Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXIV: After the Storm >> Page 222

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 222

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 2,22JOSCELYN
must know, then, that, under a sense of injury, I attempted an act
of violence to-day, and got the worst of it! I cannot give you par-
ticulars, nor enter upon details which have been most humiliating to
me. I have been rash, perhaps, and erring. I may have been misled"
here he looked significantly at Angelica "but if so, I .have been
sufficiently punished for my error. Enough, that the affair has ended
thus far without the commission of any crime ! I have been the only
sufferer, and you see in what small degree."
"Will it go no further, my son?" demanded Mrs. Kirkland, ear-
nestly, laying her hand upon his arm.
"I do not desire that it should," he replied. "In fact, there is one
consideration, especially, which makes me regret the course which I
have taken. I did not design, I assure you, anything beyond the
mere expression of my anger and resentment, and the exposure to
himself of a dishonorable proceeding on the part of another. But
there was new provocation given me, and, under the passions roused
by the new provocation, I forgot my own previous resolution of for-
bearance. Enough now. If you will permit me, we shall hereafter
avoid the subject."
Grace looked at him very earnestly when he spoke of the dishonor-
able proceedings of another. She looked then at Angelica. Oh! how
she longed to speak, and defend the absent and the injured! But
there stood her sister the truly guilty one already white in the
face, from that portion of the speech of Walter inadvertently made,
perhaps in which he spoke of having been misled. Grace, as well
as the mother, trembled quite as much as Angelica, at the utterance
of this sentence. All were silent, and, having made his explanation,
brief as it was, Walter again left the room quite as suddenly as he
had entered it, returning again to his chamber.
His effort at composure was short-lived. He had performed his
part with sufficient dignity; and this done, in compliance with what
he owed to society, as a gentleman, he relapsed into his former
moodiness. But he was outwardly composed. The very sense of
humiliation under which he labored, had the effect of subduing his
conduct, if not his mind, to the soberest paces. He appeared at dinner
and at supper, talked a little, but not freely, and evidently under
great mental effort at self-restraint. Sometimes, in the midst of the