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Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible
Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his matchlock,
Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and
And, like Cæsar, I know the name of each of my soldiers!"
This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as the sunbeams
Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again in a
Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain continued:
39 Army: this little military company, which is doubtless the beginning of the militia system in America, was made up by the settlers the first year through fear that the Indians would be more than likely to attack them if they came to know how many of their number had died. To Miles Standish, after wars he had seen waged in Holland, this little band of twelve men seemed ludicrous. Yet it was enough with him at its head to preserve the colony until it grew stronger. A few men with guns are a match for a much larger number armed only with such weapons as those of the Indians.
41 Pillage: what would a soldier get by pillage? How much are eighteen shillings in American money? Find out if you can how much soldiers are paid to-day.
42 Cæsar was immensely popular with his army partly for this
"Look! you can see from this window my brazen howitzer planted
High on the roof of the church, a preacher who speaks
to the purpose,
Steady, straightforward, and strong, with irresistible logic,
Orthodox, flashing conviction right into the hearts of the heathen.
Now we are ready, I think, for any assault of the
Let them come, if they like, and the sooner they try it
Let them come if they like, be it sagamore, sachem, or
Aspinet, Samoset, Corbitant, Squanto, or Tokamaha
Long at the window he stood, and wistfully gazed on the landscape,
47 Here the poet is using poetic license with the facts. The church was not built until a year or two later.
52 Give these names in the order of their rank. Why does not the poet arrange them so in his line? What two meanings for pow-wow?
53 These are real names of Indians whom the Pilgrims knew. Learn their proper pronunciation by scanning the line.
Washed with a cold gray mist, the vapory breath of the east-wind,
Forest and meadow and hill, and the steel-blue rim of
Lying silent and sad, in the afternoon shadows and
Over his countenance flitted a shadow like those on the landscape,
Gloom intermingled with light; and his voice was subdued with emotion,
Tenderness, pity, regret, as after a pause he pro
"Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies buried Rose Standish;
Beautiful rose of love, that bloomed for me by the wayside!
She was the first to die of all who came in the Mayflower!
Green above her is growing the field of wheat we have sown there,
68 Mayflower: what was the name of the other ship which started with the Mayflower? The Mayflower carried the colonists who settled Salem and those who settled what is now Boston. Thus this ship is closely associated with the beginnings of New England. 64 Those who died the first winter were buried on a low bluff near the shore and the graves smoothed flat. As soon as the season
Better to hide from the Indian scouts the graves of
Lest they should count them and see how many
already have perished!"
Sadly his face he averted, and strode up and down, and was thoughtful.
Fixed to the opposite wall was a shelf of books, and among them
Prominent three, distinguished alike for bulk and for binding;
Bariffe's Artillery Guide, and the Commentaries of Cæsar,
Out of the Latin translated by Arthur Goldinge of
And, as if guarded by these, between them was standing the Bible.
Musing a moment before them, Miles Standish paused, as if doubtful
Which of the three he should choose for his consolation and comfort,
permitted, this place was sown with wheat to prevent the Indians from learning how weak the colony was growing by counting the graves.
70 Commentaries of Cæsar: what was the subject of these Commentaries?
71 Arthur Goldinge: the translator of many classical works.
Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famous campaigns of the Romans,
Or the Artillery practice, designed for belligerent Christians.
Finally down from its shelf he dragged the ponderous Roman,
Seated himself at the window, and opened the book, and in silence
Turned o'er the well-worn leaves, where thumb-marks thick on the margin,
Like the trample of feet, proclaimed the battle was
Nothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of the stripling,
Busily writing epistles important, to go by the Mayflower,
Ready to sail on the morrow, or next day at latest, God willing!
Homeward bound with the tidings of all that terrible winter,
75 In what period of their history occurred "the wars of the Hebrews"?
79, 80 Explain the meaning of these lines.
88 The Mayflower sailed on her return voyage April 15, 1621. How old was the colony then?
84 Terrible winter: terrible from the bereavements and priva