Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXIX: Troubles of the Lovers >> Page 323

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TROUBLES OF THE LOVERS. 323
which she anticipated, as they severally came to her mind,
and not by any effort at narration, that she was enabled to
convey to that of Rose the cruel nature of the intelligence
which Barsfield had conveyed in his interview. The anger of
Rose grew violent when she heard it, and that of Janet imme
diately subsided. She could the better perceive the futility
of uttered grief, when she perceived the inadequacy of all
words to describe her emotions. Grief, like Rapture, was
born dumb.
But if Janet suffered thus much at first hearing of this sad
intelligence, she did not suffer less when communicating it that
evening to her lover. Could she have suffered for him could
she have felt all the agony of her present thoughts, assured
that it lay with her alone to endure all and let him go free,
she would not have murmured she would have had no uttered
grief. But the dreadful task was before her of saying to her
lover that the hour of their parting and probably their final
parting, was at hand. How much less painful to have heard
it from his lips to her, than to breathe it from her lips into his
ears. She could endure the stroke coming from him, but she
thought�and this was the thought of one who love unselfishly
�thatoshe shared in the cruelty�that she became a party to
the crime, and its immediate instrument, in unfolding the
dreadful intelligence to him. " He will hate me he will
regard it as my deed�and oh ! how can I look as I tell him
this�how can features express such feelings such a sorrow
as is mine !"
Such were the sobbing and broken words with which she
sought her lover. She strove, however, to compose her coun-
tenance. She even labored�foolish endeavor ! to restrain
to subdue her emotions. But when was the heart of woman
properly constituted only for intense feeling, and entire de-
pendence that admits of no qualified love�to be restrained
and subjected by a merely human will. There was that at
her heart which would not be compelled. The feeling only
gathered itself up for a moment the better to expand. The
restraint gave it new powers of action, and, though she appeared
in the presence of Mellichampe with a countenance in which a