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[170]

Those in the frigate1 were already pinched with spare allowance, and want of clothes chiefly. Whereupon they besought the general2 to return for England before they all perished. And to them of the ‘Golden Hind’ they made signs of their distress, pointing to their mouths, and to their clothes thin and ragged. Then immediately they also of the ‘Golden Hind’ grew to be of the same opinion, and desire to return home.

The former reasons having also moved the general to have compassion of his poor men, in whom he saw no want of good-will, but of means fit to perform the action they came for, [he] resolved upon retire;3 and, calling the captain and master of the ‘Hind,’ he yielded them many reasons enforcing this unexpected return, withal protesting himself greatly satisfied with that he had seen and knew already.

Reiterating these words, ‘Be content: we have seen enough, and take no care of expense past. I will set you forth royally the next spring, if God send us safe home. Therefore, I pray you, let us no longer strive here, where we fight against the elements.’ . . .

How unwillingly the captain and master of the ‘Hind’ conceded to this motion, his own company can testify; yet comforted with the general's promise of a speedy return at spring, and induced by other apparent reasons proving an impossibility to accomplish the action at that time, it was concluded on all hands to retire.

1 The ‘Squirrel.’ The name ‘frigate’ was first given to a kind of boat still used in the Mediterranean, propelled by both sails and oars. It was afterwards given to a war vessel, built also for speed.

2 Sir Humphrey Gilbert.

3 i.e., to retire.

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