There was a time when the people of England were not allowed (permitted = non era permesso) to pray (= pregare) to God in the way they thought right, but were punished if they did not worship (= adoravano, credevano) as the king ordered. This was very hard, and when James I was king, a little band (group = gruppo) of brave people, who found that they could not obey the king, left their country to make a new home (settle = farsi una nuova casa) across the sea, where they could be free. They are the Pilgrim Fathers.
A hundred people – men, women, children – set sail (= salparono) in a little ship called the Mayflowers for the New World which a great explorer called Columbus had discovered away in the west, and which we now call America. They had long a stormy (= tempestoso) voyage, but at last, in mid –winter (= a metà inverno), they landed (= atterrarono) on the shores ( coast = costa) of North America, and set up ( = stabilirono) their huts (= capanne).
At first they had much trouble, for the ground was frozen (ice covered= ghiacciato) and sterile. They suffered from hunger (= fame) and sickness (disease, illness = malattie) , and the wild Indians who lived in that land came down upon them and tried to drive them away. But the Pilgrim Fathers did not lose (= perdere) courage. They were free, and they worked hard, and waited in patience for brighter (better = migliori) days. By and by (= a poco a poco) other ships from England brought (= portarono) food to keep them alive (make them survive = per tenerli in vita), and more people to help them. Then they made friends (= fecero amicizia) with the Indians, and when spring came, they planted (= piantarono) seeds (=semi) and grew crops (= fecero raccolti) for themselves.
After a time many other Englishmen, who wished (desired = desideravano) to be free, followed the Pilgrim Fathers and settled ( = si stabilirono) in America. They founded (=fondarono) the colonies of New England, which are now a part of the United States.
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