Then he told Mena that it was now twenty years since his son-in-law had been killed, and his daughter Xanthe, whom Uarda exactly resembled, had been carried into captivity. Praxilla was then only just born, and his wife died of the shock of such terrible news. All his enquiries for Xanthe and her child had been fruitless, but he now remembered that once, when he had offered a large ransom for his daughter if she could be found, the Egyptians had enquired whether she were dumb, and that he had answered “no.” No doubt Xanthe had lost the power of speech through grief, terror, and suffering.
The joy of the king was unspeakable, and Uarda was never tired of gazing at his daughter and holding her hand.
Then she turned to the interpreter.
“Tell me,” she said. “How do I say ‘I am so very happy?’”
He told her, and she smilingly repeated his words. “Now ’Uarda will love you with all her heart?’” and she said it after him in broken accents that sounded so sweet and so heart-felt, that the old man clasped her to his breast.
Tears of emotion stood in Nefert’s eyes, and when Uarda flung herself into her arms she said:
“The forlorn swan has found its kindred, the floating leaf has reached the shore, and must be happy now!” Thus passed an hour of the purest happiness; at last the Greek king prepared to leave, and the wished to take Uarda with him; but Mena begged his permission to communicate all that had occurred to the Pharaoh and Bent-Anat, for Uarda was attached to the princess’s train, and had been left in his charge, and he dared not trust her in any other hands without Bent-Anat’s permission. Without waiting for the king’s reply he left the tent, hastened to the banqueting tent, and, as we know, Rameses and the princess had at once attended to his summons.
On the way Mena gave them a vivid description of the exciting events that had taken place, and Rameses, with a side glance at Bent-Anat, asked Rameri:
“Would you be prepared to repair your errors, and to win the friendship of the Greek king by being betrothed to his granddaughter?”
The prince could not answer a word, but he clasped his father’s hand, and kissed it so warmly that Rameses, as he drew it away, said:
“I really believe that you have stolen a march on me, and have been studying diplomacy behind my back!”
Rameses met his noble opponent outside Mena’s tent, and was about to offer him his hand, but the Danaid chief had sunk on his knees before him as the other princes had done.
“Regard me not as a king and a warrior,” he exclaimed, “only as a suppliant father; let us conclude a peace, and permit me to take this maiden, my grandchild, home with me to my own country.”
Rameses raised the old man from the ground, gave him his hand, and said kindly:
“I can only grant the half of what you ask. I, as king of Egypt, am most willing to grant you a faithful compact for a sound and lasting peace; as regards this maiden, you must treat with my children, first with my daughter Bent-Anat, one of whose ladies she is, and then with your released prisoner there, who wishes to make Uarda his wife.”