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Here in front you can see the very dint of the

bullet Fired point-blank at my heart by a Spanish

arcabucero. Had it not been of sheer steel, the forgotten

bones of Miles Standish Would at this moment be mould, in their grave

in the Flemish morasses." Thereupon answered John Alden, but looked

not up from his writing: "Truly the breath of the Lord hath slackened

the speed of the bullet; He in his mercy preserved you, to be our shield

and our weapon!" Still the Captain continued, unheeding the

words of the stripling: "See, how bright they are burnished, as if in

an arsenal hanging; That is because I have done it myself, and not

left it to others.

Serve yourself, would you be well served, is an excellent adage;

So I take care of my arms, as you of your pens and your inkhorn.

Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible army,

Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his matchlock,

Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and pillage,

And, like Caesar, I know the name of each of my soldiers!"

This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as the sunbeams

Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again in a moment.

Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain continued:

"Look! you can see from this window my brazen howitzer planted

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High on the roof of the church, a preacher who

speaks to the purpose, Steady, straight-forward, and strong, with irresistible logic, Orthodox, flashing conviction right into the

hearts of the heathen. Now we are ready, I think, for any assault of

the Indians; Let them come, if they like, and the sooner

they try it the better, — Let them come if they like, be it sagamore,

sachem, or pow-wow, Aspinet, Samoset, Corbitant, Squanto, or To


Long at the window he stood, and wistfully gazed on the landscape,

Washed with a cold gray mist, the vapory breath of the east-wind,

Forest and meadow and hill, and the steelblue rim of the ocean,

Lying silent and sad, in the afternoon shadows

and sunshine. Over his countenance flitted a shadow like

those on the landscape, Gloom intermingled with light; and his voice

was subdued with emotion, Tenderness, pity, regret, as after a pause he

proceeded: "Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies

buried Rose Standish; Beautiful rose of love, that bloomed for me by

the wayside! She was the first to die of all who came in the

May Flower! Green above her is growing the field of wheat

we have sown there, Better to hide from the Indian scouts the

graves of our people, Lest they should count them and see how many

already have perished!"

Sadly liis face he averted, and strode up and down, and was thoughtful.

Fixed to the opposite wall was a shelf of books, and among them

Prominent three, distinguished alike for bulk and for binding;

Bariffe's Artillery Guide, and the Commentaries of Caesar,

Out of the Latin translated by Arthur Goldinge of London,

And, as if guarded by these, between them was standing the Bible.

Musing a moment before them, Miles Standish paused, as if doubtful

Which of the three he should choose for his consolation and comfort,

Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famous campaigns of the Eomans,

Or the Artillery practice, designed for belligerent Christians.

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