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act was immediately paffed by the council and affembly to have this fignal vifitation in perpetual remembrance, to humble themselves, and endeavour to appeafe God's wrath, by fetting a part every 17th day of June, for them and their pofterity, as an anniversary day of fafting and humiliation.
The woods yield choice timber, fit for almost all uses; fuch as locuft, maftic, bull-tree, dogwood, brafilitto, mahogany and cedars, as huge and lofty as the cedars of Lebanon; alfo lignumvitæ, which yields that valuable medicine, gumguiacum; the ceiba, or filk cotton-tree, out of which canoes are made, fome fo large, that an hundred men may fail in them. The beautiful palmeto and the cabbage-tree, alfo the foap-tree, the berries whereof have the fame effect as foap in washing. The mangrove, which grows in marshy places clofe to the fea, upon the roots of which oyfters 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 poifon; fo that if even the rain which remained any time on the leaves, falls on a perfon's fkin, the parts blifter immediately, and if a drop chance to get into the eye, it deftroys the fight for
Though I am naturally fond of mirth and fociety, yet I often like retirement, and have often enjoyed the greatest rapture of mind when
wrapped in dear delightful folitude, amidst the rocky grottos of the mountains, I felt a pleafing fatisfaction, traverfing with a gun the lonely and unfrequented shades of the woods.
These deep folitudes and awful cells,
"Where heav'nly penfive contemplation dwells,
The trees are amazing high, appearing to touch the cloud-capt towers, and are always vocal with the mufic of variety of birds, particularly parrots, paroquets, wood-peckers, and doves of various kinds: the mournful cooing of the latter thrills moft charmingly through the ears. The woods afford fhelter for vaft numbers of wild cattle and fwine, and fome deer: I have fomethes fhot 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 vegetables, fuch as citrons, pomegranates, Seville and China oranges, fweet and four lemons, limes, fhaddocks, cufhues, grapes, granidilloes, pine-apples, ftar-apples, rofe-apples, fugar-apples, cuftardapples, neeseberries, cherries, plumbs, tamarinds, pears, canipes, cocoa-nuts, bananas, water and musk melons, water lemons, gauvas, papas, pompions, &c. &c. and various kinds of beans and peafe, cabbage, lettuce, raddish, &c. with Indian and Guinea corn, yams, plantains, caffavi, &c. &c.
The pastures, particularly the Guinea grass, of which I shall speak more fully hereafter, are excellent for fattening horfes and cattle. Travellers have been as well pleafed 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 flavour, and fuperior to any which can be procured elsewhere. The regulated prices of fresh provifions are as follows: Beef 7d. per lb. mutton 9d. pork 5d. fish 5d. a turkey or goofe 13s. or 14s. and a good fowl
3s. or 45.
There are regular and plentiful markets held in all the towns, particularly in Kingstown, daily; the butchers flaughter fometime before day; and about eist or nine o'clock the markets are all over, and the provifions either fold or carried
The fea 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 feafons, 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 fugar and rum, &c. it would of itself make a volume; but as that is not my plan, I fhall give you a sketch of each. The piece of ground intended for canes is first cleared of all fhrubbery, and lined, if level, from one end to the other, as ftrait as poffible with a line and fquare: the line
is marked at every feven or eight feet with a bit of coloured rag, at every one of which a peg is ftuck 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, ftill 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 faft as the holes are dug); when part of the field is thus lined, the negroes fet 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 from one end to the other; they then fall back to the second row, and fo on, till the whole field is worked into narrow ridges, and beautiful ftrait trenches, quite square.
There is little or no difficulty in lining level ground; but hills require fome care and pains; for the holes must be dug in fuch a manner, that after rains every part may retain an equal fhare of moisture; if the holes were ftrait 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 bafe: 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 fquare, and if the ground is not too dry and hard, forty negroes will dig an acre in a day; the ufual price paid for holing an acre, by those who are obliged, for want of fufficient ftrength of their own, to hire jobbinggangs, is fix or feven pounds.
If the land is newly broke up, or a good deep brick mould foil, it will not require manure; but if otherwife, it must be improved; and this part of plantership is very troublesome; for procuring and making manure requires vaft 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 feveral weeks, carrying cane tops, grafs and vines to them. The cattle and mules are fhifted nightly from penn to penn, till their dung and urine heat and rot the trash; but the uncommon heat of thofe penns is often injurious to the feet and limbs of the cattle, and give them distempers of which many die. The fmall weakly gang of negroes carry the dung on boards or baskets on their heads, and fpread it thinly in the holes. Mountainous plantations require more cultivation, manure and labour, than others.
The dung being spread in the holes, the canes are laid flat upon the fame, two in a row, and covered lightly with part of the bank. If feasonable rains happen, they will fprout up in a few days from every joint, fomething like young grafs; in about three or four weeks afterwards the negroes