Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter VII: The Barbacue >> Page 66

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 66JOSCELYN
consideration that's upon you to show the tongue you carry in your
head. Blaze away now with a rip that shall make these fellows snort
agin, with the feeling of a righteous combination."
"Devil take you, Dick ! Let go, and let me 'out! Haven't you had
speech-making enough for to-day?"
But Dick was tenacious of his hold upon horse and rider, and the
crowd grew vociferous. Stephen found that his own school urchins,
several of whom had accompanied their fathers, contributed, in no
small degree, to his arrest, and their juvenile pipes kept up the
clamor of his name, much longer, perhaps, than those of larger
He was evidently not to escape. Nor was he a man of affectation.
That fiery nature had been more than once overboiling, at fever heat,
during the proceedings of the day; and the full mind, the ardent
temperament, and the copious fancy, were usually too cogent with
him to suffer him to hesitate where circumstance itself seemed to
interpose against it.
He obeyed. He burst into speech with an epigrammatic sentence.
He seized upon the salient points of his subject. He made them
dramatic. He depicted the British monarch as a Dutchman, who,
with short arms and a bulky body, was striving to overreach a world !
He showed the enormity of the attempt to rule the people of a vast
and foreign hemisphere by the monarch of a few island parishes. He
made a mock of this, and of all the proceedings of Kings, Lords and
Commons, with their big wigs meant to bolster up their empty heads.
He took the details of Drayton's speech, and made a vivid dramatic
sketch from each. Taxation without representation was lauded as a
judicious process of paying one's debts out of other men's pockets;
subscribing to the purse of St. Peter, by picking the pockets of all the
other saints, then swindling the Church of Christ out of the whole
deposit, and dividing it equally among the heathen gods, of whom
Bacchus, Mammon and Venus were the most potent still, though
passing, each of them, under the name of a virtue or a saint! But the
satire ceased when he came to exhibit Stuart and Cameron among
the Indians, presenting the weapons of war with the torch, the toma-
hawk, and the scalping-knife. Of these agents, he made a terrific
But to describe the speech were impossible.