in the 'nineties, because of the intrigues in which they indulged, he grew to loathe some of the men with whom he was thrown into contact. Yet he could not help seeing that these reckless speculators controlled public opinion in South Africa, and his political instinct compelled him to avail himself of their help, as without them he would not have been able to arrive at a proper understanding of the entanglements and complications of South African politics.
Previous to Sir Alfred's appointment as Governor of the Cape of Good Hope the office had been filled by men who, though of undoubted integrity and high standing, were yet unable to gauge the volume of intrigue with which they had to cope from those who had already established an iron--or, rather, golden--rule in South Africa.
Coteries of men whose sole aim was the amassing of quick fortunes were virtual rulers of Cape Colony, with more power than the Government to whom they simulated submission. All sorts of weird stories were in circulation. One pop