Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIX: The Black Dog >> Page 182

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Page 182

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 182JOSCELYN
sight as she makes of herself every Sunday in church, with her flowers
and her flounces, and her feathers, makes everybody laugh ! "
But Walter Dunbar did not laugh. He did not even hear. It was
lucky for him, in the present state of his mind, that she said nothing
which demanded his attention; and she was one of those vain prat-
tlers who are sufficiently well satisfied if there be an audience,
whether the parties present be listeners or not.
And so, Angelica, quite satisfied, they reached the house, and found
the lunch in waiting. Grace, poor, dutiful girl, had made all the
preparations for all other parties, during their absence, and had then
retired once more to her own room, and to that solitude in which
she could find no relief, but in which she could hope for security.
Walter Dunbar had no appetite. He ate nothing. Angelica had
lost nothing of her's; and it was only after pacifying the first de-
mands of the wolf that she discovered the short-comings of Walter
�his slowness to discover the virtues in Grace's biscuit; the excellence
of Grace's preserved damsons; the merits in Grace's marvels; and
the marvelous perfection of Grace's blackberry wine. But though
saying grace over all these edibles, while commending them to the
appetite of her lover, she was careful not to say the name of Grace
once. Vanity, the very silliest, has yet a peculiar cunning of its own.
And so again, Angelica, after lunch, persuaded Walter that he needed
rest, that his walk must have fatigued him, and, gratified for the
suggestion, as a means of escape, he gladly seized upon the chance
afforded him to retire to his chamber.
His departure was the signal to Angelica to seek her's also.
Lunch implies sleep, at least in summer the one succeeds the
other as the sparks fly upward and dinner succeeds the siesta; and,
after that, by way of sentiment, the love-making follows as a course,
properly rounding off the solids. Alas! for the sentiment, when such
are the ordinary entertainments in the rounds of life.
Walter Dunbar did not sleep. For two hours previously he had
been conscious of an unvarying buzzing in his ears, to which he had
to yield them, under a social necessity; but he had found it a terrible
task to do so. But Angelica, having much to say, was quite satisfied
with a companion who exacted no attention in return.
Now that he was alone, with no drumming or buzzing in his ears,
his memory and thoughts became concentrated upon those portions