The Yemassee

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

CHAPTER XVI

" 'Tis the rash hand that rights on the wild sea,
Or in the desert — violence is law,
And reason, where the civil arm is weak."

THE entrance of Harrison, alone, into the cottage of the pastor, put a stop to the dialogue which had been going on between himself and the seaman. The reception which the host gave the new comer, was simply and coldly courteous — that of his lady was more grateful, but still constrained; as for poor little Bess, she feared to look up at all, lest all eyes should see how much kinder her reception would have been. Harrison saw all this, but the behaviour of the pastor seemed to have no effect upon him. He rattled on in his usual manner, though with something of loftiness still, which appeared to intimate a character of condescension in his approaches.

"Mr. Matthews, it gives me pleasure to find you well — better, I think, than when I had the pleasure to see you last. You see, I tax your courtesies, though you could find no relatives of mine in Charleston willing to extend you theirs. But the time will come, sir, and your next visit may be more fruitful. Ah! Mrs. Matthews, growing young again, surely. Do you know I hold this climate to be the most delightful in the world, — a perfect seat of health and youth, in which the old Spaniard John Ponce, of Leon, would certainly have come nigher the blessed fountain he sought, than he ever could have done in Florida. And you, Bess — Miss Matthews, I mean — still sweet, charming as ever. Ah! Mrs. Matthews, you are thrice fortunate — always blessed. Your years are all so many summers — for Providence leaves to your household, in all seasons, one flower that compensates for all the rest."

And thus, half playful, half serious, Harrison severally addressed all in the apartment, the sailor excepted. That worthy looked on, and listened with no little astonishment.

" D—d easy to be sure,"
he half muttered to himself. Harrison, without distinguishing the words, heard the sounds, and readily comprehending their tenour from the look which accompanied

-123-

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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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