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knocked down as soon as any body was ready at the former of those noble pastimes.
At last, to Eden's unspeakable delight, Raffleton proposed that they should mount the two jaded wretches of quadrupeds who had dragged the house.boat, and revive the tilts and tournaments, of bygone days. This device was, it is needless to say, specially designed for the further torture of the unsuspecting Walrus ; who, accordingly, being a great deal too far gone to make any resistance, was speedily equipped in a table-cloth for a mantle, a boat-hook for a lance, and a dish-cover tied on his head with a handkerchief for a helmet. He was then placed, forthwith, upon the worst horse, and ridden at by Raffleton with another boat-book on the other animal, for the space of a quarter of an hour, at the rate of two severe pokes with the boat-hook and one tumble per minute, to the excessive gratification of the Brothers assembled, -particularly those who owed him anything.
“ Bill at three months, eh ?” said Raffleton, as he helped to pick him up for the last time.
Evening closed in upon the frolicsome festivities of the Brothers ; the hour for parting arrived; the house-boat was, after considerable difficulty in collecting straggling members of the fraternity, once more manned ; the four-oar fastened astern ; the three musicians installed upon the roof, and a merry tune struck up for the more lively of the Brothers to dance to; while Messrs. Raffleton, Richardson Lane, and Duffil sat down to play whist with a “ Dummy” below. This amuse. ment, however, they were shortly compelled to abandon, in consequence of Mr. Lane's manifesting a strange disposition to kick the aforesaid “ Dummy'' under the table for not playing right, as he said ; and, fail. ing in discovering the exact pair of legs belonging to that much calum. niated gentleman, kicking all those that he could find instead.
Night came on before they reached Oxford ; but there was a moon for those on deck, and a lamp, which shone dimly down upon the cabin. table, shone also down upon three figures. One of these was passive, being extended at full length upon the table with his eyes closed and his mouth open. The other two were anxiously inspecting him.
“ He's sound asleep at last,” whispered one of them. It was the jovial mercer.
“I see,” was the answer. “ Hush! I think it will do now."
And Raffleton, for he it was, went cautiously towards a little cupboard. When he returned to the table, one hand held a large iron pot, full of something which smelt uncommonly like tar, and the other a small canvass-bag.
“ Now then," whispered Raffleton. "Gently!"
So soundly did their victim slumber,—so well had the champagne done its work,—that not a quiver of the limbs, not a murmur of the lips escaped from the lifeless-looking mass of humanity, till a layer of
tar, and a thick sprinkling of feathers, had so disguised that once mild and benevolent countenance, that an ornithologist would have hailed it as a most felicitous and full-grown specimen of an hitherto undiscovered tribe of owls.
“ Bill at three months, eh?” said the late president of the Brothers' Club, hardly able to restrain himself and Ravelall from shouting aloud in their glee.
" This is delicious,” said the mercer. “ Hush ! he'll awake."
The fear was vain. The eyes opened once, but the Walrus saw not out of them ; champagne was over all his faculties,—he was in. sensible.
As the clocks gave out the last quarter to eleven, a long procession might have been seen proceeding through several by-lanes in the direc. tion of College. It was not exactly the shortest way that they took ; but it was the quietest. There was no policeman in their route.
The four first and steadiest of the procession bore a man's body and an owl's head along upon their shoulders. At the gate of the College these four halted, set the figure upon its legs, threw a handker. chief over its head, knocked, entered unchallenged by the porter, and halted once more at a door on the ground.floor. The rest of the procession remained outside the gates.
The handkerchief was removed,—the figure placed upon its knees at the door,-a tremendous series of knocks given,--and a retreat effected to their companions outside the gate.
That knock was no common knock. He who heard it had been used to knocks of all kinds. The cunning single knock of a dun had been familiar to him of yore,—the timid double knock of an undergraduate was his daily delight, but he had never heard such a knocking as this ! He was undressing, but he rushed out.
To have seen the Reverend Burnaby Birch at any time would have been a treat,--to have seen him in a flannel waistcoat, flannel dressing. gown, and flannel drawers, a great treat; but to have seen him, as he now stood, with the face of astonishment which crowned those articles of clothing, would have been a treat far greater than either.
There was a pause. The Reverend Burnaby was trying to remem. ber which it was,—Guy Faux Day, or the First of May. Neither Guy Faux nor the chimney-sweepers wore feathers on their faceit could be neither. In speechless horror he gazed on the prostrate figure before him, who had fallen off his knees on his head, where he lay face upwards.
“Who-what-are you ?” said the reverend gentleman, having ascertained that the figure did not bite.
No answer,--and a tremendous shake from the interrogator.
“Kos-kosmion," said the feathers. “ Eh?” screamed the Proctor. “Bro-brothers,” in-articulated the feathers. “ What's your name ?" shrieked the Reverend Burnaby. “It's—it's on-my shirt," was the interesting and indistinct reply.
The Reverend Burnaby grew furious. It must be another practical joke of the departed and distinguished foreigners. He rushed to the opposite door, knocked the Rev. James Smiler up, and held a consulta. tion over him of the feathers.
At last an undergraduate who was passing by, amid screams of laughter, recognised the proprietor of the Hierokosmion.
The Reverend James Smiler first said " Good Heavens !” and then thought it would be best to take him home. Accordingly they sum. moned the only scout not gone out of College, and dragged their half insensible burthen up the High Street. The door opened, and a female mouth with it; there was a fearful scream, and the talons of the female Walrus were imbedded in the cheeks of the Reverend Burnaby Birch.
“Stand-stand off, woman!” roared the Reverend Burnaby.
" Hurrah !" said the undergraduate, pulling at the gown of the virago.
" Who did it ?" shouted Mrs. Walrus.
The light fell upon the velvet sleeves-he was the Proctor. In an instant his assailant fell off, cried out for pardon, caressed the feathers, and sobbed unceasingly.
From the yard of the Mitre, about twenty individuals witnessed the whole transaction. They saw also that the conflicting parties appeared to part amicably at last; and as soon as they saw this, and the door was closed upon the feathers, a triumphant laugh broke from them. It is supposed from this, and from the additional circumstance of one of the party taking a most affectionate leave of them at the Angel, from his inquiring for sundry articles of luggage and clothing which had been sent there some time before, from his shortly after ascending the box of the London and Worcester mail, as well as from the words, “ Bill at three months, eh?”' which escaped him as he did so,--that those twenty individuals composed the Brothers' Club, and that the passenger to London was no other than their rusticated president.
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE ALHAMBRA.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THE SKETCH-BOOK.
DURING a summer's residence in the old Moorish palace of the Alhambra, of which I have already given numerous anecdotes to the public, I used to pass much of my time in the beautiful hall of the Abencerrages,
beside the fountain celebrated in the tragic story of that devoted race. Here it was that thirty-six cavaliers of that he. roic line were treacherously sacrificed, to appease the jealousy or allay the fears of a tyrant. The fountain, which now throws up its sparkling jet, and sheds a dewy freshness around, ran red with the
noblest blood of Granada; and a deep stain on the marble pavement is still pointed out by the cicerones of the pile, as a sanguinary record of the massacre. I have regarded it with the same determined faith with which I have regarded the traditional stains of Rizzio's blood on the floor of the chamber of the unfortunate Mary, at Holyrood. I thank no one for endeavouring to enlighten my credulity on such points of popular belief. It is like breaking up the shrine of the pil. grim; it is robbing the poor traveller of half the reward of his toils; for, strip travelling of its historical illusions, and what a mere fag you make of it!
For my part, I gave myself up, during my sojourn in the Alhambra, to all the romantic and fabulous traditions connected with the pile. I lived in the midst of an Arabian tale, and shut my eyes as much as possible to everything that called me back to every-day life ; and, if ihere is any country in Europe where one can do so, it is in poor, wild, legendary, proud-spirited, romantic Spain, where the old magnifi. cent barbaric spirit still contends against the utilitarianism of modern civilisation.
In the silent and deserted halls of the Alhambra, surrounded with the insignia of regal sway, and the still vivid though dilapidated traces of oriental voluptuousness, I was in the stronghold of Moorish story, and everything spoke and breathed of the glorious days of Granada when under the dominion of the crescent. When I sat in the hall of the Abencerrages, I suffered my mind to conjure up all that I had read of that illustrious line. In the proudest days of Moslem domination, the Abencerrages were the soul of everything noble and chivalrous. The veterans of the family, who sat in the royal coun. cil, were the foremost to devise those heroic enterprises which carried dismay into the territories of the Christians; and what the sages of the family devised, the young men of the name were the fore. most to execute. In all services of hazard, in all adventurous forays and hair.breadth hazards, the Abencerrages were sure to win the brightest laurels. In those noble recreations, too, which bear so close an affinity to war,-in the tilt and tourney, the riding at the ring, and the daring bull-fight,-still the Abencerrages carried off the palm. Noi could equal them for the splendour of their array, the gallantry of their devices; for their noble bearing and glorious horsemanship. Their open-handed munificence made them the idols of the populace, while their lofty magnanimity and perfect faith gained them golden opinions from the generous and high-minded. Never were they known to decry the merits of a rival, or to betray the confidings of a friend ; and the word of an Abencerrage” was a guarantee that never admitted of a doubt.
And then their devotion to the fair! Never did Moorish beauty consider the fame of her charms established until she had an Abencer. rage for a lover; and never did an Abencerrage prove recreant to his
Lovely Granada! City of delights! Who ever bore the favours of thy dames more proudly on their casques, or championed them more gallantly in the chivalrous tilts of the Vivarambla? Or who ever made thy moon-lit balconies, thy gardens of myrtles and roses, of oranges, citrons, and pomegranates, respond to more tender serenades?
I speak with enthusiasm on this theme ; for it is connected with the recollection of one of the sweetest evenings and sweetest scenes
that ever I enjoyed in Spain. One of the greatest pleasures of the Spaniard is, to sit in the beautiful summer evenings, and listen to traditional ballads and tales about the wars of the Moors and Chris. tians, and the buenas andanzas” and “grandes hechos,” the “good fortunes" and "great exploits” of the hardy warriors of yore. It is worthy of remark, also, that many of these songs, or romances, as they are called, celebrate the prowess and magnanimity in war, and the tenderness and fidelity in love, of the Moorish cavaliers, once their most formidable and heated foes. But centuries have elapsed to extinguish the bigotry of the zealot; and the once detested warriors of Granada are now held up by Spanish poets as the mirrors of chivalric virtue.
Such was the amusement of the evening in question. A number of us were seated in the Hall of the Abencerrages, listening to one of the most gifted and fascinating beings that I had ever met with in my wanderings. She was young and beautiful; and light and ethereal; full of fire, and spirit, and pure enthusiasm. She wore the fanciful Andalusian dress; touched the guitar with speaking eloquence ; im. provised with wonderful facility; and, as she became excited by her theme, or by the rapt attention of her auditors, would pour forth in the richest and most melodious strains a succession of couplets full of striking description or stirring narration, and composed, as I was assured, at the moment. Most of these were suggested by the place, and related to the ancient glories of Granada, and the prowess of her chivalry. The Abencerrages were her favourite heroes; she felt a woman's admiration of their gallant courtesy and high-souled honour; and it was touching and inspiring to hear the praises of that generous but devoted race chanted in this fated hall of their calamity by the lip of Spanish beauty.
Among the subjects of which she treated was a tale of Moslem honour, and old-fashioned Spanish courtesy, which made a strong impression on me. She disclaimed all merit of invention, however, and said she had merely dilated into verse a popular tradition ; and, indeed, I have since found the main facts inserted at the end of Conde's History of the Domination of the Arabs, and the story itself embodied in the form of an episode in the Diana of Montemayor. From these sources I have drawn it forth, and endeavoured to shape it ac. cording to my recollection of the version of the beautiful minstrel; but alas ! what can supply the want of that voice, that look, that form, that action, which gave magical effect to her chant, and held every one rapt in breathless admiration! Should this mere travesty of her inspired numbers ever meet her eye in her stately abode at Granada, may it meet with that indulgence which belongs to her benignant nature. Happy should I be if it could awaken in her bosom one kind recollec. tion of the lonely stranger and sojourner for whose gratification she did not think ath her to exert those fascinating powers which were the delight of brilliant circles ; and who will ever recall with enthu. siasm the happy evening passed in listening to her strains in the moon. lit halls of the Alhambra.
THE ABENCERRAGE.-A SPANISH TALE. On the summit of a craggy hill, a spur of the mountains of Ronda, stands the castle of Allora, now a mere ruin, infested by bats and