Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXX: The Wolf in New Colors >> Page 262

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Page 262

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 262 MELLICIIAMPE.
may well be fearless, at all times, of human opinion ; and they
cease to be truth and virtue when the fear of what men may
think, or say, induces a disregard of that which they conceive
to be their duty. With me you lose nothing by the declara-
tion you have just made. It is one I looked for from you.
The confidence of virtue is never unworthy of the source from
which it springs, and it doubly confirms and strengthens virtue
itself, when it shows the possessor to be resolute after right,
without regard to human arrangements, or the petty and pas-
sing circumstances of society. It is the child's love that is
driven from its ground by the dread of social scandal. The
only love that man esteems valuable is that which can dare all
things, but wrong, in behalf of the valued object. This is
your love now, and you have my prayer if the prayer of a
rough soldier like myself be not a wrong to so pure a spirit
that it be always hallowed in the sight of Heaven, and suc-
cessful beyond the control of earth."
He took a respectful parting, and on leaving her to rejoin
the party, his manner changed to that of the proud man he
commonly appeared. An inflexible sternness sat upon his pale
and stonelike countenance�the lips were set rigidly �the
eye was shrouded by the overhanging brow, that gathered
above it like some heavy cloud over some flaming and malig-
nant planet. He spoke but few words to the rest of the
family. A cold word of acknowledgment to Mr. Berkeley, a
courteous bow and farewell to Rose Duncan, whose confidence
was. now half restored, the din of battle being over, and a
single look and partial smile to Janet, preceded his immediate
departure to the edge of the forest, where, during the dinner
repast, his temporary camp had been formed. From this point
he threw out his sentinels .and sent forth his scouting parties.
These latter traversed the neighboring hummocks, and ran-
sacked every contiguous cover, in which a lurking squad of ,
rebels might have taken up a hiding-place, in waiting for the
moment when a fancied security on the part of the foe should
invite to the work of annoyance or assault. Such was the na-
ture of the Indian warfare which the swamp fox," with so
much general success, had adopted as his own. Tarleton