From that time a peculiar tie had sprung up between the two. Scherau would venture to sit down by the sculptor, and try to imitate his finished images. Not a word was exchanged between them, but often the deaf old man would destroy the boy’s works, often on the contrary improve them with a touch of his own hand, and not seldom nod at him to encourage him.
When he staid away the old man missed his pupil, and Scherau’s happiest hours were those which he passed at his side.
He was not forbidden to take some clay home with him. There, when the old woman’s back was turned, he moulded a variety of images which he destroyed as soon as they were finished.
While he lay on his rack his hands were left free, and he tried to reproduce the various forms which lived in his imagination, he forgot the present in his artistic attempts, and his bitter lot acquired a flavor of the sweetest enjoyment.
But to-day it was too late; he must give up his visit to the tomb of Rameses.
Once more he looked back at the hut, and then hurried into the dark cave.
Pentauer also soon quitted the but of the paraschites.
Lost in meditation, he went along the hill-path which led to the temple which Ameni had put under his direction.
[This temple is well proportioned, and remains in good preservation. Copies of the interesting pictures discovered in it are to be found in the “Fleet of an Egyptian queen” by Dutnichen. Other details may be found in Lepsius’ Monuments of Egypt, and a plan of the place has recently been published by Mariette.]
He foresaw many disturbed and anxious hours in the immediate future.
The sanctuary of which he was the superior, had been dedicated to her own memory, and to the goddess Hathor, by Hatasu,
[The daughter of Thotmes I., wife of her brother Thotmes ii., and predecessor of her second brother Thotmes III. An energetic woman who executed great works, and caused herself to be represented with the helmet and beard-case of a man.]
a great queen of the dethroned dynasty.
The priests who served it were endowed with peculiar chartered privileges, which hitherto had been strictly respected. Their dignity was hereditary, going down from father to son, and they had the right of choosing their director from among themselves.
Now their chief priest Rui was ill and dying, and Ameni, under whose jurisdiction they came, had, without consulting them, sent the young poet Pentaur to fill his place.
They had received the intruder most unwillingly, and combined strongly against him when it became evident that he was disposed to establish a severe rule and to abolish many abuses which had become established customs.
They had devolved the greeting of the rising sun on the temple-servants; Pentaur required that the younger ones at least should take part in chanting the morning hymn, and himself led the choir. They had trafficked with the offerings laid on the altar of the Goddess; the new master repressed this abuse, as well as the extortions of which they were guilty towards women in sorrow, who visited the temple of Hathor in greater number than any other sanctuary.