Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXIX: Fetes and Fates >> Page 250

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER XXIX.
Three days after these events, there was great stir on Beach Island.
Everybody was on the qui vivo. Stephen Joscelyn had summoned
his troopers to the field. The "old field school" was broken up. There
was a great gathering on that occasion. Parents and children assem-
bled alike, to receive the farewell of the well-beloved teacher. They
came from various distances, and brought their supplies of food and
viands along with them. The reunion was resolved into an extempore
pic-nic beneath the trees. Stephen Joscelyn divided a large number
of his books among the pupils and their parents. He distributed
paper, pens and ink distributed himself, as it were, among a people
whom he might never see again. Such, at least, appeared to be the
thought among many, and all hearts were saddened by it. There
were eyes of good mothers full of tears. There were eyes of old men
watching, with a fond gravity, the enthusiastic play of every muscle
of the brave young teacher's face, as he discoursed in turn to parents
and pupils. Never had a little community more confidence in its local
leader. He was about to conduct into the field of danger fathers,
sons and brothers. By this time, all parties knew that the discontents
in the highland country had culminated in the absolute issues of war.
Armies were being massed, and were marching upon each other.
Settlements were divided, and contiguous districts and precincts were
arranged under hostile banners. Very earnest were the moods of
men; very grave their thoughts; very serious their apprehensions.
When men invoke the god of battles, they know not what fate will
take the field, interposing between right and justice, in behalf of
mortal power, passion and usurpation! They forget that the true God
sways not to His ends of justice through the arm of violence; and
how monstrous to appeal to Jehovah to engage in any issue where
Moloch has been already chosen as the presiding Deity ! As well