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act was immediately passed by the council and assembly to have this signal visitation in perpetual remembrance, to humble themselves, and endeavour to appease God's wrath, by setting a part every 17th day of June, for them and their posterity, as an anniversary day of fafting and humiliation.
The woods yield choice timber, fit for almost all uses; such as locust, mastic, bull-tree, dogwood, brasilitto, mahogany and cedars, as huge and lofty as the cedars of Lebanon ; also lignumvitæ, which yields that valuable medicine, gumguiacum; the ceiba, or Glk cotton-tree, out of which canoes are made, some so large, that an hundred men may fail in them. The beautiful palmeto and the cabbage-tree, also the foap-tree, the berries whereof have the fame effect as foap in washing. The mangrove, which grows in marshy places close to the sea, upon the roots of which oysters of a delicate and delicious flavour grow; the manchioneal tree, the wood of which, though valuable and looks beautiful when polished, and the fruit, though beautiful to the eye, are rank poison; so that if even the rain which remained any time on the leaves, falls on a person's skin, the parts blister immediately, and if a drop chance to get into the eye, ic dettroys the fight for ever.
Though I am naturally fond of mirth and society, yet I often like retirement, and have of:en enjoyed the greatest rapture of mind when
wrapped in dear delightful solitude, amidst the rocky grotros of the mountains, I felt a pleasing satisfaction, traversing with a gun the lonely and unfrequented shades of the woods.
6 - These deep folitudes and awful cells,
The trees are amazing high, appearing to touch the cloud.cape towers, and are always vocal with the music of variety of birds, particularly parrots, paroquets, wood-peckers, and doves of various kinds: the mournful cooing of the latter thrills most charmingly through the ears. The woods afford shelter for vast numbers of wild cattle and swine, and some deer : I have sometimes shot a fat cattle of this kind, and frequently wild hogs; the latter are excellent when barbacued maroon fashion. The country is exceeding fertile, and produces abundance of fruit and vegecables, such as citrons, pomegranates, Seville and China oranges, sweet and sour lemons, limes, shaddocks, cushues, grapes, granidilloes, pine-apples, star-apples, rose-apples, sugar-apples, custardapples, neeseberries, cherries, plumbs, camarinds, pears, canipes, cocoa-nuts, bananas, water and musk melons, water lemons, gauvas, papas, pompions, &c. &c. and various kinds of beans and pease, cabbage, lettuce, raddish, &c. with Indian and Guinea corn, yams, plantains, callavi, &c. &c.
The pastures, particularly the Guinea grass, of which I shall speak more fully hereafter, are excellent for fattening horses and cattle. Travellers have been as well pleased with the beef, mutton, pork, and poultry of Jamaica, as with any they got in Europe, particularly with the pork, which is remarkable delicate in favour, and superior to any which can be procured elsewhere. The regulated prices of fresh provisions are as follows: Beef 7, d. per lb. mutton gd. pork sd. fith 5d. a turkey or goose 13s. or 145, and a good fowl 35. or 4S.
There are regular and plentiful markets held in all the towns, particularly in Kingstown, daily ; the burchers Daughter sometime before day; and about eigit or nine o'clock the markets are all over, and the provisions either sold or carried away.
The sea and rivers abound with great variety of excellent fish. In wet weather there are plenty of duck and teale to be met with in every pond and gulley, and in all seasons, partridges, quails, Guinea-hens, butter-birds, plovers and snipes.
Was I to treat largely of the cultivation of the lands, establishing of plantations and farms, making sugar and rum, &c. it would of itself make a volume; but as that is not my plan, I shall give you a sketch of each. The piece of ground intended for canes is first cleared of all shrubbery, and lined, if level, from one end to the other, as strait as pollible with a line and square: the line
is marked at every seven or eight feet with a bit of coloured rag, at every one of which a peg is stuck in the ground (a number of pegs about two feet long are prepared for this purpose). The liners having marked the first row, fall back three feet and a half, and line and mark another row as they did the first, still falling back three feet and a half each time till they have lined the whole piece (two smart handy boys or girls are appointed for liners, and two more to pick up the pegs as fast as the holes are dug); when part of the field is thus lined, the negroes set in between the pegs (each pair having an equal task of seven or eight feet), and dig the earth about eight or nine inches deep till they form an even pretty bank froin one end to the others they then fall back to the second row, and so on, till the whole field is worked into narrow ridges, and beautiful strait trenches, quite square.
There is little or no difficulty in lining level ground; but hills require some care and pains; for the holes must be dug in such a manner, that after rains every part may retain an equal share of moisture ; if the holes were strait up and down, the canes would never come to perfection, but would parch with drought. Suppose a hill of a conical form, the liners begin at the top and line it in a circular manner till they get to the base : a planter who has any spirit of emulation, enjoys a pleasure in seeing cane holes properly lined and dug. An acre contains about 3555 holes, three D 2
feet and a half square, and if the ground is not too dry and hard, forty negroes will dig an acre in a day; the usual price paid for holing an acre, by those who are obliged, for want of sufficient strength of their own, to hire jobbinggangs, is six or seven pounds.
If the land is newly broke up, or a good deep brick mould foil, it will not require manure; but if otherwise, it must be improved; and this part of plantership is very troublesome; for procuring and making manure requires vast labour and pains; there must be cattle penns contiguous to every piece intended for holing, and a number of negroes, cattle, and wanes, employed for several weeks, carrying cane tops, grass and vines to them. The cattle and mules are shifted nightly from penn to penn, till their dung and urine heat and rot che trash; but the uncommon heat of those penns is often injurious to the feet and limbs of the cattle, and give them distempers of which many die. The small weakly gang of negroes carry the dung on boards or baskets on their heads, and spread it thinly in the holes. Mountainous plantations require more cultivaa cion, manure and labour, than others.
The dung being spread in the holes, the canes are laid flat upon the same, two in a row, and covered lightly with part of the bank. If seasonable rains happen, they will sprout up in a few days from every joint, something like young grass; in about three or four weeks afterwards che negroes