BOOK THE THIRD
5. Chapter V
NYDIA ENCOUNTERS JULIA. INTERVIEW OF THE HEATHEN SISTER AND CONVERTED
BROTHER. AN ATHENIAN'S NOTION OF CHRISTIANITY.
'WHAT happiness to Ione! what bliss to be ever by the side of Glaucus, to
hear his voice!--And she too can see him!'
Such was the soliloquy of the blind girl, as she walked alone and at
twilight to the house of her new mistress, whither Glaucus had already
preceded her. Suddenly she was interrupted in her fond thoughts by a female
'Blind flower-girl, whither goest thou? There is no pannier under thine
arm; hast thou sold all thy flowers?'
The person thus accosting Nydia was a lady of a handsome but a bold and
unmaidenly countenance: it was Julia, the daughter of Diomed. Her veil was
half raised as she spoke; she was accompanied by Diomed himself, and by a
slave carrying a lantern before them--the merchant and his daughter were
returning home from a supper at one of their neighbors'.
'Dost thou not remember my voice?' continued Julia. 'I am the daughter of
Diomed the wealthy.'
'Ah! forgive me; yes, I recall the tones of your voice. No, noble Julia, I
have no flowers to sell.'
'I heard that thou wert purchased by the beautiful Greek Glaucus; is that
true, pretty slave?' asked Julia.
'I serve the Neapolitan, Ione,' replied Nydia, evasively.
'Ah! and it is true, then...'
'Come, come!' interrupted Diomed, with his cloak up to his mouth, 'the night
grows cold; I cannot stay here while you prate to that blind girl: come, let
her follow you home, if you wish to speak to her.'
'Do, child,' said Julia, with the air of one not accustomed to be refused;
'I have much to ask of thee: come.'
'I cannot this night, it grows late,' answered Nydia. 'I must be at home; I
am not free, noble Julia.'