Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) - Or A Discourse of Forest Trees
by John Evelyn
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This is (Reader) what they have done; and they are but part of the Materials which the Society have hitherto amassed, and prepared for this great and Illustrious Work; not to pass over an infinity of solitary, and loose Experiments subsidiary to it, gathered at no small Pains and Cost: For so have they hitherto born the Burden and Heat of the day alone; Sapping and Mining to lay the Foundation deep, and raise a Superstructure to be one day perfected, by the joint Endeavours of those who shall in a kinder Age have little else to do, but the putting and cementing of the Parts together, which to collect and fit, have cost them so much Solicitude and Care. Solomon indeed built the glorious Temple; but 'twas David provided the Materials: Did Men in those days insolently ask, What he had done, in all the time of that tedious preparation? I beseech you what Obligation has the R. Society to render an Accompt of their Proceedings to any who are not of the Body, and that carry on the Work at their own expence amidst so many Contradictions? It is an Evil Spirit, and an Evil Age, which having sadly debauch'd the Minds of Men; seeks with Industry to blast and undermine all Attempts and Endeavours that signifie to the Illustration of Truth, the discovery of Impostors, and shake their sandy Foundations.

_Those who come (_says the noble _Verulam_) to enquire after _Knowledge_, with a mind to _scorn_, shall be sure to find matter for their _Humor_; but none for their _Instruction_: _Would_ Men bring light of _Invention_, and not fire-brands of _Contradiction_, Knowledge would infinitely increase._ But these are the _Sanballats_ and _Horonites_ who disturb our Men upon the Wall{xciii:1}: But, _let us rise up and build_, and be no more discourag'd. 'Tis impossible to conceive, how so honest, and worthy a _Design_ should have found so few _Promoters_, and cold a welcome in a _Nation_ whose _Eyes_ are so wide open: We see how greedily the _French_, and other _Strangers_ embrace and cultivate the _Design_: What sumptuous _Buildings_, well furnish'd _Observatories_, ample _Appointments_, _Salaries_, and _Accommodations_, they have erected to carry on the Work; whilst we live _precariously_, and spin the _Web_ out of our own _Bowels_. Indeed we have had the Honour to be the _first_ who led the _way_, given the _Ferment_, which like a _Train_ has taken _Fire_, and warm'd the _Regions_ all about us. _This Glory, doubtless, shall none take from us_: But whilst they flourish so _abroad_, we want the _Spirit_ should diffuse it here at _home_, and give progress to so hopeful a _beginning_: But as we said, the _Enemy_ of _Mankind_ has done us this despite; it is his Interest to impeach (in any sort) what e're opposes his _Dominion_; which is to lead, and settle Men in _Errors_ as well in _Arts_ and _Natural Knowledge_, as in _Religion_; and therefore would be glad, the World should still be _groping_ after _both_. 'Tis _he_ that sets the _Buffoons_, and empty _Sycophants_, to turn all that's _Great_ and _Virtuous_ into _Raillery_ and Derision: 'Tis therefore to encounter _these_, that like those resolute _Builders_,{xciii:2} whilst we employ one hand in the Work, _we_, with the _other_ are oblig'd to hold our _Weapon_, till some bold, and _Gallant Genius_ deliver us, and raise the Siege. How gloriously would such a _Benefactor_ shine! What a _Constellation_ would he make! How great a _Name_ establish! For mine own part (_Religiously_ I _profess_ it) were I not a _Person_, who (whilst I stood expecting when others more worthy, and able than my self, should have snatch'd the Opportunity of _signalizing_ a Work worthy of _Immortality_) had long since given _Hostages_ to _Fortune_, and so put my self out of a Capacity of shewing my _Affection_ to a _Design_ so glorious; I would not only most chearfully have _contributed_ towards the freeing it from the _Straits_ it has so long struggl'd under; but _sacrific'd_ all my _Secular Interests_ in their Service: But, as I said, this is reserv'd for that Gallant _Hero_ (whoe'er it be) that truly weighing the noble and universal _Consequence_ of so high an _Enterprize_, shall at last free it of these _Reproaches_; and either set it above the reach of _Envy_, or convert it to _Emulation_. This were indeed to consult an honest _Fame_, and to _embalm_ the _Memory_ of a _Greater Name_ than any has yet appear'd amongst all the _Benefactors_ of the _Disputing Sects_: Let it suffice to affirm, that next the _Propagation_ of our most _Holy Faith_, and its _Appendants_, (nor can His _Majesty_ or the _Nation_ build their _Fame_ on a more _lasting_, a more _Glorious Monument_;) The Propagation of _Learning_, and _useful Arts_, having always surviv'd the _Triumphs_ of the proudest _Conquerors_, and Spillers of humane _Blood_;) _Princes_ have been more _Renown'd_ for their Civility to _Arts_ and _Letters_, than to all their _Sanguinary Victories_, subduing _Provinces_, and making those brutish _Desolations_ in the World, to feed a _salvage_ and vile _Ambition_. Witness you _Great Alexander_, and you the _Ptolemees_, _Caesars_, _Charemain_, _Francis_ the First; the _Cosimo's_, _Frederic's_, _Alphonsus's_, and the rest of _Learned Princes_: Since when all the _Pomp_ and Noise is ended; They are those _little things_ in _black_ (whom now in scorn they term _Philosophers_ and _Fopps_) to whom they must be oblig'd, for making their _Names_ outlast the _Pyramids_ whose _Founders_ are as unknown as the Heads of _Nile_; because they either deserv'd no _Memory_ for their _Vertues_, or had none to transmit them, or their _Actions_ to _Posterity_.

Is not our R. Founder already Panegyriz'd by all the Universities, Academists, Learned Persons, divers Princes Ambassadors, and Illustrious Men from abroad? Witness besides, the many accurate Treatises and Volumes of the most curious and useful Subjects, Medicinal, Mathematical, and Mechanical, dedicated to His Majesty as Founder; to its President, and to the Society, by the greatest Wits, and most profoundly knowing of the European World, celebrating their Institution and Proceedings: Witness, the daily Submissions and solemn Appeals of the most learned Strangers to its Suffrages, as to the most able, candid and impartial Judges: Witness, the Letters, and Correspondencies from most parts of the habitable Earth, East, and West Indies, and almost from Pole to Pole; besides what they have receiv'd from the very Mouths of divers Professors, Publique Ministers, great Travellers, Noblemen, and Persons of highest Quality; who have not only frequented the Assembly, but desir'd to be Incorporated and ascrib'd into their Number; so little has his Majesty, or the Kingdom been diminish'd in their Reputation, by the Royal Society, to the reproach of our sordid Adversaries: Never had the Republique of Letters so learned and universal a Correspondence as has been procur'd and promoted by this Society alone; as not only the casual Transactions of several Years (filled with Instances of the most curious and useful Observations) make appear; but (as I said) the many Nuncupatory Epistles to be seen in the Fronts of so many learned Volumes: There it is you will find CHARLES the II. plac'd among the Heroes and Demi-Gods, for his Patrociny and Protection: There you will see the numerous Congratulations of the most learned Foreigners, celebrating the Happiness of their Institution; and that whilst other Nations are still benighted under the dusky Cloud, such a refulgent Beam should give day to this blessed Isle: And certainly, it is not to be supposed that all these Learned Persons, of so many, and divers Interests, as well as Countries, should speak, and write thus out of Flattery, much less of Ignorance; being Men of the most refin'd Universal Knowledge, as well as Ingenuity: But I should never end, were I to pursue this fruitful Topic. I have but one word more to add, to conciliate the Favour and Esteem of our own Universities, to an Assembly of Gentlemen, who from them acknowledge to have derived all their Abilities for these laudable Undertakings; and what above all is most shining in them of most Christian, Moral, and otherwise conspicuous, as from the Source and Fountain, to which on all occasions, they are not only ready to pay the Tribute and Obsequiousness of humble Servants, but of Sons, and dutiful Alumni. There is nothing verily which they more desire, than a fair and mutual Correspondence between so near Relations, and that they may be perpetually Flourishing and Fruitful in bringing forth (as still they do) supplies to Church and State in all its great Capacities:{xcvi:1} Finally, that they would regard the Royal Society as a Colony of their own planting, and augure it Success. And if in these Labours, and arduous Attempts, several Inventions of present use and service to Mankind (either detecting Errors, illustrating and asserting Truths, or propagating Knowledge in natural things, and the visible Works of God) have been discover'd, as they envy not the communicating them to the World; so should they be wanting to the Society, and to the Honour of divers Learned and Ingenious Persons, (who are the Soul and Body of it) not to vindicate them from the ambitious Plagiary, the Insults of Scoffers and injurious Men: Certainly, Persons of right Noble and subacted Principles, that were Lovers of their Country, should be otherwise affected; and rather strive to encourage, and promote Endeavours tending to so generous a Design, than decry it; especially, when it costs them nothing but their Civility to so many obliging Persons, though they should hitherto have entertain'd them but with some innocent Diversions. To conclude, we envy none their Dues; nay we gratefully acknowledge any Light which we receive either from Home, or from Abroad: We celebrate and record their Names amongst our Benefactors; recommend them to the Publique; and what we thus freely give, we hope as freely to receive.

Thus have I endeavour'd to Vindicate the Royal Society from some Aspersions and Incroachments it hitherto has suffer'd; and shew'd under what Weights and Pressure this Palm does still emerge: And if for all this I fall short of my Attempt, I shall yet have this satisfaction, That tho I derive no Glory from my own Abilities (sensible of my great Defects) I shall yet deserve their pardon for my Zeal to its Prosperity.

Epictetus, kth.

Philosophias epithymeis; paraskeuazou autothen, &c.

Wouldst thou be a Philosopher; Prepare thy self for Scoffs: What, you are setting up for a Virtuoso now? Why so proud I pray? Well, be not thou proud for all this; But so persist in what seems best and laudable; as if God himself had plac'd thee there; and remember, that so long as thou remain'st in that State and Resolution, thy Reproachers will in time admire thee: But if once through Inconstancy thou give out & flinch, diploun proslepse katagelota, Thou deservest to be doubly laugh'd at.

Lord Verulam, Instaur. Scient.

Some Men (like Lucian in Religion) seek by their Wit, to traduce and expose useful things; because to arrive at them, they converse with mean Experiments: But those who despise to be employ'd in ordinary and common matters, never arrive to solid Perfection in Experimental Knowledge.

* * * * *

The changes and Alterations in the several Chapters and Parts throughout this Discourse, with the Additions and Improvements, have often oblig'd me to alter the Method, and indeed to make it almost a New Work.

J. Evelyn.


{lxxviii:1} See Petrarch de Remed. utriusque fortunae L. 1. Dial. 57.

{lxxix:1} Vide & Curtium, l. 7. &c.

{lxxx:1} De R. R.

{lxxx:2} In agris erant tunc Senatores. Cic. de Senect.

{lxxx:3} Silvae sunt Consule dignae. See this of the Poet Interpreted, Scaliger l. 2. c. 1. Poet. P. Nennius, Sueton. Jul. in Lipsium. Tacit, iv. Annal. 27. concerning the Quaestor's Office.

{lxxxii:1} Palissy, le Moyen de devenir Riche.

{lxxxiii:1} Praefat ad P. Silvinum; which I earnestly recommend to the serious perusal of our Gentry. Et mihi ad sapientis vitam proxime videtur accedere. Cic. de Senectute.

{lxxxv:1} Ne silvae quidem, horridiorque naturae facies medicinis carent, sacra illa parente rerum omnium, nusquam non remedia disponente homini ut Medicina, fieret etiam solitudo ipsa, &c. Hinc nata Medicina, &c. Haec sola naturae placuerat esse remedia parata vulgo, inventu facilia, ac sine impendio, ex quibus vivimus, &c. Plin. l. 24. c. 1.

{lxxxvii:1} Consult Hist. Roy. Soc. and their Registers.

The Laws of Motion, and the Geometrical streightning of Curve Lines were first found out by Sir Christopher Wren and Mr. Thomas Neile.

The equated isocrone Motion of the weight of a Circular Pendulum in a Paraboloid, for the regulating of Clocks; and the improving Pocket-Watches by Springs applied to the Ballance, were first invented and demonstrated to this Society by Dr. Hooke; together with all those New and useful Instruments, Contrivances and Experiments, Mathematical and Physical, publish'd in his Posthumous Works by the most accomplish'd Mr. Waller, Secretary to the R. Society. And since those the incomparably learned Sir Isaac Newton, now President of the Royal Society; Mr. Haly, the Worthy Professor of Geometry in the University of Oxford; Dr. Grew, and several more, whose Works and useful Inventions sufficiently celebrate their Merits: I did mention the Barometer, to which might be added the prodigious effects of the Speculum Ustorium, surpassing what the French pretend to, as confidently, or rather audaciously, they do, and to other admirable Inventions, injuriously arrogated by Strangers, tho' due of right to Englishmen, and Members of this Society; but 'tis not the business of this Preface to enumerate all, tho' 'twas necessary to touch on some Instances.

{xciii:1} Neh. 2. 19.

{xciii:2} Neh. 4. 17.

{xcvi:1} Since this Epistle was first written and publish'd the University of Oxford have instituted, and erected a Society for the promoting of Natural and Experimental Knowledge, in consort with the R. Society, with which they keep a mutual Correspondence: This mention, for that some Malevolents had so far endeavour'd to possess divers Members of the University; as if the Society design'd nothing less than the undermining of that, and other illustrious Academies, and which indeed so far prevail'd, as to breed a real Jealousy for some considerable time: But as this was never in the Thoughts of the Society (which had ever the Universities in greatest Veneration) so the Innocency and Usefulness of its Institution has at length disabus'd them, vindicated their Proceedings, dissipated all Surmises, and, in fine, produced an ingenious, friendly and candid Union and Correspondence between them.


That I have frequently inserted divers Historical and other Passages, apposite, agreeable to the Subject (abstaining from a number more which I might have added) let it be remember'd that I did not altogether compile this Work for the sake of our ordinary Rustics, (meer Foresters and Wood-men) but for the more Ingenious; the Benefit, and Diversion of Gentlemen, and Persons of Quality, who often refresh themselves in these agreeable Toils of Planting, and the Garden: For the rest, I may perhaps in some places have made use of (here and there) a Word not as yet so familiar to every Reader; but none, that I know of, which are not sufficiently explained by the Context and Discourse. That this may yet be no prejudice to the meaner Capacities, let them read for

Ablaqueation, laying bare the Roots. Amputation, cutting quite off. Arborator, Pruner, or one that has care of the Trees. Avenue, the principal Walk to the Front of the House or Seat. Bulbs, round or Onion-shap'd Roots. Calcine, burn to Ashes. Compost, Dung. Conservatory, Green-house to keep choice Plants, &c. in. Contr'espaliere, a Palisade or Pole-hedge. Coronary Garden, Flower-Garden. Culinary, belonging to the Kitchin, Roots, Salading, &c. Culture, Dressing. Decorticate, to strip off the Bark. Emuscation, cleansing it of the Moss. Esculent, Roots, Salads, &c. fit to eat. Espalieres, Wall-fruit Trees. Exotics, outlandish, rare and choice. Fermentation, working. Fibrous, stringy. Frondation, stripping of Leaves, and Boughs. Heterogeneous, repugnant. Homogeneous, agreeable. Hyemation, protection in Winter. Ichnography, Ground-plot. Inoculation, budding. Insition, Graffing. Insolation, exposing to the Sun. Interlucation, thinning and disbranching of a Wood. Irrigation, Watering. Laboratory, Still-house. Letation, Dung. Lixivium, Lee. Mural, belonging to the Wall. Olitory, Acetary, Salads, &c. belonging to the Kitchin-Garden. Palisade, Pole-hedge. Parterre, Flower-Garden, or Knots. Perennial, continuing all the year. Quincunx, Trees set like the Cinque-point of a Dy. Rectifie, re-distil. Seminary, Nursery. Stercoration, Dunging. S. S. S. Stratum super Stratum, one bed, or layer upon another. Tonsile, that which may be shorn, or clip'd. Topiary-works, the clipping, cutting and forming of Hedges, &c. into Figures and Works. Vernal, belonging to the Spring, &c. The rest are obvious.

BOOKS Published by the AUTHOR of this Discourse

1. The French Gard'ner, III. Edition, Twelves, with Mr. Rose's Vineyard.

2. Fumi-fugium: Or, A Prophetic Invective against the Smoke of London. Quarto.

3. Silva: Or, A Discourse of Forest-Trees, &c. the IVth Edition, very much improv'd. Folio.

4. Kalendarium Hortense, both in Folio and Octavo. The Xth Edition, much augmented.

5. Sculptura: Or, The History of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper, the Original and Progress of that Art, &c. Octavo.

6. The Parallel of Architecture, being an Account of Ten famous Architects, with a Discourse of the Terms, and a Treatise of Statues. Folio. 2d Edition.

7. The Idea of the Perfecting of Painting. Octavo.

8. Navigation and Commerce, their Original and Progress. Octavo.

9. Publick Employment and an Active Life, prefer'd to Solitude and its Appanages, &c. Octavo.

10. Terra: Or, A Philosophical Discourse of Earth, the IIId Edition. Folio and Octavo.

11. Numismata, a Discourse of Medals; to which is added, A Digression concerning Physiognomy. Folio.

12. Acetaria: Or, A Discourse of Sallets. 2d Edition.

* * * * *

Naming the last Discourse (save one) I take this Opportunity to acquit my self of some Omissions and Mistakes, left out in the Errata of Numismata; but, upon discovery, immediately after, notify'd, and reform'd in the next Philosophical Transactions of that Month.

Amico carissimo Johanni Evelyno, Armigero,

e Societate Regali Londini, J. Beale, S.P.D. In Silvam.

Fare age quid causae est quod tu Silvestria pangis, Inter Silvanos, capripedesque Deos? Inter Hamadryadas laetus, Dryadasque pudicas, Cum tua Cyrrhaeis sit Chelys apta modis! Scilicet hoc cecinit numerosus Horatius olim, Scriptorum Silvam quod Chorus Omnis amat. Est locus ille Sacer Musis, & Apolline dignus, Prima dedit summo Templa sacranda Jovi. Hinc quoque nunc Pontem Pontus non respuit ingens, Stringitur Oceanus, corripiturque Salum. Hinc novus Hesperiis emersit mundus in oris,{cii:1} Effuditque auri flumina larga probi. Hinc exundavit distento Copia cornu, Qualem & Amalthaeae non habuere sinus. Silva tibi curae est, grata & Pomona refundit Auriferum, roseum, purpureumque nemus. Illa famemque sitimque abigens expirat odores, Quales nec Medus, nec tibi mittit Arabs. Ambrosiam praebent modo cocta Cydonia. Tantum Comprime, Nectareo Poma liquore fluunt. Progredere, O Saecli Cultor memorande futuri, Felix Horticolam sic imitere Deum.


{cii:1} Gen. 1. c. 2.

Nobilissimo Viro Johanni Evelyno, Regalis Soc. Socio dignissimo.

Ausus laudato qui quondam reddere versu, AEternum & tentare melos, conamine magno Lucreti nomenque suum donaverat aevo: Ille leves atomos audaci pangere musa Aggreditur, variis & semina caeca figuris, Naturaeque vias: non quae Schola garrula jactat, Non quae rixanti fert barbara turba Lyaeo: Ingentes animi sensus, & pondera rerum, Grandior expressit Genius, nec scripta minora Ev'linum decuisse solent.

Tuque per obscuros (victor Boylaee) recessus, Naturae meditaris opus, qua luce colores{ciii:1} Percipimus, quali magnus ferit organa motu Cartesius, quali volitant primordia plexu Ex atomis, Gassende, tuis; simulacraque rerum Diffugiunt tacito vastum per inane meatu: Mutato varios mentitur lana colores Lumine; dum tales ardens habet ipse figuras Purpura, Sidonioque aliae tinxere veneno: Materiam assiduo variatam, ut Protea, motu Concipis, hinc formae patuit nascentis origo, Hinc hominum species, & vasti machina caeli:{ciii:2} Ipse creare deus, solusque ostendere mundum Boylaeus potuit, sed nunc favet aemula virtus, (Magne Eveline) tibi, & generosos excitat ignes: Pergite, Scipiadae duo, qui vet mille Marones Obruitis, longo & meriti lassatis honore.

Tu vero dilecte nimis! qui stemmate ab alto Patricios deducis avos, cerasque parentum Wottonicae{civ:1} de stirpe domus; virtutibus aequas Nunc generis monumenta tui, post taedia ponti Innumerasque errore vias, quid Sequana fallax, Hostilis quae Rhenus agit, quae Tibris, & Ister, Nota tibi: triplici quid perfida Roma corona Gessit, & Adriaca Venetus deliberat arce, Qualiaque Odrysias vexarunt praelia lunas. Hic qui naturae interpres & sedulus artis Cultor, qui mores hominum cognovit, & urbes: Dum Phoebo comes ire parat, mentemque capacem Vidit uterque polus, nec Grajum cana vetustas Hunc latuit; veterum nunc prisca numismata regum Eruit, & Latias per mystica templa ruinas: AEstimat ille forum, & vasti fundamina Circi, Cumque ruinoso Capitolia prisca theatro, Et dominos colles altaeque palatia Romae: Regales notat inde domos, ut mole superba Surgat apex, molles quae tecta imitantur Ionas,{civ:2} Qualia Romulea, Gothica quae marmora dextra, Quicquid Tuscus habet, mira panduntur ab arte. O famae patriaeque sacer! vel diruta chartis Vivet Roma tuis; te vindice, laeta Corinthus Stabit adhuc, magno nequiquam invisa Metello.

Nunc quoque ruris opes dulcesque ante omnia curas Pandis ovans; tristes maneat quae cura Decembres; Pleiades haec Hyadesque jubent, haec laeta Bootes Semina mandat humi, atque ardenti haec Sirius agro Coepit ut aestiva segetes torrere favilla, Hoc Maii vernantis opus, dum florea serta Invitant Dominas ruris, dum vere tepenti Ridet ager, renovatque suos Narcissus amores.

Haud aliter victrix divinam AEneida vates Lusit opus, simul & gracili modulatus avena, Fata decent majora tuos, Eveline, triumphos, AEternum renovatur honos, te nulla vetustas Obruet, atque tua servanda volumina cedro Durent, & meritam cingat tibi laurea frontem Qui vitam Silvis donasti & Floribus aevum.

R. Bohun.


{ciii:1} Libro de coloribus.

{ciii:2} De origine formarum.

{civ:1} De Wotton in agro Surriensi.

{civ:2} Consule librum Auctoris de Architectura.


Hymneso phronimoio patros meleessin epainous, hymneso epeessin aristeuonta georgon; ouranien tanaes areten dryos autos egrapsen, kai potapon geneen dendron kata daskion hylen. athanaton kydistos ee nephelegereta Zeus, eschen de dendroio philais prapidessin eeldor, phyllois t' ambrosiois thaleras dryos estephanoto; Angliakon hos aristos ee theoeikelos aner, historien dendron telesen phresi kydalimoisi, hylogenes, kepouros hypeirochos, hos meg' oneiar andrasin essomenois kata gaien poulyboteiran, neusi te pontoporoisi barygdoupoio thalasses.

Jo. Evelyn, Fil.


To J. Evelyn, Esquire.

I never had any other Desire so strong, and so like to Covetousness as that one which I have had always, That I might be Master at last of a small House and large Garden, with very moderate Conveniencies joined to them, and there dedicate the remainder of my Life only to the Culture of them, and study of Nature,

And there (with no Design beyond my Wall) whole and entire to lie, In no unactive Ease, and no unglorious Poverty;

Or as Virgil has said, shorter and better for me, that I might there Studiis florere ignobilis oti (though I could wish that he had rather said, Nobilis otii, when he spoke of his own:) But several accidents of my ill Fortune have disappointed me hitherto, and do still of that Felicity; for though I have made the first and hardest step to it, by abandoning all Ambitions and Hopes in this World, and by retiring from the noise of all Business and almost Company; yet I stick still in the Inn of a hired House and Garden, among Weeds and Rubbish; and without that pleasantest Work of Human Industry, the Improvement of something which we call (not very properly, but yet we call) our own. I am gone out from Sodom, but I am not yet arrived at my little Zoar: O let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my Soul shall live. I do not look back yet: but I have been forced to stop, and make too many halts. You may wonder, Sir, (for this seems a little too extravagant and Pindarical for Prose) what I mean by all this Preface; it is to let you know, That though I have mist, like a Chymist, my great End, yet I account my Affections and Endeavours well rewarded by something that I have met with by the bye; which is, that they have procur'd to me some part in your Kindness and esteem; and thereby the honour of having my Name so advantagiously recommended to Posterity, by the Epistle you are pleased to prefix to the most useful Book that has been written in that kind, and which is to last as long as Months and Years.

Among many other Arts and Excellencies which you enjoy, I am glad to find this Favourite of mine the most predominant, That you choose this for your Wife, though you have hundreds of other Arts for your Concubines; though you know them, and beget Sons upon them all, (to which you are rich enough to allow great Legacies) yet the issue of this seems to be design'd by you to the main of the Estate; you have taken most pleasure in it, and bestow'd most Charges upon its Education; and I doubt not to see that Book, which you are pleased to promise to the World, and of which you have given us a large earnest in your Calendar, as accomplish'd, as any thing can be expected from an Extraordinary Application, and no ordinary Expences, and a long Experience. I know no body that possesses more private Happiness than you do in your Garden; and yet no Man who makes his Happiness more publick, by a free communication of the Art and Knowledge of it to others. All that I my self am able yet to do, is only to recommend to Mankind the search of that Felicity, which you instruct them how to find and to enjoy.


Happy art thou whom God does bless With the full choice of thine own Happiness; And happier yet, because thou'rt blest With Prudence how to choose the best: In Books and Gardens thou hast plac'd aright (Things well which thou dost understand, And both dost make with thy laborious hand) Thy noble innocent delight: And in thy virtuous Wife, where thou again dost meet Both Pleasures more refin'd and sweet: The fairest Garden in her Looks, And in her Mind the wisest Books. Oh! who would change these soft, yet solid Joys, For empty Shows and senseless Noise; And all which rank Ambition breeds, Which seem such beauteous Flowers, and are such poisonous Weeds?


When God did Man to his own Likeness make, As much as Clay, though of the purest kind, By the great Potters Art refin'd, Could the Divine Impression take: He thought it fit to place him, where A kind of Heav'n too did appear, As far as Earth could such a likeness bear: That Man no Happiness might want, Which Earth to her first Master could afford; He did a Garden for him plant By the quick hand of his Omnipotent Word. As the chief Help and Joy of Humane Life, He gave him the first Gift; first, ev'n before a Wife.


For God, the universal Architect, 'T had been as easie to erect A Louvre, or Escurial, or a Tower, That might with Heav'n communication hold As Babel vainly thought to do of old: He wanted not the skill or power, In the World's Fabrick those were shown, And the Materials were all his own. But well he knew what place would best agree With Innocence, and with Felicity: And we elsewhere still seek for them in vain, If any part of either yet remain; If any part of either we expect, This may our judgement in the search direct; God the first Garden made, and the first City, Cain.


O blessed Shades! O gentle cool retreat From all th' immoderate Heat, In which the frantick World does burn and sweat! This does the Lion Star, Ambitions rage; This Avarice, the Dog-Stars Thirst asswage; Every where else their fatal Power we see, They make and rule Man's wretched Destiny: They neither set, nor disappear, But tyrannize o'er all the Year; Whil'st we ne'er feel their Flame or Influence here. The Birds that dance from Bough to Bough, And sing above in every Tree, Are not from Fears and Cares more free, Than we who lie, or walk below, And should by right be Singers too. What Princes Quire of Musick can excel That which within this Shade does dwell? To which we nothing pay or give, They like all other Poets live, Without Reward, or Thanks for their obliging Pains; 'Tis well if they become not Prey: The Whistling Winds add their less artful Strains, And a grave Base the murmuring Fountains play; Nature does all this Harmony bestow, But to our Plants, Arts, Musick too, The Pipe, Theorbo, and Guitar we owe; The Lute it self, which once was Green and Mute: When Orpheus struck th' inspired Lute, The Trees danc'd round, and understood By Sympathy the Voice of Wood.


These are the Spells that to kind Sleep invite, And nothing does within resistance make, Which yet we moderately take; Who wou'd not choose to be awake, While he's incompass'd round with such delight, To th' Ear, the Nose, the Touch, the Taste, and Sight? When Venus wou'd her dear Ascanius keep A Pris'ner in the downy Bands of Sleep, She od'rous Herbs and Flowers beneath him spread As the most soft and sweetest Bed; Not her own Lap would more have charm'd his Head. Who, that has Reason, and his Smell, Would not among Roses and Jasmin dwell, Rather than all his Spirits choak With Exhalations of Dirt and Smoak? And all th' uncleanness which does drown In pestilential Clouds a pop'lous Town? The Earth it self breaths better Perfumes here, Than all the Female Men or Women there, Not without cause about them bear.


When Epicurus to the World had taught, That Pleasure was the Chiefest Good, (And was perhaps i'th' right, if rightly understood) His Life he to his Doctrine brought, And in a Gardens Shade that Sovereign Pleasure sought. Whoever a true Epicure would be, May there find cheap and virtuous Luxury. Vitellius his Table, which did hold As many Creatures as the Ark of old: That Fiscal Table, to which every day All Countries did a constant Tribute pay, Could nothing more delicious afford, Than Natures Liberality, Helpt with a little Art and Industry, Allows the meanest Gard'ners board. The wanton Taste no Fish or Fowl can choose, For which the Grape or Melon she would loose, Though all th' Inhabitants of Sea and Air Be listed in the Gluttons Bill of Fare; Yet still the Fruits of Earth we see Plac'd the third Story high in all her Luxury.


But with no Sense the Garden does comply; None courts or flatters, as it does the Eye: When the great Hebrew King did almost strain The wond'rous Treasures of his Wealth and Brain, His Royal Southern Guest to entertain; Though she on Silver Floors did tread, With bright Assyrian Carpets on them spread, To hide the Metals Poverty: Though she look'd up to Roofs of Gold, And nought around her could behold But Silk and rich Embroidery, And Babylonian Tapistry, And wealthy Hiram's Princely Dy: Though Ophirs Starry Stones met every where her Eye; Though she her self and her gay Host were drest With all the shining Glories of the East; When lavish Art her costly work had done, The honour and the Prize of Bravery Was by the Garden from the Palace won; And every Rose and Lilly there did stand Better attir'd by Natures hand: The case thus judg'd against the King we see, By one that would not be so Rich, though Wiser far than he.


Nor does this happy place only dispense Such various Pleasures to the Sense, Here Health it self does live, That Salt of Life which does to all a relish give, Its standing Pleasure, and intrinsick Wealth, The Bodies Virtue, and the Souls good Fortune, Health. The Tree of Life, when it in Eden stood, Did its Immortal Head to Heaven rear; It lasted a tall Cedar till the Flood; Now a small thorny Shrub it does appear; Nor will it thrive too every where: It always here is freshest seen; 'Tis only here an Ever-green. If through the strong and beauteous Fence Of Temperance and Innocence, And wholesome Labours, and a quiet Mind, Diseases Passage find, They must not think here to assail A Land unarmed, or without a Guard; They must fight for it, and dispute it hard, Before they can prevail: Scarce any Plant is growing here Which against Death some Weapon does not bear. Let Cities boast, that they provide For Life the Ornaments of Pride; But 'tis the Country and the Field, That furnish it with Staff and Shield.


Where does the Wisdom and the Power Divine In a more bright and sweet Reflection shine? Where do we finer Strokes and Colours see Of the Creator's real Poetry, Than when we with attention look Upon the third days Volume of the Book? If we could open and intend our Eye, We all like Moses should espy Ev'n in a Bush the radiant Deity. But we despise these his inferior ways, (Though no less full of Miracle and Praise) Upon the Flowers of Heaven we gaze; The Stars of Earth no wonder in us raise, Though these perhaps do more than they, The Life of Mankind sway. Although no part of mighty Nature be More stor'd with Beauty, Power, and Mystery; Yet to encourage human Industry, God has so ordered, that no other Part Such Space, and such Dominion leaves for Art.


We no where Art do so triumphant see, As when it Grafts or Buds the Tree; In other things we count it to excel, If it a Docile Scholar can appear To Nature, and but imitate her well; It over-rules, and is her Master here. It imitates her Makers Power Divine, And changes her sometimes, and sometimes does refine: It does, like Grace, the fallen Tree restore To its blest State of Paradise before: Who would not joy to see his conquering hand O'er all the vegetable World command? And the wild Giants of the Wood receive What Law he's pleas'd to give? He bids th' ill-natur'd Crab produce The gentle Apples Winy Juice; The golden Fruit that worthy is Of Galetea's purple Kiss; He does the savage Hawthorn teach To bear the Medlar and the Pear, He bids the rustick Plumb to rear A noble Trunk, and be a Peach, Ev'n Daphnes Coyness he does mock, And weds the Cherry to her stock, Though she refus'd Apollo's suit; Ev'n she, that chast and Virgin-tree Now wonders at her self, to see That she's a Mother made, and blushes in her fruit.


Methinks I see Great Diocletian walk In the Salonian Gardens noble Shade, Which by his own Imperial hands was made: I see him smile, methinks, as he does talk With the Ambassadors, who come in vain T' entice him to a Throne again: If I, my Friends (said he) should to you show All the Delights, which in these Gardens grow; 'Tis likelier much, that you should with me stay, Than 'tis that you should carry me away: And trust me not, my Friends, if every day, I walk not here with more delight, Than ever after the most happy fight, In Triumph to the Capitol I rod, To thank the gods, and to be thought my self almost a god.

Chertsea, Aug 16, 1666. Abraham Cowley.




Of the Earth, Soil, Seed, Air, and Water.

1. It is not my intention here to speak of earth, as one of the common reputed elements; of which I have long since publish'd an ample account, in an express Treatise (annexed to this volume,) which I desire my reader to peruse; since it might well commute for the total omission of this chapter, did not method seem to require something briefly to be said: Which first, as to that of earth, we shall need at present to penetrate no deeper into her bosom, than after paring of the turfe, scarrifiying the upper-mould, and digging convenient pits and trenches, not far from the natural surface, without disturbing the several strata and remoter layers, whether of clay, chalk, gravel, sand, or other successive layers, and concrets fossil, (tho' all of them useful sometimes, and agreeable to our foresters;) tho' few of them what one would chuse before the under-turfe, black, brown, gray, and light, and breaking into short clods, and without any disagreeable scent, and with some mixture of marle or loame, but not clammy; of which I have particularly spoken in that Treatise.

2. In the mean time, this of the soil, (which I think is a more proper term for composts) or mould rather, being of greater importance for the raising, planting, and propagation of trees in general, must at no hand be neglected, and is therefore on all occasions mentioned in almost every chapter of our ensuing discourse; I shall therefore not need to assign it any part, when I have affirm'd in general, that most timber-trees grow and prosper well in any tolerable land which will produce corn or rye, and which is not in excess stony; in which nevertheless there are some trees delight; or altogether clay, which few, or none do naturally affect; and yet the oak is seen to prosper in it, for its toughness preferr'd before any other by many workmen, though of all soils the cow-pasture doth certainly exceed, be it for what purpose soever of planting wood. Rather therefore we should take notice how many great wits and ingenious persons, who have leisure and faculty, are in pain for improvements of their heaths and barren Hills, cold and starving places, which causes them to be neglected and despair'd of; whilst they flatter their hopes and vain expectations with fructifying liquors, chymical menstruums, and such vast conceptions; in the mean time that one may shew them as heathy and hopeless grounds, and barren hills as any in England, that do now bear, or lately have born woods, groves, and copses, which yield the owners more wealth, than the richest and most opulent wheat-lands: and if it be objected that 'tis so long a day before these plantations can afford that gain; the Brabant Nurseries, and divers home-plantations of industrious persons are sufficient to convince the gain-sayer. And when by this husbandry a few acorns shall have peopl'd the neighbouring regions with young stocks and trees; the residue will become groves and copses of infinite delight and satisfaction to the planters. Besides, we daily see what course lands will bear these stocks (suppose them oaks, wall-nuts, chess-nuts, pines, firr, ash, wild-pears, crabs, &c.) and some of them (as for instance the pear and the firr or pine) strike their roots through the roughest and most impenetrable rocks and clefts of stone it self; and others require not any rich or pinguid, but very moderate soil; especially, if committed to it in seeds, which allies them to their mother and nurse without renitency or regret: And then considering what assistances a little care in easing and stirring of the ground about them for a few years does afford them: What cannot a strong plow, a winter mellowing, and summer heats, incorporated with the pregnant turf, or a slight assistance of lime, loam, sand, rotten compost, discreetly mixed (as the case may require) perform even in the most unnatural and obstinate soil? And in such places where anciently woods have grown, but are now unkind to them, the fault is to be reformed by this care; and chiefly, by a sedulous extirpation of the old remainders of roots, and latent stumps, which by their mustiness, and other pernicious qualities, sowre the ground, and poyson the conception; and herewith let me put in this note, that even an over-rich, and pinguid composition, is by no means the proper bed either for seminary or nursery, whilst even the natural soil it self does frequently discover and point best to the particular species, though some are for all places alike: Nor should the earth be yet perpetually crop'd with the same, or other seeds, without due repose, but lie some time fallow to receive the influence of heaven, according to good husbandry. But I shall say no more of these particulars at this time, because the rest is sprinkl'd over this whole work in their due places; wherefore we hasten to the following title; namely, the choice and ordering of the seeds.

3. Chuse your seed of that which is perfectly mature, ponderous and sound; commonly that which is easily shaken from the boughs, or gathered about November, immediately upon its spontaneous fall, or taken from the tops and summities of the fairest and soundest trees, is best, and does (for the most part) direct to the proper season of interring, &c. according to institution.

Nature herself who all created first, Invented sowing, and the wild plants nurs't: When mast and berries from the trees did drop, Succeeded under by a numerous crop.{4:1}

Yet this is to be consider'd, that if the place you sow in be too cold for an autumnal semination, your acorns, mast, and other seeds may be prepared for the vernal by being barrel'd, or potted up in moist sand, or earth stratum s.s. during the winter; at the expiration whereof you will find them sprouted; and being committed to the earth, with a tender hand, as apt to take as if they had been sown with the most early; nay, with great advantage: By this means too, they have escaped the vermine, (which are prodigious devourers of winter-sowing) and will not be much concern'd with the increasing heat of the season, as such as being crude, and unfermented, are newly sown in the beginning of the spring; especially, in hot and loose grounds; being already in so fair a progress by this artificial preparation; and which, (if the provision to be made be very great) may be thus manag'd. Chuse a fit piece of ground, and with boards (if it have not that position of it self) design it three foot high; lay the first foot in fine earth, another of seeds, acorns, mast, keys, nuts, haws, holly-berries, &c. promiscuously, or separate, with (now and then) a little mould sprinkled amongst them: The third foot wholly earth: Of these preparatory magazines make as many, and as much larger ones as will serve your turn, continuing it from time to time as your store is brought in. The same for ruder handlings, may you also do by burying your seeds in dry sand, or pulveriz'd earth, barrelling them (as I said) in tubs, or laid in heaps in some deep cellar where the rigour of the winter may least prejudice them; and I have fill'd old hampers, bee-hives, and boxes with them, and found the like advantage, which is to have them ready for your seminary, as before hath been shew'd, and exceedingly prevent the season. There be also who affirm, that the careful cracking and opening of stones which include the kernels, as soon as ripe, precipitate growth, and gain a years advance; but this is erroneous. Now if you gather them in moist weather, lay them a drying, and so keep them till you sow, which may be as soon as you please after Christmas. If they spire out before you sow them, be sure to commit them to the earth before the sprout grows dry, or else expect little from them: And whenever you sow, if you prevent not the little field mouse, he will be sure to have the better share. See cap. XVIII.

4. But to pursue this to some farther advantage; as to what concerns the election of your seed, it is to be consider'd, that there is vast difference, (what if I should affirm more than an hundred years) in trees even of the same growth and bed, which I judge to proceed from the variety and quality of the seed: This, for instance, is evidently seen in the heart, procerity and stature of timber; and therefore chuse not your seeds always from the most fruitful-trees, which are commonly the most aged, and decayed; but from such as are found most solid and fair: Nor, for this reason, covet the largest acorns, &c. but (as husbandmen do their wheat) the most weighty, clean and bright: This observation we deduce from fruit-trees, which we seldom find to bear so kindly and plentifully from a sound stock, smooth rind, and firm wood, as from a rough, lax, and untoward tree; which is rather prone to spend itself in fruit, (the ultimate effort, and final endeavour of its most delicate sap,) than in solid and close substance to encrease the timber. And this shall suffice, though some haply might here recommend to us a more accurate microscopical examen, to interpret their most secret schematismes, which were an over-nicety for these great plantations.

5. As concerning the medicating and insuccation of seeds, or enforcing the earth by rich and generous composts, &c. for trees of these kinds, I am no great favourer of it; not only because the charge would much discourage the work; but for that we find it unnecessary, and for most of our forest-trees, noxious; since even where the ground is too fertile, they thrive not so well; and if a mould be not proper for one sort, it may be fit for another: Yet I would not (by this) hinder any from the trial, what advance such experiments will produce: In the mean time, for the simple imbibition of some seeds and kernels, when they prove extraordinary dry, as the season may fall out, it might not be amiss to macerate them in milk or water only, a little impregnated with cow-dung, &c. during the space of twenty four hours, to give them a spirit to sprout and chet the sooner; especially if you have been retarded in your sowing without our former preparation: But concerning the mould, soiling and preparations of the ground, I refer you to my late Treatise of Earth, if what you meet with in this do not abundantly encounter all those difficulties.

6. Being thus provided with seeds of all kinds, I would advise to raise woods by sowing them apart, in several places destin'd for their growth, where the mould being prepar'd (as I shall shew hereafter) and so qualified (if election be made) as best to suit with the nature of the species, they may be sown promiscuously, which is the most natural and rural; or in streight and even lines, for hedge-rows, avenues, and walks, which is the more ornamental: But, because some may chuse rather to draw them out of nurseries; that the culture is not much different, nor the hinderance considerable (provided they be early and carefully removed) I will finish what I have to say concerning these trees in the seminary, and shew how they are there to be raised, transplanted, and govern'd till they can shift for themselves.

As to the air and water, they are certainly of almost as great importance to the life and prosperity of trees and vegetables; and therefore it is to be wish'd for and sought, where they are defective; and which commonly follow, or indicate the nature of the soil, or the soil of them; (taking soil here promiscuously for the mould;) that they be neither too keen or sharp, too cold or hot; not infected with foggs and poys'nous vapours, or expos'd to sulphurous exhalations, or frigiverous winds, reverberating from hills, and other ill-situate eminencies, pressing down the incumbent particles so tainted, or convey'd through the inclosed valleys: But such as may gently enter and pervade the cenabs and vessels destin'd and appointed for their reception, intromission, respiration, and passage, in almost continual motion: In a word, such as is most agreeable to the life of man, the inverted head compared to the root, both vegetables and animals alike affected with those necessary principles, air and water, soon suffocated and perishable for the want of either, duly qualified with their proper mixts, be it nitre, or any other vegetable matter; though we neither see, nor distinctly taste it: So as all aquatics, how deeply soever submerg'd, could not subsist without this active element the air.

The same qualification is (as we said) required in water, to which 'tis of so near alliance, and whose office it is, not only to humectate, mollify, and prepare both the seeds, and roots of vegetables, to receive the nutrition, pabulum, and food, of which this of water as well as air, are the proper vehicles, insinuating what they carry into the numerous pores, and through the tubes, canales, and other emulgent passages and percolutions to the several vessels, where (as in a stomach) it is elaborated, concocted, and digested, for distribution through every part of the plant; and therefore had need be such as should feed, not starve, infect or corrupt; which depends upon the nature and quality of the mix'd, with what other virtue, spirit, mineral, or other particles, accompanying the purest springs, (to appearance) passing through the closest strainers. This therefore requires due examination, and sometimes exposure to the air and sun, and accordingly the crudity, and other defects taken off and qualified: All which, rain-water, that has had its natural circulation, is greatly free from, so it meets with no noxious vapours in the descent, as it must do passing through fuliginous clouds of smoak and soot, over and about great cities, and other vulcanos, continually vomiting out their acrimonious, and sometimes pestiferous fervor, infecting the ambient air, as it perpetually does about London, and for many adjacent miles, as I have elsewhere{9:1} shew'd.

In the mean time, whether water alone is the cause of the solid and bulky part, and consequently of the augmentation of trees and plants, without any thing more to do with that element (tho' as it serves to transport some other matter) is very ingenuously discuss'd, and curiously enquired into by Dr. Woodward, in his History of the Earth; fortified with divers nice experiments, too large to be here inserted: The sum is, that water, be it of rain, or the river (superior or inferior) carries with it a certain superfine terrestrial matter, not destitute of vegetative particles; which gives body, substance, and all other requisites to the growth and perfection of the plant, with the aid of that due heat which gives life and motion to the vehicles passage through all the parts of the vegetable, continually ascending, 'till (having sufficiently saturated them) it transpires the rest of the liquid at the summity and tops of the branches into the atmosphere, and leaving some of the less refined matter in a viscid hony-dew, or other exsudations, (often perceived on the leaves and blossoms,) anon descending and joining again with what they meet, repeat this course in perpetual circulation: Add to this, that from hence those regions and places crowded with numerous and thick standing forest-trees and woods, (which hinder the necessary evolition of this superfluous moisture, and intercourse of the air) render those countries and places, more subject to rain and mists, and consequently unwholsome; as is found in our American plantations, as formerly nearer us, in Ireland; both since so much improved by felling and clearing these spacious shades, and letting in the air and sun, and making the earth fit for tillage, and pasture, that those gloomy tracts are now become healthy and habitable. It is not to be imagined how many noble seats and dwellings in this nation of ours, (to all appearance well situated,) are for all that unhealthful, by reason of some grove, or hedge-rows of antiquated dotard trees; nay, sometimes a single tuft only, (especially the falling autumnal leaves neglected to be taken away) filling the air with musty and noxious exhalations; which being ventilated, by glades cut through them, for passage of the stagnant vapours, have been cur'd of this evil, and recovered their reputation.

But to return to where we left; water in this action, imbib'd with such matter, applicable to every species of plants and vegetables, does not as we affirm'd, operate to the full extent and perfection of what it gives and contributes of necessary and constituent matter, without the soil and temper of the climate co-operate; which otherwise, retards both the growth and substance of what the earth produces, sensibly altering their qualities, if some friendly and genial heat be wanting to exert the prolifick virtue: This we find, that the hot and warmer regions produce the tallest and goodliest trees and plants, in stature and other properties far exceeding those of the same species, born in the cold north: So as what is a gyant in the one, becomes a pumilo, and in comparison, but a shrubby dwarf in the other; deficient of that active spirit, which elevates and spreads its prolifick matter and continual supplies without check, and is the cause of not only the leaves deserting the branches, whilst those trees and plants of the more benign climate, are clad in perennial verdure: And those herbacious plants, which with us in the hottest seasons hardly perfect their seeds before Winter, and require to be near their genial beds and nurse, and sometimes the artificial heat of the hot-bed. Lastly, to all this I would add that other chearful vehicle, light; which the gloomy and torpent north is so many months depriv'd of; the too long seclusion whereof is injurious to our exotics, kept in the conservatories, since however temper'd with heat, and duly refresh'd; they grow sickly, and languish without the admission of light as well as air, as I have frequently found.



Nam specimen sationis, & infitionis origo Ipsa fuit rerum primum natura creatrix: Arboribus quoniam baccae, glandesque caducae Tempestiva dabant pullorum examina subter, &c.

Lucret. l. 5.

{9:1} Fumifugium.


Of the Seminary and of Transplanting.

1. Qui vineam, vel arbustum constituere volet, seminaria prius facere debebit, was the precept of Columella, l. 3. c. 5. speaking of vineyards and fruit-trees: and doubtless, we cannot pursue a better course for the propagation of timber-trees: For though it seem but a trivial design that one should make a nursery of foresters; yet it is not to be imagin'd, without the experience of it, what prodigious numbers a very small spot of ground well cultivated, and destin'd for this purpose, would be able to furnish towards the sending forth of yearly colonies into all the naked quarters of a lordship, or demesnes; being with a pleasant industry liberally distributed amongst the tenants, and dispos'd of about the hedg-rows, and other waste, and uncultivated places, for timber, shelter, fuel, and ornament, to an incredible advantage. This being a cheap, and laudable work, of so much pleasure in the execution, and so certain a profit in the event; to be but once well done (for, as I affirm'd, a very small plantarium or nursery will in a few years people a vast extent of ground) hath made me sometimes in admiration at the universal negligence, as well as rais'd my admiration, that seeds and plants of such different kinds, should like so many tender babes and infants suck and thrive at the same breast: Though there are some indeed will not so well prosper in company; requiring peculiar juices: But this niceness is more conspicuous in flowers and the herbacious offspring, than in foresters, which require only diligent weeding and frequent cleansing, till they are able to shift for themselves; and as their vessels enlarge and introsume more copious nourishment, often starve their neighbours. Thus much for the nursery and Conseminea Silva.

2. Having therefore made choice of such seeds as you would sow, by taking, and gathering them in their just season; that is, when dropping ripe; and (as has been said) from fair thriving trees; and found out some fit place of ground, well fenced, respecting the south-east, rather than the full south, and well protected from the north and west;

He that for wood his field would sow, Must clear it of the shrubs that grow; Cut brambles up, and the fern mow.{13:1}

This done, let it be broken up the winter before you sow, to mellow it; especially if it be a clay, and then the furrow would be made deeper; or so, at least, as you would prepare it for wheat: Or you may trench it with the spade, by which means it will the easier be cleansed of whatsoever may obstruct the putting forth, and insinuating of the tender roots: Then, having given it a second stirring, immediately before you sow; cast, and dispose it into rills, or small narrow trenches, of four or five inches deep, and in even lines, at two foot interval, for the more commodious runcation, hawing, and dressing the trees: Into these furrows (about the new or increasing moon) throw your oak, beach, ash, nuts, all the glandiferous seeds, mast, and key-bearing kinds, so as they lie not too thick, and then cover them very well with a rake, or fine-tooth'd harrow, as they do for pease: Or, to be more accurate, you may set them as they do beans (especially, the nuts and acorns) and that every species by themselves, for the Roboraria, Glandaria, Ulmaria, &c., which is the better way: This is to be done at the latter end of October, for the autumnal sowing; and in the lighter ground about February for the vernal: For other seminations in general; some divide the spring in three parts; the beginning, middle, and end; and the like of the autumn both for sowing and planting, and accordingly prepare for the work such nursery furniture, as seems most agreeable to the season.

Then see your hopeful grove with acorns sown, But e're your seed into the field be thrown, With crooked plough first let the lusty swain Break-up, and stubborn clods with harrow plain. Then, when the stemm appears, to make it bare And lighten the hard earth with hough, prepare. Hough in the spring: nor frequent culture fail, Lest noxious weeds o're the young wood prevail: To barren ground with toyl large manure add, Good-husbandry will force a ground that's bad.{14:1}

Note that 6 bushels of acorns will sow or plant an acre, at one foot's distance. And if you mingle among the acorns the seeds of Genista spinosa, or furs, they will come up without any damage, and for a while needs no other fence, and will be kill'd by the shade of the young oaklings before they become able to do them any prejudice.

One rule I must not omit, that you cast no seeds into the earth whilst it either actually rains, or that it be over sobb'd, till moderately dry.

To this might something be expected concerning the watring of our seminaries and new plantations; which indeed require some useful directions (especially in that you do by hand) that you pour it not with too great a stream on the stem of the plant, (which washes and drives away the mould from the roots and fibers) but at such distance as it may percolate into the earth, and carry its vertue to them, with a shallow excavation, or circular basin about the stalk; and which may be defended from being too suddenly exhausted and drunk up by the sun, and taken away before it grow mouldy. The tender stems and branches should yet be more gently refreshed, lest the too intense rays of the sun darting on them, cause them to wither, as we see in our fibrous flower-roots newly set: In the mean time, for the more ample young plantations of forest and other trees, I should think the hydrantick engine (call'd the quench-fire) (described in the Phil. Transaction, Num. 128) might be made very useful, rightly manag'd, and not too violently pointed against any single trees, but so exalted and directed, as the stream being spread, the water might fall on the ground like drops of rain; which I should much prefer before the barrels and tumbral way. Rain, river or pond-waters reserved in tubs or cisterns simple, or inrich'd, and abroad in the sun, should be frequently stirred, and kept from stagnation.

4. Your plants beginning now to peep, should be earthed up, and comforted a little; especially, after breaking of the greater frosts, and when the swelling mould is apt to spue them forth; but when they are about an inch above ground, you may in a moist season, draw them up where they are too thick, and set them immediately in other lines, or beds prepar'd for them; or you may plant them in double fosses, where they may abide for good and all, and to remain till they are of a competent stature to be transplanted; where they should be set at such distances as their several kinds require; but if you draw them only for the thinning of your seminary, prick them into some empty beds (or a Plantarium purposely design'd) at one foot interval, leaving the rest at two or three.

5. When your seedlings have stood thus till June, bestow a slight digging upon them, and scatter a little mungy, half-rotten litter, fern, bean-hame, or old leaves among them, to preserve the roots from scorching, and to entertain the moisture; and then in March following (by which time it will be quite consum'd, and very mellow) you shall chop it all into the earth, and mingle it together: Continue this process for two or three years successively; for till then, the substance of the kernel will hardly be spent in the plant, which is of main import; but then (and that the stature of your young imps invite) you may plant them forth, carefully taking up their roots, and cutting the stem within an inch of the ground (if the kind, of which hereafter, suffer the knife) set them where they are to continue: If thus you reduce them to the distance of forty foot, the intervals may be planted with ash, which may be fell'd either for poles, or timber, without the least prejudice of the oak: Some repeat the cutting we spake of the second year, and after March (the moon decreasing) re-cut them at half a foot from the surface; and then meddle with them no more: But this (if the process be not more severe than needs) must be done with a very sharp instrument, and with care, lest you violate, and unsettle the root; which is likewise to be practis'd upon all those which you did not transplant, unless you find them very thriving trees; and then it shall suffice to prune off the branches, and spare the tops; for this does not only greatly establish your plants by diverting the sap to the roots; but likewise frees them from the injury and concussions of the winds, and makes them to produce handsome, streight shoots, infinitely preferable to such as are abandon'd to nature, and accident, without this discipline: By this means the oak will become excellent timber, shooting into streight and single stems: The chess-nut, ash, &c. multiply into poles, which you may reduce to standards at pleasure: To this I add, that as oft as you make your annual transplanting, out of the nursery, by drawing forth the choicest stocks, the remainder will be improved by a due stirring, and turning of the mould about their roots.

But that none be discouraged, who may upon some accident, be desirous, or forc'd to transplant trees, where the partial, or unequal ground does not afford sufficient room, or soil to make the pits equally capacious, (and so apt to nourish and entertain the roots, as where are no impediments), the worthy Mr. Brotherton (whom we shall have occasion to mention more than once in this treatise) speaking of the increase and improvement of roots, tells us of a large pinaster, 2 foot and 1/2 diameter, and about 60 foot in height, the lowest boughs being 30 foot above the ground, which did spread and flourish on all sides alike, though it had no root at all towards three quarters of its situation, and but one quarter only, into which it expanded its roots so far as to 70 and 80 foot from the body of the tree: The reason was, its being planted just within the square-angle of the corner of a deep, thick and strong stone-wall, which was a kind wharfing against a river running by it, and so could have nourishment but from one quarter. And this I likewise might confirm of two elms, planted by me about 35 years since; which being little bigger than walking-staves, and set on the very brink of a ditch or narrow channel (not always full of water) wharfed with a wall of a brick and half in thickness, (to keep the bank from falling in) are since grown to goodly and equally spreading trees of near two foot diameter, solid timber, and of stature proportionable. The difference between this, and that of the pine, being their having one quarter more of mould for the roots to spread in; but which is not at all discover'd by the exuberence of the branches in either part. But to return to planting, where are no such obstacles.

6. Theophrastus in his Third Book de Causis, c. 7. gives us great caution in planting, to preserve the roots, and especially the earth adhering to the smallest fibrills, which should by no means be shaken off, as most of our gardeners do to trim and quicken them, as they pretend, which is to cut them shorter; though I forbid not a very small toping of the stragling threds, which may else hinder the spreading of the rest, &c. Not at all considering, that those tender hairs are the very mouths, and vehicles which suck in the nutriment, and transfuse it into all the parts of the tree, and that these once perishing, the thicker and larger roots, hard, and less spungy, signifie little but to establish the stem; as I have frequently experimented in orange-trees, whose fibers are so very obnoxious to rot, if they take in the least excess of wet: And therefore Cato advises us to take care that we bind the mould about them, or transfer the roots in baskets, to preserve it from forsaking them; as now our nursery-men frequently do; by which they of late are able to furnish our grounds, avenues and gardens in a moment with trees and other plants, which would else require many years to appear in such perfection: For this earth being already applied, and fitted to the overtures and mouths of the fibers, it will require some time to bring them in appetite again to a new mould, by which to repair their loss, furnish their stock, and proceed in their wonted oeconomy without manifest danger and interruption: nor less ought our care to be in the making, and dressing of the pits and fosses, into which we design our transplantation, which should be prepar'd and left some time open to macerating rains, frosts and sun, that may resolve the compacted salt, (as some will have it) render the earth friable, mix and qualifie it for aliment, and to be more easily drawn in, and digested by the roots and analogous stomach of the trees: This, to some degree may be artificially done, by burning of straw in the newly opened pits, and drenching the mould with water; especially in over-dry seasons, and by meliorating barren-ground with sweet and comminuted loetations: Let therefore this be received as a maxim, never to plant a fruit or forest-tree where there has lately been an old decay'd one taken up; till the pit be well ventilated, and furnish'd with fresh mould.

7. The author of the Natural History, Pliny, tells us it was a vulgar tradition, in his time, that no tree should be removed under two years old, or above three: Cato would have none transplanted less than five fingers in diameter; but I have shew'd why we are not to attend so long for such as we raise of seedlings. In the interim, if these directions appear too busie, or operose, or that the plantation you intend be very ample, a more compendious method will be the confused sowing of acorns, &c. in furrows, two foot asunder, covered at three fingers depth, and so for three years cleansed, and the first winter cover'd with fern, without any farther culture, unless you transplant them; but, as I shewed before, in nurseries, they would be cut an inch from the ground, and then let stand till March the second year, when it shall be sufficient to disbranch them to one only shoot, whether you suffer them to stand, or remove them elsewhere. But to make an essay what seed is most agreeable to the soil, you may by the thriving of a promiscuous semination make a judgment of,

What each soil bears, and what it does refuse.{20:1}

transplanting those which you find least agreeing with the place; or else, by copsing the starvelings in the places where they are newly sown, cause them sometimes to overtake even their untouch'd contemporaries.

Something may here be expected about the fittest season for this work of transplanting; of which having spoken in another{21:1} treatise, annext to this, (as well as in divers other places throughout this of Forest-trees) I shall need add little; after I have recommended the earliest removals, not only of all the sturdy sort in our woods, but even of some less tender trees in our orchards; pears, apples, vulgar cherries, &c. whilst we favour the delicate and tender murals, and such as are pithy; as the wall-nut, and some others. But after all, what says the plain wood-man, speaking of oaks, beech, elms, haw-thorns, and even what we call wild and hedge-fruit? Set them, says he, at All-hallowtide, and command them to prosper; set them at Candlemass, and intreat them to grow. Nor needs it explanation.

8. But here some may enquire what distances I would generally assign to transplanted trees? To this somewhat is said in the ensuing periods, and as occasion offers; though the promiscuous rising of them in forest-work, wild and natural, is to us, I acknowledge, more pleasing than all the studied accuracy in ranging of them; unless it be where they conduct and lead us to avenues, and are planted for vistas (as the Italians term is) in which case, the proportion of the breadth and length of the walks, &c. should govern, as well as the nature of the tree; with this only note; that such trees as are rather apt to spread, than mount (as the oak, beech, wall-nut, &c.) be dispos'd at wider intervals, than the other, and such as grow best in consort, as the elm, ash, limetree, sycamore, firr, pine, &c. Regard is likewise to be had to the quality of the soil, for this work: v. g. If trees that affect cold and moist grounds, be planted in hot and dry places, then set them at closer order; but trees which love dry and thirsty grounds, at farther distance: The like rule may also guide in situations expos'd to impetuous winds and other accidents, which may serve for general rules in this piece of tactics. In the mean time, if you plant for regular walks, or any single trees, a competent elevation of the earth in circle, and made a little hollow like a shallow bason (as I already mention'd) for the reception of water, and refreshing the roots; sticking thorns about the edges to protect them from cattel, were not amiss. Fruit-trees thus planted, if beans be set about them, produces a little crop, and will shade the surface, perhaps, without any detriment: But this more properly belongs to Pomona. Most shrubs of ever-green and some trees may be planted very near one another; myrtles, laurel, bays, Cyprus, yew, ivy, pomegranates, and others, also need little distance, and indeed whatever is proper to make hedges: But for the oak, elm, wall-nut, firs, and the taller timber-trees, let the dismal effects of the late hurricane (never to be forgotten) caution you never to plant them too near the mansion, (or indeed any other house) that so if such accident happen, their fall and ruin may not reach them.

9. To leave nothing omitted which may contribute to the stability of our transplanted trees, something is to be premis'd concerning their staking, and securing from external injuries, especially from winds and cattel; against both which, such as are planted in copses, and for ample woods, are sufficiently defended by the mounds and their closer order; especially, if they rise of seeds: But where they are expos'd in single rows, as in walks and avenues, the most effectual course is to empale them with three good quartet-stakes of competent length, set in triangle, and made fast to one another by short pieces above and beneath; in which a few brambles being stuck, secure it abundantly without that choaking or fretting, to which trees are obnoxious that are only single staked and bushed, as the vulgar manner is: Nor is the charge of this so considerable as the great advantage, accounting for the frequent reparations which the other will require. Where cattel do not come, I find a good piece of rope, tyed fast about the neck of trees upon a wisp of straw to preserve it from galling, and the other end tightly strein'd to a hook or peg in the ground (as the shrouds in ships are fastened to the masts) sufficiently stablishes my trees against the western blasts without more trouble; for the winds of other quarters seldom infest us. But these cords had need be well pitch'd to preserve them from wet, and so they will last many years. I cannot in the mean time conceal what a noble person has assur'd me, that in his goodly plantations of trees in Scotland, where they are continually expos'd to much greater, and more impetuous winds than we were usually acquainted with, he never stakes any of his trees; but upon all disasters of this kind, causes only his servants to redress, and, set them up again as often as they happen to be overthrown; which he has affirm'd to me, thrives better with them, than with those which he has staked; and that at last they strike root so fast, as nothing but the axe is able to prostrate them. And there is good reason for it in my opinion, whilst these concussions of the roots loosning the mould, not only make room for their more easie insinuations, but likewise open and prepare it to receive and impart the better nourishment. It is in another place I suggest that transplanted pines and firrs, for want of their penetrating taproots, are hardly consistent against these gusts after they are grown high; especially, where they are set close, and in tufts, which betrays them to the greater disadvantage: And therefore such trees do best in walks, and at competent distances where they escape tolerably well: Such therefore as we design for woods of them, should be sow'd, and never remov'd. In the mean time, many trees are also propagated by cuttings and layers; the ever-greens about Bartholomewtide; other trees within two or three months after, when they will have all the sap to assist them; every body knows the way to do it is by slitting the branch a little way, when it is a little cut directly in, and then to plunge it half a foot under good mould, and leaving as much of its extremity above it, and if it comply not well, to peg it down with an hook or two, and so when you find it competently rooted, to cut it off beneath, and plant it forth: Other expedients there are by twisting the part, or baring it of the rind; and if it be out of reach of the ground, to fasten a tub or basket of earth near the branch, fill'd with a succulent mould, and kept as fresh as may be. For cuttings, about the same season, take such as are about the bigness of your thumb, setting them a foot in the earth, and near as much out. If it be of soft wood, as willows, poplar, alders, &c. you may take much larger trunchions, and so tall as cattel may not reach them; if harder, those which are young, small and more tender; and if such as produce a knur, or burry swelling, set that part into the ground, and be sure to make the hole so wide, and point the end of your cutting so smooth, as that in setting, it violate and strip none of the bark; the other extream may be slanted, and so treading the earth close, and keeping it moist, you will seldom fail of success: By the roots also of a thriving, lusty and sappy tree, more may be propagated; to effect which, early in spring, dig about its foot, and finding such as you may with a little cutting bend upwards, raise them above ground three or four inches, and they will in a short time make shoots, and be fit for transplantation; or in this work you may quite separate them from the mother-roots, and cut them off: By baring likewise the bigger roots discreetly, and hacking them a little, and then covering with fresh Mould matres, and mother-roots; nepotes, succors; traduces, and rooted setts, may be raised in abundance; which drawing competent roots will soon furnish store of plants; and this is practicable in elms especially, and all such trees as are apt of themselves to put forth suckers; but of this more upon occasion{25:1} hereafter. And now to prevent censure on this tedious and prolix Introduction, I cannot but look on it as the basis and foundation of all the structure, rising from this work and endeavour of mine; since from station, sowing, continual culture and care, proceed all we really enjoy in the world: Every thing must have birth and beginning, and afterwards by diligence and prudent care, form'd and brought to shape and perfection: Nor is it enough to cast seeds into the ground, and leave them there, as the Ostrich does her eggs in the Lybian sands, without minding them more, (because Nature has depriv'd her of understanding); but great diligence is to be us'd in governing them; not only till they spring up, but till they are arriv'd to some stature fit for transplantation, and to be sent broad; after the same method that our children should be educated, and taken care of from their birth and cradle; and afterwards, whilst they are under Padagogues and discipline, (for the forming of their manners and persons) that they contract no ill habits, and take such plys as are so difficult to rectifie and smooth again without the greatest industry. For prevention of this in our seminary, the like care is requisite; whilst the young imps and seedlings are yet tender and flexible, and require not only different nourishment and protection from too much cold, heat, and other injuries; but due and skilful management, in dressing, redressing and pruning, as they grow capable of being brought into shape, and of hopeful expectation, when time has rendered them fit for the use and service requir'd, according to their kinds. He therefore that undertakes the nursery, should be knowing not only in the choice of the seeds, where, when, and how to sow them; but to know what time of gestation they require in the womb of their mother-earth, before parturition; that so he may not be surprized with her delivering some of them sooner, or later than he expects them; for some will lye two, nay, three year, e'er they peep; most others one, and some a quarter, or a month or two; whilst the tardy and less forward so tire the hopes of the husbandman, that he many times digs up the platts and beds in which they were sown, despairing of a crop, sometimes ready to spring and come up, as I have found by experience to my loss: Those of hard shell and integument will lie longer buried than others; for so the libanus cedar, and most of the coniferous firs, pines, &c. shed their seeds late, and sometimes remain two winters and as many summers, to open their scales glued so fast together, without some external application of fire or warm water, which is yet not so natural as when they open of themselves. The same may be observed of some minuter seeds, even among the olitories; as that of parsley, which will hardly spring in less than a year; so beet-seed, part in the second and third, &c. which upon inspecting the skins and membranes involving them, would be hard to give a reason for. To accelerate this, they use imbibitions of piercing spirits, salts, emollients, &c. not only to the seeds, but to the soil, which we seldom find much signify, but either to produce abortion or monsters; and being forc'd to hasty birth, become nothing so hardy, healthful and lasting, as the conception and birth they receive from nature. These observations premis'd in general, after I have recommended to our industrious planters the appendix or table of the several sorts of soil and places that are proper, or at least may seem so; or that are unfit for certain kinds of trees, (as well foresters and others, annexed to this work) I should proceed to particulars, and boldly advance into the thickest of the forest, did not method seem to require something briefly to be spoken of trees in general, as they are under the name of plants and vegetables, especially such as we shall have occasion to discourse of in the following work; tho' we also take in some less vulgarly known and familiar, of late indenizon'd among us, and some of them very useful.

By trees then is meant, a lignous woody-plant, whose property is for the most part, to grow up and erect itself with a single stem or trunk, of a thick and more compacted substance and bulk, branching forth large and spreading boughs; the whole body and external part, cover'd and invested with a thick rind or cortex, more hard and durable than that of other parts; which, with expanding roots, penetrate and fixes them in the earth for stability, (and according to their nature) receive and convey nourishment to the whole: And these terrae-filii, are what we call timber-trees, the chief subject of our following Discourse.

Trees are likewise distinguish'd into other subordinate species; fruticis, frutages and shrubs; which are also lignous trees, tho' of a lower and humbler growth, less spreading, and rising up in several stems, emerging from the same root, yielding plenty of suckers; which being separated from it, and often carrying with them some small fiber, are easily propagated and planted out for a numerous store: And this, (being clad with a more tender bark or fiber) seems to differ frutex from other arborious kinds; since as to the shaft and stems of such as we account dwarf and pumilo with us, they rise often to tall and stately trees, in the more genial and benign climes.

Suffrutrices are shrubs lower than the former, lignescent and more approaching to the stalky herbs, lavender, rue, &c. but not apt to decay so soon, after they have seeded; whilst both these kinds seem also little more to differ from one another, than do trees from them; all of them consisting of the same variety of parts, according to their kinds and structure, cover'd with some woody, hard membraneous, or tender rind, suitable to their constitution, and to protect them from outward injuries; producing likewise buds, leaves, blossoms and flowers, pregnant with fruit, and yielding saps, liquors and juices, lachrymae, gums, and other exsudations, tho' diversifying in shape and substance, tast, odour, and other qualities and operations, according to the nature of the species; the various structure and contexture of their several vessels and organs, whose office it is to supply the whole plant with all that is necessary to its being and perfection, after a stupendious, tho' natural process; which minutely to describe, and analogically compare, as they perform their functions, (not altogether so different from creatures of animal life) would require an anatomical lecture; which is so learnedly and accurately done to our hands, by Dr. Grew, Malphigius and other ingenious naturalists.

But besides this general definition, as to what is meant by trees, frutexes, &c. they are likewise specifically distinguish'd by other characters, leaves, buds, blossoms, &c. but especially by what they produce of more importance, by their fruit ye shall know them: v. g.

The glandiferae, oaks and ilex's yield acorns, and other useful excrescencies: The mast-bearers are the beech, and such as include their seeds and fruit in rougher husks; as the chessnut-tree, &c. the wallnut, hazle, avelans, &c. are the nuciferae, &c. to the coniferae, resiniferae, squammiferae, &c. belong the whole tribe of cedars, firs, pines, &c. apples, pears, quinces, and several other edulae fruits; peaches, abricots, plums, &c. are reduc'd to the pomiferae: The bacciferae, are such as produce kernels, sorbs, cherries, holley, bays, laurell, yew, juniper, elder, &c. and all the berry-bearers. The genistae in general, and such as bear their seeds in cods, come under the tribe of siliquosae: The lanuginae are such as bed their seeds in a cottony-down.

The ash, elm, tilia, poplar, hornbeam, willow, salices, &c. are distinguish'd by their keys, tongues, samera, pericurpia, and theca, small, flat and husky skins, including the seeds, as in so many foliol's, bags and purses, fine membranous cases, catkins, palmes, julus's, &c. needless to be farther mention'd here, being so particularly describ'd in the chapters following; as are also the various ever-greens and exoticks.



Qui serere ingenuum volet agrum, Liberat prius arva fruticibus; Falce rubos, filicemque resecat.

Boeth. l. 2. Met.


Proinde nemus sparsa cures de glande parandum: Sed tamen ante tuo mandes quam semina campo; Ipse tibi duro robustus vomere fossor Omne solum subigat late, explanetque subactum. Cumque novus fisso primum de germine ramus Findit humum, rursus ferro versanda bicorni Consita vere novo tellus, cultuque frequenti Exercenda, herbae circum ne forte nocentes Proveniant, germenque ipsum radicibus urant. Nec cultu campum cunctantem urgere frequenti, Et saturare fimo pudeat, si forte resistat Culturae: nam tristis humus superanda colendo est.

Rapinus, l. 2.


Quid quaeque ferat regio, & quid quaeque recuset.

{21:1} Pomona.

{25:1} For the transplanting and removing of full-grown forest-trees, and others. See Cap. III. Sect. 10.


Of the Oak.

1. Robur, the oak; I have sometimes consider'd it very seriously, what should move Pliny to make a whole chapter of one only line, which is less than the argument alone of most of the rest in his huge volume: but the weightiness of the matter does worthily excuse him, who is not wont to spare his words, or his reader. Glandiferi maxime generis omnes, quibus honos apud Romanos perpetuus. "Mast-bearing-trees were principally those which the Romans held in chiefest repute," lib. 16. cap. 3. And in the following where he treats of chaplets, and the dignity of the civic coronet; it might be compos'd of the leaves or branches of any oak, provided it were a bearing tree, and had acorns upon it, and was (as{31:1} Macrobius tells us). Recorded among the felices arbores; but this phyllinon stephanon was interwoven, and twisted with thorns and briars; and the garland carried to usher the bride to her husband's house, intimating that happy state was not exempt from its pungencies and cares. It is then for the esteem which these wise and glorious people had of this tree above all others, that I will first begin with the oak; and indeed it carries it from all other timber whatsoever, for building of ships in general, and in particular being tough, bending well, strong and not too heavy, nor easily admitting water.

2. 'Tis pity that the several kinds of oak are so rarely known amongst us, that whereever they meet with quercus, they take it promiscuously for our common oak; as likewise they do Drys, which comprehends all mast-bearing trees whatsoever, (which I think they have no latin word for): And in the Silva Glandifera were reckon'd the chessnut, ilix, esculus, cerris, suber, &c. various species rather than different trees, white, red, black, &c. among our American plantations, (especially the long-stalked oak not as yet much taken notice of): we shall here therefore give an account of four only; two of which are most frequent with us; for we shall say little of the cerris or aegilops, goodly to look on, but for little else: Some have mistaken it for beech, whereas indeed it is a kind of oak bearing a small round acorn almost covered with the cup, which is very rugged, the branches loaded with a long moss hanging down like dishevell'd hair which much annoys it. Phagos is indeed doubtless a species of oak; however by the Latins usually apply'd to the beech, whose leaf exceedingly differs from that of the oak, as also the mast and bark rugged, and growing among the hills and mountains; the other in the valleys, and perhaps, but few of them in Italy. Physicians, naturalists and botanists should therefore be curious how they describe and place such trees mention'd by Theophrastus and others, under the same denomination as frequently they do; being found so very different when accurately examin'd. There is likewise the esculus, which though Vitruvius, Pliny, Dalcampius and others take for a smaller kind, Virgil celebrates for its spreading, and profound root; and this Dalcampius will therefore have to be the platyphyllos of Theophrastus, and as our botanists think, his phegos, as producing the most edible fruit. But to confine our selves; the quercus urbana, which grows more upright, and being clean and lighter is fittest for timber: And the robur, or quercus silvestris, (taking robur for the general name, if at least contradistinct from the rest); which (as the name imports) is of a vast robust and inflexible nature, of an hard black grain; bearing a smaller acorn, and affecting to spread in branches, and to put forth his roots more above ground; and therefore in the planting, to be allow'd a greater distance, viz. from twenty five, to forty foot; (nay sometimes as many yards;) whereas the other shooting up more erect, will be contented with fifteen. This kind is farther to be distinguished by its fulness of leaves, which tarnish, and becoming yellow at the fall, do commonly clothe it all the winter; the roots growing very deep and stragling. The author of Britannia Baconica, speaks of an oak in Lanhadron-Park in Cornwall, which bears constantly leaves speckled with white; and of another call'd the painted oak; others have since been found at Fridwood, near Sittingbourn in Kent; as also sycamore and elms, in other places mentioned by the learned Dr. Plot in his Nat. Hist. of Oxfordshire: Which I only mention here, that the variety may be compar'd by some ingenious person thereabouts, as well as the truth of the fatal prae-admonition, of oaks bearing strange leaves: Besides that famous oak of New Forest in Hampshire, which puts forth its buds about Christmass, but wither'd again before night; and was order'd (by our late King Charles II.) to be inclos'd with a Pale; (as I find it mentioned in the last edition of Mr. Camden's Brit.) And so was another before this; which his grandfather, King James, went to visit, and caused benches to be plac'd about it; which giving it reputation, the people never left hacking of the boughs and bark till they kill'd the tree: As I am told they have serv'd that famous oak near White-Ladys which hid and protected our late Monarch from being discovered and taken by the Rebel-Soldiers, who were sent to find him, after his almost miraculous escape at the battel of Worcester. In the mean time, as to this extraordinary precosness, the like is reported of a certain wallnut-tree as well as of the famous white-thorns of Glassenbury, and blackthorns in several places. Some of our common oaks bear their leaves green all winter; but they are generally pollards, and such as are shelter'd in warm corners and hedge rows. To speak then particularly of oaks, and generally of all other trees of the same kind, (by some infallible characters) notice should be taken of the manner of their spreading, stature and growth, shape and size of the acorn, whether single or in clusters, the length or shortness of the stalks, roundness of the cup, breadth, narrowness, shape, and indentures of the leaf; and so of the bark, Trachys, asperous, or smooth, brown or bright, &c. Tho' most (if not all of them) may rather be imputed to the genius and nature of the soil, situation, or goodness of the seed, than either to the pretended sex or species. And these observations may serve to discover many accidental varieties in other trees, without nicer distinctions; such as are fetch'd from profess'd botanists; who make it not so much their study, to plant and propagate trees, as to skill in their medicinal virtues, and other uses; always excepting our learned countryman, Mr. Ray, whose incomparable work omits nothing useful or desirable on this subject; wanting only the accomplishments of well-design'd sculps. There is likewise a kind of hemeris or dwarf-oak (like the robur VII. clusii) frequent in New-England; and the white one of Virginia, a most stately tree, which (bearing acorns) might easily be propagated here, if it were worth the while.

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