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[142] afternoon till four. The houses were warm and
Chap. IV.} 1610.
secure, covered above with strong boards, and matted on the inside after the fashion of the Indian wigwams. Security and affluence were returning. But the health of Lord Delaware sunk under the cares of his situation and the diseases of the climate; and, after a lingering sickness, he was compelled to leave the administration with Percy, and return to England.1 The colony, at this time, consisted of about two hundred men; but the departure of the governor was a disastrous event, which produced not only despondency at Jamestown, but ‘a damp of coldness’ in the hearts of the London company; and a great reaction in the popular mind in England. In the age when the theatre was the chief place of public amusement and resort, Virginia was introduced by the stage-poets as a theme of scorn and derision.2 ‘This plantation,’ complained they of Jamestown, ‘has undergone the reproofs of the base world; our own brethren laugh us to scorne; and papists and players, the scum and dregs of the earth, mocke such as help to build up the walls of Jerusalem.’3

Fortunately, the adventurers, before the ill success

of Lord Delaware was known, had despatched Sir Thomas Dale, ‘a worthy and experienced soldier in the Low Countries,’ with liberal supplies. He arrived safely in the colony, and assumed the government,
May 10.
which he soon afterwards administered upon the basis of martial law. The code, written in blood, and printed and sent to Virginia by the treasurer, Sir Thomas Smith, on his own authority, and without the

1 The New Life of Virginia, 1612, republished in II. Mass. Hist. Coil. VIII. 199—223, and by P. Force, 1835. The Relation of Lord De la Warre, printed in 1611, is before me.

2 Epistle Dedicatorie to the New Life of Virginia. In Force, p. 4.

3 For the Colony in Virginea Britannia, Lawes Divine, Morall, and Martial. London, 1612.

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