Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XVIII: Pretty, but Pernicious Prattle >> Page 178

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription I78JOSCELYN
She did not design this she was simply a �fool!
Had she not been such, she would have seen the instant effect
which her revelations had produced upon her lover.
As we have said, the love-making was all over for that day; and
that was what she could not comprehend. With her, what she had
to prattle about, was speedily dismissed from her mind as soon as her
own string of prattle was finished.
But not so with Walter Dunbar. He was wounded to the quick.
His self-esteem, always doubly sensitive, in the case of one who is
conscious of infirmity of any sort, was savagely eager and passionately
resentful. To be spoken of in language of contempt, was not to be
forgiven or forgotten. In due degree, with the consciousness of de-
fect, will be the virulence with which we visit those who discover the
defect; and where our own consciousness is an ally of the discovery,
our anger at the discoverer is proportionately great.
Walter Dunbar, as we have said, had no more love-making for the
day. The silly girl at his side could not appreciate the result of her
own revelations. A creature, herself, of the merest impulse, things
went and came, transiently, without making much, if any, impression
upon her thoughts, though they did upon her feelings. She had to
justify herself, and she did so, without respect to any other consid-
erations.
Not so he.
Walter Dunbar was no fool. He was a man really of considerable
talents. He lacked, in some respects, of mind; but he was sensitive,
of delicate organization, and, but for a deficiency of will, would have
been a strong man. Of nervolymphatic temperament, he could arrive
at conclusions rightly, but never in time, and, with a certain conscious-
ness of this, he was apt to be equally slow and precipitate in action;
to hesitate where he should have leapt, and to rush headlong just
where he should pause to survey and consider. He was never just
where he should be in the moment of action. His training had some-
what conducted to this condition �a different training might have
had different results. But there was an inherent defect of character,
arising from an undue development of the feminine element in his
composition, which no education, perhaps, could have ever wholly
overcome; and, deficient in will, his self-esteem lacked that support