The Yoke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 464 pages of information about The Yoke.

[2] The ape was sacred to and an emblem of Toth, the male deity of Wisdom and Law.

CHAPTER IV

THE PROCESSION OF AMEN

Thebes Diospolis, the hundred-gated, was in holiday attire.  The great suburb to the west of the Nile had emptied her multitudes into the solemn community of the gods.  Besides her own inhabitants there were thousands from the entire extent of the Thebaid and visitors even from far-away Syene and Philae.  It was an occasion for more than ordinary pomp.  The great god Amen was to be taken for an outing in his ark.

Every possible manifestation of festivity had been sought after and displayed.  The air was a-flutter with party-colored streamers.  Garlands rioted over colossus, peristyle, obelisk and sphinx without conserving pattern or moderation.  The dromos, or avenue of sphinxes, was carpeted with palm and nelumbo leaves, and copper censers as large as caldrons had been set at equidistance from one another, and an unceasing reek of aromatics drifted up from them throughout the day.

For once the magnificence of the wondrous city of the gods was set down from its usual preeminence in the eyes of the wondering spectator, and the vastness of the multitude usurped its place.  The bari of Kenkenes seeking to round the island of sand lying near the eastern shore opposite the village of Karnak, met a solid pack of boats.  The young sculptor took in the situation at once, and, putting about, found a landing farther to the north.  There he made a portage across the flat bar of sand to the arm of quiet water that separated the island from the eastern shore.  Crossing, he dismissed his eager and excited boatmen and struck across the noon-heated valley toward the temple.  The route of the pageant could be seen from afar, cleanly outlined by humanity.  It extended from Karnak to Luxor and, turning in a vast loop at the Nile front, countermarched over the dromos and ended at the tremendous white-walled temple of Amen.  Between the double ranks of sightseers there was but chariot room.  The side Kenkenes approached sloped sharply from the dromos toward the river, and the rearmost spectators had small opportunity to behold the pageant.  The multitude here was less densely packed.  Kenkenes joined the crowd at this point.

Here was the canaille of Thebes.

They wore nothing but a kilt of cotton—­or as often, only a cincture about the loins, and their lean bodies were blackened by the terrible sun of the desert.  They were the apprentices of paraschites,[1] brewers, professional thieves, slaves and traffickers in the unclean necessities of a great city, and only their occasional riots, or such events as this, brought them into general view of the upper classes.  They had nothing in common with the gentry, whom they were willing to recognize as creatures of a superior mold.  Among themselves there were established

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The Yoke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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