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Came with kindred and friends, with cattle and corn for

the Pilgrims. All in the village was peace; the men were intent on their

labors, Busy with hewing and building, with garden-plot and with

merestead, Busy with breaking the glebe, and mowing the grass in the

meadows, Searching the sea for its fish, and hunting the deer in the

forest. All in the village was peace; but at times the rumor of

warfare Filled the air with alarm, and the apprehension of danger. Bravely the stalwart Miles Standish was scouring the land

with his forces Waxing valiant in fight and defeating the alien armies, Till his name had become a sound of fear to the nations. Anger was still in his heart, but at times the remorse and

: contrition Which in all noble natures succeed the passionate outbreak, Came like a rising tide, that encounters the rush of a river, Staying its current awhile, but making it bitter and brackish.


Meanwhile Alden at home had built him a new habi

tation, Solid, substantial, of timber rough-hewn from the first of

the forest. Wooden-barred was the door, and the roof was covered

with rushes; Latticed the windows were, and the window-panes were of

paper, Oiled to admit the light, while wind and rain were



There too he dug a well, and around it planted an orchard: Still may be seen to this day some trace of the well and

the orchard. Close to the house was the stall, where, safe and secure

from annoyance, Raghorn, the snow-white steer, that had fallen to Alden's

allotment In the division of cattle, might ruminate in the night-time Over the pastures he cropped, made fragrant by sweet


Oft when his labor was finished, with eager feet would

the dreamer Follow the pathway that ran through the woods to the

house of Priscilla, Led by illusions romantic and subtile deceptions of fancy, Pleasure disguised as duty, and love in the semblance of

friendship. Ever of her he thought, when he fashioned the walls of his

dwelling; Ever of her he thought, when he delved in the soil of his

garden; Ever of her he thought, when he read in his Bible on

Sunday Praise of the virtuous woman, as she is described in the

Proverbs, How the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her

always, How all the days of her life she will do him good, and not

evil, How she seeketh the wool and the flax and worketh with

gladness, How she layeth her hand to the spindle and holdeth the distaff,

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How she is not afraid of the snow for herself or her house

hold, Knowing her household are clothed with the scarlet cloth

of her weaving!

So as she sat at her wheel one afternoon in the Autumn, Alden, who opposite sat, and was watching her dexterous

fingers, As if the thread she was spinning were that of his life and

his fortune, After a pause in their talk, thus spake to the sound of the

spindle. “Truly, Priscilla,” he said, “when I see you spinning and

spinning, Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thoughtful of others, Suddenly you are transformed, are visibly changed in a

moment; You are no longer Priscilla, but Bertha the Beautiful

Spinner.” Here the light foot on the treadle grew swifter and swifter;

the spindle Uttered an angry snarl, and the thread snapped short in

her fingers; While the impetuous speaker, not heeding the mischief,

continued : “You are the beautiful Bertha, the spinner, the queen of

Helvetia; She whose story I read at a stall in the streets of South

ampton, Who, as she rode on her palfrey, o'er valley and meadow

and mountain, Ever was spinning her thread from a distaff fixed to her saddle.

She was so thrifty and good, that her name passed into a

proverb. So shall it be with your own, when the spinning-wheel shall

no longer Hum in the house of the farmer, and fill its chambers with

music. Then shall the mothers, reproving, relate how it was in

their childhood, Praising the good old times, and the days of Priscilla the

spinner!” Straight uprose from her wheel the beautiful Puritan maiden, Pleased with the praise of her thrift from him whose praise

was the sweetest, Drew from the reel on the table a snowy skein of her

spinning, Thus making answer, meanwhile, to the flattering phrases

of Alden: Come, you must not be idle; if I am a pattern for house

wives, Show yourself equally worthy of being the model of hus

bands. Hold this skein on your hands, while I wind it, ready for

knitting; Then who knows but hereafter, when fashions have changed

and the manners, Fathers may talk to their sons of the good old times of

John Alden!" Thus, with a jest and a laugh, the skein on his hands she

adjusted, He sitting awkwardly there, with his arms extended before

him, She standing graceful, erect, and winding the thread from

his fingers,

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Sometimes chiding a little his clumsy manner of holding, Sometimes touching his hands, as she disentangled ex

pertly Twist or knot in the yarn, unawares

for how could she help it ?Sending electrical thrills through every nerve in his body.

Lo! in the midst of this scene, a breathless messenger

entered, Bringing in hurry and heat the terrible news from the

village. Yes; Miles Standish was dead!--an Indian had brought

them the tidings, Slain by a poisoned arrow, shot down in the front of the

battle, Into an ambush beguiled, cut off with the whole of his

forces; All the town would be burned, and all the people be mur

dered! Such were the tidings of evil that burst on the hearts of

the hearers. Silent and statue-like stood Priscilla, her face looking

backward Still at the face of the speaker, her arms uplifted in horror; But John Alden, upstarting, as if the barb of the arrow Piercing the heart of his friend had struck his own, and

had sundered Once and for ever the bonds that held him bound as a

captive, Wild with excess of sensation, the awful delight of his

freedom, Mingled with pain and regret, unconscious of what he was doing,

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