Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXII: Escape >> Page 207

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER XXII.
In a surprisingly short moment, Angelica had put on the sweetest
face in the world, and joined Walter at the foot of the stairs, with
the smiling of an angel. She was not without her cleverness. In
place of wisdom, she had a plentiful supply of cunning, and was a
mistress of that ready art which can veil its secrets promptly, keep
its utterance, at all events, from the tell-tale countenance, and sub-
stitute, at a moment's warning, for the demoniac glare of hate, the
sweet, wooing solicitude of an expression which beams only with love.
Happy art, in a world where society itself imposes upon most per-
sons the necessity of walking in a mask, and making of fashion a
disguise for falsehood.
The two went forth together into the garden, where they were
joined, after awhile, by good Mrs. Kirkland.
Grace, meanwhile, was in her chamber, suffering somewhat from
a little case of conscience which compelled her to self-examinings,
which did not seem to result satisfactorily to herself. Had she not
conveyed a falsehood, purposely, to Walter Dunbar, when she re-
ferred, for the condition of her mouth, to her own fault? That was
the question. She was guilty of evasion, doubtless. But was it not
really her own fault that the mouth was broken? Had she not pro-
voked her sister to violence? Had she not used strong and offensive
language? Had she not charged her with false-speaking and slander,
and though the charge was justified by the truth, was it proper and
becoming in her to make it?
These were the questions.
Was she not taught to beware that offence should not arise from
her? and was not the provocation which she gave to her sister,
offence?´┐Żand did not that offence prompt her to strike the blow,
and, consequently, was not the blow, so given, the fruit of her own