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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?


Why does the bride turn pale, and hide her face on his shoulder?

Is it a phantom of air, a bodiless, spectral illu


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

Long had it stood there unseen, a guest uninvited, unwelcomed;

Over its clouded eyes there had passed at times an expression


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 inten



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;


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.)

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,

15. 965

All save the dear old friendship, and that shall grow older and dearer!"

Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted Priscilla,

Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned gentry in England,

Something of camp and of court, of town and of country, commingled,

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


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,


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 interrupting the other,

Till the good Captain declared, being quite overpowered and bewildered,

He had rather by far break into an Indian encamp



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 beautiful 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


But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the Garden of Eden,

Filled with the presence of God, whose voice was the sound of the ocean.

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,


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

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