The Yemassee

By William Gilmore Simms; Alexander Cowie | Go to book overview
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"Why, this is magic, and it breaks his bonds,
It gives him freedom."

HARRISON was one of those true philosophers who know always how to keep themselves for better times. As he felt that resistance, at that moment, must certainly be without any good result, he quietly enough suffered himself to be borne to prison. He neither halted nor hesitated, nor pleaded, nor opposed, but went forward, offering no obstacle, with as much wholesome good-will and compliance as if the proceeding were perfectly agreeable to him. He endured, with no little show of patience, all the blows and buffetings so freely bestowed upon him by his feminine enemies; and if he did not altogether smile under the infliction, he at least took good care to avoid any ebullition of anger, which as it was there impotent, must necessarily have been a weakness, and would most certainly have been entirely thrown away. Among the Indians, this was by far the better policy. They can admire the courage, though they hate the possessor. Looking round amid the crowd, Harrison thought he could perceive many evidences of this sentiment. Sympathy and pity he also made out, in the looks of a few. One thing he did certainly observe a generous degree of forbearance, as well of taunt as of buffet, on the part of all the better-looking among the spectators. Nor did he deceive himself. The insolent portion of the rabble formed a class especially for such purposes as the present; and to them, its duties were left exclusively. The forebearance of the residue looked to him like kindness, and with the elasticity of his nature, hope came with the idea.

Nor was he mistaken. Many eyes in that assembly looked upon him with regard and commiseration. The firm but light tread of his step the upraised, unabashed, the almost laughing eye the free play into liveliness of the muscles of his mouth sometimes curled into contempt, and again closely compressed, as in defiance together with his fine, manly form, and even carriage were all calculated to call for the respect, if for no warmer feeling of the spectators. They all knew the bravery of the Coosah-moray-te, or the Coosaw-killer many of them had felt his kindness and


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The Yemassee


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