Page images
PDF
EPUB

baked. With regard to poultry, it is almost useless to carry any with you, unless you resolve to undertake the office of feeding and fattening them yourfelf. With the little care which is taken of them on board thip, they are almost all fickly, and their fleth is as tough as leather.

All failors entertain an opinion, which has undoubtedly originated formerly from a want of water, and when it has been found necessary to be {paring of it, that poultry never know when they have drank enough; and that when water is given them at discretion, they generally kill themselves by drinking beyond measure. In consequence of this opinion, they give them water only once in two days, and even then in small quantities : buc as they pour this water into troughs inclining on one fide, which occafions it to run to the lower part, it thence happens that they are obliged to mount one upon the back of another in order to reach it; and there are some which cannot even dip their beaks in it. Thus continually tantalized and tormented by thirst, they are unable to digeft their food, which is very dry, and they soon fall fick and die. Some of them are found thus every morning, and are thrown into the fea; wbilit those which are killed for the table are scarcely fit to be eaten. To reinedy this inconvenience, it will be necessary to divide their troughs into small compartments, in such a manner that each of them may be capable of containing water; but this.is feldom or never done. On this account, theep and hogs are to be considered as the beft fresh provifion that one can have at lea ; mutton there being in general very good, and pork excellent.

is may happen that some of the provisions and

[ocr errors]

stores which I have recommended may become almost useless, by the care which the captain has ta. ken to lay in a proper stock; but in such a case you may dispose of it to relieve the poor paffengers, who, paying less for their passage, are stowed among the common failors, and have no right to the captain's provisions, except such part of them as is ufed for feeding the crew. These passengers are sometimes fick, melancholy, and dejected; and there are often women and children among them, neither of whom have any opportunity of procuring those things which I have mentioned, and of which, perhaps, they have the greatest need. By distributing among them a part of your fuperfluity, you may be of the greatest afilistance to them. You may restore their health, fave their lives, and in short render them happy; which always affords the liveliest sensation to a feeling mind.

The most disagreeable thing at sea is the cooke. ry; for there is not, properly speaking, any professed cook on board. The worst failor is generally chosen for that purpose, who for the most part is equally dirty. Plence comes the proverb uled as mong the Englith failors, that God finds meat, and the Devil sends cooks. Those, however, who have a better opinion cf Providence, will think otherwise. Knowing that sea air, and the exercise or motion which they receive from the rolling of the ship, have a wonderful effect in whetting the appetites they will fay that Providence has given failors bad cooks to prevent them from eating too much ; or that knowing they would have bad cooks, he bas. given them a good appetite to prevent them from dying with hunger. However, if you have no Onfidence in these fuccours of Providence, you

may yourself, with a lamp and boiler, by the help of a little spirits of wine, prepare fome food, such as soup, haih, &c. A small oven, made of tinplate, is not a bad piece of furniture : your servant may roast in it a piece of mutton or pork. If you are ever tempted to eai falt beef, which is often very good, you will find that cyder is the best li. gior to quench the thirst generally caused by falt meat or falt fish, Sea-biscuit, which is too hard for the teeth of some people, may be softened by steeping it; but bread double baked is the best, for being inade of good loaf.bread-erit into slices, and baked a fecond time, it readily imbibes water, be. comes soft, and is easily digested; it confequently forms excellent nourishment, much superior to that of bifcuit, which has not been fermented.

I must here observe, that this double-baked bread was originally the real biscuit prepared to keep at fea ; for the word biscuit, in French, signifies twice baked *. Pease often boil badly, and do not become soft ; in such a cafe, by putting a two-pound Mot into the kettle, the rolling of the vessel, by means of this bullet, will convert the peafe into a kind of porridge, like mustard.

Having often feen soup, when put upon the table at sea in broad flat dishes, thrown out on every fide by the rolling of the vessel, I have wished that our tinmen would make our soup-bafons with divisions or compartments, forming small plates, proper for containing foup for one person only. By this difpofition, the foup, in an extraordinary roll, would not be thrown out of the plate, and would not fall into the breasts of those who are

* It is derived from bis again, and cuit baked.

at table, and scald them. Having entertained you with these things of little importance, permit me now to conclude with some general reflections upon navigation.

When navigation is employed only for transporting nec ff.iry provisions from one country, where they abound, to another where they are wanting ; when by this it prevents famines, which were lo frequent and fo fatal before it was invented and became so common; we cannot help confidering it as one of those arts which contribute most to the happiness of mankind. But when it is employed to transport things of no utility, or articles merely of luxury, it is then uncertain whether the advantages resulting from it are fufficient to counterbalance the misfortunes it occafions, by expofing the lives of so many individuals upon the vast ocean.

And when it is used to plunder veffels and transport flavos, it is evidently only the dread

, ful means of increasing those calamities which af. flia human nature.

One is aftonished to think on the number of vefsels and men who are daily exposed in going to brilig tea from China, coffee from Arabia, and sugar and tobacco from America ; all commodities which our ancestors lived very well without. The fugar-trade employs nearly a thousand vessels; and that of tobacco almost the fame number. With regard to the utility of tobacco, little can be said; and, with regard to sugar, how much more meri. torious would it be to sacrifice the momentary pleasure which we receive from drinking it once or cwice a-day in our tea, than to encourage the numberless cruelties that are continually exercised in order to procure it us?

[ocr errors]

A celebrated French moralist faid, that when he considered the wars which we foment in Africa te get negroes, the great number who of course pe. rish in these wars; the multitude of those wretches who die in their passage, 'by disease, bad air, and bad provifions; and lastly, how many perilh by the cruel treatment they meet with in a state of slavery; when he faw a bit of sugar, he could not help imagining it to be covered with spots of human blood. But, had he added to these confidera. tions the wars which we carry on one against another, to take and retake the islands that produce this commodity, he would not have seen the sugar fimply Spotted with blood, he would have beheld it entirely tinged with it.

These wars make the maritime powers of E1rope,

and the inhabitants of Paris and London, pay much dearer for their sugar than those of Vienna, though they are almost three hundred leagues dif-rant from the sea. A pound of sugar, indeed, costs the former not only the price' which they give for it, but also what they pay in taxes, necessary to support those fleets and armies which serve to defend and protect the countries that produce it.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »