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She kept close to the officer, and was soon mounted on a chariot, and then conducted by the driver who took her for a young Macedonian noble, who was tempted out at night by some assignation as far as the second tavern on the road back to the Serapeum.
The news of them spread with wonderful rapidity. Alaric's Barbarians have taken Rome and put it to fire and sword. At Jerusalem has been an earthquake, and the bishop John organizes a subscription for the sufferers throughout Christendom. At Constantinople, globes of fire have been seen in the sky. The Serapeum of Alexandria has just been destroyed in a riot....
Argutis, who had come to inquire for his young mistress, was to be her escort and to bring her back early next morning to the same entrance. The old slave had much to tell her. He had been on his feet all day. He had been to the harbor to inquire as to the return of the vessel with the prisoners on board; to the Serapeum to inquire for her; to Dido, to give her the news.
It arose from the crowd who were waiting round the Serapeum to see Caesar drive to the Circus; and Caracalla must have noticed it, for, when it waxed louder, he gave a sidelong glance toward the place from which it came, and an ominous frown gathered upon his brow. But it soon vanished, for scarcely had he finished when stormy shouts of applause rose from the antechamber.
The great and fateful rumor was heard, too, in the Museum and the Serapeum; once more the youth who had grown up in the high schools of the city, studying the wisdom of the heathen, gathered together; men who had refined and purified their intellect at the spring of Greek philosophy and fired their spirit with enthusiasm for all that was good and lovely in the teaching of ancient Greece these obeyed the summons of their master, Olympius, or flew to arms under the leadership of Orestes, the Governor, for the High-Priest himself had to see to the defences of the Serapeum.
At the great service which had been performed before him in the Greek Serapeum, Ptolemy Philometor had endowed the priests not with the whole but with a considerable portion of the land concerning which they had approached him with many petitions.
The distance hither down the Kanopic Way was not great, and swift horses would quickly bring him down the Aspendia street to that of Hermes, leading straight to the Serapeum. His train was not to follow him to the Soma, the mausoleum of the founder of the city, but to turn off to the southward by the Paneum, and make a round into the street of Hermes.
Now and again, as her heavy head drooped on her breast, she fancied the Serapeum had actually fallen; then, as she raised it again, she recovered her consciousness that it was hot, that she had lost her home, and that she must, however unwillingly, return with Medius.
The sights that surrounded them as long as they were near the Serapeum forced her to close her eyes, especially when the ass had to walk round some obstruction, or when it and its guide waded through slimy pools. She could not forget that they were red, nor whence they came; and this ride brought her moments in which she thought to expire of shuddering horror and sorrow and wrath.
When your hair lies smoothly round your sweet face, as it did yesterday, then lay it on my breast as often as you will. Aye, and it can and shall be here in the Serapeum; though not in these rooms, which my lord and master closes against you.