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[306] expeditions a subject of consideration with Eng-
Chap. VIII.}
lish merchants; and the agents from Leyden were able to form a partnership between their employers and men of business in London. The services of each emigrant were rated as a capital of ten pounds, and belonged to the company; all profits were to be reserved till the end of seven years, when the whole amount, and all houses and land, gardens and fields, were to be divided among the shareholders according to their respective interests. The London merchant, who risked one hundred pounds, would receive for his money tenfold more than the penniless laborer for his entire services. This arrangement threatened a seven years check to the pecuniary prosperity of the community; yet, as it did not interfere with civil rights or religion, it did not intimidate the resolved.

And now the English at Leyden, trusting in God

and in themselves, made ready for their departure. The ships which they had provided—the Speedwell, of sixty tons, the Mayflower, of one hundred and eighty tons—could hold but a minority of the congregation; and Robinson was therefore detained at Leyden, while Brewster, the governing elder, who was also able as a teacher, conducted ‘such of the youngest and strongest as freely offered themselves.’ Every enterprise of the Pilgrims began from God. A solemn fast was held. ‘Let us seek of God,’ said they, ‘a right way
for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.’ Anticipating their high destiny, and the sublime doctrines of liberty that would grow out of the principles on which their religious tenets were established, Robinson gave them a farewell, breathing a freedom of opinion and an independence of authority, such as then were hardly known in the world.

‘I charge you, before God and his blessed angels, ’

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