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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 mode ern art of navigation was made possible.

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Warmly the cause of another, my heart, impulsive

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

635 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;

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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

Yesterday I was shocked, when I heard you speak of

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

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.

Quite overlooking yourself and the rest, in exalting

your hero.

Therefore I spake as I did, by an irresistible im

pulse. You will forgive me, I hope, for the sake of the friend

ship between us, Which is too true and too sacred to be so easily

broken!Thereupon answered John Alden, the scholar, the friend of Miles Standish :

650 "I was not angry with you, with myself alone I was

angry, Seeing how badly I managed the matter I had in my

keeping.” “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

655 Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a ghost that

is speechless, Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell of its



656–657 The tradition is that a ghost cannot address any one until it is spoken to.

Hence is the inner life of so many suffering


Sunless and silent and deep, like subterranean rivers Running through caverns of darkness, unheard, unseen, and unfruitful,

660 Chafing their channels of stone, with endless and prof

itless 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,

665 Filling the land with delight, and memories sweet of

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


664 Rivers of Eden: look up Genesis ii. 10–14. From these rivers, where is the Garden of Eden supposed to have been located ?

665 Havilah: names are often duplicated in Bible history. For instance, there are two Æthiopias, one lying about the southern portion of the Caspian Sea and one in Africa. So, too, there was one Havilah directly east of Egypt on the coast of the Mediterranean, and another, as the text shows, along the course of the Euphrates River.

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,

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

direct and in earnest, 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.

675 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 insult



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