Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX / The Bride of Fate >> Page 144

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 144 SOUTHWARD HO
herself to another ! For shame, lady ; this is a twofold and
needless tyranny !"
As he spoke, the more gentle and sympathizing spirits around
looked upon the stern mother with faces of the keenest rebuke
and indignation. Giovanni once more addressed himself to the
maiden.
"And if you do not love this man, my Francesca, why is it
that you so weakly yield to his solicitings Why submit to this
sacrifice at any instance ? Have they strepgth to subdue thee?
�has he the art to ensnare thee ?�canst thou not declare thy
affections with a will? What magic is it that they employ
which is thus superior to that of love ? � and what is thy right
� if heedless of the affections of thy heart�to demand the sac-
rifice of mine ? Thou hadst it in thy keeping, Francesca, as I
fondly fancied I had thine !"" Thou hadst�thou hadst ! '9
"Francesca, my child !" was the expostulating exclamation
of the mother ; but it failed, except for a single instant, to arrest
the passionate answer of the maiden.
Hear me, and pity, Giovanni, if you may not forgive !
Blame me for my infirmity�for the wretched weakness which
has brought me to this defeat of thy heart�this desolation of
mine�but do not doubt that I have loved thee�that I shall
ever�"
Stay !" commanded the imperious father.
What is it thou wouldst say, Francesca? Beware !" was
the stern language of the mother.
The poor girl shrunk back in trembling. The brief impulse
of courage which the address of her lover, and the evident sym-
pathy of the crowd, had imparted, was gone as suddenly as it
came. She had no more strength for the struggle ; and as she
sunk back nerveless, and closed her eyes as if fainting under the
terrible glance of both her parents, Giovanni dropped her hand
from his grasp. It now lay lifeless at her side, and she was
sustained from falling by some of her sympathizing companions,
The eyes of the youth were bent upon her with a last look.
It is all over, then," he exclaimed. Thy hope, unhappy
maiden, like mine, must perish because of thy weakness. Yet
there will be bitter memories for this," he exclaimed�and his