Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 186

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 186 SOUTHWARD HO !
the lively ornamented outlines of the Italian letters. The T of
her signature, for example, was a simple perpendicular stroke,
carried much below the line, with a thick heavy cap upon it,
having a dip at each end almost as great as that of an umbrella.
The letters were remarkably clear, but how irregular ! They
seemed to have been written under a determination to write,
even against desire and will� dashed spasmodically clown upon
the paper, not coherent, and leaving wide gaps between the sev-
eral words, into which an ingenious band might readily have
introduced other words, such, as I fondly conjectured, might
have given to the composition that friendly warmth and interest
in my fate, which it seemed to me it needed more than anything
besides. My grand conclusion, on finishing my study, was this,
that the writer had taken some pains to write indifferently ; that
the studied coldness of the letter was meant to conceal a very
active warmth and feeling in the writer ; and (though I may not
be able to define the sources of this conjecture so well as the
rest) that this feeling, whatever might be its character, was not
such as could compel the admiration or secure the sympathy of
mine. This conclusion may seem strange enough, when it is
recollected that the baroness was my benefactress, who had
always carefully anticipated my wishes ; provided for my
wants ; afforded me the best education which the condition of
the palatinate afforded ; and, in all respects, had done, through
charity, those kindly deeds which could not have been exacted
by justice. The next moment I reproached myself for ingrati-
tude � I prayed for better thoughts and more becoming feel-
ings�but my player was not vouchsafed me. The conclusion
which I have already declared had taken a rooted possession of
my mind, and I commenced my journey to the castle of T
with a mixed feeling of equal awe, anxiety, and expectation.
I I.
I NOW remarked some alteration in the looks and bearing
of my companion, Bruno, which also surprised me and awakened
my curiosity. Hitherto, he had always seemed a person of lit-
tle pretension, having few objects, and those of an humble class ;
a mere yeoman ; a good retainer, in which capacity he served