EFORE bringing their families to Leiden, the Pilgrim men
had all found work in
that city. A few of them worked in the printing shops, but
most of them went to the great woolen mills.
Here some washed the wool, or combed it ready for the
spinning wheels. Some dyed it, some wove it into cloth.
Others packed the finished cloth in boxes, or loaded it on
ships on the canal.
This work was very different from anything they had done in
England. There they had been farmers, working in the fresh
air and sunshine on their own fields. At first the work in
the mills seemed very hard to them, but they worked early
and late, hoping to earn enough to buy little farms
The Pilgrims had no church of their own when they went to
Leiden, but John Robinson, their pastor, had a large
house, and they all went there to worship.
There was no reason for secret meetings in Holland. As long
as they were honest and well behaved, no one cared how the
newcomers worshiped. So every Sunday morning, when the
bells in the great church towers rang, the Pilgrims walked
to Master Robinson's house.
 Near their pastor's home was the largest and
finest church in Leiden. As they walked to meeting,
they met hundreds of good Hollanders in their finest
suits and silver buckles, or fullest skirts and prettiest
lace caps, going to church.
"In their finest suits . . . or
Across her forehead nearly every woman wore
a beautifully carved band of gold, which ended
in large, round buttons above her ears. From
these great gold buttons hung long earrings, which
almost touched her shoulders.
 The little girls dressed much like their mothers except that
their headdress was more simple. Sometimes their little
wooden shoes were prettily carved with leaves and blossoms.
At first, as they passed, these people looked with wonder
at the Pilgrims. Their plain brown or gray dress, their high
hats, or simple little caps looked very odd to the
Hollanders who were so fond of bright colors and pretty
clothes. But soon they felt acquainted with their new
neighbors and nodded to them pleasantly when they met.
A number of strangers came to John Robinson's meeting one
morning. Some of these strangers were English people who had
not come from Scrooby. Some were from France, where their
king had treated them as cruelly as King James had treated
Among them were Master and Mistress Mullens, and their two
children, Joseph and Priscilla. Joseph was a frail little
fellow and very timid. Priscilla was a rosy-cheeked, merry
little girl with sunny hair and laughing eyes.
Master Robinson and the other Pilgrims were glad to have
these people join them. They made them very welcome. How
happy they all were as they sang their songs of praise and
listened to their pastor's voice. No more hiding from the
soldiers; no more dark, damp prisons. Those sad days were