Puslapio vaizdai

speaks of one that grew to the height of 270 feet, or thereabouts.

Mr. Hughes, in his Barbadoes History, says the highest palmeto royal, or mountain-cabbage, he saw, was 134 feet. In height and elegance of form there is no tree like it. The trunks of the mahogany and cedar rise to eighty or ninety feet. But for picturesque beauty, the clumps of the bamboo, which line some of the mountain-roads, especially one in the vicinity of the Ramble, the property of Mr. Cockburn, exceed, in the depth of shade and gracefulness of umbrage, all other descriptions of natural arbours. The pimento-tree literally renders the atmosphere redolent of fragrance, which is more than I can say of many of these trees in such favour with our poets. The pimento, moreover, furnishes a poetical image to the observer who looks for minor shrubs about it;—the pimento “suffers no rival plant to flourish within its shade.” The cocoa-tree is, perhaps, the most generally useful to man of all others. It affords him a palateable fruit, a refreshing beverage, a wholesome vegetable, materials for constructing, fibres for cordage, foliage for thatching houses, a spirituous liquor, and a limpid oil.

The cocoa-tree begins to bear fruit, in a rich soil, at four years; in poor, arid land, not before ten years. The tree lives from eighty to one hundred years, and bears till about thirty-five. On an



average, a tree produces annually from eighty to one hundred nuts, which are capable of yielding about twenty pounds of oil. There is a fruit-tree very common in Jamaica, the papaw, the fruit of which is much esteemed by the negroes : the milky juice which exudes from it is thought to possess the property of rendering the toughest meat tender, by applying it over the surface. There is a papaw in the garden of Madame Sanette, from an incision in which, I think, a tea-spoonful of the milky juice would flow in ten minutes. Humboldt says, in comparing the milky juices of the papaw, the cow-tree, and the hevea (from which the Indian rubber is procured) there appears to be a striking analogy between the juices which abound in caseous matter, and those in which caoutchouc prevails. (Elsewhere, he states that the ultimate principle of cheese is caoutchouc: no wonder that cheese should be indigestible, if we cannot eat Stilton without swallowing Indian rubber.) All the white and newly prepared caoutchouc, as well as the impermeable cloaks manufactured in South America, by placing a layer of milk of hevea between two pieces of cloth, exhale an animal and nauseating odour, which seems to indicate that the caoutchouc, in coagulating, carries with it the caseum, which is, perhaps, only an altered albumen.” What a valuable introduction into Jamaica would be that of the palo de vaca! The milk of the

cow-tree is an exception to that of most other plants, which is generally acrid and poisonous ; but this, so far from being bitter or acrimonious, is of an agreeable flavour; and those who make use of it are said to grow sensibly fatter during the season the tree yields most milk.

The mountains of Jamaica are decked to their highest summits with the brightest verdure. It is not only the giants of the forest that are to be found there : the graceful rivals of the inmates of our conservatories are to be seen in all the native bloom of the wild beauty that delights in liberty: the citron and the orange, the star-apple, and the tamarind, flourish in the lower mountain range; and wherever the huts of the negroes are congregated in the valleys, or spread over the face of a sloping hill, the patches of ground here and there laid out in gardens, are sure to present the same broad foliage of plantains and bananas, the same bright verdure of waving Guinea-grass and stately


Will the day ever come, when the natural advantages of this noble island will be estimated by their general developement, and not surmised from the limited success of a partial cultivation? Will the day ever come when these advantages shall obtain the entire attention that is now taken up with futile animosity-when party politics shall be abandoned for patriotic views, and Jamaica shall

become, what Nature intended her to be-a peaceful country, on the face of whose fertility it will be evident to the world, “ the labourer is worthy of his hire ?"

I am, my dear Sir,

Yours very truly,

R. R. M.

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Kingston, August 30, 1834. My dear Sir, If South America abounds in venomous reptiles, the West Indies have no dearth of poisonous plants; and in former times it is very certain their nature was better known to the negroes, than even their names now are to the white inhabitants. I have inquired a good deal respecting poisons of the negro doctors, and found it difficult enough to overcome their disinclination to enter on this subject. But if their accounts are to be trusted, there are vegetable poisons known to exist here hardly less powerful than any known to us in Europe. Prussic acid, the poison that acts on life with the greatest energy and expedition,-a single drop of which introduced into the circulation of an animal, killing it, says Magendie,

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