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HARVARD 

COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



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V A TOUR 



THROUGH THE ISLAND OF 



JAMAICA 



y 



vaoM 



THE WESTERN TO THE EASTERN END, 



IN THE TEAR 



1823. 



By 
CYNRIC R. WILLIAMS. 



LONDPN: 

PRINTED FOR HUICtSND CLARKE, 

TAVISTOCK STRBKr, OOTKNT OABDBH. 



MOCCCXXTI. 



APR 2^ 




aWa.Z3.3 









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•-^ -»."-"• 



\ 



PREFACE. 



Notwithstanding the many publications 
which have appeared on the subject of Slave 
Emancipation, and the interest that has arisen 
out of that subject among ahnost all classes 
of the English people, yet few persons, even 
of those who have taken the greatest share in 
the disquisitions which it has caused, seem 
to be at all informed of the general state of 
society in the West India Islands. 

By the general state of society, it is meant 
to include the habits and manners of all ranks, 
from the rich slave owner to his slave ; and 
although the author did not set out with this 
intention, the following pages will enable the 
reader to form a pretty correct idea of these 



IT PREFACE. 

habits and mannerB. The public, or a per- 
tkm of it, wiU have an opportunity of learn- 
ing that uegco slaves are not worked and 
flogged alternately, at the option and ca- 
price of their masters, as many good chris- 
tians imag^e, who have signed petitions for 
emancipating them; that they have their 
pastimes as well as toils, their pleasures as 
well as pains ; and that they smile as often, 
and laugh as heartily, as the labouring people 
of this or any equally happy country. 

At the same time it is to be feared that the 
general reader will be displeased at the too 
firequent declamations against the Reformers 
of Transatlantic morals and politics, (the 
very subversion of slave policy is their 
avowed object) ; but he will recollect that 
the wealth of the rich, in the colonies, is 
slaves^ secured to them in the first place by 
the laws of England; and that to tamper 




with the feelings of these slaves must pro- 
duce alarm, consternation, and hatred in the 
minds of their owners, mingled with no 
small portion of indignation at what they 
consider ignorance and presumption on the 
part of the Reformers; whether with, or 
without justice, is not here to be argued. 
Let him imagine a band of the most con- 
ment'ums, religious, church-going people in' 
England exerting their influence, moral, po- 
litical, and spiritual, to prei^U on all that 
part of the commimity which has no pro- 
perty in land, to petition the government 
to pass an agrarian law for the benefit of 
the lowest class, and let him see that this 
band have every chance of success; — he will 
fo^ve the irritated feelings of the Jamaica 
planters. Much has been done to temper 
or modify their language ; to have suppressed 
it altogether, would have been an injustice to 
the colonists. 



Tl PEEFACE. 

Some ezplanatkm seems likewise nec^^ 
for the coaneness of the negro expressions, 
and finr the mmsense into which they torture 
texts of scriptore, and scraps of the church 
service. It must, periiaps, suffice to say, 
that all has been done in this picture firom 

the life; and that without it the general reader 

\ ^ ' 

would not have a correct idea of the subject 
i n t en de d to be represented. The author him- 
self disavows every intention of attempting 
ridicule on these occasions, and appeals for 
the fidelity of his picture to the proprietors 
and dwellers in Jamaica. 




CONTENTS. 



CHAPTEA 1. 

Aninl >t Falmondi tn Junucft^-Lodglng-bouM «f MIn 
Vid*l( KMTVoir of witer; n^TOet pnrduimg fineij 
for tbe Chriatmu holidayi with doublooni.^^Jm^ 
grant ngirgriiidiiig, boiling, uidttill-houaM.- ' ^ 

CHAPTER n. 

DMoription of sn old pUnter uid tbe wciatj «t iia 
bono ; dngiag uid dtndng. ... - . . . . 7 

CHAPTER nL 

North wind I hilli of Cuba virile.— A Jamaica break- 
iiut,.-Feld woik; two negroet flogged, one for tte(l> 
log alamb to pa^ (or a Bible, the other a woman, for 
beating a girl { her apeech to tbe driver or Cogger t 
naked duldren In traye nnder the tree* i tbe driver*! 
iMTjiimft ataff filled with grog t 'phalanx of cUldren 
irith tbdr connniBito dbo on oow^eldnlmdi • ' . 10 



Tin CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER IV. 

A pwt wauf of tiM negroes an CliritHm legaOj 
■siiodf coiloini of tfaooe maniad after tbdr ovn' 
faehitmi — ^fn?*fT****M*t and diipoaal of propeityw— -A 
BCfTO danqp eoi ap eni atk wi for a tree planted by hit 
fiand Csdiflr^" ■ Tlieir niorali^ not improved by tfaeir 
liQgion; Qp amina^ a plea for not paying an olddabt^— 

of no avail noir^— Naked dnldnn. • • 16 

CHAPTEB V. 

d^.r-ChoniBof negroee; dancing and mnaio; 
gomibaji^ bmijaviy dranii^ &Cw Love danoe^ PynUe ; 

ooetooM ancl OflmaflBcnta^^^EoRialitv amoDff all uarliee*'"* 
Satixicil aongi of the n^groead— Arrival and sarrendcr 
of ■! old fonaway. ...... 21 

CHAPTER VL 

CBcmooy of tiia Jonkanoo ; a memorial of the escape 
from tiia dfllng&r— Libationa on the earths— Mnlattoa 
aeom to miq^ with the blacka^— The j&oqm aUvea 
wiUnol danoaiclngennity of Quaihie in getdng a horie 
from tiie ataUe to ride on a visit to his fiivourite ; 
he k dttffttd a w l dfgradodj Ffttiritict at the great 



CHAPTER VIL 



25 



B provided with two negroes and two horses ; one of 
tiie focmer a Methodist, the other' a Mossolman: de- 
scription of dicm^ Aoooimt of my horses^ my own 
mslinne and trmveDmg eqoipaged — ^Bamboos. — ^Maroon 
Town; banriA fc Pen s tree, the great banbax and 
hnadaot tree, wild pine^ % tree, and wild vine, called 
die wmsfwwidie. 30 




CONTENTS. 



CHAPTEB Vm. 



Onlj 70 iegnet of heat. — ^Rne dinuite. — Hnnuniog-Urdf , 
nUa ntd ringUO. pigeons. — Discontent of. the lie- 
groM. — Innimctioii* in , St. Mftry*! pariab. — Saiait, 
Honviant, Methoditt Mittionuica ; the "^'■^'■'*^ pro- . 
doced by theto bit. — A muiiw attemptt to pc^im a 
preachsTi naaotu for hi* eondoct i fliea to the woodt ( 
hit mode of life aod religloni depoiboentd — LoTe-fcatti 
of an evening. — ^Power over die minda of the ne- 
groea moderated br the eflbrta of an Obeah man, hit 

■: liviL 

CHAPTER IX. ' 

Creole 'toiigiu.^Road from Vangluo'i field through 
rocky ravinet. — ^Woodt matted and botmd together^- 
Mocking-lnrd, pigeoni, parrota. and acreaming'crick.* 
eta^-Airivil at the houM of Mr. S — ■■ Fnlm-tii^g 
of the houae alavei. — Mirth of the bitnm giili at an 
acoddit dut occmit tiitb played on Ebenexer^- ' 



CHAPTER X. 

Dwai p t i iin of IHana, a pretty Quadroon t heridigioo.— 
Eaccellen t nwd^-Airival at the Peim of tib. Mathewt. fi2 



CHAPTER XI. 

Description id the Pem^— Tankt^-New year*! dayt' » 
ceremony retained by tho negioea after the manner' of 
Oia Adonia mentioned by Phitarch.— A ball b the 
ovenit^ at the honte of a Mulatto woman j aiqiper^ 
di i mp rign and noyan. . .... .. ■.__ -j < 



COVTIVTS. 



CHAPTER XIL 

Ifc, Bfadiewi^i phn far the fimanrfptUm of Jamaica; 
Ui mnariBi on Blr. Wilberloroe and tfaii 8mUf^ 

m 

i^aatiikm torn the Kble In dcfaiea of ■fanrerj aa a 
ayHami Ooiiii>iriaoo of nagroca with the labouwa of 

i9Bfl3aDB aDtt APBlaofla •«••••• oo 

GHAFTER Xm. 

HanEnf of iba adiie/-^Braakftat on the aaa-ahore^-Ab- 
dalhh am f gra a a wiAanativaofHoiiaaa, (hia oountiy. 
I) ttr anip o ita d tiienca for atealmg horaeac— Ebe- 
mofilixea about tbe qoaiitityof fiah cao^^it^— 
AbdaDah threalena to fling him into tbe aea«---Take my 
ksft of Mr. Mathewai rida towarda Black lUver. — 
FaD^nhna mnetj and one hu n dr e d feet high; aago; 
cauai j-birda ; Jofan-crowa feaating on a mole.-^'Laoe 
I made of the baik of a tree^ — A Muhttto gizl going to 
cfwnplain of a white gentleman'a violence, attended by 
% negro alaive of her own ; her remarka about emanci» 
pattii^ akvea without paying for thenu— I lodge at a 
tsftn k^ by Miaa M*Clean, at Bbck Rirer. - - 79 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Bridgo over the rivers— Plntieolara of the complaint pre- 
Unred by the Mulatto gsL — ^Pedro Plaina ; red dust ; 
volcamc a ppe aran ce of the country^— Tanks rendered 
waterproof by the juice of plantMn atalka^-Duppy. — 
A genUeman and hia nieca travelling towards Spanish 
Town lor aacniity, hi the frrpfrtation of the negroea 

on the interference of Messrs. Wl' 
- . . - . . ^ 85 




CHAPTER XV. 

A piafTwimTi ilujt 4t by ft Pmtee bnnra nun, irtio hii 
iMt hli negroei by desertion ; thre»tenf to talcs rttagu 
in the woods mth thirty of bit fellom, and nuke mf 
on erery preacher and miMionary in the Iilindj he la * 
Christian f Us rage mdpMrion.— Herenhaasen . — A pet 
nm killed by mistake for a &t lamb.— Mr. Klopatook. 91 

CHAPTER XVL 

Agreeable climate and aodety^^-Account of a Scotch 
cabin and its inbabltaats, con^tared with a negro honae 
and its contesta^—Death of a nq^o who di^osea of 
hit property by a verbal villi Ut fimenl( Ebeneeser 
Dukea a speech over the grave. -. • - - ^ 

CHAPTER XVn. 

A aennon preached by Ebeneeaer to Mr. Klopttock'a nv 

groes ( indignation and revenge of the blad giria. - 107 - 

CH^TER XVin. 

I qidt Herenhauaen, and embaric iritb Mr. Mathewa in 
a canoe for Milk Biver t pass tite rocks called the 
White Horaee, and anchor in Calabaah Bay. — Strong 
Sea breexe^— Walk over the Devil's Race.— Long 
Bay.— Oroot five riven i alligators, mutquitoa, man- 
grove tree i dreadful &tigne | dimb tome rocks from 
the ses-nde, and repose in a nqrohut, iriwn w» 
biqrayamandboiTOwapottobtdit ini rcgtlntlw 
canoe, and arrive at Adk Rinr. . - V • 114 

CHAPTER Xn. 

I have a vitdent fever. — Diana conies to man me i ' bar 
account of hertelL ...... 1S7 



•• 



Xn CONTEITTS. 

CELAFtER XX. 

f hjAiiui nd dicir liBet^-Siigir-iiiakii^ ; ibe indtt 
£iftd torfiiMi wfaidi the Whites f6llow.^£a8t hkdoM 
eqgv^-Mr. Mithewi'i plan for the imp rov em ent of 
tibe Idnd^— M7 Doctor njoioee that the Americmi 
hmn tfteeo lUpe of the linev-^Negroet to emmripetw 

. tibo Whitea l?nm enoqfl^ In the Mand to reeiit m 



134 



CHAPTER XXL 
neiiorjrofCblondFlato. • . « . • 140 

CHAPTER XXn. 

imkRiTcr; why ao cadledw— A nit fpringi mYalida 
herftr— A Monnrian miaiionaiy takes a fimcy to the 
eonl of Diana; offen me apiiitual consolation^— A 
Jew and a Spanish Catholic make propossli to Diana, 
^^otifitj of the natives compared with that of the 
Londoners and Pi m s ian^ fDialogae between the Mo- 
isvioi and the Catholiew— A pirate vessel) the crew 
in St a man who has jmi^>ed overboaid; the man 

and readiee the shore. • • • « 150 

CHAPTERXXHL 

The slorjr of Edmund Cmrie, an Irish sailor and a free- 
born Briton^— Diflferenoe of the Mosiao and Martial 
Lews as to flogging; the flrst, wfaidi is the Jsmsica 
law, aOowiqg onl j thtrty-nfaie straws, the latter not 
codbiogitsslftoathoaaand. - 158 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
of skvee; its diflinilties eiplafaied^— Es- 




C0HTENT8. X 

of Ibem rerr nn.— A pmaMymEaglani dincti 
bar ttomej to lel] the old wom-ont ■km andbof 
yonng odmi shflimLM four of diem frM| reuoni 
for not adding to the nimiber of the libented, irtto - 
' detire to be ilavee again. — Aigumenti for comidering 
M lUvea >S people of colour, who bare no proof of 
befaig free.— Condidon of the aUve compared with 
that <^ the mililiaman.— Familiea of ekrea aoU to- 
gether, or thej win not remain with Qta new pur- 
duMT.— Fiftj ranawaT* advertited weeklj out of a 
population of three hmidred thonnnd.— Negroei ; 
woriced in duini, •• gaUe^ davo and couTicts fai 



CHAPTER XXV. 

of Hilk River taTem.— llie Catholic and the 
Jew Jeering the Doctor that the Samti m England, 
who denf the Pope'i lupremacy, ahould induce the 
BtigHnh goremment to inteifere irith the religion of 
die Jamdca men, a people five tbonmnd milet diatant 
fromthemj wgtmeiUagaiutpas/ingaiyattaUkiHo Ike 
mUr/ereneeo/lhetiMien. — Ebeneeierintbeitockiat 
ft neif[bboiirIag eitate ( I get hhn liberated- - . - 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

I leave Milk lUvar^— A modt-bird renonncea hia ownaoog 
to imitate ablack parrot j the Doctor'a remark thereon. 
Converution between my two aervaota about faith| 
Etwneeier Udud into the water by bii mnI&--FinB 
Pernn on the road to OH Harbour.— Guinea com i - 
dT0a^itiinVsre;(team-en8^)Ui|fineioil| fiaehoiuea ' 
Inhalntod by the sttondes.--01d Harbour bay-r- 
Wharfa andatoreat CcKutoo hllbi Anericaa iloa^- " 
^ towa of CXd Haifooor bay. ■ ■ . . 



tm^ 



COKTENTS. 



CHAFTBRXXVn. 



« 
% t 



»AM 



of fftittt^ iDflDf and nfaBilf <^Riis otdB^— Coiu 
of toDMAinaiciniiiloff iiid twon^^pKMiro* 
the ^beopal dnen and the ooloiirof the iidi 

doEiqpihrcL • • - • -201 



CHAPTER XXVIIL 

SpnUiTtmiL^Hoix pbyied off upon me by Mr. Mft- 
tiievBi Ebenceiertakctmefora'Qaaker^wiiflea&egro 
boytkaaMuieoTy draketothetallof hiamnlei he ^ 
k Uirown into a penguin fence and loeee liis Bible.—- 
No Qoaken in Jamaica ; tlie legiihture would compel 
them to bear arms for the defence of the island ; hence 
thdr Tindictire interference in coloniul affiuriy accord- 
ing to Mr. Mathewa.— Rio Cobre.— The king'a house ; 
oourts oflaw and House of Aisembly I lecretary'a offiee 
Mid guard room; statue of Lord Rodney; dally mar* 
k et>— M ailas of the wiiip on Ebeneexcr ; he conceals 
tfie naeoo for wfaidi he has receiyed them. • • 210 



GHAFTERXXDC. 

Mo i Mitali i s of Mg ua ne a , and Blue Mountains ; ooolmom- 
iDga^--Cobbrtt's letter to Mr. Wi]berforce^--The pirate 
k taken firom wbidk Edward Currie had escaped^-I 
wkbep at a lodging house out of town ; dance, erery 
ni|^it»— Some account' of the town of Kingston; top 
diaisea; power of the sun; villas; harbour* — ^Port 
Royal; Apostle's Battery; earthquakes; plantains; 
fertility of the adli a dinner party.^Mr. Nunnes 
takes me to a ball of perMos of colour; beantiful 
women I fibcrtiDi^ eq[ual to tiiat of Loodond— I settle 
■y aflaiii with the eiecntors of my de c e a sed »elatkni» 
to bvy two nsgro dilldieB* 



818 






CONTENTS. . XV 



CHAPTER XXX. 

Half-waf ti«e^---Burial ground.F--Mr. Rdterhoffer preadiai 
in & mill-house i he is & watchmaker^— -I leave King- 
iUm ; breakfast at an imi ; reach Yallah's lUver in the 
evenings — ^A laige mansion without an inhabitant; 
follow a cow through the river ; and sleep at a tavern 
kept by Miss Comelia, a black free woman^— Breakfast 
next nioming at an estate on the west side of Morant 
River^— Two drivers flog a black man laicl on the 
ground; he receives in aU thirty-nine stripes for 
havbg attempted to poison his master and his famfly* ^ 
—Argument for public flogging, and cracking the whip, 
in preference to unng a cat-o'-nine tails or punishing 
in'private^— Morant Day and shippingA-Churdi and 
beautiful estates ; two thousand couples of negroes ' 
married here lately according to th^ English law«— 
My companion swamped in a quicksa^; his coolness. 
—Port Morant.— Carrion-crow hills^— Wretched de- 
predation of rum and sugar. - • • • • SS6 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

Ba t L "I lodge at the house of a white lady i my dinner) 
rain; botanic garden; hot spring.— Comparison be- 
tween the beauties of Jamaica and Great Britain/—. 
Spiritual sslutations of EbeneecerK — ^Plantain Garden. 
-^Riversy floods.^— Manchioneal harbour; ahipa tied 

with ropes to the rocks. .•.-•• SM7 

• • ■ - . .... 

GHAPTERXXXIL 

A desler in crockery expresses his abhorrence of Metho- 
dists and Quakers; proposes to impeadi of 
' hi^ treason; bis reasons to sudi a propositkm; his 



xn 



CONTENTS. 



of <W Brtmert Hm ooknlsti, the Weft 
h&iagdMB t> ) R e lum by Phntain Garden to Port 

Moontahi 
miaidfng the rotds In chains | thdr 
1 1 di^ qob ae, and pdt Ebeneexcr with ttonea. 
ycOovBMke) notpoisoooafl|eatiTata.-»Agen- 
iwtowi d to health \j the dfanate who had 
bant a hiood-Tcaael In his hmgs^r— We set ont to 
tafcllixn^ to L-«— estate in St.Da;?ld'8.^0ieese8. 
Lebsnns) cedais; lands deared hffire^— 
. \SSL CoBfarifln In descending a ravine* 



CHAPTER XXXUI. 

Jomtej to the Bhie Moontain peak.— Telfer's cedar. — 
Benitifiil nig^ of ^the trqjrioi.— I stomble over an 
sfalandie of earth ; am ssTed by my mnle ; Mr. Sel- 
wyn's mars fidls down the raivine, and is killed^ — Sleep 
at FVands's plantation^-Aocoant of oar barometer. 
^Wildcane and Moigan's xrerAr^Broken groond; 
i| wild hogs; jmi^;>er and Santa Maria 
I grand and extendre view; no rocks or 
stones on thosnr&ce of the gronndj — Smisetihnntho 
esstem pesk^— Siqiper and lodging.— Ercesnve edldi 
bsi^ oftibs Bins Moontainw— Trees and 'plants. - 271 



i 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Betnm byPbrtMoranttoManddoneaL— Port Antonio; 
mdancfaoly frrtinft of hydrophobia.-— Description 
of the parkh of Portland.— A Maroon town^— Subter- 
xuean rifcn^—Sea^side Jasmin; lisaids; turtles.— 
IV Bs ei ' piu e^s song.— A ncgio butler, a sdiobr, and a 
poet» baffay bosn bros^ 19 for a Methodists— Ebo- 



1^ 




neeur'isxUijaiidconfcationi tbe blnclcnympln p«lt 
bim with gnveli hit defence of luntidf.— CocOrinit. 
tttn (truck by llgbtnJng.— Three £agi on in iron . 



CHAFTEE XXXV. 

TltchfieliL— Hubottn of Fort Anbndo) heeltb^ bu- 
imdts. — Hwf IiUncL— Blue Mountain.— Foit George. 
— IKem. jMTC me • vidt^-An epitome of the fife-(tf [_ 
K womsn of colouri prqndice agafnat eekta-i no . 
miwrj among mcb women. — I go to the bonte of her 
&thort paaiB funeral on the road, and meet aadd 
free womu, t negreu, etark naked. -, • - i 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

DMcripllon of aconntry honae^— Fig*.— A pknter'a mode 
of paseing Ua time^^emnta ; some peiticalan re- 
latfaig to them^— Account of a mull coflee aettleoMnt 
in the interior.— lUo Grande.— Suaaima.— I am taken 
^ain for ■ manhalman.— Battle of the hone and 
mule^ — Description of the coffee planter and hia wife I 
advice of the latter to Susanna. - . . . < 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

A aeoond expedition to the Bine Mountain, which Ula. 
— ^3(dden Vale, an estate belonging to Greenwich Hoe- 
pltaL— Hrca In the wildeiness. — An extraordinary 
tract of ooimti; bare of trees.— A cascade bQing from 
the eastern peak.— We rush into a river to cool 
onnelvas. - . . .. . i 



xvm 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER xxxvin: 

SkMmKmBf9 ordm fbrtfaeewDoftfae 80]dier7.^-A 
bbck ifiA wfitinff i i d to reedTo two doiea luhn for 

I ^mtew^d Tkm two cbOdrai arrive froni Kingiton, 
nd art i^fen to IXino.— A dv e ntur e of a lad^ die- 
gidriiy hflndf ai o n^greee, to trj tfao honeaty of her 
boibaafe ikvee^— An Obeahmani contenta of hia 
. cBtaeoo^"Diaaaf a kjadneie of heart; oor&rewelL— 
We meet die eld naked n^greee, who aaka foracala- 
haAofealti harapeedi to Ebeaeenr. Weaaaibr 



WAmm 



538 



•I 









JAMAICA. 



/ ' 



■s *. 



a ■ < . . . I '. ,' k« 



f . J J . . • . ^ • ' ♦ • • • . • . . . 


' J ,■ « • 4 1 : . j 

* 




r » ••.■.','.1 


4^1 ; r « • 


' ; ' • • t 




■ -, ::l'iiJ 




1 • •" . '1 


• • • • 

JAMAICA. 

• 


» • 


• 

• 

CHAP. I. 


• 

r 



The island of Jamaica may well be called the 
Emerald of the Ocean, though in no respect 
similar to the green or brown island that lies 
to the West of Great Britain, the subject of 
so much song and panegyric. Jamaica may 
be compared to a large forest intersected by 
glades ; not only the verdure, but the woods 
extend to the summits of the mountains. 
' I landed at Falmouth] in the county of 
Cornwall, on the (20th December.^ The en* 
trance of the harbour is narrow, and- tlie 
navigation difficult, the water as dear as the 
purest crystal. I could see the rocks. at its 
base, though they were between twenty and 
/# B 



2 JAMAICA. 

thirty feet beneath me. The land around the 
harboor is flat^ but rises to the South into 
beantifiil hills, crowned here and there with 
the huge bombax that rises out of these giant 
forests like a colossus among pigmies, who 
would be giants in turn to the pigmy woods 
of Great Britain, /t was conducted to a lodg- 
ing-house kept by a lady named Polly Vidal, 
of a mahogany tone of colour,/^ho received 
me with great courtesy, and welcomed me to 
the island.* I thought her a little inquisitive, 
as her questions crowded on me rather faster 
than I could reply to them, although she paid 
grea;t attention to my answers, which is not 
always the case of those who think it neces- 
sary to interrogate. Her curiosity extended 
chiefly to my own concerns; who I was, 
where I came from ; whether I had father, 
mother, uncles, or aunts in Jamaica. -She 
cautioned me against night air, and scolded 
some younger damsels for peeping at me 
through the jealousies which communicated 
with the bed-chambers on each side of her 
hall. Some of these tawny fair ones were 
seated on the floor of the piazza, making 
shirts, or working muslin dresses, and came 
in now and then with some silly errand,, as I 



thought^ to get a viev of my sweet person,' 
pr .to exhibit their own. One or two were 
coquetting at a distance with some: of the 
white natives, and laughing with every air of 
gentieness and good nature. Their persons 
struck me as being very elegantly formed,, 
lig^t, graceful and elastic ; but I was not yet 
reconciled to their dingy hue, and there was 
something I thought rather too languid in the 
drawling tone of their speech. They pre- 
sented me with a shadock scored, and the 
thick skin doubled in, naseberries and a gre- 
nadilla, vrith a copious beaker of wine and 
water. 

After partaking of this, I was accommoda- 
ted with an umbrella to screen me from the 
meridian sun, and followed a bare-legged 
Quashie about the town to examine the stores, 
and a famous reservoir of water, made for the 
use of the inhabitants and for the supply of 
the shipping. In the first, I was surprised to 
^ee so many negroes purchasing finery for 
then- approaclung holidays, and laying down 
pieces of money that I bad never thought to see 
in the hands of slaves ; for some changed doub- 
loons, gold pieces, worth here five pounds six 
shillings and ei^t pence of the island ccrren- 



4 Jamaica; 

cy: . There was an. appeieurance of gaiety and 
dieerfnlneu in their oountenanees^ 'combined 
with a politeness of manner^ that I; had never 
teen among the labourers of England^ any more 
- than piecei of gold in their hands at Christmas 
or any other season^ for the purpose of buying 
finery ) for here all clothing seems superfluous^ 
except for decency's sake. 

I returned to the lodging-house^ and found 
a Kittereen whiskey prepared to convey me to 
an estate at some distance, about eight miles 
finom the town. Quashie seated himself on 
the footboard, and resting his legs on the steps} 
performed the part of Automedon in grand 
style, and with great apparent seriousness; 
while I enjoyed the whole of the interior of 
the equipage, a system I should have oflen 
preferred in England, where I have been many 
times horrified by the company and contact 
of a lubberly stinking" groom, breathing gin or 
tobacco, or at least the miasma of the stable* 
,1 was driven through two or three estates, 
where the negroes were all at work cutting 
canes, which passed me in huge tumbrils for 
the mills. Quashie acted as my Cicerone, and 
told me everything connected with putting in 
canes and nudung sugar.^ He would have 



toldnie the names of the different propneton 
through whose grounds w'e'passed>- bat;lie 
knew only the mortgagees, the attoniies^ and 
overseers. : . > He pretended ' giieat' affection - fw 
his horse; which he called RombluES; (I.ima*^ 
gihe he ineant Romulus) but 'I icLiiterivards 
learnt it wa^ really pretence, as he was in the 
habit of jnding him furiously by iught; as If he 
were an incubus, to see, his distant swe^- 
heart. .■ ■ ■.■.'■ ■..'..' >:! -;■;.■.■:"!; 

'■■I asked him the name of -a great tree not 
jar &om the road, which I should have taken 
for a cotton tree, but for the different leaf it 
presented. He told me. it. was befdretiine 
(according to 'his phraseology) a cotton tree; 
but now a fig tree; for this latter has'>1hiB 
property of overgrowing and destroying .even 
this giant of the. forest. At first,- a small deli-^ 
cate vine, it attaches itself to the Irark of the 
cotton tree, creeps up, and gaining strength, 
^t last envelops it with its own bark. Qoashib 
compared it to the mortgagee strangling thb 
proprietor, or the Scotchman .hugging . the 
Creole" to death. ' 

'I arrived at length at Orange Grove, where 
2 expected to.be rec^v^ by the old gentle*, 
man to whom I had "been reconuncndetL-.- He 



L. .. . I.. f 



6 JAMAICA; 

was fiom h6me, that is, riding about his cantf 
pieces and superintending his negroes at work; 
The clatter ofa water-mill reminded me again 
of sugar grinding ; the mill-yard was.all bustle 
and menimenty songs and laughter mingled 
with tiie shrill braying of mules and bellowing 
of oxen. I peeped into the mill-house/ and 
saw the cane juice flowing in torrents ; though 
sweety it looked dirty, and I preferred to chew 
the cane to obtain a luxurious draught. . 

The overseer introduced himself to me and 
took me to the boiling-house, whence the steam 
fiom fire or six immense boiling coppers soon 
induced me to retreat; I saw negroes here 
allowed to take calabashes full of the hot pu- 
rified cane juice, half a gallon each at* least 
This, I leamt, is sometimes fermented in bam* 
boos with the chewstick withe, and makes 
tolerable beer. > ^ 

.'The still-house was no more to my taste 
than tiie boilinjg^-house ; though not heated; 
the air had an unpleasant gaseous smell; it 
was, however, very cleah.^ 

As I returned to the house 1* descried my 
host, Mtw Graham, dismounting from his horse 
mt'theehdof the piazza* ' He' came forward 
and saluted me.''''' i^'i.- *^'^ i --'' "*:'<• i>\ 



r ■ * i 



■ * . r 



CHAPTER U. 



. r 



.1 . i 



'A LONG blast firom a conch-shell relieTed 
the negroes firom their toils. But let me de- 
scribe the old gentleman, who . gave me 9.' 
vigorous shake by the hand and a cordial 
welcome to his house/ Imagine an old gen-. 
tleman, sixty-five years of age, upwards of six 
feet- high, and weighing probably seventeen 
stone, with a set of regular and even hand- 
some features, except one eye missing; an- 
op^D, generous countenance, whose physiog- 
nomy indicated the habitude of no violent or 
fractious feeling. He wore a white hat whose 
brims were ten inches wide ; had one side been 
cocked upward, and feathered, it would have* 
done for a Velasquez, or Rubens's Chapeau: 
de Paille; a blue jacket, too short for elegance, 
(bemg curtailed to escape the perspiration of 
his horse) which in consequence of his height 



8 JAICAICA 



and bulk gave his appearance an air of cari- 
cature, especially as its truncated skirts stuck 
out with thet^rowding of his pockets ; ^a white 
waistcoat and trowsers completed his costume, 
and gave a tinge of deeper hue to his weather- 
beaten face. He had passed the last thirty 
years of his life.in the island; although he had 
been educated in England. 

I was ushered into the piazza, and presented 
to a middle-dged lady, his wife, who was iStill 
handsome and very agreeable ; and to two 
pretty girls, his daughters, who wanted only 
a little more of the rose in their cheeks to 
make them: really beautifuLi I enjoyed an 
hour of cheerful conversation with them on 
fiunily subjects, mixed up with small talk 
about Walter Scotfs novels, Lallah Rookh, 
and the Loves of the Angels, which none of 
us had read or seen. ""Two gentlemen were 
playing at billiards in the hall adjoining, 
through which I passed to my bed-room to 
take a inesta, for which I had indeed but little 
occasion, as my mind was too jnuch taken' up 
with the ypung^ ladies to allow me to sleep. 
« At five o*clock a bell summoned me to din- 
ber, where, in addition to: the party I had 
already aeen, there were> now assembled aia 




JAMAICA; 09 

old lady and her two maiden daughters; I 
woald not say old maids, though they bad 
passed the age of loveliness.' Their mother, 
an ancient dame, was treated with remarkable 
respect by my host and hostess, which ^e 
seemed well to merit by her elegant and un- 
affected manners^ the offspring of an affection- 
ate and dignified mind. Her features retained 
the evidences of beauty, and her figure waa. 
yet that of a sylph, lightand graceful, inspite 
of her age. ■ Her conversation, possessed .en 
extraordinary chaim, and was really fitted for 
the first circles of the most enfightened sode- 
ty;.but'I presume my.readers would rather 
be entertained witl) the young ladies, whose 
ga'uii de aeur made the evenmg pass with the 
rapidity of joy. '.They sang, and danced qua^ 
drilles and allemands ; one of them excelled 
on the piano-forte, and my squeaking Toic^ 
was put under contribution for . the bass of a 
glee. One.geDtlemaufavoureduswithanegro 
dance to a negro tune,; both original -and 
diverting, and to myself unintelligible: it is 
not necessary to know always why we are 
pleased. He sang as he danced, and the 
burden of his song was. Hi I :Donald Malcolm \ 
.Ho!-.:. ..-. . . " ■..::;;■'■.•.■ ■::.: \.: : i->:ui >-\i\ 



10 JAMAICA^ 

t ' ' ' I • 'I ■ r 

*•- '^i.! .. .■•••ij. i •/.♦/ ,** .••J*l ,'il •■, 



f 



f • 



«, 



/v r; . .".. .7 



CHAPTER UI. 



• ■ •/ 



« I HEAED the whizzing of the musquitos in 
the night, though they could not penetrate 
through my curtains or musquitp net, which 
covers the whole bedstead* The land breeze 
kept my loom cool and comfortable, • and I 
should have slept sounder and later but for 
the crowing of the cocks, which began scream- 
ing Irag before day light, and kept up an 
incessant cry. I arose before the sun, which 
is tiie &shk)n of the island ; the air was fresh 
and fragrant, and the atmosphere as clear^ 
as the sea was yesterday ; indeed, there, was 
an appearance of a north wind, more dry 
than salubrious, and in the morning the hills 
of Cuba were declared to be visible. The 
^land wind died away as the sun rose, and at 
bieak&stlwas actually hot and pestered with 
fliest till one of the young ladies sent meher 



JAMAICA; 11 

female page with a peacock's feather, -to fen 
the flies 'from John Newcome, Esq.i Tbey 
still however fought with me for my honey 'and 
cocos. Our break&Bt was ia medley of Euro- 
pean and American tastes ; : an assemblage of 
all sorts of things; coffee, tea, chocolate; ham; 
tongue, yams, herrings pickled and dried, hot 
rolls, biscuits and plantains, potatoes, and 
cassava, cum multis aliis. Good nature and 
mirth presided over this, as they had done 
over the entertainment of yesterday./ Thesetf 
breeze began to blow and my heat to erapo^ 
rate. The old gentleman mounted me on a 
good nag, and led the way to the field where 
the negroes were at work, complaining as we ' 
went along of the preachers, who, he said, had 
completely bewildered ^e minds of his' slaves 
with abstract &ncies about the holy spuit, 
grace, and faith. One of his drivers, a man 
hitherto of excellent character, had stolen one 
of his master's lambs, killed it,' and now: 
pleaded in excuse for the robbery, that he had 
given half of the Iamb to Massft\Sander8 Mar 
cauly, theCmethodist missionary. While we' 
were talking on the subject we arrived at the 
field where the people'were working, and the 
culprit was brought forth in ciistody <tf another 



12 JAKAICAi 

dshrer, /by ; order of > rthe Jiead book-keeper^ 
wboBe bniiipeai it i^rasiD raperintend the field-^ 
workto-d^. 7 •• ':r/i i;iv/ji!:; «•:' V t^::i^- 

' Mn Graham, (with, a cterious but calm fistce, 

demanded t^' Isaac, the Ihief^ . what he could 

fay forhimself thathe shouldaot be {mnished, 

aa the iact had been pnoved oh< him ; indeed 

be had b^en detected aell^g some of the flesh 

to another negroi Isakc said he had. bought 

a bible of Af r) Macauly^tibr which he had paid 

two dollars and had promised' two more ; but 

in default, ' or rather in delay of payment, he 

had 'taken him this meat,'^for Mii Macauly 

{asked for some provisions, pork, or fowls, or 

mutton. '^'He did hot know,'' said the old 

gentleman/ [ '* that negroes are n6t allowed to 

keep sheep, but you knew you had no right 

to steal my lambs/' - '^Massa,'' replied the 

Black, '' Mi^ Macauly[tells me muss hab a 

bible.*^ *f Then,'' rejoined Mr. Graham, ''you 

must be flogged for getting it dishonestly ;* 

diose who send you bibles should send them 

gratis, and not make a trade of their books 

to gein^^roes into mischief." ' The. man' 

was laid on the ground and received sixteen 

amackstxf a'thong, made'of the bark of a tree 

aAtacheditoa stickaboiit eighteen inchea long.' 






JAUAICAl 18 

• 

He made no complaint/ but offeired to giv&li^ 

the bible^ and never speak to MrVMaxrauly 

Ostgain. This his master said he did'not desire 

or care about. ■' ■ ■ ^ • 1. ' : 

A woman was then brought up for a mis^ 
demeanour ; she had beaten a young g^I in ft 
fit of jealousy, and the quarrel' was near in-^ 
volving three or four families in confusion and 
contention. She was ordered to hold up ber 
coats, which she did, not higher than the 
middle of her legs, and the driver gave hei^ 
four cuts that rattled on her clothes, and could 
not, I think, give her any bodily pain ; when 
the driver ceased by his master's order, the 
black lady looked over, her shoulder, and said 
in a suppressed but emphatic tone, V Go to 
h— 11," and walked off. I think the old gen- 
tleman heard her as well as myself, but he 
took no notice, allowing, I suppose, for her 
irritated feelings, which was no doubt humane 
and prudent. In the course of the day, the 
lady herself took an opportunity of telling me 
that Massa was really a good man, and she 
knew she had done wrong and deserved to be 
punished. . ^z 

I was amused at the. sight of a score of 
children lying in^rays beneath a siort of arboui^ 



I 
14 JAICAICA* ^ V 

made of boughs ; they, were all naked^ and 
kxdced lil^e so many tadpoles, alternately 
sleeping and bawling till the mothers, went 
and suckled them. Some of .the men had 
calabashes of sugar-juice to recruit their 
spirits. I was much diverted with the head 
driver, who walked about with a whip in one 
band and a bamboo staffin the other, in which 
he carried a yard of rum or grog, and as he 
quaffed fixmi time to time, he elevated his 
bamboo towards the heavenlas if he were a - 
Sydiophel star-gazing. 

r After we had returned to the overseer*s 
house, an old womanmarched up at the head 
of another detachment, a phalanx of children, 
all under seven years of age. They were also 
naked, each carryingits frock on its arm, and 
came to show that they were washed clean, 
and were free from all disease. They were 
foil of fon and tricks, and their skin, black as 
ebony, shone like silk. The old gentleman 
asked them what they were to have for din- 
ner; they replied, ''cowskin;'* and having 
pat on their Osnaburgh frocks, they were 
helped in little calabashes, out of a boiler 
built upagainst tiie piazza. Their dinner was 
or ox hide.- (the hair of which is first 



f ■ 



•>-i 



JAMAICA. :1^ 

singed ofi) boiled to a jelly, with yams, cocos, 
ochro, and other vegetables ; a famous mes8> 
of which the little negroes made a most hearty.. 
meal. I wished my poor neighbours in 
Hampshire might always be assured of such 
a meal once a day ; however, I consoled my- 
self with the reflection, that they are not 
slaves ; I wish it would console them for 
their empty bellies. ' ^ 



Id iA'liAitX'. 



I . • r f • - 






• . •■« 






CHAPTER IV. 



t • # # 



f 



'I PAS8£D several days with my hospitable 
friend, and was thus enabled to see into 
the condition of his negroes, their habits 
and modes of life. They were orderly, and 
I was informed had till lately been con- 
tented; but the debates in England about 
making them free have begun to unsettle them, 
and have given them a tenfold propensity to 
attend the missionaries.^ A great many of 
them have long been Christians, and several 
are married according to the established 
church. According to their own customs, 
they live together as long as they like each 
other, and part by mutual consent when they 
please. As to inheritance, they ar6 allowed by . 
courtesy, in all cases, to leave what property 
they may acquire to their children or friends 



JAMAICA. 17 

Upon the same Estate, but not to strangers. 
Singular enough, that the virtual rights of the 
slaves in respect to their property, arising 
from customs and courtesy, which, according 
to the most profound writer* of his time, are 
stronger than written statutes, should bear 
some affinity to the present laws of France 
on wills, which restrain a testator from 
bequeathing away his property to the ex- 
clusion of his relations and children, though 
illegitimate. 

A gentleman at Mr. Graham's told me that 
one of his negroes came to claim compensation 
for cutting off a branch of a calabash tree in his 
(the gentleman's) garden. The negro maintain- 
ed that his own grandfather had planted the 
tree, and had had a house and garden beside it, 
and he claimed the land as his inheritance, 
though he had his oym negro-grounds elsewhere 
as a matter of course. The gentleman was so 
amused by Quaco's pertinacity and argument, 
that he bought the land and tree, right and 
title, of him for a dollar. I am afraid there 
are many titles in England not better than 

^MoDtesquieA. 
C 



■> 



18 JAMAICA. 

Quaoo's, thoogfa allowed the same authen* 

'As to their religious progress, it does not 
seem to improve their morality. Their super- 
stition is overcome, and the mental restraints 
against thieving and roguery are overcome 
with it. An old patriarchal negro, with a white 
beard and head, came one day to complain of 
a newly christened neighbour refusing to pay 
an old debt of a doubloon, which the patriarch 
had lent him, on promise of repayment, to 
purchase a share of a cow. But on the pre- 
'senf' application, the nominal Christian had 
affected ignorance of the debt, and surprise at 
the demand. He said the old man lent the 
doubloon to Quamina, but he was not Qua- 

m 

mina now; he was a new man, bom again, 
and called Timoty, and was not bound to pay 
the dead man, Quamina's, debt. The cause 

* 

being brought before the master, was heard, 
and summed up in the following words : — 
'' Quamina, otherwise Timothy, this may be 
very fine logic, and you may think it religion 
too, but, for tiie sake of morality, Mr. Rascal, 
pay the money or make over the cow.*' Qua- 
mina finding there was qo appeal, began to 



JAMAICA; 19 

grumble and swear, and even to ciurse the 
preacher's religion, since it was '* no worth/' 
The old patriarch said, that " formerly people 
minded the puntees, hung up in the trees and 
grounds as charms to keep off thieves, but 
since there was so much preachy preachy , the 
lazy fellows did nothing but tief/' The old 
gentleman sighing, said, ''I wish to seethe 
people about me happy ; I wish them to have 
a correct sense of an all-wise creator and of 
futurity, and to be actuated by a mutual wish 
to aid one another ; there ever have been and 
there must be gradations in society, and I 
cannot think that mode of teaching a religion 
effectual which tends to loosen the moral re- 
straints, and to destroy the links of society. 
The motives of the missionaries and of those 
who send them out may be good ; but their 
views, at least the views of many of them, are 
wrong; and we feel the lamentable effects of 
their mis-directed zeal/' ' 

I often used to witness the ceremony of 
feeding the children at the overseer's ; their 
happy, joyous maimer communicated a joy 
even to myself. I asked once if the religious 
would not be scandalized at the exhibition of 
these naked youngsters ; but I was told that 



20 



JAMAICA. 



the instigators of the registry bill wished^ nay^ 
had insisted on the r^t of examining the 
persons of all the negroes, male' and female, 
of efery ag^ in order to specify and enume- 
rate all inarks>they^ may have about them, 
no matter where. / . 













• • r if # . , . • i . - 



• « • ■ ^ •.■••' * 



'•I. i<«ii J f •• 



• < 4 «/ . • y 



I • 



t 



u 



• t 



.... < 



% » » « » 



I ; r. ' .» 






^ . 



. .i • 



.• / I. I ! •• 



si- 



CHAFTER T. 



I VAi grombiiag in iniaftnatuffl xt the 
incessant clamour of the cocks c^ the condh; 
of Chriitmas-day, when mj ears were asjslled 
with another sort of music, =ot much more 
melodious. This was a choTiis of negroes 
singing "Good morning to yoor night-csp, 
and health to master and mistress." They 
came into the house and began dancing, i 
slipped on my dressing-gown and mingled in 
their orgies, much to the diversion of the Llack 
damsels, as well as of the inmates of the house, 
who came into the piazza to witness the cere- 
monies. We gave the fiddler a dollar,' and 
they departed to their grounds to prepare 
their provisions for two or three days, and we 
saw ho more of them till the evening, whai 
they again assembled on the lawn before the 
house with their gombays, bonjaws, and.', an 



»" 



22 JAMAICA* 

ebo drum, made of a hollow tree, with a piece 
of sheepskin stretched over it. Some of the 
women earned small calabashes with pebbles 
in them, stuck on short sticks, which they 
rattled in time to the songs, or rather howls 
of the musicians. They divided themselves 
into parties to dance, some before thegom- 
bays, in a ring, to perform a bol^ or a sort of 
love-dance, as it is called, where the gentlemen 
occasionally, wiped the perspiration off the 
shining faces of their black beauties, who, in 
turn, performed the same service to the min- 
strel. Others performed a sort of pyrrhic 
before the ebo drummer, beginning gently and 
gradually quickening their motions, until they 
seemed agitated by the furies. They were 
all dressed in their best ; some of the men in 
long-tailed coats, one of the gombayers in old 
regimentals ; the women in muslins and cam- 
brics, with coloured handkerchiefs tastefully 
disposed round their heads, and ear-rings, 
necklaces, and bracelets of all sorts, in profu- 
mm. The entertainment was kept up till 
nine or ten o*clock in the evening, and during 
the time they were regaled with punch and 
santa in abundance ; they came occasionally 
and. asked finr porter and wine. Indeed & 



JAMAICA'. . 23 

pMect equality seemed to reign among all 
parties ; many came and shook hands with 
their master and mistress, nor did the young 
ladies refuse this salutation any more than the 
gentlemen. The merriment became rather 
boisterous as the punch operated, and the. 
slaves sang satirical philippics agtunst thdr 
master, commimicating a little free advice now 
and then ; but they never lost sight of decorum* 
and at last retired, apparently quite satisfied 
with their saturnalia, to dance the rest of the 
night at their own habitations. \ 

I must not omit one circumstance that di- 
verted us all exceedingly during the festivity, 
and seemed to justify the title of saturnalia, 
which I have given to it. An old grey-headed 
man, who had formerly been appointed a 
watchman to guard the negro-grounds, had 
occasionally abused his trust, and robbed the 
grounds he was boimd to protect : considering 
his age and venerable appearance, Mr. Graham 
had always endeavoured to pacify those who 
had been robbed, by compelling the thief to 
make restitution from his own grounds, rather 
than flogging him ; however, the old rogue, 
having been detected in the very act of some 
outrageous robbery, had thought it prudent to 



24 



JAMAICA. 



letire, and had absented himself firom the 
estate for two years previous to this festival, 
in the midst of which he made his unexpected 
appearance, and came up to his master laugh- 
ing with perfect nonchalance. Heshookhands 
with him as the others had done, and said 
** he was sorry he had been a bad boy, but 
he never would do so any more." So he re* 
oeifed a fiee pardon. 



r. ' • 



. . ' . • 



t 



;/ 



• I 



• . 



• ' . I ' 



25 



CHAPTER VI. 



■ Tu£ next morning, a little after break&st 
time, the slaves re-appeared, dressed in fresh 
costume, that of yesterday being, perhaps,' a 
little deranged with their romping, A new 
ceremony was to be exhibited. First came 
eight or ten young girls marching before a 
man dressed up in a mask with a grey beard 
and long flowing hair, who cairied the model 
of a house on bis head. This housd is called 
the Jonkanoo, and the bearer of it is generally 
chosen for his superior activity in dancing. He 
first saluted his master and mistress, and then 
capered about with an astonishing agility 
and violence. The g^rls also danced without 
changing their position, moving their elbows 
and knees, and keeping tune with the cala> 
bashes filled mth small stones. One of the 
damsels betraying, as it seemed, a tittle too 



mncb fri»kiness in her gestures, was reproved 
by her companions for her imperance; they 
called her Miss Brazen, and told her she 
ov^t to be ashamed. All this time an in- 
cessant hammering was kept up on the 
gombay, and thecotta (a Windsor chair taken 
from the piazza to serve as a secondary drum) < 
and the Jonkanoo's attendant went about 
collecting money from the dancers and from 
the white people. Two or three strange ne- 
groes were invited to join, as a compliment 
of respect ; they also contributed to the 
Jonkanoo man, who, I am told, collects some- . 
times from ten to fiAeen pounds on the occa»on. 
All this ceremony is certainly a commemora- 
lixm of the deluge. The custom is African and 
leltgioua, although the purpose is foi^tten. 
Some writer, whose name I foiget, says that 
the house is an emblem of Noah's ark, and 
that Jonkanoo means the sacred boat or the 
aacied dove — cairn meaning sacred, and j'ona 
a dove, in Hebrew or Samaritan : but as I 
have no pretension to etymology, I leave this 
•object to the literati. 

The lagma have a custom of performing 
libations when they drink, a kind <^ first-fruit 
'oSemg, When the old runaway thief ei a 



JAMAICA. 27 

watchman reconciled himself to his master, 
he received a glass of grog in token of foigive-' 
ness on the one side, and of repentance on the 
other; first, that he should not he Qogged^ 
and secondly, that he should not run away 
any more. On receiving the glass of grog, he: 
poured a few drops on the ground, and drank 
ofi* the rest to the health of his master uid 



^On all these occasions of festivity the mu** 
lattos kept aloof, as if they disdained to mingle 
with the negroes ; and some of the pons, the 
regenerated slaves, also objected to participate 
in the heathen practices of their ancestors^ 
Yet they seemed_ to cast many.awisUullook 
at the dancers, more especially after they had 
takrai their allowance of grog^ which it was no 
part of their new faith to renounce. 

My friend Quashie had got into disgrace^ 
and came to me to intercede for him. He had 
lamed the horse Romulus or Romblass, in a 
nocturnal ride to another estate, where "he had 
a second wife. His mode of getting the hone 
out of the stable was not a little ingenious : 
the door is always locked at night and the key 
faroi^ht into the house, but the climate requir- 
ing security bnly fixnn run, two sides of -the 



28 JAMAICA. 

Stable are not even boarded, being defended 
only by strong bars of wood or rails; one of 
these was taken out by Quashie, who then tied 
the hcHTse's legs together, and throwing him 
down, dragged him under the other bars, un- 
fettered him, made him get up, and rode off to 
hbDuldnea. He had returned before day- 
light, and had been detected performing the 
same ceremony to drag the horse into the 
stable again, and by some awkwardness he had 
lamed him. I could not have ventured to in- 
tercede for him, for there is something so 
aggravating in a servant's abuse of his master's 
dumb animals; however, Mr. Graham only 
put him in the stocks on Christmas-day, and 
dismissed him finom the house to work in future 
in the fields ; but Quashie felt it as a heavy 
punishment, for he b^ged to be flogged again 
and again, if his master would let him still 
be groom;. but he begged in vain. 

While the negroes were enjoying these 
festivities, we were not idle or indifferent on 
our part ; our little dances were kept up every 
night widi a great deal of mirth and good fel- 
lowship: music and dancing, billiards, cards, 
and chess, all in turns presented their allure- 
ments. I was a little quizzed for remarking 



29 



that the planters would be called to account 
by the reformers in England for letting the 
negroes dance on Christmas-day, and was 
called a saint. — Saint Newcome. Mr. Graham 
told me there would be a rebellion in ,the 
island if any attempt was made to curtail the 
enjoyments of the blacks, even on religious 
principles : but this must be prejndice, 
though it might have such an effect on tlv 
French, perhaps. . . 



matk 



90 JAiTAicii; 



f • I 



CHAPTER VII. 



-As my inclination as well as my business 
would lead me to visit the capital, my host 
▼ery kindly procured me two excellent horses, 
and provided me with two negroes to attend 
me, who were to be mounted on mules ; one 
to lead the second horse, and the other to take 
charge of a sumpter mule loaded with my 
baggage. Poor Quashie begged again to be 
my conductor; but as I learned that he had 
been convicted of the same offence once be- 
fore, his request was inadmissible, and a stout 
little fellow, whom his master called Magnus, 
was appomted to attend me as my head valet 
. I think there was a little roguery on the 
part of the old gentleman, in giving me this 
genius as my Cicerone ; for though he did not 
want sabby, as they call it, he was a regular 
psalm-niger, a downright saint or methodist. 



JAMAICA. 31: 

who was always talking of grace, faith; new 
birth, and hell fire. His real name was Poid->' 
pey> to which his master had added thenick- 
name of Magnus, on account of his diminiitire 
stature I suppose ; but he (Fompey) told me 
with great gravity, that he had been christened 
Abbesneezer, for so he pronounced Ebenezer, 
and begged that I would call him by this his 
christian appellation.^ \, 

My other attendant was an African, a Pa- 
pau, a true believer in the faith of Mahomet, 
as far as he understood it, which might be to 
some extent, as he could read and write what 
might be Arabic for ought I knew. He was 
a slim, genteel looking man, with a jet black 
complexion, and teeth as white as ivory. He 
rode his mule with a superior grace, though 
they are all good cavaliers, and conducted 
himself on all occasions with a very dignified 
air and manner. His name was Abdallah, but 
according to the phraseolc^ of the negroes, 
pronounced Dollar; and he had as thorough a 
contempt for the Christian miracles and mys- 
teries he had heard preached, and for the 
foolish "fashions," as he called them, of his. 
fiiend Sneeza, as any of the muftis of C<mi 
atantinople could have felt or expressed, i . 



rfM 



32 JAICAICA. 

Pompey was a Creole, and well acquainted 
with the country, the roads and the estates, 
idiich we were to pass; a sort of topographical 
dictionary, from which I could derive all ne- 
cessary information. Abdallah had been re- 
commended for his invincible integrity, as a 
servant on whom I might depend in every 
emergency on the road, and one who would 
see the horses fed and rubbed and locked up 
securely at night,.-an indispensable precau- 

m 

tion, as I afterwards found. 

I lefl the old gentleman and his family with 
great regret, for I had experienced every kind 
attention at this hospitable mansion, and felt * 
myself as much at home as in the bosom of 
my own family.- I promised to write to the 
young ladies from time to time, and took their 
letters of introduction to several young people 
I was to have the pleasure of visisting in my 
tour. They cautioned me against too much 
fiaitigue, and riding too long in the sun, or 
trusting myself to the night dews ; in short, 
they won my heart by the interest they were, 
kind enough to take in my welfare, and I. 
shall never think of them without feelings of 
gratitude and affection. 

Behold me then on my white American 



•• . 'i 



♦ .'x ' 



4 • 



1^ 



JAMAICA. 33 

Steed, travelling at the rate of six miles an 
hour, an uneasy pace between a walk and a 
trot, with my escort moimted on their mules, 
and the sumpter-mule with my port m an t eaus 
piled on his back. I had a large .white hat 
and a light grey coat with white trowsers and 
waistcoat, and was told I might havie sat for 
the jpicture of Death in the Revelations. I 
was followed by Ebenezer, leading a handsome"" 
Creole horsie, and grumbling . in a sort of 
smothered bass, that I sang, or affected to 
sing, as I rode along, in spite of its being Sun- 
day. His horse occupied him so much, that 
I could not converse with him except by turn- 
ing my head round and bawling, of which I 
soon became tired, and listened only to his 
occasional remarks. ^ We crossed a ridge of 
hills clothed with woods, and descended into 
a beautiful valley, surrounded on all sides by 
niountains, and watered by a pretty rivulet, 
whose banks were shaded by clumps of bam- 
boos, waving most gracefully. They were 
from sixty to seventy feet high, with a most 
delicate foliage, and gave me an idea of gigan- 
tic plumes of ostrich feathers. 
- From this valley I ascended gradually by 
successive defiles to the Marooii town/fre- 



34 JAMAICA.' 

• 

quently doabling on my path until I seemed 
to come within a stone*8 throw of it; At the top ■. 
of the ridge stand the banfacks, on a series of 
hillocks, intersected by cock-pits overrun 
by woods, among which I observed clusters 
of fern, called the fern-tree^ or adiipitum max- 
iinumi(eight or ten feet high. It was fromi this 
spot dutt the Maroons were formerly expelled, 
mr rather transported. ^ The situation is cool 
and salubrious, abounding in springs, and in 
every respect adapted for the residence of 
£uropean troops. 

As we proceeded through similar defiles, 
we occasionally arrived at large open pastures, ^ / 

not unlike English parks, where tiie great 
bombax and the bread-nut tree were chiefly 
conspicuous : the first bears the silk-cotton, 
and has firequently seventy to eighty feet of 
shaft before it expands into branches, which 
extend as many feet on every side ; a multi- 
tude of parasitical plants fix their abode among 
these, especially the wild pine, so celebrated 
lor furnishing water in droughts ; and the long 
pendulous shoots of the fig-tree and wild vine, 
called the water-withe, hang firom them down 
to the very groimd, like the foliage 6f a weep- 
ing willow, Imt miiich inoie delicate. 'A yard 






JAMAICA'. 35 

of this, when of a good thick growth, will 
furnish half a pint of water, rather astringent, 
but yet very palatable. The body of the 
cotton-tree is made into canoes, often capable 
of holding eight or nine hogsheads of sugar 
each : once I saw one fifty feet long, and suffi- 
ciently large to contain fifty or sixty men. It 
bears pods at the extremity of the branches as 
large as a goose's egg, filled with a greyish 
silky cotton, (enveloping the seeds) fit for 
many purposes, especially for making hats: 
but, to favour tlie fur trade, the importation of 
it into England is prohibited. The leaves of 
the bread-nut tree furnish food for the cattle 
when the grass is burnt up ; and the nuts, as 
large as small chesnuts, are wholesome and 
palatable food for man. nl 

Traversing these pastures, I rode to a house 
on an eminence, commanding an extensive 
view, bounded only by the sea. Here I was 
met by the hospitable owner, who, according 
to custom, led me to the sideboard and gave 
me a welcome draught of sangaree, to allay my. 
thirst aft;er riding. . I retired to my chaqibeiv 
and after a little repose attended the summoiif( 
of my host to dipneri . mi ; ^. •« irj':iurj 

I ' -r»» ' f • ""t IT 



36 JAMAICA. 






♦ ' . • . I 



CHAPTER VIIL 



The heat is here at seventy d^^rees of 
Fahrenheit's thermometer — a delicious tern- 
peratore^ and there are no mnsquitos. / 1 found 
a blanket very comfortable at night, and the 
morning was infinitely cooler than on the sea 

nde. Port wine does not taste amiss in these 

* 

regions,l though it is generally called physic 
in other parts of the island. I drank a good 
libation c^ it last night, by a fire-side. yHere 
are several sorts of humming-birds, and the 
doctor-bird, or robin, having a green body 
with a red throat ^ As for the ring-tail pigeons, 
they reminded me of the ring-doves of Eng- 
land, and seemed to be almost the same spe- 
cies ; and though they are esteemed as the 
greatest possible delicacy, I was not epicure 
enough to find any superiority in them. . 
/ 1 find that conidderable apprehensions have 1 



/ 



^ JAMAICA. 37 

• 

been entertained respecting the discontents of 
the negroes, and a report has arrived here of 
insurrections in Saint Mary's. Every thing 
is attributed, right or wrong, to the Saints (as 
they are called) in England, and their inter- 
ference with ' the concerns of the proprietors 
in Jamaica has certainly excited a feeling of 
the greatest indignation. My host is a grekt 
advocate for the Moravians, but almost enrage 
ed against the missionaries of the Methodista^^ 
who, he says, in point of practice, act in direct^ 
opposition to the others. The first are peace- 
able, moral, industrious, pains-taking people 
in their vocations ; the latter, cunning, in- 
triguing, meddling, fanatical, hypocritical, 
canting knaves,Ccajoling the poor negroes (who 
listei;L to them in fear and trembling) of all 
their little savings and every species of pro^ 
perty they can amass, under the pretence of 
saving them from the Devil and everlasting 
damnation. Such influence have their pre* 
posterous doctrines on the minds of some of 
the poor creatures in the towns, that they 
have been actually driven into madness by 
brooding over the terrors with which the 
preachers have inspired them ; and not a !few 
have destroyed themselves^ tinder the appre- 



38 JTAAIAICA. 



^ i>.i :i;i 



of destractioii, like the poor bird that 
flies into the poisonous mouth of the rattle- 
snake, under the influence of its fatal fescina- 
tkm. This fitnatical phrenzy has, in some 
cases, taken a turn ludicrously horrible, 
leading its victims into excesses, which, except 
<m a plea of insanity, might be construed into 
blasphemy. I should be almost afraid to re- 
late them, but for a sincere love of truth, and 
a wish to expose the inefficacy of extravagant 
doctrines or declamations. 

A negro-man, named Schweppes or Swipes, 
to which his comrades have added the appel- 
lation of Saint, took it into his head to poison 
a preacher at Montego Bay. He but half 
killed the poor creature, who discovered the 
nature of the poison in time to prevent its.fatal 
effects, though it is more than probable he 
will never recover his former health. The 
maniac did not attempt to conceal the crime, 
cfT to escape, but argued that the spirit moved 
him to kill Massa Parson. He affirmed that 
the preacher always said, '' he longed to lay 
downhis burden; to quit this mortal life ; to 
go to Abraham's bosom, to the bosom of his 
Safiour, to glory,'" and so forth, — and he. 
Swipes (whose brain was tiirned topsy-turvy) 



JAMAICA. 39 

out of good-will and love, wished to help him 
to heaven and glory, for which he was io 
anxious. There was so much method in his 
madness, that it was lesolved he should I>e 
put on his trial ; and several pemins intimatr 
ingtohim that he would probably be hanged, 
he had wit enough to inake his escape froia 
jail.and run off into the woods, where he con- 
cealed himself for some time from the obser- 
.vation of the whites, although many of the 
blacks were well acquainted with the place 
of his retr^t. At last, two gentlemen, in the 
pursuit of wild hogs, penetrated unconsciously , . 
and by mere accident to a little open spot in 
the midst of the woods, where, beside a small 
hut, with a fire still smoking in it, they found 
a cross or a crudfix (as it bore something in- 
tended for an effigy on it) and caught there a . 
runaway negro. They thought and hoped 
it was Mr. Swipes; but here tbey vren 
deceived; the prisoner proved to be only 
a disciple of the saint, and being brought 
down to the bay or town, related many par- 
ticulars of his patron's present mode of life. 
It seems he has often an attendance of negroes 
to hear him preach, to whom he has the as- 
surance to communicate the sacrament of the 



40 JAMAICA. 

LbTd*8 Supper ; but as he can get no wine^ he 
distrilrates rum and sometimes porter, and 
roasted plantains and cocos for bread. The 
figure <m the crucifix is meant forthewor- 
shipfiil Mr. W-^ — and is made out of an old 
black coat, with a calabash tied to the cross 
for his head, on which a nose and eyes are 
scratched with charcoal. He would foincall 
himself Saint John, and eats ^soldiers* and 
crawfish, which he calls lobsteris, meaning, 
I suppose, locusts ; and stolen molasses iserve 
him for wild honey ; though he might find an 
abundance of that in the woods, if he thought 
fit to seareh. He and his companions sit* 
round the effigy of Saint Wilforce, as they call 
it, and smoke their jonkas, or pipes about two 
inches long, until the evening closes in^ when 
they are greeted with the company of their 
wives or sweethearts, and a ceremony similar 
to. the American love^feasts is performed in 
tlie.dark, or by the bGnker light of the dying 
etnbers. 

This fanatical rascal has really great power 
ofver the minds of the n^;roes, which b, how- 
ever, moderated by the efforts of an Obeah 

^ Comr DiogMMt/Hermit Crab. • 



JAMAICA. -41 

man, his declared rival, or he would ui^ 
them into the most abominable excesses. He 
converts their credulity to his own profit, 
persuades the women out of thdr ear-rings 
and necklaces, and the men out of thdr fowls 
and pigs. He has even set them to rob one 
another, assuring them that whatever they 
bring to him is a sacrifice to God. His ra- 
pacity almost equals that of the priesthood of 
old , but his Obeah rival still retains an inr 
fiuence over even his followers, — an influence 
under which they were bom,-74md, by iiis 
spells, his charms, atad his fetishes, guards 
the property of his less enterprising and more 
peaceful neighbours. ' 

As the practice of Obeah is illegal, and the 
persuasion of Saint Swipes in fashion, ' the 
latter affects to defy the wizard, and threatens 
to give him up to the law, foigetting that ;he 
lies at the mercy of his adversary, and may 
in turn be called to account for pc^s(ming the 
methodiist. :./;. 



CHAPTER IX. 

December 30.— TueMla;. 
The Cretde tongue, if I may so call it, is 
a curions corruption of English, and very 
difficult to my inexperienced ears; though, 
like all other mutilated dialects, it is not un- 
frequently a source of mirth and risibility. 
I did not want opportunities of acquiring it or ■ 
of lau^iing at it, in listening to the frequent 
dialogues of my two followers. The first, 
'Ebenezer, like a harlung spaniel, was always { 

snapping and snarling at his companion, who, | 

like a bull-dog, seldom growled but he bit ! 

hard and held. I had much trouble to keep \ 

them quiet when the spirit moved Mr. Snee- 
zer, for Dollar seldom began the attack, and 
would always endeavour to lau^ away the 
innnnations of the Christian ; but, when he was 
completely roused, he was half furious. 
I left Ttn^ian's field at seven o'ckwk in 



JAMAICA. 43 

the moming for the residence of Mr. S to 
whom I had a letter of introduction, almost 
superfluous in a country where hospitality 
reigns paramount. My course lay again 
through rocky ravines, emhosomed in woods 
matted together by the vines that overgrow 
them. From the loftiest trees hung down 
the pendant streamers of the parasites, taking 
root again in the earth, or attached to other 
trees twenty or thirty yards distant. The ' 
traveller has always in mind the idea of a 
ship's rigging, for the whole forest is con- 
nected by these living ropes, that wave in the 
wind and give a most romantic grace to the 
scenery. I saw one mocking bird, who 
warbled prettily enough ; pigeons and parrots - 
are the chief tenants of the wilderness, and 
a cricket, whose horrid screams are sufficient 
to stun one, and chase away every agreeable 
idea that the sight of these grand and mag- 
nificent solitudes may inspire.' ' '^ ■•■■■ 

I found Mr. S— ^ — was a serious Christian, 
what in England we call a methodist ; but as 
I make it a rule never to interfere with the 
feelings of any Inan on the subject of his faith, 
I had no difficulty in conforming to the cus- 
toms of his house, land avoiding the possi- 



f*iMity oS any a^^amentation about religious 
jvoints. -■ ■ ■" ■ .1 

3dbrB we retired to bed, the house-people 
0^ all colours and ages were called in to 
pvsiy and ring psalms, while a young lady 
v^^kde a scrambling over the keys of a jingling 
^ianet, and my host gave out the staves with 
A>^ true nasal twang.* Ebenezer was in raptures 
v^le the chorus lasted/ and Abdiallah. acting 
Ake part of an accomplished renegado, behav- 
ed with every attention to decorum as far as 
ntter indifierence could express it. 
'XHien the musical discords ceased, Mr. 

S- opened the Bible, and cocking up his 

^egs in. the Creole fitshitm on the table, to be 
iQore at ease, b^an to read, in a solemn though 
■ffected manner, the second epistle of Paul 
to "Hmothy, vdule a negro-boy, holding a 
candle with a glass shade over it at his right 
load, stood winking and blinking, and from 
time to time yawning, until at last he actually 
fell asleep and tumbled with a lee-lurch head- 
ing againsthis devout and persevering master, 
wbonk he almost knocked out of his chair. 
The g^asB shade was crushed to atoms, and 

Oe Bible flew half acitMS the hall. Mr.S 

reoofcring himself, and looking at Samson 



JAMAICA. 45 

with a good-natured air of discomfiture, which 
was reciprocal, only observed that '' this was 
not the way to be enlightened/'^ My friend 
Dollar retreated, as if satisfied, and(the most 
serious could not repress a titter ; I would 
say the most serious of the brown girls, a 
goodly and a pretty famUy, The devout S— 
lost none of his gravity, except in reproaching 
them for making a precipitate retreat; fi)r 
they rushed out in a body, whereas their en- 
trance had been slow and by distant instal* 
ments, " like angel's visits— few and far be- 
tween." i *■ 
I had been in bed and asleep for some 
hours, as I guessed, when I was awaked by 
footsteps in the piazza to which my chamber 
windows opened, and, looking naturally. to- 
wards the light, I thought I perceived > a 
human form standing against the wall and 
peeping into my room. I could not immedi- 
ately rouse myself, and by the time I had 
rubbed my eyes, the figure had disappeared^^ 
I thought I must have been mistaken, ' and ' 
would have re-composed myself to sleep; but 
looking still from time to time towards' the 
window, I not only saw the same fo^ again,' 
but I was convinced it was one of the vni*^^ 



40 JAMAICA; 

Imtto beauties who had attended the psakh^ I 

snging. What could she; wish? Was she 
come, like another Diana, to visit a second 
Endymion, and was I to be that Endymion ? 
Alas! alas I* 

me gelidam nemiit 

Njmpbaniiiiqiie leret cum Sfttyris chori 
Seocnmiit'popdo. 

' I mean, I leave the young ladies, the fair 
sex, to the satyrs. I arose from my bed, and 
would have told her so, but she scampered 
off on seeing me move, and tumbled in her 
hurry over Ebenezer, who was snoring at my 
door, which opened into the hall, through 
which Diana had to pass. '' Patience guide 
me,** cried the puritan, not brave enough to 
swear—'' da warra dis here, girls run *bout 
like ratter/' I know not how he could guess 
her to be a girl; but, by the struggling I heard, 
I concluded he held her fast as if for satis* 
fiaiction, or to discover who she was. This 
detention was not at all to her taste ; she 
called him fool and blockhead in a stifled 
tone, and desired to be set at liberty, still 
struggling to escape him, and dragging him 
about the hall, for he would not loose his hold; 



> 






*r 



I 






JAMAICA. 47* 



The boards being polished and slippery^- 
caused him, I suppose, a second fall.- I 
heard them tumble together on the floor, and 
by the exclamation of Ebenezer I guessed he 
had fallen undermost, and upon the broken' 
fi I glass, some of which still lay about, for he 

uttered a piercing cry and let go. the pretty* 
Diana, who now would have made her exit 
by the windows of the piazza. : Here mi- 
luckily she encountered me, for I had left 
my room (as I listened to the scuffle) by the 
window of my chamber, and coming iround 
the comer of the hall, unhappily intercepted' 
her course. I say unhappily, for she ran. 
against me full tilt, and knocked me and her*" 
self backward, as I have often seen the clowii 
and pantaloon do in a pantomime^ At this 

moment the door of Mr. S ^"s apartment 

opened, and he appeared with a light in one 
hand and a rattan in the other, with which he 
was going to inflict summary punishment on 
the rats, while I crawled into my window, 
and slipping on my dressing-gown, made my 
re-appearance at the door of my room. • I had 
then time and opportunity to behold the' 
group, in which I cut no mean figure. Ebe*- 
nez^r was limping and- holding one hand otr 



48 JAMAICA. 

Ms rear, his shirt torn and rumpled, and' his 
Iook.aDd figure all confusion and rage mingled^ 
with .apprehension. Diana, the peerless 
maid, still seated on the ground, sobbed out 
^'fbd and knave,'* and said she came to bor- 
iawEbenezer*sliigbook« A woman*s tears are 
always interesting, though she be as ugly as 
the three Furies ; and Diana, in tears, looked 
almost beautiful, m spite of her brown face. 
Her master must have thought so, for he said, 
in a gentle and placid tone, '^ Oh, Diana ! is it 
you V Diana got up, and courtesying, said 
'' Yes, Sir,** then, looking at me, her jet black 
eyes seemed to implore my silence. What 
account could I give of myself? Fortunately 
none was asked. Ebenezer was rebuked, ' he 
best knew for what; Diana smiled as she 
withdrew; I wished Mr. S— good night, 
and peace and quiet reigned again. I 

But although there was an appearance of 
tranquillity, it endured not till the morning. 
Meanwhile, I tried in vain to recompose my- 
self to sleep ; but the absurd figure I must 
hare made was always present, to my me- 
mofy, and kept me as wakeful as a torrent. 
Hour after hour passed away; Ebenezer 
,as .usual, 'and. the .coicks were begin- 



JAMAICA. 49 

ning thdr darioiu, when I heard a tittering 
again outside the piazza windows; tiiis was 
succeeded by a pit-a-pat across the floor to 
the hall where my valet depL I heard a 
fumbling for about a minute, mingling widi 
the snoring, which convinced me he was not 
awake to any roguery that was intended; 
and immediately the pit-a-pat receded to' the 
windows, firom which I heard a person jump^ 
down to the ground outside. The tittering in^ 
creased, and while I was listening to dis- 
tinguish, for certain, the voice of Abdallah 
subdued into a wliisper, my ears were saluted 
wiUi a fresh vociferation from Ebenezer, who, 
losing his prudence and forbearance, rapped 
out a score of oaths as he was dragged by 
the toes across the hall, making ineffectual 
efforts to get on his legs, which were pulled 
from under him at every attempt, and he as 
regularly fell on his crupper to scream and 
curse afresh. All this while the laughing in- 
creased; I looked out firom the piazza, and 
by the dawn which began to appear, I dis- 
tinguished Abdallah vrith six or seven girls 
pulling at a rope, by which poor Sneezer had 
been keel-hauled. They had got him close 
up to the piazza vrindows, through which. 



50 JAMAICA. 

they had drawn his legs, and while the 
w^g;ht of his body rested on his shoulders 
and hands, they made fast the rope to one of 
the buttresses or pillars which support the 
house, and ran away just as I discovered 
them. 

Ebenezer was left m a situation as ludi- 
crous as distressmg, his legs being allowed 
just liberty enough to prevent his making any 
exerticm to raise his body off the ground. 
The noise he made, as may be imagined, 
alarmed the inmates of the house. Mr. S — 
re-appeared, half undressed, with the rest of 
the party, and in spite of his rage at this 
second disturbance, he could not refrain from 
laughmg; while the brown girls came into 
the hall at the opposite side of the house, 
and with affected condolences proceeded to 
emancipate his legs. Diana assisted, and I 
saw the sly rogue cast a look of satisfaction 
at her companions, and even at her master. 
My valet re-mounted on his feet, began a 
sermon on the impropriety of his treatment, 
which was cut short by the chattering of the 
women, vdio were' now lain to quiz him, and 
at any rate talked him down. In vain he 
denounced the vengeance of heaven and hell 



JAITAICA. 



51 






upon them, accused tiiem of sedition and 
blasphenij against him, for praying on a book 
more than they did themselves; in vain he 
compared himself to one ^'Lijah, who let 
loose two bears, that killed forty-four boys 
and girls/' They laughed the more when he 
told them, that ** although they digged into a 
pit, they should tumble in one time/' In 
short, I was obliged to use even my little 
authority to quell the tumult, and begged 
him to go out of the house, for I saw no 
other alternative to procure peace; and then, 
as by this time it was broad day-light (the 
business of the toilet being first completed) 
we had more legitimate prayers from our 
religious host 



:i r 



' \ 



• , ■ ' 



I »• 

' 



' •) v', • f : 



£2 



CHAPTER X. 

December 31— 'Wednesday. 

'After break&st, I took leave of Mr. S- , 

not without a good laugh at the adventures of 
the night, which stiU remained to ine in- 
explicaJ)le. ' I had been obliged to stand the 
test of a little badinage, and fear my looks 
betrayed the appearance of guilt in spite of 
my innocence. I had sent forward Pompeius 
Magnus with the sumpter-mule. to be out' of 
the way of any more tricks or quarrelling 
among the girls; and when I took my de- 
parture, I was attended solely by the follower 
ot the prophet. 'Scarcely had I lost sight 
ci the house, when on turning an angle of the 
wood to cross a small streamlet, I beheld the 
pretty Diana seated by the water side on 
ft bit of rock, apparently washing her feet. 
She rose to salute me as I passed, and with 
a sweet and expressive tone of voice wished . 






\<».^M^, 






„»a.f!fOS'«5 



d 






JAMAICA. 53 

I me good bye/' Whether my horse took it 

into his head to drink, or it occurred to me to 
offer him that privilege, or whether I stopped 
him, or he, having penetration enough to di- 
vine my thought, stopped of himself, I can- 
pot yet determine ; but he made a halt, as if 
he thought I ought to say something civil to 
the brown maid ; and as that thought occurred 
to me, I did not urge him to proceed. While 
he was straining out his neck to drink, I had 
an opportunity of taking a rapid glance of 
the beautiful form before me. An artist can 
sketch fronoi imagination alone; an amateur 
may be allowed to draw from his memory; I 
wish mine may serve to present to my readers 
this pretty creature as she appeared to me. 
rShe stood upright in the water, which just 
covered her ankles, with one hand holding 
her white .drapery a little above them, as I 
first thought to prevent its being wetted, 
while the other was engaged in playing or 
trifling vdth the beads of a turquoise necklace 
clasped on her bosom. An Englishman con- 
siders all people of colour as mulattos, until 
he has occasion to remark the different shades 
by which they are distinguished. Diana, 
however, was a Quadroon, with a complexion 



54 JAMAICA. 

rery little darker than the European; nay, 
much fiuier than any of the faces of men 
long lendent in the tropics.* Her skin was 
dear and glowing with a tint, though a very 
fiunt one, of the rose in her cheeks. Her 
hair was dark brown, by no means black, 
though there was something in the contour 
of it that reminded me of her African origin ; 
still it was not woolly, but rather a mass of 
small natural curls, such as I have often seen 
imitated by the ladies in England. ''Her age 
might be about sixteen ; a time of life at which, 
in those countries, the very perfection of nature 
feigns in females.' In height she rather ex- 
ceeded the middle size, and though, perhaps, 
taller than the Venus de Medicis, her figure 
was more slender and not less graceful. 
There was an air of sweetness and benignity 
in her countenance, that recalled to my ima- 
gination the charming expression on the fea- 
tures of the young Memnon which Belzoni 
has brought to England, and made me think 
of the impression which Caesar might have 
felt at the first sight of the beautiful Cle- 
opatra when she was introduced into his j 
presence by ApoUodorus. ' She altered her \ i 
position as I spoke to her, and the breeze 1 



JAMAICA. 55 

blowing her wet gannents closer to her as 
she moved, betrayed the charmmg symmetry 
of her figure. ' Havingretumed her salutation, 
I continued to look at her elegant person, 
from which, indeed, it was impossible to 
withdraw my eyes ; and while my horse still 
drank, I asked her, half seriously, for an ex* 
planation of the adventures of last night. 
She smiled as she cast a glance at Abdallai^, 
which my vanity interpreted into a desire for 
a private communication, though I might have 
been wholly mistaken ; however, I dispatohed 
the Mussulman in advance, and listened. not 
without something of a romantic interest for 
the intelligence I had requested. 

When the accident had happened of the 
boy's falling asleep during the religious 
reading, and the coloured party had made a 
precipitate retreat, my illuminated valet 
Ebenezer assembled them in an outhouse, 
and began an extempore sermon of his own, 
about grace and the devil. As his auditors 
had been long accustomed to hear the ho- 
milies of Mr. S ^ which at all events were 

of a superior cast to those of the valet, the 
brown ladies were scandalized at his as- 
surance and conceit, and although they put 



56 JAMAICA. 

' op for a time with his trumpery, they revolted 
at his anathemas against loving without the 
leave of the parson ; in short, without being 
solemnly married at church. He had told 
them to marry black men rather than commit 
adultery with white ones,— a piece of advice 
DO ways to their taste, however scrupulous 
in their conduct notwithstanding. He had 
particularly addressed himself to Diana, as 
if his reli^ous persuasion had inspired him 
with the vanity (not uncommon to the low- 
minded) of thinking himself entitled to the 
particular attentions of the fair sex. He had 
gone so far as to beg for a little talk with her 
in private, which was the prima mali tabes , 
the groundwork of the revenge that had been 
practised on him. As to her peeping into 
my window, her object had been to discover 
whether I was asleep, that I might not have 
been unnecessarily disturbed, or that an ex- 
cuse might have been made to me, or my per- 
mission asked ; but when I got out of bed, 
Diana ran off alarmed, and in her flight 
tumbled over Ebenezer, and produced the^ 
first catastrophe. The second wanted no ex- 
planation. 
The pretty Quadroon delivered this un- 



JAMAICA. 57 

varnished tale,, without the least hesitation or 
difficulty ; and, when she ceased, I asked her 
if she were a Christian; to which she replied, 
"Me afraid not." "And why?" said I m 
return. " Because me can't believe what me 
can't understand." "Then you have no re- 
ligion ? Has Mr. S taught you nothing ?" 

^*Ye3, massa; he preaches to the ears, but 
nothing to the heart." "What do you 
believe ? You have some sort of religion ?" 
"Yes, massa; I believe I must do good to 
every body, and love them like my mother." 
" That is your faith?" said I. She answered, 
"Yes." "And you do love every body? 
Have you no ill will to Ebenezer?" " None.*' 
"But you played him tricks ?" " Yes, massa, 
tricks; no more; the girls teased him for 
being conceited and preaching nonsense." 

I sat a moment in silence, scarce knowing 
how to question this pretty simple creature 
any further. I repeated my good bye, and 
holding out my hand, bid her give me her's as 
a farewell salutation. She did so with an air 
of surprise, mingled with one of timidity and 
obedience, as if it were an honour to which 
she was not entitled; but it was her left hand. 



58 JAMAICA. 

her right being engaged in holding her gar- 
ment upon her bosom. ^* Good bye, Diana/' 
^Goodbye, massa, goodbye." The sound 
of her sweet voice still vibrated in my ears 
vriien I rejoined my servants. Strange! 
tfiooght I, that the nmple and beautiful 
doctrines of Christ should be made unin- 
telligible to such a mind as this poor girl's, 
a mind as pure and unsophisticated as those 
of the primitive apostles. Can the missi- 
onaries or the enthusiasts preach the real 
doctrines, or have I leamt the truth, when 
I am informed, that their preachings have 
nothing in common with the divine precepts, 
any more than bloated ugliness has with the 
lovely countenance and elegant outline of 
poor Diana? 

My sure-footed nag carried me rapidly 
down a beautiful road worthy of Buonaparte, 
the great way-warden of the Simplon and 
Mount Cenis, through a dingle above a mile 
kmg, until I reached a more open country. 
I would have fled from my thoughts, if pos- 
able, and hurried on to a house whither I 
had been invited, situated on a rising ground 
at the head of a bay enlivened vrith shipping. 



JAMAICA. 



59 



^^hose crimson streamers fluttered against the 
deep blue sky. This place has a very park- 
like appearance, the grounds being chiefly 
pasture, intermixed with guinea grass, where 
herds of cattle and sheep, and numberless 
horses of a hardy breed, were browsing in 
pleasant confusion. 



00 MMAICA. 



CHAPTER XL 

'January 1 — ^Thursday. 

The universal welcome awaited me at the 
house of Mr. Mathews, the proprietor of 
the pen and its cattle. If I had observed on 
other estates the bustle of sugar-making, I 
was no less struck with the tranquillity that 
prevailed here. The negroes have a compa- 
ratively idle life, being engaged in cleaning 
the guinea grass, or repairing the stone walls 
which divide the pastures. Two sorts of 
grass were pointed out to me, the pimento 
and the bahama; but, in cases of drought, the 
cattle are fed with the leaves of the bread- 
nut-tree and the ramoon, as well as with 
those of the bascedar. If ever Jamaica were 
to be separated from the mother country, and 
the rage tor sugar were annihilated by any 
ciicumstances of necessity, the whole island 
might ibrm one large pen, of paiks and com 



I 



JAHAICA^ 61 

fields, 80 as to maintain an immense popula* 
tion.* The resources of Jamaica, I am in- 
clined to think, are very great; but of these 
hereafter. 

f This pen consists of eighteen hundred 

acres, five hundred of which are woods; 
there are one hundred and thirty slaves, and 
there are five hundred head of cattle on^ it, 

\ including oxen, cows, mules, horses, hogs, 

and sheep, besides abundance of poultry. 
The negroes are here allowed to have as 

I many hogs as they please, a privilege . they 

cannot enjoy on sugar estates, where the 
canes would tempt them into destruction; 
but they keep them there in styes, and feed 
them from the produce of their grounds. 
The negroes are also allowed on the sugar 
establishments to keep a cow each, if they 
please, but it more frequently happen; they 
keep one among three or four persons : the 
offspring is generally sold to Hieir master;^ 
when a second calf is dropped, the first is 
sold at the price of a doubloon; or they may 
kill and sell the veal to others if they choose, 
£rst asking permission; a very necessary con- 
dition, ^r they might kill their master's 
calves without a possibility of discovery. A 



C2 JAMAICA. 

nmilar system used to prevail in Sydney and 
Van Dieman's Land, and still prevails in the 
island of St Helena, where no one can kill 
bullocks without permission; but the restric- 
tion there is to prevent fiunine. There are 
tanks here, sixty feet long by twenty wide, 
with running water. 

*Being the first day of the new year, another 
holiday is allowed to the negroes. They 
turned out a little after day-light to show 
themselves to the overseer, and were again 
dismissed to prepare for the festivities of the 
day, which belong to a contest kept up by 
two parties of the women. I very much sus- 
pect this is a remnant of the Adonia men- 
tioned by Plutarch. Each party wears an 
appropriate colour, one red, the other blue, 
of the most expensive materials they can 
afford. They select two queens, the prettiest 
and best^shaped girls they can find, who are 
obliged to personate the royal characters, 
and support them to the best of their power 
and ideas. These are decorated with the 
ornaments, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, 
&c. of their mistresses, so that they often 
carry much wealth on their persons for the 
time. Each party has a procession (but not 



I 



JAMAICA. C3 

SO as to encounter each other) with silk flags 
and streamers, in which the queen is drawn 
in a phaeton, if such a carriage can be pro- 
cured, or any four-wKeeled vehicle which can 
pass for a triumphal car, that her person may 
be seen to the best advantage. Thus they 
parade the towns, priding themselves on the 
number of their followers, until the evening, 
when each party gives a splendid entertain- 
ment, at which every luxury and delicacy 
that money can procure are lavished in pro- 
fusion. The only subject of contest or rival- 
ship is the beauty of the queen and the 
finery of all the individuals. Mirth and good 
humour prevail throughout, and the evening 
is concluded with a ball. 

* As it was my business to see every thing 
that could interest me in Jamaica, I accompa- 
nied Mr. Mathews to tlie Bay, where one 
of these entertainments took place in the 
house of a free mulatto woman.. The music 
consisted of three fiddles, a pipe and tabor, 
and a triangle. The dancers, male and fe- 
male, acquitted themselves famously well, 
and performed country-dances and quadrilles 
quite as well, if not better, than I had ever 
seen at a country ball in England. Most of 



64 JAMAICA. 

the ladies wore pink shoes (as it was the red 
party whom I attended) and all of them silk 
stockings, set off by feet that Cinderella's 
could not have surpassed in elegance. The 
supper consisted of cold roasted peafowls, 
turkeys, capons, tongues, hams, &c.; fresh 
and dried fruits, grapes from Kingston, equal 
to any in the world, and all sorts of wines 
and liquors, not excepting champaign and 
noyau. 

All these things were laid out in an ad- 
joming room, to which we were particularly 
invited. The dancing stUl continued, and 
small parties, as they pleased, retired from 
the ball-room to partake of the collation, 
and then rejoined the dancers. 

There were many free people of colour. 
The men were very well dressed, and con- 
ducted themselves with the greatest propriety. - 



^ 



JAMAICA. 65 



CHAPTER XII. 

January 3 — Friday. 

'Mr. Mathews would be called, a radical 
in England.' I, who am no politician, was 
almost staggered by his vehemence against 
the " aristocracy, who allowed themselves to 
be led blindfold into every act of folly and 
injustice, that a set of sneaking fanatical 
ignoramuses choose to recommend to them; 
not that they are insensible to ambition or 
power — ^power too, over the consciences of their 
fellow-creatures." • According to him,* Ja- 
maica is to be wholly free, to be emancipated 
from the tyranny of England and the hum- 
bug of the Saints. He acts up to this doc- 
trine, by having nothing in liis house which 
is the produce of England, except where 
he cannot possibly avoid it. His soap, can- 
dles, oil, and all his provisions, are trans- 

F 



■ ...-.■■^^ t-' 



GG JAITAICA. 

atlantic. He has neither tea, porter, cider, 
wines, fish sauces, nor hams, from England. 
His plate is manufactured from dollars, by 
one of his book-keepers, who has been 
educated by a goldsmith. His clothes are 
made in the island, though of British cloth. 
His furniture has been made by his own 
carpenters; his beds stuffed with his own 
silk cotton. His pen produces a superabun- 
dance of maize and guinea com, (the latter 
' yieldmg the finest flour in the world) rice, if 
required, and every species of the bread 
kind in profusion. He has a handsome car- 
riage made on his own premises, and, with 
the exception of a few tools, he is as inde- 
pendent of all the wants which England 
supplies to others, as if England had ceased 
to exist Even the tools might be made of 
the iron of the country, of which he has had 
a small field-piece cast. Of gunpowder he 
wants little, but he says that the caves in- 
habited by bats will yield abundance of 
saltpetre. He showed me a machet, or cut- 
lass, made by one of his own blacksmiths, 
of a very excellent temper, and bows and 
arrows of the most diabolical invention 
that can be conceived. No ship of war, no 



JAMAICA. 67 

fleet could escape destruction, if once within 
their range. The arrows are made of hollow 
reeds, filled with some combustibles mixed 
with nitre and resinous gums, and take fire on 
striking the object at which they are directed 
by the percussion of their points. They can 
be discharged from cross-bows, or even guns. 
The points resemble the detonating tubef 
invented by Joseph Manton for his fowling- 
pieces, with a spike at the end, and a button 
to prevent them penetrating too far. The 
button also causes the percussion to tsike 
place, which ignites a grain or two of fulminat- 
ing powder, and the arrow is instantly in a 
blaze. Let a fleet once come within the 
reach of a thousand such arrows, and we 
should soon have a second battle of Lepanto; 
at least I judge so from the experiments I 
saw tried with a couple of them. 

But wherefore all this? I could not agree 
with this very original gentleman, who, having 
evidently been brooding over the critical situ- 
ation of the island, has suffered his fears to 
overpower his judgment, and has taken it 
into his head that the government of England 
are bent on ruining the colonies before they 
abandon them either to the negroes or to 



f- 



68 JAMAICA. 

the Americans; for their destruction, he says, 
is inevitable, if the system of tampering or 
trifling with the feelings of the slaves is per- 
severed in. Nothing seems to have so much 
weight with him, or so much to inflame his 
indignation, as the idea of being sacrificed, 
being delivered over, bound hand and foot, to 
the tender mercies of the Saints^ as he styles 
them. 

He says, that he first gave Mr. Wilber- \ 
force credit for being sincere in the cause of 
humanity; but that now he is convinced he 
was mistaken. ** Humanity, '' he says, ' ' is not 
promoted by removing a cruel traffic from one 
spot, to carry it on to a greater extent at 
another. Is it not notorious, that slaves are 
constantly being imported from Africa into 
Cuba and other foreign colonies; and that, 
from the half measures adopted, the passage 
across the Atlantic is rendered infinitely more 
horrid, and more destructive of human lives, 
than when it was permitted under judicious 
regulations? ^ If Mr. Wilberforce were not 
besotted by fixing his mind continually on a 
single object, and if he were really sincere 
in the cause of humanity, he would direct all 
his energies to the entire destruction of the 



JAMAICA. 69 

slave trade on the African coast ; for whenever 
that infamous traffic is really and effectually 
abolished, and all hope of new importations re- 
moved, as is the case with the British colonies, 
an amelioration of the condition of the blacks 
must inevitably follow, though gradually; and 
it is desirable that it should be gradual : none 
but fools or knaves can wish for an immediate 
emancipation of the slaves. It must be obviojis 
to the most careless observer, however short 
his residence in the island, that many, very 
many, of the slaves are totally unfit to have 
the entire disposal of their own time ; they 
must be kept in a state of pupilage, under 
constant, though humane restraint; the ma- 
jority of them have not even a correct notion 
of emancipation ; the better informed have no 
wish for it; it is only the unruly, idle, and 
profligate, and the puritanical hypocrites, that 
make any clamour about it. 

'"Why," continued Mr. Mathews, ''have 
the Saints so easily procured petitions from 
thousands and tens of thousands in favour 
of emancipation? Because they have repre- 
sented it as a duty imposed by religion, and 
have asserted that to hold slaves is contrary 
to the express will of God I and John Biill 



70 JAMAICA. 

has taken their doctrines on trust, without 
giving himself the trouble to examine them. 
But the gross ignorance I or rather the hypo- 
crisy and temerity of these Saints, to use re- 
ligion as a cloak, and to make assertions 
which every one acquainted with the sacred 
writings must know to be false! Have they 
never read of the curse pronounced on Ca- 
naan ?^ ^ Do they not know that the Almighty 
gave, through his servant Moses, on Moimt 
Sinai, very precise daws to the Jews respect- 
ing slaves, V and made a distinction between 
strangers and their own brethren, the children 
of Israel, that might become slaves, enjoining 
a milder treatment of the latter ? The words 
are remarkable : f "If thou buy an Hebrew 
servant, six years he shall serve ; and in the 
seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If 
his master have given him a vnfe, and she 
have borne him sons and daughters, the wife 
and her children shall be her master's, and he 
shall go out by himself. And if the servant 
shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife 
and my children; ItcUl not go out free: then 
bis master shall bring him unto the judges; 

• GcBests, ix. U. t Exodat, zzL 2, 4, 5, 6. 



JAMAICA. 71 

he shall also bring him to the door, or unto 
the door-post; and his master shall bore his 
ear through with an awl; and he shall serve 
him/or ever.** And again, " Both thy bond- 
men, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt 
have, shall be of the heathen that are round 
about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and 
bondmaids. Moreover, of the children of the 
strangers that do sojourn among you, of tl^em 
shall ye buy, and of their families that are 
with you, which they begat in your land; and 
they shall be your possession. And ye shall take 
them as an inheritance for your children, after 
yoUy to inherit them for a possession ; they shall 
be your bondmen for ever*** And further, in 
respect of severe punishment: "And if a 
man smite his servant, or his maid, with a 
rod, and he die wuler his hand, he shall be 
surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he 
continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: 
for he is his money.** 'f There are many other 
parts of the Old Testament which show more 
clearly that slavery was not only suffered but 
autliorised by Divinity, and practised by the 
Jews. And the New Testament leads to the 

* Leviticus, XXV. 44, 45, 46. f Exodus, xxL 20, SI. 



72 JAMAICA. 

tame ocmdusion. ^'Grod is not a man, that 

lie should lie; nor. the Son of Man, that he 

should repent: hath he said, and shall he not 

do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not 

make it good?*' And surely it is not for 

such men as Wilberforce, Buxton, Stephens, 

or any other of the puritanical crew, to 

arraign the judgments of the Almighty. <<0 

the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom 

and knowledge of' God! how unsearchable 

are his judgments, and his ways past finding 

out! For who hath known the mind of the 

Lord I or who hath been his counsellor?"* 

Really, one would suppose that thtse\Saint:f 

had never read the Bible. 

'' But if these men be really sincere, they 
are a set of the most ignorant, presumptuous, 
and credulous blockheads that ever imposed 
on the British public; they give credit to and 
act upon every idle tale they hear. I should 
like to know in what part of Great Britain, or 
in what part of Europe, the peasantry enjoy 
so many comforts as our slaves. Those bold 
Reformers, if they have really no other object 
in view than that which they profess, are 

^ B4»iiif, zi. 33, 34. 



JAMAICA. 73 

wrangling about a word— a mere name— ^md 
are pursuing a shadow at the risk of losing 
the substance. Let them examine into the 
real condition of the English peasantry, who, 
after working ten or twelve hours daily, re- 
ceive from their employers about half enough 
wherewith to buy them bread, and must 
creep, cap in hand, to a petty tjrrant of a pa- 
rish officer for the remaining half— a boqp 
from the cold sparing hand of charity — ^ter 
having earned it with the sweat of their brow ; 
let them see the miserable, half-starved, con- 
sumptive beings, who toil a much longer 
time for an insufficient pittance in the cottour 
factories, exposed to contract all the diseases 
incident to sudden transition from great heat 
to piercing cold ; let them look at the squalid 
misery in Irish cabins, and visit those parts 
of Ireland where it is so common for female 
adults to go naked, that the inhabitants 
seem unconscious of its impropriety ; let them 
for a while view the filthy garb and haggard 
looks of the poor wretches doomed to ascend 
foul chimnies, sometimes forced by an igno- 
rant master up a flue too narrow for their 
bodies, and wedged in till they die ; l^t 
them consider what must have been the 



74 JAIIAICA. 

sofiering, the heart-rending distress of the 
mothers, before they could bring their minds 
to sell their offspring to such a wretched 
bondage. If the nerves of these humane gen- 
tlemen, these pseudo-philanthropists, are so 
delicate as not to allow them to take a near 
view of human misery, let them comfortably 
by their fire sides, with a jug of Buxton's 
compound at hand, read the Reports of the 
Committees of the House of Commons on 
these subjects, and then let them come and 
examine the condition of our slaves, and say 
whether the dignified title oi freemen compen-^ 
sates for the abject condition in the one case, 
and the degrading appellation oi slave is pay- 
ing too dear for the enjoyments in the other. 
Strange infatuation ! that Englishmen should 
be duped by these pretenders to philanthropy, 
by men who overlook the wretchedness at 
-their feet, who shut their eyes to the misera- 
ble victims of avarice, and close their ears to 
the piercing moans of the oppressed in the 
country around them, to direct their blurting 
views five thousand miles across the Atlantic, 
to loosen the ties of this once happy commu- 
nity ; because, forsooth, the humbler classes 
are called '^ slaves," though in possession of 



JAMAICA. 75 

all the comforts of life ! In different stages of 
civilization, different manners prevail. Per- 
sonal service, and subjection for personal 
subsistence and protection, or that kind of 
subjection of the lower to the higher ranks, 
which is called slavery, has existed in all 
countries ; it existed in some parts of Great 
Britain a very few years ago, and it exists 
still in many parts of Europe : its extinction 
has alvtrays been gradual ; it naturally follows 
the development of the mind, sometimes with 
a retarded, and sometimes virith an accele- 
rated pace. This may excite surprise in men 
of a sweet disposition and sanguine imagina- 
tion, but a dispassionate review of history 
vnll teach them, that revolutions in the man- 
ners and condition of mankind are the result 
of ages, the mind being gradually and almost 
imperceptibly prepared for them. For my 
part, if it were possible to put our slave popu- 
lation a few stages in advance in civilization, 
and, with reference to the soil and climate of 
the Island, imbue them at once with suffici- 
ently enlarged desires for the comforts and 
luxuries of life, to induce them to work for 
wages eight or nine hours, six days out of 
seven, I would most willingly give my slaves 



76 JAMAICA. 

diat boon, accompanied by their freedom ; but 
tbeir immediate emancipation, with their pre- 
sent ignorance and limited desires, would be 
destruction to us all, masters and slaves. 

" No,** continued Mr. Mathews, " Mr. 
M^Iberforce is not the amiable character I 
once considered him ; no. Political influence 
is his object, slave emancipation his political 
fulcrum. Has he not himself, in his letter to 
Talleyrand, ten years ago, explicitly declared 
« that an attempt had been made, with consi- 
derable success, to confound the abolition of 
the Trade in slaves with the Emancipation of 
ihate already in the colonies ; though the aboli- 
tionists took all opportunities of proclaiming 
that it was the Slave Trade and not Slavery, 
against which they were directing their 
efforts Y Mr. Wilberforce has received every 
assurance of the comparatively happy con- 
dition of the negroes from those who have 
been sent out to examine into it, and yet 
persists in urging falsehoods to the prejudice 
of better men than himself. He knows, yet 
shuts his ears to, the change of sentiment that 
many have acknowledged has been produced 
by a visit to the Island. No man ever came 
oat with stronger prejudices than Mr. M. 



JAMAICA. 77 

Lewis, having no ideas but of whips and chains, 
of cruelty and oppression, connected with 
slavery. He was struck with surprise at the 
negroes coming up to shake hands with him 
on his arrival with an air of independence, 
and he was no less gratified at seeing many 
of them as well dressed as himself. A short 
residence convinced him that his former pre- 
judices were unjust. He returned to Englaild, 
and gave Mr. Wilberforce an account of hb 
impressions. He might as well have preached 
to a dead horse, or a deaf mountebank, whose 
trade is to make faces and grimaces. Mr. 
Wilberforce treated all he said with contempt 
or indifference. Do not some of the mission- 
aries themselves disapprove of the intemperate 
conduct of their patrons? Have not your 
sanctified **♦♦♦♦*♦ directed their agents to 
send them only such accounts as will answer 
the purposes of those who appointed them ? 
Was not one of these agents reproved for 
transmitting correct statements of the negro 
condition, because they were favourable to 
the colonists ? Have they not imported here 
from Liverpool reams of inflammatory tracts, 
to poison the minds of the negroes and mu- 
lattoes ; from Liverpool, that town of iniquity. 



78 JAMAICA. 

^rliich^ though not built with negro sculls, 
yet owes its existence to that abominable 
slave-trade, which it carried on with the ra- 
pacity of furies ; and do its inhabitants now 
turn round on the planters, on those who 
bought, who paid them for their 'acknow- 
ledged Tillany,' and accuse them of injustice 
and oppression Y* 

' I was much grieved to find that I could not 
contradict the arguments of my friend the 
Radical, especially as his sentiments were 
those of the rest of his guests ; a very nume- 
rous party, who breathed the greatest hostility 
to my dear native land. Some even went so 
fiir as to threaten the deepest vengeance on 
the persons of some of the Saints, if the result 
of their intrigues should end as fatally as they 
seemed to apprehend;'* and all were sensible 
that what Mr. Mathews could do in the way 
of defence, might be done equally by every 
proprietor in the Island. 



JAMAICA. 79 



CHAPTER XIII. 



' Before daylight, my host summoned me 
to the sea-beach, where ten or twelve negroes, 
male and female, were preparing to haul the 
seine.' While they were thus employed, I 
asked the Radical how he could be so anti- 
liberal or anti-national as to have a fishing- 
net from England. He owned the net was 
English ; but pointing to some plantains, and 
then directing my attention to the rope with 
which the net was hauled, he observed that 
the materials were not wanting to have made 
the net as well as the rope. 

/An immense quantity of fish were caught, 
sufficient to fill a canoe: goggle-eyed jacks, 
yellow tails, baracootas, silver oldwives, trunk 
fish, and others with no less barbarous 
names. A few of the most delicate were se- 
lected for breakfast, which was served under 



80 JAMAICA. 

the shade of the sea-side grape tre^(cocco- 
loba UTifera) where we had the company of 
3In Mathews* family. /After this, tlie ne- 
groes came in a body and took away as 
much fish as they pleased, not less than a 
bushel a-piece, and yet left many on the 
shore. Some were hung up to dry and others 
were salted. The negroes carry them into 
the interior, and exchange them for jerked 
hog, on their own account.^ I heard Abdallah, 
who had come to see the net drawn, con- 
versing in his native tongue, or rather in a 
tongue I did not imderstand, with one of the 
negroes belonging to the Pen. On my in- 
quiring about the subject of their discourse, 
which seemed to interest them much, Ab- 
dallah told me tliey had been acquaintances 
in Houssa, where his friend lived by stealing 
horses, until he happened to be caught him- 
self, and was transported hither. 

Abbesneezer was so struck with the quan- 
tity offish caught, that he began to moralize on 
it, notwithstandmg the lesson he had so lately 
received. He talked about Jonah and the 
whale, which, he said, he lived upon for three 
days, till it made him cast him up in Spanish 
Town. I called to the coxcomb to hold 



JAMAICA. 81 

his peace ; but he replied that I would not 
believe miracles, and that he was the cause 
of so much fish being caught ; that he 
dreamt it the night before : he wanted to 
convert and baptize Abdallah and his friend, 
who threatened to fling him into the sea, that 
he might live on fish for three days. 

As soon as breakfast was over, I ordered 
itiy horses and decamped. Mr. Mathews 
cautioned me, at parting, against the sanchy^ 
as he called my valet ; adding, that however 
well he might serve me, a saint was like a 
mule, and that dead or alive he would play 
me a trick at last; however, he said, your 
Turk there, Abdallah, may perhaps neutra- 
lize the mischief of the enthusiast. 

• I rode gently on towards Black River, by a 
sandy road, with the sea on my right hand, 
having a logwood hedge to pass for three or 
four miles, which reminded me of the haw- 
thorn fences in England : on the left was a 
picturesque chain of mountains. My course 
lay through pastures adorned with numberless 
fan palms ; these are eighty, ninety, or a 
hundred feet high, the whole length being 
nearly of the same diameter, and the summit 
consists of a circular cluster of leaves, each 



82 JAltAICA. 

leaf about four feet wide, spread out like a 
fiuu The pith of this, as of most of the palms, 
is convertible into sago.^ The shafts are fit 
for sea piles, and, when split, form excellent 
gutters. 

' I saw several canary-birds, yellowish, as 
in England, which sang very sweetly; but 
while my ears were charmed, my nose was 
offended by a mighty odour from the dead 
carcass of a mule, on which a score of john- 
crows were holding an inquest ; * some were 
stationed in the trees, others were wheeling 
about, some tugging at the carcass. Abdal- 
Idih told me they were called john-crows or 
carrion-crows till lately ; but now, he said, 
they were called amen-preachers, because they 
finished everything, and eat it all up. ! Those 
in the trees had a very awful appearance, 
with bare red heads and purple gills, their 
dirty black plumage increasmg the disgust 
they excited by their greedy and stupid looks,^ 
stupid firom repletion. I could not help fan- t 

eying them into the fat, rubicund, and vora- | 

cious-looking monks I had often seen in Italy t 

and elsewhere. 

I overtook a girl on the road with a veil 
over her (ace, which I thought at first to be 



[ 



JAMAICA. 83 

lace, but found to be made of the bark of a 
tree ; it is drawn out by the hand while the 
bark is green, and has a very pretty effect. 
As this lass was on her road to Black River, 
I slackened my pace for the pleasure of con- 
versing with her. She was mounted on an 
ambling pony, and was attended by a negro 
boy on foot; her business, as I afterwards 
learnt, was to lodge a complaint against a 
white man for having threatened and even 
offered violence to her person. She informed 
me likewise of the attempted rebellion on the 
other side of the Island, and of seven or eight 
persons (slaves) being hanged at Port Maria. 
When I asked lier if she knew why they had 
rebelled, she said distinctly, that it was for 
the freedom which King George had promised 
them, and the planters withheld. She was 
herself free, and the negro boy was her slave. 
At the same time, she thought it very wicked 
and very unlike a gentleman, for the King 
George to take away people's negroes without 
paying for them. I asked her if she were not 
aware that the King only wished to please 
some of his subjects ; those that prayed very 
much, and were virtuous and holy good men, 
and were entitled to ask as a favour, or almost 



84 JAMAICA. 



a rig^t, that they should have the pleasure 
of making the slaves free ? She replied, the 
King had no business to do wrong, to rob one 
man in order to please another ; and she did 
not believe any of the white men were better I 

for always praying ; she was herself going to 
complain of one who was always pretending 
to preach God Almighty, and yet was the 
wickedest villain in all Jamaica — ^these were J 

lier words/ We entered the town together, 
where she was met by some of her friends,/ 
among whom was an old black woman, her 
mother; and I took my way to a tavern, 
kept by a brown woman. Miss Bessy 
M'Clean. 



JAMAICA. -.85 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Janaary 5-- Monday. 

I STAID all day yesterday at Black River, 
to repose after my fatigues ; for, having passed 
t>vo nights with but little sleep, I had fancied 
myself heated and feverish. 

The tavern overlooks the sea, which washes 
the foundations of the house ; and the town 
is situated on the bank of a large river, over 
which there is a wooden bridge,^ one hundred 
feet long : notwithstanding this abundance of 
water, •! felt the heat more oppressive than I 
had hitherto done ; and I found also a lack of 
society, to which I had been unused. I learn, 
the particulars of the complaint which Miss,. 
Flora Ross rhad made against the white gen- 
tleman (I speak of the lady I had overtaken 
on the road) — it was really too shocking to re- 
late ; suffice it to say, that she had some time 
ago formed ia connexion with a young gentle- 



■Jh^Uki 



86 JAMAICA. 

man, the too of tfie person against whose 
▼iolenoe she appealed, to whom this dicom- 
stanoe was not nnknowiu He was bomid 
over to keep the peace. 

' I rode along tfie sea-shore for about two 
mOes, and then b^^an to ascend the Pedro 
plains, a tract of undulating country, sloping 
towards the sea, with occasional clumps of 
rocks, which serve each as a nucleus for trees, 
and give tfie whole the air of an English park. 
A red dust driven up by the sea breeze proved 
very troublesome ; it mingles with the per- 
spiration from which one is seldom free, and 
sticks like paint; otherwise the air is both 
agreeable and salubrious. This district has 
a very volcanic appearance ; the earth sounds 
hollow like the environs ofthe Puy de Dome, 
in Auvergne ; and, like that country, has no 
water on its surface : it corresponds with it 
in many particulars. « The only water on the 
Pedro plains is obtained from tanks, made to 
preser\'e the rain ; and, to render these im- 
perforable, pieces of plantain-stalk are thrown 
into the pit as soon as dug, and pounded with 
rammers, so that the juice mixing with the 
earth renders it solid and waterproof. The 
sun s rays are excluded by reeds, laid on a 



JAMAICA. 87 

frame-work, which covers them. The juice 
of the plantain is very astringent ; and yet, so 
severe is the drought of this climate, that 
the poultry peck the stalks to quench their 
thirst. 

. The earth seemed to ring beneath the horse's 
feet as I cantered over it ; and whUe I halted 
to examine it more patiently, Abdallah.- asked 
his comrade whether Duppy did not live 
there underneath ; but Pompeius, with an air 
of disdain, replied, '' that he did not believe 
Duppy ; that Duppy was all lies; that he was 
gone to the Dtbbil, who had tied a big chain 
round about him a thousand years long, and 
cursed him into a pit, and that he must not 
come out till Jerusalem should tumble down, 
and be built up again new.'' He was going 
on at this rate, like an enraged bottle of spruce 
beer, which having blown out its cork, seems 
resolved to discharge every drop of its qpn- 
tents in froth, when his fury was arrested by 
the appearance of a lady and gentleman, 
mounted on two beautiful steeds, covered 
with nets to keep off the flies, who rode upon' 
our track at a hand gallop, and soon came up 
with us.' 

I made way to let the young lady pass 



88 JAMAICA. 

more easily, for she had hardly sufficient 
command of her spirited horse, which bounded 
and cur\*etted as it approached, and had nearly 
dislodged its fair burden from her seat. My 
eyes were fixed on her, and I should scarcely 
have noticed her companion, had he not reined 
up his steed to give her time to re-adjust 
herself. Hereupon a mutual recognition took 
place ; for I had made acquaintance with the 
cavalier at Mr. Graham's, and now learnt, on 
comparing notes, that we were bound to the 
same quarters, the house of a worthy Israelite, 
a man of very considerable possessions. 

The young lady, his niece, was' going to 
pay a visit to a female friend in Spanish Town, 
and preferred this mode of travelling, which 
in the fine climate of the Pedro plains is not 
only tolerable but agreeable, even at mid-day. 
She was dressed in a riding habit, vnth a 
large straw bonnet, and a green veil; her 
companion rode under an umbrella and an 
umbrella hat. 'One motive of their journey 
had been apprehension of disturbances in the 
Island ; many families having taken refuge in 
the towns in real dread of being murdered by 
the negroes. 

Every indi\idual seems to be confident of 



JAMAICA. 89 

his own slaves; an argument in favour of good 
treatment, or a good conscience, on the part 
of the whites ; and the fears of all are lest 
these should be seduced by the example of 
others, of runaways, of the maroons, and 
more than all by the incantations (if I may 
so call them) of the missionaries. 

Miss Neville, the female cavalier, told me 
she had been staying at a house near Savanqah 
la Mar, belonging to some friends who were 
in England, and that on the report of the in- 
surrection at Saint Mary's, several of the 
negroes on their estate had assured her and 
her sister of their fidelity and attachment, 
and promised, let what would happen, to de- 
fend them to the last breath of their existence. 
They owned that they expected a rebellion, 
which they deprecated, and laid all the blame 
on Mr. Wilforce and the brewer or beerman, 
as they call Mr. Buxton. As I rode by the 
side of my fair companion, I could see a tear 
steal down her cheek, in spite of her veil, 
while she spoke of the faithful and affectionate 
attachment of the negroes. " It is really," she 
said, '^ a dreadful calamity to be exposed to the 
fear of every horror that any set of human 
beings can be led to perpetrate in a state of 



90 JAMAICA. 

phrensy and infittuation; but the cruelest 
thing of all is, to rend the ties of gratitude and 
affection that have for ages united the hearts 
of the blacks and whites. The negroes will 
be taught, as they already begin to think, that 
we are their greatest enemies, and that the 
quakers and the methodists are their best 
friends. They will never regard us again as 
they have done, nor shall we for ages be able 
to divest ourselves of fear and suspicion. 
Who and what are they who thus intrude on 
our little share of happiness in this comer of 
the world ? Are they better, wiser, juster, or 
more generous than we are?*' -''They seem 
to be,** exclaimed the gentleman, '' egregious 
fools, or deliberate villains, either way as 
mischievous as the arch-enemy of mankind.'' ' 



JAMAICA. 91 



CHAPTER XV. 



January 6 — ^Tuesday. 

Mr two companions left me with the words 
mentioned/ in the last chapter, being more 
impatient than myself to reach Herenhausen, 
or, I should rather say, that the impatience 
belonged to the young lady's steed, which 
was so fretful that his mistress had enough to 
do to manage him, and the company of my 
cavalcade rendered him still more trouble- 
some. I continued my course at a more deli- 
berate pace; to leave them wholly unmolested, 
and had begun a little dialogue with Ebenezer 
on the subject of the rebellion, which he dis- 
avowed and disbelieved, in spite of all we had 
heard; and he was beginning to boil over, 
when our ears were saluted by the report of 
a gun, at the same moment that we saw a 
white man on horseback rush out from one of 
the clumps of trees at a little distance from 



92 JAMAICA. 

the load, and make towards us with all the 
speed of which his beast was ciqpable. A 
secood shot whistled over his hod as he ap- 
proached, and induced him to lower it to the 
level of his saddle*s ponmiel, he still sticking 
his spurs into the flanks of his weather-beaten 
hack, and shouting to us as if for succour ; 
he came <m literally at a headlong rate, re- 
gardless of his course, his horse's ricketty 
l^;s, and the rocks, amcmg which, after some 
floundering and rolling about, he and his 
beast at last parted company. 

I rode up hastily to his assistance, and 
finding him squatted behind a.rock for fear of 
mother shot, I would have gone to a house 
firom whence the firing proceeded, but Ebe- 
nezer told me it was a marshalman (a bailiff) 
who had been shot at by a Paratee brown 
man who lived there, and that he would per- 
haps shoot me, if I troubled him. The own- 
er of the house could only have intended to 
finghten the bailiff, or he might certainly have 
hit him from his intrenchment, but his pur- 
pose evidently was gained in tlie flight of the 
man of the law, for the firing was. not re- 
peated. The poor devil was horribly alarmed, 
as may be supposed, and warned me to be a 




k gatVa beMt w Im kg% v^kk it (Bd oot 
cne CO do of iCs ova fae wiD arcttitiop. 
'Haling w^^mamuted haa, aid ncainmaided 
himtoviAdnv, IndeaptDwaids the house 
inth 1 hmBnrdwr ■■ ^^ baod as a flag of 
trace, icceviiMBied by AUiIbh, far his com- 
rade nw loo anckahnHd to fiilknr me, and 
invited a px^ey. :Jrbe owner of the mansion 
appeared at the window, and denied having 
shot, except to scare the parrots out of his 
garden. He knew the bailiff had come to 
serve a writ on him, and of course (as he 
said) had shnt his doors. He had been mas- 
ter of a few n^roes, most of whom had run 
away within a fortnight, to be free, as they ex- 
pected, and he did not hesitate to say that, if 
he lost them entirely in consequence of the 
insurrection, he and twenty or thirty more ih 
similar circumstances would take refuge in 
the woods, and would make war on every 
preacher and missionary, until not one should 
remain alive in the Island. He asked me if 
I was one of tluit party; to which I made a 
disqualifying bow with the utmost expedition, 
expecting a bullet to whiz through my tho- 



94 JAUAICA. 

laz if I used the least delay in disowning 
any connexion with that pious fraterni- 
ty. He looked suspiciously on me however 
and threatened again, that in case of losing 
his property, the united vengeance of his 
friends and fellow sufferers should not rest on 
this ade the Atlantic, but that they would 
have the blood of those who dared to rob 
them of all their happiness and hopes. I 
suppose I did not repress an involuntary smile 
at the vain threat thus instigated by his pas- 
mm, for his countenance assumed a look of 
more vehemence and determination, and rais- 
ing his eyes to heaven, he spread open his 
arms for an instant, as if in the act of invoca- 
tion, and then suddenly clenching his fists 
exclaimed, ** Tell this to your country and to 
those who ruin us — ^I am a Christian, and I 
swear by your God, we will be revenged."^ 
I would have argued with him on the folly 
and wickedness of such a resolution, and have 
shown him that he misunderstood the nature 
of our religion, which ordained above all 
things the forgiveness of injuries, but he cast 
at me a look of contempt and defiance, burst ' 
into a loud insulting laugh, and shut the 
jealousies in my &ce. 



JAMAICA. 95 

-Finding it useless to remain before the 
house, I turned about to retreat, and regained 
the road to Herenhausen,"^ pondering on the 
strange resolution of this desperado. There 
is no use in imagining limits to amaniac^s 
vengeance, and ** there is nothing so strong 
but it is in danger from that which is weak*' 
(to use a phrase of Quintus Curtius.) When 
once he sheds blood, the heart of man seems ^ 
revolutionized, and the best natures often be- 
come the most ferocious. The negroes at 
Port Maria meant to murder all the whites. 

I rejoined my fellow travellers at the house 
of the Hebrew, and related the incident I had 
witnessed and the conversation I had held 
with the Paratee. They seemed to think that 
the ** meddlers in their affairs*' exposed them- 
selves to a chance of being treated in a very 
summary way by the black and coloured 
proprietors of slaves, in case of disturbance—* 
a chance only, for it was difficult to say 
what turn the fury of the mob might take ; 
however, the promoters of revolutions generally 
&11 a sacrifice to the caprice of the revolu* 
tionized. 

We dined on tough mutton to-day, for our 



■•■* --a^i^^Nnt. . 



f 



7 



96 JAMAICA. 

host, who does not keep a very grand table, 
having met my avant couriers on the road, and 
learning finom them my intention of following, 
had dispatched a negro boy back to his house, 
to order a &t lamb to be killed. The negro 
carried the message right, with the exception 
of saying ram for lamb, and consequently a 
pet monster, which Mr. Klopstock intended to 
be the fiither of future flocks, fell a victim to 
Bacchus*s blunder. The mistake was not dis- 
covered till we sat down to dinner, and the 
huge quarter of the veteran was uncovered, 
although the perfume intimated something not 
over fragrant 

I learnt from my worthy host that he had 
arrived at a fortune from carrying about 
tapes and bobbins in his youth, and had 
sent home, in one year, as much coffee as 
sold for seventy thousand pounds. He owed 
still two hundred thousand pounds, which 
he expected soon to have repaid, but from 
the unsettled state of the Island all credit 
in Great Britain is at an end, and he looks 
fiNTward with a gloomy presentiment. 

This charming climate seems admirably 
calculated for . the residence of European 



JAMAICA. 



97 



troops, on their arrival, or for a permanent 
town ; but the sea shore of Jamaica, though 
most convenient for carrying on commercial 
pursuits, is very fatal to human life. 



H 



98 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



Jannarj 11 — SuDclay. 

The climate and the agreeable society of 
this place induced me to prolong my stay 
for some days, where I found a vast resource 
in the conversation of Miss Neville, whose 
acquaintance with the habits and dispositions 
of the negroes enabled me to gain more than 
a superficial knowledge of their comforts and 
of the share of happiness which fortune has 
not denied them. - 1 have great doubts whe- 
ther the labouring people of England enjoy as 
much, even under the most favourable cir- 
cumstances: as for those of Ireland, poor 
souls ! it is almost idle to mention them, ex- 
cept to contrast their squalid misery with the 
comparatively epicurean plenty of the negro 
slave; I have fully in recollection the cabins 
of Connaugfaty^of which I will not speak ; but 
I will describe a cottage not iar from Fort 



JAMAICA. 99 

Augustus in Scotland, as I saw it in the 
year 1813. 

Imprimis/ as I entered, I beheld two cows 
in the hall or vestibule, through which it was 
necessary to pass to a door on the left hand 
which opened into the parlour, a room about 
fifteen feet long and ten wide, with two beds 
in it, under one of which a pig was routing 
among a parcel of feathers, which I have no 
doubt were a hot-bed for fleas, for I was tor- 
mented with them while I remained under 
the roof, and for some time after. There was 
a fire in the middle of the floor, which was 
the bare earth, and round it sat the family, 
an elderly man and his wife, and seven or 
eight dirty children : an iron pot, suspended 
by a chain from one of the rafters, contained 
a mess of potatoes, which the mother was 
taking out with a fork, and disposing in a 
broken earthen pan ; an old worsted stocking 
tied to the chain contained salt, which the 
woman gave from her hand to the children as 
they asked for it ; the children were covered 
with a cutaneous eruption, and stopped from 
time to time to scratch themselves. A brood of 
chickens were fluttering about the potatoes 
and almost fighting for their share, and the 



100 JAMAICA. 

pig was no less obstropolous in his demand for 
provender. The mansion was black with 
smoke, which found an exit at a hole in the 
centre of the roof and at three or four broken 
panes in the solitary window. The only 
liquor that the fiunily drank was buttermilk, 
which they mixed with the potatoes. There 
were two chairs in the room Avith broken 
backs, a stool, and a chest of drawers, worth 
perhaps five shillings. 

, I know comparisons are invidious, but the 
generous reader will pardon me for giving an 
account of a negro house and its contents, as 
I saw it a day or two ago. 

The house is about forty feet long and al- 
most eighteen wide, built of boards and co- 
vered with fan-palms, divided into five apart- 
ments, of which the principal is eighteen feet 
square. This is the hall ; the other apart- 
ments lead from it ; three serving for sleeping 
rooms, and the fourth for a sort of pantry. 
There is a door at each end of this hall throu^ 
which the smoke escapes when it is necessary 
to boil the pot ; at no other time is there oc- 
casion for fire. When I entered, I saw a 
negro woman squatting on the floor attending 
the cookery of. her husband*s dinner, which 



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JAMAICA. 101 

was simmering in an iron pot, and consistep 
of ochro and cocos/ picked crabs, and salt 
fish, with a bit of salt pork. The lady was 
peeling a few plantains to roast, and the lord 
of the mansion was inhaling the fumes of 
tobacco from a short junko pipe, as he lolled 
at his ease in his hammock, suspended from 
one of the rafters to within two feet of the 
floor. There was a substantial deal table in 
the hall, with four rush-bottom chairs and a 
wooden bench, over which hung a bunch of 
com and a machet or cutlass ; above these 
was a shelf with a range of white plates and 
a few glasses, and above these hung several 
pieces of salt fish, and a good bunch of plan? 
tains. There was a basket of yams near the 
table, as if just brought in, and on it a cocor 
nut shell with a handle, to ladle water or soup. 
Several tin pans hung from one of the beams, 
and among them a large net full of cocos. 
There was an oil-jar in one comer to hold 
water, and a hoe and bill-hdok in another, be- 
side^ a large gourd with a hole in it, which 
serves as a musical instmment, and iis called 
a drum. There was likewise a gombay, and 
a bonja, which is much like a guitar, and 
several calabashes were ranged along the 



102 JAMAICA. 

beams, containing sugar or coffee. I must not 
forget to mention three young children, fat 
and sleek as moles, that were playing about 
the house and garden, which contained plan- 
tain suckers, an alligator pear tree, mangos, 
two or three coco-nut trees, orange trees, a 
few coffee bushes, and many other fruits and 
vegetables, and a pine-apple fence separated 
it firom the adjoinmg garden. There was a 
pigstye in one comer, occupied by a sow and 
her family. This is a portrait of one of the 
inferior cottages, some of the best having 
jealousies and piazzas, with terrass floors. 
Every garden has a pigstye, and the poultry- 
loost at a little distance from the house, i 

I was very anxious to witness the ceremony 
of interring the dead ; but though a funeral 
took place during my stay at Herenhausen, I 
was told that the negroes are not fond of ad- 
mitting white people to be spectators of their 
performances on these occasions, and I did 
not attend. Their chief object is to give jthe 
deceased a handsome burial, which means an 
expensive; one and a great proportion of their 
savings is often devoted to this purpose. Mr. 
Klopstock related to me an account of a negro 
who b^;ged to be indulged in this way, and 



JAMAICA. 103 

constituted him executor, that he might be 
consoled in his dying moments with an assur- 
ance of the honours he should receive after 
death. This was the person who was buried 
during my stay at Pedro. 

The negro finding his end approaching, had 
sent to beg his master would come to visit 
him, and at the mterview which followed, de- 
livered to him a^long stocking filled with dol- 
lars and pistoreens. Mr. Klopstock's waiting 
man had previously taken the old negro's 
daughter for his wife, and had behaved so 
well to her, that her father deputed his execu- 
tor to reward him with five pounds. He then 
begged that plenty might be laid out to give 
him a ** handsome funeral," that is, to buy 
him fine clothes and provide abundance for 
the mourners to eat and drink ; and the re- 
mainder of his fortune he left to his daughter 
for herself. No people perhaps quit this mor- 
tal life with greater fortitude and resignation 
than the negroes. They will sometimes pro- 
vide their funeral clothes themselves on the 
approach of death, and they often keep their 
own coffin boards in their houses ready for 
occasion; yet they are not insensible to the 
hopes of a future existence, although, except 






104 JAMAICA. 

they be Christians, their last moments are 
never embittered with the dreadful appre- 
hensions of hell-fire. 

I did not attend the funeral of the negro 
above mentioned, as I thought my presence 
might be unwelcome, but my two lacqueys 
were of the party ; and Ebenezer, as I sus- 
pected, did not lose so excellent an opportunity 
of endeavouring to edify his brethren, and 
displaying his progress in religious know- 
ledge. He objected to the heathen ceremony 
of throwing a fowl into the grave, and said 
that the yams which they would have buried 
with the corpse had no more business there 
than a hog in the Gubna's* garden. The 
son, in the law, of the deceased, described 
the scene to me, or rather the speech made 
by Ebenezer, on the occasion, which I shall 
endeavour to relate in his own words. The 
corpse was buried by moon-light with the 
help of torches, and after the negro fashion ; 
but Ebenezer, seeing that the business was to 
end there, had called out to know if they 
would not ** read ober him, and if they were 
not going to saie his soul?** The negroes, 

* Gofenior't. 



JAMAICA. 105 

very accommodating, told him he might read 
if he would; on which he took a book from 
his pocket, and held it the wrong way up- 
ward (which did not much signify, as he does 
not know his letters) and began as follows : 

"Dea belubb'd, we gather together dis 
face congregation, because it horrible among 
all men not to take delight in hand for wan- 
tonness, lust, and appetite, like brute mule, 
dat hab no understanding. When de man 
cut down like guinea grass, he worship no 
more any body, but gib all him world's good 
to de debbil; and Garamighty tell him soul 
must come up into heab*n, where netting 
but glorio. What de use of fighting wid 
beast at Fcesus ? Rise up all and eat and 
drink, because we die yesterday, no so to- 
morrow. Who shew you mystery? Who nebba 
sleep, but twinkle him yeye till de trumpet 
peak? Who baptize you, and gib you vic- 
tory ober de debbil's flesh? Old Adam, be- 
lubb'd! — he bury when a child, and de new 
man rise up when he old. Breren, you see 
dat dam rascal Dollar; — he no Christian; he 
no Jew, no missionary, no Turk, for true. You 
see him laugh [Abdallah denied it] — when he 
go to hell he die, and nebba gnash him teeth. 



106 



JAMAICA. 



and worms can*t nyam him. Breren^ all 
Christians, white and black man, all one 
colour — Sambo and mulatto — no man bigger 
dan another, no massa, and no fum fum — 
plenty o' grog. — So, brereni Garamighty take 
de dead man, and good nightl*' 




uamry 12 — Mondajr. 



- Mr chnmicler repciuj 1 the sermon as 
gravely as it could have been delivered, and 
as welt as he could recollect such a farrago. 
The party bad listened to it in profound si- 
lence, and Bnisfaed the night in feasting and 
dancing. I bad never thought it important 
to interfere with Ebenezer's enthusiasm, hav- 
ing often seen that fenatics, at least immoral 
fanatics, like vipers and other venomous 
reptiles, carry with them their antidote as 
well as poison, and betray in thdr^march 
and demeanour the cloven foot they would 
conceal under the sanctified robe they as- 
sume. " Let him preach," said Mr. KIop- 
Btock, " so be preaches any one virtue, reli- 
gious or moral — let him preach any nonsense, 
except treason or sedition; if he talks of 
making the negroes free, I shall beg leave to 



108 JAMAICA. 

put him in the bilboes, as I have had occasion 
to serve one of his white predecessors ; as I 
urould serve the arch^patriarch W— — e, or 

black S , or St. F , the Apostle of 

the bunghole, if guilty of the same imper- 
tinence/' As if sensible of this indifference 
on the part of our host/ St. Pompey, as Mr. 
Klopstock 'called him, had given out that 
he would preach to the slaves at the negro 
houses yesterday morning, and I went in 
consequence, incognito, and took my post in 
the house of. the sen^ant who had repeated to 
me the funeral oration, where I copied down 
as he delivered it the sermon which follows. 

Most of the negroes (between two and 
three hundred) assembled to hear him, and 
arranged themselves on the ground beneath 
some coco-nut trees, in a ring, Iea\ing a 
space for him to move about, and for a stool, 
on which he first mounted, then sat down a 
little, then mounted again, and began to pray 
a heap of unintelligible matter ; in the midst 
of which he rushed into his sermon without 
text, and exclaimed — 

"Brar! — You tink say when you die, you 
dead for true? — 'So such ting — nebba see de 
day— ^lat time no mo you begin for lib— You 



JAMAICA. 109 

tink say— ^Deady come, trouble come no 
mo? — ^Ha! man, tan lilly bit, you no bin 
dead six minutes before debbil catch you, 
put you na bilbo, set twenty thousand driba 
pon you. — ^Dem no hab cattle whip, but dem 
poke you wid fire stick, tay you teet grind 
to de root. Deady no come no mo. — ^You 
hungry tay you gut twist to pieces,— dem 
no gib you plantain — ^no so lead, no ino 
hot like hell,* bum hole in you belly. — 
You tongue roast wid feeba, — dem no gib 
you water — no one drop day — ^no so boiling 
brimstone, nuttin else for drink, tay de flame 
come trough you nose. — ^You tink for run 
away ! — nebba see de day — ^you foot roast in 
red hot bilbo for twenty tousand year. De 
tear in you yeye boil like a pot, yet deady 
no come — Sleep no come, nebba for cool you 
yeye. — Brar, me sorry for you. — De sinful 
soul go ebery one straight to hell — ^you all 
sinful, you born so — you bom in sin — ^You 
tink dat no you fault? Cha! no you fader do 
it? Pickninny must pay him fader debt. — 
You must hab wif no mo — ^No so, dem roast 
yoii pickninny — Brar, me sorry for you. — 
You tink wha for Garamighty gib you black 
girl? No more for rat trap for catch you 



110 JAMAICA. 

nnfiil souL De bible say dem painted puck- 
erie—dem cheat you yeyes— <iem all rotten/* 

Here a voice cried out, ** Sneezer, you lie — 
you puckerie yourself— you good for nutten, 
wibble wabble loblolly, .** 

The fidr sex were offended at his defiuna- 
tioD, and a score of sturdy damsels, springing 
firom the ranks, began to execute vengeance 
upon him for his impcrance. They banded him 
about round the ring like a hunted slipper, 
while he as vainly attempted to defend him- 
self with his hands as with his tongue ; the 
louder he bawled, the louder the girls laughed ; 
some shouted in his face, others in his ears ; 
one pinched him, a second pulled the tails 
into which his woolly hair is plaited ; a third 
smacked him behind; a fourth twisted him 
found by the shoulders, while he was still 
handed round the ring like a planet revolving 
on its own axis, as it performs its revolution 
round the sun; or, to use a more homely 
simile, like a waltzer executing a solo round a 
ball room. Their mirth or their wrath in- 
creased with his distress, and they did not 
cease tormenting him until the breath seemed 
almost out of his body,, and they had nearly 
made him as much a Martyr as a Saint. He 



JAMAICA. Ill 

would often have fallen to the earth, but that 
they kept him up by pushing him one to the 
other, as boys by blows keep tops spinning, 
which would otherwise lie motionless. It 
ended by the preacher sprawling at Us length 
on the green grass, puffing and blowing like 
a stranded porpus, when they set him again 
on the stool, and the moment he offered to 
speak, one of the girls flung a calabash full of 
water in his face. Then they all danced 
round him, as the Caliph's beauties danced 
round the wondering Abon Hassan ; and, last 
of all, they shook hands with him and left him. 
The negro men affected to console him, 
and as he recovered his breath, I really think 
he would have resumed his sermon, but his 
audience wasted away rapidly, and he was 
left,^ as many a great orator has been served 
in England, in the honourable (or as he would 
himself pronounce it, the horrible) minority 
of one. 

Translatim of the Creole Sermon at Herenhausen. 

''Brothers! youthinkwhen you die, that you 
will be really dead. — ^No such thing— -never 
see the day — at that time you only begin to 
live. You think tbatwhen death comes, trouble 



112 JAMAICA. 

comes no more — ^Ha! man I stand a little bit — 
You will not be dead six minutes before the 
devO will catch you, put you in the bilboes, 
and set twenty thousand drivers on you. 
They have no cattle*whip, but they will poke 
you with fire stick till your teeth grind to the 
roots. Death will come no more. — ^You may 
be hungry till your entrails twist to pieces, 
they will give you no plantains — ^notliing but 
lead, and that only as hot as h — ^li, — ^it will 
bum a hole in your belly. — ^Your tongue will 
roast with fever, — ^they will give you no 
water — there is not a drop there— only boil- 
ing brimstone, nothing else to drink, till the 
flames come through your nose. You think 
to run away! — ^you will never see the day — 
your foot will roast in the red hot bilboes for 
twenty thousand years. The tear in your 
eye will boil like a pot, yet death will come 
no more — Sleep will come no more, never to 
cool your eyes. Brethren, I am sorry for 
you. The sinful souls go every one straight 
to hell — ^you are all sinful — ^you are bora 
in sin. — You think that is not your fault ? 
Pshaw! did not your father do it? Picanini 
(children) must pay their father's debts. 
You must have only one wife, or your children 



JAMAICA. 



113 



will be roasted. Brethren, I am sorry for 
you. Do you think for what G— d Al — ^y 
gives you black girls — only for traps* to 
catch your sinful souls. The Bible says they 
are painted sepulchres — ^they cheat your 
eyes — ^they are all rotten.** 



^ The negroes ba ie no idea of any tirape but rat-traps 



■••4PW^n*M!< 



114 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

January 16. 

Before I left Mr. Mathew^s Pen, he had 
proposed to me an expedition by water from 
Pedro, as far as Milk River, or Old Harbour, 
on my tour to Spanish Town, and had agreed 
to send his canoe to meet me there^ or rather 
to come with it himself; but he had been de- 
layed so long by the sea breezes, which blow 
always from the east, that I had imagined 
he repented of the proposal, and had left 
me to find my way by land, which I was 
preparing to do, when a black'charg^ d'affaires 
<arrived at Herenhausen with a summons for 
me to repair to the sea-side/ I took leave of 
the kind Israelite, and of the amiable Miss 
Neville, at tlie place of embarkation, - having 
sent my domestics with the horses and mules 
by land to wait for me at Milk River,' and 
went on board the canoe at four o'clock in the 




aflernoon of the thirteenth with my radical 
friend, duly equipped for a marine excursiwi. 
Tiic sea breeze still blew with violence, 
and we could make but little way against 
it, though we had six stout rowers; but as 
the Bun declined the wind gradually abated, 
and finally ceased altogether.* The swell of 
the sea abated with it, and before night the 
ocean became almost as tranquil as the rosy' 
sky above it, where a few flickering clouda 
of the brightest gold still journeyed onward 
toward the orb that yet illumined them, 
as he stooped beneatli the wilderness of 
waters, drawing after him a radiant train of 
glorious and dazzling light, to be his ministry 
in the new world to which he was hastening. 
The canoe was provided with an awning to 
keep off the night dews, and with mattresses, 
cooking utensils, and plenty of- provisions. 
As the wind abated, the spirits of our row'em 
increased, the little bark flew from their 
strokes, and seemed to bound over the yet 
lingering billows of the vexed Atlantic that 
flashed beneath its prow. Every wave we 
breasted sparkled in the contact, opened to us 
a furrow of fire as' we traversed it, and re- 
tained a glittering track of light that marked 



I 



116 JAMAICA. 

our course long after we had passed it. The 
erenings are really magnificent in the tro- 
pics, but, like many other beauties, they 
pass away so quickly, that one can scarce 
feel the pleasure of beholding them, before 
they have vanished from our sight. It 
seemed to me, as I watched the departure of 
the son and the rapid decrease of the twi- 
light, that the stars, instead of making their 
debut, as in more northerly reg^ns, gradually 
and in proportion to their m^nitude, rushed 
as it were ea maste into the firmament, and 
filled the canopy of heaven with a profusion 
of orbs, which those northerly regions never 
behold. -The land-wind soon began to roll 
down its perfumes from the hills, no Jess 
agreeable than its freshness; our mariners 
were relieved from their oars, the sail was 
hoisted, and we scudded merrily over the 
yet heaving deep, and passed capes and pro* 
montories, from which we stood away, until 
we could at times but just distinguish the mur< 
muring of the surge ou the distant shore^, as it 
was echoed from the impending rocks above. 
Some of these rocks, several hundred feet 
high, are called the White Horses ; why, I 
know not, as the most &nciful imagination 



JAMAICA. 117 

could not (at least in their outline) trace any 
similitude to such animals. As the moon 
rose, the distant hills seemed to recede before 
us, in spite of our rapid progress toward them, 
a phenomenon from which Mr. Mathews and 
his crew augured an increase of wind from 
the north, which would be unfavourable to 
our progress, inasmuch as it would take the 
direction of the land and blow down from ^ 
Portland Point, a-head of us, into the bay we 
were traversing. However, we kept on our 
course, enjoying the cool breeze and the fra- 
grance of the land, until we reached the bay 
at the foot of Plowden hill, called Calabash 
Bay, where we cast anchor and went to 
sleep. • 

.The increased swell of the sea awaked me 
next morning at sunrise, and made me feel so 
squeamish, that I begged to go ashore on a 
projecting headland, which formed a lee, 
that we might breakfast more at our ease. 
The sea-side grape trees afforded us a shelter 
from the sun*s rays : they were loaded with 
fruit, white and red, and of a very pleasant 
flavour. The wind continued to increase, and 
blew with so much violence, as to prevent the 
possibility of making way to windward, that 



w 



BiSMMM 



118 JAMAICA. 



is, towaid Milk River; and Mr. Mathews 
proposed that we should walk as far as Long 
Bay, over a rocky part of the coast called the 
Devil's Race, while the negroes should take 
advantage of any lull in the wind, and at any 
rate could bring the canoe round by sunset. 

We set out with one attendant, all of 
us armed with machets or cutlasses, which 
we soon found of essential service to cut our 
passage through the withes that hasten to 
occupy neglected paths, and had here bound 
together the bushes in every direction. The 
regular footpath was soon lost, and we found 
ourselves, after much hacking and hewing, 
entangled amongst liens, and encompassed 
with Turk*s-heads, a formidable species of 
cactus, through which it would have been 
impossible to have proceeded a single foot 
without the use of our weapons. - Mr. Ma- 
thews and myself were in some measure 
protected by our shoes, but Blacky*s bare 
feet would have been martyred by the innu- 
merable thorns with which these plants are 
defended. To escape the fatigue of chop- 
ping away through this phalanx, as eternal as 
the sacred band of the Thebans, we endea- 
voured to r^^ the sea-side, where, indeed. 



JAMAICA. 119 

we were relieved from these impediments, 
though only to encounter others of as serious 
a nature, for our course now lay over honey- 
comb rocks, where our progress was as much 
retarded as among the Turk*s-heads, fix)m the 
sharp points which hurt our feet, and by the 
fear of breaking our legs, to say nothing of 
falling down the precipices and breaking 
our necks : meanwhile, we could discern the^ 
canoe far before us, making tolerable way 
against wind and current, and had the com- 
fortable assurance of being utterly unable to 
rejoin it, except at the appointed rendezvous. 
^ Thus scrambling and floundering about, the 
whole day was consumed in this Devil's Race, 
as it is called, and the sun had set before we 
arrived at the beach of Long Bay, where the 
canoe already rode at anchor, outside of the 
breakers.' As she could not p^s through 
these without great danger of being ovecset, 
and as we thought there would be less sea 
and consequently less danger on the wind- 
ward side of the bay, we made signs to the 
negroes to row across it to the eastward, and 
attend us under the^ lee of the land. We con- 
|. tinned our walk, but the bay proved of greater 
1^ extent than we had reckoned it, and the night 



120 JAUAICA, 

closed in upon us when we had yet nine or 
ten miles to trarel along a ridge of sand, with 
the sea on our right, and a morass on the 
left. This sandy ridge is intersected by five 
rireri, three of which we crossed without 
mudi difficulty, not being obliged to wade 
deeper than two or three feet ; but the re* 
maining two being too deep to be forded, we 
were under the necesuty of swimming. The 
first of these was crossed with some difficulty, 
as we were obliged to carry over our clothes, 
tied into bundles, on our heads, and our 
machets in our mouths, wrapped in a hand- 
liil of grass: but a new and unexpected diffi- 
culty awaited us at the last, which is called 
Alligator River, from the monsters that in- 
habit it. As we sauntered along its banks, 
feeling for a place to launch ourselves (for it 
was too dark to see very distinctly, the sky 
being overcast), we heard the alligators, 
alarmed at our approach, plunging from the 
bank into the river; one, two, three, flounced 
into the waves before we adverted to the 
cause of this plunging. What was then to 
be done? Whither could we retreat, with 
four rivers in our rear, and the Devil's Race 
beyond them and all darkness ? The Devil's 



JAMAICA. 121 

Race is horrible by day, what must it not be 
ma dark night? The canoe had long left us, 
and was probably at Milk River; to return 
or to remain must, therefore, be useless. 
While we debated the matter with no very 
agreeable forebodings, a swarm of ten million 
musquitos began an attack on us, with such 
inveterate fury, that we were almost obliged 
to rush into the water to escape them^ 
Standing naked on the river's brink, with our 
bundles tied under our chins, these creatures 
had us completely at their mercy, and, as 
often happens on human occasions imder 
similar circumstances, entertained no idea of 
shewing us any. Slapping here, there, be- 
fore, behind, the agony became intolerable; 
I flounced into the water, as the alligators 
had done, making all the noise and splashing 
I could, to alarm and deter them, and soon 
reached the opposite shore in safety, followed 
by my companion and Cudjoe, where we 
hastily put on our clothes, and marched on to - 
a mountain we had yet to cross. • 
n Cudjoe declared he knew the path over the 

mountain, which was yet at some distance ; 
though being opposed against the sky as a 
dark mass, it appeared scarce a bow-shot 
from us; but we found we had a great extent 



■ P ^ ' > ■*i nn <— *afcl^— <i1M»< 



122 JAMAICA. 

of sand to traverse btfore we gained its base, 
and when we reached it, the path could not be 
found amid the luxuriant vegetation which 
had ov e rgro w n and effaced it. On the left 
of the hill was a morass, which Cudjoe re- 
conmiended us to try, as it would enable us 
to make a circuit to the point we desired to 
reach; but here again we met with impassa- 
ble obstacles, and were totally frustrated in 
our attempt. The morass was full of man- 
grove trees, whose young branches take root 
whenever they touch the ground, and form a 
wilderness of traps, which may be avoided 
by day-light, but in the dark it is impossible 
to see or escape. The numberless little 
arches thus formed flung us down. at every 
other step, sometimes knee-deep in mud, 
sometimes deeper; and after we had almost 
exhausted our little remaining strength, we 
became convinced we had entirely lost our 
way, and* knew not even how to regain the 
' beacli. The only favour with which Fortune 
indulged us was, that after struggling two 
hours in thb villainous swamp, we suddenly 
emerged on the sea-shore when we least ex- 
pected it, b^frimed with mud and reeking 
with persphration. 
Another chance yet remained to us, which 



^4 



JAMAICA. 123 

■ h 

was, that having regained the sea, we should ^ 
now keep it, and wade round the hill, 
whose perpendicular sides prevented us from 
climbing it: a little washing would cool and 
clean us, and though it was still cloudy, yet 
the moon afforded light enough to direct our ^ 
way. Indeed, it soon enabled us to see the 
danger that awaited us here ; for we had not 
proceeded a hundred yards before we found 
the surf raging with such violence against 
the base of the mountain, that further pro* 
gress was impossible; we should have had 
our brains dashed out against the rocks, or 
have been swept away by the waves, that 
still retained the swell they had acquired ' 
from the north-wind, and mounted as they 
broke some feet above the fragments, that 
might have been practicable in a calm. We 
returned drenched, and some\yhat bruised, 
and almost in despair. 

I sat down below the face of the precipice 
to repose, and finding that I reclined on some 
detached pieces which had fallen from above^ 
I thought they might have left in their de- 
scent an opening or a fissure, up. which it 
might be possible to climb; there were, in 
fSeu^t, several such fissures or furrows, ^caused 



;/ 



124 JAMAICA. 

apparently by the rains which occasionally 
trickled over the suHace of the rock, though 
it was now dry, and af^r half an hour's 
respite, Cudjoe led the way by jamming his 
knees and elbows in a cleft to join the path- 
way, which, as he sud, ought to be about 
twenty feet above us. He succeeded, and I 
followed him; but Mr. Mathews, thinking he 
could attun the same point more easily, bad 
climbed a iallen tree which leaned against 
the precipice, that he might thence work his 
way to the summit we had gained. In doing 
this, he got to a spot whence he could neither 
proceed nor retreat, and remained clinging to 
the side of the mountain like a bat extended 
against a wall. His situation was very awk- 
ward and perilous. I feared lest he should 
lose his grasp and fall backwards down the 
precipice ; but Cudjoe slid down the fissure 
by which we had ascended, and contrived to 
jam a broken oar he had picked up on the 
beach into a hole underneath his master, 
on which he mounted, and enabled him to 
descend by resting his feet on the negro's 
head, who thus lowered himself gradually to 
his old station, and placed his master at 
least in saHety and himself also. The pre- 



JAMAICA. 125 



cipioe was still to be climbed by my 
and a very arduous task it proved to be to 
him and poor Cudjoe ; though, when once re* 
mounted) he soon found the important path, 
along which we travelled with recruited 
spirits and renovated hope. The maze was 
yet very difficult to thread, and we only made 
sure of our route by the sensibility of Cud- 
joe's naked feet, an advantage we lost by^ 
wearing shoes. He was never long at a 
stand still, and conducted us at last to an 
open space where (there were three negro 
houses, at one of which we bought a yam, 
and borrowed a pot to boil it for our dinner 
and supper, having eaten nothing since seven 
o'clock in the morning.* Mr. Mathews fell 
asleep while the food was preparing, in spite 
of a few thousand musquitos, to whose hun- 
gry attacks he was quite indifferent, as they 
could now only make war on his bronzed 
face. They settled by dozens on his lips (as '* 
the bees are said to have done on Plato^s) 
not to collect honey I should fear. Cudjoe 
snored by his master's side (sleep, like death, 
makes all persons equal, and levels all dis- 
tinctions) while I sat by the fire, dried my. 
ragged clothes, and brushed the musquitos. 



126 JAMAICA. 

sometimes from my own face, sometimes 
from my friend's. The night was far spent, 
and day-light found us as I have described, 
except that I was detected in the act of 
sketching my companion and his valet in this 
paradise of caricature. Mr. Mathews jumped 
up and hastened to the sea-side, where we 
descried the canoe at anchor about sixty 
yards beyond the breakers, which prevented 
her nearer approach, and put us to the ne- 
cessity of tying the bundles once more under 
our chins, as a preparative to our morning 
bath. ' We reached the canoe, wrapped our- 
selves up in blankets, and fell into a sweet 
refreshing sleep for a couple of hours, ^hen 
we dressed and breakfasted ; and then steered ] 

for the mouth of Milk River and the caravan- 
sera on its banks. - 






\ 



• 



.1 



1 

* 



JAMAICA. 127 



"■^. 






CHAPTER XIX. 

January 21. 

Before the evening of the day on which 
we arrived at this place (Milk River), I felt 
my knees ache, and then all my bones; and, 
yawning and shivering, I prepared for a fit of 
fever. My friend had calculated rightly, 
that my constitution, as yet unfit to endure 
exposure in the tropics, would shrink from 
such a series of hardships as we had been 
obliged to undergo in our perilous walk 
through bogs and swamps. Yet he had 
meant to relieve me from the fatigue of riding 
so long a journey; and, but for the foul wind, 
the marine excursion would have been highly 
agreeable: however, henceforth, let me fol- 
low Cato*s advice, and stick to terra firma; 
though, had we stuck to the ocean, we had 
done well: our own inconstancy was our 
bane. 



s 



128 JAMAICA. 

%In spite of every precaution, I had a very 
violent fever for five days; and am yet unfit 
to travel. My comrade, however, thinking 
me now safe and convalescent, has gone on 
to Kingston with his canoe, intending to meet 
me at Spanish Town, and he has left me in 
the care of a pretty girl I Start not, kind, 
scrupulous reader, my nurse is the beautiful 
Diana, sixteen years of age — ^youth, beauty, 
and all the et csterasi and I am (if you wish 
to know my age) just twenty years older 
than she is ; so that I have neither youth nor 
beauty, nor any of the et caeteras that can 
engage the attention of so young a damsel. 
To what then do I attribute the services she 
has rendered me? Patience! and read. 
Diana is the daughter of a wealthy planter, 
who resides now near Port Antonio, in this 
island, to which place he emigrated from the 
more civilized plains of Westmoreland, at the 
invitation of Fortune, who was obliging 
enough to offer him a wife with an estate at 
her back. This gentleman, not deviating 
from the practice of his ancestry, became the 
fitther of Diana when he was a poor bach- 
elor at . Her mother was a slave, and 

the child of course the property of that 



JAMAICA. 129 

slave's master, who had brought her up with 
as much care as is usually bestowed in Ja^ 
maica on such illegitimate children as are 
treated with the greatest tenderness. She 
had learned to read and write, to play a little 
on the piano-forte, and she could speak a few 
words of French. The Creole women excel 
in needle-work, and Diana could even em* 
broider. Till fourteen years of age she had ^ 

lived in the family of Mr. S ^ where I first 

saw her, unnoticed by her father, who was too 
circumspect in his attentions to his wife to 
bring this spurious infant under his roof, 
where she might have been a source of db* 
comfort; but, at the age of fourteen years, 
she was invited to pay him a visit in con- 
sequence of his wife's death ; for the father, 
desirous of acknowledging, emancipating and 
providing for his child, had paid -Mr. S — - 
the price of her freedom, and had sent*for 
her to come and sojourn with him in his 
widowhood. Diana has in fact spent the last 
two years with her father, who is so fond of 
her, that he now wishes she should go to school 
in England for further education, and as a 
preparatory measure, to please his young fa- 
vorite, has offered to purchase the freedom 

K 



130 JAMAICA. 

of her mother; but to this plan Mr. S is 

unwilling to accede, and the mother herself 
declines it. She says, that she has been 
happy all her life with her present master, 
and that she wishes for no change; that he is 
a good man, and though Diana's father may 
also be a good man, she has no friend, con- 
nexions, or even acquaintance in Portland, 
and she never could be happy there. Mr. 
S objects to making her free, on a princi- 
ple of humanity : she was bom on the estate, 
and he regards her as one of his family. She 
suffers no restraint, is mistress of all her 
actions, and is sure to be provided for in her 
old age; nevertheless, he offers to make her 
free, if she desires it. Wlien I saw Diana, she 
had returned from Portland to visit her mo- 
ther, who was not anxious that her daughter 
should go to England at her time of life : had 
she been only six instead of sixteen, the 
poor woman would have been contented to 
part with her, ''but for a woman to turn 
child again," as she expressed herself, ''it 
was impossible." The plan appears to be 
given up, and Diana, having passed two or 
three months with one parent, is on her road 
back to the other. She is attended by a 



JAMAICA. 131 

black boy and an old woman belonging to 
her father, and rides as gay a palfrey as any 
lady of romance. But how came she to be 
my nurse? For this I am indebted solely to 
her kind heart. She has owned to me, that 
hearing of my sickness from some one of 
Ebenezer*s acquaintance, she had come back 
from Spanish Town, two days journey, *' be* 
cause she knew I was a stranger, and that t 
had nobody to take care of me, and she 
thought that she might help to make me well 
and keep up my spirits ;" in which last respect 
she cannot, she could not fail ; and I am, I 
believe, in a fair way of recovery. 

This affair really has so much of romance 
about it, that I can sometimes hardly con^ 
vince myself of its reality. Such a pilgrims- 
age on the part of a young maiden, to re- 
lieve a invalid gentleman of thirty-six, would 
be treated as madness, or extreme improprfety, 
among the most Christian circles in London 
or Edinburgh, and yet it is strictly Christian; 
nay, when I see this amiable creature en- 
deavouring to anticipate my least wishes, and 
devoting herself so gratuitously to my service, 
I can only look on her as an angel from 
heaven ; and as such, in many a moment of 



i; 



132 JAMAICA. 



gratitude,. I really believe I could 
worship her, if I thought my adoration would 
convey any gratification to her innocent mind. 
But this I dare say is all vanity, and Diana, 
I am sure, would have been no less kind to 
me if I had been sixty-three, instead of thirty- 
six years old. I have had many opportunities 
of inquiring into the state of her religious 
impressions, and, from her answers, I sus- 
pect her father is one of those called Uni- 
tarians, or Anti-Trinitarians. She says, he 
has taught her to believe in one God only, 
(not in three) to thank that God for the bless- 
ings she enjoys, and to do good to every 

body. The sermons of Mr. , she says, 

are all about faith and salvation, and being 
damned if she does not believe that the devil 
has more power over her than God Almighty — 
or if she expects to go to heaven for doing 
good. He tells her that it is wrong to do 
good from the impulses of her heart (I sup- 
pose he meant, wrong to pride herself on do- 
ing good), that her heart is all deceit, and all 
she says, thinks, or does, must be done en- 
tirely for the love of Christ, without any re- 
gard to the approbation of her poor heart; 
and he will not let her reason or argue about 



JAMAICA. 133 

this faith, but tells her, if she doubts, she is 
damned. All this, she says, has vexed her 
much, and troubled her mind often ; for Mr. 

S , in former times, was like other people, 

and never talked about the devil, except when 
he was in a passion. However, she says she 
means to be guided by her father, and do all 
he desires ; although, when she told this her 

determination to Mr. S , he assured her, if 

she persisted in it, she would be damned to 
all eternity, without hope of redemption. So 
much for Diana's notions. I have done with 
the subject, I hope for ever, as far as concerns 
her. 



V 

i ■ 

I 

* ■ 



134 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XX. 

Januaiy 26 — Monday. 

This is a superb country for physicians; a 
customary fee is a doubloon (5/. 6^. 8^. cur- 
rency), and the inhabitants are all sick in 
their turn, for there are very few who escape 
a seasoning; and a great proportion die, or, 
to use the metaphor of my iEsculapius, '' go 
the grand tour." A physician is certainly 
interested in saving your life, for there is no 
trifling here : Nature hurries to a crisis, and 
many a patient is in a state of dissolution 
before death. Yet there are many salubrious 
districts in the island, where the air is cool 
and dry, at certain elevations above the sea ; 
but the auri sacra fames keeps the chief part 
of the population in the swamps or savannahs, 
dose to a barguadier, whence they can ship 
all that the earth yields them here to gratify 
the luxurious of the old world. Sugar, in- 



JAMAICA. 135 

deed, become now almost an article of 

food, ai ten if the supply were to fail in 
the colffi , I imagine the East Indies, after 
the lapae ' a ' I the outlay o£ a 

large ca foi lachinery, could 

furnish it is t some price or 

other: it ti dly, take some 

time to extend >f the cane suf- 

ficiently» to fun >rt equal to that 

from the West Indies, nor co ild it be possible 
to attain the object, if the present system of 
manu&cturing the sugar in Bengal should 
be continued with machinery and utensils 
of the rudest and most barbarous descriptioa. 
But the sugar that comes from the East In- 
dies is of a very inferior description : some 
of it is of a very good colour, and pleasing 
to the eye, but very weak; and, perhaps, 
one pound of good Jamaica sugv will go as 
far as one pound and a half of East India. 
Many kind-hearted old women in England 
sweeten their puddings and tea with East 
India sugar, at any price, in preference to 
West India, thinking that the former is pro- 
duced entirely by the labour of freemen: 
this delusion, and a greater one never existed, 
has been very widely diffused by the dis- 



■*nn.r -, 



136 JAMAICA. 

ingenuous statements of an ambitious faction, 
aided by a few mistaken zealots. Forif from 
the concunent testimony of Dow, Buchanan, 
Mill, and other eminent writers, the tillers 
of the ground, and indeed the great majority 
of the labouring classes in Hindostan, are 
kept not only in a state of slavery, but in 
slavery of the most abject, the most appalling 
nature, infinitely worse than the state of our 
West India slaves. ' 

But the cultivation of sugar seems to be 
the most unhealthy of all the agricultural 
pursuits in Jamaica, being confined in a great 
measure to the worst climate. 

If there were towns in the interior, at an 
elevation of two to three thousand feet, with 
some of the elegancies of life to improve so- 
ciety, and render it agreeable to persons of 
taste and literature, Jamaica might really be 
a paradise, and Europeans would have no- 
thing more to apprehend from sickness than in 
their native countries, periiaps not so much. 
Am it is, the case is very different, and most 
of the planters consider the country which 
gives them, or rather gave them (for they get 
but little now) their comforts and their con- 
sequence in Great Britain, as a sort of infernal 




JAilAlCA. 



T^on, a purgatory, through which they 
most occasionally toil to enjoy the Elysian 
fields of Scotland or 5Iary-le-bone. Sir. 
Mathews, who ' ' '^ lerfect confidence 
to the separation lonies, proposes, 

and means to pr House of Assem- 

bly, that a fa L be constructed 

through the centre ui t md, from east to 

west, and a second ou l the mountains,' 
from north to south. He is for having a 
town in the Santa Cruz mountains, and canals, 
in all directions, through the interior. Seven 
hundred and fifty men, stationed half a mile 
from each other, would enable the inhabitants 
to keep up a most rapid communication in 
the event of insurrection. The disappearance 
of a sentry would be a signal of alarm. To 
these he will add telegraphs. He diverted me 
much with his tirades on all these subjects, 
while we were in the canoe, and he was even 
arguing about the seven hundred and fifty 
sentries, when we were crossing the rivers, 
and floundering in die swamps. Alas! my 
heart beat for this second Alfred, when he 
clung like a bat to the face of the rock, and 
dismounted on the thick skull of poor Cudjoe. 
A false step would have been fatal to the 



.=J. 



fcW I * fai 



138 JAMAICA* 

guardian genius of the island, and conse- 
quently to the island itself; but fate pre- 
8er?ed him, no doubt, for most important 
purposes. My doctor, who is a Creole, re- 
gularly educated in England, is almost as 
much an enthusiast as Mr. Mathews, but he 
does not look to independence: his views are 
terminated by sending members to the con- 
gress of the United States. '^ Fifteen sail of 
the line, sir,** he says, ** fifteen line of battle 
ships have the Americans built — Your holy 
men mean to emancipate the negroes — but 
shall not the n^^roes emancipate the whites ? 
Are these to be the slaves of Great Britain? 
No, sir : if the matter rested with me, I would 
say to the negroes, ' Be free, but you must 
have laws of some sort. Do not make such 
a bungling job as your friends in St. Do- 
mingo. There is land enough for us all — 
take what you want — ^we shall be relieved 
finom all debts— you from the consequences of 
tiiem ; we all work now for the merchants, 
the aristocrats, for the taxes, and for the 
fundholders of England; for the Jew stock- 
jobbers, and for all their pensioners. But 
you shall make us free, and do away all 
supremacy ; we shall want neither governors 



JAMAICA. 139 

nor excisemen from England ; we shall have 
a free trade with all the world. If the Eng- 
lish invade us, we will invite them to settle 
among us : if they will hot, thank God there 
is yet in the country rum enough to cure us 
of invaders. The emancipation pays off all 
mortgages in the same way as the national 
debt will eventually be disposed of; for what 
is the land without labourers? and I think^y 
my friends, we have made sugar enough for 
John Bull. You may still accept the bishops, 
if you like, whom the wise men of the East 
intend for us : they are to be provided for by 
the religious and charitable, and of course 
will cost us nothing, and they will have no« 
thing to do with our constitution.' " ** Doctor, 
doctor! this," cried I, 'Ms all treason and 
rebellion — cure your patient, and leave the 
parent country to take care of h^r child.** 

But the tight little doctor began to dispute 
about administration, and Quakers to boot. 
He would not stop his tongue, so I stopped 
my ears, and fell asleep over the murmur of 
his anathemas. 



» > 



140 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XXL 



Writing fatigues me to death, and I can* 
not read for more than half an hour together 
without being exhausted. I have tried the 
conversation of Ebenezer by way of a diverti- 
mento. The very idea filled him with so 
much consequence, and he looked so horridly 
puritanical, as he began to moralize, that, not 
to hurt his feelings, I was obliged to invite 
him to delay. Diana repeats tales like ano- 
ther Scheherazade, only that (as she main- 
tains) they are all true, genuine creolian 
anecdotes. Here follows one that would 
serve for the two Percies, with the word '' Su- 
perstition** to characterize the volume they 
would dignify. The doctor has transcribed 
it finom the dictation of the Quadroon damsel. 




JAMAICA. 141 

"Cato and Plato. 

'' Cato was a runaway from the estate of 
Mr. Brissett, in Hanover, whence he had ab- 
sented himself for several years beyond the 
time allowed by law, and had become liable 
to the penalty of transportation : in addition 
to this delinquency, he had rendered himself 
the terror of the country he frequented, by 
robberies, either secret and desperate, or as ^ 
violent as daring. Moreover, the negroes 
imagined he possessed some magic superiority 
by means of obeah, which protected him 
from wounds, and so prepared him against 
surprise, that he could never be taken prisoner, 
except, indeed, it were by a white man. 

" This circumstance, in which he believed 
most religiously himself, operated with his 
talents and his Courage to form his safeguard - 
for a number of years, during which his suc- 
cess had rendered him so obnoxious, that it 
^was at length found indispensable to rid the 
country of his exactions and outrages, by 
some more efficient exertions for his capture 
Ithan any hitherto employed. 

** To seize him by numbers was impossible, 
on account of the intelligence he was clever 
enough to obtain from his friends on various 



mmtam 



142 JAMAICA. 

estates ; some few governed by affection for \ 

him, the rest by fear of his obeah, or of his 
▼engeance ; and no one for a while could be 
found hardy enough to attack him singly. 
The white people disdained to undertake the 
adventure. 

'^ At length a negro man, a slave, seduced 
with a promise of liberty, was found willing 
to make the attempt. His name vras Plato. 
He possessed great strength and courage, and 
was intimately acquainted with the haunts of 
the outlaw ; circumstances much in his favour, 
had they not been neutralized in a manner by 
the apprehension of his obeah ; to overcome 
which it was necessary to find some counter 
charm, or an equivalent obeah. This the 
ingenuity of his white master easily communi- 
cated to him by Christian baptism. 

^' Fortified thus with the hope of freedom 
and the encouragement of his master, Plato at 
length sallied fortlx by moonlight to encounter 
his enemy, whom he expected to find in his 
recesses on that account, as wicked deeds 
shun the light In spite of his better reason, 
his apprehensions were sometimes near gain- 
ing the mastery of his resolution, and as he 
walked in silence through the woods, casting 



i< 



JAMAICA. 143 

a fearful glance at every opening among the 
trees, and gazing witli a fancy of awe, if not 
of horror, down the deep dingles whose ridges 
he traversed, he could not repress a sort of 
foreboding, that, hurled into one of these 
abysses, he might perhaps pay with his life 
for his rashness, and become food for the vul- 
tures before noon. Nay, he thought some- 
times, that the gift of freedom might become ^ 
neither more nor less than the sleep of death ; 
and as he imaged to himself the man he had 
to contend with, he recalled to mind the days 
of his youth, when he had formerly measured 
his strength with the stripling now grown mto 
the bold and powerful ruffian. Full of these 
reflections, uninterrupted except by the croak- 
ing of toads, he approached, with stealthy 
pace, the cave wherein he knew that Cato 
frequently reposed. The mouth.of it was in 
a great measure concealed by bushes, through 
which the dull red gleam of some dying em- 
t bers betrayed that the object of his pursuit 

I had been lately its tenant, if he were not now 

within. He pushed the bushes gently aside, 
and looking through the gloom as far as his 
vision could penetrate, called, in a voice of 
mingled doubt and authority, whose tone was 
yet softened by the recollection of ancient 



144 JAMAICA. 

friendship— ^ Cato !*— The sound had scarce 
escaped his lips before a voice replied, ' Who 
asks for Cato?' and at the instant a figure 
started up from the ground behind the em- 
hers, which shed their sombre glow on his 
Herculean frame, and gave him the air and 
colour of a demon ascending fix)m the fiery 
gulph. — 'Cato!' said the other, ^I come to 
take you/ 

'^Cato. Are you many? Do you come to 
catch me in my cave, to take me sleeping, or 
do you give me loyal battle in the open 
space? 

'' Plato. I come as one to one. Come 
forth and try your strength. 

"Cato. Do you swear by your mother 
that you have no help at hand ? 

'' Plato. Curse on my mother and on me, 
if I do not tell you true. 

'* C ATO. Plato, I come — ^where death threat- 
ens, you dare not lie. 

'' With these words the robber came forth,; 
pushing aside the bushes, as the other retired 
a little to give him free egress. The moon 
was at the full, and shed such a flood of light, 
that day could have added little advantage to 
it for their purpose ; (but before they proceeded 
to action, Cato, holding up the amulet sus- 



JAMAICA. . 145 

pended from his neck (a bs^ contsdning among 
other things bones, teeth, and hair) cried 
aloud, ' While I wear this, Plato, no one can 
take me.' 'And I,' returned the other, 'have 
also an ahpetti, a charm, a better charm—- 
I wear the white man's spell/ ' 

'' Plato had unsheathed his cutlass as he 
approached the cave, and his antagonist, 
brandishing his naked weapon, put himself in 
a posture of defence, as he defied (at least in 
words) the white man's charm. ' They fought 
for some time with more caution than fury, 
the robber intent on disabling his adversary, 
rather than on his death ; while Plato, fearAil 
of losing any advantage from such a circum- 
stance, sought only an occasion to inflict one 
blow, being determined that that one should 
be decisive. As they fought with matchets, 
or cutlasses, whose point a negro seldom 
thinks of employing, their attack and defence 
formed an interchange of cuts, rather than 
thrusts, easier to parry and not so fatal in 
their consequence. Nevertheless, they had 
not long maintained the contest, before Plato 
was roused into greater passion by a blow he 
received on his left side, which clattered on 
his ribs, and had almost struck him off his 

L 



146 JAMAICA. 

balance. He repaid it however on the head 
of the robber, where, indeed, his efforts were 
mostly directed, and the pain of the wound, 
with the stream of blood flowing down his 
&ce, together with the maddening apprehen- 
sion of his being mortally wounded, rendered 
him furious as the lion of his native soil. He 
rushed headlong on his opponent, and rained 
down on him such a shower of blows, without 
care or discrimination, that his strength be- 
came exhausted before one of the many 
wounds he inflicted seemed to make any im- 
pression on him who • wore the white man's 
spell. He was indeed roused into the extacy 
of rage and madness by the manner in which 
he was handled, yet, confident still in his 
charm, he watched an opportunity for the 
death blow with a patience and perseverance 
at last fatal to his antagonist, ^^ato, ex- 
hausted and out of breath, dabbled in blood, 
and foaming with indignation and revenge, 
having failed in an effort to close, hacking at 
random, and staggering on the rock made 
slippery with his blood, received on his neck 
a blow designed for his decapitation, which 
cut in two the thong by which his amulet 
was suspended, and brought him to the 



JAMAICA. 147 

ground. Still he was not dead. The con- 
queror, almost as exhausted, threw himself on 
the bleeding carcass, and had just time to 
bind the hands of the ruffian behind him with 
the severed thong of his ahpetti, before he 
himself fainted from loss of blood, and lay 
inanimate by his side. It was some time be- 
fore he recovered from his trance, and the sun 
had illumined the moimtsuns,^ and cast the 
long shadow of the cotton tree over the plams 
beneath them, before he had regained suffi- 
cient strength to raise himself from the earth- 
Still, finding himself too weak to change* 
his resting-place, «' he leaned against a frag- 
ment of rock for support, and taking his 
conch-shell from the cutacoo which lay beside 
him, blew a faint yet sufficiently audible note, 
which announced to his friends below the 
victory he had gained. The soimd xe-echoed 
among the rocks and gullies, and soon brought 
to his assistance some persons of his own 
family, among them his son and brother, pre- 
ceded by his dog, the faithful associate of 
his hunting expeditions. These quickly bound 
up his wounds, as well as those of Cato, who 
still lived, and assisted both down to the 
nearest habitation, where the one was recdved 



148 



JAMAICA. 



vnih shouts and acclamations, and the other 
omfined in the hospital preparatory to his 
trial/ 

''Thb took place a few days afterwards, 
date was condemned to death, and prepara- 
tion made for putting the sentence immediately 
into execution. He was carried in a cart to 
the scaffold, and assisted to moimt it ; from 
whence, looking round with an undaunted 
countenance, and espying Plato in the crowd, 
he b^;ged to be permitted to speak to him. 
This permission being granted, and Plato 
drawing near to the gallows, the victim thus 
addressed his conqueror: — 'By my death, 
Plato, you have gained your freedom : a little 
while you shall enjoy it. Before the moon 
which shone on our matchets in that night of 
our battle shall rise again as big as it then 
was, and hide the stars, we shall meet where 
the white man's ahpetti shall be no more 
worth than mine ; and where the Great Mas- 
ter shall say who is the better man. Remem- 
ber f— So Cato died. 

'' The moon waned and grew again, and as 
the day approached for the completion of Ga- 
tors prophecy, so Plato s spirits and confidence 
dedmed. Perhaps the prediction itself had 




JAMAICA. 149 

inspired that terror which often seems to 
be its own agent on similar occasions ; per- 
haps it was partly owing to the regrets of 
former intimacy and friendship ; possibly to his 
wounds ; but Plato felt that he was dying, 
and said from time to time that he saw Cato 
beckoning him to follow him he knew not 
where. He sat upright in his hut on his trash 
mattrass on the night of the full moon, and 
watched its rising above the mountains, until 
its rays streamed through the lattice of his 
casement. His mind as well as his body were 
convulsed at the sight; — he fancied himself- 
again struggling with Cato, fighting, bleeding, 
f^nting ; his imagination hurried him to the 
place of execution ; he heard again the awful 
prediction, the last word of his victim ; he 
shrieked in a transport of horror, 'Cato, I 
remember I' — and expired." ' 



150 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



Milk River is so called from the colour 
of its water, which assumes a whitish hue 
during the floods, from passing through a stra- 
tum of marl. A salt spring flows into it from 
the foot of a mountain, which is warm and 
recommended for rheumatism and cholic. 
There were three or four iniralids here, with 
whom I became acquainted through the means 
of my little doctor ;-— one of them, a rheumatic 
Jew named Peter Nunnez, shewed me great 
attention, either from a natural good disposi- 
tion, or because I had been the guest of his 
friend Mr. Klopstock. The second was a 
Spanish catholic, Guzman Henriquez; and 
among the rest was a Moravian missionary, 
rather ar strait-laced gentleman, who resided 
in the same house with me. I know not if I 
should have been acquainted with him but for 



JAMAICA. 151 

his taking a fancy to the soul of the pretty 
Diana, whom he addressed on religious sub- 
jects more than once, almost at last to perse- 
cution ; so that she invited him into my apart- 
ment, that tie might plead his cause at least 
before a witness. He was first presented to 
me as I lay on my bed in a very enfeebled 
state, and offered me any consolation in his 
power, physical or spiritual. He would fain 
have prepared me for another world, and I 
begged him to proceed and say anything that he 
pleased, or that he thought would please me or 
my pretty nurse, Diana, who had (I told him) the 
most Christian heart I had met within Jamaica. 
He waved a sort of assent, and blushed a little 
I thought, and, seating himself, began to con- 
verse about heaven and immortality with great 
feeling and considerable fervour. It was ra- 
ther a damper when I told him at every pause, 
** that he was right, — ^that I had long thought 
so, — ^that nothing could be more reasonable, 
— or that I was of his opinion.** There was 
nothing to argue about on religious affairs, and 
he never mentioned a syllable about hell, 
which, to do him j ustice, was very polite to a 
person under my circumstances, just out of a 
red hot fever* He wa.$ a tall handsome Ger- 



^152 JAMAICA. 

man, named Reiterhoffer, and spoke English 
delightfully. The Jew and the Catholic both 
fell in love with Diana, and made her very 
liberal offers of protection ; but she assured 
them she was as rich as she desired to be, and 
declined their generous courtesy. I should 
not mention such particulars, but that they 
help to shew the state of society in Jamaica, 
where morality is rather relaxed, though, as 
the Doctor says, '' not so much as in England 
and France." " Not so much," says he, '* for 
nothing in genteel life here can compare with 
the eternal crim. cons., suits for seduction, 
breaches of marriage or promise of marriage, 
that every newspaper presents in England ; — 
nor are there houses of ill fame, as there are 
there, by dozens, aye hundreds, in London 
and every considerable town. Walk through 
Bond street after dark, the Strand, — ^visit the 
theatres, — ^leam the mysteries of the Opera 
House and the conventicles; — ^what scenes 
of depravity and misery ! Yet theseare Chris- 
tians I educated Christians I persons, as Lord 
Foppington says, * of a nice morality, — stap 
my vitals I* Certes, there is nothing like all 
this in Jamaica, any more than in Turkey, — 
yet we have no bbhops. As for the morality 



JAMAICA. 153 

of Paris, it is much like that of London, with 
less hypocrisy among certain ranks, and there 
the police keeps order." 

If our catholic Henriquez gets into an ar- 
gument, he is the least tolerant of the party, 
though he never seeks an occasion for dispu- 
tation. When the Moravian asked him this 
morning to give him a sincere answer to this 
question — " Do you think us all damned, for ^ 
we all differ from you in our faith ?" he replied 
by telling Mr. Reiterhoffer that it was a fool- 
ish question ; but the Moravian persisting, he 
waxed warm, and said that *' such an end was 
■inevitable." The missionary looked blanks 
and the Jew burst into a fit of laughter; after 
which he went to billiards with the catholic 
in perfect charily, and won two doubloons of 
him. The Moravian is more liberal ; he al- 
lows all Christians a share of immortal hap- 
piness, though I know not how he feels lyith 
respect to the Israelite. 

I sat in the piazza towards evening, watch- 
ing the white sails of a felucca, that now 
glowed in the rays of the setting sun, now 
glanced into the long shadows cast from the 
clouds that hovered on the horizon ; I saw her 
mount sometimes on the wandering biUow>> 



\ 



154 



JAMAICA. 



then stoop into the hollows of the waves, to 
mountagain, like the fortune of man, — ^the poor 
perishable creature that smiles and weeps, 
exults in prosperity and rises out of misfortune 
to plunge again into troubles, crimes, and 
follies. How gallantly, thought I, she bears 
her course — but there was no danger — still 
one cannot look unmoved on the efforts of a 
little bark like this, which seems at the mercy 
of the waves and yet rides in triumph over 
their treacherous surface — ^nay, makes those 
very waves her road to wealth if not to honour; 
and as for treachery, what have the elements 
to answer for, compared with the two-legged 
beings that navigate that bark ? How easily 
the mmd is misled by accident, persuasion, 
enthusiasm ; by any little occurrence, or any 
combination of circumstances that awaken 
the feelings to some unhacknied sensation I 
*' That felucca is a pirate,** said Diana, looking 
into the piazza. ''A pirate I" exclaimed the 
Jew : — ^the chess-board was renounced for the 
spy-glass. The Spaniard flew to the sea- 
shore. ''She is standing to intercept that 
merchant-ship as she goes to the westward : 
and seel she is firing musquetry, but not at 



and they are 
Shot after shot ;- 
sy, merciless ras 
of reach, for the 
and the man n 
looked through 
monologue. "Sj^ 




the mei lant-ressel ;— no — she fires into the 
sea. I think I can discern a man's head in 
the water ; he is swimming towards the beach. 



' trying to sink him. 
It bit him — clum- 
lust soon be out 
ips on her course, 
i." — Nunnez still 
s he uttered this, 
perhaps English 



pirates — thorough-bred Christians no doubt : 
— the fellow must hare Jumped overboard, 
taking advantage of the chase — some poor 
mortal who had no stomach for being shot or 
hanged, but he'll be drowned ; — no — he is 
safe; there are three negroes swimming 
through the surf to bis assistance — they have 
him in the nick of time, and here they come 
ashore with him." The felucca ^ve the rene- 
gade and three negroes a farewell volley .with- 
out any effect, for she was out of musquet 
shot, steering for the merchant-vessel, who, 
discovering her enemy, had hauled her wind 
and stood to south-east ( the wind then blowing 
fresh from the east. Whether she was cap- 
tured or not, we have not heard. 



- — •- -J-lu ... 



156 JAMAICA. 

In a quarter of an hour, Mr. Henriquez 
(Don Guzman) came up to the house with 
the poor mortal who had escaped from the 
pirate. He proved to be an Irishman, about 
thirty-six years of age, and, as the Jew con- 
jectured, had jumped overboard to escape 
from a situation, which, he ssud, was worse 
than death. He hoped to have slipped off 
unobserved in the confusion of the pursuit, 
but his lynx-eyed Captain missed him in a 
few minutes, though not soon enough to make 
8ure of him. He had been but two days on 
board of the felucca, which took him on Mo- 
rant Keys, out of an open boat in which he 
with three others had made his escape from 
an American schooner which foundered at sea. 
He did not know the name of the pirate or 
its master ; but he said they were short of 
hands on board, and had stationed him at a 
gun, with an intimation that he must kill or 
be killed. But Pat had no stomach for fight- 
ing in such a cause, where a halter might end 
his career in case of defeat ; and thinking he 
could reach the land by swimming, he seized 
the first opportunity to go overboard. He 
said there were men of all coimtries in the 



157 



vessel, black, brown, and white,— but such a 
set of villains ! — 'There was a priest too, who 
wanted to confess him, but he could not speak 
a word of " Scotch." — Poor Pat had a doleful 
tale to tell. We gave him dry clothes and a 
good meal, and sent him to bed. 



158 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



*' Edmund Currie is my name (ssud the 
Hibernian, on being interrogated this morning) 
I belong to Ballyca^stle, in the north of Ire- 
land, though I was bom in St. Giles's parish 
in London. Thus I am a true-bom Briton, a 
yree-bom Briton; not but what the Irish are as 
true-bom Britons as the Scotch, and as free, 
— as free as fish in the sea, till the net comes 
for them. — ^It is thirteen years ago since I 
was persuaded by my brother to try my 
fortune in America. Three or four friends 
consented to accompany us, and there were 
between seventy and eighty strangers from vari- 
ous parts of the nortli of Ireland, who embarked 
in the same ship. We ssuled from Deny, but 
had hardly reached the mouth of Loch Foyle 

before we were all pressed by Lieut. M ^n, 

who had us dragged on board his brig, and 



JAMAICA. 160 t| 

carried J > Greenock, from whence we were 
shipped ; ;ain to Plymouth, and confined on 
board the Ht. Salvador. I know this is the 
common fate of sea-faring men (free-bora 
BritoDs) who are >nour to fight for 

their King and >ut what has a 

landsman to do i var? I was al- 

ways sick till we rbour, and I can 

truly say I detet as much as any , 

one of these blac»t ntst ould hate to be 

kidnapped from his own fire side in Africa and 
- brought here against his free will. I was very 
cruelly used on board the prison-ship, and 
many tricks were practised on me, as well as 
on all of us, to ensnare us into the service, — 
that is, to get us to take the bounty, or to list 
into the army. I was particularly told that 
certain proofs were forthcoming of my being 
a deserter, and I was threatened with the 
severest punishment if I would not save my- 
self by entering his Majesty's service." Here 
thedoctordesiredEbenezer, whowaslistening 
at the door, to ask Mr. Currie what he meant 
by the severest punishment. "What you mean 
by de 'verest punishment — hey! d'ye heary?" 
" I mean," replied the Irishman, " that if they 
could have made me out to be a deserter, they 



160 JAMAICA. 

\irould have given me eight hundred or a 
thousand lashes with a cat-o*-nine-tails on my 
bare back and shoulders/' Ebenezer instinct- 
ively put his hand behind him, as he muttered 
'^ Eight hunder tousand lashes wid the nine 
catVtails! — ^Massa! me toughtyou Moses' law 
no gib more nor tirty nine ?'* — '' Listen 1*' said 
the doctor, "we will talk of that by-and-bye/' 
"At the intercession of my friends/' continued 
the sailor, "who got wind of my situation, God 
bless them ! and finding me obstinate, it was 
thought reasonable that I should be set free : 
they shipped me for Dublin in an old tub of 
a fishing boat, with between thirty and forty 
more of my companions, all of us landsmen, 
and flung us a-shore without a farthing of 
money to find our way home. I had one 
hundred and fifty miles to travel, without a hat 
to my head or a shoe to my feet, and was 
obliged to beg for work, to earn a shilling to 
bring me back to Ballycastle. What became 
of my partners in misfortune I know not, nor 
of those who were still detained in the Salva- 
dor ; with the exception of two who worked 
their way with me from Dublin, I have never 
heard a syllable of any one of them; no, not 
even of my own brother, who was pressed 



JAMAICA. 161 

with me. On my return I applied to several 
gentlemen in the north of Ireland to get him 
liberated, but they never succeeded, or per- 
haps he chose to remain where I left him. I 
remained but a few months at home before 
another opi)ortunity offered of going to Bal- 
timore, whither I thought, perhaps, my bro- 
ther had found his way. I was resolved to 
go there at all risks, and if I could endure the ^ 
sea, to enter the American navy even, if they 
would take me, rather than remain in Ireland^ 
or be at the mercy of the proud fellows who 
pressed my countrymen as if they were wild 
horses; and he that caught them was to have 
the riding of them for his pains. Gentle- 
men, I am a free-bom Briton, and I did not 
understand being carried any where against 
my will, and then shot ashore like Connaught 
cows out of a cattle ship in Port Patrick. I 
embarked again with a smooth-faced fellbw 
of a captain, one Wallace, a Scotchman, who 
had me indented to him for seven years, and 
carried me safe enough to Baltimore, where 
he sold my indentures to a merchant, who 
loaded me with a pack, and marched me up 
the country, a thousand miles for anything I 
know. As I had never bargained for this sort 

u 



162 



JAMAICA* 



of life, which I abhorred, for it was downright 
slavery, I was determined to bolt on the 
first opportunity, which was not long wanting; 
and though I was yet but a sorry seaman, I 
was prevailed on to go aboard an Ame- 
rican trader, bound for Rio Janeiro: out of 
this ship I had the ill-luck to be pressed by 
an English lieutenant, who boarded us within 
a day's sail of the Brazilian coast, and put 
me into an English man-of-war that was 
going to the East Indies. It was to no pur- 
pose I called myself an American ; my lingo 
betrayed that I was yet but newly from 
Ireland; and I was told to thank my stars 
that I had not been found m a fighting ship, 
or I should have been hung up at the yard 
arm — that I was a British subject. I said, I 
was so— I was a free-bom Briton ; but they 
silenced my arguments with a rope's end ; and, 
to make the best of a bad bargam, I resigned 
myself to my fate, and did my duty with as 
much cheerfulness as I could assume. 

''For seven years was I detained in the 
East Indies in different ships, for I could 
never so fiur command myself as to stifle 
every murmur at my hard lot, and I made 
no friends among my tnasUn. As often as 



JAMAICA. 163 

my ship was ordered home^ myself and a tew 
more grumblers were shifted to another, 
thumped and knocked about and flogged. I 
have more marks on my back than England 
has ships in her navy/* — " D*ye hear that. 
Sneezer ?'* cried the Doctor, interrupting the 
sailor,— "dye hear, Abdallah? Flogged! Tell 
us, Currie, were there not many others 
flogged also?** — ''Aye, aye,'* replied he, ''some 
captains were always flogging, but what of 
that ? Do not they flog soldiers as well as 
sailors? Why, we were told in America but. 
a few days ago, that a soldier was flogged to 
death in London for stealing a silver spoon ; 
and I have seen many a sea captain stand by 
a poor devil when the blood was streaming 
down his back, and tell his deputy to hit 
harder: once I heard a captain tell the er- 
ecutioner, for he was almost so, to cut the 
heart out of the man he was flaying. Be- 
sides, in England and Ireland they whip the 
apprentices, though now I hear they. are 
made to dance on the tread-mill with rogues 
and vagabonds and women of the town — ^men 
and women altogether: and used they not to 
flog the volunteers? no, I mean the Lxabhirt 
Militia? Was not Cobbett, the news*writer» 



164 



JAMAICA. 



put in Newgate for saying it was a shame to 
bring over foreigners from Hanover, or some 
outlandish place, to flog true-bom, free-bom 
Britons?"— "Well but, Currie,'* said Nun- 
nez, in his tum, ''what were you flogged for?*' 
'* Sometimes for trying to get away, some- 
times for being sulky; often for no reason, 
that I could find out, except that the captain 
had his flogging tacks aboard. Once or twice, 
because I would not sing psalms. lam a 
Catholic, and do not choose to pray with 
people who are of a different religion. I am 
a free-bom Briton : I would not sing psalms 
to please any devils son of the whole race of 
tyrants, against my conscience. Well, gen- 
tlemen, to continue my story, I reckon that 
I spent the spring of my life, my best years, 
in that infernal servitude, for I can call it 
nothing else* It is no use to tell me, or any 
poor creature that has brains, that the Eng- 
lish navy must have men — ^what is the . Eng- 
lish navy to me ? I could not get my living 
in my own country — I was poor, hungry, 
half-starved, and miserable, — what had I to 
fight for? Besides, I never liked fighting, 
though an Irishman. If I fought, it was 
against people I* never saw before, who had 



JAMAICA. 165 

never hurt me, and among whom I could have 
got my living better than in my own country^ 
However, to come to the end of my story, 
I was brought home at last, and was paid 
off at Chatham, and sent to the right about, 
with ten pounds in my pocket. It was all 
peace in England then, and great ruin and 
distress among the ship-owners and others ; 
I tried for a month to get a birth, without 
success : I would almost have volunteered on 
board a man-of-war again, rather than rot 
ashore ; but I had conceived a horror of the 
navy ; and indeed there was no demand for 
men, and no employment among the mer- 
chants. The Yankees would not believe I 
was an American, — ^no more I was; though 
I often would have wished to be so, if I had 
not been a free-bom Briton. At last, my 
money being all gone, I went with others to 
the Lord Mayor of London, who ordered me 
to the parish of St. Giles, where I could not 
prove my birth nor baptism, or the overseers 
would not let me. They offered me sixpence 
not to trouble them. I was starving — ^I 
might have made something by house-breaking, 
which some, I knew, took to, but I was above 
that At last, the parish officers sent me 



166 JAMAICA. 

among a ship load of my countrymen to the 
south of Ireland, where I received a few 
shillings to pass myself to Ballycastle. 

** Here I found that my mother was dead, 
and that my brother had never been heard 
of for certain, although it was suspected he 
was in America. The only friend I had 
alive was my mother^s eldest brother, who 
lived near Gralway: to him I went, hoping, 
through his means, to get a birth aboard some 
ship, or to find a passage again to America. 

'^ Never can I forget the misery I found on 
my arrival at Galway. My uncle, who had 
rented a bit of ground of a gentleman there, 
had been ruined by the times and bad crops ; 
he was at the point of death, and hardly 
knew me: I had no need to ask his com- 
plaint, I saw it was poverty and want. Poor 
old man! he thought I had come to help him, 
to bring him something, a morsel of food to 
save him from death. I had not heart to tell 
him my own situation. The priest had pre- 
pared him for another world: he died of 
starvation in my arms. But he was not the 
only one : he had been a soldier in his youth, 
and had bled for his country more than once, 
and many were those who shared the same 




the cofB i 
Ea^2aid frea i 
ulaod, abd, tt Isr* 
whh potjuoaandc 
taking tbesa sway. 
a patrid ferer bad 
carried tfaem off by t 
people in England, goi 
vmofOM: the Irish were too poor to gire much, 
for their produce sold so cheap, they coald 
not pay their rents or debts." — "Do you 
think/' asked the Doctor, " that any of those, 
who, at last, sent yoa some provisions, gave 
up a meal fur your benefit ? Did they, think 
you, eat a dinner less, a mouthful less, to 
save you and your countrymen from death by 
hunger? What would the gentry and clergy 
of England have said of us in Januuca, Mr. 
Nunnez, liad such a catastrophe occurred 
beneath our eyes? Had our negroes been pre- 
pared for death by whole families, if not m 
masse, whilst we shipped off our com, and 
sugar, and yams, to other countries, as remit- 
tances to absentees? Would our government, 
the Privy Council — the Hmse of Assembly, have 
contemplated any thing so brutal and in- 



16S 



JAMAICA. 



human, as to permit such an export under 
such circumstances? Or if they had, would 
our Viceroy, our Duke of Manchester, have 
looked on, and sent the negroes five pounds 
among them? Sneezer and Dollar, and you 
other negroes, look at this man. You have 
heard his story. What do you think of those 
Buckras on the other side the water? Would 
you like to be free Britons, free-bom English- 
men — to be kept aboard a ship for seven 
years, and made to fight for them, or to be 
shot or flogged for being afraid? And when 
they had no more occasion for your services, 
or you were worn out, to be flung ashore 
to starve ? What did your friend Mr. Wil- 
berforce ever do for these poor sailor 
Buckras? or those poor Irishmen who died 
of hunger and nakedness? Did he ever 
tell the government they were cruel and in- 
different, or b^ them not to flog the sailors 
and soldiers? Did Master Stephen, or Mr. 
Macauley, or Mr. Buxton, go among the 
people that were dying, and give them 
something to eat? or did they send mis- 
sionaries among them to tell them that the 
laws which tied their hands from seizing 
the food, for want of which they were 




dying, were sot the laws of nstore? Did 
they commissioa them to say that the Irish 
had a ri^t to eat, and be free! or did tl^y 
erer send people *« "—o** to the saHora in 
their ships, that &oU to allow 

tfaemselres to be re again&t their 

will, and Staged, to fight against 

their reason, and i defiance of the 

sublime truths of < ity, and in oon-^ 

tempt of it's charitable doctrines? — No, no; 
they sat at home and drank their wine, 
and planned speeches and books, which set 
the poor negroes mad, and get some of you 
hanged — But Mr. Currie has not done." 

"Yes," replied the Hibernian, "1 hare 
nearly done. I was fortunate enough to be 
received on board an American ship in the 
harbour of Galway, and have since remained 
in the service of the same owner, with 
whom I have been well content. We have 
loRt his schooner, that is, she foundered; 
and my messmates are on board that rascally 
thief of a pirate." 

The little Doctor instantly made provision 
for sending Currie to Kingston on his own 
mule, with a negro boy to shew him the 
way and bring back the beast. He cannot 



170 



JAMAICA* 



fidl of finding a passage to America, in 
some ship of that country, and he will 
have the best means of gaining information 
of the pirate and his messmates. Our junta 
supplied him with a sufficiency of cash, 
and the Jew gave him a letter to some 
member of his own family, who will furnish 
him food and lodging as long as he is in 
want of them. 



JAMAICA. 171 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



I COULD never account for the impediments 
thrown in the way of manumitting slaves, 
when one would think that freedom was but 
a just reward for long and faithful services. 
In Barbadoes, I am told^ a fine of two or three 
hundred pounds must be paid for the manu- 
mission of a negro ; and, in Jamaica, an annuity 
of ten pounds at least must be settled and 
secured on every slave so emancipated. 

And reasoning from what I had seen of the 
rich and poor in England and other parts of 
Europe, I used to think that the West India 
slaves had but little chance of obtaining re- 
dress for ill treatment by a master ; I now 
entertain a very different opinion. The ne- 
groes generally seem to know their rights 
well, and to be actuated by a most lively esprit 
de carps whenever any one is illegally pimished 



172 JAMAICA. 

or oppressed. It is not unusual for a slave, 
'who has committed some offence that deserves 
punishment, to get his sable relations, fellow 
labourers, or even a neighbouring white, to 
intercede for him. Upon such occasions their 
easy address, sometimes ahnost bordering on 
impudence, as it appears to strangers, would 
astonish the country gentlemen in England. 
— ^I am convinced that mstances of cruel 
treatment of slaves by their masters are very 
rare; — ^without looking to finer and more 
honourable feelings, self-interest and the fear 
of disgrace, indelible disgrace, are alone suffi- 
cient to ensure humane treatment.* Cases to 
the contrary have certainly occurred ; but a 
candid and enlightened mind would no more 
adduce these as proofs of prevailing cruelty 
towards the slaves, than judge of the general 
character of English women from the few cases 
that have come before the London Police 
Magistrates, of mothers starving, chaining 
down, and barbarously beating their children. 



* In tbe Sorry Assize Court, b January 1818, Joseph 
Boyden, a white man, was tried under the SIa?e Act for 
cruelly ill treating his slare, a Samho girl, named Amey ; 
the proaeentioB was at the instance of the Justices and 



JAMAICA. 173 

■ 

I was often shocked too, I must own, to see 
the accounts in the Jamaica newspapers of 
black or brown people detained in the work- 
houses on suspicion of being slaves, and ad- 
vertised to be sold for payment of their fees 
or for the public benefit in the event of not 
being able to prove themselves free. Fees 
are frequently a source of the most grievous 
oppression aQd corruption, and are always'' 
objectionable where ample funds are already 
provided to remunerate the public officer for 

Vestry of Port Royal« It appeared that Amey had cetn- 
mitted some fault which induced her to apply to a neigh* 
hour to intercede with her master for forgiveness, whidi 
he agreed to g^nt; but he afterwards marked her, in two 
places, with the initials of his name. After hearing Conn- 
sel on both sides, the jury found him guilty. The Chief 
Justice, in addressing the culprit Boyden, animadverted 
in strong terms on the lawless and wantoo severity be bad 
exercised towards his slave, sentenced him to be imprison- 
ed in the common gaol for six months, and declared Amey 
to be free. And very recently a free man of colour named 
Cardon was prosecuted by the Magistrates of Kingston, 
for unlawfully branding his female slave: he was con- 
victed, and sentenced to pay a fin^ of one hundred pounds 
to the Common Council of Kingston, out of which they 
are to allow the slave ten pounds a-year; and the Coort 
declared her to be free. Cardon, not being able to pay 
the fine, went to jail, and died of a broken heart 



174 JAMAICA* 

his time and trouble ; but, in cases that con- 
cern the common and natural rights of those 
i^faoseonly wealth is m the sinews of their 
arms, to demand fees is abominably cruel. 
The Stunts are certainly to be commended for 
notidng and reprobating this enormity of ex- 
acting fees fipom any part of the community. 
But to retum to the fees of manumission — I 
must bring my little Doctor on the stage, to 
account for what the Saints have represented 
to die British public as infatuated policy on 
the part of the local authorities. 

" I remember, ** says the Doctor, '* that when 
the Abolition was in debate, an old lady in 
England, celebrated for her piety and her 
charities, wrote to her agent in Portland to 
buy some young negroes and sell off the old 
ones. The old gentleman to whom she had 
written returned for answer, that she had not 
perhaps adverted to the circumstance of old 
negroes being unsaleable (he did not venture 
to touch her on the score of folly or inhuman- 
ity) and that so far from being useful or mar- 
ketable, they would henceforth be a tax on her, 
as she must allow them the same clothing and 
provisions and comforts which they had always 
enjoyed. On this the old lady sent out hasty 



EXd-ix-M 


■f "1 


fi3» :3£ £3 


E^Heif 




««k 




Si 




tLe ladr wis apprized ot' vtsX had beea iksie, 
and char^ m ber zcccgrt coireit with 
" fortr po&odt a p""-iv^ to fbcr Decrees icaDQ- 
nutted." She va^ requested also to signify 
her wishes whether any more should be liber- 
ated, fli^ at the taTT^f time waa told th?t they 
coald not be mored off the estate, &r the 
public feeling in Jamaica would not allow it. 
This intelligence damped the ardour ofher 
ladyship, who did not reckon on the annuities ; 
and finding no diminution in the amount of 
supplies sent out as usual, begged her agent 
to do for her as he thought best, but not 
to put her to more expense : there the matter 
ended with her. 

"When the time arrived for giving out the 



•&U«^HM*k¥_ _ _d 



176 JAMAICA. 

clothing, the four freemen made their appear- 
ance witK the odiers, and hoped they were to 
have their pennistones and osnaburghs, for 
they had worked ail their lives for mistress, 
and brought up several children who were 
now working for her, and they were old and 
could not work to buy clothes themselves. 
The attorney told them it was a condition of 
their emancipation that with their ten pounds 
they were to provide themselves with every- 
thing; — nothing could be more reasonable. 
— On this a great clamour ensued, the rest of 
the negroes took the part of the freemen, and 
asked the attorney what mistress meant by 
* giving them free when they were old, and 
worn out, and could not work ; — their children 
were not free ; who was to work their grounds 
for them ? Ten pounds would but just pay for 
their yams and cocos, if Massa Attorney 
gave them their land for nutting.' Indeed, 
said the Doctor, this is but true, for they could 
not have a negro for less than half a dollar a 
day to work their grounds, and supposing they 
employed him, each one day in the week, the 
labour would amount to twenty-six dollars, 
which make 8/. 13/. Ad. currency per year, for 
each of the four mien \ — ^besides their grouhds 



JAMAICA* 177 

would be robbed, for they could not always 
watch them. 

*^ The emancipated negroes said they never 
had any fish, nor salt, nor com, nor rice 
when the others had ; — ^nothing but the ten 
pounds; and as they could not have their 
children to work for them, they would give 
up the money and their paper : so the attor- 
ney would let them be slaves again, and live 
like the rest, he might make them watchinen 
or what he liked, for they did not prefer to be- 
long to nobody when they were old and ^ ready 
to dead.^ 

" Now," added the little Esculapius, " you 
can see the object of this ' infatuated policy V 
as Wilberforce calls it. Is not the accusation 
a libel, an infamous calumny, a deliberate, dis- 
graceful falsehood ? What objection can* there 
be to manumission, if the freemen possess pro- 
perty, or are able to support themselves ? But 
if you could emancipate all who are an en- 
cumbrance to an estate by a word or a scrap 
of paper, we should be overrun with miserable 
indigent beggars, or be taxed to maintain 
in licensed mendicity a ninth or a tenth of 
our population, by poor laws. Have we not- 
•een the exuviae of the British navy and army 



178 



JAMAICA. 



begging their bread in England after a peace ? 
Have not groups of miserable sailors, who had 
fought the battles of their country, been 
seen seeking a night's shelter in the recesses 
in London-bridge, with their empty bellies 
tightly bandaged to allay the pains of binger ? 
Where were your overweening philanthropists 
then? Where were Wilberforce, Buxton, 
Brougham, Lushington, or black Stephen, 
widi their exuberance of the milk of hu- 
man nature? Have I not heard a boat's 
crew, all pilots, declare they would rather 
serve the French and fight for Buonaparte than 
be again spumed as they were by their coun- 
trjrmen when they were no longer wanted ? 
Grateful and generous, magnanimous peo- 
ple ! press the brave seamen on their return 
from a long voyage ; keep them for the prime 
of their lives in armed ships defending you 
against your enemies, and when peace returns 
and you no longer want them, emancipate 
them ! Give them their discharge, and liberty 
— ^to starve ! ! The laws which the ignorant 
canters say are made against manumitting 
slaves, are made for the protection of the old, 
the infirm, the incapable, and have been dic- 
tated by prudence and humanity. Unhappily 



JAMAICA. 179 

for the negroes and for us, all the measures 
proposed by the meddling hypocrites, who are 
undermining us, seem divested of every notion 
of either, and are made trebly disgusting by 
their affected pretensions to both — all ashes 
and bitterness — dust and rottenness. 

** With respect to our gaols, and to our sys- 
tem of considering all people of colour as 
slaves, if they have not passports ; this is an 
indispensible security in a county where the 
slave population outnumbers the free in the 
proportion of fifteen or sixteen to one. The 
facilities of escape are so great, the difficulty 
of pursuit, through a country nine-tenths of 
which are forest, so evident, that the legisla- 
ture has thought it right to demand of every 
negro wandering about the island, a certificate 
of his business or of his liberty. If a man 
has been emancipated, there can be no ob- 
jection or difficulty to his proving his fireedom : 
his security, his annuity, at once speaks for 
him ; his friends, his relations, can testify for 
him : if he has been bom free, still his parents, 
or his children, or some of his family or ac- 
quaintance will be ready to declare that he 
has always been a free man. No ; many of 



180 



JAMAICA. 



those detained in gaols are the slaves of de^ 
ceased masters who have left no heirs, cap- 
tains of merchant ships, clerks in merchant*s 
houses. Do not your laws in England com^ 
pel magistrates and constables to take up 
gypsies and vagabonds, to whip them and 
confine them to hard labour in the bridewells 
and county prisons? and is not this measure 
of precaution (not the whipping — ^we stop 
short of that) as necessary in this island, where 
we have a legion of spies, if not traitors 
and fanatics, roaming about to poison the 
minds of the slaves, and lead them, as you 
have seen, to the gallows ? The death of a 
master does not of itself emancipate a slave, 
and when such a person, unprovided for ^ is 
found at lai^ge, the state claims him. Besides, 
we have runaways from other islands, emis- 
saries from St. Domingo. We should be act- 
ing against the first laws of nature, we should 
be blind to our own safety, to allow strange 
negroes to travel about the country at their 
pleasure, without any visible means of main- 
tsuning themselves: you cannot do so in 
Europe ; you must have a passport every- 
where. 



JAMAICA. dSl 

'' It is a measure of precaution thus to seize 
all unclaimed vagrant slaves, in -no respect 
so outrageous as pressing men for the army 
or navy, or taking the poor for the militia-^r^ 
the poor, that is, men who cannot pay for a 
substitute, and who are, during their service, 
not only slaves,' but liable to be made to run 
the gauntlet, to be flogged to death, to be 
killed in battle, or to be shot for disobedience of 
orders f which is mutiny ^ 

'* My dear doctor," said I, " the case is hard 
to the negro/' — '* But harder to the white man/' 
rejoined he: *' the white man is bom free, with 
all the feelings of liberty, with an idea of in- 
dependence ; were it not that he finds multi- 
tudes of his acquaintance to keep him in 
countenance, he would perhaps die in despair, 
for he cannot change his master, neither his 
colonel nor his corporal, however he may 
abhor both. The negro is consoled im, a 
similar way. Your Saints are always bawling 
about families being torn from one another's 
arms, husbands from darling wives, and lovers 
from each other. There is not a negro but 
would laugh at this trash. If they must be 
sold, they are disposed of in families, and al* 



182 JAMAICA. 

wa3r8 with at least a tacit consent on their own 
parts, or woe betide the fool that buys them ! 
He would be sure to lose them in some way 
or other. I remember an ignorant fellow in 
England once holding up a Jamaica Gazette in 
a public meeting, to prove that in every week's 
paper there were at least fifty runaway negroes 
advertized. Fifty I he did not know that all 
the runaways are advertized in that one pa- 
per, and that they are perhaps advertized for 
three months ; but supposing that there are 
always fifty runaways, what are they out of a 
population of more than three hundred thou- 
sand ? Will the population of England, gen- 
tle and simple, afibrd no more than one 
rascal, thief, housebreaker, highwayman, frau- 
dulent bankrupt, incendiary, forger, or any 
other rogue, out of six thousand individuals? — 
or did the dolt imagine that our fifty runaways 
were all virtuous sufferers — ^peripatetics who 
fled from persecution? If we have not a 
twentieth part of the crimes that are commit- 
ted in England, in proportion to our limited 
population, does it follow that we are to have 
no rogues ? — none who fly firom j ustice ? Yes ; 
we have a few rascals, and many of them are 




comprii d m the number fi^ ; but m bid 
fair to bne iBOce, if left to the &znCf ; petiuqw 
as many in propoctkn to oar population u 
Colqiihooninhis treatise oo tbe Police states 
to be in LcBidaa- lacolate Loodoo. 

" The aame ] i bomamty, who, 

I remember, b >eing' a free-born 

Briton, flting tnb li of tl^ planters. 

that they woriced es in iron collars ? 

as if any man woula ii ite and mortify a 

nesTo for fim, or as if there were no humanity 
in the breast of a negro owner ! But he must 
have forgotten that culprits work in chains in 
England, in the hulks at V/oolwich and Sheer- 
ness, — and none others wear collars of iron 
here. Look at your gaols in England: I 
know a lady, one brought up with all the 
comforts of wealth and competence, who was 
detained in the Fleet prison for ^ven years ! 
And was not a report a short time ago. pre- 
sented to the House of Commons of thirty- 
two persons in that prison for contempt, upon 
processes issuing out of the Courts of Chancery 
or Exchequer ? The first on this list was Han- 
nah Barber, who was committed to prison on 
the 30th July 1789, upon a writ of rebellion 



184 JAMAICA. 

(as it is technically called) for not paying a 
sum of 406/. I7s. Id. into the Bank, ui pursu- 
ance of a decree of the Court of Chancery. 
From the great length of time this unhappy 
woman suffered imprisonment — ^more than 
thirty-one years ! — it may be fairly presumed 
she was unable to obey the decree. The others 
on the list had been in custody for various pe- 
riods ; one for twenty-one years ! anothier for 
nineteen years ! and so on. Do you not seize 
the body of a debtor, before you prove a 
debt, no matter whether the debt be attributa- 
ble to 'misfortune, or folly, or villany ? Can- 
not your wise men invent any means to 
protect the unfortunate debtor from the dis- 
grace and contamination of a gaol? or to 
enable his creditors to get the real value of 
his property ? And why must so much of that 
go in stamps and fees — and fees to whom ? to 
some lord, the Lord knows who — who has 
nothing to do with the case in question. What 
is this but being sold to pay your fees, when 
you are or may be stripped of all but a mere 
covering to your body, and sent adrift in the 
wide world, with a recommendation perhaps 
to the workhouse, and an order to' receive six- 




pence from the parish ofBcer in some of the 
towns thro igh which you tramp to your aet- 
tlement, the constable of every village courte- 
ously showing you the wav out of his domain, 
and hoping never * ii again on this 

side of the grave? 



186 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

January 31 — Saturday. 

Mr health being nearly re-established, I 
am preparing to leave Milk River and my 
little doctor, whose spleen has afforded me 
matter for so many pages of my journal, 
that I have hardly had time to advert to my- 
self and my kind nm*se Diana. This poor 
child thinks me yet too liable to a relapse, 
and though we have parted (that is, she has 
taken leave of me) I shall rejoin her at Old 
Harbour; and we are to travel together to 
Spanish Town. The doctor says it will look 
extraordinary to travel in company with such 
a person, and the pretty damsel said as much 
herself; therefore I am fain to set an ex- 
ample to the Creoles, which I wish they 
would copy, for I think that virtue and ge- 
nerosity and charity are certainly of no par- 
ticular colour that I know of; besides, to me 



JAMAICA. 187 

it is a matter of indifference what opinion the 
natives may form of my conduct on this oc- 
casion, so it does not hurt the feelings of 
Diana. I should leave ^sculapius Micm 
with some concern, except that he half pro- 
mises to give me a meeting on the north side, 
from whence I shall embark at my departure. 
I find the tavern here very expensive : my 
charge amounts to seven or eight dollars ^a 
day. My hostess's demands are like those of 
a lawyer, six shillings and eight-pence, or 
three shillings and four-pence ; the first is the 
usual price of a breakfast of coffee and eggs, 
yams, cocos and plantains, with perhaps a 
herring or a slice of hung beef; a maccaroni 
for each of the men, and the grass and com 
for the five beasts, come to a dollar and a half 
daily ; but I have agreed with my valets to 
give them half a dollar a day each to board 
themselves. We had a debate to day with 
Don Guzman about the Pope's supremacy ; 
he and Nunnez laugh at the Doctor and the 
inhabitants generally, that the Saints have 
had influence enough to get him and them the 
promise of a bishop. The Jew says it is to 
re-exalt their rank, a blunder having been 
committed among them in England ; but the 



M.taMM 



188 JAMAICA. 

Spaniard is amused at the incongruity and im- 
pudence of those who denounce and renounce 
the Pope, and call his doctrines damnable, in- 
terfering with the religion of a people five 
thousand miles distant, and sending them a 
bishop, of all blessings 1 ''They have re- 
formed themselves," he says. '' Your King is 
the head of your church, and you have an 
established religion, from which most of your 
very Saints differ. They are of various sects, 
most of them schismatics — and your Quakers, 
who are making such a stir here, will not 
have bishops, nor even priests or deacons, 
among themselves; they defy the laws of 
their own country, and yet wish to legislate 
for you ; they refuse to pay tithes and poor 
rates, and with an assurance at least equal 
to their piety, they are going to foist a heretic 
bishop on you." — " To set you an example 
of morality and good taste:" added the Jew, 
''will he wear a wig and a triangle hat, and 
an apron? or is he to be a Quaker bishop, an 
Obadiah Broadbrim, with a suit of dittos ! and 
will you call him My Lord, and make him of 
the Privy Council on the spot? I am afraid 
he will hardly be in fashion for a year or two, 
while the recollection of your Irish Apostle 



JAMAICA. 189 

is so fresh in the inihds of pur countrymen 
here." « : i • 

' Ebenezer had got himself into a 'scrape 
.again by his absurd propensity to illuminate 
all the negroes that he says are in the dark. 
When I wanted him to pack up clothes, and 
make preparations for my departure, I learnt, 
after sending for him in all directions, that he 
was confined in the stocks of a neighbouring 
estate, for brawling and fighting with the 
slaves there. — ^I mounted my horse, and rode 
up to the overseer's house, with the doctor 
and Abdallah, where I found my valet in a 
room in the hot-house, or hospital, with one 
leg in the bilboes, and his hands in the air, 
suiting the action to the word, expostulating 
with the overseer, and occasionally haranguing 
the sick negroes. We stopped a few mo- 
ments to hear his arguments, before we 
made ourselves known: — ''Massa Busha,** 
he exclaimed, ''make me take out o' dis 
bilbo — massa please, for me own massa want 
me, for true— me no preachy—me nebba 
preachy — ^me tell massa Buckra's nieegar to 
look after de sheep in wolf 'kin dat come so 
wid nine cat s tail, and make de buckra man 
cry woio — dat gib him eight hunder tousand 



190 JAMAICA. 

lashes. Massa» me tdl *em massa WDibice 
fum fom mo 110 nme and tirty—h^ 
Moses* law, him cot de heart out de bucbra 
sailor, and shoot him like carrion-crow in 
Parker Bay. Massa, me tell 'em tank 
Gramighty no hab drummer diiba, to flog 
me— swish — swish — swish I Ye heary, my 
Brar (addressing the n^;roes) swish — swish! 
and no lock up seben year in a ship, and hab 
no plantain for nyam.** Here the laughter of 
the overseer disconcerted him a little; he 
looked round and discovered us. The over- 
seer, at my request, set him at liberty, but 
told me he had been detected in a negro house 
taking improper liberties with a black woman, 
whose husband had given him a beating, and 
chopped at him with a machet He added 
his advice, that I should give him a good 
flogging ; which I own he deserved, for he 
had begun by spiritual conversation with the 
black lady, and professing to take care of her 
souL This he denied, and the woman as 
stoutly maintained. The attack he confessed, 
only laying the sin on the fair one's disposi- 
tion. I thanked the overseer, and would 
have been as well pleased if he had executed 
justice on the hypocrite, to the extent of a 



JAMAICA. 



191 



dozen of his swishes : however, I threatened 
hun very seriously, that if he were guilty of 
any more such pranks I should hand him over 
to the first work-house driver I could find ; 
the public executioner, as Mr. Wilberforce 
poetically terms him ; ' the finisher of the law, 
according to Mr. Cheshire. 



< ■ 



• t 



■A^ 



192 JAMAICA.. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

Febraary 1— Sunday. 

* Behold me once more on my white charger, 
with a green umbrella, the Saint and. the 
Mussulman in my rear, /my whole cavalcade 
in pristine elegance. The horses vigorous 
with rest, and the mules as cantancrous as 
possible, from the same cause. The Doctor 
accompanied me for a few miles ; and whether 
from the thoughts of separation, or the heat 
of the day, or any other physical or meta- 
physical cause, we rode along at a foot pace, 
almost in silence, he being like myself buried 
in a reverie of his own, as I was absorbed in 
ruminating on the Events that have occurred, 
that are occurring, and that must occur, I fear, 
in this island. /The warbling of a pretty 
mock-bird diverted my attention for a moment ; 
he fluttered along the road before the horses, 
and stopped to regale us with a song, (until 



/AUAICA. 193 

we again disturbed turn,) and then perched 
on the bnu ^fa of a tree, and began to imitate 
the ug]]f cry of a Jamaica blackbird, a sort 
of black parrot, whose note appears to 
articulate on}y w - I could have 

wished him to coi If to the music 

nature had given 1 of mocking the 

ugly call of the hi and the Doctor 

was also inclined t pretty songster' 

for degenerating into an imitation of anything 
so vile. 

"Thus," he said, "it is in human life; the 
carols of the heart, the song of gratitude to 
heaven, which heaven seems to inspire, must 
be exchanged for the repetition of some 
drawler's or driveller's whining moan, some 
beggar's selfish prayer, or affected raptures 
about hope, full of immortality, the light of 
hcavaily truth, and all the consolations and 
supports by which religion cheers the heart, 
and elevates the priticipks, and dignifies the 
conduct of multitudes of our labouring clas- 
ses, in this free and enlightened country, Sec. 
Sec, ending in a hint at the finale, with the 
same nasal twang continued, ' that for the 
aforesaid purposes a collection will be made 
atthedoorof this tabernacle or chapel — Hum."* 



i 

I 



UH 



194 JAMAICA. 

The mules, as I observed, were cantancrous. 
^Ibdallah r had fiadlen into conversation ; with/ 
Abby Sneezer, /about the sable nymph wlio 
had enchanted him into the wooden Bastile 
at Percival estate: more than once his in- 
terrogatories had been answered with, ** Cha 1 
you know nutting,*'/— but as the dialogue was 
diverting, and as I am rather more conversant 
with the Creole dialect, though yet but a 
tyro, I will endeavour to relate it in the form 
of a dramatic scene. Dollar begins. 

DoL. Sneezer, what dat sunting you hab 
day, tick out your breeches behind?/ 

£b£x. Hi! da for me bible book.. 

DoL. Wha for you carry him day? 

£b£n. Massa Missionary say him good 
for kill obea. 

DoL. Him g^b you ? h 

Ebex. No — ^yes— him gib him for tree 
dollar and a pig — ^no mo. ' 

DoL. Tree dollar!— dam him conscience— 
Massa no tell you him gib to him for nutting— 
but. Sneezer, you can't read. I 

£b£x. No— but me get some somebody 
dat can read, to preach me de red part. * 

DoL. rRed part? wha you mean by red 
part? 



JAMAICA. 195 

£b£n. Massa Missionary mark de best 
place for read wid red sunting, and tell me 
when can 'member dem part good, he will 
mark mo/ 

DoL. What dem part say? 

This was drawing the plug of Sneezer's 
religious lore — a torrent of mutilated quo- 
tations from the Old Testament came bundled ^ 
out in confusion, like rocks hurried along by 
an avalanche, that mingles and mars and 
overwhelms all into chaos. At last he 
stopped with the word Faith — "Fait — ^you 
know what fait ?" 

DoL. Please tell me, Abbysneezer. 

Eben. Fait move mount^ns. 

DoL. Hi! move dat hill den — for my 
mule and de sumpter mule wont go up him. 

Ebex. Cho! you no hab fait, nor grace, 

nor light ; you no 'lected, nor baptised — ^you 

know nutting 'bout lamb— you b'a'pheme — 

you wicked somebody. 

,DoL. How me wicked? — ^me no tief— me 

ID lie — me no kill somebody. 

Ebex. You no wicked ! — ^you no hab two 
vife — ^you never pray for Ponchy Piler— 

iiere for you bible ? — ^wha you day give to 

black parson,— de black coat parson, to 



196 JAMAICA. 

sabe for you soul from damnation ? (de debbil 
in the mule!) Dollar, you wicked for true; but 
(patience guide me, wha for de mule kick?) 
but you no bad man — turn to grace, [the 
mule kicked again at every pause] and — lib — 
de bible— (cos de mule!) bin promise you dat 
Garamighty (d — ^m de mule !) take care of de 
good (debbil! — me bet you fippance me make 
you go) de good man, dat no bird shall fall 
to de — ^water ! 

Here the mule kicks Sneezer over his head 
into a river, and lies down to roll. 

Sneezer, being very expert, kept clear of 
the rocks in his header, and rose out of the 
river like another Proteus, a little changed 
in appearance, but the same individual, in- 
viting Abdallah, who was half choked with 
laughing, to come into the water and be 
baptised. The brute mule, as he called him, 
rolled over my great coat and a spare um- 
brella, which Sneezer carried for me, and he 
was obliged to ride for an hour afterwards, 
with both spread open, the coat mounted on 
the umbrella to dry. 

I parted with the Doctor, and j>roceeded 
nearly eastward, on the road to Old Harbour, 
passing at first through some fine pens. 



JAMAICA. 197 

where I was pleased with the appearance of 
the mules and cattle fattening on the rich 
pastures, and with the luxuriant crops of 
Guinea com, which is cultivated to a great 
extent in the parish of Vere, as the principal 
support of the negroes.. On enquiry in the 
course of my ride this day, I found that this 
district is frequently visited with long and 
severe droughts, which render the cultivation^ 
of the plantain extremely precarious; and 
the mountains are too far distant from, most 
of the estates, to afford the usual conve- 
niences of provision grounds. The planters 
are therefore obliged to have recourse to the 
Guinea com, which is sown, or rather set, in 
the ground during the October rains, and 
gathered in Febraary. The produce is gene- 
rally very abundant, and, when got in, is 
packed as close as it can be trodden down, 
in immense bams, or stores, as they are ^here 
called, for the future use of the negroes. On 
well regulated estates, they consider they 
ought to have as much as two years* con- 
sumption before hand in these stores; and 
that he must be very improvident who has 
not one. i This grain is served out weekly, 
or oflener if necessary, to the n^^roes. 



198 JAMAICA. 

in quantities fully sufficient for the mainte- 
nance of their families. When freed from the 
husk, and pounded in a wooden mortar, it 
produces a meal as white as snow, which is 
formed into a kind of bread, and small de- 
licious cakes. The abundance of this com 
produces also an abundance of fat pork, and 
excellent poultry of all sorts, which are 
carried for sale to Spanish Town and King- 
ston,- and form a source of comfortable re- 
venue to some small settlers, and to the 
wives of some of the richer planters, who are 
careful to fill a private purse. 'As I rode 
along, I passed through several large estates, 
the soil of which is the richest I have seen in 
the island, and, in tolerably good seasons, 
yields the most valuable crops of sugar, both 
in quantity and quality. I went sometimes 
out of my road to look at the mills which 
were at work, and were moved by steam 
engmes, which, besides saving the planter's 
oxen and mules, enable him to grind his 
canes and finish his crop with much greater 
expedition than with the old and usual me- 
dium of the cattle mill. The other buildings 
in this district, such as boiling houses, still 
houses, and curing houses, are on a much 



JAMAICA. 199 

larger scale than I had hitherto seen. Hie 
dwelling houses of the proprietors are also 
large and commodious, and generally fitted 
up with well-polished mahogany floors, wain-* 
scots, doors, &c. But these are now de- 
serted by their owners, who for the most 
part are rich absentees. They serve, how« 
ever, as the temporary or permanent re« 
sidence of some great attorney, who has^ 
charge, perhaps, of many estates in the 
neighbourhood.^ How long the attomies 
may enjoy their comfortable births is a pro* 
blem not difficult to solve : I apprehend that 
the general distress, which prevails among all 
West Indians, Mrill oblige even the Vere pro- 
prietors to occupy again their family man- 
sions.— ^Leaving this rich plain, I reached the 
western extremity of Old Harbour Bay, 
where there are some snug coves, on the 
shores of which are erected large store-houses 
for the reception of the sugar and rum, sent 
from the different estates, to be carried off 
by the ships* boats. Commodious whar£i, 
with cranes, are here established, with whar- 
fingers appointed to superintend the shipping 
of the crops and landing of the supplies. 
The bustle of l^usmess on the one side, and 



200 JAMAICA. 

the quiet repose of the trees overhanging the 

sea cm the other, form ah agreeable contrast, 

and the scenery is very picturesque.* The 

road here enters the Coratoe hills, so called 

from the abundance of that plant, the large 

American aloe, or agaves which is seen in 

every direction shooting up its magnificent 

pyramids of flowers through the surrounding 

brushwood. ^Passing this range, I descended 

into the plain^of St. Dorothy, ^d reached 

the small town of Old Harbour Bay, situated 

on the shore, and so distinguished from the 

town of Old Harbour market, which is 

two miles north of this, and stands on the 

great Leeward road. I here put up at an 

excellent tavern) kept by Mr. -— -, a wlyte 

man, who finds his account in keeping a 

clean house, with good beds and good wine, 

for the accommodation of the captains of 

merchantmen, and others engaged in the 

sUppmg which frequent this port. 



JAMAICA. 



201 



I . • • •• ^ '•)*•*•* 



» I - ■ . ^ . 



• c ' 






CHAPTER XXVII. 



Time, that softens all the asperities of im- 
ported nomenclature, and brings the ear at 
last familiar with tlie exotic barbarisms of 
remoter tongues, has so blended the once fiery 
designations of towns and districts in Eng- 
land with the dingy mass of modem language, 
that we mention them with indifference, if 
not in ignorance of their Teutonic, or Grothic, 
or Celtic origin and import. Time may do 
the same for Jamaica: future generations 
may imagine that the names of estatcys MT^re 
all of one language ; but if they take the pains 
to etymologize them, they will hardly con- 
ceive that one race of people would use ap- 
pellations so little related to each other. 
Here we have Chantilly and Jerusalem — 
Tobolski and Mesopotamia — Old Shoes and 
y. S.— Bull Dead, Far Enough, and Tryall ; 



*»•■-& -m 



202 JAMAICA « 

and, as may be supposed, the negroes make 
a fine hash of some of them. The sable an- 
tiquaries who are to arise hereafter out of the 
fermented fragments of slavery and emanci- 
pation, will have to pick their teeth over many 
of these knotty compounds. The negro pa- 
tois is most ludicrously diverting, and never 
more so than in its version of outlandish and 
heathen names. Pompey and Caesar are 
invulnerable ; but we have Beenass for Venus, 
— ^Titass and Marcass — Demosthenes is Dam- 
nastiness. I have heard a black basdt-look- 
ing Caligula called Killyg^Uy, and a political 
Mr. Ross described as PoUypetition Ross. 
For Peacock and Crow, read Pickaxe and 
Crow ; and by Ticky Ticky, an enquiry was 
made for Entick's dictionary. Overseer, first 
corrupted to Oberseer, is now Bersheer or 
Busha ; and Buckra, I fear, is derived from 
Buccaneer. Every animal on an estate has its 
name. Horses, mules, oxen, and asses, all 
registered with as fine or finer names than tlie 
negroes themselves. You may see Sambo 
Jack on Alexander mule, and the ox Pollybe- 
mus switching his tail while a two-eyed Han- 
nibal pokes or flogs him. The dogs have 
appellations that remind one of Praise-God- 



JAMAICA. 203 

bare-bones, or his brother. I heard a rat- 
catcher negro yesterday callinghisdogSarbice^ 
and learnt on enquiry that he was christened 
** Sunting tliat nebba do no Sarbice/* Another 
was called, '' If you no hold him fieist, me no 
gib you for nyam ;" the nick-name of this one 
was Nyam, and sometimes Nyamfast, a 
poetical inversion or license of the man of 
rats. A-propos of rats : these vermin are in 
request in some parts of Jamaica, and sold 
among the negroes for two pence halfpenny a 
piece. I have seen a gentleman who oilice 
passed them off for guinea-pigs in a pie ; and 
where they live almost exclusively on sugars 
canes, perhaps the negroes are right in con- 
sidering them dainties : Why should they be 
less so than frogs or the great snails that the 
Swiss and Savoyards eat ? Negroes are not 
more squeamish : they are as ready to dine off 
the cat as the rat ; and '' Nebba do no Sfgrbice** 
may yet serve for a good roast to the rat- 
catcher Cupid or his mistress Sappho, as 
brown and erotic, though not quite so amia- 
ble perhaps, as her predecessor of Lesbos. 

The peerless Diana, as Don Quixote would 
say of his lady of Toboso, had provided me 
with everythmg at my inn that a valetudina- 



€€ 
€€ 



204 JAMAICA. 

lian could sigh for the want of. I know not 
how I can ever repay her for her generous 
attentions. — Monday, 2nd. I walked along 
the quay this morning, where some American 
sailors were heaving out lumber from their 
schooner. Two negroes who were helping 
them quizzed me as I passed, at least I thought 
so. I heard something about my white coat, 
and white hat, and white face ; and they asked 
the sailors if that was the bishop's dress. 
The bishop's dress !'* said one of the tars, 
what, all white ? No, you black rascal ; a 
bishop's dressed in your livery, black and all 

black — ^black as the d ^1, except his wig." 

" De debbil no black," replied the negro; " he 
white, he 'tan like one parson ^(person) one 
buckra parson." "A buckra parson!" re- 
joined the sailor; ** you must not talk in that 
fiishion, beau — ; his Holiness will tickle you 
up if you call old Scratch a white parson." 
" Tlcky me where ?" cried the negro. " Tickle 
your soul, my boy ; d-^n you by bell, book, 
and candle ; excommunicate you ; put you in 
the Ecclesiastical Court." ** Da wharra de 
nastical goat?" '* Goat! ha! ha! ha! Court- 
why you must build him a palace to live in, 
and a throne to sit on, and he must have a 



JAMAICA, 20& 

crook stick to catch you by the 1^ when, you 
run out of the fold/' " Crook stick !" ejacu-^ 
lated the heathen—^'' he ! he! the bishop'mn 
after me wid de crook stick !^-da for dis Massa 
Wilforce and King George send we bishop to 
run after we in a bush ? Him must run fas, till 
he sweat blue maugre^to h — ^11."— So! the 
blacks have as yet a queer notion of the 
blessings mtended for them, thought I. tij 
the way, I would not shock any eyes or ears 
by repeating expressions intended as oaths. 
When the negroes use the word above men- 
tioned, they have no thought of swearing or 
blaspheming ; it is only a superlative degree 
of comparison, used as the English gentry 
use the word "devilish" — as devilish ugly; 
devilish fine, pretty, witty; devilish long way; 
a devilish good fellow, &c. &c. The French 
have ugly words of similar importance and 
effect. 

The inhabitants here know as little of the 
history of their country or their predecessors, 
the Caribs and Spaniards, as the modem 
Turks do of ancient Greece. I speak of the 
Creole mulattoes and negroes : the white in* 
habitants, being educated in England, are in 
all respects English, in morals, religion, man- 



206 JAMAICA. 

ners, and habits : in politics they are republi- 
cans, as firee-minded as the Americans, and as 
Junius said of the latter, ** they concur alike 
in despising the absurd pageantry of a king, and 
the wparcUmu hypocrisy of a bishop/' I am 
afiraid ^* my Lord" will not often be honoured 
with his tiUe here ; for though there is an aris- 
tocratic feeling as amongst all rich republicans, 
which induces the lords of the soil to pay 
every becoming respect and honour to their 
viceroy, whom they both lov6 and esteem, yet 
many already speak of his Episcopal Highness 
as of an inteloper ; nor ought it to excite surprise 
when the great nmnber of different sects here 
is considered. But to return to antiquities : 
I could not meet vnth a creature here who 
knew that the Spaniards had called this har- 
bour the port of Esquivel, much less that it 
was named so after the first Spanish governor 
of the island, Juan de Esquivel, whom Diego 
Columbus sent here to secure his claim to the 
island, after a successful law-suit against his 
base and ungrateful monarch Ferdinand. It 
is a pity that the memory of so great and good 
a man should expire, or rather be disregarded, 
(for it can never expire,) at the only place, as 
fiur as I can learn, which was ever honoured 



JAMAICA. 



207 



with his name. He was a gallant soldier, 
which is nogreat matter; but, as Mr. Edwards 
says, " he was one of the very few Castilians, 
who, amidst all the horrors of bloodshed and 
infectious rapine, iguisbed for gene- 

rosity and huma :rdinand had be- 

stowed the goven traaica, in spite of 

the decision give: s Majesty by the 

Council of the I klonzo de Ojeda^ 

who was on his depaii r the continent of 

America, from Hispaniola, when Diego Colum- 
bus was sending Juan de Esquivel thence to 
Jamaica. "Ojeda violently opposed the in- 
tended expedition of Esquivel, and publicly 
threatened tliat if he should find him at Ja- 
maica on his return from the continent, he 
would hang him up as a rebel, Ojeda's voy- 
age was unfortunate : after sustaining a series 
of unexampled calamities, he was shipwrecked 
on the coast of Cuba, and was in danger of 
perishing miserably for want of food. In this 
distress he called to mind that Esquivel was 
in Jamaica, and he was now reduced to the 
sad extremity of imploring succour from the 
very man whose destruction he had medita- 
ted : but the magnanimous Esquivel was no 
sooner made acquauited with the sufferings 



208 JAMAICA « 



of his enemy, than he foi^got his resentment. 
He immediately sent over to Cuba, Pedro de 
Narvaez, an officer of rank, to conduct Ojeda 
to Jamaica. Esquivel received him with the 
tenderest sympathy, treated him during his 
stay with every possible mark of distinction 
and respect, and provided him with the means 
of a speedy and safe conveyance to Hispa- 
niohu**^ '' The Spanish historians/' he adds, 
''bearamost honourable testimony to his virtu- 
ous and gentle administration. He brought the 
natives to submission without any effusion of 
blood." And again : " Esquivel alone seems 
to have been sensible of the abominable 
wickedness of visiting distant lands only to 
desolate them, and of converting the Indians 
to Christianity by cutting their throats. How 
many noble qualities in some of his cotempo- 
raries were tarnished by cruelty and rapine, 
or unhappily blended with a misguided and 
frantic zeal for religion, that rendered their 
possessors still more remorseless and savage /"f 

So much for Don Juan de Esquivel. The 
Indians of the present day (the negroes) are 

• B. Edwards : third edit toL i. p. 163. 
t B. Edwirdi : third edit toI. L 



JAMAICA. 



209 



to be converted to Christianity, according to 
the planters' ideas and expectations, by cut- 
ting the throats of the whites; and as foir 
misguided and frantic zeal for religion, which 
renders reformers remorseless and savage, I 
fear tiiere is but one opinion on the subject, 
and that not a pleasant one, certainly not 
flattering to the Quakers or the schismatics. 



210 JAMAICA. 



CHAPTER XXVIIL 



Mr. Mathews had met me at Old Harbour, 
and accompanied me part of my way on the 
road to St. Jago de la Vega, commonly called 
Spanish Town. Diana rode with us ; and 
whether he seriously objected to her company 
on such an occasion, or whether he thought 
by retiring to find an opportunity for raising 
a laugh against me on her account, or what- 
ever his motive might be, he begged leave to 
ride on in advance, promising to meet me 
again in town, and conduct me to the Pen of 

Mr. F , two or three miles farther on the 

Rio Cobre. As we approached the town, 
Diana expressed an inclination also to take 
her own course, lest her presence in my suite 
might draw the attention of the inhabitants to 
both of us. 1 1 must own my figure would 
have made a droll caricature in London, and 



JAMAICA. 211 

it was a little ludicrous here, sufficieat per? 
haps of itself to attract the gaze of the multi- 
tude ; for J, as I described before, J wasarrayed, 
for coolness, in white from head to fbo^ my 
coat even being of so light a grey that it mi^t 
pass for part of the skin of my white charger. 
My face also, in spite of the heat, was as white 
as a turnip, from my illness, which had so 
depilated me, that I had recourse to, a dose 
tonsure to prevent my hair falling off; and 
my gfieat hat becoming thus too capacious ibr 
my diminished head, dropped over my^eyes 
and ears,' and hung on my cranium like 
Mambrino*s helmet on that of Don Quixote. 
^Scarcely had I come in sight of the houses, 
before I saw a negro running at some distance 
before me, frequently looking back and making 
some remark to every one he met, which in- 
stantly turned the eyes of every creature 
towards us. As we passed along, the be- 
holders stopped to gaze, some seriously, 
others laughed/ 1 examined myself from head 
to foot, criticised my own figure, Diana% 
Ebenezer*s, and Abdallah's, — ^still I was at a 
loss. * I rode along, however, towards the 
square where the king's house stands, mean- 
ing to take a look at it en passant, as I should 



212 JAMAICA. 

not halt in the town; but when I arrived 
there, I not only found that I was still the 
object of curiosity, but that I had a mob at 
my heels of some twenty or thirty negroes, 
besides two or three gentlemen on horseback 
and as many in covered gigs or top chaises. 
The watchword flew from mouth to mouth, 
now loud enough for me to hear; it was 
" Bishop," " bishop:" — some said I was the 
bishop, till a negro, running towards me from 
another quarter, said it was " Mr. W — ^f — e 
come to see the negroes, and choose him Qua- 
droon wife." One of the gentlemen said if 

I were Mr. W , that black, meaning 

Ebenezer, must be black S — ^n, or else he 
was the bishop's chaplain that carried his book, 
for £benezer*s bible always stuck out of 
his breeches pocket, now half unbound from 
the soaking it got in the water the other day. 
One of the negroes very respectfully asked 
me if I was the bishop, and I of course told 
him I was not so good a man. Another as 
seriously enquired if he, the bishop, would 
not have a wife when he came? To which I 
ventured to say '' certainly not a black one." 
But though I put the best' fietce on the hoax, 
which I attributed to Mr. Mathdws, Ebenescer 



JAMAICA. 213 

had no idea of being laughed at, and b^^an 
to apostrophise the crowd about their taking 
me for a bishop, when some one cried out I 
was a Quaker. Now Ebenezer, never having 
seen a Quaker, could not deny this ; indeed I 
suspect he tliought it possible ; and his mind 
being occupied with iQie new idea, he stared 
at me/ and perused me vnth his whole vision 
in profound silence and with his mouth open, 
as if I had dropped from the clouds to excite 
his sudden wonder, whilst I was waving an 
adieu to Diana, who thought it best to retire, 
and "a negro boy was tying a large Muscovy 
drake to the tail of Ebenezer's mule. The 
beast, as might be expected, began to blaze 
away behind, kicking and plunging, running 
backwards, then rushing forwards, braying 
and kicking again, while the drake fluttered 
about his crupper, now on his back, now un- 
der his belly, Ebenezer bawling all the*while, 
and Abdallah joining in the roar of laughter 
that issued from the crowd ; nor could I keep 
my countenance, though I might have ap- 
propriated the insult to myself. At last the 
mule in despair set off full gallop, only break- 
ing out of his speed now and then to kick, and 
carried Ebenezer through the crowd and out 



214 JAMAICA. 

of my sigfat. At this mom^t came up Mr. 
Mathews, who, seeing me laugh, had the 
cruelty to laugh more heartily than myself and 
the mob together. He led me however out 

of the town to Mr. F ^'s Pen, where we 

were soon joined by Ebenezer's mule, with 
the dead drake still hanging to his tail. It 
was some time before the rider made his ap- 
pearance, for he had been launched into a 
penguin fence, and had pricked his naked 
feet ; beside which he had lost his book, which 
must have been kicked out of his pocket. 
However, Mr. Mathews has promised him a 
new one.* 

There are no Quakers in Jamaica ; the pub- 
lic would not conform to their scruples of 
conscience, and allow them to court the Holy 
Spirit while the rest of the inhabitants were 
in arms for the defence of the island, to sup- 
press rebellion, or to prepare for external foes. 
Their wealth and industry secure them many 
indulgences in England, but in this island 
their claim to inspiration would pass for a 
joke. Hence the reason, according to Mr. 
Mathews, for their vindictive interference in 
colonial afiairs, and for the wretchedness of 
mind, body, and estate, that they have caused 



JAMAICA. 215 

and are causing to the planters. They have 
well revenged themselves. 

I find all white men here breathing ftiry 
and, indignation against Mr. Wilberforce and 
his party; and some blame his Majesty's 
ministers for giving way to the clamour of the 
Saints. Unhappily^ every step t&kenby the 
government at home, in the way of interference, 
excites a feeling in the negroies against their ^ 
masters, whose condition is rendered doubly 
wretched by the suspense they are kept in 
respecting the future measures of the English 
government. 

V I bathed this morning in the Rio Cobre/ 
which, according to Mr. Mathews, is to have 
the same effect as a dip in the Shannon, in 
respect of bronzing the forehead and hard- 
ening the nerves ; *'after which we rode to see 
the king's house in Spanish Town. It forms 
the west side of a square — the courts of* law 
and house of assembly on the east — ^built in 
a very good style of Grecian ah^hitecture. 

The north of the square is occupied by a 
range of more modem buildings, the wings of 
which form, on the east, the end of a large 
structure, used as the secretary's office,\ or 



216 JAMAICA, 

registry of all deeds, wills, and other titles 
affecting the real property of the island ; and 
on the west, next to the king's house, the 
guard room, with accommodations up stairs 
for the officers. These wings are connected by 
a handsome colonnade, in form of a crescent, 
of beautiful white stone; in tiie centre of 
which is a round temple or pavilion covered 
with a dome, in which stands a statue by 
Bacon of the late Lord Rodney; on the 
pedestal of the statue is represented, in bas 
relief, the victory of the 12th April 1782, over 
the French fleet under the conmiand of Count 
deGrasse. 

I find there is what may be called a daily 
market in every town ; the negroes in the 
vicinity bringing their vegetables even be- 
tween the hours of twelve and two, during 
which they leave their work. 

When I bathed this morning, my two 
squires, Ebenezer and Abdallah, took the 
same opportunity of washing thems.elves at a 
little distance from me. They swam and 
dived like coots, and seemed as much in their 
element as on shore. I observed that the 
Abb£ had his derri^ most wofully wealed. 



JAMAICA. 



217: 



and I begged to know for what cirme he had 
been so flogged^ but he would not tell me; 
he intreated me not to ask, atid owned he 
had deserved it and more : the marks were 
of great antiquity, there was nothing recent 
Abdallah was spotless— or stripeless, if I may 
use the word* 



1 



» • 



-. -^ 



'*/••■ 



« • 



. • <*t 



218 JAUAICA. 



CHAPTER XXIX, 

Febrnary 9— Monday. * 

• I CAME over to Kingston on the 5th, by a 

• 

very pleasant excellent road, having the moun- 
tains o£' St. Andrew, or Liguanea mountains, 
Ton my left, and the blue mountains towering 
beyond them into the clouds. The mornings 
are very cool in Kingston to my feeling, and 
there is a freshness in the air that I have not 
perceived before, since I have been in the 
island, "" probably from the land wind here 
blowing directly down from the lofties tregion. 
The first person I met in Kingston was the 
Israelite, Peter Nunnez, with Cobbett's letter 
to Mr. Wilberforce in his hand, which he 
begged me to read. " There,** he said, " you 
will see the Saint unsainted, the real naked- 
two-legged animal, that has had influence 
enough, and venom enough, to poison the 
minds of all your countrymen, even down to 



JAMAICA; 219 

the very meanest rabble, the gaol bkds, the 
refuse of the hulks, the mutilated beggars in 
the highway, who hawk about his twopemiy 
trash, and cry, 'down with slavery.' You 
ought to persuade your friends, who are slave- 

• 

owners, to have this letter read aloud every 
Sunday morning on their estates, to all the 
individuals, white, brown, and black, who 
belong to the establishment ; a public \crier 
ought to proclaim it weekly in every market; 
it ought to be copied in letters of gold, and 
placarded throughout the island . If I had sugar 
works, or a coffee plantation, I would teach all 
my negroes to read, if it were only that they 
should read this ; and the children should learn 
it by heart. I would put it in the form of a 
catechism, and the whole population should 
repeat it once a month. I would make a 
game of it, like the royal game of goose or 
trou-madame, or hopscotch,* and designate 
every department of such game by one of 
the important circumstances of this man's 
life, — ^by one of the miseries among his own 
countrymen, to which he has contributed, 
either by his indifference or his perverseness. 
Here I would have," continued he, ''Habeas 
Corpus — Bank Stoppage — Imprisonment Bill 



220 JAHAICA. 

—Press Circular— Press-gang — ^Militia-cat- 
of-nine-tails — Starved Irishmen — ^Manchester 
Massacre — Six Acts, &c. &c. — ^And why not 
have an effigy; of him shewn about at so much 
a head? — 'This is your patron, the W — ^f — e, 
your doctor, see how much he has done for 
the souls of the English and the Irish ! He 
wants to do as much for you all ;-r-take these 
pills; they are gratis, and a little griping, but 
their effect is miraculous. They elevate your 
ideas to a cross piece of wood, called a gibbet, 
and they can move the mountains of Jamaica 
to the middle of St. Domingo, or those of 
St. Domingo to the middle of Jamaica.' 
There, sir," he added, *' take it, read it ; a 
friend has sent me one hundred copies. I 
wish he had sent me a thousand, — I could 
have sold them all in a week." 

I took the important pamphlet, intending 
to peruse it at my leisure, and put it into my 
pocket, while I enquired of him respecting 
Edward Currie and the pirate, which, he told 
me, had been taken by an English schooner, 
and there were great hopes the crew would 
be hanged. Currie had got a birth in an 
American . ship, with his. old messmates,, to 
return to their employers. He might have 



jauaica; 221 

had as good a birth in an English merchant- 
man, but he would venture there no more, 
as, in case of a war, he would infiatllibly be 
pressed s^in into a King*s ship. 

Nunnez invited me to dinner, and bade me 
welcome to his house, where he wished me 
to remove ; but 'for health's sake I have been 
advised to sleep out of the town at a lodging 
house, where they dance every night, and I ' 
of course must join in the frolic, so thai I 
get but little advantage from my airy situation. 
It is so airy, however, that I cannot bear the 
jealousies open at night. 

This town is most beautifully situated on 
the edge of the harbour, from which the 
land rises to the north, until it terminates at 
the Blue Mountain Peak. The streets, or 
rather roads, for there is no pavement, are 
wide and spacious, and in many places you 
may walk under piazzas for a length of i^ay, 
although few white persons walk about the 
town, except in Port Royal Street, or Har- 
bour Street, which are the general resort of 
men of business,'- being composed of stores 
and counting houses ; a top chaise is the con- * 
vienient vehicle, that is, a gig, with an awnmg 
of leather to keep off the ' sun's rays^ which 



MiAlhMki 



222 JAMAICA. 

are really intolerable from mid-day to three 
o'clock in the afternoon. I have got one side 
of my &ce dyed purple, by standing unco- 
vered in the sun for not more than a minute, 
and that at seven o'clock in the morning. As 
the other half is of a dead white, I am lite- 
rally become a bifrons, and my appearance, 
already grotesque, is now burlesque. My 
face does not bum or give me pain, but 
neither vinegar and water, nor laudanum and 
water, nor all the drowsy syrups of the east, 
will medicine the red side back to the paper 
hue of its better half, and of the rest of my 
body. There is a very handsome church, 
and a noble parade, hotter than any other 
place in the island. rThe neighbouring coun- 
try is thronged with pretty villas, which are 
called penns, the residences of the merchants 
and shop-keepers, who pass the day in their 
stores, and resort to them as soon as business 
is over. The harbour is immense, and entirely 
land-locked, except at the entrance by Port 
Royal, where there are two forts to protect 
it, one on the neck of the sand where Port 
Royal stands, the other called the Apostle's 
Battery, on the main land. / Port Royal is 
now but. an insignificant place; earthquake 



JAMAICA. 223 

and fires and hurricanes have brought it to 
this pass. It has always been the fashion to 
say that it was an emporium of wickedness, 
and that the vengeance of heaven was par* 
ticularly directed against it; but I have not 
been able to discover that the inhabitants 
were even half so wicked as the Neapolitans, 
or the Romans of the present day, to say 
nothing of the Algerines and Tunisian^. 
Nay, I doubt whether Portsmouth, during 
a war, is at all more righteous than Port 
Royal wasr^ and London I the great Babylon 1 
the woman arrayed in purple and * scarlet, 
having a golden cup in her hand, full of abo- 
minations! cannot she compare with the 
Astarte of Port Royal ? Of one great sin . -the 
latter was confessedly innocent, that is, of 
hypocrisy — ^there was no deception in the 
Port Royalists ; they were not a jot wickeder 
than they appeared. . " , • ' 

< The natives here have wherries to jciross 
the harbour to Port Royal ; pretty boats' that 
carry two sails* the harbour itself is notorious 
for sharks. .The view from. Port Royal to- 
wards Kingston is magnificentin the extreme; 
one cannot but regret that a country, which 



WI^'vJtn^A — la 



224 JTAHAICA. 

in beauty and luxuriance equals our ideas of 
Paradise, should have a climate certainly hos- 
tile to John Bull and his family ; but I forget 
again that the sea-shore is the only hostile 
part. That blue mountam before me, soaring 
into the cloudless heaven, is the abode of 
health if not of wealth. Some idea of the 
fertility of the soil and the mass of food it 
.fforf. »».y b. formed ft,m co.templ.tmg. 
plantain walk. Humboldt (I think) says, 
<^ an acre of plantains will support three hun- 
dred and ninety-nine individuals : supposing 
an acre of wheat in Europe to maintain three, 
the produce of the one, compared with the 
other, is as one hundred and thirty-tiiree to 
one.**' 

When we reflect on this, it becomes a 
serious matter for the whites to think of 
emancipating their slaves; — a few hours work 
daily, for only a few weeks in the year, would 
enable a negro to bring up a family, though 
blacky would rather his wife, or wives, should 
work for him, while he smokes his pipe. ^ Yet 
the plantain is a precarious sort of food ; for 
a hurricane destroys all in one m'ght, and it 
requires four or five months before the suckers 



JAMAICA. 225 

will bear again.' The plant is too well knowtf 
to require any description; it is the fmua 
paradisiaca. 

Nunnez carried me one day to dinner at 

the house of a barrister, a Mr. , where 

I met an assembly of gentlemen of the robe, 
solicitors, merchants, and two or three plan* 
ters. We were regaled in grand style, with 
turtle and champaign, claiet and madeira, an^ 
the company drank no less freely than they 
would have done at a Lord Mayor s kast, 
although the heat was so suffocating that it 
turned the wine into perspiration before it 
could get down our throats. Every gentle- 
man's cover had been garnished with a fan, 
as important an article as knife and fork ; but 
nothing could soothe tlie fiery dragon that con- 
sumed me. I left the table therefore and re- 
tired to a window, where I sat' in the little 
draught of air that was but just perceptible 
(or it would have been dangerous) and listened 
unobserved to the conversation of the master 
and his guests, which became more animated 
as the wine circulated and the daylight de- 
clined. The resolutions of the House of As- 
sembly were regularly criticised : one thought 
them right, another good, a third strong, a 



226 J^AMAICA. 

fourth milk and water, a fifth would have hiad 
them '^ speak daggers*' and bite as well a* 
shew their teeth :— one person only ventirred 
to say that the English parliament had a 
right to legislate for the colonies, and he drew 
a host of foes on himself immediately. He 
observed, that the emancipators cast in the 
teeth of the planters and slave-owners that 
the n^froes were governed and tried by laws 
which they had no voice in enacting. This 
was an unlucky remark to blunder on, for 
every one had an answer ; viz. ** Do not the 
SaifiU wish to impose laws on us ? Is it not 
their object to make laws for us, in which we 
are to have no voice whatever ? Are we re- 
presented in the English parliament by . any 
pne of the rotten boroughmongers who woiild 
legislate or affect to legislate for us ? I 
think the English government has had enough 
of legislating for colonies. The Ameri- 
cans have hammered a little more sense 
into Johnny BulFs^ head, than will suffer 
him to come to points even with the Creoles. 
The English aristrocracy laugh at us and 
our resolutions, no doubt, and think of us as of 
saucy children ; but it is no proof of wisdom 
or discretion to despise even a feeble enemy// 



JAMAICA. . 2S3 

Then followed a choras, I grieve to iecord 
it, of execration and disgust against ^* tht 
ignorant, infatuated, hypocritical reptiles that 
were gnawing the vitals of the colonists.'' • 

The letter to Mr. Wilberforce now came cm 
the tapis, and afforded a fine field for dis- 
quisition ; but although it met with universal 
approbation, the author was very roughly 
handled by some of the company, especially'' 
the lawyers. They said he had no principle^ 
that he was a leveller, a radical-^^' A radical f? 
exclaimed a voice at the lower end of the 
table, ''What are tlie Saints but radicals 
Knd levellers? Did any one ever hear of a 
reform more radical than that at whicli they 
are aiming? A leveller I what think you of 
the Quakers, and of Mr. Buxton, the gen- 
tleman, who, though a great stickler for the 
rights of nature, and for free trade when his 
own interest is not concerned, opposes, with 
might and main, free brewing and the free 
sale of beer, that the.. poor creatures in 
England may buy. more of his porter; th6 
gentleman, who most pertinaciously resists 
any improvements in the present anomalous 
system of licensing public houses, in order 
•that the value of his own may not be ^* 






228 



JAMAICA. 



minUhed, or the monopoly of the sale of por- 
ter be endangered, and yet very quietly takes 
upon himself to dbpose of our lives and pro- 
perty, aided by his humane friend Mr. M- 



of African celebrity; that cruel and rapacious 
adventurer, who woiild have fallen an uh- 
pitied victim to the exasperated negroes, if 
he had not made a precipitate retreat ? The 
author of the letter has repeatedly declared 
himself a friend to the English constitution, 
ah advocate for King, Lords, andCk>mmons/* — 
" Well, but,** replied the lawyer, " look at his 
principles." 

Planter. '' What do you mean by princi- 
ples? I understand you just now to say he 
had none. Pray, by what principles are 
lawyers guided? Are their professional ex- 
ertions stimulated only by a love of justice ? 
or do they not defend either side of a case as 
they happen to be employed ? Have their con- 
sciences anything to do in the business ? or 
do they think of aught beyond the fee and 
the defence of their client, rig^t or wrong ? 
The rapacity of lawyers, aye, of gentlemen of 
the bar in the highest practice, is almost pro- 
verbial in London. Is it not common for 
barristers to receive large fees to defend* two 






JAMAICA. 229 

causes that are called on for trial in different 
courts at the same time, and of course to sa- 
crifice one of their clients ? ' Has not ^en the 
Lord Chancellor noticed in terms of reproba- 
tion the scandalous manner in which gentle- 
men of the bar and solicitors have neglected 
the causes of their unhappy clients ? And he 
is certainly not imfriendly to the memberi of ^ 
the profession/ nor is he one to speak rashly. 
Is this principle ? Money-gettmg principle^ I 
Mrill allow it to be." 

' Lawyer. "A man may have political prin- 
ciples, though his professional duty renders 
it imperative on him to defend his client, even 
if in the wrong." 

Plan te r (with great vehemence). " Politi- 
cal principles in a man who thinks himself 
bound, for a few guineas, to defend a cause 
he knows to be imjusti What is that but a 
vile prostitution of talents to lucre, filthy 
lucre ? The man who for a fee is daily using 
quirks and quibbles to screen a scoundrel 
from justice, and views it as a duty, will not 
hesitate to sacrifice the best interests of his 
country for a pension or a title, nay, he will 
glory in it as a virtue. "^ Accustomed indis- 
criminately to advocate right or wrong, law- 



230 



JAUAICA. 



yen become casuists to their own consciences y 
hence their general ductility of principle; 
hence it is, as Montesquieu, I think, says, 
lawyers are used by free governments as sol- 
diers are by despots— as tools to tyranny. 
Their subserviency is a vice of habit, over 
which their talents, their knowledge, and 
their wealth, throw a lustre that dazzles the 
weak and superficial. This will explain the 

incongruities of black S *s career : what 

he writes to day he will contradict to-morrow, 
as a pleader will one hour defend his client 
by pippositions which he will the next hour 

try to refute. S looks to his brief and 

writes^ accordingly ; a man may be startied 
at ' first reading the daring assertions in 
his publications, but no one, accustomed to 
reflect and compare, can be deceived by them, 
.-*r-so palpable, so glaring are the contra- 
dictions, and so obviously disingenuous are 
the inferences he draws firom facts. Suppose 
the writer of the Political Register a barrister, 
defending the cause of Vulgus versus Bo- 
roughmonger — ^has not he done his part well?'' 
. Lawt£R. ** Buthe has ho consistency.'' 
• Planter. "Who hast Which of the po- 
litical adventurers of the age has been con-. 









I 



Jamaica; 231 

sisterit ? How ' many Whigs' > Have ^ turned 
Tories, out of gratitude ? Look ai the p6^ 
litical writers of the day — are they not ' all 
bought. and sold? Do you imagine the i>re88 
all pure and immaculate, and inaccessible to 
bribery and corruption ? Why, politics are k 
trade. Political principles indeed ! When you 
say a man has no principles, you should shew 
that he is a bad husband, a bad. father,^ a 
slanderous neighbour, an adulterer, a cheats 
an assassin, a hypocrite, or a wolf in sheep's 
clothing. Has not the man we are speaking 
of brought up a family in virtue and honour t 
Has he not devoted himself for them ? 
Has not he endured fine and imprisomnent 
and perils of all kinds for them ? Has not he 
exposed vice in every class' of society, and 
defended the cause of the weak against op- 
pressors ? He may have his foibles, who has 
not? But if such a man is not a good ^citizen; 

tell me who is? IsW W- e? Would 

you have him a psalm-singer ? Bring hiin in 
for a rotten borough ; give him a pension or A 
place ; you will complain iio more of his in* 
consistency. For my part, I beg leave to drink 
his health."—" With all my heart!" " With all 
my heart T—" A bumper the table round.' Y 



232 ' JAMAICA. 

7' The health of William Cobbett, and thanka . 

to him for his exposition of hypocrisy and " [ 

knavery." 

Thus they continued their carouse, as for 
as I may guess, long after Nunnez had con- 
ducted me, not to my lodging house, but 
to a ball of persons of colour, something in 
the style of that which I had seen in West- 
moreland. Here I imagine they were all 
free people, mostly Mulattoes and Quadroons, 
with several European gentlemen among them^ 
who enjoyed themselves in dancing and phi- 
landering with their partners, many of whom 
were really lovely, beautiful creatures. '> .1 
should have stayed longer among them, but my 
masquerade face attracted more attention 
than I was ambitious of. 

Nunnez (tells me that libertinage prevails 
among this class to as great an extent as 
among the dress-makers in the metropolis of 
England, but without any deceit. The people 
consider siich connexions perfectly respecta- 
ble, and even necessary in a society where 
men come to make fortunes, not to settle 
themselves for life. I own I could have fan- 
cied myself at the court of Calypso, where 
there were iso many lovely creature?, without 



I . 



.JAMAICA. 233 - 

vanity or affectation, replete with every attrao* ' ^ 
tion of youth, grace, and axhiability. They 
danced delightfully, and some of the womea / 
sang and played on the piano-forte, and I wit- 
nessed no symptom of indelicacy on the part • 
of male or female. '\ 

I found no great difficulty in arranging 
my little matters of business with the^ ex- - 
ecutors of my deceased relation. His negroes^ 
had been sold, with the exception of a iathei^ 
less boy and girl, both of course Creoles, who 
had not yet found any person to purchase 
them, to whom they had taken a fancy to be- 
long. Unfortunately, they conceived a pre- 
possession in my favour, and came to me 
with every importunity, beseeching me to 
buy them, promising they would serve me 
with all their hearts and souls til? •death. 
This prepossession originated, no doubt,- in 
the affection they retained for my departed 
friend, their late master ; for what could they ' 
think of myself to induce a wish that I should 
become his successor? Of myself, w^om 
they had never seen or heard of before? ' T^ey[ 
said they had '' no fader and no mumma; that 
massa had lubb'd them, and they lubVd 
massa, and wanted to b'long to massa ire- i 



• « 

■ N 



X« 



■fa«M 



234 



JAMAICA. 



lati<m/^ . It -muB in vain I told them I should 
leave the.island in a few weeks, and never re^ 
tum^ They would: go to England with me, 
to France, — ebay where ;^ I should nebba 
want any other servant if I would but buy 
them/' What was to be done, or rather 
what could I do, with two ink-black children, 
^or they were not fourteen years old, either 
of them) in England, except to instruct the 
natives there in the condition of the slaves, 
to let ihem see the happiness of English 
peasantry^ and send them back to Jamaica 
with the account of it ? It would be rather 
an expensive experiment, as I should have 
to pay one hundred and fifty pounds for them 
at starting. However, I promised to con* 
suit with my Israelite, and take his advice, 
and to buy them, if I could anyhow dispose 
of them/ so asto make them happy and con- 
tented. . 



/ 



♦ » 



* ' • • 






» t •. 



',•.' 



♦•- • 



• *• • • • 



• • • • 



•" » • 4 »• ••« 



* . 



■ * % / < 



' A « ' > 



*. ' > 




I PASSED Sunday atageQtleman'sFennear 
the half-way tree, as it is called, where is a 
burial ground, with the tomb of a governor or 
two ; and in the evening I heard my old ac- 
quaintance, Mr. Reiterhotfer, preach to an' 
assembly of negroes in a mill-house. The 
Moravian reminded me of my faithful friend, 
the pretty Diana, for whom he made many 
enquiries, with a degree" of enthusiasm that 
convinced me he was a zealous missionary at 
all events, as he was as anxious as ever about 
the Quadroon's soul. He was mortified to 
hear that she was gone into Portland, and that 
he had no farther chance of seeing her, except 
he made a pilgrimage thither to enlighten the 
negroes. He told me he was a watchmaker 
by trade, and had worked some years in Lon- 
don. His discourse to the negroes was really 



236 JAMAICA. 

excellent^ for it was in fact a paraphrase of 
Christ's sermon on the mount, enforced in 
plain language, and in a tone and manner very 
different from that which in England has often 
made me think, as I have listened to a digni- 
tary of the church, that he performed his duty 
as if he were doing heaven a favour. The 
n^^roes were very attentive, and departed 
literally in peace. 

February 11 — ^WedDetday. 

' I left' Kingston this morning, to pass a few 
days at PortMorant with an old friend,* who 
has just left me at this place (Yallah's) that is, 
a tavern kept by a blaclc dame on the eastern 
nde of the river of the same name. 'The 
whole road' is superb. I breakfasted at an 
inn by the road side, kept by a white man, 
about eleven miles from Kingston, having 
passed Rock Fort, and crossed one or two 
small rivers and a lagoon, near which I saw 
anieJligator cross the road. ^ I should think 
he was four or five feet long ; but he passed 
so uneiqpectedly that I had not time to remark 
him much; besides, he was a hundred and 
fifty yards before me. .' I rested during the 
heat of the day, and it was evening when 



JAMAICA. 2St 

I reached Yallah's river, a turbid, dirty, and 
considerable stream, which appeared 'swollen 
with rainsi though I had not seen a drop ' fall 
in the part of the island where L had' btoi 
staying. My two squires knew nothing of 
the ford, for I had left the main road, exjpect- 
ing to meet my friend at an estate two or 
three miles inland. We wandered about' till 
it was nearly dark, looking for a habitation 
or a human being to direct us, when we ar- 
rived at a lai^e mansion, situated within a few 
yards of the river. I rode up to the door, to 
ask either hospitality or directions; and afler 
rappmg with my umbrella half a dozen times 
at the jealousies, and parading the piazza, 
I ventured to walk in, and finding all quiet, 
opened a door leading from the hall into a suite 
of rooms on my left, which I traversed until 
the course of them brought me back to the 
hall. I then began another hammering, and 
finding that still in vain, I made the tomr of 
the other side of the house. It was extremely 
well furnished, with abundance of sofas, and 
several beds, and handsome chairs and tables, 
as far as I could judge in the twilight, or rather 
moonlight ; but not a living soul could I find. 
I shouted a genuine tallyho, which was an- 



238 JAMAICA. 

swered by the naghing of a horse in a stable 
across the court yard. Had it been in £ng« 
land, this response would have been in cha^ 
racter, but as I imagine this P^;asu8 had never 
before heard such a signal, it must have been 
the blood of hia ancestry that was roused 
by my halloo. I would have examined the 
stable, to assuro myself that it was a horse 
and not a fiend, the Robin Goodfellow, the 
Puck of the Antilles, that was mocking me; 
but hero only I met bars and bolts J The 
owner of this enchanted mansion must still 
be a two-legged animal, as Voltairo says, 
without feathers ; he is moro afraid of negroes 
riding his hunters than robbing his house. I 
must leave the castle of enchantment or take 
possession of it, — ^what shall I do ? • Abdallah 
^d he saw a cow at a distance, wading 
through the river ; — to the river we galloped, 
and following the cow's tail, crossed in safety, 
and hastened to a light which glimmered 
among the tarees, whero a black lassie directed 
us to] this aforesaid .^vem.' 

A part of the country on this side of Rock 
Fort is of a dry nature, and overrun with the 
cactus^ tdragonus, or /torch thistly to which 
the natives give rather a liberal name."^ My 



JAMAICA; 239 - 

hostess has not been over courteous ; if I coxAi 
have betteried myself, I would have Quitted 
her mansion, for she is the proudest two^ • 
legged thing I ever saw in petticoats. 



« 



February l^-^Tliursday. . \ 

'I left Miss Cornelians tavern this morning 
at day-break, and rode with my new compa- 
nion to breakfast at an estate on the western'' 
side of Morant River, where we were very 
hospitably entertained; but our repose wa» 
interrupted by the cracking of a whip, which 
disconcerted our host as well as ourselves, as 
it implied that one of the negroes was under- 
going a severe punishment. I looked through 
a spy-glass (a very usual piece of furniture in 
every piazza) towards the quarter whence the 
noise of the whip appeared to come, and ob- 
served a black man laid on the ground, and 
two drivers flogging him. The moment i 
mentioned two drivers, our host ran out of the 
house, mounted his horse, and galloped to 
the scene of action. The cracking of the whip 
however had soon ceased, and I learned afters- 
wards that the culprit had only received the ' 
Mosaic allowance — thirty-nine stripes. Mn 

G , our host, told us on his return that* 

it was his cook who had been thus flagellated * 



240 JAMAICA. 

by the overseer's order, who. had taken on 
himself to punish the man, while he (Mr. 6.) 
had been undecided in what way to treat 
him. The fact was, the cook, /a few days be- 
fore, had endeavoured to poison Mr. 6. and 
his (amily,>by mixing, I think he said, ground 
glass in some soup, which was however for- 
tunately detected in time to prevent mischief. 
The cook had been instigated by revenge, be- 
cause a young man, his son, bom of a free 
woman, and consequently free, had been ap- 
prehended for using treasonable or rebellious 
expressions, and kept in custody, by Mr. 6/s 
orders, during the Christmas holidays, while 
so much anxiety prevaUed respecting the pro- 
jected insurrection in St. Mary's. The cook 
had been degraded from his post, and turned 
ipto the field to work, where he had used in- 
sulting and threatening language to the over- 
seer, telling him he did not dare to flog him, 
that it was forbidden by the buckras yonder ^^ 
who had made him as free as his son. This 
took place in the field, before all the negroes, 
and the overseer had thought proper to punish 
him on the spot. Mr.G. was rather dis- 
pleased at the circumstance, though he owned 
1 • • ■ » . • ■ 

* In England. 



Jamaica; 24i 

that the man deserved certamly the sevdnest 
punishment, but wished the overseer had been 
less precipitate. Would the man have been 
hanged or transported in England ? And is 
not this cracking of the whip after all prefer- 
able to private castigation? The sound be* 
trays, discloses the fact of punishment^ not 
only to the negroes, but to the master and the 
whole ^country ; and must call the attentkm * 
of all persons within ear-shot. 

A gentleman in Kingston told me, that two 
of his negroes had robbed a soldier of a bun- 
dle he was carrying, not by force, but oh' 
pretence of relieving him as he walked in the 
hot sun. The soldier complained to his offi- * 
cer, who suspected from the situation where 
the robbery occurred, that the negroes be- 
longed to the aforesaid gentleman, and begged 
that the party robbed might be allowed to 
identify the thieves. All the slaves wereim- 
mediately ordered out, and the soldier without 
hesitation fixed on both the rogues, whom 
the gentleman sent forthwith to the com- 
manding officer, with a request that they ; 
might be punished as he thought proper. 
They were ordered to be flogged with a* cat- ^ 
O'-nine-tails the day following; but they 

R 



242 JAMAICA. 

eluded the vigilance of their guards, and came 
back to their master, begging and intreating 
to be saved from the sojer buckras ; they 
were willmg to be flogged to pieces by the 
driver, flogged to h — ^11, so massa would not 
let them be murdered by the white men. 
However, he handed them up again to the offi- 
cer, with a statement of their apprehensions, 
and they were still in his custody when I was 
told of the circumstance. 

There are many ships which frequent Mo- 
. rant river or rather Morant bay, to receive 
the produce of Blue Mountain valley, and 
part of St. David and St. Thomas in the East. 
There is a church and a great many houses, 
and many beautiful estates. I was told here 
that the clergyman, Mr. T , a most ex- 
emplary minister, has married nearly two 
thousand couples of negroes and people of 
colour, according to the rites of the English 
church. 

My old friend, almost as great a quiz as 
mysdf, led the way through two or three 
small rivers, which discharge themselves into 
the sea between Morant bsty and Port Mo- 
rant He rode a raw-boned chesnut horse 
with a white head and fiour white legs, which 



JAMAICA. 243 

seemed always mixed up with his own long 
spindle shanks, that dangled nearly to the 
ground ; for though he is more than six feet 
high, his head is scarce visible above his 
horse's. He led the way through the rivers^ 
and sank into a quicksand in one of them (not. 
wider than a good ditch) so gently and plea- 
santly, that I took for granted it was a pre- 
meditated feat, when I saw him quietly swings 
his right leg and thigh over the ears of hi^ 
charger and walk towards me, while the beast 
bustled out of the sand, shook himself, an4 
seemed to offer the saddle again to his masr 
ter. On such occasions, that is, where there 
is danger of being swamped, it is more pru- 
dent to take a good offing and keep out to 
sea ; the bar heaped up at the confluence of 
the salt and fresh waters is generally firm. 

The holidays have passed ?iway here with- 
out any fracas, but the different companies of 
militia have been by turns on duty during 
Christmas, and for some time after. We are 
lodged at the house of a coffee-planter at Port 
Morant, overlooking the harboui^ (which is 
very spacious) and a dull swamp before it, 
with a range of mountains called the Carrion 
Crow hills, to the north and north-east, which. 



244 JAMAICA. 

like all the other mountanifl I have seen in 
the island, are covered with forest. 

Febniary 14— Satnrday. 

> I saw many wreaths of smoke yesterday, 
rising among the woods in the mountains at 
day-break, which were pointed out as evi- 
dences of runaway negroes, or Maroons in 
pursuit of them, or perhaps of hog-hunters 
roasting their plamtainsJ The owner of this 
estate sent to England last year twenty pun- 
cheons of rum as a remittance to his factor, 
for which he found himself credited in his 
account current with eighty-six pounds fif- 
teen shillings, the amount of the net proceeds ; 
the value of the casks, not less than thirty 
pounds, was included in this net proceeds, so 
that the whole return on two thousand four 
hundred gallon^ of rum, was about fifty-six 
pounds, for the cost of materials, labour, fire, 
stills, dothmg and feeding of the negroes, &c. 
He has a sugar estate, from which he sent, 
last year, two hundred hogsheads of Musco- 
vado sugar, which, after paying all contin- 
gencies, gave him axdear five hundred and 
fifty pounds. 

See, nr, what it is,** said the planter, '^to 



44 



JAMAICA. 246 

be hunted down by a pack of fiuiatics. As a 
remuneration for my toil and care in superin- 
tending the labour of two hundred and twenty- 
five slaves, and for the interest of a capital, 
that, but for the interference of the Saints and 
Quakers, was considered at least thirty-five 
thousand pounds, I have a revenue of five 
hundred and fifty pounds, to provide for my- 
self and family, and to insure me against^ 
droughts, tempests, hurricanes, and] insur- 
rections. With a less capital, less risk, and 
much less personal toil and anxiety, in Eng- 
land, in my dear native country, I might 
hope to derive a much larger revenue, livfe 
suitably to my rank in society, and make 
progressively an ample provision for my 
daughters; but, through the intrigues and 
machinations of a set of blind enthusiasts, 
whose morbid philanthropy propels them to 
measures that injure those they mean to be- 
nefit, I am here in a state of banishment, 
and gliding fast to ruin; and whilst thus 
weighed down by misery, vnthout one ray of 
hope to illumine the dreary prospect before 
me, I am, with the rest of the colonists, de- 
picted by the Saints, the Methodists, the 
Quakers, the man of beer, and, at their insti- 



246 JAMAICA. 

gation, by three-fourths of the people of Great 
Britain, as a hard-hearted, inhuman monster, 
delighting in torturing, branding, and flogging 
my slaves, taking all the women to my own 
bed, or offering them to my guests ; working 
them in iron collars for amiisement — (for ne- 
groes never deserve punishment)— for amuse- 
ment, and from a principle of ienjoying human 
miseries and mortifications, fix)m an un- 
avoidable abuse of power ; yet, such is the 
inconsistency of mian, these same calumniators 
wish for a similar power over us !''— -He 
finished with a deep sigh, which threwa deep 
melancholy over me fi)r hours. 



247 



' I 
% m , - 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

Fdnaxy 14— Satmday. ^ 

Being so near Bath, I thought it worth whfle 
to visit a place remarkable for its medicinal 
spring, and I am obliged to pass the night 
here on accoimt of the rain. The road finom 
Moimt Morant is uninteresting for some few 
miles, although very hilly. The town or vil- 
lage is embosomed in trees, and surrounded 
by mountains, which supply it plentifully with 
water. I was directed to the house of a white 
lady, who I was told received guests, or 
pcnsioKcn, anxious to drink the ¥^ter8, and 
entertained them at so much per diem ; but, 
as I was imcertain of my way, and my valet 
did not know the place, I made several en- 
quiries before I found out the object of my 
search. A young lady, standing at the door 
of a rambling old house, seemed to signify by 
her looks that she guessed I was hunting out 



-- -■- 



248 JikMAICA. 

this half-and-half sort of tavern ; and, as her 
physiognomy invited a nearer approach, I sa- 
luted her, and asked for Mrs. White. '' She 
lives here,** was the reply : ''will you dismount 
and walk in ?** The offer was not to be refu- 
sed. ''Can I dine here?" "Yes, certainly/' 
cried the old woman, hurrying to the piazza ; 
" come in, sir, I pray, out of the rain/' The 
rain came down on the shingles like a shower 
of marbles or bullets, as I entered this antique 
and dilapidated mansion, where the first ob- 
jects that presented themselves to my eyes 
(after the ladies) were all the crockery of 
the establishment ranged in rows to catch 
the water that streamed through the roof. It 
was a most curious exhibition ; cracked and 
disjointed fragments of one colour grafted 
on stocks of another, some tied round with 
zones of packthread and red tape, that 
seemed to have suffered a degradation from 
more honourable service. The rain fell so 
£BLst into these reservoirs, that it caused a 
splashing all over the room or hall, and I would 
fain parry it with my umbrella, which I opened 
and hoisted for the purpose, much to the 
amusement of Miss, who had the kindness to 
give me a wash for the red half of my face. 



JAMAICA. 249 

while the old lady b^[ged to imow. what vl 
would have for my dinner. I left the office of 
catering to her, as she told me I might have 
anything I liked ; only excepting bl&ck pad- 
dings, which I told her I disliked — anything 
else, no matter what, would content me. *' A 
fowl, Louisa, I think the gentleman would 
like — a fowl— oh yes, a fowl and some soup.*' 
"Pepper pot, anything in the world, madam.!* 
The old lady went to the opposite side of 
the hall, where another door opened into a 
back piazza, and by some enchantment of 
.com or eloquence, enticed and caught a cock 
that had taken shelter there from the rain. 
This she began twirling round and round by 
the neck, standing all the while with her back 
towards me, and singing the "Blue bell of 
Scotland," to drown the cries of the dying 
chanticleer. Miss had been commissioned, I 
suppose, to create a diversion of my eyes and 
ears from the ceremony of this murder, for she 
placed herself between me and her mother, 
and offered me an old volume of Roderick 
Random, in which she called my attention to 
the plates. The over anxiety of the parties 
however betrayed them. As an humble musi- 
cian, I was bound to listen to the lady*s solo. 



MdMBlk... 



^'mA'i^ fuR*- 



250 JAMAICA; 

• 

to wiiich the raging of the rain contributed a 
grumUmg bass, of something like toy kettle- 
drums, and the tinkling of the crockery served 
for cymbals or triangles* The cock now and 
then was heard, first in recitativb, then ias 
taking part in a mutilated trio, for the old lady 
got out of breath with singing, with the exer- 
tion and the struggling of the bird, that she 
lost the time, and stopped now and then half 
a bar, to recover her respiration, while the 
other performers occupied her pauses. The 
whole effect was happily ludicrous. The Prima 
Donna had begun adagio with '^ Oh ! where, 
and oh! where'' — ^the young lady's ''Roderick 
Random" coming in after '' Your Highlsmd 
Laddie," mingled with the scream of Alectryon. 
From a trio, we got to a finale; thus it 



{ 
{ 



PB.DOK. Il«*tgoM to fight tbtFfcncb for ontbetbroMl 

MimL. lUnlerick lUiMloai J 

pB.p. Aadit'tohl iamyhcftrllwitli MfeaihoaMl 

Alsct •• eock«eock«oock! • • • • * 3 

/'Pb.Du His boaiict*toCtli« SUMO • • • waittooat ..• • pl«id • . ^ 

JMmL. • • • ; Strap ..NareiMB.. pretty pictaretr 

jTiUfsua. ItliMlMwaiaraMal aotapnider 

V.AUKV. • oock,eock! • • aohl •• • • • oook,oockiy 



JAMAICA. 261 

.Here, with a violent straggle, jch&nticleer 
stuck one of his spurs in the old woman's left 
hand, on which she screamed and let him &11; 
with his neck twisted ;— he fluttered mto the 
room, and began a dismal solo of groans and 
screams. The Prima Donna grumbled and 
stormed; the young ladyran on aboutRodenck 
Random's red hair ; the rain rattled ; an old 
turkey-cock, enraged at the noise, began to 
gobble ; and I would have lauded, but Miss 
Louisa would not give me time. How j^lec- 
tryon was dispatched, I know not : a black 
imp whisked into the hall, popped him under 
her apron, and flew off like a harpy ; when 
she returned, it was to apply a bit of rag to 
the old lady's bridle arm. 

After waitii^ the proper time, the soup 
entered between the sable paws of little 
Kitty, oozing through the cracks of a white 
slop basin, all the rest of the dinner-set being 
in requisition for the rain. It was as black 
as ink, as black as Kitty, and tasted of nothing 
but pepper and water. I was obliged to de- 
cline it, which I was loth to do, for fear of 
offending my hostess, and because I expected 
to see nothing else but poor Alectryon, who I 
knew must be as tough as a halter irom age- 



He followed of course, txuled as black as the 
soup, of which I am afraid he had been the 
basis, the sole material, and I should have 
had a banyan day but for half a dozen eggs 
that Miss Louisa had the humanity to offer 
me, and a slice of Dutch cheese as hard as 
Pharoah's heart. 

AAer dinner she invited me to take a turn 
in the botanic garden opposite the house, 
where, among a vast number of culinary 
and medicinal plants from all parts of the 
world, I saw an oak and a walnut tree, neither 
^^ which looked the worse for the change tsi 
scene. The spring is a mile from this place, 
gushes out of a rock, and is so hot that I 
could not bear my hand in the water at first. 
A negro woman at the bath told me that the 
heat was one hundred anid thirty degrees by 
the " bermomter." 

Februftiy 15 — SumUy. 

Many persons have a propensity to travel 
on a Sunday, to see the people of the country 
in their best clothes. But let me take leave 
of Mrs. White. A little vrine and water 
completed my sumptuous meal, during which 
two starved cats stalked about the room. 



JAMAICA. -253 

makiiig a most dismal mewing and catowaul- 
ing ; they were lean and lank as lizards, and 
th^ voices had acquired a tone perfectly 
sepulchral from the vacuity in their hollow 
carcases. What they conld be kept for I vras 
at a loss to discover, as there was nothing io 
the house to tempt a rat, and the cats would 
never catch one, unless it were as weak and 
emaciated as themselves. ' 

I passed the night in a wretched bed, with 
a musquito net, that resembled the main sdl 
of a frigate after an action of six or seven 
hours; the whizzing of the musquitos was 
nothing to their bites : they were the largest, 
blackest, and most venomous I ever saw or 
felt. The place must be unwholesome, it so 
very humid ; the showers lull the wind, and 
during those intervals the heat and steam are 
enough to choke an Englishman.. Mrs. White 
exacted a considerable fine from me for pre- 
suming to enter her mansion, where few will 
trespass a second time, except to say some- 
thmg sweet to Miss Louisa, This damsel 
.gave me a letter to a young lady in Man- 
chineal, who had been her school fellow at 
Kensington. Miss Harriot, or, according to 
her pronunciation, Huot; — " Miss ' Haiot," 



254 JAMAICA. 

she said, '' had a piano-forte, which I was to 
tune for her, if I would be so obliging. A 
very pretty girl, she has refused seven offers, 
and her papa has a large fortune to leave her." 
European beauty cuts but a mean figure in 
this climate, contrasted with the healthy 
countenances, and elastic figures of the Mu- 
latto and Quadroon women ; the features of 
these latter retain too often the inclination to 
the Afirican lips, or a cast of countenance 
that reminds one of their origin, but they 
have a sweetness and tenderness of expres- 
sion that are very fascinating, and their forms 
are worthy of Praxiteles. Such transatlantic 
beauties, however, do not appear to advantage 
in England ; first, because they are always 
dressed as servants, with bundles of clothes 
to keejp them warm, whereas, in Jamaica de- 
cency alone is consulted, and the air and gait 
are free and noble : I have rarely seen Eng- 
lish ladies walk with so much unaffected 
dignity. In the next place, the brown skin is 
not to be compared with the rosy conplex- 
ions of our own country, where the young 
women derive those charms from health, 
which they always want, and the others 
enjoy,' in ihe tropics— (a rosy fiatce is a bad 



JAMAICA. 255 

omen in Jamaica, and indicates an inflamma- 
tory habit ;) — and lastly, the European cast of 
countenance is in our estimation vastly su- 
perior to the Afirican. In Jamaica, we con- 
trast the features of the Quadroons with 
those of the n^^roes, which we have always 
in our eyes ; in England, with those of our 
countrywomen : what the Quadroons gain in 
the first instance, they pay dearly for in the 
second. 

Ebenezer was on the alert, and with much 
ado I kept him from preaching his nonsense to 
half k dozen old women assembled to hear 
Mrs. White read the morning service ; but h6 
would not pass a negro to day without giving 
him ad>ice or a benediction. Sometimes it 
was, " All de Saint salute you, amen.'* Then, 
** The grace of our Lord be with you, amen." 
Sometimes, *' Brar, farewell, . amen.'' At 
other times, " Seek the Lord," always adding 
amen, as if it were the perfection of his 
spell, the cabalistic word of power, the sign 
manual of the king. We crossed two or 
three rivers, one of them called the Devil's, in 
our way to Plantain Garden, a magnificent 
valley, or rather plain, between two ridges of 
hills„ beautifully watered, so much so that the 



256 JAMAICA. 

roads are frequently impassable on account 
of the floods. It is of no use to build 
bridges in this part of the earth; a few 
hours rain hurrying from the mountains raises 
a deluge that sweeps away all such con- 
veniences, buries them in sand and gravel, 
or leaving them as monuments of vain in- 
dustry, finds itself a course towards the 
ocean, perhaps a mile or two from its ancient 
bed. The estates in Plaintain Garden appear 
to be laid out with great taste, and excellently 
managed, as far as I can judge. The soil con- 
tains an abundance of fine vegetable earth, 
and canes are of gigantic growth; houses 
and buildings all in good repair, and every 
animal seems happy, not even excepting 
man. After travelling sixteen or seventeen 
miles, I reached Manchioneal at five o'clock 
in the evening; a beggarly hole of a harbour, 
scarcely large enough for a barge, environed 
with ugly and dangerous rocks that have not 
even a romantic or picturesque feature to re- 
commend them. I saw a tolerable looking 
mansion just in firont of it, built of stone, 
with plenty of woods, or as the negroes call 
them, bush, about it; and firom the house 
I beheld a ship in the harbour, tied by ropes 



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258 JAMAICA 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

February 16— Monday. 

I FOUND out and delivered my letter to 

Miss Haiot C y^ whose father keeps a 

store and deals in crockery. His shelves 
would furnish a battalion or two of new troops 
to recruit the battered veterans I left at Bath, 
with their wounds and decorations, scars and 
patches, stars and garters. — ^I am almost 
tired of writing the sentiments of the white 
population about emancipation, but this man, 
who seemed as imyielding and unbending as 
his ware, spoke of the S(unts with an inve- 
teracy beyond all precedent. Mr. Mathews 
is but a type of him. He began by abusing 
the Methodists and Quakers en masse; then 
he proceeded to individuals, and finished with 
a long tirade against the colonists, merchants 

and all. He was for impeaching 

of high treason, for exciting the slaves to 



rebelticMk and to massacre the whites. He 
says, " their dedgns are dark and insidions : 
the blackest treason lu^s behind : they vish 
to accustom the T^ngliA people to see the 
prindples by which property, honourably 
and lawfully acquired, is held sacred, tram- 
pled un^r foot. They mean to undermine all 
the institutions we Tcnerate, by first attackii^ 
the outwoiks of the empire, by ruining the 
colcHiists ; next they will set the landholders 
and public creditors by the ears; then they 
will assail the Churx^ property in Ireland, in 
the hope ultimately of raising themselves 
on the ruin of the established clergy; and 
yet the besotted aristocracy cannot see 
through the machinations of this canting 
crew." He calls the brewer " a poor igno- 
ramus, who allows his paw to be poked into 
the fire for the chesnuts which the others -mean 
to eat." He says, " this gentleman's incon- 
sistency and selfishness make him despicable ; 
all his acts are the ofispring of vanity or 
avarice, but the latter passion predominates ; 
when he fancies he can gain a little popularity 
free of expense to himself, he indulges in tl^ 
most rapid and lofty flights in the cause of 
humanity ; but when his own pecuniary in- 



260 JAMAICA. 

terest is concerned, he betrays by bis anxiety 
and cunning all the meanness of the most 
pitiful huckster ; — ^witness the beer question, 
and witness the weaver's price-book bill ; — he 
opposed the wishes of his poor neighbours, 
the weavers, who, in consequence^ assembled 
to the number of some thousands, and resolved 
not to drink any more of his been What did 
the petty spirit then? Why, he explained 
away his previous declaration, and as a peace 
offering sent the poor weavers a sum of money 
towards defraying the expenses of their op- 
position to the bill/' Of other individuals he 
speaks in such unmeasured language, that I 
forbear repeating his remarks. He finished a 
long monologue, for I did not interpose a 
single word, by exclaiming, '' Your colonists, 
too, what are they? A rope of sand; all 
falling from one another; no imion ; no bond : 
Self-interest is their motto. The wealthiest 
are merchants, or connected with merchants, 
in England. They sell us who are toiling 
here. One wants a borough; another a 
place; a third a living, a commission, a con* 
tract They all want commission on our pro- 
perty, and so agree to make us pay the high- 
est duties to get the hi%besl c«am£As»ss^^s^ 



JAMAICA. 26V 

our gross produce. What a consammation of 
ignorance and imbecility on the part of the 
colonists, to suffer a system so dagitious, so 
execrably unjust, to endure an hour! But if 
they endure it, what are they fit for? Why; 
to be tied by the neck and heels, and laid 
down before the Arch-Saint, to kneel on when 
he prays to be saved from the devil, to whom 

and they are going headlong; and '4 

think the sooner they reach the bottom (^ 
their pit the better." 

The daughter of this testy gentleman has 
none of her father's temper. She is a very 
nice, amiable girl, sensible and accomplished, 
and has a rooted antipathy to the island of 
Jamaica and the islanders ; though I woUld 
not infer this particular to be a proof of her 
good sense or amiability. An education in 
England has unfitted her for society here. At 
Kingston, or Spanish Town, she might be 
happier; but a society of overseers and book- 
keepers, uneducated or half-edmcated, and 
segar<smokers, has no charm fbr an accom- 
plished woman or a person of fine feelings. 
Miss Louisa, very probably^ does not ex- 
aggerate in saying that her friend has refused 
seven offers. I. think she- would refuse seven 



' ■ ■ I .. 



262 JAMAICA. 

hundred, if they were what' she describes. 
All this, however, seems ridiculous for the 
daughter of a man of Crocks. — ^Alasl the 
man of Crocks is rich I but his property is 
here; debts to collect; debts in Spanish 
America;- a share in a great estate. He 
thinks it as well still to turn a penny, and 
sells crockery, even by retail, to the negroes, 
with padlocks and rat-traps and other wares. 
I tuned Miss Harriet's pianoforte, and had 
the hi^ppiness of singing a volume of duets 
her. 



Febroary 17 — Tuesday. 

Having found a letter at Manchioneal from 
Mr. Mathews, proposing an expedition to the 
Blue Mountain Peak, I retraced my steps to 
Plantain Garden, and crossed all the rivers, 
old and new, to Port Morant : some of their 
courses were now dry desarts, others brim 
full, hurrying down stones and trees in one 
mingled mass of confusion. I stopped at 

M ^B estate, to rest, and reached Port' 

Morant by the time the fire-flies were on the 
wing. IThese insects have been described by 
every traveller in the tropics. There are se- 
veral species of them, mostly carrying their 



lights in the eyes ; some under the belly; and; 
as they flit about in the dark, they give one 
the idea of bogles and kelpies. I vas near 
being swamped in one horrible river, called 
the Parson's Hole. 

Fdxmtiy t9—Tim*i»j. .': 
' I slept at the residence of my old friend 

T , at Port Morant, and had the pleasnite 

of his company the next day by Montnt Bay 
to the Blue Mountain valley;^ a scene that 
reminded me frequently of the valley of Domo 
d' Ossola, on the south side of the Simploa. 
Morant River flows through it, receiving a 
number of tributary streams, all of which 
turn sugar mills, more or less. The countrir 
is very beauUful, green and fresh looking, 
and the people on the estates all merrily 
at work getting ofi* their crops. I passed 
a gang of negroes mending the roads in 
chaios, two and two, linked together, some 
by the necks, others by the legs. The chains 
were light, but still chains, although' the 
weight did not affect the spirits of the 
wearers. They saluted me with a "How 
d'ye, Massa? Please gib we one tenpence;" 
a demand I piud for courtesy, and asked the 



264 JAMAICA. 

particulars of their crimes. ^ I once accosted a 
similar company in the arsenal at Venice, and 
was soon satisfied with their answers, for the 
first grinned in reply to my question, and said, 
«< H' ammazzato im uomo,"-^[ have killed a 
man ; while his companion, without waiting 
tor a similar request, volunteered his story, 
and cried out, '^ Una donna, una fenciulla ra- 
gazzina solamente," and winked his eye most 
significantly. It was much the same thing 
here ; i robbery and violence, determined 
thieves, one incorrigible runaway, and a 
practitioner of Obeah. They cut their jokes 
on me, notwithstanding their situation, and 
quizzed my harlequin hce, one sid6 of which 
they said blushed to see the other look so 
/right. Ebenezer hung back to give them a 
little advice, and was near being treated in 
the same manner as the knight of La Mancha, 
for they sent a shower of stones after him, 
one of which hit his mule on the crupper, 
and set him kicking ^ however, he held on 
by the portmanteau till the paroxysm was 
passed. /As we approached the mansion in 
which we proposal to invite ourselves to 
dine and sleep, I saw a large yellow snake, 
the first I have met with in the island. I 



JAMAICA. 285 

should think it was ax kethmg, and as 
thick as my wrist. It crossed the road and 
twisted itself round a branch of a troe, two 
feet fiom the ground, from which it hissed- 
at us as we passed. I have often seen Ac 
black snakes, which travel over bushes and 
along their tops : both the yellow and black 
are void of any venomous quaUtyl^ The fonner 
ought to be very useful, if, as Sneezer tells 
me, they '' eat ratter." None of the veno- 
mous snakes are so active as those which 
want the poisonous fangs. The boa con* 
stnetor is one of the most agile, as well- as 
strongest, and the viper of England is 
slow, compared with our common green 
snake. The gentleman with whom I tra- 
velled had come to Jamaica for his health, 
having nearly given up the ghost in England, 
from spitting blood. The climate has quite 
set him up, and he is going in a few days to 
return to his native country. 

February 20— Friday. 

I set out with my long-legged friend last 
night, or evening, at six o'clock, to avoid the- 
fatigue of too much hurry to-day, and be- 



266 JAMAICA* 

cause it had rained till that time, to ride to 

L estate in St. David's, where I am 

waiting for Mr. Mathews. As Mr. T — - is 
on his way to Kingston, our host in Blue 
Mountain presented him with two or three 
articles for sea store, and among them two 
large Wiltshire or Gloucester cheeses, which 
were divided between Sneezer and his own 
man, for Abdallah led the grey pacer, who had 
lamed himself the other day in Yallah's river, 
while I now rode the Creole horse. I re- 
gretted that I had not left the Mussulman at 
Manchioneal, as I shall most likely have to 
return that way, nay, I believe I must. . 

'We passed Mount Lebanus at sun-set, and 
traversed the ridge that incloses the valley in 
which the house stands. * There is not much 
of a mount, the estate being so called from 
the cedar trees which aboimd there ; but not 
cedars of Lebanon : they are the common ce- 
dars of Jamaica, cedrela odorata, — very useful 
for shingles. Having ascended this ridge, 
Our road led us down into a defile, and then 
between some cleared lands ; the stumps of 
the burnt trees still standing to signify how 
the woods were destroyed. & Here the rains 



JAMAICA. 287 

had caused the earth <m the dope .of the 
mountain to shift its birth : an acre or more 
in some places appearing to have slid down 
lower, without much damaging the trees that 
are growing. ' I think we very soon lost our 
road, for the rest of the night, was passed in 
looking after it, and groping among ravines 
and along narrow ridges hardly wide enough 
for one horse. We stopped at a ruined house 
at or near Richmond Hill, for in the dark I 
understood but too little of the country ; our 
halt was chiefly to acconmiodate the cheeses, 
which were always breaking loose and rolling 
down the precipices< to entertain Sneezer and 
Lynch, who had to scramble after them. ; The 
house we stopped at had no roof, or it was 
long since fiallen in, and the trumpet trees 
grew out of it thirty or forty feet high ; but the 
walls of stone wero perfect, and might be in- 
habited again, with a new roof. ^ Abbeysneezer 
professed now to know the way, and led us 
along another most dangerous ridge, which 
terminated in a flight of steps or foot-holes, 
scooped out of a bank that seemed to descend 
for a mile, as well as I could guess by the 
faint murmurs of a torrent, which I could see 




below, bounding irom rock to rock, and flash- 
ing in the starlight as it hurried from the 
lowest into a lower deep, still threatening to 
devour u^ and our cheeses, — for here they 
took a most romantic flight, as I have done 
from sympathy. — Sneezer insisted the cattle 
could and should go down the ladder, which 
I thought about as practicable as making a 
dog leap over a ditch with a pole. I was 
afraid to venture the horses; and the Abb6 
preferred (I think it was spite) to dispatch his 
cantancrous mule first, but the mule was sul- 
len; however. Sneezer overmatched him here, 
for he tripped up his hind legs with the assist- 
ance of Lynch, and launched him upon the 
loose and yielding runaway land, which went 
away with him I could not guess where, for 
the mule was out of sight in half a minute, 
and we could only hear a crashing, rumbling, 
and grunting, mingled with the roar of the 
torrent, until every other sound seemed buried 
in the last. The cheeses had been tied afresh 
with a cord and suspended over the mule's 
crupper, and when the animal tripped up, the 
cord burst and the cheeses flew or rolled off, 
like.a couple of cars parting from the pinnacle 



JAJIAICA. 



269 



of BeaajoQ, by apparently <^poate routes to 
arrive at die same goaL Lyndi ran after one, 
and his master slid halfway down the moan- 
tain in pursuit of the other, dragging after 
him his horse, whose saddle was torn off by 
one of the stirrups hanging in the stump of ft 
dead tree. Sneezer was trying his skill with 
the sumpter mule, which somehow tumbled 
off his portmanteaus, and ran away back by 
the path we had come ; and Dollar, groping 
about, thought he had foimd a safer path to 
the right hand, whither he drove the horses, 
until he got a mile off, on the other side of the 
torrent. ' I remained, alone ^amidst this scene 
of confusion for a few minutes, and then as- 
sisted my long-legged .companion in safety to 

« 

the bottom of the ravme; where I found Lynch 
reuniting the cheeses and calling to his mule, 

« 

who, having no mind to stay behind, was de- 
scending the hill like a philosopher, at a very 
steady pace. 

/A good hour elapsed before we were again 
in marching order, when with little exerticm 
we gained the shore of Yallah's river, and 
found ourselves opposite the enchanted man- 
sion which I had penetrated a few nights ago ; 



270 



JAMAICA. 



we left it however on our left, crossed the 
C0W8* ford as before, and arrived in another 
half hour at the house we sought, where I am 
to wait for my radical friends ' 



JAMAICA. 271 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Febniarj 23. 

• I WAITED some days in St. David's before 
my radical friend Mr. Mathews made his 
appearance with a young gentleman, who so- 
licited to share our toils in the expedition 
we had planned to the Blue Mountain peak. 
This youth, whom I shall call Mr. Selwyn, 
was mounted on a grey mare, and came at- 
tended by a party of negroes, carrying provi- 
sions of all kinds ; fresh -and salted beef, pork, 
poultry, yams, and plantains, with a suffi- 
ciency of wine to make a noble libatiob to. 
Bacchus, and enough rum * to console one or 
two^of the priests of that deity who presides 
over the. manufacture of it. I have heard that 
the black gentleman. Old Nick, is ycleped the 
inventor of this fiery potation. ^ He furnished 
us likewise with blankets and Kilmarnock 
caps, and dispatched three negroes across the 




272 JAMAICA. 

hills to await our arrival at Blue Mountun 
estate, situated at the head of the valley <^ the 
same name^ where one of the deep ravines of 
the mountain expands into a plain. > A Dr. 
B had furnished my fnend with a tem- 
porary barometer. He cleaned some quick- 
silver by forcing it through wood with an air 
pump, and gave it him in a stone jug, with a 
propOT glass tube, a teacup, and a graduated 
stick. A thermometer was a desideratum we 
never obtained. -Thus provided, we started 
after breakfast, mounted some on horses, 
some on mules, each with a personal attendant 
and a knapsack.* I carried likewise a gun and 
some ammunition. We rode through Lloyd's 
estate, Paterson's andTelfer*s, where. I was 
shewn the spot on which a celebrated cedar 
tree had been cut down, and riven mto boards 
and shingles, which were sold for more than 
two thousand pounds.^ The amount had been 
ascertained by Dr. Telfer bringing an action 
against the person who cut down the tree 
illegally or erroneously, imagining he had a 
rig^t to the land on which it grew. We 
halted at Petersfield estate, where we took an - 

early dinner with Mr. , and tried in vain 

to get a thennometer. ' 



JAMAICA. 273 

I ought here to mention a beautiibl pxm^ 
pect, which had opened on our view as we 
crossed the steep ridge which forms the 
boundary line of the parishes of SL David and 
St. Thomas in the East, between Paterson^s 
estate and Petersfield^ v. but our eyes were 
diverted to more sublime objects, and we 
bestowed little time on it, hurrying to reach 
the coffee plantation of Mr. Francis, situated ^ 
six miles beyond or above Blue Mountain 
estate ;^ this we hoped to gain before dark^ 
and galloped on through several other estates 
in the valley, crossing the Morant River oc- 
casionally, or some of its tributary streams, 
and many beds of others now dry, yet bearing 
the marks of being outrageous torrents at 
times. The sun had set before we readied 
the goa] to which we . hurried, and we com- 
menced our ascent from Blue Mountain estate 
in the dusk, along a zig*zag road througk the 
woods on the side of a precipice, where there 
was only now and then room for two beasts 
to pass, and where, as a matter of course, ;we 
travelled very slowly. Night soon closed on 
lis, but did not increase our darkness ; it was 
one of the beautiful nights of the tropics, 
when the firmament seems to blaze, and the 



274 JAMAICA. 

planet Venus casts a shadow as perceptible ] 

as that caused by the light of the moon. 
Beneath her guidance we traversed many a 
green alley and bosky bourn, and blundered 
through others, where the thick foliage in- 
tercepted all light ; a hazardous march, de- 
manding the greatest caution ; for we could 
see in the illuminated places, that the upper | 

bank of the road had occasionally given way, 
and that the earth, slipping down from above, 
had completely filled up the track, and 
formed a continued declivity above and below/ 
which amounted almost to a precipice. Being 
the greatest stranger, I led the way, now on 
foot, holding the bridle of my mule with one 
hand and carrying the fowling-piece in- the 
other, while the straggling train of mounted 
and dismounted attendants reached some 
hundred yards in my rear, when^ I stumbled 
unexpectedly over one of these avalanches of 
earth I have described, and found myself sud- 
denly suspended in the air by my mule's 
bridle. Invaluable beast ! Terror or. obsti- 
nacy kept him planted like a post ; — ^the bridle 
was strong, and allowed me time to calculate 
on my recovery. I cried out to my compa- 
nions to beware, but I could not regain the 



JAMAICA. 275 

path ; the avalanche was too steep, and the 
few bushes growmg beside it soon yielded tp 
my grasp. Mr. Mathews laid himself an the 
gromid, while Selwyn held him by the feet ; 
the gun was first secured, and then Mr. 
Mathews grappled me, but I was still in- 
debted to the mule for helping to haul 
me up. 

My safety was scarcely ascertained, when 
we were alarmed by a cry from some of the 
party behind, occasioned by a similar accident 
to Selwyn's grey mare, which fell unhappily to 
the very bottom of the gulley ; and, although 
some of the negroes found a way down to her, 
where they were assisted by a few bushes, 
and endeavoured to raise her, jret she had re- 
ceived too much injury in the fall, and all 
their efforts were ineffectual: she rose no 
more. 

These delays made it late before we arrived 
at Francis's plantation, where our appearance 
in such numbers, and at such an hour, occa- 
sioned no small consternation among the 
inhabitants of that retired spot. A watchman, 
stationed at the provision grounds by the path 
side, left his half-roasted plantains and rats 
on his fire, and ran- away to give the alarm to 



276 JAMAICA. 

the overseer, who summoned a few trusty ne- 
groes to the house, armed them, as well as 
himself, and made a stand to defend his 
post at the door of it I approached, and 
told him the cause of our unseasonable visit, 
hegging the rites of hospitality for the night. 
" Mit mine whole hearts,** replied the over- 
seer, extending the hand of welcome with an 
air of delight, very suddenly changed from 
one of apprehension, for he and the negroes 
had conjectured from our untimely visit, that 
the deputy marshal and his men were come 
to make a levy of some sort) and were very 
agreeably undeceived by my explanation. 
. »The honest Grerman gave us the best fSeire 
he could procure on such an emergency, and 
the only two beds he had in the house ; and 
some of his negroes, who had run away into 
the woods on our approach, now returned, 
and contrived, in spite of all our precautions, 
to carry off our fresh beef, which we meant to 
•have roasted on the Blue Mountain Peak. We 
slept soundly, and rose the next morning re- 
freshed and in high spirits, to enter on the 
diflScult part of our journey ;^ but I thought it 
advisable before we started to make a trial of 
our barometer,' and determined the height of 



JAMAICA. 277 

Fraix3s*s plantatioo at two thbusaiid feet 
above the level of the sea. I afterwards learnt 
that a party who went up the mountain in 
ISIS, gave the height of Francis's at two 
thousand eight hundred and seventeen feet. 
They were better provided with instruments, 
and their calculation, I have no doubt, is the 
more correct of the two. It may not be amiss 
to describe the manner in which our instru- 
ment was formed and used. The glass tube, 
being first dried and cleaned with a piece of 
rag fastened on a small stick, was filled with 
mercury, and the finger being held firm on 
the open end, the tube was then reversed two 
or three times successively, till all the air 
bubbles disappeared, and, if necessaty, was 
replenished with more of the metal ; the re- 
mainder of which was then poured into a tea* 
cup or bowl of sufficient size to admit of the 
next operation; namely, to turn into it the 
open end of the tube with the finger pressed 
on it as before, which was then carefully re- 
moved, and (all air being excluded) the mer- 
cury in tlie tube fell to the level which corre- 
sponded with the elevation of the spot where 
the experiment was tried ; the graduated stick 
being then applied to the tube, indicated the 



278 JAMAICA. 

level in inches and taiths. Without a ther- 
mometer, we could not make the necessary 
corrections for temperature, either here or 
subsequehtly at the Peak. 

I We enlisted a fine active negro belonging 
to this estate, a celebrated hog-hunter, as our 
guide. He was said to be well acquainted 
with every track in the woods, and attended 
our summons with a machet, as well for de- 
fence, in case of fidling in with any runaway 
negroes, as for cutting his way through any 
obstructions of brushwood or withes, i He 
carried also a calabash bottle full of water, 
and a cutacoo (a small basket) which contained 
his pipe, some tobacco, a flint, steel, and 
touchwood, not forgetting a bunch 6f plan- 
tains. He was tall, and rather slender than 
otherwise, but his frame was all bone and 
sinew, without an ounce of superabundant 
flesh ;— 41 fine, picturesque figure, that be- 
came the grand scenery around us, and would 
have served as a study for three-fingered 
Jack. His bold and intrepid countenance 
contrasted much to his advantage with the 
demure Ralpho-look of Ebenezer, whose en- 
thusiasm seems already to have lengthened 
the lines of his fiu:e, and almost to have given 



JAMAICA. 379 



alankness to liis woolly tails. Heand Ab* 
dallah divided betweai them my great coat 
and blanket, and the box containing the 
barometer and seme of the provisions. Mr. 
Mathews's Cudjoe and Selwyn*s Adonis car- 
ried also their master's coats and apparatus, 
together with a few bills for cutting wood« and 
a tinder box. The heavy baggage, water, 
wine, and rum in bottles, and the eatables in 
iron pots, were the burden of Selwyn's gang. 
As for ourselves, my companions carried cut- 
lasses and mnbrellas, for attack and defence, 
as swords and targets ; and I was armed with 
the double-barrelled Joe Manton. We were 
sometimes a-head, in confabulation with our 
cicerone, sometimes in the rear, animating the 
stragglers. 'We marched due north, straight 
up the mountain, having Wild Cane River to 
the west, and Morgan's River to the east, fiur 
beneath the steep ridge along which we jour- 
neyed. The trees there grew tall and stra^ht, 
without underwood, so that our progress was 
as rapid as the ascent and the heavy loads of 
the negroes would admit. In half an hour 
we reached the brink of a tremendous preci- 
pice, formed by some horrible convulsion of 
nature^^ The side of the hill was broken 




280 JAMAICA. 

away, and hurled to the bottom of the ravine, 
possibly by as earthquake, or perhaps the 
impatient current of Moi^;au*8 River had un- 
dermined the base of the mountain. The 
earth above, loaded with rocks and trees, 
and saturated with the torrents of the tropical 
rains, would soon gravitate into the gnlph, 
and cany ruin and dismay with it. How- 
ever, till lately there were no inhabitants, 
except the wild boars, to be dismayed, and 
no one remembers the catastrophe, which yet 
looks recent. 

This precipice, I find, is 'a land-mark for 
8ailor8,and is denominated the Broken Ground. 
We crept to the edge, and held by the shrubs 
growing on it, to look down more securely 
into the abyss, whose depth made us giddy 
almost to sickness :^ I was glad to be re- 
lieved from the sight. 

,We resumed our march after the respite 
occasioned by this halt, our difficulties in- 
creasing as we advanced. Sometimes we had 
to climb precipices, almost perpendicular, by 
means of the shrubs and trees which hung in 
the mid-air above us ; sometimes we passed 
al(mg ridges so narrow that we could straddle 
across diem at top. when the scnl had been 



JAMAICA. 281 

washed away so entirely, as to leave the roots 
of the trees bare, and allow us to see them 
twisted together as they had grown, in many 
fantastic forms; over these we had to pick 
our way, while we listened to the roaring of 
the torrent beneath, which the thick folmge 
concealed from our eyes. The fiitigue was 
great to one unused to such exertions in such 
a climate, but I dared not flag when I saw 
the loaded n^roes tripping merrily, along, 
sinking under the branches of the trees, or 
twisting themselves roimd their slanting 
trunks, and yet balancing their cargoes with 
ease and gracefulness. We suffered much 
from thirst, for we had agreed not to touch 
our stores in the bottles but at appointed 
periods ; and the inclination to drink . was 
incessant. We foimd no water withes, and 
though the wild pines contained abundance 
of the liquid element, it had become as bitter 
as gall from the dead leaves which had* rotted 
in these natural reservoirs; far from being 
fit to drink, we found it too unpleasant even 
to wash our parched mouths. 

We saw the tracks of wild hogs in abxmd- 
ance,ibut none of the bristled, curly-tailed 
gentlemen, and but one ring-tailed pigeon. 




There were very few birds of any kind, and 
one we met with was a stranger to us all : it 
Tesembled an English blackbird, with a yel- 
low bill.1 The trees that flourish on these 
Alps have been partly enumerated by the 
botanists who vi^ted them in 1818. /We saw 
plenty of the Bennudian junipers, Santa 
Marias, and many others hitherto unknown 
to us, with abundance of the candleberry 
myrtle. We reached a remarkable knoll, 
between one and two o'clock, which our guide 
had fixed upon as a station where we should 
rest and take refreshment From hence we 
had a grand and wonderful prospect, extend- 
ing along the shores of the island from Port 
Morant to Portland Point, with all the har- 
bours, bays, and promontories distinctly visi- 
ble. The plain of liguanea lay below us, 
like an extensive garden ; and the towns of 
Kingston and Port Royal seemed so imme- 
diately under our feet, that we could almost 
fancy it possible to throw a stone into them. 
Here were valleys and hills dwindled into 
insigmficance, co^vred with the luxuriant 
vegetation of the sugar-cane, mixed with the 
paler green of the guinea-grass, and the 
browner pastures of the Peuns. Theviewwas 



JAMAICA. 283 

tenninated by the intenxunable ocean. Those 
only who have seen in detail the difieient 
parts of this rich and beautiful country, may 
fonn a just idea of the magnificent prospect 
produced by their grand combination. Our 
difficulties rather increased as we pursued 
our course, for the trees being shorter and 
more shrubby, required more hacking to afford 
us a path; and the withes, grasses, a^d 
climbing reeds, were become extremely 
troublesomie, especially a long coarse grass 
which grew at the base of the cone forming 
the sugar*loaf peak of the mountain ; this was 
twisted from tree to tree, and interlaced in 
such a manner as to form a strong net-work, 
very laborious to penetrate. The tracks of 
wild hogs were still visible, and we niet with 
the cinders of a very recent fire, the kitchen, 
probably, of some runaway slave.' I adverted 
here to a remarkable circumstance, namely, 
that in the whole line of march^firom Francis's 
plantation, we had not seen a single stone on 
the surface of the ground.^ There may be 
rocks at no great depth, but we saw^only a 
rich mould, producing a luxuriant vegeta- 
tion. 
We reached the eastern peak at five o'clock. 




284 JAUAICA. 

in time to contemplate the view ; to see the 
son gradually withdraw his golden rays from 
the panorama below us, and finally sink into 
the sea. The east end of the island was clearly 
distinguishable ; part of Manchioueal and the 
Doble vale of Plantain-garden River. On the 
north we had a transient glimpse of Port 
Antonio ; already buried in the twilight, the 
clouds soon intercepted the view on that 
nde. 

Milk River Bay was discenuble in the west, 
and the outline of the parish of Vere. The 
heights of Plowden rose boldly out of the sea, 
and the shadows of the May-day Motmtains 
crept over the plains, the hills, and at last the 
Alps on which we stood, until the beautiful 
vision was blotted from our view, or shrouded 
in the deep twilight, which delayed but for a 
few minutes the darkness of night. 

With the night came the thought of supper 
and lodging, for which we prepared a spot of 
ground, that had been cleared some years' 
before by other travellers ; it was a little be- 
low the peak, opened to the south, and con- 
sequently sheltered from the north wind, 
which blew very sharply. The stem of a 
tree, which had Men in a direction down 



JAMAICA. 285 

the dope, was sapported in a horizontal posi- 
tion by its branches at a few feet firom the 
ground. This had served as a lidge pole 
for the hat of the former yisitors,* for there 
were rafters still leaning against it, and laths 
tied across it with withes, to which we added 
others, and thatching the whole with long 
grass, soon made a comfortable tenement, 
with only an opening at the south front, ^e 
drove some short forked stakes into the ground, 
and fixed bars on them, as a lattice work 
for the grass that was strewed over them, to 
form no uncomfortable resting place. The 
negroes collected dry wood in sufficient quan- 
tity ; but when we tried the tinder-box, the 
tinder, alas ! was wet. There was yet light 
enough to see the rueful faces peeping into 
this receptaculum, like so many magpies into 
a marrow-bone. What varied expressions of 
horror and despair! The damp of the at- 
mosphere, the perspiration of Quashie or 
Cudjoe! What was to be done? Our friend 
Brutus (by the bye, he was Cicero on this 
occasion) — thanks to his passion for a pipe, 
had kept his touchwood dry ; — ^the / fire was 
soon kindled, the pots hung over it, — ^plan- 
tains and cocos pealed, and swimming with 



286 JAMAICA. 

the salt pork. A wooden spit, on which a 
fat fowl was impaled, revolved upon two forked 
sticks,^ set up at convenient distances,, by the 
interposition of Ebenezer^s hand ; a business 
for which he (as well as some other enthu- 
siasts) was &r better calculated, than for en- 
lightening the gentiles. The ^'supper and the 
hut were ready together ; • the repast was 
served with antediluvian simplicity ; the mas- 
ters seated on the upper side of the sloping 
floor, the servants on that opposite. «We 
feasted, for we had abundance; and we drank 
the juice sacred to Bacchus, and gave the 
negroes plenty of Old Nick. A more pic- 
turesque, or grotesque, group could not be 
desired ; like gypsies, or banditti, we caroused 
around the fire, and pledged each other in 
flowing cups. All of us had mounted the 
Kilmarnock caps, on which some had put 
their hats, or drawn over them the blankets 
and counterpanes, which we found a necessary 
defence from the cold, even in addition to our 
great coats; one or two were engaged in col- 
lecting more wood and making up the fire; 
some gave way to sleep as soon as they had 
eaten their fiU, and others were nodding on 

• 

the brink of itt Our blazing fire cast a ruddy 



JAMAICA. 287 

• 

glare. on the various figures, countenance^ 
and objects, around us, whilst Mr. Mathews 
would needs tell a story to beguile the time; 
but he had hardly opened his mouth before 
he fell asleep, as if he had taken one of the 
Caliph Haroun Alraschid's powders. A negro 
made the same attempt with similar success. 
'Drowsiness possessed us all, and we snored 
in concert. But our nap was not long. We 
all awoke shivering ytiih excessive cold, al- 
though the fire still blazed : we made it blaze 
more, and heaped fresh fuel on it. The ne* 
groes complained that their bills were too 
cold for thdr hands, and vrarmed them before 
they would chop wood for us. ' Mr. Mathews 
had a second fire lighted at his head, his feet 
being scarce a foot trom the first. Selwyn 
and myself, ^ith some of the negroes, re- 
tired into the hut, which we found more com- 
fortable than the open air. especially as we 
could there still derive soc^e advantage firom 
the fire, which was not fjir ^ccn the door. I 
sufiered still tiom :be coli. asd wxrz>ed xnr- 
self with chopping wc^\i: ^er whi.^ my 
slumber was less bre^eci. I r>e;ST>M tha:iBie 
had no thennometer. b^u: tie pscijeaea vix) 
travelled here ia ISIS ba: oclx ixTT-«ic^ 




288 JAMAICA. 

d^rees of heat, according to Fahrenh^t. As 
we had a north wind, I suspect it was still 
colder, though some allowance must be made 
for the state of our bodies, relaxed by the 
heat of the lowlands, and not fitted for so 
gre^ a change of temperature. 

'At day-break we arose, and would have 
prosecuted our journey to the highest peak, 
which appeared only a few miles distant to 
the north-west, rising in solitary grandeur; 
but although this was the point we were most 
anxious to attain, various objections opposed 
our wishes : our water was expended, though, 
had we possessed any vessels wherewith to 
catch it, the clouds, which, from a drizzle 
began to pour on us, would have furnished an 
abundant supply ; our guide. Cicerone Bru- 
tus threw difficulties in the way, and magni- 
fied them ; he was more desirous to go back 
than to proceed ; and, aAer much consultation, 
we prepared for our descent. 

While our breakfast was getting ready, I 
made another attempt to view the north aide 
of the island, but the clouds were denser 
than on the^ preceding evening. « I then ad- 
justed the barometer, and found that the mer- 
cury stood at 23* 20'; but not being satisfied 



JAMAICA. 289 



with this indicatioii, I took the tube from the 
bowl, and reversed it again and again, . to be 
sure of expelling all the air; but the same re- 
sult appeared without the least deviation. 
According to Sir Henry C. Englefield's me- 
thod and tables, and taking for granted that 
the thermometer would stand at 85* on the 
sea shore, and at 48* on the peak, our elevation 
here i^-as 7182 feet, which corresponds nearly y 
vnth that determined by Captain Frazer, the 
island engineer, in 1789, in the course of a 
laborious trigonometrical survey. He found 
the western peak, to which we did not go, 
three hundred feet higher. The three gen- 
tlemen who preceded us in 181 8j, give the 
height of the barometer as 23* 70', and that 
of the thermometer at 48*, whence, they con- 
clude the elevation to be 6628 feet. I should 
distrust our ovm accuracy, if it were not that 
Captaiu Frazer's calculation still exceeds purs. 
It may naturally be expected that the pro- 
ductions of this climate are different from 
those of the lowlands. I shall subjoin a list 
of the plants enumerated by the three tra- 
vellers quoted before, to which I have but lit- 
tle to add, for I regret to say that a very small 
portion of our time was devoted to botanical 

u 




290 JAMAICA. 

research. As they ascended from Francis's, 
they met with abundance of Santa Mari& 
wood (calophyllum calaba) a magnificent tree, 
<rften 100 feet high; beef-wood; an achras, 
which they call xylobocion ; rod-wood (loetia 
guidonia) ; mountain guava (psidlum monta- 
nimi); mamme apple (mammea Americana); 
naseberry bully tree (achras mammosa) ; red 
bully tree (achras anona) ; and white achras 
(salicifoUa) ; ficus Americana; pepper (piper 
longum); and gigantic juniper cedars. On 
the eastern peak the African yew (taxus 
elongata); several species of andromeda; 
viz. fasciculata, Jamaicensis, and octandria; 
six myrtles, viz. hirsuta, saxifolia, mon- 
ticola, and axillaris, the other two ntm 
detectee; the myrica cerifera, and an un- 
known shrubby digitalis; some species of the 
cock-roach tree (melastoma); one, the coccinea, 
in flower; a-beautifiil lysianthus (bicolor); — 
the wild pine (tillandsia lingulata); filix 
arborea, this is the adiantum maximum; 
and innumerable mosses ; the great fox-tailed 
grass (alopecurus Indicus); a goose grass 
(dactylus major); and the anmdo scandens, 
vulgarly called traveller's joy, not because 
it retards his progress, but because he may 



JAMAICA. 291 



use it for his bed ; innumerable euphorbia 
on the Peak. We looked in vain for the 
mangoes, the seeds of which a Mr. Thomson 
had planted some years ago. The climate 
must be too cold for them, or they could 
not fail, for the seed will vegetate on the 
surface of the land below : indeed I should 
consider the coldness and humidity of the 
situation 'would render these regions, as a' 
residence, very disagreeable even to the Eu- 
ropeans of the north, for the clouds envelop 
these peaks during a portion of almost every 
day, and the thunder-storms must be terrible, 
as they seem from below to range around 
the very pinnacle we explored. 

We wrote our names on a slip of paper, 
with a short account of our proceedings, and 
inclosed it in a bottle, placed beneath a yew 
tree, which contained the journal of other 
travellers. ' As the rain became serious,* we 
hastened our departure, and travelling with 
much expedition, reached Mr. Francis's house 
in three hours, when we saddled our beasts 
and bid adieu to our kind host, the German. 
However, we made a halt to survey the 
scene of my disaster, which was a very 
awful gulph; and farther on we saw Selwyn's 




202 



grey mare at the bottom of the dingle, with 
a icore of Abdallah*« amett-preachera hard 
at work on her. We parted at Blue Moun- 
tain; Mr. Mathews and Selwyn returned to 
C^ 1 and I jogged on to an estate si- 
tuated on the banks of Morgan's River.- 



JAMAICA. 293 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

February 25 — ^Wednesday. 

I MADE a short halt of one night at Mor- 
gan's River, and returned by Port Morant to 
Manchioneal, where I spent another dajrwith 
Miss Harriet and her father, vjmd then pro- 
ceeded towards Port Antonio, the Ultima 
Thule of my peregrinations,. whence I mean 
to embark for England. ' I am lodged at the 
house of a gentleman near Priestman's River, 
late the occupation of a most able and amiable 
physician, who died of hydrophobia, or rather 
the fear of it, a favourite dog having bitten 
him at a time when he was otherwise un- 
well in body and mind. The dog ran away 
into the woods, and no doubt was mad; the 
poor gentleman, already ill with a fever, soon 
pined to death, after a residence of many years 
in the island, where he was universally loved 
and respected, though he had run through a 




294 JAMAICA. 

course of misfortunes^ wbich had obliged him 
to sell all his patrimony and his n^;roe8. No 
<nie, from all accounts, ever seems to have 
been more worthy of the favour of fortune, and 
no one ever was honoured with more of her 
frowns : — she is a capricious jade. 

" Vitam regit fortuna non sapientia." Who 
can say he ever received from her a life of 
tranquillity and happiness? 

I The sea-shore here is lined with estates, the 
interior is all mountain and forest, I am told 
that there is not space to manoeuvre a re- 
giment of cavalry in the whole parish of 
Portland. Hie estates are very productive ; 
the soil strong clay, and the whole of the 
coast is a mass of honeycomb rock rising per- 
pendicularly out of the sea, which is almost 
uD&thomable even from the shore. A few 
miles inland is a settlement of Maroons at 
Moore Town, where there is also a portion of 
a battalion of the 60th regiment; the re- 
mainder t^ the battalion resides at Titchfield 
barracks ; and no troops in the world, I am 
told, are more healthy.* 

Fcbniuy 2ft— Tbondajr. 
.1 ooDtiaaed my route along the sea-coast. 



JAMAICA. 295 

this morning 4t day-break, and saw the sun 
rise out of the ocean. Near the shore there 
was comparatively little swell, and every bay 
was as still as the grave ; so calm, that I could 
see the fish swunming many fathoms below 
me as I looked down from the impending 
rocks. There were three sharks in one c^ 
these bays, lying as if they were at anchor, 
motionless, with only the dorsal fin appearing' 
above water? They were not very oyergrown 
monsters, although powerfiil enough to have 
amputated a leg or a head. I heard once c^ 
a negro throwing himself, or falling, over- 
board out of a ship, in one of the harbours 
here, who was torn to pieces in an instant by 
the sharks, and buried in their maws, nothing 
being left of him but a tinge of his blood in 
the water. ^In the bay where I saw the 
sharks, and in two others along, the coast, I 
could distinguish, by the curl of the water, 
that more than one or two subterranean rivers 
discharged themselves into the sea beneath 
the rocks; one was very considerable, and 
agitated the sea where it disembogued, like 
the rush from a mill, for a space fifty or sixty 
yards wide, at the least. The rocks were 
lined with curious grotesque-looking trees. 



i 



296 JAMAICA. 

whose branches were uncommonly distorted 
and crooked, but they bore a large beautiful 
white flower^ which is called here the sea- 
side jasmine ;4t is the plumeria alba.— *The 
lizards frbked about the roads like rabbits 
in a warren ;^ they are the only game I ever 
meet with, and would furnish excellent di- 
version to the fair sportsman, not to the pot- 
hunter perhaps. 

^ After passing through some grand and most 
romantic woods, where the withes formed very 
elegant curves and lines of all denominations, 
I came to a rivulet, which flows into the bot- 
tom of the bay, called Turtle Crawl, though 
now very little frequented by turtle, at least 
sea turtle. There were turtles in the shape 
of black girls, at least a score, some washing 
clothes, some waslung themselves, flouncing 
about like nereids. At my approach, those 
who were on shore dashed into the water as 
if they had been wild ducks, and dived away 
like so many coots. When they were, ac- 
cording to their own notions, fiaur enough from 
our masculine gaze, they emerged one by one, 
popping up their black heads, and shewing 
their ivory mouths as they laughed and made 
fun oime. I asked them if they were slaves. 



JAMAICA. 297 

'' Yes, yes,** every one a slave. Not a mark, 
thought I, on these inky damsela — not a 
scratch: they veere as sleek as moles. 
''Are you Christians?" ''Yes, all Christen, 
all baptize, all hab new name** — '' My name/, 
cried one of them, '' Alezandrina ! my moder 
callmeWowski." Another had lenomiced the 
title of Juno, to take the name of Deborah, 
and Proserpine had been transubstantiated tp 
Magdalene. This Magdalene entertained me 
with a song. 

m 

Hi! de Buckra, hi! 

You sabby wba for he da cross de sea, 

Wid bim long white face and bim twinkling yeye; 

He luby make lub, as he preach to we. 

He fall on bis knees* but he pray for me. 

Hi! de Buckra, hi! 

Hi! de Buckra, hi! 
. Slasea W— f— e da come ober de seai 
Wid bim roguish heart and him tender look ; * 
And while he palaver and preach him book. 
At the negro girl he'll winkie him yeye* 
Hi! de Buckra, hi! 

There was a great deal more of this to the 
same tune, and much to the same purpose ;'' 
however, I contented myself with taking down 




208 JAMAICA. 

two Stanzas of the d-devant Proserpine's song, 
^n4uch she repeated several times for me, mih 
some occasional differences; and as I was 
curious to know who had composed so many 
elegant Terses, she had no hesitation in telling 

me Hat it was the butler of M , on the 

other side of Port Antonio, who bad been six 
or seven years in England, and was a 'collar 
(scholar I presume)/ When he was in Scot- 
land, continued the ex-queen of Tartarus, an 
old lady sent for him, and offered to make 
him educate for a misuonary ; to which he 
readily consented, and his master gave him 
his freedom on the condition of the old lady's 
finding him another slave in his place on his 
return to Jamaica; because the missionary 
would otherwise still be a slave there. Mun- 
go was sent to a Methodist school, and for 
three years cudgelled bis brains with the Old 
and New Testament, besides learning a library 
of tracts, &c.; but, at the^end of the three 
years, he told the old lady that " negroes were 
good and bad, and the bible good and bad ; 
that the missionaries preach one wife, and 
David and Solom(Hi bad seven hundred. 
That the n^iroes know all the good the Inble 
caid. 'Indeed!' said the old lady, ' and what 



JAMAICA. 299 

is that?* 'Why, if they do good, they shall 
go to heaven; if they do bad, they must go 
to hell/ So the old lady gave Inmjree again 
to lib with him Massa, and he is butler as he 
was before. But (said Magdalen) he make 
song and tell stories, and preach like de mis- 
sionaries, for fun, and tell how dey make love 
to black and brown girls," &c. &c. The queen 
of the infemals made a frightful disclosure of 
the secrets of the prison-house, which most 
likely was all invention, at least I shall hope 
and presume so ; but even Ebenezer chuck- 
led and laughed at the tales which made out 
that the missionaries had a fellow-feeling with 
himself. I asked him if he had forgotten the 
''painted puckerie;*' on which he lengthened 
his visage three inches, and pulled up his cra- 
vat, about which he is very particular, being 
a great beau in his costume. The girls asked 
what "painted puckerie" meant, especi^Iy one 
frisky naiad, to whom he had been talking 
apart ; and before I could explain these mu- 
tilated words, Abdallah ^^signified that his 
companion called all black girls rotten, and 
ashes, dust, and bitterness, and painted sunt" 
ings for dead men ; that they were rat-traps 
to catch neegar men for the debbil, &c. He 




300 JAMAICA. 

could not finish his tale for the clamours of 
the women, who demanded of Sneezer whe- 
ther it were true ; and, as he hesitated in his 
answer, they be^^ to splash water at him. 
He bdng far from his own country, seemed 
less anxious to pass now for a Saint, and 
would have kept up the joke, if the malice of 
Dollar would have let him. He said he 
iubbed all black girls, and especially Chris- 
tians; that those only were rat-traps who 
had two husbands, and made love to the 
buckras. On this they splashed him more, 
told him he wanted them all for himself one, 
ai^ asked what the buckra soldier and sailor 
and p n and book-keeper were to do 
without a black girl? "Dey muss bring 
white wife from England," cried he. "Hi! no, 

hab wife enough here — muss hab from 

England — ^Ah! you black sheep!" Herefol- 
, lowed some dialogue I dare not repeat ; and 
the girls, suiting the action to the word, took 
up handfuls of gravel and flung at him ; nay. 
in spite of their nakedness, I believe, they 
would have grappled and ducked him, had he 
not made a precipitate retreat, for I bid him 
run, and he galloped off with a shower of 
stones clattering behind him, until an angle 



JAMAICA. 



301 



of the rocks affixded him a shdter firom the 
fary of the riror nyn4>hs. Pocm* Sneezer! 
however, he made the best of the matter, and 
pat a smiling &oe on his disgraces in my pre- 
soice ; but he talks very seriously with Dol- 
lar about ** 'posing him ebery where." He 
says, " he tell what him duty to de ne^iars dat 
know nutting; he preachy like de missi- 
onaries, but he Christian, — he man himself ^^^ 
he lub all mankind ; de parscm lub de womoi 
well as him.** 

I rode on along the sea-side, where are the 
remains of a row of coco-nut trees, every 
one having had its head knocked off by the 
lightning : this is a curious fact ; there could 
not be less than a dozen of them/ They 
stand on a point running northward, the most 
northerly spot in the neighbourhood, and 
consequently in the course of the storms, 
which generally pass off in that direction. 
There was a windmill hard at work on my 
left hand, and an iron conductor before it, 
adorned with three flags, one above the other, 
the uppermost black, the middle yellow, the 
undermost white. These, I supposed, were 
the colours of the island, to correspond with 
the three colours of the inhabitants : but whv 




302 



is the D^TD uppennost? He is on hia road 
to prefennent, but not on the top of the tree, 
except it be those who were hanged at Port 
Maria and Buff Bay. -I passed through, the 
bay (the town oi Port Antonio) and took up 
my lodgings wiUi an old wlute lady,' Mrs. 
D--^, at Titchfield. 



JAJfJtICA. 303 



CHAPTER XXXV, 



TiTCHFixxD takes its name from the second 
title of the Puke of Portland^ as the parish 
enjoys the honour of having his first. The 
Duke of Manchester has given his name in a 
similar manner to a new parish on the other 
side of the island. The town of Titchfield 
stands on a peninsula, which divides the east- 
em and western harbours of Port Antonio. 
The barracks are situated at the extreme 
point, and are remarkably healthy ; a batta- 
lion of the 60th regiment is always here^ On 
the north and west sides of the peninsula is 
Navy Island, where there was formerly a dock- 
yard, long since abandoned' as an ituhealthy 
spot, according to Mr. Long. / It was here 
that the soldiers, being employed to clear the 
island of its wood, actually went raving mad 
with the fatigue while they were at work, and 




304 JAMAICA. 

one or two died on the spot ; so impossible is 
it for the inhabitants of the north of Europe 
to labour vadet the vertical sun of the tropics, 
at least in the plains or on the sea-shore ; at 
an elevation of lour or five thousand feet the 
ardour of the sun is not inimical nor op- 
presuve. ' 

The eastern harbour of Port Antonio is se- 
cure from all but north winds ; but the land- 
wind is not requisite to carry vessels out of 
it, the trade-wind being as &ir for th^ quit- . 
ting as for entering it. The western harbour, 
almost land-locked, is secure from every 
wind ; but the land-breeze is indispensible to 
enable outward-bound ships to clear the east 
end of Navy Island, as there is no depth of 
water at the west. The eastern harbour is 
one of the most beautiful in the world, and 
sufficient to dontain many hundred vessels. 
It is neaiiy round, luving a bdt of bright sand 
at its interior, yr\ack is lost as you approach 
the open sea, among piles of honeycombed 
rocks, that rise out of an almost fiithomless 
abyss ; over these the Atlantic billows seem 
to rave even in an ordinary sea-breeze, and 
mount into a cloud of foam and mist when ii 
blows fresher than Usual. Within, all is 



,;V"-^P"' -^ll;!-' .■-"".'« 










1 t 



JAMAICA. 30& 

calm : the water, as transparent as the purest 
diamond, has an emerald tinge, from the 
golden sands beneath ming^g their hues 
with the reflected blue of the sky. The land 
on the east is partly pasture and canes, inter- 
mixed with woods of mangrove and anchoyy 
trees, firequented by two or three species of 
cranes, who feed on the salt-water crabs 
which abound here. On the west lies the^ 
peninsula of Titchfield; a cheerful scene, 
covered with coco-nuts, mangoes, and other 
trees, mingled with houses that peep from 
among them in all directions. On the south 
rises the giant of the Jamaica Andes, the Blue 
Mountain, swelling from the very sea shore, 
with the town of Port Antonio at its base. 
The surface of the mountain is broken into 
numberless hills and ridges, all covered with 
forest, and shewing but little signjs of habita- 
tions ; here and there a white spot in^ the 
landscape indicates some alpine settlement, 
but the whole scene, divested of the two 
towns, has the air of a grand and solitary 
wilderness. • I think the harbour and the 
mountains on this side are even more inter- 
esting and picturesque than the view from 
Port Royal, and chiefly on account of the 



306 



JAMAICA. 



broken grounds, the minor mountiuns, ridges, 
and ravines, behind the town of Port An- 
tonio. 

I had taken a lounge to the barracks before 
breakfast, and was looking at the crazy can- 
non in Fort George, when Sneezer came run- 
ning after me, to say that Miss Diana had 
come down to the bay to see me, from her 
father*s house, a few miles to leeward of 
the harbour ; that she invited me to the old 
Massa Buckra*s house ; and finally, that she 
was waiting breakfast for me at my own 
abode. 

I hurried back to pay my compliments to 
this amiable creature, who has laid me under 
so many obligations, and found her, alas ! 
more beautiful than ever, and as happy as 
health, innocence, and absence from all care, 
can render a pretty girl. \ I cannot help think- 
ing of her probable fate, tlie ordinary fate of 
most persons in her circumstances. Youth 
and beauty of course attract numerous ad- 
mirers, and offers of all descriptions, except 
what in England are called honourable offers. 
A young woman of colour perhaps attaches 
herself to a white man for life, perhaps for a 
few years only. He leaves the island ; the 



JAMAICA. 307 

female associates with a second, a third, who 
all contribute to her wealth. Having suc- 
cessively parted with her lovers, as they return 
to Europe, she at last attaches herself to a 
man of her own colour, whom she marries, or 
lives with as strictly as if married, for the 
remainder of her days. Tlie least tinge of 
African blood excludes man or woman from ^ 
the society, not of white men, but of whitel 
ladies, — ^that is, from an equality of society ; 
otherwise, I am persuaded, the Quadroon 
girls would all be well educated and well 
married ; nay, many of the Mulattoes would 
find European husbands, but the pride of their 
own sex is the stumbling-block to their ad- 
^^ancement; and, indeed, the case is very 
much the same in England,, where young 
women of colour are not received in society 
except under some disadvantages, and if they 
have a darkish hue (Sambo or Mulatto tint) 
they are almost excluded — ^from the beau 
monde, at least. ^ How could a black lady be 
received at Court, at a rout, at the opera ? 
How many of those who petition for emanci- 
pating the negroes would ^associate with them 
on any terms ? And yet nothing less can ever 
put an end to the transitory connexions which 



308 



JAMAICA. 



their sons, and nephews, and cousin-germans 
form, have formed, and will form, with the 
young women of the West India islands ; for 
it is not expected, I presume, that bishops or 
missionaries can clip the wings of Cupid, or 
extinguish his torch. 

'Would Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. Buxton, Mr. 
Smith, Mr. Stephen, or any others of the 
higher and zealous advocates of negro rights^ 
consent to their sons and daughters, their 
nephews and neices, intermarrying with 
blacks ? ' Would they and would their wives 
like, in their declining years, to see their do- 
mestic circles composed chiefly of blacks and 
Mulattoes ? / Let me recommend this to their 
serious consideration, and in charity to sus- 
pend their animadversions on the state of 
West India society, till they prove themselves 
above all the common prejudices in respect of 
colour, by admitting to their convivial and 
domestic parties blacks and browns indiscri- 
minately with their white friends :\ by such 
conduct, at least one advantage would accrue 
to these gentlemen, the question of their sin- 
cerity would be set at rest. 

As a mean of confirming his conquest and 
consolidating his power, Alexander of Mace- 



JAMAICA. * 309 

don married a daughter of Darius, and per- 
suaded one hundred of his principal officers 
to marry Persian ladies. The common soldiers 
followed the example, and thus the mannera 
of the Greek settlers were more quickly as- 
simmilated to the Persians. This was a 
political stroke, and I wonder it has not been 
more frequently followed in modem timesl 
Mr. Buxton may proceed on the same princi^ 
pie. Let him procure a number of the free 
black females to come over from Sierra Leone 
or from the West India islands, and in future 
admit into his brewhouse none but single men 
who Nvill consent to marry one of these sable 
damsels. Mr. Smith may do the same in his 
distilleries and other great establishments, 
and all the members of the African Institution 
to the extent of their influence. This might 
tend to remove the prejudices among the la- 
bouring classes against the complexion of their 
African brethren : the effect would of course 
be very gradual ; but London was hot built in 
a day, and it is to the higher classes that we 
must look for the greatest effect. 

Whether such condescension on the part of 
the petitioning ladies and gentlemen would 
produce this desired effect, is still a question ; 



1 



310 jAltAICA. 

or idiether it would render the objects of it 
happier; for then u m tmtery here among that 
class of females who become the companions 
of European gentlemen. The reader must not 
imagine Uiat am/ town, sea-port, or village in 
Januuca presents the afflicting spectacle of 
young women in the prime of life soliciting 
the caresses of every casual passer-by; of 
young womoi decently educated and honestly 
brought up, with religious notions and moral 
feelings (not extinguished even by their pre- 
sent wretchedness) endeavouring to inflame 
by words or actions the basest passbn in the 
most profligate of the other sex, and prosti- 
tuting themselves to gratify that passion. 
against their religion, their morality, their 
consciences, their hearts, their reason, and 
with feelings of horror, to earn a bit of money 
wherewith to purchase food to save their 
bodies from death, — to escape starvation, to 
cure diseases that are gnawing their vitals.— 
No ; there is nothing of this sort in Jamaica ; — 
no women, intoxicated with spirits or opium, 
plying in the highways, destroying their ille- 
gitimate children, or throwing themselves, I 

may say, headlong to the D ^1, because 

they iuve been betrayed and deserted by 



AftXil. 



iit^'-iiv 



KSie yJTam if _ 



I4MIU r 1 



tt 



ac tiie 



jez OL 'i^e rioer size 3t 



isetwit2.a2i ^Lsazcecc 33ca.waxxCiZ 






♦ _T 






J exiit, 2J 21 ocz£r scxizins. — Bxzt to 
retun: to Diaza: sike brxsszisie & lecssr fron 
her father, sajing thai be w^jiiLd cose to meet 
mt'Jl "wo^zld retcun witfi hfzn to his booie, 
and beggir^ nide to naVe it inj hose imtil I 
embarked for England * an cc€f I was bat 
too bappy to accept, ibr my wooden lodging 
in Titchfield was as hot as the crater of a toI* 
cano in an emption. I had closed a shatter 
to exclude the sun-beams from the eastern 
side of my room, and the bolt liteially be* 
came too hot to be handled with the naked 
hand. The sea-breeze at last cooled me, but 
this blew with such violence, that it kept the 






312 JAMAICA. 

house in a continual trenwr, and bl6w all my 
papers throi^h the windows and jealousies, 
half across the peninsula, before I could re- 
cover them. I declined waiting for the old 
gentleman's visit, but 'set off with Diana as 
soon as the heat of the day was a little 
moderated/ and reached his mansion about 
half an hour before sunset. 

'I passed a funeral in my road, the corpse 
of a sailor, who was buried in a field by the 
way side, one of his comrades (the mate per- 
haps) reading the service over him; and I 
encouDtered also one of the most hideous sights 
I ever beheld in my life, in the person of an 
old Degress, stark naked, with the exception 
of a piece of cloth about four inches square, 
tied by a piece of coco-nut bark round her 
waist, which was all the sacrifice she could 
afford to decency. Her head was as white as 
snow, and though she was still erect, and not 
deficient in health or strength, her whole skin 
was a mass of wrinkles, &om her shoulders to 
her knees, and seemed to hang almost loose 
about her, as if she hxid shnmk within it. 

This person, I found on enquiry, was a free 
woman, finee from her birth, who had been in 
better circumstances fifty or sixty years ago. 



313 



bet hiiing made d3 praiisaQ for her old age, 
^s zeallr has zxic wherevitkal now to pur* 
c&ase clothes. Her licle gmxdea zSbrds her 
T231S az^ r*'^^^^^ sc£cae&t for herself, but 
harin^ Dothis^ to sdU she is obliged to beg 
even the little salt whidi ha food requires.^ 
She is supposed to be abofe a himdred years 
oid. 




314 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 



As I shall stay here until the ship in which 
I am to embark shall have finished her lading, 
I may as well give some little account of my 
quarters. 

The house of the old gentleman stands on 
an elevation, peihaps a hundred and fifty 
feet above the sea, backed by everlasting 
woods and wildernesses, commanding a most 
enchanting view of the two harbours of Port 
Antonio, pait of the town, Titchfield, and a 
grand expanse of ocean to the north. The 
mansion consists of an entrance-hall, with 
sleeping chambers on each side ; and this hall 
leads to a piazza about fifty or sixty feet long, 
which forms the northern facade of the house. 
At (me end of the piazza is likewise a cham- 
ber, and at the other end a dining apartment 
or hall, where we are accustomed to take 



I 




JAMAICA. 315 

our meals. The piazza is about fifteen feet 
wide, furnished with a few cliairs made of 
cherry-tree wood, a spy-glass, a backgammon 
board, and chessm"" '^^^ furniture of the 
dining-room is much same character, 

except a set of tal leboard, and a 

dozen of chairs, all ny, and the en- 

trance-hall contains a of sofas. The 

sleeping- rooms are fumi a the same sim- ' 

pie manner; a bedstead, wua a mattrass and 
a pair of sheets, covered solely with a lawn 
net to keep off the musquitos, a chest of 
drawers, and two or three chairs, form the 
contents of each apartment. There is a nar- 
row piazza on the south side of the house, too 
hot to inhabit an hour after sun-rise, and the 
offices are all detached. Nature here requires 
but shelter from the sun and rain. In many 
houses the rooms are not ceiled, and all is on 
the ground floor, which is generally buHt, as 
in this case, on stone buttresses ; so that if 
the piazza happens to have chinks, you see 
the pigs that you hear grunt in their peram- 
bulations beneath, when they break parole. 
An Englishman has no idea of the figure these 
beasts wear in the tropics. Except when 
fatted or fattening, they wander about with 




316 JAMAICA. 

Straight lank tails (which have given a title to 
one sort of tobacco) and their gaunt ribs ale 
as visible as those of an unplanked ship. 
Their miserable and mangy looks, like those 
of an emaciated greyhound, enable one to ac- 
count for the aversion which some of the 
eastern nations have conceived to swine ; -and, 
without seeing them, it is not easy to imagine 
an animal fit to eat, so squalid and disgust- 
ing. When fattened on Indian com or sugar- 
canes, their appearance is the same as in 
Europe, and the inhabitants boast of their ex- 
cellent flavour. 

After a breakfast of strong coffee, having a 
rank taste of oil from being too new, roasted 
plantains, and excellent cocos, lubricated with 
salt butter, my old friend takes a ride to in- 
spect his n^oes at work, or to hear the news 
at the Bay, as the town is called. He indul- 
ges in a nap (a siesta) sometimes from one to 
two, and promenades or plays a g^me of 
chess in the piazza till three, when dinner is 
announced ; and then another promenade or 
ride till dusk fills up our day. He goes to 
bed at eight o'clock, and rises at five. One 
day is much like another, except varied by 
the appearance (^ an occasional vi«ter, who 



JAMAICA. 317 

generally stays the night In bad weather, 
we read plays, novels, and newspapers, play 
at piquet or backgammon, ogle every sail 
through the telescope, and the old gentleman 
smokes a segar at dusk, as he says, to drive 
away the musquitos. We are waited on by 
a black butler and two footmen, who wear 
each a shirt and white trowsers, with a short 
blue jacket. The sable females, who make 
the beds and polish the floors, are often clad 
in gayer and more expensive apparel, very 
neat and clean, but none of the servants, male 
or female, know the pleasures of shoes or 
stockings. At night the females retire to 
their own houses or to those of their parents, 
no accommodations being thought of for ser- 
vants; the men seek the abode of their 
wives, and the waiting-boys lie on the floor in 
the hall, or at their master's doors. 
• I went one morning, at the request of Diana, 
to the settlement of a white man several miles 
in the interior, a small coffee plantation in the 
mountains, to hire or purchase for her a Mu- 
latto girl, for whom she had conceived a great 
friendship or affection. This girl, whose 
name was Susanna, had complained bitterly 
to Diana of her mistress's cruelty and her 



31S JAMAICA. 

master's attentions, amorous attentions, or 
intentions. As her mistress was a white 
woman and the wife of her master, Susanna 
had spirit enough to resist the gentleman's 
importunities, though she was his slave ; but 
the mistress, instigated by jealousy, gave the 
poor girl no credit for her forbearance, and 
used her very shamefully indeed. 

I went to the coffee settlement by a narrow 
horse-track, similar to those by which I had 
ascended the base of Blue Mountain, where 
the traveller seems always doubling on that 
part of the road which he has passed, until I 
arrived at a fissure in some rocks, through 
which I saw a sort of promised land before 
me, with the Rio Grande flowing majestically 
through it. This is one of the Blue Mountain 
streams, and is often impassable for many 
days together. On this occasion the water 
came over the skirts of my saddle, on which I 
was at last obliged to kneel, to avoid a wet- 
ting ; a feat in horsemanship I performed with 
more success than grace. Sneezer and his 
mule had a swim, which he seemed to enjoy 
as a piece of fun. Having passed the river, 
I again entered the defiles of the mountains, 
and wound for some miles along the precipi- 



1 

4 



JAMAICA. 319 

tous sides of some rocky rayines, where the 
eternal vegetation left me but just room for 
my horse amidst the trees and withes, that 
bind them, as it were, in chains. I saw, oc- 
casionally, negroes on the opposite sides of 
the ravines, with bags of ginger on their 
heads, coming down to the barguadier. Their 
burdens perfumed the air ; one loaded mule 
had nearly dislodged me from the path into/i 
rocky torrent that brawled below; for he and 
his bags occupied all the road,- and we could 
not pass without unloading him, and then with 
great difficulty, for he was obstinate and cow- 
ardly, and my grey palfrey was much too 
frisky to put up with the mule's ill-tempered 
fancies and airs, i At last I arrived at a sort 
of small plain, surrounded by an amphitheatre 
of wood, where the lizards scampered about, 
and the crickets did not scream loud enough 
to stun me. Here I saw first the w]^itened 
barbicue, for drying the coffee-berries, and 
then the abode of the mountaineer, peeping 
from a clump of mango trees. A negro boy 
ran off at my approach, and, as I rode up to 
the house, I saw a rusty old firelock elongate 
itself from a broken pane of glass (for there 
were or had been glazed windows here) and a 



320 JAMAICA. 

spyglass by its side, much of the same colour 
as the musket, and about as long, was thrust 
out from a similiar port-hole. *^ Halt !" The 
word rang in my ears and in my horse's — ^we 
stopped by instinct. Sneezer called out that 
the Paratee was going to shoot, and slipped 
over the tail qi his mule in a twinkling,' who 
ran up to me, and began kicking at my horse, 
or at me, or both of us : a piece of fun that 
my Bucephalus entered into with equal spirit, 
and a battle commenced, which only ended 
in the mule's being kicked off its 1^ and 
fmrlj^oored, to use a Fancy term. The com- 
bat must have been most ridiculous to behold, 
for it continued two or three minutes, in spite 
of my efforts and those of Sneezer to end it, 
the animals squeeling and snorting, and my 
horse plunging so, that I was in the air at 
every kick, exerting my utmost horsemanship 
to regain my seat, from which I expected to 
reach the earth at every capriole, by the op- 
posite extremity to that which the Abb6 had 
chosen for his road to terra firma. The artil- 
lery was still pointed at me, though I could 
hear the engineer behind his fortress laughing 
ready to kill himself, and the voice of the 
white lady, scolding like Xantippe, at its 



.JAMAICA. 321 

highest note :—^to mend the matter, a tame 
parrot mingled in the uproar, and flew about 
my ears and the horse*s, increasing both his 
rage and terror with the fluttering of its wings 
and its execrable screams; The downfal of the 
mule was the signal of victory and peace, and 
while I was recomposing myself, ; the artil- 
leryman demanded my business a second 
time, and hearing my asseverations that I was 
not the Deputy Marshal nor A£^ deputy, he 
withdrew his weapons and came out of his 
castle to greet me.' I was so out of breath, 
and the mountaineer was so choked with 

« 

laughing, that it was some time before we 
could hold anything like a connected dialogue, 
and bet^ii'een every question my host gave 
way to fresh peals, begging pardon all the 
while with every appearance of sincerity, and 
then cutting short or rather strangling every 
courteous word he could articulate, with 
another clatter of mirth. ''You area new 
comer. Sir, I presume ? ha I ha ! ha ! I ask 
a thousand pardons — really I am ashamed- 
will you walk in, and take a glass of punch ?**^ 
— Here he crammed his pocket-handkerchief 
into his mouth to stop his risible paroxysm, 
and threatened with his doubled fist the 

y 



paiTot who still chuckled and screamed, as if he 
understood the joke. The mule's pugnacity 
was quieted ; he had got up with some little 
difficulty, and Ebenezer was feeling if he had 
any broken ribs, while the beast stood like a 
statue, bleeding at the mouth, where he had 
received ft kick which had knocked out or 
rather broken two t^ his front teeth. I fol- 
lowed Mr. M' ^y into his piazza, which I 

shall describe as well as I can ; but first let 
me describe the mountaineer. 

He was a stout squat Scotchman, with red 
hair and whiskers ; his beard, which seemed a 
week old, was a trifle darker. He had a 
queer cast in one eye, with a scar on the eye- 
brow as if from a sabre cut, and he had lost 
the thumb and fore-finger from his left hand. 
His dress consisted of a huge pair of canvass 
trowsers and ragged boots, with a no less 
ia^;ed shirt, and an old buff waistcoat. He 
winre no coat or neckcloth. His wife was in 
as el^ant a dishabille as himself, with her 
long locks straggling down her back, half 
sandy, half grey ; she was at least as old as 
her hosband, a circumstance of which he was 
fiilly aeonUe. 'The piazza, about five or six 
tet.wtf 'Ixmt fiT&«Dd-twenty loDg, 



323 



• \ ''^W »«-!-» 



three biokea chain and a bench, 
a Rxiad taUe of some vfaite wood, an old 
diest of nzstr tools, aad a fiddle with two 
There were three white children 
g abo3t, all rather slattish and dirty, 
fffiTRg unripe maixe, and teasing the paiiot, 
who had taken his station on a perch. Mr. 

M" J pocred me a glass of pondi fimn an 

oid broken tea-pot,' whidi politeness induced' 
me to put to my lips, though I would rather 
have been thirsty &xr three hours, and after 
the libatioa we |HOceeded to business. The 
Scocc^ix;Ki isimediaceiy suspected I had some 
des£g::i en his young slave myself, but I had 
br^^c^: a letter from Diana s &ther,^ which 
sec his mind at ease, though without giTing 
him any additional pleasure, as he, perfas^, 
thought I should have been the more liberal 

customer, j Mrs. M'^ was very anxious 

that the girl should go at all events ; she had 
no desire to sell her, but she thought it would 
t^ better for Susanna ; '' she would be happier 
in every point of view ; Miss Diana was very 
tcQsi of her, and would be very kind to her." 
It was stipulated by the gentleman that he 
should receive twenty-five pounds a year for 
her » independttit of aU expenses of food and 



324 JAMAICA. 

clothing and taxes^ and that she should come 
and see him once in two months— {the wife 
said once a year would do, or once in six 
months.) If Miss Diana was to buy her, she 
was to pay two hundred pounds currency, but 
this should be left to Susanna, who had not 
expressed any desire to be sold/ 

In the midst of the debate the mulatto girl 
arrived, a pretty comely person, with a very 
sweet expression of fieu^e. She could not be 
above fifteen years old, but she was taU, and, 
apparently, ftdl grown ;^it was firom the 
youthfulness of her features that I con- 
jectured her age. / She was arrayed in a sort 
of short waistcoat, with large sleeves that 
nearly reached her elbows ; this was unbuttoned 
in front, and; did not interfere with a double 
fold of Scotch cambric, or some such material, 
laid flat over her bosom, and attached to the 
shoulder-straps of her petticoat It was de- 
tached below for coolness or from habit, and 
though liable to be blown aside by any casual 
blast, yet, as it hung even below her girdle, 
the most iiatstidious would have called it per- 
fectly modest and decent, except during such 
an accident But modesty and decency be- 
long to no accident, they are attributes of the 



kut sod flool, xidit is to frduon and pre- 
jaooe ttti we ire iwkltfgd bt our refined 



tvate in dres. -Tbe laost Tntnoas young 
wQGjea in EE^luftd make exhuxtions of their 
pessQQs diit a Swiss coartesan thinks of with 
bonor: aad I hare heud of a Fcveign Amfaas- 

ixpoQ the inderffiMry of our 



bcc this hx the bre. — Sixsazma wore a rea- 
scBsbSy thick petticoat of white calico, and a 
bt;:ie apraa orer part of it, of muslin or baft, 
oc scerse £2lxizt aaserial which I understood 
Dcc 22d a white hai>dkerdiSef bound like a 
tuib^n Tcxxiid her head. Shoes and stock- 
ings could have added nothing to the symme- 
try ci her extremities, and would have been 
as much out of dsaracter ^so I £aax:ied> as on 

the feet of an antique statue. Mr. M* j 

exDlained mv errand, and the damseUs face 
brightened with joy — tears (rf joy — ^** Oh! yes, 
she would go and lire with Miss Diana di- 
rectly—she MTould go back with me," — '^ On 
foot r •* Oh ! yes, on fooL** — Her sister, the 
mother of two or three children, was to bring 
her clothes on the next Sunday moming; she 
made a little packet for the present, took 



326 



JAMAICA. 



leave of her master and mistress, and started 
before me, while the latter kept callmg after 
her, ''Susanna, don't throw yourself away 
on any of the soldier buckras, nor tag-rag 
book-keepers." Susanna turned round now 
and then, to articulate, '' Berry well, mistress ; 
good bye, mistress ; God bless, mistress." — 
''Susanna, be on your guard with those 
preaching fellows at the Bay."— Susanna was 
too fiur to hear or to heed this. She dived 
into the woods, and vanished like a sylph 
fix>m the jealous eyes of her mistress and tiie 
more ardent gaze of her master, who cast 
many a droll and lingering look after the. ob- 
ject of his love. I bid them farewell, and 
left them, by Diana's desire, a doubloon as 
earnest of the girl's, wages, and a package of 
muslin, which had been sent as a present to 
the lady.^ It was wringing wet with its jour- 
ney through the Rio Grande, but that, she 
said, was nothing, and we parted very amica- 
bly ; but the Scotchman began to laugh as I 
withdrew. I suppose his thoughts reverted 
to the battle of the Centaurs. 

i Susanna was at the river before me, waiting 
on its brink to shew me the best ford ; she 
herself skipped over a row of stepping-stones 



"Vjdt ^Ut IgilTT if I. 




of tae vtnd, ssd liex ▼» 3ie 



^!:x; tnti. 



f iti i i ■ 



.'A^ 



^, near Port 



posed, were waiting 2 fiz 

ge&Uat Port Maria, to JGo 

meoce similar operatioos in dss ptin ct ike 

island.' 

Diana^s £aitlier made rather a jokt of est 
equipage as I returned. There was a party 
of gentlemen and a lady who came to dhmer, 
and of course Diana was invisible. I sav of 
course, for she never makes her appearance at 
table, even with her &ther. There occurred, 
as usual, a long debate upon SainU and Metho- 
dists, but with little argument, as the parties 



328 JAMAICA. 

were all agreed, and declared they would obey 
no laws made by the English House of 
Boroughmongen that concerned the internal 
afiairs of the island, let the consequences be 
what they might. Indeed, with the sentiments 
they entertain towards the British Parliament 
en mas9t^ I am afraid that nothing but force 
would make any impression on these republi- 
can-minded Jamaicamen : — ^not that they are 
hostile to the institutions of the mother coun- 
try, or at all dissatisfied with their own ; but 
that interference would be doubly, trebly 
odious, which emanates fit>m a Society whoni 
they t&gdsA as a mass of corruption and hy- 
pocrisy, and despise ex hno corde. ''They 
consider the English people the dupe of the 
Canters. The people petition the Parliament 
to emancipate the slaves, * poor things,' — 
but the ^poor things are the people of Eng« 
land/ - 



1 



JAKAICA. 329 



CHAPTER XXX\1I. 

• I wEXT-the day before yesterdayipn a se- 
cond expedition to the Blue Mountain, with 
a 3Ir. M'Whinney, aad a sun-bumt planter, 
who lives a few miles in the interior, and of- 
fered to be our guide.* We had originally 
proposed to advance up Buff Bay River, to 
leeward, and to engage some of the Maroons 
of that district as guides up one of the ridges, 
which rise above that river. But the sun- 
bumt gentleman, a Mr. Millarj, persuaded us 
that the easier ascent was from his quarters, 
and was so positive in his assertions of what 
he had heard on this subject, so earnest in 
his recommendation and desire of accom- 
panying us, and so profuse in his promises of 
assisting us with guides, provisions, and every 
thing we might require in our expedition, 
that we could not resist his invitation to go 




to hU house, and proceed from that point. . I 
sooQ foimd that we had gone too fax to the 
eastward for the object we had m view, before 
we reached his domain, and suspected that we 
could never gain the western peak, to which 
we aspired, bj any attempt fiom this quar- 
ter; and so it proved. We went first to 
Golden Vale estate (the property of Green- 
wich Hospital, with slaves on it). It well 
deserves its name; for it is a rich valley in- 
closed by mountains on all sides, so that the 
entrance and exit of the Rio Grande, which 
nms through it, can scarcely be distinguished. 
In short, when you have entered it, you can 
hardly imagine that it has any communication 
with the rest of the world, such is its per- 
fect seduuon. Here the afternoon was passed 
m making preparations for our ascent.^ Mr. 
Miller, with the greatest alacrity, did all that 
he had promised. 'Our provisions of all 
kinds were packed up in abundance, and ne- 
groes appointed to carry them, one of whom 
undertook to be our guide. After an early 
brealdast. we started on foot, and, leaving Rio 
Grande on our left, proceeded up a smaller 
stream in a direction south-west But it was 
necessary to quit the stream, which we 



S 



331 



to m ndge, lic adTsnced 
£ X 20od r^^ cvi ^visk & good resolatioii. 

VmI to l ^«r p ^ ' i;^ into deep n- 



&e gM ?g - f>7ii ^tfn'n^ whiidi torn* 



of TTMWy W22SS MI'iWI X 

vi:h the dszk btack ouUe of the rocksJ 
Ve dpl^gfctffd in Aece <yportnaitie> of slaking 
oar &irsty nA, irapnadgidT, too frequently 
ind^l^ed ia i!ie d^idoos dracCTts, for they 
bat ill qTxaliSed cs to esoocster the difSculties 
:h irose before us. We ioumeTed foir- 
sad sheet mid-dav anired at a district 
whsch was encrelv dear cf wood. Ve could 
cckserre that the cocntrr, for miles to the 
e2>mLni and westward of our position, and 
for a considerable breadth up the mountain, 
was in the same condition. There was thick 
wood above and below, but along this belt 
not a tree was to be seen, and it might 
hare been called barren finom its appearance, 
h^ not the luxuriant r^etadon of a long 
coarse grass convinced us of the contrary. 

Here began the severity of our labours. 
There was a track into this region of grass 
which our guide pursued, but after a short 



332 



JAMAICA. 



progress it ceased to be visible. He was 
at a loss, but pointed out a knoll which we 
were to reach. There was no choice left, 
but to return or cut our way straight for- 
ward to the object marked out. We de- 
cided on the latter, and worked away with 
spirit ; two of the party cutting in firont, and 
the rest relieving them in turns. Such, how- 
ever, was the nature of this impediment, 
which in many places grew higher than our 
heads, that our progress was exceedingly 
slow. The vertical sun poured all his heat 
upon us, unmitigated by the intervention of 
the smallest cloud, and not a breath of air 
could reach us through the grass. We were 
almost suffocated. At times we felt some- 
thing like dismay, when we viewed the 
smoke that issued from this wilderness in 
every direction around us, and in some places 
at no great distance.^ The dry parts of the 
grass about the roots were as combustible 
as tinder, and though we could not feel any 
wind, we could perceive its effects, in driving 
the fires in other quarters. The conflagra- 
tion might reach us, and we were so en- 
tangled that we had no chance of escape. 
Sudh were our reflections. ^.However, we 



I 



laboured oo tiS smset, by wbidi time we 
bad readied die spat pcwted out by our 
guide. It was nearij at tbe upper edge of 
tbe bdt of grass, and bad oq it a £ew trees. 
Being a small ridge a little adTanced fiiHn 
tbe general slope of tbe moimtain, we bad tbe 
adTantage of a fine riew of tbe country. 
Tbe prospect towards tbe sea was, as migbt 
be supposed, a Tery ricb one, comprehending 
tbe estates situated in tbe well caltivated 
Talleys, or hanging on tbe sides of tbe bills, 
which are the distinguishing features of that 
district. « The sea-coast was visible westward 
to an extent we could not ascertain, but con- 
jectured to be the high land of Albion, imme- 
diately west of Port Maria. 'Port Antonio, 
with its two harbours, lay immediately be- 
fore us. The distance to the east ¥ras soon 
boimded by the sea. But what chiefly en- 
gaged our attention was the immense extent 
of that region of grass through which we had 
toiled for so m&ny hours. We could not ac- 
count for so large a district being reduced to 
such a state of desolation, or for its continuing 
devoid of trees of any kind, while those above 
and below were loaded with the usual lux- 
uriant growth of the country J The entire de^ 



334 



JAMAICA. 



stniction of the trees could hardly have been 
occasioned by the appropriation of the land 
to provision grounds for the estates in the 
low lands. Those estates were, compared 
with most of the rest of the island, modem 
settlements ; they had not yet exhausted, by 
snccessiye crops, the rich grounds in their 
neighbourhood, and it seemed improbable 
that the negroes, or their masters, would go 
so fiir from home in quest of provision grounds, 
while they had abundance as good close at 
hand. Besides, there were not the usual 
signs of ruinate provision grounds, no cocos, 
no yams, no plantains. Had this country 
been under tillage by the Spaniards? or was 
it one of those spots from which the abo- 
riginal inhabitants drew the plentiful supplies 
with which they relieved Columbus? The 
absence of any remains of buildings, which, 
if they existed, we must have seen from our 
elevated position, and which the Spaniards 
would have left, inclined me to the last sup- 
position. 

I There was another object which we could 
not cease to admire, that was, a most beau- 
tiful cascade, which issued from the eastern 
peak, and fell in one continued stream to a 



336 JAMAICA. 

mometer at 70^. Calculating the distance we 
had advanced, the length of way before us, 
the uncertainty of our guide, the difficulties 
we had to encounter, the remaining stock of 
provisions, and the want of subordination in 
the strange negroes who were to attend us, we 
deemed it most prudent to retrace our steps. 
I was exceedingly disappointed; biit there 
was scarcely an alternative; therefore, /after 
passing a tolerably comfortable night under 
cover of the long grass, and taking an early 
breakfast, we cast another longing look at the 
cascade above us, and then turned our backs 
upon it. 

Our descent was not delayed by any impe- 
diment ; but as our stock of water was ex- 
hausted, and we found neither withes nor 
wild pines, we suffered much from thirst, and 
longed exceedingly for our arrival at one of 
those beautiful streams which we had crossed 
in our ascent. At length we approached one.* 
I think I see now the eagerness with which 
the whole party scrambled down a precipice 
into a gully, at the bottom of which one of 
these streams was dashing over the rocks in 
its current .There was a small pool formed 
in a space rather more open than the rest. 



JAMAICA. 337 

htto this the first negio that arrived in the 
nee filing himself headlong. We all followed 
hb example^ and lay there wallowing and 
fiocndering about till we were completely 
dreodied and felt oor thirst aUayed. We 
found, by expefiaoce, that this inmiersion had 
a better efiect dian laige dranghts of water, 
and repeated it fireqnently daring the latter 
part of ocr walk. At lo^th we arrived at 
t2be k^el plain of G<^en Vale, and, sending 
oar semLncs to the house for a change of 
clocbes;* we dashed into the stream of the Rio 
Gnz:c^« and ccndnoed to swim there till they 
a::TtT^. This ucsnccessfnl attempt to arrive 
a: u^ reik S:qo the neighboorhood of Port 
Antooio, may serre as a warning to others 
tt> take a di&rent route, or at least a better 



338 



JAMAICA* 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 



I WAS entertsuned this morning by a letter 
from my radical friend Mr. Mathews, in 
which, among other subjects of mirth, he 
calls my attention to Sir John Kean's provi- 
sion for accommodating his European troops 
in case of their being called out. A com- 
pany were to be sent from Stoney Hill bar- 
racks to FortHaldane, at Port Maria, pro- 
vided they were fetched in covered waggons, 
and hot coffee sent to meet them for break- 
fiist ; they were likewise to have a hot dinner 
got ready for them at the Courthouse. No 
one can blame these precautions for the 
safety of the troops ; but, as my letter says, 
'* would an invading army of any European 
nation wait for hot coffee, or die for want of 
it ? If the island be once revolutionized or 
diiorganized, will Johnny Bull invade it afresh 



/ 



JAMAICA. 



a complaint to tl 
Iiarshly used, Oi 
brought before the i 
plea of ill-treatmei 
damsel, in pardcul; , 
received tfro hundred 




in covered wagons, sipping hot coffee as they 
move slowly along ?" 

A party of negroes went lately to pres^it 



es of their being 
lc negroes were 
es, and used ibiS 
ir defence; one 
Ing that she faa4 
rty Ia.«hes at one 



flo^'ging, and that but a lew days before. 
Tlie magistrates doubting this fact, the sable 
nymph without hesitation exposed her behind, 
whereon there was no mark whatever ; and it 
appearing that she had so done in derision 
and contempt, they ordered her a couple of 
dozen. 

' I had sent for the two black children who 
had prevailed on roe to purchase them at 
Kingston, and, as they are arrived, I haye en- 
trusted them to Diana ;' while she is Diana 
they will be at least well used, and whatever 
may become of her they will always have an 
appeal to me, for which purpose I have taken 
care that tliey shall learn to write as well as 
read. 

It was to my friend Nunnez that I was 
obliged for their having been provided with a 



340 javaica; 

proper guide to escort them here in safety, — 
^ sensible, clear-headed Creole black, from 
whom I asked the news among the negroes 
at Kingston. • '^ The news/' he replied, " is, 
that some buckra is making bargain with the 
King of England to free us : but who for gib 
we fish and clothes? Who for hire we? If 
ne^;ar no hab him own massa, it better for 
him he dead one time (at once). Black man 
do nutting, no so fight, and quarrel, and kill, 
without buckra — and muss hab buckra par- 
son or missionary for his massa, if he free; — 
it better him tand so, and Massa Wilforce 
preach to him own parliament, and tell buckra 
Lords who dam for *dultry/* 

I saw a lady to day, whose curiosity has 
lately betrayed her into an unlucky scrape. 
Imagining that her husband's negroes stole 
too much sugar firom the boiling and curing- 
houses, she disguised herself as a black wo- 
man, by painting her face, and tying up her 
hair in a white handkerchief: thus drest like 
a slave, with a basket of fish on her head, 
she knocked at the house of the head-driver 
on her estate in the dusk of the evening.. As 
soon as she was admitted, she closed the door 
after her, and taking the fish firom her head. 



JAUAICA. 341 

she displayed them befixe the eyes of the 
drirer, and proposed to exchange them widi 
him for sugar. The driver would have been 
staggered at her proposal, but that he sus- 
pected she was joking, though he had no 
idea of her disguise, for the lady speaks Cie^ 
ole to perfection, and though naturally u 
white as a lily, her &ce was so well Uackfed 
that she might have defied a stricter scrutiBy 
than his. Besides, her features happen to 
have a very Afirican cast, at least in respect 
of her nose and mouth, and her blue eyes 
could not betray her in the twilight, the 
negro, finding her serious in her proposals, 
told her first to go about her business, — ^that 
he was no ** tief to rob his massa,'* — a rqdy 
that, instead of satisfying her, awakened her 
jealousy the moro, for she seemed vexed to 
find her slave an honest man ; . and, to justify 
her former suspicions, tried to bribe him 
with money to become the thief she wished 
to prove him. He threatened her with the 
stocks, and turned her out of the house ; but 
as she still continued her importumties, and 
as other slaves began to assemble about the 
door, he treated her at .last as a thief, and 
vowed he would flog her if she did not de* 



342 JAMAICA. 

part Thinking he would not proceed to 
guch an extremity as this, or being carried 
away by rage to find herself thus foiled, 
she began to abuse him, threatening to have 
him flogged ; on which he rather expeditiously 
pulled up her clothes to chastise her, in the 
presence of a score of her own subjects, who 
started at the si^t of her white skin as if 
they had seen a devil. I can hardly imagine 
the feelings with which she walked back to 
the great house, though one might think she 
felt nothing, for she laughs at the story in all 
companies. 

My venerable host detailed to me this ad- 
venture of his white neighbour as we were 
taking our morning ride, and I was still ru- 
minating on it, when we overtook a tall, strap- 
ping negro, so like in figure to one of my 
firiend's slaves, that he saluted him with '' how 
d* ye, Cudjoe ? Which way are you going ?"• 
But before he could get an answer, looking in 
the man's fSEU^e, he perceived his mistake, and 
asked agam, '' What's your name? Whom 
do you belong to? Where are you going? 
This is no pass." — ^The man replied, ''Me be- 
long to massa ; me watchman ; me going to 
mountain." My friend inquired again sharply , 



Jamaica. 



343 



"What massa? What mountain?" "You 
massa ; for you mouutain, me no yoor neegar 
Cuffie?" "Well," saysmyfiiend, "thisisa 
curious piece of efifrontery ; I think I ought 
to know all n i negroes. Yon must 

be a runaway, n, and about no good 

here ; so turn nd walk with me to the 

works." The und himself in a scrape, 

and looked aboi e how he could escape; 

but we headed i and manoeuiTed with 
our horses to keep lum in the road till he 
came to the ne^ro houses, where he jumped 
over a penguin fence that protected the 
gardens from the road, hoping, no doubt, to 
hide himself among them before we could 
get round by the gate. But my friend was 
too active for him, and, giving his horse rein 
and spur, cleared the fence like an old hunter. 
It was negro dinner-time, and the driver and 
his gang were at home. Of course Cuffie 
was instantly secured, and led to the overseer's 
house, where an examination immediately 
took place. Partly by his o\vn confession, 
and partly by the recollection of a white man 
present, we discovered that he belonged to a 
neighbouring estate, and my friend was going 
to send him there in custody, with a note to 



344 JJkMAICA. 

his overseer, according to the usual practice 
in such cases among neighbours, when a 
sharp lad, a book-keeper, said to my friend, 
** I wish, sir, you would let me search his 
cutacoo; I have a strange fancy he has some* 
thing there he ought not to have/' It is im* 
possible to convey to the reader, by descrip* 
tion, an idea of the look which the culprit 
gave the young man, when he observed, 
in answer to his suggestion, " Warra debbii 
cun poor n^;ar hab in him cutacoo, but iilly 
bit nyamnyam?** However, permission was 
given to search. The young man, in an in- 
stant, les^ied down off the steps, grappled 
with Cuffie, who made stout resistance, and 
at last succeeded in wresting the cutacoo 
firom his grasp. The contents were imme- 
diately displayed on the steps of the over- 
seer's house. There was an old snuff-box, 
several phials, some filled with liquids and 
some with powders, one with pounded glass ; 
some dried herbs, teeth, beads, hair, and other 
trash; m short, the whole farrago of an Obcah 
man> The old Scotch carpenter's attention 
was attracted by the snuff-box, and be had 
taken out of it a pindi of the contents, which 
he was oooveying to his nose, when the 



JAMAICA. 345 

young lad jumped up in great agitation, with, 
"What are you doing? don't you knowifs 
poison ?** and with a smart rap on the knuckles 
kindly baulked the carpenter*s gratification. 
We were all easily convinced of the uses to 
which these articles were intended to be ap- 
plied, and the confusion of the man himself 
at this discovery, confirmed our opinion of 
his guilt. 'My friend, on further inquiry, 
found that this fellow had been for some time 
frequenting his negro houses, and therefore 
in some degree accounted for sundry abortions 
among his women, and some other fatal oc- 
currences among his negroes, which had pre- 
viously much distressed him. He could not, 
however, by any direct proof, bring home to 
this man any interference in the calamities 
which he deplored, and therefore pursued his 
former resolution of sending him to the estate 
to which he said he belonged. The messenger 
and the culprit soon returned with a note 
from the overseer, stating that it wa:s true 
Cuffie had formerly belonged to that estate, 
but having been convicted of Obeah, he had 
been sentenced to transportation. He was 
consequently sent to gaol, where the keeper 
instantiy recognized him, and wrote to tell 




346 JAMAICA. 

my friend, that in punaance of his sentence 
he bad been sold to a Mr. H for transport- 
ation. It appeared, however, that the de- 
linquent had found means to pay Mr. H— 
a (ew more pounds than he had given for him, 
and Mr. H — - , thinking it a good opportunity 
of taming an honest penny, had pocketed tl^ 
fellow's money» and turned him loose again 
<m the public. 

My ship having completed her cargo, I had 
npected for some days to see at daybreak 
my Rgnal displayed for sailing.^ My own 
baggage had been some days aboard, with 
my sea stock of sheep, pigs, and poultry, with 
two waggon load of plantain suckers to feed 
the first, and I know not how many bushels 
of nsuze to fatten the last. Though accus- 
tomed to rise before the sun in this bla^g 
climate;! was yet in bed, for the twili^t had 
scarcely dawned^ when Diana tapped at 
my door, and said the ship bad hoisted the 
Mw Peter, and her fore top sail was sheeted 
home.' All ranks of people here speak as 
well as understand nautical phrases: to my 
less experienced readers it may be necessary 
to explain, that these are the signals of de- 
parture. I arose in a perturbation of mind, 



JAMAICA. 347 

excited perhaps by a natural anxiety attend* 
ant on occasions of undertaking a voyage, or 
even a journey ; increased by the ideas which 
crowded on my fancy at parting with the 
pretty and affectionate Diana, whom I can 
hardly expect to behold again on this side of 
the grave. 

I dressed myself in haste, and sallied from 
my chamber ; found Susanna and my black 
slave preparing the coffee, and the old gen- 
tleman, in his dressing gown, chiding Diana 
for taking my departure to heart. I beg the 
reader will not imagine I had the vanity to 
attribute the grief of this kind creature to any 
feelings but those which spring from genuine 
goodness of disposition. Her attentions had; 
perhaps, saved my life ; they had at least re- 
lieved me in my sickness ; her encouragement 
sustained me. The very qircumstance of 
having rendered me essential service had, 
perhaps, created in her mind all the interest 
to which I was now indebted for this tribute 
of grief. If I had given way to some too 
natural suggestions of vanity, I should* not 
have discarded, or endeavoured to discard^ 
the idea as often as it recurred, that I could 
distinguish in the glances of her eyes a glimr 



348 



JAMAICA. 



mering of resentment, mingled with ex* 
presrions of affectionate regretr-^md where- 
fore ? That I had never paid any comjpliment 
of gallantry to the charms of her person;" that 
I had in &ct never said one tender thing to 
her in the whole course of our acquaintance. 
fl had treated her as I would have treated a 
sister^ — in short, I thought I could never 
treat her with sufficient consideration ; and if 
the gentlemen in Jamaica could be prevailed 
on by the religious of England to entertain 
similar notions with regard to the Creole 
beauties, they would, perhaps, have less to 
reproach them with on the score of immiora- 
lity ; but unless they can effect such a change 
in the minds of the rich buckras, they will 
never improve the moral part of the negro's 
phrenology, though missionaries be multiplied 
upon them ad infinitum. It is like decrying 
the use of spirits in England, while the dis- 
tillers pour out alcohol upon the multitude in 
torrents, and the more virtuous ate and porter 
are taxed into a sort of abstinence (or made, 
through chemistry, anything but what they 
should be by a few monopolists.) Men will 
use gallantry as well as spirits ; custom and 
education make the difference in using them 



JAMAICA. 349 

wisely or with improvidence ; for a child may 
be taught anything, and may as easily be 
trained up with one set of ideas as another, pro* 
vided he has corresponding examples before 
his eyes. But I must not moralize — ^I hope 
the reader will foi^ve me. ' I was very much 
flattered at any rate by the grief which 
Diana in vain would have concealed; ^er 
efforts indeed were not of very long duration, 
for she soon gave up all restraint, and 'wept 
without attempting to controul her tears. ^ I 
could have been as much concerned, but I 
was afraid the old gentleman would laugh at 
me. — ^He told me I must leave the girl my 
blessing, and a kiss for remembrance. The 
first, the last — ^but let me finish the scene. 
^ Diana took from her bosom a coral necklace, 
and begged me to keep it for her sake, and if 
ever I married to give it to my \fife, that 
when I saw it on the neck of her I loved best 
in the world, I might think of her who gave 
it to me. '' We parted (to use the words of 
a very agreeable traveller) with great regret, 
but certainly without reproach.*'^! shook 
hands with Susanna, and recommending my 
black children to love one another, and be 
faithful to the mistress I had given them^ 



350 JAMAICA^ 

I mounted the white palfrey for the last 
time, and rode down to the bay in company 
with my host, and attended as formerly by 
Ebenezer and the Mussulman. We jogged 
along in silence,/ till we arrived at the spot ] 

where I had formerly encountered the hideous ! 

old woman, who was now collecting sticks / 
by the road side to boil her pot, in the same 
costume as before, that is to say, stark naked. 
Had I been superstitious, I should have con- 
sidered this rencontre as a bad omen. I could 
not refrain from asking her if she had no 
clothes ; to which she replied, that she was 
bom naked, and should go to heaven naked ; 
that Adam and Eve were naked while they 
were innocent, and she was ashamed of 
nothing. My old friend said he would send 
her a petticoat; but she said she would thank 
him for a calabash full of salt instead,^ and 
that she would wear no clothes till she put 
on her shroud, which she had had ready for 
twenty years, as well as the planks for her 
coffin. I gave her a tenpenny for her bless- 
ing, while (Ebenezer argued with her respect- 
ing the indecency of going naked ; but she cut 
him short by demanding of him if his master 
knew where he was, and what he was doing 



JAMAICA. 351 

last night at eleven o clock. I certainly did 
not know, but I fear it was no good. Eben- 
ezer looked with horror on the old woman, as 
if she were a magician, and, pulling up his 
neckcloth with the air of a dandy, rode on in 
our rear. J resigned to him and ^bdallah 
^the white horse as soon as we reached the 
sea shore, having already given him his pass- 
port to return with the whole equipage to Mr. 
Graliam*s. We parted very good friends, and 
I have not yet found out that the Saint has 
played me any foul trick, notwithstanding 
Mr. Mathews's prophecy/ 

The old gentleman went out of the harbour 
virith me, and returned in the pilot's boat. I 
would fain have asked him a thousand ques- 
tions about his daughter ; what would become 
of her, and whether he would let her marry a 
man of her own colour? but I thought.delicacy 
forbade it, and my mind was too full of her to 
talk about anything else. 

We had already cleared the harbour before 
we found the wind at N. N. £. and the cur- 
rent setting fast to the westward ; by four in 
the afternoon we were nearly off Port Maria, 
so much had we fallen to leeward, though we 
were intent on taking the windward passage. 




352 JAMAICA. 

We made up some of this in the night, and 
at daybreak next day we were again off 
Htchfield, about four miles out at sea. I 
thought I could still discern Diana, by means 
of a telescope, at the end of her Father's 
piazza, waving with her handkerchief a last 
&rewell. I tied mine to the starboard 
shrouds, where it remained till the winds and 
waves had borne my companions and their 
vessel beyond the gaze of every eye that 
weeps in Jamaica. 



LONDON : 



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