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Meekly the prayer was begun, but ended in

fervent entreaty! Then from their houses in haste came forth

the Pilgrims of Plymouth, Men and women and children, all hurrying

down to the sea-shore, Eager, with tearful eyes, to say farewell to the

May Flower, Homeward bound o'er the sea, and leaving

them here in the desert.

Foremost among them was Alden. All night

he had lain without slumber, Turning and tossing about in the heat and

unrest of his fever. He had beheld Miles Standish, who came back

late from the council, Stalking into the room, and heard him mutter

and murmur, Sometimes it seemed a prayer, and sometimes

it sounded like swearing.

Once he had come to the bed, and stood there

a moment in silence; Then he had turned away, and said: “I will

not awake him ; Let him sleep on, it is best; for what is the

use of more talking !” Then he extinguished the light, and threw him

self down on his pallet, Dressed as he was, and ready to start at the

break of the morning, — Covered himself with the cloak he had worn

in his campaigns in Flanders, Slept as a soldier sleeps in his bivouac, ready

for action. But with the dawn he arose ; in the twilight

Alden beheld him Put on his corslet of steel, and all the rest of

his armor, Buckle about his waist his trusty blade of


Take from the corner his musket, and so stride

out of the chamber.

Often the heart of the youth had burned and

yearned to embrace him, Often his lips had essayed to speak, imploring

for pardon; All the old friendship came back, with its ten

der and grateful emotions ; But his pride overmastered the nobler nature

within him, Pride, and the sense of his wrong, and the

burning fire of the insult. So he beheld his friend departing in anger, but

spake not, Saw him go forth to danger, perhaps to death,

and he spake not! Then he arose from his bed, and heard what

the people were saying, Joined in the talk at the door, with Stephen

and Richard and Gilbert,

Joined in the morning prayer, and in the read

ing of Scripture, And, with the others, in haste went hurrying

down to the sea-shore, Down to the Plymouth Rock, that had been to

their feet as a door-step Into a world unknown, - the corner-stone of

a nation !

There with his boat was the Master, already

a little impatient Lest he should lose the tide, or the wind might

shift to the eastward, Square-built, hearty, and strong, with an odor

of ocean about him, Speaking with this one and that, and cramming

letters and parcels Into his pockets capacious, and messages min

gled together

Into his narrow brain, till at last he was

wholly bewildered. Nearer the boat stood Alden, with one foot

placed on the gunwale, One still firm on the rock, and talking at times

with the sailors, Seated erect on the thwarts, all ready and eager

for starting He too was eager to go, and thus put an end

to his anguish, Thinking to fly from despair, that swifter than

keel is or canvas, Thinking to drown in the sea the ghost that

would rise and pursue him. But as he gazed on the crowd, he beheld the

form of Priscilla Standing dejected among them, unconscious

of all that was passing. Fixed were her eyes upon his, as if she divined

his intention,

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