Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Last Days of Pompeii

5. Chapter V (continued)

'What, the meek Ione will chide thee?--Ay, I doubt not she is a second Thalestris. But come, then, to-morrow: do--remember I have been thy friend of old.'

'I will obey thy wishes,' answered Nydia; and Diomed again impatiently summoned his daughter: she was obliged to proceed, with the main question she had desired to put to Nydia unasked.

Meanwhile we return to Ione. The interval of time that had elapsed that day between the first and second visit of Glaucus had not been too gaily spent: she had received a visit from her brother. Since the night he had assisted in saving her from the Egyptian, she had not before seen him.

Occupied with his own thoughts--thoughts of so serious and intense a nature--the young priest had thought little of his sister; in truth, men, perhaps of that fervent order of mind which is ever aspiring above earth, are but little prone to the earthlier affections; and it had been long since Apaecides had sought those soft and friendly interchanges of thought, those sweet confidences, which in his earlier youth had bound him to Ione, and which are so natural to that endearing connection which existed between them.

Ione, however, had not ceased to regret his estrangement: she attributed it, at present, to the engrossing duties of his severe fraternity. And often, amidst all her bright hopes, and her new attachment to her betrothed--often, when she thought of her brother's brow prematurely furrowed, his unsmiling lip, and bended frame, she sighed to think that the service of the gods could throw so deep a shadow over that earth which the gods created.

But this day when he visited her there was a strange calmness on his features, a more quiet and self-possessed expression in his sunken eyes, than she had marked for years. This apparent improvement was but momentary--it was a false calm, which the least breeze could ruffle.

'May the gods bless thee, my brother!' said she, embracing him.

'The gods! Speak not thus vaguely; perchance there is but one God!'

'My brother!'

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