« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
a very good opinion. The next yeere, although diuers of the aduenturers fel from the action, as al the western merchantes and most of those in London, yet some of the aduenturers both honorable and worshipfull continued their willing fauour and charge, so that by this meanes the next yeere 2. shippes were appointed for the fishing and one pynace for the discouery.
Departing from Dartmouth, through Gods merciful fauour I ariued to the place of fishing and there according to my direction I left the 2 shipps to follow that busines, taking their faithful promise not to depart vntill my returne vnto them, which shoulde bee in the fine of August, and so in the barke I proceeded for the discouery, but after my departure in sixteene dayes the shippes had finished their voyage, and so presently departed for England, without regard of their promise. My selfe, not distrusting any such hard measure, proceeded in the discouerie and followed my course in the free and open sea, betweene North and Nor west, to the latitude of sixtie seuen degrees, and there I might see America west from me, and Desolation east; then when I saw the land of both sides, I began to distrust that it would prooue but a gulfe. Notwithstanding, desirous to knowe the full certaintye, I proceeded, and in sixtie eight degrees the passage enlarged, so that I could not see the westerne shore; thus I continued to the latitude of seuentie fiue degrees, in a great sea, free from yse, coasting the westerne shore of Desolation. The people came continually rowing out vnto me in their Canoas, twenty, forty, and one hundred at a time, and would giue me fishe dried, Samon, Samon peale, cod, Caplin, Lumpe, stone base, and such like, besides diuers kindes of birdes, as Partrig, Fesant, Gulls, sea birdes, and other kindes of fleshe. I still laboured by signes to knowe from them what they knew of any sea towards the North. They still made signes of a great sea as we vnderstood them; then I departed from that coast, thinking to discouer the North parts of America, and after I had sayled towardes the west neere fortie leages I fell upon a great bancke of yse; the wind being North and blewe much, I was constrained to coast the same towardes the South, not seeing any shore West from me, neither was there any yse towards the North, but a great sea, free, large, very salt and blue and of an unsearcheable depth. So coasting towardes the South I came to the place wher I left the shippes to fishe, but found them not. Then being forsaken and left in this distresse referring my selfe to the mercifull prouidence of God, shaped my course for England and vnhoped for of any, God alone releuing me, I ariued at Dartmouth. By this last discouerie it seemed most manifest that the passage was free and without impediment towards the North, but by reason of the spanish fleete and unfortunate time of master Secretoryes death, the voyage was omitted and neuer sithens attempted.
Davis made five voyages as a pilot to the East Indies, where he was killed in 1605 in a contention with some Japanese off the coast of Malacca.
Five years after that event, GEORGE SANDYS, a son of the Archbishop of York, and author of a wellknown metrical translation of 'Ovid's Metamorphoses,' set out upon a journey, of which he published an account in 1615, entitled A Relation of a Journey begun Anno Domini 1610. Four Books, containing a Description of the Turkish Empire of Egypt, of the Holy Land, of the Remote Parts of Italy, and Islands adjoining. This work was so popular as to reach a seventh edition in 1673-a distinction not undeserved, since, as Mr Kerr has remarked, in his Catalogue of Voyages and Travels, Sandys was an
accomplished gentleman, well prepared, by previous study, for his travels, which are distinguished by erudition, sagacity, and a love of truth, and are written in a pleasant style." He devoted particular attention to the allusions of the ancient poets to the various localities through which he passed. In his dedication to Prince Charles, he thus refers to the
[Modern State of Ancient Countries.]
The parts I speak of are the most renowned countries and kingdoms: once the seats of most glorious and triumphant empires; the theatres of valour and heroical actions; the soils enriched with all earthly felicities; the places where Nature hath produced her wonderful works; where arts and sciences have been invented and perfected; where wisdom, virtue, policy, and civility, have been planted, have flourished; and, lastly, where God himself did place his own commonwealth, gave laws and oracles, inspired his prophets, sent angels to converse with men; above all, where the Son of God descended to become man; where he honoured the earth with his beautiful steps, wrought the works of our redemption, triumphed over death, and ascended into glory which countries, once so glorious and famous for their happy estate, are now, through vice and ingratitude, become the most deplored spectacles of extreme misery; the wild beasts of mankind having broken in upon them, and rooted out all civility, and the pride of a stern and barbarous tyrant possessing the thrones of ancient and just dominion. Who, aiming only at the height of greatness and sensuality, hath in tract of time reduced so great and goodly a part of the world to that lamentable distress and servitude, under which (to the astonishment of the understanding beholders) it now faints and groaneth. Those rich lands at this present remain waste and overgrown with bushes, receptacles of wild beasts, of thieves and murderers; large territories dispeopled, or thinly inhabited; goodly cities made desolate; sumptuous buildings become ruins; glorious temples either subverted, or prostituted to impiety; true religion discountenanced and oppressed; all nobility extinguished; no light of learning permitted, nor virtue cherished: violence and rapine insulting over all, and leaving no security except to an abject mind, and unlooked-on poverty; which calamities of theirs, so great and deserved, are to the rest of the world as threatening instructions. For assistance wherein, I have not only related what I saw of their present condition, but, so far as convenience might permit, presented a brief view of the former estates and first antiquities of those peoples and countries: thence to draw a right image of the frailty of man, the mutability of whatsoever is worldly, and assurance that, as there is nothing unchangeable saving God, so nothing stable but by his grace and protection.
The death of Sandys, which took place in 1643, was somewhat preceded by that of a contemporary traveller,
a Scotsman, who traversed on foot many European, Asiatic, and African countries. This individual was one of those tourists, now so abundant, who travel from a love of adventure and locomotion, without having any scientific or literary object in view. According to his own statement, he walked more than thirty-six thousand miles; and so decidedly did he give the preference to that mode of travelling, that, even when the use of a carriage was offered to him, he steadfastly declined to avail himself of the accommodation. His narrative was published in
*Kerr's Collection of Voyages, vol. xviii. p. 558.
London in 1640, with a long title, commencing thus-lish vessel which had been seized in Sardinia on a The Total Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Pain- charge of smuggling; but all hopes of obtaining reful Peregrinations of Long Nineteen Years' Travels dress being destroyed by the breaking off of Prince from Scotland to the most famous Kingdoms in Europe, Charles's proposed marriage with the infanta, he Asia, and Africa. Perfited by Three Dear-bought Voy- returned to England in 1624. His next office was ages in Surveying Forty-Eight Kingdoms, Ancient and that of secretary to Lord Scrope, as president of the Modern; Twenty-One Reipublics, Ten Absolute Prin- north; and in 1627 he was chosen by the corporacipalities, with Two Hundred Islands. One of his prin- tion of Richmond to be one of their representatives cipal and least agreeable adventures occurred at in parliament. Three years afterwards he visited Malaga in Spain, where he was arrested as an Eng- Copenhagen as secretary to the English ambassador. lish spy, and committed to prison. The details which Having complimented Charles I. in two small poems, he gives of his sufferings while in confinement, and he obtained, in 1640, the clerkship of the council, an the tortures applied to him with the view of extract- appointment which lasted but a short time, as, three ing a confession, are such as to make humanity years afterwards, he was imprisoned in the Fleet by || sicken. Having been at length relieved by some order of a committee of parliament. Here he reEnglish residents in Malaga, to whom his situation mained till after the king's death, supporting himaccidentally became known, he was sent to London self by translating and composing a variety of by sea, and afterwards forwarded, at the expense of works. At the Restoration he became historiograKing James, to Bath, where he remained upwards pher-royal, being the first who ever enjoyed that of six months, recruiting his shattered frame. He title; and continued his literary avocations till his died in 1640, after having attempted, apparently death, in 1666. Of upwards of forty publications of without success, to obtain redress by bringing his this lively and sensible writer, none is now genecase before the Upper House. rally read except his Epistola Ho-Eliance, or Familiar Letters, first printed in 1645, and considered to be the earliest specimen of epistolary literature in the language. The letters are dated from various places at home and abroad; and though some of them are supposed to have been compiled from memory while the author was in the Fleet prison, the greater number seem to bear sufficient internal evidence of having been written at the times and places indicated. His remarks on the leading events and characters of the time, as well as the animated accounts given of what he saw in foreign countries, and the sound reflections with which his letters abound, contribute to render the work one of permanent interest and value.
JAMES HOWELL was one of the most intelligent travellers and pleasing miscellaneous writers in the early part of the seventeenth century. Born in Carmarthenshire about 1596, he received his education at Hereford and Oxford, and repaired to London in quest of employment. He was there appointed steward to a patent-glass manufactory, in which
To Dr Francis Mansell.
These wishes come to you from Venice, a place where there is nothing wanting that heart can wish; renowned Venice, the admired'st city in the world, a city that all Europe is bound unto, for she is her greatest rampart against that huge eastern tyrant, the Turk, by sea; else, I believe, he had overrun all Christendom by this time. Against him this city hath performed notable exploits, and not only against him, but divers others; she hath restored emperors to their thrones, and popes to their chairs, and with her galleys often preserved St Peter's bark from sinking: for which, by way of reward, one of his successors espoused her to the sea, which marriage is solemnly renewed every year in solemn procession by the Doge and all the Clarissimos, and a gold ring cast into the sea out of the great Galeasse, called the Bucentoro, wherein the first ceremony was performed by the pope himself, above three hundred years since, and they say it is the self-same vessel still, though often put upon careen, and trimmed. This made me think, nay, I fell upon an abstracted notion in philosophy, and a speculation touching the body of man, which, being in perpetual flux, and a kind of succession of decays, and consequently requiring, ever and anon, a restoration of what it loseth of the virtue of the former aliment, and what was converted after the third concoction into a blood and fleshly substance, which, as in all other sublunary bodies that have internal principles of heat, useth to transpire, breathe out, and waste away through invi
capacity he went abroad in 1619, to procure materials and engage workmen. In the course of his travels, which lasted till 1621, he visited many commercial towns in Holland, Flanders, France, Spain, and Italy; and, being possessed of an acute and inquiring mind, laid up a great store of useful observa-sible pores, by exercise, motion, and sleep, to make tions on men and manners, besides acquiring an room still for a supply of new nurriture: I fell, I extensive knowledge of modern languages. His con- say, to consider whether our bodies may be said to be nexion with the glass company soon after ceased, of like condition with this Bucentoro, which, though and he again visited France as the travelling com- it be reputed still the same vessel, yet, I believe panion of a young gentleman. After this he was there's not a foot of that timber remaining which it sent to Spain, as agent for the recovery of an Eng- had upon the first dock, having been, as they tell me,
so often planked and ribbed, calked and pieced. In like manner, our bodies may be said to be daily repaired by new sustenance, which begets new blood, and consequently new spirits, new humours, and, I may say, new flesh; the old, by continual deperdition and insensible perspirations, evaporating still out of us, and giving way to fresh; so that I make a question whether, by reason of these perpetual reparations and accretions, the body of man may be said to be the same numerical body in his old age that he had in his manhood, or the same in his manhood that he had in his youth, the same in his youth that he carried about with him in his childhood, or the same in his childhood which he wore first in the womb. I make a doubt whether I had the same identical, individually numerical body, when I carried a calf-leather satchel to school in Hereford, as when I wore a lamb-skin hood in Oxford; or whether I have the same mass of blood in my veins, and the same flesh, now in Venice, which I carried about me three years since, up and down London streets, having, in lieu of beer and ale, drunk wine all the while, and fed upon different viands. Now, the stomach is like a crucible, for it hath a chemical kind of virtue to transmute one body into another, to transubstantiate fish and fruits into flesh within and about us; but though it be questionable whether I wear the same flesh which is fluxible, I am sure my hair is not the same, for you may remember I went flaxen-haired out of England, but you shall find me returned with a very dark brown, which I impute not only to the heat and air of those hot countries I have eat my bread in, but to the quality and difference of food you will say that hair is but an excrementitious thing, and makes not to this purpose; moreover, methinks I hear thee say that this may be true only in the blood and spirits, or such fluid parts, not in the solid and heterogeneal parts. But I will press no farther at this time this philosophical notion, which the sight of Bucentoro infused into me, for it hath already made me exceed the bounds of a letter, and, I fear me, to trespass too much upon your patience; I leave the farther disquisition of this point to your own contemplations, who are a far riper philosopher than 1, and have waded deeper into and drunk more of Aristotle's well. But, to conclude, though it be doubtful whether I carry about me the same body or no in all points, that I had in England, I am well assured I bear still the same mind, and therein I verify the old verse
Cœlum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt,
The air, but not the mind, they change,
For, what alterations soever happen in this microcosm, in this little world, this small bulk and body of mine, you may be confident that nothing shall alter my affections, specially towards you, but that I will persevere still the same-the very same
VENICE, July 1, 1621.
called Communis Patria, for every one that is within the compass of the Latin church finds himself here, as it were, at home, and in his mother's house, in regard of interest in religion, which is the cause that for one native there be five strangers that sojourn in this city; and without any distinction or mark of strangeness, they come to preferments and offices, both in church and state, according to merit, which is more valued and sought after here than anywhere.
But whereas I expected to have found Rome elevated upon seven hills, I met her rather spreading upon a flat, having humbled herself, since she was made a Christian, and descended from those hills to Campus Martius; with Trasieren, and the suburbs of Saint Peter, she hath yet in compass about fourteen miles, which is far short of that vast circuit she had in Claudius his time; for Vopiscus writes she was then of fifty miles in circumference, and she had five hundred thousand free citizens in a famous cense that was made, which, allowing but six to every family in women, children, and servants, came to three millions of souls; but she is now a wilderness in comparison of ⠀ that number. The pope is grown to be a great temporal prince of late years, for the state of the church extends above three hundred miles in length, and two hundred miles in breadth; it contains Ferrara, Bologna, Romagnia, the Marquisate of Ancona, Umbria, Sabina, Perugia, with a part of Tuscany, the patrimony, Rome herself, and Latium. In these there are above fifty bishopricks; the pope hath also the duchy of Spoleto, and the exarchate of Ravenna; he hath the town of Benevento in the kingdom of Naples, and the country of Venissa, called Avignon, in France. He hath title also good enough to Naples itself; but, rather than offend his champion, the king of Spain, he is contented with a white mule, and purse of pistoles about the neck, which he receives every year for a heriot or homage, or what you will call it; he pretends also to be lord paramount of Sicily, Urbin, Parma, and Masseran; of Norway, Ireland, and England, since King John did prostrate our crown at Pandelfo his legate's feet.
The state of the apostolic see here in Italy lieth 'twixt two seas, the Adriatic and the Tyrrhene, and it runs through the midst of Italy, which makes the pope powerful to do good or harm, and more capable than any other to be an umpire or an enemy. His authority being mixed 'twixt temporal and spiritual, disperseth itself into so many members, that a young man may grow old here before he can well understand the form of government.
To Sir William St John, Knight. SIR-Having seen Antenor's tomb in Padua, and the amphitheatre of Flaminius in Verona, with other brave towns in Lombardy, I am now come to Rome, and Rome, they say, is every man's country; she is
The consistory of cardinals meet but once a-week, and once a-week they solemnly wait all upon the pope. I am told there are now in Christendom but sixtyeight cardinals, whereof there are six cardinal bishops, fifty one cardinal priests, and eleven cardinal deacons. The cardinal bishops attend and sit near the pope, when he celebrates any festival; the cardinal priests assist him at mass, and the cardinal deacons attire him. A cardinal is made by a short breve or writ from the pope in these words, Creamus te socium regibus, superiorem ducibus, et fratrem nostrum :[We create thee a companion to kings, superior to dukes, and our brother.'] If a cardinal bishop should be questioned for any offence, there must be twentyfour witnesses produced against him. The bishop of Ostia hath most privilege of any other, for he consecrates and installs the pope, and goes always next to him. All these cardinals have the repute of princes, and besides other incomes, they have the annat of benefices to support their greatness.
For point of power, the pope is able to put 50,000 men in the field, in case of necessity, besides his naval strength in galleys. We read how Paul III. sent Charles V. twelve thousand foot and five hundred horse. Pius V. sent a greater aid to Charles IX.;
and for riches, besides the temporal dominions he hath in all the countries before named, the datany or despatching of bulls, the triennial subsidies, annats, and other ecclesiastical rights, mount to an unknown sum; and it is a common saying here, that as long as the pope can finger a pen, he can want no pence. Pius V., notwithstanding his expenses in buildings, left four millions in the castle of Saint Angelo in less than five years; more, I believe, than this Gregory XV. will, for he hath many nephews; and better it is to be the pope's nephew, than to be a favourite to any prince in Christendom.
Qui miseranda videt veteris vestigia Romæ,
"They who the ruins of first Rome behold, May say, Rome is not now, but was of old.'
To Captain Thomas B.
Touching the temporal government of Rome, and oppidan affairs, there is a prætor and some choice citizens, which sit in the Capitol. Amongst other pieces of policy, there is a synagogue of Jews permitted here (as in other places in Italy) under the pope's nose, but they go with a mark of distinction in their hats; they are tolerated for advantage of commerce, wherein the Jews are wonderful dexterous, though Noble Captain-Yours of the 1st of March was most of them be only brokers and Lombardeers; and delivered me by Sir Richard Scot, and I hold it no they are held to be here as the cynic held women to profanation of this Sunday evening, considering the be-malum necessarium. There be few of the Romans quality of my subject, and having (I thank God for that use to pray for the pope's long life, in regard the it) performed all church duties, to employ some hours oftener the change is, the more advantageous it is for to meditate on you, and send you this friendly salute, the city, because commonly it brings strangers, and a though I confess in an unusual monitory way. My recruit of new people. The air of Rome is not so dear Captain, I love you perfectly well; I love both wholesome as of old; and amongst other reasons, one your person and parts, which are not vulgar; I am in is, because of the burning of stubble to fatten their love with your disposition, which is generous, and I fields. For her antiquities, it would take up a whole verily think you were never guilty of any pusillanivolume to write them; those which I hold the chiefest mous act in your life. Nor is this love of mine conare Vespasian's amphitheatre, where fourscore thou-ferred upon you gratis, but you may challenge it as sand people might sit; the stoves of Anthony; divers your due, and by way of correspondence, in regard of rare statues at Belvidere and St Peter's, specially that those thousand convincing evidences you have given of Laocoon; the obelisk; for the genius of the Roman me of yours to me, which ascertain me that you take hath always been much taken with imagery, limning, me for a true friend. Now, I am of the number of and sculptures, insomuch that, as in former times, so those that had rather commend the virtue of an enemy now I believe, the statues and pictures in Rome ex- than soothe the vices of a friend; for your own parceed the number of living people. One antiquity ticular, if your parts of virtue and your infirmities among others is very remarkable, because of the were cast into a balance, I know the first would much change of language; which is, an ancient column outpoise the other; yet give me leave to tell you that erected as a trophy for Duillius the consul, after a there is one frailty, or rather ill-favoured custom, that famous naval victory obtained against the Carthagi- reigns in you, which weighs much; it is a humour of nians in the second Punic war, where these words are swearing in all your discourses, and they are not slight engraven, and remain legible to this day, Exemet but deep far-fetched oaths that you are wont to rap leciones Macistrates Castreis exfocient pugnandod out, which you use as flowers of rhetoric to enforce a caped enque navebos marid consul,' and half a dozen faith upon the hearers, who believe you never the more; lines more. It is called Columna Rostrata, having the and you use this in cold blood when you are not probeaks and prows of ships engraven up and down, voked, which makes the humour far more dangerous. whereby it appears, that the Latin then spoken was I know many (and I cannot say I myself am free from much differing from that which was used in Cicero's it, God forgive me), that, being transported with choler, time, 150 years after. Since the dismembering of the and, as it were, made drunk with passion by some empire, Rome hath run through many vicissitudes sudden provoking accident, or extreme ill-fortune at and turns of fortune; and had it not been for the play, will let fall oaths and deep protestations; but to residence of the pope, I believe she had become a heap belch out, and send forth, as it were, whole vollies of of stones, a mount of rubbish, by this time: and how- oaths and curses in a calm humour, to verify every ever that she bears up indifferent well, yet one may trivial discourse, is a thing of horror. I knew a king that, being crossed in his game, would amongst his oaths fall on the ground, and bite the very earth in the rough of his passion; I heard of another king (Henry IV. of France), that in his highest distemper would swear but Ventre de Saint Gris,' [By the belly of St Gris ;'] I heard of an Italian, that, having been much accustomed to blaspheme, was weaned from it by a pretty wile, for, having been one night at play, and lost all his money, after many execrable oaths, and having offered money to another to go out to face heaven and defy God, he threw himself upon a bed hard by, and there fell asleep. The other gamesters played on still, and finding that he was fast asleep, they put out the candles, and made semblance to play on still; they fell a wrangling, and spoke so loud that he awaked; he hearing them play on still, fell a rubbing his eyes, and his conscience presently prompted him that he was struck blind, and that God's judgment had deservedly fallen down upon him for his
Present Rome may be said to be but a monument of Rome past, when she was in that flourish that St Austin desired to see her in. She who tamed the world, tamed herself at last, and falling under her own weight, fell to be a prey to time; yet there is a providence seems to have a care of her still; for though her air be not so good, nor her circumjacent soil so kindly as it was, yet she hath wherewith to keep life and soul together still, by her ecclesiastical courts, which is the sole cause of her peopling now; so that it may be said, when the pope came to be her head, she was reduced to her first principles; for as a shepherd was founder,
so a shepherd is still governor and preserver. But whereas the French have an odd saying, that
Jamais cheval ni homme,
truly, I must confess, that I find myself much bet-
ROME, September 13, 1621.
blasphemies, and so he fell to sigh and weep pitifully; a ghostly father was sent for, who undertook to do some acts of penance for him, if he would make a vow never to play again or blaspheme, which he did; and so the candles were lighted again, which he thought were burning all the while; so he became a perfect convert. I could wish this letter might produce the same effect in you. There is a strong text, that the curse of heaven hangs always over the dwelling of the swearer, and you have more fearful examples of miraculous judgments in this particular, than of any other sin.
There is a little town in Languedoc, in France, that hath a multitude of the pictures of the Virgin Mary up and down; but she is made to carry Christ in her right arm, contrary to the ordinary custom, and the reason they told me was this, that two gamesters being at play, and one having lost all his money, and bolted out many blasphemies, he gave a deep oath, that that jade upon the wall, meaning the picture of the blessed Virgin, was the cause of his ill luck; hereupon the child removed imperceptibly from the left arm to the right, and the man fell stark dumb ever after; thus went the tradition there. This makes me think upon the Lady Southwell's news from Utopia, that he who sweareth when he playeth at dice, may challenge his damnation by way of purchase. This infandous custom of swearing, I observe, reigns in England lately, more than anywhere else; though a German in his highest puff of passion swear a hundred thousand sacraments, the Italian by the French by God's death, the Spaniard by his flesh, the Welshman by his sweat, the Irishman by his five wounds, though the Scot commonly bids the devil ha'e his soul, yet, for variety of oaths, the English roarers put down all. Consider well what a dangerous thing it is to tear in pieces that dreadful name, which makes the vast fabric of the world to tremble, that holy name wherein the whole hierarchy of heaven doth triumph, that blissful name, wherein consists the fulness of all felicity. know this custom in you yet is but a light disposition; 'tis no habit, I hope; let me, therefore, conjure you by that power, friendship, by that holy league of love which is between us, that you would suppress it, before it come to that; for I must tell you that those who could find it in their hearts to love you for many other things, do disrespect you for this; they hate your company, and give no credit to whatsoever you say, it being one of the punishments of a swearer, as well as of a liar, not to be believed when he speaks truth.
Excuse me that I am so free with you; what I write proceeds from the clear current of a pure affection, and I shall heartily thank you, and take it for an argument of love, if you tell me of my weaknesses, which are (God wot) too, too many; for my body is but a Cargazon of corrupt humours, and being not able to overcome them all at once, I do endeavour to do it by degrees, like Sertorius his soldier, who, when he could not cut off the horse's tail at one blow with his sword, fell to pull out the hair one by one. And touching this particular humour from which I dissuade you, it hath raged in me too often by contingent fits, but I thank God for it, I find it much abated and purged. Now, the only physic I used was a precedent fast, and recourse to the holy sacrament the next day, of purpose to implore pardon for what had passed, and power for the future to quell those exorbitant motions, those ravings and feverish fits of the soul; in regard there are no infirmities more dangerous, for at the same instant they have being, they become impieties. And the greatest symptom of amendment I find in me is, because whensoever I hear the holy name of God blasphemed by any other, it makes my heart to tremble within my breast; now, it is a penitential rule, that if sins present do not please thee,
sins past will not hurt thee. All other sins have for their object either pleasure or profit, or some aim or satisfaction to body or mind, but this hath none at all; therefore fie upon't, my dear Captain; try whether you can make a conquest of yourself in subduing this execrable custom. Alexander subdued the world, Cæsar his enemies, Hercules monsters, but he that o'ercomes himself is the true valiant captain. YORK, Aug. 1, 1628.
To the Right Hon. the Lord Cliffe.
My Lord-Since, among other passages of entertainment we had lately at the Italian ordinary (where your lordship was pleased to honour us with your presence), there happened a large discourse of wines, and of other drinks that were used by several nations of the earth, and that your lordship desired me to deliver what I observed therein abroad: I am bold now to confirm and amplify, in this letter, what I then let drop extempore from me, having made a recollection of myself for that purpose.
It is without controversy, that, in the nonage of the world, men and beasts had but one buttery, which was the fountain and river, nor do we read of any vines or wines till two hundred years after the flood; but now I do not know or hear of any nation that hath water only for their drink, except the Japanese, and they drink it hot too; but we may say, that what beverage soever we make, either by brewing, by distillation, decoction, percolation, or pressing, it is but water at first; nay, wine itself is but water sublimed, being nothing else but that moisture and sap, which is caused either by rain or other kind of irrigations about the roots of the vine, and drawn up to the branches and berries by the virtual attractive heat of the sun, the bowels of the earth serving as a lembic to that end, which made the Italian vineyard-man (after a long drought, and an extreme hot summer, which had parched up all his grapes) to complain that- per mancamento d'acco bevo del' accqua; se io bavessi accqua, beveriel vino' -['for want of water I am forced to drink water; if I had water, I would drink wine']; it may also be applied to the miller, when he has no water to drive his mills.
The vine doth so abhor cold, that it cannot grow beyond the 49th degree to any purpose; therefore God and nature hath furnished the north-west nations with other inventions of beverage. In this island the old drink was ale, noble ale, than which, as I heard a great foreign doctor affirm, there is no liquor that more increaseth the radical moisture, and preserves the natu ral heat, which are the two pillars that support the life of man. But since beer hath hopped in amongst us, ale is thought to be much adulterated, and nothing so good as Sir John Oldcastle and Smugg the smith was used to drink. Besides ale and beer, the natural drink of part of this isle may be said to be metheglin, braggot, and mead, which differ in strength according to the three degrees of comparison. The first of the three, which is strong in the superlative, if taken immoderately, doth stupify more than any other liquor, and keeps a humming in the brain, which made one say, that he loved not metheglin, because he was used to speak too much of the house he came from, meaning the hive. Cider and perry are also the natural drinks of parts of this isle. But I have read in some old authors of a famous drink the ancient nation of the Picts, who lived 'twixt Trent and Tweed, and were utterly extinguished by the overpowering of the Scot, were used to make of decoction of flowers, the receipt whereof they kept as a secret, and a thing sacred to themselves, so it perished with them. These are all the common drinks of this isle, and of Ireland also, where they are more given to milk and strong waters of all colours; the prime is usquebagh, which cannot