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Prayed for the hearth and the home, that were founded

that day in affection, Speaking of life and of death, and imploring Divine

benedictions.

Lo! when the service was ended, a form appeared

on the threshold, Clad in armor of steel, a sombre and sorrowful

figure ! Why does the bridegroom start and stare at the strange apparition ?

945 Why does the bride turn pale, and hide her face on

his shoulder ? Is it a phantom of air, - a bodiless, spectral illu

sion ? Is it a ghost from the grave, that has come to forbid

the betrothal ? Long had it stood there unseen, a guest uninvited, un

welcomed; Over its clouded eyes there had passed at times an expression

950

941, 942 It is evident that the magistrate performed what we call the wedding ceremony and the minister offered the prayer afterward. With us to-day, the magistrate is not usually present, the minister having charge of the whole ceremony. Are marriages ever performed without the minister?

Softening the gloom and revealing the warm heart

hidden beneath them, As when across the sky the driving rack of the rain

cloud Grows for a moment thin, and betrays the sun by its

brightness. Once it had lifted its hand, and moved its lips, but

was silent, As if an iron will had mastered the fleeting intention

955 But when were ended the troth and the prayer and

the last benediction, Into the room it strode, and the people beheld with

amazement Bodily there in his armor Miles Standish, the Captain

of Plymouth! Grasping the bridegroom's hand, he said with emotion,

“Forgive me ! I have been angry and hurt, too long have I cherished the feeling;

960 I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank God ! it

is ended. Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the veins of

Hugh Standish, 955 What was probably the “fleeting intention? (See line 948 of the text.)

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Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for error. Never so much as now was Miles Standish the friend

of John Alden.' Thereupon answered the bridegroom: “Let all be forgotten between us,

965 All save the dear old friendship, and that shall grow

older and dearer!" Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted Pris

cilla, Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned gentry

in England, Something of camp and of court, of town and of coun

try, commingled, Wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly lauding her husband.

970 Then he said with a smile : “ I should have remem

bered the adage, If you would be well served, you must serve yourself;

and moreover, No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season of

Christmas!

Great was the people's amazement, and greater yet

their rejoicing, 978 Give in your own words the meaning of the adage as applied to this situation. Where is Kent?

Thus to behold once more the sunburnt face of their
Captain,

975 Whom they had mourned as dead; and they gathered

and crowded about him, Eager to see him and hear him, forgetful of bride and

of bridegroom, Questioning, answering, laughing, and each interrupt

ing the other, Till the good Captain declared, being quite overpow

ered and bewildered, He had rather by far break into an Indian encampment,

980 Than come again to a wedding to which he had not

been invited.

Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and stood with

the bride at the doorway, Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and beauti

ful morning. Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and sad in

the sunshine, Lay extended before them the land of toil and privation; There were the graves of the dead, and the barren

waste of the sea-shore, There the familiar fields, the groves of pine, and the

meadows;

1

986

But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the Gar

den of Eden, Filled with the presence of God, whose voice was the

sound of the ocean.

990

Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise and

stir of departure, Friends coming forth from the house, and impatient

of longer delaying, Each with his plan for the day, and the work that was

left uncompleted. Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclamations of

wonder, Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy, so proud

. of Priscilla, Brought out his snow-white bull, obeying the hand of its master,

995 Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring in its nostrils, Covered with crimson cloth, and a cushion placed for

a saddle. She should not walk, he said, through the dust and

heat of the noonday; Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod along like

a peasant. Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by the

others,

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