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CH A P.

X.

CANARIES.

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giving a colour, thought by fome to be the Gertulian

pur-
ple of the ancients. It is remarable that till within the last
fixty years, Lancerota produced no vines : but a volcano
which then broke out, covering a considerable extent of
ground with duft and pumice stones, fo improved it that it
has ever since yielded grapes of which a wholesome wine
is made. But it is inferior both in quantity and quality to
the wine of Fuerteventura.
259.

The two iflands export to the rest of the Cana- Exports.
ries, wheat, barley, Indian corn, cattle, cheefe, fowls, goat-
skins, Orchella, salt and salt-fish. Their wheat sells for one Wheat better
fifth more than any European wheat. Formerly they ex-
ported camels to Jamaica, but that trade was prohibited.-
The largest town in these islands contains not above 200
houfes; and the population exceeds not 10,000 in Fuerte-
ventura, and 8000 in Lancerota.

260. A small mountainous island, not above 17 leagues in Gomera · circumference. It is blessed with excellent air and water corn fufficient for it's inhabitants, with every other necessary, and many of the luxuries, of life, in fuch plenty that, if the colonists were encouraged to manufacture their own wool and filk, they might live almoft independent on the might be ale reft of mankind. For their island also furnishes every ma

most inde

pendent of terial for building, except iron, the only article they would the reft of

the world. find it necessary to import. In addition to the animals common to the other islands, Gomera has plenty of deer, and produces more mules than any of them. But it is also the only one in which there are any snakes, which are, howruption are removed, and the present administration seems seriously intent on the encouragement of agriculture, and the real and lasting interests of the nation.-I ac. knowledge that as things now ftand in Europe, monopolies may, in certain cases, be unavoidable. In all cases, however, they should be retained in the hands of the government, who have, or ought to have, the same interests with the nation.

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ever,

CH A P.

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ever, quite harmless.—In Gomera are reckoned 7000 inha

tants.

CANARIES,

Hierro or
Ferro.

General observations,

ries.

Climate.

261. Ferro is. about 15 leagues in circumference. It abounds with flowers, from which incredible numbers of bees extract great quantities of honey. But the wine is so poor, that the inhabitants are obliged to make brandy of the most of it. Water is extremely scarce; but instinct has taught the sheep and goats, as well as the hogs, to dig up fern-roots to quench their thirst. The inhabitants are supposed not to exceed 1000.—Geographers very often reckon the longitude from the meridian of Ferro.

262. The principal differences in the climates of these on the Cana- islands, arise from their different elevations above the sea.

For eight months in the year, the summits of them all, except Lancerota and Fuerteventura, are covered with snow. Yet, in their vallies and shores, the cold is seldom so great as to render fires necessary.--A very great proportion of the surfaces of all the Canaries is covered with lava, calcined stones, and black dust or alhes, formerly emitted by volcanoes, the remains of which are still very visible in all the islands, and some of them, among which is the Pike of Te

nerife, are not yet extinguished. Population. 263. The present inhabitants of these islands, who amount

to near 200,000, are descended from a mixture of the Spanish conquerors and the aborigines, on whom the govern

ment of that period conferred equal privileges. In conseHumane pe- quence of this wise and humane policy, the Spaniards easilicy of Spain.

ly incorporated with the natives; so that their posterity have long formed but one people *. Hence more, good

foldiers

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“ How the Spaniards,” (says Mr. Glas, p. 344.) " came soon after, in Ame. rica to act in a quite contrary manner, is hard to conceive. Yet the Dutch, French

and

X.

CANARIES.

the Canaria

ans.

soldiers and failors may be raised in the Canaries, than in C HA P.
any other Spanish colonies, containing thrice their num-
bers.

264. The present inhabitants of the Canaries are strong Character of
and well made, but more swarthy than the natives of Spain.
The common people wear coarse woollen cloths, of their
own manufacture, except on holidays, when they appear in
coarse English broad cloth. The gentry, though few of
them are rich, are rather proud, but polite and hospitable.
Some of them are tolerably well educated and informed.
The Canarians are blind to the impositions of their priests Blinded by
and lawyers; but they are extremely averse to war, because lawyers, but
they plainly fee, it ruins their commerce. In the war which
ended in 1763, they strenuously endeavoured to procure a

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averse to war.

and English, far from following the good example of the Spaniards, in the Cana.
ries, have erected, in the sugar islands in the West Indies, the most absurd and bar-
barous governments that ever existed in any part of the globe, and which are by ma-
ny degrees worse than the Spanish governments in America." ("* There are but
few negro or other slaves in the Canaries; but, if a master treat one of them with
injustice or cruelty, the llave may oblige him to sell him immediately. The same
law, if I am not mistaken, takes place in the Spanish West Indies," p. 353. Mr.
Glas, was not mistaken; for this and several other excellent and efficient regulations
respecting slaves have since been proved to obtain, in the Spanish West Indies. See
the Report of the British Privy Council, part VI. article “ Spain.")

" What
improvement or obedience," continues our author, " can be expected in a country
where all the labouring people are slaves, and have no other principle to excite
them to obedience and industry but the fear of punishment? which, after all, has ne-
ver yet brought their labour to any degree of equality with that of free indigent people,
who have the sole disposal of the fruits of their labour."--I should rejoice in being
able to repel Mr. Glas's charge of cruelty against the sugar planters. But I have the
best reasons to believe, it is but too well founded. I must add, however, that the hu.
manity of the French to their slaves (notwithstanding their boasted code noir) does
not much exceed that of the English, and that the Dutch are still more brutally cruel
than either. The Spaniards, Portuguese and Danes are undoubtedly the best masters
of slaves.
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Diseases.

CHA P. neutrality for their islands. The intercourse between the

sexes, before marriage, is much restrained. Hence their CANARIES. love is romantic, and their matches are disinterested. Yet Marriages. they form more unhappy ones than in countries where the

parties are better acquainted, previous to their union.--

Their ideas of religion are so narrow, that it is extremely Religion. uncomfortable for any but catholics to live among them,

except in Tenerife, where there are indeed a few protestant merchants; but the trade with protestant countries is chiefly carried on by Irish merchants of the catholic commu

nion. The bishop resides in Gran Canaria, and has an anInquifition. nual income of about £6000 sterling. In each island is an of

fice of the inquisition who, till very lately, exercised their power, and sometimes very much abused it, independently on the civil magistrates.

265. The most prevalent diseases are the spotted fever, the palsy, and the flatos, a windy disorder, affecting the stomach, bowels and head. There are also a few lepers. All the Canarians are very much subject to the itch: "The cause of which,” says Mr. Glas, p. 204, “ I know not. But it is certain, that people who dwell in countries remarkable for the purity of the air, are more subject to the itch than those who live in places where the air is moist and damp."

266. The Canary Islands import from Great Britain, woollens of various kinds, hats, hard-ware, pilchards, herrings, wheat, when scarce, &c.—From Ireland, beef, pork, butter, candles and herrings.-From North America, boards, ftaves, beef, pork, hams, rice and wheat, in times of scarcity.–From Biscay, bar-iron.-From Holland and Hamburgh, linen of all sorts, cordage, gun-powder, flax, &c.-From Malta, cotton manufactures; but from every

other

Commerce.

X.

CANARIES.

tures.

other place, cottons are subject to a duty amounting to a C HA P. prohibition. The Maltese are excepted, because they w maintain a perpetual war with the Turks and Moors.—The exports have been already mentioned.--The manufactures Manufacof these islands are taffeties, knit filk hose, filk garters, quilts and bed covers.-In Gran Canaria and Tenerife, they make coarse linens and gauze of Dutch flax. White blankets and coarse cloths are fabricated in Gran Canaria, from the wool of that INand. A very coarse cloth is also made, from native wool, in the other islands. In order to encourage the filk manufacture in the Canaries, the exportation of their own raw filk is prohibited.

267. The king's revenue consists of (1) The royal third of Revenue. the church tithes.—(2) The monopoly of tobacco and snuff. -(3) Annual acknowledgement of the nobility for their titles.—(4) A duty of seven per cent. on imports and exports.-(5) Duty on the West Indian commerce of the Canaries. — The annual revenue of all the Islands, after paying the expences of collection and of the internal government, brings into the treasury of Madrid about £ 50,000 sterling.

268. It may be remarked that this sum exceeds the clear revenue which ever came into the treasury of Great Britain, from all her American and West Indian colonies, in the infinite ratio of something to nothing. For I do not know that Great Britain ever received any revenue from either of them, except the 41 per cent. duty on sugar, and some other enumerated articles, granted by Barbadoes and the Leeward Hands to King Charles II. a tax which now very much oppresses those poor, old colonies, while the Ceded Islands and the opulent colony of Jamaica, pay no such tax. I need not tell the intelligent reader, that all the British taxes on sugar, &c. like those on wine, tea and other fo

reign

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