Page:The Amazing Emperor Heliogabalus.djvu/142

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House, immediately above the statue of Victory, and that each Senator on entering should offer incense and an oblation to Deus Solus in the image of his High Priest on earth. Herodian records another effort, made during this winter, to introduce the worship of Deus Solus into the minds of men. This was an order sent to magistrates officiating at the public sacrifices that this name should take the first and most important place ; an order which, we are told, even Montanist Christians were able to obey, especially as there were no penalties attaching to the refusal.

It had obviously been a gross error of judgment on Maesa's part to introduce a boy of such a temperament to a religion of any sort, much more so to have made him the directing force thereof; but it was done, and with it went the clothes she now hated so cordially. At Emesa, Antonine had accustomed himself to the clinging softness of the silken raiment worn by that priesthood ; now he declined to lay it aside. He hated wool and refused to wear it, neither did linen take his fancy. Silk and cloth of gold encrusted with jewels was his ostentatious conceit, and he was going to wear what his soul delighted in, now that he was free to indulge his proclivities, but what had been entirely proper and fitting at Emesa would not do for the War Lord of the Roman Empire. One knows that circumstances alter cases, and can fancy the state of Maesa's mind when she contemplated the wide-eyed astonishment which would greet the painted priest as he made his entry into Rome the con-