Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 234

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 234 SOUTHWARD HO
not perceive that ever, at the close of his laughter, there was a con-
vulsive quiver in his tones, a sort of hysterical sobbing, that he
seemed to try to subdue in vain. She noticed not this, nor the
glittering, almost spectral brightness of his glance, as, laughing
tumultuously, lie still kept his gaze intently fixed upon her. She
was blind to all things but the grateful signs of his returning
happiness and attachment. Once more the goblet was lifted.
To Turmes [Mercury] the conductor," cried the husband. The
wife drank unwittingly� for still her companion smiled upon
her, and spoke joyfully, and she was as little able as willing to
perceive that anything occult occurred in his expression.
" Have you drank ?" he asked.
She smiled, and laid the empty goblet before him.
" Come, then, you shall now behold the picture. You will
now be prepared to understand it."
They rose together, but another change had overspread his
features. The gayety had disappeared from his face. It was
covered with a calm that was frightful. The eye still main-
tained all its eager intensity, but the lips were fixed in the icy
mould of resolution. They declared a deep, inflexible purpose.
There was a corresponding change in his manner and deport-
ment. But a moment before he was all life, grace, gayety and
great flexibility ; he was now erect, majestic and commanding
in aspect, with a lordly dignity in his movement, that declared
a sense of a high duty to be done. Aurelia was suddenly im-
pressed with misgivings. The change was too sudden not to star-
tle her. Her doubts and apprehensions were not lessened when,
instead of conducting her to the studio, where she expected to
see the picture, he led the way through the vestibule and into
the open court of the palace. They lingered but for a moment
at the entrance, and she then beheld his brother Aruns approach-
ing. To him she gave not a look.
All is right," said the latter.
Enter !" was the reply of Coelius ; and as the brother disap-
peared within the vestibule, the two moved forward through the
outer gate. They passed through a lovely wood, shady and
silent, through which, subdued by intervening leaves, gleamed
only faintly the bright, clear sun of Italy. From under the
huge chestnuts, on either hand, the majestic gods of Etruria ex-