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TWELVE MONTHS

IN

THE WEST IND I E S.

LETTER XXII.

THE CELEBRATION OF THE

FIRST OF AUGUST.

'To Dr. Rich ARDSON.

Kingston, August 6, 1834.

My dear Sir, Events that have been long anticipated are generally stript of their importance by the time of their occurrence; like those structures we have seen, whose wondrous magnitude has been so long the theme of admiration, that, when we gaze on them at last, we find our astonishment surpassed by our expectations. In all the events, political or otherwise, that man looks forward to; in all the marvels

; of art or nature, that his enthusiasm pauses at the sight of, for the fruition of his preconceived enjoy

VOL. II.

А

:

ment, “ blessed indeed is he who expects least, for he shall not be disappointed.”

From the day the Abolition Bill was passed, the Ist of August was looked forward to with intense interest; with extravagant hopes by one party, and groundless apprehensions by the other. The Ides of August, however, are come,---and, what is more, they are passed, and not a single riot occurred throughout the island, and not a single man, woman, or child, was butchered to make a negro holiday. This conduct of the great unchained was very provoking, to be sure; for a great many prophecies were to be fulfilled on the 1st of August, “or thereabouts," as Mr. Moore would say: but, somehow or another, the predictions have not been accomplished ; and, unfortunately for the prophetic character of the Cobbetts of Jamaica, they are never likely to be accomplished. The House of Assembly judiciously decided that the 1st of August should be a holiday, and the negroes were recommended to observe it as a day of prayer and thanksgiving. All the sectarian places of worship were accordingly thrown open, and they were thronged with the negroes to an unprecedented extent; but I regret to say that, for some reasons which to nie are unknown, divine service was not performed in the Protestant churches in this town. In a former work, I have spoken unfavourably of the success attending the labours of the sectarian

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