Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXV: The Courage of Love >> Page 224

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 224 MELLICHAMPE.

THROUGHOUT the conflict, a close and deeply interested
observer, Janet Berkeley had never once departed from her
post of watch. She had felt all the sickness the dreadful
sickness of suspense. She suffered all the terrors of one
anxious in the last degree about the result of the battle, yet
perfectly conscious of its thousand uncertainties. The wild
and various cries of the warriors now of triumph and now of
defeat, or physical agony went chillingly to her heart ; yet,
the sentinel of love, jealous of her watch, and solicitous of the
safety of that over which it was held, she kept her place, in
spite of all the solicitations of Rose and of her equally appre-
hensive father. She did not seem conscious of her own danger
while she continued to think of that of Mellichampe ; and, so
long as the battle lasted, could she think of anything else?
She did not.
We have seen the patriotic resolution with which she de-
voted the family mansion to destruction. She had beheld the
application of the torch she had seen the arrow winged with
flame smiting the sacred roof which had sheltered so many
generations, and with that glorious spirit which so elevated
the maidens of Carolina during the long struggle of the revo-
lution´┐Żmaking them rather objects of national than of social
contemplation ``she had felt a triumphant glow of self-gratu-
lation that it had been with her to contribute to a cause doubly
sacred, as it involved the life of her country not less than that
of her lover. With hands clasped and tearful eyes, she had
prayed as fervently for the conflagration of the dwelling as, at