Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIX: The Black Dog >> Page 186

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 186

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription I86JOSCELYN
will yet not suffer themselves because of their own perverse vanities
to be made happy, either by gods or men.
The lovers this time changed their route of ramble. Angelica
guided the movements of both. They traversed for a while the main
road, then entered the large domain of Galphen, the great Indian
trader of Carolina, sped along the heights of Redclyffe, and wound
down its gorges into a beautiful amphitheatre, scooped out, as it were,
from the surrounding hills, at the bottom of which, shaded by the
loveliest of groves, bubbled forth a fountain called Indian Spring, the
waters of which, cold and clear, were daily visited by the wayfarer,
who slaked his thirst from the rude wooden basin, which received
the waters, drinking from the calabash, or gourd, which hung above
it in the wind, depending from the branch of a shady oak. Here,
sitting beside the fountain, hearkening its undersong the while, the
traveler rested, while he drew forth and fed from his little wallet of
biscuit and smoked venison. There is a charm in thus feeding, in such
a scene, which sweetens appetite, and wakens up an Oriental fancy in
the most sterile brains.
For such pilgrims, so seeking this gracious fountain, rude seats had
been provided. But nothing had yet been done by art for the full
development of the susceptibilities in nature. The scene sufficed of
itself, and the eye naturally beheld it with satisfaction; and, in the
coolness, the shade, the quiet, the simple song of the bubbling waters
a pleasant monotone the rustling of leaves, as the rising breezes
swept down the gorges, the sad cooing of doves in the neighboring
thickets, or the occasional carol of the mockbird, making sudden gy-
rations in air in correspondence with the gush of music from his
throat the heart grew soothed, while all the fancies, awaking to-
gether, furnished for the scene the crowning halo of romance !
In such a scene the thoughtful person does not speak. We take for
granted that each feels for himself as we feel, and do not need that
either should cry out his raptures. The mere exclamation : "How
sweet how beautiful!" seems to mar the sense of enjoyment. We
leave the scene itself to speak for itself, and the sufficient utterance
for thought lies in our own consciousness of feeling. The falling of
the "Indian Spring" might have had some soothing influence even
upon the morbid and vexed spirit of Walter Dunbar, but it was not
allowed to appeal to his eyes, nor sing from its waters to his breast.