|Embarkation of the Pilgrims at Delft Haven, Holland, July 22, 1620 by Robert Weir |
Weir's painting depicts the Pilgrims aboard Speedwell before their departure for the New World from Delft Haven, Holland, on July 22, 1620: William Brewster, holding the Bible, and pastor John Robinson leading Governor Carver, William Bradford, Miles Standish, and their families.
Mayflower and Speedwell set sail for America on August 15, but Speedwell developed a leak and both ships turned back for England, landing first at Dartmouth and then at Plymouth. Mayflower set sail for America alone on September 16. Sixty-six days later the Pilgrims arrive in Massachusetts. William Bradford writes:
Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees & blessed ye God of heaven, who had brought them over ye vast & furious ocean, and delivered them from all ye periles & miseries therof, againe to set their feete on ye firme and stable earth, their proper elemente. And no marvell if they were thus joyefull, seeing wise Seneca was so affected with sailing a few miles on ye coast of his owne Italy; as he affirmed, that he had rather remaine twentie years on his way by land, then pass by sea to any place in a short time; so tedious & dreadfull was ye same unto him.Verily, as we sit down on this day to the feast of remembrance ponder with all gentle humility those miseries and doubts such as our Fathers overcame,--as well for your spirit's sake, appreciate gladly and mildly that wonderful juicy turkey, those savory potatoes, hardy stuffings, toasted green vegetables, cranberry sauce, steaming rolls and muffins, sparkling beverages, which nourish and vivify our bodies with strength and energy, and pumpkin pie withal!
But hear I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amased at this poore peoples presente condition; and so I thinke will the reader too, when he well considered ye same. Being thus passed ye vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembred by yt which wente before), they had now no friends to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for succoure...
Let it also be considred what weake hopes of supply & succoure they left behinde them, yt might bear up their minds in this sade condition and trialls they were under; and they could not but be very smale. It is true, indeed, ye affections & love of their brethren at Leyden was cordiall & entire towards them, but they had litle power to help them, or them selves; and how ye case stode betweene them & ye marchants at their coming away, hath already been declared. What could not sustaine them but ye spirite of God & his grace? May not & ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our faithers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this willdernes; but they cried unto ye Lord, and he heard their voyce, and looked on their adversitie…
Post a Comment