Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX / The Bride of Fate >> Page 150

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 150 SOUTHWARD ITO
It is well ! mine is a name that must not be spoken among
the homes of Venice. It would make thee thyself to quail
couldst thou hear it spoken."
Perhaps ! but mine is not the heart to quail at many things,
unless it be the absolute wrath of Heaven. What the violence
or the bate of man could do to this feeble frame, short of death,
it has already suffered. Thou knowest but little of human cru-
elty, young man, though thy own deeds be cruel."
How knowest thou that my deeds are cruel ?" was the
quick and passionate demand, while the form of the stranger
suddenly and threateningly advanced. The woman was un-
moved.
" Saidst thou not that there was a name that might not be
spoken in the homes of Venice ? Why should thy very name
make the hearts of Venice to quail unless for thy deeds of cru-
elty and crime ? But I see further. I see it in thine eyes that
thou art cruel. I hear it in thy voice that thou art criminal. I
know, even now, that thy soul is bent on deeds of violence and
blood ; and the very quest that brings thee to me now is less
the quest of love than of that wild and selfish passion which so
frequently puts on its habit."
Ha ! speak to me of that ! This damsel, Francesca Ziani!
'Tis of her that I would have thee speak. . Thou saidst that
she should be mine ; yet to ! her name is written in the ' Book
of Gold,' and she is allotted to this man of wealth, this Ulric
Barberigo."
She will never be the wife of Ulric Barberigo."
66 Thou saidst she should be mine."
Nay, I said not that."
Ha ! �but thou liest !"
No ! Anger me not, young man ! I am slower, much
slower to anger than thyself�slower than most of those who
still chafe within this mortal covering yet am I mortal like
thyself, and not wholly free from such foolish passions as vex
mortality. Chafe me, and I will repulse thee with scorn. An-
noy me, and I close upon thee the book of fate, leaving thee
to the blind paths which thy passions have ever moved thee to
take."
The stranger muttered something apologetically.