It had been always imagined, that the police of the Cape-town was so well regulated as to render it next to impossible for any man to escape, after whom the fiscal’s people were in pursuit. This, however, did not appear to be the case; for very shortly after our arrival four seamen belonging to a ship of our fleet deserted from her; and although rewards were offered for apprehending them, and every effort made that was likely to insure success, two only were retaken before our departure.
Since the attempt meditated upon the Cape by the late Commodore Johnstone, the attention of the government appeared to have been directed to its internal defence. To this end additional works had been constructed on each side of the town, toward the hill called the Lion’s Rump, and beyond the castle or garrison. But the defence in which they chiefly prided themselves, and of which we were fortunate enough to arrive in time to be spectators, consisted of two corps of cavalry and one of infantry, formed from the gentlemen and inhabltants of the town. We understood that these corps were called out annually to be exercised during seven days, and were reviewed on the last day of their exercise by the governor attended by his whole council. They appeared to be stout and able-bodied men, particularly those who composed the two corps of cavalry, and who were reputed to be excellent marksmen. Their horses, arms, and appointments were purchased at their own expense, and they were expected to hold them selves in readiness to assemble whenever their services might be required by the governor. For uniform, they wore a blue coat with white buttons, and buff waistcoat and breeches. Their parade was the Square or Market-place, where they were attended by music, and