Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIV: Brother and Sister >> Page 141

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Page 141

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYNI4I
"What! he is a major, is he?"
"So father styled him only yesterday, and complimented him on
his commission."
"Then it has only just reached him. My father's compliments
could only be given, in that case, to an open loyalist so that we
know where he is in this struggle."
"And where my father assumes you to be also, Walter."
"Ah, my dear Annie, there is my black dog! It is that trouble that
haunts me, day and night, and takes from me strength and courage !
I know not where I am! I doubt ! I doubt ! I cannot free myself of
the doubts that assail me on every side. There is right and wrong on
both sides; neither seems to be unmixed of good and evil. My sym-
pathies are with my friends, rather than my father; and he would
coerce me by his authority, regardless of all argument. My opinions
are fully with neither party, and in some degree I concur with both.
The colonies our people, surely have their rights, but the crown has
its rights also; and I hold these rights to be the stronger, for that I
doubt if the colonies are yet quite strong enough to go alone; and
what is to bind these colonies together when the cohesive influence
of the crown shall be withdrawn?"
"But, Walter, the leaders in this popular movement do not medi-
tate separation from the crown."
"So they say; but it must come to that finally, should the first step
be taken, and should their united force be sufficient to resist the arms
of the crown in the event of war."
"But, is it likely that war will follow?"
"I fear it ; indeed it has begun already. King and Parliament have
both declared for coercion pride and interest, in them, unite to make
coercion seem the proper policy. There will be no effort at concilia-
tion, where one of the parties assumes its own strength to be supreme
and knows the other party to be feeble. In all such cases, pride be-
comes passion passion puts on the worst form of arrogance, and
turns a deaf ear to right, justice, reason, law all the securities of
states and empires. I know not where to turn and how to decide, and
my father leaves me no choice. His will "
"Have you none of your own, my dear brother?" and she looked
with eyes of intent inquiry into his own, as she asked the question.