Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 227

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
tivity. He consoled himself in this condition by his favorite
studies. He framed the vase into grace and beauty, adorned its
sides with groups from poetry and history, and by his labors de-
lighted the uninitiated eyes of all around him. The fierce war-
rior in whose custody be was, looked on with a grim sort of sat-
isfaction at the development of arts, for which his appreciative
faculties were small ; and it somewhat lessened our young
Etruscan in his esteem, that be should take pleasure in such
employments. At all events, the effects, however disparaging,
were so far favorable that they tended to the increase of his
indulgences. His restraints were fewer ; the old Roman not
apprehending much danger of escape, or much of enterprise,
from one whose tastes were so feminine ; and the more gentle
regards of the family, in which he was a guest perforce, contrib-
uted still more to sweeten and soften the asperities of captivity.
As a Lucumo of the first rank in Etruria, he also claimed peculiar
indulgencies from a people who, conscious of their own inferior
origin, were not by any means insensible to the merits of aris-
tocracy. Our captive was accordingly treated with a deference
which was as grateful to his condition as it was the proper trib-
ute to his rank. The wife of the chief whose captive he was,
herself a noble matron of Rome, was as little insensible to the
rank of the Etrurian, as she was to the equal modesty and man-
liness of his deportment. Nor was she alone thus made aware
of his claims and virtues. She had a son and daughter, the lat-
ter named Aurelia, a creature of the most imposing beauty, of a
lofty spirit and carriage, and of a high and generous ambition.
The brother, Lucius, was younger than herself, a lad of fifteen ;
but he, like his sister, became rapidly and warmly impressed
with the grace of manner and goodness of heart which distin-
guished the young Etrurian. They both learned to love him ;
the youth, probably, with quite as unreckoning a warmth as his
sister. Nor was the heart of Coelius long untouched. He soon
perceived the exquisite beauties of the Roman damsel, and, by
the usual unfailing symptoms, revealed the truth as well to the
family of the maiden as to herself. The mother discovered the
secret with delight, was soon aware of the condition of her
daughter's heart, and, the relations of the several parties being
thus understood, it was not long before they came to an expla-