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How she seeketh the wool and the flax and

worketh with gladness, How she layeth her hand to the spindle and

holdeth the distaff, How she is not afraid of the snow for herself

or her household, Knowing her household are clothed with the

scarlet cloth of her weaving!

So as she sat at her wheel one afternoon in

the Autumn, Alden, who opposite sat, and was watching her

dexterous fingers, As if the thread she was spinning were that

of his life and his fortune, After a pause in their talk, thus spake to the

sound of the spindle. “ Truly, Priscilla,” he said, “when I see you

spinning and spinning, Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thought

ful of others,

Suddenly you are transformed, are visibly

changed in a moment; You are no longer Priscilla, but Bertha the

Beautiful Spinner.” Here the light foot on the treadle grew swifter

and swifter; the spindle Uttered an angry snarl, and the thread snapped

short in her fingers ; While the impetuous speaker, not heeding the

mischief, continued : “ You are the beautiful Bertha, the spinner,

the queen of Helvetia ; She whose story I read at a stall in the streets

of Southampton, Who, as she rode on her palfrey, o'er valley

and meadow and mountain, Ever was spinning her thread from a distaff

fixed to her saddle. She was so thrifty and good, that her name

passed into a proverb.

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So shall it be with your own, when the spin

ning-wheel shall no longer Hum in the house of the farmer, and fill its

chambers with music. Then shall the mothers, reproving, relate how

it was in their childhood, Praising the good old times, and the days of

Priscilla the spinner! Straight uprose from her wheel the beautiful

Puritan maiden, Pleased with the praise of her thrift from him

whose praise was the sweetest, Drew from the reel on the table a snowy skein

of her spinning, Thus making answer, meanwhile, to the flatter

ing phrases of Alden: “Come, you must not be idle; if I am a

pattern for housewives, Show yourself equally worthy of being the Hold this skein on your hands, while I wind it,

model of husbands..

ready for knitting; Then who knows but hereafter, when fashions

have changed and the manners, Fathers may talk to their sons of the good old

times of John Alden!" Thus, with a jest and a laugh, the skein on

his hands she adjusted, He sitting awkwardly there, with his arms ex

tended before him, She standing graceful, erect, and winding the

thread from his fingers, Sometimes chiding a little his clumsy man

ner of holding, Sometimes touching his hands, as she disentan

gled expertly Twist or knot in the yarn, unawares

for how could she help it?Sending electrical thrills through every nerve

in his body.

Lo! in the midst of this scene, a breathless

messenger entered, Bringing in hurry and heat the terrible news

from the village. Yes ; Miles Standish was dead! -- an Indian

had brought them the tidings, -Slain by a poisoned arrow, shot down in the

front of the battle, Into an ambush beguiled, cut off with the

whole of his forces ; All the town would be burned, and all the peo

ple be murdered ! Such were the tidings of evil that burst on the

hearts of the hearers. Silent and statue-like stood Priscilla, her face

looking backward Still at the face of the speaker, her arms up

lifted in horror ; But John Alden, upstarting, as if the barb of

the arrow

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