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Filled, like a quiver, with arrows: a signal and challenge of warfare,

Brought by the Indian, and speaking with arrowy tongues of defiance.

This Miles Standish beheld, as he entered, and heard them debating

What were an answer befitting the hostile message and menace,

Talking of this and of that, contriving, suggesting,



One voice only for peace, and that the voice of the


Judging it wise and well that some at least were converted,

Rather than any were slain, for this was but Christian behavior!

Then out spake Miles Standish, the stalwart Captain of Plymouth,

Muttering deep in his throat, for his voice was husky

with anger,


"What! do you mean to make war with milk and the water of roses ?

Is it to shoot red squirrels you have your howitzer


There on the roof of the church, or is it to shoot red devils?

Truly the only tongue that is understood by a savage Must be the tongue of fire that speaks from the mouth of the cannon!"


Thereupon answered and said the excellent elder of


Somewhat amazed and alarmed at this irreverent language:

"Not so thought Saint Paul, nor yet the other Apos


Not from the cannon's mouth were the tongues of fire they spake with!"

But unheeded fell this mild rebuke on the Captain, 470 Who had advanced to the table, and thus continued


"Leave this matter to me, for to me by right it pertaineth.

War is a terrible trade; but in the cause that is righteous,

Sweet is the smell of powder; and thus I answer the challenge!"

Then from the rattlesnake's skin, with a sudden, contemptuous gesture,


Jerking the Indian arrows, he filled it with powder

and bullets

Full to the very jaws, and handed it back to the


Saying, in thundering tones: "Here, take it! this is your answer!"

Silently out of the room then glided the glistening savage,

Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself like a


serpent, Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of the forest.



Just in the gray of the dawn, as the mists uprose from the meadows,

There was a stir and a sound in the slumbering village of Plymouth;

Clanging and clicking of arms, and the order imperative, "Forward!"

Given in tone suppressed, a tramp of feet, and then



Figures ten, in the mist, marched slowly out of the


Standish the stalwart it was, with eight of his valor

ous army,

487 Eight: there were twelve drilled men. Why did he not take the remaining four?

Led by their Indian guide, by Hobomok, friend of the white men,

Northward marching to quell the sudden revolt of the


Giants they seemed in the mist, or the mighty men of King David;


Giants in heart they were, who believed in God and the Bible,

Ay, who believed in the smiting of Midianites and Philistines.

Over them gleamed far off the crimson banners of morning;

Under them loud on the sands, the serried billows,


Fired along the line, and in regular order retreated.


Many a mile had they marched, when at length the village of Plymouth

490 Who was King David? Had he any other reputation than that of a warrior?

492 Midianites: look up Exodus ii. 15. From the Bible text, what is the probable location of this country?

Philistines: look up Exodus xiii. 17. What is the probable location of Philistia? Why did the Israelites smite the Midianites and Philistines?

498-495 Of what is this a description?

Woke from its sleep, and arose, intent on its manifold labors.

Sweet was the air and soft; and slowly the smoke from the chimneys

Rose over roofs of thatch, and pointed steadily east


Men came forth from the doors, and paused and talked of the weather,


Said that the wind had changed, and was blowing fair for the Mayflower;

Talked of their Captain's departure, and all the dangers that menaced,

He being gone, the town, and what should be done in his absence.

Merrily sang the birds, and the tender voices of


Consecrated with hymns the common cares of the



Out of the sea rose the sun, and the billows rejoiced at his coming;

Beautiful were his feet on the purple tops of the mountains;

Beautiful on the sails of the Mayflower riding at anchor,

501 Why is the wind said to be "blowing fair for the Mayflower"? 507 Look up Isaiah lii. 7.

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