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Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the veins of Hugh Standish,
Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for error.
Never so much as now was Miles Standish the friend of John Alden."
Thereupon answered the bridegroom: "Let all be forgotten between ns, —
All save the dear, old friendship, and that shall grow older and dearer!"
Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted Priscilla,
Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned gentry in England,
Something of camp and of court, of town and of country, commingled,
Wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly lauding her husband.
Then he said with a smile: "I should have remembered the adage, —
If you would be well served, you must serve yourself; and moreover.
No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season of Christmas!"
Great was the people's amazement, and greater yet their rejoicing,
Thus to behold once more the sun-burnt face of their Captain,
Whom they had mourned as dead; and they gathered and crowded about him,
Eager to see him and hear him, forgetful of bride and of bridegroom,
Questioning, answering, laughing, and each interrupting the other,
Till the good Captain declared, being quite overpowered and bewildered,
He had rather by far break into an Indian encampment,
Than come again to a wedding to which he had not been invited.
Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and
stood with the bride at the doorway, Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and
beautiful morning. Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and
sad in the sunshine, Lay extended before them the land of toil and
privation; There were the graves of the dead, and the
barren waste of the sea-shore, There the familiar fields, the groves of pine,
and the meadows; But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the
Garden of Eden, Pilled with the presence of God, whose voice
was the sound of the ocean.
Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise and stir of departure, Friends coming forth from the, house, and impatient of longer delaying,
Each with his plan for the day, and the work
that was left uncompleted. Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclamations of wonder, Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy,
so proud of Priscilla, Brought out his snow-white steer, obeying the
hand of its master, Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring
in its nostrils, Covered with crimson cloth, and a cushion
placed for a saddle. She should not walk, he said, through the dust
and heat of the noonday; Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod
along like a peasant. Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by
the others, Placing her hand on the cushion, her foot in
the hand of her husband,
G-ayly, -with joyous laugh, Priscilla mounted
her palfrey. "Nothing is wanting now," he said with a
smile, "but the distaff; Then you would be in truth my queen, my
Onward the bridal procession now moved to
their new habitation, Happy husband and wife, and friends conversing together. Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed
the ford in the forest, Pleased with the image that passed, like a
dream of love through its bosom, Tremulous, floating in air, o'er the depths of
the azure abysses. Down through the golden leaves the sun was
pouring his splendors, Gleaming on purple grapes, that, from branches
above them suspended,