Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XI: The Crisis >> Page 103

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Page 103

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN103
"No! You shall not! I will not suffer it, nor would the physicians
admit you. Do you stay where you are."
"What!�not see to my own son, and he
"Dying, perhaps! But for that very reason, you must not see him,
nor he you. Were he to hear your voice now, in his delirium, the
effect would probably be fatal ! "
"Great God! His father's voice!"
"Brother Dunbar my poor, headlong and headstrong brother!
I have heard what has probably not reached your ears ! It was your
voice your harsh and cruel language that felled him on the
ground at the barbacue, and which now fills his brain with delirium!
Yes!�his father's voice; he was felled by it as with a shot! He must
not hear it again, my brother, until he shall no longer fear it as a
mortal terror. But let me go now, and do you take your warning.
Go to your knees, and pray God that the wounds with which you
have stricken that poor boy, may not prove mortal ! "
The manner in which this was spoken was admirably adapted to
the terms employed. It was sad, very sad, indeed, and conveyed its
full lesson of rebuke; but it was not reproachful. She could pity the
old man as well as his victim, and, while teaching him a needful
truth, in respect to himself, could do so without any gratuitous
cruelty. There are two ways at least of probing a deep wound, and
the differences between the two processes are shown daily in the
manipulation of the different surgeons. Miss Janet disappeared,
while the old man covered his face with his hands, and staggered
back into the parlor. With a groan, close followed by an oath, he
exclaimed:
"What a miserable fool and brute I have been! My son, my son,
forgive me! I know not what I said. But, no! I said nothing, nothing
to do harm! I was vexed, goaded, stung, mortified, maddened, and
tore myself away, but surely I said nothing! Did not that fellow,
Joscelyn, tell me something of this? He spoke about brain fever.
Yes ! and blisters! and�O! what a passionate old fool I am!�my
son! my son! Come back to me, Walter my son!�my son ! "
And, groaning in the bitterness of his self-reproach and apprehen-
sion, he threw himself prostrate on the floor, covering his face with