Description of the New Netherlands

22 The winter weather is dry and cold, and we find that the peltries and feltings are prior and better than the furs of Muscovy. For this difference several reasons are assigned, which we will relate, without controverting any, except in remarking that in most cases wherein many different reasons are assigned to establish a subject, all are frequently discredited. Some say that the New-Netherlands lie so much further west on the globe, and that this causes the difference; others who compare the summer heat with Spain and Italy deny this position; others declare that the globe is not round, and that the country lies in a declining position from the sun. Others assert that the last discovered quarter of the world is larger than the other parts, and ask, if the world formerly was considered round, how that theory can be supported now, when about one-half is added to it ? Some also say that the higher a country is situated, the colder it is. Now, say they, the New-Netherlands lie in a high westerly position; ergo, it must be cold there in winter, and as warm in summer. Many remark, and with much plausibility also, that the country extends northerly many hundred miles to the frozen ocean, and is accessible by Davis Straits (which by some is doubted), and that the land is intersected and studded by high mountains, and that the snow remains lying on them and in the valleys, and seldom thaws away entirely ; and that when the wind blows from and over those cold regions, it brings cold with it. Receiving the cold from above and from beneath (both being cold), it must of course follow that the cold comes with the north-westerly winds. On the contrary, they say that, whenever the wind blows from the sea, if it be in the heat of the winter, then the weather becomes sultry and warm as in Lent. . . . There is every where. fuel in abundance, and to be obtained for the expense of cutting and procuring the same. The superabundance of this country is not equalled by any other in the world. The Indians do not clothe as we do, but frequently go half-naked and withstand the cold, in fashion, and fear it little. They are never overcome with the cold, or injured by it. In bitter cold weather, they will not pursue their customary pleasures, particularly the women and the children; for the men do not care so much for the cold days in winter as they do for the hot days in summer.