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Down they go in deadly wrestle,

Down upon the earth they go, Fierce King Pedro has the vantage, Stout Don Henry falls below.

VI. Marking then the fatal crisis,

Up the page of Henry ran, By the waist he caught Don Pedro,

Aiding thus the fallen man.


“ King to place, or to depose him,

Dwelleth not in my desire,
But the duty which he owes him,
To his master pays the squire.”-

Now Don Henry has the upmost,

Now King Pedro lies beneath,
In his heart his brother's poniard

Instant finds its bloody sheath.

ix. Thus with mortal gasp and quiver,

While the blood in bubbles well’d, Fled the fiercest soul that ever

In a Christian bosom dwell’d.



The following ballad, taking up the story just where it is left in the preceding one, gives us the Proclamation and Coronation of Don Henry, surnamed, from the courtesy of his manners, El Cavallero, and the grief of Pedro's lovely and unhappy mistress, Maria de Padilla. From its structure and versification, I have no doubt it is of much more modern origin than most of those in the first Cancionero.

The picture which Mariana gives us of Don Pedro, the hero of so many atrocious and tragical stories, is to me very striking. “He was pale of complexion,” says the historian ; “his features were high and well formed, and stamped with a certain authority of majesty, his hair red, his figure erect, even to stiffness ; he was bold and determined in action and in council ; his bodily frame sank under no fatigues, his spirit under no weight of difficulty or of danger. He was passionately fond of hawking, and all violent exercises.

“In the beginning of his reign, he administered justice among private individuals with perfect integrity. But even then were visible in him the rudiments of those vices which grew with his age, and finally led him to his ruin ; such as a general contempt and scorn of mankind, an insulting tongue, a proud and difficult ear, even to those of his household. These faults were discernible even in his tender years ; to them, as he advanced in life, were added avarice, dissolution in luxury, an utter hardness of heart, and a remorseless cruelty.”—MariANA, Book xvi. ch. 16.

The reader who understands the German language, will find almost the whole of Don Pedro's history clothed in a strain of glowing and elegant poetry, in a very recent performance of the Baron de la Motte Fouqué. See his “ Bertrand Du Guesclin, historisches ritter-gedicht.”—Leipsig, 1822.



Ar the feet of Don Henrique now King Pedro dead is lying,
Not that Henry's might was greater, but that blood to Heaven was crying.
Though deep the dagger had its sheath within his brother's breast,
Firm on the frozen throat beneath Don Henry's foot is prest.

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So dark and sullen is the glare of Pedro's lifeless eyes,
Still half he fears what slumbers there to vengeance may arise.
So stands the brother, on his brow the mark of blood is seen,
Yet had he not been Pedro's Cain, his Cain had Pedro been.

Close round the scene of cursed strife, the armed knights appear
Of either band, with silent thoughts of joyfulness or fear ;
All for a space, in silence, the fratricide survey,
Then sudden bursts the mingling voice of triumph and dismay.


Glad shout on shout from Henry's host ascends unto the sky;
“ God save King Henry-save the King-King Henry!" is their cry.
But Pedro's Barons clasp their brows, in sadness stand they near,
Whate'er to others he had been, their friend lies murder'd here.

The deed, say those, was justly done-a tyrant's soul is sped ;
These ban and curse the traitorous blow, by which a King is dead.
“ Now see,” cries one,“ how Heaven's amand asserts the people's rights ;"
Another—“ God will judge the hand that God's anointed smites.”-

vi. The Lord's vicegerent," quoth a priest, “ is sovereign of the land, And he rebels 'gainst Heaven's behest, that slights his King's command.”— “ Now Heaven be witness, if he sinn’d,” thus speaks a gallant young, “ The fault was in Padilla's eye, that o'er him magic flung ;

“ Or if no magic be her blame, so heavenly fair is she,
The wisest, for so bright a dame, might well a sinner be.
Let none speak ill of Pedro-No Roderick hath he been ;
He dearly loved fair Spain, although 'tis true he slew the Queen.” -


The words he spake they all might hear, yet none vouchsafe reply,
“God save great Henry-save the King-King Henry !" is the cry;
While Pedro's liegemen turn aside, their groans are in your ear,
“Whate'er to others he hath been, our friend lies slaughter'd here !"-


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