Callistus, to see the illumination of the tomb of St. Cecilia, which takes place there annually on the Saint's Feast- Day, and he knew that Angela Sovrani and the Comtesse Hermenstein were to be of the Princesse's party. He was somewhat late in starting, and hired a fiacre to drive him along the Via Appia to his destination, but when he arrived there Mass had already commenced.

In the mean time Messalina and Silius, wholly unconscious of the danger, gave themselves up with greater and greater boldness and unconcern to their guilty pleasures. On the day when Callistus and his party went to Ostia she was celebrating a festival at her palace with great gayety and splendor. It was in the autumn of the year, and the festival was in honor of the season.

Cornelius Nepos, as quoted by Pliny, speaks of having seen columns of alabaster thirty-two feet in length; and Pliny says that he himself had seen thirty huge pillars in the dining-hall of Callistus, the freedman of Claudius. One such column still exists in the Villa Albani, which is twenty-two and a half feet in height.

But it seems probable to me that Callistus only counterfeited this, in order to ingratiate himself with Claudius; for if Caius had been in earnest resolved to take off Claudius, he would not have admitted of Callistus's excuses; nor would Callistus, if he had been enjoined to do such an act as was desired by Caius, have put it off; nor if he had disobeyed those injunctions of his master, had he escaped immediate punishment; while Claudius was preserved from the madness of Caius by a certain Divine providence, and Callistus pretended to such a piece of merit as he no way deserved.

Nymphidius, now advancing towards the consummation of his hopes, did not refuse to let it be said that he was the son of Caius Caesar, Tiberius's successor; who, it is told, was well acquainted with his mother in his early youth, a woman indeed handsome enough, the off-spring of Callistus, one of Caesar's freedmen, and a certain seamstress.

At length, after various consultations and debates, a small number of the courtiers who were most determined in their detestation of Messalina and her practices, leagued themselves together, and resolved upon a course of procedure by which they hoped, if possible, to effect her destruction. The leader of this company was Callistus, one of the officers of Claudius's household.

And besides these, Callistus also, who was a freed-man of Caius, and was the only man that had arrived at the greatest degree of power under him, such a power, indeed, as was in a manner equal to the power of the tyrant himself, by the dread that all men had of him, and by the great riches he had acquired; for he took bribes most plenteously, and committed injuries without bounds, and was more extravagant in the use of his power in unjust proceedings than any other.

Such a defiance of law, of religion, and of the feelings of mankind, to say nothing of its folly, is not to be supposed. Yet such was the scandal, and it filled the imperial household with consternation. Callistus, Pallas, and Narcissusthe favorites who ruled Claudiusunited with Agrippina to secure her ruin. The emperor, then absent in Ostia, was informed of the shamelessness of his wife.

As we read these Ignatian letters, it may occur to us that the real author sometimes betrays his identity. There are, however, other matters which warrant equally strong suspicions. Hippolytus tells us that Callistus was a Patripassian.

"The best quality of friendship sometimes arises out of the most unfortunate circumstances," I added. The sympathy in my voice was for Dicky and Isabel. Mr. Mafferton looked at me expressively and the carriage drew up at the Catacombs of St. Callistus. Mrs. Portheris was awaiting us by the gate, however, so in getting out I gave my hand to Dicky. Inside and outside the gate, how quiet it was.