Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 239

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE PICTURE UNVEILED. 999
the Lucumo drew aside with his hand the curtain which con-
cealed the picture.
Look," said he, woman, behold the fate which thou and
thy paramour have received�behold the task which I had set
me when first I had been shown thy perjuries. Look !"
She arose in silence from her knees, and turned her eyes upon
the picture. As the curtain was slowly unrolled from before it,
and she conceived the awful subject, and distinguished, under
the care of the good and guardian genii, the shades of well-known
members of the Pomponian family, her interest was greatly ex-
cited ; but when, following in the train and under the grasp of
the Etrurian demon, she beheld the features of the young Roman
who was doomed, she bounded forward with a cry of agony.
" My brother, my Flavius, my own, my only brother !" and
sunk down with outstretched arms before the melancholy shade.
Her brother !" exclaimed the husband. She heard the
words and rose rapidly to her feet.
"Ay, Flavius, my brother, banished from Rome, and con-
cealed here in thy house of silence, concealed even from thee,
my husband, as I would not vex thee with the anxieties of an
Etrurian noble, lest Rome should hear and punish the people by
whom her outlaw was protected. Thou know'st my crime. This
paramour was the brother of my heart child of the same sire
and dame�a noble heart, a pure spirit, whose very virtues have
been the cause of his disgrace at Rome. Slay me, if thou wilt,
but tell me not, 0, Coelius, that thou bast put the hands of hate
upon my brother !"" Thy tale is false, woman�well-planned, but false. Know
I not thy brother ? Did I not know thy brother well in Rome ?
Went we not together oft ? I tell thee, I should know him
among a line of ten thousand Romans !"" Alas ! alas ! my husband, if ever I had brother, then is this
he. I tell thee nothing but the truth. Of a surety, when thou
went in Rome, my brother was known to thee, but the boy has
now become a man. Seven years have wrought a change upon
him of which thou bast not thought. Believe me, what I tell
thee�the youth whom I sheltered in this vault, and to whom I
brought food nightly, was, indeed, my brother�my Flavius, the
only son of my mother, who sent him to me, with fond words of