Puslapio vaizdai

and affectionate farewells; and kneeling down with them ail on the sea-shore, commended them, in a fervent prayer, to the blessing and protection of Heaven. Such were the men whom the English monarch cast out of his dominions; and such the scenes of wisdom and piety, which the control of Divine Providence elicited from the folly, arrogance, and bigotry of a tyrant.

The emigrants were at first driven back by a storm, which destroyed one of their vessels; but finally re-embarking in the other at Plymouth, on the 6th of September, they succeeded, after a long and dangerous voyage, in reaching the coast of America (9th Nov., 1620). Hudson's River was the place where they had proposed to disembark, and its banks were the scene of their intended settlement; but the Dutch, who conceived that a preferable right to this territory accrued to them from its discovery by Captain Hudson, had maintained there for some years a small commercial establishment, and were actually projecting a scheme of more extensive occupation; which they were neither disposed to forego, nor yet prepared to defend. In order to defeat the design of the English, they bribed the captain of the vessel in which the emigrants sailed, to carry the passengers so far towards the north, that the first land which they reached was Cape Cod, a region not only beyond the precincts of their grant; but beyond the territories of the company from which the grant was derived. The advanced period of the year, and the sickliness occasioned by the hardships of a long voyage, compelled the adventurers to settle on the soil to which they were thus conducted, and which seemed to have been expressly prepared and evacuated for their reception by a pestilential disease, which, during several preceding years, had swept away nine tenths of its savage and idolatrous population. After exploring the coast, they chose for their station a place afterwards included within the province of Massachusetts, to which they gave the name of New Plymouth, in commemoration of the city with which their last recollections of England were associated. To supply, in some measure, the absence of a more formal title, they composed and subscribed an instrument declaratory of the purpose with which they had come to America, recognizing the sovereign authority of the English Crown, and expressing their own combination into a body politic, and their determination to enact just and righteous laws, and to evince and enforce a strict obedience to them.

The speedy approach and intense severity of their first winter in America painfully convinced the settlers that a more unfavorable season of the year could not have been selected for the plantation of their colony; and that the slender stores with which they were provided were greatly short of what was requisite to comfortable subsistence, and formed a very inadequate preparation to meet the rigor of the climate. Their exertions to procure for themselves suitable dwellings were obstructed, for a time, by the hostile attacks of the neighboring Indians; and the colonists had scarcely succeeded in repulsing them when sickness, occasioned by scarcity of provisions, and the increasing horrors of the season, afflicted them with a calamity, perhaps less dangerous to their virtue, but more fatal to their strength and security, than the perils of war. More than one half of their number, including John Carver, their first governor, perished by hunger or disease before the return of spring; and during the whole of the winter, only a few were capable of providing for themselves, or rendering assistance to the rest; but hope and virtue survived; and, rising in vigor beneath the pressure of accumulated suffering, surmounted and ennobled every circumstance of distress. Those who retained their strength became the servants of the weak, the afflicted, and the dying; and none distinguished himself more in this humane employment than Carver, the governor. He was a man of large estate, but more enlarged benevolence; he had spent his whole fortune in the colonial project; and now, willingly contributing his life to its accomplishment, he exhausted a feeble body in laboriously discharging the humblest offices of kindness and service to the sick. He was succeeded by William Bradford, who, inheriting the merit and the popularity of his predecessor, was reelected to the same office for many successive years-notwithstanding his own earnest desire to be released from the charge, and his oft-repeated remonstrance that "if this office were an honor, it should be shared by his fellow-citizens, and if it were a burden, the weight of it should not always be imposed upon him."

On the arrival of summer, the health of the colonists was restored; and their numbers continued to be recruited occasionally, by successive emigrations of oppressed Puritans from Europe. But these additions fell far short of their expectations, and of the reinforcements which they had mainly looked for from the accession of the remanent congregation at

Leyden, they were unhappily disappointed. The unexpected death of Robinson, their pastor, deprived his people of the only leader whose animating counsels could have overcome the timidity inspired by the accounts of the manifold hardships and distresses sustained by their friends in New England; and upon that event the greater part of those who had remained behind at Leyden now retired to join the other English exiles at Amsterdam, and very few had the courage to proceed to New Plymouth. This small colony, however, had displayed a hardy virtue that showed it was formed for endurance; and having surmounted its first misfortunes, continued to flourish in the cultivation of piety, and the enjoy ment of religious and political freedom. A generous attachment was formed to the soil which had been so worthily earned, and to the society whose continuance attested so manly and glorious a struggle with every variety of ill. While the colonists demonstrated a proper respect for the claims of the original inhabitants of the country, by purchasing from them the territory over which their settlement extended, they neglected no preparation to defend by force what they had acquired with justice; and, alarmed by the tidings of the massacre of their countrymen in Virginia, they erected a timber fort, and adopted other prudent precautions for their security. This purchase from savages, who rather occasionally traversed, than permanently occupied the territory, is, perhaps, the first instance on record of the entire prevalence of the principles of justice in a treaty between a civilized and a barbarous people. GRAHAME.


OUR fathers came hither to a land from which they were never to return. Hither they had brought, and here they were to fix their hopes, their attachments, and their objects. Some natural tears they shed, as they left the pleasant abodes of their fathers, and some emotions they suppressed when the white cliffs of their native country, now seen for the last time, grew dim to their sight. They were acting however upon a resolution not to be changed. With whatever stifled regrets, with whatever occasional hesitation, with whatever appalling apprehensions, which must sometimes arise with force to shake the firmest purpose, they had yet committed themselves to heaven and the elements; and a thousand leagues of water

soon interposed to separate them for ever from the region which gave them birth. A new existence awaited them here; and when they saw these shores, rough, cold, barbarous, and barren, as then they were, they beheld their country. That mixed and strong feeling, which we call love of country, and which is in general never extinguished in the heart of man, grasped and embraced its proper object here. Whatever constitutes country, except the earth and the sun, all the moral causes of affection and attachment which operate upon the heart, they had brought with them to their new abode. Here were now their families, and friends, their homes, and their property.Before they reached the shore, they had established the elements of a social system, and at a much earlier period had settled their forms of religious worship. At the moment of their landing, therefore, they possessed institutions of government, and institutions of religion; and friends and families, and social and religious institutions, established by consent, founded on choice and preference, how nearly do those fill up our whole idea of country! The morning that beamed on the first night of their repose, saw the Pilgrims already established in their country. There were political institutions, and civil liberty, and religious worship. Poetry has fancied nothing in the wanderings of heroes so distinct and characteristic. Here was man indeed unprotected, and unprovided for, on the shore of a rude and fearful wilderness; but it was politic, intelligent, and educated man. Every thing was civilized but the physical world. Institutions containing in substance all that ages had done for human government, were established in a forest. Cultivated mind was to act on uncultivated nature; and, more than all, a government and a country were to commence with the very first foundations laid under the divine light of Christian religion. Happy auspices of a happy futurity! Who would wish that his country's existence had otherwise begun? Who would desire the power of going back to the ages of fable? Who would wish for an origin obscured in the darkness of antiquity? Who would wish for other emblazoning of his country's heraldry, or other ornaments of her genealogy, than to be able to say that her first existence was with intelligence; her first breath the inspirations of liberty; her first principle the truth of divine religion?



How is the spirit of a free people to be formed, and animated, and cheered, but out of the store-house of its historic recollections? Are we to be eternally ringing the changes upon Marathon and Thermopyla; and going back to read in obscure texts of Greek and Latin of the exemplars of patriotic virtue? I thank God that we can find them nearer home, in our own country, on our own soil; that strains of the noblest sentiment that ever swelled in the breast of man, are breathing to us out of every page of our country's history, in the native eloquence of our mother tongue;-that the colonial and provincial cour cils of America exhibit to us models of the spirit and character, which gave Greece and Rome their name and their praise among the nations. Here we ought to go for our instruction; the lesson is plain, it is clear, it is applicable. When we go to ancient history, we are bewildered with the difference of manners and institutions. We are willing to pay our tribute of applause to the memory of Leonidas, who fell nobly for his country in the face of his foe. But when we trace him to his home, we are confounded at the reflection, that the same Spartan heroism, to which he sacrificed himself at Thermopylæ, would have led him to tear his own child, if it had happened to be a sickly babe,-the very object for which all that is kind and good in man rises up to plead, from the bosom of its mother, and carry it out to be eaten by the wolves of Taygetus. We feel a glow of admiration at the heroism displayed at Marathon, by ten thousand champions of invaded Greece; but we cannot forget that the tenth part of the number were slaves, unchained from the work-shops and door posts of their masters, to go and fight the battles of freedom. I do not mean that these examples are to destroy the interest with which we read the history of ancient times; they possible increase that interest by the very contrasts they exhibit. But they do warn us, if we need the warning, to seek our great practical lessons of patriotism at home; out of the exploits and sacrifices of which our country is the theatre; out of the characters of our own fathers. Them we know,-the high-souled, natural, unaffected, the citizen heroes. We know what happy firesides they left for the cheerless camp. We know with what pacific habits they dared the perils of the field. There is no mystery, no romance, no madness, under the name of chivalry, about them. It is all resolute, manly resistance for conscience and liberty's

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