The Yemassee

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

CHAPTER XXXI

" What have I done to thee, that thou shouldst lift
Thy hand against me? Wherefore wouldst thou strike
The heart that never wrong'd thee? "

" 'Tis a lie,

Thou art mine enemy, that evermore
Keep'st me awake o' nights. I cannot sleep,
While thou art in my thought."

FLYING from the house, as if by so doing he might lose the thoughts that had roused him there into a paroxysm of that fierce passion which too much indulgence had made habitual, he rambled, only half conscious of his direction, from cluster to cluster of the old trees, until the seductive breeze of the evening, coming up from the river, led him down into that quarter. The stream lay before him in the shadow of night, reflecting clearly the multitude of starry eyes looking down from the heavens upon it, and with but a slight ripple, under the influence of the evening breeze, crisping its otherwise settled bosom. How different from his — that wanderer! The disappointed love — the vexed ambition — the feverish thirst for the unknown, perhaps for the forbidden, increasing his agony at every stride which he took along those quiet waters. It was here in secret places, that his passion poured itself forth — with the crowd it was all kept down by the stronger pride, which shrank from the thought of making its feelings public property. With them he was simply cold and forbidding, or perhaps recklessly and inordinately gay. This was his policy. He well knew how great is the delight of the vulgar mind when it can search and tent the wound which it discovers you to possess. How it delights to see the victim writhe under its infliction, and, with how much pleasure its ears drink in the groans of suffering, particularly the suffering of the heart. He knew that men are never so well content, once apprised of the sore, as when they are probing it; unheeding the wincings, or enjoying them with the same sort of satisfaction with which the boy tortures the kitten — and he determined, in his case at least, to deprive them of that gratification. He had already

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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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