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Making it worse as he went, by saying the Captain

was busy, Had no time for such things ; such things ! the

words grating harshly Fell on the ear of Priscilla ; and swift as a flash

she made answer: “ Has he no time for such things, as you call it,

before he is married, Would he be likely to find it, or make it, after the

wedding ? That is the way with you men; you don't under

stand us, you cannot. When you have made up your minds, after thinking

of this one and that one, Choosing, selecting, rejecting, comparing one with

another, Then you make known your desire, with abrupt

and sudden avowal, And are offended and hurt, and indignant perhaps,

that a woman Does not respond at once to a love that she never

suspected, Does not attain at a bound the height to which you

have been climbing This is not right nor just: for surely a woman's

affection Is not a thing to be asked for, and had for only the

asking When one is truly in love, one not only says it, but

shows it. Had he but waited awhile, had he only showed that

he loved me, Even this Captain of yours — who knows ?

at last might have won me, Old and rough as he is; but now it never can

happen."

Still John Alden went on, unheeding the words

of Priscilla,

Urging the suit of his friend, explaining, persuading,

expanding; Spoke of his courage and skill, and of all his battles

in Flanders, How with the people of God he had chosen to suffer

affliction, How, in return for his zeal, they had made him

Captain of Plymouth; He was a gentleman born, could trace his pedigree

plainly Back to Hugh Standish of Duxbury Hall, in Lan

cashire, England, Who was the son of Ralph, and the grandson of

Thurston de Standish; Heir unto vast estates, of which he was basely

defrauded, Still bore the family arms, and had for his crest a

cock argent Combed and wattled gules, and all the rest of the

blazon. He was a man of honor, of noble and generous

nature ; Though he was rough, he was kindly; she knew

how during the winter He had attended the sick, with a hand as gentle as

woman's ; Somewhat hasty and hot, he could not deny it, and

headstrong, Stern as a soldier might be, but hearty, and placable

always, Not to be laughed at and scorned, because he was

little of stature; For he was great of heart, magnanimous, courtly,

courageous; Any woman in Plymouth, nay any woman in Eng

land, Might be happy and proud to be called the wife of

Miles Standish !

But as he warmed and glowed, in his simple and

eloquent language, Quite forgetful of self, and full of the praise of his

rival, Archly the maiden smiled, and, with eyes overrun

ning with laughter, Said, in a tremulous voice, “ Why don't you speak

for yourself, John ?”

IV.

JOHN ALDEN.

INTO the open air John Alden, perplexed and

bewildered, Rushed like a man insane, and wandered alone by

the sea-side ; Paced up and down the sands, and bared his head

to the east-wind, Cooling his heated brow, and the fire and fever

within him. Slowly as out of the heavens, with apocalyptical

splendors, Sank the City of God, in the vision of John the

Apostle, So, with its cloudy walls of chrysolite, jasper, and

sapphire, Sank the broad red sun, and over its turrets up

lifted Glimmered the golden reed of the angel who meas

ured the city. “ Welcome, O wind of the East !” he exclaimed

in his wild exultation, “ Welcome, O wind of the East, from the caves of

the misty Atlantic ! Blowing o'er fields of dulse, and measureless

meadows of sea-grass, Blowing o'er rocky wastes, and the grottos and

gardens of ocean! Lay thy cold, moist hand on my burning forehead,

and wrap me Close in thy garments of mist, to allay the fever

within me!”

Like an awakened conscience, the sea was moan

ing and tossing,

Beating remorseful and loud the mutable sands of

the sea-shore. Fierce in his soul was the struggle and tụmult of

passions contending; Love triumphant and crowned, and friendship

wounded and bleeding, Passionate cries of desire, and importunate pleadings

of duty! “ Is it my fault,” he said, "that the maiden has

chosen between us ? Is it my fault that he failed, - my fault that I am

the victor?” Then within him there thundered a voice, like the

voice of the Prophet: “It hath displeased the Lord !” — and he thought

of David's transgression, Bathsheba's beautiful face, and his friend in the

front of the battle! Shame and confusion of guilt, and abasement and

self-condemnation, Overwhelmed him at once; and he cried in the

deepest contrition : “ It hath displeased the Lord! It is the temptation

of Satan!”

Then, uplifting his head, he looked at the sea,

and beheld there Dimly the shadowy form of the May Flower riding

at anchor, Rocked on the rising tide, and ready to sail on the

morrow; Heard the voices of men through the mist, the rattle

of cordage Thrown on the deck, the shouts of the mate, and

the sailors' “ Ay, ay, Sir!.” Clear and distinct, but not loud, in the dripping air

of the twilight. Still for a moment he stood, and listened, and stared

at the vessel,

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