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Then John Alden began explaining and smoothing the

Making it worse as he went, by saying the Captain was


Figures of Speech

If you find a simile between lines 279 and 335, write it. Find an example of apostrophe in one of Longfellow's poems other than The Courtship.


1. Do you think Priscilla had a stout heart? Do you think she had a strong constitution? What reason have you for thinking as you do?

2. What mistake did John Alden make in giving his message to Priscilla?

3. What caused Priscilla's amazement and sorrow? 4. Why did she feel John Alden's words like a blow? 5. Prove that Priscilla set a high value on her affection. 6. According to Priscilla, what was the chief fault in the method of wooing used by Miles Standish?

7. Why was Priscilla indignant and hurt at the proposal of Miles Standish? How might he have won her? 8. On seeing the result of his blunt proposal, how did John Alden prove his loyalty to Miles Standish?

9. What reasons had John Alden for his loyalty to Miles Standish?

10. Sketch the character of Miles Standish.

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Lines 335-423


In his poem Elizabeth, Longfellow tells the story of a Quaker maid who is very like Priscilla in her frankness.

Note the beautiful description of sunset at the beginning of Part IV.

"Her whom I may not love, and him whom my heart has


Note in this line the refinement of conscientious reasoning.

Do you envy John Alden his feelings at the following words of Miles Standish?

"Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all that has

Wat Tyler was a traitor to his king. One of the ancestors of Miles Standish (John Standish) had been knighted for slaying Wat Tyler.

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Archly the maiden smiled, and, with eyes overrunning with


Said, in a tremulous voice, "Why don't you speak for your

self, John?"

Figures of Speech

See how many similes you can find in lines 335 to 423.
Now look for metaphors.

Find a fine example of apostrophe and personification combined. How many lines does it include?


1. Had John Alden felt sure of Priscilla's love before she spoke? Give a reason for your answer.

2. Do you think John Alden performed the captain's commission honorably? Was it his fault that the captain failed?

3. Why was John Alden perplexed and bewildered? 4. Explain:

Love triumphant and crowned, and friendship wounded

and bleeding,

5. The mental conflict through which John Alden passed on the seashore is one of the crises of the poem. What caused this second conflict? What was the result of the conflict?

6. Why did John Alden stop and listen and, after staring at the vessel, go hurriedly on?

7. What was the secret that John Alden proposed taking with him to his grave?

8. What proof have we that Miles Standish was not worried as to the answer to his message?

9. What was the punishment traitors received?

10. Why was Miles Standish so angry with John Alden? Explain how appearances were against John Alden. Was the suspicion of Miles Standish correct?

Memorize Lines 413-423

Wildly he shouted


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