Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXIV: Love Passages >> Page 286

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 286 rtj~r,r.7CiTAMPE.
brought forth no less grief than the actual experience of it, and
far less of that active spirit of resistance and that tenacious soul
of endurance with which she was at all times prepared to con-
tend with its positive inflictions. It was thus that she was ena-
bled, when her more volatile companion lay unnerved and terri-
fied at her feet, to go forth fearlessly amid all the danger and the
dread, traverse the field of strife unshaken by its horrors, and,
from among the dying and the dead, seek out the one object
to whom, when she had once pledged her heart, she had also
pledged the performance, even of a duty so trying and so sad;
and, though she had sickened at the loathsome aspect of war
around her, she had felt far less of terror in that one scene of
real horrors than she had a thousand times before in the
dreams begotten by an active imagination, and a soul earnest,
devoted, and susceptible in the extreme.
Often did Rose Duncan chide the maiden for her exclusive
devotion to her lover, as she herself suffered privation from her
devotedness.
" There is quite too much of it, Janet ; he will be sick to
death of you before you are married, if, indeed, you ever . are
married to him, which ought to be another subject of considera-
tion with you. It would be very awkward if, after all these
attentions on your part�this perfect devotion, I may call it
he should never marry you. I should never trust any man
so far."
Not to trust is not to love. When I confide less in Melli-
champe, I shall love him less, Rose, and I would not willingly
think of such a possibility. In loving him I give up all selfish
thoughts : I must love. entirely, or not at all."
Ah., but how much do you risk by this ?"
It is woman's risk always, Rose, and I would not desire
one privilege which does not properly belong to my sex. I
have no qualifications in my regard for Mellichampe. To my
mind, his honor is as lofty as, to my heart, his affections are
dear. I should weep �I should suffer dreadfully�if I
thought, for an instant, that lie believed me touched with a
single doubt of his fidelity."
Very right, perhaps, Janet, and you are only the bto.;ter