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morning he fell asleep and it was broad day when he awoke. His reflections different from those with which he fell asleep as the brilliant daylight was from the gloomy shadows of night. The air was full of the busy hum of life. Water sellers and fruit pedlers and the like were crying “ Aqua Gelata,” “Fresh Figs," and "White wine and red." Cohorts of soldiers were clattering in squadrons, through the streets, the sunlight glittering on their spearpoints and on the bosses of their shields and armour. Jet black Nubian slaves, clad in snowy white, were bearing in gold-adorned lecticce or palanquins, proud patrician dames, robed in saffron and purple, to visit the shops of the jewellers and silk mercers. Senators and civic officials were flocking to the Forum with their murmuring crowd of clients. Gilded youths were hastening to the schools of the rhetoricians or of the gladiators, both alike deemed necessary instructors of these pinks of fashion. The streets and squares were a perfect kaleidoscope of colour and movementan eddying tlırong, on business or on pleasure bent.
The stir and animation of the scene dispelled all serious thoughts from the mind of the frivolous Greek. He plunged like a strong swimmer into the stream of cager busy life
surging through the streets. He was the gayest of the gay, ready with his laugh and joke as he met his youthful comrades.
“Ho, Rufus, whither away in such mad haste,” he cried as he saw a young officer of the 12th Legion dashing past in his chariot, driving with admirable skill two milk-white steeds through the crowded streets. “Oh! are you there?
Where have you hidden yourself for the last month ?” exclaimed Rufus, as he sharply reined up his steeds. “To the Baths of Caracalla ; will you go ?”
“Yes, very gladly,” said Isidorus, stepping upon the low platform of the open bronze chariot. “I have been beyond the Po, on special service-a barbarous region. No baths, circus, or games like those of Rome.”
“There is but one Rome," said the fiery young Hotspur, “but I am beginning to hate it. I am fairly rusting with idleness and long for active service—whether amid Libyian sands or Pannonian forests, I care not."
“It seems to me,” replied the effeminate Greek, " that I could console myself with your horses and chariot—the coursers of Achilles were not more swift—and with the delights which Rome and its fair dames are eager to lavish on that favourite of fortune, Ligurius Rufus."
“Vanitas vanitatis," yawned the youth. “Life
is a tremendous bore. I was made for action, for conquest, for state craft; but under this despotism of the Cæsars, we are all slaves together. You and I fare a little better than that Nubian porter yonder, that is all.”
“ Yet you seem to bear your bondlage very comfortably,” laughed the light-hearted Greek, "and had I your fortune, so would I.”
“Mehercule: the fetters gall though they be golden,” ejaculated the soldier, lashing his steeds into swifter flight, as if to give vent to his nervous excitement. “I plunge into folly to forget that I am a slave. Lost a hundred thousand sesterees at dice last night. The empire is hurrying to chaos.
There are paths of honour and ambition open to a man. One must crouch like a hound or crawl liko a serpent to win advancement in the state. I tell you the degenerate Romans of to-day
an effete and worn out race. The rude Dacians beyond the Tiber possess more of the hardy virtues of the founders of the Republic than the craven creatures who crawl about the feet of the modern Colossi, who bestride the world and are worshipped almost as gods. And unless Rome mends her ways they will be the masters of the Empire yet.”
“One would think you were Cato the Censor," laughed the Greek. "For my part, I think the
best philosophy is that of my wise countryman, Epicurus—to take the times as they come, and make the most of them. But here we are at the Thermæ.”
Giving his horses to one of the innumerable grooms belonging to the establishment, Rufus and his friend disappeared under the lofty arched entrance of the stately Baths of Caracalla.
CIIA PTER XV
AT TIIE BATHS.
OTIIING can give one a more striking con
ception of Roman life under the Empire than the size, number, and magnificence of the public baths. Those of Caracalla are a typical example. They covered an area of fiftcen hundrel by twelve hundred and fifty feet, the surrounding grounds being a mile in circunference. They formed a perfect wilderness of stately halls, and corridors, and chambers, the very mouldering remains of which strike one with astonishment Of this vry structure, the poet Shelley, in the preface of his " Prometheus Unbound,” remarks : “This poem was chiefly written upon the mountainous ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, among the flowery glades and thickets of odoriferous blossoming trees, which are extended in ever-widening labyrinthis upon its immense platforms, and dizzy arches sus