Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page XXII
crews foregathered on shore and on board in all friendliness. The author remarks, as an indication of better fortune, or better equipment and discipline, that while the French ships had then a large number of scurvy patients, the Ram, had not a single man on the sick-list. All three ships required considerable repairs. The Frenchmen remained at St. Augustineas Bay from the 19th February until the 15th May. During this period six of the sailors, lotus-eating truants, deserted the French encampment, and made their way inland to seek refuge among the natives. Their courage had been broken alike by the storm from which they had lately escaped, and by the alarming increase of sickness. a Utterly consumed with sharp distress,a they no doubt thought:
aSurely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar.a
A few days of jungle wandering, however, disappointed their expectations. The natives showed no inclination to receive them, and at length, exhausted from want of food and water, they returned in penitence to their comrades. Meantime sickness and mortality made dreadful havoc among the crews, and, in order to supply the needful complement of hands, resort was had to a plan of kidnapping natives. This proved abortive, and, further intercourse being now impossible, the ships were forced to pursue their course.
The state of the crews, owing to sickness and mortality, was now such that it was necessary to seekThe state of the crews, owing to sickness and mortality, was now such that it was necessary to seek