Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> The Maroon: A Romance of the Carib. >> Page 236

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Page 236

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
in those slightly expressed emotions—it could be seen that she felt
her worst struggle was at hand. But it could be seen, also, that she
was possessed of wondrous faculties for endurance. In what school
she had acquired this capacity, it needs not that we should ask it is
enough that passion too, has its power of self-restraint, as well as
virtue—and is never so intense, perhaps, as when it is subjected, by
its own will, to the check of denial and delay. In the heart of the
woman, this power of self-restraint, once acquired, is perhaps far
more complete than in the heart of the man—if, for no other reason
than that of her habitual subjection to the will of a superior, and the
habitual exercise of a policy in society which is not necessary to him
by whom society is controlled or commanded.
The individual named Juan now made his appearance. He was
what is called, ordinarily, a handsome youth; with smooth features,
long, oily and somewhat curling locks, which evidently demanded
much of his attention and a person which, though very slightly,
was yet very symmetrically made. But the intelligence of his counte-
nance was that of cunning rather than of thought; and in his small
gray eyes, there might be seen a something of the malignant and
cat-like expression which made so conspicuous a feature in those of
his uncle. He was showily habited, with a gay cloak of silk, falling
gracefully from his shoulders, in addition to the ordinary doublet,
which he also wore, of a rich description of cloth, with slashed sleeves,
and a great ruff at either wrist. A heavy gold chain about his neck,
with a shining agnus dei, ostentatiously displayed, rather discovered
his love of ornament than any very decided religious feeling in his
breast. But without detailing the several parts of his costume, it will
suffice to say that he was a sort of a sea-dandy, thought well of his
person, and, for reasons of his own, was disposed to make the most
of it. His manner was full of consequence and confidence, and, as he
approached his uncle, it might be seen that he possessed no small
share of influence in determining the character of the latter's counsels.
He drew nigh to him and whispered a few moments in his ear.
"Be it so, my son! be it so ! " said the other kindly, and with a
sudden brightening of the features. Had the eye of Don Velasquez,
at that moment, been directed suddenly to the features of the lady,
he would have been somewhat gratified, as well as informed, by their
frequent and excessive changes. On the appearance of the youth,