Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XX: Grace's Discovery, and What She Got By It >> Page 192

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER XX.
Well might Walter Dunbar wonder, when he thought of Stephen
Joscelyn, and the energy and activity of that brain, which, rising
superior to the physical deformity, or seeming disability, from which
he suffered, could address itself with so much ease and flexibility to
such a variety of occupations; and this last, that of a Captain of
dragoons, apparently so greatly in conflict with his physical condition !
But a rare vitality, a wonderfully active mind, a will superior to all
conditions, and resolute against opposition, constituted the secret of
Stephen Joscelyn.
Nothing could surpass his activity in his new vocation in the cavalry.
He now rode incessantly, in the prosecution of his present enterprise.
All the intervals of his time from school-keeping were thus em-
ployed. In the course of three weeks, he had organized a corps of
no less than thirty light horse. He had infused the military spirit
among all his neighbors. He picked his men with care, and such was
his popularity, such the confidence of the people in his honor and
good sense, that he was permitted to make his own appointment of
These he drilled with care. Dick Marvin became one of his Lieu-
tenants, and little Dick, his son, was, to his great delight, promoted
as he could wind the horn with good effect to be the bugler of
the corps. Several of the taller school-boys of sixteen, seventeen and
eighteen, were permitted, with the sanction of their parents, to enter
the troop. And there were no better or braver troopers in it. We
shall probably hear of them in times to come. Stephen's practice was
thus continued day by day, almost as soon as school hours were over.
By night, he himself studied in such military manuals as could then
be procured. Where books failed him, he strove, by dint of thinking,
to work out the processes for himself. He communicated with, and