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effected by more numerous and opulent associates. Not only were the limits of the colony extended, the company was enlarged by the subscriptions of many of the nobility and gentry of England, and of the tradesmen of London."
In the midst of all this high-wrought enthusiasm, similar, no doubt, to what was seen in our own country in the time of the great California fever, there were still not a few grave sceptics—men who questioned whether the splendid results predicted would ever really be reached. It was just at this time that the sermon was preached, a copy of which, as has been intimated, is now in the “ John Carter Brown Library.” The preacher was the Reverend Daniel Price, “ Chapleine in Ordinaire to the Prince, and Master of Artes of Exeter Colledge in Oxford.” The place in which the sermon was delivered was “ Paule's Crosse," and the time “Rogation Sunday," May 28, 1609, a day or two before the confirmation of the new charter which conferred upon the Virginia Corporation such vast powers, making it virtually independent of the monarch.
Like other preachers who, watching the drift of public opinion, have framed their discourses so as to make them reflect the views of their hearers, our “Chapleine in Ordinaire" took severely to task those who had pursued a course calculated to discourage those who had embarked in a scheme on the accomplishment of which so many sanguine hopes were built. The text of the sermon was Acts ix. 4: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Without giving any general abstract of the discourse as a whole, we refer now only to the special matter to which we have called attention. And in doing this, we take the liberty to preserve the exact phraseology and style of spelling as we find them in the sermon itself,
“If there bee any that haue opposed any action intended to the glory of God and sauing of soules, and haue stayed the happy proceeding in any such notion, let him know that he is a persecutor and an aduersary of Christ. In which Quaere give me leave to examine the lying speeches that haue incuriously vilified and traduced a great part of the glory of God, the honour of our Land, ioy of our nation, and expectation of many wife and noble Senators of this kingdom-I mean in the Plantation of Virginia." He then alludes to the loss sustained by Henry the Seventh, in a certain colonial enterprise which accrued to the advantage of the Spaniards, through the mistaken and narrow policy of the English, and expresses the opinion that “the Soules of those Dreamers doe seeme by a Pithagoricall transanimation to bee come into some of those fcandelous and flanderous Detractors of that most noble Voyage. Surely if the prayers of all good Christians preuayle, the expectation of the wisest and noblest, the knowledge of the most experimented and learnedst, the relation of the best traueld, and obseruanest be true, it is like to be the most worthy voyage that was euer effected by any Christian in descrying any country of the world, both for the peace of the Entry, for the plenty of the Country, and for the Clymate.”
And riow the worthy " Chapleine" rises to a state bordering well-nigh on ecstasy as he proceeds to depict the marvelous charms of that Paradise beyond the seas.
“Seeing," says he, “that the Country is not vnlike to equalize (though not India for gold)”-and as if he would paint the picture so as to make it correspond with what was in the imagination of his hearers, he adds, “which is not impossible yet.” Ah! the “sacra fames auri,” what an inappeasable hunger is that to stir up! The preacher goes on to compare Virginia with “ Tyrus for Colours, Basan for Woods, Persia for Oyles, Arabia for Spices, Spaine for silks, Tharsis for shipping, Netherlands for Fish, Bononia for fruite and by tillage, Babylon for Corne, besides the abundance of Mulberries, Minerals, Mettals, Pearles, Gummes, Grapes, Deere, Fowle, Drugges for Physiche, hearbes for food, rootes for Colours, Ashes for Sope, Timber for building, pasture for feeding, riuers for fishing, and whatsoever Commodity England wanteth. The Philosopher commendeth the Temperature, the Marchant the Commodity, the Politician the opportunity, the Diuine the Pietie in conuerting many soules."
He then goes on to tell who are the promoters of the enterprise of such glorious possibilities—“our gracious King,” our wisest and greatest nobles," "a worthy, honorable and religious Lord ”—alluding, we presume, to Cecil—“many parties of this land, both clergy and laity.” He declares that “euery Christian ought to lend his helping hand, seeing the Angell of Virginia cryeth out to this land, as the Angell of Macedonia did to Paul, • O come and help us.'” He would convince his hearers, after quoting the dreadful curse against Meroz, of the awful jeopardy in which they place themselves, if they persist in opposing this pious scheme. “Whosoever they be that purposely withstand or confront this most Christian, most Honourable Voyage, let him read that place and feare.” Rising to still sublimer heights in his eloquent portrayal of the immense good that is sure to follow this Virginia enterprise, he asks, “Shall scepticall Humorists bee a meanes to keep such an honour from vs, such a blessing from them? No, my Beloved, you will make a Sauadge Country to become a Sanctifyed Country. You will obtaine their best commodities, they will obtaine the sauing of their soules, you will enlarge the boundes of this kingdome, nay, the boundes of heaven, and all the Angells that behold this, if they reioyce so much at the Conuersion of one sinner, O what will the ioy be at the conuersion of so many.” In an outburst of glowing exhortation he thus brings to a close what he has to say on the subject of which he is treating: “Goe on as ye haue begunne, and the Lord shall bee with you-goe and poffeffe the land-it is a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey; God shall bless you, and the ends of the world shall honour you."
It requires but little knowledge of human nature to understand what a furor of excitement such a harangue must have stirred in the minds of not a few poor dupes, who went away from “ Paules Cross" on that “ Rogation Sunday" in 1609, determined, if need be, “to rake and scrape" all the funds they could, and embark in an enterprise of what must have been made to appear to them to be of such magnificent certainties. How soon the bubble burst! The wise suggestions of John Smith were not heeded. The new emigrants-possibly some of them may have been among the hearers of the Rev. Daniel Price's sermon—were, we are told, dissolute gallants, packed off to escape worse destinies at home, broken-down tradesmen, gentlemen impoverished in spirit and fortune: rakes and libertines, men more fitted to corrupt, than to found a commonwealth. Not long after the arrival of these ungracious adventurers, Smith, really the life and soul of the colony, was disabled by a gunpowder explosion, and was compelled to return to England for surgical treatment. After his departure, things went rapidly to ruin. Provisions became scarce, the Indians refused to furnish any supplies. If persons wandered out into the open country in search of food, they were quite sure to be cut off. Plans, it is said, were laid by the natives to starve and put to a horrible death the whole community. Some thirty desperate men, among the colonists, seized a ship, and sailed forth to the broad seas as pirates. In six months after the return of Smith to England, the colony was reduced from four hundred and ninety persons, through idleness, dissolute lives, and famine, to sixty, and as the historian tells us, “these were so feeble and dejected, that if relief had been delayed but ten days longer, they also must have utterly perished.”
The story of the terrible crisis to which these early settlers of Jamestown had come, has all the interest and pathos of a tragical romance. Sir Thomas Gates, who had embarked from England with a number of emi. grants for Virginia, had been shipwrecked on the Bermudas. Although his ship was a total loss, the passengers all escaped and reached the shore in safety. For nine months they lived on their island home, the natural products of a tropical soil furnishing them an abundance of food. Availing themselves of the timber from the wreck of their old ship, and of the ce
dars which they found upon the island, they built two vessels, and set sail for what they expected to find a prosperous and successful colony in Jamestown. “How great, then, was their horror," says the historian, they came among the scenes of death and misery, of which the gloom was increased by the prospect of continued scarcity.” The despairing, faininestricken colonists clung to the new-comers with the wild desperation of drowning men. The only feasible course which Sir Thomas Gates could take under the circumstances was to set sail for Newfoundland, and turn over the half-starved colonists to the tender mercies of the English fishermen. Nothing but the persistent will of Gates prevented the men from setting fire to a place associated in their minds with so much misery. He was the last man to leave the wretched, forlorn place. The sad record is, that as the little remnant of a company, which had comparatively so recently left their homes in England, inflated with such proud hopes, now reduced from nearly five hundred to sixty persons, turned their backs on the deserted place, “none dropped a tear, for none had enjoyed one day of happiness." The end of this part of the Jamestown tragedy is told in few words. “They fell down the stream with the tide, but the next morning, as they drew near the mouth of the river, they encountered the long-boat of Lord Delaware, who had arrived on the coast with emigrants and supplies.” Yielding to his urgent entreaties, all were persuaded to return to Jamestown, and a new lease of life was given to the colony.
Could “the Chapleine in Ordinaire to the Prince, and Master of Artes of Exeter Colledge in Oxford,” the Reverend Daniel Price, have cast the horoscope of that bitter future which came to the men who went to Jamestown" for the glory of God, and to obtain the best commodities” to be found in Virginia, he might have placed a better estimate on the opinions of his countrymen whom he denounces as “our own lasie, drousie, yet barking countrymen.” Many many dreary years of hard poorly requited toil and untold suffering were to pass away, before his glowing prophecy would be fulfilled, that the country “which took its name from the Virgine Queen, of eternal memory, the first godmother to that land and nation, would prove to be to England the Barne of Britaine, as Sicily was to Rome, or the Garden of the world as was Thessaly, or the Argosie of the world as is Germany."
SOMETHING ABOUT MONHEGAN *
The coast of Maine presents a topography which is unique. While it is a little less than two hundred and twenty miles in a direct line from Kittery Point to its eastern limit, it is about twenty-five hundred miles if you follow its remarkable indentations. Scattered along its shores are hundreds of islands; among which, apparently standing sentinel over them all, the first seen as you approach the coast, is Monhegan. It has been called the “ Keystone of New England.” Since the beginning of New England history, this island has held an important position as fishermen's home, trading post and landmark. Most of our early chroniclers make mention of it; many of them often. Early navigators, before sailing from their homes, made it a rendezvous.
Previous to the voyages of the Cabots there may have been "footprints hastily pressed on the shining sand” of Maine, but there is no authentic record yet known. The Cabots were first to discover the American continent in 1497, but there are few details of the points of coast they visited. Verrazzano, in 1524, in his letter to “His Most Serene Majesty," the King of France, indicates clearly that he visited the whole extent of New England coast and islands: "Departing from thence, we kept along the coast [keeping so close to the coast as never to lose it from our sight] steering north-east, and found the country more pleasant and open, free from woods, and distant in the interior we saw lofty mountains, but none which extended to the shore. Within fifty leagues we discovered thirtytwo islands, all near the main, small and of pleasant appearance, but high and so disposed as to afford excellent harbours and channels, as we see in the Ariatic gulph, near Illyria and Dalmatia.” Dr. Kohl says of John Rut's voyage in 1527, “The Mary of Guilford not only came in sight of the coast of Maine, but she also ‘oftentimes put her men on land to search the state of these unknown regions.'” Dr. De Costa questions this state
* “Probably a corruption of the Algonkin general name for ‘island'-Men-ahan in the Abnaki language, but hardened to Mun-egoo in the Micmac, through which, probably, the name came first to French and English fishermen.” MS. letter from Hon. J. Hammond Trumbull.
+ Dr. B. F. De Costa, in Northmen in Maine, p. 78. The Northmen, in their explorations, may have visited it. Dr. Kohl says Thorfinn Karlsefne sailed along the entire coast of Maine. Dr. De Costa says that he sailed direct from Nova Scotia (Markland) to Cape Cod (Kialarness).