F Heritage History | Mary of Plymouth by James Otis
Contents 
Front Matter Why This Story was Written The Leaking Speedwell Searching for a Home After the Storm Wash Day Finding the Corn Attacked by the Savages Building Houses Miles Standish The Sick People The New Home Master White and the Wolf Inside of the House A Chimney Without Bricks Building the Fire Master Bradford's Chimney Scarcity of Food A Timely Gift The First Savage Visitor Squanto's Story Living in the Wilderness The Friendly Indians Grinding the Corn A Visit From Massasoit Massasoit's Promise Massasoit's Visit Returned The Big House Burned The Mayflower Leaves Port Setting the Table What and How we Eat Table Rules A Pilgrim Goes Abroad Making a Dugout Governor Carver's Death Bradford Chosen Governor Farming in Plymouth Cooking Indian Corn The Wedding Making Maple Syrup Decorating the House Trapping Wolves and Pigeons Elder Brewster The Visit to Massasoit Keeping the Sabbath Holy Making Clapboards Cooking Pumpkins A New Oven Making Spoons and Dishes The Fort and Meeting-House The Harvest Festival How to Play Stoolball On Christmas Day When the Fortune Arrived Possibility of Another Famine On Short Allowance A Threatening Message Pine Knots and Candles Tallow From Bushes Wicks for the Candle Dipping the Candles When James Runs Away Evil-Minded Indians Long Hours of Preaching John Alden's Tubs English Visitors Visiting the Neighbors Why More Fish are not Taken How Wampum is Made Ministering to Massasoit The Plot Thwarted The Captain's Indian Ballots of Corn Arrival of the Ann Little James Comes to Port The New Meeting-House The Church Service The Tithingmen Master Winslow Brings Cows A Real Oven Butter and Cheese Settlement at Wessagussett The Village at Merrymount The First School Too Much Smoke Schools Comforts How Children Were Punished New Villages Making Ready for a Journey Clothing for Salem Food for the Journey Before Sailing for Salem Beginning the Journey The Arrival at Salem Sight-Seeking in Salem Back to Plymouth

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis




The New Meeting-House

It was after the harvest time that the people set about building it, and that it might be seen by those who looked at it from the outside, to be a building other than for living purposes, the logs, instead of being set upright in the earth, were laid lengthwise, and notched at the ends in a most secure fashion, with a roof that rises to a peak like unto those on the houses in Scrooby.

The very best of oiled paper is set in the windows. There is a real floor of puncheon boards, which we keep well covered with the white sand from the shore, and Priscilla Mullens spends much time drawing with a stick fanciful figures in the glistening covering, causing it to look like a real carpet.

There are benches sufficient for all, and at that end opposite the door is the preacher's desk, over which hangs a sounding board, not delicately fashioned like the one at Scrooby, but made of puncheons, yet serving well the purpose of allowing the preacher's voice to seem louder.

Elder Brewster still believes that it would be wrong for us to have a fireplace in the meeting-house, because one who truly worships his Maker should be willing to sacrifice his comfort. One Sabbath Day, when the elder's sermon was so long that the hourglass had been turned three times by the tithingman, and the sand was already running well for the fourth time, I believed of a truth that my feet were really frozen.

But I did not even shuffle them on the floor, because once when I did so, a most serious lesson did my mother read me when we were at home again, and that very evening Elder Brewster spoke in meeting of the wickedness of children who had no more fear of God before their eyes than to disturb by unseemly noise those who had gathered for his worship.

John Alden, who is ever ready to do what he can for the comfort of others, has now nailed bags made of wolf skins on the benches, into which we may thrust our feet and thus keep them warm.