The Yemassee

By William Gilmore Simms; Alexander Cowie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X

" Ye shall give all,
The old homes of your fathers, and their graves,
To be the spoils of strangers, and go forth
In exile."

THE house of council, in the town of Pocota-ligo, was filled that night with an imposing conclave. The gauds and the grandeur — the gilded mace, the guardian sword, the solemn stole, the rich pomps of civilization were wanting, it is true; but how would these have shown in that dark and primitive assembly! A single hall — huge and cumbrous — built of the unhewn trees of the forest, composed the entire building. A single door furnished the means of access and departure. The floor was the native turf, here and there concealed by the huge bearskin of some native chief, and they sat around, each in his place, silent, solemn; the sagacious mind at work; the big soul filled with deliberations involving great events, and vital interests of the future. No assembly of the white man compares, in seeming solemnity at least, with that of the red. Motionless like themselves, stood the torch-bearers, twelve in number, behind them — standing and observant, and only varying their position when it became necessary to renew with fresh materials the bright fires of the ignited pine which they bore. These were all the pomps of the savage council; it is but the narrow sense, alone, which would object to their deficiency. The scene is only for the stern painter of the dusky and sublime — it would suffer in other hands.

Huspah was at this time the superior chief — the reigning king, if we may apply that title legitimately to the highest dignitary of a people with a form of government like that of the Yemassees. He bore the title of Mico, which may be rendered king or prince, though it was in name only that he might be considered in that character. He was not one of those men of great will, who make royalty power, no less than a name. In this sense there was no king in the nation, unless it were Sanutee. Huspah was a shadowy head. The Yemassees were ruled by the joint authority of several

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The Yemassee
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Fiction Series *
  • The Yemassee *
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations vii
  • Introduction ix
  • A Simms Chronology xxxvi
  • Selected Bibliography xxxvii
  • The Yemassee Uprising xlii
  • Note on the Text *
  • To Professor Samuel Henry Dickson, M.D., of South Carolina 3
  • Chapter I 9
  • Chapter II 15
  • Chapter III 21
  • Chapter IV 28
  • Chapter V 34
  • Chapter VI 43
  • Chapter VII 51
  • Chapter VIII 65
  • Chapter IX 74
  • Chapter X 81
  • Chapter XI 91
  • Chapter XII 98
  • Chapter XIII 105
  • Chapter XIV 113
  • Chapter XV 118
  • Chapter XVI 123
  • Chapter XVII 133
  • Chapter XVIII 139
  • Chapter XIX 146
  • Chapter XX 151
  • Chapter XXI 159
  • Chapter XXII 165
  • Chapter XXIII 173
  • Chapter XXIV 182
  • Chapter XXV 188
  • Chapter XXVI 201
  • Chapter XXVII 210
  • Chapter XXVIII 215
  • Chapter XXIX 222
  • Chapter XXX 229
  • Chapter XXXI 235
  • Chapter XXXII 243
  • Chapter XXXIII 249
  • Chapter XXXIV 255
  • Chapter XXXV 265
  • Chapter XXXVI 271
  • Chapter XXXVII 276
  • Chapter XXXVIII 283
  • Chapter Xxxix 295
  • Chapter XL 300
  • Chapter XLI 307
  • Chapter XLII 314
  • Chapter XLIII 322
  • Chapter XLIV 329
  • Chapter XLV 336
  • Chapter XLVI 345
  • Chapter XLVII 355
  • Chapter XLVIII 363
  • Chapter Xlix 375
  • Chapter L 382
  • Chapter LI 389
  • Chapter LII 396
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