Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XV: Major Alison—The Orchard Scene >> Page 147

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Page 147

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN147
becomes almost insupportable. Thus, when I approach her on the
sofa, she leaves me; she flies the room; she retires for the night; no
doubt to conceal her agitating emotions perhaps to weep in secret
over the strangely delicious feeling of her bliss! It must be so! She
has hitherto had no experience, and she flutters, like the bird, for the
first time in the snares of the fowler. I know the sex! I know all her
symptoms. She will be mine! She is eligible very beautiful indeed !
�as fine a looking creature as I ever saw; of good blood and breed,
and very comfortable havings. What more! John Alison! "�here he
apostrophized himself�" John Alison, it is high time that you were
comfortably settled! Thou hast been too long a rover! Thou must
wive ! It is the fate which we must arrive at, soon or late, and what
better can'st thou do than accept this damsel, who loves thee, or will
soon do so; who hath incomparable beauty; a goodly name, and such
havings as are calculated to render life passable, even when in bad
company? It must be so! It is settled. The question is one of time
only, and we are making progress daily."
He combed his long hair, beard and whiskers with much care, and
proceeded to bind them up for the night in a copious silken bandanna
of many folds.
"Yes," said he, "it is settled! The die is cast. I am decided!�and
yet it makes one feel monstrous queer emotions, the idea of making
a change so complete in all one's habits and relations. What! sur-
render one's liberty; become bound only to one household; one
woman; to need to consider another before you can pass out of your
own dwelling; go upon a journey; dine with a friend; fight a duel;
engage in a flirtation! Very queer, indeed! Had I not better consider
of this sacrifice a little longer? There need be no hurry, of course.
She will keep ; and, knowing me by this time, it is very certain she
will wait ! As for the old fellow, I have him under my thumb ! The
old aunt is something of a puzzle; very civil, yes; very kind and
considerate; but she sometimes has a dd suspicious twinkle in
her grey eye, as if she was peeping over at my cards, and knew exactly
how many trumps I had left. I must take care to keep my hand in
the shadow! As for this youngster, it is clear we are not the men for
each other; we shall never get on together. But, as I shall not marry
him, when I take his sister, I shall see, when I have got her, that he
mars not me, nor meddles with her! In the meantime, however, it