Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIII: How the Strife Began >> Page 130

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 130JOSCELYN
present. It was reserved for the insanely aroused victim, in the pres-
ent instance, to present it, for the first time, to their minds in all its
horrid naked enormities.
The silence of Drayton, itself he, usually so prompt of speech, so
ready to answer, so capable of all the glozing arts of the orator
seemed to give confirmation to all the extremes and charges of his
assailant. For the moment he was dumb.
"And this is what we are to expect," shouted Kirkland, "if we dare
to differ from these nabobs, who would tear down the throne of Great
Britain! Here they come amongst us with smooth speeches all lies
�about the rights and liberties for which we are to shake off our
allegiance to the King, and crown them with the power which shall
make dogs of our people. We owe this to your fine speeches ! "
He shook his fist at Drayton, as he spoke. Drayton replied:
"He owes it to his own ! "
"Liar!" cried Browne, pressing forward. "It was you who set the
hounds upon me. You have been the instigator of all the mischief
that now threatens the lives and safety of all good men in this coun-
try�you, with your accursed smooth speeches, about your scoun-
drelly congresses, and councils and committees, that sit in Charleston,
and hatch conspiracies against the laws, that you may ride into power,
and rule as the tyrants of the land. What prevents that we seize upon
you now in the very act of your treasons, and sacrifice you to the peace
and safety of the country that we give you a taste of that punish-
ment which has been bestowed on me?"
"You will try it at your peril," was the answer. "Hear me, my
friends," continued Drayton, addressing the assemblage. "I deeply
regret the outrage which has been perpetrated on this man. I now
bitterly regret that any such outrages should ever be committed, since
the claims of humanity should be always paramount, and no cause
should require her sacrifice. We have all, perhaps, grievously sinned
in this particular. This cruel punishment, for mere differences of
opinion, has been but too frequently resorted to. You, too, well know
how commonly it has prevailed in this very region; and unhappily,
the better taught among our people have but too frequently, in their
own passions, let loose the wolf-dogs of society against those whom
they held to be deserving of any punishment, where the laws did not
readily reach the offender. We are all but too apt, in the moment of