صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


On paffing the tropic of Cancer, you will be boarded by Mr. and Mrs. Cancer, in a very formal manner, (a venerable pair, infinitely older than Methufalem) who conftantly attend the latitude of 23o 30', ready to fhave all paffengers who have never paffed that way before; and though they are not fond of rum or brandy, yet they are fond to fee ftrong liquors given in generous portions to the failors; and when they meet with griping lowlife paffengers, woe betide them! They will not only shave them with a rusty iron hoop, but lather them with pitch and tar, and duck them in the fea, till they had wifhed that they never were born; fo that it will be neceffary to lay in five or fix gallons of rum more than your fea-stock for that day, and to take about ten gallons more to diftribute occafionally to the failors; it is the only way to gain their affections; but obferve, whenever you wish to give a bottle amongst them, let it be done after some severe toil, or bad weather, having previously got the consent of the captain, or mate, leaft they get drunk and neglect their duty, and you should be blamed. I love failors; they are generous, rough, uncouth beings; do not treat them with contempt or difrefpect; though ragged, poor and dirty, they may be good flesh and blood; yet do not make free with them, that is, to be chattering to them, or asking foolish questions on deck, or elsewhere: keep them at a proper distance, and they will refpect and ferve

[blocks in formation]

you, but behave familiar to them and they will infult and despise you.

On your arrival at Port-Royal, the negroes in small canoes, or bom-boats, coming along fide the ship with coffee, fruit, and vegetables, will attract your attention; but when you get up to Kingftown, if you had five more fenfes, they would be all engaged; the compounded ftench of damaged beef, pork, herrings, butter, cheefe, &c. &c. with fugar, rum and molaffes, frying on the waves, together with the intense heat, and the horrid fcene of poor Africans, male and female, busy at their labour with hardly rags fufficient to fecret their nakedness, will affect you not a little. At night you will think the air is on fire, occafioned by a fort of infects called fire-flies, which sparkle like fire, a few of which, in the darkest room, give fuch light that you may read a book thereby. You will afo be furrounded by another kind of infects, about the fize of midges, called musquittoes, buzzing in your ears their disagreeable tunes: they have long tubes or ftings, which they pierce through clothes or ftockings till they get to the blood; the confequence is, that whereever they touch, the parts fester, and are troubled with such extreme itching, that if the hands were not tied, the wounded perfon could not avoid fcratching; and those who don't take care of their nails, foon have their legs inflamed with difagreeable fores; I have heard of many young men's


legs, through the venom of the mufquittoes, to turn to mortifications, whereby they loft their lives.

Each night when I lay on my bed,

My wearied limbs to rest,

Their humming fongs kept me in dread,
And fore my mind opprefs'd.

They wounded me in ev'ry part,

My face and body o'er,

My legs and thighs oft felt their smart,
And were exceffive fore.
As Ireland when much opprefs'd,
With creatures full of ftings,
Was by St. Patrick once bless'd,
Who banish'd pois'nous things;
I often wish'd he had gone there,
And fhook his facred wand,
O'er all the isle, and in the air,

And bless'd both air and land.

'Till not a pois'nous fpiteful thing.
Above the earth had rang'd,
And vile mufquittoes loft its fting,
And into midges chang'd.

The climate is intensely hot and fultry, day and night, throughout almost all seasons of the year, and is certainly very unfriendly to European conftitutions, and would be more fo were it not for the fea-breeze, which fets in every morning about nine or ten o'clock, increafing as the fun gathers ftrength, till he afcends to his miridian altitude. Europeans have blood richer and fweeter than the


[ocr errors]

natives, and till it becomes deluted or weakened by fickness, frequent perfpirations, internally and externally, and other evacuations, they feldom ' enjoy a right state of health. If you take care of yourself in the beginning, you probably may prevent a fit of fickness which otherwife may prove fatal to you. I do not mean to advise you to employ a doctor on every flight mark of indifpofition; I would wish you to be your own doctor in fimple cafes, and to ftudy the nature of your conftitution; for the generality of Weft-India doctors are not only very exorbitant in their charges, but what is ftill worse, they are ignorant pretending quacks, apothecaries boys, and fuch trafh, who having a fmattering of Latin, hardly enough to pronounce the names of the few medicines they use, commit murder and deftruction amongst the human race of every denomination; real physicians are rarely to be met with, indeed; I never heard of any there, fave only Meffrs. Grant and Broadbelt, the former of Kingston, and the latter of Spanish-town, whom you will find to be skilful and worthy characters; they have protracted the days of thoufands. What numbers of counterfeit, or fpurious creatures of that profeffion you will find difperfed all over that ifland; every druggift's boy from Great-Britain and Ireland, particularly from Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dublin, administers poifonous pills and ftuff with as much confequence as Millwood or Mead. What pity, that man fhould be fo grossly imposed

[ocr errors]

imposed on, or that phyfic fhould be thus abufed by fuch vile pretenders.

"This gift of God to fatan does ordain,
"Polluted finks a prostitute for gain;
"Barbers, perfumers, and a thousand more,
"Start up phyficians, all the forum o'er ;
"The greedy prieft (the charge of foul's a'toil)
"Forgets his flock, and ploughs the phyfic foil.
"The frowfy baker, and fhoe clouting tribe,
"Curriers and taylors cry-" prescribe, prescribe.”
"All abdicate their lawful trades to follow
"This injur'd science, and commence Apollo.
"To count them all would fail the poet's lungs,
"It afks an hundred mouths, an hundred tongues."

AIR. My Friend and Pitcher.

How happy is the doctor's fate

In that fweet clime: he once gets footing,
Ador'd by all on each eftate,

Enjoys his girl, and wants for nothing.
His pills and potions coft not much,
Tho' all his fkill is a mere bubble,

He lives luxurious and gets rich,

And kills and cures with little trouble.

The following odd relation concerning myself, will convince you further of the nature of quacks: When I was a book-keeper in Clarendon, I was afflicted with a fever, till reduced to an insensible fkeleton; during which time Tartar Emetic attended me every day; I fwallowed all his naufeous preparations without fervice, (thank God I was not poisoned); at last I was given over by the


« السابقةمتابعة »