Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIX: The Black Dog >> Page 190

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 190

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 190JOSCELYN
of him, because of his deformity; women despise him for the same
reason."
"Yes, indeed!" interposed Angelica.
"Hush!" said he. "You know not what you say. He is all this,
and this is nothing.
"But I !
"What's it, Walter?" as he squared himself round, and faced her.
"I! Look at me, Angelica Kirkland."
"Really, Walter, you scare me."
"I would not scare you," he said gently
"But, look at me ! "
"Well!"
""Do you see any deformity in me ! "
"Deformity in you, Walter. No! How should I? You are perfect.
You are the handsomest man in all the country."
"Ha! ha! ha!"
"Why do you laugh so ! "
"That you should be so blind! Me handsome! I tell you, girl, I
am terribly deformed in my own eyes, at least! Here now is this
person whom you scorn, whose love for you you felt to be an insult,
from whom the whole country has no expectations; yet this man,
crippled as he is loathed by women, and unloved by men is at
once schoolmaster, by which he frames the minds of future genera-
tions�lawyer, by which he retrieves the fortunes of widows orator,
by which he wins the applauses of the multitude, and he also, it
seems, can decide promptly in affairs of State; and he, a cripple, can
muster a troop of horse, performing, even for the emergencies of war.
Great God! what then am I? who can do nothing decide nothing,
satisfy nobody not even a father and yet, a most perfect man !
Have I not a right to hate him! Aye, and he shall feel my hate! I
have the power and the will, at least, for that! Should he not have
been satisfied with what he is, and may be, not sought to rob me of
that which is mine! Yes ! yes! Angelica, I am willing to believe as
you do! I am a very nay, as you say it �I am certainly a most
perfect man! Come ! "
"Walter, you do sometimes speak the strangest things ! Some-
thing's the matter with your head still."