Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter II: Malcontents in Council >> Page 16

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 16JOSCELYN

overthrown, even as the giant of the Philistines was cast down by
the pebble of the shepherd boy of Israel."
The old man paused, rather through exhaustion than will. He
was too much in earnest not to have much more to say.
The young man was troubled. He remembered the words of
his sister, hinting at his weakness. He resolved to be firm, and,
at least, not to commit himself in the matter, but he knew not the
degree of his own weakness.
Browne muttered, but loudly enough to be heard
"He is more of a stone than a man, if he can hold out after
that ! "
He meant himself to be heard.
Cameron replied to Browne in tones which were audible also.
"Wait ! He is right not to be hurried. It is too great a cause to
be treated rashly. A wise man must be allowed the privilege to
think and decide for himself. In the case of a tiger like yourself,
Browne, you have only to be hungry to decide where you shall
dine."
"And I thank God that it is so. No long graces for me before
meat!"
The father meanwhile resumed his plea.
"You are silent, Walter. Do not answer me at all, if you lack
in faith and loyalty ! If you are touched by this treason, leave me !
But if not, think of these people about to be led blindfold, like
sheep to the slaughter. They tell me that but too many of them
are already won over by the cunning eloquence of this arch-traitor,
Drayton. Who, but yourself, is here to answer him before the
people? It belongs to your race and blood to do so; it belongs to
your profession that you should not be a laggard or a skulk at a
time when the rights of your sovereign are threatened! Our friends
here can give you proof, argument, and show that your duty."
"Why do not our friends here undertake this duty themselves?"
demanded the youth, more quickly than usual. "Here is Colonel
Browne, who has never shown himself slow of speech when he
has anything on his mind; nay, he somewhat prides himself, as I
hear, on his capacity as a preacher to the people, and his severe