Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter II: Malcontents in Council >> Page 14

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 14JOSCELYN
Commons of Georgia, speaking for yourself as a lawyer and a
good citizen?"
"And when is this great trial to take place?"
"What! you have not heard of this gathering which is announced
for Augusta next Friday? Is it possible that you should not have
heard, when it is in the mouth of everybody?"
"I have heard," answered the young man, gravely, "but had no
idea that this gathering was to decide a case of so much importance
either to Crown or Colony."
"Well, if you have heard of the issue that is to be made up of
the decision time only can speak my question may well be repeated.
How are you prepared to become a party to the argument?"
"I do not see how I need to become a party at all. But there
is another question, if I am to engage in the case. The point of
inquiry, then, must be, which of these two great parties am I to
advocate?"
"Ha! can it be, my son, that you doubt? Can a son of mine
deliberate, or hesitate, between loyalty and rebellion the Crown,
or the traitors who would pull down the Crown? I'll not believe
it! No, no, Walter, you are jesting with me. Do not, I pray you,
my son, trifle with me on a subject so sacred! This is not a time,
nor this a subject for jest. No, nor for coldness and indifference.
You cannot doubt between our sovereign and his subjects. Speak,
sir, speak out, my son, and say what I am to hope what to fear?
Great God! that I should, on such a question, be troubled with a
doubt ! "
The son was moved. He paced the room for awhile in silence,
and then answered, with evident uneasiness:
"Perhaps," he said, still in very deliberate accents, as if measur-
ing the import of every word, "perhaps, sir, I should have phrased
it more professionally if I had asked which of these clients is best
prepared to respond in fees?"
"If that be the only, or the real question, my young friend,"
interposed Cameron, "I have the sufficient answer in readiness.
There can be no doubt of the ability of his Majesty the King of
Great Britain to compensate amply all who serve him loyally and
well, and even my report alone, if I may be permitted to say so,