The fair nymphs of this isle are in wonderful tribulation, as the
fresh meat that our men have got here has made them as riotous as
satyrs. A girl cannot step into the bushes to pluck a rose without
running the most imminent risk being ravished, and they are so little
accustomed to these vigorous methods that they don’t bear them with
the proper resignation, and of consequence we have most entertaining
courts-martial every day.
To the southward they behaved much better in these cases, if I may
judge from a woman who having been forced by seven of our men, [came]
to make complaint to me “not of their usage,” she said—“No, thank
God, she despised that,”—but of their having taken an old prayer book
for which she had a particular affection.
A girl on this island made a complaint the other day to Lord Percy of
her being deflowered, as she said, by some grenadiers. Lord Percy
asked her how she knew them to be grenadiers, as it happened in the
dark. Oh, good God, cried she, “they could be nothing else, and if
your Lordship will examine I am are you will find it so.”
All the English troops are encamped, or in cantonment, upon this
island, as healthy and spirited a body of men as ever took the field...