Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy. A Tale of Passion. >> Chapter XIII >> Page 132

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Page 132

Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1842
Transcription 132 BEAUCHAMPE.

utterly and for ever ! I never again attempted the fearful
trial. I gave up the contest, yielded the field to my infe-
riors, better nerved though inferior, and, with all my learn-
ing, all my eloquence, my voice, my manner ; my resources
of study, thought and utterance, fled from sight�fled here
to bury myself in the wilderness, and descend to the
less ambitious, but less dangerous, vocation of schooling �
I trust, to better uses�the minds of others. I had done
nothing with my own."
Oh, sir, do not say so. Though you may have failed
in one department of human performance, you have suc-
ceeded in others. You have lost none of the knowledge
which you then acquired. You possess all the gifts of
eloquence, of manner, of voice,` of education, of thought."
But of what use, my son ? Remember, we do not toil
for these possessions to lock them up�to content our-
selves, as the miserable miser, with the consciousness that
we possess a treasure known to ourselves only�useless to
all others as to ourselves ! Learning, like love, like money,
derives its true value from its circulation."
And you circulate yours, my dear sir. What do we
not owe you in Charlemont ? What do I not owe you,
over all ?"
Love, my son love only. Pay me that. Do not
desert me in my old age. Do not leave me utterly alone !"
I will not, sir�I never thought to do so."" But," said the old man, to resume. Why did I fail
is still the question. Because I had not been taught those
lessons of steady endurance in my youth which would
have strengthened me against failure, and enable me finally
to triumph. There is a rich significance in what we hear
of the Spartan boy, who never betrayed his uneasiness or
agony though the fox was tearing out his bowels. 'there
is a sort of moral roughening which boys should be made
to endure from the beginning, if the hope is ever enter-
tained, to mature their minds to intellectual manhood. Our
American Indians prescribe the same laws, and in their
practice, very much resemble the ancient Spartans. To
bear fatigue, and starvation, and injury�exposure, wet,
privation, blows�but never to complain. Nothing be-
trays so decidedly the lack of moral courage as the voice
of complaint. It is properly the language of woman. It