"Meseems that a superstitious awe of evil omens has seized upon my soul," returned the maiden, in a tremulous tone. "Let us retire, my lord; the Lady Nisida may require my services elsewhere." "Nisida!" repeated Francisco, as if the mention of his sister's name had suddenly awakened new ideas in his mind.
Joseph fell on his knees and respectfully represented that he and his family were not Egyptian subjects, but lived there as strangers, and implored the almighty Pharaoh to allow him the rights of hospitality. "I know nothing about all that, my good man," said the king. Then, catching sight of the boy's angry face, he laughed. "Meseems, my young Jew, that you would crush me to powder.
Then she stayed him, and laughed sweetly in his face, and said: "It is a long while now since the beginning of the June day, and meseems I know thy lack, and the slaking of it lieth somewhat nearer than Hampton under Scaur, which we shall not reach these two days if we go afoot all the way." "My lack?" said he; "I lack nought now, that I may not have when I will."
"Nay," here interposed Marcus Ancyrus with stern reproof, "before we begin to vote let us be agreed on one point: let us be prepared to swear by the gods that we will adhere truly and loyally to the choice of the majority and if, as meseems is likely, we agree that the unknown future husband of Dea Flavia Augusta become the ruler of us all, then must we swear to proclaim him the Cæsar with one accord, else doth our voting become a mere farce.
Quoth that lady: We know thy ferry here, that it is the craft wherein cometh hither now and again the sister of our lady the Queen, into whose realm thou art now come, and who liveth up in the white palace yonder, and whom we serve. And meseems thou wilt not have come hither by her leave, or thou wouldst be in other guise than this; so that belike thou wilt be the runaway of thy mistress.
As for the girl, she was indeed the fairest of the cloistered maids, with lovely face and smooth cheeks, slender waist, heavy hips and arrowy shape, lips sweeter than old wine and spittle as it were the fountain Selsebil of Paradise, even as saith the poet, describing her: From her mouth's honeyed dew, meseems, the first-pressed wine is drawn And on her sweetest lips the grapes, from which it's crushed, are grown; And when thou makest her to bend, its vines sway in her shape.
It was she who brought imagination to bear on my pastimes, and many a time has she borne my fancy far enough from the Pegnitz, over seas and rivers to groves of palm and golden fairy lands. Our fellowship with my brethren was grateful to her as it was to me; but meseems it was a different thing in those early years from what it was in later days.
Thus were the portraits ended, and when I behold my own looking from the wide frame with so mirthful and yet so longing a gaze, meseems that Giacomo must have read the book of my soul and have known right well how to present that he saw therein; at that time in truth I was a happy young creature, and the aching and longing which would now and again come over me, in part for him who was gone, and in part I wist not for what, were but the shadow which must ever fall where there is light.
When the sun rose, he said to him, "Meseems thou yearnest for thy native land?" "Even so," replied Zoulmekan, "and I may not tarry here; so I will commend thee to God's care and set out with these people and journey with them, little by little, till I come to my country." "And I with thee," said the stoker; "for I cannot bear to part with thee.
"Well and good," quoth he, "then sleep on, and let me tell you what meseems your very next dream will be: You will be standing with all of us out in a green mead, and a little bird will sing: 'Herdegen is freed from his ban. At this you will greatly rejoice; but in the midst of your joy a raven shall croak from a dry branch: 'Can it be!