Imágenes de páginas

designated, being merely composed of some old' wainscot, which had by time become so disunited as to admit free ingress, in every direction, to the sun's rays.

. Our thoughts were now wholly occupied in forming plans for returning to Europe, but

every suggestion for attaining that object proved nugatory, in consequence of our pecuniary inability; a circumstance which even rendered the prospect of ultimate success extremely doubtful and uncertain. A week had now elapsed since the departure of the Britannia, during which short interval we contemplated with alarm the rapid decline of our finances; owing to the exorbitant price of every article composing the common necessaries of life.

From the Swedish inhabitants, whose hospitality and friendship were so conspicuous on our first arrival in the island, we no longer experienced either kindness or attention ; they appeared wholly forgetful of their recent flattering professions, and their present conduct fully exemplified how difficult it is to form a just value of human sincerity, except through the medium

of adverse fortune. From some few of the original merchants of the island we still, however, occasionally received marks of sympathy and commiseration.

A number of officers having already proceeded to the United States, in consequence of the comparatively moderate rate of passage, we had likewise determined on pursuing a similar course, and, in order to provide ourselves with the requisite funds, and replenish our nearly exhausted resources, we immediately converted into cash every article of property we could possibly dispose of, (consisting of our swords, epaulets, books, fc.) Having by this means collected what we calculated would be sufficient to secure us a conveyance to North America, we entered into a treaty with the captain of the brig, General Jackson, bound to Philadelphia, and had nearly agreed with him for a passage, with ship fare, at thirty dollars each, when our attention was diverted from this purpose by an occurrence at Saint Kitts, which revived in our minds the nearly expired hope of again returning to our native country.

The circumstance to which I have just referred, was that of several English merchant vessels, (which had either through neglect or misconception of the navigation laws, been subjected to seizure ;) having been taken possession of by the admiral on that station.

Some of the merchants in Saint Bartholomew's hearing of this event, advised us, in the strongest manner, to proceed to Saint Kitt's ; observing, that the above named ships must, in order to obtain new registers, unavoidably return to England in ballast ; and would, in all probability, afford us a passage home at a moderate rate. We felt too much elated with even this distant prospect of returning to Europe, to hesitate one moment as to the course we should pursue.

We at once relinquished our North American project; and having determined on proceeding to Saint Kitts, made every preparation with the greatest despatch; obtained our passports, and in less than two hours had the satisfaction to find ourselves on board a small schooner, on the point of sailing for that island; to the


captain of which we each paid four dollars

for our passage.

We took our final leave of Saint Bartholomew's in the afternoon of the third of April; leaving behind us the ship Dowson, with Colonel Campbell and his remaining officers on board, as likewise Mr. Hudson, who having been altogether foiled in his original scheme, had, a short time previous to our departure, declared it to be his intention immediately to beat up for recruits throughout the island, and proceed with any number he could collect.

The Emerald, which proceeded to Saint Bartholomew's, after transferring Colonel Hippesley's party to the patriot schooner, Tiger, also continued at anchor after our departure.

Early on the following morning we were close in with Saint Kitts, which island presented the most fertile and highly cultivated appearance.

The minor hills exhibited the most lively and pleasing variety of shades, covered with verdure to their summits, occasionally interspersed with small timber and brush-wood.

The numerous and widely-extended fields of

sugar-cane were peculiarly attractive ; displaying, according to the state of forwardness of the plant, an infinite diversity of tints. Nothing, perhaps, can give a more correct idea of a distant view of a young sugar plantation, than a half-ripe field of wheat; with this difference, that the former is far superior in richness of colouring.

The mills were in every direction in full operation, pressing the cane, whilst innumerable canoes were to be seen carrying the produce of the different plantations to the West Indiamen at anchor in Bassterre Roads ; the scene was altogether the most lively and cheerful imaginable, and the general appearance of the island, the active industry of its inhabitants, and wide display of substantial wealth, were particularly striking, as contrasted with the barren and uncultivated island from which we had so recently departed.

About nine o'clock in the forenoon we' landed at Bassterre, and immediately proceeded to an inn situated a short distance from the beach, where we niet with three

« AnteriorContinuar »