Imágenes de páginas

number of people, that is, as the people multiply, the owners of it find that they can obtain a higher and higher rent. This, as I have explained, is because every thing that is useful becomes an article of value, that is, will fetch a.price, when it is limited in quantity.

Some persons fancy that the reason why land fetches a rent, is because the food, and other things, produced by land, afford the necessary support of man's life. But they do not consider that air, which we do not pay for, is as necessary to life as food; and that no one would pay for anything which he . might have without payment. If good land were as abundant in this country, in proportion to the people, as it is in some of the wilds of America, every one might take as much as he pleased fir nothing. It would produce corn and other necessaries, as it does now; yet he would pay nothing but the labour of cultivation. Here, on the contrary, the only kind of land for which no one would pay rent is that which will produce nothing, and is of no use at all; like the shingles of the beach on many parts of the coast. However scarce land (or any other article) may be, no one will pay for that which is useless; and however useful it may be, he will not pay for that which is so plentiful as to be had for nothing. As was explained in a former Lesson, the value of anything is not caused by its scarcity alone, or by its usefulness alone, but by both together.

Some, again, fancy that the rent is paid on account of the expense which the owner of the soil (or landlord, as he is called,) has laid out in enclosing the land, manuring it, and bringing it into cultivation. And most of our land certainly has in this way cost the landlord a great expense, which he would not have bestowed, if he had not expected to be repaid by the rent. But it is not this expense that is the cause of the rent's being paid. For if he had laid out ever so much in trying to improve the land, still, if he did not bring it to produce the more, he would not obtain the higher rent. And on the other hand, though your land may have cost you nothing, still, if it will produce anything, and there is not enough of it for everybody, you may always obtain a rent for it. There are chalk-downs, and other hilly pastures of great extent, in some parts of this country, which have never had any expense laid out on them. But they naturally produce grass for sheep; and farmers accordingly pay rent for them.

Again, there are on some parts of the coast, rocks which are bare only at low water, and are covered by the sea at every tide. On these there grows naturally a kind of sea-weed called kelp; which is regularly cut and carried away to be dried and burnt, for the sake of the ashes, which are used in making soap and glass. These rocks are let by the owners of them to those who make a trade of gathering this kelp for sale. Now you see by this, that rent cannot depend on the land's producing food for man, or on the expenses laid out in bringing it into cultivation. For there is rent paid for these rocks, though they produce no food, and though they never have been, or can be, cultivated.

Sometimes, again, rent is paid for a piece of ground on account of its situation, even though nothing grows on it. A fisherman, for instance, may be glad to rent a piece of the sea-beach, in a spot where it is convenient for him to draw up his boat, and spread his nets to dry, and build his cottage and store-houses.

Part III. Some persons are apt to think that a high price of corn, and other provisions, is caused by high rents; but this is quite a mistake. It is not the high rent of land that causes the high price of cornj but, on

the contrary, the high rent of land is the effect of the high price of the corn and other things produced by the land. It is plain that rents do not lessen the supply of corn, and the price of corn depends on the supply brought to market, compared with the number of people who want to buy. Suppose all landlords were to agree to lower their rents one-half, the number of acres of land, and the quantity of corn raised, would remain the same, and so would the number of mouths that want corn. The farmer, therefore, would get the same price for his corn as he does now j the only difference would be, that he would be so much the richer, and the landlord so much the poorer: the labourers, and the rest of the people, would be no better off than before.

But some persons say, that if rents were lower, the farmers could afford to pay higher wages to their labourers; but those who talk so, confound together a payment and a gift. Wages are a payment for the use of a man's labour for a certain time: and as long as the price of corn remains the same, the day's work of the thrasher would not be worth more to the farmer who employs him, on account of the farmer's having become a richer man than formerly. No doubt, the richer any one is, the better he can afford to bestow a gift, if he is disposed to do so, either on his labourers, or on the tradesmen he deals with, or on any of his neighbours. But a pair of shoes is not worth the more to him on account of his being rich; though he can afford, if he thinks fit, out of kindness and charity, to make the shoemaker a present of double the price of them; and so, also, a day's work in thrashing or ploughing, is not worth the more to him on account of his being richer, though he may choose to bestow a gift on the thrasher or ploughman.

It is plain, therefore, that making farmers richer and landlords poorer, would make no change in what is paid as wages. The farmer would have more to give, if he were disposed to give away his money; and the landlord would have less; but there is no reason to suppose that more would be given away altogether than there is now.

And if all rents were to be entirely abolished, and every farmer were to keep the land he now occupies, without paying any thing for it, this would only be taking away the land from one man and giving it to another; the one would be robbed and the other enriched, but the supply of corn, and the price of it, would not be altered by such a robbery. Or, again, if you were to make a law for lowering rents, so that the land should still remain the property of those to whom it now belongs, but that they should not be allowed to receive more than so much an acre for it; the only effect of this would be, that the landlord would no longer let his land to a farmer, but would take it into his own hands, and employ a bailiff to look after it for him.

This is a very common practice in some countries abroad; but the land is seldom so well cultivated on that plan, as when it is let to a farmer who has been bred to the business, and whose livelihood depends on his making the most of his farm.


Whatb'er thy wealth, if gratitude be thine,
New wealth shall flow—new splendour round thee shine.
Should'st thou to Heaven thy thanks incessant pay,
Till the last trumpet wake the judgment day,
Ne'er could thy tongue the thousandth part recount
Of daily mercies from the Eternal Fount.
Yet from thanksgiving cease not; to the skies
Free from thy heart for ever let it rise.
Praise is Religion's crown—perpetual praise
Forms the pure stream through Paradise that strays.

Dr. Masost Gooi»

About three leagues from Nantes, in France, is a pretty village called Thouare. Iw this village flourished, a few years ago, a Magpie, whose memory deserves to he cherished. Her master was a justice of peace, and Mag lived on excellent terms both with him and his maid-servant. The justice, who was a great epicure, had a brood of ducks, which were daily taken to the fields for food and exercise. The servant always conducted them, and Mag accompanied her. The maid remarked that, at the hour fixed for their walk, the magpie regularly placed herself in readiness at the hen-house door. One day, just as she had let them out, she was suddenly called away, when, to her great surprise, she saw the cavalcade on its way to the field, under the sole guidance of Mag, who, with her beak, was urging on those who lagged behind to mend their pace. Next day the servant purposely let her go alone, when she again took the command of the flock, and from that time the whole charge was left to her, of conducting them, and bringing them in at night. But the justice did not keep ducks for the mere pleasure of looking at them; his views wore to wards the spit: and, as they had now attained a proper fat ness, Queen Mag saw the number of her subjects gradu ally diminish. She bore up with firmness against these trials, and when only a solitary duck remained, she led it to and from the field with her usual punctuality. At length the cruel order was issued; the last duck was to follow its companions, and appear at the justice's table. The maid caught the poor victim, and was about to execute her master's commands, when Mag, giving way to her fury, llcw upon her, tore her face with her talons and beak, till she left her streaming with blood, then took her flight, and never returned. From the French.

In March, 1816, an ass the property of Captain Dundas, R.N., then at Malta, was shipped on board thelster frigate, Captain Forrest, bound from Gibraltar for that island. The vessel having struck on some sands off the Point de Gat, at some distance from the shore, the ass was thrown overboard, to give it a chance of swimming to land,—a poor one, for the sea was running so high, that a boat which left the ship was lost. A few days afterwards, however, when the gates of Gibraltar were opened in the morning, the ass presented himself for admittance, and proceeded to the stable of Mr. Weeks, a merchant, which he had formerly occupied, to the no small surprise of this gentleman, who imagined that, from some accident, the animal had never been shipped on board the Ister. On the return of this vessel to repair, the mystery was explained; and it turned out that the ass had not only swam safely to shore, but had found his way from Point de Gat to Gibraltar, a distance of more than two hundred miles, through a mountainous and intricate country, intersected by streams, which he had never traversed before, and in so short a period, that he could not have made one false turn. His not having been stopped on the road, was attributed to the circumstance of his having been formerly used to whip criminals upon, which was indicated to the peasants, who have a superstitious horror of such asses, by the holes in

his ears, to which the persons flogged were tied.

Hancock's Essay on Instinct.


It is good, when we lay on the pillow our head,
And the silence of night all around us is spread,
To reflect on the deeds we have done thro' the day,
Nor allow it to pass without profit away.

A day—what a trifle !—and yet the amount
Of the days we have pass'd form an awful account.
And the time may arrive when the world we would give
Were it ours, might we have but another to live.

In whose sen-ice have we through the day been employ'd, And what are the pleasures we mostly enjoy'd? Our desires and our wishes, to what did they tend, To the world we are in, or the world without end?

Hath the sense of His presence encompass'd us round, Without whom not a sparrow can fall to the ground? Have our hearts turn'd to Him with devotion most true, Or been occupied only with things that we view?

Have we often reflected how soon we must go
To the mansions of bliss, or the regions of woe?
Have we felt unto God a repentance sincere,
And in faith to the Saviour of sinners drawn near?

Let us thus with ourselves solemn conference hold,
Ere sleep's silken fetters our senses enfold;
And forgiveness implore for the sins of the day,
Nor allow them to pass unrepentcd away.——Bentham.


MONDAY, 3rd.

1647 King Charles I. seized by Colonel Joyce at Holmby, and

conducted prisoner to the army. 1657 D-. Harvey, Physician to King Charles I., and the discoverer

of the eirculauon of the blood, died. 1665 The Dutch Fleet, under Opdam, was defeated by the Duke of York, who took eighteen, and destroyed fourteen ships, losing on his side only one. 1789 Died Paul Egede, author of an Account of Greenland, and celebrated for the zeal with which he laboured to convert those islanders to Christianity.

TUESDAY, 4th. 1738 King George III. born.

1776 The first Stone of Somerset House, in the Strand, laid. 1810 Died The Right Hon. William Wyndham, one of the moat eminent statesmen and orators of his day. WEDNESDAY, 5th. St. Boniface.—This Saint, whose original name was Wmfred, was born at Crediton, in Devonshire, and having been educated for the Church in a Benedictine monastery in Exeter, was sent, with several others, to Friesland, to convert the natives. His name was afterwards changed by the Pope to Boniface, and, in 746, he was appointed Archbishop of Mentz, and Primate of Germany and Belgium, in which offices he exerted himself so strenuously for the propagation of the Faith, that he obtained the appellation of "Apostle of the Germans." He afterwards laid down his high offices, and again betook himself to preaching the Gospel to the Krieslanders. He suffered martyrdom on the 5th of June, 755, from the hands of some Pagan peasants while holding a confirmation. 1799 12,000 volunteers reviewed by the King in Hyde Park. 1816 Paisiello, the celebrated Italian operatic composer, died. 1826 Carl Maria Von Weber, one of the most eminent composers of the time, and author of Freysch'titz, Oheron, &c. was found dead in his bed at the house of Sir George Smart. THURSDAY, 6th. 1487 Lambert Simnel, an impostor in the reign of Henry VII., taken prisoner at the battle of Stoke. He pretended to be the Earl of Warwick, heir male of the House of York; was crowned king by the title of Edward VI. in Dublin, and from Ireland invaded England. After he was taken, the king made him first a scullion in the palace, and eventually a falconer. 1762 Died, George Lord Anson, who sailed round the world, and whose numerous exploits, as a naval commader, obtained him the honour of the Peerage. 1761 A transit of the planet Venus over the Sun's disk took place to-day; an occurrence which it was so important to science should be observed at various places, that Dr. Maskelyne went to the Cape of Good Hope, and Mr. Mason to Bencoolen, for the purpose. 1808 Joseph Buonaparte proclaimed King of Spain.

FRIDAY, 7th. 1566 The foundation of the Royal Exchange laid by Sir Thomas Gresham, Knight, who built it at his own expense. When completed, Queen Elizabeth went to view it, and caused it, by proclamation and sound of trumpet, to be called the Royal Exchange, instead of simply the Exchange. 1758 Died Allan Ramsay, author of the Gentle Shepherd, and many other poems of great beauty. He w\s originally a barber at Edinburgh.

1760 The first pile of Blackfriars' Bridge driven.

1761 The Island and Fortress of Belleisle, on the Coast of France,

taken by the British forces.

1779 Died, in the eighty-first year of his age, the deeply-learned William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester. SATURDAY, 8th.

1376 Died Edward the Black Prmcr, eldest son of King Edward III., at the early age of forty-six. No prince ever went to the grave more universally mourned and regretted. His chivalric courage in battle was equalled only by the humanity and courtesy he displayed towards those whom his prowess had overcome. In an age of notorious duplicity, his honour was never questioned, his word never broken, while his domestic virtues rendered him the idol of his family. As a public calamity his death was irreparable, as it took from his aged, and almost childish father, his councillor and director, and caused the crown to devolve upon his weak and wayward grandson, Richard II.

1795 Died, in the prison of the Temple, at Paris, whether under the slow torture of ill usage, or the more direct agency of poison, is unknown, Louis XVII., King of France. I'he unhappy prince had been consigned by the brutal Republicans to the custody of a shoemaker, with orders to instruct him in that trade, and was clothed and fed as a pauper.

SUNDAY, 9th. First Sunday After Trinity. 1760 Died, at Herrnhut, a village in Upper Lusatia, in Germany,'

Count Zimendorf, the founder of trie sect called Hcrrnhuters,

Moravians, and United Brethren. 1788 The Association for promoting Discoveries in the Interior ot

Africa was established. 1825 Died Dr. Abraham Rees, editor of the new Cyclopsdia, in

forty-five volumes.


Published In Weekly Numbers, Trick One Penny, And In Monthly Paste, Frice Sixpence, By


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


[merged small][graphic][merged small]

From the number of our countrymen who are resident in India, or who are constantly going there, accounts of Indian manners and habits cannot fail to be interesting to the English public; we shall, therefore, occasionally present the readers of the Saturday Magazine with descriptions of some of the principal East Indian Stations.

The Mo/ussil is a term applied in India, to the provinces: all the places beyond the Presidency, inhabited by Europeans, are usually called Mofussil Stations, and the residents in them are entitled Mofussilites. Cawnpore is one of the principal stations of the Mofussil, and well deserves a brief description. It is situated upon the right bank of the great river Ganges, and is about six hundred miles from Calcutta, the chief city of India. From its superior size, and the number of its inhabitants, it enjoys advantages over most other stations.

Except that the Ganges rolls its broad waves beside the British lines, nature has done but little for Cawnpore: yet the sandy plain on which it is built, and which is here and there broken into wild ravines, has been so much embellished by the hand of man, that it certainly possesses much picturesque beauty. One objection made to the place is, that it is too widely extended, straggling, as it were, to the distance of five miles, along the river's bank. But the scene is thereby very agreeably diversified, and the compounds, or paddocks, with which the bungalows, or houses, are surrounded, are larger than they would otherwise be Many o' these compounds

are beautifully planted, and have a very park-like appearance, particularly during the rainy season. when the cultivated parts of the plain have put on their green mantle. The prickly pear is greatly in request for fences, and the tall aloe, (already described in p. M of the present volume,) which at the bottom is so much like a gigantic pine-apple, very much beautifies the plantation.

The houses at Cawnpore are, with a very few exceptions, cutcha, that is, built of unbaked mud, and either choppered, which means thatched, or tiled. They are generally extremely large and commodious. The bungalows are built on different plans, but most commonly they have one large room in the centre, which is called the hall, on the sides of which a number of other rooms are built; and round the whole house is a verandah, so necessary in that sultry climate, to shelter them from the intense heat of the sun. At each of the corners is a bathing room, which is there equally required, for the health of the inhabitants. The centre room has no other light than what it receives through the eight, ten, or twelve doors, of the surrounding apartments. These doors are however always open, though some degree of privacy is obtained, by a kind of curtain being attached to each, formed in a manner something like gauze of bamboo-cane, split very fine, and coloured green. These also serve to keep out the flies, while they admit as much air and light as the inhabitants consider necessary for this inner room.

Many of the Cawnpore houses are splendidly


furnished, the chairs, tables, and sofas, being of valuable wood, riehly carved, with cushions and coverings of damask. But the want of curtains the windows, pictures, and. looking-glasses, which would harbour the musquitos and other insects abounding in those parts, if they were introduced as in England, makes the rooms look bare. The floors, which are of chunam, that is, a finely-tempered lime, are covered first with a matting, and then with a setringee, a manufacture only made in India, of a very thick texture, and usually woven in shaded blue stripes, or with calico so well printed in the same pattern as a Brussels carpet, as hardly to be distinguished from it.

At Migapore, a native city between Benares and Allahabad, there is a manufactory of carpets, which are scarcely, if at all, inferior to those of Turkey; but these are too thick and warm for Indian wear, excepting during the cold season.

The outside of a bungalow is usually very unpicturesque, being very like a huge barn: the roof sloping down from an immense height to the verandah; and whether the covering be of thatch or tiles it is equally ugly. In Cawnpore, the addition of stone fronts to some of the houses, and of bowed ends to others, makes the architecture of this station somewhat more ornamental than that of others.

The gardens rank amongst the finest in India, and there being so many settled residents, they are much attended to and improved. All the European vegetables, with the exception of broad-beans, come to great perfection during the cold season; and the grapes and peaches, which are not common to other stations, are very fine. The pineapple does not grow in the upper provinces of India: but the mangos, plantains, melons, oranges, shaddocks, custard-apples, limes, and guavas, are of the finest quality. These gardens being intermixed with forest-trees, give Cawnpore a very luxuriant appearance; and what makes it the more striking is, that it is surrounded to a very considerable distance by a dreary desert, and by wastes of sand. Towards one extremity of the place, there is a long avenue, or drive, well planted on each side, and well watered during the dry season. This avenue forms the evening drive of the inhabitants, after the heat of the day is past: at sunset, it is thronged with carriages of every description, and with persons riding all sorts of horses, amongst which, are to be seen the tall English charger, the smaller riding horse, and the graceful Arab-steed, prancing along by the side of the wild horses and shaggy ponies of the country. This course, as it is termed, runs along by the side of a wide plain, at the right extremity of which the native city presents a pleasing object, rising as it does with its mosques and pagodas on the top of a wooded ridge. The plain also itself' affords a busy, and to a stranger's eye, an interesting scene. Groups and parties of native Indians, are to be seen seated round their fires, cooking, citing, or singing after their meal; whilst the noble elephant and the stately camel, loaded with forage, look amongst them like giant phantoms, as the twilight departs. One evening in the week the course is deserted by its usual visitants, who then assemble in a convenient spot near the riding-school, to listen to the band of the military.

During the cold season, all the foot-soldiers of the garrison of Cawnpore, usually encamp upon a wide plain in the neighbourhood, for the sake of room for performing their movements. An Indian camp always affords a very striking sight, and though the effect is more beautiful when intermixed with trees, yet the

scene is most singular, when it arises,-as at Cawtrpftre, in the midst of a desert. Here regular streets and squares, formed by the tents, extend over an immense tract. By day, indeed, especially under the noon-tide glare of the sun, the effect of the white walls of canvass stretched over a bare and sandy plain, is exceedingly painful to the eyes. But in the twilight of the evening, the usual time of moving in India, and at night, the scene assumes a most striking and interesting aspect. Innumerable fires arise in every direction: horses are to be seen picketed, whilst camels and bullocks repose in groups, and the various forms which present themselves to the eye are all sometimes softened, sometimes magnified, by the dark shadows or flickering lights. The artillery stationed at Cawnpore, consisting of horse and foot, are .alone sufficient to form a camp. They occupy another plain of vast extent, beyond some very wild ravines; there they have reviews and grand field-days, to which the inhabitants flock in great numbers; some ladies on elephants, some in carriages, on horseback, or on camels, and many on foot.

Amongst other amusements which occupy the time of the residents at Cawnpore, a visit to Lucknow, the capital of the neighbouring kingdom of Oude, being only a few marches distant, forms a favourite excursion, especially when any particular festivities are going on at that court. In the season, also, hunting-parties are frequently made to look for tigers and wild hogs in the islands of the Ganges, or amidst the deep jungles of the opposite shore.

To persons newly arrived from England, Cawnpore may seem a half-barbarous place, since wolves stray in the compounds; but still all must be struck at the great mixture of things which are familiar to them from their childhood at home, with those which are entirely new and foreign to their eyes. When surrounded by London-built carriages, English horses, and multitudes of their own countrymen, in the course; or when, entering the circle of carriages ranged, often three deep, round the band, a newlyarrived Englishman may almost fancy himself at home in his dear native land, until he is awakened from his dream by suddenly turning upon a camel, or an elephant, or some group of dusky-skinned natives; or in his way home by the cry of the jackal), or perhaps by the sight of a hookah-badar, as the servant is called from his office, preparing, in the open air, for his master's hookah or pipe, the fragrant leaves of the tobacco-plant with rose-water, and its other costly accompaniments.

The place is well supplied with every article of European manufacture, necessary for comfort or even luxury, though, of course, at somewhat high prices. The bazaars, or markets, are second to none in India; beef, mutton, fish, and poultry, being of the finest quality; and vegetables, of all kinds, may be purchased. In addition to shops kept by Europeans, there are many warehouses, filled with English and French goods, belonging to Hindoos and Mussulmen, and the jewellers are scarcely inferior to those of Delhi. Cawnpore is famous for the manufacture of saddlery, harness, and gloves.

Though Cawnpore partakes, in the rainy reason, with other stations, of the usual share of fever and ague, the prevailing diseases of the country; and though it suffers, like other places, from the hot and scorching winds, it has not the character of being an unhealthy spot. The river's bonk affords some vtry fine situations for bungalows, and the unevenness of the ground offers many advantages to those who live in the inner parts of the settlement. The roads are kept in good order, and, as they pass along by thick plantations, in the midst of which glimpses of European houses are here and there caught, or cross broad open tracts, which are sometimes enlivened by a small mosque, a pagoda, or a well, peeping from amidst the trees, the rides and drives are not without their scenes of beauty. - Although this city is the station of a large body of British forces, and there are such numbers of English, so many of whom are officers of rank, settled here with their families, there is at present no Church. There are two regular Chaplains of the East India Company, but they have no consecrated place of worship. The reason given is, that no engineer officer would undertake to erect a Church for the sum offered by Government. The service of the Church is performed alternately at each end of the cantonments; the riding-school of the King's dragoons being used on one Sunday, a small bungalow, near the infantry lines, in which also marriages and christenings are performed, being employed for the purpose on the other; but neither will accommodate the whole of the station at once. When it is considered what effect this must have, not only on the English themselves, coming from their own land of spiritual abundance, but also on the minds of the heathen who see it, the Christian cannot but deeply regret that such a state of things should exist and continue. There is also one other want much felt at Cawnpore; it is that of a Public Library. The supply of books is seldom equal to the demand; books of instruction and reference are seldom to be purchased or borrowed; and, however anxious young men may be to make themselves acquainted with the natural productions of India, or to study its political history, they must remain destitute of the means, unless they can afford to send to Calcutta or to England for the necessary publications. On the whole, a Church and a well-furnished Library alone are wanting to render Cawnpore as delightful a residence as an Eastern climate will permit. D. I. E.

[Abridged from a paper in the Asiatic Journal.]

Time's Takings And Leavings.

What does Age take away?
Bloom from the cheek, and lustre from the eye;

The spirits light and gay,
Unclouded as the summer's bluest sky.

What do years steal away?
The fond heart's idol, Love, that gladden'd life;

Friendships, whose calmer sway
We trusted to in hours of darker strife.

What must with time decay?
Young Hope's wild dreams, and Fancy's visions bright.

Life's evening sky grows gray,
And darker clouds prelude Death's coming night.

But not for such we mourn!
We knew them frail, and brief their date assigned.

Our spirits are forlorn
Less from Time's thefts, than what he leaves behind.

What do years leave behind?
Unruly passions, impotent desires,

Distrusts and thoughts unkind,
Love of the world, and self—which last expires.

For these, for these we grieve!
What Time has robbed us of, we knew must go;

But what he deigns to leave,
Not only finds us poor, but keeps us so.

It ought not thus to be;
Nor would it, knew we meek Religion's sway •

Her votary's eye could see
How little Time can give or take away.

Faith, in the heart enshrined,
Wou'd make Time's gifts enjoyed and used, while lent J.

And all it left behind,
Of Love and Grace a noble monument. B, Barton.

THE SUGAR-CANE. Although there are many species and varieties of the Sugar-cane, two only are cultivated for the purpose of preparing the Sugar, the saccharum spicatum or Spiked Sugar-cane, a native of the East Indies, and the saccharum officinalis, or common Sugar-cane, of the West Indies. Whether the ancients were acquainted with this useful condiment, is a matter of uncertainty. The earliest authentic accounts we have of it, are dated about the time of the Crusades, when it appears to have been purchased of the Saracens, and imported into Europe; the cane itself was afterwards planted in the Island of Cyprus, and in the year 1166 we find a mill for crushing Sugar-canes noticed as existing in Sicily. In 1420 it was cultivated in Madeira, a few years after in the Canary Islands, and it was introduced into the Island of Cuba, by Christopher Columbus in his second voyage to America. Since his time, however, it has been ascertained that the Sugar-cane is by no means uncommon in a wild state in South America, and the West Indian and South Sea Islands; but although employed by the natives as an. article of food, they were unacquainted with the means of preparing the sugar.

The art of refining was discovered by a Venetian, at the end of the sixteenth century, who is said to have realized one hundred thousand crowns, a very large sum in those days, by the invention. It was not till the year 1659, that we hear of Sugar-refiners in England. In later years, the cultivation of the Sugar-cane has been carried on to a very great extent in most of the West India Islands, and the account we are about to give will consist of a detailed description of the mode employed in our own Colonies. Cultivation Of The Cane, And Preparation Of The Raw Sugar. Opening the land preparatory to the planting of the cane, is considered the most laborious occupation in which the poor negroes are employed, and in consequence they ought to be at this time allowed relaxation during the hottest hours of the day, and additional refreshments.

Square holes about four feet across are hoed in the land, the angles having been determined by sticks placed at the requisite distance from each other by the young negroes, who are enabled to do this with tolerable regularity, by the^ assistance of a chain of considerable length, which is stretched-across the field, and by this means, the rows of holes are continued parallel to each other. While cane-pieces, that is, fields in which the cane is cultivated, he in this state, the yam and potatoe are frequently planted on the ridges between the squares, and the eddow in the hollow, and in many cases Indian-corn is likewise grown. When these crops are gathered, the cane-holes are cross hoed, and the earth being drawn to the ridges, the square is rendered perfect; it is then manured, and left till the time of planting.

The Sugar-cane is propagated by means of cuttings which are taken from the top of the plant, about eighteen inches from the summit. These cuttings are about twelve inches in length, and are placed in water for about twenty-four hours before they are planted, as this plan is found by experience to assist materially the budding of the young plant. If, at the time the crop is cut, the land should not be sum ciently moist, the cuttings are tied up in small bun dies and placed on their ends; they are then covered with trash or dried leaves of the cane, and watered three or four times a day, to preserve them. Rain is highly essential to the growth of the young cane, and in dry weather the plant cannot be committed to the ground with any hope of success. If the weather

« AnteriorContinuar »