Days of the Discoverers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about Days of the Discoverers.

“I think,” said Armadas as he took from his wallet a bracelet of Indian shell-work hung with baroque pearls, “that all our fine plans would ha’ come to naught but for thy wise head, young ’un.  These be pearls from the Virginias, and if you find ’em scorched, that’s only because the heathen know no other way of opening the oyster-shell but by fire.  The beads are such as they use for money and call roanoke.  The gold of the Spanish mines can buy men maybe, but it does not buy such loyalty as thine, that’s sure.  I have no gold to give, lad,—­but wear this for a love-token.  And I think that could the truth be known, the Queen herself would freely name thee Lord of Roanoke.”


[1] The name is variously spelled Armadas, Amidas and Amadas.  The form here used is that of the earliest records.  The same is true of the spelling “Ralegh.”

[2] Companies of children under various names were often employed in the acting of plays in the time of Elizabeth.  These are the “troops of children, little eyasses” alluded to by Shakespeare in “Hamlet.”  They sometimes acted in plays written for them by Lyly and others, and sometimes in the popular dramas of the day.  Ben Jonson wrote a charming epitaph on Salathiel Pavy, one of these little actors, who died at thirteen.

[3] The passamezzo, passy-measure or half-measure was a popular Elizabethan dance, like the coranto and lavolta.

[4] Primero, or ombre, is said to be the ancestor of our modern game of poker.  An interesting account of its origin and variations will be found in Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer’s “Prophetical, Educational and Playing Cards.”


    Out on the road to Fairyland where the dreaming children go,
    There’s a little inn at the Sign of the Rose, that all the fairies
    For Titania lodged in that tavern once, and betwixt the night and
      the day
    The children that crowded about her there, she stole their hearts away!

    Peaseblossom, Moth and Mustardseed, Agate and Airymouse too,
    Once were children that laughed and played as children always do,
    But when Titania kissed their lips, and crowned them with daffodil gold
    They never forgot what she whispered them, they never knew how to grow

    Mothers that wonder why little lads forget their homely ways,
    And little maids put their dolls aside and take to acting plays,
    Ah, let them be kings and queens awhile, for there’s nothing sad or
    In their innocent thought, and their crowns were wrought by the touch
      o’ the Fairy Queen!

    Close to the heart o’ the world they come, the children who know the
    To the little low gateway under the rose, where ’t is neither night
      nor day. 
    They see what others can never guess, they hear what we cannot hear,
    And the loathly dragons that waste our life they never learn to fear.

Project Gutenberg
Days of the Discoverers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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