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1.14. Of the ayre and ſoyle of Britaine. Chap. 13.

Of the ayre and ſoyle of Britaine. Chap. 13.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 THe ayre for the moſt part thorowout the Iſland is ſuch, as by reaſon in maner of continuall cloudes, is reputed to be groſſe & nothing ſo pleaſant as that is of the mayne. Howbeit as they which affirme theſe things, haue onely reſpect to the impediment or hin|deraunce of the ſunne beames, by the interpo|ſitiõ of the cloudes & oft ingroſſed ayre: ſo ex|perience teacheth vs that it is no leſſe pure, holſome, and commodious, then is that of o|ther countries, and as Caeſar hymſelfe hereto addeth, much more temperate in ſommer, then that of the Galles, from whome he ad|uentured hither. Neyther is theyr any thing found in the ayre of our Regiõ, that is not v|ſually ſéene amongſt other nations lying be|yond the ſeas. Wherfore, we muſt nedes cõ|feſſe, that the ſcituation of our Iſland for be|nefite of the heauens is nothing inferiour to that of any country of the maine, where ſo e|uer it lie vnder the open firmament.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 The ſoyle of Brytaine is ſuch, as by the teſtimonies and reportes, both of the olde & newe writers, and experience alſo of ſuch as nowe inhabite the ſame, is verye fruitefull, but yet more inclined to the féeding & gra|ſing of the cattell, then profitable for tyllage, & bearing of corn, by reaſon wherof the coun|try is woonderfully repleniſhed wyth Neat, & al kind of cattell: and ſuch ſtore is there alſo of the ſame in euery place, that ye fourth part of the land is ſcarcely manured for the proui|ſion and maintenãce of grayne. Certes, this fruitfulnes was not vnknown vnto the Bri|tens EEBO page image 47 long before Caeſars time, which was the cauſe wherefore our predeceſſors liuyng in thoſe dayes in maner neglected Tillage, and lyued by féedyng and graſing onely. The graſiers themſelues alſo then dwelled in mo|ueable villages by companies, whoſe cuſtom was to deuide the ground amongſt them, and eche one not to depart from the place where his lõt lay, till by eating vp of the country a|bout him, he was inforced to remoue fur|ther and ſeke for better paſture, and this was the brittiſh cuſtome at the firſt. It hath bene cõmonly reported that the ground of Wales is neyther ſo fruitful as that of England, nei|ther the ſoyle of Scotland ſo bountifull as that of Wales, which is true if it be taken for the moſt part: otherwiſe, there is ſo good grounde in ſome partes of Wales, as is in England, albeit ye beſt of Scotland be ſcarce|ly comparable to the beſt of eyther of both. Howbeit as the bounty of the Scottiſh doth fayle in ſome reſpect, ſo doeth it ſurmount in other,Plenty of riuers. God and nature hauyng not appointed all countries to yeld forth lyke commodities. There are alſo in this Iſland great plenty of freſh riuers & ſtreames, as you haue heard already, and theſe thorowly fraught wyth all kyndes of delicate fiſh, accuſtomed to be foũd in riuers.Hilles. The whole Iſle likewyſe, is very full of hilles, of which ſome, though not very many, are of excedyng heigth, and diuers ex|tendyng themſelues very farre from the be|ginnyng as wée may ſée by Shooters hill, which riſing eaſt of London, & not very far from the Thames runneth along the ſouth ſide of the Iſland weſtward, vntill it come to Corinwall. Lyke vnto theſe alſo are the crowdõ hils, which from the peke do run into the borders of Scotlande. What ſhoulde I ſpeake of the cheuiot hils which run xx. miles in length: of the blacke mountains in Wales which go from [...] to [...] miles at the leſt in length, of the Grames in Scot|lande, and of our Chiltren, which are 18. myles at the leſt, from one end of them to the other, of all which, ſome are very well reple|niſhed with wood, notwithſtandyng that the moſt part yelde a ſwéete ſhort graſſe, profita|ble for ſhéep, wherin albeit that they of Scot|land doe ſomewhat come behind vs, yet their outward defect is inwardly recompẽſed not onely with plenty of quarries, (and thoſe of ſondry kindes of marble hard ſtone, and fine alabaſter) but alſo rich mines of mettal, as ſhalbe ſhewed hereafter.Windes. In this Iſlande likewyſe the wyndes are commonly more ſtronge and fierce, then in anye other pla|ces of the maine, and that is often ſéene vp|pon the naked hilles, which are not garded with trées to beare it of. That grieuous in|cõuenience alſo inforceth our, Nobility, gen|try, and comminaltie,B [...] to build their houſes in the valeis, leauing the high groundes vnto their corne and cattell, leaſt the cold and ſtor|my blaſtes of winter ſhould bréede thẽ grea|ter anoyance, wheras in other Regions eche one deſireth to ſet his houſe aloft on the hyll, not onely to be ſene a farre of, and caſt forth their beames of ſtately & curious workemã|ſhip into euery quarter of the country, but al|ſo (in whote habitations) for coldenſſe ſake of the ayre, ſith the heate is neuer ſo vehement on the hill top as in the valey, becauſe the re|uerberation of the ſunne beame, eyther rea|cheth not ſo farre as the higheſt, or elſe becõ|meth not ſo ſtrong, when it is reflected to the lower mountayne.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 But to leaue our Buyldinges,Huſ [...] ame [...] vnto the purpoſed place (which notwithſtanding haue verye muche increaſed, I meane for curio|ſitye and coſte, in Englande, Wales, and Scotland, within theſe fewe yeares) and to returne to the ſoyle againe. Certainelye it is euen now in theſe our dayes growne to bée muche more fruitefull, then it hath bene in times paſt. The cauſe is for that our countrei|men are growne to be more paynefull, ſkilful and carefull thorowe recompence of gayne, then heretofore they haue béene, inſomuch that my Synchroni or time felowes, can reap at thys preſent great commoditye in a lyttle roume, whereas of late yeares, a great com|paſſe hath yéelded but ſmall profite, and thys onely thorowe the ydle and negligent occupa|tiõ of ſuch, as mannured and had the ſame in occupying. I myght ſette downe examples out of all the partes of thys Iſlande, that is to ſay, manye out of Englande, moe out of Scotlande, but moſt of all out of Wales, in which two laſt rehearſed, verye little other foode and lyuelyhoode was woont to be loo|ked for beſide fleſhe more then the ſoyle of it ſelfe, and the cow gaue, the people in ye meane tyme lyuing idelly, diſſolutely & by picking and ſtealing one frõ another, all which vices are nowe for the moſt part relinquiſhed, ſo that ech nation manureth hir owne with tri|ple commoditie, to that it was before tyme.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The paſture of thys Iſlande is accordyng to the nature & ſcituation of the ſoyle, [...] where|by in moſt places it is plentifull, verye fine batable, and ſuch as eyther fatteth our cattel with ſpéede, or yéeldeth great abundaunce of mylke and creame, whereof the yelloweſt butter, and fineſt chéeſe are made. But where the blewe claye aboundeth (which hardelye drinketh vppe the winters water in long ſeaſon) there the graſſe is ſpeary, rough, and EEBO page image 38 very apte for buſhes, by which occaſion, it be|commeth nothing ſo profitable to the owner. The beſt paſture ground of all Englande, is in Wales, and of all the paſture in Wales, that of Cardigan is the chiefe. I ſpeake of that which is to be founde in the mountaines there, where the hundreth part of the graſſe growing is not eaten, but ſuffered to rotte on the grounde, whereby the ſoyle becommeth matted, and dyuers Bogges and quicke moores made wyth all in long continuance, bycauſe all the cattle in the countrey are not able to eate it downe.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 [...]dowesOur medowes are either bottomes (wher|of we haue great ſtore, and thoſe very large bycauſe our ſoyle is hilly) or elſe lande mea|des. The firſt of them, are yearely and often ouerflowen by the ryſing of ſuch ſtreames as paſſe thorowe the ſame, or violent falles of lande waters, that dyſcende from the hylles about them. The other are ſeldome or neuer ouerflowen, & that is the cauſe where|fore their graſſe is ſhorter than that of the bottomes, and yet is it farre more fine, whol|ſome, and batable, ſith the haye of our [...]we meddowes is not onely full of ſandy cinder, which bréedeth ſundry diſeaſes in our cattell, but alſo more ro [...]y, foggy, & full of flagges, and therefore not ſo profitable, for [...]ouer and forrage as ye higher meades be. The differẽce furthermore in theyr commodities is great, for whereas in our lande meddowes we haue not often aboue one good loade of haye in an acre of ground, in lowe meaddowes, we haue ſometimes thrée, but commonly aboue twoo, as experience hath oft confirmed.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 [...].The yéelde of our corne grounde, is alſo much after thys rate following, thorowe out the lande (if you pleaſe to make an eſtimate thereof by the acre) in common and in dyffe|rent yeares, wherin eche acre of Whete well tilled and dreſſed will yéeld commonly twen|tie buſhelles, an acre of Barlie 32. buſhels, of Otes and ſuch lyke, fiue quarters, which proportion is notwythſtanding oft abated, towarde the north, as it is often ſurmounted in the ſouth. Of mixed corne, as peaſon, and beanes, ſowẽ togither, Tares & Otes (which they call bu [...]mong,) Rie and Wheate, here is no place to ſpeake, yet theyr yéelde is neuer|theleſſe much after this proportiõ, as I haue often marked.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 4 5 6 [...]tell.The cattel which we bréede are commonly ſuch as for greatneſſe of bone, ſwéeteneſſe of fleſh, & other benefits to be reaped by ye ſame, giue place vnto none other, as may appeare firſt by our Oxen, whoſe largeneſſe, height weight, tallow, hides, and hornes are ſuch as none of any other nation, do cõmonly or may eaſily excéede the [...]. Our ſhéepe likewiſe for good taſte of fleſhe, quantitie of lymmes, [...]|neſſe of fléece, & abundance of increaſe, (for in many places they bring foorth two or thrée at an eaning) giue no place vnto any, more then do our Goates, who in like ſort do follow the ſame order, and our Deare come not behind. As for our Conies, I haue ſéene thẽ ſo fat in ſome f [...]es, eſpecially about Meal & Diſnege that the grea [...]e of one being weighed,Meal and diſnege. hath pryſed very neare ſixe or 7. ounces, all which benefites we firſt referre to the grace & good|neſſe of God, and next of all vnto the bountye of our ſoyle, which he hath ſo plentifullye in|dued with ſo ample & large cõmodities. But as I meane to intreate of theſe thinges more largly hereafter, ſo will I touch in this place one benefite which our country wanteth, and that is wyne, the fault whereof is not in our ſoyle,Wine. but the negligence of our country men (eſpecially of the ſouth parts) who doe not in|ure the ſame to this commoditie, which by reaſon of long diſcontinuance, is nowe be|come vnapt to beare any Grapes, eyther in the fielde or feuer all vineyardes: Yet of late time some haue assayed to deale for wine, but sithe that lyquor when it commeth to the drynking hath beene founde more harde then that which is brought from beyonde the sea, and the cost of planting and keeping thereof so chargeable, that they maye buye it farre better cheape from other Countries: they haue gyuen ouer theyr enterpryses, wythout any consideration, that as in all other thinges, so neither the grounde it selfe in the begynning, nor successe of their trauaile can answere their expectation at the first, untyll such time as the soyle be brought as it were into acquaintance with this commoditie, and that prouision maye bee made, for the more easinesse of charge, to be employed upon the same. If it be true that where wine doth last and indure well, there it will grow no woorse. I muse not a little wherefore the planting of vines shoulde be neglected in England. That this liquor might haue growne in this Island heretofore: first the charter that Probus themperour [sic] gaue equally to us, the Galles and Spaniardes is one sufficient testimony. And that it dyd growe here, the olde notes of tythes for wine, that yet remaine in the accomptes of some Persons and Vycars in Kent, besides the recordes of sundrye sutes commenced in diuers ecclesiasticall courtes, both in Kent and Surrey: also the inclosed percelles almost in euery Abbaye, yet called the vyneyardes, maye bee a notable proofe. Wherefore our soyle is not to be blamed, as though our nightes were so exceeding short, that [page ] that the moone which is Lady of moysture, & chiefe riper of this liquor, cannot in any wise shine long ynough upo(n) the same, a very merry toy, Wad and Madder ſometime in Eng|lande. Rape oyle. & fable worthy to be suppressed. The time hath béene that Wad and Madder, haue béene (next vnto our Tin & Woolles) the chief commodities & Marchaundize of this realm: I fynde alſo that Rape oyle hath béene made within this lande, but nowe our ſoyle wyll beare neither of theſe, not for that the ground is not able ſo to doe, but that we are necly|gent and careleſſe of our owne profit, as men rather willing to buye the ſame of others thẽ take any paine to plant thẽ here at home. The like I may ſay of flaxe,Flaxe. which by lawe ought to be ſowen in euery country towne in Eng|lande, more or leſſe, but I ſee no ſucceſſe of ye good & wholſome eſtatute, ſith it is rather con|tempteouſly reiected then otherwiſe dutifully kept. Some ſay that our great numbers of lawes,Number. Alteratiõ. Diſpenſa|tion. Example of ſuperi|ours. whereby it is impoſſible for any man to auoyde theyr tranſgreſſion, is one great cauſe of our negligence in this behalfe. O|ther affirme that the often alteration of our ordinaunces do bréed this general cõtempt of al good [...]was, which after Ariſtotle doth ſeme to carye ſome reaſon withall. But very ma|ny let not to ſaye, that facility in diſpenſatiõ with them, and manifeſt breche of the ſame in the Superiours, are ye greateſt cauſes why the inferiours regarde no good order, beyng alwayes ready to offende without any ſuch facultie one way, as they are to preſume vp|on the example of the higher powers ano|ther. But as in theſe thinges I haue no f [...]yl, ſo ſome wiſhe that fewer licences for the pri|uate commoditie, but of a fewe, were graun|ted: & this they ſay, not that they denie ye exe|cution of the prerogatiue royall, but woulde wyth all theyr hearts that it might be made a grieuous offence, for any man by f [...]ced fryndeſhip or otherwiſe, to procure oughte [...] of the Prince, (who is not acquainted wyth the botome of the eſtate of common things) that may bée preiudiciall to the wa [...]le pub|like of his country.Erthes. If it were requiſite that I ſhould ſpeake of the ſundry kinde of mowlde, as ye cledgy or clay, whereof are ſundry ſorts, red, blew, [...] & white: alſo the red or white ſandy, the lomye, roſelly, grauelly, chal [...]y or blacke: I could ſay that there are ſo many di|uers vaines in Brytaine, as elſe where in a|ny quarter of lyke quantitie in ye world. How|beit this I muſt néedes cõfeſſe that the ſandy and cledgy doe beare the greateſt ſway, but ye clay moſt of all, as hath béene, and yet is al|waies ſéene and fel [...] thorowe plenty & dearth of corne. For if this latter doe yéelde h [...] full increaſe, then is there generall plenty, wher|as if it fayle then haue we ſcarcity, according to the olde rude verſe, ſet downe of england, but to be vnderſtanded of the whole Iſlande, as experience doth confirme.

Compare 1587 edition: 1
When the ſande doth ſerue the clay,
Then may we ſing well away,
But when the clay doth ſerue the ſand
Then is it mery with England.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 I might here intreate alſo of the famous vales in Englande, [...] of which one is called the Vale of white horſe, another of Eoueſham, noted to be twelue or thirtéene miles in com|paſſe, the third of Aſleſbyry ye goeth by Tame the roote of Ehilterne hils, & ſo to Donſtable, Newport panell, ſtony Stratford, Bucking|ham, Birſtane parke, &c. And likewiſe of the fourth of Whithart, or Blackemore, in Dor|ſetſhire, and alſo the Marſhwood vale, but for|aſmuch as I knowe not well their ſeuerall li|mites, I giue ouer to go any farder in their deſcription at this time. In like ſort it ſhould not be amyſſe to ſpeake of our fennes & other pleaſant bottomes, [...] which are not onely indu|ed with excellent ryuers & great ſtore of fine fodder, for neat and horſes in time of ye yere, (whereby they are excéeding benificiall vnto their owners) but alſo of no ſmall compaſſe & quantity in ground. For ſome of our Fennes are well knowen to be eyther or 30. miles in length, that of the Gyrwis yet paſſing al the reaſt, which is ful 60. as I haue often read. [...] Finally I might diſcourſe in like order of the large commons, laide out hereto|fore by the Lordes of the ſoyles for ye benefite of ſuch poore, as inhabite within ye compaſſes of their manours, but as the tractatiõ of them belongeth rather to the ſeconde booke, ſo I meane not at thys preſent to deale wythall, reſeruing the ſame wholly vnto the due place whileſt I go forwarde with the reaſt.

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