Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XVIII: Pretty, but Pernicious Prattle >> Page 176

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 176JOSCELYN
"It is life over death, in death, through death ! It is always a living
thing. It is a possession which I would not willingly lose."
"Well, if Martin Joscelyn does really love you so, I'm very sure
that Stephen does not."
"How is it sure? I have no reason to doubt that, though Stephen
may not love me, as Martin does, for there has never been any inti-
macy between us, he can have no unkind feeling for me is friendly,
though not intimate."
"But I know better, Walter ! I think my first dislike to him arose
from what he said about you."
"Ah! what did he say?"
"It was one night, when Martin spent the night with us and
Stephen. We were all talking about the people in Augusta, and
Martin brought up your name, and spoke well of you."
"I'm sure of that, if he spoke of me at all."
"But Stephen shook his head, and compared you to Macbeth in
the play."
"To Macbeth ! "
He might well be astonished.
"Yes, he said, like Macbeth, or, as Lady Macbeth said of her hus-
band : `He is infirm of purpose; he can never succeed in anything.' "
Walter now looked graver than ever. Angelica went on.
"Oh! I was so vexed ! I didn't know what to answer, so I said
nothing; but the next day, when Stephen was at the school-house, I
searched his library, and found the play, and there I read it all, and
I found that Macbeth was a murderer and a monster of wickedness.
And to compare you to such a wretch ! "
Walter could not help but smile, though he was somehow very
much saddened by what he heard.
"Well ! well ! what then?"
"I could see that he did not like you, from that, and to compare
you with such a monster, put me in a great rage. I longed to tell
him about it, but I did not and then´┐Ż"
Here she paused, as if doubtful how to proceed.
"Well?" he enquired, "what next? Is there anything more,
"Yes; several times he spoke of you afterwards, and always, it
seemed to me, slightingly. But at length he came home from the
great meeting at Augusta, and when mamma asked about the speak-