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

Long Hours of Preaching

We went more often to the meeting-house in the fort than would have been the case, perhaps, had our bodily comfort been greater, and Elder Brewster preached to us more fervently than mayhap he might have done but for the gnawing of hunger in his stomach.

Every Sabbath Day from nine o'clock in the morning until noon, and after that, from noon to dark, did we sing, or pray, or listen to the elder's words of truth, all the while being hungry, and a goodly portion of the time cold unto the verge of freezing.

My mother claimed that there was no reason why we should not have a fireplace in the meeting-house, even though none but the children might be allowed to approach it; but Elder Brewster insisted that to think of bodily suffering while engaged in the worship of God, was much the same as a sin, and it seemed to Sarah and me as if his preaching was prolonged when the cold was most intense.

Again and again have I sat on the puncheon benches, my feet numbed with the frost, my teeth chattering until it was necessary to thrust the corner of mother's mantle into my mouth to prevent unseemly noise, almost envying Master Hopkins when he walked from his bench to the pulpit in order to turn the hourglass for the second or third time, because of his thus having a chance for exercising his limbs.

You must know that, having no clocks, the time in the meeting-house is marked by an hourglass, and it is the duty of one of the leading men of the settlement to turn it when the sand runs out. Therefore, when Master Hopkins has turned it the second time, thus showing that the third hour of the sermon has begun, I am so worldly-minded and so cold as to rejoice, because of knowing that Elder Brewster, save on especial days, seldom preaches more than the three hours.