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See, how bright they are burnished, as if in an arsenal


That is because I have done it myself, and not left it to others.

Serve yourself, would you be well served, is an excellent adage;

So I take care of my arms, as you of your pens and your inkhorn.

Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible


Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his matchlock,

Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and pil


And, like Cæsar, I know the name of each of my soldiers!

[This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as the sunbeams

Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again in a mo


Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain continued:]

Look! you can see from this window my brazen howitzer


High on the roof of the church, a preacher who speaks to the purpose,

Steady, straightforward, and strong, with irresistible logic,

Orthodox, flashing conviction right into the hearts of the heathen.

Now we are ready, I think, for any assault of the In


Let them come, if they like, and the sooner they try it the better,

Let them come if they like, be it sagamore, sachem, or


Aspinet, Samoset, Corbitant, Squanto, or Tokamahamon!

[Long at the window he stood, and wistfully gazed on the landscape,

Washed with a cold gray mist, the vapory breath of the eastwind,

Forest and meadow and hill, and the steel-blue rim of the


Lying silent and sad, in the afternoon shadows and sunshine. Over his countenance flitted a shadow like those on the land


Gloom intermingled with light; and his voice was subdued with emotion,

Tenderness, pity, regret, as after a pause he proceeded:]

Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies buried Rose Standish;

Beautiful rose of love, that bloomed for me by the way


She was the first to die of all who came in the May


Green above her is growing the field of wheat we have sown there,

Better to hide from the Indian scouts the graves of our


Lest they should count them and see how many already have perished!

[Sadly his face he averted, and strode up and down, and was thoughtful.

Fixed to the opposite wall was a shelf of books, and among them

Prominent three, distinguished alike for bulk and for bind


Bariffe's Artillery Guide, and the Commentaries of Cæsar

Out of the Latin translated by Arthur Goldinge of London, And, as if guarded by these, between them was standing the


Musing a moment before them, Miles Standish paused as if doubtful

Which of the three he should choose for his consolation and comfort,

Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famous campaigns of the Romans,

Or the Artillery practice, designed for belligerent Christians. Finally down from its shelf he dragged the ponderous Roman, Seated himself at the window, and opened the book, and in silence

Turned o'er the well-worn leaves, where thumb-marks thick on the margin,

Like the trample of feet, proclaimed the battle was hottest. Nothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of the stripling.

Or an occasional sigh from the laboring heart of the Captain, Reading the marvellous words and achievements of Julius Čæsar.

After awhile he exclaimed, as he smote with his hand, palm downwards,

Heavily on the page:]


A wonderful man was this Cæsar!

You are a writer, and I am a fighter, but here is a fellow

Who could both write and fight, and in both was equally skilful!


Yes, he was equally skilled, as you say, with his pen and his weapons.

Somewhere have I read, but where I forget, he could dictate

Seven letters at once, at the same time writing his mem


["Truly," continued the Captain, not heeding or hearing the other,]


Truly a wonderful man was Caius Julius Cæsar!
Better be first, he said, in a little Iberian village,

Than be second in Rome, and I think he was right when he said it.

Twice was he married before he was twenty, and many times after;

Battles five hundred he fought, and a thousand cities he conquered ;

He, too, fought in Flanders, as he himself has recorded ; Finally he was stabbed by his friend, the orator Brutus ! Now, do you know what he did on a certain occasion in Flanders,

When the rear-guard of his army retreated, the front giving way too,

And the immortal Twelfth Legion was crowded so closely together

There was no room for their swords? Why, he seized a shield from a soldier,

Put himself straight at the head of his troops, and commanded the captains,

Calling on each by his name, to order forward the en


Then to widen the ranks and give more room for their


So he won the day, the battle of something-or-other. 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 hurrying pen of the stripling

Writing epistles important to go next day by the Mayflower, Filled with the name and the fame of the Puritan maiden Priscilla ;

Finally closing his book, with a bang of the ponderous cover, Sudden and loud as the sound of a soldier grounding his


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


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


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