MISS LLOYD'S SKETCHES OF BERMUDA.
MISS LLOYD is, apparently, an accomplished young lady, skilful in the handling of her pen and pencil, well read in poetry and history, and possessing a cultivated taste for the beauties of nature, with some knowledge of botany, geology, and natural history. In 1829, she accompanied the bandy of Archdeacon SPENCER to the Bermudas, and remained there some eighteen or twenty months ; making iterself acquainted with the fbrmation, aspect, peculiarities, productions, and history of the islands, assist- ing in founding Negro infant schools, and in extending and or- ganizing those for persons of maturer years. She also noted the manner of living ; saw the principal prospects that were worth seeing : studied, so far as she was able, the character and con- dition of time slaves ; and wrote epistles to her friends at home, embracing accounts of all these matters, and many others a minor importance, though perhaps of equal interest in the eyes of a lady. What retained these letters in obscurity so long, we know not ; the reason given for their present appearance is, the experiment now taking place in the \Vest Indies, and the circum- stance of Bermuda having abrogated the apprenticeship clause and declared their Negroes immediately free. As the Sinner Isles Can scarcely be considered to form part of the West and as there is little bearing particularly upon Emancipation, we rather imagine that some eye of taste accidentally lighted upon the letters, and advised their publication ; the extrinsic circum- stance of West Indian slavery merely serving as an encourage- ment to the undertaking.
Whatever be the cause, their appearance is a pleasant addition to the works of the season. If they have not the point and the artificial vivacity which MADDEN possesses, nor the elegant fulness that gave such truth and completeness to the compositien of poor Mr. lams's, they are pleasantly and gracefully written, with much variety and no pretension. They would be welcome if they treated of a well-known or of a commonplace spot. But the "still vexed Bermoothea are neither one nor the other. Of late we have heard little about them ; yet the peculiar nature of this delightful coral reel, the Crusoe-like adventure attendant upon its first discovery, and the adventitious interest which the muses of WALLER and MOORE have thrown over it, are sufficient to dis- pose us to lend a listening car to. any thing respecting them. In our extracts we shall not aim at illustrating geographical, histori- cal, or economical matters, nor indeed at fully exhibiting any topics in the volume. Our quotations will be of a random kind —specimens of the writer rather than of the book.
From the following account of domestic slaves, (and, as the is- lands have few agricultural productions, there were in strictness no prredial Negroes,) we do not wonder at the Bermudian Legis- lature getting rid of them.
TILE TROUBLES OF BERMUDIAN HOUSEWIFERY.
In general, the offices for the Coloured domestics are wretched ; this, perhaps, is owing to the proprietors having about them a greater number of slaves than they can possibly employ. They very rarely have distinct departments assigned to them, and three or four are often engaged for a whole day upon a work which one good English servant would accomplish in a few hours. This superfluity of half-working, half-idling servants, is the grand source of all the complaints we hear about the intolerable laziness of the Negroes. I have often been amused to see a little curly-pated vixen, when desired to perform some task which she disliked, scamper up a cedar- tree with the agility of a monkey, and remain rocking herself upon a branch till she chose to come down. If a poor old dame is burdened with half a-dozen of these wild slaves' what can she possibly do? She is obliged to support them ; her household is distracted ; no one will purchase or employ them ; and she is forced to join in the universal coofession, that the evils of slavery have fallen with a double weight of calamity
upon the master. • • •
The trials and vexations of housekeeping, especially in the country, and in the absence of any regular market, are such as none but those who have had some experience in these matters can conceive. Schiller's tiichtige Ilausfrau must hide her diminished head before the labours of her sister housewifa in Bermuda. She, in the first place, has no handy maidens at her behest ; lint is perhar bur- dened with three or four dawdling women, whose noisy, half-clad children, fighting and crawling about, add to the difficulty of maintaining any thing like order.
The heat of the climate, too, renders it impossible to keep a supply of meat; the morrow must consequently be provided for, and the Bermudian housewife %Stv(i.jann.Pdiasoee au) has to ascertain when Mr. Such-a-one kills a calf, young kid; or, if the weather should he boisterous, What slorie can
MI her next anxiety is whether her caterer will return in time for dinner. A lady told me, that having unexpectedly to provide for a large dinner party, she had been obliged to telegraph for a turkey to a friend who lived on an ad' • island.
The duties of the store-room are never ending, still beginning; and as pantries are generally built detached from the house, a Bermudian lady has to walk backwards and forwards through the sun or the rain twenty times a tilt, for Negro servants seldom think beforehand of what may be wanted. In fact, they seem to prefer applying for every imlividuAl article as they find that they require it ; and she is in most cases obliged to attend herself, as there are but few Negro servants who are not given to pilfer sugar, sweetmeats, and similar trifles. When all these preliminaries are lit length settled, the daily business of laying the cloth must be revised. It is very rare that even thwe who pretend to under- stand something of waiting at table have not omitted smne necessary article, or made some ludicrous blunder.
One day while staying at a friend's house, having occasion to pass through the dining-room previous to a dinner-party, 1 was not a little amused to See the arrangement of the table as superintended by a new servant. In the centre stood the cruet encircled with a ring of water glasses, and beyond it another of tumblers. The corners of the table were, in the same manner, each formed into a centre, composed of a decanter and salt- cellars encompassed with a circle of wine-glasses, while the knives, fin ks, and spoons were laid in Vandyke patterns round the table, with here and there a plate by way of relief.
No doubt, the real reasons of the Legislature in emancipating
the slaves, were of a homely, prudential kind. They foresaw many difficulties in the apprenticeship plan; whatever might be the value of individuals, time Negroes as a body were of small worth; and, owing to the peculiar circumstances of the Islands, (some of which are indicated in parts of the following passage,) freedom gave the slaves no more than that whist Dr. JonstsoN rays is the limit of the people's liberty in most countrie;--the liberty of working or starving. It is, however, probable that the measure may turn out one of political wisdom. The resources of the country are yet considerable; its capabilities seemingly great; and though the Negroes, stimulated to industry, by wale, and freedom, should not be able to import mould from Atnetica, they may manure and gradually improve the soil.
I ant rather disappointed in the fruit. None of the luscious fruits of the \Vest Indies are cultivated here. The melons are certainly delicious, :rod very plentiful ; the lime, sweet orange, mulberry, peaeli, grape, strawharry, water- lemon, sugar-apple, and one or two more, are good, but rrther se lice. The banana is extremely pleasant, and as it is of rapid growth there is a continual supply. Large quantities of apples, flea:ages, sliaddoeks, forbidden f,uiL, cocoa-iota, &e. are imported from the West ledies and America. And yet the early ac- counts of Bermuda are warm in the praises of its fruits ; the 1,1%1 t:gl. W.ts pl ized , even above that of India ; and I was teld bv.a gentleman, that, is his my,-:.. )eriligol.; days, grapes were so abundant in Tuelear's own, a pl ice which due, produce a single vine, that tot a quarter-dollar you might gather and carry away as many as you chose.
This deterioration of the soil is general : districts which formerly yielded two crops of Italian corn in the year, are now barren downs ; tebaceo, coff:e, and cotton, which grow wild, arc no longer cultivated ; and Bermuda depends upon other countries for a supply of its wants; in return for which, she sends wily cedar, ars ow-rout, unions, and a small quantity of honey and wax_ The soil is evidently itimovelished ; and I think it would be no bad plan to ballast their ves- sels with fine rich mould from America.
Bermuda presents peculiar facilities for the growth of indigo, of which I have seen some flourishing patches; the cochineal. too, might probably be cultivated on the millions of the prickly pear (cactus 4 Tuntia), which, it is said, pos.esses all the valuable qualities of the true cochinilifer, to which it has some resem- blance. This mode of obtaining the cochineal is 1 am told, followed with suc- cess in some parts of Spain • and there seems no reason why it should not an- swer equally well here. The rich raw si:k which hangs across the road in long festoons from one cedar to another, and is the production of a very beautiful silk-spider, might, without much trouble, be also made a profitable article of commerce. • • •
The facility with which the Bermudians obtain supplies from America, makes them regardless of the resources of their own islands ; which, however small, are still large enough to yield a tutieh greater produce than they do at present. Of the 14,000 acres which the Bermudas contain, only 400 or BOO are brought under cultivation : of these, about at acres produce onions, 51 arrow-root, 197 potatoes, 57 barley and oats, 106 vegetable's ; the rest are occupied by extensive groves of cedar, waste land, and large ponds or marshts, which would certainly rewatel the trouble and expense of draining- whereas they now only render their vicinity unhealthy by the exhalations which they give out, especially after the heavy rains. One great drawback to a more extended cultivation seems to he the stigma unfortunately fixed upon field labour ; which, in the eyes of the poorer Whites, appears to be identical with slavery. Perhaps the cultivation of the:: beainiful islands may be reserved for that glad day when this reproach shall be taken away, and when the indu.tty and energy of the Negro shall be no longer checked by the withering influence of slavery.
Two more samples, and tee must close. .
A VIEW FROM A VILLA.
Last Friday we went on a visit to Mrs. Trott ; whose Kruse really deserves its name of Verdniont, for it stands in the midst of evergreen hills, and commands a splendid view over all the Suuthern coast—Ireland, Somerset, and nearly fifty other islands.
We could distinctly trace the natural breakwater of coral which encircles the whole group of the Bet mudas, and defends its low shores front the violence of the sea. Along the South coast, this zone runs at an inconsiderable distance from the land ; and when the long heaving waves are driven by the fury of the tempest against this barrier, they often present the most magnificent spectacle which a marine view can afford. To the right and left, as fir as the eye cam reach, you see these huge billows rolling towards the shore, till their further progress is stopped by the reefs; here, collecting all their strength, they rise in graceful curves, their foaming crests hang suspended over the breakers, and as they play and dance in the sun- beams, sparkle like brilliants, till the mass of water falls at length from its own weight, and the whole of this fairy frostwork is lust in the quiet waters of the shore.
UNCHANGING FACE OF NATURE.
When I look back open the last eighteen months, they seem to me but as a pleasant dream. Here we take no note of time, for there is no succession of changes in the face of nature to remind you of its rapid though imperceptible
flow. Accustomed to look upon the vicissitudes of the seasons as monitors, who would foibid us to f( rget that we are hastening on our journey, Europeans are lost in unconscious oblivion, amid the perpetual sameness of beauty in which nature is clothed.
Here is not the eloquence of the falling. leaf—of the quiet slumber of nature ; no tree deposes its verdant honours, again to put forth the bud of promise and hope, to remind us that in the withered stem there is still life, that in the root there is still spring; here no early primrose rises from its grave, with all its beautiful associations of a brighter world. Even the days and nights, in their one round of unchanging length, give no warning of the fleeting hours.
The volume contains a very good map of the group of islands, with some pretty views by the fair writer, which convey an idea of the form of the scenes, whatever they may do of their character and climate.