Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter IV: Grace and Angelica >> Page 43

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Page 43

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN43
tating, and she knew not then the secret of her own emotions, and
it more than once occurred to her that she might be suffering from
some secret infirmity of constitution �a heart-disease, perhaps, of
which she had sometime heard as having once before been the case
in her mother's family !
Verily, she was right! It was a heart-disease of which she suffered,
and we are not sufficiently the physician to say where she will find
her remedy.
Meanwhile, Stephen Joscelyn has hobbled to his little chamber,
in a shed-room, on the ground floor. It was an humble lodging-
place; the walls unplastered; the floor uncarpeted; the room poorly
furnished, with its truckle bedstead, its homely set of drawers, or
bureau, its pine table, and washstand of the same material, and its
few oaken chairs, of country make, with seats of oaken splits, rudely
intertwisted. And there was a little book-case in the room, containing
some hundred volumes, among which were a few treasures from the
masters �a Homer, of Pope; an ZEschylus, a Shakspeare and a Mil-
ton. There were also certain of the essayists, of recent reputation.
It was not a very valuable collection in the eyes of a book-worm, but
it had been made to yield all its values and they were great enough
for any student to its possessor. The books had been all well
thumbed, and their contents were nearly all well stored away in
memory.
Over the chimney hung a broadsword which the father of Stephen
had used in the Indian wars of the colony. The ambitious son had
trained himself to its use also, while on horseback. A long rifle was
suspended above it on supports made of the antlers of the buck,
firmly fixed to the naked studs of the wall.
And these were all the objects of interest that met the eye in the
chamber of Stephen Joscelyn. He seemed at this moment to regard
none of them; but, throwing himself into a chair, he appeared to
surrender himself to a moody humor, chewing the cud rather of sad
and bitter than of grateful thought. His eye watched the distorted
limb which was crossed upon the knee of its more noble fellow. He
laid his hand upon it, and the cloud grew darkly over his brow. At
moments he spoke in murmurs, and the subject of his meditations
was to be gathered from his occasional ejaculations, which seemed to
be extorted from him by a sense of pain more than usually acute.