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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis

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KEEPING HOUSE

WHEN we came ashore from the ships, no one claimed Nathaniel as servant, and he, burning to be in my company, asked Captain Smith's permission to enter his employ. My master replied that it had not been in his mind there should be servants and lords in this new world of Virginia, where one was supposed to be on the same footing as another; but if Nathaniel were minded to live under the same roof with us, and would cheerfully perform his full share of the labor, it might be as he desired.

Because our house was the first to be put up in the new village, and, being made of logs, was by far the best shelter, even in comparison with the tents of cloth, Nathaniel and I decided that it should be the most homelike, if indeed that could be compassed where were no women to keep things cleanly.

I am in doubt as to whether Captain Smith, great [64] traveler and brave adventurer though he was, had even realized that with only men to perform the household duties, there would be much lack of comfort.

The floor of the house was only the bare earth beaten down hard. We lads made brooms, by tying the twigs of trees to a stick, which was not what might be called a good makeshift, and yet with such we kept the inside of our home far more cleanly than were some of the tents.


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