Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 229

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE SERPENT IN THE NEST. 229
own sake, the other regarded it only as subserving selfish pur-
poses. Coelius was frank and generous in his temper, Aruns
reserved, suspicious and contracted. The one had no disguises,
the other dwelt within them, even as a spider girdled by his
web, and lying secret in the crevice at its bottom. Hitherto,
his cunning had been chiefly exercised in concealing itself, in
assuming the port of frankness, in appearing, so far as he might,
the thing that he was not. It was now to be exercised for his
more certain profit, in schemes hostile to the peace of others.
To cloak these designs he betrayed more than usual joy at the
restoration of his brother. His, indeed, seemed the most elated
spirit of the household, and the confiding and unsuspecting
Coelius at once took him to his heart, with all the warmth and
sincerity of boyhood. It gave him pleasure to perceive that
Aurelia, his wife, received him as a brother, and lie regarded with
delight the appearance of affection that subsisted between them.
The three soon became more and more united in their sympa-
thies and objects, and the devotion of Aruns to the Roman wife
of Coelius was productive of a gratification to the latter, which
he did not endeavor to conceal. It was grateful to him that his
brother did not leave his wife to that solitude in her foreign
home, which might sometimes have followed his own too intense
devotion to the arts which he so passionately loved ; and, with-
out a fear that his faith might be misplaced, he left to Aruns the
duty which no husband might prudently devolve upon any man,
of ministering to those tastes and affections, the most delicate
and sacred, which make of every family circle a temple in which
the father, and the husband, and the master, should alone be the
officiating priest.
Some time had passed in this manner, and at length it struck
our Lucumo that there was less cordiality between his brother
and his wife than had pleased him so much at first. Aurelia
now no longer spoke of Aruns´┐Żleis name never escaped her
lips, unless when she was unavoidably forced to speak it in
reply. His approaches to her were marked by a timidity not
usual with him, and by a hauteur in her countenance which was
shown to no other person. It was a proof of the superior love of
Cwlius for his wife that he reproached her for this seeming dis-
like. She baffled his inquiry, met his reproaches with renewed