Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 212

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 212 SOUTIHWARD HO'
burning sockets�her lips slightly parted, but with the teeth
gnashing at occasional intervals with a spasmodic motion�her
hair, once richly black and voluminously massive, touched with
the gray that certainly ensues from the premature storms of a
winter of the soul, escaping from all confinement, and streaming
over her cheeks and neck� the veins of her neck and forehead
swelling into thick ridges and cording the features with a tension
that amply denoted the difficulty of maintaining any such restraint
upon them ! �Imagine such a woman!�the ferocity of the
demon glaring from her eye, in connection with the strangest
expression of terror which that organ ever wore�the raised
dagger in her hand her hand uplifted �her foot advanced
and so frozen,! so fixed in the rigidity of marble !�the image
above the sepulchre ! �no unfitting emblem of the dread and en-
during marriage, which nothing can ever set asunder, between
unrepented Guilt, and unforgiving Death !
I was nearly maddened even to behold this spectacle, and it
was a relief to me, when, with a no less terrible and terrifying
energy she shook off the torpor which stifled life in all its wont-
ed forms of expression, and renewed those fearful tones of mem-
ory and crime, which, though revealing nothing, amply testified
to a long narrative equal of shame, and sin, and suffering.
There ! there !" she exclaimed, still addressing herself to
some imaginary object which seemed to rest or to rise before her
upon the parapet which overhung the lake�" There again!
its hands�its little hands�will nothing keep them down!
They rise through the water�they implore�but no ! no ! It
were a mistaken mercy now to save !�let me not look--let me
not see�will you not fling it over�the lake is deep�the rock
is heavy in its little garments�it will soon sink from sight for
ever, and then�then I shall be safe. Ha ! it goes�it goes at
last ! �Do you not hear the plunge ! �the water gurgles in its
nostrils�closes over it, and�God spare me, what a piercing
shriek�Another ! another !�Keep me not back� I will look
if it be gone ! �No ! no ! its little face smiles upon me through
the white water !"
And this was followed by a shriek, piercing like that which
she described, which penetrated to the very marrow of my bones.
With the cry she bounded toward the parapet, looked wildly