Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXVII: Picture of Lynch-Law >> Page 310

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Page 310

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 310 MELLICHAMPE.
not been poured into unwilling ears, having you for an auditor,
Miss Berkeley. And yet I had thought that one so gentle as
yourself would have shrunk from the language of hatred and
denunciation, and been the last so keenly to treasure up its
remembrance."" Can Captain Barsfield wonder that I should remember the
opinions of Colonel Mellichampe with reference to himself,
when after-circumstances have so completely confirmed their
justice ? Is not Captain Barsfield an active and bloody enemy
to the people of his own land--fighting against them under
the banner of the invader and proving himself most bloody
and hostile to those with whom he once dwelt, and by whose
indulgence, as I have heard, his own infancy was nurtured?
Can I forget, too, that by his own hands the brave old colonel
perished in a most unequal fight ?"" But still a fair one, Miss Berkeley�still a fair fight, and
one of his own seeking. But what you have just said, Miss
Berkeley, gives me a good occasion to set you right on some
matters, and to unfold to you the truth in all. The taking
arms under the flag of England, which you style that of the
invader, and the death of Colonel Max Mellichampe, form but
a single page of the same drama. They are as closely related,
Miss Berkeley, as cause and effect, since it was Max Melli-
champe that made me why should I blush to say it ?� a tory,
in arms against my countrymen : and to that enrolment
fatal enrolment ! for even now I curse the day on which it was
recorded, and him no less that moved it lie owes, and justly
owes, his own defeat and death."
I believe it not, sir. Colonel Mellichampe move you to
become a tory�to lift the sword against your people ? Never
never !"
Hear me out, and you will believe--you can not else. He
did not move me did not argue with me to become a tory,
oh, no ! He forced me to become one. Would you hear ?"" Speak on."
When this cruel and unnatural war commenced in South
Carolina, I had taken no part on either side. The violence
of the Whigs around me, Colonel Mellichampe among them;