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wee so much professe, than we; even we our selves had at this moment beene as Salvages, and as miserable as the most barbarous Salvage, yet uncivilized.
The Hebrewes, the Lacedemonians, the Goths, Grecians, Romans, and the rest; what was it they would not undertake to enlarge their Territories, inrich their subjects, and resist their enemies? Those that were the founders of those great Monarchies and their vertues, were no silvered idle golden Pharisees, but industrious honest hearted Publicans ; they regarded more provisions and necessaries for their people, than jewels, ease, and delight for themselves ; riches was their servants, not their masters; they ruled as fathers, not as tyrants; their people as children, not as slaves ; there was no disaster could discourage them ; and let none thinke they incountered not with all manner of incumbrances; and what hath ever beene the worke of the best great Princes of the world, but planting of Countries, and civilizing barbarous and inhumane Nations to civility and humanity; whose eternall actions fils our histories with more honour than those that have wasted and
Lastly, the Portugals and Spaniards that first began plantations in this unknowne world of America till within this 140. yeares [1476–1616], whose everlasting actions before our eyes, will testifie our idlenesse and ingratitude to all posterity, and neglect of our duty and religion we owe our God, our King, and Countrey, and want of charity to those poore Salvages, whose Countries we challenge, use and possesse : except wee be but made to marre what our forefathers made; or but only tell what they did; or esteeme our selves too good to take the like paines where there is so much reason, liberty, and action offers it selfe. Having as much power and meanes as others, why should English men
despaire, and not doe as much as any? Was it vertue in those Hero[e]s to provide that [which] doth maintaine us, and basenesse in us to do the like for others to come? Surely no: then seeing wee are not borne for ourselves but each to helpe other; and our abilities are much alike at the howre of our birth and the minute of our death : seeing our good deeds or bad, by faith in Christs merits, is all wee have to carry our soules to heaven or hell: Seeing honour is our lives ambition, and our ambition after death to have an honourable memory of our life; and seeing by no meanes we would be abated of the dignitie and glory of our predecessors, let us imitate their vertues to be worthily their successors; or at least not hinder, if not further, them that would and doe their utmost and best endeavour.
ASCENT OF THE JAMES RIVER, 1607.
(From Newes from Virginia.) The two and twenty day of Aprill (or rather May, 1607], Captain Newport and myself with diuers others, to the number of twenty two persons, set forward to discouer the Riuer, some fiftie or sixtie miles, finding it in some places broader, and in some narrower, the Countrie (for the moste part) on each side plaine high ground, with many freshe Springes, the people in all places kindely intreating vs, daunsing, and feasting vs with strawberries, Mulberies, Bread, Fish, and other their Countrie prouisions whereof we had plenty; for which Captaine Newport kindely requited their least fauors with Bels, Pinnes, Needles, beades, or Glasses, which so contented them that his liberallitie made them follow vs from place to place, and euer kindely to respect vs. In the midway staying to refresh our selues in a little Ile foure or five sauages came vnto vs which described ynto vs the course of the Riuer, and after in our
iourney, they often met vs, trading with vs for such prouision as wee had, and arriuing at Arsatecke, hee whom we supposed to bee the chiefe King of all the rest, moste kindely entertained vs, giuing vs in a guide to go with vs vp the River to Powhatan, of which place their great Emperor taketh his name, where he that they honored for King vsed vs kindely.
But to finish this discouerie, we passed on further, where within an ile [a mile] we were intercepted with great craggy stones in the midst of the riuer, where the water falleth so rudely, and with such a violence, as not any boat can possibly passe, and so broad disperseth the streame, as there is not past fiue or sixe Foote at a low water, and to the shore scarce passage with a barge, the water floweth foure foote, and the freshes by reason of the Rockes haue left markes of the inundations 8. or 9. foote: The south side is plaine low ground, and the north side high mountaines, the rockes being of a grauelly nature, interlaced with many vains of glistring spangles.
That night we returned to Powhatan: the next day (being Whitsunday after dinner) we returned to the fals, leauing a mariner in pawn with the Indians for a guide of theirs, hee that they honoured for King followed vs by the riuer. That afternoone we trifled in looking vpon the Rockes and riuer (further he would not goe) so there we erected a crosse, and that night taking our man at Powhatans, Captaine Newport congratulated his kindenes with a Gown and a Hatchet : returning to Arsetecke, and stayed there the next day to obserue the height [latitude] thereof, and so with many signes of loue we departed.
WILLIAM STRACHEY* was an English gentleman who came over to Virginia with Sir Thomas Gates in 1609, and was secretary of the Colony for three years. Their ship, the Sea Venture, was wrecked on the Bermudas in a terrible tempest, of which he gives the account that follows. It is said to have suggested to Shakspert the scene of the storm and hurricane in his "Tempest."
A True Repertory of the Wracke and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates upon and from the Islands of the Bermudas.
Historie of Travaile into Virginia Brit. tania,
Edited Lawes Divine, Morall, and Martiall.
William Strachey’s writings show a thoughtful and cultivated mind. His style abounds in the long involved and often obscure sentences of his times, but his subject matter is usually very interesting. Compare the following selection with Shakspere's “ Tempest," Act I., scene 1 and 2, to * Ariel, thy charge." Notice the reference to Bermoothes (Bermudas).
A STORM OFF THE BERMUDAS. (From A True Repertory of the Wracke and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates.)
On St. James his day, July 24, being Monday (preparing for no less all the black night before) the clouds gathering thick upon us, and the winds singing and whistling most unusually, which made us to cast off our Pinnace, towing the same until then asterne, a dreadful storm and hideous began to blow from out the Northeast, which, swelling and roaring as it were by fits, some hours with more violence than others, at length did beat all light from heaven, which, like an hell of darkness, turned black upon
* Pronounced Strak'ey.