Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIX: The Black Dog >> Page 185

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Page 185

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription J OSCELYN185
troubled. She could see that Walter's trouble was of the brain, the
thought, not of the mere body. That seemed without ailment, for,
though less vigorous than formerly, and somewhat thinner, his con-
valescence, from his recent attack, might be considered complete.
It was then a trouble of the mind, and its growth was of the last
few hours, and these had been spent mostly with Angelica, and the
inference was a reasonable one, that it had its birth in some communi-
cation which Angelica had made to him.
What could be the nature of that communication, which could pro-
duce so sudden and striking an effect?
Grace's logic brought her to this question; but there it was grav-
eled. That she could conjecture nothing beyond, increased the trou-
bles of her own thoughts. She knew the silliness of her sister; her
childish and thoughtless vanity; and the only conclusion which she
could reach was that Walter was becoming tired of the prattle of his
pretty puppet that she had somehow exposed herself and that his
gravity and uneasiness originated in his vexation at an engagement
from which he desired to be free.
This conclusion was matter of disquiet enough to the good sister,
who, whatever the follies of Angelica and they occasioned her con-
stant annoyances was yet her sister, the beautiful child whom they
had all so unwisely petted, because of her beauty. As the youngest,
too, she had been the nursling of Grace herself, as well as of the
mother.
Grace saw the two young people leave the house for their evening
ramble, with many misgivings. The uncertainties of her thoughts
for all these conjectures had passed through her brain without set-
tling, or taking definite feature were so many additional sources of
disquiet, that they could fix no where, for it never once occurred to
the poor girl that her sister could be so foolish, so wickedly foolish,
as to breathe to her lover a syllable of that most unfortunate passage
between herself and Stephen, in which she had been the sole offender.
Grace could only retire to the solitude of her chamber once more,
and lose, in her own heart-sorrows the anxieties which she felt for
the two happy lovers. They ought to be happy, for had not the
course of true love run thus far smoothly? Alas ! even Grace could
understand how it is that thousands, give them all that they desire,