Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 244

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 244

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 244 SOUTHWARD HO
pally with a Scottish nobleman. As they gazed eagerly through
the aperture, they beheld an ancient warrior in full armor, and
bearing a coronet of gold. The vision lasted but a moment.
The decomposing effects of the air were soon perceptible. Even
while they gazed, the body seemed agitated with a trembling,
heaving motion, which lasted a few minutes, and then it subsi-
ded into dust. When they penetrated the sepulchre, they found
the decaying armor in fragments, the sword and the helmet, or
crown of gold. The dust was but a handful, and this was all
that remained of the wretched Lucumo. The terrible picture is
all that survives�the false witness, still repeating its cruel lie,
at the expense of all that is noble in youth and manhood, and
all that is pure and lovely in the soul of woman."

We all agreed that our professor, who delivered his narrative
with due modesty, had made a very interesting legend from the
chronicles� had certainly shown a due regard for the purity of
the sex, in thus vindicating the virtuous sufferer from the mali-
cious accusation which had been preserved by art, through the
capricious progress of more than twenty centuries.
Several stories followed, short, sketchy, and more or less spir-
ited, of which I could procure no copies. The ladies gave us
sundry pleasant lyrics to the accompaniment of the guitar, and
one or two male flute players contributed to our musical joys
until we began to verge toward the shorter hours, when the fair-
er portion of the party bowed us good night � Duyckman nearly
breaking his own and Selina Burroughs's neck, in helping her
down the cabin-steps.