By Peter Neary
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Extra resources for By Great Waters: A Newfoundland and Labrador Anthology
MY HUMBLE SERVICE remembered; accounting myself bound unto you in a double bond, namely, love and duty, I could not be unmindful to shew the same unto you in these rude lines, thereby to acquaint you with our health, the temperature of our country, and * Richard Whitbourne A Discourse and Discovery of Newfoundland (London 1623) A letter from Ferryland (18 August 1622) 17 the commodities and blessings therein. And first, for the first: concerning our health, there is not any man amongst our company that hath been sick scarcely one day since he came but hath been able to follow his work.
November 30th, St Andrew's Day: A man left the fort with a white flag to parley. The commanders held an interview with the governor of the fort, who came with four of his chief settlers. He would not suffer any of us to enter the fort, being afraid to let us see the wretched state to which they were reduced. He insisted on deferring the surrender until the next day, hoping that two large ships which had been seen two days previously, standing two leagues to sea off the harbour, might have a favourable wind to enter; but we refused to give any delay.
To say that I know not, I dare not. Thus much I know, as an eye witness, & much more good the country doth promise to shew me: the which, when I see you, my heart shall command and my tongue to certify you. Our Governor's letters (I doubt not) will bring you news at large; I wrote 18 By great waters but this in haste to satisfy myself and shew my duty, desiring you to look through it, as through a prospective glass, wherein you may discern afar off what I have seen near hand, and see that your poor well-wishing friend is alive and in good health at Ferryland, who in the lowest step of duty takes his leave with prayers for your preservation.