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for some time, "and then came in three more as ugly as the rest," with their eyes painted red and with white streaks upon their black faces. Finally, they all seated themselves opposite to the prisoner, three on the right hand of the priest and three on his left. They then began a song, accompanying it with their rattles; and when this was done, the chief priest laid down five grains of corn, and after a short oration, attended with violent muscular exertion, laid down three more. After that they began their song again, and then another oration, laying down as many grains of corn as before, till they had twice encircled the fire. Then, continuing the incantation, they laid sticks between the divisions of the corn. The whole day was spent in these ceremonies, during which time neither Smith nor the performers tasted food, but at night they feasted abundantly on the best provisions they had. These rites were continued for three successive days. They told him that the circle of meal signified their own country, the circles of corn the bounds of the sea, and the sticks his country. They imagined the world to be flat and round like a trencher, and themselves to be placed in the middle of it.

They afterwards showed him a bag of gunpowder, which they had taken from him or

his companions, and which they carefully preserved till the next spring to plant, as they did their corn, supposing it to be a grain. He was afterwards invited by Opitchapan, the second brother of Powhatan, to his house, and sumptuously entertained; but here, as on all other occasions, none of the Indians would eat with him, though they would partake of the portions which he left unconsumed.

At last they brought him to Werowocomoco, the residence of Powhatan, which was situated on the north side of York River, in Gloucester County, about twenty-five miles below the fork of the river. It was at that time Powhatan's principal place of residence, though afterwards, not being pleased with its proximity to the English, he removed to Orapax. Upon Smith's arrival in the village, he was detained, until the Indian emperor and his court could make suitable preparations to receive their captive in proper state, In the meanwhile" more than two hundred of his "grim courtiers" came to gaze at him, as if he had been a monster. Powhatan, who was at that time about sixty years old, is described as having been, in outward appearance,

every inch a king." His figure was noble, his stature majestic, and his countenance full of the severity and haughtiness of a ruler, whose will was supreme and whose nod was law.

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He received Captain Smith with imposing, though rude ceremony. He was seated on a kind of throne, elevated above the floor of a large hut, in the midst of which was a fire. He was clothed with a robe of racoon skins. Two young women, his daughters, sat one on his right and the other on his left; and on each side of the hut there were two rows of men in front, and the same number of women behind. These all had their heads and shoulders painted red. Many had their hair ornamented with the white down of birds. Some had chains of white beads around their necks, and all had more or less of ornament. When Smith was brought home, they all set up a great shout.

Soon after his entrance, a female of rank was directed to bring him water to wash his hands, and another brought a bunch of feathers instead of a towel to dry them with. They then feasted him in the best manner they could, and held a long and solemn consultation to determine his fate. The decision was against him. Two large stones were brought in and placed before Powhatan, and Smith was dragged up to them and his head was placed upon them, that his brains might be beaten out with clubs. The fatal weapons were already raised and the stern executioners looked for the signal, which should bid them descend upon the victim's defenceless


head. But the protecting shield of divine Providence was over him, and the arm of violence was arrested. Pocahontas, the King's favorite daughter, at that time a child of twelve or thirteen years of age, finding that her piteous entreaties to save the life of Smith were unavailing, rushed forward, clasped his head in her arms, and laid her own upon it, determined either to save his life, or share his fate. Her generous and heroic conduct touched her father's iron heart, and the life of the captive was spared, to be employed in making hatchets for himself, and bells and beads for his daughter.

The account of this beautiful and most touching scene, familiar as it is to every one, can hardly be read with unmoistened eyes. The incident is so dramatic and startling, that it

seems to preserve the freshness of novelty amidst a thousand repetitions. We could almost as reasonably expect an angel to have come down from heaven, and rescued the captive, as that his deliverer should have sprung from the bosom of Powhatan's family. The universal sympathies of mankind and the best feelings of the human heart have redeemed this scene from the obscurity which, in the progress of time, gathers over all, but the most important events. It has pointed a thousand morals and adorned a thousand tales. Innumerable

bosoms have throbbed and are yet to throb with generous admiration for this daughter of a people, whom we have been too ready to underrate. Had we known nothing of her, but what is related of her in this incident, she would deserve the eternal gratitude of the inhabitants of this country; for the fate of the colony may be said to have hung upon the arms of Smith's executioners. He was its life and soul, and, without the magic influence of his personal qualities, it would have abandoned, in despair, the project of permanently settling the country, and sailed to England by the first opportunity.

The generosity of Powhatan was not content with merely sparing his prisoner's life. He detained him but two days longer. At the end of that time, he conducted him to a large house in the woods, and there left him alone upon a mat by the fire. In a short time, from behind another mat that divided the house, 66 was made the most dolefullest noise he ever heard; then Powhatan, more like a devil than a man, with some two hundred more, as black as himself," came in and told him, that they were now friends, and that he should return to Jamestown; and that, if he would send him two pieces of cannon and a grindstone, he would give him the country of Capahowsic, and esteem him as 16


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