Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter II: Malcontents in Council >> Page 17

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Page 17

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN17
inflexibility of purpose. He alone can do so effectually who has
full faith in his own argument."
The father rose impatiently.
"And what if it be their duty, and what if they should shrink
from their duty? You do not mean to tell me that you would
shrink from yours? Can it be, my son, that you doubt of the duty
to your king that your loyalty fails at a moment when treason
is rampant and spreading over the land? Great God, shall it be
that son of mine has drank of the deadly poison?"
The tremor of the old man was so great that he grasped the
table with one hand for his support, while with the other he smote
it heavily at each spoken sentence! His eyes glared savagely upon
his son, whose face began to lose all its former immobility, and
to exhibit unwonted signs of that emotion which had been hitherto
kept under close suppression within. In the meantime, and while
thus struggling with himself, the grim old ruffian, Browne, inter-
posed, and in a cool, phlegmatic manner, replied to Walter's pre-
vious question to himself and Cameron.
"You have rightly asked, Mr. Walter, of myself and Mr.
Cameron. He can, no doubt, answer for himself. On -my part, as
to my full faith in my own argument, that is for myself to feel
and know; and when I feel and know, I am not the man to suffer
any speech of mine to belie and make fool of my faith. I act up
to it, with tooth and nail, if necessary, and leave the consequences
to take care of themselves. That I do, and ever shall express my
convictions, freely and fearlessly, everybody who knows me will
readily believe; and, whatever comes of this business, you may be
sure that I shall take my proper cue at the proper time, and find
my proper place in the ranks for the fight. But I am no orator,
and have not that gift for public speaking, which you are said to
possess, quite as well as this man, Drayton. You may not have
had so much practice, but you are said to move people's feelings
when you speak, and that, I take it, is the first business of speaker
or preacher. Whether your father and friends are mistaken in your
opinions, in respect to this matter, I don't know, and hardly care;
but it does seem to me to be very strange if, considering who your
father is, and how you have been taught, you should now prove