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4 > Page 4 of Address at the three hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown / by Hon. Thomas Nelson Page.

the Powhatan, made only about one knot per hour. Time moves slowly when weighted with the burden of Fate. Those frail boats in which men might hesitate now to cruise along the margin of the coast, bore in their wombs the destinies of Nations. When on May 13, 1607, they moored to the trees of this Island in six fathom water, they moored Europe to Amer- ica. They moored the Old to the New. They moored the English Civilization with all its possibilities to the New World with all its possibilities. There were times when it appeared that their cables were in danger of parting. But though frayed to the slenderest, they never wholly gave way. Let us pause for a moment to get a view, if we can, of the conditions environing and enveloping their great enterprise. When that band of "four-score souls" boarded those little ships in the River Thames and weighed anchor, England was just preparing to celebrate the great annual holiday of the English People: Christmas. It was the England of the "spacious times of Great Elizabeth;" for the after-glow of her mighty reign had not yet faded out. Raleigh and Bacon and Coke and Southampton and Burleigh and Walsingham, were among the statesmen of England, and Ben Johnston and Michael Drayton, were among her poets. Christopher Alarlowe and Edmund Spenser had but now laid by their lyres; and in London, Marlowe's fellow-county- man, who gave a new realm to England-a realm out of the imagination, as Raleigh gave a new physical realm, was writing those immortal dramas which are today the heritage of America no less than of England. With the bells of London almost beginning to peal out their Christmas chimes, these men bound for the Virgin land after many prayers and sermons in sundry churches, boarded their little vessels and dropped down the river, headed for Virginia. For six long weeks they lay anchored in the Downs, thump- ing up and down, within but a few miles of the English shore; where their courage was sustained, says the chronicle, by "Worthy Master Hunt," the simple parish priest, who though 4