Cleopatra — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 510 pages of information about Cleopatra — Complete.

Cleopatra — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 510 pages of information about Cleopatra — Complete.

As night closed in the dogs barked violently, and they heard loud voices on the shore.  Dion, with a presentiment that misfortune was threatening himself and his dear ones, obeyed the summons.

No star illumined the darkness.  Only the wavering light of a lantern on the strand and another on the nearest island illumined the immediate vicinity, while southward the lights in the city shone as brightly as ever.

Pyrrhus and his youngest son were just pushing a boat into the water to release from the sands another which had run aground in a shallow near the neighbouring island.

Dion sprang in with them, and soon recognized in the hail the voice of the architect Gorgias.

The young father shouted a joyous greeting to his friend, but there was no reply.

Soon after, Pyrrhus landed his belated guest on the shore.  He had escaped—­as the fisherman explained—­a great danger; for had he gone to the other island, which swarmed with venomous serpents, he might easily have fallen a victim to the bite of one of the reptiles.

Gorgias grasped Dion’s hand but, in reply to his gay invitation to accompany him to the house at once, he begged him to listen to his story before joining the ladies.

Dion was startled.  He knew his friend.  When his deep voice had such a tone of gloomy discouragement, and his head drooped so mournfully, some terrible event had befallen him.

His foreboding had been correct.  The first tidings pierced his own soul deeply.

He was not surprised to learn that the Romans ruled Alexandria; but a small band of the conquerors, who had been ordered to conduct themselves as if they were in a friendly country, had forced their way into the architect’s large house to occupy the quarters assigned to them.  The deaf grandmother of Helena and Barine, who had but half comprehended what threatened the citizens, terrified by the noisy entrance of the soldiers, had had another attack of apoplexy, and closed her eyes in death before Gorgias set out for the island.

But it was not only this sad event, which must grieve the hearts of the two sisters, that had brought the architect in a stranger’s boat to the Serpent Island at so late an hour.  His soul was so agitated by the horrible incidents of the day that he needed to seek consolation among those from whom he was sure to find sympathy.

Nor was it wholly the terrible things Fate had compelled him to witness which induced him to venture out upon the sea so recklessly, but still more the desire to bring to the fugitives the happy news that they might return with safety to their native city.

Deeply agitated—­nay, confused and overpowered by all he had seen and experienced—­the architect, usually so clear and, with all his mental vivacity, so circumspect, began his story.  A remonstrance from Dion induced him to collect his thoughts and describe events in the order in which they had befallen him.

Project Gutenberg
Cleopatra — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.