Mary of Plymouth - James Otis
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.