Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 236

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 236 SOUTHWARD HO !
Roman woman should draw nigh to the dwellings of our ancient
Lucumones.""A Roman woman !" she exclaimed reproachfully. "My
Coelius, wherefore this ?"
Art thou not ?"
I am thy wife."
Art sure of that ?"
As the gods live and look upon us, I am thine, this hour and
for ever !"
May the gods judge thee, woman," he responded slowly, as
he paused at the gate of the mausoleum, and fixed his eyes in-
tently upon her. Hers were raised to heaven, with her uplifted
hands. She did not weep, and her grief was still mixed with a
fearful agitation.
Let us now return, my Coelius !"
What, wilt thou not behold the picture ?"
Not now at another season. I could not look upon it now !"
Alas ! woman, but this can not be. Thou must behold it
now or never. Hope not to escape. Enter ! I have a tale to
tell thee, and a sight to show thee within, which thou canst not
hear or see hereafter. Enter !" As he spoke, he applied the
key to the stone leaf, and the door slowly revolved upon the
massy pivots. She turned and would have fled, but he grasped
her by the wrist, and moved toward the entrance. She carried
her freed hand to her forehead�parted the hair from her eyes,
and raised them pleadingly to heaven. Resistance she saw was
vain. Her secret was discovered. She prepared to enter, but
slowly. enter ! Dost thou fear now," cried her husband,
when commanded ? Ilast thou not, thou, a Roman, ventured
already to penetrate these awful walls, given to silence and the
dead and on what mission ? Enter, as I bid thee !"
SHE obeyed him, shuddering and silent. He followed her,
closed the entrance, and fastened it within. They were alone
among the dead of a thousand years�alone, but not in dark-
ness. The hand of preparation had been there, and cressets
were burning upon the walls ; their lights, reflected from the