A Character of the Province of Maryland
Wherein is Described in four distinct Parts, (Viz.)1.
I. The Scituation, and plenty of the Province.2.
II. The Laws, Customs, and natural Demeanor of the Inhabitant.3.
III. The worst and best Usage of a Mary-Land Servant, opened in view.4.
IV. The Traffique, and Vendable Commodities of the Country.5.
A small Treatise on the Wilde and Naked Indians, (or Susquehanokes) of Mary-Land, their Customs, Manners, Absurdities, and Religion.7.
Together with a Collection of Historical Letters.8.
By George Alsop.9.
London, Printed by T. J. for Peter Dring, at the Sign of the Sun in the Poultrey; 1666.10.
To the Right Honorable Caecilius Lord Baltemore Absolute Lord and Proprietary of the Provinces of Mary-Land and Avalon in America.
MY LORD, I Have adventured on your Lordships acceptance by guess; if presumption has led me into an Error that deserves correction, I heartily beg Indempnity, and resolve to repent soundly for it, and do so no more. What I present I know to be true, “Experientia docet”; It being an infallible Maxim, That there is no Globe like the occular and experimental view of a Countrey. And had not Fate by a necessary imployment, consin’d me within the narrow walks of a four years Servitude, and by degrees led me through the most intricate and dubious paths of this Countrey, by a commanding and undeniable Enjoyment, I could not, nor should I ever have undertaken to have written a line of this nature.11.
The Epistle Dedicatory
If I have wrote or composed any thing that’s wilde and confused, it is because I am so my self, and the world, as far as I can perceive, is not much out of the same trim; therefore I resolve, if I am brought to the Bar of Common Law for any thing I have done here, to plead Non compos mentis, to save my Bacon.12.
There is an old Saying in England, He must rise betimes that would please every one. And I am afraid I have lain so long a bed, that I think I shall please no body; if it must be so, I cannot help it. But as Felton in his Resolves says, In things that must be, ’tis good to be resolute; And therefore what Destiny has ordained, I am resolved to wink, and stand to it. So leaving your Honour to more serious meditations, I subscribe my self,13.
Your Lordship most
To all the Merchant Adventurers for Mary-Land, together with those Commanders of Ships that saile into that Province.
You are both Adventurers, the one of Estate, the other of Life: I could tell you I am an Advem turer too, if I durst presume to come into your Company. I have ventured to come abroad in Print, and if I should be laughed at for my good meaning, it would so break the credit of my understanding, that I should never dare to spew my face upon the Exchange of (conceited) Wits again. This dish of Discourse was intended for you at first, but it was manners to let my Lord have the first cut, the Tye being his own. I beseech you accept of the matter as ’tis durst, only to stay your stomachs, and I’le promise you the next shall be better done, ‘Tis all as I can serve you in at present, and it may be questionable whether I have served you in this or no. Here I present you with A Character of Mary-Land, it may be you will say ’tis weakly done, if you do I cannot help it, ’tis as well as I could do it, considering several Obstacles that like blocks were thrown in my way to hinder (my proceeding: The major part thereof was written in the intermitting time of my sickness, therefore I hope the afflicting weakness of my Microcosm may plead a just excuse for some imperfections of my pen. I protest what I have writ is from an experimental, knowledge of the Country, and not from any imaginary supposition. If I am blamed for what I have done too much, it is the first, and I will irrevocably promise it shall be the last. There’s a Maxim upon Tryals at Assizes, That if a Thief be taken upon the first fault, if it be not to hainous, they only burn him in the hand and let him go : So I desire you to do by me, if you find any thing that bears a criminal absurdity in it, only burn me for my first fact and let me go. But I am affraid I have kept you too long in the Entry, I shall desire you therefore to come in and sit down 14.
The Preface to the Reader
The Reason why I appear in this place is, lest the general Reader should conclude I have nothing to say for my self; and truly he’s in the right on’t, fbr I have but little to say (for my self) at this time For I have had so large a Journey, and so heavy a Burden to bring Mary-Land into England, that I am almost out of breath: I’le promise you after I am come to my self, you shall hear more of me. Good Reader, because you see me make a brief Apologetical excuse for my self, don’t judge me; for I am so selfconceited of my own merits, that I almost think I want none. De Lege non Judicandum ex sold linea, saith the Civilian; We must not pass judgement upon a Law by one line: And because we see but a small Bush at a Tavern door, conclude there is no Canary. For as in our vulgar Resolves ’tis said, A good face needs no Band, and an ill one deserves none: So the French Proverb sayes, Bon Vien il n’a faut point de Ensigne, Good Wine needs no Bush. I suppose by this time some of my speculative observers have judged me vainglorious; but if they did but rightly consider me, they would not be so censorious. For I dwell so far from Neighbors, that if I do not praise my self, no body else will: And since I am left alone, I am resolved to summon the Magna Charta of Fowles to the Bar for my excuse, and by their irrevocable Statutes plead my discharge. For its an ill Bird will befoule her own Nest: Besides, I have a thousand Billings-gate Collegians that will give in their testimony, That they never knew a Fish-woman cry stinking Fish. Thus leaving the Nostrils of the Citizens Wives to demonstrate what they please as to that, and thee (Good Reader) to say what thou wilt, I bid thee Farewel15.
The Author to his Book
WHen first Apollo got my brain with Childe, 1.
He made large promise never to beguile,
But like an honest Father, he would keep
Whatever Issue from my Brain did creep
With that I gave consent, and up he threw 5.
Me on a Bench, and strangely he did do;
Then every week he daily came to see
How his new Physick still did work with me.
And when he did perceive he’d don the feat,
Like an unworthy man he made retreat, 10.
Left me in desolation, and where none
Compassionated when they heard me groan.
What could he judge the Parish then would think,
To see me fair, his Brat as black as Ink?
If they had eyes, they’d swear I were no Nun, 15.
But got with Child by some black Africk Son,
And so condemn me for my Fornication,
To beat them Hemp to stifle half the Nation.
Well, since ’tis so, I’le alter this base Fate,
And lay his Bastard at some Noble’s Gate; 20.
Withdraw my self from Beadles, and from such,
Who would give twelve pence I were in their clutch
Then, who can tell? this Child which I do hide,
May be in time a Small-beer Col’nel Pride
But while I talk, my business it is dumb,25.
I must lay double-clothes unto thy Bum,
Then lap thee warm, and to the world commit
The Bastard Off-spring of a New-born wit.
Farewel, poor Brat, thou in a monstrous World,
In swadling bands, thus up and down art hurl’d; 30.
There to receive what Destiny doth contrive,
Either to perish, or be sav’d alive.
Good Fate protect thee from a Criticks power,
For If he comes, thou’rt gone in half an hour,
Stif’d and blasted, ’tis their usual way, 35.
To make that Night, which is as bright as Day.
For if they once but wring, and skrew their mouth,
Cock up their Hats, and set the point Du-South,
Armes all a kimbo, and with belly strut,
As if they bad Parnassus in their gut 40.
These are the Symtomes of the murthering fall
Of my poor Infant, and his burial.
Say he should miss thee, and some ign’rant Asse
Should find thee out, as he along doth pass,
It were all one, he’d look into thy Tayle, 45.
To see if thou Overt Feminine or Male;
When he’d half starv’d thee, for to satisfie
His peeping Ign’rauce, he’d then let thee lie;
And vow by’s wit he ne’re could understand,
The Heathen dresses of another Land 50.
Well, ’tis no matter, wherever such as he
Knows one grain, more than his simplicity.
Now, how the pulses of my senses beat,
To think the rigid Fortune thou wilt meet;
Asses and captious Fools, not six in ten 55.
Of thy Spectators will be real men,
To Umpire up the badness of the cause,
And screen my weakness from the rav’nous Laws,
Of those that will undoubted sit to see
How they might blast this new-born Infancy60.
If they should burn him, they’d conclude hereafter,
‘Twere too good death for him to dye a Martyr;
And if they let him live, they think it will
Be but a means for to encourage ill,
And bring in time some strange Antipod’ans, 65.
A thousand Leagues beyond Philippians,
To storm our Wits; therefore he must not rest,
But shall be hang’d, for all he has been prest:
Thus they conclude. – My Genius comforts give,
In Resurrection he will surely live. 70.
To my Friend Mr. George Alsop, on his Character of Mary-Land
Who such odd nookes of Earths great mass describe, 1.
Prove their descent from old Columbus tribe:
Some Boding augur did his Name devise,
Thy Genius too cast in th’ same mould and size;
His Name predicted he would be a Rover, 5.
And hidden places of this Orb discover;
He made relation of that World in gross,
Thou the particulars retail’st to us
By this first Peny of thy fancy we
Discover what thy greater Coines will be; 10.
This Embryo thus well polisht doth presage,
The manly Atehievements of its future age.
Auspicious winds blow gently on this spark,
Untill its fames discover what’s yet dark;
Mean while this short Abridgement we embrace, 15.
Expecting that thy busy soul will trace
Some Mines at last which may enrich the World,
And, all that poverty may be in oblivion hurl’d.
Zoilus is dumb, for thou the mark hast hit,
By interlacing History with Wit 20.
Thou hast described its superficial Treasure,
Anatomiz’d its bowels at thy leasure;
That Mary-Land to thee may duty owe,
Who to the World dost all her Glory shew ,
Then thou shalt make the Prophesie fall true, 25.
Who fill’st the World (like th’ Sea) with knowledge new.
To my Friend Mr. George Alsop, on his Character of Mary-Land
This plain, yet pithy and concise Description 1.
Of Mary-Lands plentious and sedate condition,
With other things herein. by you set forth, To shew its Rareness, and declare its Worth;
Compos’d in such a time, when most men were
Smitten with Sickness, or surpriz’d with Fear, 5.
Argues a Genius good, and Courage stout,
In bringing this Design so well about
Such generous Freedom waited on thy brain,
The Work was done in midst of greatest pain;
And matters fow’d so swiftly from thy source, 10.
Nature design’d thee (sure) for such Discourse.
Go on then with thy Work so well begun,
Let it come forth, and boldly see the Sun;
Then shall’t be known to all, that from thy Youth
Thou heldst it Noble to maintain the Truth, 15.
‘ Gainst all the Babble-rout, that yelping stand,
To cast aspersions on thy Mary-Land
But this thy Work shall vindicate its Fame,
And as a Trophy memorize thy Name,
So if without a Tomb thou buried be, 20.
This Book’s a lasting Monument for thee.
From my Study, Jan. 10, 1665
To my Friend Mr. George Alsop, on his Character of Mary-Land
Columbus with Apollo sure det set,1.
When he did Court to propigate thy Wit,
Or else thy Genius with so small a Clew,
Could not have brought such Intricates in view;
Discover’d hidden Earth so plain, that we5.
View More in this, then if we went to see,
Mary-Land, I with some thou sands more,
Could not imagine where she stood before;
And hadst thou still been silent with thy Pen,
We had continu’d still the self-same men,10.
Ne’re to have known the glory of that Soyle
Whose plentious dwellings is four thousand mile.
The portly Susquehanock in his naked dress,
Had certain still been Pigmye or much less;
All had been dark (to us) and obscure yet,15.
Had not thy diligence discover’d it:
For this we owe thee Praises to the Skie,
But none but Mary-Land can gratifie.
A Character of the Province of Mary-Land
Of the situation and plenty of the Province of Mary-Land.
Mary-Land is a Province situated upon the large extending bowels of America, under the Government of the Lord Baltemore, adjacent Northwardly upon the Confines of New-England, and neighbouring Southwardly upon Virginia, dwelling pleasantly upon the Bay of ChÃ¦sapike between the Degrees of 36 and 38, in the Zone temperate, and by Mathematical computation is eleven hundred and odd Leagues in Longitude from England, being within her own imbraces extraordinary pleasant and fertile. Pleasant, in respect of the multitude of Navigable Rivers and Creeks that conveniently and most profitably lodge within the armes of her green, spreading, and delightful Woods; whose natural womb (by her plenty) maintains and preserves the several diversities of Animals that rangingly inhabit her Woods; as she doth otherwise generously fructifie this piece of Earth with almost all sorts of Vegetables, as well Flowers with their varieties of colours and smells, as Herbes and Roots with their several effects and operative virtues, that offer their benefits daily to supply the want of the Inhabitant whene’re their necessities shall Sub-poena them to wait on their commands. So that he, who out of curiosity desires to see the Landskip of the Creation drawn to the life, or to read Natures universal Herbal without book, may with the Opticks of a discreet discerning, view Mary-Land drest in her green and fragrant Mantle of the Spring. Neither do I think there is any place under the Heavenly altitude, or that has footing or room upon the circular Globe of this world, that can parallel this fertile and pleasant piece of ground in its multiplicity, or rather Natures extravagancy of a superabounding plenty. For so much doth this Country increase in a swelling Spring-tide of rich variety and diversities of all things, not only common provisions that supply the reaching stomach of man with a satisfactory plenty, but also extends with its liberality and free convenient benefits to each sensitive faculty, according to their several desiring Appetites. So that had Nature made it her business, on purpose to have found out a situation for the Soul of profitable Ingenuity, she could not have fitted herself better in the traverse of the whole Universe, nor in convenienter terms have told man, Dwell here, live plentifully and be rich.16.
The Trees, Plants, Fruits, Flowers, and Roots that grow here in Mary-Land, are the only Emblems or Hieroglyphicks of our Adamitical or Primitive situation, as well for their variety as odoriferous smells, together with their vertues, according to their several effects, kinds and properties, which still bear the Effigies of Innocency according to their original Grafts; which by their dumb vegetable Oratory, each hour speaks to the Inhabitant in silent acts, That they need not look for any other Terrestrial Paradice, to suspend or tyre their curiosity upon, while she is extant. For within her doth dwell so much of variety, so much of natural plenty, that there is not any thing that is or may be rare, but it inhabits within this plentious soyle : So that those parts of the Creation that have borne the Bell away (for many ages) for a vegetable plentiousness, must now in silence strike and vayle all, and whisper softly in the auditual parts of Mary-Land, that None but she in this dwells singular; and that as well for that she doth exceed in those Fruits, Plants, Trees and Roots, that dwell and grow in their several Clymes or habitable parts of the Earth besides, as the rareness and superexcellency of her own glory, which she flourishly abounds in, by the abundancy of reserved Rarities, such as the remainder of the World (with all its speculative art) never bore any occular testimony of as yet. I shall forbear to particularize those several sorts of vegetables that flourishingly grows here, by reason of the vast tediousness that will attend upon the description, which therefore makes them much more fit for an Herbal, than a small Manuscript or History.17.
As for the wilds Animals of this Country, which loosely inhabits the Woods in multitudes, it is impossible to give you an exact description of them all, considering the multiplicity as well as the diversity of so numerous an extent of Creatures: But such as has fallen within the compass or prospect of my knowledge, those you shall know of; videlicet, the Deer, because they are oftner seen, and more participated of by the Inhabitants of the Land, whose acquaintance by a customary familiarity becomes much more common than the rest of Beasts that inhabit the Woods by using themselves in Herds about the Christian Plantations. Their flesh, which in some places of this Province is the common provision the Inhabitants feed on, and which through the extreme glut and plenty of it, being daily killed by the Indians, and brought in to the English, as well as that which is killed by the Christian Inhabitant, that doth it more for recreation, than for the benefit they reap by it. I say, the flesh of Venison becomes (as to food) rather denyed, than any way esteemed or desired. And this I speak from an experimental knowledge; For when I was under a Command, and debarr’d of a four years ranging Liberty in the Province of Mary-Land, the Gentleman whom I served my conditional and prefixed time withall, had at one time in his house fourscore Venisons, besides plenty of other provisions to serve his Family nine months, they being but seven in number; so that before this Venison was brought to a period by eating, it so nauseated our appetites and stomachs, that plain bread was rather courted and desired than it.18.
The Deer here neither in shape nor action differ from our Deer in England: the Park they traverse their ranging and unmeasured walks in, is bounded and impanell’d in with no other pales than the rough and billowed Ocean: They are also mighty numerous in the Woods, and are little or not at all affrighted at the face of a man, but (like the Does of Whetstone Park) though their hydes are not altogether so gaudy to extract an admiration from the beholder, yet they will stand (all most) till they be scratcht.19.
As for the Wolves, Bears, and Panthers of this Country, they inhabit commonly in great multitudes up in the remotest parts of the Continent; yet at some certain time they come down near the Plantations, but do little hurt or injury worth noting, and that which they do is of so degenerate and low a nature, (as in reference to the fierceness and heroick vigour that dwell in the same kind of Beasts in other Countries), that they are hardly worth mentioning: For the highest of their designs and circumventing reaches is but cowardly and base, only to steal a poor Pigg, or kill a lost and half starved Calf. The Effigies of a man terrifies them dreadfully, for they no sooner espy him but their hearts are at their mouths, and the spurs upon their heels, they (having no more manners than Beasts) gallop away, and never bid them farewell that are behind them.20.
The Elke, the Cat of the Mountain, the Rackoon, the Fox, the Beaver, the Otter, the Possum, the Hare, the Squirril, the Monack, the Musk-Rat, and several others (whom I’le omit for brevity sake) inhabit here in Mary-Land in several droves and troops, ranging the Woods at their pleasure.21.
The meat of most of these Creatures is good for eating, yet of no value nor esteem here, by reason of the great plenty of other provisions, and are only kill’d by the Indians, of the Country for their Hydes and Furrs, which become very profitable to those that have the right way of trafhquing for them, as well as it redounds to the Indians, that take the pains to catch them, and to slay and dress their several Hydes, selling and disposing them for such commodities as their Heathenish fancy delights in.22.
As for those Beasts that were carried over at the first seating of the Country, to stock and increase the situation, as Cows, Horses, Sheep and Hogs, they are generally tame, and use near home, especially the Cows, Sheep and Horses. The Hogs, whose increase is innumerable in the Woods, do disfrequent home more than the rest of Creatures that are look’d upon as tame, yet with little trouble and pains they are slain and made provision of. Now they that will with a right Historical Survey, view the Woods of Mary-Land in this particular, as in reference to Swine, must upon necessity judge this Land lineally descended from the Gadarean Territories.23.
Mary-Land (I must confess) cannot boast of her plenty of Sheep here, as other Countries; not but that they will thrive and increase here, as well as in any place of the World besides, but few desire them, because they commonly draw down the Wolves among the Plantations, as well by the sweetness of their flesh, as by the humility of their nature, in not making a defensive resistance against the rough dealing of a ravenous Enemy. They who for curiosity will keep Sheep, may expect that after the Wolves have breathed themselves all day in the Woods to sharpen their stomachs, they will come without fail and sup with them at night, though many times they surfeit themselves with the sawce that’s dish’d out of the muzzle of a Gun, and so in the midst of their banquet (poor Animals) they often sleep with their Ancestors.24.
Fowls of all sorts and varieties dwell at their several times and seasons here in Mary-Land. The Turkey, the Woodcock, the Pheasant, the Partrich, the Pigeon, and others, especially the Turkey, whom I have seen in whole hundreds in flights in the Woods of Mary-Land, being an extraordinary fat Fowl, whose flesh is very pleasant and sweet. These Fowls that I have named are intayled from generation to generation to the Woods. The Swans, the Geese and Ducks (with other Water-Fowl) derogate in this point of setled residence; for they arrive in millionous multitudes in Mary-Land about the middle of September, and take their winged farewell about the midst of March: But while they do remain, and beleagure the borders of the shoar with their winged Dragoons, several of them are summoned by a Writ of Fieri facias, to answer their presumptuous contempt upon a Spit.25.
As for Fish, which dwell in the watry tenements of the deep, and by a providential greatness of power, is kept for the relief of several Countries in the world (which would else sink under the rigid enemy of want), here in Mary-Land is a large sufficiency, and plenty of almost all sorts of Fishes, which live and inhabit within her several Rivers and Creeks, far beyond the apprehending or crediting of those that never saw the same, which with very much ease is catched, to the great refreshment of the Inhabitants of the Province.26.
All sorts of Grain, as Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oates, Pease, besides several others that have their original and birth from the fertile womb of this Land (and no where else), they all grow, increase, and thrive here in Mary-Land, without the chargable and laborious manuring of the Land with Dung; increasing in such a measure and plenty, by the natural richness of the Earth, with the common, beneficial and convenient showers of rain that usually wait upon the several Fields of Grain (by a natural instinct), so that Famine (the dreadful Ghost of penury and want) is never known with his pale visage to haunt the Dominions of Mary-Land. 27.
Could’st thou (0 Earth) live thus obscure, and now 1.
Within an Age, shew forth thy plentious brow
Of rich variety, gilded with fruitful Fame,
That (Trumpet-like) doth Heraldize thy Name,
And tells the World there is a Land now found, 5.
That all Earth’s Globe can’t parallel its Ground?
Dwell, and be prosperous, and. with thy plenty feed
The craving Carkesses of those Souls that need.
Of the Government and Natural Disposition of the People.
Mary-Land, not from the remoteness of her situation, but from the regularity of her well ordered Government, may (without sin, I think) be called Singular: And though she is not supported with such large Revenues as some of her Neighbours are, yet such is her wisdom in a reserved silence, and not in pomp, to shew her well-conditioned Estate, in relieving at a distance the proud poverty of those that wont be seen they want, as well as those which by undeniable necessities are drove upon the Rocks of pinching wants: Yet such a loathsome creature is a common and folding-handed Beggar, that upon the penalty of almost a perpetual working in Imprisonment, they are not to appear, nor lurk near our vigilant and laborious dwellings. The Country hath received a general spleen and antipathy against the very name and nature of it; and though there were no Law provided (as there is) to suppress it, I am certainly confident, there is none within the Province that would lower themselves so much below the dignity of men to beg, as long as limbs and life keep house together; so much is a vigilant industrious care esteem’d.28.
He that desires to see the real Platform of a quiet and sober Government extant, Superiority with a meek and yet commanding power sitting at the Helme, steering the actions of State quietly, through the multitude and diversity of Opinionous waves that diversly meet, let him look on Mary-Land with eyes admiring, and he’ll then judge her, The Miracle of this Age.29.
Here the Roman Catholick, and the Protestant Episcopal (whom the world would perswade have proclaimed open Wars irrevocably against each other), contrarywise concur in an unanimous parallel of friendship, and inseparable love intayled into one another: All Inquisitions, Martyrdom, and Banishments are not so much as named, but unexpressably abhorr’d by each other.30.
The several Opinions and Sects that lodge within this Government, meet not together in mutinous contempts to disquiet the power that bears Rule, but with a reverend quietness obeys the legal commands of Authority. Here’s never seen Five Monarchies in a Zealous Rebellion, opposing the Rights and Liberties of a true setled Government, or Monarchical Authority: Nor did I ever see (here in Mary-Land) any of those dancing Adamitical Sisters, that plead a primitive Innocency for their base obscenity, and naked deportment; but I conceive if some of them were there at some certain time of the year, between the :Months of January and February, when the winds blow from the North-West quarter of the world, that it would both cool, and (I believe) convert the hottest of these Zealots from their burning and fiercest concupiscence. 31.
The Government of this Province doth continually, by all lawful means, strive to purge her Dominions from such base corroding humors, that would predominate upon the least smile of Liberty, did not the Laws check and bridle in those unwarranted and tumultuous Opinions. And truly, where a kingdom, State or Government, keeps or cuts down the weeds of destructive Opinions, there must certainly be a blessed harmony of quietness. And I really believe this Land or Government of Mary-Land may boast, that she enjoys as much quietness from the disturbance of Rebellious Opinions, as most States or Kingdoms do in the world: For here every man lives quietly, and follows his labour and imployment desiredly ; and by the protection of the Laws, they are supported from those molestious troubles that ever attend upon the Commons of other States and Kingdoms, as well as from the Aquafortial operation of great and eating Taxes. Here’s nothing to be levyed out of the Granaries of Corn; but contrarywise, by a Law every Domestick Governor of a Family is enjoyned to make or cause to be made so much Corn by a just limitation, as shall be sufficient for him and his Family: So that by this wise and Janus-like providence, the thin jawed Skeliton with his starv’d Carkess is never seen walking’ the Woods’ of Mary-Land to affrighten Children.32.
Once every year within this Province is an Assembly called, and out of every respective County (by the consent of the people) there is chosen a number of men, and to them is deliver’d up the Grievances of the Country; and they maturely debate the matters, and according to their Consciences make Laws for the general good of the people; and where any former Law that was made, seems and is prejudicial to the good or quietness of the Land, it is repeal’d. These men that determine on these matters for the Republique, are called Burgesses, and they commonly sit in Junto about six weeks, being for the most part good ordinary Householders of the several Counties, which do more by a plain and honest Conscience, than by artificial Syllogisms drest up in gilded Orations. 33.
Here Suits and Tryals in Law seldome hold dispute two Terms or Courts, but according as the Equity of the Cause appears is brought to a period. The Temples and Grays-Inne are clear out of fashion here: Marriot would sooner get a paunch-devouring meal for nothing, than for his invading Counsil. Here if the Lawyer had nothing else to maintain him but his bawling, he might button up his Chops, and burn his Buckrom Bag, or else hang it upon a pin untill its Antiquity had eaten it up with durt and dust: Then with a Spade, like his Grandsire Adam, turn up the face of the Creation, purchasing his bread by the sweat of his brows, that before was got by the motionated Waterworks of his jaws. So contrary to the Genius of the people, if not to the quiet Government of the Province, that the turbulent Spirit of continued and vexatious Law, with all its querks and evasions, is openly and most eagerly opposed, that might make matters either dubious, tedious, or troublesom. All other matters that would be ranging in contrary and improper Spheres, (in short) are here by the Power moderated, lower’d and subdued. All villanous Outrages that are committed in other States, are not so much as known here: A man may walk in the open Woods as secure from being externally dissected, as in his own house or dwelling. So hateful is a Robber, that if but once imagin’d to be so, he’s kept at a distance, and shun’d as the Pestilential noysomness. 34.
It is generally and very remarkably observed, That those whose Lives and Conversations have had no other gloss nor glory stampt on them in their own Country, but the stigmatization of baseness, were here (by the common civilities and deportments of the Inhabitants of this Province) brought to detest and loath their former actions. Here the Constable hath no need of a train of Holberteers, that carry more Armour about them, than heart to guard him: Nor is he ever troubled to leave his Feathered Nest to some friendly successor, while he is placing of his Lanthern-horn Guard at the end of some suspicious Street, to catch some Night-walker, or Batchelor of Leathery, that has taken his Degree three story high in a Bawdy-house. Here’s no Newgates for pilfering Felons, nor Ludgates for Debtors, nor any Bridewels to lash the soul of Concupiscence into a chast Repentance. For as there is none of these Prisons in Mary-Land, so the merits of the Country deserves none, but if any be foully vitious, he is so reserv’d in it, that he seldom or never becomes popular. Common Alehouses (whose dwellings are the only Receptacles of debauchery and baseness, and those Schools that trains up Youth, as well as Age, to ruine), in this Province there are -none; neither hath Youth his swing or range in such a profuse and unbridled liberty as in other Countries; for from an antient Custom at the primitive seating of the place, the Son works as well as the Servant (an excellent cure for untam’d Youth), so that before they eat their bread, they are commonly taught how to earn it; which makes them by that time Age speaks them capable of receiving that which their Parents indulgency is ready to give them, and which partly is by their own laborious industry purchased, they manage it with such a serious, grave and watching care, as if they had been Masters of Families, trained up in that domestick and governing power from their Cradles. These Christian Natives of the Land, especially those of the Masculine Sex, are generally conveniently confident, reservedly subtile, quick in apprehending, but slow in resolving; and where they spy profit sailing towards them with the wings of a prosperous gale, there they become much familiar. The Women differ something in this point, though not much: They are extreme bashful at the first view, but after a continuance of time hath brought them acquainted, there they become discreetly familiar, and are much more talkative then men. All Complemental Courtships, drest up in critical Rarities, are meer strangers to them, plain wit comes nearest their Genius; so that he that intends to Court a Mary-Land Girle, must have something more than the Tautologies of a long-winded speech to carry on his design, or else he may (for ought I know) fall under the contempt of her frown, and his own windy Oration. 35.
One great part of the Inhabitants of this Province are desiredly Zealous, great pretenders to Holiness; and where any thing appears that carries on the Frontispiece of its Effigies the stamp of Religion, though fundamentally never so imperfect, they are suddenly taken with it, and out of an eager desire to any thing that’s new, not weighing the sure matter in the Ballance of Reason, are very apt to be catcht. Quakerism is the only Opinion that bears the Bell away: The Anabaptists have little to say here, as well as in other places, since the Ghost of John of Leyden haunts their Conventicles. The Adamite, Ranter, and Fift-Monarchy men, Mary-Land cannot, nay will not digest within her liberal stomach such corroding morsels: So that this Province is an utter Enemy to blasphemous and zealous Imprecations, drain’d from the Lymbeck of hellish and damnable Spirits, as well as profuse prophaness, that issues from the prodigality of none but cract-brain Sots.36.
‘Tis said, the Gods lower down that Chain above, 1.
That tyes both Prince and Subject up in Love;
And if this Fiction of the Gods be true,
Few, Mary-Land, in this can boast but you
Live ever blest, and let those Clouds that do 5.
Eclipse most States, be always Lights to you;
And dwelling so, you may for ever be
The only Emblem of Tranquility.
The necessariness of Servitude proved, with the common usage of Servants in Mary-Land together with their Priviledges.
As there can be no Monarchy without the Supremacy of a King and Crown, nor no King without Subjects, nor any Parents without it be by the fruitful off spring of Children; neither can there be any Masters, unless it be by the inferior Servitude of those that dwell under them, by a commanding enjoynment : And since it is ordained from the original and superabounding wisdom of all things, That there should be Degrees and Diversities amongst the Sons of men, in acknowledging of a Superiority from Inferiors to Superiors; the Servant with a reverent and befitting Obedience is as liable to this duty in a measurable performance to him whom he serves; as the loyalest of Subjects to his Prince. Then since it is a common and ordained Fate, that there must be Servants as well as Masters, and that good Servitudes are those Colledges of Sobriety that checks in the giddy and wild-headed youth from his profuse and uneven course of life, by a limited constrainment, as well as it otherwise agrees with the moderate and discreet Servant: Why should there be such an exclusive Obstacle in the’ minds’ and unreasonable dispositions of many people, against the limited time of convenient and necessary Servitude, when it is a thing so requisite, that the best of Kingdoms would be unhing’d from their quiet and well setled Government without it. Which levelling doctrine we here of England in this latter age (whose womb was truss’d out with nothing but confused Rebellion) have too much experienced, and was daily rung into the ears of the tumultuous Vulgar by the Bell-weather Sectaries of the Times: But (blessed be God) those Clouds are blown over, and the Government of the Kingdom coucht under a more stable form. 37.
There is no truer Emblem of Confusion either in Monarchy or Domestick Governments, then when either the Subject, or the Servant, strives for the upper hand of his Prince, or Master, and to be equal with him, from whom he receives his present subsistance : Why then, if Servitude be so necessary that no place can be governed in order, nor people live without it, this may serve to tell those which prick up their ears and bray against it, That they are none but Asses, and deserve the Bridle of a strict commanding power to reine them in: For I’me certainly confident, that there are several Thousands in most Kingdoms of Christendom, that could not at all live and subsist, unless they had served some prefixed time, to learn either some Trade, Art, or Science, and by either of them to extract their present livelihood.38.
Then methinks this may stop the mouths’ of those that will undiscreetly compassionate them that dwell under necessary Servitudes ; for let but Parents of an indifferent capacity in Estates, when their Childrens age by computation speak them seventeen or eighteen years old, turn them loose to the wide world, without a seven years working Apprenticeship (being just brought up to the bare formality of a little reading and writing) and you shall immediately see how weak and shiftless they’le be towards the maintaining and supporting of themselves; and (without either stealing or begging) their bodies like a Sentinel must continually wait to see when their Souls will be frighted away by the pale Ghost of a starving want.39.
Then let such, where Providence hath ordained to live as Servants, either in England or beyond Sea, endure the prefixed yoak of their limited time with patience, and then in a small computation of years, by an industrious endeavour, they may become Masters and Mistresses of Families themselves. And let this be spoke to the deserved praise of Mary-Land, That the four years I served there were not to me so slavish, as a two years Servitude of a Handicraft Apprenticeship was here in London; Volend enim nil dif cile : Not that I write this to seduce or delude any, or to draw them from their native soyle, but out of a love to my Countrymen, whom in the general I wish well to, and that the lowest of them may live in such a capacity of Estate, as that the bare interest of their Livelihoods might not altogether depend upon persons of the greatest extendments.40.
Now those whose abilities here in England are capable of maintaining themselves in any reasonable and handsom manner, they had best so to remain, lest the roughness of the Ocean, together with the staring visages of the wide Animals, which they may see after their arrival into the Country, may alter the natural dispositions of their bodies, that the stay’d and solid part that kept its motion by Doctor 7Trigs purgationary operation, may run beyond the byas of the wheel in a violent and laxative confusion.41.
Now contrarywise, they who are low, and make bare shifts to buoy themselves up above the shabby center of beggarly and incident casualties, I heartily could wish the removal of some of them into MaryLand, which would make much better for them that stay’d behind, as well as it would advantage those that went.42.
They whose abilities cannot extend to purchase their own transportation into Mary-Land (and surely he that cannot command so small a sum for so great a matter, his life must needs be mighty low and dejected), I say they may for the debarment of a four years sordid liberty, go over into this Province and there live plentiously well. And what’s a four years Servitude to advantage a man all the remainder of his dayes, making his predecessors happy in his sufficient abilities, which he attained to partly by the restrainment of so small a time ? Now those that commit themselves into the care of the Merchant to carry them over, they need not trouble themselves with any inquisitive search touching their Voyage; for there is such an honest care and provision made for them all the time they remain aboard the Ship, and are sailing over, that they want for nothing that is necessary and convenient. 43.
The Merchant commonly before they go aboard the Ship, or set themselves in any forwardness for their Voyage, has Conditions of Agreements drawn between him and those that by a voluntary consent become his Servants, to serve him, his Heirs or Assigns, according as they in their primitive acquaintance have made their bargain, some two, some three, some four years; and whatever the Master or Servant tyes himself up to here in England by Condition, the Laws of the Province will force a performance of when they come there: Yet here is this Priviledge in it when they arrive, If they dwell not with the Merchant they made their first agreement withall, they may choose whom they will serve their prefixed time with; and after their curiosity has pitcht on one whom they think fit for their turn, and that they may live well withall, the Merchant makes an Assignment of the Indenture over to him whom they of their free will have chosen to be their Master, in the same nature as we here in England (and no otherwise) turn over Covenant Servants or Apprentices from one Master to another. Then let those whose chaps are always breathing forth those filthy dregs of abusive exclamations, which are Lymbeckt from their sottish and preposterous brains, against this Country of Mary-Land, saying, That those which are transported over thither, are sold in open Market for Slaves, and draw in Carts like Horses; which is so damnable an untruth, that if they should search to the very Center of Hell, and enquire for a Lye of the most antient and damned stamp, I confidently believe they could not find one to parallel this: For know, That the Servants here in Mary-Land of all Colonies, distant or remote Plantations, have the least cause to complain, either for strictness of Servitude, want of Provisions, or need of Apparel: Five dayes and a half in the Summer weeks is the alotted time that they work in; and for two months, when the Sun predominates in the highest pitch of his heat, they claim an antient and customary Priviledge, to repose themselves three hours in the day within the house, and this is undeniably granted to them that work in the Fields.44.
In the Winter time, which lasteth three months (viz.), December, January, and February, they do little or no work or imployment, save cutting of wood to make good fires to sit by, unless their Ingenuity will prompt them to hunt the Deer, or Bear, or recreate themselves in Fowling, to slaughter the Swans, Geese, and Turkeys (which this Country affords in a most plentiful manner) : For every Servant has a Gun, Powder and Shot allowed him, to sport him withall on all Holidayes and leasurable tunes, if he be capable of using it, or be willing to learn.45.
Now those Servants which come over into this Province, being Artificers, they never (during their Servitude) work in the Fields, or do any other employment save that which their Handicraft and Mechanick endeavours are capable of putting them upon, and are esteem’d as well by their Masters, as those that imploy them, above measure. He that’s a Tradesman here in Mary-Land (though a Servant), lives as well as most common Handicrafts do in London, though they may want something of that Liberty which Freemen have, to go and come at their pleasure; yet if it were rightly understood and considered, what most of the Liberties of the several poor Tradesmen are taken up about, and what a care and trouble attends that thing they call Liberty, which according to the common translation is but Idleness, and (if weighed in the Ballance of a just Reason) will be found to be much heavier and cloggy then the four years restrainment of a Mary-Land Servitude. He that lives in the nature of a Servant in this Province, must serve but four years by the Custom of the Country; and when the expiration of his time speaks him a Freeman,. there’s a Law in the Province, that enjoyns his Master whom he hath served to give him Fifty Acres of Land, Corn to serve him a whole year, three Suits of Apparel, with things necessary to them, and Tools to work withall ; so that they are no sooner free, but they are ready to set up for themselves, and when once entred, they live.passingly well. 46.
The Women that go over into this Province as Servants, have the best luck here as in any place of ‘the _world besides; for they are no sooner on shoar, but they are courted into a Copulative Matrimony, which some of them (for aught I know) had they not come to such a Market with their Virginity, might have kept it by them untill it had been mouldy, unless they had let it out by a yearly rent to some of the Inhabitants of Lewknors-Lane, or made a Deed of Gift of it to Mother Coney, having only a poor stipend out of it, untill the Gallows or Hospital called them away. Men have not altogether so good luck as Women in this kind, or natural preferment, without they be good Rhetoricians, and well vers’d in the Art of perswasion, then (probably) they may ryvet themselves in the time of their Servitude into the private and reserved favour of their Mistress, if Age speak their Master deficient.47.
In short, touching the Servants of this Province, they live well in the time of their Service, and by their restrainment in that time, they are made capable of living much better when they come to be free; which in several other parts of the world I have observed, That after some servants have brought their indented and limited time to a just and legal period by Servitude, they have been much more incapable of supporting themselves from sinking into the Gulf of a slavish, poor, fettered, and intangled life, then all the fastness of their prefixed time did involve them in before.48.
Now the main and principal Reason of those incident casualties, that wait continually upon the residences of most poor Artificers, is (I gather) from the multiciplicity or innumerableness of those several Companies of Tradesmen, that dwell so closely and stiflingly together in one and the same place, that like the chafing Gum in Watered-Tabby, they eat into the folds of one anothers Estates. And this might easily be remedied, would but some of them remove and disperse distantly where want and necessity calls for them; their dwellings (I am confident) would be much larger, and their conditions much better, as well in reference to their Estates, as to the satisfactoriness of their minds, having a continual imployment, and from that imployment a continual benefit, without either begging, seducing, or flattering for it, encroaching that one month from one of the same profession, that they are heaved out themselves the next. For I have observed on the other side of Mary-Land, that the whole course of most Mechanical endeavours, is to catch, snatch, and undervalue one another, to get a little work, or a Customer; which when they have attained by their lowbuilt and sneaking circumventings, it stands upon so flashy, mutable, and transitory a foundation, that the best of his hopes is commonly extinguisht before the poor undervalued Tradesman is warm in the enjoyment of his Customer. 49.
Then did not a cloud of low and base Cowardize eclipse the Spirits of these men, these things might easily be diverted; but they had as live take a Bear by the tooth, as think of leaving their own Country, though they live among their own National people, and are governed by the same Laws they have here, yet all this wont do with them; and all the Reason they can render to the contrary is, There’s a great Sea betwixt them and Mary-Land, and in that Sea there are Fishes, and not only Fishes but great Fishes, and then should a Ship meet with such an inconsiderable encounter as a Whale, one blow with his tayle, and then Lord have Mercy upon us : Yet meet with these men in their common Exchange, which is one story high in the bottom of a Celler, disputing over a Black-pot, it would be monstrously dreadful here to insert the particulars, one swearing that he was the first that scaled the Walls of Dundee, when the Bullets flew about their ears as thick as Hailstones usually fall from the Sky; which if it were but rightly examined, the most dangerous Engagement that ever he was in, was but at one of the flashy battels at _Mnsbury, where commonly there’s more Custard greedily devoured, than men prejudiced by the rigour of the War. Others of this Company relating their several dreadful exploits, and when they are just entring into the particulars, let but one step in and interrupt their discourse, by telling them of a Sea Voyage, and the violency of storms that attends it, and that there are no backdoors to run out at, which they call, a handsom Retreat and Charge again; the apprehensive danger of this is so powerful and penetrating on them, that a damp sweat immediately involves their Microcosm, so that Margery the old Matron of the Celler, is fain to run for a half-peny-worth of Angelica to rub their nostrils; and though the Port-hole of their bodies has been stopt from a convenient Evacuation some several months, theyl’e need no other Suppository to open the Orifice of their Esculent faculties then this Relation, as their Drawers or Breeches can more at large demonstrate to the inquisitive search of the curious.50.
Now I know that some will be apt to judge, that I have written this last part out of derision to some of my poor Mechanick Country-men: Truly I must needs tell those to their face that think so of me, that they prejudice me extremely, by censuring me as guilty of any such crime: What I have written is only to display the sordidness of their dispositions, who rather than they will remove to another Country to live plentiously well, and give their Neighbors more Elbow-room and space to breath in, they will croud and throng upon one another, with the pressure of a beggarly and unnecessary weight. 51.
That which I have to say more in this business, is a hearty and desirous wish, that the several poor Tradesmen here in London that I know, and have borne an occular testimony of their want, might live so free from care as I did when I dwelt in the bonds of a four years Servitude in Mary-Land.52.
Be just (Domestick Monarchs) unto them 1.
That dwell as Household Subjects to each Realm;
Let not your Power make you be too severe,
Where there’s small faults reign in your sharp Career
So that the Worlds base yelping Crew 5.
May’nt bark what I have wrote is writ untrue,
So use your Servants, if there come no more,
They may serve Eight, instead of serving Four.
Upon Trafique, and what Merchandizing Commodities this Province affords, also how Tobacco is planted and made fit for Commerce.
Trafique, Commerce, and Trade, are those great wheeles that by their circular and continued motion, turn into most Kingdoms of the Earth the plenty of abundant Riches that they are commonly fed withall: For Trafique in his right description, is the very soul of a Kingdom; and should but Fate ordain a removal of it for some years, from the richest and most populous Monarchy that dwells in the most fertile clyme of the whole Universe, he would soon find by a wouul experiment, the miss and loss of so reviving a supporter. And I am certainly confident, that England would as soon feel her feebleness by withdrawment of so great an upholder; as well in reference to the internal and healthful preservative of her Inhabitants, for want of those Medicinal Drugs that are landed upon her Coast every year, as the external profits, Glory and beneficial Graces that accrue by her.53.
Paracelsus might knock down his Forge, if Trafique and Commerce should once cease, and grynde the hilt of his Sword into Powder, and take some of the Infusion to make him so valorous, that he might cut his own Throat in the honor of Mercury: Galen might then burn his Herbal, and like Joseph of Arimathea, build him a Tomb in his Garden, and so rest from his labours: Our Physical Collegians of London would have no cause then to thunder Fire-balls at Nich. Culpeppers Dispensatory. All Herbs, Roots, and Medicines would bear their original christening, that the ignorant might understand them Album grecum would not be Album grecum then, but a Dogs turd would be a Dogs turd in plain terms, in spight of their teeth.54.
If Trade should once cease, the Custom-house would soon miss her hundreds and thousands Hogs-heads of Tobacco, that use to be throng in her every year, as well as the Grocers would in their Ware-houses and Boxes, the Gentry and Commonalty in their Pipes, the Physician in his Drugs and Medicinal Compositions; The (leering) Waiters for want of imployment, might (like so many Diogenes) intomb themselves in their empty Casks, and rouling themselves off the Key into the Thames, there wander up and down from tide to tide in contemplation of Aristotles unresolved curiosity, until the rottenness of their circular habitation give them a Quietus est, and fairly surrender them up into the custody of those who both for profession, disposition and nature, lay as near claim to them, as if they both tumbled in one belly, and for name they jump alike, being according to the original translation both Sharkes.55.
Silks and Cambricks, and Lawns to make sleeves, would be as soon miss’d at Court, as Gold and Silver would be in the Mint and Pockets– The Low-Country Soldier would be at a cold stand for Outlandish Furrs to make him Muffs, to keep his ten similitudes warm in the Winter, as well as the Furrier for want of Skins to uphold his Trade.56.
Should Commerce once cease, there is no Country in the habitable world but would undoubtedly miss that flourishing, splendid and rich gallantry of Equipage, that Trafique maintained and drest her up in, before she received that fatal Eclipse: England, France, Germany and Spain, together with all the Kingdoms57.
But stop (good Muse) lest I should, like the Parson of Pancras, run so far from my Text in half an hour, that a two hours trot back again would hardly fetch it up: I had best while I am alive in my Doctrine, to think again of Mary-Land, lest the business of other Countries take up so much room in my brain, that I forget and bury her in oblivion.58.
The three main Commodities this Country affords for Trafique, are Tobacco, Furrs, and Flesh. Furrs and Skins, as Beavers, Otters, Musk-Rats, Rackoons, Wild-Cats, and Elke or Buffeloe, with divers others, which were first made vendible by the Indians, of the Country, and sold to the Inhabitant, and by them to the Merchant, and so transported into England and other places’ where it becomes most commodious.59.
Tobacco is the only solid Staple Commodity of this Province: The use of it was first found out by the Indians, many Ages agoe, and transferr’d into Christendom by that great Discoverer of America Columbus. It’s generally made by all the Inhabitants of this Province, and between the months of March and April they sow the seed (which is much smaller then Mustard-seed) in small beds and patches digg’d up and made so by art, and about May the Plants commonly appear green in those beds: In June they are transplanted from their beds, and set in little hillocks in distant rowes, dug up for the same purpose; some twice or thrice they are weeded, and succoured from their illegitimate Leaves that would be peeping out from the body of the Stalk. They top the several Plants as they find occasion in their predominating rankness : About the middle of September they cut the Tobacco down, and carry it into houses, (made for that purpose) to bring it to its purity: And after it has attained, by a convenient attendance upon time, to its perfection, it is then tyed up in bundles, and packt into Hogs-heads, and then laid by for the Trade.60.
Between November and January there arrives in this Province Shipping to the number of twenty sail and upwards, all Merchant-men loaden with Commodities to Trafique and dispose of, trucking with the Planter for Silks, Hollands, Serges, and Broad-clothes, with other necessary Goods, priz’d at such and such rates as shall be judg’d on is fair and legal, for Tobacco at so much the pound, and advantage on both sides considered; the Planter for his work, and the Merchant for adventuring himself and his Commodity into so far a Country: Thus is the Trade on both sides drove on with a fair and honest Decorum.61.
The Inhabitants of this Province are seldom or never put to the affrightment of being robb’d of their money, nor to dirty their Fingers by telling of vast sums: They have more bags to carry Corn, then Coyn; and though they want, but why should I call that a want which is only a necessary miss? the very effects of the dirt of this Province affords as great a profit to the general Inhabitant, as the Gold of Peru doth to the straight-breecht Commonalty of the Spaniard.62.
Our Shops and Exchanges of Mary-Land, are the Merchants Store-houses, where with few words and protestations Goods are bought and delivered; not like those Shop-keepers Boys in London, that continually cry, What do ye lack Sir? What d’ye buy? yelping with so wide a mouth, as if some Apothecary had hired their mouths to stand open to catch Gnats and Vagabond Flyes in.then money. I must confess the New-England men that trade into this Province, had rather have fat Pork for their Goods, than Tobacco or Furrs,which I conceive is, because their bodies being fast bound up with the cords of restringent Zeal, they are fain to make use of the lineaments of this Non-Canaanite creature physically to loosen them; for a bit of a pound upon a two-peny Rye loaf, according to the original Receipt, will bring the costiv’st red-ear’d Zealot in some three hours time to a fine stool, if methodically observed.63.
Medera,Wines, Sugars, Salt, Wickar-Chairs, and Tin Candlesticks, is the most of the Commodities they bring in: They arrive in Mary-Land about September, being most of them Ketches and Barkes, and such small Vessels, and those dispersing themselves into several small Creeks of this Province, to sell and dispose of their Commodities, where they know the Market is most fit for their small Adventures.64.
Barbadoes, together with the several adjacent Islands, has much Provision yearly from this Province: And though these Sun-burnt Phaetons think to outvye Mary-Land in their Silks and Puffs, daily speaking against her whom their necessities makes them beholding to, and like so many Don Diegos that becackt Pauls, cock their Felts and look big upon’t ; yet if a man could go down into their infernals, and see how it fares with them there, I believe he would hardly find any other Spirit to buoy them up, then the ill-visaged Ghost of want, that continually wanders from gut to gut to feed upon the undigested rynes of Potatoes.65.
Trafque is Earth’s great Atlas, that supports 1.
The pay of Armies, and the height of Courts,
And makes Mechanicks live, that else would die
Meer starving Martyrs to their penury
None but the Merchant of this thing can boast,5.
He, like the Bee, comes loaden from each Coast,
And to all Kingdoms, as within a Hive,
Stows up those Riches that doth make them thrive
Be thrifty, Mary-Land, keep what thou hast in store,
And each years Trafique to thy self get more. 10.
A Relation of the Customs, Manners, Absurdities, and Religion of the SUSQUEHANOCK INDIANS in and near Mary-Land.
AS the diversities of Languages (since Babels confusion) has made the distinction between people and people, in this Christendompart of the world; so are they distinguished Nation from Nation, by the diversities and confusion of their Speech and Languages here in America: And as every Nation differs in their Laws, Manners and Customs, in Europe, Asia and Africa, so do they the very same here; That it would be a most intricate and laborious trouble, to run (with a description) through the several Nations of Indians, here in America, considering the innumerableness and diversities of them that dwell on this vast and unmeasured Continent But rather then I’le be altogether silent, I shall do like the Painter in the Comedy, who being to limne out the Pourtraiture of the Furies, as they severally appeared, set himself behind a Pillar, and between fright and amazement, drew them by guess. Those Indians that I have convers’d withall here in this Province of Mary-Land, and have had any occular experimental view of either of their Customs, Manners, Religions, and Absurdities, are called by the name of Susquehanocks, being a people lookt upon by the Christian Inhabitants, as the most Noble and Heroick Nation of Indians that dwell upon the confines of America; also are so allowed and lookt upon by the rest of the Indians, by a submissive and tributary acknowledgement; being a people cast into the mould of a most large and Warlike deportment, the men being for the most part seven foot high in latitude, and in magnitude and bulk suitable to so high a pitch; their voyce large and hollow, as ascending out of a Cave, their gate and behavior strait, stately and majestick, treading on the Earth with as much pride, contempt, and disdain to so sordid a Center, as can be imagined from a creature derived from the same mould and Earth. 66.
Their bodies are cloth’d with no other Armour to defend them from the nipping frosts of a benumbing Winter, or the penetrating and scorching influence of the Sun in a hot Summer, then what Nature gave them when they parted with the dark receptacle of their mothers womb. They go Men, Women and Children, all naked, only where shame leads them by a natural instinct to be reservedly modest, there they become cover’d. The formality of dezabels artificial Glory is much courted and followed by these Indians, only in matter of colours (I conceive) they differ.67.
The Indians paint upon their faces one stroke of red, another of green, another of white, and another of black, so that when they have accomplished the Equipage of their Countenance in this trim, they are the only Hieroglyphicks and Representatives of the Furies. Their skins are naturally white, but altered from their originals by the several dyings of Roots and Barks, that they prepare and make useful to metamorphize their hydes into a dark Cinamon brown. The hair of their head is black, long and harsh, but where Nature hath appointed the situation of it any where else, they divert it (by an antient custom) from its growth, by pulling it up hair by hair by the root in its primitive appearance. Several of them wear divers impressions on their breasts and armes, as the picture of the Devil, Bears, Tigers, and Panthers, which are imprinted on their several lineaments with much difficulty and pain, with an irrevocable determination of its abiding there: And this they count a badge of Heroick Valour, and the only Ornament due to their Heroes. * 68.
These Susquehanock Indians are for the most part great Warriours, and seldom sleep one Summer in the quiet armes of a peaceable Rest, but keep (by their present Power, as well as by their former Conquest) the several Nations of Indians round about them, in a forceable obedience and subjection.69.
Their Government is wrapt up in so various and intricate a Laborynth, that the speculativ’st Artist in the whole World, with his artificial and natural Opticks, cannot see into the rule or sway of these Indians, to distinguish what name of Government to call them by; though Purchas in his Peregrination between London and Essex, (which he calls the whole World) will undertake (forsooth) to make a Monarchy of them, but if he had said Anarchy, his word would have pass’d with a better belief. All that ever I could observe in them as to this matter is, that he that is most cruelly Valorous, is accounted the most Noble: Here is very seldom any creeping from a Country Farm, into a Courtly Gallantry, by a sum of money; nor feeing the Heralds to put Daggers and Pistols into their Armes, to make the ignorant believe that they are lineally descended from the house of the Wars and Conquests; he that fights best carries it here. 70.
When they determine to go upon some Design that will and doth require a Consideration, some six of them get into a corner, and sit in Juncto ; and if thought fit, their business is made popular, and immediately put into action; if not, they make a full stop to it, and are silently reserv’d.71.
The Warlike Equipage they put themselves in when they prepare for .Belona’s March, is with their faces, armes, and breasts confusedly painted, their hair greased with Bears oyl, and stuck thick with Swans Feathers, with a wreath or Diadem of black and white Beads upon their heads, a small Hatchet, instead of a Cymetre, stuck in their girts behind them, and either with Guns, or Bows and Arrows. In this posture and dress they march out from their Fort, or dwelling, to the number of Forty in a Troop, singing (or rather howling out) the Decades or Warlike exploits of their Ancestors, ranging the wide Woods untill their fury has met with an Enemy worthy of their Revenge. What Prisoners fall into their hands by the destiny of War, they treat them very civilly while they remain with them abroad, but when they once return homewards, they then begin to dress them in the habit for death, putting on their heads and armes wreaths of Beads, greazing their hair with fat, some going before, and the rest behind, at equal distance from their Prisoners, bellowing in a strange and confused manner, which is a true presage and forerunner of destruction to their then conquered Enemy. 72.
In this manner of march they continue till they have brought them to their Berken City, where they deliver them up to those that in cruelty will execute them, without either the legal Judgement of a Council of War, or the benefit of their Clergy at the Common Law. The common and usual deaths they put their Prisoners to, is to bind them to stakes, making a fire some distance from them; then one or other of them, whose Genius delights in the art of Paganish dissection, with a sharp knife or flint cuts the Cutis or outermost skin of the brow so deep, untill their nails, or rather Talons, can fasten themselves firm and secure in, then (with a most rigid jerk) disrobeth the head of skin and hair at one pull, leaving the skull almost as bare as those Monumental Skelitons at Chyrurgions-Hall ; but for fear they should get cold by leaving so warm and customary a Cap off, they immediately apply to the skull a Cataplasm of hot Embers to keep their Pericanium warm. While they are thus acting this cruelty on their heads, several others are preparing pieces of Iron, and barrels of old Guns, which they make red hot, to sear each part and lineament of their bodies, which they perform and act in a most cruel and barbarous manner And while they are thus in the midst of their torments and execrable usage, some tearing their skin and hair of their head off by violence, others searing their bodies with hot irons, some are cutting their flesh off, and eating it before their eyes raw while they are alive; yet all this and much more never makes them lower the Top-gallant sail of their Heroick courage, to beg with a submissive Repentance any indulgent favour from their persecuting Enemies; but with an undaunted contempt to their cruelty, eye it with so slight and mean a respect, as if it were below them to value what they did, they courageously (while breath doth libertize them) sing the summary of their Warlike Atchievements. 73.
Now after this cruelty has brought their tormented lives to a period, they immediately fall to butchering of them into parts, distributing the several pieces amongst the Sons of War, to intomb the ruines of their deceased Conquest in no other Sepulchre then their unsanctified maws; which they with more appe tite and desire do eat and digest, then if the best of foods should court their stomachs to participate of the most restorative Banquet. Yet though they now and then feed upon the Carkesses of their Enemies, this is not a common dyet, but only a particular dish for the better sort; for there is not a Beast that runs in the Woods of America, but if they can by any means come at him, without any scruple of Conscience they’le fall too (without saying Grace) with a devouring greediness. 74.
As for their Religion, together with their Rites and Ceremonies, they are so absurd and ridiculous, that its almost a sin to name them. They own no other Deity than the Devil, (solid or profound) but with a kind of a whde imaginary conjecture, they suppose from their groundless conceits, that the World had a Maker, but where he is that made it, or whether he be living to this day, they know not. The Devil, as I said before, is all the God they own or worship; and that more out of a slavish fear then any real Reverence to his Infernal or Diabolical greatness, he forcing them to their Obedience by his rough and rigid dealing with them, often appearing visibly among them to their terrour, bastinadoing them (with cruel menaces) even unto death, and burning their Fields of Corn and houses, that the relation thereof makes them tremble themselves when they tell it.75.
Once in four years they Sacrifice a Childe to him, in an acknowledgement of their fitm obedience to all his Devillish powers, and Hellish commands. The Priests to whom they apply themselves in matters of importance and greatest distress, are like those that attended upon the Oracle at Delphos, who by their Magic-spells could command a pro or con from the Devil when they pleas’d. These Indians oft-times raise great Tempests when they have any weighty matter or design in hand, and by blustering storms inquire of their Infernal God (the Devil) How matters shall go with them either in publick or private. 76.
When any among them depart this life, they give him no other intombment, then to set him upright upon his breech in a hole dug in the Earth some five foot long, and three foot deep, covered over with the Bark of Trees Arch-wise, with his face Du-West, only leaving a hole half a foot square open. They dress hint in the same Equipage and Gallantry that he used to be trim’d in when he was alive, and so bury him (if a Soldier) with his Bows, Arrows, and Target, together with all the rest of his implements and weapons of War, with a Kettle of Broth, and Corn standing before him, lest he should meet with bad quarters in his way. His Kinred and Relations follow him to the Grave, sheath’d in Bear skins for close mourning, with the tayl droyling on the ground, in imitation of our -English Solemners, that think there’s nothing like a tayl a Degree in length, to follow the dead Corpse to the Grave with. Here if that snuffling Prolocutor, that waits upon the dead Monuments of the Tombs at Westminster, with his white Rod were there, he might walk from Tomb to Tomb with his, Here lies the Duke of Ferrara and his Dutchess, and never find any decaying vacation, unless it were in the moldering Consumption of his own Lungs. They bury all within the wall or Pallisado’d impalement of their City, or Connadago as they call it. Their houses are low and long, built with the Bark of Trees Arch-wise, standing thick and confusedly together. They are situated a hundred and odd miles distant from the Christian Plantations of Mary-Land, at the head of a River that runs into the Bay of Chcesapike, called by their own name The Susquehanock River, where they remain and inhabit most part of the Summer time, and seldom remove far from it, unless it be to subdue any Forreign Rebellion. 77.
About November the best Hunters draw off to several remote places of the Woods, where they know the Deer, Bear, and Elke useth; there they build them several Cottages, which they call their Winter-quarter, where they remain for the space of three months, untill they have killed up a sufficiency of Provisions to supply their Families with in the Summer.78.
The Women are the Butchers, Cooks, and Tillers of the ground, the Men think it below the honour of a Masculine, to stoop to any thing but that which their Gun, or Bow and Arrows can command. The Men kill the several Beasts which they meet withall in the Woods, and the Women are the Pack horses to fetch it in upon their backs, fleying and dressing the bydes, (as well as the flesh for provision) to make them fit for Trading, and which are brought down to the English at several seasons in the year, to truck and dispose of them for course Blankets, Guns, Powder and lead, Beads, small Looking-glasses, Knives, and Razors. 79.
I never observed all the while I was amongst these naked Indians, that ever the Women wore the Breeches, or dared either in look or action predominate over the Men. They are very constant to their Wives; and let this be spoken to their Heathenish praise, that did they not alter their bodies by their dyings, paintings, and cutting themselves, marring those Excellencies that Nature bestowed upon them in their original conceptions and birth, there would be as amiable beauties amongst them, as any Alex, andria could afford, when Mark Anthony and Cleopatra dwelt there together. Their Marriages are short and authentique ; for after ’tis resolv’d upon by both parties, the Woman sends her intended Husband a Kettle of boyl’d Venison, or Bear; and he returns in lieu thereof Beaver or Otters Skins, and so their Nuptial Rites are concluded without other Ceremony. 80.
Before I ‘bring my Heathenish Story to a period, I have one thing worthy your observation: For as our Grammar Rules have it, Non decet quenquam me ire currentem aut mandantem : It doth not become any man to piss running or eating. These Pagan men naturally observe the same Rule; for they are so far from running, that like a Hare, they squat to the ground as low as they can, while the Women stand bolt upright with their armes a Kimbo, performing the same action, in so confident and obscene a posture, as if they had taken their Degrees of Entrance at Venice, and commenced Bawds of Art at Legorne.81.
A Collection of some Letters that were written by the same Author, most of them in the time of his Servitude.
To my much Honored Friend Mr. T. B.
I have lived with sorrow to see the Anointed of the Lord tore from his Throne by the hands of Paricides, and in contempt haled, in the view of God, Angels and Men, upon a public Theatre, and there murthered. I have seen the sacred Temple of the Almighty, in scorn by Schismatics made the Receptacle of Theeves and Robbers; and those Religious Prayers, that in devotion Evening and Morning were offered up as a Sacrifice to our God, rent by Sacrilegious hands, and made no other use of, then sold to Brothel-houses to light Tobacco with.82.
Who then can stay, or will, to see things of so great weight steer’d by such barbarous Hounds as these First, were there an Egypt to go down to, I would involve my Liberty to them, upon condition ne’er more to – see my Country. What? live in silence under the sway of such base actions, is to give consent; and though the lowness of my present Estate and Condition, with the hazard I put my future dayes upon, might plead a just excuse for me to stay at home; but Heavens forbid: I’le rather serve in Chains, and draw the Plough with Animals, till death shall stop and say, It is enough. Sir, if you stay behind, I wish you well: I am bound for Mary-Land, this day I have made some entrance into my intended voyage, and when I have done more, you shall know of it. I have here inclosed what you of me desired, but truly trouble, discontent and business, have so amazed my senses, that what to write, or where to write, I conceive my self almost as uncapable as he that never did write. What you’le find will be Ex tempore, without the use of premeditation; and though there may want something of a flourishing stile to dress them forth, yet I’m certain there wants nothing of truth, will, and desire.83.
Heavens bright Lamp, shine forth some of thy Light,1.
But just so long to paint this dismal Night;
Then draw thy beams, and hide thy glorious face,
From the dark sable actions of this place;
Leaving these lustful Sodomites groping still, 5.
To salisfie each dark unsatiate will,
Untill at length the crimes that they commit,
May sink them down to Hells Infernal pit.
Base and degenerate Earth, how dost thou lye,
That all that pass hiss, at thy Treachery ? 10.
Thou which couldst boast once of thy King and Crown,
By base Meehanieks now art tumbled down,
Brewers and Coblers, that have scarce an Eye,
Walk hand in hand in thy Supremacy;
And all those Courts where Majesty did Throne, 15.
Are now the Seats for Oliver and loan
Persons of Honour, which did before inherit
Their glorious Titles from deserved merit,
Are all grown silent, and with wonder gaze,
To view such Slaves drest in their Courtly rayes; 20.
To see a Drayman that knows nought but Yeast,
Set in a Throne like Babylons red Beast,
While heaps of Parasites do idolize
This red-nos’d Bell, with fawning Sacrifice.
What can we say? our King they’ve Murthered, 25.
And those well born, are basely buried
Nobles are stain, and Royalists in each street
Are seor’n’d, and kiek’d by most Men that they meet
Religion’s banisht, and Heresie survives,
And none but Conventieks in this Age thrives. 30.
Oh could those Romans from their Ashes rise,
That liv’d in Nero’s time: Oh how their cries
Would our perfidious Island shake, nay rend,
With clamorous streaks unto the Heaven send
Oh how they’d blush to see our Crimson crimes, 35.
And know the Subjects Authors of these times
When as the Peasant he shall take his King,
And without cause shall fall a murthering him;
And when that’s done, with Pride assume the Chair,
And Nimrod-like, himself to heaven rear; 40.
Command the People, make the Land Obey
His baser will, and swear to what he’l say.
Sure, sure our God has not these evils sent
To please himself, but for mans punishment
And, when he shall from our dark sable Skies 45.
Withdraw these Clouds, and let our Sun arise,
Our dayes will surely then in Glory shine,
Both in our Temporal, and our State divine
May this come quickly, though I may never see
This glorious day, yet I would sympathie, 50.
And feel a joy run through each vain of blood,
Though Vassalled on t’other side the Floud.
Heavens protect his Sacred Majesty,
From secret Plots, & treacherous Villany.
And that those Slaves that now predominate, 55.
Hang’d and destroy’d may be their best of Fate;
And though Great Charles be distant from his own,
Heaven I hope will seat him on his Throne.
Vale. Yours and what I may,
From the Chimney Corner upon a low cricket, where I writ this in the noise of some six women, Aug. 19. Anno
To my Honored Father at his House.
Before I dare bid Adieu to the old World, or shake hands with my native Soyl for ever, I have a Conscience inwards tells me, that I must offer up the remains of that Obedience of mine, that lyes close centered within the cave of my Soul, at the Alter, of your paternal Love: And though this Sacrifice of mine may chew something low and thread-bare, (at this time) yet know, That in the Zenith of all actions, Obedience is that great wheel that moves the lesser in their circular motion. 84.
I am now entring for some time to dwell under the Government of Neptune, a Monarchy that I was never manured to live under, nor to converse with in his dreadful Aspect, neither do I know how I shall bear with his rough demands; but that God has carried me through those many gusts a shoar, which I have met withall in the several voyages of my life, I hope will Pilot me safely to my desired Port, through the worst of Stormes I shall meet withall at Sea.85.
We have strange, and yet good news aboard, that he whose vast mind could not be contented with spacious Territories to stretch his insatiate desires on, is (by an Almighty power) banished from his usuped Throne to dwell among the dead. I no sooner heard of it, but my melancholly Muse forced me upon this ensuing Distich.86.
Poor vaunting Earth, gloss’d with uncertain .Pride, 1.
That liv’d in Pomp, yet worse than others dy’d:
Who shall blow forth a Trumpet to thy praise ?
Or call thy sable Actions shirring Rayes ?
Such Lights as those blaze forth the vertued dead,5.
And make them live, though they are buried.
Thou’st gone, and to thy memory let be said,
There lies that Oliver which of old betray’d
His King and Master, and after did assume,
With swelling Pride, to govern in his room. 10.
Here I’le rest satisfied, Scriptures expound to me,
Tophet was made for such Supremacy.
The death of this great Rebel (I hope) will prove an Omen to presage destruction on the rest. The World’s in a heap of troubles and confusion, and while they are in the midst of their changes and amazes, the best way to give them the bag, is to go out of the World and leave them. I am now bound for Mary-Land, and I am told that’s a New World, but if it prove no better than this, I shall not get much by my change; but before I’le revoke my Resolution, I am resolv’d to put it to adventure, for I think it can hardly be worse then this is: Thus committing you into the hands of that God that made you, I rest87.
Your Obedient Son,
From aboard a Ship at Gravesend, Sept 7th, Anno
To my Brother
Leave you very near in the same condition as I am in my self, only here lies the difference, you were bound at Joyners Hall in London, Apprenticewise, and I conditionally at Navigators Hall, that now rides at an Anchor at Gravesend; I hope you will allow me to live in the largest Mayordom, by reason I am the eldest: None but the main Continent of America will serve me for a Corporation to inhabit in now, though I am affraid for all that, that the reins of my Liberty will be something shorter then yours will be in London: But as to that, what Destiny has ordered I am resolved with an adventerous Resolution to subscribe to, and with a contented imbracement enjoy it. I would fain have seen you once more in this Old World, before I go into the New, I know you have a chain about your Leg, as well as I have a clog about my Neck: If you can’t come, send a line or two, if not, wish me well at least: I have one thing to charge home upon you, and I hope you will take my counsel, That you have alwayes an obedient Respect and Reverence to your aged Parents, that while they live they may have comfort of you, and when that God shall sound a retreat to their lives, that there they may with their gray hairs in joy go down to their Graves. 88.
Thus concluding, wishing you a comfortable Servitude, a prosperous Life, and the assurance of a happy departure in the immutable love of him that made you,89.
Vale Your Brother,
From Gravesend, Sept. 7. Anno
To my much Honored Friend Mr. T. B. at his House
I am got ashoar with much ado, and it is very well I it is as it is, for if I had stayed a little longer, I had certainly been a Creature of the Water, for I had hardly flesh enough to carry me to Land, not that I wanted for any thing that the Ship could afford me in reason: But oh the great bowls of Pease-porridge that appeared in sight every day about the hour of twelve, ingulfed the senses of my Appetite so, with the restringent quality of the Salt Beef, upon the internal Inhabitants of my belly, that a Galenist for some days after my arrival, with his Bag-pipes of Physical operations, could hardly make my Puddings dance in any methodical order.90.
But to set by these things that happened unto me at Sea, I am now upon Land, and there I’le keep my self if I can, and for four years I am pretty sure of my restraint; and had I known my yoak would have been so easie, (as I conceive it will) I would have been here long before now, rather then to have dwelt under the pressure of a Rebellious and Trayterous Government so long as I did. I dwell now by providence in the Province of Mary-Land, (under the quiet Government of the Lord Baltemore) which Country a bounds in a most glorious prosperity and plenty of all things. And though the Infancy of her situation might plead an excuse to those several imperfections, (if she were guilty of any of them) which by scandalous and imaginary conjectures are’falsly laid to her charge, and which she values with so little notice or perceivance of discontent, that she hardly alters her visage with a frown, to let them know she is angry with such a Rascality of people, that loves nothing better then their own sottish and abusive acclamations of baseness: To be short, the Country (so far forth as I have seen into it) is incomparable.91.
Here is a sort of naked Inhabitants, or wilde people, that have for many ages I believe lived here in the Woods of Mary-Land, as well as in other parts of the Continent, before e’er it was by the Christian Discoverers found out; being a people strange to behold, as well in their looks, which by confused paintings makes them seem dreadful, as in their sterne and heroick gate and deportments, the Men are mighty tall and big limbed, the Women not altogether so large; they are most of them very well featured, did not their wilde and ridiculous dresses alter their original excellencies: The men are great Warriours and Hunters; the Women ingenious and laborious Housewives.92.
As to matter of their Worship, they own no other Deity then the Devil, and him more out of a slavish fear, then any real devotion, or willing acknowledgement to his Hellish power. They live in little small Bark-Cottages, in the remote parts of the Woods, killing and slaying the several Animals that they meet withall to make provision of, dressing their several Hydes and Skins to Trafique withall, when a conveniency of Trade presents. I would go on further, but like Doctor Case, when he had not a word more to speak for himself, I am afraid my beloved I have kept you too long. Now he that made you save you. Amen. 93.
And not to forget Tom Forge I beseech you, tell him that my Love’s the same towards him still, and as firm as it was about the overgrown Tryal, when Judgements upon judgements, had not I stept in, would have pursued him untill the day of Judgement, &c.94.
Yours to command,
From Mary-Land, Febr. 6. Anno
To my Father at his House. Sir,
After my Obedience (at so great and vast a distance) has humbly saluted you and my good Mother, with the cordialest of my prayers, wishes, and desires to wait upon you, with the very best of their effectual devotion, wishing from the very Center of my Soul your flourishing and well-being here upon Earth, and your glorious and everlasting happiness in the World to Come.95.
These lines (my dear Parents) come from that Son which by an irregular Fate was removed from his Native home, and after a five months dangerous passage, was landed on the remote Continent of America, in the Province of Mary-Land, where now by providence I reside. To give you the particulars of the several accidents that happened in our voyage by Sea, it would swell a Journal of some sheets, and therefore too large and tedious for a Letter: I think it therefore necessary to bind up the relation in Octavo, and give it you in short.96.
We had a blowing and dangerous passage of it, and for some dayes after I arrived, I was an absolute Copernicus, it being one main point of my moral Creed, to believe the World had a pair of long legs, and walked with the burthen of the Creation upon her back. For to tell you the very truth of it, for some dayes upon Land, after so long and tossing a passage, I was so giddy that I could hardly tread an even step; so that all things both above and below (that was in view) appeared to me like the Kentish Britains to William the Conqueror, in a moving posture.97.
Those few number of weeks since my arrival, has given me but little experience to write any thing large of the Country; only thus much I can say, and that not from any imaginary conjectures, but from an occular observation, That this Country of Mary-Land abounds in a flourishing variety of delightful Woods, pleasant groves, lovely Springs, together with spacious Navigable Rivers and Creeks, it being a most helthful and pleasant situation, so far as my knowledge has yet had any view in it.98.
Herds of Deer are as numerous in this Province of Mary-Land, as Cuckolds can be in London, only their horns are not so well drest and tipt with silver as theirs are.99.
Here if the Devil had such a Vagary in his head as he had once among the Gadareans, he might drown a thousand head of Hogs and they’d ne’re be miss’d, for the very Woods of this Province swarms with them.100.
The Christian Inhabitant of this Province, as to the general, lives wonderful well and contented: The Government of this Province is by the loyalness of the people, and loving demeanor of the Proprietor and Governor of the same, kept in a continued peace and unity.101.
The Servant of this Province, which are stigmatiz’d for Slaves by the clappermouth jaws of the vulgar in England, live more like Freemen then the most Mechanick Apprentices in London, wanting for nothing that is convenient and necessary, and according to their several capacities, are extraordinary well used and respected. So leaving things here as I found them, and lest I should commit Sacriledge upon your more serious meditations, with the Tautologies of a long-winded Letter, I’le subscribe with a heavenly Ejaculation to the God of Mercy to preserve you now and for evermore, Amen. 102.
Your Obedient Son,
From Mary-Land, Jan. 17. Anno
To my much Honored Friend Mr. M. F.
You writ to me when I was at Gravesend, (but I had no conveniency to send you an answer till now) enjoyning me, if possible, to give you a just Information by my diligent observance, what thing were best and most profitable to send into this Country for a commodious Trafique.103.
Sir, The enclosed will demonstrate unto you both particularly and at large, to the full satisfaction of your desire, it being an Invoyce drawn as exact to the business you imployed me upon, as my weak capacity could extend to.104.
Sir, If you send any Adventure to this Province, let me beg to give you this advice in it; That the Factor whom you imploy be a man of a Brain, otherwise the Planter will go near to make a Skimmingdish of his Skull: I know your Genius can interpret my meaning. The people of this place (whether the saltness of the Ocean gave them any alteration when they went over first, or their continual dwelling under the remote Clyme where they now inhabit, I know not) are a more acute people in general, in matters of Trade and Commerce, then in any other place of the World, and by their crafty and sure bargaining, do often over-reach the raw and unexperienced Merchant. To be short, he that undertakes Merchants imployment for Mary-Land, must have more of Knave in him then Fool; he must not be a windling piece of Formality, that will lose his Imployers Goods for Conscience sake; nor a flashy piece of Prodigality, that will give his Merchants fine Hollands, Laces, and Silks, to purchase the benevolence of a Female: But he must be a man of solid confidence, carrying alwayes in his looks the Effigies of an Execution upon Command, if he supposes a baffle or denyal of payment, where a debt for his Imployer is legally due. 105.
Sir, I had like almost to forgot to tell you in what part of the World I am: I dwell by providence Servant to Mr. Thomas Stocket, in the County of Baltemore, within the Province of MaryLand, under the Government of the Lord Baltemore, being a Country abounding with the variety and diversity of all that is or may be rare. But lest I should Tantalize you with a relation of that which is very unlikely of your enjoying, by reason of that strong Antipathy you have ever had ‘gainst Travel, as to your own particular: I’le only tell you, that Mary-Land is seated within the large extending armes of America, between the Degrees of 36 and 38, being in Longitude from England eleven hundred and odd Leagues.106.
From Mary-Land, Jan. 17. Anno
To my Honored Friend Mr. T. B. at his House.
Yours I received, wherein I find my self much obliged to you for your good opinion of rae, I return you millions of thanks.107.
Sir, you wish me well, and I pray God as well that those wishes may light upon me, and then I question not but all will do well. Those Pictures you sent sewed up in a Pastboard, with a Letter tacked on the outside, you make no mention at all what should be done with them: If they are Saints, unless I knew their names, I could make no use of them. Pray in your next let me know what they are, for my fingers itch to be doing with them one way or another. Our Government here hath had a small fit of a Rebellious Quotidian, but five Grains of the powder of Subvertment has qualified it. Pray be larger in your next how things stand in England: I understand His Majesty is return’d with Honour, and seated in the hereditary Throne of his Father; God bless him from Traytors, and the Church from Sacrilegious Schisms, and you as a loyal Subject to the one, and a true Member to the other; while you so continue, the God of order, peace and tranquility, bless and preserve you, Amen.108.
Your real Friend,
From Mary-Land, Febr. 20. Anno
To my Honored Father at his House. Sir,
With a twofold unmeasurable joy I received your Letter: First, in the consideration of Gods great Mercy to you in particular, (though weak and aged) yet to give you dayes among the living. Next, that his now most Excellent Majesty Charles the Second, is by the omnipotent Providence of God, seated in the Throne of his Father. I hope that God has placed him there, will give him a heart to praise and magnifie his name for ever, and a hand of just Revenge, to punish the murthering and rebellious Outrages of those Sons of shame and Apostacy, that Usurped the Throne of his Sacred Honour. Near about the time I received your Letter, (or a little before) here sprang up in this Province of Mary-Land a kind of pigmie Rebellion: A company of weak witted men, which thought to have traced the steps of Oliver in Rebellion. They began to be mighty stiff and hidebound in their proceedings, clothing themselves with the flashy pretences of future and imaginary honour, and (had they not been suddenly quell’d) they might have done so much mischief (for aught I know) that nothing but utter ruine could have ransomed their headlong follies. 109.
His Majesty appearing in England, he quickly (by the splendor of his Rayes) thawed the stiffness of their frozen and slippery intentions. All things (blessed be God for it) are at peace and unity here now: And as Luther being asked once, What he thought of some small Opinions that started up in his time? answered, That he thought them to be good honest people, exempting their error: So I judge of these men, That their thoughts were not so bad at first, as their actions would have led them into in process of time. I have here enclosed sent you something written in haste upon the Kings coming to the enjoyment of his Throne, with a reflection upon the former sad and bad times; I have done them as well as I could, considering all things: If they are not so well as they should be, all I can do is to wish them better for your sakes. My Obedience to you and my Mother alwayes devoted. 110.
From Mary-Land, Febr. 9. Anno
To my Cosen Mris. Ellinor Evins.
E’ re I forget the Zenith of your Love.,1.
L et me be banisht from the Thrones above;
L ight let me never see, when I yrow rude,
I ntomb your Love in base Ingratitude
N or may I prosper, but the state 5.
0 f gaping Tantalus be my fate;
R ather then I should thus preposterous grow,
E arch would condemn me to her vaults below.
V ertuous and Noble, could my Genius raise
I mmortal Anthems to your Vestal praise, 10.
N one should be more laborious than I,
S aint-like to Canonize you to the Sky.
The Antimonial Cup (dear Cosen) you sent me, I had; and as soon as I received it, I went to work with the Infirmities and Diseases of my body. At the first draught, it made such havock among the several humors that had stolen into my body, that like a Conjurer in a room among a company of little Devils, they no sooner hear him begin to speak high words, but away they pack, and happy is he that can get out first, some up the Chimney, and the rest down stairs, till they are all disperst. So those malignant humors of my body, feeling the operative power, and medicinal virtue of this Cup, were so amazed at their sudden surprizal, (being alwayes before battered only by the weak assaults of some few Empyricks) they stood not long to dispute, but with joynt consent made their retreat, some running through the sink of the Skullery, the rest climbing up my ribs, took my mouth for a Garret-window, and so leapt out. 111.
Cosen, For this great kindness of yours, in sending me this medicinal vertue, I return you my thanks It came in a very good time, when I was dangerously sick, and by the assistance of God it hath perfectly recovered me.112.
I have sent you here a few Furrs, they were all I could get at present, I humbly beg your acceptance of them, as a pledge of my love and thankfulness unto you; I subscribe,113.
Your loving Cosen,
From Mary Land, Dec. 9. Anno
To My Brother P. A.
Have made a shift to unloose my self from my I Collar now as well as you, but I see at present either small pleasure or profit in it: What the futurality of my dayes will bring forth, I know not; For while I was linckt with the Chain of a restraining Servitude, I had all things cared for, and now I have all things to care for my self, which makes me almost to wish my self in for the other four years.114.
Liberty without money, is like a man opprest with the Gout, every step he puts forward puts him to pain;’ when on the other side, he that has Coyn with his Liberty, is like the swift Post-Messenger of the Gods, that wears wings at his heels, his motion being swift or slow, as he pleaseth.115.
I received this year two Caps, the one white, of an honest plain countenance, the other purple, which I conceive to be some antient Monumental Relique ; which of them you sent I know not, and it was a wonder how I should, for there was no mention in the Letter, more then, that my Brother had sent me a Cap: They were delivered me in the company of some Gentlemen that ingaged me to write a few lines upon the purple one, and because they were my Friends I could not deny them; and here I present them to you as they were written.116.
Haile from the dead, or from Eternity,1.
Thou Velvit Relique of Antiquity;
Thou which appear’st here in thy purple hew,
Tell’s how the dead within their Tombs do doe.;
Ilow those Ghosts fare within each Marble Cell, 5.
Where amongst them for Ages thou didst dwell.
What Brain didst cover there ,2 tell us that we
Upon our knees vayle Rats to honour thee
And if no honour’s due, tell us whose pate
Thou basely coveredst, and we’l joyntly hate 10.
Let’s know his name, that we may shew neglect;
If otherwise, we’l kiss thee with respect.
Say, didst thou cover Noll’s old brazen head,
Which on the top of Westminster high Lead
Stands on a Pole, erected to the sky, 15.
As a grand Trophy to his memory.
From his perfidious skull didst thou fall down,
In a dis-dain to honour such a crown
With three-pile Velvet ? tell me, hadst thou thy fall
From the high top of that Cathedral ? 20.
None of the Heroes of the Roman stem,
Wore ever such a fashion’d Diadem,
Didst thou speak Turkish in thy unknown dress,
Thou’dst cover Great Mogull, and no man less;
But in thy make methinks thou’ri too too scant, 25.
To be so great a Monarch’s Turberant.
The ‘Jews by Moses swear, they never knew
E’re such a Cap drest up in Hebrew
Nor the strict Order of the Romish See,
Wears any Cap that looks so base as thee; 30.
His Holiness hates thy Lowness, and instead,
Wears Peters spired Steeple on his head:
The Cardinals descent is much more flat,
For want of name, baptized is A Hat;
Through each strict Order has my fancy ran,35.
Both Ambrose, Austin, and the Franciscan,
Where I beheld rich Images of the dead,
Yet scarce had one a Cap upon his head
Episcopacy wears Caps, but not like thee,
Though several shop’d, with much diversity ‘ 40.
Ttvere best I think I presently should gang
To Edenburgbs strict Presbyterian;
But Caps they’ve none, their ears being made so large,
Serves them to turn it like a Garnesey Barge;
Those keep their skulls warm against North-west gusts, 45.
When they in Pulpit do poor Calvin curse.
‘Thou~art not Fortunatus, for I daily see,
That which I wish is farthest of from me
Thy low-built state none ever did advance,
To christen thee the Cap of Maintenance; 50.
Then till I know from whence thou didst derive,
Thou shall be eall’d, the Cap of Fugitive.
You writ to me this year to send you some Smoak ; at that instant it made me wonder that a man of a rational Soul, having both his eyes (blessed be God) should make so unreasonable a demand, when he that has but one eye, nay he which has never a one, and is fain to make use of an Animal conductive for his optick guidance, cannot endure the prejudice that Smoak brings with it: But since you are resolv’d upon it, I’le dispute it no further.117.
I have sent you that which will make Smoak, (namely Tobacco) though the Funk it self is so slippery that I could not send it, yet I have sent you the Substance from whence the Smoak derives: What use you imploy it to I know not, nor will I be too importunate to know; yet let me tell you this, That if you burn it in a room to affright the Devil from the house, you need not fear but it will work the same effect, as Tobyes galls did upon the leacherous Fiend. No more at present. Vale.118.
From Mary-Land, Dec. 11. Anno
To my Honored Friend Mr. T. B
This is the entrance upon my fifth year, and I fear ’twill prove the worst: I have been very much troubled with a throng of unruly Distempers, that have (contrary to my expectation) crowded into the Main-guard of my body, when the drowsie Sentinels of my brain were a sleep. Where they got in I know not, but to my grief and terror I find them predominant: Yet as Doctor Dunne, sometimes Dean of St. Pauls, said, That the bodies diseases do but mellow a man for Heaven, and so ferments him in this World, as he shall need no,long concoction in the Grave, but hasten to the Resurrection. seriously in the Ballance World we dwell in would bewitching as it doth. 119.
We are only sent by God of an Errand into this World, and the time that’s allotted us for to stay, is only for an Answer. When God my great Master shall in good earnest call me home, which these warnings tell me I have not long to stay, I hope then I shall be able to give him a good account of my Message.120.
Sir, My weakness gives a stop to my writing, my hand being so shakingly feeble, that I can hardly hold my pen any further then to tell you, I am yours while I ‘live, which I ‘believe will be but some few minutes. 121.
If this Letter come to you before I’me dead, pray for me, but if I am gone, pray howsoever, for they can do me no harm if they come after me.122.
Vale Your real Friend,
From Mary-Land, Dec. 13. Anno
To my Parents.
From the Grave or Receptacle of Death am I raised, and by an omnipotent power made capaple of offering once more my Obedience (that lies close cabbined in the inwardmost apartment of my Soul) at the feet of your immutable Loves.123.
My good Parents, God hath done marvellous things for me, far beyond my deserts, which at best were preposterously sinful, and unsuitable to the sacred will of an Almighty: But he is merciful, and his mercy endures for ever. When sinful man has by his Evils and Iniquities pull’d some penetrating Judgment upon his head, and finding himself immediately not able to stand under so great a burthen as Gods smallest stroke of Justice, lowers the Top-gallant sayle of his Pride, and with an humble submissiveness prostrates himself before the Throne of his sacred Mercy, and like those three Lepars that sat at the Gate of Samaria, resolved, If we go into the City we shall perish, and if we stay here we shall perish also: Therefore we will throw our selves into the hands of the Assyrians and if we perish, we perish: This was just my condition as to eternal state; my soul was at a stand in this black storm of affliction: I viewed the World, and all that’s pleasure in her, and found her altogether flashy, aiery, and full of notional pretensions, and not one firm place where a distressed Soul could hang his trust on. Next I viewed my self, and there I found, instead of good Works, lively Faith, and Charity, a most horrid neast of condemned Evils, bearing a supreme Prerogative over my internal faculties. You’1 say here was little hope of rest in this extreme Eclipse, being in a desperate amaze to see my estate so deplorable My better Angel urged me to deliver up my aggrievances to the Bench of Gods Mercy, the sure support of all distressed Souls: His Heavenly warning, and inward whispers of the good Spirit I was resolv’d to entertain, and not quench, and throw my self into the armes of a loving God, If I perish, I perish. ‘Tis beyond wonder to think of the love of God extended to sinful man, that in the deepest distresses or agonies of Affliction, when all other things prove rather hinderances then advantages, even at that time God is ready and steps forth to the supportment of his drooping Spirit. Truly, about a fortnight before I wrote this Letter, two of our ablest Physicians rendered me up into the hands of God, the universal Doctor of the whole World, and subscribed with a silent acknowledgement, That all their Arts, screw’d up to the very Zenith of Scholastique perfection, were not capable of keeping me from the Grave at that time: But God, the great preserver of Soul and Body, said contrary to the expectation of humane reason, Arise, take up thy bed and walk. 124.
I am now (through the help of my Maker) creeping up to my former strength and vigour, and every day I live, I hope I shall, through the assistance of divine Grace, climbe nearer and nearer to my eternal home. I have received this year three Letters from you, one by Capt. Conway Commander of the Wheat-Sheaf, the others by a Bristol Ship. Having no more at present to trouble you with, but expecting your promise, I remain as ever, 125.
I desire my hearty love may be remembered to my Brother, and the rest of my Kinred.126.
Your dutiful Son,
Mary-Land, April 9. Anno