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any punishment I should decree if ever one of these bees should sting me in person. “Massera,” said he, “they would have stung you long ere now had you been a stranger to them; but they being your tenants, that is gradually allowed to build upon your premises, they assuredly know both you and your’s, and will never hurt either you or them.” I instantly assented to the proposition, and tying the old black man to a tree, ordered my boy Quaco to ascend the ladder quite naked, which he did, and was not stung; I then ventured to follow, and I declare upon my honour, that even after shaking the nest, which made its inhabitants buz about my ears, not a single bee attempted to sting me. I next released the old negro, and rewarded him with a gallon of rum and five shillings for the discovery. This swarm of bees I since kept unhurt, as my body-guards, and they have made many overseers take a desperate leap for my amusement, as I generally sent them up my ladder upon some frivolous message, when I wished to punish them for injustice and cruelty, which was not seldom. • On the 23d, I received positive orders to prepare and be ready on the 15th of July, to break up, with all the troops under my command, leave the river Comewina, and row down to Paramaribo, where the transport ships were put in commission to convey us back to Holland. This order I instantly read before the front to all my men, who received it with unbounded joy and three cheers—but I alone sighed bitterly.— Oh my Joanna! Oh my boys who were at this time both dangerously ill, the one with a fever, the other with convulsions, so that neither were expected to survive. Add to this, that I ran a mail quite through my foot—thus was completely miserable. • On the 14th, I removed my flag from the Hope to the barges; and in the evening took my last farewell of Joanna's relations on the Fauconberg estate; who, crowding round me, expressed their sorrow aloud at my departure, and with tears invoked the protection of Heaven for my safe and prosperous voyage. • On the 15th, we finally left the Hope; and, on the 18th, the whole fleet, consisting of my own barges, together with three from Magdenberg, and those from the river Cottica, arrived safe at anchor in the roads of Paramaribo, where three transports lay ready to receive us, on board of which vessels I immediately embarked all the troops that had come down under my command.” Joanna and her boy having come down to Paramaribo, captain Stedman took his leave of this interesting woman and his boy, and the whole fleet, with the poor remains of Fourgeoud's regiment, prepared to sail. Just at this moment a ship entered the river with dispatches, inclosing an order for the troops immediately to re-enter the woods. On reading this order from the quarter-deck of each vessel, ‘I never, says our author, “ saw such dejection, disappointment, and despair, so strongly marked: while at this moment I, who but just before had been completely miserable, was now in turn the only one who was not depressed with sorrow. “In the midst of this gloomy scene, the men were ordered to give three cheers, which the marines on board one of the vessels absolutely refused to comply with: colonel Seyburgh, and unluckily myself, were in consequence ordered to compel them; which he undertook, with a cane in one hand, and a loaded pistol cocked in the other. Knowing his temper to be fiery and irascible, what did I not feel at this moment? I suddenly leapt into the boat that lay along-side, where, after haranguing those few that leaned over the gunwale, I promised the ship's crew 20 gallons of Holland's gin if they would only begin the melancholy chorus. Then mounting again the quarter-deck, I acquainted the colonel that all were now ready and willing to obey his commands; we then re-entered the boat, and in shoving off had the satisfaction to receive three hearty cheers from the sailors, in which joined a few marines, but with such languid looks and heavy hearts as cannot be described.” The disembarkation of the wretched troops afforded great joy to the inhabitants, who viewed their departure with considerable regret and alarm. However, 9 officers, and above 160 privates, all sick and incurable, were embarked for Holland on the 1st of August. Stedman being ill of an ague had his choice to accompany this party, but he refused the offer. On the 12th, the rebels attacked an estate and carried off all the black women, without committing any kind of cruelty. Upon this intelligence a party of rangers were sent in pursuit of them; and 700 negroes were employed to cut a path of circumvallation round the colony, which path was to be manned with military picquets to defend the estates from any farther invasion. ‘As an instance of the insolence of savages, says our narrator, when perfectly independent, I must relate a conversation which passed between one of this description and myself at Paramaribo, where the troops were allowed some time to refresh themselves before they again retook the field:--Dining one day at captain Mac Neyl's, who was now come to town from his estate, a captain of the Owca negroes, our supposed allies, came in to demand money from his lady; and being very importunate, I desired her in English to “give him a dram, and he would be gone;” which the fellow understanding, called me without the door, and lifting up his silverheaded cane, asked me, “If that house was my own P and if not, what business I had to interfere? I am,” said he, in a thundering voice, “captain Fortune Dago-So, and, if I had you in my country at Owca, I would make the very earth drink up your blood.” To which I replied, drawing my sword, “That my name was Stedman; and that if he dared to utter one insolent expression more, my weapon should find the shortest way through his body.” Upon which he snapped his fingers, and marched off, leaving me much displeased, and blaming Fourgeoud for shewing so much indulgence to such a . set of banditti. In the evening, as I returned from dinner, I met the same black fellow again, who, stepping short up to me, said, “ Massera, you are a man, a very brave fellow; won't you now give some money to the Owca captain?” This I sternly refused; he then kissed my hand, and shewed his teeth (he said) in token of reconciliation, promising to send me a present of pistachio nuts, which never did arrive, nor
* Barbarities still continued in a shocking degree in the metropolis; where my ears were deafened with the clang of the whip, and the shrieks of the negroes. Among the most eminent of these tyrants was a Miss Sp—n, who lived next door to Mr. de Graav, and who I saw with horror from my window give orders that a young black woman should be flogged principally across the breasts, at which she seemed to enjoy peculiar satisfaction. To dissipate the impression this scene had left on my mind, I got into a whiskey, and rode out; when the first thing I saw was a negro girl fall naked from a garret window on a heap of broken bottles: this was indeed an accident, but she was so mangled, though not dead, that she exhibited a spectacle nearly as wretched as the other.—Cursing my unlucky fate, I turned the horses, and drove to the beach, as the only place to avoid every scene of cruelty and misery; but here I had the mortification to see two Philadelphia sailors (while they were fighting on the forecastle of their vessel) both fall over the ship's bow into the stream, where they sunk, and were no more seen. On board another American brig, I discovered a little tar defending himself from the cross-trees with a hatchet, against a serjeant and four armed men, for a considerable time; till they threatening to shoot him out of the rigging, he at last surrendered, and being brought ashore, was dragged to fort Zelandia, in company with two others, by a file of musketeers, where, for having been drunk on duty, they received a fire-cant each, at the captain's request; that is, they were bastinadoed or bedten on the shoulders by two corporals with bamboo canes, till their backs were black, and swelled like a cushion. However arbitrary this mode of correction, the captain endeavoured to explain the necessity of it; the private American sailors being of a turbulent spirit when drunk, although when sober they may be fairly classed among the best seamen in the world.
‘Early the next morning, while musing on all the different dangers and chastisements to which the lower class of people are exposed, I heard a crowd pass under my window. Curiosity made me start up, dress in a hurry, and follow them : when I discovered three negroes in chains, surrounded by a guard, going to be executed in the savannah. Their undaunted look, however averse I may be to the sight of cruelties, so attracted my attention, as to determine me to see the result, which was thus:—The sentence being read in Low Dutch (which they did not understand) one was condemned to be flogged below the gallows, and his accomplice to have his head struck off with an axe, for having shot a slave who had come to steal plantains on the estate of his mistress. The truth however was, that this had been done by that lady's absolute command ; but the murder being discovered, she, in the hopes of saving her character, besides the expence of paying the penalties, gave up her valuable slave, and permitted the unhappy man to be thus sacrificed. He laid his head upon the block with great indifference, stretching out his neck; when, with one blow of the axe, it was severed from his body. “The third negro, whose name was Neptune, was no slave, but his own master, and a carpenter by trade; he was young and handsome, but having killed the overseer of the estate Altona, in the Para creek, in consequence of some dispute, he justly forfeited his life. The particulars, however, are worth relating:—This man having stolen a sheep, to entertain a favourite young woman, the overseer, who burnt with jealousy, had determined to see him hanged; to prevent which, the negro shot him dead among the sugar-canes; for these offences of course he was sentenced to be broken alive upon the rack, without the benefit of a coup-de-grace or mercy-stroke. Informed of the dreadful sentence, he composedly laid himself down on his back on a strong cross, on which, with arms and legs expanded, he was fastened by ropes: the executioner, also a black man, having now with a hatchet chopped off his left hand, next took up a heavy iron bar, with which, by repeated blows, he broke his bones to shivers, till the marrow, blood, and splinters flew about the field; but the prisoner never uttered a groan nor a sigh. The ropes being next unlashed, I imagined him dead, and felt happy; till the magistrates stirring to depart, he writhed himself from the cross, when he fell on the grass, and damned them all, as a set of