About the lord had the folly to refuse his ordinary feudal duty to the Duke of Quelqueparte. The latter roused himself, enlisted outside aid, and blockaded and starved out the castle of St. The unfortunate baron—duly adjudged traitor and felon by his peers, his fellow vassals—was beheaded. The duke then bestowed the fief, with the hand of the late owner's niece, upon Sire Rainulf, a younger son of a south-country viscount, who had visited the duke's court, bringing with him an effective battle-ax and fifty sturdy followers.
Sire Rainulf, however, died while in the First Crusade. The reigning duke next tried to give the barony to another favorite warrior, but the son of the late baron proved himself of sturdy stuff. He fought off his suzerain and enlisted allies from Burgundy. The duke was forced, therefore, to leave him in peace. Presently, about , another baron died, survived only by a daughter. Her uncles and cousins did their best to expel this poor lady and induced the suzerain duke to close his eyes to their deeds, but, fortunately, the new baroness had been very pious.
The influence of the great St. Bernard of Clairvaux was exerted, thereby persuading King Louis VII to warn the duke that if he could not protect his vassals the king would do justice. So the Lady Bertrada was given in marriage to a respectable Flemish cavalier Gui, who ruled the barony with only the usual wars. He left two sons, Garnier and Henri.
Sire Henri, the younger, lived at the inferior castle of Petitmur, went on the Fourth Crusade , and perished in the fighting around Constantinople ere the French and Venetians sacked the city. Garnier, the elder, received, of course, the great castle. It is well said by the monks that the blessed feel joys in paradise all the keener because a little earlier they have escaped from the pangs and fires of purgatory. Certes, for all laymen and clerics on the St. Aliquis fiefs, there was purgatory enough in Baron Garnier's day to make the present sage rule of Baron Conon seem tenfold happy.
The late seigneur ruled about twenty years, filled up with one round of local wars, oppression of the small, and contentions with the great. Baron Garnier was assuredly a mighty warrior. His face was one mass of scars and he had lost an ear. Plenty of landless knights and wolfish men at arms rioted around his donjon.
His provosts and foresters knew how to squeeze the poor of the seigneury, and by this income and by the ransoms from numerous captives he was able to rebuild the castle of St. Aliquis according to the first military art of the day. But his sins were more than the hairs of his grizzled head. Having taken dislike to his wife, and the bishop refusing an annulment, he kept the poor Lady Ada mewed up in one chamber for years, and, according to many stories, loaded her with chains and spared not tortures, until in mercy she died.
However, he had plenty of less regular consorts. The castle courts had swarmed with loud women, the favorites of himself and his familiars, and with their coarse, unacknowledged brats. No pretty peasant girl's honor was safe in those parts. As for the prisoners—after Messire Conon came into power it was a marvel the quantity of human bones, gnawed by the rats, which they took out of the lower dungeons, as well as how they released four wretches who had been incarcerated in the dark so long that they were blinded. Needless to say, the compartments of the gallows never lacked their swinging skeletons.
Women still hush their squalling children with, Be silent—or Baron Garnier will get you! Yet with all these deeds this baron affected great hospitality. He kept a roaring hall, with ready welcome for any cavalier who enjoyed deep drinking and talking of horses, women, falcons, and forays; and a good many seigneurs found his alliance useful. So he continued his evil ways until praised be Our Lady of Mercies he came to a fit end. Thrice he had been excommunicated by the bishop. Thrice he had been readmitted to ghostly favor, thanks to large gifts toward the new cathedral at Pontdebois.
Then he let his men murder a priest who was traveling with a precious chalice. So he was excommunicated a fourth time. While in this perilous state though boasting that he would soon make his new terms with the Church his companion in sin, Suger of the Iron Arm, quarreled with him over their cups and ran him through with a boar spear. The baron lived just long enough to see Suger hewn in pieces by his comrades. Then he died priestless, of course, and unabsolved cursing God and crying piteously for help from the devil.
Christians cross themselves when they think of his fate hereafter. Garnier left no legitimate children. He was on very cold terms with his brother's widow, the Lady Odelina, who was rearing her two sons and daughter at Petitmur; but Odelina had faced her brother-in-law down and clung tightly to her own little fief.
She had given her children a courteous and pious education, and induced a neighboring seigneur to take her eldest son, Conon, to nourish as his squire, and rear to be a knight. At length came her reward. The youth was knighted by the Count of Champagne three weeks before his evil uncle perished. Then the suzerain duke was glad to have St. Aliquis pass to so competent a vassal as young Sire Conon. This is a bare suggestion of the contentions, feuds, and downright wars of which the barony has been the scene, and yet St.
Aliquis has probably been freer from such troubles than most of its neighbors. Although this castle is the center of Baron Conon's power, it is by no means his only strong place. He has three other smaller castles besides Petitmur, which will go to his brother that he sometimes inhabits, but which he ordinarily rules through castellans.
In the twenty-odd villages upon the fief there are some ten thousand peasants whom he governs through his provosts. These vassals follow the St. Aliquis banner and otherwise contribute to the baron's glory. That seigneur himself is likewise advocate secular guardian of the neighboring Abbey of St. Aliquis—an honorable post involving delicate dealings with the lord abbot.
Also, a few leagues away lies the good town of Pontdebois. The baron, as will be explained, has very important relations with that city. In addition he holds of the bishop there resident some farms with hunting and fishing rights. For this inferior fief he does homage, of course, not to the Duke of Quelqueparte, but to the Bishop of Pontdebois.
Some years previous, when the duke and bishop were at war, the baron was obligated to send twenty knights to fight for the duke, but also six to fight for the bishop. The Scriptures warn us against trying to serve two masters ; but the baron happily made shift to keep the two contingents of his little array from engaging with one another until his two overlords had made peace! In addition to all the above, Conon holds still another small castle at quite a distance, for which he does homage to the Duke of Burgundy—a fact promising more complications when Quelqueparte and Burgundy as is most likely go to war.
Finally, he holds a large farm from his otherwise equal, the Baron of Harcourt. Here he is sure to cut his feudal devoir to a minimum, and leave the Lord of Harcourt to consider whether to pocket his pride, risk a private war, or attempt a lawsuit before their mutual suzerain, the Duke of Quelqueparte. The Baron Conon would gladly be the direct vassal of the king. The higher your suzerain the higher, on the whole, your own glory in the feudal firmament; but the duke would resent bitterly any attempt to get his vassals away and all the other first-class nobles would support him.
Baron Conon must wait, therefore, perhaps until the present elderly duke is dead and the duchy falls under feeble heirs. Then he will find the astute king, if Philip Augustus is still reigning, only too willing and able to meet him halfway. At present, however, Conon is on good terms with the duke, although he is just as jealous himself to prevent his own sires from holding directly from the duke as the latter is to check the baron's going over to the king.
Everywhere there is this friction over subinfeudation. All in all, the seigneury of St. Aliquis thus covers three hundred square miles, whereof about one-third is controlled by the baron as his personal domain and the remainder by his vassals. Perhaps there are two hundred similar baronies and countships dotting France, some larger, some smaller, but in their histories, feudal relationships, and general problems much alike. This fief, however, is especially fortunate in that the baron possesses an old charter, wrung from some tottering Carolingian king, giving him the right to collect a sack of grain, a large truss of hay, or a similar quota in kind from every loaded barge traversing down the navigable Claire; also to levy a copper obol for every Christian foot passenger, and three obols for every mounted traveler or Jew mounted or walking crossing the very important bridge by the castle.
These tolls give messire many fine suits of armor, buy silk gowns for the baroness, and make all the local seigneurs anxious to marry their daughters to the baron's sons as soon as the boys can be knighted. Aliquis, we have said, is happy in its present seigneur. Monks, villeins, and petty nobles agree in praising Baron Conon. When a seigneur is practically a sovereign, everything depends upon his character. If the saints desire to punish certain Christians for their sins, let them merely send them an evil, or only an inefficient, quarrelsome baron!
Like the unlamented Garnier, he can soon make their lives into a perfect Gehenna. Conon III has now ruled for more than ten years. He has kept out of all private wars but one, a feat almost exceptional; but in that one war he struck so hard and so skillfully that his opponent, the Viscount of Foretvert, swore on the relics to a peace which cost him a village of peasants and the transfer of two petty sires to the St. Aliquis fealty. Conon fought also in the great battle of Beauvais so as to win the personal praise of the king himself.
He compounded with the abbey over the division of the income of a farm in a manner which left him and the abbot firm friends—a singular piece of diplomacy. Better still, he held to his point about some hunting rights with the Bishop of Pontdebois, and finally won most of his claims without being even temporarily subjected to excommunication. His peasants pay their imposts loyally, for the baron not merely protects them from the raids of brigands and rival feudatories; he also represses worse pillagers still, his own seigneurial officers, who were ravaging harpies in all the little thatched villages through Baron Garnier's day.
Therefore, Conon is called a very gentle seigneur, which means that he is every inch a lord and which term does not prevent him from swinging a heavy sword, and from knocking down a villein with his own fist when there is need of teaching a lesson. As for Conon's family, his good mother, Lady Odelina, is now resting under the stones of the abbey church; but she lived to see her first-born wedded to Adela, the daughter of a rich Picard sire, a dame of many virtues.
The baron's household also includes his younger brother Aimery, who has just reached the age for knighthood, and his marriageable sister Alienor. So far the family had been marvelously harmonious. There has been none of those passages at arms between elder and younger brothers which often make a castle the antechamber to hell.
Adela is "the very gentle dame —beloved of husband and revered by vassals and villeins, but whose gentleness," like her husband's, by no means keeps her from flogging her maids when their sins deserve it. Alienor is already going to tourneys and has presented at least three young knights with her stockings to tie to their lances; but she knows that it is a brother's duty to find a husband for one's sister, and Conon has promised that whoever he selects will be young, brave, and kindly.
Therefore Alienor is not borrowing trouble. As for Aimery, he is proud of being almost as good a hawker and jouster as his brother. He will soon be knighted and rule over Petitmur, but his head is full of a visit to the king's court, of winning vast favor, and finally of being given the only daughter and heiress of a great count—in short, of possessing a fief bigger than St.
There, then, is the little world, ruled by persons perhaps a little more honorable and kindly than the run of North French barons, but by no means of impossible virtue. It is June, A. The sun is just rising. Let us enter St. Aliquis as the warders unbar the gates; for the castle is the heart of the feudal civilization. Aliquis immunity — i. Aliquis was fortunate if his feudal relationships, conflicting overlords, etc. There was nothing simple about the composition of a feudal barony!
The castle makes the feudal ages possible. It is because western Europe is covered with thousands of strongholds, each of which can stand off a considerable army, that we have the secular institutions of the thirteenth century. To be the owner and lord of at least one castle is the dream of every nobleman, and in fact until he can hoist his own banner from his own donjon he hardly has a defined place in the feudal hierarchy. As we have seen, the castle of St. Aliquis is now nearly three hundred and fifty years old.
Since it has been continuously inhabited by enterprising owners, its structure has been as continuously changing. However, if we had come to the barony only fifty years ago, we would have found a decidedly primitive structure. The general plan of Heribert's original stronghold was then still retained: first, on the landward side of the triangle above the two converging rivers there was a rather deep moat, next a parapet whereof the lower part was made of earth taken from this same moat, and upon the mound rose a strong palisade of tree trunks.
Within the palisade were barns, outbuildings, and barracks for such of the baron's men as did not live in the inner stronghold. Then last of all was the donjon, the castle proper—a huge square tower built with little art, but which defied attack by mere solidity. The entrance to this grim tower was by a steep inclined plane leading to a small door in the second story. In case of danger, if the palisade were forced, the seigneur and his men retreated into the tower, knocked down the wooden gangway, and shouted defiance to the enemy.
The mass and height of the donjon baffled any ordinary methods of attack save that of blockade and starvation—and there would be six months' supply of wheat, salt beef, and ale in the tower vaults. Nevertheless, this seemingly impenetrable fortress did not suffice.
In the first place, superior methods of siege warfare were developing: the stoutest fortifications could be cracked. No rapid sortie could be made from the door in the second story; the defense must be wholly passive. Finally, this stark masonry tower was a most uncomfortable place, with its cavernous halls barely lighted by tiny loopholes, frigid in winter, stifling in summer, unsanitary—in short, almost intolerable for habitation by a large body of men.
After the First Crusade numerous cavaliers came home with great tales of the fortresses of the Byzantines and the Saracens. During the twelfth century, consequently, castle architecture underwent a remarkable transformation. His mighty rival, Philip Augustus, built the famous Louvre to dominate Paris, and erected other new-style castles with cylindrical towers at Montargis, Poissy, Dourges, and elsewhere.
Already by the plans are being drawn for a great castle at Coucy built between and which is to be almost a model for all subsequent fortress builders, until the advent of gunpowder. Baron Garnier, whatever his crimes, had certainly understood the art of war. He rebuilt St. Aliquis in a thoroughly scientific manner, employing a learned masterbuilder and sage, an elderly Fleming who had seen the best fortifications of the Infidels and had lived long in those famous Syrian-Christian fortresses like Krak des Chevaliers, which by the mere excellence of construction had enabled small garrisons of western Franks to defy the full power of Saladin.
Instead of a mere ditch, palisade, and then a single vast tower, St. Aliquis has consequently become a huge complex of defenses within defenses, each line of resistance a little harder to penetrate and with every outwork commanded by an inner fortification. If at last you come to the central donjon, it still looms up above you—defiant and formidable, and you can have your fill of desperate fighting, only perhaps to be bloodily repulsed in the end. My mas- ter was out. We may meet him. If I can arrange with him, your executioners have nothing to fear from Valeria.
Come along. Ill The little company worked its way back to the Forum, not, as now, a half-excavated ruin, the gazing-stock for excursion- ists, a commonplace whereby to sum up departed greatness: the splendid buildings of the Empire had not yet arisen, but the structures of the age were not unimposing. And the historic enclosure was all swarming, beyond other places, with the dirty, bustling crowd, shoppers, hucksters, idlers. Then they were almost caught in the dense throng that was pouring into the plaza from the busy commercial thoroughfares of the Vicus Jugarius, or the Vicus TusGus.
How are all your affairs up in Fidenae? There is surely some mistake, my good man. I am known as Quintus Drusus of Praeneste. At this instant a young man of faultless toilet, whom we have already recognized as Lucius Ahenobarbus, pushed into the little knot as a peacemaker. This is Quintus Drusus, if in a few years I have not forgotten his face ; and this, my dear Quintus, is my good friend Lucius Calatinus, who would be glad of your vote and influence to help on his candidacy as tribune.
Calatinus forgot his anger, in order to apologize in the most obsequious manner for his headlong salutation. Drusus, pleased to find the man he had been seeking, forgave the vile scent of the garlic, and gra- ciously accepted the explanation. Then the way was open to ask Calatinus whether he was willing to dispose of Agias.
The crestfallen candidate was only too happy to do something to put himself right with the person he had offended. Loudly he cursed his wife's temper, that would have wasted a slave worth a "hundred thousand sesterces" to gratify a mere burst of passion. Still, in honesty he had to admit that Agias had some mischievous points.
Calatinus had boxed his ears only the day before for licking the pastry. But, since his wife disliked the fellow, he would be constrained to sell him. While Drusus was handing over a money order payable with Flaccus, Lucius Ahenobarbus again came forward, with all seeming friendliness. We should be delighted if you would join us. I thank you for your invitation. The gods ruin him!
If he wishes to become my enemy, he'll have good cause to fear my bite. That silly straightlac h ed fellow, who's h a C h ato, h or worse? For shame! But though Drusus cannot do quite that, he has enough sesterces to make happy men of most of us, if his fortune were mine or yours. Remind me to tell you about Drusus and his fortime, before I have drunk too much to-night. Drusus owned an apartment house on the Vicus Longus, and there had a furnished suite of rooms. Cap- padox waited on his master when he lunched.
Lucius Ahenobarbus soon lost so heavily that he was curs- ipg erery god that presided over the noble game. Something about that Drusus of Praeneste, if I recollect. What's the story? It has quite as much to do with Cornelia, Lentulus Crus's pretty niece, as with Drusus himself. Here it is in short.
Sextos Drusus and Caius Lentulus were such good friends that, as you know, they betrothed their son and daughter when the lat- ter were mere children. You see Drusus can make no will imtil he is five-and-twenty. But then comes another provision. The whole aim of the will is to make it very hard for the young people to fail to wed as their fathers wished.
Caius Lentulus was a firm friend of Sextos Drusus ; be also was very close and dear to my father. If he refuse to marry Cornelia before he be five-and-twenty, she falls to me. But I understand that Lentulus, her uncle, is badly in debt, and her dowry won't be much. But if Drusus is not married to her, and die before he is twenty-five, his property is hers and she is mine. Do you understand why I have a little grudge against him?
The handsome face of Pratinas was a study. His nostrils dilated; his lips quivered; his eyes were bright and keen with what evidently passed in his mind for a great discovery. You are saved! Every one of them! He flushed in spite of the wine, then turned pale, then stammered, " Don't mention such a thing, Pratinas. I was never Drusus's enemy. I dare not dream of such a move. But I deem that we poor mortals do not come beneath their sway. Otherwise the good would trimnph, whereas evil reigns to-day. But Lucius still fluttered vainly, — a very weak conscience whispering that Drusus had never done him any harm ; that murder was a dangerous game, and that although his past life had been bad enough, he had never made any one — unless it were a luckless slave or two — the victim of bloodthirsty passion or rascality.
What disgrace and trouble, if it should all come out! You can't com- plain of Fortune, when she's put a handsome estate in your hands for the asking. But, permit me to say it, I must ask you to defer to me as being a philosopher. Let us look at the matter in a rational way. We have gotten over any bogies which our ancesters had about Hades, or the pun- ishments of the wicked. Now the soul of man is also of atoms, only they are finer and more subtile. At death these atoms are dissolved, and so fax as that man is concerned, all is over with him.
The atoms may recombine, or join with others, but never form anew that same man. Hence we may fairly conclude that this life is everything and death ends all. Do you follow, and see to what I am leading? Therefore every man has a right to extract all the sweetness he can out of it.
But suppose a man deliberately makes himself gloomy, extracts no joy from life ; lets himself be overborne by care and sorrow, — is not such a man better dead than living? Is not a dream- less sleep preferable to misery or even cold asceticism? And 1 Born about B. Now I believe this is the present case. So long as he lives, he prevents you from enjoying the means of acquiring pleasure. Now I have Socrates of imperishable memory on my side, when I assert that death under any cir- cumstances is either no loss or a very great gain. Considering then the facts of the case in its philosophic and rational bear- ings, I may say this : Not merely would it be no wrong to remove Drusus from a world in which he is evidently out of place, but I even conceive such an act to rise to the rank of a truly meritorious deed.
He could not resist the inexorable logic of this train of reasoning, all the premises of which he fully accepted. Perhaps, we should add, he was not very unwilling to have his wine-befuddled intellect satisfied, and his conscience stilled. He turned down a huge beaker of liquor, and coughed forth : — " Right as usual, Pratinas! By all the gods, but I believe you can save me!
A Friend Of Caesar
Then Fll be ready. When he awoke, it was late the next day, and head and wits were both sadly the worse for the recent enter- tainment. Finally a bath and a luncheon cleared his brain, and he realized his position. He was on the brink of concoct- ing a deliberate murder. Drusus had never wronged him ; the crime would be unprovoked ; avarice would be its only justifica- tion. Ahenobarbus had done many things which a far laxer code of ethics than that of to-day would frown upon ; but, as said, he had never committed murder — at least had only had cruci- fied those luckless slaves, who did not count.
He roused with a start, as from a dream. What if Pratinas were wrong? What if there were really gods, and furies, and punishments for the wicked after death? And then came the other side of the shield : a great fortune his ; all his debts paid off ; unlim- ited chances for self-enjoyment ; last, but not least, Cornelia his. She had slighted him, and turned her back upon all his advances ; and now what perfect revenge!
Lucius was more in love with Cornelia than he admitted even to himself. He would even give up Clyte, if he could possess her. And so the mental battle went on all day ; and the prick of conscience, the fears of superstition, and the lingerings of religion ever grew fainter. Near nightfall he was at his post, at the Temple of Saturn. Pratinas was awaiting him.
It was rapidly darkening. The houses grew fewer and fewer. At a little distance the dim structures of the Portico and Theatre of Pompeius could be seen, looming up to an exaggerated size in the evening haze. A grey fog was drifting up from the Tiber, and out of a rift in a heavy cloud-bank a beam of the imprisoned moon was struggling.
Along the road were peasants with their carts and asses hastening home. Over on the Pincian Mount the dark green masses of the splendid gardens of Pompeius and of Lucullus were just visible. The air was filled with the croak of frogs and the chirp of crickets, and from the river came the creak of the sculls and paddles of a cumbrous barge that was working its way down the Tiber. Ahenobarbus felt awed and uncomfortable. Pratinas, with his mantle wrapped tightly around his head, continued at a rapid pace. Lucius had left his attendants at home, and now began to recall gruesome tales of highwaymen and bandits frequenting this region after dark.
His fears were not al- layed by noticing that underneath his himation Pratinas occasionally let the hilt of a short sword peep forth. It was close to the Tiber, and the rush of the water against the piling of the bridge was distinctly audible. As the two drew near to a closed gateway, a number of mongrel dogs began to snap and bark around them. From within the build- ing came the roar of coarse hilarity and coarser jests. As Pra- tinas approached the solidly barred doorway, a grating was pushed aside and a rude voice demanded : — " Your business?
What are you doing here? I have something for his advantage. There was a rattling of chains and bolts, and the door swung open. A man of un- usual height and ponderous proportions appeared in the open- ing. That was all which could be seen in the semi-darkness. The Hellene nodded, and replied softly : " Yes. No noise. Tell Dumnorix to come quietly. Aheno- barbus could only see that he was standing in a large stone- paved court, perhaps one hundred and forty feet wide and considerably longer. There were tyros practis- ing with wooden swords in one of the rooms, whence a light streamed, and a knot of older gladiators was urging them on, mocking, praising, and criticising their efforts.
Now and then a burly gladiator would stroll across the court ; but the young noble and his escort remained hidden in shadow. Presently a door opened at the other end of the courtyard, and some one with a lantern began to come toward the en- trance. Long before the stranger was near, Ahenobarbus thought he was rising like a giant out of the darkness ; and when at last Dumnorix — for it was he — was close at hand, both Roman and Greek seemed veritable dwarfs beside him.
Dumnorix — so far as he could be seen in the lantern light — was a splendid specimen of a northern giant. He was at least six feet five inches in height, and broad proportionately. His fair straight hair tumbled in disorder over his shoulders, and his prodigiously long mustaches seemed, to the awed Ahenobar- bus, almost to curl down to his neck. His breath came in hot pants like a winded horse, and when he spoke, it was in short Latin monosyllables, interlarded with outlandish Gallic oaths.
He wore cloth trousers with bright stripes of red and orange ; a short-sleeved cloak of dark stuff, falling down to the thigh ; and over the cloak, covering back and shoulders, another sleeve- less mantle, clasped under the chin with a huge golden buckle. At his right thigh hung, from a silver set girdle, by weighty bronze chains, a heavy sabre, of which the steel scabbard banged noisily as its owner advanced. Pratinas," cried the Gaul, as he came close. Come to my room.
Have a flagon of our good northern mead. I can't tell who of your men may hear us. A little more business along the same line. Are you our man? A blunder will spoil it all. You must do your best ; and we will do the fair thing by you. Why not let me send a knave or two and knoek the fellow some dark night in the head?
Charles F Horne
It will save us both time and trouble. This Drusus is not a helpless wight, without friends, waiting to become the fair prey of any dagger man. Flaccus the great banker, notably, would spare no pains to bring the responsibility of the matter home, not merely to the poor wretch who struck the blow, but the per- sons who placed the weapon in his hands. All of which would be very awkward for Ahenobarbus. No, your rough-and-ready plan won't in the least work.
If I had been of keener mind, the gods know, I would have been a free chief among the Nervii, instead of making sport for these straw-limbed Romans. If what I propose won't answer, what can be done? Don't be alaimed. Let joa and you eompanj march through Praeneste, — of oonrae caiefolly tim- ing jonr march so as to find the innocent and unf oitunate Dmsus at his farm. Tou will hare a very disorderly band of gladiators, and they begin to attack Drosos's oichaid, and maltreat his slaves. You try to stop them, — without avail Finally, in a most unfortunate and outrageous outbreak they slay the master of the house.
The tumult is quelled. The heirs proceed against you. You can only hand over the mur- derers for crucifixion, and offer to pay any money damages that may be imposed. A heavy fine is laid upon you, as being responsible for the killing of Drusus by your slaves. You pay the damages. Ahenobarbus marries Gwnelia and enters upon the estate. The world says that all that can be done to atone for Drusus's murder has been done. All of the guilty are punished. The dead cannot be recalled. The mat- ter is at an end.
Ahenobarbus has what he wished for ; you have all the money you paid in damages quietly refunded; also the cost of the poor rascals crucified, and a fair sum over and above for your trouble. How the world will be cheated! How sharp you little Greeks must be. Only I must 1 The Gamo soa-god. I can't risk my life in anything but a square fight.
All expenses, before and after the affair itself, of course refunded; one hundred thousand sesterces clear gain for doing the deed, twenty-five thousand sesterces for every poor fellow we have to nail up to satisfy the law, and you to be guaranteed against any evil consequence. Is this sufficient? Then he proceeded to arrange with Dumnorix how the latter should wait until it was known Drusus had gone back to Prseneste, and was likely to stay there for some time ; as to how many gladiators the lanista was to have ready.
Dumnorix complained that the rather recent law against keeping gladiators at Rome pre- vented him from assembling in his school any considerable number. But out of his heterogeneous collection of Gauls, Grermans, Spaniards, Greeks, and Asiatics he would find enough who could be used for the purpose without letting them know the full intent with which they were launched against Drusus.
At all events, if their testimony was taken, it would have to be as slaves on the rack ; and if they accused their master of instigating them to riot, it was what any person would expect of such degraded and lying wretches. Lucius again feared brigands, but they fell in with no unpleasant nocturnal wayfarers, and reached the city without incident. Ahenobarbus seemed to himself to be treading on air — Cornelia, villas, Drusus's money — these were dancing in his head in a delightful confusion.
He had abandoned himself completely to the sway of Pratinas; the Greek was omniscient, was invincible, was a greater than Odysseus. Ahenobarbus hardly dared to think for himself as to the plan which his friend had arranged for him. One observation, however, he made before they parted. May it not prove expensive to keep him out of difficulty? And indeed for many days the shadow of Valeria's crime, for it was nothing else, plunged him in deep melancholy. Pisander was not a fool, only amongst his many good qualities he did not possess that of being able to make a success in life.
Finally, in sheer despair, to keep from starving, he accepted the position as Valeria's "house-philosopher. The good lady wished him to be at her elbow, ready to read from the philosophers or have on hand a talk on ethics or metaphysics to deliver extempore. Besides, though not a slave or freedman, he fared in the household much worse sometimes than they. A slave stole the dainties, and drained a beaker of costly wine on the sly. Pisander, like Thales, who was so intent looking at the stars that he fell into a well, "was so eager to know what was going on in heaven that he could not see what was before his feet.
The slaves had snubbed him and made fun of him ; the f reedmen regarded him with absolute disdain ; Valeria's regular visitors treated him as a nonentity. Besides, all his standards of ethi- cal righteousness were outraged by the round of life which he was compelled daily to witness. The worthy man would long before have ceased from a vassalage so disgraceful, had he possessed any other means of support. The day of Agias's misf ortune, Pisander sat in his comer of the boudoir, after Valeria had left it, in a very unphilosophical rage, gnawing his beard and cursing inwardly his mistress, Pratinas, and the world in general.
Arsinod with a pale, strained face was moving about, replac- ing the bottles of cosmetics and perfumery in cabinets and caskets. Pisander had been kind to Arsinod, and had taught her to read; and there was a fairly firm friendship between the slave and the luckless man, who felt himself degraded by an equal bondage. Call out everything, — your Zeno, or Parmenides, or Heraclitus, or others of the thousand nobodies Pve heard you praise to Valeria, — and make thereby my heart a jot the less sore, or Agias's death the less bitter!
Don't sit there and snap at your beard, if your philosophy is good for anything! People used to pray to the gods in trouble, but you philosophers turn the gods into mists or thin air. You are a man! You are free! Do something! Say something! Have I not hands, feet, a head, and wits? Would I not look as handsome as they, if I had a chance to wear their dresses and jewels? Have I any blemish, any defect, that makes me cease to be a woman, and become a thing? Bah, master Pisander! I am only a slave, but I will talk.
Why does my blood boil at the fate of Agias, if it was not meant that it should heat up for some end? And yet I am as much a piece of property of that woman whom I hate, as this chair or casket. I have a right to no hope, no ambition, no desire, no reward.
I can only aspire to live without brutal treat- ment. That would be a sort of Elysium. If I was brave enough, I would kill myself, and go to sleep and forget it all. But I am weak and cowardly, and so — here I am. And so a considerable number of days passed. Galatinus could have given joy to the hearts of several in his household if he had simply remembered that Agias had not been scourged to death, but sold.
But Galatinus feared, now that he was well out of the matter, to stir up an angry scene with his wife, by hinting that Agias had not been punished according to her orders. Alfidius, too, and the other slaves with him, imagined that his mistress would blame them if they admitted that Agias was alive. So the household gathered, by the silence of all concerned, that the bright Greek boy had long since passed beyond power of human torment. Pisander recovered part of his equanimity, and ArsinoS and Semiramis began to see life a shade less darkened. One morning he came in, in unusu- ally good spirits.
At least I have roughly chiselled out the matter, as a sculptor would say, and can now wait a bit before finishing. Ah I what elegant study is this which is engrossing your ladyship this morning? To read him one is half convinced of the aflSr- mation that nothing exists ; that if anything existed, the fact could not be known, and that if the fact were known, it could not be communicated; although of course, my dear madam, there are very grave objections to accepting such views in their fulness.
Swift let any sordid prize Fade and vanish from my eyes! He must put on a new head-dress without delay. He muttered to himself, "I wouldn't dare to do this in Alexandria, — prate of a mur- der, — " and then glanced again toward Pisander. I don't need you at present. But if there was one man whom he de- 1 Such alterations were actually made in. Pratinas had lorded it over him and patronized him, in a way which drove the mild-tempered man of learning to desperation.
The spirit of evil entered into the heart of Pisander as he left the room. The average chatter of Pratinas and Valeria had been gall and wormwood to him, and he had been glad enough to evade it ; but here was Pratinas with a secret which he clearly did not wish Pisander to know. And Pisander, prompted by most unphilosophical motives, resolved within himself to play the eavesdropper. The boudoir was approached by three doors, one from the peristylium, one from Valeria's private sleeping chamber, one from the servants' quarters. Pisander went out through the first, and going through other rooms to the third, took his station by that entrance.
Then applying his ear to the large keyhole of the door, he could understand all that was passing in the boudoir. What Pratinas was saying it is hardly necessary to repeat. The Greek was relating with infinite zest, and to Valeria's intense delight and amusement, the story of the two wills which placed Drusus's estate and the hand of Cornelia within reach of Lucius Ahenobarbus; of the manner in which this last young man had been induced to take steps to make way with an imfortunate rival.
Finally, in a low, half-audible tone, he told of the provisional arrangements with Dumnorix, and how very soon the plan was to be put in execution. Poor Quintus Drusus! I am really sorry for him. By Zeus! I will make him feel the depths of an honest man's scorn and indignation! Valeria would instantly dismiss you from her service. Before you could reach PrsBneste, you are a dead man. This isn't worse than many another case. Don't share the ruin of a man who is an utter stranger! We have troubles enough of our own. But what can I do? What can I do? I am helpless, friendless, penniless!
And I can only tear out my heart, and pretend to play the philoso- pher. I, a philosopher! If I were a true one, I would have had the courage to kill myself before this. Pisander went as bidden, tugging a large basket, and trying to muster up courage to continue his walk to the Fabrician Bridge, and plunge into the Tiber. In classic days suicide was a commendable act under a great many cir- cumstances, and Pisander was perfectly serious and sincere in his belief that he and the world had been companions too long for the good of either.
But the jar and din of the streets certainly served to make connected philosophical meditation upon the futility and unimportance of human existence decid- edly imf ruitful. By the time he reached the cattle-market the noise of this strange place drove all suicidal intentions from him. Butchers were slaughtering kine ; drovers were driving oxen off of barges that had come down the Tiber; sheep and goats were bleating — everywhere around the stalls, booths, shops, and pens was the bustle of an enormous traffic.
Pisan- der picked his way through the crowd, searching for the butcher to whom he had been especially sent. He had gone as far as the ancient shrine of Mater Matuta, which found place in these seemingly unhallowed precincts, when, as he gazed into the throng before him, his hair stood as it were on end, his voice choked in his throat, and cold sweat broke out over him. He had walked behind the bier, in company with the other rela- tives of the deceased — all very distant, saving himself.
On the day, too, of the funeral, he had been obliged to make his first public oration — a eulogy delivered in the Forum from the Rostra — in which Drusus tried to pay a graceful but not fulsome tribute to the old eques, who had never distinguished himself in any way, except the making of money. The many clients of Vibulanus, who now looked upon the young man as their patron, had raised a prodigious din of applause during the oration, and Quintus was flattered to feel that he had not studied rhetoric in vain.
Finally, as next of kin, he had to apply the torch to the funeral pyre, and preside over the funeral feast, held by custom nine days after the actual burning, and over the contests of gladiators which took place at this festivity. Meanwhile Sextus Flaccus had been attend- ing to the legal business connected with the transfer of the dead man's estate to his heir.
All this took time — time which Drusus longed to be spending with Cornelia in shady and breezy Prseneste, miles from unhealthy, half-parched Rome. The lad had parted from his deliverer with the most extravagant demonstrations of gratitude, which Quintus had said he could fully repay by implicit devotion to Cornelia. How that young lady had been pleased with her present, Drusus could not tell ; although he had sent along a letter explaining the circum- stances of the case. But Quintus had other thiugs on his mind than Agias and his fortunes, on the morning when at last he turned his face away from the sultry capital, and found his carriage whirling him once more over the Campagna.
Drusus had by personal experience learned the bitterness of the political struggle in which he had elected to take part. The CsBsarians at Eome Balbus, Antonius, and Curio had wel- comed him to their number, for young as he was, his wealth and the prestige of the Livian name were not to be despised. And Drusus saw how, as in his younger days he had not realized, the whole fabric of the state was in an evil way, and rapidly approaching its mending or ending. The Roman Republic had exported legions ; she had imported slaves, who heaped up vast riches for their masters, while their competition reduced the free peasantry to starvation.
And now a splendid aristocracy claimed to rule a subject world, while the " Roman people " that had conquered that world were a degenerate mob, whose suffrages in the elections were purchasable — almost openly — by the highest bidder. The way was not clear before Drusus ; he only saw, with his blind. Pagan vision, that no real liberty existed under present conditions ; that Pompeius and his allies, the Senate party, were trying to perpetuate the aristocracy in power, and that Csesar, the absent proconsul of the Gauls, stood, at least, for a sweeping reform.
And so the young man made his decision and waited the march of events. A new colonnade was being erected. Coloured mosaic floors were being laid. The walls of the rooms were all a-dance with bright Cupids and Bacchantes — cheerful apartments for their prospective mistress. But it was over to the country-house of the Lentuli that Drusus made small delay to hasten, there to be in bliss in company with Cornelia. And he has a very droll way of saying bright things. What fun he has made of Livia's dear mother, his former mistress!
I shall have to give up reading any wise authors, if it will make me grow like Valeria. Then, too, Agias has won my fikvour, if in no other way, by getting a thick grass stem out of the throat of my dear little pet sparrow, that was almost chok- ing to death. I am so grateful to you for him! I did not meet him while there. I was busy ; and besides, to speak honestly, I have a little hesitation in seeing him, since the political situation is so tense. There isn't going to be a riot, I hope, as there was two years ago, when no consuls were elected, and Pompeius had to become sole magistrate?
Pompeius and he were friends when at Lucca six years ago this was agreed on. All this was secured to Caesar by the laws, — laws which Pompeius aided to have enacted. And Pompeius has been persuaded by your uncle and his friends to break with Caesar and repudiate his promise. Caesar and Pompeius have long been so powerful together that none could shake their author- ity; but if one falls away and combines with the common enemy, what but trouble is to be expected?
Can't you," and here she threw a bit of pathetic entreaty into her voice, "join with my uncle's party, and be his friend? They were standing within the colonnade of the villa of the Lentuli, and the sunlight streaming between the pillars fell directly upon Cornelia's troubled f ace, and made a sort of halo around her. It grieves me to hurt you ; but we are not fickle Greeks, nor servile Easterns ; but Romans bom to rule, and because bom to rule, born to count nothing dear that will tend to advance the strength and prosperity not of self, but of the state.
You would not love me if I said I cared more for keeping a pang from your dear heart, than for the performance of that which our ancestors counted the one end of life — duty to the commonwealth. My uncle may scold, may storm. Pom- peius and Caesar will be reconciled. Your uncle's party will see that it is best to allow the proconsul an election as promised.
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We will have wise laws and moderate reforms. All will come out aright. I prefer our own Juppiter and our Juno of the Aventine. But nothing Greek for me. There is something left of Home after alL We are not alto- gether fallen, im worthy of our ancestors. Why shall we not be merry? A Greek would say that it was always darkest before Eds leaves the couch of Tithonus,' and who knows that our Helios is not soon to dawn and be a long, long time ere his setting? I feel like throwing formality to the winds, crying 'lacchos evod,' and dancing like a bacchanal, and singing in tipsy delight, — 1 Gontemptoons diminntiye for Greek.
In practised hands it was a terrible weapon, and won many a Roman victory. Shall I go dancing in my revelzy. Only our blind practical Latin eyes will not see them. We will forget that we are Romans ; we will build for ourselves some cosey little Phseacia up in the Sabine hills beside some lake; and there my Sappho shall also be my Kausicaa to shine fair as a goddess upon her distressed and shipwrecked Odysseus. Who other than Ahenobarbus? Drusus's travelling cortege would have seemed small enough compared with the hedge of outriders, footmen, and body-servants that surrounded the great man.
But notwithstanding his prospec- tive dignities, and his present importance, Lentulus Cms was hardly an imposing personality. He was a bald-pated, florid individual, with rough features, a low, flat forehead, and coarse lips. He was dressed very fashionably, and was perfumed and beringed to an extent that would have been derided any- where save in the most select circles of Rome.
He was stout, and when he alighted from his carriage, he moved away with a somewhat waddling gait, and lifted up a rasping, high- yitched voice in unsonorous complaint against a slave who let fall a parcel of baggage. Clearly the master of the house had returned, and all the familia and freedmen bustled about their various tasks with the unusual promptitude and diligence which is the outcome of a healthy fear of retribution for slackness.
Lentulus went into the atrium, and there had an angry conference with the local land-steward, over some accounts which the latter pre- sented. In fact, so ill was the humour of the noble lord, that Cornelia avoided going out from her room to' meet him, and pretended to be so engrossed in her Ennius that she did not hear he had come. This pretence, however, could not last long. Lentulus called out in a surly tone to know where his niece was, and the latter was fain to present herself. It could not be said that the meeting between Cornelia and her uncle was extremely affec- tionate.
The interchange of kisses was painfully formal, and then Lentulus demanded somewhat abruptly : — "How have you been spending your time? With that young ne'er-do-weel son of Sextus Drusus? He'd better have a care in his doings. He'll have something more serious on hand than love- making before long. You may go, I want to see your mother. Claudia was a woman of the same fashionable type as Valeria, good-looking, ostentatious, proud, selfish, devoid of any aim in life save the securing of the most vapid pleasure. At the moment, she was stretched out on a thickly cushioned couch.
She had thrown on a loose dress of silken texture. A negress was waving over her head a huge fan of long white feathers. When her brother-in-law entered the room, she raised her carefully tinted eyebrows, and observed with great languor : — " So you have gotten away from Rome, at last, my Lucius? And I have had no end of troublesome business. The senators are all fools or slaves of Caesar. That treacherous rascal. Curio, is blocking all our efforts. Even Pompeius is half- hearted in the cause. It wouldn't take much to make him go back to CflBsar, and then where would we be?
They are distressingly dull. My head aches at the very word. If there is no war, no proscription, no chance to make a sesterce in a hurry I " " My dear brother," said Claudia, still more languidly, and yawning at length, as she handed back the cup, "have I not said that the mere mention of politics makes my head ache?
The two serving-maids took the hint, and retired. I have been living beyond my means. Last year the canvass to get on the board of guardians of the Sibylline Books — in which that graceless son-in-law of Cicero's, Publius Dolabella, defeated me — cost a deal of money. This year I have the consulship. But it has taken every denarius I own, and more too. All my estates are involved, so that it will require years to redeem them, in the ordinary way.
But you must be so indulgent as to listen. She sprang up from her cushions and cried, or rather screamed : — " Brute I Robber of orphans and widows I Heartless wretch! Have you pledged the slender fortune Caius left me, and the dowry of my poor dear Cornelia? The deed is done, and there's no helping it. I came here, not to offer excuses, but to state the facts. You may call me what you please ; I had to do ity or lose the consulship.
Kow look the matter in the face. You must contract no more debts ; I can't discharge the old ones. Live as reasonably as you can. No more visits to Baiae? If I let down in my household, my creditors would see I was pinched, and begin to pluck me. I can weather the storm. But look here : Cornelia must have an end with that young Drusus. I can never pay her dowry, and would not have him for a nephew-in- law if I could. To tell the truth she had always liked the young Livian, and thought her daughter was destined for a most advantageous match. I have heard very evil reports of him while in the city.
Do I need to say moire of him? A worthless, abandoned, shameless profligate! Quintus Drusus and I are enemies ; and I will not give him my niece in marriage. If we were friends, I would not be able to pay the dowry. So she replied diplomatically that Quintus was probably willing to wait a reasonable time for the dowry ; and that even if he had held communication with the Gaesarians, he was little more than a boy and could be shaken out of any unfortunate political opinions.
He said he met Drusus in company with Balbus and Curio. But there may have been some mistake. And the lad, as you de- clare, may be willing to cut loose from a bad course. If he really cares for Cornelia, he will be moderate in his demands for the dowry. Your suggestion is worth taking, Claudia. Let us send for him, and let him know the only terms on which he can have my niece. Lentulus went out into the atrium and walked up and down, biting his nails, and trying to think out the arguments by which he would confute the political heresies of Drusus.
Lentulus was too good a politician not to know that the young man would be a valu- able catch for the party that secured him ; and the consul-elect was determined, not so much to spare breaking the heart of his niece, but to rob the enemy of a valuable adherent. Presently Drusus was seen coming up the shaded path at a very brisk stride.
He had been playing at fencing with old Mamere! Then as he saw Lentulus he paused, half ashamed of his display of boyish ardour, and yet, with a smile and a gracious salutation, asked the older man if he was enjoying good health, and congratulated him on his election. The consul-designate was a little disarmed by this straight- forward mode of procedure. He dropped unuttered the elab- orate exordium he had been preparing on the tendency of young men to be led astray by speciously pleading schemers, and found himself replying mildly to questions about himself and various old friends of his, whom Drusus had known as a boy before he went to Athens.
But finally the young man interrupted this pacific discourse with the query 2 — " And, most noble Lentulus, what is the business on which you sent for me? So far as I am able, the uncle of Cornelia has but to command. Cornelia, whose fears had all passed away, stood beside Drusus, with one arm resting on his shoulder, glancing pertly from one man to the other. Of course, in ordinary times I would make up the sum from my own means, but I have had very heavy expenses lately ; consequently, I fear you cannot marry Cor- nelia until I am in a position to pay over her dowry.
Thanks to old Yibulanus's will, I may call myself passing wealthy. As far as I am concerned, you may pay over the marriage portion to my heirs, if so you wish. Claudia broke out with loud ejaculations to the effect that Drusus, she always knew, was a generous, affectionate fellow, and she loved him dearly. A penny for your scruples! I have more money to-day than I know what to do with.
Besides, if it will make you happier, your uncle can doubtless pay over the dowry before a great while. Best assured, neither you nor my niece will be the losers in the end. I trust you gave those men no encour- agement? He was wishing strongly that Cornelia was away, and he could talk to her uncle with less constraint He felt that he was treading on very danger- ous ground. Then, too, Balbus invited me to a dinner-party and there I met Curio, and a very pleasant time we had.
I cannot recall that they made any special efforts to enlist me as a partisan. But Lentulus knew enough of the case to realize that he was receiving not the whole truth but only a half ; and being a man of a sharp temper that was under very imperfect control, threw di- plomacy to the winds, and replied vehemently : " Don't attempt to cover up your folly I I know how you have put yourself in the power of those conspirators.
Are you plan- ning to turn out another Catilina? Is it wrong in Borne to accept a kindly invitation from an old family friend to a dinner? Am I responsible for the persons the host summoned to meet me there? But that moment came almost instantly. Have you joined the gang Curio is rallying for Caesar? Dare you withhold from me what is legally my own? Laws are very dangerous tools for a young man to meddle with in a case like this.
You will be wise not to resort to the courts. Shall not ke obtain justice? Go away until you can talk calmly. Forswear your Caesarian connections, or consider my niece's betrothal at an end! Claudia had started to speak, but closed her lips without uttering a word. Lentulus faced him, hot, flushed, and with a cynical smile of delight, at the infliction of mental torture, playing over his face. Cornelia had dropped down upon a chair, buried her pretty face in her hands, and was sobbing as if her heart would break.
It was a moment Drusus would not soon forget The whole scene in the atrium was i Ara Maxima. Drusus felt himself turning hot and cold, and in semi-faint- ness he caught at a pillar, and leaned upon it. He felt numbed mentally and physically. Then, by a mental reac- tion, his strong, well-balanced nature reasserted itself.
His head cleared, his muscles relaxed their feverish tension, he straightened himself and met the cool leer of Lentulus with a glance stern and high ; such a glance as many a Livian before him had darted on foe in Senate or field of battle. You are consul-designate. You have the Senate, you have your tool, Pompeius, you have the gangs of gladiators and street ruffians and all the machinery of your political clubs to invoke to defy the law! Her face was very white ; her nails pressed into her smooth arms, her breath came thick and spasmodically, and her eyes flamed with the intense passion of a strong spirit thoroughly aroused.
He is master here ; only woe will come from defying him. Do not anger him further ; depart. I shall beg you to yield, — which would be base of me ; and if you heard my prayers, it would be more base in you. You, mistress, go to your room, if you cannot keep a civil tongue! And you, sir, get you gone, unless you wish the slaves to cast you out. You are warned. Take care!
A Friend Of Caesar by William Stearns Davis
Helpl Water! Cornelia has fainted P' m Drtisns strode down the long avenue of shade trees. Has he fallen out with her ladyship? It was damp with an unhealthy sweat. His hands and frame were quivering as if in an ague. He seated himself on a stone bench by the road- way, and tried to collect his faculties.
All things are possible to one who is young and strong, with a dear conscience I " If this self-debate did not actually stimulate cheerfulness, it at least revived the embers of hope ; and Drusus found him- self trying to look the situation fairly in the face. Li short, your happiness is gone, and perhaps your life is in danger — and for what? A dream of reform which can never be realized? A mad conspiracy to overthrow the commonwealth? Is Csosar to be saviour or despot? For what have you sacrificed yourself? No jury would ever convict the leader of the Senate party.
Drusus could never contract lawful marriage with Cornelia, so long as her guardian withheld consent. And for one moment he regretted of his determination, of his defiance. Then came reaction. Drusus called up all his innate pride, all the strength of his nobler inspirations. Whether there be gods, I cannot tell. But this I know, the wise and good have counted naught dear but virtues; and toward this end I will strive. No power short of Jove could protect you and him, if aught were to befall Lentulus, in the way you propose. The truth was, neither Pausanias nor any other of Quintus's friends could see any means of coercing the consul-elect into receding from his position.
He was practicaUy above law, and could not with safety be attacked in any way. Pausanias could only counsel moderation and patience ; perhaps some fortunate chance would alter matters. Drusus spent the evening in a pathetically forced attempt to read his Callimachus. He was weary physically, and intended to retire early. Drusus had just bidden his bodynservants undress him, when he was informed that Agias had come from the Lentulan villa, and wished to see him.
Agias's message was short, but quite long enough to make Drusus's pale cheeks flush with new life, his sunken eyes rekindle, and his languor vanish into energy. Cornelia would be waiting for him by the great cypress in the gardens of the Lentulan villa, as soon as the moon rose.
Drusus prepared himself hurriedly, and refused all the entreaties of Titus to take him along as a body-guard. Time coursed on winged feet, as the young man hastened out into the night, and half ran down the familiar pathway. The day had been only moderately warm for the season, and the night was cool, though not cold. A soft east wind was blowing down from the distant Apennines, and all the trees were rustling gently. Up to the giant arm of a gnarled oak, fluttered an owl, which hooted noisily as the yoimg man hurried beneath. The crickets were chirping. A little way off was a small stream plimging over a dam ; from it came a liquid roar ; and the little wall of white spray was just visible in the darkness.
Out from the orchards drifted the fragrant scent of apple, pear, plum, and quince. Still more sweet was the breeze, as it swept over the wide-stretching rose-beds. Overhead Orion and Arcturus were glittering in that hazy splendour which belongs to the heavens on a summer's night. Drusus kept on, only half noting the beauty of the darkness. When he entered the groves of the Lentulan villa, almost all light failed him, and but for his intimate knowledge — from boyhood — of the whole locality, he could never have kept the path.
Then the moonlight began to stream up in the east, and between the trees and thickets lay the long, yellow bars of brightness, while all else was still in gloom. Her hair was tumbling loosely over her shoulders ; she wore a softy light-blue dress that corered her arms and her feet. In the moonlight her face and hands appeared as bloodless as white marble.
The moments that followed were as bitter-sweet as may be conceiyable. Each knew that they had small hope of an honourable realization of their love one for another ; that the moment of parting would soon come. But for the instant they were in Elysium, caught out of mortal care and mortal sorrow, and knowing nothing but the pure delight of the other's presence. This day's heart-breakings may, perhaps, be long painful to you ; but the pangs will grow faint in time. You and I may still cherish fondness in our hearts for each other, but how dare we reasonably hope for more?
Evil times are at hand. If your uncle's parly prevail in the struggle, my ruin is assured. But not yours. There are many worthy men who would be proud to take in marriage the niece of the next consul ; and with one of these you can live happily. Do not try to forget me. I don't ask that. But do not let my mis- fortune cast a shadow over your dear life.
Marry some honour- able man. Only think kindly of me sometimes. Shall I argue thus? Have I argued thus? If you will, abandon me, and wed some other maiden, and many there are, fair, wealthy, noble, who will be glad to be given in marriage to a Livius Drusus. But till you thus repudiate your father's will, no power of gods or of men shall drive me to violate that of mine.
What resistance to threats and unkind treatment your resolve will mean? Hitherto I have thought to play the patriot in espousing Ceesar's cause. Now let love and fury fire my ardour. Torches were glaring among the trees, and the harsh tones of Lentulus burst out : — " Take the wretched girl into the house when you find her ; but as for her lover, let him not escape! He has called out all his slaves ; they will kill you! He is all fury and violence.
Do not throw yourseK away in vain! It was no time for delay and affectionate leave-taking. The young man threw his arms around Cornelia, kissed her once, twice, and then bounded into the thicket. A moment later several of the servants came splashing over the little stream, and found Cornelia alone beside the great cypress, pale and trembling and sobbing. Drusus caught one last sight of her, surrounded by the torches of the pursuers. Then he struck off into the grove, and thanks to his perfect local knowledge easily avoided meeting Lentulus or his slaves.
Lentulus he would gladly have confronted alone. What would have fol- lowed, the athletic young man could only surmise grimly ; but he was unarmed, and for Cornelia's sake he must take no risks. Drusus satisfied them that he had suffered no injury. The personal peril through which he had passed brought a reaction of excitement which raised his spirits, and he went to bed in a mood at least tolerably cheerful.
If he could not enjoy his love, he had at least something else to live for — vengeance; and he told himself that he had a whole mature lifetime left in which to make Lentulus repent of his folly and tyrannical cruelty. He awoke late the next mom in a calm frame of mind, and was able to receive with outward equanimity the news that early in the morning Lentulus had taken his sister-in-law and niece, and a large part of his household, back to Eome.