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of the voyage; “for the hand of God came upon them for the cruelty and outrages committed by some of them against the native inhabitants of that country.”
Grenville was unwilling “to lose the possession of that country which Englishmen had so long held;" so he left fifteen men at Roanoake, furnished well with provisions, and set sail for England again.
Sir Walter Ralegh's first attempt at a colony had failed; but he did not on that account give up his plans. Some among the men who had shared in the expedition were fully convinced of the advantages which might be reaped from colonizing Virginia. One of these, Thomas Hariot, wrote a long letter to tell men the truth about this enterprise, seeing that it had been very “injuriously slandered.” He sums up the causes of the failure of the expedition, and makes them consist in the characters of the men who had undertaken it. Some, he says, “after gold and silver was not so soon found as was by them looked for, had little or no care of anything else but to pamper their bellies.” Some had little understanding, less discretion, and more tongue than was needfull or requisite.” Others again, “ because there were not to be found any English cities, nor such fair houses, nor at their own wish any of their old-accustomed dainty food, nor any soft beds of down or feathers, the country was to them miserable, and their reports thereof accord
INTRODUCTION OF TOBACCO.
ingly.” Hariot goes on to enumerate all the varied and rich products of Virginia. Amongst these products was one which, once brought to England, rapidly gained favour. “There is an herbe which is sowed apart by itself, and is called by the inhabitants Yppowoc. . . . The Spaniards generally call it tobacco. The leaves thereof being dried and brought into powder, they used to take the fume or smoke thereof by sucking it through pipes made of clay into their stomach and head.
We ourselves, during the time we were there, used to suck it after their manner, as also since our returne, and have found many rare and wonderful experiments of the vertues thereof, of which the relation would require a volume by itselfe. The use of it by so many of late, men and women of great calling, as else, and some learned physicians also, is sufficient witness.”
Ralegh himself seems soon to have become fond of this new luxury. He used pipes of silver instead of pipes of clay. On one occasion it is said that a servant, who was bringing him some ale, was so terrified at seeing him smoking that he threw the ale over him, and ran down stairs, shouting that his master was on fire. We do not know whether Elizabeth ever tried the effects of tobacco herself, but she would sit by Ralegh whilst he smoked. One day she said to him, that however clever he might be, he could not tell the weight of the smoke from his pipe. When Ralegh affirmed that he could do so, the Queen remained incredulous, and made a bet against him. Ralegh showed his ingenuity by weighing first a pipeful of tobacco; then, when he had smoked the pipe, he weighed the ashes that remained, and demonstrated to Elizabeth that the difference between the two weights was the weight of the smoke. Elizabeth was convinced, and paid the bet.
But Ralegh believed that he could get more from Virginia than a new luxury. He had spent a great deal of money in these unsuccessful attempts; but the Spanish prizes brought home by Grenville more than compensated for the outlay. In 1587 he was ready to fit out a new expedition. He placed a certain Captain Charles White at the head of it, and sent three ships, with a hundred and fifty colonists on board, among whom were seventeen women and nine children. The presence of the women gave reason to hope that the colony might be more successful this time; for men who had their wives and children with them, would be impressed with the need of settling down and making homes for themselves, before they hunted for treasure.
The expedition left Plymouth on the 8th May, 1587. From the first White seems to have been thoroughly in earnest about his task ; but the men with whom he had to work were not always willing to obey and listen to him. His first object on reaching Virginia was to look for the fifteen colonists left there by Grenville on the Island of Roanoake; but he found "none of them, nor any
WHITE IN VIRGINIA.
sign that they had been there, saving only they found the bones of one of those fifteen.” When they reached the spot where Lane had built his fort, they found the fort razed down, but all the houses standing unhurt, "saving that they were overgrown with melons of divers sorts, and deer within them feeding on these melons.” Then they gave up hope of ever seeing any of these fifteen men alive.
White's intention had been to advance, according to instructions given by Ralegh, as far as Chesapeake Bay, rather further north, and settle down there; but a man named Ferdinando, who seems to have opposed White as much as possible in everything, and who had chief command of the vessels, refused to go on any further with the colonists, and landed them all at Roanoake. So White gave orders that they should repair the houses already standing there, and build some others. White was anxious to renew friendly relations with the natives ; but they had been made suspicious by the behaviour of the former colonists. At last, however, he succeeded in having a conference with some of them, who told him how the fifteen colonists left by Grenville had been surprised and killed. White thought it right to revenge the death of his fellow-countrymen, and attacked and killed some of the natives, which did not tend to increase their friendly feeling to the white men.
On the 18th of August Elinor Dare, White's daughter, and wife of one of the colonists, gave birth to a daughter, who, as she was the first Christian child born in the colony, was named Virginia. The ships which had brought the colonists over now began to make ready to return to England. White wished to stay behind; but the colonists earnestly besought him to return to England, that he might obtain supplies for them. He at last yielded to their entreaties and set sail for England, which he reached on the 5th November.
About this time Ralegh's interest in his Virginian colony seems to have flagged a little. Possibly he had more important things to think about. His influence at Court had increased, and he must have found Court intrigues very engrossing. Besides, all England was then in expectation of a Spanish invasion, and men were busy with preparations to meet it. But White had the interest of the colony, where he had left his daughter, sincerely at heart. He was, as he says himself, “sundry times chargeable and troublesome unto Ralegh for the supplies and reliefes of the planters in Virginia.”
All that White could at last obtain was, that three vessels, going out to gain wealth by piracy in the West Indies, should take him with them to Virginia. But the ships refused to carry any supplies for the colonists, and took only White himself and his chest. He sailed from Plymouth on the 20th March, 1590, and did not reach Virginia till 17th August. Seeing a great fire near