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Title: Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Volume 10
Author: Ebers, Georg
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Volume 10.

By Georg Ebers


The cloudless vault of heaven spread over the plain of Pelusium, the
stars were bright, the moon threw her calm light over the thousands of
tents which shone as white as little hillocks of snow.  All was silent,
the soldiers and the Egyptians, who had assembled to welcome the king,
were now all gone to rest.

There had been great rejoicing and jollity in the camp; three enormous
vats, garlanded with flowers and overflowing with wine, which spilt with
every movement of the trucks on which they were drawn by thirty oxen,
were sent up and down the little streets of tents, and as the evening
closed in tavern-booths were erected in many spots in the camp, at which
the Regent's servants supplied the soldiers with red and white wine.  The
tents of the populace were only divided from the pavilion of the Pharaoh
by the hastily-constructed garden in the midst of which it stood, and the
hedge which enclosed it.

The tent of the Regent himself was distinguished from all the others by
its size and magnificence; to the right of it was the encampment of the
different priestly deputations, to the left that of his suite; among the
latter were the tents of his friend Katuti, a large one for her own use,
and some smaller ones for her servants.  Behind Ani's pavilion stood a
tent, enclosed in a wall or screen of canvas, within which old Hekt was
lodged; Ani had secretly conveyed her hither on board his own boat.  Only
Katuti and his confidential servants knew who it was that lay concealed
in the mysteriously shrouded abode.

While the banquet was proceeding in the great pavilion, the witch was
sitting in a heap on the sandy earth of her conical canvas dwelling; she
breathed with difficulty, for a weakness of the heart, against which she
had long struggled, now oppressed her more frequently and severely; a
little lamp of clay burned before her, and on her lap crouched a sick and
ruffled hawk; the creature shivered from time to time, closing the filmy
lids of his keen eyes, which glowed with a dull fire when Hekt took him
up in her withered hand, and tried to blow some air into his hooked beak,
still ever ready to peck and tear her.

At her feet little Scherau lay asleep.  Presently she pushed the child
with her foot.  "Wake up," she said, as he raised himself still half
asleep.  "You have young ears--it seemed to me that I heard a woman
scream in Ani's tent.  Do you hear any thing?"

"Yes, indeed," exclaimed the little one.  "There is a noise like crying,
and that--that was a scream!  It came from out there, from Nemu's tent."

"Creep through  there," said the witch, "and see what is happening!"

The child obeyed: Hekt turned her attention again to the bird, which no
longer perched in her lap, but lay on one side, though it still tried to
use its talons, when she took him up in her hand.

"It is all over with him," muttered the old woman, "and the one I called
Rameses is sleeker than ever.  It is all folly and yet--and yet! the
Regent's game is over, and he has lost it.  The creature is stretching
itself--its head drops--it draws itself up--one more clutch at my dress
--now it is dead!"

She contemplated the dead hawk in her lap for some minutes, then she took
it up, flung it into a corner of the tent, and exclaimed:

"Good-bye, King Ani.  The crown is not for you!"  Then she went on: "What
project has he in hand now, I wonder?  Twenty times he has asked me
whether the great enterprise will succeed; as if I knew any more than he!
And Nemu too has hinted all kinds of things, though he would not speak
out.  Something is going on, and I--and I?  There it comes again."

The old woman pressed her hand to her heart and closed her eyes, her
features were distorted with pain; she did not perceive Scherau's return,
she did not hear him call her name, or see that, when she did not answer
him, he left her again.  For an hour or more she remained unconscious,
then her senses returned, but she felt as if some ice-cold fluid slowly
ran through her veins instead of the warm blood.

"If I had kept a hawk for myself too," she muttered, "it would soon
follow the other one in the corner!  If only Ani keeps his word, and has
me embalmed!

"But how can he when he too is so near his end.  They will let me rot and
disappear, and there will be no future for me, no meeting with Assa."

The old woman remained silent for a long time; at last she murmured
hoarsely with her eyes fixed on the ground:

"Death brings release, if only from the torment of remembrance.  But
there is a life beyond the grave.  I do not, I will not cease to hope.
The dead shall all be equally judged, and subject to the inscrutable
decrees.--Where shall I find him?  Among the blest, or among the damned?
And I?  It matters not!  The deeper the abyss into which they fling me
the better.  Can Assa, if he is among the blest, remain in bliss, when he
sees to what he has brought me?  Oh! they must embalm me--I cannot bear
to vanish, and rot and evaporate into nothingness!"

While she was still speaking, the dwarf Nemu had come into the tent;
Scherau, seeing the old woman senseless, had run to tell him that his
mother was lying on the earth with her eyes shut, and was dying.  The
witch perceived the little man.

"It is well," she said, "that you have come; I shall be dead before

"Mother!"  cried the dwarf horrified, "you shall live, and live better
than you have done till now!  Great things are happening, and for us!"

"I know, I know," said Hekt.  "Go away, Scherau--now, Nemu, whisper in my
ear what is doing?"  The dwarf felt as if he could not avoid the
influence of her eye, he went up to her, and said softly--"The pavilion,
in which the king and his people are sleeping, is constructed of wood;
straw and pitch are built into the walls, and laid under the boards.  As
soon as they are gone to rest we shall set the tinder thing on fire.  The
guards are drunk and sleeping."

"Well thought of," said Hekt.  "Did you plan it?"  "I and my mistress,"
said the dwarf not without pride.  "You can devise a plot," said the old
woman, "but you are feeble in the working out.  Is your plan a secret?
Have you clever assistants?"

"No one knows of it," replied the dwarf, "but Katuti, Paaker, and I; we
three shall lay the brands to the spots we have fixed upon.  I am going
to the rooms of Bent-Anat; Katuti, who can go in and out as she pleases,
will set fire to the stairs, which lead to the upper story, and which
fall by touching a spring; and Paaker to the king's apartments."

"Good-good, it may succeed," gasped the old woman.  "But what was the
scream in your tent?"  The dwarf seemed doubtful about answering; but
Hekt went on:

"Speak without fear--the dead are sure to be silent."  The dwarf,
trembling with agitation, shook off his hesitation, and said:

"I have found Uarda, the grandchild of Pinem, who had disappeared, and I
decoyed her here, for she and no other shall be my wife, if Ani is king,
and if Katuti makes me rich and free.  She is in the service of the
Princess Bent-Anat, and sleeps in her anteroom, and she must not be burnt
with her mistress.  She insisted on going back to the palace, so, as she
would fly to the fire like a gnat, and I would not have her risk being
burnt, I tied her up fast."

"Did she not struggle?"  said Hekt.

"Like a mad thing," said the dwarf.  "But the Regent's dumb slave, who
was ordered by his master to obey me in everything to-day, helped me.
We tied up her mouth that she might not be heard screaming!"

"Will you leave her alone when you go to do your errand?"

"Her father is with her!"

"Kaschta, the red-beard?"  asked the old woman in surprise.  "And did he
not break you in pieces like an earthenware pot?"

"He will not stir," said Nemu laughing.  "For when I found him, I made
him so drunk with Ani's old wine that he lies there like a mummy.  It was
from him that I learned where Uarda was, and I went to her, and got her
to come with me by telling her that her father was very ill, and begged
her to go to see him once more.  She flew after me like a gazelle, and
when she saw the soldier lying there senseless she threw herself upon
him, and called for water to cool his head, for he was raving in his
dreams of rats and mice that had fallen upon him.  As it grew late she
wanted to return to her mistress, and we were obliged to prevent her.
How handsome she has grown, mother; you cannot imagine how pretty she

"Aye, aye!"  said Hekt.  "You will have to keep an eye upon her when she
is your wife."

"I will treat her like the wife of a noble," said Nemu.  "And pay a real
lady to guard her.  But by this time Katuti has brought home her
daughter, Mena's wife; the stars are sinking and--there--that was the
first signal.  When Katuti whistles the third time we are to go to work.
Lend me your fire-box, mother."

"Take it," said Hekt.  "I shall never need it again.  It is all over with
me!  How your hand shakes!  Hold the wood firmly, or you will drop it
before you have brought the fire."

The dwarf bid the old woman farewell, and she let him kiss her without
moving.  When he was gone, she listened eagerly for any sound that might
pierce the silence of the night, her eyes shone with a keen light, and a
thousand thoughts flew through her restless brain.  When she heard the
second signal on Katuti's silver whistle, she sat upright and muttered:

"That gallows-bird Paaker, his vain aunt and that villain Ani, are no
match for Rameses, even when he is asleep.  Ani's hawk is dead; he has
nothing to hope for from Fortune, and I nothing to hope for from him.
But if Rameses--if the real king would promise me--then my poor old body
--Yes, that is the thing, that is what I will do."

She painfully raised herself on her feet with the help of her stick, she
found a knife and a small flask which she slipped into her dress, and
then, bent and trembling, with a last effort of her remaining strength
she dragged herself as far as Nemu's tent.  Here she found Uarda bound
hand and foot, and Kaschta lying on the ground in a heavy drunken

The girl shrank together in alarm when she saw the old woman, and
Scherau, who crouched at her side, raised his hands imploringly to the

"Take this knife, boy," she said to the little one.  "Cut the ropes the
poor thing is tied with.  The papyrus cords are strong, saw them with the

     [Papyrus was used not only for writing on, but also for ropes.  The
     bridge of boats on which Xerxes crossed the Hellespont was fastened
     with cables of papyrus.]

While the boy eagerly followed her instructions with all his little
might, she rubbed the soldier's temples with an essence which she had in
the bottle, and poured a few drops of it between his lips.  Kaschta came
to himself, stretched his limbs, and stared in astonishment at the place
in which he found himself.  She gave him some water, and desired him to
drink it, saying, as Uarda shook herself free from the bonds:

"The Gods have predestined you to great things, you white maiden.  Listen
to what I, old Hekt, am telling you.  The king's life is threatened, his
and his children's; I purpose to save them, and I ask no reward but this-
that he should have my body embalmed and interred at Thebes.  Swear to me
that you will require this of him when you have saved him."

"In God's name what is happening?"  cried Uarda.  "Swear that you will
provide for my burial," said the old woman.

"I swear it!"  cried the girl.  "But for God's sake--"

"Katuti, Paaker, and Nemu are gone to set fire to the palace when Rameses
is sleeping, in three places.  Do you hear, Kaschta!  Now hasten, fly
after the incendiaries, rouse the servants, and try to rescue the king."

"Oh fly, father,"  cried the  girl, and they both rushed away in the

"She is honest and will keep her word," muttered Hekt, and she tried to
drag herself back to her own tent; but her strength failed her half-way.
Little Scherau tried to support her, but he was too weak; she sank down
on the sand, and looked out into the distance.  There she saw the dark
mass of the palace, from which rose a light that grew broader and
broader, then clouds of black smoke, then up flew the soaring flame, and
a swarm of glowing sparks.

"Run into the camp, child," she cried, "cry fire, and wake the sleepers."

Scherau ran off shouting as loud as he could.

The old woman pressed her hand to her side, she muttered: "There it is

"In the other world--Assa--Assa," and her trembling lips were silent for


Katuti had kept her unfortunate nephew Paaker concealed in one of her
servants' tents.  He had escaped wounded from the battle at Kadesh, and
in terrible pain he had succeeded, by the help of an ass which he had
purchased from a peasant, in reaching by paths known to hardly any one
but himself, the cave where he had previously left his brother.  Here he
found his faithful Ethiopian slave, who nursed him till he was strong
enough to set out on his journey to Egypt.  He reached Pelusium, after
many privations, disguised as an Ismaelite camel-driver; he left his
servant, who might have betrayed him, behind in the cave.

Before he was permitted to pass the fortifications, which lay across the
isthmus which parts the Mediterranean from the Red Sea, and which were
intended to protect Egypt from the incursions of the nomad tribes of the
Chasu, he was subjected to a strict interrogatory, and among other
questions was asked whether he had nowhere met with the traitor Paaker,
who was minutely described to him.  No one recognized in the shrunken,
grey-haired, one-eyed camel-driver, the broad-shouldered, muscular and
thick-legged pioneer.  To disguise himself the more effectually, he
procured some hair-dye--a cosmetic known in all ages--and blackened

     [In my papyrus there are several recipes for the preparation of
     hair-dye; one is ascribed to the Lady Schesch, the mother of Teta,
     wife of the first king of Egypt.  The earliest of all the recipes
     preserved to us is a prescription for dyeing the hair.]

Katuti had arrived at Pelusium with Ani some time before, to superintend
the construction of the royal pavilion.  He ventured to approach her
disguised as a negro beggar, with a palm-branch in his hand.  She gave
him some money and questioned him concerning his native country, for she
made it her business to secure the favor even of the meanest; but though
she appeared to take an interest in his answers, she did not recognize
him; now for the first time he felt secure, and the next day he went up
to her again, and told her who he was.

The widow was not unmoved by the frightful alteration in her nephew, and
although she knew that even Ani had decreed that any intercourse with the
traitor was to be punished by death, she took him at once into her
service, for she had never had greater need than now to employ the
desperate enemy of the king and of her son-in-law.

The mutilated, despised, and hunted man kept himself far from the other
servants, regarding the meaner folk with undiminished scorn.  He thought
seldom, and only vaguely of Katuti's daughter, for love had quite given
place to hatred, and only one thing now seemed to him worth living for--
the hope of working with others to cause his enemies' downfall, and of
being the instrument of their death; so he offered himself to the widow
a willing and welcome tool, and the dull flash in his uninjured eye when
she set him the task of setting fire to the king's apartments, showed her
that in the Mohar she had found an ally she might depend on to the

Paaker had carefully examined the scene of his exploit before the king's
arrival.  Under the windows of the king's rooms, at least forty feet from
the ground, was a narrow parapet resting on the ends of the beams which
supported the rafters on which lay the floor of the upper story in which
the king slept.  These rafters had been smeared with pitch, and straw had
been laid between them, and the pioneer would have known how to find the
opening where he was to put in the brand even if he had been blind of
both eyes.

When Katuti first sounded her whistle he slunk to his post; he was
challenged by no watchman, for the few guards who had been placed in the
immediate vicinity of the pavilion, had all gone to sleep under the
influence of the Regent's wine.  Paaker climbed up to about the height of
two men from the ground by the help of the ornamental carving on the
outside wall of the palace; there a rope ladder was attached, he
clambered up this, and soon stood on the parapet, above which were the
windows of the king's rooms, and below which the fire was to be laid.

Rameses' room was brightly illuminated.  Paaker could see into it without
being seen, and could bear every word that was spoken within.  The king
was sitting in an arm-chair, and looked thoughtfully at the ground;
before him stood the Regent, and Mena stood by his couch, holding in his
hand the king's sleeping-robe.

Presently Rameses raised his head, and said, as he offered his hand with
frank affection to Ani:

"Let me bring this glorious day to a worthy end, cousin.  I have found
you my true and faithful friend, and I had been in danger of believing
those over-anxious counsellors who spoke evil of you.  I am never prone
to distrust, but a number of things occurred together that clouded my
judgment, and I did you injustice.  I am sorry, sincerely sorry; nor am I
ashamed to apologize to you for having for an instant doubted your good
intentions.  You are my good friend--and I will prove to you that I am
yours.  There is my hand-take it; and all Egypt shall know that Rameses
trusts no man more implicitly than his Regent Ani.  I will ask you to
undertake to be my guard of honor to-night--we will share this room.
I sleep here; when I lie down on my couch take your place on the divan
yonder."  Ani had taken Rameses' offered hand, but now he turned pale as
he looked down.  Paaker could see straight into his face, and it was not
without difficulty that he suppressed a scornful laugh.

Rameses did not observe the Regent's dismay, for he had signed to Mena to
come closer to him.

"Before I sleep," said the king, "I will bring matters to an end with you
too.  You have put your wife's constancy to a severe test, and she has
trusted you with a childlike simplicity that is often wiser than the
arguments of sages, because she loved you honestly, and is herself
incapable of guile.  I promised you that I would grant you a wish if your
faith in her was justified.  Now tell me what is your will?"

Mena fell on his knees, and covered the king's robe with kisses.

"Pardon!"  he exclaimed.  "Nothing but pardon.  My crime was a heavy one,
I know; but I was driven to it by scorn and fury--it was as if I saw the
dishonoring hand of Paaker stretched out to seize my innocent wife, who,
as I now know, loathes him as a toad--"

"What was that?"  exclaimed the king.  "I thought I heard a groan

He went up to the window and looked out, but he did not see the pioneer,
who watched every motion of the king, and who, as soon as he perceived
that his involuntary sigh of anguish had been heard, stretched himself
close under the balustrade.  Mena had not risen from his knees when the
king once more turned to him.

"Pardon me," he said again.  "Let me be near thee again as before, and
drive thy chariot.  I live only through thee, I am of no worth but
through thee, and by thy favor, my king, my lord, my father!"

Rameses signed to his favorite to rise.  "Your request was granted," said
he, "before you made it.  I am still in your debt on your fair wife's
account.  Thank Nefert--not me, and let us give thanks to the Immortals
this day with especial fervor.  What has it not brought forth for us!  It
has restored to me you two friends, whom I regarded as lost to me, and
has given me in Pentaur another son."

A low whistle sounded through the night air; it was Katuti's last signal.

Paaker blew up the tinder, laid it in the bole under the parapet, and
then, unmindful of his own danger, raised himself to listen for any
further words.

"I entreat thee," said the Regent, approaching Rameses, "to excuse me.
I fully appreciate thy favors, but the labors of the last few days have
been too much for me; I can hardly stand on my feet, and the guard of

"Mena will watch," said the king.  "Sleep in all security, cousin.  I
will have it known to all men that I have put away from me all distrust
of you.  Give the my night-robe, Mena.  Nay-one thing more I must tell
you.  Youth smiles on the young, Ani.  Bent-Anat has chosen a worthy
husband, my preserver, the poet Pentaur.  He was said to be a man of
humble origin, the son of a gardener of the House of Seti; and now what
do I learn through Ameni?  He is the true son of the dead Mohar, and the
foul traitor Paaker is the gardener's son.  A witch in the Necropolis
changed the children.  That is the best news of all that has reached me
on this propitious day, for the Mohar's widow, the noble Setchem, has
been brought here, and I should have been obliged to choose between two
sentences on her as the mother of the villain who has escaped us.  Either
I must have sent her to the quarries, or have had her beheaded before all
the people--In the name of the Gods, what is that?"

They heard a loud cry in a man's voice, and at the same instant a noise
as if some heavy mass had fallen to the ground from a great height.
Rameses and Mena hastened to the window, but started back, for they were
met by a cloud of smoke.

"Call the watch!"  cried the king.

"Go, you," exclaimed Mena to Ani.  "I will not leave the king again in

Ani fled away like an escaped prisoner, but he could not get far, for,
before he could descend the stairs to the lower story, they fell in
before his very eyes; Katuti, after she had set fire to the interior of
the palace, had made them fall by one blow of a hammer.  Ani saw her robe
as she herself fled, clenched his fist with rage as he shouted her name,
and then, not knowing what he did, rushed headlong through the corridor
into which the different royal apartments opened.

The fearful crash of the falling stairs brought the King and Mena also
out of the sleeping-room.

"There lie the stairs! that is serious!"  said the king cooly; then he
went back into his room, and looked out of a window to estimate the
danger.  Bright flames were already bursting from the northern end of the
palace, and gave the grey dawn the brightness of day; the southern wing
or the pavilion was not yet on fire.  Mena observed the parapet from
which Paaker had fallen to the ground, tested its strength, and found it
firm enough to bear several persons.  He looked round, particularly at
the wing not yet gained by the flames, and exclaimed in a loud voice:

"The fire is intentional! it is done on purpose.  See there!  a man is
squatting down and pushing a brand into the woodwork."

He leaped back into the room, which was now filling with smoke, snatched
the king's bow and quiver, which he himself had hung up at the bed-head,
took careful aim, and with one cry the incendiary fell dead.

A few hours later the dwarf Nemu was found with the charioteer's arrow
through his heart.  After setting fire to Bent-Anat's rooms, he had
determined to lay a brand to the wing of the palace where, with the other
princes, Uarda's friend Rameri was sleeping.

Mena had again leaped out of window, and was estimating the height of the
leap to the ground; the Pharaoh's room was getting more and more filled
with smoke, and flames began to break through the seams of the boards.
Outside the palace as well as within every one was waking up to terror
and excitement.

"Fire!  fire!  an incendiary!  Help!  Save the king!"  cried Kaschta, who
rushed on, followed by a crowd of guards whom he had roused; Uarda had
flown to call Bent-Anat, as she knew the way to her room.  The king had
got on to the parapet outside the window with Mena, and was calling to
the soldiers.

"Half of you get into the house, and first save the princess; the other
half keep the fire from catching the south wing.  I will try to get

But Nemu's brand had been effectual, the flames flared up, and the
soldiers strained every nerve to conquer them.  Their cries mingled with
the crackling and snapping of the dry wood, and the roar of the flames,
with the trumpet calls of the awakening troops, and the beating of drums.
The young princes appeared at a window; they had tied their clothes
together to form a rope, and one by one escaped down it.

Rameses called to them with words of encouragement, but he himself was
unable to take any means of escape, for though the parapet on which he
stood was tolerably wide, and ran round the whole of the building, at
about every six feet it was broken by spaces of about ten paces.  The
fire was spreading and growing, and glowing sparks flew round him and his
companion like chaff from the winnowing fan.

"Bring some straw and make a heap below!"  shouted Rameses, above the
roar of the conflagration.  "There is no escape but by a leap down."

The flames rushed out of the windows of the king's room; it was
impossible to return to it, but neither the king nor Mena lost his self-
possession.  When Mena saw the twelve princes descending to the ground,
he shouted through his hands, using them as a speaking trumpet, and
called to Rameri, who was about to slip down the rope they had contrived,
the last of them all.

"Pull up the rope, and keep it from injury till I come."

Rameri obeyed the order, and before Rameses could interfere, Mena had
sprung across the space which divided one piece of the balustrade from
another.  The king's blood ran cold as Mena, a second time, ventured the
frightful leap; one false step, and he must meet with the same fearful
death as his enemy Paaker.

While the bystanders watched him in breathless silence--while the
crackling of the wood, the roar of the flames, and the dull thump of
falling timber mingled with the distant chant of a procession of priests
who were now approaching the burning pile, Nefert roused by little
Scherau knelt on the bare ground in fervent and passionate prayer to the
saving Gods.  She watched every movement of her husband, and she bit her
lips till they bled not to cry out.  She felt that he was acting bravely
and nobly, and that he was lost if even for an instant his attention were
distracted from his perilous footing.  Now he had reached Rameri, and
bound one end of the rope made out of cloaks and handkerchiefs, round his
body; then he gave the other end to Rameri, who held fast to the window-
sill, and prepared once more to spring.  Nefert saw him ready to leap,
she pressed her hands upon her lips to repress a scream, she shut her
eyes, and when she opened them again he had accomplished the first leap,
and at the second the Gods preserved him from falling; at the third the
king held out his hand to him, and saved him from a fall.  Then Rameses
helped him to unfasten the rope from round his waist to fasten it to the
end of a beam.

Rameri now loosened the other end, and followed Mena's example; he too,
practised in athletic exercises in the school of the House of Seti,
succeeded in accomplishing the three tremendous leaps, and soon the king
stood in safety on the ground.  Rameri followed him, and then Mena, whose
faithful wife went to meet him, and wiped the sweat from his throbbing

Rameses hurried to the north wing, where Bent-Anat had her apartments; he
found her safe indeed, but wringing her hands, for her young favorite
Uarda had disappeared in the flames after she had roused her and saved
her with her father's assistance.  Kaschta ran up and down in front of
the burning pavilion, tearing his hair; now calling his child in tones of
anguish, now holding his breath to listen for an answer.  To rush at
random into the immense-burning building would have been madness.  The
king observed the unhappy man, and set him to lead the soldiers, whom he
had commanded to hew down the wall of Bent-Anat's rooms, so as to rescue
the girl who might be within.  Kaschta seized an axe, and raised it to

But he thought that he heard blows from within against one of the
shutters of the ground-floor, which by Katuti's orders had been securely
closed; he followed the sound--he was not mistaken, the knocking could be
distinctly heard.

With all his might he struck the edge of the axe between the shutter and
the wall, and a stream of smoke poured out of the new outlet, and before
him, enveloped in its black clouds, stood a staggering man who held Uarda
in his arms.  Kaschta sprang forward into the midst of the smoke and
sparks, and snatched his daughter from the arms of her preserver, who
fell half smothered on his knees.  He rushed out into the air with his
light and precious burden, and as he pressed his lips to her closed
eyelids his eyes were wet, and there rose up before him the image of the
woman who bore her, the wife that had stood as the solitary green palm-
tree in the desert waste of his life.  But only for a few seconds-Bent-
Anat herself took Uarda into her care, and he hastened back to the
burning house.

He had recognized his daughter's preserver; it was the physician
Nebsecht, who had not quitted the princess since their meeting on Sinai,
and had found a place among her suite as her personal physician.

The fresh air had rushed into the room through the opening of the
shutter, the broad flames streamed out of the window, but still Nebsecht
was alive, for his groans could be heard through the smoke.  Once more
Kaschta rushed towards the window, the bystanders could see that the
ceiling of the room was about to fail, and called out to warn him, but he
was already astride the sill.

"I signed myself his slave with my blood," he cried, "Twice he has saved
my child, and now I will pay my debt," and he disappeared into the
burning room.

He soon reappeared with Nebsecht in his arms, whose robe was already
scorched by the flames.  He could be seen approaching the window with his
heavy burden; a hundred soldiers, and with them Pentaur, pressed forward
to help him, and took the senseless leech out of the arms of the soldier,
who lifted him over the window sill.

Kaschta was on the point of following him, but before he could swing
himself over, the beams above gave way and fell, burying the brave son of
the paraschites.

Pentaur had his insensible friend carried to his tent, and helped the
physicians to bind up his burns.  When the cry of fire had been first
raised, Pentaur was sitting in earnest conversation with the high-priest;
he had learned that he was not the son of a gardener, but a descendant of
one of the noblest families in the land.  The foundations of life seemed
to be subverted under his feet, Ameni's revelation lifted him out of the
dust and set him on the marble floor of a palace; and yet Pentaur was
neither excessively surprised nor inordinately rejoiced; he was so well
used to find his joys and sufferings depend on the man within him, and
not on the circumstances without.

As soon as he heard the cry of fire, he hastened to the burning pavilion,
and when he saw the king's danger, he set himself at the head of a number
of soldiers who had hurried up from the camp, intending to venture an
attempt to save Rameses from the inside of the house.  Among those who
followed him in this hopeless effort was Katuti's reckless son, who had
distinguished himself by his valor before Kadesh, and who hailed this
opportunity of again proving his courage.  Falling walls choked up the
way in front of these brave adventurers; but it was not till several had
fallen choked or struck down by burning logs, that they made up their
minds to retire--one of the first that was killed was Katuti's son,
Nefert's brother.

Uarda had been carried into the nearest tent.  Her pretty head lay in
Bent-Anat's lap, and Nefert tried to restore her to animation by rubbing
her temples with strong essences.  Presently the girl's lips moved: with
returning consciousness all she had seen and suffered during the last
hour or two recurred to her mind; she felt herself rushing through the
camp with her father, hurrying through the corridor to the princess's
rooms, while he broke in the doors closed by Katuti's orders; she saw
Bent-Anat as she roused her, and conducted her to safety; she remembered
her horror when, just as she reached the door, she discovered that she
had left in her chest her jewel, the only relic of her lost mother, and
her rapid return which was observed by no one but by the leech Nebsecht.

Again she seemed to live through the anguish she had felt till she once
more had the trinket safe in her bosom, the horror that fell upon her
when she found her escape impeded by smoke and flames, and the weakness
which overcame her; and she felt as if the strange white-robed priest
once more raised her in his arms.  She remembered the tenderness of his
eyes as he looked into hers, and she smiled half gratefully but half
displeased at the tender kiss which had been pressed on her lips before
she found herself in her father's strong arms.

"How sweet she is!"  said Bent-Anat.  "I believe poor Nebsecht is right
in saying that her mother was the daughter of some great man among the
foreign people.  Look what pretty little hands and feet, and her skin is
as clear as Phoenician glass."


While the friends were occupied in restoring Uarda to animation, and in
taking affectionate care of her, Katuti was walking restlessly backwards
and forwards in her tent.

Soon after she had slipped out for the purpose of setting fire to the
palace, Scherau's cry had waked up Nefert, and Katuti found her
daughter's bed empty when, with blackened hands and limbs trembling with
agitation, she came back from her criminal task.

Now she waited in vain for Nemu and Paaker.

Her steward, whom she sent on repeated messages of enquiry whether the
Regent had returned, constantly brought back a negative answer, and added
the information that he had found the body of old Hekt lying on the open
ground.  The widow's heart sank with fear; she was full of dark
forebodings while she listened to the shouts of the people engaged in
putting out the fire, the roll of drums, and the trumpets of the soldiers
calling each other to the help of the king.

To these sounds now was added the dull crash of falling timbers and

A faint smile played upon her thin lips, and she thought to herself:
"There--that perhaps fell on the king, and my precious son-in-law, who
does not deserve such a fate--if we had not fallen into disgrace, and if
since the occurrences before Kadesh he did not cling to his indulgent
lord as a calf follows a cow."

She gathered fresh courage, and fancied she could hear the voice of
Ethiopian troops hailing the Regent as king--could see Ani decorated
with the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, seated on Rameses' throne, and
herself by his side in rich though unpretending splendor.  She pictured
herself with her son and daughter as enjoying Mena's estate, freed from
debt and increased by Ani's generosity, and then a new, intoxicating hope
came into her mind.  Perhaps already at this moment her daughter was a
widow, and why should she not be so fortunate as to induce Ani to select
her child, the prettiest woman in Thebes, for his wife?  Then she, the
mother of the queen, would be indeed unimpeachable, and all-powerful.
She had long since come to regard the pioneer as a tool to be cast aside,
nay soon to be utterly destroyed; his wealth might probably at some
future time be bestowed upon her son, who had distinguished himself at
Kadesh, and whom Ani must before long promote to be his charioteer or the
commander of the chariot warriors.

Flattered by these fancies, she forgot every care as she walked faster
and faster to and fro in her tent.  Suddenly the steward, whom she had
this time sent to the very scene of the fire, rushed into the tent, and
with every token of terror broke to her the news that the king and his
charioteer were hanging in mid air on a narrow wooden parapet, and that
unless some miracle happened they must inevitably be killed.  It was said
that incendiaries had occasioned the fire, and he, the steward, had
hastened forward to prepare her for evil news as the mangled body of the
pioneer, which had been identified by the ring on his finger, and the
poor little corpse of Nemu, pierced through by an arrow, had been carried
past him.

Katuti was silent for a moment.

"And the king's sons?"  she asked with an anxious sigh.

"The Gods be praised," replied the steward, "they succeeded in letting
themselves down to the ground by a rope made of their garments knotted
together, and some were already safe when I came away."

Katuti's face clouded darkly; once more she sent forth her messenger.
The minutes of his absence seemed like days; her bosom heaved in stormy
agitation, then for a moment she controlled herself, and again her heart
seemed to cease beating--she closed her eyes as if her anguish of anxiety
was too much for her strength.  At last, long after sunrise, the steward

Pale, trembling, hardly able to control his voice, he threw himself on
the ground at her feet crying out:

"Alas! this night! prepare for the worst, mistress!  May Isis comfort
thee, who saw thy son fall in the service of his king and father!  May
Amon, the great God of Thebes, give thee strength!  Our pride, our hope,
thy son is slain, killed by a falling beam."

Pale and still as if frozen, Katuti shed not a tear; for a minute she did
not speak, then she asked in a dull tone:

"And Rameses?"

"The Gods be praised!"  answered the servant, "he is safe-rescued by

"And Ani?"

"Burnt!--they found his body disfigured out of all recognition; they knew
him again by the jewels he wore at the banquet."

Katuti gazed into vacancy, and the steward started back as from a mad
woman when, instead of bursting into tears, she clenched her small
jewelled hands, shook her fists in the air, and broke into loud, wild
laughter; then, startled at the sound of her own voice, she suddenly
became silent and fixed her eyes vacantly on the ground.  She neither saw
nor heard that the captain of the watch, who was called "the eyes and
ears of the king," had come in through the door of her tent followed by
several officers and a scribe; he came up to her, and called her by her
name.  Not till the steward timidly touched her did she collect her
senses like one suddenly roused from deep sleep.

"What are you doing in my tent?"  she asked the officer, drawing herself
up haughtily.

"In the name of the chief judge of Thebes," said the captain of the watch
solemnly.  "I arrest you, and hail you before the high court of justice,
to defend yourself against the grave and capital charges of high treason,
attempted regicide, and incendiarism."

"I am ready," said the widow, and a scornful smile curled her lips.  Then
with her usual dignity she pointed to a seat and said:

"Be seated while I dress."

The officer bowed, but remained standing at the door of the tent while
she arranged her black hair, set her diadem on her brow, opened her
little ointment chest, and took from it a small phial of the rapid poison
strychnine, which some months before she had procured through Nemu from
the old witch Hekt.

"My mirror!"  she called to a maid servant, who squatted in a corner of
the tent.  She held the metal mirror so as to conceal her face from the
captain of the watch, put the little flask to her lips and emptied it at
one mouthful.  The mirror fell from her hand, she staggered, a deadly
convulsion seized her--the officer rushed forward, and while she fixed
her dying look upon him she said:

"My game is lost, but Ameni--tell Ameni that he will not win either."

She fell forward, murmured Nefert's name, struggled convulsively and was

When the draught of happiness which the Gods prepare for some few men,
seems to flow clearest and purest, Fate rarely fails to infuse into it
some drop of bitterness.  And yet we should not therefore disdain it, for
it is that very drop of bitterness which warns us to drink of the joys of
life thankfully, and in moderation.

The perfect happiness of Mena and Nefert was troubled by the fearful
death of Katuti, but both felt as if they now for the first time knew the
full strength of their love for each other.  Mena had to make up to his
wife for the loss of mother and brother, and Nefert to restore to her
husband much that he had been robbed of by her relatives, and they felt
that they had met again not merely for pleasure but to be to each other
a support and a consolation.

Rameses quitted the scene of the fire full of gratitude to the Gods who
had shown such grace to him and his.  He ordered numberless steers to be
sacrificed, and thanksgiving festivals to be held throughout the land;
but he was cut to the heart by the betrayal to which he had fallen a
victim.  He longed--as he always did in moments when the balance of his
mind had been disturbed--for an hour of solitude, and retired to the tent
which had been hastily erected for him.  He could not bear to enter the
splendid pavilion which had been Ani's; it seemed to him infested with
the leprosy of falsehood and treason.

For an hour he remained alone, and weighed the worst he had suffered at
the hands of men against that which was good and cheering, and he found
that the good far outweighed the evil.  He vividly realized the magnitude
of his debt of gratitude, not to the Immortals only, but also to his
earthly friends, as he recalled every moment of this morning's

"Gratitude," he said to himself, "was impressed on you by your mother;
you yourself have taught your children to be grateful.  Piety is
gratitude to the Gods, and he only is really generous who does not forget
the gratitude he owes to men."

He had thrown off all bitterness of feeling when he sent for Bent-Anat
and Pentaur to be brought to his tent.  He made his daughter relate at
full length how the poet had won her love, and though he frequently
interrupted her with blame as well as praise, his heart was full of
fatherly joy when he laid his darling's hand in that of the poet.

Bent-Anat laid her head in full content on the breast of the noble Assa's
grandson, but she would have clung not less fondly to Pentaur the
gardener's son.

"Now you are one of my own children," said Rameses; and he desired the
poet to remain with him while he commanded the heralds, ambassadors, and
interpreters to bring to him the Asiatic princes, who were detained in
their own tents on the farther side of the Nile, that he might conclude
with them such a treaty of peace as might continue valid for generations
to come.  Before they arrived, the young princes came to their father's
tent, and learned from his own lips the noble birth of Pentaur, and that
they owed it to their sister that in him they saw another brother; they
welcomed him with sincere affection, and all, especially Rameri, warmly
congratulated the handsome and worthy couple.

The king then called Rameri forward from among his brothers, and thanked
him before them all for his brave conduct during the fire.  He had
already been invested with the robe of manhood after the battle of
Kadesh; he was now appointed to the command of a legion of chariot-
warriors, and the order of the lion to wear round his neck was bestowed
on him for his bravery.  The prince knelt, and thanked his father; but
Rameses took the curly head in his hands and said:

"You have won praise and reward by your splendid deeds from the father
whom you have saved and filled with pride.  But the king watches over the
laws, and guides the destiny cf this land, the king must blame you, nay
perhaps punish you.  You could not yield to the discipline of school,
where we all must learn to obey if we would afterwards exercise our
authority with moderation, and without any orders you left Egypt and
joined the army.  You showed the courage and strength of a man, but the
folly of a boy in all that regards prudence and foresight--things harder
to learn for the son of a race of heroes than mere hitting and slashing
at random; you, without experience, measured yourself against masters of
the art of war, and what was the consequence?  Twice you fell a prisoner
into the hands of the enemy, and I had to ransom you.

"The king of the Danaids gave you up in exchange for his daughter, and he
rejoices long since in the restoration of his child; but we, in losing
her, lost the most powerful means of coercing the seafaring nations of
the islands and northern coasts of the great sea who are constantly
increasing in might and daring, and so diminished our chances of securing
a solid and abiding peace.

"Thus--through the careless wilfulness of a boy, the great work is
endangered which I had hoped to have achieved.  It grieves me
particularly to humiliate your spirit to-day, when I have had so much
reason to encourage you with praise.  Nor will I punish you, only
warn you and teach you.  The mechanism of the state is like the working
of the cogged wheels which move the water-works on the shore of the Nile-
if one tooth is missing the whole comes to a stand-still however strong
the beasts that labor to turn it.  Each of you--bear this in mind--is a
main-wheel in the great machine of the state, and can serve an end only
by acting unresistingly in obedience to the motive power.  Now rise!  we
may perhaps succeed in obtaining good security from the Asiatic king,
though we have lost our hostage."

Heralds at this moment marched into the tent, and announced that the
representative of the Cheta king and the allied princes were in
attendance in the council tent; Rameses put on the crown of Upper and
Lower Egypt and all his royal adornments; the chamberlain who carried the
insignia of his power, and his head scribe with his decoration of plumes
marched before him, while his sons, the commanders in chief, and the
interpreters followed him.  Rameses took his seat on his throne with
great dignity, and the sternest gravity marked his demeanor while he
received the homage of the conquered and fettered kings.

The Asiatics kissed the earth at his feet, only the king of the Danaids
did no more than bow before him.  Rameses looked wrathfully at him, and
ordered the interpreter to ask him whether he considered himself
conquered or no, and the answer was given that he had not come before the
Pharaoh as a prisoner, and that the obeisance which Rameses required of
him was regarded as a degradation according to the customs of his free-
born people, who prostrated them selves only before the Gods.  He hoped
to become an ally of the king of Egypt, and he asked would he desire to
call a degraded man his friend?

Rameses measured the proud and noble figure before him with a glance, and
said severely:

"I am prepared to treat for peace only with such of my enemies as are
willing to bow to the double crown that I wear.  If you persist in your
refusal, you and your people will have no part in the favorable
conditions that I am prepared to grant to these, your allies."

The captive prince preserved his dignified demeanor, which was
nevertheless free from insolence, when these words of the king were
interpreted to him, and replied that he had come intending to procure
peace at any cost, but that he never could nor would grovel in the dust
at any man's feet nor before any crown.  He would depart on the following
day; one favor, however, he requested in his daughter's name and his own
--and he had heard that the Egyptians respected women.  The king knew,
of course, that his charioteer Mena had treated his daughter, not as a
prisoner but as a sister, and Praxilla now felt a wish, which he himself
shared, to bid farewell to the noble Mena, and his wife, and to thank him
for his magnanimous generosity.  Would Rameses permit him once more to
cross the Nile before his departure, and with his daughter to visit Mena
in his tent.

Rameses granted his prayer: the prince left the tent, and the
negotiations began.

In a few hours they were brought to a close, for the Asiatic and Egyptian
scribes had agreed, in the course of the long march southwards, on the
stipulations to be signed; the treaty itself was to be drawn up after the
articles had been carefully considered, and to be signed in the city of
Rameses called Tanis--or, by the numerous settlers in its neighborhood,
Zoan.  The Asiatic princes were to dine as guests with the king; but they
sat at a separate table, as the Egyptians would have been defiled by
sitting at the same table with strangers.

Rameses was not perfectly satisfied.  If the Danaids went away without
concluding a treaty with him, it was to be expected that the peace which
he was so earnestly striving for would before long be again disturbed;
and he nevertheless felt that, out of regard for the other conquered
princes, he could not forego any jot of the humiliation which he had
required of their king, and which he believed to be due to himself--
though he bad been greatly impressed by his dignified manliness and
by the bravery of the troops that had followed him into the field.

The sun was sinking when Mena, who that day had leave of absence from the
king, came in great excitement up to the table where the princes were
sitting and craved the king's permission to make an important
communication.  Rameses signed consent; the charioteer went close up to
him, and they held a short but eager conversation in a low voice.

Presently the king stood up and said, speaking to his daughter:

"This day which began so horribly will end joyfully.  The fair child who
saved you to-day, but who so nearly fell a victim to the flames, is of
noble origin."

"She cones of a royal house," said Rameri, disrespectfully interrupting
his father.  Rameses looked at him reprovingly.  "My sons are silent," he
said, "till I ask them to speak."

The prince colored and looked down; the king signed to Bent-Anat and
Pentaur, begged his guests to excuse him for a short time, and was about
to leave the tent; but Bent-Anat went up to him, and whispered a few
words to him with reference to her brother.  Not in vain: the king
paused, and reflected for a few moments; then he looked at Rameri, who
stood abashed, and as if rooted to the spot where he stood.  The king
called his name, and beckoned him to follow him.


Rameri had rushed off to summon the physicians, while Bent-Anat was
endeavoring to restore the rescued Uarda to consciousness, and he
followed them into his sister's tent.  He gazed with tender anxiety into
the face of the half suffocated girl, who, though uninjured, still
remained unconscious, and took her hand to press his lips to her slender
fingers, but Bent-Anat pushed him gently away; then in low tones that
trembled with emotion he implored her not to send him away, and told her
how dear the girl whose life he had saved in the fight in the Necropolis
had become to him--how, since his departure for Syria, he had never
ceased to think of her night and day, and that he desired to make her his

Bent-Anat was startled; she reminded her brother of the stain that lay on
the child of the paraschites and through which she herself had suffered
so much; but Rameri answered eagerly:

"In Egypt rank and birth are derived through the mother and Kaschta's
dead wife--"

"I know," interrupted Bent-Anat.  "Nebsecht has already told us that she
was a dumb woman, a prisoner of war, and I myself believe that she was of
no mean house, for Uarda is nobly formed in face and figure."

"And her skin is as fine as the petal of a flower," cried Rameri.  "Her
voice is like the ring of pure gold, and--Oh!  look, she is moving.
Uarda, open your eyes, Uarda!  When the sun rises we praise the Gods.
Open your eyes!  how thankful, how joyful I shall be if those two suns
only rise again."

Bent-Anat smiled, and drew her brother away from the heavily-breathing
girl, for a leech came into the tent to say that a warm medicated bath
had been prepared and was ready for Uarda.  The princess ordered her
waiting-women to help lift the senseless girl, and was preparing to
follow her when a message from her father required her presence in his
tent.  She could guess at the significance of this command, and desired
Rameri to leave her that she might dress in festal garments; she could
entrust Uarda to the care of Nefert during her absence.

"She is kind and gentle, and she knows Uarda so well," said the princess,
"and the necessity of caring for this dear little creature will do her
good.  Her heart is torn between sorrow for her lost relations, and joy
at being united again to her love.  My father has given Mena leave of
absence from his office for several days, and I have excused her from her
attendance on me, for the time during which we were so necessary to each
other really came to an end yesterday.  I feel, Rameri, as if we, after
our escape, were like the sacred phoenix which comes to Heliopolis and
burns itself to death only to soar again from its ashes young and radiant
--blessed and blessing!"

When her brother had left her, she threw herself before the image of her
mother and prayed long and earnestly; she poured an offering of sweet
perfume on the little altar of the Goddess Hathor, which always
accompanied her, had herself dressed in happy preparation for meeting her
father, and--she did not conceal it from herself--Pentaur, then she went
for a moment to Nefert's tent to beg her to take good care of Uarda, and
finally obeyed the summons of the king, who, as we know, fulfilled her
utmost hopes.

As Rameri quitted his sister's tent he saw the watch seize and lead away
a little boy; the child cried bitterly, and the prince in a moment
recognized the little sculptor Scherau, who had betrayed the Regent's
plot to him and to Uarda, and whom he had already fancied he had seen
about the place.  The guards had driven him away several times from the
princess's tent, but he had persisted in returning, and this obstinate
waiting in the neighborhood had aroused the suspicions of an officer; for
since the fire a thousand rumors of conspiracies and plots against the
king had been flying about the camp.  Rameri at once freed the little
prisoner, and heard from him that it was old Hekt who, before her death,
had sent Kaschta and his daughter to the rescue of the king, that he
himself had helped to rouse the troops, that now he had no home and
wished to go to Uarda.

The prince himself led the child to Nefert, and begged her to allow him
to see Uarda, and to let him stay with her servants till he himself
returned from his father's tent.

The leeches had treated Uarda with judgment, for under the influence of
the bath she recovered her senses; when she had been dressed again in
fresh garments and refreshed by the essences and medicines which they
gave her to inhale and to drink, she was led back into Nefert's tent,
where Mena, who had never before seen her, was astonished at her peculiar
and touching beauty.

"She  is very like my Danaid princess," he said to his wife; "only she is
younger and much prettier than she."

Little Scherau came in to pay his respects to her, and she was delighted
to see the boy; still she was sad, and however kindly Nefert spoke to her
she remained in silent reverie, while from time to time a large tear
rolled down her cheek.

"You have lost your father!"  said Nefert, trying to comfort her.  "And
I, my mother and brother both in one day."

"Kaschta was rough but, oh! so kind," replied Uarda.  "He was always so
fond of me; he was like the fruit of the doom palm; its husk is hard and
rough, but he who knows how to open it finds the sweet pulp within.  Now
he is dead, and my grandfather and grandmother are gone before him, and I
am like the green leaf that I saw floating on the waters when we were
crossing the sea; anything so forlorn I never saw, abandoned by all it
belonged to or had ever loved, the sport of a strange element in which
nothing resembling itself ever grew or ever can grow."

Nefert kissed her forehead.  "You have friends," she said, "who will
never abandon you."

"I know, I know!"  said Uarda thoughtfully, "and yet I am alone--for the
first time really alone.  In Thebes I have often looked after the wild
swans as they passed across the sky; one flies in front, then comes the
body of the wandering party, and very often, far behind, a solitary
straggler; and even this last one I do not call lonely, for he can still
see his brethren in front of him.  But when the hunters have shot down
all the low-flying loiterers, and the last one has lost sight of the
flock, and knows that he never again can find them or follow them he is
indeed to be pitied.  I am as unhappy as the abandoned bird, for I have
lost sight to-day of all that I belong to, and I am alone, and can never
find them again."

"You will be welcomed into some more noble house than that to which you
belong by birth," said Nefert, to comfort her.

Uarda's eyes flashed, and she said proudly, almost defiantly:

"My race is that of my mother, who was a daughter of no mean house; the
reason I turned back this morning and went into the smoke and fire again
after I had escaped once into the open air--what I went back for, because
I felt it was worth dying for, was my mother's legacy, which I had put
away with my holiday dress when I followed the wretched Nemu to his tent.
I threw myself into the jaws of death to save the jewel, but certainly
not because it is made of gold and precious stones--for I do not care to
be rich, and I want no better fare than a bit of bread and a few dates
and a cup of water--but because it has a name on it in strange
characters, and because I believe it will serve to discover the people
from whom my mother was carried off; and now I have lost the jewel, and
with it my identity and my hopes and happiness."

Uarda wept aloud; Nefert put her arm around her affectionately.

"Poor child!"  she said, "was your treasure destroyed in the flames?"

"No, no," cried Uarda eagerly.  "I  snatched it out of my chest and held
it in my hand when Nebsecht took me in his arms, and I still had it in my
hand when I was lying safe on the ground outside the burning house, and
Bent-Anat was close to me, and Rameri came up.  I remember seeing him as
if I were in a dream, and I revived a little, and I felt the jewel in my
fingers then."

"Then it was dropped on the way to the tent?"  said Nefert.

Uarda nodded; little Scherau, who had been crouching on the floor beside
her, gave Uarda a loving glance, dimmed with tears, and quietly slipped
out of the tent.

Time went by in silence; Uarda sat looking at the ground, Nefert and Mena
held each other's hands, but the thoughts of all three were with the
dead.  A perfect stillness reigned, and the happiness of the reunited
couple was darkly overshadowed by their sorrow.  From time to time the
silence was broken by a trumpet-blast from the royal tent; first when the
Asiatic princes were introduced into the Council-tent, then when the
Danaid king departed, and lastly when the Pharaoh preceded the conquered
princes to the banquet.

The charioteer remembered how his master had restored him to dignity and
honor, for the sake of his faithful wife; and gratefully pressed her

Suddenly there was a noise in front of the tent, and an officer entered
to announce to Mena that the Danaid king and his daughter, accompanied by
body-guard, requested to see and speak with him and Nefert.

The entrance to the tent was thrown wide open.  Uarda retired modestly
into the back-ground, and Mena and Nefert went forward hand in hand to
meet their unexpected guests.

The Greek prince was an old man, his beard and thick hair were grey, but
his movements were youthful and light, though dignified and deliberate.
His even, well-formed features were deeply furrowed, he had large,
bright, clear blue eyes, but round his fine lips were lines of care.
Close to him walked his daughter; her long white robe striped with purple
was held round her hips by a golden girdle, and her sunny yellow hair
fell in waving locks over her neck and shoulders, while it was confined
by a diadem which encircled her head; she was of middle height, and her
motions were measured and calm like her father's.  Her brow was narrow,
and in one line with her straight nose, her rosy mouth was sweet and
kind, and beyond everything beautiful were the lines of her oval face and
the turn of her snow-white throat.  By their side stood the interpreter
who translated every word of the conversation on both sides.  Behind them
came two men and two women, who carried gifts for Mena and his wife.

The prince praised Mena's magnanimity in the warmest terms.

"You have proved to me," he said, "that the virtues of gratitude, of
constancy, and of faith are practised by the Egyptians; although your
merit certainly appears less to me now that I see your wife, for he who
owns the fairest may easily forego any taste for the fair."

Nefert blushed.

"Your generosity," she answered, "does me more than justice at your
daughter's expense, and love moved my husband to the same injustice, but
your beautiful daughter must forgive you and me also."

Praxilla went towards her and expressed her thanks; then she offered her
the costly coronet, the golden clasps and strings of rare pearls which
her women carried; her father begged Mena to accept a coat of mail and a
shield of fine silver work.  The strangers were then led into the tent,
and were there welcomed and entertained with all honor, and offered bread
and wine.  While Mena pledged her father, Praxilla related to Nefert,
with the help of the interpreter, what hours of terror she had lived
through after she had been taken prisoner by the Egyptians, and was
brought into the camp with the other spoils of war; how an older
commander had asserted his claim to her, how Mena had given her his hand,
had led her to his tent, and had treated her like his own daughter.  Her
voice shook with emotion, and even the interpreter was moved as she
concluded her story with these words: "How grateful I am to him, you will
fully understand when I tell you that the man who was to have been my
husband fell wounded before my eyes while defending our camp; but he has
recovered, and now only awaits my return for our wedding."

"May the Gods only grant it!"  cried the king, "for Praxilla is the last
child of my house.  The murderous war robbed me of my four fair sons
before they had taken wives, my son-in-law was slain by the Egyptians at
the taking of our camp, and his wife and new-born son fell into their
hands, and Praxilla is my youngest child, the only one left to me by the
envious Gods."

While he was still speaking, they heard the guards call out and a child's
loud cry, and at the same instant little Scherau rushed into the tent
holding up his hand exclaiming.

"I have it!  I have found it!"

Uarda, who had remained behind the curtain which screened the sleeping
room of the tent--but who had listened with breathless attention to every
word of the foreigners, and who had never taken her eyes off the fair
Praxilla--now came forward, emboldened by her agitation, into the midst
of the tent, and took the jewel from the child's hand to show it to the
Greek king; for while she stood gazing at Praxilla it seemed to her that
she was looking at herself in a mirror, and the idea had rapidly grown to
conviction that her mother had been a daughter of the Danaids.  Her heart
beat violently as she went up to the king with a modest demeanor, her
head bent down, but holding her jewel up for him to see.

The bystanders all gazed in astonishment at the veteran chief, for he
staggered as she came up to him, stretched out his hands as if in terror
towards the girl, and drew back crying out:

"Xanthe, Xanthe!  Is your spirit freed from Hades?  Are you come to
summon me?"

Praxilla looked at her father in alarm, but suddenly she, too, gave a
piercing cry, snatched a chain from her neck, hurried towards Uarda, and
seizing the jewel she held, exclaimed:

"Here is the other half of the ornament, it belonged to my poor sister

The old Greek was a pathetic sight, he struggled hard to collect himself,
looking with tender delight at Uarda, his sinewy hands trembled as he
compared the two pieces of the necklet; they matched precisely--each
represented the wing of an eagle which was attached to half an oval
covered with an inscription; when they were laid together they formed the
complete figure of a bird with out-spread wings, on whose breast the
lines exactly matched of the following oracular verse:

    "Alone each is a trifling thing, a woman's useless toy
     But with its counterpart behold! the favorite bird of Zeus."

A glance at the inscription convinced the king that he held in his hand
the very jewel which he had put with his own hands round the neck of his
daughter Xanthe on her marriage-day, and of which the other half had been
preserved by her mother, from whom it had descended to Praxilla.  It had
originally been made for his wife and her twin sister who had died young.
Before he made any enquiries, or asked for any explanations, he took
Uarda's head between his hands, and turning her face close to his he
gazed at her features, as if he were reading a book in which he expected
to find a memorial of all the blissful hours of his youth, and the girl
felt no fear; nor did she shrink when he pressed his lips to her
forehead, for she felt that this man's blood ran in her own veins.  At
last the king signed to the interpreter; Uarda was asked to tell all she
knew of her mother, and when she said that she had come a captive to
Thebes with an infant that had soon after died, that her father had
bought her and had loved her in spite of her being dumb, the prince's
conviction became certainty; he acknowledged Uarda as his grandchild,
and Praxilla clasped her in her arms.

Then he told Mena that it was now twenty years since his son-in-law had
been killed, and his daughter Xanthe, whom Uarda exactly resembled, had
been carried into captivity.  Praxilla was then only just born, and his
wife died of the shock of such terrible news.  All his enquiries for
Xanthe and her child had been fruitless, but he now remembered that once,
when he had offered a large ransom for his daughter if she could be
found, the Egyptians had enquired whether she were dumb, and that he had
answered "no."  No doubt Xanthe had lost the power of speech through
grief, terror, and suffering.

The joy of the king was unspeakable, and Uarda was never tired of gazing
at his daughter and holding her hand.

Then she turned to the interpreter.

"Tell me," she said.  "How do I say 'I am so very happy?'"

He told her, and she smilingly repeated his words.  "Now 'Uarda will love
you with all her heart?'" and she said it after him in broken accents
that sounded so sweet and so heart-felt, that the old man clasped her to
his breast.

Tears of emotion stood in Nefert's eyes, and when Uarda flung herself
into her arms she said:

"The forlorn swan has found its kindred, the floating leaf has reached
the shore, and must be happy now!"  Thus passed an hour of the purest
happiness; at last the Greek king prepared to leave, and the wished to
take Uarda with him; but Mena begged his permission to communicate all
that had occurred to the Pharaoh and Bent-Anat, for Uarda was attached to
the princess's train, and had been left in his charge, and he dared not
trust her in any other hands without Bent-Anat's permission.  Without
waiting for the king's reply he left the tent, hastened to the banqueting
tent, and, as we know, Rameses and the princess had at once attended to
his summons.

On the way Mena gave them a vivid description of the exciting events that
had taken place, and Rameses, with a side glance at Bent-Anat, asked

"Would you be prepared to repair your errors, and to win the friendship
of the Greek king by being betrothed to his granddaughter?"

The prince could not answer a word, but he clasped his father's hand, and
kissed it so warmly that Rameses, as he drew it away, said:

"I really believe that you have stolen a march on me, and have been
studying diplomacy behind my back!"

Rameses met his noble opponent outside Mena's tent, and was about to
offer him his hand, but the Danaid chief had sunk on his knees before him
as the other princes had done.

"Regard me not as a king and a warrior," he exclaimed, "only as a
suppliant father; let us conclude a peace, and permit me to take this
maiden, my grandchild, home with me to my own country."

Rameses raised the old man from the ground, gave him his hand, and said

"I can only grant the half of what you ask.  I, as king of Egypt, am most
willing to grant you a faithful compact for a sound and lasting peace; as
regards this maiden, you must treat with my children, first with my
daughter Bent-Anat, one of whose ladies she is, and then with your
released prisoner there, who wishes to make Uarda his wife."

"I will resign my share in the matter to my brother," said Bent-Anat,
"and I only ask you, maiden, whether you are inclined to acknowledge him
as your lord and master?"

Uarda bowed assent, and looked at her grandfather with an expression
which he understood without any interpreter.

"I know you well," he said, turning to Rameri.  "We stood face to face in
the fight, and I took you prisoner as you fell stunned by a blow from my
sword.  You are still too rash, but that is a fault which time will amend
in a youth of your heroic temper.  Listen to me now, and you too, noble
Pharaoh, permit me these few words; let us betroth these two, and may
their union be the bond of ours, but first grant me for a year to take my
long-lost child home with me that she may rejoice my old heart, and that
I may hear from her lips the accents of her mother, whom you took from
me.  They are both young; according to the usages of our country, where
both men and women ripen later than in your country, they are almost too
young for the solemn tie of marriage.  But one thing above all will
determine you to favor my wishes; this daughter of a royal house has
grown up amid the humblest surroundings; here she has no home, no family-
ties.  The prince has wooed her, so to speak, on the highway, but if she
now comes with me he can enter the palace of kings as suitor to a
princess, and the marriage feast I will provide shall be a right royal

"What you demand is just and wise," replied Rameses.  "Take your grand-
child with you as my son's betrothed bride--my future daughter.  Give me
your hands, my children.  The delay will teach you patience, for Rameri
must remain a full year from to-day in Egypt, and it will be to your
profit, sweet child, for the obedience which he will learn through his
training in the army will temper the nature of your future husband.  You,
Rameri, shall in a year from to-day--and I think you will not forget the
date--find at your service a ship in the harbor of Pelusium, fitted and
manned with Phoenicians, to convey you to your wedding."

"So be it!"  exclaimed the old man.   "And by Zeus who hears me swear--I
will not withhold Xanthe's daughter from your son when he comes to claim

When Rameri returned to the princes' tent he threw himself on their necks
in turn, and when he found himself alone with their surly old house-
steward, he snatched his wig from his head, flung it in the air, and then
coaxingly stroked the worthy officer's cheeks as he set it on his head


Uarda accompanied her grandfather and Praxilla to their tent on the
farther side of the Nile, but she was to return next morning to the
Egyptian camp to take leave of all her friends, and to provide for her
father's internment.  Nor did she delay attending to the last wishes of
old Hekt, and Bent-Anat easily persuaded her father, when he learnt how
greatly he had been indebted to her, to have her embalmed like a lady of

Before Uarda left the Egyptian camp, Pentaur came to entreat her to
afford her dying preserver Nebsecht the last happiness of seeing her once
more; Uarda acceded with a blush, and the poet, who had watched all night
by his friend, went forward to prepare him for her visit.

Nebsecht's burns and a severe wound on his head caused him great
suffering; his cheeks glowed with fever, and the physicians told Pentaur
that he probably could not live more than a few hours.

The poet laid his cool hand on his friend's brow, and spoke to him
encouragingly; but Nebsecht smiled at his words with the peculiar
expression of a man who knows that his end is near, and said in a low
voice and with a visible effort:

"A few breaths more and here, and here, will be peace."  He laid his hand
on his head and on his heart.

"We all attain to peace," said Pentaur.  "But perhaps only to labor more
earnestly and unweariedly in the land beyond the grave.  If the Gods
reward any thing it is the honest struggle, the earnest seeking after
truth; if any spirit can be made one with the great Soul of the world it
will be yours, and if any eye may see the Godhead through the veil which
here shrouds the mystery of His existence yours will have earned the

"I have pushed and pulled," sighed Nebsecht, "with all my might, and now
when I thought I had caught a glimpse of the truth the heavy fist of
death comes down upon me and shuts my eyes.  What good will it do me to
see with the eye of the Divinity or to share in his omniscience?  It is
not seeing, it is seeking that is delightful--so delightful that I would
willingly set my life there against another life here for the sake of
it."  He was silent, for his strength failed, and Pentaur begged him to
keep quiet, and to occupy his mind in recalling all the hours of joy
which life had given him.

"They have been few," said the leech.  "When my mother kissed me and gave
me dates, when I could work and observe in peace, when you opened my eyes
to the beautiful world of poetry--that was good!"

And you have soothed the sufferings of many men, added Pentaur, "and
never caused pain to any one."

Nebsecht shook his head.

"I drove the old paraschites," he muttered, "to madness and to death."

He was silent for a long time, then he looked up eagerly and said: "But
not intentionally--and not in vain!  In Syria, at Megiddo I could work
undisturbed; now I know what the organ is that thinks.  The heart!  What
is the heart?  A ram's heart or a man's heart, they serve the same end;
they turn the wheel of animal life, they both beat quicker in terror or
in joy, for we feel fear or pleasure just as animals do.  But Thought,
the divine power that flies to the infinite, and enables us to form and
prove our opinions, has its seat here--Here in the brain, behind the

He paused exhausted and overcome with pain.  Pentaur thought he was
wandering in his fever, and offered him a cooling drink while two
physicians walked round his bed singing litanies; then, as Nebsecht
raised himself in bed with renewed energy, the poet said to him:

"The fairest memory of your life must surely be that of the sweet child
whose face, as you once confessed to me, first opened your soul to the
sense of beauty, and whom with your own hands you snatched from death at
the cost of your own life.  You know Uarda has found her own relatives
and is happy, and she is very grateful to her preserver, and would like
to see him once more before she goes far away with her grandfather."

The sick man hesitated before he answered softly:

"Let her come--but I will look at her from a distance."

Pentaur went out and soon returned with Uarda, who remained standing with
glowing cheeks and tears in her eyes at the door of the tent.  The leech
looked at her a long time with an imploring and tender expression, then
he said:

"Accept my thanks--and be happy."

The girl would have gone up to him to take his hand, but he waved her off
with his right hand enveloped in wrappings.

"Come no nearer," he said, "but stay a moment longer.  You have tears in
your eyes; are they for me or only for my pain?"

"For you, good noble man! my friend and my preserver!"  said Uarda.  "For
you dear, poor Nebsecht!"  The leech closed his eyes as she spoke these
words with earnest feeling, but he looked up once more as she ceased
speaking, and gazed at her with tender admiration; then he said softly:

"It is enough--now I can die."

Uarda left the tent, Pentaur remained with him listening to his hoarse
and difficult breathing; suddenly:

Nebsecht raised himself, and said: "Farewell, my friend,--my journey is
beginning, who knows whither?"

"Only not into vacancy, not to end in nothingness!" cried Pentaur warmly.

The leech shook his head.  "I have been something," he said, "and being
something I cannot become nothing.  Nature is a good economist, and
utilizes the smallest trifle; she will use me too according to her need.
She brings everything to its end and purpose in obedience to some rule
and measure, and will so deal with me after I am dead; there is no waste.
Each thing results in being that which it is its function to become; our
wish or will is not asked--my head! when the pain is in my head I cannot
think--if only I could prove--could prove----"

The last words were less and less audible, his breath was choked, and in
a few seconds Pentaur with deep regret closed his eyes.

Pentaur, as he quitted the tent where the dead man lay, met the high-
priest Ameni, who had gone to seek him by his friend's bed-side, and they
returned together to gaze on the dead.  Ameni, with much emotion, put up
a few earnest prayers for the salvation of his soul, and then requested
Pentaur to follow him without delay to his tent.  On the way he prepared
the poet, with the polite delicacy which was peculiar to him, for a
meeting which might be more painful than joyful to him, and must in any
case bring him many hours of anxiety and agitation.

The judges in Thebes, who had been compelled to sentence the lady
Setchem, as the mother of a traitor, to banishment to the mines had,
without any demand on her part, granted leave to the noble and most
respectable matron to go under an escort of guards to meet the king on
his return into Egypt, in order to petition for mercy for herself, but
not, as it was expressly added--for Paaker; and she had set out, but with
the secret resolution to obtain the king's grace not for herself but for
her son.

     [Agatharchides, in Diodorus III. 12, says that in many cases not
     only the criminal but his relations also were condemned to labor in
     the mines.  In the convention signed between Rameses and the Cheta
     king it is expressly provided that the deserter restored to Egypt
     shall go unpunished, that no injury shall be done "to his house, his
     wife or his children, nor shall his mother be put to death."]

Ameni had already left Thebes for the north when this sentence was
pronounced, or he would have reversed it by declaring the true origin of
Paaker; for after he had given up his participation in the Regent's
conspiracy, he no longer had any motive for keeping old Hekt's secret.

Setchem's journey was lengthened by a storm which wrecked the ship in
which she was descending the Nile, and she did not reach Pelusium till
after the king.  The canal which formed the mouth of the Nile close to
this fortress and joined the river to the Mediterranean, was so over-
crowded with the boats of the Regent and his followers, of the
ambassadors, nobles, citizens, and troops which had met from all parts of
the country, that the lady's boat could find anchorage only at a great
distance from the city, and accompanied by her faithful steward she had
succeeded only a few hours before in speaking to the high-priest.

Setchem was terribly changed; her eyes, which only a few months since had
kept an efficient watch over the wealthy Theban household, were now dim
and weary, and although her figure had not grown thin it had lost its
dignity and energy, and seemed inert and feeble.  Her lips, so ready for
a wise or sprightly saying, were closely shut, and moved only in silent
prayer or when some friend spoke to her of her unhappy son.  His deed she
well knew was that of a reprobate, and she sought no excuse or defence;
her mother's heart forgave it without any.  Whenever she thought of him--
and she thought of him incessantly all through the day and through her
sleepless nights-her eyes overflowed with tears.

Her boat had reached Pelusium just as the flames were breaking out in the
palace; the broad flare of light and the cries from the various vessels
in the harbor brought her on deck.  She heard that the burning house was
the pavilion erected by Ani for the king's residence; Rameses she was
told was in the utmost danger, and the fire had beyond a doubt been laid
by traitors.

As day broke and further news reached her, the names of her son and of
her sister came to her ear; she asked no questions--she would not hear
the truth--but she knew it all the same; as often as the word "traitor"
caught her ear in her cabin, to which she had retreated, she felt as if
some keen pain shot through her bewildered brain, and shuddered as if
from a cold chill.

All through that day she could neither eat nor drink, but lay with closed
eyes on her couch, while her steward--who had soon learnt what a terrible
share his former master had taken in the incendiarism, and who now gave
up his lady's cause for lost--sought every where for the high-priest
Ameni; but as he was among the persons nearest to the king it was
impossible to see him that day, and it was not till the next morning that
he was able to speak with him.  Ameni inspired the anxious and sorrowful
old retainer with, fresh courage, returned with him in his own chariot to
the harbor, and accompanied him to Setchem's boat to prepare her for the
happiness which awaited her after her terrible troubles.  But he came too
late, the spirit of the poor lady was quite clouded, and she listened to
him without any interest while he strove to restore her to courage and to
recall her wandering mind.  She only interrupted him over and over again
with the questions: "Did he do it?" or "Is he alive?"

At last Ameni succeeded in persuading her to accompany him in her litter
to his tent, where she would find her son.  Pentaur was wonderfully like
her lost husband, and the priest, experienced in humanity, thought that
the sight of him would rouse the dormant powers of her mind.  When she
had arrived at his tent, he told her with kind precaution the whole
history of the exchange of Paaker for Pentaur, and she followed the story
with attention but with indifference, as if she were hearing of the
adventures of others who did not concern her.  When Ameni enlarged on the
genius of the poet and on his perfect resemblance to his dead father she

"I know--I know.  You mean the speaker at the Feast of the Valley," and
then although she had been told several times that Paaker had been
killed, she asked again if her son was alive.

Ameni decided at last to fetch Pentaur himself,

When he came back with him, fully prepared to meet his heavily-stricken
mother, the tent was empty.  The high-priest's servants told him that
Setchem had persuaded the easily-moved old prophet Gagabu to conduct her
to the place where the body of Paaker lay.  Ameni was very much vexed,
for he feared that Setchem was now lost indeed, and he desired the poet
to follow him at once.

The mortal remains of the pioneer had been laid in a tent not far from
the scene of the fire; his body was covered with a cloth, but his pale
face, which had not been injured in his fall, remained uncovered; by his
side knelt the unhappy mother.

She paid no heed to Ameni when he spoke to her, and he laid his hand on
her shoulder and said as he pointed to the body:

"This was the son of a gardener.  You brought him up faithfully as if he
were your own; but your noble husband's true heir, the son you bore him,
is Pentaur, to whom the Gods have given not only the form and features
but the noble qualities of his father.  The dead man may be forgiven--for
the sake of your virtues; but your love is due to this nobler soul--the
real son of your husband, the poet of Egypt, the preserver of the king's

Setchem rose and went up to Pentaur, she smiled at him and stroked his
face and breast.

"It is he," she said.  "May the Immortals bless him!"

Pentaur would have clasped her in his arms, but she pushed him away as if
she feared to commit some breach of faith, and turning hastily to the
bier she said softly:

Poor Paaker--poor, poor Paaker!"

"Mother, mother, do you not know your son?"  cried Pentaur deeply moved.

She turned to him again: "It is his voice," she said.  "It is he."

She went up to Pentaur, clung to him, clasped her arm around his neck as
he bent over her, then kissing him fondly:

"The Gods will bless you!" she said once more.  She tore herself from him
and threw herself down by the body of Paaker, as if she had done him some
injustice and robbed him of his rights.

Thus she remained, speechless and motionless, till they carried her back
to her boat, there she lay down, and refused to take any nourishment;
from time to time she whispered "Poor Paaker!"  She no longer repelled
Pentaur, for she did not again recognize him, and before he left her she
had followed the rough-natured son of her adoption to the other world.


The king had left the camp, and had settled in the neighboring city of
Rameses' Tanis, with the greater part of his army.  The Hebrews, who were
settled in immense numbers in the province of Goshen, and whom Ani had
attached to his cause by remitting their task-work, were now driven to
labor at the palaces and fortifications which Rameses had begun to build.

At Tanis, too, the treaty of peace was signed and was presented to
Rameses inscribed on a silver tablet by Tarthisebu, the representative of
the Cheta king, in the name of his lord and master.

Pentaur followed the king as soon as he had closed his mother's eyes,
and accompanied her body to Heliopolis, there to have it embalmed; from
thence the mummy was to be sent to Thebes, and solemnly placed in the
grave of her ancestors.  This duty of children towards their parents, and
indeed all care for the dead, was regarded as so sacred by the Egyptians,
that neither Pentaur nor Bent-Anat would have thought of being united
before it was accomplished.

On the 21st day of the month Tybi, of the 21st year of the reign of
Rameses, the day on which the peace was signed, the poet returned to
Tanis, sad at heart, for the old gardener, whom he had regarded and loved
as his father, had died before his return home; the good old man had not
long survived the false intelligence of the death of the poet, whom he
had not only loved but reverenced as a superior being bestowed upon his
house as a special grace from the Gods.

It was not till seven months after the fire at Pelusium that Pentaur's
marriage with Bent-Anat was solemnized in the palace of the Pharaohs at
Thebes; but time and the sorrows he had suffered had only united their
hearts more closely.  She felt that though he was the stronger she was
the giver and the helper, and realized with delight that like the sun,
which when it rises invites a thousand flowers to open and unfold, the
glow of her presence raised the poet's oppressed soul to fresh life and
beauty.  They had given each other up for lost through strife and
suffering, and now had found each other again; each knew how precious
the other was.  To make each other happy, and prove their affection,
was now the aim of their lives, and as they each had proved that they
prized honor and right-doing above happiness their union was a true
marriage, ennobling and purifying their souls.  She could share his
deepest thoughts and his most difficult undertakings, and if their house
were filled with children she would know how to give him the fullest
enjoyment of those small blessings which at the same time are the
greatest joys of life.

Pentaur finding himself endowed by the king with superabundant wealth,
gave up the inheritance of his fathers to his brother Horus, who was
raised to the rank of chief pioneer as a reward for his interposition at
the battle of Kadesh; Horus replaced the fallen cedar-trees which had
stood at the door of his house by masts of more moderate dimensions.

The hapless Huni, under whose name Pentaur had been transferred to the
mines of Sinai, was released from the quarries of Chennu, and restored to
his children enriched by gifts from the poet.

The Pharaoh fully recognized the splendid talents of his daughter's
husband; she to his latest days remained his favorite child, even after
he had consolidated the peace by marrying the daughter of the Cheta king,
and Pentaur became his most trusted adviser, and responsible for the
weightiest affairs in the state.

Rameses learned from the papers found in Ani's tent, and from other
evidence which was only too abundant, that the superior of the House of
Seti, and with him the greater part of the priesthood, had for a long
time been making common cause with the traitor; in the first instance he
determined on the severest, nay bloodiest punishment, but he was
persuaded by Pentaur and by his son Chamus to assert and support the
principles of his government by milder and yet thorough measures.
Rameses desired to be a defender of religion--of the religion which could
carry consolation into the life of the lowly and over-burdened, and give
their existence a higher and fuller meaning--the religion which to him,
as king, appeared the indispensable means of keeping the grand
significance of human life ever present to his mind--sacred as the
inheritance of his fathers, and useful as the school where the people,
who needed leading, might learn to follow and obey.

But nevertheless no one, not even the priests, the guardians of souls,
could be permitted to resist the laws of which he was the bulwark,
to which he himself was subject, and which enjoined obedience to his
authority; and before be left Tanis he had given Ameni and his followers
to understand that he alone was master in Egypt.

The God Seth, who had been honored by the Semite races since the time of
the Hyksos, and whom they called upon under the name of Baal, had from
the earliest times never been allowed a temple on the Nile, as being the
God of the stranger; but Rameses--in spite of the bold remonstrances of
the priestly party who called themselves the 'true believers'--raised a
magnificent temple to this God in the city of Tanis to supply the
religious needs of the immigrant foreigners.  In the same spirit of
toleration he would not allow the worship of strange Gods to be
interfered with, though on the other hand he was jealous in honoring
the Egyptian Gods with unexampled liberality.  He caused temples to be
erected in most of the great cities of the kingdom, he added to the
temple of Ptah at Memphis, and erected immense colossi in front of its
pylons in memory of his deliverance from the fire.

     [One of these is still in existence.  It lies on the ground among
     the ruins of ancient Memphis.]

In the Necropolis of Thebes he had a splendid edifice constructed-which
to this day delights the beholder by the symmetry of its proportions in
memory of the hour when he escaped death as by a miracle; on its pylon he
caused the battle of Kadesh to be represented in beautiful pictures in
relief, and there, as well as on the architrave of the great banqueting--
hall, he had the history inscribed of the danger he had run when he stood
"alone and no man with him!"

By his order Pentaur rewrote the song he had sung at Pelusium; it is
preserved in three temples, and, in fragments, on several papyrus-rolls
which can be made to complete each other.  It was destined to become the
national epic--the Iliad of Egypt.

Pentaur was commissioned to transfer the school of the House of Seti to
the new votive temple, which was called the House of Rameses, and arrange
it on a different plan, for the Pharaoh felt that it was requisite to
form a new order of priests, and to accustom the ministers of the Gods to
subordinate their own designs to the laws of the country, and to the
decrees of their guardian and ruler, the king.  Pentaur was made the
superior of the new college, and its library, which was called "the
hospital for the soul," was without an equal; in this academy, which was
the prototype of the later-formed museum and library of Alexandria, sages
and poets grew up whose works endured for thousands of years--and
fragments of their writings have even come down to us.  The most famous
are the hymns of Anana, Pentaur's favorite disciple, and the tale of the
two Brothers, composed by Gagabu, the grandson of the old Prophet.

Ameni did not remain in Thebes.  Rameses had been informed of the way in
which he had turned the death of the ram to account, and the use he had
made of the heart, as he had supposed it, of the sacred animal, and he
translated him without depriving him of his dignity or revenues to
Mendes, the city of the holy rams in the Delta, where, as he observed not
without satirical meaning, he would be particularly intimate with these
sacred beasts; in Mendes Ameni exerted great influence, and in spite of
many differences of opinion which threatened to sever them, he and
Pentaur remained fast friends to the day of his death.

In the first court of the House of Rameses there stands--now broken
across the middle--the wonder of the traveller, the grandest colossus in
Egypt, made of the hardest granite, and exceeding even the well-known
statue of Memnon in the extent of its base.  It represents Rameses the
Great.  Little Scherau, whom Pentaur had educated to be a sculptor,
executed it, as well as many other statues of the great sovereign of

A year after the burning of the pavilion at Pelusium Rameri sailed to the
land of the Danaids, was married to Uarda, and then remained in his
wife's native country, where, after the death of her grandfather, he
ruled over many islands of the Mediterranean and became the founder of a
great and famous race.  Uarda's name was long held in tender remembrance
by their subjects, for having grown up in misery she understood the
secret of alleviating sorrow and relieving want, and of doing good and
giving happiness without humiliating those she benefitted.


Drink of the joys of life thankfully, and in moderation
It is not seeing, it is seeking that is delightful
The man within him, and not on the circumstances without

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Volume 10" ***

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