Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

as these storms of wind and thunder are, they are never accompanied by a single flash of lightning. The people are the most rough and rude of any of these tribes, and are indeed little better than intelligent baboons, whom they much resemble in face and shape: they are exceedingly mischievous ; and they are little liked by the other islanders. With many of their neighbours they are in a state of perpetual war, and they have an old and deadly feud with the new Hollanders. They do not venture indeed openly to attack such formidable opponents, but lose no opportunity of making an incursion upon the Hol. landers when they think they can do so unperceived and with impunity. Bum-mee may easily be distinguished by its spherical, lumpish form, and the absence of any prominent features. The natives are supposed to be descended from some Hottentot emigration, as the distinguishing mark of that race is plainly to be recognised in the countenance of these islanders: they also resemble the Hottentots in this, that they seldom make their appearance in public without smearing themselves all over with butter. Jon-mee,” called by the Portuguese Porto Novo, or Wasp's Islet, is full of the irritable and mischievous insects from which it derives its name. This little island is very arid and unproductive, and the people are a diminutive and dwindled race, very mischievous and passionate as all dwarfs are. Ben-nee-too is the Botany Bay of the Friendless Islands: the shores are covered with a light foam, which is the only subsistence of the natives. Naturalists have not yet determined what this curious substance (if substance it can be called) is : in look Hur-wee-nee,” or the Hermit's Island. The inhabitants call themselves Christian; but if good morals are requisite for that designation, they are said to have but little pretensions to the name. They are a tall, swarthy, ill-favoured race; tolerably skilful in agriculture, and particularly in growing rapeseed.

it resembles the froth of small beer.t.

* This would seem to mean John Warre, Esq. M. P. for Lestwithiel, an Oporto merchant. f See note, p. 45.

Craf-cal-lee.—The inhabitants of this island have a general resemblance to those of Paulo it they are indeed somewhat more intelligent, and their disposition to change arises not from imbecility of intellect, as with the latter, but from a very careful calculation of their own interests: they are great observers of the weather, and shift their places according to

the appearances of the sky. Those of Paulo, on the eontrary, fickle as they are in other respects, never change their old seats. It is related that these two islands were formerly very elose to one another; but that Craf-cal-lee, which is a kind of Australasiatic Delos, has lately shifted to a position, whence, as tradition goes, it had before moved. There is a remarkable island, to which the natives have given the name of Rat-tee”, or New-comer, but which our sailors, in compliment to the Purser, ealled Douglas's Island. It is said to have but recently made its appearance in this group, and is supposed to be a volcanic creation: this hypothesis is eonfirmed by the general striated appearance of the surface, and by the continuance, even at present, of a constant eruption. It has hitherto been entirely unsettled; several parties have tried it, but none

* This seems to allude to J. Christian Curwen, Esq. M. P. for Carlisle.

f Mr. Calcraft for a session or two took his usual seat in the neighbourhood of the Treasury bench, near Mr. Methuen; he subsequently returned to his old seat. Mr. Methuen, after he went into opposition, continued for some time to sit on the Government side.—E.

have quite ventured to trust themselves to it, for fear it should suddenly disappear from under them, like the island which appeared some years ago in the neighbourhood of the Azores. It produces no vegetable but scurvy-grass. There are various others of smaller note, making in all the number of about forty or fifty. The Government of these Islands is a Federal Republic, of which Twaddlo Ponsonboo is the nominal head; but in point of fact, they all set up pretty much for themselves, and they seem to have no great relish for any regular government at all: like all savages, the people are credulous in proportion to their ignorance; they have many pretended prophets among them, to whose predictions they listen with the utmost avidity, and they never seem to place less implicit confidence in the last new prophecy, because they have seen all former ones falsified by events:–Religion, properly speaking, they have none; and as to their morals and manners, the less

* In parliamentary cant, members who change their party are called Rats, as that animal is supposed sagaciously to abandon a falling house.

that is said about them the better. They have,

« ZurückWeiter »