Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VI / Love's Last Supper; A True Story of the Troubadours >> Page 94

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 94 SOUTHWARD HO
know you possess ; for of these I trow that no lady of rank and
beauty, such as yours, can or possibly should be without ; �but
is there not one lover, over all, whom you not only esteem for
his grace and service, but for whom you feel the tenderest inter-
est�to whom, in fact, you prefer the full surrender of your
whole heart, and, were this possible or proper, of your whole
person ?"
For a moment the gentle lady hesitated in her answer. The
question was one of a kind to startle a delicate and faithful
spirit. But, as her eyes wandered off to the place where the
troubadour stood trembling�as she detected the pleading ter-
ror that was apparent in his face her benevolence got the
better of her scruples, and she frankly admitted that there really
was one person in the world for whom her sentiments were even
thus lively, and her sympathies thus warm and active.
And now, I beseech you, Lady Agnes," urged the anxious
baron, that you deal with me like a brother who will joy to
serve you, and declare to me the name of the person whom you
so much favor.""Now, out upon it, my lord of Roussillon," was the quick
and somewhat indignant reply of the lady, that you should
presume thus greatly upon the kindred that lies between us.
Women are not to be constrained to make such confession as
this. It is their prerogative to be silent when the safety of
their affections may suffer from their speech. To urge them to
confess, in such cases, is only to compel them to speak unneces-
sary falsehoods. And know I not you husbands all ? you have
but a feeling in common ; and if I reveal myself to you, it were
as well that I should go at once and make full confession to my
own lord."" Nay, dearest Lady Agnes, have no such doubt of my loyalty.
I will assure thee that what you tell me never finds it way to
the ear of your lord. I pray thee do not fear to make this con-
fession to me ; nay, but thou must, Agnes," exclaimed the rude
baron, his voice rising more earnestly, and his manner becoming
passionate and stern, while he grasped her wrist firmly in his
convulsive fingers, and, drawing her toward him, added, in the
subdued but intense tones of half suppressed passion, "I tell
thee, lady, it behooves me much to know this secret."