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So he won the day, the battle of something-or


That's what I always say; if you wish a thing

to be well done, You must do it yourself, you must not leave

it to others !"

All was silent again ; the Captain continued

his reading Nothing was heard in the room but the hurry

ing pen of the stripling Writing epistles important to go next day by

the May Flower,

Filled with the name and the fame of the Pu

ritan maiden Priscilla;

Every sentence began or closed with the name

of Priscilla, Till the treacherous pen, to which he confided

the secret, Strove to betray it by singing and shouting the

name of Priscilla !

Finally closing his book, with a bang of the

ponderous cover, Sudden and loud as the sound of a soldier

grounding his musket, Thus to the young man spake Miles Standish

the Captain of Plymouth : “ When you have finished your work, I have

something important to tell you. Be not however in haste; I can wait; I shall

not be impatient!" Straightway Alden replied, as he folded the

last of his letters, Pushing his papers aside, and giving respectful

attention : “ Speak; for whenever you speak, I am always

ready to listen, Always ready to hear whatever pertains to

Miles Standish." Thereupon answered the Captain, embarrassed,

and culling his phrases:

“'Tis not good for a man to be alone, say the

Scriptures. This I have said before, and again and again

I repeat it ; Every hour in the day, I think it, and feel it,

and say it. Since Rose Standish died, my life has been

weary and dreary ; Sick at heart have I been, beyond the healing

of friendship. Oft in my lonely hours have I thought of the

maiden Priscilla. She is alone in the world ; her father and

mother and brother Died in the winter together; I saw her going

and coming, Now to the grave of the dead, and now to the

bed of the dying, Patient, courageous, and strong, and said to

myself, that if ever

There were angels on earth, as there are angels

in heaven, Two have I seen and known; and the angel

whose name is Priscilla

Holds in my desolate life the place which the

other abandoned. Long have I cherished the thought, but never

have dared to reveal it, Being a coward in this, though valiant enough

for the most part. Go to the damsel Priscilla, the loveliest maiden

of Plymouth, Say that a blunt old Captain, a man not of

words but of actions, Offers his hand and his heart, the hand and

heart of a soldier.


Not in these words, you know, but this in short

is my meaning; I am a maker of war, and not a maker of


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You, who are bred as a scholar, can say it in

elegant language, Such as you read in your books of the plead

ings and wooings of lovers, Such as you think best adapted to win the

heart of a maiden."

When he had spoken, John Alden, the fair

haired, taciturn stripling, All aghast at his words, surprised, embarrassed,

bewildered, Trying to mask his dismay by treating the

subject with lightness, Trying to smile, and yet feeling his heart stand

still in his bosom, Just as a timepiece stops in a house that is

stricken by lightning, Thus made answer and spake, or rather stam

mered than answered: “ Such a message as that, I am sure I should

mangle and mar it;

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