Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter III >> Page 29

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
solved upon establishing his new settlement at the mouth
of the river May. A small hill was chosen, a little retired
from the northern bank of the river, upon which he
erected the arms of France ; and with favorable auspices,
springing rather from his hopes and fancies, than from
any obvious superiority in the place of his choice over
that which he had resolved to desert, he commenced the
foundation of the second European fortress in North
America. The site chosen, though greatly inferior to
that of Port Royal, had its attractions also. "Upon the
top of the hill," in the warm language of Laudonniere,
"are nothing else but cedars, palmes, and bay trees, of
so sovereign odor, that balme smelleth nothing in com-
parison. The trees were environed round with vines,
bearing grapes in such quantity, that the number would
suffice to make the place habitable. Touching the pleasure
of the place, the sea may be seen plane and open from it ;
and more than five great leagues off, near the river Belle,
a man may behold the meadows divided asunder into
isles and islets, interlacing one another. Briefly, the
place is so pleasant, that those which are melancho'ick,
would be forced to change their humour." The objections
to Port Royal, exaggerated by the disastrous termination
of the first settlement, are fitly opposed to this glowing
description."On the other side," says the same com-
mander, if we pass farther north to seek out Port Royal,
it would be neither very profitable nor convenient ; at
least if we should give credit to the report of them which
remained there a long time, although the haven were one
of the fairest of the West Indies. In this case the
question is not so much of the beauty of the place, as of