A TRUE DECLARATION OF THE ESTATE IN VIRGINIA
by the Virginia Company
THERE is a great distance, betwixt the vulgar opinion of men, and the iudicious apprehension of wise men. Opinion is as blind Ordipus, who could see nothing, but would heare all things, Hinc aucupari verba rumoris vagi, to hawke after the winged report of a vagabond rumor. But iudgement, is as Salomon in his throne, able by the spirit of wisedome, to discerne betwixt contesting truth, and falshood: neither depending on the popular breath of fame, which is euer partiall, nor vpon the euent of good designes, which are euer casuall. These two commanders of our affections, haue diuided the vniuersall spirits of our land, whilst (in the honorable enterprise for plantation in Virginia) some, are carried away with the tide of vulgar opinion, and others, are encouraged, by the principles of religion, and reason. But because, it is for hawkes and not for men, to build their nests in aires, and because the honor and prosperity of this so noble an action, is eclipsed by the interposition of clamorous & tragicall narrations: the compiler of this relation endeuoureth to wash away those spots, which foule mouths (to iustifie their owne disloialty) haue cast vpon so fruitfull, so fertile, and so excellent a country. Wherein he professeth, that he will relate nothing (concerning Virginia) but what he hath from the secrets of the iudiciall councell of Virginia, from the letters of the Lord La Ware, from the mouth of Sir Thomas Gates, whose wisdomes (he conceiueth) are not so shallow, as easily to be deceiued of others, nor consciences so wretched, as by pretences to deceiue others.
But when a matter of such consequence, is not to be shufled ouer with supine negligence, and when no man raiseth a faire building, that laith not a firme foundation, it will not be impertinent, to dig a little deeper, that we may build a great deale higher: and from the vniuersall policie of all ciuill states (in replenishing the world with colonies of domesticall subiects) to deriue this wisedome to our populous state and country.
That which Origen said of Christs actions in vertues morall, holdeth proportion with Gods actions in gouernment politicall, Dei facta, sunt nostra præcepta, Gods actions, are our instructions: who (in the eleuenth of Genesis) turned the greatest cursing, into the greatest blessing, and by confusion of tongues, kept them from confusion of states; scattering those clouen people, into as many colonies ouer the face of the earth, as there are diuersities of languages in the earth. Now if Tertullians rule be true, Omne genus ab origine censendum that euery action is most beutifull in the originall. Can there be a better beginning then from God, whose wisedome is not questioned, and whose footsteps in all succeeding ages haue beene followed. Search the records of diuine truth, and humane monuments of state, you shall find, Salmanasar transporting the Babilonians, and other Gentiles, to Samaria: and replenishing with the captiues of Israell, the dispeopled confines of Media.
You shall find that 140. yeeres after the destruction of Troy, the Ionian colony, was carried from Greece, to Asia: by which that famous City of Ephesus was first builded, and inhabited. You shall find the Egiptians, planted Babilon, Argos, and Athens. The Phenicians first inhabiting Carthage, Vtica, and Thebes. That Timolcon and the city of Corinth, at one time repeopled Sicilie, with 10000. soules. That the Romans deduced 53. colonies out of the City of Rome into the wombe of Italy. That Bremius an Englishman by birth, but sonne in law to the King of France, with an equall third part of the kingdome, entred into the hart of Italy, gaue the prime sacke to the City of Rome, and diuerted from thence to Gallogræcia, whose offspring possesse that land vnto this day.
That the Admirall of France, among all the feares and discouragements of ciuill wars, neuer gaue ouer the proiect of plantation in Florida.
Which heroicall actions, haue not beene vndertaken by so mighty states and Princes, vpon triuiall and vulgar motiues, when by these courses that first blessing (of crescite and multi-plicamini, increase and multiplie) hath beene sanctified: the meaner sorte haue beene prouided: the matter of plagues, famine and sedition, hath beene exhausted: the fennes of a state politique were drained: the enemies of their peace were bridled: the reuenues of their treasury were augmented: and the limites of their dominions were enlarged.
Which diuine, humane, externall, and domesticall, examples, doe shine before vs, as a Pharaoes towre, that wee should not make shipwracke of our intentions, concerning Virginia.
Three Heads, Lawfull, Possible Profitable.
Blacke enuie, and pale feare, being not able to produce any arguments, why that should bee lawfull for France, which is (in vs) vnlawfull: that which to Rome was possible, (to vs) is impossible: that which to others is honourable, and profitable, (in vs) should bee traduced, as incommodious, base, and contemptible: wherefore vnder these three heads of lawfulnesse, possibility, and commoditie, will I marshall all those reasons, which may resolue the religious, encourage the personall, confirme the noble, and satisfie the timorous aduenturer.
First, if it bee vnlawfull: it must be so, either in respect of the law of God, or in regard of the lawe of man. If in respect of Gods lawe, (considering our primarie end is to plant religion, our secondarie and subalternate ends are for the honour and profit of our nation) I demand a resolution of this plaine question: whether it bee not a determinated truth, that the Gospell should bee preached, to all the world, before the end of the world? If, it must bee preached, (as heauen and earth must passe awaie, but Gods word shall not pass awaie) then must it bee preached, one of these three waies: Either meerly Apostolically, without the helpe of man, (without so much as a staffe) or meerely imperiallie, when a Prince, hath conquered their bodies, that the Preachers may feede their soules; Or mixtly, by discouerie, and trade of marchants; where all tem porall meanes are vsed for defence, and security, but none for offence, or crueltie. For the first (to preach Apostolicallie) it is simplie impossible: except wee had the gift of tongues, that euerie nation might heare the word of God in their owne language; or the guift of miracles, that it might be confirmed, with wonders from heauen; which two beeing ceased, questionlesse the identicall commission of the Apostles is expired: Or if yet the matter bee vrged, that God by fishers did conuert Emperors and therefore that wee must aduenture our liues without humane helpe; yet must it bee remembred, that there is no Apostolicall preaching, but where wee may expect either their conuersion, or our martyrdome. But we can expect neither, not their conuersion who cannot vnderstand vs, nor our martyrdome, when the people of Florida, did deuoure the Preachers of the word, without speaking any word. Non quia Christiani, sed quia homines, not because they were christian men, but because they were men, wee cannot be said to be martyrs, when wee are not killed because wee are christians. And therefore the Iesuite Acosta confesseth (notwithstanding Bellarmines relation of Indian miracles) that they haue no tongues, they haue no signes from heauen, and they can haue no martyrdome, and by consequent there is no means left of Apostolicall preaching.
For the second, to preach the Gospell to a nation conquered, and to set their soules at liberty, when we haue brought their bodies to slauerie; It may be a matter sacred in the Preachers, but I know not how iustifiable in the rulers. Who for their meere ambition, doe set vpon it, the glosse of religion. Let the diuines of Salamanca, discusse that question, how the possessor of the west Indies, first destroied, and then instructed.
The third, belongs to vs, who by way of marchandizing and trade, doe buy of them the pearles of earth, and sell to them the pearles of heauen; which action, if it be vnlawfull, it must proceede from one of these three grounds, either because we come to them, or trade with them, or tarrie and dwell and possesse part of their country amongst them.
Is it vnlawfull because wee come to them? why is it not a dutie of christianitie, to behold the imprinted footsteps of Gods glorie, in euery region vnder heauen? Is it not against the lawe of nations, to violate a peaceable stranger, or to denie him harbour. The Ethiopians, Egyptians, and men of China, are branded with a foule marke of sanguinarie and barbarous inhumanity, for blessing their Idols, with the bloud of strangers. It is not vnlawfull to trade with them, except Salomon shall bee condemned for sending for gold to Ophir, Abraham for making a league with Abimilech, and all christendome shall bee traduced, for hauing comerce with Turks and miscreants.
Finallie, it is not vnlawfull, that wee possesse part of their land and dwell with them, and defend our selues from them. Partlie because there is no other, moderate, and mixt course, to bring them to conuersion, but by dailie conuersation, where they may see the life, and learne the language each of other.
Partlie, because there is no trust to the fidelitie of humane beasts, except a man will make a league, with Lions, Beares, and Crocodiles.
Partlie because there is roome sufficient in the land (as Sic?em sometime said) for them, and vs: the extent of an hundred miles, being scarce peopled with 2000. inhabitants.
Partlie, because they haue violated the lawe of nations, and vsed our Ambassadors as Ammon did the seruants of Dauid: If in him it were a iust cause to warre against the Ammonites, it is lawfull, in vs, to secure our selues, against the infidels.
But chieflie because Paspehay, one of their Kings, sold vnto vs for copper, land to inherit and inhabite. Powhatan, their chiefe King, receiued voluntarilie a crown and a scepter, with a full acknowledgment of dutie and submission.
Principallie when Captaine Newport was with Powhatan at Warow a comaco hee desired him to come from Iames towne as a place vnholesome, and to take possession of an other whole kingdome which he gaue vnto him. If any man alleadge, that this was done in subtlety, not that they euer meant we should possesse them, but that they might first gaine by vs, and then destroy vs. This makes our cause, much the iuster, when God turned their subteltie, to our vtilitie: giving vnto vs a lawfull possession, (as Pharaoe gaue Goshen to Israell; or Ephron sold his caue to Abraham) and freeing vs, from all impious and sinister construction. If anie man alleadge, that yet wee can possesse no farther limits, than was allotted by composition, and that fortitudo sine iustitia, est iniquitatis Materia, fortitude without iustice, is but the firebrand of iniquitie. Let him know that Plato defineth it, to bee no injustice, to take a sword out of the hand of a mad man; That Austen hath allowed it, for a lawfull offensiue warre, quod vlcisitur iniurias that reuengeth bloudie iniuries. So that if iust offences shall arise, it can bee no more iniustice to warre against infidells, than it is when vpon iust occasions wee warre against Christians. And therefore I cannot see, but that these truths, will fanne away all those chaffie imputations, which anie Romish boasters (that challenge a monopolie of all conuersions) will cast vpon it, or any scrupulous conscience can impute vnto it. Certainlie the Church of Geneua in the yeere 1555. determined in a Synode, whereof (Caluine) was president, to send Peter Richier, and William Quadrigarius, vnder a French Captaine to Brasilia, who although they were supplanted, by the comming of the Cardinall of Loraine, and the trecherie of their double hearted leader, yet would not the Church of Geneua, (after a Synodicall consultation) haue sent their ministers to such an aduenture, had not all scruples, (in their iudgement) beene cleared by the light of Scripture.
When therefore, it is a sweete smelling sacrifice, to propagate the name of Iesus Christ, when the Babylonish Inchantresse (if her owne Calenders, are to bee credited) hath compassed sea, and land, to make, sixe, eight, or ten millions, of Romish proselites. When there is no other, mixt, moderate, course, to transport the Virginian soules to heauen. When there hath beene a reall concession from their rurall Emperour, that hath licensed vs to negociate among them, and to possesse their countrie with them. When there is more vnpeopled continent of earth, than wee and they (before the dissolution of the pillars of heauen) can ouerburden with multitude. When we neuer intend to play the Rehoboams, and to scourge them with scorpions. It is not good, to create more sinnes, then God euer censured: nor to brand that action with impietie, which God hath begun for promulgating of his glorie Nunquid ideo deforme est, quia figura mentitur? is the action therefore deformed, because a false glasse doth slaunder it?
Concerning the other braunch of this discourse, wherein some slie whisperers would seeme to cast an aspersion of iniustice vpon the action, supposing some forraine Prince to haue a former interest.
Certainlie hee is but a rotten subiect that quarrells the actions of his countrie, descrying a serpentine stinge vnder the faire leaues of pietie. And though it bee not for a theoreticall Schollar, to circumscribe the dominions of Princes, yet a few proofes from antiquitie, shall suffice to controwle ignorant or presumptuous follie.
In the yeare 1170. Madocke the sonne of Owen Guyneth Prince of Northwales (leauing the land in contention betwixt his two brethren Howell and David) sailed into the West Indies, and after a second, and a third returne, and supplie, setled himselfe in those dominions.
In the yeere 1495. Iohn Cabot a Venetian, but the indenized subiect of King Henrie the seauenth discouered the North parts of America, to Meta incognita, and so it was annexed to the Crowne of England.
As for the donation of Alexander the sixt; it is but a reciprocall clawing, when Emperors create their seruants Bishops vniuersall, and shauelings create their Lords, Emperors generall.
If the donation of Constantine were not more virtuall for Saint Peters partrimonie, wee should haue neede of more purgatories, to maintaine fuell in the Popes kitchen: for if the kingdome of Christ was not on earth, what a transubstantiated power, doth the pretended Vicar of Christ claime, to dispose all the kingdomes of the earth. Petrarch recordeth a memorable historie, of Sautius brother to the King of Spaine, who was elected generall against the Saracens of Egypt, and comming to Rome for that purpose, the Bishop of Rome, made it to bee proclaimed in the Consistorie that hee bestowed the kingdome of Egypt vpon Sautius. Sautius vnderstanding this fauour, (by his interpreter) commanded to proclaime the Pope, great Caleph of Baldacho: perfuming the sonne of pride, with his owne smoke.
The Pope hauing no more power, to make Sautius a King, then Sautius had power to make the Pope a Caleph. Let such retailers of Crownes remember, who it was that sometime saide, all these will I giue thee if thou wilt fall downe, and
worship me, And yet with this item that the diuell pretended to giue no more than he saw.
These points beeing thus defined, I come to the possibility. Against which three maine impediments are obiected. First the daungerous passage by sea, secondlie the barrennesse of the countrie, thirdly the vnholesomness of the climate: the storme that seperated the admirall from the fleete proouing the first, the famine amongst our men importing the second, the sicknesse of our men arguing the third. All which discouragements doe astonish our men with feare, as though our expences were vnprofitable, when our ends are impossible.
But before I shall enter into this discourse I must craue leaue to make a necessarie digression, and to iustifie his reputation whose worth is of speciall regard in this plantation.
Sir Thomas Gates supposeth himselfe accused publiquelie and in print of a treeble defect.
First that hee ranne so farre Southerlie and into the Tropique, that the heat caused the infection in the ships.
Secondlie that hee gaue a sealed direction, that if they were seperated by anie storme, that they should make for the Baruada in the West Indies, which direction himselfe following, it caused his shipwracke, but the other shippes, (vpon better iudgement) declining these instructions, ariued safelie in Virginia.
Thirdlie that hee caried in one bottome all the principall Commissioners who should successiuelie haue gouerned the Colonie. Against all which imputations, hee maketh this iust Apologie.
First hee confesseth that a little before they came vnto the Canaries, that hee entred into consultation with Sir George Summers, Captaine Newport, and the other of chiefe regarde in the fleete, wherein it was resolued by an vniformitie of consent, to runne southerlie into the Tropique, which they did, till they came to the height of foure and twentie, but hee denieth that this course was anie cause of infection. For in the Faulcon, the Blessing, the Lyon, (and in the Admirall wherein were one hundred and fiftie soules) there was not one sicke of the pestilence nor other disease; In the other two ships the infection was somewhat hote, but they shipped the same from London; To the second hee affirmeth, that hee first gaue them sealed instructions (not to bee opened till a time of storme) which directed them to the Baruada, But after when they came to the height of foure and twentie, hee countermaunded those directions by word of mouth, and assigned them, (that if they were scattered) that they should make with all speede for Virginia. Which himselfe (esteeming the price of time vnualuable) woulde haue executed, had not the violent leake of the shippe hindred him, So that the other ships safe ariuall in Virginia, proceeded originallie from his aduise and authoritie.
To the third, he briefly signifieth, that no other Commissioners were in his Ship, but such, (as for especiall reasons) were precisely and peremptorily appointed, by the Councell of Virginia. And thus you see, that Tacitus wisely obserued two great enemies of great actions, Ignorantiam veri, & Inuidiam, the ignorance of Truth, and the emulation of Vertue.
To returne therefore vnto the maine channell of this discourse, and to dispell the clouds of feare, that threaten shipwracks, and sea-dangers: For we are not to extenuate the seas tempestuous violence, nor yet therefore to dispaire of Gods assisting providence. For true it is, that when Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Summers, and Captaine Newport, were in the height of 27. and the 24. of Iuly 1609. there arose such a storme, as if Ionas had been flying vnto Tarshish: the heauens were obscured, and made an Egyptian night of three daies perpetuall horror; the women lamented; the hearts of the passengers failed; the experience of the sea Captaines was amased: the skill of the marriners was confounded: the Ship most violently leaked, and though two thousand tunne of water by pumping from Tuesday noone till Fryday noone was discharged, notwithstanding the Ship was halfe filled with water, and those which laboured to keepe others from drowning were halfe drowned themselues in labouring. But God that heard Ionas crying out of the belly of hell, he pittied the distresses of his seruants; For behold, in the last period of necessitie, Sir George Summers descryed land, which was by so much the more ioyfull, by how much their danger was despairefull. The Islands on which they fell were the Bermudos, a place hardly accessable, through the enuironing rocks and dangers: notwithstanding they were forced to runne their Ship on shoare, which through Gods prouidence fell betwixt two rockes, that caused her to stande firme and not immediately to be broken, God continuing his mercie vnto them, that with their long Boats they transported to land before night, all their company, men, women, and children, to the number of one hundred and fiftie, they carryed to shoare all the prouision of vnspent and vnspoyled victuals, all their furniture and tackling of the Ship, leauing nothing but bared ribs, as a pray vnto the Ocean.
These Islands of the Bermudos, haue euer beene accounted as an inchaunted pile of rockes, and a desert inhabitation for Diuels; but all the Fairies of the rocks were but flocks of birds, and all the Diuels that haunted the woods, were but heards of swine. Yea and when Acosta in his first booke of the hystories of the Indies, auerreth, that though in the continent there were diuerse beasts, and catell, yet in the Islands of Hispaniola, Jamaica, Marguarita, and Dominica, there was not one hoofe, it increaseth the wonder, how our people in the Bermudos found such abundance of Hogs, that for nine moneths space they plentifully sufficed: and yet the number seemed not much diminished. Again, as in the great famine of Israell, God commanded Elias to flie to the brooke Cedron, and there fed him by Rauens; so God prouided for our disconsolate people in the midst of the Sea by foules: but with an admirable difference: vnto Elias the Rauens brought meat, vnto our men the foules brought (themselves) for meate: for when they whisteled, or made any strange noyse, the foules would come and sit on their shoulders, they would suffer themselves to be taken and weighed by our men, who would make choice of the fattest and fairest, and let flie the leane and lightest. An accident, I take it, that cannot be paralleld by any Hystorie, except when God sent abundance of Quayles to feed his Israel in the barren wildernesse. Lastly they found the berries of Cedar, the Palmeto tree, the prickle peare, sufficient fish, plentie of Tortoises, and diuers other kinds, which sufficed to sustaine nature. They found diuersity of woods, which ministred materials for the building of two Pinaces, acoording to the direction of the three prouident Gouernours.
Consider all these things together. At the instant of neede, they descryed land, halfe an hower more, had buried their memorial in the Sea. If they had fel by night, what expectation of light, from an vninhabited desert? They fell betwixt a laberinth of rockes, which they conceiue are mouldred into the Sea, by thunder and lightning. This was not Ariadnes threed, but the direct line of Gods prouidence. If it had not beene so neere land, their companie or prouision had perished by water: if they had not found Hogs, and foule, and fish, they had perished by famine: if there had not beene fuell, they had perished by want of fire: if there had not beene timber they could not haue transported themselues to Virginia, but must haue beene forgotten foreuer. Nimium timet qui Deo non credit, he is too impiously fearefull, that will not trust in God so powerfull.
What is there in all this tragicall Comædie that should discourage vs with impossibilitie of the enterprise? when of all the Fleete, one onely Ship, by a secret leake was indangered, and yet in the gulfe of Despair, was so graciously preserued. Quæ videtur poena, est medicina, that which we accompt a punishment of euill, is but a medicine against euill.
After nine Moneths aboade in these Islands, on the 10th of May 1610. they imbarqued themselues in their two new built Pinaces, and after some eleuen daies saile, they arriued neere point Comfort vpon the coast of Virginia: where they had intelligence of so wofull miserie, as if God had onely preserued them, to communicate in an new extremitie.
From which calamitie, the other arguments of impossibilitie are framed; for if the Countrie bee barren, or the scituation contagious; as famine, and sicknesse, destroy our Nation: wee striue against the streame of reason, and make ourselues the subiects of scorne and derision. Therefore in this maine point of consequence, I will propound this plaine and simple methode; First to demonstrate that there is, and may be in Virginia a sufficient meanes (in all abundance) to sustaine the life of man; Next that the Climate is wholesome and temperate, agreeing with the constitutions of our men; Thirdly, that those extremities proceeded from accidentall and not inherent euils. Lastly, I will delineate the state of the Colony, as Sir Thomas Gates left it vnder the gouernment of the honorable L. Laware: whereby it shall appeare, that all difficulties are amended, and that the State of that Countrie is sufficiently mannaged.
To begin, with the staffe of bread. It is auowed vnto mee, in writing, in the words of the Author, that hath been there, as followeth. They use to put their wheat into the ground, fiue cornes in one spit of earth, and two beanes with them: which wheat cornes multiplying into diuers stalks, grow up twelue, or fourteene foote high: yeelding some foure, fiue, or six eares, on euery stalke; and in euery eare, some fiue hundred, some six hundred, some seauen hundred cornes: the two beanes, runne vpon the stalkes of the wheat, as our garden pease vpon stickes, which multiplie to a wonderous increase. I cannot let slip a great secret, (saith the Author) whereof I will auouch no more, then with my hands aud eyes I haue handled and seene, and whereof to my great comfort, I haue often tasted: The wheate beeing sowen thicke, some stalkes beare eares of corne, and some (like siences in trees) beare none: but in those barren stalkes, there is as much iuice as in some sugar cane, of so delicate a tast, as no fruit in England, is comparable to it; out of which Sir Ralph Lane conceiued, that wee may extract sugar, in great quantity. But Sir Thomas Gates affirmeth that our men doe make cordiall drinke thereof, to their great comfort.
Pease. Fruits. Hearbs.
Besides, the naturall Pease of the Countrie returne an increase innumerable, our garden fruits, both roots, hearbes, and flowers, doe spring vp speedily, all things committed to the earth, do multiply with an incredible vsurie.
The Beasts of the Countrie, as Deere, red, and fallow, do answere in multitude (people for people considered) to our proportion of Oxen, which appeareth by these experiences. First the people of the Countrie are apparelled in the skinnes of these beasts; Next, hard by the fort, two hundred in one heard haue been vsually obserued: Further, our men haue seene 4000. of these skins pyled vp in one wardroabe of Powhaton; Lastly, infinite store haue been presented to Captaine Newport vpon sundry occurrents: such a plentie of Cattell, as all the Spaniards found not in the whole kingdome of Mexico, when all their presents were but hennes, and ginycocks, and the bread of Maize, and Cently.
There are Arocouns, and Apossouns, in shape like to pigges, shrowded in hollow roots of trees; There are Hares and Conies, and other beasts proper to the Countrie in plentifull manner.
Our transported Cattell, as Horses, Kine, Hogs, and Goats, do thriue most happily: which is confirmed by a double experiment; one, of Sir Ralph Lane, who brought Kine from the West Indian Island; the other of our Colony, who need take no other care of them, but least they should straie too farre, or be stolne from them. The Turkyes of that Countrie are great, and fat, and exceeding in plentie. The riuers from August, or September, till February, are couered with flocks of Wildfoule: as swannes, geese, ducke, mallard, teal, wigeons, hearons, bitters, curlewes, godwights, plouers, snights, dottrels, cormerants, (to vse the words of Sir Thomas Gates) in such abundance as are not in all the world to be equalled.
The Fruits: as apples, running on the ground, in bignesse and shape of a small lemmon, in colour and tast like to a preserued Apricock: grapes and walnuts innumerable; the vines being as common as brambles, the walnut trees as the elmes in England. What should I speake of cucumbers, muske melons, pompions, potatoes, parsneps, carrets, turnups, which our gardens yeelded with little art and labour. God in this place is euer concurring with his gracious influence, if man strangle not his blessings, with carelesse negligence. It shall suffice to conclude in the words and phrase of that noble Gouernour, the Lo. Laware, as it is warranted to mee by the copie of his Letters sent to the Virginian Councell.
Howsoeuer, men haue belyed both it and themselues, heretofore, yet let no rumor of the Countrie (as if in the wombe thereof lay not these elementall seedes of plenty and increase) waue any mans faire purposes, or wrest them to a declyning and falling off from the businesse. For the healthinesse and temperatenesse of the Clymate, agreeing to our constitutions, much neede not be related, since in all the former written Treatises, it is expressly obserued.
No man ought to judge of any Countrie by the fennes and marshes (such as is the place where James towne standeth) except we will condemne all England, for the Wilds and Hundreds of Kent and Essex. In our particular, wee haue an infallible proofe of the temper of the Countrie: for of an hundred and odd, which were seated at the Falles, vnder the gouernment of Captaine Francis West, and of an hundred to the Sea-Ward on the South side of the riuer, (in the Countrie of the Nansamunds) vnder the charge of Captaine John Martin; of all these two hundred, there did not so much as one man miscarrie: when in Iames Towne, at the same time, and in the same moneths, 100. sickned, and halfe the number died.
The like experiment was long since in the regiment of Sir Raph Lane, where, in the space of one whole yeare, not two of one hundred perished. Adde vnto this the discourse of philosophie, when in that Countrie flesh will receiue salt, and continue vnputrified (which it will not in the West Indies) when the most delicate of all flowers, grow there as familiarly, as in the fields of Portingale, where the woods are replenished with more sweet barks, and odors, then they are in the plesantest places of Florida. How is it possible that such a virgin and temperat aire, should work such contrarie effects, but because our fort (that lyeth as a semy-Iland) is most part inuironed with an ebbing and flowing salt water, the owze of which sendeth forth an vnwholsome & contagious vapour? To close vp this part with Sir Thomas Gates his experiment: he professeth, that in a fortnights space he recouered the health of most of them by moderat labour, whose sicknesse was bred in them by intemperate idlenes.
If any man shall accuse these reports of partiall falshood, supposing them to be but Vtopian, and legendarie fables, because he cannot conceiue, that plentie and famine, a temperate climate, and distempered bodies, felicities, and miseries can be reconciled together, let him now reade with judgement, but let him not judge before he hath read.
The ground of all those miseries, was the permissiue prouidence of God, who, in the fore-mentioned violent storme, seperated the head from the bodie, all the vitall powers of regiment being exiled with Sir Thomas Gates in those infortunate (yet fortunate) Ilands. The broken remainder of those supplies made a greater shipwrack in the continent of Virginia, by the
tempest of dissention: euery man ouervaluing his own worth, would be a Commander: euery man vnderprising an others value, denied to be commanded. The emulation of Cæsar and Pompey, watered the plains of Pharsaly with bloud, and distracted the sinewes of the Romane Monarchy. The dissentions of the three besieged Captains betraied the Citie of Hierusalerm to Vespasian: how much more easily might ambitious discord teare in peeces an infant Colony, where no eminent and respected magistrats had authoritie to punish presumptuous disobedience. Tacitus hath obserued, that when Nero sent his old trained souldiers to Tarantum and Autium, (but without their Captains and Centurians) that they rather made a number, then a Colony: euery souldier secretly glided into some neighbout Prouince, and forsooke their appointed places: which hatched this consequent mischiefe; the Cities were vninhabited, and the emperour was frustrated: when therefore licence, sedition, and furie, are the fruits of a headie, daring, and vnruly multitude, it is no wonder that so many in our colony perished: it is a wonder, that all were not deuoured. Omnis inordinatus animus sibi ipsi fit pæna, euery inordinate soule becomes his owne punishment.
The next fountaine of woes was secure negligence, and improuidence, when euery man sharked for his present bootie, but was altogether carelesse of succeeding penurie. Now, I demand whether Sicilia, or Sardinia (sometimes the barnes of Rome) could hope for increase without manuring? A Colony is therefore denominated, because they should be Coloni, the tillers of the earth, and stewards of fertilitie: our mutinous loiterers would not sow with prouidence, and therefore they reaped the fruits of too deare-bought repentance. An incredible example of their idlenes, is the report of Sir Thomas Gates, who affirmeth, that after his first comming thither, he hath seen some of them eat their fish raw, rather than they would go a stones cast to fetch wood and dresse it. Dij laboribus omnia vendunt, God sels vs all things for our labour, when Adam himselfe might not liue in paridice without dressing the garden.
Vnto idlenesse, you may ioyne treasons, wrought by those vnhallowed creatures that forsooke the Colony, and exposed their desolate brethren to extreame miserie. You shall know that 28. or 30. of the companie, were appointed (in the Ship called the Swallow) to truck for Corne with the Indians, and hauing obtained a great quantitie by trading, the most seditious of them, conspired together, persuaded some, & enforced others, to this barbarous proiect. They stole away the Ship, they made a league amongst themselues to be professed pirates, with
dreames of mountaines of gold, and happy robberies: thus at one instant, they wronged the hopes, and subuerted the cares of the Colony, who depending vpon their returne, fore-slowed to looke out for further prouision: they created the Indians our implacable enemies by some violence they had offered: they carried away the best Ship (which should haue been a refuge, in extremites:) they weakned our forces, by substraction of their armes, and succours. These are that scum of men that fayling in their piracy, that beeing pinched with famine and penurie, after their wilde rouing vpon the Sea, when all their lawlesse hopes failed, some remained with other pirates, they met vpon the Sea, the others resolued to return for England, bound themselues by mutuall oath, to agree all in one report, to discredit the land, to deplore the famyne, and to protest that this their comming awaie, proceeded from desperate necessitie: These are they, that roared out the tragicall historie of the man eating of his dead wife in Virginia; when the master of this Ship willingly confessed before 40 witnesses, that at their comming awaie, they left three moneths victuals, and all the cattell liuing in the Fort: sometimes they reported that they saw this horrible action, sometimes that Captaine Dauies sayd so, sometimes that one Beadle the Lieutenant of Captaine Dauies did relate it, varying this report into diuersitie of false colours, which hold no likenesse and proportion: But to cleare all doubts, Sir Thomas Gates thus relateth the tragedie.
There was one of the companie who mortally hated his wife, and therefore secretly killed her, then cut her in pieces and hid her in diuers parts of his house: when the woman was missing, the man suspected, his house searched, and parts of her mangled body were discouered, to excuse himselfe he said that his wife died, that he hid her to satisfie his hunger, and that he fed daily vpon her. Vpon this, his house was againe searched, where they found a good quantitie of meale, oatemeale, beanes and pease. Hee therevpon was araigned, confessed the murder, and was burned for his horrible villany.
Now shall the scandalous reports of a viperous generation, preponderate the testimonies of so worthie leaders? shall their venemous tongues, blast the reputation of an auncient & worthy Peere, who vpon the ocular certainty of future blessings, hath protested in his Letters, that he will sacrifice himselfe for his Countrie in this seruice, if he may be seconded; and if the company doe giue it ouer he will yet lay all his fortunes vpon the prosecution of the plantation? shall sworne lyes, and combined oathes, so far priuiledge trechery, and piracy as to rob vs of our hopes, & to quell our noble resolutions? God forbid: Qui
in mendacio confidit, cito diffidit, a lyers confidence, is but a blazing diffidence.
Vnto Treasons, you may ioyne couetousnesse in the Mariners, who for their priuate lucre partly imbezled the prouisions, partly preuented our trade with the Indians, making the matches in the night, and forestalling our market in the day: whereby the Virginians were glutted with our trifles, and inhaunced the prices of their Corne and Victuall. That Copper which before would haue prouided a bushell, would not now obtaine so much as a pottle: Non habet euentus sordida præda bonos, the consequent of sordid gaine is vntimely wretchednesse.
Ioyne vnto these an other euill: there is great store of Fish in the riuer, especially of Sturgeon; but our men prouided no more of them, then for present necessitie, not barrelling vp any store against that season the Sturgeon returned to the sea. And not to dissemble their folly, they suffered fourteene nets (which was all they had) to rot and spoile, which by orderly drying and mending might haue been preserued: but being lost, all help of fishing perished. Quanto maiora timentur dispendia, tanto promptior debet esse cautela, fundamentall losses that cannot be repealed, ought with the greatest caution to be preuented.
The state of the Colony, by these accidents began to find a sensible declyning: which Powhatan (as a greedy Vulture) obseruing, and boyling with desire of reuenge, he inuited Captaine Ratclife, and about thirty others to trade for Corne, and under the colour of fairest friendship, he brought them within the compasse of his ambush, whereby they were cruelly murthered, and massacred. For vpon confidence of his fidelitie, they went one and one into seuerall houses, which caused their seuerall destructions, when if but any sixe had remained together, they would haue been a bulwarke for the generall preseruation. After this, Powhatan in the night cut off some of our boats, he draue away all the Deere into the farther part of the Countrie, hee and his people destroyed our Hogs, (to the number of about sixe hundred) he sent none of his Indians to trade with vs, but laied secret ambushes in the woods, that if one or two dropped out of the fort alone, they were indaungered.
Cast vp this reckoning together: want of gouernment, store of idlenesse, their expectations frustrated by the Traitors, their market spoyled by the Mariners, our nets hroken, the deere chased, our boats lost, our hogs killed, our trade with the Indians forbidden, some of our men fled, some murthered, and most by drinking of the brackish water of Iames fort weakened, and indaungered, famyne and sicknesse by all these meanes increased here at home the monies came in so slowly, that the Lo. Laware could not be dispatched, till the Colony was worne and spent with difficulties: Aboue all, hauing neither Ruler, nor Preacher, they neither feared God nor man, which prouoked the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, and pulled downe his iudgements vpon them. Discite iustitiam moniti. Now, (whether it were that God in mercie to vs would weede out these ranke hemlockes; or whether in iudgement to them he would scourge their impieties; or whether in wisedome he would trie our patience, Vt magna magnè desideremus, that wee may beg great blessings earnestly) our hope is that our Sunne shall not set in a cloude, since this violent storme is dispersed, since all necessarie things are prouided, an absolute and powerfull gouernment is setled, as by this insuing relation shall be described.
When Sir Thomas Gates arriued in Virginia, the strange and vnexpected condition wherein he found the Colony, gaue him to vnderstand, how neuer was there more neede of all the powers of judgement, then at this present; it being now his charge, both to saue such as he found so forlorne and wretched, as to redeeme himselfe and his from falling into the like calamities. All which considered, he entred into consultation with Sir George Summers, and Captaine Newport, and the Gentlemen and councell of the former gouernment. They examined first their store, which after two cakes a day to a man, would hold out but sixteene dayes, (it being flue moneths betwixt the stealing away of the Swallow, and his landing) the Corne of the Indians but newly sowed, not an eye of Sturgeon, as yet appeared in the riuer: And therefore at the same consultation it was concluded by a generall approbation, That they should abandon the Countrie, and in the foure Pinaces (which remained in the riuer) they should make for the New found land, where (it beeing fishing time) they might meete with many English Ships, into which they hoped to disperse the most of the Company.
This conclusion taking effect, vpon the seuenth of Iune Sir Thomas Gates (hauing appointed euery ship her complement and number, and deliuered likewise to each a proportionable weight of prouision) caused every man to repaire aboord; his company (and of his company himselfe) remained last on shore, to keepe the towne from being burned, which some of our owne company maliciously threatned. About noone they fell downe with the tyde to the Iland of Hogges, and the next morning to the Mulbury Iland: at what time, they discouered the long Boate of the Lord Laware, which his Lordship (hearing of this resolution by the Captaine of the Fort, which standeth at the mouth of the riuer) suddenly dispatched with letters to Sir Thomas Gates, which informed him of his Lordships arriuall. Vpon receite of these letters, Sir Thomas Gates bore vp the Helme, and that night with a fauourable winde relanded all our men at the Fort. Before which, the tenth of Iune (being Sunday) his Lordship came with all his Fleete, went ashore in the afternoone, heard a Sermon, read his Commission, and entred into consultation for the good of the Colony.
In which secret counsell, I will a little leaue his Lordship, that wee may duly obserue the reuealed counsell of God. He that shal but turne vp his eye, and behold the spangled Canopie of heauen, shall but cast down his eye, and consider the imbroidered Carpet of the earth, and withall shall marke, how the heauens heare the earth, the earth heare the corne and oyle, and they relieue the necessities of man, that man wil acknowledge Gods infinite prouidence. But hee that shall further obserue, how God inclineth all casuall euents, to worke the necessary helpe of his Saints, must needs adore the Lords infinite goodnesse. Neuer had any people more iust cause to cast themselues at the foot-stoole of God, and to reuerence his mercy, then our distressed Colony: for if God had not sent Sir Thomas Gates from the Bermudos within foure daies, they had all beene famished: if God had not directed the heart of that worthy Knight, to saue the Fort from fire at their shipping, they had been destitute of a present harbor, and succor; if they had abandoned the Fort any longer time, and had not so soone returned, questionlesse the Indians would haue destroied the Fort, which had beene the meanes of our safety among them, and a terrour vnto them. If they had set Saile sooner, and had lanched into the vast Ocean, who could haue promised, that they should haue encountered the Fleet of the Lo. La-ware? especially when they made for the New-found land, a coarse contrary to our Nauies approaching. If the Lord La-ware had not brought with him a yeares prouision, what comfort could those soules haue receiued, to haue beene relanded to a second destruction? Brachium Domini, this was the arme of the Lord of Hosts, who would haue his people to passe the redde Sea and Wildernesse, and then to possesse the land of Canaan: It was diuinely spoken of heathen Socrates, Si Deus sit solicitus pro te, cur tu tibi sis solicitus? If God for man be carefull, why should man be ouer distrustfull?
Tho noble Lord gouernor, after mature deliberation, deliuered some few words to the company, laying iust blame vpon them for their haughty vanities, and sluggish idlenesse; earnnestly entreating them to amend those desperate follies, lest he should be compelled to draw the sword of Iustice, and to cut off such delinquents, which he had rather draw (euen to the shedding of his vital blood) to protect them from iniuries; heartning them with relation of that store hee had brought with him; constituting officers of all conditions to rule ouer them, allotting euery man his particular place to watch vigilantly and worke painefully. This Oration and direction being receiued with a generall applause, you might shortly behold the idle and restie diseases of a diuided multitude, by the vnity and authority of this gouernment, to be substantially cured. Those that knew not the way to goodnes before, but cherished singularity and faction, can now chalke out the path of all respectiue duetie and seruice: euery man endeauouring to out-strip each other in diligence: the French preparing to plant the Vines, the English labouring in the woods and groundes; euery man knoweth his charge, and dischargeth the same with alacrity. Neither let any man be discouraged, by the relation of their daily labor, (as though the sappe of their bodies should be spent for other mens profite) the setled times of working (to effect all themselues, or the Aduenturers neede desire) requiring no more pains then from sixe of clocke in the morning vntill ten, and from two of the clocke in the afternoone till foure: at both which times they are prouided of spiritual and corporall reliefe. First, they enter into the Church, and make their prayers vnto God; next, they returne to their houses, and receiue their proportion of foode. Nor should it be conceiued, that this busines excludeth Gentlemen, whose breeding neuer knew what a daies labour meant; for though they cannot digge, vse the square, nor practise the axe and chizell; yet may the stayde spirits of any condition finde how to employ the force of knowledge, the exercise of counsell, the operation and power of their best breeding and qualities. The houses which are built are as warme and defensible against winde and weather, as if they were tiled and slated; being couered aboue with strong boordes, and matted round within, according to the fashion of the Indians. Our forces are now such as are able to tame the fury and treachery of the Sauages: our Forts assure the Inhabitants, and frustrate all assailants. And to leaue no discouragement in the heart of any, who personally shall enter into this great action, I will communicate a double comfort: first, Sir George Summers (that worthy Admiral) hath vndertaken a dangerous aduenture, for the good of the Colony.
Vpon the fifteenth of Iune (accompanied with Captaine
Samuel Samuel Argoll) he returned in two Pinaces vnto the Bermudos; promising (if by any meanes God will open a way to that Iland of Rockes) that he would soone returne with sixe moneths prouision of flesh, and with liue Hogges to store againe Virginia. It is but eleuen daies saile, and we hope that God will send a pillar of fire to direct his iourney. The other comfort is, that the Lord gouernour hath built two new Forts (the one called Fort Henry, and the other Fort Charles, in honor of our most noble Prince and his hopefull brother) vpon a pleasant hill, and neere a little riuelet, which we call Southhampton riuer. They stand in a wholsome ayre, hauing plenty of springs of sweet water; they command a great circuit of ground, containing wood, pasture and meadow; with apt places for vines, corne and gardens. In which Forts it is resolued, that all those that come out of England shall be at their first landing quartered; that the wearisomnes of the sea may bee refreshed in this pleasing part of the countrey.
The fertility of the soile, the temperature of the climate, the form of gouernment, the condition of our people, their daily inuocating of the name of God, being thus expressed; Why should the successe (by the rules of mortall iudgement) be despaired? Why should not the rich haruest of our hopes be seasonably expected? I dare say, that the resolution of Cæsar in Fraunce, the designes of Alexander in Greece, the discoueries of Hernando Cortes in the West, and of Emanuel, King of Portugale in the East, were not incouraged vpon so firme grounds of state and possibility. All which I could demonstrate out of their owne Records, were I not preuented with hast, to satisfie their longings, who with an open eare, hearken after the commodities of the countrey: whose appetites I will no longer frustrate, then their eyes can runne ouer this succinct Narration.
I called it a succinct Narration, because the commodities in former Treatises haue beene largely described, which I will here only epitomise, lest any man should change his resolution, when the same grounds remaine, which were the cause of his former aduenture.
The Councell of Virginia (finding the smalnesse of that returne, which they hoped should haue defraied tho charge of a new supply) entred into a deepe consultation, and propounded amongst themselues, whether it were fit to enter into a new contribution, or in time to send for home the Lord Laware, and to abandon the action. They resolued to send for sir Thomas Gates, who being come, they adiured him to deale plainely with them, and to make a true relation of those things which were presently to be had, or hereafter to be hoped for in Virginia. Sir Thomas Gates with a solemne and sacred oath replied, that all things before reported were true: that the country yeeldeth abundance of wood, as Oake, Wainscot, Walnut trees, Bay trees, Ashe, Sarsafrase, liue Oake, greene all the yeare, Cedar and Firre; which are the materials, of soape ashes, and pot ashes, of oyles of walnuts, and bayes, of pitch and tarre, of Clap boards, Pipe-staues, Masts and excellent boardes of forty, fifty and sixtie length, and three foote bredth, when one Firre tree is able to make the maine Mast of the greatest ship in England. He aouched, that there are incredible variety of sweet woods, especially of the Balsamum tree, which distilleth a pretious gum; that there are innumerable White Mulberry trees, which in so warme a climate may cherish and feede millions of silke wormes, and returne vs in a very short time, as great a plenty of silke as is vented into the whole world from al the parts of Italy: that there are diuers sorts of Minerals, especially of Iron oare, lying vpon the ground for ten miles circuite; (of which we haue made triall at home, that it maketh as good Iron as any is in Europe:) that a kinde of hempe or flax, and silke grasse doe grow there naturally, which will affoord stuffe for all manner of excellent Cordage: that the riuer swarmeth with Sturgeon; the land aboundeth with Vines, the woodes doe harbor exceeding store of Beauers, Foxes and Squirrils, the waters doe nourish a great encrease of Otters; all which are couered with pretious furres: that there are in present discouered dyes and drugs of sundry qualities; that the Orenges which haue beene planted, did prosper in the winter, which is an infallible argument, that Lymmons, sugar Canes, Almonds, Rice, Anniseede, and all other commodities which we have from the Staights, may be supplied to vs in our owne countrey, and by our owne industry: that the corne yeeldeth a trebble encrease more then ours; and lastly, that it is one of the goodliest countries vnder the sunne; enterueined with fiue maine Rivers, and promising as rich entrals as any Kingdome of the earth, to whom the sunne is so neerer a neighbour.
VVhat these things will yeelde, the Merchant best knoweth, who findeth by experience, that many hundreth of thousands of pounds are yearly spent in Christendome in these commodities. The Merchant knoweth, that Caueare and Traine which come from Russia, can be brought hither but once in the yeare, in regard of the Ice: and that Sturgeon which is brought from the East countries, can come but twice a yeare; and that not before the end of Aprill, or the beginning of May; which many times in regard of the heat of those moneths, is tainted in the transportation: when from Virginia they may be brought to vs in foure and twenty daies, and in al the colde seasons of the yeare. The Merchants know, that the commodity of sope and pot ashes are very scant in Prussia; that they are brought three hundred miles by land, and three hundred miles by riuers, before they come to the Sea; that they pay a custome there, and another in Denmarke, which enhanceth the prices exceedingly: But in Virginia they may haue them without carriage by land or custom (because flue Nauigable Riuers doe lead vp fiue seueral waies into the bowels of the whole countrey.) As therefore the like Riuers, are the cause of the riches of Holland, so will these be to vs a wondrous cause of sauing of expences. The merchant knoweth, that through the troubles in Poland & Muscouy, (whose eternall warres are like the Antipathy of the Dragon & Elephants) all their traffique for Mastes, Deales, Pitch, Tarre, Flax, Hempe, and Cordage, are euery day more and more indangered, and the woods of those countries are almost exhausted. All which are to be had in Virginia with farre lesse charge, and farre more safety. Lastly, the Merchant knoweth, that for our commodities in the Staights, as sweet wines, orenges, lemmonds, anniseeds, &c. that we stand at the deuotion of politique Princes and States, who for their proper vtility, deuise all courses to grinde our merchants, all pretences to confiscate their goods, and to draw from vs al marrow of gaine by their inquisitiue inuentions: when in Virginia, a few yeares labour by planting and husbandry, will furnish all our defects, with honour and security; especially since the Frenchmen (who are with the Lord Gouernour) do confidently promise, that within two yeares we may expect a plentifull Vintage.
VVhen therefore this noble enterprise, by the rules of Religion is expressly iustified; when the passages by Sea are all open and discouered, when the climate is so fruitfully tempered; when the naturall riches of the soile are so powerfully confirmed: will any man so much betray his owne inconsiderate ignorance, and bewray his rashnesse; that when the same Sunne shineth, he should not haue the same eies to beholde it; when the same hope remaines, he should not haue the same heart to apprehend it? At the voyage of Sir Thomas Gates, what swarmes of people desired to be transported? what alacrity and cheerefulnesse in the Aduenturers by free wil offerings, to build vp this new Tabernacle? Shall we now be deiected? Shall we cast downe our heads like Bull rushes? because one storme at sea hath deferred our ioyes and comforts! VVe are too effeminate in our longings, and too impatient of delaies. Gods al-disposing prouidence; is not compellable by mans violence: Let any wisedome giue a solide reason, why his purpose should be changed, when those grounds which gaue life to his first purpose, are not changed. It is but a golden slumber, that dreameth of any humane felicity, which is not sauced with some contingent miserie. Dolor & voluptas, inuicem cedunt, Griefe and pleasure are the crosse sailes of the worlds euer-turning-windmill. Let no man therefore be ouer wise, to cast beyond the moone and to multiplie needlesse doubts and questions. Hannibal by too much wisedome, lost opportunity to haue sacked Rome. Charles the eighth of Fraunce, by temporising, lost the Kingdome of Naples, and the gouernement of Florence: Henry the seuenth by too much ouer-warines, lost the riches of the golden Indies. Occasion is pretious, but when it is occasion. Some of our neighbours would ioine in the action, if they might be ioynt inheritors in the Plantation; which is an euident proofe, that Virginia shall no sooner be quitted by vs, then it will be reinhabited by them. A dishonor of that nature, that will eternally blemish our Nation; as though we were like the furious Pyrrhus, or impetuous Swissers, who in a brunt can conquer any thing, but with wisedome can maintaine nothing. It is time to wipe away such an imputation of Barbarisme, especially since the consequence is so pregnant, that without this or the like, the state cannot subsist without some dangerous and imminent mutation. He is ouer blinde that doth not see, what an inundation of people doth ouerflow this little Iland: Shall we vent this deluge, by indirect and vnchristian policies? shal we imitate the bloody and heathenish counsell of the Romanes, to leaue a Carthage standing, that may exhaust our people by forraine warre? or shall we nourish domesticall faction, that as in the dayes of Vitellius and Vespasian, the sonne may imbrew his hands in the blood of the father? Or shall we follow the barbarous foot-steps of the state of China, to imprison our people in a little circle of the earth, and consume them by pestilence? Or shall we like the beast of Babylon, denie to any sort the honourable estate of mariage, and allow abhominable stewes, that our people may not ouer increase in multitude? Or shall we take an inhumane example from the Muscouite, in a time of famine to put tenne thousand of the poore vnder the yce, as the Mice and Rats of a state politique? If all these be diabolicall and hellish proiects, what other meanes remaines to vs, but by
setling so excellent a Plantation, to disimbarke some millions of people vpon a land that floweth with all manner of plenty?
To wade a little further, who euer saluted the monuments of antiquity, and doth not finde, that Carthage aspired to be Empresse of the world, by her opportunity of hauens and multitude of shipping? What hindereth the great Mahumetane Prince, from sensing vpon al the territories of Europe, but onely the want of skilfull marriners? What created tho rich and free states of Holland, but their winged Nauy? It was a fit embleme that painted death standing vpon the shoares of Fraunce, Germany and Spaine, and looking ouer into England: intymating vnto vs, that so long as we are Lords of the narrow seas, death stands on the other shoares, and onely can locke vpon vs: but if our wooden wals were ruinated, death would scone make a bridge to come ouer, and deuoure our Nation. When therefore our mils of Iron, and excesse of building, haue already turned our greatest woods into pasture and champion, within these few years; neither the scattered Forrests of England, nor the diminished Groues of Ireland, will supply the defect of our Nauy. When in Virginia there is nothing wanting, but onely mens labours, to furnish both Prince, State and merchant, without charge or difficulty. Againe, whither shall wee transport our cloth, and how shall we sustaine our Artisans? Shall we send it into Turkey? Some priuate and deceitfull auarice hath discredited our merchandise. Into Spalne? it aboundeth with sheepe and wooll. Into Poland and Muscouy? the daunger doth ouerballance the gaine in times of contention. Into Fraunce and Germany? they are for the most part supplied by their owne peace. VVhen if our Colony were peopled in Virginia, mutabit vellera merces, we shall exchange our store of cloth for other merchandise. Let any man resolue why the Councell of Virginia, doe now most earnestly continue their aduentures? why those that were (eye witnesses) of the former supposed miseries, do voluntarily returne with Joy and comfort? why those noble and worthy personages, doe offer to make the action good vpon the hazard of their liues & fortunes? And why Sir Thomas Gates longeth and hasteneth to go thither again, and the Lord La-ware desireth so earnestly to stay there? Are not all these things as deere to them as to any other of the Aduenturers? Haue not their hopes the same wings? their feares the same fetters? their estates the same recites? their liues and soules greater guiles of perill and despair? And yet neither the imbracements of their wiues, nor indulgence to their babes, nor the neglect of their domesticke fortunes, nor banishment from their natiue soile, nor any experimented dangers haue broken their noble resolution.
And therefore, he that desireth to purchase infallible hope of priuate vtility; hee that aimeth at the honor & wealth of his natiue country; he that esteemeth his owne repute as deere as his owne eies; he that endeauoureth to enlarge the dominions of his Prince, and the Kingdome of his God: let him remember what hee hath already spent, which is all buried; let him consider the consequences of state, which are all vanished into smoake; let him conceiue what a sterne we shall be made to the maligners of our state abroad, and our il affected at home; let him meditate, the external riches of other Kingdoms, able to buy and sell the monarch of the west; let him heare the triumphant boasting of the Beast of Rome, as though God would not suffer our schismaticall and hereticall Religion, to be infused into a new conuerted Region: O all ye worthies, follow the euer-sounding trumpet of a blessed honour; let Religion be the first aim of your hopes, & cætera adijcientur, and other things shall be cast vnto you: your names shall be registred to posterity with a glorious title; These are the men, whom God raised to augment the State of their countrey, and to propagate the Gospell of Iesus Christ. Neyther ought any man to liue vnder Augustus, as if he liued vnder Domitian, quibus inertia est pro sapientia; to whom sluggishnes & priuacy is imputed for wisedome and pollicy. The same God that hath ioyned three Kingdomes vnder one Cæsar, wil not be wanting to adde a fourth, if wee would dissolue that frosty lcinesse which chilleth our zeale, and maketh vs so cold in the action. But is a meere Idæa, speculation and fancy, to sow sparingly, and yet expect for to reape plentifully; when a penurious supply is like the casting on of a little water vpon a great fire, that quencheth not the heat, but augments it: when procrastinating delayes, and lingring counsels, doe lose the opportunity of flying time; whereby we rather bewray our Colony then releeue them: let no man adore his golde as his God, nor his Mammon as his Maker. If God haue scattered his blessings vpon you as snow, will you retnrne no tributary acknowledgement of his goodnesse? If you will, can you select a more excellent subject, then to cast downe the altars of Diuels, that you may raise vp the Altar of Christ: to forbid the sacrifice of men, that they may offer vp the sacrifice of contrite spirites; to reduce Barbarisme and infidelity, to ciuill gouernment and Christianity? Si frigido loquor, nihil loquor; If I speake to a man void of piety, I speake but the words of winde and vanity; otherwise how doth that man groane vnder the worlds corruption, that doth not actually or vocally hasten the worldes conuersion? Doubt ye not but God hath determined, and demonstrated (by the wondrous preseruation of those principal persons which fell vpon the Bermudos) that he
will raise our state, and build his Church in that
excellent climate, if the action be seconded
with resolution and Religion.
Nil disperandum Christo Duce, & Auspice Christo.
Return to List of Authors and Books