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Suddenly breaking the silence, the diligent

scribe interrupting, Spake, in the pride of his heart, Miles Standish

the Captain of Plymouth. “Look at these arms,” he said, “the warlike

weapons that hang here Burnished and bright and clean, as if for pa

rade or inspection ! This is the sword of Damascus I fought with

in Flanders ; this breastplate, Well I remember the day! once saved my life

in a skirmish; 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 ink-horn. Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, in

vincible army, Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest

and his matchlock, Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet

and pillage, And, like Cæsar, 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 Cap

tain continued : Look!

you can see from this window my brazen howitzer planted 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, 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 grey mist, the vapory

treath of the east-wind,




Forest and meadow and hill, and the steel-blue

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

יי! already have perished

Sadly his 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 Commenta

ries of Cæsar, 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,

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famous

campaigns of the Romans, Or the Artillery practice, designed for belliger

ent Christians.

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