Vittoria — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 575 pages of information about Vittoria Complete.
when it came back, overwhelmed her; she swayed from recollection to oblivion, and was like a caged wild thing.  Giacinta had to be as a mother with her.  The poor trembling girl, who had begun to perceive that the carriage was bearing them to some unknown destination, tore open the bands of her corset and drew her mistress’s head against the full warmth of her bosom, rocked her, and moaned over her, mixing comfort and lamentation in one offering, and so contrived to draw the tears out from her, a storm of tears; not fitfully hysterical, but tears that poured a black veil over the eyeballs, and fell steadily streaming.  Once subdued by the weakness, Vittoria’s nature melted; she shook piteously with weeping; she remembered Laura’s words, and thought of what she had done, in terror and remorse, and tried to ask if the people would be fighting now, but could not.  Laura seemed to stand before her like a Fury stretching her finger at the dear brave men whom she had hurled upon the bayonets and the guns.  It was an unendurable anguish.  Giacinta was compelled to let her cry, and had to reflect upon their present situation unaided.  They had passed the city gates.  Voices on the coachman’s box had given German pass-words.  She would have screamed then had not the carriage seemed to her a sanctuary from such creatures as foreign soldiers, whitecoats; so she cowered on.  They were in the starry open country, on the high-road between the vine-hung mulberry trees.  She held the precious head of her mistress, praying the Saints that strength would soon come to her to talk of their plight, or chatter a little comfortingly at least; and but for the singular sweetness which it shot thrilling to her woman’s heart, she would have been fretted when Vittoria, after one long-drawn wavering sob, turned her lips to the bared warm breast, and put a little kiss upon it, and slept.

CHAPTER XXIII

FIRST HOURS OF THE FLIGHT

Vittoria slept on like an outworn child, while Giacinta nodded over her, and started, and wondered what embowelled mountain they might be passing through, so cold was the air and thick the darkness; and wondered more at the old face of dawn, which appeared to know nothing of her agitation.  But morning was better than night, and she ceased counting over her sins forward and backward; adding comments on them, excusing some and admitting the turpitude of others, with ’Oh!  I was naughty, padre mio!  I was naughty—­she huddled them all into one of memory’s spare sacks, and tied the neck of it, that they should keep safe for her father-confessor.  At such times, after a tumult of the blood, women have tender delight in one another’s beauty.  Giacinta doted on the marble cheek, upturned on her lap, with the black unbound locks slipping across it; the braid of the coronal of hair loosening; the chance flitting movement of the pearly little dimple that lay at the edge of the bow of the joined lips, like the cradling hollow of a dream.  At whiles it would twitch; yet the dear eyelids continued sealed.

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Vittoria — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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