Page:Thotharomance00nichgoog.djvu/18

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13
THE PLAGUE AND THE MERCHANTS.

that their native land was Egypt, but they had been trading with many Grecian cities at peace with Athens. They seemed to be extremely wealthy, and their merchandise consisted mainly of ivory and gems. They had also abundance of gold and silver. They acted as if they did not speak or understand the Greek tongue, and always transacted their affairs by means of interpreters. They appeared to be very careless or ignorant in their bargains, often selling their wares for a much less price than, with a little trouble and inquiry, they might have obtained.

They made no purchases themselves, with one exception, and in this particular they were most fastidious and difficult to please. They showed the greatest anxiety to buy young female slaves, and they exercised the greatest care in the selection. They not only demanded beauty and health, but inquired carefully into