BOOK THE FOURTH
16. Chapter XVI
THE SORROW OF BOON COMPANIONS FOR OUR AFFLICTIONS. THE DUNGEON AND ITS
IT was now late on the third and last day of the trial of Glaucus and
Olinthus. A few hours after the court had broken up and judgment been
given, a small party of the fashionable youth at Pompeii were assembled
round the fastidious board of Lepidus.
'So Glaucus denies his crime to the last?' said Clodius.
'Yes; but the testimony of Arbaces was convincing; he saw the blow given,'
'What could have been the cause?'
'Why, the priest was a gloomy and sullen fellow. He probably rated Glaucus
soundly about his gay life and gaming habits, and ultimately swore he would
not consent to his marriage with Ione. High words arose; Glaucus seems to
have been full of the passionate god, and struck in sudden exasperation.
The excitement of wine, the desperation of abrupt remorse, brought on the
delirium under which he suffered for some days; and I can readily imagine,
poor fellow! that, yet confused by that delirium, he is even now unconscious
of the crime he committed! Such, at least, is the shrewd conjecture of
Arbaces, who seems to have been most kind and forbearing in his testimony.'
'Yes; he has made himself generally popular by it. But, in consideration of
these extenuating circumstances, the senate should have relaxed the
'And they would have done so, but for the people; but they were outrageous.
The priest had spared no pains to excite them; and they imagined--the
ferocious brutes!--because Glaucus was a rich man and a gentleman, that he
was likely to escape; and therefore they were inveterate against him, and
doubly resolved upon his sentence. It seems, by some accident or other,
that he was never formally enrolled as a Roman citizen; and thus the senate
is deprived of the power to resist the people, though, after all, there was
but a majority of three against him. Ho! the Chian!'
'He looks sadly altered; but how composed and fearless!'