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the island from whence we came, leaving the discovery of this harbor, for a time of better leisure. Of the goodness of which harbor, as also of many others thereabouts, there is small doubt, considering that all the islands, as also the main (where we were) is all rocky grounds and broken lands. Now the next day, we determined to fortify ourselves in a little plot of ground in the midst of the lake abovementioned, where we built our house, and covered it with sedge, which grew about this lake in great abundance; in building whereof we spent three weeks and more: but the second day after our coming from the main, we espied eleven canoes or boats, with fifty Indians in them, coming toward us from this part of the main, where we, two days before landed ; and being loath they should discover our fortification, we went out on the sea-side to meet them; and coming somewhat near them, they all sat down upon the stones, calling aloud to us (as we rightly guessed) to do the like, a little distance from them: having sat awhile in this order, Captain Gosnold willed me to go unto them, to see what countenance they would make; but as soon as I came up unto them, one of them, to whom I had given a knife two days before in the main, knew me, (whom I also very well remembered) and smiling upon me, spake somewhat unto their lord or captain, which sat in the midst of them, who presently rose up and took a large beaver skin from one that stood about him, and gave it unto me, which I requited for that time, the best I could; but I, pointing towards Captain Gosnold, made signs unto him, that he was our captain, and desirous to be his friend, and enter league with him, which (as I perceived) he understood, and made signs of joy: whereupon Captain Gosnold with the rest of his company, being twenty in all, came up unto them; and after many signs of gratulations (Captain Gosnold presenting their lord with certain trifles which they wondered at, and highly esteemed,) we became very great friends, and sent for meat aboard our shallop, and gave them such meats as we had then ready dressed, whereof they misliked nothing but our mustard, whereat they made many a sour face. While we were thus merry, one of them had conveyed a target of ours into one of their canoes, which we suffered, only to try whether they were in subjection to this lord to whom we made signs (by shewing
him another of the same likeness, and pointing to the canoe) what one of his company had done: who suddenly expressed some fear, and speaking angrily to one about him (as we perceived by his countenance,) caused it presently to be brought back again. So the rest of the day we spent in trading with them for furs, which are beavers, luzernes, martins, otters, wild-cat skins, very large and deep fur, black foxes, coney skins, of the color of our hares, but somewhat less; deer skins, very large, seal skins, and other beasts' skins, to us unknown. They have also great store of copper, some very red, and some of a paler color: none of them but have chains, ear-rings or collars of this metal: they head some of their arrows herewith much like our broad arrow heads, very workmanly made. Their chains are many hollow pieces cemented together, each piece of the bigness of one of our reeds, a finger in length, ten or twelve of them together on a string, which they wear about their necks : their collars they wear about their bodies like bandeliers a handful broad, all hollow pieces, like the other, but somewhat shorter, four hundred pieces in a collar, very fine and evenly set together. Besides these they have large drinking cups made like skulls, and other thin plates of copper, made much like our boar spear blades, all which they so little esteem, as they offered their fairest collars or chains for a knise or such like trifle, but we seemed little to regard it; yet I was desirous to understand where they had such store of this metal, and made signs to one of them (with whom I was very familiar) who taking a piece of copper in his hand, made a-hole with his finger in the ground, and withal pointed to the main from whence they came. They strike fire in this manner; every one carrieth about him in a purse of tewed leather, a mineral stone (which I take to be their copper,) and with a flat emery stone (wherewith glaziers cut glass, and cutlers glaze blades,) tied fast to the end of a little stick, gently he striketh upon the mineral stone, and within a stroke or two, a spark falleth upon a piece of touchwood (much like our sponge in England,) and with the least spark he maketh a fire presently. We had also of their flax, wherewith they make
many strings and cords, but it is not so bright of color as ours in England : I am persuaded they have great store growing upon the main, as also mines and many other rich
commodities, which we, wanting both time and means, could not possibly discover.
Thus they continued with us three days, every night retiring themselves to the furthermost part of our island two or three miles from our fort : but the fourth day they returned to the main, pointing five or six times to the sun, and once to the main, which we understood, that within five or six days they would come from the main to us again ; but being in their canoes a little from the shore, they made huge cries and shouts of joy unto us; and we with our trumpet and cornet, and casting up our caps into the air, made them the best farewell we could : yet six or seven of them remained with us behind, bearing us company every day into the woods, and helped us to cut and carry our sassafras, and some of them lay aboard our ship.
These people, as they are exceeding courteous, gentle of disposition, and well conditioned, excelling all others that we have seen ; so for shape of body and lovely favor, I think they excel all the people of America ; of stature much higher than we; of complexion or color, much like a dark olive; their eyebrows and hair black, which they wear long, tied up behind in knots, whereon they prick feathers of fowls, in fashion of a coronet; some of them are black thin bearded; they make beards of the hair of beasts: and one of them offered a beard of their making to one of our sailors, for his that grew on his face, which because it was of a red color, they judged to be none of his own. They are quick-eyed, and steadfast in their looks, fearless of others' harms, as intending none themselves; some of the meaner sort given to filching, which the very name of savages (not weighing their ignorance in good or evil,) may easily excuse: their garments are of deer skins, and some of them wear furs round and close about their necks. They pronounce our language with great facility; for one of them one day sitting by me, upon occasion I spake smiling to him these words : How now (sirrah) are you so saucy with my tobacco ? which words (without any further repetition,) he suddenly spake so plain and distinctly, as if he had been a long scholar in the language. Many other such trials we had, which are here needless to repeat. Their women (such as we saw) which were but three in all, were but low of stature, their
eyebrows, hair, apparel, and manner of wearing, like to the men, fat, and very well favored, and much delighted in our company; the men are very dutiful towards them. And truly, the wholesomeness and temperature of this climate, doth not only argue this people to be answerable to this description, but also of a perfect constitution of body, active, strong, healthful, and very witty, as the sundry toys of theirs cunningly wrought, may easily witness. For the agreeing of this climate with us (I speak of myself, and so I may justly do for the rest of our company,) that we found our health and strength all the while we remained there, so to renew and increase, as notwithstanding our diet and lodging was none of the best, yet not one of our company (God be thanked,) felt the least grudging or inclination to any disease or sickness, but were much fatter and in better health than when we went out of England.
But after our bark had taken in so much sassafras, cedar, furs, skins, and other commodities, as were thought convenient, some of our company that had promised Captain Gosnold to stay, having nothing but a saving voyage in their minds, made our company of inhabitants (which was small enough before) much smaller ; so as Captain Gosnold seeing his whole strength to consist but of twelve men, and they but meanly provided, determined to return for England, leaving this island (which he called Elizabeth's Island) with as many true sorrowful eyes, as were before desirous to see it. So the 18th of June being Friday, we weighed, and with indifferent fair wind and weather, came to anchor the 23d of July, being also Friday, (in all, bare five weeks) before Exmouth. Your Lordship’s to command,
A brief Note of such commodities as we saw in the country,
notwithstanding our small time of stay. Trees.
Sassafras trees, the routs whereof at 3s. the pound, are 3361. the ton; cedars, tall and straight, in great abundance ; cypress trees; oaks; walnut trees, great store; elms; beech; holly; hazlenut trees; cherry trees; cotton trees; other fruit to us unknown. The finder of our sassafras in' these parts was one Master Robert Meriton.
Fowls. Eagles; hernshaws; cranes; bitterns; mallards; teals; geese; penguins; ospreys and hawks; crows; ravens; mews; doves; sea-pies ; blackbirds, with carnation wings.
Beasts. Deer, in great store, very great and large; bears ; luzernes; black foxes; beavers; otters; wild-cats, very large and great; dogs like foxes, black and sharp-nosed ; conies.
Fruits, Plants and Herbs. Tobacco, excellent sweet and strong; vines, in more plenty than in France; ground-nuts, good meat, and also medicinable; stawberries; raspberries; gooseberries; whortleberries; pease, growing naturally; flax; iris florentina, whereof apothecaries make sweet balls; sorrel, and many other herbs wherewith they make salads.
Fishes. Whales; tortoises, both on land and sea; seals; cods; mackerel; breames; herrings; thornbacks; hakes; rockfish ; dogfish ; lobsters; crabs ; muscles; wilks; cockles; scollops; oysters; snakes, four feet in length, and six inches about, which the Indians eat for dainty meat, the skins whereof they use for girdles.
Colors to dye with, red, white, and black.
Metals and Stones. Copper, in great abundance; emery stones, for glaziers and cutlers; alabaster, very white; stones glistering and shining like mineral stones; stones of a blue metalline color, which we take to be steel ore ; stones of all sorts for buildings; clay, red and white, which may prove good terra sigillata.
A brief Note of the sending another Bark this present year,
1602, by the Honorable Knight, Sir Walter Raleigh, for the searching out of his Colony in Virginia.
Samuel Mace, of Weymouth, a very sufficient mariner, an honest sober man, who had been at Virginia twice before, was employed thither by Sir Walter Raleigh, to find those people which were left there in the year 1587. To whose succor he hath sent five several times at his own charges. The parties by him set forth, performed nothing ; some of them following their own profits elsewhere; others returning with frivolous allegations. At this last time, to avoid all excuse, he bought a bark, and hired all the company for wages