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Then went hurriedly on, as one who, seeing a
phantom, Stops, then quickens his pace, and follows the
beckoning shadow. “ Yes, it is plain to me now,” he murmured;
the hand of the Lord is
Leading me out of the land of darkness, the
bondage of error, Through the sea, that shall lift the walls of its
waters around me,
Hiding me, cutting me off, from the cruel
thoughts that pursue me. Back will I go o’er the ocean, this dreary land
Her whom I may not love, and him whom my
heart has offended.
Better to be in my grave in the green old
churchyard in England, Close by my mother's side, and among the dust
of my kindred ;
Better be dead and forgotten, than living in
shame and dishonor !
Sacred and safe and unseen, in the dark of the
With me my secret shall lie, like a buried jew
el that glimmers Bright on the hand that is dust, in the cham
bers of silence and darkness,Yes, as the marriage ring of the great espou
Thus as he spake, he turned, in the strength
of his strong resolution, Leaving behind him the shore, and hurried
along in the twilight, Through the congenial gloom of the forest
silent and sombre, Till he beheld the lights in the seven houses of
Shining like seven stars in the dusk and mist
of the evening. Soon he entered his door, and found the re
doubtable Captain Sitting alone, and absorbed in the martial pa
ges of Cæsar, Fighting some great campaign in Hainault or
Brabant or Flanders.
“ Long have you been on your errand,” he said
with a cheery demeanor, Even as one who is waiting an answer, and
fears not the issue.
“Not far off is the house, although the woods
are between us;
But you have lingered so long, that while you
were going and coming I have fought ten battles and sacked and de
molished a city.
Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all
that has happened."
Then John Alden spake, and related the
From beginning to end, minutely, just as it
happened ; How he had seen Priscilla, and how he had
sped in his courtship, Only smoothing a little, and softening down her
But when he came at length to the words Pris
cilla had spoken, Words so tender and cruel: “Why don't you
speak for yourself, John ?” Up leaped the Captain of Plymouth, and
stamped on the floor, till his armor Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a
sound of sinister omen.
All his pent-up wrath burst forth in a sudden
explosion, Even as a hand-grenade, that scatters destrucWildly he shouted, and loud : “ John Alden!
tion around it.
you have betrayed me ! Me, Miles Standish, your friend ! have sup
planted, defrauded, betrayed me! One of my ancestors ran his sword through the
heart of Wat Tyler; Who shall prevent me from running my own
through the heart of a traitor ? Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a trea
son to friendship! You, who lived under my roof, whom I cher
ished and loved as a brother;
You, who have fed at my board, and drunk at
my cup, to whose keeping I have intrusted my honor, my thoughts the
most sacred and secret, You too, Brutus! ah woe to the name of
friendship hereafter ! Brutus was Cæsar's friend, and you were mine,