Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXII: Escape >> Page 208

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 208JOSCELYN
fault unjustifiable, no doubt, in Angelica, but properly incurred by
her?
The sweet creature was not a very subtle casuist, perhaps, but in
her very meekness she justified herself for the seeming evasion of the
truth of which she had been guilty. It was no evasion of the truth.
It was her offence that occasioned the blow, and so the blow came of
her own fault.
This question of conscience having been settled in her mind, she
addressed herself to the household avocations, which the present cares
of her mother and sister, in occupying the attention of their guest,
had devolved almost entirely upon herself. But she did not the less
give an eye to them also. She beheld the lovers go forth into the
garden; she saw them, at length, joined by her mother, and became
comparatively easy in mind on the subject of her previous fears, espe-
cially as Walter did not seem to betray any restiveness, or desire to
leave the premises.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Kirkland, adopting all the suggestions of Grace,
even though she might have thought them useless and unnecessary
precautions, engaged the ears of Walter, now with her peach and
apple orchards, and the varieties of wild grapes, to which her late
husband had given special attention. Her peaches, in particular, were
subjects of endless details. How to graft, bud, top and twine; how
to protect from the "borer;" by what process to persuade the fruit
tO grow large enough to fill a saucer; and a thousand secrets of art
and culture, not forgetting some mysterious modes of operation,
which argued much more of sorcery than science. Vegetables next,
the squash, green peas, potatoes, the gardens and the fields ; upon
all these she could and did expatiate, with all the enthusiasm of a
successful country wife. Her dome, the wines of grape and black-
berry; her brandies of plum, and percimmon; these, next in order,
underwent due representation and consideration. To pass to the dairy
was but a natural progress. Her milk, cream, butter, and even
cheeses, were among the best of the country none superior.
But further detail is unnecessary. Enough, that, in dilating upon
all these successive topics, she necessarily conducted her guest to the
various scenes in which these constituted her dramatis person. From
the garden to the orchard, from the orchard to the potato patch, from
this to the cow-pen, from the cow-pen to the dairy, the good old lady