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east to west, but these mensurations are so uncertain, that it will convey a more adequate idea of the island to say, that it contains about a hundred and seven thousand acres.
The climate is very hot, especially for eight months in the year, but the heat is not so excessive as in the same latitude on the continent, which may be said of the American islands in general; and it is observable, that though the inhabitants of Barbadoes perspire very much, they are not so weakened by it as we are by the heat in England in July and August, nor are they so apt to be thirsty. The length of the day is nearly the same all the year round, the sun always rising and setting at six o'clock, or within ha!f an hour before and after it, but the twilights are so short that it soon becomes dark after sun set.
The atmosphere is generally clear and serene, and, from the total absence of frost, snow, and hail, it is never liable to the sudden vicissitudes so common in other climates to the northward and southward of the tropics. The air is, in general, very healthy, which is chiefly owing to its having neither bogs nor marshes of stagnated water, nor large forests, which generate a moist air.
It sometimes happens that large pieces of ground planted with sugar canes and even with plantain and banana trees, have slid down to the valleys from the sides of the hills. This happens in very rainy seasons; for the soil upon those hills being frequently not above cight or nine inches deep, and of an oozy, soapy nature underneath, it easily separates from the next immediate substratum, which consists of a slippery chalk, flat stones, or loose gravel. When the soil slides in large pieces its motion is less violent than when it is confined in narrow chasms in the meeting of two' hills, where, the collection of water being considerable and heavy, instead of gliding softly between the two strata, it breaks out in different places at once ; and then runs down the precipice a ningled torrent of earth and water. Some parts of the soil are hollowed into caves, capable of containing two or three hundred people, and lined with innumerable petrifactions.
Among the fossils of Barbadoes, the most remarkable is an oily bituminous exudation, of a dirty black colour inclining to green. It is procured by digging a hole or trench near the place where it oozes out of the earth ; this gradually fills with water, that has a thick filin or cream of this liquid bitumen swimming on the surface, from whence it is skimmed off and preserved in earthen jars or other vesseis. It is of so inflammable a nature that it serves to burn in lamps; and may be successfully used both in the cure of cutaneous eruptions, and in paralytic and nervous disorders. In St. George's parish are frequently ciug up lumps of a transparent resinous substance, resembling resin, from which it is principally distinguished by the fragrance of its smell ; anci on comparing it with the gum produced by the birch gum tree, one would suppose it to be of the same species, There is another species of bitumen of a solid substance, called munjac ; which is dug out of the earth on the sides of several hills, and nearly resembles the bitumen found in the Dead Sea. If, by accident, any of these veins take tire, they continue burning a long time, though in a slow dull manner; for the veins being surrounded with earth, it crumbles, and damps the flame into which it falls,
Excepting that of Bridge-town in Carlisle Bay, there is searcely a harbour in the island, nor a stream that deserves the name of a river ; but they have wells of good water in almost every part, without digging very deep, and likewise large ponds and reservoirs for rain-water. For the most part, Barbadoes is a plain level country with some small bills; and its woods have been cut down, to make room for plantations of sugar canes, which now occupy the greatest part of the island.
St. Christopher's is the largest of all the Leeward islands, and is represented by some writers as one of the most delightful spots in the world ; its mountains rising gradually above each other, and being beautifully variegated with plantations, houses, and gardens. The Rev. Mr. Smith (historian of Nevis) paid a visit to a friend at St. Christopher's, and took a journey to the top of the great mountain there, an account of which he has communicated to a friend, in one of his letters, and to that letter we are indebted for the following particulars.
From Basse Terre, the chief town of the island, our author set out with his friend for Chianne, and, after riding through many plantations of sugar, and some of cotton, they came to thick woods, where they were agreeably entertained with the soft notes of a vast number of turtle doves, which, with the murmurs of the sea beating gently against the rocks at half a mile's distance, were enough to lull any one to sleep who was so inclined. Το avoid the heat of the sun they travelled along the deep valley, which runs upwards from the seaside, growing steeper the farther from the coast, and plentifully stocked with wild palm, pimento, cassia fistula, and other fragrant trees. Through the whole length of this valley, which is about two".