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of error,

Then went hurriedly on, as one who, seeing a

phantom, Stops, then quickens his pace, and follows the

beckoning shadow. Yes, it is plain to me now,” he murmured; "the

hand of the Lord is Leading me out of the land of darkness, the bondage Through the sea, that shall lift the walls of its

waters around me, Hiding me, cutting me off, from the cruel thoughts.

that pursue me. Back will I go o'er the ocean, this dreary land will

abandon, Her whom I may not love, and him whom my heart

has offended. Better to be in my grave in the green old church

yard in England, Close by my mother's side, and among the dust of

my kindred ; Better be dead and forgotten, than living in shame

and dishonor! Sacred and safe and unseen, in the dark of the

narrow chamber With me my secret shall lie, like a buried jewel

that glimmers Bright on the hand that is dust, in the chambers of

silence and darkness, – Yes, as the marriage ring of the great espousal

hereafter !”

Thus as he spake, he turned, in the strength of

his strong resolution, Leaving behind him the shore, and hurried along

in the twilight, Through the congenial gloom of the forest silent

and sombre, Till he beheld the lights in the seven houses of


Shining like seven stars in the dusk and mist of the

evening Soon he entered his door, and found the redoubt

able Captain Sitting alone, and absorbed in the martial pages of

Cæsar, Fighting some great campaign in Hainault or Bra

bant or Flanders. “ Long have you been on your errand,” he said

with a cheery demeanor, Even as one who is waiting an answer, and fears

not the issue. “ Not far off is the house, although the woods are

between us ; But

you have lingered so long, that while you were going and

coming I have fought ten battles and sacked and de

molished a city. Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all that

has happened.” Then John Alden spake, and related the won

drous adventure, From beginning to end, minutely, just as it hap

pened ; How he had seen Priscilla, and how he had sped

in his courtship, Only smoothing a little, and softening down her

refusal. But when he came at length to the words Priscilla

had spoken, Words so tender and cruel: “Why don't you speak

for yourself, John ?” Up leaped the Captain of Plymouth, and stamped

on the floor, till his armor Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a sound

of sinister omen. All bis pent-up wrath burst forth in a sudden ex


Even as a hand-grenade, that scatters destruction

around it. Wildly he shouted, and loud : “ John Alden ! you

have betrayed me! Me, Miles Standish, your friend ! have supplanted,

defrauded, betrayed me! One of my ancestors ran his sword through the

heart of Wat Tyler; Who shall prevent me from running my own

through the heart of a traitor ? Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a treason

to friendship! You, who lived under my roof, whom I cherished

and loved as a brother; You, who have fed at my board, and drunk at my

cup, to whose keeping I have intrusted my honor, my thoughts the most

sacred and secret, You too, Brutus ! ah woe to the name of friendship

hereafter! Brutus was Cæsar's friend, and you were mine, but

henceforward Let there be nothing between us save war, and im

placable hatred !” So spake the Captain of Plymouth, and strode

about in the chamber, Chafing and choking with rage ; like cords were

the veins on his temples. But in the midst of his anger a man appeared at

the doorway, Bringing in uttermost haste a message of urgent

importance, Rumors of danger and war and hostile incursions

of Indians ! Straightway the Captain paused, and, without fur

ther question or parley, Cook from the nail on the wall his sword with its

scabbard of iron,

Buckled the belt round his waist, and, frowning

fiercely, departed. Alden was left alone. He heard the clank of the

scabbard Growing fainter and fainter, and dying away in the

distance. Then he arose from his seat, and looked forth into

the darkness, Felt the cool air blow on his cheek, that was hot

with the insult, Lifted his eyes to the heavens, and, folding his

hands as in childhood, Prayed in the silence of night to the Father who

seeth in secret.

Meanwhile the choleric Captain strode wrathful

away to the council, Found it already assembled, impatiently waiting his

coming; Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in de

portment, Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest to

heaven, Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent Elder

of Plymouth. God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat

for this planting, Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a

nation; So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of

the people! Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude

stern and defiant, Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious

in aspect; While on the table before them was lying un

opened a Bible, Ponderous, bound in leather, brass-studded, printed

in Holland,

And beside it outstretched the skin of a rattlesnake

glittered, 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,

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

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

converted, Rather than any were slain, for this was but Chris

tian behavior ! Then outspake 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

planted 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 Plymouth, Somewhat amazed and alarmed at this irreverent

language : “ Not so thought Saint Paul, nor yet the other

Apostles ; Not from the cannon's mouth were the tongues of

fire they spake with!”

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