Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Count Julian; or, The Last Days of the Goth >> Chapter VIII >> Page 32

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Novel (Romance) | William Taylor & Co. | 1845 - 1846
Transcription 32 COUNT JULIAN; ORS
gard which Roderick had shown for the accustomed privileges of the one, and the venerated superstitions of the other, sunk deep into their minds, and with the feeling of general insecurity which his recklessness had produced, necessarily came the de-sire to be free from his power. It may be supposed that neither the intrigues of the archbishop Oppas nor the simple zeal of Romano were spared in promoting this de-sire. The effects of their industry may be seen anon.
Roderick, in the meantime, having recovered from his alarm, as the tempest appeared to have' passed unharmingly over his head, relapsed into his wonted indulgence of lust and license. Unhappily for himself and for his kingdom, the pure charms and gentle virtues of his incomparable queen, Egilona, failed to restrain him from the most unbecoming vices. Edeco, his creature, and the pander to his unholy passions, seldom left him, and his influence over the mind of Roderick, acquired through the love of pleasure which was the predominant trait with the monarch, was unapproachable by better and wiser counsellors. With Edeco to minister, and his own lustful imagination to conceive, the king resumed his career of indulgence, to which the adventure of the holy house had offered some little check, if not rebuke ; and the court became once again, as it was before, the theatre of wild excess and abandoned debauchery. But the usurper was destined to receive another warning, if not a confirmation of the old. It is in the written history of kings, that they seldom go utterly unadvised of their errors ; and the narrow economy which hi ordinary life preserves the ploughman from destruction, would avail with not less adequate certainty to the protection of the king. It is not less true, however, that high station is apt to blind one to humble dangers. The monarch is too apt to disdain, as unworthy of contemplation, the pedestal upon which he stands.
There was one true courtier, who clung firmly to the Goth, and with little but hisself-approval for his guerdon, scorned to counsel in any other than the language of honesty. This was Bovis. Even as Roderick was about to speed to some, pleasures, or rather excesses, to which the had engaged himself for the day, this noble-man arrested his progress. His manner was solemn but urgent, and the king seeing rt, and fearing counsel which might interfere with and rebuke his proposed indulgencies, would have hurried away from his counsellor ; but Bovis was too honest, too faithful, to suffer him to escape.
" Nay, good Bovis, nay ; not now—another time," said the king.
" There is hut one time, oh king ! for our duties," replied the plain-speaking and stubborn counsellor.
Again ! " said the king, while a stern frown gathered on his brow at the pertinacity of Bovis.
" Again, and vet again, oh Roderick ! when I strive against the king in the king's
behalf."
Thou art too pressing, Bovis."
Not a whit, oh king ! if thou wilt hear me. Be not angry with thy servant, I pray you, my master ; my zeal is in your service, not in mine own. Not to serve you thus would be to wrong thy service, and do myself wrong."
I do not reprove you, Bovis, that you neglect me. You shall not, with such a show of self-reproach, fasten yourself upon me." And Roderick waved his hand as if to dismiss the unwelcome counsellor; but the faithful follower was firm.
" The tidings come, oh king ! "'T is well ! Another time ! Seest thou not, good Bovis, that our mood would be free from toil to-day. We will hear you at some fitter hour, when you may discourse your will to us, and we will meditate upon it, and plot and plan, if it will please you, then—but not now. 1 'm bound for pleasure now."