An Egyptian Princess — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 688 pages of information about An Egyptian Princess — Complete.

“No reproaches!  I suspect the reason of thy visit.  Thou desirest an answer to thy doubts as to the birth of thy sister Nitetis.”

“I have no curiosity; I come rather to warn thee, and to remind thee that I am not the only one who is acquainted with this mystery.”

“Speakest thou of Phanes?”

“Of whom else should I speak?  He is banished from Egypt and from his own country, and must leave Naukratis in a few days.  What guarantee hast thou, that he will not betray us to the Persians?”

“The friendship and kindness which I have always shown him.”

“Dost thou believe in the gratitude of men?”

“No! but I rely on my own discernment of character.  Phanes will not betray us! he is my friend, I repeat it!”

“Thy friend perhaps, but my mortal enemy!”

“Then stand on thy guard!  I have nothing to fear from him.”

“For thyself perhaps nought, but for our country!  O father, reflect that though as thy son I may be hateful in thine eyes, yet as Egypt’s future I ought to be near thy heart.  Remember, that at thy death, which may the gods long avert, I shall represent the existence of this glorious land as thou dost now; my fall will be the ruin of thine house, of Egypt!”

Amasis became more and more serious, and Psamtik went on eagerly:  “Thou knowest that I am right!  Phanes can betray our land to any foreign enemy; he is as intimately acquainted with it as we are; and beside this, he possesses a secret, the knowledge of which would convert our most powerful ally into a most formidable enemy.”

“There thou art in error.  Though not mine, Nitetis is a king’s daughter and will know how to win the love of her husband.”

“Were she the daughter of a god, she could not save thee from Cambyses’ wrath, if he discovers the treachery; lying is to a Persian the worst of crimes, to be deceived the greatest disgrace; thou hast deceived the highest and proudest of the nation, and what can one inexperienced girl avail, when hundreds of women, deeply versed in intrigue and artifice, are striving for the favor of their lord?”

“Hatred and revenge are good masters in the art of rhetoric,” said Amasis in a cutting tone.  “And think’st thou then, oh, foolish son, that I should have undertaken such a dangerous game without due consideration?  Phanes may tell the Persians what he likes, he can never prove his point.  I, the father, Ladice the mother must know best whether Nitetis is our child or not.  We call her so, who dare aver the contrary?  If it please Phanes to betray our land to any other enemy beside the Persians, let him; I fear nothing!  Thou wouldst have me ruin a man who has been my friend, to whom I owe much gratitude, who has served me long and faithfully; and this without offence from his side.  Rather will I shelter him from thy revenge, knowing as I do the impure source from which it springs.”

“My father!”

Project Gutenberg
An Egyptian Princess — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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