Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy. A Tale of Passion. >> Chapter X >> Page 90

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 90

Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1842
Transcription 90 BEAU'ClIAMPE.

of mind is a Puritan tenacity of purpose�a persevering energy which ceases, finally, to sleep in the work of con-quest, or, at least, converts even its sleeping hours into tasks of thought and wild vague dreams of modes and operations by which the work of conquest is to be carried on. The momentary glimpses of the damsel's person, which the ardent youth was permitted to obtain, still kept alive in his mind the strong impression which her beauty had originally made. We do not insinuate that this exhibition was designed by the lady herself for any such object. Such might be the imputation�nay, was, in after days, by some of her charitable neighbours,�but we have every reason for thinking otherwise. We believe that she was originally quite sincere in her desire to avoid the sight, and discourage the visits of strangers. Whether this was also the desire of the mother is not so very certain. We should suppose, on the contrary, that the course of her daughter was one that afforded little real satisfaction to her. If the daughter remained inflexible, the good mother soon convinced Beauchampe that she was not; and, saving the one topic,�the daughter herself,�there was none upon which good Mrs. Cooke did not expatiate to her visitor with the assured freedoms of a friend of a thousand years. Any approach to this subject, however, effectually silenced her. Not, it would seem, because she herself felt any repugnance to the subject�for Beauchampe could not fail to perceive that her eyes brightened whenever the other was referred to ;�but her voice was hurried when she replied on such occasions, and her glance stealthily turned to the entrance, as if she dreaded lest the sound should summon other ears to the apartment.
The curiosity of Beauchampe was farther stimulated by a general examination of the contents of the library. The selection was such, as in regions where books are more in requisition, and seem more in place, would testify considerably in behalf of the judgment and good taste of the possessor. They were all English books, it is true, but they were genuine classics of the best days of British literature, including the more recent writers. There were additional proofs in such as he took home with him, of the equal taste and industry of their reader. The fine passages were scored marginally with pencil lines, and