Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> The Maroon: A Romance of the Carib. >> Page 248

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Page 248

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
not in the consciousness of sway. His eyes were fixed upon the
vessel from which he was torn, and in which he saw nothing but the
country, the friends, the familiar faces, from which he was forever
sundered. He was unconscious of the mocking performance, when
Juan de Silva hung the guitar about his neck. The awkward append-
age was no burden to him at such a moment. The faces of those who
had placed him upon the sands were turned away. The sound of their
parting voices had died away upon his ears. The boat was pushed
from the shore; yet he still stood, with a stare of vacant misery in
his aspect, upon the spot where they had placed him. Long after the
prow of the boat had been turned for the ship, he could be seen in
the same place, with the ludicrous decoration upon his breast, while,
with still uplifted hands, he seemed to implore the sympathy of his
comrades and the mercy of his tyrant. But of neither was he vouch-
safed any proofs. Mercy was none sympathy was powerless to save.
Even she!—But of her he dared not think! She had been his fate;
and though, in his soul, he dared not blame her, yet when she rose
to recollection, it was always to provoke a sentiment of bitterness
which a nobler spirit never could have felt. He saw the boat rejoin
the vessel. He saw once more her broad sails spread forth to catch the
breeze. Gradually, they lessened beneath his gaze. The world which
held his soul and his hope, grew smaller and smaller, contracting
to a speck, which, at length, faded utterly away in the deepening haze
which girdled the horizon. Then, when his eyes failed any longer to
delude him with a hope, did he fall prostrate upon the sands, in a
swooning condition, which, for the time, wholly and happily obliter-
ated the terrible sense of his desolation.
It will not be difficult with many persons, to comprehend how a
condition of utter solitude should not necessarily produce a sense of
pain. To the man of great mental resources, and of a habit contempla-
tive and thoughtful, such a condition would be apt rather to suggest
ideas of complete security and repose, which would be friendly to
the enjoyment of a favorite indulgence. To spirits whom the world
has soured whom the greedy strifes of men have offended,—men of
nice sensibilities and jealous affections, whose friendships have proved