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Saying a few last words, and enforcing his careful re

membrance. Then, taking each by the hand, as if he were grasping

a tiller, Into the boat he sprang, and in haste shoved off to his vessel,

594 Glad in his heart to get rid of all this worry and flurry, Glad to be gone from a land of sand and sickness and

sorrow, Short allowance of victual, and plenty of nothing but

Gospel ! Lost in the sound of the oars was the last farewell of

the Pilgrims. O strong hearts and true! not one went back in the

Mayflower! No, not one looked back, who had set his hand to this



Soon were heard on board the shouts and songs of

the sailors Heaving the windlass round, and hoisting the ponder

ous anchor. Then the yards were braced, and all sails set to the

west-wind, Blowing steady and strong; and the Mayflower sailed

from the harbor,

Rounded the point of the Gurnet, and leaving far to the southward

605 Island and cape of sand, and the Field of the First

Encounter, Took the wind on her quarter, and stood for the open

Atlantic, Borne on the send of the sea, and the swelling hearts

of the Pilgrims.


Long in silence they watched the receding sail of

the vessel, Much endeared to them all, as something living and

human; Then, as if filled with the spirit, and wrapt in a vis

ion prophetic, Baring his hoary head, the excellent Elder of Plym

outh Said, “Let us pray!” and they prayed, and thanked Mournfully sobbed the waves at the base of the rock,

the Lord and took courage.

605 Gurnet: a sandy spit of land enclosing the northern part of Plymouth Bay. It was named from a similar cape in England.

606 Island: Clark Island in Plymouth Bay. Cape of sand : it probably means Cape Cod.

Field of the First Encounter: the place on Cape Cod where they had their first strife with the Indians. See the sketch of the Pilgrims in the preface.

611 Filled with the spirit: look up Ephesians v. 18.

and above them Bowed and whispered the wheat on the hill of death, and their kindred

615 Seemed to awake in their graves, and to join in the

prayer that they uttered. Sun-illumined and white, on the eastern verge of the



Gleamed the departing sail, like a marble slab in a

graveyard; Buried beneath it lay forever all hope of escaping. Lo! as they turned to depart, they saw the form of an

Indian, Watching them from the hill; but while they spake

with each other, Pointing with outstretched hands, and saying,

“ Look!” he had vanished. So they returned to their homes; but Alden lingered

a little, Musing alone on the shore, and watching the wash of

the billows Round the base of the rock, and the sparkle and flash of the sunshine,

625 Like the spirit of God, moving visibly over the waters.

626 Spirit of God: look up Genesis i. 2.



Thus for a while he stood, and mused by the shore

of the ocean, Thinking of many things, and most of all of Pris

cilla; And as if thought had the power to draw to itself, like

the loadstone, Whatsoever it touches, by subtile laws of its nature,

630 Lo! as he turned to depart, Priscilla was standing

beside him.

“ Are you so much offended, you will not speak to

me ?said she. “Am I so much to blame, that yesterday, when you

were pleading

629 Loadstone: sometimes spelled lodestone, and also called a magnet. It is a piece of iron ore which is capable of attracting other pieces of iron. It was put to its most famous use after it was learned that a needle made of it and suspended so that it could move freely, pointed steadily to the north. From this was constructed the mariner's compass, by the use of which sailors may direct the course of their ship out of sight of land. Thus the modern art of navigation was made possible.


Warmly the cause of another, my heart, impulsive

and wayward, Pleaded your own, and spake out, forgetful perhaps of

decorum ? Certainly you can forgive me for speaking so frankly,

for saying What I ought not to have said, yet now I can never

unsay it; For there are moments in life, when the heart is so

full of emotion, That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like

a pebble Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret,

640 Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered

together. Yesterday I was shocked, when I heard you speak of

Miles Standish, Praising his virtues, transforming his very defects into

virtues, Praising his courage and strength, and even his fight

ing in Flanders, As if by fighting alone you could win the heart of a



641 Spilt on the ground like water: look up II Samuel xiv. 14.

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