Imágenes de páginas

ish, I perish–It is but a shadow vanished, a bubble broke, a dreame finish't, eternitie will pay for all.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections (Boston, 1792), I. 275-283 passim.

18. The Allurements of the New

World (1670)


This piece by a Long Island minister was intended to attract immigration to New York.

Thus have I briefly given you a Relation of New-York, with the places thereunto adjoyning; In which, if I have err'd, it is principally in not giving it its due commendation; for besides those earthly blessings where it is stor'd, Heaven hath not been wanting to open his Treasure, in sending down seasonable showres upon the Earth, blessing it with a sweet and pleasant Air, and a Continuation of such Influences as tend to the Health both of Man and Beast: and the Climate hath such an affinity with that of England, that it breeds ordinarily no alteration to those which remove thither; that the name of seasoning, which is common to some other Countreys hath never there been known; That I may say, and say truly, that if there be any terrestrial happiness to be had by people of all ranks, especially of an inferior rank, it must certainly be here: here any one may furnish himself with land, and live rent-free, yea, with such a quantity of Land, that he may weary himself with walking over his fields of Corn, and all sorts of Grain: and let his stock of Cattel amount to some hundreds, he needs not fear their want of pasture in the Summer, or Fodder in the Winter, the Woods affording sufficient supply.

For the Summer-season, where you have grass as high as a mans knees, nay, as high as his waste, interlaced with Pea-vines and other weeds that Cattel much delight in, as much as a man can press thorough; and these woods also every mile or half-mile are furnished with fresh ponds, brooks or rivers, where all sorts of Cattel, during the heat of the day, do quench their thirst and cool themselves; these brooks and rivers being invironed of each side with several sorts of threes and Grape-vines, the Vines, Arbor-like, interchanging places and crossing these rivers, does shade and shelter them from the scorching beams of Sols fiery influence.

Here those which Fortune hath frown'd upon in England, to deny them an inheritance amongst their Brethren, or such as by their utmost labors can scarcely procure a living, I say such may procure here inheritances of lands and possessions, stock themselves with all sorts of Cattel, enjoy the benefit of them whilst they live, and leave them to the benefit of their children when they die: Here you need not trouble the Shambles for meat, nor Bakers and Brewers for Beer and Bread, nor run to a Linnen-Draper for a supply, every one making their own Linnen, and a great part of their woolen-cloth for their ordinary wearing: And how prodigal, If I may so say, hath Nature been to furnish the Countrey with all sorts of wilde Beasts and Fowle, which every one hath an interest in, and may hunt at his pleasure; where besides the pleasure in hunting, he may furnish his house with excellent fat Venison, Turkeys, Geese, Heath-Hens, Cranes, Swans, Ducks, Pidgeons, and the like: and wearied with that, he may go a Fishing, where the Rivers are so furnished, that he may supply himself with Fish before he can leave off the Recreation.

Where you may travel by Land upon the same Continent hundreds of miles, passe thorough Towns and Villages, and never hear the least complaint for want, nor hear any ask you for a farthing: there you may lodge in the fields and woods, travel from one end of the Countrey to another, with as much security as if you were lockt within your own Chamber; And if you chance to meet with an Indian-Town, they shall give you the best entertainment they have, and upon your desire, direct you on your way: But that which adds happiness to all the rest, is the Healthfulness of the place, where many people in twenty years time never know what sickness is : where they look upon it as a great mortality if two or three die out of a town in a years time; where besides the sweetness of the Air, the Countrey it self sends forth such a fragrant smell, that it may be perceived at Sea before they can make the Land: where no evil fog or vapour doth no sooner appear, but a North-west or Westerly winde doth immediately dissolve it, and drive

it away.

What shall I say more? you shall scarce see a house, but the South side is begirt with Hives of Bees, which increase after an incredible manner: That I must needs say, that if there be any terrestrial Canaan, 'tis surely here, where the Land floweth with milk and honey. The inhabitants are blest with Peace and plenty, blessed in their Countrey, blessed in their Fields, blessed in the Fruit of their bodies, in the fruit of their grounds, in the increase of their Cattel, Horses and Sheep, blessed in their Basket, and in their Store; in a word, blessed in whatsoever they take in hand, or go about, the Earth yielding plentiful increase to all their painful labours.

Were it not to avoid prolixity I could say a great deal more, and yet say too little, how free are those parts of the world from that pride and oppression, with their miserable effects, which many, nay almost all parts of the world are troubled, with being ignorant of that pomp and bravery which aspiring Humours are servants to, and striving after almost every where: where a Waggon or Cart gives as good content as a Coach; and a piece of their home-made Cloth, better than the finest Lawns or richest Silks : and though their low-roofed houses may seem to shut their doors against pride and luxury, yet how do they stand wide open to let charity in and out, either to assist each other, or relieve a stranger, and the distance of place from other Nations, doth secure them from the envious frowns of illaffected Neighbours, and the troubles which usually arise thence.

Daniel Denton, A Brief Description of New York (Cleveland, 1902), 58-63.

19. The First European on the

Mississippi (1673)


A Catholic missionary and notable explorer.

BEFORE embarking we all offered up prayers to the Holy Virgin, which we continued to do every morning, placing ourselves and the events of the

« AnteriorContinuar »