The First American Geography 331
ant has an horfe or two and all the family in ruins, with fcarcely any covering or provif ions; while the nag, with two or three Negroes rubbing him, is pampered with luxuries to the extreme of high living.
This last item is from the edition of 1784. I make one more quotation from that edition under the heading, " Spanifh Dominions in N. America," — that is, Florida and Mexico, — and then resume consideration of the later book.
In California, there falls in the morning a great quantity of dew, which, fettling on the rofe-leaves becomes hard like manna, having all the fweetnefs of refined fugar, without its whitenefs.
The greateft curiofity in the city of Mexico, is their floating gardens. When the Mexicans, about the year 1325, were fubdued by the Colhuan and Tepanecan nations, and confined to the fmall iflands of the lake, having no land to cultivate, they were taught by neceffity to form movable gardens, which floated on the lake. Their con-ftruction is very iimple. They take willows and the roots of marfh plants, and other materials which are light, and twift them together, and fo firmly unite them as to form a fort of platform, which is capable of fupporting the earth of the garden. Upon this foundation they lay bufhes and over them fpread the mud which they draw up from the bottom of the lake. Their figure is quadrangular; their length and breadth various, but generally about 8 rods long and 3 wide; and their elevation from the furface of the water is lefs than a foot. Thefe were the firft fields that the Mexicans owned, after the foundation of Mexico; there they firft cultivated the maize, great pepper and other plants neceffary for their fupport. From the induftry of the people thefe fields foon became numerous* At prefent