Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXV: A Touch of Gout >> Page 230

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 230JOSCELYN
the overburdened camel. And he knew nothing of those psychologi-
cal characteristics of the youth �a mother's gift, perhaps which were
so very unlike his own.
Enough, that he was touched. Rising with difficulty from his
cushioned chair, he said, in softened accents, somewhat broken :
"Will you give me your arm, my son? Help me to my chamber."
The arm was given in silence. When the two had entered the old
man's chamber, he said, brokenly :
"You will take care of yourself, my son. Be a man ! And God be
with you and bless you."
And he put his arms around the son's neck and kissed his cheek
tenderly. There was no answering embrace, kiss, or show of affection.
The old man burst out in one of his passionate ejaculations.
"Great God, young man, is there no blood in your body, no spirit
in your soul, no feeling in your heart? What means this apathy?
this cold-blooded, insensate lifelessness? Ay, deadness of everything
that should be precious to manhood? Speak, sir, and tell me what it
means?"
"What would you have me say?" answered the youth, gloomily.
"Say? Say anything! Curse your father, if you will, only show
some signs that you live that you feel "
"I feel, but do not live! Is it not enough that I obey you? You
have not suffered me to feel or live as I would, and in coercing my
will with your own, you take my life! I am your creature, not my
own."
"Ha!�and why the devil, sir, have you submitted to me? Why
did you not resist before? Why do you submit now? Why not bid
me defiance? Better a thousand times that you should rebel against
a tyrant father, than forfeit the rights of your own soul and man-
hood ! "
"You never taught me this lesson before. You have cursed your
son when you suspected him of such defiance."
"It is not too late! Curse me, sir. Curse me now, for your own
sake, if you would regain your liberty."
"It is too late, sir. You have doomed me."
"Walter i my God!�how much he looks like his mother now!"
Walter was gone. The father sank down upon the side of his bed,
and covered his face with his hands. What a history was embodied in