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[97] ordered the village to be burnt and the standing
Chap. III.} 1585 Aug 25.
corn to be destroyed. Not long after this action of inconsiderate revenge, the ships, having landed the colony, sailed for England; a rich Spanish prize, made by Grenville on the return voyage, secured him a courteous welcome as he entered the harbor of Plymouth. The transport ships of the colony were at the same time privateers.1

The employments of Lane and his colonists, after the departure of Sir Richard Grenville, could be none other than to explore the country; and in a letter, which he wrote while his impressions were yet fresh, he expressed himself in language of enthusiastic ad-

Sept. 3
miration. ‘It is the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven; the most pleasing territory of the world; the continent is of a huge and unknown greatness, and very well peopled and towned, though savagely. The climate is so wholesome, that we have not one sick, since we touched the land. If Virginia had but horses and kine, and were inhabited with English, no realm in Christendom were comparable to it.’2

The keenest observer was Hariot; and he was often employed in dealing with ‘the natural inhabitants.’ He carefully examined the productions of the country, those which would furnish commodities for commerce, and those which were in esteem among the natives. He observed the culture of tobacco; accustomed himself to its use, and was a firm believer in its healing virtues. The culture of maize, and the extraordinary productiveness of that grain, especially attracted his admiration; and the tuberous roots of the potato, when boiled, were found to be very good food. The inhabitants

1 The Voyage, in Hakluyt, III. 307—310.

2 Lane, in Hakluyt, III. 311.

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