Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XVII: April Contrasts—Smiles and Tears >> Page 163

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Page 163

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN163
"Oh! you creature ! You will kill me! And see what you've done
with my beautiful ruff and neckerchief! You'll have to give me
another, Walter, and it must be a beauty."
"Oh! you shall have a dozen, only no more reproaches of Annie
and Aunt Janet. I tell you, foolish girl, it was their nursing that
saved my life."
"And I tell you mine would have done the same thing mine and
mamma's."
"No! no! You'd have killed me. You couldn't have kept that little
Italian tongue of yours still for a moment, and I couldn't have borne
any excitement, Angey. Why, child, I had brain fever ! "
"Oh! that was all pretence, Walter. How could you have had
brain fever, only from making a speech, and you a lawyer, too, whose
business it is to make speeches?"
His face became white, then purple! That allusion to his luckless
speech was not calculated to call up pleasant memories. He put her
from him, and she beheld the sudden grave change in his counte-
nance; but, with that levity of habit, which was so much her girlish
characteristic, she would still harp upon the one offensive string.
"Oh! it bothers you, does it? You don't like to hear of it! You
want me to think you a very great man, that can't fail in anything!
But, you are not perfect, Master Walter; you are not the very great
man you think yourself."
He still looked annoyed. His self-esteem made him uneasy; and,
seeking to change the subject, he asked abruptly :
"Where's your mother and Grace, Angey?"
"What! You're tired of me already? What do you want with
them? They'll come in when it suits them; and, let me tell you,
mother will be in no hurry to see you. She was terribly vexed with
Miss Janet and Papa Dunbar, when they turned us from the door,
and I was vexed, too, and so broken-hearted that I vowed never to
speak to you again. Never ! never ! never ! "
"Pretty Poll ! " said he, caressing her.
"Now, don't you be laughing at me, Walter."
"Do I look like laughing?"
"No! you are looking like the great bear which you are. I don't
believe you, Walter. I don't believe you have as much love for me
as would lie on the point of a needle."