Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/640

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

self been a bond-servant and had twice been sold. He tells us that the bond-servants were usually treated worse than the negro slaves, for, as the latter were the actual property of their masters, they took some care to preserve them. After describing the situation of the bond-servants in the islands belonging to France, and saying that he has seen bond-servants beaten to death in the French portion of Hispaniola, now Hayti, he thus continues: "The planters that inhabit the Cariby Islands are rather worse and more cruel to their servants than the precedent. In the Isle of St. Christopher dwelleth one, whose name is Bettesa, very well known among the Dutch merchants, who hath killed above an hundred of his servants with blows and stripes. The English do the same with their servants, and the mildest cruelty they exercise towards them is that, when they have served six years of their time (the years they are bound for among the English being seven complete), they use them with such cruel hardship as forceth them to beg of their masters to sell them unto others, although it be to begin another servitude of seven years, or, at least, three or four. I have known many who, after this manner, served fifteen and twenty years before they could obtain their freedom. . . . To advance this trade, some persons there are who go purposely to France (the same happeneth in England and other countries), and, travelling through the cities, towns, and villages, endeavour to pick up young men or boys, whom they transport, by making them great promises. These having once allured and conveyed them into the islands I speak of, they force to work like horses, the toil they impose upon them being much harder than what they usually enjoin unto the negroes their slaves."

A terrible indictment of seventeenth-century planters this, and on the whole, except perhaps in the actual number killed by the Dutchman Bettesa, not an exaggerated one, for we find General Brayne, who arrived in Jamaica as governor in December, 1656, urging Cromwell to have negro slaves imported from Africa, on the ground that, as the planters would have to pay for them, they would have an interest in the preservation of their lives, which was wanting in the case of bond-servants, numbers of whom were killed by overwork and cruel treatment.

 


 
The little village of Payerne, near the Lake of Neubourg, Switzerland, possesses a unique curiosity in the shape of the saddle of Queen Bertha, who founded the Abbey of the Benedictines at Neubourg, now converted into an educational establishment, in a. d. 901. The saddle is of marked antique shape, and has an opening on the pommel, which was intended to hold the lady's distaff; for the good queen would not lose a moment of her time, and set a profitable example to her subjects by busying herself with spinning while she was on horseback.