Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 211

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TIIE GUILTY VISION. 21_l
was a poniard, bared and borne aloft, as if designed for immedi-
ate service. I shuddered with an uncontrollable emotion of
sickness�heart-sickness�as I associated the dialogue to which
I had listened, with this instrument of death. But, though her
progress had evidently been toward any chamber, her eyes were
not now given to me. Her thoughts�if thought she had
were all elsewhere. IIer fancies were hurrying her to other
worlds, and scenes, and objects, visible to no senses but ber
own. Wildly she pointed to the parapet overlooking the lake,
and gazed and spoke � a speech whose every accent was a
scream of agony�as if still in sight lay some object of hate
and fear, which she vainly struggled not to see.
There�there�will it never sink�will it never die � will
those hideous eyes never turn away ! Down, down !� Thrust
it down when I command ye�the rock is heavy in its garments
the lake is deep, deep, and still and silent�down with it,
slave�for ever from my sight ! Or, if ye tremble, set me free
and I will do it�I have no fears�none ! none !"
Thus, fixed and terrible, ghastly and staring wild, with idiot
frenzy, she stood gazing and intent upon the fancied object in
her sight�immovable, seemingly, as a statue, and conscious of
nothing beside. I lost my fears in the contemplation of hers,
and approached her, though hardly with any distinct purpose.
She seemed not to notice my approach�not even when the ne-
gross who followed in her train rushed to her at my appearance
and strove, with an excitement of manner only less than her own,
to direct her attention upon me. But the wretched one turned
not once aside at the interruption. Her eyes took but the one
direction, and could not be averted ; and her incoherent language
was poured forth in rapid, though inconsecutive syllables, to the
object of her mind's vision, which so effectually froze to darkness
all her capacities of sight. Never did I behold.�never could I
have fancied or believed a spectacle so wild and fearful. Ima-
gine for yourself a woman, once eminently beautiful � of a dark
and mysterious beauty�tall in form�majestic in carriage�in
little more than the prime of life�wearing the dignity of age,
yet, in every look, movement, feature, and gesture, exhibiting
the impulsive force and passionate energy of youth ; �her per-
son bending forward her eyes straining as if to burst from the