Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Carl Werner: An Imaginative Story >> Page 96

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 96CARL WERNER
men seemed greatly to differ to the common eye, their sympathies
ran strangely together. Their sports and studies, though not alike,
seemed nevertheless to bring them together always. Their habits
were equally wandering, and while the poetry of Carl made him
musing, meditative, and abstracted in his habits, it led him the more
to delight in those practical tendencies in the mind of his companion,
which suggested a character directly the reverse. Herman, too, was
pleased with the fellowship of a thinking being, and one who could
furnish names and definitions for all his own occasional and half-
digested imaginings and thoughts. They had neither of them much
system in their pursuits, and far less in their studies. Books they
read, not by selection, but as they happened to fall into their hands;
or, rather, Carl would read them, and describe their character and
unfold their contents to his companion, who, in his own experience,
could most generally remember adventures to correspond with and
match those which Carl related to him. In this manner they became
mutual dependants, and hence, some of the secret of their intimacy.
They would follow—each—without much, or at best with a momen-
tary opposition the moods and promptings of the other the mo-
mentary impulse being the sufficient governor, and to that they
most generally left the direction of studies and amusements alike.
The feeling which prompted the one, if not exactly like that which
filled the bosom of the other, was seldom offensive to it: and we
need not wonder, thus situated and circumstanced, if they grew
together, to the almost complete exclusion of all the village beside
the fair and gentle Matilda alone being excepted.
"Let not my preliminaries fatigue you. I cannot get on so well
without them. My narrative has a comprehensive ground-work, and
I must bring the several more striking features of the locality, in
due order, and, not precipitately, before your eye. Having prepared
you, I will now proceed
"Living, as they did, in the neighboring village, and possessed of
tastes equally wandering, and, in the case of Carl, so mingled with
romance, it will not be thought surprising if they spent a great deal
of their leisure time among these old ruins. They were ruins then,