'That is well said, Lydon, returned the huger gladiator; 'I feel the same. 'And to think, observed Lydon, in a tone of deep feeling, to think that the noble Greek, he whom we saw but a day or two since before us, so full of youth, and health, and joyousness, is to feast yon monster!
At that thought, and seeing that, his strength not being equal to the endurance of the Roman, everything depended on a sudden and desperate effort, he threw himself fiercely on Eumolpus; the Roman warily retreated Lydon thrust again Eumolpus drew himself aside the sword grazed his cuirass Lydon's breast was exposed the Roman plunged his sword through the joints of the armor, not meaning however to inflict a deep wound; Lydon, weak and exhausted, fell forward, fell right on the point; it passed through and through, even to the back.
Oh! my father, it was but a few days since that I was taunted, by one, too, whom I would gladly have undeceived, for he is more generous than the rest of his equals. He is not Roman he is of Athens by him I was taunted with the lust of gain when I demanded what sum was the prize of victory. Alas! he little knew the soul of Lydon! Oh, that is a deadly sin; no object can purify it.
So they always come to my house for that purpose: they know we only receive the best gladiators in Pompeii our society is very select praised be the gods! 'Yes, continued Burbo, drinking off a bowl, or rather a pail of wine, 'a man who has won my laurels can only encourage the brave. Lydon, drink, my boy; may you have an honorable old age like mine!
"I wish he were, if only to spite old surly Medon," muttered the girl. Meanwhile Lydon, who had hitherto defended himself with great skill and valor, began to give way before the vigorous assaults of the practiced Roman; his arm grew tired, his eye dizzy, he breathed hard and painfully. The combatants paused again for breath.
'Ay, do, said the surly host; 'and if I press down my thumb to save you, may the Fates cut my thread! 'Your rope, you mean, said Lydon, sneeringly: 'here is a sesterce to buy one. The Titan wine-vender seized the hand extended to him, and griped it in so stern a vice that the blood spirted from the fingers' ends over the garments of the bystanders. They set up a savage laugh.
But Lydon, except that he was slender even almost to meagreness, was beautifully and delicately proportioned; and the skilful might have perceived that, with much less compass of muscle than his foe, that which he had was more seasoned iron and compact.
Pansa regrets nothing more than that he is not rich enough to strew the arena with borax and cinnabar, as Nero used to do. 'Well, if it has been a brief battle, it is quickly succeeded. See my handsome Lydon on the arena ay and the net-bearer too, and the swordsmen! oh, charming!
'Four to one against Lydon! said Clodius to Lepidus. 'I would not take twenty to one! Why, Eumolpus is a very Achilles, and this poor fellow is but a tyro! Eumolpus gazed hard on the face of Lydon; he smiled; yet the smile was followed by a slight and scarce audible sigh a touch of compassionate emotion, which custom conquered the moment the heart acknowledged it.
'Stretch out your arm, my Lydon, said Lepidus, with the air of a connoisseur. The gladiator, with a significant glance at his companions, extended an arm which, if not so huge in its girth as those of his comrades, was so firm in its muscles, so beautifully symmetrical in its proportions, that the three visitors uttered simultaneously an admiring exclamation.