"The gods go with thee, O Quintus!" they said.
"Farewell," he replied.
To the slaves waving their torches he waved his hand; then he turned to the waiting ship, beautiful with ordered ranks and crested helms, and shields and javelins. As he stepped upon the bridge, the trumpets sounded, and over the aplustre rose the vexillum purpureum, or pennant of a commander of a fleet.
The tribune, standing upon the helmsman’s deck with the order of the duumvir open in his hand, spoke to the chief of the rowers.
"What force hast thou?"
"Of oarsmen, two hundred and fifty-two; ten supernumeraries."
"Making reliefs of—"
"And thy habit?"
"It has been to take off and put on every two hours." The tribune mused a moment.
"The division is hard, and I will reform it, but not now. The oars may not rest day or night."
Then to the sailing-master he said,
"The wind is fair. Let the sail help the oars."
When the two thus addressed were gone, he turned to the chief pilot.
"What service hast thou had?"
"In what seas chiefly?"
"Between our Rome and the East."
"Thou art the man I would have chosen."
The tribune looked at his orders again.
"Past the Camponellan cape, the course will be to Messina. Beyond that, follow the bend of the Calabrian shore
- Called hortator.
- Called rector.