Ben-Hur walked the floor in pain of impotent wish.
"I was rich before," he said, stopping suddenly. "I was rich with the gifts of the generous Arrius; now comes this greater fortune, and the mind which achieved it. Is there not a purpose of God in it all? Counsel me, O Simonides! Help me to see the right and do it. Help me to be worthy my name, and what thou art in law to me, that will I be to thee in fact and deed. I will be thy servant forever."
Simonides' face actually glowed.
"O son of my dead master! I will do better than help; I will serve thee with all my might of mind and heart. Body, I have not; it perished in thy cause; but with mind and heart I will serve thee. I swear it, by the altar of our God, and the gifts upon the altar! Only make me formally what I have assumed to be."
"Name it," said Ben-Hur, eagerly.
"As steward the care of the property will be mine."
"Count thyself steward now; or wilt thou have it in writing?"
"Thy word simply is enough; it was so with the father, and I will not more from the son. And now, if the understanding be perfect"--Simonides paused.