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THE first English literary production penned in America, at least which has any rank or name in the general history of literature, is the translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, by George Sandys, printed in folio in London in 1626. The writer was the distinguished traveller, whose book on the countries of the Mediterranean and the Holy Land, is still perused with interest by curious readers. It was some time after his return from the East, that he was employed in the government of the Colony in Virginia, where he held the post of treasurer of the company. There, on the banks of James river, he translated Ovid, under circumstances of which he has left a memorial in his dedication of the work to King Charles I., as he informs that monarch his poem was "limned by that imperfect light, which was snatched from the hours of night and repose. For the day was not his own, but dedicated to the service of his father and himself; and had that service proved as fortunate, as it was faithful in him, as well as others more worthy, they had hoped, before the revolution of many years, to have presented his majesty with a rich and well peopled kingdom. But, as things had turned, he had only been able to bring from thence himself and that composition, which needed more than a single denization. For it was doubly a stranger, being sprung from an ancient Roman stock, and bred up in the New World, of the rudeness whereof it could not but participate; especially as it was produced among wars and tumults; instead of under the kindly and peaceful influences of the muses."*

Sandys was a gentleman of a good stock, his father being the Archbishop of York, and the friend of Hooker, by whom his brother Edwin was educated. His piety is expressed in his

Stith, ist. of Va., Bk. v. He has slightly adapted the language of Sandys's preface to Ovid.

VOL. 1.-1

"Review of God's Mercies to him in his travels," an eloquent poem which he wrote in welcoming his beloved England, and in which he does not forget the perils of the American wilderness in

That new-found-out-world, where sober night
Takes from the Antipodes her silent flight,

and where he had been preserved

From the bloody massacres Of faithless Indians; from their treacherous wars. As a poet he has gained the respect of Dryden, who pronounced him the best versifier of his age, and of Pope, who commended his verses, in his notes to the Iliad.* We may quote a few lines of his Ovid, as a pleasing memorial of this classic theme pursued amidst the perils and trials of the early colonial settlement. We may fancy him looking round him, as he wrote, upon the rough materials of the Golden Age of Virginia, testing Ovid's poetical dreams by the realities.

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Holmes, Am. Annals, i. 184. Egerton Brydges, Censura Literaria, vi. 135. Bancroft, History United States, i. 234. There is a copy of the Ovid ex dono Thoma Hollis in the Har{vard Library.

Forthwith the earth, corn unmanured bears; And every year renews her golden ears: With milk and nectar were the rivers fill'd; And yellow honey from green elms distilled.


AT about the same time with Sandys in Virginia, William Vaughan, a poet and physician from Wales, took up his residence on a district of land which he had purchased in Newfoundland. Here he established a plantation, which he called Cambriol, and to invite settlers from England, sent home and published is Golden Fierce a quaint tract in prose and verse, intended through the medium of satire and fancy to set forth the discouragements of England and the encouragements of America. In his dedication of the work to King Charles, the author, who wrote also several other poems in Latin and English, calls himself Orpheus Jr. "Were it not," says Oldmixon, “a trouble one might remark, that neither the vicar's lion, nor the pilot's mermaid, is more a prodigy, than an Orpheus in Newfoundland, though there was one actually there, if the poet Vaughan was so."t

The Golden Fleece, which is now a very rare book, is a curious composition of the puritan way of thinking engrafted on the old classic machinery of Apollo and his court. It has sense, shrewdness, some poetry, and much downright railing,-the last in a school, the satirical objurgatory, which was brought to perfection, or carried to excess, in Ward's Simple Cobler of Agawam. Vaughan vents his humors in a depreciation of the times, in a kind of parody of the Litany, which he puts into the mouth of Florio, the Italian novelist, then in vogue.

From blaspheming of God's name,
From recanting words with shame,
From damnation eternal,

From a rich soul internal,

From a sinner will not mend, From a friend, that will not lend, From all modern abuses, From much things to no uses, From Iguatian's cursed swords, From an Alchymist's fair words, From those Friars which cloaks use, As from such that haunt the stews, From such sins as do delight us, As from dreams which do affright us, From parasites that stroke us, From morsels that will choke us, From false sycophants, that soothe us, As from those in sin do smooth us, From all profane discourses, From all ungodly courses Sweet angel free deliver me. Some of Vaughan's descriptions, as in his account of the fairer sex, smack strongly of old Burton, whose Anatomy of Melancholy was then in its first popularity. In the third part of the

The Golden Fleece, divided into three parts, under which are discovered the errors of religion, the vices and decay of the kingdom, and, lastly, the way to get wealth and to restore trading, so much complained of. Transported from Cambrioll Colchos, out of the southernmost part of the Island, commonly called the Newfoundland, by Orpheus Junior, for the general and perpetual good of Great Britain. 1626. Small 4to.

† Oldmixon. Brit. Emp. in Am. i. 8.

Golden Fleece there is a commendation of Newfoundland and its bounteous fishery, with many allusions to historical incidents of the period.

Vaughan's Church Militant published many years subsequently, in 1640, is one of those long labored historical deductions in crabbed verse, which Puritan writers loved heavily to trudge through. When the weary journey is accomplished, the muse, as if exulting at the termination, rises to a somewhat clearer note, in good strong Saxon, in view of the English reformation.

The spouse of Christ shone in her prime,
When she liv'd near th' Apostles' time,
But afterwards eclips'd of light,

She lay obscure from most men's sight;
For while her watch hugg'd carnal ease,
And loath'd the cross, she felt disease.
Because they did God's rays contemn,
And maumets* served, Grace fled from them.
Then stars fell down, fiends blackt the air,
And mongrels held the Church's chair,
But now dispelling error's night,

By Christ his might, our new-man's light,
She may compare for faith alike
With famous Rome's first Catholic,
And paragons for virtue bright
The royal scribe's sweet Sulamite,
Who train'd to zeal, yet without traps,
Her poor young sister wanting paps;
Without traditions she train'd her,
Or quillets, which make souls to err.

So feeds our Church her tender brood
With milk, the strong with stronger food.
She doth contend in grace to thrive,
Reproved like the primitive.

She hates the dark, yet walks the round,
And joys to hear the Gospel's sound.
She hates their mind in judgment blind,
Who swell with merits out of kind.
In Christ alone lies all her hope,
Not craving help of saint or Pope.
Poor saints, to show her faith by deeds,
She fills their souls, their bodies feeds.
She grants no weapons for offence,
Save vows and fasting for defence;
And yet she strikes. But with what sword?
The spirit's sword, God's lightning word.
Indiff'rent toys and childish slips

She slights, but checks gross sins with stripes.
Yet soon the strays her favor win,
When they repent them of the sin,
So mild is she, still loathing ill,
And yet most loathe the soul to kill.
Such is the Lady, whom I serve;
Her goodness such, whom I observe,
And for whose love I beg'd these lays
Borne from the spheres with flaming rays.


WILLIAM MORELL, an English clergyman of the Established Church, came to America in 1623, with the company sent out by the Plymouth council, under the command of Captain Robert, son of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Morell bore a commission from the Ecclesiastical Court in England to exercise a superintendence over the churches which were or might be established in the colony. The attempt by this company to form a settle

* Idols: the word is used for puppets by Shakespeare. Henry IV., Act 2, Scene 3.

ment at Wessagussett, now Weymouth, in Massachusetts, was unsuccessful. After Gorges's return, Morell remained a year at Plymouth and then returned to England, where he soon after published in Latin hexameters and English heroics, the latter a little rough, his poem Nova Anglia, which he addressed to King Charles I. It is mainly taken up with the animal inhabitants of the land and their conquerors, the native Indians. The opening address to New England is really grand. We have marked one line by italics, for its stirring tone, in the English portion, which is something more than a mere literal version of his Latin. We give both.


Hactenus ignotam populis ego carmine primus,
Te Nova, de veteri cui contigit Anglia nomen,
Aggredior trepidus pingui celebrare Minerva.
Per mihi numen opem, cupienti singula plectro
Pondere veridico, quæ nuper vidimus ipsi:
Ut breviter vereque sonent modulamina nostra,
Temperiem coeli, vim terræ, munera ponti,
Et varios gentis mores, velamina, cultus.
Anglia felici meritò Nova nomine gaudens,
Sævos nativi mores pertesa Coloni,
Indigni penitùs populi tellure feraci,
Mæsta superfusis attollit fletibus ora,
Antiquos precibus flectens ardentibus Anglos,
Numinis æterni felicem lumine gentem
Efficere: æternis quæ nunc peritura tenebris.
Gratum opus hoc Indis, dignumque piis opus Anglis,
Angelica quibus est naturæ nomen in umbra
Colica ut extremis dispergant semina terris.


Fear not, poor Muse, 'cause first to sing her fame
That's yet scarce known, unless by map or name;
A grandchild to earth's paradise is born,
Well limb'd, well nerv'd, fair, rich, sweet, yet for-


Thou blest director, so direct my verse

That it may win her people, friends commerce.
Whilst her sweet air, rich soil, blest seas, my pen
Shall blaze and tell the natures of her men.
New England, happy in her new, true style,
Weary of her cause she's to sad exile
Exposed by her's unworthy of her land;
Entreats with tears Great Britain to command
Her empire, and to make her know the time,
Whose act and knowledge only makes divine.
A royal work well worthy England's king,
These natives to true truth and grace to bring;
A noble work for all these noble peers,
Which guide this state in their superior spheres.
You holy Aarons, let your censers ne'er
Cease burning till these men Jehovah fear.

This curious poem is conducted with considerable spirit. There is this allusion to the Indian song:

Litera cuncta licet latet hos, modulamina quædam
Fistula disparibus calamis facit, est et agrestis
Musica vocis iis, minime jucunda, sonoris
Obtusisque sonis oblectans pectora, sensus,
Atque suas aures, artis sublimis inanes.

And though these men no letters know, yet their
Pan's harsher numbers we may somewhere hear;
And vocal odes which us affect with grief,
Though to their minds perchance they give relief.*

The whole poem is reprinted in the Mass. Hist. Soc. Collections, First Series, i. 125-89.


CHEERFUL William Wood was at that period a sojourner in the same colony. Returning home in 1633, he published in London, in 1634, the first printed account of Massachusetts in New England's Prospect being, as its title page well describes it, ". a true, lively, and experimental description."* "I have laid down," says he, "the nature of the country, without any partial respect unto it as being my dwelling-place, where I have lived these four years, and intend, God willing, to return shortly again."

This tract is divided into two parts, the one treating of the situation and circumstances of the colonists; the other, of the manners and customs of the native Indians. In the former, in which the writer notices the towns bordering the site of Boston, venturing in one or two instances as far as Agawam and Merrimack, there are some curious poetical or rhyming natural history descriptions interspersed, as of the trees, which reminds us, in a degree, of the famous passage in Spenser, by whose inspiration it was probably excited:

Trees both in hills and plains, in plenty be,
The long-liv'd oak, and mournful cypris tree,
Sky-tow ring pines, and chesnuts coated rough,
The lasting cedar, with the walnut tough:
The rosin-dropping fir for masts in use,
The boatmen seek for oares light, neat, growne


The water-spungie alder good for nought,
Small elderne by th' Indian fletchers+ sought,
The knottie maples, pallid birch, hawthornes,
The horne-bound tree that to be cloven scornes;
Which from the tender vine oft takes his spouse,
Who twines embracing arms about his boughs.
Within this Indian orchard fruits be some,
The ruddie cherrie, and the jetty plume,
Snake-murthering hazell, with sweet saxaphrage,
Whose spurnes in beere allays hot fever's rage.
The dyer's shumach, with more trees there be,
That are both good to use and rare to see.


The brittle ash, the ever-trembling aspes,

The broad-spread elm, whose concave harbours

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The storm-presaging porpus, herring-hog,
Live spearing-shark, the catfish, and sea-dog;
The scale-fenc'd sturgeon, wry-mouthed halibut,
The flouncing salmon, codfish, greedigut;
Cole, haddick, hake, the thornback, and the scate,
Whose slimy outside makes him seld' in date;
The stately bass, old Neptune's fleeting post,
That tides it out and in from sea to coast;
Consorting herrings, and the bony shad,
Big-bellied alewives, mackrels richly clad
With rainbow colour, the frostfish and the smelt
As good as ever Lady Gustus felt;

The spotted lamprons, eels, the lamperies,
That seek fresh water brooks with Argus eyes;
Those watery villagers, with thousands more,
Do pass and repass near the verdant shore.


The luscious lobster, with the crabfish raw,
The brinish oyster, muscel, periwig,
And tortoise sought by the Indian's squaw,
Which to the flats dance many a winter's jig,
To dive for cockles, and to dig for clams,
Whereby her lazy husband's guts she crams.

His prose shows us little of the poetical and humorous traits common to many of these early narratives. There is a short chapter touching the Indians, which would do honor to the appetizing courtesies of John Buncle.


Having done with the most needful clothings and ornamental deckings; may it please you to feast your eyes with their best belly-timbers; which I suppose would be but stibium to weak stomachs, as they cook it, tho' never so good of itself. In winter time they have all manner of fowls of the water and of the land, and beasts of the land and water, pond fish, with catharres and other roots, Indian beans and clams. In the summer they have all manner of sea fish, with all sorts of berries. For the ordering of their victuals, they boil or roast them, having large kettles which they traded for with the French long since, and do still buy of the English as their need requires, before they had substantial earthen pots of their own making. Their spits are no other than cloven sticks sharped at one end to thrust into the ground into these cloven sticks they thrust the flesh or fish they would have roasted, behemming a round fire with a dozen of spits at a time, turning them as they see occasion. Some of their scullery having dressed these homely cates, present it to their guests, dishing it up in a rude manner, placing it on the verdant carpet of the earth which Nature spreads them, without either trenchers, napkins, or knives; upon which their hunger sauced stomachs, impatient of delays fall aboard, without scrupling at unwashed hands, without bread, salt, or beer; lolling on the Turkish fashion, not ceasing till their full bellies leave nothing but empty platters. They seldom or never make bread of their Indian corn, but seeth it whole like beans, eating three or four corns with a mouthful of fish or flesh, sometimes eating meat first, and corns after, filling up the chinks with their broth. In summer, when their corn is spent, isquoterquashes is their best bread, a fruit much like a pumpion. To say, and to speak paradoxically, they be great eaters, and little meat men. When they visit our English, being invited to eat, they are very moderate, whether it be to show their manners, or for shame fac'dness, I know not, but at home they eat till their bellies stand south, ready to split with fulness; it being their fashion to eat all at sometimes,

and sometimes nothing at all in two or three days, wise providence being a stranger to their wilder ways: They be right infidels; neither caring for the morrow, or providing for their own families; but as all are fellows at football, so they all meet friends at the kettle, saving their wives, that dance a spaniel-like attendance at their backs for their bony fragments. If their imperious occasions cause them to travel, the best of their victuals for their journey is Nocake (as they call it), which is nothing but Indian corn parched in the hot ashes; the ashes being sifted from it, it is afterwards beat to powder, and put into a long leathern bag, trussed at their backs like a knapsack, out of which they take thrice three spoonfuls a day dividing it into three meals. If it be in winter, and snow be on the ground, they can eat when they please, stopping snow after their dusty victuals, which otherwise would feed them little better than a Tyburn halter. In summer they must stay till they meet with a spring or a brook, where they may have water to prevent the imminent danger of choking. With this strange viaticum they will travel four or five days together, with loads fitter for elephants than men. But though they can fare so hardly abroad, their chaps must walk night and day, as long as they have it. They keep no set meals, their store being spent, they champ on the bit, till they meet with fresh supplies, either from their own endeavors, or their wives' industry, who trudge to the clam-banks when all other means fail. Though they be sometimes scanted, yet are they as free as emperors, both to their countrymen and English, be he stranger or near acquaintance; counting it a great discourtesy not to eat of their highconceited delicacies, and sup of their un-oatmeal'd broth, made thick with fishes, fowls, and beasts, boiled all together; some remaining raw, the rest converted, by overmuch seething, to a loathed mash, not half so good as Irish bonniclapper.


A curious tract, apparently written by a resident in the colony, was printed in London, in 1648, bearing the title, Good News from New England.* It is more than half in verse, and is a quaint picture of the age. The sketch of the clergy is characteristic. We quote a few paragraphs.

Oh! wee'l away, now say the poore, our Benefactor's
That fild our children's mouths with bread, look!
yonder are they rowing.

O woe is me, another cries, my Minister, it's he,
As sure as may be, yonder he from Pursevant doth

flee. With trickling tears, scarce uttering speech, another sobbing says, If our poor preacher shipped be, he'll ne'er live half the way.


One unto reading Scriptures men persuades,
One labour bids for food that never fades.
One to redeem their time exhorteth all,
One looking round for wary walking calls.
One he persuades men buy the truth, not sell,
One would men should in moderateness excell.

* Good News from New England; with an Exact Relation of the First Planting of that Country; a Description of the Profits accruing by the Work; together with a brief, but true Discovery of their Order both in Church and Commonwealth, and Maintenance allowed the painful Labourers in that Vineyard of the Lord; with the Names of the several Towns, and who be Preachers to them. London: printed by Matthew Simmons, 1648; reprinted in Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., Fourth Series, i. 195.

One for renewed repentance daily strives,
One's for a conscience clear in all men's lives.
One he exhorts all men God's word to hear,
One doth beseech to lend obedient ear.
One he desires evil's appearance shun,
One with diligence would all should be done.
One shows their woe that will not God believe,
One doth beseech God's spirit they'll not grieve.
One wishes none to deep despair do run,

One bids beware none to presumption come.
One wills that all at murmuring take heed,
One shews that strife and envy should not breed.
One shews the hatred God to pride doth bear,
One covetousness cries down with hellish fear.
One to lukewarmness wishes none do grow,
One none for fear forsake the truth they know.


THE renowned Captain John Smith, on returning home from service against the Turks, and from a journey in which he had well nigh exhausted all that Europe conld offer of adventure, and fully proved the nobility of his nature, at the early age of twenty-seven turned his attention to the new world.

In December, 1606, he sailed with others sent out by the London Company, recently formed by his exertions, for the Chesapeake. On the 13th of May the party landed at Jamestown. He returned to England in 1609, and in 1614 explored the American coast from the Penobscot to Cape Cod. He again sailed in 1615, but was taken prisoner and confined in France. On his release he endeavored to obtain further employment in American adventure, but without success. He died in London in 1631, in his fifty-second year.

In "the true Travels, Adventures, and Observations of Capt. John Smith," 1629, he gives the following summary of his American career.

Smith derived no pecuniary advantage from his services in the colonization of Virginia or New England. "In neither of these two countries," he remarks, "have I one foot of land, nor the very house I builded, nor the ground I digged with my own hands, nor any content or satisfaction at all."

Now to conclude the travels and adventures of Captain Smith: How first he planted Virginia, and was set ashore with a hundred men in the wild woods; how he was taken prisoner by the savages, and by the King of Pamaunky tied to a tree to be shot to death; led up and down their country, to be shown for a wonder; fatted as he thought for a sacrifice to their idol, before whom they conjured three days, with strange dances and invocations; then brought before their Emperor Powhattan, who commanded him to be slain; how his daughter Pocahontas saved his life, returned him to Jamestown, relieved him and his famished company, which was but eight and thirty, to possess those large dominions; how he discovered all the several nations on the rivers falling into the bay of Chesapeake; how he was stung almost to death by the poisonous tail of a fish called a stingray; how he was blown up with gunpowder, and returned to England to be cured.

Also how he brought New England to the subjection of the Kingdom of Great Britain: his fights with the pirates, left alone among the French menof-war, and his ship ran from him: his sea-fights for the French against the Spaniards; their bad usage of him; how in France, in a little boat, he escaped them: was adrift all such a stormy night at sea by himself, when thirteen French ships were split or driven on shore by the isle of Rhu, the General and most of his men drowned; when God, to whom be all honour and praise, brought him safe on shore, to the admiration of all who escaped; you may read at large in his general history of Virginia, the Somer islands and New England.

Captain Smith was the author of several works relating to his adventurous life. The first is A true relation of such occurrences and accidents of noate as hath hapned in Virginia since the first planting of that colony, which is now resident in the south part thereof, till the last return from thence. Written by Th. Watson, Gent, one of the said collony, to a worshipful friend of his in England. London: 1608. This tract, of fortytwo small quarto pages, is printed in black letter, and is extremely rare. A copy is in the library of the New York Historical Society-from which a reprint was made in the Southern Literary Messenger. In a preface signed I. H., the statement that "some of the books were printed under the name of Thomas Watson, by whose occasion I know not, unless it were the over-rashness or mistaking of the workmen, but since having learned that the said discourse was written by Captain

Smith, &c.,"settles the question of authorship.

In 1612, Smith published A Map of Virginia, With a description of the country, the commodities, people, government and religion. Written by Captain Smith, sometime Governor of the country. It was accompanied by an account of "the proceedings of those colonies since their first departure from England, with the discourses, orations and relations of the salvages, and the accidents that befel them in all their journeys and discoveries, &c., by W. S."

This was followed by A Description of New England: or the Observations and Discoveries of Captain John Smith (Admirall of that Country), in the North of America, in the year of our Lord 1614, with the successe of sixe ships that went the next year, 1615; and the accidents befell him among the French men of warre: with the proofe of the present benefit this countrey affords: whither this present yeare, 1616, eight voluntary ships are gone to make further trials. At London. Printed, &c.: 1616. It is reprinted in the sixth volume of the third series of the Massachusetts Historical Society's Collections, and in the second volume of Col. Force's reprints of rare tracts relating to America, where it is accompanied by its successor: New England's Trials. Declaring the successe of 80 ships employed thither within these eight years; and the benefit of that country by Sea and Land. With the present estate of that happie plantation, begun but by 60 weake men in the yeare 1620. And how to build a Fleete of good Shippes to make a little Navie Royall. Written by Captain John Smith, sometime Governour of Virginia, and Admirall of New England. The second edition. London: 1622. These two tracts form seventy octavo pages in Mr. Force's reprint. The first edition of New England's Trials, Declaring the success of 26 Ships, &c., appeared in 1620.

In 1626, the Captain issued his largest work, a folio, entitled The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles, with the names of the adventurers, planters and gover

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