Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIV: Brother and Sister >> Page 138

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Page 138

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 138JOSCELYN
His countenance rather repels confidence and provokes suspicion. But
his manners withal are soft and soliciting. He speaks in low tones,
and always with the air of one whose relations with you are especially
confidential. It was this peculiarity of the man which caused Walter
to dislike him from the first; especially when he found him sitting
closely beside his sister, Annie, on the sofa, his head half inclined
towards her as he spoke, and his tones so subdued as to reach no
other ears in the apartment.
Walter thought of his friend, Martin Joscelyn, and grew jealous,
at once, on his account, nay, he grew jealous of his sister jealous
and angry and summoned her to a private reckoning, on the strange-
ness, if not significance, of this newly-born intimacy with a stranger,
and one, too, who seemed so very willing to presume upon it.
"And what would you have me do, Walter? He is the guest of
our father, and seems to possess his confidence."
"But that is no good reason, Annie, why he should have yours."
"And who says that he has?"
"It looks very like it!"
"Perhaps so; and I confess I do not like that it should wear this
appearance, but "
"Ah! you do not?"
"No! it distresses me at times. But I see not well, so long as he
forbears offence "
"But this is offence ! "
"Not so, my dear brother. It is, perhaps, not good manners, and
it may argue presumption; but, on the other hand, it may be simply
a way that he has."
"Gentlemen, in society, are required to have good ways and good
manners, and it is no excuse for presumption or impertinence to say
that it is only a person's way."
"Very true, Walter; but it would be an error to describe this per-
son's conduct either as impertinent or presumptuous. It is a little too
free and familiar for my taste, I confess; but does not actually pass
beyond the bounds of propriety."
"I will take him to task on the subject! I will set him right!"
"You will do no such thing, my good brother," answered the girl,
now very earnestly, and with something like alarm in her manner;
putting her hand on her brother's arm, and fixing upon him a stead-