Page:Thotharomance00nichgoog.djvu/46

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41
NEPENTHE.

men entice us away from the city simply to put us to death? Fear not,—I will begin."

She mixed the nepenthe with the sweet wine, and drank of it herself, and gave to the others, and they all drank.

And then, indeed, as the leader of the band of merchants had said, so it happened.

Slowly and dreamily the distant city began to blend with the clouds. The waves of the sea fell upon the shore with the rhythm of sweet music. The air became heavy with the odours of drowsy flowers and mystic perfumes. The sand formed a softer couch than the most exquisite cushions of the East. The maidens looked on one another with calm content. Fearless and careless, they gave themselves up to the misty shapes of languid pleasures.

All memory of the past vanished, and vanished also all thought of the future. From the black vessel they saw a boat put off, and they