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If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not

worth the winning!" Then John Alden began explaining and smooth

ing the matter, Making it worse as he went, by saying the Cap

tain 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 under

stand us, you cannot. When you have made up your minds, after think

ing 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 per

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

suspected,

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Does not attain ať 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 awhile, 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 hap

pen."

Still John Alden went on, unheeding the words

of Priscilla, Urging the suit of his friend, explaining, persuad

ing, expanding; Spoke of his courage and skill, and of all his

battles in Flanders, How with the people of God he had chosen to suf

fer affliction, How, in return for his zeal, they had made him

Captain of Plymouth;

He was a gentleman born, could trace his pedigree

plainly Back to Hugh Standish of Duxbury Hall, in Lan

cashire, England, Who was the son of Ralph, and the grandson'of

Thurston de Standish; Heir unto vast estates, of which he was basely de

frauded, Still bore the family arms, and had for his crest

a cock argent Combed and wattled gules, and all the rest of the

blazon. He was a man of honor, of noble and generous

nature; Though he was rough, he was kindly; she knew

how during the winter He had attended the sick, with a hand as gentle as

woman's; Somewhat hasty and hot, he could not deny it, and

headstrong, Stern as a soldier might be, but hearty, and plac

able always, Not to be laughed at and scorned, because he was

little of stature; For he was great of heart, magnanimous, courtly,

courageous;

Any woman in Plymouth, nay, any woman in

England,

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Might be happy and proud to be called the wife of

Miles Standish!

But as he warmed and glowed, in his simple and

eloquent language, Quite forgetful of self, and full of the praise of his

rival, Archly the maiden smiled, and, with eyes overrun

ning with laughter, Said, in a tremulous voice, “Why don't you speak

for yourself, John?”

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