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Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for error.
tween us,All save the dear, old friendship, and that shall grow older and
dearer ! ” Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted Priscilla, Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned gentry in England, Something of camp and of court, of town and of country, commingled, Wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly lauding her husband. Then he said with a smile: “ I should have remembered the adage,If you would be well served, you must serve yourself; and moreover, No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season of Christmas ! ”
Great was the people's amazement, and greater yet their rejoicing, Thus to behold once more the sun-burnt face of their Captain, Whom they had mourned as dead ; and they gathered and crowded
about him, Eager to see him and hear him, forgetful of bride and of bridegroom, Questioning, answering, laughing, and each interrupting the other, Till the good Captain declared, being quite overpowered and be
wildered, He had rather by far break into an Indian encampment, Than come again to a wedding to which he had not been invited.
Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and stood with the bride at
the doorway, Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and beautiful morning. Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and sad in the sunshine, Lay extended before them the land of toil and privation ; There were the graves of the dead, and the barren waste of the
sea-shore, There the familiar fields, the groves of pine, and the meadows ; But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the Garden of Eden, Filled with the presence of God, whose voice was the sound of the
Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise and stir of departure, Friends coming forth from the house, and impatient of longer delaying, Each with his plan for the day, and the work that was left uncompleted. Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclamations of wonder, Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy, so proud of Priscilla, Brought out his snow-white steer, obeying the hand of its master, Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring in its nostrils, Covered with crimson cloth, and a cushion placed for a saddle. She should not walk, he said, through the dust and heat of the noonday; Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod along like a peasant. Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by the others, Placing her hand on the cushion, her foot in the hand of her husband, Gaily, with joyous laugh, Priscilla mounted her palfrey. “ Nothing is wanting now," he said, with a smile, “ but the distaff; Then you would be in truth my queen, my beautiful Bertha !”
Onward the bridal procession now moved to their new habitation, Happy husband and wife, and friends conversing together. Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed the ford in the forest, Pleased with the image that passed, like a dream of love, through its
bosom, Tremulous, floating in air, o'er the depths of the azure abysses. Down through the golden leaves the sun was pouring his splendors, Gleaming on purple grapes, that, from branches above them suspended, Mingled their odorous breath with the balm of the pine and the fir-tree, Wild and sweet as the clusters that grew in the valley of Eshcol. Like a picture it seemed of the primitive, pastoral ages, Fresh with the youth of the world, and recalling Rebecca and Isaac, Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful always, Love immortal and young in the endless succession of lovers. So through the Plymouth woods passed onward the bridal procession.