Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVI / The Wager of Battle. A Tale of the Feudal Ages. >> Page 373

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE GIRL AND HER GRANDSIRE. 373
to the earth with the first thrust of his heavy lance ; or smite thee down to death with a single blow of battle-axe or dagger."
Hear me, my lord, and have no fear. Thou knowest not the terrible powers which I possess, nor should any know, but that this necessity compels me to employ them. I will slay my enemy and thine. He can not harm me. He will perish helplessly ere his weapon shall be twice lifted to affront me."
Thou meanest not to employ sorcery ?"
Be assured, my lord, I shall use a carnal agent only. The instrument which I shall take with me to battle, though of terrible and destructive power, shall be as fully blessed of Heaven as any in your mortal armory."
Be it so ! I am glad that thou art so confident ; and yet, let me entreat thee to trust thy battle to my hands."
No, my dear lord, no ! To thee there would be danger
to me, none. I thank thee for thy goodness, and will name thee in my prayers to Heaven."
We need not pursue their dialogue, which was greatly pro-longed, and included much other matter which did not concern the event before us. When the nobleman took his departure, the damsel reappeared. The old man took her in his embrace, and while the tears glistened upon his snowy beard, he thus addressed her
But for theeļæ½for thee, chiefly daughter of the beloved and sainted child in heaven, I had spared myself this trial. This wretched man should live wert thou not present, making it needful that I should still prolong to the last possible moment, the remnant of my days. Were I to perish, where wert thou ? What would be the safety of the sweet one and the desolate ? The insect would descend upon the bud, and it would lose scent and freshness. The worm would fasten upon the flower, and a poison worse than death would prey upon its core. No ! my poor Lucilla, I must live for thee, though I live not for myself. I must shed the blood of mine enemy, and spare mine own, that thou mayest not be desolate."