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besides there be a number of differences that concern their use; as oak, cedar, and chestnut, are the best builders; some are best for plough-timber, as ash; some for piers, that are sometimes wet and sometimes dry, as elm; some for planchers, as deal; some for tables, cupboards, and desks, as walnuts; some for ship-timber, as oaks that grow in moist grounds; for that maketh the timber tough, and not apt to rift with ordnance; wherein English and Irish timber are thought to excel: some for masts of ships, as fir and pine, because of their length, straightness, and lightness: some for pale, as oak; some for fuel, as ash; and so of the rest.
659. THE coming of trees and plants in certain regions, and not in others, is sometimes casual: for many have been translated, and have prospered well; as damask-roses, that have not been known in England above an hundred years, and now are so common. But the liking of plants in certain soils more than in others, is merely natural; as the fir and pine love the mountains; the poplar, willow, sallow, and alder, love rivers and moist places; the ash loveth coppices, but is best in standards alone; juniper loveth chalk; and so do most fruit trees; samphire groweth but upon rocks; reeds and osiers grow where they are washed with water; the vine loveth sides of hills, turning upon the south-east sun, etc.
660. THE putting forth of certain herbs discovereth of what nature the ground where they put forth is; as wild thyme sheweth good feeding-ground for cattle; betony and strawberries shew grounds fit for wood; camomile sheweth mellow grounds fit for wheat. Mustard-seed, growing after the plough, sheweth a good strong ground also for wheat: burnet sheweth good meadow, and the like.
661. THERE are found in divers countries, some other plants that grow out of trees and plants, besides misseltoe as in Syria there is an herb called cassytas, that groweth out of tall trees, and windeth itself about the same tree where it groweth, and sometimes about thorns. There is a kind of polypode that grow
eth out of trees, though it windeth not. So likewise an herb called faunos, upon the wild olive. And an herb called hippophaston upon the fullers thorn: which, they say, is good for the falling sickness.
662. IT hath been observed by some of the ancients, that howsoever cold and easterly winds are thought to be great enemies to fruit, yet nevertheless south winds are also found to do hurt, especially in the blossoming time; and the more if showers follow. It seemeth they call forth the moisture too fast. The west winds are the best. It hath been observed also, that green and open winters do hurt trees; insomuch as if two or three such winters come together almondtrees, and some other trees, will die. The cause is the same with the former, because the lust of the earth over-spendeth itself: howsoever some other of the ancients have commended warm winters.
663. SNOWS lying long cause a fruitful year; for first, they keep in the strength of the earth; secondly, they water the earth better than rain: for in snow, the earth doth, as it were, suck the water as out of the teat thirdly, the moisture of snow is the finest moisture, for it is the froth of the cloudy waters.
664. SHOWERS, if they come a little before the ripening of fruits, do good to all succulent and moist fruits; as vines, olives, pomegranates; yet it is rather for plenty than for goodness; for the best vines are in the driest vintages: small showers are likewise good for corn, so as parching heats come not upon them. Generally night showers are better than day showers, for that the sun followeth not so fast upon them; and we see even in watering by the hand, it is best in summer time to water in the evening.
665. THE differences of earths, and the trial of them, are worthy to be diligently inquired. The earth, that with showers doth easiliest soften, is commended; and yet some earth of that kind will be very dry and hard before the showers. The earth that casteth up from the plough a great clod, is not so good as that which casteth up a smaller clod. The earth that putteth forth moss easily, and may be called
mouldy, is not good. The earth that smelleth well upon the digging, or ploughing, is commended; as containing the juice of vegetables almost already prepared. It is thought by some, that the ends of low rainbows fall more upon one kind of earth than upon another; as it may well be; for that that earth is most roscid and therefore it is comntended for a sign of good earth. The poorness of the herbs, it is plain, shew the poorness of the earth; and especially if they be in colour more dark: but if the herbs shew withered, or blasted at the top, it sheweth the earth to be very cold; and so doth the mossiness of trees. The earth, whereof the grass is soon parched with the sun, and toasted, is commonly forced earth, and barren in its own nature. The tender, chessome, and mellow earth, is the best, being mere mould, between the two extremes of clay and sand, especially if it be not loamy and binding. The earth, that after rain will scarce be ploughed, is commonly fruitful: for it is cleaving, and full of juice.
666. It is strange, which is observed by some of the ancients, that dust helpeth the fruitfulness of trees, and of vines by name; insomuch as they cast dust upon them of purpose. It should seem, that that powdering, when a shower cometh, maketh a kind of soiling to the tree, being earth and water finely laid on. And they note, that countries where the fields and ways are dusty bear the best vines.
667. It is commended by the ancients for an excellent help to trees, to lay the stalks and leaves of· lupins about the roots, or to plough them into the ground where you will sow corn. The burning also of the cuttings of vines, and casting them upon land, doth much good. And it was generally received of old, that dunging of grounds when the west wind bloweth, and in the decrease of the moon, doth greatly help; the earth, as it seemeth, being then more thirsty and open to receive the dung.
668. THE grafting of vines upon vines, as I take it, is not now in use: the ancients had it, and that three ways: the first was incision, which is the ordinary
manner of grafting: the second was terebration through the middle of the stock, and putting in the cions there and the third was paring of two vines that grow together to the marrow, and binding them close.
669. THE diseases and ill accidents of corn are worthy to be inquired; and would be more worthy to be inquired, if it were in mens power to help them; whereas many of them are not to be remedied. The mildew is one of the greatest, which, out of question, cometh by closeness of air; and therefore in hills, or large champain grounds, it seldom cometh; such as is with us York's woald. This cannot be remedied, otherwise than that in countries of small inclosure the grounds be turned into larger fields: which I have known to do good in some farms. Another disease is the putting forth of wild oats, whereinto corn oftentimes, especially barley, doth degenerate. It happeneth chiefly from the weakness of the grain that is sown; for if it be either too old or mouldy, it will bring forth wild oats. Another disease is the satiety of the ground; for if you sow one ground still with the same corn, I mean not the same corn that grew upon the same ground, but the same kind of grain, as wheat, barley, etc. it will prosper but poorly: therefore, besides the resting of the ground, you must vary the seed. Another ill accident is from the winds, which hurt at two times; at the flowering, by shaking off the flowers; and at the full ripening, by shaking out the corn. Another ill accident is drought, at the spindling of the corn, which with us is rare, but in hotter countries common: insomuch as the word calamitas was first derived from calamus, when the corn could not get out of the stalk. Another ill accident is over-wet at sowing time, which with us breedeth much dearth, insomuch as the corn never cometh up; and many times they are forced to resow summer corn where they sowed winter corn. Another ill accident is bitter frosts continued without snow, especially in the beginning of the winter, after the seed is Another disease is worms, which some
times breed in the root, and happen upon hot suns and showers immediately after the sowing; and another worm breedeth in the ear itself, especially when hot suns break often out of clouds. Another disease is weeds; and they are such as either choke and over-shadow the corn, and bear it down; or starve the corn, and deceive it of nourishment. Another disease is over-rankness of the corn; which they use to remedy by mowing it after it is come up; or putting sheep into it. Another ill accident is laying of corn with great rains, near or in harvest. Another ill accident is, if the seed happen to have touched oil, or any thing that is fat; for those substances have an antipathy with nourishment of water.
670. THE remedies of the diseases of corn have been observed as followeth. The steeping of the grain, before sowing, a little time in wine, is thought a preservative: the mingling of seed-corn with ashes is thought to be good: the sowing at the wane of the moon, is thought to make the corn sound: it hath not been practised, but it is thought to be of use to make some miscellane in corn; as if you sow a few beans with wheat, your wheat will be the better. It hath been
observed, that the sowing of corn with housleek doth good. Though grain that toucheth oil or fat, receiveth hurt, yet the steeping of it in the dregs of oil, when it beginneth to putrify, which they call amurca, is thought to assure it against worms. It is reported also, that if corn be mowed, it will make the grain longer, but emptier, and having more of the husk.
671. IT hath been noted, that seed of a year old is the best; and of two or three years is worse; and that which is more old is quite barren; though, no doubt, some seed and grains last better than others. The corn which in the vanning lieth lowest is the best: and the corn which broken or bitten retaineth a little yellowness, is better than that which is very white.
672. IT hath been observed, that of all roots of herbs, the root of sorrel goeth the farthest into the earth; insomuch that it hath been known to go three cubits deep and that it is the root that continueth fit