Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVI / The Wager of Battle. A Tale of the Feudal Ages. >> Page 359

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE TRAITOR PRINCE. 3 r59
chain armor, the admirable work, in all probability, of the shops
of Milan. This, though painted or stained thoroughly black, yet
threw out a glossy lustre of incredible brightness. Upon his
breast, as if the love token of some noble damsel, a broad scarf
of the most delicate blue was seen to float. A cap of velvet,
with a double loop in front, bearing a very large brilliant from
which rose a bunch of sable plumes, was discarded from his
brows the moment that he stood within the royal presence. He
stood for a brief space, seeming to survey the scene, then ad-
vanced with a bold and somewhat rapid step, as if a natural spirit
of fearlessness had been stimulated into eagerness by a con-
sciousness of wrong and a just feeling of indignation. His face
was scarcely less noble than his form and manner, but it was
marked by angry passions � was red and swollen and as lie
passed onward to the foot of the throne, he glanced fiercely on
either hand, as if seeking for an enemy. In spite of the fearless-
ness of his progress, I could now perceive that he was under
constraint and in duresse. A strong body of halberdiers closed
upon his course, and evidently stood prepared and watchful of
his every movement. As he approached the throne, the several
groups gave way before him, and he stood, with unobstructed
vision, in the immediate presence of the monarch. For an in-
stant he remained erect, with a mien unsubdued and almost
haughty, while a low murmur�as I fancied, of indignation
rose in various portions of the ball. The face of the king him-
self seemed suddenly flushed, and a lively play of the muscles
of his countenance led me to believe that he was about to give
utterance to his anger ; but, at this moment, the stranger sunk
gracefully but proudly upon his knee, and, bending his forehead,
with a studied humility in his prostration, disarmed, if it had been
felt, the indignation of his sovereign. This done, he rose to his
feet with a manly ease, and stood silent, in an attitude of expec-
tation, but with a calm, martial erectness, as rigid as if cut from
the inflexible rock.
The king spoke, but the words were inaudible to my ears.
There was a murmur from various parts of the assembly. Sev-
eral voices followed that of the monarch, but of these I could
not comprehend the purport. I could only judge of the charac-
ter of what was said by its startling effect upon the ,stranger. If