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One with the sanction of earth and one with the

blessing of heaven. Simple and brief was the wedding, as that of Ruth

and of Boaz. Softly the youth and the maiden repeated the

words of betrothal, Taking each other for husband and wife in the

Magistrate's presence, After the Puritan way, and the laudable custom

of Holland. Fervently then, and devoutly, the excellent Elder

of Plymouth Prayed for the hearth and the home, that were

founded that day in affection, Speaking of life and of death, and imploring

divine benedictions.

Lo! when the service was ended, a form ap

peared on the threshold, Clad in armor of steel, a sombre and sorrowful

figure! Why does the bridegroom start and stare at the

strange apparition ? Why does the bride turn pale, and hide her face

on his shoulder ?

Is it a phantom of air,—a bodiless, spectral illu

sion? Is it a ghost from the grave, that has come to for

bid the betrothal? Long had it stood there unseen, a guest unin

vited, unwelcomed; Over its clouded eyes there had passed at times

an expression Softening the gloom and revealing the warm heart

hidden beneath them, As when across the sky the driving rack of the

rain-cloud Grows for a moment thin, and betrays the sun by

its brightness. Once it had lifted its hand, and moved its lips,

but was silent, As if an iron will has mastered the fleeting in

tention. But when were ended the troth and the prayer and

the last benediction, Into the room it strode, and the people beheld with

amazement Bodily there in his armor Miles Standish, the Cap

tain of Plymouth! Grasping the bridegroom's hand, he said with

emotion, “Forgive me!

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I have been angry and hurt,—too long have I

cherished the feeling;

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I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank God!

it is ended.

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Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the

veins of Hugh Standish, Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning

for error. Never so much as now was Miles Standish the

friend of John Alden.” Thereupon answered the bridegroom: “Let all be

forgotten between us,All save the dear, old friendship, and that shall

grow older and dearer!"
Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted

Priscilla,
Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned

gentry in England,
Something of camp and of court, of town and of

country, commingled, Wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly laud

ing her husband. Then he said with a smile: "I should have remem

bered the adage,If you would be well served, you must serve your

self; and moreover, No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season

of Christmas !''

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Great was the people's amazement, and greater

yet their rejoicing, Thus to behold once more the sun-burnt face of

their Captain, Whom they had mourned as dead; and they

gathered and crowded about him, Eager to see him and hear him, forgetful of bride

and of bridegroom, Questioning, answering, laughing, and each in

terrupting the other, Till the good Captain declared, being quite over

powered and bewildered, He had rather by far break into an Indian en

campment, Than come again to a wedding to which he had

not been invited.

Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and

stood with the bride at the doorway, Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and

beautiful morning. Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and sad

in the sunshine, Lay extended before them the land of toil and

privation;

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