“Heaven has bestowed on you a gifted soul. Strive for that which is wanting to you—the strength to subdue, to crush for One—and you know that One—all things else—even the misguiding voice of your heart, the treacherous voice of your judgment.—But stay! send leeches to the house of the paraschites, and desire them to treat the injured girl as though she were the queen herself. Who knows where the man dwells?”
“The princess,” replied Pentaur, “has left Paaker, the king’s pioneer, behind in the temple to conduct the leeches to the house of Pinem.”
The grave high-priest smiled and said. “Paaker! to attend the daughter of a paraschites.”
Pentaur half beseechingly and half in fun raised his eyes which he had kept cast down. “And Pentaur,” he murmured, “the gardener’s son! who is to refuse absolution to the king’s daughter!”
“Pentaur, the minister of the Gods—Pentaur, the priest—has not to do with the daughter of the king, but with the transgressor of the sacred institutions,” replied Ameni gravely. “Let Paaker know I wish to speak with him.”
The poet bowed low and quitted the room, the high priest muttered to himself: “He is not yet what he should be, and speech is of no effect with him.”
For a while he was silent, walking to and fro in meditation; then he said half aloud, “And the boy is destined to great things. What gifts of the Gods doth he lack? He has the faculty of learning—of thinking—of feeling—of winning all hearts, even mine. He keeps himself undefiled and separate—” suddenly the prelate paused and struck his hand on the back of a chair that stood by him. “I have it; he has not yet felt the fire of ambition. We will light it for his profit and our own.”
Pentauer hastened to execute the commands of the high-priest. He sent a servant to escort Paaker, who was waiting in the forecourt, into the presence of Ameni while he himself repaired to the physicians to impress on them the most watchful care of the unfortunate girl.
Many proficients in the healing arts were brought up in the house of Seti, but few used to remain after passing the examination for the degree of Scribe.
[What is here stated with regard to the medical schools is principally derived from the medical writings of the Egyptians themselves, among which the “Ebers Papyrus” holds the first place, “Medical Papyrus I.” of Berlin the second, and a hieratic Ms. in London which, like the first mentioned, has come down to us from the 18th dynasty, takes the third. Also see Herodotus ii. 84. Diodorus I. 82.]
The most gifted were sent to Heliopolis, where flourished, in the great “Hall of the Ancients,” the most celebrated medical faculty of the whole country, whence they returned to Thebes, endowed with the highest honors in surgery, in ocular treatment, or in any other branch of their profession, and became physicians to the king or made a living by imparting their learning and by being called in to consult on serious cases.