Title page:A VOYAGE TO NORTH AMERICA, AND THE WEST INDIES, IN 1817. BY E. MONTULE. KNIGHT OF THE ROYAL ORDER OF THE LEGION OF HONOUR. AUTHOR OF TRAVELS IN EGYPT, &C.
Library of Congress 1867 City of Washington PRINTED FOR SIR RICHARD PHILLIPS AND Co.BRIDE COURT, BRIDGE STREET 1821
I will include excerpts of the document that pertain to Dominican Republic or things that I feel are of interest to my web site viewers and bold the things I really enjoy (to read the entire 102 page document click the link above). The voyage seems to start and end in New York. Starting on November 8, 1816 and ending on October 5, 1817. In his description of New York he seemed to really like the city according to what I read. It is interesting to note that he said one did not need a passport or documentation to enter the city.
In the parts of the document I have hereÉdouard de Montulé writes about what he sees in his first visit to the Island. Included is a description of a cock fight, the way women look and behave, about the "lazy inhabitants" (maybe they are this way because of the heat). He describes the wooded areas, the birds he does not recognize, mosquitoes, a cave, mountains and rivers, different palm trees and fruits (bananas, coconuts, pineapple and more..). He describes how a house looked and how several "negros" were singing songs of the Congo and pounding a poisonous root to make cakes they serve as bread (casabe). He wrote about the tower where Columbus lived and how it was the "first European edifice erected on American soil." Also about running into pirates when leaving the island.
The beginning of the Dominican Republic information started here:
We saw some very fine mahogany-trees, being about the size of a full grown, service-tree. In this state they do not cost more than five francs, or four shillings and two-pence, but the expenses of felling, transport, &c. are considerable in a country where all the idle seem to be collected as in one focus. While traversing a savanna, called the great, which is not less than a league and a half wide, we experienced a heat so dreadfully oppressive, that I was fearful of being taken ill; it was mid-day, the sun darting his fiery rays with such force upon the earth, that there arose a moving cloud, whose undulating motion quite dazzled my sight. M. Daumas was such a sufferer, that on regaining the town he was extremely incommoded; I am indeed fearful least the recent death of his father should strike his imagination and increase the danger of his situation. On approaching Santo Domingo, a negro offered us cocoa-nuts, of which fruit I then partook for the first time, and found the milk pretty good, although much inferior to the idea I had previously formed. The kind of butter-meat containing the milk, as the white of the egg surrounds the yellow, and possessing all its brilliancy, is really delicious, on account of its coolness, particularly when sufficiently tender to be eaten with a spoon.
Santo Domingo, the 26th February, 1817. LETTER VI.
Santo Domingo is regularly enough built, and, generally speaking, handsome; the national or citizen guard performs duty well, but the colony is in so declining a state that it is painful to witness. The governor of Western Spain formerly resided at Santo Domingo, but that vice-royalty has long been removed to Vera Cruz. The governor of Santo Domingo has, however, maintained the prerogative of neither communicating nor obeying but the direct orders of his metropolitan. He receives but a very limited salary, but is left master of a very spacious garden near the town, and on the sea-shore, which almost exclusively furnishes the market with fruits and vegetables. This produces, I believe, the greatest revenue of the Caballero don Carlos de Urrutia. This garden had been grubbed up by general Ferrand, who after having governed with universal satisfaction, when Buonaparte (page23) was master of this part, put a period to his existence with a pistol, on a very trifling pretext, to the great regret of all who had witnessed his long and virtuous career.
The Spaniard's great delight consists in passing the day in idleness, his principal labour being reduced to drinking, eating, sleeping, and frequenting the churches, which are numerous: all this, however, does not prevent the two sexes from abandoning themselves to those passions which a burning climate creates and maintains. Every one on rising, at about five o'clock, takes a cup of black coffee, this being a general custom in the colonies; after which they repair to the public promenade. The ladies, habited in black, whereon the whiteness of the linen and lace contrasts agreeably, are at that hour usually unaccompanied; it is not however uncommon to see them accosted, or even escorted by priests; they are in general good looking, but precisely in the costume of Bazil, in the Marriage of Figaro. After this walk, and paying some visits to churches, they return home, there to remain till sun-set. At the moment when the oratio, or angelus bell rings, (no matter how distant from the pealing sound) you are bound to stop short; at least you must take off your hat, and fall upon your knees; this is a pious act which admits of no exception. In a more populous Spanish city, the sudden stoppage of an whole moving multitude, must appear very extraordinary; since it so forcibly struck me in the depopulated streets of Santo Domingo.
The women are not, strictly speaking, handsome, they are small, but well made; and their complexion, somewhat brown, is not unbecoming, but the sparkling vivacity of their eyes, and their whole physiognomy, conveys an expression of their internal thoughts and feelings.
Some time after my excursion to Nissas, passing along Commerce Street, one of the finest of the town, I saw a great crowd at the door of a house, and was informed by M. La Coste, the French physician, that the persons so assembled were waiting to witness the cock fights; that I might enter if I thought fit, that he himself often resorted there, and was fortunate in betting.
Accordingly I went in, having never witnessed a similar spectacle, of which the Spaniards here are very great amateurs. This cruel sport takes place in a species of theatre, the roof and columns of which are not unlike the covering and pillars of a cottage decorating a garden in the English style. The stairs conducting to the first tier!--You are doubtless astonished!! but really there are first places--formed like a ladder, which would well become a hen-house; be this as it may, persons of the highest ton honour this place with their presence, and bet for the black or white cock, from one, two, or three hundred piasters, up (page24) to two thousand francs, or eighty pound. The cocks have no steel spurs as in England, but nature has armed them with double spurs, at least compared with those of France, and care is taken to render them very sharp. These birds come from the island of Porto Rico, and are sold at very high prices, according to their strength and courage.
When the two cocks equally fatigued retire to the extreme verge of the arena, their respective masters excite them; each taking his bird, puts its bleeding head into his mouth, as if intending to devour it, at the same time passing his hand under the tail, he rubs it with an aspect so truly serious and comic, that I believe no physiognomy save that of a Spaniard could support the expression. The combat then recommences, and terminates only with the death of one of the champions. The day I was present, two cocks not fighting well, their masters seized them spontaneously, and killed them by dashing them vehemently to the ground. Not being tempted to bet, I retired, reflecting on the instantaneous fury with which those birds are seized; which led me to make some comparisons not very honourable to humanity; these, however, I shall keep to myself.
Having sufficiently described the interior of the town, I shall proceed to speak of the exterior, and the various plants that adorn this superb country. The Spanish part of St. Domingo, according to the opinion of those who are acquainted with the other three, is most favoured by nature; the heat, however, renders the colony lazy; it is even with difficulty that the inhabitants till the soil, whose bosom is a treasure. If, as it is said, this portion of the island was given up to the French in exchange for Cayenne, it would certainly become one of the most important spots of the Antillas.
To effect this, a French fleet is daily expected, equipped with 10,000 men, and commanded by Marshal Suchet; which troops, after becoming accustomed to the climate, would be destined to wage war in the empire of the Haytian republic. I have just seen a very energetic letter from Christophe to Petion, wherein he states, that upon the approach of the common enemy, he hopes that all personal animosities will terminate, and engages to unite his forces with those of his rival. Embarkations take place here every day for the negro emperor and the mulatto president, who send hither for various kinds of merchandize.
The nephew of general Ferrand, who lived in the same boarding house with myself, proposed an excursion to the grotto, which he stated to be a charming spot, and frequented by choice parties. On leaving the city, you almost immediately enter a wood, the leaves of the trees and shrubs composing it, resembling those of the orange and lemon, which are common: they are nearly all like (page 25) the lily in colour, and a number possess its perfume. These woods are enlivened by beautiful birds, among which are distinguished the fly-bird and paroquet, which, by their warbling, seem desirous of extinguishing the voices of all the others; flying with a rapidity of which I had no prior conception.
We passed by an habitation, where several negroes, singing songs of Congo, were pounding the root of the manioc, from which they make cakes that serve for bread. They worked with unparalleled ardor, and did not seem to perceive the sweat which channelled down their ebony limbs. This root if not undried would be a poison; but as it could not then be scraped, the use of it is not so dangerous as might be imagined. We arrived at the grotto, which appeared to me to be a rock formerly hollowed by the sea. What seems most singular, is an immense excavation nearly circular, which is found in the centre; it is filled with shrubs, and resembles a garden. It is from that spot that you may pass on all sides under vaultings, and between columns, thus penetrating to the interior apartments of this palace of nature. You are doubtless curious to know of what these pillars are formed. It seems as if nature, desirous of repairing her wrongs, after having hollowed this grotto, is determined to fill it. For which purpose, you perceive a liquor filtering from the vaultings, which promptly congeals, thus forming a stalactite, or sugar-loaf reversed. Some drops fall before they congeal and form another cone, which always continues to rise as the other enlarges at the bottom, and in this way they terminate by uniting, forming a column, and as the number daily augments, we may presume, that in process of time the grotto will be closed. This natural architecture, this mass of pillars which, at the first view, appear necessary for the support of the vault, combine to render the sight curious and imposing. Being both provided with lights, we proceeded along several corridors, scarcely wide enough at times to admit us, and which on a sudden enlarging, presented to our view immense saloons, which reflecting the gleams of our flambeaux, decorated with a thousand blazing fires the crystal vaultings, of which bats are the only inhabitants, the cold being as piercing as the heat without is excessive.
I often thought of making long excursions in these still savage regions; but when one is habituated to the regularity, I may almost say the cleanliness of our European forests, it is scarcely possible to imagine the difficulties which here present themselves; although frequently varying, they are renewed at every step in these sombre forests, where the hand of man has not yet fashioned the wild exuberance of nature. Sometimes weeds, or running plants, of the ivy or vine species, which twine to the summits of the loftiest trees, falling again to the earth renew
Voyages, Vol. V. E (page 26) their roots, so that in conjunction with the trees that support them, they appear like masts enveloped in cordage. From this you may easily imagine that all the trees are bound as it were together. At other times, plants denominated raquettes, the leaves of which are armed with thorns, spread in all directions, much like those of the artichoke, close up the passages, which, notwithstanding the thickness of the forests, might otherwise be found between the trees. It is on this account that all the negroes of the country are armed with a sabre, in order to cut their way through these incommodious plants. The fruits of which you require a description, and whereof I shall now speak, are found in these forests, the pine apple and the banana being alone cultivated.
The tree and the fruit which at first most forcibly strikes the curiosity, and then the sight of the European, are certainly the cocoa-tree and the immense nut which it bears. This tree is of the genus of the palm; it is from forty to fifty feet in height; its roots not very deep, but interwoven; its trunk, nearly straight, is very slender in proportion to its height, but the wood is excellent for carpentering; it terminates in a species of plumage, which produces the most charming effect, as well on account of its form, and yellowish green, which causes it to be distinguished from the dark green of the forests. This plume consists of a bundle of leaves, which, from the perpendicular of the horizon, spreads in every direction; they are from ten to twelve feet long, each composed of smaller leaves, all uniting at one common pod. On beholding a branch of the acacia, we may form an idea of these leaves. In the centre appears the yellow flower, to which the nut succeeds, which grows in a mass like close-linked grapes. The covering which environs the fruit serves to make cordage, and the leaves to cover the houses. Placed between a kind of lathes, they form the walls, which are sufficiently strong in a country where the rigors of winter are not experienced; of these they also construct a species of matting, upon which, during the excessive heats, it is more agreeable to sleep than upon a bed; this tree, which is of the greatest utility to man, produces fruit every two or three months.
The palm, nearly as elevated as the cocoa, terminates in the same manner, with a plumage, but differs essentially from it in its trunk, which, on account of its polish, and perfect circular form, and a regular swelling at its base, appears formed in turnery. On beholding this trunk in the midst of the forest, where the other trees leave their branches to chance, it appears like the workmanship of man placed beside that of Nature. Immediately under the leaves, the trunk, which is of a brownish yellow, suddenly becomes green, and from the middle to the summit (page 27) sprouts a rolled leaf, four or five inches in diameter; it contains a substance which has given it the name of the cabbage-palm; it is white, three lines in thickness, rolled without order, and close knit together. It is excellent to eat, either boiled or as a salad, and in flavour reminds me of the cauliflower; when once the tuft of leaves is cut, the interior of the trunk, which only consists of a number of fibres, immediately rots. Under the rind, however, is found a dark brown wood, eight or nine lines in thickness, and nearly as hard as the lignum vitæ; of this the Carribee Indians made their bows, and tipped their arrows. From this you perceive that the tree in question is differently formed from any other that is known to us. The centre is usually harder than the aubier, which makes it approximate to the form of vegetables, as well as the banana and latanier, of which I shall now speak; which tree, when springing from the earth, resembles them still more. Another species of the palm, which is called wild, having its trunk armed with prickly points is of no utility whatsoever.
With regard to the banana, it is a vegetable, which, consequently, ought much rather to be enrolled among the class of herbal plants; being about 6 or 8 inches large, it has no wood, and rises from 10 to 12 feet. The leaves are enormous, being 8 feet in length, by two feet and a half wide, and are not, like the two preceding trees, divided into smaller,--nothing but the wind, or their being too full grown, splits them perpendicularly to the stalk. The fruit grows in the centre, resembling a bunch of grapes, which sometimes contains 100 bananas. It terminates in a mass about the size of a man's fist, which opens when the bananas are ripe. This tree is cultivated from slips, of which I have seen two species, the one producing a flowery nutricious fruit; the other, smaller, is fit for the dessert, being sweet and juicy. A kind of tissue, the threads of which run perpendicular to each other, surrounds the leaves of the tree when they bud. From its first springing from the soil, producing fruit, and dying, occupies the lapse of 9 or 10 months.
The American palm, another species of the palm, has the leaves plaited like a fan; of this I have seen various kinds, one of which, only rising a few feet from the ground, is used in the manufacture of very light hats.
The justly merited reputation of the pine-apple, necessarily attracts the traveller's attention; the stalk of this plant in some degree resembles that of the artichoke; and in the same way spreads its long leaves; but they are smooth, of a yellowish green, and rather reddish towards the edges, which are also armed with little points, that are frequently almost imperceptible: from the middle rises a stalk, bearing the pine-apple, being crowned by a (page 28) tuft of leaves, which, when re-planted in the earth, produces another pine.
Of all the fruits which, in this happy climate, flattered my taste the most, is the Corossol, which grows on a very common tree in this country. It is six inches wide, and ten long, being in the form of a heart, the extremity of which is rather bent; it is green, and studded with little points, by no means prickly; the fruit is filled with fibres, which, when lightly pressed, produce a juice partaking equally of sweetness and acidity; something like the orange, but, in my opinion, preferable; it abounds with hard flat grains of the finest black colour. This fruit every moment offers to the fatigued traveller a nourishment as refreshing as it is agreeable and wholesome.
A tree, of which I could not taste the fruit, which is directly attached to the trunk, is the Papayer, the leaves of which resemble those of the fig. However agreeable those fruits may be of which I have spoken, the Creoles prefer the Sapotille; when ripe it is brown on the outside, and within calls to mind the medlar, but it is less nutricious.
I am every moment trampling under foot plants which were unknown to me, and am incessantly stopped by some tree or shrub that arrests my attention. I might mention the indigo, whose leaves, successively placed in three boilers, terminate by depositing a blue matter, which unites in grains; the sablier, as large as our full-grown nut tree, whose trunk is armed with thorns, the base of which is very large and strong, is advantageously appropriated in forming palings to enclose land. The fruit is as large as an orange, rather flattened, and divided into twelve parts, each containing a seed. When ripe it bursts, accompanied by a noise sufficiently loud to astonish the bye-standers, and in some parts of St. Domingo, at particular periods, this report continues almost without interruption. The noise which it produces has given it the appellation of the Devil's tree.
The Palma christi abounds at St. Thomas's and St. Domingo, it rises to a considerable height, its stalks are channelled, and from the grain is extracted oil for burning. In fine, must I speak of that plant which has already, for so many years, furnished our poets with a thousand comparisons, I mean the sensitive plant? It would be requisite never to have heard of this plant to enjoy the wonder which is caused by the instantaneous contraction of leaves, which, upon your retiring, re-assume their natural position.
The island of St. Domingo, and particularly that part in possession of the Spaniards, has gold mines, which are no longer worked; it is even stated that they are lost: they might, however, easily be found, since upon the banks of some rivers negroes are occupied in collecting the gold-dust. (page 29) The centre of the island being occupied by mountains, which in all directions descend to the sea, in hills, or verdant plots, called Mornes, it may be conceived that there are many rivers. The Ozama, upon the right bank of which St. Domingo is situated, is large and deep; the whole island is naturally divided into three parts, by the mountains; a circumstance which greatly tends to diminish any apprehensions from the Negroes and the Mulattos.
I have for some days thought of quitting St. Domingo, but nearly all the vessels which were in port having come for mahogany, either sailed for the United States of the North, or else to Europe; there was but one bound for Jamaica, and although it leaked a good deal, and had the reputation of being in very bad condition, I notwithstanding made up my mind to sail in her. I am, &c. &c.
Port Royal, Jamaica, 5th March, 1817.
As the ship in which I was to sail was to be laden with mahogany, near Nissas, I rejoined her some days after she had sailed from St. Domingo, and for this purpose we proceeded in a small boat, and soon lost sight of the mouth of the river, the signal tower, and the dwelling, said to be that of Columbus, the first European edifice erected on the soil of America. Constructed of huge masses of stone, it was probably designed to serve as a defence against the unfortunate Indians, then inhabiting the country, of whom scarcely a trace is now remaining. We had fine weather, but in these latitudes (we were 18 degrees north) a continuation of it was hardly to be expected; and in effect, that which had accompanied us from port speedily changed; it became dreadful, but the banks being in all directions ruggedly perpendicular, we could not stop our course. We passed over some rocks almost level with the current's surface, the sight of which made our mariners tremble; but they resisted every effort of the waves, when we found ourselves in a bay, on the banks of which we resolved to pass the night. Scarcely had we set foot to ground, when a cloud of musquitos assailed us, driving us back to our boat, in which we slept, near the bank; and in the morning we perceived our vessel making sail for the bay of Ocao, in order to take in a stock of cattle.
These seas abound with pirates: on the first day we saw a large decked boat, and a fast sailer, which passed near us, in a (Page 30) contrary direction, no doubt for the purpose of examining us, for shortly after she tacked about, and made towards us. As she gained fast upon us, our captain tacked, crying, "It is long since my cannon has been tried, (for we had one,) and I will this day try it:" upon which he charged with powder, and fired, then charged again with ball, preparing to fire upon the pirate, should he dare advance. Being at a distance, and perceiving that we did not fly, he thought us well prepared for action, and on hearing the cannon, gained the coast, hoisting the flag of Petion. Having lowered the boat, he was towed towards the sand, whither we could not, neither had we the wish to follow. Two Spaniards whom they had freed, joined us at Ocao, from whom we learned, that our cannon had excited great fears in the pirates, who, however numerous were only armed with muskets.
The story continues on with them landing in Jamaca and continuing on with their explorations.
(Page 19 ) From St. Domingo, the 15th February, 1817.
"We sailed from St. Thomas's the 28th of January, in beautiful weather, steering for the island of Porto Rico, in possession of the Spaniards, and one of the richest of the Antillas. We were followed by a whale, which the mate endeavoured several times to harpoon without effect. Having had for two days the blue summits of St. Domingo in view, we got there on the 3d February. The position of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Spanish possessions in this island, being to the south-east, is charming; and testifies the taste and discernment of Columbus, who had appropriated it for the capital of the colony. It is at the mouth of a beautiful river, whose banks rise on either side in an amphitheatrical form; we entered the port at five in the evening, being very fearful that the Spaniards, who are rigid in trifles, would prevent us from landing on that day, which would undoubtedly have occurred, had not the supercargo of the vessel chanced to be on board, who specially interfered in this matter.
M. Daumas having acquaintances in the town, introduced me to a house where they were dancing, and singing French songs. We ascended to the ball-room, where a dozen masks received us very politely; introducing us to a table bearing flasks of gin, and other liquors, desiring us to make ourselves at home, in order that the follies they committed might not strike us too forcibly. When the dance was concluded, we were asked if we had any lodging for the night, or a place taken for our boarding, when they offered to conduct us to theirs, and we accordingly followed. This house is kept by two French creole women, being mother and daughter, one of our conductors living publicly with the latter, by whom she is pregnant; nor was it until the following day that I perceived what species of residence I inhabited; but ere long, I had reason to ascertain that such a mode of living is almost general in this burning climate; the manners being extremely licentious.
The first day was employed in getting my luggage on shore, which, with the Spaniards, is not unattended with difficulties, as the persevering custom-house officers search with the most scrupulous attention for every species of contraband, not to confiscate them, but to draw from you some pecuniary recompence.
We saw some very fine mahogany-trees, being about the size of a full grown, service-tree. In this state they do not cost more than five francs, or four shillings and two-pence, but the expenses of felling, transport, &c. are considerable in a country where all the idle seem to be collected as in one focus. While traversing a savanna, called the great, which is not less than a league and a half wide, we experienced a heat so dreadfully oppressive, that I was fearful of being taken ill; it was mid-day, the sun darting his fiery rays with such force upon the earth, that there arose a moving cloud, whose undulating motion
Having cultivated an acquaintance with the French who lodged in the same house with myself, I had only to feel gratified by their civilities. Nearly all my countrymen whom I found abroad, pretended to have occupied distinguished posts, and frequented
(Page 20 From St. Domingo, the 15th February, 1817.) the best societies; while their most intimate friends are persons of consequence, whom they had only addressed at the theatre, or in the public streets; but when you easily distinguish truth from falsehood, or fact embellished by fiction, or that they perceive themselves, that their stories are no more credited than they deserve to be, they very speedily resume their real characters. All the French, however, who inhabit the colonies, do not possess this characteristic failing, some, on the contrary, being well-informed and very obliging. Unfortunately, however, the latter is not the most considerable; and I am convinced, that among travellers who have not resided long enough in the colonies to conceive themselves called upon to participate in the opinions of their inhabitants, the major part will coincide with my opinion. Upon the discovery of a colony among other nations, well-educated persons, and families already wealthy, will establish themselves there, whereas in France the contrary occurs, where families at their ease very rarely think of traversing the ocean.
The town of Santo Domingo is large, and built of stone, and the streets are, generally speaking, in direct lines; the cathedral might pass for a noble edifice in any country; in it is preserved the anchor of Columbus's ship, together with his portrait, whose resemblance to that of the great man who has so recently filled the universe with his name, must appear striking to every observer. The place is surrounded by a pretty good fortification; some hills command it on one side, and it has recently been strengthened by a trench.
M. Daumas having understood that his father lived at Nissas, twelve leagues west of the town, desired to know if I would accompany him thither; I accepted his offer, and we took our departure mounted on two miserable hacks. We passed two rivers; some torrents nearly dry at this season, immense forests, where the route was scarcely perceptible, and barren plains, where the heat was almost insupportable. Having gained Nissas, M. Daumas enquired for the residence of his parent, when we were directed to a hut formed of leaves, and the intertwisted rind of the palm-tree saying that was his habitation. Upon this the countenance of the young man underwent a visible change; he thought to find his father in affluence, and enjoyed the idea of introducing me to a charming habitation; but this regret was trifling, compared to that which awaited him beneath this miserable roof, so revolting to his sight; for upon entering our ears were saluted with moans, and we beheld upon a wretched bed, in the midst of surrounding personages, an unfortunate fellow-being at the point of death, and M. Daumas recognized his father, whom rushing forward he embraced, when the joy of beholding his son, for a moment reanimated the expiring embers of existence in the
(page 21) bosom of the former, who begging us to be seated, detailed the misfortunes which had led him to the destitute situation in which we beheld him. In a few seconds after having concluded, he experienced a dreadful weakness, when I retired, leaving him in the midst of the negresses, who, with the assistance of a few simples, hoped to rescue him from relentless death: this, however, was vain, for he expired the following day, having nothing to bequeath his son but debts, the result of his fallen fortunes. I did not endeavour to offer consolation to a lacerated breast, which would only tend to increase its anguish; but while mingling my sorrows with his, on the cruelty of his situation, I drew him from the residence of his father, and we retired to walk on the banks of a torrent which transports the mahogany that is felled on the mountain there. I bathed myself in the torrents which are formed by a small river, on its approach to empty itself into the sea. I had kept on my shoes in consequence of the flinty bottom, and carrying my drawing book to M. Daumas, who was upon the opposite bank, when I let it fall into the stream, which was floating it rapidly away. I was, however, sufficiently expeditious to catch it before it was entirely wetted; but in so doing I lost one of my shoes, in the endeavour to regain which, the other experienced a similar fate, placing me in a very disagreeable situation as to regaining the house where my horse was, being nearly a league distant. My feet were soon in a gore of blood, nor did I advance a step without giving vent to a malediction, when the idea suddenly struck me, of making soles with palm-leaves, called detaches. These leaves are as thick as the bark of the birch-tree, and fastening them with my garters, I regained with less pain the residence of M. Daumas. I was now doomed to pass a second night similar to the foregoing, that is to say, in a loft, on a kind of blanket, which served me for a saddle during the journey; giddy, and surrounded by musquitos, a species of goat, of which I have not hitherto spoken, whose incessant hummings and stings, have before acted as preventatives to sleep. On arising in the morning, I thought of the pleasurable bed which awaited me in the town at night, but, unfortunately, we lost our way in the forest, and were necessitated to repose in the dwelling of a poor inhabitant, whose modest hut was in a manner lost amidst those solitary wilds. M. Daumas reposed upon the table on which we had previously partaken of some turtle doves, which I had fortunately shot, while I was placed in a hammock, of which several pegs being gone, I stood in danger of awaking the following day, recumbent on the floor. These hammocks are suspended in all the dwellings, from one angle to another of the largest apartment, and it is there that (page 22) one of the inhabitants every hour of the day, repairs to smoke his cegar, swinging in colonial nonchalence.
A voyage to North America, and the West Indies in 1817 / By Édouard de Montulé (Also titled as: Voyage to North America, the West Indies, and the Mediterranean)
Created/Published: London : Printed for Sir R. Phillips and Co., 1821.