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when it was handed over to Austria, who retained it until 1796. Upon their acquisition of Milan in the sixteenth century, the Spaniards took effective measures to suppress all national feeling and all aspirations for public liberty. The fortunes of the citizens of Milan decayed with the fortunes of their country. Their splendid spirit was sapped, and no career was left open to its sons; many sought freedom in distant lands.1
Mr. John Molteno died in 1828 at an early age, leaving to his wife the care of a young family. This lady was a woman of powerful character, and she courageously undertook the duty which now fell upon her alone. One who personally remembers her says: 'I recollect her as she was when about 70 years of age as a very beautiful old lady, erect and with a very fine bearing, nothing old about her ; very dainty in her dress; a delightful memory in every respect. She was devoted to the little ones, and seemed to
· The following authorities have been consulted, and further mention of the family will be found in them :
Galvaneus Flamma, the celebrated chronicler, born at Milan in 1283 ; his Chronicle was written about 1300. Angleriae Chronicon ejusque Comitum ab anno 606 ad 1280; a manuscript of the end of the sixteenth century in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. Gio. Pietro Crescenzio published his work upon the nobility of Milan between 1630–1640. Placido Puccinelli, Milanese historian ; lived about 1650. Giovanni Sitone di Scozia; he published his work on the Noble Families of Milan in 1705. Francesco Giuseppe Benaglia ; published his Elenchus Familiarum in Mediolani Dominio Feudis Juris. dictionibus Titulisque insignium in 1714. Fagnani; his Famiglie is in manuscript in the Ambrosian Library. It is the authority upon the nobility of Milan; three pages are devoted to the family of Molteno, written about the beginning of the seventeenth century. Its reference to the family begins thus : “ Moltenorum familiam satis vetustam et nobilem ex multis vetustis scripturis colligimus.” Giovanni Antonio Perocchio; Storia Sepulcrale, a manuscript of the seventeenth century. Giuseppe Allegranza ; Inscriptiones sepulcrales Ecclesiae Mediolanensis, 1773. Frisi; Memorie di Monza, 1790. Dictionnaire de Géographie de l'Italie et de la Lombardie, art · Molteno.' Pavia di Moriga; History of Milan (Venice, 1591). Corografia dell' Italia, by Rampoldi, 1833, see · Molteno.' This is in the British Museum. Teatro Araldico, ovvero raccolta generale delle armi ed insegne gentilizie delle più illustri e nobili casati che esistarono un tempo e che tutora fioriscono in tutta l'Italia, da L. Tettoni e F. Saladini : Lodi, 1843. See · Molteno di Milano.' This work is in the Cambridge University Librar .
be always welling over with love, and not to know how sufficiently to give expression to it.'
Young Molteno, the subject of this narrative, received his education at the old Rectory at Ewell, that charming Surrey village so well known to frequenters of Epsom, where Dr. Harcourt presided over his studies. He exhibited a fine intelligence and considerable capacity, and several prizes fell to his lot. He was well grounded in arithmetic, while the usual stereotyped course of Latin grammar and recitation of Latin poetry was also looked upon as an important accomplishment, as it is to-day in most public schools. To the date of our death we can most of us quote from memory all the rules of Latin prosody, ' nominativus pronominum raro exprimitur,' and the rest, and so it was with Mr. Molteno; to the day of his death he could quote these rules as well as many passages from the Latin classics. His education was necessarily not prolonged, and he was placed in the office of Mr. T. Dennis, à ship and insurance broker, of Langbourne Chambers, next door to what subsequently became the offices of the Castle Line, so well known to South Africans. His duties brought him in contact with ships arriving from all parts of the world. Eventually it became a question as to what career he would adopt. There was an opportunity of an appointment in a bank, but the glimpse he had seen of the outer world by his contact with ships from every part had already stimulated his eager and energetic character, and it implanted in him a desire for greater freedom than life at a desk could afford.
The sea and ships had a great fascination for him. He was always eager to step on board a ship newly arrived and to learn all the news of the voyage, and of the country whence it had come. His love of the sea was a strong characteristic all through his life; he was never happier than when on board ship, up on deck at all hours making out the points of the coast-line or the well-known lights. This characteristic was probably connected with his intense love of liberty and freedom—the pleasure we experience on seeing a wide and extended view is said to be largely made up of this sense of freedom.
Through Mr. J. M. Richardson, the publisher, of 23 Cornhill, a friend of his father, an introduction was secured to Mr. Johnstone Jardine, who was Librarian of the Cape Public Library. His duties would be to assist Mr. Jardine in the Library, but it was understood he would have considerable leisure, which he might employ in writing for one of the newspapers or otherwise. In forwarding him the letter of introduction Mr. Richardson gave him some sound advice, which holds good to-day : 'You see therefore that much will depend upon your own assiduity and attention, but if you conduct yourself with the propriety I fully expect, and indeed rely upon, I am sure Mr. Jardine, to whom I have written to entreat it in the letter for that gentleman which you take with you, will afford you every encouragement in his power; in whatever situation of life you may be hereafter placed, never be satisfied with just doing what may be rigidly expected from you, but always do more—anticipate people's wants and even wishes, and you will soon become so necessary as to be sought after on all hands, and your advancement will be the certain consequence.'
Under these very favourable arrangements, which provided a home for him with Mr. Jardine and some fixed work, with an opportunity of further possibilities, Mr. Molteno proceeded to the Cape in the year 1831, having attained the age of seventeen years. His mother was extremely loth to part with him ; indeed, she never became quite reconciled to his self-chosen banishment to what she regarded as a barbarous country swarnıing with blacks. Day after day, when her son left, she would walk to some elevated spot, where she would gaze towards the sea over which he had passed, and we shall find
later in his letters evidence that for many years she was not satisfied that he should be in such a country. A journey to the Cape was in those days a very serious undertaking, the voyage extending over a period of from three to four months. The arrival of the Cape Packet was an event in Cape Town, and those who remember Mr. Molteno at this early period describe him as a handsome young man of very prepossessing appearance, his regular features being set off by a remarkably clear complexion, the envy of the Cape young ladies. His family was a particularly handsome one, and the portraits of several members engraved by Bartolozzi are still in existence. He was of slight build at this time, and a little above the medium height.
His occupation in the Library gave him an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the country, and it soon proved to be too narrow and restricted an opening. An occasion at length arose of embracing a career more in accord with his active character, and he took the place of a young Ebden, who had just started for Australia, in the office of John Bardwell Ebden, a leading citizen of Cape Town. He improved his commercial knowledge in this way, and, acting upon the advice of Mr. Richardson, he threw himself heart and soul into the business on which he was engaged. He soon saw an opportunity of venturing in business on his own account.
After conducting some commercial adventures on a small scale, he started a business under the style of Molteno and Co. This was in 1837, when twenty-three years of age. In this year he directs Mr. Richard Witherby, of 29 Nicholas Lane, his London correspondent, to transfer his balance with him to the new firm. This firm carried on a mercantile business for some years. Wine was the chief export at the Cape— indeed, almost the only export at that date—and the business was therefore dependent upon the prices realised for this article in London. Mr. Molteno showed his enterprise and activity in the conduct of this business. He immediately opened up a connection with Grahamstown, at that time the extreme frontier town of the colony. Mr. G. Southey, brother of Sir Richard Southey, was his agent there. He carried on business with Mauritius, shipping wine and wheat and receiving sugar in return, his correspondents being Messrs. Edward Francis and Co., to whom he had been introduced by Messrs. Home, Edgar, and Co. In the history of the development of the products of the Cape it is interesting to note that some small shipments of wool from Algoa Bay are first mentioned in March 1838 and January 1839, while in the same year Cape aloes are mentioned as an export of the country. In this year he purchased a block of land in Roeland Street, Cape Town, where he constructed very considerable warehouses of a most substantial and enduring character. They are still to be seen, a monument to the thoroughness of his work.
In 1839 he writes: We have had a deficient harvest and large importations of wheat and flour from all parts of the world, consequently money is exceedingly scarce and business generally depressed. There has lately been much excitement in consequence of proposed alterations in the Usury Laws. You may perhaps find amusement in perusing some of our late papers, which are quite taken up with the subject;' and in 1840 he writes to Mr. Witherby to say that the results of the sales are very disastrous, that he can ship no more white wine, but would send a small quantity of Pontac.
Another opening was now sought for, a trade in a new direction. He chartered the brig Comet to load in Table Bay and to proceed to the ports of Adelaide, Pórt Philip, and Swan River, in Australia. She was to dispose of her cargo in these ports and proceed to Java, returning to the Cape with a cargo of sugar. Her cargo, put on board in Table Bay, consisted of wine, raisins, brandy, and a few other articles. This venture did not turn out to be of a profitable character, as the condition of trade in the