Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 49

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 49

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE PROMISE. 49
walk upon it* �the admiration of the Liberator was insuppressible.
Bless you for ever," he cried, my fair Princess of Freedom ! You, at least, have a free soul, and one that is certainly inspired by the great divinity of earth. You shall be mine ally, though I find none other in all Bogota sufficiently courageous. In you, my child, in you and yours, there is still a redeeming spirit which shall save your city utterly from shame !"
While he spoke, the emotions of the maiden were of a sort readily to show how easily she should be quickened with the inspiration of lyric song. The color came and went upon her soft white cheeks. The tears rose, big and bright, upon her eyelashes�heavy drops, incapable of suppression, that swelled one after the other, trembled and fell, while the light blazed, even more brightly from the showers in the dark and dilating orbs which harbored such capacious fountains. She had no words at first, but, trembling like a leaf, sunk upon a cushion at the feet of her father, as Bolivar, with a kiss upon her forehead, released her from his clasp. Her courage came back to her a moment after. She was a thing of impulse, whose movements were as prompt and unexpected as the inspiration by which she
sung.
Bolivar had scarcely turned from her, as if to relieve her tremor, when she recovered all her strength and courage. Suddenly rising from the cushion, she seized the hand of her father, and with an action equally passionate and dignified, she led him to the Liberator, to whom, speaking for the first time in that presence, she thus addressed herself ;
" He is yours�he has always been ready with his life and money. Believe me, for I know it. Nay more ! doubt not that there are hundreds in Bogota though they be not here�who, like him, will be ready whenever they hear the summons of your trumpet. Nor will the women of Bogota be wanting. There will be many of them who will take the weapons of those who use them not, and do as brave deeds for their country as did the dames of Magdalena when they slew four hundred Spaniards."+

*A frequent case among the maids of South America.
+ This terrible slaughter took place on the night of the 16th of June, 1816, under the advice and with the participation of the women of Mompox, a beau-
3