Captain John Smith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Captain John Smith.
by the Londoners, and Westerlings, for whom I had promised to undertake it, thinking to have joyned them all together, but that might well have been a work for Hercules.  Betwixt them long there was much contention:  the Londoners indeed went bravely forward:  but in three or four years I and my friends consumed many hundred pounds amongst the Plimothians, who only fed me but with delays, promises, and excuses, but no performance of anything to any purpose.  In the interim, many particular ships went thither, and finding my relations true, and that I had not taken that I brought home from the French men, as had been reported:  yet further for my pains to discredit me, and my calling it New England, they obscured it, and shadowed it, with the title of Canada, till at my humble suit, it pleased our most Royal King Charles, whom God long keep, bless and preserve, then Prince of Wales, to confirm it with my map and book, by the title of New England; the gain thence returning did make the fame thereof so increase that thirty, forty or fifty sail went yearly only to trade and fish; but nothing would be done for a plantation, till about some hundred of your Brownists of England, Amsterdam and Leyden went to New Plimouth, whose humorous ignorances, caused them for more than a year, to endure a wonderful deal of misery, with an infinite patience; saying my books and maps were much better cheap to teach them than myself:  many others have used the like good husbandry that have payed soundly in trying their self-willed conclusions; but those in time doing well, diverse others have in small handfulls undertaken to go there, to be several Lords and Kings of themselves, but most vanished to nothing.”



If Smith had not been an author, his exploits would have occupied a small space in the literature of his times.  But by his unwearied narrations he impressed his image in gigantic features on our plastic continent.  If he had been silent, he would have had something less than justice; as it is, he has been permitted to greatly exaggerate his relations to the New World.  It is only by noting the comparative silence of his contemporaries and by winnowing his own statements that we can appreciate his true position.

For twenty years he was a voluminous writer, working off his superfluous energy in setting forth his adventures in new forms.  Most of his writings are repetitions and recastings of the old material, with such reflections as occur to him from time to time.  He seldom writes a book, or a tract, without beginning it or working into it a resume of his life.  The only exception to this is his “Sea Grammar.”  In 1626 he published “An Accidence or the Pathway to Experience, necessary to all Young Seamen,” and in 1627 “A Sea Grammar, with the plain Exposition of Smith’s Accidence for Young Seamen, enlarged.”  This is a technical work, and strictly confined to

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Captain John Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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