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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


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 Christmas ! ”

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 Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and

had not been invited.

stood with the bride at the doorway, Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and

beautiful morning. Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and

sad in the sunshine, Lay extended before them the land of toil and

privation; There were the graves of the dead, and the

barren waste of the sea-shore, There the familiar fields, the groves of pine;

and the meadows; But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the

Garden of Eden, Filled with the presence of God, whose voice

was the sound of the ocean.

Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise

and stir of departure, Friends coming forth from the house, and im

patient of longer delaying,

Each with his plan for the day, and the work

that was left uncompleted. Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclama

tions of wonder, Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy,

so proud of Priscilla, Brought out his snow-white steer, obeying the

hand of its master, Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring

in its nostrils, Covered with crimson cloth, and a cushion

placed for a saddle. She should not walk, he said, through the dust

and heat of the noonday ; Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod

along like a peasant. Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by

the others, Placing her hand on the cushion, her foot in

the hand of her husband,


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