Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIV: Brother and Sister >> Page 140

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Page 140

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 140JOSCELYN
"And so you are to entertain him, when he pleases to seat himself
beside you on the sofa his head inclining towards you, as if the next
moment he would lay it on your lap "
"Hush, Walter, don't be silly now."
"Ay, but it does look so sometimes, Annie; and then his whisper-
ing conversation in your ears alone."
"And how can I help that? You men are all so conceited, that it
seems to be taken for granted among you that any and every earnest
attention to a woman is sure to be successful in snaring her fancy."
"And, by Jupiter, there is but too much truth in the notion,
certainly it is a very common secret of success."
"Perhaps so, Walter; but please do not suffer your dislike of this
man to possess you with the notion that he either likes me or I him,
or that�"
"But I half suspect, Annie, that you do."
"You should know, Walter, better than anybody else, where, and
upon whom, my liking is placed, and should think better of your
sister should, by this time, know her better, than to indulge in any
such unjust suspicions."
"Ah! poor Martin! How would he relish to see this impudent
fellow sitting beside you on the sofa half reclining on it, his head
bent sideways, looking upwards in your face, and speaking in those
soft, subdued tones which are so pleasant in a woman's ears and fan-
cies, as so expressive of the humility in a lover's heart! How do you
think Martin would feel at beholding such a picture �a picture that
I myself am forced but too frequently to see ! "
"And to which I find it very painful to submit. But, as my father
beholds it, Walter, I do submit; and I trust that Martin's confidence
in me would not be lessened, were he even to behold it. One thing I
will say to you this relation between Mr. Alison and myself never
occurs except in the presence of the family, and it is never suffered
by me to continue very long. You will have remarked that, when he
assumes this attitude and manner, I very soon contrive, not only to
leave him, but to leave the room. Let this content you. You may
take for granted that I will not suffer any trespass on the part of any
guest, and shall be quite able, without your interference, to protect
myself against Major Alison's freedoms, whenever they shall become
impertinences."