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his eye, in spite of itself, fell upon a portentous "Beware!"

It was enough: he hurried on as though the devil were at his back. And although now and then accosted by a Bowery Boy with a rough hand, and run against in token of affectionate recognition by a big vagabond, Lankey, all things considered, made good speed; and, before he well knew it, was out upon the Avenue; and then he began to quake.

He had not gone many steps in this direction when an arm was quietly thrust into his own; and he found himself marching abreast of a stranger. He looked around. The stranger was a short man in a dusty coat, with a red, blossomy nose. What was the stranger's business with Lankey Fogle?

There was a mighty din upon the Avenue, and it was not easy to tell. The hard riders were coming in from Harlem, and the road roared with the spinning of wheels, and the air was thick with flying dust. There were men, solitary, in little gossamer-built sulkies, who seemed borne along on the air it self and men in couples in light wagons; and hard-drinking parties of four in barouches; and gentlemen far gone in close coaches; all in tremendous speed as if some great event were coming off immediately, a mile or two ahead, and they bound to be there at the peril of their lives. Then they were mightily bothered by men on horseback, who taking each the footpath at the side of the road, laid themselves out on their horses and swept everything clean before them. Then by great lumbering butcher-boys, who, on shambling cart horses, came down the Avenue in troops, allowing themselves to be tossed about the road like so many hulks fallen into an eddy they could not manage; scrambling hay-carts, with the hay off, returning, and running their scraggy poles and shelving into the ribs of travellers, without the slightest reference to utility

or ornament.

So, with all they had a hard time of it, Lankey and the stranger. But they had got by this time at the cross-road that strikes off to Cato's; and there began to be prospect of conversation; and happy that there was, for Lankey Fogle was smarting for it.

"Sir!" said the stranger, turning full upon Lankey at a point where they began to have a glimpse of the Tower,

"this is the most important event of your life!"

Lankey did not deny it.

"It involves the destiny," continued the stranger, "the destiny, I say, of you and your posterity to the latest generation."

The proposition was laid down and no one opposed it.

"Whether the hopes of mankind are to be blighted by the course you shall adopt to-night, remains to be seen!" It did.

"Remains to be seen," he resumed; "And how far you are worthy of the trust reposed in you—"

Their noses were close together; and they watched each other like dogs. By the confiding and generous Joseph."

66

Lankey Fogle seized his hand. "I understand you," said Lankey"enough said!"

The stranger buttoned his coat and went into a small pot-house by the roadside. Lankey Fogle took the road again, as far as Cato's, and was forced to go in: it was not the Cato's of infancy, the Cato's governed by that venerable and worthy and dusky man, in his little cropped pate and clean apron: when stages from far countries (Rye, and Sawpitts, and Danbury, and Cross River), came jingling, with their merry chains, to the door; the driver dismounted, and the inside gentlemen dismounted, and there was a mighty bringing out of lemonade and crackers and sugar-biscuit to be tendered in the most gallant style, to the green-veiled beauties within. No, no, that Cato's was gone away; a great grave had been digged for that, a clean white cloth had been spread over it, and it was buried beyond resurrection. That Cato's had been launched on the stream of time and had gone backward, like an ark of peace and comfort, and true jollity, sailing to whence it could not return. But there stood the great white Tower over the way; reproaching it silently for parting company: for tavern and tower they had known each other from the corner stone: and Lankey Fogle hurried in, for he thought the old Tower somehow or other stooped his back to the very door of the new Cato's, to see what kind of nonsense could be going on there now that the old soul was gone.

Lankey called for a small toddy, hotand-hot.

The landlord brought it himself. "A queer night this," said the landlord.

Lankey Fogle took a long pull. "A skimmery shimmery night, sir," pursued the landlord.

Another pull toward the bottom. "The Shot-Tower has been busy as a bee all day to-day; and such a singing as he's kept up!"

Lankey Fogle admitted it by his manner of setting down the glass.

He went out very quietly, winking at the landlord in a sleepy way; at which the landlord, in turn, shook his head. As he got into the road again, a great hay-cart was passing, so high piled up, that the moon now abroad, seemed to be sleeping in its top among the fresh-mown blades. His heart sunk within him. He entered the great gate at the Mount Vernon school, where the trotting-course used to be. He passed through the orchard. There was a great shout be

hind him; it was the city leaving off its work, with a cheer. There was a mighty blaze in the sky; the city lighting up for the night. How green the grass was!-how it sparkled and winked and laughed in the clear moonshine! But there was a shadow on it now-a huge shadow, made neither by man, nor house, nor tree: it was the dark side of the old Shot-Tower; and when Lankey looked up, how wickedly and wilfully, cool and self-possessed, that old white ghost of a Tower held himself! Not inquisitive, nor overbearing, but scandalously calm and indifferent. Lankey Fogle was alarmed, much more than if he had pitched himself head-foremost into Lankey's waistcoat, and offered downright fight; and when he saw in its shadow a figure leaning down and delving the earth-he leaped the fence! Was it to keep his appointment, or fly from it? Whichever it was, who could blame him?

THE BALLAD OF DON RODERICK.

BY S. WALLACE CONE.

I.

"My daughter," quoth Count Julian, " Need must that I should go To guard the town of Ceuta against the Paynim foe :

Don Roderick hath committed the fortress to my care,

And foul my shame if field were fought, and Julian were not there." "Now God and our dear Lady defend and help the right!

And yet I would, my father, thou went'st not forth to night.

I have a strange foreboding of some misfortune near,

And tho' the field were fought and won, I would thou stayedst here."

II.

"Out, out on thee, Florinda-what folly, girl, is this?
Take, an' thou wilt, my blessing, and give me back a kiss.
But go I must and will, wench; aye! go, come foul or fair;
No field at Ceuta must be fought, and Julian be not there!"
In haste he donned his harness, and mounted him to selle,
And to his beauteous daughter he waved a fond farewell ;
And oft afar he turned him to gaze with longing love,
Where stood the weeping damsel upon the tower above.

III.

But lo! a plump of lances, with banners waving high,
Have passed upon the hill top, beneath the sunset sky,
Count Julian scarce hath vanished upon the eastern side,
When spurring fast and furious they from the westward side.

The warder gave the signal of foes approaching near,
Upstarted then Florinda, and dashed away the tear.

"What garrison is left us?" "Lady, but twenty men!"

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'Away and man the ramparts! We'd meet them tho' but ten!"

IV.

"But with such odds, dear lady, is sure defeat and cheap!"

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Begone! Count Julian's castle, Count Julian's child will keep. Hang out our house's banner. Twenty! we need no more; And wo betide the craven who fails in his devoir !" Before the castle's barrier his rein the foremost drew, And deftly on his bugle a peaceful summons blew.

"Now wherefore come yon lances, Sir Knight ?" the lady cried, "And what may be your purpose in hostile guise that ride ?"

V.

"Hostile! nay trust me, lady, 'tis but our guise is so ;-
Base knight were he and craven who harmed so fair a foe.
An thou wilt look more closely against yon sunset sky,
Thou❜lt see DON RODERICK'S banner above the lances fly.
The chase to-day pursuing, a shaft hath pierced his side,
And hitherward for succor he hath been forced to ride.
Wherefore, fair dame, I pray thee no farther parley wait,
But open to our monarch thy father's loyal gate."

VI.

Right joyfully cried Cava-" Sir Knight, my father's hall
Though thousands came with Roderick, hath room, I trow, for all.
Wide barrier and portcullis, my trusty liegemen, fling,
And to our castle welcome Don Roderick, our King!"

He bowed him to his saddle, and hied him to the train,

And down the hill they hurried, and pricked across the plain;
I wot when 'round he turned him, across his face there came
A scornful smile and evil, and the red blush of shame.

VII.

With trumpets loudly braying their proud and joyful notes,
With shouts of hearty welcome from twenty loyal throats,
With love and faith and honor, her liegemen one and all,
As bade their lady, welcomed Don Roderick to her hall.
But shout and lordly trumpet he gave them little heed,
For two that ride beside him must lift him from his steed.
They bore him from his saddle with mournful step and slow,
Whilst the proud trumpet's clamor died off in wailings low.

VIII.

The monarch and his nobles, with love and courtesy,
They welcomed to the castle and served him on the knee;
They bore him to a chamber, for wounded seemed he sore,
Aud spread a couch full softly, and crept across the floor.
Then came the fair Florinda, a skilful leech was she,
The bruised King to comfort in his extremity.

His couch she knelt beside it: his barons watched around;
And with her gentle fingers she closed the monarch's wound.

IX.

The gaping wound together she with her fingers pressed,
And spread a cooling balsam upon Don Roderick's breast.
"Now praise to St. Iago! for this relief!"-he cries,
His lips gave thanks to heaven, he thanked her with his eyes.

And night and day together with eye that never slept,
Beside the wounded monarch her watch the lady kept;
And night and day together she prayed on her bended knee,
To God and Mary Mother, that they her help would be!

PART II.

I.

It was upon the morning of John the Baptist's day,
Don Roderick left his chamber to wend upon his way.
It was upon that morning, the morn of good St. John,
Of all the deeds accursed, the most accursed was done.
Before the lady Cava, the king he bent him down,

And for his cure he thanked her-I wis she did not frown.
Before the lady Cava the king he bent his knee,

"Thou cur'st," quoth he, "my body—yet sore thou woundest me!

II.

"The shaft it pierced my bosom, alack! thy lovely eyes
Have barbed a sharper arrow, and in my heart it lies.
Nay! frown not, gentle Cava, nor look, sweet love, forlorn;
But hie we both to Burgos on this the Baptist's morn.
With feasting and with revel thou shalt be welcomed there,
And mistress will I make thee of lordships broad and fair.
Upon the knee to serve thee a thousand shalt thou have,
And I thy lord and monarch will be thine humblest slave."

III.

"What," cried the shuddering maiden, "Is thus my care repaid? Oh! King, how have I wronged thee, that thou shouldst thus degrade? Part! part in peace, Don Roderick, and on my bended knee

I'll pray that our dear Lady, this thought may pardon thee."

"A larger boon then ask ye, for larger will we need,

And the good saint must pardon, sweet wench, both thought and deed;
For by the rood," cried Roderick, "and by my crown I've sworn,
That thou shalt ride to Burgos on this the Baptist's morn.'

IV.

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"Oh king! oh king! bethink thee, Count Julian's good right hand This day is doing battle to guard for thee thy land!

Bethink thee of thine honor! bethink thee of thy need,

When wounded sore and helpless thou at his gates didst bleed!
And by thine oath of knighthood, and by thy hope of grace,

Bring not this foul dishonor upon my father's race!

Part! part in peace, Don Roderick, and on my bended knee
I'll pray that Mary Mother thy thought may pardon thee!"

V.

"Come," quoth the monarch, smiling, "no more, no more delay!
We two must be in Burgos before the close of day!"
Back started then Fiorinda, and raised her hand on high,
Her lips all white and bloodless, and fierce her flashing eye,-
"King! if thou dar'st dishonor,-God curse thee for the deed!

Upon the field of battle deserted may'st thou bleed!
An outcast from thy kingdom, from crown and hope exiled,
Be thy false soul unshriven, thy traitor's grave defiled !”

VI.

Dark scowled the haughty monarch-he seized with ruthless hand, And bore her to a palfrey, amid his ruffian band.

Forth from her weeping damsels he bore their hapless dame,

Whilst in a blessed swooning she recked not of her shame.

Oh! when Count Julian heard it, a vengeful man was he;
And in his wrath he called the Moor across the groaning sea;
He tore his beard of silver, and bitter oaths he swore,-

“God curse thee, thou false monarch! God curse thee ever more!

VII.

"I was thy truest soldier, I am thy deadliest foe;

The vengeance of the Father shall lay the Monarch low.
Welcome to Spain, oh Tarik! From Afric's burning sands,
The gates are open, Saracen, to thee and all thy bands.
Pour forth thy dusky legions and sweep from shore to shore!
"Smite, till the name of Spaniard be heard of never more!
Unfurl thy crescent banner! Set forward to the fight!
On Roderick and on Julian no sun shall set to-night!"

VIII.

Fly fly, thou false king Roderick! Fly, fly, ye men of Spain! Count Julian dogs thy footsteps! your army strews the plain ! Weep, weep, and beat your bosoms, ye who were wives this morn! Weep for your orphaned children, slaves to the Paynim's scorn! Wo to the noble's castle! wo to the hermit's grot!

Wo to the stately city! wo to the herdman's cot!

Weep for your blighted honor! weep for your country's loss!
Howl for the Crescent floating above the trampled Cross !

IX.

It was upon the morning before the field of shame,
Unto Florinda's bower in haste Don Roderick came.
"Fly! fly!" he cried, "Florinda! The Moorish host is near,
And doubtful is the battle-I durst not leave thee here!"
Oh! God forgive thee, Roderick! She lies before thee now,
The dagger in her bosom, and death upon her brow.
To horse, to horse, Don Roderick! her bruised soul is free,
And on the field of battle Count Julian waits for thee.

X.

Now cursed be the hour Count Julian turned to go
To guard the town of Ceuta against the Paynim foe;
Accursed be the hour the King fair Cava sought;
Accursed be the hour his eye her beauty caught:
And cursed Julian's falsehood and Cava's beauty be,

That brought the dark-browed Moorman across the groaning sea!
Since from Toledo's cavern too true the mystic strain,
For Roderick fell at Xeres, and Tarik ruled in Spain.

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