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1.12. Of the deſcription of Orkenay, and Shetland with ſundry other ſmal Iles, and of the maners and conditions of the people dwelling in the ſame. Chap. 12.

Of the deſcription of Orkenay, and Shetland with ſundry other ſmal Iles, and of the maners and conditions of the people dwelling in the ſame. Chap. 12.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 BEyond the Iles of Scotlond lie thoſe of Orkenay partly toward the Northweſt, and partly toward the A [...]anc [...] ſeas. The prin|cipall Ile of theſe is called Pomb [...], wherein is a Biſhops ſe [...], and two ſtrong caſtels. In their groweth no wheate, they are in like ſorte voyde of wood, howbeit al other graine groweth there very plentifully, they be without all vene [...]ous beaſts: alſo neither can ſuch as are brought thi|ther liue any while, more than in Irelãd, which ſuſteyneth no creature that is aduẽrſarie to miſ|kinde, ouer and beſide this, there are no frogg [...] as for Erls they are ſeldome found & to be ſeene in the Orchades. Hauing thus fallen into the mentiõ of Ireland, I thinke it good among [...]|uers other rare gifts of nature to remember one thing that I haue proued by experience to be done there (although the tractation of Ireland & hir commodities appertaine not to this place whiche farre paſſeth all that euer I haue [...] in bookes. Certes there is a Loch, linne, or [...] there, neare vnto the whiche by many miles, there groweth neyther hearbe nor tree, howbeith ſuch is the qualitie of this water, that if a [...] be pitched in the ſame, the nature thereof [...] within one yeeres ſpace, alter and change accor|dingly, for that parte thereof which [...] the grounde is conuerted into harde [...], the ſame that is enuironed with water turneth [...] tough yron, onely that portion whiche is [...] the ſayd Element retaining hir formes woddy ſubſtaunce, whereby it is often ſeene [...] in out and the ſame body, three diſtinct ſubſtance [...] found, that is to ſay, ſtone, yron, & wood, which farre exceedeth all credite. But to returne a|gaine to our Orchades, whereof things of [...] or no leſſe importaunce are to be rehearſe [...], [...] ſith there is great abundance of Barley wherof they make the ſtrongeſt Ale that is to be founde in Albion, and thereto knowen, that they are the greateſt drynkers of any men in the worlde, yet was there neuer dronken or man diſguiſed with drinke ſeene there, neyther any foole, [...] perſon otherwiſe berefte of his wittes thorow phreneſie or madneſſe. There is herevnto ſmall vſe of Phiſick [...]e: for mankinde liueth there moſt commonly vnto extreme age in found & perfite health, whoſe bodies alſo are of ſtrong conſti|tution & very white of colour. The Ewes that are to be found in theſe Ilandes haue for ye moſt part two or three Lãs a peece, at euery [...]e [...]ing, and therewithall they haue in this countrey ſuche plenty of foules bothe wilde and tame, as the lyke number agayne is not to be founde in Brytaine. Theyr horſes are litle greater than the French Aſſes, but in their labour they ex|ceede all other, what ſhoulde I ſpeake of the plenty of fiſhe there to be had, which paſſeth al credite: among whiche there is one ſorte greater than any horſe, of marueylous and incredible EEBO page image 15 ſluggye deſire to ſleepe. This fi [...] when the pro|uideth to ſleepe, faſtneth hyr huge teeth vpon ſome cragge that lieth aboue the water; & then ſlumbreth or falleth into a moſte [...]ounde reſte, whiche the ſeafaring men eſpyi [...]g, they foorth|with caſt ancre, and then letting downe theyr ſhippe boates, they conueigh themſelues to the fiſhe, and bore a greate hole thorow hir tayle, whereinto they put one ende of a cable, and ſo make it ſure, the other ende is faſtned to a great ancre, whiche is let fall of purpoſe into the ſea, and thus is their enterpriſe attempted ere long to be atchieued. For after this wounde, it is not long ere the fiſhe awaketh, who feeling hir ſelfe to be hurt, leapeth at once into the ſea, thinking to hide and ſhrowde hir in the deepes: but being ſtayed by the weight of the ancre, and indeuou|ring in vayne to breake the cable, ſhe laboureth ſo vehemently, that at the laſt ſhe windeth hir|ſelfe out of hir ſkinne (for the which ſhe is com|monly taken) and ſoone after alſo turneth vp hir belly, yeelding hir life vnto the waues, and hyr body to the Mariners, who make an excellent oyle of hir greace, and paſſing ſtrõg cables of hir hide or ſkinne. Certes ſuch is the force of Rope made of the ſkinne of this fiſhe, that they will holde at a plunge no leſſe than the Spaniſhe Sparto. Herein alſo they exceede ye ſame in that they will continue very long without fretting aſunder.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 An hundred miles beyond the Orchades are the Schetland Iles, whoſe chiefe commodities ſtande onely by fiſh which is dried in the ſunne. There are brought alſo into Scotland out of theſe Ilandes great ſtore of Sheepes felles, oxe hides, Goate ſkins, & caſes of Martirnes dryed in the ſunne. And in the ſame maner the Mar|chaunts of Hollande, Zeelande and Germany, fetch them yearely by barter and exchaunge for other common and neceſſary wares, with the people of that nation, who for maners and con|ditions reſemble much the Orchanois. The ſame in like ſorte that is ſayde of the Orcha|noys, concerning drunkenneſſe and freneſy, is verified on them, as is alſo their length of lyfe, although not in ſo rare maner: Sith theſe in ſteede of ſtrong Ale, content themſelues with water, and very ſlender diet. Beyõd the Sche [...]|landes there are diuers other Ilandes, of lyke condition, but without corne and all maner of fleſhe to feede vpon. Theſe dry their fiſhe at the Sunne, and when they are thorowe ſtiffe, they grinde them to ſmal powder, which they worke vp with water into loaues, and ſo vſe the ſame in lieu of other bread. Theyr firing conſiſteth of the boanes of ſuche fiſhes as they take, and yet they content themſelues in ſuche maner with this their poore kinde of lyueloode, that they ſhinke their eſtate moſt happy in reſpect of ſuch as inhabite in the Maine. Certes there is no quareelling amongſt theſe for wealth or gaine, but eche one prouideth ſuche ſtore of fiſhe in Somer whiche he taketh himſelfe, as ſhall finde his family, or keepe his houſe in winter. They are voyde of all ambitious m [...]de, & neuer trou|bled with ciuile or forren wardes, as men that deeme firme peace and quiteneſſe, with mutuall loue and amity, to be the chiefe felicity to be ſought for in this life, and to remaine herein, ech one to his power dothe ſhewe his whole inde|uour. This finally is to be added vnto their cõ|mendation, that they are ſimple, playne, voyde of crafte, and all maner of Serpentine ſuttlety, whiche endeth commonly with miſchiefe, and reigneth in the Maine. Once in the yeare there commeth a Prieſt vnto them from Orkenay (of whiche Dioceſſe they are) who miniſtreth vnto them the Sacrament of Baptiſme, and after a certayne tyme (hauing taken vp in the meane time his Tithes in fiſhe, whiche is their ſole increaſe, and very truly payde) he returneth home againe the ſame way that he came. If any giftes of nature are to be numbred as par|celles of worldly riches and renowne, they are not without theſe alſo: for the people of theſe Iles are luſty, fayre, ſtrong of body, and highe of ſtature, ſo ye nature hath not fayled to indue them with theſe things, and that in moſt excel|lent maner. What ſhould I ſay of their helth, whiche is and may be preferred aboue all trea|ſure, as they well know that are oppreſſed with long and grieuous infirmities: for here among theſe men, you ſhall very ſeldome heare of ſick|neſſe to attache any, vntill extreame age come that killeth them altogither, and this is that ex|ceeding benefit naturally appropried vnto their rareaſes. As for their quietneſſe of minde, it is alwayes ſuche as is conſtant, vnchaungeable, and therefore incomparable vnto any riches or huge maſſe of worldly treaſure.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 Herevnto furthermore, if it be true riches (as it is in deede for ech one not to couet other mẽs gooddes, but to content himſelf with that which is his owne, and not to ſtande in neede of any thing, can any men be founde in any other re|gion more riche and fortunate than the Shet|land men and theſe Ilanders? Finally, if thoſe be the true honors, and reuerent dueties whiche the obedient ſonne with greate ſincerity and voyde of all flattery, doth ſhewe vnto his good parents, and wherewithall the beſt ſort do mer|uaylouſly reioyce and delite themſelues, & that theſe are alſo not wanting in theſe regions, can we iuſtly ſay that theſe mẽ do lacke any thing, or ſhall we not rather affirme with great aſſu|rance that they rather ſtand in neede of nothing EEBO page image 16 that any mortal man can iuſtly wiſh or deſire [...] But if there be any man that will accuſe me of vntruth in the recitall of theſe things, as one that lieth lowde and by authoritie of a people dwelling far off, for ſo much as I my ſelfe was neuer in thoſe Ilandes, he ſhal vnderſtand that I learned all theſe things of the reuerent father Edward Biſhop of the Orchades, with whom one of theſe Ilanders dwelled, who not onely made a like rehearſall of theſe things with his owne mouth, but alſo verified the ſame in his owne perſon, for his height farre paſſed the cõ|mon ſtature of men, thereto he was excellently well featured in his limmes, ſo white of ſkinne ouer all, that he might contend in beauty with any lady of the lande, & finally ſo wight & ſtrõg of body, that no man in all thoſe quarters durſt rũne or wreſtle with him. Hereby alſo we may ſee, how far they are deceyued whiche iudge thẽ to be barbarous, & miſerable creatures that in|habite far from the Tropike lines, for there are no people more happy than thoſe that dwell in theſe quarters, as I haue proued already.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 4 See Matthio|lus vpon the firſt booke of Dioſcorides, capite de po|pulo alba & nigra.Furthermore, among the rockes & cragges of theſe Iles groweth the delectable Amber, called. Electrum, Chryſolectrũ, or as Dioſcorides hath Pterygophoron, indued with ſo vehemẽt an at|tractiue force, yt being chafed it draweth ſtraw, floxe, and other like light matter vnto it. This gumme is ingendred of the ſea froth whiche is throwen vp by continuall repercuſſion of crags & rockes againſt the ſea walles, & through per|petual working of ye waues groweth in time to become tough as glew, til it fall at ye laſt from ye rocke againe into the ſea. Suche as haue often viewed & marked the generation of this gũme, whileſt it hãgeth on ye rocke, affirme it to be like a froth & bubble of water without al maſſy ſad|neſſe, bycauſe that as yet it is not ſufficiently hardned by the working of the Element. Som|times ye Seatangle is found enuironed alſo wt|al,Alga. bicauſe it is driuẽ hither & thither by the wor|king of ye waues, & ſo lõg as it fleetes to & fro in this maner, ſo long is it apte to cleaue to any thing that it toucheth. Twoo yeeres before I wrote this booke, there came a great lompe of Amber into Buchquhane, in quantity ſo bigge as any horſe, which the heardmẽ that kept their cattell neare hand caught vp, & not knowing in deede what it was, they caried it home, & threw a portion thereof into the fire: finally perceiuing a ſweete & delectable ſauour to proceede frõ the ſame, they ran by & by to the Prieſt of ye towne where they dwelled, telling him how they had found a peece of ſtuffe whiche would ſerue very well in ſteede of Frãkenſence, wherwith to per|fume his ſainctes or rather Idols in the church. Theſe mẽ ſuppoſed that ſir Iohn had ben more cunning than themſelues, but contrary to that expectation, it fell out that he was no leſſe vn|ſkilful & voyde of knowledge than they, & there|fore refuſing the whole lumpe, he tooke but [...] ſmall portion therof, and returned the reſt vnto thẽ, whereby it came to litle proofe & leſſe ga [...] among the common ſorte, who ſuffred it to pe|riſh by reaſon of theyr vnſkilfulneſſe. [...] when they brake it in peeces, it reſembled in co|lour vnto the pureſt golde, & ſhined as if it had bene the laie or flame of a cãdle. Herein alſo the Prouerb was proued true, that the Sow reck [...] not of Balme. But ſo ſone as I vnderſtoode of the matter, I vſed ſuch diligence, that one po [...]|tiõ therof was brought to me at Aberden. And thus much of the Hebrides, Orchades & Schet|land Iles ſubiect vnto the Scottiſh regiment. I might no doubt haue made reherſall of diuers other things worthy the noting in this behalfe. But I haue made choiſe onely of the moſt rare & excellent, and ſo would finiſh this deſcriptiõ, were it not that one thing hath ſtayed me right pleaſant to be remembred, as an vncouth and ſtrange incident, whereof maſter Iames O|gilby Ambaſſadour from Iames our King, (among other) vnto the King of Fraunce, hath certified me, & whereof he had experience of l [...]e at ſuch time as he was conſtrayned by tempeſt of weather to get to land in Norway. Th [...] ſtandeth the caſe, being driuen, as I ſayde, vpon the ſhore of Norway, he and his company ſaw a kinde of people raungyng vp & downe in the mountaynes there, much like vnto thoſe which diuers pictures giue forth for wilde men, [...]e [...]ry and vgly to behold. In the end being aduertized that they were ſauage & wilde beaſtes, yet ne|uertheleſſe deadly enimies to mãkind, they vn|derſtood thervnto that although in the day time they abhorred & feared the ſight of man, yet in the night they would by great companies in|uade the ſmall villages & countrey townes, kil|ling & ſleying ſo many as they found, or where no dogges were kept to put by their rage & fury. Certes ſuch is their nature, that they ſtande in great feare of dogges, at whoſe barking & ſight they flie and runne away with no ſmall ha [...]e & terrour, wherefore the inhabitants are inforced to cheriſh great numbers of the ſaid beaſts, ther|by to keepe off thoſe wilde men that otherwiſe would annoy them: they are moreouer of ſuche ſtrength, that ſomtimes they pull vp yong t [...]ees by the rootes to fight withall amõg themſelues. The Ambaſſadors [...]eyng theſe vncouth crea|tures, were not a litle aſtonnied, & therfore to be ſure frõ all inuaſion, they procured a ſtrõg gard, to watch al night about thẽ, with great f [...]res to giue light ouer all that quarter, till on the mor|row that they tooke the ſea & ſo departed thence. EEBO page image 17 Finally the Norwegiãs ſhewed thẽ, that there was another people not far of, whiche liued all the Sõmer time in the ſea like fiſh, & fed of ſuch as they did catch, but in ye Winter half (bicauſe the water is cold) they prayed vpon ſuch wilde beaſts as fedde on the mountaynes, whiche cõ|ming downe from the ſnowy hilles to graſe in the valeys, they killed with dartes & weapons, & carried vnto their caues. In this exerciſe alſo they tie certaine litle boordes to their feete, which beare them vp from ſinking into the ſnow, & ſo with a ſtaffe in their handes, they make the bet|ter ſhifte to clime vp and come downe from the cragges and mountaines, wherof in that region there is very great plenty and aboundance.

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