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CH A P.
fcarcity, the very evil these restrictions are intended to prevent. Palmas, the capital of Canaria, is a well built town, containing about 6ooo inhabitants. The population of the island is estimated at 40,000, an uncommonly great propor
Population. tion of whom live to extreme old age.
257. Palma is about 8 leagues in length, and 6 in breadth. Palma. It is very mountainous, and, except the Pike, placed, as it were, on the top of Tenerife, there is higher land in Palma than in that Island. It's produce is much the same with that of the other islands; but it yields much more sugar Produce. than any one of them.
of them. Palma abounds so much with fruits, that the inhabitants, not being able to consume them, and having also plenty of sugar, preserve great quantities as sweetmeats which they export.—When corn is scarce, they make bread of the roots of a species of fern, which, Mr. Fern bread. Glas says, is not much inferior to wheat bread.-Among the mountains of Palma are pines fit for masts; but the difficult conveyance of them to the shore, renders them too dear, though the labour itself be cheap.—The island contains about 30,000 inhabitants.
258. Lancerota is 5 leagues long and 3 broad. The lati- Lancerota and tude of it's centre 29° 8' N.-Fuerteventura is 27 leagues in length, and 5 in breadth. The air of both these islands is excellent, as is proved by the longevity of their inhabit
Both of them are almost destitute of trees, owing to the violence of the N. & N. E. winds. And, what is a more serious want, neither of them have almost any other than rain-water, which is preserved in tanks, or cisterns, as in the West Indian island of Antigua. But they have plentiful rains, and excellent herbage, especially in the spring and summer; but it is sometimes scorched by the autumnal heats, when the cattle, which had before been fat, lose their
C HA P. flesh. These islands produce wheat, barley and Indian
corn, not only sufficient for their own inhabitants, but to afford a very great supply to Tenerife and Palma.' The soil is light, and is ploughed by a camel and two asses, which form no despicable team; for the asses are uncommonly large, and formerly ran wild, in such numbers in Fuerteventura, and became so troublesome, that the inhabitants were obliged, at one time, to destroy 1500 of them.-On the shores of both islands, abundance of Orchella grows among the rocks*. This weed is well known to dyers, for
* Orchella—Lichen Roccella (Linn. Sp. plant. ed. 2. p. 1622, No. 71.) Muller says that the dye of Orchella, is prepared by the urine of men and soda, and that women's urine destroys it's effect; also that the colour is not durable in the air or the sun. (Linn. Nat. Syft. nach Houttuynischen werk Vol. XIII. Part 2. p. 528.)M. Hellot fays, that 20,500 quintals of it are annually exported from the Canaries. (L'Art de la Teinture des Laines, Paris 1750.)-It was sold as high as 700 guineas per ton, during the American war, but is now about £ 170 per ton.-Dr. Gosselin has lately discovered it in the Island of Guernsey. (Dickson's Fascic. 3. Plant. Cryptogam. Britann. 1793.)-Another species, the Lichen Tartareus (Linn. Sp. plant. ed. 2. p. 1608. No. 14.) has been long used in Sweden, and in Scotland, for dying red, in a domestic way, (See Linn. & Kalm's Westgotha Resor) where the process is described ; also Sowerbys Engl. Bot. p. 156. where he says, that the Lich, Tart. is prepared with vol. alk. and allum, and communicates a purple colour to wool, but not to vegetables.— J. P. Westring, M. D. has made experiments for dying different colours, with a variety of Swedish Lichens. The ability and industry of this learned gentleman promise many valuable discoveries. See bis Memoirs in the Aets of the Roy. Acad. of Sc. at Stockholm for 1791, p. 113, 293, where he says, that from 8 to 900 Skd. or about 128 tons of Lich. Tart. has been yearly exported from Sweden since the year 1770; but this appears too much for the first 10 years. It's price has varied from 15 to £ 30 per Ton, and is now £ 24.
In 1785, an eminent merchant of Gothenburg, having smoothed his way, by means of his MERCANTILE influence, obtained an exclusive privilege for exporting this article. How far such privileges are consistent with the public good, see $ 116 et seq. Qu. XXV § 142, and $ 165.—But praise to Heaven, a liberal and patriotic government has since taken place in Sweden. The instruments of cor
giving a colour, thought by fome to be the Gertulian
purple 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, so 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 islands export to the rest of the Cana, Exports. ries, wheat, barley, Indian corn, cattle, cheese, fowls, goatskins, Orchella, salt and salt-fish. Their wheat sells for one Wheat better
than Eurofifth more than any European wheat. Formerly they exported camels to Jamaica, but that trade was prohibited. The largest town in thefe islands contains not above 200 houses; 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 sufficient for it's inhabitants, with every other necessa. ry, and
of the luxuries, of life, in such plenty that, if the colonists were encouraged to manufacture their own wool and silk, they might live almost independent on the might be alrest of mankind. For their island also furnishes every ma
pendent of terial for building, except iron, the only article they would the rest of 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, how→ uption are removed, and the present adminiftration seems seriously intent on the encouragement of agriculture, and the real and lasting interests of the nation.-I ac. knowledge that as things now stand in Europe, monopolies may, in certain case-, be
navoidable. 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.
C HA P. ever, quite harmless.-In Gomera are reckoned 7000 inha
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 feldom 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 ashes, 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 po- quence of this wife 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
“ How the Spaniards," (fays Mr. Glas, p. 344.) " came soon after, in America to act in a quite contrary manner, is hard to conceive. Yet the Dutch, French
soldiers and sailors may be raised in the Canaries, than in C HA P. any other Spanish colonies, containing thrice their numbers.
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
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 barbarous governments that ever existed in any part of the globe, and which are by many degrees worse than the Spanish governments in America.” (“There are but few negro or other Naves in the Canaries; but, if a master treat one of them with injustice or cruelty, the slave 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 flavés 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 never 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 flaves (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.