Fragment: CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH I CALL it an old town, but it is only relatively old. When one reflects on the countless centuries that have gone to the for mation of this crust of earth on which we temporarily move, the most ancient cities on its surface seem merely things of the week before last. It was only the other day, then that is to say, in the month of June, 1603 that one Martin Pring, in the ship Speedwell, an enormous ship of nearly fifty tons burden, from Bristol, England, sailed up the Piscataqua River. The Speedwell, numbering thirty men, officers and crew, had for consort the Discoverer, of twenty six tons and thirteen men. After following the windings of "the brave river" for twelve miles or more, the two vessels turned back and put to sea again, having failed in the chief object of the expedition, which was to obtain a cargo of the medicinal sassafras tree, from the bark of which, as well known to our ancestors , could be distilled the Elixir of Life.