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

Dipping the Candles

It is my task to hang six or eight of the milk-weed wicks on the rod, taking good care that they shall be straight, which is not easy to accomplish, for silvery and soft though the down is when first gathered, it twists harshly, and of course, as everyone knows, there can be no bends or kinks in a properly made candle.

Mother dips perhaps eight of these wicks at a time into a pot of bayberry wax, and after they have been so treated six or eight times, they are of sufficient size, for our vegetable tallow sticks in greater mass than does that which comes from an animal.

A famous candle-maker is my mother, and I have known her to make as many as one hundred and fifty in a single day.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

The candle box which your uncle gave us is of great convenience, for since it has on the inside a hollow for each candle, there is little danger that any will be broken, and, besides, we may put therein the half-burned candles, for we cannot afford to waste even the tiniest scraps of tallow.

Captain Standish has in his home candles made from bear's grease, and as wicks, dry marsh grass braided.

When the second winter had begun, and the snow lay deep all around, save where our people had dug streets and paths, Sarah and I were forced, as a matter of course, to remain a goodly portion of the time within our homes. Those of the men who were not needed to hew huge trees into lengths convenient for burning, were hunting and setting traps, in the hope of adding to the store of provisions which was so scanty after it had been divided among those who came in the Fortune, and Sarah and I had little else to do than recall to mind that which had happened during the summer, when all the country was good to look upon instead of being imprisoned by the frost.