Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter V: Gathering of the Clans >> Page 56

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 56JOSCELYN
There had been murmurs among the loyalists at several of the
utterances of Drayton in this portion of his speech; and old Dunbar
and Browne had been eagerly thrusting some things into the ears of
Walter Dunbar. The young man heard them in moody silence, and
simply nodded his head. Martin Joscelyn eagerly watched his coun-
tenance. They were close friends, and the latter knew enough of
the young lawyer to begin to suspect the sort of use which the two
loyalist leaders had prepared to make of him. He whispered his
doubts to Stephen Joscelyn. But the latter replied:
"Impossible! He cannot be such a fool! It would ruin the poor
fellow forever ! "
"You will see! He has his weakness, and the old man is a terrible
despot. If I could only get to whisper a moment in his ears."
"If what you suspect be true, you are too late ! Keep where you
are, and leave him to work out his own deliverance if he can ! Hush ! "
This little dialogue, with the popular interruption, had occupied
but a few moments of time. Drayton had resumed, seizing, with the
promptness of a practised debater, upon the ejaculation of the crowd
as furnishing the key-note for a new beginning.
"Yes, my friends; you are right! Better fight for our possessions
than yield them to the spoiler! Better die a thousand deaths in the
harness for our liberties than tamely surrender them into the hands
of the tyrant ! But I trust that no such necessity awaits us. Indeed I
could promise you that you would escape from all the dangers of
war would emerge from this contest with all your rights intact and
compact with all your securities of property and right and law, if,
as one man, you will unite in the common cause! Let the Parliament
of Great Britain but understand that the people of America have but
one voice, and that they unite in one great determination to assert
their rights, and the usurpation will quickly cease ! But, unhappily,
there is not that degree of union among us, in sentiment, policy and
opinion, which is essential for producing this effect. The people and
Parliament of Great Britain are encouraged in their aggressions by
the traitorous counsels which they receive from America. There are
among us, I regret to say, but too many pensioned and malignant
wretches who feed their own venomous natures, while they stimulate
to daily usurpations that government to which they look for pay.
These are our worst enemies! These are they, the very canker in the