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Take from the corner his musket, and so stride

out of the chamber.

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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,

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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,



Fixed with a look so sad, so reproachful, im

ploring, and patient, That with a sudden revulsion his heart recoiled

from its purpose,

As from the verge of a crag, where one step

more is destruction. Strange is the heart of man, with its quick,

mysterious instincts ! Strange is the life of man, and fatal or fated

are moments, Whereupon turn, as on hinges, the gates of the

wall adamantine!

“ Here I remain !” he exclaimed, as he looked

at the heavens above him, Thanking the Lord whose breath had scattered

the mist and the madness, Wherein, blind and lost, to death he was stag

gering headlong. 6 Yonder snow-white cloud, that floats in the

ether above me,

Seems like a hand that is pointing and beckon

ing over the ocean. There is another hand, that is not so spectral

and ghost-like, Holding me, drawing me back, and clasping

mine for protection. Float, o hand of cloud, and vanish away in the

ether! Roll thyself up like a fist, to threaten and

daunt me; I heed not Either your warning or menace, or any omen

of evil ! There is no land so sacred, no air so pure and

so wholesome, As is the air she breathes, and the soil that is

pressed by her footsteps. Here for her sake will I stay, and like an invis

ible presence Hover around her for ever, protecting, support

ing her weakness ;

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