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him, forgive him, and receive him. If it be not a satisfactory confession, they shew him his defect, they admonish and exhort him to a more full confession; and so he is left to some other time. This finished, he blesseth the church, and so dismisseth the assembly.
NATHANIEL WARD OF IPSWICH
C. 1578–1652 The following extracts are from the first edition of The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America, published in London in 1647. The author sometimes wrote in even more headlong fashion than in the first selections. If English words did not seem to him forcible enough, he produced most remarkable verbal creations from his ever ready Latin and Greek. One of his phrases was, “To compolitize such multimonstrous maufrey of heteroclytes and quicquidlibets.” He was capable, however, of writing in quite different vein, as is shown by his noble address to the English people, who were contending with Charles I for freedom and observance of the laws.
Concerning the Fashions of Women I honour the woman that can honour her self with her attire: a good Text alwayes deserves a fair Margent: I am not much offended, if I see a trimme, far trimmer than she that wears it : in a word, whatever Christianity or Civility will allow, I can afford with London measure: but when I heare a nugiperous Gentledame inquire what dresse the Queen is in this week : what the nudiustertian fashion of the Court; I mean the very newest: with egge to be in it in all haste, what ever it be; I look at her as the very gizzard of a trifle, the product of a quarter of a cypher, the epitome of nothing, fitter to ke kickt, if she were of a kickable substance, than either honoured or humoured.
To speak moderately, I truely confesse, it is beyond the ken of my understanding to conceive, how those women should have any true grace, or valuable vertue, that have so little wit, as to disfigure themselves with such exotick garbes, as not
onely dismantles their native lovely lustre, but transclouts them into gant bar-geese, ill-shapen-shotten shell-fish, Egyptian Hieroglyphicks, or at the best into French flurts of the pastery, which a proper English woman should scorn with her heeles: it is no marvell they weare drailes on the hinder part of their heads, having nothing as it seems in the fore-part, but a few Squirrills brains, to help them frisk from one ill-favor'd fashion to another.
To the English People Goe on brave Englishmen, in the name of God, go on prosperously, because of Truth and Righteousness: Yee that have the Cause of Religion, the life of your Kingdom and of all the good that is in it in your hands : Goe on undauntedly: As you are Called and Chosen, so be faithfull: Yee fight the battells of the Lord, bee neither desidious nor perfidious: You serve the King of Kings, who stiles you his heavenly Regiments; Consider well, what impregnable fighting it is in heaven, where the Lord of Hosts is your Generall, his Angells your Colonells, the Stars your fellow-souldiers, his Saints your Oratours, his Promises your victuallers, his Truth, your Trenches; where Drums are Harps; Trumpets, joyfull sounds; your Ensignes, Christs Banners; where your weapons and armour are spirituall, therefore irresistable, therefore impier[c]eable; where Sunne and Wind cannot disadvantage you, you are above them ; where hell it selfe cannot hurt you,
swords are furbushed and sharpened, by him that made their metall, where your wounds, are bound up with the oyle of a good Cause, where your blood runnes into the veynes of Christ, where sudden death is present martyrdome and life; your funerals resurrections; your honour, glory; where your widows and babes are received into perpetuall pensions; your names listed among Davids Worthies; where your greatest losses are greatest gains; and where you leave the troubles of Warre, to lye downe in downy beds of eternall rest.
What good will it doe you, deare Countrymen, to live without lives, to enjoy England without the God of England, your Kingdome without a Parliament, your Parliament without power, your Liberties without stability, your Lawes without Justice, your honours without vertue, your beings without tranquility, your wives without honesty, your children without morality, your servants without civility, your lands without propriety, your goods without immunity, the Gospel without salvation, your Churches without Ministery, your Ministers without piety, and all you have or can have, with more teares and bitternesse of heart, than all you have and shall have will sweeten or wipe away?
Goe on therefore Renowned Gentlemen, fall on resolvedly, till your hands cleave to your swords, your swords to your enemies hearts, your hearts to victory, your victories to triumph, your triumphs to the everlasting praise of him that hath given you Spirits to offer your selves willingly, and to jeopard your lives in high perills, for his Name and service sake.
And Wee your Brethren, though we necessarily abide beyond Jordan, and remaine on the American Sea-coasts, will send up Armies of prayers to the Throne of Grace, that the God of power and goodnesse, would incourage your hearts, cover your heads, strengthen your arms, pardon your sinnes, save your soules, and blesse your families, in the day of Battell. Wee will also pray, that the same Lord of Hosts would discover the Counsels, defeat the Enterprizes, deride the hopes, disdaine the insolencies, and would the hairy scalpes of your obstinate Enemies, and yet pardon all that are unwillingly misled. Wee will likewise helpe you beleeve that God will be seene on the Mount, that it is all one with him to save by many or few, and that he doth but humble and try you for the present, that he may doe
you good at the latter end. All which hee bring to passe who is able to doe exceeding abundantly, above all we can aske or thinke, for his Truth and mercy sake in Jesus Christ.
COLONEL WILLIAM BYRD OF WESTOVER, VIRGINIA
1674-1744 Colonel Byrd was one of the great landowners of Virginia. He did not take himself quite so seriously as Franklin, but he thought clearly and sturdily on the questions of the day, and was not at all afraid to express his opinions. He held many public offices. It is to his being appointed one of the commissioners for marking out the “dividing line” between Virginia and North Carolina that we owe
the journal from which the first of the following extracts is taken. Even if we had no other means of information, this journal would show that its author was an intelligent, well-educated man, with a love for the woods and a keen sense of humor.
From “The Dividing Line ” [March, 1728].
A Night in the Dismal Swamp They first coverd the Ground with Square Pieces of Cypress bark, which now, in the Spring, they cou'd easily Slip off the Tree for that purpose. On this they Spread their Bedding; but unhappily the Weight and Warmth of their Bodies made the Water rise up betwixt the Joints of the Bark, to their great Inconvenience. Thus they lay not only moist, but also exceedingly cold, because their Fires were continually going out. For no sooner was the Trash upon the Surface burnt away, but immediately the Fire was extinguisht by the Moisture of the Soil, Insomuch that it was great part of the Centinel's Business to rekindle it again in a Fresh Place, every Quarter of an Hour. Nor cou'd they indeed do their duty better, because Cold was the only Enemy they had to Guard against in a miserable Morass, where nothing can inhabit.
From a letter written by Colonel William Byrd in 1736.
“ American Historical Review,” October, 1895.
On Slavery in Virginia They import so many Negros hither, that I fear this Colony will some time or other be confirmd by the Name of New Guinea. I am sensible of many bad consequences of multiplying these Ethiopians amongst us. They blow up the pride, and ruin the Industry of our White People, who seing a Rank of poor Creatures below them, detest work for fear it shoud make them look like Slaves. Then that poverty which will ever attend upon Idleness, disposes them as much to pilfer as it dos the Portuguese, who account it much more like a Gentleman to steal, than to dirty their hands with Labour of any kind.
Another unhappy effect of Many Negros is the necessity of being severe. Numbers make them insolent, and then foul Means must do what fair will not. We have however nothing like the Inhumanity here that is practiced in the Islands, and God forbid we ever shoud. But these base Tempers require to be rid with a tort Rein, or they will be apt to throw their Rider. Yet even this is terrible to a good naturd Man, who must submit to be either a Fool or a Fury. And this will be more our unhappy case, the more Negros are increast amongst us.
But these private mischeifs are nothing if compard to the publick danger. We have already at least 10,000 Men of these