Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 45

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TIMIDITY OF WEALTH. 45
another�where, then, do you propose to find it ? Will you
seek for it among the Cartagenians�among the other prov-
inces�to Bolivar without, ? Vain expectation, if you are un-
willing to peril anything for yourselves within ! In a tyranny
so suspicious and so reckless as is yours, you must momentarily
tremble lest ye suffer at the hands of your despot. True man-
hood rather prefers any peril which puts an end to this state of
anxiety and fear. Thus to tremble with apprehension ever, is
ever to be dying. It is a life of death only which ye live�and
any death or peril that comes quickly at the summons, is to be
preferred before it. If, then, ye have hearts to feel, or hopes
to warm ye�a pride to suffer consciousness of shame, or an
ambition that longs for better things�affections for which to
covet life, or the courage with which to assert and to defend
your affections �ye can not, ye will not hesitate to determine,
with souls of freemen, upon what is needful to be done. Ye
have but one choice as men ; and the question which is left for
ye to resolve, is that which determines, not your possessions, not
even your lives, but simply your rank and stature in the world
of humanity and man."
The Liberator paused, not so much through his own or the
exhaustion of the subject, as that his hearers should in turn be
heard. But, with this latter object, his forbearance was profit-
less. There were those among them, indeed, who had their
answers to his exhortations, but these were not of a character to
promise boldly for their patriotism or courage. Their profes-
sions, indeed, were ample, but were confined to unmeaning gen-
eralities. Now is the time�now !" was the response of
Bolivar to all that was said. But they faltered and hung back
at every utterance of his spasmodically-uttered "now! now !"
He scanned their faces eagerly, with a hope that gradually
yielded to despondency. Their features were blank and inex-
pressive, as their answers had been meaningless or evasive.
Several of them were of that class of quiet citizens, unaccus-
tomed to any enterprises but those of trade, who are always slow
to peril wealth by a direct issue with their despotism. They
felt the truth of Bolivar's assertions. They knew that their
treasures were only so many baits and lures to the cupidity and
exactions of the royal emissaries, but they still relied on their