‘The Earth has preserved her children,’ said Glaucus, staggering to his feet. ’Blessed be the dread convulsion! Let us worship the providence of the gods!’ He assisted Apaecides to rise, and then turned upward the face of Arbaces; it seemed locked as in death; blood gushed from the Egyptian’s lips over his glittering robes; he fell heavily from the arms of Glaucus, and the red stream trickled slowly along the marble. Again the earth shook beneath their feet; they were forced to cling to each other; the convulsion ceased as suddenly as it came; they tarried no longer; Glaucus bore Ione lightly in his arms, and they fled from the unhallowed spot. But scarce had they entered the garden than they were met on all sides by flying and disordered groups of women and slaves, whose festive and glittering garments contrasted in mockery the solemn terror of the hour; they did not appear to heed the strangers—they were occupied only with their own fears. After the tranquillity of sixteen years, that burning and treacherous soil again menaced destruction; they uttered but one cry, ‘the earthquake! The earthquake!’ and passing unmolested from the midst of them, Apaecides and his companions, without entering the house, hastened down one of the alleys, passed a small open gate, and there, sitting on a little mound over which spread the gloom of the dark green aloes, the moonlight fell on the bended figure of the blind girl—she was weeping bitterly.
BOOK THE THIRD
The forum of the Pompeians. The first rude machinery by which the new era of the world was wrought.