Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXI: Grace's Billet >> Page 205

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Page 205

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN205
To gain time is a great deal towards the cooling off the passions. A
day or two, and the angry feelings will subside, and more prudent
thoughts will arise, to arrest any rash conduct which he may now
meditate. Nay, do not answer me, Angelica ! I am not able, it seems,
to persuade our mother or yourself that there is anything to be appre-
hended between Walter and Stephen Joscelyn. But I am sure that
there is trouble, if not danger, to grow from what you have said to
Walter. I know it must be so from what I know of these men, and
I warn you that it will need all our woman's wit to keep them from
quarreling, if not fighting. Heed my words ! There is no harm in
taking proper precautions, at least for a day or two, so that we can
keep the parties from meeting. See to it, then! You have sufficient
right to be with Walter continually, and hitherto it has been your
pleasure and his that you should be so. Let it so continue. Your own
report of his conduct yesterday evening, coming home from `Indian
Spring,' ought to be enough for you. I tell you that he is fighting
with himself now, every hour, to keep down from our sight those
passions which are raging in his breast, and which you, my sister,
have so foolishly enkindled. I speak to you now in the presence of
our mother. From this time forth I shall never seek to counsel you
except in her presence. On this particular subject you shall never be
taxed to listen to my words again."
She then left the room, and retired to her mother's chamber.
The solemnity of her speech, its earnestness, the loftiness of her
manner, so unusual with her, so seldom if ever seen by either of
them before, now deeply impressed them both. The mother heark-
ened with surprise, and in utter silence. Angelica was absolutely
awed. She had, more than once, endeavored to interpose, and reply
to Grace, but the uplifted finger of the latter sufficed to keep her
silent; and the silence continued for some little while after Grace
had gone, neither well knowing what to say. When, at length, the
mother spoke, she did so in language which was rather new from
her to the ears of Angelica.
"You have been a very bad girl, Angey. You have acted very
foolishly in telling Walter about your quarrel with Stephen, and
you have not told him the truth ! Grace is right ! Stephen never said
a word against Walter or his speech!
"But, mother,