Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 240

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 240 SOUTHWARD HO
entreaty, when the consuls of the city bade him depart in ban-
ishment."
I can not believe thee, woman. It were a mortal agony,
far beyond what I feel in the conviction of thy guilt, were I to
yield faith to thy story. It is thy paramour whom I have slain,
and who sleeps in that tomb. His portrait and his judgment are
before thee, and now � look on thine own !"
The picture, fully displayed, showed to the wretched woman
her own person, in similar custody with him who was her sup-
posed paramour. The terrible felicity of the execution struck
her to the soul. It was a picture to live as a work of art, and
to this she was not insensible. She clasped her hands before it,
and exclaimed,
" Oh ! my Coelius, what a life bast thou given to a lie. Yet
may I bear the terrors of such a doom, if he whom thou bast
painted there in a fate full of dreadful fellowship with mine, was
other than my brother Fl avius � he with whom thou didst love
to play, and to whom thou didst impart the first lessons in the
art which he learned to love from thee. Post hear me, my Cce-
lius, as my soul lives, this man was none other than my brother."" False ! false ! I will not, dare not believe thee !" he answered
in husky accents. His frame was trembling, yet he busied him-
self in putting on a rich armor, clothing himself in military garb,
from head to foot, as if going into action.
What dost thou, my lord ?" demanded Aurelia, curious as she
beheld him in this occupation.
This," said he, is the armor in which I fought with Rome
when I was made the captive of thy people, and thine. It is
fit that I should wear it now, when I am once more going into
captivity."
My husband, what mean'st thou� of what captivity dost
thou speak ?"
The captivity of death ! Hear me, Aurelio, dost thou feel
nothing at thy heart which tells thee of the coming struggle
when the soul shakes off the reluctant flesh, and strives, as it were,
for freedom. Is there no chill in thy veins, no sudden pang, as
of fire in thy breast? These speak in me. They warn me of
death. We are both summoned. But a little while is left of
life to either!"