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The Officer's Ball came off last night on shore, & was a great success, over 400 being invited; our Band was in attendance & came off this morning quite drunk, & couldn't carry their instruments. The inhabitants of Cape Town give a return Ball to-night to our Officers, and we sail tomorrow night. We have been crowded with visitors since we came in, the ship is full of them now (one young lady just asked me to whom I was writing, & I answering to you, my love). There's some very handsome girls in this place, Dutch & English, very extensive about the Bustle & in the latest fashion.

Matkin describes Cape Town after his shore leave:

I was on shore yesterday morning until 7PM, & went to the top of Table mountain. It is 3,500 feet high, & I was 2 hours going up, the ascent was not half so difficult as that up S. Vincent, but the view was far better. Looking south you saw the Dutch town of Wynberg, & a level track of vineyard country until you came to the mountains round Simon's bay, & the city of Cape Town spread out under your feet. It was intensely hot climbing up, but on arrival at the summit you were enveloped in a damp cold mist which kept the sun off you completely, & made it very chill & cold until you descended about 800 feet—where it was as hot as ever—Cape Town is a pretty good place for business, but nothing to look at, not to be compared to Melbourne, there is not a single striking building or church in the place, all after the same heavy Dutch style, there are a great many Malays & Hottentots in it, about every 3rd house is an Hotel. There are Theatres, Music Halls &c here, & plenty of loafers, & that sort of people, flash women &c. ....

Two fine merchant ships have been here & gone since we came in, they were called Emigrant ships, & had each on board about 500 coolies from Calcutta for Jamaica & Demerara, to work in the sugar plantations there. They go for 5 years & are paid about 2d per day, are supposed to be voluntarily emigrating, but it is really a quiet way of importing slaves, for they are treated like those in the West Indes and very few ever live to get back to India again.