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Yours is tender and trusting, and needs a stronger to lean on;
So I have come to you now, with an offer and proffer of marriage

Made by a good man and true, Miles Standish, the Captain of Plymouth!”

Thus he delivered his message, the dexterous writer of letters,— Did not embellish the theme, nor array it in beautiful phrases,

But came straight to the point, and blurted it out like a schoolboy ;

Even the Captain himself could hardly have said it more bluntly.

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Mute with amazement and sorrow, Priscilla, the Puritan maiden,

Looked into Alden's face, her eyes dilated with wonder,

Feeling his words like a blow, that stunned her and rendered her speechless;

Till at length she exclaimed, interrupting the ominous silence :

“If the great Captain of Plymouth is so very eager to wed me,

Why does he not come himself, and take the trouble to woo me?

If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the winning !"

Then John Alden began explaining and smoothing the matter,
Making it worse as he went, by saying the Captain was busy,-
Had no time for such things ;—such things! the words grating harshly
Fell on the ear of Priscilla ; and swift as a flash she made answer:

“Has he no time for such things, as you call it, before he is married,

Would he be likely to find it, or make it, after the wedding?
That is the way with you men; you don't understand us, you can not.
When you have made up your minds, after thinking of this one and that one,

Choosing, selecting, rejecting, comparing one with another,

Then you make known your desire, with abrupt and sudden avowal,
And are offended and hurt, and indignant perhaps, that a woman

Does not respond at once to a love that she never suspected,

Does not attain at a bound the height to which you have been climbing.

This is not right nor just: for surely a woman's affection

Is not a thing to be asked for, and had for only the asking.

When one is truly in love, one not only says it, but shows it.

Had he but waited a while, had he only showed that he loved me,

Even this Captain of yours—who knows?-at last might have won me,
Old and rough as he is; but now it never can happen.”

Still John Alden went on, unheeding the words of Priscilla,

Urging the suit of his friend, explaining, persuading, expanding;

Spoke of his courage and skill, and of all his battles in Flanders,

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