Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything
- The Emperor, Part 2, Volume 7. - 10/10 -
gate-keeper's son far less than he feared him, and he did not conceal from himself that if his attack on Pollux should fail and the young fellow should succeed in proving independently of what he was capable he could do nothing to prevent his loudly proclaiming all that he had done in these last years for his master.
His attention was caught by the slaves in Euphorion's little house, who were carrying the household chattels of the evicted family into the street. He had soon learnt what was going forward, and highly pleased at the ill-will manifested by Hadrian towards the parents of his foe, he stood looking on, and after brief reflection desired a negro to call Pollux to speak to him.
The master and scholar exchanged greetings with a show of haughty coolness and Papias said:
"You forgot to bring back the things which yesterday, without asking my leave, you took out of my wardrobe. I must have them back to-day."
"I did not take them for myself, but for the grand lord in there, and his companion. If any thing is missing apply to him. It grieves me that I should have taken your silver quiver among them, for the Roman's companion has lost it. As soon as I have done here, I will take home all of your things that I can recover, and bring away my own. A good many things belonging to me are still lying in your workshop."
"Good," replied Papias. "I will expect you an hour before sunset, and then we will settle every thing," and without any farewell he turned his back on his pupil and went into the palace.
Pollux had told him that some of the properties, which he had taken without asking permission, had been lost-among them an object of considerable value--and this perhaps would give him a hold over him by which to prevent his injuring him. He remained in the palace scarcely half an hour and then, while Pollux was still engaged in escorting his mother and their household goods to his sister's house, he went to visit the night magistrate, who presided over the safety of Alexandria. Papias was on intimate terms with this important official, for he had constructed for him a sarcophagus for his deceased wife, an altar with panels in relief for his men's apartment, and other works, at moderate prices, and he could count on his readiness to serve him. When he quitted him he carried in his hand an order of arrest against his assistant Pollux, who had attacked his property and abstracted a quiver of massive silver. The magistrate had also promised him to send two of his guards who would carry the offender off to prison.
Papias went home with a much lighter heart. His pupil, after he had accomplished the easy transfer of his parents, had returned to the palace, and there, to his delight, came across Mastor, who soon fetched him the garments and masks that he had lent the day before to Hadrian and Antinous. The Sarmatian at the same time told him, with tears in his eyes, a sad, very sad story, which stirred the young sculptor's soul deeply, and which would have prompted him to penetrate into the palace at once, and at any risk, if he had not seen the necessity of being with Papias at the appointed hour, which was drawing near, to answer for the valuable property that was missing. Thinking of nothing, wishing nothing so much as to be back as promptly as possible at Lochias, where he was much needed, and where his heart longed to be, he took the bundle out of the slave's hand and hurried away. Papias had sent all his assistants and even his slaves off the premises; he received the breathless Pollux quite alone, and took from him, with icy calmness, the things which had been borrowed from his property-room, asking for them one by one.
"I have already told you," cried Pollux, "that it is not I, but the illustrious Roman--you know as well as I do, who he is--who is answerable for the silver quiver and the torn chiton." And he began to tell him how Antinous had commanded him, in the name of his master, to find masks and disguises for them both. But Papias cut off his speech at the very beginning, and vehemently demanded the restoration of his quiver and bow, of which Pollux could not work out the value in two years. The young man whose heart and thoughts were at Lochias and who, at any cost, did not want to be detained longer than was necessary, begged his master, with all possible politeness, to let him go now, and to settle the matter with him to-morrow after he had discussed it with the Roman, from whom he might certainly demand any compensation he chose. But when Papias interrupted him again and again, and obstinately insisted on the immediate restoration of his property, the artist whose blood was easily heated, grew angry and replied to the attacks and questions of the older man with vehement response.
One angry word led to another, and at last Papias hinted of persons who took possession of other person's silver goods, and when Pollux retorted that he knew of some who could put forward the works of others as their own, the master struck his fist upon the table, and going towards the door he cried out, as soon as he was at a safe distance from the furious lad's powerful fists:
"Thief! I will show you how fellows like you are dealt with in Alexandria."
Pollux turned white with rage, and rushed upon Papias, who fled, and before Pollux could reach him he had taken refuge behind the two guards sent by the magistrate, and who were waiting in the antechamber.
"Seize the thief!" he cried. "Hold the villain who stole my silver quiver and now raises his hand against his master. Bind him, fetter him, carry him off to prison."
Pollux did not know what had come upon him; he stood like a bear that has been surrounded by hunters; doubtful but at bay. Should he fling himself upon his pursuers and fell them to the earth? should he passively await impending fate?
He knew every stone in his master's house; the anteroom in which he stood, and indeed the whole building was on the ground floor. In the minute while the guards were approaching and his master was giving the order to the lictor, his eye fell on a window which looked out upon the street, and possessed only by the single thought of defending his liberty and returning quickly to Arsinoe he leaped out of the opening which promised safety and into the street below.
"Thief--stop thief!" he heard as he flew on with long strides; and like the pelting of rain driven by all the four winds came from all sides the senseless, odious, horrible cry: "Stop thief!--stop thief!" it seemed to deprive him of his senses.
But the passionate cry of his heart: "To Lochias, to Arsinoe! keep free, save your liberty if only to be of use at Lochias!" drowned the shouts of his pursuers and urged him through the streets that led to the old palace,
On he went faster and farther, each step a leap; the briny breeze from the sea already fanned his glowing cheeks and the narrow empty street yonder he well knew led to the quay by the King's harbor, where he could hide from his pursuers among the tall piles of wood. He was just turning the corner into the alley when an Egyptian ox-driver threw his goad between his legs; he stumbled, fell to the ground, and instantly felt that a dog which had rushed upon him was tearing the chiton he wore, while he was seized by a number of men. An hour later and he found himself in prison, bitten, beaten, and bound among a crew of malefactors and real thieves.
Night had fallen. His parents were waiting for him and he came not; and in Lochias which he had not been able to reach there were misery and trouble enough, and the only person in the world who could carry comfort to Arsinoe in her despair was absent and nowhere to be found.
ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:
Dried merry-thought bone of a fowl More to the purpose to think of the future than of the past So long as we do not think ourselves wretched, we are not so Temples would be empty if mortals had nothing left to wish for
1 5 6 7 8 9 10
Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything