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[355] unoccupied, when so many honest men and their families in Old England, through the populousness thereof, do make very hard shift to live one by the other.

Iv.—a sea-adventure of the Puritan colonists.

[governor John Winthrop, with a large number of colonists, sailed from England in April, 1630. seventeen vessels came to the Massachusetts colony that year, bringing nearly a thousand people. England was then at war with Spain; and many Spanish cruisers made their rendezvous at Dunkirk, and other ports in the Spanish Netherlands, whence they were called ‘Dunkirkers.’]

April 9.—In the morning we descried from the top, eight sail astern of us, whom Captain Lowe told us he had seen at Dunnose in the evening. We supposing they might be Dunkirkers, our captain caused the gunroom and gundeck to be cleared. All the hammocks were taken down, our ordnance loaded, and our powder-chests and fireworks made ready, and our landmen quartered among the seamen, and twenty-five of them appointed for muskets, and every man written down for his quarter.1

The wind continued north, with fair weather; and after noon it calmed, and we still saw those eight ships to stand towards us. Having more wind than we, they came up apace: so as our captain, and the masters of our consorts, were more occasioned to think they might be Dunkirkers; for we were told at Yarmouth that there were ten sail of them waiting for us. Whereupon we all prepared to fight with them, and took down some

1 i.e., assigned to a certain place in the ship.

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