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guage still more military, for entrenching those properties within legal lines of circumvallation, and fortifying them with bonds, contracts, deeds of gift, precedents and quibbles.

It is really astonishing to see the number of actions that are contested in this little spot. It is doubtful to say, whether this be altogether owing to a natural litigiousness of disposition in the inhabitants : perhaps it may in a much greater measure be owing to a propensity in them to heedless expense, chiefly arising from the long, and sometimes indefinite, credits that are given, on account of the scarcity of specie. At least, if there was no want of a circulating medium, and the merchants, shopkeepers, &c. were to dispose of their goods at a little more reasonable rate (for at present they have the extreme modesty to demand two, and sometimes three, hundred per cent. for them) for cash or other equivalent paid down, the people of this country (that is, of the description here alluded to) would be more economical, more punctual, more honest and independent than they now are, and would not have half the recourse to law which they now have. But when people get involved in a variety of expenses, and incumber themselves, in consequence, with debts which their finances, and even properties, are at length inadequate to discharge, they are too apt to fall on low stratagems and base subterfuges, which a generous and ho


nourable mind would spurn 'at; but which cunning suggests, and necessity dictates, to those who can overcome their scruples. Hence the securing of property, by prior deeds of gift, beyond the reach of the creditor, the making temporary conveyances, in order to avail themselves of the lenity of the laws of insolvency, and other paltry shifts of dishonesty. It is melancholy to reflect how a benevolent law is thus abused and perverted; how it is made the foundation on which to build the most dishonourable dealing; how it is converted into a door for the fraudulent and unprincipled to escape through. Yet nothing is more common in this country. Instances often occur of men, who have got deeply into debt, eluding the payment of their creditors, by either making over their properties to their famiļies, or getting them secured by a fictitious or nominal deed of gift, and then taking the benefit of the act. Cannot this shameful practice be remedied or prevented? The only precaution the creditor can take to guard himself against this species of fraud, is to search the office and ascertain whether, in the first place, the property which his would-be creditor holds, is his own or not, or whether there are prior judgments against him to the amount of that property; and, if not, to secure himself by taking early judgment on his account or obligation. The man who thus defrauds, or keeps his creditors at bay, generally shields himself from censure by professions of an intention to pay when he is able ; and so many examples of this mode of dealing exist, that those who are guilty of it do not appear to feel abashed at the thought, neither are they (wonderful to relate) treated with much less respect than they otherwise would have been. Most of the people who have had any dealings in the courts can speak most knowingly on the subject of law, and make it a sort of study to become acquainted with all its mysteries and manœuvres. By a law of the island, no person can leave it without advertising his intention some weeks beforehand; in which case it is in the power of a creditor to stop him till his deniand is satisfied; and if any master of a vessel takes hiin off, he becomes liable to a heavy penalty.. Strictly, he is under an obligation of taking out a passport, which he obtains from the secretary, by paying a certain sum.

The established religion of Jamaica is that of the church of England. There are twenty-eight churches and chapels throughout the island; and each of the parishes has a rector. The Bishop of London is their diocesan; but the governor has the appointment to vacant rectories, and may even suspend from the functions of the ministry, should he see cause. The stipends are from four to five hundred pounds currency a year, besides the parsonage house and a small glebe. But it is the fees, which the rectors receive, that stamp a value on the rectory. These, in populous parishes, amount to a very considerable sum; in the most populous, from fifteen hundred to two thousand pounds may be estimated as the income of the rectors. These fees are fixed by law, but it is not so much on the legal fees that these holy men depend, as on those which the generosity and munificence of their employers bestow. From the genteeler sort two doubloons, or 101. 138. 4d. currency, is the usual douceur for a christening, a marriage, or a funeral; and, out of church (for in the church they must officiate for what the law allows) some of them would disdain to open a prayer book for a smaller sum than one doubloon, or 51. 6s. 8d. Besides this, they receive so much for

interment in the church, and for every monument or tombstone that is therein erected. It would be unjust to say there were not, in this part of the world, worthy and pious men who wear the clerical habit; but it cannot be dissembled, that there are others who look more to the good things of this world than of that to come ; who, like their lay brethren, are more solicitous in amassing wealth, than making proselytes or converting siuners. One of these reverend preachers, having received a doubloon as a reward for having recommended to heaven the soul of a poor departed sinner, returned it with much contempt, accompanied with this apt scriptural quotation-"the labourer is worthy of his hire.” Another having received four doubloons, for going a few miles into the country to christen a gentleman's child and some of his negroes, wrote an indignant letter on the occasion, complaining of the injustice that was done him. One part of this letter was curious enough. It seems the gentleman, from a motive of politeness, asked his reverend guest to spend a second day at his house, and the acceptance of this invitation was enumerated as one of the apostolic labours of this holy man. His avarice, however, defeated its own end, for this curious epistle exposed him to much ridicule and con. tempt; and soon after another act of rapaciousness brought him under the notice and reprehension of the governor. A poor soldier, desirous of being united in wedlock to a woman with whom he had been for years in previous intimacy, applied to our Mess John to fix the connubial knot. Finding, however, that the soldier could not muster up so much money as a doubloon, he very gravely told him to “keep on in the way he had hitherto been doing, till he had got the necessary sum,"


The soldier mentioned the affair to his officer, and the officer to the commander-in-chief. It is said of one, who was told that a profligate parson was on the eve of setting out for the West Indies, that he thought him good enough for the people; but if, on the other

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