Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 204

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 204 SOUTHWARD HO!
longer applicable. I am your master, and the master of your
fate."
Slave ! slave ! slave !" was the oft-repeated and bitter ex-
clamation, which came forth from her lips in foamed impotence.
If to conquer is to acquire the rights of a master, then are
these rights mine. Still I say not 'Wo to the conquered.'
No, Ulrica, again and again, I conjure you to seek favor and to
find it. It is still in your power it is in your power while this
night lasts�to receive indulgence. Be merciful to yourself as
well as to him, the youth, who now, for the first time, from that
awful hour of storm and meditated crime, the hour of his birth,
enters the dwelling of
" Say it not, man wretch, fiend ! Hell's curses and con-
suming fire be upon that hour, and the vile thing of which you
speak. Slave ! Hence ! hence and leave me! and bear from
my lips lips which have seldom spoken the language of ven-.
geance and of hate in vain, that the night is not yet over, and
he who shouts at the close of one day may howl ere the begin-
ning of another."
I do not despise your threats, Ulrica�I fear them ; �but I
guard against them also. Did you fancy that you could pene-
trate to that chamber undiscovered by the watchful eyes that
for the last seventeen years have been busy in penetrating
every movement of your mind and soul. ?"
Accursed period ! Fiend, wherefore will you torment me
with the recollections of that time ?"" Curse not the time, Ulrica, but the deed which it witnessed,
and the worse deeds to which it led�your deeds, Ulrica, not
mine your free and voluntary deeds, to which neither the
counsels of wisdom, nor of others, but your appetites and evil
passions impelled you. You have called me slave repeatedly
to-night�it is your favorite epithet when you deign to speak
of, and to me. It is now time that I should relieve myself from
the epithet, as I am now able to prove myself your master, and
the master of your fate. If, seventeen years ago, I was the
bondman of your father, annexed to the soil, his serf�your
slave�I have been emancipated from all such relationships by
your crime. You asserted the power which was transmitted
you, to command my obedience. You required of me a service,