Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XVII: April Contrasts—Smiles and Tears >> Page 170

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 170JOSCELYN
self, as we already know, from the house of Mrs. Kirkland, to lodg-
ings at the dwelling of his rustic friend, Dick Marvin. He had, only
the day before, written briefly, but kindly and respectfully, to Mrs.
Kirkland, to say that Dick's wagon would come, on the second day
following, for his goods and chattels. Accordingly, Marvin himself
appeared, soon after breakfast, and his wagon was drawn into the
It was with sad eyes and a sinking heart that poor Grace attended
Marvin to the chamber which she had learned to venerate, and
pointed out those articles for removal, belonging to Stephen, each of
which, as she beheld it borne forth, filled her heart with a pang, as
if at the departure of some precious friend. And there were the books
his little library how precious to her, as to their owner. From
these books he read, almost nightly, to their little circle. From his
melodious readings she had imbibed her first sense of the wonderful
and various powers and graces of the grand orchestra maestro, Shaks-
peare. So the notes of the cathedral organ, as struck by the hands of
the heaven-inspired Milton, had been made first to reach her soul;
and next to him was the Gothic harp, of blended chivalry and nature,
which owned its master in the stately and sedate, yet fancy-loving
muse of Edmund Spenser.
And these were all gone! And he who had taught her where the
true charm lay in the strains of each of these sovereign singers, he,
too, was gone; driven cruelly from the house which he had made to
her so delicious, and which, in her secret heart, she felt devoutly that
she might have made to him so happy. Alas! alas ! for that heart-
blindness of man, which seeks for its food in a bird song, and wanders
off, following a will-of-the-wisp, in the fancied conquest of a star.
Alas! for poor Grace, and doubly alas! for the big heart and the
crippled spirit, as well as form of poor Stephen Joscelyn!
When all the things were gone, meted out to Marvin, by the girl's
own hands, book by book, with sometimes a tear falling upon the
almost sainted cover, she hurried to her chamber, and locking the
door, threw herself upon the couch, and gave full freedom to the
tearful flood that would no longer be suppressed.
There was a knock at the door, she wiped her eyes hastily, choked
down the suffocating sobs, and opened to admit her mother. A quick
glance of the eye revealed to the mother the tears that still would