Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 192

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 192 SOUTHWARD HO
man also. IIe had dropped words which indicated an alliance
of our destinies, and what could he mean, when, at the close of
this speech, be said, that my visit to the castle of T was the
epoch of his emancipation. The words rang in my ears with the
imposing solemnity of an oracle ; but, though I felt, in vain did
I strive to find something in them beyond their solitary import.
They increased the solemnity and anxiety of those feelings
which oppressed me on my nearer approach to the gloomy tow-
ers of T castle. As we came in sight of them I could
perceive that the countenance of my companion assumed an ex-
pression of anxiety also. A dark cloud, slowly gathering, hung
about his brows, and at length spread over and seemed to settle
permanently upon his face. He now seldom spoke, and only in
answer to my inquiries and in monosyllables. Something of
this, in the case of each of us, may have been derived from the
sombre and gloomy tone of everything in the immediate neigh-
borhood of this castle. The country was sterile in the last
degree. We had travelled the whole day and had scarcely en-
countered a human being. But few cottages skirted the cheer-
less and little-trodden pathway over which we came, and a
general stuntedness of vegetation and an equally general pov-
erty of resource in all respects, fully accounted to us for, and
justified the absence of, inhabitants. Bruno, however, informed
me that the country on the other side of the lake on which the
castle stood, and from which it derived its resources, was as fer-
tile and populous as this was the reverse. A succession of little
hills, rugged and precipitous, which were strewed thickly over
our pathway, added to the difficulties of our approach, and the
cheerlessness of the prospect. The castle was gray with years
�one portion of it entirely dismantled and deserted the resi-
due in merely habitable condition�the whole presenting such
a pile as would be esteemed a ruin among a people of roman-
tic temperament, but carefully avoided by the superstitious as
better calculated for the wanderings of discontented ghosts, than
as a dwelling for the living. The wall which was meant to pro-
tect it from invasion on the side we came, was in a worse state
of dilapidation than even the deserted portions of the castle, and
we entered the enclosure through a fissure, and over the over-
thrown masses of lime and stone by which it had been originally