Pepper (Maplet)

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This is the entry for the pepper tree from Maplet's A Greene Forest.

Of the Pepper tree.

The Pepper tree groweth in Indie, and upon the side of the hill Caucasus right opposit to the Sunne. His leafe is much like the Iunipers leafe. It groweth amongst the Groves and Woods, such as the Serpents inhabit: But to be free from any of their kinde of endamaging, the inhabitants of that countrie saith Isidore, when the fruites hereof ripen, doe set the whold Grove on fire, and by that meanes the deadly Serpents flie, and are driven away. So that the fire hath two effects in so working: the one to their terrour and fears: the other to make black and becolour the Carnels as it were most browne: when as both they and the residue of their fruit by naturall growth and proper colour are all white. It taketh also of this fiering, not onely black colours, but wrinkles also, as we may see upon his upper skin. They that will be craftes maysters in this marchandise, have proufe of both olde and new thus. If it be light, they judge it olde, if more weightie, then take they it to be newe. But herein sometime the Merchants play the verie Marchants. For they intermeddle now and then amongst their olde Pepper the froth of the sinders of Silver or Leade, and such like, to make it waye heavie.