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This was the wedding morn of Priscilla the

Puritan maiden. Friends were assembled together; the Elder

and Magistrate also Graced the scene with their presence, and stood

like the Law and the Gospel, 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 cus

tom of Holland. Fervently then, and devoutly, the excellent El

der 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

appeared 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

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

forbid the betrothal ? Long had it stood there unseen, a guest un

invited, 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 had mastered the fleeting

intention.

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

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

emotion, “Forgive me ! I have been angry and hurt, — too long have I

cherished the feeling ; I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank

God! it is ended.

Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the

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

ing 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, sa

luted 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

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

remembered the adage,

If you would be well served, you must serve

yourself; and moreover, No man can gather cherries in Kent at the sea

son of Cliristmas! "

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

interrupting the other, Till the good Captain declared, being quite

overpowered 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.

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