Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 243

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SILENCE ! 243
�and a pleasure. It was still in the power of the dying man to
lift to his embrace his innocent victim. A moment's return of con_
sciousness enabled her to feel his embrace, his warm tears upon
her cheek, and to hear his words of entreaty and tenderness im-
ploring forgiveness. And speech was vouchsafed her to ac-
cord it.
� I forgive thee, my Coelius � I forgive thee, and bless thee,
and love thee to the last. I know that thou wouldst never do
me hurt of thy own will ; I know that thou Wert deceived to
this�yet how, oh, how, when my head lay upon thy breast at
night, and I slept in peace, couldst thou think that I should do
thee wrong !"
Why," murmured the miserable man, why, oh, why ?"� Had I but told thee, and trusted in thee, my Caelius !"
Why didst thou not ?"" It was because of my brother's persuasion that I did not
he wished not that thou shouldst come to evil."
And thou forgiv'st me, Aurelio�from thy very heart thou
forgiv'st me ?"
All, all�from my heart and soul, my husband."� It will not, then, be so very hard to die !"
An hour after and the chamber was silent. The wife had
yielded first. She breathed her last sigh upon his bosom, and
with the last effort of his strength he lifted her gently and laid
her in the sarcophagus, composing with affectionate care the dra-
pery around her. Then, remembering the picture, he looked
around him for his sword with which to obliterate the portraits
which his genius had assigned to so lamentable an eternity ; but
his efforts were feeble, and the paralysis of death seized him
while he was yet making them. He sunk back with palsied
limbs upon the bier, and the lights, and the picture, faded from
before his eyes, with the last pulses of his life. The calumny
which had destroyed his hopes, survived its own detection. The
recorded falsehood was triumphant over the truth ; yet may you
see, to this day, where the random strokes of the weapon were
aimed for its obliteration. Of himself there is no monument in
the tomb, though one touching memorial has reached us. The
vaulted chamber buried in the earth was discovered by accident.
A fracture was made in its top by an Italian gentleman in coin-