Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter III >> Page 27

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Page 27

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription CHAPTER III.
Meanwhile, a treacherous peace had been made be-
tween the imbecile Charles, and the Protestant part of
his subjects. This peace enabled Coligny to direct his
attention to the forlorn colony which had been left in
Carolina. Its fate was as yet unknown in France. To
relieve the colonists, three ships were given for the ser-
vice, and placed under the command of Rene Laudonniere ;
a man of intelligence, a seaman rather than a soldier,
who had been upon the American coast in a former
voyage, and was supposed to be the most fitting that
could be chosen, from many offering, to lead forth the
present colony. Emigrants offered themselves in num-
bers ; for Florida was, at this time, a country of romance.
Men dreamed of rich mines of gold and silver in its
bowels ; they had heard truly of its fruits and flowers;
and they believed, in addition, that, under its bland airs
and genial influence, the duration of human life was
extended. Laudonniere himself tells of natives whom
he had seen, who were two hundred and fifty years old,
yet had a reasonable hope of living forty or fifty years
longer. These idle fancies, which could only have found
credence at a period when the wonderful discoveries of
Columbus and other captains, had opened the fountains
of the marvellous beyond the control of the ordinary
standards of human judgment, readily stimulated the
passion for adventure, and the armament of Laudonniere
was soon rendered complete and ready for the sea. A