It was really doing nothing of the kind, for it was familiar with boat-racing in the Thames where the Thames is still the Isis at Oxford, and was as wholly without the motive as without the fact of impatience.
They too, like their superiors, learnt to disbelieve or to question the power of the ancient deities; but, as the mind absolutely requires some religion on which to rest, they gave their real devotion to all kinds of strange and foreign deities, to Isis and Osiris, and the dog Anubus, to Chaldaean magicians, to Jewish exercisers, to Greek quacks, and to the wretched vagabond priests of Cybele, who infested all the streets with their Oriental dances and tinkling tambourines.
His own flagship, the Romney, 50, was so surrounded by others that she could fire only with great caution through intervals. On the 16th of April, at 9.30 A.M., the Isis, 50, which was the outermost of the British squadron, signalled eleven sail in the north-east. Fifteen hundred persons were then ashore engaged in watering, fishing, embarking cattle, and amusing themselves.
Many of the heathen who had collected round it recognized Porphyrius, the noble friend of the great Olympius, and cleared a passage for him, so that at last he got out of the gate uninjured, and turned into the quieter street of Euergetes which led to the temple of Isis, the ship-yard and the merchant's residence.
"Stay, and do not distrust me, O son of Hur, if I declare I know why the noble Arrius took you for his heir. And, by Isis! by all the gods of Egypt! I swear I tremble to think of you, so brave and generous, under the hand of the remorseless minister. You have left a portion of your youth in the atria of the great capital; consider, as I do, what the Desert will be to you in contrast of life.
Behold a creature perfectly happy! "And Isis fell to knitting again, for she was patient as Osiris was strong; and if he could work, she could wait; and wait she did, knowing that mere life is not enough to keep anything content. "And sure enough. Not long until the Divine Wife could see a change in the man.
According to that Isis is for ever unveiling, that is revealing herself, in her works, chiefly in the women she creates, and then chiefly in each of them to the man who loves her." "I see what you mean well enough; but not the less she remains the goddess, does she not?" "Surely she does." "And can a goddess ever reveal all she is and has!" "Never."
Therefore, although I was dear to her, as a brother would have been had she had one, and she swore that she had never even thought of another man, she refused so much as to think of marrying who dreamed only of the heavenly perfections of the lady Isis." "Ump!" said Bes. "We Ethiopians have Priestesses of the Grasshopper, or the Grasshopper's wife, but they do not think of her like that.
And the odd fantasy in the coloring, is not that like the fantasy in the temple of a dream? For those who painted these capitals for the greater glory of Isis did not fear to depart from nature, and to their patient worship a blue palm perhaps seemed a rarely sacred thing. And that palm is part of the spell, and the reliefs upon the walls and even the Coptic crosses that are cut into the stone.
Hence Herhor and Mefres, the high priests, commanded processions around the temples and sacrifice in houses. On Paofi 13 there was a great procession in Memphis: the god Ptah issued from his temple, and the goddess Isis from hers. Both divinities moved toward the centre of the city with a very small assembly of believers, mainly women.