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dig the yams and coccos; also to gather in the ripe melons and pumpkins. The Indian corn, too, was nearly ripe; so there was no time to be lost. Diego and the women, therefore, set briskly to work; and after Xavier had made some improvements on my temporary shed for receiving the harvest, he likewise joined the agriculturists. By this activity, in less than four days every thing was brought away from the cocoa-nut grove plantation, and housed; and, by the following Saturday, all other of our mature produce, from different spots, excepting the corn and tobacco, was safely stored; besides our having many melons and pumpkins still in progress of growth. We were surprised and grateful at seeing so great an abundance from such small sowings. While the negroes were thus busily employed, I kept them in fish; and Mira, under my dear wife's direction, prepared all the meals, which were supplied regularly and liberally, now and then giving them some coffee in the evening,
as a treat.
Tuesday, 7th.-The sun was in our zenith at noon to-day, not casting shadow in any direction beyond the object. I took advantage of this observation, to make something like an approach to a knowledge of our situation as to latitude: and, by allowing four days to a degree, from the sun's transit over the equator on the tenth of March (the day of the equinox*) to' the present time, it gave
* The Editor startled a little at this declaration, until it was recollected that, in the year 1752, eleven days had been taken out of the old almanack; by which the calendar was thrown back so many days upon the sun.
fourteen degrees and a half, which I now concluded to be pretty accurately the latitude of the islands.
Sunday, 12th.-We endeavoured to-day to convey some religious instruction, by way of a more lasting reward on our indefatigable labourers. They listened attentively and patiently; but Diego alone seemed to comprehend any thing we said or did towards the subject, and he but little: yet any degree is one step onward.
Monday, 13th.-The women came over early, with their husbands' clothes and their own, for purification at the brook. Meanwhile, Diego continued his husbandry cares; and Xavier was employed in putting a sloping roof of board on the plank house, the better to protect its interior from the rains which we now might look for, conformably to what I had learned respecting such seasons in the Caribean sea. Tuesday, 14th. I gave out a keg of red ochre, and some oil, from the fore-cuddy; and directed Xavier how to paint the canvass coverings of the huts; and by Thursday night he had given them two coats, which would not only render them proof against rain, but give them a gay and pleasing appearance. While he was about this work, Diego housed the corn cobs and tobacco leaves; and during the last two days of the week, the men employed themselves beyond the silk cotton tree, in clearing away the brushwood from before the rock ; over the face of which, the beautiful little waterspring, from the long absence of rain, now appeared but as a silver thread.
Saturday, 18th. The sun rose in a haze; the clouds began to rise from the westward; and there was little breeze of any kind all day. By evening we had completed our operations, and just in time, for about ten o'clock at night it commenced raining most tremendously; but on the morning of the following day it was again fair, with a clear sky, so that we met to prayers at the usual hour; but about three o'clock in the afternoon, the clouds opened on us in torrents for two hours, but without wind, and then cleared up. In like manner, it continued to rain every day for seven days; during which time we took the best care of ourselves we could, and attended carefully to our stock. We also seized the opportunity which intervals of clear sky afforded us, to cut down thirteen trees of the cabbage-palm, that grew abundantly on the high ground to the south end of the cotton-tree plantation. This was done to keep the men in exercise, and to be ready to assist in building our plantation house, whenever the time might arrive for commencing it. In the meanwhile, the tops of those trees furnished us with a succulent and agreeable vegetable, especially when boiled with our salt meat.
Saturday, 25th. The sun rose this morning with unusual power and brilliancy; the atmosphere had been tempered by the late weather to an ethereal purity: the rains had ceased; and not a cloud was to be seen. Diego lost no time in making me understand, that he and the women must employ themselves assiduously, after Sunday, in planting the
yams, coccos, corn, and other seeds. The four
cocoa-nut trees put in round the plank house had increased rapidly in growth; as had likewise those between the plank house and the beach, which had been raised from the four shooting nuts: the time was most propitious to vegetation. We were all busy to-day in airing things that had been wetted by the rains; also in getting various provisions on shore from the ship: and the evening was finished by a great take of mullet with torch-light, to the great amusement, if not astonishment, of our negro friends.
Sunday, 26th. We all met in our Sunday dress at divine service; and, after my dear wife had sung the hymn, we made the people say the Lord's prayer after us, which they tried to do. It could not be explained to them at once; but we made them understand, that the God to whom we prayed in the address, "Our Father in heaven!" stood in the same relation to us all, that Diego stood to Mira; and this was a great point gained, as they now had some idea of the object of our worship. We also succeeded in making them comprehend, that all we eat or drank, and all the fruits of the earth, were his gift; and that we therefore prayed for "daily bread." We went through the greater part of the service in their presence this day: and at night, when we retired to rest, we fervently poured forth our thanks to the Lord of heaven and earth, for blessing our endeavours so far, in opening the minds of these kind-hearted creatures to a knowledge of God.
Monday, 27th. After the women had finished
their Monday morning's task, they put themselves under Diego's direction; for we had now determined, that Xavier should henceforward be chiefly employed in the erection of our long-projected habitation, on the glade beyond our dear hospitable silk cotton tree. To this end, I furnished him with a plan forty-four feet by sixteen; height of walls fourteen feet: the interior to be divided into three parts; the centre great room, sixteen feet with one at each side fourteen feet. There were plenty of materials for the projected edifice—squared uprights, planks, boards, laths, and shingles; and I mentioned before, that thirteen trees of the cabbage-palm had been felled, and brought to the spot; seven of which were from sixteen to eighteen feet long, and the other six from fourteen to sixteen feet each, when cleared of their cabbage head. These trees, when squared, were to form the base of the frame-work. I therefore hoped, with occasional assistance, as all materials were so well prepared to his hand, that he might finish the building in six months.
Xavier having received my grand architectural plan for our new palace, I sent for Diego, and furnished him, for his agricultural department, with all the yams and coccos that had been preserved for the purpose of planting: I also gave him about two bushels of the old Indian corn, and some of all the seeds we had collected from time to time from our fruits as we eat them; also more than one half of. the tobacco seeds, which I had not yet sown. He was delighted with this kind of supply, as they were