Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXIV: Sketches of the Strife >> Page 217

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SKETCHES OF THE STRIFE. 217
ence of the reality, of which, hitherto, she had but dreamed,
and. the images of which, seen through the medium of her
imagination and not her heart, had until now presented her
with no other forms than those of loveliness or power. The
first dread sounds of battle, the first crash and commotion of
the conflict, taught her other feelings ; and, with each reiter-
ated shout or groan, her emotion increased to a passion of fear
that became painful even to her companion herself full of
the warmest apprehensions for her lover's safety, and laboring
under a true sense of the growing and gathering miseries
around her. But it is at such a moment that *the true nature
of the mind the true strength of the heart the spirit, and
the soul, and the affections, rise into impressive and control-
ling action. It was then that the majesty of a devoted woman,
conscious of all the danger, yet not unprepared to meet it with
him to whom her heart was given, shone forth in the bearing
of Janet Berkeley.
The light, thoughtless heart of Rose Duncan, untutored and
unimpressed as yet by any of the vicissitudes of life, had few
moods but what were hurrying and of a transient nature. She
was unprepared for any but passing impressions. Her fancy
had been active always, and her heart, in consequence, had
grown subordinate. Affliction, the subduer, the modifier
she who checks passion in its tumults, and tempers to sedate-
ness the warm feelings which would sometimes mount into
madness had brought her no sober counsels. Small but ac-
cumulating cares, which benefit by their frequent warnings,
had never taught her to meditate much or often upon the
various sorrows and the many changes, as frequent in the
moral atmosphere as in the natural, which belong to life.
That grave tale-bearer Time, whose legends are never want-
ing in their moral to those who read, had taken no heed of
her education. That stern strengthener and impelling mis-
tress, Necessity, had never, in order to bring out its resources,
subjected each feeling of her heart to bondage, putting a curb
upon the capricious emotion and the buoyant fancy. She
heard of care from books, which seldom describe it in its true
features, but it was only to regard it as a something which' : is
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