Page:Thotharomance00nichgoog.djvu/25

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20
THOTH.

prayers, threatened the threateners, and assumed the part of defenders of the strangers, appealing to Zeus, the god of hospitality.

As the tumult grew, and the pressure of the crowd increased, the merchants, speaking in an unknown tongue, seemed to address one who appeared to be their leader, in terms of remonstrance and expostulation, mingled, however, with respect and submission. No interpreter could be found, so that no one could understand what was said except vaguely from the looks and gestures of the speakers.

Suddenly, the leader made signs as if asking for silence and attention, and a thrill of astonishment passed through the crowd as he began to speak in a language which many of the people could, with a little difficulty, understand. It seemed an ancient dialect of Greek, in most respects like that used by Homer in his poems.