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Then went hurriedly on, as one who, seeing a phantom, Stops, then quickens his pace, and follows the beckoning

shadow. “ Yes, it is plain to me now," he murmured; “the hand of

the Lord is Leading me out of the land of darkness, the bondage of

error, Through the sea, that shall lift the walls of its waters

around me,

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Hiding me, cutting me off, from the cruel thoughts that

pursue me. Back will I go o'er the ocean, this dreary land will abandon, Her whom I may not love, and him whom my heart has

offended, Better to be in my grave in the green old churchyard in

England, Close by my mother's side, and among the dust of my

kindred; Better be dead and forgotten, than living in shame and dis

honor! Sacred and safe, and unseen, in the dark of the narrow

chamber With me my secret shall lie, like a buried jewel that

glimmers Bright on the hand that is dust, in the chambers of silence

and darkness, Yes, as the marriage ring of the great espousal hereafter!”

Thus as he spake, he turned, in the strength of his

strong resolution, Leaving behind him the shore, and hurried along in the

twilight Through the congenial gloom of the forest silent and sombre, Till he beheld the lights in the seven houses of Plymouth, Shining like seven stars in the dusk and mist of the

evening Soon he entered his door, and found the redoubtable Cap

tain Sitting alone, and absorbed in the martial pages of Cæsar, Fighting some great campaign in Hainault or Brabant or

Flanders. “Long have you been on your errand,” he said, with a

cheery demeanor, Even as one who is waiting an answer, and fears not the

issue. "Not far off is the house, although the woods are between us; But you have lingered so long, that while you were going

and coming I have fought ten battles and sacked and demolished a city. Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all that has


· Then John Alden spake, and related the wondrous ad

venture, From beginning to end, minutely, just as it happened; How he had seen Priscilla, and how he had sped in his

courtship, Only smoothing a little, and softening down her refusal. But when he came at length to the words Priscilla had spoken, Words so tender and cruel; “Why don't you speak for your

self, John ?” Up leaped the Captain of Plymouth, and stamped on the

floor, till his armor Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a sound of sinister


All his pent-up wrath burst forth in a sudden explosion,

Even as a hand-grenade, that scatters destruction around it. Wildly he shouted, and loud: “John Alden! you have be

trayed me! Me, Miles Standish, your friend! have supplanted, defrauded,

betrayed me! One of my ancestors ran his sword through the heart of

Wat Tyler; Who shall prevent me from running my own through the

heart of a traitor? Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a treason to

friendship! You, who lived under my roof, whom I cherished and loved

as a brother; You, who have fed at my board, and drunk at my cup, to

whose keeping I have intrusted my honor, my thoughts the most sacred

and secret, You too, Brutus! ah, woe to the name of friendship here

after! Brutus was Cæsar's friend, and you were mine, but hence

forward Let there be nothing between us save war, and implacable


So spake the Captain of Plymouth, and strode about in

the chamber, Chafing and choking with rage; like cords were the veins

on his temples. But in the midst of his anger a man appeared at the door

way, Bringing in uttermost haste a message of urgent impor

tance, Rumors of danger and war, and hostile incursions of Indians! Straightway the Captain paused, and, without further ques

tion or parley, Took from the nail on the wall his sword with its scabbard

of iron, Buckled the belt round his waist, and, frowning fiercely,

departed. Alden was left alone. He heard the clank of the scabbard Growing fainter and fainter, and dying away in the dis

tance. Then he arose from his seat, and looked forth into the

darkness, Felt the cool air blow on his cheek, that was hot with the

insult, Lifted his eyes to the heavens, and, folding his hands as in

childhood. Prayed in the silence of night to the Father who seeth in


Meanwhile the choleric Captain strode wrathful away to

the council, Found it already assembled, impatiently waiting his coming; Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in deportment, Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest to heaven, Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent Elder of Ply

mouth. God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this

planting, Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a nation; So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of the

people! Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude stern and

defiant, Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious in aspect;

While on the table before them was lying unopened a

Bible, Ponderous, bound in leather, brass-studded, printed in

Holland, And beside it outstretched the skin of a rattle-snake

glittered, Filled, like a quiver, with arrows; a signal and challenge

of warfare. Brought by the Indian, and speaking with arrowy tongues

of defiance. This Miles Standish beheld, as he entered, and heard them

debating What were an answer befitting the hostile message and

menace, Talking of this and of that, contriving, suggesting, ob

jecting; One voice only for peace, and that the voice of the Elder, Judging it wise and well that some at least were converted, Rather than any were slain, for this was but Christian be

havior! Then outspake Miles Standish, the stalwart Captain of

Plymouth, Muttering deep in his throat, for his voice was husky with

anger, “What! do you mean to make war with milk and the water

of roses? Is it to shoot red squirrels you your

howitzer planted There on the roof of the church, or is it to shoot red devils ? Truly the only tongue that is understood by a savage Must be the tongue of fire that speaks from the mouth of

the cannon!” Thereupon answered and said the excellent Elder of Ply


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