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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 439 pages of information about Last Days of Pompeii.

‘Julia is charming enough to be generous,’ replied the Greek.  ’Yes, I love Ione; amidst all the youth who court you, may you have one worshipper as sincere.’

’I pray the gods to grant it!  See, Glaucus, these pearls are the present I destine to your bride:  may Juno give her health to wear them!’

So saying, she placed a case in his hand, containing a row of pearls of some size and price.  It was so much the custom for persons about to be married to receive these gifts, that Glaucus could have little scruple in accepting the necklace, though the gallant and proud Athenian inly resolved to requite the gift by one of thrice its value.  Julia then stopping short his thanks, poured forth some wine into a small bowl.

‘You have drunk many toasts with my father,’ said she smiling—­’one now with me.  Health and fortune to your bride!’

She touched the cup with her lips and then presented it to Glaucus.  The customary etiquette required that Glaucus should drain the whole contents; he accordingly did so.  Julia, unknowing the deceit which Nydia had practised upon her, watched him with sparkling eyes; although the witch had told her that the effect might not be immediate, she yet sanguinely trusted to an expeditious operation in favor of her charms.  She was disappointed when she found Glaucus coldly replace the cup, and converse with her in the same unmoved but gentle tone as before.  And though she detained him as long as she decorously could do, no change took place in his manner.  ‘But to-morrow,’ thought she, exultingly recovering her disappointment—­’to-morrow, alas for Glaucus!’

Alas for him, indeed!

Chapter IV

The story halts for A moment at an episode.

Restless and anxious, Apaecides consumed the day in wandering through the most sequestered walks in the vicinity of the city.  The sun was slowly setting as he paused beside a lonely part of the Sarnus, ere yet it wound amidst the evidences of luxury and power.  Only through openings in the woods and vines were caught glimpses of the white and gleaming city, in which was heard in the distance no din, no sound, nor ’busiest hum of men’.  Amidst the green banks crept the lizard and the grasshopper, and here and there in the brake some solitary bird burst into sudden song, as suddenly stifled.  There was deep calm around, but not the calm of night; the air still breathed of the freshness and life of day; the grass still moved to the stir of the insect horde; and on the opposite bank the graceful and white capella passed browsing through the herbage, and paused at the wave to drink.

As Apaecides stood musingly gazing upon the waters, he heard beside him the low bark of a dog.

‘Be still, poor friend,’ said a voice at hand; ’the stranger’s step harms not thy master.’  The convert recognized the voice, and, turning, he beheld the old mysterious man whom he had seen in the congregation of the Nazarenes.

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