Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXI: Night Adventure in the Hovel >> Page 263

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER XXXI.
Leaving the dead to bury their dead, leaving the fates to take care
of themselves, as, perhaps, it is always wise to do, unless you can
conquer them, Walter Dunbar rode on, seeking to dismiss from his
mind, as much as possible, what he had seen, and to address himself
wholly, as well as he could, to the main objects of his travel. He still
fancied that he had dispatches of importance to deliver, and these he
was resolved to deliver at the peril of his life so far was he resolute.
But it was not so easy to dismiss from his mind the stranger, his
adventures, and the catastrophe which had seemingly followed them.
Still less was he disposed or able to free himself from much vexing
and troublesome thoughts which grew naturally out of this interview
with the stranger. Who was the person who knew him so well, and
whom he did not know? Vain were all his efforts to recall him to his
memory; and yet the voice, the action, the free and easy manner,
the bold and confident tones of the other, seemed to him strangely
familiar, but blended with all his conjectures and reflections, one
thing grew ever uppermost in his mind, the creature of his morbidly
awakened self-esteem, and the feeling which it occasioned found its
utterance in outspoken soliloquy.
"Everybody thinks himself privileged to give me counsel. Here is
a man whom I may have met before, who seems not a day older than
myself, who yet undertakes to tell me how I shall go�how carry
myself how use my wits how avoid two stools and how to coerce
fate! What is there in my action, or my aspect, to justify people in
supposing that I need any such counsel? Yet, Martin Joscelyn will
counsel me, and my own sister looks gravely upon me, deals in wise
saws and modern instances, and seems to think that I need them. If
I could distrust my own manhood, I should feel that something were
wanting something, I know not what, to make me as other men.