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che uncultivated hills and deserts. If one half the year was wrapped in frozen, barren winter, like other countries, they would not be allowed blanketting sufficient to shield them from the cold; nor would their masters, or their remorfeless deputies, allow them a fufficient quantity of food. When there is a scarcity of provisions on a plantation, each negroe gets a weekly allowance of corn or four, (two or three quarts) and five or six herrings. Those who live in pairs together, as man and wife, are mutual helpmates to each other: the men build their huts, and assist to work their grounds; the women prog for food, boil their pots at noon and night, lause their heads, extract chiggers from their toes, and wash their frocks and trowsers. I shall here submit the complaint of a negroe man, whose helpmate had deserted him, to your perusal :
How wretched's my time been of late !
How fevere and how bitter my woe!
Nor the chigger to pick from my toe :
To fee smarter beaumen than me;
How false and how fickle they be.
My hut is all cover'd with dirt;
Then join, fable swains, to bemoan
The hardships of poor Custy's lot;
In the day he's deprived of his pot.
He's deprivd of his pot in the day,
And of love's softer pleasure at night;
Know, Cufty's quite loft to delight!
Lo! Quashiba's coming this way,
See her arm, how gracefully it swings!
To greet her the nightingale sings !
But when we deliciously dined,
And were stretch'd in the tamarind shade,
The price for the herrings The paid.
And my heart-strings were rent in twain,
And my breast did with jealousy burn;
What she gave to Neptune in town.
The women, when pregnant, work in the fields till a few days before they lie-in; (for work, if moderate, is serviceable to child-bearing women) after they are brought-to-bed, the Overseer sends each about a pound of salt beef, a little flour, a pint of rum, and about a pound of sugar, 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 sheep-skins in the field. There is commonly some invalid women appointed to take care of the children, to guard them from snakes and other vermin.
When working, though at the hardest labour, they are commonly singing; and though their songs have neither rhime nor measure, yet many are witty and pathetic. I have often laughed heartily, and have been as often struck with deep melancholly at their fongs. —for instance, when singing of the Overseer's barbarity to them :
Tink dere is a God in a top,
Or, thus :
If me want for go in a * Ebo,
If me want for go in a * Congo,
If me want for go in a Kingston,
Some masters and overseers, of jealous, pimpa ing dispositions, fog, and otherwise ill treat their black wenches, when they chance to get black children. I have been often diverted, and 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, Nobber-chop bundle, to get a black, instead of an olive babe. I shall annex the song of a young woman
who was in this predicament :-it is in the negroc dialect, and is no less true than curious.
AIR. What care I for Mam or Dado
Altho' a slave me is born and bred,
My skin is black, not yellow:
To many a handsome fellow.
And gave me clothes, wid buffes :
To gain my sweet embraces.
My massa ftarve and fum me;
And naked him did strip me.
Wid hoe, the ground to clear-o;
And work him te-me weary.
And give me gown and busses;
Almost as white as miffefs.
And say him da for maffa ;
And tell her, “ buss my raffa !"
Me fum'd too if me do it,
So me am forc'd to do it