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my return to England I prefented to Dr. Woodward's Repository of Foffils at Cambridge. Mr. Mafon, the Woodwardian Profeffor defiring me to give him fome account of them, occafioned my writing the first Letter; And as I com-pofed the others at leifure hours afterwards, I did not think myself neceffitated to put any Dates to them: Befides, I had no thoughts of printing them till of late.
The principal Subject relates pretty much to your Ifland: But as my Book of Remarks might not be free from Errours; and as in divers Articles I was forced to truft folely to memory at the time of writing them; I fhall own myself farther indebted to Your generous Temper, if any of you will rectify thofe Errours; as well as point out fuch curious things as may have escaped my memory or notice; and indeed I lay hold of this oppor
opportunity to request the fame of all others who difcover faults in them.
I received the highest Civilities too at St. Chriftopher's, Antigua, and Montserrat, whose hospitable Inhabitants I alfo pleafingly remember, by frequent inftancing of their Concurrence with You in a true taste of Humanity and Ho
Worthy Gentlemen! That the Rain and the Dew, with other choice temporal as well as fpiritual Bleffings of Heaven, may abundantly defcend upon the English Leeward Charribee Islands, is the hearty Prayer of
Your most humble, and
highly obliged Servant,
Page 10. 1. 21. read came up again
p. 86. 1. 12. r. Rocks or dry Ground
p. 112. 1. 13. r. a Minute's space
p. 129. l. 14. r. an Account of Treatifes
p. 162. 1. 17. r. and their Shells
p. 225. 1. laft. r. the reason why
p. 246. 1. 25. r. does not grow
P. 305. 1. 19. r. under that Government
To the Revd. Mr. CHARLES MASON, Woodwardian Profeffor in the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Trinity College.
your Perfon or Courtefy before the other day, you might fooner have heard from me; or had I (when at Nevis) imagined my Shells would ever have been lodged in fo honourable a Place, the Collection should have been larger, if not more curious: However, I cannot help giving you the trouble of reading my prefent Thoughts upon them; which though not methodical, or perhaps free from Miftakes in fome refpects, yet as I have committed no wilful Mistake, a Gentleman of your known Candour will easily pardon and pass such over.
ADI been informed either of
2. These Shells are found upon that part of the Coaft of Nevis where the Sea is most fubject to Rocks on the Western fide, and with good reafon, viz. because the smooth sandy Bays are daily vifited by our Fishermen's long Net called a Seine; or rather because there is a greater quan
tity of Mofs, Weeds, and other Nourishment, to fupport them among the lefs difturbed Rocks: They have no Names with us there; for we seldom or never eat of them, unless it be a large particular fort of Wilk, whofe Shells are finely polished, and made into Snuff-boxes (very commonly) at London ; and except alfo the Cockle which we use by way of Sauce to Rock-fish, Welshmen, Old Wives, Cavallies, &c. Their meat for Colour, Shape, and Taste resembles our English ones, but they are delicious at full of the Moon, increafing and decreafing in bulk as well as goodness, just as that Heavenly Body feems to increase or decrease to our fight: You have at least a dozen of the Shells (no ways fhaped like our English Cockles) that are small and of a triangular Form, but not equilaterally fo, two Sides of them being each of them full as long again as the fhort Side; all the three Angles are rounded off or blunted; they are of a white fhining Colour like well polished white Marble, and generally speaking ftreaked downwards very regularly with beautiful Red or Blue Veins. They are taken in the following manner, viz. A Negre Man goes in at one of our fandy. Bays up to his knees, where ftooping down he fills a Basket with Sand from the bottom, which
→ Note, That a Wilk Fish both looks and eats exactly like our English Perriwinkle.