Then, almost the same instant, another face, younger and quite as beautiful--more childlike and tender, if not so passionate-- appeared as if held up to him out of the lake.
"Esther!" he said, smiling. "As I wished, a star has been sent to me."
He turned, and passed slowly back to the tent.
His life had been crowded with griefs and with vengeful preparations--too much crowded for love. Was this the beginning of a happy change?
And if the influence went with him into the tent, whose was it? Esther had given him a cup. So had the Egyptian. And both had come to him at the same time under the palms.
"Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust." SHIRLEY.
"And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law, In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw." WORDSWORTH.
The morning after the bacchanalia in the saloon of the palace, the divan was covered with young patricians. Maxentius might come, and the city throng to receive him; the legion might descend from Mount Sulpius in glory of arms and armor; from Nymphaeum to Omphalus there might be ceremonial splendors to shame the most notable ever before seen or heard of in the gorgeous East; yet would the many continue to sleep ignominiously on the divan where they had fallen or been carelessly tumbled by the indifferent slaves; that they would be able to take part in the reception that day was about as possible as for the lay-figures in the studio of a modern artist to rise and go bonneted and plumed through the one, two, three of a waltz.