Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Pleasures and Pastimes that the Wild Woods afford

It's been some time since our last post, and with the advent of Spring (hopefully), we thought you might enjoy a little 16th century thoughts on enjoying the great outdoors!

But the chiefe pleasure and pastime which commeth by wilde woods, is, that being joined to your house and champion habitation, (which is the place, where it must be seated or planted) it is pleasant to the sight: for by his diversitie of greenenes, it marvellously delighteth, and with great contentment recreateth the sight.
The second pleasure or pastime is, that the woodes (being neere unto your lodging) are alwaies full of all sorts of pretie birds, which might sing sommer and winter all the day long, and the most part of the night as nightingales and other such like, wherby their songs become joyful and delightsome to the eare, and so there is a pleasure and great contentment to the eare even to them in the house if it be neere unto.
Another pleasure us, that in the said woods there are alwaies great store of wood coists, popiniaies, stares, cranes and other sorts of bird which make you pastime to see them flie: there may also pleasure be reaped in taking of them with little engines, as with a call, nets, the tonnell, or others such like.
The fourth is, that in the woods are to be had conies, hares, squirrels, and other sorts of small beasts pleasant to behold, and of great service for the provision of vittaile.
The fifth is, that in hot seasons you may purchase a coole aire within the said woods, as those which will cover and defend you from the iniurie and vexation of the sunne, and contrariwise cooling you whether the heate will or no: and therein you have aklso to behold a comfortable greenenes, both upon the boughs and ground, which keepeth his grass greene through the cooleness and shadow of the trees.
The sixth is, that in winter being in the said woods, you are out of the iniurie and force of the winds and great cold, because they breake them off: and further in these woods you are solitarie, and may use your leasure, in reading, writing or meditating upon your affaires, without being disquieted or distracted, or drawne to cast your sight abroad over any far distant place of countrie, in as much as the sight cannot pearse through the boughs or bushes.

The Countrie Farm or Maison Rustique
Charles Estienne & Jean Liebault