Sivut kuvina

but the leading men in the Dutch government found Viera so very serviceable a person in a commercial point of view, that they thought it adviseable not to ruin him altogether, and contented themselves with taking security for his good behaviour, which was readily given by several who were themselves engaged in the conspiracy. Viera then prosecuted his designs, and the Dutch rested in full security till the very night that the plot was to have been executed. Intelligence of it then arrived from the mother country, who, it seems, had been more watchful. So great was the consternation into which the colonial government was now thrown, that the conspirators easily made their escape into the woods, where they collected an army of discontented Portuguese, and established their head quarters near Cape St Augustin. In this extremity the Dutch chose for their general a Colonel Huys, but unluckily, in consequence of their economical measures, they had not an army to give him.The few troops whom he could collect were surrounded and taken prisoners by the Portuguese general; their strong forts were reduced one after another; and though the Dutch sent out two powerful armaments to defend their possessions, these arrived too late to retrieve their affairs. In 1655 Brasil was entirely evacuated by that nation, and has remained ever since under the dominion of the Portuguese.

The trade of the northern provinces is entirely carried on by the port of Paraiba, which lies about five leagues from the sea, on a river of the same name. The export consists chiefly of sugar, in which Brasil formerly excelled all the American settlements, and even now her sugar is superior in quality to ours. About seven or eight vessels came there annually from Lisbon. The trade of Olinda, or Fernambuça, is carried on from the town of the same name. It is rather ill situated, the port too narrow, and the entry


Meanwhile the Dutch, considering themselves now as secured in the possession of this part of Brasil, began to contrive the means of turning it to best account. With this view they recalled Count Maurice, who was considered as too expensive; and in his place substituted persons whom they could confide in. The chief of these were a merchant of Amsterdam, a goldsmith of Haerlaem, and a carpenter of Middleburgh, who were investted with the supreme power in this great colony. These prudent persons soon discovered that important additions could be made to the revenues of the company; that their arms and ammunitions might be advantageously disposed of to the Portuguese, who offer ed high prices for them; that the maintenance of forts and garrisons formed a serious deduction from their net profits; and that by allowing numbers of the soldiery to return home on leave of absence, the expence of their military establishment might be greatly reduced. At the same time they were attentive to squeeze as much as possible out of the Portuguese, who lived under the Dutch government, and thereby succeeded in completely alienating their affections."They thus contrived, as a judicious writer observes*, to sell the whole af Brasil at one year's purchase." The Portuguese governor de Silva kept a watchful eye on these proceedings, and meditated an opportunity of recovering what his country had lost. This soon offered. A Portuguese of the name of Viera, having acquired a large fortune in the service of the Dutch, became a kind of factor or manager for them, and acquired a large share of their confidence. This man, still retaining his attachment to his native country, formed the scheme of a conspiracy to overthrow the dominion of his new masters. It is remarkable, that this conspiracy was discovered;

* Harris II, 178.

to it extremely difficult; yet the trade was considerable; not less than thirty vessels coming annually from Lisbon. The chief commodities were sugar and brazil wood.

The next province is Bahia, which carries on its trade by San Salvador, the former capital of Brasil. This city is said to possess a very fine harbour, capable of being rendered the best in America. The town is divided into two parts, the lower and upper; the former situated at the bottom, the latter at the top, of a very steep hill. A lake hes behind and almost encloses it. The chief exports are sugar and tobacco, and the annual fleet amounted to about thirty sail.

The trade of all the rest of the country was carried on by Rio de Janeiro, which, since the discovery of the gold and diamond mines, has risen to be the capital of Brazil. This city, which is more properly called St Sebastian, is delightfully situated on the banks of the river about two miles from the sea. It is supposed by Mr Barrow to contain about 50,000 inhabitants.

The diamonds are found on a river to the west of Rio de Janeiro, though the precise spot has been carefully concealed. It was long before their value became known; they were considered merely as very fine pebbles.It was at last ascertained, however, that they were real diamonds, little inferior in value to the oriental; and the Crown then claimed the property of them, and let the mines to a company at Rio Janeiro, for 26,0001.

The next province is that of St Vincent. It has become distinguished by the gold mines found in it. These were first discovered and worked by the Paulists, a mixed race of Portuguese and Brasilians, joined by renegadoes and adventurers of every description, who had formed a sort of indepent republic. They have now been subdued, however, and the mines are worked under the superintendance of

government, which receives one-fifth of the produce.

St Vincent and Santos, which lie very near each other, dispute the honour of being the metropolis of this province. The latter has a very fine harbour. In this country wild cattle are almost as plenty as in Paraguay, hides form a considerable proportion of its exports.

The island of St Catherine, considerably to the Southward, forms an important station on account of the command which it has of the Rio de la Plata. The soil is said to be luxuriant, though uncultivated; and it can be plentifully supplied with every necessary from the coast. It has a good harbour.

The royal fifth arising from the gold of Brasil, is said to amount to 500,000 1. But the produce of the mines is, doubtless, much greater than this would infer: Burke calculates the export to Europe, at nearly 4,000,0001. The diamonds he estimates at 130,000 1*. There seems little doubt, therefore, that all its exports, together, will amount to at least five millions. Now the whole of our exports to Portugal were estimated at a million and half, and the imports at two millionst. Here, therefore, is room for a great augmentation.

In speculating on the future improvement of Brasil, we may observe, that grain of all kinds flourishes there; that its tobacco is of a superior quality; that it abounds with the very best timber for shipbuilding, which may be carried on at nearly one half less expence there, than in Great Britain. It produces all West India commodities in the highest perfection; but this, in the present state of that market, cannot be considered as a very material advantage.


European Settlements, I. 317. Barrow's Cochinchina, p. 129.

Some Account of the Plan for establishing a LUNATIC ASYLUM at EDINBURGH.


have long been established in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, and although Bedlams, on a small scale, have been connected with the Poor-houses, both of the city of Edinburgh and of the parish of St Cuthbert's, yet they by no means superseded the necessity of a well-regulated public hospital, devoted to the cure and treatment of Lunatics. It was, therefore, the earnest wish of many medical practitioners, that an institution should be established at Edinburgh, in which the unhappy maniac might enjoy every possible opportunity of recovery, either by medical or by moral treatment.

In consequence of this, Dr Duncan, Sen., when President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, in 1792, brought forward, in that Society, a plan for the establishment of a proper Lunatic Asylum at Edinburgh, where the treatment of the insane might be conducted with many advantages. After various consultations with the Lord Provost, the Principal of the University, and other gentlemen in official situations, the following proposal was submitted to the consideration of the public.

THE cure of the insane is unques tionably a matter of the first importance in the practice of medicine. There is no object of charity, who demands more commiseration than the unfortunate maniac; and there is no one to whom charity, properly employed, can be of more real use.

When that excellent citizen, the late George Drummond, Esq., who often filled the office of chief magistrate of the city of Edinburgh, with great credit to himself, and equal benefit to the public, first began to exert his endeavours for the establishment of the Royal Infirmary in that city, the care of the maniac did not estape his notice. It was his intention, that the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh should be an Hospital for the cure of Insanity, as well as of other diseases. Accordingly, from the plans of that building, which were presented to the public, it appears, that the greatest part of the underfloor was intended to be appropriated to the use of the insane; and for several years after the Hospital was opened for the reception of patients, maniacs were admitted to those benefits which it was capable of affording them, But it was soon found, by experience, that the treatment of lunatics, under the same roof with patients subjected to fevers and other diseases, was liable to many inconveniences, which could not be remedied. While maniacs were often highly distressing to other patients, they could not obtain, in the Infirmary, that accommodation on which their recovery very much depended. The scheme, therefore, was soon abandoned; and for many years past, almost all the cells in the Infirmary, intended for lunatics, have been appropriated to other purposes. Although many private mad-houses Jan. 1808.

Proposal for establishing a Lunatic
Asylum in the neighbourhood of the
City of Edinburgh.

"Many of the Medical Practitioners of Edinburgh have experienced, with sincere regret, numerous difficul ties to which they are subjected in the treatment of persons deprived of reason, who are still in a recoverable state. The Royal College of Physicians having taken this subject into consideration, are of opinion, that, by the establishment of a Lunatic Asylum in the neighbourhood of the City, many of these difficulties may be removed. They are fully persuaded, that in a building, accommodated for this purpose, and put under proper regulations, those, in the deplorable state mentioned above, would have a much


better chance of recovery, than in
other situation in which they can
at present be placed, in the city of
Edinburgh, or its neighbourhood.

"As the importance, therefore, of
a proper Lunatic Asylum, can hardly
fail to recommend it to the attention
of the Public, there is reason to expect,
that a sum, sufficient for establishing
such an institution, may, in no long
time, be obtained, by subscriptions,
donations, or legacies; especially if
such an establishment were put under
the care of a respectable set of Trus-


"On the suggestion, therefore, of the College of Physicians, and to forward a plan, which promises to be of great public utility, the Lord Provost, the Dean of Guild, and the Convener of the Trades of the City of Edinburgh, the Lord President of the Court of Session, the Lord Chief Baron of Exchequer, the Lord Advocate of Scotland, the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, the Keeper of his Majesty's Signet, the Principal of the University, and the Presidents of the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, have agreed to act as Trustees for an institution to be named, THE EDINBURGH LUNATIC ASYLUM.

"The objects of the institution

are in circumstances of indigence, it is proposed, as soon as sufficient funds can be obtained for that purpose, that poor patients shall be received into the Asylum, and shall be attended by Physicians and Surgeons appointed by the Trustees, without expence to them, or to their relations.

"II. In order to extend the benefit of this institution to such persons as

"At the request of the Trustees, Alexander Bonar, Esq. Banker in Edinburgh, has agreed to receive the money subscribed for the Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum; which will be deposited at interest, till it be appropriated to the purpose intended, under direction of the Trustees: and it is their intention to carry the plan into execution as soon as the principal and · interest, accumulated for this purpose, shall amount to the sum of Two Thousand Pounds.

"Subscription-papers are lodged in the Principal Banking-houses in Edinburgh; and are put into the hands of different individuals, particularly of the Medical Practitioners." Goldsmiths' Hall, I 26th Feb. 1792. Š

This plan met with general approbation; but although a subscription was begun at that period, and encouraged by pecuniary contributions from almost all the Physicians in Edinburgh, and from some characters of the first eminence, (particularly the late Chief Baron Montgomery ;) yet the sum collected was much smaller than might have been expected; and many difficulties occurred, which it is unnecessary, and would perhaps be improper to mention.


"I. That the cure of Lunatics, whose circumstances enable them to pay for their maintenance and treatment in the Asylum, at certain fixed rates, according to the accommodation stipulated, may be conducted under the care of any of the members of the Royal Colleges of Physicians or Surgeons of Edinburgh, whom the relations, entitled by law to the management of insane persons, may think proper to employ; it being always understood, that every Practitioner in the Asylum shall be subjected to such regulations as the Trustees may find it necessary to enact.

Although, however, from various circumstances, this scheme has been retarded, it has never been deserted. An annual meeting has been regularly summoned of the official characters mentioned in the original proposal; and all the money paid into the hands of the Treasurer has been deposited at interest.

By the exertions of Sir John Sinc

[blocks in formation]

Of the peculiar advantages of the Plan now proposed, it is at present unnecessary to enter into any detail. It is sufficient to say, that the great object which has been aimed at, is to afford, even to that class of patients who are received at the lowest rate, every chance of recovery which can be had, either by medical or mental treatment; and, particularly, to allow proper opportunity for the separation of patients, as being furious, tractable, convalescent, or incurable. It has also been an object in the plan, to afford superior accommodation to those whose relations are willing to pay for it. From the Plan it will be seen, that pa

tients, in opulent circumstances, may be accommodated with houses and gardens, entirely appropriated to themselves; where they may be attended by their own servants, and by any medical practitioners whom their guardians may chuse to employ.

The execution of this plan would indeed require a large sum of money. It is computed, that the whole could not be completed for less than L.20,000; and it must be allowed, that all the advantages of the plan could not be obtained, without the completion of the whole. But, for five or six thousand pounds, one side of the square might be finished; and this is so contrived, as to admit of at least a temporary division of patients, according to their condition. It is therefore hoped, that a general subscription, among all those to whom the wretched condition of the insane is not an object of indifference, will enable the Managers to begin the building without delay; and that the importance of the undertaking will recommend it so strongly to the attention of the opulent and benevolent, that the whole may be finished at no very distant period.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« EdellinenJatka »