Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XVII: April Contrasts—Smiles and Tears >> Page 167

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Page 167

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN167
"You are not always so thoughtless, Miss Grace," said the other,
glancing sharply at the unconsciously offending sister, and hurrying
up to her own chamber, where, for an hour she will sit, hand in lap,
looking out upon the pleasant landscape, while brooding over the
prettiest butterfly fancies that were ever engendered in the sunshine
of a thoughtless brain. And so brooding, as the soft, mild airs of the
south float in through the lattice, she will gradually sink into a muse,
which shall become a slumber, from which she will awaken only to
be disturbed with the difficulty of choosing the most charming cos-
tume with which to please the eye of a lover.
Meanwhile, Walter, too, will have slept needing sleep, indeed,
not only because of the fatigue of his morning canter, but because of
the few hours which he could appropriate to sleep during the previ-
ous night.
He awakens to find Mrs. Kirkland quietly sitting in her oaken
rocking-chair, and busied, spectacles on nose, with her basket of work
beside her, and the half knitted stocking growing beneath her hands.
Grace next will enter, in garments as homely as her face, but neat
and well made; and she will pass to and fro, from one room to the
other, while she attends to the affairs of the household, and duly
prepares all things for dinner. She mingles, while passing, in the
chat which goes on between her mother and Walter; but with stray
sentences only. It is only when the hour of dinner is approaching,
that Angelica reappears upon the scene; gliding in like a sylph, with
all htr charms in full color, and showing in the brightest vestments
of her wardrobe. She is all smiles, and she glides at once to the sofa,
takes her seat beside Walter, puts her hand upon his shoulder, looks
lovingly into his face, hopes that he has recovered from his fatigue,
and assures him that she would not have left him for the world, and
would have been with him long before, but that she would not dis-
turb his slumbers! Dear little thing she said nothing of her own !
And, as he gazed upon her exquisite beauty of face, and grace of
person, he had no misgivings. His eye was a false medium to his
mind, and his judgment was blinded by his sense of the beautiful.
He surrendered himself to his fancies, to the sensuously susceptible
of his nature, and the warm, fond kiss, from her exquisitely fashioned
mouth, bestowed with a fairy laughter, the moment her mother had