Read CHAPTER XX of Pearl-Maiden, free online book, by H. Rider Haggard, on


When on that fateful night in the Old Tower Miriam sprang forward to strike the lantern from the hand of the Jew, Nehushta, who was bending over the fallen Marcus and dragging at his body, did not even see that she had left the door.

With an effort, the slope of the rocky passage beyond favouring her, she half-drew, half-lifted the Roman through the entrance.  Then it was, as she straightened herself a little to take breath, that she heard the thud of the rock door closing behind her.  Still, as it was dark, she did not guess that Miriam was parted from them, for she said: 

“Ah! into what troubles do not these men lead us poor women.  Well, just in time, and I think that none of them saw us.”

There was no answer.  Sound could not pierce that wall and the place was silent as a tomb.

“Lady!  In the Name of Christ, where are you, lady?” asked Nehushta in a piercing whisper, and the echoes of the gallery answered ­“Where are you, lady?”

Just then Marcus awoke.

“What has chanced?  What place is this, Miriam?” he asked.

“This has chanced,” answered Nehushta in the same awful voice.  “We are in the passage leading to the vaults; Miriam is in the hands of the Jews in the Old Tower, and the door is shut between us.  Accursed Roman! to save your life she has sacrificed herself.  Without doubt she sprang from the door to dash the lantern from the hand of the Jew, and before she could return again it had swung home.  Now they will crucify her because she rescued you ­a Roman.”

“Don’t talk, woman,” broke in Marcus savagely, “open the door.  I am still a man, I can still fight, or,” he added with a groan, remembering that he had no sword, “at the least I can die for her.”

“I cannot,” gasped Nehushta.  “She had the iron that lifts the secret latch.  If you had kept your sword, Roman, it might perhaps have served, but that has gone also.”

“Break it down,” said Marcus.  “Come, I will help.”

“Yes, yes, Roman, you will help to break down three feet of solid stone.”

Then began that hideous scene whereof something has been said.  Nehushta strove to reach the latch with her fingers.  Marcus, standing upon one foot, strove to shake the stone with his shoulder, the black, silent stone that never so much as stirred.  Yet they worked madly, their breath coming in great gasps, knowing that the work was in vain, and that even if they could open the door, by now it would be to find Miriam gone, or at the best to be taken themselves.  Suddenly Marcus ceased from his labour.

“Lost!” he moaned, “and for my sake.  O ye gods! for my sake.”  Then down he fell, his harness clattering on the rocky step, and lay there, muttering and laughing foolishly.

Nehushta ceased also, gasping:  “The Lord help you, Miriam, for I cannot.  Oh! after all these years to lose you thus, and because of that man!” and she glared through the darkness towards the fallen Marcus, thinking in her heart that she would kill him.

“Nay,” she said to herself, “she loved him, and did she know it might pain her.  Better kill myself; yes, and if I were sure that she is dead this, sin or no sin, I would do.”

As she sat thus, helpless, hopeless, she saw a light coming up the stair towards them.  It was borne by Ithiel.  Nehushta rose and faced him.

“Praise be to God! there you are at length,” he said.  “Thrice have I been up this stair wondering why Miriam did not come.”

“Brother Ithiel,” answered Nehushta, “Miriam will come no more; she is gone, leaving us in exchange this man Marcus, the Roman prefect of Horse.”

“What do you mean?  What do you mean?” he gasped.  “Where is Miriam?”

“In the hands of the Jews,” she answered.  Then she told him all that story.

“There is nothing to be done,” he moaned when she had finished.  “To open the door now would be but to reveal the secret of our hiding-place to the Jews or to the Romans, either of whom would put us to the sword, the Jews for food, the Romans because we are Jews.  We can only leave her to God and protect ourselves.”

“Had I my will,” answered Nehushta, “I would leave myself to God and still strive to protect her.  Yet you are right, seeing that many lives cannot be risked for the sake of one girl.  But what of this man?”

“We will do our best for him,” answered Ithiel, “for so she who sacrificed herself for his sake would have wished.  Also years ago he was our guest and befriended us.  Stay here a while and I will bring men to carry him to the vault.”

So Ithiel went away to return with sundry of the brethren, who lifted Marcus and bore him down the stairs and passages to that darksome chamber where Miriam had slept, while other brethren shut the trap-door, and loosened the roof of the passage, blocking it with stone so that without great labour none could pass that path for ever.

Here in this silent, sunless vault for many, many days Marcus lay sick with a brain fever, of which, had it not been for the skilful nursing of Nehushta and of the leeches among the Essenes, he must certainly have died.  But these leeches, who were very clever, doctored the deep sword-cut in his head, removing with little iron hooks the fragments of bone which pressed upon his brain, and dressing that wound and another in his knee with salves.

Meanwhile, they learned by their spies that both the Temple and Mount Sion had fallen.  Also they heard of the trial of Miriam and of her exposure on the Gate Nicanor, but of what happened to her afterwards they could gather nothing.  So they mourned her as dead.

Now, their food being at length exhausted and the watch of the Romans having relaxed, they determined, those who were left of them, for some had died and Ithiel himself was very ill, to attempt to escape from the hateful vaults that had sheltered them for all these months.  A question arose as to what was to be done with Marcus, now but a shadow of a man, who still wandered somewhat in his mind, but who had passed the worst of his sickness and seemed like to live.  Some were for abandoning him; some for sending him back to the Romans; but Nehushta showed that it would be wise to keep him as a hostage, so that if they were attacked they might produce him and in return for their care, perhaps buy their lives.  In the end they agreed upon this course, not so much for what they might gain by it, but because they knew that it would have pleased the lost maid whom they called their Queen, who had perished to save this man.

So it came about that upon a certain night of rain and storm, when none were stirring, a number of men with faces white as lepers, of the hue, indeed, of roots that have pushed in the dark, might have been seen travelling down the cavern quarries, now tenanted only by the corpses of those who had perished there from starvation, and so through the hole beneath the wall into the free air.  With them went litters bearing their sick, and among the sick, Ithiel and Marcus.  None hindered their flight, for the Romans had deserted this part of the ruined city and were encamped around the towers in the neighbourhood of Mount Sion, where some few Jews still held out.

Thus it happened that by morning they were well on the road to Jericho, which, always a desert country, was now quite devoid of life.  On they went, living on roots and such little food as still remained to them, to Jericho itself, where they found nothing but a ruin haunted by a few starving wretches.  Thence they travelled to their own village, to discover that, for the most part, this also had been burnt.  But certain caverns in the hillside behind, which they used as store-houses, remained, and undiscovered in them a secret stock of corn and wine that gave them food.

Here, then, they camped and set to work to sow the fields which no Romans or robbers had been able to destroy, and so lived hardly, but unmolested, till at length the first harvest came and with it plenty.

In this dry and wholesome air Marcus recovered rapidly, who by nature was very strong.  When first his wits returned to him he recognised Nehushta, and asked her what had chanced.  She told him all she knew, and that she believed Miriam to be dead, tidings which caused him to fall into a deep melancholy.  Meanwhile, the Essenes treated him with kindness, but let him understand that he was their prisoner.  Nor if he had wished it, and they had given him leave to go, could he have left them at that time, seeing that the slightest of his hurts proved to be the worst, since the spear or sword-cut having penetrated to the joint and let out the oil, the wound in his knee would heal only by very slow degrees, and for many weeks left him so lame that he could not walk without a crutch.  So here he sat by the banks of the Jordan, mourning the past and well-nigh hopeless for the future.

Thus in solitude, tended by Nehushta, who now had grown very grim and old, and by the poor remnant of the Essenes, Marcus passed four or five miserable months.  As he grew stronger he would limp down to the village where his hosts were engaged in rebuilding some of their dwellings, and sit in the garden of the house that was once occupied by Miriam.  Now it was but an overgrown place, yet among the pomegranate bushes still stood that shed which she had used as a workshop, and in it, lying here and there as they had fallen, some of her unfinished marbles, among them one of himself which she began and cast aside before she executed that bust which Nero had named divine and set him to guard in the Temple at Rome.  To Marcus it was a sad place, haunted by a thousand memories, yet he loved it because those memories were all of Miriam.

Titus, said rumour, having accomplished the utter destruction of Jerusalem, had moved his army to Caesarea or Berytus, where he passed the winter season in celebrating games in the amphitheatres.  These he made splendid by the slaughter of vast numbers of Jewish prisoners, who were forced to fight against each other, or, after the cruel Roman fashion, exposed to the attacks of ravenous wild beasts.  But although he thought of doing so, Marcus had no means of communicating with Titus, and was still too lame to attempt escape.  Could he have found any, indeed, to make use of them might have brought destruction upon the Essenes, who had treated him kindly and saved his life.  Also among the Romans it was a disgrace for a soldier, and especially for an officer of high rank, to be made prisoner, and he was loth to expose his own shame.  As Gallus had told Miriam, no Roman should be taken alive.  So Marcus attempted to do nothing, but waited, sick at heart, for whatever fate fortune might send him.  Indeed, had he been quite sure that Miriam was dead, he, who was disgraced and a captive, would have slain himself and followed her.  But although none doubted her death ­except Nehushta ­his spirit did not tell him that this was so.  Thus it came about that Marcus lived on among the Essenes till his health and strength came back to him, as it was appointed that he should do until the time came for him to act.  At length that time came.

When Samuel, the Essene, left Tyre, bearing the letter and the ring of Miriam, he journeyed to Jerusalem to find the Holy City but a heap of ruins, haunted by hyaenas and birds of prey that feasted on the innumerable dead.  Still, faithful to his trust, he strove to discover that entrance to the caverns of which Miriam had told him, and to this end hovered day by day upon the north side of the city near to the old Damascus Gate.  The hole he could not find, for there were thousands of stones behind which jackals had burrowed, and how was he to know which of these openings led to caverns, nor were there any left to direct him.  Still, Samuel searched and waited in the hope that one day an Essene might appear who would guide him to the hiding-place of the brethren.  But no Essene appeared, for the good reason that they had fled already.  In the end he was seized by a patrol of Roman soldiers who had observed him hovering about the place and questioned him very strictly as to his business.  He replied that it was to gather herbs for food, whereon their officer said that they would find him food and with it some useful work.  So they took him and pressed him into a gang of captives who were engaged in pulling down the walls, that Jerusalem might nevermore become a fortified city.  In this gang he was forced to labour for over four months, receiving only his daily bread in payment, and with it many blows and hard words, until at last he found an opportunity to make his escape.

Now among his fellow-slaves was a man whose brother belonged to the Order of the Essenes, and from him he learned that they had gone back to Jordan.  So thither Samuel started, having Miriam’s ring still hidden safely about his person.  Reaching the place without further accident he declared himself to the Essenes, who received him with joy, which was not to be wondered at, since he was able to tell them that Miriam, whom they named their Queen and believed to be dead, was still alive.  He asked them if they had a Roman prisoner called Marcus hidden away among them, and when they answered that this was so, said that he had a message from Miriam which he was charged to deliver to him.  Then they led him to the garden where her workshop had been, telling him that there he would find the Roman.

Marcus was seated in the garden, basking in the sunshine, and with him Nehushta.  They were talking of Miriam ­indeed, they spoke of little else.

“Alas! although I seem to know her yet alive, I fear that she must be dead,” Marcus was saying.  “It is not possible that she could have lived through that night of the burning of the Temple.”

“It does not seem possible,” answered Nehushta, “yet I believe that she did live ­as in your heart you believe also.  I do not think it was fated that any Christian should perish in that war, since it has been prophesied otherwise.”

“Prove it to me, woman, and I should be inclined to become a Christian, but of prophecies and such vague talk I am weary.”

“You will become a Christian when your heart is touched and not before,” answered Nehushta sharply.  “That light is from within.”

As she spoke the bushes parted and they saw the Essene, Samuel, standing in front of them.

“Whom do you seek, man?” asked Nehushta, who did not know him.

“I seek the noble Roman, Marcus,” he answered, “for whom I have a message.  Is that he?”

“I am he,” said Marcus, “and now, who sent you and what is your message?”

“The Queen of the Essenes, whose name is Miriam, sent me,” replied the man.

Now both of them sprang to their feet.

“What token do you bear?” asked Marcus in a slow, restrained voice, “for know, we thought that lady dead.”

“This,” he answered, and drawing the ring from his robe he handed it to him, adding, “Do you acknowledge the token?”

“I acknowledge it.  There is no such other ring.  Have you aught else?”

“I had a letter, but it is lost.  The Roman soldiers robbed me of my robe in which it was sewn, and I never saw it more.  But the ring I saved by hiding it in my mouth while they searched me.”

Marcus groaned, but Nehushta said quickly: 

“Did she give you no message?  Tell us your story and be swift.”

So he told them all.

“How long was this ago?” asked Nehushta.

“Nearly five months.  For a hundred and twenty days I was kept as a slave at Jerusalem, labouring at the levelling of the walls.”

“Five months,” said Marcus.  “Tell me, do you know whether Titus has sailed?”

“I heard that he had departed from Alexandria on his road to Rome.”

“Miriam will walk in his Triumph, and afterwards be sold as a slave!  Woman, there is no time to lose,” said Marcus.

“None,” answered Nehushta; “still, there is time to thank this faithful messenger.”

“Ay,” said Marcus.  “Man, what reward do you seek?  Whatever it be it shall be paid to you who have endured so much.  Yes, it shall be paid, though here and now I have no money.”

“I seek no reward,” replied the Essene, “who have but fulfilled my promise and done my duty.”

“Yet Heaven shall reward you,” said Nehushta.  “And now let us hence to Ithiel.”

Back they went swiftly to the caves that were occupied by the Essenes during the rebuilding of their houses.  In a little cabin that was open to the air lay Ithiel.  The old man was on his death-bed, for age, hardship, and anxiety had done their work with him, so that now he was unable to stand, but reclined upon a pallet awaiting his release.  To him they told their story.

“God is merciful,” he said, when he had heard it.  “I feared that she might be dead, for in the presence of so much desolation, my faith grows weak.”

“It may be so,” answered Marcus, “but your merciful God will allow this maiden to be set up in the Forum at Rome and sold to the highest bidder.  It would have been better that she perished on the gate Nicanor.”

“Perhaps this same God,” answered Ithiel with a faint smile, “will deliver her from that fate, as He has delivered her from many others.  Now what do you seek, my lord Marcus?”

“I seek liberty, which hitherto you have refused to me, Ithiel.  I must travel to Rome as fast as ships and horses can carry me.  I desire to be present at that auction of the captives.  At least, I am rich and can purchase Miriam ­unless I am too late.”

“Purchase her to be your slave?”

“Nay, to be my wife.”

“She will not marry you; you are not a Christian.”

“Then, if she asks it, to set her free.  Man, would it not be better that she should fall into my hands than into those of the first passer-by who chances to take a fancy to her face?”

“Yes, I think it is better,” answered Ithiel, “though who am I that I should judge?  Let the Court be summoned and at once.  This matter must be laid before them.  If you should purchase her and she desires it, do you promise that you will set her free?”

“I promise it.”

Ithiel looked at him strangely and said:  “Good, but in the hour of temptation, if it should come, see that you do not forget your word.”

So the Court was called together, not the full hundred that used to sit in the great hall, but a bare score of the survivors of the Essenes, and to them the brother, Samuel, repeated his tale.  To them also Marcus made his petition for freedom, that he might journey to Rome with Nehushta, and if it were possible, deliver Miriam from her bonds.  Now, some of the more timid of the Essenes spoke against the release of so valuable a hostage upon the chance of his being able to aid Miriam, but Ithiel cried from his litter: 

“What!  Would you allow our own advantage to prevail against the hope that this maiden, who is loved by everyone of us, may be saved?  Shame upon the thought.  Let the Roman go upon his errand, since we cannot.”

So in the end they agreed to let him go, and, as he had none, even provided money for his faring out of their scanty, secret store, trusting that he might find opportunity to repay it in time to come.

That night Marcus and Nehushta bade farewell to Ithiel.

“I am dying,” said the old Essene.  “Before ever you can set foot in Rome the breath will be out of my body, and beneath the desert sand I shall lie at peace ­who desire peace.  Yet, say to Miriam, my niece, that my spirit will watch over her spirit, awaiting its coming in a land where there are no more wars and tribulations, and that, meanwhile, I who love her bid her to be of good cheer and to fear nothing.”

So they parted from Ithiel and travelled upon horses to Joppa, Marcus disguising his name and rank lest some officer among the Romans should detain him.  Here by good fortune they found a ship sailing for Alexandria, and in the port of Alexandria a merchant vessel bound for Rhegium, in which they took passage, none asking them who they might be.

Upon the night of the burning of the Temple, Caleb, escaping the slaughter, was driven with Simon the Zealot across the bridge into the Upper City, which bridge they broke down behind them.  Once he tried to return, in the mad hope that during the confusion he might reach the gate Nicanor and, if she still lived, rescue Miriam.  But already the Romans held the head of the bridge, and already the Jews were hacking at its timbers, so in that endeavour he failed and in his heart made sure that Miriam had perished.  So bitterly did Caleb mourn, who, fierce and wayward as he was by nature, still loved her more than all the world besides, that for six days or more he sought death in every desperate adventure which came to his hand, and they were many.  But death fled him, and on the seventh day he had tidings.

A man who was hidden among the ruins of the cloisters managed to escape to the Upper City.  From him Caleb learned that the woman, who was said to have been found upon the roof of the gate Nicanor, had been brought before Titus, who gave her over to the charge of a Roman captain, by whom she had been taken without the walls.  He knew no more.  The story was slight enough, yet it sufficed for Caleb, who was certain that this woman must be Miriam.  From that moment he determined to abandon the cause of the Jews, which, indeed, was now hopeless, and to seek out Miriam, wherever she might be.  Yet, search as he would, another fifteen days went by before he could find his opportunity.

At length Caleb was placed in charge of a watch upon the wall, and, the other members of his company falling asleep from faintness and fatigue, contrived in the dark to let himself down by a rope which he had secreted, dropping from the end of it into the ditch.  In this ditch he found many dead bodies, and from one of them, that of a peasant who had died but recently, took the clothes and a long winter cloak of sheepskins, which he exchanged for his own garments.  Then, keeping only his sword, which he hid beneath the cloak, he passed the Roman pickets in the gloom and fled into the country.  When daylight came Caleb cut off his beard and trimmed his long hair short.  After this, meeting a countryman with a load of vegetables which he had licence to sell in the Roman camp Caleb bought his store from him for a piece of gold, for he was well furnished with money, promising the simple man that if he said a word of it he would find him out and kill him.  Then counterfeiting the speech and actions of a peasant, which he, who had been brought up among them down by the banks of Jordan, well could do, Caleb marched boldly to the nearest Roman camp and offered his wares for sale.

Now this camp was situated outside the gate of Gennat, not far from the tower Hippicus.  Therefore, it is not strange that although in the course of his bargaining he made diligent inquiry as to the fate of the girl who had been taken to the gate Nicanor, Caleb could hear nothing of her, seeing that she was in a camp situated on the Mount of Olives, upon the other side of Jerusalem.  Baffled for that day, Caleb continued his inquiries on the next, taking a fresh supply of vegetables, which he purchased from the same peasant, to another body of soldiers camping in the Valley of Himnon.  So he went on from day to day searching the troops which surrounded the city, and working from the Valley of Himnon northwards along the Valley of the Kedron, till on the tenth day he came to a little hospital camp pitched on the slope of the hill opposite to the ruin which once had been the Golden Gate.  Here, while proffering his vegetables, he fell into talk with the cook who was sent to chaffer with him.

“Ah!” said the cook handling the basket with satisfaction, “it is a pity, friend, that you did not bring this stuff here a while ago when we wanted it sorely and found it hard to come by in this barren, sword-wasted land.”

“Why?” asked Caleb carelessly.

“Oh! because of a prisoner we had here, a girl whose sufferings had made her sick in mind and body, and whose appetite I never knew how to tempt, for she turned from meat, and ever asked for fish, of which, of course, we had none, or failing that, for green food and fruits.”

“What were her name and story?” asked Caleb.

“As for her name I know it not.  We called her Pearl-Maiden because of a collar of pearls she wore and because also she was white and beautiful as a pearl.  Oh! beautiful indeed, and so gentle and sweet, even in her sickness, that the roughest brute of a legionary with a broken head could not choose but to love her.  Much more then, that old bear, Gallus, who watched her as though she were his own cub.”

“Indeed?  And where is this beautiful lady now?  I should like to sell her something.”

“Gone, gone, and left us all mourning.”

“Not dead?” said Caleb in a new voice of eager dismay, “Oh! not dead?”

The fat cook looked at him calmly.

“You take a strange interest in our Pearl-Maiden, Cabbage-seller,” he said.  “And, now that I come to think of it, you are a strange-looking man for a peasant.”

With an effort Caleb recovered his self-command.

“Once I was better off than I am now, friend,” he answered.  “As you know, in this country the wheel of fortune has turned rather quick of late.”

“Yes, yes, and left many crushed flat behind it.”

“The reason why I am interested,” went on Caleb, taking no heed, “is that I may have lost a fine market for my goods.”

“Well, and so you have, friend.  Some days ago the Pearl-Maiden departed to Tyre in charge of the captain, Gallus, on her way to Rome.  Perhaps you would wish to follow and sell her your onions there.”

“Perhaps I should,” answered Caleb.  “When you Romans have gone this seems likely to become a bad country for gardeners, since owls and jackals do not buy fruit, and you will leave no other living thing behind you.”

“True,” answered the cook.  “Caesar knows how to handle a broom and he has made a very clean sweep,” and he pointed complacently to the heaped-up ruins of the Temple before them.  “But how much for the whole basket full?”

“Take them, friend,” said Caleb, “and sell them to your mess for the best price that you can get.  You need not mention that you paid nothing.”

“Oh! no, I won’t mention it.  Good morning, Mr. Cabbage-grower, good morning.”

Then he stood still watching as Caleb vanished quickly among the great boles of the olive trees.  “What can stir a Jew so much,” he reflected to himself, “as to make him give something for nothing, and especially to a Roman?  Perhaps he is Pearl-Maiden’s brother.  No, that can’t be from his eyes ­her lover more likely.  Well, it is no affair of mine, and although he never grew them, the vegetables are good and fresh.”

That evening when Caleb, still disguised as a peasant, was travelling through the growing twilight across the hills that bordered the road to Tyre, he heard a mighty wailing rise from Jerusalem and knew that it was the death-cry of his people.  Now, everywhere above such portions of the beleaguered city as remained standing, shot up tall spires and wreaths of flame.  Titus had forced the walls, and thousands upon thousands of Jews were perishing beneath the swords of his soldiers, or in the fires of their burning homes.  Still, some ninety thousand were left alive, to be driven like cattle into the Court of Women.  Here more than ten thousand died of starvation, while some were set aside to grace the Triumph, some to be slaughtered in the amphitheatres at Caesarea and Berytus, but the most were transported to Egypt, there, until they died, to labour in the desert mines.  Thus was the last desolation accomplished and the prophecy fulfilled:  “And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships . . . and there ye shall sell yourselves unto your enemies for bondmen and for bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.”  Thus did “Ephraim return to Egypt,” whence he came forth to sojourn in the Promised Land until the cup of his sin was full.  Now once more that land was a desert without inhabitants; all its pleasant places were waste; all its fenced cities destroyed, and over their ruins and the bones of their children flew Caesar’s eagles.  The war was ended, there was peace in Judaea. Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant!

When Caleb reached Tyre, by the last light of the setting sun he saw a white-sailed galley beating her way out to sea.  Entering the city, he inquired who went in the galley and was told Gallus, a Roman captain, in charge of a number of sick and wounded men, many of the treasures of the Temple, and a beautiful girl, who was said to be the grand-daughter of Benoni of that town.

Then knowing that he was too late, Caleb groaned in bitterness of spirit.  Presently, however, he took thought.  Now, Caleb was wise in his generation, for at the beginning of this long war he had sold all his land and houses for gold and jewels, which, to a very great value, he had left hidden in Tyre in the house of a man he trusted, an old servant of his father’s.  To this store he had added from time to time out of the proceeds of plunder, of trading, and of the ransom of a rich Roman knight who was his captive, so that now his wealth was great.  Going to the man’s house, Caleb claimed and packed this treasure in bales of Syrian carpets to resemble merchandise.

Then the peasant who had travelled into Tyre upon business about a mule, was seen no more, but in place of him appeared Demetrius, the Egyptian merchant, who bought largely, though always at night, of the merchandise of Tyre, and sailed with it by the first ship to Alexandria.  Here this merchant bought much more goods, such as would find a ready sale in the Roman market, enough to fill the half of a galley, indeed, which lay in the harbour near the Pharos lading for Syracuse and Rhegium.

At length the galley sailed, meaning to make Crete, but was caught by a winter storm and driven to Paphos in Cyprus, where, being afraid to attempt the seas again, let the merchant, Demetrius, do what he would to urge them forward, the captain and crew of the galley determined to winter.  So they beached her in the harbour and went up to the great temple, rejoicing to pay their vows and offer gifts to Venus, who had delivered them from the fury of the seas, that they might swell the number of her votaries.

But although he accompanied them, since otherwise they might have suspected that he was a Jew, Demetrius, who sought another goddess, cursed Venus in his heart, knowing that had it not been for her delights the sailors would have risked the weather.  Still, there was no help for it and no other ship by which he could sail, so here he abode for more than three months, spending his time in Curium, Amathos and Salamis, trading among the rich natives of Cyprus, out of whom he made a large profit, and adding wine, and copper from Tamasus to his other merchandise, as much as there was room for on the ship.

In the end after the great spring festival, for the captain said that it would not be fortunate to leave until this had been celebrated, they set sail and came by way of Rhodes to the Island of Crete, and thence touching at Cythera to Syracuse in Sicily, and so at last to Rhegium.  Here the merchant, Demetrius, transhipped his goods into a vessel that was sailing to the port of Centum Cellae, and having reached that place hired transport to convey them to Rome, nearly forty miles away.