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Mute and amazed was Alden; and listened and
looked at Priscilla,
Thinking he never had seen her more fair, more divine in her beauty.
He who but yesterday pleaded so glibly the cause of another,
Stood there embarrassed and silent, and seeking in vain for an answer.
So the maiden went on, and little divined or im685 What was at work in his heart, that made him so awkward and speechless.
"Let us, then, be what we are, and speak what we think, and in all things
Keep ourselves loyal to truth, and the sacred professions of friendship.
It is no secret I tell you, nor am I ashamed to declare
I have liked to be with you, to see you, to speak with
So I was hurt at your words, and a little affronted to
Urge me to marry your friend, though he were the Captain Miles Standish.
For I must tell you the truth: much more to me is your friendship
Than all the love he could give, were he twice the hero you think him."
Then she extended her hand, and Alden, who eagerly
Felt all the wounds in his heart, that were aching and
bleeding so sorely,
Healed by the touch of that hand, and he said, with a voice full of feeling :
Yes, we must ever be friends; and of all who offer you friendship
Let me be ever the first, the truest, the nearest and dearest!"
Casting a farewell look at the glimmering sail of the Mayflower
Distant, but still in sight, and sinking below the horizon, Homeward together they walked, with a strange, indefinite feeling,
That all the rest had departed and left them alone in the desert.
But, as they went through the fields in the blessing and smile of the sunshine,
Lighter grew their hearts, and Priscilla said very archly:
"Now that our terrible Captain has gone in pursuit of the Indians,
Where he is happier far than he would be commanding a household,
You may speak boldly, and tell me of all that happened between you,
When you returned last night, and said how ungrateful you found me."
Thereupon answered John Alden, and told her the whole of the story,
Told her his own despair, and the direful wrath of
Whereat the maiden smiled, and said between laughing and earnest,
"He is a little chimney, and heated hot in a moment!" But as he gently rebuked her, and told her how he had suffered,
How he had even determined to sail that day in the Mayflower,
And had remained for her sake, on hearing the dangers that threatened,
All her manner was changed, and she said with a faltering accent,
"Truly I thank you for this: how good you have been to me always!"
Thus, as a pilgrim devout, who toward Jerusalem journeys,
Taking three steps in advance, and one reluctantly backward,
Urged by importunate zeal, and withheld by pangs of
Slowly but steadily onward, receding yet ever advanc
Journeyed this Puritan youth to the Holy Land of his longings,
Urged by the fervor of love, and withheld by remorseful misgivings.
THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH
Meanwhile the stalwart Miles Standish was marching steadily northward,
719-724 Give-in your own words the meaning of this paragraph. 723 Holy Land: what is its geographical name? Where is it? Why was it called the Holy Land?
725 Northward: this was an expedition against the Indians which Miles Standish undertook in 1623 instead of 1621. But it suits the story better to bring it in here. A friend of the Pilgrims in London, a Mr. Weston, had sent out a colony of his own which settled at about the present location of Weymouth. This colony was not composed of very sensible men, and they were faring badly at the hands of their Indian neighbors. Out of friendship for the founder of the colony, the Pilgrims sent Standish and his little band to their assistance. Eventually, a few of Weston's men joined the Pilgrims, and the rest found their way back to England.
Winding through forest and swamp, and along the trend of the sea-shore,
All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his anger Burning and crackling within, and the sulphurous odor of powder
Seeming more sweet to his nostrils than all the scents of the forest.
Silent and moody he went, and much he revolved his
He who was used to success, and to easy victories
Thus to be flouted, rejected, and laughed to scorn by a maiden,
Thus to be mocked and betrayed by the friend whom most he had trusted!
Ah! 'twas too much to be borne, and he fretted and chafed in his armor!
"I alone am to blame," he muttered, "for mine was
What has a rough old soldier, grown grim and gray in the harness,
Used to the camp and its ways, to do with the wooing of maidens?
'Twas but a dream,- let it pass,-let it vanish like so many others!