Page:Omniana.djvu/318

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300
OMNIANA.

are subject: the more gross and earthy parts are the materials from which metals are concocted.

"The trees here are green and flourishing when the herbs are dried up, because their roots reach down to the moisture. But the reason why all trees here spread out their roots horizontally instead of striking them down as in Europe, is to be found in the climate, which necessarily occasions this defect. For in Europe the cold of winter drives back all vegetative virtue into the root, which then pushes out its fibres and strikes deep, growing and strengthening itself, till the warmer season comes, and draws the sap upward, and then the branches grow in their turn. But here the upper stratum of earth being hard and as it were burnt, and what lies immediately below weak and porous, the roots rest in that which affords them a firm hold, and seek not to penetrate deeper. Neither indeed is the weather ever cold enough for the vege-