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"The horse trembles in every limb," said the slave; "his nostrils dilate and quiver, and show scarlet, as if on fire; and his eyes shoot forth a blood-red gleam, and he has stooped his head, and

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"But the man, the man?" screamed Caius; "what of him? Has he not failed, I say lost heart?"

sultry very hot. - triumvir: one of the three men united in authority.ravenously: furiously hungry. treble: a high piping sound as of a boy's or a woman's voice. - Cneius Piso (nâ'ús pē'zô). — impotent: violent. incessant: uninterrupted; continual. cavessons: sort of nose bands of iron, wood, or leather with ropes leading to attendants at the sides, who, in a measure, control the horse. surmise: suppose. petasus: a broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat. greaves: armor for the legs below the knees. stapedæ: stirrups. truncheon club. - voluble: of rapid speech. fifty thousand sesterces: about two thousand dollars. - shrink: show fear. - retinues: attendants. dilate: swell.

The Taming of Sejanus (Continued).

The most profound stillness had succeeded to the hubbub of blended sounds which a moment previously filled the air.

A trumpet blew a shrill prolonged minor note, and the child, laying his hand on Claudius's shoulder, and shaking him violently, cried to him to proceed with his descriptions; addressing to him again the query, "Has that

young man mounted? And if so, in what style, with what success?"

Notwithstanding the despotic impatience with which the inquiries were urged, the slave Claudius did not at first reply; and the infant heard rapid, eager murmurs on all sides follow the trumpet blast, then a general burst of exclamations, which were instantly hushed.


Why do you not speak?" said Caius, in a species of whispered scream.

"Pardon a momentary abstraction," replied Claudius. "While the trumpet was yet sounding, the young knight Paulus took off his hat quickly and bowed toward Tiberius Cæsar and the emperor; and replacing his hat, he beckoned to the freedman Philip. This last has approached

him, and they are even now speaking together."

"Ha! ha!" interrupted the child; "then he has not mounted. He neither dares nor can he."


dull degree, with some He turns quickly away

Philip," pursued Claudius, "has opened the lantern ; his young master is thrusting the staves toward the light; the ends have caught fire, in a smoke accompanying the flame. from the freedman, and holding the staves still in his left hand, and a little away, he approaches the horse; now he stands with his feet close together. Oh! he has sprung clean from the ground; he is in his seat.

He has seized the bridle in his right hand and carried it to his mouth; he takes it between his teeth. He is now relieving his left hand of one of those torches; he holds one in each hand, somewhat away from the body, nearly horizontal. The cavesson-holders at a distance are removing the muzzle, and the rider sends his feet firmly, yet I think not very far, through those rests which the illustrious Cneius Piso mentioned, those stapeda of hide, the like of which I never saw before. I wonder they are not always used."

"What of the horse? Is he motionless?"

"Not less so than a statue," replied the slave; "excepting the eyes and nostrils, which last exhibit a tremulous movement, and show scarlet, like hollow leaves or thin shells on fire. The brute's concave head, from the scarlet nostril to the lurid eye, looks wicked and dire." "How looks the rider?"

"Calm and heedful; the slight occasional breath of air from the east carries away to the front the slow flame, blent with a little smoke of those torches which he holds one in each hand."

"What can they be for?"

"I know not," replied Claudius.

"I suppose they are intended," said the child, "to compel the Sejan horse to keep his head straight. Thus your volunteer substitute need not fear the beast's teeth.

The issue seems, then, to be reduced to a trial of sheer horsemanship."

"And in such a trial, most honored sir," replied the slave, "I begin to have hopes. You should see the youth. The leading-reins are now loose. The muzzle is snatched away, and the contest has begun. Surely it seems one between a wild beast and a demigod."

"Is he thrown?"

"No; yes; so help me! he is off, but is off standing." Explain; proceed — I tell you, proceed!"



"The horse, after a series of violent plunges, suddenly reared till he had nearly gained a perpendicular position upon his hind legs, the forefeet pawing the air. rider, who seemed to be as little liable to fall as though he had been a part of the animal, then quickly passed his right foot out of the far stapeda, and dropping the bridle from his teeth, slipped down on the hither side.

"Hark! did you hear the crash with which the forefeet have come down? The steed seemed to be very near falling backward, but after a struggle of two or three seconds recovered himself; the center of his weight had not been carried rearward of the vertical line; and, O ye gods! just as you heard that ponderous thud with which he descended upon his forefeet, the youth darted from the ground with a spring like his first, and he is now

on the brute's back as before. He stoops to the horse's neck; he has caught the bridle in his teeth, and lifts that brave, clear face again. Listen to the multitude! Oh! how the cheers thunder from a hundred thousand sympathetic voices."

"Ah, my sight!" cried the child Caligula.

"Ha ha!" continued Claudius, transported out of himself. "I shall get my liberty to-day! Nor will my benefactor be injured. Ha! ha! The fell beast of a horse seems astonished. How he writhes his back, curving it like some monstrous catamount. And lo! now he leaps from the ground with all four feet at the same time. I never saw the like, except in animals of the cervine tribe. Ha! ha! leap away! Yes, stoop that ferocious-looking head, and shake it; and lash out with your death-dealing hoofs. Your master is upon you, in his chair of power, and you'll shake your head off before you dislodge him from it. It is not with the poor literary slave Claudius that you have to deal! Oh! what a paroxysm of plunges. I was frightened for you, then, brave young knight; but there you sit yet, calm and clearfaced. If I was frightened for you, you are not frightened for yourself."

"Oh! for a few minutes' sight!" said the child. "Has not the horse tried to twist his head round, and so to bring his teeth into play?"

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