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[139] judgment had ever been clear in the midst of general
Chap IV.} 1609
despondency. He united the highest spirit of adventure with consummate powers of action. His courage and self-possession accomplished what others esteemed desperate. Fruitful in expedients, he was prompt in execution. Though he had been harassed by the persecutions of malignant envy, he never revived the memory of the faults of his enemies. He was accustomed to lead, not to send his men to danger; would suffer want rather than borrow, and starve sooner than not pay.1 He had nothing counterfeit in his nature, but was open, honest, and sincere. He clearly discerned, that it was the true interest of England not to seek in Virginia for gold and sudden wealth, but to enforce regular industry. ‘Nothing,’ said he, ‘is to be expected thence, but by labor.’2

The colonists, no longer controlled by an acknowledged authority, were soon abandoned to improvident idleness. Their ample stock of provisions was rapidly consumed; and further supplies were refused by the Indians, whose friendship had been due to the personal influence of Smith, and who now regarded the English with a fatal contempt. Stragglers from the town were cut off; parties, which begged food in the Indian cabins, were deliberately murdered; and plans were laid to starve and destroy the whole company. The horrors of famine ensued; while a band of about thirty, seizing on a ship, escaped to become pirates, and to plead their desperate necessity as an excuse for their crimes.3 Smith, at his departure, had left more than

1 Smith, i. 241. It is hardly necessary to add, that much of Smith's Generall Historie is a compilation of the works of others. Compare Belknap, i. 303. 304.

2 Answers in Smith, II. 106.

3 True Declaration, 35—39. Compare Stith, 116, 117; Smith, II. 2.

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