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So I was hurt at your words, and a little affronted

to hear you

Urge me to marry your friend, though he were

the Captain Miles Standish. For I must tell you the truth: much more to me is

your friendship Than all the love he could give, were he twice

the hero you think him.” Then she extended her hand, and Alden, who

eagerly grasped it, Felt all the wounds in his heart, that were aching

and bleeding so sorely, Healed by the touch of that hand, and he said

with a voice full of feeling: Yes, we must ever be friends; and of all who

offer you friendship Let me be ever the first, the truest, the nearest and


Casting a farewell look at the glimmering sail

of the Mayflower, Distant, but still in sight, and sinking below the

horizon, Homeward together they walked, with a strange,

indefinite feeling,

That all the rest had departed and left them alone

in the desert. But, as they went through the fields in the bless

ing and smile of the sunshine, Lighter grew their hearts, and Priscilla said very

archly: "Now that our terrible Captain has gone in pur

suit of the Indians, Where he is happier far than he would be com

manding a household, You may speak boldly, and tell me of all that hap

pened between you, When you returned last night, and said how un

grateful you found me." Thereupon answered John Alden, and told her the

whole of the story, — Told her his own despair, and the direful wrath

of Miles Standish. Whereat the maiden smiled, and said between

laughing and earnest, “He is a little chimney, and heated hot in a

moment!" But as he gently rebuked her, and told her how

much he had suffered, How he had even determined to sail that day in

the Mayflower,

And had remained for her sake, on hearing the

dangers that threatened,All ner manner was changed, and she said with a

faltering accent, "Truly I thank you for this: how good you have

been to me always !”

Thus, as a pilgrim devout, who toward Jeru

salem journeys, Taking three steps in advance, and one reluctantly

backward, Urged by importunate zeal, and withheld by

pangs of contrition; Slowly but steadily onward, receding yet ever ad

vancing, Journeyed this Puritan youth to the Holy Land

of his longings, Urged by the fervor of love, and withheld by re

morseful misgivings.



MEANWHILE the stalwart Miles Standish was

marching steadily northward, Winding through forest and swamp, and along

the trend of the sea-shore, All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his

anger Burning and crackling within, and the sulphurous

odor of powder Seeming more sweet to his nostrils than all the

scents of the forest. Silent and moody he went, and much he re

volved his discomfort; He who was used to success, and to easy victories

always, Thus to be flouted, rejected, and laughed to scorn

by a maiden, Thus to be mocked and betrayed by the friend

whom most he had trusted! Ah! 't was too much to be borne, and he fretted

and chafed in his armor!

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