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MONTH after month passed away, and in autumn the ships of the


Came with kindred and friends, with cattle and corn for the Pilgrims.

All in the village was peace; the men were intent on their labours,

Busy with hewing and building, with garden-plot and with merestead,
Busy with breaking the glebe, and mowing the grass in the meadows,
Searching the sea for its fish, and hunting the deer in the forest.
All in the village was peace; but at times the rumour of warfare

Filled the air with alarm, and the apprehension of danger.

Bravely the stalwart Miles Standish was scouring the land with his


Waxing valiant in fight and defeating the alien armies,

Till his name had become a sound of fear to the nations.

Anger was still in his heart, but at times the remorse and contrition
Which in all noble natures succeed the passionate outbreak,

Came like a rising tide, that encounters the rush of a river,
Staying its current awhile, but making it bitter and brackish.

Meanwhile Alden at home had built him a new habitation, Solid, substantial, of timber rough-hewn from the firs of the forest. Wooden-barred was the door, and the roof was covered with rushes; Latticed the windows were, and the window-panes were of paper, Oiled to admit the light, while wind and rain were excluded. There too he dug a well, and around it planted an orchard: Still may be seen to this day some trace of the well and the orchard. Close to the house was the stall, where, safe and secure from annoyance Raghorn, the snoww-white steer, that had fallen to Alden's allotment In the division of cattle, might ruminate in the night-time Over the pastures he cropped, made fragrant by sweet penny-royal.

Oft when his labour was finished, with eager feet would the dreamer


Follow the pathway that ran through the woods to the house of Priscilla,
Led by illusions romantic and subtile deceptions of fancy,

Pleasure disguised as duty, and love in the semblance of friendship.
Ever of her he thought, when he fashioned the walls of his dwelling;
Ever of her he thought, when he delved in the soil of his garden;
Ever of her he thought, when he read in his Bible on Sunday
Praise of the virtuous woman, as she is described in the Proverbs,—
How the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her always,
How all the days of her life she will do him good, and not evil,
How she seeketh the wool and the flax and worketh with gladness,
How she layeth her hand to the spindle and holdeth the distaff,
How she is not afraid of the snow for herself or her household,

Knowing her household are clothed with the scarlet cloth of her


So as she sat at her wheel one afternoon in the autumn,

Alden, who opposite sat, and was watching her dexterous fingers,

As if the thread she was spinning were that of his life and his fortune,
After a pause in their talk, thus spake to the sound of the spindle.
“Truly, Priscilla," he said, "when I see you spinning and spinning,
Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thoughtful of others,
Suddenly you are transformed, are visibly changed in a moment;
You are no longer Priscilla, but Bertha the Beautiful Spinner."
Here the light foot on the treadle grew swifter and swifter; the spindle
Uttered an angry snarl, and the thread snapped short in her fingers;
While the impetuous speaker, not heeding the mischief, continued:
"You are the beautiful Bertha, the spinner, the queen of Helvetia ;

She whose story I read at a stall in the streets of Southampton,

Who, as she rode on her palfrey, o'er valley and meadow and mountain,

Ever was spinning her thread from a distaff fixed to her saddle.
She was so thrifty and good, that her name passed into a proverb.
So shall it be with your own, when the spinning-wheel shall no longer
Hum in the house of the farmer, and fill its chambers with music.
Then shall the mothers, reproving, relate how it was in their childhood,
Praising the good old times, and the days of Priscilla the spinner!"
Straight uprose from her wheel the beautiful Puritan maiden,


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


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


Thus making answer, meanwhile, to the flattering phrases of Alden : must not be idle; if I am a pattern for housewives, Show yourself equally worthy of being the model of husbands.

Come, you

Hold this skein on your hands, while I wind it, ready for knitting; Then who knows but hereafter, when fashions have changed and the


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 village.

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 murdered!
Such were the tidings of evil that burst on the hearts of the hearers.
Silent and statue-like stood Priscilla, her face looking backward

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