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more fit for vegetating quickly than the proceeds of the late growth. He took them away carefully to the storehouse near the cotton tree, in which plantation the chief of his operations were to centre; though we had minor nurseries for a few melons in the neighbourhood of the cave-spring, and in other places, to be handy on occasion.
THE men worked steadily at their respective avocations, and in thrée months the labours of each made a respectable appearance. Diego had laid out the grounds well, and every plant had attained its full growth. The house was up: the roofing and flooring, and interior work, only remained to be done. We all enjoyed good health during this period, and preserved great harmony, and proper subordination. Our negro friends began to speak with us, on all ordinary matters, in our own language; and we hoped they now knew something of their Redeemer, and the moral duties that should bind man to man. In July there was some rain: these refreshing showers fell generally in the night, and especially after a great display of sheet lightning in the horizon, whose brilliant yet silent coruscations can scarcely be imagined by those who have not resided in intertropical regions.
Monday, August 26th. My dear wife and myself had much reason to be well satisfied with the prospect of being comfortably lodged before the winter, which, although not much colder than an English summer, yet, in this climate, is attended frequently with stormy, disagreeable weather. We beheld every thing around us prosperous and pro
mising. Our young goats were nearly full-grown, and our three broods of chickens had nearly attained maturity. The old hens were again laying; and now we ventured on their prolific nature, to regale ourselves occasionally with a few of their delicious eggs at breakfast. Some of the young ducks had been lost, but there remained an abundance; so that now and then we treated ourselves to a roast duckling, as a delicacy. The chocolate plants had sprung up to half a foot in height in several places in the woody region, where we had put in the nuts; and the capsicums and bird-peppers were every where full of fruit. Diego's plantation was gratifying to look on. The large red leaves of the coccos had a brilliant effect; and the majestic Indian corn, with its feathery top, and great bulging cobs protruding, leaf-covered from the stem, looked nobly. The yams, with their small stalks, claimed little attention from the eye, but their great usefulness stamped a value even on their homely appearance. The tobacco, thinned out to give it vigour, spread its broad dark-green leaf on a stem four or five feet high, exhibiting a yellow crown of clustering seed capsules, here and there, on a plant destined for seed, the tops of the others being cut off, to give an increase to the magnitude of their leaves. Our pine-apples had just begun to form; while the six sugar-canes had attained a height of nearly eight feet, with stalks and upper leaves of vivid green. All our fruit trees, too, had advanced considerably; so that we might eventually live to see the orange grove and shaddocks in full bearing, adding to the beauty and comfort of our plantation residence.
But the happy condition of our negro friends was still more gratifying even than all this. Their orderly conduct, their attachment, their progress in speaking English, and the pleasure they seemed to take in learning what God had revealed to man in the Scriptures, gave us a deep feeling of holy joy. They now comprehended the ten commandments, and would not do any thing on the Sabbath day that could fall under the denomination of labour or ordinary work. They also seemed to understand the purport of the Lord's prayer pretty well, and that memorable saying of our blessed Redeemer, "Do unto all men as ye would they should do unto you." Perhaps, too, with a sigh, they compared the conduct of their former Christian masters in Cuba, with this most Christian precept, and could not reconcile the difference.
By this time we had been able to make out their story. They had been purchased, and shipped in a schooner at Trinidada, (a town on the south side of Cuba,) for some person at La Guira, on the Spanish Main. Two nights before they appeared off our island, the schooner had struck on a reef, and almost instantly bilged, quickly filling with water. The captain, and five others his crew, took to the boat, taking plenty of provisions with them, and without mercy left the poor negroes to their fate; but fortunately there was a canoe on deck, and the weather being fine, they speedily contrived. to get it into the water; and having got a sheet out of the cabin, they made a sail; and, with a few dried calavanças, a species of bean, they put off before the wind, to take their chance of making some land, or
being picked up at sea by some vessel. They had made our promontory at daylight, and seeing the opening between the two headlands, struck the sail, and paddled in: and this was the Lord's doing.
We thought how differently it might have fared with us, if the inhuman captain and his crew had made our island, instead of the poor deserted negroes: perhaps we should have been seized, and sold into slavery, or something worse: and we blessed God for the manifold kindness of his providence. It was happiness for us to contemplate these dispensations: but there must ever be a want, or a regret, on this side of the grave, and we sometimes sighed for a sight of those we loved, and had left behind in England. However, even here, we applied the cheering balm of hope to our aching heart, and felt the relief which resignation, supported by that sweet anchor, never fails to create.
In a few weeks, the product of our second harvest was got in; and its abundance seemed more than sufficient for six months' consumption. When the labour of it was perfectly accomplished, Diego and Hachinta assisted Xavier in his work, by bringing every thing to his hand as he required it; but Rota made herself so useful to us in a domestic way, that Mira's services were, comparatively, only those of a waiting maid. Rota managed all the house affairs, without giving my dear wife any more trouble than the mere expression of her wishes; which gave us now so much leisure, that we were able to read a good deal, and enjoy frequent walks, arm in arm, in intellectual converse: happy in our