the British Government. He also issued a paper of
instructions to the gentleman who was first appointed British Resident
(who, by the way, very soon threw up his post in despair). From this
document we learn that all the ex-king's brothers are to "be under
the eye of the chief John Dunn," but it is chiefly remarkable for the
hostility it evinces to all missionary enterprise. The Resident is
instructed to "be careful to hold yourself entirely aloof from all
missionary or proselytising enterprises," and that "grants of land
by former kings to missionaries cannot be recognised by the British
Government," although Sir Garnet will allow missionaries to live in the
country if the chief of the district does not object. These instructions
created some adverse comment in England, with the result that, in
the supplementary instructions issued on the occasion of Mr. Osborn's
appointment as Resident, they were somewhat modified. In the despatch
to the Secretary of State in which he announces the new appointment, Sir
Garnet says that Mr. Osborn is to be the "councillor, guide, and friend"
of the native chiefs, and that to his "moral influence" "we should
look I think for the spread of civilisation and the propagation of the
Gospel." What a conglomeration of duties,--at once "prophet, priest, and
king!" Poor Mr. Osborn!

Of the chiefs appointed under this unfortunate settlement, some were
so carelessly chosen that they have no authority whatsoever over
the districts to which they were appointed, their nominal subjects
preferring to remain under the leadership of their hereditary chief.
Several of Sir Garnet's little kings cannot turn out an hundred men,
whilst the hereditary chief, who has no official authority, can bring up
three or four thousand. Thus, for instance, a territory was given to
a chief called Infaneulela. The retainers of this gentleman live in a
kraal of five or six huts on the battlefield of Ulundi. A chief called
Dilligane, to whom the district should have been given, is practically
head man of the district, and takes every possible opportunity of
defying the nominee chief, Infaneulela, who is not acknowledged by
the people. Another case is that of Umgitchwa, to whom a territory was
given. In this instance there are two brothers, Umgitchwa and Somhlolo,
born of different mothers. Umgitchwa is the elder, but Somhlolo is the
son of a daughter of the king, and therefore, according to Zulu custom,
entitled to succeed to the chieftainship. Somhlolo was disinherited by
Sir Garnet on account of his youth (he is about twenty-five and has many
wives). But an ancient custom is not to be thus abrogated by a stroke of
the pen, and Somhlolo is practically chief of the district. Fighting is
imminent between the two brothers.

A third case is that of Hlubi, who, though being a good, well-meaning
man, is a Basuto, and being a foreigner, has no influence over the Zulus
under him.

A fourth instance is that of Umlandela, an old and infirm Zulu, who was
made chief over a large proportion of the Umtetwa tribe on the coast of
Zululand. His appointment was a fatal mistake, and has already led to
much bloodshed under the following curious circumstances, which are not
without interest, as showing the intricacy of Zulu plots.

The Umtetwas were in the days of Chaka a very powerful tribe, but
suffered the same fate at his hands as did every other that ventured to
cross spears with him. They were partially annihilated, and whilst some
of the survivors, of whom the Umtetwas in Zululand are the descendants,
were embodied in the Zulu regiments, others were scattered far and wide.
Branches of this important tribe exist as far off as the Cape Colony.
Dingiswayo, who was the chief of the Umtetwas when Chaka conquered the
tribe, fled after his defeat into Basutoland, and is supposed to have
died there. After the Zulu war Sir G. Wolseley divided the Umtetwa into
two districts, appointing an Umtetwa chief named Somkeli ruler over one,
and Umlandela over the other.

Umlandela, being a Zulu and worn with age, has never had any authority
over his nominal subjects, and has been anxious to rid himself of the
danger and responsibility of his chieftainship by transferring it on to
the shoulders of Mr. John Dunn, whose territory adjoins his own, and
who would be, needless to say, nothing loth to avail himself of the
opportunity of increasing his taxable area. Whilst this intrigue was in
progress all Zululand was convulsed with the news of our defeat by the
Boers and the consequent surrender of the Transvaal. It was commonly
rumoured that our forces were utterly destroyed, and that the Boers were
now the dominant Power. Following on the heels of this intelligence was
a rumour to the effect that Cetywayo was coming back. These two reports,
both of which had a foundation of truth, had a very bad effect on the
vulgar mind in Zululand, and resulted in the setting in motion of a
variety of plots, of which the following was the most important.

The Umtetwa tribe is among those who are not anxious for the return
of Cetywayo, but see in the present state of affairs an opportunity of
regaining the power they possessed before the days of Chaka. If they
were to have a king over Zululand they determined that it should be an
Umtetwa king, and Somkeli, one of the chiefs appointed by Sir Garnet,
was the man who aimed at the throne. He was not, however, anxious to put
out his hand at first further than he could draw it back, so he adopted
a very ingenious expedient. It will be remembered that the old Chief
Dingiswayo fled to Basutoland, where he is reported to have married.
It occurred to Somkeli that if he could produce a descendant or a
pseudo-descendant of Dingiswayo he would have no difficulty in beginning
operations by dispossessing Umlandela of his territory in favour of the
supposed lawful heir. In fact he wanted a cat to pull the chestnuts
out of the fire for him, who could easily be got rid of afterwards.
Accordingly one Sitimela was produced who is supposed to be an escaped
convict from Natal, who gave out that he was a grandson of Dingiswayo
by a Basuto woman, and a great medicine-man, able to kill everybody by a
glance of his eye.

To this impostor adherents flocked from all parts of Zululand, and
Umlandela flying for his life into John Dunn's territory, Sitimela
seized upon the chieftainship. The Resident thereupon ordered him to
appear before him, but he, as might be expected, refused to come. As it
was positively necessary to put an end to the plot by some means, since
its further development would have endangered and perhaps destroyed the
weak-knee'd Zulu settlement, Mr. Osborn determined to proceed to the
scene of action. Mahomet would not go to the mountain, so the mountain
had to go to Mahomet. On arrival he pitched his tents half way between
the camps of Sitimela and John Dunn, who had Umlandela under his charge,
and summoned Somkeli, the author of the plot, to appear before him. Ten
days elapsed before the summons was obeyed. During this time, and indeed
until they finally escaped, the Resident and his companion could not
even venture to the spring, which was close at hand, to wash, for fear
of being assassinated. All day long they could see lines of armed
men swarming over the hills round them, and hear them yelling their
war-songs. At length Somkeli appeared, accompanied by over a thousand
armed warriors. He was ordered to withdraw his forces from Sitimela's
army and go home. He went home, but did not withdraw his forces. The
next day Sitimela himself appeared before the Resident. He was ordered
to come with ten men: he came with two thousand all armed, wild with
excitement and "moutied" (medicined). To make this medicine they had
killed and pounded up a little cripple boy and several of Umlandela's
wives. It afterwards transpired that the only reason Sitimela did not
then and there kill the Resident was that he (Mr. Osborn) had with him
several chiefs who were secretly favourable to Sitimela's cause, and if
he had killed him he would, according to Zulu custom, have had to kill
them too. Mr. Osborn ordered Sitimela to disperse his forces or take
the consequences, and waited a few days for him to do so; but seeing no
signs of his compliance, he then ordered the neighbouring chiefs to fall
on him, and at length withdrew from his encampment,--none too soon. That
very night a party of Sitimela's men came down to kill him, and finding
the tent in which he and his companions had slept standing, stabbed at
its supposed occupants through the canvas.

Sitimela was defeated by the forces ordered out by the Resident with
a loss of about 500 men. It is, however, worthy of note, and shows how
widespread was the conspiracy, that out of all the thousands promised,
Mr. Osborn was only able to call out two thousand men.

The appointment, however, that has occasioned the most criticism is that
of John Dunn, who got the Benjamin share of Zululand in preference to
his brother chiefs. The converting of an Englishman into a Zulu chief is
such a very odd proceeding that it is difficult to know what to think of
it. John Dunn is an ambitious man, and most probably has designs on the
throne; he is also a man who understands the value of money, of which
he makes a great deal out of his chieftainship. At the same time, it is
clear that, so far as it goes, his rule is better than that of the other
chiefs; he has a uniform tax fixed, and has even done something in the
way of starting schools and making roads. From all that I have been able
to gather, his popularity and influence with the Zulus are overrated,
though he has lived amongst them so many years, and taken so many of
their women to wife. His appointment was a hazardous experiment, and in
the long run is likely to prove a mischievous one, since any attempted
amendment of the settlement will be violently resisted by him on the
ground of vested interests. Also, if white men are set over Zulus at
all, they should be _gentlemen_ in the position of government officers,
not successful adventurers.

Perhaps the only wise thing done in connection with the settlement was
the appointment of Mr. Osborn, C.M.G., as British Resident. It is not
easy to find a man fitted for that difficult and dangerous position, for
the proper filling of which many qualifications are required. Possessed
of an intimate knowledge of the Zulus, their language, and their mode of
thought and life, and being besides a very able and energetic officer,
Mr. Osborn would have saved the settlement from breaking down if anybody
could have saved it. As it is, by the exercise of ceaseless energy and
at great personal risk, he has preserved it from total collapse. Of the
dangers and anxieties to which he is exposed, the account I have given
of the Sitimela incident is a sufficient example. He is, in fact,
nothing but a shadow, for he has no force at his command to ensure
obedience to his decisions, or to prevent civil war; and in Zululand,
oddly enough, force is a remedy. Should one chief threaten the peace of
the country, he can only deal with him by calling on another chief for
aid, a position that is neither dignified nor right. What is worst of
all is that the Zulus are beginning to discover what a shadow he is, and
with this weakened position he has to pit his single brains against all
the thousand and one plots which are being woven throughout Zululand.
The whole country teems with plots. Mnyamane, the late Prime Minister,
and one of the ablest, and perhaps the most influential man in Zululand,
is plotting for the return of Cetywayo. Bishop Colenso, again, is as
usual working his own wires, and creating agitations to forward his
ends, whatever they may be at the moment. John Dunn, on the other hand,
is plotting to succeed Cetywayo, and so on _ad infinitum_. Such is the
state of affairs with which our unfortunate Resident has to contend.
Invested with large imaginary powers, he has in reality nothing but his
personal influence and his own wits to help him. He has no white man
to assist him, but living alone in a broken-down tent and some mud
huts built by his son's hands (for the Government have never kept their
promise to put him up a house), in the midst of thousands of restless
and scheming savages, amidst plots against the peace and against his
authority, he has to do the best he can to carry out an impracticable
settlement, and to maintain the character of English justice and the
honour of the English name. Were Mr. Osborn to throw up his post or to
be assassinated, the authorities would find it difficult to keep the
whole settlement from collapsing like a card castle.

Nobody who understood Zulu character and aspirations could ever have
executed such a settlement as Sir Garnet Wolseley's, unless he did it
in obedience to some motive or instructions that it was not advisable
to publish. It is true that Sir Garnet's experience of the Zulus was
extremely small, and that he put aside the advice of those who did know
them with that contempt with which he is wont to treat colonists and
their opinions. Sir Garnet Wolseley does not like colonial people,
possibly because they have signally failed to appreciate heaven-born
genius in his person, or his slap-dash drumhead sort of way of settling
the fate of countries, and are, indeed, so rude as to openly say, that,
in their opinion, he did more mischief in Africa in a few months, than
it would take an ordinary official a lifetime to accomplish.

However this may be, stop his ears as much as he might, Sir Garnet
cannot have been entirely blind to the import of what he was doing, and
the only explanation of his action is that he entered on it more with
the idea of flattering and gratifying English public opinion, than of
doing his best for the Zulus or the white Colonists on their borders. A
great outcry had been raised at home, where, in common with most South
African affairs, the matter was not thoroughly understood, against the
supposed intended annexation of Zululand for the benefit of "greedy
colonists." It was argued that colonists were anxious for the annexation
in order that they might get the land to speculate with, and doubtless
this was, in individual instances, true. I fully agree with those who
think that it would be unwise to throw open Zululand to the European
settler, not on account of the Zulus, who would benefit by the change,
but because the result would be a state of affairs similar to that in
Natal, where there are a few white men surrounded by an ever-growing
mass of Kafirs. But there is a vast difference between Annexation proper
and the Protectorate it was our duty to establish over the natives. Such
an arrangement would have presented few difficulties, and have brought
with it many advantages. White men could have been forbidden to settle
in the country. A small hut-tax, such as the Zulus would have cheerfully
paid, would have brought in forty or fifty thousand a year, an ample
sum to defray the expenses of the Resident and sub-Residents: the
maintenance of an adequate native force to keep order: and even the
execution of necessary public works. It is impossible to overrate the
advantages that must have resulted both to the Zulus and their white
neighbours from the adoption of this obvious plan, among them being
lasting peace and security to life and property; or to understand the
folly and cruelty that dictated the present arrangement, or rather
want of arrangement. Not for many years has England missed such an
opportunity of doing good, not only at no cost, but with positive
advantage to herself. Did we owe nothing to this people whose kingdom we
had broken up, and whom we had been shooting down by thousands? They
may well ask, as they do continually, what they have done that we should
treat them as we have and are doing?

It cannot be too clearly understood, that, when the Zulus laid down
their arms they did so, hoping and believing that they would be taken
over by the English Government, which, having been fairly beaten by
it, they now looked on as their head or king, and be ruled like their
brethren in Natal. They expected to have to pay taxes and to have
white magistrates placed over them, and they or the bulk of them looked
forward to the change with pleasure. It must be remembered that when
once they have found their master, there exists no more law-abiding
people in the world than the Zulus, provided they are ruled firmly, and
above all justly. Believing that such a rule would fall to their lot
they surrendered when they did. How great, then, must their surprise
have been when they found, that without their wishes being consulted in
the matter, their own hereditary king was to be sent away, and thirteen
little kings set up in his place, with, strangest of all, a white man as
chief little king, whilst the British Government contented itself with
placing a Resident in the country, to watch the troubles that must

Such a settlement as this could only have one object and one result,
neither of which is at all creditable to the English people. The Zulus
were parcelled out among thirteen chiefs, in order that their strength
might be kept down by internecine war and mutual distrust and jealousy:
and, as though it were intended to render this result more certain,
territories were chucked about in the careless way I have described,
whilst central authority was abolished, and the vacant throne is dangled
before all eyes labelled "the prize of the strongest." Of course
Sir Garnet's paper agreements with the chiefs were for the most part
disregarded from the first. For instance, every chief has his army
and uses it too. In Zululand bloodshed is now a thing of every-day
occurrence, and the whole country is torn by fear, uncertainly, and
consequent want.[*] The settlement is bearing its legitimate fruit; some
thousands of Zulus have already been killed in direct consequence of it,
and more will doubtless follow. And this is the outcome of all the blood
and treasure spent over the Zulu war! Well, we have settled Zululand on
the most approved principles, and thank Heaven, British influence has
not been extended!

[*] A severe famine is said to be imminent in Zululand.

To show that I am not singular in my opinion as to the present state
of Zululand, I may be allowed to quote a few short extracts taken at
random, from half-a-dozen numbers of the "Natal Mercury." Talking of
the Zulu settlement terms as dictated by Sir G. Wolseley, the leading
article of the issue 21st November 1881 says:--"It will at once
be apparent that these terms have in several cases been flagrantly
violated, especially as regards clauses of 2, 3, 4, and 6. This last
will assuredly be broken again and yet again, so long as the British
Resident occupies the position of an official mollusc. The chiefs
themselves perceive and admit the evils that must arise out of the
absence of any effective central authority. These evils are so obvious,
they were so generally recognised at the outset as being inherent in
the scheme, that we might almost suppose their occurrence had been
deliberately anticipated as a desired outcome of the settlement. The
morality of such a line of policy would be precisely on a par with that
which is involved in the proposal to reinstate Cetywayo as a means of
dealing with the Boers. The creation of thirteen kinglets in order that
they might destroy each other, is as humane and high-minded an effort
of statesmanship as would be the restoration of a banished king in order
that he might eat up a people to whom the same power has just given back
their independence. To the simple colonial mind such deep designs
of Machiavellian statecraft are as hateful as they are inhuman and

A correspondent of the "Mercury" in Zululand writes under date of 13th

"I send a line at the last moment to say that things are going from bad
to worse at railway speed. Up to the arrival of Sir Evelyn Wood, the
chiefs did not fully realise that they were really independent at all.
Now they do, and if I mistake not, like a beggar on horseback will ride
to the devil sharp. Oham has begun by killing a large number of the
Amagalusi people. My information is derived from native sources, and may
be somewhat exaggerated. It is that the killed at Isandhlwana were few
compared with those killed by Uhamu a few days ago. Usibebu also and
Undabuka are, I am told, on the point of coming to blows; and if they
do that it will be worse still, for Undabuka will find supporters
throughout the length and breadth of Zululand. Undabuka, the full
brother of the ex-king, is the protege of the Bishop of Natal. The
Bishop, I find, has again sent one of his agents (Amajuba by name)
calling for another deputation. The deputation is now on its way to
Natal, and that, I understand, against the express refusal of the
Resident to allow it." In the issue of 14th November is published a
letter from Mr. Nunn, a gentleman well known in Zululand, from which,
as it is too long to quote in its entirety, I give a few
extracts:--"_Oham's Camp, Oct.15._--The Zulus cannot comprehend the
Transvaal affair, and it has been industriously circulated among them
that the English have been beaten and forced to give back the Transvaal.
They do not understand gracious acts of restoration after we have been
beaten. Four times this year has Umnyamana called his army together and
menaced Oham, who has several times had to have parties of his followers
sleeping around his kraal in the hills adjacent, so as to give him
timely notice to fly. When Oham left his kraal for the purpose of
attending the meeting at Inslasatye, the same day the whole of the
Maquilisini Tribe came on to the hills adjacent to Oham's kraal, the
'Injamin,' and threatened that district. This has been the case on two
or three former occasions, and simultaneously Umnyamana's tribe and
Undabuka's followers always flew to arms, thus threatening on all sides.
. . . Trading is and has been for months entirely suspended in this
district. The fields are unplanted, no ploughs or Kafir-picks at
work--all are in a state of excitement, not knowing the moment a
collision may take place. Hunger will stare many in the face next year,
and all the men yelling to their chiefs to be let loose and put an end
to this state of uncertainty."

Mr. Nunn encloses an account by an eye-witness of a battle which took
place on the 2d October 1881 between Oham's army and the Maquilisini
Tribe. The following is an extract:--"On the 2nd there was a heavy mist,
and on moving forward the mounted party found themselves in the midst
of the enemy (the Maquilisini), and on hearing a cry to stab the horses,
they rode through them with no casualty (except one horse slightly
wounded with a bullet). The army, moving in a half circle, now became
generally engaged in a hand-to-hand fight, and our men were checked
and annoyed by a number of the enemy armed with guns, who were in a
stone-kraal and kept up a constant fire. Amatonga, now at the head of
the mounted party, charged and drove the enemy out of the kraal, from
which they three several times charged the enemy on the flank, assisted
by a small infantry party, and cut paths through their ranks. The fight,
which had now lasted nearly an hour, commenced to flag, and Oham's army
making a sudden rush entirely routed the enemy, and the carnage lasted
to the Bevan river, the boundary of the Transvaal. No women or children
were killed, but out of an army of about 1500 of the enemy but few
escaped" (sic) . . . . "The men, as they were being killed, repeatedly
exclaimed, 'We are dying through Umnyamana and Umlabaku.'"

In the "Natal Mercury" of the 13th March occurs the following:--

"_Zulu Country._--As to the state of the country it is something we
cannot describe; everything is upside down, and the chiefs appointed by
the government are mere nobodies, and have not any power over their own
people. Even the Resident is in a false position, and seems perfectly
powerless to act either way. We had one row, just arriving at a kraal in
time to save it from being eaten up. Witchcraft and killing, one of the
pretences on which the English made war, are of every-day occurrence,
and fifty times worse than they were before the war. Oham and Tibysio
(?) keep their men continually in the field, consequently those
districts are at present in a state of famine."

Sir Garnet Wolseley executed the Zulu settlement on the 1st September
1879. The above extracts will suffice to show the state of the country
after it has been working for little more than two years. They will
also, I believe, suffice to convince any just and impartial mind that I
do not exaggerate when I say that it is an abomination and a disgrace
to England. The language may be strong, but when one hears of 1500
unfortunates (nearly twice as many as we lost at Isandhlwana) being
slaughtered in a single intertribal broil, it is time to use strong
language. It is not as though this were an unexpected or an unavoidable
development of events, every man who knew the Zulus predicted the misery
that must result from such a settlement, but those who directed their
destinies turned a deaf ear to all warnings. They did not wish to hear.

And now we are told that civil war is imminent between the Cetywayo or
anti-settlement party, and what I must, for want of a better name, call
the John Dunn party, or those who have acquired interests under the
settlement, and who for various reasons wish to see Cetywayo's face no
more. If this occurs, and it will occur unless the Government makes up
its mind to do something before long, the slaughter, not only of men but
also of women and children, will be enormous; fugitives will pour into
Natal, followed perhaps by their pursuers, and for aught we know the war
may spread into our own dominions. We are a philanthropic people, very,
when Bulgarians are concerned, or when the subject is one that piques
the morbid curiosity, or is the rage of the moment, and the subject of
addresses from great and eloquent speakers. But we can sit still, and
let such massacres as these take place, when we have but to hold up our
hand to stop them. When occasionally the veil is lifted a little, and
the public hears of "fresh fighting in Zululand;" a question is asked
in the House; Mr. Courtney, as usual, has no information, but generally
discredits the report, and it is put aside as "probably not true." I
am well aware that of the few who read these words, many will discredit
them, or say that they are written for some object, or for party
purposes. But it is not the case; they are written in the interest of
the truth, and in the somewhat faint hope that they may awaken a portion
of the public, however small, to a knowledge of our responsibilities
to the unfortunate Zulus. For try to get rid of it as we may, those
responsibilities rest upon our shoulders. When we conquered the Zulu
nation and sent away the Zulu king, we undertook, morally at any rate,
to provide for the future good government of the country; otherwise, the
Zulu war was unjust indeed. If we continue to fail, as we have hitherto,
to carry out our responsibilities as a humane and Christian nation ought
to do, our lapse from what is right will certainly recoil upon our own
heads, and, in the stern lessons of future troubles and disasters, we
shall learn that Providence with the nation, as with the individual,
makes a neglected duty its own avenger. We have sown the wind, let us be
careful lest we reap the whirlwind.

It is very clear that things cannot remain in their present condition.
If they do, it is probable that the Resident will sooner or later
be assassinated; not from any personal motives, but as a political
necessity, and some second Chaka will rise up and found a new Zulu
dynasty, sweeping away our artificial chiefs and divisions like cobwebs.
This idea seems to have penetrated into Lord Kimberley's official mind,
since in his despatch of instructions to Sir H. Bulwer, written in
February last, he says, "Probably if the chiefs are left to themselves
after a period more or less prolonged of war and anarchy, some man will
raise himself to the position of supreme chief." The prospect of war and
anarchy in Zululand does not, however, trouble Lord Kimberley at all; in
fact, the whole despatch is typical to a degree of the Liberal Colonial
policy. Lord Kimberley admits that what little quiet the country has
enjoyed under the settlement, "was due to a mistaken belief on the part
of the Zulus that the British Government was ruling them, or would rule
them through the Resident." He evidently clearly sees all the evils and
bloodshed that are resulting and that must result from the present
state of affairs; indeed he recapitulates them, and then ends up by even
refusing to allow such slight measures of relief as the appointment of
sub-Residents to be carried out, although begged for by the chiefs, on
the ground that it might extend British influence. Of the interests of
the Zulus himself he is quite careless. The whole despatch can be summed
up thus: "If you can find any method to improve the state of affairs
which will not subject us to the smallest cost, risk, or responsibility,
you can employ it; if not, let them fight it out." Perhaps Lord
Kimberley may live (officially) long enough to find out that meanness
and selfishness do not always pay, and that it is not always desirable,
thus to sacrifice the respect, and crush the legitimate aspirations of a
generous people.

Unless something is done before long, it is possible that John Dunn may
succeed after a bloody war in securing the throne; but this would not
prove a permanent arrangement, since he is now getting on in life and
has no son to carry on the dynasty. Another possibility, and one that is
not generally known, at any rate in this country, though it is perhaps
the most probable of all, is this. Cetywayo has left a son in Zululand,
who is being carefully educated under the care of Mnyamane, the late
King's Prime Minister. The boy is now about 16 years of age, and is
reported to possess very good abilities, and is the trump card that
Mnyamane will play as soon as the time is ripe. This young man is the
hereditary heir to the Zulu crown, and it is more than probable that if
he is proclaimed king the vast majority of the nation will rally round
him and establish him firmly on his throne. There is little use in
keeping Cetywayo confined whilst his son is at large. The lad should
have been brought to England and educated, so that he might at some
future time have assisted in the civilisation of his country: as it is,
he is growing up in a bad school.

And now I come to the root of the whole matter, the question whether
or no, under all these circumstances, it is right or desirable to
re-establish Cetywayo on the throne of Zululand. In considering this
question, I think that Cetywayo's individuality ought to be out on one
side, however much we may sympathise with his position, as I confess I
do to some extent myself. After all, Cetywayo is only one man, whereas
the happiness, security, and perhaps the lives of many thousands are
involved in the issue of the question. In coming to any conclusion
in the matter it is necessary to keep in view the intentions of the
Government as regards our future connection with Zululand. If the
Government intends to do its duty and rule Zululand as it ought to be
ruled, by the appointment of proper magistrates, the establishment of an
adequate force, and the imposition of the necessary taxes; then it would
be the height of folly to permit Cetywayo to return, since his presence
would defeat the scheme. It must be remembered that there is as yet
nothing whatsoever to prevent this plan being carried out. It would be
welcomed with joy by the large majority of both Zulus and Colonists. It
would also solve the problem of the increase of the native population of
Natal, which is assuming the most alarming proportions, since Zululand,
being very much underpopulated, it would be easy, were that country once
quietly settled, to draft the majority of the Natal Zulus back into it.
This is undoubtedly the best course, and indeed the only right course;
but it does not at all follow that it will be taken, since governments
are unfortunately more concerned at the prospect of losing votes than
with the genuine interests of their dependencies. The proper settlement
of Zululand would not be popular amongst a large class in this country,
and therefore it is not likely to be carried out, however right and
necessary it may be.

If nothing is going to be done, then it becomes a question whether or no
Cetywayo should be sent back.

The large majority of the Natalians consider that his restoration would
be an act of suicidal folly, and their opinion is certainly entitled to
great weight, since they are after all the people principally
concerned. The issue of the experiment would be a matter of comparative
indifference to people living 7000 miles away, but is naturally regarded
with some anxiety by those who have their homes on the borders of
Zululand. It is very well to sympathise with savage royalty in distress,
but it must be borne in mind that there are others to be considered
besides the captive king. Many of the Zulus, for instance, are by
no means anxious to see him again, since they look forward with just
apprehension to the line of action he may take with those who have not
shown sufficient anxiety for his return, or have in other ways incurred
his resentment. One thing is clear, to send the king back to Zululand is
to restore the _status in quo_ as it was before the war. There can be
no half measures about it, no more worthless paper stipulations; a Zulu
king must either be allowed to rule in his own fashion or not at all.
The war would go for nothing, and would doubtless have to be fought over
again with one of Cetywayo's successors.

Also it must be remembered that it is one thing to talk of restoring
Cetywayo, and another to carry his restoration into effect. It would not
simply be a question of turning him down on the borders of Zululand, and
letting him find his own way back to his throne, for such a proceeding
would be the signal for the outbreak of civil war. It is not to be
supposed that John Dunn, and those whose interests are identical with
Dunn's, would allow the ex-king to reseat himself on the throne without
a struggle; indeed the former has openly declared his intention of
resisting the attempt by force of arms if necessary. He is by no means
anxious to give up the 15,000 pounds a year his hut-tax brings in, and
all the contingent profits and advantages of his chieftainship. If we
wish to restore Cetywayo we must first depose Dunn; in fact, we must be
ready to support his restoration by force of arms.

As regards Cetywayo himself, I cannot share the opinion of those who
think that he would be personally dangerous. He has learnt his lesson,
and would not be anxious to try conclusions with the English again;
indeed, I believe he would prove a staunch ally. But supposing him
re-established on the throne, how long would it be before a revolution,
or the hand of the assassin, to say nothing of the ordinary chances
of nature, put an end to him, and how do we know that his successor in
power would share his views?

Cetywayo's rule, bad as it was, was perhaps preferable to the reign of
terror that we have established, under the name of a settlement. But
that we can still remedy if we choose to do so, whereas, if we once
restore Cetywayo, all power over the Zulus passes out of our hands.

We have many interests to consider in South Africa, all of which will be
more or less affected by our action in this matter. On the whole, I am
of opinion that the Government that replaces Cetywayo on the throne
of his fathers will undertake a very grave responsibility, and must be
prepared to deal with many resulting complications, not the least of
which will be the utter exasperation of the white inhabitants of Natal.

H. Rider Haggard

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