Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Book Second / Chapter One: The Melancholy Hunter >> Page 45

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Page 45

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER ONE
"Wilt thou love such a woman? What!
to make thee an instrument, and play false
strains upon thee, not to be endured! Well,
go thy way to her, for I see that love hath
made thee a tame snake!"
I T IS A TERRIBLE THING for a young, keenly susceptible, tender and loving heart, with affections heightened to intensity by a fervid fancy which crowns the object of love with a halo more beautiful than
the rainbow, to lose the hope which had its birth in the adoption of its
ideal. That hope which has been the inspiration of the thought by day,
which has made the nightly dream a long delight suddenly driven
from its perch of pride, pleasure and security, and lost forever to the
heart's consciousness the whole soul seems to wither into vacancy!
And this suffering will necessarily be in due degree with the purity
of the integrity of the affection. It is idle to say that the will of man-
hood may contend with, and overcome, a misplaced passion may
subdue it, with proper scorn of the worthless or inappreciative object;
may whistle it down the wind, as we dismiss the thing which has no
value; and find ready consolation in the reckless ditty of the old bal-
ladist, singing, with the snap of the fingers:
"If she be not fair for me,
What care I how fair she be?"
A genuine passion is not so easily dismissed. It clings tenaciously to
the idol, even though it should scorn the prayer; and continues its wor-
ship, though its altar itself be overthrown! It may admit that it loves
unwisely; may mourn that it loves too well; but that it should continue