Графични страници
PDF файл

What I thought was a flower, is only a weed, and is worthless;

Out of my heart will I pluck it, and throw it away, and henceforward


Be but a fighter of battles, a lover and wooer of dan


Thus he revolved in his mind his sorry defeat and discomfort,

While he was marching by day or lying at night in the forest,

Looking up at the trees and the constellations beyond them.

After a three days' march he came to an Indian



Pitched on the edge of a meadow, between the sea and

the forest;

Women at work by the tents, and warriors, horrid with war-paint,

Seated about a fire, and smoking and talking together;

Who, when they saw from afar the sudden approach of the white men,

748 Who was the Englishman credited with taking this custom to England?

Saw the flash of the sun on breastplate and sabre and



Straightway leaped to their feet, and two, from among them advancing,

Came to parley with Standish, and offer him furs as a present:

Friendship was in their looks, but in their hearts there was hatred.

Braves of the tribe were these, and brothers, gigantic in stature,

Huge as Goliath of Gath, or the terrible Og, king of



One was Pecksuot named, and the other was called Wattawamat.

752 Furs: from time immemorial, furs have been one of the choicest articles of commerce, vying in value with gold and gems. Kings and emperors have desired them for gifts and costly court garments. Make out as long a list as you can of the animals whose fur is valuable, and tell which of these are found in America. Where do Americans get seals? Name a people in America whose clothing consists mainly of furs. Siberia is valued by Russia for its fur-bearing animals; the fur trade caused France to settle Canada, and was concerned in the settlement of New England, New York, and Virginia. Name a port on the west coast of the United States which was founded expressly for the fur trade. What great fur-trading company do the British maintain in British America?

755 Goliath of Gath: look up I Samuel xvii. 4-7. Og, king of Bashan: look up Deuteronomy iii. 1 and 11.

756 Pronounce the Indian names by scanning the line.

Round their necks were suspended their knives in - scabbards of wampum,

Two-edged, trenchant knives, with points as sharp as a needle.

Other arms had they none, for they were cunning and crafty. "Welcome, English!" they said, these words they had learned from the traders

[ocr errors]


Touching at times on the coast, to barter and chaffer

for peltries.

Then in their native tongue they began to parley with Standish,

Through his guide and interpreter, Hobomok, friend of the white man,

Begging for blankets and knives, but mostly for muskets and powder,

Kept by the white man, they said, concealed, with the plague, in his cellars,


Ready to be let loose, and destroy his brother the red


760 Traders: these would either come down the coast from the fishing at Monhegan on the Maine coast, or up from the Virginia colony.

765, 766 Plague: Squanto, the Indian friendly to the Pilgrims, had sought to increase his importance among the neighboring tribes by telling them that the Pilgrims kept the plague in their cellars, and that he could get them to send it out if he chose.

But when Standish refused, and said he would give them the Bible,

Suddenly changing their tone, they began to boast and to bluster.

Then Wattawamat advanced with a stride in front of the other,

And, with a lofty demeanor, thus vauntingly spake to


the Captain: "Now Wattawamat can see, by the fiery eyes of the


Angry is he in his heart; but the heart of the brave Wattawamat

Is not afraid at the sight. He was not born of a woman,

But on a mountain, at night, from an oak-tree riven by lightning,

Forth he sprang at a bound, with all his weapons about him,

[ocr errors]


Shouting, Who is there here to fight with the brave Wattawamat?'"

Then he unsheathed his knife, and, whetting the blade on his left hand,

Held it aloft and displayed a woman's face on the


Saying, with bitter expression and look of sinister meaning:

"I have another at home, with the face of a man on the handle;


By and by they shall marry; and there will be plenty of children!"

Then stood Pecksuot forth, self-vaunting, insulting Miles Standish;

While with his fingers he patted the knife that hung at his bosom,

Drawing it half from its sheath, and plunging it back, as he muttered,

"By and by it shall see; it shall eat; ah, ha! but shall speak not!


This is the mighty Captain the white men have sent

to destroy us!

He is a little man; let him go and work with the women!"

Meanwhile Standish had noted the faces and figures of Indians

787 The Indian braves were generally large of stature. Standish was short. They considered women inferior. Furthermore, they did no work except perhaps to pick the leaves of the tobacco. All the planting and hoeing of the corn, the grinding of the meal, the cooking, and the carrying of burdens were done by the women. So there is a triple insult intended by the speech of Pecksuot; that is, that the Captain was little, that he was no better than a woman, and that he might go and work.

« ПредишнаНапред »