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“Not far off is the house, although the woods are

between us; But you have lingered so long, that while you were

going and coming I have fought ten battles and sacked and demolished

a city. Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all that has



Then John Alden spake, and related the wondrous

adventure From beginning to end, minutely, just as it hap

pened; How he had seen Priscilla, and how he had sped in his courtship,

405 Only smoothing a little, and softening down her re

fusal. But when he came at length to the words Priscilla

had spoken, Words so tender and cruel, “Why don't you speak

for yourself, John ?Up leaped the Captain of Plymouth, and stamped on

the floor, till his armor Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a sound of sinister omen.

410 All his pent-up wrath burst forth in a sudden explosion,

E’en as

a hand-grenade, that scatters destruction around it. Wildly he shouted, and loud: “John Alden! you

have betrayed me! Me, Miles Standish, your friend ! have supplanted,

defrauded, betrayed me! One of my ancestors ran his sword through the heart of Wat Tyler;

415 Who shall prevent me from running my own through

the heart of a traitor ? Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a treason to

friendship! You, who lived under my roof, whom I cherished and

loved as a brother; You, who have fed at my board, and drunk at my cup,

to whose keeping I have intrusted my honor, my thoughts the most

sacred and secret, You too, Brutus ! ah, woe to the name of friendship

hereafter ! Brutus was Cæsar's friend, and you were mine, but

henceforward .


415 Wat Tyler: the famous rebel in the early part of the reign of Richard II. It is stated that after Wat was struck from his horse in the presence of the king, a squire of Richard's, a “certain John Standysshe," slew him with his sword, and for this was knighted.

Let there be nothing between us save war, and impla

cable hatred!”

So spake the Captain of Plymouth, and strode about

in the chamber, Chafing and choking with rage; like cords were the veins on his temples.

425 But in the midst of his anger a man appeared at the

doorway, Bringing in uttermost haste a message of urgent im

portance, Rumors of danger and war and hostile incursions of

Indians! Straightway the Captain paused, and, without further

question or parley, Took from the nail on the wall his sword with its scabbard of iron,

430 Buckled the belt round his waist, and, frowning

fiercely, departed. Alden was left alone. He heard the clank of the

scabbard Growing fainter and fainter, and dying away in the

distance. Then he arose from his seat, and looked forth into the


Felt the cool air blow on his cheek, that was hot with the insult,

435 Lifted his eyes to the heavens, and, folding his hands

as in childhood, Prayed in the silence of night to the Father who seeth

in secret.


Meanwhile the choleric Captain strode wrathful

away to the council, Found it already assembled, impatiently waiting his

coming; Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in de

portment, Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest to

heaven, Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent Elder of

Plymouth. God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for

this planting,

437 Look up Matthew vi. 4.

442 Elder of Plymouth: this was William Brewster. The church had an Elder for teaching and another, called the ruling Elder. Brewster was the teaching Elder, that is, the pastor of the church.

443 Sifted three kingdoms: the people of the dissenting churches of England, France, and Holland had been fearfully persecuted for their religion. Only those of the utmost courage and endurance

Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a

nation; So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of the people!

445 Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude stern

and defiant, Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious in

While on the table before them was lying unopened a

Ponderous, bound in leather, brass-studded, printed in

And beside it outstretched the skin of a rattlesnake


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remained true to their faith. When these refugees met in Holland, the common refuge, they formed practically one church. In Winslow's narration, page 395, it is stated: “For the truth is the Dutch and French churches, either of them being a people distinct from the world and gathered into a Holy Communion and not national churches — nay, so far from it as I verily believe the sixth person is not of the church — the difference is so small, if moderately pondered, between them and us, as we dare not for the world deny communion with them."

444 Sifted the wheat: these people were again sifted out in Holland, only the most zealous electing to go to America.

448 Bible: what did they intend to do with the Bible? The Pilgrims used the old Geneva Bible long after King James' Version was printed in 1611. What Version do we use?

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