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difference betweene persons of noble, and of ignoble, or obscure, or inferior discent. For indeed in the grave of the more noble, they put a planck in the bottom for the corps to be layed upon and on each side a plancke, and a plancke upon the top in forme of a chest, before they cover the place with earth. This done, they erect some thing over the grave in forme £..." or of a hearse cloath, as was that of Cheekatawbacks mother, which the Plimouth planters defaced, because they accounted it an act of superstition. Which did breede a brawle as hath bin before related: for they hold imious, and inhumane : to deface the monuments of the dead. #. themselves esteeme of it as piaculum, and have a custome amongst them, to keepe their annals: & come at certaine times to lament, & bewaile the losse of their freind; & #o use to black their faces, which they so weare in stead of a mourning ornament for a longer or a shorter time, according to the dignity of the person : so is their annals kept and observed with their accustomed solemnity. Afterwards they absolutely abandon the place, because they sup pose the sight thereof, will but renew their sorrow. . . It was a thing very offensive to them, at our first comming into those parts, to aske of them for any one that had bin dead; but of later times it is not so offensively taken, to renew the memory of any deseased person, because by our example which they are apt to followe) it is made more samiliare unto them; and they marvell to see no monuments over our dead, and therefore thinke no great Sachem is yet come into those parts: or not as yet deade, because they see the graves all alike.
Of their Custome in burning the Country, and the reason thereof.
He Salvages are accustomed, to set fire of the Country ~ | in all places where they come; and to burne it, twize a yeare, vixe at the Spring, and the fall of the lease. The reason that mooves them to doe so, is because it would The Saleages fire other wise be, so overgrowne with underweedes, *::::::::... that it would be all a copice wood, and the peoa years. ple would not be able in any wise to passe through the Country out of a beaten path.
The meanes that they do it with, is with certaine minerall stones, that they carry about them: in baggs made for that purpose of the skinnes of little beastes which they convert into good lether; carrying in the same a peece of touch wood (very excellent for that purpose of their owne making. These minnerall stones they have from the Piquenteenes (which is to the Southward of all the plantations in New England) by trade and trafficke with those people.
The burning of the grasse destroyes the underwoods, and so scorcheth the elder trees, that it shrinkes them, and hinders their grouth very much : So that hee that will looke to finde large trees, and good tymber, must not depend upon the help, of a woodden prospect to finde them on the upland ground; but must seeke for them, (as I and others have done) in the lower grounds where the grounds are wett when the Country is fired: by reason of the snow water that remaines there for a
time, untill the Sunne by continuance of that hath exhaled the
vapoures of the earth, and dried up those places, where the fire (by reason of the moisture) can have no power to doe them any hurt; and if he would endevoure to finde out any goodly Cedars, hee must not seeke for them on the higher grounds, but make his inquest for them in the vallies, for the Salvages by this Custome of theirs, have spoiled all the rest: for this custome hath bin continued from the beginninge. And least their firing of the Country in this manner; should be an occasion of damnifying us, and indaingering our habitations; wee our selves have used carefully about the same times; to observe the winds and fire the grounds about our owne habitations, to prevent the Dammage that might happen by any neglect thereof, if the fire should come neere those howses in our absence. For when the fire is once kindled, it dilates and spreads it selfe as well against, as with the winde ; burning continually night and day, untill a shower of raine falls to quench it. And this custome of firing the Country is the meanes to make it passable, and by that meanes the trees growe here, and there as in our parks: and makes the Country very beautifull, and commodious.
|Llo Drunkennesse be justly termed a vice, which
A the Salvages are ignorant o yet the benefit is very great that comes to the planters by the sale of strong liquor to
the Salvages, who are much taken with the delight of it, for, they will pawne their wits, to purchase the acquaintance of o yet in al the comerce that I had with them, I never proffere them any such thing; nay I would hardly let any of them have a drame unless hee were a Sachem, or a Winnaytue, that is a rich man, or a man of estimation, next in degree to a Sachem, or Sagamore: I alwayes tould them it was amongst us the Sachems drinke. But they say if I come to the Northerne parts of the Country, I shall have no trade, if I will not supply the with lusty liquors, it is the life of the trade, in all those parts, for it so happened, that thus a Salvage desperately killed himselfe, when hee was drunke, a gunne being charged and the cock up, hee sets the mouth to his brest, and putting back the tricker with his foote, shot himselfe dead.
C H A P. XX.
Gentleman and a traveller, that had bin in the parts of A New England for a time, when hee retorned againe in his discourse of the Country, wondered (as hee said,) that the natives of the land lived so poorely, in so rich a Country, like to our Beggers in England: Surely that Gentleman had not time or leasure whiles hee was there, truely to informe himselse of the state of that Country, and the happy life the Salvages would leade weare they once brought to Christianity. I must confesse they want the use and benefit of The salvage, avigation (which is the very sinnus of a flourishrvant the art - - *otion ing Commonwealth,) yet are they supplied with all manner of needfull things, for the maintenance of life and lifelyhood, Foode and rayment are the cheife of all that we make true use of; and of these they finde no want, but have, them in a most plentifull manner.
If our beggers of England should with so much ease (as they,) furnish themselves with foode, at all seasons, there would not be so many starved in the streets, neither would so many gaoles be stuffed, or gallouses furnished with poore wretches, as I have seene them. But they of this sort of our owne nation, that are fitt to goe to this Canaan are not able to transport themselves, and most of them unwilling to goe from the good ale tap ; which is the very loadstone of the lande by which our English beggers steere theire Course: it is the Northpole to which the flowre-deluce of their compasse points; the more is the pitty that the Commonalty of oure Land are of such leaden capacities, as to neglect so brave a Country, that doth so plentifully feede Maine lusty and a brave, able men, women, and children that have not the meanes that a Civilized Nation hath to purchase foode and rayment: which that Country with a little industry will yeeld a man in a very comfortable measure; without overmuch carking. I cannot deny but a civilized Nation, hath the preheminence of an uncivilized, by meanes of those instruments that are found to be common amongst civile people, and the uncivile want the use of, to make themselves masters of those ornaments, that make such a glorious shew, that will give a man occasion to cry, sic transit gloria Mundi. Now since it is but foode and rayment that men that live needeth (though not all alike) why should not the Natives of New England be sayd to live richly having no want of either: Cloaths are the badge of sinne, and the more variety of fashions is but the greater abuse of the Creature, the beasts of the forrest there doe serve to furnish them at any time, when they please: fish and flesh they have in greate abundance which they both roast and boyle. They are indeed not served in dishes of plate with variety of Sauces to procure appetite, that needs not there. The rarity of the aire begot by the medicinable quality of the sweete herbes of the Country, alwayes procures good stomakes to the inhabitants. I must needs commend them in this particular, that though they buy many commodities of our Nation, yet they keepe but sewe, and those of speciall use. They love not to bee cumbered with many utensilles, and although every proprietor knowes his owne, yet all things (so long as they will last,) are used in common amongst them: A bisket cake given to one; that one breakes it equally into so many parts, as there be persons in his company, and distributes it. Platoes Commonwealth is so much practised by these people.
*::::* LAccording to humane reason guided onely by &###, the light of nature, these people leades the more happy and freer life, being voyde of care, which torments the mindes of so many Christians: They are not delighted in baubles, but in usefull things. Their naturall drinke is of the Christall fountaine, and this they take up in their hands, by joyning them close together. They take up a great quantity at a time, and drinke at the wrists, It was the sight of such a feate, which made Diogenes hurle away his dishe, and like one that would have this principall confirmed. Natura paucis contentat, used a dish no more. I have observed that they will not be troubled with superfluous commodities. Such things as they finde, they are taught by necessity to make use of they will make choise of; and seeke to purchase with industry so that in respect, that their life is so voyd of care, and they are so loving also that they make use of those things they enjoy (the wife To: onely excepted) as common goods, and are therein, ...” so compassionate that rather than one should starve through want, they would starve all, thus doe they passe away the time merrily, not regarding our pompe (which they see dayly before their faces) but are better content with their owne, which some men esteeme so meanely of. They may be rather accompted to live richly wanting nothing that is needefull; and to be commended for leading a contented life, the younger being ruled by the Elder, and the Elder ruled by the Powahs, and the Powahs are ruled by the Devill, and then you may imagin what good rule is like to be amongst them.