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The Roman traitor

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Pages: 384

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Henry William Herbert

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE LOVERS. Fair lovers, ye are fortunately met. Midsummer Night's Dbeam. On the same night, and almost at the same hour of the night, wherein that dreadful conclave was assembled at the house of Laeca, a small domestic group, consisting indeed only of three individuals, was gathered in the tabli- niim, or saloon, of an elegant though modest villa, situate in the outskirts of the city, fronting the street that led over the Mulvian bridge to the JEmilian way, and having a large garden communicating in the rear with the plebeian cemetery on the Esquiline. It was a gay and beautiful apartment, of small dimensions, but replete with all those graoeful objects, those manifold apjjiances of refined taste and pleasure, for which the Romans, austere and poor no longer, had, since tneir late acquaintance with Athenian polish and Oriental uxury, acquired a predilection—ominous, as their sterner atriots fancied, of personal degeneracy and national de- ay. Divided from the hall of reception by thick soft curtains, woven from the choice wool of Calabria, and glowing with the richest hues of the Tyrian crimson : and curtained with hangings of the same costly fabric around the windows, both of which with the doorway opened upon a peristyle : that little chamber wore an air of comfort, that charmed the eye more even than its decorations. Yet these were of no common order: for the floor was tesselated in rare patterns of mosaic work, showing its exquisite devices and bright colors, where they were not concealed by a footstool of embroidered tapestry. The walls were portionedout into compartments, each frame.d by a broad border of gilded scroll-work on a crimson ground, and containing an elaborately finished fresco painting: which, could they have been seen by any crit...  

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