Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 292

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 292 SOUTHWARD HO
leaves, had been prepared for her couch at night ; and, in one
contiguous, lay her wounded lover. His situation had amply
reconciled her to her own. His wound was neither deep nor
dangerous. He had bled copiously, and swooned rather in con-
sequence of loss of blood than from the severity of his pains.
But the hands of Elijah Field � a rough but not wholly inexpe-
rienced surgeon�,shad bound up his hurts ; which were thus per-
mitted to heal from the first intention. The patient was not slow
to improve, though so precious sweet had been his attendance --
Frederica herself, like the damsels of the feudal ages, assisting
to dress his wound, and so tender him with sweetest nursing, that
he felt almost sorry at the improvement which, while lessening
his cares, lessened her anxieties. Our space will not suffer us to
dwell upon the delicious scenes of peace and love which the two
enjoyed together in these few brief days of mutual dependence.
They comprised an age of immeasurable felicity, and brought
the two together in bonds of sympathy, which, however large
had been their love before, now rendered the passion more than
ever at home and triumphant in their mutual hearts. But, with
the tidings of the situation in which her parents suffered, and the
evident improvement of her lover, the maiden found it necessary
to depart from her place of hiding that sweet security of
shade, such as the fancy of youth always dreams of, but which
it is the lot of very few to realize. She took her resolution
promptly.
I must leave you, Richard. I must go home to my poor
mother, now that she is homeless."
He would, if be could, have dissuaded her from venturing her-
self within the reach of one so reckless and brutal as Mat Dun-
bar. But his sense of right seconded her resolution, and though
he expressed doubts and misgivings, and betrayed his uneasiness
and anxiety, he had no arguments to offer against her purpose.
She heard him with a sweet smile, and when he had finished,
she said : --
But I will give you one security, dear Richard, before we
part, if you will suffer me. You would have married me more
than a year ago ; but as I knew my father's situation, his pref-
erences, and his dangers, I refused to do so until the war was
over. It has not helped him that I refused you then. I don't