|Goode Newes, Introduction||Goode Newes, Chap. 1||Goode Newes, Chap. 2|
|Goode Newes, Chap. 3||Goode Newes, Chap. 4||Goode Newes, Chap. 5|
|Goode Newes, Chap. 6||Goode Newes, Chap. 7||Goode Newes, Chap. 8|
During the time that the Captain was at Manomet, news came to Plymouth, that Massasoit was like to die, and that at the same time there was a Dutch ship driven so high on the shore by stress of weather, right before his dwelling, that till the tides increased, she could not be got off. Now it being a commendable manner of the Indians, when any (especially of note) are dangerously sick, for all that profess friendship to them, to visit them in their extremity, either in their persons, or else to send some acceptable persons to them, therefore it was thought meet (being a good and warrantable action) that as we had ever professed friendship, so we should now maintain the same, by observing this their laudable custom: and the rather, because we desired to have some conference with the Dutch, not knowing when we should have so fit an opportunity. To that end my self having formerly been there, and understanding in some measure the Dutch tongue, the Governor again laid this service upon my self, and fitted me with some cordials to administer to him, having one Master John Hamden a Gentleman of London (who then wintered with us, and desired much to see the Country) for my Consort, and Hobomok for our guide. So we set forward, and lodged the first night at Nemasket, where we had friendly entertainment.
The next day about one of the clock, we came to a ferry in Corbatant's Country, where upon discharge of my piece, divers Indians came to us from a house not far off. There they told us, that Massasoit was dead, and that day buried, and that the Dutch would be gone before we could get thither, having hove off their ship already. This news struck us blank: but especially Hobomok, who desired we might return with all speed. I told him I would first think of it, considering now that he being dead, Corbitant was the most like to succeed him, and that we were not above three miles from Mattapuyst his dwelling place, although he were but a hollow hearted friend towards us, I thought no time so fit as this, to enter into more friendly terms with him, and the rest of the Sachems thereabout, hoping (through the blessing of God) it would be a means in that unsettled state, to settle their affections towards us, and though it were somewhat dangerous, in respect of our personal safety, because my self and Hobomok had been employed upon a service against him, which he might now fitly revenge, yet esteeming it the best means, leaving the event to God in his mercy, I resolved to put it in practice, if Master Hamden and Hobomok durst attempt it with me, whom I found willing to that or any other course might tend to, the general good. So we went towards Mattapayst. In the way, Hobomok manifesting a troubled spirit, brake forth into these speeches, Neen womasu Sagimus, neen womasu Sagimus, etc. My loving Sachem, my loving Sachem, Many have I known, but never any like thee: And turning him to me said; Whilest I lived, I should never see his like amongst the Indians, saying, he was no liar, he was not bloody and quell like other Indians; In anger and passion he was soon reclaimed, easy to be reconciled towards such as had offended him, ruled by reason in such measure, as he would not scorn the advice of mean men, and that he governed his men better with few strokes than others did with many; truly loving where he loved; yea he feared we had not a faithful friend left among the Indians, strewing how he oft-times restrained their malice, etc. continuing a long speech with such signs of lamentation and unfeigned sorrow, as it would have made the hardest heart relent.
At length we came to Mattapuyst, and went to the Sachem Comaco (for so they call the Sachems place, though they call an ordinary house Witeo) but Corbitant the Sachem was not at home, but at Pokanoket, which was some five or six miles off; the Squa-sachem (for so they call the Sachems wife) gave us friendly entertainment. Here we inquired again concerning Massasoit, they thought him dead, but knew no certainty; whereupon I hired one to go with all expedition to Pokanoket, that we might know the certainty thereof, and withal to acquaint Corbitant with our there being. About half an hour beforeSun-setting, the messenger returned, and told us that he was not yet dead, though there was no hope we should find him living. Upon this we were much revived, and set forward with all speed, though it was late within night ere we got thither. About two of the clock that afternoon the Dutchmen departed, so that in that respect our journey was frustrate.
When we came thither, we found the house so full of men, as we could scarce get in, though they used their best diligence to make way for us. There were they in the midst of their charms for him, making such a hellish noise, as it distempered us that were well, and therefore unlike to ease him that was sick. About him were six or eight women, who chafed his arms, legs; and thighs, to keep heat in him; when they had made an end of their charming, one told him that his friends the English were come to see him; (having understanding left, but his sight was wholly gone) he asked who was come, they told him Winsnow (for they cannot pronounce the letter 1, but ordinarily n in the place thereof) he desired to speak with me; when I came to him, and they told him of it, he put forth his hand to me, which I took; then he said twice, though very inwardly, keen Winsnow, which is to say, Art thou Winslow? I answered ahhe, that is, yes; then he doubled these words, Matta neen wonckanet namen Winsnow; that is to say, O Winslow I shall never see thee again.
Then I called Hobomok and desired him to tell Massasoit, that the Governor hearing of his sickness was sorry for the same, and though by reason of many businesses he could not come himself, yet he sent me with such things for him as he thought most likely to doe him good in this his extremity and whereof if he pleased to take, I would presently give him; which he desired, and having a confection of many comfortable conserves, etc. on the point of my knife, I gave him some, which I could scarce get through his teeth; when it was dissolved in his mouth, he swallowed the juice of it, whereat those that were about him much rejoiced, saying, he had not swallowed any thing in two days before. Then I desired to see his mouth, which was exceedingly furred, and his tongue swelled in such manner, as it was not possible for him to eat such meat as they had, his passage being stops up: then I washed his mouth, and scraped his tongue, and got abundance of corruption out of the same. After which, I gave him more of the confection, which e swallowed with more readiness; then he desiring to drink, I dissolved some of it in water, and gave him thereof: within half an hour this wrought a great alteration in him in the eyes of all that beheld him; presently after his sight began to come to him, which gave him and us good encouragement. In the mean time I inquired how he slept, and when he went to the stool? They said he slept not in two days before, and had not had a stool in five; then I gave him more, and told him of a mishap we had by the way in breaking a bottle of drink, which the Governor also sent him, saying, if he would send any of his men to Patuxet, I would send for more of the same, also for chickens to make him broth, and for other things which I knew were good for him, and would stay the return of the messenger if he desired. This he took marvelous kindly, and appointed some who were ready to go by two of the clock in the morning, against which time I made ready a letter, declaring therein our good success, the state of his body, etc. desiring to send me such things as I sent for, and such physic as the Surgeon durst administer to him.
He requested me that the day following, I would take my Piece, and kill him some Fowl, and make him some English pottage, such as he had eaten at Plymouth, which I promised: after his stomach coming to him, I must needs make him some without Fowl, before I went abroad, which somewhat troubled me, being unaccustomed and unacquainted in such businesses, especially having nothing to make it comfortable, my Consort being as ignorant as my self; but being we must doe somewhat, I caused a woman to bruise some come, and take the flower from it, and set over the grit or broken come in a pipkin (for they have earthen pots of all sizes.) When the day broke, we went out (it being now March) to seek herbs, but could not find any but strawberry leaves, of which I gathered a handful and put into the same, and because I had nothing to relish it, I went forth again, and pulled up a sassafras root, and sliced a piece thereof, and boiled it till it had a good relish, and then took it out again. The broth being boiled, I strained it through my handkerchief, and gave him at least a pint, which he drank, and liked it very well. After this his sight mended more and more, also he had three moderate stools, and took some rest. Insomuch as we with admiration blessed God for giving his blessing to such raw and ignorant means, making no doubt of his recovery, himself and all of them acknowledging us the instruments of his preservation.
That morning he caused me to spend in going from one to another amongst those that were sick in the Town, requesting me to wash their mouths also, and give to each of them some of the same I gave him, saying, they were good folk. This pains I took with willingness, though it were much offensive to me, not being accustomed with such poisonous savors. After dinner he desired me to get him a Goose or Duck, and make him some pottage therewith, with as much speed as I could: so I took a man with me, and made a shot at a couple of Ducks, some six score paces off, and killed one, at which he wondered: so we returned forthwith, and dressed it, making more broth therewith, which he much desired; never did I see a man so low brought, recover in that measure in so short a time. The Fowl being extraordinary fat, I told Hobomok I must take off the top thereof, saying it would make him very sick again if he did eat it; this he acquainted Massasoit therewith, who would not be persuaded to it, though I pressed it very much, strewing the strength thereof, and the weakness of his stomach, which could not possibly bear it. Notwithstanding he made a gross meal of it, and ate as much as would well have satisfied a man in health. About an hour after he began to be very sick, and straining very much, cast up the broth again, and in overstraining himself, began to bleed at the nose, and so continued the space of four hours; then they all wished he had. been ruled, concluding now he would die, which we much feared also. They asked me what I thought of him; I answered, his case was desperate, yet it might be it would save his life: for if it ceased in time, he would forthwith sleep and take rest, which was the principal thing he wanted. Not long after his blood stained, and he slept at least six or eight hours; when he awaked I washed his face, and bathed and suppled his beard and nose with a linen cloth: but on a sudden he chops his nose in the water, and drew up some therein, and sent it forth again with such violence, as he began to bleed afresh, then they thought there was no hope, but we perceived it was but the tenderness of his nostril, and therefore told them I thought it would stay presently, as indeed it did.
The messengers were now returned, but finding his stomach come to him, he would not have the chickens killed, but kept them for breed. Neither durst we give him any physic which was then sent, because his body was so much altered since our instructions, neither saw we any need, not doubting now of his recovery, if he were careful. Many whilest we were there came to see him, some by their report from a place not less than an hundred miles. To all that came, one of his chief men related the manner of his sickness, how near he was spent, how amongst others his friends the English came to see him, and how suddenly they recovered him to this strength they saw, he being now able to sit upright of himself.
The day before our coming, another Sachem being there, told him, that now he might see how hollow-hearted the English were, saying if we had been such friends in deed, as we were in show, we would have visited him in this his sickness, using many arguments to withdraw his affections, and to persuade him to give way to some things against us, which were motioned to him not long before: but upon this his recovery, he brake forth into these speeches; Now I see the English are my friends and love me, and whilest I live I will never forget this kindness they have showed meet Whilest we were there, our entertainment exceeded all other strangers. Divers other things were worthy the noting, but I fear I have been too tedious.
At our coming away, he called Hobomok to him, and privately (none hearing save two or three other of his Pnieses, who are of his Council) revealed the plot of the Massacheuseucks before spoken of, against Master Weston's Colony, and so against us, saying that the people of Nauset, Paomet, Succonet Mattachiest, Manomet, Agoweywam, and the Isle of Capawack, were joined with them; himself also in his sickness was earnestly solicited, but he would neither join therein, nor give way to any of his. Therefore as we respected the lives of our Countrymen, and our own after safety, he advised us to kill the men of Massachusetts, who were the authors of this intended mischief. And whereas we were wont to say, we would not strike a stroke till they first begun; if said he upon this intelligence, they make that answer, tell them, when their Countrymen at Wessagussett are killed, they being not able to defend themselves, that then it will be too late to recover their lives, nay through the multitude of adversaries they shall with great difficulty preserve their own, and therefore he counseled without delay to take away the principals, and then the plot would cease. With this he charged him thoroughly to acquaint me by the way, that I might inform the Governor thereof at my first coming home. Being fitted for our return, we took out leave of him, who returned many thanks to our Governor, and also to our selves for our labor and love: the like did all that were about him. So we departed.
That night through the earnest request of Corbitant, who till now remained at Sawcaans or Pokanoket, we lodged with him at Mattaiuyst. By the way I had much conference with him; so likewise at his house, he being a notable politician, yet full of merry jests and squibs, and never better pleased than when the like are returned again upon him. Amongst other things he asked me, If in case he were thus dangerously sick, as Massasoit had been, and should send word thereof to Patuxet for Maskiet, that is, Physic, whether then Mr. Governor would send it? And if he would, whether I would come therewith to him? To both which I answered yea, whereat he gave me many joyful thanks. After that, being at his house he demanded further, how we durst being but two come so far into the Country? I answered, where was true love there was no fear, and my heart was so upright towards them that for mine own part I was fearless to come amongst them. But, said he, if your love be such, and it bring forth such fruits, how cometh it to pass, that when we come to Patuxet, you stand upon your guard, with the mouths of your pieces presented towards us ? Whereunto I answered, it was the most honorable and respective entertainment we could give them; it being an order amongst us so to receive our best respected friends: and as it was used on the Land, so the ships observed it also at Sea, which Hobomok knew, and had scene observed. But shaking the head he answered, that he liked not such salutations.
Further, observing us to crave a blessing on our meat before we did eat, and after to give thanks for the same, he asked us what was the meaning of that ordinary custom? Hereupon I took occasion to tell them of Gods works of Creation, and Preservation, of his Laws and Ordinances, especially of the ten Commandments, all which they hearkened unto with great attention, and liked well of: only the seventh Commandment they excepted against, thinking there were many inconveniences in it, that a man should be tied to one woman: about which we reasoned a good time. Also I told them that whatsoever good things we had, we received from God, as the Author and giver thereof, and therefore- craved his blessing upon that we had, and were about to eat, that it might nourish and strengthen our bodies, and having eaten sufficient, being satisfied therewith, we again returned thanks to the same our God for that our refreshing, etc. This all of them concluded to be very well, and said, they believed almost all the same things, and that the same power that we called God, they called Kiehtan. Much profitable conference was occasioned hereby, which would be too tedious to relate, yet was no less delightful to them, then comfortable to us. Here we remained only that night, but never had better entertainment amongst any of them.
The day following, in our journey, Hobomok told me of the private conference he had with Massasoit, and how he charged him perfectly to acquaint me therewith (as I showed before) which having done, he used many arguments himself to move us hereunto; That night we lodged at Nemasket, and the day following about the mid way between it and home, we met two Indians, who told us that Captain Standish was that day gone to the Massachusetts: but contrary winces again drive him back, so that we found him at home; where the Indian of Paomet still was, being very importunate that the Captain should take the first opportunity of a faire wind to go with him, but their secret and villainous purposes being through Gods mercy now made known, the Governor caused Captain Standish to send him away without any distaste or manifestation of anger, that we might the better effect and bring to pass that which should be thought most necessary.