At command of Theocles they took her to the gardens of the villa after two days; in these gardens she remained for hours. Vinicius decked her litter with anemones, and especially with irises, to remind her of the atrium of the house of Aulus. More than once, hidden in the shade of spreading trees, they spoke of past sufferings and fears, each holding the other's hand.
The Atrium, or wide hall in which he stood, was all in utter darkness; there was no light on the altar of the Penates, which was placed by the impluvium—a large shallow tank of water occupying the centre of the hall in all Roman houses—nor any gleam from the tablinum, or closed gallery beyond, parted by heavy curtains from the audience chamber.
Fabia cast a glance behind her, and saw that before the two doors leading to the atrium her conductor and another tall slave had placed themselves; but she replied in a tone a little more lofty, if possible, than before: "I cannot well, sir, understand you. Are you a friend of Titus Denter, who is sick?
Her organ recitals were soon a chief feature of the social life in the Atrium, each thronged by the most fashionable ladies in Rome, who competed for invitations. Her vogue in no way spoiled Terentia, who played with just as much zest for her co-inmates of the Atrium, or when she was entirely alone amusing herself at the organ.
As for the large halls, in the centre they would be open to the sky, while around the opening would run a portico, similar to that of a Roman atrium, whose sloping roof would protect the reliefs with which the walls were ornamented. Present state of one of the city gates, Khorsabad.
Come, let us have it over with; I'll show you a submissive Brinnaria or I'll know the reason why." They stood up and from the open atrium passed into a narrow passage lighted only from the two ends and so into the larger courtyard with gleaming marble columns at each end and long rows of them down each side.
Here, passing by a low padlocked door leading to a crypt, and known as the "Door of the Vizier's Treasure-House," one comes on a painted portal that opens into a still more secret sanctuary: The apartment of the Grand Vizier's Favourite. This lovely prison, from which all sight and sound of the outer world are excluded, is built about an atrium paved with disks of turquoise and black and white.
By the evening of the eighth day they had stored enough groats to make the sacred meal for one year's ceremonies of the entire Roman ritual. The salt with which they salted the holy meal was prepared with similar invariable formality. Crude salt, obtained from evaporated sea-water out of the sand-pits on the seashore near Lavinium, was conveyed to the Atrium in small two-handled earthenware jars.
From the front portico, one could look through the vestibule, the atrium, the aviary, and on into the peristyle, where among vine branches and lemon boughs, the vista was closed by a flight of stone steps with carved cedar balustrade, leading up to the flat roof, where it sometimes pleased the mistress to take her tea, or watch the sunset.
Liberal as the Briton, the cheer of the board and the shelter of the roof were afforded with a hand equally unselfish and indiscriminate; and the doors of the more wealthy and munificent might be almost literally said to stand open from morn to eve. As Harold followed the Vala across the vast atrium, his face was recognised, and a shout of enthusiastic welcome greeted the popular Earl.