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Peeping and creeping about from bush to tree in the
forest, Feigning to look for game, with arrows set on their
bow-strings, Drawing about him still closer and closer the net of
their ambush. But undaunted he stood, and dissembled and treated
them smoothly; So the old chronicles say, that were writ in the days
of the fathers. But when he heard their defiance, the boast, the taunt
and the insult, All the hot blood of his race, of Sir Hugh and of Thurston de Standish,
795 Boiled and beat in his heart, and swelled in the veins
of his temples. Headlong he leaped on the boaster, and, snatching his
knife from its scabbard, Plunged it into his heart, and, reeling backward, the
savage Fell with his face to the sky, and a fiendlike fierceness
Straight there arose from the forest the awful sound of the war-whoop,
800 And, like a flurry of snow on the whistling wind of
Swift and sudden and keen came a flight of feathery
Then came a cloud of smoke, and out of the cloud
came the lightning, Out of the lightning thunder; and death unseen ran
before it. Frightened the savages fled for shelter in swamp and in thicket,
805 Hotly pursued and beset; but their sachem, the brave
Wattawamat, Fled not; he was dead. Unswerving and swift had
a bullet Passed through his brain, and he fell with both hands
clutching the greensward, Seeming in death to hold back from his foe the land
of his fathers.
There on the flowers of the meadow the warriors lay, and above them,
810 Silent, with folded arms, stood Hobomok, friend of Smiling at length he exclaimed to the stalwart Captain
the white man. 803, 804 What is the meaning of these lines? This was the only actual battle which the Pilgrims fought with the Indians for over half a century.
809 It is possible that even at this early day the Indians had decided that the white men were come to deprive them of their land. It became their fixed idea in later times.
of Plymouth : “Pecksuot bragged very loud, of his courage, his
strength and his stature, Mocked the great Captain, and called him a little
man; but I see now Big enough have you been to lay him speechless before
Thus the first battle was fought and won by the
stalwart Miles Standish. When the tidings thereof were brought to the village
of Plymouth, And as a trophy of war the head of the brave Wat
tawamat Scowled from the roof of the fort, which at once was
a church and a fortress, All who beheld it rejoiced, and praised the Lord, and
818, 819 Trophy of war: this would be thought a horrible thing to do now, but the English people were then so used to it that it did not shock them. Much later than this, in 1660, when Charles II was restored to the throne, the body of the great Cromwell was torn out of its grave and hung on a gibbet.
Only Priscilla averted her face from this spectre of
terror, Thanking God in her heart that she had not married
Miles Standish; Shrinking, fearing almost, lest, coming home from his
battles, He should lay claim to her hand, as the prize and re
ward of his valor.
Month after month passed away, and in autumn the ships of the merchants
825 Came with kindred and friends, with cattle and corn All in the village was peace; the men were intent on
for the Pilgrims. 825 Ships: the Anne and the Little James which really came in 1623.
826 Cattle: no cattle came to the colony till 1624, though the Pilgrims had dogs, swine, and poultry. It was necessary that cattle should be brought as soon as possible. The lack of domestic animals was one reason why the Indians did not attain to a higher civilization. How did the original inhabitants of America happen to be called Indians ? How do you suppose they came to be in America ? Look at the map and see if they could have come from Asia ? How do domestic animals help to civilize?
Corn: this must mean wheat or oats, etc. They would not be likely to obtain Indian corn from England. Before the discovery of America, the word “corn” meant any kind of grain.
their labors, 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.
830 All in the village was peace; but at times the rumor
of warfare Filled the air with alarm, and the apprehension of
danger. Bravely the stalwart Standish was scouring the land
with his forces, Waxing valiant in fight and defeating the alien ar
mies, Till his name had become a sound of fear to the nations.
835 Anger was still in his heart, but at times the remorse
and contrition Which in all noble natures succeed the passionate out
break, Came like a rising tide, that encounters the rush of a
885 Nations: name two great Indian nations which at that time held the eastern part of America.