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the uncultivated hills and deferts. If one half the year was wrapped in frozen, barren winter, like other countries, they would not be allowed blanketting fufficient to fhield them from the cold; nor would their mafters, or their remorselefs deputies, allow them a fufficient quantity of food. When there is a fcarcity of provifions on a plantation, each negroe gets a weekly allowance of corn or flour, (two or three quarts) and five or fix herrings. Those who live in pairs together, as man and wife, are mutual helpmates to each other: the men build their huts, and affift to work their grounds; the women prog for food, boil their pots at noon and night, louse their heads, extract chiggers from their toes, and wash their frocks and trowfers. I fhall here fubmit the complaint of a negroe man, whofe helpmate had deferted him, to your perufal :
How wretched's my time been of late!
To fee fmarter beaumen than me;
How falfe and how fickle they be.
My hut is all cover'd with dirt;
Then join, fable swains, to bemoan
He's depriv'd of his pot in the day,
And of love's fofter pleasure at night;
Lo! Quafhiba's coming this way,
My fungee I now fhall get boil'd,
No more I'll repine at my lot;
Then I thoughtlessly bid her prepare
The herrings and green caliloo;
But when we deliciously dined,
And were stretch'd in the tamarind fhade,
The price for the herrings fhe paid.
And my heart-strings were rent in twain,
What she gave to Neptune in town.
"Dear Cufty," the gently replies,
[The reft of the Paftoral was torn.]
The women, when pregnant, work in the fields till a few days before they lie-in; (for work, if moderate, is ferviceable to child-bearing women) after they are brought-to-bed, the Overfeer fends each about a pound of falt beef, a little flour, a pint of rum, and about a pound of fugar, to comfort them; in a few days after they are obliged to turn out to cultivate the ground, and take their pickinnies (i. e. children) on their backs, to which they are tied with handkerchiefs ; and when they are weary of their burthens, lay them on fheep-fkins in the field. There is commonly fome invalid women appointed to take care of the children, to guard them from fnakes and other vermin.
When working, though at the hardest labour, they are commonly finging; and though their fongs have neither rhime nor measure, yet many are witty and pathetic. I have often laughed heartily, and have been as often ftruck with deep melancholly at their fongs:-for inftance, when finging of the Overfeer's barbarity to them:
Some masters and overfeers, of jealous, pimping difpofitions, flog, and otherwife ill treat their black wenches, when they chance to get black children. I have been often diverted, aid laughed heartily, when a raw, infatuated gaukey, or a doating, debilitated debauchee has been difappointed, after all his endearing fondness and amorous exertions, with his foft, flobber-chop bundle, to get a black, inftead of an olive babe. I fhall annex the fong of a young woman
who was in this predicament :-it is in the negroe dialect, and is no less true than curious.
AIR. What care I for Mam or Dad.
Altho' a flave me is born and bred,
My skin is black, not yellow:
To many a handfome fellow.
My maffa keep me once, for true,
And gave me clothes, wid buffes:
My massa starve and fum me;
Wid hoe, the ground to clear-o;
Then miffefs fum me wid long fwitch,
My maffa curfe her, "lying bitch!"