« VorigeDoorgaan »
has got sufficient satisfaction equal to the injury received: but quarrelling in publick is looked on as highly indecent, and therefore does not often happen.
The natives of these islands are temperate in their eating and drinking. If a gentleman was to be seen drunk in public, it would be a lasting stain on his reputation. I am informed, that the evidence of a man who can be proved a drunkard, will not be taken in a court of justice; therefore all people here, who have a strong inclination to wine, shut themselves up in their bed-chambers, drink their fill there, then get into bed and Aleep it off.
· The gentry are extreniely litigious, and generally entangled in intricate and endless law-fuits. I happened to be in a notary's office, in the island of Gomera, where observing huge bundles of papers piled upon the shelves, I enquired of the notary if it was possible that all the law bufiness of that little island could swell to such a quantity of writings ? he replied, that he had almost twice as much piled up in two cellars; and said there was another of his profeffion in the same place, who had as much if not more business than himself.
• People of all ranks in these islands are of an amorous disposition ; their notions of love are somewhat romantic, which may be owing to the want of innocent freedom between the sexes ; yet I never could observe that the natives here are more jealous than the English or French, although they have been so represented by these nations. The truth of the matter is, that in every country, custom has established between the sexes certain bounds of decency and decorum, beyond which no person will go, without a bad intention : for instance, freedoms are taken with women in France, which are there reckoned innocent; but would not be suffered by ladics in England, who have any segard for their virtue or reputation : again, in England viltuous women allow men to use such freedoms with them, aś no virtuous woman in these islands could bear with : yet in France there are no more loose women, in proportion to the number of inhabitants, than in the Canary islands.
• Young people here fall in love at fight, without having the least acquaintance with the beloved object. When the parties agree to marry, and find their parents averse to their union, they inform the curate of the parish of the affair, who goes to the house where the girl lives, demands her of her parents or guardians, and endeavours to bring them to agree to her marriage ; but if they will not be persuaded to give their consent, he takes her away before their faces, without their being able to hinder him, and deposites her in a nunnery, or with some of her relations, until he marries them.
« I am
< I am informed that it is not uncommon for a lady here to send to a man, and make him an offer of her person in an honourable way; if he does not think proper to accept of her offer, he keeps it secret till death; if he should do otherwise, he would be looked upon, by all: people, in the most detestable and despicable light. Young men are not permitted to court young girls when they have no intention to marry them; for if a woman can prove the man has, in the least instance, endeavoured to win her affections, she can oblige hiin to marry her.
"I do not remember to have ever failed froin the Canary islands without being strongly importuned to allow young fellows to embark with me, who were under promise of marriage, and wanted to forsake their Mistresses. I saw a man of Orotava, who, some years before, had lived at Gomera, where he courted a girl, and gained her consent to be his wife ; but suddenly repenting of what he had done, and finding no other means of getting away from her, he took the advantage of the first westerly wind, and boldly embarked in an open boat, without oars, fails, or rudder, and launched into the ocean; he was driven before the wind and seas for two days and nights, when at last hę drew near the rocky shore adjacent to Adehe in Tenerife, where he must have perished, had it not been for some fishermen, who, perceiving his boat, went off, and brought her to a safe harbour.
« This law, obliging people to adhere to their love engagements, like many other good laws, is abused; for by means of it, loose women, who have not lost their reputation, often lay snares to entrap the simple and unwary; and worthless ambitious young men, form designs upon Ladies fortunes, without having the least regard for their persons: although it must be owned, there are few mercenary Lovers in this part of the world, their notions of that passion being too refined and romantic, to admit the idea of making it subservient to interest or ambition.
' A young Lady in one of these islands, fell deeply in love with a Gentleman, and used every art she was mistrefs of, to captivate his heart; but in vain; at last, being hurried on by the violence of her passion, which rendered her quite desperate, the made use of the following stratagem, to oblige him to marry her. She prosecuted him upon a promise of marriage, which The pretended he had made to her, and suborned witnesses, who swore they had seen him in bed with her. The evidence appeared so clear to the Court, that, without the least hesitation, it gave sentence for the Plaintiff, compelling the Defendant to
marry her. With this unjust sentence he was obliged to comply, though with the utmost regret ; for as the Lady had shewn so little regard for her reputation, as to swear falsely to her own shame, he could look upon her in no other light, than that of loote and abandoned woman : however, he was agreeably difappointed, and had all possible reason to believe the was a virgin. Being amazed at her strange conduct, he entreated her to unravel the mystery of her unaccountable behaviour; « For (said he) you must be sensible that I am innocent of what you have sworn against me.” She frankly owned the whole affair ; and added, for an excuse, that she would rather have lived in hell, than not to have obtained the object of her love. Upon this declaration, he generously forgave her, and they afterwards lived happily together.
• Generally speaking, there are more unhappy marriages here, than in those countries where young people have more access to be acquainted with one another's difpofitions, before they agree to live together for life. In countries where innocent freedoms fubfift between the fexes, Lovers are generally not so blinded with passion, that they cannot perceive their Mistresses are mortal, and partake of human frailty; consequently resolve to put up with some failings: but this thought never enters into the imagination of a romantic Lover.
« Gentlemen here get up by day-break, or at sun-rising, and commonly go to church soon after, to hear mass ; at eight or nine in the morning they breakfast on chocolate. The Ladies feldom go to mass before ten o'clock in the forenoon; but the women servants generally attend it about sun-rising. At the elevation of the Host, which is commonly a little before noon, the bells toll, when all the men who happen to be in the streets, ‘or within hearing of them, take off their hats, and say, “ I adore thee, and praise thee, body and blood of our Lord Jesus Chrift, shed on the tree of the cross, to wash the fins of the world.”
• At noon every body goes home to dinner, when all the street-doors are Mut, until three in the afternoon.' In Gentlemen's houses, the first dish which is put on the table, contains foup, made of beef, mutton, pork, bacon, carrots, turneps, potatoes, peas, onions, faffron, &c. all stewed together: when it is poured into the dish, they put in it thin flices of bread. The second course consists of roasted meat, &c. The third is the olio, or ingredients of which the foup was made. After which comes the desert, conlilling of fruit and sweetmeats. The company drink freely of wine, or wine and water, all the time of dinner ; but no wine after the cloth is removed. When they drink to one another, they say, Your health, Sir; or Madan, your health. The answer is, May you live a thousand years ; and sometimes, Much good may it do you. Immediately after dinner, a large heavy, shallow, silver dith, filled with water, is put upon the table, when the whole company, all at once, put their hands into the water, and wash ; after which a fervant stands at the lower end of the table, and repeats the following benediction: Blessed and praised be the most holy Sacrament of the altar, and the clear and pure Conception of the most holy Virgin, conceived in Grace from the first instant of hex natural existence, Ladies and Gentlemen, much good may it do you. So making a low bow to the company, he retires ; when they rise, and each goes to his apartment, to take a nap for about an hour; this is called the Siesto, and is very beneficial in a warm climate; for after one awakes from it, he finds himself refreshed, and fit to go about his affairs with spirit: yet the medical Gentlemen here condemn this cuftom, and say it is pernicious to the conftitution; but how can a thing be prejudicial to health, that Nature compels a man to? for in hot countries there is no avoiding a short nap after dinner, without doing violence to Nature, especially where people get up by day-break.
· The Gentry feldom give an entertainment without having a Friar for one of the guests, who is generally the Confessor to some of the family. Some of these people, on these occasions, take much upon them, and behave with great freedom, or rather ill-manners; yet the Maiter of the house, and his Guests, do not choose to rebuke them, but let them have their own way. I happened once to go to dine at a Gentleman's house in one of the islands, when a Franciscan Friar was one of the Guests. We had scarce began to eat, when the Friar asked me, if I was a Christian? I replied, I hope so. Then he desired me to repeat the Apostles Creed. I answered, that I knew nothing about it. Upon this he ftared me full in the face, and faid, “ O thou black ass !". I asked him what he meant by treating me in that manner? He answered only by repeating the abuse. The Master of the house endeavoured, but in vain, to persuade him to give over. As at that time I did not underftand Spanish so well as to express myself Auently, I rose up, and told the Master of the house, I saw he was not able to protect me from insults at his own table; then taking my hat, I went away.'
The foregoing extracts may suffice to give our Readers fome idea of the manner in which Mr. Glas's performance is written; but the work contains a much greater variety of curious and entertaining particulars, especially with regard to the state of literature in the Canaries, than we have room to enumerate :
and we are, on the whole, notwithstanding any flight inaccuracies, fo far fatisfied with this Writer's abilities for an undertaking of this kind, that we are glad to learn, from an Advertisement, his intention of speedily publishing an History and Description of that part of Africa which is bounded on the West by the Atlantic Ccean, on the East by Nubia and Abyssinia, on the North by the southern frontiers of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, and on the South by the rivers Timbuctu and Senegal : with an account of the Blacks inhabiting the banks of thofe rivers.
Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Dioclefian, at Spalatro in Dal
matia. By R. Adam, F.R.S. F. S. A. Architect to the
HE buildings of the antients are in architecture, as Mr.
Adam justly observes, wþat the works of nature are with respect to the others arts; serving as models for our imitation, and as standards of our judgment. Hence, those who aim at eminence, either in the theory or practice of this art, find it neceflary to study the remains of antiquity on the spot, in order to catch those ideas of grandeur and beauty, which nothing else, perhaps, than such actual observation can suggest. Scarce ány monuments, however, of Grecian or of Roman architecture still remain, except public buildings: temples, baths, and amphitheatres, having proved the only works of folidity enough to resist the injuries of time, and to defy the violence of Barbatians. The private edifices, however splendid and elegant, in which the Citizens of Rome and Athens resided, have all perished; few vestiges remaining, even of those innumerable villas with which Italy was crowded; though, in erecting and adorning them, the Romans lavished the wealth and spoils of the world.
It is with peculiar regret Mr. Adam considers the destruction of these buildings; some accidental allusions in the ancient Poets, and occasional descriptions in their Historians, conveying ideas of their magnificence, which aftonith the Artists of the present age. Conceiving, therefore, his knowlege of Architecture to be imperfect, unless he should be able to add the observation of a private edifice of the antients to his study of their public works, be formed the scheme of visiting the ruins of the Emperor Dioclefian's palace at Spalatro in Dalmatia. To that end, having prevailed on Mr. Cleriffeau, a French Artist, to ac2