short intervals of sunshine between showers of sleet
On the third of March, a south wind brought warm
and fair weather.
‘The birds sang in the woods most pleasantly.’
But it was not till spring had far advanced, that the mortality began to cease.
It was afterwards remarked, with modest gratitude, that, of the survivors, very many lived to an extreme old age. A shelter, not less than comfort, had been wanting the living had been scarce able to bury the dead; the well not sufficient to take care of the sick.
At the season of greatest distress, there were but seven able to render assistance.
The benevolent Carver
had been appointed governor: at his first landing, he had
lost a son: soon after the departure of the Mayflower
, his health sunk under a sudden attack; and his wife, broken-hearted, followed him in death.
, the historian of the colony, was soon chosen his successor.
The record of misery was kept by the graves of the governor and half the company.
But if sickness ceased to prevail, the hardships of privation and want remained to be encountered.
In the autumn, an arrival of new emigrants, who came
un-provided with food, compelled the whole colony, for six months in succession, to subsist on half allowance only.
‘I have seen men,’ says Winslow
, ‘stagger by reason of faintness for want of food.’
They were once saved from famishing by the benevolence of fishermen off the coast.
Sometimes they suffered front oppressive exactions on the part of ships, that sold
them provisions at the most exorbitant prices.
Nor did their miseries soon terminate.
Even in the third year of the settlement, their victuals were so entirely
spent, that ‘they knew not at night where to have a ’