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From My Lady Pokahontas, A True Relation Of Virginia. Writ by Anas Todkill, Puritan and Pilgrim, [in 1618] With Notes by John Esten Cooke: Boston, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1907; pp. 1-31.


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My Lady Pokahontas



Unworthy Anas Todkill, Puritan, his Early Years.

block print of capital letter W, with dark background filled with lighter leaves and vines.HEN
How my
lady passed
in peace.
that blessed damozel, my dear Lady Pokahontas, died untimely, I fell into a great wonder at the mysterious ways of Providence that put out that bright light of our time so sudden. Virginia had much need of her to bring her people to the knowledge of our Saviour. But she went away to heaven even at the moment when she was returning to her country, and her hope to have builded up a New Jerusalem in that Heathennesse had no fruit, but was buried in her grave. She had surely done her work to God’s honour and immortal glory; natheless, ne’er was it begun. A pilgrim and stranger, she was called to the Land of Peace. When about 2
I serve in
to set forth with her babe on the Virginia voyage, she goes on that other, from which none comes back. Sure her dear and blessed hands had overturned the Divell’s kingdom there; but she is gone, and the frame of that great business is fall’n into her tomb.

How it chanced that I, the Puritan Anas Todkill, came to love her, this true relation showeth the reader. ’Tis but little I need say of my life before the Virginia adventure, wherein I saw what Master Drayton calleth “Earth’s only Paradise.” All the Todkills, methinks, from the beginning of the world have been Puritans; and this Anas sees the light for the first time in Kent, England, and grows to boyhood, and learns to read, and a thirst seizes him to see the world. So he steals away from home and wanders off to the Flanders wars; thence he goes and takes part in the fierce battles of Transylvania, where Duke Sigismund is fighting the murtherous Turks. My captain was that dear and loyal soldier, John Smith, who was knighted by the Prince for slaying three Turkish champions in single combat, and, under that chevalier, we oft conquered. But the evil day came, as it comes at last to all. 3
Back in
At the bloody and dismal fight of the Rother Thurm fortune changed. The Christians did their part, and left their bodies in testimony of their minds; but the Turks overcame us, and I was cut down and lay past all sense and remembrance.

That I lived was due to Smith, who dragged me out, and so I escaped; he himself was taken prisoner and sold to slavery, whereof may be read in his book what he suffered, and how he slew his foul tyrant and fled to Russia. So, the wars at an end, Anas Todkill is back in Kent, where he tells of his strange adventures, and thinks his peaceful days irksome. The happy hop fields and the maidens are not the fields (or maids) for him; night and morn a voice cries, —

“Awake, thou that sleepest! There be work in the world to do!”

’Till at last there is naught left but to listen to that voice which will not rest. So I say to my old mother: —

“Bless your loving Anas, mother; he must leave you for a season. England calls on true Englishmen, and would have each do his duty: namely, rifle Spanish galleons or other work in God’s cause against the Divell.”


Anas his
Thereat my dear old mother wept sore and would not be comforted; but I, that was a man, stood steadfast, though nigh choking.

So this mother and son clasp, and kiss,
and part each with other; and Anas
Todkill turns his back on the hap-
py  autumn  fields  and  goes
forth with long thoughts
on his Pilgrimage.

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I talk with Captain Smith and Master Shakespeare
at the Mermaid.

I meet with
I go away to London; then as now the mighty heart whence the great pulsations drove the hot blood to the furthest lands, wherever floated the flag of England to flout the Spaniard.

When I pass under Temple Bar, I see Fleet Street full of people; most of soldiers from the wars of the Low Countries and Transylvania. They walk in long strides, rattling broadswords and twisting mustaches; each asking other what was coming for them in the new reign of his Majesty King James. I who had been to London and attended the theatres (though I be a Puritan) could see many Nyms and Bardolphs in this red-nosed crowd, and jostled against such. Sudden, a loud voice greets me, and a hand is struck in mine. I look up, and who should I see but that same valiant Captain John Smith, with bright eyes and long mustaches and beard 6
His brave
like a spade, I had last seen in Transylvania when I fell half dead there.

The eyes laughed like the mouth that said: —

“Anas Todkill! By my faith thou art welcome, comrade!”

With which he puts one arm round me, his brave new doublet with rich slashes and gold lace rubbing up against my country frieze.

“See the gallant!” I say, looking with lurking smiles at all this bravery; “the old soldier turned courtier!”

“And fine gentleman, by my faith!” he cries, twisting his long mustache. “Why not? Duke Sigismund gave me fifteen hundred gold ducats at Leipzig, Anas. Hold! there is your share, comrade.”

Whereat he draws from his doublet a handful of gold which he would thrust on me, but I would not.

“Well here is your Peru, comrade, whenever you will,” he says in his gallant voice; “and now walk with me, and tell me of yourself.”

So we walked on together and begun a legion of old stories to renew acquaintance. My own was soon related, and Smith then tells me how he was made 7
He tells of
his adven-
prisoner and sold to slavery, but killed his tyrant by beating out his brains, when he wandered into the desert, but got to Russia and thence to England. At Leipzig Duke Sigismund gives him the ducats and his patent of Knighthood. He pulls this out now and shows me it in Latin, and says he will have it registered in Garter King of Arms his office.

“I have deeply hazarded myself, Anas, in doing and suffering,” he says, “and even the playwriters make relations of me.”

“The playwriters?” I say.

“Yes verily, — is not that the Puritan twang, Anas? They have acted my fatal tragedies on the stage and wracked my relations at their pleasure.”

“Then the rumour has come hither?”

“Doubtless, since they make a play of me. But I owe them no great grudge. Never were better or gentler people than these play actors and writers. Even now I am going to meet one of them, Master Will Shakespeare, who seeks speech with me. Will you go also?”


At the
Thereat I laughed and cried: —

“Go see a writer of plays! I, the godly Anas Todkill? ’T is sure a snare of Satan. Thou wilt take me to some tavern.”

“To the Mermaid.”

“The haunt of roysterers, Ben Jonson and his crew! Next, my soul will be imperilled by attending the Globe theatre. Avaunt! Natheless — natheless — I will go.”

“I knew thou wouldst! Catch old birds with chaff, my worthy Puritan; thou art no better than the rest!”

He laughed loud as before, and putting his arm through mine we go toward the tavern. I was more than willing, for I loved the thought of seeing sweet Will Shakespeare, of whom I had heard much. My Captain now breaks forth in praises of him as we walk along.

“Even you vile Puritan people,” he says, “must love him as much as the gayest gallant that ruffles feathers. Sure a greater English pen never wrote than Will Shakespeare’s. We will talk with him a little; then I have somewhat to say to thee, Anas. I want good men for a great work; but more anon of that.”

We came at last to the Mermaid tavern 9
Sweet Will
and Rare
Ben Jonson.
and find the place full of swordsmen rattling spurs and drinking sack, and talking loud of their exploits in the Flanders wars. My Captain pushes through ’em as one who is weary of that, and goes to a corner where is seated in a sort of shadow a man with a bald forehead and a pointed beard, in a turned down collar. He is looking at the crowd and smiling in a notable way, and as I gaze at him I think, “He is studying these people.” This man, I soon found, was Master Will Shakespeare; and not far from him sate a burly big man with a pocked face drinking sack, who was the great playwriter, Ben Jonson.

As we now begin talking with Master Shakespeare, Master Jonson chimes in, and they two have wit combats; wherein Shakespeare is like a quiet English craft darting to and fro around a huge Spanish galleon, firing culverins into her bulk. When Smith first comes up Master Shakespeare rises and salutes him, smiling. His smile is extraordinary sweet, and his way of speaking very simple and friendly. They talked a long time, but Master Shakespeare listened more than he spoke. With his eyes fixed on Smith he seemed to be studying him too, as he had been studying 10
Their merry
the crowd in the tavern, where that day came Ancient Pistol, and one resembling Sir John Falstaff, though methinks that wonder of wit must have been a pure fancy of the brain.

The talk went on to the afternoon, and I well remember all Master Shakespeare said. He was ever smiling and sipping his sack, and when Master Ben Jonson cried “Ho! ho!” and jested in his deep, gruff voice at his friend, Master Shakespeare turns round sudden and fires a shot at him. But for having much to record, I should beg the good reader to so far bear with me as to let me set down the exact words of Master Shakespeare, the jests he uttered, and some wondrous maxims that came from him. But time is wanting, and I needs must pass to that audience with which I was honoured on this same day by his Majesty King James. It were ill to spend attention on a mere playwriter while his gracious Majesty waits. So I pass over what Master Shakespeare told us of his life at Stratford, why he came up to London, and where he got his plays. He spoke of all to Smith, who was not a stranger to him; and had I space I might tell the names of the real people he drew 11
his fine filed
from, in tragedy and comedy, from Shylock, the Jew of Venice, to wheezy Sir John Falstaff, who so exceeds all else for wit and humour that I have seen the great crowds at the Globe, or the House in Black Friars, rise up and shout as he waddled on the stage.

To end with Master Shakespeare whose fine filed talk I could set down. His discourse with Smith was of a drama which he purposed writing on his return to Stratford, which always inspired him, he said, as one to the mannor born. This drama, meant to be writ, he said, would be named “The Tempest,” and the stage to be the Bermudas, or Isles of Devils, whereof Master Henry May, the shipwrecked mariner, writes in his relation of 1593, then late printed.§ Somewhat more was needed, Master Shakespeare said, than that brief relation; and he prayed Captain Smith, if he ever visited this wild country, to come to Stratford on Avon when he was back in England, and tell him all things at his New Place house there. This and more was 12
We take
leave of that
said: how the Captain should be a welcome guest here, and how himself, Master Shakespeare, spent his time: in what hours of the day he writes his plays, and how they would come to him; brief, all about himself, and how his life passed there. But for having greater matter, — that audience with his Majesty, — I might here trifle the time for my reader (though he were loth) with this small, idle gossip touching a writer of plays. Sure that were a shame, Anas (I say), while his Majesty waits! Think! thy dread liege, King James, to wait on a player!

So at last this sweet Will Shakespeare takes leave of us with close pressure of hands; goes away to the town of Stratford, where he seemeth to think naught of his fame; and now, lately, falls asleep there, and lies under the daisies. Almost I doubt it had not been better to forget his great Majesty and speak of this Shakespeare; of his flashes of quick conceit and weighty thoughts winged with laughter. Natheless, Smith would go the King, and we push through the Nyms and Pistols out of the Mermaid: but he, too, pondereth and saith, turning to look back: “Is he not wonderful, this sweet Will Shakespeare? Was 13
Smith would
visit the Vir-
gin Land.
there ever a kindlier smile? No marvel his plays ravish the listeners with a sort of delight.”

“Well, perchance he hath some merit,” I say, designing a jest; “he is the best of his bad class, I allow.”

Thereat Smith burst forth in laughter.

“There is godly Anas Todkill making believe he is a hater of plays and playwriters, and loves ’em all the time, thought he scoff at ’em! But to other matters, Anas. I am going on the Virginia voyage.”

“The Virginia voyage!” I say.

“Yea, though it end at the Isle of Devils, — the still vex’d Bermoothes, as Master Shakespeare calls them.”

“Avaunt Sathanas!” I cry; “thou wilt lead me to perdition.”

“No, to the Virgin land, Anas! Come, I want men like thee. Worthy Bartholomew Gosnold, the brave sea captain, and my friend, hath set on foot a voyage thither to found a colony in the wondrous country. Fame surely hath told you of him. He it was who made the first straight voyage across the Atlantic ocean. He landed in New England, but would now adventure farther south. This voyage fills my mind, 14
I have audi-
ence of his
comrade. That country is now untrod, but who knows? great cities and states may some day rise there. It may be, the world rolls westward, not eastward as some will have it. Master Gosnold has got three ships — the God Speed, the Susan Constant, and the Discovery — and a hundred adventurers. Wilt thou go with him and me? If thou wilt, Anas, we shall see fine times! All is ready. Even now I seek his Majesty, who has granted us his patent. Come thou, too, and talk with him; fear not! ’tis only a man, and not so much a man, for thy ear, Anas!”

Whoso listened to this solder was sooner or later persuaded by him. I was ready for that same persuasion. There was nought to hold me in England, and I longed to sail the western seas and reach the wondrous land, and find the Fount of Youth there, wherein I believed, nor am sure I disbelieve to-day. So I joyfully agreed to go on this famous Virginia voyage; and went with Captain Smith to Whitehall, where he had audience of his Majesty about the Virginia business. I, Anas Todkill, was ushered in with him, and his Majesty speaks to my by name in his sweet Scottish accent. But this great 15
A full re-
and exceeding honour deserveth more relation: and now see how ill a thing it had been to waste time on Master Shakespeare! There had been no space to tell of this far greater honour, — my audience with his Majesty, whereof I give a full repertory of all he said, leaving out nothing. . . .


*  It was registered there, but not until afterwards, August 19, 1625. The patent signed by Sigismund Bathori at Leipzig in 1603, just before the meeting with Todkill, is given, in the original Latin, in Smith’s True Travels and Adventures. It is also found in the Harleian MSS., in the British Museum.

  Smith makes the same statement in the same words in the dedication of his True Travels to the Earl of Pembroke.

  The spelling of the word “manor’ in this place by Todkill would seem to indicate that Shakespeare wrote “to the mannor born,” and not “to the manner, in Hamlet. The word manor is so spelled in old deeds of that century and the century succeeding it.

§  In 1600, just preceding this interview with Shakespeare.

  Unfortunately the sheets of Master Todkill’s relation describing his interview with King James I. have been lost. The paging indicates that the relation was elaborate.

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I go on the Virginia Voyage, and what followed at Jamestown.

I go on the
at last the adventurers to Virginia were on the ocean; and passing the Azores, sailed westward to the unknown land. The spring was come as we neared Mevis, Mona, and the Virgin Isles, and the sea was ruffled to silver ripples by the south wind. Here we rested, and then went on, coasting the country of Florida (where the Spaniard hath intruded), smelling the perfume of early flowers wafted far out to sea. The colony was to be fixed at Roanoke, where that valiant and great spirit,
Sir Richard Grenville of noble memory — he who fought the fifty Spaniards in his one ship, the Revenge, off the Azores, and died with a quiet mind* — founded 17
And enter
the sea of
called of the
Santa Maria.
the first English colony. The poor people wandered off into the woods and were nevermore heard of, — a strange decree of Almighty Providence, were aught done by Him strange, or not a working together for good to them that love Him. So they went away quietly, — little Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America, and the rest, — and the cypress forest took them, and they were no more heard of.

Now this old Roanoke colony was to be built again on the same foundation. But we were never to see Roanoke. A fierce storm drave us northward to the mouth of a great bay, and taking refuge therein we thanked God for his deliverance, and resolved to found the Virginia colony here.

Before us was a great inland sea, with waves as high as the main ocean, over which skimmed white-winged sea-fowl, and along the shore was a fringe of goodly trees. Sailing on, we named a cape of land Point Comfort, since we had good comfort after the tossing storm; and then we went up a great river, called the Powhatan by the Indians, and landed here and there in the Paspahegh country, the land of Appomattocks, and elsewhere, looking for a good spot. This we found on the 18
left bank of the river about forty miles from its mouth, and here we landed in May, calling the place Jamestown in honour of his Majesty, and pitched tents, and set to work building cabins.

If the readers of this true relation would know of the old times at Jamestown, — how we lived under tents and boughs, and stretched a canvas between trees to worship God under, with a pulpit of a bar of wood nailed to two of the trunks; and worked at the huts with dusky Indians looking on, and wondering at the reed thatching as at us and all we did, — this is writ in the old repertories of Master Fenton, Master George Percy, and other of Smith’s old soldiers.

This true relation tells the story of my Lady Pokahontas; but natheless comes back to memory that fearful summer of our blessed Lord, 1607. A hot fever, bred of the river ooze and sultry sun, well nigh destroyed us. For five months in this miserable distress there were not five men to man the bulwarks; in every corner of the fort old soldiers groaning day and night most pitiful to hear. If there be any conscience in men it would make their hearts to bleed, could I tell them of the 19
The terrible
pitiful murmuring of our poor sick men, by day and by night; some departing out of the world, many times three and four in a night! in the morning the dead bodies trailed out of the cabins like dogs, to be buried in the ooze by the rest of the sick, scarce enough to perform that sad office.

Oh, it was pitiful, and but for our Captain, Smith, the end of the colony had then come. He it was who, next under God, preserved us all from death and confusion. When not ten men could go or stand, he fed the sick and was the head of all. Of that fearful time I can speak no further. My breast still labours to think how, ere the autumn of that year, we lost one half our company. But the cool days came at last, and the rivers were full of wild fowls, giving meat to our starving handful.

Hope revived with this blessed season, and next, the Council bethink them that his Majesty’s command to discover the South Sea beyond the Blue Mountains is not obeyed yet.

Now a word of this same Council, — not much speaking, since they be not worthy of 20
Smith seeketh
the great
South Sea.
it. The head thereof was Master Edward Maria Wingfield, a fat merchant, and the tail, one Ratcliffe, a counterfeit impostor, as will be set forth. This Wingfield had been best at home, for his heart failed him from the first, and he did nought but feast on the stores, and start at shadows, thinking Smith would murder him. Smith haunts him night and day; would make himself “King of Virginia,” and is tried on that charge, and Wingfield shown to have suborned perjury. So the jury acquits Smith and puts Ratcliffe in Wingfield’s stead; when he would seize the Pinnace and fly to England, whither the two other ships had gone, as I will relate.

Now these Councillors would destroy their enemy, the valiant Captain Smith, and urged the South Sea discovery in the bitter season to that end. But he, full of his brave spirit, natheless would undertake it; or at least go and explore the river Chickahomania, which hath its head in the Blue Mountains, beyond which is the great South Sea, though none hath discovered it. So toward the time of Christmas, in the middle of an extreme frost, Smith sets out in his barge, like old Ulysses, with companions, and sails westward toward the 21
The bruit
comes he is
baths of the stars, and is no more seen for a long season.

Fain would I, Anas Todkill, have made one of his mariners, for my heart cleaved to this valiant soldier; but I could not, being sick of a quinsy, and was forced to tarry at Jamestown. Soon the white sail of the barge was seen coming back down the James River; and the men, all bleeding and distraught, bring a report that Smith is slain by the savages and two others with him. Thereat a great grief smote me, and I cried: —

“Farewell, thou good soldier! None hath seen thy like, and will not in the time to come!”

Master Wingfield is standing by, puffing out with his pursy mouth, as I say this, and scowls at me. The new President, Ratcliffe, hears me too, and looks at me with his bloodshot eyes under bushy black brows.

“Cease thy mourning!” growls this Ratcliffe; “Smith is a traitor, whose end is just.”

“He is no traitor!” I cry, “but a true man and a worthy. It is they who devour the stores and spend the days in riotous living, while we starve, who are the traitors!”

I am arrested.

I am arrested.
Thereat some standing by frown and mutter; —

“Anas Todkill says the truth!”

When Ratcliffe falls in a rage and shouts:

“Arrest this brawler and mutineer!”

“Arrest him, I say!” here cries Wingfield, red with wrath, to his confederate, Archer; and claps me in the Fort, where I lay till past New Year in arrest.

By that time all was combustion and confusion at Jamestown. The unruly crew ruled all and ruined all. Then the last black act comes. Wingfield, Ratcliffe, and Archer seize the Pinnace to escape to England.

But their evil hour had come. It was now past New Year, and the ground was white with snow, when sudden the bruit runs, “Smith is coming!” Thereat I, who was yet under arrest, pushed by the man on guard at the Fort, dared him to stop me, caring nought, and rushed out and met Smith, who strides into the palisade with a wild train of heathen.§

Short work is made of the confederates, who had hastened on board the Pinnace 23
Smith is
tried by the
and would have fled. But Smith runs to the Fort and trains cannon on the ship; nor stops he to summon them. His friends crowd around him, and sudden the culverins roar. With sakre-falcon and musket-shot he thunders on those mutineers, and they have notice to stay or sink. They surrender and come on shore, a black looking crew enough; but many are their followers, so that Smith is not master yet. He is like to be victim even. They very next day he is arraigned for trial under the law of Leviticus for the death of the two men slain on the Chickahomania! I who write this, long after, stop and shake with laughter at that. But it was done: his enemies would try him, alleging the Levitical law that he should be put to death!”

But their horns were so much too short to finish that business. Smith was not the man to trifle the time with such tuf-taffty humourists. Sudden the whole party, judges and all, are arrested. Then Smith, sword in hand, points to the river and says: —

“To the Pinnace! Since these gallants 24
But that ends
like it so, they shall live there at my pleasure, till I send them home to be tried by the High Council.”

Thereat the old soldiers shout and
clash swords round the chief,
and the confederates are
forced on the Pinnace,
and   Smith   is


*  This is evidently an allusion to the last words of Sir Richard Grenville, whose famous combat with the Spanish ships had taken place about fifteen years before: —

“Here I, Richard Grenville, die with a joyous and quiet mind, for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, fighting for his country, queen, religion, and honour, my soul willingly departing from this body, leaving behind the lasting fame of having behaved as every valiant soldier is in his duty bound to do.”

[For more on Richard Grenville and his death, see the contemporary account by Sir Walter Raleigh on Elfinspell HERE. — Elf.Ed.]

  This account exactly agrees with that of George Percy, brother of the Earl of Northumberland, in his Discourse of the Plantation of the Southern Colony in Virginia.

  Wingfield had no right to arrest Todkill, having been deposed; but his confederate, Archer, chose, it seems, to regard the order as sufficient, all the more as Ratcliffe had also given it.

§  These heathen or Indians were the friendly guides and attendants supplied to Smith by Powhatan.

  This statement of Todkill’s is fully corroborated in the General History, where it is said; “Some no better than they should be plotted the next day to have put him to death by the Levitical law,” for having “led to their ends” the two victims.

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My Captain tells how an Angel saved Him.

Smith’s peril
with the
this ill business is over, and all rejoice that Smith is back. The gallant face is a stay to the feeble, and new life-blood seemeth to flow in the veins of the poor people. He ordereth all things for peace or war; and, that done, comes to the Fort in the sunset, where I am on post. When the guard relieves me we walk on the shore.

“I will tell thee of a great hazard I have run, Anas,” Smith says. And then, with a wistful look, he acquaints me how he was seized by the heathen in the Chickahomania desert, and tied to a tree to be shot with arrows, but he showed them an ivory dial. Seeing the needle through the glass and yet unable to touch it, they think him a god. So they spared him and conducted him to their great Emperor, the mighty King Powhatan, at his royal residence on the York River.

“Never was such a sight, Anas,” the gallant 26
He is led be-
fore their
Captain says. “The Emperor, with no beard and a sour look, was sitting in his great arbour or wigwam, with his guard of one hundred bowmen, who surround him day and night. At his head and foot were beautiful Indian girls, his favourite wives, with other women ranged in long rows against the wall, with naked shoulders dyed with puccoon, and white bracelets. The Emperor himself was clad in a robe of raccoon skin, and spoke some words in their strange language. Soon I found what was meant to be done with me, Anas. They brought in a huge stone and dragged me to it, and forced me down on it. Then a big savage raised his club to beat out my brains, when God’s mercy sent to my succour one of his angels.”

Thereat I, who had listened intently, gave a great start and exclaimed: —

“Sent one of his angels! Natheless ’t is not impossible, since we read of such things in the Holy Book. Tell me further.”

“The angel was a girl of twelve or thirteen, the King’s beloved daughter. I had taken note of her in the throng for her extreme grace and comeliness, far exceeding for beauty the rest of her people.* 27
My Lady
begs his life.
She was clad in a doeskin robe lined with down from the breast of the wood-pigeon, with bracelets of coral, and a white plume in her black hair. She was short and slight of stature with feet so small as scarce carried her; and I protest to you, Anas, I have seen many English maidens worse favoured and proportioned than my little angel.”

“You do well to call her such. She saved you then, this child?” I say, wondering.

“She ran and clasped my head and held me close to her heart that was beating, and looks up to her father the Emperor, begging he will spare me.”

“A great wonder, but God is merciful.”

“Certes He it was who sent her. For with tears streaming down she holds me close to her bosom, and murmurs pitifully that I be spared.”

“And he listens to her?”

“He leans on his hand, and muses a little space. Then he holds out his big red arm, and he with the club falls back, sudden. I am saved, Anas!”

Much wondering at this strange relation, I say: —


He shapeth
toys for her.
“What might be this angel’s name?”

“She hath three, whereof Pokahontas and Amonate be two. The third, which is her real name, none would tell me, lest I cast spells on her.”

“The heathen savages that toy with fancies!”

“Toy say you? Well the great King Powhatan would have me stay and fashion toys for the maiden. A strange business for him that was an old soldier of Duke Sigismund, but not irksome, Anas! So I that was to be clubbed to death was now safe, and feasted royally, and all my business was to fashion trinkets with my jack-knife for my little beauty! Do you laugh at me, Anas? She is a beauty, and though she made signs to me that she was thirteen only, I should have thought her a maid of seventeen. These dusky flowers bloom early, far earlier than our English lasses. And you should have seen Pokahontas bending over me with her brown face all aglow as I worked, and her slim arms with the coral bracelets reaching out from a robe of feathers of forest birds to take the trinket I fashioned! Sure never was young fawn of the fallow deer more graceful than this tender virgin!”


I warn my
Captain to
Thereat I laugh, for as he speaks thus Smith’s face glows, and I suspect something.

“A dusky wonder!” I say. “So you love her even now?”

“Love her, say you, Anas!” he replies, looking at me curiously; “sure I love her since she saved me.”

But I, shaking my head: —

“That is not the love a man loves a woman with; and this maid is a woman sith you call her seventeen in face and looks. Beware, worthy Captain!”

Smith laughed and blushed a little, and said: —

“That were too foolish, Anas!”

“Remember you are young,” I say.

“I am twenty-nine this very month, of this very year.”

“An age to kindle!”

“By my faith thou hast lost thy head, Anas!” he says. “What time have I to love, or think to marry any woman? For look you, Anas, poor soldier as I am, I would live par amours with none of them.”

“Certes, I believe that, knowing you as I do,” I say; “and to marry this dusk princess were a deadly sin, good Captain.”


The angel
“A sin, Anas?”

He turns his head and looks at me of a sudden.

“Surely a sin, since the Holy Book forbids marriage with strange wives, and this Pokahontas belongs to a cursed generation.

At this he muses a little, holding his chin in his hand, and that elbow in the tother§ hand.

“Well, set they mind at ease,” he says at last; “I shall see her no more.”

“Who knoweth?”

“She is but a child and would not venture through the irksome woods.”

Thereat I laugh and say: —

“But thou — thou wilt venture to her, I think!”

He blushes and looking sideways says to me: —

“Cease, thou foolish Anas! nevermore shall I see this blessed Pokahontas in any coming time.”

But sudden a bruit sounds from the forest near and Smith turns and looks.

“She is come!” he cries out, his face 31
With bas-
glowing. “She is yonder, in the woods! See her slim figure, Anas, and the white plume in her black hair!”

“And a wild train with baskets of somewhat to eat,” I laugh, — “the angel!”


*  Smith makes a similar statement in his published description of Pokahontas.

  See Smith’s letter to the Queen.

  This was a superstition of the Virginia Indians.

§  This pleonasm is common in the old writings to the time of Bacon’s rebellion. In urging his famous Middle Plantation oath, he asks his auditors how many of them Sir William Berkley is apt to dispatch, for what they have already done, to “the tother world.”

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