NADA THE LILY
NADA THE LILY
H. RIDER HAGGARD
For I will call you by the name that for fifty years has been honoured
by every tribe between Zambesi and Cape Agulbas--I greet you!
Sompseu my father I have written a book that tells of men and
matters of which you know the most of any who still look upon the
light; therefore I set your name within that book and such as it is
I offer it to you.
If you knew not Chaka you and he have seen the same suns shine you
knew his brother Panda and his captains and perhaps even that very
Mopo who tells this tale his servant who slew him with the Princes.
You have seen the circle of the witch-doctors and the unconquerable
Zulu impis rushing to war; you have crowned their kings and shared
their counsels and with your son's blood you have expiated a
statesman's error and a general's fault.
Sompseu a song has been sung in my ears of how first you mastered
this people of the Zulu. Is it not true my father that for long
hours you sat silent and alone while three thousand warriors shouted
for your life? And when they grew weary did you not stand and say
pointing towards the ocean: "Kill me if you wish men of Cetywayo but
I tell you that for every drop of my blood a hundred avengers shall
rise from yonder sea!"
Then so it was told me the regiments turned staring towards the
Black Water as though the day of Ulundi had already come and they saw
the white slayers creeping across the plains.
Thus Sompseu your name became great among the people of the Zulu as
already it was great among many another tribe and their nobles did
you homage and they gave you the Bayete the royal salute declaring
by the mouth of their Council that in you dwelt the spirit of Chaka.
Many years have gone by since then and now you are old my father. It
is many years even since I was a boy and followed you when you went
up among the Boers and took their country for the Queen.
Why did you do this my father? I will answer who know the truth. You
did it because had it not been done the Zulus would have stamped out
the Boers. Were not Cetywayo's impis gathered against the land and
was it not because it became the Queen's land that at your word he
sent them murmuring to their kraals? To save bloodshed you annexed
the country beyond the Vaal. Perhaps it had been better to leave it
since "Death chooses for himself" and after all there was killing--of
our own people and with the killing shame. But in those days we did
not guess what we should live to see and of Majuba we thought only as
a little hill!
Enemies have borne false witness against you on this matter Sompseu
you who never erred except through over kindness. Yet what does that
avail? When you have "gone beyond" it will be forgotten since the
sting of ingratitude passes and lies must wither like the winter
veldt. Only your name will not be forgotten; as it was heard in life
so it shall be heard in story and I pray that however humbly mine
may pass down with it. Chance has taken me by another path and I must
leave the ways of action that I love and bury myself in books but the
old days and friends are in my mind nor while I have memory shall I
forget them and you.
Therefore though it be for the last time from far across the seas I
speak to you and lifting my hand I give your "Sibonga" and that
royal salute to which now that its kings are gone and the "People of
Heaven" are no more a nation with Her Majesty you are alone
Bayete! Baba Nkosi ya makosi!
Ngonyama! Indhlovu ai pendulwa!
Wen' o wa vela wasi pata!
Wen' o wa hlul' izizwe zonke za patwa nguive!
Wa geina nge la Mabun' o wa ba hlul' u yedwa!
Umsizi we zintandane e ziblupekayo!
Si ya kuleka Baba!
Bayete T' Sompseu!
H. RIDER HAGGARD.
To Sir Theophilus Shepstone K.C.M.G. Natal.
13 September 1891.
 "I thank my father Sompseu for his message. I am glad that he has
sent it because the Dutch have tired me out and I intended to
fight them once and once only and to drive them over the Vaal.
Kabana you see my impis are gathered. It was to fight the Dutch
I called them together; now I send them back to their homes."
--Message from Cetywayo to Sir. T. Shepstone April 1877.
 Titles of praise.
 Bayete Father Chief of Chiefs!
Lion! Elephant that is not turned!
You who nursed us from of old!
You who overshadowed all peoples and took charge of them
And ended by mastering the Boers with your single strength!
Help of the fatherless when in trouble!
Salutation to you Father!
Bayete O Sompseu!
The writer of this romance has been encouraged to his task by a
purpose somewhat beyond that of setting out a wild tale of savage
life. When he was yet a lad--now some seventeen years ago--fortune
took him to South Africa. There he was thrown in with men who for
thirty or forty years had been intimately acquainted with the Zulu
people with their history their heroes and their customs. From
these he heard many tales and traditions some of which perhaps are
rarely told nowadays and in time to come may cease to be told
altogether. Then the Zulus were still a nation; now that nation has
been destroyed and the chief aim of its white rulers is to root out
the warlike spirit for which it was remarkable and to replace it by a
spirit of peaceful progress. The Zulu military organisation perhaps
the most wonderful that the world has seen is already a thing of the
past; it perished at Ulundi. It was Chaka who invented that
organisation building it up from the smallest beginnings. When he
appeared at the commencement of this century it was as the ruler of a
single small tribe; when he fell in the year 1828 beneath the
assegais of his brothers Umhlangana and Dingaan and of his servant
Mopo or Umbopo as he is called also all south-eastern Africa was at
his feet and in his march to power he had slaughtered more than a
million human beings. An attempt has been made in these pages to set
out the true character of this colossal genius and most evil man--a
Napoleon and a Tiberiius in one--and also that of his brother and
successor Dingaan so no more need be said of them here. The author's
aim moreover has been to convey in a narrative form some idea of
the remarkable spirit which animated these kings and their subjects
and to make accessible in a popular shape incidents of history which
are now for the most part only to be found in a few scarce works of
reference rarely consulted except by students. It will be obvious
that such a task has presented difficulties since he who undertakes
it must for a time forget his civilisation and think with the mind
and speak with the voice of a Zulu of the old regime. All the horrors
perpetrated by the Zulu tyrants cannot be published in this polite age
of melanite and torpedoes; their details have therefore been
suppressed. Still much remains and those who think it wrong that
massacre and fighting should be written of--except by special
correspondents--or that the sufferings of mankind beneath one of the
world's most cruel tyrannies should form the groundwork of romance
may be invited to leave this book unread. Most indeed nearly all of
the historical incidents here recorded are substantially true. Thus
it is said that Chaka did actually kill his mother Unandi for the
reason given and destroy an entire tribe in the Tatiyana cleft and
that he prophesied of the coming of the white man after receiving his
death wounds. Of the incident of the Missionary and the furnace of
logs it is impossible to speak so certainly. It came to the writer
from the lips of an old traveller in "the Zulu"; but he cannot
discover any confirmation of it. Still these kings undoubtedly put
their soldiers to many tests of equal severity. Umbopo or Mopo as he
is named in this tale actually lived. After he had stabbed Chaka he
rose to great eminence. Then he disappears from the scene but it is
not accurately known whether he also went "the way of the assegai" or
perhaps as is here suggested came to live near Stanger under the
name of Zweete. The fate of the two lovers at the mouth of the cave is
a true Zulu tale which has been considerably varied to suit the
purposes of this romance. The late Mr. Leslie who died in 1874 tells
it in his book "Among the Zulus and Amatongas." "I heard a story the
other day" he says "which if the power of writing fiction were
possessed by me I might have worked up into a first-class sensational
novel." It is the story that has been woven into the plot of this
book. To him also the writer is indebted for the artifice by which
Umslopogaas obtained admission to the Swazi stronghold; it was told to
Mr. Leslie by the Zulu who performed the feat and thereby won a wife.
Also the writer's thanks are due to his friends Mr. F. B. Fynney
late Zulu border agent for much information given to him in bygone
years by word of mouth and more recently through his pamphlet
"Zululand and the Zulus" and to Mr. John Bird formerly treasurer to
the Government of Natal whose compilation "The Annals of Natal" is
invaluable to all who would study the early history of that colony and
As for the wilder and more romantic incidents of this story such as
the hunting of Umslopogaas and Galazi with the wolves or rather with
the hyaenas--for there are no true wolves in Zululand--the author
can only say that they seem to him of a sort that might well have been
mythically connected with the names of those heroes. Similar beliefs
and traditions are common in the records of primitive peoples. The
club "Watcher of the Fords" or to give its Zulu name U-nothlola-
mazibuko is an historical weapon chronicled by Bishop Callaway. It
was once owned by a certain Undhlebekazizwa. He was an arbitrary
person for "no matter what was discussed in our village he would
bring it to a conclusion with a stick." But he made a good end; for
when the Zulu soldiers attacked him he killed no less than twenty of
them with the Watcher and the spears stuck in him "as thick as reeds
in a morass." This man's strength was so great that he could kill a
leopard "like a fly" with his hands only much as Umslopogaas slew
the traitor in this story.
Perhaps it may be allowable to add a few words about the Zulu
mysticism magic and superstition to which there is some allusion in
this romance. It has been little if at all exaggerated. Thus the
writer well remembers hearing a legend how the Guardian Spirit of the
Ama-Zulu was seen riding down the storm. Here is what Mr. Fynney says
of her in the pamphlet to which reference has been made: "The natives
have a spirit which they call Nomkubulwana or the Inkosazana-ye-Zulu
(the Princess of Heaven). She is said to be robed in white and to
take the form of a young maiden in fact an angel. She is said to
appear to some chosen person to whom she imparts some revelation;
but whatever that revelation may be it is kept a profound secret
from outsiders. I remember that just before the Zulu war
Nomkubulwana appeared revealing something or other which had a great
effect throughout the land and I know that the Zulus were quite
impressed that some calamity was about to befall them. One of the
ominous signs was that fire is said to have descended from heaven and
ignited the grass over the graves of the former kings of Zululand.
. . . On another occasion Nomkubulwana appeared to some one in
Zululand the result of that visit being that the native women buried
their young children up to their heads in sand deserting them for the
time being going away weeping but returning at nightfall to unearth