Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/213

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191
BENEDICTUS SIT.

"I do so like such flowers as these which have sprung from the glowing East."

There was a knock heard, Olympia cried "Enter!" and a stately man with handsome, refined features entered the room. With quiet familiarity he approached Olympia, took her hand, and pressed it to his lips.

"I am rejoiced," he said, "to be permitted to kiss this hand that holds the plectrum and the style of history with equal skill, and has already pointed out to so many the way to Attica's and Latium's glorious fields."

"It would have been a pity if you had not been destined for a diplomatic career," replied Olympia.

"Otherwise I should not have had the pleasure of telling you the news which has been brought today that your favorite, the pious General Oliver Cromwell, is named Lord Protector by the army. Not for nothing has he expelled the Parliament with the oratorical epithet of 'you drunkards!'"

"You always laugh at his oratory; he is no Demosthenes," said Olympia, "but a strong character with deep insight. I am very glad he has risen so high. But how do things go with us? Can you tell me whether there are definite tidings how many men were lost in the last storm?"

"No; but some comedy was even there mingled with the tragedy. I have often told you that my