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seest, ” he continued, beginning to caress the dice slowly back into his dirty bulga again, “thou seest that I am, as they say, a philosopher and of the hedonic school. Now, according to the doctrines of that school, there is one great, underlying principle, wherefrom there grow, as a secondary consequence, a vast number of minor principles, or corollaries. Thus, first and greatest of these minor principles"
“Let me see the bones,” brake in Trivialis. “I have not heard of them before, and have much curiosity concerning them. Besides, I might be induced to play with thee, if me liked the looks of the cunning little things. Not for money, O excellent Dissolutio. Not any more than thou, O honestest man, would I play—and no doubt lose to thee besides—who, I mistrust, art very skilful at thine own game. But, if the voyage come to be too monotonous, as more than likely it shall do, then, perchance-I say—it is possible—I mightmerely as a matter of innocent pastime thou understandest and friendship for thee—because my master--my former master-he hath always taught me, said he: 'Ever beware of gaming, my son, beware of gaming. What say the Sopherim ?'"
“Ho hum! I must find a gayer companion.' Dissolutio started up.
Thereupon Trivialis also sadly arose. But he followeth Dissolutio even as Dissolutio had known that a man like him would do.
Trivialis saith unto Dissolutio, “Teach me the game, and I will seek to amuse thee. But not for money will I play-unless indeed thou canst give me money for a gem which I have about my neck.”
“Come,” responded Dissolutio, as he looked upon the jewel with eyes brighter than the stone itself. “Come into the shadow of the longest sail. And while the sail doth strain, and the hortator's voice and dull hammerings arise like sounds of many idle hives of bees, we shall have a game, a very divine game!”
.... Now, meanwhile, Samson-Solomon of Cyrene stood within the tomb, the bars whereof he had broken, and listened to the songs and the bells of the caravan, while the light came ever brighter and brighter down the way.
For a moment the sounds ceased, and the light itself was turned to shadow
But a twinkling later, there brake into view, round the corner of a rock, the leader of the caravan-a mighty, straight-nosed, sunnyheaded Greek seated on a white, upstepping horse.
In his hand he held high a torch, which lighted the road.
clearer and richer than the liltings of many birds, as he sang with a royal happiness
“Thy living light, Apollo, shines :
I love thy light, thy life.”
And Samson-Solomon was quickly and mysteriously drawn toward the radiant man that was singing and bearing the high torch. So, as the Greek drew anigh, he ran straight out of the tomb, meaning to place one hand on the horse's neck, and so to walk by the side of the light-bearer. But behold! as he ran, he slipped (in his great eagerness) and nearly fell beneath the horse. Yet, leaning on his shepherd's crook, he arose again, and, passing quickly round the horse's head, did lay at last his hand upon the steed's neck, saying unto the torch-bearer: “Wilt thou not give me succor, O my friend !”
"By the bright rays of Helios, a Jew!” exclaimed the Greek. “Yea, I will succor thee, Friend; but how wilt thou be succored ?"
“Merely by thy permission to go beside thee.” Then he whispered, “For my heart is low and weak.”
"Who art thou?'
“Thou speakest the one world-language-Greek, yet after the fashion of the Cyrenaicans. Thou art a shepherd ?”
“It is true." Samson cast his crook away with a sigh. .
Now, for a time, the two kept looking, each upon the other, as they went the way of the desert. And the Greek beheld a giant even more beautiful than he had at first thought. He was clad in the usual apparel of a shepherd-a sheepskin cloak and leathern pileus, yet he strode with a grave and royal dignity. So tall he was that he reached not up but down to the withers of the Thracian steed. Somewhat flat of chest he seemed, but the sleeve of his cloak, drawn back nearly to the shoulder, let the Greek behold an arm likely to win the prize either at wrestling or at the throwing of a discusor a bull. And the long, supple hand, with its tapering, ever closing and unclosing fingers seemed ready (so thought the Greek) for a mallet and chisel. But what did mostly please the soldier in the man of Athens was the dark, quick, melancholy, thoughtful countenance—the night-like eyes with stars of glorious passion a-gleam in them. “I am not fain,” thought the soldier, “to be an object of this man's fury."
And Samson of Cyrene, on his part, saw, astride upon the horse, a fair-skinned, rosy-tinted exquisite, both delicate and strong and noble and proud and likewise very easy in his carriage. He was dressed in a traveller's cloak of finest camel's hair, but wore no hat whatever. The full-arched chest, the straight, well rounded limbs, the splendid balance of the head, declared the birth and training of an athlete. All his hair was bright as the gold of any sunset, and his eyes (as now the Jew saw) were like the blue of the sky in the springing of the year. The thoughtful brow ran down to the quivering nose in one unbroken vertical line. The lips were always smiling, and Samson-Solomon thought that so they must ever appear even in the midst of angry threatenings and combat.
At length the Greek, laughing softly, leaned over and said in a hoarse whisper: “Where didst thou kill him?"
"In my father's most distant pasture. We do go beside the spot this moment. How didst thou know?”
“There is blood upon thy hand, repentance and Hades in thine eyes. Thou hadst thy reasons : fear not.
“I had them. But I am Cain, Cain, Cain."
“Then by the muscles of Hercules, thou art not Cain. Why, I myself have killed a thousand. Before thou sawest the light of Helios, I did surely kill them.”
“Assuredly. It is not so great a number. How smoky the torch burns !—Not quite that many have I killed directly, but directly and in other manners—ah well, let us say a thousand. Hast thou hid the body?!
“No.' “ 'Tis well." Now Samson pondered in his heart the words, “ 'Tis well.” At
” length he said, “Why sayest thou it is well that I hid not the body?”
“Because, as the body was not hidden, then am I-and I alone the murderer.'
“Thou!" "Assuredly. I hide no bodies. I will send details unto Cæsar.
Fear not. Thou art innocent. I had good reasons why I killed the man.'
The two went on in silence, behind them all the caravan, made up of many men of many nations. Songs came forward from these men, songs in a Babel of languages.
Said the Greek, “I must know what manner of man it was thou didst kill."
Samson, beholding him in the eye, declareth: “A mongrel. A man compact of many nations. He was not of any blood, and yet was of all bloods-saving and excepting mine and thine and the Roman. He was neither tall nor short, but yet, in the moments when I loved him, he seemed to be small to me, but if ever he did anger me (as oft he truly did) then he looked big enough to fight-tall enough for me to reach down"
"By the terrors of life itself !--but thou wilt break my steed's neck! The lion's paw! By Hercules- Be not of gestures quite so eloquent."
“His eyes were gray, or else a lightish azure," went on the Jew. “There was not any depth at all in them, nor very much melancholy, nor much intrigue or calculation. They were easily rendered afraid, those eyes-were sometimes soft and dreamy, but oftener full of light and causeless laughter and eternal changes which amounted to nothing; and his mouth was large and weak and full of mockery and strange levitous hinnying cachinnations." The Greek laughed long and loud. “I killed him," said he. "I
“ have killed a thousand like him, also. I know him. He is everywhere-a man like that. You have to kill many such, or they get too numerous.
When Samson-Solomon had had a little time in which to think, he said unto the Greek: "See! I have trusted thine honor. Trust thou therefore mine, and tell me who thou art.”
“My name is Lampadephorus. I am a traveller. I have been a soldier, sea captain, sculptor and musician, a gladiator and a merchant. My home is at Athens. I am very much at Rome. Yet I am wholly a Greek. I am also wholly thy friend."
“I knew it,” said the Jew. “Or ever thou didst behold me wouldst thou believe it?-I would be as a friend to thee also."
“Hast thou any other?” “Adonai." “Who, then, is Adonai?” “I had rather,” said Samson, after a time, “play unto thee on my
harp.” For he thought, “This man, being not a son of Abraham, cannot in anywise comprehend Adonai."
So he took from his bosom the harp which he himself had made, and, touching the shorter of the strings, sang of the great pastures and the melancholy cries of innumerable sheep, and of all the longings that come into the soul of a lonely shepherd. And Samson of Cyrene saw that the eyes of Lampadephorus were wet. So he relented a little and thought, “I will at least sing (if not speak) unto thee about Adonai.” And he sang full many a psalm, ending each with the joyful cry: “Adonai, Adonai, Adonai!"
He handed, then, the harp unto Lampadephorus without a word.
The Greek was touched that the boy had discovered without questioning that he, even Lampadephorus of Athens, should know the art of touching music from a lyre. When the man could speak, he sang, and all the singing of the caravan ceased, and even the footfalls of the horses appeared to become more nearly silent, that the music might ascend, as it were unimpeded, into heaven.
Then were the eyes of Samson-Solomon wet in their turn. He said, “I knew not, truly, that such sweet sounds could be."
And Lampadephorus of Athens did teach the Jew full many things about the harp, as, to wit, the making thereof and the proper tuning of the strings, and eke the pleasantest chords and happiest sequences. He came to the scales. “What,” said he, even as Plato had said before him, “are the scales of mourning! The Myxolydian and High Lydian, and some others of the same character. Which, then, of the scales are soft and convivial ! The Ionian and Lydiansuch as are called 'slack.'” And he spake still further unto him
." of certain other scales, such as the vehement Phrygian (fond of trumpets and other military instruments) and the Hypophrygian, the Dorian (grave and severe) and the Hypodorian, likewise the Hypolydian (good for funerals) and some others, and the way that each did play upon the feelings of the hearers—but each of the modes, in its own sweet way (he said) was golden.
He taught the Jew, further, that the sweetest thing that ever yet was known concerning any melody (be it in Phrygian or Aeolian, or what not that is beautiful) is the blessed referring of each and every note unto its central master tone—the mesec, or tonic.
Then said Samson-Solomon, "That note is indeed like unto Adonai, the Lord God of all the Universe, to whom the universe of things refers itself in a sweet subjection, in whom indeed they may solely be said to have their cause of being. When a soul doth not refer itself unto Adonai, and agree therewith, that is sin. Yes, it is sin."