So the blind artist learned only that Archias was going to the island of Lesbos, his mother’s home, and that he had promised his daughter to give Hermon time to recover his sight. The property bequeathed to him by Myrtilus had been placed by the merchant in the royal bank, and he had also protected himself against any chance of poverty. Hermon was to send news of his health to Lesbos from time to time if a safe opportunity offered and, when Daphne knew where he was to be found, she could let him have tidings. Of course, for the present great caution must be exercised in order not to betray the abode of the fugitives.
Hermon, too, ought to evade the pursuit of the incensed King as quickly as possible.
Not only Daphne’s eyes, but her father’s also, overflowed with tears at this parting, and Hermon perceived more plainly than ever that he was as dear to his uncle as though he were his own son.
The low words which the artist exchanged with the woman whose love, even during the period of separation, would shed light and warmth upon his darkened life, were deeply impressed upon the souls of both.
For the present, faithful Gras was to remain in charge of his master’s house in Alexandria. Leaning on his arm, the blind man left the Tacheia, which, as soon as both had entered the boat, was urged forward by powerful strokes of the oars.
The Bithynian informed Hermon that kerchiefs were waving him a farewell from the trireme, that the sails had been unfurled, and the wind was driving the swift vessel before it like a swallow.
At the Pharos Gras reported that a royal galley was just passing them, undoubtedly in pursuit of the Tacheia; but the latter was the swiftest of all the Greek vessels, and they need not fear that she would be overtaken by the war ship.
With a sore heart and the desolate feeling of being now utterly alone, Hermon again landed and ordered that his uncle’s harmamaxa should convey him to the necropolis. He desired to seek peace at his mother’s grave, and to take leave of these beloved tombs.
Guided by the steward, he left them cheered and with fresh confidence in the future, and the faithful servant’s account of the energy with which Daphne had aided the preparations for departure benefited him like a refreshing bath.
When he was again at home, one visitor after another was announced, who came there from the festival in the palaestra, and, in spite of his great reluctance to receive them, he denied no one admittance, but listened even to the ill-disposed and spiteful.
In the battle which he had commenced he must not shrink from wounds, and he was struck by many a poisoned shaft. But, to make amends, a clear understanding was effected between him and those whom he esteemed.
The last caller left him just before midnight.
Hermon now made many preparations for departure.