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and larger moiety is filled with raised letters, and at the same time exhibits a double moonlike figure. Its value is 7 mace 5 candarines.
Itaganne and kodama are denominations by which various lumps of silver, without form or fashion, are known, which are neither of the same size, shape, nor value. The former of these, however, are oblong, and the latter roundish, for the most part thick, but sometimes, though seldom, flat. These pass in trade, but are always weighed in payment from one individual to another, and have a dull leaden appearance.
Seni is a denomination applied to pieces of copper, brass, and iron coin, which bear a near resemblance to our old farthings. They differ in size, value, and external appearance, but are always cast, and have a square hole in the middle, by means of which they may be strung together; and likewise have always broad edges. Of these are current Sjumon seni, which pass for half a mace, or 10 common seni. Simoni seni, of the value of 4 common seni, are made of brass, and are almost as broad as a halfpenny, but thin. The common seni are the size of a farthing, and made of red copper; 60 of them make a mace. Doosa seni is a cast iron coin, in appearance like the last, of the same size and value, but so brittle that it is easily broken by the hand, or breaks in pieces when let fall on the ground.
The seni are strung 100 at a time, or, as is most commonly the case, 96 on a rush. The coins in one of these parcels are seldom all of one sort, but generally consist of two, three, or more different kinds; in this case, the larger sorts are strung on first, and then follow the smaller; the number diminishing in proportion to the number of large pieces in the parcel, which are of greater value than the smaller.
The schuit is a silver piece of 4 oz. 18 dwts. 16 grs. troy, and is 11 ounces fine, which gives its value 25s. 3d. The name is Dutch, referring probably to its shape, like a boat.
WEIGHTS. These are the candarine, mace, tale, catty, and pecul, thus
The pecul is 125 Dutch pounds, which are equal to 133 lbs. avoirdupois. It is, however, said to weigh only 130 lbs.
MEASURES.-The revenues of Japan are estimated by two measures of rice, the man and kokf; the former contains 10,000 kokfs, each 3000 bales or bags of rice.
The long measure is the inc, which is about 4 China cubits, or 64 feet English, nearly; and 2 Japanese leagues are computed to be about 1 Dutch league.
ISLE OF FRANCE, ST. HELENA, AZORES, &c.
IN the Indian Ocean are several islands, the principal of which are Rodrigue, called also Diego Rais; the Isle of France, or Mauritius; and Bourbon, or Mascarenhas.
RODRIGUE.-This island extends E. and W., about 16 miles, and is about 7 in breadth from N. to S. It is situated in latitude 19° 41' S., longitude 63° 10′ E. Near the middle of the island is a remarkable peak, which answers as a guide for the road; when it bears south, you are abreast of the road, which is called Mathewren Bay: it is safe when you are in, but the channel is very intricate. The bay has been surveyed by Lieut. Grubb, who describes the bottom as good holding ground, free from rocks, being a mixture of sand and mud. There are two channels for entering or leaving the harbour: the E., being only about 250 yards broad, is intricate for large ships; the W. or leeward channel is free from danger. Ships should enter by the E., and leave by the W. channel.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Here is abundance of turtle and of fish; but some of the latter are said to be poisonous. Ample supplies of wood and water may be obtained with the greatest facility.
ISLE OF FRANCE, called Mauritius by the English and Dutch, is about 100 leagues to the W. of Rodrigue. It is high and mountainous, and may be seen 18 leagues off in clear weather. It extends in a N. E. and S. W. direction, the S. W. point being in latitude 20° 27′ S. and longitude 57° 16′ E., and the N. E. point in latitude 19° 53′ S., and longitude 57° 35 E. There are two ports or harbours, Port Louis or Port North-west, and Port Bourbon.
Port Louis, the capital of this island, and seat of Government, is situated at the bottom of a triangular bay, the entrance to which is very
intricate. It is in latitude 20° 9′ S., longitude 57° 29′ E. The principal town, or as it is sometimes called the Camp, is chiefly composed of wooden houses, which have only a ground floor, on account of the winds and heat; they are separated from each other, and surrounded with palisades; the streets are tolerably straight. The Government house is built entirely of stone; the place of arms and the parade are before the Governor's house, and the hospital is at the extreme point of the harbour. The town has no regular fortifications; but to the left of it, on looking towards the sea, there is an entrenchment of stone. On the same side is Fort Blanc, which defends the entrance; and opposite to it, on the other side, is a battery on a small island, called Tonneliers; and there are several other batteries mounted with heavy cannon.
The powder magazine is situated on a small island, which is connected with the shore by a causeway, nearly opposite the Government house. This causeway serves also for a quay, and it encloses a part of the great basin for the refitting of vessels, and near it they take in their fresh water with the greatest convenience. Here also is a curious machine, by which vessels are lifted out of the water, so that they are cleaned and repaired with the utmost expedition.
Since the island has been ceded to the British Government, very considerable improvements have been made in the capital, and great commercial conveniences and facilities have been added to the port, consisting of roads, canals, docks, and other marine establishments.
The harbour of Port Louis is apt to get choked up; so that vessels, instead of taking in their cargoes in the Trou Fanfaron, have been obliged, with great inconvenience and expence, to lay athwart that called La Chaussée.
Port Bourbon is the S. E. Port of the island, and situated in latitude 20° 22 S. and longitude 57° 41' E. It is not much frequented; being on the windward side of the island, the trade-wind blowing in renders the navigation out difficult, as the channels are narrow, and formed between reefs.
TRADE.-The trade of this island has much increased since its annexation to the British Crown, notwithstanding the heavy duties imposed upon its sugar in England, but which are now reduced. Sugar forms the staple article of produce; the hurricanes to which the island is subject, having baffled the attempts of the inhabitants to raise cloves, cotton, and coffee, to the growth of which the soil is adapted, and which are of excellent quality. The quantity of sugar produced here, under the French Government, was estimated at five millions of pounds, (French); but since the cultivation of
this article has been extended, by the abandonment or neglect of the coffee, cotton, clove, and indigo plantations, the amount has increased to 4000, 5000, and latterly to 12,000 hogsheads annually. The island produces excellent black wood, and other woods adapted for the dyer and the carpenter.
When the island was first occupied by the British, its trade, as well as that of Bourbon, was declared free. Upon its cession at the Peace, by the French Government, (to whom Bourbon was restored), the trade of Mauritius was placed under restrictions, whereby its intercourse with foreign nations was interdicted. Subsequently, however, the trade was opened, and by an order of His Majesty in Council, dated 12th July, 1820, the following provisions were made.
Goods, the growth or production of countries in amity with England, (except articles composed of cotton, iron, steel, or wool, of foreign manufacture), may be imported in British vessels, which may export to those countries the produce of Mauritius. Foreign vessels belonging to states in amity with England (which shall allow British vessels to carry on trade between their ports and Mauritius) may import and export similar goods, with the same exception.
No foreign vessel is allowed to export a cargo from the island or its dependencies to any British possession, or to any other place than a port belonging to the state or power to which the vessel itself shall belong.
The extent of the traffic between Great Britain and the Isle of France cannot be ascertained, as the official accounts in this country comprehend the imports and exports from places within the limits of the East India Company's charter under one general head. The amount of its trade with Bengal, during the years 1818-19, 1819-20, and 1820-21, is thus exhibited in the Trade Reports of Calcutta :—
Its commerce with Bombay is thus shewn in the Trade Reports of that Presidency for the same years.
The articles exported from the Island to British India, consist of French silks, wines, and spirits, and British goods in transitu; the returns are chiefly rice and piece goods. The exportation, as well as importation, of coin and bullion, is unrestricted, and free of duty.
PORT REGULATIONS.-The regulations of the Port, for the prevention of the plague, or other infectious disease, are very strict. Vessels arriving at the island must anchor at the spot called Les Pavillons, till leave be granted for entering the harbour. They are then visited by the healthofficers, and afterwards by the port-officer, to whom the commander of each vessel must declare his own name, that of his ship, her burthen, flag, arms and equipment, number of crew and of what nation, number of passengers, cargo, from what port she sailed, and the reason of her visiting Mauritius. The commander must then deliver his log-book and muster-book, a list of his passengers, their passports, the bills of lading, any dispatches for Government, public papers, and letters. The letters must be sent to the post-office, and a fine of 50 dollars is payable for every letter delivered in any other way. The captain and passengers must, on landing, report themselves at the General Police Office; the former presenting himself previously at the Government-house. After these formalities, vessels may enter the harbour, and anchor within the ports.
On the departure of vessels, notice must be given at the Customhouse and Port-office 48 hours before sailing, and a flag hoisted at the main-top gallant-mast. Before a vessel can receive a port clearance, a certificate must be obtained from the Collector of the Customs, that no claims are unsatisfied. The pilotage is paid at the Port-office; and commanders are to give the pilots a certificate, specifying whether their vessels have sustained injury in entering or leaving port. No passengers to be taken on board without regular passports, and no deserter or negro to be taken off the island under severe penalties.
Vessels under 100 tons burthen may be warped in, and moored in the births pointed out by the Port Captain. All vessels in mooring must have two anchors out forward, and one astern, with buoys on them.