Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Count Julian; or, The Last Days of the Goth >> Chapter VI >> Page 27

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Novel (Romance) | William Taylor & Co. | 1845 - 1846
Transcription THE LAST DAYS OF THE GOTH. 27
" Let me arrange them for thee, Brito. Thou wouldst have struck the tyrant, had any one of the nobles commanded thee ? Wherefore shouldst thou look to them for command ? Regard thine own limbs. Have they strength in them ? What are thy muscles ? Can they not bend and heave, and are they not elastic for all strife and trial ? Look'st thou ever in the water which ran at thy feet, and saw'st thou ever thine own face, and looked it less like that of a man than Edeco's ? Where-fore look to him for a word of authority, when thou art not less—ay, when thou art far more—a man than he ? What is the difference between you ? Hast thou ever asked, Brito ? "" I have not—I know not, stranger ; but some of these thoughts have already come to me, confusedly," said Brito.
" I knew they had, or thou hadst not spoken as thou didst. But hearken to me, and I will show the difference between Brito and Edeco," said the stranger. " A feather makes it."" A feather ! " exclaimed the serf.
Ay ! a feather—a feather, and a robe. Speak to me, and shout, Brito ; I would hear thy voice."
The Iberian shouted aloud, until the deep valley rang again with the thrilling sounds.
Midst thou ever hear the royal espatorio speak ? " demanded the stranger. " I have,"'gas the reply.
" Had he a voice like thine ? "" Of a truth, he had not," said Brito.
" What then ? " said the stranger. " Thou hast better limbs and sinews—better lungs for speech, and, since thou bast looked in the brook I need not tell thee that thou hast a far nobler aspect than Edeco. What is the difference between you? The feather, Brito, the feather—nothing more."
Yes, more," said Brito.
What ? "
The king's favor," said the other.
" A feather too ! I marvel what were the value of the king's favor to Edeco, when the stone hurled from thy hand has taken his master in the forehead ! But little, I tell thee, Brito ; but even that little shall be made up to thee if thou wilt go with me. Thou shalt have the feather and the robes, Brito, and the favor of a king."
I would not have the favor of king Roderick," responded Brito, quickly and sullenly, " since he hath banished my master."
Thou shalt have the favor of a king, but not of Roderick, Brito. Come with me."
I would wait awhile, stranger, and see if aught comes from the holy house. Hercules will of a surety avenge his wrong upon the tyrant."
Thou seest now ! " said the stranger. It is from Hercules that I come to thee, Brito. He bath chosen thee, with a thousand others, to minister to his revenge upon Roderick. Come ! "
With a mind crowded with conflicting and new thoughts, the serf followed his mysterious guide. The stranger had touched the key of thought in his mind, and had fired the train which ages had prepared and events were still preparing. That night Brito was dispatched with missives to prince Pelayo ; and it was thus that the lord bishop Oppas gained a new instrument in the cause of revolution.
That same night, sleeping in the arms of the pure and beautiful Egilona, Roderick started from his dream of fears, in the consciousness of a wild and sudden terror.