Last Days of Pompeii eBook

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

‘Poor Glaucus!—­he is as blind as Fortune herself,’ replied Sallust, in the same tone.

‘I will play no more,’ said Glaucus; ‘I have lost thirty sestertia.’

‘I am sorry...’ began Clodius.

‘Amiable man!’ groaned the umbra.

‘Not at all!’ exclaimed Glaucus; ’the pleasure I take in your gain compensates the pain of my loss.’

The conversation now grew general and animated; the wine circulated more freely; and Ione once more became the subject of eulogy to the guests of Glaucus.

’Instead of outwatching the stars, let us visit one at whose beauty the stars grow pale,’ said Lepidus.

Clodius, who saw no chance of renewing the dice, seconded the proposal; and Glaucus, though he civilly pressed his guests to continue the banquet, could not but let them see that his curiosity had been excited by the praises of Ione:  they therefore resolved to adjourn (all, at least, but Pansa and the umbra) to the house of the fair Greek.  They drank, therefore, to the health of Glaucus and of Titus—­they performed their last libation—­they resumed their slippers—­they descended the stairs—­passed the illumined atrium—­and walking unbitten over the fierce dog painted on the threshold, found themselves beneath the light of the moon just risen, in the lively and still crowded streets of Pompeii.

They passed the jewellers’ quarter, sparkling with lights, caught and reflected by the gems displayed in the shops, and arrived at last at the door of Ione.  The vestibule blazed with rows of lamps; curtains of embroidered purple hung on either aperture of the tablinum, whose walls and mosaic pavement glowed with the richest colors of the artist; and under the portico which surrounded the odorous viridarium they found Ione, already surrounded by adoring and applauding guests!

‘Did you say she was Athenian?’ whispered Glaucus, ere he passed into the peristyle.

‘No, she is from Neapolis.’

‘Neapolis!’ echoed Glaucus; and at that moment the group, dividing on either side of Ione, gave to his view that bright, that nymph-like beauty, which for months had shone down upon the waters of his memory.

Chapter IV

The temple of IsisIts priest. The character of Arbaces develops itself.

The story returns to the Egyptian.  We left Arbaces upon the shores of the noonday sea, after he had parted from Glaucus and his companion.  As he approached to the more crowded part of the bay, he paused and gazed upon that animated scene with folded arms, and a bitter smile upon his dark features.

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Project Gutenberg
Last Days of Pompeii from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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