Messala took the chaplet from his head, gave it to Drusus, who climbed upon the table, and, in the view of all, solemnly replaced it, making Messala master of the night.
"There came with me into the room," he said, "some friends just risen from table. That our feast may have the approval of sacred custom, bring hither that one of them most overcome by wine."
A din of voices answered, "Here he is, here he is!"
And from the floor where he had fallen, a youth was brought forward, so effeminately beautiful he might have passed for the drinking-god himself--only the crown would have dropped from his head, and the thyrsus from his hand.
"Lift him upon the table," the master said.
"Help him, Drusus, as the fair Nyone may yet help thee."
Drusus took the inebriate in his arms.
Then addressing the limp figure, Messala said, amidst profound silence, "O Bacchus! greatest of the gods, be thou propitious to-night. And for myself, and these thy votaries, I vow this chaplet"--and from his head he raised it reverently--"I vow this chaplet to thy altar in the Grove of Daphne."