Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 241

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TOO LATE ! 241
Have mercy, Jove ! I feel these pains, this chill, this fire
that thou speak'st of."
It is death ! the goblet which I gave thee, and of which I
drank the first and largest draught, was drugged with death."
Then it is all true ! Thou least in truth slain my brother.
Thou Last �thou host !"" Nay, he was not thy brother, Aurelio. Why wilt thou for-
swear thyself at this terrible moment ? It is vain. Wouldst
thou lie to death � wouldst thou carry an impure face of perjury
before the seat of the Triune God ! Beware ! Confess thy crime,
and justify the vengeance of thy lord !""As I believe thee, my Coelius as I believe that thou bast
most rashly and unjustly murdered my brother, and put death
in the cup which, delivered by thy hands, was sweet and pre-
cious to my lips, so must I now declare, in' sight of Heaven, in
the presence of the awful dead, that what I have said and sworn
to thee is truth. He whom I sheltered within the tombs of thy
fathers, was the son of mine the only, the last, best brother of
my heart. I bore him in mine arms when I was a child myself.
I loved him ever ! Oh, how I loved him ! next to thee, my Coe-
lius�next to thee ! Couldst thou but have spared me this
love�this brother !""How knew I �how know I now that he was thy brother ?"
was the choking inquiry.
" To save thee the cruel agony that thou must feel, at knowing
this, I could even be moved to tell thee falsely, and say that he
was not my brother ; but, indeed, some paramour, such as the
base and evil thought of thy brother has grafted upon thine ;
but I may not ; thy love is too precious to me at this last moment
even if death were not too terrible to the false speaker. He
was, indeed, my Flavius, dear son of a dear mother, best beloved
of brothers ; he whom thou didst play with as a boy; to whom thou
gav'st lessons in thy own lovely art ; who loved thee, my Gee-
Ells, but too fondly, and only forbore telling thee of his evil plight
for fear that thou shouldst incur danger from the sharp and an-
gry hostility of Rome. Seek my chamber, and in my cabinet
thou wilt find his letters, and the letters of my mother, borne
with him in his flight. Nay, � oh ! mother, what is this agony ?"" Too late ! too late ! If it be truth thou speakest, Aurelio,