Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 205

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE VOICE OF THE MASTER. 205
as a slave, which released me from all obligations of that condi-
tion ; and though I wore the aspect, the demeanor, the burden
of the slave, from that moment I resolved to be one no longer.
When that boy
Curse him ! � Hell's curses be upon him and you !" was the
fiendish exclamation, accompanied by looks equally fiendish.
Those curses, Ulrica, will cling to your neck and strangle
you for ever !" was the stern and indignant answer of Bruno to
this interruption. " Of one thing be certain, they neither vex
me nor baffle me in my purpose. They have never hitherto
done so, nor shall they now, when my labors are on the eve of
successful completion. But I resume : When that boy was born,
I resolved to secure him from the fate of the others ! Did it
not prove my fitness for freedom when my mind was successful
in the struggle with my master ? How long has that struggle
continued what has been its history�what now is its termi-
nation ? My triumph�my continued triumphs�my perfect
mastery over you ! I have baffled you in your purposes�pre-
vented many�would I could have prevented all�of your evil
deeds and desires ; protected the innocent from your hate�pre-
served the feeble from your malice, and secured, to this mo-
ment, the proofs equally of your crime and my superiority. Did
these achievements seem like the performances of a slave ? Did
these betray the imbecility, the ignorance, or the pliability of
the slave ? No, Ulrica, no ! He who can rank with his master
has gained a sufficient, perhaps the only sufficient title to his
freedom ! But that title was already gained when you de-
scended to the level, and contented yourself with sharing the
pleasures of the slave ; when you were willing
A torrent of the most terrific imprecation, in a voice more like
the bursting of a thunderbolt, drowned the narrative of the
speaker, and prevented me from hearing the conclusion of a
speech, the tenor of which equally surprised and confused me.
What Bruno said was just enough to advance me to a mental
eminence whence I could survey only a sea of fog, and haze,
and mystery, much deeper than before. When his words again
became intelligible, he had discontinued his reminiscences.
Hear me, Ulrica. You know not yet the extent of my
knowledge. You dream not that I am familiar with your se-