BOOK THE FIRST
5. Chapter V
'Ah, my Nydia,' said the Greek, 'is that you I knew you would not neglect my
'Glaucus did but justice to himself,' answered Nydia, with a blush; 'for he
has always been kind to the poor blind girl.'
'Who could be otherwise?' said Glaucus, tenderly, and in the voice of a
Nydia sighed and paused before she resumed, without replying to his remark.
'You have but lately returned?'
'This is the sixth sun that hath shone upon me at Pompeii.'
'And you are well? Ah, I need not ask--for who that sees the earth, which
they tell me is so beautiful, can be ill?'
'I am well. And you, Nydia--how you have grown! Next year you will be
thinking what answer to make your lovers.'
A second blush passed over the cheek of Nydia, but this time she frowned as
she blushed. 'I have brought you some flowers,' said she, without replying
to a remark that she seemed to resent; and feeling about the room till she
found the table that stood by Glaucus, she laid the basket upon it: 'they
are poor, but they are fresh-gathered.'
'They might come from Flora herself,' said he, kindly; 'and I renew again my
vow to the Graces, that I will wear no other garlands while thy hands can
weave me such as these.'
'And how find you the flowers in your viridarium?--are they thriving?'
'Wonderfully so--the Lares themselves must have tended them.'
'Ah, now you give me pleasure; for I came, as often as I could steal the
leisure, to water and tend them in your absence.'
'How shall I thank thee, fair Nydia?' said the Greek. 'Glaucus little
dreamed that he left one memory so watchful over his favorites at Pompeii.'