Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter IV: Grace and Angelica >> Page 44

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 44JOSCELYN
"It is well, at least, that I can ride! Would that I could live on
horseback ! Well that I can use rifle and sabre; that the sinews and
the limbs are stronger than the soul! Yes, would that I could live
on horseback! This world of ours needs savage muscles, and reckless
hearts, and audacious courage, and daring enterprise. It does not yet
need books. It will not need them for a hundred years. There is a
manhood of the time, which demands no studies such as mine
which shares none of my cravings. I must exercise that sort of man-
hood, and the field seems opening to one as to others. I will make
myself feared, if I can, and make myself loved! I will prove that
deformity is not necessarily feebleness. They shall know that I am
strong strong of limb as of will and the Time is calling upon me
to go forth into those fields in which the athlete mocks the book-
worm ! I see what awaits us. The old struggle is to be renewed. The
ancient despotism is still at work, and Power will again take Justice
by the beard, as it has ever done before, and tear away the barriers
of Right and Law, and License shall break the head of Authority.
Everything shows it to me, a foregone conclusion! I will hear Dray-
ton to-morrow. He ought to know. He will probably deliver all that
is necessary for our people to know; and, if he be, indeed, the states-
man which he is said to be, it can scarce be possible that he shall
escape those conclusions which crowd upon me as inevitable. We
shall be all at once involved in the struggle of a dreadful war shall
be engaged in the deadly wrestle, and without a warning.
"And how, with such a prospect before my soul's vision, how
should I dream of home delights, and Peace beside the hearth, and
Love watching, and smiling welcome at the door!
"Love, indeed! Love ! And I to dream of love! Ha! ha!´┐Żand
with this!"
He smote the crippled limb as he spoke.
"No, no! give up such dreams, Stephen Joscelyn! It is no time,
nor are you the person, to be dreaming of 'Amaryllis in the shade,'
and twining fetters for the soul, from the `tangles of Naera's hair.'
No, no!"
"This is no world
To play with moments and to tilt with lips; We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns, And pass them current, too."