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“ Are you so much offended, you will not speak to me ?" said she.
with for speaking so frankly and freely.
Hence is the inner life of so many suffering women
Ah, by these words, I can see,” again interrupted the maiden,
little you prize me, or care for what I am saying.
earnest, Turn them away from their meaning, and answer with flattering phrases. This is not right, is not just, is not true to the best that is in you ; For I know and esteem you, and feel that your nature is noble, Lifting mine up to a higher, a more ethereal level. Therefore I value your friendship, and feel it perhaps the more keenly If you say aught that implies I am only as one among many, If
you make use of those common and complimentary phrases Most men think so fine, in dealing and speaking with women, But which women reject as insipid, if not as insulting.”
Mute and amazed was Alden ; and listened and looked at Priscilla, Thinking he never had seen her more fair, more divine in her beauty.
He who but yesterday pleaded so glibly the cause of another,
speechless. “Let us, then, be what we are, and speak what we think, and in all
things Keep ourselves loyal to truth, and the sacred professions of friendship. It is no secret I tell you, nor am I ashamed to declare it: I have liked to be with you, to see you, to speak with
you always. So I was hurt at your words, and a little affronted to hear you Urge me to marry your friend, though he were the Captain Miles
For I must tell you the truth: much more to me is
friendship Than all the love he could give, were he twice the hero you think him." Then she extended her hand, and Alden, who eagerly grasped it, Felt all the wounds in his heart, that were aching and bleeding so
sorely, Healed by the touch of that hand, and he said, with a voice full of
feeling: “ Yes, we must ever be friends; and of all who offer you friendship Let me be ever the first, the truest, the nearest and dearest !"
Casting a farewell look at the glimmering sail of the May Flower, Distant, but still in sight, and sinking below the horizon, Homeward together they walked, with a strange indefinite feeling, That all the rest had departed and left them alone in the desert.
But, as they went through the fields in the blessing and smile of the
sunshine, Lighter grew their hearts, and Priscilla said very archly: “Now that our terrible Captain has gone in pursuit of the Indians, Where he is happier far than he would be commanding a household, You may speak boldly, and tell me of all that happened between you, When
returned last night, and said how ungrateful you found me.” Thereupon answered John Alden, and told her the whole of the story, Told her his own despair, and the direful wrath of Miles Standish. Whereat the maiden smiled, and said between laughing and earnest, “He is a little chimney, and heated hot in a moment!” But as he gently rebuked her, and told her how much he had suffered, How he had even determined to sail that day in the May Flower, And had remained for her sakė on hearing the dangers that
threatened, All her manner was changed, and she said with a faltering accent, “Truly I thank you for this: how good you have been to me always !"
Thus as a pilgrim devout, who toward Jerusalemn journeys, Taking three steps in advance, and one reluctantly backward, Urged by importunate zeal, and withheld by pangs of contrition ; Slowly but steadily onward, receding yet ever advancing, Journeyed this Puritan youth to the Holy Land of his longings, Urged by the fervour of love, and withheld by remorseful misgivings.
THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH.
MEANWHILE the stalwart Miles Standish was marching steadily north
ward, Winding through forest and swamp, and along the trend of the sea
shore, All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his anger Burning and crackling within, and the sulphurous odour of powder Seeming more sweet to his nostrils than all the scents of the forest. Silent and moody he went, and much he revolved his discomfort; He who was used to success, and to easy victories always, Thus to be flouted, rejected, and laughed to scorn by a maiden, Thus to be mocked and betrayed by the friend whom most he had
trusted! Ah! 'twas too much to be borne, and he fretted and chafed in his
“I alone am to blame," he muttered, " for mine was the folly. What has a rough old soldier, grown grim and grey in the harness, Used to the camp and its ways, to do with the wooing of maidens ? 'Twas but a dream,-let it pass,-let it vanish like so many others ! What I thought was a flower is only a weed, and is worthless; Out of my heart will I pluck it, and throw it away, and henceforward