THE SWEET POTATO ROOT
THE Indians have roots, which some of our gentlemen call
sweet potatoes, which are by no means unpleasant to the taste,
the only difficulty being that we cannot get any great
quantity of them. Our master declares that when we make a
garden, this root shall be the first thing planted, and after
it has ripened, we will have some cooked every day.
Nathaniel and I have no trouble in preparing the root, for
it may be roasted in the ashes, boiled into a pudding which
should be well salted, or mixed with the meal of Indian corn
and made into a kind of sweet cake.
However, we lads have not had good success in baking this
last dish, because of the ashes which fly out of the fire
when the wind blows ever so slightly. Captain Smith declares
 he would rather have the ashes without the meal and sweet
potato, if indeed he must eat any, but of course when he
speaks thus, it is only in the way of making sport.
Captain Kendall, who, because he has made two voyages to the
Indies, believes himself a wondrously wise man, says that he
who eats sweet potatoes at least once each day will not live
above seven years, and he who eats them twice every day will
become blind, after which all his teeth will drop out.
Because of this prediction, many of our gentlemen are not
willing even so much as to taste of the root, but Captain
Smith says that wise men may grow fat where fools starve,
therefore he gathers up all the sweet potatoes which the
others have thrown away, for they please him exceeding well.