« НазадПродовжити »
persons to get out of the jurisdiction of Westminster Hall.Our author
touched at Madeira, with which he did not appear to have been well contented. He saw strange sights at sea, like Sinbad and other travellers, such as dolphins, which are good eating with spice and wine, flying-fish and birds roosting upon turtles a yard over, that civilly floated to the top to give them standing-room.—Our author is, as we have seen, but fresh-water sailor. There is a fish, saith he, called a What do our readers think? A triton ?-No. A Kraken ?-No. A marine Ornithorineus? --No. Master Ligon only quotes Horace; he knows nothing of piscine science. “There is a fish called a SHARK!” We trust that this information has ever made his readers inexpressibly grateful to the man who could run a risco to the New World to find it out. The vessel proceeds to the Cape Verd Islands; but before casting anchor he furnishes us with a quacking theory, which would have made Newton start; although it is amusing from its amazing impudence, with which, indeed, the sciolism of the time was generally paraded.
“ In slack winds, and dark nights, we saw nothing under water, but darkness; but in stiff winds, and strong gales, we saw perfectly the keel of the ships; and fishes playing underneath, as lighted by a torch, and yet the nights of equal darkness. Which put me in mind of a point of philosophy I had heard discoursed of, among the learned ; that, in the air, rough hard bodies, meeting with one another by violent strokes, rarify the air, so as to make fire. So here, the ship being of a hard substance, and in a violent motion, meeting with the strong resistance of the waves, (who, though they be not hard, yet they are rough, by reason of their saltness,) do cause a light, though no fire; and I may guess, that that light would be fire, were it not quenched by the sea, in the instant it is made; which, in his own element, hath the greater power and predominancy."
At St. Jago, the captain, and some of the passengers and crew, dine with the governor, and our author is nigh falling in love with his black sultana, who was more beautiful than James the Firsts Queen Anne “ dancing the measures with a baron;" for which comparison, James would certainly have roasted him as cordially as he would have burnt Vorstius. He was in a great taking to find out whether she had white teeth, or yellow ones like vulgar negresses. At last, he cunningly bethought himself to make her speak by insinuating a few presents; a never-failing expedient with the sex.
“She then shewed her rows of pearls, so clean, white, orient, and well shaped, as Neptune's court was never paved with such as these ; and to shew whether was whiter, or more orient, those or the whites. of her eyes, she turned them up, and gave me such a look, as was a
sufficient return for a far greater present; and withal wished, I would think of somewhat.wherein she might pleasure me, and I should find her both ready and willing; and so, with a graceful bow of her neck, she took her way towards her own house; which was not above a stone's cast from the Padre's."
The traveller, however, was wise in time; for the Padre was “nearly as black as a Molotto (Mulatto), and his eyes so far sunk into his head that, with a large pin, you might have pricked them out in the nape of his neck.” A most alarming physiognomy! A few days after, he visits a fountain in the island, where he sees “ many pretty young negro virgins," of two of whom he straight becomes enamoured; but, as it is a disputable point, he says, whether a horse between two bottles of hay will not starve, he chose to put an end to the doubt, by starving his exotic inclinations between his two bottles of black beauty. “My affection was not forked ;" (biforked love!)
so in this doubtful condition I took my leave.” We wonder what they said to this story in Barbadoes !
They then bear away for that Colony, which they reach in twenty-two days.
Being now come in sight of this happy island, the nearer we came, the more beautiful it appeared to our eyes, for that being in itself extremely beautiful, was best discerned and best judged of when our eyes became full masters of the object; there we saw the bigh large and lofty trees, with their spreading branches and flourishing tops, seemed to be beholding to the earth and roots that such plenty of sap for their nourishment, as to grow to that perfection of beauty and largeness, whilst they in gratitude return their cool shade to secure and shelter them from the sun's heat, which without it would scorch, and dry away; so that bounty and goodness in the one, and gratefulness in the other, serve to make up this beauty, which otherwise would lie empty and waste ; and truly these vegetatives
teach both the sensible and reasonable creatures, what it is that makes up wealth, beauty, and all harmony in that Leviathan, ą. well-governed Commonwealth, where the mighty men and rulers of the earth, by their prudent and careful protection, secure them from harms, whilst they retribute their pains, and faithful obedience, to serve them in all just commands. And both these, interchangeably and mutually in love, which is the cord that binds up all in perfect harmony. And where these are wanting, the roots dry, and leaves fall away, and a general decay and devastation ensues. Witness the woeful experience of these sad times we live in.”
On landing, however, he appears to find reason to draw in the horns of his rapture, for half the people are dead of the plague (yellow fever); and the surviving half ready to follow them from famine. The fever-disease baving reached the crew, prevented the ship from proceeding to Antigua, its original destination;
so that Colonel Moddiford, the head of the venture, thought it best to settle at Barbadoes, where he bought a ready-stocked plantation of five hundred acres, on which our author resided in the capacity of deputy-manager, till his return to England, a space of three years.*
Barbadoes was discovered by the Portuguese, in their voyages from Brazil, and from them it received its name, from some of the trees that looked like their own full-bottomed beards. It was found unoccupied; for the Caribbees, for reasons unknown to us, had deserted it. The Portuguese thought it of such little value, after their splendid acquisitions in South America, that they abandoned it to a few swine, which they left for the benefit of navigators who might touch there. The crew of an English vessel, called the “ Olive Blossom,” on a voyage to Surinam, next visited it in 1605, and took possession in the name of King James. A few years afterwards, a ship of Sir William Courteen’s, an eminent London merchant, was driven there by stress of weather, and, on their arrival in England, the crew made so favourable a report of it, that Lord Treasurer Marlborough obtained a grant ; and, in 1624, Courteen sent out about thirty persons, under the patronage of the grantee, to settle the island. However, the Earl of Carlisle had already obtained a grant from James of all the Caribbean islands, under the name of the “ Province of Carliola;" and, on his laying claim to Barbadoes, a long controversy ensued between him and Lord Marlborough, which ended in his taking the island, on paying an annual rent-charge of three hundred pounds to Lord Marlborough and his heirs for ever. Lord Carlisle subsequently overturned Courteen’s establishment, and granted out the lands afresh, at a rent of forty pounds of cotton-wool for each grant. But Harley, one of his governors, having greatly disgusted the planters against the proprietor, and the Civil Wars driving over a vast number of emigrants without permission, (of whom our author appears to have been one,) his authority was soon tacitly relinquished. The Commonwealth sent out a governor of its own, who ruled the island like an ordinary dependency of the State. At the Restoration, Lord Willoughby of Parham, acting under a lease from the heir of Lord Carlisle, applied for leave to go out as governor, which would not have been resisted by the colonists, had they not found that it was to revive Carlisle's claims to the soil. They
* This Col. Moddiford, we believe, was one of those who advised the Protector to attack the Spanish possessions in 1655, which ended in the capture of Jamaica. He was afterwards made a knight, with a number of Barbadians, by Charles the Second, for their loyal resistance against the Commonwealth.
therefore petitioned the new king for his protection, averring that Carlisle's patent was void, and demanding permission to try the matter in the Exchequer. Woe to the wight who expected justice from Charles's hands! Instead of complying with their reasonable and just demands, he referred the whole subject to a committee of the Privy Council, (in those days, the hatching-place of all that was bad, in that bad government;) and a planter, in order to bribe the king to exclude the proprietor, offered a tax on the produce of the colony, to support a governor from the crown, and to make a purse for his majesty's private wants. The king, says Clarendon, “accepted this offer very graciously,” as he did every thing that sounded like money; but other planters repudiated it the next day, and proposed only to settle such a revenue on the crown as the Assembly of the island should decide on. The late Lord Carlisle had died eighty thousand pounds in debt, and his creditors immediately came forward on hearing that the island was likely to yield any assets in the shape of income. Lord Marlborough's heirs claimed the arrears of three hundred pounds annuity, and Lord Willoughby insisted on having half the revenue during his lease, according to his bargain with the last Lord Carlisle, the other half, and the entire reversion, were claimed by Lord Kinnoul, the devisee of Lord Carlisle's West-Indian estates.
A Turkish Cadi would have done more justice than this shameless tribunal. It was decided that Lord Willoughby should go out as governor, and insist on the Assembly's granting, for ever, a duty of four and a half per cent. in specie, upon all goods grown in the island, exported to any part of the world; to be appropriated, first, towards providing for Lord Kinnoul; secondly, Lord Marlborough's annuity ; thirdly, to divide the residue amongst Lord' Willoughby, during the remainder of his lease, and Lord Carlisle's creditors, subject to twelve hundred pounds for the King's Governor; and lastly, to the King alltogether, subject to the same charge; and, thereupon, the island was to become an ordinary colony, free from all claims of proprietorship. Here there was a tax of nearly ten per cent. in effect, juggled out of these poor' colonists by an unprincipled and needy king, under the pretext of settling a law-suit about a patent, which had been a thousand times treated as annihilated for twenty years past, and was looked upon by all the world, and by Clarendon, the Lord Chancellor, as altogether void. The colonists murmured ; but the arbitrary imprisonment of their leader, Colonel Farmer, awed them into submission. The conduct of the king, in the whole affair, was peculiarly cruel ; for the Barbadians had distinguished themselves by the most obstinate loyalty to his family, and had been reduced by the Commonwealth by a very considerable expedition
under Ayscue. Such is the origin
Such is the origin of the famous four-and-ahalf per cent. duties, which continue to the present day, and have so often been the subject of public notice. The payment of the same duty was imposed in the ceded colonies, at their capitulation; so that the whole of the Leeward Islands are at present subject to it.
Barbadoes is about twenty-one miles long, and fourteen broad. Carlisle Bay is the only good harbour in the island. Upon the lower part, is built the chief place, Bridge-Town, about as big as Hounslow, in the time of our author; and now consisting of nearly two thousand houses. It was originally built in a marsh, as if the early settlers were dissatisfied with the ordinary mortality of the Antilles. It is now much improved. Like many of the other islands, Barbadoes has few springs. In Antigua, there is not a single source of fresh water; yet its Indian name was “ Jamaica,” signifying " the country of springs ;" a rather disquieting etymology to us of the temperate zones. Such springs as there are in Barbadoes, do not supply water enough, so that the inhabitants are forced to catch the rain in cisterns, on the tops of their houses ; which may be turned to great advantage in slave-rebellions; for they are then filled with water, which is “thrown down upon the naked bodies of the negroes, scalding hot.” What ingenious ways men invent of doing mischief! In New Zealand, they tomahawk and eat you ; in Barbadoes, they boil you, but do not eat you; and in civilized Europe, they blow you to pieces with bomb-shells, and eat turtle instead of you, at Guildhall. We shall not take upon us to decide between tomahawking, boiling, and exploding ; but the New Zealander, at least,“ saves” most in point of eatable capital.
The Cassava Root, or Maniock, is the wheat of Barbadoes.
“ Before it comes to be eaten, it suffers a strange conversion ; for, being an absolute poison when 'tis gathered, by good ordering, comes to be wholesome and nourishing; and the manner of doing it is this : they wash the outside of the root clean, and lean it against a wheel, whose sole is about a foot broad, and covered with lattin, made rough like a large grater. The wheel to be turned about with the foot, as a cutler turns his wheel. And as it grates the root, it falls down in a large trough, which is the receiver appointed for that purpose. This root, thus grated, is ás rank poison as can be made by the art of an apothecary, of the most venomous simples he can put together : but being put into a strong piece of double canvass, or sack-cloth, and pressed hard, that all the juice may be squeezed out, and then opened upon a cloth, and dried in the sun, 'tis ready to make bread, And thus.'tis done.
They have a piece of iron, which I guess is cast round, the diameter of which is about twenty inches, a little hollowed in the