Imágenes de páginas

that are near the sea-coast, in that country it is not so, but otherwise ; for in the extremity of winter, the north-east and south wind coming from the sea, produceth warm weather, only the north-west wind coming over the land, is the cause of extreme cold weather, being always accompanied with deep snows and bitter frost, so that in two or three days the rivers are passable for horse and man. But as it is an axiom in nature, Nullum violentum est perpetuum, no extremes last long, so this cold wind blows seldom above three days together, after which the weather is more tolerable, the air being nothing so sharp, but peradventure in four or five days after this cold messenger will blow a fresh, commanding every man to his house, forbidding any to out-face him without prejudice to their noses; but it may be objected, that it is too cold a country for our Englishmen, who have been accustomed to a warmer climate, to which it may be answered (Igne levatur hyems) there is wood good store, and better cheap to build warm

es, and make fires, which makes the winter less tedious: and moreover, the extremity of this cold weather lasteth but for two months or ten weeks, beginning in December, and breaking up the tenth day of February; which hath been a passage very remarkable, that for ten or a dozen years the weather hath held himself to this day, unlocking his icy bays and rivers, which are never frozen again, except there be some small frost until the middle of March. It is observed by the Indians, that


there is little or no winter, which hath been twice observed of the English; the year of the new Plymouth

every tenth

Chap. 2. Of the Tarrentenes or the Indians inhabiting eastward.—p. 60.

Chap. 3. Of the Pequants and Narragansets inhabiting southward.--p. 61.

Chap. 4. Of the Aberginians or Indians northward.--p. 62.
Chap. 5. of their apparel, ornaments, paintings, &c.--p. 64.
Chap. 6. Of their diet, cookery, &c.-p. 65.

Chap. 7. of their dispositions and good qualifications, as friendship, &c.--p. 69.

Chap. 8. Of their hardiness.--p. 75.

Chap. 9. Of their wondering at the first view of any strange invention.-p. 77.

Chap. 10. Of their king's government, and subjects' obedience.

p. 79.

Chap. 11. Of their marriages.--p. 81.
Chap. 12. Of their worship.-p. 82.
Chap. 13. Of their wars.-p. 84.
Chap. 14. Of their games, sports, &c.-


Chap. 15.

Of their huntings.p. 88.
Chap. 16.

Of their fishings.-p. 89. Chap. 17. Of their arts, &c.--p. 90. Chap. 18. Of their language.--p. 91. Chap. 19. Of their deaths,

92. Chap. 20. Of their women,


&c.-P. &c.--p.

mens' arrival was no winter in comparison; and in the tenth year after, likewise, when the great company settled themselves in Massachuset's Bay, was a very mild season, little frost, and less snow, but clear serene weather, few north-west winds, which was a great mercy to the English coming over so rawly and uncomfortably provided, wanting all utensils and provisions which belonged to the well being of planters, and whereas many died at the beginning of the plantations, it was not because the country was unhealthful, but because their bodies were corrupted with sea-diet, which was naught, their beef and pork being tainted, their butter and cheese corrupted, their fish rotten, and voyage long, by reason of cross winds, so that winter approaching before they could get warm houses, and the searching sharpness of that purer climate creeping in at the crannies of their crazed bodies, caused death and sickness; but their harms having taught future voyagers more wisdom, in shipping good provision for sea, and finding warm house at landing, find health in both.”—p. 5.

“ To relate how some English bodies have borne out cold, will (it may be) startle belief of some, it being so strange-yet not so strange as true. A certain man being something distracted, broke away from his keeper, and running into the woods, could not be found with much seeking after; but four days being expired, he returned, to appearance as well in body, as at his egress, and in mind much better; for a mad man to hit home through the unbeaten woods was strange, but to live without meat or drink in the deep of winter, stranger, and yet return home bettered, was most strange.'

“ The hard winters are commonly the forerunners of pleasant spring-times, and fertile summers being judged likewise to make much for the health of our English bodies : it is found to be more healthful for such as shall adventure thither, to come towards winter, than the hot summer : the climate in winter is commonly cold and dry, the snow lies long, which is thought to be no small nourishing to the ground. For the Indians burning it to suppress the underwood, which else would grow

all over the country, the snow falling not long after keeps the ground warm, and with this melting conveys the ashes into the pores of the earth, which doth fatten it. It hath been observed, that English wheat and rye proves better, which is winter sown, and is kept warm by the snow, than that which is sown in the spring. The summers be hotter than in England because of their more southern latitude, yet are they tolerable; being often cooled with fresh blowing winds, it seldom being so hot as men are driven from their labours, especially such whose employments are within doors, or under the cool shade: servants have hitherto been privileged to rest from their labours in extreme hot weather, from ten of the clock till two, which they regain by their early rising in the morning, and double diligence in cool weather. The summers are commonly hot and dry, there being seldom any rains; I have known it six or seven weeks before one shower hath moistened the ploughman's labour, yet the harvest hath been very good, the Indian corn requiring more heat than wet, for the English corn, it is refreshed with the nightly dews, till it grow up to shade his roots with his own substance from the parching sun.”—p. 7.

The concluding passage of the chapter on the“ suitableness of the climate to English bodies, for health and sickness," presents a pleasing character of the author ; and contains, in à few words, its substantial recommendation, which the experience of two centuries has not proved to be deceitful.

“ The last argument to confirm the healthfulness of the country, shall be from mine own experience, who although in England I was brought up tenderly under the careful hatching of my dearest friends, yet scarce could I be acquainted with health, having been let blood six times for the pleurisy before I went; likewise being assailed with other weakening diseases. But being planted in that new soil and healthful air, which was more correspondent to my nature (I speak it with praise to the merciful God), though my occasions have been to pass through heat and cold, wet and dry, by sea and land, in winter and summer, day by day, for four years together, yet scarce did I know what belonged to a day's sickness.”—p. 10.

Treating of the agriculture of the country, he says:

“ There is such plenty of grass and feeding, that there is no want of winter-fodder till December, at which time men begin to house their milch cattle and calves : Some, notwithstanding the cold of the winter, have their young cattle without doors, giving them meat at morning and evening. For the more upland grounds, there be different kinds, in some places clay, some gravel, some a red sand; all which are covered with a black mould, in some places above a foot deep, in other places not so deep."

« For the natural soil, I prefer it before the county of Surrey, or Middlesex, which, if they were not enriched with continual manurings, would be less fertile than the meanest ground in New England; wherefore it is neither impossible, nor much improbable, that upon improvements the soil may be as good in time as in England. And whereas some gather the ground to be nought, and soon out of heart, because Plymouth men remove from their old habitations,-1 answer, they do no more remove from their habitation than the citizen which hath one house in the city, and another in the country, for his pleasure, health, and profit. For although they have taken new plots of ground, and built houses upon them, yet do they retain their old houses still, and repair to them every Sabbath day; neither do they esteem their old lots worse than when they first took them : what if they do not plant on them every year? I hope it is no ill husbandry to rest the land, nor is always that the worst that is sometimes fallow. If any man doubt of the goodness of the ground, let him comfort himself with the cheapness of it; such bad land in England, I am sure will bring in store of good money. This ground is in some places of a soft mould, and easy to plough; in other places, so tough and hard that I have seen ten oxen toiled, their iron chain broken, and their shares and coulters strained; but after the first breaking up, it is so easy that two oxen and a horse may plough it: there hath as good English corn

[blocks in formation]


grown there as could be desired; especially rye, and oats, and barley: there hath been no great trial as yet of wheat and beans; only this much I affirm, that these two grains grow well in gardens—therefore it is not improbable, but when they can gather seed of that which is sown in the country, it may grow as well any

other; but commonly the seed that cometh out of England is heated at sea, and therefore çannot thrive at land.”—p. 13.

After describing, at some length, the natural evils of the country, such as noxious animals and reptiles, the chapter upon this head concludes with a passage, which is particularly useful for the consideration of those who, at any time, devote themselves to the subject of colonization.

“ Thus have you heard (says our author) of the worst of the country: but some, peradventure, may say no, and reply, that they have heard that the people have been often driven to great wants and extremities. To which I answer: it is true that some have lived for a certain time with a little bread, others without any; yet all this argues nothing against the country in itself, but condemns the folly and improvidence of such as would venture into so rude and unmanaged a country, without so much provisions as should have comfortably maintained them in health and strength, till, by their labours, they had brought the land to yield his fruit. I have myself heard some say, that they heard it was a rich land, a brave country, but when they came there, they could see nothing but a few canvas booths and old houses, supposing at the first to have found walled towns, fortifications, and corn fields, as if towns could have built themselves, or corn fields have grown of themselves, without the husbandry of man. These men, missing of their expectations, returned home and railed against the country. Others may object that of late time there hath been great want;-) deny it not; but look to the original, and tell me from whence it came. The root of their want sprung up in England, for many hundreds hearing of the plenty of the country, were so much their own foes and country's hindrance, as to come without provision, which made things both dear and scant : wherefore let none blame the country so much, as condemn the indiscreetness of such as will needs run themselves upon hardship. And I dare further assure any that will carry provision enough for a year and a half, shall not need to fear want, if he either be industrious himself, or have industrious agents to manage his estate and affairs. And whereas many do disparage the land, saying, a man cannot live without labour: in that they more disparage and discredit themselves, in giving the world occasion to take notice of their dronish disposition, that would live of the sweat of another man's brow : surely they were much deceived, or else ill informed, that ventured thither in hope to live in plenty and idleness, both at a time; and it is as much pity as he that can work and will not, should eat, as it is pity that he that would work and cannot, should fast. I condemn not such, therefore, as are now there, and are not able to work; but I advise, for the future, those men that are of weak constitutions to keep at home, if their estates cannot maintain servants. For all New England must be workers in some kind. And whereas it hath been formerly reported, that boys of ten or twelve years of age might do much more than get their living : that cannot be, for he must have more than a boy's head, and no less than a man's strength, that intends to live comfortably; and he that hath understanding and industry, with a stock of an hundred pounds, shall live better there, than he shall do here, off twenty pounds per annum. But many, I know, will

say, If it be thus, how comes it to pass, then, that they are so poor? To which I answer, that they are poor but in comparison ;compare them with the rich merchants or great landed men in England, and then, I know, they will seem poor. There is no probability they should be exceeding rich, because none of such great estate went over yet; besides, a man of estate must first scatter before he gather; he must lay out monies for transporting of servants, and cattle, and goods --for houses, and fences, and gardens, &c. This may make his purse seem light, and to the eye of others seem a leaking in his estate, whereas disbursements are for his future enrichments; for he being once well seated and quietly settled, his increase comes in double; and howsoever they are accounted poor, they are well contented, and look not so much at abundance, as a competence. So little is the poyerty of the country, that I am persuaded if many in England which are constrained to beg their bread were there, they would live better than many do here that have money, to buy it. Furthermore, when corn is scarce, yet may they have either fish or flesh for their labour; and surely that place is not miserably poor to them that are there, where four eggs may be had for a penny, and a quart of new milk at the same rate : where butter is sixpence a pound, and Cheshire cheese at fivepence, sure Middlesex affords London no better pennyworths. What though there be no such plenty as to cry. these things in the streets, yet every day affords these pennyworths to those that need them, in most places—I dare not say in all. Can they be very poor, where for four thousand, soules, there are fifteen hundred head of çattle, besides four thousand goats, and swine innumerable. In an ill sheep year, I have known mutton as dear in Old England, and dearer than goat's flesh is in New England, which is altogether as good, if fancy be set aside.”—pp. 47, 48, 49.

We shall conclude our notice of this work, with presenting to our readers, for the sake of the remarks which follow it, the greater part of the chapter of advice—“What provision is to be made for a journey, at sea, and what to carry for use at land.”

“ Many, peradventure, at the looking over of these relations, may have inclinations or resolution for the voyage, to whom I wish all prosperity in their undertakings; although I will use no forcive argu. ments to persuade any, but leave them to the relation : yet, by way of advice, I would commend to them a few lines from the

pen experience. And because the way to New England is over sea, it will not be amiss to give you directions what is most necessary to be carried.


« AnteriorContinuar »