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Member, without the slightest intention of hurting me; but, as it was of importance to me that such an impression should not exist, particularly in that quarter, I addressed him as follows:
MY DEAR SIR,
"3, Park-street, June 23, 1825.
Esq. M. P.
"I was favoured with your letter of the 20th, only on (( my return from Salisbury.
"I lose no time in assuring you that the last thing I would "be guilty of would be a want of courtesy or consideration "towards you, from whom I have at all times received so "much politeness and attention; but, in fact, my object was "to obtain in the same place, and in the same public manner in "which your observation was stated to be made, an entire dis"claimer on my part of any thing like a hostile or acrimo"nious" feeling towards Lord Charles Somerset; and I must "entreat you to do me justice, at least in your own mind, on "that point. I have closely analysed myself on this subject, " and I will assert with the most entire unreserve that if I could "detect within me any thing of such a miserable feeling, I "should despise myself, and feel unworthy of that consideration "with which you have all along honoured me.
"Having disclaimed one feeling, it, however, becomes me "to avow those I do entertain.
"In my letter to Mr. of which I sent you a copy, I "have stated my entire disapprobation on public grounds, of "all Lord Charles Somerset's conduct as Governor of the Cape "of Good Hope, both in its general character and in its details; "and this disapprobation of mine arrises out of a strong "conviction on my mind, that his administration throughout "had been most ruinous to the Colony. I feel, too, an abhorrence of the system of espionage which has been established "at the Cape, (to the dismay of the whole Colony,) as dero66 gatory to our national character, and as contrary to the whole "spirit and practice of His Majesty's Government here. I deplore deeply, the wanton destruction of Bathurst and
"Fredericsburg; and the total subversion of all those measures "for the welfare of the new Settlers, which had received the
approbation of Earl Bathurst; with which the Settlers were "well satisfied; and for which they expressed themselves "grateful. I call it a wanton destruction, for Lord Charles "Somerset could have had no sort of authority or grounds to
go on, for what he did, for, after landing with the astonishing "and alarming declaration that he would undo all that had "been done in his absence, he at once, on the very hour, pro"ceeded to his work of destruction! When I say he had no authority or grounds to go on, &c. &c.
- Can I help, ought I to help sympathizing with those "unhappy victims to the hand of oppression? Can it be expected of me, that when I am speaking of these events, I can speak calmly of them? But to turn from this scene of "affliction and horror-(I say horror, for several murders by "the Kaffers were the result of the new system of frontier defence; and above thirty families were reduced at once to misery and despair)-I will look at the finances of the "Colony. I left a surplus revenue of 92,101 rix dollars at the "end of 1821. The Colony is now, &c.
I again ask, can I see all this ruin and mischief, "and not feel something! and feeling, not express what I feel? "but God forbid that I should even so far forget myself as to "admit a personal feeling into matters of this description; and "besides my repeated assertions on that head since my report "to Lord Bathurst, dated Cape Castle, December 1st, 1821, "I refer to that report, whether or no there is one word in it "which breathes any thing like personal resentment, although "it was written at a moment, when, if I had been capable of "such a feeling, I should have been likely to show it, as the "facts detailed in that report sufficiently prove; but I was then, 66 as I am now, above all personalities; and the and
which were exhibited to me and to the whole Colony "by the individual who relieved me, were met by me only by "silence, and by that feeling which in a mind like mine is very "remote indeed from hostility.
"It is possible that you may be disposed to tell me, in
answer to this letter, that I ought to have embodied all this "in charges against Lord Charles Somerset ; my answer is, as it
was on a former occasion, no consideration shall ever induce me to become a public accuser in my individual character. "I could give abundant and satisfactory reasons for this de"termination, but I do not think it necessary to trouble you "with them; and, I beg leave to add that all this has been "drawn from me. I have been accused in Parliament of a "feeling I disdain, and in my defence I have said what I have "said in proof, and not in accusation.
"To conclude, as I have always addressed you with the "utmost frankness, although I hope also with the utmost 66 respect, I will confess to you that had I succeeded in getting "into the House of Commons this session, as I tried by every
means in my power to do, I should have brought the state "of the Cape, and the conduct of Lord Charles Somerset, "before that House, and in doing so, I should not only have "announced myself as a decided supporter of Government, "but I should have undertaken to the best of my humble "abilities to prove, by facts, that no part whatever of the "mischiefs which have desolated the Cape for the last three years, are in any way whatever imputable to His Majesty's "Government.
The next extracts are from a letter to an old and intimate friend, dated
66 MY DEAR
"33, Park Street, Grosvenor Square, May 11, 1826.
"No friend could do another a kinder act than you "have done to me; first, by setting me right elsewhere; and "then, by telling me kindly of the erroneous opinions and "statements which prevail respecting what I have said-or "rather not said concerning the Cape.
"I repeat to you what I said an hour ago, namely, that I have never in any shape or way pledged myself to bring, or
"said I would bring, charges against Lord Charles Somerset ; "on the contrary, I have in very express terms declared that,
as a private individual, I would do no such thing; but I have "made no secret of my firm determination to bring the state "of the Cape before the House of Commons next Session, in 66 case I succeed in obtaining a seat, of which I have every "prospect.
"I have a number of facts, and dates, and documents, rela❝tive to the ruined finances of that Colony, which, if I become "a Member of Parliament, it will probably be my duty to lay "before the House; but I have never given any pledge to do ❝even this; 1 reserve the right and power of acting for my"self and by myself. There are few men whose minds are more "independent than mine.
"The wanton destruction of the establishments in Albany "will be another subject for the House to hear of if I get in, " and then I shall in all probability leave it to the House and "to the honest feeling of English gentlemen, to deal with my very stiff and stubborn facts, and dates, and documents, as "they may think fit. I shall certainly never make it in any 66 way a matter of personal feeling with myself; for, in fact "I have no personal feeling in the matter, and never have had; " and you were in a slight error in supposing that I felt out of "humour at certain exhibited when I
66 was relieved in my Government of the Cape; on the contrary, "I only laughed at them then, as I do now, and I only wonder "how any man who The offence, if "offence there were, was against my office, which, I being the "King's Representative, both civil and military, claimed for "itself, but not for me, the highest outward shew of respect. and if I had not been goaded, wor"ried, and misrepresented in every way, ever since my return to "England, I should in all probability have sunk into a com"fortable state of vegetation, befitting a Lieutenant General,
placed as we almost all are on the bench of hopeless incurables; "but, roused as I have been, and called upon to explain and "vindicate my own official conduct-implored as I have been
by the Colonists to shelter them from final ruin by represent
ing their state, I shall feel myself bound, if I get into Par"liament, not to disappoint their hopes, nor to allow people "any longer to say, (as some do,) that I have expressed opi"nions about the Cape which I cannot support by facts, my "array of which, I promise you, will be formidable indeed. "Farewell, in haste,
"R. S, DONKIN."
The last letter I shall cite was written to a friend during my contest for Stockbridge, and was dated
“As I have had more than one conversation with you "about the Cape of Good Hope, and as I believe you have "heard my most undisguised sentiments on the subject, I hope
you will excuse my addressing you on the present occasion, "when I find a new system of tactique is set on foot, the object "of which is to invalidate whatever I may state in the House "of Commons, by charging me with unworthy motives of per"sonal hostility towards Lord Charles Somerset, and by im"puting to me a declaration which never entered into my head ̧ " and which therefore I never could have made; namely, that 66 6 my sole object in getting into Parliament was to assail and "ruin Lord Charles Somerset." "
"I think I may appeal with confidence to you as to the false"hood of this latter assertion, as far as your knowledge of my "expressed sentiments goes; and I trust you will recollect the gradations by which I have been forced out of the quiet life "I was disposed to lead, to try to take refuge in Parliament "for my own security, and to protect my own honour.
"No idea of going into Parliament ever entered my head, " until I found by my correspondence with the Colonial Depart"ment, that Lord Charles Somerset had not only overturned "all my arrangements at the Cape, but that he was trying to "justify his monstrous proceedings there by inculpating me;