One of Cleopatra's Nights and Other Fantastic Romances

One of Cleopatra's Nights and Other Fantastic Romances

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Excerpt: ...invention), Octavian suddenly found himself face to face with a beautiful young man of about his own age, clad in a saffron-colored tunic, and a mantle of snowy linen as supple as cashmere. The sight of Octavian in his frightful modern hat, girthed about with a scanty black frock-coat, his legs confined in pantaloons, and his feet cramped in well-polished boots, seemed to surprise the young Pompeiian in much the same way as one of us would feel astonished to meet on the Boulevard de Gand some Iowa Indian or native of Butocudo, bedecked with his feathers, necklace of bear's-claws, or whimsical tattooing. Nevertheless, being a well-bred young man, he did not burst out laughing in Octavian's face, and pitying the poor barbarian who had lost his way, no doubt, in that Graeco-Roman city, he said to him in a soft, clear voice: "Advena, salve!" Nothing could be more natural than that an inhabitant of Pompeii, in the reign of the divine, most powerful, and most august Emperor Titus, should speak Latin, yet Octavian started at hearing this dead tongue in a living mouth. It was then, indeed, that he congratulated himself on having been proficient in his college studies, and taken the honors at the annual examinations. The Latin taught him by the University served him in good stead on that unique occasion, and calling back to mind some souvenirs of his college course, he returned the salutation of the Pompeiian after the style of De viris illustribus and Selectae e profanis, in a tolerably intelligible manner, but with a Parisian accent which forced the young man to smile despite himself. "Perhaps it will be easier for you to converse in Greek," said the Pompeiian. "I am also acquainted with that language, for I studied at Athens." "I am even less familiar with Greek than with Latin," replied Octavian. "I am from the land of Gashow more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 141g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236694538
  • 9781236694539