Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Finally down from its shelf he dragged the

ponderous Roman, Seated himself at the window, and opened the

book, and in silence Turned o'er the well-worn leaves, where

thumb-marks thick on the margin, Like the trample of feet, proclaimed the battle

was hottest. Nothing was heard in the room but the hurry

ing pen of the stripling, Busily writing epistles important, to go by the

May Flower, Ready to sail on the morrow, or next day at

latest, God willing ! Homeward bound with the tidings of all

that terrible winter, Letters written by Alden, and full of the

name of Priscilla, Full of the name and the fame of the Puritan

maiden Priscilla !

II.

Love and Friendship.

II.

LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.

Nothing was heard in the room but the

hurrying pen of the stripling, Or an occasional sigh from the labouring heart

of the Captain, Reading the marvellous words and achieve

ments of Julius Cæsar. After a while he exclaimed, as he smote with

his hand, palm downwards, Heavily on the page :

“A wonderful man was this Cæsar ! You are a writer, and I am a fighter, but here

is a fellow Who could both write and fight, and in both

was equally skilful !” Straightway answered and spake John Alden,

the comely, the youthful: “Yes, he was equally skilled, as you say, with

his pen and his weapons. Somewhere have I read, but where I forget,

he could dictate Seven letters at once, at the same time writing

his memoirs." “ Truly," continued the Captain, not heeding

or hearing the other,

“Truly a wonderful man was Caius Julius

Cæsar ! Better be first, he said, in a little Iberian

village, Than be second in Rome, and I think he was

right when he said it. Twice was he married before he was twenty,

and many times after ; Battles five hundred he fought, and a thousand

cities he conquered ; He, too, fought in Flanders, as he himself has

recorded ; Finally he was stabbed by his friend, the orator

Brutus ! Now, do you know what he did on a certain

occasion in Flanders, When the rear-guard of his army retreated,

the front giving way too, And the immortal Twelfth Legion was crowded

so closely together There was no room for their swords? Why,

he seized a shield from a soldier, Put himself straight at the head of his troops

and commanded the captains, Calling on each by his name, to order forward

the ensigns; Then to widen the ranks, and give more room for their

weapons ; So he won the day, the battle of something

or-other. That's what I always say ; if you wish a thing

to be well done,

ܪ

« ПредишнаНапред »