François Le Vaillant, 1753-1824
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“Vue des Montagnes du Cap de Bonne Espérance, couvertes des nuages. du Sud-Est”

. . . [O]ur voyage was fortunate, the wind continuing so favorable, that in three months and ten days from our departure, we discovered the mountains at the Cape, and the weather being clear and fine, I took a sketch of the shore and road as they first presented themselves to my view. . . . I was impatient to explore this new country, whither I seemed transported as in a dream, every thing to my idea wore a pleasing aspect. . . . The town of the Cape is situated on the declivity of the Table and Lyon mountains, which form a natural amphitheatre that reaches to the sea; the streets though wide are not commodious, being ill paved; the houses, almost all built uniform, are spacious and handsome, the tops covered with reed, as heavier roofs might occasion accidents during the high winds. [Vol. 1, pp. 15-16, 18-19, of the English edition (London, 1790)]

“Camp de Pampoen-Kraal”

The hill of Pampoen Kraal, where I had pitched my tent, pleased me extremely. At a little distance from it was an eminence covered with a thicket of thirty or forty feet diameter, whose trees and bushes were so interwoven with each other, that the whole seemed of one growth. I determined to make this my residence, and in pursuance of this design, had an opening of about seven feet high, and sufficiently wide to afford an easy passage, cleared to the center; here, by the help of our hatchets, we formed two compleat squares, in one of which I placed a table and chair, and named it my Workshop, the other I adorned with the kitchen utensils, and reckoned it my dining-room. These recesses, naturally roofed with branches and leaves to an impenetrable thickness, were to me a most charming and refreshing retirement! Here, after the morning’s chase, when covered with dust and oppressed with heat, I would shelter myself from the mid-day sun; when fatigue had sharpened the appetite, how excellent was the repast! When thought stole on, how pleasing were my contemplations! or, if surprised by sleep, how gentle, how peaceful, were my slumbers! [Vol. 1, pp. 195-96]

“Campement dans le Pays des Grands Namaquois”

“Le Hottentot” [Klaas, the author’s favorite Hottentot]

In quitting the Cape, Klaas had been recommended to me, by Mr. Boers, as a man whose courage and fidelity might be depended on; he ordered him never to abandon me, promising a recompense if I returned safe to the Cape, and gave a satisfactory account of his conduct; he faithfully obeyed these orders, never quitting me in the hour of danger. . . . Klaas was now my equal, my brother, the confidant of my hopes and fears; more than once has he calmed my agitated mind, and re-animated my drooping courage. . . . I did not forget to draw a faithful resemblance of this worthy Hottentot, from which the annexed plate was engraved. [Vol. 1, pp. 250, 252-53]

“Girafe, Mâle”

The Girafe has been differently spoken of; yet, notwithstanding the elegant and scientific dissertations on the subject, a proper idea has not been given of its configuration, manners, temper, or organization. If, among the known quadrupeds, precedence was to be allowed from height, the Girafe might rank in the first class: the male, which I have in my cabinet, and from which the plate is taken, measured, when I shot it, sixteen feet four inches, from the hoof to the end of the horns, or shoots; I use both appellations to make myself understood, though both are equally improper, the Girafe having neither horns nor shoots, but between the ears, on the highest part of the head, rise, perpendicularly and parallel to each other, two parts of the skull, which, without any solution of continuity, lengthen to the height of eight or nine inches, terminating by a convexity, which is ornamented with a rim, several lines wide, of streight, brisly hair. [Vol. 2, pp. 457-58.]