Last Days of Pompeii eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 439 pages of information about Last Days of Pompeii.
creep over her as she again turned to his warning against Arbaces, and her secret fear of that gloomy being darkened into awe.  She was awakened from these thoughts by her maidens, who came to announce to her that the hour appointed to visit Arbaces was arrived; she started, she had forgotten the promise.  Her first impression was to renounce it; her second, was to laugh at her own fears of her eldest surviving friend.  She hastened to add the usual ornaments to her dress, and doubtful whether she should yet question the Egyptian more closely with respect to his accusation of Glaucus, or whether she should wait till, without citing the authority, she should insinuate to Glaucus the accusation itself, she took her way to the gloomy mansion of Arbaces.

Chapter VII

Ione entrapped. The Mouse tries to gnaw the net.

Dearest Nydia!’ exclaimed Glaucus as he read the letter of Ione, ’whitest robed messenger that ever passed between earth and heaven—­how, how shall I thank thee?’

‘I am rewarded,’ said the poor Thessalian.

‘To-morrow—­to-morrow! how shall I while the hours till then?’

The enamoured Greek would not let Nydia escape him, though she sought several times to leave the chamber; he made her recite to him over and over again every syllable of the brief conversation that had taken place between her and Ione; a thousand times, forgetting her misfortune, he questioned her of the looks, of the countenance of his beloved; and then quickly again excusing his fault, he bade her recommence the whole recital which he had thus interrupted.  The hours thus painful to Nydia passed rapidly and delightfully to him, and the twilight had already darkened ere he once more dismissed her to Ione with a fresh letter and with new flowers.  Scarcely had she gone, than Clodius and several of his gay companions broke in upon him; they rallied him on his seclusion during the whole day, and absence from his customary haunts; they invited him to accompany them to the various resorts in that lively city, which night and day proffered diversity to pleasure.  Then, as now, in the south (for no land, perhaps, losing more of greatness has retained more of custom), it was the delight of the Italians to assemble at the evening; and, under the porticoes of temples or the shade of the groves that interspersed the streets, listening to music or the recitals of some inventive tale-teller, they hailed the rising moon with libations of wine and the melodies of song.  Glaucus was too happy to be unsocial; he longed to cast off the exuberance of joy that oppressed him.  He willingly accepted the proposal of his comrades, and laughingly they sallied out together down the populous and glittering streets.

In the meantime Nydia once more gained the house of Ione, who had long left it; she inquired indifferently whither Ione had gone.

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Last Days of Pompeii from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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