Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter II: Malcontents in Council >> Page 20

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 20

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 20JOSCELYN
The youth answered vaguely. Indeed for some moments he had
not seemed to listen to him, being apparently wrapt, if not lost,
in his own troubled thoughts.
While Cameron was yet speaking, Browne had released the old
man, and both had returned to the table, at which the former
quietly reseated himself, and began drumming on it with his
fingers. The father meanwhile followed with his eyes every move-
ment of his son, who had now begun rapidly to pace the chamber
to and fro, evidently under the pressure of emotions which he
found it difficult to subdue. He had mistaken his own strength.
His sister knew it, or rather knew his weakness, better than him-
self, when, at the porch, she exhorted him to firmness during the
coming interview.
The father at length rising from his seat, and staggering rather
than walking, approached his son, arrested his rapid pace, and
suddenly threw his arms about his neck, exclaiming, in husky and
almost choking accents :
"Oh! my son ! my son ! You will not break your poor old
father's heart. How I have loved you what hopes I have set on
you your honor, your talents, your loyalty to king and country
you do not know. Do not disappoint all my hopes. Do not shame
the old man's loyalty by your own failure. You will speak to our
people. You will seek to keep them from this mad rebellion. You
will answer this man, Drayton; you will confound his insidious
arguments, his cunning arts, his glozing eloquence. You have it
in you to do so. You, too, can be eloquent on such a theme. I
know what you can do if you will but try. Tell me that you will
speak to him and to the people that you will try that you will
do your best for king and country. You may not think altogether
as I do; but you do not, cannot go with these wild fanatics, who,
in the name of liberty, are training the minds of men to anarchy,
and precipitating a general ruin on the country. Even if their
argument be right, we are not prepared for the independence they
court, nor for the struggle which is essential to secure it. These
surely are your opinions no less than mine. Tell me, my son, that
you will speak. Say it, O ! say it, if you would not have me
madden if you would not have me fling you from my bosom,
with the old man's curse upon your head."