The second Voyage.

I Have heard of a certain Merchant in the weft of England, who after many great losses, walking upon the Sea-bank in a calm Sun-shining day; observing the smoothness of the Sea, coming in with a chequered or dimpled wave: Ah (quoth he) thou flattering Element, many a time hast thou inticed me to throw my self and my fortunes into thy Arms; but thou hast hitherto proved treacherous; thinking to find thee a Mother of encrease, I have found thee to be the Mother of mischief and wickedness; yea the Father of prodigies; therefore, being now secure, I will trust thee no more: But mark this mans resolution a while after, periculum maris spes lucri superat. So fared it with me, that having escaped the dangers of one Voyage, must needs put on a resolution for a second, wherein I plowed many a churlish billow [with little or no advantage, but rather to my loss and detriment. In the setting down, whereof I purpose not to insist in a methodical way, but according to my quality, in a plain and brief relation as I have done already; for I perceive, if I used all the Art that possibly I could, it would be difficult to please all, for all mens eyes, ears, faith, judgement, are not of a size. There be a fort of stagnant stinking spirits, who, like flyes, lye sucking at the botches of carnal pleasures, and never travelled so much Sea, as is between Heth-ferry and Lyon-Key; yet notwithstanding, (sitting in the Chair of the scornful over whists and draughts of intoxication) will desperately censure the relations of the greatest Travellers. It was a good proviso of a learned man, never to report wonders, for in so doing, of the greatest he will be sure not to be believed, but laughed at, which certainly bewraies their ignorance and want of discretion. Of Fools and Madmen then I shall take no care, I will not invite these in the least to honour me with a glance from their supercilious eyes; but rather advise the to keep their inspection for their fine-tongu'd Romances, and playes. This homely piece, I protest ingenuously, is prepared for such only who well know how to make use of their charitable constructions towards works of this nature, to whom I submit my self in all my faculties, and proceed in my second voyage.

Anno 1663. May the Three and twentieth, I went down to Gravesend, it being Saturday I lay ashore till Monday the fifth, about 11 a clock at night, I went aboard the Society belonging to Boston in the Massachusets a Colony of English in New-England, of 200 and 20 Tun, carrying 16 Iron Guns most unserviceable, man'd with 33 sailers, and 77 passengers, men, women and children.

The Six and twentieth day, about 6 of the clock in the morning we weighed Anchor, and fell down with the tide three or four miles below Gravesend.

The Seven and twentieth in the afternoon, we weighed Anchor and came into the Hope before Deal-Castle, here we were wind bound till the 30 day, we set fail out of the Downs, being Saturday about 9 of the clock in the morning, about 4 of the clock in the afternoon we came up with Beachy by W. at Nore.

The One and thirtieth at 4 of the clock in the morning we came up with the Isle of Wight, at 4 of the clock in the afternoon we had Portland N. N. W. of us, 6 leagues off, the wind being then at N. W. by N. at 5 of the clock we came to Dartmouth, the wind W. S. W.

June the first day, being Monday about 4 of the clock Plimouth was about 9 leagues off, our course W. S. W. the Start bore North distant about 6 leagues from whence our reckonings began; the wind now E. N. E. a fair gale.

The second day the Lizard bore N. N. W. in the latitude 51. 300 leagues from Cape-Cod in New England, our course W. and by S. One of our passengers now dyed of a Consumption.

The Fifth day we steered S. W. observed and found the ship in latitude 47 degrees, and 44 minutes.

The Tenth day observed and found the ship in latitude 49 degrees, and 24 minutes.

The Five and twentieth day, about 3 of the clock in the morning we discovered land, about 6 of the clock Flowers, so called from abundance of flowers, and Corvo from a multitude of Crowes; two of the Azores or western Islands, in the Atlantique Ocean not above 250 leagues from Lisbon bore N. W. of us some 3 leagues off, we steered away W. by W. observed and found Flowers to be in the Southern part in latitude 39 degrees 13 minuts, we descryed a Village and a small Church or Chappel seated in a pleasant valley to the Easter-side of the Island, the whole Island is rockie and mountanious about 8 miles in compass, stored with Corn, Wine and Goats, and inhabited by outlaw'd Portingals, the Town they call Santa Cruz. Corvo is not far from this, I supposed two or three leagues, a meer mountain, and very high and steep on all sides, cloathed with tall wood on the very top, uninhabited, but the Flowreans here keep some number of Goats.

The Seven and twentieth day, 30 leagues to the westward of these Islands we met with a small Vessel stoln from Jamaico, but 10 men in her, and those of several nations, English, French, Scotch, Dutch almost famish'd, having been out as they told us, by reason of calms, three moneths, bound for Holland.

July the sixth, calm now for two or three dayes, our men went out to swim, some hoisted the Shallop out and took divers Turtles, there being an infinite number of them all over the Sea as far as we could ken, and a man may ken at Sea in a clear Air 20 miles, they floated upon the top of the water being a steep, and driving gently upon them with the Shallop, of a sudden they took hold of their hinder legs and lifted them into the boat, if they be not very nimble they awake and presently dive under water; when they were brought aboard they sob'd and wept exceedingly, continuing to do so till the next day that we killed them, by chopping off their heads, and having taken off their shells (that on their back being fairest, is called a Gaily patch) we opened the body and took out three hearts in one case, and (which was more strange) we perceived motion in the hearts ten hours after they were taken out. I have observed in England in my youthful dayes the like in the heart of a Pike, and the heart of a Frog, which will leap and skip as nimbly as the Frog used to do when it was alive from whom it was taken. Likewise the heart of a Pig will stir after it is exenterated. Being at a friends house in Cambridg-shire, the Cook-maid making ready to slaughter a Pig, she put the hinder parts between her legs as the usual manner is, and taking the snout in her left hand with a long knife she stuck the Pig and cut the small end of the heart almost in two, letting it bleed as long as any bloud came forth, then throwing of it into a Kettle of boyling water, the Pig swom twice round about the kettle, when taking of it out to the dresser she rub'd it with powdered Rozen and stript off the hair, and as she was cutting off the hinder pettito, the Pig lifts up his head with open mouth, as if it would have bitten: well, the belly was cut up, and the entrails drawn out, and the heart laid upon the board, which notwithstanding the wound it received had motion in it, above four hours after; there were several of the Family by, with my self, and we could not otherwayes conclude but that the Pig was bewitched; but this by the way. Of the Sea Turtles there be five forts, first the Trunck-turtle which is biggest, Secondly, the Loggerhead-turtle. Thirdly, the Hawkbill-turtle, which with its bill will bite horribly. Fourthly, the Green-turtle which is best for food, it is affirmed that the feeding upon this Turtle for a twelve moneth, forbearing all other kind of food will cure absolutely Consumptions, and the great pox; They are a very delicate food, and their Eggs are very wholesome and restorative, it is an Amphibious Creature going ashore, the male throws the female on her back when he couples with her, which is termed cooting, their Eggs grown to perfection the female goes ashore again and making a hole in the Sand, there layes her Eggs which are numerous, I have seen a peck of Eggs taken out of one Turtle; when they have laid they cover the hole again with sand, and return to the Sea never looking after her Eggs, which hatching in the sand and coming to some strength break out and repair to the Sea, Having fill'd our bellies with Turtles and Bonito's, called Spanish Dolphins excellently well cooked both of them, the wind blowing fair,

The Eighth day we spread our sails and went on our voyage, after a while we met with abundance of Sea-weeds called Gulf-weed coming out of the Bay of Mexico, and firr-trees floating on the Sea, observed and found the Ship to be in 39 degrees and 49 minuts.

The Fifteenth day we took a young Sharke about three foot long, which being drest and dished by a young Merchant a passenger happened to be very good fish, having very white flesh in flakes like Codd but delicately curl'd, the back-bone which is perfectly round, joynted with short joynts, the space between not above a quarter of an inch thick, separated they make fine Table-men, being wrought on both sides with curious works.

The One and twentieth thick hasie weather.

The Five and twentieth we met with a Plimouth man come from St. Malloes in France, 10 weeks out, laden with cloath, fruit, and honey, bound for Boston in New-England.

The Six and twentieth we had sight of land.

The Seven and twentieth we Anchored at Nantascot in the afternoon I went aboard of a Ketch, with some other of our passengers, in hope to get to Boston that night; but the Master of the Ketch would not consent.

The Eight and twentieth being Tuesday, in the morning about 5 of the clock he lent us his Shallop and three of his men, who brought us to the western end of the town where we landed, and having gratified the men, we repaired to an Ordinary (for so they call their Taverns there) where we were provided with a liberal cup of burnt Madera-wine, and store of plum-cake, about ten of the clock I went about my Affairs.

Before I pursue my Voyage to an end, I shall give you to understand what Countrie New-England is. New-England is that part of America, which together with Virginia, Mary land, and Nova-Scotia were by the Indians called (by one name) Wingadacoa, after the discovery by Sir Walter Rawleigh they were named Virginia, and so remained untill King James divided the Countrey into Provinces. New-England then is all that tract of land that lyes between the Northerly latitudes of 40 and 46, that is from De-la-ware-Bay to New-found-land, some will have it to be in latitude from 41 to 45, in King James Letters Patents to the Council of Plimonth in Devonshire from 40 to 48 of the same latitude, it is judged to be an Island, surrounded on the North with the spacious River of Canada, on the South with Mahegan or Hudsons River, having their rise, as it is thought, from two great lakes not far off one another, the Sea lyes East and South from the land, and is very deep, some say that the depth of the Sea being measured with line and plummet, seldom exceeds two or three miles, except in some places near the Swevian-shores, and about Pontus, observed by Pliny. Sir Francis Drake threw out 7 Hogsheads of line near Porto-bello and found no bottom, but whether this be true or no, or that they were deceived by the Currants carrying away their lead and line, this is certainly true, that there is more Sea in the Western than the Eastern Hemisphere, on the shore in more places than one at spring-tides, that is at the full or new of the moon, the Sea riseth 18 foot perpendicular, the reason of this great flow of waters I refer to the learned, onely by the way I shall acquaint you with two reasons for the ebbing and flowing of the Sea; the one delivered in Common conference, the other in a Sermon at Boston in the Massachusets-Bay by an eminent man; The first was, that God and his spirit moving upon the waters caused the motion; the other, that the spirit of the waters gathered the waters together; as the spirit of Christ gathered souls.

The shore is Rockie, with high cliffs, having a multitude of considerable Harbours; many of which are capacious enough for a Navy of 500 sail, one of a thousand, the Countrie within Rockie and mountanious, full of tall wood, one stately mountain there is furmounting the rest, about four score mile from the Sea: The description of it you have in my rarities of New-England, between the mountains are many ample rich and pregnant valleys as ever eye beheld, beset on each side with variety of goodly Trees, the grass man-high unmowed, uneaten and uselesly withering; within these valleys are spacious lakes or ponds well stored with Fish and Beavers; the original of all the great Rivers in the Countrie, of which there are many with lesser streams (wherein are an infinite of fish) manifesting the goodness of the soil which is black, red-clay, gravel, sand, loom, and very deep in some places, as in the valleys and swamps, which are low grounds and bottoms infinitely thick set with Trees and Bushes of all sorts for the most part, others having no other shrub or Tree growing, but spruse, under the shades whereof you may freely walk two or three mile together; being goodly large Trees, and convenient for masts and sail-yards. The whole Countrie produceth springs in abundance replenished with excellent waters, having all the properties ascribed to the best in the world.
Swift is't in pace, light poiz'd, to look in clear,
And quick in boiling {which esteemed were)
Such qualities, as rightly understood
Withoutten these no water could be good.
One Spring there is, at Black-point in the Province of Main, coming out of muddy clay that will colour a spade, as if hatcht with silver, it is purgative and cures scabs and Itch, &c.

The mountains and Rocky Hills are richly furnished with mines of Lead, Silver, Copper, Tin, and divers forts of minerals, branching out even to their summits, where in small Crannies you may meet with threds of perfect silver; yet have the English no maw to open any of them, whether out of ignorance or fear of bringing a forraign Enemy upon them, or (like the dog in the manger) to keep their Soveraign from partaking of the benefits, who certainly may claim an interest in them as his due, being eminently a gift proceeding from Ifa.345.3. divine bounty to him; no person can pretend interest in Gold, Silver, or Copper by the law of Nations, but the Soveraign Prince; but the subjects of our King have a right to mines discovered in their own Lands and inheritances; So as that every tenth Tun of Such Oar is to be paid to the proprietors of such lands, and not to the state, if it be not a mine-Royal: if it prove to be a mine-Royal, every fifth Tun of all such Oar as shall hold Gold or Silver worth refining, is to be rendered to the King. The learned Judges of our Kingdom have long since concluded, that although the Gold or Silver conteined in the base mettals of a mine in the land of a Subject, be of less value than the baser mettal; yet if the Gold or Silver do countervail the charge of refining it, or be more worth than the base mettal spent in refining it, that then it is a mine-Royal, and as well the base mettal as the Gold and Silver in it belongs by prerogative to the Crown.

The stones in the Countrey are for the most mettle-stone, free-stone, pebble, slate, none that will run to lime, of which they have great want, of the slate you may make Tables easie to be split to the thickness of an inch, or thicker if you please, and long enough for a dozen men to fit at. Pretious stones there are too, but if you desire to know further of them, see the Rarities of New-England; onely let me add this observation by the way, that Crystal set in the Sun taketh fire, and setteth dry Tow or brown Paper on fire held to it. There is likewise a sort of glittering sand, which is altogether as good as the glassie powder brought from the Indies to dry up Ink on paper newly written. The climate is reasonably temperate, hotter in Summer, and colder in Winter than with us, agrees with our Constitutions better than hotter Climates, these are limbecks to our bodies, farraign heat will extract the the inward and adventitious heat consume the natural, so much more heat any man receives outwardly from the heat of the Sun, so much more wants he the same inwardly, which is one reason why they are able to receive more and larger draughts of Brandy, & the like strong spirits than in England without offence. Cold is Iess tolerable than heat, this a friend to nature, that an enemy. Many are of opinion that the greatest enemies of life, consisting of heat and moisture, is cold and dryness; the extremity of cold is more easie to be endured than extremity of heat; the violent sharpness of winter, than the fiery raging of Summer. To conclude, they are both bad, too much heat brings a hot Feaver, too much cold diminisheth the flesh, withers the face, hollowes the eyes, quencheth natural heat, peeleth the hair, and procureth baldness.

Astronomers have taken special knowledge of the number of 1024 of the principal apparent noted Stars of all the rest, besides the 7 Planets, and the 12 Signs, and it is agreed upon that there are more Stars under the Northern-pole, than under the Southern, the number of Stars under both poles are innumerable to us; but not to the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth, who calleth them all by their names. Ifai. 40. Levate in excelsum oculos vestros & videte quis creavit haec? quis educit in numero militiam eorum & omnia suis nominibus vocat? In January 1668. two Suns appeared and two Moons. The year before was published the Suns prerogative, vindicated by Alexander Nowel a young studient at Harvard-Colledge in the Massachusets Colony, which was as followeth.

Mathematicians have that priviledge, above other Philosophers, that their foundations are so founded upon, and proved by demonstration, that reason volens nolens must approve of them, when they are once viewed by the eye of the intellect, ipso facto it grants a probatum est; if upon those foundations he raises famous Architectures, which are inseparably joynted in, and joyned to their ground-works, yet are not their Elements of such vast extensions, as to have their dimensions adequated with the machine of the primum mobile, and so include the Fabrick of created beings; but there are sphears above the sphear of their Activity, and Orbs placed above the reach of their Instruments, which will non-plus the most acute inquisitors, at least in refererence to an accurate scrutiny: hence dissentions about Celestial bodies, whether the planets have any natural light, has been a question, proving that they borrow their light from the Sun: he being the primitive, they derivatives; he the Augmentum primum, they Orta, who though they have light in se, yet not ex se. This assertion is not expugned by Geocentricks who produce sense and Antiquity to support their suppositions; nor oppugned by Heliocentricks, who deduce their Hypothesis from reason, and new observations: for, quicquid in ambitu alicujus circuli actu diffusum, comprehenditur, id in centro ejufdem continetur potentia collectum. Should I put the question to the vote, questionless the major part of modern Astronomers would carry it affirmatively; but a testimony being Inartificialis Argumentum, I shall sound my position upon a more Artificial Basis. As for the multiplication of Eclipses which some fear, it's needless,for the extent of the Cone of the earths shaddow (a Centro terrae) being 250 Semidiameters, it cannot reach Mars; Venus and Mercury never oppose the Sun. It has been observed by the help of Optick Tubes, that Venus has divers faces, according to her diverse position to the Sun. Some affirm the fame of Mercury, but he's not so liable to observation, being seldom clear of the radiancy of the Sun. The superior Planets being above the Sun, turn the same side to the Sun, as they do to us. Venus and Mars are more lucid in their Parhelion, than in their Aphelion. The Telescope may convince us of this truth; Evincit enim crassa, opaca & dissimilium plane partium corpora, planetas effe. Lastly God made the Sun and Moon, the two greater lights (though not the greater lucid bodies) that the Moons light is adventitious, followes from her invisibilitie in a central Eclipse: hence the other planets are destitute of native light; à majore ad minus valet consequentia negativé.

In the year 1664. a Star or Comet appeared in New-England in December in the South-East, rising constantly about one of the clock in the morning, carrying the tail lower and lower till it came into the West, and then bare it directly before it; the Star it self was of a duskish red, the tail of the colour of via lactea, or the milkie way. A fortnight after it appeared again rising higher near the Nadir or point over our heads, of the same form and colour; of which hear the former Scholar. 

Comets (say Naturalists) proceed from natural causes but they oft preceed preternatural effects. That they have been Antecedents to strange consequents is an universal truth, and proved by particulars, viz. That which hung over Hierusalem before its extirpation by Vespatian, that vertical to Germany, before those bloudy Wars &c. So that experience Attests, and reason Assents, that they have served for sad Prologues to Tragical Epilogues. For the future preludiums  to what events they'I prove, may be proved by consequence, if they han't suffered a privation of their powerful Energie. Dr. Ward to salve Contests, distinguishes between Cometaida, which are Sublunary exhalations, and Cometa, which are heavenly bodies, coevous with the Stars; the cause of the inequality of whose motion, is their Apoge and Periges. Concerning the height of the late Comets Orb, because of the deficiency of Instruments, here's pars deficiens. As for its motion December 10. 'twas about the middle of Virgo. Jan. 24. 26 deg. Aries. Some observe that Comets commonly follow a Conjunction of the superiour planets. Astronomers attribute much to the predominancy of that planet which rules it, which they judge by the Colour; a dull leaden colour, claims Saturn for his Lord; bright, Jupiter; Red, Mars; Golden, Sol; Yellow, Venus; variable, Mercury; pale, Luna. Also to the Aspects it receives from other planets, the sign it is in, and the house of the Heavens in which it first was. Hence some may judge a scheam of the Heavens necessary, but unless Calculated for its certain rise (which is uncertain) it's adjudged by the judicious, superfluous. Some put much trust or virtue in the tail, terming it the Ignomon, &c. But that is probable of all, which has been observed of some, that it's alwayes opposite to the Sun; hence when the Sun is at the Meridian of the Antipodes it turns, &c. Which Regiomont observed of that in 1475. and Keckerman of that in 1607. Longomontanus observes of that in 1618. that its first appearance was vertical to Germany and went Northward, so its effect began there, and made the like progress: it's rational, that as a cause, it should operate most powerfully on those in whole Zenith it is, as the meridional 

Altitude; nor is it irrational, that as a sign, it should presage somewhat to all those, in whole Horizon it appears; for in reason, Relata fe mutuo inferunt, hence signum infers signatum, and the signifier implies a signified. Diverse desire to be certified of the event; but he is wife that knowes it. Some presume prophetically to specificate from generals truths; others desperately deny generals and all; of all whom it's a truth, Incidunt in Scyllam, &c. Noble Ticho concludes, (with whom I conclude) that if s not rational particularly to determine the sequel; for should any, it would be only in a contingent Axiom, and proceed from fancie; therefore of no necessary consequence, and would produce only opinion. 

A friend of mine shewed me a small Treatise written and printed in the Massachusets-Bay by B. D. Intuled An Astronomical description of the late Comet, or Blazing-Star, as it appeared in New-England in the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and the beginning of the Twelfth moneth, 1664. printed at Cambridge by Samuel Green 1665. An ingenious piece, but because I could not perswade my friend to part with it, I took out some short notes being straitned in time, which are as followes.

Comets are distinguished in respect of their figure, according to the divers aspects of the Sun, into Barbate, Caudate, and Crinite. 1. When the stream like a beard goes before the body. 2. When the stream followes the body. 3. When the stream goes right up into the Heavens. 

A Comet is said to be Vertical to any people, when the body of the Comet passeth over their heads. 

The light of the Comet alters and varies according to the diverse Aspects of the Sun enlightning it.

Some  took notice of it in the beginning of November.

In Anno Dom. 1668. July the Fifteenth happened an Eclipse of the moon from 9 of the clock at night, till after 11, digits 9, and 35 minutes.

In November following appeared a Star between the horns of the Moon in the midst. 

In Anno Dom. 1669. about the middle of June at 4 of the clock in the afternoon, appeared a Rain-bow reverst, and at night about 10 of the clock we had a Lunar Rain-bow.

The Indians so far as I could perceive have but little knowledge of the Stars and Planets, observing the Sun and Moon only, the dividers of time into dayes and years: they being nearer to the Equinoctial-line by 10 degrees, have their dayes and nights more equally divided, being in Summer two hours shorter, in Winter two hours longer than they are in England. The 11 of June the Sun riseth at 4 and 26 minutes, and setteth at 7 & 34 minutes: in December, the 13 the shortest day, the Sun riseth at 7 and 35 minutes, and setteth at 4 and 27 minutes. 

Mid-March their Spring begins, in April they have Rain and Thunder; So again at Michaelmas, about which season they have either before Michaelmas or after outrageous storms of Wind and Rain. It's observable that there is no part of the World, which hath not some certain times of out-rageous storms. We have upon our Coast in England a Michaelmas staw, that seldom fails: in the West-Indies in August and September the forcible North-wind, which though some call Tussins or Hurricanes we must distinguish, for a right Hurricane is (as I have said before) ) an impetuous wind that goes about the Compass in the space of 24 hours, in such a storm the Lord Willoughby of Parham Governour of the Barbadoes was cast away, going' with a fleet to recover St. Christophers from the French, Anno Dom. 1666. July. Cold weather begins with the middle of November, the winter's perpetually freezing, insomuch that their Rivers and salt- Bayes are frozen over and passable for Men, Horse, Oxen and Carts: AEquore cum gelido zephyrus sere xenia Cymbo. The North-west wind is the sharpest wind in the Countrie. In England most of the cold winds and weathers come from the Sea, and those seats that are nearest the Sea-coasts in England are accounted unwholsome, but not so in New-England, 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 land from the white mountains (which are alwayes (except in August) covered with snow) is the cause of extream cold weather, alwayes accompanied with deep snowes and bitter frosts, the snow for the most part four and six foot deep, which melting on the superficies with the heat of the Sun, (for the most part shining out clearly every day) and freezing again in the night makes a crust upon the snow sufficient to bear a man walking with snow-shoos upon it. And at this season the Indians go forth on hunting of Dear and Moose, twenty, thirty, forty miles up into the Countrie. Their Summer is hot and dry proper for their Indian Wheat; which thrives best in a hot and dry season, the skie for the most part Summer and Winter very clear and serene; if they see a little black cloud in the North-West, no bigger than a man may cover with his Hat, they expect a following storm, the cloud in short time spreading round about the Horizon accompanied with violent gusts of wind, rain, and many times lightning and terrible thunder. In all Countries they have observations how the weather will fall out, and these rules following are observable in New-England. If the Moon look bright and fair, look for fair weather, also the appearing of one Rain-bow after a storm, is a known sign of fair weather; if mists come down from the Hills, or descend from the Heavens, and settle in the valleys, they promise fair hot weather; mists in the Evening shew a fair hot day on the morrow: the like when mists rise from waters in the Evening. The obscuring of the smaller Stars is a certain sign of Tempests approaching; the oft changing of the wind is also a fore-runner of a storm; the resounding of the Sea from the shore, and murmuring of the winds in the woods without apparent wind, sheweth wind to follow: shooting of the Stars (as they call it) is an usual sign of wind from that quarter the Star came from. So look whether the resounding of the Sea upon the shore be on the East or West side of the dwelling, out of that quarter will the wind proceed the next day. The redness of the sky in the morning, is a token of winds, or rain or both: if the Circles that appear about the Sun be red and broken, they portend wind; if thick and dark, wind, snow and rain; the like may be said of the Circles about the moon. If two rain-bowes appear, they are a sign of rain; If the Sun or Moon look pale, look for rain: if a dark cloud be at Sun-rising, in which the Sun soon after is hid, it will dissolve it, and rain will follow; nebula ascendens indicat imbres, nebula descendens serenitatum. If the Sun seem greater in the East, than in the West about Sun-setting, and that there appears a black cloud, you may expect rain that night, or the day following.

Serò rubens Caelum cras indical esse serenum

Sed fi manè rubet venturos indicat Imbres.

To conclude; if the white hills look clear and conspicuous, it is a sign of fair weather; if black and cloudy, of rain; if yellow, it is a certain sign of snow shortly to ensue. 

In Anno Dom. 1667. March, appeared a sign in the Heavens in the form of a Sphear, pointing directly to the West: and in the year following on the third day of April being Friday, there was a terrible Earthquake, before that a very great one in 1638. and another in 58 and in 1662/3. January 26, 27, & 28. (which was the year before I came thither) there were Earthquakes 6 or 7 times in the space of three dayes. Earthquakes are frequent in the Countrie; some suppose that the white mountains were first raised by Earthquakes, they are hollow as may be guessed by the resounding of the rain upon the level on the top. The Indians told us of a River whose course was not only stopt by an Earthquake in 1668. (as near as I can remember) but the whole River swallowed up. And I have heard it reported from credible persons, that (whilst I was there in the Countrie) there happened a terrible Earthquake amongst the French, rending a huge Rock asunder even to the center, wherein was a vast hollow of an immeasurable depth, out of which came many infernal Spirits. I shall conclude this discourse of Earthquakes, with that which came from the Pen of our Royal Martyr King Charles the First; A Storm at Sea wants not its terrour but an Earthquake, shaking the very foundation of all, the World hath nothing more of horrour. And now I come to the plants of the Countrie.

The plants in New-England for the variety, number, beauty, and vertues, may stand in Competition with the plants of any Countrey in Europe. Johnson hath added to Gerard's Herbal 300. and Parkinson mentioneth many more; had they been in New-England they might have found 1000 at least never heard of nor seen by any Englishman before: 'Tis true, the Countrie hath no Bonerets, or Tartarlambs, no glittering coloured Tuleps; but here you have the American Mary-Gold, the Earth-nut bearing a princely Flower, the beautiful leaved Pirola, the honied Colibry, &c. They are generally of (somewhat) a more masculine vertue, than any of the same species in England, but not in so terrible a degree, as to be mischievous or ineffectual to our English bodies. It is affirmed by some that no forraign Drugg or Simple can be so proper to Englishmen as their own, for the quantity of Opium which Turks do safely take will kill four Englishmen, and that which will salve their wounds within a day, will not recure an Englishman in three. To which I answer that it is custom that brings the Turks to the familiar use of Opium. You may have heard of a Taylor in Kent, who being afflicted with want of sleep ventured upon Opium, taking at first a grain, and increasing of it till it came to an ounce, which quantitie he took as familiarly as a Turk, without any harm, more than that he could not sleep without it. The English in New-England take white Hellebore, which operates as fairly with them, as with the Indians, who steeping of it in water sometime, give it to young lads gathered together a purpose to drink, if it come up they force them to drink again their vomit, (which they save in a Birchen-dish) till it stayes with them, & he that gets the victory of it is made Captain of the other lads for that year. There is a plant likewise, called for want of a name Clownes wound wort by the English, though it be not the same, that will heal a green wound in 24 hours, if a wise man have the ordering of it. Thus much for the general, I shall now begin to discover unto you the plants more particularly, and I shall first begin with Trees, and of them, first with such as are called in Scripture Trees of God, that is great Trees, that grow of themselves without planting. Pfal. 104. 16, 17. Satiantur arbores Jehovae, cedri Libani quas plantavit; (ubi avicula nidificent) abietes domicilia ciconia. The Herons take great delight to fit basking upon the tops of these Trees. And I shall not be over large in any, having written of them in my Treatise of the rarities of New-England, to which I refer you.

The Oake I have given you an account of, and the kinds; I shall add the ordering of Red Oake for Wainscot. When they have cut it down and clear'd it from the branches, they pitch the body of the Tree in a muddy place in a River, with the head downward for some time, afterwards they draw it out, and when it is seasoned sufficiently, they saw it into boards for Wainscot, and it will branch out into curious works. 

There is an admirable rare Creature in shape like a Buck, with Horns, of a gummy substance, which I have often found in the fall of the leaf upon the ground amongst the withered leaves; a living Creature I cannot call it; having only the sign of a mouth and eyes: seldom or never shall you meet with any of them whole, but the head and horns, or the hinder parts, broken off from the rest; the Indians call them Tree Bucks, and have a superstitious saying (for I believe they never see any of them living) that if they can see a Tree-Buck walking upon the branches of an Oake when they go out in a morning to hunt, they shall have good luck that day. What they are good for I know not, but certainly there is some more than ordinary vertue in them. It is true that nothing in nature is superfluous, and we have the Scripture to back it, that God created nothing in vain. The like Creatures they have at the Barbadoes which they call Negroes heads, found in the Sands, about two inches long, with forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, and part of the neck, they are alwayes found loose in the Sands without any root, it is as black as Jet, but whence it comes they know not. I have read likewise, that in the Canaries or Fortunate-Islands, there is found a certain Creature, which Boys bring home from the mountains as oft as they would, and named them Tudesquels, or little Germans: for they were dryd dead Carcases, almost three footed, which any boy did easily carry in one of the palms of his hand, and they were of an humane shape; but the whole dead Carcase was clearly like unto Parchment, and their bones were flexible, as it were gristles: against the Sun, also, their bowels and intestines were seen. Surely (faith my Authour) the destroyed race of the Pigmies was there. There is also many times found upon the leaves of the Oake a Creature like a Frog, being as thin as a leaf, and transparent, as yellow as Gold, with little fiery red eyes, the English call them Tree-frogs or Tree-toads (but of Tree-toads I shall have occasion to speak in another place) they are said to be venemous, but may be safely used, being admirable to stop womens over-flowing courses hung about their necks in a Taffetie bag.

Source: Overview by Bryan Wright

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John Josselyn

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