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Account Of Two Voyages Picture


Anno Dom. 1646. they drew up a body of their Laws for the well ordering of their Commonwealth, as they not long since termed it.

The military part of their Commonwealth is governed by one Major-General, and three Serjeant Majors; to the Major-General belongeth particularly the Town of Boston, to the three Serjeant Majors belong the four Counties, but with submission to the Major-General. The first Serjeant Major chosen for the County of Suffolk was Major Gibbons. For the County of Middlesex Major Sedgwick. For the County of Essex and Northfolk Major Denison.

Every Town sends two Burgesses to their great and solemn general Court.

For being drunk, they either whip or impose a fine of Five shillings; so for swearing and cursing, or boring through the tongue with a hot Iron.

For kissing a woman in the street, though in way of civil salute, whipping or a fine.

For Single fornication whipping or a fine.

For Adultery, put to death, and so for witchcraft.

An English woman suffering an Indian to have carnal knowledge of her, had an Indian cut out exactly in red cloth sewed upon her right Arm, and injoyned to wear it twelve moneths.

Scolds they gag and set them at their doors for certain hours, for all comers and goers by to gaze at.

Stealing is punished with restoring four fould, if able; if not, they are sold for some years, and fo are poor debtors.

If you desire a further inspection to their Laws, I must refer you to them being in print, too many for to be inserted into this Relation.

The Governments of their Churches are Independent and Presbyterial, every Church (for so they call their particular Congregations) have one Pastor, one Teacher, Ruling Elders and Deacons.

They that are members of their Churches have the Sacraments administered to them, the rest that are out of the pale as they phrase it, are denyed it. Many hundred Souls there be amongst them grown up to men & womens estate that were never Christened.

They judge every man and woman to pay Five shilllings per day, who comes not to their Assemblies, and impose fines of forty shillings and fifty shillings on such as meet together to worship God.

Quakers they whip, banish and hang if they return again.

Anabaptists they imprison, fine and weary out.

The Government both Civil and Ecclesiastical is in the hands of the thorow-pac'd Independents and rigid Presbyterians.

The grose Goddons, or great masters, as also some of their Merchants are damnable rich; generally all of their judgement, inexplicably covetous and proud, they receive your gifts but as an homage or tribute due to their transcendency, which is a fault their Clergie are also guilty of, whose living is upon the bounty of their hearers. On Sundays in the afternoon when Sermon is ended the people in the Galleries come down and march two a breast up one Ile and down the other, until they come before the desk, for Pulpit they have none: before the desk is a long pue where the Elders and Deacons sit, one of them with a mony box in his hand, into which the people as they pass put their offering, some a shilling, some two shillings, half a Crown, five shillings according to their ability and good will, after this they conclude with a Psalm; but this by the way.

The chiefest objects of discipline, Religion, and morality they want, some are of a Linsie-woolsie disposition, of several professions in Religion, all like Æthiopians white in the Teeth only, full of ludification and injurious dealing, and cruelty the extreamest of all vices. The chiefest cause of Noah's floud, Prov. 27. 26. Agni erant ad vestitum tuum, is a frequent Text among them, no trading for a stranger with them, but with a Græcian faith, which is not to part with your ware without ready money, for they are generally in their payments recusant and slow, great Syndies, or censors, or controllers of other mens manners, and savagely factious amongst themselves.

There are many strange women too, (in Salomon’s

sence) more the pitty, when a woman hath lost her Chastity, she hath no more to lose.

But mistake me not to general speeches, none but the guilty take exceptions, there are many sincere and religious people amongst them, descryed by their charity and humility (the true Characters of Christianity) by their Zenodochie or hospitality, by their hearty submission to

their Soveraign the King of England, by their diligent and honest labour in their callings, amongst these we may account the Royalists, who are lookt upon with an evil eye, and tongue, boulted or punished if they chance to lash out; the tame Indian (for so they call those that are born in the Countrey) are pretty honest too, and may in good time be known for honest Kings men.

They have store of Children, and are well accommodated with Servants; many hands make light work, many hands make a full fraught, but many mouths eat up all, as some old planters have experimented; of these some are English, others Negroes: of the English there are can eat till they sweat, and work till they freeze; & and of the females that are like Mrs. Winters paddocks, very tender fingerd in cold weather.

There are none that beg in the Countrey, but there be Witches too many, bottle-bellied Witches amongst the Quakers, and others that produce many strange apparitions if you will believe report, of a Shallop at Sea man'd with women; of a Ship, and a great red Horse standing by the main-mast, the Ship being in a small Cove to the East-ward vanished of a suddain. Of a Witch that appeared aboard of a Ship twenty leagues to Sea to a Mariner who took up the Carpenters broad Axe and cleft her head with it, the Witch dying of the wound at home, with such like bugbears and Terriculamentaes.

It is published in print, that there are not much less than Ten hundred thousand souls English, Scotch and Irish in New-England.

Most of their first Magistrates are dead, not above two left in the Massachusets, but one at Plimouth, one at Connecticut, and one at New-haven they having done their generation work are laid asleep in their beds of rest till the day of doom, there and then to receive their reward according as they have done be it good or evil. Things of great indurance we see come to ruine, and alter, as great Flouds and Seas dryed up; mighty hills and mountains sunk into hollow bottoms: marvel not then that man is mortal, since his nature is unconstant and transitory.

The Diseases that the English are afflicted with, are the same that they have in England, with some proper to New-England, griping of the belly (accompanied with Feaver and Ague) which turns to the bloudy-flux, a common disease in the Countrey, which together with the small pox hath carried away abundance of their children, for this the common medicines amongst the poorer fort are Pills of Cotton swallowed, or Sugar and Sallet-oyl boiled thick and made into Pills, Allocs pulverized and taken in the pap of an Apple. I helped many of them with a sweating medicine only.

Also they are troubled with a disease in the mouth or throat which hath proved mortal to some in a very short time, Quinsies, and Impostumations of the Almonds, with great distempers of cold. Some of our New-England writers affirm that the English are never or very rarely heard to sneeze or cough, as ordinarily they do in England, which is not true. For a cough or stitch upon cold, Wormwood, Sage, Marygolds, and Crabs-claws boiled in posset-drink and drunk off very warm, is a soveraign medicine.

Pleurisies and Empyemas are frequent there, both cured after one and the same way; but the last is a desperate disease and kills many. For the Pleurisie I have given Coriander-seed prepared, Carduus seed, and Harts-horn pulverized with good success, the dose one dram in a cup of Wine.

The Stone terribly afflicts many, and the Gout, and Sciatica, for which take Onions roasted, peeled and stampt, then boil them with neats-feet oyl and Rhum to a plaister, and apply it to the hip.

Head - aches are frequent, Palsies, Dropsies, Worms, Noli-me-tangeres, Cancers, pestilent Feavers. Scurvies, the body corrupted with Sea-diet, Beef and Pork tainted. Butter and Cheese corrupted, fish rotten, a long voyage, coming into the searching sharpness of a purer climate, causeth death and sickness amongst them.

Men and Women keep their complexions, but lose their Teeth: the Women are pittifully Tooth-shaken; whether through the coldness of the climate, or by sweet-meats of which they have store, I am not able to affirm, for the Toothach I have found the following medicine

very available, Brimstone and Gunpowder compounded with butter, rub the mandible with it, the outside being first warm'd.

For falling off of the hair occasioned by the coldness of the climate, and to make it curl, take of the strong water called Rhum and wash or bath your head therewith, it is an admirable remedie.

For kibed heels, to heal them take the yellowest part of Rozen, pulverize it and work it in the palm of your hand with the tallow of a Candle to a salve, and lay of it to the sore.

For frozen limbs, a plaister framed with Soap, Bay-falt, and Molosses is sure, or Cow-dung boiled in milk and applyed.

For Warts and Corns, bathe them with Sea-water.

[p. 1 86.] There was in the Countrey not long since living two men that voided worms seven times their length. Likewise a young maid that was troubled with a sore pricking at her heart, still as she lean'd her body, or stept down with her foot to the one side or the other; this maid during her distemper voided worms of the length of a finger all hairy with black heads; it so fell out that the maid dyed; her friends desirous to discover the cause of the distemper of her heart, had her open'd, and found two crooked bones growing upon the top of the heart, which as she bowed her body to the right or left side would job their points into one and the same place, till they had worn a hole quite through. At Cape-Porpus lived an honest poor planter of middle-age, and strong of body, but so extreamly troubled with two lumps (or wens as I conjectured) within him, on each side one, that he could not rest; for them day nor night, being of great weight, and swagging to the one side or the other, according to the motion or posture of his body; at last he dyed in Anno 1668 as I think, or thereabouts. Some Chirurgeons there were that proffered to open him, but his wife would not assent to it, and so his disease was hidden in the Grave.Source: Overview by Bryan Wright

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