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Thus for a while he stood, and mused by the shore of the ocean
Thinking of many things, and most of all of Priscilla ;
And as if thought had the power to draw to itself, like the lodestone,
Whatsoever it touches, by subtile laws of its nature,
Lo! as he turned to depart, Priscilla was standing beside him.

“Are you so much offended, you will not speak to me?" said she.

“Am I so much to blame, that yesterday, when you were pleading

Warmly the cause of another, my heart, impulsive and wayward,

Pleaded your own, and spake out, forgetful perhaps of decorum?

Certainly you can forgive me for speaking so frankly, for saying

What I ought not to have said, yet now I can never unsay it ;

For there are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion,

That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble
Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret,

Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered together.

Yesterday I was shocked, when I heard you speak of Miles Standish,
Praising his virtues, transforming his very defects into virtues,
Praising his courage and strength, and even his fighting in Flanders,

As if by fighting alone you could win the heart of a woman,

Quite overlooking yourself and the rest, in exalting your hero.

Therefore I spake as I did, by an irresistible impulse.

You will forgive me, I hope, for the sake of the friendship between us,

Which is too true and too sacred to be so easily broken!”

Thereupon answered John Alden, the scholar, the friend of Miles Standish:

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