Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXIX: Troubles of the Lovers >> Page 324

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Page 324

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 324
smile even strove for place and existence, it was yet evident
to herself that the power of self-control was rapidly departing
from her. The strife of encountering feelings was going on
within the earthquake toiling below, though sunshine and
flowers only were visible without.
It was with a joy so intense as to be tremulous, that Melli-
champe received her. His confinement had made him still
more a dependent upon her presence and afffctions. His love
for her had duly increased with its daily exercise ; and, in the
absence of other and exciting influences, it had become a
regular, constant, and increasing flame, which concentrated
almost all leis thoughts, and certainly governed and linked
itself with all his emotions. He longed for her coming as the
anticipative boy longs for the hour of promised enjoyment
with a feverish thirst no less intense, and an anxious earnest-
ness far more lofty and enduring. When the latch was lifted
he ran -forward to receive her, caught her extended hand in
both of. his . own, and carried it warmly and passionately to his
lips. She could scarce effect her release, and the blush min-
gled with the laboring smile upon her lips, which it rather
tended to .strengthen than displace.
"Oh, Janet�my own Janet what an age of absence!
How long you were in coming this evening !�what has kept
you, and wherefore? Truly, I began to fear that you were
tired of your office."
No�no, Ernest � I can not tire, since it is so sweet to
serve. If I sought for mere pleasure and amuses lent in love,
I might tire of its sameness; but the love of my heart is its
devotion, and the better feelings of our nature, like the God
from whom they come, are the more dear to us, and the more
lovely in his sight, as they are never subject to change."
Beautiful sentiment !" was the involuntary exclamation of
the youth, as he looked in her face and saw, through the
gathering tears in her eyes, the high-souled seriousness�the
sanctified earnestness of heart, which proved that she felt the
truth of the thought which she had uttered. Love was, indeed,
the religion of Janet Berkeley. It was in her to love all
things in nature, and to gather sweets from all its influences.