Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX / The Bride of Fate >> Page 141

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Page 141

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE REJECTED LOVER. 141
" What would you do, Giovanni," demanded his kinsman,
grasping him by the wrist as he spoke, and arresting his move-
ment.
Shall I see her thus sacrificed�delivered to misery and the
grave ! Never ! they shall not so lord it over true affections to
their loss and mine. Francesca was mine is mine � even now,
in the very sight of Heaven. How often bath she vowed it !
Her glance avows it now. 11Iy lips shall as boldly declare it
again ; and as Heaven has heard our vows, the church shall hear
them. The patriarch shall hear. Hearts must not be wronged
�Heaven must not thus be defrauded. That selfish, vain
woman, her mother�that mercenary monster, miscalled her
father�have no better rights than mine�none half so good.
They shall hear me. Stand by me, Nicolo, while I speak !"
This was the language of a. passion, which, however true, was
equally unmeasured and imprudent. The friend of the unhappy
lover would have held him back.
It is all in vain, Giovanni ! Think ! my friend, you can do
nothing now. It is too late ; nor is there any power to prevent
this consummation. Their names have been long since written
in the ' Book of Gold,' and the doge himself may not alter the
destiny !""The Book of Gold !" exclaimed the other. Ay, the ' Bride
of Gold !' but we shall see !" And he again started forward.
His kinsman clung to him.
"Better that we leave this place, Giovanni. It was wrong
that you should come. Let us go. You will only commit some
folly to remain."" Ay ! it is folly to be wronged, and to submit to it, I know !
folly to have felt and still to feel ! folly, surely, to discover, and
to live after the discovery, that the very crown that made life
precious is lost to you for ever ! Wliat matter if I should com-
mit this folly ! Well, indeed, if they who laugh at the fool,
taste none of the wrath that they provoke."
This is sheer madness, Giovanni."" Release me, Nicolo."
The kinsman urged in vain. The dialogue, which was carried
on in under tones, now enforced by animated action, began to
attract attention. The procession was moving forward. Tlio