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low the surface of the earth. However, the purity of the aire makes amends for the sharpness of the cold, being much clensed in its lower roomes, or chambers, which are thoroughly purged thereby; and so is the climate perserved from those rotting diseases of coughs and consumptions, which other countries, where heat and moisture prevayles, are more incident unto. By reason of this longe continued and extreme sharpnesse of the cold through the whole countrey, the seven monthes of the summers increase are usually devoured by the five leane and barren ones of the winter following, as was shewed to Pharoah in his dream ; so as if some stranger should chance to bee there in the end of every winter, hee might be ready to think, that all the cattle hear were the issue of Pharoah's leane kine, that had bein transported hither; the cattle at that time of the yeare much resembling the wilde dear in Greenland, when the bridgroome of the earth begins to smile upon them, after the long, cold, and darke night of winter begins to take his leave. The unserchable providence of Almighty God is the more to bee admired, that doth so richely clothe the earth of the countrey in so short a space, that hath bin so long before dismantled of all the former oriiaments and glory, which every summer is wont to cloth her withall; for although some times it be the middle of May before the fruit trees bee blossomed out, or the fallowed ground of the fields bee willing to receive its portion of the seed to be sowne or planted therein ; yet within three monthes after, the harvest of English graine will bee fit for the hand cf the reaper, and the fruits ready for the hand of the gatherrer, at the usuall appointed season thereof: whence we may conclude, that the salubriousnesse of the aire in this countrey depends much upon the winter's frost; and the earth, as to its fruitfullnesse, is as much beholding to the summer's heat, and influence of celestiall planets.
CHAP. V. Of the fertility of the soyle, with the commodities and
other advantages of New England. Since the charter of the gospell was first opened to the world, the priviledges of which onely remayne with the church, itt need not be wondered att if the patents of eternal prosperity should bee altred, least they should prove, as often they have done before, through man's corruption, the hindrance of piety and devotion ; nor is itt to bee expected that the professed followers of the Lambe should all of them in this age heare of a land flowing with milke and hony, when there fore runners were made to fly into the wilderness from the dragon, of which sort, in a literall sense, is this place, whither providence hath occasionally brought the inhabitants of New England; yet may they say, that God hath not beene a wilderness nor a land of darkness unto them therein, it being a country capeable, with good improvement, to maintayne a nation of people, after once it comes to bee subdued. As for the soyle, it is for the generall more mountainous and hilly then other wise, and in many places very rocky and full of stones; yett intermingled with many plains and valleys, some of which are sandy and inclinable to barrenes, yea, most of them are such; especially those that abound with pitch pines, and there are many of that sort; as likewise many swamps or boggy places, full of small bushes and under wood. Butt here and there are many rich and fruitfull spots of land, such as they call intervail land, in levells and champain ground, without trees or stones, neere the banks of great rivers, that often times are over flown by the channells of watter that run besides them, which is supposed to enrich the soyle that is soe waterd: The fatnesse of the earth, that is by the raines and melting of the snow washed from the surface of the earth in the higher part of the countrey, being by these flouds cast upon those levells, that lye lowest by the sides of these greater streames. In many such places theire land hath beene knowne to bee sowne or planted full forty yeeres togeather, without any considerable abatement of the crope, never fayling of thirty or forty bushels per acre : butt for the generality of the soyle, itt is of a lighter sort of earth, whose fruitefullnesse is more beholding to the influences of the heavens, advantages of the seasonable skill and industry of the husbandmen, then the strength of its own temper. Such as came hither first upon discovery, chanced to bee here in the first part of the summer, when the earth was onely adorned with its best attire of herbs and flowers, fourishing with all such early fruites which weather beaten travellers are wont to refresh themselves with the beholding of; as strawberies, goosberies, rasberies, cheries, and whorts ; as they observed that first landed about Martha's. Vineyard : whence they promised themselves and theire successors a very flourishing country, as they did that first landed upon the coast of Florida. Butt as it is proverbially sayd of some parts of England, they doe not every where abound with mines, though there bee lead in Mendin Hills : So neither did or doth every place abound with those florishing and alluring aspects, nor is the country at all times found of the verdant hue, though many places do naturally abound with some of those berryes, as other places with grapes, which gave great hopes of fruitfull vineyards in after time: but as yet either skill is wanting to cultivate and order the roots of those wild vines, and reduce them to a pleasant sweetnesse, or time is not yet to bee spared to looke after the culture of such fruits, as rather tend to the benè, or melius esse, of a place, then to the bare esse, and subsistance thereof. Each season of the yeare, so fast, as it were, treading upon the heeles of that which went before, that but little time is to be found spare, for that tillage, which is not of absolute necessity, but for pleasure and delight. Yet are all sorts of grayne found to grow pretty naturally there, that are wont to be sowne in the spring season, the cold oft times proving so extreme as it kills all that is committed to the earth before winter, especially in the Massachusetts colony,) that which the land produceth upon the surface
thereof, is that upon which the inhabitants have their dependance for the most certaine part of their wealth; for that which is hid in the bowells thereof, the present generation either wanting leisure or ability to ransack so deep under ground: nor have they that could spare time, and have more skill then their neighbours in the nature of mineralls, met with any thing that promiseth better then iron, with which the country every where abounds; most of their rocks being observed to bee of such a grit—as those in the northern parts, as Acady and Nova Francia, are judged to incline as much to copper, as some that have been on that coast have reported. In many places are supposed to bee medicinal watters, whether, upon the first discovery of such springs, the halt, maymed, and diseased did resort frequently, in hope they might leave their crutches upon the trees adjoyning, as the Papists have used to doe at the chappill of the Lady of Loretto. But upon the very best experience that hath bin knowne, it is conceived that all is but some springs passing through iron mines, and have gotten some tincture of a chalybiat quality, the pouring down many draughts of which is sayd by some, that have made the experiment, to have had the same effect with those kind of pills, that are given to remove the obstructions of the spleen, and may be usefull, if the quantity they use to drinke downe doe not more harme by the coldnes of the potion, then the quality of such chymicall matters doe them good. As for medicinall herbes, Gerard and Johnson, as well as Theophemus of old, might have made herballs here as well as in any other particular country; the same tree, plants and rootes, herbes and fruites being found either naturally growing here that are knowne to doe in the northern countrys of the like climate of Europe, and upon tryal have beene found as effectuall in their operation, and doe thrive as well when transplanted; as the oak, walnutt, ash, elm, maple, hornbeame, abundance of pine, spruce, etc. also a kinde of white cedar in many swamps; and such herbes as are common in England—ellicampane, angelica, gentian, St. John's wort, agrimony, betony, and the like.
As for living creatures—as the natives were not known to bring any along with them, so neither doe they keep any (but small dogs), according to the custome of more civill nations : soe neither were here any found butt wild deere, and in some places skunkes, wild cats, and in some places porcupins, a sort of conyes, and haresmoose, beares, wolves, and now and then a straglin ounce, like the tygers in the West Indyes. Yett is the place capeable to breed and norrish all sorts of servicea. ble beasts and cattle, which other parts of the world have subdued and tamed, to theire use.
The like may be said of feathered foule, especially such as live upon the watter, which abound as much here as in any other place. The bird of the greatest rarity in this place, if not in the world, is a small one, not exceeding the bignes of a great bee, called humbirds, from the noyse they make with their wings, while they arc flying from one flower to another to suck out the ho. ney ; but never set their feet down. Turkies also, and pigeons, (that come in multitudes every summer, almost like the quayles that fell round the campe of Israel in the wilderness,) partridges, quayles, and all birds
of prey, by nature's instinct, or by conduct of Divine Providence, have found the way into these endes of the earth, as well as into any other part of the habitable world : nor did Hircinia Sylva goe beyond what is found here for wild cretures, it used of old to bee haunted with, which since is turned into a fruitfull and pleasant land; as this also may be in time. Nor is the sea less propitious to the marriner and fisher man, then the earth and dry land is all over the country to the diligent husbandman—the bayes, rivers, crecks, havens, abounding with all sorts of fish, that the coast of Greenland and Norway, or the narrow seas are stored with; which, as it was the first improvement that ever was made of this coast, soe it is still the most certaine and stable commoditie the country affordeth ; although provisions of all sorts here are plentifull, and as cheap as in most parts of Europe, great quantities of which are dayly transported from hence for the reliefe of many other places, of the English in the West Indies.