Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Carl Werner: An Imaginative Story >> Page 130

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 130CARL WERNER

" 'Matilda my wife my poor wife!' he exclaimed—`Yes—let
me go to her.'
"If the words of the aged man were so quick and powerful to
move Carl Werner, his presence seemed to have no less an effect
upon those who sought to lead the youth astray. They shrank away
from the stranger with hisses, and though reviling him, they still
fled. Carl was surprised at this, and the more surprised and horror
stricken when he distinguished among the howls and hisses of the
flying crew, the horrible laugh which had so much haunted him be-
fore. The old man took no heed of their clamor, but composedly
conversed with Carl while they proceeded to the lodgings of the
latter, with all the calmness and ease of one whom a confidence of
superiority keeps from anger towards an inferior, as certainly as it
protects from harm.
"Carl felt better and happier in the embraces of his wife when
he reached home, than he had felt for some days before. The princi-
ple of love was reviving within him. The conversation of their aged
guest contributed largely to this improvement. They could not but
acknowledge the influence which they could not but feel. Yet he
could scarcely be said to converse. His words seemed so many laws
settling doubts and silencing controversy. He spoke from authority
from an authority, seemingly, even beyond that of strong common
sense and great experience. Carl was surprised and pleased to find
himself able to listen to his words; and though the terrible strifes
which he had recently undergone were still busy in his mind, he
yet found pleasure in his new companion. Much of the old man's
conversation seemed, indeed, to be intended for his particular case.
He spoke of the `various encounters' to which mortals were subject.
The necessity of confidence in heaven's jwillingness
to wait—the readiness to endure. He then spoke of the prin-
ciple of love as he had spoken to Matilda. He insisted upon it as
sufficiently strong to withstand the opposite principle of hate, and
to trample over it in the end. The conflict, he said, would be long
and perilous, and it would be continued through nations and indi-
viduals to the end of time;—patience, he said, and perseverance,