Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy. A Tale of Passion. >> Chapter XIII >> Page 127

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Page 127

Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1842
Transcription BEAUCHAMPE. 127

No, sir-" was the beginning of the young man's
reply, but lie stopped short with a guilty consciousness.
A warm blush overspread his cheek, and he remained
silent. The old man, without seeming to perceive the mo-
mentary interruption, or the confusion which followed it,
proceeded in his commentary.
There should be nothing, surely, to anger you in good
counsel, spoken even by a stranger, my son ; and even
where the counsel be not good, if the motive be so, it re-
quires our gratitude though it may not receive our adop-
I don't know, sir, but it seems to me very strange,
and is very humiliating, that 1 should be required to sub-
mit to the instructions of one of whom we know nothing,
and who is scarcely older than myself."
It may be mortifying to your self-esteem, my son, but
self-esteem, when too active, is compelled constantly to
suffer this sort of mortification. It may be that one man
shall not be older in actual years than another, yet be able
to teach that other. Mere living days, and weeks, and
months, constitute no right to wisdom ; it is the crowding
events and experience ; the indefatigable industry ; the
living actively and well, that supplies us with the materials
for knowing and teaching. In comparison with millions
of your own age, who have lived among men, and shared
in their strifes and troubles, you would find yourself as
feeble a child as ever yet needed the helping hand of coun-
sel and guardianship ; and this brings me back to what I
said before. Your parents have treated you too tenderly.
They have done every thing for you. You have done nothing for yourself. They provide for your wants,
hearken to your complaints, nurture you in sickness, with
a diseasing fondness, and so render you incapable. Hence
it is, that, in the toils of manhood, you do not know how
to begin. You lack courage and perseverance."" Courage and perseverance !" was the surprised excla-
mation of the youth.
" Precisely, and lest I should offend you, my son, I
must acknowledge to you beforehand, that this very defi-
ciency was my own."
Yours, sir ? I cannot think it. 'What ! lack courage ?"
Exactly so !"
Why, sirdid I not see you myself, when every