About Ten a Clock in the Morning, their NostillsNostills: nostrils. are saluted with a Land-Breeze, which Blowing o’er the Island, searches the Bowels of the Mountains (being always crack’d and full of vents, by reason of excessive Heat) bringing along with it such Sulphorous Vapours, that I have fear’d the whole Island would have burst out into a Flaming Ætna,Ætna: Mt. Etna, an active volcano in Sicily. or have stiffled us with Suffocating Fumes, like that of melted Minerals and Brimstone.
In the Afternoon, about Four a Clock, they might have the refreshment of a Sea-Breeze, but suffering the Negros to carry all their Nastiness to Windward of the Town, that the Nauseous Efluvias which arise from their stinking Dunghills, are blown in upon them thus what they might enjoy is a Blessing, they Ingratefully pervert by their own own ill Management.
They have a Church ’tis true, but built rather like a Market-House; and when the Flock are in their Pens, and the Pastor Exalted to over-look his Sheep, I took a Survey round me, and saw more variety of Scare-Crows than ever was seen at the Feast of Ugly-Faces.
Every thing is very Dear, and an Ingenious or an Honest Man may meet with this Encouragement, To spend a Hundred Pounds before he shall get a Penny. Medera-Wine and Bottle-Beer are Fifteen Pence the Bottle; nasty Clarrat, half a Crown; Rennish, Five Shillings; and their best Canary, Ten Bits,Bits: portions (usually ⅛) of the old Spanish or Mexican dollar that circulated as currency in the West Indies and North America; hence “two bits” as modern slang for a quarter of a dollar. or Six and Three Pence.These drinks are, respectively, claret (red wine, originally from Bordeaux); Rhensh (Rhine wine); and Canary (sweet white wine from the Canary Islands). They have this Pleasure in Drinking, That what they put into their Bellies, they may soon stroak out of their Fingers Ends; for instead of ExoneratingExonerating: excreting. they Fart, and Sweat instead of Pissing.
Of the PEOPLE.
THE generality of the Men look as if they had just nock’d off their Fetters, and by an unexpected Providence, escap’d the danger of a near Misfortune, the dread of which, hath imprinted that in their Looks, which they can no more alter than an Etheopian can his Colour.
They are all Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, and Ensigns, the two last being held in such disdain, that they are look’d upon as a Bungling Diver amongst a Gang of Expert Pick-pockets; Pride being their Greatness, and Impudence their Virtue.
They regard nothing but Money, and value not how they get it, there being no other Felicity to be enjoy’d but purely Riches. They are very Civil to Strangers who bring over considerable Effects; and will try a great many ways to Kill him farely, for the lucre of his Cargo: And many have been made Rich by such Windfalls.
A Broken Apothecary will make there a Topping Physician; a Barbers Prentice, a good Surgeon; a Bailiffs Follower, a passable Lawyer, and an English Knave, a very Honest Fellow.
They have so great a veneration for Religion, That Bibles and Common Prayer Books are as good a Commodity amongst them, as Muffs and Warming-pans.
A little Reputation among the Women, goes a great way; and if their Actions be answerable to their Looks, they may vie Wickedness with the Devil: An Impudent Air, being the only Charms of their Countenance, and a Lewd Carriage, the Studi’d Grace of their Deportment. They are such who have been Scandalous in England to the utmost degre, either Transported by the State, or led by their Vicious Inclinations, where they may be Wicked without Shame, and Whore on without Punishment.A notorious imposter who exploited lovers financially in the guise of a German princess, Mary Carleton perhaps consolidated Jamaica's popular association with unrepentant whores when she was transported there in 1671. "At first I wondred there to see so many of my acquaintance," claims one pamphlet about her, News from Jamaica in a letter from Port Royal written by the Germane princess to her fellow collegiates and friends in New-Gate (London: Peter Lillycrap for Philip Brigs, 1671), 3.
They are Stigmatiz’d with Nick-Names, which they bear, not with Patience only, but with Pride, as Unconscionable Nan, Salt-Beef Peg, Buttock-de-Clink Jenny,Clink: a Southwark prison in the liberty of the bishop of Winchester. &c. Swearing, Drinking and Obscene Talk are the principal Qualifications that render them acceptable to Male Conversation, and she that wants a perfection in these admirable acquirments, shall be as much Redicul’d for her Modesty, as a Plain-dealing Man amongst a Gang of Knaves, for his Honesty.
In short, Virtue is so Despis’d, and all sorts of Vice Encourag’d, by both Sexes, that the Town of Port Royal is the very Sodom of the Universe.