All the mountains of this vast country are full of minerals and crystal, with many things of great value, if they could be got at; but the natives are so fearful of being made slaves in the mines, that they take all imaginable pains to conceal them. There is particularly a mountain, about 500 leagues from the Cape, called Copper-mountain, which is supposed to contain great quantities of metals. Large quantities of copper have been found here, which is said to contain a mixture of gold. Some Europeans endeavoured to follow the natives, who were suspected of going to that mountain to gather gold, but were all massacred. The Company is so tender of the colonists, and so unwilling to risk a revolt, that they have even neglected a gold-mine much nearer the Cape, the marcasites of which gave great hopes of its containing abundance of gold. Perhaps the Company may have another reason for acting in this manner, lest, if a gold-mine was discovered at the Cape, it might tempt the French or English to undertake something to their prejudice. Under its present management, the Dutch colony at the Cape is a general advantage to other nations, as well as to the Dutch. A few years ago a cavern was discovered in a mountain very near Cape-Town, in which the Hottentots find the venom in which they dip their poisoned arrows. There have likewise been found about twenty leagues from the Cape, some hot springs impregnated with steel, which have been found to cure many diseases, by using as a bath.
Considerable improvements may certainly be made on this colony, for the advantage both of the inhabitants and the company, which latter make no great gains by this establishment besides the convenience it affords in giving refreshments to their ships going to and returning from India. The Company would be glad of any means that might increase the value of the settlement, consistent with their maxims of government, and with that indulgence they find it necessary to shew the Hottentots, who are perhaps more tenacious of their liberty than any people on earth, and the most desperate in resenting any attempts to its prejudice.
Voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Holland, with some Account of St Helena, the Island of Ascension, and the Acores.
Towards the end of March, 1723, the ship being revictualled, they sailed from Table-bay with a brisk wind at S.E. the fleet homewards bound consisting of twenty-three sail, mostly belonging to the Dutch East India Company. In about three weeks they reached the island of St Helena, which is in the latitude of 16 deg. 15’ S. [lat. 16 deg. S. long. 5 deg. 30’ W.] This island is about seven leagues in circumference, and is entirely composed of rocky hills, which may be seen in a clear day from the distance of forty leagues. It is surprising to see so small an island in the midst of the ocean, at so great a distance