Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Eight: Playing the Trout >> Page 237

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription PLAYING THE TROUT 237
"Cold, sir! Can you give me any good reason, Mr. Bulkley, why I
should be warm to you, more so than courtesy requires? You have done
me some services which I trust I do not underrate; and again I thank you.
In my situation, Mr. Bulkley, it is not only proper, but needful that I
should put aside the simply emotional, and draw upon my reason for
all the wisdom which it may afford me in my present straits of fortune.""And can not I help you in this?"
It is possible you may; and, should I need your counsel, I will cer-
tainly not scruple, presuming on your past courtesies, to seek it.""But, surely, Gabriella, the relations existing between us might well
justify me in pressing my assistance upon you nay, would seem to me
to make it only proper that you should tell me what you design or desire.""Relations existing between us, Mr. Bulkley! Really, I am not aware of
anything peculiar in our relations. We have been intimate, it is true, for
a very long time, and, as the friend of Mr. Fairleigh ""And of Mrs. Fairleigh, also, I trust you believe nay, something more
than friend.""I know not what more, Mr. Bulkley. Nay, friendship itself is a word
of too sacred a signification to be used with too much freedom. You have
been the friend and guest of my late husband; and as such I always wel-
comed you with courtesy and in honor.""No more, Gabriella?""What more, sir?""Good God! is it possible? Can all then be forgotten?""All what, sir?""Those delicious nights in the balcony; in the garden; in the conser-
vatory, when
"When you have pressed my hand, nay, kissed it, and made passion-
ate protestations, such as I have heard a thousand times, from a thousand
gay Lotharios, and regarded them only as so many flattering speeches
having no profounder purpose than to please the ear of vanity; assumed
usually by men to be so particularly greedy of applause in woman. Could
I have regarded them as signifying more than this, Mr. Bulkley, I should,
as the wife of another man, have held them to be so many gross and dis-
honoring insults, and treated them accordingly.""And yet, Gabriella, it was really love that I declared; no vile protes-
tations; no dishonest flatteries; but the genuine passion, honestly felt, fill-
ing to overflow, heart, head, and soul, and absorbing all thoughts,
dreams, hopes, and fancies of life.""Sir, Mr. Bulkley, it could not be! Love is modest, distrustful of
itself, not presumptuous; and so solicitous of the object which it loves,