BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Characters of Theophrastus

Theophrastus


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


An Egyptian princess

by Georg Ebers

Excerpt:

"You will find him here; and besides, I canm but hope that the songs will cheer you, and dispe. your gloomy thoughts." Aristomachus shook his head in denial, and answered: "To you, sanguine Athenians the melodies of your country may be cheering: bu not so to me; as in many a sleepless night of dreams, my longings will be doubled, not stilled by the songs of Alkman.6

"Do you think then," replied Phanes, "that I have no longing for my beloved Athens, for the scenes of our youthful games, for the busy life of the market? Trul)(,. the bread of exile is not less distasteful to my palafcr, than to yours, but, in the society afforded by this housed it loses some of its bitterness, and when the dear melodies of Hellas, so perfectly sung, fall on my ear, my native land rises before me as in a vision, I see its pine and olive groves, its cold, emerald green rivers, its blue sea, the shimmer of its towns, its snowy mountain-tops and marble temples, and a half-sweet, half-bitter tear steals down my cheek as the music ceases, and I awake to remember that I am in Egypt, in this monotonous, hot, eccentric country, which, the gods be praised, I am soon about to quit. But, Aristomachus, would you then avoid the few Oases in the desert, because you must afterwards return to its sands and drought? Would you fly from one happy hour, because days of sadness await you later? But stop, here we are! Show a cheerful countenance, my friend, for it becomes us not to enter the temple of the Charites* with sad hearts."

As Phanes uttered these words, they landed at the

* The goddesses of grace and beauty, better known by their Roman name Of "Graces".

'Aden wall, washed by the Nile. The Athenian 'ounded lightly from the boat, the Spartan following with a heavier, firmer tread. Aristomachus had a wooden leg, but his step was so firm, even when compared with that of the light-footed Phanes, that it might have been thought to be his own limb.

The garden of Rhodopis was as full of sound, and scent and blossom as a night in fairy-land. It was one labyrinth of acanthus shrubs, yellow mimosa, the snowy gueldres rose, jasmine and lilac, red roses and Aburnums, overshadowed by tall palm-trees, acacias ad balsam-trees. Large bats hovered softly on their uelicate wings over the whole, and sounds of mirth and song echoed from the river.

This garden had been laid out by an Egyptian, and the builders of the Pyramids had already been celebrated for ages for their skill in horticulture. i They well understood how to mark out neat flower-beds, plant groups of trees and shrubs in regular order, water the whole by aqueducts and fountains, arrange arbours and summerhouses, and even inclose the walks with artistically clipped hedges, and breed goldfish in stone basins.

At the garden gate Phanes stopped, looked around him carefully and listened; then shaking his head, "I do not understand what this can mean," he said. "I hear no voices, there is not a single light to be seen, the boats are all gone, and yet the flag is still flying at its gay flag-staff, there, by the obelisks on each side of the gate.8 Rhodopis must surely be from home;

can they have forgotten?" Here a deep voice

suddenly interrupted him with the exclamation, "Ha! the commander of the body-guard!"

"A pleasant evening to you, Knakias," exclaimed Phanes, kindly greeting the old man, who now came up.

"But how is it that this garden is as still as an Egyptian tomb, and yet the flag of welcome is fluttering at the gate? How long has that white ensign waved for guests in vain?"

"How long indeed?" echoed the old slave of Rhodopis with a smile. "So long as the Fates graciously spare the life of my mistress, the old flag is sure to waft as many guests hither as the house is able to contain. Rhodopis is not at home now, but she must return shortly. The evening being so fine, she determined on taking a pleasure-trip on the Nile with her guests. They started at sunset, two hours ago, and the evening meal is already prepared;Q they cannot remain away much longer. I pray you, Phanes, to have patience and follow me into the house. Rhodopis would not easily forgive me, if I allowed such valued guests to depart. You stranger," he added, turning to the Spartan, "I entreat most heartily to remain; as friend of your friend you will be doubly welcome to my mistress."


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