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men to whom Lycophron had looked, who had been his emblem of honour, the prop of the world, the greatest of rulers, the glory of his race-Periander had killed her; Periander!-he who was bound to protect the weak, to save those who were in danger, to avenge wrong and punish evil-he had killed her. Heaven and earth were shaken, and the foundations of life broken up, and existence itself arrested and brought face to face with dark crime and cruelty and murder. Soon the very wind blowing from the sea, and the echoes of the lengthened road, and every sound of the march, the footsteps and trampling of the horses, the clang and the jar of accoutrements, the heavy roll of the chariots, all sent it back in varying murmurs to the ears of the boy. It was Periander who killed Melissa. Periander killed her.

The white towers of Corinth, rising in a flush of sunset against the dazzling blue of the Ægean, bore a new and terrible aspect to Lycophron as the cavalcade drew near. The city was all astir, the gates thrown open, with music and shouts of welcome to the young princes on their return. And Periander himself came out to meet them, stately and terrible to the populace, who feared more than they loved him, but with all the love and pride of a father to receive home the sons of his bosom, the inheritors of his name. The elder advanced with happy alacrity to receive his father's salutation; but Lycophron stood still and said not a word. 'Oh my son,' said the King, welcome! But what ails you? Have you nothing to say to your father?" The youth stood as if he were rooted to the ground. His countenance was dull and pale, like a winter sky when the clouds are black with rain. His eyes gave but one look, and then were averted as if from a painful sight. The pain of that look lay in this, that it was the same Periander whom Lycophron saw. This new light upon him had not changed him. The same countenance, stern to all others, bright and tender to his children, gazed wondering upon the gloomy face of his son. Such as he had been in the unquestioning days of childhood such was he now; but the soul of Lycophron was hot within him. All these years the hand that caressed him had been red with his mother's blood, though he knew it not. He turned his head away, but from his heart he could not shut out that revelation. Periander killed her. After a moment of wonder and waiting, Periander turned with his elder son and went into the palace, Lycophron following among the whispers and questionings of all the courtiers and attendants. What had come between the father and son? No one knew. When the others assembled to the evening meal in all the pleasure of reunion, the youth was not to be seen. He had retired to his own corner of the palace, and resisted all calls and entreaties. My son,' said Periander to the elder, tell me what has happened to thy brother. Did you quarrel by the way? Is there anything unknown to me which has turned the countenance of Lycophron to stone?' 'Nothing, my father,' said the young man. Upon his mind the parting words of Procles had made but a

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Periander, meanwhile, was disturbed also: his pleasure taken away, his sleep gone from him. Cypselus, the elder of his sons, was commonplace and dull, awakening in him nothing more than the instinctive affection of nature. But Lycophron was his hope and pride, with his own features and his own form. What ailed the boy? He was not smooth and gentle like his brother. A jar upon his finer faculties would vibrate long. Was it some quarrel with his brother, some offence which the duller youth had not so much as perceived? or was it some disappointment, something which he had desired to have done, which had been left undone? some change which had been made contrary to the will of the imperious boy? Woe to the slave who had so acted if this was the cause of Lycophron's

riander felt bitterly the rising of this cloud upon his sky, lieved that it would pass away with to-morrow's sun. morning sun rose, and life recommenced, and Lycoof his chamber with a countenance as darkly pale those of the baleful Medusa that turned a man ind too became the prey of the vultures. All self alone from whom his son thus sternly gaiety was over altogether, his pleasure : his comrades, his old instructors, the d and trained him, were not to him swer them with decorum, or give a fused their invitations to sport or red not a word; on his father der loved the boy above all e indifferent, that Heaven saw Lycophron moving adow, when all the games Deautiful world itself as if an of the absence of his boy, think accorded to Periander? He asked of

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well, Periander had intervals of elation and hope. connect his son's unkindness with his own crime. self half forgotten that crime? Had he not renewed amity with the brothers of Melissa, his neighbours, who might have done him harm, had they remained revengeful? and even with tedious Procles, who had harped the longest on that string? For, after all, what was it? Nothing more than a woman-a wife, over whose life he had the fullest rights. He had half forgotten, or more than half forgotten, that he ever laid hand upon Melissa. Of all unlikely things, that was the last that would have occurred to him to explain his son's estrangement. No; it might be that the boy himself, with that fond folly of which boys are capable, considered his happiness involved in the possession of some woman; or he was displeased with the share he had in the wealth and luxuries of his father's house; or he lacked advancement.' Periander thought of everything but of the one thing which had made Lycophron's life bitter, and shaken to him the foundations of the earth.

When, however, all the ambassadors failed, and none could find out for him what the canker was which ravaged the young man's soul, and sent dangerous questionings and wonderings through all Corinth, Periander's hope began to turn into despair. To see his son, his heir and hope, living under his roof like a stranger, nay, like an enemy,

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momentary impression. Melissa to him? He had never known her. It was but as a tale heard one moment, forgotten the next. He is tired, or he is out of temper,' said the easy-minded youth. 'He does not take life easily, as I do.' 'True,' said the father, he is not light-hearted like thee.' And so the meal went on, but shorn of half its pleasure.

That evening Lycophron spent alone, shut up in his apartment, sternly eating a scanty morsel of all the dainties set before him, admitting no one, listening to the voices in his own heart and to the strange echoes that seemed to have got into the air and whispered about him-Periander killed her. He had a sister younger than himself, of no great account in the house, yet dear to the youth as the companion of his childhood. If Melissa had been such a one as Labda, what monster could have lifted a cruel hand against her? When he threw himself upon his bed in the verandah, and saw the stars shining in the clear and far-off blue, and heard the sounds of the city rising up into the silence of the night, it was to Lycophron as a cry of pain rising up to the serene gods who took no heed. How sure and stable had been his home to him, and the tranquil and stately town reigning over the waters, and all the tranquillity of the skies above; but under that calm indifferent sky, and in those guarded chambers, safe from rebellion, safe from storm and external danger, Periander had killed her. Across his boys in their cradles, he had stepped to shed their mother's blood. Lycophron was like Prometheus in the story, chained hand and foot to that place of torture, while these recollections and imaginations, more cruel than the vultures, came and plunged their sharp beaks in his heart. His young soul, devoid of all experience, incapable of philosophy, was distraught with pain. He had not force of mind to reflect that after all it was but a woman whose blood had been shed, and that Periander had slain many another, without offence to God or man; or that, as the head of the family and state, his father had the right to chastise all offenders even to death. Nothing of all this could Lycophron think of to soften the force of his passionate sorrow. Periander had killed Melissa-nay more, and bitterer still, it was Periander himself whom Periander had slain.

Periander, meanwhile, was disturbed also: his pleasure taken away, his sleep gone from him. Cypselus, the elder of his sons, was commonplace and dull, awakening in him nothing more than the instinctive affection of nature. But Lycophron was his hope and pride, with his own features and his own form. What ailed the boy? He was not smooth and gentle like his brother. A jar upon his finer faculties would vibrate long. Was it some quarrel with his brother, some offence which the duller youth had not so much as perceived? or was it some disappointment, something which he had desired to have done, which had been left undone? some change which had been made contrary to the will of the imperious boy? Woe to the slave who had so acted if this was the cause of Lycophron's

gloom! Periander felt bitterly the rising of this cloud upon his sky, though he believed that it would pass away with to-morrow's sun. But when the morning sun rose, and life recommenced, and Lycophron issued out of his chamber with a countenance as darkly pale as ever, and eyes like those of the baleful Medusa that turned a man to stone, the father's mind too became the prey of the vultures. All the more that it was himself alone from whom his son thus sternly stood aloof. His youthful gaiety was over altogether, his pleasure in all the enjoyments of life: his comrades, his old instructors, the faithful servants who had nursed and trained him, were not to him as before; but still he would answer them with decorum, or give a regretful melancholy smile as he refused their invitations to sport or to feast. To his father alone he answered not a word; on his father alone he never raised his eyes. Periander loved the boy above all his possessions. Say not that the gods are indifferent, that Heaven is far off, and man unpunished. When he saw Lycophron moving across the marble floor like a gloomy shadow, when all the games and feasts became dreary, and the beautiful world itself as if an icy wind had blighted it, because of the absence of his boy, think ye there was no punishment accorded to Periander? He asked of his priests and of his soothsayers, and all the wise men of his court to find out and tell him what was the cause? And he took aside into a corner, one by one, the old comrades of Lycophron, and promised them rich rewards if they would discover the secret of his melancholy. And as one and another promised to use their endeavours, and undertook with foolish confidence that all should be well, Periander had intervals of elation and hope. For he did not connect his son's unkindness with his own crime. Had not he himself half forgotten that crime? Had he not renewed amity with the brothers of Melissa, his neighbours, who might have done him harm, had they remained revengeful? and even with tedious Procles, who had harped the longest on that string? For, after all, what was it? Nothing more than a woman-a wife, over whose life he had the fullest rights. He had half forgotten, or more than half forgotten, that he ever laid hand upon Melissa. Of all unlikely things, that was the last that would have occurred to him to explain his son's estrangement. No; it might be that the boy himself, with that fond folly of which boys are capable, considered his happiness involved in the possession of some woman; or he was displeased with the share he had in the wealth and luxuries of his father's house; or he lacked advancement.' Periander thought of everything but of the one thing which had made Lycophron's life bitter, and shaken to him the foundations of the earth.

6

When, however, all the ambassadors failed, and none could find out for him what the canker was which ravaged the young man's soul, and sent dangerous questionings and wonderings through all Corinth, Periander's hope began to turn into despair. To see his son, his heir and hope, living under his roof like a stranger, nay, like an enemy,

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