The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 40
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Two passages will illustrate Brown's skill in horror
and use of native background — oae, a sketch of a burying
party; the other a description of the hospital, unfortetfcably
1 met not more than a dozen figures, and these
were ghost-like, wrapt in cloaks, from behind which
they cast upon me glances of wonder and suspicion;
and, as I approached, ©hanged their course, to avoid
touching me. Their clothes were sprinkled with
vinegar; and their nostrils defended from contagion
by some powerful perfume. , . * Death seemed to
hover over this scene, and 1 dreaded that the floating
pestilence had already lighted on ay frame* I had
scarcely overcome these tremors, when I approached
a house, the door of which was opened, and before
which stood a vehicle, which I presently recognized
to be a hearse#
The driver was seated in it, I stood still to
mark his visage, and to observe the ©ours® which he
proposed to take. Presently a coffin, borne by two
men, issued from the house, The driver was a Negro,
but hia companions were white# Their features were
narked by a ferocious indifference to danger or pity.
One of them as he assisted in thrusting the coffin
into the cavity provided for it, said, *1*11 be
damned if I think the poor dog was quite dead. It
wasn't the fever that killed him, but the sight of
the girl and her mother on the floor# I wonder how
they all got into that room. What carried them
The other surlily muttered, 'Their legs to be
'But what should they hug together in one room
'To save us trouble to be sure,1
'And I thank them with all ay heartj but daan
it, it wasn't right to put him in his coffin before
the'breath was fairly gone# I thought the last look
he gave sm told a© to stay a few minutes,1
'PshawS He could not live. The sooner dead
the better for hi®; as well as for us. Did you
mark how he eyed us when w® carried away his wife
and daughter? I never cried in ay life, since X
was knee-high, but curse me if 1 ever felt in better
tune for the business than just then, Heyl' con-
tinued he, looking up, and observing ae standing
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Cannon, Willie Jim. The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown, thesis, 1950; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130235/m1/43/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .