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“No!" interrupted the maiden, with answer prompt and

decisive; “No: you were angry with me, for speaking so frankly and

freely. It was wrong, I acknowledge; for it is the fate of a woman Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a ghost that is

speechless, Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell of its silence. Hence is the inner life of so many suffering women Sunless and silent and deep, like subterranean rivers Running through caverns of darkness, unheard, unseen,

and unfruitful, Chafing their channels of stone, with endless and profitless

murmurs." Thereupon answered John Alden, the young man, the lover

of women: “Heaven forbid it, Priscilla; and truly they seem to me

always More like the beautiful rivers that watered the garden of

Eden, More like the river Euphrates, through deserts of Havilah

flowing, Filling the land with delight, and 'memories sweet of the

garden!" “Ah, by these words, I can see,” again interrupted the

maiden, “How very little you prize me, or care for what I am saying. When from the depths of my heart, in pain and with secret

misgiving, Frankly I speak to you, asking for sympathy only and

kindness, Straightway you take up my words, that are plain and

direct and in earnest, 7

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Turn them away from their meaning, and answer with

flattering phrases. This is not right, is not just, is not true to the best that is

in you;

For I know and esteem you, and feel that your nature is

noble, Lifting mine up to a higher, a more ethereal level. Therefore I value your friendship, and feel it perhaps the

more keenly If you say aught that implies I am only as one among

many, If you make use of those common and complimentary

phrases Most men think so fine, in dealing and speaking with

women, But which women reject as insipid, if not as insulting.”

Mute and amazed was Alden; and listened and looked inic at Priscilla,

0,0,? Thinking he never had seen her more fair, more divine in

her beauty! He who but yesterday, pleaded so glibly the canse of

another, Stood there embarrassed and silent, and seeking in vain

for an answer. So the maiden went on, and little divined'or imagined What was at work in his heart, that made him 'so awkward ,'r and speechless.

B fill “Let us, then, be what we are, and speak what we think, and in all things

5.417 Keep ourselves loyal to truth, and the sacred professions

of friendship It is no secret I tell you, nor am I ashamed to declare it:


I have liked to be with you, to see you, to speak with you

always. So I was hurt at your words, and a little affronted to hear

you Urge me to marry your friend, though he were the Captain

Miles Standish. For I must tell you the truth; much more to me is your

friendship Than all the love he could give, were he twice the hero

you think him.” Then she extended her hand, and Alden, who eagerly

grasped it, Felt all the wounds in his heart, that were aching and

bleeding so sorely, Healed by the touch of that hand, and he said, with a voice

full of feeling: “Yes, we must ever be friends; and of all who offer you

friendship Let me be ever the first, the truest, the nearest and


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Casting a farewell look at the glimmering sail of the

May Flower, Distant, but still in sight, and sinking below the horizon, Homeward together they walked, with a strange indefinite

feeling, That all the rest had departed and left them alone in the

desert. But, as they went through the fields in the blessing and

smile of the sunshine, Lighter grew their hearts, and Priscilla said very archly : "Now that our terrible Captain has gone in pursuit of the


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Where he is happier far than he would be commanding a

household, You may speak boldly, and tell me of all that happened

between you, When you returned last night, and said how ungrateful you

found me.” Thereupon answered John Alden, and told her the whole

of the story, Told her his own despair, and the direful wrath of Miles

Standish. Whereat the maiden smiled, and said between laughing

and earnest, “He is a little chimney, and heated hot in a moment!" But as he gently rebuked her, and told her how much he

had suffered, How he had even determined to sail that day in the May

Flower, And had remained for her sake on hearing the dangers

that threatened, All her manner was changed, and she said with a faltering

accent, “Truly I thank you for this: how good you have been to

me always !"

Thus as a pilgrim devout, who toward Jerusalem journeys, Taking three steps in advance, and one reluctantly backward, Urged by importunate zeal, and withheld by pangs of

contrition; Slowly but steadily onward, receding yet ever advancing, Journeyed this Puritan youth to the Holy Land of his

longings, Urged by the fervor of love, and withheld by remorseful




MEANWHILE the stalwart Miles Standish was marching

steadily northward, Winding through forest and swamp, and along the trend of

in the sea-shore, All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his anger Burning and crackling within, and the sulphurous odor of

powder Seeming more sweet to his nostrils than all the scents of

the forest. Silent and moody he went, and much he revolved his dis

comfort; He who was used to success, and to easy victories always, Thus to be fouted, rejected, and laughed to scorn by a

maiden, Thus to be mocked and betrayed by the friend whom most

he had trusted! Ah! 't was too much to be borne, and he fretted and chafed

in his armor!

“I alone am to blame," he muttered, "for mine was the

folly. What has a rough old soldier, grown grim and gray in the

harness, Used to the camp and its ways, to do with the wooing of

maidens ? 'T was but a dream, - let it pass, - let it vanish like só

many others!

What I thought was a flower is only a weed, and is worth


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