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gers, but one that leads to a commutation of nuisance rather than a final removal of it.
July 12. Last night the heat was excessive, and not accompanied with a breath of wind. was in vain that I thrust my head out at an open window to be cooled. The effluvia arising from the streets is, in a great measure, removed by a high temperature. I imagine that a copious evolution of phosphorized hydrogen gas goes on in such weather. I could not sleep till three or four o'clock. This morning I heard that some people who had suffered from the heat and stillness of the air, had stretched themselves on carpets, or sat by open room doors, or in passages. Nights so very oppressive are said to occur rarely. In high and inland parts of the country they do not occur at all.
This is not the most proper season of the year for Europeans arriving here. Yesterday and today the heat has been excessive, the thermometer in the shade stood at 97. In such a degree of heat it is imprudent to take much exercise. temperature of the human body being lower than that of the air, the former is deprived of the cooling process usually produced by evaporation. Should the heat of the blood be increased in such a case, fever commences. We had an example of this, in a young man, one of the emigrants on board the Glenthorn, who exerted himself too much in getting baggage ashore. He was this day removed to Brooklyn, a high-lying village on Long Island, about a mile from New York. Transitions from heat to cold are, perhaps, still more dangerous; of late, eleven person's have died in the city by drinking cold water. Several of them were strangers newly landed. Water should not be drunk immediately from the
well, but should be allowed previously to stand for a few minutes in the air. It should be taken in small mouthfuls, and these heated in the mouth for two or three seconds before swallowing. Precautions of this kind ought to be strictly attended to, while heated by exercise or the sun's rays, Spirits are often mixed with water, to prevent the injurious effects of the latter. This corrective, however much extolled, ought to be taken in very small quantities. Here, as in Britain, there are many who resort to spirituous liquors as the sovereign medicine, both in hot and in cold weather.
Strangers lodge in boarding houses, and are charged from three dollars to twenty a-week. I have got lodgings in a good one, where I find interesting company. Previous to our meals a servant rings a small hand-bell, summoning every lodger to the public room, where we all eat together. A polite, well-dressed, hostess presides.
Servants are not here so attentive to their duty as elsewhere; many of them are free blacks, slow in their motions, and often treating the most reasonable commands with neglect. Master is not a word in the vocabulary of hired people. Bos, a Dutch one of similar import, is substituted. The former is used by Negroes, and is by free people considered as synonymous with slave-keeper.
This afternoon much thunder was heard. After twilight the lightning flashed incessantly, so that the illumination was almost permanent. Thunder storms in America are more frequent, more severe, and often accompanied with greater rains than in Europe. A respectable gentleman of Delaware county, in this State, told me, that during a thunder storm there, he laid his watch on the table, and found that an hour and forty-eight minutes elapsed
without one cessation of sound.
He thinks it
probable that the peal lasted about two hours, as a few minutes must have passed before the idea of noting the time suggested itself.
July 13. This evening, after dark, I was surprised to see a large object standing in the centre of one of the principal streets; on approaching it, I discovered that it was a frame-house, with a wheel affixed to each corner. Its length was about twenty-two feet, breadth about sixteen feet, and two stories high. I am just told that much larger buildings than this are often dragged off by horses, with their roofs, floors, plaster, doors, and windows, entire; furniture sometimes included. This sort of removal happens at the expiry of leases of small lots, where the occupier is not bound to leave the buildings.
July 16. For two days past, the skin of my face has been spotted, accompanied with blotches, and with partial swelling. This is called the prickly heat, from the pungent feeling that attends it. A medical gentleman has told me, that this has been occasioned by a sudden cooling, which has put a stop to perspiration. He congra tulated me on having escaped a fever, prescribed a hot bath, and subsequent sea-bathing. I am about to set out for Long Island, in obedience to the latter part of the Doctor's prescription.
Afternoon. Arrived at New-Utrecht, a village near the south-western extremity of Long Island. On leaving New York, I crossed the ferry to Brook lyn, by a steam-boat of singular construction: this vessel is composed of two hulls, at a little distance from, and parallel to, one another; they are connected by a deck common to both. The waterwheel, turned by a steam-engine, is placed between
the keels of the boats. There is a rudder at each end, so that she can cross and re-cross, without putting about.
A stage coach runs from Brooklyn to New Utrecht. The distance is nine miles; and the fare for one person, half a dollar. This coach, like the other public ones of the country, has no glass win dows in the front or the sides of it, these parts are furnished with curtains, which are let down in bad weather. The coach is long, containing four seats that run across; and travellers sit with their faces forward, as in the pews of a church.
I have agreed to stop a few days at New Utrecht. My host is an intelligent man, obliging, but not fawning; he and his wife take the principal drudg ery of the house upon themselves, as the slaves are extremely slow in the execution of their work. Sometimes the landlord presides at the head of the table, and at other times he acts as servant. dinner we were joined by the coach-driver who brought us from Brooklyn; he is very unlike the drivers of some other coaches, is well dressed, active, and attentive to his business, by no means obsequious, answers every question with propriety, and without embarrassment. He does not depend on the gratuities of travellers for his wages. That system, which so universally prevails in Britain, is unknown here.
At the inn there were three boarders, all Scotsmen. One of them, a young gentleman from Edinburgh, who was confined to bed by a broken thigh bone, occasioned by a horse running away with a gig, from which he fell while attempting to disengage himself; he was occasionally attended by a young lady, whose visits were frequent, although she lived at the distance of ten miles. The people of the neighbourhood were also very attentive to this
person, often calling for him; and several of the young men sat with him all night by rotation. It was pleasing to see so creditable a display of the benevolent affections.
The good people here are the descendants of the original Dutch settlers. They are placed in comfortable circumstances, their style of living somewhat resembling that of farmers in the more fertile and improved parts of Scotland. If the situations of farmers in the two countries were compared, it would appear that the advantage of the Long Islanders consists in a climate highly conducive to vegetation, their freedom from rent, being owners of the soil, and the total absence of any heavy taxes: ; and that their comparative disadvantage is, the want of such active domestic and agricultural servants as the farmer of the other country employs.
Mr. Cobbet is now farming about nine miles from this place. His people (it is said) could not bear the opprobrious name servant, and, with the exception of one person, left him *.
The fishermen here drag ashore many fishes in their seines. Without other evidence than the vast quantities of smaller ones left on the shore, the abundant supply of the New York market might be inferred. I bathe twice a-day, on the spot where General Howe first effected the landing of his army. A farmer very obligingly gives me the key of his fishing house on the beach, that I may dress and undress in it. The farmers here catch great quantities of fish, with which they manure their land.
There are still a considerable number of slaves in Long Island; they are treated with a degree of
* This person was English.