Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Count Julian; or, The Last Days of the Goth >> Chapter VII >> Page 186

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Novel (Romance) | William Taylor & Co. | 1845 - 1846
Transcription 186 COUNT JULIAN; OR,

reviving, perhaps, at the instigation of that very fate which required him for the sacrifice. He shook himself free from his nervous apprehensions. The name of Julian lost its terror in his ears. The awful image of the injured father of Cava ceased to look out in characters of fear upon his vision ; and a burning desire to resent the insolence of the invader, and revenge the wrongs done to his kingdom, at length drove him into the exercise of energies of a kind which almost compensated for all his previous apathy. His movements were urged with rigor. His troops were assembled with speed. His nobles were summoned to his side. Weapons were brought, armor forged, the various munitions of war sought for in all directions, while his camp witnessed momently the arrival of men, mules and horses, from all quarters of the kingdom. Roderick possessed in himself rare natural resources of strength and providence, of which the slothful career in which he had so long indulged, had not entirely stripped his genius. But his strength lay quite as much in himself as in his armies. The levies thus hastily brought together were not the men with whom to meet the hardy veterans of Julian and Taric. Nor were the nobles on whom he relied, altogether calculated as counsellors or leaders for an exigency so fearful as that which threatened the kingdom. Many came, but few deserved to be chosen. Roderick felt but small confidence in their succor when he looked around him. Many of the nobles gave him, he well knew, but lip service. Many of them had suffered by his injustice—and, upon the rest he could found but few hopes, whether as respects their conduct or their courage. The Archbishop Oppas came with the rest, and was one of the king's most trusty counsellors. His conspiracy had been too cautiously carried on for the suspicions of the tyrant. More than once in danger, he had more than once escaped by the adroitness of his judgment, and, on each occasion, by securing additional holds upon the confidence of the sovereign he was now preparing to betray. It was he, chiefly, who had persuaded Roderick to take the field in person. He exaggerated the strength of the kingdom, the valor of the troops, and the weakness of the invader. He wrote to Julian : The tiger leaves his jungle. Be you ready with the hunters." And Julian rose when he read the missive, and a convulsion of joy shook his manly frame. A deep red light seemed to kindle in his eye, and there was no more apathy in his movements. He shook his hand slowly and threateningly, as if one even then stood before him. Then he might be heard to mutter, as if to one speaking behind him : " Peace, Frandina, reproach me not! The hour cometh and the victim. Peace, pure and suffering spirit, thy stains shall all be washed away in blood." Then, moving with hasty stride to the tent of Taric, he said to that chieftain whom he wakened from iron slumbers : Arouse your Arabs, Taric, for the day is reddening in the east Arouse ye, for, even now, Roderick is setting his army in array, and marches to the banks of the Xeres. It is there that we shall meet him." And, this time, Taric el Tuerto rose with a submissive air, for the command in the eve and the voice of Julian was that of a master, not to be withstood. From that moment the sway was with the great avenger. The troops were marshalled, and Julian of Conseugra led the host, calmly, and with the countenance of one who has already willed that a mighty victory shall follow.