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prises. These, flying like comets through the darkened air, terrified and amazed them for a while; but at length, keeping a little beyond their reach, they were wont to gaze on them merely as an amusing spectacle. The Brigands of St. Domingo have often openly skirmished with the European troops, and have indeed, at times, fought pretty obstinately, and even come to the push of the bayonet : these negroes were partly trained to European tactics, and were supplied with artillery, to the use of which they were by no means 'novices." The Maroons neither knew, nor desired to know, any thing of artillery or the bayonet.

The Maroons are generally tall, well made, and more comely in their features than most of the other blacks; but there is a something in their looks which indicates wildness and ferocity. This is owing in a great measure to the wild and wandering life they lead, and to their not mixing so much with general society as the other negroes.

CHAP. XXV.

People of colour.--The different classes of them.

-Their rapidly increasing population in Jamaica.---Theircharacter, manners, and amusements, 8c.

1

BETWEEN the whites and the blacks in the West Indies, a numerous race has sprung up, which goes by the general name of people of colour : these are subdivided into Mulattos, the offspring of a white and a black; Sambos, the offspring of á black-and Mulatto : Quadroons, the offspring of a Mulatto and a white; and Mestees, or Mestises, the offspring of a Quadroon and a white. Below this last denomination, the distinction of colour is hardly perceptible ; and those who are thus far removed from the original negro stock, are considered by the law as whites, and competent, in course, to enjoy all the privileges of a white. Between these particular casts, an endless variety of non-descript shades exist, descending from the deep jet to the faintest tinge of the olive, by gradations which it were impossible to mark and to designate.

The people of colour may be supposed to possess the mingled natures of the original stocks from whence they spring; and the more or less

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they are removed from one extreme or the other, they seem to be imbued in proportion with their particular qualities. The Sambo differs little or nothing in manners, habits, &c. from the negro ; while the Mestee and his descendant approximate as near in these particulars to the white as it is

possible for a mingled race to do; and when polished by a genteel education, that little distinction almost ceases to exist. It is remarked of the people of colour, that they are peculiarly hardy, and far less subject to disease than either the whites or the negroes, of course a considerable less proportion of them are swept off by the general mortality of the country. These people are lively, active, and sometimes industrious; they feel a kind of pride in being removed some degrees from the negro race; and affect as much as pogsible the manners, &c. of the whites. Few marriages take place between them. A female of colour thinks it more genteel and reputable to be the kept mistress of a white man, if he is in opulent circumstances, and can afford to indulge her taste for finery and parade, than to be united in wedlock with a respectable individual of her own class. One of these girls consented to be tied in the noose of matrimony to one of her own description ; for three or four years she bore her fate without remorse or repining; after this, however, she became uneasy and discontented, and often, with a heavy sigh, lamented the luckless

fate which drew her to the altar of Hymen! Her husband was a quiet, decent, and respectable man, who gained an honest livelihood by the trade he professed; he wished his wife to stay at home, and attend to her children and the affairs of her household; the lady was of a pleasurable turn, and had a taste, like most of her colour, for a life of voluptuous and varied delight: she had been accustomed, prior to wedlock, to balls, parties, and jaunts, and she could therefore but ill brook this life of restraint and drudgery. She looked, with envy and an aching heart, at the gay, showy, and dissipated life which many of the companions of her youth led; these were in keeping, and dashed about in style, superbly dressed, and in their curricles, attended by servants in livery; while she, poor woman! was obliged to toil froin morning to night in dirty drudging occupations, without one faint ray of hope, that she would ever be emancipated from this sad state of thraldom, and enjoy again the dear delicious pleasures of freedom and variety ! These are the sentiments of nine tenths of the females of colour in this island; and accordingly, perhaps, little short of that proportion are in keeping by the whites; while the males console themselves in the same way, either with one of their own colour, or with a sable charmer. Though some of these females of colour are possessed of considerable property, given them by their

white parents, or amassed by their own industry, they never aspire to a conjugal union with a white man; nor, if such a union were sanctioned by the custom of the country, is it probable they would desire to enter into it; but no instance of this ever occurs; a white man, according to the ideas of distinction of colour which here prevail, would be considered as degrading himself by a union with a woman of colour, however respectable by fortune, or accomplished by education. But the brown female gives herself little concern about this, while the most distinguished and opulent of the whites pay an illicit homage to her charms; and even the man of family shall forsake his wife and abandon his children to hold dalliance in her more alluring company!

The free people of colour are excluded from many of the privileges of the whites ; and their white parents are restrained by law from bequeathing them more than two thousand pounds currency. These distinctions and restraints are thought necessary for political purposes. But it is in vain that such laws and provisions are thrown in the way of this people's acquiring an ascendancy in the country, while other productive causes are suffered to exist. A respectable clergyman in the island assured the author, that he usually had occasion to baptize about fifteen brown children for one white child! This disproportion of the increase of the two populations

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