[I] am very glad to see you in health, good Master Enrubie, and, hearing of your coming home, I am come to see you and to salute you.
Enrubie. I thank you heartily for it, neighbor Respire, and am glad to see you and the rest of my good neighbors and friends here to be also in good health. I pray you, sit down by me in this arbor.
Respire. That I would do willingly but that I doubt I shall be troublesome to you, for I see you are busy in reading some book, whatever it be.
Enrubie. That shall be no trouble to me nor let to us. For it is but to recreate myself withal for want of better company and exercise.
/2/Respire. If it be for recreation, then I hope it is some matter of delight and special observation.
Enrubie. Yes, indeed; it is a new and pretty discourse of some of our new plantations, namely, that in N[ewfoundland].
Respire. I marvel what good or pleasure you should find in such idle books, fables, I think, not worth the looking on.
Enrubie. They are better than you yet understand, I see, and therefore be not you rash in condemning lest you be hasty also in repenting; for, ad paenitendum properat, cito qui iudicat: hasty men, as they say, never lack woe.
Respire. Why? But do you indeed find any good in reading such books, which I know of many to be but little regarded?
Enrubie. Yea, truly, and that I doubt not but you also shall acknowledge before you depart from hence, if you have the leisure to stay with me but a while.
Respire. I have lost more time than this ere now, and therefore, for your good company's sake, I will, God willing, see the event, and any greater business to hasten me away at this time I have not; I pray you, therefore, tell me what good you get by these books.
What profit may come by reading such books as concern plantations
Enrubie. Besides the delight that comes by the novelty of the contents thereof--and you know that est natura hominum novitatis avida: we are by much nature like the Athenians spoken of in the 17 the Acts of the Apostles, desirous very much to hear news--I do reap thereby unto myself this threefold benefit.
First, I do thereby after a sort, as blessed Moses from Mount Nebo (Deuteronomy 34), view and behold with the eyes of my mind those goodly countries which there God doth offer to give unto us and to our seed.
Secondly, thereby I am enabled with Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14) to stop the mouths and confute the malice of them that in my hearing, like the ten unfaithful spies, shall go about to bring up an evil report upon those good lands, and stay the murmurings of such foolish and ignorant people as upon every idle hearsay or any lazy vagrant's letter are ready to believe the worst.
And, withal, thirdly, I am the better prepared to inform them and others that are willing to know the truth and certainty thereof.
Respire. I see there is good use to be made of such books if a man will. And therefore I shall from henceforth forbear to think of them as I have done, and I shall desire you to lend me that book of yours for a day or two that I may read it over also.
/3/Enrubie. I shall willingly lend you this and one after another two or three more that I have of the like argument. For I wish with all my heart that both you and all my friends were as well acquainted in them as I am.
Respire. I thank you much for this courtesy. But seeing you make such use and reckoning of those books, it seems that you make more account of the actions themselves, that is, of plantations, whereof they do entreat, which yet I ever held, and so I know do many else that be men of good wit and understanding, to be but idle projects and vain attempts.
Plantations themselves are actions very commendable, necessary, etc.
Enrubie. Without any dislike or disparagement to any other men's wits or understandings be it spoken: for mine own part, I do profess I estimate and account the actions themselves to be very good and godly, honorable, commendable, and necessary, such as it were much to be wished might be, and much to be lamented they be not, in far better sort than hitherto any of them are, followed and furthered, as which tend highly, first, to the honor and glory of Almighty God; secondly, to the dignity and renown of the King's most excellent Majesty; and, thirdly, to the infinite good and benefit of this our commonwealth--three things than which none weightier or worthier can in any design or project be leveled or aimed at.
Respire. You make me even amazed to hear of you that so great good may be effected or expected out of those courses which of many are so much contemned and dispraised. Wherefore, for my better satisfaction therein, I pray you, let me hear of you in particular somewhat how these notable effects might be produced, and, namely, first, the glory and honor of God.
Firstly, by them the Church of Christ may notably be enlarged
Enrubie. The glory of God cannot but be much furthered thereby, were it but only that the Gospel of Christ should thereby be professed and published in such places and countries by those alone that shall remove from hence to inhabit there, where before, since the beginning of the Gospel, for aught we know or is likely, it was never heard, at least professed, as it is now of late come to pass, God be praised, and we hope will be shortly in Newfoundland.
Respire. Will be, say you? Methinks you should rather have reckoned that among the first because that for fifty or threescore years before ever the Summer Islands or Virginia were heard of our people did yearly go thither a-fishing, and so the name of Christ was /4/there long since honored among them.
Enrubie. But for all that, till there be Christians inhabiting there we cannot say properly that the Gospel of Christ is planted there or that it is any part of Christendom. It must therefore in that respect give place to the other before named, as which indeed were Christian before it.
By the addition of other countries to Christendom
Respire. I cannot dislike that you say. And indeed any man may see that this must needs be a great advancement to the honor of God whenas the scepter of His son is extended so much farther than it was as if from hence to those remote and unknown regions. Christendom will then be so much the larger. And it seems to me it will be in a goodly order, seeing that, as I understand, from England to Newfoundland, and so to the Summer Islands, and thence to Virginia, all is in one tract--no Turkish, no heathen country, lying between. But proceed, I pray you.
And by the conversion of infinite heathens to Christianity
Enrubie. This is, as you see, greatly to the honor of God, but it will be much more if, when and where our people do plant themselves in such countries where already are an infinite number of other people, all savages, heathens, infidels, idolaters, etc., this in the plantation may principally and speedily be labored and intended: that by learning their languages and teaching them ours, by training up of their children, and by continual and familiar converse and commerce with them, they may be drawn and induced, persuaded and brought to relinquish and renounce their own heathenisms, idolatries, blasphemies, and devil worships.
The papists have much endeavored this way
And if, for that I take it cannot be denied, the papists have done much good that way by spreading the name of Christ, though but after their corrupt and superstitious manner, into so many unknown nations that lived before altogether in the service and captivity of the devil--for better it is that God be served a bad way than no way at all--how much more good must it needs be if the name of the true God in a true and sound manner might there be published and spread abroad?
To which purpose, I would to God there were among us, us Protestants that profess and have a better religion than they the papists, one-half of that zeal and desire to further and disperse our good and sound religion as seems to be among them for furthering and dispersing theirs. Which not found--/5/for our zeal is coldness and our forwardness backwardness in that behalf in respect of theirs--I need not say, "we may fear," but rather, "we may assure ourselves," that they shall rise against us in the day of judgment and condemn us. As they have deserved, so let them have the palm and praise in this point; for what other ends soever they proposed in their conquests and courses, questionless religion, the Christian faith, according to their knowledge, was not the least nor the last, since, certain it is, they never set foot in any country nor prevailed in any coast wherein they did not forthwith endeavor to root out paganism and plant Christianism, or leave behind them at least some monuments and signs thereof.
And who can tell?--I speak this to provoke ours the more withal--who can tell, I say, whether God hath even therefore, as to Jehu that rooted out Baal, himself continuing to worship Jeroboam's calves (II Kings 10:30, 31), bestowed on them a great part of that success in wars, increase in wealth, and honor on earth, which had we stood forth in their stead and gone before them, as we should and might have done, He would more admirably, happily, and abundantly have conferred on us? For He that is so kind to His enemies, what would He have been to His friends?
Respire. I easily perceive that this might redound not a little to the glory of God if the conversion of such people and nations might be accomplished. Lord, how many thousands and millions of souls might so be saved which now run headlong into hell! It were a glorious work, imitating notably that of the blessed apostles which converted the world so long ago from dead idols to serve the living God. And in so holy and religious a labor I am sorry to hear that we should not be as forward as papists but that to be verified twixt us and them also in this case which our Saviour said in another: "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." But as I must needs confess that the work were a worthy piece of work if it might be wrought, and that happy were our land if the children thereof might be made of God agents therein, so methinks we had need to have some assurance of the will of God that it should be done. For, as you know better than I can tell you, if the time of their conversion be not come, or if God, as He hath wrapped them hitherto in unbelief, so He be not pleased nor determined to release them to call them to the knowledge of His truth and to manifest His son unto them at /6/all, our labor then will be but in vain and our attempt not pleasing but displeasing in His sight.
It is God's will to call them to the knowledge of His truth
Enrubie. That God desireth and willeth His name, His truth and Gospel by us to be published in those heathen and barbarian lands, the inclination and readiness alone of those people and nations may sufficiently assure us, who, as it were prepared of God to receive the Gospel from our mouths if it might be but sounded unto them, do even of their own accord offer themselves to be taught, suffer their children to be baptized and instructed by us, and, as weary of and half seeing the grossness of their own abominations and the goodness of our observations, do make no great difficulty to prefer our religion before theirs and to confess that it is God that we and the devil that they do worship.
And their conversion must be before the end of the world can be
For my own part, I am persuaded that God will instantly have them, either by us, or by others if we will not, called to the knowledge of His truth and turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that so the words of our Saviour may be fully fulfilled, who (Matt. 24:14) hath foretold us that the Gospel, before the end shall come, must be preached throughout the whole world, and (Mark 13:10) be published among all nations, which howsoever most hold is long since accomplished in that it either now is or heretofore hath been preached to all or near all nations of this upper continent; yet I am now resolved--let it be my private error, if I do err--that they will not be fulfilled indeed, according to our Saviour's intent, until that unto them also that inhabit that other, the under continent, it be made manifest, which it seemeth unto me God doth now hasten to accomplish in that within our age alone a great part thereof hath had the same, though corruptly, though imperfectly, brought unto them.
Respire. You do well to say that this is your own private opinion, for no man else, I think, is of that mind.
Enrubie. Not many, it may be; but yet I assure you I am not alone. For there was but few years past a preacher in Dorsetshire of some note and name, that in a sermon of his entitled "The Magold [sic MW] and the Sun," now extant in print, page 40, upon these words of his text (Luke 1:79), "To give light to them that sit in darkness," etc., saith thus: "This light rising first from the Jews, as from His East or Orient, is carried over all the world and hath given light to /7/us English that sat in darkness. Of His first rising read Luke 24:47 beginning, saith our Saviour there, from Jerusalem. Hence sprung this blessed light first, and thence, besides His dispersion into other parts of the world, was carried over all Greece, Italy, Germany, France, and rose to us also, and is now making day to the Indians and Antipodes. For the world shall not end till He have finished His course, I mean, till, as the Evangelist (Matt. 24:14) saith, the Gospel be preached in all the world and be a testimony to all nations, and then shall the end come." Thus he. Dr. Keckermann likewise, that famous professor of arts and learning, divine and human, in his Manuduction to Theology, of late translated into English by my worthy friend Master T. Vickars, bachelor in divinity, page 94, writes of this matter in this manner: "And doubtless towards the end of the world the true religion shall be in America, as God is now preparing way for it by the English and Low-Country merchants, that that of Christ may be fulfilled (Matt. 24:14). This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached through the whole world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come. For God in all His works is wont to effect a thing successively, and therefore first He sends to those nations some light of His essence and truth by the papists, and afterward will make these things shine more clearly unto them by the true and faithful ministers of the Gospel." Thus far he.
So that in their opinion as well as mine this is a work that must be done before the end can be. Wherefore, since it is a work, and a most holy and necessary work, which must be done before the day, the great day of the Lord, can come, I see not how we can without sin, having anything to do in those parts, withdraw our shoulder from this burden or withhold our hand from this plow. And so much the more will the sin be by how much it is far more easy for us this to hold and undergo than it was for those that did undertake the like task for us--I mean, the conversion of our ancestors and predecessors in this land, a people as rude and untractable at the least that way as these now, inasmuch as they were to preach and not to subdue; but we may plant as well as preach, and may subdue as well as teach, whereby the teachers shall need to fear no loss of goods or life, no prison nor sword, no famine or other persecuting distress for the Gospel's sake. Whose steps, if our nation, if our countrymen in their intended plantations among those infidels would in any /8/measure follow, how many souls might they save alive? How many sinners might they convert from going astray? How much might they ampliate the kingdom of Christ in earth, advance the name, glory, and worship of our, the only true and everlasting, God, and prepare for themselves an abundant, or rather a superabundant, heap of glory in heaven, according to that which is written (Dan. 12:3), "They that be wise shall shine as the firmament; and they that turn many unto righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever"?
Respire. That these courses tend to the glory of God I plainly see and acknowledge. But how may they be to the renown and benefit of the King's most excellent Majesty?
Secondly, by them the majesty and renown of the Kings of England may be much augmented
Enrubie. These could not but much augment and increase the majesty and renown of our dread sovereign if thereby his dominion be extended, as it were, into another world, into those remote parts of the earth, and his kingdoms be increased into many mo [sic MW] in number by the addition and access of so many, so spacious, so goodly, so rich, and some so populous countries and provinces as are by these beginnings offered unto his hands.
We see the evidence and certainty of this assumption as clear as the sunshine at high noon in the person of the King of Spain, whose predecessors and progenitors accepting that which others did refuse, and making better use of such opportunities than any else have done, he is thereby become lord not only of territories almost innumerable but also of treasures and riches in them inestimable.
Whose right thereto and to the rest of that continent, be it what it may be, cannot, I suppose, in any equity or reason be any sufficient bar to any Christian prince why he should not yet, by any lawful and good means, seize into his hands and hold as in his own right whatsoever countries and islands are not before actually inhabited or possessed by him the Spaniard or some other Christian prince or state. Of which sort, since yet there are many, it were much to be wished that his Majesty might in time, while opportunities serve, take notice and possession of some of them, whereunto these courses of plantation, being rightly prosecuted, are a singular if not the only means.
Respire. All this is most apparent; but may the like be said for your third point, the good of this land likewise?
/9/Thirdly, by them the good of this land may notably be procured
Enrubie. Yes, verily. Whosoever shall but lightly consider the estate thereof as now it stands shall plainly see and will be enforced to confess that the prosecuting, and that in an ample measure, of those worthy attempts is an enterprise for our land and common good most expedient and necessary. For:
Firstly, in the easier supportation of the regal state
First of all, whereas toward the supportation of their regal estate for many and urgent necessities the kings of this land are oft occasioned to demand and take of their subjects great sums of money by subsidies and otherlike ways, which to many of the subjects, specially the clergy--who for the most part to such payments, as things now stand, pay eight or ten times as much proportionably as other subjects do--is somewhat hard and heavy to endure; this burden would be more easily borne and could not but become much the lighter if by the accession of more kingdoms to their crown, store of treasures being brought into their coffers, the same were borne by divers other lands and subjects as well as of this and the rest yet under their subjection.
Secondly, in ridding out of the land the great and superfluous multitude thereof
Secondly, whereas our land at this present, by means of our long-continued both peace and health freed from any notable either war or pestilence--the two great devourers of mankind to both which in former ages it was much subject--even swarmeth with multitude and plenty of people, it is time, and high time, that, like stalls that are overfull of bees or orchards overgrown with young sets, no small number of them should be transplanted into some other soil and removed hence into new hives and homes.
Truly, it is a thing almost incredible to relate and intolerable to behold what a number in every town and city, yea, in every parish and village, do abound, which for want of commodious and ordinary places to dwell in do build up cottages by the highwayside and thrust their heads into every corner, to the grievous overcharging of the places of their abode for the present and to the very ruin of the whole land within a while if it be not looked unto, which if they were transported into other regions might both richly increase their own estates and notably ease and disburden ours.
Respire. These be motives of some weight and likelihood; but let me hear more to these, if you have them.
Thirdly, in abating the excessive high prices of all things to live by
Enrubie. Next, thirdly, whereas at this present the prices of all /10/things are grown to such an unreasonable height that the common, that is, the meaner sort of people, are even undone and do live, in respect of that they did for thirty or forty years past, in great neediness and extremity, that there is neither hope nor possibility of amending this evil but in the diminution of the number of people in the land. Which if men will not, by departing hence, elsewhere effect, we must expect that God, they having first eaten out one another, by war or pestilence [will] do it for them.
I know that much help in this case might be had if our magistrates and great ones did take some good course cum effectu for the increase of tillage. But neither thereof is there any great hope, nor therein a sufficient help, since it is out of all doubt that unless it be in an extraordinary fruitful year--and of them nowadays God for our sins sends but a few--our land is not able to yield corn and other fruit enough for the feeding of so many as now do lie and live upon it. And when it, which was wont to help feed other countries, must, as of late we have to our cost both seen and felt, be fain to have help and food from others, how can our state be for the commons but woeful and ill? Likewise, if some good course might be taken for restraint of excessive fines and rents, whereby landlords nowadays grind the faces of the poor and draw into their own hands all the sweet and fat of the land so that their poor tenants are able neither to keep house and maintain themselves nor, as anciently such houses did, to relieve others, then could not the prices of all things but much abate and come down. Yet this were but an imperfect cure. The true and sure remedy is the diminution of the people, which reduced to such a competent number as the land itself can well maintain would easily cause not only the excessive height of fines and rents but also the prices of all things else to fall of themselves and stay at so reasonable a rate that one might, which now they cannot, live by another in very good sort.
Fourthly, in enriching the poorer sort hence removed
Consider also the great riches, wealth, and good estate which such who here live, and cannot but live, parce & duriter, poor and hardly, might by transportation within a while rise unto; whileas they may have otherwhere for their bad cottages good houses, for their little gardens great grounds, and for their small /11/backsides large fields, pastures, meadows, woods, and otherlike plenty to live upon.
Fifthly, in amending the trade and traffic of merchants
The benefit that might that way accrue unto merchants and all kind of adventurers by sea is infinite. For traffic and merchandise cannot but by means thereof wonderfully be bettered and increased. And withal, which is not the least point in observation, most commodious and delightful must merchandising and traffic needs be while it shall be exercised for the most part between one and the same people, though distant in region yet united in religion, in nation, in language and dominion. Which surely is a thing likely to prove so material and beneficial as may turn the greater part of our merchants' voyages that way and free them from many of those dangerous passages which now they are fain to make by the Straits and Narrow Seas; may find them out their rich and much-desired commodities, and greater store and at a better hand than now they have them otherwhere, and vent them many a thing which now do seldom or not at all pass their hands.
But of all other I need speak little of the merchants' good, as who can and, I am persuaded, do, so well know it of themselves and thereupon affect the enterprise so much, that if other men's desires and endeavors were correspondent it would take both speedy and condign effect.
Sixthly, in rooting out idleness out of this land
The last benefit to our land, but not the least, is the curing of that evil disease of this land, which, if it be not looked unto and cured the sooner, will be the destruction of this land, I mean, idleness, the mother of many mischiefs, which is to be cured and may be rooted out of the land by this means, yea, by this only and by none other, viz., by plantation.
Respire. Idleness is a naughty vice indeed, but commonly it doth hurt none but them in whom it is, and yet except that fault many that be idle be honest men and have in them divers good qualities; and therefore methinks you speak too hardly of it to call it "the mother of mischiefs." There be worse vices a great many in the land, as this drunkenness and unthrifty spending of their goods which are everywhere so common.
Enrubie. I perceive by you it is a very bad cause that cannot get a proctor. That which I have spoken against idleness is but little to that I could speak and which writers both human and /12/divine have spoken of it, to whom I will refer you lest we protract this our conference over long. But for the vices you speak of, if they be, as you say, worse than idleness, yet--as sometimes of a bad mother there may come worse daughters--I assure you, they and many more, as filching and stealing, robbery and cozenage, adultery and incest, fornication and all kind of wantonness and uncleanness, beggary and roguery, profaneness and idolatry, and a number more that upon the sudden I cannot call to mind and with which this land of ours is defiled and filled, be none other, for the most part, than the fruits and offspring, the brood and increase of idleness, which alone taken away and weeded out these all would fall away and vanish with her. For, Sublata causa, tollitur effectus,saith the philosopher: the cause of anything taken away, the effect is also taken away with it and must cease.
Respire. A happy work indeed were the doing thereof. But do you think, or is there any probability, that this might be done by so speedy and easy a means as plantation?
Enrubie. Questionless. The best and the only cure thereof by the hand of man is this way and none other. The diminution of the people of the land unto a due and competent number will do it. This is apparent by experience. For look we back to the state of our land for forty, fifty, or sixty years ago, before it did thus exceed in multitude, and we shall see that few or none of these vices did then abound--nothing in comparison of that they do now--as which have since sprung up out of idleness, that since that time, together with the multitude and increase of the people, is risen and increased.
Respire. Indeed, I remember well when I was a young man there were no such swaggering youths, potting companions, and idle gamesters as be now in the country; little fornication, bastardy, quarreling and stabbing, and otherlike wicked facts, in respect of those that be now, howsoever it be that the world is so much altered. But that these evils may be amended by plantations yet I see not.
Enrubie. I will make you see it and confess it too. You have yourself a great many of children. If you should keep them all at home and have not wherewith to set them to work, nothing to employ them in--for all the work you have to do ordinarily is not enough for above two or three of them--must they not /13/needs fall to idleness? What will most of them prove but idlers and loiterers? Now, to prevent and avoid this what other remedy have you but either to get work for them into your own house from other men, if you can have it, or else perforce to place them forth of your own house into other men's, one to this trade or occupation, another to that, where they may be set awork and kept from idleness?
Respire. This is true. But what is this to our purpose?
Enrubie. Very much. For the cases are very like. Thereby you may plainly perceive that, as the only way to rid idleness out of your house, having no work for them at home, is to place abroad your children into other houses, as it were into colonies, where they may be set awork; so the only way to rid idleness out of a whole parish, town, county, or country, the same being not able to set those that are idle therein awork--and it is a thing so evident, that for the idle people of our land, what by the great number of them, which is almost infinite, and what by the present damp and decay of all trades and employments, the land is not any way able to set them awork, that it needs no proof--is to place abroad the inhabitants thereof which therein be not nor can be set awork into other parishes, towns, counties, and countries.
Respire. If this course should be taken, it would touch very near a great many of the best livers in the country, who both themselves and their children be as idle as any can be and yet would be loath, having so good means here to live by, to be removed into plantations abroad.
Enrubie. These might be brought from idleness and yet abide at home too. For, if the superfluous multitude of our land were removed, those which you speak of would for their own need fall to work and leave idleness, because, that multitude removed, they should have none to do their work for them as now they have while they go to playing, potting, and otherlike vain and idle courses.
The magistrates of our land have of late made many good statutes and provisions for the beating down of drunkenness, for setting the poor and idle people to work, and otherlike; but how little effect hath followed? Drunkenness increaseth daily and laughs the laws to scorn. Poverty more and more ariseth, /14/and idle people still do multiply. Other sins and disorders are sometimes punished, but yet they still remain and, as it were in despite of laws, they spread more and more abroad. The reason is, if a man may be bold to give the reason of it, they strike at the boughs but not at the roots. If there were the like good orders taken for the rooting out and beating down of idleness itself in our land, which can be done no other way but by plantations, both idleness itself and all the rest of the evils before named, and otherlike that arise out of it, would vanish away as smoke before the wind and melt as wax against the fire.
Then these blind and filthy alehouses, which are none other than the devil's dens wherein lurk his beastly slaves day and night, which all the justices in the country cannot now keep down, would sink of themselves to the ground.
Then these tobacco shops that now stink all the land over would shortly cease to fume out their infernal smokes and come to a lower rate and reckoning by an hundredfold.
Then the many idle trades which of late are risen up in the land under color to keep people from idleness and to set the poor on work, such, I say, as the former ages knew not and our present age needs not, as which serve to nothing but to the increase of pride and vanity in the world, would quickly grow out of request.
Prisons and violent deaths
Then the prisons and sheriffs' wards would not be one-half so full of malefactors and bankrupts as now they are. And last of all, but not the least, for who can reckon up all the benefits that this one remedy would bring unto our land? Then should not one-half so many people of our land be cut off by shameful, violent, and untimely deaths as now there are.
Respire. Your speeches are very probable. But by this means, so many idle people of our land, as you intimate, being removed, the plantations will then be pestered with them there as much and as bad as we are here and so those good works be discredited and haply overthrown thereby. It is but the removing of evil from one place to another.
Enrubie. Howsoever, such a removal made, our land, which is the point in question, shall be cleared and cured. But of that extreme hurt to the plantations that you forecast there is no /15/fear. For, whereas there are in our land at this present many idle persons, some are such as gladly would work if they could get it. They are idle not for any delight they have in idleness but because they can get no body nor means to set them on work. Some are such, indeed, as may work and will not. They have wherewithal to keep themselves from idleness, that is, work enough of their own to do, but, delighting in idleness and counting it a disgrace to men of their means to work and labor in their vocation, they will have and hire others to do their work, to be their servants and laborers, which they needed not and which other men of like quality and ability that are thrifty and good commonwealth men indeed do not nor will do; and they themselves the while live idly, spend their time vainly, lie at the alehouse or tavern, bibbing and bousing beastly, sit at cards or tables loosely, haunt idle and lewd company shamefully, and give themselves to no good practice or exercise commendably, but run on from ill to worse, to the shame and discredit of themselves and their friends, and many times to the utter undoing and overthrow of them and theirs miserably. A third sort there are, as it were a mixed kind of people, neither altogether idle nor yet well and sufficiently set awork. Of these, some work at a low and small rate, many times glad to serve for anything rather than to beg, steal, or starve; and some of them set up idle and pelting trades, as it were shifts to live by, for lack of better employment, that so they may have one way or other somewhat to live upon.
Of all these, if the first and third sort were removed into plantations, where they might have either good livings of their own to live upon or good employment by others to labor upon, it is no doubt but that the most part of them would be glad of the exchange and prove laborious and industrious people, to their own good and the good, not the hurt, of the country into which they shall be removed. And then, for the second or middle sort, it is not much to be doubted but that, the occasions of their idleness taken away, as I said but now, they also will leave to be idle, fall to do their own work as they should, learn to thrive and become profitable to themselves and this our country wherein they remain, and be at length as much /16/ashamed to be idle and vain henceforth as heretofore they were to work and labor.
If any continue their former lewd and disordered courses, being but a few, so many of their wonted companions being severed and gone from them, there is hope that a little severity of the laws--which easily reclaimeth a few when on a multitude sometimes it can do little good--will and may bring them also to a better course.
And thus I hope you see that it is not impossible the idleness that is in our land to be notably cured and expelled, and that this may be done either only or at least no way so soundly, readily, and speedily as by plantations. And therefore, the state of our land considered, if there were no other benefit that might arise of plantations, yet this alone, viz., the rooting out and destroying of idleness out of the land, which else viperlike will in time root out and destroy the land itself wherein it is bred, were cause all-sufficient and reason enough why such attempts should be undertaken and by all possible means furthered and hastened.
Respire. I cannot but like well of all that hitherto you have said touching the goodness and necessity of these actions. But yet methinks there may be a question whether they be lawful or not. For methinks it should neither be lawful for any people to forsake the country wherein God hath placed them and in which they and their progenitors for many generations have remained, nor to invade and enter upon a strange country of which they have no warrant nor assurance that God is pleased they should adventure upon it.
Plantations be lawful
Enrubie. If any will make question of the lawfulness of such actions, Nature itself, which hath taught the bees when their hive is overfull to part company and by swarming to seek a new habitation elsewhere, doth evidently inform us that it is as lawful for men to remove from one country to another as out of the house wherein they are born or the parish wherein they are bred unto another. If human reason satisfy not--for some will make doubts in cases most clear--there is divine warrant for it that may. For it was God's express commandment to Adam (Gen. 1:28) that he should fill the earth and subdue it. By virtue of which charter he and his have ever since /17/had the privilege to spread themselves from place to place and to have, hold, occupy, and enjoy any region or country whatsoever which they should find either not preoccupied by some other or lawfully they could of others get or obtain.
Upon which clause, we Englishmen have as good ground and warrant to enter upon Newfoundland, or any other country hitherto not inhabited or possessed by any nation else, heathen or Christian, and any other that we can lawfully--I say, lawfully--get of those that do inhabit them, as to hold our own native the English soil.
Respire. But this, though I see it to be lawful, seems yet to be a very strange course, the like whereof in former ages hath not been used.
Plantations no new nor strange course but both usual and ancient
Enrubie. That this course hath been in former times both usual and ancient, and not, as you seem to imagine, new and strange, though I might prove by conjecture only--for how else had it been possible so many, so divers, so distant, and so great countries to be peopled but by removing from one country to another?--Or refer you to human histories, which are full of such narrations, and of them, above all, to the Roman state, which from their very first years, ab urbe condita, after that Rome itself was builded, fell apace to that practice and had ever in hand one or other colony. One of good antiquity and therefore not partial, and of great observation and therefore regardable, doth tell us expressly that as other things common by nature, so lands, so countries--for they also are a part of his omnia--have become private from time to time aut veteri occupatione, aut victoria, aut lege: either by ancient usurpation, men finding them void and vacant, or by victory in war, or by legal condition or composition in peace. But what need I care what such say or say not whenas Holy Writ itself tells us very plainly (Gen. 10:5) that whereas after Noah's flood there were no more alive on earth of all the posterity of Adam but Noah and his sons and their wives--eight persons in all--"Of them only were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands, every man after his tongue and after their families in their nations"? And again, verse 32, "Out of these were the nations divided in the earth," that is, these, as they increased, dispersed themselves and inhabited and replenished first one country and then another, as we see at this day. And /18/this upon warrant of that grant which Adam had being renewed and confirmed unto Noah and his sons (Gen. 9:1), Replete terram: "Replenish ye the earth or fill it up again." Lastly, let such but look back and think how at first we, the inhabitants of this land, came hither. Were all indigenae, or rather terrigenae? Did they at first spring up here out of the earth? Are we of the race and offspring of Noah or his sons, and therefore per conseq. undeniable, as all our histories do accord, have come from otherwhere? Why then should that seem so insolent to us and in our time which have been so usual at all times and in all ages?
Respire. You have, methinks, well justified this course in general. Now if you can as well clear it in some particulars, I shall haply at length be of your mind also for the main.
Certain objections answered
Enrubie. Object your particulars and I doubt not whatsoever they be but I shall be able reasonably to satisfy you in them.
Respire. The places, the countries to be planted and inhabited by us, are very far off from hence.
Enrubie. To that I say, first, if nearer places cannot be had, better a good place though far off than none at all.
Secondly, others, as the Spaniards, have and do remove and plant further off by a great deal.
Thirdly, Abraham, Jacob, and other good men have been content in less need, save that God so commanded, to depart far from the places of their birth, as we may see (Gen. 12:4; Acts 7:3; and otherwhere).
Fourthly, when God calls and, as with us now, necessity doth so require, good men should be indifferent to dwell in one country as well as in another, accounting, as one said well, ubi bene, ibi patria: wheresoever a man is or may be best at ease, that is, or should be, to him as his country. A very heathen man could say:
Omne solum forti patria est, ut piscibus aequor: Ut volucri, vacuo quicquid in orbe patet,
Unto a valiant-minded man, each country good is his: As is wide world unto the birds, and broad sea to the fish.
And another, being asked Cuius esset urbis? answered Orbis, as who would say the world at large were his seat or city.
/19/Fifthly, Sisterland, or as it is yet commonly called, Newfoundland, which for the present seemeth to be the fittest of all other intended plantations, is not very far off. It is not with a good wind above fourteen or fifteen days' sail, as easy a voyage in manner, the seas and passage considered, as into our next neighbor country Ireland, whither of late years many have out of England, to their and our good, removed.
Sixthly, our merchants, in hope of present but uncertain gain, do yearly and usually travel into farther countries a great deal; and why then should any for his assured, certain, and perpetual good think it intolerable or unreasonable to make one such a journey in his life?
Respire. The countries themselves are wild and rude--no towns, no houses, no buildings there.
Enrubie. Men must not look still, in such a case, to come to a land inhabited and to find ready to their hands, as in Israel in Canaan, great and goodly cities which they builded not; houses full of all manner of store which they filled not; wells digged which they digged not; vineyards and orchards which they planted not, as Moses speaketh (Deut. 6:10). It must content them that God prepareth them a place, a land, wherein they may build them cities, towns, and houses to dwell in; where they may sow land and plant them vineyards and orchards too, to yield them fruits of increase, as the Psalmist writeth (Ps. 107:39).
Secondly, think they it is nobody's lot but theirs? And do they imagine that in any country wheresoever, where now there are castles and towers, houses and habitations of all sorts settled, there was not a time when none of these were standing but that the ground was as bare and naked thereof, as wild and void of coverture, as any of our plantations are? For, according to our English proverb, Rome itself was not built in one day.
Thirdly, they that shall at first come there may account it a benefit to find the places unbuilt, in that they may thereby choose them seats and divide the country at their own will; that they may enter large territories and take to themselves ample possessions at pleasure for them and theirs for many generations; that they may be freed from these extreme fines and overracked rents which make their old neighbors and native friends /20/behind to groan and may well make them weary of the land itself, for who can bear them?
Fourthly, and if they can be content here to build up houses upon the highwayside, though there be not the fourth part of an acre of ground lying unto it, or think themselves bountifully dealt with if any gentleman would give to any of them three or four acres of ground for their own time at a reasonable rent--and yet few be the landlords that be so liberal--so as they would build a house on it, why should they not rather go where they may have an hundred, five hundred, or a thousand acres of ground to them and theirs forever at the like rate?
Respire. But what and how shall men do the while for houses and dwellings till they can build, etc.?
Tents may serve for a time
Enrubie. They may and must for a time dwell in tents and pavilions, as soldiers do now in the field, tradesmen in a fair, and as in ancient times men of good and great account, from time to time, from place to place, many years together have done, as appeareth (Heb. 11:9), the particulars whereof you may read at leisure (Gen. 12:8 and 15:5 and 18:1 and 24:67 and 31:33). So dwelled all Israel in the wilderness full forty years, as you may find (Lev. 23:42 and Num. 14:33, 34). Yea, was not God Himself content to dwell in a tent in the midst of Israel till the days of David and reign of Solomon, who found that favor in His eyes that he might build Him an house? As it is written (II Sam. 7:63 and Acts 7:45). The like did the family of the Rechabites, as appeareth at large (Jeremiah 35), for the space of three hundred years together, whenas all Israel besides dwelt in houses and in walled towns and cities, and saving for the commandment of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, their father, so might they have done. So that it is neither unnatural, unusual, nor unpossible to take pains this way for a time, and that a long time if need be.
Respire. Your examples I must needs yield are all good because they be so authentical. But yet I see not that the use of tents can be anything serviceable, for that being made, as commonly they are, but of raw cloth or canvas, besides that they are very cold, they are not able to keep off any rain or wet an hour to an end.
Enrubie. Well and artificially made, they are more serviceable than you take them to be. Read but Exodus 7 and 14, and to /21/confer it with Sam. 7:2, and you shall find that they may be made very durable, and that to the well-making of tents there may go a covering or two of skins or other stuff so dressed and fitted as nor wet nor cold can easily pierce them.
Respire. I see it well; I pray you, continue.
Enrubie. Besides these, men may, having once gotten place certain for their abode, soon erect some cabins and small houses which may for a time, some years if need be, serve for habitation, and afterward when they can build better may be converted to inferior uses, as for corn, cattle, etc. Men must be contented at first with low and plain buildings. England hath been inhabited two or three thousand years at least, and yet what poor, what homely houses be there many till this very day, and within your remembrance and mine many more there were? If the living be good, though the house be but bad, it is no great matter, good husbands will say.
Respire. The countries themselves are scarce habitable and good, and the soil thereof but barren and bad.
Enrubie. Experience itself, the surest teacher, showeth altogether the contrary. For if any credit be to be given to those that have set us forth their own knowledge and trial thereof, by the constant testimony of them all, not one of those countries intended or attempted to be planted by us but is found to be exceeding good and fruitful. In every country to be inhabited three things are specially to be respected: the temperature of the climate, the goodness of the air, and the fatness of the soil. All and every of these in those regions--a thing seldom found in many of this upper continent--in comparison of many of our northern parts are in the superlative degree, viz.: the soil most fat and fertile, the air most sweet and healthy, and the temper most mild and dainty. If those that lie near or under the equinoctial seem at first to be somewhat of the hottest, yet, since they are inhabited with naturals of many sorts, and our men by their abiding there some years together have found that they can inhabit them, there is no doubt but that that excess of heat whereby as Spain England they exceed these our northern climates will by use and time become very tolerable and kindly to men of our constitution as well as of others.
/22/The healthiness of any country by plantation and inhabitation must needs be much increased. For, the ridding of grounds, casting of ditches and watercourses, and making of fires, together with the destroying of wild and filthy beasts, all which and otherlike do necessarily accompany any good plantation, further much to the cleansing of the air, clearing of fogs, and so ridding of much corruption and unhealthiness from the place.
Add to these the two much-desired commodities in all good habitations, I mean, wood and water--the former whereof so fast decays with us that very want of it only within few years is like to prove exceeding hurtful to our land and can be no way repaired but by transplanting the people--and it is out of all question that neither England nor Ireland nor any country else in this part of Christendom can at this present compare with those, much less exceed them. All which considered, what need any doubt but that the sun, as the old proverb is, doth shine there as merrily as here? And that a little good husbandry will make the dwelling there as commodious, as healthful, as gainful, and every way as good, as any otherwhere.
Respire. Your words do sound somewhat pleasing. But yet I have heard some say somewhat otherwise, as namely, those countries are very barren and unfruitful.
Enrubie. I believe you; for I have heard say too, "Evil will will never say well." Many idle wretches when they come into such places, because they cannot have the plenty without pains, nor find those golden mountains they dreamed of at home, though many things be notable and very good yet will cavil at and blame everything.
Suppose it be somewhat as they say, that is, the ground not so fruitful as some places here in England; yet doth it follow therefore it is not worth the having? If I be not deceived, there be few countries in Europe that can compare with England for richness of the soil and fatness of the earth; yet we all know they are not therefore forsaken. Again, in England itself all places are not alike good. As there be some of excellent mold, so there be barren, heath, and hungry soils a great many; yet we see people are glad to inhabit them. Be it then that some of those parts be no better than our worser grounds--our heaths, Mendip Hills, Wiltshire Downs, Salisbury Plains, and otherlike--yet I hope /23/they are better than none. A great deal of such ground together, I think, may be as good as a little good ground. If any man will thus consider of such complaints and murmurs, he shall see no great cause to regard them. These, therefore, thus satisfied, if you have anything else to say, say on.
Respire. Some say also that those countries are so overgrown with wood, trees, bushes, and suchlike that there is no room for building, no ground for pasture and tillage, or at least not without excessive labor and charge or intolerable and pitiful spoil of the woods and timber to no use.
Enrubie. It cannot be but that those countries, having either not at all or but little as yet been inhabited, must needs be much overgrown with woods and no small part thereof to be a very forest and wilderness; yet certain it is that there are, a thing very admirable and almost beyond expectation--there are, I say--in them to be found many goodly parts of those countries that are very clear of woods, fair and goodly open champion ground, large meadows and pastures many hundred, sometimes thousands of acres together. So that besides the woodlands there is abundantly room and ground enough to build and inhabit upon for more people, I believe, than will hastily be gotten over to dwell there, and more ground open and clear already rid for pasture and tillage than yet there will be people and cattle enough had thither to such uses the same to convert and employ.
The spoil of woods in those countries not sufferable
And therefore there needs not either that complaint which they make of the excessive store and encumberment of woods, nor, which is worse, of that present and hasty spoil and burning up of woods on the sudden for making of room that some do talk of and would have to be made, and, as it is reported, have already made by burning up thousands of acres together. This, truly, in my opinion, is a thing very wicked and such as cannot but be displeasing to Almighty God, who abhorreth all willful waste and spoil of His good creatures. "Gather up that which is left," saith our Saviour, (John 6:12) "that nothing be lost," and a thing that in common civility and humane policy should not be suffered to be done, or, being done, not pass unpunished.
We may know by our own present want of wood here in England what a precious commodity wood is, and be warned by our own harms to make much of it if we have plenty thereof /24/and no further nor faster to cut it down than present use and good occasions from time to time shall require. We should not be so blind as not to foresee that if the countries come once to be inhabited there will be so many and so great occasions of cutting down wood and timber trees as will quickly cause infinite store thereof necessarily to be employed and so the grounds from time to time speedily enough to be made clear and rid for other uses.
For, first, the very building of houses, to which add the necessary making of fences about houses and grounds, will use an infinite deal of wood and timber.
Secondly, the store that will daily and yearly be spent in necessary uses for fire, which at the first specially, till houses be warm and dry and the air corrected, will and must be more than ordinary, cannot but, if once any number of inhabitants go over, be exceeding great.
Thirdly, the building and making of ships and shipping will require and consume very much there. And such order may be taken that by the woods there great spare, a thing very needful, may be made in England of our woods here for that use.
Fourthly, to these places may be transplanted the making of glass and iron, as well for England as for the same countries--two things that, as it is well known, do devour, yet upon necessary uses, wonderful store of wood continually.
Fifthly, the trades of potters for earthen vessels and of coopers for treen vessels--both very necessary, specially at the first--will and must still from time to time spend up much wood and timber.
Sixthly, and little behind them in expense of wood, will be that very necessary trade of making of salt, considering how great use there is and will be thereof there for the fishing voyages, besides all other uses thereof both there and elsewhere.
Seventhly, no small quantity thereof likewise may be cut up and transported into England for our buildings for coopers', joiners', and trunkmakers' trades here, which now at a dearer hand we buy and fetch out of other countries.
Eighthly, besides, the woods standing are of themselves, and by industry more may be made, a great fortification for the inhabitants against man and beast till the countries be and can be better enpeopled and fortified.
/25/These and otherlike necessary and great uses of wood considered, which either must or may be made thereof, little reason or cause is there why, as if it could like the waters in the rivers never be spent while the world stands, there should any sudden and needless spoil by fire or any other wasteful havoc be made thereof; and severely deserve they to be punished that shall make it, and sharply the rest to be restrained, that none like hereafter be made.
Respire. These countries are full of wild beasts, bears, etc.
Enrubie. Firstly, some of them, as the Summer Islands, have no such at all. No harmful thing in them.
Secondly, none of them, especially Newfoundland, as far as I hear, have any, or at least any store of, noisome creatures--as of serpents, crocodiles, etc.--as have many parts of this continent which yet long hath been and still be inhabited.
Thirdly, it is well there are some beasts there, wild at least, if not tame. That is an argument undeniable that tame beasts may there be bred and live.
Fourthly, better wild than none at all. For of some of them some good use may be made for the present, viz., for labor, for food, and for apparel, till better provision can be made. To which purpose such infinite store and variety of beasts, birds, fishes, fruits, and otherlike commodities as in them all are already found and do abound ought rather to provoke people to go thither, assured they cannot, if they will be anything industrious, want necessaries ad victum & amictum, for back and belly, where such plenty is; and to praise God that hath, as for Adam in Paradise before He placed him there (Genesis 1), so for them before He bring them thither, provided so well, rather than the want of some better or other should move them like the Israelites against God (Exodus 16) to murmur and repine, or, which is worse, wholly to refuse and forgo the places.
Fifthly, have not other countries, think you, or at least have had, the like? Is England, is Ireland, is France altogether free? Was Canaan, even that blessed land, without them, yea, good store of them? I take it no, and that, not at the first only, as one may gather (Deut. 7:22), but also many ages after, there were lions (Judg. 14:5 and I Kings 13:24); bears (II Kings 2:24); foxes (Judg. 15:4); hornets /26/(Deut. 7:20); serpents (Isa. 30:6); etc.
Respire. Among other means in these plantations requisite the having thither of tame cattle--as horses, kine, and sheep--seemeth hard to be compassed and yet most needful, and that with the very first to be provided, considering those countries, howsoever they abound in other, are altogether destitute and unprovided of these. And it will be objected that, besides the difficulty of transportation, our country is not able of them to make any spare.
What means for profitable cattle to be had and transported
Enrubie. But if I be not deceived, it were easy to take such a course as might at will furnish that want and yet leave us far better stored than now we are, and that is:
Firstly, for horses: if all transportation of them into France and other vicine parts beyond sea were restrained, that so all such as were wont to pass out of the land that way might now go this.
Secondly, for kine and sheep: our land is well stored of them, or rather pestered with them, that if of the one sort some hundreds and of the other some thousands yearly were thither sent our land should have thereby no loss nor lack, since it is a rule infallible in husbandry, howsoever it seem to some a paradox in sense: the more kine the dearer white; the more sheep the dearer cloth. And therefore we must never look to have those two commodities, white and cloth, at any reasonable hand till the number of those two kind of cattle be, and that in a good measure too, diminished in our land. It is also a maxim undeniable: the more cows the fewer plows and the more milkings the fewer weanlings. And therefore till those cattle (kine) be diminished, and that in a good number, we must not look to have corn and flesh plenty, bread and beef cheap, in England again. But alas! Narratur fabula surdo; for whose hands be deeper in this sin than theirs that should redress it?
Thirdly, if a strict course might be taken--and for a public good why should not our wanton appetites be a little dieted?--that in England, from the third of February till the first of May, or haply but from Septuagesima Sunday till the first Sunday after Easter, the chief time for breed, no calves whatsoever should be killed but all to be weaned and kept for store, within a year or /27/two, without all doubt, we should have beef better cheap in our market a great deal than now it is or for many years past it hath been, and yet many hundreds, haply thousands, of fair yearlings to be had for those our new countries which now have none.
Where, if any good course be taken and well observed for preservation of every kind, I doubt not but they would faster there increase and fill the countries than the inhabitants should be able to make room for them by destroying and killing up those wild and untamed beasts which now do so there abound.
Fourthly, it were good too our fish days all the year long were better kept. For it is certain, the more fish is spent the more flesh is spared, and as both flesh and fish will be thereby the better cheap, so beeves, young bullocks, will be the more saved for the help and use of those which to store their plantations shall want them.
Fifthly, besides, Wales, and here of late, God be thanked, Ireland, seem, by the great droves which yearly they send over, so well stored, that thence alone, though England helped not, provision enough might be had for/1/ that sort that easily there can be transportation had for.
Lastly, as they that write of these discoveries do relate, there be also some countries nearer to some of our plantations than either England or Ireland from which, if men will seek for them, all sorts of tame and profitable cattle that we can or do want may at a very reasonable hand be had.
If it seem hard and strange to any to make transportation of cattle, and that in the countries themselves are none naturally to be had, let them be pleased to understand that to be no new thing and that where now they are most plentiful time hath been none, not one, was to be found; but that such cattle, as well as men--for all came out of Noah's Ark (Gen. 8:17)--were brought and conveyed from place to place. And if they will but a little inquire of elder men and times, they may learn it is but as it were the other day since some countries near unto us had no sheep, other no kine, other few horses; and that at this very instant France is willing to have from us our horses, we from Wales their burs, and from Ireland their cows; all which do pass from one country to another /28/by transportation. And therefore men must be contented, as themselves to dwell where before they have not done, so to get thither cattle where before they have not been.
Respire. The people of those countries are rude and barbarous.
Enrubie. They that like to dwell alone may. There are countries found, and more to be found, I doubt not, not yet inhabited and actually possessed by any people, nation, or state whatsoever.
Secondly, they with whom we have to do are not so rude as some imagine, I believe. Most, if not all of them, specially they of Guiana, do show themselves, their breeding considered, exceeding tractable; very loving and kind to our nation above any other; industrious and ingenious to learn of us and practice with us most arts and sciences; and, which is most to be admired and cherished, very ready to leave their old and blind idolatries and to learn of us the right service and worship of the true God. And what more can be expected from them in so small time and means? Or what surer probability or hope would we have that we shall or may easily and within short time win them to our own will and frame them as we list? Verily, I suppose, if all things be considered well and rightly compared, we have nearer home worse neighbors a great deal.
Thirdly, the Spaniard hath reasonably civilized, and better might if he had not so much tyrannized, people far more savage and bestial than any of these.
Fourthly, we ought to consider that time was the old Britons, the ancient inhabitants of this land, were as rude and barbarous as some of these of foreign parts with whom we have to do. And therefore, considering qua sumus origine nati, for we are also their offspring, we ought not to despise even such poor and barbarous people but pity them and hope that as we are become now, by God's unspeakable mercy to usward, to a far better condition, so in time may they.
Respire. The adventures are very dangerous and liable to losses of life and goods, to troubles manifold, so that they may well be called adventurers that will hazard themselves in them.
/29/Enrubie. Good words, I pray you.
Firstly, many forecast perils where they need not, and so many times are more afraid than hurt. As Solomon observed long ago (Prov. 22:13), "The slothful saith, `A lion is without, I shall be slain in the streets.'"
Secondly, our life and state is not without perils at home; and I tell you, if these adventures, as you call them, be not better followed than yet they are, they will, and cannot but, more and more increase.
Thirdly, no action of such a weight and worth as these are can be without some perils, hurts, and losses, which yet must be adventured and endured in hope of a greater good and ampler recompense another way.
Fourthly, he is not worthy to receive such benefits as these adventures may yield him that for fear of every inconvenience and danger is ready to fall off and disclaim them. Neque mel, neque apes,> saith the old proverb: no bees, for fear of stinging, no honey.
Fifthly, of perils and misadventures some are merely casual and not to be avoided; some are altogether needless and might have been prevented. The former of these must be borne with as a part of that common calamity whereunto the life of man is subject and of those crosses and afflictions wherewith God doth either try His children, as gold in the fire, or afflict and punish them and others. For these no man ought to be troubled and dismayed in these courses more than for the like in any other, nor dislike them one jot the worse.
We find when God would bring His own people, the children of Israel, into that good land, the land of Canaan, which so oft and so solemnly He had promised to them and to their fathers, He did it not without letting them pass and feel some perils by the way: as the stopping at the Red Sea, the pursuit of Pharaoh, one while the want of flesh, another while of water in the wilderness, the terror of fiery serpents, and the assault of many and mighty enemies, with otherlike. We find also that He was much displeased with, and sharply sometimes did punish, those of them that murmured because of those things and would have returned back into Egypt, regarding not to proceed and accept that land, that good land, which the Lord their /30/God had given to them and their seed. And may not this teach us that we must not look to have the hand of God's providence extended unto us without some dangers and encumbrances, and that the Lord is not pleased with those that for fear of every mishap and trouble will be discouraged themselves or will dishearten and discourage others from such attempts?
Christ likewise, the son of God, sending abroad His apostles to preach the Gospel, is so far from securing them of all troubles and dangers in their endeavors thereabout that He foretells them He doth send them forth as lambs among wolves that they should be hated, persecuted, and put to death for His sake, etc. But were the apostles by this dismayed? Did they therefore refuse to undertake their charge and proceed in the work of the Lord? We know the contrary. Notable to this purpose is the protestation of the apostle St. Paul (II Cor. 6:4 and 11:23).
Respire. I pray you, recite the very words; for I desire to hear what so great an apostle hath said to such a purpose.
Enrubie. With a good will. Speaking there both of himself and for the rest of his fellow apostles and laborers in the Gospel, thus he saith:
In all things we approve ourselves as the ministers of God: in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in tumults, in labors. By watchings, by fastings, by purity, by knowledge, by long suffering.
and a little after:
By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report, as deceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet known, as chastened and yet not killed, as sorrowing and yet always rejoicing, as poor and yet making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all things.
And in the same epistle, chap. 11:23, opposing and contesting against false apostles of those times that sought to debase and disgrace him, thus he writeth of his own particulars:
In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prison more plenteously, in death oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one; I was thrice beaten with rods; I was once stoned; I suffered thrice shipwreck. Night and day have I been in the deep sea. In journeying I was often in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of mine own nation, in perils among the Gentiles, /31/in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides the things which are outward, I am cumbered daily and have the care of all the churches. Who is weak and I am not weak? Who is offended and I burn not?
You have heard abundantly of the sufferings; hear also the invincible constancy and magnanimity of this admirable champion of the Lord, expressed with his own mouth (Acts 20:22):
And now behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem and know not what things shall come unto me there, save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But I pass not for it at all, neither is my life dear unto me so that I may fulfil my course with joy and the ministration which I have received of the Lord Jesus, viz., to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.
And chap. 21:13,
I am ready not to be bound only but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Having such lights and leaders for our example, shall we grudge and utterly refuse to suffer anything, to hazard any troubles, and to bear any crosses at all--and it is not possible we should meet with such a measure and heap thereof as they did by many degrees--for the Gospel's sake and, besides all other good that may come thereof, that we may help to enlarge the kingdom of God and His Christ on earth? And thus much of the first sort of evil accidents and mishaps.
The other sort, which I called needless or willful, by which I mean such as men willfully, through their own fault, do cast themselves or others into by their evil managing of any such business, by rashness, disorder, oversight, or the like, ought not to be imputed to the actions themselves, as which do not necessarily draw any such after them, but to the authors and actors of the same. As, if men meet with dangers at sea by setting forth at unseasonable times, in the winter, in foul weather, or otherlike; if they be surprised by an enemy at sea or land, they going without sufficient forces both of men and munition for such an enterprise; if they be distressed with want of victuals and other provisions when they set forth slenderly, poorly, and ill provided, with otherlike.
/32/Sixthly, these actions--our plantations, I mean--properly and in their own nature are liable to as few hazards and mishaps as any such lightly can be.
For, first, our passage to any of the places intended is very easy, open, and clear; sea room at will and, if we take time and season convenient, as navigable and pleasant as need to be desired. Few pirates on those coasts, and fewer it is probable there would be if some good course were taken for their repulse and dissipation.
Secondly, our access and entry is free and facile for the most part. No man once offereth to forbid or hinder our landing there.
Thirdly, the people of those countries, if any, be ready either for love and hope of good from us kindly to receive and entertain us, or for fear and weakness of their own accord to fly from us and betake themselves to more remote and inland parts of those regions, or to submit themselves tractably to live under us.
Fourthly, the countries themselves free for the most part of any noisome or very dangerous either beast or serpent; not infected nor infested as some of this continent, which yet are and long have been well inhabited, with the most dreadful of these sorts that the world doth yield.
Fifthly, we need not make way for ourselves into any one of them at all with fire and sword, as either our progenitors the Saxons and Normans did into this land, or our later forefathers the English into both France and Ireland. So that, everything considered, we cannot well wish or expect in these days to find out, to have and gain, any country or place for plantation with less troubles, fewer losses, and smaller dangers, if things be well handled, than these we may. Nor is it likely if we neglect and overslip the so fair and many opportunities now offered us that ever we shall have and find the like again.
Respire. The profit is small and little the good that is like to arise of so great labors, dangers, and expenses. For, whatsoever you and some others talk of great riches there and that way to be had, we hear of none that prove rich and wealthy there.
Enrubie. It may be so, and there are many reasons for it.
For, first, it is not long that any have been in any of these plantations; and there must be a time for everything. They /33/that will have corn from the ground must tarry the ripening of it. It is not one year's work or two to get a good state in lands, and to get some store of wealth about a man in the same likewise. They that go over to such a business have many things to do first before they can have time to gather wealth about them, as: to build, to rid their grounds, to make fences, to destroy wild and hurtful beasts, to get over good and profitable cattle, to plant and sow their grounds, and the like, all which be matters of great labor, time, and expense. We see in daily practice with us, a man that is a purchaser till he hath recovered his fine and stocked his living cannot be aforehand and get wealth about him; nor can they there till they have done those and otherlike things which are to them, as it were, their fine and income. It is well if seven, or ten, or twenty years hence, haply in the next generation, men can attain unto riches. It is enough for the fathers to take in the grounds and settle the lands and livings for them and theirs against the time to come, though for the present and for their own time they hardly stand up and meet with some difficulties.
Secondly, men there can, making nothing of their grounds yet farther than any can themselves, employ them to pasture or tillage. It is not there as in England, where if a man have little stock or employment of his own for his grounds, yet he may let them out at a reasonable rent; but there more than a man can stock and till himself lies still and will yield him nothing at all. Make it your own case. If you had the best living in this parish in fee simple and had little to put upon it, nor could get any to rent it at your hands, could you grow rich in haste? This is their case.
Respire. Your speech is very reasonable, I must confess; but go on, I pray you.
Enrubie. Thirdly, all in manner that have gone over hitherto into any of these parts are poor men, men of small means and therefore with little or nothing; it is not possible they should in a little time attain to any store of something, and the less possible for that the benefit of their labors redounds for the most part not to themselves but, as in regard of their great adventures and expenses reason is it should, to the benefit of rich men here that have sent them thither.
Fourthly, divers of them that have gone over have been bankrupts /34/and spendthrifts, idlers and loiterers, who, as they thrived not in England--for how should they thrive that run thriftless and heedless courses?--so will they not commonly in any land. Caelum non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt, as saith the poet. Weeds will be weeds wherever they grow.
[Fifthly,] when men of fashion and means do go over that are able to set up themselves and others, and that will be industrious to take the benefit of the time and place, then I doubt not but it will soon appear what good may be done in those places, and that men may, if they will, easily and quickly prove rich and wealthy there. Then, and not till then, if riches arise not, let men blame the places from whence it was expected they should arise.
Sixthly, the manner of proceeding in these attempts may also be a great cause why men attain to riches there more slowly than they might and should if they were otherwise managed.
As, first, if the plantation begin with a small number, far too little for such a business. For then neither can they be able to extend themselves far into the countries in a long time, and so not to find out the goodness, sweetness, and benefit thereof, nor to set up all kind of necessary trades and faculties among themselves whereby they may be able to assist and set one another awork.
Second, if they that remove hence go sparely and ill provided of cattle, corn, and other necessaries for plantation and habitation which those countries afford not, impossible it is for them to make that profit and get that increase by their lands and livings there which they might if they were well and thoroughly provided of such things at the first.
Seventhly, this is the only way which men in ancient time did find out and observe to get riches and wealth withal, to increase and amend their estate by, whenas by multitudes of people their country was, as ours now is, so overlaid that they could not thrive and prosper therein. Neither were they ever lightly deceived, but the event and computation did answer their intent and expectation. And no doubt if the like courses be now attempted they may and will, if they be well carried, produce the like--or rather, better and speedier--effects to us than to them. For we have many helps for peace and war, for shipping and navigation, for defense and fortification, for traffic and negotiation, /35/for building and habitation, for religious and civil conversation, for skill in many needful arts and occupations, which they had not, to further us withal.
Eighthly, of all other means to get wealth and riches by, husbandry, which of all courses of life is that which in those places must chiefly and most of all be followed and employed, hath anciently and worthily ever been accounted the chiefest, best, and surest. Wherein, though it be somewhat more chargeable, cumbersome, and, for a time, uncomfortable, to enter into a void and desolate country, overgrown with woods, thickets, and otherlike, yet who knows not what great odds and advantage to the getting of riches and wealth there is, first, between the breaking up of such grounds as were never yet employed but, having lien waste, untouched and untilled from the beginning, have all their sweetness and fatness in them, and the tillage and usage of poor and hungry soils that from time to time have been turned up and worn out to the uttermost; and then betwixt the having of great and goodly lands--for there one man may easily have as much as ten or twenty have here--and of small and simple tenements?
Ninthly, when Brutus came first into this land, who would have imagined it would have proved so goodly, so plentiful, so fruitful, so rich, so excellent and happy a land as we, God be praised for it, do find and all the world about us doth know it is? And who but sailing along the coasts of any of those new countries, or but going ashore here and there, not above a mile or two, haply, within the land, can imagine or conceive, much less know and understand, what wealth and riches, what goodly fields and pastures, hills and valleys, mines and metals, woods and waters, what hidden treasures and sundry commodities are to be found and had therein?
Tenthly, the name of a kingdom is very great; and what should not, or heretofore, what would not, men do to gain a kingdom? By these means opportunity is offered unto our land--to our English nation--to get and gain, to possess and take, to have and enjoy, together with plantation and habitation for thousands and hundred thousands thereof, more than one or two kingdoms, great and goodly provinces, that /36/by God's blessing and providence towards us may in time be united to the crown, the imperial crown of this land. Which by consequence--for what infinite store of riches and wealth, how many places of preferment and honor for hundreds and thousands of particular and inferior persons is there contained and comprehended within a kingdom!--must needs bring with every of them severally riches and wealth of great, and in manner infinite, value and estimation.
Normandy and Aquitaine in France lost, and when
The English lost in France in the time of Henry the Sixth two several parts of that spacious country that had been English near about three hundred years before--that is, Normandy and Aquitaine, in the former whereof, saith an English history, as minding to express the greatness of the loss by the particulars, there were then an hundred strong towns and fortresses, one archbishopric and six bishoprics, besides some other towns, destroyed in the wars, and in the latter four archbishoprics, fifteen earldoms, two hundred sixty and two baronies, and above a thousand captainships and bailiwicks.
Suppose we now the same had fallen out in our times--and I hope I may without offense make use of former and foreign things--would we not, or should we not, think you, account it an inestimable loss and damage to the crown and country of England, worthy to be redeemed with hundred thousands of our money and goods and to be recovered, if it were possible, with thousands of the lives of our men and no small effusion of Christian blood? If now contrariwise we may in our days not lose but get, not hazard but assuredly have and gain--and that sine sanguine & sudore, even without blood or blows, and without any waste or spoil of our treasure and state--I will not say the same that we had lost but instead thereof some other regions and countries, territories and places for habitation, as great and likely in time to prove as good as they, might not this be justly accounted a gain and good, an enlargement and increase to our nation and kingdom inestimable and exceeding great?
If the name of a kingdom shall be thought too high and excellent, too great and glorious for countries so vast and waste, so remote and obscure as those of our plantations yet are, let /37/them be vouchsafed the name but of dukedoms, as those I last mentioned, or lordships, as Ireland for a long time was, or by whatsoever other titles, parts, or members of a kingdom he shall be pleased to style and nominate them. Quem penes arbitrium est, & ius & norma loquendi, as one saith, for so we have the thing it is no great matter for the name; yet, if there may be had, as the probabilities, possibilities, and opportunities already had and made us do plainly declare there may, in one place a country as great at the least as that of Normandy, in another place as that of Aquitaine, in a third twice as much as they both; that is, such a one wherein there may be in time erected, constituted, and made--speaking somewhat, though not altogether, according to the former proportions--forty earldoms or counties, four archbishoprics, six and thirty bishoprics, three or four hundred baronies, five or six hundred towns and fortresses, one or two thousand captainships and bailiwicks, ten or twelve thousand parishes, and four or five hundred thousand families, shall it notwithstanding be thought that there is no wealth or riches, no place of preferment, no hope of dignity or good there to be had?
Respire. If there be such possibilities, yet before the countries themselves can be reduced to such a state and such divisions settled therein as you speak of, great store of treasure and wealth must be spent and many years of time be overpast.
Enrubie. Firstly, for expense: not so much haply as one lingering war, the event whereof is most uncertain, must and will consume.
Secondly, the countries themselves will yield means and money enough, if they be well handled, to defray or repay whatsoever shall be needful for the effecting of all these with advantage.
Thirdly, the hazard and loss of life and limb is this way wonderfully saved and avoided.
Fourthly, and for time: sooner, haply, this may be thus effected, at least in some tolerable measure, than a country lost can be recovered and quieted; as we may observe by the children of Israel, who setting upon the land of Canaan, and that with a mighty army, not so few as an hundred thousand men of war, and with more than ordinary, even admirable, success, the Lord /38/being ever with them, yet were scarcely settled therein all the days of Joshua; and near home too in our neighbor country the Netherlands, which being revolted from the Spaniard long ago he hath not been able in all our time to reduce to his obedience again.
Fifthly, and you know, a country being gotten by the sword may be lost again by the same--for non minor est virtus, quam quaerere parta tueri: there is more ado to keep than to get such a thing--of the which there is little or no fear in the attempts that we talk of.
Sixthly, in a word, both the expectation and the expense for reduction of those countries to such effects will and may be speedily and abundantly recompensed in the facility, liberty, and security of the getting, settling, and keeping of them.
Wherefore, rumpantur ilia Codro; let froward [sic MW] Envy herself swell till she burst again, and detracting Malice or timorous Ignorance speak the worst they can; yet all that will not be blind may see, and whosoever will understand the truth may know, that there are riches and preferment, much for the present, more for the times to come, to be had if men will but take them, and to be gotten and gained if they be but labored and searched for, in the places and precincts of our present intended plantations.
The sum of this first part
And now, I think, good neighbor Respire, I have for the satisfaction of you, or of any not perversely minded, sufficiently justified these projects and attempts of plantations for the general to be in themselves honorable, needful, gainful, and lawful, and for the particular to be neither so dangerous or difficult, nor so strange or incommodious as at the first show they may seem to be.
Respire. You have indeed, in mine opinion, spoken exceeding well to those purposes. Your latter words bring to my mind that worthy saying of Solomon (Eccles. 11:4), if my memory fail me not. The words, I am sure, be these: "He that observeth the winds shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap," and your whole discourse makes me fear to urge you with any more objections concerning these matters, as which I see by your ready, plain, and plentiful answer to these already moved be to little purpose and will vanish when they come to be sifted as smoke before the wind. And if you can yield me /39/the like satisfaction in some other points that I conceive very necessary to be considered about these actions, I shall like of them a great deal better than ever I had thought I should and be as ready to praise and commend them as I have been to dispraise and blame them. But therewith I will not trouble you at this present but defer it to another meeting, which, God willing, shall be shortly. For I shall not be in quiet till I have heard the uttermost that you either can say or I am desirous to hear touching these matters.
Enrubie. I am glad, truly, that our little conference hath so much prevailed with you. And I shall be ready, and because I find you so tractable and reasonable the readier, to give you the best satisfaction I can in anything else whensoever you shall be pleased to that end to come hither again.
THE END OF THE FIRST PART