Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX / The Bride of Fate >> Page 145

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Page 145

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SEPARATION. 145
eye now sought the mother�" bitter, bitter memories ! Fran-
cesca, farewell ! Be happy if thou canst !"
She rushed toward him as he moved away, recovering all her
strength for this one effort. A single and broken sentence --
"Forgive me, 0 forgive !"� escaped her lips, as she sunk sense-
less upon the floor. He would have raised her, but they did
not suffer him.
"Is this not enough, Giovanni ?" said his friend, reproachfully.
Seest thou not that thy presence but distracts her ?"" Thou art right, Nicolo ; let us go. I am myself choking
undo me this collar !� There ! Let us depart."
The organ rolled its anthem �a thousand voices joined in
the hymn to the Virgin, and as the sweet but painful sounds
rushed to the senses of the youth, he darted through the crowd,
closely followed by his friend. The music seemed to pursue
him with mockery. He rushed headlong from the temple, as
if seeking escape from some suffocating atmosphere in the pure
breezes of heaven, and hurried forward with confused and
purposeless footsteps. The ' moment of his disappearance was
marked by the partial recovery of Francesca. She unclosed her
eyes, raised her head, and looked wildly around. her. Her lips
once more murmured his name.
"Giovanni!""Ile is gone," was the sympathizing answer from more than
one lip in the assembly ; and once more she relapsed into un-
consciousness.
CHAPTER II.
Giovanni Gradenigo was scarcely more conscious than the
maiden whom he left. He needed all the guidance of his friend.
Whither ?" asked Nicolo Malapiero.
"What matter ! where thou wilt !" was the reply.
"For the city, then ;" and his friend conducted him to ~.
gondola which was appointed to await them. In the pr
foundest silence they glided toward the city. The gondola
stopped before the dwelling of Nicolo, and he, taking the arm
of the sullen and absent Giovanni within his own, ascended the
marble steps, and was about to enter, when a shrill voice chal-
lenged their attention by naming Giovanni.
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