Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXIX: Troubles of the Lovers >> Page 326

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Page 326

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription S26 MELLICHAMPE.
how shocked was Melli-
champe, as he witnessed emotions so suddenly and strangely
violent. Since he had been a prisoner and wounded, with
Janet attending upon him, life had been to them both all
coulcur de rose. Insensibly they had both forgotten the re-
straints and difficulties, if not the dangers, of his situation.
They had lived only for love; they had forgotten all priva-
tions in its enjoyments ; and, as the circumstances attending
Mellichampe had made all further concealment unnecessary
of the tie which bound them so sweetly and inseparably to-
gether, their mutual hearts revelled in the freedom which their
release from all the old restraints necessarily brought to them.
Next to the joy of contemplating the beloved object, is the
pride with which we can challenge it for our own ; and that
feeling of pride, of itself, grew into a sentiment of pleasure in
the hourly and free survey of the object in the eye of others ;
as the devotee of a new faith, who has long worshipped in
secret, avails himself of the first moment of emancipation to
build a proud temple to the God of his hidden idolatry. Thus
moved toward each other, and free, as it were, to love securely
for the first time, the two, so blessed, had forgotten all other
considerations. His wound ceased to be a pain, and almost a
care, since it was so entirely the care of the maiden ; and her
tendance made the moments precious of his confinement, and
be blessed the evils which placed him in a relationship the
most desirable, and far the most delightful, of any he had ever
known.
To the maiden, the very assumption of some of the cares of
life, in attending upon the object most beloved, was eminently
grateful, as it was the first step which she had yet taken
toward the performance of some of those duties for which
was now only the more forcibly taught to feel the violent
wrenching away from hope which the cunning of Barsfield,
and the bloody tyranny of Balfour and Tarleton, were pre-
paring for them both. She could only throw herself upon his
manly bosom, like some heart-stricken and desponding depend-
ant, and sob, as if, with every convulsion, life would render up
its sacred responsibility.
It is needless to say how alarmed