Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter X: The Old Tiger in His Den >> Page 93

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN93
to be the simple mouthpiece of his father and the other loyalists who
had succeeded in substituting their united will for his own. His heart,
as some one said justly, was not in sympathy with his mind. His heart
was honest, and his head weak, if not dishonest the natural disease
of professed politicians, and too much the case with persons engaged
in the legal profession, unless, indeed, they succeed in subduing and
making callous the sensibilities, when the pure intellect fully triumphs
over the moral, and the advocate shows himself equally able and
unscrupulous.
The struggle of these sensibilities, the want of sympathy with his
subject-argument, the sense of mortification following upon defeat,
and the savage anger of his father, all united to destroy Walter Dun-
bar's equilibrium. We have seen, from its effects upon him on the
ground, how acutely he suffered, and what nice sensibilities, morbidly
acute and aroused, were at work to baffle his powers, and, in some
degree, to discredit his manhood. We shall see that those effects were
not ended with the simple fainting fit which left him temporarily
senseless. From this he recovered after awhile, in the chamber of
Martin Joscelyn, and beneath the ministry of the physician. But in
recovering from this fit, it was not to recover his senses. His evi-
dence of consciousness was delirium. He raves ! His fever rages, and
his brain is threatened by the keen and tense strain which has been
made upon it. Joscelyn and his friend Marvin watch him all the rest
of that night, when they had helped to save Browne from the ferocity
of Hamilton's troopers. They had returned just in season to assist
the physician in getting the young man back into the bed from which
he had leaped in his delirium. By morning he had grown worse, and
in his anxiety Joscelyn had called in another physician. The two
shake their heads doubtfully, and when two physicians unite in shak-
ing their heads over a patient, his friends may, naturally enough,
apprehend the worst of results. By sunrise Martin Joscelyn has
mounted his horse, and is on his way to old Dunbar's house upon the
Sand Hills.
We have heard already that, hitherto, Martin Joscelyn has been
a frequent visitor at Dunbar's, nay more, it has been hinted to us
that he is something of a favorite with one member of the family
especially. We have been told that he was an intimate of Walter,
and from Walter himself, in conversation with his sister, we gather