chapter  XXIV
15 Pages

Of the Land

WE have made provision in the three last chapters of venison, of fowl, and of fish-which is much. But in our old ancient France, bread and wine being our usual sustenance, it would be hard unto us to make here our abode unless the land were fit for the same., Let us then enter into consideration of it, and let us put our hands into our bosom, to see if the dugs of this mother will yield any milk to nourish her children, and, as for the rest, we will take what may be hoped for of her. Attilius Regulus, twice Consul in Rome, did commonly say [Pliny, lib. xviii., cap. 5] that one must not choose places over-rank, because they are unhealthful, neither places over-barren, although one may live healthily in them. And with such a moderate soil did Cato content himself. The ground of New France is such, for the most part of fat sand, under which we have often found clay ground; and of that earth did Monsieur de Poutrincourt cause a quantity of bricks to be made, wherewith he builded a furnace to melt the gum of the fir-tree, and chimneys. I will say farther that one may make with this earth such operations as with the earth which we call terra sigillata, or bolus Armenicus, as in many occasions our apothecary, Master Louis Hebert, most sufficient in his art, hath made trial of it, by the advice of Monsieur de Poutrincourt: yea, even when that Monsieur du Pont his son had three fingers cut off with a musket-shot, which did burst being over-charged, in the country of the Armouchiquois.