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Pleased with the praise of her thrift from him whose praise was the sweetest,

Drew from the reel on the table a snowy skein of her spinning,

Thus making answer, meanwhile, to the flattering phrases of Alden:

"Come, you must not be idle; if I am a pattern for housewives,

Show yourself equally worthy of being the model of



Hold this skein on your hands, while I wind it, ready

for knitting;

Then who knows but hereafter, when fashions have changed and the manners,

Fathers may talk to their sons of the good old times of John Alden!"

Thus, with a jest and a laugh, the skein on his hands she adjusted,

He sitting awkwardly there, with his arms extended before him,


She standing graceful, erect, and winding the thread

from his fingers,

Sometimes chiding a little his clumsy manner of holding,

Sometimes touching his hands, as she disentangled expertly


Twist or knot in the yarn, unawares for how could. she help it?

Sending electrical thrills through every nerve in his body.


Lo! in the midst of this scene, a breathless messenger entered,

Bringing in hurry and heat the terrible news from the


Yes; Miles Standish was dead! an Indian had
brought them the tidings,
Slain by a poisoned arrow, shot down in the front of
the battle,

Into an ambush beguiled, cut off with the whole of

his forces;


All the town would be burned, and all the people be


Such were the tidings of evil that burst on the hearts of the hearers.

Silent and statue-like stood Priscilla, her face looking backward

Still at the face of the speaker, her arms uplifted in horror;

But John Alden, upstarting, as if the barb of the ar



Piercing the heart of his friend had struck his own, and had sundered

Once and forever the bonds that held him bound as a


Wild with excess of sensation, the awful delight of his freedom,

Mingled with pain and regret, unconscious of what he was doing,

Clasped, almost with a groan, the motionless form of



Pressing her close to his heart, as forever his own, and exclaiming :

"Those whom the Lord hath united, let no man put them asunder!"


Even as rivulets twain, from distant and separate


Seeing each other afar, as they leap from the rocks, and pursuing

Each one its devious path, but drawing nearer and



Rush together at last, at their trysting-place in the


So these lives that had run thus far in separate channels,

911-915 Explain in your own words these sensations of John Alden. 917 Look up Mark x. 6-9.

Coming in sight of each other, then swerving and flowing asunder,

Parted by barriers strong, but drawing nearer and


Rushed together at last, and one was lost in the





Forth from the curtain of clouds, from the tent of purple and scarlet,

Issued the sun, the great High-Priest, in his garments resplendent,

Holiness unto the Lord, in letters of light, on his fore


Round the hem of his robe the golden bells and pome


Blessing the world he came, and the bars of vapor

beneath him


Gleamed like a grate of brass, and the sea at his feet was a laver !

924 What were the "barriers strong"?

927-929 For a partial description of the garments of a Jewish High-Priest, look up Exodus xxviii. 31-38.

981 Laver: look up Exodus xxx. 17-19.

This was the wedding morn of Priscilla the Puri

tan maiden.

Friends were assembled together; the Elder and Magistrate also

Graced the scene with their presence, and stood like the Law and the Gospel,

One with the sanction of earth and one with the blessing of heaven.


Simple and brief was the wedding as that of Ruth

and of Boaz.

Softly the youth and the maiden repeated the words of betrothal,

Taking each other for husband and wife in the Magistrate's presence,

After the Puritan way, and the laudable custom of Holland.

Fervently then and devoutly, the excellent Elder of




Wedding morn: this was probably the second marriage which took place in the colony.

984 Law and the Gospel: are both represented in a marriage ceremony of to-day? Which is represented by the marriage license? By the marriage certificate? Why must the law be represented? Why the Gospel? (See reference on line 917.)

936 You will find the story of Ruth in Ruth i. 1-8 and 16-18, ii. 1-2 and 15-16. Boaz, her kinsman, was quickly charmed with Ruth and made her his wife.

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