Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 206

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 206

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 200 SOUTHWARD Ho !
crets even beyond the time when I was called to share them.
Till now I have kept the knowledge from you, but when I
name to you the young but unhappy Siegfried ! His fate�"" IIa ! Can it be ! Speak, man, monster, devil ! How
know you this ? lath that vile negress betrayed me ?"
It needs not that you should learn whence my knowledge
comes. Enough that I know the fate of the unhappy Siegfried
�unhappy because of your preference, and too vain of his ele-
vation from the lowly condition of his birth, to anticipate the
fearful doom which in the end awaited him ; and to which I,
too, was destined. But the kind Providence which has pre-
served me, did not suffer me to be blinded and deceived by the
miserable lures which beguiled him to his ruin, and which you
vainly fancied should mislead me. You would have released
my limbs from fetters to lay them the more effectually upon my
soul You commanded my submission, you enforced it, but you
never once deceived me. I saw through you from the first, and
prayed for the strength to baffle and overcome you. I obtained
it through prayer and diligence ; and more than once it was my
resolution, as it long has been in my power, to destroy you, and
deliver you without time for repentance, to the fearful agent of
evil which has so long had possession of your heart. That boy
has saved you more than once. The thought of him, and the
thought of what lie was, and should be, to you, has come be-
tween me and my purpose. You have been spared thus long,
and it is with you to declare, in this place, and at this moment,
whether you will be wise in season, whether you will forego
the insane hatred which has filled your bosom from the hour of
his birth, and accept the terms of peace and safety which I now
offer you for the last time. Hear me through, Ulrica, and know
that I do not heed your curses. I am too strong, too secure in
my position, to be moved by the idle language of wrathful im-
potence. This night must determine equally for him and your-
self. To-morrow, which witnesses his public triumph, will be
too late for you unless to share it. I have already seen his ho-
liness, who will be here at noon, armed with plenary powers to
search and examine ; and it needs only that I should point my
finger, and your doom is written, here and eternally, You are
not in the temper to die ; and you may escape for repentance.