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[140] four hundred and ninety persons in the colony,1 in
Chap. IV.}
six months, indolence, vice, and famine, reduced the number to sixty; and these were so feeble and dejected, that, if relief had been delayed but ten days longer, they also must have utterly perished.2

Sir Thomas Gates and the passengers, whose ship

1610.
had been wrecked on the rocks of the Bermudas, had reached the shore without the loss of a life. The liberal fertility of the uninhabited island, teeming with natural products, for nine months sustained them in affluence. From the cedars which they felled, and the wrecks of their old ship, they, with admirable perseverance, constructed two vessels, in which they now embarked for Virginia,3 in the hope of a happy welcome to the abundance of a prosperous colony. How great, then, was their horror, as they came among
May 24.
the scenes of death and misery, of which the gloom was increased by the prospect of continued scarcity Four pinnaces remained in the river; nor could the extremity of distress listen to any other course, than to sail for Newfoundland, and seek safety by dispersing the company among the ships of English fishermen.4 The colonists—such is human nature—desired to burn
June 7.
the town in which they had been so wretched, and the exercise of their infantile vengeance was prevented only by the energy of Gates,5 who was himself the last to desert the settlement. ‘None dropped a tear, for none had enjoyed one day of happiness.’ They fell down the stream with the tide; but, the next morning,
June 8.
as they drew near the mouth of the river, they encountered the long-boat of Lord Delaware, who had

1 Smith, i. 240.

2 Purchas, IV. 1732 and 1766. Stith, 117. True Declaration, 47, or Smith, II. 4, says four days.

3 True Declaration of Virginia 23—26.

4 Ibid. 43, 44.

5 Ibid. 45. Smith. II. 3.

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