Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 232

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOUTHWARD HO
on him while he slept. He had never rested so profoundly since
he had begun the labor from which he was now freed. The
slumber of an infant was never more calm, was never soft-
er, sweeter, or purer. The beauty of Coelius was that of the
most peaceful purity. She bent over him as he slept, and kissed
his forehead with lips of the truest devotion, while two big tears
gathered in her large eyes, and slowly felt their way along her
cheeks. She turned away lest the warm drops falling upon his
face might awake him. She turned away, and in her own apart-
ment gave free vent to the feelings which his pure and placid
slumbers seemed rather to subdue than encourage. Why, with
such a husband�her first love and with so many motives to
happiness, was she not happy? Alas ! who shall declare for
the secret yearnings of the heart, and say, as idly as Canute to
the sea, thus far shalt thou go, and no farther�here shall thy
proud waves be stayed." Aurelia was a creature of fears and
anxieties, and many a secret and sad presentiment. She was
very far from happy�ill at ease�and�but why anticipate?
We shall soon enough arrive at the issue of our melancholy nar-
rative !
That night, while she slept for grief and apprehension have
their periods of exhaustion which we misname repose�her hus-
band rose from his couch, and with cautious footsteps departed
from his dwelling. He was absent all the night and returned
only with the dawn. He re-entered his home with the same
stealthy caution with which he had quitted it, and it might have
been remarked that lie dismissed his brother, with two other
persons, at the threshold. They were all masked, and other-
wise disguised with cloaks. Why this mystery ? Where had
they been�on what mission of mischief or of shame ? To
Clius, such a necessity was new, and scarcely had he entered
his dwelling than he cast aside his disguises with the air of one
who loathes their uses. He was very pale and haggard, with a
fixed but glistening expression of the eye, a brow of settled
gloom, from which hope and faith, and every interest in life
seemed utterly to be banished. A single groan escaped him
when he stood alone, and then he raised himself erect, as if
hitherto he had leaned upon the arms of others. He carried
himself firmly and loftily, his lips compressed, his eye eagerly