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they meddell gladlye by friendshippe; whose mischievous maners a man shall never knowe unfyll he come under ther subjection ; but then shall he parfectlye parceyve and fele them : which thynge I praye God England never do: for in dissimulations untyll they have ther purposes, and afterwards in oppression and tyrannye, when they can obtayne them, they do exceed all other nations upon the earthe.” This is just such language as Arminius 4 would have used about the Romans, or as an Indian statesman of our times might use about the English. It is the language of a man burning with hatred, but cowed by those whom he hates; and painfully sensible of their superiority, not only in power, but in intelligence.
[While men like Drake were challenging Spain upon the
seas, wiser and nobler Englishmen were striving to plant colonies which should make the New World English instead of Spanish ground. Of these the chief were Sir Humphry Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh. Unsuccessful as they were, it was through their efforts that the first settlements were founded, which have since grown into the United States of North America.]
While the Queen and her adventurers were dazzled by dreams of finding gold in the frozen regions of the north, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, with a sounder judgment and better knowledge, watched the progress of the fisheries, 2 and formed healthy plans for colonisation. He had been a soldier and
4 Arminius headed the resistance of the Germans to Rome.
1 Frobisher and other adventurers had hoped to find gold in Labrador. · Of Newfoundland and the North American coast.
a member of parliament; had written judiciously on navigation; and, though censured for his ignorance of the principles of liberty, was esteemed for the sincerity of his piety. Free alike from fickleness and fear, danger never turned him aside from the pursuit of honour or the service of his sovereign; for he knew that death is inevitable, and the fame of virtue immortal. It was not difficult for him in June, 1578, to obtain a patent, formed according to the commercial theories of that day, and to be of perpetual efficacy, if a plantation should be established within six years. To the people who might belong to his colony, the rights of Englishmen were promised; to Gilbert, the possession for himself or his assigns of the soil which he might discover, and the sole jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, of the territory within two hundred leagues of his settlement, with supreme executive and legislative authority. Under this patent, Gilbert collected a company of volunteer adventurers, con tributing largely from his own fortune to the preparations. Jarrings and divisions ensued, before the voyage was begun; many abandoned what they had inconsiderately undertaken ; in 1579, the general and a few of his assured friends, among them, his step-brother, Walter Raleigh-put to sea : one of his ships was lost; and misfortune compelled the remainder to return. Gilbert attempted to keep his patent alive by making grants of land: none of his assigns succeeded in establishing a colony; and he was himself too much impoverished to renew his efforts.
But the pupil of Colignys delighted in hazardous adventure. To prosecute discoveries in the New World, lay the foundation of states, and acquire immense domains, appeared to Raleigh an easy design, which would not interfere with the
8 Sir Walter Raleigh, who had served under the Huguenot general Coligny in the French wars of religion. He was Gilbert's haif-brother.
pursuit of favour in England. Before the limit of the charter had expired, Gilbert, assisted by his brother, equipped a new squadron. In 1583 the fleet embarked under happy omens; the commander, on the eve of his departure, received from Elizabeth, as a token of regard, a golden anchor guided by a lady. A man of letters from Hungary accompanied the expedition; and some part of the United States would have then been colonised but for a succession of overwhelming disasters. Two days after leaving Plymouth the largest ship in the fleet, which had been furnished by Raleigh, who himself remained in England, deserted under a pretence of infectious disease, and returned into harbour. Gilbert, incensed but not intimidated, sailed for Newfoundland; and, in August, entering St. John's, he summoned the Spaniards and Portuguese,4 and other strangers, to witness the ceremonies by which he took possession of the country for his sovereign. A pillar, on which the arms of England were infixed, was raised as a monument; the lands were granted to the fishermen in fee, on condition of the payment of a quit-rent. It was generally agreed that “the mountains made a show of mineral substance;" the “mineral-man" of the expedition, an honest and religious Saxon, protested on his life that silver ore abounded. He was charged to keep the discovery a profound secret ; and the precious ore was carried on board the larger ship with such mystery that the dull Portuguese and Spaniards suspected nothing of the matter.
It was not easy for Gilbert to preserve order in the little fleet. Many of the mariners, infected with the vices which at that time degraded their profession, were no better than pirates, and were perpetually bent upon pillaging whatever ships fell in their way. At length, having abandoned one
* The Spaniards and Portuguese claimed all the New World for their own.
of their barks, the English, now in three vessels only, sailed on further discoveries, intending to visit the coast of the United States. But they had not proceeded towards the south beyond the latitude of Wiscasset, when the largest ship, from the carelessness of the crew, struck and was wrecked. Nearly a hundred men perished; the “mineralman” and the ore were all lost; nor was it possible to rescue Parmenius, the Hungarian scholar, who should have been the historian of the expedition. It now seemed necessary to hasten to England. Gilbert had sailed in the Squirrel, a bark of ten tons only, and therefore convenient for entering harbours and approaching the coast. On the homeward voyage, he would not forsake his little company, with whom he had encountered so many storms and perils. A desperate resolution! The weather was extremely rough ; the oldest mariner had never seen “more outrageous seas." The little frigate, not more than twice as large as the long-boat of a merchantman, “too small a bark to pass through the ocean sea at that season of the year,” was nearly wrecked. That same night about twelve o'clock its lights suddenly disap peared ; and neither the vessel nor any of the crew was ever again seen. The Hind reached Falmouth in safety.
Raleigh, not disheartened by the sad fate of his stepbrother, revolved a settlement in the milder clime from which the Protestants of France had been expelled. He readily obtained from Elizabeth, in March, 1584, a patent as ample as that which had been conferred on Gilbert. It was drawn according to the principles of feudal law, and with strict regard to the Christian faith, as professed in the church of England. Raleigh was constituted a lord proprietary, with almost unlimited powers ; holding his territories by homage and an inconsiderable rent, and possessing jurisdiction over an extensive region, of which he had power to make grants according to his pleasure. Expectations rose high, since the balmy regions of the south were now to be colonised. Two vessels, well laden with men and provisions, under the command of Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow, buoyant with hope, set sail for the New World. They pursued the circuitous route by the Canaries and the islands of the West Indies; after a short stay at those islands, they sailed for the north, and were soon opposite the shores of Carolina. As in July they drew near land, the fragrance was “as if they had been in the midst of some delicate garden, abounding with all kinds of odoriferous flowers.” Ranging the coast for one hundred and twenty miles, they entered the first convenient harbour, and, after thanks to God for their safe arrival, they took possession of the country for the Queen of England.
The spot on which this ceremony was performed was in the island of Wocoken, the southernmost of the islands forming Ocracoke Inlet. The shores of North Carolina, at some periods of the year, cannot safely be approached by a fleet, from the hurricanes against which the formation of the coast offers no secure roadsteads and harbours. But in the month of July the air was agitated by none but the gentlest breezes, and the English commanders were in raptures with the beauty of the ocean, seen in the magnificence of repose, gemmed with islands, and expanding in the clearest transparency from cape to cape. The vegetation of that southern latitude struck the beholders with admiration; the trees had not their paragons; luxuriant climbers gracefully festooned the loftiest cedars; wild grapes abounded ; and natural arbours formed an impervious shade, that not a ray of the suns of July could penetrate. The forests were filled with birds; and, at the discharge of an arquebuse, whole flocks would arise, uttering a cry, as if an army of men had shouted together.
The gentleness of the tawny inhabitants 5 appeared in harmony with the loveliness of the scene. The desire of
• The Indians of North America.