The seer has a vision of the seven thunders, but these he is bidden to seal and not commit to writing.
His commanding stature, the symmetry of his form, the dark and melancholy beauty of his countenance, rather rendered piquant than impaired by an obliquity of vision, produced an imposing impression even before his deep and powerful voice had given utterance to its melodious thunders; and harsh and superficial half-truths enunciated with surpassing ease and grace of gesture, and not only with an air of absolute conviction but with the authority of a prophetic messenger, in tones whose magical fascination was inspired by an earnestness beyond all imitation of art, acquired a plausibility and importance which, at least while the orator spoke, made his audience entirely forgetful of their preconceived objections against them.
The former, in the 15th century, won the Val Leventina (down which the St Gotthard train now thunders) as well as Bellinzona and the Val Blenio (though the Ossola Valley was held for a time only), while the latter added to the Val Bregaglia (which had been given to the bishop of Coire in 960 by the emperor Otto I.) the valleys of Mesocco and of Poschiavo.
Thenceforward the thunders continued chiefly on paper.
Yet it has its law to which it thunders obedience when it should as surely as the buds expand in the spring.
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