BOOK THE FIRST
6. Chapter VI
'And why is it to me thou art thus unconfidential?'
'Because thou hast been my enemy.'
'Let us confer,' said Arbaces, in a low voice; and drawing the reluctant arm
of the priest in his own, he led him to one of the seats which were
scattered within the grove. They sat down--and in those gloomy forms there
was something congenial to the shade and solitude of the place.
Apaecides was in the spring of his years, yet he seemed to have exhausted
even more of life than the Egyptian; his delicate and regular features were
worn and colorless; his eyes were hollow, and shone with a brilliant and
feverish glare: his frame bowed prematurely, and in his hands, which were
small to effeminacy, the blue and swollen veins indicated the lassitude and
weakness of the relaxed fibres. You saw in his face a strong resemblance to
Ione, but the expression was altogether different from that majestic and
spiritual calm which breathed so divine and classical a repose over his
sister's beauty. In her, enthusiasm was visible, but it seemed always
suppressed and restrained; this made the charm and sentiment of her
countenance; you longed to awaken a spirit which reposed, but evidently did
not sleep. In Apaecides the whole aspect betokened the fervor and passion
of his temperament, and the intellectual portion of his nature seemed, by
the wild fire of the eyes, the great breadth of the temples when compared
with the height of the brow, the trembling restlessness of the lips, to be
swayed and tyrannized over by the imaginative and ideal. Fancy, with the
sister, had stopped short at the golden goal of poetry; with the brother,
less happy and less restrained, it had wandered into visions more intangible
and unembodied; and the faculties which gave genius to the one threatened
madness to the other.
'You say I have been your enemy,' said Arbaces, 'I know the cause of that
unjust accusation: I have placed you amidst the priests of Isis--you are
revolted at their trickeries and imposture--you think that I too have
deceived you--the purity of your mind is offended--you imagine that I am one
of the deceitful...'