The First containing the NATURAL; The Second, the MORAL HISTORY of those Islands. Illustrated with several Pieces of Sculpture, representing the most considerable Rarities therein Described. WITH A CARIBBIAN-VOCABULARY.

Rendred into English By JOHN DAVIES of Kidwelly.

LONDON, Printed by J. M. for Thomas Dring and John Starkey, and are to be sold at their Shops, at the George in Fleet-street neer Clifford's-Inn, and at the Mitre between Middle Temple-Gate and Temple-Bar. 1666.

Whitehall, June 2. 1665. By Permission and Licence from the Right Honourable Mr. Secretary Morice this Book may be Printed.

Jo. Cook.

To the Right Worshipful Sir EDWARD BYSCHE.

Most honoured Sir,

YOu have sufficiently satisfied the World of the Curiosity you have for whatever, in any measure, de­serves it: You were pleas'd to give me a hint of the Piece I here present you withal; and your recommendation of the Original might well raise in me a hope of your readier accep­tance of the Translation. It is the noblest of humane Actions to vouchsafe a kind Enter­tainment to the Distress'd, whether Nature or Fortune hath made them Calamitous. The equality of Misery makes the Endurers of it most commonly the more compassionate; so far as that those who have been first reliev'd charitably direct others to the same Almoners.

Thus do I bring to your doors a company of poor Caribbians, to offer you their Respects and Submissions, in the name of all those Islands, whereof their Ancestors have been heretofore possess'd in the Ocean of America: They are in hopes, that neither the obscurity of their Origine, nor the harshness of their Lan­guage, nor the barbarisme of their Manners, nor their strange course of Life, nor the cruelty of their Wars, nor their ancient Poverty, nor [Page] lastly the unconstancy of their Fortune, will hinder your favourable Reception of them. And what heightens this hope of theirs, is, an imagination, that you, who find leisure to be­stow your Eye and Thoughts on so infinite a Multitude of Volumes as press from all parts of the World into your Library, may be pleas'd with something that is done among them; and that the History of the Caribbies may entertain you, not only with a delightful Variety, as to the divertisement of the Sight, but also with many occurrences capable of exciting your Admiration.

What may be further said on their behalf, I leave to be express'd in their own natural Rhetorick, and bethink me of making some Apology for my self; which is only this, That the presumption of the present Address is in some measure the effect of your Goodness and Candor, and that it had been but a necessary expression of my Gratitude, had I many years since profess'd how much I am,

Most honoured Sir,
Your most humble and much obliged Servant, J. DAVIES.

THE PREFACE, Giving an account of both the Original and English Edition of this Work.

THE Relations we have from remote Coun­tries, for the most part, come attended with this misfortune; that many times they are written by Persons, who, being concerned therein, for some Reasons and Considerations only known to themselves, make it their business to disguise the Truth, and represent things otherwise than they are. Sometimes also we have to do with certain Writers, who, in cold blood, and to gratifie their own humour, would impose upon our credulity, as it were out of a defiance of being disproved. And lastly, it is our fate to receive Pieces of this nature from men little vers'd in study, and so such as are not able to lay down things with the requisite exactness, in­asmuch as, upon many occasions, they take one thing for another, and relate not things truly and naturally, though they have not any intention to deceive us. On the con­trary, it is a great advantage, when such Works are com­posed by Authors, in whom these three conditions are found combining together; to wit, That they are uncon­cerned; That they dally not with Truth; and, That they have all the Requisites for the right framing of their Re­lations.

Those who shall cast their Eyes on the present History, are to expect therein these advantages: For as to the two first of the forementioned Conditions, that is, to compre­hend them under one word, Sincerity, the Authors of this Work presume to attribute it to themselves, since it is an Elogy any one may innocently assume to himself, if his own Conscience give him not a check for so doing: But for the third, which relates to the ability of the mind, though [Page] an over-earnest pretention thereto may seem to proceed from a certain vanity and self-confidence; yet when all cir­cumstances shall be considered, the ingenuous will easily be induced to allow them even that also.

For 1. The Relations they had to work upon came from Persons who had been Eye-witnesses of what they delive­red, dis-interessed, and of known integrity, and endued with the abilities requisite to manage such a Work. 2. There was a design of this History drawn at Paris, some years before it came abroad, and then thought worthy pub­lishing, by divers intelligent men, to whom it was commu­nicated, who carefully read it over, and honoured it with their Remarks. Yet that it might come forth with greater exactness, it was laid aside, till the observations of after­Voyages had added much to its perfection. So that if the Publick receive any satisfaction from this History, it will have reason rather to congratulate, than quarrel at its de­lay; since it comes out now more enriched and exact, than it would have been, at the first proffer of it to the Press. For besides that many Observations and Relations came since to hand, the Authors made also great advantages of the private Discourses they had with one Father Ray­mond, especially as to the Moral part of the Caribbian History. For this man having lived many years in those Islands, and had much conversation with the Caribbians of Dominico, came by that means to be acquainted with their Language, their Manners, and the most particular Customs of that Nation. From the same F. Raymond they had also the Caribbian Vocabulary, which may be seen at the end of the Book.

They thought fit to divide the History into two Parts, the Natural and the Moral, in imitation of that of the ex­cellent Josephus Acosta, and they hope the Piece will be found such as to answer the Title; comprehending in the former whatever is of the natural growth of the Country, as Plants, Fruits, Flowers, Birds, Beasts, &c. and under the latter, whatsoever relates to their Manners, Customs, Religion, Vertues, Vices, &c. Not that they would have it inferr'd thence, that this Treatise should contain what­over might be written on the subject of the Caribbies; [Page] nay they acknowledge, that both the Natural and Moral part of this History might be much enlarged; but with this advertisement, that if every part of the New-world were so diligently examined by Historians as this hath been, the Old-world would have a much more particular account thereof, than it hath at the present.

They have also thought it not beside their purpose, espe­cially in the Moral part of the History, to cite the Writings of divers other well-known Authours, not out of any design to enlarge the Volume, as some might haply imagine; but to make a certain parallel between the Morality of our Carib­bians, and that of divers other yet Barbarous Nations; which they conceiv'd would not be undelightful to some, even though they looked on them as so many digressions from, or interruptions of the Carribbian History. But what censure soever may be passed on them, they hope that if any shall think them not necessarily relating to the main design of the Draught, they may nevertheless view them with a certain pleasure, as the Drapery, consisting of Flowers and Fruits, &c. for the greater ornament of the Piece.

Discourse is the image of the thought; but the Draught of a thing by way of Painting or Graving represents the thing it self. From this consideration it came, that this Piece is further adorn'd with several pieces of Sculpture, to the end that the Idaeas of the things particularly treated of might be the more throughly imprinted in the Readers mind, by a sensible demonstration thereof.

Thus much as to the Authours and Directors of the Ori­ginal Edition. The Publisher of the English hath only these few Remarks to trouble the Reader withal.

1. That possibly those of the English Nation, who are in­habitants in the Caribbies, may have peculiar names for divers of the Plants, Beasts, Birds, Fishes, &c. mentioned in this Treatise, much different from those which the Pub­lisher hath used. Some of them, upon consulation with such as had lived in those parts he made a shift to get, and in all likelihood might have gotten most of the rest, had not the breaking forth of the lâst years Contagion caus'd most of the Inhabitants of London, to retire to their Country Habitations and Friends.

[Page]2. The Reader is to note, that where some accident is said to have happened four or five, or some other number of years since (as for instance, pag. 14. where it is said in these words, that, two years since they were forced to quit their Villages, &c.) it is to be referred to the coming forth of the Original Edition, which was in the year M. DC. LVIII.

3. That whereas there might well be expected before this Work a Map of the Caribby-Islands in general, as also particular ones of the most eminent Islands, the Rea­der is to content himself with this satisfaction from the Stationers, that if an accurate one of the whole, that is such a one as might have been suitable to the other Embe­lishments of the present Work, could have been procu­red, it should not have been wanting: With this further as­surance, that if what is done at the present meet with the reception expected, the next Impression shall be furnished not only with the forementioned Map, but also some other Pieces of Ornament, whereof the last years distraction, and want of time now have obstructed the insertion.

Lastly, whereas many persons of worth (though more in the Original then in the Translation) are mentioned in se­veral places as Inhabitants of the foresaid Colonies, there is only this to be said; that as the instancing of them adds somewhat to the certainty of the Relations; so it may like­wise serve to undeceive many Europaeans, who are either so ill-informed of those Islands, or so prejudic'd against them, as to be perswaded, that, for the most part, they are only the refuges and receptacles of Bankrupts and de­bauched persons; the contrary being most certain; to wit, that they are inhabited by an infinite number of Families of good repute, which live civilly and in the fear of God.

J. D.

THE HISTORY OF THE Caribby Islands.
THE FIRST BOOK. [...]ontaining the NATURAL History of those ISLANDS.

CHAPTER I. Of the Scituation of the Caribbies in general; the Tem­perature of the Air, the Nature of the Country, and its Inhabitants.

BEtween the Continent of that part of Ameri­ca which lies Southward, and the Eastern Quarter of the Island of St John Porto-Rico, there are certain Islands making up together the Figure of a Bow, and so dispos'd that they cross the Ocean, as it were by an ob­lique line.

They are by some called the Antilles of America, probably upon this account, that they make a kind of bar before the greater Islands, which are called the Islands of America: If so, [Page 3] the word should be Ant-Isles, as being compos'd of the Greek word [...], which signifies opposite, and Isles or Iles: But the English commonly call them the Caribby-Islands, and the Carib­bies. There are also who call them the Cannibal-Islands, from the names of the ancient Inhabitants; and they are read in some under the name of the Camerçane Islands.

These Islands were first discovered by Christopher Columbus, under the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Castile and Leon, in the year of our Lord, One thousand four hun­dred ninety and two.

There are numbred of them in all twenty eight, lying under the Torrid Zone, acounting from the eleventh degree of the Aequator, to the nineteenth Northward. Some Authors, as Linscot in his History of America, taking the name of the Antilles in a more general signification, attribute it to the four greater Islands, to wit, Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica, and Porto-Rico, as well as to these twenty eight.

The Air of all these Islands is temperate, and healthy enough, especially to such as have lived any time in them. The Plague heretofore was not known in these Parts, no more than it was in China, and some other places of the East: But some years since most of these Islands were much troubled with malignant Fevers, which the Physitians held to be contagious. That cor­ruption of the Air was occasion'd by some Ships which came from the Coast of Africk; but now there is no talk of any such Diseases.

The heats are not greater in these parts than they are in France during the Months of July and August; and through a particular care of Divine Providence, between eight and nine in the morning there rises a gentle East-wind, which many times continues till four in the afternoon, refreshing the Air, and al­laying the soultriness of the heat. Josephus Acosta affirms, That in the greater Islands of America this cooling wind blows about Noon. Thus through all the compass of the Torrid Zone, the wise Disposer of humane concernments hath ordered cool and regular Winds, to alleviate the scorching heats of the Sun.

It is never cold in the Caribbies, and Ice is a thing was never seen in those parts; nay, it would be accounted a kind of pro­digy to find that where,

All things are clad in a perpetual green,
And Winter only in the Snow of Lillies seen.

But the Nights there are extreamly cool; and if a Man be un­covered during that time, he is apt to catch Colds, and great and dangerous pains in the Chest and Stomach: Nay, it hath been observ'd, That those who have expos'd themselves unco­ver'd to that pleasing coolness, if they have escaped pains and [Page 3] gripings in the Stomack, have turn'd pale, yellowish, and swell'd up, and in a short time lost the lively vermilion Com­plexions they had before. There are indeed others attribute these effects to their feeding on Cassava, which is commonly eaten in these Islands instead of bread, and may possibly have some quality not consistent with the natural constitution of the Inhabitants of our Climates. There is the same temperature in the night time at Peru, and in the Maldivas. And those who have travell'd to Jerusalem, and through all the hot Countries, do affirm, That the greater the heats are in the day time, so much the colder are the nights; the reason whereof is, that the great Vapours rais'd by the Sun in the day time, being condens'd at night, and falling down in Dew, do extreamly cool and refresh the Air.

The Aequinox lasts in these Islands neer one half of the year, and all the rest of it the longest days are fourteen hours, and the shortest nights ten. And thus hath the Divine Wisdom bestow'd on those Parts of the World which lye most expos'd to the scorching beams of the Sun, long and cool nights, to reco­ver and restore to vigour what the too neer approaches of that Planet had dry'd up and almost blasted in the day.

Nor can the Year be here divided into four equal and distinct parts, as we do in Europe: But the Rains, which are very fre­quent there from April to November, and the great Droughts which reign all the rest of the Year, make the only difference which may be observ'd between the Seasons.

Now how these different Constitutions and Temperatures of the Air should be called, there is a great diversity of Opinions. Some considering, that as in these Parts there is in a manner no Crepusculum or Twilight (which is a certain competion of, or somthing between night and day) so neither is there any Spring or Autumn to make a certain connexion between Summer and a kind of Winter, which they admit there. Others maintain on the contrary, That there is no just reason that that part of the Year which goes under the name of Winter, should be so called, in regard the Earth there is never cover'd with Frost or Snow, which are the unwelcom attendants of Winter, but at all times cloath'd with a delightful Verdure, and almost in all seasons crown'd with Flowers and Fruits, though in a different measure; whence they conclude, That the Year may be distin­guish'd into three different and equal parts, and those be called Spring, Summer, Autumn; though not so easily distinguishable as haply they may be in several parts of the World.

But the common expression of those people, who make up the Colonies now planted in these Islands, is not consistent with this distinction; for they take the season of the rains to be Winter, and that of the droughts, which is fair, clear, and pleasant, to be Summer. 'Tis true, Lib. 2. c. 3. Acosta quarrels at the [Page 4] Spaniards, for expressing themselves in that manner, and ta­king those rainy moneths for Winter. He affirms, that the time of the drought and fair weather is the true Winter in all the Torrid Zone, because then the Sun is at the greatest distance from that Region; and on the contrary, that the season of Rains and Mists ought there to be called Summer, by rea­son of the nearness of that Planet. To speak properly and ri­gorously, there is some reason we should comply with the sen­timent of Acosta; yet inasmuch as not only the Spaniards, but also many other Nations, express themselves otherwise, we shall keep to their terms rather, especially in a thing of so little consequence.

But how rainy soever this Season may be in the Carribies, those who have liv'd there several years affirm, that there hard­ly passes a day, but the Sun is seen. The same thing is said of the Island of Rhodes; whence Antiquity dedicated it to the Sun, out of an imagination, that that Star had a particular care of it.

The Ebbing and Flowing of the Sea is regulated in these Countries, as in our parts; but it rises not above three or four foot at most.

The greatest part of these Islands are cover'd with several sorts of excellent Woods, which being green at all times, afford a very delightful prospect, and represent a perpetual Summer.

The Soil, in most places, is as rich and as pregnant as in any part of France; Insomuch that all those Islands that are inhabited give not the Inhabitants any occasion to repent them of the pains they take. In which particular, they differ much from those Countries of New-France, where the poor Sa­vages are so put to it to get their subsistance, that their Chil­dren, going out of their Hutts in the morning, and finding their Parents a hunting, are wont to cry out as loud as they can, Come Tatous; come Castors; come Orignacs; calling thus to the relief of their necessities those creatures, which yet come not in their sight as often as they stand in need thereof.

The same inhabited Islands are also furnished with good sources of fresh Water, Springs, Lakes, Brooks, Wells and Cisterns, and some of them have fair Rivers. There are fur­ther in several places Mineral-waters, which are successfully used, in order to the curing of divers Diseases. Brimstone is got out of the bowels of the Mountains in divers places; and the bright silver spangles which the Torrents and Rivers bring down along with them, and are found in the sand, and the froth of their waters, after they have been over-flown, are certain indicia and discoveries, that there is Crystal to be had in them, and that there are also Mines of those precious Metals, which are so much sought after by most men.

[Page 5]Those running waters, which deserve the name of Rivers, are never dry'd up, even in the greatest droughts, and ex­treamly well stor'd with Fish, for the most part different from those seen in Europe. But there is such abundance on the Sea­coasts, that the Inhabitants will hardly take the pains to fish in the Rivers.

The Vine thrives very well in these Islands, and, besides a wild kind of Vine they have, which grows naturally in the Woods, and bears a very fair and large Grape, there are in all the Inhabited ones great Gardens, with the Walks set about with Vines; nay in some places perfect Vine-yards, as those in France, which bear twice a year, and sometimes oftener, ac­cording to the cultivation bestow'd on them, with respect had to the Moon and conveniency of the Seasons. The Grape is excellent good, but the Wine made of it will not keep many days; and therefore there is but little of it made.

As for Wheat, which grows in New-Spain as well as in any place of the World, it grows no further then the blade in the Caribbies, and is only for the making of Green-sauce, in re­gard that Grain requires winter, and the soil there being too rank, it shoots forth too much at first, and there is not strength enough left in the root to force it to staulk and knit in the ear. But if tryal were made of the sowing of Barley and Rye, and other Grains which require heat, its probable they would thrive well. And yet, should they come to maturity, and with great increase, the Inhabitants, being at little trouble to get Manyoc, Potatoes, Turkey-wheat, and several kinds of Pulse, would not take the pains to put them into the ground.

All the natural Provisions of these Islands are light, and of easie digestion; in regard the Country being hot, the stomack ought not to be burthened, as may be presumed in colder Cli­mates. Upon this account it is, that such as are newly come into these parts are advis'd to eat little, and often. Nor doth what is eaten breed much blood, and therefore Phlebotomy is not much used.

These Islands are inhabited by four different Nations; where­of the first are the Indigenae, or Originary Inhabitants, who have lived there time out of mind; and these are the Caribbians or Cannibals, of whom we shall give a perfect accompt in the Second Book of this History. The other three are the English, the French, and the Dutch. The establishment of these fo­reign Nations in those parts happen'd about the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred twenty five, since which time they have so encreas'd, that the English and French are now be­come a very numerous people; as will be seen more at large in the sequel of this History.

CHAP. II. Of each of the Caribby-Islands in particular.

THat we may observe some order in the Description we intend of each of these Islands in particular, we shall divide them into three Classes; whereof the first shall comprehend those which lye towards the South, and are neerest the Line; the second those which lye Northward; and the last, those which are commonly called the Lee-ward Islands, which reach Westward from St. Christophers, the best known of them all.


THe first, and most Southerly of all the Caribbies is Tabago, or Tabac, distant from the Equinoctial Northward eleven degrees and sixteen minutes. It is about eight leagues in length, and four in breadth. There are in it several pleasant Mountains, out of which arise eighteen Springs or small Rivers, which, having drench'd the Plains, fall into the Sea. It is con­ceiv'd the air of it would be healthy enough, if the Trees were cut down, and the ground opened.

The extraordinary height of the Trees growing in this Island argue the fruitfulness of its soil. There are in this the five kinds of four footed creatures, whereof there are but one or two in any of the other Islands. As 1. a kind of Swine, not much furnish'd with bristles, which have a certain hole on their backs. 2. Tatous. 3. Agoutis. 4. Opassums, and 5. Musk-Rats, all which we shall describe in their proper place. Not to mention the Wood-Quists, Turtles, Partridges, and Parrats, which are commonly seen there, it affords abundance of other Birds, not known in Europe.

The Sea which encompasses this Island is abundantly fur­nish'd with all sorts of excellent Fish. Sea-Tortoises come in multitudes to hide their Egges in the sand, which lyes on the shoars. On the West and North side of it there are Bayes, where Ships may safely Anchor.

About sixteen years since, a Company of Burghers of Walcre in Zealand sent thither 200 men, to plant a Colony there, under the States-General of the United Provinces, and call'd the Island, the New-Walcre. But the natural Inhabitants of the Country, fearing the Neighbourhood of those Foreigners, massacred some of them, which forc'd the rest, who were troubled with sickness and feared the treatment their compani­ons had receiv'd, to retire elsewhere. Whereupon the Island [Page 7] was along time destitute of Inhabitants, and frequented only by some Caribbians, who, coming and going to their Wars, struck in there to get necessary refreshments; as also by some French of the Islands of Martinico and Gardeloupe, who came thither to fish for Lamantine and Tortoises, at certain seasons of the year.

But now the Zealanders are re-establish'd there, and about three years since Lampsen, an ancient Burgo-master of Flushing, and one of the States-General, ventur'd to people the Island anew. He brought thither, in his own Ships, several gallant persons, who are likely restore the Colony which his Coun­try-men had planted there before.

This Island lying next to the Continent of that part of Ame­rica which lyes Southward, lyes very convenient for a Com­merce with the Arovagues, the Calibis, the Caribbians, and se­veral other Indian Nations; and the keeping together of a considerable force of men, which might be easily sent over in­to the Continent, and lay the foundations of a powerful Colony.


THe Island of Granada, lying at twelve degrees and six­teen scruples on this side of the Line, does properly begin the Semicircle of the Antilles. It is in length about seven leagues, the breadth not the same in all places, reaching North and South like a Crescent. The French became masters of it about six years since. They had at the beginning great con­testations with the Caribbians, who, for some moneths, disput­ed the possession of it with them by force of arms. But at last Monsieue Parquet, Governour of Martinico, who had resolv'd, at his own charge, to make an establishment there, oblig'd them, out of a consideration of their own concernments, grounded principally on the great advantages they received from the Neighbourhood of the French, to leave him quietly possess'd of it.

The ground produces all manner of the Country provisions, as Sugar-Canes, Ginger, and excellent Tobacco. The air is very healthy. It is well furnish'd with Springs of fresh water, and places of good Anchorage for Ships. It hath also abun­dance of fair Trees, some excellent for their fruit, others for their fitness for building. There is good Fishing all about it, and the Inhabitants have also good Fishing and Hunting in and about three little Islands, called the Granadines, lying North-East from it. The first Governour of this place was, Mon­sieur Le Comte Governour of Martinico, who was succeeded by Mon. dela Vaumeniere. It hath since been bought by the Count of Serillas, of Mons. Parquet.


THe Island of Bekia is distant from the Line twelve de­grees and 25 scruples. It is ten or twelve leagues about, and would be fruitful enough, if it were cultivated. There is in it a good Haven for Ships; but inasmuch as it is not furnish'd with fresh water, it is not much frequented, unless it be by some Caribbians of St. Vincent's, who sometimes go thither a fishing, or to dress some small Gardens they have up and down there for their diversion.


THe Island of St. Vincent is the most populous of any pos­sess'd by the Caribbians. Its Altitude is sixteen degres North from the Line. Those who have seen the Island Ferro, or Fietro, one of the Canaries, affirm, that this is much of the same figure. It may be about eight leagues in length, and six in breadth. There are in it several high Mountains, between which are very fruitful Plains, if they were cultivated. The Caribbians have many fair Villages, where they live pleasantly, and without any disturbance. And though they have a jea­lously of the strangers that live about them, and stand on their Guard when they come to their Roads, yet do they not deny them the Bread of the Country, which is Cassava, Water, Fruits, and other Provisions, growing in their Country, if they want them, taking in exchange, Wedges, Hooks, and other implements of Iron, which they much esteem


THe Barbados, which is the same that is called by the French Barboude, lyes between the 13 and 14 degree, North from the Equator, and Eastward from St. Alousie, and St. Vin­cent. The English, who planted a Colony there in the year M. DC. XXVII. allow it to be about 25 leagues in compass, but greater in length then breadth. There is in the whole Island but one River, which truely deserves that name: but the Countrey lying low and even, there are, in several places, Pools and Reservatories of fresh water, which supply the scar­city of Springs and Rivers. Most houses have also Cisterns, and Wells which are never dry.

At the first Cultivation the Earth promised not much; but experience hath evinc'd the contrary, it plentifully producing Tobacco, Ginger, Cotten, and especially Sugar-Canes, inso­much that, next to St. Christophers, it is the most frequented by Merchants, and the most populous of all the Antilles. [Page 9] About the year 1646. they accounted in it about twenty thou­sand Inhabitants, not comprehending in that number the Ne­gro-Slaves, who were thought to amount to a far greater.

There are many places in this Island, which may justly be called Towns, as containing many fair, long, and spacious Streets, furnish'd with a great number of noble Structures, built by the principal Officers and Inhabitants of this flourishing Colony. Nay indeed, taking a full prospect of the whole Island, a man might take it for one great City, inasmuch as the houses are at no great distance one from another; that many of those are very well built, according to the rate of Building in England; that the Shops and Store-houses are well furnish'd with all sorts of Commodities; that there are many Fairs and Markets; and lastly, that the whole Island, as great Cities are, is divided into several Parishes, which have very fair Churches. The most considerable of the Inhabitants think themselves so well, that it is seldom seen they ever remove thence.

This Island is very famous in all parts, by reason of the great abundance of excellent Sugar it hath afforded these many years. 'Tis true, it is not so white as that which comes from other parts, but it is better esteemed by Refiners, because it hath fairer grain and yields more, when it is purifi'd.

St LUCY's.

ST Lucy's Island lyes at 13 deg. 40 scr. on this side the Line. It was heretofore frequented only by a small number of Indians, who came to fish thereabouts. But some time since, the French of Martinico came and kept them company. There are two high Mountains in the Island, which are very cold: They are seen at a great distance, and are called by the French, Les Pitons de St. Alousie. At the descent of these Mountains, there are pleasant Valleys cover'd with great Trees, and wa­ter'd with Springs. The air is conceiv'd to be healthy, and that the soil will be fruitful, when it shall be a little better dis­cover'd then it is yet.


THe Island of Martinico, which the Indians call'd Madanina, lyes at the altitude of fourteen degrees and thirty scruples on this side the Line. It is about sixteen leagues in length, of an unequal breadth, and about forty five in compass. The Soil of it is pleasant, which makes it at this day one of the most populous of all the Caribbies.

The French and Indians are joyntly possess'd of it, and have [Page 10] liv'd a long time in very good correspondence. Mons. Parquet is the present French Governour of it.

Of all the Caribbies this is the most uneven Island, that is, the most full of Mountains, which are very high, and intermixt with inaccessible Rocks. The fruitful parts of it consist in certain round Hills or eminences; as also in very delightful skirts of Mountains, and some Plains or Valleys, which are ex­treamly pleasant.

The Mountains of it are not to be inhabited, and serve for the feeding and retreat of wild Beasts, Serpents and Snakes, whereof there is great abundance. Yet are these Mountains well furnish'd with wood, which, in bigness and length, ex­ceed any in Europe, and bears fruit and food for the wild Boars and Birds.

As for the Hills and skirts of Mountains, they are for the most part, inhabitable; and of a good soil, but very trouble­some to manure. For some of them are so high and steepy, that people can hardly work on them without danger, or at least without holding by a Tobacco-stalk, or some Tree with one hand, that they may work with the other.

The Tobacco which grows on these eminent places is ever the best, and esteem'd above that which grows in the Valleys, and bottoms, which have not so much presence of the Sun. For the Tobacco, which grows in bottoms, and places encom­pass'd with Woods, is ever full of yellow-spots, as if it were burnt, and neither takes well, nor keeps well. These enclosed places are also unhealthy, and those who work in them con­tract an ill colour, and the new-comers, who are not accu­stomed to that air, do sooner, in these, then in any other places, catch that griping of the Belly, which is so common in these Islands.

There being two different Nations in this Island, it is accord­ingly divided between them, to wit, the Indians, the natural Inhabitants of the Country; and the French, who laid the foundations of this Colony in July, in the year 1635. under the Conduct of Mons. Desnambuc, who brought them from St. Christophers, and left them in quiet possession of this place.

That part of the Island which is inhabited by the Indians is comprehended in one quarter, which is called the Cabes-terre, without any other distinction.

The part occupied by the French, and called Basse-terre, is divided into five quarters, which are by them called, La Case du Pilote, La Case Capot, Le Carbet, Le Fort St. Pierre, and Le Prescheur. In each of these Quarters there is a Church, or at least a Chappel, a Court of Guard, and a Magazine for Arms, about which are built several large and fair Store-houses, both for the Commodities that are imported, and those of the growth of the Island.

[Page 11]The Quarter of the Case du Pilote is so called from a Savage Captain, who had sometimes lived there, and glory'd much in the name Pilot, which the French had given him. He disco­ver'd to Mons. Parquet, the engagements which those of his Nation entred into against him.

In the Quarter of Case Capot, there is a very noble Savanna, (thus they call in the Islands pleasant Meadows and Pastures) which hath, on the one side the River called Capot, and on the other, many fair Edifices.

The Carbet Quarter hath its name from the ancient Inhabi­tants, who sometime had there one of their greatest Villages, and a publick House which they called Carbet, a name yet common to those places, where they have their meetings. The French Governour liv'd in this Quarter a long time, ha­ving built a noble Brick-house, neer the Haven, in a pleasant bottom, refresh'd by a considerable River, which falls down out of the Mountains. The Indians, who never had seen Stru­cture of any such material, look'd on it at first with a great astonishment, and having attempted to shake it, by the strength of their shoulders, but not stirring it, they were forc'd acknowledg, that if all Houses were so built, the Tempest which they call the Hurricane would not prejudice them. But since, the Governour not having his health perfectly there, he made a present of it to the Jesuits, together with the Gardens about it, as also the rarities and curiosities of the Country, and several other habitations dependent on it, and a great number of Negro-slaves, who cultivate them.

Fort St. Pierre, or St. Peter's Fort, is the place where the Governour now lives. There are in it several great pieces of Cannon, some of Brass, some of Iron. This Fort commands all the Haven. About a stones cast from the Governours, stands the fair Colledge of the Jesuits, situate on a pleasant River, which is thence called, The Jesuits River. This Structure is of Free-stone and Brick, very delightful to the eye. The Ave­nues also want not their temptation, and, all about it, are Gardens and Orchards, producing whatever is most delicious of the growth of the Islands; as also several Plants, Herbs, Flowers and Fruits brought thither from France. There is al­so a Vine-yard, which yields yearly good store of Wine.

The Le Prescheur, or the Preachers Quarter, contains an even low part of the Country, very considerable for its extent, and several high Mountains, upon the skirts whereof, there are a good number of fair Habitations.

Between the Cabes-terre, and the Basse-terre, there is a kind of bottom, where is abundance of that Wood by which the Tobacco climes up. There they have also the Reeds, where­with the Hutts are Palisado'd; as also the wild Mahot, the bark whereof serves for several things about the house.

[Page 12]Most of the Houses in this Island are of wood, very conve­nient, and delightful to the eye. The most considerable are built on certain eminences. That advantageous situation con­tributes much to their health who live in them, for the air is clearer then that of the Valleys. It also adds much to the beauty of those pleasant Structures; and causes a very diver­tive prospect.

The best Haven of this Island lyes between Carbet and St. Peters Fort. It is more safe then any of the neighbouring Islands, as being encompass'd with high Mountains, which se­cure the Ships lying in it from the violence of all winds.

Between Case du Pilote, and a bottom called Culde Sac des Salines, there is a Rock, running about half a league into the Sea, which is called the Diamond, from its figure, and is a retreat for an infinite number of Birds, and among others Wood-quists, which breed in it. It is hard getting up to it, yet some visit it, as they pass by, when the young ones are fit to eat.

There is another place on the same side as the Diamond, into which Ships are brought, to be refresh'd, and mended. The Sea there is always calm, but the air not healthy, in regard the Sea-men commonly catch Fevers, which yet are not very dangerous, inasmuch as they shake them off, as soon as they depart thence.

Besides the Torrents, which in times of rains fall down with great violence, and the inundations of this Island, there are nine or ten considerable Rivers which are never dry. Their sources are at the ascent or foot of the highest Mountains, and having watered the Valleys they fall into the Sea. They are prejudicial to the places neer them, in regard that when they overflow, they root up Trees, undermine rocks, and make a desolation over the Fields and Gardens, carrying along with them, the houses which lye in the plain Country, and what­ever opposes the impetuosity of their course. This inconve­nience hath oblig'd the Inhabitants of this Colony to take up their habitations on the tops of those little Mountains, where­with their Island is richly furnish'd; for they secure them from these inundations.

But what is most considerable in this Island, is the multitude of the Inhabitants possessing it, who are thought to amount to nine or ten thousand persons, not comprehending in that num­ber the Indians and Negroes, who are neer as many. The mildness of the Government and the advantageous situation of the Island contribute much to the advancement of it and the multiplication of its Inhabitants. For most of the French and Dutch Ships, bound for America, so order their course, that they may touch here, rather then at any other of the Islands: and as soon as they have cast Anchor in any of the Havens, to [Page 13] take in the refreshments necessary for them, they set a shoar their Passengers, if they be not expresly oblig'd to bring them to some other place. Nay it hath often hapned that whole Fa­milies, which had left France, with a designe to pass over into some of the other Islands which lye beyond this, and are not in­ferior to it, either as to Air or Soil, being wearied out with the inconveniences of a long Voyage, have setled here to avoid exposing themselves to the same again.

Among the great multitude of people which make up this Colony, there are many persons of worth and quality, who after their honorable imployments in other parts of the world, have at last made choice of this place, for their repose and re­tirement. Among these are particularly to be mentioned Mons. Courcelas, Lieutenant-General under the Governor, a person who by his excellent conduct hath gain'd the affections of both Inhabitants and Strangers; Mons. Le Comte, and Mons. de L' Oubiere, as being the principal Officers.

At the beginning of our Description of this Island, we said, that the French and Indians lived there a long time toge­ther in good correspondence. But the Letters that came thence lately, giving an account of the state of it, affirm, that about four years since, the Caribbians made an insurrection, and have continued a War with the French ever since; that since that time, those Barbarians had done great mischiefs in the French Quarters; and that neither the height of the Moun­tains, nor depth of the precipices, nor yet the horror of vast and dreadful solitudes, which till then had been accounted an impenetrable wall, lying between the several divisions of both the Nations, hindred not their falling upon them, and filling their habitations with fire, massacres, desolation, and what­ever the implacable spirit of revenge could suggest to them of greatest cruelty, to feed their rage, and satisfie their bru­tality.

Of the occasions of this Rupture there are several accounts given. Some attribute it to Mons. Parquet's establishing of French Colonies in the Islands of Granada and St. Lucy, with­out the consent of the Caribbians, who thereupon took occa­sion of discontent. Others affirm that they took up Arms, to revenge the deaths of some of their Nation, Inhabitants of the Island of S. Vincent, whom they believe to have come to their end by drinking some poison'd Strong-water which had been brought them from Martinico.

Immediately upon the breaking forth of this War, and the first devastations made by the Caribbians in one of the French Quarters (which, according to their custom, was by a base sur­prise) those who envy'd the glory of those Colonies, and their progress and establishment in those Islands, scattered their ma­licious reports, That the French would never be able to keep [Page 14] under those Barbarians; That those of the same Nation, who live in Dominico and S. Vincent's, had secretly apply'd themselves to all their Allies of the Continent, to incite them to engage in an unanimous War against the French; That the more easily to effectuate that design, and make their Party stronger, they had gone so far as to treat of a Peace with the Arovagues, their ancient Enemies; And, That they had so far engag'd all these Salvages in their Quarrel, that they were resolv'd with a joynt­force to fall upon the French, and over-run them with their multitude.

It is not certainly known whether there were really any such Association against them or not; but certain it is, that the ef­fects [...]of it appear'd not; and that after the first Irruptions of the Caribbians of Martinico into the French Quarters, which were indeed with some advantage of the Barbarians, they have been so unsuccessful in their Enterprises since, and worsted so with the loss of the chief amongst them, that about two years since they were forc'd to quit their Villages, and leave their Gardens to the disposal of the Victorious, and retire for safety into Woods, and inaccessible Rocks and Mountains. So that the World is now perswaded of the contrary, viz. That if those Barbarians shall make any further attempt to recover themselves out of that wretched Consternation in which they live, by the force of Arms, they will in all likelyhood be forc'd either to quit the absolute possession of the Island to the French, or accept of such Conditions of Peace as they can obtain, to renew the ancient Alliance, which they have been but too for­ward to break.

CHAP. III. Of the Islands which lye towards the North.

THe Islands we intend to describe in this Chapter, lying more towards the North, are consequently more tem­perate. They are also more frequented than those of Tabago, Granada, and S. Alousia, in regard the Ships which have refresh'd themselves at Martinico, and fall down thence to S. Christophers, may visit them one after another, without any di­version out of their Course.


THe Island of Dominico lies at the altitude of 15 degrees and 30 minutes. It is conceiv'd to be in length about 13. [Page 15] Leagues, and not much less in breadth, where it is at the great­est. There are in the midst of it several high Mountains, which encompass an inaccessible bottom, where may be seen from the tops of certain rocks an infinite number of Reptiles, of a dreadful bulk and length.

This Island is inhabited by the Caribbians, who are very nu­merous in it. They have a long time entertain'd those who came to visit them with a story of a vast and monstrous Serpent, which had its aboad in that bottom. They affirmed that there was on the head of it a very sparkling stone, like a Carbuncle, of inestimable price; That it commonly veil'd that rich Je­wel with a thin moving skin, like that of a mans eye-lid; but that when it went to drink, or sported himself in the midst of that deep bottom, he fully discover'd it, and that the rocks and all about receiv'd a wonderful lustre from the fire issuing out of that precious Crown.

The supream Person of this Island was heretofore one of the most considerable among those of the same Nation. For when all their Forces marched out to Battel against the Arovagues, their common Enemies of the Continent; he had the conduct of the Van-guard and was known by a particular mark which he had about him.

When any French Ships come neer this Island, there are im­mediately seen several Canows, in each whereof there are three, or but four Indians at the most, who come to direct them to the Havens, where they may safely Anchor. They commonly bring along with them some of the Country Fruits, whereof having presented the Captains and other Officers with the choicest, they proffer the rest in exchange for Fishing­hooks, grains of Crystal, and such trifles, as they account precious.


THe Island of Marigalanta lyes at the altitude of 15 deg. and 40 minutes. It is a flat Country, and well furnish'd with wood, which argues it would be fertile enough, if it were once reduced to culture. It hath always been frequented by the Indians, as well in order to Fishing, as for some small Gar­dens which they have in it.

The last Letters from the Carribies brought news that Mons. d'Howel, Governour of Gardeloupe had lately peopled this Island, and built a Fort in it to keep under certain Indians, who would have opposed his design, and had kill'd twenty of those whom he had sent thither at first to discover the Coun­try; and that upon that accident he had sent over thither three hundred men, who retreated in the night time to a great Ves­sel they had in the road, till such time as the Fort was made [Page 16] tenable. The Caribbians of Dominico, the better to continue the good correspondence there is between them and the In­habitants of Gardeloupe, who are their next Neighbours, af­firm they had no hand in that Massacre, and excused them­selves to Mons. d' Howel, imputing it to those of their Nation, who live in the other Islands.


BEtween Dominico and Gardeloupe there are three or four small Islands very neer one another, commonly called the Saints: They are at the same Altitude as Marigalanta, West from which they lye, and are as yet desert and unhabited.

The Island of Birds lyes more West then the forementioned, at fifteen degrees, and forty five minutes. It hath that name from the infinite number of Birds, which breed in it, making their Nests even on the Sea-shoar: They are for the most part easily taken with the hand, not fearing men in regard they sel­dom see any. This Island lyes very low, and is hardly per­ceiv'd till one be very neer it.


THe Island Desirado was so called by Christopher Columbus, as being the first discover'd by him of all the Caribbies, in his second Voyage into America. And as he called the first place he discover'd of this new World San Salvador, whereas before it was called Guanahani, which is one of the Lucayos, at the altitude of 25 degrees and some minutes; so he called this De­sirado, from the obtaining of his Desire. It lies ten Leagues from Gardeloupe, North-east, and from the Line 16 degrees and 10 minutes. The soil of this Island is good; and consequently it will not be long ere it be Inhabited.


GArdeloupe is one of the greatest and noblest Islands of any possess'd by the French in the Caribbies. It was hereto­fore called by the Indians Carucueïra; but the Spaniards gave it the name by which it is now known. Some would have it precisely at 16 Degrees; others add therto 16 minutes. The Circumference of it is about 60 Leagues, and, where broad­est, about nine or ten in breadth. It is divided into two parts by a little Arm of the Sea, which separates the Grand'­terre from that which is properly called Gardeloupe. The more Easterly part of this latter is called by the French Caebes-Terre, and that towards the West Basse-Terre.

That part of it which is called the Grand'-Terre hath two [Page 17] Salt-pits, where the Sea-water is converted into Salt, as in se­veral other Islands, by the force of the Sun, without assistance of Art.

That part which is inhabited hath in several places, especi­ally towards the middle of it, divers high Mountains, whereof some are full of bare and dreadful Rocks, rising out of a Bot­tom, encompassed with many inaccessible Precipices; others are cover'd with delightful Trees, which are to them at all times a kind of pleasant Garland. At the foot of these Moun­tains there are several Plains of a vast extent, which are refresh'd by a great number of pleasant Rivers, which occasioned here­tofore the Spanish Ships to touch there, to take in fresh water for the continuance of their Voyage. Some of these Rivers when they are overflown bring down pieces of Wood that have pass'd through the Sulphur-mines, that are in one of the most remarkable Mountains in the Island, which continually casts up smoak, whence it is called the Sulphur-Mountain. There are also in it Springs of hot water, which have been found by experience good for the Dropsie, and all Indispositions proceed­ing from a cold cause. There are between these two parts of the Land two great Gulphs, whence those Inhabitants who delight in Fishing may at any time take Tortoises, and several other excellent Fish.

The French first planted themselves in this Island in the year M. DC. XXXV. M. M. du Plessis and l' Olive were the first Go­vernours of it, with equal authority; but the former dying seven moneths after his arrival, and the other becoming unfit for Government by the loss of his sight, there was sent over Mons. Auber, one of the Captains of St. Christophers, who chanc'd to be then at Paris. This Colony owes its conservati­on and welfare since to the prudence and conduct of this wor­thy Governor, who signaliz'd his entrance into that Charge by the Peace he made with the Carribians, and several good Con­stitutions in order to the welfare of the Inhabitants, whereof we shall give a more particular account in the second Book of this History.

Monsieur d' Howel is now Lord and Governor of this Island, which is yet better since his establishment, for the number of the Inhabitants is much encreas'd, and they have built very fair Houses, and brought such Trading thither, that now it is one of the most flourishing and most considerable Islands of the Caribbies.

There are in it very fair Plains, wherein the ground is or­dered by the Plough, a thing not to be seen in any of the other Islands. And after the Plough, it bears Rice, Turky-wheat, the Manioc, whereof Cassava is made, Potatoes, nay, in some places Ginger and Sugar-canes, with great increase.

The reformed Jacobins, or White-Friers, are possess'd of [Page 18] some part of the best Land in this Island, on which they have many delightful Plantations. The good condition wherein they are is to be acknowledg'd an effect of the care of the R. Father Raymond Breton, who, amidst many great difficulties, preserv'd them to his Order.

In that part of the Island, which is called Basse-terre, there is a little Town which grows daily bigger: It hath already se­veral Streets adorned with many handsome houses of Timber, most of two Stories, of a convenient structure and delightful to the eye. Besides a fair Parish-Church, there are in it a Col­ledg of Jesuits, and a Monastery of Carmelites, brought thi­ther lately by the Governors means; as also several Store­houses, well furnish'd with Provisions and Commodities, re­quisite for the subsistance of the Colony.

The Governor lives in a Castle, not far from the Town. It is built four-square, having at each corner Spurs and Redoubts of Masons work, of such thickness as to bear the weight of se­veral great Pieces of Brass, which are mounted there. A lit­tle beyond the Castle there is a very high Mountain which might somewhat incommodate it; but the Governor not omitting any thing that might contribute to the ornament or security of the Island, hath planted some great Pieces there, and to prevent surprise of an Enemy, he hath made a kind of Cittadel there, which is at all times furnish'd with Provisions and Ammunition. The Cabes-terre hath also a considerable Fort, which secures the whole Quarter; it is called St. Mary's Fort.

Many persons of quality have made their retirement into this Island, and have set up a great number of Sugar-Mills.


THe Island of Antego lyes at the Altitude of 16 degrees, and 11 minutes, between the Barbados, and the Desirado. It is in length about six or seven leagues, the breadth not the same in all places; The access of it is dangerous for Shipping, by reason of the rocks which encompass it. It was conceiv'd heretofore, that it was not to be inhabited, upon this presum­ption, that there was no fresh water in it: but the English, who have planted themselves in it, have met with some, and have made Ponds and Cisterns, which might supply that de­fect. This Island is abundant in Fish, most sorts of wild Fowl, and in all of tame Cattel. It is inhabited by seven or eight hundred men.


THe Island of Mont-Serrat receiv'd that name from the Spaniards, upon the account of a certain resemblance there is between a Mountain in this, and that of Mont-Serrat, which is not far from Barcelona; and it hath kept the name ever since. It lyes at the Altitude of 27 degrees. It is about three Leagues in length, and almost as much in breadth, so that it seems to be almost of a round figure. 'Tis conceiv'd there are in it between six and seven hundred men.

What is most considerable in this Island is a very fair Church, of a delightful Structure, built by the contributions of the Go­vernor and Inhabitants. The Pulpit, the Seats, and all the Joyners and Carpenters work within it, are of the most preci­ous and sweet-scented-wood growing in the Country.


THe Island which the English call the Barbouthos, lyes at the Altitude of 17 degrees, and 30 minutes. It lyes very low, and is in length about five leagues, lying North-East from Mont-Serrat. The English are the Inhabitants of it, and the Colony may amount to between four and five hundred men, who find whereupon to subsist conveniently.

It is subject to this annoyance, which is also common to the Islands of Antego and Mont-Serrat, that the Caribbians of Do­minico, and other places, do many times commit great spoils in it. The enmity and aversion which those Barbarians have conceiv'd against the English Nation in general, is come to that height, that there hardly passes a year but they make one or two irruptions, in the night time, into same one of the Islands it is possess'd of; and then, if they be not timely discover'd, and valiantly oppos'd, they kill all the men they meet, ran­sack the Houses and burn them, and if they can get any of the Women or Children, they carry them away Prisoners into their own Territories, with all the Booty they have a mind to.


THe Island called Redonda, or Rotonda, from its round figure, lyes at the altitude of 17 degrees, and 10 minutes. It is a very little one, and at a distance seems to be only a great Tower, and taking a prospect of it one way, a man might say it were a great Ship under sail. It is of easie access on all sides, by reason the Sea about it is deep, and without rocks or shelves, which might be dangerous to shipping.


THe Island called Nieves, otherwise Mevis, lyes at the al­titude of 27 degrees, and 19 minutes, Northward. It is not above six leagues about, and in the midst of it there is but one only Mountain, which is very high, and cover'd with great Trees up to the very top. The Plantations are all about the Mountain, beginning from the Sea-side, till you come to the highest part of it, the ascent being commodious enough. This Island may easily be compass'd either by land or water. There are in it divers springs of fresh water, whereof some are strong enough to make their way to the Sea: Nay there is one spring, whereof the waters are hot and mineral. Not far from the source there are Bathes made, which are frequented with good success, in order to the curing of those diseases for which the waters of Bourbon are recommended.

The English, who planted themselves there in the year M. DC. XXVIII. are still the Inhabitants of this Island, and they are now thought to be between three and four thousand men, who subsist and live handsomly, by the trade they drive in Su­gar, Ginger and Tobacco.

This Island is the best governed of any in the Caribbies. Justice is there administred with great prudence by a Coun­cil, consisting of the most eminent and most ancient Inhabi­tants of the Colony: Swearing, Thieving, Drunkenness, Forni­cation, and all dissolutions and disorders are severely punish'd. In the Year M. DC. XLIX. Mr. Lake, a knowing person and fear­ing God, had the Government of it. He is since departed this life.

There are in this Island three Churches, which have nothing extraordinary, as to Structure, but are very convenient as to the performing of Divine Service. For the security of the Ves­sels that are in the Road, and to prevent the invasion of an Ene­my, there is a Fort built, wherein are several great Pieces which command as far as the Sea. It secures also the publick Store­houses, into which all the Commodities that are imported, and necessary for the subsistance of the Inhabitants, are disposed. And thence it is, that they are afterwards distributed to those private persons who stand in need thereof, provided those who have the over-sight of them think them solvent persons, ac­cording to the time and price agreed upon, and ordered by the Governor and Council.

A further recommendation of this Island, is, that it is di­vided only by a small arm of the Sea from that of St. Christo­phers, the noblest and most famous of all the Caribbies. Having given but a short Description of the other Islands, what we [Page 21] shall give of this, as being the chiefest, will be somewhat larger. For which reason, we shall assign it a Chapter by it self.

CHAP. IV. Of the Island of St. Christopher.

ST Christophers was so called by Christopher Columbus, who finding it very pleasant, would needs give it his own name. He was engag'd to give it this name from a con­sideration of the figure of its Mountains, the Island having on its upper part, as it were upon one of its shoulders, another les­ser Mountain, as St Christopher is painted like a Gyant, carry­ing our Saviour upon his, as it were a little Child. Its altitude is at 17 degrees, 25 minutes.

It is about 25 leagues in compass. The Soil being light and sandy, is apt to produce all sorts of the Country Fruits, as al­so many of the choicest growing in Europe. It lyes high in the midst, by reason of some very high Mountains, out of which arise several Rivers, which sometimes are so suddenly over­flown through the rains falling on the Mountains, so as that there is none seen at the extremities of them, or in the Plains, that the Inhabitants are many times surpriz'd by those Torrents.

The whole Island is divided into four Cantons, or Quar­ters, two whereof are possess'd by the English; the other two by the French; but in such sort, as that people cannot cross from one quarter to the other, without passing over Lands of one of the two Nations. The English have in their part a great­er number of little Rivers then the French; but in requital, the latter have more of the plain Country, and Lands fitter for cultivation. The English also exceed the French in num­ber; but the latter have more fortified places, and are better armed. The French have four Forts, well furnish'd with great Pieces, which carry a great way into the Sea; and one of them hath regular works, like a Citadel. The most consi­derable next that lyes at the Haven, or Anchoring-place, cal­led Basse-terre. There is in both a constant Guard kept: And to prevent the differences which might happen between two different Nations, each of them upon the Avenues of their Quarters hath a Guard which is, renew'd every day. The English have two fortifi'd places, whereof one commands the great Haven, and the other a Descent, not far from Pointe de Sable.

This Island is furnish'd with a fair Salt-pit, lying on the Sea­side, which the Inhabitants commonly call Cul-de-Sac. Not [Page 22] far thence, there is a small Point of Land, which reaches out so far towards the Island of Nieves, that it is not above half a league of Sea between the two, insomuch that there have been those who have swam from one to the other.

It is conceiv'd there is a Silver-mine in St. Christophers; but in regard the Salt-pits, Woods, Havens, and Mines are com­mon to both Nations, no body looks after it: Besides, such an enterprise would require a great stock, and an infinite num­ber of Slaves. The true Silver-mine of this Island is Sugar.

A man may easily compass the whole Island by Land, but cannot pass through the midst of it, by reason of several great and steepy Mountains, between which there are dread­ful precipices, and springs of hot water: Nay there are some springs of Sulphur, which hath occasion'd one of them to be called, the Sulphur-Mountain. Taking the Circumference from without, the body of the Island seems to extend it self, by a gentle descent, down to the Sea-side, and is of an une­qual breadth, according as the Mountains dilate their skirts more or less towards the Sea, or the more the Sea advances, and forces the land against the Mountains. The Soil, as far as it is cultivated, that is, to the steepy ascent of the Mountains, is divided in a manner about into several stages or stories, through which there are drawn fair and spacious ways, in a strait-line, as much as the places would permit. The first of these lines of communication begins at about a hundred paces from the Sea-side; another three or four hundred paces high­er, and so ascending to the third or fourth, whence a man may take a very pleasant prospect of all the Plantations from thence downwards.

Every Stage, which makes a kind of girdle, or enclosure, great­er or lesser about the Mountains, according to the greater or les­ser distance of it from the Mountains, hath also its ways, which like so many crossing streets afford an easie access to those who live higher or lower; and this with such a noble symme­try, that when a man compasses the Island by Sea, he cannot imagine any thing more delightful, then to see that pleasing verdure of so many Trees, which are planted along the high­ways, and are the divisions between the several Plantations. The prospect is such, that the eye can hardly be wearied with it: If it be directed upwards, it is terminated by those high Mountains, which are crown'd with a perpetual verdure, and cloath'd with precious Woods: If downwards, it is enter­tain'd by the delightful prospect of Gardens, which taken in from those places where the Mountains are inaccessible, are thence by a gentle and easie descent continu'd to the Sea­side. The delightful bright-green of the Tobacco, planted exactly by the line, the pale-yellow of the Sugar-Canes, when come to maturity, and the dark-green of Ginger and [Page 23] Potatoes, make so delightful a Landskip, as must cause an ex­traordinary recreation to the unwearied eye. What very much adds to this delight, is, that in the midst of every Plan­tation, or Garden, there may be seen several fair houses of dif­ferent structures, particularly those which are cover'd with red or glaz'd slate, contribute a greater lustre to that pleasant per­spective. And in regard there is a perpetual ascent in the Island, the lower stage or story deprives not the sight of the pleasure arising from the prospect of that which lyes at a greater di­stance; but a man may at one grasp of the eye, as it were in an instant, behold all those delightful divisions, all those ways which look like so many walks of an Orchard, planted with several sorts of Trees; all those Gardens regularly beset with divers Fruits; and all those Edifices, which for the most part are not distant one from another above a hundred paces. In a word, so many agreeable objects offer themselves to the eye, at the same intuition, that it is at a kind of loss on which most to fasten it self.

There is indeed a certain necessity, for the greater conveni­ence of the Inhabitants, and easier managing of their employ­ments, that their houses should be distinct one from another, and plac'd in the midst of that piece of ground which they have to manure. The French, besides the houses they have thus dispos'd at certain distances, have, in their Quarter of Basse-terre, a Town which grows bigger daily, and whereof the Houses are of Brick and Timber. It lyes neer the Haven, where commonly Ships lye at Anchor. The most considerable of the Inhabitants, and Foreign-Merchants have Store-houses there.

The French and Dutch Merchants, who reside there con­stantly, are well furnish'd with excellent Wines, Aqua-vitae, and Beer, all sorts of Stuffes, of Silk, or Wooll, fit for the Country, and generally all the refreshments, which being not of the growth of the Island, are yet necessary for the better accommodation of the Inhabitants. All is sold at a reasonable rate, and in exchange for the Commodities growing in the Country. In the same place live several sorts of Trades-men, whose employments are necessary to Commerce and civil So­ciety. There is also a Hall for the administration of Justice, and a fair Church able to contain a very great Congregation: The Structure is of wood, rais'd on a foundation of Free-stone: Instead of Glass-windows there are only turned Pillars, after the fashion of a Balcony. It is cover'd with red Slate.

The Capuchins for some years had the oversight of the said Church, and the charge of the Souls, as to the French, over the whole Island: but in the year one thousand six hundred forty and six, they were disengag'd from that employment by the unanimous consent of the Inhabitants, who civilly dismiss'd [Page 24] them, and receiv'd in their stead Jesuits and Carmelites, who have very fair Houses and Plantations, which are manured by a great number of Slaves belonging to them, through whose means they are very handsomly maintained. The R. F. Henry du Vivier was the first Superior of the Jesuitical Mission.

His Excellency the General hath also built a very fair Ho­spital, in a very healthy place, where such sick persons as are unable to effect their recovery at their own houses, are at­tended, and maintained, and visited by Physitians and Surge­ons, till they are restored to their former health. Strangers al­so who fall sick in the Island are receiv'd in there. Order is al­so taken that Orphans be dispos'd into convenient houses, where they are brought up and instructed.

There are many noble Structures built both by the the Eng­lish and French; but the most magnificent of any is the Castle of the French General, the particular Description whereof we shall nevertheless forbear, in regard it makes not much to the Natural History oft he Caribbies.

Of the English building the most considerable are those of the late Mr. Warner, first Governour General of this Nation; Mr. Rich's, his successor; Mr. Everard's, and Col. Geffreyson's, which may well be ranked among the most noble, and best ac­complish'd of any in the Caribbies.

The English have also built in this Island five very fair Churches, well furnish'd within with Pulpits, and Seats, of ex­cellent Joyners work, of precious wood. Till the late Times, the Ministers were sent thither by the Archbishop of Canterbu­ry, to whose Diocess it belongs.

CHAP. V. Of the Lee-ward Islands.

ALL the Islands lying West from St. Christophers are com­monly called the Lee-ward Islands, inasmuch as the constant wind of the Caribbies is an East-wind, with some point of the North, and that there is seldom any West or South-wind. Of these there are nine principal ones, whereof we shall give an account in this Chapter, according to the order they are placed in the Map.


THe Island of St. Eustace lyes North-West from St. Christo­phers, at the altitude of seventeen degrees, and forty minutes. It is about five leagues in compass. To speak pro­perly, [Page 25] it is but a Mountain rising up in the midst of the Ocean, much like a Sugar-loaf, which is thought to be the figure of Mount Tabor, and the Pic of Teneriffe, save that the last named is incomparably higher. The Colony inhabiting it, consist­ing of about sixteen hundred men, acknowledg the Sovereign­ty of the States-General, who have granted the Government of it to Mons. Van Ree, and his Associates, Merchants of Flush­ing in Zealand.

This Island is the strongest, as to situation, of all the Carib­bies, for there is but one good descent, which may be easily de­fended; so that a few men might keep off a great Army: But besides this natural Fortification, there is in it a strong Fort which commands the best Haven, the Guns of it carrying a good distance into the Sea.

The Inhabitants have neat houses, and those well furnish'd, as their Country-men have in Holland. Only the very top of the Mountain is cover'd with Wood; all the compass is manur'd. It can hardly be credited what quantities of Tobacco it hath heretofore and still doth yield.

Though the top of this Mountain seems to be very picked, yet is there a kind of bottom of a large extent, affording a re­treat to a great number of wild Beasts. The Inhabitants are very industrious in keeping on their Lands all sorts of Poultry, as also Swine and Conies, which breed exereamly.

There are no Springs in this Island; but there are now few Houses but have a good Cistern to supply that defect: There are also Store-houses so well furnish'd with all things requisite to life, and the accommodation of the Inhabitants, that many times they have wherewith to pleasure their Neighbours. The Inhabitants live decently and Christianly, and cannot justly be reproach'd with those crimes which some have impos'd upon them. There is in the Island one Church, which hath from time to time been supply'd with very able Pastors; of whom one was Mr May, who, among other Writings, put out a Learned Commentary on the most difficult places of the five Books of Moses, wherein there are many curious Observations of Na­ture.


THe Island of S. Bartholomew lies North-east from S. Chri­stophers, at the 16. degree of Altitude: It hath but lit­tle ground fit for manuring, though it be it be a considerable compass: The Governour-General of the French, de Poincy, peopled it at his own Charge about fifteen years since: It af­fords several sorts of excellent Trees, which are much esteem'd; an infinite number of Birds of several kinds; and a kind of Lime-stone, which is fetch'd thence by the Inhabitants of the [Page 26] other Islands. There is no safe coming in for Ships of great burthen, by reason of the many Rocks which encompass it. Such persons as are enclin'd to solitude cannot dispose them­selves to a fitter place for it than this is.


THe Island of Saba lies North-west from S. Eustace's, at the altitude of 17 degrees and 35 minutes: A man would think it at a distance to be only a Rock; but the Colony of S. Eustace, which sent over men to manure [...]t, hath found in it a pleasant Valley, able to employ many Families, who live contentedly in that delightful retirement. Only Shallops can come neer it. The Fishing about it is very plentiful: Nor is there any want of other Refreshments that are necessary.


THe Island of S. Martin lies at the Altitude of 18. degrees and 16 minutes: It is about seven Leagues in length, and four in bredth: There are in it excellent Salt-ponds, which had oblig'd the Spaniard to build a Fort in it, the better to se­cure the possession of it; but about nine years since he demo­lish'd the Fort and quitted the Island: Which being observ'd by Monsieur de Ruyter, who commanded one of the Ships which Monsieur Lampsen commonly sends into America, and who then sailed by this Island, he went to S.Eustace's to raise men, whom he brought thither, and took possession of it in the name of the States-General.

The news of the Spaniards departure thence coming at the same time to the French General, he presently dispatch'd thither a Ship very well mann'd, to recover the right and pretensions of the French, who had been possess'd of the said Island before the usurpation of the Spaniard: Since the French and Dutch have divided it, and live very friendly together. The French have there about 300 men. The Salt-ponds are in the Dutch-Quarter. The Dutch are more in number than the French: Lampsen and Van Ree are the Directors of the Colony. They have very fair Houses, large Store-houses, and a considerable number of Negroes, who are their perpetual Slaves.

There is no fresh water in this Island, but what when it rains is receiv'd into Cisterns, which are common enough. There are several little Islands about this, very convenient for the di­vertisements of the Inhabitants. There are also Ponds of salt water, which run up far into the Land, in which are taken abundance of good Fish, especially Sea-Tortoises. There are in the Woods Wild-Swine, Quists, Turtles, and an infinite number of Parrots. There are also several Trees, out of which [Page 27] distill several sorts of Gums: but the Tobacco which grows here being esteem'd beyond that of any of the other Islands, the Commerce of it is so much the more considerable. The French and Dutch have their distinct Churches in their several Jurisdictions. Monsieur des Camps, the present Pastor of the Dutch Church was sent thither in September, 1655. by the Sy­nod of the Walloon Churches of the United Provinces, under whose spiritual inspection this Colony is.


THe Island named the Snake, is so called from its figure; for it is a long tract of earth, but very narrow, winding almost about neer S. Martins Island, whence it is very plainly perceiv'd. There is not any Mountain in it, the ground lying low and even. Where it is broadest there is a Pond, about which some English families planted themselves about seven or eight years since, and where they plant Tobacco, which is highly esteem'd of those who are good judges in that Commo­dity. The Island lyes at 18 degrees and 20 minutes on this side the Line.


THe Island Sombrero lyes in the midst of those Banks which lye about the Channel, through which the Ships bound for Europe do pass. It lyes at 18 degrees and 30 minutes. The Spaniards called it Sombrero, from its having the figure of a Hat. It is not inhabited.


A Negado, which lyes under the same degree as Sombrero, is also desert, and of dangerous access.


THe Virgins, greater and lesser, comprehend several Islands marked in the Map by that name. There are numbred in all twelve or thirteen of them: They reach East­ward from St. John de Porto-Rico, at the altitude of 18 degrees, North of the Line. Between these Islands there are very good Anchoring places for several Fleets. The Spaniards visit them often, in order to Fishing, which is there plentiful. There are also in them an infinite number of rare both Land and Sea­fowl. They afford so little good ground, that after a tryal made thereof in several places, it was concluded, that they deserved not Inhabitants.


THe last of all the Caribbies of the Lee-ward Islands is the Island of Sante Croix, or the Holy Cross. It lyes at 18 degrees and some minutes. The Caribbians who were forc'd thence by the Spaniards, call it Ayay: It was much esteem'd among them, because it was the first Island that Nation possess'd themselves of when they came from the North to seek a con­venient habitation to lay the foundations of their Colonies, as shall be represented particularly in the Second Book of this History.

The Soil of this Island returns with good interest whatever is sown in it: there are in it fair and spacious Plains, of a black earth, and easie to be manured: there are also several fair and precious kinds of Trees good for Dying and Joyners work. The Air is good, but the Waters not so wholsom, if drunk im­mediately after they are drawn: To take away the ill quality they have, they are put to rest a certain time in earthen vessels, which makes them good; and thence it is conceiv'd that the bad quality proceeds from their mud, as is observed in those of the Nile.

This Island is now possess'd by the French, who have rais'd it to a great height after its several changes of former Masters. The French General supplies it with Inhabitants at his own charge.

It may be nine or ten Leagues in length, and neer as much in breadth, where it is broadest. The Mountains are neither so high nor shuffled so neer together, but that people may get up to the tops of them, and that there is good ground enough besides to find work for many thousands of men.

CHAP. VI. Of Trees growing in these Islands, whose Fruit may be eaten:

OF the Trees growing in these Islands some bear good Fruits, which contribute to the nourishment of the Inhabitants; others are fit for Building, Joyners work, or Dying: There are some also very successfully used in Me­dicine, and some which only delight the Smelling by their sweet scent, and the Sight by their ever verdant Boughs and Leaves.

Of those which bear Fruits fit for Food, and may be seen in [Page 29] Europe, there are only here Orange-trees, Pomegranate-trees, Citron-trees, and Lemon-trees, the bulk and goodness whereof far exceeds those of the same kinds growing elsewhere.


OF Oranges there are two kinds, yet of the same figure, and distinguishable only by the taste: some are sweet, others sharp, both extreamly delicate. The sharp are a great convenience to house-keeping, for they are used instead of Verjuyce and Vinegar; but the sweet excell in goodness: Some indeed call the China-Orange, the Queen of Oranges, and real Musk-balls under the colour and figure of Oranges: But how­ever some may celebrate the delightful sweetness of the China-Oranges, there are others prefer the excellent taste and picquan­cy of our American-Oranges.


THe Pomegranate-trees grow also excellently well in all these Islands, and bear Fruits fair to the Eye and plea­sant to the Taste. In many places these Trees serve for Palisa­does about Courts, borders of Gardens, and the Avenues of Houses.


OF Citrons there are three kinds, different as to bigness, and which consequently are not all called Citrons. The first kind, which is the fairest and largest, is called Lime: it is on­ly good to be preserv'd, having very little juyce; but preserv'd, it is excellent. The second kind is the Lemon, about the big­ness of the Citron brought from Spain: but its juyce is little, in comparison of its bulk. The little Citron, which makes the third kind, is the best and most esteem'd: it hath a very thin skin or pellicle, and is full of a very sharp juyce, which gives an excellent taste to Meats, and a picquancy to several Sawces: it is a particular Fruit of America. Some curious persons have in their Gardens a kind of very sweet Citrons, both as to their peel and juyce, which as to bigness and taste come not behind those which grow in Portugal.

All other Trees growing in the Caribbies have their Leaves, Flowers, Fruit, and Bark, of a Figure, Taste and Colour dif­ferent from those of our Countries.


TO begin with the Fruit-Trees; there is some account made of the Goyavier, which comes neer the figure of the Laurel, save that the Leaves are softer, of a brighter green, and more cottened on the lower-side. The Bark of this Tree is very thin and smooth: It shoots forth at the roots several suckers, which if not taken away, will in time make a thick wood about it, as far as there is any good ground. Its branches, which are thick and well furnish'd with leaves, are loaden twice a year with little white Flowers, which are follow'd by several green Apples, which become yellow, and of a good smell when they are ripe. This Fruit hath on the top a little posie like a Crown, and the meat within is either white or red, full of little kernels, like those of a Pomegranate; whence the Dutch call it the sweet Pomegranate: It is about the bigness of a Pearmain, and ripens in one night.

Being eaten green, it is astringent: whence it is used by many against Bloody-Fluxes: but being ripe it hath a quite contrary effect.


THe Papayer is a Tree which grows without boughs, about 15 or 20 foot high, big proportionably to its height, hollow and spongious within, whence it is used to convey Springs and Rivulets to diverse places. There are two kinds of it; one commonly found in all the Islands. The leaves of it are divided into three points, much like the leaf of the Fig-tree: They are fastened to long tails, as big as a mans thumbs, and hollow within. They shoot out of the top of the Tree, and bending downwards, they cover several round fruits, about the bigness of the great Quince-pear, which grow round the boal to which they are fastened.

The other kind is particular to the Island of Sante Croix. It is fairer, and hath more leaves then the former: but what causes it to be more esteem'd is its Fruit, which is about the bigness of a Melon, and of the figure of a womans breast, whence the Portughese call it Mamao.

There is this particularly remarkable in these Trees, that they bring forth new fruits every moneth in the year. The flower of both kind is of good scent, and comes neer that of Jessemine. The Fruit of the latter is accounted among the choicest entertainments of the Islands, in as much as being come to perfection it hath a firm substance, and may be cut in pieces like a Melon, and is of a very pleasant taste. The rind is yel­low, intermix'd with certain green lines, and within it is full [Page 31] of little seeds, round, viscous, and soft, of a picquant taste, and approaching that of Spice. This fruit fortifies the stomack, and helps digestion.


THe Momin is a Tree grows up to the bigness of an Apple­tree, and bears a large fruit of the same name. 'Tis true, the Islanders commonly call it Corasol, because the seeds of those they have was brought from Corasol, an Island possess'd long since by the Dutch, who have there a good Fort, and a numerous Colony, which hath spred it self into several other Islands neer it. This Fruit is like a little Cucumber not fully ripe; the rind of it is always green, and enamell'd with several small partitions like scales: if it be gathered in its maturity it is within as white as cream, and of a mixture of sweetness and sharpness, which much heightens the taste of it. This Fruit is extreamly cooling, and pleasant to the palate: In the midst of it lyes the seed, which is of the bigness and figure of a Bean, very smooth, and of the colour of a Touch-stone on which a piece of gold had been newly try'd; for it seems to sparkle with little golden veins.


JUnipa, or Jenipa, being the same Tree which the Brasilians call Janipaba, and the Portuguez, Jenipapo, grows up to the bigness of a Chestnut-tree, the boughes of it bowing down to­wards the ground, and making a pleasant shade: The leaves of it are long, like those of a Wallnut-tree: It bears a kind of flower like those of Narcissus, and they are of a good scent. The wood of it is solid, and in colour of a pearly grey. The Inhabitants cut down these Trees while they are yet young, to make stocks for Muskets and Fire-locks, in regard the wood being easie to be wrought, may be excellently polish'd. Eve­ry moneth it is cloath'd with some new leaves: It bears a kind of Apples, which being ripe seem to have been baked in an Oven, about the bigness of an ordinary Apple: Falling from the Tree they make a noise like that of a gun discharg'd: which proceeds hence, that certain winds or spirits pent up in the thin pellicles which enclose the seed, being stirr'd by the fall, force their way out with a certain violence. Whence it may be con­cluded, that it is the same Fruit which the Indians in New-Spain, by a barbarous name call Quant la Lazin.

These Junipa▪apples eaten without taking away the little skin within them, are extreamly binding. This Fruit is much sought after by Hunts-men, in regard that being sourish it quenches thirst, and comforts such as are wearied by travelling. [Page 32] The juice of it dyes a very dark Violet, though it self be as clear as rock-water: nay when it is applied twice to the same part of the body which a man would dye, it makes the place appear black. The Indians use it to fortifie the body, and to make it more supple before they go to the wars. They are also of a perswasion that this colour renders them more terrible to their enemies. The tincture this Fruit gives cannot be taken away with Soap; but after nine or ten days it disappears of it self. The Swine which eat of this fruit when it falls off the Tree, have the flesh and fat of a violet colour, as hath been found by experience. The same thing hath been observ'd in the flesh of Parrots, and other Birds, when they have eaten of it. There may be made of these Apples a drink pleasant enough, yet such as is only us'd among the Indians and Hunts-men, who have no setled habitation.


THe Raisin-tree, or Vine, which the Caribbians call Ouliem, grows up to a midling height, and creeps in a manner along the ground on the Sea-side: but in good ground, it grows up high, as one of the most delightful Trees of the Fo­rest. The leaves of it are round, and thick, intermixt with red and green. Under the bark of the trunk, having rais'd a white soft substance about two inches thick, a man finds a wood of a violet colour, solid, and fit for excellent pieces of Joyners work. It bears in its branches such fruits, as when they are ripe might be taken for great violet Grapes; but in stead of kernels, every Grape hath under a tender pellicle, and under a very small substance, which is a little sowrish, cooling, and of a good taste, a hard stone like that of a Plumb.


THere are three kinds of Trees known by the name of Acajou; but of those, only that we shall here describe bears any fruit: 'Tis a Tree of no great height, spreading its branches down towards the ground: The leaves of it are fair and large, closing to a roundness before, and divided by certain veins. The flowers of it at the first shooting forth are white, but afterwards they become incarnate, and of a purple colour: They grow in tuffes and bushes, and they send forth so sweet a scent, that it is easie to distinguish the Tree which bears them: These flowers fall not till they are thrust off by a kind of Chest­nut, much after the form of an Ear, or a Hares kidney. When this Chestnut is come to its growth, there is fram'd under it a very fair Apple, somewhat long, which is crown'd with that as a crest, which as it ripens becomes of an Olive-colour, while [Page 33] the Apple puts on a thin delicate skin of a lively Vermilion. Within it is full of certain spungious filaments, which yield a kind of sweet and sharp juice extreamly good to quench thirst, and accounted very good for the stomach, as also in swoonings and fainting, being qualifi'd with a little Sugar: But if it chance to fall on any Linen, it makes a red stain therein, which continues till such time as the Tree brings forth new flowers.

The Indians make an excellent drink of this fruit, which being kept some days inebriates as soon as the best French­wine would. The Nut which is above, burnt, yields a cau­stick oyl, which is successfully used to mollifie, nay to take away Corns, and the callousness of the feet. If it be crack'd there is within a kernel, cover'd with a thin pellicle, which being taken away it is of an excellent taste, and its vertue is to warm and extreamly to fortifie the Stomach.

This Tree bears but once a year; whence the Brasilians number their age by the Nuts growing on this Apple, laying up one for every year, which they keep very carefully in a little basket for that purpose. If an incision be made at the foot of this Tree there will come forth a clear and transparent Gum, which many have taken for that which is brought out of Ara­bia. The seed of the Tree is in the Nut, which put into the ground grows without any trouble.


THe Icaco is a kind of small Plumb-tree which grows after the form of a Briar; the branches of it are at all times loaden with small long leaves: Twice a year they are dress'd with abundance of pretty white or violet flowers, which are fol­low'd by a little round fruit, about the bigness of a Damsin, and that being ripe, grows either white or violet, as the flower had been before: This fruit is very sweet, and so lov'd by some Savages living neer the Gulf of Hondures, that they are called Icacos from their much feeding on these Plumbs. Those who have travell'd among them have observed, that when these fruits are ripe they carefully secure the propriety thereof to themselves, and to prevent their Neighbours, who have none in their Quarters, from spoiling the Trees, have Guards set on the Avenues of their Country, who with Club and Dart op­pose such as should attempt their disturbance.


THe Monbain is a Tree grows very high, and bears long and yellowish Plumbs, which are of a scent good enough: But the stone being bigger then all the meat about it, they are not much esteem'd, unless it be of some who mix them in the drinks of Ouïcou and Maby, to give them a better taste. The [Page 34] Swine feeding in the Woods are always fat when these fruits are ripe; for there falls abundance of them under the Trees as they ripen, which are greedily devoured by those creatures. This Tree yields a yellow Gum, which casts a stronger scent then the fruit. The branches thrust into the ground easily take root; whence it comes that they commonly set those Closes with them where they keep Cattle.

The Courbary for the most part grows higher, more leavie and bigger then the Monbain. It bears a fruit the shell where­of can hardly be broken, and it is about four fingers long, two broad, and one thick: Within the shell there is two or three stones cover'd with a soft meat, as yellow as Saffron. It is of a good taste; but if much of it be taken it extreamly clogs the stomack, and hinders respiration. The Savages in case of ne­cessity make a drink of it, which well ordered is not unplea­sant, that is, when it is well boild with water. The wood of this Tree is solid, of a colour inclining to red. The Tree be­ing old yields a Gum which is hardened by the Sun, and will continue clear, transparent as yellow Amber, and of a good scent. Some Indians make Buttons of it, of several fashions, of which they make Bracelets, Neck-laces, and Pendants, which are handsom, glittering, and of a good scent.


THere is in most of these Islands a great Tree, which the Europeans have called the Indian Fig-tree, because it bears a small fruit without any stone, which in figure and taste comes neer the French Fig: Otherwise it hath no resemblance to our Fig-trees; for besides that the leaf is of a different figure, and much narrower, it grows in some places to such an excessive bulk, that there are of them such as many men put together cannot encompass, in regard the Trunk, which com­monly is not even in its circumference, shoots forth on the sides from the very root to the place where the boughs begin, cer­tain excrescencies which reach four or five foot about, and which by that means make deep cavities, standing like so ma­ny Neeches. These Excrescencies which are of the same sub­stance with the body of the Tree, are also enclos'd with the same bark as covers it, and they are seven or eight inches thick, proportionably to the Trunk they encompass. The wood of this Tree within is white and soft, and there are com­monly cut out of those long pieces which shoot forth out of the Trunk, Planks for Flooring, Doors and Tables, without any fear that the Tree should dye: For, in a short time it so easily recovers the prejudice it had receiv'd, that it can hardly be perceiv'd there was any thing taken from it. All those who have liv'd in the Island of Tortoises, which lyes North from [Page 35] Hispaniola, have seen in the way which leads from the Plains of the Mountain to the Village, which the French call Mil­plantage, one of these Trees which may well afford shelter to two hundred men under the shade of its branches, which are always loaden with leaves very thick and bushy.


THere is in these Islands a kind of Service-tree much diffe­rent from that in France; for it is of an excessive height, pleasant to the eye, and adorn'd with fair leaves and branches. It bears a pleasant fruit, round as a Cherry, of a yellowish co­lour, spotted with little round spots; when it is ripe it falls off of it self: It tastes like a Sorb-apple, and thence it came to be so called: It is much sought after by the Birds.


ALL these Islands have Palms, nay some have four several sorts of them. One is called the Prickly or Thorny-Palm, having that name from the prickliness of it, the boal, branches, and leaves being furnished with prickles very sharp, and so dangerous, that whoever is prick'd thereby will be troubled a long time, if a present remedy be not applyed: Those which en­compass the trunk are flat, about the length of a mans finger, of the figure of a Tooth-pick, smooth, and of a tawny colour inclining to black. The Negroes before they come neer it make a fire about the foot of the Tree to burn up the prickles, which are as so much armour to it. Its fruit consists in a great tuft, which contains several greyish, hard and round Nuts, with­in which are kernels good to eat. Of this kind of Palms some Negroes get a sort of Wine by making incisions in the branches. It is probably the same Tree which the Brasilians call Ayri.


THe second kind is the Franc-Palm: It is a strait Tree of extraordinary height. The roots of this Tree are above ground, round about the stock two or three foot high, and about the bigness of a Hogshead: These roots are small pro­portionably to the height of the Tree they sustain; but they are so confusedly shufled one within another, that they afford it a substantial support. One thing particular to this Tree is, that it is bigger above then below: While it is young the bark is tender, of a dark-grey colour, and mark'd at every foots distance with a circle, which discovers very neer how many years it hath been in the ground: But when it is come to its full growth, it is all over so solid and smooth, that there is [Page 36] nothing to be seen. The top of it is adorned with several fair branches chanell'd, and smooth, which have on each side an in­finite number of leaves, green, long, narrow and very thin, which add much to its beauty. The tenderest of these branches, which are not yet fully blown, start up directly from the mid­dle of the Tree, while the others which bend downwards all about make it as 'twere a rich and beautiful crown.

This Tree disburthens it self every month of some one of its branches, as also of a bark which is loosned from below, which is four or five foot long, about two broad, and of the thick­ness of tann'd leather. The Inhabitants of the Islands call this bark Tache, and they use it for the covering of their Kitchins, and other places belonging to their habitations, as they make use of the leaves neatly ty'd together in little sheaves to cover their houses.

We have purposely ranked the Palms among the Fruit-trees of these. Islands, in regard all of them, the Latanier only excep­ted, contribute somewhat to the nourishment of men. For if the Prickly-Palm before described, afford Wine, this bears on the top of its trunk, and as it were in its heart, a whitish mar­row or pith, very tender and savory, tasting like a small Nut, if eaten raw, and being boiled, and seasoned with the thin and white leaves which encompass it, and are as it were so much linen about it, it may be numbred among the most delicious dishes of the Caribbies. The French call that marrowy sub­stance, and the leaves enclosing it, Chou de Palmiste, Palm-Cab­bage, for they put it into the Pot instead of Cabbage, and other Herbs.

Cleave the trunk of this Tree in two, and take away, as may easily be done, a certain filiamental and soft matter, which lyes within, the remaining wood, which is by that means made hollow, and a good inch thick, makes excellent long gutters, which will last a great while. They are used also to cover with one piece only the roof of the Cazes, and to convey wa­ter to any place. Turners and Joyners make of this wood, which is almost black and easily polish'd, several excellent pieces which are naturally marbled.

Pliny writes of Trees so prodigiously high, that an arrow could not be shot over them: and the Author of the General History of the Indies speaks of a Tree so high that a man could not cast a stone over it. But though the Palm we now de­scribe much exceeds all the other Trees of the Caribbies, yet dare we not affirm it to be of such an extraordinary height, since that from the foot of the Tree there may be easily ob­serv'd a fair branch, which rising out of the top of the trunk, is always turn'd towards the Sun-rising. It is renew'd every year, and when it is come out of its case, it is enamell'd with an infinite number of little yellow flowers, like golden but­tons, [Page 37] which afterwards falling, their places are supply'd by certain round fruits, about the bigness of a small Hens egge. They are fasten'd together as it were in one cluster, and that these flowers and fruits might be secured against the in­juries of the weather, they are cover'd above by a thick bark, which on the outside is hard and of a greyish colour, but with­in of a kind of Vermilion-guilt, closing upwards like a Pyra­mid. This precious fan is nothing else but the case which kept in the flowers before they were fully blown, and being opened below spreads it self into a hollow figure in the midst, and pointed at the extremities, the better to cover both the flowers and the fruit.


THe third kind of Palm is called the Latanier: This grows up to a considerable height, but not very big. In stead of branches, it hath only long leaves, round above, and spread at the extremity like a fan. They are fastened to certain great stalks which come out of certain filaments that encompass the top of the trunk, like a thick piece of Canvass, red and very clear. These leaves ty'd up in little bundles serve to cover the Cazes, and of the rind which is raised from above the tails or stalks, may be made Sives, Baskets, and several other little curiosities, which the Indians account the best of their Houshold-stuff. Of the wood of this Tree, as also of that of the Franc-Palm, they make Bows, the Clubs they use in fighting, in stead of Swords, Azagayes, a kind of little sharp Launces, which they dart at their enemies with the hand, and they sharpen therewith the points of their Arrows, which by that means are as piercing as if they were of Steel.


THe fourth kind of Palm, and the most excellent of all is that which is called Cocos, that famous fruit of which Historians tell such miracles. But it is to be observ'd that the Cocos of the West-Indies grow not neer to the height of those in the East-Indies, the trunk commonly not exceeding twenty or twenty five foot in height, of a bigness proportionable there­to. It is better furnish'd with branches and leaves then the Franc-Palm. The Islands of Monaca and Routam, at the Gulf of Hondures, are famous for their abounding with these Trees. The Island of S. Bartholomew of the Caribbies have also of them, and thence they were brought to S. Christophers.

The fruit grows upon the very trunk, at the shooting forth of the branches. It hath the form of a Nut, but is without comparison much bigger; for one of them sometimes weighs [Page 38] about ten pound. From the first bearing the Tree is never found without fruit, for it bears new every moneth. The shell is so hard and thick that it may be polish'd, and figures en­grav'd upon it, and made into Cups, Bottles, and other Ves­sels. It is encompass'd with a thick covering which is all of filaments.

When the Coco-nut is opened, there is first met with a meat, white as snow, which is extreamly nourishing, and tastes like an Almond: There is so much of this marrowy substance in every fruit as may well fill an ordinary dish. It is very firm­ly fastened within the shell, and in the midst of it there is a large glass full of liquor, clear and pleasant as perfum'd Wine: so that a man may be well satisfi'd with one of these fruits at a meal. It is only this water which is turned into seed, and among other vertues hath that of clearing the face of all wrinkles, and giving it a bright and Vermilion colour, so it be washed therewith as soon as the fruit is fallen from the Tree.

Who desires a particular account of the Cocos and its uses, as well in Physick as House-keeping, may read the large descrip­tion of it made by Francis Pyrard, in his Treatise of the Ani­mals, Trees, and Fruits of the East-Indies.

Some from the neerness of the names do sometimes confound the Cocos with the Cacao, which grows in the Province of Gua­timala, neer New-Spain, which is also a famous fruit all over America, for its being the principal ingredient in the composi­tion called Chocolate. This drink taken moderately causeth Venery, Procreation and Conception, and facilitates Delive­ry, preserves Health, and impinguates: It helpeth Digestion, Consumption and Cough of the Lungs, Plague of the Guts, and other Fluxes, the Green-Sickness, Jaundise, and all man­ner of Imflammations and Oppilations: It cleanseth the Teeth, and sweetneth Breath, provokes Urine, cures Stone and Stran­gury, expells Poyson, and preserves from all infectious Dis­eases; all which vertues are attributed to it by several credita­ble Authors.

The Cacao which was to be seen in the Caribbies, in the year one thousand six hundred forty nine, in a Garden of an Inhabi­tant of the Island of Sante Croix, which was then in the hands of the English, is a Tree much like an Orange-tree, save that it grows not up so high, and that it hath larger leaves. It is com­monly planted in shady places, even under other Trees, that they may keep off the heat of the Sun from it, which might otherwise occasion the withering of its leaves. Its fruit is about the bigness and neer the figure of an Acorn, or a middle siz'd Olive, and grows in great long cods, or husks, which are streaked in several places with little partitions along the sides.

CHAP. VII. Of Trees fit for Building, Joyners-Work, and Dying.

WE have hitherto given an account of those Trees, whose Fruits contribute to the subsistance, and re­freshment of the Inhabitants: we shall now treat of the most considerable in order to the Building of Houses, and Furnishing of them by the help of the Joyner. Which done, we shall speak of all those other Trees of several co­lours, whereof the Dyer may make use in his Profession.


THere are few of the Islands but afford good Trees for the Carpenters and Joyners-Work. Of these one of the most considerable is the Acajou, which grows to that excessive height, that the Caribbians will of one trunk make those long Shallops called Pyrages, which are able to carry fifty men. It shoots forth many branches which grow very close together, by reason of the abundance of leaves they are loaden with. The shade of this Tree is very delightful; nay some affirm that it contributes to their Health who repose themselves under it.

There are two sorts of Acajou, which differ only in the height of the trunk, and colour of the wood. The wood of the most esteem'd is red, light, of a good scent, and easily wrought. It hath been found by experience that it receives no prejudice from the Worm; that it rots not in the water when it hath been cut in season; and that the Chests and Cabinets made of it communicate a good scent too, and secure the Cloaths kept in them from Vermine, which either breed in, or get into those made of other wood. Hence some have ima­gin'd it to be a kind of Cedar: There are also made of it Shin­gles for the covering of Houses. Some Masters of Ships who Trade to the Caribbies many times bring thence Planks of this wood, which are of such length and breadth that there needs but one to make a fair and large Table.

The other kind of Acajou is of the same figure, as to the out­side, as that before described; but it grows not up so high, and the bark and pith taken away, the wood is white: Newly fell'd it is very easily wrought; but left abroad in the air, it grows so hard that there can hardly be any use made of it. The Inhabitants use it only for want of other, because it is sub­ject to worms, and putrifies in a short time. If an incision be [Page 40] made in the trunks of these Trees, they will yield abundance of Gum, whereof there might be a good use made, if any tryal had been made of it.


THe Acomas is a Tree grows up to the height and bulk of the Acajou, and is no less esteem'd by Carpenters and Joyners. Its leaves are smooth and long enough: It bears a fruit of the bigness of a Plumb, which come to maturity, is of a yellow colour, pleasant to the eye, but too bitter to be mans­meat. The Wood-Quists grow fat on it at a certain time of the year, and during that time, their flesh is of the same taste as the fruit they have eaten. The bark is of an Ash-colour, and very rough, the wood heavy and easily polish'd, and ac­cording to the places where it grows, the heart of it is red, or yellowish, or inclining to violet. If the bark be opened, there will come forth a milky liquor, which grows hard like Gum.


THe wood called Rose-wood is [...]it not only for the Car­penter, but also for the Joyner; and therefore is num­bred among the most considerable. And here we cannot but acknowledg, that if the ancient Inhabitants of the Caribbies had any design to make a firm setlement of themselves there, they might find not only things requisite for their subsistance, but also delicacies and curiosities, as well in order to their nourishment and cloathing, as to the building of their Houses, and the furnishing of them when they are built. But the flat­tering imaginations of a return into the place of their birth, whereof most have their hearts full, induce them to a neglect of all those considerable advantages which these Islands pre­sent them withall, and an indifferency, if not a contempt, for that abundance of precious things which they so liberally pro­duce. For not to say any thing at present how easily they might makes Stuffes of the Cotton growing here; how they might keep all sorts of Fowl, and tame Cattel, which breed there as abundantly as in any place in the World, they might, no doubt, enrich themselves very much by several sorts of precious wood, through the Trade they might drive into se­veral parts of Europe, since they think not fit to make use of them in order to the better accommodation of their habitati­ons. The description we shall make of some of these rare Trees in this and the next Chapter will make good this Pro­position.

Of these, as we said before, the Rose-wood is to be ranked among the chiefest. This Tree grows to a height proporti­onable [Page 41] to its bigness. The trunk of it is commonly so strait, that it is one of the greatest ornaments of the Caribbian Forests. It is cover'd with many fair boughs, and those loaden with soft leaves, downy on one side, and neer as long as those of a Wall­nut-tree. During the season of the Rains it bears white flow­ers, of a good scent, which growing in bushes, or as it were Posies, add very much to the natural beauty of the Tree. These flowers are follow'd by a small blackish and smooth seed. The bark of the boal is of a whitish-grey: The wood within is of the colour of a dead leaf, and when the Smoothing-plane and Polisher hath pass'd upon it, there may be seen several veins of different colours, waving up and down, which gives it a lustre, as if it were marbled: But the sweet scent it casts forth while it is handled and wrought causes it to be the more esteem'd, and procur'd it the name it is now known by. Some have imagin'd, that that sweet scent, which indeed is more plea­sant then that of a Rose, should have given it the name of Cy­prian-wood, and indeed in some parts of the Caribbies it passes under that denomination. This Tree grows in all the Islands after the same fashion, as to the external figure; but the wood of it is marbled with divers colours, according to the difference of the soil where it had its production and growth.


THE Indian-wood is also a precious Tree, and of good scent: Of this there is such abundance in the Island of S. Croix, and several others, that there are in them whole Fo­rests of it. It is not inferior to the Rose-wood, but grows big­ger and higher when it meets with good ground. The roots of it spread themselves very deep into the ground, and the trunk is very strait: The bark is smooth, thin, and even all over, of a bright silver-grey colour, and in some places inclining to yel­low, which is a distinction between this Tree and all others: It flourishes once a year, in the season of the Rains, and then it renews some part of its leaves. The wood of it is very solid and weighty, whence it comes that it may be polish'd, and some Savages make their Clubs of it. Having taken off a Ver­milion-pith which is under the bark, there appears the heart of the tree, which is extream hard, and of a Violet colour, for which it is much esteemed by the curious.

The good scent of this tree consists particularly in its leaves: they are of the same figure with those of the Guava-tree, and when they are handled, they perfume the hands with a sweeter scent then that of the Laurel: they derive to Meat and Sauces so de­licate a gusto, as might be attributed rather to a composition of several Spices, then to a simple leaf: It is used also in the Baths prescrib'd by Physicians to fortifie bruised Nerves, and dry up [Page 42] the swelling which remains in their Legs who have been in ma­lignant Fevers.

Besides the Acajou, before spoken of, there are in these Islands several sorts of trees whereof the wood is red, solid, weighty, and not subject to worms and putrefaction. They are excellent for both Carpenter and Joyner.


BUt above all there is a particular account made of the Iron­wood, so called, because in solidity, weight, and hard­ness, it exceeds all those we have yet described. This tree, which may be ranked among the highest and best proportioned of any in these▪ Islands, is well furnish'd with branches, and those with little leaves with sharp points, and divided neer the stalk. It flourishes twice a year, to wit, in March and Septem­ber. The flowers of it, which are of a Violet colour, are suc­ceeded by a small fruit about the bigness of a Cherry, which as it ripens grows black, and is much sought after by the Birds. The bark of the trunk is of a brownish colour: The wood is of a very bright red being newly fell'd, but lying abroad in the air it loses much of its liveliness and lustre. The heart of the Tree is of a very dark red, like that of Brasil, and of such hard­ness that the wedges must be very sharp and well try'd before, to bring it to the ground. But the wood of it being fair to the eye, solid, easie to be polish'd, and more incorruptible then ei­ther Cedar or Cypress, it abundantly requites by all these excel­lent qualities the pains is taken about it before there can be any use made thereof.

There is also another Tree known by the same name, but it is not comparable to the former: It bears only small leaves, and when it flourisheth, it is loaden with abundance of Posies, as it were, rising up above the branches like so many Plumes of Feathers, which give it an extraordinary ornament. It is of a great height, and the inner-bark is yellowish or white, accord­ing to the places where it grows. All the wood of this Tree, the heart only excepted, which is very small, very hard, and inclining to black, is subject to worms; whence it comes that it is not commonly used, but for want of other.

There are in the Caribbies many Trees fit for Dying: The most esteemed and best known are the Brasil-wood, the Yellow­wood, the Green-Ebony, and the Roucou.


THe Brasil-wood is so called, because the first brought into Europe came from the Province of Brasil, where it grows more abundantly then in any other part of America. Of this [Page 43] kind of Tree there are not many in the Caribbies, and what there is, is only in those Islands which are most furnished with dry rocks. The trunk of it is not strait as that of other Trees, but crooked, uneven, and full of knots like the White-Thorn. When it is loaden with flowers there comes from it a sweet scent, which fortifies the Brain. The wood of it is much sought after by Turners; but the principal use of it is for Dying.


THe Island of S. Croix is the most famous of all the Islands for its abundance in rare and precious Trees. There is one very much esteem'd for its usefulness in Dying: It grows up to a great height, and the wood is perfectly yellow. When the English had the Island they sent much of it to their own Country. It is called the Yellow-wood, from its colour.


THe Green-Ebony is commonly used in some excellent pieces of Joyners-work, because it easily takes the colour and lustre of the true Ebony. But the best use of it is for Dying, for it colours a fair Grass-green. The Tree is very bushy by reason its root shoots forth a great number of Suckers, which hinder it from growing so high and big as it might, if the sap were directed only to the trunk. The leaves are smooth, and of a bright-green colour. Within the outer-bark there is about two inches of white inner-bark, and the rest of the wood to the heart is of so dark a green that it inclines to black: but when it is polish'd, there appear certain yellow veins which make it look as if it were marbled.


THe Roucou is the same Tree which the Brasilians call Uru­cu. It grows no higher then a small Orange-tree: Its leaves, which are pointed at one end, have the figure of a heart: It bears flowers in colour white, mixt with Carnation; they consist of five leaves, in form like a Star, and about the big­ness of a Rose: They grow in little bushes at the extremities of the branches. These flowers are succeeded by little huskes, in which are enclosed several seeds about the bigness of a small Pea, which being come to ripeness are of the most bright and lively Vermilion colour that can be imagined. This rich Dy­ing-Commodity which is enclos'd in the said husk is so soft and viscous that it sticks to ones fingers as soon as it is touch'd.

To get this precious liquor they shake in an earthen vessel [Page 44] the seeds unto which it is fastened; then there is poured there­to warm water, in which they are wash'd till such time as they have lost their Vermilion colour; and then when this water hath rested a while, they dry in the shade the dregs or thick Lye which is at the bottom of the vessel, and then it is made up into Lozenges or little Balls, which are very much esteem'd by Painters and Dyers when they are pure and without mix­ture, as those are whereof we have now given the de­scription.

The wood of this Tree is easily broken: It is very good for firing, and if the fire should be quite out, it is only rubbing for a certain time two pieces one against another, and they will east forth sparks like a Fire-lock, which will set fire on the Cotton, or any other matter susceptible thereof, that is laid neer to receive it. Of the Bark of it are made Lines which last a long time. The Root of it gives a delicate gusto to Meats, and when there is any of it put into Sauces, it commu­nicates to them the colour and scent of Saffron.

The Caribbians have of these Trees in all their Gardens, are very careful in the ordering and keeping of them, and esteem them very highly, because from them they have the bright Vermilion with which they make their Bodies red: they use it also in Painting, and to give a lustre and handsomness to those vessels which they make use of in their houses.

There might well be numbred among the Trees fit for Dy­ing most of those which yield any Gums: For those who have had the curiosity to make a tryal thereof, have found by ex­perience, that being mixt in Dying they heighten the darkest and dullest colours, by a certain liveliness and lustre which they communicate thereto.

CHAP. VIII. Of Trees useful in Medicine, and some others, whereof the Inhabitants of the Caribbies may make great advantages.

THe great disposer of all things, having assign'd all Nati­ons the limits of their several habitations, hath left no Country destitute of means requisite for the convenient subsistance of the men placed therein; and that they might be eye-witnesses of the in-exhaustible treasure of his ever to be adored Providence, he hath impregnated the Earth with the vertue of producing not only the Provisions necessary for their nourishment, but also several Antidotes to secure them against [Page 45] the infirmities whereby they might be assaulted, and divers sovereign Remedies for their recovery when they are fallen in­to them. Not to make mention of any other part of the World, we may affirm it of the Caribbies, that they have all these rare advantages in a very great measure: For they do not only entertain their Inhabitants with a delightful variety of Fruits, Roots, Herbs, Pulse, Wild-Fowl, Fish, and other delicacies for the Table, but they also supply them with a great number of excellent Remedies to cure them of their in­dispositions. And this the judicious Reader may easily ob­serve all through this Natural History, and particularly in this Chapter, where we shall describe the Trees which are very use­ful in Medicine.


THe Cassia-tree grows up to the bigness, and comes neer the figure of a Peach-tree, the leaves of it being somewhat long and narrow: They fall off once a year, in the time of the great Droughts, and when the season of the Rain comes in, it puts forth new ones: They are preceded by several Posies of of yellow flowers, which are succeeded by long Pipes or Cods about the bigness of a mans thumb, and sometimes a foot and a half, or two foot in length: They contain within them, as in so many little Cells, that Medicinal Drug so well known to the Apothecaries, called Cassia, which the Caribbians call Mali Ma­li. Before the fruit is grown to its full bigness and length it is always green; but as it advances to perfection and ripeness it becomes of a brownish or Violet colour, and so continues, hang­ing at the branches.

When the Fruit is ripe and dry, and the Trees which bear it are shaken by great winds, the noise caused by the collision of those hard and long Cods striking one against another is heard at a great distance: This frightens the Birds, and keeps them from coming neer it; nay such men as are ignorant of the cause of that confused sound, if they see not the Trees shaking, and stirring their branches and fruits, imagine themselves neer the Sea-side, and think they hear the agitation of it, or take it for the clashing of Arms in an Engagement of Souldiers. 'Tis the observation of all those who have visited that part of St. Do­mingo where there are whole Plains, and those of a large ex­tent, full only of these Trees. It is thence, in all probability, that the seed of those growing in the Caribbies was brought. Those sticks of Cassia which are brought from America are fuller and more weighty then those which come out of the Levant, and the Drug within them hath the same effects and vertues.

The Flowers of the Cassia-tree preserv'd with Sugar gently purge not only the Belly, but also the Bladder. The sticks of [Page 46] Cassia conserv'd while they are green have also the same vertue. But the pulp taken out of the ripe fruit operates sooner and more effectually. Many of the Inhabitants use it with good success once a moneth, a little before meals; and they have found by experience that this gentle Medicine contributes much to the continuance of their good constitution.


THe Medicinal Nuts, which are so common in all the Islands, grow on a small Tree, which is for the most part used to partitions between the Gardens and Plantations. If it were not hindred from growing, it would come up to the height of an ordinary Fig-tree, which it somwhat resembles in figure. The wood of it is very tender and pithy, and it shoots forth several bracnhes which scamble confusedly about the trunk: They are loaden with pretty long leaves, green and soft, round below, and ending in three points.

Out of the wood and leaves of this Tree there comes a mil­ky juice, which stains Linen: nay there is no pleasure in being neer it when it rains, for the drops which fall from the leaves have the same effect as the juice: It bears several yellow flowers consisting of five leaves, which when they are fully blown look like so many stars. The flowers falling, there come in the places of some of them little Nuts, which at first are green, then turn yellow, and at last black, and a little open, when they are ripe. Within every Nut there are three or four stones, in so many little cells, the rind whereof is blackish, in bigness and figure somwhat like a bean. The rind being taken away, there is in every one of them a white kernel of an oily substance, which is inclosed and divided in the midst by a thin film or pel­licle: These kernels are of a taste pleasant enough, not much different from that of Small-Nuts: but if they be not mode­rately eaten they will violently purge both upwards and down­wards, especially if the skin which encloses them, and the pel­licle dividing them in the midst be swallow'd: To moderate their quality, and that they may be taken with less danger, the way is to cleanse them of those skins and pellicles, and put them for a little while upon the coals; then being beaten, or bruis'd, four or five of them may be taken in a little Wine, as a vehicle or corrective.

The boughs of this Tree being cut off and thrust into the ground do easily take root. The Portuguez extract an oyl out of the kernels, which is good enough for the uses of the Kitchin, and may also be useful in Medicine.


THe Tree which bears that kind of Cinamon which is so common in all the Islands, may be ranked among those which are useful in Medicine, since its Aromatick Bark is sought after by all those who are troubled with cold distempers, and successfully used to disburthen the chest of the viscous and phlegmatick humors which oppress it. The sweet scent and perpetual verdure of this delightful Tree have perswaded some that it was a kind of Laurel: but it grows much higher, its trunk is also bigger, its branches larger, and its leaves, which are not altogether so long, are much softer, and of a more live­ly green. The bark of it, which is cover'd by an Ash-colour'd skin, is thicker, and of a whiter colour then the Cinamon which comes from the Levant: It is also of a sharper and more biting taste: but being dried in the shade, it gives a pleasant taste to Meats.

The Islands Tabago, Barbados, and Sante Croix are account­ed to be better furnish'd then any of the rest with several sorts of wood, which experience hath found very useful in Me­dicine: For they afford Sandal-wood, Guaiacum, and Sasafras, all which are so well known, that we need not in this place make any particular descriptions thereof.


THere are several other Trees very common in all these Islands, whereof the Inhabitants may make very consi­derable advantages. The Cotton-tree, called by the Savages Manoulou-Akecha, may be ranked among the chiefest, as being the most profitable. It grows up to the height of a Peach-tree, the bark is of a brownish colour, the leaves small, divided in­to three parts: It bears a flower about the bigness of a Rose, under which there are three little green and sharp-pointed leaves, by which it is encompassed. This flower consists of five leaves which are of a bright yellow colour, having towards the stem small lines of a purple colour, and a yellow button or crown encompassed with little filaments of the same colour: The flowers are succeeded by a fruit of an oval figure, about the bigness of a small Nut with its shell: when it is come to maturity it is all black on the out-side, and opens in three se­veral places, at which appears the whitness of the Cotton lying within that rough covering: there are in every of the fruit seven little beans, which are the seed of the Tree.

There is another kind of Cotton-tree which creeps along the ground like an unsupported Vine: this bears the best and most esteemed Cotton: Of both there are made Cloths, and several cheap Stuffs, very useful in House-keeping.


THere are two sorts of Trees which the Islanders use in­stead of Soap: one of them hath this quality in its fruit, which grows in clusters, round, yellowish, and about the big­ness of a small Plumb, which hath also a hard black stone with­in it that may be polish'd: It is commonly called the Soap­fruit: the other hath the same vertue in its root, which is white and soft: both of them lather as well as any Soap; but the former used too frequently burns the Linen. These Trees are called the Soap-trees from the vertue they have to whiten Cloaths.


THe Arched-Indian-Fig-Tree is a Tree thrives best in fenny places, and on the Sea-side: Its leaf is green, thick, and of a good length: the branches which bend down to the ground, no sooner touch it but they take root and grow up in­to other Trees, which afterwards produce others, so that in time they spread over all the good ground they meet with, which is by that means so hardly reducible to bear other things, that it will yield no profit: under these Trees the wild Boars, and other beasts are securely lodg'd. They are also in ma­ny places the lurking-holes of the Inhabitants of the Islands, who having garrison'd themselves within these Trees, defie all enemies: There is further this great advantage made of them, that there being no Oaks in these Islands, their bark is good for Tanners.


NOr may we forget the Gourd-tree, of which are made the greatest part of the Houshold-vessels, used not only by the Indians, but the Foreigners who are Inhabitants of these Islands: 'tis a Tree grows up to the height and bigness of a great Apple-tree; its branches are commonly well-loaden with leaves, which are long, narrow, and round at the extre­mity, fasten'd by bushes to the branches, and sometimes shooting out of the trunk itself: It bears flowers and fruits most moneths of the year; the flowers are of a greyish colour mixt with green, and full of small black spots, and sometimes violet: they are succeeded by certain Apples, whereof there can hard­ly be found two on the same Tree of equal bigness, and the same figure; and as a Potter shews the excellency of his Art by making on the same wheel, and of the same mass of clay, Ves­sels of different forms and capacity; so Nature shews here a [Page 49] miraculous industry, by loading the same Tree with fruits dif­ferent in their form and bigness, though the productions of the same substance.

These fruits have this common, that they have all a hard woody bark of such a thickness and solidity, that Bottles, Ba­sons, Cups, Dishes, Platters, and several other Vessels neces­sary to House-keeping may be made thereof: they are full of a certain pulp, which being ripe becomes of a Violet-colour, though before it had been white: amidst this substance there are certain small flat and hard grains, which are the seeds of the Tree. Those of the Inhabitants who are most addicted to Hunting, in case of necessity, quench their thirst with this fruit, and they say it hath the taste of burnt-wine, but is too astrin­gent. The Indians polish the bark, and give it so delightful an enamel with Roucou, Indico, and several other pleasant co­lours, that the most nice may eat and drink out of the vessels they make thereof: Nay some are so curious, as to think them worthy a place among the Rarities of their Closets.


OF the Tree called Mahot there are two kinds, Mahot­franc, and Mahot-d'herbe: the former is the more sought after, as being the stronger: it grows not very big, in regard the branches creep along the ground: the bark is very thick, and easily taken from the Tree: there are made of it long Laces or Points, which are stronger then the Lines of Teil, which are used in many places: they are commonly used to make up Rolls of Tobacco, and to fasten things about the House: as for the latter Mahot, it is used where the former is wanting; but it easily rots, and is not comparable to the other as to strength.

In a word, there are in these Islands several other Trees not known in Europe, whereof▪ some only delight the eye, such as are that which is called Mappou, and divers kinds of thorny wood: others only satisfie the smelling by their sweet scents: others have venemous qualities, as the Milkie-tree, as also that whose root reduced to powder and cast into rivers inebriates the Fish; the Mancenilier, which we shall describe in its proper place, and an infinite number of others, the wood whereof is white, soft, and of no use, and have yet got no names among the foreign Inhabitants of those parts.

CHAP. IX. Of other Trees growing in these Islands whose Fruits or Roots contribute to the subsistance of the Inhabitants, or serve for some other uses.

IT hath pleased the great Contriver of all things to divide that Element, which we call Earth, into several Countries, each whereof he hath endued with certain advantages and conveniences not to be found in other places, that by such a delightful variety of things he might make a more distinct and remarkable demonstration of his own all-cherishing Pro­vidence. But it must be acknowledg'd, that in the distributi­on which the Divine Wisedome hath made of its bounties, the Caribby-Islands have had a very large portion: For, to con­fine our selves to the design we intend to prosecute, not only the greater sorts of Trees, which we have described in the for­mer Chapters, contribute to the Shelter, Nourishment, Cloath­ing, Health, and several other accommodations of the Inha­bitants; but there are also divers shrubs, or lesser Trees, which either shoot forth Roots, or bear Fruits conducing to the same purpose, as shall be seen in the perusal of this Chapter.


INstead of Wheat the Inhabitants make use of the root of a small Tree called Manyoc, by some Manyot, and by others Mandioque, of which is made a kinde of Bread delicate enough, called Cassava: whence it is also sometimes called the Cassava-tree. This root is so fruitful, that a small parcel of ground planted therewith will feed more persons then six times as much sown with the best Wheat could do: It shoots forth crooked branches about the height of five or six foot, easie to be broken, and full of small knots: the leaf is narrow and somewhat long: at nine moneths end the root comes to its maturity: Nay it is reported, that in Brasil it grows to the bigness of a mans thigh in three or four moneths. If the ground be not too moist the root may continue in it three years with­out corrupting, so that there needs no Store-house, o [...] Garret to put it up in; for it is taken out of the ground as it is spent.

To propagate this Root, you must take of the branches, and cut them in pieces about a foot in length: then make trenches in your Garden with a Hoe, and thrust in three of those sticks triangle-wise into the earth which had been taken out of the [Page 51] trenches, and wherewith a little hill or tump had been rais'd: this is called Planting by the trench. But there is another way of planting Manyoc, much more expeditious and more easie, but the Manyoc is neither so fair, nor so much esteemed as the other. The way is only thus, to make a hole in the ground with a stick, and to thrust the Manyoc strait into it: care must be had in the planting of it, that the knots be not set down­wards, for if they should the Manyoc sticks would not grow. The Indians never plant it otherwise; but that it may ripen in its season, they observe a certain time of the Moon, and see that the ground be not too moist.

There are several kinds of these shrubs differing one from the other only in the colour of the bark of their wood and of their root: Those which have the bark greyish, or white, or green, make a very good tasted bread, and grow up in a short time; but the roots they produce do not keep so well, nor thrive comparably to those of the red or violet Manyoc, which is the most common, the most esteem'd, and the most advan­tageous in house-keeping.

The juice of this root is as cold as Hemlock, and so effectual a poyson, that the poor Indians of the greater Islands being per­secuted with fire and sword by the Spaniards, to avoid a more cruel death, made use of this poyson to destroy themselves. There is to this day to be seen in the Island of Hispaniola, other­wise call'd S. Domingo, a place called the Cave of the Indians, where there are the bones of above four hundred persons, who ended their lives there with this poyson, to avoid the cruelties of the Spaniards. But let this juice, which is so venemous to all sorts of living creatures, rest four and twenty hours after it is taken from the root, and it loses that malignant and danger­ous quality.


THere are in these Islands an infinite number of the shrubs called Palma-Christi or Ricinus; and they grow up so high, and so big in some places, that▪ they would be taken for a different kind from those commonly seen in Europe. The Negroes gather the seed, and extract an oyl from it, wherewith they rub their hair to keep themselves clear from vermine. The qualities attributed to it by Galen and Dioscorides, con­firm the use these Barbarians make of it: the leaf of this shrub is sovereign for the healing of some kinds of Ulcers, as being very attractive.

There grow in all these Islands two kinds of shrubs, or rather great Reeds, spongy within, growing of themselves in fat ground neer little rivulets, or in Valleys not annoyed by winds. They are commonly called Banana-trees, or Planes, and Fig­trees, [Page 52] or Apple-trees of Paradise: These two kinds of shrubs have this common to both.

  • 1 That they grow of equal height, to wit about twelve or fifteen foot above ground.
  • 2 That their stalks, which are of a green colour, shining, spongious, and very full of water, shoot out of a great Onion, like a Pear, encompass'd with many little white roots, which fasten it to the ground.
  • 3 That they have shooting forth at the foot of the stems cer­tain Scyons, which bear fruit at the years end.
  • 4 That when one stem is cut off for the getting of the fruit, the most forward next that succeeds in its place, and so the shrub is perpetuated, and multiplies so exceedingly, that in time it spreads over all the good ground neer it.
  • 5 That the substance of both is very soft, and reducible into water, which though extreamly clear, yet hath the quality of dying Linen and white Stuffs into a dark brownish colour.
  • 6 That their Fruits lye at the top of the stem, like great clu­sters or posies.

And lastly, that their leaves, which are about four foot or more in length, and a foot and a half in bredth, may serve for Napkins and Towels, and being dried make a soft kind of Couch or Bed to lye upon.

These two shrubs have this further resemblance, that which way soever their fruit be cut when it is come to maturity, the meat of them which is white as snow represents in the middle the form of a Crucifix, especially when it is cut in thin slices. Hence the Spaniards are so superstitious as to think it a kind of mortal sin to use a knife about it, and are scandaliz'd to see any thing employ'd about it but the teeth.

But there is this to be said particularly of the Banana-tree.

  • 1 That its fruit is in length about twelve or thirteen inches, a little bending towards the extremity, much about the bigness of a mans arm: whereas that of the Fig-tree is but half as big, and about six inches in length.
  • 2 The Banana-tree hath not in its posie or cluster above 25 or 30 Bananas at the most, which do not lye over-close one to another; but the Fig-tree hath many times 120 Figs, which lye so close together that they can hardly be gotten asunder.
  • 3 The meat of the Bananas is firm and solid, and may be dress'd either by roasting it under the embers, or boiling it in a Pot with meat, or preserv'd, and dry'd in an Oven, or in the Sun, and afterwards easily kept: But the [...]ig being of a soft substance hath not the same conveniences.

To get in these fruits, the trees, which it seems bear but once, are cut at the very foot, and the great cluster is supported by a [...]ork, that it may not be bruised in the falling: But they are seldom cut till some of the fruits of each cluster be turn'd a lit­tle [Page 53] yellowish; for that is a sign of their maturity, and then be­ing carried into the house, those which were green ripen by degrees, and so they have every day new fruit.

The cluster is commonly as much as a man can well carry; nay sometimes it is laid on a Leaver, and carried upon their shoulders between two, as that bunch of Grapes which the Spies of the Israelites brought out of the Land of Canaan. Some have thought this fruit so excellent and delicate, that they have imagined it to be the same which God forbad our first Parents to eat of in Paradise: accordingly they have named it Adams Fig-tree, or the Fruit-tree of Paradise: the leaf of these Reeds being of the largeness we have before described, may in­deed be allow'd very fit to cover the nakedness of our first Pa­rents; and as to the figure of the Crucifix which may be seen within the fruit when it is cut, we leave it to find work for their profound speculations who busie their thoughts in searching out the secrets of Nature.

There are some who affirm that the figure of a Cross is also marked in the seed of the Herb commonly called Rue. The small Gentiana, or Cruciata, hath the leaves dispos'd in the form of a Cross upon its stalk; and it is to be acknowledg'd that Nature, as it were sporting her self, hath been pleas'd to make several such representations in Plants and Flowers. Hence it comes that some have the resemblance of Hair, others of Eyes, others of Ears, others of a Nose, a Heart, a Tongue, a Hand, and some other parts of the Body: There are in like manner divers famous Plants which seem to represent several other things, as Eagles, Bees, Serpents, Cats-clawes, Cocks­combs, Bears-ears, Harts-horns, Darts, and the like: whence many times those Plants derive their names from the said re­semblance. But of these it is besides our design to give any account.


THere is also in several of the Islands a little shrub which bears a seed as red as any Coral: it grows in bunches at the extremity of its branches, which derive an extraordinary lustre from it: But these little seeds have a small black spot at one end, which disfigures them, and abates much of their esteem with some; others on the contrary affirm that that diversity of colours makes them more delightful to the Eye. This may be called the Coral-tree: The seeds are used for Bracelets.


THe shrubs called by some Jasmin, and Candle-wood, may be numbred among those that are considerable in these Islands: The former bears a small white flower which per­fumes all about it with its sweet scent; and thence it had the name: The other casts forth so pleasant and sweet a scent when its wood is burnt dry, and does so easily take fire, and gives so clear a flame, by reason of a certain Aromatick Gum lying within it, that it is with reason sought after by the Inhabitants for their firing, and to serve them for a Candle or Torch in the night time.

CHAP. X. Of the Plants, Herbs and Roots growing in the Caribbies.

HAving in the former Chapters represented the Trees and Shrubs wherewith these Islands are richly furnished; we come now to the Description of several rare Plants, Herbs and Roots, whereby they are also abundantly supply'd.


THe Plant called by the French and others Pyman, or Ame­rican Pepper, is the same which the natural Inhabitants of the Country call Axi, or Carive; it grows close like a little Briar without any prickles: the stem of it is covered with an Ash-colour'd rind, and bears several little boughs loaden with an infinite multitude of leaves, which are pretty long, full of jags, and of a grass-green colour: Of these there are three kinds▪ differing only in the figure of the husk or cod, or the fruit they bear. One bears only a little red button, somewhat long like a Clove, within which there are very small seeds, much hotter then the Spices brought from the Levant, and in a manner caustick, which easily communicates that picquant qua­lity to all things wherein it is us'd.

The second kind hath a much larger and longer Cod, which when ripe is of a perfect Vermilion colour, and being us'd in Sauces, it makes them yellow, as Saffron would do.

The third hath yet a larger Cod then the precedent, which is thick enough, red as any Coral, and not smooth in all parts: [Page 55] The seed, which is not so biting, nor so spicy as those of the other two kinds, lies in the midst of it: Being ripe it is one of the most delightful fruits that may be. The seed hath been brought over into France and other parts, and hath come to perfection; but the fruit is not so big as that of America. This cod and the seed within it is us'd instead of pepper, because it communicates a certain picquancy to things, like that spice: But the operations of them differ much; for after it hath bit­ten the tongue, and by its acrimony inflam'd the palat, instead of fortifying and warming the stomach, it weakens it, and cau­ses coldness in it; or rather, according to the opinions of some Physicians, it over-heats it, and by its caustick vertue weak­ens it, causing coldness in it only by accident, inasmuch as it disperses the radical moisture, which is the seat of heat. Whence it is observ'd in the Islands, that those who ordinarily use it in their meat are subject to pains in the chest, and apt to contract a yellow colour.


THe Plant called Tobacco, from the Island Tabago, where, as some affirm, it was first discover'd by the Spaniards, had also the name Nicotianum from one Nicot a Physician, who first us'd it in Europe, and sent it from Portugal into France: It was also called Queen-herb, hence, that being brought from America, it was presented to the Queen of Spain as a rare Plant, and of extraordinary vertues. The Spaniards give it further the title of Holy-herb, for the excellent effects they have expe­rienc'd from it, as Garcilasso in his Royal Commentary of the Tncas of Peru, lib. 11. ch. 25. affirms. Lastly, the French call it Petun, though de Lery is much displeas'd at the name, affirm­ing, that the Plant he saw in Brasil, and which the Topinam­bous call Petun, differs very much from our Tobacco. The Ca­ribbians in their natural Language call it Youly. Heretofore there were known in the Islands but two kinds of Tobacco-Plants, commonly called by the Inhabitants Green-Tobacco, and Tongu'd-Tobacco, from the figure of its leaf; but since there have been brought from the Continent the seeds of Viri­nus, and the Tobacco of the Amazons, they are divided into four kinds: The two former are of a great produce, but the two others are more esteem'd by reason of their sweet scent.

All these kinds of Tobacco-Plants grow in the Islands to the height of a man and higher, if their growth be not check'd by cutting off the tops of their stems: They bear good store of leaves, which are green, long, downy on the lower side, and seem in the handling as if they were oiled: Those which grow towards the stock of the Plant are larger and longer, as deri­ving more nourishment from the moisture of the root. At [Page 56] the tops they shoot forth little branches, which bear a flow­er like a small Bell, which is of a clear violet colour: And when that flower is dry, there comes into its place a little button, wherein is contained the seed, which is of a brown­ish colour, and very small.

There are sometimes found under the leaves and branch­es of this Plant the nests of the little Birds called Colibris, which we shall describe in its proper place.


THe material of which is made the Dying commodity called Indico is got from a Plant which grows not a­bove two foot and a half above the ground: It hath but a small leaf, of a grass-green colour, inclining to yellow when it is ripe: The flower is reddish: It grows from the seed, which is sown by trenches in a streight line: It hath a very bad scent, quite contrary to that growing in Madagascar, which bears small flowers of a purple colour mixt with white, which smell well.


OF all the Spices of the Levant that have been planted in America only Ginger hath thriv'd, and come to perfecti­on. 'Tis the root of a Plant which grows not much above ground, having green long leaves like those of Reeds and Su­gar-canes: The root spreads it self, not in depth, but in bredth, and lies neer the surface like a hand encompass'd by many fingers; whence the Inhabitants of the Islands call it a Paw. This Plant may be propagated by the seed, or, as is most commonly done, by certain small roots which grow like so many strings all about the old stem and the greater roots, as there do about Skirretts. It grows with ease in all the I­slands, especially at S. Christophers, many Inhabitants of which Island have planted it, and traded in it with advantage, since Tobacco came to so low a rate.


THe Potatoe is a root much like the Saligots growing in Gardens, which are called Topinambous, or Jerusalem Artichokes, but of a much more excellent taste, and more wholsome.

Those Topinambous or Artichokes, which are now not only very common in most parts, but cheap, and slighted, as being a tteatment for the poorer sort, were heretofore accounted de­licacies: For in some extraordinary Entertainments made at [Page 57] Paris by the Princes to certain Embassadours, in the Year M. DC. XVI. they were serv'd up among the most exquisite dishes.

But the Potatoe is infinitely beyond it: It thrives best in a light ground, somewhat moist, and well ordered: It shoots forth abundance of soft leaves, of a very dark green, in fi­gure like those of Spinage: They spring from certain fibres which creep along the ground, and in a short time over-run the place where it is sown. And if the ground be well or­der'd, these fibres within a certain time frame divers roots by the means of certain whitish filaments which shoot forth below the knots, and easily fasten into the earth. It bears a flower near the same colour with the root, and like a bell, within which lies the seed: But commonly to propagate this fruit they take only of these strings or fibres, which lye scattered all over the ground, as we said, and thrust them into ground pre­par'd for them, and at the end of two or three months they will have produc'd their root, which hath this further ver­tue, that being cut into small pieces, and thrust into the ground, it produceth its root and leaf as effectually as if the seed lay in each of its least parts.

These roots are of several colours, and in the same piece of ground there will be some white ones, which are the most ordinary, some of a violet colour, some red as beet­roots, some yellow, and some marbled: They are all of an excellent taste: For, provided they be not full of water, and grew in a ground moderately moist and dry, that is, par­ticipating of both, they taste like Chest-nuts, and are a bet­ter nourishment then the Cassava, which dries up the body; for they are not so dry. Some, as particularly the English, use these roots instead of bread and Cassava, and to that purpose bake them under the Embers, or upon the coals: For being so prepar'd they are of a better taste, and are clear'd of that windy quality which is commonly observ'd to be in most roots. But for the most part they are boyl'd, or stew'd in a great iron pot, into which there is a little water put to keep the bottom from burning; then the pot-lid is set on as close as may be, that they may stew by that smother'd heat. This is the ordinary treatment of the Servants and Slaves of the Country, who eat them out of the pot with a sauce made of Pyman and juice of Oranges.

If this root were not so common it would be more esteem'd. The Spaniards think it a delicacy, and dress it with butter, sugar, nu [...]meg, and cinamon: Others make a pottage of it, and putting into it some fat, pepper and ginger, account it an excellent dish: But most of the Inhabitants of the Islands trouble not themselves so much about the dressing of it. There are some will gather the tender extremities of the afore­said [Page 58] strings, and having boil'd them eat them as a Sallet, like the tops of Asparagus or Hops.


THe Ananas or Pine-Apple is accounted the most delicious fruit, not only of these Islands, but of all America. It is so delightful to the eye, and of so sweet a scent, that Na­ture may be said to have been extreamly prodigal of what was most rare and precious in her Treasury to this Plant.

It grows on a stalk about a foot high, encompassed by about 15 or 16 leaves, as long as those of some kinds of Thistles, broad as the Palm of a mans hand, and in figure like those of Aloes: they are pointed at the extremity, as those of Corn-Gla­den, somewhat hollow in the midst, and having on both sides little prickles, which are very sharp.

The fruit which grows between these leaves, strait up from the stalk, is sometimes about the bigness of a Melon: its figure is much like that of a Pine-Apple: its rind, which is full of lit­tle compartiments like the scales of fish, of a pale-green co­lour, border'd with Carnation upon a yellow ground, hath on the out-side several small flowers, which, according to the diffe­rent Aspects of the Sun, seem to be of so many different colours as may be seen in the Rain-bow; as the fruit ripens most of these flowers fall. But that which gives it a far greater lustre, and acquir'd it the supremacy among Fruit is, that it is crown'd with a great Posie, consisting of flowers and several leaves, so­lid and jagged about, which are of a bright red colour, and extreamly add to the delightfulness of it.

The Meat or Pulp which is contained within the rind, is a little fibrous, but put into the mouth is turn'd all to juice: it hath so transcendent a taste, and so particular to it self, that those who have endeavour'd to make a full description of it, not able to confine themselves to one comparison; have bor­row'd what they thought most delicate in the Peach, the Straw­berry, the Muscadine-grape, and the Pippin, and having said all they could, been forc'd to acknowledg that it hath a certain particular taste which cannot easily be express'd.

The vertue, or shoot by which this fruit may be perpetu­ated lyes not in its root, nor yet in a small red seed, which is many times found in its Pulp, but in that Garland wherewith it is cover'd; for as soon as it is put into the ground it takes root, shoots forth leaves, and at the years end produces new fruit. It happens sometimes that these fruits are charg'd with three posies or crowns, all which have the vertue of propagating their species: but every stalk bears fruit but once a year.

There are three or four kinds of them, which the Inhabi­tants distinguish by the colour, figure, or scent, to wit, the [Page 59] White-Ananas, the Pointed, and that called the Pippin, or Re­nette: This last is more esteem'd then the other two, inasmuch as being ripe it hath as to the taste all the rare qualities be­fore described; it hath also a sweeter scent then the others, and does not set the teeth so much on edge.

The natural Indians of the Country, and the French who live in the Islands make of this fruit an excellent drink, not much unlike Malmsey, when it hath been kept a certain time: there is also made of it a liquid Conserve, which is one of the noblest and most delicate of any brought out of the Indies: they also cut the rind into two pieces, and it is preserv'd dry with some of the thinnest leaves, and then the pieces are neatly joyn'd together again, and they ice it over with Sugar, by which means the figure of the fruit and leaves is perfectly preserv'd; and there may be seen in those happy Countries, not­withstanding the heats of the Torrid Zone, a pleasant represen­tation of the sad productions of Winter.

In Physick the Vertues of it are these: The juice does ad­mirably recreate and exhilarate the Spirits, and comfort the Heart; it also fortifies the Stomack, cureth Queasiness, and causeth Appetite: it gives present ease to such as are troubled with the Stone, or stoppage of Urine; nay it destroys the force of Poyson. If the fruit be not procurable, the root will do the same effects. The water extracted from it by distilling hath a quicker and more effectual operation; but in regard it is too corrosive, and offends the mouth, palat, and uretory vessels, it must be very moderately used, and with the advice of an able Physician, who knows how to correct that Acrimony.


THe Reed which by its delicious juice supplies that sub­stance whereof Sugar is made, hath leaves like those of other Reeds which grow in Marshes and neer Ponds, but only they are a little longer and sharper; for if they be not ta­ken with a certain care and sleight, they will cut a mans hands like a Rasour. It is call'd the Sugar-Cane, and grows up in height between five and six foot, and two inches about: it is divided by several knots, which are commonly four or five inches distant one from another; and the greater the distance is between the knots, the more Sugar are the Canes apt to yield.

The leaves of it are long, green, and grow very thick, in the midst whereof rises the Cane, which also at the top is loa­den with several pointed leaves, and one kind of knot of them which contains the seed: it is as full as it can be of a white and juicy pith, out of which is drawn that liquor that makes the Sugar.

[Page 60]It thrives extreamly in a fat soil, so it be light and somewhat moist: it is planted in trenches made at equal distances one from another, either with a Hoe, or a Plow, about half a foot deep: Having there laid the Canes, being ripe they cover them with earth, and a little while after out of every knot shoots forth a root, and out of that a stem which produces a new Cane. As soon as it appears above ground, it must be carefully weeded all about, that the weeds choak it not: but as soon as it hath cover'd the ground it secures it self, and keeps its footing as well as any Copse-wood might do, and it may last fifty years without being renew'd, so the main root be sound and not injured by the worm; for if there be any jealousie of that, the remedy is to take up the whole Plant as soon as may be, and to order it all anew.

Though the Canes be ripe at the end of nine or ten moneths, yet will they not be any way prejudic'd if continu'd in the ground two years, nay sometimes three, after which they de­cay: But the best and surest way is to cut them every year as neer the ground as may be, and below the last knot or joynt.

Those who cross the Fields when these Canes are come to maturity may refresh themselves with the juice of them, which is an excellent beverage, and hath the same taste with the Sugar: But if it be taken immoderately it may occasion fluxes and looseness, especially to such as are newly come into the Country; for those who by a long abode there are in a manner naturaliz'd, are not so subject to that incon­venience.

There grow also in some of these Islands those neat and pre­cious Canes which are us'd in walking, naturally marbled, and enamell'd with several figures. The sides of great Ponds, and all Fenny and Marshy places are also furnish'd with a big sort of Reeds which grow up very high and very strait, where­of the Inhabitants commonly make the partitions of their Houses, and use them instead of Lats, for the covering of them. The Indians also make use of the tops of these Canes in the making of their Arrows.

CHAP. XI. Of some other rare Productions of the Caribbies, and several sorts of Pulse, and Flowers growing in those Islands.

HAving spoken of the Plants, Herbs, and Roots, consi­derable for their Leaves, Fruits, or Vertues, we now come to treat of some other rare Productions of these Islands, for the most part not known in Europe.


THat which the French call Raquettes, from the figure of its leaves, which are like a Racket, is a great thorny bush creeping along the earth, and not able to raise it self to any height, in regard the stem, which is only a leaf grown big in process of time, grows not much more then half a foot above ground; and though it be big enough, yet is it not to be seen till the leaves, which are green, heavy, ill-shap'd, and about an inch thick, and fasten'd one to another, encompassing it, be first taken up: they are armed with prickles extreamly sharp and small; and upon some of these long and prickly leaves there grows a fruit about the bigness of a Date-plumb, which hath also on the out-side several very small prickles, which prick their fingers who would gather them: being ripe it is red within and without, of a Vermilion colour: the Hunts-men of these Islands think it very delicate and refreshing; but it hath this property, that it colours a mans Urine as red as blood as soon as he hath eaten it; insomuch that such as are ignorant of this secret imagine they have broken a vein: Nay some perceiving that alteration in themselves have taken their Beds out of an imagination that they were very sick. Some report, that in Peru there is a kind of Plumb which works the same ef­fect: nay there are who affirm, that they have observ'd as much after the eating of a Gelly of red Goose-berries.

Those who have described Tunal, which is so much esteem'd for the precious Scarlet-dye lying in its leaves, make it like the Plant we now describe, save that they assign it no fruit. Some others have ranked it among those Thistles which bear Figs, because the fruit is of that figure, and when it is open, instead of a stone, it hath only small seeds like those of the Fig.

There is also another kind of this Plant, whereof the fruit is white, and of a sweeter, and more savory taste then the red we spoke of before: nay there is yet another, which, no doubt, [Page 62] is a kind of Tunal, on which there have been seen certain little worms in colour like a Ruby, which dye Linen or Woollen-Cloth, whereon they are crush'd, into a very fair and lively Scar­let-colour.


THe Plant called by the Caribbians Akoulerou, some of the European Inhabitants of these Islands call the Torch: it is a kind of great Thistle growing like a great bushy Briar, furnish'd of all sides with prickles, extreamly sharp and small: there shoot forth in the midst of it nine or ten stalks without either branches or leaves, growing up to the height of nine or ten foot, strait, and channelled like so many Torches: they have also very sharp prickles, like so many small Needles, which so secure them that they cannot be touch'd of any side: the rind, and what is within it, is soft and spongy enough. Every Torch bears at a certain season of the year, between the channels of the stalk, certain yellow or violet flowers, which are succeed­ed by a fruit like a great Fig, good to eat, and delicate enough. The Birds love it well, but they can only peck at it flying, be­cause the prickles hinder them from lighting on any part of the Plant. The Indians get off the fruit with little forks or sticks cleft at one end.


THere are several kinds of Plants which creep along the ground, or are fasten'd to Trees; nay some which very much obstruct peoples passage through the Forests: The In­habitants call them Lienes; some are like a great Cable, others bear flowers of several colours: nay some are loaden with great brownish husks a foot or better in length, four or five inches thick, and as hard as Oak-bark, wherein are contained those curious fruits called Sea-Chestnuts, which have the figure of a heart, and the pulp taken out, are made into Boxes to keep Sneezing▪powder, or any other sweet powder. The fruit, called by the Inhabitants Lienes-Apples, grows on a kind of Willow, which is fasten'd to the greater sort of Trees like Ivy: it is about the bigness of a Tennis-ball, and cover'd with a hard shell, and a green out-side, containing within it a sub­stance, which being ripe hath the figure and taste of Goose­berries.


THere are in these Islands several kinds of Herbs that never dye or wither, whereof some grow on trunks of old [Page 63] Trees, as Missletoe does on the Oak; others grow on the ground, and upon rocks. They have so much natural moisture, that being pluck'd, and hung with their roots upwards in the midst of rooms, where they are many times kept as rarities, and to recreate the eye, they lose nothing of their verdure.


THere is in the Island Tabago a kind of Herb, which besides its perpetual growing is also sensible, whence it is called the Sensitive Plant: it grows up about a foot and a half in height, encompass'd with a many leaves, in length a foot or better, in bredth three fingers, jagg'd almost like those of Fern, being at the extremities of a green colour checquer'd with little brownish or red spots. In the season of fruits there grows out of the midst of this Plant a round flower, consisting of several leaves standing much after the same order as those of the Marigold; but they are of a bright violet colour, and being handled have a good scent; the nature of this Plant is such, that if one pluck off the leaves of it, or so much as touch them, the whole Plant withers, and all the other leaves fall to the ground, as if it had been trod under feet; and ac­cording to the number of the leaves that had been pluck'd off it will be a longer or shorter time ere it recover that loss.

There grows such another at Madagascar, which the Inha­bitants call Haest-vel, that is, the Living-herb: but it is not the same kind as that which may be seen in the Kings Garden at Paris; for that hath a much lesser leaf, and it is neither spotted nor jagg'd and which is more, it bears no flowers: besides, its leaves being touch'd, close together by a certain kind of con­traction; whereas that we describe sheds its leaves on the ground.

There is also another kind of living or sensitive Plant in some of the other Islands: it grows sometimes to the height of a shrub: it hath many little branches, which are at all times loaden with an infinite number of long and narrow leaves, which during the rains are enamell'd with small golden flowers, like so many stars. But what makes this Plant esteem'd one of the rarest and most admirable of any in the world▪ is, that as soon as one would fasten on it with his hand, it draws back its leaves, and wriggles them under its little branches, as if they were wither'd; and when the hand is remov'd, and the party gone away some distance from it, it spreads them abroad again.

Some call this Plant the Chaste Herb, because it cannot en­dure to be touch'd without expressing its resentment of the injury. Those who have pass'd by the Isthmus from Nombre de Dios to Panama relate, that there are whole Woods of a Tree called the Sensitive-tree, which being touch'd the branches and [Page 64] leaves start up, making a great noise, and close together into the figure of a Globe.

Some years since there was to be seen in the Kings Garden at Paris a Sensitive-shrub, valued at a very great rate: But some body having advis'd the putting of it in the bottom of a Well to keep it from the cold, and the sharpness of Winter, it there miserably perish'd, to the great regret of the Curious.

Of several sorts of PEASE.

THese Islands are also fruitful in bearing all sorts of Pulse, such as are several sorts of Pease and Beans: The Savages call them by the general name of Manconti.

The Pease are in a manner of the same kinds as those growing in Europe, those only excepted, which are gather'd from a little shrub, which is about the height of Broom, and hath small, green, and narrow leaves: it bears Pease in cods or husks, which are fastened to its branches: they are green and less then the ordinary ones, of an excellent taste, and so easily boil'd, that they need but a walm or two: they are called in the Islands, The Pease of Angola, probably, because the seed was brought from that Country.

There is another kind known by the name of Pease, which yet have the figure of Beans: they are small enough; and of this kind there are some white, some black, some red or brown, all very excellent, and are ripe in three moneths. These in S. Christophers are called English Pease.


OF Beans and Fasels there grow in the Caribbies several kinds, not to be seen in the Western parts of Europe. The most common are white, to which the first Inhabitants gave an undecent name, by reason of their figure: their fruit may be eaten six weaks after they are planted: others are of several pretty colours, as those which are called Roman-Beans, or Lombardy-Beans.

But the most considerable for their rarity are those called the Seven-years Beans, because the same stalk bears seven years one after another, and spreads it self over Trees, Rocks, and whatever it can fasten on; and what is to be yet further ad­mir'd is, that at all times during the said term of years it bears flowers, green fruit, and ripe fruit: So that he who sees it,

——may well admire
Spring, Summer, Autumn in one bough conspire.

The same thing is affirmed of a certain Tree in Egypt, called [Page 65] Pharaohs Fig-tree, on which there may be seen at all times fruit fully ripe, fruit ripening, and fruit newly knit. Orange-trees have the same advantage.

Plants useful in Physick.

OF Plants useful in Physick there are many kinds in these Islands, whereof the vertues and temperament are not yet well known, and some others which are also to be had from other places: Such as are Scolopendria, and a kind of Aloes, and several sorts of Maiden-hair. There are also some, where­of trial hath been made, and they have been endued with great vertues, among which the most esteem'd are the Sweet-Rush, the Balisier, and the Dart-Herb.


THe Sweet-Rush is like other Rushes which grow neer Ponds and Rivers, but it hath a round root about the bigness of a Small-nut, which casts a sweet scent like that of the Flower-de-luce, and being dried in the shade, and beaten to powder, hath a miraculous vertue to help Women in Labour, if they take but a small dose of it.


THe Balisier grows bigger and higher, according to the soil it meets with, but it thrives best in moist places: The leaves of it are so large that the Caribbians, in case of necessity, cover their little Huts therewith. They are also apply'd to abate and mollifie the inflammations of wounds, and to make baths for such as have had their Nerves crush'd, or have contract­ed any other weakness. The flower of it, which grows like a Plume of Feathers, consisting of several yellow, or red cups, are succeeded by certain buttons, which are full of seeds as big as Pease, and so smooth and hard that Beads are made of them.


THe Dart-Herb is a sad kind of Herb, for in the day time the leaves lye close together, and in the night they are spread abroad: its leaves, which are of a bright-green, are about six or seven inches long and three broad: the root of it pounded, and applyed on the wound, takes away the venom of poysoned Darts.


MOst of the Pot-Herbs growing in several parts of Europe grow also in these Islands. 'Tis true, there are some, as Cabbages and Onions will not bear seed; yet is there no want of them. The Cabbages being ripe shoot forth many slips, which transplanted produce others, which come to be as fair and as large as if they grew from the seed. And for Oni­ons, there are good store brought in the Ships, which produce abundance of Chibols, and those only are commonly used in Pottage, and with Pease.


THere is also abundance of ordinary Melons, the seed whereof is brought thither from these parts: but by reason of the heat of the Country they grow more easily ripe, the meat is firmer and of a better taste, and they have a sweeter scent: And what is a greater advantage, they are to be had at any time in the year.


THere grows in these Countries another kind of Melons, which are common in Italy, but must needs be incom­parably better in Egypt and the Levant. There grow of them also in some parts of France, but they are naught: they are cal­led Water-Melons, because they are full of a sugar'd water, in­termingled with their meat, which ordinarily is of a Vermilion colour, and red as blood about the heart, wherein are con­tained their seed, which is also of the same colour, and some­times black: their rind continues always green, and without any scent, so that it is rather by the stalk then the fruit that their ripeness is to be discover'd: they are sometimes bigger then a mans head, either round, or oval: they are eaten with­out Salt, and though a man feed liberally on them, yet do they not offend the stomack: but in those hot Countries they are ve­ry cooling, and cause appetite.

They plant also in these Islands Mays, otherwise called Spanish-Wheat or Turkey-Wheat, all sorts of Millet, Cucumbers, Citrulls, Red-Parsnips, and other Roots, all which are of an ex­cellent taste.


NOr is it to be doubted but that the flowers of these Coun­tries are very beautiful, and admirable for their scent: [Page 67] Among others, there is a kind of White-Lilly that smells ex­treamly well; for the scent of it is like that of Jessemine, but so communicative of it self, that there needs but one flower to perfume a whole Room. The round top and the leaves are like those of the Lillies of France, but the flower hath its leaves dispers'd and divided into little Labels, as if they had been cut with a pair of Scissers: there are also other Lillies which differ in nothing from our Yellow and Orange-colour Lillies.


THere is another Plant in these Islands famous for the beauty of its leaves, the sweet scent of its flowers, and the excellency of its fruit: The Spaniards call it Grenadile; the Dutch, Rhang-Appel, and the French, La Fleur de la Passion, that is, The Passion-Flower, because it bears that rare flower wherein may be seen, not without admiration, some of the Instru­ments of our Blessed Saviours Passion plainly represented. 'Tis true, some curious Persons, who have attentively considered it do affirm, that they have observ'd therein a certain resem­blance of the Crown of Thornes, the Scourges, the Nails, the Hammer, and the Pillar: but they add withall, that most of those things are therein represented or figured much after the same manner as Virgins, Lyons, and Bears are seen among the Ce­lestial Bodies; so that to find all these representations of the Passion in those flowers, they say with Acosta in his History, Lib. 4. Ch. 27. that there is some piety requisite to help on the belief of some of them.

There are several sorts of them, all which have this common, that if they meet not with some Tree to fasten themselves too, they creep along the ground as Ivy doth; that their flowers are display'd after Sun-rising, and close again before it sets; and that they bear a delicate and very refreshing fruit: but the leaves, flowers, and fruits of some are so different, as to their outward figure, that it is not to be wondred if the Authors who treat of this Plant, imagining there had been but one kind, agree not in their descriptions thereof. The Inhabitants of Brasil number seven kinds thereof; but in the Caribbies there are but those two known, which are represented among the Sculps of this Chapter.

One hath very large leaves, which are divided into five les­ser leaves, whereof that in the midst is round at the top, and the four others pointed: its flower being fully blown is big­ger then a Rose; it is enclos'd neer the stem in three little green leaves, the body consists of several other beautiful leaves, whereof some are of a Sky-colour, chequer'd with little red pricks, which have the figure of a Crown, and others are of a purple colour: All this fair flower is encompass'd with an in­finite [Page 68] number of small waving filaments, which are as it were the beams of this little Sun among the flowers; they are en­amell'd with White, Red, Blew, Carnation, and several other lively colours, which contribute an admirable grace thereto.

The other kind hath also its leaves divided into five parts as the former; but its flower, which is like a little bowl, border­ed above with little white and red strings, is not so large: with­in it is adorned with white pointed leaves: there shoots as it were out of the heart of both these kinds of Passion-Flowers a small round Pillar, which hath on its chapter a button be­set with three grains, somewhat like Cloves. From this Pillar there issue out also five white strings, which support little yel­low knobs, like those which may be seen in the cavity of the Lillies; and these they say represent our Saviours five wounds.

These flowers, which are of a sweet scent, falling off, the button that is on the pillar grows so big, that it comes to be a fair yellow fruit, smooth, and about the bigness of an ordi­nary Apple. The rind of it is as thick as that of a Pomegra­nate, and it is full of a certain juice, very delicious to the taste, among which there is a great number of kernels, which are black, and extreamly hard. This fruit is prescrib'd as a sove­reign refreshment to such as are in Fevers, and it hath been found by experience, that it hath a singular vertue to retrive lost Appetite, to comfort the vital Spirits, and to abate the heat of the Stomack. The Inhabitants of Brasil are very care­ful in the cultivation of this Plant, using it as a singular orna­ment for the covering of their Arbours, and other places in their Gardens; for its leaves and flowers make a very delightful shade, and they make of the fruit a cordial syrrup, which is highly esteem'd among them upon this account, that besides the properties assigned it in our description, it hath also this remarkable quality, that those who are once accustomed to use it shall never have an aversion against it. The rind of this fruit, and its flowers being preserv'd, work the same effects as the juice.


THere is also an Herb called the Musk-Herb: the stalk of it is of a considerable height, and it grows very thick and close together, as a little Briar, or Bush without prickles: its leaves are long enough, and rough; the flowers are yellow, very delightful to the eye, after the form of a Chalice, or little Bell, which afterwards becomes a button of a pretty bigness, and when it is ripe, is of a white Satin colour within, and of a Musk-colour without: the seed contained within this button is also of the same brownish colour; it hath the perfect scent [Page] [Page]

Ch: 12.

Opassum p: 69.

p: 70 Tatous

Iavaris p: 70

Rocquet. p: 75

p: 71. Musk rat

p: 74 A great lizzar­d

p: 75. Anolis

[Page 69] of Musk when it is newly gather'd. And thence is it called Musk-grain, and it keeps that scent a long time, provided it be kept in a dry place, and in some vessel where it may take no air.

In like manner, several other Herbs, several Shrubs, nay most of those Lienes, or Withies which creep among the bushes, and fasten for their support on the Trees growing in the Carib­bies, bear flowers as fair and delightful to the eye, as they are sweet and acceptable to the nostril: insomuch that many times as a man crosses through the Fields, he may come to places where the Air is perfum'd all about.

CHAP. XII. Of five kinds of four-footed Beasts found in these Islands.

BEfore the Spaniards and Portuguez had planted Colonies in America, there were not in those parts any Horses, Kine, Oxen, Sheep, Goats, Swine, or Dogs. But for the better convenience of their Navigations, and supply of their Ships in case of necessity, they left some of these crea­tures in several parts of that new-found World, where they have since multiply'd so exceedingly, that now they are more common there then in any part of Europe.

Besides these Foreign kinds of Cattle, there were before in these Islands certain sorts of four-footed beasts, such as are the Opassum, the Javaris, the Tatau, the Agouty, and the Musk-Rat, whereof we shall here give the several descriptions.


THe Opassum is the same creature which the Brasilians call Carigueya, about the bigness of a Cat: it hath a sharp Snout, the neather Jaw being shorter then the upper, as a Pigs, the Ears long, broad, and strait, and the Tail long, Hairless towards the extremity, and turning downwards: the Hair on the Back is black intermix'd with grey, and under the Bel­ly, and about the Throat it is yellowish: it hath very sharp Claws, and thence doth easily climb up Trees: he feeds on Birds, and loves a Hen as well as the Fox does; but for want of prey he can make a shift to live on fruits.

What is particular in this Creature, is, that by a remarkable difference it hath a purse or bag of its own skin, folded toge­ther under its Belly, in which it carries its young ones, which [Page 70] it leaves upon the ground when it pleases, by opening that na­tural purse: when he would leave that place, he opens it again, and the young ones get in, and so he carries them with him where-ever he goes. The Female su [...]kles them without set­ting them on the ground; for her Teats lye within that purse, which on the inside hath a much softer skin then that which appears without. The Female commonly brings six young ones; but the Male, who hath such another natural purse un­der his Belly, carries them in his turn to ease the Female, but cannot suckle them. These creatures are common in Virginia, and New-Spain: Nature having not thought fit to bestow on the Whale the convenience of such a bag, gave her the inven­tion of hiding her young ones in her Throat, as Philostratus affirms. And the Weasil is so fond of her young ones, that out of a fear they might be taken from her, she also takes them into her mouth, and removes them from one place to another.


THere is also in some of these Islands, as at Tabago, a kind of wild Swine, which are to be seen in like manner in Brasil, and Nicaragua: they are in most things like the wild Boars in our Forests, but have very little fat: they have short Ears, almost no Tail, and their Navels are on their Backs: some of them are all black, others have certain white spots; their grunting is also more hideous then that of tame Swine; they are called Javaris: This Venison is of a taste good enough, but very hardly taken, in regard the Boar having a kind of vent, or hole on the Back, by which he refreshes his Lungs, is in a manner indefatigable; and if he beforc'd to stop, and be pursued by the Dogs, he is arm'd with such sharp and cutting defensives, that he tears to pieces all those that shall set up­on him.


THe Tatous, or Hedge-Hogs, which also are to be seen in Tabago, are arm'd with a hard skaly coat, wherewith they cover and secure themselves as with armour: They have a Head and Snout like a Pig, and with the latter they turn up the ground: they have also in every Paw five very sharp Claws, which they use the more readily to thrust away the earth, and discover the roots wherewith they are fatten'd, in the night time. Some affirm, that their flesh is a very delicate meat, and that there is a small bone in their Tails which helps Deaf­ness: It hath been confirm'd by experience, that it helps the Noise or Humming, and cures the pain of the Ear, being [Page 71] thrust into it in a little Cotton; some of these are as big as Foxes; but those which are in Tabago are much less.

When these creatures are pursu'd, and when they take their rest, which they commonly do in the day time, they close to­gether like a bowl, and so dextrously get in their feet, head and ears under their hard scales, that all parts of their body are by that natural armour secur'd against all the attempts of both Hunts-men and Dogs; and if they are neer some preci­pice, they roll themselves down without fear of receiving any hurt thereby. Linscot relates, that in the East-Indies, in the river of Goa, there was a Sea-monster taken which was cover'd all over with scales as hard as any Iron, and when it was touch'd it clos'd together, as it were into a ball.


THe Agouty is of a dark colour inclining to black, having a rough, light hair, and a little tail without any hair: it hath two teeth in the upper jaw, and as many in the neather: It holds its meat in the two fore-pawes, like a Squirrel: the cry of it is, as if it distinctly pronounc'd the word Coüye. 'Tis hunted with Dogs, and its flesh, though tasting somewhat rank, is by many preferr'd before that of Conies: When it is hunted it gets into hollow Trees, out of which it is forc'd by smoak made, after it hath cry'd strangely: if it be taken young, it is easily tamed, and when he is angred the hair on his back stands up, and he strikes the ground with his hind-feet, as Co­nies do: He is much about the same bigness, but his ears are short and round, and his teeth as sharp as a Rasour.


THe Musk-Rats have commonly their abode in Holes, or Berries in the ground, like Conies, and they are much about their bigness; but as to their figure it differs not from that of the great Rats which are to be seen elsewhere, save that most of them have the hair of their belly white, like Dor­mice, and that of the rest of their bodies black or tawny: there comes from them a scent sweet as Musk, which causes a certain dejection of spirit, and makes such a strong perfume about their holes, that it is very easie to find them out.

The Continent of America hath many kinds of four-footed Beasts, which are not to be found in any of the Islands.

CHAP. XIII. Of the Reptiles found in these Islands.

WE come now to treat of the Reptiles, which, being naturally enemies to cold, must needs exceedingly multiply in these hot Countries: Besides, the vast Woods and the Rocks of these Islands very much advance their production, in regard they afford them secure retreats.

Several kinds of Serpents and Snakes.

THere are indeed very few venemous Beasts in the Carib­bies, though there be many Serpents and Snakes of se­veral colours and figures: There are some nine or ten foot long, and as big as a mans arm or thigh: Nay there hath been heretofore kill'd one of these Snakes, which had in her belly a whole Hen, feathers and all, and above a dozen egges, the Hen having been surpriz'd as she was sitting: Another was found that had devour'd a Cat; whence a guess may be made at their bigness.

But how prodigious soever they are, as to their bulk, yet are they not venemous in most of these Countries: Nay some Inhabitants having of them on the thatch of their houses, which is commonly of Palm-leaves, or Sugar-Canes, drive them not thence, because they force away and devour the rats. But we must acknowledge withal, that there is an hostility be­tween them and the Poultry. It hath been observ'd, that some of them have been so subtle, as, having surpriz'd a Hen sitting, not to meddle with her during that time; but assoon as the chickens are hatch'd, they devour them, and kill the Hen, if they be not able to swallow her down whole.

There are others very fair and delightful to the eye; for they are green all over, save that under the belly they are of a very light grey: They are about an ell and a half in length, and sometimes two; but, proportionably to that length, they are very small, as being at most not above an inch about: They feed either on Frogs, which they find near some brooks, or on Birds, which they surprize on the Trees, or in their nests, when they meet with them. Accordingly, this kind of Snake is accounted noble in comparison of the others; for it subsists by its fishing and hunting. Some of the Inha­bitants, who have been us'd to see all these kinds of Snakes, handle them without any fear, and carry them in their bo­soms. Those who have travell'd into Asia and Affrick affirm, that they have there met with somewhat of the like nature: [Page 73] For they relate, that in Great Tartary there are mountains where may be seen Serpents of a prodigious bulk, but not ve­nemous at all, nay they are good meat: And that in the Kingdom of Syr some of these Creatures have been seen playing with children, who fed them with bread. It is said also, that in the Provinces of the Antes, in the Kingdom of Peru, there are dreadful Snakes between 25 and 30 foot in length, which never hurt any body.

As to the Islands of Martinico and S. Alousia it is other­wise; for there some are not dangerous at all, others are very much so: Those which are not, are bigger and longer then the others; whence it comes, that those who know them not are more afraid of them, then of such as should really be feared: Yet do they not any harm; nay assoon as they perceive any body, they make all the haste they can away; which hath occasion'd their being call'd the fugitive Snakes. They are also easily distinguish'd from the others by the black and white spots on their backs.

Of the dangerous Snakes there are two kinds: Some are grey on the back, and to the feeling like velvet; others are all yellow or red, and dreadful to look upon by reason of that colour, though they be not more dangerous, nay haply less then the former. Both kinds are great lovers of rats, as well as those without venome; and when a Cott is much pe­ster'd with rats, 'tis strange if there be not also Snakes a­bout it. They are of different bigness and length, and it is conceiv'd the shortest are most to be feared: Their heads are flat and broad, their jaws extreamly wide, and arm'd with eight teeth, and sometimes ten, whereof some are forked like a Crescent, and so sharp, that it is impossible to imagine any thing more: And these being all hollow, it is by that small channel that they disperse their poyson, which lies in little purses on both sides of their throat, just at the very roots of their teeth: They never chew any thing they eat, but swallow it down whole after they have crush'd and made it flat. Some affirm, that if they did chew their food they would poyson themselves, and that to prevent that they cover their teeth with their gums when they take their nourishment.

These creatures are so venemous in those two Islands, that when they have stung any one, if there be not a present re­medy immediately apply'd, the wound within two hours will be incurable. All the commendation can be given them is this, that they never sting any one if he do not touch either them, or something on which they repose themselves.


THere are also in these Islands several kinds of Lizzards: The greatest and most considerable are those which some Indians call Iguanas, the Brasilians, Senembi, and our Caribbi­ans, Onayamaca: Being come to their full growth they are about five foot in length, measuring from the head to the ex­tremity of the tail, which is as long as all the rest of the body; and for their bigness they may be a foot about: their skins are of several colours according to the different soils they are bred in. Hence it is probably that the Portuguez have call'd them Came­leons, out of an imagination that they were a species of that creature. In some Islands the Females are of a light green, chequer'd with black and white spots, and the Males are grey: In others these last are black, and the Females of a light grey, intermixt with black and green: Nay in some places both Males and Females have all the little scales of their skin so glit­tering, and as it were studded, that seen at a distance one would think them cloth'd in rich cloth of gold or silver: They have on their backs prickles like combs, which they force up, and let down as they please, and appear less and less from the head to the end of the tail: They go on four feet, each where­of hath five claws which have very sharp nails: They run very fast, and are excellent at the climbing of Trees: But, whe­ther it be that they love to look on men, or are of a stupid un­apprehensive nature, when they are perceiv'd by the Hunts­men they patiently expect without stirring till they are shot: Nay they suffer to be put about their necks that gin with a run­ning knot, which is fasten'd to the end of a pole that is often us'd to get them off the Trees where they rest themselves: when they are angry, a certain craw they have under their throat swells, and makes them seem the more formidable: Their jaws are very wide, their tongues thick, and they have some very sharp teeth: they will hardly let go what they have once fasten'd on with their teeth, but they are not venemous at all.

The Females lay egges about the bigness of those of Wood­quists, but the shell is soft: they lay them deep enough under the sand on the Sea-side, and leave them to be hatch'd by the Sun, whence some Authors have rank'd them among the Am­phibious creatures. The Savages taught the Europaeans the way to take these Lizzards, and by their own examples en­courag'd them to eat thereof: They are very hard to kill, in­somuch that some having receiv'd three shots of a Gun, and thereby lost some part of their entrails, would not fall: And yet if a small stick be thrust into their noses, or a pin between their eyes, where there is a little hole into which the pin easily [Page 75] enters, they presently dye: The Caribbians are very dextrous in the taking of them by a Gin with a running knot, which they cunningly get about their necks: or having overtaken them by running, they lay hold on them with one hand by the tail, which being very long gives them a good hold, and be­fore they can turn back to bite them, they take them by the chine-piece of the neck, and then having turn'd their paws on their backs, they bind them, and so keep them alive above fif­teen days without giving them any sustenance: Their flesh is white, and in some places over-laid with fat: Those who are accustomed to it think it very delicate, especially the lushious taste it naturally is of being taken away by good Spices, and some picquant sauce; yet is it not safe to eat often thereof, because it over-dries the body, and abates somewhat of the good constitution thereof: the egges have no white, but are all yolk, which makes the Pottage they are used in as excellent as our Hens-egges might do.

Besides these greater forts of Lizzards, there are in these Islands four others, which are much less; and these are called, Anolis, Roquets, Maboujats, and Gobe-monches, or Fly­catchers.


THe Anolis are very common in all the Plantations: they are about the bigness and length of the Lizzards seen in France; but they have a longer head, the skin yellowish, and on their backs they have certain blew, green and grey streaks drawn from the top of the head to the end of the tail: their abode is in holes under ground, whence in the night time they make a very loud and importunate noise: In the day time they are in perpetual exercise, and they only wander about Cottages to get somewhat to subsist on.


THe Roquets are less then the Anolis: their skin is of the colour of a wither'd leaf, marked with little yellow or blackish points: they go on four feet, whereof the fore-feet are high enough: their eyes are very lively and sparkling: their heads are always lifted up, and they are so active that they perpetually leap up and down, like Birds when they would not make use of their wings: their tails are so turn'd up towards their backs that they make a circle and a half: They love to see men, and if they stay where they are they will ever and anon be staring on them: when they are a little pursu'd, they open their mouths, and put out their tongues like little Hounds.


THe Maboujats are of several colours: those which have their abode in rotten Trees, and fenny places, as also in deep and narrow Valleys into which the Sun pierces not, are black and extreamly hideous, which no doubt occasion'd their being called by the same name the Savages give the Devil: their bigness commonly is little more then an inch, their length six or seven: the skins of them all are as if they were oyl'd.


THose which the French call Gobe-Mouches, that is, in Eng­lish Fly-cathers, from their most ordinary exercise; and the Caribbians, Oulleouma, are the least of all the Reptiles in these Islands: they are in figure like those the Latines call Stel­ [...]ones: some of them seem to be cover'd with fine gold or sil­ver Brocado; others with a mixture of green, gold, and se­veral other delightful colours: they are so familiar that they come boldly into rooms, where they do no mischief, nay on the contrary, they clear them of Flies, and such Vermine. This employment they perform with such dexterity and nimbleness, that the sleights and designs of Hunts-men are nothing com­par'd to those of this little Beast; for he sculks down, and stand as it were Sentinel on a plank, or some other thing that is higher then the floor, where he hopes the Fly will light; and perceiving his prey, he keeps his eye always fixt upon it, putting his head into as many different postures as the Fly shifts places; and standing up on his fore-feet, and gaping after it, he half opens his little wide mouth, as if he already devour'd and swallow'd it by hope: Nay though there be a noise made in the room, and some body come neer him, he is so attentive on his game that he quits not his post; and having at last found his ad­vantage, he starts so directly on his prey, that he very seldom misses it. It i [...] an innocent divertisement to consider with what earnestness and attention these little creatures shift for their livelihood.

Besides, they are so tame that they will come upon the Ta­ble while people are eating, and if they perceive a Fly, they will attempt the taking of it even upon their Trenchers who sit at Table, nay upon their hands or cloaths; and they are suf­fered to do so, because they are so smooth and cleanly, that their passing over the meat creates no aversion to those who are to eat of it: in the night time they bear a part in the Musick made by the Anolis, and other little Lizzards. And to propagate their species, they lay small Egges as big as Pease, which having co­ver'd with a little earth, they leave to be hatch'd by the Sun: [Page 77] as soon as they are kill'd, which is very easie, by reason of their attention in pursuit of their game, they immediately lose all their lustre; the gold and azure, and all the sparkling beau­ty of their skin vanishes, and they become pale and earthy.

If any one of these Reptiles we have described might be ac­counted a kind of Chamelion, it should be this last named, because it easily assumes the colours of those things on which it makes▪ its ordinary residence; for those which are seen about young P [...]l [...]-trees are all green, as the leaves of that Tree are: those which frequent Orange-trees are yellow, as their fruit [...] nay▪ there have been some, who having much us'd a Chamber where there was a Bed with Curtains of changeable Taffata, had after­wards an infinite number of young ones which had their bo­dies enamell'd with several colours suitably to the furniture of the place to which they had so often had access: some haply▪ would have this effect attributed to the force of their little ima­gination; but we leave that speculation to the more addicted to such curious disquisitions.


THere are also in several of these Islands certain creatures which have the perfect figure, skin, and head of the Fish we call a Pike, and therefore may be termed the Land-Pikes: but, instead of Finns they have four feet, which are so weak▪ that they can onely crawl along the ground, and wind their bodies as Snakes, or to keep to our former comparison, stir as Pikes▪ after they are taken out of the water. The largest are not above fifteen inches in length, and proportiona­bly big: their skin is cover'd with little scales which shine ex­treamly, and are of a silver-grey colour: Some lovers of cu­riosities have young ones in their Closets, which they were perswaded to receive for Salamanders.

In the night time they make a hideous noise from under the rocks, and the bottoms of hollow places where they are lodg'd: It is more sharp and grating to the ear then that of Frogs and Toads; and they change their notes according to the variety of the places where they lurk: they are seldom seen but a lit­tle before night, and when any of them are met in the day time, their motion, which is such as we before described it, is apt to frighten the unwary beholder.

SCORPIONS and other dangerous Reptiles.

THere are also in these parts Scorpions ▪ like those common­ly seen in France, and other places: but they have not so dangerous a venom: they are yellow, grey, or dark-co­lour'd according to the different soils in which they are bred.

[Page 78]Some who have broken up fenny places for Wells or recep­tacles for water, have often met with a most hideous kind of Lizzards: They are in length about six inches: the skin of their back is black, and beset with small grey scales, which by their extraordinary shining, a man would think were oyl'd: their bellies are also scaly, as well as their backs, but the skin which covers it is of a pale yellow: their heads are small and picked: their mouths are wide enough, and furnish'd with se­veral teeth, which are extreamly sharp: they have two little eyes, but not able to endure the light of the day, for as soon as they are taken out of the ground they immediately endea­vour to make a hole in it with their pawes, which have each of them five hard and crooked clawes, wherewith they break the ground just as the Moles do, and so make their way whither they please: they are very destructive in Gardens, gnawing the roots of Trees and Plants: their biting is also as venemous as that of the most dangerous Serpent.

CHAP. XIV. Of the Insects commonly seen in the Caribbies.

NOt only the Heavens, and other vast, and more excel­lent parts of Nature declare the glory of their Al­mighty Maker; but even the least and most despica­ble of his productions do also discover the work of his hands, and raise their minds who attentively consider them to a grate­ful admiration of the greatness of his power, and an humble acknowledgment of his Sovereignty: Out of a perswasion therefore that there are some who delightfully search into the secrets of Nature, and contemplate the wonders of God, who out of his inexhaustible treasures hath endued the most inconsi­derable of his creatures with so many rich ornaments, occult qualities, and rare beauties, we shall bestow this Chapter on the consideration of certain Insects commonly seen in these Islands, all which have some peculiar properties, as so many beams of glory to raise them from their natural lowness into some esteem.


AMong the Insects which abundantly swarm in these hot Countries there is a kind of Snailes, called by the French Soidats, that is Souldiers, because they have no shells proper and peculiar to themselves, and make them not of their foam [Page]

Ch: 14.

p: 78. Soldier

p: 77. Land pike

p: 83 Palme worme

p: 89 Horned: fly.

p: 76 Fly Catcher

A Monstrous spider p: 83

p: 84. Flying Tyger.

[Page] [Page 79] or slime, as the ordinary Snail does, but as soon as they are produc'd out of some corrupted matter, or otherwise, they have this instinct (to secure the weakness of their little bodies against the injuries of the air, and the attempts of other Beasts) to seek out some empty habitation, and to take possession of such a shell as they find most convenient for them, within which they fit and accommodate themselves, as Souldiers, who having no setled habitation take up their quarters in other mens houses, according to their necessities, and the then pre­sent posture of their affairs.

They are commonly seen in the shells of Periwincles, or great Sea-Snails, which they find on the shore, whither they are cast by the waves upon the death of the fish which had been the first inhabitant thereof: but indeed these little Souldiers are found in all sorts of other shells cast up by the Sea, nay even the shells of the Liene-nuts, and some have took up their quarters in the clawes of great dead Crabs. They have this further industry, that as they grow bigger they shift shells ac­cording to the proportion of their bodies, and take a larger, in­to which they enter, quitting the former: so that they are of several forms and figures, according to the diversity of the shells they possess themselves of: It is probably of these Souldi­ers that Pliny speaks, under the name of a kind of small Crab, to which he attributes the same properties: their bodies are very tender except their heads and clawes: they have instead of a foot, and for a defensive weapon some instrument that is like the claw of a great Crab, wherewith they close the en­trance of their shells, and secure their whole body: it is all jagged within, and it holds so fast whatever it fastens on, that it takes away the piece with it. This Insect marches faster then the common Snail, and fouls not with its foam or sliminess the place over which it hath pass'd.

When this Souldier is taken he grows angry, and makes a noise: to make him quit the habitation he hath taken up, there needs only to set him neer the fire, and immediately he for­sakes his Quarters: if it be presented to him to get into it again, he goes in backwards: when there are many of them met together with an intention at the same time to quit their former lodgings, and to take up new ones, which they are all much inclin'd to do, they enter into a great contestation, there happens a serious engagement which is manag'd with the said clasping instrument, till at length the weaker is forc'd to sub­mit to the victorious, who presently possesses himself of the shell, which he afterwards peaceably enjoys as a precious conquest.

Some of the Inhabitants eat of them, as the common Snails are eaten in some parts among us: but they are more fit for Physick then Food; for being got out of their shells there may [Page 80] be extracted from them an oyl, which is excellent for the cu­ring of cold Gouts, and is very successfully used to mollifie the hard and callous parts of the body.

There are besides, two other sorts of small Snails which are very beautiful: One is flat, after the fashion of a Scotch­mans Bonnet, and of a dark colour: The other is sharp, and turned like the Vice of a Press, and hath small, red, yellow, or blew streaks or lines, for which they are much esteemed by the curious.


THere are in these Islands several kinds of great Flies of divers figures and colours: but we must assign the first place to those which the French call Mouches Lumincuses, and we may English Glo-wormes: Some Savages call them Cucuyos, and the Caribbians by a name not much differing from it, Coyou­you. This Fly is not recommendable for its beauty, or figure, as having nothing extraordinary as to either, but only for its luminous quality: they are of a dark colour, and about the bigness of a Locust: it hath two hard and strong wings, under which are two lesser wings very thin, which appear not but when it flies; and it is then also it may be observ'd that un­der those lesser wings there is a brightness, like that of a Can­dle, which enlightens all about it: besides, the eyes of this In­sect are so luminous, that be it ever so dark, it flies any where in the night, which is the time that this glittering light may be seen.

It makes no noise flying, and lives only on flowers which it gathers off the Trees. Being taken between ones fingers, it is so smooth and slippery, that by the little endeavours it makes to recover its liberty, it insensibly gets away: Being kept in captivity it conceals all the light it hath under the wings, and communicates only that of its eyes, but even that very weak­ly in comparison of the brightness it sheds being at liberty: it hath no sting, nor any claw for its defence: The Indians are glad to have of them in their houses, for they serve them in­stead of Lamps: but indeed of their own accord, in the night time, they come into those rooms which are not kept too close.

There are in these Islands certain shining Worms, which also flie. All parts of Italy, and all the other parts of the Levant, are also full of them.

But how famous soever these little Stars of the East may be, yet are they but small sparkles in comparison of the great fire which these flying Torches of America cast forth: For they do not only guide the Traveller by shewing him his way in the night, but with the assistance of this light a man may easily [Page 81] write, and read the smallest Print that may be. A Spanish Hi­storian relates, that the Indians of Hispaniola, having these Flies fasten'd to their hands and feet, they serv'd them instead of Torches to go a hunting in the night time: it is affirmed al­so by others, that some other Indians extract that luminous liquor which these Flies have in their eyes and under their wings, and that they rub their faces and breasts therewith in their nocturnal meetings, which makes them appear in the dark to the beholders, as if they were covered with flames, and like dreadful apparitions.

These Flies are easily taken in the night time; and that is done by turning a lighted stick in the air: For as soon as those which at the close of the evening are ready to come out of the woods perceive that fire, imagining it to be one of their companions, they immediately flye to the place where that light appears to them, and so they may be either struok down with a Hat, or flying of themselves against the lighted stick, they fall to the ground, not knowing where they are.

Nor will it be amiss to insert in this place what a learned and curious French Gentleman, one Mons. du Montel, from whose generous liberality came several other remarks which enrich this History, lately writ to a friend of his concerning these Flies.

Being in the Island of Hispaniola, (saith he) I have often at the beginning of the night walk'd about the little Huts we had set up for our abode there while our Ship was repairing, to consider how that the Air was in some places enlightned by those little wandring Stars: But the most pleasant sight of all was, when they came neer those great Trees which bear a kind of Figs, and were not far from our Huts; for sometimes they flew about them, sometimes they would be within the thick boughs, which for a time obscur'd and eclips'd those lit­tle Luminaries; yet so as that their beams might ever and anon be seen to break through, though weakly, the inter­posed leaves: those pretty interruptions of light came to us sometimes obliquely, sometimes in a straight line, and per­pendicularly: Afterwards those glittering Flies extricating themselves out of the obscurity of those Trees, and coming neerer us, we had our pleasure heightned by seeing them on the adjacent Orange-trees, which they seem'd to set a fire, gilding those beautiful fruits, enamelling their flowers, and giving such a lustre to their leaves, that their naturally de­lightful verdure was extreamly encreas'd by the pleasant combination of so many little lights. I wish'd my self at that time the Art of Painting or Drawing, that I might re­present a night enlightned, and as it were turn'd into day by so many fires, and so pleasant and luminous a piece of Land­skip. Think it not much that I am so long about the story of [Page 82] a Fly, since Du Bartas sometime gave it a place among the Birds, and in the fifth Day of his first Week speaks very nobly of it in these terms:

New-Spain's Cucuyo in his forehead brings
Two burning Lamps, two underneath his wings;
Whose shining rays serve oft in darkest night,
Th' Embroiderer's hand in royal works to light:
Th' ingenious Turner with a wakeful eye
To polish fair his purest Ivory:
Th' Usurer to count his glist'ring Treasures:
The learned Scribe to limne his golden measures.

If five or six of these Flies were put into a vessel of fine Cry­stal, no doubt, the light of them would be answerable to the Poets description, and be a living and incomparable Tortch. But it is to be noted, that these Flies shine not at all when once they are dead, their light being extinguish'd with their lives.


TO come to the other kinds of great Flies to be seen in these Islands, and which some call Phalanges, besides the Cucuyos there are some that be much bigger, and of a strange figure: There are some have two snouts like that of an Ele­phant, one turning upwards, the other downwards: Some others have three horns, one rising out of the back, and the other two out of the head: The rest of their body, as also their horns, is black, and shines like Jet. There are some have one great horn about four inches in length, much after the fa­shion of a Wood-cocks bill, very smooth on the upper side, and covered with a certain downiness on the lower, which horn rising out of their back reaches in a direct line to the head, on which there is another horn, like that of the horned Beetle, which is as black as Ebony, and transparent as glass: The whole body is of the colour of a wither'd leaf, smooth, and flourished like Damask: their head and mouth are like those of an Ape; they have two large, yellow, and firm eyes, a wide mouth and teeth like a little Saw. Hear what account our curious Traveller gives of it.

‘I have seen, saith he, one kind of these great Flies, which I thought extreamly beautiful: It was about three inches in length: the head of it was azure, not unlike that of a Grass­hopper, save that the two eyes were as green as an Emerald, and encompass'd by a small white streak: the upper side of the wings was of a bright violet colour, damask'd with se­veral compartiments of carnation, heightned by a small na­tural [Page 83] thread of silver: the compartiments were dispos'd with such an exact observance of Symmetry, that a man would think that the Compass and the Pencil had in the doing of it employ'd all the rules of Perspective, and the Shadows of Painting: The neather part of the body was of the same co­lour with the head, save that there were six black feet neatly bending towards the belly: When the wings, which were hard and solid, were spread abroad, there might be seen two other lesser wings which were thinner then any silk, and as red as Scarlet. This kind of Fly I saw in the Island of S. Croix, in the custody of an English Gentleman, and I immediately writ down this description of it. I thought at first it had been artificial, because of that lively Carnation colour, and the string of silver; but having taken it into my hands, I acknowledg'd that Nature must certainly have been in an excellent good humor, and had a mind to divert her self, when she bestow'd such sumptuous robes on that little Queen among the Insects.’


THere is a Worm, or Vermine in English called a Palmer, in French Millepied, (thousand footed) from the almost infinite multitude of its feet, which are as bristles under his bo­dy, and help him to creep along the ground with incredible swiftness, especially when he finds himself pursu'd: This kind of Insect in the Caribbies is about six inches long: The upper part of his body is cover'd all over with swarthy scales, which are hard and joynted one within another, like the Tiles of a House: but what's dangerous in this creature, is, that he hath a kind of claws both in his head and tail, wherewith he twitches so home, and so poysons the place wounded, that for the space of four and twenty hours, and sometimes longer, the party hurt feels a very sharp pain.


THere are in several of the Islands certain great Spiders, which some have ranked among the Phalanges, by reason of their monstrous figure and bigness, which is so great, that when their legs are spread abroad they take up a larger place then the Palm of a mans hand: their whole body consists of two parts, whereof one is flat, and the other of a round figure, smaller at one end, like a Pigeons egge: They have all of them a hole on their back, which is, as it were, their Navel: their mouth cannot easily be discern'd, because it is in a manner cover'd over with hair, which commonly is of a light grey, but sometimes intermixt with red: it is armed with two sharp tushes [Page 84] which are of a solid matter, and of a black colour, so smooth and shining, that some curious persons have them set in gold for Tooth-picks, and are highly esteemed by those who know they are endued with a vertue to preserve from pain and all corruption those parts that have been rubbed therewith.

When these Spiders are grown old they are covered all over with a swarthy Down, which is as soft and as close as Velvet: their body is supported by ten feet, which are a little hairy on the sides, and have below certain small points like bristles, which help them to fasten more easily on those places up which they would climb: All these feet issue out of the fore-part of the Insect, having each of them four joynts, and at the ends they are armed with a black and hard horn, which is divided into two parts like a fork.

They every year shift off their old skin as the Serpents do, as also the two tushes which serve them for teeth, and are their defensive arms; those who meet with these precious exuviae may therein observe the perfect figure of their body, such as it is represented among the Sculps of this Chapter.

Their eyes are very little, and lye so deep in their heads that they seem to be only two small points: they feed on Flies and such vermine, and it hath been observ'd, that in some places their Webs are so strong, that the little Birds caught in them have had much ado to get away: the same thing is affirmed of the Spiders which are found in the Bermudez, Islands inhabited by the English: It is probable they are of the same kind.


THere is another Insect called by some the Flying-Tyger, because its body is chequer'd with spots of several co­lours, as the Tyger is: It is about the bigness of the horned Beetle: The head is sharp, and hath two great eyes as green and sparkling as an Emerald: his mouth is arm'd with two hard hooks extreamly sharp, with which he holds fast his prey, while he gets out the substance of it: The whole body is co­ver'd with a hard and swarthy crustiness, which serves him for armor: Under his wings, which are also of a solid matter, there are four lesser wings which are as thin as any silk: It hath six legs, each whereof hath three joynts, and they are bristled with certain little prickles: In the day time he is continually catching other Insects; and in the night he sits on the Trees, whence he makes a noise like that of the Cigales.

BEES, and some other Insects.

THe Bees which are in the Islands, differ not much from those of the Southern part of America, but both kinds

Ch: 15.

American Swallow p: 89.

Eagle p: 93.

Flammant p: 88.

The Colibry or Humming bird p: 93

Craw-fowle p: 87

Caat p: 88.

Pintado p: 89.

[Page 85] are less then those of Europe: Some are grey, others of a dark colour, or blewish: these last make most wax, and afford the best hony: they all have their abode in the clefts of rocks, and hollow Trees: their wax is soft, and so black that no Ar­tifice can whiten it: but in requital their hony is much whi­ter, sweeter, and clearer then any we have in these Countries: They may be handled without any danger, for they have in a manner no stings.

There are also in these Islands horned Beetles or Bull-flies, and an infinite number of Grass-hoppers, and Butter-flies, the sight whereof very much delights the eye. There are withall both on the ground, and in the air, several very troublesome and dangerous Insects, which extreamly annoy the Inhabi­tants: But of these, and some other inconveniences, we shall give an account in the two last Chapters of this first Book.

CHAP. XV. Of the more considerable kinds of Birds which may be seen in the Caribbies.

ALL the works of God speak the magnificence of the Worker, the disposal of them declares his wisdom, the Earth is full of his productions: but we must acknow­ledg that of all the Creatures, not endued with any thing above a sensitive life, the Birds do more loudly then any pub­lish his goodness and Providence, and by the sweet harmony of their singing, the activity of their flight, and by the lively co­lours and beauty of their feathers excite us to praise, and glo­rifie that Sovereign Majesty which hath so advantageously adorn'd and embellish'd them with so many rare perfections. Having therefore in the precedent Chapters treated of the Trees, Plants, Herbs, Four-footed Beasts, Reptiles and Insects which the Caribby Islands do plentifully produce to furnish the Earth, we shall in this Chapter describe the rare Birds which inhabit the Air of these pleasant Countries, and enrich the perpetual Verdure of so many precious Trees wherewith they are crowned.


AS soon as any Ships come neer these Islands, several Birds which frequent the Sea come to them, as if they had been sent to enquire whence they came: When the Sea-men perceive these Visitants they are satisfi'd that it will not be long [Page 86] ere they shall see Land: Yet are they not to flatter themselves with that hope till they see them coming in great Companies; for there is one kind of them which many times flye above two hundred leagues from Land.

The French have bestow'd on them the name of Fregates, Frigots, because of the continuance and lightness of their flight. Their body is about the bigness of a wild Drake's; but their wings are very much larger, and they make their way through the air with such swiftness, that in a very short time they will be out of sight: There are several kinds as to their feathers; for some are all black, others all grey, save only the belly and wings, in which there are some white feathers: They are ex­cellent good at fishing; and when they perceive a fish lying even with the water, they fail not, yet as it were only sporting themselves, to seise it, and immediately devour it: They have a strange dexterity in taking the flying Fishes; for as soon as they perceive that that delicate prey makes the water to rise and bubble a little, and is just upon the taking of its flight, to avoid the cruel pursuits of its Sea-enemies, they place them­selves so directly on that side on which they should make their sally, that as soon as they are out of the water they receive them into their Beaks, or Claws: So these innocent and unfor­tunate fishes, to avoid the teeth of one enemy, many times fall into the claws of another who gives them no better quarter.

The Rocks which are in the Sea, and the little un-inhabited Islands are the places where these Birds make their abode and their nests: The meat of them is not much esteem'd; but their fat is carefully kept, it having been found by experience that it helpeth the Palsey, and all sorts of cold Gouts.


THe Birds which the French call Fauves, that is, Fal­low, by reason of the colour of their back, are white under the belly: they are about the bigness of the Poule d'eau, but for the most part so lean that they are valued only for their feathers: their feet are like those of Wild-Ducks, and their beaks sharp as those of Wood-cocks: they live on small fishes, as the Frigots do; but they are the most stupid of any Sea or Land-Fowl in the Islands; for, whether it be that they are soon weary of flying, or take the Ships for moving rocks, as soon as they perceive any one, especially if it be neer night, they immediately light in them, and suffer themselves to be taken without any trouble.

HERONS, and several other Sea and River-Fowl.

THere are seen neer these Islands, and sometimes at a great distance from them in the Sea, certain Birds perfectly white, whose beaks and feet are as red as Coral; they are some­what bigger then Crows: they are conceiv'd to be a kind of Herons, because their tails consist of two long and precious feathers, by which they are distinguish'd from all other Birds frequenting the Sea.

Among the Birds frequenting Rivers and Ponds there are found in these Countries Plovers, Duckers, Moore-hens, or Coots, Wild-Ducks, and Wild Geese; as also a kind of Ducks, which having the whole body as white as snow, have their beaks and feet as black as may be; and a kind of Herons of an admirable whiteness, about the bigness of a Pigeon, but beaked like a Wood-cock: they live on fish, and delight in sandy places, and on rocks: They are much sought after for that pre­cious Plume of fine Feathers, soft as any silk, which is had from them: but inasmuch as all these are common in other places, we may forbear the descriptions thereof.


THere is in all these Islands a large Bird which lives only on fish: it is about the bigness of a great Duck, and the feathers are of an Ash-colour, and hideous to the eye: it hath a long and flat beak, a great head, small eyes deep set in his head, and a neck short enough, under which hangs a kind of craw or bag so big that it may contain a great pale of water: From which description we may call him the Craw-Fowl, as the French have properly termed him, Grand-gosier: These Birds are commonly found upon Trees on the Sea-side, where they lye in ambush to discover their prey; for as soon as they per­ceive a fish, as it were between wind and water, so as that they have them at advantages, they fall upon it, and seise it: they will swallow down great fishes whole: they are also so atten­tive on their fishing, that having their eye continually fixt on the Sea whence they expect their prey, they are easily shot, and become it themselves to others: they are a stupid and me­lancholy kind of Bird, suitably to their employment: they are so excellently well sighted, that they discover fish at a great distance in the Sea, and above a fathom under water; but they stay till they be come up almost even with it before they offer at them: their flesh is not to be eaten.


THe Islands called the Virgins are of the Caribbies the best furnished with abundance of Sea and Land-Fowl: for besides the forementioned, whereof they have good store, there is a kind of Coot, or Moor-hen, admirable for the beauty of its feathers: they are no bigger then Pigeons, but have a much longer beak of a yellow colour, are higher set, and their legs and feet are of a bright red: the feathers of the back, wings and tail are of a shining carnation intermixt with green and black, which serves for a foil to set off the beauty of the other colours: Under the wings and on the belly their fea­thers are of a golden yellow: their neck and breasts are ador­ned with a delightful mixture of all the colours they have about their bodies; and their head, which is very small, and beset with two little sparkling eyes, is crowned with a tuft of several little feathers of several pleasant colours.


THe Ponds and fenny places which are not much frequen­ted are the retreats of several great and beautiful Birds about the bigness of wild Geese, and of the same figure with those which the Dutch call Lepelaer, from the form of their beak, which hath the resemblance of a spoon: They have long necks, and their legs are of such length, that their bodies are about three foot from the ground: But they differ as to co­lour, inasmuch as when they are young their feathers are white, as they grow it becomes of a murrey colour, and when they are old of a bright carnation; from which colour the French took occasion to call them Flammans: There are of these Birds seen neer Montpelier in France, which have the low­er part of their body and under their wings of a carnation co­lour, the upper part black: there are in like manner in these Islands some that have a mixture of black and white feathers in their wings.

They are seldom seen but in great companies, and their hearing and smelling is so perfect, that they smell the Hunts­men and Fire-arms at a great distance: To avoid all surprises they pitch in open places, and in the midst of Fens, whence they may at a great distance perceive their enemies; and there is always one of the party upon the guard while the rest are searching in the waters for their livelihood; and as soon as he hears the least noise, or perceives a man, he takes his flight, and gives a cry for a signal to the rest to follow him: when the Hunts-men who frequent Hispaniola would kill some of these Birds, which are there very common, they take the wind of [Page 89] them, that the smell of the powder may not easily be carry'd to them, then they cover themselves with an Ox-hide, and creep on their hands and feet till they come to a place whence they may be sure to kill. By this sleight these Birds, who are accustomed to see the wild Oxen that come out of the Mountains to the watering-places below, become the prey of the Hunts-men. They are commonly fat, and a delicate meat: Their skins are kept, which are cover'd with a soft down, to be put to the same uses as those of Swans and Vultures.

SWALLOW of America.

SOme years since there was brought to a curious Person living at Rochel a Bird about the bigness of a Swallow, and like it, saving that the two great feathers of the tail were a little shorter, and the beak turn'd downwards like a Parrot's, and the feet like a Duck's: It was black, save only that un­der the belly there was a little white like our Swallows; in fine it was so like them, that it may well be called the Swal­low of America. We have assign'd it a place among the Sea and River-fowl, inasmuch as its feet discover its subsistence by the waters. And in regard it is so rare a Bird that no Author that we know of hath spoken of it, we thought fit to give a Sculp of it, the draught whereof was taken from the living Bird.


BEsides all these Birds, which have their subsistence out of the Sea, Rivers and Ponds, there are in these Islands a­bundance of Partridges, Turtles, Ravens, and Wood-quists, which make a strange noise in the Woods: There are also three sorts of Hens; some, ordinary Hens, such as are in these parts; others, like Turkies; others, a kind of Pheasants, which are called Pintadoes, because they are as it were painted with colours, and have about them small points like so many eyes on a dark ground-work.

There are also Black-birds, Feldivars, Thrushes, and Horto­lans, in a manner like those of the same name among us.

As to the other Birds which are peculiar to the Forests of the Caribbies, there are so many kinds, and those so richly a­dorned, that it must be acknowledg'd, that if they are not comparable to those of Europe, as to their singing, they very much excell them in the bravery of their feathers; as will ap­pear by the descriptions we shall make of some of the more considerable.


THe Arras are a kind of Birds extremely beautiful, about the bigness of a Pheasant, but as to the figure of the bo­dy they are like Parrots: They have all heads big enough, sprightly and stedfast eyes, crooked beaks, and a long tail con­sisting of very fine feathers of several colours, according to the difference of the Islands where they are bred. There are some have their heads, the upper part of the neck, and the back, of a bright sky-colour, the belly, the lower part of the neck, and the wings of a pale yellow, and the tail all red: O­thers have almost all the body of a flame-colour, save that they have in their wings some feathers which are yellow, azure, and red. There are yet others have all their parts diversify'd with a mixture of red, white, blew, green and black, that is, five lively colours, making a delightful enamell: They com­monly flye in companies: A man would think them very da­ring and confident; for they are not startled at the discharg­ing of guns, and if the first shot hath not hurt them, they will continue in the same place for a second: but this confidence is attributed rather to a natural stupidity then courage. They are easily tam'd, and may be taught to speak, but their tongues are too thick to do it so plainly as the other kinds of Parrots, to wit the Canides, and ordinary sort of Parrots, call'd by the French Perrigues. They are such enemies to cold, that they are hardly brought over Sea alive.


THe Canides are much about the same bigness with the precedent, but of a much more beautiful plumage, and therefore the more esteem'd. Monsieur du Montell, who hath made many Voyages into America, and visited all the Islands, and saw one of them in that of Corassao, gives us this account of it. ‘It deserves to be numbred, saith he, among the most beautiful Birds in the world. I took so particular notice of it, having had of them in my hands many times, that I have the Idaeas of it still fresh in my memory. Under the belly, wings, and neck, it was of a waving Aurora-colour, the back and one half of the wings of a very bright sky-colour, the tail and greater feathers of the wings were mixt with a sparkling carnation, diversify'd with a sky-colour, as upon the back a grass-green and a shining black, which very much added to the gold and azure of the other plumage: But the most beautiful part was the head, cover'd with a murrey down, checquer'd with green, yellow, and a pale blew, which reach'd down wavingly to the back: The eye-lids were [Page 91] white, and the apple of the eye yellow and red as a Ruby set in Gold: it had upon the head a certain tuft or cap of fea­thers of a Vermilion red, sparking like a lighted coal, which was encompass'd by several other lesser feathers of a pearl colour.’

‘If it were recommendable for all these extraordinary or­naments, it was much more for its familiarity and innocency; for though it had a crooked beak, and that the claws with which he held his meat and brought it to his beak were so sharp as to take away whatever it fastened on, yet was it so tame as to play with little Children and never hurt them; and when one took him into his hand, he so contracted his claws, that the sharpness of them could not be felt. He had this quality of a dog, that he would lick with his short and thick tongue those who made much of him and gave him something he liked, put his head to their cheeks to kiss and caress them, and expressing his acknowledgments by a thou­sand pretty insiouations, he would suffer himself to be put into what posture one would, and took a certain pleasure in diverting those he thought his friends: But as he was mild and tractable to those who were kind to him, so was he as mis­chievous and irreconcileable to such as had injur'd him, and he could distinguish them from others, and make them feel the sharpness of his beak and claws.’

‘He spoke the Dutch, Spanish and Indian Language, and in the last he sung Airs as a natural Indian: He also imitated the cries of all sorts of Poultry and other creatures about the house: he call'd all his friends by their names and sirnames, flew to them as soon as he saw them, especially when he was hungry: If they had been absent, and that he had not seen them a long time, he express'd his joy at their return by cer­tain merry notes: when he had sported himself till they were weary of him, he went away, and perch'd himself on the top of the house, and there he talk'd, sung, and play'd a thousand tricks, laying his feathers in order, and dressing and cleaning himself with his beak: He was easily kept; for not only the bread commonly used in that Island, but all the fruits and roots growing there, were his ordinary food; and when he had more given him then he needed, he carefully laid up the remainder under the leaves wherewith the house was covered, and took it when he had need. In a word, I never saw a more loving or more amiable Bird: 'Twas a Pre­sent for any Prince if he could have been brought over the Sea. This Bird had been brought from the Caribby Islands to Mons. Rodenborck then Governour of the Fort and Dutch Colony, which is in the Island of Corassao.


IN all these Islands almost there are Parrots, which the Indi­ans in their Language call Koulehuec, and they are seen in companies like Starelings: The Hunts-men rank them among the Wild-fowl, and think not their pains and powder ill spent to kill them; for they are as good and as fat as any Pullet, especially when they are young, and have corn and fruits to feed upon: their bigness and plumage differs according to the difference of the Islands, insomuch that the ancient Inhabi­tants know by their bulk and feathers what places they were bred in.

There is an admirable kind of them in one of the Islands called the Virgins: they are no bigger then that Bird which the Latines call Upupa, the English a Whoope, and almost of the same figure: But their feathers are of such a strnnge diversity of colours, as extreamly pleases the eye: they are apt to speak very distinctly, and imitate whatever they hear.


THe Paraquitoes are a small kind of Parrots, no bigger then Black-birds, nay some exceed not the bulk of a Sparrow: They are all green, save that under the belly and the extremities of the wings and tails they are a little yellow­ish: they are taught to speak and whistle, but retain somwhat of their wildness; for they will bite hard if they be angred: If they can get loose they will into the Woods, where they starve; for being taken young and kept in Cages where they have their meat made ready for them, they cannot pitch on those Trees which bear food fit for them.


IN some Islands, especially Gardeloupe, there is a little Bird called Tremblo from its perpetual trembling, or shaking of the wings, which it a little opens: it is about the bigness of a Quail, the feathers of a darker grey then the Lark.

SPARROW of America.

THe Islands of Tabago and Barboudos, being the more Sou­therly of all the Caribbies, are furnished with several sorts of beautiful Birds not to be found in the more Northerly: Among the rest there is one no bigger then a Sparrow is very remarkable for the beauty of its plumage; for his head, neck and back are of so bright and sparkling a red, that when a man [Page 93] hath him fast in his hand, and shews only his neck or back, he might be taken even at a small distance for a lighted coal: Un­der the wings and belly he is of Sky-colour, and the feathers of the wings and tail are of a dark red, chequer'd with little white points dispos'd at an equal distance one from another, which have the figure of the apple of his eye: he hath also the beak and note of the Sparrow, and therefore we thought fit to call him the Sparrow of America.

EAGLE of Orinoca.

THere crosses over from the Continent a kind of large Bird, which may be ranked among the chiefest of the Birds of Prey that are in the Caribbies: The first Inhabitants of Tabago call'd him the Eagle of Orinoca, because he is about the bigness, and differs not much in figure from the Eagle, and that this Bird, who is but a Passenger in that Island, is commonly seen neer the great River of Orinoca, in the Southerly part of Ame­rica: All his feathers are of a light grey marked with black spots, save that the extremities of his wings and tail are yel­low: he hath a quick and piercing sight: his wings are very long; his flight steady and swift, considering the weight of his body: he feeds on other Birds, on which he furiously fastens his tallons, and having master'd them he tears them in pieces, and devours them: yet doth he shew so much generosity that he never sets upon the weaker sort, and such as are not able to defend themselves; but he engages only against the Arras, the Parrots, and all those which as himself are armed with crooked beaks, and sharp tallons: Nay it hath been observ'd, that he falls not on his game while it is on the ground, or lodg'd in a Tree, but stays till it hath taken its flight, that he may engage it in the open air with equal advantage.


THe Mansfeny is also a kind of small Eagle, which, as the other, lives by prey, but hath not the courage of the fore­mentioned; for his hostility is only against Wood-Quists, Doves, Chickens, and other lesser Birds, which are not able to op­pose him.

There are moreover in these Islands abundance of other Birds of different kinds, whereof most have yet no names among the foreign Inhabitants of those parts.


WE will conclude this story of the Caribbian Fowl, with an account of the Colibry, or as it is otherwise com­monly [Page 94] called by English Writers the Humming-Bird, a Bird ad­mirable for its beauty, bulk, sweet scent, and manner of life; for being the least of all Birds, he gloriously confirmes the saying of Pliny, that, Natura nusquam magis quàm in minimis tota est: Nature is ever greatest in its least productions. Some of these Birds are no bigger bodied then some of the greater sorts of Flies: Some are of so beautiful a plumage, the neck, wings and back represent the Rain-bow, which the Ancients call'd Iris, the Daughter of Admiration: There are others have such a bright red under their neck, that at a distance one would think it were a Carbuncle: The belly and under the wings are of a gilt-yellow, the thighs as green as an Emerald, the feet and beak as black as polish'd Ebony, and the two little eyes are two Diamonds set in an oval of the colour of bur­nish'd steel: The head is of a grass-green, which gives it such a lustre, that it looks as if it were gilt: The Male hath a little tuft, in which may be seen all the colours which enamel that little body, the miracle of the feather'd Commonwealth, and one of the rarest productions of Nature: He lets fall and raises up when he pleases that little crest of feathers wherewith the Author of Nature hath so richly crowned him, nay all his plumage is more beautiful and shining then that of the Female.

If this Bird be miraculous as to his bulk and plumage, he is no less as to the activity of his flight, which is such, that pro­portionably the greatest Birds make not their way through the air with so much force, and make not so loud a noise as this lit­tle Colibry does by the agitation of wings; for a man would think it a little whirle-wind rais'd of a sudden in the air, and blowing in his ears: And in regard he takes a pleasure to flye neer those who pass by, he sometimes by his sudden surprisal frightens those who hear him before they see him.

He lives only on the Dew which he sucks from the Flowers of Trees with his tongue, which is much longer then his beak, and hollow as a small reed, and about the bigness of a small needle: He is very seldom seen on the ground, nor yet stand­ing on the Trees, but suspended in the air, neer the Tree whence he hath his nourishment: He is born up by a gentle agitation of his wings, and in the mean time he draws to him the dew which stays longest at the bottom of the flowers half­blown: 'Tis pleasant to look on him in that posture: For spreading abroad his little crest, a man would think he had on his head a crown of Rubies, and all sorts of precious stones; and the Sun adding somewhat to the natural lustre of his plu­mage makes him look as if he were a composition of precious stones animated, and flying in the air: In those places where there are most Cotton-trees is commonly the greatest store of Colibris.

[Page 95]Though his plumage lose much of its beauty when he is dead, yet is there so much left, that some Ladies have worn them for Pendants: Nay some have imagined they became them bet­ter then any other.

This miraculous Bird is not only extreamly delightful as to his colours, but there is one kind of it which having recreated the eye, satisfies also the nostril by the sweetness of his scent, which is like that of the finest Musk and Amber.

He commonly makes his nest under a small branch of some Orange-tree, or Cotton-tree, and as it must be proportiona­ble to the smallness of his bulk, he so covers it among the leaves, and so industriously secures it against the injuries of the wea­ther, that it is in a manner imperceptible: he is such an excel­lent Architect, that to prevent his being expos'd to the Easterly and Northerly Winds, which are the ordinary winds in those parts, he places his nest towards the South: It consists on the out-side of little strings taken from a Plant called Pite, and wherewith the Indians make their cordage: These little strings or filaments are as small as a mans hair, but much stronger: He ties them and weaves them one into another so closely about the little forked branch which he hath chosen for the perpetuation of his species, that the nest being thus among the leaves, and hanging under the branch, is, as we said before, both out of sight and out of danger: Having made it strong and fortifi'd it on the out-side with these filaments, and by some lit­tle bits of bark and small herbs interlaced one within another by a miraculous artifice, he furnishes it within with the finest Cotton, and the Down of certain little feathers softer then any silk: The Female commonly lays but two egges which are oval, about the bigness of a Pea or small Pearl.

To what is abovesaid we shall add the account given of it by our noble Traveller (du Montel) in his familiar Relations to a friend of his: ‘There are, saith he, sometimes found the nests of the Colibris under the branches of those Plants of To­bacco which are suffered to grow as high as they can for seed. I remember a Negro of ours shew'd me one of them, which was very neatly fashioned, under one of those branches: Nay being in S. Christophers, an English-man shew'd me one of them, which was fastened to one of the Reeds that sustain'd the co­vering of a Hut. I saw also one of these nests, together with the egges, which was fastened to a branch that had been cut off to adorn the Closet of a curious person, who had also the Male and Female dried and preserv'd entire; and there it was that I attentively considered both the Nest and Bird; and having admired the operations of Divine Providence in that little creature, how could I less then be astonish'd at the mira­culous Architecture of the Nest, which though built with an unexpressible artificel, was nevertheless performed only with his little beak?’

[Page 96]There are of these Birds seen in most of the Caribby Islands, but according to the diversity of the Islands they also differ as to bigness and plumage: The most beautiful and least as to bulk are in the Island of Aruba, which depends on the Dutch Colony at Corassao.

It might haply be here expected we should speak of the sing­ing of this Bird, and that having entertain'd the sight with its beauty, and the smelling with its scent, it should also satisfie the ear with its harmonious musick: Some affirm that there is a kind of them that sings at a certain season of the year: But it is probable that what is called the singing of the Colibry, is only a little noise like that of the Cigale, which is always the same note. But though it should not sing at all, it is endued with so many other extraordinary advantages of Nature, that it may be ranked among the most beautiful, and most excellent of Birds.

Those who have liv'd at Brasil do unanimously affirm, that there is in those parts a little Bird called Gonambuch, of a shi­ning white colour, whose body is no bigger then that of a Hor­net, and as to a clear and distinct note is nothing inferiour to the Nightingale: It's possible it may be a kind of Colibry, as in­deed some do make it; yet is it not comparable, either as to beauty of feathers or scent, and other transcendent qualities, to that whose description we have here made.

Those have come neerer the mark who have affirmed that this master-piece of Nature is a kind of those little Birds, which some Indians call Guaraciaba, or Guacariga, that is to say, Sun­beam, and Guaracigaba, that is, Hair of the Sun: The Spani­ards call it Tomineios, forasmuch as having put one of them with his nest into a pair of Scales wherewith gold is weigh'd, it commonly weighs not above two of those little weights, which the same Spaniards call Tominos, that is, four and twen­ty grains.

Some have been of opinion that some of these excellent Co­libris were at first Flies, which were afterwards transform'd into Birds: Others have written that the Caribbians called these Birds Renati, or New-born, because they sleep one half of the year, as the Dormice do, and that they awake in the Spring, recovering as it were a new life with that delightful season of the year: Nay there are some affirm, that when the leaves fall they thrust their little beaks into the trunks of the Trees, and there remain immoveable, and as it were dead, for six moneths, till the earth puts on a new livery of flowers: But these are frivolous stories grounded on conjectures, which may be touch'd by the way, but not admitted to any competion with the true account we give of our Colibry.

We will conclude this Chapter with a thing worthy obser­vation, which yet happens not in other parts, unless haply in

Ch: 16.

p: 94. Flying fishes

Ch: 16.

Sea Parrat p: 98

A Rock-fish p: 100

Bonite p: 99

[Page 97] Guiny, as Linscot reporteth: It is the wonderful instinct which God hath bestow'd on all the smaller sorts of Birds in America, to preserve their species; inasmuch as there being in the Woods a kind of long Snakes green and small, which crawling up the Trees might wriggling themselves from branch to branch devour the egges of the Birds, which they are extream­ly greedy of: to prevent the coming of these to their nests, all the lesser Birds, which are not so well beaked as to make their party good against these enemies, make their nests at the fork­ed end of certain small filaments, which like Ivy growing on the ground crawl up the Trees, and being come to the top, and not able to get any higher, fall down again, and sometimes reach two or three fathom below the branches. At the very extremity of these ligaments or filaments, by the French called Lienes, the Birds fasten their nests with such strength and in­dustry, that a man cannot sufficiently admire either the materi­als or workmanship of those little hanging edifices. The Par­rots and other stronger Birds make their nests in hollow Trees, or upon the boughs, as those in these parts do; for with the of­fensive arms of their beaks and claws they are able to engage their profess'd enemies the Snakes.

CHAP. XVI. Of the Sea and River-Fish of the Caribbies.

WE shall not promise so exact and full a History of the Fish of these Islands as so ample a subject might re­quire: but having already given an account of the accommodations of these happy Countries, as to the Land, the order of our Design requires that we should now speak of the productions of the Sea which encompass them, and the Rivers that run through them. The business therefore of this Chap­ter shall be to give a short description of the most excellent Fishes wherewith they are plentifully furnish'd, in order to the subsistance of men; that the consideration thereof may work in us the deepest acknowledgments imaginable of that Provi­dence which hath display'd its miracles in the deep waters, as well as on the dry land; and consequently that it is just that the Heavens and the Earth should praise him, the Sea and whatever moves therein.


THere are some who think what is said of the Flying-Fishes a pure fiction, though confirmed by the relations of ma­ny famous Travellers: But what opinion soever they may have thereof who believe only what they have seen, it is a certain truth, that as soon as Ships have pass'd the Canaries, thence to the Islands of America, there are often seen rising out of the Sea great numbers of Fishes which flye about the height of a Pike above the water, and neer a hundred paces distance, but no more, in regard their wings are dried by the Sun: They are somewhat like Herrings, but have a rounder head, and they are broader on the back: their wings are like those of a Bat, which begin a little below the head, and reach almost to the tail: It happens many times that in their flight they strike against the sails of Ships, and fall even in the day time upon the Deck: Those who have dress'd and eaten of them think them very delicate: Their forsaking the Sea their proper Element, is oc­casion'd upon their being pursu'd by other greater Fishes which prey on them; and to avoid meeting with them they quit their proper Element, making a sally into the air, and changing the [...] finnes into wings to eschew the danger; but they meet with enemies in the air as well as in the water; for there are certain Sea-fowls living only by prey, which have an open hostility against them, and take them as they flye, as was said in the pre­cedent Chapter.


THere are also in these parts certain Fishes scaled like a Carp, but as to colour are as green as a Parrot, whence they are by some called Sea-Parrots: They have beautiful and sparkling eyes, the balls clear as Chrystal, encompass'd by a cir­cle argent, which is enclos'd within another as green as an Emerald, of which colour are the scales of their backs; for those under the belly are of a yellowish green: They have no teeth, but jaws above and below of a solid bone, which is very strong, of the same colour as their scales, and divided into lit­tle compartiments very beautiful to the eye: They live on Shell-Fish, and with those hard jaw-bones they crush, as be­tween two mill-stones, Oysters, Muscles, and other Shell-fish, to get out the meat: They are an excellent kind of fish to eat, and so big, that some of them have weigh'd above twenty pounds.

[Page] [Page]

Ch: 16

Dorada p: 99:

Rock-fish p: 100.

Ch: 17


Shark-fish p: 102.

Lamantin p: 103

Sea Cock p: 106.

Becune p: 106.


THe Dorado, by some called the Sea-Bream, by others the Amber-Fish, is also common in these parts: it is called Do­rado, because in the water the head of it seems to be of a green gilt, and the rest of the body as yellow as gold, and azur'd, as a clear sky: It takes a pleasure in following the ships, but swims so swiftly that the must be very dextrous that shall take it either with the iron-hook, or long staff with the casting-net at the end of it, which are the instruments wherewith Sea-men are wont to take great fishes: Nor can a man imagine a fish better furnish'd for swimming then this; for he hath the fore-part of the head sharp, the back bristled with prickles reaching to the tail, which is forked, two fins of each side of the head, and as many under the belly, small scales, and the whole body of a figure rather broad then big, all which give him a strange com­mand of the waters: some of them are about five foot in length: Many account the meat of this fish, though a little dry, as pleasant to the taste as that of a Trout or Salmon, so the dryness of it be corrected with a little good sauce: When the Portuguez see these Dorados following their Ships, they stand on the Bow-sprit with a line in their hand, at the end whereof there is only a piece of white linen fasten'd to the hook without any other bait.


THere is another Fish which commonly follows the Ships, called a Bonite: It is big, and hath much meat about it, and about two foot in length: The skin of it seems to be of a very dark green, and whitish under the belly: It hath scales only on both sides, and there only two ranks of very little ones along a yellowish line, reaching from one side to the other, be­ginning at the head to the tail, which is forked: It is taken with great hooks cast out on the sides of the Ship; which may be done without any hindrance to the Voyage: This Fish is as greedy as the Cod, and taken with any baits, even with the entrails of other fish: He is more common in the main Sea, then on the Coasts, and very good meat eaten fresh; but much more delicate having lain a little while in Pepper and Salt before it be dress'd: Some conceive this to be the same fish with another call'd by the French Thon, which is common on all the Coasts of the Mediterranean Sea.


THere is a Fish without scales, four foot or thereabouts in length, called the Needle-Fish: The head of it is sharp, a foot or better in length, the eyes large and shining, and en­compass'd with a red circle: The skin of his back is streaked with blew and green lines, and that under the belly is white in­termixt wi [...]h red: It hath eight fins which somwhat incline to yellow, and a very sharp tail, whence probably it came to be so called, as the figure of the head gave the Dutch occasion to name it Tabac-pype, that is, Tobacco-pipe.

The Coasts of these Islands are furnished also with Carangues and Mullets, which come sometimes into the fresh waters, and are taken in the Rivers; as also Rock-Fishes, which are red in­termixt with several other colours: They are called Rock-Fishes, because they are taken neer the Rocks. There are also a kind of fish called Negroes, or Sea-Devils, which are large, and have a black scale, but their meat is white and excellent good; and an infi [...]ite number of Fish, which for the most part differ from those seen in Europe, and have yet no names among us.

Nor are the Rivers behind hand in supplying the Inhabitants of these Islands with abundance of excellent Fish: and if we may bring small things into competition with great, they are pro­portionably to their extent as plentiful thereof as the Sea it self. 'Tis true, there are not any Pikes or Carpes, nor some other fish which are common in these parts; but there is great store of others which are known only to the Indians, and whereof some are not much different as to figure from ours.

CHAP. XVII. Of the Sea-Monsters found in these Islands.

THose who have writ the History of Fish have ranked among the Whales all such as are of extraordinary bigness, as they have comprehended under the name of Monsters all those that are of a hideous shape, or living by prey are the destructive Inhabitants of the Waters, as Lyons, Bears, Tygers, and other wild beasts are of the Earth: We shall treat in this Chapter of both, that is of all those which are of a prodigious bulk, or dreadful as to their ugly shapes, or to be feared by reason of the mischief done by them: So that we must for a time descend into the abysses of the Main, where there are creeping things innumerable, as the royal Prophet saith, [Page 101] and both small and great Beasts; and after we have contemplated the works of the Lord therein, rise up again to celebrate his mercy towards the Children of Men.


AMong the Sea-Monsters that which the French call L'Espa­don (a word signifying a short sword) is one of the most remarkable: it hath at the end of the upper jaw a defensive weapon, about the breadth of a great Courtelas, which hath hard and sharp teeth on both sides: These defensives in some of them are about five foot in length, and about six inches broad at the lower end, and palizadoed with twenty seven white and solid teeth in each rank, and the bulk of their bo­dies bears a porportion thereto: The head of this monster is flat and hideous to behold, being of the figure of a heart: They have neer their eyes two vents at which they cast out the water which they had swallowed: They have no scales, but a greyish skin on the back, and a white under the belly, which is rough like a file: They have seven fins, two of each side, two on the back, and that which serves them for a tail: Some call them Saw-fishes; some Emperors, because there is an ho­stility between them and the Whale, which they many times wound to death.


THe Marsoüins are the Sea-Hogs, or Porposes, which go to­gether in great companies, and sporting themselves leap up above the water, and following all of them as many as are together the same course: They many times of themselves come neer enough to the ships, and such as are dextrous do now and then take some of them: Their meat is of a dark colour; the fattest have not above an inch or two of fat: They have a sharp snout, a very broad tail, greyish skin, and a hole upon the top of their heads, through which they breathe and cast out water: They grunt almost like the Land-Swine: Their blood is hot, and their entrails like those of a Pig, and they are much of the same taste; but their meat is of hard di­gestion.

There is another kind of Porposes which have the snout round and hollow, and from the resemblance there is between their heads and the frocks of Friers, some call them Monks­heads, and Sea-Monks.


THe Requiem, otherwise called the Shark-Fish, is a kind of Sea-Dog or Sea-Wolf, the most devouring of all Fishes, and the most greedy of mans flesh: He is much to be feared by such as go a swimming: He lives altogether by prey, and com­monly follows the ships to feed on the filth cast out of them in­to the sea. These Monsters seem to be of a yellowish colour in the water: Some of them are of an unmeasurable length and bigness, and such as are able to cut a man in two at one bite: Their skin is rough, and there are made of it soft files to polish wood: Their heads are flat, and the opening of their mouth is not just before the snout, but under it: Whence it comes, that to fasten on their prey they are forc'd to turn their bellies al­most upwards: Their teeth are very sharp and very broad, being jagged all about like a Saw: Some of them have three or four ranks of these in each jaw-bone: These teeth lye with­in the gums, but they make them sufficiently appear when there is occasion.

These cruel Sea-Dogs are attended by two or three small fishes, and sometimes more, which go before them with such swiftness, and so regular a motion, that they either advance or halt more or less according as they perceive the Requiems do: Some call them Rambos, and Pilgrims, and the French Mari­ners, the Requiems Pilots, inasmuch as those small fishes seem to be their convoys: They are not much above a foot in length, and of a proportionable bigness: But their scales are beautified with so many pretty and lively colours, that it might be said, they were encompass'd which chains of Pearl, Coral, Eme­rald, and other precious stones: A man can hardly be weary of looking on them in the water.

It is in like manner affirmed, that the Whale where-ever she goes hath marching before her a little fish like a Sea-Gudgeon, which from that service is called her Guide: The Whale fol­lows him, suffering her self to be led and turn'd as easily as the Rudder causes the Ship to turn about; and in requital of this service, whereas whatever else enters into the horrid Chaos of this Monsters throat is immediately lost and devour'd, this lit­tle fish makes it his retiring, and his resting place; and while he lyes there a sleep the Whale stirs not, but as soon as he gets out she presently follows him: and if it happen the said fish should be a little out of the way, she wanders up and down, striking many times against the Rocks, as a Ship without a Rudder; which thing Plutarch affirms that himself was an eye­witness of in the Island of Anticyra. There is such another friendship between the little Bird called the Wren and the Cro­codile; and that Shell-fish called the Naker lives in the same [Page 103] manner with the Pinnothere, and ▪other Shell-fish not much un­like a Crab, as is affirmed by Montagne, lib. 2. ca. 12.

The meat of the Requiem is not good, and therefore not eaten, unless it be in case of great necessity: yet is it conceiv'd by some, that while they are young they may be tolerable meat. Some curious persons do carefully save the Brains found in the heads of the old ones, and being dried they keep it, and they say it is very good for such as are troubled with the Stone or Gravel.

Some Nations call this Monster Tiburon and Tuberon: But the French and Portuguez commonly call it Requiem, that is to say, Rest, haply, because he is wont to appear in fair weather, as the Tortoises also do, or rather because he soon puts to rest whatever he can take: His Liver being boiled yields a great quantity of oyl very good for Lamps, and the Skin of it is used by Joyners to polish their work.


BEsides the Pilots before mentioned, the Requiems are many times accompany'd by another kind of little fishes called by the Dutch Sugger, because they stick so close to the bellies of the Requiems as if they would suck them. The French ac­count it a kind of Remora, which name they have because they stick to the Ship as if they would stop their course: They are about two foot in length, and proportionably big: They have no scales, but are covered with an Ash-colour'd skin, which is as glutinous as those of Eeles. Their upper-jaw is a little shorter then the lower; instead of teeth they have little risings, strong enough to break what they would swallow: Their eyes are very small, of a yellow colour: They have [...]ins and a certain plume as some other Sea-fishes have, but what's most remarkable in them, is, that they have on their heads an oval piece made somewhat like a crown: it is flat and streaked above with several lines which make it look bristly: It is by this part that these fish stick so closely to the Ships and Requiems, that sometimes they must be kill'd ere they can be gotten off: They are eaten sometimes, but in case of necessity, when other better fish cannot be had.


OF all the Sea-monsters that are good to eat, and kept for Provision, as Salmon and Cod are in Europe, the most e­steemed in these Islands is a certain fish by the French called La­mantin, by the Spaniards Namantin and Manaty: It is a Monster that in time grows to that bulk, that some of them are eigh­teen foot in length, and seven in bigness about the middle of [Page 104] the body: His head hath some resemblance to that of a Cow, whence some took occasion to call him the Sea-Cow: He hath small eyes, and a thick skin of a dark colour, wrinkled in some places and stuck with some small hairs: Being dried it grows so hard that it may serve for a Buckler against the Ar­rows of the Indians; nay some of the Savages use it to ward off the blows of their enemies when they go to fight: They have no fins, but instead thereof they have under their bellies two short feet, each whereof hath four fingers very weak to support the weight of so heavy a body; nor hath he any other defensive. This Fish lives on the grass and herbage that grows about the Rocks, and on the shallow places that have not much above a fathom of Sea-water. The Females are disbur­then'd of their young ones much after the same manner as Cows are, and they have two teats wherewith they suckle them: They bring forth two at a time, which forsake not the old one till such time as they have no longer need of milk, and can feed on the grass as she does.

Of all Fishes there is not any hath so much good meat as the Lamantin; for many times there needs but two or three to load a great Canow; and this meat is like that of a Land crea­ture, eating short, of a Vermilion colour, not cloying or ful­som, and mixt with fat, which being melted never grows mu­sty: It is much more wholsom eaten two or three days after it hath been laid in salt then fresh: These Fish are more common­ly taken at the entrance of fresh-water Rivers then in the Sea. Some highly value certain small stones found in the heads of these Monsters, as having the vertue reduc'd to powder to clear the Reins of Gravel, and dissolve the Stone bred there: But the Remedy being violent, I should not advise any to use it without the prescription of an experienc'd Physitian.

WHALES and other Sea-Monsters.

SUch as Sail into these Islands do sometimes in their Course meet with Whales which cast up water by their Vent to a Pikes height, and commonly shew but a little of their back, which looks like a rock above the water.

The Ships are also many times attended for a good way by certain Monsters about the bigness of a Shallop, which seem to take a pleasure in shewing themselves: Some Sea-men call them Souffleurs▪ that is, Blowers, for that ever and anon these prodigi­ous fishes put up some part of their head above water to take breath; and then they blow, and cause a great agitation of the waters with their sharp snouts: Some hold them to be a kind of Porposes.


ON the Coasts of these Islands there is sometimes taken by the Fishers a Monster which is ranked among the kinds of Sea-Devils, by reason of its hideous figure: It is about four foot long, and proportionably big: it hath on the back a great bunch full of prickles like those of a Hedg-Hog: The skin of it is hard, uneven and rugged, like that of the Sea-dog, and of a black colour: The head of it is flat, and on the upper part hath many little risings, among which may be seen two little ve­ry black eyes: The mouth which is extreamly wide, is arm'd with several very sharp teeth, two whereof are crooked and bent in like those of a wild Boar: it hath four fins, and a tail broad enough, which is forked at the extremity: But what got it the name of Sea-Devil, is, that above the eyes there are two little black horns, sharp enough, which turn towards his back like those of a Ram: Besides that this Monster is as ugly as any thing can be imagin'd, the meat of it, which is soft and full of strings, is absolute poyson; for it causes strange vomiting, and such swoonings as would be follow'd by death if they be not soon prevented by the taking of a dose of good Mithridate, or some other Antidote. This dangerous creature is sought af­ter only by the curious, who are glad to have any thing that comes from it to adorn their Closets: And so it comes to pass that this Devil, who never brought men any profit while it lived, gives a little satisfaction to their eyes after his death.

There is another kind of Sea-Devil, no less hideous then the precedent, though of another figure: The largest of this kind are not much above a foot in length from the head to the tail: They are almost as much in bredth; but when they please they swell themselves up, so as that they seem to be round as a bowl: Their wide mouths are arm'd with many little but ve­ry sharp teeth, and instead of a tongue they have only a little bone which is extreamly hard: Their eyes are very sparkling, and so small, and deep set in the head, that the ball thereof can hardly be discerned: They have between the eyes a little horn which turns up, and before it a pretty big string that hath at the end of it a little button: Besides their tail, which is like the broad end of an Oar, they have two plumes, one on the back which stands as it were upright, and the other under the belly: They have also two [...]ins, one of each side over against the midst of the belly, having at the extremities some­what like little paws, each whereof is divided into eight claws, which are armed with sharp nails: their skin is rough, and prick­ly all over, like that of the Requiem, save only under the belly: It is of a dark red colour and marked with black spots: the meat of them is not to be eaten: They may be easily flayed, and the [Page 106] skin being fill'd with Cotton or dry'd leaves, finds a place among rarities; but it loses much of its lustre when the fish is dead.


AMong the ravenous Monsters that are greedy of mans flesh, found on the Coasts of these Islands, the Becune is one of the most dreadful: It is in figure much like a Pike, but in length seven or eight foot, and proportionably big: He lives by prey, and furiously fastens like a Blood-Hound on the men he per­ceives in the water: He carries away whatever he once fastens on, and his teeth are so venemous, that the least touch of them becomes mortal if some sovereign remedy be not immediately apply'd to abate and divert the poyson.


THere is another kind of Becunes, by some called Sea-Wood-Cocks from the figure of the beak, which is some­what like a Wood-Cocks bill, saving that the upper part is much longer then the lower, and that this fish moves both jaws with like facility: Some of them are so big and long, that they are above four foot between the head and the tail, and twelve inches broad neer the head, measuring side-wise: The head is somewhat like that of a Swine, but enlightned by two large eyes which are extreamly shining: It hath two fins on the sides, and under the belly a great plume rising higher and higher by degrees, like a Cocks-comb, reaching from the head almost to the tail, which is divided into two parts: Besides the long and solid beak it hath, for which it is remarkable among all fishes, it hath two sorts of horns, hard, black, and about a foot and a half in length, which hang down under his throat, and are par­ticular to this kind of fish; and these he can easily hide in a hol­low place under his belly, which serves them for a sheath: It hath no scales, but is cover'd with a rough skin, which on the back is black, on the sides greyish, and under the belly white: It may be eaten without any danger, though the meat of it be not so delicate as that of several other fishes.


THe Fish found on these Coasts, and called the Sea-Urchin, well deserves that name: It is round as a ball, and full of sharp prickles, for which it is feared: Some call it the Armed Fish. They who take of them, having dried them, send them as Presents to the Curious, who for rarity hang them up in their Closets.

[Page] [Page]

Ch: 18.

p: 109. Sea Unicornes

p: 112

Ch: 18

p: 115

CHAP. XVIII. A particular Description of the Sea-Unicorn which was cast ashore at the Haven of the Tortoise-Island, in the Year 1644. and a pleasant Relation, by way of Di­gression, of several beautiful and rare Horns brought lately from Davis-streight; with an account of the Country, and the Dispositions of the Inhabitants.

WE cannot better conclude the Account we had to give of the Sea-monsters, then with a description of so remarkable and miraculous a Fish, as may justly deserve a particular Chapter to treat of it: It is the Sea-Uni­corn, which is sometimes seen in those parts. There was cast ashore, in the year 1644. a prodigious one, on the Coast of the Tortoise-Island, neer Hispaniola: Monsieur d [...] Montel, having been an eye-witness thereof, gives us this curious descripti­on of it.

This Unicorn, saith he, was pursuing a Carangue, or some other lesser fish, with such earnestness and impetuosity, that not considering that it needed a greater depth of water then the other, it stuck with half the body dry on a sand-bank, whence it could not recover the deeper waters ere it was de­stroy'd by the Inhabitants: It was about eighteen foot in length, being at the largest part of its body about the big­ness of a great Barrel: It had six great fins like the ends of Galley-oars, whereof two were placed neer the gills, and the other four on the sides of the belly at equal distances; they were of a Vermilion red colour: all the upper part of the body was cover'd with great scales about the bigness of a Crown-piece, which were of a blew colour intermixt with certain spangles of silver: neer the neck the scales were clo­ser, and of a dark colour, seeming as it were a collar: The scales under the belly were yellow; the tail forked, the head somewhat bigger then that of a horse, and neer the same figure: It was cover'd with a hard and dark colour'd skin; and as the Land-Unicorn hath one horn in his forehead, so this Sea-Unicorn had a very fair one issuing out of the fore­part of his head, about nine foot and a half in length: it was as strait as could be, and from the place whence it came out it grew smaller and smaller to the very point, which was so sharp, that being thrust hard it would enter into wood or stone, or some more solid substance: It was at the place where it came out of the head about sixteen inches about, and from thence to two thirds of the length it was like a screw, [Page 108] or to say better, made waving like a wreath'd pillar, save that the channels grew smaller and smaller till they gently ended in a point, which was two inches beyond the fourth foot. All that lower part had over it an ash-colour'd skin, which was all over cover'd with a small soft hair, short as plush, and of the colour of a wither'd leaf, but under that it was as white as Ivory. As to the other part, which seemed naked, it was naturally polish'd, of a shining black, marked with certain small white and yellow stroaks, and of such so­lidity, that a sharp file could hardly get a little small powder from it. It had no ears standing up, but two spacious gills, as the other fishes: The eyes were about the bigness of a Hens egge; the Ball, which was of a sky-colour enamell'd with yellow, was encompass'd with a certain vermilion, which had beyond it another as clear as Chrystal: The mouth was wide enough, and furnished with several teeth, whereof those before were extremely sharp, and those towards the throat in both jaws were broad, and a little knobbed: The tongue was of a length and thickness proportionable, and covered with a rough skin of a vermilion colour. What was further remarkable, is, that this fish had upon the head a kind of crown, rising above the skin about two inches, and made oval-wise, the extremities whereof ended in a point. Above three hundred persons of that Island did eat of the meat of it, and that plentifully, and thought it extremely delicate: It was interlarded with a white fat, and being boiled it came up in fleaks like fresh Cod, but it had a much more excellent taste.

Those who had seen this rare fish alive, and had with great Levers broken the back of it, affirmed, that he had made prodigious attempts to thrust them with his horn, which he turned with an inexpressible dexterity and nimbleness, and that if he had had as much water under him as would have born him up, he would have been too hard for them all. When the entrails were taken out, it was found that he liv'd by prey; for there were within him the scales of several kinds of fish.

What could be preserv'd of this miraculous Animal, espe­cially the head, and the precious horn fasten'd in it, hung up neer two years at the Guard-house of the Island, till Mon­sieur Le Vasseur, the Governour of it, presented one Monsieur des Trancarts (a Gentleman of Xaintonge who had given him a visit) with the Horn. Not long after, coming over in the same Ship with the Gentleman who had that precious rarity put up in a long Chest, our Ship was cast away neer the Island of Fayala, one of the Assores, and all the Goods were lost, but nothing so much regretted as the loss of that Chest.

There is in the Northern Seas another kind of Unicorns, [Page 109] which are many times by the Ice carried to the Coast of Ise­land: They are of so prodigious a length and bulk, that most Authors who have written of them rank them among Whales: They are not cover'd with scales as the formentioned describ'd by us was, but with a hard black skin like the Lamantin: They have but two fins on both sides, and a large plume upon the back, which being narrower in the midst then at either end, makes as it were a double crest rising up for the more conveni­ent dividing of the waters: they have three vent-holes a little below their necks, at which they cast up the superfluous water they had swallow'd, as the Whales do: their heads are sharp, and on the left side of the upper jaw there comes out a horn white all over as the tooth of a young Elephant, which horn is sometimes fifteen or sixteen foot in length: It is wreath'd in some places, and streaked all over with small lines of a pearl­colour, which are not only on the superficies of it, but run through the substance: The horn is hollow to the third part, and all over as solid as the hardest bone.

Some will have this prominency to be rather a tooth then a horn, because it rises not out of the forehead, as that we have spoken of, nor yet from the upper part of the head, as those of Bulls and Rams, but out of the upper jaw, in which it is set, as the teeth are in their proper places: Those who are of this opinion say further, that it is not to be wondred these fishes should have but one such tooth, when the substance out of which others should be produced is quite exhausted in the making of that one, which is of such a prodigious length and bigness as might suffice to make a hundred.

But whether this strange defensive wherewith these mon­strous fish are armed be called Tooth or Horn, certain it is that they use it in their engagements with the Whales, and to break the Ice of the Northern Seas, wherewith they are often­times encompassed: Whence it came, that some times there have been seen of them such as by reason of the violent ser­vice they have been in, in disingaging themselves out of those icy mountains, have not only had their horns blunted at the point, but also shattered and broken off: The figures of both this kind and that cast ashore in the Tortoise Island may be seen among the Sculps.

While we were ordering the foregoing story for the satisfa­ction of the Publick, a Ship of Flushing, commanded by Ni­cholas Tunes, wherein M. Lampsen, one of the Deputies of that Province, in the Assembly of the States-General, and other considerable Merchants of the same Town were concern'd, co­ming in from Davis-streight, brought thence among other rari­ties several excellent pieces of the Unicorns of the Northern Seas, of that kind we spoke of before; and in regard the Re­lation sent us of that Voyage may very much clear up the mat­ter [Page 110] we treat of, we conceive the Reader will take it kindly to be entertain'd with it, assuring himself he hath it with the same sincerity as it was communicated to us.

The Captain of whom we have this Relation, leaving Zea­land at the end of the Spring, 1656. with a design to discover some new Commerce in the Northern parts, arrived at the end of June following in Davis-streight, whence having entred in­to a River which begins at the sixty fourth degree, and ten minutes of the Line Northward, he sailed to the seventy se­cond, under which the Country we intend to describe lyes.

As soon as the Inhabitants of the Country, who were then a fishing, perceived the Ship, they came towards it with their little Boats, which are so made as that they carry but one person: The first who attempted it occasion'd the joyning of so many others to them, that in a short time there was a squadron of se­venty of those little vessels, which parted not from the foreign Ship till it had cast Anchor in the best Haven, where by their acclamations and all the signs of friendship and good will that could be expected from a Nation so far unacquainted with ci­vility, they express'd the extraordinary joy they conceived at its happy arrival: These little vessels are so admirable, whe­ther we consider their materials, or the strange industry in the making of them, or the incomparable dexterity whereby they are conducted, that they may well be allow'd a place among the descriptions which this delightful digression shall furnish us with.

They consist of little thin pieces of wood, whereof most are cleft like Hoops: These pieces of wood are fasten'd one to another with strong cords made of the guts of fishes, which keep them together in a figure fit for the uses to which they are design'd: They are cover'd on the out-side with the skins of Sea-Dogs, which are so neatly sewn together, and so artifi­cially done over with Rozin about the seams, that the water cannot make the least entrance into them.

These little Boats are commonly about fifteen or sixteen foot in length, and they may be in the midst where they are biggest about five foot circumference; from that place they grow smaller and smaller, so that the ends or extremities of them are very sharp and plated as it were with a white bone, or a piece of the Unicorns horn before described: The upper­part is flat and even, and cover'd with leather as the rest, and the lower part is fashion'd like the belly of a great fish; so that they are very swift upon the water: they have but one overture, or open place, which is just in the midst of the whole structure: It is rais'd a little about with a small ledge of Whale-bone, and it is made fit for the reception of one man, so as that being in it, his waste fills the hole. When the Savages who invented these kinds of Boats would make use of them, [Page 111] either to go a fishing or to divert themselves on the water, they thrust down their feet and thighs in at the hole, and then sitting down they so fasten the short Coat they have about them to the ledge which is about the hole, that they seem to be graf­fed into the little vessel, and to be part of it.

Thus much of the figure and materials of these little vessels; let us now consider the accoutrement of the men who have the conduct of them: When they intend to go to Sea, they put over their other cloths a certain short coat, which is kept only for that purpose: This Sea-coat consists of several skins having the hair taken off, which are well dress'd and set together, that a man would think it to be all of a piece: It reaches from the crown of the head to the Navel: it is rubb'd over with a blackish gum, which is not dissolved in the water, and keeps it from passing through; That Capuchon or part of it which comes over the head, comes so close under the neck and upon the forehead, that it leaves nothing but the face open: The sleeves are ty'd at the wrist, and the lower part of the coat is fasten'd to the ledge, about the hole of the vessel, with so much care and industry, that the body thus covered is always dry in the midst of the waves, which with all their tossing can wet only the face and the hands.

Though they have neither Sail, nor Mast, nor Rudder, nor Compass, nor Anchor, nor any thing of all those conveniences which are requisite to make our Ships fit for the Sea; yet will they undertake long voyages with these small vessels, upon which they seem to be sewn: they have an experienc'd know­ledg of the Stars, and need no other guide in the night time: The Oars they use are broad at both ends like a Chirurgeons palet, and that they may the more easily make their way through the waves, and last the longer, they tip them with a white bone which covers the edges of the wood; which or­nament they fasten with pins of horn, which they use instead of nails: The middle of these Oars is beautifi'd with a bone or precious horn, as well the ends, and by that place they hold them that they may not slip out of their hands: They handle these double Oars with such dexterity and nimbleness, that these small vessels will out-run Ships that have all the advan­tages of sails, wind, and tide: They are so confident in them, and so vers'd in the guiding of them, that they shew a thousand tricks in them, for the divertisement of the beholders: Nay sometimes they will raise such waves, that the water will be all foamy, as if there had been a great tempest; and then they seem rather like Sea-monsters coursing one another then men: And to make it appear they fear not dangers, and that they hold a good correspondence with that Element which feeds them, they shew severall tricks, diving and rouling themselves in the Sea three or four times together; so that they may be taken for perfect Amphibia.

[Page 112]When they intend to take voyages longer then ordinary, or are afraid to be driven far into the Sea by some Tempest, they take with them in the hollow place of their vessel a bladder full of fair water to quench their thirst, and fish dry'd in the Sun or Frost to eat instead of fresh meat: But they are seldom re­duc'd to the necessity of using those provisions; For they have certain Darts like little Lances, which are fasten'd to their Boats; these they so dextrously cast at the fish they meet with, that they are very seldom destitute of these refreshments: They need no fire to dress their meat, for on the Land, as well as at Sea, they are wont to eat it raw: They also carry along with them the teeth of certain great fishes, or pieces of sharp bones, which serve them for knives to dress and cut the fish they take: Besides, another advantage of these vessels is, that there can happen no mutiny in them, since one and the same person is Master, Mariner, Purser and Pilot of it, who may stop it when he pleases, or let go with the wind & water, when he would take the rest necessary to retrive his spent forces: In this case he fastens his Oar to certain straps of Hart-skin design'd for that purpose, which are fastened to the Boat, or else he ties it to a buckle which hangs before on his coat.

The Women have not the use of these little Boats; but that they may also sometimes divert themselves on the water, their husbands, who are very fond of them, bring them abroad in other vessels which are about the bigness of our Shallops or Long-boats, and such as may carry fifty persons: They are made of Poles ty'd together, and cover'd with Sea-Dogs skins, as the former: When it is calm they go with Oars, when there is any wind they fasten the Mast to certain Sails of Leather.

The Reader may see among the Sculps of this Chapter a Cut of one of these Boats, with the person that conducts it sit­ting therein, which may render the description we have given of it more intelligible and compleat.

As to the Country where these excellent Navigators are bred, the degrees under which we have placed it shew it to be of a very cold constitution: Tis true, in the moneths of June and July, which make the Summer of those parts, and are but one continu'd day, (as December and January make but one night) the air is warm, pleasant, and clear, but between those two seasons, the days growing alternately longer and shor­ter, are attended with thick Mists, Snow, or Icy-rains, which are extream cold and tedious.

That part of the Country which lyes neer the Sea, is dry, and full of rough and dreadful rocks; and when the Snow melts it is overflown in many places by certain impetuous tor­rents lying between them: But when a man hath travell'd one league of very bad way, he comes into pleasant fields, especi­ally in the Summer time: There are also mountains cover'd [Page 113] with little Trees, which extreamly recreate the eye, and feed abundance of Fowl and Wild-beasts; and there are Valleys through which there run many clear and pleasant Rivers of fresh water, which have strength enough to make their way into the Sea.

The Captain who commanded the Flushinger, from whose late Voyage we have this Relation, being landed with some part of his men, and having made a diligent observation there­of, he found there, among other things worth his notice, a vein of a certain brownish earth full of shining spangles, as it were of silver, wherewith he caused a barrel to be filled, that trial might be made thereof: But having been in the crucible, it was found fit only to be put on the covers of Boxes, and such pieces of Joynery, to which it adds much beauty and lustre: Yet is there some hope derived from this discovery, that upon further trial there may be Silver-Mines found in these parts.

Though this Country be very cold, yet are there in it many beautiful and large Birds of a black and white plumage, and some of divers other colours, which the Inhabitants flay that they may have their flesh to eat, and their skins to cloath them­selves withall: There are also Harts, Elks, Bears, Foxes, Hares, Conies, and abundance of other four-footed beasts, whose Furs are either black or of a dark grey, very thick, long, soft, and besides the uses may be made thereof as Furs, excellent for Hats.

Our Relation tells us that the Country is inhabited by two sorts of Inhabitants, who live together in perfect friendship and good correspondence: Some are of a very high stature, well-shap'd in their bodies, of a pretty clear complexion, and very swift in running: The others are much lower, of a dark Olive-colour'd complexion, and well proportioned as to their members, save that they have short and big legs. The former spend their time in Hunting, whereto their activity naturally inclines them, while the latter employ themselves in Fishing: Both kinds have their teeth very white and close, black hair, lively eyes, and their faces such as that there can no remarka­ble deformity be observ'd in them: They are all of them so vi­gorous, and of so healthy a constitution, that many of them being above a hundred years of age are very active and la­borious.

In their ordinary conversation they seem to be of a cheerful humor, courageous and confident: They love those strangers who visit them, because they bring them Needles, Fishing­hooks, Knives, Hedge-bills, Wedges, and all the other Imple­ments of Iron they have need of, which they so highly esteem that they will give their cloths, and what they account most precious for them: but they have such an aversion from all no­velty, as to feeding and clothing, that it were hard to induce [Page 114] them to admit of any change in either: nay though they are one of the poorest and most barbarous Nations under the Sun, yet do they think themselves the most happy, and best provi­ded for of any; and they are so well conceited of their manner of life, that the civilities of all other people are accounted by them unbeseeming, savage, and extreamly ridiculous actions.

This high esteem they have conceiv'd of their condition contributes not a little to that satisfaction and tranquility of mind which is legible even in their countenances: besides that they are not disturb'd by any vain designs which might inter­rupt their quiet: They know nothing of those gnawing cares and pinching distractions wherewith the inordinate desire of wealth torments the greatest part of mankind. The conveni­ences of fair and sumptuous buildings, the fame attending gal­lant actions, the delights of great entertainments, the know­ledg of excellent things, and what we think most advances the pleasure and enjoyments of life, having not yet found the way into these Countries, their thoughts accordingly are not trou­bled about the acquisition thereof: but to get those things which are precisely necessary for their subsistence and clothing, with as little trouble as may be, is the end of all their consulta­tations and designs.

Their ordinary Exercises, nay indeed Employments, are Fishing and Hunting; and though they have no Fire-arms nor Nets, yet ingenious and inventive Necessity hath inspir'd them with other ways whereby they effect their desires. They eat whatsoever they feed on without any dressing, or any other sauce then hunger: nay they laugh at those who boil fish or flesh, affirming that the fire takes away the natural taste there­of, and what makes them acceptable to them.

Though they need no fire to dress their meat, yet they very much commend the use of it, and their Caves are not destitute of it in the winter time; both by its light to abate somwhat of the tediousness of that long night which reigns in their Coun­try, and by its heat the cold whereby they are besieged of all sides: But when they take their rest, or are forc'd to go out of their Caves, they put on a certain Fur, which by the excellent disposal of Divine Providence secures them against the inju­ries of the cold, though they lay in the midst of the snow.

The mens cloths, are a Shirt, a pair of Breeches, a short Coat, and a kind of Buskins: The Shirt comes but a little be­low the Waste: It hath a Capuchon, or Cap annexed to it, to come over the head and neck: It is made of the bladders of great fishes cut into long pieces of equal bredth, and very neatly sewn together: It hath no opening at the breast as ours have; but that it may not rent when it is put on, the ends of the sleeves, the head-piece, and the bottom of it are hemm'd

Ch: 18.

p. 115

p. 116

[Page 115] in with a very thin black skin; as it is represented among the Brass-cuts.

The rest of their cloths, even their Buskins, are of several pieces cut proportionably one to another, as their Shirts are; but they are of a stronger stuff, to wit, Harts-skins, or Sea-dogs­skins very well dress'd with the hair on: The cloaths of the Sa­vage whose pourtrait is to be seen among the Sculps, taken by the Original, were of Leather of two several colours, the pieces were cut of the same bredth, and put together so handsomly, that a white piece was sewn between two dark colour'd pieces, which shew'd very prettily: The hair which was on the out­side was as smooth and as soft as Velvet, and the several pieces were so neatly joyn'd together, that a man would think by the out-side that the Garment was all made of the same skin. As to the fashion of the Coat, and the external ornaments of the Savage, the Graver hath so naturally represented them in the Sculp, that we need not trouble the Reader with any further description thereof.

The Savages inhabiting about the foresaid Streight never go abroad into the Country but they have at their back a Quiver full of Arrows, and a Bow or a Lance in their hands: Their Arrows are of several kinds, some are for the killing of Hares, Foxes, great Birds, and all sorts of small Game; others for Harts, Elks, Bears, and other greater Beasts: The former are not above two or three foot in length, and instead of iron at the top they put a small sharp bone, which on one of the sides hath three or four little hooks, so that it cannot be taken out of the place wounded without widening the wound: The lat­ter, which are at least four or five foot long, have also at the end a sharp bone jagged like the teeth of a Saw: They cast these latter with the hand; but to give them the greater force, and make them do execution at a greater distance, they fasten to their right arm a piece of wood a foot and a half long, which on one side hath a deep channel into which they put the butt­end of the Javelin, which being cast thence goes off with a greater violence.

They sometimes also carry in their hands a kind of Lance, of a tough and heavy wood, which is tipp'd at the smaller end with a round bone, the point whereof had been sharpened on a stone, or they strengthen it with the horns or teeth of the fish before described: These Lances are seven or eight foot in length, and beautifi▪d at the butt-end with two little wings of wood, or Whale-bone, which make them a little more sight­ly then they would be otherwise.

Besides the several sorts of hooks wherewith they take the smaller fishes frequenting their Coasts, they have divers kinds of Javelins, which with a wonderful dexterity they dart at the great and monstrous fishes they take in the Sea: And that [Page 116] those they have hurt with these Darts may not sink to the bot­tom, and elude their expectation, there is fasten'd to the butt­end of them a thong of Harts-leather 25 or 30 fathom in length, and at the end of that thong or line of leather there is a bladder, which keeping above water shews where the fish is, and so they draw it to them, or gently drag it to land after it hath spent it self in strugling.

The young women differ not much in their cloaths from the men; but the more ancient are commonly clad with the skins of certain great Birds, whose feathers are white and black, and very ordinary in those parts. These women have the art to flay them so neatly, that the feathers stay in the skin: These cloaths reach but to half the leg: They are girt with a thong of leather, at which instead of keys there hang a great many little bones as sharp as any bodkins, and about that length: They wear neither Bracelets, nor Neck-laces, nor Pendants; nor mind any ornament, save that they make a gash in each cheek, and fill it with a certain black colour, which as they think adds very much to their beauty.

While the men are a hunting or fishing they stay at home, and employ themselves in making of Cloths, Tents, Baskets, and such things as are necessary about the house: They are extreamly fond of their little ones, and if they be forc'd to change their habitations, or to accompany their husbands in some jour­ney, they either carry or lead them where-ever they go, and to recreate them by the way, and quiet them when they cry, they have little drums cover'd with fishes bladders, on which they can make as good Musick as any on the Taber: They also beat them to frighten away the Bears, and other wild Beasts which wander up and down neer the Caves where these Sa­vages pass over the Winter with their families, and about the Tents where they are lodg'd in the Summer. Among the Sculps of this Chapter there is the pourtraiture of one of these women, to which we refer the Reader for further sa­tisfaction.

Though these poor Barbarians cannot be imagin'd to study much Policy, yet have they among them petty Kings and Cap­tains, who preside in all their Assemblies: They advance to these dignities those who have the handsomest bodies, are the best Hunts-men, and the most valiant: These wear the richest Skins and more precious Furs then their Subjects; and as a badge of their Supremacy they have a certain badge which is sown before on their Coats, and when they go abroad they are always attended by certain young men arm'd with Bows and Arrows, who punctually execute their commands.

They have not the invention of building houses; but in the Summer they live in the fields under Tents of Leather, which they carry along with them to be pitch'd where they think it [Page 117] most convenient; and in Winter their abode is in Caves, which are naturally made in the Mountains, or they have taken the pains to make such.

They neither Sow nor Reap any kind of Grain in order to their subsistence: Nor have they any Trees or Plants bear­ing fruits fit to eat, unless it be some Straw-berries, and a kind of Raspices; but indeed their livelihood depends wholly on their Fishing and Hunting: Fair water is their ordinary drink, and their most delicate entertainment, as to drink, is the blood of Sea-dogs, and that of Deer, and other Land-crea­tures, which they either kill or take in Traps, at the setting of which they have an admirable industry.

The Winter being so long and hard in this Country, the In­habitants must needs suffer great inconveniences during that season, especially that tedious night which keeps them in two whole moneths: But besides that in case of necessity they en­dure hunger a long time, they have this foresight that in the Summer they dry some part of their fishing and hunting, and lay it up with as much Fat and Suet as they can get together, in order to their subsistence during that comfortless time: Nay some affirm they are so successful in their hunting by Moon­light, that they are seldom destitute of fresh meat, even during this long Eclipse.

They desire not to see any other Country besides that they were born in, and if a tempest or other accident chance to cast them upon some other, they perpetually sigh after their own, and are never quiet in their minds till they have recover'd it: If they are deny'd or too long delay'd that favour, they will attempt it with the hazard of their lives, exposing themselves to the Sea in their little Vessels without any other guide then the Stars, by which they regulate their course.

Their Language hath nothing common with any other in the World; there is a Vocabulary of it, but not to be publish'd till there be a further discovery made of these parts; what is said here thereof being only by way of digression.

Nor hath it been yet observed what Religion they have among them; but from their, looking towards the Sun, and their pointing at him with a certain admiration, lifting up their hands on high, it is inferr'd that they account him a God.

The Ship from which we have this Relation, brought from Davis-streight several considerable Commodities, whereof we shall here give a List, to shew that the cold which reigns in that Country is not so insupportable as to freeze up all manner of Commerce in those parts.

  • 1. Nine hundred Sea-dogs skins, most of them between seven and eight foot long, spotted and wav'd with black, red, yellow, tawny, and several other colours, which height­ned [Page 118] their price beyond those commonly seen in Holland.
  • 2. Many rich Hides of Harts, Elks, Bears, as also the skins of Foxes, Hares, and Conies, whereof most were perfect­ly white.
  • 3. A great number of precious Furs of divers kinds of four­footed Beasts particular to that Country, and not known yet by any name among us.
  • 4. Several Packs of Whale-bone of extraordinary length.
  • 5. Some compleat suits of Cloths of the Inhabitants of the Country, whereof some were of the skins of Beasts, others of those of Birds, of the fashion before represented.
  • 6. Many of their Shirts made of Fishes Bladders very neatly sew'd; as also Caps, Gloves, and Buskins, Quivers, Arrows, Bows, and other Arms used by them; as also some of their Tents, Bags, Baskets, and other little pieces of Hous­hold-stuff.
  • 7. A great number of those small Vessels made to carry only one man: A great Boat or Shallop forty five foot in length, which might conveniently carry fifty persons.
  • 8. But the most rare and precious Commodity was a very considerable quantity of the Teeth or Horns of the fishes called Sea-Unicorns, which are thought to be the largest, the fairest and the most exactly proportion'd of any that have yet been seen.

Some of them were sent to Paris, and other parts of Europe, where they were well receiv'd: Nor is it unlikely but that they will be much more highly esteemed, when the admirable ver­tues they have in Physick are known: For though their beau­ty and rarity may procure them the best places in the Closets of the Curious; yet will they be more kindly received there, when some others have found true what many famous Physi­cians and Apothecaries of Denmark and Germany, who have made trial thereof upon several occasions, unanimously affirm of them, to wit, that they expell poyson, and have all the properties commonly attributed to the Land-Unicorn's Horn.

[Page] [Page]

Ch: 19.

Musical shell 125

Burgau p: 120

Sea-Trumpet p 122

Venus shell p: 121.

Lambis p: 121.

Casque p: 121.

Ch: 19.

Sea egge p: 126

Sea egge opened

p: 126 Sea-starre

CHAP. XIX. Of certain Shell-Fish, rare Shells, and other remark­able productions of the Sea, found on the Coasts of the Caribbies.

TO dive into the deep Secrets of the Waters to take a view of all the excellent Creatures sporting themselves therein, and observe the vertues and occult qualities wherewith they are endow'd, is a work might be expected from that Wisdom which was communicated to Solomon, who treat­ed of Trees, from the Cedar in Libanon to the Hyssop growing on the Wall: For the watery Element is furnished with such a miraculous plenty, that it abundantly produces not only Fishes of several kinds fit for the sustenance of man, and those of ex­traordinary bulk and monstrous figures, as hath been shewn in the precedent Chapters, but also such a multitude of precious Shells, and other Rarities, that we may well acknowledg that the Divine Wisdom hath display'd all these rich beauties of its inexhaustible Treasures, to shew its Omnipotency in the midst of the Waves, and gently to win us into an admiration of his Goodness and adorable Providence, which humbles it self to descend into the Abysses of the Sea to people them with some excellent Creatures not to be seen elsewhere, and an infinite number of others bearing the Characters and Idaeas of the most considerable Bodies that either adorn the Heavens, flye in the Air, or embellish the Earth. Hence it comes, that there are found in the Waters, Stars, Cornets, Trumpets, Purcelains, Trees, Apples, Chest-nuts, and all the delightful curiosities which are so highly esteemed among men. But to begin with the Shell-fish, there are in the Seas about, and in the Rivers of the Caribbies several kinds of them: The more particularly esteemed are the Homars, the Sea-Spiders, and the Crabs.


THe Homars are a kind of Crevices, of the same figure as those of our Rivers; but they are so big that there needs but one to make a good large dish: Their meat is white, and of a good taste, but a little hard of digestion: The Inhabi­tants of the Islands take them in the night time upon the sands, or in the Shallows neer the low-water-mark; and with the assistance of a Torch, or Moon-light, they catch them with a little iron fork.


THe Sea-Spider is by some conceiv'd to be a kind of Crab: It is cover'd with two very hard scales, whereof the uppermost is somewhat [...] rough, and the lowermost is more smooth, and jagged with sharp points: It hath many legs or claws, and a strong tail, sometimes about a foot in length: They are much sought after by some of the Savages to be em­ploy'd about their Arrows: When this fish is dried in the Sun, the scale or shell of it becomes glistering, and in a manner transparent, though naturally it be of an Ash-colour.


THe ordinary Crabs of the Caribbies are of the same figure as those taken in these parts: There is a great difference among them as to bigness, but the rarest are those which live by prey: They are very common in most of the Islands, but above all in those called the Virgins: They lurk under the stumps and stocks of the Trees growing on the Sea-side, and as it were imitating a kind of Frogs, called the Fishing-Frogs, they discover from their lurking-holes the Oysters and Muscles, which they prey upon; and the sleight they use in the taking of them is worth our notice. Having found by experience that their Mordants or Claws are not strong enough to break the shells wherein those delicate fishes are contain'd; and having observed that several times of the day they open their shells to take the air, they diligently watch the time, and having fur­nish'd themselves with a little round pebble, they hold it ready in one of their claws, and coming to the Oyster or Muscle, let it fall so cunningly into the half-open'd shell, that not being able to close again, the fish becomes the prey of these subtle Crabs.

As to the Shells found in these Islands, in the Creeks and Nooks into which they are cast by the Sea there are abun­of them, and of several kinds: The most sought after and most considerable are these.


THe Burgau, which is of the figure of a Snail, being un­cas'd out of the outermost coat, presents to the eye a silver shell intermixt with spots of a bright black, a lively green, and so perfect and shining a grey, that no Enameller could come neer it with all the assistances of his art. As soon as the fish which had been lodg'd within this precious little Mansion hath been disseiz'd thereof, there is immediately seen a magni­ficent [Page 121] entry beset with pearls', and afterwards several rich ap­partements so clear, so neat, and enamell'd all over with so bright a silver-colour, that there cannot in matter of shell any thing be imagin'd more beautiful.


THe Cask, or Head-piece, is of a different bigness proporti­onably to the heads of so many fishes as had worn it; and it is so named from its figure: It is lin'd within and at the edges, which are thick, flat and jagged, of a Satin carnation colour extreamly bright and shining; and on the out-side it is fashion'd like a neat Country-building, having many little risings which are interlaced with a thousand compartiments, on which there may be seen a waving pannache or feather of divers rare colours.


THe Lambis hath haply receiv'd that name because the fish which makes it move hath the figure of a great Tongue, which licks that glutinous moisture lying on the rocks against which the waves of the Sea beat. This is one of the largest siz'd shells that are: One of the sides is turned up, as it were to make the greater discovery of the fair purple co­lour wherewith it is beautifi'd within: But it must be acknow­ledg'd, that the shape being none of the handsomest, and the outer coat prickled with several rough and sharp risings, it would hardly be receiv'd into the Closets of the Curious, if Art taking off that outer coat did not discover the beauty and smoothness of the divers-colour'd shell which lay within that course shag: The fish which is lodg'd within the clefts of this little moving rock is so big, that one of them will make a pret­ty round dish: It may be serv'd up to the Tables of the daintiest Palats, so it be well dress'd with good store of Pepper to cor­rect its indigestion: The shells burnt to powder and mixt with sand make a cement which defies rain, and all other injuries of the weather. The Lambis yields a sound like that of a Hunts­mans horn, and is heard at a great distance; whence some of the Inhabitants of the Islands use them to bring their people to­gether to meals.


THe Venus-shells may justly be numbred among the rarest productions of the Sea, whether we consider the de­lightful smoothness wherewith they are glaz'd both within and without, or the diversity and liveliness of their colours: [Page 122] Their jagged edges are turned inwards, and though all are not equally beautiful, yet are they all of the same oval figure, gaping in the midst, and turning in a little: But they are very different as to bigness and colour.

The ordinary ones are of a gilt-yellow, checquer'd with lit­tle white or red spots, so as that at a distance a man would think them little Pearls, or grains of Coral: Of the rest, some are blewish, some as it were beset with stars, some greyish, some like Chrystal, and some colour'd like Agats, which are all delightful to the eye.

But the most esteem'd by the Curious are on the out-side of a colour between coral and carnation, and of a silver-co­lour, or of a bright sky-colour within, and a rich porphiry with small golden streaks: Those also are with reason well esteem'd, which on the upper part are of a bright green like an Emerald, and within on the edges, and in the distances of a pearl-colour: The same account is made of those which on the back are black as Jet, and all elsewhere of a pale blew in­termixt with little purple veins.

In fine, there are some have such a delightful mixture of co­lours, as if the Rain-bow had communicated some of its beau­ties to these little creatures: Nay there are abundance of them so diversifi'd with odd figures and characters, that it may be imagin'd Nature was in a very pleasant humor when she was de­liver'd of these miracles.

But the mischief of it is, that the Sea, which is possess'd of them as her most precious jewels, never parts with them but against her will: For if the Winds did not enrage her, and shaking her bowels search into the bottom of her Treasures, and force them thence, she alone would enjoy these beauties, and never let us have any of them.

The Curious, to heighten their lustre, place them according to their value and esteem in several Cabinets, lin'd with green Plush, or some other rich stuff: And after the example of the Flowrists, who call their Tulips and Gilly-Flowers by the names of the Caesars, and most illustrious Heroes, they in like manner give them the titles of Emperours and Princes.


THere are also seen in the Caribbies two sorts of those great Shells called Sea-Cornets, which are turned at the end like a screw: Some are white as Ivory, and not inferior to it in lustre: Others are within of a shining pearl-colour, and without of several fair and lively colours, which are sometimes like scales, sometimes waving, falling one upon another from the edge of the wide opening to the turn'd end, where they cease: If a little hole be made at the small end of these Cornets, [Page 123] they become a kind of musical Instrument which makes a sharp and piercing sound, and forc'd through the windings of the shell, may be heard at as great distance as the smallest kind of Trumpet might be: But there is a great secret in the sound­ing of it.


SHells do not only afford a pleasant divertisement which may excite men by a consideration of those small, but admira­ble works of Nature, to bless the Author thereof; but having cloy'd the eye, they find somewhat to satisfie the taste, and en­crease wealth: For Oysters, and other shell-fish are welcome to the greatest Tables; and the Naker or Mother of Pearl is big with that Pearl which enriches the Crowns of Kings. 'Tis true, there is seen only the seeds of these Pearls in the Carib­bies, and that they are to be had in perfection only at S. Mar­garets Island, and the South-part of America: But though this seed is not hardned into great Pearls in the Caribbies, yet are not the shells wherein it is found without their advantages; for the meat within them is for food, and the two parts of the silver shell make so many Spoons, which may creditably appear upon the Table.

It is not easie to determine whether the dew which falls in the Caribbies be not fruitful enough to make the Mother-Pearl produce its fruit in perfection; or whether after it hath re­ceiv'd that seed from the Heavens they miscarry, and have not natural force enough to retain it: But not to enquire whence the defect proceeds, it is most certain they have as strong an in­clination to avoid the reproach of sterility, as those fish'd for on the Coasts of S. Margarets: For he who will be at the curiosity to observe their secret Loves from the rocks, at the foot where­of they most delight to be, shall find, that at the break of day they start up several times to the surface of the water, as it were to do homage to the Rising-Sun; then of a sudden they open themselves upon that soft bed, expecting the first beams of that all-enlivening Star: If they be so happy as to receive some drops of the dew he causes to distill from the Heavens at his rising, they immediately close their shells, lest any touch of salt-water come in, and corrupt that celestial sperm: And then they cheerfully return to their deep cells.

A certain Author named Fragosus conceives, that the Pearls ingender in the meat of the Oyster, as the stone does in some living creatures, of a thick and viscous moisture which remains of the aliment. Some learned Physicians who are also of the same opinion, fortifie it with what is affirmed by Josephus Aco­sta, a very creditable Writer, to wit, that the Slaves who fish for Pearls, dive sometimes twelve fathom deep in the Sea to [Page 124] take the Oysters which are commonly fastened to the Rocks, that they get them thence by violence, and come up loaden with them: Whence they conclude, that it cannot be well main­tained, that those Oysters which are fasten'd to the rocks suck in the dew, and that thence comes the generation of Pearls.

But not to enter into any contestation with these Gentle­men, nor yet absolutely to reject their opinion which hath its grounds, we may affirm, that the true account given by Acosta of the fishing for Pearls makes nothing against the opinion commonly receiv'd of their generation; for it is not impossible but that the Mother-Pearls which have conceived of the Dew, feeling themselves burthened with that precious fruit, have no great inclination to appear ever afterwards on the surface of the waters; and being satisfi'd with the treasure they are pos­sess'd of, they from thenceforth fasten themselves to the rocks, whence they cannot be gotten off without violence.

Of several other sorts of Shells.

THose who living in populous Cities would counterfeit De­serts, Rocks and solitary Places, or in their Gardens raise little Hills, under which there should be Grotts encom­pass'd with all the most curious spoils of Sea and Land, might find in most of these Islands what may satisfie their humor. This only is to be feared, that abundance and diversity would puzzle their choice, and occasion a certain contempt of them: There are on the Coasts of these Islands an infinite multitude of several sorts of Shells, especially those of the Sea-tops, Whelks, &c. which have no names among us, whereof some are of a silver-colour, some full of stars, some sanguine, some green, some streaked with carnation, some checquer'd with several sorts of colours, which make them shine along the sands like so many precious stones: The Sun extreamly heightens their lu­stre and beauty; and when after an extraordinary tempest the Sea hath enrich'd the surface of those shores with these little sparkling gems, the eye is so dazzled at it, that a man cannot but acknowledg that Nature loves to make different demon­strations of her power, and shews what she can do, when she bestows so much beauty, and so many rich ornaments on these little inconsiderable Creatures.

The Savage Islanders sometimes gather these little play-games of the Sea, only for diversion sake, and having made holes in them put them on strings for Neck-laces and Bracelets: But most of the Southern part of America have a far greater esteem for them; for they drive a Trade with them, and they are in some places the current Money, and those who have most shells are accounted the richest. The Shells used for this purpose are of a [Page 125] pretty bigness, solid, and of extraordinary lustre; and to be current Money, they must be marked by certain Officers, who ascertain the value thereof by certain little Characters engra­ved on them.


THere is a very considerable Shell, which Mons. du Mon­tel thinks may be found in some of the Caribby-Islands, though he never saw any of that kind but only at Corassao: It differs not much as to figure from the Venus-shells: It may be called the Musical-shell, because on the out-side of it there are blackish lines, full of notes, which have a kind of key for the singing of them, so that it might be said there wants only the letter to that natural pricking: The forementioned Gentle­man relates, that he saw some that had five Lines, a Key and Notes, which made good Musick: Some person had added the Letter, which it seems Nature had forgotten, and caus'd it to be sung, and the Musick was not undelightful.

This might afford the ingenious many excellent reflections: They might say among other things, that if according to the opinion of Pythagoras the Heavens have their Harmony, the sweetness whereof cannot be heard by reason of the noise made upon Earth; if the Air resound with the melody of an in­finite number of Birds who sing their several parts there; and if Men have invented a kind of Musick, after their way, which by the Ears recreates the Heart; it were but just that the Sea, which is not always toss'd and troubled, should have within its territories certain Musicians to celebrate, by a Musick parti­cular to them, the praises of their Sovereign Maker. The Poets might adde, that these natural tablatures are the same which the Syrens had in their hands, when they had their melo­dious Consorts; and that being perceiv'd by some eye which came to disturbe their recreations, they let them fall into the water, where they have been carefully kept ever since: But leaving these imaginations to those they belong to, let us pur­sue our design.


THere is a little Stone found in these Islands, most com­monly neer the Sea­side, and sometimes at a good di­stance from the Sea, which from its vertues may be termed the Eye-stone; but in regard the more common opinion will have it to be a production of the waters, we shall treat of it in this place. Some of these Stones are about the bigness of the larger sort of Brass-farthings; but the least are most esteem'd: A man would think, looking on them in the Sun, that they were [Page 126] of those Pearls called Barroques cut in two, they are so cleer, transparent, and smooth: Some of them have red or blewish veins, which give them a very delightful lustre, according to the several aspects are cast on them: They have the figure of a Snail engrav'd on that side which is even: Being put under the eye-lid, they roll about the ball of the eye, and it is affirm­ed, that they strengthen and cleer the sight, and force thence the motes, or trash which might have fallen into it.


THere is found in the Island of S. Martins a production of the Sea, called Sea-egges, or Sea-Apples, full of sharp prickles rising out of a dark-coloured skin: But when the fish which rouls them is dead, they lose all those prickles, which become afterwards of no use; and quitting that hard crusti­ness which had encompass'd them, they discover the whiteness of their shells, which are intermixt with so many comparti­ments and little windings, that the needle of the most ingeni­ous Embroiderer would be much troubled to imitate them. These Egges should rather be called Sea-Urchins or Sea-Chest­nuts; for while they are living they have the figure and co­lour of a little Urchin, which formes it self like a ball, and is arm'd of all sides, the better to deal with his enemy: Or they are like those rough prickles which encompass▪ the Chestnut while it is upon the Tree.


TO consider narrowly all the rarities to be seen in the Sea, it might be said, that of whatever is excellent in the Heavens there is a certain resemblance in the Sea, which is as it were the others looking-glass. Hence it comes, that there are Stars to be seen in it, having five points or beams, somewhat of a yellowish colour. This Star is somewhat bet­ter then a foot diametre, and an inch thick; the skin is hard enough, and full of little risings, which adde much to its beauty. If these Sea-Stars may not enter into any compe­tition with those of the Heavens, as to magnitude and light, they exceed them in this, that they are animate, and that their motion is not forc'd, and that they are not fix'd nor confin'd to the same place: For the fish, which hath taken up its abode in this starry mansion, moves which way it pleases on the azure plains of the waters while the weather is calm, but as soon as it foresees any tempest, out of a fear to be forc'd to the Land, which is not fit to entertain Stars, it casts out two little anchors out of its body, whereby it is so firmly fastened to the Rocks, that all the violent agitations [Page 127] of the incens'd waves cannot force it thence. It is preserv'd alive by the means of the nourishment it takes by a little hole, which is as it were its mouth, and lies just in the centre of its body. Some curious persons remove these Stars out of their watery Element, and having dryed them in the Sun make them the ornaments of their Closets.


NOr can the sandy shelfs or sholes of those Rocks, which are covered with water, endure the reproach of barren­ness: For notwithstanding the saltness whereby they are al­ways enclos'd, they make a shift to produce, among the grass which is upon them, certain Trees which are immediately glaz'd with a salt-peter, which renders them extremely white. Some conceive them to be a kind of Coral. There are taken up of them of several figures, and so neatly made, that the eye cannot be cloy'd with considering the odness of their shapes.


THere are also certain Pannaches, or Sea-Fans, or Sea-Feathers, which are, to speak by way of resemblance, as it were the borders of that spacious liquid Garden which never needs watering: They are woven very finely, and ac­cording to the quality of the Rocks whereon they are rooted, they are of different colours: This only were to be wish'd, that they had solidity enough to endure a transportation from those Islands into these parts.

CHAP. XX. Of Amber-greece; its Origine; and the marks of that which is good, and without mixture.

AMber-greece is found in greatest abundance on the Coasts of Florida, beyond what is had of it in any other Coun­try of America: Whence it comes, that the Spaniards have built Forts there, to keep possession of the Land, and entertain with the Indians, who inhabit it, the Commerce of that rich Commodity, which they carefully gather since they have been acquainted with the value of it. There hath some­times been taken up of it, after extraordinary tempests, on the Coasts of Tabago, Barboudos, and some other of the Caribbies, as we have received by very authentick Relations: Upon [Page 128] which assurance, it will be no digression from the Natural Hi­story we treat of, if we perfume this Chapter with the sweet scent of this Aromatick Drug, which certainly is the rarest and most precious of all those productions which the Ocean hath yet cast up out of its vast and unexhausted bosom to en­rich that new world.

The Maldives call Amber-greece Panahambar, that is, Am­ber of gold, by reason of its worth: The Inhabitants of Fez, Morocco, and the Aethiopians call it by the same name as they do the Whale; whence it is probably conjectur'd, that they thought it proceeded from the Whale. Most certain it is, that neither Hippocrates, Dioscorides, nor Galen, ever heard any thing of Amber-greece, no more then they had of the Bezo­ar-stone, Guayacum, Sassafras, Sassaparilla, Rhubarb, Mechoa­chan, and many other Drugs: Amber-greece therefore is one of those whereof the knowledge is wholly modern, and the origine not well known.

Some have imagin'd that this Amber, not known among the Ancients, is an excrement of the Whales: Others are of opinion, that it comes from the Crocodiles, in regard their flesh is perfum'd: Some others are perswaded, that they are pieces of Islands and fragments of Rocks conceal'd in the Sea, and carried away by the violence of the waves, foras­much as there are sometimes found pieces of this Amber which weigh a hundred pound, and of the length of sixty hands­bredths, and that, as is affirmed by Linscot, in the Year M. D. L. V. there was a piece found neer Cape Comorin, which weigh'd thirty hundred weight. There are also those who conceive it to be a kind of Sea-foam, which gathers toge­ther and grows thick after a certain time by the agitation of the Sea-water, and is hardned by the heat of the Sun.

But the most probable conjecture is, that it is a kind of Bitumen engendred at the bottom of the Sea; and when it comes to be extremely agitated by some extraordinary tem­pest, it lets go this Bitumen, and forces it towards the shores: for indeed it is commonly found only after some great tempest. Philostratus in the life of Apollonius affirms, that the Panthers which are neer the Mount Caucasus are very much delighted with the sweet scent of that place: But certain it is, that of all creatures the Birds are very great lovers of this Amber­greece, and that they will scent it at a great distance: Where­fore as soon as the tempest is laid it must be sought after and taken away, otherwise it will be devoured. Nor is it the sweet scent of it, but the ill, which causes the Birds to flock to it; for this precious and admirable perfume, when it is fresh and soft, and newly come out of the Sea, smells very strong, and those creatures which run to it do but as they would do to some carrion; for the scent of it is like that of rusty bacon, [Page 129] and 'tis likely for that reason that it was so long ere 'twas known and used: The Ancients judg'd of its vertue by its ill scent, fit rather to injure the heart then refresh it, and so they rejected it as unprofitable, nay hurtful. Besides it is not so commonly, nor in so great quantities found towards the Coasts of Greece, nor yet in Europe; and there were but very few Voy­ages heretofore made into the Indies.

The Foxes do also think it a good dish, and eat much of it: In those Countries where much of it is gather'd, these creatures wait at the Sea-side, and having discover'd any, they immedi­ately devour it: But having kept it a while in their bellies, they cast it up again before it be any way digested; yet does it lose some of its vertue and sweet scent: Whence it comes, that this kind of Amber-greece is less esteem'd then the other, and us'd only in perfumes.

It will not be amiss hereto give the marks whereby the true Amber-greece is to be distinguish'd from the adulterate, since those who have written of it, as Garcias, Monard, Scaliger, Ferdinand Lopez, Clusius, and others, speak very little thereof, and assign not the essential marks of it.

It is in the first place to be observ'd, that Amber-greece is generally distinguish'd into that which comes from the Levant Seas, and that which comes from the Western Sea: That which is taken up on the Coasts of the Levant, especially on those of Barbary, where there is much, and in great pieces had, is for the most part black, and cannot be dried so well as to be reduc'd to powder, as that of the West, let what will be ad­ded to promote the pulverization of it: It is also more easily melted by the fire, hath not so sweet a scent, and is of a lower value: There is little of the Amber brought into these parts, in regard it is not much esteem'd, and not very useful either as to Physick, or Perfumes.

The Amber-greece of the West, whereof the best is that found on our Coasts, is commonly of an ash-colour'd grey, looking as if ashes were mixt with wax, yet so as that the ashes appear distinctly, and are not perfectly mixt with the wax: The upper part of it having raked along the shore, and lain more open to the air, is commonly of a tawny colour, or at least not so white as it is within, hard and solid like a crust, and sometimes full of sand and little shells: which happens hence, that being soft as Bitumen or Pitch, such filth easily sticks to it; and that abates somwhat of its price, but not of its goodness.

To know whether this Amber, which is of the best kind, be good, in the first place consider the figure of it, which for the most part should incline to roundness, inasmuch as all things that are any way soft being toss'd to and fro by the Sea are reduc'd to a certain roundness: It should be also somewhat [Page 130] smooth, and of a dark colour between a dark-grey and tawny: If it be very dry it should be the lighter, proportionably to the bigness of the piece: Hereby it may be judg'd whether there be any mixture of Scamony, Bitumen, Wax, Pitch, or Ro­zin, all these adding much to its weight: By the same tryal it may be known whether there be any mixture of sand; as also whether it be not the black Amber-greece of the Levant.

If the Owners of it are unwilling to have the piece broken, take a needle heated, and thrust it into the piece, and if it enter easily, conclude there are no stones within it; and if you smell at the liquor which will come forth by the heat of the needle whereby the Amber is melted, you will find it of a scent not unlike that of gumm'd wax, but at last will end in an odour sweet enough.

But the surest way is, having agreed about the price of the piece of Amber conditionally it be good, to break it; so you will find whether there be any small pebbles in it. The Amber, as we said before, must be of an ash-colour, having small specks, as our Water-nuts: When it is fresh it is of a darker colour then when it is very dry: but if it differ not much from that colour, and be not too black nor too white, it matters not; above all it should appear of a mixt colour: Take also a little out of the middle of the piece, or from that part which you think worst, and put it on a knife heated in the fire, and it will presently melt like wax, and if the knife be very hot what was put upon it will be quite consum'd.

When you have thus melted it, observe whether it hath the scent we mentioned, which cannot be well known but only to such as have made tryal thereof, because it is particular there­to; and by that means you will also discover whether there be any mixture in the Amber: You may also while it is melting put a little upon your hand, and spreading it you may see whe­ther there be any mixture: It should stick so fast to your hand that it can hardly be got off: When it melts it becomes all of one colour, though before it seemed to be mixt, and inclines to that of some kind of Rozin: It should not dissolve in either water or oyl; not but that there is a way to dissolve it in either of them, by the addition of a certain ingredient, which those who know it would not have discover'd: Nor should it be re­duc'd to powder, unless being very dry it may be scraped or grated, and be mixt with some fine powder: It also sticks much to the Mortar, which therefore must be often made clean: The black will never be reduc'd to powder, neither this, nor any other way.

The difference between the black and the grey consists chiefly in the colour, which inclines to that of black pitch, and not mixt with whitish-grey seeds, but all over alike: The black is also softer and more weighty, and smells more like Bitumen.

Ch: 21.

Tortoise. p: 133

Crocadile. p: 13 [...]

Sea Feather. p: 127.

Sea Tree p: 127.

[Page 131]There is a third kind of Amber-greece, which is white, the rarest, as Ferdinand Lopez affirms, but not the best as he ac­counts it. On the contrary, it is the most inconsiderable of any, and there being no account made of it, there is very lit­tle transported: But this is indeed some of the other kinds of Amber-greece, which having been devoured and digested by Birds that have very hot stomacks, turns white, as most of the excrements of Birds are: That which hath been devour'd by Fishes, as it happens many times, is not much alter'd either as to colour or substance: which proceeds hence, that their sto­macks are not so hot as those of the Birds, and perhaps finding the Amber-greece hotter then their ordinary sustenance, and burthen'd therewith, they soon cast it up again: But what had been eaten by the Fox is in a manner corrupted, and of little value, by reason of the heat of his stomack. This white Amber-greece is like salted or pickled Suet, easily melted, and smells like tallow; whence some conceive it is but some kind of suet so ordered.

Having given the marks of the right Amber-greece, we shall omit the adulterations of it, because they are almost infinite: Nor shall we treat of its use in Physick, its excellent qualities, and especially the sweet scent it gives to liquid Conserves, and all other things wherein it is used: Of these some other Books lately come forth, and experience may satisfie the curious Reader.

CHAP. XXI. Of certain Creatures living partly on Land, partly in the Waters, commonly called Amphibia, which may be found in the Caribby-Islands.

WE shall begin with the Crocodile, by the Islanders cal­led Cayeman: It is a very dangerous Monster, which sometimes grows to an extraordinary bulk and length: The Skeletons of several of them being frequently brought into these parts, we shall not be so large in our descrip­tion thereof, as otherwise we might.

This Creature keeps in or neer the Sea, and in the Rivers of the Islands that are not inhabited, and sometimes on the Land among the Reeds, very hideous to look on: It is conceiv'd to live a long time, and that its body encreaseth in all its dimensi­ons to the very last day: Whence it is not to be wondred, if there have been seen of them some which were eighteen foot in length, and as big about as a Hogshead: It hath four feet [Page 132] well arm'd with crooked claws: The skin, which is cover'd all over with scales, is so hard on the back, that a bullet from a Musket shot at him shall hardly make any impression on it: but if he be hurt under the belly, or in the eyes, he is soon gone: His lower jaw is immoveable, but hath so wide a mouth, and so well set with sharp teeth, that he makes nothing to divide a man in two.

He runs fast enough on land; but the weight of his body causes him to make so deep a track in the sand, as a Coach-horse might do; and having no vertebrae in the back-bone, no more then the Hyaena's, he goes streight forwards, not being able to turn his vast body, but with much difficulty; so that the better to avoid his pursuit, a man need only turn several times a side.

Those which are bred in fresh water do so smell of Musk while they are alive, that the air is perfum'd a hundred paces about the place where they are: nay the water retains somwhat of the same smell. This observation of the sweet scent of the Crocodile may, by the way, discover the error of Pliny, who imagin'd that of all living creatures only the Panther had a sweet scent with it, as he somewhere affirms, though in ano­ther place he writes, that the entrails of the Crocodile smell ve­ry sweet, and that proceeds from the odoriferous flowers on which he feeds: Now this musky scent of the Crocodile of America is enclos'd in certain glandules in the Emunctories, which he hath under the thighs, and which being taken thence keep the said smell a long time: It may be imagin'd that God hath bestow'd this scent on them, that men and other creatures, which many times become the prey of these cruel Monsters, might by the scent discover the place where they lurk, and avoid them.

Those which have their abode in the Sea have no smell of musk, but both kinds are very dangerous, and to be dreaded by such as either go to wash themselves, or are forc'd to cross some river by swimming: This dreadful Monster hath a strange sleight to make his prey of Oxen and Cows: One of them will lye lurking at those places of the Ponds and Rivers where those creatures are wont to water, and finding one at his advantage, he half-shuts his eyes, and floats on the face of the water, as if it were a piece of rotten wood; by which means getting neerer and neerer to the poor beast which is a drinking, and is not aware of him, he immediately fastens on him, ta­king him by the lips, and forcing him under water, he drowns him, and then feeds on him: He taketh men also by the same sleight, as is affirmed by Vincent le Blanc, who hath a Relation of the servant of a Consul of Alexandria, who going to take one of these cruel beasts, thinking it had been a piece of wood, was drawn by it to the bottom, and never seen afterwards.

[Page 133]There are abundance of these monstrous Crocodiles in those Islands, which from them are called the Islands of Cayeman, and not frequented but only in the time of Tortoise-fishing: For having pick'd out the best meat out of the Tortoise, and a great deal cast away, the Crocodiles come in great numbers in the night time to feed on the entrails and carcases left on the sand: So that those who are watching for the Tortoises are oblig'd to carry about them great wooden Leavers to keep off those Cayemans, which they many times kill, having first broken their backs with those Leavers.

These creatures have a whitish fat, which was heretofore used by Physicians in fluxions proceeding from a cold cause; it being hot, and consisting of subtile parts: Upon the same account were such as had Fevers rubb'd therewith upon the approach of their fits, to cause sweating: Many other properties are attri­buted to the Crocodile by Pliny, in order to the curing of dis­eases: Some are very desirous to get certain little stones, like little bones, which are in his head, and having reduced them to powder, they use them to clear the Reins of Gravel: Some also affirm, that the sharpest teeth of this Animal, which are on the side of each jaw, cure the Tooth-ach, and pre­serve the teeth from corruption, being only rubbed every day therewith: There are in like manner in the heads of Dragons, and Toads, stones good against several diseases: So the cruel Requiems, by us before described, afford a remedy against the Stone and Gravel. Thus hath it pleas'd the wise Author of Nature, that we should have some advantages from those creatures which are otherwise most pernicious.

The Chineses have a way to take and tame these Crocodiles, as some Historians affirm: And when they have bred them a cer­tain time, and made them fat enough, they kill them, and feed on them: But the Europeans who have tasted thereof, affirm, their flesh, though white and delicate, is not pleasant to the taste, as being too lushious, sweetish, and retaining much of the musk.


THere are taken in these Islands several sorts of Tortoises, for there are Land-Tortoises, Sea-Tortoises, and Fresh­water-Tortoises, which are of different figures: The Caribbians call them all by the name of Catallou; but when they speak of the Land-Tortoises, they adde the word Nonum, which in their Language signifies the Earth, or that of Tona, that is to say, of the River or Water.

The Sea-Tortoises are commonly divided by the Islanders into three kinds, that which the French call Tortue Franche, that called Caouanne, and the Carets: They are all of them al­most [Page 134] of the same figure; but the meat only of the first kind is good to be eaten, unless it be in case of necessity, and for want of other provision; so that of the two last, only the shell is of value.

The Tortue-Franche, and the Caouannes are commonly of so vast a bulk, that the upper shell is about four foot and a half in length, and four in bredth: Which is not to be much ad­mired, since that in Maurice-Island there are some which having four men on their backs, are nevertheless able to go. Aelian relates, that the Inhabitants of Taprobana cover their houses therewith: And if we may credit Diodorus Siculus, certain Nations of the East-Indies convert them into Boats, in which they will cross a great arm of the Sea that lies between them and the Continent.

These Amphibious creatures seldom come to Land, but on­ly to dispose of their Egges, in order to propagation: To that end they make choice of a very light sand which they find on the Sea-side, in some place not much frequented, and to which they may have easie access.

The Islanders, who at a certain season of the year go to the Cayeman-Islands, to make provision of the meat of Tor­toises which come to land there in infinite numbers, affirm, that they make their recourse thither from all parts within a hun­dred leagues and more to lay their egges, by reason of the easiness of the access, the shore being flat, and cover'd with a soft sand: The Tortoises come to land about the latter end of April, and their landing continues till September, and then may they be taken in abundance; which is thus performed.

At the close of the evening some men are set ashore, who lying on the sands without making any noise, watch the Tor­toises when they come out of the Sea to lay their egges in the sand; and when they perceive that they are got a good way from the Sea-side, and hear them making a deep hole in the sand with their claws, into which being a foot and a half deep, and sometimes more, they lay the egges, they come and sur­prize them at that employment, and turn them upside-down; and being in that posture they are not able to recover them­selves, but continue so till the next day that they are brought thence in Shallops to the Ships: When they are thus turned upside-down, they are observ'd to shed tears, and are heard to sigh. 'Tis generally known that the Stag weeps when he is put to his extremities: And it is almost incredible what cries and groans proceed from the Crocodiles about the Nile, and what tears they shed when they find themselves taken.

The Sea-men of those Ships which go to the Cayeman-Islands to take in their loading of Tortoises, may every night in less then three hours turn forty or fifty of them, the least whereof weighs a hundred and fifty pound, and the ordinary ones two [Page 135] hundred pound; nay some of them will have two great pails full of egges in their bellies: These egges are round, and about the bigness of a Tennis-ball; they have white and yolk like Hens-egges, but the shell is not so hard, but soft, feeling as if it were wet parchment. The Fricasseys and Omeletts made of them are good enough, but a little drier then those made with Hens-egges. There is so much meat about one Tortoise as may well maintain sixty persons a whole day: When they are desirous to eat of them, they cut off the shell which is under the belly from that on the back, unto which it is joyn'd by certain gristles which are easily cut: What Tor­toises are taken by the Sea-men in the night, finds them work all day to cut into pieces and salt them. Most of the Ships which come to these Cayeman-Islands, after they have taken in their loading, that is, after six weeks or two moneths continu­ance there, return to the Caribbies, where they sell that salted Tortoise; and it becomes the sustenance of the ordinary sort of people, and the slaves.

But the Tortoises that have escaped, having laid their egges at two or three several times, return to the place whence they came, the egges which they have cover'd with sand on the Sea-side being about six weeks after hatch'd by the heat of the Sun, and not by their looking on them, as Pliny, and some of the Ancients imagined: as soon as the young Tortoises have broken the shells wherein they were inclos'd, they make their way through the sand, and get out of the grave which gave them birth, and by an instinct of nature go streight to the Sea to the old ones.

The meat of this kind of Tortoise is as dainty as any Veal, so it be fresh, and kept but one day: It is intermixt with fat, which when it is dress'd is of a greenish yellow: It is of easie digestion, and very wholsom, whence it comes, that those sick persons who cannot recover in the other Islands are carried to that purpose to the Cayemans in the Ships that go for Tor­toises; and commonly having refresh'd, and purg'd themselves with that diet, they return thence perfectly recover'd. The fat of this kind of Tortoise yields an oyl, which while it is fresh is good enough to fry withall, being stale it is employ'd in Lamps.


THe Tortoise called the Caouanne is of the same figure as the precedent, save that the head of it is a little big­ger: This stands upon the defensive when people come neer to turn it; but the meat of it being black, full of strings, and of ill taste, there is no account made of it, but only where other is not to be had; the oyl also got from it is good only for Lamps.


THe third kind of Sea-Tortoise, called by the French Ca­ret, differs from the two others in bigness, as being much less, and that it lays not its egges in the sand, but in a kind of gravel which is mixt with small pebbles: The meat of this Tortoise is not pleasant, but the egges more delicate then those of the other two kinds: It would be as little regarded as the Caouanne, were it not sought after for its precious shell: It consists of fifteen greater and lesser leaves or pieces, ten where­of are flat and even, four a little bending, and that which co­vers the neck, made triangle-wise, hollow like a little buckler: All the shells of an ordinary Caret may weigh three or four pound; but there have been some taken whose shells have been so large and so thick, that all together have weigh'd about six or seven pounds.

Of the shell of this kind of Tortoise are made Combs, Cups, Boxes, Cases, Cabinets, and so many excellent things of great price: It also enriches Houshold-stuff, the borders of Looking­glasses and Pictures, and is used now in the covering of Pocket­books of Devotion. To get this precious shell, they put a lit­tle fire under the upper shell which consists of so many pieces; and as soon as they feel the heat they are easily taken off with the point of a knife.

Some affirm, that this kind of Tortoise is so vigorous, that its shell being taken away it will get another if it be immediate­ly cast into the Sea. The most plentiful fishing for these Tor­toises is at the Peninsula of Jucatan, and several little Islands within the Gulf of Hondures: So that honest Pirard was ill-inform'd, who in his Treatise of the Animals and Fruits of the East-Indies, Chap. 2. affirmes, that this kinde of Tor­toise is to be found only in the Maldivos and the Philippine-Islands.

It is affirmed by some, that the oyl of this kind of Tortoise helpeth all kinds of Gouts proceeding from cold causes: It is also very successfully used to strengthen the Sinews, to take away the pain of the Reins, and cure all cold Fluxions and Distempers.

Having given so particular an account of the Tortoises, it will not be amiss to adde thereto the manner how they are fish'd for, and how all the great fishes of the Caribbies are taken.

How the Tortoises and other great Fishes are taken in the Caribbies.

THe Sea-Tortoises are not only taken upon the sand, as we shew'd before, but also by means of an Instrument, which is a pole about the length of a half-pike, at the end whereof there is fasten'd a nail pointed at both ends, which is square in the midst, and about the bigness of a mans little fin­ger: Some make notches on that side of it which stands out of the wood, that it may take faster hold when it is entred into the shell of the Tortoise.

In the night time, the Moon shining and the Sea calm, the Master-fisher being in a little boat with two others, one at the oar to turn it of any side as fast as ever he can, that the boat may go much faster and with less noise then if it were row'd; the other is in the midst of the Canow or Boat, holding the line which is fasten'd to the nail, and in a readiness to draw it it as soon as the instrument hath done execution on the Tortoise.

Being thus provided, they go where they think to find of them; and when the Master-fisher, who stands up on the fore­part of the Canow, perceives one of them by the glittering of the Sea, which by getting up ever and anon to the face of the water it causeth to foam, he directs him who guides the little vessel to make to the place where he would have him, and be­ing gently got neer the Tortoise, he violently darts the instru­ment into its back: The nail piercing the shell, gets also a good way into the flesh, and the wood keeps up above the wa­ter: As soon as the fish finds it self hurt, it sinks down to the bot­tom with the nail sticking fast in the shell: And the more it strives and struggles, the more it is entangled. At last having wearied it self, and spent its forces in striving by reason of its loss of blood, it suffers it self to be easily taken, and is either taken into the Canow, or drawn to the shore.

After the same manner they also take Lamantins, and several other great fishes; but instead of the nail there is put into the wooden instrument a great hook, or a small dart of iron made like that of a sharp lance: On one side of that piece of iron there is a hole, through which there passeth a line, which is al­so woond about the dart, so that when it is darted into the fish, the line easily is let loose, that it may have the liberty to tum­ble up and down in the water, and when it hath spent its forces, and reduc'd to extremity, if it cannot be gotten into the Ca­now, it is easily drawn to the shore, where they divide it into quarters.

Land-Tortoises, and Fresh-water-Tortoises.

THe Land-Tortoises are found in some Islands neer the fresh-water Rivers, which are least subject to inundati­ons, or in the ponds and fenny places that are farthest from the Sea: They are cover'd all over with a hard and solid shell, which is not to be rais'd by several pieces or leaves, as those of the Sea-Tortoises, and it is so thick in all parts, that it secures the Animal living within it from any hurt, and will not be broken even though the wheels of a loaden Cart should go over it. But what is yet more strange, is, that the creature never finds this moving lodging too narrow for him; for it grows larger proportionably as the body of the possessor grows bigger: The upper covering is in some of them about a foot and a half in length: it is of an oval figure, somewhat hol­low like a Buckler, and on the outside hath several streaks, which as it were divide it into so many compartiments, with a certain observance of Symmetry: All these intermixtures are laid on a black ground, which in several places is enamell'd with white and yellow.

This kind of Tortoise hath a very ugly head, like that of a Serpent: It hath no teeth, but only jaws, which are strong enough to break what it would swallow down: It is supported by four feet, somewhat weak to sustain the weight of its body; nor does it upon pursuit trust much to them: For if he be not neer some river or pond into which he may cast himself, he places all refuge and safety in the covering of his mansion, un­der which like a Hedg-hog he immediately draws in his head, feet and tail, upon the first apprehension of any danger.

The Female lays egges about the bigness of those of Pige­ons, but a little longer: Having cover'd them with sand, she leaves them to be hatch'd by the Sun. Though there be some who hold that the meat of these Land-Tortoises is of hard di­gestion, yet those who have eaten thereof rank it among the most delicate dishes of America: The Physicians of the Coun­try advise those who are inclin'd to Dropsies to use it often for a preventive: They have also found by experience, that the blood of these Tortoises dried and reduc'd to powder takes away the poyson of Vipers and Scorpions, being apply'd to the wound: It is also certain, that the ashes of their shells mixt with the white of an egge cures the chaps in Nursing-womens nipples; and if the head be powder'd therewith, it prevents the falling of the Hair.

CHAP. XXII. Containing the particular Descriptions of several sorts of Crabs or Crab-fish, commonly found in the Caribbies.

THere are found in all the Caribby-Islands certain Crabs or Crab-fish, which are a kind of amphibious Crevices, and very good meat, whereas those of Brasil are unplea­sant, in asmuch as they smell of the Juniper-root. According­ly the Indian Inhabitants very highly esteem theirs, and make them their ordinary entertainment: They are all of an oval figure, having the tail turning in under the belly: Their bo­dies, which are cover'd all over with a shell hard enough, is sup­ported by several feet which are all full of little prickles, which facilitate their climbing up to those places whither they would get up: The two fore-feet are very big, and of those one is somewhat bigger then the other: The French call these two fore feet or claws, Mordants, significantly enough, forasmuch as with these they twitch and secure whatsoever they have fastened on: The fore-part which is somewhat broader, and stands up higher then the other, hath standing a little out two eyes, which are solid, transparent, and of several colours: Their mouths are armed with two little white teeth dispos'd on each side like a pair of sharp pincers, wherewith they cut the leaves of Fruits, and the roots of Trees on which they feed.


THere are three kinds of them, differing in bigness and co­lour, of which the least are those commonly called Tourlourous: They have a red shell marked with black-spots; they are pleasant enough to the taste, but in regard there is much picking work about them, and but little to be gotten from them, and that it is conceived they incline people to the bloody flux, they are used only in case of necessity.


THere are others all white, and have their abodes at the foot of Trees on the Sea-side, in certain holes which they make in the ground, into which they retreat, as the Co­nies do into their Clappers or Hutches: These are the biggest of all the kinds, nay there have been those taken which have had in one of their claws as much meat as an egge might con­tain, [Page 140] and as delicate as that of the River-Crevices: They are seldom seen in the day time; but in the night they come in multitudes out of their holes to feed under the Trees; and it is then that they are taken with the help of a Lanthorn or Torches: They delight very much to be under the Arched-Indian-Fig-tree, and other Trees which are on the Sea-side, and in the most fenny places: If a man shall search into the ground, or in the sand to get them out of their lurking places, he shall always find half their bodies in water, as most of the other amphibious creatures are.


BUt those of the third kind, which as to bulk is between the two others before mentioned, are the most beautiful, the most to be admired, and the most esteem'd of all: They are indeed much of the same figure with the precedent; but according to the several Islands, and different soils wherein they are bred, they are painted with so many colours, and those so beautiful and lively, that there cannot be a greater di­vertisement then to see these creatures at mid-day creeping un­der the Trees where they seek for their sustenance: Of some of them the bodies are of a violet colour intermixt with white: others are of a bright yellow interlaced with several small greyish and purple lines, which begin at the mouth and are drawn down over the back: Nay there are some which upon a dark-colour'd ground are streaked with red, yellow and green, which makes the richest mixture of colours that can be imagin'd; looking on them at a little distance a man would think, that all those delightful colours wherewith they are na­turally enamell'd, were not yet fully dry, such is their bright­ness, or that they were newly varnish'd over to give them the greater lustre.

These Painted Crabs are not like the white ones, which dare not appear in the day time; for these are to be seen morning and evening, and after the rains under the Trees, where they recreate themselves in great companies together: They will also suffer a man to come neer enough to them; but as soon as they perceive him make any attempt to take them (which is best done with a little wand, it being too dangerous to employ the hands) they make their retreat without turning their backs on those that pursue them, and as they go back they shew their teeth, and opening their defensives, which are those two Claws or Mordants they have in their feet, they therewith de­fend their whole body, and they ever and anon strike them one against another to frighten their enemies: And in that posture they get into their forts, which are commonly under the root, or in the cleft of some rotten Tree, or that of some rock.

[Page 141]These Crabs have this natural instinct, to go every year about May, in the season of the rains, to the Sea-side to wash themselves, and disburthen themselves of their egges, in order to the perpetuation of their species: They come down from the Mountains in such multitudes, that the high-ways and woods are covered with them; and they have this strange direction given them, that they take their way towards that part of the Island where there are Creeks and descents, whereby they may the more easily come to the Sea.

The Inhabitants are at that time very much annoy'd by them, in regard they fill their Gardens, and with their little Mordants they cut the Pease and young Plants of Tobacco: They observe such an order in this descent, that they look like an Army marching in rank and file: they never break their ranks, and whatever they meet with by the way, Houses, Mountains, Rocks, or other obstacles, they attempt to get over them, that they may go on still in a strait line: Twice a day they make a halt, during the greatest heat, both to feed and rest themsleves a while: But they make greater journies in the night then in the day, till at last they get to the Sea-side.

When they are upon this expedition they are fat, and good to eat; the Males being full of meat, and the Females of egges: And indeed during that time, a man may have of them at his door: Nay sometimes they come into the houses if the palizadoes be not close enough, and that they meet with a place to get in at: The noise they make in the night time is greater then that of the Mice, and keeps people from sleeping: When they are come to the Sea-side, having rested themselves a little, and consider'd the Sea as the nurse of their young ones, they approach so neer it, that they wash themselves three or four times in the little waves which gently rise and fall on the sand: then having retired into the Woods or neighbouring Plains to recover their weariness, the Females return a second time to the Sea, and having wash'd themselves a little, they open their tails, which are commonly thrust up under the belly, and shake out the egges fasten'd thereto into the water: After which having once more wash'd themselves, they return in the same order in which they came thither.

The strongest of them soon recover the Mountains, every one making to the quarter from whence he came, and by the same way through which he had pass'd before: But then, that is, in their return, they are for the most part so weak and lean, that they are forc'd to make some stay in the next fields they come at to refresh themselves, and retrive their former vigour before they can get up to the tops of Mountains.

As to the Egges thus committed to the Sea, having been cast up by it on the softer kind of sand, and warm'd some time by the beams of the Sun, they are at last hatch'd, and become lit­tle [Page 142] Crabs, whereof there may be seen millions about the bigness of a large farthing, getting into the neighbouring bushes till such time as they are strong enough to get to the old ones in the Mountains.

Another considerable thing in these Crabs, is, that once a year, to wit, after their return from the Sea, they are under ground for the space of six weeks, so that there is not one of them to be seen: During this time they change their skin or shell, and become wholly new: They work out the earth so neatly at the entrance of their retreats, that there is no hole to be seen; which they do to prevent their taking of any air; for when they put off their old coat, their whole body is as it were naked, being only cover'd with a very thin pellicle, which grows thicker and harder by degrees, till it come to the solidity of the shell they had put off.

Monsieur du Montel relates, that he purposely caused some places to be digg'd where it was likely there were of them hid­den: Having met with them, he found them wrapp'd in leaves of Trees, which no doubt was their sustenance, and serv'd them for a nest during that retirement; but they were so weak and unable to endure the air, that they seemed as it were half dead, though fat enough, and excellent meat, and as such high­ly esteemed by the Inhabitants: Close by them he found the shell they had put off, which seem'd to be as entire as if the animal had been still within it: And what was strange, though he look'd very narrowly, yet hardly could he find any hole, or cleft at which the body of it might get out of that prison: But having view'd it very exactly, he found a little disjunction neer the tail, at which the Crab had slipped out.

They are commonly dress'd as the Crevices in these parts are; but the more delicate will take the time and pains, after they are boiled, to pick out all that is good in the claws, and to extract a certain oily substance which is in the body, and by some called Taumaly, and to fry all together with the egges of the female, putting thereto a little of the Country Pepper, and some juice of Oranges; and this makes it one of the most dainty dishes in the Caribbies.

In these grounds where there are many of the Trees called Manchenillos, the Crabs which feed under them, or eat of the fruit, have a venemous quality, insomuch that those who eat thereof fall dangerously sick: But in other parts they are whol­som enough, and as the Crevices in Europe are numbred among the delicacies: Such as are careful of their health open them them before they eat thereof, and if they be black within they think them dangerous, and use them not.

CHAP. XXIII. Of Thunder, Earth-quakes, and the Tempests sometimes happening in the Caribbies.

AS there is hardly any face so beautiful, but that it may be subject to some defect, spot or mole; so these Islands having all the excellencies and advantages be­fore represented, have also some imperfections and defects which take off much of their lustre, and abate of the enjoy­ments and pleasures they might otherwise afford: We shall give a short account of the principal inconveniences happening there, and the remedies which may be apply'd thereto.


OF those Thunder may be named in the first place, which though never heard on the Coasts of Peru, is in these Islands so frequent, and in many places so dreadful, that by its terrible claps it forces the most confident into terrour and asto­nishment.


EArth-quakes do also sometimes produce very sad effects, and shake the very foundations of the Earth so violently, that they make a man reel in those places where he might think himself most safe: But through Gods goodness these happen very seldom, and in some places the agitation is not so great.


WHat is most to be feared is a general conspiracy of all the Winds, which goes about the Compass in the space of 24 hours, and sometimes in less. This is that which is called a Hurricane, and happens commonly in the moneths of July, August, or September: at other times there is no fear of it. Heretofore it happened but once in seven years, and sometimes seldomer; but within these few years it hath happened once every two years, nay in one year there happened two of them: Nay not long after Monsieur Auber was sent to command in chief at Gardeloupe, there were three Hurricanes in one year.

This kind of Tempest is so violent, that it breaks and unroots Trees, deprives those it takes not away of all verdure, makes desolate whole Forests, removes Rooks from the tops of Moun­tains, [Page 144] and casts them into the Valleys, overthrows Houses, carries away the Plants it hath forc'd out of the Earth into the Sea, makes a general waste of all it meets with in the Fields; and in a word, leaves famine all over the Country, which groans a long time after that disaster, and will be a long time ere it recovers the ruines occasion'd thereby.

Nor does the Hurricane all this mischief only by Land, but it raises withall such a tempest on the Sea, that it seems to be mixt and confounded with the Air and the Sky: It breaks to pieces the Ships that happen to be on the Coasts at that time, casting some upon the shores, and swallowing others into the Abysses of the Deep: So that those which escape shipwrack at such a time, are extreamly oblig'd to acknowledg the great mercy of God towards them.

Those who observe the signs preceding this Tempest, have particularly noted these; That a little before it happens the Sea becomes of a sudden so calm and even, that there appears not the least wrinkle on her face; That the Birds by a natural instinct come down in multitudes from the Mountains, where they make their ordinary abode, to retire into the Plains and Valleys, where they keep on the ground to secure themselves against the injuries of the cruel weather which they foresee coming; And that the Rain which falls a little before is bitter and salt, as the Sea-water.

It is not many years since that there happen'd a memorable example of this Tempest upon several Ships lying in the Road of S. Christophers loaden with Tobacco, and ready to set sail; For they were all broken to pieces and cast away, and the Commodities wholly lost: Whereof there follow'd another strange and unexpected accident, which was, that most of the fish upon the Coast was poysoned by the Tobacco: The Sea seem'd in a manner cover'd with those poor creatures, which turn'd upside-down and languishing floated on the face of the water, and came to dye on the shore.

Nor are these disasters particular only to the New-World, but there have been seen in France, and other places such dreadful Tempests as might well be accounted Hurricanes. In the year M. D. XCIX. there rose neer Bourdeaux such a vio­lent wind, that it broke and unrooted most of the great Trees which were able to resist, especially the Wall-nut-trees, whose boughs are commonly very large, and transported some of them above five hundred paces from the place where they grew: But the weaker Trees which gave way were spared: The Palace of Poictiers receiv'd much hurt; divers Steeples were batter'd, and that of Cangres neer Saumur quite blown down: Some persons on horse-back in the fields were carried above sixty paces out of their way: For the space of six or se­ven leagues, as far as it blew, there was nothing but ruine and confusion.

[Page 145][To this place may be reduced, among others, that Tempest which happen'd here in England at the removal out of this world of the late Usurper Oliver Cromwel; the mischiefs whereof are yet fresh in mens minds; as also that in February, 1661.]

To give an example of a Hurricane that shew'd its malice here in Europe, particularly on the Sea, we shall adde the Copy of a Letter from a Merchant of Rochel to a Correspondent of his at Rouen, dated January the 30th, M. DC. XLV.

‘We have been in a very sad condition these two days, by reason of the extraordinary Tempest which began Saturday night last, the 28th of this month, and continues yet: We see from our Walls between thirty and forty Ships cast a way, and forc'd to the shore, most English bottoms, and abundance of Merchandize lost: One of these Ships of 200 Tun burthen was cast neer a Wind-mill, which is twelve foot higher then any tide was ever seen; for the Tempest was not only in the Air, but it also forc'd the Sea much beyond its ordinary li­mits, insomuch that the spoil it hath done by Land very much exceeds the loss of the Ships. All the Salt on the low Marshes was carried away; all the Wheat on the lower grounds and reduced marches overflown: And in the Isle of Ree the Sea cross'd it from one side to the other, spoil'd abundance of Vineyards, and drown'd much Cattel. In the memory of man the Sea never came up so high; nay it came to some places almost a league within the Land: So that those who have been at S. Christophers affirm, that the Hur­ricanes happening there are not more dreadful then this Tempest was here: The wind was North-west: The loss both on Sea and Land is valued at five hundred thousand Crowns: 'Tis conceiv'd there is as much Salt lost as would have freighted two hundred Ships of three hundred Tun a piece. There are also lost some Dutch Ships neer the Isle of Ree, at Bourdeaux, and Bayonne, which were very richly laden. Whence it appears that these Tempests are as violent in Europe as those so much feared in the Caribbies.

But in those parts, some to secure themselves from these Storms forsake their houses, out of a fear to be over-whelm'd in their ruines, and make their abode in Caves and the clefts of Rocks, or lye flat on the ground in the open fields, till they be over: Others run to some house neer them, which they think so strongly built, as that it may elude the shocks of that Tempest; for now there are in the Caribbies many structures that in a manner defie the violence thereof: Nay there are some will get into the little Huts built by the Negroes, in imitation of those of the Caribbians; for it hath been found by experience, that these Hurts, being round and having no place open but the door, and whereof the Rafters stand upon the ground, are [Page 146] commonly spared when the highest houses are remov'd from one place to another, if not quite overthrown by the impetu­ous agitation of the winds raising this Tempest.

CHAP. XXIV. Of some other Inconveniences of the Country, and the remedies thereof.

BEsides the Thunder, Earth-quakes and Hurricanes, which shake the very foundations, and blast the beauty of the Caribby-Islands, there are some other Inconveniences which much annoy the Inhabitants, though not so much to be feared as the precedent. These we have reserv'd to be the sub­ject of this last Chapter, wherein out of the desire we have to contribute all lyes in us to the well-being and satisfaction of those amiable Colonies, we shall propose the remedies which the experience of the ancient Inhabitants, and the judgment of several eminent Physicians have found most proper and effectu­al to secure them from those dangerous consequences.


THere is then, in the first place, a sort of very small Flies, by some called Mousticoes, which are felt commonly be­fore they are seen: But in that little weak body there is so sharp and venemous a sting, as causing an importunate itch that will not be satisfi'd till the skin be scratch'd off, the wound degenerates into a dangerous Ulcer if some remedy be not apply'd.

There is another kind somwhat bigger, and making a noise like that of the Flies, seen in these parts neer ponds and fenny places, by some of the Inhabitants of the Caribbies called Ma­ringoins: They do the same effect with the former, being arm'd with a little sting which pierces through cloaths, nay through the Hammocks, or hanging-beds on which people rest themselves: But both kinds have this particular to them, that they never do any mischief, but they before-hand proclaim a war, and sound a charge with their little Trumpet, which ma­ny times does more frighten then their stinging hurts.

To avoid the annoyance of these two little Insects, the In­habitants place their houses on a little eminency, give them air on all sides, and cut down all the Trees which may hinder the East-wind, which is the ordinary wind blowing in those Islands, and which drives away these wicked and importunate enemies: [Page 147] Those also who have their lodgings and beds very close are not so much troubled therewith.

But if notwithstanding these precautions any be annoy'd thereby, they need only take Tobacco in the room, or make a fire that shall smoak much, and these disturbers of mens rest will be gone: And if they have stung any one, and he be de­sirous to be rid of the itch which follows, let him only wet the place stung with Vinegar, or the juyce of the lesser kind of Ci­tron, and he shall have ease.


WAspes also and Scorpions are common in most of these Islands: These Vermin are of the same figure and as dangerous as those of the same kinds in most parts of Europe: The stingings of Waspes are helped by the juice of Rue-leaves, and perfectly cured by a fomentation of the sovereign remedy against all sorts of poysons, which is given out under the fa­mous name of Orvictan; and that of Scorpions hath its reme­dy in the beast it self, which must be crush'd upon the place af­fected, or for want thereof, recourse must be had to the oyl called Scorpion-oyl, which should be common in all those parts where these Insects are so.


IN most of these Islands there grow certain Trees called by some Manchenillo-trees, beautiful to the eye, bearing leaves like those of Crab-trees, and a fruit called Manchenillo, like an Appius-apple; for it is streaked with red, extreamly fair, and of a pleasant scent, insomuch that one can hardly forbear tasting it if he be not before-hand acquainted with its dangerous quali­ty; for though it be sweet in the mouth, yet is it so fatal that being eaten it sends a man to sleep, not for 24 hours, (as a cer­tain seed of Peru, and an herb in the East, whereof Linscot speaks at large) but so as never to awake again; so that it is much worse then those Almonds of Mexico, which smell like musk, but being eaten leave a taste of rottenness behind them; as also then the fair Apples of Sodom, which being opened yield only soot and ashes; for if a man have the mischance to be de­ceiv'd in them, it is without any hazard of his life: But these venemous Apples may be compared to the Indian-nut which grows in Java: It is somwhat like a Gall, and at the first eating thereof it tastes like a small Nut; but afterwards it causeth mortal gripings, and is a most dangerous poyson: There is also in Africk a Tree called Coscoma, which bears deadly Apples: The Tree of the Maldivas, named Ambou, bears a fruit no less deceitful and pernicious: And neer Tripoly in Syria there are [Page 148] certain large Apricocks, which are fair to the eye, and very savoury to the palat; but the subsequent qualities of them are many times mortal, or at best, cause long and painful diseases to such as have eaten of them.

There grow Manchenillo-Trees on the Sea-side and the banks of Rivers, and if the fruit fall into the water, the fish eating thereof will certainly dye; nay though it conti­nue long in the water, yet will it not rot, but is cover'd with salt-peter, which gives it a solid crustiness, as if it were petrify'd. In those Islands where this Tree grows in abun­dance the Snakes are venemous, it being supposed by some, that they sometimes suck the fruit of it: Nay the Crabs which feed under these Trees contract a dangerous quality from them, as we said elsewhere; and many have been sick after the eating thereof: Whence it comes, that when these fruits fall to the ground, such as are careful of their health will for­bear the eating of Crabs.

Yet do not the Snakes or Crabs wholly live on this fruit, but feeding under the Tree they draw the infection thereof to themselves, especially if they suck the venome of its fruit. It may well be, that what is mortal to some creatures is not so to all; and that these Insects often feeding on this poyson, do by custom and continuance turn it into their sustenance, as is re­ported of Mithridates: And so they may infect such as eat thereof, receiving themselves no hurt thereby.

Under the bark of the trunk and boughs of these Trees there is contained a certain glutinous water, which is white as milk, extremely malignant and dangerous: There being ma­ny of them along the high-ways, if one should carelesly break one of their branches, that milk or rather poyson comes forth, and falls upon him: If it light on his shirt, it makes an ugly stain as if it were burnt; if on the skin, and the place be not immediately wash'd, it will be all blistered: but if it should chance that a drop of this caustick and venemous water should fall into the eye, it will cause an insupportable inflammation, and the party shall lose his sight for nine days, after which he will have some ease.

The dew, or rain-water, having continu'd a while on the leaves of these Trees, produces the same effect, and if it should light on the skin, it would scorch it like Aqua-fortis: So that it is almost as bad as the drops of rain falling under the Line, which are so contagious, as those who have felt them affirm, that if they fall on the hands, face, or any uncover'd part of the body, there immediately rise up bladders and blisters with much pain; and if the party do not presently shift his cloths, his body will be full of wheals all over; not to mention the worms which are bred in the cloths.

Nay the very shade of these Trees is prejudicial to men, [Page 149] and if a man rest himself under them, the whole body swells after a strange manner. Pliny and Plutarch mention a Tree of Arcadia no less dangerous; and those who have travell'd into the East-Indies affirm, that there is an herb named Sapony, which causes their death who lye upon it. But what heightens the ill quality of the Manchenillo-Tree, is, that the meat dress'd with a fire made of its wood derives a certain malignity from it, which burns the mouth and throat.

Nor are the Savages of these Islands ignorant of the nature of the Manchenillo; for the composition wherewith they are wont to poyson their arrows hath in it, among other ingredi­ents, the milk of this Tree, and the dew falling from it, and the juice of the fruit.

To cure, in a short time, the swelling and blisters rising on the body after sleeping under the shade of these Trees, or receiving the rain or dew falling from their branches, as al­so those occasion'd by the milk within the bark, recourse must be immediately made to a kind of Snails, whereof we have spoken before, under the name of Souldiers, and let the party take a certain cleer water which is contain'd with­in their shell, and apply it to the place affected: this remedy immediately allays the venome of that scorching liquour, and puts the party out of all danger: The oyl extracted without fire from the same Snail operates the same effect. But if any shall happen to eat of the fruit of these venemous Trees, he must use the remedies prescribed hereafter, to ex­pell the venome of Serpents, and all other poysons.


THere is also a kind of Ant, or worm, which hath a lit­tle black spot on the head, all the rest of the body being white: They are bred of rotten wood, and thence some call them Wood-lice: Their bodies are softer then those of our ordinary Ants, and yet their tooth is so sharp, that they gnaw wood, and get into such coffers as lye neer the ground: And in less then two days, if they be not destroy'd, there will get in such abundance, that linen, cloaths, paper, and what­ever is within them will be eaten and devoured; nay they gnaw and eat the posts which sustain the ordinary hutts, inso­much that if some course be not taken they will at last fall down.

To prevent the breeding of these Insects, and the mischief done by them, there are these cautions: At the building of houses not to leave any wood on the ground to rot, out of which they may breed: To burn the ends of those pieces of wood that are planted in the ground: As soon as any of them are perceiv'd, to cast scalding water into the holes which they [Page 150] have made: To hang up Chests and Coffers in the air with cords, as they are forc'd to do in several parts of the East-In­dies, that they may not touch the ground: And lastly, to keep the rooms very clean, and leave nothing on the ground. It hath also been observ'd, that the rubbing of their haunts with the oyl of that kind of Palma-Christi wherewith the Negroes rub their heads to avoid vermine, hath prevented their com­ing any more that way. The oyl of Lamantin hath the same effect, and if it be poured on their rendezvouz, which is a kind of Ant-hill made up of their own ordure, and fasten'd a­bout the forks which sustain the hutts, they immediately for­sake it.


ANother dangerous vermine are the Ravets, of which there are two kinds: The bigger are almost like Locusts, and of the same colour; the others are not half as big: Both kinds have their walks in the night-time, get into Chests if they be not very close, foul all things wherever they come, and do mischief enough, yet not so much, nor in so short a time, as the Wood-lice. They are called Ravets, because like Rats they gnaw whatever they come at: They are no doubt the same which de Lery calls Aravers, according to the Language of the Brasilians. This vermine hath a particular malice to Books, and their covers. The Wood-lice are as good, if they can get at them; but they are to be commend­ed in this particular, that they have a respect for the letters, and only nibble about the margents; for whether they can­not away with the ink, or for some other reason, it must be an extraordinary famine that shall force them to feed on the impression, or writing▪ But they are very great lovers of linen above any thing, and if they can get into a Chest, they will desire but one night to make work enough for many Sempstresses for a month.

As to the Ravets, though they be not so quick at their work, yet they spare nothing but silk and cotton-stuffs; nay they have no stomach to silk or cotton even while it is raw; insomuch that if the Chests be hung up in the air, and the cords be done about with cotton, as soon as they find their little feet fasten'd in it, they immediately endeavour to get away, and turn somewhere else. Such as dwell in houses of brick or stone are not troubled with the Wood-lice, but with all their care they have much ado to avoid the mischief done by the Ravets: Yet hath it been found by experience, that they cannot endure sweet scents, and that they would not willingly get into Chests made of Cedar, and those excellent sweet woods which are common in all these Islands. At Cairo [Page 151] they put the pedestalls of Cabinets in vessels full of water, to prevent the creeping up of the Ants. This easie secret might produce the same effect in the Caribbies to keep off the Wood­lice and Ravets, nay also the Ants, which are there also ex­tremely troublesome.


BUt what is most to be feared in all these Islands is a certain kind of little worm, no bigger then a hand-worm, which breeds in the dust, in the sweepings cast out into the dung­hill, and such unclean places: These are commonly called Chegoes. They get into peoples feet, and under the nails of their toes; but if they get any further, and are not taken a­way in time, they will get into all the other parts of the bo­dy. At first they only cause a little itching, but having once got through the skin, they cause an inflammation in the place affected, and though very little when they entred it, come in time to be as big as a pea, and produce abundance of nits, which may breed others; and so many times ulcers are bred in the places whence they are taken.

The Savages, as they relate who have liv'd among them, have a certain gum, wherewith having rubb'd their feet, espe­cially under the nails, they are not annoy'd with this vermine: But such as know not that secret are advis'd to have their feet search'd by those who have the skill to discover and take out those dangerous Insects, as soon as they feel the least itch­ing; at which work the Indians are very expert and fortu­nate. Those who take out these Chegoes must have a care that they break not the bag wherein they are enclosed; which if they do, some of their little egges will remain be­hind, which will infallibly breed others. It is conceived al­so, that the Roucou, which the Caribbians use to make them­selves more beautiful, more nimble, and more active to run, hath a secret vertue to keep off all these vermine.

It is also a good remedy often to sprinkle salt-water a­bout the room; not to go bare-foot; to wear stockings of Goats-leather; and to keep ones self very clean: For com­monly only such as are careless of themselves, and slovenly, are much troubled with them. These little worms are the same with those which the Brasilians call Tons, and some other Indians Nigas.

Those who have Ulcers caused by these little worms, either for want of taking them out skilfully or in time, are among the French called Malingres. These Ulcers come also many times after some little scratching, which at first seems to be little or nothing: But afterwards, the party may well wonder to see it as big as the palm of a mans hand; for the Ulcer must [Page 152] have its course: Nay some of them, though little, yet are ve­ry hard to be cured. Of these Ulcers there are two kinds; one round, the other uneven: The round Ulcer is harder to cure then the other, for it is encompass'd with dead flesh, which makes it the worse; for till that dead and loose flesh be remo­ved, the Ulcer cannot be cured: Therefore as often as the wound is dress'd, that dead flesh must be quite cut away, which causes extraordinary pains.

Among the remedies for the healing of these Ulcers, there are used Verdi-greece, Aqua-fortis, the spirit of Vitriol, and burnt Allom, which eat away the dead flesh: They use to the same end the juice of the lesser Citron, which is extreamly sharp; and when the wound is foul, it makes it clean, and look well: True it is, the pain which the party feels when the wound is rubbed therewith is so great, that he would rather pitch on any of the other remedies; but they do not heal so soon: There is also an Unguent made of common honey, a little sharp Vinegar, and the powder of Verdi-greece, which cures Ulcers in a short time: And to prevent them, let not any one make slight of the least hurt or scratch that happens in any part of the body whatsoever, especially the feet or legs, but to apply a plaister thereto, to take away the heat which may be in the wound; and in case there be no other remedy procurable, to put some Tobacco-leaves to it, and to use the juice of Citron and Vinegar, to take away the itch which remains after the stinging of the Mousticoes and the Maringoins, rather then to make use of the nails.

In the sixth Chapter of this History, we said there were Ser­pents and Snakes in the Islands of Martinico and St. Alousia, which have a dangerous venom: We shall here assign the Re­medies which may be successfully used in order to the taking away thereof. In the first place, be it observ'd, that they are to be used both inwardly and outwardly: Inwardly to comfort the heart, and dissipate the venemous quality which might pre­vail over it, there are successfully used Treacle, Mithridate, the Confection of Alkermes, Egyptian-Balm, Peru-Balm, Rue, Scordium, Scorzonera, Vipers-grass, Angelico, and Contra­hierva: But above all, the party stung must take down in a lit­tle Burrage-water, Bugloss-water, or some other liquor, the powder of the Liver and Heart of Vipers, the weight of a Crown-piece: In a word, he must use all those things which fortifie the heart, and revive and refresh the spirits: Outwardly there are to be applyed all the Remedies which have the vertue to draw and disperse all manner of venom: Such are Cupping­glasses apply'd upon the scarified wound, as also all hot and at­tractive Medicaments, such as are Galbanum, Ammoniacum, the fomentation of wine boil'd with the root of Dragon-wort, or the leaves of Mug-wort, Garlick, Onions, Pigeons dung, the [Page 153] blood of Land-Tortoises dry'd and reduc'd to powder, and the like.

It is also not only requisite, but very safe, as soon as may be to bind up the member affected, a little above the place where the party was stung, and immediately to make an incision, nay indeed to take away the piece, or at least, as soon as it is scari­fi'd to apply thereto the outermost feather of a Chicken or Pi­geons wing to take away the venom; and that Chicken or Pi­geon being dead, to take another, till there be no venom left to be drawn.

It were also to be wish'd, that all the Inhabitants of the Ca­ribbies were furnish'd with that excellent Antidote, approved in so many places in France, which is known under the famous name of Orvietan, and sold at Paris at the New-bridge end, in the street called Rue Dauphine, at the sign of the Sun: For that admirable secret, among many other rare qualities, hath the vertue to drive away the venom of all sorts of Serpents, and to allay the force of the strongest poysons: Such as have been stung by venemous Serpents are to use it thus.

Take of it about the bigness of a Bean, dissolv'd in wine; and after scarification made on the place stung, and drawing blood by the Cupping-glass, apply thereto a little Orvietan, and let care be taken that the Patient be kept awake at least for twelve hours after. This sovereign remedy loses nothing of its goodness, though it be kept many years, so it be put up in a place not too hot, where it may be dry'd up; and if it be, it may be reduc'd to its consistence with Mel rosatum; it may be also had in powder.

As to the diet to be observ'd during the use of this remedy; the Patient must abstain from all meats that enflame the blood, or cause melancholy: He must also forbear purging and bleed­ing, for fear of drawing the venom inward; unless some of the nobler parts be in danger, in which case he may purge abundantly, and use baths, and things good to open the pores, and cause sweating.

If a person be reduc'd to such an extremity as that none of the forementioned Antidotes can be procured, let him make use of this which is very common and easily got: Let him who hath been bitten or stung by any venemous creature immedi­ately eat the rind of a raw Citron, for it hath the vertue to se­cure the heart from the venom: if it may be done, the place hurt must be bound as hard as can be endured, a little above the biting or stinging; then it must be scarifi'd, and let there be often apply'd thereto a mans fasting spittle; and if the beast which hath done the mischief can be had, cut off the head of it, and pound it till it be reduc'd to a kind of Unguent, which must be apply'd hot to the wound: This is the ordinary reme­dy used by the natural Inhabitants of Brasil to free themselves [Page 154] from the violent poyson of that dangerous and monstrous Ser­pent, which in their Language they call Boicinininga, and the Spaniards Cascavel.

The last Letters we receiv'd from Martinico assure us, that some considerable families lately come from Brasil with their Negroes to live in that Island, acquainted the inhabitants with several Herbs and Roots growing in the Caribbies, as well as Brasil, which are excellent to allay the venom of all kinds of Serpents and poyson'd Arrows.

The forementioned remedies may also be used against the venom of the Becune, and all the other dangerous fishes. They may also be successfully employ'd to prevent the pernicious ef­fects of the juice of Manyoc, the Manchenillo-tree, and the sting­ing of Waspes, Scorpions, and all other venemous Insects.


THose who go a fishing, or to wash themselves in the Sea, do sometimes meet with a certain foam which the wind blows to and fro like a little bladder, of a purple colour, of a different figure, and beautiful to the eye; but what part so­ever of the body it shall stick to, it immediately causes in it a very grievous pain, extreamly sharp and burning: The readiest re­medy that can be apyly'd to alleviate that stinging pain, is, to anoint the place affected with the oyl of the Acajou-nut, mixt with a little good Aqua-vitae; for one heat takes away the other.


MIce and Rats were creatures heretofore unknown to the Caribbians; but now since the coming in of so many Ships to those Islands, and the casting away of divers of them in the very Roads, where they afterwards rot, they have got to land, and are so multiply'd, that in some places they do abun­dance of mischief among the Potatoes, Pease, Beans, and par­ticularly that kind of Wheat which is called Turkey-wheat: Nay did not the Snakes destroy them, and search for them in their holes under ground, in the clefts of rocks, nay even in the coverings of houses, which consist of Palm-leaves, or Su­gar-canes, it would no doubt be a very hard matter to secure Provisions from them. Now indeed there are Cats in these Islands, which give them no quarter; nay, Dogs are taught to hunt them, and it is no small diversion to see how subtle they are to find them out, and expert in the hunting and killing of them.

Nor is this inconvenience particular to the Caribbies; nay it is much worse in Peru; for Garcilasso, in his Royal Commen­tary, [Page 155] affirms, that these pestilent creatures being extreamly numerous in those parts commit very great spoils, ransacking the places through which they pass, making the Fields deso­late, and gnawing the Fruits even to the stalks, and roots of the Trees.

The Inhabitants of the Islands have an invention which they call Balan, to keep the Rats from eating their Cassava, and other Provisions. This Balan is a kind of round hurdle, or haply square, consisting of several stakes, on which they place the Cassava after it hath been dried in the Sun: It is fasten'd at the top of the Hut, hanging down by a Witth or Cord; and that the Rats may not come down along the Cord, and so get to the Balan, they put the Cord through a smooth gourd which hangs loose in the midst of it, so that the Rats being come to that place, being not able to fasten their feet in it, and fearing the motion of the Gourd, are afraid to venture any further: Were it not for this secret, the Inhabitants would find it a hard task to keep their provisions.

Thus hath the wise Author of Nature been pleas'd, by an admirable equipollence of perfections and imperfections, that those Countries which have some advantages above others should also be subject to those inconveniences that are not to be found elsewhere. Thus hath the Divine Providence, whose business it is liberally to supply the exigencies of his Creatures, plac'd the preservative neer the poyson, the Remedy walking as it were hand in hand with the Disease, and so laid open to Man the inexhaustible Treasures of Grace and Nature, to se­cure him against the injuries of Air, the outrages of the Sea­sons, the violence of Poysons, and whatever the Earth pro­duces that is most dangerous, since it became envenomed by the first Transgression.

The End of the First Book.

THE HISTORY OF THE Caribby-Islands.
THE SECOND BOOK. Comprehending the MORAL History of those ISLANDS.

CHAPTER I. Of the Establishment of those Inhabitants who are Stran­gers in the Islands of S. Christopher, Mevis, Garde­loupe, Martinico, and some other Islands of the Ca­ribbies.

IN the precedent Discourse we have given a full account of whatever might relate to the Natural History of the Caribby-Islands; our design leads us now to that part of the History which we call the MORAL, wherein we are to treat of the Inhabitants of the said Islands, of whom we have oc­casionally made mention in the Description we have given of those places in the precedent Book. In the first place we shall speak of those Inhabitants thereof who are Strangers, or Euro­peans, [Page 158] yet only so far as the prosecution of our Design requires; which having dispatch'd, we shall descend to a more large and particular consideration of the Indians, the natural and origi­nary Inhabitants of the Country; a task which requires a more ample deduction, and a more exact and curious disquisition, upon this presumption, that there hath yet been very little publish'd upon that subject.

The Spaniards, grounding their Title upon the Donation of Pope Alexander the sixth, and some other apparent Rea­sons and Pretences, presume that the right of Navigation into the late discover'd part of the World, which is call'd America, and of establishing and setling Colonies there, whether it be in the Continent, or in any of the Islands, properly belongs to them, exclusively to all others. But not to urge that the vani­ty of that arrogant presumption is sufficiently discover'd of it self, and that it would prove a great digression from the design of our History to engage our selves in a particular disquisition of that Controversie, we need only say, that Bergeron, a learn­ed and curious Authour, hath so exactly handled this Question, and so cleerly shewn the absurdity of that chimerical pretence, in his Treatise of Navigations, that it would be lost labour for us to insist upon it, or to think of any thing new that can be produc'd upon that account. Accordingly all Christian Kings and Princes have always disputed thar pretended Right with the King of Spain, as unanimously concluding that he had un­justly attributed the same to himself: Nor have they engag'd against him only by words and writings, but have effectually prosecuted their own pretensions, and from time to time sent Fleets into America to setle Plantations there, and to take into their possession several parts of that new World; wherein the most successful have been the English, the French, and the Dutch.

But it is to be observ'd, that of all the Colonies which these three European Nations have planted in America, those that setled themselves in the Caribby-Islands are of greatest account, and the most frequented by Merchants, as being the most ad­vantageous upon the score of Trade. The English and French, as may have been noted in the first Book of this History, are the most considerable in those parts, and have divided between them the greatest, the richest, and the most populous of all those Islands.

We may further affirm it as a thing generally known, that these Nations have not in their several establishments follow'd the inhumane and barbarous maximes of the Spaniards, nor after their example unmercifully exterminated the originary Inhabitants of the Country; for if they found any of them in actual possession of the Lands where they liv'd, they have for the most part preserv'd them therein, and contracted alliances [Page 159] with them. Yet must it be acknowledg'd that the the Carib­bians have had very great differences with the English, and that the said differences have continu'd a long time; but the ground of their quarrels proceeded from some occasions of discontent which the Caribbians receiv'd from some particular persons of that Nation, which represented in a Body hath dis­approv'd their procedure, and upon all emergencies hath ex­press'd it self so far dissatisfi'd therewith, as to desire that they should be treated with the same humanity, moderation, and Christian mildness, as those greater and flourishing Colonies of Virginia and New-England, that are under the jurisdiction of the said English, have hitherto us'd towards the natural Inhabi­tants of that part of America which lies more Northerly, where they have establish'd themselves; for it is known that the Eng­lish hold so sacred and perfect a correspondence with them, as hath opened a way for their instruction in the Mysteries of Christian Religion, and the planting of a great number of fair Churches amongst those poor Barbarians.

But above all, this is most certain, that when the French establish'd themselves in the Islands▪ of Martinico, Gardeloupe, and Granada, it was done with the consent of the most consi­derable persons among the Caribbians, who thereupon dis­own'd those of their Country-men who would have obstructed the said establishment: Nay such was their earnestness therein, that they employ'd all their Forces and Councils to oppose the designs of the others, and to secure the French in the peaceable possession of what they had before granted them. This pro­ceeding absolutely clears the French of being guilty of the same violences which are charg'd upon the Spaniards, and makes it appear, that the setlement of the former in those Islands was not like that of the latter in those places where they have the opportunities to establish themselves. And if it be objected to the French, that they have forc'd the natural In­habitants out of S. Christophers and Gardeloupe, and that even at this present there is a War between the said Nation and those of Martinico; it may be answer'd, that when the French peo­pled these Islands, they propos'd to themselves no other design then the edification and instruction of those poor Barbarians, and that if contrary to their first intention they had been forc'd to use a severe hand towards some particular persons, and to treat them as enemies, they were themselves the occasion of their own misfortune, by being the first Aggressors, and guil­ty of previous violations of the sacred Laws of Alliance, which they had contracted with them, and engaging themselves in sanguinary counsels, such as would have smother'd their Colo­nies ere they were fully setled, had there not been a timely dis­covery made thereof.

The English and French Colonies had their beginning at the [Page 160] same time, which was in the year One thousand six hundred twenty and five: Monsieur Desnambuc, a French Gentleman, of the ancient House of Vauderop, and a Captain under the King of France in the Western Seas, and Sir Thomas Warner, an English Gentleman, joyntly took possession of the Island of S. Christophers on the same day, in the names of the Kings of France and Great Britain, their Masters, that they might have a place of safe retreat, and a good Haven for the recepti­on of such Ships of both Nations as should be bound for Ame­rica; that Island being furnish'd with all the advantages whereof we have given a full account in the Chapter particu­larly design'd by us for the description of it; upon which score it was visited by the Spaniards, who often put in there for re­freshments, both as they were inward and outward bound in their long Voyages: Nay sometimes they left their si [...]k there to be look'd to by the Caribbians, with whom they had made a peace upon those terms.

These two Gentlemen therefore considering with them­selves, that if they were posses'd of that Country they might the better incommodate their common enemy in America, the Spaniard, and have withall a convenient and secure habitation, in order to the establishment of the Colonies they intended for those Islands, became Masters of it, and left men therein to keep it: But before they parted thence, having some grounds to fear that there might be some secret intelligence between the Indians and the Spaniards, or that in their absence they might execute the resolution, which by the perswasion of certain Sor­cerers (a sort of people in great esteem among the Indians) they had undertaken, which was to put to death all the Strang­ers who were come into their Country, they in one night rid their hands of all the most factious of that Nation, and not long after forc'd all the rest, who had got together into seve­ral Bodies, and intended to stand upon their guard, to retire to some other places, and to leave that to their disposal.

Things being thus order'd, Desnambuc returns into France, and Sir Thomas Warner into England, where their conquest and all their proceedings thereupon were approved by the Kings their Masters; and having obtained a permission to carry over some recruits of men, they came back to the Island in the qua­lity of Governours and Lieutenants, under the Kings of France and Great Britany.

But Desnambuc before he went over to cultivate and prose­cute his conquest imagin'd to himself, that the most likely way to have a powerful support in France, such as should con­cern it self in the preservation of that Island, and so to secure and promote his designs, would be to get together a Company of persons of Authority, which should have the direction and signiory of the said Island, and what others might afterwards [Page 161] be conquer'd and reduc'd under the jurisdiction of the King of France; upon this provision, that the said Company should have a care, and make it their earnest business to supply the Co­lony with men for the keeping and cultivation of it; as also with Ecclesiasticks to be maintain'd by allowances from the said Company; and lastly to build certain Forts there for the security of the Inhabitants, and to furnish them with Canon, Powder, and all sorts of Ammunition; in a word, to main­tain a sufficient Arsenal, wherein should be all things in readi­ness to oppose the Enemy.

This Company, or Society, was establish'd in the moneth of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred twenty and six, as well for the Government of S. Christophers, as those other Islands which are adjacent thereto, and was ap­prov'd by the King of France. Since that time it hath been further confirm'd, and favour'd with some new Concessions, and very advantageous priviledges obtain'd from his most Chri­stian Majesty the eighth of March, one thousand six hundred forty and two, for all the Islands of America lying between the tenth and thirtieth degree on this side the Equator.

Desnambuc having thus order'd his affairs in France, returns to S. Christophers with a recruit of three hundred men, which the Gentlemen of the Company newly erected had raised, in order to the advancement of that Colony: He brought over a [...]o along with him a considerable number of gallant Volun­teers, who look'd on it as no small honour to run fortunes with so famous an Adventurer, and to participate of his honourable hazards, out of a confidence in process of time of reaping the fruit of his Conquests. They got all safely to S. Christophers, about the beginning of the year, M. DC. XXVII. and though they had suffered much during their Voyage, and were most of them either sick or much weakned, yet were they not discou­rag'd by those difficulties, but reflecting that the noblest enter­prises are many times attended by great inconveniences, and that Roses cannot be gather'd without thorns, they immedi­ately fell to work, and having in a short time learn'd of those whom they found in the Isle what they were to do in order to their further establishment, they behav'd themselves answera­bly to the generous designs of their Captain, who on his part more and more encourag'd them by words and example.

How the Island was to be divided between the two Nations had been design'd before that Voyage; but the particular Ar­ticles of the Division were solemnly agreed to and concluded on the 13th of May, in the said year, M. DC. XXVII. For to the end that every one might employ himself with some assur­ance upon his own stock, and that no differences might arise between the French and the English, M. Warner being return'd from England some time before the arrival of Desnambuc, [Page 162] where he had also recommended his affairs to the direction of a Company which undertook the advancement of his enterprises, they divided the whole Island between them, and set those Boundaries to their several divisions, which are remaining to this day, but with this particular provision that Fishing and Hunting should be equally free to the Inhabitants of both Nati­ons, and that the Salt-ponds, the more precious kinds of Tim­ber fit for Dying, or Joyners-work, Havens and Mines should in like manner be common.

Nay it was further agreed upon by certain Articles con­cluded on both sides, that a good correspondence should be maintain'd between them, as also for the preventing of all jea­lousies, and avoiding the occasions of disputes and contestati­ons, which might easily arise between people of different hu­mours: They further made a Defensive League for the mu­tual relief of each other, if occasion should require, against the attempts of the common Enemy, or any other who should en­deavour to disturb the peace and quiet which they hoped to en­joy together in those parts of the Country where they had planted themselves.

These things thus setled, the two Governours betray'd a certain emulation in carrying on the establishment of their Co­lonies; in the prosecution whereof it is most certain the English had very considerable advantages above the French to compass their designs: For besides that that Nation, which is as it were nurs'd up in the bosom of the Sea, can better endure the hard­ship and inconveniences of long Voyages, and is better vers'd in the making of new Plantations; the Company which was establish'd at London for the management of that of S. Christo­phers, made such generous provisions, that at its first setlement it might be supply'd with Men and Provisions, such as should be necessary for their subsistence, and took so particular a care of all things, that it was from time to time refresh'd with new re­cruits, and whatever it might stand in need of at the begin­ning, that it visibly prosper'd and advanc'd while the French, which was unfurnish'd with all those assistances, seem'd to pine and languish, nay indeed would have quite fallen away if the affection which it had for its chief Director, and the high esteem it had conceiv'd of his valour had not kept it up.

While therefore the French Colony was reduc'd to these ex­tremities, and in a manner subsisted only by its courage, that of the English being in a good plight and condition, spred it self into a new one, which planted it self in the Island of Me­vis, which is divided from S. Christophers only by a small arm of the Sea, as we have said elsewhere: But if the small number whereto the French were reduc'd permitted them not to make the like progres [...]es, their Governour Desnambuc had in the mean time the opportunity to make several useful regulations [Page 163] for the better setlement of it: Of these we shall not think it besides our design to insert here some few of the principal Arti­cles, to the end the memory of them may be preciously pre­serv'd for the instruction of posterity.

In the first place, taking it into his consideration, that by peace and concord small things come to be great, and that di­vision distracts and disperses the greatest, he ordered that all the Inhabitants of the Island who were subject to his jurisdicti­on should maintain a perfect union among themselves, and that he press'd and recommended to them upon all occasions as the Pillar of their little State, and the sacred Channel through which they were to expect the blessings both of Heaven and Earth abundantly to flow upon them: And whereas it is impos­sible that in mutual conversation there should not happen many things which might oftentimes offer some violence to that ami­cable correspondence, if some present provision be not made to the contrary, he desired that such differences might be with the soonest either decided or smother'd, and all be recon­cil'd with meekness, and that if possible before the setting of the Sun.

Another command of his was, that his people should be faith­ful to their trust, and free, and sincere in all their affairs; ob­liging and charitable towards their Neighbours, and as religi­ous and punctual in the observance of the promises they had made, as if they had been put into writing, and seal'd and de­liver'd before witnesses, or Publick Notaries.

And that their being continually employ'd about their Plan­tations might not cause them to forget the business of War, and out of a distrust they would degenerate in point of cou­rage, through a long and undisturbed quiet; and that if occa­sion should require they might be able to handle their Arms, and make use of them with dexterity, he appointed certain days for the exercising of them, that they might thereby be minded of the Rules of Military Discipline, and order'd, that though all profess'd the cultivation of the earth, yet that they should have the generous looks and demeanors of Souldiers, and that they should at all times have about them the Badges and Liveries of that kind of Life, and so never be seen out of their Quarters without Fire-arms, or at least a Sword.

But if he requir'd them to be thus qualifi'd, to the end that when occasion serv'd they might make their enemies sensible of their valour and courage; he on the other side oblig'd them to be mild and courteous one towards another, and that the stronger should not take their advantages of the weaker. Thence it came that he made this commendable order, which is still in force in all those Islands; to wit, that Masters should not take Servants for any longer term then three years, during which time they should be oblig'd to treat them with all gentle­ness [Page 164] and moderation, and exact of them only such services as were rational and answerable to their strength.

Nay his care and tenderness was very remarkable towards such as were newly brought into the Country: To the end therefore that at their arrival they might be supply'd with all things requisite to secure them against the injuries of the air, and that their labour might not be hindred through want of convenient lodging, he desir'd, that as soon as the place which they had design'd for their building was uncover'd, all the Neighbourhood should help them in the raising of it up: This commendable Institution was so well receiv'd, and so carefully practised, that all the Inhabitants generally acknowledg'd the equity of it, and took a certain pleasure in making a volunta­ry contribution of their pains and cares upon that occasion: Some went to cut down such Timber as might be necessary; others were to find Reeds and Palm-leaves for palizadoes and covering; the ablest Architects planted the forkes, rais'd the couples, and fasten'd the covering, and all seem'd to be kindly concern'd in the work, so as that the narrow structure was in a few days become tenantable, yet without any charge to the owner, save only to see those charitable assistants supply'd with the ordinary drink of the Country, as long as they were at work upon his account.

In fine, he had a particular aversion against those idle per­sons who are basely content to live by the sweat and labour of others, as the Drones do on the Hony which the laborious Bee had brought into the common Treasury. But to retrive in our days a little glimpse of the Golden Age, so much celebrated by the Ancients, he incited all the Inhabitants to be liberal, and apt to communicate to one another the goods which God had plentifully bestow'd on them, and to express their charity and hospitality towards all those who came to visit them, that so there might afterwards be no occasion to setle Inns and Vi­ctualling-houses among them, as being places which for the most part serv'd only for retreats to slothful, debauch'd, and di [...]lute persons; and the disorders and excesses committed therein were so great, as in time might hasten the desolation and ruine of the whole Colony.

But while the French Governor was thus taken up with the ordering of his little Republick, and kept up the spirits of his people with the expectation of sudden recruits, the Gentlemen of the Company not much differing in constitution from many of that Nation who think of reaping as soon as they have dis­pos'd the seed into the ground, were for their parts in a conti­nual expectation of some Ships loaden with the richest and most precious Commodities of America, that so they might be re­imburs'd with interest what they had laid out upon the first embarquing, and till that return were come, they thought of [Page 165] nothing less then running themselves into new charges. The Governor having seriously taken it into consideration, that all the Letters he had sent to those Gentlemen upon that occasion had not obtain'd any favourable answers from them, thought it would be his best course, ere the Colony were reduc'd to greater extremities, to come over to them in person, and by a second Voyage undertake the sollicitation of that relief, upon which the safety of their first advancements, and the subsistence of the French in that Island wholly depended. This good design, which the zeal he had for the glory of his Nation had inspir'd him withall, prov'd as fortunate as he could have wish'd it: For being come to Paris, he was so prevalent in representing the importance and necessity of that Recruit to the Gentlemen of the Company, that they granted him three hundred men, and Ships furnish'd with all necessary Provisions for their trans­portation to S. Christophers.

This Recruit so impatiently expected by the Colony, happi­ly arriv'd about the beginning of August, M. DC. XXIX. and it was receiv'd with so great joy by them who had so long stood in need of it, that now they thought nothing should obstruct the execution of their designs. But it seems the prosperities of this life are of a short continuance; they had hardly solac'd themselves two months in the enjoyments of that happiness, ere there comes upon them a powerful Fleet from Spain; Dom Frederick de Toledo, who had the command of it, had receiv'd express order from his Catholick Majesty, that before he fell down to the Havanna, Carthagena, and the other more emi­nent Ports of America, he should touch at S. Christophers, and force thence all the English and French, who had planted them­selves there some years before.

The first act of hostility committed by this Naval force, which consisted of four and twenty great Ships of burthen, and fifteen Frigots, was the seisure of some English Ships then lying at Anchor neer the Island of Mevis; which done, it came and cast Anchor in the Road of S. Christophers, within Cannon­shot of the Basse-terre, where Mons. de Rossey had the command in chief. The Forts of both the Colonies were not yet in such a condition as to stand out a siege, they were unfurnish'd with Provisions, and all the Ammunition, as to Powder and Shot, in the whole Island could not amount to much; nay though both the Nations should have joyn'd all their forces together, yet could they not have oppos'd so great an Army: But their cou­rage in some measure supply'd all those defects; for that the Enemy should not brag of his having compass'd his designs without some opposition, Desnambuc dispatch'd out of the Cabes-terre, where he began to fortifie himself, all his most ex­perienc'd Souldiers, in order to the relief of the place which was threatned by the Enemy, and the English sent thither four of their best Companies.

[Page 166]These Forces being come to the appointed Rendezvouz, were joyntly employ'd with the Inhabitants of that Quarter to intrench themselves along the Sea-coast, to make a more vi­gorous resistance against the Enemy, and oppose his landing; and no doubt they would have put him to some trouble, had they been well commanded, and that first earnestness had not receiv'd some remission by the fright which so seiz'd the heart of de Rossey that he would have suffer'd them to land, and make their approaches without any resistance, if a young Gentleman, Nephew to Mons. Desnambuc, and elder Brother to Mons. Par­quet the present Governour of Martinico, had not get leave to pass over the Works, and to engage the first Company of the Enemy that appear'd upon the sands: He was seconded by some Volunteers, who would needs participate of the glory of that action; but he went before them all, both as to courage and resolution; for he so gallantly engag'd him who had the com­mand of the party, that he kill'd him, and several others of the most valiant about him, who had the confidence to make tryal of his valour: But being afterwards forsaken by those who had follow'd him in that encounter, he was over-power'd by number, knock'd down, and carry'd into one of the enemies Ships, where after all remedies apply'd in order to his recove­ry he dy'd, to the great regret of both sides, as bemoaning the misfortune of such a miracle of generosity and resolution.

During this encounter, which should have been maintain'd with more gallantry by those who were in actual possession of the Island, the General of the Spanish Fleet immediately gave order, that all the Ships should at the same time send out their Shallops full of Souldiers well arm'd, which got a shore in very good order: This added not a little to the fright de Rossey was in before, inasmuch as being far from entertaining any thoughts of opposition, out of a fear of being oppress'd by that multi­tude, he thought it his only way to make an honourable re­treat before his people were encompass'd of all sides. This re­solution tumultuously taken was grumbled at by those who wish'd the Enemy had more dearly bought the desolation of their Colony; but such a general consternation was there in that fatal conjuncture, that it was carried, they should take their way towards the Cabes-terre, and that there it should be taken into futher consideration what were best to be done in order to the common safety.

The Spaniard perceiving that the French had quitted their Fort and their Works without making any great resistance, imagin'd there might be some design in that retreat, and that it had been made purposely to draw him into some Ambuscado laid for him in the Woods. This suspicion kept him from pro­secuting his victory, and so occasion'd his stay in the Quarter of the Basse-terre till he had a better account brought him of [Page 167] the state of the whole Island, and himself had consider'd what was most expedient for him to do, in order to a more sudden and punctual execution of his Commission.

While the Enemy continu'd in this suspence, and consider'd with himself how to compass his designs with least danger, Desnambuc extreamly surpriz'd at so sudden a change, and so unexpected success, endeavour'd to comfort his own people, and to encourage them to express their constancy in the sup­porting of that miscarriage. He thereupon took occasion to remonstrate to them, That the disgrace was not past remedy; That it was not to be imagin'd the enemy would stay in the Island so long as to force all the Inhabitants out of it; That he had affairs of greater weight, which call'd him elsewhere; That he would not easily be drawn into the Forests, which it was ab­solutely necessary he should pass through ere he could come in­to his Quarter; That they might put themselves into such a po­sture of defence as should not only give a check to his progress, but also force him to signalize his invasion with his own blood; And lastly, that there were in his way some places so fortifi'd by Nature, that a few men might force him to find his way back again.

This advice was very solid, and might have prevail'd some­what with those to whom it was given, but the terror where­with their spirits were prepossess'd, and the consternation was so general, that it was not weigh'd as it deserv'd. The busi­ness therefore being taken into deliberation, it was concluded, that the Island should be deserted, and that the Colony should transport it self to some other place which might give less occa­sion of jealousie to the Spaniard, and lye more out of the or­dinary course of his Fleets. Desnambuc foreseeing that what pretencesoever might be made for the taking of that resoluti­on, it would still be chargeable with somewhat of cowardice and baseness, such as should blast the opinion conceiv'd of the gallantry of the French, and of a sudden smother the great hopes which some had of the advancement of their Colony, could not be perswaded to give his approbation thereto. How­ever, though he were of a contrary sentiment, that it might not be said he forsook in so sad a conjuncture those whom he had brought thither through so many Seas and dangers, he comply'd with their humor, and embarqu'd himself with them in certain Ships which chanc'd to be in the Haven; and so to avoid a greater disorder, doing his own inclinations a violence, he only assur'd them that he should one day reproach them with the little esteem they made of his remonstrances.

The Quarters where the English had themselves were also in a great disorder; they had intelligence brought them, that the enemy was become master of all the Basse-terre; That he had demolish'd the Fortress of the French, after he had re­mov'd [Page 168] the pieces that were in it; That he had already burnt all their Huts, and made havock of all the Plantations of the Quar­ter. They were in perpetual expectation when he should come, and fall on them with all his forces, and in that appre­hension some endeavour'd to make their escape by Sea, or shel­ter themselves in the Mountains, while others somewhat more courageous were consulting how to send Deputies to Dom Fre­deric, to entreat him to admit of some accommodation: But all the Answer they receiv'd, was an express command imme­diately to depart the Island, which if they did not, they should be treated with all the rigour which the Law of Arms permits to be used towards those who against all right possess them­selves of what belongs not to them.

To facilitate the departure which Dom Frederic had so impe­riously commanded, he gave order that those Ships which his Fleet had taken away from the English neer the Island of Mevis should be restor'd to them, and that they should embarque without any delay, and immediately set sail for England. But whereas it was impossible those Vessels should contain so great a number of people, he permitted the supernumerary to conti­nue in the Island till they had a favourable opportunity for their transportation.

These things dispatch'd, Dom Frederic weigh'd Anchor, in order to the continuation of his Voyage, but as soon as the Fleet was out of sight, the English who had been left behind in the Island began to rally, and took a resolution courageously to carry on the setlement of their Colony.

While these things were in agitation at S. Christophers, the French who had left it at the beginning of the distraction had suffer'd so many inconveniences at Sea, partly through want of Provisions, and partly by reason of contrary Winds, that they were forc'd to put in at the Islands of S. Martin and Montserrat, after they had by the way touch'd at that of Antego. They wish'd themselves so happy, as that they might have setled in any of those places; but they look'd on them as dreadful De­sarts in comparison of that out of which they had been so un­happily forc'd: The pleasant Idea of that was still before their eyes, it was the continual subject of their regret; and the de­lightful remembrance of that pleasant abode, to the recovery whereof they were by Divine Providence re-invited by ways unknown to them, rais'd in them a desire to be inform'd what condition the Spaniard had left it in, since they were then so neer it: To satisfie that commendable curiosity, they sent one of their Ships to S. Christophers, which returning gave them an account, that the Enemies Fleet was gone; and that the En­glish who were left behind were courageously employ'd in re­building their Hutts, planting Provisions, and repairing their desolations.

[Page 169]This unexpected good News reviv'd their decay'd hopes, and heightned the courage of those who were most cast down, so that there needed not many arguments ro perswade them to a return into that delightful Country which was already pos­sess'd of their hearts and tenderest affections.

Being arrived there, every one resum'd his former place, with a resolution to make an absolute setlement; but the Fa­mine, which press'd hard upon them, would no doubt have check'd the progress of all these promising designs, and they would have been crush'd by the extraordinary labours which they were at the same time oblig'd to undergo, as well in re­building their houses, as planting things necessary for their subsistence, if in those pressing extremities God had not dire­cted thither for their relief some Ships belonging to the Uni­ted Provinces, which, finding what a deplorable condition they were in, generously supply'd them with provisions, cloaths, and all things necessary; nay to put an absolute obligation upon them, they had no other security for their satisfaction then their bare words.

The French, having thus s [...]sonably overcome the inconve­niences which they had [...]uggled with from the first begin­ning of their establishment, employ'd themselves so earnestly afterwards in their Plantations, that, through the blessing of God on their l [...]bours, the Earch furnish'd them with Provisi­ons, and Tobacco in such abundance, that they honestly satis­fy'd their charitable Creditors, and in a short time were better accomm [...]dated with all things then they had b [...] before their d [...]f [...]at by the Spaniards: Yet were they still in wa [...] of Men to carry on their Enterprizes, and the Commerce which b [...] to be establish'd among them. To remedy that, Desnambuc, who found his constancy attended with so good success, thought it the surest and most likely expedient, to per [...]t the principal Inhabitants of the [...]ny to return into France to make Levies there, and to bring over what numbers they should raise on their own charge. This prudent advice being accordingly put in execution, the Island was in a few years supply'd with abundance of gallant persons, who brought it into reputation.

The English Colony made also a shift in a short time to make up all the b [...]eaches it had receiv'd by the invasion of the Spani­ards: The Company at London, which had undertaken the di­rection of it, sending over continual supplies of Men and re­freshments, the two Quarters whereof the English were pos­sess'd in the Island of S. Christophers became too narrow to maintain so great a multitude, insomuch that besides the Island of Mevis, which they had peopled before their defeat by the Spaniards, they grew so powerful, as in less then four years to spread themselves into new Plantations in the Islands of [...]he [Page 170] Barbouthos, Mountserrat, Antego, and the Barbados, which are grown very numerous there, and famous for the Trade of the rich Commodities they are furnish'd with, as may be seen by the particular descriptions we have given thereof in the prece­dent Book of this History.

What Colonies the Dutch have in the Caribby-Islands were establish'd some time after those of the French and English, and their establishments were not upon the account of the States, but upon that of some particular Companies of Merchants, who, the better to carry on the Trade which they have in all the Islands whereof the English and French are possess'd, were desirous to have some places of safe retreat for the refreshment of their Ships. The most ancient of those Colonies which have any dependence on the States-General of the United Pro­vinces, is that in the Island of S. Eustace: It was establish'd much about the same time that Sir Thomas Warner setled that of Mont-serrat, which was in the Year M. DC. XXXII. It is considerable upon this account, that it is a place naturally well fortify'd; as also for the number and quality of the Inhabi­tants, the abundance of good Tobacco which it still yields; and for several other remarkable advantages, whereof we have given an account in the fifth Chapter of the former Book.

Monsieur Desnambuc express'd no less earnestness and genero­sity in the dilatation of his Colony then other Nations did in that of theirs; but having not been so seasonably reliev'd as was requisite at the beginning, and his designs having been many times check'd by several unhappy obstructions, he had this further displeasure, to see divers of the most considerable Islands possess'd by others before he was in a condition to put in for a share, and dilate his Conquest beyond the limits of S. Christophers. He had a long time before cast his eye on that of Gardeloupe, as being one of the noblest and greatest Islands of all the Caribbies; but while he was taking order for the transporting of men thither, he was prevented in his design by Monsieur de l' Olive, one of the principal Inhabitants of his own Colony, who making his advantage of a Voyage he had made into France about some private affairs of his own, as he pretended, joyn'd with Monsieur du Plessis, and some Mer­chants of Dieppe, for the establishment of a Colony there by Commission from the Company which had the direction of the Islands of America.

These two Gentlemen being made joint Governours of the Island of Gardeloupe, and invested with equal authority, ar­riv'd there the 28th of June, M. DC. XXXV. with a Company of five hundred men, who presently after their arrival were press'd with a famine, and divers diseases, which took away a great number of them. It is conceiv'd that the former mis­fortune [Page 171] happen'd to them upon this occasion, that they had planted themselves at their first landing in those parts of the Island where the soil was most barren, and unfit for cultivati­on of any in it, and that they had upon too light grounds en­ter'd into a War with the Caribbians, the originary Inhabitants of the place, who might have plentifully furnish'd them with most of the provisions necessary for their subsistence at the be­ginning, till the earth and their own industry had supply'd them better. Diseases were the consequences of that unwhol­some nourishment which hunger forc'd them to make use of for want of better: whereto this may be added, that the ground being not reduc'd to culture, the air was the more ea­sily corrupted.

Du Plessis reflecting on the misfortunes and inconveniences which daily fell one in the neck of another upon that unsetled Colony, and having just grounds to fear that other yet great­er might happen to it, took it so much to heart, that he dyed out of pure grief, in the seventh month after his arrival. The loss of him was much regretted by all the French, who had always express'd a great submission to his advice, and much love and respect to his person. He was a man of singular pru­dence, of so affable and obliging a disposition, that he gain'd the affections of all that treated with him.

After the departure of Monsieur du Plessis, de l' Olive be­came sole Governour. This latter was a Person of an humour as active and stirring as that of his Collegue was gentle and moderate; and he so much harkned to the violent counsels of some restless spirits, who like so many pestilent Ear-wigs were continually putting him upon new projects, that he soon after engag'd himself in that fatal War against the Caribbians, which had almost prov'd the destruction of that newly-planted Co­lony. True it is, that at first he press'd so hard upon them, as to force them to leave him the absolute possession of Gar­deloupe; but in regard that to compass the designs which he had fram'd to himself from the time of his arrival he was ne­cessitated to commit several cruelties, such as the very Barba­rians themselves would not have exercis'd upon their greatest enemies, it prov'd such a blast to his reputation, that the ap­provers of his conduct were only some sanguinary persons and Desperadoes.

The poor Caribbians which the Governour had forc'd out of the Island of Gardeloupe retreated into that of Dominico: Those of the same Nation who were possess'd of the latter entertain'd them kindly, and to give them a greater assurance how much they were sensible of their misfortune, they prof­fer'd to joyn with them to revenge by the way of Arms the injury which had been done them; a proffer too obliging to be refus'd. Their forces being thus united, they made [Page 172] several incursions into Gardeloupe, and became such goads and thorns in the sides of the French, that they were forc'd to give over the culture of Tobacco, nay indeed the planting of those provisions which were necessary for their subsistence, to the end they might always be in Arms, to prevent the attempts and designs of those subtle enemies, whom they had by their own imprudence so much exasperated against them.

This cruel War, which lasted neer four years, reduc'd the Colony to great extremities, and brought it to so deplora­ble a condition, that it was out of repute in all places; and upon its being continually pester'd by the incursions and de­predations of the irreconcileable Caribbians, it was conclu­ded to be at no great distance from its utter destruction. The French being brought to this lowness, it pleas'd God that the Governour de l' Olive lost his sight, whereupon the Gentlemen of the Company sent over Monsieur Auber to be Governour of it, who remedied all the precedent disorders, appeas'd all troubles, and setled that Peace which afterwards brought in Trading and plenty of all things; as we shall shew more at large in the third Chapter of this Moral History.

As soon as M. Desnambuc had receiv'd intelligence that Gar­deloupe was inhabited, he resolv'd with the first convenience to setle himself in some other of the best Islands which were yet at his choice; and to prevent a second supplantation, find­ing that he had about him a considerable number of resolute persons, and furnish'd with all provisions of War, and what was necessary for the belly, and all things requisite for the prosecution of such enterprizes, he went in person to take possession of the Island of Martinico, which having done, he left there for his Lieutenant Mr. du Pont, and for Command­er in chief Mr. de la Vallee. Not long after dying at S. Chri­stophers, he left all his Estate, and Titles of what kind soe­ver, which he had in Martinico, which he had peopled at his own charge, to M. Parquet his Nephew, who is the pre­sent Lord and Governour of it, as we have said elsewhere.

This Gentleman was a person of much gallantry, of easie access, familiar with all, and master of a happy kind of in­sinuation, such as gently forc'd the love and obedience of those who were under him. It is related of him, that the English having gone a little beyond the boundaries which by the mutual agreement concluded between both Nations had been set for the distinction of their several Quarters, he went to those of the English, attended by a small number of persons, and spoke with the English Governour, who expected him with a considerable number of Souldiers: But he behav'd himself with so much courage and resolution, and gave such good reasons, intermixt with menaces, for what he did, that the English Governour granted him what he desir'd. That ac­cident [Page 173] shews how careful he was to preserve the Rights and Priviledges of his Nation; and what he did then had this fur­ther consequence, that the two Governours were ever after­wards very good friends.

CHAP. II. Of the Establishments of the French in the Islands of S. Bartholomew, S. Martin, and Sante-Cruce.

AFter the death of Monsieur Desnambuc, one Monsieur du Halde, who was his Lieutenant in that Government, was nominated to be Governour in Chief by the Gentlemen of the Company: But not long after, the said du Halde coming over into France, Cardinal Richelieu, whose care extended to the most remote places where the French had any thing to do, un­dertook the conservation and advancement of that Colony in America, out of an endeavour to render the name of France as glorious in that part of the new World, as it was here. To carry on that design he thought it requisite that the Islands should be supply'd with a Governour accordingly: Having therefore some while sought for a person fit for that Employ­ment, one eminent for his conduct, prudence, generosity, and the experience requisite for so great a charge, he at last pitch'd upon Monsieur de Lonvilliers Poincy Knight, a Gentleman of a very ancient House.

The Cardinal presented this excellent Person to King Lewis the XIII. who approving the choice, invested him with the Charge of Governour, and Lieutenant-General under his Ma­jesty in the Islands of America: Whereupon Letters Patents were granted him in September M. DC. XXXVIII. That qua­lity had not been given to any of those who had preceded him in the Government of those Islands.

In the Year M. DC. XXXIX. the said new Governour setting sail from Diep about the midst of January, arriv'd about a month after at the Caribbies, and was first receiv'd at Martini­co by the Inhabitants in Arms. He afterwards went to Garde­loupe and S. Christophers; but his noblest reception was at the latter: All the French Inhabitants being in Arms receiv'd him in the quality of General with universal applause, and he was conducted to the Church, attended by his Gentlemen and Guards, where Te Deum was sung.

Immediately upon his reception the Island began to put on a new face, and within a short time after things were visibly chang'd from better to better; insomuch that he not only an­swer'd [Page 174] but exceeded the expectations of his Majesty and the Cardinal. One of the first things he did, was to give order for the building of Churches in several Quarters of the Island: He took care that the Priests should be well lodg'd and main­tain'd, that they might not be diverted from the employments of their Function: He made such provisions in the administra­tion of justice, as rendred it expeditious, and without Fees, by means of a Council consisting of the most prudent and experi­enc'd among the Officers of the Island: His vigilance reform'd and prevented the disorders which easily creep in among per­sons shuffled together from divers places, and of different hu­mours: His prudence in composing and setling matters of greatest difficulty was equally admir'd by those who were un­der his Government, and his Neighbours of other Nations. That greatness of mind, which successfully guided him to the accomplishment of all his designs, made him dreadful to all restless and dis-satisfy'd spirits: His affability, easiness of ac­cess, and his kind entertainment towards Strangers, brought Trading and plenty into the Island; and his goodness and libe­rality justly gain'd the hearts and affections of the French: In a word, his Generosity signaliz'd in many occurrences as well in France, during the noble Employments he had in his Majesties Armies, as in America since his Government there, in the pre­servation, dilatation, and reduction of so many considerable places, wrought such a terrour in the Spaniard, that he never since proffer'd to oppose his glorious Enterprizes.

Having setled S. Christophers in good order as to Trading, and all other Concerns, and made it the most flourishing I­sland of all the Caribbies, as we have represented it in the fourth Chapter of the precedent Book, he afterwards ex­tended the French Colony into those of S. Bartholomew, S. Martins, and Santa Cruce, whereof we have given an account in their proper places, yet so as we still have many conside­rable circumstances to deliver concerning the Conquest of the Island of Santa Cruce, which we shall here take occasion to insert.

The Island of Santa Cruce hath been subject to many Ma­sters in a short time, and for many years together the English and Dutch had some contestations about the propriety of it: At last they made a division of it between them; but in the Year M. DC. XLIX. the English having observ'd that they much exceeded the Dutch in number, forc'd them to depart the Island. But they also continu'd not long Masters of it; for soon after the Spaniards who were Inhabitants of the Island of Porto-Rico made an incursion into it, burnt their houses, put to the sword all the English they found in Arms, and or­der'd the rest with their baggage and wives to be transport­ed to the Barbouthos.

[Page 175]Having thus laid the Island desolate, as they were setting things in order for their returning aboard their Vessels, and to take their course back to Porto-Rico, there arrives thither a Ship from the Islands of S. Eustace and S. Martins, wherein there were a considerable number of men, who having re­ceiv'd intelligence of the defeat of the English, and imagining that the Spaniards were gone, would have reviv'd the preten­sions of the Dutch to that Island: but the Spaniards having the advantage, as being ten to one, the Dutch were forc'd to ac­cept of such terms of accommodation as the others were pleas'd to give them. The crafty Spaniards had indeed pro­mis'd them good quarter, but their design was to transport them to Porto-Rico to their Governour, who, according to the Spanish humour, would not have treated them over-christianly.

But as good fortune would have it, just as the Spaniards were preparing for their return with the Dutch Prisoners, who had so unfortunately fallen into their hands, two French Ships well mann'd, and furnish'd with all sorts of Provisions and Ammunition, arriv'd in the Island, sent thither by the French General de Poincy, to send the Spaniard packing thence, and take possession of it for the King of France. This relief came in very seasonably for the deliverance of the surpriz'd Dutch; for the Spaniards, perceiving the French landing cheerfully and in good order, and making a considerable Body of gallant men, and ready to fight, immediately let go their Prisoners; and after a short capitulation, the French sent them an express order to be gone aboard their Ships, with a menace that if they did not, they would fall upon them as Enemies, and that they were not to expect any Quarter. The Spaniards thought it their best course rather to comply then stand to the hazard of an engagement, though they much exceeded the French in number.

The French General taking it into his consideration, of what importance the Island in time might be, especially in order to the facilitation of other acquests of greater concernment, thought it worthy his endeavours to secure what he had so for­tunately possess'd himself of, and thereupon sent a prudent and experienc'd Governour to command there under him: The person he pitch'd on for that Employment was Monsieur Auber, Major of the Island of S. Christophers, who had exercis'd that Charge with great approbation for many years together; but now he was advanc'd to the quality of Governour of that Island: He died in the exercise of that Charge, to the great regret of all the Inhabitants, after he had setled the Island in good order, recover'd its ruines, and laid the foundations of a Fort which he had design'd himself for the security of such Ships as should afterwards come into the Haven, and to defeat the hopes of the Spaniards to make any more incursions there, [Page 176] This reduction of the Island under the power of the French, as we have describ'd it, happen'd in the Year M. DC. L.

The Dutch had built a very fair Church upon a pleasant as­cent of this Island, in the form of a Cross, which may still be standing, if the Spaniards, who should have a respect for that sacred Sign which was on the top of the Steeple, have not ru­in'd it. The French are oblig'd for that House of Prayer to the devotion and zeal of a certain Company of Merchants be­longing to Flushing, who first peopled the Island by a Com­mission from the States-General.

The present King of France being inform'd of all the glori­ous actions done in those parts by Monsieur de Poincy, and considering how necessary his continual residence in America was, granted him new Letters Patents, whereby he confirm'd him in the Charge of Governour and Lieutenant-General in those places; and the Queen, during her Regency, gave him a great commendation for his noble Enterprizes, and Fidelity to the Kings service.

In the Year M. DC. LI. the French Governour, with the Kings consent, treated with the Gentlemen of the Company we mentioned before, and having re [...]mburs'd them all the charges they had been a [...] in the establishment of that Colony, purchas'd to himself the Seigniory and Fee-simple of the Islands of the Christophers, S. Bartholomew, S. Martin, Santa-cruce, and [...] Islands, and that in the name, and for the bene­fit of [...]is Order of Malta; and it is one of the noblest, richest, and most honourable S [...]g [...]iories of any that Order enjoys un­der the Sovereignty of his Majesty of France: And since that time the said King hath made an absolute bequest of all those Islands to the Order of Malta, reserving to himself the Sove­reignty thereof, and the homage of a Crown of Gold, to be presented at every change of King, of the value of a thousand Crowns; as it appears by the Letters Patents dated in March, M. DC. LIII.

Monsieur du Parquet, Governour of Martinico, did the like for the Islands of Martinico, Granada, and Sainta [...]ousia: Mon­sieur d' [...]well, Governour of Garacloupe, did the same thing for the Islands of Gardeloupe, Marigalanta, Desirado, and the Saints. The two last mentioned are not yet inhabited [...] but he hath purchas'd the Seigniory of those places by way of ad­vance, that others might not without b [...]each of civility possess themselves thereof: For it is to be observ'd, that the Company which had the direction of the Islands of America, but is now dissolv'd, had obtain'd of the King all the Islands of the Carib­bies, as well those then inhabited, as those in process of time to be so: So that these Gentlemen, who have treated with the Company, would needs have mentioned in their Grant, some Islands which are not yet inhabited, yet lye neer and very con­venient [Page 177] for them, insomuch as when they shall have men e­nough in their other Islands, they will be the more easily trans­planted into those, unless the English or Dutch chance to be be­fore-hand with them: For it is a general Rule, That a Coun­try destitute of Inhabitants belongs to him who first possesses himself of it; so that neither the King of France's Grant, nor yet that of the Company does any thing more then secure those Gentlemen against the pretentions of such of their own Nati­on as might oppose their designs.

Thus of all the Islands which the French are possess'd of in America the King of France reserves to himself the Sovereign­ty, and M. M. de Poincy, du Parquet, and d' Houel have the Seigniory thereof, without any acknowledgment of the Com­pany, which hath absolutely quitted all its pretentions to the said Gentlemen.

As for the English Governours of S. Christophers, Sir Thomas Warner dying, after he had gloriously establish'd his Country­men in the Caribbies, and left the Island of S. Christophers inha­bited by twelve or thirteen thousand English, Mr. Rich, who was the principal Captain in the Island, was advanc'd to that Charge; and this latter also dying, Mr. Everard was advanc'd to the Government, which he still exercises with general ap­probation, as we had occasion to shew when we treated of the Island of S. Christophers.

At the first coming of the forreign Nations into the Islands, they were lodg'd much after the same manner as the natural Inhabitants of the Country, in little cotts and hutts made of the wood they had fell'd upon the place as they clear'd the ground. There are still to be seen, in several of the newly­planted Colonies, many of those weak structures, which are sustain'd only by four or six forks planted in the ground, and instead of walls are encompass'd and palizado'd only with reeds, and cover'd with Palm or Plantane▪ leaves, Sugar-canes, or some such material: But in all the other Islands, where these Nations are better setled and accommodated, there▪ are many very fair houses of Timber, Stone, and Brick, built af­ter the same manner as those in their own Countries, save that for the most part they are but one or two Stories high at the most, that they may the more easily resist the winds, which sometimes blow in those parts with extraordinary violence. Of these Edifices we have spoken already in several places of the precedent Book, when we gave a particular account of the several Islands.

But we have this particularly to adde here, that the English▪ are the best accommodated for Lodgings of any of the Inhabi­tants of those Islands, and have their houses well furnish'd, which is to be attributed to their constant abode in their Colo­nies, where they endeavour to get all conveniences as much [Page 178] as if they were the places of their birth: They are also most of them married, whence it comes that they take greater pains to supply themselves with all things requisite, then those are apt to do who lead single lives, as most of the French do.

We had an intention to conclude this Chapter with the course taken by M. Auber to make up a peace with the Caribbi­ans, upon his taking possession of the Government of Garde­loupe; but in regard the discourse is somewhat long, and may conduce much to the discovery of the humours and dispositi­ons of those Indians, of whom we are to treat more at large in this second Book, we thought it better dispos'd into a Chapter apart.

CHAP. III. Of the Establishment of the French Colony in the Island of Gardeloupe, consequently to the Peace concluded with the Caribbians of Dominico, in the Year M. DC. XL.

THe first among the French who took possession of the Island of Gardeloupe, landed there in the Year 1635. by order from a Company of Merchants of the City of Deep, which, under the Authority of the General Company of the Islands of America constituted at Paris, sent thither two Gen­tlemen, du Plessis and de l' Olive, to command there upon their account: But the former dying some few months after his establishment, and the other becoming unfit for the govern­ment of a new-planted Colony, through the loss of his sight, and his continual indispositions, as we have mentioned in the precedent Chapters, the French Governour-General took or­der that the Inhabitants of that Island should be supply'd with all things necessary: For it is probable they would have abso­lutely forsaken it, had not the said Governour sent over re­cruits of Auxiliaries to them, under the conduct of Vernade and Sabouilly, to oppose the designs of the Caribbians, who with much animosity disputed the possession of it with them: So that if that Colony is not oblig'd for its establishment to the General de Poincy, this at least must be acknowledg'd, that its preservation and subsistence was the effect of his care. He accordingly approv'd and confirm'd, in the Kings name, the nomination which the Company of the Islands had made of M. Auber to be Governour of that Island.

This new Governour took the Oath of Allegeance before the General, the 20th of October M. DC. XL. but before he fell [Page 179] down to S. Christophers, the Ship which had brought him out of France into America casting Anchor neer Dominico, many of the Savages, who had observ'd the Ship at a distance, and concluded from the expressions of friendship which had been made to them, that they had no enemies in that Vessel, grew so confident as to come into it. It fortunately happen'd, that those who had come out upon the discovery were some of the chiefest Captains of the Island: M. Auber resolv'd to make all the advantage he could of that opportunity, imagining it might conduce very much to the making of an alliance with that people, which had been exasperated and incens'd against the French by the violences and cruel usage of de l' Olive, one of his Predecessors in that Charge, as also by the ill conduct of those who commanded the Recruits which the General had sent over for the security of the Island: And having withal an inkling that those of that Nation are easily drawn in by kind­nesses and little Presents, he omitted nothing which he con­ceiv'd might promote his design.

He thereupon acquainted them, that he was newly come from France, and that he was sent over to be Governour of Gardeloupe; that he had been▪ much troubled to hear of the, differences which for some years had continued between them and the French; that he was come with an intention to make a friendly composure thereof; and that he would be their Companion and good Neighbour, and live with them, as their late old friend M. du Plessis had done. These proffers were interrupted now and then with glasses of Aqua-vitae, which he order'd ever and anon to be presented to them.

These Savages finding so free and cordial a reception, after they had discours'd a while among themselves, in the Language they speak, concerning their military affairs, which is under­stood only by the most ancient Conductors of their Enterpri­zes, resolv'd to accept of the proffer which had been made them, and to renew the ancient amity, by renouncing what­ever might tend to the prosecution of that bloody War which had so much incommodated both parties. But before they would promise any thing, they ask'd Monsieur Auber, whether l' Olive, Sabouilly, and all those who had follow'd their violent courses, should be forc'd to depart the Island? Whereto it be­ing answer'd that they should, they reply'd, that it must ne­cessarily be so, and that otherwise they should still have an animosity against the French, saying, l' Olive and Sabouilly are not good for the Caribbians: Those were their words. Where­upon M. Auber having assur'd them that their desires should be satisfy'd, and that for his part he would be good to them, if they on their parts would be good; which they promis'd to be. These things concluded, he gave them a very noble treatment, bestow'd some Presents among them, and dismiss'd [Page 180] them the most satisfy'd people in the world.

From the road of Dominico M. Auber went to Gardeloupe, where having dispos'd his equipage he return'd to S. Christo­phers, to give the General an account of what had past, who was well satisfy'd with the choice which the Company had made of him for that Employment.

Being return'd to his Government, he was gallantly receiv'd by all the Inhabitants, who esteem'd him for his experience in whatever might contribute to the advancement of newly­planted Colonies, as also out of a perswasion, that his prudence would remedy the disorders past, and his generosity oppose the present difficulties, and undertake all things requisite for the quiet and welfare of the Island; and his mildness and af­fability would gain him the affections of all there, as they had done at S. Christophers, where he had been accounted one of their best Captains. His Commission was read and publish'd two Sundays together, at the head of all the Companies of the Island.

The War which had been fomented between the Savages and the French by the ill counsel of some restless spirits, and the credulity of the precedent Governour who had harkned thereto, together with the differences, jealousies and animosi­ties which those boutefeus had rais'd among the principal In­habitants of the Island, had rendred it the most desolate of all the Colonies of America: Want of provisions had reduc'd many to so great extremities, that life grew wearisom to them, and death was the object of their wishes: The continual fear they were in of being surpriz'd by the Savages, oblig'd them to be always in Arms, and to leave their Gardens and Plantations uncultivated; and the insupportable treatment they receiv'd from some Officers who abus'd their Authority, had brought them to the threshold of inevitable destruction.

But assoon as M. Auber had assum'd the Government, by the unanimous acclamations of all the Inhabitants, and brought them the news of an assured peace, which he had concluded with the Savages their neighbours, and hop'd very suddenly to see confirm'd by all the assurances could be expected from a Nation so unciviliz'd as that of the Caribbians, the disturbers of the publick tranquillity were dispers'd, and the well-affe­cted found themselves in safety under the prudent conduct of so worthy a Governour, who us'd all possible endeavours to bring the Island to a perfect setlement: Insomuch that the Co­lony seem'd to have put on a new face; Justice began to flou­rish; the unity and labours of the Inhabitants retriv'd the plenty, trading, and peace, which had been forc'd thence be­fore; and the pious example of the Commander in chief had the expected influence over all the members of that Colony.

Though he had motion'd a Treaty of peace with the Sava­ges, [Page 181] yet did he conceive it expedient, for fear of a surprize, that the Inhabitants should still keep their Guards: Accord­ingly he planted Sentinels in all those places where the Ca­ribbians might most easily land without being discover'd: He chang'd the Guards, and plac'd them in other more ad­vantagious places; and he thought it prudence to keep under those who would have ruin'd the first foundations he had laid of the firm peace and alliance with those reconciled enemies, charging the former by express prohibitions to forbear all acts of hostility, that they might not by their particular animosi­ties obstruct the general agreement wherein all the Inhabitants were so much concern'd.

The said Governour taking further into his consideration, that the Islands were to subsist by Trading; that nothing puts a greater slurre upon them then the bad Commodities vented therein; and that Tobacco was the only Commodity at that time of any esteem at Gardeloupe; and that several persons put off what was not merchantable, which procedure had caus'd the Island to be slighted by Forreigners, who upon that account had forborn sending any Ships thither; he ap­pointed certain persons who well understood the management of Tobacco, and these carefully examin'd the making up of it, and had order to cast into the Sea what was decay'd, or wanted those qualities it ought to have to be allowable.

This good order taken, as well in order to military affairs as policy, brought the Island in a short time into a flourishing condition; and the report of its amendment occasion'd the coming thither of many Merchants, and invited a great num­ber of considerable families to setle themselves there.

But to return to the Savages who had visited M. Auber in his Ship at his first arrival, and had treated with him about a peace, upon the conditions before-mentioned; they were no sooner got home into their Country, where they were expect­ed with much impatience, upon this score, that they had con­tinu'd a great while in the Ship, but they celebrated all over the Island the noble entertainment they had receiv'd from the Governour newly come from France. The considerable Pre­sents he had bestow'd on them was an authentick assurance of his goodness and liberality. To this they added, that their enemies, l' Olive and Sabouilly, being ordered to depart Garde­loupe, they had made a peace with that brave Companion, who had treated them so kindly, that he was worthy of their alli­ance. That he might take no further occasion of distrust, they urg'd the necessity there was that they should forbear making those incursions into Gardeloupe which they had been wont to make in the time of War: And that when certain news came that the new Governour was fully establish'd in his Government, they would give him a visit, carry him Presents, [Page 182] and solemnly confirm that peace which was likely to prove so advantagious for the future. The Caribbians, who had lost many of their men in the former engagements against the French, and grew weary of dealing with such expert enemies, were glad to hear what was propos'd to them by the principal Captains in their Country: So that they approv'd all that had pass'd between them and the French Governour, and behav'd themselves as they should do in order to the confirmation of the peace.

About the space of five months the Savages punctually observ'd the promise they had made to M. Auber, of not giving any further disturbance to the French: Imagining that time sufficient to let all the Inhabitants of Gardeloupe know what alliance had been contracted at the road of Dominico, they resolv'd to send thither a solemn Deputation, to con­firm the peace, and wish the Governour all prosperity. There was a great competition among the Savages who should be ho­nour'd with a Commission of so great importance: They re­solv'd then, to satisfie the most eminent among them who were competitors for that Embassie, to pitch upon two of their most ancient and most renowned Captains, and to give each of them a considerable Convoy, consisting of the choice of their bravest Officers and Souldiers: And that there might be no jealousie among the Captains, they thought it fit they should depart in two several Piragas, each of them with his retinue, and in such order as that one should precede the other by one day.

The chiefest of these Embassadours was call'd Captain Ami­chon, a person very considerable among them, and he was ac­company'd by thirty of the most active and most expert of Do­minico. M. Auber was wont to say, that he had never seen any Savages so well shap'd and active as they were. These Savages therefore, relying on the promise he had made them in the Road, landed at Gardeloupe, where hearing by the Guards that M. Auber was in the Island, and in good health, they confidently landed, and desired to see him, having in the mean time left some of the less considerable of their party to look to the Piraga. While some went to acquaint the Governour with the arrival of these Deputies of Dominico, Captain Amichon, who was to be the Speaker, dispatch'd a­way two of his retinue loaden with the best fruits of their Country, which they had brought along with them for a Present.

The French Governour was extremely glad to hear of their arrival, and having immediately commanded all those of his houshold and the whole Quarter not to give them the least occasion to fear any ill treatment, he would needs go himself to meet them, with a countenance which suffici­ently [Page 183] express'd how welcome they were. We shall not trou­ble our selves to insert here the Speech and Complements made by Captain Amichon at this first interview: He was one of those who had visited M. Auber in his Ship, so that he easi­ly knew him again. He immediately gave him to understand, that he was come to confirm what they had resolv'd together at the Road of Dominico concerning the peace; and that all the Caribbians of his Country were desirous of it. The French Governour in answer thereto, made them sensible as well by his Interpreter as his countenance, that for his part he would inviolably observe that union, provided they were not the first breakers of it. Having afterwards brought them to his house, and knowing that good cheer was the best seal could be put to that Treaty of peace, he call'd for some Aqua-vitae, and order'd to be brought what was most delicious in the Island: At last he crown'd the Entertainment with Presents of all the curiosities most in esteem among the Savages. And that all the Deputies might participate of the good cheer and liberality of the Governour, those who had been treated went to relieve those who were left behind to look to the Piraga, who also in their turn receiv'd the same treatment and Pre­sents which the others had had. Captain Amichon forgot not, according to the custom they observe towards their friends, to take M. Auber's name, and to give him his own.

Having been thus civilly receiv'd and treated, they return'd very joyfully to their Piraga, and set sail towards their own Island: They met at a certain rendezvouz, which they had agreed upon before they had left Dominico, with the other Piraga, which brought over the other Embassadour, whose name was Captain Baron, with his retinue. This second Captain understanding from the former what reception he and his retinue had at Gardeloupe, got thither the next day. This Baron had been a great friend of M. du Plessis, who dy [...]d Governour of Gardeloupe, but having equal authority with M. de l' Olive, his Collegue, who after du Plessis death impru­dently engag'd the French into a War with the Savages.

This Captain then, who had often visited M. du Plessis, and remembred the friendship he had born him, being satisfy'd of the generosity of the French, went ashore with his Company, and was conducted to the Governour's, who treated him with the same ceremonies as he had done the former: But when he came to hear that the Captain had been intimately acquainted with M. du Plessis, and that there had been a familiar corre­spondence between them, he treated him with greater testi­monies of affection then he had done the others, and en­ter'd into a particular friendship with him, receiving his name, and giving him his own. Thus was the latter Depu­tation dismiss'd with greater satisfaction then the former, [Page 184] and promis'd to continue their visits for the future: But both of them gave a large account at their Carbetts, of the civilities and good entertainment of the new Governour.

Captain Baron, who had been so kindly receiv'd at his first visit, staid not long ere he made a second: At the latter the Governour shew'd him one of M. du Plessis Sons, to whom the Captain made a thousand caresses, in remembrance of his Fa­ther, whom he call'd his Companion, and the Friend of his Nation. True it is, that Gentleman had insinuated himself into the affection of those Barbarians; who had a respect for his merits and excellent endowments.

After this visit, and several others which the Caribbians dai­ly made, M. Auber would be assur'd of them by Hostages, that they would observe the alliance: To that purpose he apply'd himself to Captain Baron, with whom he had contracted a greater friendship then with the others, and whom he call'd his Companion, as succeeding to the alliance there had sometime been between him and M. du Plessis. M. Auber ask'd him one day, whether he thought it not rational, that, to be assur'd of those of his Nation, he should require some of their children to be deliver'd up to him as Hostages? The Captain, who was of a judgment and understanding much beyond the ordinary rate of Savages, immediately reply'd, that the mutual safety was to be procur'd upon equal conditions; and that if they deliver'd up some of their children to the French, it was but just the French should do the like with them. He thereupon presented to M. Auber some of his own children who had ac­company'd him; and the other accepting of the proffer, made choice of one of them, a young lad, whose countenance and demeanour was somewhat more pleasing and attractive, in a word, one who was in several respects more amiable then any of his brethren: The Father was content to part with his Son, and the Son was content to stay with M. Auber; an accident that seldom happens among the Savages. His name was Ima­labouy. From that day M. Auber treated him as his Son, and always call'd him so; and the young Fellow call'd him Fa­ther. When he was put into cloaths, he made a shift to be­have himself well enough; nor did he find it any hard mat­ter to enure himself to the European course of life. Captain Baron desir'd to have as a counter-hostage one of Mistress Au­ber's Sons, who had been first wife to M. du Plessis, and was then married to M. Auber: But M. Auber having represented to the Captain, that young du Plessis was of too soft a na­ture to endure the hardship of a Caribbian life, prevail'd with him to accept by way of Hostage, instead of him, one of his Servants, who willingly proffer'd to follow him. That young man being of a strong constitution, continu'd some moneths among the Savages, who treated him with much [Page 185] kindness; but whether the change of air, or nourishment caus'd some alteration in him, he fell sick some time after: Which Captain Baron hearing of, and fearing he might dye among them, he brought him back to M. Auber, and requir'd not any other person in his stead, saying that he would have no other Hostage then the word of his Companion. True it is, he would have perswaded his own Son to return along with him, but he could not prevail with him, the Youth tell­ing him, that he thought himself in a better condition with M. Auber then with his Father.

Captain Baron having left at Gardeloupe so precious an en­gagement, took occasion to make frequent visits to M. Auber, and by that means to see his Son: And finding himself ex­tremely oblig'd to M. Auber for the many favours he receiv'd from him, especially for the tender affection he bore his Son, he bethought himself to find out some occasions whereby he might express his acknowledgments thereof: He resolv'd therefore to make a discovery to him, that during the Wars between those of his Nation and the French, who were com­manded by l' Olive, he had taken a young French-man Priso­ner, and had given him his life only upon this score, that he had sometime been a Servant to M. du Plessis, his old Compa­nion: And that it was neer three years that he had him, and gave him more then ordinary liberty, though it had been in his power to put him to death, because he was taken in Arms, and in the heat of the Engagement: But that he had not us'd extremity, remembring the ancient friendship between him and M. du Plessis, in whose attendance he had seen that French ­man. M. Auber compassionating the young mans condition, entreated the Captain to deliver him up; which he promis'd, and not many days after was as good as his word; and he whose good fortune it was to be thus retriv'd, staid a long time after at Gardeloupe.

The generous Captain, not thinking it enough to have thus oblig'd M. Auber, and parted with his Prisoner, told him of another Captain of Dominico who also had a French-man in his house, a Prisoner at War, and proffer'd to sollicite that Cap­tain to set him at liberty. He prevail'd, and some days after brought over that other Prisoner, whose name was Jean Jardin. This being a subtle young fellow had gain'd the affe­ctions not only of the Captain, whose Prisoner he was, but also of all the Caribbians, who had as much kindness for him as if he had been of their own Nation: And he had such an excellent memory, that he had got their Language in per­fection.

M. Auber desirous to make some return of these good offices and expressions of affection, besides the Presents he daily made the Captain, would needs oblige his whole Nation▪ [Page 186] It was when the Captain was engag'd for the War against the Arouagues, who inhabit Trinity-Island, and to that pur­pose had made extraordinary preparations. For this nobly­minded Savage coming to take leave of M. Auber before he went upon that expedition, he bestow'd on him, to be put in­to his party, one of his menial Servants, who was his Fowler, named Des Serissiers, who had a long time wish'd himself pre­sent at the Engagements of those Savages; and he furnish'd him with good fire-arms, and all things requisite to make use thereof.

Captain Baron was much astonish'd at that favour, and having joyfully accepted of it, made extraordinary declarati­ons thereof among those of his own Nation. This Volunteer very cheerfully follow'd the Captain, and was at the Engage­ment with the Arouagues of Trinity-Island, to which there came a powerful Army of Savages from all the Caribby-Islands. The French-man did as much upon that occasion as could be expected from a gallant Souldier; and being a good marks­man, he hurt and wounded so many of the Arouagues, who were not accustomed to feel the effect of fire-arms, that at last they took the rout, and retreated into the mountains, leaving the spoil to the victorious Caribbians. From that time Se­rissiers was ever look'd upon by those of that Nation as a great Captain; and they could not sufficiently admire the kindness of the French Governour, who voluntarily depriv'd himself of that young mans service, and lent him to them. All the particulars of this relation we have from very good hands, especially M. Auber's.

During all the time of M. Auber's government of Garde­loupe, the peace made with the Caribbians was inviolably ob­serv'd on both sides, to the great advantage of both Nati­ons: For the Savages by that agreement had the opportunity to treat with the French for wedges, hooks, knives, and several other instruments and commodities which they look upon as the most necessary: And the French receiv'd from them in ex­change, Swine, Lizards, Sea-Turtles or Tortoises, and an infi­nite number of other fishes, and other refreshments, whereof they made a good advantage. So that the Caribbians were as it were the Pourvoyers of the French, who in the mean time labour'd in their Plantations without any disturbance.

CHAP. IV. Of the Trading and Employments of the Forreign Inha­bitants of the Country; and first, of the culture and ordering of Tobacco.

IN the Caribbies Money is not us'd in order to the carrying on of ordinary Traffick, but this is perform'd by the ex­changing of those Commodities which are of the growth of the Country for such as are brought out of Europe, whether they consist in Cloaths, Linnen, Ammunition, or Provisions, and other necessaries requisite for the better conveniences and enjoyments of life. And this was the common course of all Nations before the use of Money, and is to this day practis'd in divers savage Countries, and particularly in Colchida, where every one brings to the Market what he hath superfluous, to supply himself with what he wants.

The Store-houses and Magazines of these Islands are com­monly well furnish'd with all sorts of Commodities which are brought out of England, France, Holland, and Zealand, nay as plentifully as in any place in the world. The price of eve­ry Commodity is not left to the choice of the Merchants who keep the Store-houses, but set upon it by the Gover­nours, with the advice of their Council. The Commodities which the Inhabitants bring in exchange for those before­mentioned, are reducible to five species; to wit, Tobacco, Sugar, Ginger, Indico, and Cotton.

At the beginning all the forreign Inhabitants of the Ca­ribbies apply'd themselves wholly to the culture of Tobac­co, whereby they made a shift to get a competent livelihood; but afterwards the abundance that was made bringing down the price of it, they have in several places employ'd them­selves in the planting of Sugar-canes, Ginger, and Indico: And it hath pleas'd God so to prosper their designs, that it is almost a miracle to see with what improvement all these Commodities grow in most of the Islands. And forasmuch as many who see them in Europe know not how they are or­der'd, it will be a great satisfaction to their curiosity, to give a short account of each of them; whereto we shall adde somewhat concerning Cotton.

True it is, that divers Authors have already treated of them; but in regard our History would be defective, if no­thing should be said concerning them, we are in the first place to assure the Reader, that the whole discourse we in­tend to make thereof is not a Copy or Extract out of any other, but a true Original naturally taken with much care [Page 188] and fidelity: So that if we say the same things as others have done before us, those who shall peruse our work will not be much troubled to find here the confirmation of a truth which comes from so remote a part of the world, and whereof they cannot have too great an assurance: And if they find any thing that seems to clash with some precedent relations, they are to look on it as a discovery of the falshood of those which are contrary thereto: Or at least ours will make it apparent, that in all places the Planters do not so exactly follow the same method in the ordering of these Commodities, but that sometimes some alteration may be observ'd therein. Besides, we have this further hope, that some will find in the following descriptions a certain exactness and cleerness which they will think not unacceptable to them; nay they may haply meet with something therein that is new, and such as hath not been observ'd by any other Authors: But if there be any who shall think there is not any thing in this and the next Chapter which they know not already, that is, nothing which may either instruct or divert them, they are desir'd not to blame our diligence, and imagine them written for others who may receive some instruction or divertisement thereby, and acknowledge themselves oblig'd to us for our care.

For the getting of good and merchantable Tobacco, the first thing to be done, is, in the proper season to prepare the beds in several places of the Gardens, such as have good shel­ter from the winds; then they sow in them the seed which had been gather'd from the stalks of the precedent year, which they suffer to grow and ripen for that purpose: They mix ashes with the seed when it is sown, that it may not fall too thick in some places: When it begins to appear above ground, it is carefully cover'd with the leaves of the prickly Palms, or with branches of Orange, or Citron-trees, to secure it from the excessive heat of the Sun, the coolness of the night, and the spoil which tame Fowl and Birds might make in it.

While the Plant is growing up to a condition that it may be transplanted, the place into which it is to be remov'd is pre­pared. If the Plantation be but newly establish'd, it is requi­site that it should have been cleer'd of wood some considerable time before, and that the branches should be burnt upon the ground, and over the beds: And if after all that there be any thing remaining, whatever is not burnt must be convey'd quite away, that the place may be free. True it is, there's no need of digging the earth of turning it up, nor yet of delv­ing, hut only of cleering it of all weeds, so as that there re­main not any wood, nor bark, nor leaf, nor so much as the least grass. To do that, they make use of a kind of broad and sharp Hoes, which pare and take off the surface of the ground, [Page 189] and if need be, carry along with them the roots of the weeds, whose after-growth they would prevent.

The ground being thus prepar'd, it is divided into several ridges or beds distant one from the other two or three foot. To do this, they make use of long cords, which at the distance of every two foot, or thereabouts, are marked with a little piece of cloth, which is sew'd thereto; and then they place little sticks at all the places answerable to those marks; to the end, that when the time of transplanting the young Tobacco is come, which is immediately after it hath pleas'd God to send a good shower of rain, they should have nothing else to do but to plant, and not lose time in making those divisions of the Garden or Plantation.

The Tobacco-plant is ready for its removal out of the bed where it had been first sown, when it hath four or five leaves strong and thick enough, and about the bredth of a mans hand; for then, if it happen that the ground is softned by a pleasant shower of rain, all those who are desirous of having good Tobacco with the first season matter not much the incon­venience of being wet, so they can but set a good quantity of it in the ground. At that time there is an emulation among the good husbands, every one endeavouring to outvye the other in working: Some are employ'd in chusing and taking off the Plants from the beds, and disposing them into baskets; others carry them to those whose work it is to plant them ex­actly at the places which had been before marked by the cord, as we said elsewhere.

Those who are employ'd about the planting of them make a hole in the ground with a sharp stick, into which they set the root of the Tobacco; then they thrust the earth pretty hard about, yet so as that the upper part of the Plant be not co­ver'd: And thus they do all along every rank, and assoon as they have finish'd one they begin another. Having performed that exercise, at the next meeting of the Neighbours together their common discourse is, to enquire one of another how ma­ny thousands of Plants they have set in the ground, and thence calculate the hopes of the future harvest.

The Plant being thus set in the ground, which is commonly done in several intervalls, in regard it seldom happens that there is so plentiful a fall of rain as that it might be done at once, or haply because the ground is not all prepar'd at the same time, or that there are not Plants enough, is not there­upon neglected; on the contrary, this is but the beginning of the pains and care which the ordering of it requires; for the Planters must be very careful to visit it often, and assoon as they have perceiv'd that it hath taken root, there must be a special care taken that the Caterpillars and other mischie­vous Insects, whereof there are abundance in those Countries, do not gnaw it, and hinder its growth.

[Page 190]The next work is, at least once every month, to weed away whatever might endanger the smothering of it, diligently to grub up and rake the earth all about it, and to carry away the weeds to the extremities of the Plantation; for if they be left in the place where they are laid upon their being taken out of the ground, the least rain would make them take root afresh, and they would require a second weeding. The most troublesom herb of any, and that which causes most trouble to get out of the Plantations, is Purslane, which in these parts of the world grows not without the pains and industry of Gardeners. This exercise is continu'd till such time as the Tobacco-plant hath cover'd all the adjacent ground, and that the shade of it keeps down all other weeds.

But though all this be done, yet are not the Planters at rest, inasmuch as answerably to the growth of the Plant in height and bredth, some must be continually employ'd in cutting off the superfluous leaves, taking away those that are dry'd up, rotten or decay'd, cleering it of all those shoots and suckers which might hinder its coming to perfection, by diverting the sap from the larger leaves: In fine, when the stalk is grown to a convenient height, it must be check'd, by cutting off the top of every Plant, those only excepted which are reserv'd for seed. After all this ordering, the Plant is to continue some weeks in the ground ere it comes to maturity, during which there is a little cessation of labour and attendance about it.

But if the laborious Planter be exempted from the great pains he had bestow'd about it, he shall not want work; for there must be a place prepar'd, where it is to be dispos'd as soon as it is ripe. Care must be taken, that the Grange or Store-house, where it ought to be dry'd to a certain medio­crity, be well cover'd and close of all sides; that it be furnish'd with good store of poles fit for it to be laid upon; that provi­sion be made of a certain thin bark taken from a tree called Mahot, to fasten every Plant to the poles; and that the place design'd for the making of it up into rolls or pricks should have all things requisite for that work.

While all these preparations are made, if the Tobacco­leaves lose ever so little of their first verdure, and withal begin to bow down more then ordinary towards the ground, and if the scent of them grows stronger, it is a sign that the Plant is come to maturity: And then, taking a very fair day, after the dew is fallen off, it is to be cut about an inch a­bove ground, and left upon the place till the evening, turning it once or twice, that the Su [...] may take away somewhat of its moisture: In the evening it is carry'd by armfuls into the house. It is fasten'd by the lower end of the stalk to the poles, so that the leaves hang downwards: It is also requisite that they should not be laid too close one to the other, lest they [Page 191] be corrupted, or be not dry enough, for want of air.

This first cutting down of the Tobacco being over, they often visit the Plants which are hung up a drying, while the rest which had been left growing comes to ripeness; and when they find the leaves fit to be made up into rolls, that is, when they are neither too dry (for in that case they would not be able to endure the wheel), nor yet too moist (for then they would corrupt in a short time), they are taken off the poles, they are laid in heaps at the end of the Grange, and every stalk is stript of its leaves, after this manner.

In the first place, they lay aside all the longest and all the broadest leaves, and they take away the great stalk which runs through the midst of them; the lesser leaves are also laid by themselves, to be dispos'd within the roll, and the greater serve for coverings and shrowds for them. These leaves thus dispos'd are ranked on planks or tables, close by him who is to make them up into rolls, which he makes big­ger or smaller, as may be seen by those brought over into these parts.

There is a certain art in making up the rolls, and those who can do it with expedition and dexterity are highly esteem'd, and get much more then those who are employ'd about order­ing the ground: They must have their hands and arms ex­tremely supple and nimble, to make the wheel turn with such speed, and still to observe the same proportion, that so the roll may be equally big in all parts.

There is a particular artifice, in the business of Tobacco, to dispose and lay it after the winding so as that it may be the more easily put up on the sticks, which are all to be of a cer­tain bigness and length, to avoid deceit.

When the Tobacco is thus made up, it is convey'd to the Store-house, and cover'd with Bananas or some other leaves, that it may not be prejudic'd by taking wind, and be of a good fair colour. That which cuts somewhat unctuously, is black­ish and shining, and hath a pleasant and strong scent, and burns easily in the Pipe, is accounted the best.

We told you, that the Tobacco-plant was cut almost even with the ground, and not pluck'd up by the roots; and it is purposely so cut, that it may shoot forth new stalks: And in­deed it produces a second Plant, but such as is neither so strong nor so fair as the former; nor is the Tobacco made thereof so much esteem'd, nor will keep so well: It is call'd by some Shoot-Tobacco, or Sucker-Tobacco, or Tobacco of the second cutting or growth: Nay some will have three shoots from the same stalk; and that humour hath brought the Tobacco which comes from some Islands into dis-esteem.

Now since we have express'd our selves so much at large concerning the manufacture of Tobacco, we shall not think [Page 192] it improper to insert in this place what is practis'd by some cu­rious persons, whereby it is made more excellent then that which commonly goes under the name of Virinus-Tobacco, keeps well, and hath a scent which fortifies the brain. After they have set aside the Plants of the first cutting, and while they are drying on the poles, they gather together all the cast leaves, the small shoots, as also the filaments which are taken out of the midst of the leaves which have been already cleer'd; and after they have pounded them in a mortar, all is put into a bag, which is put into a press to force out the juice, which is afterwards boil'd over a soft fire till it be reduc'd to the con­sistency of a Syrup: That done, there is put into that decocti­on a little Copal, which is an aromatick gum, the virtue where­of is to fortifie the brain. This gum distills from a tree of the same name, which is common in the Continent of America, and in the Islands about the gulf of Hondures.

After this drug is put into the composition aforesaid, it must be well stirr'd, that its sweet scent and other qualities may be communicated and diffus'd through the whole decoction: Then it must be taken off the fire, and when it is cold it is set in a vessel neer the person who makes up the roll of To­bacco, and as often as he takes a handful of the leaves to feed the roll, he must wet his hand in that liquor, and wipe it with the leaves. This secret hath an admirable effect to make the Tobacco keep well, and derives to it a virtue which extremely heightens its price.

The Tobacco thus order'd is to be made up into a roll, at least as big as a mans thumb, and be afterwards divided into little rolls not weighing above ten pound at the most, and then sent in little vessels or close baskets made for that purpose, to keep it the better. Some Inhabitants of the Islands having made tryal of this secret, have put off theirs for right Virinus-Tobacco, and sold it at the same rate.

Those who imagine that Tobacco grows without any trou­ble; and that rolls of it are, as they say, found growing on Trees in America, and that there is no more to be done but to shake them down; or haply are perswaded that it requires no great trouble to bring them to perfection, will be unde­ceiv'd when they come to read this relation of the culture and preparation of Tobacco; whereto we have only this to adde, that if they had themselves seen the poor Servants and Slaves, who are employ'd about this painful work, expos'd the greatest part of the day to the scorching heat of the Sun, and spending one half of the night in reducing it to that posture wherein it is transported into Europe, no doubt they would have a greater esteem for, and think much more precious that herb, which is procur'd with the sweat and labours of so ma­ny miserable creatures.

[Page 193]We shall not need to insert here what Physitians write of the miraculous effects of Tobacco, but leave the more curi­ous to consult their Books, wherein they give a strange ac­count thereof: Only this we shall affirm, that the virtues of it must needs be very great, since it hath its course all over the world, and that in a manner all Nations upon Earth, as well those that are civiliz'd as those that still continue in their Barbarism, have afforded it a kind reception, and have ad­vis'd the taking of it: And though some Princes have prohi­bited the use of it in their Territories, out of a fear that the money of their Subjects, which is rare and precious, should be turn'd into smoak, and slip out of their hands for a thing which seems not to be so necessary to life; yet is there not any but will allow it a place among the drugs and remedies of Physick.

The more delicate and curious among those Nations who are dispos'd into hot Countries, qualifie it with Sage, Rose­mary, and certain Perfumes, which give it a very pleasant scent; and having reduc'd it to powder, they take it in at the nostril. Those Nations who inhabit cold Countries, forbid not Persons of Quality the use of it; nay it is a perfection and certain gallantry in the Ladies of those Parts, gracefully to handle a Pipe, whereof the boal is of Coral or Amber, and the head of Silver or Gold, and to puff out the smoak of this herb without the least wrinkle or wry face, and to let it out of the mouth after several little intervalls, which raising so many little vapours of a brownish colour, seems a kind of foil to set off the cleerness of their complection. The com­position we have before described, which heightens the good scent of Tobacco, will no doubt be kindly receiv'd by those persons who place the smoking of a pipe of Tobacco among the pleasures and enjoyments of this life.

To conclude, it is not easie to affirm what quantities of To­bacco are sent away every year, only from the Island of S. Chri­stophers; and it is almost a miracle to see what numbers [...]f Ships come over out of England, France, Holland, and especi­ally Zealand, and yet none returns empty: nay the sole tra­ding which the last named Province maintain'd with this and the neighbouring Islands, rais'd the greatest and wealthiest houses at Middleborough and Flushing: nay to this day the principal commerce of those two Cities, which are the most considerable of all Zealand, is from these Islands, which are to them what the Mines of Peru are to the Kingdom of Spain.

CHAP. V. Of the manner how Sugar is made; and of the prepara­tion of Ginger, Indico, and Cotton.

WHen the great plenty of Tobacco made at S. Christo­phers and the other Islands had brought down the price of it so low, that it did not turn to accompt, it pleas'd God to put it into the heart of the French General de Poincy, to find out some other ways to facilitate the subsistence of the Inhabitants, and carry on some Trade: He thereupon em­ploy'd his Servants and Slaves about the culture of Sugar-Canes, Ginger, and Indico; and the design met with a success beyond what was expected.

Though it may be granted, that the Plant of the Sugar-Cane was known to the Ancients, yet is the invention of ma­king the Sugar but of late years: The Ancients knew no more of it then they did of Sena, Cassia, Ambergreece, Musk, Civet, and Benjamin: They made no other use of this precious Reed, then in order to drink and Physick. And therefore we may well oppose all these things, with much advantage, as also our Clocks, the Sea-Compass, the Art of Navigation, Prospective-glasses, Printing. Artillery, and several other ex­cellent Inventions of the last Ages, against their right way of dying Purple, their malleable Glass, the subtle Machines of their Archimedes, and some such like.

Having in the precedent Book given a description of the Sugar-Cane, our business here will only be to represent the manner how Sugar is gotten out of it.

That work is performed by a Machine or Mill, which some call an Ingenio, whereby the juice within the Canes is squeez'd out. These Mills are built of very solid and lasting wood, and are more convenient in these Islands then those used to the same purpose at Madera and Brasil: Nor is it to be fear'd in the former, as many times in the latter, that the fire should get to the boiling Coppers, and set all into a flame, to the de­struction of those who are employ'd about the work; for the Coppers in these Islands are seen to boil, yet the fire that causes it is made and kept in on the outside by furnaces, which are so well cemented, that neither the flame nor the smoak does any way hinder those who are at work, which they may follow without any fear of danger or inconvenience.

The ordinary way of turning the Mills is by Horses or Oxen; but the French Governour hath one which is turn'd by water, which falling on a wheel sets the whole Machine going.

[Page 195]When the Sugar-Canes are ripe, they are cut somewhat neer the ground, above the first knot which is without any juice; and having cut off the tops, and taken away certain little, long, and very thin leaves, which encompass them; they are made up into bundles, and carry'd to the Mills to be there press'd and squeez'd between two rollers, turning one upon the other.

The juice which is squeez'd out of them falls into a great Cistern, whence it is convey'd through long pipes or channels into the vessels appointed for the boiling of it. In great Su­gar-works there are at least six Coppers, whereof three very large ones are of copper, about the bredth and depth of those us'd by Dyers, and are to clarifie the juice, which is to be boil'd with a gentle fire, putting in ever and anon a small quantity of a certain very strong Lye, made of water and ash­es, commonly call'd Temper, which makes all the filth to boil up, which as it appears is taken off with a great brass skim­mer. When the juice is well purify'd in these three Coppers, into which it had been convey'd alternately one after another, it is strain'd through a cloth, and afterwards pour'd into three other Coppers of some other mettal, which are very thick, broad enough, and about a foot and a half deep. In these Coppers the Sugar receives its last boiling; for then there is a more violent fire made, and it is continually stirr'd, and when it bubbles up so as that it may be fear'd it should boil over the Coppers, it is allay'd by the casting in of a little sallet-oil; and as it begins to grow thick, it is pour'd into the last of those Coppers, from whence, as it inclines to a consistency, it is dis­pos'd into vessels of wood or earth, and so carry'd into the Curing-house, where it is whiten'd with a kind of fat earth mixt with water, which is spred upon it; then they open the little hole in the bottom of every vessel or pot, that all the filth or dregs that is about the Sugar may fall into ano­ther channel, which conveys it into a vessel prepar'd for that purpose.

The first skimmings which had been taken off the great Coppers is laid aside only for Cattle, but the other serves well enough to make a certain drink for the Servants and Slaves. The juice which is drawn from the Cane will conti­nue good but one day, insomuch that if within that time it be not boil'd, it grows sharp and turns to vinegar. There must also be a very great care taken, that the Reservatory into which the squeezed juice falls, and the pipes or channels whereby it is thence convey'd into other places, be often wash'd; for if they contract ever so little sharpness, the juice cannot be reduc'd to Sugar: The whole work would also miscarry, if any butter or oil chance to be cast into any of the three greater Coppers, which are to be wash'd with Lye; or [Page 196] in like manner, if ever so little Lye fall into the three lesser ones, where the juice is form'd into a Syrup, and curdles by the violence of the fire, and the continual agitation and stir­ring of it with a skimmer. But above all things there must be a great care taken, that there fall not any juice of Citron in­to the Coppers; for that would absolutely hinder the coagula­tion of the Sugar.

Many of the Inhabitants who are not able to get so many Coppers, nor furnish themselves with those great Engines whereby the Canes are squeez'd, have little Mills made like Presses, which are wrought by two or three men, or driven about by one horse; and with one or two Coppers they purifie the juice gotten out of them, reduce it to the consi­stence of Syrup, and make good Sugar without any further trouble.

The greatest secret in the business of making good Sugar consists in the whitening of it: Those who have it are very loth to communicate it. From what hath been said, it may be easily inferr'd what extraordinary advantages accrue to the Inhabitants of that Island by means of this sweet and precious Commodity, and what satisfaction it brings to their Corre­spondents in other parts of the world, who have it at so easie rates.

This plenty of Sugar hath put the Inhabitants upon the pre­serving of abundance of excellent fruits of the growth of the Island, as Oranges, Lemons, Citrons, and others, especially Ginger, whereof we shall give an account anon, and the fruit call'd Ananas, and the flowers of Oranges and Citrons.

As concerning the preparation of Ginger, when the root is come to maturity it is taken out of the ground; then it is dry'd in places well air'd, and it is often stirr'd to prevent corruption. Some make no more ado then to expose it to the Sun in order to the drying of it; but others think it re­quisite to cast lime on it, the more to facilitate the drawing a­way of the moisture. This root, which is one of the most considerable among Spices, is transported all over the world; but it is most sought after in cold Countries.

The French do sometimes take it out of the ground be­fore it is fully ripe, and preserve it whole with such arti­fice, that it becomes red, and transparent as glass. The pre­serv'd Ginger which is brought over from Brazil and the Le­vant is commonly dry, full of filaments or little strings, and too biting to be eaten with any delight; but that which is prepar'd at S. Christophers hath no fibres or strings at all, and it is so well order'd, that there remains nothing that is unplea­sant to the tooth when it is eaten.

It hath a singular property to fortifie the breast, when it is weakned by a confluence of cold humours; as also to [Page 197] clear the voice, to sweeten the breath, to cause a good co­lour in the face, to take away the crudities of the stomach, to promote digestion, to sharpen the appetite, and to con­sume that waterishness and phlegm which puts the body in­to a languishing condition; nay it is affirm'd by some, that it preserves and wonderfully fortifies the memory, by dis­persing the cold humours, or the phlegm of the Brain. This root may also be reduc'd into a paste, of which there may be made a Conserve, or cordial Electuary that hath the same ef­fects.

We come now to give a short account of Indico. The Plant being cut is bound up into little bundles or fagots, and left to rot in cisterns of stone or wood full of fair water, on which there is cast a certain quantity of oil, which according to its nature covers all the surface of it: They lay stones upon the fagots, that they may the better keep under the water; and after three or four days that the water hath been boiling, which it does by the meer virtue of the Plant, without any assistance of fire, the leaf being rotted and dissolv'd by that natural heat which is in the stalk, they take great stakes and stir the whole mass that is within the cisterns, so to get out all the substance of it; and after it is setled again, they take out of the cistern that part of the stalk which is not rotted: that done, they several times stir what is left in the cistern, and af­ter they have left it to setle, they let out the water at a cock; and the lees or dregs which remains at the bottom of the cistern, is put into molds, or left to dry in the Sun. These dregs is that which is so much esteem'd by Dyers, and commonly known by the name of Indico.

There are some make use of Presses, whereinto having put little bundles of the rotted Plant, they by that means get out all the juice of it: But in regard they are the leaves of the Plant that the foresaid Commodity is made of, those who are desirous to have it of the highest price, think it enough to have the dregs which remains after the corruption of those leaves, and is found, after so many stirrings, at the bottom of the ci­stern.

The French Inhabitants of the Caribbies were there a long time ere they drove any trade in that Commodity, by reason that the Plant whereof it is made, being of it self of a very strong scent, exhales an insupportable stink when it is rot­ted: But since Tobacco came to so low a rate, and that in some places the ground would not bring forth that which was good, as it had done some time before, they apply'd themselves to the culture of Indico, whereof they now make a considerable advantage.

Lastly, as concerning Cotton, the French make it not much their business to gather it, though they have many of the trees [Page 198] that bear it in the hedges of their Plantations: But all put to­gether amounts but to little in comparison of what is said of a certain Quarter of the Province of China; for a certain Au­thour named Trigaut, in the xvii. chap. of the fifth Book of his History, affirms, that there grows so much Cotton there as finds work enough for two hundred thousand Weavers.

The English who are the Inhabitants of the Barbouthos drive a great trade in this Commodity, as also those who liv'd formerly in the Island of Santa-cruce. There is no great trou­ble in the making of Cotton fit for the market; for all to be done, is to get out of the half-open'd button that matter which in a manner forces its way out it self: And whereas it is full of the seed of the tree that bears it, which are like little beans intangled within the Cotton, in the midst where­of they had their production, there are a sort of little En­gines made with such artifice, that by the turning of a wheel, whereby they are put into motion, the Cotton falls on the one side, and the seed on the other: That done, the Cotton is thrust up as close as may be into bags, that so it may take up the less room.

Thus have we given a brief account of the principal Em­ployments which keep up the Commerce of the Islands, and the Commodities wherein the Inhabitants do ordinarily trade.

CHAP. VI. Of the more honourable Employments of the European Inhabitants of the Caribbies; their Slaves; and their Government.

THe European Colonies which have planted themselves in the Caribbies, do not consist only of a sort of Vaga­bonds and persons of mean condition, as some fondly imagine, but there are also among them many of Quality, and descend­ed from noble Families: So that the Employments we menti­oned in the precedent Chapter, are design'd only for the most inconsiderable of the Inhabitants, and such whose necessities have forc'd them to earn their bread with the labour of their hands, and the sweat of their brows: But the others, who are able to hire people to oversee their Servants and Slaves, and to see that they do their work, lead pleasant lives, and want not those enjoyments thereof which are to be had in other Countries. Their employments and divertisements, besides the frequent visits they make and receive with extraordinary expressions of civility, are Hunting, Fishing, and other com­mendable [Page 199] exercises; nay they endeavour to outvye one the other in their entertainments, wherein they are magnificent, there being a sufficient plenty of Beef, Mutton, Pork, wild and tame Fowl of all kinds, Fish, Pastry, and excellent Conserves, all in as great abundance as at the best Tables in the European parts of the world. And these mutual demonstrations of kind­ness are deriv'd from the Officers and those of the better rank to the meanest Inhabitants, who think it a great want of civi­lity to dismiss any one from their houses, before they have pre­sented them with somewhat to eat and drink.

Wine, Beer, Brandy, and Aqua-vitae, and such drinks, are seldom wanting in these Islands; and if there should chance to be a scarcity of these, the Inhabitants have the art of making a delicious drink of that sweet liquor which is got out of the Sugar-canes, and that being kept for certain days becomes as strong as any Sack: Of the same liquor they also make an excellent kind of Aqua-vitae, not much unlike that which is brought thither out of France; only this inconvenience it hath, that they who drink excessively of it are apt to fall dangerously sick. Moreover, they make several kinds of Beverage with the juice of Oranges, Figs, Bananas, and Ana­nas, which are all very delicious and pleasant to the taste, and may be ranked among Wines: They also make a sort of Beer of the Cassava and the roots of Potatoes, which is as pleasant, nourishing, and refreshing as that which is brought out of the Low-Countries.

As concerning those Employments which are equally ho­nourable and necessary in order to the welfare of the Inhabi­tants of these Islands, it is to be observ'd, that all are taught the use of Arms, and the Heads of Families seldom walk abroad without their Swords. Every Quarter is dispos'd under the command of certain Captains and other Officers, who have the oversight thereof. They are all well-arm'd, and they of­ten muster and are exercis'd even in the times of deepest peace; so that they are always in readiness, at the first beat of D [...]um, to march to the places where the Captains appoint their Ren­dezvouz. In the Island of S. Christophers, besides twelve Com­panies of Foot, there are also some Troops of Horse, as we said elsewhere.

And whereas all persons of Quality, whereof there is a considerable number in those Islands, have Servants and Slaves who are employ'd about the works before-mentioned, and that in most parts of Europe they do not make use of Slaves, there being only the Spaniards and the Portuguez who go and buy them up at the places of their birth, such as are Angola, Cap-vert, and Guinny, it will be but requisite that we here give a short account of them: But we shall in the first place speak of those who are hired Servants, and to conti­nue such only for a certain time.

[Page 200]As for the French who are carried over out of France into America, to serve there, they commonly deliver obligatory acts to their Masters, which is done before publick Notaries; by which writings they oblige themselves to serve them du­ring the space of three years, conditionally to receive from them so many pounds of Tobacco, according to the agree­ment they have made during that term. These French Ser­vants, by reason of the three years service they are engag'd to, are commonly called the Thirty-six-months-men, according to the Language of the Islands. There are some so simple as to imagine, that if they be not oblig'd to their Masters in wri­ting before their departure out of France, they are so much the less oblig'd when they are brought into the Islands; but they are extremely mistaken; for when they are brought be­fore a Governour to complain that they were carried aboard against their wills, or to plead that they are not oblig'd by writing, they are condemn'd for the space of three years to serve either him who hath paid for their passage, or such other as it shall please the Master to appoint. If the Master hath promis'd his Servant no more then the ordinary recompence of the Islands, he is oblig'd to give him for his three years ser­vice but three hundred weight of Tobacco, which is no great matter to find himself in linnen and cloaths; for the Master is not engag'd to supply him with any thing but food: But he who before his departure out of France promises to give three hundred weight of Tobacco to him whom he receives into his service, is oblig'd exactly to pay it, nay though he had pro­mis'd him a thousand: It is therefore the Servants best course to make his bargain sure before he comes out of his Coun­try.

As concerning the Slaves, and such as are to be perpetual Servants, who are commonly employ'd in these Islands, they are originally Africans, and they are brought over thither from the Country about Cap-vert, the Kingdom of Angolae, and other Sea-ports which are on the Coasts of that part of the world; where they are bought and sold after the same manner as Cattle in other places.

Of these, some are reduc'd to a necessity of selling them­selves, and entring into a perpetual slavery, they and their children, to avoid starving; for in the years of sterility, which happen very frequently, especially when the Grass­hoppers, which like clouds spread themselves over the whole Country, have consum'd all the fruits of the earth, they are brought to such a remediless extremity, that they will submit to the most rigorous conditions in the world, provided they may be kept from starving. When they are reduc'd to those exigencies, the Father makes no difficulty to sell his children for bread; and the children forsake Father and Mother with­out any regret.

[Page 201]Another sort of them are sold after they have been taken Prisoners in War by some petty neighbouring Prince; for it is the custom of the Princes of those Parts to make frequent in­cursions into the Territories of their Neighbours, purposely for the taking of Prisoners, whom they afterwards sell to the Portuguez, and other Nations with whom they drive that bar­barous Trade: They receive in exchange for them Iron (which is as precious with them as Gold), Wine, Aqua-vitae, Brandy, or some poor Clothing: They make Slaves of the women as well as the men, and they are sold one with another, at a higher or lower rate, according to their youth, age, strength, or weakness, handsomness, or deformity of body. They who bring them over to the Islands make a second sale of them, at fifteen or sixteen hundred weight of Tobacco every head, more or less, as the parties concern'd can agree.

If these poor Slaves chance to fall into the hands of a good Master, one who will not treat them with too much severity, they prefer their present slavery before their former liberty, the loss whereof they never afterwards regret: And if they are permitted to marry, they multiply extremely in those hot Countries.

They are all Negroes, and those who are of the brightest black are accounted the fairest: Most of them are flat-nos'd, and have thick lips, which goes among them for beauty; nay there are some affirm, that in their Country the Midwives do purposely crush down their noses, that they may be flat, assoon as they come into the world: The hair of their heads is all frizl [...]d, so that they can hardly make use of Combs; but to prevent the breeding of vermine, they rub their heads with the oil of that shrub which is called Palma-Christi: They are very strong and hardy, but withal so fearful and unwieldy in the handling of Arms, that they are easily reduc'd under sub­jection.

They are naturally susceptible of all impressions, and the first that are deriv'd into them among the Christians, after they have renounc'd their Superstitions and Idolatry, they pertina­ciously adhere unto; wherein they differ much from the In­dians of America, who are as unconstant as Cameleons. Among the French Inhabitants of the Caribbies there are some Negroes who punctually observe abstinence all the time of Lent, and all the other Fasting-days appointed by the Church, without any remission of their ordinary and continual labour.

They are commonly proud and insolent; and whereas the Indians are desirous to be gently treated, and are apt to dye out of pure grief, if they be put to more then ordinary hard­ship, these on the contrary are to be kept in awe by threats and blows; for if a man grow too familiar with them, they are presently apt to make their advantages of it, and to abuse [Page 202] that familiarity; but if they be chastiz'd with moderation when they have done amiss, they become better, more submis­sive, and more compliant, nay will commend and think the bet­ter of their Masters: But on the other side, if they be treated with excessive severity, they will run away, and get into the Mountains and Forests, where they live like so many Beasts; then they are call'd Marons, that is to say, Savages: or haply they will grow so desperate as to be their own Executioners. It is therefore requisite, that in the conduct of them there should be a mean observ'd between extream severity and too much indulgence, by those who would keep them in awe, and make the best advantage of them.

They are passionate Lovers one of another; and though they are born in different Countries, and sometimes, when at home, Enemies one to another, yet when occasion requires they mutually support and assist one another, as if they were all Brethren: And when their Masters give them the liberty to recreate themselves, they reciprocally visit one the other, and pass away whole nights in playing, dancing, and other pastimes and divertisments; nay, sometimes they have some little Enter­tainments, every one sparing what he can to contribute to the common repast.

They are great Lovers of Musick, and much pleas'd with such Instruments as make a certain delightful noise, and a kind of harmony, which they accompany with their voices. They had heretofore in the Island of S. Christophers a certain Ren­dezvouz in the midst of the Woods, where they met on Sun­days and Holidays after Divine Service, to give some relaxati­on to their wearied bodies: There they sometimes spent the remainder of that day, and the night following, in dancing and pleasant discourses, without any prejudice to the ordinary la­bours impos'd upon them by their Masters: nay, it was com­monly observ'd, that after they had so diverted themselves, they went through their work with greater courage and chearful­ness, without expressing any weariness, and did all things bet­ter than if they had rested all night long in their huts. But it being found, that the better to enjoy themselves in these pub­lick Meetings, they many times stole the Poultry and Fruits of their Neighbours, and sometimes those of their Masters, the French General thought fit to forbid these nocturnal assem­blies: So that now if they are desirous to divert themselves, they are enjoyn'd to do it within their own Neighbourhoods, with the permission of their Masters, who are willing enough to allow them convenient liberty.

As to the Advantages accrewing from the labours of these Slaves, he who is Master of a dozen of them may be account­ed a rich man: For besides that these are the People who cul­tivate the ground in order to its production of all necessary [Page 203] provisions for the subsistence of their Masters and themselves; being well order'd and carefully look'd after, they promote the making of several other Commodities, as Tobacco, Sugar, Ginger, Indico, and others, which bring in great profit. Add to this, that their service being perpetual, their number in­creases from time to time by the Children that are born of them, which have no other Inheritance than that of the sla­very and subjection of their Parents.

All the Forreign Inhabitants who have planted themselves in those Islands are govern'd according to the Laws and Customs of their own Countries.

Among the French Inhabitants of S. Christophers Justice is ad­ministred by a Council consisting of the principal Officers who have the oversight of the Militia of the Island, of which Coun­cil the General is President: And though there are certain places appointed for that Administration, yet is the Council many times assembled as the General thinks fit, and occasion requires, under a kind of great Fig-tree, which is about the bigness of a large Elm, neer the Court of Guard of the Basse­terre, not far from the Haven.

In this Council, abating all the Formalities which have been invented to make Suits immortal, all differences that happen between the Inhabitants are amicably compos'd, and decided most commonly at the first sitting, without any charge to the Parties, save only that he which is found guilty of the wrong is to make satisfaction according to the Custom, whereof part goes to the relief of the Poor, and maintenance of the Church, and the rest for the satisfaction of the party concern'd. This Council doth also pass sentence of death, without appeal to any other Power.

The Governours of the other Islands do also administer Ju­stice every one in his Government: So that no man should be guilty of so great a weakness as to imagine that people live in those Countries without any order or rule, as many do: Nay, it is rather to be look'd on as a kind of Miracle, that (the Inha­bitants of those Countries being a confluence of people from so many several Countries, and consequently of different hu­mors and constitutions) disorders should not creep in, and that all are kept in awe and subjection to the Laws established.

Thus much of the Forreign Inhabitants of the Caribbies; we come now to treat of the Natural and Originary.

CHAP. VII. Of the Origine of the Caribbians, the natural Inhabitants of the Country.

THe Method we had propos'd to our selves for the profe­cution of this History requires that henceforth we treat of the Indians, the natural Inhabitants of the Caribbies. And here we conceive it not to be our business to bring upon the Stage that great and difficult Question, to wit, How the race of Men came to spread it self into America, and whence they came into that new World? There are some eminent Persons have treated of this matter with so much sufficiency, exactness, and solidity, that it were a tedious and superfluous Work at the present to trouble the Reader with any thing concerning it. Besides, the History of the Originals of our Savage Inhabitants of the Caribbies requires not that we should descend so low to find them.

The ancient and natural Inhabitants of the Caribbies are those who have been called by some Authors Cannibals, Anthro­pophagi, or Eaters of Men; but most others who have written of them, commonly call them Caribbians or Caribes: But their primitive and originary Name, and that which is pronounc'd with most gravity is, as the French Writers would have it, that of Caraïbes: Nay, if we may credit these last mentioned Au­thors, not only the Caribbians themselves of the Islands do so pronounce their name, but also those of their Nation who live in the Continent of America, both the Septentrional and Meri­dional: So that that being the most common appellation of them among the French Inhabitants of the Islands, we shall al­so have occasion to use it sometimes in the sequel of this History, in regard the present Work is render'd out of that Language.

Some are of opinion, that this word Caraibes (or Caribbians) is not natural to the savage Inhabitants of the Caribbies, but that it was impos'd upon them by the Spaniards, as they had given the same denomination to many Savages of the Meridi­onal Continent, who are known thereby; as also that of Calibis, or Calibites, to their allies the Inhabitants of the same Continent.

Those who maintain this opinion affirm, that the Spaniards might well give to those People that name of Caraibes, in regard they over-ran all the Quarters of the Southerly part of Ameri­ca; and that having made the first Maps thereof, they set down those Nations under that Name, which hath stuck to them ever since. To prove this they alledge, that they are never call'd Caraibes or Caribbians among themselves, but only when they are drunk, and that having their heads full of Wine they [Page 205] leap up and down and rejoyce, saying in their corrupt Lan­guage, Moy bonne Caraibe, I am an honest Caribbian: That otherwise they only make use of that word when they are amongst Strangers, and that in their trading and their commu­nication with them, to make a certain discovery of themselves, as being sensible that the said name is known to them: But that when they are among themselves, not only they, but also those of their Nation Inhabiting the Continent, and the Calibites, call themselves by the name of Calinago, which is the name of the Men, and Calliponan, which is that of the Women. And they further affirm, that they are called Oubao-bonon, that is, In­habitants of the Islands, or Islanders; as the call those of the Continent Batoüe-bonon, that is, Inhabitants of the Firm Land.

But all this presuppos'd as probable, there is but little likeli­hood that the word Caribbians should have been impos'd upon them by the Spaniards, and that our Islands should not have had it before they were known by them. The first reason we give of this assertion is, that before either the Spaniards or Portu­guez had found a passage into Brazil, there were in those Parts certain men more subtle and ingenious then the rest, whom the Brasilians call'd Caraibes, or Caribbians, as Johannes de Lery hath observ'd in his History. Secondly, it is a thing out of all con­troversie that there are certain Savages who bear the name of Caribbians in some Quarters of the Southerly part of America, where the Spaniards never had any Commerce: For not only those of the same Nation with our Islanders, who inhabit along those Coasts of the Meridional America, and are neer Neigh­bours to the Dutch Colonies of Cayenna and Berbica, but those also who live far within that Meridional Continent, beyond the sources of the most remarkable Rivers, call themselves Caribbi­ans. Moreover, we shall find in the sequel of this Chapter, that there is in the Septentrional Continent a powerful Nation consisting for the most part of certain Families, who at this present take a great pride in being called Caribbians, and stand upon it, that they had receiv'd that name long before America was discover'd. Add to this, that though it were granted that the Spaniards would have impos'd that name on all those Nati­ons, how can it be prov'd that they were as willing to accept of it from People unknown and Enemies to them? Now it is cer­tain, that not only all those people do call themselves Caribbi­ans, but also that they withal think it a glory, and derive an advantage from that name, as Monsieur du Montel hath heard it from their own mouths: How then is it to be imagin'd that they should triumph in a name which they had receiv'd from their Enemies? Nay if it be urg'd further, as we shall see anon, that the Ancestors of our Savage Inhabitants of the Islands receiv'd from the Apalachites the name of Caribbians, instead of that of Cofachites, under which they went before; it may be replyed, [Page 206] That they took it from such as were their friends and confede­rates, and that as an Elogy of honour. In fine, we also af­firm, that it is not only in their drunkenness and debauches, that our Indian Inhabitants of the Islands call themselves Carib­bians, but they do it also when they are sober and in cold blood; And as to their calling themselves Calinago, it is pos­sible they may have many different names, whence it does not ever the more follow, that they had received any of them from the Europaeans. For the denomination of Oubao-bonon; the signification of the word sufficiently shews, that it is not particular to them, and that it may be generally applyed to any Inhabitants of Islands. And whereas they make use of the name of Caribbians rather than of any other, when they speak to strangers, it is because they are apprehensive enough that that name is best known to them: but it is not to be conclu­ded thence, that they received it from the Spaniards, nay it might be more probably affirmed that the Spaniards themselves having learnt it of them, should afterwards have communica­ted it to other Europaeans. But as to our design, it matters not much whether opinion be embrac'd, and every one may fol­low which sentiment liketh him best; only we have taken the liberty to propose what we conceived most probable.

As to the originals of the insulary Caribbians, those who have hitherto given any account of them, have had so little light to guide themselves by in that obscure piece of Antiqui­ty, that they may be said to have grop'd all their way: some imagine that they are descended from the Jews, grounding their conjecture, among other things, on this, that the Carib­bians are obliged to marry those Kinswomen of theirs that are next of kin to them, and that some among them eat no swines flesh nor Tortoises: But this is to fetch a thing too far off, and to ground an imagination on too weak conjectures. There are others who would have them to come over from the Haven of Caribana, and pretend that they were transported thence: But this opinion is grounded only on the clinching of the words Caribana and Caribbians, without any other con­firmation.

There are yet others who affirm, and that upon a simple conjecture, that these Savages are the originary Inhabitants of the greater Islands, and that it is not long since they came into those now called the Caribbies, where they took refuge as the remainders of the horrid Massacres committed by the Spaniards, when they possess'd themselves of St. Domingo, Cu­ba, Jamaica, and Porto-Rico: But this is confuted by the cer­tainty of History, which assures us, that at the first beginning of the discovery of America, the Caribbies were possessed and inhabited by the Caribbians; that at first they were surprized and ill-entreated by the Spaniards; but that afterwards these [Page 207] last being beaten off with disadvantage, and meeting with ma­ny inconveniences in the prosecution of that war, made a kind of agreement with some among them, as we shall see more particularly hereafter in the Chapter of their Wars. Add to this, that the Indians of Corassao, who, without all dispute, are some of those persons who escaped the Massacres, and who have among them some yet living, who lived in the Port called at the present, the Port of the Kow-Island, or as the French call Le port de l' Isle à vache, in the Island of Hispaniola, when the first Spaniards landed there, have not a word of the Ca­ribbian Language in theirs, nor any thing of Carriage; whence it may be deduc'd, that there never was any communication or correspondence between them and the Caribbians. Besides, those of the greater Islands who might have fled to avoid the tyranny of the Spaniards, would have had greater encourage­ment to retreat into the Territories which were below them, and whereto the regular winds lay more fit to carry them, than to direct their course against the wind, and so retarding their flight, expose themselves to a thousand hazards by Sea, and engage themselves in a voyage twenty times as long: For it is almost a miracle, that such Vessels as theirs are can advance a league in a day against the wind; nay it many times hap­pens that very great vessels are in their ascent forc'd back more in three hours than they had advanc'd in six daies: For we have it from very skilful Pilots, that they have been three months getting up from the Cul-de-Sac of St. Domingo to St. Christophers; whereas to fall down from St. Christophers to St. Domingo, there needs commonly not above four or five days at most.

As concerning the opinion the Caribbians themselves have of their origine, we find, that, being as ignorant of all Monu­ments of Antiquity, as free from all curiosity of enquiring af­ter things to come, they believe for the most part, that they are descended from the Calibites or Calibis, their Allyes and great friends, the Inhabitants of the Meridional part of America, & the neighbouring people of the Arouagues or Alouagues, in that Country or Province which is commonly called Guyana, or the Savage-Coast. And those who adhere to this opinion, ground their perswasion on the conformity of Language, Religion and Manners, observable between the Caribbian Inhabitants of the Islands, and the Calibites; though it may as well be presum'd that the said resemblance might partly proceed from the allyance and particular friendship there was between them; partly from the Neighbourhood of the Caribbians of the Meridional Continent and those Calibites; and partly from some other causes, whereof we shall give an account here­after.

But these poor Savages of the Islands agree not among [Page 208] themselves in the particular relation they make of their Extra­ction, and the occasion that brought them into those Islands; nor can they give any account of the time of their coming thi­ther. We shall here set down what those of S. Vincent and some others have related to Monsieur du Montel concerning themselves, which we have taken out of his curious Collections.

All the Caribbians were heretofore subject to the Arouagues, and obey'd their Prince; but some among them not able to en­dure that yoke, broke out into a Rebellion: And that they might the better live undisturb'd, and at a distance from their Enemies, they retreated to the Caribby-Islands, which were not at that time inhabited; and their first landing was in the Island of Tabago, which is one of the neerest to the Continent: Afterwards the other Calibites shook of the Domination of the Arouagues; but finding themselves strong enough, or not ha­ving the same inclination with the former, they continu'd in their Country; and what they had at the time of their revolt they have kept ever since, and live free in the Country, but Enemies to the Arouagues, having a Captain-General of their own Nation, by whom they are commanded. They have also continu'd to this present Friends and Confederates to the Ca­ribbians.

Upon this Relation it is that some ground the explication they make of the word Caribbians, as if it signified Rebells; whether it was impos'd upon them by the Arouagues, or that those people assum'd it of themselves by way of triumph, as deriving a certain glory from their noble Insurrection, and the generous Rebellion which establish'd them in peace and liber­ty: But there needs no more to shew that the word Caribbian does not signifie Rebel, as among others a certain Journal of a Dutch-man, than that there are many Colonies in several parts of the Continent of America, both the Septentrional and Me­ridional, which no body pretends or can pretend were ever un­der the power of the Arouagues, which yet are known by the name of Caribbians. And as to the being among them any that have rebell'd against other Sovereigns, only this may be inferr'd thence, That being since reconcil'd to them, and living to this day in the midst of them, under the said name of Carib­bians, as we shall see more particularly anon, there is no like­lihood that it should signifie Rebels, since it were a blasting of their Reputation, and a mark of Infamy to them.

But those who have convers'd a long time together among the Savages of Dominico relate, that the Caribbian Inhabitants of that Island are of opinion, that their Ancestors came out of the Continent, from among the Calibites, to make a War against a Nation of the Arouagues, which inhabited the Islands, which Nation they utterly destroy'd, excepting only the Wo­men, whom they took to themselves, and by that means re­peopled [Page 209] the Islands: Whence it comes that t [...]e Wives of the Ca­ribbian Inhabitants of the Islands have a language different from that of the Men in many things, and in some consonant to that of the Arouagues of the Continent. He who was the Comman­der in chief in that Enterprise bestow'd the conquer'd Islands on his Confidents; and he to whose lot the Island of Dominico fell was called Ouboutou-timani, that is to say, King, and caused himself to be carried on the shoulders of those whom the Islan­ders call Labouyou, that is, Servants.

There is so little certainty and so much variety in all these Relations, and others of the like nature, which these poor igno­rant people make upon this occasion, that the most prudent sort of people conceive there cannot any judgment be ground­ed thereon: And indeed these Savages themselves speak not thereof but at adventure, and as people tell stories of what they had seen in their dreams; so careless have they been in preserving the tradition of their Origine; and they palpably contradict and confute one the other by the difference of their Relations: However, we shall find at the end of this Chapter what seems most probable to have given occasion to most to believe that they are descended from the Calibites.

In all the several sentiments whereof we have given an ac­count, either out of the Writings or Discourses of divers others, there is this that's commendable, That those who ad­vance them, proceed consequently to the discoveries they had made, and that they do all that lies in their power to unravel and disengage ancient and unknown Truths. But if the Re­lation we are about to give of the Origine of the Caribbian In­habitants of the Islands, be the most ample, the most particular, the most full of Curiosities, and the best circumstanc'd of any that hath hitherto appear'd, it is but just we should think it accordingly the truest and most certain; yet with this caution, that we still leave the judicious Reader at liberty to follow that sentiment which shall seem most rational to him. And where­as we ought to render every one the commendation he justly deserves, we are to acquaint the Publick, that it is oblig'd for these Particularities and Discoveries to the obliging Communi­cation we have receiv'd thereof from one Master Brigstock an English Gentleman, one of the most curious and inquisitive Persons in the World, who, among his other great and singu­lar accomplishments, hath attained the perfection of the Virgi­nian and Floridian Languages, as having in his noble Travels seen all the Islands, and a great part of the Septentrional Ame­rica: By that means it was that he came exactly to understand, upon the very place whereof we shall make mention, and from such intelligent Persons as could give him an account thereof with some certainty, the ensuing History of the Origine of our Savages, the truth whereof he will make good whenever occa­sion shall require.

[Page 210]The Caribbians were originary Inhabitants of the Septentri­onal part of America, of that Country which is now called Flo­rida: They came to Inhabit the Islands after they had departed from amidst the Apalachites, among whom they lived a long time; and they left there some of their people, who to this day go under the name of Caribbians: But their first origine is from the Cofachites, who only chang'd their denomination, and were called Caribbians in the Country of the Apalachites, as we shall see anon.

The Apalachites are a powerful and generous Nation, which continues to this present planted in the same Country of Flo­rida: They are the Inhabitants of a gallant and spacious Country called Apalacha, from which they have received their name, and which begins at the altitude of thirty three de­grees and twenty five minutes, North of the Equinoctial Line, and reaches to the thirty seventh degree. This people have a communication with the Sea of the great Gulf of Mexico or New Spain, by the means of a River, which taking its source out of the Apalachaean Mountains, at the foot whereof they inhabit, after it hath wandred through many rich Campagnes, disembogues it self at last into the Sea neer the Islands of Ta­cobago: The Spaniards have called this River Riu del Spirito Santo; but the Apalachites call it still by its ancient name of Hitanachi, which in their Language signifies fair and pleasant. On the East-side they are divided from all other Nations by high and far-spreading Mountains, whose tops are cover'd with snow most part of the year, and which separate them from Vir­ginia: on the other sides they abjoin to several inconsiderable Nations, which are all their friends and confederates.

These Apalachites make it their boast, that they had propa­gated certain Colonies a great way into Mexico: And they show to this day a great Road by land, by which they affirm that their Forces march'd into those parts. The Inhabitants of the Country, upon their arrival gave them the name of Tlatuici, which signifies Mountaineers or High-Landers, for they were more hardy and more generous than they. They planted themselves in a quarter like that from which they came, scituate at the foot of the Mountains, in a fertile soil, where they built a City, as neer as they could like that which they had left behind them, whereof they are possess'd to this day. They are so united there by inter-marriages and other bonds of peace, that they make up but one people with them; nor indeed could they well be discern'd one from the other, if they had not retain'd several words of their originary language, which is the only observable difference between them.

After the Apalachites had planted this Colony, the Cofachites, who liv'd more towards the north of America, in a fenny and [Page 211] somewhat barren Country, and who had continu'd till then in good correspondence with them, knowing that they were then far from their best and most valiant men, took an advan­tageous opportunity to fall upon their Neighbours the Apala­chites, and to force them out of their habitations, or at least to participate with them of the land where they had setled themselves, after they should become Masters thereof. This design having been carried on very cunningly among the chief­est of the Cofachites, they afterwards publish'd it in all their Villages, and got it approv'd by all the heads of Families, who instead of minding the business of Husbandry and setting things in order for the sowing of Corn at the beginning of the Spring, as they were wont to do other years, prepar'd their Bows, Ar­rows, and Clubs; and having set their habitations on fire, and furnish'd themselves with some little provisions out of what was left of the precedent Winter, they took the field, with their wives and children, and all the little baggage they had, with a resolution either to conquer or dye, since they had cut off all hopes of returning to a place which they had destroy'd and despoil'd of all manner of conveniences.

In this equipage they in a short time got to the frontiers of their Neighbours: The Apalachites who thought of nothing less than having an enemy so neer them, were then very busie about the planting of their Mais, and the roots from which they derive their ordinary sustenance: Those who liv'd about the great Lake at the foot of the Mountains, which they call in their Language Theomi, having perceiv'd this powerful Army ready to fall on them, immediately made their retreat into the neigh­bouring Mountains, and left their villages and cattel to the di­sposal of the enemy; thence they took their march through the woods; to carry intelligence of this erruption to the Cities which are in the vallies among the first mountains, where re­sided the Paracoussis, who is the King of the Country, with all the considerable forces thereof. Upon this so unexpected news, the said Prince, while he was making his preparations to go against the Enemy, posted those who were most in a rea­diness for the expedition in the Avenues of the mountains, and placed Ambuscadoes in several parts of the great Forests, which lye between the great Lake and the Mountains, and through which there was a necessity of passing to get into that pleasant and spacious valley, which is above sixty leagues in length, and about ten in bredth; where are the habitations of the chiefest Inhabitants of the Country, and the most con­siderable Cities in the Kingdom.

While the Cofachites were busie about the plundering and pillaging the houses they had found neer the great Lake, the Apalachites had the opportunity to prepare themselves for the reception of them: But the former, instead of taking the or­dinary [Page 212] Roads and ways which led to the flat Country, which, as we said, lie between the Mountains, having left their Wives and Children neer the great Lake, under the guard of some Forces they had drawn off from the main Body, and being guided by some of the Apalachites, whom they had surprized fishing in the great Lake, cross'd through the woods, and made their way over mountains and precipices, over and through which the Camels could hardly have pass'd, and by that means got into the heart and centre of the Country, and found themselves of a sudden in a Province, called that of the Amanites: They without any resistance surpriz'd the chiefest places of it, wherein they found to guard them only Women, Children, and some old men, such as were not able to follow their King, who with his people lay expecting the Enemy at the ordinary descents which led into the Country.

The Cofachites perceiving that their design had prov'd so successful, and that there was a great likelihood that in a short time they should become Masters of the whole Country, since they had met with so good fortune immediately upon their first appearance, prosecuted their conquests further, and having Cities for their retreat, where they had left good strong Gar­risons, they marched towards the King of Apalacha, with a resolution either to fight him, or at least oblige him to allow them the quiet possession of some part of the Country. The Apalachite was extreamly surpriz'd, when he understood that the Enemy, whom he had all this while expected on the Fron­tiers, and at the known avenues of the Country, had already possess'd himself of a Province that lay in the centre of his Dominions, and that he had left Garrisons in the Cities and most considerable places thereof: However, being a magnani­mous and gallant Prince, he would try whether the chance of Arms would prove as favourable to him, as he thought his cause good and just; he thereupon came down with his people out of the Mountains, where he had encamped himself; and having encourag'd those that were about him to do their ut­most, he confidently set upon the van-guard of the Cofachites, which was come out to observe his motion: having on both sides spent all their arrows, they came to a close fight, and ha­ving taken their Clubs, there was a great slaughter in both Ar­mies, till that night having separated them, the Cofachites ob­serv'd that they had lost a great number of theirs in the en­gagement, and found that they had to do with a people that behav'd themselves more valiantly than they had imagined to themselves they would have done; and consequently that their best course would be to enter into a friendly treaty with them, rather than venture another hazard of their Forces in a strange Country.

Upon this they resolv'd, that the next morning they would [Page 213] send Embassadours to the King of the Apalachites, with certain Overtures of Peace, and in case of a refusal (dissembling the loss they had receiv'd in the former Engagement) to declare open War, and to challenge him to be immediately ready to receive their Charge, which should be much more violent then what they had met withal the day before; and that then all their Forces were come together.

The Paracousses of the Apalachites having given audience to these Embassadours, desir'd that days time to consider of the Propositions which had been made to him; and thereupon having requir'd of them the Articles and Conditions under which they would Treat with him, in case he might be inclin'd to Peace, they told him, That they had left their own Country with a resolution to plant themselves either by friendship or by force in that good and fat Country whereof he was possess'd; and that if he would condescend to the former of those means, they desired to become one People with the Apalachites, to dwell in their Country, and to cultivate it, and so to supply the empty places of those who not long before had gone from among them to plant a new Colony in some remote parts of the World.

The Apalachite assembled his Council upon these considera­tions, and having acquainted them therewith, he represented, That the Army of the Cofachites hindred the coming in of the Assistances which they might receive from the other Provinces that had not been ready to come in to them at the beginning of the War; That by the same means the passage of Provisions was absolutely obstructed; That the Enemy was Master of the Field, and that without any resistance he had got into one of the best Provinces of the whole Country, where he had al­so possess'd himself of places of Importance; and, That though in the precedent Engagement he had taken particular notice of the incomparable fidelity and gallantry of his People, in setting upon and fighting against the Enemies, over whom they had very considerable Advantages, yet had that good Success been bought with the loss of his most valiant Captains, and the best of his Souldiers; and consequently it concern'd them to bethink themselves of some means to preserve the rest of the Kingdom, by sparing what was then left of the choicest Men: And since the Enemies were the first Proposers of the Conditions of Peace, it would be the safest way to hearken thereto, if it might be done without any derogation from their Glory, and the great Reputation they had acquir'd before; inasmuch as there was waste grounds enough in several places, and that the Country, by reason of the transplantation of some part of their Inhabitants, was spacious and fertile enough to sustain them all.

All the chief Commanders of the Apalachites having heard [Page 214] what had been propos'd by their King, and concluding it was not fear that oblig'd him to hearken to an Accommodation with the Cofachites, since that the day before he had ventur'd his Person among the most forward; but that it proceeded purely from the desire he had that they might not be rashly expos'd to further danger, and his care of preserving his People, which was already at the mercy of the Enemy, who had possess'd him­self of one of the richest Provinces; and having also under­stood by some Spies who were come into the Kings Army by some secret ways, and made their escape out of the Cities where the Cofachites had their Garisons, that they treated with great mildness and respect the women and old men whom they had found there; having, I say, taken all these things into conside­ration, they unanimously subscribed to the sentiments of their Prince, and made answer, That there was a necessity of condes­cending to an Accommodation, and making some Agreement upon the most advantageous Conditions they could, according to the present posture of their Affairs: And after they had confirm'd this resolution by their Ha Ha, which is the sign of the applause and ratification wherewith they are wont to conclude their Deliberations, they signified the same to the Embassadors of the Cofachites, who expected it with impatience.

This news being carried over to the Camp of the Cofachites, was receiv'd with great joy, as being consonant to the end they had propos'd to themselves when they first undertook the War and left their Country: They thereupon immediately deputed some of the chiefest among them to agree with the Apalachites about the absolute conclusion of that Peace, and to sign the Ar­ticles of the Treaty. These Deputies being come to the place where the Prince of the Apalachites expected them, attended by the most considerable Persons about his Court, sitting on a Seat somwhat higher then any of the rest, and cover'd with a rich Fur, were very kindly receiv'd; and having taken their Seats, the King drank to them of a certain Beverage call'd Cassina, out of a Bowl of which he first tasted himself: All that were present at the Council drank afterwards in order; which done, they fell upon the business of the Treaty, which was con­cluded upon these Conditions;

That the Cofachites should inhabit promiscuously in the Cities and Towns of the Apalachites; That in all respects they should be esteem'd and accounted as the natural Inhabitants of the Country; That they should absolutely enjoy the same Priviledges; That they should be subject to the King, as the others were; That they should embrace the Religion, and ob­serve the Customs of the Country: Or if they would rather, the Apalachites would resign up to them the rich and great Province of Amana, to be enjoy'd only by them, according to the limits which should be agreed upon: Provided nevertheless, [Page 215] That they should acknowledge the King of the Apalachites for their Sovereign, and that from thence forward they should render him reasonable homage.

This Agreement being thus reciprocally concluded, was at­tended with mutual acclamations: Not long after, the Deputies of the Cofachites having given an account of their negotiation to their Commander in chief and his Councel, and represented to them the choice which had been left them either of living promiscuously among the Apalachites, or being sole possessors of the Province into which they were entered; they unani­mously accepted of the latter, and so became absolute Ma­sters of that Province of Amana, whereof the King of the A­palachites put them himself into quiet possession: The Wo­men, Children, and Old men, who had been left behind, when all s as were able to bear arms had follow'd their Prince, were transported into some of the other Provinces, where the King appointed a setled habitation for them, and all the gal­lant men of that Province who had ventur'd their lives against the Enemy, and for the preservation of their Country.

All things being thus setled, both parties laid down their arms, and the Cofachites went to fetch their Wives, Children, Cattel, Baggage, and the Souldiers they had left neer the great Lake of Theomi; and being safely return'd, they dispos'd themselves into the Cities appointed them, congratulating their good fortune in the conquest of so noble a Country, an­swerably to their expectation at the first undertaking of the War.

From that time the Apalachites gave the name of Caribbians, or as the French would have it, Caraibes, to those new comers, who of a sudden, and contrary to their expectation, forc'd them­selves upon them, to repair the breach which had been made by the transplantation of some of their people into another Country of America: so that this word Caraibes signifies, in their language, a sort of people added, or suddenly and unexpe­ctedly coming in, strangers, or stout and valiant men; as if they would express, that a generous people, whom they expected not, were come upon them, and had been added to them: and this denomination continu'd to these new comers instead of that of Cofachites, which hath been kept up only in some weak and wretched Families which liv'd more towards the north of Florida, and after the departure of the true Cofachites, possess'd themselves of their habitations, and would also have pass'd under the name of those who had preceded them in the possession of that Country: Whereas on the other side, these true Cofachites were known by the name of Caribbians in the Province of Amana; and therefore henceforward we shall speak of them, and the Colonies which they have since sent abroad, only under that name.

[Page 216]These two Nations being thus united by the determination of their differences, and the period they put to a cruel war which might have ruin'd them both, liv'd afterwards in good correspondence for many years. But in process of time, the Caribbians finding themselves multiply'd in the Country which they had conquer'd by their arms, would not embrace the Re­ligion of the Apalachites, who ador'd the Sun, as shall be shewn hereafter, nor be present at their Ceremonies in the Temple they had in the Province of Bemarin, where the Court was; nor in fine render the King the homages that were due to him for the Province they were possess'd of, according to their promise, and the Articles of the Treaty.

This breach of promise on the part of the Caribbians, and that unjustiafiable act, prov'd the occasion of many bloudy Wars which happen'd afterwards between the two Nations: the Caribbians were surrounded of all sides by their adversaries, who kept them in so, that they could not any way enlarge their quarters; and on the other side the Apalachites had in the bow­els of their Country a cruel and irreconcileable enemy, who kept them perpetually in alarms, and oblig'd them to be al­ways in arms; during which, both the one and the other, sometimes victorious, sometimes beaten, as the uncertain chance of war was pleas'd to carry it, liv'd a very sad life; in­somuch that, many times, either for want of cultivating the ground, or by reason of the waste committed in the fields of one another, a little before the Harvest, they were reduc'd to such an extreme Famine, as destroy'd more people than the Sword.

Above an age was spent in these contests, during which the Caribbians, who had for their Commander in chief and King of their Nation, one of their most valiant Captains, whom they called Ragazim, added to their former acquests another Province, which lay next to them on the South side, and is called Matica, which reaching through the Mountains by an interval that receives a torrent descending from the same Mountains, afterwards extends towards the West, as far as the River, which taking its source at the great Lake, after it hath made several Islands, and flown through divers Provinces, falls at lasst into the Ocean: This is the famous River which the French have called the River of May; but the Apalachites name it Basainim, which signifies in their language, the delici­ous River, or abounding in fish. The Caribbians having thus dilated their territories, and forc'd their Enemies to retreat, made for some years a truce with the Apalachites, who being wearied out with the Wars, and discourag'd by the loss of a considerable Province, willingly hearkned to that cessation of arms, and all acts of hostility.

But these Apalachites being exasperated to see their Country [Page 217] grown less by one of the best Provinces belonging to it, taking the advantage of the opportunity of that Truce, secretly con­sulted several times among themselves how they might carry on their designs more successfully against the Caribbians then they had done before; and having found by sad experience, that they had not advanc'd their affairs much by assaulting their Enemies openly, and by setled Engagements, they resolv'd to supplant them by subtlety, and to that end to think of all ways imaginable to make a division among them, and insensibly to engage them in a Civil War within their own Country. This advice being receiv'd and generally approv'd of all their Priests, who are in very great esteem among them, and have Voices in their most important Assemblies, immediately fur­nish'd them with expedients, and suggested to them the means, which were to this effect.

They had observ'd that those people who came in so slily and surpriz'd them in their own Country, were without Religion, and made no acknowledgment of any Divinity, whereto they conceiv'd themselves oblig'd to render any publick Service, and that they stood in fear only of a certain evil Spirit which they called Mabouya, because he sometimes tormented them; yet so as that in the mean time they did not do him any homage: Thence it came that for some years after their arrival, during which they had liv'd in good correspondence with them, they endeavour'd to induce them by their example to acknow­ledge the Sun to be the sovereign Governour of the World, and to adore him as God. These Exhortations and Instructions had a great influence over the Spirits of the chiefest among the Caribbians, and had made strong impressions in them; so that having receiv'd the first Principles of that Religion while the time of their mutual correspondence continu'd, many left the Province of Amana wherein they had their habitations, and went into that of Bemarin, the principal Province of the Apa­lachites, whence they ascended into the Mountain of Olaimi, upon which the Apalachites made their solemn Offerings; and upon their invitation the Caribbians had participated of those Cermonies and that Service: These Priests, whom the Apala­chites call Jaouas, which is as much as to say, Men of God, knew that the seeds of Religion are not so easily smother'd in the hearts of men; and that, though the long Wars they had had with the Caribbians had hinder'd the exercise thereof, yet would it be no hard matter for them to blow up, as we may say, those sparks in them which lay hid under the ashes.

The Truce and Cessation of all acts of Hostility, which had been concluded between the two Nations, presented the Apa­lachites with a favourable opportunity to prosecute their de­sign; whereupon the Priests of the Sun advis'd, with the Kings Consent, that there should be a publication made among the [Page 218] Caribbians, that at the beginning of the Month of March, which they call Naarim in their language, they would render a solemn Service in honour of the Sun, on the high Mountain; and that the said Service should be attended with Divertisements, Feast­ing, and Presents, which they should liberally give to such as were present thereat. This Ceremony was no new thing among the Apalachites, so that the Caribbians could not suspect any circumvention, nor fear any surprise; for it was a very ancient custom among them to make extraordinary Prayers to the Sun at the beginning of the Month of Naarim, which is precisely the time that they have done sowing their Mais. That which they desire in this Service is, That the Sun would be pleas'd to cause that which they had recommended to his care, to spring, grow, and come to maturity. They have also the same solemnity in the Month of May, at which time they have got in their first Harvest, to render him thanks for the fruits they conceive that they have receiv'd from his hands. Besides, the Caribbians knew well enough, that during these Festivals the Apalachites hung up their Bows and Arrows; that it was accounted a hainous crime among them to go arm'd into their Temple, and to raise the least dispute there; and that during those days of Selemni­ty, the greatest Enemies were commonly reconcil'd, and laid aside all enmity. In fine, they made not the least doubt but that the Publick Faith, and the promise solemnly made, would be inviolably observ'd.

Upon this assurance they dispose themselves to pass over into the Province of Bemarin at the time appointed; and that they might be thought to contribute somwhat on their part to the publick Solemnity, they dress themselves with all the brave­ry and magnificence they could; and though that even then they were wont to go very lightly clad, and expose their bo­dies almost naked, yet the more to accommodate themselves to the humours of their Neighbours, whom they were going to vi­sit, they caused▪ all the Furs, spotted Skins, and Stuffs that they had, to be made into Cloaths: They forgot not also to cause their faces, their hands, and all those places of their bodies which lay expos'd to be seen, to be painted with a bright red; and they crown themselves with their richest Garland, interwo­ven with the different plumage of several rare Birds of the Country. The Women for their parts, desirous to participate of this Solemnity, leave nothing undone that might contribute any thing to the adorning of themselves; the Chains of Shells of several colours, the Pendants, and the high Coifs enrich'd with the precious and glittering Stones which the Torrents bring down along with them out of the high Mountains, made them appear with extraordinary lustre. In this equipage the Caribbians, partly out of curiosity, partly out of the vanity to shew themselves, and some out of certain motives of Religon, [Page 219] undertake that Pilgrimage: And that they might not raise any jealousie in those who had so kindly invited them, they leave their Bows, Arrows, and Clubs at the last Village within their Jurisdiction, and enter into the Province of Bemarin only with a walking stick, singing and dancing, as they are all of a merry and divertive disposition.

On the other side, the Apalachites expected them with great devotion, and answerably to the Orders they had to that pur­pose receiv'd from their King, whose name was Teltlabin, and whose race commands at present among that people; they kindly entertain'd all those who came to the Sacrifice; nay, from the first entrance of the Caribbians into their Province, they treated them at all places as cordially as if they had been their Brethren, and that there had never been any difference between them: They feasted them all along the way, and conducted them up to the Royal City, which to this day they call Melilot, that is, the City of Councel, inasmuch as it is the habi­tation of the King and his Court: The chiefest of the Caribbians were magnificently entertain'd at the Palace-Royal, and those of the common sort were receiv'd and treated by the Inhabi­tants of the City, who spar'd no cost to heighten the satisfaction of their Guests.

The day dedicated to the sacrifice of the Sun being come, the King of the Apalachites with his Court, which was very much encreased by the arrival of the Caribbians, and a great number of the Inhabitants of the other Provinces, who were come up to the Feast, went up very betimes in the morning to the top of the Mountain of Olaimi, which is not a full league distant from the City: This Prince, according to the custome of the Country, was carried in a chair, on the shoulders of four tall men, attended by four others of the same height, who were to relieve the former when they were weary: There marched before him several persons playing on Flutes and o­ther musical Instruments; with this pomp he came to the place appointed for the Assembly; and when the Ceremony was over, he made a great distribution of Cloaths and Furs, more than he had been accustomed to do upon such occasions be­fore: But above all, his liberality was remarkable towards the most considerable persons among the Caribbians; and in imi­tation of the Prince, the wealthiest of his people made pre­sents in like manner to those of that Nation who had vouchsafed their solemn Sacrifice with their presence; so that most of the Caribbians return'd home well satisfy'd, and in better Liveries than they had brought thence with them: After they were come down from the Mountain, they were again treated and entertain'd with the greatest expressions of good will, in all the houses of the Apalachites, through whose habitations they were to return into their quarters: In fine, to encourage them [Page 220] to a second visit, there were solemn protestations made to them from the King and his Officers, that they should be at all other times receiv'd with the like demonstrations of affection, if they were desirous to accompany them four times in the year to the celebration of the same Ceremonies.

The Caribbians being return'd into their Province could not make sufficient acknowledgments of the kind entertainment they had receiv'd: Those who had stay'd at home being ra­vish'd to see the rich presents which their Country-men had brought home, immediately resolv'd to undertake the same pilgrimage at the next ensuing Feast: And the day on which it was to be drawing neer, there was so great a contestation a­mong them who should go, that if their Cacick, or chief Cap­tain, had not taken some course therein, the Province would have been destitute of Inhabitants: The Apalachites on the o­ther side continu'd their entertainments and liberalities; and there was a certain emulation among them who should be most kind to the Caribbians: Their Priests, who knew what would be the issue of all this imposture, recommended nothing so much to them, as the continuation of those good Offices, which they said were very acceptable to the Sun.

Three years slipp'd away in these visits; at the end whereof the Apalachites, who had exhausted themselves in liberalities towards their Neighbours, perceiving they had gain'd extream­ly upon their affections, and that the greatest part of them were grown so zealous for the service of the Sun, that nothing would be able to force out of their apprehensions the deep sen­timents they had conceiv'd of his Divinity; resolv'd, upon the instigation of their Priests, for whose advice the King and all the people had great respects and submissions, to take oc­casion from the expiration of the Truce to renew the war against the Caribbians, and to forbid them access to their Ce­remonies, if they would not, as they did, make a publick pro­fession of believing the Sun to be God, and perform the pro­mise they had sometime made of acknowledging the King of the Apalachites for their Sovereign, and do homage to him for the Province of Amana, upon which account they had been admitted to be the Inhabitants thereof.

The Caribbians were divided about these proposals: For all those who were inclin'd to the adoration of the Sun, were of opinion, that satisfaction should be given to the Apalachites, affirming, that, though they were not oblig'd thereto by their promise, yet would there be an engagement to do it, though it were only to prevent their being depriv'd of the free exer­cise of their Religion, and debar'd their presence at the sacri­fices made to the Sun, which they could not abandon without much regret: The Cacick or chief Commander, and a great number of the most considerable among the Caribbians alledged [Page 221] on the contrary, that they would not blast their reputation, and the glory of all their precedent Victories, by so shameful a peace, which, under pretence of Religion, would make them subject to the Apalachites; That they were free-born, and that, as such, they had left the place of their birth, and transplanted themselves into a better Country than their own, by force of Arms; That their greatest concernment was to endeavour the continuance of that precious liberty, and to cement it with their own blood, if occasion requir'd; That they were the same men who had sometime forc'd the Apalachites to resign upto them the most considerable of their Provinces, such a one as was the centre, and as it were the eye of their Country; That they had not remitted any thing of that generosity, and that that valour was so far from being extinguish'd, that on the contrary they had enlarg'd their jurisdiction by the acquest of a noble and spacious Country, which gave them passage beyond the Mountains, whereby they were surrounded before; That having thus remov'd out of the way whatever might obstruct their designs, it would be thought an insupportable cowardice in them, only under pretence of Religion, and out of pure curiosity of being present at Sacrifices, to quit the possession of what they had reduc'd under their power with so much trouble and bloodshed: In fine, that if any were desirous to adore the Sun, they needed not to go out of their own Terri­tories to do it, since he shined as favourably in their Provinces as those of the Apalachites, and look'd on them every day as gra­ciously as on any other part of the world; and if there were any necessity of consecrating a Mountain to him, or a Grot, they might find among those which separated their Country from the great Lake, some that were as high and as fit for those mysteries as that of Olaimi.

Those who maintained the service of the Sun, and were against engaging in a new war, which must be the sequel of refusing conditions which were as advantageous to them as to the Apalachites, made answer; that since they had for some years enjoy'd the sweetness of peace, and experienc'd upon so many occasions the kind entertainments and generosity of their Neighbours, it would be the greatest imprudence in the world to run themselves into new troubles, which they might avoid upon such easie terms, and that without any loss of the reputation they had acquir'd; That the acknowledgments which the Apalachites requir'd for the Province they were pos­sessed of, might be such, and of so little importance, that it would not be any diminution of their Honour, or prejudice to their Authority; That as to what concern'd the Service and Sacrifices of the Sun, they were not furnish'd with such Priests as were instructed in that Science, and acquainted with the Ceremonies thereof; That it was much to be fear'd that if they [Page 222] should undertake to imitate the Jaoüas of the Apalachites, they would, by the miscarriages likely to be committed therein, draw upon themselves the indignation of the Divinity which they would serve, instead of gaining its favour; That they had found upon enquiry, that there was not any Mountain in the whole Country so kindly look'd upon by the Sun, and so pleasant as that of Olaimi: Nor was there any other that had a Temple naturally made in the Rock, after so miraculous a manner, which was such, that all the art and industry of man could never bring to that perfection, and that it could be no other than the work of the beams of that Divinity which was there ador'd; That though it were suppos'd they might find out a Mountain and a Cave that came somewhat neer the other, which yet they thought impossible, it was questiona­ble whether those Birds who were the Sun's Messengers would make their habitation there; And that the Fountain conse­crated in honour of him, which wrought admirable effects, and unheard of cures, would be found there; And conse­quently, that they should expose themselves to the derision of the Apalachites, who would still have occasion to make their brags of an infinite number of prerogatives peculiar to their ancient Temple and Service, which the new one they preten­ded to build would never have. From all which considera­tions the Religious party concluded, that their best course was to make a firm peace, that so they might have the conve­nience of participating of the same Ceremonies for the fu­ture, which they had frequented during the Truce.

But those who were resolv'd on the contrary side were so obstinate, that all those remonstrances prevail'd nothing upon them, nor could in the least divert them from the resolution they had taken never to acknowledge the Apalachites for their Sovereigns, nor lose their liberty under pretence of Re­ligion and way of Worship, which their fore-fathers had been ignorant of: So that, in fine, this contrariety of sentiments made an absolute rupture among the Caribbians, so as to di­vide them into two factions, as the Priests of the Apalachites had foreseen; whereupon being divided also in their Coun­cels, they could not return an unanimous answer to the pro­positions of peace or war which had been made to them by the Apalachites: But either party growing stronger and stronger daily, that which voted for an allyance with the Apalachites, and stood for the adoration of the Sun, became so powerful as to be in a condition to oblige the other either to embrace their opinion, or quit the Province.

It would be too tedious a Relation to set down here all the mischiefs and miseries which that Civil War brought among the Caribbians, who mutually destroy'd one the other, till at last, after many fights, the Apalachites joyning with that party [Page 223] which carried on their Interest, the other was forced to quit the Provinces of Amana and Matica, and to find out a more setled habitation elsewhere.

The victorious Caribbians having, by the assistance of the Apalachites, rid themselves of those who were the disturbers of their Peace, fortified their Frontiers, and placed up and down on the avenues the most valiant and most generous of their Forces, to deprive the Banish'd of all hope of ever returning: That done, they contracted a most strict Alliance with the Apa­lachites, submitting themselves to their Laws, embracing their Religion, and so making themselves one people with them; and that incorporation continues to this day; yet not so, but that those Caribbians do still retain their ancient name, as we have already observ'd in the beginning of this Chapter; as also many words which are common between them and the Inhabi­tants of the Caribbies: Of this kind are, among an infinite number of others, the terms of Cakonnes, to express the little curiosities which are preserv'd for their rarity; that of Bouttou, to signifie a Club of a weighty kind of wood; that of Taumali, to express a certain picquancy or delightfulness of taste; that of Banaré, to signifie a familiar Friend; that of Etoutou, to de­note an Enemy: They also call a Bow, Allouba; Arrows, Al­louani; a great Pond, Taonaba; the evil Spirit, Mabouya; and the Soul of a Man, Akamboué; which are the proper terms which the Caribbian Inhabitants of the Islands make use of at the present to signifie the same things.

As concerning the Caribbians forc'd out of their Country by those of their own Nation, and driven out of the limits of their ancient Habitation, and all the places they had Conquer'd; having straggled up and down a while neer the River which derives its source from the great Lake, and endeavour'd to no purpose to enter into some Accommodation with the Inhabi­tants of either side of it, they at last resolv'd to make their way through their Country, either by fair means or foul, and so to get into some place where they might perpetuate themselves, and make a secure establishment of what was left of them: With this resolution they made a shift to get to the Sea-side, where having met with a people which took compassion on their misery, they winter'd among them, and pass'd over that disconsolate Season in much want: And while they spent their time in continual regrets, for their loss of a Country so pleasant and fertile as that which they had liv'd in, and considered that they should never enjoy themselves in that whereto their mis­fortune had cast them as Exiles, there arrived where they were, at the beginning of the Spring, two little Vessels, which came from the Islands called the Lucayos, and had been driven by the Winds into the Road neer which our Caribbians had pass'd over the Winter: There were in those two Vessels, which they call [Page 224] Canows or Piragos, about thirteen or fourteen persons, Inhabi­tants of Cigateo, one of the Lucayan Islands, who being got ashore, related to the natural Inhabitants of the Country how they had been forc'd thither by a Tempest; and among other things, they told wonders of the Islands where they liv'd, ad­ding, that there were yet divers others beyond them, towards the Aequator, which lay desart, and were not inhabited, and those such as were accounted better then the others whereof they had given them an account: That for their parts, all they desired of the Inhabitants of the Country was only some Pro­visions, and a little fresh Water, to enable them to get home to their own Country, from which they conceiv'd themselves to be distant not above four or five days Sailing.

The Caribbians, who were studying where to find out some new habitation, and extreamly troubled that they had no setled place, where they might no longer be expos'd to the in­conveniences of a wandring kind of life, having heard so much of these Islands, and that they were not far from the Lucayas, resolv'd to make their advantage of the opportunity of those Guides, whom they had met with by so extraordinary a good fortune, to follow them, when they should depart thence, and after their arrival at home, to plant themselves in some of those desart Islands whereof they had given so advantagious an ac­count.

They doubted not but that the execution of this enterprize would put a period to all their miseries: But there was yet a great obstacle lay in their way, which at firsst they knew not how to overcome, to wit, the want of Vessels to cross the Sea, and bring them to the places whereof they desir'd to possess themselves: The first Proposals were to fell down Trees, and to make them hollow with fire, as other Nations did, nay that among whom they then were: But that expedient requir'd a long time to compass it, while in the interim, those whom they hoped to have for their Conductors would be gone: Where­upon they thought it the surest way to find out Vessels ready made: To that end they resolv'd in the night time to seize on all those which the Nations of the neighbouring Creeks, and and such as liv'd neer the Rivers which fall thereabouts into the Sea, had ready in their Ports, and in condition fit for the Sea. The day being come for the departure of the Lucayans, who were to be their Guides, our Caribbians who had furnish'd themselves before-hand with all necessary provisions, met toge­ther the most secretly they could, along the River-sides and neer the Ports, and having possess'd themselves of all the Ca­nows or Vessels they met with, joyn'd with the Lucayans, with whom, without taking any leave of their Hosts, they set Sail for the Lucayas.

The Wind having prov'd favourable to these Fugitives, they [Page 225] got in a few days to Cigateo, where they were very civilly en­tertain'd by the Inhabitants, who, having supply'd them with all necessary refreshments, conducted them to the most remote of their Islands, and thence gave them a Convoy to bring them to the next of the desart Islands whereof they had given them a relation, which they call'd Ayay, but it is now call'd Santa Cruz: In their passage they sail'd by the Island of Boriquen, now call'd Porto-Rico, which was inhabited by a very powerful Nation.

It was then in the said Island of Ayay that our Caribbians laid the first foundations of their Colony, and where enjoying an undisturbed Peace, which made them forget all precedent mis­fortunes, they multipli'd so, that within a few years they were forc'd to spread themselves into all the other Islands now known by the name of the Caribbbies: And some Ages after, having possess'd themselves of all the inhabitable Islands, they transported themselves into the Continent of the Meridional part of America, where they have at this day many great and nu­merous Colonies, wherein they are so well setled, that though the Yaos, the Sappayos, the Paragotis, the Arouacas or Arouagues, who are their Neighbours in the Island of Trinity, and the Pro­vinces of Orinoca, have often attempted to force them out of their habitations, and engag'd against them with all their For­ces, yet do they still continue in them in a flourishing conditi­on, and entertain so good a correspondence and so perfect a friendship with our Caribbians, the Inhabitants of the Islands, that these latter march out once or twice a year to their relief, joyning all together with the Calibites, their Friends and Con­federates, against the Arouagues, and other Nations, their com­mon Enemies.

There is yet another Story concerning the origine of the In­sulary Caribbians, which is, That they are descended from their Confederates the Calibites; and we are apt to believe somwhat of it may be true, as being the only account which most of them can give of themselves: For these Caribbians being less pow­erful then the Calibites, when they first came among them into the Continent, and having afterwards enter'd into Alliance with them by Marriages and common concernments, they made up together but one people, and so there ensu'd a mutual com­munication of Language and particular Customs: And thence it comes that a great part of the Caribbians, having forgot their first origine, would have it believ'd that they are descended from the Calibites: And it is to be presum'd, that it being out of all memory of man, when their Predecessors came from the Northern parts into these Islands, they have not any knowledg of their Native Country, which having cast them out of her bosom, and treated them as Rebels, was not so far regretted by those poor Fugitives, as that they should be over-careful [Page 226] to preserve the memory of it. On the contrary, it is credible, that the sooner to forget the miseries they had suffer'd, they ef­fac'd the sad ideas therof as much as they could, and were glad of any other Origine: It may be also, that when the Caribbians first enter'd the Islands, upon their coming from the North, they were not so destitute of Inhabitants, but that there were here and there some Families which might have pass'd over thither from the Islands of Hispaniola or Porto-Rico, which they de­stroy'd, reserving only the Women, whom they might make use of for the propagation of their Colony: And of this there is yet a greater probability, in that these Caribbians being banish'd from among the Apalachites, and by War forc'd to leave the Country to the victorious Party, many of their Wives staid behind among the Apalachites, and the rest of their own Nati­on who had joyn'd with them: And thence possibly may pro­ceed the difference there is between the Language of the Men and that of the Women amongst the Caribbians.

But to give a more particular account of those Colonies of the Caribbians which are in the Meridional Continent of America, in the first place, the Relations of those who have entred into the famous River of Orenoca, distant from the Line, Northward, eight degrees and fifty minutes, affirm, that at a great distance within the Country, there live certain Ca­ribbians who might easily have pass'd over thither from the Island of Tabago, which, of all the Caribbies, is the neerest to that Continent.

The Dutch Relations acquaint us, that, advancing yet fur­ther towards the Aequator, there lies, at seven degrees from that Line, the great and famous River of Essequeba, neer which are planted first the Aroüagues, and next to them the Caribbians, who are continually in war with them, and have their habita­tions above the falls of that River, which descend with great violence from the Mountains; and thence these Caribbians reach to the source of the same River, and are very numerous, and possess'd of a vast territory.

The same Travellers relate, that within six degrees of the Line lies the River Sarname, or Suriname, into which falls ano­ther River named Ikouteca, all along which there are many Villages inhabited by Caribbians.

There is besides a numerous people of the same Nation, Inhabitants of a Country which reaches a great way into the Continent, the coasts whereof extend to the fifth and sixth degree North of the Aequator, scituate along a fair and great River named Marouyne, about eighteen Leagues distant from that of Sarname, which from its source crosses up and down above two hundred leagues of Country, in which there are ma­ny Villages inhabited by Caribbians; who, observing the same custome with the Islanders, make choice of the most valiant [Page 227] among them for their Cacicks, or Commanders in chief, and are somewhat of a higher stature than those Inhabitants of the Caribbies, yet not differing much from them, save only that some of them cover their privy parts with a piece of cloth, but ra­ther for ornament, than out of any consideration of shame or modesty: Those therefore who have travell'd into those Countries affirm, that, from the mouth of the River Marouyne, which lies at five degrees and forty five minutes of the Line to the North, to the source of it, there are twenty days sail, and that all along it the Caribbians have their Villages like those of our Islanders.

We observe further out of the Voyages of some Dutch, that the Inhabitants of that Continent, through which the River of Cayenna makes its passage into the Ocean, are naturally Caribbians.

In fine, it is not impossible but that these Caribbians might cross those Countries as far as Brasil; for those who have made voyages thither, affirm, that among the Provinces, which lie along the coasts of the South-Sea, there are some people, com­monly known by the name of Caribbians; and that being of a more hardy and daring constitution, as also more apprehensive and subtle than the other Indians, Inhabitants of Brasil, they are so highly esteemed among them, that they conceive them to be endu'd with a more excellent kind of knowledge than the others; whence it comes that they have a great submission for their Counsels, and desire them to preside at all their Festi­vals and rejoicings, which they seldom celebrate without the presence of some one of these Caribbians, who upon that ac­count take their progress up and down the Villages, where they are receiv'd with acclamations, entertainments and great kindness, as John de Lery hath observ'd.

Were it necessary to produce any further confirmation to prove that these Caribbians, scattered into so many places of the Continent of the Meridional part of America, are of the same Nation with the Islanders, we might alledge what is una­nimously affirm'd by the two Dutch Colonies planted in those coasts, to wit, those of Cayenna and Berbica, both neighbours to the Caribbians of the Continent, to shew the conformity and resemblance there is in many things, as constitution, man­ners, customs, &c. between them and the Indian Inhabitants of the Caribbies, of whom we shall give an account hereafter: But it is time we conclude this chapter, which is already grown to a great length; yet could it not be divided, by reason of the uniformity and connexion of the matter.

Yet have we a word further to add, in answer to a question, which the curiosity of some person might haply take occasion to start, which is, How long it may be since the Caribbians came out of Florida into these Islands? We must acknowledge [Page 228] there can no certain account be given of it, inasmuch as these Nations have commonly no other Annals than their own me­mories: But in regard those people ordinarily live two hun­dred years, it is not to be thought strange that the occurrences happening among them, should be transmitted to posterity to three or four Generations. And to confirm this, we may aver that there are many men and women among them who can give an exact account of the first arrival of the Spaniards in America, as if it had happened but yesterday: So that the re­membrance of the departure of the Caribbians out of Florida, and the wars they have had there, being yet fresh among the Apalachites, those who have heard them discourse, conjecture that it may be about five hundred years since those things came to pass. But if it be further question'd, why they did not en­deavour to make their way back again into Florida, to be re­veng'd of the Apalachites, and those of their own Nation, who had forc'd them thence, especially after they had multiply'd and recruited themselves so powerfully in the Islands? it may be answered, That the difficulty of Navigation, which is very easie from the Caribbies to Florida, but very dangerous from Florida to the Caribbies, the winds being commonly contrary, chill'd the earnestness they might have to make any such at­tempt. In the next place it is to be noted, that the air of the Islands being warmer, and the soil as good, and in all appea­rance more suitable to their constitution than that of Florida, they apprehended, that those who had forc'd them thence, had, contrary to their intentions, procur'd them a greater hap­piness than they could have desir'd, and, thinking to make them miserable, had made them fortunate in their exile.

CHAP. VIII. By way of Digression giving an account of the Apala­chites, the Nature of their Country, their Manners, and their ancient and modern Religion.

SInce we have had occasion to speak so much concerning the Apalachites, and that above one half of the ancient Caribbi­ans, after the expulsion of those among them who would not adore the Sun, have to this present made up one people and one Common-wealth with those Apalachites, it will be conso­nant to our design, especially since the subject thereof is rare and little known, if we give some account of the nature of their Country, and the most remarkable things that are in it; as also of the manners of the Inhabitants, the Religion they [Page 229] have had heretofore, and that which they profess at this day, as we have the particulars thereof from the English, who have traded among them, and have not long since laid the founda­tions of a Colony in the midst of the noblest, and best known of their Provinces.

The Territories of the Apalachites consist of six Provinces, whereof three are comprehended within that noble and spaci­ous Vale which is encompass'd by the Mountains of the Apa­lates, at the foot whereof these people inhabit: The most considerable of those Provinces, and which lies towards the East, wherein the King keeps his Court; is called Bemarin: That which is in the midst, and as it were in the centre of the three, is called Amani or Amana: And the third of those which are within that Vale, is known by the name of Matica. True it is, that this last, which begins in the Vale, reaches a great way into the Mountains, nay goes yet much beyond, even to the South-side of the great Lake, which they call Theomi: The other Provinces are Schama and Meraco, which are in the Apalatean Mountains; and Achalaques, which is partly in the Mountains, and partly in the Plain, and com­prehends all the Marshes and Fenny places, confining on the great Lake Theomi, on the North-side.

The Country under the King of the Apalachites being thus divided into six Provinces, there are in it some Mountains of a vast extent and prodigious height, which are for the most part inhabited by a people living only upon what they get by hunting, there being great store of wild beasts in those Wil­dernesses: Besides which, there are also certain Vales, which are peopled by a Nation that is less barbarous, such as addicts it self to the cultivation of the earth, and is sustain'd by the fruits it produces: And lastly, there are abundance of Marshes and Fenny places, and a great Lake, whereof the Inhabitants are very numerous, maintaining themselves by fishing, and what the little good ground they have furnishes them with­all.

The three Provinces which are within the Vale, which, as we said in the precedent Chapter, is sixty leagues in length, and about ten more in bredth, lie as it were in a Champion Country, save only, that in some places there are certain ri­sings and eminences, on which the Towns and Villages are commonly built; many little Rivers, which descend from the Mountains, and abound in Fish, cross it up and down in seve­ral places: That part of it which is not reduc'd to culture is well furnish'd with fair trees of an excessive height: For in­stance, there are Cedars, Cypress, Pines, Oaks, Panamas, which the French call Saxafras, and an infinite variety of others which have no proper names among us.

As concerning the Fruit-trees of this Country, besides Chest­nut [Page 230] and Walnut-Trees, which grow naturally there, the En­glish who have planted themselves in those parts, as we shall relate more at large towards the end of this Chapter, have planted Orange-trees, sweet and sharp Citrons, Lemons, se­veral sorts of Apples and Pears, and divers Stones, as of Plumbs, Cherries, and Apricocks, which have thriv'd and multi­plied so, that in some places of this Country there are more Eu­ropean fruits then in any other part of America.

There is also good store of those lesser sort of Trees which bear leaves or flowers of sweet scent, such as Laurel, Jessemine, Roses, Rosemary, and all those others that are so ornamental in the Garden: Nor is there any want of Pinks, Carnations, Tu­lips, Violets, Lillies, and all the other Flowers which adorn Knots and Borders.

Pot-herbs also, and all sorts of Pulse and Roots, thrive very well there: Citruls, Cucumbers, and Melons are common all Summer long, and as well tasted as those which grow in any part of the Caribbies.

Strawberries and Raspberries grow in the Woods without any culture: They have also Small-nuts, Gooseberries, and an infinite variety of other small Fruits, which in their degree contribute to the delight and refreshment of the Inhabitants.

The Wheat, Barly, Rie, and Oats which some sow'd there at several Seasons, and in different Soils, hath grown only to the blade; but in requital, there grows every where such abun­dance of small Millet, Lentils, Chick-pease, Fetches, and Mais, or Turkish Wheat, which are sown and harvested twice a year, that the Inhabitants of the Plain Country have enough to supply those who live towards the Mountains, who bring them in exchange several sorts of Furs. The Lands that are sown with Turkish Wheat are enclos'd with Quick-set Hedges, planted on both sides with Fruit-trees, most whereof are co­ver'd with wild Vines, which grow at the foot of the Trees.

As to the Volatiles of this Country, there are Turkeys, Pintadoes, Parrots, Woodquists, Turtles, Birds of prey, Eagles, Geese, Ducks, Herons, white Sparrows, Tonatzuli, a kind of bird that sings as sweetly as the Nightingal, and is of an excellent plumage; and abundance of other Birds commonly seen neer Rivers and in the Forests, quite different from those that are seen in other parts of the World.

The Apalachites have no knowledge at all of Sea-fish, as be­ing at too great a distance from the Coasts; but they take abun­dance in the Rivers and Lakes, which are extreamly nourish­ing, of an excellent taste, and much about the bigness and in figure somwhat like our Pikes, Carps, Perches, and Barbels: They also take Castors and Bevers neer the great Rivers, Lakes, and Pools; they eat the flesh of them, and make Furs of the Skins, for Winter-caps and other uses.

[Page 231]There is no venemous creature nor any wild beast in the lower part of the Country; for the Inhabitants of the Moun­tains, who are expert Huntsmen, drive them into the Forests, where they find them continual work and sport: So that the flocks of sheep, and herds of cattel and swine graze up and down the skirts of the Mountains without any body to look after them. But within the woods, and in the desarts, which are not much frequented by men, there are divers Monstrous and dangerous Reptiles, as also Bears, Tygers, Lions, Wolves, and some other kinds of cruel Beasts, which live by prey, and are particular to those Countries.

The men in these Countries are for the most part of high stature, of an Olive-colour, and well proportion'd, their hair black and long: Both men and women are very neat and cu­rious in keeping their hair clean and handsomely order'd: The women tie up theirs about the crown of the head after the form of a Garland; and the men dispose theirs behind the ears: But upon days of publick rejoicing, all have their hair loose, dishevel'd, and dangling over their shoulders; a fashion becomes them well. The Inhabitants of those Provinces that lie towards and among the Mountains, cut off all the hair on the left side of the head, that so they may the more easily draw their Bows, and they order that which grows on the other side, so as to make a crest standing over the right ear: Most of them wear neither Caps nor any thing instead of Shoes, but they cover the body with the skins of Bears or Tygers, neatly sown together, and cut after the fashion of close coats, which reach down to their knees, and the sleeves are so short that they come not over the elbow.

The Inhabitants of the other Provinces which are seated in the Vales and Plains, went heretofore naked from the Na­vel upwards, in the Summer-time, and in Winter, they wore garments of Furrs; but now both men and women are clad all the year long: In the hottest seasons, they have light cloaths, made of cotton, wooll, or a certain herb, of which they make a thred as strong as that of Flax: The women have the art of spinning all these materials; and weaving them into several kinds of stuffs, which are lasting; and delightful to the eie. But in the winter, which many times is hard enough, they are all clad in several kinds of skins, which they have the skill to dress well enough: They leave the hair on some, and so make use of them as Furs: They have also the art of tanning Ox-hides, and other skins, and making Shoes and Boots of them.

The men wear Caps made of Otter-skins, which are perfectly black and glittering, pointed before, and set out behind with some rich feathers, which hanging down over their shoulders make them look very gracefully: but the women have no [Page 232] other ornament about the head, but what is deriv'd from the several dresses of their hair: They make holes in their ears, and wear pendants of Chrystal, or made of a certain smooth stone they have, which is of as bright a green as that of an Emrald: Of the same materials they also make great Neck­laces, which they wear when they would appear in state: They make great account of Corral, Chrystal, and yellow Am­ber, which are brought to them by Strangers; and they are only the Wives of the principal Officers that have Bracelets and Necklaces made of them: Though there be some Spanish and English Families among them, yet have they not alter'd any thing either as to their Cloaths or course of Life.

The ordinary sort of people wear only a close coat without sleeves, over a thin garment of Goat-skins, which serves them for shirts: The Coat which comes down to the calf of the leg, is ty'd about the wast with a leathern girdle, which is set out with some little embroidery: But the Officers and Heads of Families wear over that a kind of short Cloak, which co­vers only the back and the arms, though behind it falls down to the ground: This Cloak is fasten'd with strong leathern points, which make it fast under the neck, and lye close to the shoulders: The womens garments are of the same fashion with those of the men, save that those of the former come down to the ankles, and the Cloak hath two open places on the sides, through which they put forth their arms.

To keep themselves clear of Vermine, they often wash their bodies with the juice of a certain root, which is of as sweet a scent as the Flower-de-luce of Florence, and hath this further vertue, that it makes the nerves more supple, and fortifies and causes a smoothness all over the body, and communicates an extraordinary delightful scent thereto.

The Cities of the three Provinces that are in the spacious Plain, which is at the foot of the Mountains, are encompassed on the outside by a large and deep Moat, which on the inside, instead of wals, is all planted with great posts pointed at the top, thrust a good depth into the ground; or sometimes with quick-set hedges intermixt with very sharp thorns; they are commonly about five or six foot in bredth: The Gates are small and narrow, and are made fast with little pieces of wood, which lie cross between small ramperts of earth that are on both sides, and which command the avenues: There are commonly but two Gates to every City; to enter in at them, a man must pass over a bridge so narrow, that two men cannot well march on a front upon it: The Bridge is built upon piles, which sustain certain planks, which they draw up in the night when they fear the least trouble.

It is seldom seen that there is above one City in every Pro­vince; nay there are some that have not above eight hundred [Page 233] houses in them: The Metropolis of the Country, which is cal­led Melilot, hath above two thousand; they are all built of pieces of wood planted into the ground and joined one to ano­ther: The covering is for the most part of the leaves of reeds, grass, or rushes: Those of the Captains are done over with a certain Mastick, which keeps off the rain, and preserves the thatch from decaying in many years: The floors of all the houses is of the same material, whereto they add a certain gol­den sand which they get out of the neighbouring Mountains, and which gives such a lustre as if they were sown with little spangles of Gold.

The Rooms of the ordinary sort of people are hung only with a kind of Mat, made of Plantane-leaves and rushes, which they have the art of dying into several colours; those of persons considerable among them, are hung with pre­cious Furs, or Deer-skins painted with divers figures, or with a kind of Tapistry made of Birds-feathers, which they so in­dustriously intermingle, that it seems to be embroidered: Their Beds are about a foot and a half from the ground, and are co­ver'd with skins that are dress'd, and as soft as can be wish'd: These skins are commonly painted with Flowers, Fruits, and a hundred such inventions, and their colours are so well set on and so lively, that at a distance one would take them for rich Tapistry: The wealtheir sort in the winter time have their beds covered with the skins of Martins, Beavers, or white Foxes, which are so well dress'd, and perfum'd with such artifice, that they never admit any thing of ordure: The Officers and all the most considerable Inhabitants lie on Mattresses fill'd with a certain down that grows on a little plant, and is as soft as silk; but the common people take their rest on dry'd sern, which hath the property of taking away the weariness of the body, and retriving the forces exhausted by hunting, gardening, and all the other painful exercises consequent to their course of life.

The Vessels they use in their houses are either of wood or earth, enamel'd with divers colours, and very delightfully painted: They sharpen upon stones the teeth of several wild beasts, and therewith arm their Arrows and Lances: Before strangers came among them and traded in their Country, they knew not there was such a thing as Iron; but they made use of extraordinary hard and sharp stones instead of wedges, and certain smooth and cutting bones, instead of knives.

They all live very amicably together under the conduct of a King, who keeps his Court at Melilot, the Metropolis of the Kingdome: In every City there is a Governour, and other subordinate Officers, who are appointed by him, and chang'd at his pleasure, as he thinks most convenient: The Villages also have Captains and heads of Families, by whom they are [Page 234] governed. All immoveable goods are common among these people, and excepting only their houses, and the little gardens belonging to them, they have no propriety in any thing: they carry on the business of Agriculture in common, and they share the fruits of the earth among themselves: At sowing-time the Governors and their Officers oversee the work; and at that time all those who are of age to do any thing abroad, go out be­times in the morning to their work, and continue there till the evening, at which time they return to their Towns and Villages to take their rest: While they are at work, it is the business of their Chiefs to provide them somewhat extraordi­nary in meat and drink: They dispose their Harvest into the publick Granaries, which are in the midst of their Towns and Villages; and at every full Moon, and at every new Moon, those who are entrusted with the distribution thereof, supply every Family, according to the number of persons whereof it consists, with as much as will suffice.

They are a temperate people, and hate all kind of voluptu­ousness, and whatever tends to effeminacy: And though Vines grow naturally in their Country, yet do they not make any wine but what is requisite for the divine service: Fair water is their ordinary drink, but at great entertainments, they make use of a pleasant kind of Beer, which is made of Turkey wheat: They also have the art of making an excellent kind of Hydro­mel, or Mead, which they keep in great earthen vessels: The great abundance of honey which they find among the Rocks, and in the clefts of hollow trees, supplies them with that whereof they make that delicious drink, which is such as may well pass for Sack, especially after it hath been kept a long time.

Those of the same Family live so lovingly together, that there are among them some houses where an old man hath his children, and his children's children, to the third, nay some­times to the fourth generation, all living under the same roof, to the number of a hundred persons, and sometimes more. Most of the other Nations of the Septentrional part of Ame­rica who inhabit along the Sea-coast, are so slothful, that in the winter time they are in great want, because they had not sown any thing when the time served, or had consumed the fruits of the precedent harvest in extraordinary entertain­ments and debauches: But the Apalachites hate nothing so much as idleness, and they are so addicted to pains-taking, that the fruits of the earth, being answerable to their labour, and be­ing distributed with prudence and moderation, maintain them plentifully, nay so that they can, in case of necessity, assist their Neighbours the Inhabitants of the Mountains: Both men and women are perpetually employ'd, after seed-time and harvest, in spinning of Cotton, Wooll, and a certain Herb, which is soft [Page 235] and strong, for the making of cloth, and several ordinary sorts of stuffs, wherewith they cover themselves: Some among them employ themselves in making of earthen ware; others in ma­king Tapistry of the plumage of Birds; others, in making of Baskets, Panniers, and other little pieces of houshold-stuff, which they do with a strange industry.

They are of a very loving and obliging disposition: And whereas their distance from the Sea exempts them from being subject to receive any displeasure from Strangers, they are in like manner ignorant what entertainments to make them, when they chance to visit them, and are never weary of expressing all manner of friendship towards them: They are docible and susceptible of all sorts of good disciplines; but they have this discommendable in them, that they are very obstinate in their opinions, easily angred, and much addicted to revenge, when they are convinc'd that they have been injur'd: They are ex­treamly apt to give credit to their dreams, and they have some old dotards among them, who openly make it their business to interpret them, and foretell what things shall happen after them.

They have had a long continuance of peace; however they think it prudence to stand always upon their guard, and they have always Sentinels at the avenues of their Cities, to prevent the incursions of a certain savage and extreamly cruel people, which hath no setled habitation, but wander up and down the Provinces with an incredible swiftness, making havock where-ever they come, especially where they find no resi­stance.

The Arms of the Apalachites are, the Bow, the Club, the Sling, and a kind of great Javelin, which they dart out of their hands, when they have spent all their Arrows: And whereas those that inhabit towards the woods and in the Mountains, live only by hunting, continual exercise makes them so expert in shooting with the Bow, that the King, who alwaies hath a Company of them about his person, hath no greater diversion than to see them shoot at a mark for some prize, which he gives him who in fewest shots came to the place assign'd, or hath shot down a Crown set up upon the top of a Tree.

They are passionate lovers of Musick, and all instruments that make any kind of harmony, insomuch that there's very few among them but can play on the Flute, and a kind of Hawboy, which being of several bigness, make a passably good harmo­ny, and render a sound that is very melodious: They are migh­tily given to dancing, capering, and making a thousand postures, whereby they are of opinion they disburthen themselves of all their bad humours, and that they acquire a great activity and suppleness of body, and a wonderful swiftness in running. They heretofore celebrated solemn dances at the end of every [Page 236] harvest, and after they had made their Offerings to the Sun upon the Mountain of Olaimi; but now they have no set and appointed time for these divertisements.

Their voice is naturally good, mild, flexible, and pleasant; whence it comes that many among them make it their endea­vour to imitate the singing and chirping of Birds; wherein they are for the most part so fortunate, that like so many Or­pheus's they entice out of the woods to follow them, those Birds which think they hear only those of their own species: They do also by singing alleviate the hard labour they are ad­dicted unto, and yet what they do, seems to be done rather out of divertisement, and to avoid idleness, than out of any consideration of advantage that they make thereof.

Their Language is very smooth, and very plentiful in com­parisons: That spoken by the Captains and all persons of quality, is more elegant and fuller of flourishes than that of the common sort of people: Their expressions are very precise, and their periods short enough: While they are yet children, they learn several songs, made by the Jaouas in honour and commendation of the Sun; they are also acquainted with se­veral other little pieces of Poetry, wherein they have com­prehended the most memorable exploits of their Kings, out of a design to perpetuate the memory thereof among them, and the more easily transmit it to their posterity.

All the Provinces which acknowledge the King of Apala­cha for their Sovereign, understand the language commonly spoken in his Court; yet does not this hinder but that each of them hath a particular dialect of its own, whence it comes that the language of some, is in some things different from that of others of the Inhabitants: The Provinces of Amana and Matica, in which there are to this day many Caribbian Fami­lies, have retained to this present many words of the ancient idiome of these people, which confirms what we have laid down for a certain assertion, to wit, that being known by the same name, and having many expressions common to them with the Inhabitants of the Caribby-Islands, those Families have also the same origine with them, as we have represented in the pre­cedent chapter.

They heretofore adored the Sun, and had their Priests, whom they called Jaouas, who were very superstitious in ren­dring to him the service which they had invented in honour of him: their perswasion was, that the raies of the Sun gave life to all things; that they dried up the earth; and that once the Sun having continued four and twenty hours under an eclipse, the earth had been overflown; and that the great Lake which they call Theomi, was rais'd as high as the tops of the highest Mountains that encompass it; but that the Sun having reco­vered the eclipse, had, by his presence, forc'd the waters to [Page 237] return into their abysses; that only the Mountain dedicated to his honour, and wherein his Temple was, was preserv'd from that deluge; and that their Predecessors, and all the beasts which are at present in the woods and upon the earth, having retir'd to the said Mountain, were preserv'd for the repopulation and recruit of the whole earth: So that they conceive themselves to be the most ancient people of the world; And they affirm, that from that time they have ac­knowledg'd the Sun for their God.

They were of opinion, that thé Sun had built himself the Temple which is in the Mountain of Olaimi, the ascent where­of is distant from the City of Melilot somewhat less than a league; and that the Tonatzuli (which are certain little birds about the bigness of a Quail, and whose bellies and wings are of a bright yellow, the back of a sky-colour, and the head of a plumage, partly red, and partly white) are the messen­gers and children of the Sun, which alwaies celebrate his praises.

The service they rendred the Sun consisted in saluting him at his rising, and singing hymns in honour of him: They ob­served the same Ceremonies also in the evening, entreating him to return, and to bring the day along with him: And be­sides this daily service which every one performed at the door of his house, they had also another publick and solemn service, which consisted in sacrifices and offerings, and was perform'd by the Jaouas, four times in the year, to wit, at the two seed-times, and after the two harvests, upon the Mountain of Olaimi, with great pomp, and a general concourse of all the Inhabitants of the six Provinces.

This Mountain of Olaimi is seated, as we said before, in the Province of Bemarin, about a league distant from the Royal City of Melilot; but there is about another league of ascent and winding from the foot of it, ere a man can get to the top of it: It is certainly one of the most pleasant and most mira­culous Mountains in the world: Its figure is perfectly round, and the natural descent extream steepy; but to facilitate the access thereof to such as are to go up, they have cut a good broad way all about it, and there are here and there several resting places gain'd out of the Rock, like so many neeches: All the circumference of it, from the foot to within two hundred paces of the top, is naturally planted with goodly trees of Saxafras, Cedar, and Cypress, and several others from which there issue Rosins, and Aromatick gums, of a very delightful scent: On the top of it there is a spacious plain, smooth and eaven all over, and somewhat better than a league in compass; it is covered with a delightful green livery of a short and small grass, which is intermixt with Thyme, Marjoram, and other sweet smelling herbs: And it was upon the top of this Moun­tain, [Page 238] and upon this pleasant verdure that the people stood, while the Priests of the Sun performed the divine service.

The place which serv'd them for a Temple, is a large and spacious Grott, or Cave, which is naturally cut in the Rock, on the East-side of the Mountain: It hath a vast and large mouth, as the entrance of a magnificent Temple: As soon as the Sun is risen, he darts his rays on that entrance, which hath before it a fair and spacious square place, which a man would say were made by art in the Rock: And there it is that the Jaouas, the Priests of the Sun, stay expecting his rising to begin their or­dinary Ceremonies on Festival days. This Cave within is oval, two hundred foot in length, and proportionably broad: The Vault, which is naturally cut in the Rock, rises up circu­larly from the ground to about a hundred foot high: There is just in the midst of it a great hole, or Lanthorn, which en­lightens it from the top of the Mountain: This Lanthorn is encompass'd with great stones, laid close together to prevent peoples falling in: The Vault on the inside is perfectly white, and the surface cover'd with a certain Salt-peter, which a man might take for white Coral diverfy'd into several different figures; the whole compass of it is of the same lustre: The floor of it is also extreamly eaven and smooth, as if it were all of one piece of marble. In fine, the greatest ornament of this Temple consists in its perfect whiteness: At the bottom of it there is a great Basin or Cistern, just over against the entrance, which is full of a very clear water, which perpetually distilling out of the Rock, is receiv'd into that place. Just in the mid­dle of this Temple, directly under the Lanthorn which en­lightens it, there is a great Altar all of one stone, of a round figure, three foot in height from the floor, and sustain'd by a short pillar, which Altar and the Pedestal seem to have been cut out of the place where it stands, that being in all probabi­lity a piece of a Rock which jutted out upon the floor of that miraculous Cave.

The Sacrifices which the Jaouas offered to the Sun, consisted not in the effusion of mans blood, or that of some certain beasts; for they were of a perswasion, that the Sun, giving life to all things, would not be pleas'd with a service that should deprive those creatures of the life which he had bestow'd on them; but the Sacrifice consisted only in Songs, which they had com­pos'd in honour of him, as also in the perfumes of certain aro­matical drugs, which they appointed to be burnt on his Altar, and in the offerings of garments, which the rich presented by the hands of the Priests, to be afterwards distributed among the poorer sort of people.

All this Ceremony, which was performed four times a year, lasted from Sun-rising till noon, at which time the Assembly was dismiss'd: The Priests went up to the Mountain on the [Page 239] Eve of every Festival, to prepare themselves for that solemn Action; and the people, which came thither from all the Pro­vinces, were there present some time before Sun-rising. The way which led up to the Mountain was enlightned by great Fires, which were kept in all that Night, for the convenience of those who went thither to adore. All the people remain'd without upon the Mountain, and none but the Priests durst come neer the Grot, which serv'd them for a Temple. Those who brought any Garments to be distributed to the poor, presented them to the Priests who stood at the entrance, and they hung them on the Poles which were on both sides of the Portal, where they remained till after the Service, and then they were distributed among the poor, as were also the other presents which the rich offered, and which were in like manner kept till the same time: Those also who brought Perfumes to burn on the Altar, deliver'd their presents to the Priests.

As soon as the Sun began to appear, the Priests who stood be­fore the Temple began their Songs and Hymns, adoring him several times on their knees; then they went one after another to cast the Incense and Perfume which they had in their hands upon the Fire, which they had before kindled on the Altar, as also upon a great Stone which stood before the entrance of the Grot: This Ceremony being ended, the chiefest of the Priests powr'd some Honey into a hollow Stone, made somwhat like those Stones wherein the Holy-water stands in some places, which Stone stood also before this Temple; and into another, which was of the same figure and the same matter, he put some corns of Turkey-wheat a little bruis'd, and destitute of their outward Shell, as also some other small grains, which the Birds consecrated to the Sun, called the Tonatzuli, do greedily feed upon: These Birds, whereof there are great numbers in the Woods which lie round about this Mountain, were so ac­customed to find these. Treatments which were prepar'd for them in that place, that they fail'd not to come there in great companies as soon as the Assembly was retir'd.

While the Priests continu'd burning the perfume, and cele­brating the praises of the Sun, the People who were upon the Mountain having made several bowings at the rising of the Sun, entertain'd themselves afterwards in some kinds of recreation, dances, and songs, which they sung in honour of him; and af­terwards sitting down on the grass, every one fell to what he had brought along with him for his Viaticum.

Thus they continu'd there till noon; but when it came neer that time, the Priests, quitting the gate of the Temple, went into the body of it, and disposing themselves about the Altar, which stood in the midst, they began to sing afresh: Then as soon as the Sun began to cast his golden beams on the border of the opening or Lanthorn, under which the Altar was ere­cted, [Page 240] they put Incense and other perfumes upon the fire which they had kindled the night before, and very carefully kept in upon that Altar: Having ended their Songs, and consum'd all their Perfumes, they all retir'd to the entrance of the Temple, before the Gate, excepting only six, who remain'd neer the Al­tar; and while those who stood at the entrance lift up their Voices more then ordinary, the others who remain'd at the Al­tar let go out of their hands, at the same time, every one six of the Tonatzuli, which they had brought thither, and kept in Cages for that purpose: These Birds having flown about the Temple, and finding the entrance possessed by the Priests, who were at the Gate with Boughs in their hands, and frighted them with their Voices, took their flight out at the open place in the midst of the Temple; and after they had flown about a while, the Assembly which was upon the Mountain entertain'd them with loud cries of rejoycing, as accounting them to have put a period to the Ceremony, and looking on them as the Children and Messengers of the Sun, they immediately got into the Woods.

As soon as these Birds were gone the people march'd down in order from the Mountain, and passing neer the Temple, the Priests, who were still in their Office, caus'd them to enter into it; and after they had washed their hands and their faces in the Fountain, they order'd them to go out at the same en­trance, which was divided by a small partition, purposely made there to prevent confusion and disorder: Then at their coming out they took another way, which led them into the Road that conducted to the Mountain, and was the same by which they had ascended; and so every one made towards his own home.

The poor, whereof the Priests had a Catalogue, staid till all the rest were gone, and receiv'd from their hands the Gar­ments, and all the other Presents which the rich had made to the Sun, to be distributed among them; which done, all left the Mountain, and there was an end of the Ceremony.

But now, since the greatest and most considerable part of the people who are Inhabitants of the Provinces of Bemarin and Matica, and particularly the King and City of Melilot, have embraced the Christian Religion, this Mountain and its Temple are not much frequented, unless it be out of curiosity: Nor does the King permit his Subjects of the other Provinces, who have not receiv'd Baptism, to go up thither to perform their Sacrifices and all their ancient Superstitions.

They believ'd the immortality of the Soul; but they had so disguis'd this Truth with Fables, that it was in a manner smother'd thereby. They embalm'd the bodies of their de­ceased Relations with several sorts of Gums and Aromatical Drugs, which had the virtue of preserving them from corrup­tion; [Page 241] and after they had kept them sometimes above a year in their houses, they buried them in their Gardens, or in the neighbouring Forests, with great lamentations and ceremo­nies. They shew to this day at the foot of the pleasant Moun­tain of Olaimi, the Sepulchres of several of their Kings, which are cut in the Rock; there is planted before every one of them a fair Cedar, for the better observation of the place, and more exact continuance of their memories.

To make a greater expression of their mourning, and to shew how much they bewail'd the death of their Friends and Kinred, they cut off some part of their hair; But when any King died they shav'd the whole head, and suffer'd not their hair to grow again, till they had bewail'd him for the space of fifteen months.

The Knowledge which the Apalachites have of God, they have attain'd to by several degrees: For, to go to the bottom of the business, it is about an Age since that the first Seeds of Christian Religion were sown in that part of Florida, by a French Colony consisting of several Persons of Quality, which was brought thither and establish'd there by one Captain Ri­bauld in the time of Charles the Ninth King of France: The first thing he did was to build a Fort, which he named Carolina, in honour of His Christian Majesty: He impos'd also on the Capes, Ports, and Rivers of that Country, the names they are at the present known by; so that along the Coast a man finds a place called the Port Royal, the French Cape, the Rivers of Seine, Loyre, Charante, Garonne, Daufins, May, Somme, and several other pla­ces, which have absolute French names, and consequently are a manifest argument that the said Nation have heretofore had some command there.

But what is more worthy observation, and conduces more to our purpose, is, that at this first Expedition for Florida, there went along with the Adventurers two Learned and Religious Persons, who immediately upon their arrival in the Country made it their business, by all sorts of good offices, to insinuate themselves into the affections of the Inhabitants, and to learn their Language, that so they might give them some knowledge of God, and the sacred mysteries of his Gospel. The Memo­rials which Captain Ribauld left behind him as to that particu­lar, shew how that the King Saturiova, who govern'd the Quarter where the French had establish'd themselves, and who had for Vassals to him several little Kings and Princes who were his Neighbours, receiv'd those Preachers very kindly, and recommended it to all his Subjects, that they should have a singular esteem for them; so that the affection those poor peo­ple bore them, and the fidelity and zeal the others express'd for the advancement of their Conversion, rais'd even then very great hopes that the work of the Lord would prosper in their [Page 242] hands, and that that little portion of his Vineyard being care­fully dress'd, would in time bring forth many good and preci­ous fruits, to the praise of his grace.

These happy beginnings and first-fruits of the Gospel of our Saviour Jesus, were afterwards augmented and advanc'd by the cares of Monsieur the Admiral de Coligny, who gave a Com­mission to one de Laudoniere, to carry over thither a conside­rable supply of Soldiers and all sorts of Tradesmen, which ar­riv'd in the year One thousand five hundred sixty and four: But these last Adventurers had hardly taken the air in the Country after their arrival thither, ere the Spaniard, who ima­gines that all America belongs to him, and who hath ever been jealous of the French Nation, made his advantage of the dis­orders which were then in that Country, to traverse the gene­rous designs of the Directors of that hopeful Colony, and smother it as 'twere in the Cradle: To that purpose he sent thither Peter Melandez with six great ships full of men and am­munition, who fell upon it on the nineteenth of September, M D LXV.

Monsieur de Laudoniere and Captain Ribauld, who had not long before brought the Colony a small recruit of men, con­sidering that it would be madness to think to oppose such a powerful force, resolv'd, with the advice of most of the Offi­cers, to capitulate and deliver up the place to the stronger party, upon such honourable conditions as people besieg'd are wont to demand. Peter Melandez granted them most of the Articles they had propos'd; but assoon as he was got into the Fort, and had secur'd the Guards, he broke the promise he had made them, and violating the Law of Nations, he cru­elly massacred not only the Soldiery, but also all the women and children, whom he found within the place, and who could not make their escape by flight.

Captain Ribauld fell in the Massacre; but de Laudoniere made a shift to escape, through the Fenns, to the ships newly come from France, which by good fortune were still in the Road: Some others of the Inhabitants, who, upon the first arrival of the Spaniards, had foreseen the danger likely to fall upon them, got in time into the woods, and in the night time came to the Village of their good friend Saturiova, who, hating the Spaniard, gave them protection, and supply'd them with provisions for a competent subsistance, till the year M D LXVII. when Captain de Gorgues, coming to Florida with three stout ships full of resolute men and all sorts of Ammu­nition, severely punished the cruelty of the Spaniards, and being assisted by Saturiova, and all his Neighbours and Allies, he reveng'd the publick injuries of the French, putting to the sword all the Spaniards he met with, not only in the Fort of Carolina, which they had repair'd and fortified after their usur­pation [Page 243] of it, but also those he found in two other Forts which they had built along the Coast, which he burnt and demolish'd, as may be seen in the xii. Chapter of the fourth Book of the Description of the West-Indies, writ by John de Laet.

The Memorials which Captain de Gorgues caused to be printed, giving an account of his Expedition into Florida, tell us of a certain French-man named Peter du Bre, who having made his escape to King Saturiova, to avoid the cruelty of the Spaniards, related to him, that there escaped of that Massa­cre but ten men, of which number he was one; that they all met with a safe retreat in the territories of the said Prince, who liv'd not far from their desolated Colony; that three of the escaped persons dy'd there some months after that defeat; that of the seven remaining, there were six were so charm'd with the advantageous relation which the subjects of Saturiova made to them daily of the Treasures of King Mayra, of the powerfulness of another whose name was Ollaca, who com­manded forty Princes, and of the generosity and prudent conduct of the King of Apalacha, who govern'd many fair and large Provinces seated at the foot of the Mountains, and reaching into several delightful Vales which they encom­pass'd; that they importun'd Saturiova, who had entertain'd them so kindly, that he would be pleas'd to allow them guides, to conduct them to the Frontiers of the Kingdom of the last named, of whom they had heard so many miracles, and had particularly this recommendation, that he was a lover of Strangers, and that his Subjects were the most civilly govern'd of all the Septentrional part of America; that Saturiova, wil­ling to add that favour to all those they had receiv'd from him before, gave them a good convoy, consisting of the most vali­ant of his subjects, to conduct them with all safety to all his Allies, and to the Dominions of the King of Apalacha, if they were desirous to visit him.

The relation of the success of this Progress, which these few French-men undertook to satisfie their curiosity, and to make the best use they could of this interval of their misfortune, as­sures us, that after they had visited Athorus, the Son of Satu­riova, and most of his Allies, who had their Villages all along a delightful River which in their Language they call Seloy, to avoid meeting any of the subjects of Timagoa, who was then engag'd in a War against Saturiova, there was a necessity they should cross Rivers upon boughs of trees fasten'd together, climb up Mountains, and make their way through Fens and thick Forests, where they met with several cruel beasts; that before they came within the Dominions of the King of Apala­cha, they were many times set upon by Troops of Savages, who scout up and down among those vast desarts; that two of their Guides were kill'd in those encounters, and most of the rest [Page 244] dangerously wounded; that the subjects of King Timagoa, ha­ving observ'd their march, had follow'd them for several days, and not being able to overtake them, they laid ambushes for them, thinking to have met with them in their return; that after they had run through abundance of dangers, and many times endur'd much hunger and thirst, they got at last to the Province of Matica, which is under the jurisdiction of the King of Apalacha; that the Governor of the City of Akoveka, which is the Metroprolis of that Country, caus'd them to be brought to the King, who was then gone to visit the Province of Amana; that that Prince entertain'd them with so much kindness, and express'd so much friendship towards them, that they resolv'd to send back their Guides into their Country, and to setle themselves amongst the Apalachites, since they found them answerable to the account they had received of them.

The remembrance of the dangers they had run through ere they could get into the Province of Matica; the lively appre­hension they had of the difficulties which were unavoidable in their return; the little hope there was that the French would ever undertake the re-establishment of their Colony; the pleasantness and fertility of the Country into which divine Providence had brought them; and the good natures of the Inhabitants, besides several other considerations, prevail'd with them to resolve on that setlement. But the Guides whom Saturiova had given them, obstructed their resolution so much, and so earnestly remonstrated to them, that they durst not pre­sent themselves before their Lord without them, that to com­pose the difference, and prevent the reproach they were afraid of at their return into their own Country, they prevail'd so far, that two of those Travellers should come back along with them to Saturiova, to testifie their care and fidelity in the exe­cution of the Commission he had given them.

The same Relation adds further, that those four French-men who voluntarily stay'd among the Apalachites, being well in­structed in the ways of God, left them some knowledge of his Sovereign Majesty: And the English, who have some years since found the way into those Provinces, write, that the Inhabi­tants of the Province of Bemarin do still talk of those stran­gers, and it is from them that they have learnt several words of the French Language, such as are among others those that signifie God, Heaven, Earth, Friend, the Sun, the Moon, Para­dise, Hell, Yea, No. Besides which there are many other words common among those people, and are us'd by them to express the same thing which they signifie in French.

After the death of all these French-men, who were very much lamented by all the Apalachites, excepting only the Priests of the Sun, who bore them an irreconcileable hatred, because they turned the People from Idolatry, and inclined [Page 245] them to the knowledge of the true God who created the Sun, whom they adored as God, the Provinces which are seated in the Vales of the Apalachaean Mountains, and had been en­lightned but by a very weak ray of coelestial light, would ea­sily have returned to the darkness of their ancient superstition, if God, by a remarkable disposal of his Providence, had not sent to them some English Families, which at their arrival thither blew up that little spark, which lay hid under the embers, into a weak flame.

These Families came out of Virginia in the year M DC XXI. with an intention to go to New-England, to avoid the frequent incursions and massacres committed there by the Savages; but the wind proving contrary to their design, they were cast on the Coasts of Florida, whence they pass'd into the Province of Matica, and thence into those of Amana and Bemarin, and in the last they setled themselves, and have drawn thither a considerable number of Ecclesiasticks and persons of quality, who have there laid the foundations of a small Colony. Most of those who are retir'd into those places so remote from all commerce in the world, undertook that generous design, in the midst of the great revolutions which happen'd in England during the late troubles, and the main business they propos'd to themselves at that time, was only to make their advantage of so seasonable a retreat, that they might the more seriously, and with less distraction, mind the attainment of their own sal­vation, and dilate the limits of Christianity among those poor people, if God gave them the means.

We understand also by the last papers that have been sent us from America, that, God blessing the endeavours of the first In­habitants of this small Colony, they have within these twelve or thirteen years baptiz'd most of the Officers and the most considerable Heads of Families in the Provinces of Bemarin and Amana; That at the present, they have a Bishop and many learned and zealous Ecclesiasticks among them, who carry on the work of the Lord; and the more to advance it, they have built Colledges in all those places where there are Churches, that the Children of the Apalachites may be instructed in the mysteries of Christian Religion and true piety.

The same Papers add further, that though the King of Apa­lacha hath received Baptism, and seems to have much affection for these Strangers, who have procur'd him that happiness; yet hath he of late entertain'd some jealousie of them, out of an apprehension, as it was represented to him by some of his Councel, that if he suffer'd them to grow more numerous, they might in time become Masters of the Country: He thereupon in the first place dispers'd them into several Cities, that they might not be able to make any considerable body, or foment any factions; and afterwards, there was an order pass'd, that [Page 246] all those who have at the present any setlement in the bosom of his Country, might peaceably continue in their habitati­ons, and participate of the same priviledges with the Natives, provided they held no correspondence with any abroad, to the prejudice of the publick tranquillity; but that hencefor­ward no other strangers shall be permitted to make any fur­ther establishments there.

Those who are acquainted with the Nature of the Country, affirm, that the King of the Apalachites hath no just cause to fear that either the English or any other strangers should be guilty of any design against him, as to the mastering of his Country: For, besides the necessity there is of having a very powerful Army, ere any such enterprise can be undertaken, and that the English who are establish'd there, are no more amongst that great Nation, than a handful of sand on the Sea­side; this Country being so remote from all the rest of the world, and destitute of Gold, Silver, precious Stones, and in a manner all rich Commodities, whereby Commerce is kept up and continu'd; it is most certain, that it will never be much sought after or envy'd by any Europaean Nations, which send out Colonies only to those places, where there is hope of ma­king some considerable advantage by way of Trade. Where­to may be added this further consideration, that, though these Provinces were possess'd of as great Treasures and Rarities, as they are destitute thereof; yet lying at a great distance from Sea-Ports, and having no navigable Rivers falling into it, by means whereof there might in time be some correspondence between them and other parts, there is no likelihood that there should be many persons either in England or any where else, who would be perswaded to cross over so many Seas, to go and end their days in a Country which is destitute of all those conveniences, and cannot receive those refreshments which are brought out of Europe, and contribute much to the comfortable subsistance of all the other Colonies of America; and in a word, a Country, which can give its Inhabitants no­thing but clothing and nourishment.

Some time after the English had establish'd themselves in this Country, as we have represented before, the Spaniards (who as it were keep the keys of one part of Florida, by means of the Forts they have built near the most eminent Havens, and along the most considerable Rivers) brought in there a com­pany of religious men of the Order of the Minimes, whom Pope Urban the eighth had sent into the Septentrional America, in the quality of Apostolical Missionaries, and endow'd with most ample priviledges, for their better encouragement in the carrying on of that work: They arriv'd in those Provinces in the year, One thousand six hundred forty and three; and since that time they have taken their progress through most of [Page 247] the Villages that lie about the great Lake, and upon the descent of the Mountains which look towards the Country of the Cofachites: It is reported, that they have baptized with great pomp the Paracoussis of the Province of Achalaca, and a great number of his Subjects.

When these religious men return from their Missions, they live in a solitary, yet delightful place, which lies upon the descent of a high Mountain, not above a quarter of a league distant from the great Lake, and about as much from the greatest Village of the Province of Achalaca. Before a man comes to their habitation, he must cross through several fair Gardens, in the midst whereof there is a pleasant walk, plant­ed with trees on both sides, which reaches to the skirt of the Mountain: And though they have seated themselves on an eminent place, yet they have many springs, which, falling down from the upper part of the Mountains, are receiv'd into great Cisterns and great Ponds, where they have abundance of good Fish: The Lord of the Country visits them often, and hath a great respect for them; for the most part, he hath some one of them about his person, who serves him as a Chap­lain.

In the year One thousand six hundred fifty and three, in which Mr. Brigstock, that most inquisitive English Gentleman, from whom we have receiv'd all the account we have given of the Apalachites, arriv'd in that Province of Achalaca, the fore­mention'd Religious men entertain'd him very kindly, and did him all the good offices lay in their power: From them it was, that, during his aboad in the Country, he learnt all the particulars we are now going to describe, and which he hath liberally communicated to us.

They show'd him an admirable Flower, which grows abun­dantly in the Mountains of those parts: The figure of this Flower is much like that of a Bell, and there are as many co­lours observable in it as in the Rain-bow; the under leaves, which being fully blown, are much larger than those of our greatest Roses, are charged with a great many other leaves, which appear still less and less to the lower part or bottom of the Bell: Out of the midst of them there rises a little button, like a heart, which is of a very delicious taste: The Plant hath a little bushiness at the top, much like Sage: The leaves and the flower smell like a Violet: It is also a kind of sensitive Plant, for it cannot be touch'd, either in its leaves or flower, but it immediately withers.

These Religious men carryed the said English Gentleman to a Village of the Indians, who inhabit in the Mountains, where there is a miraculous Grott or Cave, wherein the waters have fashion'd all the most delightful rarities, that a man can desire from a divertisment of that kind: They shew'd him particu­larly [Page 248] one place in the said Grott, where the waters falling up­on a bare stone, and distilling drop after drop, of a different bigness, make so exact a musick, that there is no harmony can well be preferr'd before it.

There is found in the Mountains, on the East-side of the Pro­vince of Achalaca, some Rock-Christal, and certain red and bright stones, which have such a lustre as that they might pass for right Rubies: 'Tis possible there may be some Copper­mines in those parts; but they are not yet discovered, only what confirms this opinion is, that they find a kind of golden sand there, which is wash'd down by the torrents, and hath a wonderful lustre: Mr. Brigstock having given of it to some Goldsmiths to make a test thereof, it was in a manner quite con­sum'd by the fire, and the little that remained in the Crucible might well pass for very fine Copper.

These same Religious men shew'd the said Gentleman, as they pass'd through the woods, several sorts of trees which yielded Gums of excellent scent, as also many other Rarities, a particular account whereof would require a considerable Vo­lume: But above all, they show'd him the tree, whereof the Floridians make that excellent drink which they call Casina, the description whereof may be seen in the History of de Laet. It is absolutely conformable to the Relation of Mr. Brigstock.

Before the Inhabitants of Achalacha were converted to Chri­stianity, they took several Wives; but now their Marriages are regulated, and they content themselves only with one: They interr'd their Lords as the Apalachites do, in the Caves that are at the foot of the Mountains: then they made up the entrance thereof with a stone-wall: they hung before the Cave the most considerable Vessels which those Princes had made use of at their Tables: And all the Captains fasten'd all about the place, their Bows, Arrows, and Clubs, and mourn­ed for several days at the Sepulchre: They worshipped the Sun, and held the immortality of the Soul as well as their Neighbours: They believ'd also that such as had liv'd well, and serv'd the Sun as they ought, and made many presents to the poor, in honour of him, were hapyy, and that after death they were chang'd into Stars: But on the contrary, that those who had led a wicked life, were carried into the precipices of the high Mountains, whereby they were surrounded, and there endur'd extream want and misery, amongst the Lions, Tygers, and other beasts of prey, which hunt after their sustenance therein.

The Inhabitants of this Country are all long-liv'd, insomuch that there are many among them, both men and women, who are neer two hundred years of age.

This curious digression we receiv'd from the forementioned English Gentleman, Mr. Brigstock, and we have inserted it [Page 249] here, out of a presumption that it will not be undelightful to those, who shall make it their divertisement to read this Histo­ry; at least while we are yet in expectation that that excellent person will give us a perfect accompt of the state of the Apala­chites, and some others of the Neighbouring Nations, as he puts us in hope that he will.

CHAP. IX. Of the Bodies of the Caribbians, and their Ornaments.

WE are now to re-assume our former discourse, and re­turn from Florida to the Caribby-Islands, to consider there, with all the exactness imaginable, what concerns those Inhabitants thereof on whom we intend to bestow the remain­ing part of this History, and particularly what relates to their Bodies, Minds, Dispositions, Manners, Religion, Customs, and other remarkable occurrences concerning the savage Caribbi­ans or Cannibals, of whose origine we have already given so large an account.

And whereas some of the Caribbians who inhabit in the same Islands wherein the French and other Europaean Nations have planted Colonies, or at least come often among them, accom­modate themselves in many things to their manner of life, and that they may be the more kindly received by them, they quit many of their old Customs; those who are desirous to be ac­quainted with the ancient manners of the Caribbians, are not to learn them of the Caribbians who live in Martinico, or those who converse most with the Europaeans; but from those of St. Vincent, who of all others have held least correspondence with any Forreigners: It is accordingly from them that we have re­ceiv'd what we shall hereafter relate concerning the Caribbi­ans: But before we enter into the relation, we shall make some general observations, to prevent the astonishment which the Reader might conceive at the difference there is between the account we give of them, and what he may receive from others, either by word of mouth or writing.

In the first place, it is to be acknowledged a thing almost im­possible, that the Relations of Countries and Customs at so great a distance from us, should agree in all things, especially since we find that those of neighbouring Countries are for the most part differing among themselves.

Secondly, it is to be observed, that since the Caribbians be­came familiar, and have conversed with forreign Nations, they have remitted much of their ancient Customs, and quited many [Page 250] things which they practis'd before with an inviolable strictness: So that there may be seen in them now a remarkable change from what they were heretofore: That the case stands thus with them now, is to be attributed partly to the conversation of the Europaeans, who in some things have oblig'd them to abate somewhat of their originary simplicity, and in others have made them worse than they were, as to our own shame we cannot but acknowledge: Hence it comes that Monsieur du Montel tells us in his Relations, that two ancient Caribbians, considering that degeneration of their Country-men, took oc­casion to entertain him with a discourse to this purpose: ‘Our people are become in a manner like yours, since they came to be acquainted with you; and we find it some difficulty to know our selves, so different are we grown from what we have been heretofore: It is to this alteration that our peo­ple attribute the more frequent happening of Hurricanes than they were observ'd to be in the days of old; and conclude thence, that Maboya (that is to say, the evil spirit) hath reduc'd us under the power of the French, English, Spaniards and others, who have driven us out of the best part of our Country.’

Thirdly, it is possible they may have different Customs, according to the diversity of the Islands, though they all make up but one people; as may be observed in the diversity of the Customs of one and the same Kingdom, according to the se­veral Quarters and Provinces of it: Whence it may have pro­ceeded, for example, that those that have conversed most at Dominico will give an account of the Opinions, Customs, and Ceremonies of the Caribbians, much different from what shall be related thereof by those persons who shall have frequented other places; and yet the Relations of either side shall be true.

Fourthly, as in the Continent of America, the Caribbians, who inhabit a good way within the Country, and consequent­ly seldom see any forreigners, retain much more of their anci­ent Customs, and their old course of life, than those who living neer the Dutch Colonies of Cayenna and Berbica, drive on an ordinary trade with the Christians; so among our Caribbians, the Inhabitants of the Islands, those who converse least with the Europaeans, such as are those of St. Vincent's, are more strict observers of their ancient course of life, than are, for exam­ple, those of Martinico or Dominico, who are oftner seen among them.

Fifthly, thence it proceeds that those persons who have seen them only in these last mentioned places, or have heard of them only from such as have been acquainted with them only in those places, will haply find many things in the prosecution of our History, which may clash with the Relations they had recei­ved of them from others; which if they do, they are not to won­der [Page 251] thereat, since most of our Observations relate to the Ca­ribbians of St. Vincents.

Lastly, we desire our Readers to take this further adver­tisement, that it is our design to give a description of the anci­ent Manners and Customs of these Caribbians, to the end that no body may think it strange, if their present demeanour be not in all things answerable thereto: These advertisements be­ing thus premis'd, we proceed to give the Reader satisfaction consequently to the title of this Chapter.

Most of those people whom we call Barbarians and Savages, have some thing hideous and deformed or defective, either in their Countenances or some other part of the body, as Hi­storians affirm of the Maldiveses, the Inhabitants about the Magellane streights, and several others which we need not name here.

But the Caribbians are a handsome well-shap'd people, well proportion'd in all parts of their bodies, gracefull enough, of a smiling countenance, middle stature, having broad shoulders, and large buttocks, and they are most of them in good plight, and stronger than the French: Their mouths are not over large, and their teeth are perfectly white and close: True it is their complexion is naturally of an Olive-colour, and that colour spreads even into the whites of their Eyes, which are black, somewhat little like those of the Chineses and Tartars, but very piercing: Their foreheads and noses are flat, not naturally, but by artifice: For their mothers crush them down at their birth, as also continually during the time they suckle them, imagining it a kind of beauty and perfection; for were it not for that, their noses would be well shap'd, and they would have high foreheads as well as we: They have large and thick feet, because they go barefoot, but they are withall so hard, that they defie Woods and Rocks.

Among those of the Country a man cannot meet with any wanting either one or both eyes, lame, crook-back'd, or bald, or having any other deformity naturally; as is in like manner affirmed of the Brasilians, the Floridians, and most Nations ofDe Lery c. 8. America; whereas those who have walked through Grand Voyage de Breves. Cairo relate, That in the Streets they have met with many one­eyed, and many stark blind people; those infirmities being so frequent and so popular in that Country, that of ten persons five or six are subject thereto: But if any among the Caribbi­ans are thus deformed, or have lost, or are maimed in any limb, it hapned in some Engagement against their Enemies; and so those scars or deformities being so many demonstrations of their Valour, they glory in them; so far are they from being in any danger of mischief, or being cast into a furnace by their Coun­try-men, as those poor Children were among the people of Guyana, and among the Lacedemonians in the time of Lycurgus, [Page 252] who came out of their Mothers wombs imperfect and deformed. Nay, there are some handsom Maids and Women amongst the Savage Caribbians, witness Madamoiselle de Rosselan, wife to the Governour of Saintalousia.

All the Caribbians are black-hair'd, as the Chineses are, whoTrigaut. Hist. Chin. l. 1. c. 8. for that reason are sometimes call'd the Black-hair'd People: The hair of the Caribbians is not curl'd or frizzled, as that of the Moors, but streight and long, as those of the Maldiveses: And the Women attribute the highest perfection of Beauty to this black colour, as to what concerns the hair. It is reportedGarcilasso, l. 8. c. 13. also, That the Indian Women of Peru are so enamour'd of black hair, that to make their own of that colour by artifice, when Nature does it not, they are willing to endure incredible pains and torments: On the contrary, in Spain many Ladies, to make their hair seem to be of a golden yellow colour, per­fume it with Sulphur, steep it in Aqua-fortis, and expose it to the Sun in the heat of the day, nay in the very Dog-days: And in Italy the same colour is much affected.

The Caribbians are very careful in combing themselves, and they think it commendable so to do: They anoint their hair with Oil, and have certain Receipts to advance the growth thereof: The Women commonly comb their Husbands and their Children: Both Men and Women tie up their hair to­wards the hinder part of the head, winding it about so as that it stands up like a horn on the Crown; on both sides they leave locks hanging down like so many Mustachioes, according to natural liberty. The Women part their hair so as that it falls down on both sides of their heads; but the men part theirs the quite contrary way, so as that one half falls down behind, the other before, which obliges them to cut off the fore-part of it, otherwise it would fall down over their eyes: This they did heretofore with certain sharp Herbs, before they had the use of Scissers; not to mention, that they were also accustomed to cut off their hair when they were in mourning; whereas on the contrary, in Madagascar the Men never cut off their hair, but the Women shave it clear off; a custom contrary to that of those people among whom S. Paul liv'd.

The Caribbians seem not to have any Beards at all, but as soon as they grow they pluck them off by the roots, as the Bra­silians, Carpin in Bergeron. the Cumaneses, and certain Nations subject to the Em­pire of the Tartars do, who have always an iron instrument in their hands, wherewith they pluck out the hair of their Beards as soon as they come out: But the Caribbians are seldom seen to put themselves to that trouble, insomuch that it is conceiv'd they have a secret to prevent the growth of hair when it is once gotten off; an invention which would have been of great con­venience to the ancient Romans: For it is affirm'd, that they would not suffer their Beards to grow till after the time of the [Page 253] Emperour Adrian, who first suffer'd his to grow; before that time it was thought among them so honourable a thing to wear no beard, that there was a prohibition made that Slaves should not shave theirs: The same prohibition extended also to all persons charg'd with any Crime, as it were to set a mark of infamy on them, till such time as they were clear'd, as Aul [...] L. 3. c. 4. Gellius affirms; which proceeding was contrary to what is pra­ctis'd in the Grand Seignior's Territories, who causes the Beard to be shaven, as a mark of ignominy: In the year One thou­sand six hundred fifty two, that hapned to the French Consul at Alexandria, being charg'd with having done some unhandsom things in his Employment; his Beard had such a natural graceful curl, and was of so fair a flaxen colour, that some Turks would have given him a considerable sum of money for it, and kept it for a Rarity; but he chose rather to bring it along with him into France.

The Caribbians wonder very much to see our Europeans suf­fer their Beards to grow so long, and think it a great defor­mity to wear any, as they account it a perfection in themselves to have none; but they are not the only Savages who are fan­tastick in matter of gracefulness and beauty: All barbarous Nations, nay some that are civiliz'd, are wedded to their par­ticular sentiments, as to that point: For instance, among theThis is af­firmed by di­vers Histori­ans, too ma­ny to be cited▪ Maldiveses it is accounted an accomplishment of Beauty to have the body all over hairy, which among us would be thought more becoming a Bear then a Man: Among the Mexicans, to have a little narrow forehead, and that full of hair: Among the Japoneses, not to have any hair at all; whence it comes, that they are ever employ'd in the plucking of it off, leaving only a little tuft on the crown of the head: Among the Tar­tarian Women it is thought a piece of Beauty to be flat-nos'd, but to heighten the attractions of their noses, they rub them with a very black unguent: Among the Inhabitants of Guinny they make the same account of great nails and flat noses; and thence it comes that assoon as the children are come into the world, they crush down their noses with their thumbs, as do also the Brasilians: Among those of the Province of Cusco in Peru, and some oriental Inhabitants of the Indies, as also among the Calecutians, and the Malabars, it is thought very graceful to have extraordinary large ears, hanging down over their shoulders; insomuch that some among them use divers artifi­ces to make them such: Among the Aethiopians, great lips and a skin black as Jet, are thought beautiful: The Negroes of Mosambico are extreamly pleas'd to have their teeth very sharp, so that some use Files to make them such: Among the Maldiveses they are no less desirous to have them red, and to that end, they are continually chewing of Petel: Among the Japoneses and the Cumaneses, they are industrious to have [Page 254] them black, and they purposely make them such: And among the latter, it is accounted beauty to have a long face, lean cheeks, and excessively big legs: And hence it is that they squeeze the heads of their children between two cushions as soon as they are born, and that after the example of the Inha­bitants about the River of Essequebe, they bind the legs very hard a little below the knee, and a little above the ankle, that so the calf may swell: Among some Peruvians, to have the face cut and chequer'd, as it were with Lancets, and to have flat and broad heads, huge foreheads, and the head very narrow from the forehead to the nape of the neck, is accounted beau­tiful: And to reduce it to this comely shape, they kept their childrens heads press'd between two thin boards, from the time of their birth till they were four or five year old. To be short, among some oriental Nations, and some Africans, it is account­ed a great perfection in the Women, to have their breasts hanging down over their shoulders; and among the Chineses, it is the principal part of beauty to have the foot extreamly little and thin; and the better to have it so, while they are yet children they bind their feet so hard, that they are in a manner lam'd, and it is with much ado that they are able to stand: It were a hard matter to make a description of beauty, according to the different opinions of all these nations: But to return to the Caribbians.

They go stark-naked, both men and women, as many other Nations do: And if any one among them should endeavour to hide the privy parts, all the rest would laugh at it: Though the Christians have conversed very much among them, yet have all the perswasions that have hitherto been used to induce them to cover themselves been to no purpose: And whereas sometimes, when they come to visit the Christians, or to treat with them, they have comply'd so far with them, as to cover themselves, by putting on a shirt, drawers, a hat, and such cloaths as had been given them, yet assoon as they were re­turn'd to their own habitations, they strip themselves, and put up all in their Closets, till some such other occasion should ob­lige them to put them on again: To requite this compliance of the Caribbians, some among the French, having occasion to go among them, made no difficulty to strip themselves after their example: This defiance of cloaths reigns in all places under the Torrid Zone, as every one knows.

When the Brasilians are reproach'd with their nakedness,Vin. Le Blanc. par. 3. c. 16. they reply, that we came naked into the world, and that it were a mad thing for us to hide the bodies bestowed on us by na­ture. The Inhabitants of the Kingdom of Benin in Africa, Dutch Rela­tions. are to be commended, that they cover themselves when they are to be married, and would do it sooner if their King would permit it: The women of the Lucayan Islands ought also to [Page 255] participate of that commendation, for they were wont to co­ver themselves when they came to be marriageable, and so­lemnized that action with great rejoicing: But now that cu­stome is abrogated, for that poor Nation hath been utterly de­stroy'd by the Spaniards, or carryed away and made slaves to work in the Mines, and there are not in any of the Islands known under that name, any of the natural Inhabitants, but only some few English who were transported thither out of the Island of Bermudez. But come we to the Ornaments of our Savages.

They change their natural colour by dying their bodies with some composition which makes them red all over: For living neer Rivers and Springs, the first thing they do every morn­ing is to go and wash themselves all over: And this was theLib. de mor. German. practice of the ancient Germans, as Tacitus affirms. Assoon as the Caribbians have wash'd themselves, they return to their houses, and drie themselves by a little fire; being dry'd, the Wife, or some one of the houshold takes a gourd full of a cer­tain red composition which they call Roucou, from the name of the tree which produces it, and whereof we have given an ac­count in its proper place in the precedent Book: With this colour mixt with oil, they rub the whole body and the face; the better to apply this paint, they make use of a spunge in­stead of a Pencil; and to appear more gallant, they many times make black circles about the eyes, with the juice of Ju­nipa Apples.

This red painting serves them both for Ornament and for a Covering; for besides the Beauty they imagine to themselves therein, they affirm that it makes them more supple and active; which may be the more likely to be true, for that the ancient Wrestlers were wont to rub themselves with oil for the same end: They affirm further, That by rubbing themselves thus with Roucou, they secure themselves against the coldness of the night and rains, the stinging of the Mesquitos and the Marin­goins, and the heat of the Sun, which otherwise would cause risings and ulcers in the skin. This Unction hardens their skins, and withal gives it an extraordinary lustre and smoothness, as all know who have seen and felt them.

Most Savages do thus paint and trick up themselves after a strange manner; but they do not all use the same colours, nor observe the same fashion: For there are some who paint their Bodies all red, as our Inhabitants of the Caribbies do; as forThis is af­firmed by di­vers Histori­ans. instance, those of the Cape de Lopes Gonsalvez; but others make use of other colours, as Black, White, Chestnut, Gingioline, Blew; Yellow, and the like. Some use only one particular co­lour; others paint themselves with several colours, and repre­sent divers figures on their bodies: Some others, without apply­ing any colour, rub themselves all over with the oil of Palm­trees: [Page 256] Some anoint themselves with the oil of Balm, and then cast on it a small powder, which seems as if it were the filings of Gold. In fine, there are some who anoint their bodies with a glewy oil, and blow on that the downe or smallest Feathers of divers Birds; or haply they cover themselves with a kind of gummy paste, which is of a very sweet scent, and fasten there­on the most delightful Flowers growing in their Country. There is sufficient choice of all these modes; and it were a pleasant sight to see a company of these Morris-dancers dancing together. We might add thereto, to make the divertisement the more compleat, those Turkish Pilgrims who commonly go in long Garments made of thousands of pieces of all sorts of co­lours.

But this is to be noted, That the painting of the body is a very ancient kind of Ornament; and among other Monuments of this piece of Antiquity, Pliny and Herodian affirm, that cer­tainLib. 22. c. 1. In the life of Severus. people of Great Brittany, not using any kind of cloathing, painted their bodies with divers colours, and represented there­on the figures of certain living Creatures, whence they were called Picti, that is, Painted people. But among all the Sava­ges who at this day paint themselves, the Caribbians have this advantage, that they adorn themselves with a colour which the Ancients honour'd most of any; for it is reported, that the Goths made use of Vermilion to make their faces red; and the ancient Romans, as Pliny affirms, painted their bodies withLib 33. c. 7. Minium upon the day of their Triumph; and he particularly tells us that Camillus did so: and he further adds, that upon Festival days they so painted the face of the Statue of their Jupiter; and that heretofore the Aethiopians made so great ac­count of this Vermilion colour, that their principal Lords ap­ply'd it all over their bodies, and that their Gods wore it in their Images.

Our Caribbians do for the most part content themselves with this ordinary dress of red painting, which serves them instead of Shirts, Cloths, Cloaks and Coats: But on solemn days and times of publick rejoicing, they add to the red divers other colours, spreading them fantasticallly over the face and the whole body.

But this kind of painting is not the only ornament in use among them; they adorn the crown of the head with a little Hat made of birds feathers, of different colours, or with a Plume of Herons feathers, or those of some other Bird: They also sometimes wear a crown of feathers, which covers their heads, so that there may be seen among them a great many crowned heads, though there be no Kings: And yet they may be better look'd upon as Kings with their feather Crowns, than the Lord of the Gulf of Antongil be taken for a Sovereign Prince, when he hath for his Scepter and the badge of his [Page 257] Royal dignity, but a great Gardiner's Pruning-hook, which he always carries about him.

The women among the Maldeveses, make about a dozen holes in each ear, at which they fasten little gilt nails, and sometimes Pearls and Precious Stones: The Ladies of Mada­gascar and Brasil make a hole as big as that a man may thrust his thumb through it in the lower part of the ear, at which they hang pendants of wood and bone: And the Peruvians, under the reign of their Kings the Yncas, were accustomed to make in their ears a hole of an incredible bigness, at which they fastened chains of a quarter of an Ell in length, with Pendants of Gold at the bottom, of an extraordinary big­ness: But our Caribbians▪ are content with a small hole, accor­ding to the European mode, in the softest part of the ear, through which they put the bones of certain Fishes very smooth, pie­ces of that kind of Tortoise shells which they call Carets; and since the Christians came among them, Buckles of Gold, Sil­ver, Latten, at which they hang very fair Pendants: They know how to distinguish between those that are right and the counterfeit, but they are most taken with such as are made of Chrystal, Amber, Coral, or some other rich material, provi­ded the buckle, and all the other workmanship be of Gold: Some have endeavoured to put upon them such as were only Copper gilt, and would have perswaded them they were Gold; but they refused them, saying that they intended to de­ceive them, and that it was but Kettle-gold: and to make a tryal thereof, they were wont to put them into their mouths: So great is their experience in these things beyond those of Madagascar, who when the Hollanders coming thither in the year MDC XLV. offered them a Silver-spoon, put it between their teeth, and finding it was hard refus'd it, desiring one of Tin: Whence it may easily be imagined what account they made of Tin, since they gave a young maid in exchange for a Spoon of that mettal. Herodotus affirms that heretofore among the Aethiopians, Copper was in better esteem than Gold, the use whereof was so vile, that they bound Malefactors with chains of Gold.

The Caribbians do sometimes also make holes through their lips, and put through them a kind of little Bodkin, which is made of the bone of some beast or fish: Nay they bore through the space between the Nostrils, that they may hang there some Ring, a grain of Chrystal, or some such toy: The necks and arms of our Caribbians have also their respective ornaments; for they have their Neck-laces and Bracelets of Amber, Coral, or some other glittering material: The men wear Bracelets on the brawny part of the arm, neer the shoulder; but the wo­men wear theirs about the wrists: They adorn also their legs with Chains of Rassada, instead of Garters: Those among [Page 258] them who have no acquaintance with the Europaeans, commonly wear about their necks Whistles made of the bones of their enemies, and great chains made of the teeth of Agoutys, Ty­gers, wild Cats, or little shells bor'd through and fasten'd toge­ther with a thread of fine Cotton of a red or violet colour. And when they would make the greatest show they can, they add to all this a kind of Caps, certain Bracelets, which they fasten under their armpits, Scarfs, and Girdles of Feathers ve­ry industriously dispos'd together by a delightful intermixture, which they suffer to hang down over their shoulders, or from the navel to the middle of the thigh.

But the most considerable of all their Ornaments, are cer­tain large Medals of fine Copper extreamly well polished, with­out any graving on them, which are made after the figure of a crescent, and enchac'd in some kind of solid and precious wood▪ these in their own language they call Caracolis: They are of different largeness, for there are some so small that they hang them at their ears like Pendants, and others about the bigness of the palm of a mans hand, which they have hanging about their necks, beating on their breasts: They have a great esteem for these Caracolis, aswell by reason the material whereof they are made, which never contracts any rust, glisters like Gold, as that it is the rarest and most precious booty they get in the incursions they make every year into the Country of the Arou­agues their Enemies; and that it is the livery or badge, where­by the Captains and their Children are distinguish'd from the ordinary sort of people: Accordingly those who have any of these jewels make so great account of them, that when they die, they have no other inheritance to leave their Children and intimate Friends: Nay there are some among them who have of these Caracolis which had been their Grandfathers, wherewith they do not adorn themselves but on extraordinary occasions.

The women paint the whole body, and adorn themselves much after the same manner as the men do, excepting only those differences we have mentioned before, and that they wear no Crowns on their heads: There is this also particular­ly observable in them, that they wear a kind of buskins, which fall no lower than the ankle: This kind of ornament is very neatly wrought, and edg'd above and below with a certain intertexture of rushes and cotton, which lying streight on the calf of the leg makes it seem more full.

CHAP. X. Certain Remarks upon the Caribbian Language.

IT is our intention at the end of this History, for the satisfaction of the more curious Reader, to add a large Vo­cabulary of the Caribbian Language; and therefore, in this Chapter, we shall only make some principal remarks upon it, such as may in some measure discover the grace, the smooth­ness, and the proprieties thereof.

1. The Caribbians have an ancient and natural Language, such as is wholly peculiar to them, as every Nation hath that which is proper to it.

2. But besides that ancient Language, they have fram'd ano­ther bastard-speech, which is intermixt with several words taken out of forreign Languages, by the commerce they have had with the Europaeans: But above all they have borrowed many words of the Spaniards, for they were the first Christians that came among them.

3. Among themselves, they alwaies make use of their anci­ent and natural Language.

4. But when they have occasion to converse or negotiate with the Christians, they always make use of their corrupt Language.

5. Besides that, they have also a very pleasant intermixture of words and expressions when they would undertake to speak in some forreign Language: As for example, when they use this expression to the French, saying, Compere Governeur, that is, Gossip Governour, using the word Compere generally to­wards all those who are their Friends or Allies: In like manner they would say, without any more ceremony, Compere Roy, that is, Gossip, or Friend King, if there were any occasion to do it: It is also one of their ordinary complements to the French, when they say with smiling countenance, Ah si toy bon pour Caraibe, moy bon pour France, If thou art good for the Caribbian, I am good for France: And when they would com­mend, and express how much they are satisfy'd with those of the same Nation, they say, Mouche bon France pour Caraibe, France is very good for the Caribbian; they say also, Maboya mouche fache contre Caraibe, Maboya doth much against the Ca­ribbian, when it thunders, or in a Hurricane; and, Moy mouche Lunes, I have lived many Moons, to signifie that they are very ancient: They have also these words often in their mouths, when they find that the French would abuse their simplicity, Compere, toy trompe Caraibe, Friend thou deceivest the Caribbian: [Page 260] And they are often heard to say when they are in a good hu­mour, Moy bonne Caraibe, I am an honest Caribbian.

6. Yet is it to be observ'd, that though the Caribbians of all the Islands do generally nnderstand one another, yet is there in several of them some dialect different from that of the others.

7. There is no great use made of the letter P. in their Lan­guage; but that only excepted, there is no want of letters, as there is in the Language of Japan, Braseel and Canada, which want the letters F. L. R. Or in that of Peru, wherein B. D. F. G. J. consonant and X are wanting, as Historians affirm.

8. The Language of the Caribbians is extreamly smooth, and for the most part pronounced with the lips, some few words with the teeth, and in a manner nothing at all from the throat. For though the words we shall set down hereafter, seem to be rough, as they are written, yet when they pronounce them, they make elisions of certain letters, and give such an air thereto as renders their discourse very delightful to the ear: Whence it came, that Monsieur du Montel hath given this testi­mony of them: ‘I took great pleasure, said he, in hearkning unto them when I was among them, and I could not suffici­ently admire the grace, the fluency, and the sweetness of their pronunciation, which they commonly accompany with a lit­tle smiling, such as takes very much with those who converse with them.’

9. The Caribbians who are Inhabitants of the Islands have a sweeter pronunciation than those of the Continent: but otherwise they differ only in a dialect.

10. By the same word, according as it is diversly pronounced they signifie several things: For example, the word Anhan sig­nifies, 1. Yes, 2. I know not, 3. Thine, or take it, according to the pronunciation that is given it.

11. The Europaeans cannot pronounce the Caribbian Lan­guage with the grace and fluency natural thereto, unless they have learnt it very young.

12. They hear one another very patiently, and never in­terrupt one the other in their discourse: But they are wont to give a little hem at the end of every three or four periods, to express the satisfaction they have to hear what is spoken.

13. What advantage soever the Europaeans may imagine they have over the Caribbians, either as to the natural faculties of the mind, or the easiness of pronunciation of their own Lan­guages, in order to the more easie attainment of theirs, yet hath it been found by experience, that the Caribbians do sooner learn ours than we do theirs.

14. Some among the French have observ'd, that the Carib­bians have a kind of aversion for the English tongue, nay so far, that some affirm they cannot endure to hear it spoken [Page 261] where they are, because they look on them as their Enemies. And whereas there are in their corrupt Language many words taken out of the Spanish, a people whom they also account their Enemies, it proceeds hence, that they learn'd them during the time they held a fair correspondence with that Nation, and be­fore they began to treat them as they afterwards did.

15. They are very shie in communicating their Language, out of a fear the secrets of their Wars might be discovered; nay, those among them who have embrac'd the Christian Reli­gion, would not be perswaded to reveal the grounds of their Language, out of a belief it might prejudice their Nation.

16. We shall here set down some of the most particular proprieties of their Language: In the first place, the men have many expressions proper only to themselves, which the wo­men understand well enough, but never pronounce: And the women have also their words and phrases, which if the men should use they would be laugh'd at; whence it comes, that in this Discourse one would think the women spoke a Language dif­ferent from that of the men, as will be seen in our Vocabulary, by the difference of expressions which the men and women make use of to signifie the same thing: The Savages of Domi­nico affirm, that it proceeds hence, that when the Caribbians came to inhabit these Islands, they were possess'd by a Nation of the Arouagues, whom they absolutely destroy'd, save only the Women, whom they married for the re-peopling of the Country; so that those Women having retain'd their own Lan­guage, taught it their Daughters, and brought them to speak as they did; which being practis'd to the present by the Mo­thers towards their Daughters, their Language came to be different from that of the Men in many things: But the male Children, though they understand the speech of their Mothers and Sisters, do nevertheless imitate their Fathers and Brethren, and accustom themselves to their Language when they are five or six years old. To confirm what we have said concerning the cause of this difference of Language, it is alledg'd, That there is some conformity between the Language of the Aroua­gues who live in the Continent, and that of the Caribbian Wo­men: But it is to be observ'd, That the Caribbians of the Con­tinent, as well Men as Women, speak the same Language, as having not corrupted it by inter-marriages with strange Wo­men.

17. The old men have also some terms particular to them­selves, and certain affected expressions, not at all us'd by the younger sort of people.

18. The Caribbians have also a certain Language which they make use of only among themselves, when they entertain any warlike Resolutions; it is a very hard kind of fustian-language: The Women and Maids know nothing of that mysterious Lan­guage, [Page 262] nor yet the young Men, till they have given some assu­rances of their generosity, and the zeal they have for the com­mon Quarrel of their Nation against their Enemies: This is to prevent the discovery of their designs before the appointed time.

19. For the variation of their Cases, Persons, Moods, and Genders, they have no distinct particles as we have, but they lengthen their words by certain syllables or letters at the begin­ning or end of the word, and sometimes by the change of the letters: Thus they say in the Imperative, Bayoubaka, Go; but in the Indicative, Nayoubakayem, I go: In like manner, Babinaka, dance; Nabinakayem, I dance; much like the formation of the Hebrew Verbs.

20. Indefinite and absolute Nouns are not much in use among them, especially the names of the parts of the body; but they are always in a manner restrain'd to a first, second, or third person.

21. The first person is commonly express'd by the Letter N; at the beginning of a word, as Nichic, my Head; the second by a B, as Bichic, thy Head; and the third by an L, as Lichic, his Head.

22. The neuter and absolute Gender is express'd by a T, as Tichic, the Head; but this is not much in use.

23. They have different names in speaking to persons when they are present, and others when they speak of them; thus they say Baba, Father, speaking to him, and Youmaan, speaking of him; Bibi, Mother, speaking to her, and Ichanum, speaking of her; which, with the difference there is between the Language of the Men and the Women, the young and the old, their or­dinary Discourse, and that us'd by them when they are engag'd in Military Deliberations, must needs cause a great multiplica­tion of words in their Language.

24. Their proper Names are many times deriv'd from certain Accidents, as we shall see more particularly in the Chapter of the Birth and Education of their Children.

25. They never name any one when the party is present; or at least, out of respect, they do but half name him.

26. They never pronounce the whole Name of either Man or Woman; but they do those of Children; so that they will say, the Father or Mother of such a one; or else they say half the Name; as for instance, Mala, insteed of saying Mala­kaali, and Hiba for Hibalomon.

27. The Uncles and Aunts, as many as are of the collateral Line, are called Fathers and Mothers by their Nephews; so that the Uncle is called Baba, that is to say, Father: But when they would expresly signifie the true and proper Father, they many times add another word, saying, Baba tinnaca.

28. Consequently to the precedent appellation, all the He­Cousins [Page 263] are also called Brothers, and all the She-Cousins, Si­sters.

29. But between He-Cousin and She-Cousin, the former calls the latter Youëilleri, that is to say properly, My Female, or my betrothed; for naturally among them the She-Cousins become Wiyes to the He-Cousins.

30. The Months they call Lunes, that is, Moons; and the Years [...]oussinieres, that is, the Seven Stars.

31. We shall now give a taste of the naturalness and ele­gance of their Language, setting down the signification of their words, without expressing the words themselves, so to avoid the setting of them down twice, as reserving that for our Vo­cabulary.

32. To signifie, that a thing is lost or broken, they commonly say it is dead.

33. They call a Capuchin Friar, Father Aïoupa; and the word Aïoupa signifies in their Language a Covering or a Penthouse; as if they said, It is a man by whom one may be cover'd, by reason of his great Capouche: By the same name they also ironically call an Ape or Monkey, by reason of his long Beard.

34. A Christian, a Man of the Sea; because the Christians came to them in Ships.

35. A Lieutenant, the track of a Captain, or that which ap­pears after him.

36. My Son in Law, he who makes me little Children.

37. My younger Brother, my half.

38. My Wife, my heart.

39. A Boy, A little Male.

40. A Girl, A little Female.

41. The Spaniards and English, Deformed Enemies, Etoutou noubi; because they are cloath'd, in opposition to their Ene­mies who are naked, whom they call simply Etoutou, that is to say, Enemies.

42. A Fool, Him who sees nothing, or who hath no light.

43. The Eye-lid, The Covering of the Eye.

44. The Eye-brows, The Hair of the Eye.

45. The Ball of the Eye, The Kernel of the Eye.

46. The Lips, The Borders of the Mouth.

47. The Chin, The prop of the Teeth.

48. The Neck, The prop of the Head.

49. The Arm and a Wing are express'd by the same word.

50. The Pulse, The Soul of the Hand: The Germans make such another composition, when they call the Glove the Shooe of the Hand.

51. The Fingers, The little ones, or Children of the Hand.

52. The Thumb, The Father of the Fingers, or that which is opposite to them: Of that kind is the [...] of the Greeks.

53. A Joint, A thing added; they call also by that name a piece set on a Garment.

54. The Bladder, The Urine Vessel.

55. The Ham, That which draws the Leg.

56. The Sole of the Foot, The inside of the Foot.

57. The Toes, The little ones, or children of the Foot.

58. The number Ten, All the Fingers of both hands.

59. Twenty, The Fingers of the Hands, and Toes of the Feet.

60. A Pocket-pistol, A little Arquebusse.

61. A Candlestick, That which holds somthing.

62. Thorns, The hair of the Tree, or the eyes of the Tree.

63. The Rainbow, Gods Plume of Feathers.

64. The noise of Thunder, Trerguetenni.

65. This Language hath also in its abundance and its natu­ralness some imperfections which are particular thereto; yet are they such as that some of them do not so much deserve blame as commendation.

66. The Caribbians in their natural Language have very few words of injury or abuse; and what they say that is most offen­sive in their Railleries is, Thou art not good, or thou hast as much wit as a Tortoise.

67. They have not so much as the names of several Vices; but the Christians have sufficiently supplied them therewith. Some have admir'd that in the Language of Canada there is no word answerable to Sin▪ but they might have observ'd withal, that there is not any whereby to express Virtue.

68. They have no words to express Winter, Ice, Hail, Snow, for they know not what they are.

69. They are not able to express what does not fall under the Senses, save that they have certain names for some both good and evil Spirits; but that excepted, they have no word to sig­nifie Spiritual things, as Understanding, Memory, Will; as for the Soul, they express it by the word Heart.

70. Nor have they the names of Virtues, Sciences, Arts, Trades, nor those of most of our Arms and Tools, save only what they have learn'd since their Commerce with the Christians.

71. They can name but four Colours, whereto they make all the rest to relate; to wit, White, Black, Yellow, and Red.

72. They cannot express any number above Twenty; & their expression of that is pleasant, being oblig'd, as we said elswhere, to shew all the Fingers of their Hands, and Toes of their Feet.

73. When they would signifie a great Number, which goes beyond their Arithmetick, they have no other way then to shew the hair of their Heads, or the sand of the Sea; or they repeat several times the word Mouche, which signifies Much; as when they say in their Gibberish, Moy mouche mouche Lunes, to shew that they are very ancient.

74. In fine, They have neither Comparatives nor Superla­tives; but for want thereof, when they would compare things together, and prefer one before all the rest, they express their [Page 265] sentiment by a demonstration which is natural and pleasant enough: Thus, when they would represent what they think of the Europaean Nations which they are acquainted withall, they say of the Spaniards and the English, that they are not good at all; of the Dutch, that they have as much goodness as a mans hand, or as far as the elbow; and of the French, that they are as both the arms, which they stretch out to shew the greatness thereof: This last Nation they have a greater affe­ction for than for any other, especially those of it who have gone along with them to their wars; for they give those part of their booty: And as often as they return from their wars, though the French had not gone along with them, yet do they send them part of the spoil.

CHAP. XI. Of the Dispositions of the Caribbians, and their Manners.

THE Caribbians are naturally of a pensive and melancho­ly temperament, fishing, sloth, and the temperature of the air contributing much to the continuance of that humour: but having found by experience, that that uncomfortable con­stitution was prejudicial to their health, and that the mind ore-press'd dries up the bones, they for the most part do so great violence to their natural inclination, that they appear chearful, pleasant, and divertive in their conversation, especi­ally when they have got a little wine in their heads: Nay they have brought themselves to such a pass, that, as the Brasilians, De Lery c. 12 they can hardly endure the company of such as are melancho­ly: and those who have conversed much with them have al­waies found them very facetious, and loth to let slip any occa­sion of laughing, without making their advantage of it: nay sometimes they have burst out into laughter, at what the most inclin'd thereto among us would hardly have smil'd.

Their discourses among themselves are commonly concern­ing their hunting, their fishing, their gardening, or some other innocent subjects; and when they are in strange company, they are never troubled if any body laugh in their presence, so far are they from thinking it done as any affront to them: And yet, they are so far from the simplicity of a certain Nation of New-France, who acknowledge themselves to be Savages, not knowing what that denomination signifies, that they think themselves highly injur'd when any one gives them that name: [Page 266] for they understand what the word means, and say that term belongs only to the wild beasts, the Inhabitants of the woods: Nor do they take it well to be called Cannibals, though they eat the flesh of their Enemies, which they say they do to sa­tisfie their indignation and revenge, and not out of any deli­cacy they find in it more than in any thing else whereby they are sustain'd: But they are extreamly pleas'd when any one calls them Caribbians, because it is a name they pride them­selves much in, as being a certain acknowledgment of their ge­nerosity and courage: For they are not only the Apalachites, from amongst whom they came, who by that word signifie a Warlike and valiant man, endu'd with force and a particular dexterity in military affairs; but even the Aronagnes themselves their irreconcileable Enemies, having often experienc'd their valour, understand thereby the same thing, though by the same word they would also denote a Cruel person, by reason of the miseries the Caribbians have occasioned them. But howere it be, this is certain, that our Savages of the Caribbies are so much pleased with that name, that speaking to the French they have this perpetually in their mouths, Toy Francois, moy Caraibe, Thou art a French-man, I am a Caribbian.

In all other things they are of a good and tractable disposi­tion; and they are so great Enemies to severity, that if the Europaean or other Nations who have any of them slaves (as among others the English have some, cunningly trapan'd and carryed away by them from the places of their birth) treat them with any rigour, they many times die out of pure grief: But by fair means they will do any thing, contrary to the Ne­groes, who must be roughly dealt with, otherwise they grow insolent, slothful, and perfidious.

They commonly reproach the Europaeans with their avarice, and their immoderate industry in getting of wealth together for themselves and their Children, since the earth is able to find sufficient sustenance for all men, if so be they wil take ever so little pains to cultivate it: as for themselves, they say they are not perplex'd with caring for those things whereby their lives are preserv'd; and indeed it must be acknowledged, that they are incomparably fatter, and have their health better than those that fare deliciously: Most certain it is, that they live without ambition, without vexation, without disquiet, having no de­sire of acquiring honours or wealth, slighting Gold and Silver, as the ancient Lacedemonians, and the Peruvians, and content­ing themselves with what Nature had made them, and what the earth supplies them withall for their sustenance: And when they go a hunting, or a fishing, or root up trees for ground to make a little Garden, or to build houses, which are innocent employments, and suitable to the nature of man, they do all without eagerness, and as it were by way of divertisement and recreation.

[Page 267]But it raises a particular astonishment in them when they see how much we esteem Gold, considering we are so well furnish'd with Glass and Chrystal, which in their judg­ment are more beautiful, and consequently ought to be more highly prized: To this purpose, Benzoni a Milanese Historian, relates a strange story of the New-world, how that the Indi­ans detesting the insatiable avarice of the Spaniards, who sub­du'd them, took a piece of Gold in their hands, and said, ‘Be­hold the God of the Christians; for this they come from Ca­steel into our Country; for this they have made us slaves, ba­nish'd us out of our habitations, and committed horrid things against us; for this they are engag'd in wars amongst them­selves; for this they kill one the other; for this they are alwaies in disquiet, they quarrel, rob, curse and blaspheme: In fine, there is no villany, no mischief but they will commit for this.’

In like manner, our Caribbians, when they see the Christians sad and perplext at any thing, are wont to give them this gen­tle reprehension: ``Compere (a word they have learnt of the French, and commonly use to express their affection, as the wo­men do also call our Europaeans Commeres, as a mark of their friendship; both words signifying in English Gossip, or familiar friend) ‘how miserable art thou, thus to expose thy person to such tedious and dangerous Voyages, and to suffer thy self to be orepress'd with cares and fears! The inordinate desire of acquiring wealth puts thee to all this trouble, and all these inconveniences; and yet thou art in no less disquiet for the Goods thou hast already gotten, than for those thou art desi­rous to get: Thou art in continual fear lest some body should rob thee either in thy own Country or upon the Seas, or that thy Commodities should be lost by shipwrack, and devour'd by the waters: Thus thou growest old in a short time, thy hair turns gray, thy forehead is wrinkled, a thousand incon­veniences attend thy body, a thousand afflictions surround thy heart, and thou makest all the haste thou canst to the grave: Why art thou not content with what thy own Coun­try produces?’ Why dost not thou contemn riches as we do?Part. 3. c. 16. And to this purpose, the great Traveller Vincent le Blanc hath a remarkable discourse of some Brasilians: ‘That wealth which you Christians pursue with so much earnestness, do they any way promote your advancement in the grace of God? Do they prevent your dying? Do you carry them along with you to the grave?’ To the same purpose was their discourse to J. de Lery, as he relates in his History.Ch. 13.

The Caribbians have this further reproach to make to the Europaeans, to wit, that of their usurpation of their Country, and they stick not to do it as a manifest injustice: ‘Thou hast driven me, says this poor people, out of St. Christophers, Mevis, Montserrat, St. Martins, Antego, Gardeloupe, Barbou­thos, [Page 268] St. Eustace's, &c. neither of which places belonged to thee, and whereto thou couldest not make any lawful pre­tence: And thou threatnest me every day to take away that little which is left me: What shall become of the poor mise­rable Caribbian? Must he go and live in the Sea with the fishes? Thy Country must needs be a wretched one, since thou leavest it to come and take away mine: Or thou must needs be full of malice, thus to persecute me out of a frolick.’ This complaint may well exempt them from the opprobrious denomination of Savages.

Lycurgus would not permit his Citizens to travel, out of a fear they might learn the manners of forreign Countries: But our Savages stand in need of much travel to unbarbarize them­selves, if we may use such an expression: And yet they are not only free from that insatiable covetousness, which makes the Christians undertake so great and so dangerous voyages, but also from the curiosity of seeing any other Country in the world, as being enamoured of their own more than any other. And thence it comes, that, imagining we should not be more curious than they are, nor less lovers of our Countries, they are astonish'd at our Voyages; wherein they have the honour to be like Socrates, of whom Plato gives this testimony, that he had no more design to leave Athens, with any intention to travel, than the lame and the blind; and that he desired not to see other Cities, nor to live under other Laws; being, as to this particular, as far as our Caribbians, from the opinion of the Persians, among whom it is come into a Proverb, that he who hath not travell'd the world may be compared to a Bear.

But we are to note further, that our Caribbians of the Islands have not only an aversion from travelling into any other parts of the world, but they would not also willingly suffer any of theirs to be carried away into a strange Country, without an absolute promise within a short time to bring them back again: But if it happens through some misfortune that any one of them dies by the way, there is no thinking of any return among them, for there is no hope of reconciliation.

But if they have no curiosity for things at a great distance from them, they have much for those that are neerer hand, in­somuch that if a man open a chest in their presence, he must shew them all that is in it, otherwise they will think themselves dis-obliged: And if they like any thing of what they see therein, though it be of ever so little value, they will give the most precious thing they have for it, that so they may satisfie their inclination.

As concerning Traffick, true it is, that having treated about something, they will fall off from what they have promised: But the secret to make them stand to their bargain, is to tell [Page 269] them, that a Merchant ought to be as good as his word: For when they are press'd upon in point of honour, and reproached with inconstancy as if they were children, they are ashamed of their lightness.

Theft is accounted a great crime amongst them; wherein it must be acknowledged they shew themselves more rationalPluta. in his Life. than Lycurgus, who allowed that vice in the Lacedaemonian children, as a very commendable employment, provided they did their business cleaverly, and Hocus-pocus-like: But the Caribbians have so natural and so great an aversion for that sin, that there is no such thing found among them, which is very rare among Savages: For most of them are Theeves; andIslands of Robbers. thence it is that some of their Islands have their name thence.

But for the Caribbians, as they are are not of their own na­ture any way inclined to thieving, so they live without any di­strust one of another: So that their Houses and Plantations are left without any body to look to them, though they have neither doors nor inclosures, after the same manner as some Hi­storians relate of the Tartars: But if the least thing in theCarpins Travels into Tartary. world be taken from them, such as may be a little knife, where­with they do strange things in Joyner's work, they so highly prize what is useful to them, that such a loss is enough to set them a weeping, and grieving for the space of eight days after it, nay will engage them in combinations with their friends to get reparations, and to be reveng'd on the person whom they suspect guilty of the theft: Accordingly in those Islands where they have their habitations neer those of the Christi­ans, they have often revenged themselves of those who had, as they said, taken away any of their little houshould-stuff: And in those places when they find something wanting in their hou­ses, they presently say, Some Christian hath been here: And among the grievances and complaints which they make to the Governours of the French Nation, this comes alwaies in the front, Compere Governour, thy Mariners (so they call all the forreign Inhabitants) have taken away a knife out of my Cot, or some other piece of houshold-stuff of that kind. The Inha­bitants of Guinny would not make any such complaints: For if they chance to lose something, they are of a perswasion that some of their deceased Relations, having occasion for it in the other world, came and took it away.

The Caribbians are a people as it were associated in one com­mon interest, and they are of all people the most loving one to another; being in that particular far from the humour of those Astaticks of Java, who speak not to their own Brothers without a dagger in their hands, so distrustful are they one of another: From this affection which our Savages mutually bear one another, does it proceed that there are few quarrels and animosities among them.

[Page 270]But if they are once injur'd, either by a Stranger or one of their own Countrymen, they never forgive, but contrive all the waies they can to be revenged: Thus when any of those Imposters, whom they call Bogez, makes them believe that one of those whom they account Sorcerers is author of the mischief that hath happened to them, they endeavour all they can to kill him, saying, Yaraliatana, he hath bewitched me; Ne­banebouibatina, I will be revenged of him: And this furious passion and desire to be revenged, is that which makes them so brutish, as we said before, as to eat the very flesh of their Enemies, whereof we shall give the particulars in their pro­per place: This implacable animosity is the vice generally reigning among them; and it exercises the same Tyranny, without any exception, over all the Savages of America: The revenge of the Inhabitants of Canada is sometimes very plea­sant; for they eat their own lice, because they have bitten them: If the Brasilians hurt themselves against a stone, to beDe Lery c. 11. & 14. revenged they bite it as hard as they can; It is observed also that they bite the Arrows which light upon them in fight­ing.

Without any obligation to Lycurgus, or his Laws, the Carib­bians, by a secret law of nature, bear a great respect to anci­ent people, and hear them speak with much attention, expres­sing by their gesture, and a little tone of the voice, how much they are pleas'd with their discourses: And in all things the younger sort comply with the sentiments of the ancient, andLinscot & Semedo. submit to their wills: It is reported they do the same in Brasil and China.

The Young men among the Caribbians have no conversation either with the Maids or married Women: And it hath been observed, that the men are less amorous in this Country than the women, as they are in several other places under the Tor­rid Zone: Both the men and women among the Caribbians are naturally chast, a quality very rare among Savages: And when those of other Nations look over-earnestly upon them, and laugh at their nakedness, they are wont to say to them, Friends, you are to look on us only between both the eyes; a vertue worthy admiration in a people that go naked, and are as barbarous as these.

It is related of Captain Baron, that in one of the incursions made by him and his party into the Island of Montserrat, then possest by the English, he made great waste in the Plantations that lay neerest to the Sea, so that he carried a great booty, and that among the Prisoners there being a young Gentlewo­man, Wife to one of the Officers of the Island, he caused her to be brought to one of his houses in Dominico: this Gentle­woman being big with child when she was carried away, was very carefully attended during the time of her lying in, by [Page 271] the Savage women of the same Island: And though she liv'd there a good while after among them, neither Captain Baron nor any other ever touched her; a great example of reserved­ness in such people.

Yet must it be acknowledged, that some of them have since degenerated from that chastity, and many other vertues of their Ancestors: But we must withall make this acknowledg­ment, that the Europaeans by their pernicious examples, and the unchristian-like treatment they have us'd towards them, base­ly deceiving them, perfidiously upon all occasions breaking their promises with them, unmercifully rifling and burning their houses and villages, and ravishing and debauching their Wives and Daughters, have taught them (to the perpetual in­famy of the Christian name) dissimulation, lying, treachery, perfidiousness, luxury, and several other vices, which were un­known in those parts, before they had any Commerce with them.

But as to other concerns, these Savages are remarkable for their civility and courtesie, beyond what can be imagined in Savages: Not but that there are some Caribbians very brutish and unreasonable; but for the greater part of them their judgment and docility is observable upon many occasions, and those who have conversed long with them, have found several experiences of their fair dealing, gratitude, friendship and ge­nerosity: But of this we shall speak more particularly in the Chapter where we shall treat of their Reception of such Stran­gers as come to visit them.

They are also great lovers of cleanliness (a thing extraordi­nary among Savages) and have such an aversion for all nasti­ness, that if one should ease himself in their Gardens where their Cassava and Potatoes are planted, they will pre­sently forsake them, and not make use of any thing growing therein: Of this their neatness in this and other things, we shall have occasion to say more in the Chapter Of their Habitations, and their Repasts.

CHAP. XII. Of the natural simplicity of the Caribbians.

ADmiration being the Daughter of Ignorance, we are not to think it strange that the Caribbians, who have so little knowledge of those excellent things which study and experi­ence have made familiar amongst civiliz'd Nations, should be [Page 272] so much astonish'd when they meet with any thing whereof the cause is unknown to them, and that they should be brought up in so great simplicity, that it might be taken in most of these poor people for a brutish stupidity.

This simplicity is remarkable, among other things, in the extraordinary fear they conceive at the sight of Firearms, which they look on with a strange admiration; but their astonish­ment is greatest at Fire-locks, much beyond what they have for great Guns and Muskets, because they see Fire put to them; but for Fire-locks, they are not able to conceive how it is pos­sible they should take Fire; and so they believe it is the evil Spirit Maboya who does that Office: But this fear and astonish­ment is common to them with divers other Savages, who have not found any thing so strange in their encounters with the Europaeans, as those Arms which spit Fire, and at so great a di­stance wound and kill those whom they meet with: This wasGarcilasso's Commentary Royal, l. 3. c. 8 Des Hayes Travels into the Levant. it, together with the Prodigy of seeing Men fighting on Horse­back, which principally made the Peruvians think the Spaniards to be Gods, and occasioned their submission to them with less resistance. It is reported also that the Arabians, who make Incursions along the River Jordan, and should be more accu­stomed to War, are not free from this fear and astonishment.

Among the several discoveries of the simplicity of our Ca­ribbians, we shall here set down two very considerable ones. When there happens an Eclipse of the Moon, they believe that Maboya eats her, and they dance all night, making a noise with Gourds, wherein there are many small Pebbles: And when they smell any thing of ill scent, they are wont to say, Maboya cayeu eu, that is, The Devil is here; Caima Loary, Let us be gone because of him, or for fear of him: Nay they attribute the name of Maboya, or Devil, to certain Plants of ill scent, such as may be Mushrooms, and to whatever is apt to put them into any fright.

Some years since, the greatest part of the Caribbians were perswaded that Gun-powder was the Seed of some Herb; nay, there were those who desir'd some of it to sow in their Gar­dens; nay, some were so obstinate, that, though disswaded from it, they put it into the ground, out of a perswasion that it would bring forth somwhat, as well as other Seeds: Yet was not this Imagination so gross as those of certain Brutes of Guinny, who, the first time they saw Europaeans, thought the Commodities they brought them, such as Linnen, Cloathes, Knives, and Fire-arms, grew on the Earth so prepar'd, as the Fruits did on Trees, and that there was no more to be done than to gather them: That certainly is not so pardonable a piece of simplicity as that of the Caribbians: And we may fur­ther alledg, to excuse that simplicity, or at least to render it theGarcilasso, l. 9. c. 16. more supportable, the stupidity of those Inhabitants of Ameri­ca, [Page 273] who, upon the first Discovery of the New-World, imagin'd that the Horse and the Rider made up one Creature, like the imaginary Centaurs of the Poets: And that of those others, whoMontagne's Essays, l. 1. c. 8. after they were subdu'd, coming to desire peace and pardon of the Men, and to bring them Gold and Provisions, went and made the same Presents to the Horses, with a Speech much like that which they had made to the Men, interpreting the neighing of those Creatures for a Language of composition and truce: And to conclude these instances, we shall add only the childish sot­tishnessDe Lery, c. 16 Garcilasso, l. 9. c. 29. of those same Indians of America, who roundly be­liev'd, that the Letters which the Spaniards sent one to another were certain Messengers and Spies, speaking, and seeing, and discovering the most secret actions; and upon this perswasion, fearing one day the eye and tongue of one of these Letters, they hid it under a stone, that they might freely eat some Me­lons of their Masters. In fine, there will be no cause to think it so strange that the Caribbians should take Gun-powder, a thing absolutely unknown to them, for some seed that might be sown, when there were some people living in France, whose habitations being at a great distance from the places where Salt was made, thought out of a like imagination that it was ga­ther'd in Gardens. It hapned also, not many years since, that a Woman, an Inhabitant of Martinico, having sent several pounds of Caret-shells and Tobacco to a She-Merchant of S. Ma­lo's, Caret is a kind of Tor­toise-shell. when this latter had put off the Commodity, she gave an account thereof to her Correspondent at Martinico, and ad­vis'd to plant Carets in her Garden rather then Tobacco, for that the former was much dearer in France, and that there was no danger of its rotting in the Ship, as there was of Tobacco. But let us consider what there is yet to be said concerning the natural simplicity of our Savages of the Caribbies.

It is a pleasant thing to consider that these poor people should be so simple, as that though they have many places fit for the making of Salt, yet dare they not make use of it, as accounting Salt extreamly prejudicial to health, and the preservation of life; thence it proceeds that they never either eat of it, or sea­son their meat therewith; and when at any time they see our people make use of it, they say to them, out of a compassion worthy compassion, Compere, thou hastenest thy own death: But instead of Salt, they season all their messes with Pyman, or Ame­rican Pepper.

Nor is there any Swines-flesh eaten among them, which they call Coincoin, and Bouïrokou; nor yet Tortoise, (or as some call them Turtles) which they call Catallou, though there be abun­dance of those Creatures in their Country: Of this their absti­nence they give the simplest reasons imaginable: For as to the Swine, they are afraid to taste of it, lest they should have small eyes like those of that Beast; now in their judgment it is the [Page 274] greatest of all deformities to have small eyes, and yet there are few among them but have them such. As for the Tortoise, the reason of their abstinence from that is no less ridiculous; they will not feed on that, say they, out of a fear lest if they did, they should participate of the laziness and stupidity of that Creature.

Most of those people who are known by the name of Savages are also full of strange and fantastical imaginations concerning the matter and manner of eating: For example, the Canadi­ans P. Junius in his Relations of New-Fra. abstain from Muscles, only out of a pure fancy; but they are such Beasts that they cannot give any reason for that abstinence: They will not cast the Beavers bones to the Dogs, lest the soul of that Beast should go and tell the other Beavers, and so oblige them to leave the Country: It is reported also, That they do not eat the marrow of the back-bone of any Creature, for fear of having any pain in the back. The Brasi­lians eat no hens egges, out of an opinion they are poison: TheyDe Lery, c. 11 abstain also from the flesh of Ducks, and that of every Crea­ture that goes slowly, as also from Fishes that do not swim swiftly, for fear of participating of the slowness of those Crea­tures. The Maldiveses forbear the meat of Tortoises, as thePirard of the Animals of the East-In­dies, c. 2. Vin. le Blanc. Garcilasso, l. 8. c. 7. Caribbians do; but it is because of the conformity there is, in their judgment, between them and Man. The Calecutians, and some others who live more towards the East, never taste of the flesh of wild Oxen, Cows, and Bulls, out of a perswa­sion that mens Souls, when they depart out of their Bodies, go and animate those of the said Beasts. In fine, certain Pe­ruvians of the Province of Pastu abstain from all kinds of flesh whatsoever; and if they are intreated to taste thereof, their answer is, That they are not Dogs. All these Instances are brought upon the Stage, to shew that the aversion of the Caribbians to eat Salt, Swines-flesh, and Tortoises, should not cause them to be accounted the most self-will'd and most extravagant of all the Savages.

Besides the discoveries we have already made of their sot­tishness and simplicity, there is this yet to be added, That they are so stupid, that they cannot count a number exceeding that of the Fingers of their Hands and the Toes of their Feet, which they shew to express the said number, what exceeds it surpas­sing with them all Arithmetick; so that they would be very unfit for Bankiers; an humour contrary to that of the Chine­ses, Voyage to the East Indies, 1630. who are such excellent Accomptants, that in a moment they cast up such Sums as it would trouble us much to do, and that with greater certainty.

But the Caribbians have the priviledge not to be the only Nation in the World which may be reproach'd with this igno­rance; for it is as great among the people of Madagascar and Guinny, to cite no more; nay, some ancient Historians affirm, [Page 275] That there were some people who could not count above five, and others who could not exceed four.

The Inhabitants of Guinny having counted to Ten, were wont to set a mark, and then begin again. Certain Savages of the Septentrional part of America, to express a great number, which it was impossible for them to name, make use of an easie kind of demonstration, taking their hair or some sand in their hands; a sort of comparisons which are frequent in holy Scri­pture. The Inhabitants of the Caribby-Islands have also their invention to supply the defect of Arithmetick; for when they are to go to the Wars, and are to be ready at their general Rendezvouz on a certain day, they take each of them one af­ter another an equal number of Pease, in their solemn Assem­bly; as for instance, thrice or four times Ten, and some certain number under Ten, if need be, according as they are resolv'd to advance their Enterprise; they put up these Pease in a little Gourd, and every morning they take out one, and cast it away, till there are none left, and then the appointed time for their departure is come, and the next day they are to be upon their march: Another way they have is this, every one of them makes so many knots on a little Cord, and every day they unty one, and when they are come to the last they make ready for the Rendezvouz: Somtimes also they take little pieces of Wood, upon which they make so many notches as they intend to spend days in their preparation; every day they cut off one of the notches, and when they come to the last, they take their march towards the place appointed.

The Captains, the Boyez, and the most ancient among them, have more understanding than the common sort, and by long experience, join'd to what they had receiv'd by tradition from their Ancestors, they have acquir'd a gross knowledge of divers Stars; whence it comes that they count the Months by Moons, and the Years by the Seven Stars, taking particular notice of that Constellation: Thus some Peruvians regulated their Years by their Harvests: Those Inhabitants of Canada who live in the Mountains observe the number of the Nights and Winters; and the Soriqueses count by Suns. But though the more judicions among the Caribbians discern the Months, and the Years, and observe the different Seasons, yet have they not any Monu­ments of Antiquity, and cannot tell how long it is since the first of their Nation left the Continent, and setled themselves in the Islands; but all the account they are able to give of it is, That neither themselves, nor their Fathers, nor their Grandfa­thers could remember any thing of it; nor can they tell what age they are of, nor give any precise account of the time when the Spaniards came into their Country, nor of several other things of that nature; for they take no notice of ought of this kind, and make no account of knowing what is done in the World.

CHAP. XIII. Of that which may be called Religion among the Caribbians.

THere is no Nation so savage, no People so barbarous, but they have some opinion and perswasion of a Divinity, said Cicero; nay, Nature her self seems to have been so indul­gentTusc. Quoest. to Mankind, as to make some impression of a Divinity in the minds of Men; for what Nation, what kind of Men are there, but have, without any previous learning it from others, a natural sentiment of the Divinity? We may with just reason admire these noble Illuminations proceeding out of the mouth of a man groping in the darkness of Paganism: But things are come to that pass now, that it will be a hard matter to make good the famous words of that incomparable Orator and Prince of Roman Eloquence: For the poor Savages of the ancient People of the Antes in Peru, and of the two Provinces of the Chirrhuanes or Cheriganes, those of most of the Countries of New-France, New-Mexico, New-Holland, Brasil, New-Nether­lands, Terra del Fuego, the Arouagues, the Inhabitants about the River Cayenna, the Islands of Robbers, and some others, if we may credit Historians, have not any kind of Religion, and do not adore any Sovereign Power.

Those also who have convers'd among the Originary Inha­bitants of the Caribby-Islands, are forc'd to acknowledge, That they have, by the violence of their brutish passions, smother'd all the apprehensions Nature had bestow'd on them of a Divi­nity; that they have rejected all the Directions and Instructi­ons which might guide them to the knowledge thereof; and consequently, that by the just judgment of God they are sur­rounded by so dreadful a night, that there is not to be seen among them either Invocation, or Ceremonies, or Sacrifices, or, in fine, any Exercise or Assembly whatsoever in order to Devotion: nay, they are so far from having any of these things, that they have not so much as a name to express the Divinity, so far are they from serving it; so that when any one would speak to them concerning God, he must use these circumlocutions; He who hath created the World, who hath made all things, who gives life and sustenance to all living Creatures, or somthing of that kind: They are accordingly so blinded and brutish, that they do not make any acknowledgment of the Lord of Nature, in that admirable work of the Universe; wherein he hath been pleas'd to represent himself in a thousand immortal colours, and make his adorable Omnipotency as it were visible to the [Page 277] eye: Thence comes it that they are deaf to the voices of an infinite number of creatures which continually preach unto them the presence of their Creator: And so they daily use the benefits of their Sovereign Master, without ever reflecting that he is the Author thereof, and making any acknowledg­ment of his goodness, who hath so liberally supplyed them therewith.

They say that the Earth is the indulgent Mother, who fur­nishes them with all things necessary to life: But their terre­strial minds are not raised to any apprehension of that Almigh­ty and all-merciful Father who fram'd the Earth, and by the continual influence of his Divinity impregnates it with the ver­tue of producing all things for the nourishment of man: If any one speak to them concerning that Divine Essence, and di­scourse with them of the mysteries of Faith, they will hearken to all that is said with much patience: But when the discourse is at an end, they answer as it were in jest, Friend thou art very elo­quent, thou art very subtle, I would I could talk as well thou dost: Nay sometimes they say as the Brasilians do, that if they should suffer themselves to be perswaded by such discourses, their Neighbours would laugh at them.

A certain Caribbian being at work on a Sunday, Monsieur du Montel relates how that he said to him, ‘Friend, he who hath made Heaven and Earth will be angry with thee for working on this day; for he hath appointed this day for his service: And I, reply'd very bluntly the Savage, am already very angry with him; for thou sayest he is the Master of the world and of the seasons: He it is therefore who hath forborn to send rain in due time, and by reason of the great drought hath caused my Manioc and my Potatoes to rot in the ground: since he hath treated me so ill, I will work on every Sunday, though 'twere purposely to vex him.’ See here a pregnant example of the brutality of this wretched people. This di­scourse is much like that of those senceless people among the Topinambous, who, when it was told them that God was the Author of the Thunder, argued, that it followed he was not good, since he took such pleasure in frighting them after that manner. But to return to the Caribbians.

Those of the same Nation who live in the Meridional Con­tinent of America, have no more Religion than the Inhabitants of the Caribbies: Some among them have a certain respect for the Sun and the Moon, and imagine that they are animated; yet do they not adore them, nor offer, nor sacrifice any thing to them: It is probable they have retain'd that veneration for those two great Luminaries from the remembrance of the Apalachites, among whom their Predecessors had sometimes sojourned. Our Islanders have not preserved any thing of that Tradition; but we shall here set down all that may be called [Page 278] Religion among them, and what bears a gross representation thereof.

They have a natural sentiment of some Divinity, or some su­perior and obliging power, which hath its residence in the Hea­vens; They say, ‘That the said power is content quietly to enjoy the delights of its own felicity, without being offended at the ill actions of men, and that it is endued with so great goodness, that it does not take any revenge even of its Ene­mies:’ whence it comes that they render it neither honour nor adoration, and that they interpret those Treasures of cle­mency, whereof it is so liberal towards them, and that long­suffering whereby it bears with them, either to weakness or the indifference it hath for the conduct of mankind.

Their perswasion therefore is, that there are two kinds of spi­ [...]its, some good, others evil: The good spirits are their Gods; [...]nd they call them in general Akamboue, which is the word used [...]y the men; and Opoyem, which is that of the Women: True [...]t is, the word Akambouè signifies simply a Spirit, and thence [...]t comes that it is also called the spirit of man; but this appel­ [...]ation they never attribute to the evil spirits: These good spi­rits, which are their Gods, are more particularly express'd by [...]he men under the word Icheiri, and by the women under [...]hat of Chemiin, which we cannot render otherwise than by that of God, and Chemiignum, the Gods: And every one speaking particularly of his God, says Icheirikou, which is the word of the men, and Nechemerakou, which is that of the women: But both men and women call the evil spirit, which is their De­vil, Mapoya, or Maboya, as all the French pronounce it; but the Caribbians in that word pronounce the B according to the Ger­man pronunciation.

They believe that there is a great number of these good Spirits, or Gods, and every one imagines that there is one of them particularly design'd for his conduct: They say there­fore, that these Gods have their abode in Heaven, but they know not what they do there, and of themselves they never propose to themselves the making of any acknowledgment of them as Creators of the world, and the things contained there­in: But only when it is said to them, that the God we adore is he who hath made Heaven and Earth, and that it is he who causeth the Earth to bring forth things for our nourishment; they answer; True, thy God hath made the Heaven and the Earth of France (or some other Country, which they name) and causes thy Wheat to grow there: But our Gods have made our Country, and cause our Manioc to grow.

It is affirmed by some, that they call their false Gods des Rio­ches; but that word is not of their Language, but is derived from the Spanish: The French affirm the same thing after the Spaniards; and if the Caribbians make use of it, they do it not [Page 279] among themselves but only among Strangers: So that from what hath been said it is apparent, that though these Barbari­ans have a natural sentiment of some Divinity, or some supe­rior Power, yet it is intermixt with so many extravagances, and involv'd in so great darkness, that it cannot be said those poor people have any knowledge of God: For the Divinities they acknowledge, and to whom they render a certain homage, are so many Devils, by whom they are seduc'd and kept in the chains of a damnable slavery, though they make a certain di­stinction between them and the evil Spirits.

They have neither Temples nor Altars particularly dedica­ted to these pretended Divinities which they acknowledge, and so they do not sacrifice to them any thing that hath had life; but they only make them offerings of Cassava, and of the first of their Fruits; and when they think they have been healed by them of some disease, they make a kind of wine or a feast in honour of them, and by way of acknowledgment, and as it were to express their gratitude, they offer them some Cassava, and Ouïcou; all these offerings are called by them Ana­cri. Their Houses being made after on oval figure, and the roof reaching to the ground, they set at one end of the Hut their Offerings in Vessels according to the nature of the thing, upon one or more Matoutous, or little Tables made of Bull-rushes and the leaves of the tree called the Latanier: Every one may make his Offerings to his God in his own House, or Cot; but when it is done in order to invocation, there must be one of the Boyez present: All these Offerings are not accompa­ny'd with any adoration, or Prayers, and they consist only in the bare presentation of those gifts.

They also invocate their false Gods when they desire their presence; but that is to be done by the interposition of the Boyez, that is to say, their Priests, or to say better, their Ma­gicians; and this they do especially upon four occasions.

  • 1. To demand revenge on some body who hath done them any mischief, and to bring some punishment upon him.
  • 2. To be healed of some disease wherewith they are trou­bled, and to know what will be the issue thereof: And when they are recovered, they make Wines, as they are called in the Islands, that is, Assemblies of rejoycing and congratulation, and debauches in honour of them, as it were by way of acknow­ledgment of their favour: And their Magicians do also per­form the office of Physitians among them, by an association of Magick and Medicine, never doing any cure, or applying any remedies but what are accompany'd by some act of super­stition.
  • 3. They consult them also to know the event of their wars.
  • [Page 280]4. Lastly, they invocate those spirits by the means of their Boyez, to obtain of them that they would drive away Maboya, or the evil Spirit: But they never invocate Maboya himself, as some have imagined.

Every Boyé hath his particular God, or rather his familiar Devil, which he invocates by the singing of certain words, ac­companied with the smoke of Tobacco, which they cause to be burnt before that Devil, as a perfume which is very delight­ful to him, and the scent whereof is able to make him ap­pear.

When the Boyez invocate their familiar Devil, it is alwaies done in the night-time, and great care must be taken that there be no light neer, nor any fire in the place where they exercise their abominations; for these spirits of darkness perfectly ab­hor all light: And when several Boyez invocate their Gods at the same time, as they speak, those Gods, or rather Devils, rail one at another, and quarrel, attributing to one another the causes of every ones evil, and they seem to fight.

These Demons shelter themselves sometimes in the bones of dead men taken out of their graves and wrapt in Cotton, and thereby give Oracles, saying it is the soul of the deceased per­son: They make use of them to bewitch their Enemies, and to that end the Sorcerers wrap up those bones together with something that belongs to their Enemy. These Devils do also sometimes enter into the bodies of Women, and speak by them: When the Boyé or Magician hath by his Charms obliged his fa­milar Spirit to appear, he bids him appear under different shapes, and those who are about the place where he exercises his damnable superstitions, say, that he clearly answers the que­stions made to him, that he foretels the event of a war or dis­ease, and after the Boyé is retired, that the Devil stirs the Vessels, and makes a noise with his jaws, as if he were eating and drinking the presents prepared for him: but the next day they find he hath not meddled with any thing: These profane offerings which have been defiled by these unhappy Spirits, are accounted so holy by the Magicians and the poor people whom they have abused, that only the most ancient and most consi­derable persons among them, have the liberty to taste of them; nay they durst not do that, unless they have that cleanness of body which they say is requisite in all those that are to be ad­mited thereto.

Assoon as these poor Savages are troubled with any sickness or pain, they believe that they are sent upon them by the Gods of some of their Enemies; and then they make their ap­plications to the Boyé, who consulting his Daemon, tells them it is the God of such a one, or such a one, who hath caus'd chose mischiefs to them: And this raises in those who consult, enmity and a desire to be revenged of those whose Gods have treated them in that manner.

[Page 281]Besides the Boyez or Magicians who are highly respected and honoured among them, they have also Sorcerers, at least they think them such, who, as they say, send charms upon them, and dangerous and fatal enchantments; and those whom they account such, they kill, if ever they light on them: 'Tis ma­ny times a plausible pretence to be rid of their Enemies.

The Caribbians are subject to some other mischiefs, which they say proceed from Maboya, and they often complain that he beats them: True it is, that some persons of worth, who have conversed a certain time among this poor people, are per­swaded that they are neither molested, nor effectually beaten by the Devil; and that all the complaints and dreadful relations they make as to that, are grounded only on this, that being of a very melancholick constitution, and having for the most part their spleens swell'd and inflam'd, they are many times subject to terrible dreams, wherein they imagine the Devil appears to them, and beats them: whereupon they start up frighted out of their wits, and when they are fully awake, they say that Maboya hath beaten them; and having the imagination thus hurt, they are perswaded that they feel the pain.

But it is manifest by the testimonies of several other persons of quality and exquisite knowledge, who have sojourned a long time in the Island of St. Vincent, which is inhabited only by the Caribbians, and such as have also seen those of the same Nation who live in the Continent of the Meridional part of America, that the Devils do effectually beat them, and that they often shew on their bodies the visible marks of the blows they had received: We are assured further by the Re­lations of divers of the French Inhabitants of Martinico, that going into the Quarter of these Savages, who live in the same Island, they have many times found them making horrid com­plaints that Maboya had immediately before their coming thi­ther treated them ill, and saying that he was Mouche fache con­tre Caraibes, mightily incens'd against▪ the Caribbians; so that they accounted the French happy, that their Maboya did not beat them.

Monsieur du Montel, who hath often been present at their as­semblies, and conversed very familiarly and a long time toge­ther with those of that Nation who inhabit in the Island of St. Vincents, as also with those of the Meridional Continent, gives this testimony upon this sad occasion: ‘Notwithstanding the ig­norance and irreligion wherein our Caribbians live, they know by experience, and fear more than death the evil Spirit, whom they call Maboya; for that dreadful Enemy doth ma­ny times appear to them under most hideous shapes: And what is particularly observable, that unmerciful and bloudy executioner, who is an insatiable murtherer from the begin­ing of the world, cruelly wounds and torments those mise­rable [Page 282] people, when they are not so forward as he would have them to engage themselves in wars; so that when they are reproached with that over-eager passion which hurries them to the shedding of mans blood, their answer is, that they are forced thereto against their wills by the Ma­boya.

But these are not the only people whom that implacable Enemy of Mankind treats as his slaves: There are several other barbarous Nations who can alwaies show on their bodies the bloudy marks of his cruelties: For it is reported, that the Brasilians shake and sweat with horrour at the remembrance of his apparitions, and many times out of the pure apprehen­sion they have of the cruel treatment they are wont to receive from him: Thence it proceeds that some of those Nations flat­ter that old Dragon, and by adorations, offerings, and sacrifi­ces, endeavour to abate his rage and appease his fury; as among others, not to mention the people of the Eastern part of the World, some of the Inhabitants of Florida and Canada: For that is the only reason they can give for the service they do him: Nay it is affirmed that the Nation of the Jews was here­tofore inclin'd to make offerings to that Devil, to be delivered out of his temptations and snares: And one of their own Au­thors cites this Proverb as used among them; Make a present to Elie eans son Thisby. Samael, on the day of expiation.

But how great soever the apprehensions which the Caribbians have of their Maboya may be, and how ill soever they may be treated by him, yet do they not honour him with any offer­ings, prayers, adorations, or sacrifices: All the remedy they use against his cruel vexations, is, the best they can, to make little Images of wood, or some other solid matter, in imitati­on of the shape under which that wicked spirit hath appeared to them: These Images they hang about their necks, and say they find ease thereby, and that Maboya does not torment them so much when they have those about them: Sometimes also in imitation of the Caribbians of the Continent, they make use of the mediation of the Boyez to appease him, and they there­upon consult their Gods, as, upon the like occasions those of the Continent have recourse to their Sorcerers, who are highly esteemed among them.

For though the Caribbians of those parts are all generally subtle enough, yet have they among them a sort of crafty companions, who to gain greater authority and reputation among the rest, make them believe that they hold a secret correspondence with the evil Spirits whom they call Maboya, as our Islanders do, whereby they are tormented, and that they learn of them things absolutely unknown to others: These Impostors are looked upon among this poor people that have no knowledge of God, as Oracles, and they consult them in [Page 283] all things, and superstitiously give credit to their Answers: This occasions irreconcileable Enmities among them, and ma­ny times Murthers; for when any one dies, his Friends and Relations are wont to consult the Sorcerer how he came to his death; if the Sorcerer answers, that such or such a one was the cause of it, they will never rest till they have dispatch'd him whom the Piais (so they call the Sorcerer in their Language) hath nam'd to them. The Caribbians of the Islands do also in this follow the custom of their Country men of the Continent, as we have represented before.

But this is most certain, and a thing which all the Savages daily acknowledg themselves by experience, That the wicked one hath no power to do them any hurt in the company of any Christians; hence it comes, that in those Islands where the Christians live jointly with the Caribbians, those wretched peo­ple being persecuted by the Adversary, make all the haste they can to the next houses of the Christians, where they find a cer­tain refuge against the violent assaults of that furious Oppres­sor.

It is also a manifest truth, confirm'd by daily experience all over America, That the holy Sacrament of Baptism being conferr'd on these Savages, the Divel never beats nor tor­ments them afterwards as long as they live.

A man would think, that this seriously consider'd, these people should earnestly desire to embrace the Christian Reli­gion, that so they might be deliver'd out of the jaws of that roar­ing Lion. True it is, that while they feel the cruel pricks in the Flesh, they wish themselves Christians, and promise to become such; but as soon as the pain is over, they laugh at Christian Re­ligion and its Baptism. The same brutish stupidity is foundDe Lery, c. 16 among the people of Brasil.

CHAP. XIV. A Continuation of that which may be called Religion among the Caribbians: Of some of their Traditi­ons; and of the Sentiment they have of the Immor­tality of the Soul.

WE have seen in the precedent Chapter how the Spirits of darkness take occasion in the night-time, by hide­ous apparitions and dreadful representations, to frighten the miserable Caribbians; and how to continue them in their Er­rors, [Page 284] and a servile fear of their pretended power, they punish them if they be not so forward as they would have them to comply with their wicked suggestions; and how they charm their Senses by Illusions and strange Imaginations, pretend­ing to the Authority of revealing to them things to come, healing them of their Diseases, revenging them of their Enemies, and delivering them out of all the dangers whereto they shall be expos'd: All this well consider'd, is it to be admir'd that these Barbarians, who knew not, nor in the least reflected on the honour which God had done them, in making a discovery of himself to them in the many delightful Creatures he hath set before their eyes, to conduct them to the light of their in­structions, should be deliver'd up to a reprobate sense, and that at this present they should be destitute of all understanding to perceive the true way of Life, and without hope, and without God in the World?

We have also represented, That what indeavours soever they might use to smother all the sentiments of Divine Justice and its Jurisdiction in their Consciences, yet hath there still remain'd in them some spark of that Knowledge, which awakens them, and raises in them from time to time divers fears and apprehen­sions of that Vengeance which their Crimes might bring upon them: But instead of lifting up their eyes to heaven, to im­plore the assistance thereof, and by confidence and amendment of life to appease the Sovereign Majesty of the true God, whom they had offended, they descend to the abysses of Hell, to invocate the Devil by the sacrilegious Superstitions of their Magicians, who after they have render'd them those fatal offi­ces, involve them, by those infamous Contracts, in the deplo­rable slavery of those cruel Tyrants.

These poor Barbarians are so transported and besotted by those furious passions, that to obtain some favour from those enemies to all goodness, and to appease those Tygers, they render them several small Services; for they not only conse­crate to them the first of their fruits, but they also devote to them the most sumptuous Tables of their Feasts; they cover them with the most delicate of their Meats, and the most de­licious of their Drinks; they consult them in their affairs of greatest importance, and are govern'd by their wicked coun­sels; they expect, in their Sickness, the Sentence of their Life or Death from those detestable Oracles, which they receive by the means of those Puppets of Cotton, wherein they wrap up the worm-eaten Bones of some wretched Carcass taken out of the Grave; and to free themselves from the weight of their blows, and divert their rage, they burn in honour of them the leaves of Tobacco; and somtimes they paint their ugly shapes in the most considerable place of their Vessels which they call Piragas, or they wear hanging about their necks a little Image [Page 285] representing some one of those cursed Spirits, in the most hide­ous posture in which they had sometime appear'd unto them, as we have hinted in the precedent Chapter.

It is also conceiv'd, That it is out of the same design of insi­nuating themselves into the favour of those Monsters, that many times they macerate their Bodies by many bloody incisions and superstitious abstinences, and that they have so great a venera­tion for the Magicians, who are the infamous Ministers of these infernal Furies, and the Executioners of their enraged Passi­ons: Yet have not these abus'd wretches any Laws determining the precise time of all these damnable Ceremonies; but the same wicked Spirit which inclines them thereto, finds them occasions enough to exercise them, either by the ill treatment they re­ceive from him, or their own curiosity to know the event of some military Enterprise, or the success of some Disease, or lastly to find out the means of revenging themselves of their Enemies.

But since those who have liv'd many years in the midst of that Nation unanimously affirm, That in their greatest distres­ses they never saw them invocate any of those Spirits, we are perswaded, that all those little Services, which fear forces from them rather then reverence or love, ought not to be account­ed a true Worship, or acts of Religion; and that we shall give those fooleries their right denomination, if we call them Super­stitions, Enchantments, Sorceries, and shameful productions of that Art which is as black as are those Spirits of darkness whom their Boyez consult: And we may conclude also, that the meat and drink which they present to those counterfeit Di­vinities, cannot be properly called Sacrifices, but express Com­pacts between the Divels and the Magicians, obliging them to appear when they call for them.

So that it is not to be thought strange, that in all these weak sentiments which most of the Caribbians have of whatever hath any appearance of Religion, they should among themselves laugh at the Ceremonies of the Christians, and think the worse of those of their Nation who express any inclination to be Ba­ptised: The surest way therefore for those whose hearts God should open to believe the holy Gospel, would be to leave their Country and Friends, and to go into some of those Islands which are inhabited only by Christians: For though they are not so superstitious as the people of the Kingdom of Calecut, who think it a horror only to touch a person of a contrary perswasion to theirs, as if they were thereby defil'd; nor yet so rigorous as they are in the Kingdom of Pegu, where when a man embra­ces the Christian Religion, the wife celebrates his Funeral as if he were dead, and erects a Tomb, at which having made her Lamentations, she is at liberty to marry again, as if she were effectually a Widow; yet he among the Caribbians who should [Page 286] embrace Christianity, would expose himself to thousands of reproaches and affronts, if he continu'd his aboad among them.

When they see the Assemblies and Service of the Christians, they are wont to say, is is pretty and divertive, but it is not the fashion of their Country; not expressing in their presence either hatred or aversion to the Ceremonies, as did the poor Savages who liv'd in the Island of Hispaniola, and the neighbouring Islands, who would not be present at the Service of the Spani­ards, much less embrace their Religion, because, as they said, they could not be perswaded that persons so wicked and so cru­el, whose unmerciful barbarism they had so much experienc'd, could have any good belief.

Some Priests and Religious men, who had been heretofore in that Country, having been over-forward in the baptizing of some before they had instructed them in that Mystery, have been the cause that that Sacrament is not in such reputation among the Caribbians as otherwise it might have been: And whereas their Godfathers and Godmothers gave them new Cloathes, and made them some other little Presents on the day of their Baptism, and treated them very sumptuously, within eight days after they had received that Sacrament they desired to receive it again, that they might have other Presents and good cheer.

Not many years since, some of those Gentlemen took into their charge a young Caribbian, their Catechumen, born in Dominico, whose name was Ya Marabouy, a Son of that Cap­tain whom the French call the Baron, and the Indians Orachora Caramiana, out of a design to shew him one of the greatest and most magnificent Cities in the World, which was Paris; they brought him over-Sea, and after they had shewn him all the Ra­rities of that great City, he was baptiz'd there with great so­lemnity, in the presence of many Persons of Honour, and na­med Lewis: Having sojourn'd a while in those Parts, he was sent back into his own Country, loaden indeed with Presents, but as much a Christian as when he came out of it, because he had not been fully instructed in the Mysteries of Christian Re­ligion: As soon as he had set foot in his own Island he laugh'd at all he had seen, as if it had been but a May-game, and saying the Christians were an extravagant sort of people, he return'd into the Company of the other Savages, put off his Cloathes, and painted his Body over with Roucou, as he had done before.

To shew the inconstancy and lightness of the Caribbians in the Christian Religion, when they have once embrac'd it, there is a Story, how that while M. Auber was Governour of Garde­loupe he was often visited by a Savage of Dominico, who had liv'd a long time at Sevil in Spain, where he had been baptiz'd; but being return'd into his Island, though he made as many Signs of the Cross as one would desire, and wore a great pair [Page 287] of Beads about his Neck, yet he liv'd like a Savage, went na­ked among his own people, and retain'd nothing of what he had seen and been taught at Sevil, save that he put on an old Spanish Habit, the more to ingratiate himself when he came to visit the Governour.

They have a very ancient Tradition among them, which shews that their Ancestors had some knowledg of a Superior Power which took a care of their Persons, and whose favou­rable assistance they were sensible of; but this Light their bru­tish Children have suffer'd to be extinguish'd, and through their ignorance never reflected on it: They say then, That their Ancestors were poor Savages, living like Beasts in the midst of the Woods, without Houses or places where they might re­treat, living on the Herbs and Fruits which the Earth produc'd of it self without manuring; whilst they were in this misera­ble condition, an old man among them, extreamly weary of that brutish kind of life, wept most bitterly, and, orewhelm'd with despair, deplor'd his wretched condition; whereupon a Man all in white appear'd to him descending from Heaven, and coming neer, he comforted the disconsolate old man, telling him, That he was come to assist him and his Countrymen, and to shew them the way to lead a more pleasant life for the fu­ture; That if any one of them had sooner made his complaints to Heaven, they had been sooner relieved; That on the Sea­shore there was abundance of sharp Stones, wherewith they might [...]ll down Trees to make Houses for themselves; And, That the Palm and Plantine Trees bore Leaves fit to cover the Roofs of them, and to secure them against the injuries of the Weather; That to assure them of the particular care he had of them, and the great affection he bore their species, beyond those of other Creatures, he had brought them an excellent Root, wherewith they might make Bread, and that no Beast should dare to touch it when it was once planted; and that he would have them thence-forward make that their ordinary su­stenance: The Caribbians add further, That thereupon the charitable unknown person broke a stick he had in his hand in­to three or four pieces, and that giving to the old man, he com­manded him to put them into the ground, assuring him that when he should come a while after to dig there, he should find a great Root; and that any part of what grew above-ground, should have the virtue of producing the same Plant: he after­wards taught him how it was to be used, telling him the Root was to be scraped with a rough and spotted Stone, which was to be had at the Sea-side; that the juice issuing by means of that scraping, was to be laid aside as a most dangerous poison; and then with the help of fire a kind of savory Bread might be made of it, on which they might live pleasantly enough. The old man did what had been enjoin'd him, and at the end of nine [Page 288] Moons (as they say) being extreamly desirous to know the suc­cess of the Revelation, he went to see the pieces he had plant­ed in the ground, and he found that each of them had produ­ced many fair and great roots, which he disposed of as he had been commanded: Those of Dominico who tell this story, say further, that if the old man had visited the pieces at the end of three days, instead of nine months, he would have found the roots grown to the same bigness, and that they had been pro­duc'd in that time: But in regard he went not to look what became of them, till after the expiration of so long a time, the Manioc continues to this present all that time in the ground, before it be fit to make Cassava of.

This is all we could get from the Caribbian Tradition, and we conceiv'd it might well be set here at length, since it is the only one that is related among this ignorant people, who trou­ble themselves not to know the Name and Quality of that kind and heavenly Benefactor who hath obliged them so much, nor to render him any acknowledgment or honour: The Pagans were much more grateful in honouring Ceres, from whom they said they received Corn, and the invention of making bread: And the Peruvians, though they knew not the great Pachaca­mac, that is, him whom they held to be the soul of the Universe, and the Sovereign Author of their lives and all they had, yet did they adore him in their hearts with much respect and vene­ration, and rendring him externally by their gestures and words great expressions of their submission and humility, as to the unknown God.

The Caribbians believe they have every one of them so ma­ny souls as they feel beatings of Arteries in their bodies, be­sides that of the heart: Now of all these souls the principal, as they say, is in the heart, and after death it goes to Heaven with its Icheiri, or its Chemiin, that is, with its God, who carries it thither to live there in the company of the other Gods: And they imagine that it lives the same kind of life as man lives here below: Thence it comes that to this day they kill slaves on the Tomb of the dead, if they can meet with any that had been in the service of the deceased, to go and wait upon him in the other world: For it is to be observed, that they do not think the Soul to be so far immaterial as to be invisible; but they affirm it to be subtile, and of thin substance as a purified body; and they have but the same word to signifie heart and soul.

As for the other souls, which are not in the heart, they believe some go after death and live on the Sea-side, and that they cause Vessels to turn: They call them Oumekou; the others, as they conceive, go and live in the Woods and Forests, and they call them Maboyas.

Though most of this poor people believe the immortality [Page 289] of the soul, as we have represented it, yet they speak so con­fusedly, and with so much uncertainty of the state of the soul separated from the body, that we should sooner have done to say they were absolutely ignorant thereof, than set down their extravagant Relations. Some affirm, that the most valiant of their Nation are carried after their death into certain Fortu­nate Islands, where they have all things at their wish, and that the Arouagues are there their slaves; that they swim unwearied in great Rivers; that they live deliciously, and spend the time in dancing, playing, and feasting, in a land which produces in abundance all sorts of excellent fruits without any cultiva­tion: On the contrary they hold, that those who were cowardly & afraid to go to the wars against their▪ Enemies, do after death serve the Arouagues, who inhabite barren and desart Countries beyond the Mountains: But others who are more brutish ne­ver trouble themselves about their condition after death, nor ever think or speak of it: And if any question be put to them concerning it, they know not what answer to make.

Yet they have all had heretofore a certain belief of the im­mortality of the Soul, but after a very gross manner, as may be deduc'd from the Ceremonies of their Interrments, and the prayers they make to the dead, that they would return to life, as we shall represent more at large in the last Chapter of this History; as also from this, that the most polite among them are at present of that perswasion, that after death they shall go to Heaven, to which place they say their Ancestors are gone before them; but they never enquire after the way they are to take to attain that happy abode. Accordingly, when their Boyez, who also act the part of Physitians, despair of curing their diseases, and that the Devils have foretold by their mouths that there is no further hopes of life, they give them this com­fort, that their Gods will conduct them to Heaven, where they shall live at ease without any fear of sickness.

The belief of the Calecutians as to this Article is worse thanPirard's Travels part 1. c. 27. that of our Caribbians, and their transmigration is an extrava­gant kind of immortality: For they believe that their souls at the departure out of their bodies are lodg'd in those of wild Oxen, or some other beast. The Brasilians are in this point more rational; for they conceive that the souls of the wicked go after death to the Devil, who beats and torments them, but that the souls of the just are entertain'd with dancing and good cheer in delightful plains beyond the Mountains: And it isDe Lery, c. 16 pleasant to think that most of the Savages of America place the sovereign felicity of the other life in dancing.

The Resurrection of the body is by the Caribbians account­ed a pure foolery; their Theology is too obscure to receive soGarcilasso, l. 2. c. 7. De Laet, l. 5. c. 7. great an illumination: We may therefore well wonder at a small glimpse of this sacred truth in the poor Virginians, since it is [Page 290] a point wherein the ancient Pagans saw as little as our Caribbi­ans: There is also a small spark of it among the Indians of Pe­ru, as most Authors affirm.

But though the Caribbians have so little knowledge and fear of God, as we have represented, yet are they extreamly afraid of his voice, that is Thunder; that dreadful voice which makes such a stir in the clouds, which is attended by such flames of fire, which shakes the foundations of the Mountains, and makes the Neroes and Caligulaes of this world to tremble: Our Sava­ges therefore assoon as they perceive the approaches of the Tempest, which commonly comes along with that voice, make all the haste they can to their little houses, and sit down on low stools about the fire, covering their faces and resting their heads on their hands and knees; and in that posture they fall a weeping, and say in their Gibberish, Maboya mouche fache contre Caraibe, that is, Maboya is very angry with them: and they say the same when there happens a Hurricane: They give not over that la­menting exercise, till the Hurricane is quite over; and they are extreamly astonish'd, that the Christians should express so so little affliction and fear upon those occasions. Thus the Grand Tartars are mightily afraid of Thunder, and when theyRubriques in his Tra­vels into Tartary. hear it, they drive all strangers out of their houses, and wrap themselves up in Garments of coarse cloth, which they put not off till the noise be over: And divers other barbarous Na­tions are no less frighted than the Caribbians upon the like occa­sions: Nay it is reported that the Peruvians, the Cumaneses, the Chineses, and the Moluckeses imitate them in lamentations and frights, when there happens an Eclipse.

Yet is it true, that since the Caribbians have conversed fami­liarly with the Christians, some of them are grown so resolute as not to be afraid of the Thunder: for some have been seen to laugh when it thundred most, and others counterfeited the noise, pronouncing a word which is not easily written, and whereof the sound comes somewhat neer these letters, Trtrque­tenni: But it is very certain withall, that they do their natu­ral inclination a great violence when they pretend that they are not afraid of the Thunder, and it is pure vanity which eggs them on to personate that confidence, to perswade those who see them, that upon those emergencies their generosity is as great as that of the Christians: For some of the French In­habitants of Martinico who have surpriz'd them in their Quar­ters when it thundred and lightned, affirm that they found the most resolute among them shivering with fear in their poor Huts.

Now this trouble and these disturbances which they discover at the hearing of that coelestial voice, are they not a visible effect of the sentiment they have of an infinite and sovereign Power, imprinted by Nature on the minds of all men, and a pregnant [Page 291] proof, that though these wretches endeavour all they can to smother the stings of their Consciences, yet can they not do it so fully but that they prick and torment them, though against their wills? And is not this enough to make good the saying of Cicero, at the begining of the precedent Chapter? For though all men do not in words acknowledge that Divinity, yet are they convinc'd in themselves, by a secret but irresista­ble hand, which writes this first of all Truths in their hearts with the point of a Diamond: So that to conclude, we shall say with that great man, whose words will put an excellent pe­riod to this discourse, as they have begun it, That it is innate,De Nat. De­or. lib. 2▪ and as it were graven in the minds of men, that there is a Divinity.

CHAP. XV. Of the Habitations and House-keeping of the Caribbians.

HIstorians relate, that heretofore some of the ancient Inha­bitantsGarcil. Com. Royal, l. 2. c. 12. & l. 6. c. 11. of Peru liv'd scattered up and down the Moun­tains and Plains, like savage beasts, having neither Villages nor Houses; That others made their retreat into Caves, and de­sart and solitary places; and others took up their quarters in ditches and hollow trees: But the Caribbians at the present are in a condition much different from this savage and brutish kind of life: True it is we shall find it no great task to give a description of their Habitations, for they are at no great trou­ble about the architecture of them; for they require only a tree and a hedge-bill to build themselves a lodging.

Their Habitations are somewhat neer one to another, and dispos'd at certain distances, after the manner of a Village; and for the most part they plant themselves upon some little ascent, that so they may have better air, and secure themselves against those pestilent Flies which we have elsewhere called Mesquitos and Maringoins, which are extreamly troublesome, and whereof the stinging is dangerous in those parts where there is but little wind stirring: The same reason it is that ob­liges the Floridians, beyond the Bay of Carlos and Tortugues, to lodge themselves for the most part at the entrance of the Sea, in Huts built on Piles or Pillars: The Inhabitants of the Ca­ribbies are also desirous to be somewhat neer Springs, Brooks, and Rivers, because of their washing of themselves every morn­ing before they put the red paint on their bodies.

Among us, and several other Nations of this part of the world, the Architects break their brains in studying to make [Page 292] such strong and sumptuous Edifices, as if they would have their duration to be equal with that of the world: The Chi­neses, at the late coming of the Christians among them, expres­sedTrigaut's History of China, c. 4. a certain astonishment thereat, and charged us with Vani­ty: For their parts they measure the continuance of their Houses by that of their short lives: But our Savages of the Ca­ribbies are willing to abate much of that term, and order their structures so as that they are oblig'd to build often in their lives: Their little Huts are made in an oval form, of pieces of wood planted in the ground, over which they put a Roof of Plantane-leaves or Sugar-canes, or some herbs which they can so dispose and intermix one among another, that under that covering which reaches to the ground, they are secured against rain and all injuries of the weather: And this Roof, as weak as it seems to be, makes a shift to last three or four years, without being much the worse, unless there happens to be a Hurricane: Pliny affirms, that some Northerly people made use of ReedsL. 16. c. 38. for the covering of their houses; and they are used to this day in the Low-Countries, France, and other parts: The Cari­bians do also make use of small Reeds fasten'd across for the Pa­lisadoes, which are instead of walls to their Habitations; under every covering they have as many partitions made as they would have Rooms: A simple piece of Mat does among them the office of our doors, bolts, and locks: There's nothing above their heads but the roof it self, and under their feet on­ly the bare earth; but they are so careful in keeping of it clean, that they sweep it as often as they see the least filth upon it: This they observe in their private houses; for commonly their Carbet, or publick house, where they meet upon some rejoicing account, is not kept over-clean, insomuch that many times the place is full of Chegoes.

Besides the little room where they take their rest, and enter­tain their friends, every considerable family hath two other little rooms: One serves for a Kitchin, and the other for a kind of Store-house, where they put up their Bows, their Ar­rows, and their Boutous, which are Clubs of a heavy and smooth wood, which they use in their wars instead of swords, when they have spent all their Arrows: There they also put up their Baskets, their supernumerary beds, with all the toys and ornaments they make use of at publick meetings and upon days of Triumph: All that trumpery they call by the name of Caconnes.

As to furniture, our Savages have only a kind of hanging beds, which they call Amais, which are as it were great Co­verlets made of Cotton, very nearly woven, and folded toge­ther at both ends, that they may join the two corners of the bredth: Then they fasten the Amais by the two folded ends, to the principal pillars of their Edifice: Those who have no [Page 293] Cotton-beds, make use of another kind of Bed, which is called Cabane; and this is made of several small sticks laid across, on which they put a good quantity of Banana-leaves; this Cabane is hung up and sustain'd by the four corners with great cords of Mahot: They have also little Stools or Chairs made all of a piece, of a red or yellow Wood, and as smooth as Marble: There are also some among them who have little Tables, which have four wooden Pillars, and those cover'd with the leaves of that kind of Palm which is called the Latanier.

Their Vessels, as well of the Kitchin as others, are all of Earth, as those of the Maldiveses; or of certain Fruits like our Gourds, but which have a thicker and harder rind, cut after divers figures, and made smooth and painted as well as they are able to do it: of these they make such Vessels as serve instead of Platters, Porringers, Basins, Trenchers, Drinking-cups, and Dishes: All these Vessels made of Fruits, they call Cois or Couis; and it is the same name which the Brasilians give theirs made of the same materials: Their earthen Vessels they make use of as we do of our Kettles and Cauldrons; among others they have one kind which they call Canary; of these Canarys there are some very large, others little; the little ones serve on­ly for the making of sawces or haut-gousts, which they call Taumalis; but the great ones are employ'd about the making of that kind of Drink which they call Oui [...]ou: The Caribbians of Martinico do often bring some of these little Canarys to the Quarter of the French, who give them in exchange certain Ca­eonnes, that is, some toys or other, wherewith they are pleas'd: Those little Vessels are the more esteem'd, because they are not so easily broken as our earthen Pots: These Vessels which we have described, as wretched as they are, are preserv'd by them with as much curiosity and care as can be imagined.

The Caribbians have also, at a pretty distance from their houses, a place for the easing of their natural necessities, to which when they have need they resort, carrying along with them a sharp stiok, wherewith they make a hole in the ground, into which having put their Ordure, they afterwards cover it with earth; so that there is never any thing of that kind seen among them: We take the more particular notice of this Cu­stom of theirs, because it is consonant to what was done by the Army of Israel as long as they were in the Field: To the sameDeut. c. 13. Busbequius in his Em­bassies, l. 3. Ctesias. may also be referred the Custom of the Turks, who in that case make a pit with a piece of Iron to cover their Excrements, which keeps their Camp very clean when they are in the Field. An ancient Author affirms, that in the East-Indies a certain Bird named Iusta does somwhat of this kind, burying its own Ordure so as that it may not be seen; but this smells too much of the Fable to be credited. The Tartars, as some affirm, willCarpin's Travels into Tartary. not so much as make water within the inclosures of their Habi­tations, as accounting it a sin.

[Page 294]But to return to our Savages: There are to be seen within the inclosures of their houses a great number of Poultry and Turkeys, which they breed not so much for their own Tables, as to make Presents to their Friends the Christians who come to visit them, or to be exchang'd for Hedg-bills, Wedges, Hoes, and other Instruments of Iron which they stand in need of.

They have also about their habitations good store of Orange-Trees, Citron-Trees, Guavas, Fig-Trees, Bananas, and other Fruit-Trees; many of those little Trees which bear the Pyman, and the Shrubs and Simples whereof they have any acquain­tance, to be us'd when they have any need of them; and with these their little Gardens are bordered; but within they are full of Manioc, Potatoes, and several sorts of Pulse, as Pease of di­vers kinds, Beans, Mais, small Millet, and some others: They have also Melons of all sorts, excellent Citruls, and a kind of Cabbage called the Caribbian-Cabbage, which are of a very delicious taste: But they bestow their greatest pains about the culture of the Ananas, which they prefer before all other Fruits.

But though they have no Villages, nor movable Houses, such as may be remov'd from one place to another, as is reported of the Bedovins a poor people of Aegypt, certain Moors inhabitants on the South-side of Tunis in Africa, and certain Nations of Great-Tartary; yet do they often change their Habitations, as the humour takes them; for as soon as they take the least dis­gust to their Habitations, they immediately transplant them­selves to some other place; and this is done of a sudden, and without desiring any permission of the Cacick, as the ancient Peruvians were oblig'd to do of their King upon such occasions.

Among the occasions of this change of habitation among the Caribbians of the Islands, one is a perswasion that they shall have their health better in some other place; the same cause occasions many times a removal of house-keeping among the Brasilians: Sometimes it is caus'd by some nastiness done in their Habitations, for which they conceive a certain horrour; and somtimes the death of one of the house, which causing in them an apprehension of going the same way, obliges them to take up their Quarters in some other place, as if death could not as easily meet with them there; but this foolish apprehension is much more prevalent with the Caribbians of the Continent, who upon such occasions will be sure to burn their habitations, and march to some other place: This pleasant Superstition is observable also among the Indians of the Island of Corassao, though those poor people have receiv'd Baptism; for Mons. du Montel relates, That being in the great Village of those Indians named the Ascension, and having observed in two or three pla­ces some houses without any Inhabitants, though they were not [Page 295] deficient in ought, and others quite ruined, he asked how those houses came to be so; whereto the Cacick, or Captain, made answer, That it was because some persons had dy'd in those pla­ces. The ancient Peruvians put themselves to the trouble of such a removal, if their habitations receiv'd any prejudice by Thunder; for then they conceiv'd such an abomination there­at, that they made up the doors thereof with stones and dirt, that no body might ever enter there any more.

It is reported, That heretofore the men of the Province of Quito in Peru thought it no shame to employ themselves in all things relating to house-keeping, while their Wives went abroad walking at their pleasures: And the ancient Aegyptians did the like, if we may credit Herodotus: And we are to acknowledg,Lib. 2. that the employment of dressing Meat in the Kitchen was ac­counted honourable in ancient Greece; for honest Homer inLib. 9. his Iliad represents Achilles making a Hash, and spitting the Meat, and all his Courtiers busie in the Kitchen for the enter­tainment of the Embassadors of Agamemnon: And as to Fish, it hath always had this priviledge, that Persons of Quality have thought it no disparagement to have a finger in the ordering of it.

But among the Caribbians the men think all these employ­ments below and unbefitting them; they for the most part spend the time abroad, but their Wives keep at home, and do all that is requisite about the house: True it is, the men fell down Timber for the building of their Houses, and when they are built it is their business to keep them in repair; but the women take care for all things necessary for the subsistence of the Fami­ly: The men go a hunting and a fishing, as we shall declare more at large elswhere; but the women fetch home the Veni­son from the place where it was kill'd, and the Fish from the Water-side: It is the womens work, in fine, to get in Manioc, to prepare the Cassava, and the Ouïcou, which is their ordinary Drink, to dress all the Meat, to set the Gardens, and to keep the house clean, and all the houshold-stuff in good order; not not to mention the pains they take in painting their Husbands with Roucou, and spinning Cotton for the use of the Family: so that they are continually employ'd, and their work is never at an end, while their Husbands divert themselves abroad; and so they are rather to be accounted Slaves then Companions.

In the Islands of S. Vincent and Dominico there are some Ca­ribbians who have many Negroes to their Slaves, as the Spani­ards and some other Nations have; some of them they got from the English Plantations, and some from Spanish Ships here­tofore cast away on their Coasts; and they call them Tamons, that is, Slaves: They are so well ordered, that they serve them in all things about which they are employ'd with as much obe­dience, readiness, and respect, as if they were the most civiliz'd people in the World.

[Page 296]Now that we are treating of the Houses and Housekeeping of the Caribbians, some might take occasion to ask, Whether, as we have the use of Lamps, Candles, and Torches, they do not also make use of some light, and some artifice in the night-time, to supply the want of the days light? True it is, they have learnt of the Christians to make use of the Oil of Fishes, and to put Cotton into Lamps, to light them in the night-time; but most of them have no other light in the night than a kind of wood very apt to take fire, which they have ready in the house for that purpose, whence we call it Candle-wood; it is full of an unctuous Gum, which makes it burn like a Candle, and being once lighted, it gives a sweet scent: In like manner the Inhabi­tants of Madagascar, instead of Candles and Torches, in the night time make use of certain Gums which easily take fire, and they put them into earthen Creusets, where they make a delightful and sweet smelling Fire: And if the Fire chance to go out among the Caribbians, they have the secret of supplying that want by rubbing two pieces of Mahot one against the other, and by that collision they take fire, and in a short time burn into a clear flame: Thus the Brasilians, insteed of a Steel andDe Lery, c. 19. Stone, the use whereof they have not, make use of two several kinds of Wood, whereof one is almost as tender as if it were half rotten, and the other, on the contrary, very hard; and by that friction and agitation the fire takes in the former: The same thing is affirm'd of some sorts of Canes, which may be seen in the Cabinets of the Curious.

Those who have sail'd to the mouth of the River of the Amazones relate, that they there saw some Indians strike fire with two sticks, but after a manner different from that of our Caribbians; for in that part of the World they have also two pieces of Wood, one soft, which they make flat and even like a Busk, and the other very hard, like a stick sharpened at the end, which they thrust into the soft, which they keep close to the ground under their feet; and they turn the other with both hands so swiftly, that at last the fire takes in that below, and sets it of a flame: And whereas it many times happens one person may be weary of that exercise, another immediately takes the stick in hand, and turns it with the same swiftness, till they have got fire. Some may imagine, that these ways of lighting fire are modern; but there are some marks thereof in Antiquity, as may be seen in Theophrastus. History of Plants, 1. 7. c. 10.

CHAP. XVI. Of the ordinary Repasts of the Caribbians.

MOst of those people who have the denomination of Sa­vages and Barbarians are gluttonous and beastly in their Repasts: The Brasilians eat and drink excessively, nastily, andDe Lery, c. 9. at all hours, nay they rise many times in the night to that em­ployment: The Canadians are such gluttons, that they eat tillRelation of New-France. they are ready to burst; nay they are so ravenous, that they will not lose so much as the skimmings of the Pot: They are ne­ver seen either to wash their hands, or the meat they eat: They have no other napkins than the hair of their own heads, or that of their dogs, or the first thing they meet with: The Grand-Tartars do the like: They never wash their Dishes or Kettles,Rubriques & Carpin. but with the pottage made in them, and are so nasty that what they do is not be related: The other Tartars come not muchBusbequius, Des Hayes, & Bergeron short of them in nastiness and gluttony, using their hands in­stead of spoons to take up their pottage, and eating the flesh of dead horses, without any other dressing than setting of it an hour or two between their saddles and horses-backs. In likeVin. leBlanc. & Garci­lasso. manner (to make an end of these slovenly instances) the Inha­bitants of Guinny, those of the Cape of Good Hope, and certain other Savages eat raw and stinking flesh, together with the hair and feathers, guts and garbage, like so many dogs: But we are to give our Caribbians this commendation, that they are temperate and cleanly in their ordinary Repasts, as well as those of the Continent, though some among them deserve not this elogy, as there is no rule so general but may have some ex­ception. Monsieur du Montel, a worthy and faithful witness, gives this testimony of sobriety and cleanliness to those whom he had seen at St. Vincents and elsewhere: But as we said be­fore, they are not all such; for those who have seen them at Dominico give them not the same Character.

This people eat many times together in a publick house, as we shall see more particularly hereafter, either upon the ac­count of divertisement and to be more than ordinarily merry, or to discourse concerning their wars and common affairs, as the Lacedaemonians were heretofore wont to do: The women, according to the custome of some other barbarous Countries, eat not till their husbands have done, and they have no set time for their Repasts: Their stomacks are their Clocks and Re­membrancers: They so patiently endure hunger, that after they are returned from fishing they will have the patience to broil their fish over a soft fire on a wooden frame made like a [Page 298] Gridiron, about two foot high, under which they kindle so small a fire, that sometimes it requires a whole day to make ready their fish as they would have it: Some of the French affirm, that have eaten some of their dressing, they have lik'd it very well: It is observable generally in all their meat, that they dress all with a very gentle fire.

They commonly eat sitting on low stools, and every one hath his little table by himself, which they call Matoutou, as Tacitus affirms, that it was practised among the ancient Germans, and as it is reported at this day to be done in Japan: Sometimes also they eat their meat on the ground, kneeling round one by another: For Table-cloths, they have no linnen, as we have, nor skins, as the Canadians; nor Mats as the Maldiveses, nor Carpets as the Turks and some other Nations, but fair and large Banana-leaves newly gathered, which are very fit for Table­cloths, being so large as we have represented elsewhere: the same serve also for Napkins, and they wipe their hands there with: They are alwaies very careful to wash their hands before meals: And when they are about the dressing of any meat, they never touch any thing that is to be eaten, ere they make their hands clean: In fine, in all their ordinary Repasts, their sobriety and cleanliness is so observable as can hardly be imagined among Savages.

We have said elsewhere that their ordinary bread is a thin Cake which they call Cassava, made of the Manioc-root: Other Writers have set down the manner how it is made; yet that our History may not be thought imperfect, we shall here give a de­scription of the composition thereof: The root, though it be sometimes about the bigness of a mans thigh, is easily got out of the ground: Assoon as it is taken out it is scraped with a knife to take off a little hard skin which covers it, and then it is scraped or filed with with a Rasp or flat File of Iron or Cop­per, of a good bigness; and they press the meal which comes from it in a linnen bag, or in a long kind of pokes, which they call in the Islands, Snakes, neatly woven of Rushes or Latanier leaves by the Caribbians, that the juice may be squeezed out of it: The Savages before they knew the use of those Rasps, made use instead thereof, of certain hard and sharp stones which are to be found on the sea-shore: They are somewhat like our Pumice-stones: When the moisture of the Manioc is got out, the meal is sifted through a coarse cloth, and without mixing it with any liquor, it is put upon an Iron Plate, or Plank, and sometimes on a broad stone, under which there is fire; when it is baked on one side, they turn it on the other; and when it is fully baked, it is exposed to the Sun to make it har­der, that it may keep the better: It is commonly made no thicker than a mans little finger, and sometimes thinner, ac­cording to the fancy of the Inhabitants: It will keep many [Page 299] months; but it eats best after a day or two making; there are some who would rather eat of it than of our ordinary bread: And the greatest miracle is, that of a root so dange­rous of it self people should by artifice get so excellent nou­rishment: Thus the Moors drying a kind of poisonous Apri­cocks which grow in their Country, in the Sun, and after­wards boiling them over a fire, make a certain drink thereof, which is pleasant and may be drunk without any danger.

But the Cassava which the Caribbians make is very delicate; for they have so much patience to go through with any thing they undertake, that they do better than the French, who are so hasty, that they would make an end of any thing assoon as they have begun it: But the Caribbians go leasurely to work, and never consider the time spent, so the business be done to their minds.

And whereas some Europaeans who have used Cassava, com­plain that it is no good nourishment, that it injures the sto­mack, corrupts the blood, changes the colour, weakens the nerves, and dries the body; it is to be considered, that as cu­stom is a second nature, so that many things, though bad in themselves, do not prejudice health when one is accustomed thereto; so on the contrary, those which are good and inno­cent, nay the best of their own nature, if a man be not accu­stomed thereto, are many times prejudicial and hurtful: To confirm this truth, it is to be attributed to want of custom, what is related by some Historians of certain Brasilians, who being shut up with the Dutch in St. Margarets Fort, could not brook the bread and other provisions distributed to them as Soldiers, and on which it was necessary they should subsist, and complained that they made them sick, and were the occasions of their death: To this purpose there is a remarkable passage in the Travels of Monsieur des Hayes into the Levant; to wit that the said person entertaining some Tartars at his Table, who knew not what bread was, caused them to eat some; for within two hours after, they thought they should have dyed when the bread they had eaten began to swell, and to cause them great pains.

There is another kind of bread among the Caribbians made of the Spanish wheat which they call Mais: The English Inha­bitants of the Barmouthos use no other: There are some also who instead of bread eat the root called Potatoe, whereof we have given a description elsewhere.

As concerning the other provisions used by the Caribbians, their most ordinary dishes, and which are used also by the Ca­ribbians of the Continent, are Lizards, Fish of all sorts, Tortoi­ses only excepted; and Pulse, as Pease, Beans, &c. but their ordinary food (contrary to the Inhabitants of Madagascar, who have a horrour for that kind of sustenance) is Crabs, got very [Page 300] clean out of their shells, and fryed with their own fat, juice of Citron, and Pyman, which they are great lovers of, and which they put abundantly into all their sawces: And yet when they entertain the French, or other Europaeans, they are not so pro­digal thereof, and then they accomodate themselves to their palates, out of a compliance and discretion, which argues them to be somewhat better than Savages. They call the in­ner part of the Crab Taumaly; and of that it is they make their ordinary Ragoust with water, the fine flower of Manioc, and good store of Pyman. In the last course they bring in fruits as we do; and ordinarily they content themselves with Figs, Bananas, or Ananas: If they eat flesh or any thing that is salt­ed, it is only out of compliance with strangers, to avoid being troublesome to those who entertain them, and so they accom­modate themselves to their humours who come to visit them; for then they order most of their meat to please them: And to this must be referred what we have said concerning their not eating of salt, Swines-flesh, Tortoises, and Lamantin.

True it is, there are among this people certain men extreamly slothful and melancholy, who lead a wretched kind of life: For they live only upon Burgaus, Shell-fish, Crabbes, Soldier [...] and such like Insects: They never eat any Pottage, nor Flesh, un­less it be that of certain birds which they broil on the coals with their Feathers about them, and their Guts within them; and all the Sawce they use consists of the water of Manioc (which be­ing boiled loses its venemous quality) fine flower of the same Manioc, and good store of Pyman.

Sometimes they have a detestable kind of seasoning for their meats, and that is the fat of the Arouagues their irreconcileable Enemies: But this hath no place in their ordinary Repasts, as be­ing used only on solemn days of debauches and rejoicing.

As to their drink, as they do in several parts of America, the same grains of Mais which serve to make bread, are used for the composition of a Drink which is accounted as good as Wine; and as among us the Wheat which makes Bread will also make Beer; so in these Islands, of the Roots of Potatoes and Manioc, which serve to make Bread, there are made two seve­ral sorts of Drinks, which are ordinary in the Country: The former and most common, which is made of Potatoes boiled with water, is called Maby: It is excellent good to refresh and quench thirst, and it hath also an appetitive vertue, which cau­ses an evacuation of the sandiness, and all the viscosities of the lower parts: Whence it comes, that those who make use of that Drink, never complain of the Stone or Gravel: The other Drink is called Ouïcon (from a name coming neer the Caouin of the Brasilians) and is made of the Cassava it self, boiled in like manner with water: It is strained through a coarse cloth, which the Savages call Hibichet: This Drink is more ex­cellent [Page 301] than the Maby and differs not much from Beer, either as to colour o [...] strength: The Indians make it very pleasant, but [...] withall▪ that much drunk it into [...]cates, as [...] They make it of Cassava well and throughly bak [...] on the plan [...] then chew [...]d by the Women, and put into Vessel [...] full of Water▪ or, after it hath been infus'd, and boil­ed for [...] the space of two days by its own vertue, with­ [...] fire, as new Wine does, the infusion is strain'd through the coarse or [...]; and the juice which is gotten from it by that [...] being kept two daies more, is ready for drink­ing▪ [...] [...]a [...]e this composition boil the better they put into the Vessel two or three Roots of Potatoes, scraped very small. It must indeed be acknowledged that this custom which the Savages observe in [...]wing the Cassava before it be put into the Vessel, is enough to turn the stomachs of some; but it is most certain withall, that the Drink made after that manner is in­comparably better than that which is made otherwise.

The Ouicou is also made after another manner, without the Roo [...]e of Potatoes▪ which is this; after the Cassava is taken off the Plank, [...] laid somewhere about the house and cover­ed with the leaves of Manioc, and some heavy stones laid thereon to set it into a heat; and this is done for the space of three or four days: That done, it is broken into several pieces which are spread on Banana-leaves, and then they are lightly sp [...]inkled with water, and so left: When the Cassava hath re­mained so for the space of one night, it becomes all red: and then it is good to make Ouicou, and will make its water boil with out the Roots of Potatoes.

Besides these two sorts of Drinks which are the most ordina­ry in the Caribbies, there are also made in divers places seve­ral sorts of delicious▪ Wines: The Negroes, who are slaves in these Islands, make incisions in the prickly Palms, out of which there distils a certain liquor like White-wine, which they ga­ther in several little Gourds fasten'd to the overtures of those trees, whereof each will yield two pints every day, and some­times more: The most ancient Authors assure us, that among the East-Indians, the Wine of Palms was very much in use, as indeed it is at this day: It is also used in some parts of Africk, as at Mo­nomotapa.

Moreover there is in the Caribbies another kind of Drink made of Bananas, which is also in other parts, and by some cal­led Couscou: But in regard this sort of Wine, though very pleasant and strong, causes great ventosities, it is not much used.

To conclude, there is made in these Islands an excellent kind of Wine of those precious Reeds out of which the Sugar is gotten: And this is the most esteemed Drink of any made in the Caribbies: It is called by some Cane-wine, and there is a [Page 302] particular secret in the making of it: There is more made at S. Christophers then any where else, by reason of the abundance of Canes planted there: The juice of these Canes is got out by a Mill made purposely for that use; afterwards it is purified by fire in great Caldrons: It may be kept a long time in its perfe­ction, and it hath a sweetness, and withal a certain picquancy, which might make it pass for Sack. Of the same Canes there is also made a certain Aquavitae called Cane-Aquavitae, which keeps better then the Wine of those same Reeds.

There is not any thing in the substance of these ordinary Re­pasts of our Caribbians, which seem to savour of the Savage, unless it be haply the Lizards; But why may not they be as good Meat as the Frogs and Snails eaten in some parts of France? And who knows not that in Spain they eat abundance of young Asses? Nay, compare the sustenance of our Caribbi­ans with that of the Canadians, who, besides the skimmings of the Pot, which we said they eat, do commonly drink filthy and nasty grease, and prefer the flesh of Bears before any other; with that of the Inhabitants of the Island of Good-fortune, one of the Canaries, who eat abundance of Suet; with that of the Tartars, the Persians, the Chineses, the Huancas, a Nation of Peru, of the Negroes of Angola, who commonly live on the flesh of Horses, Cammels, Mules, Wolves, Foxes, Asses, Dogs, and drink the Blood of those Creatures; with that of the East-Indians, who think the Flesh of Bats and Mice as de­licious as that of Partridges; with that of the Brasilians, who feed on Toads, Rats, and Worms; or, lastly, with that of the Tapuyes, and some other Barbarians, who eat hair minc'd very small, and mix'd with wild honey, and season all their Meat with the ashes of the burnt Bodies of their deceas'd Relations, and mix them with the meal they bake, which causes horrour only to represent, much more to do: Let there be, I say, a comparison made between all these infamous Ragouts, and those of the Caribbian Nation, and it will be found, that in their or­dinary Commons there is nothing barbarous: Yet are we not to dissemble what some of the French relate, to wit, That they have seen the Caribbians eating the Lice and Chegoes they had taken; as it is reported of the Mexicans and Cumaneses: but they do not make their Ordinary out of them, and it is parti­cular only to some among them; besides that they do it not out of any delicacy they find in those Vermine, but only to be revenged of them.

Moreover, the horrour which the Caribbians conceiv'd here­tofore at the eating of Swines-flesh, Tortoises, and Lamantin, for the pleasant reasons before alledged, was so great, that if any of the Europaeans had got them to eat any of them by sur­prize, and they came afterwards to know it, they would be reveng'd of them one time or other; witness what happened to [Page 303] a person of some note among the French: This person receiving a Visit from the Cacick or Captain of the Savages of the Island where he liv'd, entertain'd him in jest with Lamantin, disguis'd in the fashion of a Hash; the Cacick mistrusting what indeed afterwards happened to him, intreated the Gentleman not to deceive him; and upon the assurance given him thereof, he made no difficulty to eat: after Dinner the Gentleman disco­ver'd the abuse to the Cacick and his Company, that he might have the pleasure of their Discourses thereupon, and see what faces they would make after such a Treatment; but they had at that time so much power over themselves as to smother their indignation, and the Cacick only said to him smiling, Well Friend we shall not dye of it: Some time after the Gentleman went to return him his Visit; he receiv'd him with great civility, and made him extraordinary cheer; but he had given his people order to put into all the Sauces some fat of the Arouagues, whereof the principal Indians are always well provided: After this infamous Repaste was ended, the Cacick, glad in his heart, ask'd the Gentleman and his Company how they lik'd his Treatment; whereupon they commending it very much, and giving him thanks for it, he acquainted them with the trick he had put upon them; most of them were so troubled at the thought of it, and had such an inclination to cast up all they had eaten, that they grew very sick; but the Indian laughing at the spectacle, told them that he was then reveng'd.

Those who have lately been among the Caribbians of Domi­nico and Martinico affirm, That now most of them make no difficulty to eat Lamantin, Tortoises, and Swines-flesh, nay, all other Meats in use among the Europaeans; and that they laugh at the simplicity which oblig'd them to abstain from them, for fear of participating of the nature and qualities of those Ani­mals.

They have also remitted much of that severity which they used towards their Wives; for now they are seldom seen to fetch home the Fish their Husbands had taken: And when they have been a fishing, the Husband and Wife eat together: The Women go also oftener to the Carbet, to participate of the Feast and the publick rejoycing there made, then they did be­fore their Husbands became so familiarly acquainted with Strangers.

CHAP. XVII. Of the Employments and Divertisements of the Caribbians.

ALexander the Great accouuted Labour to be a thing trulyPlut. in his Life. Des Hayes Travels to the Levant. Garc. Com. Royal, li. 5. c. 11. & l. 6. c. 35. Royal; and there are to be seen at this day in the Se­raglio at Adrianople, the Tools which Amurath made use of to make the Arrows he sent to some of his principal Officers: The Peruvians are much to be commended as to this particular; for the Kings of Peru had made Laws, and appointed particular Judges for the regulation of Idle persons and Vagabonds, inso­much that it was ordered, That Children of five years of age should be employ'd in some Work suitable to their age; nay, they spared not the blind, the lame, and the dumb, but em­ploy'd them in divers things, wherein they might do somthing with their hands: But there are some people so lazy, that theyHerod. l. 5. think Idleness a thing very commendable; and the HistoriansDe Laets Hist of Ame­rica. who have written of the West-Indies tell us of certain stupid and brutish Indians of New-Spain and Brasil, who pass away the whole day snoring in their Cots, while their Wives go abroad to get in certain Roots for their sustenance.

But our Caribbians are not like these last; for they are found taking pains and their pleasure in several sorts of exercises: The chiefest, and those which are most ordinary among them are Hunting and Fishing, wherein they bestow the greatest part of their time, but especially in Fishing: They are seldom seen to go out of their Houses without their Bows and Arrows; and they are wonderfully expert in the use of them, being accusto­med to that exercise from their Infancy, as the Turks also are; whence it comes, that in time they come to be so excellent at the Bow, that within a hundred paces they will hardly ever fail striking a half-Crown piece; nay, as they are making their Re­treat they can do execution on their Enemies, as the Parthians were somtimes wont to do: How much therefore are we the more to wonder at those left-handed Benjamites, who could Judg. 20. 16. sling stones at an hairs-breadth, and not miss?

When the Caribbians go abroad a hunting or a fishing, they do not take their Wives along with them, as some Brasilians do, who cause theirs to walk before them, so great is their jealousie; but when they have taken any thing, they leave it upon the place, and the Women were heretofore oblig'd to go and bring it home, as we have already hinted: It is reported that the Ca­nadians do the same.

Among the Caribbians of the Islands there is no distinction of [Page 305] quality as to Hunting; but the exercise of it is as free to the meanest as to the greatest among them: The case is the same among all the other Indians of the West-Indies.

As in their private Repasts they never use no kind of Flesh, if they have not Strangers to entertain, so ordinarily their hunt­ing is only for Lizards; and if they engage themselves in any other kind of hunting, it is upon some extraordinary occasions, when they would treat some of their Friends among the Euro­paeans, or when they intend to visit them, and would get som­thing of them in exchange for what they had taken.

They are extreamly expert in fishing with the Hook, and in taking of Fish with the Dart; and a man cannot sufficiently admire their patience in that Exercise; for they would be con­tent to continue half a day in the same place, without betray­ing any weariness: And when, after they have waited a long time for the Fish, they come at length to perceive some great one to their mind, and within their reach, they cast the Dart at it, as the Brasilians do; which having fastned, they imme­diately leap into the water after the Dart, to seize their prey: But besides the Hook and Dart wherewith they take Fish, they are also very excellent in diving neer the Rocks, and forcing them out of the holes where they shelter themselves; as being in that particular equally expert with the Floridians, who, notDe Lery, c. 12. Acosta, l. 3. c. 15. Fr. Pirard, part 1. c. 2. expecting that the Fish should come and shew themselves, go and find them out in the bottom of the water, and there kill them with their Clubs; so that they are seen coming up again with the Fish in one hand, and the Club in the other. 'Tis a common thing among the Savages to be excellent Swimmers and Divers; and it is particularly affirm'd of the Brasilians, the Maldiveses, some Peruvians, and the Inhabitants of the Islands of Robbers, that they may pass for a kind of amphibious Crea­tures.

But if the other inventions for fishing should fail our Carib­bians, they have their recourse to a certain wood, which they bruise after they have cut it into little pieces; which done, they cast it into Ponds, or those places where the Sea is quiet and calm; and this is as it were a Sovereign Mummy, wherewith they take as much Fish as they please; but they are so prudent as not to make use of this last expedient but only in case of ne­cessity, for fear of making too great a waste among the Fish.

After Hunting and Fishing, they apply themselves to several kinds of Works, as to make Beds of Cotton, very neatly wo­ven, which they call Amaes: The Women spin the Cotton on the knee, and commonly they make use of neither Distaff nor Spindle; but some of them in the Island of Martinico have learn'd the use thereof of the French: They have also the per­fect Art of twisting it; but in some Islands the Men weave the Beds: Besides this, they make Baskets of Bull-rushes, and Grass, [Page 306] of divers colours; wooden chairs all of one piece; little Ta­bles, which they call Matoutou, weav'd of the leaves of the Latanier-tree; the straining-cloths called Hibichets; the Cato­lis, which are a kind of great baskets to carry things on the back; several sorts of Vessels fit for eating and drinking, which are polish'd, painted, and adorn'd with abundance of pretty figures delightful to the eye: They make also some other little ornaments, as Girdles, Hats, and Crowns of fea­thers, wherewith they set out themselves on solemn days: And the women make for themselves a kind of Buskins, or half-stockings of Cotton. But above all they take abundance of pains in ordering and polishing their Arms, that is, their Bows, their Arrows, and their Boutous or Clubs, which are of a hard and smooth wood, and neatly wrought about the han­dles with wood and bones of divers colours.

They take no less pains about their Piragas, or Vessels wherein they go to Sea, and whatever belongs to Peace or War. These Vessels are made of one great Tree, which they make hollow, smooth, and polish with an unimaginable dexte­rity: The greater sort of Piragas are many times rais'd higher all about, especially towards the poop, with some planks: Sometimes they paint in them their Maboya; sometimes they represent Savages, or some other fantastick figures. These Shallops are so large as many times to carry fifty men with all their Arms. Before they had any acquaintance with the Chri­stians, who furnish'd them with all sorts of Wedges, and other Carpenters and Joyners tools, they were put to a great deal of trouble to make their Vessels; for they were oblig'd, as the Virginians, and some other Savages were, to set fire at the footDe Lery, c. 13. of the Trees, and to compass them about a little above the foot with wet moss, to keep the fire from ascending; and so they undermin'd the Tree by little and little: Afterwards to pierce the wood they us'd certain hard stones sharpened at one end, wherewith they cut and made their Piragas hollow, but with so great trouble and expence of time, that they acknow­ledge how much they are oblig'd to the Europeans, who have taught them easier ways to do it, by the iron-instruments wherewith they have supply'd them. Thence it came that the Peruvians thought it so great a happiness to have the toolsComment. Royal, l. 1. c. 11. which were brought them by the Europeans, that the use of Scissers being introduc'd into Peru by the means of the Spani­ards, an Indian of Quality admiring the invention, said to one of them, That though the Spaniards did not furnish them with any thing but Rasors, Scissers, Combs and Looking-glas­ses, it sufficiently oblig'd them liberally to bestow on them all the gold and silver they had.

The Caribbians employ themselves also in making earthen Pots of all sorts, which they bake in furnaces, as our Potters [Page 307] do: And of the same material they also make those Plates or Planks on which they bake the Cassava.

The dexterity they express in these little Exercises, is a suf­ficient discovery that they would easily learn other Trades, if they were taught them. They delight very much in handling the tools of Carpenters and Joyners; and though they have not been taught how they are to be us'd, yet are they able to do many things since the Europeans have supply'd them there­with: So that it is to be presum'd, that if they had good Ma­sters, they would do well at those Trades.

They are great Lovers of divertisements and recreation; and thence it comes they seek after whatever may keep them in a good humour, and divert melancholy: To that purpose they take a pleasure in keeping and teaching a great number of Parrots and Paraquitos.

To divert themselves they also make several Musical Instru­ments, if they may be so called, on which they make a kind of harmony: Among others they have certain Tabours or Drums made of hollow Trees, over which they put a skin on­ly at one end: To this may be added a kind of Organ which they make of Gourds, upon which they place a cord made of the string of a reed which they call Pite; and this cord being touch'd makes a sound which they think delightful. The con­certs of divers other Savages are no better then theirs, and no less immusical to their ears who understand Musick. In the morning, as soon as they are up, they commonly play on the Flute or Pipe; of which Instrument they have several sorts, as well polish'd and as handsom as ours, and some of those made of the bones of their Enemies: And many among them can play with as much grace as can well be imagin'd for Savages. While they are playing on the Flute, the Wives are busie in making ready their breakfast.

Sometimes also they pass away the time in singing certain Airs, the burthens whereof are pleasant enough; and in that Exercise they sometimes spend half a day together, sitting on their low stools, and looking on their fish while it is broiling. They also put pease or small pebble-stones, as the Virginians do, into gourds, through the midst whereof they put a stick which serves for a handle, and then shaking them they make a noise: This is the invention the women have to quiet their children. Most of the Caribbian Songs consist of bitter raille­ries against their Enemies; some they have also on Birds, and Fishes, and Women, commonly intermixt with some bawdery; and many of them have neither rhime nor reason.

Many times also the Caribbians of the Islands joyn Dancing to their Musick, but that Dancing is regulated according to their Musick. There are some Barbarians excessively addicted to that Exercise, as for instance the Brasilians, who, as de Lery [Page 308] affirms, spend day and night in dancing: And we have said else­where, that there are many Savages who make their imagina­ry felicity of the other life to consist in dancing.

But the Caribbians use Dancing particularly at their solemn Entertainments in their Carbet, or publick house. These En­tertainments are ordered after this manner: Some days before the meeting the Captain gives notice to every house, that all may appear at the Carbet at the day appointed: In the mean time the Women make a kind of strong drink of bak'd Cassa­va, and better prepar'd then that which they ordinarily drink; and as they adde to the dose of the Ingredients, so is the drink the stronger, and more apt to intoxicate: The men go a fishing, or catching of Lizards; for as to other meat they seldom prepare any for their own Tables, unless they have Strangers to entertain: On the day appointed both men and women paint their bodies with divers colours and figures, and adorn themselves with their Crowns of Feathers, their richest Chains, Pendants, Bracelets, and other Ornaments: Those among them who would appear most gallant rub their bodies with a certain Gum, and blow the Down of diverse Birds upon it. In fine, they all put on their best faces, and endeavour to make the greatest shew they can at this solemnity, priding it in their Plumes, and all their other gallantry: The women bring thither the Drink and Messes they have prepared, and are ex­treamly careful that nothing be wanting, which may contri­bute to the solemn entertainment: Our Caribbians spend all that day and the best part of the night in eating and drinking, dancing, discoursing and laughing: And in this Debauch they drink much more than ordinary, that is, they make a shift to get drunk; and the women will not be much behind them, especially when they can get any Wine, or Aqua-vitae to pro­mote the work: So that what we have said of their ordinary sobriety holds not at these Meetings; no more than it does at their going to their Wars, and at their return thence: and yet take them at the worst, their excesses come much short of those of the Brasilians, who in their Debauches drink three or four days without ceasing, and in their drunkenness engage them­selves in all kind of Vices.

Their drunkennness and their debauches are frequent, as hapning upon these several occasions: 1. When there is any Coun­cel held concerning their Wars: 2. When they return from their Expeditions, whether they have prov'd successful or not: 3. Upon the birth of their first Male Children: 4. When they cut their Childrens hair: 5. When they are at age to go to the Wars: 6. When they cut down trees, in order to the making of a Garden and building of a House: 7. When they launch a new Vessel: And lastly when they are recovered of some dis­ease: They call these assemblies Ouïcou, and since they have conversed with the French, Vin, that is, Wine.

[Page 309]But on the contrary they have also their Fasts, wherein they betray the ridiculousness of their humour: For, 1. they fast when they enter into adolescency: 2. When they are made Captains: 3. At the death of their Fathers or Mothers: 4. At the death of the Husband or Wife: 5. When they have killed one of their Enemies the Arouagues; this last occasion of fast­ing they glory very much in.

CHAP. XVIII. Of the Entertainment which the Caribbians make those who come to visit them.

HEre it is that our Caribbians triumph over all other Sava­ges in point of civility: For they receive strangers, who come to their Islands to visit them, with all manner of kindness and testimonies of affection.

They have sentinels all along the Sea-side in most of those Islands whereof they are solely possessed: These sentinels are placed on the Mountains, or such eminent places whence they may see a good way into the Sea; and they are so dispos'd, that they overlook those places where there is good anchorage for Ships, and an easie descent for men to land: Assoon as ever these perceive a Ship or Shallop coming towards them, they give notice thereof to such of their people as are next to them: Whereupon of a sudden there come out together several Ca­nows or Vessels, in each whereof there are not above three men at most, who are sent out to discover what they are, and call to them at a distance to declare themselves; for they trust not the Flagg, as having been often deceived thereby: and they know by their voices whether they be French, Spaniards, English or Dutch. Some affirm, that the Brasilians and the Pe­ruvians are so exact in their smelling, that they will discern a French-man from a Spaniard by the scent.

When the Caribbians are not well-assured who they are who come towards them, and perceive that they intend them some mischief, they put themselves into a posture of defence, pos­sess themselves of the narrowest avenues of their Country, place ambushes in the Woods, and without being perceiv'd keep an eye on their Enemies, retreating through obscure waies till they have found their advantage, and joined all their For­ces together; and then they let flie a shower of Arrows on their Enemies: That done, they surround them, close with them, and cut them all off with their Clubs: In some Islands they make [Page 310] up a body of fifteen hundred men and more, as may be guess'd by their appearance; for their number cannot be certainly known, inasmuch as they themselves not knowing how to reck­on, cannot tell what numbers they are: But if they are pres­sed by their Enemies, they get into the Woods, or climb up Rocks that are inaccessible to all others; or if they are neer the Sea, they leap in and dive, and rise up again at a hundred, nay sometimes two hundred paces from the place where they had been seen: And afterwards they rally together, at certain Rendezvouses known to themselves, and charge afresh when it is least expected, and when they were thought to be absolute­ly routed.

But when they find those coming to them to be friends who come only to visit them, after they have cry'd to them that they are welcome, some cast themselves into the water and swim to them, enter into their Vessel, and when they come neer land proffer to carry them ashore on their backs, as an assurance of their affection: In the mean time the Captain himself, or his Lieutenant, expects them on the shore, and receives them in the name of the whole Island: Thence they are conducted by a considerable number of them to the Carbet, which is as it were the Town-House, where the Inhabitants of the Island, every one according to the age and sex of the New-comers, bid them welcome: The old Man complements and makes much of the old Man; the young Man and Maid do the like towards those of their age; and a man may read in their countenances how much they are satisfied with the visit.

But the first discourse they make to the Stranger is to ask him his name, and then to tell him theirs: And for an expres­sion of great affection and inviolable friendship, they call them­selves by the names of those whom they entertain: But to crown the Ceremony, they will have the person whom they re­ceive in like manner to assume their name: Thus they make an exchange of names; and they have such excellent memo­ries, that ten years after such a meeting they will remember the names of their friends, and relate some circumstance of what had passed at the former interview: And if they were presented with any thing, they will be sure to call it to mind; and if the thing be still in being, they will shew it to him who had bestowed it on them.

After all these complements which are passed at the first meeting, the next is to present their Guests with those pensile Beds which they call Amais, very clean and white, whereof they have store against such occasions: They desire them to rest themselves thereon, and then they bring in Fruits; and while some are busie preparing some treatment, others entertain them with discourse, observing still the conformity of age and sex.

[Page 311]This kind of entertainment may well be accounted more rational than that of the Caribbians of the Southerly part of Continent, who receive their Guests after a very odd fashion, not much unlike what is practised by the Canadians: For the Ca­cick of those Caribbians conducts him who comes to see them to the Publick-house, without speaking at all to him: then he is presented with a stool and some Tobacco, and so they leave him for a time, without speaking a word to him, till he hath rested himself and taken his Tobacco: Then the Cacick comes and asks him, whether he be come? The other answering yes, he sits down by him and falls into discourse: Afterwards those of the common sort come asking him after the same manner, whe­ther he be come? And having thereupon brought him some­thing to eat, they also fall into discourse with him: True it is indeed, that our Insulary Caribbians, in the reception of their Guests, towards those of their own Nation, who are strangers in their Islands, practise the same thing as the Caribbians of the Continent: But when they entertain French and other Europ [...] ­ans who would be loth to keep silence so long, they speak to them, and fall immediately into discourse, as we said before, ac­commodating themselves to their humour, and, to comply with them, crossing the rules of their own Ceremonies.

But the Banquet they intend them was prepared before hand, let us now see how it is ordered, and how they demean them­selves therein: They give every one his little Table, and hisTrigaut, l. 1. c. 7. Messes apart, as the Chineses do: Somebring in broil'd Lizards; others, fry'd Crabs; some, Pulse; and others, Fruits, and so of the rest: During the Repast, they discourse with them, and wait on them with the greatest care imaginable: They think it the greatest kindness can be done them to eat and drink hearti­ly; and all their business is to fill the Cups, and see that every Table be furnished: When a man drinks he must take all off, otherwise they are disobliged; and if one cannot eat all the Cassava that is given him, he must put up the rest and carry itRusbequius, lib. 4. along with him, otherwise they will take it unkindly: Thus the Turks when they are at a friends Table, are wont to fill their Handkerchers, and sometimes the sleeves of their Garments with fragments of meat and bread, which they carry away with them. And among the Grand-Tartars, when a Guest cannot eat allRubriques in his Tra­vels into Tartary. that is presented to him, he must give the remainders to his Servant to lay up for him, or carry it away himself in his bag or pouch, wherein he puts up also the bones, if he hath not pick­ed them clean enough, that he may afterwards do it at his lea­sure: But among the Chineses, when the Guest goes home, the Servants of the person who invited him, carries along with him the dishes that were left.

After the Repast, the Caribbians conduct you to their pri­vate Houses, and into their Gardens, shew you their Arms, [Page 312] their curiosities and their trinkets, and present you with Fruits, or some little pieces of their own workmanship.

If any one be desirous to continue a while among them, they take it for a great favour, and are extreamly glad of it, and find the same treatment as at first: But if they are willing to be gone from them, they are troubled, and ask whether you dislike your entertainment, that you should be gone so soon. With that sad countenance they all re-conduct you to the Sea­side, nay will carry you into your Shallops, if you will suffer it: And at that final parting they again present you with fruits, which they force you to accept, saying to those who would re­fuse them, Friend, if thou hast no need of it thy self, thou mayst give it to thy Marriners; so they call all the Servants and Dome­sticks of those to whom they speak. The Brasilians and the Cana­dians, as some affirm, do also make presents upon the like occa­sions: And Tacitus relates, that the ancient Germans made pre­sents to the Strangers who came to visit them; but they reci­procally demanded something of them: In this point the Ca­ribbians shew themselves more generous, for they give, and re­quire nothing back in lieu of it.

But it would be an incivility to go and visit these good peo­ple and to receive their kindnesses, and not to present them with something: Whence it comes that the Strangers, who go to see them, never go without some grains of Chrystal, Fishing-hooks, Needles, Pins, or little Knives, or some such toies: And as­soon as they have done eating, they set on the little Table, on which they have eaten, some of those things: Those who have prepared the Banquet think themselves requited a hundred-fold, and make extraordinary acknowledgments thereof.

We have hitherto represented what treatment the Caribbi­ans have heretofore made to some of their friends, French and Dutch, who took occasion to visit them: But they use other Ceremonies at the reception of Strangers of their own Nation, or their Confederates, who chance to come into their Islands: There is in every Carbet a Savage, who hath a Com­mission to receive Passengers, and is called Niouakaiti: If they are of the common sort, he presents them with Seats, and what is fit for them to eat, especially a Cassava-cake folded double, which signifies that they may eat as much as they can, and leave the rest behind them.

If those who come to see them, or pass by occasionally are considerable to them upon any other account, as being some way related to them, or Captains, they comb their hair both at their coming and their going away, they hang up Beds, and invite them to rest themselves, saying, En Bouekra, behold thy Bed: They also present them with Matoutous, which are little Tables made of Rushes, or the leaves of Palms or Lataniers, [Page 313] as we said elsewhere, on which they set the meat and the Cassa­va not folded, but as they come off the Plank: The women set them at their feet, and the men standing about, shew that which was brought, saying, En Yerebaili, behold thy meat: Af­terwards the women bring in Gourds full of Ouïcou, and make them drink: Then having set them on the ground before them, the Husband who stands behind the women, says, En batoni, behold thy drink: And the other makes answer to these two complements, Yao, that is to say, very well, or I thank you. The Cassava unfolded signifies, eat thy fill and carry away the rest; which they fail not to do: When they have dined well without being interrupted by any one, they all come to salute them one after another, saying to him, Halea-tibou, that is, be welcome: But the women are not much concerned in this Ce­remony. As for the Visitants when they would depart, they go and take leave of every one in particular; which they express by the word Huichan in their language.

CHAP. XIX. Of what may be accounted Polity amongst the Caribbians.

THere are in every Island of the Caribbies, inhabited by the Caribbians, several sorts of Captains: 1. The Captain of the Carbet, or of a Village, whom they name Tiouboutouli hauthe: This is when a man hath a numerous Family and re­tires with it at a certain distance from others, and builds Hou­ses or Huts for to lodge it in, and a Carbet, where all of the Fa­mily meet to be merry, or to treat of the affairs which concern it in common; thence it is that he is named a Captain of a Fa­mily, or of Houses.

2. A Captain of a Piraga, that is, either he to whom the Vessel belongs, or he who hath the command of it when they go to the Wars; and these are named Tiouboutouli Canaoa.

3. Amongst those who have every one the command of a Vessel in particular, they have also an Admiral or General at Sea, who commands the whole Fleet: Him they call Nhalenè. In fine, they have the grand Captain, or Commander in chief, whom they call Ouboutou, and in the plural number, Ouboutou­num: This is the same whom the Spaniards call Cacique (and we in this History call Cacick) as some other Indians, and some­times also our Savages do in imitation of them: He is during his life, from his first election to that charge, the General of [Page 314] their Armies, and he is always highly respected among them: He appoints the meetings of the Carbet, either for merry-making or deliberations in order to a War: And he alwaies goes abroad attended by all of his own house, and some others who do him the honour to wait on him: Those who have the greatest retinue are the most highly honoured: If any one gives him not the respect due to him upon the account of his charge, it is in his power to strike him: Of these there are but two at the most in an Island, as at Dominico: They are also commonly the Admirals when a Fleet goes out: Or haply that charge is be­stowed on some young man, who is desirous to signalize him­self upon that occasion.

This charge is obtain'd by election: and commonly he who is advanced thereto must have killed divers of the Arouagues, or at least one of the most considerable persons among them. The Sons do not succeed their Fathers in that charge, if they be not worthy thereof. When the chief Captain speaks all others are silent: and when he enters into the Carbet, every one makes him way; he hath also the first and best part of the entertain­ment: The Lieutenant to this Captain is called in their Lan­guage Ouboutou maliarici, that is to say properly, the Track of the Captain, or that which appears after him.

None of these Chiefs hath any command over the whole Na­tion nor any superiority over the other Captains: But when the Caribbians go to the Wars, among all the Captains they make choice of one to be General of the Army, who makes the first assault: and when the expedition is over, he hath no autho­rity but only in his own Island: True it is, that if he hath behav'd himself gallantly in his enterprises, he is ever after highly re­spected in all the Islands: But heretofore, before the commerce between the Caribbians and forreign Nations had alter'd the greatest part of their ancient Politie, there were many condi­tions requisite to obtain that degree of honour.

It was in the first place requisite that he whom they advanc'd to that dignity, had been several times in the Wars, and that to the knowledge of the whole Island whereof he was to be chosen Captain, he had behaved himself couragiously and gal­lantly: Next to this it was necessary, that he should be so active and swift in running, as to surpass all competitors in that exercise: Thirdly, he who stood for the Generalship of an Island, should excell all others in swimming and diving: A fourth condition was, that he should carry a burthen of such weight as his fellow-pretenders should not be able to stand un­der: Lastly, he was obliged to give great demonstrations of his constancy: for they cruelly cut and mangled his shoulders and breasts with the tooth of an Agouty; nay his best friends made deep incisions in divers parts of his body: And the wretched person who expected that charge was to endure all this, with­out [Page 315] betraying the least sign of resentment and pain; nay, on the contrary, it was requisite that he receiv'd all with a smiling countenance, as if he were the most satisfied man in the World: We shall not wonder so much that these Barbarians should en­dure such Torments, in order to the acquisition of some Dig­nity, when it shall be considered, that the Turks do not shew themselves somtimes less cruel towards themselves, upon the account of pure gallantry, and as it were by way of divertise­ments witness what is related by Busbequius in the fourth Book of his Embassies, which were too tedious to set down in this place.

To return to the Caribbians of the Islands: This ancient ce­remony, which they observed in the election of their chief Go­vernours, will no doubt be thought strange and savage; but there is somthing of the same kind observable in other Nations: For in the Kingdom of Chili they chuse for the Sovereign Captain him who is able longest to bear a great Tree upon his shoulders: In the Country of Wiapoco, towards the great River of the Amazons, to be advanc'd to the dignity of Captain, he must endure, without the least stirring of the Body, nine extra­ordinary strokes with a Holly-wand from every Captain, and that three several times; but that is not all; he must also be put into a Bed of Cotton, over a Fire of green Leaves, the thick Smoke whereof ascending upwards, must needs be very trou­blesom to the wretch who is so mad as to expos